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.
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 Februrary. 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. Normally, there are a ton of events going on at the ESPN Wide World of Sports, but the calendar hasn’t been updated for 2023. Despite that, we’ve heard anecdotally that most youth events will be back this year.
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, 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.
On the plus side, some of the Epcot additions will be open by March 2023. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, Space 220, and Harmonious will all be open. It remains to be seen how much else has debuted. In Epcot, there’s also the Play Pavilion and Moana’s Journey of Water, among many other things.
Then there’s the TRON Lightcycle Run roller coaster at Magic Kingdom, which will open by January 2023 if we’re lucky, and sometime around the start of the summer season if we’re unlucky. More new attractions and entertainment will be debuting in 2023. For an overview of what’s on the horizon, 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.
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. 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. See our Guide to Mardi Gras Crowds at Walt Disney Worldfor further insight, plus just how bad things were last year. (Spoiler: really bad.)
Consequently, we’d recommend avoiding February 17-26, 2023 if at all possible. That will be one of the busiest stretches of the entire year at Walt Disney World in 2023.
Due to Presidents’ Day, Mardi Gras, and the runDisney race, the second half of February 2023 will see elevated crowds. (Minus the last few days of the month.) 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.)
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.
Our favorite week on balance would be the first week of February 2023, but you really can’t go wrong with the dates that avoid the trio of holidays. Those should be really bad, whereas the rest of the month should be pretty good!
February PRICING & DISCOUNTS
Another upside to a February Walt Disney World vacation is prices. Disney typically releases room-only discounts that offer up to 40% off Walt Disney World resort discounts for Annual Passholders and Florida residents, with up to 35% off for the general public.
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, 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 mid-month spike in February crowds, but the rest of the month–before that–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.
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!