Our February 2021 crowd calendar for Disney World covers everything you need to know about how busy the parks are going to be, weeks and days to avoid and the best way to plan around them. We’ll also cover weather, seasonal events, new attraction openings, major conventions and any closures that there might be for Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywood Studios (Updated January 28th, 2021).
We had to do some reworking from our normal February calendar as COVID has forced the resort to make a lot of changes that impact crowds. Disney is still slowly reopening but there are still some big closures, capacity limits and cutbacks. While there has been progress since reopening in July 2020, the resort won’t be back to normal anytime soon so February will be a bit different than normal.
The good news is that crowds are still manageable like every February is so whether you’re planning a trip in 2021 or beyond, this guide is still very useful in helping you understand what vacationing in February is like at Walt Disney World. We’ve kept many of our discussions below just the same while inserting a couple of the COVID changes that may have an impact. Again, not to worry. February thru October 2021 are all going to be affected by these changes no matter what. If you want to see a broad overview of 2021 resort crowds see our Best & Worst Months To Visit Disney World Guide.
Overall, February is an awesome month to travel in and is actually quite similar to January. This “winter” month offers some great temperatures, smaller crowds, better weather and some really great festivals to enjoy. There can be ride closures during this month but right now Disney is doing everything they can to avoid this which is awesome for you. Having just travelled to the resort in January 2021 we can say that pretty much everything is open that’s not being affected by COVID cutbacks.
The great thing about February is that there are more weeks with less crowds than January. The Holiday Celebration tends to bleed into the first full week of January which can still bring in lots of guests. It’s the “hangover” week as we like to call it and it’s kinda crappy. But by the time mid-January comes around things are slow again. This continues into February so lets review just what it’s like to visit during this time.
FEBRUARY WEATHER AT DISNEY WORLD
For most guests, the weather in February is a dream compared to the hot summer months of June thru August. Historically temperatures in Orlando range from the mid-70’s as the high to the mid-50’s for the lows. Humidity is typically low during this month as well which keeps you from feeling sweaty and wet all day. The UV Index is also typically low during this month which is great for people worried about getting a sunburn.
Of course all weather is up for debate so be sure to check the forecast before you pack for your trip. That way you can be prepared for possible rain or cold spells that occasionally come up. Be sure to see our packing guide for Disney World for some great tips on what to bring.
We typically find ourselves wearing shorts for the day and a lighter jacket in the mornings and evenings. However, there are plenty of guests who wear long pants and have no issues. For most people the weather here is going to be better than where they came from so it’s a win-win.
As far as the weather affecting crowds, it can be “too cold” for some. Lots of people prefer March and April as they tend to have warmer weather in the upper 70’s and lows in the 60’s. The biggest factors on crowds is going to be rain and cold spells which can happen. If you come prepared for both and they happen, you’ll be in Heaven with the smallest crowds and short wait times.
FEBRUARY EVENTS AT DISNEY WORLD
February is sort of a “dead” month at Disney World in terms of events and happenings. We actually prefer this type of environment every so often. It feels more quaint, more quiet you could say. Not everyone travels to Disney for major events. In fact, there are a lot of people who prefer the quiet over the crowds. On the flip side though, people feel like they are missing out if there isn’t something big going on during their vacation. It all comes down to preference.
The biggest special event at the resort during February is The Epcot International Festival of the Arts. This starts in January and runs through February 22nd, 2021. It’s the middle festival between Food and Wine and Flower and Garden, both of which are also held at Epcot theme park. While most people haven’t heard of the Arts Festival, it’s quickly becoming one of the most popular ones. If it wasn’t for COVID this year, Epcot would be overrun with guests from all over trying to get in on the festivities.
However, just because COVID has brought the general number of guests down doesn’t mean Epcot isn’t crowded. The busiest times here are in the evenings and the weekends starting Friday night. Epcot festivals have become the place to party due to their large offerings of alcohol and food. If you aren’t into this so much, visit during the day time and avoid those weekends.
Outside of Epcot’s festival, February typically hosts the Princess Half Marathon though it has been cancelled for 2021. If it were going on, you could expect the parks to be more crowded during the week its hosted. Something to look at when planning your trip. If you’re going to participate in it be sure to book your vacation well in advance as rooms fill up quickly.
February is also a big month for ESPN Wide World of Sports events but for 2021 their schedule is practically empty. Again, good thing for those looking to avoid crowds. If you’re travelling in 2022 or beyond be sure to look at their scheduled events so you know how they will impact the parks. 2020 was a major year here for youth sporting events. You definitely want to avoid them.
The greater Orlando area typically doesn’t host many events in February. Conferences and such tend be held in March or later. It’s always a great idea to check an events calendar for either Swan and Dolphin or just a general search for Orlando Conferences.
Overall a guest travelling in February is going to see the most basic and original design of the parks. There are no decorations spread across the parks. Nothing is dressed up for anything major (except Epcot). It’s something to consider when planning your trip. If you love the parks all dressed up in Halloween decor, you may want to move to Sept thru Oct. However, there will also be larger crowds then.
FEBRUARY 2021 ATTRACTIONS, CLOSURES & REFURBISHMENTS
2021 is going to be a big year for Disney World in terms of enhancement projects and constructions. This is due to the resort starting its 50th anniversary celebration in October. On top of this, COVID has caused some delays so they are now working extra hard to get as much done as possible by then. We’re not saying you shouldn’t visit this year. In fact it’s just the opposite. 2021 will be a great time to visit. The parks may not have the aesthetics that you’re hoping for with construction going on at most of them but crowd levels will certainly be less than the coming 50th anniversary ones.
We’ve broken down each park by what is happening including attraction openings, closures, and general refurbishments. Then we’ll look at how these are going to be impacting crowds throughout the year.
Magic Kingdom is up first. It’s technically the park that’s celebrating 50 years so Disney is really trying hard to pretty up the park. The biggest project they have going on here is Tron Lightcycles over by Space Mountain. It’s been going on for several years now and is expected to finish late 2021. Before COVID it was on schedule; now, we have no idea. It has caused the Walt Disney World Railroad to close which for many is a bummer. It too should reopen in 2021.
The People Mover is currently closed for refurbishment but is expected to reopen in March or April. Liberty Square Riverboat, Rivers or America, and Tom Sawyer Island are all closed as well while Disney cleans and revamps all of them. We expect them to reopen by summer 2021.
Anything else that is closed or not running such as the Main Street Vehicles, Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor and Enchanted Tales with Belle are are closed due to COVID but are expected to reopen when social distancing rules are removed.
Even with all of these things closed, Magic Kingdom is still a busy park at the resort. Having said that, crowds should be down overall in February compared to recent years.
Hollywood Studios is probably the busiest park at the resort, mostly due to Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. These two attractions alone are responsible for much larger crowds in February than in the past. To help navigate them be sure to checkout our 1-Day Hollywood Studios Touring Plan which details how to navigate these crowds during your day there.
Outside of these two attractions, Galaxy’s Edge is still very popular in general followed by Toy Story Land. Slinky Dog Dash commands a 70+ minute wait on average and we would expect that to continue thru February.
There are no major closures at this park currently. Only the Star Wars Launch Bay is down for refurbishment and Disney has no planned refurbishments on the horizon that we know of. For the most part, this park is settled for 2021.
Animal Kingdom park may be the slowest park to visit in February. During our January visit, weekdays saw Flight of Passage at 30 minutes and everything else at 5 minutes. This should continue through February except on weekends and holidays (more on this below). The biggest attraction that’s closed for refurbishment is Kali River Rapids and it should be open by April 2021.
The biggest downside to visiting this park right now are the missing shows. Festival of the Lion King and Finding Nemo the Musical to be exact. Due to COVID these shows won’t start playing again until summer 2021.
Last is Epcot and we’ve already mentioned the Festival of the Arts that will be going on. It ends at the end of February so anyone travelling during the month should catch it. It is increasing crowds in general, especially on the weekends.
As far as construction and refurbishments go, this park is under the heaviest of it. The whole front of the park is being redone and will look amazing when it’s done. For now, guests just have to weave in and out of fences to get to their destination. Attractions that are being built include Guardians of the Galaxy and Ratatouille Adventure. The latter could open in February which would cause a big spike in crowds but we think it’s slated more for March or April 2021. Subscribe to our free newsletter to stay up to date on that opening.
Even with this construction, the park has maintained their normal crowds due to the Festival of Arts and we expect that to continue thru the entire month. Be sure to see our 1-Day Epcot Touring Plan to help you beat the crowds and get it all done during your visit there.
FEBRUARY 2021 CROWD CALENDAR
This is it. The section you’ve all been waiting for. Now’s the time to learn how busy February 2021 is going to be at Disney World. You should have a pretty good sense of it after reading everything above. For anyone confused as to why they aren’t seeing a numbered calendar with 10 being really busy and 1 being really slow, it’s because we aren’t fans of that system. It’s not outdated to say, but crowds at Disney World are based on way more things than historical data. Like the Walt Disney World Resort, crowds are ever-changing.
The other downside to a visual calendar is that you have no real explanation of what the number means. You see a 7 which means busy but why? To be honest, no crowd calendar, including our own, will ever be 100% accurate. We don’t always know why people decide to travel to Disney World when they do. Also, crowds don’t necessarily reflect attraction wait times. For instance, COVID has caused Disney World to reduce capacity to around 40%. However, attractions are still reaching wait times of over 90 minutes. You would see these wait times at 100% capacity. For us, there’s a couple of things that really make a crowd. We discuss these on our Walt Disney World Crowd Calendar Guide which you may want to read.
Last February, Disney World was extremely busy due to the opening of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. There were major crowds, particularly at Hollywood Studios but they weren’t contained to just that park. Right now, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is commanding longer wait times due to its popularity. And while guests may prefer other attractions over it, the fact that it’s new means people are going to want to experience it.
For February 2021 we’re expecting smaller crowds than last February due to several things but mostly COVID. Disney is still at reduced capacity and isn’t planning on making any major jumps. People in general still aren’t travelling like they used to so we’re scratching out a lot of guests who normally would have taken a flight to get there. We are planning on the weekend warriors to come still. These are anyone who’s willing to make the drive to the resort, mainly surrounding states and Florida residents.
We mentioned Rise of the Resistance being one reason last Feb. was really busy. Since most guests now know that they can’t just show up and get in line for this attraction (and the fact that it’s been open for a year) we don’t anticipate this drawing major crowds. On top of this, ESPN’s Wide World of Sports doesn’t have any events scheduled for the month which, compared to last year, is a 100% decrease (last year was crazy). The runDisney races and local conventions have also been cancelled which work in your favor as well.
The busiest days during February are going to be the 12th-20th. Valentine’s Day is on the 14th but guests will start arriving to celebrate it starting the 12th. Locals are also going to be joining in, like they always do, on the weekends. For some reason Valentine’s Day is a big day to celebrate at Disney so we always plan on that day being extra crowded. This year, the day after Valentine’s happens to be Presidents Day which is a major holiday for everyone. Holidays are a great excuse for people to take an entire week (or at least a couple days) off of work and school to travel.
While most of the crowds will taper off by the 17th, there will be guests who stay the whole week. Having said this, February as a whole, and even those dates, are expected to be slower than a regular summer, Thanksgiving or Christmas Holiday week. So still good news if you’re travelling then.
One thing we are looking into that could cause these dates to balloon with crowds is Mardi Gras. While it’s not a local event, it is celebrated by neighboring states and when they do observe it, schools tend to let their kids out. And when kids are out, parents will travel. This year Mardi Gras is celebrated on the 16th and we’ve already seen that several school in Louisiana and Georgia are letting kids have 3+ days off that week.
Combine this with locals, Valentine’s Day and Presidents Day, the 12th-20th could end up being an extremely busy time at Disney.
The rest of the weeks and days in the month will be slow, particularly the weekdays. As always, weekends get busy so plan on an uptick in crowds Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We suggest visiting Feb. 1-11th and if you can’t make that go for the 21st-28th.
FEBRUARY 2021 DISCOUNTS AND SAVINGS
There are actually quite a few great offers going on for February travel that you will want to take a look at. First we always recommend you get discounted tickets to the parks. It’s super easy to do and you can buy from the best authorized reseller online, Undercover Tourist. They’re offering savings of up to $80 off per ticket right now which, for a family of 4, is over $300! They book quickly and work just the same as buying from Disney, they just cost less!
Second is the 2 Free Days Package Special that runs through September 2021 but covers Feb. Guests can get 2 free days added to their tickets when they book a 4 night/3 day package. This deal automatically makes your 3 day tickets 5 days which is pretty big savings. You’ll need to book this through a Disney Travel Professional and we recommend The Mouse Savers. Not only can they book this offer but they’ll take $20 off just for mentioning Park Savers.
Next we have a room-only offer that can save you up to 35% off. That’s 5% more than last year! It applies to most resort hotels and room types though there are a few that are left out like 3 bedrooms and some villas. This offer started in January and runs through April so basically all of February is covered. To get the most out of this offer you’ll want to stay at a Moderate Resort or higher. For details on our recommended resorts be sure to read our Walt Disney World Resort Hotel Guide.
Lastly, you’ll want to take a look at the savings you can get if you’re a Disney VISA Cardmember. Right now they are offering savings of up to 50% off rooms for stays through Feb. 28th, 2021. 50% off is HUGE savings and a rare offer so if you’re looking to save big, this is the one. If you’re not a card member yet you can join online pretty easy plus you can get up to a $250 statement credit.
For us, February is one of our favorite months to visit the parks. It’s generally slower than most months and offers smaller wait times for attractions. The weather is usually perfect in our opinion with no crazy highs or lows. Plus the humidity is almost non-existent. It’s definitely going to be the best time to visit between Christmas and Spring Break and typically one of the best months period.
If you need additional help planning your Disney World vacation we have several tools to help you. First you’ll want to read our entire COVID Planning Guide for 2021. If offers tips and tricks on what to expect when you visit during the pandemic and how to prepare. Next you may want to check out additional details on saving on Walt Disney World tickets. We dive deep into savings and the best ways to do it legitimately. Lastly, if you want to stay in the know about what’s happening at the resort, subscribe to our free newsletter that doesn’t spam you!
Do you travel to Disney World every year in February? Is it your favorite month to visit the resort? Have any experience with Presidents Day weekend? Valentine’s? We want to know your thoughts! While we strive to offer the best advice in all of our posts, we realize that others out there have expertise to offer as well. So send us your opinions, tips and tricks! If we find them useful for others we’ll be sure to update our post.
Dean has been writing and blogging for over 10 years. He specializes in Disney theme park news including updates, openings, special events and general advice for travelers. He doesn’t shy away from the good, the bad and the ugly. His previous work includes being a Cast Member at Disneyland and working as a travel agent.