This is the first post in a series on Walt Disney World. We’ll be focusing on planning an incredible trip at an affordable price. Along the way, we’ll share all the insider tips we’ve picked up on our previous trips.
The first big decision to make when planning at trip to Walt Disney World is to decide when to go. For some people, that’s already been decided. There’s a reason you are going at a certain time – work or school vacation, special event, etc.
But, if you could schedule a trip at pretty much anytime in 2014, when would be the best times to go to Walt Disney World?
Fortunately for the budget-minded, some of the best times of the year to go to Walt Disney World are also some of the cheapest times to visit. As the crowds go down, so do things like airfare and hotel rates.
The times when you are going to find the best hotel rates and, probably, the least amount of crowds at Walt Disney World in 2014 are:
The month of May – Once Easter and spring breaks are over, things slow down a bit in Orlando until schools start letting out around Memorial Day. It’s typically not blazing hot yet, either.
The month of August – That’s right, you can still visit Walt Disney World in the summer and save money. If your kids start back to school later in the month, check hotel rates starting around Aug. 2, and you’ll find they have dropped drastically from busy June and July. It will be hot this month, so be prepared for that.
Mid-September to Mid-November – You’ll find low rates here, too, and the heat will likely break around the end of September (no guarantees about the weather with the crazy start to 2014 we have had, though!). One note about this time of year: The EPCOT Internation Food and Wine Festival typically runs from the end of September until mid-November (2014 dates haven’t been announced yet). The park (and hotels) get an influx of guests from around Florida on the weekends during this festival, so you may want to plan your visit during the week.
The first couple weeks of December – This is honestly one of my absolute favorite times to visit Walt Disney World. The parks and resorts are decorated for Christmas, and special holiday activities are in full swing, yet for the most part, the holiday crowds haven’t arrived yet. The weather is typically gorgeous in December in Orlando, too.
A note about Walt Disney World’s “Free Dining” specials:
One of the next important decisions you will have to make when planning a Disney World trip is where to stay, and I guarantee we will be talking a lot more about that during this series. But, if you have already decided you are going for the whole she-bang here and staying on property at a Walt Disney World resort, then you may want to try to take advantage of some of the specials Walt Disney World offers to save money.
The really big one is known as “Free Dining.” It’s when Walt Disney World offers one of its Disney Dining Plans free to guests who buy a package that includes a hotel room and tickets. This can be a tremendous savings for families. The problem is that if you’re trying to plan your year’s vacation at the beginning of the year, the dates for the special usually haven’t been announced yet. There are no guarantees. I repeat: There are no guarantees. But the “Free Dining” offers are typically good in between Labor Day and the end of September. So, if you are hoping to take advantage of Free Dining in 2014, planning your vacation in September (after Labor Day, of course), is probably your best bet.
What if we HAVE to go in June? (or July? or Spring Break?)
You are going to have a great time. Really, you are. Walt Disney World is made to handle gigantic crowds, and they are pros at it. No matter what time of year you travel to the resort, those who go looking for fun will find it.