>When we discuss our summer plans with people and we say we’re going to Disney, we will get the question “Why would you go in the summer, it’s so hot!” That makes me laugh, because here in New Jersey, for the last week, we have been over 90 degrees every day. The Heat index has been over 100 for 5 of those days and today is only June 30th.  A few years ago, we went to Williamsburg Virginia in August, and a friend told me to pack as if I was going to the Florida Keys, because it would be just as hot in Williamsburg. I know what a lot of people don’t realize, the heat here is the same as the heat in Disney.Then you have to add in the fact that some of us don’t have the luxury of vacationing at any time during the year. Some of us have to go in the summer or during other vacations when the kids are out of school. Which means everyone else is out of school also, which means there are more families at Walt Disney World. So, the question arises, when is the best time to go, if you have to go by the School Calendar? The Timing of your trip to Walt Disney World is an Unknown Magic many people don’t think about, but it can mean the difference between many Magical Experiences and frustration.

So, when is the best time to go according to the School Calendar? It’s an easy answer, but I know that throughout the United States, schools start at different times of the year, and I’m sure in other countries it is the same, so I will be talking in general terms about school calendars, but will be using the one we have to go by as my guide. Let’s start with a great, but difficult time to go. The Christmas Season in Walt Disney World is Fantastic, between the decorations, the special shows and parades and the different happenings in the parks, it is something that should not be missed. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is something that everyone should experience. They actually make it Snow on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom. With that said, if you don’t want to miss it, but you can’t get there until the day before Christmas or even anytime that week, expect there to be A LOT of people. We went down the 26th a few years back and stayed until the 31st. It was a Fantastic trip, but I don’t remember there ever being more people in the Magic Kingdom when I have been there. It was unbelievable the amount of people that were there. I’d love to go that time of year again, but that week, I don’t know if I would.

 For a First time visitor, I’d say if you can stand the heat wait until the summer, the crowds will actually be smaller then. Another time the crowds are unbelievably big is the week of Easter. Neither of these busy times have anything to do with Religion, it is just that people think it will be cooler than the summer and the kids are off, let’s go. What they don’t think about is that everyone has off the same days and they are all thinking the same way. Another time to warn you about that many people don’t know about is the first weekend in November. This is a Phenomenon that happens every year and the Cast Members in Disney even recognize that it happens. The reason why this weekend (actually it starts the Wednesday night leading up to the weekend) is very busy is because the schools in New Jersey close Thursday and Friday the first week in November for a Teachers convention every year (Waste of School Days? Yes. Big boost in the economy for the Jersey Shore, where it is held? Yes). So, with New Jersey Schools closed down, families from New Jersey now have a 4 day weekend and head to Walt Disney World. This weekend isn’t as crowded as the other two times mentioned, but there are quite a few people and they all seem to be trying to cram as much into that short amount of time as possible. This is what makes this weekend a difficult time to go, especially if you are laid back visitors as we are. So looking at the School calendar, when does that leave to go? Summertime. Something to remember though is that most people have off for 4th of July and when it falls near a weekend, they can tack on their vacation days to make a longer vacation. Also Many Florida residents will come to Disney World for the Day to witness the fireworks.

There are a few things other things to beware of with summer travel to Walt Disney World; Rain, Tropical Storms and the Heat of course. Summer rain in Florida happens every day. It is usually a quick strong storm in the middle or late afternoon. It is a fact of Florida life.
 Disney Daddy wrote a great blog about the weather a few weeks ago as one of his Tuesday Tips. It was called Watch the Weather.
Tropical storms can happen at any time in Florida from June Through November, but you have to remember Walt Disney World is not on the coast and very few storms cut across the state of Florida, they usually head on up the coast. And we discussed the heat earlier. So, the question comes down to when would be the best time to go to Disney in the summer? The best answer for this is to look to Disney themselves. They are running a special right now that is for the Disney Dining Plan:

“Purchase this 5-night/6-day Magic Your Way room and ticket package and enjoy most of your meals for FREE. That’s a savings of $689 for a family of 4 at select Disney Moderate Resorts. For stays most nights 08/15/10-10/02/10.”
For Disney Vacation Club Members it will you cost less points to visit after August 16 than it will to visit before. So, one could conclude there are less crowds towards the end of August, therefore according to Disney, it is the best time to visit Walt Disney World in the late summer.

Honestly, we’ve been in both July and August. It is just as hot in July as it is in August. Last year we went for a week at the end of August. And the crowds were lighter, southern U.S. schools go back in August, which accounts for this drop off. Our trip was wonderful, although there was a tropical storm we kept
watching while we were there, not so much for while we were there, but for our drive up the eastern coast to get home. Any time in the summer you are going to have crowds, rain and heat, but the end of August is my recommendation of when to go if you have to follow the School calendar, because with fewer crowds, you can do more things, enjoy your time together more and create those Magical Experiences.

So, now you know, if you have to follow the School Calendar to schedule your Disney trip, you can try over Christmas for many Magical Experiences, but if you want to go without the crowds, try late in August. You will have many more opportunities for Magical Experiences without all the people.