Disney World Crowd Calendar – A Super Simple Guide!

Disney World is one of my family’s favorite places to travel to. In fact, even though we are based in SoCal (only 45 min from Disneyland) we have still trekked across the country 25+ times to visit the Disney World Resort Parks. The one thing everyone asks me is what time of year should I go to Disney World. So, I came up with a Super Simple Disney World Crowd Calendar for anyone to use!

Disney World Crowd Calendar – A Super Simple Guide!

Pluto at Epcot's International Flower and Garden Festival | Global Munchkins

The very best time to go is the sweet spot when prices are reasonable, crowds are manageable, and temperatures are tolerable. The stars align a few times a year when all three happen to be at their ideal at the same time. If you can’t hit them all, then aim for two out of three.

The handy month-by-month chart below rates three key factors (hotel price, crowds, and average daily temperature) and highlights which months are the best overall for visitors. Click here if you want to head right to our handy-dandy chart

We looked at a combination of factors that most visitors care about: price, crowds, events and weather. Here is the month to month breakdown.

January: 

The first week of January will be packed, after that the parks are nice and slow.

Pros:

  • Light Crowds (except for New Years Week)
  • Hotels are Cheaper
  • Not much Rain
  • Festival of the Arts at Epcot

Cons:

  • Cold (well….cold for Florida)
  • Epcot could be slightly busier with the Festival of the Arts

Walk for CHOC at Disneyland this October | Global Munchkins

February

February is really a mixed bag when it comes to the crowds. Early February is pretty slow but then President’s Day and Ski Break from schools start sending the parks into a packed house

Pros:

  • Light(er) Crowds (except for President’s Weekend)
  • Hotels are Cheaper (except for President’s Weekend)
  • Not much Rain
  • Festival of the Arts at Epcot (Ends 3rd week of February)

Cons:

  • Cold (well….cold for Florida)
  • Epcot could be slightly busier with the Festival of the Arts

March/April Crowd

March & April are a great time to visit the parks, the weather is getting warmer where you might want to hit up the water parks.

The International Flower & Garden show (my personal favorite show) opens in Epcot at the end of March. Of course, you have spring break, so expect some big crowds during that time. Also in late April is the Star Wars Darkside Marathon

Pros:

  • Medium Crowds (except for Spring Break (high))
  • Getting Warmer
  • Flower & Garden Show at Epcot
  • More live Entertainment at Epcot for Flower & Garden Festival

Cons:

  • Busy during spring break
  • Start of the summer rains but it it’s not too bad
  • Epcot could be slightly busier with the Festival of the Arts

Disney Crowd Calendar Mater Topiary at the Epcot Flower and Garden festival | Global Munchkins

May Crowds & Weather – Disney World

Pros

  • Medium Crowds
  • Amazing Weather
  • Flower & Garden Show at Epcot
  • More live entertainment at Epcot for Flower & Garden Festival

Cons:

  • Star Wars Days have been canceled for 2018
  • Hotel Prices are starting to increase

June/July/Early August

It’s Summer, it’s Disney, basically…..it’s going to be packed. Hey, that doesn’t mean you have to have a bad time. Actually, check out our Ultimate Tips & Tricks to help you navigate the parks during this busy season.

Pros

  • Parks Open Longer Hours
  • Increased in Park Entertainment
  • Less rides down for refurbishment

Cons:

  • Expect Large Crowds
  • It’s Hot Outside
  • Lots of Rain
  • Hotel Prices are at peak levels
Transracial adoptive family in ponchos at Disneyworld

Grab your ponchos in July & August at Disney World

Late August/September

An absolutely glorious time to visit the parks. While the weather is still hot, the park is often quite calm. I remember one year we went in September, all the fast passes were useless cause the lines were 5 minutes long. We watched the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom and hopped on a bus with just a few people on it. Usually, the busses are packed after the fireworks.

Pros

  • Cheaper Rooms
  • Often times Disney offers a free dining plan with Room and Ticket package
  • Still hot enough to hit up the water parks
  • Very Light Crowds – You might even get on Flight of Passage in Pandora in less than an hour

Cons:

  • It’s Still Hot Outside

October/Early November

October & November used to be a really quiet time of the year at the parks, but since Magic Kingdom stepped up their Halloween events, and Epcot expanded the food and wine festival the parks are pretty busy. Not summer busy, but pretty busy.

Pros

  • Food & Wine Festival is at Epcot (It’s Awesome)
  • Parks are fairly busy but not too packed
  • Weather is simply delightful
  • Mickey’s “not so spooky” Halloween is going (extra fee applies)

Cons:

  • You might eat too much at the Food & Wine Festival 😉
  • Fairly Busy
The Disneyland Holiday Season has begun. Grab our Pro Tips for surviving a trip at the parks during this extremely busy time of year. Also, get a sneak peek of all the entertainment & food offerings new this year. #disneylandholidays #disneyfan #disneylandchristmas

Photo courtesy of Paul Hiffmeyer

Late November/December

If you can pull it off and want to hit up Disney World during the holidays, the time to do it is between Thanksgiving break and Christmas Break (around Dec 1-15). The parks are empty and the holidays are in full effect at all 4 parks. Thanksgiving Weekend and Christmas Break are the busiest times at Disney World, take your time because the parks will be busy.

Pros

  • Decorations. Holiday Music, Holiday Cookies, Holiday Everything!
  • Light crowds if going between Dec 1-15
  • Holidays Around the World at Epcot.
  • Not much rain.

Cons:

  • Expect Large Crowds during Christmas & Thanksgiving Break
  • Can get cold, but it’s really hit or miss
  • Hotel Prices are at peak levels during Christmas & Thanksgiving Break

Disney World Crowd Calendar

Disney World Crowd Calendar
Click here to Download Crowd Calendar

Which time is our Favorite?

It’s really a split. I absolutely love going the week before Christmas Break, it is so Magical, but I also love going in May. The weather is perfect, the crowds aren’t too bad and I simply love the Flower & Garden Festival.

By the way, anytime you get to go to Disney World is a lucky time to be there, so use the crowd calendar as a guide to what to expect. Do not let it deter you from visiting during certain times of the year.

Quick Tips on Avoiding Crowds

You might get stuck in some crowds at Disney World. Here are a few quick tips. For more Disney World Tips & Tricks check out my Ultimate Guide to Disney World

  • Go to the left and to the back of the park first
  • Avoid Magic Hours Days (especially if staying off property) in fact go on the days right after a park had magic hours
  • Use the app My Disney Experience to find rides with little to no wait times
  • Regardless of when you visit, you will want to lock in ride times and dining experiences with the My Disney Experience tool, which has essentially replaced the old paper ticketing system by combining a powerful smartphone app with MagicBand bracelets. The app lets you program your attractions and dining experiences with FastPass+.

If you need help planning and booking your magical Walt Disney World vacation, contact our friends at Tink’s Magical Vacations. They are truly Disney Experts, and not only are their services FREE, but they will save you both time and money. 

 

You might also enjoy:

10 Ways to Beat the Heat + Outsmart the Disneyland Crowd

The Ultimate Guide to Disney Paris! Top Tips & Tricks You Need to Know!

3 Reasons THIS DVC Member Loves Disney’s Beach Club Villas

How we SAVE 50% on Disney Resorts with DVC Points- Disney Vacation Club

11 Awesome Disney Family Shirts for your Vacation [+3 Weird ones]

1 Comment

  • Marcie says:

    This is really helpful! We’re heading to WDW for the first time Dec 16-23 and I’ve been a bit stressed about it being super crowded. I’m hoping the Holiday Magic will be worth it!

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