Before you can effectively start planning a Disney trip you really need to establish just when you want to go (not an exact date but a ballpark time frame). There are lots of things to consider so let’s discuss some of them.
Weather – May sound funny but lots of people don’t consider the weather in Florida when planning a trip. It can be VERY hot during the summer months (especially for us northern folk who are not used to that kind of heat). There is also a time period (Late August through September) that is considered ‘hurricane season’ and traveling during that time period poses some additional possible weather risks. Lots of people prefer to travel during the ‘colder’ months (December through March) to give them a break from the cold.
Crowds – You should also consider what type of crowd you want to encounter when you arrive in Florida. Disney’s peak season runs from February-April and again from June-August. This conveniently is also when school is out so more families are able and willing to plan vacations. Prices/rates are highest during these times which is why we NEVER go during peak season. It is too hot, too crowded and costs too much. We prefer to travel to Disney during the months of October, November and December. The crowds are lighter, prices are lower, weather is cooler and we get to enjoy the holiday festivities to include Halloween and/or Christmas. More on Disney crowds can be found here.
Tip – If you don’t like crowds stay away from special events at Disney such as Star Wars and Soap Opera Weekends – they are crazy busy!
Time frame – When we plan our Disney trips we give ourselves at least 1 year to plan our trip. This gives us ample time to decide when to go, where to stay and most importantly save the money needed for the trip! The good news is if you book a trip directly through Disney they only require a $200 deposit with the remainder due 45 days prior to your arrival and you can book your trip over 1 year in advance. Then you can make payments (monthly, weekly) towards your balance while having more than enough time to plan the rest of your trip – more on this is discussed in the onsite lodging and ticket section of this site.