Thrifty Thursday: Off-season vs. Peak Season = Discounts!

Yes, Virginia, the mouse has off-season dates!  How about having the “magic” at a discount?  Besides the cost there is another advantage to off –season Disney trips – less crowds in the parks!  The parks during Disney’s off-season times are just less crowded so if you happen to be the adult Mouseketeer, home school, or can pull your kiddos out of school for a few days be sure to look into going to Disney during the off-season dates. 

Here’s a summary of the BEST times to visit Disney World (DW)! 

  • Second week of January through mid-February. Be sure to take a coat, hat and mittens just in case Florida has one of its cold-snaps, but usually the weather is just on the cool, not cold side.  You’ll find reduced rates and almost no waiting in line time.  The downside to this particular off-season time is that DW refurbishes rides during this time so one of your favorites might be closed.  TIP:  avoid any holiday weekends.
  • First three weeks of May.  This is a great time and one of our favorite times to go!  Crowds and prices are usually reduced since schools are still in session.  Memorial Day weekend is usually a bit more crowded.  The weather is warming up for summer in May but not unbearable… throw those shorts in your suitcase!
  • Late August through end of September.  The downside to this off-season is that this is hurricane season in Florida and it is summer-time hot!  The upside advantages are resorts all have swimming pools and you can use the hottest part of the day to hop over to one of the water parks; off-site hotels tend to offer dirt-cheap rates; AND since 2005, Disney has offered “free dining” packages! 
  • Mid-November through mid-December, excluding the week of Thanksgiving.  This is one of my favorite times to visit DW since all systems are go for Christmas decorations and special holiday events, such as Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and Osborne Lights!  The weather is cooler but usually pleasant (take a sweatshirt or jacket, just in case). 

Disney value and moderate resorts fluctuate in price substantially between peak and off-season.  For example, Steve and I have gone off-season during January and saved 50% on our resort stay over the price if we had chosen to go in mid-February when the peak season begins.  Disney World resort prices also differentiate according to a particular time of year, such as peak season in mid-February is 50% higher than off-season, but when the Easter peak season begins, the price is 75% higher than the off-season resort price.  As you can see, doing Disney World in the off-season months can save you money!

Till next time! ~ Leigh Anne

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Leigh Anne, originally from Mississippi, lives in North Alabama with her husband and a menagerie of furry kids (FIDS), including dogs, cats, exotic birds, fish and a lionhead rabbit. Figment, her African Grey parrot, is named after Disney’s small purple dragon, Figment. She works as a motivational speaker and pastoral counselor. In 1974, Leigh Anne marched with the Enka High Marching Band in the Magic Kingdom daytime parade. Leigh Anne fell in love with Disney while on her Disney honeymoon with her husband in 2002. They have made an annual trip back to Disney to celebrate their anniversary every year since. Since they own a piece of the mouse with their Disney Vacation Club (DVC), some years they go twice! She also plans to be the grandmother that introduces all her grandchildren to Disney World first. She has a great start ~ 2 out of 3 so far! As a DVC member married to the best Disney shopper in the world, Leigh Anne has lots of experience in finding the most frugal way to have the most fun in the parks and resorts! Leigh Anne admits to being spoiled as a DVC member but is always on the lookout to keep their WDW vacations fun and frugal! She blogs at Queen of Hysteria and tweets @la_haygood

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2 Responses to Thrifty Thursday: Off-season vs. Peak Season = Discounts!

  1. Michele says:

    Planning a 6 day trip to Disney from August 17 to August 23rd but have not booked it yet. Right now there are no current specials posted for this time aside from it being cheaper to book a room. When do they normally announce specials for that time of year? Also worried that a 4 day park hopper will not be enough and thinking about tacking on an extra 1 day base ticket just in case. Is this all really do able? A special like “free Dining” would be a BLESSING when I keep bouncing between Quick Meal- no meal – Disney Dining. So confusing, but want to book early so I can make ADRs for Fanatasmic! Dining Experience for our first night there.

    • Nancy says:

      Hi Michele, you have some great questions. Promotions for summer won’t be announced probably for a few weeks yet, perhaps at some point in March or so. But you may want to book sooner because, as you said, you will want to make your Advanced Dining reservations. If you want to contact me at I would be happy to discuss this with you a bit more. 🙂 Happy Planning!

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