Ready to plan your next Disney Vacation but on the fence trying to decide when to go? We’re taking a look at the best times to visit Walt Disney World for the remainder of 2022 and into 2023 to help you decide when to plan your next trip to “the Most Magical Place on Earth.”
This summer is shaping up to be a busy, but very exciting, time at Walt Disney World. Here’s what you can expect in terms of special events, crowds, and coming attractions:
The Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue returns to Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground on June 23, 2022, so if you have been waiting for this popular dinner show to come back, you can start planning your trip now!
The EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival runs through July 4, 2022, so if you visit early in the summer you may be able to sneak in a visit to see character topiaries, dine at outdoor kitchens, take in the Garden Rocks Concert Series, and more.
Disney’s Fourth of July fireworks in the Magic Kingdom are returning this year for the first time since 2019. In addition to the obvious that July 4 is a fun holiday to spend in the parks, this nighttime spectuclar is incredibly popular because it features perimeter fireworks around the park without the usual added cost of a special event ticket (like Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party).
The Magic Kingdom has reached capacity already in terms of theme park reservations on July 4, 2022, but if you book your trip soon, there is still availability to visit the park on July 3, and the fireworks run both evenings.
Later this summer, the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival kicks off earlier than ever on July 14, 2022, with nearly all aspects of the pre-pandemic version of the event returning, including global marketplaces, the Eat to the Beat Concert Series, and more.
And, at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the Festival of the Lion King show will return to its full version (with the tumble monkeys and aerial bird performers) on July 16, 2022, but Guests planning a trip around this time should note that the show will go dark from July 5-15, 2022.
In terms of crowds, this summer should be manageable in most areas of Walt Disney World for most of the season, but there are some problem areas to note. If you are looking at a very last-minute trip late this spring, EPCOT will likely see increased crowds due to the opening of the park’s newest attraction, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.
All of the parks will see increased crowds during Fourth of July week, with Magic Kingdom likely filling to capacity on July 3 (in addition to the fourth which is already booked up) potentially with other dates hitting capacity as well. Disney’s Animal Kingdom typically sees the lightest crowds this week, and the holiday could be a great day to focus on visiting Disney Springs or Disney resorts instead.
Fall may be the most opportune time for many Guests to visit Walt Disney World this year, as the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival continues through November 19, 2022, and Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party will be back at the Magic Kingdom for the first time since 2019.
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party runs select nights August 12-October 31, 2022, with crowds increasing at the event on weekends and the closer to Halloween you attend.
Crowds this fall should be lighter overall than during the summer, but EPCOT will likely continue to see increased crowds for some time due to Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios could see a surge depending on when Fantasmic! returns to the park (Disney has not yet confirmed a date other than “later in 2022.”)
If you were hoping to visit Walt Disney World this year and are not tied to a summer event like Flower & Garden Festival or Fourth of July fireworks, fall would be the better time to visit in terms of crowds, and pricing (there are some special offers for resort stays currently running on Disney’s official site that could help your wallet!)
Disney has not yet confirmed winter events and specials for this year, but given what was available last year we have some idea of what to expect.
Holiday experiences like gingerbread houses around Walt Disney World Resort hotels, the Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail, Candlelight Processional in EPCOT, and the Merry Menagerie in Disney’s Animal Kingdom should return this winter.
The event that many Guests would plan their winter trips around, however, would be Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party which has not run since 2019. In 2021, the Magic Kingdom hosted the Disney Very Merriest After-Hours event, which was more comparable to other after-hours experiences but with a seasonal flair.
Thanksgiving week and Christmas week leading up to New Year’s are historically the most crowded and most expensive dates to visit Walt Disney World, but they can be among the most magical if you are hoping to ring in the holidays at a Disney park.
An early December trip is a great way to experience holiday magic with smaller crowds, but for many Guests this will be dependent on the return of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, which has not yet been confirmed.
Spring 2023 and Beyond
Given the updates to the Walt Disney World vacation experience over the past two years, it seems possible that Walt Disney World will be close to complete “normalcy” in 2023. If you have been waiting for everything that was paused during the pandemic to return before your next trip, you will want to look at spring 2023 (or perhaps even later.)
The new TRON Lightcycle / Run attraction in the Magic Kingdom should be open by next year, though Disney has yet to announce an opening date, and crowds coming to the parks for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind will taper off the longer the attraction has been open.
The main consideration for trips in spring of next year or later, is the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World. The 50th-anniversary celebration ends in March 2023, so if visiting Disney World during this occasion is a priority, you’ll want to book your next trip before it ends.
Whenever you choose to plan your next trip, the magic will be waiting for you, and we can’t wait to help you plan! Check back here on Disney Tips for the latest updates on events and attractions, and tips for your next Disney vacation.