Cinderella Castle at dusk

You’ve decided you’re going to Walt Disney World! Your mouth is already watering thinking of all the churros and Mickey pretzels you’re going to inhale. And you can picture yourself doing your best power walk to get to the front of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride after only 4 hours of sleep.

But wait, when are you going to go?

If you’re like me, sometimes you get so caught up in the excitement about going to Disney World that you forget you need to pay attention to some logistics to really maximize your experience.

Planning when to go to Walt Disney World is just as important as actually deciding to go in the first place.

When it comes to planning your Disney trip, you are going to want to consider the following:

  • The cost
  • The weather
  • Crowd levels
  • Special holiday celebrations and decorations
  • Attraction openings

But don’t start stressing out! We created this go-to guide detailing the best times to go to Walt Disney World in 2022 to help make planning your trip that much easier. Let’s dive in so we can get you one step closer to hugging your favorite mouse.

Based on Weather

If you’re familiar with Florida at all, you know that during the summer months it feels like you are stepping out into a hot and sticky oven. So if humid heat is not your thing, the best time to go would be between mid-October and May.

Most people find the months of March and November to be the best when it comes to the weather at Disney World.

The other factor you definitely don’t want to forget when it comes to weather is the torrential downpours that are bound to happen at any moment during Florida’s rainy season. Rainy season is technically May 25 throughout October 10, with June being named the rainiest month. But in most cases, these massive rainstorms are over just as quickly as they start. And if you like to dance in the rain, it could add a whole new element of fun to the trip.

Based on Price

Anticipating the cheapest time to go to Walt Disney World can be a bit tricky as prices tend to fluctuate quite a bit from year to year. But we do have a sense of general trends for the cheapest times to visit the parks.

If you want the absolute cheapest tickets, your best bet is to go sometime during the month of September. The next best time to go if you want to save money would be between early January and President’s weekend in February because the demand at the park tends to decrease at this time.

On the flip side, the most expensive dates to go to Walt Disney World would be the following: 

  • New Year’s Day (1/1)
  • President’s Day & Marathon (2/19-2/27)
  • Easter and Spring Break (3/4-4/21)
  • Memorial Day (5/27-5/29)
  • Columbus Day (10/7-10/9)
  • Veterans Day (11/3-11/5)
  • Thanksgiving Week (11/19-11/27)
  • Christmas Week (12/17-12/31)

Based on Crowd Level

wait time for Splash Mountain

We all know that dealing with crowds is part of the deal when it comes to going to Walt Disney World, but there are times when you are less likely to have to swim through a sea of people.

Some of the least crowded times to visit the parks are when kids have returned to school after having a break. This is why the end of August and beginning of September along with late January and early February tend to be the least crowded months.

But another sneaky way you may also be able to figure out if the parks are less crowded is based on ticket price. Because Walt Disney World changes its ticket prices based on the demand, you can assume that days that are cheaper are less likely to be crowded at the parks.

One last thing you may want to consider when it comes to avoiding large crowds at Disney World is when they hold their major running events. These events attract a lot of people and cause increased traffic both in the parks and the surrounding areas. In 2022, the running events are scheduled for the following times:

  • Jan. 5-9: Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend
  • Feb. 24-27: Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend
  • March 31 – April 3: runDisney Springtime Surprise Weekend
  • Nov. 3-6: Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend

Based on Holidays

If you know you want to go to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party or you’re dying to see Main Street dressed to the nines in Christmas décor, you’re going to want to make sure you book your trip at the right time.

Halloween decorations are generally thought to show up during the end of the first week of September, but have been known to show up before this! You can find all the spooky decorations in the park until October 31st. It’s expected that Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party will be returning this year, but this has not been confirmed yet.

And once November 1st rolls around, you can bet the Disney World parks will be in the holiday spirit. If you want to see all the cute holiday decorations or you are craving peppermint-flavored treats, you will want to plan your trip sometime between November 1st and December 31st. Disney also has not yet confirmed if Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will be returning, but it is suspected that it will be returning in 2022.

You will find other holiday-related decorations in the parks near Easter and for the 4th of July, but Halloween and Christmas are the two holidays where the parks really go all out.

Based on Attraction Openings 

If you are a die-hard Guardians of the Galaxy fan or a Star Wars nerd, Walt Disney World has some new attractions coming in 2022 that you are not going to want to miss.

It’s time to experience what it’s like to be a Jedi with this one-of-a-kind interactive Star Wars resort right next to the parks. Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort is officially opening on March 1, 2022. Many of the first few weeks are already booked. So if this resort is a must on your Disney vacation checklist, book your reservations ASAP.

And if you’re a thrill-seeker who’s ready for a fast-paced spinning adventure, The Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind is the ride for you. While exact dates have not been released yet for this attraction’s opening, Disney has confirmed that it will be opening in the Summer of 2022.

And Disney has announced that the Animal Kingdom will have a newly re-imagined version of the previous Finding Nemo show called Finding Nemo: The Big Blue…And Beyond! At this time the official release date has not been announced, but keep an eye out as Disney is anticipated to release the opening date very soon!

With COVID constantly changing the dynamic at Disney World these next plans could be subject to change, but so far Disney has announced that parades will return starting with the Festival of Fantasy Parade in early 2022. And if you’re a big stage show fan, you’ll be happy to know that Disney also announced that Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire is coming to the forecourt stage at Cinderella’s castle in early 2022.

The Timing Isn’t Everything

At the end of the day, no matter when you go to Walt Disney World you’re going to have the time of your life. So don’t pull your hair out trying to calculate the exact perfect time to go.

Simply prioritize a few of the factors we discussed that matter most to you and then pick your dates. And just like that, you’re one step closer to hearing that addicting Magic Band sound and a belly full of churros!