Monday, June 7, 2010

Late August: Is It Worth the Heat?

I went to Walt Disney World last August, and every day I looked like I do in this picture.  Yes, I did wear the ears every day, but that's not the point.  The point is, I wore a tank top.  Every single day.  Because it was way too hot to even consider a t-shirt.

I'm going back this August, so obviously I liked that time of year enough.  And I do love late August.  If you can get past the unbelievable heat and humidity, it's a great time to go for a multitude of reasons.  To me, it's definitely worth it.

First and foremost, it's value season.  There is a huge difference in price from August 15th to August 16th, so if you can move your dates around a little to fit it in value season, I would highly suggest it.  This is super important for us college students who are pretty much always running low on cash.

Second, there are tons of discounts offered at this time.  There is traditionally free dining, which I love, but I know that this offer's not for everyone.  The great thing is that it doesn't have to be.  Disney generally offers other amazing offers during this time of year because it's a hard time to get people in the parks.  Which brings me to point number three...

There aren't a ton of people.  Lots of schools go back during the middle of August, but if your school doesn't, it's a great time to go.  Crowds are generally low which can make an unbearable heat a little more bearable.  It also means less wait time and more ride time.

Since the heat is a lot to handle, I have a few suggestions for making the best of it.  First of all, get to the park at rope drop.  I can't stress this enough.  It stinks to wake up early, but it's worth it for what you get to do.  You can ride tons of rides in the morning, before it gets super hot.  Then you can leave the park during the hottest part of the day to take a refreshing swim or nap.  Then return in the evening, when it starts to cool down.  You avoid the times of the highest heat AND the highest crowds.  What's better than that?  Just be warned that especially during the summer, there tend to be quick but inconvenient downpours in the afternoon.  You may want a poncho.

What do you think about visiting Walt Disney World in late August?  What's your favorite time to visit?  Let me know in a comment, a tweet (@discollegeblog), or on Facebook!


  1. I went in late august last year (literally the last week), and i was surprised at the lack of crowds. The longest I waited for a ride was 45 minutes for Toy Story Mania!

    Heat doesnt bother me one bit, we just made sure to drink lots of water and stay hydrated, and turned out fine.

    I'm going back for a weekend in late august this year, just because I knew how great it was last year. I have to look and see if the dining plan is worth it.

  2. I've only done late August once, with my family. While it was ok, they were interrupted by hurricane Fay. As such. I think I'll avoid it again unless the whole famiy is going then again (two nephews two brothers, two DSILs).

  3. This will be my 1st Aug trip so this post is right on time :-)

  4. Hey hey August! Heading down for the first time in Aug but I'm not worried. I'm a July in Disney girl! Imagine that... ;)

  5. Anytime between late August-early November (before Thanksgiving season) are the best times to visit WDW budget-wise with Free Dining option and resort prices!

    It's also the best time frames with FL weather as a lot of the tropical storm/hurricane season starts to go away, you can pick which weather's for you (Sept. it was hot and humid but still nice while Nov. it was cold and breezy) and of course the fun activities like Food and Wine (which I have yet to attend), Not-so-Scary Halloween and Very Merry Christmas! :D

  6. Personally, I'd rather go during a different time of the year when the weather is better. August is hot and also rains a lot. If you can't swing another time of the year, I'd sy you should go, just go with the plan to arrive at the park for opening, leave around noon and return around 4 or 5pm to avoid those awful hours of the day when the heat is the worst.

  7. I've been twice in August. The first time was fine; I mean, it was hot, but not the kind of hot that you feel like you are walking through a wall of heat. That was what it was like the second time, however. We spent most of the trip on air conditioned or water-based Disney transportation. Even the night was brutal!

  8. Kim, the low crowds are awesome at the end of August! Whether or not the dining plan is worth it really depends on each situation.

    Hedy, I was stuck on a Disney Cruise when Hurricane Frances came through. We got three extra days at sea because we couldn't dock.

    Kim K, hooray for August trips!

    Katie, July in Disney? You must be brave lol!

    Lynette, they are awesome times to go for money. I've never done Food and Wine or either hard ticket event.

    Matt, that's definitely what I plan on doing. And I'm hoping to return in January, when it should be relatively empty and hopefully not freezing like this year.

    Scott, yikes! Hopefully it won't be terribly hot like that when I go down!

  9. We usually go to the parks in early December. We love the Christmas decorations and the crowds are almost non-existent. The downside is that the parks close earlier than in the summer. That means your day is done by 9:30 when Illuminations finishes up unless you're going to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party at MK. The upside is that you can get lots of rest and have no problem getting to the parks early the next morning. As long as you avoid EMH parks (we stay off property), you can get a lot of rides taken care of in the morning and then spend the afternoon enjoying the sights and scenery from around the parks and the hotels.

    Last year, we took an October trip because of school schedules. It was HOT!!!! But the crowds were almost the same as in December (except for Saturday at Epcot - Food and Wine). We enjoyed the parks a lot then too. But we definitely needed to H2O that we carried in. My wife and I missed the Christmas decorations so much that we made a quick 3 day trip to the parks in December for our anniversary.

    I despise crowds so you'll probably never see me there in the summer months. If I had to choose between October and December, December gets the edge because of the holiday decorations.


  10. Ooh, October and December must be great times to go. Too bad I can't because of school. =(