Advice Needed-When to Visit

After about 4 perfectly planned trips planned and cancelled because of covid, we ended up going to FL the beginning of February and stayed with family. While it wasn’t the Disney trip we had been hoping for, we did visit Chef Mickey’s one day and spent one long day at MK from open to close. Both kids are loved the rides and seeing the characters in the cavalcades. We had promised DD8 a Disney trip for her 7th birthday, which would have been over our 10th Anniversary (we were married in Disney). My DS1’s favorite thing is still Mickey & friends. I get the whole argument about how he won’t remember the vacation but seeing him at Chef Mickey’s in February when Mickey walked in the room was the highlight of my year.

We took DD8 on full Disney trips when she was 2 and 3. Then at 4 visited MK for a day and at 5 did a Universal trip. There is a lot of new things we haven’t seen because we haven’t been to AK, HS or Epcot since Oct of 2016 (before Pandora even). My DH has finally agreed to us planning another trip but his criteria is that the temperatures must be below 90° each day (well he would prefer even cooler but come on, it’s FL). The other most important thing would be to go when it is least crowded, which kinda isn’t a thing anymore. I looked at the crowd calendar and there is no magical uncrowded time coming up in the fall/winter. There are so many unknowns right now. While fast passes had their flaws, we could get on whichever rides we wanted with careful planning and same day fast passes with low waits. I don’t want to be split up all day while my oldest waits in long lines to ride the thrill rides DS is too small to get on. Plus toddlers don’t want to wait in super long lines themselves (nor do their parents :wink:).

I admit to being a bit burnt out from planning the cancelled trips bit if I narrow down a time then I can start getting excited about planning again. When do you suggest going (to minimize waits and not be too hot)? I don’t know how much I can trust the crowd calendars right now. The 50th Anniversary scares me with the crowds when combined with the backlog of all the people suddenly wanting to travel now they are vaccinated.

  1. October/November/December 2021?
  2. January/February 2022?
  3. Fall/early winter 2022?

Also, we still have an airline credit for over $550 that we will lose if we don’t use by the end of the year so that is a point in favor of #1. Also my DS will be 2 until next summer so #1 or #2 will be a money saver.

Thanks to anyone willing to help me figure this out!


I would say that the week after Thanksgiving is usually pretty amazing, but with the 50th coming up, I’m hesitant to advise that bc I worry that it’s going to be crazy. I would honestly choose fall/winter 2022 aside from the loss of travel funds.
Fwiw, I agree with your hubby about weather and we used to exclusively travel in late November early December for that reason. Work now makes that a little more difficult to pull off.

Right? It’s like there is no good option right now. Which is why I posted the question versus figuring it out myself haha. The temperature thing really limits us, especially not knowing if masks will still be required. I was studying the crowd calendars hoping a great week would magically appear but no such luck. It would be nice to see the parks decorated for Christmas. I have usually gone in March, May and October.

This isn’t what you want to hear (and I’m not happy about it either), but I think crowds are going to be very heavy for all those times. Heavier during the first couple weeks of the 50th celebration, Thanksgiving week, MLK weekend, President’s Day weekend and Christmas break, but more crowded than usual the other times. There is likely a lot of built up demand.

For what it is worth, my suggestion is to pick whichever dates work best for your family (while avoiding the highest holiday crowd times). Another thing to consider is when things will be back to “normal” in terms of fireworks, shows, meet and greets, character meals, etc. We don’t know the answer to all those yet.

Thank you! I guess I will need to just keep up with the announcements and this forum. The crowds wouldn’t be so bad if there was a way to help mitigate some of the waits (besides the 30 minute early entry for on-site guests starting TBD). At least we got one MK day in this year to get us through until the next trip. We were able to do everything but SDMT which never had under about a 60 minute wait that day. Going through the TTC put us too far behind the other rope droppers to hit that first.

I would check with your airline and see if they can extend the credit. I don’t think they can just keep your money and say you’re sol similar to how gift cards can’t legally expire.

They have already extended it 3 times. We were supposed to travel May 2020. The airline is Spirit so I don’t hold out any hope that it will get extended again. We were able to use some of the credit when we went to FL in Feb. but the tickets were $19.99 a person so we still have a large credit. It was more expensive to fly a bag than one of us!

Omg $550 of credit with Spirit?!? Yeah that would cover flights for me on them for like… 7 years lol

I’d still check. Or maybe you can use it to book a hotel through their website? Not sure if that is an option.

My favorite time is the first 2 weeks in December; the Thanksgiving crowd is gone, the heavy Christmas crowd is not there yet, but all of the decorations and activities are in full swing. And the weather is usually good.


I was leaning towards those weeks if we go this year. Sounds like a great time to go in a normal year.

I had a similar issue with tickets through Sun Country - use it or lose it, sooner than I wanted to travel. I called to ask what they could do, and the guy said to just book plane tickets for a month or two out, and then cancel them. (There were no change fees. Is Spirit still doing that?). That reset my timer, so I could schedule something for when I really wanted.

I did have to spend a little time playing with baggage fees and seat assignments, so that I didn’t lose too much on the rebooking, but it worked out.

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Thanks! I will look into it and see if that’s an option.