Wednesday, October 13, 2010

When to Visit Walt Disney World with the Kids

Hayley cooling off in the Emporium by trying on hats
The first decision when planning a trip to Disney is deciding when to go. There are so many factors to consider, especially when you have children. Do you take your children out of school or use school vacation times? What type of weather will your children be able to tolerate? What special events do you think would enhance your trip that may only occur during one season per year?

Taking your child out of school is a personal choice and only you know what is best for your children. The obvious benefit of taking your child out of school to visit Walt Disney World is to go when the parks are not as busy and cost less. By going during value season, you can save significant money off the price of your hotel. Plus, since most children will be in school, you are almost certain to have shorter wait times for rides and attractions than you would during regular, peak or holiday seasons. The drawback is that normally the parks open later and close earlier, so you have less time to get in everything you need. Plus, with shorter hours, there will be a reduced number of evening parades or nighttime shows. On the other hand, there are negatives to taking your child out of school. I can say as a former teacher there is no amount of worksheets or assignments that will make up what is missed during classes. Some school systems, to discourage traveling during the school year, will not allow the teacher to give your child work and what is missed is considered incomplete. The best thing you can do when trying to make this decision is first check your school’s policy and check with the teacher. You must also consider how your child will handle missing that time from school. Luckily for us, we haven’t had to worry about this yet since none of our children are in school yet.

Weather is also a factor for us when deciding to go to Disney. We cannot travel during months that are extremely hot. One of our daughters easily overheats when the temperature is barely into the eighties, so for us, a summer vacation trip just wouldn’t work. But we don’t want to visit during the colder months for the simple fact that we have enough cold days here in New Hampshire and like to vacation where it is warm. Besides, traveling from the Northeast during the winter months always poses the issue of flights being canceled because of snowstorms. This almost happened to us one very snowy, stressful Saturday in February 2000 when we almost didn’t make it to Orlando to meet up with the rest of our family, who were already in Disney. Since then, I have avoided planning trips in the winter, but I may almost be over it! Luckily, we have found April and October to be suitable weather for us. It is warm, but not so much that we are constantly having to search out air conditioning and trying to find places to cool off Hayley. In addition, in all the vacations we have taken during these two months, we have rarely had a rainy day. When it did rain, it was more of a mist that cleared quickly. So we have had very good luck.

Finally, throughout the year, Walt Disney World hosts some amazing events. One year I would love to bring my children to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, which is on select dates in November and December. In September and October, there is Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. If you wanted to attend these events, you would have to visit during one of those times. There are many other events during the year, but these are the two that I consider really kid-friendly, though are enjoyable for adults too.

What is your favorite month to bring your kids? 
Feel free to leave a comment and share your experiences!

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