Have you ever heard of the Disney Value Season? If you haven’t, I’m (hopefully) about to rock your world!
Based on the time of year and how many people Disney expects to attract to their parks, there are different “seasons”. These seasons affect everything from crowds to resort prices to special offers and everything in between. You probably can guess which times of the year are most expensive. Many weekends during the summer and holiday seasons (mostly Halloween and Christmas) drive the most crowds and therefore cost the most. This is considered the “Peak” season. School breaks, like Thanksgiving and Spring break, also cost a pretty penny. Most of the summer and spring, as well as a good number of days in the fall are considered “regular” season. This is when you can expect a good number of people, but prices won’t be hiked due to a holiday or special event.
That leaves a few weeks in between that we call the “value” season. This is when tickets are cheapest, hotel rates are lower, and crowds are relatively light. If you want the most bang for you buck, you’ve got to book during this time!
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So when IS Value Season?
Typically, Value Season starts right after the New Year and goes through most of February and the beginning of March. There is also a small chunk of Value Season time after Labor Day before things really kick off for Halloween. There are a few days that are considered Peak or Regular, like Valentine’s Day, but generally most days during these months are value days. You can also find some Value days during the month of May before schools let out around Memorial Day.
What Kind of Crowds Can I Expect?
Generally you’ll find the crowds are pretty light during the Value Season. This is because families aren’t traveling during this time. Kids are still in school and there are no major holidays, so families aren’t usually planning big trips during these months. The weather is still very mild year round in both California and Florida, but many people prefer the hot summer weather. Therefore, you’ll likely find the crowds much easier to navigate than during the summer. In fact, one year in March, my sister and I got to ride Splash Mountain TWICE all by ourselves, because the Cast Members let us stay on due to the fact that NO ONE was in line! Literally NO ONE!
What does “mild” weather mean exactly?
Don’t head to Florida expecting snow in January, but I would still pack a jacket. In March in Florida, I usually wore a light sweatshirt and shorts at night and was pretty comfortable. If you’re going to be going on any water rides, pack a change of clothes so you’re not freezing. During the day, it’s usually still pretty hot. I even went swimming once or twice! The weather in Disneyland was also pretty similar in January. So in short, pack a few different options and take it day by day. Definitely take down a pair of jeans and a light jacket, and extra cash to buy a hoodie if you need to!
How Much Money Can I Save?
One of the best things about Value Season is how much cheaper it is to stay on property! yourfirstvisit.net has a fantastic crowd calendar that I use to determine what the best value is going to be when I’m planning a trip. This list is broken down by type of resort – value, moderate and deluxe. Depending on which resort you want to stay at, you can pick the best time to travel and save the most!
Additionally, there are been great packages on dining during these times. I’ve gotten 20% off the Deluxe Dining Plan by going the week before Spring Break starts!
Special Events CAN be enjoyed during Value Season!
Depending on when you go, you can manage to squeeze in some holiday fun to your Value Season trip! For example – in California, we went to Disneyland right after the New Year. We were able to catch the tail end of the Holiday season at Disneyland at a fraction of the cost! We were able to experience the Haunted Mansion holiday overlay (SO cool!) as well as the holiday decor. Not only that, it was during the Disneyland 60th Diamond Celebration as well! We got to see the special holiday World of Color too, despite Christmas having been a few weeks prior!
During our March trip to Disneyworld, we got to experience the first few days of the Flower and Garden festival. All the topiaries were put up overnight, and we got to check out all the festival happenings – all during our cheap vacation stay!
Overall, I’ve had some of the best visits during Value Season. We got to do basically everything, the weather wasn’t terrible, and even airfare was cheaper as well! If you have flexibility on when you can travel to Disney, I highly recommend booking during the Value Season.
Questions on traveling during the Value Season? Drop me a comment! And if you love Disney be sure to subscribe to my newsletter while you’re here. You’ll get weekly newsletters and a FREE WDW Planning Checklist as a thank you when you sign up!