As magical and amazing as Disney World is during the holidays and other peak seasons, there is definitely something special about visiting during those slower, off-season times too. If you have flexible dates for vacation, going to Disney World in the off-season should be on your list of things to do. You will be amazed at how easy it is and what kind of money you can save.
4. Off-season crowds – Some of the least busy times for Disney World are the months following holidays. Look to visit around the third week of January through the beginning of March, late April through mid-May, after Labor Day until mid-October and the first 2 weeks of December. These tend to be less crowded because the holiday rush is over. While you won’t have the hoopla of the holidays, sometimes having the park not so crowd is a holiday in its own. If crowds are really important to you (or lack thereof), then make sure to check for any special events that might be going on during your travel dates. It could be a Run Disney event or a youth sports week. These can crowd the parks also, but still not to the capacity of the holidays.
3. Off-season specials – Another perk to going at the off season is the specials that Disney World runs. Often they realize these are slower months too, so they will run the “free dining plan” or the “get a night free” specials. You generally will not find these deals in the peak season, so if cost is an important factor, then traveling in the off months will help you save on food or park tickets. Try to stay for at least 5 days to get the most from the deals and to enjoy the park a little longer with reduced park hours. If there is a special on park-hopper tickets, make sure to grab that for your visit in the off-season. Since the parks have shorter hours, you can make the most of your time there by being able to jump from park to park as they close.
2. Off-season hours – While some may see this as a negative, it can leave your night times open to explore more of what Disney has to offer. It is important to remember that the park does have reduced hours in the off-season and some attractions will be closed for refurbishment, but this can be a good thing. You could take the evenings off and head to Downtown Disney for some fun at DisneyQuest, or go to some other Disney resort like the Boardwalk and enjoy the nightlife there. Some hotels have night time activities like movies at the pool or game nights. Most pools on property are heated, so even in the winter, you could relax in the evening with a swim too. The point is, there is plenty to do even if you aren’t at the parks. Take the time to relax and explore when the parks close early.
1. Off-season dining – If you happened to snag an off-season “dining plan for free special”, take full advantage and enjoy some of those usually hard to get reservations. Don’t think for a minute you don’t need to make reservations however, because you do. Remember you can book those advanced dining reservations up to 180 days out from your vacation. The plus side to the off season dining plans is it allows you to enjoy places you might not generally take the time to enjoy because of the crowds. On those nights off, you could also enjoy meals at some of the restaurants at the resorts or in Downtown Disney too.
Don’t worry, even with a visit to Disney World in the off-season, you will still have plenty of magical experiences without the crowds of the holiday seasons. You may even find some new things to love about it as well as enjoy more time making some great Disney memories.
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Photo courtesy of Disney Photo Snapper