When to Go to Disney World and What to Bring

Two of the most important considerations when planning a WDW trip are when to go and what to tote along. Once you know when to go, having that seasonal reference makes packing for the trip much easier. It would make sense then that the first thing you should decide in your vacation planning is when you would most like to go to the Walt Disney World Resort.

For those of you choosing to vacation without kids, we suggest scheduling your trip during a time of year when US schools are normally in session. This is a great way to avoid the sometimes massive crowds that flock to Walt Disney World during school-mandated holidays and summer breaks.

When To Go

We at WDW for Grownups think that the best time to head to Walt Disney World is during the fall and winter, because the crowds are low and the weather is still lovely. Not only are there tons of special events going on during this time of year, but this is usually a good time to find a great deal on your vacation package as well. Grownups that love Florida but want to avoid the oppressive heat of the summer will find the fall a delight. The days are warm and sunny, but get cooler after the sun goes down. Due to the cool nights and a small possibility of rain, you may want to be sure to pack a jacket to bring along. Of course if you’re looking for a souvenir a new WDW sweatshirt can always be found in the gift shops.

If you prefer going at another time of year, that’s fantastic too! We really believe anytime is really a good time for a Walt Disney World Vacation, this is just our favorite. Just to show you why we love the fall so much we thought we’d share a little more information with you.

Some of the our favorite WDW events happen in the fall and early winter seasons!

  • The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival happens October through Mid-November and is the best time of year for foodies. Over 60 food booths with tastes from around the globe are scattered around the World Showcase Lagoon and adults can stroll the festival while taking in exotic flavors. The festival center is home to seminars and demonstrations from the world renown chefs, wine makers and authors that feed the world with panache. At night, settle in for the Eat to the Beat Concert Series!
  • Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom is fun for children and adults alike! This hard ticket event held on specila nights during September and October is the only time of year that adults are able to dress up in costume and trick-or-treat through the Magic Kingdom. Dance Parties, Meet and Greets, Boo to You Halloween Parade and the spectacular HalloWishes Fireworks show.
  • Fabulously decorated for the holidays the Walt Disney World Resort Hotels make resort hopping a spectacular day in itself. Playing off of each resort’s theme the holiday decorations all fit in seamlessly celebrating the most wonderful time of the year with a true Disney flair. Displays such as the life size Gingerbread House at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa are truly stunning.
  • Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights takes place at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and bring the Christmas spirit alive on the Streets of America. Thanksgiving through New Years millions of LED lights illuminate, decorate, and dance to music celebrating all the joys of the season. With so much magic in the air it might even snow.
  • Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
  • is a fun filled holiday celebration where the Magic Kingdom is transformed into a Winter Wonderland during late November! The Castle even gets a makeover and is covered in twinkling lights hot chocolate if served, there are seasonal fireworks and a dream parade.

What to Bring

Now that you know when to go, It’s time to think about what you should bring! Packing for a trip to Walt Disney World doesn’t have to be stressful. Though you’ll find guests dressed in all manner of clothing, the general atmosphere for the WDW Resort is “Resort Casual”. Disney does have a brief list of prohibited attire.

Walt Disney World reserves the right to refuse entrance to anyone who is wearing clothing deemed offensive. This includes items such as transparent clothes, clothes with gang patches, offensive, obscene, or overtly violent T-shirts, excessively torn clothing and bikinis. Both Male and female guests are required to wear shirts and shoes at all times while touring a Disney Theme Park. Adults over the age of 9 are not allowed to wear costumes or clothes in which they could be mistaken for a costumed character.

In addition to appropriate daywear, several select Disney fine dining establishments also have a dress code to ensure the atmosphere of elegance is conveyed throughout the establishment.

Packing Lists

Every packing list is a little different, but there are a couple of basic questions that you should ask yourself when creating yours. What's the weather for the time of year is it? How long will you be staying? Do you need to dress for special activities?

If you plan on checking your luggage you may have the luxury of packing an outfit for every day. However if you want to travel lighter, take the number of days that you'll be traveling and divide it in half to determine how many outfits to bring. What ever method you use, be sure to leave an outfit out to wear your first day, and pack everything else.

Though each of these things will change depending on the vacation you have planned; I've gathered together a couple of ideas to help get you started with your packing list.

Now that you're thinking about when to go and what you'll be packing, why not check out some of our informative blog posts on the subject?