Now that we have our budget set we need to decide what dates to actually book our trip for. We have been to WDW for as few as two days to as many as twelve days. Each trip was dependent upon budget and the time constraints of how much vacation we had saved up.
Each time of year at WDW offers different things to do and see in the parks and around the grounds. WDW divides their hotel seasons into Value Season – generally considered off peak times when crowds are at their lowest but park hours are generally shorter; Peak Season – when the crowds are at there highest but park hours are much longer and Regular – when crowds are average and park hours are a little longer than Value Season.
Each time of year offers its own advantages as far as events at the park too. You can see the Flower and Garden Festival in the early Spring, the Food & Wine Festival at Epcot during the fall or the beautiful Christmas decorations during mid-November to the first week in January.
The Flower and Garden Festival has all the flowers in bloom and the gorgeous topiaries in each park. You may see Snow White and her dwarfs in Magic Kingdom and Donald and his Nephews in Animal Kingdom all created with wire, plants and flowers!
The Food and Wine Festival at Epcot brings out the best food and wine from around the world. There are many booths are set up around the World Showcase to highlight foods not only from the countries in World Showcase but also other countries not represented such as Ireland, Chile and Portugal. For a few dollars each you can get a sample of food and a small glass of wine or beer from many different countries. Some of our past favorites have been the Bobotie from South Africa, the Golden Shrimp from Japan and the maple fudge from Canada.
Last but not least is Christmas time. The decorations are not only in the parks but in the many hotels as well. Depending on the the timing of your vacation you may even see part of the taping for the Walt Disney World Christmas Parade to be shown on Christmas Day! Special tickets are needed for the day of the taping of the parade but you may see other tapings going on all around the parks. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is held on select nights at the Magic Kingdom during this time. With a special ticket that needs to be purchased separately from your regular entrance ticket you can enjoy a special parade, shows and rides throughout the Magic Kingdom. The Candlelight Processional in Epcot is a beautiful show that is held nightly in the American Theater in front of the American Pavillion. A special guest artist is brought in to read the Biblical Christmas story and they are backed with a full orchestra and chorus of singers from around the country. This event does not need a special ticket but special reserved seating is available with the purchase of a dinner package. We have sat both inside and outside the theater and loved the story and music as it is sometimes hard to remember for this Northerner that it is Christmas despite the 70 degree weather!
So the next step is to plan when you can go to WDW and the length of time you wish to stay.