The Best Time to Go To Disney World in 2020 & 2021 + FREE Printable Calendar!

Posted in Disney World
on December 20, 2018

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Epcot in spring with flowers

If you are planning a visit to Walt Disney World in 2020 you might be wondering what’s the best time to go to Disney World for low crowds and great weather. 

I have been to Disney World over 30 times in every season of the year and there are definitely some times of year that are better to visit than others! 

In this post, I’ll share my picks for the best time to go to Disney World 2020 and 2021 along with a handy printable calendar to help you plan your vacation. 

Best Time To Go To Disney World: Cost, Crowds, & Weather

The three factors to consider as you plan your visit are cost, crowds, and weather. Since I’m a cheapskate at heart, I’ll start with cost.

The price you’ll pay for a hotel room at Walt Disney World in 2020 varies wildly depending on the time of year during which you travel.

For example, the “rack rate” for a standard room at Disney’s Pop Century Resort in 2020 ranges from $150 to over $300 throughout the year.

Yep, that same exact room costs 100% more during peak travel season than other times of the year.

So we aren’t just talking about a few extra dollars – we talking about cutting the cost of your lodging almost in half by traveling at off-peak times!

Magic Kingdom train station in fall

The second reason I suggest planning your travel dates carefully is to avoid horrendous crowds at the theme parks.

Nothing ruins a vacation like shuffling through the parks at a snail’s pace surrounded by throngs of frustrated tourists. Or seeing 2+ hour wait times for all of the popular attractions.

The third reason you should plan your travel carefully is the weather.

Don’t underestimate the heat and humidity of central Florida in the summer months!

It can be downright miserable, so I strongly suggest avoiding the summer months if at all possible.

Pool at Disney's All-Star Movies resort

If your vacation plans include pool time, you might want to avoid a visit in January or February, when pool days are rare.

Also, traveling to Florida in hurricane season can be dicey, so all but one of my recommended times to visit fall outside of that time of year (roughly June until the end of October).

I’ll give you my four favorite times of year to visit the parks below, but be warned: they all take place when kids are traditionally in school.

Now I will tell you what I told my students and their families if they informed me they would be missing a week of school to visit Disney World (I was a public school teacher for 10 years):

Your kids will learn far more during a week at Disney World than they would have in school that week.

Blasphemous, right? But honestly, your kids will get SO MUCH out of a trip to Disney World in terms of new knowledge and life experience.

It is the best possible learning situation for them, so please don’t feel bad or hesitate to take your kids out of school to travel to Disney.

Just ignore anyone who says otherwise and send them my way for convincing. šŸ˜‰

On to my picks for the best dates to go to Disney World – and if you’d rather listen to this information, check out this episode of my podcast on the same subject!

#1 Best Time To Go To Disney World 2020: September After Labor Day

Mickey pumpkin in front of Cinderella's castle

My first pick for the best time to go to Disney World is September after the labor day crowds have passed. While it is VERY hot this time of year, the lower cost and crowds might make it worth it for you.

I have visited Disney World during this time for five out of the last six years for the following reasons:

1) Awesome pool weather (we spend LOTS of time at the pool)
2) Relatively low crowd levels
3) Epcot International Food & Wine Festival!
4) September is one of the cheapest time of year to stay at Disney if you are renting DVC points.
5) Some of the cheapest dates for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party discount tickets

Folks sometimes ask me why I prefer this time to October. October brings somewhat heavier crowds thanks to the Halloween party and peak Food & Wine Crowds, plus slightly higher costs. But overall, October is a great time to visit, too!

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

We love to rent DVC points this time of year for a stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge, our favorite resort. We pay about $150/night for a Deluxe Studio Villa which would cost almost $500 if we booked it directly through Disney (read about how you can rent DVC points to save money on your trip, too).

It is pretty hot this time of year, with highs in the upper 80’s, making it sometimes unbearable in the sun. But as long as you plan for a break in the middle of the day, the heat is manageable (at least for me).

PLUS, Disney usually releases a “Free Dining” offer for this time of year, which can be a great way to save money on a Disney vacation!

If you are looking for more help planning your visit, I suggest getting a free quote from my recommended Disney travel agent Siera with Destinations in Florida. They can help you pick the best resort for your family, book dining reservations, and get your FastPasses, all at no cost to you!

#2 Best Time To Go To Disney World: After Easter Until Memorial Day

Woody in front of Epcot in Spring

My second pick for the best time to go to Disney World is the period after Easter up until Memorial Day.

The weather is the big draw this time of year.

Visiting the warm and tropical lushness of Florida after a cold, gray winter is just completely incredible. Plus no chance of a hurricane ruining your well-laid plans!

Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival takes place this time of year, adding more color and beauty to your trip. Crowds stay lowish, with averages of 4-5 out of 10 for the whole time period.

In 2020 Easter is on April 12th and Memorial Day is May 25th, allowing about five weeks to visit with low costs and crowds. Anytime between these two holidays should be a great time to visit!

As far as cost goes, this is a more expensive time of year to visit compared to fall and early winter by about 20%. But it may be worth it to you for the fantastic weather. 

If you want to rent DVC points, I suggest visiting in May as opposed to April for significant savings.

May is part of “Dream Season” which has rates only slightly higher than the two cheapest seasons. You will pay about 30% more in April, so wait for May if you can!

#3 Best Time to Visit Disney World 2020: Early December

Cinderella Castle with lights during the holidays

My third pick for the best time to visit Disney World is the period right after Thanksgiving through the first few weeks in December.

The main reason for a visit this time of year is to soak up the incredible Disney World holiday magic without paying any more than you would other times of year!

This is one of the more affordable times of year to visit, whether you are booking a resort room with Disney or renting DVC points.

Crowds are around 6 out of 10, though they spike a little on the weekends with locals visiting for the holiday decorations and special events.

The weather starts to get unpredictable this time of year, so you could catch highs in the 70’s or you could need parkas. But as long as you pack for anything, this is such a wonderful time to visit the parks.

Click here to get my ultimate guide to Disney World Christmas for details on the special holiday events plus tips for celebrating Christmas at Disney!

#4 Best Time To Go To Disney World: Early November

Epcot's Spaceship Earth during Food & Wine Festival

My fourth choice for the best time to visit Disney World is early November.

This time of year has fantastic weather, relatively low crowds, and low room rates.

Plus you’ll catch the tail end of the hugely popular Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, my favorite event at Walt Disney World!

Average highs are around 80 degrees so you can likely still get some time in at the pool and it’s not scorchingly hot at the parks. Hurricane season is almost always over by now.

Crowds aren’t too bad (about 4-5 out of 10) and this time of year is part of the rate category Disney calls “Fall”, which is one of the lower-cost times of year to visit.

bed at disney pop century hotel

Disney’s Pop Century Resort

For comparison, a standard room at Pop Century costs $110 during the “Fall” season, which is second only to “Value” season in January in terms of affordability.

My source for the best rates on Disney Value Resorts is Orbitz since you can stack Orbitz promo codes ON TOP of any discount Disney has released! Read all about how to save money by booking Disney resorts on Orbitz in this post!

Note:  There is a cost increase and increase in crowds associated with the Veteran’s Day long weekend, so avoid those few days if you can.

Runner-Up Best Time To Go To Disney World 2020: January and Early February

I felt like I had to mention one more time of year to consider for the best time to go to Disney World.

January (after marathon weekend) and early February (up until President’s Day weekend) offer the lowest prices AND lowest crowd levels of the year. You’ll have to contend with “winter” in Florida, which is totally mild of course.

In 2020 the Disney World marathon events run from January 8th – 12th so it’s best to visit after that if possible. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day falls on Monday January 20th in 2020 and there is a slight surge in crowds that weekend.

But, if you aren’t concerned with visiting the pool and want to avoid crowds/save money, consider a trip in the first two months of the year! Plus, you’ll get to experience Epcot’s Festival of the Arts, which is included with park admission.

We love the warm weather and special events of the previously mentioned time periods, so we tend to avoid these months.

Below is a calendar with the best time to go to Disney World in 2020 and 2021 highlighted in green (holidays are in red). Click here to view and print your calendar!

It is also important to note that resort hotel rooms are almost always cheaper Sunday through Thursday night.

If you are planning a 5-night stay and can make it happen with work schedules, go during the week to avoid the additional 10-25% cost increase of Friday and Saturday night stays.

I hope this post gave you some helpful hints for the best time to go to Disney World 2020!

Any questions? Please leave a comment below or join the discussion on my free private Facebook group!

Check out these related posts:

The Best Time to Go To Disney World in 2020 & 2021 + FREE Printable Calendar!

156 Comments

  • Zantha

    We had a trip planned for March of this year and we had to reschedule for March of next year because of COVID. I am just wondering why March isnt a good month to visit ?

    May 2, 2020 at 8:10 pm Reply
    • Leah

      March is more expensive and crowded than my preferred times of year but is a beautiful time to visit!

      May 3, 2020 at 7:39 am Reply
  • Pamela Smith

    Hi Leah! Thanks for all the information! We are finally planning to go to WDW in Sept. 2021 ( after many years of Disneyand. I live in CA)! Do you have a list of days that are better to go into which parks? We will be there 8 days, so there will have to be a weekend in there. We plan on going 2 days to the Magic Kingdom, 1 day for Epcot, 1 day at Animal Kingdom and 1 day to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Or we can switch it up! We are all adults going, so it’s a little easier for us. Anyways, I would love to hear what you think! Thank you!

    April 24, 2020 at 2:11 pm Reply
    • Leah

      Hi Pamela! I suggest avoiding Magic Kingdom on Saturdays and Mondays. Also, the park with Extra Magic Hours tends to be busier than the others after 11 am or so when everyone arrives. If you will have a park Hopper ticket it’s fine to go the park with EMH, but if not I’d avoid them unless you are OK with only staying a half day. Hope that helps!

      April 25, 2020 at 7:42 am Reply
  • Heather Crinnion

    My husband and I would like to do a September 2021 trip celebrating 11 years marriage and empty nesters ! What weeks do you suggest ? Weather wise would we still get use out of pools at AOA ?

    March 11, 2020 at 9:46 am Reply
    • Leah

      Yes! September is an awesome pool month. It is very hot so you will definitely want to cool off in those pools.

      March 13, 2020 at 7:57 am Reply
  • Kristina

    Why donā€™t you recommend going to Disney in March? We were thinking March 2021.

    March 3, 2020 at 7:38 pm Reply
    • Leah

      It is generally pretty busy and expensive. But the weather is excellent! So if you are willing to deal with crowds and higher prices it can be worth it.

      March 6, 2020 at 12:54 pm Reply
  • Chrystie

    Hi! Can you tell me if January/February is refurbishment season at Disney World like it typically is for Disneyland?

    February 27, 2020 at 1:24 am Reply
    • Leah

      Hi Chrystie! Refurbishment takes place year round at Disney World. The only regularly scheduled closings that time of year are for the water parks which each close for a month or so in the winter (never at the same time, though).

      March 3, 2020 at 8:54 am Reply
  • Tricia

    I was planning to go to WDW 11-13 through 11-20. Veterans Day is on Wed, 11-11 this year – will this effect crowds then? My daughter really wants to be there for 11-16, her b-day.

    Thank you for your help.

    February 18, 2020 at 7:13 pm Reply
    • Leah

      I think that’s a great time to go. Veteran’s Day only really affects crowds that day.

      February 20, 2020 at 8:31 am Reply
  • greg alexander

    would the second week of march 2021 be a horrible time to go to disney world, my daughters birthday is the 5th and want to take her there for it. we were thinking sunday thru thursday. any suggestions?

    greg alexander

    February 17, 2020 at 8:30 pm Reply
    • Leah

      I think that’s a great time to go in the spring. There will be higher crowds than February but not nearly as bad as April.

      February 20, 2020 at 8:32 am Reply
  • Amanda

    Thanks for the information. I seem to be getting a lot of conflicting info for Nov. My daughter’s Birthday in 11-16 and we are thinking of going to WDW this year – 2020 for her Birthday. Would this be a good time to go for prices and crowds? It would not be the week of Thanksgiving…if anything thing, we would be flying home the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Thank you for your time.

    February 16, 2020 at 7:57 pm Reply
    • Leah

      I think that’s a great time to go since it’s in between Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving.

      February 20, 2020 at 8:31 am Reply
  • kristine

    Let me ask you this…im thinking end of april/beginning of may 2021. What about the cheerleading competions/mcdonalds convention…will this cause it to be a bad time to go? Also I am weary of the lovebugs…How bad is it???? My son will destroy the vacation if they are flying in our faces…

    February 15, 2020 at 2:34 pm Reply
    • Leah

      Hi Kristine! I think that’s a great time to go. The cheer competitions really only affect the Value resorts and don’t impact the parks much at all. I’ve never even seen a lovebug at Disney World! I’ve been that time of year lots. Disney’s bug control is so good it’s kind of scary. I have only seen a mosquito a handful of times in 30 years and it’s basically built on a Florida swamp! So you definitely don’t need to worry about bugs.

      February 16, 2020 at 7:14 am Reply
  • Ahna

    Hi Leah,
    Thanks for all the tips! How are the crowds M-F during the last week of August? I know most schools are back in session by that time…

    January 21, 2020 at 12:29 am Reply
    • Leah

      Should be a great time to go! Just avoid Magic Kingdom on Monday and you’ll be great.

      January 21, 2020 at 11:51 am Reply
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