2016 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!
(Event dates have all been updated as the information was released.)
- Osborne Lights end January 3
- Marathon Weekend January 6-10
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day January 18
- 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.
- Blizzard Beach closed through January 2. Typhoon Lagoon closes January 3.
- Weather can vary, be sure to check forecasts and pack accordingly. Cold weather, 50s and below, can close the only open water park.
- Mardis Gras February 9
- President’s Day February 15
- Princess Half Marathon February 18-21
- Crowds higher around Mardis Gras and President’s Day, otherwise a slow month.
- Ride and hotel pool refurbishments common. One water park, Typhoon Lagoon, 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, Blizzard Beach.
- Epcot Flower & Garden Festival March 2-May 30
- Easter March 27
- With an early Easter, spring break crowds will be condensed into fewer weeks than usual. Expect heavy spring break crowds. Go with a park touring plan.
- Both water parks typically open by March 13. An occasional cold snap could close them.
- Weather starts to warm, but mornings and evenings may be chilly.
- Epcot Flower & Garden Festival all month
- Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side April 14-17
- Spring break crowds linger into early April. Otherwise, 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.
- Epcot Flower & Garden Festival continues to May 30
- Memorial Day May 30
- A good time to travel before the summer season.
- Weather is more consistently warm and humid.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- No notable holidays or events
- 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.
- Labor Day September 5
- Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party in Magic Kingdom starts September 2
- Epcot International Food & Wine Festival starts September 14
- 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.
- Columbus Day October 10
- Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party runs all month in Magic Kingdom
- Epcot International Food & Wine Festival runs all month
- Blizzard Beach closes October 16 for annual maintenance
- 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.
- Wine & Dine Half-Marathon November 3-6
- “Jersey Week” November 10-11 (includes days leading up to this school holiday)
- Veterans Day November 11
- Christmas Day Parade Taping November 9-12
- Epcot Food & Wine Festival ends November 14
- Thanksgiving November 24
- Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party ends and Halloween decorations go down and Christmas decorations go up. Magic Kingdom will be ready for the first Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party on November 7. Christmas Party continues throughout the month, briefly pausing the week of 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.
- Blizzard Beach closed for annual maintenance. Cold weather, 50s and below, can close Typhoon Lagoon.
- Weather is more mild in November, with chilly mornings or evenings possible. Check the forecast and pack appropriately.
- Pop Warner football and cheer and dance championships December 2-10
- Christmas & New Year’s Eve
- Blizzard Beach closed for annual maintenance. Cold weather can close Typhoon Lagoon.
- Christmas is in full swing around the Walt Disney World Resort in December. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party ends December 22. During Christmas week the special parade and fireworks run during regular park hours.
- 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! Submit your Quote Request today!