Disney Winter Travel: Pros and Cons

If a trip to Walt Disney World during the summer months sounds like pure, sweaty torture than winter is your season. With mild temperatures and lower humidity, winter is a much more comfortable time to visit. Each month has it’s own pros and cons and I’m here to help!

Whether you go in December, January or February, packing can be a little tricky for winter Disney travel. I’ve worn both turtlenecks and sweaters AND t-shirts and shorts for a winter trip to Disney. These were separate trips but it’s possible to need both types of wardrobes in the same week. Just be sure to check the forecast before you leave and pack a little for both types of weather.

Early December is a fantastic time to visit with parks and resorts decorated for the holiday season.
Early December is a fantastic time to visit with parks and resorts decorated for the holiday season.

December

Pros – If you travel the first couple weeks, prices are low and crowds are lower. As long as you stay away from the Christmas week, when both cost and crowds will spike, you can have a little elbow room and a little extra souvenir money. Average temperatures are highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s. Everything, from parks to resorts, are decorated in holiday splendor.

Cons – Stay away from the last two weeks of December unless you’re not afraid of massive crowds and wait times. And an incredible bill. Premium prices are the norm during Disney’s busiest time of year.

Layers are your best bet during the winter months. Expect chilly mornings and evenings and comfortable afternoons.
Layers are your best bet during the winter months. Expect chilly mornings and evenings and comfortable afternoons.

 

January

Pros – Most of the month is “crowd free.” As long as you get going early enough in the morning, even New Year’s Day is manageable. Just lower your crowd expectations a tad around New Year’s and Martin Luther King Weekend and the January marathon (January 4-8, 2017), employ a few crowd management tips and you should be fine.

Pros for some, Cons for others – Average temperatures are typically high 60s and lows in the 40s. This ain’t swimmin’ weather. For a southern girl like me, it can be a bit chilly. But you tough northerners should be fine!

Cons – With lower crowds you’ll find shorter park hours. Disney is great at managing and getting the most out of their staff. The shorter hours can put a damper on your fun, especially if you’re a night owl. However, because crowds are smaller, you’ll be able to get plenty done during the reduced winter schedule.

 

The calendar may say winter but the temperatures can vary. Check the forecast before you go and be prepared for all kinds of weather.
The calendar may say winter but the temperatures can vary. Check the forecast before you go and be prepared for all kinds of weather.

February

Pros – Crowd levels are historically low for much of the month. Just avoid President’s Day weekend. Temperatures are mild as the highs are now climbing back into the comfortable 70s and lows in the upper 40s and low 50s. Daylight hours are increasing now, too and so will the park hours. The Princess Marathon takes place during February. Even if you’re not a seasoned runner, spectators and cheerleaders are welcome.

Cons – If you’re looking forward to spending some time in the water parks, this is typically Disney’s last push at refurbishments before the high season begins. Some of your favorite water attractions, or the entire water park, could be closed. But with cooler temperatures, this may not be an issue.

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