Are you looking to find the perfect time of year to go to Disney World?
If you’re searching for the answer, I have to tell you…you won’t find it! It isn’t buried deep underground. There’s no treasure map that leads to it. You can’t find it on any website or forum.
A perfect day at Disney World does exist. But where? When?
The answer lies completely within you! It’s totally based on your preference of all of the many different factors that play into the exact day you choose to go to Disney — especially when it comes to how busy it is. Based on what you want to ride, how much you want to spend and how long you want to wait — you can choose to embrace the full Disney experience your way!
So why not plan to go to Disney in August?
Between some Disney World facts and my own personal opinions, this article can help you decide if August is the best time of year to go to Disney World for you or not.
Is Disney World Packed in August?
The crowds can always turn away some people from going to Disney World because they make the lines longer, the walking slower and the impatience WAY higher. It’s good to get an idea of how the hustle and bustle might look on an average day in August to help you decide if you should go during this time.
The crowds at Disney in August fluctuate very little throughout the month. Students are finishing up their summer vacations before starting back up at school and while you may think this would lessen the crowds, it’s important to know that not all schools start back up on the same day. Some begin in Mid-August, while others don’t go back until Labor Day weekend. So, a lot of times families are still visiting from out of town, which doesn’t affect the amount of people attending.
If you don’t mind normal to heavy foot traffic, then any day in August would be a good time to visit. If you would like to avoid the crowds, however, then I’d recommend choosing a day later in the month when most schools are back in session. While Disney is basically always “busy”, you could choose any weekday in late August and have a really good time!
August is that transition month between the end of summer and early introduction to the fall season. Except, I wouldn’t really say that Florida experiences fall. It kind of just skips that season altogether and jumps from scorching hot to freezing cold towards the end of the year.
The average temperature for Orlando in August is around 91º. It’s definitely still hot, if not one of the warmest months of the year. So, if you don’t mind breaking a sweat and getting a tan, then August can be the perfect time for you to visit the parks. The heat might persuade others to plan their trips later in the year and help you avoid major crowds.
Scattered thunderstorms are expected during this time of month. A little rain doesn’t hurt, but Disney will shut down some rides if there is lightning in the area. This usually doesn’t last too long, maybe an hour at most, so don’t leave just yet! If this happens, you can grab a bite to eat, try watching a show indoors or do a little shopping to past the time.
Some pedestrians may head out of the park if there are continuous small showers. This makes for shorter lines and way more fun! And if you’re already getting wet, you might as well jump on Splash Mountain if you decide to go to Magic Kingdom!
If you happen to be in the area, Florida residents can still enjoy Disney World’s summer ticket offer going on. You must purchase your ticket before August 25th and use it no later than August 28th to get this deal. Florida residents can also save up to 30% at select Disney Resort Hotels until this day as well. If you live in Florida, this is a really great time to go to the parks!
Ticket prices to the theme parks for August sort of vary throughout the month depending on the day or if there is an event going on. Regular 1-day tickets range between $117 and $125 for the majority of August, but are always subject to change. They are most expensive on Fridays and weekends, so if you want to get a better price, go on a week day, specifically a Tuesday or a Wednesday.
The absolute best days to go to the parks price-wise are the last Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in August, where 1-day tickets start at around $109! These days are also less likely to be as crowded, since most of the later dates will be on a school day, so you’ll get the most bang for your buck on any of those days.
As I mentioned before, the beginning of August is still fairly busy without being overly crowded and because of this, it doesn’t have a drastic affect on the lines for most of the rides. You can expect the wait times for attractions to be anywhere between 40 minutes to an hour, which is reasonable and expected.
If you go in the later days of the month, the wait times are typically 30 minutes long, but can always be subject to change, depending on other things like the weather and on-going events that I will mention further down as well.
The wait times are pretty moderate and you shouldn’t be standing around all day as you would in the earlier months of summer. If you’re anything like me, though, and need to plan your day To A T — or are a Disney first-timer — here are some of the most popular rides for adults that you will want to get in line for first (or obtain Genie+ reservations for), as they might affect the rest of your day if you don’t:
- Magic Kingdom
- Hollywood Studios
- Animal Kingdom
f you have toddlers that enjoy riding, I’d suggest getting Genie+ reservations for Peter Pan’s Flight and It’s A Small World if possible. Their wait times are typically longer since they are slow-moving rides and with children, you’ll definitely want to avoid having to wait too long.
You can expect more of the same for the shows in August as far as crowds and wait times go. Depending on what you want to see, I’d suggest getting in line at least 30 minutes before they let general admission in to be seated.
Most of the outdoor parades offer standing room, but there are specific stage shows that do have a maximum capacity and have limited performances per day. If you have little ones, here are a handful of the Disney World shows that are great for small children and are considered “must-sees” during your visit:
- The Festival of the Lion King — probably more now with the new movie having been released
- Finding Nemo – The Musical
- Beauty & The Beast — my personal favorite
- Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
As far as parades and outdoor shows go, there isn’t a huge need to rush because you can still see pretty much everything when standing, but if you want to be up front, I’d get there at least 30 minutes before the crowds start filling in.
When deciding whether or not to visit Disney World in August, you may want to consider any or all of the events being held at some of the parks during this month. The beginning of August normally doesn’t have anything really big going on, but come the later weeks, some fun and exciting things start to kick in.
The Food and Wine festival hosted in Disney’s EPCOT is a yearly event that highlights amazing food and drinks from around the world . This festival begins on August 29th and runs through November 23rd, so EPCOT will start picking up some crowds towards the end of the month. This event is completely family friendly and shouldn’t deter you from bringing the kids during this time. They can enjoy all the festivities, while you can enjoy a glass (or two) of wine. It’s a win-win!
This monstrous event will send chills down your spine as Halloween comes early to Magic Kingdom. Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is a separate special holiday event in Magic Kingdom full of Halloween celebrations including shows, parades, dance parties, costume parties and even trick-or-treating! This is an amazing event for kids, if you’re planning a family trip. You can see the not so spooky decorations in the park as early as August 16th.
You don’t have to participate in Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, but be warned that on these dates, those without tickets will be ushered out of the park earlier than normal. The gates for the festivities open at 4 p.m., but the actual party doesn’t start until around 7 p.m — which is when they usher 1-day ticket holders out — and ends around midnight. This means that more people will be coming in while you’ll be having to leave the park earlier, so that’s something to keep in mind when planning your trip to Disney.
You can attend the event alone without going to the park if you only wanted to do one of them. This could be really great for your child’s first time visiting — something I might do this year with my two boys! You can enjoy the park in both day and night without spending 12+ hours walking. It is super busy though, so you can expect a pretty hefty crowd at this event.
If you don’t want to attend this event or want to avoid large quantities of people, I highly recommend going to a different park or going on a day that this particular event doesn’t fall on.
If you want to join the party, however, tickets are already for sale on Disney’s website! There are several dates in August that you can attend (for an additional cost). These dates are August 16, 20, 23, 27 and 30. This event also runs until November 1st.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Opening Debut
If you haven’t heard already, Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be opening its breath-taking new land, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. This epic area will introduce new rides, restaurants, characters and more! The gates for Hollywood Studios will be opening at 6 a.m. to all guests from August 29th to August 31st, which is something I would highly take advantage of, even if you don’t plan to go into that area.
If you don’t like crowds, this might not be the best time to visit Hollywood Studios. It’s going to be a mad house over there during the first few weeks and since Disney World hasn’t really explained their crowd-control procedures, I’d probably avoid that park altogether, especially if you haven’t been there before. Navigating that is going to be a doozy.
For smaller kids, this could be a good time to take them to Toy Story Land, as the wait times for rides and attractions may be smaller with the huge event going on.
If you do want to visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, however, I’d suggest going after the month of August, as there will be some Extra, Extra Magic Hours in the months to come that can help you avoid the crazy high attendance!
If you like fun festivities, warm weather without being too overcrowded, a day in August might just be the right time for you to visit Disney World! Whether you’re experiencing Disney for the first time or are searching for the “perfect day”, that August summer sun can help bring the magic to life in planning a Disney World vacation.
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