February 2023 at Disney World: Crowd Calendar & Info

This guide to February 2023 at Walt Disney World includes a free crowd calendar, weeks to visit & avoid, weather, seasonal events, and new attraction openings & closures. This covers all tips & info you need for Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios is covered here. (Updated January 24, 2023.)

In general, February is a good month to visit Walt Disney World aside from weekends and holidays. The weather is starting to improve, crowds remain low most of the month, hotels are offering discounts and off-season pricing, and it’s a great time to see the parks without seasonal decor. All of this makes February a pretty solid time to visit Walt Disney World.

February has a lot of parallels to January at Walt Disney World. The biggest difference between the two months is that February lacks that holiday hangover–that awkward time in mid-January when you’re “over” Christmas and there isn’t any seasonal entertainment, but the decorations are still oddly up and Christmas music is still playing. Additionally, February has slightly better weather than January.

Let’s take a look at the other upsides and downsides to visiting Walt Disney World in February…

February WEATHER AT DISNEY WORLD

As noted above, Weather is one of the biggest upsides to February. Based upon historical averages for the month of February, you’re looking at highs in the mid-70s and lows in the mid-50s. Now, this is only around 5 degrees better than January, but I think that makes a big difference. Additionally, based on our visits during both months, it seems like February is a lot less likely to have a freak cold spell with freezing weather.

That’s just anecdotal, but it has been our experience. This isn’t to say it can’t get cold in February, and you should still watch the weather forecast in advance and pack items that might be useful for your trip, but you’re probably less likely to need to bust out that parka.

Really though, if you’re escaping the blizzards of the northern states, even those low temperatures in Florida are going to feel like tropical paradise! Read our Winter Packing Tips for Disney post for more insight on what you might need to be prepared for colder weather in February.

February Special Events at Disney World

In terms of special events, normally there is not much during February. The only major thing is the continuation of the ‘festival season’ over at EPCOT, with our favorite one of the year beginning in January and running through late February. Read our Guide to the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts for more info and tips about this special event.

Then there’s the Princess Half Marathon Weekend, which will occur February 23-26, 2023. There are also a few major events going on at the ESPN Wide World of Sports, all of which will have an impact on crowds throughout the month.

In terms of general public events, very little happens during February outside of Festival of the Arts. It’s mostly just pin releases, art signings, and other minor merchandise happenings. Nothing around which you’d plan a trip…unless you’re a huge Precious Moments fan. (Hey, we aren’t judging! 😉 )

This lack of events can be a good or bad thing depending upon your perspective. You get to see the parks as the Imagineers originally designed them, without any decorations or overlays “blemishing” things. On the other hand, “blemish” is in the eye of the beholder (hence the air quotes) and a lot of the decorations and seasonal events are fun and a nice change of pace, especially if you’ve visited before and want something new to see or do.

February REFURBISHMENTS & NEW ATTRACTIONS

In terms of other attractions that will be closed during February 2023, check the Walt Disney World Refurbishment Schedule. Just a heads up: that might be a bit deceptive in terms of actual construction work, especially in Epcot.

The construction project that will have the most noticeable impact on the guest experience is the massive reimagining at the front of Epcot. This is starting to look better, but the front of the park is still a sea of construction walls with a giant dirt pit in the middle. On the plus side, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, Space 220 Restaurant, Creations Shop, Club Cool, and Connections Cafe are all open.

EPCOT is also home to Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, which is Walt Disney World’s biggest addition in the last few years. Experiencing the new ride is a bit complicated, so be sure to check out our How to Ride Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind & Virtual Queue Speed Strategy to improve your chances of success for joining the free virtual queue.

Another alternative for Cosmic Rewind is buying line-skipping access via the Individual Lightning Lanes. Those posts explain each option, their pros & cons, and everything else you need to know. Suffice to say, do not just show up to EPCOT expecting to join the standby line–as there isn’t one.

Then there’s the next big addition to Walt Disney World: TRON Lightcycle Run, which will have previews starting in February 2023. Although the new roller coaster won’t officially open for a couple more months, these previews could have a minor impact on Magic Kingdom crowds. (The bigger impact will come via the closure of Splash Mountain and the resulting loss of capacity.)

Beyond that, there are several attractions that have not yet opened and likely won’t until later in 2023. This includes Moana’s Journey of Water at Epcot, which is likely to open in the second half of the year according to Disney. Other smaller scale additions are likely later in 2023.

There’s an outside possibility that Toy Story Roundup BBQ Restaurant will open in late February 2023, but even that seems unlikely at this point. For an overview of what else is on the horizon this year, see What’s New & Next at Walt Disney World in 2023 & Beyond.

February 2023 Disney World Crowd Calendar

We’ll begin this free crowd calendar section with the same preface that we offered in January. Wondering why you don’t see a color-coded crowd calendar here? It’s because we don’t really trust them anymore and don’t think you should, either. If we just had a visual crowd calendar graphic here, many of you would only look at that and not read the accompanying explanation that covers what you might actually expect.

Such an approach would do readers a disservice, and we’d strongly caution you against over-reliance on any Walt Disney World crowd calendars. While they can be useful tools, crowd calendars are but one small piece of a much larger puzzle. We no longer choose our own travel dates based upon crowd calendars and we’d encourage you to do the same.

Disney doesn’t release official attendance numbers, so crowd calendars use things like school schedules, airport traffic statistics, hotel pricing & occupancy, and other indicators as proxies for crowds. For years, this approach worked and made crowd calendars reliable. Walt Disney World attendance followed an identifiable pattern that tracked with the aforementioned proxies.

More recently, Disney has become adept and more sophisticated at manipulating both attendance and crowd flow. February attendance is still lower than most other months, but wait times often don’t bear this out. Think of this as the difference between the actual temperature and the “feels like” temperature, but with crowds. We can still actual crowd and attendance patterns, but not wait times. The latter are what most of you likely care about (the “feels like” crowds), but it’s more difficult to accurately forecast wait times via Walt Disney World crowd calendars.

As a general matter, we want to warn you that winter is not the “sleepy off-season” at Walt Disney World. In Winter Is Not Off-Season at Walt Disney World, we explain how January and February crowds have grown since ~2017, why last year was the outlier, and how now is more of a return to normal.

There are a variety of times crowds spike during the first two months of the year. Everything from runDisney events to under the radar holiday weekends to school breaks push attendance and wait times even higher. With all of that in mind, here are our crowd calendar predictions for the best and worst weeks at Walt Disney World in February 2023…

Regardless of overarching crowd trends, the busiest dates in February 2023 will end up being President’s Day week. For most people, President’s Day isn’t a weeklong holiday, but in terms of crowds at Walt Disney World, it absolutely is. A lot of people visit for the long weekend, with some staying the rest of the week.

We recently highlighted just how bad this will be in the Worst Week of Winter is Coming at Walt Disney World. Suffice to say, this will be the busiest week of the first quarter and could be one of the 5 worst weeks of 2023–right up there with Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and the peak of spring break.

If you’re wondering why dates in February, of all months, would be so busy, it comes down to the aforementioned President’s Day holiday. On top of that, Mardi Gras is February 21, 2023. This will result in an influx of visitors from Louisiana and other areas of the South. Not only that, but it’s a break for many schools in the Northeast.

To compound matters, the following weekend is Princess Half Marathon Weekend, with official event dates of February 23-26, 2023. Most runners will show up early rather than staying late. There are also two major events–a soccer tournament and gymnastics competition–at the ESPN Wide World of Sports occurring February 17-20, 2023.

 

Suffice to say, February 17 to February 26, 2023 should see peak season attendance and high wait times. Expect 8/10 to 10/10 crowd levels for that entire range, with most dates and parks on the higher end of that spectrum.

Consequently, we’d recommend avoiding these dates if at all possible. Unlike Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s, the popularity of these holidays catch a lot of guests by surprise. (Valentine’s Day, on the other hand, should not be as busy.) The good news is that since most people don’t expect colossal crowds, they don’t prepare for them. Get up early, stay out late and strategize to avoid long lines!

In terms of dates that are good to visit in February, we’d recommend February 1-16, 2023 as the best dates to visit. Within those ranges, weekdays will definitely be better than weekends due to the disproportionate number of locals visiting Walt Disney World right now.

Based on what we’ve seen thus far in the second half of January 2023, our expectation is that the first half of February sees crowd levels in the 3/10 to 6/10 range most dates, with 4/10 being the norm and crowds gradually increasing over the course of the month.

That’s not great as compared to ~5 years ago, but literally no dates this year will compare favorably to then. Walt Disney World attendance has grown by millions of guests per year since then. You should also expect heavier “feels like” crowds at EPCOT due to the growing popularity of Festival of the Arts. That won’t be reflected in wait time data, but it’ll be apparent in terms of congestion while walking around.

Our favorite week on balance would be the first week of February 2023, but you really can’t go wrong with the dates at the end of the month, either. Just as quickly as crowds spike leading into the worst of winter, so too will they fall fast at the end of the month. The last few days leading into March 2023 should likewise be blissful, a nice mix of low crowds, pleasant weather, and the parks coming into bloom.

February PRICING & DISCOUNTS

Another upside to a February Walt Disney World vacation is prices. This is typically the Cheapest Time of Year to Visit Walt Disney World when looking exclusively at resort rack rates and admission costs. On top of that, there are currently some great deals available for Annual Passholders, Florida residents, and even the general public. See All Current Walt Disney World Discounts for specifics.

Again, President’s Day week is an exception to the seasonal rates, as hotel prices spike for that week, too. In case it’s not already abundantly clear, unless you’re getting time off for President’s Day or Mardi Gras, you really should avoid that week. If you’re booking a February stay at a Disney resort-hotel, you can decide for yourself which hotel might be best by reading our Walt Disney World Hotel Reviews.

Overall, we have had some really great experiences at Walt Disney World in February. Low to moderate crowds for most of the month, temperate weather, the parks looking good, and cheaper prices all make it a winner in our book. February (again, minus the confluence of Presidents’ Day, Mardi Gras, and the runDisney race) feels like the early year sweet spot between the holiday hangover of January and the Spring Break season of March.

Think of early February as this time of year’s September (another of our favorite times to visit for similar reasons), except without quite as much humidity. Unlike September, there is a huge second half spike in February crowds, but the first half of the month–and final few days–should be fantastic. While we prefer the beginning of the month, February 2023 will be great at the very end of the month overlapping with the beginning of March, when the weather starts to improve and crowds remain low.

Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!

Your Thoughts

Do you like Walt Disney World in February, or do you think it’s a dull month to visit? Do you like seeing the parks in their “normal” state, or would you rather have a special/seasonal event? Are you a fan of EPCOT’s Festival of the Arts? Ever experienced President’s Day crowds? Hearing from you is half the fun, so please share your thoughts on these questions, or anything else, in the comments!

113 Responses to “February 2023 at Disney World: Crowd Calendar & Info”
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