Disney World can be quite crowded depending on the time of year, month, and day you go. In order to avoid the extremely large crowds that come with certain seasons, make sure to plan your trip to Disney World around certain special events and festivities. 

If you aren’t worried about crowds and would rather enjoy the special events and festivities, make sure you plan accordingly so you can enjoy the one or more events you want to visit the most. 

Listed below is a crowd analysis for every month of the year, which can help you plan your perfect and unique trip. Keep reading to find out what time of the year you should visit Disney World. 

Disney World Crowds in January

Though it’s negative 50 degrees Fahrenheit in the northern states, it’s a bit warmer down at Disney World in Orlando throughout the month of February. It’s still a chilly during the day and on the colder side in the morning and at night with the averages being approximately 45 degrees Fahrenheit. 

January is the time when the holiday season ends and the special festivities begin to slow down. 

Below are the two big events happening at Disney in January: 

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

  • Beginning of January
  • Different courses and race lengths you can choose from for both kids and adults
  • Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge
  • Dopey Challenge
  • Disney Castaway Cay Challenge
  • runDisney Health & Fitness Expo
  • Special Disney merchandise 
  • Costs differ based on which race you choose

Epcot’s International Festival of the Arts

  • Beginning of January to the end of February
  • Culinary, Performing, and Visual arts are all represented
  • Gallery exhibits and live statues
  • Creative workshops
  • Unique life-sized photo ops
  • Disney on Broadway Concert Series and artist appearances
  • No extra ticket required

If you’re looking for less crowds, January is one of the best times to visit Disney World. The end of January is even better than the beginning since the New Year’s celebrations have ended and Disney’s slower season has begun. As mentioned above, it’s still quite chilly and, sometimes, even cold at Disney World, but the lower crowd levels definitely make visiting during January worth the trip. 

One of the many race opportunities Disney offers throughout the year is the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. At the beginning of January, runners can choose which course they’d like to run in and complete fun challenges made for both kids and adults alike. The cost of the weekend differs depending on which course you choose to run in. 

There is also a runDisney Health & Fitness Expo for those looking for some extra pointers or brands of merchandise to kick start their running career. Special Disney merchandise not normally available will be open for the runners and participants to purchase throughout the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. 

Epcot’s International Festival of the Arts begins in early January and goes through the end of February. This festival celebrates the Culinary, Performing, and Visual arts all across Epcot’s World Showcase. Creative workshops are available for you to try out new forms of art, and there are even live statues throughout the World Showcase for you to enjoy. 

Throughout Epcot, there are also unique life-sized photo ops for you to partake in such as inserting yourself into the Mona Lisa or George Washington crossing the Delaware. There will also be special artist appearances alongside the Disney on Broadway Concert Series. Entrance into Epcot’s International Festival of the Arts does not require an extra ticket, but some of the unique events only offered during this festival come with a fee. 

Since January is a slower time at Disney World, the crowds are much lower than usual. However, it is still beneficial to plan accordingly and make sure you have your FastPasses ready to go for each day of your visit. 

Guests who prepare their FastPasses effectively tend to be able to spend less time waiting in line and more time enjoying rides, attractions, and character meet-and-greets. It’s a much calmer time because of the colder weather, end of the holiday season, and beginning of most schools’ second semesters. January is the perfect time to visit for those looking for less crowds on their visit to Disney World. 

Disney World Crowds in February

Similarly to January, February is also part of the slower season at Disney World. Kids are back in school and the holidays are over, so there are not as many festivities going on in the parks are there are throughout the fall and holiday seasons. 

Below are two events happening in February at Disney World:  

Epcot’s International Festival of the Arts

  • Beginning of January to the end of February
  • Culinary, Performing, and Visual arts are all represented
  • Gallery exhibits and live statues
  • Creative workshops
  • Unique life-sized photo ops
  • Disney on Broadway Concert Series and artist appearances
  • No extra ticket required

Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend

  • End of February
  • Disney Fairy Tale Challenge
  • runDisney Health & Fitness Expo
  • Special Disney merchandise 
  • Costs differ based on which race you choose

As with January, less events come alongside smaller crowds, which can be a perk if you’re looking for shorter standby wait times giving you more time to explore the parks. 

Epcot’s International Festival of the Arts that began in early January is still going strong until the end of February. All 11 countries represented in Epcot’s World Showcase are celebrating the Culinary, Performing, and Visual arts. 

Along with live statues, there are creative workshops around the World Showcase for you to enjoy and experience different forms of art you may not have otherwise. Walking through Epcot you might find some of the life-sized photo ops where you can insert yourself into famous paintings such as the screaming man and the Mona Lisa. 

Everyday, the Disney on Broadway Concert Series is available for you to attend and enjoy as well as some special artist appearances. Epcot’s International Festival of the Arts does not come with an extra cost or required ticket; however, if you partake in some of the special events offered throughout the World Showcase, you may need to pay an extra fee. 

One of the most popular marathon weekends at Disney World is the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend. At the end of February, princes and princesses from across the world gather in Orlando to run different courses throughout the parks and experience the magic of running at Disney World. 

There is even a special Disney Fairy Tale Challenge on top of a runDisney Health & Fitness Expo for all participants. Costs for the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend differ depending on the course you choose, and there is special Disney merchandise available for purchase throughout the weekend. 

Being one of the slower months at Disney World, February is the perfect time to go to avoid long standby wait times. However, planning FastPasses is always a must. No matter what time of year you visit, effectively preparing for your trip using Disney’s FastPass+ program can help you get through lines for some of the most popular rides and attractions much faster than if you waited in the standby lines every time. 

For guests looking to avoid crowds and long wait times, February is one of the best months to visit Disney World. There may not be many special events going on, but going to the magical place on earth is a good time no matter what. 

Disney World Crowds in March

In spring, Disney World does not have many special events going on. The beautiful weather and Spring Breaks are often enough to get guests to come visit the parks during March. 

Below is an event happening during March at Disney World:

Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival

  • Beginning of March through the beginning of June
  • More than 100 topiaries displayed throughout the park
  • Food at outdoor kitchens not normally offered
  • Screened butterfly house
  • Festival concerts at the American Gardens Theater every night 
  • No extra ticket required

The weather is mild during March in Orlando making it a great time to visit Disney World without sweating up a storm. The crowds are also not even close to being as crowded as they are during the holiday season, so the wait times have lessened drastically. 

Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival by itself is a wonderful reason to visit Disney World in March. At the beginning of March, there are more than 100 topiaries on display throughout Epcot’s World Showcase. 

As usual with most festivals at Epcot, there are food and drink available that are not normally offered in the 11 countries throughout the World Showcase. Some food and drink are even served at outdoor kitchens because it’s finally starting to warm up in March. 

On top of all these beautiful displays and unique foods, there are also festival concerts at the American Gardens Theater every night. Admission to Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival does not require an extra ticket but simply your regular park ticket for the day. 

As always, Fridays through Mondays are the busiest times at Disney World. Visiting on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday is a good idea since there are less people around on typical weekdays. In March, Disney World gets busier toward the end of the month since there are many colleges and schools who are on Spring Break at the end of March. 

If you’re wanting to visit Disney World in the month of March, you will find less crowds during the first half of the month than the end of it. 

Using the FastPass+ program will really help you streamline your visit to Disney World. The FastPass+ program was designed to help cut down wait times and get as many people through rides and attractions as possible. Since Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival is going on throughout March, you might want to be the most strategic with your FastPasses in Epcot since that will be the most popular park in March. 

March really is a great time to visit since there aren’t as many crowds as normal, and the weather is starting to warm up a little bit without it being too hot and humid just yet. The key is to avoid the larger crowds on the back end of the month of March, so for those of you who aren’t a huge fan of crowds, do your best to plan your visit for the beginning of the month. 

Disney World Crowds in April

Similarly to March, Disney World’s weather is beautiful in April. There aren’t as many events going on, but Spring Break brings plenty of guests during this time of year. 

Listed below are the two main events happening in April at Disney World:

Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival

  • Beginning of March through the beginning of June
  • More than 100 topiaries displayed throughout the park
  • Food at outdoor kitchens not normally offered
  • Screened butterfly house
  • Festival concerts at the American Gardens Theater every night 
  • No extra ticket required

Star Wars Rival Run Weekend

  • Mid to late April 
  • Star Wars themed events and races
  • Iconic Star Wars rivalries
  • Star Wars Dark Side Challenge
  • Races and courses for both kids and adults
  • runDisney Health & Fitness Expo
  • Unique Disney merchandise and apparel 
  • Cost differs based on which race you choose 

Since Easter’s date changes every year, you’ll want to make sure you know what day it is on the year you plan to travel to Disney World in either March or April because Easter is quite a busy time. Many families and guests tend to visit Disney around Easter either for the celebration or because of the extra days off of work or school. The weather is also beautiful because the heat and humidity haven’t hit Orlando too hard yet.  

A great attraction to Disney World in April for many people is Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival. When there’s more than 100 topiaries on display in the World Showcase and extra food and drink not normally offered, who wouldn’t want to visit Disney’s Epcot. Admission to the festival does not require an extra ticket, and there are even concerts every day at the American Gardens Theater that also come with your ticket. 

The Star Wars Rival Run Weekend happens somewhere in mid to late April each year. It’s a fun event for Star Wars fans and runners alike with different themed events and races, the Star Wars Dark Side Challenge, iconic rivalries, and the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo.

If you’re an avid runner who loves the Star Wars saga, the Star Wars Rival Run Weekend is definitely the weekend for you. The cost to run is different based on the race you choose to run in. 

Fridays through Mondays are definitely the busiest days at Disney World, and in April, you’ll just want to watch out for the Spring Break weeks that typically happen at the beginning of the month. During those weeks, even weekdays can be busy because many families will be visiting on their week-long vacation. 

As mentioned before, check the calendar for when Easter falls the year you decide to visit and avoid the weeks surrounding it if you want to skip the long wait lines and large crowds. Thankfully, Disney’s FastPass+ program has significantly decreased wait times and funneled guests through rides and attractions smoothly throughout each day. 

If you’re visiting during Spring Break time, Easter, or the Star Wars Rival Run Weekend, make sure to effectively plan your FastPasses in order to make the most of your visit to Disney.

If you’re looking for less crowds and mild weather, April is the time for you to visit Disney World as long as you keep in mind the few times throughout the month that might have a larger influx in crowds during Easter, Spring Break, and the Star Wars Rival Run Weekend. It would be best to plan for visiting around the end of the month so you can avoid these different events.

Disney World Crowds in May

When spring begins to end, May begins to heat up at Disney World. There aren’t as many special events going on, but the warmer weather is more than enough motivation to bring guests from the colder states. 

There is one festival that continues to thrive during May: 

Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival

  • Beginning of March through the beginning of June
  • More than 100 topiaries displayed throughout the park
  • Food at outdoor kitchens not normally offered
  • Screened butterfly house
  • Festival concerts at the American Gardens Theater every night 
  • No extra ticket required

As mentioned above, Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival is a sight to behold in May at Disney World. With more than 100 topiaries on display throughout the World Showcases’ 11 countries, Epcot looks even more beautiful than ever. 

There is extra food and drink not normally available at Epcot along with a concert ever day at the American Gardens Theater, and admission to the festival is included with your regular park admission. 

May is when some schools begin to let out for the year, but if you’re able to visit at the beginning of the month, you will find the parks less crowded. Toward the end of the month, schools begin to end for the year, and Memorial Day weekend brings plenty of guests looking to get away when they have an extra day or two off of work. 

Especially during the end of the month, Fridays through Mondays are going to be the busier days in the parks, but weekdays are going to be much slower. Either way, using Disney’s FastPass+ program is very helpful in streamlining your visit. 

The beginning of May is a great time to visit Disney World because most Spring Break crowds are gone, and the weather isn’t quite as hot and humid as it gets to be during the summer in Orlando. If you’re looking to avoid large crowds, try not to visit at the end of the month when schools let out for the year and especially during Memorial Day weekend. Other than that, May is quite beautiful at Disney World. 

Disney World Crowds in June

During the summer months, it gets quite hot and humid at Disney World. June and other summer months are notorious for their afternoon showers, so plan accordingly.

une is also the last month for one of Epcot’s yearly festivals:

Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival

  • Beginning of March through the beginning of June
  • More than 100 topiaries displayed throughout the park
  • Food at outdoor kitchens not normally offered
  • Screened butterfly house
  • Festival concerts at the American Gardens Theater every night 
  • No extra ticket required

Summer at Disney World isn’t quite as busy as it has been in previous years, but the crowds are still larger than the slower months, so plan your FastPasses effectively as usual. You’ll want to pack plenty of cool clothing and maybe a swimsuit to beat the heat. 

Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival ends at the beginning of the month, so if you’re wanting to take a look at the 100 beautiful topiaries, this is your last chance. 

The 11 countries throughout Epcot’s World Showcase have plenty of new food and drink that aren’t normally available as well as concerts every day at the American Gardens Theater. Admission for the festival comes along with your regular park ticket, so you don’t have to worry about paying extra just to come enjoy the sights at the festival. 

As mentioned above, crowds will remain steady to larger throughout the month of June, and the heat and humidity are beginning to really kick in. So long as you plan accordingly with your FastPasses, you should be able to visit most if not every ride and attraction you wish to visit during your time at Disney World in June. 

Disney World Crowds in July

As summer goes on, the crowds get larger and the weather gets warmer at Disney World. July is a time where plenty of people visit during summer vacation. Like in June, you’ll want to prepare for frequent rain showers and breaks from the bright afternoon sun. 

The busiest time of July is the Fourth of July: 

Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky

  • Days surrounding the 4th of July 
  • Special patriotic fireworks display 
  • No extra ticket required

On the week of the Fourth of July, there are many visitors wanting to celebrate the festivities at the happiest place on earth. There is a special Fourth of July event entitled Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky that happens the nights surrounding the Fourth of July. 

Anyone who purchased a regular park admission ticket is invited to celebrate America with an extraordinary and patriotic fireworks display complete with a soundtrack to go along with it. 

Though the summer isn’t as popular a time to visit Disney World as it used to be, there are still decent amounts of crowds because of the guests who want to get away during the summer. The busiest time of the month will definitely be the week of the Fourth of July, so if you’re looking to avoid larger crowds, make sure to visit Disney World Later in the month. 

And, as always, plan for your July visit well by using the FastPass+ program available to you for free with your regular admission ticket. 

Disney World Crowds in August

The beginning of August is still scorching hot, but toward the end of the month, it usually begins to cool down just a bit. With the heat at the beginning of August comes larger crowds. 

If your school starts later in August or even into September, mid to late August is a great time to visit Disney and avoid the larger crowds. Here are the special events happening during August at Disney World:

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

  • Select dates throughout August, September, October, and November
  • Trick-or-treating on Main Street
  • Unique meet-and-greets
  • Halloween parades
  • Special fireworks shows
  • Parties and celebrations
  • Extra ticket is about $80, subject to change

Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival

  • August 29th through November 23rd 
  • Exceptional dishes not normally offered
  • Food and drink from countries around the world
  • New countries not normally represented at Epcot
  • Special pairings for you to try
  • Different seminars to explore
  • No extra ticket required

For select dates throughout August, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party will be available at the Magic Kingdom. The park closes around 6:00pm EST to prepare for the party where guests will be able to trick-or-treat on Main Street, watch the Halloween parade, visit special character meet-and-greets, and see a unique Halloween fireworks show. The Halloween party costs about an extra $80 on top of your regular ticket, but the cost is always subject to change. 

The other event happening in August is Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival. August kicks off this festival, and there is no extra cost for you to attend this event at Epcot. There are lots of smaller portion dishes that aren’t normally available at Epcot. Each dish is typically anywhere between $5 and $20, but that’s always subject to change. This festival is perfect for those who love to try new food and drink that won’t normally be available throughout the World Showcase. 

There’s only one way to put it – August is a hot month to visit Disney World. It’s definitely less crowded toward the end of the month when many kids go back to school for the year, but it’s always smart to plan for your FastPasses as far in advance as you can so you can make the most out of your trip to Disney World. Plan for mid-day breaks to avoid either the afternoon showers or the blazing hot afternoon sun. 

Disney World Crowds in September 

Disney World is absolutely beautiful in the fall – the Halloween decorations are on display, and everyone is getting ready for the festivities. Visiting Disney World in September is one of the most secret Disney vacation tips.

The crowds have dwindled from the peak times in summer, and fall festivities are not quite in full swing yet. Listed below are the events that typically happen at Disney World in September:

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

  • Select dates throughout August, September, October, and November
  • Trick-or-treating on Main Street
  • Unique meet-and-greets
  • Halloween parades
  • Special fireworks shows
  • Parties and celebrations
  • Extra ticket is about $80, subject to change

Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival

  • August 29th through November 23rd 
  • Exceptional dishes not normally offered
  • Food and drink from countries around the world
  • New countries not normally represented at Epcot
  • Special pairings for you to try
  • Different seminars to explore
  • No extra ticket required

Throughout the whole month of September, crowds typically remain on the low end. The only times you might get an influx of people are the days where Magic Kingdom hosts Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. 

These days, the Magic Kingdom closes around 6:00pm EST in order to prepare for guests who have paid for the extra ticket to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. At the party, there are special meet-and-greets with some of your favorite Disney characters all dressed up in their Halloween best. On top of that, there is a special fireworks show, a parade, and trick-or-treating on Main Street. 

Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival also draws a lot of people, especially those who consider themselves “foodies,” to Disney’s Epcot. There might be a larger amount of local Floridians who attend to get a chance to taste the unique food and drink from countries around the world not normally represented at Epcot’s World Showcase. These dishes include special food and drink pairings as well as smaller portions to leave room for you to try many different types of food. 

With Disney World not being as crowded in September, standby wait lines are not as bad for rides that are less popular. For the popular rides, standby wait lines can still be extremely long. Rides such as the new Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run in the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge area of Hollywood Studios are sure to bring longer standby wait lines.

However, if you use Disney’s FastPass+ program efficiently and effectively, you can save plenty of time – time that you can use visiting other rides and attractions as well as character meet-and-greets. 

Overall, September is a wonderful month to visit Disney World. The beginning of the month may be almost as warm as the hot, humid summer months, but nearing the end of the month, the weather won’t be as humid or hot as it has been in the previous months.

If you’re able to, paying the extra price to get into Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is worth it for younger guests and anyone who’s really a kid at heart. September at Disney World is beautiful and not to mention less crowded – really one of the perfect times to visit. 

Disney World Crowds in October

If you and your guests are looking for some special things to do at Disney World, October is one of the best times to visit. During the month of October, Disney World has so many different events and festivities to offer that are special since they only happen in the fall: 

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

  • Select dates throughout August, September, October, and November
  • Trick-or-treating on Main Street
  • Unique meet-and-greets
  • Halloween parades
  • Special fireworks shows
  • Parties and celebrations
  • Extra ticket is about $80, subject to change

Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival

  • End of August through the end of November
  • Exceptional dishes not normally offered
  • Food and drink from countries around the world
  • New countries not normally represented at Epcot
  • Special pairings for you to try
  • Different seminars to explore 
  • No extra ticket required

Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend

  • Halloween Weekend
  • Different courses and race lengths you can choose from for both kids and adults
  • Special Disney merchandise
  • Post-race party
  • runDisney Health & Fitness Expo
  • Cost differs depending on course you choose

Because of all of these special events and attractions, Disney World can get quite busy in the middle of October and, of course, on October 31st. Halloween brings even more parties and attractions as well as the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is approximately an extra $80 ticket, which is always subject to change, and the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend has different pricing depending on how far you want to run. If you’re planning on doing the entire half marathon, the price is about $200, subject to change throughout the years. 

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is a great event for kids of all ages. The Magic Kingdom closes around 6:00pm EST for the party to begin shortly after for guests who have purchased the extra ticket in order to attend. There are special fireworks, a Halloween parade, unique meet-and-greets, spooky rides, and even trick-or-treating on Main Street.

Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival does not come with an extra cost on top of your normal ticket to attend. However, all of the smaller dishes that are not normally offered in Epcot do come at a cost. Most of the dishes are smaller portions that cost anywhere between $5 and $20, but are always subject to change. It’s a fun place for anyone who loves to try new food and drinks that aren’t normally available at Disney’s Epcot. 

Since there are so many special festivities that happen only in the fall, standby wait lines for rides and attractions can get quite high depending on the day and time you visit as well as the popularity of the ride or attraction. 

Luckily, Disney World has an incredible FastPass+ program that is free for any and all guests visiting the parks. Make sure to take advantage of the FastPass+ program in order to cut down wait times for any rides and attractions you absolutely can’t miss during your visit.

Using the FastPass+ program not only gives you a shorter wait time and streamlines the entire waiting process, it gives you more time to visit other attractions and rides as well as do more character meet-and-greets throughout the day. 

When it comes to crowds, the second and third weeks of October are some of the busiest. Many school districts have either a Fall Break or give kids the day off for Columbus Day around this time, which leads many families to take a short trip to Disney World or even have a late “summer vacation” in mid-October.

The first and last weeks are definitely not as busy as the middle two weeks because these weeks are ones that Fall Break does not tend to fall on. The only exception is that, as mentioned above, Halloween day on October 31st can get pretty crowded. 

As with any other time, the parks at Disney World are always the busiest and most crowded on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays. This is typically because families and guests can take a long weekend to go visit Disney World, and this is especially the case when it comes to Columbus Day and any Fall Breaks since most kids already have some days off. It’s a good time for families to take advantage of the break and just add a few extra days off on top of the ones already given. 

October truly is a great month to visit Disney World because of the special festivities and attractions as well as the unique fall decorations and treats that are only available during this time of year. The only disadvantage to visiting in October is the risk of busier crowds in the second and third weeks of the month.

If you avoid those weeks and make sure to pay attention to Magic Kingdom’s early park closings for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties, your visit to Disney World in October will be one to remember. 

Disney World Crowds in November

Fall events at Disney World are in full swing in November. The heat and humidity are practically gone, so it really feels like the holiday season is coming soon.

If you’re wanting to experience some of the best events Disney has to offer, November is a great time to go. Listed below are some special events happening in November:

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

-This Halloween themed event typically ends after the first day of November.  So, if you want to go to Magic Kingdom to experience this event, but can’t make it Disney World in August, September or October, November 1st will be your last chance of the year to enjoy the party.

Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival

  • End of August through the end of November
  • Exceptional dishes not normally offered
  • Food and drink from countries around the world
  • New countries not normally represented at Epcot
  • Special pairings for you to try
  • Different seminars to explore 
  • No extra ticket required

Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend

  • Halloween Weekend
  • Different courses and race lengths you can choose from for both kids and adults
  • Special Disney merchandise
  • Post-race party
  • runDisney Health & Fitness Expo
  • Cost differs depending on course you choose

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

  • Select dates through November and December
  • Special Christmas parade featuring some of your favorite characters and Santa
  • Different Magic Kingdom attractions and rides available
  • Unique food and treats
  • Dance party at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café 
  • Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks Show
  • Exclusive dining parties at an extra cost
  • Seasonal merchandise available only at this event
  • Extra ticket costs start at $100 per person, subject to change

Epcot’s International Festival of the Holidays

  • End of November through the end of December
  • Unique holiday traditions at each of the 11 World Showcase countries 
  • Seasonal food and drink offered at each World Showcase country
  • Holiday Cookie Stroll
  • An International Yuletide Extravaganza
  • JOYFUL! A Celebration of the Season
  • Chip & Dale’s Christmas Tree Spree
  • No extra ticket required

Epcot’s International Festival of the Holidays – Candlelight Processional

  • End of November through the end of December
  • Candlelight Narrators telling biblical stories
  • Story told by a celebrity narrator
  • Candlelight Processional accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and large choir
  • Special Candlelight Processional dining packages
  • No extra ticket required

November at Disney World is extra special since there are still some fall events going on, but the holiday season is just beginning. If you go at the right time, you might even be able to hit both seasons. Keep in mind that Thanksgiving at Disney World can get fairly crowded. It’s not as busy as it is during Christmastime or Easter, but since most schools give some sort of Thanksgiving break, many families will take advantage of the time off to take a trip to Disney World. 

There are still a few days left of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at the beginning of November, and Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival won’t end until the very end of November. If you’re a runner, the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend is definitely the event for you. 

Though the weekend has the title of “half marathon,” there are courses that are shorter than that for guests who want to run but are not quite up for an entire half marathon, and there are even races just for kids. A runDisney Health & Fitness Expo will be available for those interested in learning more or getting some new gear and products. Special Disney merchandise will be available for all runners participating in the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend. 

For those guests visiting at the end of November, all of the holiday festivities will be beginning. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is available on select days through November and December. This party does require an extra ticket for admission that starts at $100 but is always subject to change. At Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, you’ll get the chance to watch a parade filled with your favorite Disney characters and, of course, Santa Claus. 

There are lots of unique and holiday themed food, drinks, and treats as well as special dining parties available for an extra cost. If you’re up for some dancing to celebrate the holidays, go visit the Dance Party at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café – it’s the perfect place to have a good time at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. 

Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks Show is another great addition to the party with special holiday fireworks and light shows for you to enjoy as you ring in the holiday season. This is a party you definitely don’t want to miss. It might be a bit crowded in the parks on these days, but seeing Disney World decked out for the holidays is a sight you’ll never forget. 

Magic Kingdom isn’t the only park having all the fun – over in Epcot, they’re celebrating with the International Festival of the Holidays. Each of the 11 countries represented at Epcot’s World Showcase will be celebrating holidays in their own, unique ways. They will have special food and drink that is traditionally had in each country around the holiday season. For younger guests, Chip and Dale will have their Christmas Tree Spree to enjoy. 

There will also be a special Candlelight Processional where a celebrity guest will be a Candlelight Narrator to the biblical story of Christmas. As the narrator reads the story, a 50-piece orchestra will be playing along with a massive choir singing behind them. This makes for quite a magical experience that is free along with your ticket for normal park entry. 

If you’re wanting to enjoy the Candlelight Processional dining package, you will have to pay an extra fee. Otherwise, you can experience Epcot’s International Festival of the Holidays along with the Candlelight Processional for no extra cost to you. 

As mentioned previously, Disney World can begin to get busier in the days and weeks surrounding Thanksgiving. Most schools have a few days or a week off for Thanksgiving or Fall Break, which leads to many families to visit Disney World for the holidays. However, Thanksgiving at Disney World definitely isn’t as busy as it is around Christmas and Easter. 

If you can avoid going around this time, your time at the parks won’t be quite as crowded as it could be around Thanksgiving. As a rule, you can pretty much guarantee that Disney World will be busier on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are less likely to be busy since guests will typically take a long weekend to visit Disney World. If you’re able to go during the week, the crowds will definitely be better in the middle of the week rather than the beginning or end of the week. 

Another thing that will help with wait times and crowds is Disney’s FastPass+ program. Planning effectively is essential to the FastPass+ program and so that you can get the most out of your Disney experience. Rides that have opened recently or are more popular are likely to be the busiest. You’ll want to prioritize the rides and attractions you want to visit the most. 

Keep in mind that Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Epcot all have tiered FastPasses where you can only choose one Tier One ride each day out of your three FastPasses of the day. There are plenty of great Tier Two rides, but it’s obvious that the Tier One rides are the most popular.

November at Disney World definitely has some great festivities and special events for you to enjoy. The only thing to watch out for would be crowds around Thanksgiving. If you’re able to overlook that and plan well with the FastPass+ program, November is a great time to visit Disney World because the holidays make the most magical place on earth even more magical.  

Disney World Crowds in December

The holidays at Disney World are such a beautiful time with the extra decorations lining Main Street and the special treats available only during the holidays.

December is one of the busier times to visit Disney World, but there are definitely perks to going at this time, too. Below are the special events offered at Disney World during December:

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 

  • Select dates through November and December
  • Special Christmas parade featuring some of your favorite characters and Santa
  • Different Magic Kingdom attractions and rides available
  • Unique food and treats
  • Dance party at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café 
  • Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks Show
  • Exclusive dining parties at an extra cost
  • Seasonal merchandise available only at this event
  • Extra ticket costs start at $100 per person, subject to change

Epcot’s International Festival of the Holidays

  • End of November through the end of December
  • Unique holiday traditions at each of the 11 World Showcase countries 
  • Seasonal food and drink offered at each World Showcase country
  • Holiday Cookie Stroll
  • An International Yuletide Extravaganza
  • JOYFUL! A Celebration of the Season
  • Chip & Dale’s Christmas Tree Spree
  • No extra ticket required

Epcot’s International Festival of the Holidays – Candlelight Processional

  • End of November through the end of December
  • Candlelight Narrators telling biblical stories
  • Story told by a celebrity narrator
  • Candlelight Processional accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and large choir
  • Special Candlelight Processional dining packages
  • No extra ticket required

December at Disney World is quite magical because of all the holiday festivities going on throughout the month. However, since there are so many events and activities only available during this time of year, many guests prefer to visit Disney World during December and over the holiday season. 

Kids will be out of school for a few weeks at the end of December for Christmas or Winter Break, and that is when many families choose to visit Disney World – it’s a great place to get away to that’s much warmer than some of the Northern states are in the winter. 

Around Christmas is when the Disney World parks begin to get very busy. Guests love to visit Disney World on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so if you’re one of those who wants to experience Disney at Christmastime, be prepared for the massive crowds and extra-long wait times for rides and attractions. 

After Christmas comes New Year’s Eve on December 31st, which is also one of the most crowded days of the year at Disney World. Both Christmas and New Years are quite magical at Disney – just make sure you’re ready for the thousands of people flooding the street for the special festivities. 

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party continues in December on select days throughout the month. If you’re wanting to attend the party, you’ll need an extra ticket for admission that begins at around $100 per person but is always subject to change. Your favorite Disney characters and Santa Claus march down Main Street for a special very merry Christmas parade. 

The normal food and drink options are replaced with holiday themed treats and goodies, and if you’re wanting to splurge, there are special dining parties you can visit to watch the fireworks or parades for an extra cost. There’s also a Dance Party at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café for anyone wanting to dance the night away at Disney World.

Later at night, Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks Show lights up the sky for a special holiday treat. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party may be crowded, but it’s a holiday spectacular you’re not likely to forget. 

Epcot’s International Festival of the Holidays is also in full swing throughout the entire month of December. The 11 countries at Epcot’s World Showcase offer special celebrations for their own winter holidays including traditional food and drink usually had during the holidays in each country. Along with the International Festival of the Holidays, there is Chip and Dale’s Christmas Tree Spree and the Candlelight Processional. 

During the Candlelight Processional, a Candlelight Narrator reads the biblical story of Christmas, and the narrator is typically a surprise celebrity guest. A 50-piece orchestra and huge choir play and sing along as the Candlelight Narrator reads the story. There is no extra ticket required to attend the Candlelight Processional, but there is a dining package available for an extra fee if you’re wanting to add a little more holiday magic to your visit. 

Christmastime at Disney World is one of the busiest times of the year along with Easter, so be prepared for full crowds of many guests and families coming to celebrate the holidays at the most magical place on earth. The beginning of December is less likely to be busy since most schools are still in session, but as the end of the month nears, you’re much more likely to run into extremely large crowds. 

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are going to be the most busy by far. Using Disney’s FastPass+ program will still help, but if you’re looking for a calmer time to visit Disney World, December is definitely not that time. 

However, if you’re okay with the crowds and are looking forward to a magical holiday season at Disney World, December is the time for you to go. The parks are beautifully decorated, and there are so many fun festivities for you to enjoy. 

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