toy story disney

When is the best time to go to Disney without the crowds?

To the point How to avoid the crowds at Disney World in Florida? Here's a guide to help you enjoy a more peaceful stay.

Disney World is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, attracting millions of visitors every year. The days when Disney parks are at full capacity and have to close to new visitors are rare. But when these days do occur, they are most often on December 24 and 25, American Thanksgiving Day and December 31.

Once you’ve planned your budget for Disney World, let’s take a look at the best times to go. Given that Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Epcot are all Disney World parks in Florida and among the top 10 most-visited theme parks in the world, here are some tips on how to avoid the crowds and take full advantage of the Disney magic.

To avoid long lines, higher park ticket prices, crowded attractions and a less enjoyable experience in high season, it’s important to choose your travel period carefully.

The best times to visit Disney World and plan your trip

First of all, check out some of the most popular dates for your desired theme park. Each year, certain dates change (such as Easter) and can affect the traffic schedule:

Buzz Disney

Next, the best times for more leisurely fun in the Disney parks are :

  • January and February: After the holiday season, attendance at Disney World drops considerably. January and February are generally quiet months (except for President’s Day). However, temperatures can be more unpredictable and temperature differences greater. From one day to the next, or from one time of day to the next, you may need several layers of clothing in your bag to cover up (or not).
  • April: The parks are quieter and the weather is wonderful, without Florida’s heavy humidity.
  • September and October: Back-to-school season in Canada and the U.S. means fewer theme park visitors. It can still be very hot in September. But there’s a downside to September and October: the risk of hurricanes and tropical storms increases. By the way, Disney parks rarely close, except in very bad weather. Check whether your travel insurance covers you if you have to postpone your trip.
  • Early to mid-November: The period between Halloween and American Thanksgiving (the fourth Thursday in November) is generally quiet before the holiday madness. At the same time, you can enjoy the festive ambience and magical Christmas decorations. The temperature is more constant. After American Thanksgiving, things get quieter again, and it’s also a great time to go to Disney.
Disney Walt Resort

In addition to peace of mind in the parks, find peace of mind with a credit card that doesn’t charge you foreign currency conversion fees. This 2.5% fee is charged by the vast majority of cards when you make purchases outside Canada.

This fee is 0% for three cards in particular, including the Scotiabank Visa Infinite* Passport® card. It earns Scene+ points, which can be redeemed for free groceries or reimbursed for certain travel expenses, like Disney!

With this welcome offer for the Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card, you earn up to 40,000 welcome bonus points (a $400 value) as well as a first-year annual fee waiver (a $150 value):

  • 30,000 points after just $1,000 in purchases
  • 10,000 points after $40,000 in annual purchases in the first year

Then, each year, if you make at least $40,000 in purchases on the card, you’ll earn an annual bonus of 10,000 points, a value of $100.

With the Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card, you earn 3 points per dollar spent at Sobeys, IGA, Safeway, Foodland, FreshCo, Voilà by Sobeys, Voilà by IGA, Voilà by Safeway, Chalo! FreshCo, Thrifty Foods, IGA West, Les Marchés Tradition, Rachelle Béry and Co-Op.

You’ll also earn 2 points for every dollar you spend, including on foreign transactions, in the following categories:

  • Grocery purchases
  • Dining purchases
  • Entertainment
  • Transportation

The Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card is an excellent Visa credit card for this type of purchase.

You can redeem your points for any travel purchase at the rate of 1,000 points = $10 (flights, hotels, all-inclusive properties and even Airbnb). You can also use your points as cash back with Scene+, such as at your grocery store checkout at the same rate of 1,000 points = $10.

The Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card also offers:

  • no foreign transaction fee
  • 6 complimentary passes to airport VIP lounges
  • Premium insurance for your travels or purchases
  • Concierge services

We voted this credit card the Best No-FX Fee Credit Card of 2024. Knowing that the annual fee is waived in the first year, there’s never been a better time to get this credit card for your international travels over the next year!

Times to avoid to make the most of a trip to a Disney park

  • School vacations: School vacations in both Canada and the U.S. are the busiest time of year at Disney World. Christmas, Easter and the summer vacations are best avoided if you’re looking for a quiet break.
  • Weekends and vacations: Weekends are also very busy, especially Sundays. If possible, plan your visit during the week for a better experience. Avoid the American Spring Break around mid-March.
  • Special events: Disney World organizes numerous special events throughout the year, such as the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. These events attract extra crowds and, what’s more, can lead to higher prices.
  • August: This period is almost unbearably hot, with short, intense thunderstorms and heavy, oppressive humidity.
ratatouille disney

When you have no choice: Tips for avoiding the crowds on a trip to Walt Disney World Resort

Sometimes, because of vacations at work or the school calendar of young or not-so-young children, it’s impossible to leave during the above-mentioned periods to take advantage of lower prices or traffic. These more peaceful times may simply not be accessible.

My family and I went there during the holidays, on an extremely busy day. In spite of this, and thanks to careful planning, we were able to go on all the rides we wanted and admire the spectacular fireworks at the end of the evening. So you can make the most of it!

Here are some tips for escaping the tide of people:

  • Use Genie+ and Lightning Lane: These services allow you to reserve time slots for certain attractions, saving you from long queues. Genie+ reserves admission to Lightning Lane attractions for a specific time, so you don’t have to wait as long. This service also provides access to the individual Lightning Lane. All this comes at a price, and at the same time, it allows us to do everything we need to see. For example, I paid $20 CAD for an individual Lightning Lane from Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind. In this way, I avoided more than 1h30 of waiting, in the middle of August.
  • Favour off-peak hours: Visitor numbers are generally lower in the early morning and at the end of the day. Plan your days accordingly to maximize your chances of avoiding the crowds. Arrive at the theme park before opening time and go as far as you can (usually before entering the various ride areas). Wait for the rope drop, when visitors can finally get in and line up for the rides. Your park access ticket allows you to exit and re-enter later in the day. Take the opportunity to take a break, stroll through the Skyline, go to Disney Springs or return to the hotel for a nap. You don’t have to be there all day, non-stop.
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  • Stay at a Disney hotel: Disney hotel guests benefit from Extra Magic Hours, allowing them access to the parks before the official opening to the public. For example, in this post on the Walt Disney World Swan Reserve, I explain all the advantages of a Disney hotel for the Disney parks. Thanks to early access, I was able to ride 2 popular rides in the first 30 minutes, before the rope drop. Depending on the season, there are also extended hours in the evening, for a more leisurely stroll when most of the crowds have left.
  • Consult the crowd calendar forecasts for Disney: Many websites and applications offer attendance forecasts for Disney World. These tools can help you choose the right dates for your visit, depending on the number of visitors expected. Our favorite is Undercover Tourist, which also sells tickets to the Disney parks.
  • For extremely hot Florida summers: bring a cooling towel and a mini-fan. These accessories will save your life and prevent heatstroke. Don’t forget a change of clothes and ponchos in case of brief, intense downpours! An afternoon pool break at the hotel, frequent breaks in the shade or eating a good Dole Whip ice cream are also beneficial for getting through the day.
  • Buy your tickets in advance: This will help you avoid queues at ticket offices. It may sound simple, but many people still don’t do it.
  • Choose less popular restaurants: Some restaurants are more popular than others. Don’t hesitate to consult the online Reviews and reserve your seats at the restaurant, up to 60 days before your visit to Disney Park.
  • Be flexible: If an attraction is too busy, feel free to skip it and come back later.

Best time to go to Disney

By choosing the right time to visit and following the tips above, you can enjoy Disney World with a short wait on the rides and have an unforgettable magical experience.

Don’t forget that planning is essential for a successful stay. In the end, those minutes of planning ahead will save you a lot of time! For more tips and everything you need to know about Disney theme parks, check out our articles :

When is the best time to visit Disney World?

Anything outside school vacations, extremely popular events and the holiday season. Read the content above for the best times to ensure that all members of the family have the most magical time possible.

What's the best day of the week to go to Disney World?

Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the best days of the week, when there are the fewest people in a Disney park.

How many days will it take to visit Disney World, Orlando?

The ideal length of stay is 5 days.

For the ultimate experience, spend a full day at each of these parks: Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. Then book two days to explore Magic Kingdom.

When is the cheapest time to go to Disneyland?

Weekdays between January and March are the cheapest time to visit Disneyland, California.

Come to discuss that topic in our Facebook Group!
Caroline Tremblay
I'm Caroline, a loyalty program specialist! I use my points to travel more often and at a lower price with my spouse and our two children. I'm passionate about writing about the latest rewards news and how to put more points in your pocket.

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