Mousekatot Prep School: When to Go

Walt Disney World Resort is magical year round. However, there are times of the year when it can be even more magical for your family depending on your preferences.

If high temperatures and huge crowds aren’t your thing, you will want to avoid planning your visit during summer, which may not always be possible.

You might love to see what Walt Disney World looks like during the holidays and experience the magic that comes when everything is decked out in Christmas lights and snow falls on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom, but if you go during the holidays it has the ability to break the bank.

So the very first step to planning your magical family vacation is deciding when to go. In my opinion there are four main steps to this process.

Step One

How flexible is your vacation time? If your vacation time is only allocated for a certain time of year or you do not want to take your children out of school for your family vacation, then you will have to scheduled around these factors and go when it is the most convenient.

If you are alright with going anytime through out the year, then you have a little more flexibility that lets you have a little more ability to play.

Step Two

If you are anything like me, I like to avoid times when the crowds are huge.

Imagine this, you and your family have saved and planned all year long to take this magical vacation to Walt Disney World to find out that the lines are huge, the wait to get food at quick service locations is ridiculously long and anytime you try to move from attraction to attraction it is like salmon swimming up stream.

You can avoid all of this if you look for what is called a crowd calendar.

The blog has a wonderful calendar that shows what the crowd level will be on a particular date using a number system.

For example, according to Touring Plans on July 8, 2016 the crowd level for the resort is an eight out of 10. They further break down the crowd level for each park. On this particular date all the parks are at a level eight so it won’t matter which park you visit that day, they are all going to be busy. But, if you visit the resort on July 13, the resort crowd level is eight, Magic Kingdom is an eight, Epcot is a seven, Hollywood Studios is a nine and Animal Kingdom is an eight. So on this day you will want to avoid Hollywood Studios.

If you look at the calendar before you plan your trip you can look at the crowd calendar to see when the number is low and plan your vacation for this time.

Step Three

Everyone has a budget. Some families’ budgets are small and other families’ budgets are big. No matter how much money you have to spend on your vacation, Disney has allocated certain times of year as more expensive and less expensive times of year.

For example, if you want to go during the week of Christmas through New Years Day, be prepared to pay the most for your vacation. You can still visit Disney during the holidays, but plan your trip for earlier in December, before Christmas, and you can save a lot of money on your trip.

Mouse Savers has a great breakdown of these different seasons by looking up a certain resort and seeing how much the rooms cost during the time of year you would like to go.

Step Four

One of the ways to make your vacation extra special is to plan your trip during the time of year when a special event is taking place.

If your family loves Halloween like ours does then you will want to schedule your vacation during the time when Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is taking place. (Which is usually from September through October.)

If you love gardening and look forward to planning your landscaping, then plan to go in Spring during the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival.


If you take a little time to look at your calendar, finances and favorite activities, you can make your family vacation more magical.

What is your biggest factor in determining what time of year to visit Walt Disney World? Leave your comment below.

Epcot during our visit in early December 2014.

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