Hitchhiking Ghouls Guide to Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World Travel Tips

This page will eventually become one giant travel advice board, but I’ve been having too much fun writing my hodge-podge of blog posts instead. I aim to slowly update this board, a little bit at a time.

My Tip of the Day

Book your trip for one of the slow times of year. Not only are the resorts cheaper than during peak times, but the parks are also much, MUCH emptier. Furthermore, you may get to enjoy special discounts and deals like free dining or up to 30% off your on-site resort stay.

These are the best times to travel:

  • The first week after New Year’s until roughly the beginning of February
  • The week in February after Presidents Day Week
  • Last week of August and all of September – note: we traveled to WDW last year in the first 2 weeks of September. Longest wait we saw posted was 45 minutes at Toy Story Midway Mania, which is almost ridiculously short for that ride. Even in January, saw 2-hour wait times. Most rides were 5-10 minute waits. You’ll often see rack-rate discounts of up to 30% on WDW resort rooms, and free dining usually takes place on certain blocks of dates from early September until mid-December.
  • Mid-November until mid-December (with the exception of Thanksgiving Weekend).

Worst times to travel (most expensive and most crowded)

  • December 24-January 1
  • March Break
  • Late June until last week of August
  • Thanksgiving Weekend
  • Any major US holiday weekends
  • “Jersey Week” (in 2014, November 3-7). Basically, New Jersey teachers have a convention November 6 and 7, meaning that many parents pull their kids out of school for the week to go to Disney World. The state that sends the most visitors per capita to Disney World is indeed New Jersey, so that’s what happens.
  • January/July during South American school breaks – If you’ve ever been to Disney World and seen large throngs of South Americans (usually from Brazil and Argentina) wearing identical t-shirts with tour leaders bearing flags, you’ll know what I mean. These groups are huge, and they gum up attractions queues and restaurant lines. They are also too often cavalier about disregarding queues and social convention as well, and when the paper Fastpass system existed, you’d often see tour group leaders feeding dozens of park tickets into a machine, blocking it up for a long time. If you see a tour group headed to a ride, show or restaurant you are headed to, RUN, and get in front of them. Otherwise, your wait may increase dramatically.

 

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