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all 105 comments

[–]Erulastiel 164 points165 points  (30 children)

This is the time I'd like to go. My boyfriend wants to go in the summer when it's hot and humid and packed. I think there's something wrong with him.

[–]Uncmello 56 points57 points  (12 children)

The only problem with this time of year is the parks aren’t open as long. 8 or 9 in the morning until 9 or 10 at night. But the small crowds and cheaper hotels make up for that.

[–]Erulastiel 26 points27 points  (0 children)

That's fine by me. We're both disabled and we tire easily. And that's what we're used to from our local amusement park. 9a-10p.

[–]barefootwood 2 points3 points  (6 children)

Is this new? My wife used to work there and we haven’t been there in a year, but to my knowledge park open/park close never changes except for the Extra Magic Hours available to resort guests (for that extra fee of course)

[–]Red_hat_oops 15 points16 points  (0 children)

There have been seasonal hours for years, and definitely a year ago. In fact, over the course of a week, open and close times vary.

[–]tomato000 4 points5 points  (2 children)

They hours change throughout the year, it’s been like that for a long time. I remember when Animal Kingdom would close at like 6.

[–]barefootwood -1 points0 points  (1 child)

In speaking to my wife you two are correct, but she said they close the park depending on a few factors. Park attendance, maintenance, preparing for a festival, and if there are rehearsals overnight

[–]OneOfALifetime 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Yea, but that has nothing to do with the park hours changing, that's totally different. In fact, I've never even heard of a park closing at night due to attendance, that's always something that happens during the day, and normally only to the Magic Kingdom on Thanksgiving/Christmas day.

I've also never heard of a park closing due to maintenance, that's all planned months in advance for after the already posted park hours. Not sure about rehearsals but I'm sure they plan those far in advance too.

And yea, definitely MNSSHP and MVMCP close the MK early.

[–]OneOfALifetime 2 points3 points  (0 children)

No, it's been this way for years, I mean years and years and years. Park times constantly change, mainly park close, and often you'll see park times change from what was originally posted months earlier. It's all based on expected crowds, in January you will easily see the parks close at 10 PM, where as during Thanksgiving week they are open till 12 or 1 AM. Probably at least 20 years, at least as long as I can remember, times have changed.

[–]KittyGray 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I was there recently (around January 13-16) and MK closed at 8pm every night. If I hadn’t been 20 weeks pregnant I would have been seriously bummed out but as it was I fell asleep watching HEA on a park bench by guest services lol

[–]Inn0c3nc3 0 points1 point  (0 children)

So worth it though, lol

We went in mid September this year, and granted it was also right after Irma those crowds compared to January were crazy for me. 😒

[–]Danorexic 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Those hours match the hours I've experienced over the summer and even Christmas time recently?

[–]LtPowers 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Are you sure you saw hours of 9-9 over the summer or at Christmastime? Not counting extra magic hours?

[–]Danorexic 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I'm pretty sure when we went during May and Christmas last time, those were hours. That excludes extra magic hours. When we were there all the parks closed at 9 or 930. The same applied during May. I was really surprised. I know when we went 2 years ago or so, there were parks that would be open until 11.

[–]JackTheBehemothKillr 10 points11 points  (7 children)

As a Floridian, your boyfriend is wrong.

[–]Erulastiel 0 points1 point  (6 children)

Odd question for you. What time of the year do the temps stay consistently in the 70s during the day?

[–]JackTheBehemothKillr 7 points8 points  (3 children)

Around here? Consistently? Never. It's too close to an in between range down here. You'll get a warm day pushing it to the 80s in January, or a cold day dropping you down to the 50s in March or April. Spring this year had it staying in the 40s-50s till last month at least, last year or the year before we were in shorts by then.

Sometimes winter ends in January, sometimes we never seem to drop below the 60s. Typically there is one cold snap in mid-late October, then it goes back to the 80s semi regularly till at least late November.

I would say you're looking at a target range of November-April and just try to play it by ear as much as you can.

Go another hour north or south of central Florida and you get a much more reliable annual temp cycle.

[–]Erulastiel 3 points4 points  (2 children)

Oh gross. I don't know if I could handle living like that. Props to you for putting up with that.

Thank you for the info. Hopefully we can find a week where its not ungodly warm or too cold for the water park.

[–]JackTheBehemothKillr 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Yeah, I'm not too enthused by it. Originally from north Florida where we actually have seasons and we get snow (once every 12-15 years or so, but still snow)

I like when the weather behaves itself.

90% sure the water in the Disney water parks is heated. Won't help with the cold air, but it might help your decision.

[–]Erulastiel 1 point2 points  (0 children)

We get seasons too. But our temps aren't so temperamental, they stay consistent. But we also get a lot of snow every year and it stays until about this time each year.

Heated water? I guess that's not too bad. I probably would have hopped in regardless. 50s and 60s are shorts weather for us Mainers. In fact, I was in our local water park during a windy, dreary, cloudy, drizzly, 60 degree day one summer. Not a care given. No lines, I was having a blast. I think we'll be fine if we end up there on a week where it doesn't go much over 60. I mean, the last time I was in a heated pool, we were outside during a snowstorm, having a snowball fight in the pool. I think we'll manage.

[–]TSTC 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Like /u/JackTheBehemothKillr said there really is never a guarantee for Florida. That being said, as someone who's lived in Florida for my whole life I would recommend November through March (although March gets packed due to Spring Break). We can get warm weather all the way through October but by November we are usually getting 70s for the highs.

November and December are less likely to be "cold" than January and February.

But that being said, this year I was at Disney in early March and I was freezing. Temps were around 50-60s and I did not pack appropriate clothing. Just gotta roll the dice.

[–]Erulastiel 0 points1 point  (0 children)

50s and 60s are warm for us Mainers. That's totally shorts weather. In fact 60s is the perfect weather for me. Not too hot and not cold at all in my opinion. I mean, we're used to temps ranging from 40 to -40 six months of the year haha.

That's good to know, thank you. We'll probably go either in November or late March. It sounds like we could handle the weather and the lack of crowds.

[–]RavingRationality 2 points3 points  (6 children)

I like going in certain parts of the fall or the spring, when the weather is warm enough to hit the water parks, but the crowds aren't there yet.

[–]Erulastiel 0 points1 point  (5 children)

Which time during the fall or spring? Water parks are my jam.

[–]misspeelled 1 point2 points  (3 children)

I can confirm late April/early May are pretty decent this way.

[–]Erulastiel 1 point2 points  (2 children)

I'll have to convince him then.

Are the water parks open any earlier? We were in TX in March and the 80 degrees was a little much for us.

[–]misspeelled 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I think when we were there they opened at 10, every day. I can recommend springing for a cabana in the shade (it comes with water or did when we were there), but cost might be an issue. They also have umbrella and lounge chairs that might help. I recommend anywhere near the lazy river and throwing yourself in if you get overheated :)

[–]Erulastiel 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Throwing myself into the lazy river? I love lazy rivers. I don't think overheating will be an issue anymore. I won't have to throw myself in because I'll already be in there.

[–]RavingRationality 1 point2 points  (0 children)

We went once for a week starting the weekend after President's Day in the USA (Family Day here in Ontario Canada). It's a slight lull in the crowds before the March Break rush. Two other times we went for long two week stays starting in late September through early October.

All three trips were during "Free Dining" as well (back when they gave the regular DDP with moderates.)

[–]TEOP821 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Don’t forget about the, almost daily, electrical storms that close down all the outdoor rides in the sunshine state during summer! The off season has shorter hours but the crowds are also lighter too tho

[–]hdpq 0 points1 point  (0 children)

He wants to break up, but can't find it in his heart. This is the only way to tell you.

[–]roguefiftyone 115 points116 points  (9 children)

I’ve been in early December after Halloween and before the full Christmas rush and it’s the same

[–]whatsaphoto 31 points32 points  (6 children)

Late november/early december and early january are pretty much the last remaining reasonable times to go if you're hoping for the lightest crowd sizes. It's worked out pretty well within the past few years for me, though I'm definitely coming to terms with that slowly not being the case over the next few years.

[–]beeannie 2 points3 points  (5 children)

Is early November not good? I was going to go then, since I know the USA celebrates thanksgiving around the end of November. Should I go towards the end of November instead?

[–]TSTC 7 points8 points  (1 child)

From my general experience (my wife and I have had annual passes for the past 3 years), there's no truly great time to go. Sometimes you get lucky and it's super empty during the off season on Tuesday, but it's almost impossible to plan for that.

I always advise people to just plan based off of normal Florida weather. It's generally pretty nice from late October to early April. If it's a school break, there's always going to be a lot more families and teenagers there (especially the ones who are local since they can just pop over easily).

So if you want to go in November I'd pick something that doesn't overlap with Veteran's Day (11th) since schools will have that Monday off.

[–]clayhunt3r 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I’ve always had good luck with the middle of September

[–]swalker09 1 point2 points  (2 children)

I went early November last year and it was truly the only time I’ve ever felt like Disney was a nightmare. And I’ve been during Fourth of July. It was the first week of the Christmas decorations being up so I feel like all the locals swarmed there to get their obligatory pictures and see it all and for the first “Christmas party” of the year. And people traveling just think it’s a cool time to go in general for the decorations. That mixed in with earlier closing times because it was off season made it pretty hard to accomplish everything we wanted to.

I definitely go against the grain and say that late summer is my personal favorite time to go. If you can handle the heat (which doesn’t bother me at all), it’s perfect for the type of people that wake up for rope drop, do as much as they can within the first couple hours when the park is dead and the temp is cooler, leave when it get super crowded and head to your hotel pool and grab a nap, head to your dinner reservation, and then hit the parks after the rush of people with screaming tantrum children that have been at the parks all day in the heat decide to leave and stay for extra magic hours when it’s cool out at night. The last 2 weeks of August used to be my favorite time to go cuz most kids are back in school and people don’t care for the heat, but with food and wine fest starting earlier and earlier every year it has kind of ruined that time of year too.

[–]LtPowers 0 points1 point  (1 child)

it’s perfect for the type of people that wake up for rope drop, do as much as they can within the first couple hours when the park is dead and the temp is cooler, leave when it get super crowded and head to your hotel pool and grab a nap, head to your dinner reservation, and then hit the parks after the rush of people with screaming tantrum children that have been at the parks all day in the heat decide to leave and stay for extra magic hours when it’s cool out at night.

Wait, you mean everyone doesn't do that?

[–]swalker09 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I’m sure most people on this sub do it because it’s the best way to do Disney IMO, but some people have different ways. :)

[–]passeleoinj 55 points56 points  (5 children)

Yes, and this photo was taken in the morning which is when Epcot, and its world showcase in particular, are the least crowded (in general). I love it. I´m going tomorrow morning with my daughter and my mother because I enjoy it the most with low crowds!

[–]Ghenges 23 points24 points  (0 children)

Yes time of day is important in this photo. Don't expect it to look like this at 3pm.

[–]kewlfocus 7 points8 points  (1 child)

Exactly, nothing in World Showcase opens till 10 a.m.

[–]Barondonvito 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Could have sworn it was 11am

[–]runningtotal 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Disney would go from top of my list to absolute- bottom-no-way-in-hell depending on time of year. We went first 2 weeks in Dec and kept commenting on the side of the queueing systems and how we would just be completely unwilling to go when the schools were off...

[–]TheNecrostar 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Least crowded/not opened haha

[–]soulstealer1984 19 points20 points  (11 children)

Welcome to Epcot on the 1st Saturday of the food and wine festival

https://imgur.com/a/h3s8abC

[–]LuvzDizneyWurld 2 points3 points  (10 children)

yowch, you should just to the thing where you pass people over your head thats the only way you are going to get anywhere.

[–]soulstealer1984 2 points3 points  (9 children)

We were staying at the beach club and had annual passes and they had a promotion for pass holders that year. If you visited Epcot three times during the food and wine festival you got a free souvenir glass. Thursday we actually went to the food and wine festival. Then on Friday I walked in the gate and walked right back out. Then Saturday I had to trudge through this crowd to get my glass, which was in future world.

[–]bingbew 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Bus to monorail would have been faster :D

[–]soulstealer1984 0 points1 point  (0 children)

You aren't kidding

[–]LuvzDizneyWurld 0 points1 point  (6 children)

yowsers, i am planning on moving down there in january you will need to tell me all the tricks.

[–]DJErikD 1 point2 points  (3 children)

go midweek during the off season. With the exception of Pandora, we've never waited more than 30 min for any ride and occasionally wound up going through more than a dozen fast passes in a day (MK).

[–]LuvzDizneyWurld 0 points1 point  (2 children)

man i sure am looking forward to that. have only been able to get there for a few days every other year and each time it seemed to be getting busier even in the old school off times.

[–]soulstealer1984 0 points1 point  (1 child)

If you are ok with only ever going mid week and the off season you can get the weekday pass. Entitles guests to one year of weekday-only admission, Mondays through Fridays, to the Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park, as well as complimentary parking. Park hopping is included, as well as a complimentary MagicBand. Blockout dates will apply - No Saturdays or Sundays, 3/24/18-4/6/18, 6/2/18-8/9/18, and 12/20/18-12/31/18. It's only $260 also. So a great deal in my opinion.

[–]LuvzDizneyWurld 0 points1 point  (0 children)

holy crapo, thats an amazing deal. thanks for letting me know about that.

[–]TSTC 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Once you have an annual pass and live close to Disney it becomes a lot easier to enjoy yourself, even if it's crowded. Why? Because you aren't planning a huge vacation and feeling the pressure to get everything done.

My wife and I live about 4 hours north of Orlando but we go down as often as we can (probably 6-8 times a year). Use the Disney app to book FastPass reservations for big rides as soon as you can (I forget how far in advance you can do it but it does vary). Then you've got a way to skip the longest line and you can just casually pop around to do other stuff that seems reasonable.

Most of our "Disney days" end up being a lot of walking around and just enjoying being at Disney, a splash of riding rides with reasonable wait times, and hitting up whatever big ride FastPasses we managed to snag in the weeks prior to our visit.

[–]LuvzDizneyWurld 0 points1 point  (0 children)

thats my plan exactly. even now when we go all the way from illinois we spend some days doing free disney, like resort hopping and riding the boats to and from places. eating the kitchen sink or getting beignets at french quarter.

[–]oziejozie 27 points28 points  (10 children)

Awh yis! I fly down tomorrow! And this year... I'm 21. Drinking round the world! >:D

[–]bingbew 29 points30 points  (6 children)

Go slow, eat lots of food, and a glass of water with each booze drink. You'll last waaaay longer. Source: I've been drunk many times

[–]dv310p3r 12 points13 points  (1 child)

Confirmed: Ive been drunk dozens of times around The World Showcase.

On a hot day the heat and sun will do you in even sooner.

If you do this right, you can maintain a good buzz from 12 pm to 10 pm and then finish off in Disney Springs.

Good luck brave adventurer. May our paths cross while inebriated.

[–]19_tacocat_91 0 points1 point  (0 children)

And bring lots of money! those drinks aren't cheap!

[–]zsteezy 1 point2 points  (3 children)

I heard that park employees go around handing out necklaces to people who appear too intoxicated as a sign to the people serving alcohol that they've been cut off. Do you know if this is true, or is it just another myth people perpetuate about the parks?

[–]HerpsterKKat 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Not a cast member but I've been to Epcot many times, both drunk and as a drunk handler: never heard of or seen anything like this.

[–]zsteezy 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Interesting! I love the wive's tales that surround Disney. Apparently people just love to make things up.

[–]TSTC 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Complete myth. I'd have received one by now if it were true.

[–]blazinazn007 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Start to the left. Don't end your day at Mexico with a shot of tequila.

[–]CavalierEternals 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Its already getting packed.

[–]isawyoueatglue 7 points8 points  (1 child)

You lucked out. We were at Disney for 9 days in January and it was quite crowded, Epcot included.

[–]BananaSlings 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Same. We were not anticipating those crowd levels. Went Jan 18-28. I've seen lower crowds during food and wine a few years ago.

[–]tequilasauer 5 points6 points  (3 children)

I go every January. Usually the week following the week of MLK week (so not the weekend after the 3 day weekend, but the following end of the week, leading into weekend). Usually it's dead around this time (I do the same in Sept after the Labor Day week). But the last January and September I went, they were SLAMMED.

[–]minnick27 1 point2 points  (1 child)

We did the week after MLK this year and it was awesome. Hardly any lines. Except for goddamn Peter Pan. Why does everyone want to rode that damn ride?

[–]MattyMac27 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It's more that it's a slow moving omnimover that has a finite number of guests per hour that it can accommodate. Add that they often have to stop the ships so an elderly person can get on/off, and you have the recipe for long lines.

[–]Jefrex 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This is exactly my experience with September. Used to be a secret. No more.

[–]nowhereman136 2 points3 points  (1 child)

I like going in Mid September, right after school starts.

[–]Jefrex 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This used to be my deal, right, when kids are back in school. In my experience, though, the advantages have completely disappeared and it's now like a regular busy time, plus still hot and rain every day. All the parks were crowded and of course Food & Wine makes EPCOT a challenge and depends on your capacity for wall-to-wall people and crazy lines for everything.

[–]whatsaphoto 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Any day when you can, at any one point in any park, count the number of people in view on one hand is truly a day to be treasured.

[–]texmexcoconut 2 points3 points  (0 children)

One of my favorite memories when I was a CP was Valentine's Day. I ran empty rides. Now, this was back in 2010. So I have no reference now. But late January and February were slightly cold but not crowded as kids were back in school.

[–]theyipper 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Went there 1 month after 9/11, nearly had the whole resort to ourselves.

[–]wshugart 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Be prepared to blow minimum of 100-125 on drinking around the world. It is SO worth it though. Went to food and wine for the first time last year, talk about an awesome time!

[–]Or-Lando 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This is what France pavilion looks like every morning at 9am.

[–]oWallis 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Ahh I miss it. Just went 2 weeks ago.

[–]icouldneverr 1 point2 points  (0 children)

now THIS is magical. lmao!

[–]bcr76 1 point2 points  (0 children)

We went in January two years ago and it was packed. Looked nothing like this.

[–]Hemp-Hill 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Seems to empty. I don’t know part of the magic of Disney is the happy crowds.

[–]Elizawesome 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes this is exactly what I want! I'm planning my trip late January early Feb!!

[–]holymolym 0 points1 point  (0 children)

*At 9am

[–]glitterwrists 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I went the second week on January, and I swear by it. I never waited more than half an hour for a ride (with the exception of Flight of Passage at DAK). It was blissful.

[–]johnwayne2413 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Should've taken picture of the wait time at Frozen ride.

[–]Xethos 0 points1 point  (0 children)

How are the parks towards the end of January?

[–]Piemaster113 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Disney can be a totally different place depending on the crowds.

[–]Raging_Alpaca 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I went on a weekday in January and the place was crazy. Super crowded.

[–]BigLebowskiBot -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Is this a... what day is this?

[–]Inn0c3nc3 0 points1 point  (0 children)

We go in January every year. It's our favorite. 😍😍😍

[–]MartyMcFlysss 0 points1 point  (0 children)

December and January are my go-to times and nobody ever believes me when I say it's not crowded even when I show them pictures like this but hey...more ride time for me.

[–]buzzly6 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Went down on New Year's Eve one Year. Biggest best fireworks display I'd ever seen. Solid mass of people all the way around the Epcot. New Year's Day and the rest of our week, it looked like the above, no waiting for anything.

[–]Sky_Head 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Not the weekday in January when I was there

[–]Zaliron 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It was COLD this year! You can tell by the lady in full winter garb.

[–]ZombieLiquid 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Looks like Heaven to me.

[–]onwardtomanagua 0 points1 point  (0 children)

January is my favorite month to go to Orlando. The weather is great and everything is less crowded.

[–]Runjose 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I could really go for a brioche ice cream sandwich right now.. 10/10 would recommend to anyone if visiting the French pavilion

[–]optik88 0 points1 point  (0 children)

As someone that usually goes around F&W this makes me incredibly jealous. I love walking around WS however when there are 7 billion other people it kinda ruins the atmosphere :P

[–]richtestani 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Has to be right at opening. I don't think there's ever a time when Disney isn't busy anymore.

Looks tranquil though.