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2015 Walt Disney World Overview

2015 Walt Disney World Overview

Picking the dates of your Walt Disney World vacation is one the first decisions you’ll make.  If you’re not sure when you’d like to travel and would like an easy overview to help you decide, you’re in the right place!  Already selected your trip dates and want a little more insight into that time of the year?  Scroll down to find out more!

January

  • Marathon Weekend January 7-11
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day January 19
  • Crowds higher through the first weekend after New Year’s and around MLK Day
  • Ride and hotel pool refurbishments common.  One water park closed for annual maintenance.
  • Weather can vary, be sure to check forecasts and pack accordingly.  Cold weather, 50s and below, can close the only open water park.

February

  • President’s Day February 16
  • Mardis Gras February 17
  • Princess Half Marathon February 19-22
  • Crowds higher around President’s Day, otherwise a slow month. President’s Day combined with Mardis Gras will make it a more crowded week than usual.
  • Ride and hotel pool refurbishments common.  One water park closed for annual maintenance.
  • Weather can vary, be sure to check forecasts and pack accordingly.  Cold weather can close the only open water park.

March

  • Epcot Flower & Garden Festival March 4-May 15
  • The entire month of March will see school break vacationers.  Go with a park touring plan.
  • Both water parks typically open by mid to late March.  An occasional cold snap could close them.
  • Weather starts to warm, but mornings and evenings may be chilly.

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April

  • Easter April 5
  • Epcot Flower & Garden Festival all month
  • An early Easter means most spring break crowds are focused on March and early April. Mid to late April will bring a short slow down before summer break.
  • Weather typically warm, but be sure to check forecasts before leaving home.

May

  • Epcot Flower & Garden Festival continues to May 15
  • Star Wars Weekends Fridays to Sundays May 15-June 14 (five weekends to choose from!)
  • Memorial Day May 25
  • A good time to travel before the summer season.  Star Wars Weekend will bring localized crowds to Hollywood Studios on weekends.
  • Weather is more consistently warm and humid.

June

  • Star Wars Weekend continue Fridays to Sundays until June 14
  • Gay Days June 4-7 brings localized crowds to one park each day
  • Frozen Summer Fun beings June 17 – highlight is fireworks in Hollywood Studios
  • Most schools end the year in late May/early June, ushering in the summer vacation season.
  • Highs can reach the 90s.  Stay hydrated, wear sunscreen, and take afternoon breaks to swim or relax in your room’s air conditioning.

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July

  • July 4th
  • The 4th of July holiday brings the largest crowds of the month.  Fireworks are shown in three parks, so you won’t miss out.
  • Frozen Summer Fun all month – highlight is fireworks in Hollywood Studios
  • Heat and humidity continues.  Afternoon rain showers are common.  Pack ponchos or umbrellas to keep you dry if you are caught in a shower.  They can bring heavy rain and may last a short while or a few hours.  Lightning can close some rides and pools.

August

  • No notable holidays
  • Frozen Summer Fun all month – highlight is fireworks in Hollywood Studios
  • Schools gradually go back in session around mid-month.  Crowds taper the closer you get to September.
  • Weather remains hot, humid, and with a chance of rain.

September

  • Labor Day September 7
  • Frozen Summer Fun ends September 7- highlight is fireworks in Hollywood Studios
  • Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party in Magic Kingdom starts September 15
  • Epcot International Food & Wine Festival starts September 25
  • Crowds are historically low.  Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party will affect Magic Kingdom crowd patterns, as the park closes at 7 for parties a few nights a week.
  • Although hurricane season spans several months, September is the month most often associated with hurricanes for Walt Disney World.  Typically hurricanes in the area bring extra rain and winds to central Florida, but the biggest impact may be travel disruption at your home or between your home and Orlando.

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October

  • Columbus Day October 12
  • Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party runs all month in Magic Kingdom
  • Epcot International Food & Wine Festival runs all month
  • One water park will close for annual maintenance – Blizzard Beach closes earlier than usual on October 4
  • Many school districts have fall breaks, making October a popular vacation time.  Anytime you plan to fly over a school break, buy flights early.  Everyone in your area is also flying to their vacations, so prices can increase faster than other times of the year.
  • Weather in October is usually still warm, but mornings or nights may be chilly.

November

  • “Jersey Week” November 5-6 (includes days leading up to this school holiday)
  • Wine & Dine Half-Marathon November 6-7
  • Osborne Lights start November 6
  • Christmas Day Parade Taping November 10-13
  • Veterans Day November 11
  • Epcot Food & Wine Festival ends November16
  • Thanksgiving November 26
  • Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party ends November 1. Halloween decorations go down and Christmas decorations go up.  Magic Kingdom will be ready for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party by November 8.  Christmas Party continues throughout the month, briefly pausing for Thanksgiving.
  • Decorations at Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom and hotels start to go up all month.  Epcot begins Christmas celebrations (storytellers, Candlelight Processional, IllumiNations holiday tag) after Thanksgiving.  Deluxe hotel trees and gingerbread features should be installed by Thanksgiving.
  • Crowds are generally good in  November, with Thanksgiving being the first bump of holiday crowds.
  • One water park, Blizzard Beach, closed for annual maintenance.  Cold weather, 50s and below, can close the open water park, Typhoon Lagoon.
  • Weather is more mild in November, with chilly mornings or evenings possible.  Check the forecast and pack appropriately.

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December

  • Pop Warner football and cheer and dance championships December 5-13
  • Osborne Lights all month
  • Christmas & New Year’s Eve
  • One water park, Blizzard Beach, closed for annual maintenance.  Cold weather can close the open water park, Typhoon Lagoon.
  • Christmas is in full swing around the Walt Disney World Resort in December.
  • Starting a week before Christmas, school break will bring one of the busiest times at the resort.  Hotels may sell out and parks may reach near capacity, causing temporary closure of park admission.  If you travel over Christmas and New Year’s, go with a plan and make good use of your mornings.
  • Weather is mild, with some cold possible.  Always check forecasts before packing.

We hope this guide helps you as you think about when to take your Walt Disney World vacation.  As a general rule of thumb, any time school is out, the parks are busier.  If you aren’t bound by school schedules, try to avoid holidays. RunDisney events can cause hotels to sell out of rooms earlier than they otherwise would, so don’t wait to book if you’re participating in a race or traveling over one. If you like cool weather, winter months offer your best bet.  September through December are festive times in the parks.  Flower & Garden Festival makes spring a beautiful time to visit Epcot.  Maybe you’ve visited the parks already, and are looking for some new experiences on your next trip.  Whatever you’re looking for, we’re happy to help you plan your next Walt Disney World vacation!

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