One of the most common questions people have in planning a trip to Disney World is when to visit. There isn’t really an easy answer, since it comes down to personal preference and when you are able to travel. Some people want to visit during the holidays, or to experience special events like Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party or the Food & Wine Festival. Some guests are looking for that elusive ‘low season’ and quiet time to visit Disney World. However, if you’re up for some fun in the sun, we have 5 reasons to visit Walt Disney World in Summer.
We think the summer months can actually be a great time for some guests to visit Disney World. A trip to Florida won’t appeal to everyone during the summer, but for those of you who can stand the summer humidity, it could be an ideal time to plan your visit. We’ve visited multiple times during the summer months and (with some preparation for the weather), we’ve had amazing trips at Disney in the most hot and humid times of the year.
Here are some of the reasons we think you should consider a Disney vacation during June, July or August.
5 – Good Travel Conditions
We have driven from Southern Ontario to Disney a couple of times now in both the summer and the fall. By far, our driving experience was much better in the summer. When we drove in November we had fewer hours of sun which meant many hours of driving in the dark. The Interstate is not well lit and if you are prone to tunnel vision, this can make for a long, monotonous drive.
We also drove through some heavy snow on our way back to Canada. It was quite surreal to start your day driving past palm trees only to end the day driving through snowy whiteouts!
When flying from Canada, or other locations that experience snow storms during the winter months, there is a greater chance of your flight being affected by winter weather. There is always the chance your flight can be delayed due to storms during the year, but winter weather and snowstorms are something to consider when thinking about when to fly to Disney.
We also enjoy the longer days during the summer at Disney. We love the long, sunny and hot days at Florida. Plus, it’s a great excuse to get in some serious pool time!
4 – Longer Park Hours
During the summer months, the parks stay open later than they do during the off-peak season. During our trip last August we saw the park hours get extended shortly before we arrived, with most parks staying open until at least 9pm, and Magic Kingdom stayed open until 10 or 11pm. In January, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios all closed at 8pm for most nights.
Visiting in the summer can give you at least 2 more hours in the park at certain times of the summer. This is particularly helpful if you like to take breaks during the day, or if you tend to sleep in and arrive at the parks later in the day. If this is the case, you simply won’t have has many hours in the evening to enjoy the parks if you travel during low season.
3 – Fewer Refurbishments
Because the summer is still considered to be a peak time, Disney tends to not schedule as many attractions for refurbishments. There may still be some attractions closed, but typically you won’t see any pools closed at the resorts and they do try to have fewer ride closures and refurbishments during the summer and peak travel times.
Travelling in off-peak seasons, you may find that one or more attractions are closed for refurbishment. January and February are notorious months for several larger-scale refurbishments as the parks want their attractions up and running before the peak seasons start.
2 – The Water Parks are Open
One of our favourite ways to cool off at Disney during the summer is to visit the water parks. During the summer months, both Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon are open for business and provide some much needed relief from the heat. We usually like to tackle both of these parks in one day. We visit one park in the morning and after lunch head over to the other park.
One water park ticket will get you into both parks on the same day, but you could also opt for Park Hopper Plus tickets, which include (among other things), entry to the Water Parks. The number of entries depends on the length of your stay and whether you choose to use any of the other options included with the Park Hopper Plus option.
During the fall and winter months one water park will close for refurbishment, and the weather is less reliable, so you may or may not have swimming-friendly weather. Plus, if the weather becomes too cold, Disney will close the second water park, leaving guests with the resort pools as their only option.
If you’re planning a summer Disney trip, we highly recommend you plan on visiting the water parks. They are often over-looked and their theming and fun-factor are amazing!
1 – The Crowds
The summer months used to be considered the busy season, and the peak season prices can still reflect that, but with some careful planning, and flexibility date-wise, the summer isn’t necessarily the most expensive time to visit Disney.
The summer months are the only time that some people can travel due to work vacation time and/or not wanting to pull children out of school, but that’s starting to change. Many families do pull their children out of school in the fall months, particularly October, and the fall has seen busy crowds for the last couple years. October is no longer a low season to visit Disney and lately we are seeing very little resort availability for the month.
In the last couple years, Disney saw lower crowds during July and August. The wait times also reflected this and were typically shorter than the wait times we see in the fall through to the end of the year.
In a surprising move on Disney’s part, we have seen a big change to the Free Dining offer dates in 2019. For years we have seen Free Dining routinely released in late spring for dates starting in August and going through until December. Star Wars seems to have changed all that, and Disney has just released the Free Dining offer for arrivals from July 5 – September 30, 2019. There is also a room offer which can lead to big savings when combined with the Canadian Resident Ticket Offer.
We can only assume Disney has released these offers earlier to avoid offering Free Dining for the fall when Star Wars opens. Disney will not need to incentivize this time of year, but they clearly want to boost sales prior to the opening of Star Wars. Will guests brave the summer heat and humidity for Free Dining? We think so. This is one of the best offers we’ve seen Disney release for the summer. Just one more reason to visit during the summer months.
We should mention that Free Dining may not be the best value for you. If you can use Canadian Resident tickets and also get a room offer, it may be a better savings.
We know the humidity is enough to make many people swear off visiting Disney during the summer months, but for those who are summer lovers, there are quite a few reasons to consider a June-August Disney vacation.
We’ve visited during the most humid months and had a wonderful time, you just have to be prepared. Know you’re going to sweat constantly. Bring cooling towels, wear clothes that will wick sweat away, stay hydrated, and know when to stop and take breaks. You can check out our summer packing list to beat the heat here.
Have you visited Disney World in the summer months? We’d love to hear your thoughts!