Sunday, March 21, 2010

You're going to Disney World!

Congratulations! You are going to the most wonderful place in the world! At least, that's what I think! There are so many things to consider before going on a vacation to Disney World. The first thing to do is decide when to go. A few of the things you may want to think about are:
1. Crowds
2. Price
3. Weather
4. Special events


1. CROWDS... There are different times of the year that will bring different size crowds to WDW. Traditionally, when school is in session, the crowds are lighter. If your kids are out of school, chances are so are other people's kids! Holidays are always crowded along with summer break and spring break. Here is a break down of historic attendance at WDW:

The Lowest Attendance:
January (except New Year's Day) until just prior to Presidents' Week in February
The week following Labor Day until the week prior to Thanksgiving
The week following Thanksgiving until mid-December

More Moderate Attendance:
After Presidents' week in February through early March
Late April through early June (except Memorial Day weekend)
Columbus Day Weekend (October)
The first part of Thanksgiving week

Highest Attendance:
Presidents' week in February
Mid March through Late April ("Spring Break")
Memorial Day weekend
Mid June through Labor Day
Thanksgiving Day and weekend
Christmas week through New Year's Day

2. PRICE... For some families, price plays a very important part in making the decision of when to travel to Disney World. Ticket prices stay the same each day of the year, but lodging on property will vary depending on the season. The Disney World seasons are based on crowd levels. The "seasons" of room rates are as follows:
Value Season- Jan 3- President's Day; mid August- September; Thanksgiving- mid December
Regular Season- Easter- June 1; October- Thanksgiving
Summer Season- June- Mid August
Peak Season- President's Day- Easter
Holiday Season- new year's Jan 1-2; President's Day; Easter; 4th of July; Thanksgiving; Christmas (mid December-New Year's)

For example, if you stay at one of the All Star Resorts (Movies, Music or Sports) the rates would vary based on the season:
Value Season- $82 weekdays/ $92 weekends
Regular Season- $105 weekdays/ $115 weekends
Summer Season- $119 weekdays/ $134 weekends
Peak Season- $125 weekdays/ $140 weekends
Holiday Season- $125-$145 weekdays/ $154 weekends

3. WEATHER... Traditional WDW Weather may also play a part into when to take your trip. Here are some month to month average statistics on Orlando weather:
January- high 71, low 49, 2.3 inches rain
February- high 73, low 50, 3.0 inches rain
March- high 78, low 55, 3.2 inches rain
April- high 83, low 59, 1.8 inches rain
May- high 88, low 66, 3.6 inches rain
June- high 91, low 72, 7.3 inches rain
July- high 92, low 73, 7.2 inches rain
August- high 92, low 73, 6.8 inches rain
September- high 90, low 72, 6.0 inches rain
October- high 85, low 65, 2.4 inches rain
November- high 79, low 58, 2.3 inches rain
December- high 73, low 51, 2.2 inches rain

Of course these are just averages. I have been to WDW in December and had to wear a heavy coat, gloves and hat the whole time. I've also been that same month and worn shorts. Weather can vary day to day in Central Florida.

4. SPECIAL EVENTS... There are special events in Disney World that you may want to plan your vacation around. I'll list some of the events and provide a link to the Disney web site for you to get more information.
January- Marathon Weekend
February
March- Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival, Princess Half Marathon, Atlanta Braves Major League Baseball Spring Training at the ESPN Wide World of Sports, Easter
April- Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival, Disney's Grad Nights
May- Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival, Star Wars Weekends, Disney's Grad Nights
June- Star Wars Weekends, Sounds Like Summer Concert Series, Expedition Everest Challenge
July- Sounds Like Summer Concert Series, 4th of July Celebration
August-
September- Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, Epcot's International Food and Wine Festival, Night of Joy
October- Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend, Disney's Race for the Taste, Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party
November- Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, Epcot's International Food and Wine Festival, Festival of the Masters, Epcot's Holiday's around the World, Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights
December- Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, Epcot's Holiday's around the World, Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, New Year's Eve Celebration

You can always visit The Official Disney World Web Site for information. There are other web sites, books and resources I use to plan my trips, but this is where I start. Hopefully this will be a good place for you to start as well!

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