One of the hardest things for some people to decide when planning a Walt Disney World vacation is when will be the best time to go. Often people who have never visited before picture wall to wall people who are physically melting during the summer, but nearly empty parks and warm, but comfortable temperatures the rest of the year. Is that really what it is like if you travel during the off season?
First of all, let’s talk a little bit about what the “off season” means. A basic rule of thumb is that it is when most schools are in session. Disney uses the words “value”, “regular”, and “peak” when it comes to ticket prices, “value” would be considered off season. If you want to get an idea of what the crowd level could be like when you’re thinking of visiting just check the one day ticket page on the Walt Disney World website. The different seasons for each day are clearly marked.
There are a few myths about traveling during the off season that I would like to address here so that you can better decide when you should take your vacation. The top myth is that the parks are empty during the off seasons. That is not true at all. They will be less crowded, but there is no such thing as an empty Walt Disney World theme park. Don’t expect to walk onto Space Mountain, because it won’t happen.
Another myth is that there will be few children at Walt Disney World during the off season, because they will be in school. That’s not the case. I once heard of someone who assumed that all of the children at Walt Disney World when they visited were homeschooled, but that wasn’t what was going on. Many parents have no problem taking their kids out of school for a few days for a Walt Disney World vacation. Some schools will even prepare lessons for the kids to finish while here, since there are plenty of places to learn at Disney.
Do you think that you’ll only experience hot and humid weather in Florida during the summer? That is another myth that you need to put aside if planning to travel during the off season. The truth is that it can be hot and humid in Florida at any time of the year. We don’t have snow and we have plenty of incredible days during the winter months, but that doesn’t mean the temperature won’t soar at some point. Check the forecast before you leave home.
The opposite of that is also a common myth. Some think that Florida is hot and humid all year long. We do have cold spells! While it won’t be as cold as your friends are experiencing back home, if you’re traveling during the off season don’t presume that you will only want shorts, tank tops, and t-shirts. Again, check the forecast.
You might have heard that discounts galore are offered during the off season, so you think that you will be able to take a “cheap” Walt Disney World vacation. There is no such thing as cheap when it comes to Walt Disney World. Cheaper, yes, but cheap, no. There are discounts to be found, and you might be lucky enough to get Free Dining, but your vacation is still going to be expensive. That doesn’t mean that it won’t be worth every penny.
The off season is a fantastic time to visit Walt Disney World, and if it will fit into your plans I highly recommend it. Just don’t make assumptions, and have a fantastic time!