Hi ho, hi ho it’s off to plan you go. Planning a trip to Walt Disney World can be daunting at best. The biggest part to making the most magical vacation you may ever take is dependent on when you go.
Why is that you ask?
It is important because there is nothing worse than elbowing strangers down Main Street USA or standing in line for Space Mountain longer than you absolutely have to.
Here are a few tips and tricks for deciding when to visit and my Walt Disney World Crowd Calendar:
When are the busiest and least busy times of the year at Walt Disney World?
Here is the thing, there will always be special events and promotions that happen during the year that aren’t always known ahead of time. The following list highlights historic attendance trends throughout the year.
Note: All holiday reference is specific to the United States (U.S.)
Lowest Walt Disney World Attendance
- January (except New Year’s Day) until just prior to Presidents’ week in February (third Monday)
- The week following Labor Day until just prior to Thanksgiving (U.S.) week
- The week following Thanksgiving (U.S.) until the week prior to Christmas
Moderate Walt Disney World Attendance
- After Presidents’ week in February (third Monday) through early March
- Late April through early June (except Memorial Day weekend)
- The first part of Thanksgiving (U.S.) week
Highest Walt Disney World Attendance Periods
- Presidents’ week in February (third Monday)
- Mid-March through Late April (“Spring Break”)
- Memorial Day weekend
- Mid-June through Labor Day
- Thanksgiving Day (US) and weekend
- Christmas week through New Year’s Day
During regular attendance periods, the theme parks tend to be the busiest on the following days:
- Magic Kingdom® Park: Monday, Thursday, and Saturday
- Epcot®: Tuesday and Friday
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios™: Sunday and Wednesday
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park: Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday
What will the weather be like during my Walt Disney World Vacation?
I didn’t go to school to become a meteorologist but I can give you some historical data that will help your planning process. All Guests are encouraged to review upcoming forecasts for the Orlando area prior to departure.
- January – March 74/51ºF 2.1 in.
- April – June* 88/66ºF 2.7 in.
- July – September* 91/73ºF 3 in.
- October – December 78/58ºF 3 in.
*The summer months generally have high humidity. Below are links to my Disney World crowd calendars. I use a scale of 1 to 11, with 1 being lowest to an 11 being (get me the heck out of here I can’t move)
The “low crowd” weeks–those rated 1-4–represent the only crowd levels a family visiting for the first time, and unsure if it will ever return, should consider. Shown in green
However, lower crowds, especially lowest crowds, do not always mean a better week. The lowest weeks are low for a reason–typically because they are in the hurricane or the ride closure seasons.
The “moderate crowd” weeks–those rated 5-8–have crowd levels I would not recommend to first-time visitors. However, I’d go during such weeks myself with no hesitation and think these levels are OK for returning visitors who don’t need to see everything and already know how to work Walt Disney World. Shown in yellow
The “high crowd” weeks–those rated 9-11–should be avoided by everyone! But since they aren’t and some people can ONLY travel during these times they are super high and like Christmas, New Years, and Spring Break the park can reach capacity and not allow entrance to the parks. Usually, the Magic Kingdom is the one to close but I’ve seen others close due to crowds also, Epcot usually closes at some point on New Year’s Eve. Shown in red
Once you’ve narrowed down the time that you would like to visit, it is really time to get down to business planning. Take a look at some of the articles that we’ve written. Ultimate Guide to Restaurants at Walt Disney World
Why I paid $40 to park at Walt Disney World
If you are ready to book at vacation at Disney, take a look at these offers from our partners at Get Away Today!