The sheer scope of decisions you are faced with at every level when planning a Disney vacation is enough to make even the most enthusiastic and organized among us tremble.
So, let’s start with the first and most basic question: when do you want to go? There are a great many things to consider but let’s be real, here. Weather ranks pretty high up there as a deciding factor.
Avoiding the Most Common Disney Mistake
Before we dive into the month-by-month specifics, let us introduce you to Florida’s best friend: humidity.
If Walt Disney World is the beauty, humidity is the beast. If the parks are heaven, the summer temps are….ok, you get it. This is our friendly reminder that humidity makes Florida heat (and cold, for that matter) just hit differently.
A huge mistake people often make is comparing Florida weather to the weather of their daily lives (where, if we’re being honest, we spend most of the time indoors). When considering which temps are better for standing in that 120-minute Rise of the Resistance line, you cannot just go by numbers.
45 degrees in January probably sounds nice when it’s snowing where you are, but we promise you it’s really pretty miserable when you’re outside for 10+ hours each day and the humidity makes that balmy 45 feel more like a bone-chilling 20.
Our project manager today actually told me that zero degrees in Maine feels better to her than 30 degrees outside in central Florida. She was completely serious. 😳
Don’t get us started on the heat.
Factoring Crowd Levels into Your Weather Decisions
While this post is meant to be a weather guide, crowd balance is just as important in many people’s decision about choosing a time to travel to the parks. If you’re traveling in the summer, for example, even moderate heat can feel infinitely worse with heavy crowds.
Alright—it’s time to look at what you need to know weather-wise for each month at Disney!
Unfiltered Breakdown of Disney Weather Each Month
Historically, January has been reputed to be a fairly lower crowd time to visit due to the post-holidays lull and cooler weather. Things have changed a lot in recent years, crowds are more moderate most of the time. It’s still an easier time to visit (and cheaper!) if you’re willing to brave the temperature lows made possible by that uniquely Florida brand of humidity.
Personally? We’re over it. We used to have an annual end-of-January work trip each year, but it gets so cold that we just can’t recommend it to anyone anymore, unless you enjoy cold!
Stats: Average high of 71 and average low of 49. Feels like 20 when you’re outside all day in the cold though.
Things to consider: Popular time for ride refurbishments, runDisney marathon dates, water park closures, New Year’s Day brings the highest crowd levels of the year.
What to pack: Warm, heavier layers!
Where the last week of January can be in the 40s, the first week of February can suddenly feel like a tropical getaway with some days hitting the sunny 80s. It can still be a toss-up, especially early on in the month. If you’re someone looking for a winter getaway and appreciate more moderate temps, we recommend holding out for February! Warmth, however, is not guaranteed. Those set on hitting the pool, we recommend waiting for consistently warmer months.
Stats: Average high of 76 and average low of 54.
Things to consider: President’s Day crowds, beginning of Spring Break season.
What to pack: Lighter clothing for daytime, but make sure to bring warm layers for cooler mornings/evenings.
March in Florida checks a lot of boxes weather-wise, and it’s one of our favorite months to visit Disney. It’s almost always warm enough to work in some pool time as well as fulfill that “escape winter” desire if it’s still cold where you live. Weather can still be a little erratic, with some days not quite warming up as much as others (it happens). But it can get HOT by the second half of the month.
Stats: Average high of 79 and average low of 56.
Things to consider: Spring break crowds begin in full swing, bringing heavier crowds.
What to pack: Prepare for warm days, but pack light layers for the evenings or for the occasional chillier day.
Spring is in full bloom! April at Disney definitely starts to bring the heat, but in a comfortable(ish…) way. You won’t have as much of that stifling humidity or scorching heat that the summer months bring.
Stats: Average high of 85 and average low of 63.
Things to consider: Residual Spring Break crowds beginning of the month, usually second half of month can be pretty wonderfully slow. Flower & Garden Festival at EPCOT.
What to pack: Plan for heat! Light, summer clothing and swimsuits. We’d still pack a hoodie for the cooler evenings.
Three words: summer is here. Maybe not where you live, but it certainly is in Orlando. The heat really picks up this month and the afternoon sun means business. Typically, the later in May you visit, the wetter and muggier it gets. Mid- to end of May will kick off the rainy season.
Stats: Average high of 88 and average low of 68.
Things to consider: Memorial Day Weekend brings in crowds, but not like Spring Break.
What to pack: Plan for heat. You likely won’t have to pack layers.
Initiate Summer Preparation Sequence. Set phasers to SUN (oops…wrong franchise). All joking aside, chances are that most people visiting Disney at this time of year are not used to this level of heat or humidity. Rainy season is also in full effect, so plan for heat AND rain, often in the form of heavy afternoon showers that don’t last too long.
Stats: Average high of 91 and average low of 73.
Things to consider: Nothing major affecting crowd level except for the beginning of summer vacation for most families.
What to pack: Sunscreen! Plan for heat.
One of the hottest months of the year, July at Disney is not for the faint of heart. Prepare for lots of afternoon showers and thunderstorms. The average humidity is 75% which, if you aren’t sure, is roughhhhh.
Stats: Average high of 92 and average low of 74
Things to consider: Not going. Kidding, kidding! Taking AC breaks. The Fourth of July fireworks show at Magic Kingdom usually draws crowds (check for additional dates/times). Food & Wine at EPCOT has now been starting in July each year.
What to pack: Sunscreen! Aside from the obvious summer clothing choices, we also strongly recommend bringing cooling towels and refillable water bottles. Open-toed shoes or sandals (if you can) to avoid that squishy, wet sock/wet tennis shoe situation after it rains.
Still hot. Still so hot. Much like July, August is one of the hottest months of the year. Prepare for those afternoon rain showers and thunderstorms. The end of August marks the beginning of hurricane season (see September).
Stats: Average high of 92 and average low of 75.
Things to consider: Take those AC breaks! End of August also marks “back to school” for many, here is where we’ve historically seen the beginning of lower crowd levels.
What to pack: See July.
Maybe it’s the beginning of fall where you live. It is not in Orlando. Heat and humidity are only marginally “cooler” than July/August, and most afternoons will be affected by rain or thunderstorms due to peak hurricane season.
It’s worth noting that while traveling to Disney during hurricane season isn’t ideal on paper, Orlando is inland by one hour. While a hurricane would definitely bring in all kinds of nasty weather and potentially mess up flights while you’re there, it is less risky than people make it out to be. If you can handle the heat and erratic weather patterns, go for a September visit! The low crowd levels and way cheaper hotels are worth it.
Stats: Average high of 90 and average low of 73.
Things to consider: Back to school + hurricane season make this time of year pretty tolerable as far as crowds go.
What to pack: Same as July/August, sparky!
Probably one of the more temperamental months, October can either feel like March or August. It largely depends on if you’re visiting in early or late October, but we recommend planning for hot weather.
Some days might bring in cooler weather, while others can be just as unbearably hot as the summer months. In other words, we very much enjoy visiting now but you probably won’t see us putting any bets on the weather.
Stats: Average high of 85 and average low of 67.
Things to consider: Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party dates are in full swing this month, so watch those park hours.
What to pack: Swimsuit and maybe some light layers for potentially cooler mornings or evenings.
While days still err on the warm to hot side, that stinging scorch of summer heat really begins to drop off. Usually an amazing month for weather at Disney, especially for those who enjoy warm but not blazing hot temps.
Stats: Average high of 79 and average low of 59.
Things to consider: “Jersey Week” brings a bump to crowd levels, as does Thanksgiving.
What to pack: Pack light layers in preparation for cooler mornings/evenings.
Early December can still bring weather warm enough for swimming (especially since the pools are heated), but now we’re starting to get truly chilly mornings and evenings. The milder temps combined with some truly impressive Christmas decor around the parks and resorts make this a really pleasant time of year to visit!
Stats: Average high of 76 and average low of 55.
Things to consider: Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve bring in the highest crowds of the year.
What to pack: Early December visitors, bring a swimsuit if you’re set on taking a dip. Otherwise light to warm layers for the mornings and evenings, especially toward the middle and end of the month.
Deciding Whether You Can Weather the Weather
There are lots of things to consider when picking a time to go, and desired weather is a highly personal preference. Hopefully, the full guide above helps narrow down your selection, but here’s the quick and dirty breakdown in case you’re looking for more of a re-cap.
- March and October are going to be some of the best times to visit, because it’s usually still warm enough to enjoy the pools and water parks without the burning heat of summer.
- July and August bring in record heat and humidity plus the naturally occurring summer vacation crowds, making this time of year difficult to recommend. But, for some, it’s the only time they can feasibly visit, so just remember to hydrate, pace yourself, and take advantage of anything and everything air-conditioned!
- Temps in the 40s make January seem palatable, but the reality is that the humidity makes it feel glacial. This one is a hard pass for us.
We like visiting at the beginning of May for a combo of lower crowds and good weather. It’s usually quite hot already, but more manageable than the absolute sauna that is June through September in Orlando.
And yet…as the sting from our sunburns eventually fades, and the heat and humidity are nothing more than a muggy memory, we find we are once again planning that Disney July trip and telling ourselves, “Summer wasn’t really that bad, was it?“