Walt Disney World brings in millions of people every year. If you’re looking for a less crowded time, you might lean towards February as your destination month. But, how busy is Disney World in February? What events are happening, and what should you do if there are crowds? Let’s weigh the benefits, events, and tactics to consider for visiting the Florida Disney parks in February.
How Busy is Disney World in February?
To answer this question, let’s talk crowd levels in February and what can most impact them at Disney World.
Historically Fewer Crowds
People are not typically taking time off during this period, with school coming back in session after their holiday break and paid time-off renewing for working folks. Before 2020, many guides would recommend January and February as good off-peak season times to visit the parks if you were looking for fewer crowds. As mentioned, there was an increase in parkgoers after the COVID-19 pandemic. It is up in the air whether or not that trend is here to stay or if it is simply everyone trying to make up for the lost time.
Except for the 50th Anniversary Celebration and EPCOT’s International Festival of the Arts, there are not many park-wide events in February. The lack of events might sway some people to wait until EPCOT’s Flower & Garden Festival or a later time when they can visit in the summer or celebrate holidays like Halloween and Christmas.
Historically Cheaper Airfare
Depending on where you live, you might find that airfare is less expensive in the winter compared to the summer months, and this can of course affect how many people decide to visit in February. I knew someone who lived in Michigan, where a round-trip flight from Detroit was $350 in February. It was about a $500 difference compared to flying in July. Of course, you will want to do your research on flights and whether it is more economical to drive.
Visiting Walt Disney World in February is fantastic if you do not like the heat or humidity. But, you might need to bring a sweatshirt in the evenings and early mornings! According to AccuWeather, the average high temperature is around 75 degrees. The average low temperature is roughly 55 degrees.
Historically Better Discounting
MouseSavers has a list of previous Disney World discounting. In the past, guests staying in February could see anywhere between 15 – 35% off their rooms, and they sometimes bundled dining, tickets, and hotel rooms together.
February Events That Impact Crowds
Magic Kingdom’s 50th Anniversary
Although this was a limited run at Disney World, of course, it’s worth noting that big events such as this (which blended into February) impacted crowd levels. More people wanted to experience this anniversary in person.
EPCOT’s International Festival of the Arts
EPCOT’s International Festival of the Arts typically spans the months of January and February. This event brings in artistic talent, from painters to chefs to famous broadway singers. Considering the limited run-time of this event, you might find more people in EPCOT than on non-festival days.
People love celebrating love at Walt Disney World, especially on the loveliest day of the year. I have heard from multiple sources, including Cast Members, that Valentine’s Day and the surrounding weekend are incredibly busy in February. You can expect to see a lot of proposals in front of the castle and a lot of PhotoPass Photographers trying to capture that romantic moment.
This event at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports brings teams from all over to compete in dance and cheer competitions. While it is certainly not the busiest event at Walt Disney World, you might expect larger groups at value and moderate resorts during your stay. In fact, you can probably bet on seeing a whole host of cheerleaders walking around the parks and enjoying some fun.
While I have not been around during the Princess Half Marathon Weekend in February, I have seen the crowds around January’s Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. Trust me, there are crowds around run days. People want to take photos with their medals and capture their accomplishments.
Thankfully, I have noticed that most runners do not spend whole days in the parks, especially since the events are in the early morning. You might find lower crowds in the evening as runners leave the park for a well-deserved rest.
President’s Day Weekend
People enjoy taking an extra day or two off work during this holiday and traveling to the Happiest Place on Earth. You might expect higher crowds from Friday to Monday of the holiday weekend.
Navigating the Crowds on Busy Days
As much as I would love to say, “go on X day, and you won’t have see big crowds,” I am not a fortune teller. Unfortunately, you might end up on a day where everyone and their grandmother decide to visit Magic Kingdom. Should that happen, consider some of these tips to help make the best of crowded park days.
Genie+ is a free and optionally costly tool for guests visiting Disney World. The page is accessible through the My Disney Experience app on your smartphone. This service can help you plan your day by personalizing your visit based on your desired interest.
For example, if I wanted to only know about showtimes throughout Magic Kingdom, I could indicate that in the app and Genie+ would populate more information about shows than other interests. You can also purchase Lightning Lanes to help beat the crowds.
There is debate about whether or not Genie+ is helpful, so I encourage you to read our articles about Genie+ to see if it is a good fit for you.
- You Might Also Like: Best Genie Plus Rides at Magic Kingdom
Plan Your Transportation Accordingly
If the parks are bustling, then that likely means the Skyliner, buses, and water transportation are too. If you’re like me and don’t like buddying up with someone while standing on a bus, while apologizing for knocking into another person, then try to leave for the parks either very early or slightly after the park opens. The same idea goes for the evenings. You can leave an hour (or so) before the park closes or wait a while to avoid crowds.
If you have a reservation at Disney Springs, consider leaving a half hour earlier than the hour-and-a-half recommendation by Disney. You could also look at booking a Minnie Van, hailing a cab, or using a rideshare service.
Stay at a Disney Hotel for Early Entry
One of the benefits of staying on Disney World property is the access to early entry. This offer allows you to visit a park 30 minutes before the park officially opens to the general public. This is a great way to get your must-do attractions out of the way before battling the crowds. Early entry times vary by the day, so I recommend looking at the calendar on Disney’s website to ensure you have your itinerary planned.
Eat During Off-Times
Unless you have a specific schedule, dining at off-peak hours can help when trying to find available reservations and mobile order meals.
For those unfamiliar, mobile order meals are available throughout Disney World. On the My Disney Experience app, you select an arrival window at a quick service stop (for example, Casey’s Corner at Magic Kingdom). You can then choose your items and pay online. When you are at your quick service location, press the button to let the Cast Members know to start making your food. The app will then let you know when your food is ready and which window to pick it up.
You can also plan your mobile orders as soon as you’re in the park, so you could pre-book your meals if you had your heart set on grabbing that limited-time food or drink. That way, if you do need to eat at busy times, you can relax a little knowing your food is ready at your pace.
Visit on the Weekends
The weekends are notoriously busy at Disney World. In addition to the drones of people flying from all corners of the world entering the Florida park, you also have locals coming in. If your trip allows, try to plan your park days on weekdays rather than the weekends. Your crowd calendar can help you determine which days are best for which park. I find that using weekends for non-park days, like travel or resort hopping, is less stressful than trying to enjoy EPCOT on a Saturday night.
With all things considered, just how busy is Disney World in February? In my opinion, it is definitely less crowded than during peak seasons like summer and Christmas. However, with the travel overflow from the COVID-19 Pandemic, park attendance may still be higher than average.
If you happen to catch yourself on a busy day, the tactics above should help you avoid some of the crowds. Consider purchasing Genie+ to focus on your must-dos and buy Lightning Lane. Plan on leaving later when visiting a park and leaving with an extra 30-minutes for your reservation. Avoid peak times during meals and weekends if able. I know it sounds like a lot, and it is, but with some extra preparation, you can make sure you have a great Disney World trip no matter the crowds.