When you think of Disney World, you probably think of summertime. That’s when the kids are out, the days are long… and so are the lines. Or maybe you’re a holiday parkgoer, enjoying the haunted park during Halloween or the Santa hats in December.
While we’re never going to tell you there’s a bad time to visit, we think there’s a secret season in the park, and that’s the wintertime. Post-holidays, pre-summer vacation means fewer visitors, genuinely better weather and just as many rides. There are also some secretly festive foods and some excellent events, including an international arts festival at the Epcot park.
If you’ve been eager to try new rides, see popular shows and move around the park without bumping elbows with the rest of the crowd, there’s no better time than now. Here’s why winter is an ideal time to book your ticket.
Do: Na’vi River Journey
One of the newest attractions at Disney World, the four-and-a-half-minute journey is an animatronic jungle wonderland.
One of the most popular rides in the park, Soarin’ takes you through simulated world destinations and even includes smells like oranges.
Do: Expedition Everest
Consistently rated as a top ride at the park, it’s the largest fake mountain in the park and a thriller of a ride. Plus, it’s the closest you’ll get to snow in Orlando.
Do: Disney After Hours
Stay after hours at Magic Kingdom Park on select dates through January and March. The park empties out and you’ll have wait-free access to some of the park’s most popular attractions.
See: Future World
One of the “lands” in the Disney Epcot park, the area imagines what future-age technology could make of the world.
See: Galactic Spectacular
This Star Wars-inspired pyrotechnic, special-effect and laser show rivals the park’s fireworks display and is a must-see for any Star Wars fan.
See: Rivers of Light
This water-based light show in the park’s Animal Kingdom features animals and symphony music for a truly spectacular experience.
Eat: Galactic Churro
This Star Wars-inspired churro is a fun way to fuel up while you take on more rides at the park.
Eat: Peppermint Hot Chocolate Churro
Winter’s not over yet, as this peppermint hot chocolate churro proves.
Eat: Snowman Cookie
It’s nowhere near freezing in Orlando, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a snowman of your own.
Eat: Cheshire Cat Tails
The Cheshire Cat would surely grin about this tasty cat tail doughnut.
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