As you plan your Disney World vacation, it’s important to find a time of year that fits what you’re looking for. Visiting Disney World in February is a decent time to visit because crowds are usually moderate throughout the month.
The temperature is bearable compared to the summer months in Florida, and there’s only about a week’s length of busy crowds. Visiting Disney World in February is a great time to visit if you’re wanting a no-nonsense, basic visit to the parks.
Bring a Jacket
Orlando weather in February usually has warm days and chilly nights. During the day, the temperature is usually between 70 and 80 degrees. At night, the temperature will drop to about 60 degrees. Sometimes the change in temperature can make a big difference in your comfort level throughout the day. You might be sweating while eating lunch and shivering while watching the fireworks. It’s a good idea to bring a lightweight jacket or hoodie that can be easily packed in a backpack or carried.
If you go in the beginning of the month, pack warmer jackets and clothes than the rest of the month. It can get pretty chilly during the first few days of February. Thankfully, the average rainfall during this month is relatively low, so it’s a good time to visit for those looking to avoid rain as much as possible.
It’s a good idea to bring rain gear and warm clothes every day during the trip, even if your weather app makes you think differently. It’s always best to be prepared because buying an umbrella or hoodie in the parks will add a hefty, unnecessary cost.
This weather might be great for walking around all day, but it can be a disadvantage if you were planning on doing anything involving water. At least one of the Disney water parks are open all year, but the weather might be too cold to visit. Depending on the weather, you probably won’t want to swim at your resort either. If you are hoping to visit one of the beaches near Orlando during your vacation, you should expect chilly and windy weather during this month.
Stay Away From President’s Day
For the most part, February has low to moderate crowds throughout the parks. There is one week, however, that should be avoided because of high crowd levels. The week of President’s Day gets very busy. Some people may get off of school or work, so families tend to plan vacations during this week to take advantage of the extra day off. If you’re looking to avoid these crowds, you should plan around the few days before and after President’s Day.
A special event that usually occurs the weekend after President’s Day is the Princess Half-Marathon Weekend. This annual event is a reason for a slight increase in crowds. Since this event happens at the end of the week following President’s Day, it’s best to avoid this entire week. The crowd increase from the marathon weekend is usually still tolerable, but there are three more weeks in February to choose from.
Events and Holidays
February is far from Disney World’s peak season. Because of this, there isn’t too much going on within the parks as far as special events. Disney’s Epcot hosts the International Festival of the Arts during February. The dates are likely to change each year, but the festival usually happens during some weeks of January and February. This festival combines performing, culinary and visual arts for a great event. This event is exclusive to this time of year, so February is a great time to visit Disney World if you want to check out the International Festival of the Arts.
There are other festivals that take place in Epcot throughout the year. There’s an International Food and Wine Festival, an International Flower and Garden Festival and an International Festival of the Holidays. During February, take advantage of all that the International Festival of the Arts has to offer. Each event is different in many ways, so explore the different booths and activities around Epcot during your trip.
Valentine’s Day in Disney World isn’t as celebrated as Halloween or Christmas. There aren’t large decorations, parades or after-hour events for this holiday. However, there are some small themed details in the parks and resorts that you could find. For example, some restaurants may have limited-time desserts or merchandise locations could have special Valentine’s Day pins. If you’re wanting a relaxing, romantic addition to your trip, there’s a Valentine’s Day Spa Package available.
Unless Valentine’s Day falls on a weekend, the crowds are usually low compared to other holidays. It’s the perfect time to visit if you’re wanting a romantic getaway with your significant other. There might be limited decorations for the holiday, but there are so many places to explore and celebrate with your partner. Disney World adds some extra magic to every holiday, so take advantage of this less crowded one at the parks.
Crowds and Wait Times
February is a great option for a Disney World vacation for those wanting to avoid large crowds and long wait times. Other than the third week of the month, the crowds range from very low to moderate. Anyone that’s been to Disney World during busy days knows how difficult it can be to walk around the parks. Crowds can become unbearable as you try to go from attraction to attraction. Especially if you’re traveling with a large family or group, taking your vacation in February is a good idea.
If you have anyone in your party that has a wheelchair or stroller, it’s also a good idea to visit the parks in February. Sometimes crowds can be so large that it is extremely difficult just to walk through. There are people roaming around, walking in every direction, standing in the middle of the path or running over people with an electric scooter. It’s unbelievable how busy and chaotic the parks can be during the busiest days. There will still be crowds in February during certain shows, parades or areas, but they will be much more manageable.
As far as wait times, some attractions will have unavoidable, long wait times. However, an awesome advantage of visiting in February means short wait times for most rides. You’ll probably still have to wait a long time for the most popular or newest Disney World attractions, but the other attractions should have much shorter lines than usual. This means less waiting and more fun!
Be sure to plan which attractions are on your “must-do” list before you arrive. Figure out which attractions have the longest lines. You should plan your day around these attractions. Decide if you’d rather spend a long time waiting in a line for one popular attraction rather than going to several other ones. Try to plan around these long wait times by checking the My Disney Experience app that can be downloaded on your smart phone. Most visitors try to get to the most popular rides as soon as the park opens, but this isn’t always the best way to plan it.
These rides usually have the longest wait times:
- Avatar Flight of Passage
- Expedition Everest
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Space Mountain
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Test Track
- Toy Story Mania!
- Rock n’ Roller Coaster
- Slinky Dog Dash
A lot of visitors will rush to these attractions as soon as the park opens. Unless you base your entire trip around a single attraction, it’s best to avoid following the large swarm of people headed for the same attraction. Instead, take advantage of the extremely short lines at all the other rides in the park. While half the visitors wait in line for one attraction, the other half can spend the morning riding the rest. February allows for even shorter wait times than usual, so try this plan to get the most out of your trip.
When to Arrive
Whether you’re going to Disney World for one day or two weeks, you should plan your trip to fit with the less crowded days. Fortunately, February has mainly low to moderate crowds, so planning your trip during this month should be easy. There are several crowd calendars online to help you get a better idea of how busy the parks will be on certain days. These calendars won’t be perfect, but they’re a great guideline.
Weekends will almost always be busier than weekdays in the parks. Usually, the middle of the week will be the least busy. If you want to visit the theme parks without the huge crowds and long lines, try to focus the trip around Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. In February, even the weekends are less crowded compared to other months, but the middle of the week will be your best bet for the least amount of people.
As you begin to plan the trip, it’s important to figure out which days you’d like to visit the parks. A Disney vacation can be more than just going to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. It’s important to know what else there is to do in the “Disney bubble” that can keep you occupied when you aren’t going to the theme parks.
It will probably be too cold to visit the water parks during February, but some days might be warm enough. You can also go swimming at your resort or explore the other activities and amenities there. The Disney World resorts offer several things to do during your stay, so take advantage of everything included. Another great way to spend your time on the Disney property is to go resort hopping. If you’re still looking for something to do, check out Disney Springs for shopping, eating and entertainment.
Many people take an entire week for a Disney vacation. With so much to see and do, it’s a good idea to organize the trip day by day. If you arrive on the weekend and want to avoid the busier days in the parks, use the weekend to check out the other fun places on property. The weekends at the parks are still bearable in February, so you can also alternate each busy day at the theme parks with a slow day doing something else.
Pros and Cons of the Off-Season
Disney World is a non-stop operation that welcomes thousands of guests each day. No matter what time of year you visit, the parks will seem busy. That’s because they are! However, there is a short period of the year that is considered somewhat of an off-season. February is included in this because it generally has lower attendance. This can be a good or bad thing, depending on what you are wanting for your trip.
Visiting during the off-season is the best time to go to Disney World for people wanting to avoid large crowds and long lines as much as possible. It can be easier to make reservations or sit closer to the front during a popular show. Visiting in February can possibly give you a chance to make a resort reservation at a lower price than usual. The lower attendance allows for several possibilities when there are less people competing for the Disney magic.
With all these advantages, there are some disadvantages to going to Disney World in February. Since it’s considered the off-season, Disney usually takes that time to close certain restaurants and rides to refurbish or do maintenance. Look online for possible closings or delays in each park. If you’ve never visited Disney World before, this could be a major disadvantage because you are likely to miss out on some attractions. Some rides can be closed for months, so sometimes its unavoidable. It really depends on what attractions you are looking forward to.
Another downside of visiting in February is lack of special events and celebrations. Halloween and Christmas are celebrated in the parks through decorations, exclusive events, special parades and more. You won’t have the chance to see any unique celebrations during the off-season. The parks are also more likely to close earlier in the day than during busy months. There should still be plenty of time to explore, but it can be disappointing when the parks close earlier than you want them to.
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