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When is the best time of year to visit Walt Disney World to save money?

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2016-09-30 00:03:59
2016-09-30 00:03:59

The only places you might reasonably expect to "save money" are travel and possibly at the hotel; Disney passes are pretty much the same price year-round (single day pass prices do vary, but it's kind of silly to go all that way for one day at the parks), as are meal costs. You're far better off contacting a travel agent, who should be aware of any special deals good for specific dates, than relying on any nebulous advice like "Oh, go in fall".

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2010-09-19 04:58:03
2010-09-19 04:58:03

You will read countless tour books advising you to take your children out of school in order to go to Disney during the slow periods between September and Thanksgiving in the fall, January and March in the winter, and May and the end of June in the summer. However, as someone who ventures to Walt Disney World at least once annually, I have to say that I feel the trade offs for visiting Disney during a slow period do not always out-weight the cons of visiting during a peak period.

Although Disney's crowds do tend to be smaller during their posted slow periods, one who visits frequently will notice that, particularly within the last decade, Walt Disney World has become much like Las Vegas in that there is no true off season anymore. Remember: Walt Disney World is the most visited tourist attraction in the world--"world" being the key word in that sentence. Even though American children might be back in school between September and Thanksgiving, for instance, many other countries have month long breaks during those months and a good deal of international tourists will flock to Disney during this time.

Although the crowds will be slightly smaller than they are during peak seasons and holidays, it's important to remember that the people will not disappear altogether. There will still be crowds, which is important to consider when one factor's in the next major drawback of visiting Disney during a period that is considered to be slower. In order to meet the demands of the masses, Disney will do much of its refurbishing during non peak seasons. This means that if you want to guarantee that a specific attraction will be open while you are there, plan on visiting during a peak time. There is a very good chance that if you can't wait to ride the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror but have planned your trip to Disney in Mid September because it's value season, you will arrive to find that Disney has decided to close the Tower of Terror for refurbishment in Mid September so that it will be ready when the large holiday crowds to start arriving in a month or two. The water parks, too, are often closed during the slow periods.

Another HUGE (in my mind) trade off to visiting during peak versus off peak season are the park hours. During the slow months, The Magic Kingdom, MGM, and The Animal Kingdom will often close around dusk (6:00 p.m.), with EPCOT closing about 9:00 p.m. Whereas, during peak seasons, The Magic Kingdom and EPCOT usually close around 11:00 p.m. (and have stayed open as late as midnight), MGM will remain open until around 9:00 p.m. or 10:00 p.m., while The Animal Kingdom will still close at dusk. The crowds may be large during peak times but those precious few hours tacked on to the operating times can be infinitely valuable if used strategically.

All in all, I have visited Disney at least once during every season and have been there during every major holiday period and there is only one segment of time during which I would recommend not visiting, but not for reasons relating to crowds. I would not advise visiting Disney during July or August simply because the heat is almost unbearable, particularly for those who live in cooler climates and are not used to high levels of humidity. The temperatures in Orlando with humidity factored in can easily top 100 degrees on any given day during those two months, which can make an already crowded place seem even more crowded and the happiest place on earth not so happy.

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