Thursday, June 2, 2011

367...First Question

So when is the perfect time to go to Walt Disney World?  Well, that kind of depends on your situation.  My wife and I are both in education so we are pretty much locked into going during school holidays and summer vacation.  Since we are also pretty cheap and prefer to drive, that really only leaves the summer.  If you have a flexible schedule then the World is wide open to you.

The WDW resort hotels recognize several different "seasons."  There is the value, regular, summer, fall, peak and holiday season.  Although the theme park ticket prices do not fluctuate, the resort hotel prices move a great deal.  Here are two good sources to look at to see room rates and season dates.  MouseSavers and  (The MouseSavers page will give you a good breakdown on the rates and seasons.  The AllEars page will give you a fact sheet about the hotel and all the rate information)  As you can see, deciding when to go will have a direct impact on your budget.

Another huge fact to consider when thinking about when to go is the crowd.  I've heard it said that there really is no off season at Disney anymore.  It is just a very busy place.  With that said, there are still times when the parks feel a little more leisurely.  Summer, Christmas and Easter are not those times.  You can look at the typical school calendar and compare it to the Crowd Calendar over at Touring Plans and see the similarity.   When kids are out of school, crowds go up at WDW.  When kids are in school, crowds go down.

I think the last key factor to consider when thinking about when to go is the Orlando weather.  The summers are HOT and wet.  I mean really hot.  Like punch you in the face hot.  Spend one day in Animal Kingdom in the middle of July and I guarantee you lose all the weight you gained eating the Tonga Toast and/or the Kitchen Sink!  The winters are cool and dry.  For a look at historical weather conditions in Orlando check out this website WeatherUnderground.

So obviously go during the "off" or "value" season right?  Not so fast my friends.  One thing to keep in mind is that as the crowds start to get smaller during the value season, the parks begin closing earlier.  During the summer there will be nights when they are opened until 3am.  That is not the case during the value season.  In September the typical closing time at Magic Kingdom is around 7 to 9 during the week and 10pm on the weekends.  

So with that, the decision is up to you.  I believe that you can have a successful trip at anytime at Disney but it will take planning.  There are definitely some keys to successful touring during busy times and we will look at that issue in a later blog post.  For now it is time to dream of my next Disney vacation 367 days away!

1 comment:

derock said...

Some good points here.