By guest blogger Carl Trent of Dad's Guide to Walt Disney World
When is the best time to visit Walt Disney World? That's the number one question I'm asked every year. It's a real good question. In fact it's the first (of many) questions that have to be answered when you are planning that "Perfect" vacation.
My standard answer to the question is "anytime you can," but really that's not a really helpful answer. It's true, but not real helpful.
Let's talk about this a bit. There can be a vast difference in crowd levels from week to week. For example, one of the busiest weeks of the year at Walt Disney World is Presidents' Day week (an American Holiday, which in 2013 will be Feb. 17-23).
During Presidents' Day week, all of the parks will be packed. Lines can reach three to four hours on some of the big rides and over an hour on some of the "short" line rides. But, if you were to arrive at Walt Disney World the week before Presidents' Day or the week after (and most of the weeks around that time), you would find almost no crowds. You could walk on to almost any ride (except Toy Story Mania!® Attraction, which always has a line). It's an incredible contrast.
Our favorite time of the year at Walt Disney World is Christmas time. Christmas is filled with great shows, great decorations and a magical spirit. All of the parks, all of the hotels, all of the restaurants, everyone gets all dolled up in their Christmas finest and celebrate the holidays in style. Christmas is a wonderful time to plan a Disney World vacation. (Just avoid the week of Christmas Day. Trust me.)
Christmas isn't the only great time to visit. During the year there are big events like the Flower and Garden Festival, Star Wars Weekends, and the Food and Wine Festival. There are also lots of smaller events like the Marathon weekends, golf tournaments, concerts, Night of Joy, Spring Training (Atlanta Braves) and Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.
Each of the events is a big deal. Disney knows how to throw an event. They make each of them a special occasion. Try one of them out.
Thinking about events, crowds and even weather, I've ranked the best weeks for a WDW vacation and the 5 best weeks to visit WDW are:
1. The week after Thanksgiving
2. The first full week in November
3. The second week in June
4. All of September
5. The first week in May
The bottom line is, the best time to visit Walt Disney World is truly anytime you can. There are times that are better, if you can arrange it, and some times you should try to avoid. But even if the only time you can manage is Christmas week, you can still have a marvelous trip. All it takes is a really good plan.
When is your favorite time to visit Walt Disney World?
Planning a Walt Disney World Vacation is a big task. There are hundreds of things to think about. That's where I come in. Hi, my name is Carl Trent, but I'm better known as Dad. The Disney Dad. I run a little website called DadsGuidetoWDW.com. At Dad's Guide we want to help you plan a "Perfect" Vacation. Dad is a self-proclaimed (rarely challenged) Disney World "expert" who focuses on how to develop a plan that will allow you to have the best vacation possible.
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