How Do I Decide When to Visit Disney?

You’ve decided you’d like to go to Disney but are not sure when to visit. I can help with that!  There are lots of different things that come into play when making a choice:  refurbishments within the park, time of the year and budget are three of the most important things to look at.

Nothing can ruin a great day faster than realizing the attraction you’ve been looking forward to for months is closed during your visit.  Disney’s website will provide Operational Updates when reviewing park hours on their website.  There are other sites devoted to Disney that list refurbishments for you reference when deciding when to plan your trip.  Sometimes weather or mechanical problems will close an attraction and things like that you can’t plan for, but hopefully the weather will pass or problems are fixed so the attraction will reopen during your visit.  You could also plan your visit to be there when something new opens at the park as well.

Disney celebrates so many different things throughout the year that can enhance your experience such as Star Wars Weekend, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party,Food and Wine Festival or Flower and Garden Festival to name a few.  If you’re a fan of Star Wars, planning your trip to coincide with this festival makes perfect sense.  For those who love Halloween, an ideal trip would be during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.  Not only should the special events be considered when deciding when to go – weather’s also very important.  Florida gets very, very hot during the summer.  Fall’s weather is more bearable but rain and cool winds can change park touring plans at the drop of a hat.   Summer season is also very crowded because most schools are out for several weeks of summer vacation.  Crowd levels should be part of the consideration when deciding the best time for your trip.  Those lucky enough to make multiple trips to Disney may not be as concerned about crowds as those who aren’t able to visit as frequently.  Sites like Touring Plans can help you navigate the crowds and prepare for crowd levels during your trip.

Probably the most important part of determining the time of year to visit is the budget for so many families.  Thankfully Disney offers deals and discounts throughout the year to make it more affordable for your family to visit.  There are also several different pricing tiers for Disney resorts that can make staying on property more affordable.  Staying off site is another way to make the trip even more affordable during any season.  One thing to note when staying off site is transportation.  If you’re not willing to rent a vehicle, you’ll need to stay somewhere that offers a shuttle to and from the parks.  When comparing on and off site, be sure to include all factors – daily parking fee, vehicle rental, gas and time – to the resort cost on site to get an accurate number.

If you’ve decided on the perfect time to visit but it seems out of budget for your family, check out sites like Meet the Magic or Couponing to Disney for tips on how to save money and build the Disney fund.  Consider staying at a value resort instead of moderate or for a different length of time to be able to visit the parks during your ideal time.

Lynn Wiltse is the author of this article and has entered The Disney Moms writers contest.  She is also the creator of My Pixie Dust Diary and contributes to WDW Fan Zone and The Disney Driven Life.  She has three amazing children – two princes and a princess – who love Disney almost as much as she does.  Lynn is the “go to” girl for her friends and co – workers planning a Disney vacation.

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