During the winter season in Orlando, crowds are smaller which makes it an ideal time to visit Disney World Theme Parks. From January through March, you can navigate parks like the Magic Kingdom with ease, and hop on rides like Space Mountain and Journey with The Little Mermaid with little to no wait. The only downside to visiting during this time is the parks tend to close earlier than they do in peak season. So, what should you do on a Disney World winter vacation? Let’s find out.
1) Stay at a Disney World Resort Hotel
With smaller crowds comes a smaller window of time for Disney guests to visit the parks. If you stay at a Disney World Resort Hotel, you can maximize your time by shortening both your drive time and taking advantage of Extra Magic Hours at Disney Parks. Extra Magic Hours allow up to three additional hours at a Disney theme park open only to Disney Resort guests. It’s kind of the best! Plus, with the extra time, you can park hop without feeling rushed.
You may be seeing dollar signs at the thought of Disney World Resort prices, but that’s not the case for all. For example, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort and Disney’s Pop Century Resort are affordable and moderately priced.
2) Take a Break at Disney Springs
Downtown Disney has been completely transformed into the throwback, small-town styled Disney Springs. Here, you can take a break from the parks or visit after a day of character-filled adventures. From The Marketplace to the West Side, The Landing to The Town Center, one-of-a-kind shops, boutiques, and eateries line the way. Favorites for kids are World of Disney, LEGO Imagination Center, and the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. That’s not all, though. Entertainment is available at Disney Springs, too. For example, you can see the incredible talents of Cirque du Soleil artists or roll a strike at Splitsville, a lux lounge where bowling, pool, and more fun awaits.
3) Enjoy the Winter Weather (Seriously!)
Luckily Orlando’s southern location makes for a relatively warm vacation climate year-round. Average highs are in the lower to mid-70s—balmy compared to many other destinations! As a result, a Disney World winter vacation is the perfect escape from the cold.
One of the best ways to enjoy the mild temps is by making a splash–literally! Many Disney World Resort Hotels offer exceptional aquatic amenities. A few of my favorites are Disney’s Boardwalk Inn, Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and Disney’s Yacht Club Resort. Many have indoor pools and water features, but outdoor pools are heated too. With the Disney-designed waterscapes, families can splash around for hours before they even know it! Furthermore, massive pools, twisting slides, lounge-laden sundecks, hot tubs, zero entry pools, waterfalls and more equal waves of fun for all.
4) Visit Other Disney World Resort Hotels
Disney World Resorts are expertly designed creating immersive environments with amenities all their own. During your Disney World winter vacation, why not spend time at these hidden gems? For instance, you can go for a horse-drawn New Orleans-inspired carriage ride at Port Orleans Riverside; stroll the Boardwalk at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn to get a seaside taste of dining, dancing and performances; watch the nighttime Electrical Water Pageant from the Polynesian Resort, Grand Floridian Resort, Contemporary Resort, Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness; or dine at renowned restaurants like the California Grill at the Contemporary Resort or Victoria & Albert’s at the Grand Floridian.
5) Plan a Date Night for Two
Many Disney World Resort Hotels have children’s activity centers and babysitting services. Subsequently, it’s easy to plan a date night for just Mom and Dad. And don’t worry! The kids will be having so much fun they won’t even notice you’re gone. At these activity centers they can make crafts, play games, watch Disney movies and dinner is even included in the cost. Locations include the Simba’s Cubhouse at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Lilo’s Playhouse at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Cub’s Den at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Sandcastle Club at Disney’s Beach Club Resort and Camp Dolphin at Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel. Reservations are highly recommended.
Put these Disney World winter vacation tips to the test this season. You’re sure to break away from the winter blues in Orlando, Florida.
Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Orlando to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.