Is it Packed: Disney World in May
Are you looking forward to the month of May as much as I am? I’ll be you are, because you know that May means springtime is in full bloom and adventures are just waiting for you!
Whether you are looking for a leisurely stroll through the gardens at Epcot Center or you want to experience the newest thrill rides over at Hollywood Studios, I can guarantee that after braving all those cold winter nights, you are ready for something new and exhilarating.
Visiting the Walt Disney World Resort may be just the thing to get you and your crew rejuvenated and invigorated before you take on this summer. The month of May could quite possibly be the best time to visit Disney World, so it’s a good thing you are thinking of taking your trip then.
Disney World in May: So Much to Do
At the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida the month of May is a time for celebration. While the parties and events are nowhere near the size of something you would see for the Halloween, Christmas, and Easter holidays, these festivities are the perfect size for any family to enjoy. They’re fun- size!
Dapper Days: The month of May kicks off with Dapper Days happening throughout the parks from roughly May 1st-3rd. While this event is not officially sanctioned or sponsored by the Walt Disney Company, it has become wildly popular for a number of reasons. For Dapper Days, everyone puts on their “Sunday best” and “steps out in style.”
For the ladies, this can mean wearing your favorite sundress, and carrying a parasol to help provide a little shade on these usually very sunny days. For the gentlemen in your party, this can mean wearing suspenders and unique hats like fedoras or bowler hats.
The goal is to have a good time in the parks while dressing up in your fun and fancy clothes! Fortunately, the weather tends to cooperate, and people enjoy celebrating these special days with their friends. Please note: There are no discounted tickets or special coupons granted to those who show up in their costumes.
This is an event that people participate in just for the fun of it. The dates of this event operate on a rotating schedule. The dates provided here are for 2020. If you are interested in participating in the Dapper Days extravaganza, be sure to check out the Dapper Days website for more details.
May the 4th be with You: Every Star Wars fan already knows that this amusing and festive holiday is a wonderful time to get together with your best pals and have a Star Wars Movie Marathon. But, now that Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge has been fully operating for a few months, it may be time to get off that couch and head out to Hollywood Studios for some theme park-style pleasures.
There are always special treats and treasures available throughout Hollywood Studios on May 4th, but now that there is an entire land devoted to the science fiction saga, there is likely to be an even bigger and better celebration. Arrive to the park early so you can gather up some of the free promotional items.
One year, my family members and I were given a collectible pin on our way into the parks. I still have it, of course. From time to time I affix it to my day bag and proudly parade it around the parks. Then, everyone asks me where I got it! Getting some of that unique merchandise which can’t be purchased elsewhere or at any other time is an excellent perk that comes along with being in the parks on this day.
Also on May 4th, Hollywood Studios will be offering some sensational food stuffs. Most everyone knows about the light saber-inspired churros, but the other tasty morsels available this time of year will have your belly thanking you later. Be sure to try the Dark Side-themed cupcakes.
One year, it featured Darth Vader. The next year, Kylo Ren was the star. No matter which Star Wars villain is on the cupcake this year, the Dark Side ones are delicious, chocolaty, and absolutely divine. On your way out of the park, be sure to stop in and pick up the specially themed “May 4th” merchandise. These keepsakes will continue to bring you joy every time you pull them out at home once your vacation has concluded.
Cinco de Mayo: Grab your best friends and head to Epcot World Showcase to make the most of this holiday. Purchase a Margarita at the refreshment kiosk perched just outside of Mexico or go into the building and enjoy a cool ride in a boat with your crew. Look out for Donald Duck and the three Caballeros. They will be serenading you throughout the journey.
Feel free to stay awhile in Mexico by booking a dining reservation at one of the two restaurants located in this land. La Hacienda de San Angel is located outside, and it sits on the water. For those who want to capitalize on this dining reservation, try to book your party’s dinner around the time the fireworks show starts. This is one of the best places in the park to watch this magic unfold.
If you prefer to eat inside the Mexican Promenade area, then you will want to book your reservation at San Angel Inn Restaurante. You may have noticed this quaint restaurant while you were touring the Mexican Folk Art Gallery or while you were riding on the boat. For a nice and quiet dinner, this is the place for you and your travel party.
Mother’s Day: While the Walt Disney World Resort is renowned worldwide for their service and commitment to customer satisfaction, there’s no day quite like Mother’s Day to bring out the best in the parks and the resorts. This just also happens to be one of those days when the best dining at Disney World is available. You and your travel party will want to make your plans early to be certain you get a chance to spoil your mother on her special day. Finding a pleasurable place to enjoy a meal on this day won’t be a challenge.
A number of Walt Disney World Resorts including the Pop! Century Resort, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Yacht Club, Disney’s Boardwalk Resort, and Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa all offer a fabulous Mother’s Day Brunch. Prices and menus vary, based on the location of your choice. With so many options available, it may be a treat to take Mom out to brunch and then also arrange for her to have a relaxing day at the resort.
Throughout the theme parks, the best foods and specialty desserts have been handcrafted to satisfy mothers everywhere. I always like to duck into the Sunshine Seasons Food Court located in the Land at Epcot, to check out their specialty-themed cupcake. These gorgeous confections usually include piles and piles of frosting—my favorite!
The Confectionary located in the heart of the Magic Kingdom on Main Street U.S.A. is also known for creating unique treats that are sure to tickle Mom’s taste buds. Have a mom in your group who loves ice cream? Stop by The Plaza Restaurant and order the Sundae of the Month, made just with Mom in mind. The delicious delights don’t stop at the resorts or the parks, because the train can keep rolling right over to Disney Springs.
The Ganachery Chocolate Shop will have items on display which can only be purchased in honor of Mother’s Day, while the cast members over at Amorette’s Patisserie are just waiting for you to walk in their doors so they can dazzle Mom with a hand-crafted delight. Think big and opt for the character-shaped cake or go for just a bite by purchasing a trio of hand-dipped chocolate covered strawberries. As if all these options weren’t enough to tempt you to bring your mother to the Walt Disney World Resort on Mother’s Day,
I’ve saved the best for last. Located inside Ariel’s at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resort, Minnie Mouse hosts her own Mother’s Day Chocolate Party. That’s right. Your favorite gal can hang out with her favorite Disney character, Minnie Mouse, and she can enjoy a variety of chocolate offerings all featured on an all-you-care-to-enjoy buffet.
Mom may start by dipping some fruit in the chocolate fountain, move onto eating a slice of moist chocolate cake, and finish the event by indulging in a rich chocolate milkshake. This experience is devilishly good, and it will no doubt keep your Mom smiling all throughout the day.
Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival: For those who long for a stroll in the park and wish to take the time to stop and smell the roses, this event is designed especially with you in mind. Enter Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival and you will immediately be greeted by dozens of your favorite characters fashioned out of flowers, shrubbery, and trees.
These topiaries can be seen across Epcot Center and throughout the World Showcase. Be sure to stop and have your photos taken in front of the Belle and Beast topiaries, but don’t miss Donald Duck with his nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie, either. A day at Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival can be fun for the whole family. Children will love searching for topiaries and finding all their favorite characters.
Adults will be pleased when they see the number of Outdoor Kitchens lining the walkways throughout Epcot. Scrumptious snacks and zippy beverages are specially crafted for this event, so it won’t hurt to have just a nibble as you walk through the parks. The music lover in your group will be ecstatic when they learn that the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival features a popular musician or group giving a performance three times nightly as a part of the Garden Rocks Concert Series.
The acts alternate every two to three days, so your group may be able to see more than one band while you are visiting the parks in the month of May. These thirty-minute shows are perfect for the whole family. Concerts can be watched inside the American Pavilion near the back of the World Showcase.
What Week in May is the Best?
At this point, you may have decided that May sounds like a pretty spectacular month in which to visit the Walt Disney World Resort. There are so many things to see and do that you can fill up your party’s itinerary in no time. But, before you book those tickets, you should consider what events you must attend and which ones you would prefer to avoid. Let’s investigate further.
During the first week of the month, the parks are rather crowded. More people than you would imagine like to participate in Dapper Days and so the parks can become inundated with folks who are dressed in their Sunday best.
On those days, the Magic Kingdom and Epcot will be especially crowded. If you would like to travel during those days, but you wish to avoid the crowd, it is a good idea to go to the Animal Kingdom or Hollywood Studios theme parks. This may work out nicely in your vacation plans, because if you are not a Star Wars fan (Wait . . . there are people out there who don’t love Star Wars?) you may want to stay away from Hollywood Studios on May 4th.
All of the Star Wars fanatics will be flocking to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge that morning and you will only want to be in that environment if you are a true fan of the films. Sometimes when a special event is going on in a park, like this one, it seems like a good time to show up and do some of the other areas, but I do not advise that for this day.
While going to Toy Story Land or riding the newest Disney World attraction: Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway can be very appealing, those rides are going to be ridiculously busy on May 4th, too. Trust me when I say the Star Wars fans are going to take over the whole park. If you are not a part of that group, plan accordingly. If you are a part of that group, get to the parks early. You don’t want to miss a thing!
During the second week of May you will find the perfect vacation waiting for you. The weather will be nothing less than lovely. If it rains a little, that will be okay because that short shower will just give you and your family time to pop into the shop for some souvenirs or head indoors to catch one of your favorite shows.
Throughout this second week in May, the crowds are less dense, and you will be able to easily navigate your way around all of the parks. Wait times will be about average with the most impressive coasters taking anywhere from an hour-three hours to board, but the other attractions will have a minimal wait. This week is always my favorite week to go to the parks to meet the characters.
The character meet-and-greet sessions have very short lines during this week. Plus, with the weather cooperating (it’s not too hot and not too cold or rainy), it is a great time to get photos taken with your favorite Disney Princesses or with Mickey Mouse and his company of friends.
Now, with the second week in mind as a wonderful week to vacation at the Walt Disney World Resort, don’t allow yourself to forget about Mother’s Day. This annual event is always celebrated on the second Sunday of the month of May, so you can count on the nice, leisurely pace you enjoyed earlier in the week to turn into a rapid walk as Saturday and Sunday approach.
On Mother’s Day, the parks will be crammed full of guests. Most everyone will be looking for unique ways to spend their day with Mom, so the ride lines will be extra long. The table service restaurants will be full, and unless you made your reservation months in advance, there will be no fine dining for you or your party members on that day.
Of course, you can always meander around Epcot with Mom on Mother’s Day just so everyone can look at the pretty flowers together, but keep in mind that the crowd will be thick and other people may be in a hurry to book their Genie+ selections or their scheduled meal times.
As soon as the Mother’s Day celebration has ended, the park will return to normal. Average crowd sizes can be anticipated throughout the third week of the month. Occasionally, you may be able to find a park which has a less than average crowd size.
This makes the third week a fine time to visit the parks. In the past, my family and I have spent some time in the Disney Water Parks on Mother’s Day, because the crowds are just average there, and then we go into the other theme parks when Monday rolls around and the crowds have dispersed.
When the last week of May appears on the calendar, many people are tempted to return to the Walt Disney World Resort. You can expect a large crowd to be gathered at all of the parks on Memorial Day and the Sunday before. It should be noted that Walt Disney World does not do anything particularly special or unique in honor of this holiday, but still, people like to use their day off work to visit the parks.
On Memorial Day, going to the Hall of Presidents is a very popular thing to do, and having dinner at the Liberty Tree Inn located inside the Magic Kingdom is also a fan favorite. The fireworks shows at all of the theme parks do not change for Memorial Day. Everything will run just as usual, except all the parks will have an above average crowd waiting to see these spectacular light displays.
If you must go to the parks on Memorial Day, I recommend venturing over to a Disney Water Park, like Blizzard Beach, or taking the bus or shuttle over to Animal Kingdom. These are your two best options for vacationing during that Memorial Day Monday.
Once the Memorial Day crowd clears there is a very good chance the “school’s out for summer” crowd will wander into the parks. This is one of my favorite times of year to get to the theme parks. Some schools do release before the end of May, and that means great things for families or groups looking to vacation at the Walt Disney World Resort.
First and foremost, because most kids are near the end of school at this time, parents are reluctant to pull their kids out when finals and exams are on the horizon. So, if you and your travel party are lucky enough to be out of school and work at this time, you should definitely plan to be there.
Next, staying at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel is at its most economical during this time of year. The Walt Disney World Resort always runs special deals during the springtime, but those end as soon as June approaches. Take advantage of that last-minute discount and head to the resorts to get up to 35% off your room per night. Sometimes in the spring, the Walt Disney World Resort will offer discounted travel packages.
This may be something that will help get your family into a luxury resort, or it might be a deal that will give you a discount on an all-inclusive vacation with the room, theme park tickets, and dining included.
Check your calendar now and see if you and your family members are free to travel to the Walt Disney World Resort during the last week of May. The weather is fine, the parks feature plenty of things to do, and the discounts are just waiting for you to take advantage of them. The month of May is a fabulous time to visit the Walt Disney World Theme Parks and enjoy a vacation that will cater to all the members of your travel group.
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