2013 Weeks to Visit Walt Disney World, Ranked in Order



By Dave Shute

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OVERVIEW: 2013 WEEKS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

This site recommends arriving at Walt Disney World one of the first three Saturdays after Thanksgiving.

If you can’t go then, presented below are the weeks of 2013 in order of best to worst (revised January 2013).

The week rankings are based on the 2013 Disney World Crowd Calendar and 2013 Walt Disney World price seasons, as well as other factors–the Christmas season, ride closure season and hurricane season in particular.

There are two pages of 2013 Disney World week rankings. The page you are on has recommended weeks. The second page has the rest of the weeks of the year, and is here.

The ranking is designed for first time visitors who do not know whether or not they will return.

For visitors on a return trip, less concerned about ride closures, the later January and early February weeks would be ranked much higher–with the Marathon and Martin Luther King Day weeks being the worst of these.

Returning visitors–and anyone who wants a more personalized approach–should see the 2013 Week Picker

For details on how these week rankings are crafted, see this.

(For 2014 weeks to visit, ranked in order, see this.)

RECOMMENDED 2013 WEEKS, RANKED IN ORDER

The recommended weeks that follow are wonderful weeks to visit Walt Disney World in 2013.

The first two are almost interchangeable: low prices, low crowds, and wonderful Christmas programs and decorations.

  • 1: 11/30/13. Tail end of Thanksgiving week makes the first Saturday, and perhaps Sunday, of this week more crowded than the same days in weeks 2 and 3. The rest of this week is terrific.
  • 2: 12/7/13. This is a week that, because of Pop Warner football demand for resort rooms, is rarely discounted beyond its already low prices. Those intending to stay at Pop Century or other value resorts should consider avoiding this week, as Pop Warner may make the value resorts crowded and boisterous this week

The third week shares the low crowds and Christmas program of the first two weeks, but is much more expensive.

  • 3: 12/14/13.

The next three share great weather, low crowds, and low prices. They are nearly identical, and are sorted on the basis of weather.

Weeks 7-9 share great late spring weather, have low crowds, but are more expensive than any of the weeks so far except week #3. They are near-tied, but are in calendar order as the best weather is earlier.

  • 7: 4/20/13
  • 8: 4/27/13
  • 9: 5/4/13

The next week has higher prices, but low crowds, and is your best Spring Break bet.

  • 10: 2/23/13

Week 11 is similar to weeks 4-6, but suffers at its end from the beginning of the Thanksgiving crowds:

  • 11: 11/16/13

Week 12 is similar to weeks 7-9, but risks slightly higher crowds.

  • 12: 4/13/13

Week 13 is similar to week 9, except a little hotter, a little more crowded, and more at risk of hitting the beginning of the rainy season.

  • 13: 5/11/13.

Week 14 risks the first day or two hitting the tail of Easter crowds. The rest of the week is similar to week 12.

  • 14: 4/6/13

This completes the weeks in 2013 that are recommended.

CLICK HERE FOR THE RANKING OF THE REST OF THE WEEKS OF 2013

For the rest of the weeks of 2013, click here.

Disney World 2013 Week RankingsFor a calendar view of the entire year, click the image.

(After you click it, the image will open.

When it opens, click it again to enlarge it.)

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383 comments

1 Michael Ryan { 09.29.11 at 6:54 pm }

First let me say that this is the best site I have found so far (and heavens know there are a lot of them).
I am just getting started viewing your site so maybe I will find the answer myself but I will ask you anyway. We want to stay at the Contemporary Resort, I would like to find a floor plan for the Resort. I have found things that talk about different rooms but never show what they are like or where they are located.
We are taking our childern and grandchildren and this is going to be a once in a lifetime trip so we want to do it right. We are looking at the 12th or 14th floor with a Magic Kingdom view. This trip will be in 2013 so I do have time. thanks for your help and this site.
Michael Ryan

2 Dave { 09.30.11 at 6:01 am }

Hi Michael, and thanks!

For 12th floor room floor plans, my review, and resort maps, see the material that begins on this page: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2011/06/06/review-disneys-contemporary-resort/

For floor plans of some of the 14th floor suites (and the garden suites), see lower on this page: http://www.kingdom-travel.com/Walt_Disney_World_Resorts/Disney_Contemporary_Resort.shtml

You should also consider a Magic Kingdom view Grand Villa at Bay Lake Tower–see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/09/13/review-bay-lake-tower-at-disneys-contemporary-resort/

If you are looking for whole-floor floor plans, I found one long ago on the internet for the 14th floor–it did not show furnishings or label rooms, but rather just showed the massing of the bays in the various suites….I don’t have the url for this anymore.

Hope this helps!

Dave

3 Bailee { 12.05.11 at 11:36 am }

Hi Dave! This is by far the best site!! I like to plan my trip dates far in advance, and I have been coming every year. I was thinking of arriving on December 30, 2013 and staying for a week (Monday-Monday). I have never been there for New Years and would like to give it a try… The kids will be a 17 yr old girl, 13 yr old girl, and 11 yr old boy at the time of travel. How busy will it be that week? Would we even be able to ride anything?? What do you recommend? Thank you so much for your help!

4 Dave { 12.05.11 at 5:56 pm }

Hi Bailee and thanks!!

You did mean 2013, right?

If so, I’d expect it to be a busy week. With New Years midweek, mnay kids will have the whole week off–I’ve rated it a 9 on my crowd scale of 1-11… It will be an 11 through the first, and then better later in the week…

You’ll be able to ride in the morning if you arrive early, and then use FASTPASSES. Afternoons will be tougher, as FASTPASSES run out…

5 Bailee { 12.07.11 at 6:08 pm }

Ok, thanks… I did mean 2013, but do you think New Years next year will be any better?? I would arrive on Sunday, December 30, 2012 and leave on Friday, January 4, 2013 (5 nights). I am really wanting to come for New Years but would like to come during a somewhat less busy year. Also, which park other than Animal Kingdom is the least busy on New Years Eve? I don’t want to go to Animal Kingdom then because I definitely want to see fireworks… What about New Years day?

6 Dave { 12.07.11 at 8:39 pm }

Hey Baillee, I’m seeing 2012 busy as heck through Jan 1 and ok the 2nd, 3rd and 4th. All three parks with celebrations are mobbed. MK is the worst, Epcot may be slightly better than HS

7 Bailee { 12.12.11 at 11:35 am }

Ok, thank you. I was thinking of doing the Backstage Magic tour one day so I will at least be able to do something. What all does it include? Do they have it on New Years day??

8 Dave { 12.12.11 at 2:36 pm }

Hi Baille, I don’t really track the tours. Details on the backstage magic tour are here: http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/tours-and-experiences/backstage-magic/ From what I can see here, it’s not on offer: http://www.disneynow.com/profile/form/index.cfm?PKformID=0x48204f09a

9 Angela { 12.18.11 at 11:35 pm }

Hey Dave,
Great information! We were there this year, 2011, Dec 3 – 10, and were told after we arrived that they had moved the Pop Warner to that week. We had been that same week a few years earlier and it was great! It still wasn’t as busy as spring break or peak but it was a lot busier than I expected and they were filming the Disney Christmas Day Parade on Dec 3. Nothing can beat the Disney Christmas Decorations though!

10 Dave { 12.19.11 at 9:20 am }

Hi Angela, and thanks for the feedback. I was there that week too, and found it a little more crowded than I expected, but manageable…

11 Jodi { 12.30.11 at 11:56 am }

I was there 12/4- 12/11 as well and it started out light but got heavier crowds as the week went on. Now i am looking to book in 2013.. i was thinking 10/26 OR 11/02 is there much difference in crowds between those 2 weeks.. i adore the xmas decorations but i was thinking maybe come a little earlier this time for more pool weather. any advice will help. I just got back and i want to go back allready .. Need some time to save up.

12 Dave { 12.30.11 at 12:46 pm }

Hi Jodi I like 10/26 much better. 11/2 is Jersey week– see http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/05/02/jersey-week-at-walt-disney-world/ –and the odds are 10/26 will be a little warmer…

13 Jodi { 12.30.11 at 4:58 pm }

I am so glad you told me that. Well that changes everything. Maybe ill go November 9 th. Jersey week is only a week like its name right?

14 Dave { 12.30.11 at 5:15 pm }

Yup, just a week…

15 Jodi { 12.30.11 at 6:35 pm }

ty for the info Dave. We are now thinking to just go oct 26 th. I will miss the xmas decorations. Do the parks and resorts decorate for halloween

16 Dave { 12.31.11 at 9:38 am }

Hi Jodi, yes they do!

17 Jodi { 12.31.11 at 9:56 am }

oh boy we want to go back in 2012. Its all about the money we are gonna try to save it. I wonder what tonights announcement is. I am 48 my husband is 50 and the only vacations we ever took was to disney. we are so silly lol could be november 9 th 2012 if the economy picks up

18 Dave { 12.31.11 at 10:30 am }

:) I bet tonight’s announcement will be that a. Many parks will be open for 24 hours on 2/29, and/or that b. Feb 29 will be free…

19 Jodi { 12.31.11 at 1:02 pm }

thats boring i was hoping maybe book 7 nights get 1 free at any resort lol too much to ask i guess

20 Jodi { 01.01.12 at 10:48 am }

I posted you a question on nov 2012 page. we bumped our trip up a year lol

21 Jodi { 01.01.12 at 10:55 am }

i am cofused. On the link you sent me it says jersey week is Nov 2 but it also says the jersey week convention is Nov 9.. I cant seem to find out the exact start and end date. I have been googling it. I booked for Nov 10 2012 but i dont want to be in jersey week. Please let me know so i can let the resort know if i have to change the date. ty

22 Dave { 01.02.12 at 8:58 am }

Got it!

23 Dave { 01.02.12 at 8:59 am }

The convention is the Thursday and Friday at the end of Jersey week. See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/05/02/jersey-week-at-walt-disney-world/

24 Jodi { 01.02.12 at 9:31 am }

thanks Dave your sites been alot of help

25 Dave { 01.02.12 at 12:10 pm }

You bet, Jodi!

26 Mariah { 01.31.12 at 9:58 am }

Hi Dave,

Your site is awesome! I have one question about Pop Warner week 2013 – do you have inside knowledge that the dates will be the week of 11/30-12/7? I am only asking because this was the week we plan on going and in doing research (because I wanted to plan on a week where we’d still be able to hope for a discount or possibly free dining) I looked at historical dates for Pop Warner, because I hadn’t found anything listing dates for 2013 yet in my research. What I found was that in 2002, when the dates exactly match the 2013 calendar, Pop Warner week was actually the week after (Dec. 8-14). That is why I picked the week I did…do you think we should consider switching or hold off? Do you know when the official dates for Pop Warner are usually released? I know we have some time…I am just a planner! :) Thanks again! Mariah

27 Dave { 01.31.12 at 11:15 am }

Hi Mariah, great question!

My dates are not official, but rather are based on inference from this statement on the Pop Warner website at http://www.popwarner.com/superbowl/pop.asp

“For the past eleven years, the event has taken place at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex ™ in Lake Buena Vista, FL during the first full week of December.” (emphasis added)

My weeks start on Saturdays because I suggest a Saturday-Sunday stay. Everybody else starts weeks on Sundays, and hence the first full week of December in 2013 begins Sunday 12/1/13

Finding these dates–even for 2012!!–is much harder than it should be, and I may be wrong!

That said, Pop Warner really isn’t that big a deal. See this:http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/05/30/pop-warner-week-at-walt-disney-world/

28 Mariah { 01.31.12 at 12:19 pm }

Thanks Dave! I agree Pop Warner isn’t a big deal crowd-wise – we were there in 2010 during that week. But, there are rarely discounts available for those weeks it sounds like, so I’d much rather plan to be there a week when they’ll be offering discounts. Thankfully I do have a while to make that decision…I guess I will just wait it out! Here’s to hoping (for me) they make it the following week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, since that week would work out better for us :)

Thank you again for all the information and answering everyone’s questions – it’s so helpful to have this website as a tool in planning, even if it isn’t your first visit :-)!

29 Dave { 01.31.12 at 3:35 pm }

Thanks Mariah–and I get you about the discounts!

30 MeriaHackett { 03.10.12 at 3:34 pm }

We are looking into holding a wedding ceremony only at one of Disney’s locations. Now with that in mind do you know if prices are affected by season? We are very open to dates however only thing we want is to be able to swim & not in pants. Lol we did that one year in March it was so cold. We are renting a home for our trip but my Fiancé parents & sister will be staying at Disney & this is their first trip.
I was thinking for pictures it would look nice around Halloween or Christmas time. Can you recommend a good month.
Thanks
Meria

31 Dave { 03.11.12 at 9:15 am }

Hi Meria, I’m sorry, but I don’t know much about weddings at Disney World. I do know that the price varies by party size and day of the week (e.g. Weds vs Sat) but so I don’t know if varies by time of year too. If it does, your dates should be OK so long as your xmas date is at least a week before Christmas Day.

Just on the basis of weather, I’d vote for later October, but the Xmas decorations and celebrations are hard to beat…

32 Miranda { 03.12.12 at 12:09 pm }

I am planning my first trip to Disney world and I am planning on going in January of 2014 ( yes it is a long ways out, but I am waiting for my children to be a little older). I am curious how the crowds will be . I know that there is a marathon that goes on every year in January so what days would you suggest?

33 Dave { 03.12.12 at 1:37 pm }

Hi Miranda! I haven’t thought much about 2014 yet. I expect that the parks will be quite busy thru the 4th, that the Marathon will be either the weekend of the 4th (most likely) or possibly the weekend of the 11th, and that the three day weekend of Martin Luth King Day the 18th through 20th will also be busy. Thus the most certain times for low crowds will be arrival dates the 21st and later

34 Tracy { 03.26.12 at 1:48 pm }

We are planning to go Thanksgiving week in 2013, well really we arrive the week before on Wednesday night. How crowded can I expect this time to be? I know the first part of our trip is suppose to be low crowds but as the week progresses it goes to a high level. Am I crazy to try for this time? I have a 7,11,13 year old plus a 2 year old nephew. We leave the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. I was hoping that the days before would not be as crowded. What do you think?

35 Dave { 03.26.12 at 2:29 pm }

Hi Tracy, the crowds will start building the Saturday before Thanksgiving and will be horrible by Sunday. So you’d have two good days, one bad day, and the rest lousy. I would change dates if I could…if you can’t, I can give you some thoughts on how to make the best of it…

36 Megan { 04.06.12 at 6:09 pm }

Dave,
I’m planning a trip to Disneyland for the first time. I’d like to go Jan 21, 2013 to January 24. We’re celebrating my daughters 5th birthday. On the available calendar it shows many ride closers. Are they normally the “big kid” rides? Also with two adults and one child for our trip how many days would you suggest for us to see and do all we want to see and do? Thanks!

37 Dave { 04.07.12 at 12:37 pm }

Hi Megan, I’m sorry but my expertise is on Disney World, and I’m not so strong on Disneyland…

38 Jess { 04.09.12 at 10:46 pm }

We are thinking of a trip 1/1 or 1/2/13 for the week: because of the way the week falls will there be a larger amount of school vacation kids/families?

39 Jaynee { 04.10.12 at 1:30 pm }

Similar to Tracy, we are looking at Thanksgiving week 2013 since our kids will be out of school 3 of the 5 days that week. We’d arrive the Saturday afternoon before Thanksgiving and stay until the Sunday morning after Thanksgiving. By arriving the weekend before – will we have better luck with crowds? This will be our second time going (we last went in May 2008). We plan on staying at Pop Century while there. We also plan on going to non-Disney parks such as Sea World and Universal – do you recommend visiting those parks on the Friday and Saturday after T’giving to avoid the Disney crowds, or will those parks be just as crowded as the Disney parks?

Your site is awesome and a great source of info! Thanks for all you do!

40 Denise { 04.10.12 at 2:29 pm }

We are thinking of going to Disney for the first time. There will be 2 adults and 3 kids. Ages 17, 14, & 6. Trying to figure out the best time to go with low crowds and low cost. Was thinking of the end of February. What is your advice?

41 Dave { 04.10.12 at 3:52 pm }

Jess, I’ll have better data later this year when more school districts publish their 2012/2013 calendars, but I think a lot of kids will have all, and most some, of that week off, so it’s not one I’d recommend.

42 Dave { 04.10.12 at 4:10 pm }

Hi Jaynee, and thanks! The crowds Saturday will be better than Sunday, and Sunday better than the rest of the week, but it will still be very crowded…you can’t really escape the crowds, but your plans on Friday and Saturday will help…

43 Dave { 04.10.12 at 7:49 pm }

Hi Denise! That’s an excellent week, but more expensive, and a little more crowded, than late January and early February. Some rides will be closed in this late Jan/early Feb period for maintenance that will be open at the end of Feb–typically just a few, but some of the major ones.

44 Denise { 04.10.12 at 9:42 pm }

When do you recommend going price wise that time of year?

45 Dave { 04.11.12 at 6:13 am }

Hi Denise, Disney’s 2013 price seasons won’t be out til the summer, but for my forecasts see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2011/09/04/walt-disney-world-2013-price-seasons/

46 Terri { 04.12.12 at 9:29 am }

Hi There….trying to plan our first family vacation to Disney in 2013. Of course waiting very impatiently to see when and if they may offer free dining. I am hoping in March just like they did this year. Am I crazy to be thinking of going around March 7th to the 15th? Looking at your guide scares me….but I would like to go before it really starts getting too hot down their….Help!!! Definitely need some expert advice :)

47 Dave { 04.12.12 at 12:35 pm }

Hi Terri! I guess it kinda depends on what you consider “too hot.” Personally, in 2013, I’d aim at April except the first week and would avoid your March dates like the plague.

For temps, see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/when-to-go/next-best-dates/weather-and-when-to-go/high-temperatures-year-round/

…and for April, see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2009/12/23/the-most-comfortable-time-to-go-to-walt-disney-world/

48 Dana C. { 04.12.12 at 11:10 pm }

I just found your site and it is really helpful and enjoyable to read! I am thinking about a 2013 visit to WDW with my husband and 6 year old daughter but I am a teacher so unfortunately, I am limited to those holidays and school vacations that are always so busy. Considering crowds and weather, which school break would be best, February or April? Thanks for your thoughts on this!

49 Dave { 04.13.12 at 6:42 am }

Hi Dana, it depends on you exact dates, as they vary among districts–let me know. Also early June and late August can be great choices for teachers–when does your school year end and then restart in the summer?

50 Dana C. { 04.13.12 at 8:57 am }

Thanks for your response… For February of 2013 it is the week of the 18th (President’s week). I’m not sure about the April vacation because it is ausually attached to Easter which for next year is early- maybe like the last weekend in March. So I will have to find out for sure on that one. According to your charts, the Feb week looks a little less crowded but I worry about the weather not being warm enough for swimming in the pools at the resort. Is it the whole week of President’s week that is so crowded or just the long weekend?
I’m from upstate NY so we are out of school in late June and go back right after Labor Day. If August is really, really, hot, we don’t want to go then. It is hot enough up here at that time of year!!

FYI.. I am hearing that in our area we are going to be eliminating the Feb break after 2013… and some districts in the Southern Tier of our state already have! I wonder if other states are doing this too and if that may make a difference in the attendance trends?

Thanks so much for your time and thoughts!

51 Dave { 04.13.12 at 9:16 am }

Dana I’d pick late August over either of the other options in a heartbeat.

All of President’s week is busy, and if your spring break is the week before or after Easter it will be a zoo too. Between these two I’d pick Feb. Yes, there’s less chance of good pool weather than in April–but the crowds will be so high that it may not matter…and later Feb does represent the upswing of potentially good pool days–see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/when-to-go/next-best-dates/weather-and-when-to-go/pool-days-november-through-february/

But the impact of the crowds is hard to imagine unless you’ve been there. I don’t like heat or humidity either, but would pick late August over either of these without a moment’s thought, even tho late August is also in the peak of the hurricane season–see this http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/when-to-go/next-best-dates/weather-and-when-to-go/high-temperatures-year-round/ but also this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/when-to-go/next-best-dates/weather-and-when-to-go/chance-of-cyclonic-storm-affecting-florida/

The way to handle the heat is to spend the mornings and evenings in the parks, and the afternoons napping in your room or at the pool…

I know these choice aren’t perfect, but I’d take weather risks over massive crowds anytime.

Interesting to hear you guys (and others) are dropping the Feb break…

52 Dana C. { 04.13.12 at 9:44 pm }

Thank you very much for your insights… I may have a few more questions later as I am going to begin the planning process soon. I will continue to read your website as I plan, for sure! It and you have been very helpful!!! :)

53 Dave { 04.14.12 at 11:01 am }

Hi Dana, thanks, and ask away as questions emerge!

54 Nath { 04.15.12 at 10:07 am }

hey Dave,

I’m bringing family and friends over from across the pond on the 23/2/2013 for two and a half weeks and I was wondering what to expect in terms of crowds, weather and possible park/ride closes (other than the unexpected i.e. breakdowns).

Weather isn’t too much of a factor as anything above 10 degree’s C is warm over here in the uk but a little less rain would be most welcome.

I’ve been trying to look for your national holidays, school/college holidays to try and judge how busy it will be but I’ve failed miserably.

I’m just trying to get a better idea so we can plan what to do i.e. sorting tickets for whichever parks and to see whether fast pass tickets would be a good idea.

Thanks

55 Dave { 04.15.12 at 11:53 am }

Hi Nath!

Re crowds, the first week will be great, I’m worried about the second, and the half will be a crowd. See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2011/09/12/disney-world-crowds-in-2013/ Because of this, I’d push your theme park visits into the first week as much as you can. Then you can come back in the early mornings (beating the crowds) and late evenings of the following week and a half to fill in the gaps.

FASTPASS comes free with your WDW tickets, but you have to buy its equivalent at Universal (or stay at one of the three Universal hotels). Let me know how old your kids are and I’ll give you some thoughts on Universal.

On ride closures, your dates are after the traditional period, so with one possible exception you should be fine. The exception is Splash Mountain. It missed its normal rehab this winter, and badly needs not only routine maintenance but also some mechanical clean-up. Since new capacity will be coming to the Magic Kingdom this year, it’s to me a reasonable bet that Splash will have a multi-month closure in 2013, e.g. from January to May.

You are coming in the “dry season.” It can rain anytime, but typically less so until mid-May. See this and its links: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/when-to-go/next-best-dates/weather-and-when-to-go/

Hope this helps! Dave

56 Valorie { 05.12.12 at 7:21 pm }

Hello! I am new to your site. My husband, our 7 year old daughter, & myself went to Walt Disney World for the first time Nov. 1 – 7, 2011. We had an absolutely wonderful time! It wasn’t really crowded and the weather was beautiful. We would really like to go back sometime, I thought I would get some information if we could work out a trip in 2013. I was thinking the end of January or beginning of February, we would like to go when crowds should be lower and weather should be decent. I was wondering what your opinion was on this. Thanks!

57 Dave { 05.13.12 at 8:37 am }

Hi Valorie and welcome! See the first half of this for my reply to Katie’s almost identical question: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/when-to-go/next-best-dates/best-and-worst-times-to-visit/#comment-33216

58 Mike { 05.16.12 at 10:03 am }

Hi Dave. Thinking of targeting the 1st week of Feb for prior trips but a bit concerned on how much the national dance and cheerleading (UCA/UDA) competitions that usually flank this week on either weekend will affect crowds. Any insight on how these effect crowds and discounts for this week. It appears disney blacked out the end of this week on their prior bounceback offer which makes me a little wary.

Thanks in advance and great site.

59 Dave { 05.16.12 at 10:42 am }

Hi Mike! They affect how booked the hotels are, but not crowds–you’ll be fine! Assume Disney sells an extra 5,000 hotel rooms because of this–that’s 15,000-20,000 extra people, spread out each day over their own events, the Disney parks, Universal…just not that big a deal. Disney likely will black it out, but because thanks to it it can sell enough hotel rooms, not because of crowding in the parks…

60 Daphne { 05.23.12 at 4:49 pm }

Hi Dave,
I think you have a really good website. Thanks for all the information. I actually just got back from DisneyWorld 2 weeks ago. We went from May 4-11 and it was suprisingly crowded. It was also very hot. I was just wondering why it was so crowded or would you know? The time before this we went in early December and it was very pleasant and less crowded. I don’t know why I thought May wouldn’t be that bad. With that being said the trip was kind of exhausting and we didn’t get to do all that we wanted to. So me and my husband are thinking of planning another week long trip for next year, 2013. We were thinking of the dates of either October 18-25 or November 8-15. Which week would you recommend as to lesser crowds and weather?

61 Dave { 05.24.12 at 3:03 pm }

Hi Mollie and thanks!

I was there the earlier part of your visit (thru the 5th) and found the parks about as crowded as I expected them to be… some of the discrepancies may be illuminated by this page: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/04/30/crowds-and-walt-disney-world/

I really like both of your 2013 weeks, and don’t see a reason based on prices or crowds to pick one over the other.

So it comes down to weather–and holiday parties.

The November dates should be cooler, and are further out from the peak of the hurricane season. (See http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/when-to-go/next-best-dates/weather-and-when-to-go/chance-of-cyclonic-storm-affecting-florida/ )

The Halloween Party will be on during your October dates, and the Xmas party in November–see this for links to both http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/05/02/dates-announced-for-disney-world-halloween-and-christmas-parties/

62 Gary { 05.31.12 at 3:09 pm }

Hi,

Great site. It’s been very helpful when booking our trip!

We visited Orlando for the second and third weeks of September of 2008 and it was great. We usually queued for no longer than 30 minutes for the big rides, and often much less. Maybe up to an hour or so on weekends. We’ve just booked a trip for 13th-27th April 2013, and I’m just wondering what the difference in crowds is likely to be? Will it be noticeable? I’m hoping that we will largely avoid the Easter/Spring Break crowds!

Thanks,
Gary.

63 Kim graves { 05.31.12 at 10:55 pm }

If you stay off-site will you be able to use the fast past since you usually use your room key for this I’ve been told.

64 Dave { 06.01.12 at 6:48 am }

Kim, FASTPASS has always been available to everyone for free. It is coded into your ticket, not your room key. There is a different program that is related to room keys, called “Extra Magic Hours.” For more on FASTPASS, see this:http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/01/09/fastpasses-at-walt-disney-world/ and for more on Extra Magic Hours see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/01/12/extra-magic-hours-at-walt-disney-world/

65 Dave { 06.01.12 at 6:55 am }

Hi Gary, the short answer is that your April week should be fine, but not as good as your September weeks. You will miss the bulk of spring break crowds, but September traditionally has the lowest crowds of the year, so your week will suffer a bit in the comparison…

66 Mary E. { 06.01.12 at 9:07 pm }

Hi Dave,
So glad I ran into this site….ok 1st time dreamers….and we’re ready to start planning our vacation. We are a family of five which is a challenge because most value resorts only allow 4 occupants per room. Kids ages are 12, 9, and 4. We see that the Port Orleans moderate resort offer rooms with tundle beds and can hold 5 occupants per room. Do you know if there is any other way around the 4 person per room rule? Also we really would like to go in september, what do you recomend? Booking with a free dining plan would also be monumental to our budget.

67 Dave { 06.02.12 at 2:59 pm }

Hi Mary, and I’m glad you ran into this site too!

Yes, the only less-expensive option for 5 currently available is just the one you’ve identified. See also http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/special-circumstances/special-circumstances-large-families/

September has a lot of positives–low crowds, prices, and commonly free dining. See http://yourfirstvisit.net/2009/12/21/the-tightwads-guide-to-when-to-go-to-walt-disney-world/

The negative is that it’s in the peak of the hurricane season…

68 Angie W { 06.06.12 at 9:18 am }

Hi!!
Love all of the info on here! I am in the beginnings of planning a first time visit to Disney world. I have two small boys (currently 1 & 3), so I am looking for the optimal time for visit due to crowds & weather. With two impatient toddlers, I do not want to waste so much time standing around! Would you recommend mid/late April (after spring breakers of course) or mid October? Price is not a big issue!! Also, i see that you recommend the polynesian hotel for children, but my mom stayed there a few years back & was not impressed with the rooms! She is leaning more towards animal kingdom jambo house or possibly wilderness lodge. I know that jambo house will be a spectacular site, but is it too far out for small kids? (same question for wilderness lodge). I am aware that we will have to take breaks during the day & I don’t want to waste all my time on a bus! Thanks!

69 Angie W { 06.06.12 at 9:24 am }

I also notice that you don’t mention fall break in October when determining larger crowds. Does this not have much of an impact on the crowds at Disney? I live in ky & all of the schools are usually out for a week starting early oct through mid oct.

70 David { 06.06.12 at 6:13 pm }

Not sure if you already received a comment above about this, but Weeks 12 and 14 as listed above are the same week (one is 4/13/13 and the other is 4/14/13). The chart seems to have it correct (with week 14 as the week of 5/11/13). Great site!

71 Tim { 06.06.12 at 11:51 pm }

Hi Dave,

Thanks for all of the great information. One question: The week of December 29 is ranked at 52 when the crowds and costs are much lower than the high season of summer, which score much better rankings. Why the tough score? My wife and I will be traveling to WDW Dec 30 – Jan 6, and we thoroughly expect crowds, but I want to understand anything else negative we may want to expect. Thanks so much!

Cheers,
Tim

72 Dave { 06.07.12 at 6:52 am }

Hi Angie and thanks!

Either of your date choices is fine, but I like later October a little better.

If you don’t stay at a monorail resort (see http://yourfirstvisit.net/2011/11/08/the-monorail-resorts-at-walt-disney-world/ ) then getting back to any hotel from the Magic Kingdom for naps will take 20-40 minutes (including time spent waiting for a bus). WL is the next best choice after the monorail resorts…AKL fits into the further end of the 20-40 mins range…

73 Dave { 06.07.12 at 6:53 am }

Angie it doesn’t–few school districts have them, and they aren’t all at the same time, so not much impact from them on crowds…

74 Dave { 06.07.12 at 7:18 am }

David, thanks so much! This page has been out for more than 6 months–and seen more than 30,000 times–but you ar ethe first to find my silly error! You are right, Week 14 is 5/11…thanks again!!

75 Dave { 06.07.12 at 7:21 am }

Hi Tim, great question!

The 30th, 31st, 1st, and (perhaps) 2nd will be among the most crowded days of the year, and more crowded and more expensive than summer.

The reason it gets 52 partly because of this, but more so because towards the end of the week I expect ride closure season to start. All the weeks in ride closure season are at the bottom of this list, which is designed for people who may never return–so I don’t direct them to weeks when they predictably may miss great rides…for more see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/05/12/winter-ride-closures-at-walt-disney-world/

76 Donna { 06.07.12 at 10:09 pm }

Hi, love ur website!
We are planning to book for second week of January 2013. Is it a bad idea? I mean is too crowd or expensive?

Thanks

77 Dave { 06.08.12 at 7:03 am }

Hi Donna, and thanks! Crowds and prices will be low that week, but there a risk some rides will be closed…

78 Mike { 06.13.12 at 12:52 pm }

Hi Dave. Now that it seems that Disney is following more of a rolling schedule for major refurbs, rather than trying to pack them into Jan-Feb, don’t you think that late Jan/early Feb weeks should be ranked much higher, even for 1st timers. I do.

79 Dave { 06.13.12 at 4:48 pm }

Great question, but I won’t chnage my position til I see what’s closed in January.

Disney has always done rehabs–especially multi-month rehabs–at any time, and, except for Jan/Feb, not to any predictable pattern.

What’s different about Jan/Feb is that it is predictable it will do them then.

So I won’t change my take on those months til we hit a Jan/Feb with few or none–not true in 2012, and I doubt it will be true in 2013, as Splash Mountain will need it by then, as its traditional Jan rehab was canceled in 2012 because of Big Thunder…

80 Annemarie Hocking { 06.17.12 at 1:23 am }

Hi! Just starting to plan for June 2013. Wanting to take our family (13 yr old boy and 9 year old girl) the first week of June. Would arrive, we’re driving down from Illinois, on Sunday June 2 and planning on staying on site; would leave Saturday June 8 to return home. How are the parks that first week? Will we miss anything, besides Star Wars Weekends? Planning on staying Value – need to watch $.

81 Dave { 06.17.12 at 7:40 am }

Hi Annemarie! Traditionally that’s been an OK week–not great, but better than most of the rest of the summer, but this year–I was there then–it was much more crowded than anyone expected. I can’t tell you if that was a one time event or a new trend…Your trip is shorter than I recommend, but nothing important happens on weekends in the summer that you can’t catch during the week too…

82 marty { 06.19.12 at 11:06 pm }

Any reason why week of Feb 9 2013 is listed as one of the lowest ranked weeks to visit. Even lower than presidents week

83 Dave { 06.20.12 at 6:56 am }

Becasue of ride closures. Early on the page you’ll find this:

“The ranking is designed for first time visitors who do not know whether or not they will return.

For visitors on a return trip, less concerned about ride closures, the January and early February weeks would be ranked much higher–with the Marathon and Martin Luther King Day weeks being the worst of these.”

84 Joe { 06.21.12 at 10:22 pm }

Hey Dave just got back from disney world and already planning another trip for 3/9/2013 to 3/16/2013. Your graph shows this to be a bad time of year, what the history of that second week shows it to be bad? Also planing to use the travel agent that your site uses.

85 Dave { 06.22.12 at 2:50 pm }

Joe that’s been a quite crowded week every year I’ve been working on this site. For a deepr explanation of why see this page: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2011/07/11/disney-world-crowds-in-2012-spring-break-2012/

Note that the link is about 2012–I’ll be writing the 2013 equivalent some time this summer–but the same basics apply to 2013…

86 Mike { 06.28.12 at 7:02 pm }

Dave, keep hearing rumors that Pop Warner week will be moved to week 0f 12/8-12/15 for 2013, rather than the customary 1st week of Dec. Are you sure it is still 1st week of Dec?

87 Dave { 06.29.12 at 6:42 am }

Hey Mike, good to hear from you again!

No I’m not sure at all–just going by the pattern of the last 10 or so years.

If you have a moment, please forwards some links about the rumored date change!

Thanks, Dave

88 Kaylene { 07.01.12 at 5:00 pm }

Hi Dave,
I posted a question last week but I think it may have been lost. My family and I will be taking our daughters to Disney in 2013. It will be our girls’ first visit. They will be 5 and almost 3. My concern is that the only weeks available for us to travel is the week of February 16th or March 30th. Both weeks look to be extremely busy. Do you have a preference between the two weeks ? We are trying to decide on accommodations. We are leaning toward the Polynesian resort. Any tips that you have would be appreciated.

89 Dave { 07.01.12 at 6:33 pm }

Hi Kaylene! I’ve answered both your comments (the original and the first “lost comment” comment–but we are not connecting, I just emailed you!

90 Anna { 07.10.12 at 9:22 pm }

Hi Dave great site!
I live in Australia and have 3 small childrenn 5,3 &128 month old
we are wanting to go thinking around September sometime. is this a good time to go and is the whearther still hot enough to use the water parks we want to see everything as this is a once in a lifetime trip.
thanks

91 Dave { 07.11.12 at 7:32 am }

Hi Anna, and thanks! For a once in a lifetime visit I can’t recommend September, as it is in the peak of the hurricane season. See this:http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/when-to-go/next-best-dates/weather-and-when-to-go/chance-of-cyclonic-storm-affecting-florida/

92 Jennifer { 07.13.12 at 2:43 pm }

Hi Dave ! We want to travel to Disney spring of 2013. We will have a just over 7yo & just over 4yo. I am willing to take my oldest out of school, so would like to go when there are low crowds, but still warm enough to swim & possibly do watermark. I assumed beginning of march before most of florida’s spring break would be good ( march 2nd – 9th ),but I see you have all of march listed as high crowds . I also assumed April would be high crowds as it seems most of April you have marked as low crowds. I am afraid waiting until may would be too hot. Also, my oldest has Asperger’s, so why it is important to not be too crowded and have decent temps, he is sensitive to hotter weather . So , any advice you can give me on all of this would be helpful.

93 Marisa { 07.13.12 at 4:23 pm }

Hi Dave,
What a great website! My family is planning a trip to Disney for next summer. We have not settled on an exact date yet but are considering a 10 day trip, possibly August 5-14th. Not my ideal time to visit, however there are 3 teachers in the family and the trip has to be during the summer. What do you think is the best time to go during the summer? Also, I was wondering if you have heard anything about the new Art of Animation Resort. There are 11 of us going ( 7 adults & 4 children) and we were considering booking 3 suites in this resort. Do you have any other suggestions in the same price range? I have somehow become the main planner of this trip and since I have not been since 1998 I can use all the help I can get!!!

94 Marisa { 07.13.12 at 4:41 pm }

Hi Dave,
I was just reading a little bit more about ages and heights of children and am feeling a little bit discouraged. My daughter will be almost 4 and she is now about 36 inches. My guess is that she will be about 38 inches by then. We don’t want to postpone our trip, since we are planning on having another child in 2014. Do you think that there will still be enough for her to do that will make this a memorable trip? Thanks!

95 Terri { 07.13.12 at 7:36 pm }

Hi Marisa -

We took my daughter there when she was 2, so even shorter than your daughter, and we had a blast!!! There was so much for her to see and do, we spent 4 full days in the parks, and half of a fifth, and still didn’t come close to doing and seeing everything we wanted to. It was so much fun that we are now planning a second trip for when my daughter is 5, and we have a second daughter who will be 2. I will say at that age you run the risk of her not remembering much about the trip when she’s older, but I just look at that as an invitation to go again every few years!!!

96 Dave { 07.14.12 at 6:59 am }

Hi Jennifer, the spring break season, when Easter is early as it is in 2013, runs from two weeks after Presidents Day through the week after Easter. So either the week beginning 5 days after President’s Day or later April are great choices for you.

You may also want to take a look at this book: PassPorter’s Open Mouse for Walt Disney World and the Disney Cruise Line: Easy Access Vacations for Travelers with Extra Challenges

97 Dave { 07.14.12 at 7:04 am }

Hi Marisa and thanks! For teachers, the best bet is the beginning of June or the end of August–whichever fits their academic calendar. I love Art of Animation–see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/06/10/review-the-family-suites-at-disneys-art-of-animation-resort/ For other options for larger families, see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/12/15/lower-priced-options-for-large-families-at-walt-disney-world/

98 Dave { 07.14.12 at 7:05 am }

Marisa, she’ll have a blast. The only question is if this will be her only trip…if yes, I’d wait; if no, go for it!

99 Dave { 07.14.12 at 7:07 am }

Thanks Terri for weighing in!

100 Alexsandra { 07.26.12 at 10:16 am }

Hi Dave, I have used your site multiple times to plan all of my previous trips. I usually go in Feb when prices and crowd are low. However my 5 year old son is starting school this September and now we have to work around his school schedule. We are now debating when to go. First week of January (Jan 1st to the 8th, 2013) or March break (March 2nd to the 10th, 2013). They both seem like very crowded and expensive times to visit. These dates are perfect since I don’t have to pull my son out of school and I don’t have to pay a babysitter during those dates (save money). If not, I could maybe squeeze in a visit this November (Nov 22nd to 29th, 2012) but he would have to miss 4 days of school and my budget for the trip would be tight. Help me decide!
Thanks

101 Jessica { 07.26.12 at 5:30 pm }

Hello

Your site is wonderful :)

Looking at your suggested weeks we plan to go on OCT 26 2013 or on Nov 9 2013. My boy will be 5. We would like to have the not so scary halloween party and the very mery christmas party. Is there a week when we can have both? or how many days would we have to stay to get the last halloween party and the first one of very mery christmas party.
Do you know if splash mountain will be closed during those weeks in 2013. It is really important for us that this ride is not closed during our visit.

102 Dave { 07.27.12 at 8:20 am }

Hi Alexsandra, this is a tough one as none of your choices is great. I’d go with the November dates. Your first few days overlaps overlap Thanksgiving so will be almost as crowded as the other two weeks, but starting the 25th crowds will be great…

103 Dave { 07.27.12 at 8:32 am }

Hi Jessica and thanks!

Most years the last day of the Halloween Party is Nov 1–this year it’s Nov2–and the Xmas party starts 8-10 days later. My guess for 2013 is that the last halloween party will be Nov 1 and the first Xams party will be Nov 10…

Not even Disney knows if Splash will be closed then, I’d bet! I can’t think of a year when it was closed in Oct/Nov. However, it needs a long rehab, and while that’s most likely to occur in the first or second quarter, anything is possible…

104 cviz { 08.04.12 at 8:07 pm }

Hey Dave, thanks for all the great info. We are planning a Disney trip in Oct 2013, but we are concerned about running into the Epcot Wine and Food festival crowds, should we be concerned?

105 Dave { 08.05.12 at 10:17 am }

Hey CVIZ, the F&W crowds affect only the World Showcase at Epcot–not the rides there, and not the rest of the parks…so no worries…

106 Jessicka { 08.08.12 at 2:42 pm }

Thank you very much for your answer.

107 Dave { 08.08.12 at 8:48 pm }

You’re welcome, Jessica!

108 Tami { 08.10.12 at 9:54 am }

This is a great site, and the info is very helpful. We are planning a Disney World trip for Jan 18-23, 2013. I realize that the 18th through 21st will have larger crowds because of the MLK holiday. My question is, how large are those crowds? Are they horrific, or are they still lower than most of “high crowd” periods of the year. Also, do you happen to know which parks have the most visitors on a holiday weekend such as that? I would assume Magic Kingdom would best be left for after the holiday weekend. Thanks so much for any advice you have. This is a great site!

109 Dave { 08.10.12 at 3:49 pm }

Hi Tami, and thanks!

MLK crowds aren’t anything like as bad as the “high crowd” periods–just worse than most of the January alternatives. And yes, weekends and Mondays are the busiest days at WDW generally, and MK particularly…

110 Priscilla M. { 08.10.12 at 4:58 pm }

Hi Dave!

About to book my trip with to Disney World from May 12 to the 18th with my parents, 2 siblings and 3 year old (at time of trip) nephew. Would you say this is a good week to go? Also, is Star Wars week and the flower show during that week?

Thanks Dave!

Priscilla M.

111 Tami { 08.10.12 at 8:34 pm }

Thanks so much, Dave! Very helpful answer!

112 Dave { 08.11.12 at 10:57 am }

Hi Priscilla! Yup, that’s a good week–it’s on my recommended list (#14).

Star Wars dates have not been announced yet. Based on recent practice, they are likely to begin the 17th…

The Flower and Garden show will run through May 19–see http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/parks/epcot/special-events/epcot-international-flower-and-garden-festival/

113 Lee Ann { 08.27.12 at 11:46 am }

I’m just curious how far in advance you put up information for each year. We are DVCers and travel to The World quite a bit. This site has been VERY helpful in our planning…and we usually start making reservations 11 months out.

Thanks for all the great info! :D

114 Dave { 08.27.12 at 12:54 pm }

Hi Lee Ann, and I’m glad the site helps!!!

Here’s the rough calendar I seem to have settled into over the past few years…

About 21 months in advance I’ll publish some rough thoughts on a year–e.g. http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/04/17/2014-at-walt-disney-world/

About 15 or 16 months in advance I’ll do a first draft of a crowd calendar, forecast price seasons (the regular ones, not the DVC ones!) and based on those and other factors do the year’s week rankings–so for 2014 that’ll be in September or October.

I’ll update the price seasons when Disney announces the final ones–typically 5-7 months in advance–update the crowd calendars right after that, and then do a final revision of the week rankings. I try to get all this done 5-6 months in advance.

Then after that I do the year’s Week Picker, which is a ton of work–see this which just came out today, about a month later than I’d wish, but my “real” job got me behind this summer: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/08/27/the-2013-walt-disney-world-week-picker/

Hope this helps and thanks again for the kind words!

115 Lee Ann { 08.29.12 at 9:09 am }

Holy moly…I don’t know how you do it! Thanks SO MUCH for sharing! It’s so incredibly helpful, and it’s very much appreciated!

116 Dave { 08.29.12 at 5:27 pm }

Thanks Lee Ann! Sometime I get tired and comments like yours really help me keep it up!… :)

117 jason pryce { 09.01.12 at 4:23 pm }

looking to book our first family holiday to disney looking at last week in may first week in june staying at quality inn international and looking to use local transport to get to parks disney and universal – please can you give us any advise before we book???

118 Dave { 09.02.12 at 6:32 am }

Not sure what you mean by “local transport,” Jason…

119 Lily from Destinations in Florida { 09.06.12 at 10:17 pm }

Jason, do you mean local shuttles?

120 Amy { 09.11.12 at 9:22 am }

Hi! I am planning a visit for 11/9/13 – 11-17-13. Our last Disney trip was at this time in 2009. We were able to book 6 mos. ahead & receive the dining plan free for that trip. I see that, historically, these dates are included in the free dining. My issue is that all the websites show the free dining plan being released in August for my projected 2013 dates. It is very important to me to book for this time as it saves me a significant amount of money. What I’m wondering is – should I go ahead & book everything so that I can get my dining reservations & then try & get the discount when/if it is offered? Or should I wait, see if it is offered & hope for the best? I don’t plan on Ciderella’s castle, but would like to book Askershus & Fantasmic package at the least.

121 Dave { 09.11.12 at 10:37 am }

Hi Amy! You can book now, and then convert later if a deal becomes available…

122 Kari { 09.13.12 at 2:59 pm }

Hello! Awesome site! I am planning my familys first Disney Vacation! My husband is an Elementary Principal, so we HAVE to go during a break time. My original plan was Spring Break (March 31-April 5) but now that I have seen your rankings, and have read about how crowded it is, I am debating between that and Presidents Week (Feb 17-22). However, if I go with Presidents Week, I will have missed out on the 180 day dining reservations. What’s your opinion? PW or SB?!! Thanks so much!

123 Dave { 09.13.12 at 6:51 pm }

Hi Kari and thanks!

I’d do neither, and pick either the beginning of June or end of August–those are the best choices for people tied to a school calendar…if neither of those works, I’d go with President’s week. It’s bad, but not nearly as bad as Easter…

124 Laura { 09.15.12 at 11:05 am }

Hey! I just found your wonderful site!! I am planning a family trip to Disney in 2013. We always go in Sept or Oct but I want to visit when Disney is not decorated for Halloween! The weeks we are able to go are Feb 10-14 or April 7-11 or should we wait and go June 2-6? I am not sure which week would be best…We are a little spoiled going in Sept! I would appreciate any advise! Thanks so much!!!

125 Laura { 09.15.12 at 11:13 am }

Also, does Disney typically have free dining during any of those times? Thanks again!!

126 Dave { 09.16.12 at 10:02 am }

Hi Laura, and thanks!

My vote would be for your April dates–less crowded than June, better weather than February!

127 Dave { 09.16.12 at 10:02 am }

Any of those dates could have free dining, with April maybe the most likely…

128 Julie { 09.17.12 at 12:45 pm }

Hi Dave,
My husband and I are planning a vacation to Disney with our 2 kids (18months and 4 years old). We have a few options: the last week of January (26-31), first week of February (2-7) or the first week of March (1-6). When do you think we should go taking into consideration weather, ride closures, and spring break? Thank you so much for any advice.

129 Dave { 09.17.12 at 1:08 pm }

Hi Julie! With kids that young, I’m assuming you’ll be taking them back when they are older, so the ride closures will matter much less. Given that, either of your Jan or Feb times should be great! March promises better weather, higher crowds, and higher prices…

130 Brian Allen { 09.18.12 at 3:42 am }

Dave,
We are trying to plan a trip for Spring break which is April 1st-6th. Of Course so is half the planet. ;o) My question is: my son is 10 and just went into remission after battling Leukemia for 3+years. For the most part he is “normal” again with the except of getting tired after prolonged standing. Does Disney have anything set up for Special Needs kids that cant stand in long lines?What proof do we have to show? Are there any other special “deals” he may qualify for? He already did his MAKE A WISH trip 2 years ago to LEGOLAND CA…. Thanks for your time, Brian(I am active duty Navy if that helps)

131 Dave { 09.18.12 at 7:23 am }

Hey Brian, so glad your son is in remission! Disney has a “guest assistance card” which you can get–or you cna just have a wheelchair for him. For the scoop and details, my advice is to get a copy of PassPorter’s Open Mouse for Walt Disney World and the Disney Cruise Line: Easy Access Vacations for Travelers with Extra Challenges

There’s a couple of great discounts available for you as active duty Navy–see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/08/08/new-disney-world-armed-forces-salute-announced-fy-2013/ However, both have blackouts during your dates. These deals expire late September 2013…so if you moved your dates you’d face lower crowds, lower prices, and a better deal…

132 Suze { 09.27.12 at 3:58 pm }

Hello! I am very impressed with your site. We are planning our very first Disney world trip for December 2013 (thanks to your suggestions). I’m so sorry if this information is somewhere on here and I’ve skipped it; I’m strongly considering going through a travel agent. I know the official site is very easy to go through step-by-step when booking, but I’d like a travel agent to help. Am I wasting my time going through the travel agent? Thanks for any feedback and your time. :)

133 Dave { 09.27.12 at 4:27 pm }

Hi Suze and thanks! You are right–I do have some stuff–see this http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/06/14/travel-agents-for-walt-disney-world/

Short version is that they can save you some time, and keep you up to date on discounts, but at the cost of some control…

134 Bella { 09.28.12 at 10:09 am }

Hi… If I come in October 2013, when do you think I should come? I would stay a week, Friday-Friday. I would like to come during a time when it’s not busy and maybe during a special offer like free dining? I don’t care so much about hurricane season/weather. I want to be there for the Halloween party and Food & Wine but that will be the whole month of October anyways. What will Halloween day be like? Thank you!

135 Dave { 09.28.12 at 10:18 am }

Hi Bella I recommend 10/18 or 10/25/2013. Halloween is not particularly crowded, as kids aren’t off during the day…and there’s no guarantees on free dining…

136 Emma { 09.28.12 at 3:38 pm }

Hi Dave,
I LOVE your site!! This is the second trip that I have planned to Disney using your site as a reference. We have been 3 times total. I am planning a trip with my 4 children, husband, and a set of grandparents. Due to various commitments, we have narrowed down our weeks to going either April 9-16th or May 9th -16th (mid-week trips). We have been to Disney the first week of May in the past and loved it. Crowd avoidance is our number one priority and then weather. Are either of these a good option? If not, I could consider going in Fall 2013. Thanks for your help!!!

137 Dave { 09.29.12 at 8:48 am }

Hiya Emma, and I’m glad the site is helping, and thanks for the kind words!

Those are both great weeks in 2013. I’d have a slight preference for the April dates, as while warm enough for swimming it’s not as hot as May…

138 Jen { 10.03.12 at 9:52 am }

Well we were planning a last minute trip for Nov 18-22 but after researching we’ve decided to wait till our Sept 2013 trip . We want to take our son for his 5th Birthday which is the Sept. 18 2013. Dates going Sept 17-21 or 22. Will these be good dates and do you have an opinion on the Animal Kingdom Resort? He LOVES African Animals.

139 Dave { 10.03.12 at 12:26 pm }

Hey Jen, mostly that’s a great week to go. I downrank it a bit as it’s in the peak of hurricane season–see http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/when-to-go/next-best-dates/weather-and-when-to-go/chance-of-cyclonic-storm-affecting-florida/

AKL is a wonderful choice–I rank it third best of the dleuxes here http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/04/26/walt-disney-world-resort-hotel-reviews/ but if you factor in loving African animals it’d be #1!

140 Vivian Queiroz { 10.06.12 at 8:46 pm }

Hi Dave,
I just found your wonderful site!!
I am planning a 2-week family trip to Disney in 2013. We have a few dates in the calendar that suits us: 26/04, 22/05 or in october (I don’t have the exact dates yet).
I’ve had a look in your website and after 26/04 seems to be good because of the end of the spring break. However, you mention this period is expensive. Is it for the tickets, hotels, etc ? How much more expensive ? If possible, can you please provide more insights about it ?
Best Regards, Vivian

141 Dave { 10.07.12 at 3:05 pm }

Hi Vivien, and thanks for the kind words!

It’s the hotel prices that change over the year–they aren’t bad at the end of April, but are better in October. See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2011/09/04/walt-disney-world-2013-price-seasons/

142 Kelly { 10.22.12 at 12:39 am }

I am planning a trip with my husband and three daughters, ages 20, 18, and 15. we are planning the week of December 9-17th. is this a good time as far as not a lot of crowds. we have been there twice before. now we have to work around work and college class schedules we want to see the. Christmas decorations but do not want to fight the crowds

Kelly

143 Kelly { 10.22.12 at 12:41 am }

another question, any tips on a website to get the best value for hopper tickets for Disney and universal. the best I found was $2376.50 for the five of us, anything cheaper?

144 Kelly { 10.22.12 at 12:46 am }

are there any free dining packages for those dates in December 9-17? we will be staying at a timeshare right outside of disney, a Marriott ?

145 Dave { 10.22.12 at 6:57 am }
146 Dave { 10.22.12 at 6:58 am }
147 Dave { 10.22.12 at 6:58 am }

Kelly the free dining deal only applies to people staying in a WDW hotel…

148 Kelly { 10.22.12 at 1:55 pm }

Dave,
Thanks so much for the websites. I actually will be saving $60.00 by buying my tickets on mousesavers.com. I am more than excited right now!!!

149 Dave { 10.22.12 at 6:37 pm }

Great news, Kelly!!

150 Faisal { 10.22.12 at 8:44 pm }

I just found this website after booking my tickets and seems like I booked my tickets for worst time. What are my options now?
Also can you give me tips for good tickets and places to go? I’m flying to MIA on 12th Feb and my return flight is on 20th. So far no plan to stay in MIA and will be driving right away from MIA to Orlando (Free airline tickets using miles and my dates and school off days matches for MIA but not for MCO).

151 Dave { 10.23.12 at 6:26 am }

Hi Faisal, you will indeed miss a few rides that will be closed for rehab, but otherwise the first part of your visit is a good time to visit. It will get busy later in the week beginning the 14th, and noticeably so the 16th and after

For “places to go,” see this as an example: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/basic-itinerary/alternative-itineraries/itineraries-for-the-rest-of-the-year/v2-of-2009-autumn-winter-spring-itinerary/

For tickets, see this: http://www.mousesavers.com/sources-for-discounts-on-walt-disney-world-tickets/

152 Darby { 10.24.12 at 11:03 pm }

Hi Dave! Great site you have here.. I just stumbled onto it but plan on doing some research after I post this so some of my questions may already be answered. Apologies in advance! I’m planning my family’s first trip for early 2014. We are flexible but would rather go in January, February, or March as the weather will be cooler. Our daughters will be 4.5 and 1 (turning 1 that February). What do you think the best time will be in regards to price and crowds? Also – what do you think are must-sees and must-do’s for a family who has never been? We also may be going down with family so hopefully will have sitters so the husband & I can go off and do our own thing for at least one of the nights so adults-only suggestions would be great too. We will be celebrating 5 years of marriage so we wanted to do something special. What are your favorite things to do?

153 Dave { 10.25.12 at 6:11 am }

Hi Darby! All your questions are answered on the site somewhere, except most of my material is for older kids. Start here: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/10/15/2014-weeks-visit-walt-disney-world-ranked-order/

154 Kim { 10.26.12 at 10:51 am }

Hi Dave! Great informative site! My family and I have booked a vacation May 22-28, 2013, and due to the Memorial Day holiday, I know to expect some level of crowds at the parks. Our last trip to WDW was December 26-Jan 1, and the crowds were extremely high. I was wondering how the crowd level for our upcoming trip in May will compare to our last trip? Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

155 Dave { 10.26.12 at 12:59 pm }

Hi Kim! It will be much, much better then! Your last trip was during the absolute worst week of the year–I give it a crowd ranking of “11″–so all your future trips will seem tame by comparison. And thanks for the kind words about the site…

156 SILVINA { 10.26.12 at 10:34 pm }

Hi Dave! I love your page but it really makes me want to run away from Disney. The fact is I have three children 16, 12 and 10 years old. I’ve been waiting to take them to Disney from Argentina but the only time my husband can leave work is the week before easter and you say to stay away from Disney at tht time of 2013. I went to Atlantis in Bahamas last year but this time I really want Disney. We hate crowds though so I hesitate. How could we manage to get to some rides? we are planning to arrive on march 23 and stay at a Disney resort.

157 Dave { 10.27.12 at 12:42 pm }

Hi Silvina! Well, if you hate crowds, then stay away then. But if you do go, you can have fun. You’d need to be at a park well before it opens, ride as many of the most popular rides as you can during the first hour or so, then take advantage of FASTPASSES until they run out. See also this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/02/21/getting-more-fastpasses-faster-at-walt-disney-world/

158 Amy { 11.05.12 at 11:41 am }

Hi Dave. First – I want to tell you – thanks for all of the great information I have already gleaned from your website. I am debating about the best time to bring my daughter to Disney World. She has special needs and can get very ill. As a result, I have to try to avoid long lines, crowds – but also not expose her to terrible weather. I am trying to decide between Feb 4 -feb 9, 2013 and the week of 2/25/12- 3/2/12. I see that you rank 2/24/12 week as the 10th best week – but I am concerned about crowds from the princess marathon/president’s day weekend. Should they be gone for the most part- and is it before spring break kicks into full gear? I think 2/4/12 week would be less crowded – but afraid the weather could be worse – or is there not really much difference between the two options weather-wise? Any thoughts/recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

159 Dave { 11.05.12 at 12:14 pm }

Hi Amy and thanks!

The weekend of the 23rd will be a little clotted up from the tail of the President’s Day week crowd and the marathon, but the rest of that week will be fine. You are however, right that the week of the 2nd will be less crowded!

And while weather at the end of Feb is better than the beginning, it’s not like its cold at the beginning and warm at the end–see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/when-to-go/next-best-dates/weather-and-when-to-go/high-temperatures-year-round/ and also this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/when-to-go/next-best-dates/weather-and-when-to-go/pool-days-november-through-february/

160 Amy { 11.05.12 at 12:25 pm }

Thank you for your response Dave!

161 Dave { 11.05.12 at 12:27 pm }

:)

162 Dave { 11.05.12 at 12:28 pm }
163 Brian { 11.13.12 at 8:00 pm }

Dave,

We are planning our third DW trip for November or Dec 2013. We have never stayed on Disney property before and am trying to decide if it is worth it. I have two girls who love Ariel and was thinking about the Ariel value resort. We will be staying 4 nights and I was trying to pick a good week to go. We can either stay Sat-wed or wed-Sunday. WHich days of the week would you recomend and what week based on low crowds and cost? Also, I have read a few posts regarding free dining plans? Is this common and can they be added later? Thank you for your time. We followed your advice last year and had a blast!

164 Dave { 11.14.12 at 6:38 am }

Hey Brian! I’m so glad the site helped last year!

There’s not a of of difference between weds-sun or sat-weds. If you could do Mon-Fri, that would make a difference.

My points of view on the weeks of 2013 are already on this page. Either read it through or click the image that has all the weeks of the year.

Free dining is an offer that will continue to go away as the economy oh so slowly improves. I would not count on it…

165 Meg { 11.14.12 at 10:44 pm }

Hey Dave!

First, I want to say I love this site! It has aided me on planning my previous trips tremendously! Thank you for taking the time to put all of this information together- it’s much appreciated :)

We are planning a trip for 4/13/13-4/19/13. Last year we went the week after Thanksgiving (practically had the park to ourselves!) and the middle of May (still good but slightly more crowded.) What can I expect with these dates in April? Will there still be any lingering Easter vacationers?

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts! Thank you again for your time!

166 Dave { 11.15.12 at 7:23 am }

Hi Meg and thanks. I’m so glad the site is helping! Your April dates will be comparable to your May visit, but a little better!

167 Meg { 11.15.12 at 9:46 am }

Thanks Dave for the quick response! I was a little hesitant because on another forum I saw that some schools will have time off that week for Spring Break and were anticipating some heavier crowds from that. With the crowds being comparable to last May, it’s definitely doable! Again, thank you!

168 Dave { 11.15.12 at 3:05 pm }

Hi Meg, it’s true that some schools do have spring break then. But 1. they are relatively few (see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/07/25/disney-world-crowds-2013-spring-break-2013/ ) and 2. many that do have break then also have a full week off for President’s Day–and many families with the choice prefer to come to Florida in February!

169 Brandy Morgan { 11.15.12 at 10:12 pm }

Dave…we’ve been on July 4th 2010 n Christmas Eve/Day 2011 n crowds were INSANE both times…we now homeschool, so we r flexible for ANY day n 2013…we r at a complete loss at what to do!!! Wanting weather that is tolerable, MOST inexpensive (as we r 1 income now), n low crowds (for a change from our past 2 trips)…we definitely want to do the dining plan (not just quick), n have enjoyed free dining once, n r hoping for it again, but r very discouraged with the offers…would love to go the first of 2013 (10 year anniversary), but really just needing some direction for what to do???!!!???!!! Also confused about should we go (for $ sake) value w/ an upgrade to dining or go moderate which covers the cost for dining…it seems as if this deal OR free dining would have the same stipulations (ie:value=quick n moderate=dining) Thx for ANY help!!!!

170 Dave { 11.16.12 at 4:41 pm }

Hi Brandy!! Are you US-based? I’m asking because, for example, UK-based people have different offers out right now that I can’t see. But do take a look at this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2009/12/21/the-tightwads-guide-to-when-to-go-to-walt-disney-world/

171 Jodi { 11.21.12 at 8:14 am }

our trip was amazing we had festivals of the masters, festival of the seasons at Down town disney, we had food and wine festival at epcot, free dining and 9 days of 79 to 83 degree weather. Low crowds christmas decorations up everywhere it was amazing. thanks for your input dave ;) will miss it but this time we cant afford to go back 11 months later we will have to wait a few years. But ill come look on your page periodically knowing that 3 years does go fast lol

172 Dave { 11.21.12 at 9:43 am }

Fantastic, Jodi! And I’m so glad to help!

173 Amanda { 11.27.12 at 11:04 am }

Hi!!! I’ve been coming every year, and I’m thinking of taking a trip April 21-26 (Sunday-Friday). I’ve been wanting to visit in spring, and this is one of the only dates that works…don’t want to come when a lot of schools are off. What is the weather usually like at this time? Any hope for free dining? Thanks for the help!

174 Dave { 11.28.12 at 8:52 am }

Hi Amanda! That’s a great time to go in 2013. See this for more on the month: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/09/18/april-2013-walt-disney-world/ There’s been discounts then the past few years, but Disney by policy has been cutting them back, so it’s hard to say if we’ll see them again then in 2013…

175 Katrina { 11.29.12 at 5:17 am }

Hi Dave,

You seem like the man in the know!

We are planning to take our kids to Disney next year (they are 3 and 9) staying at Magic Kingdom. I origionally planned for the first week in June – but I’m getting worried about the weather. I live in the Isle of Man (middle of the Irish Sea) which has a slightly warmer temperature that the rest of the UK and worried the heat maybe too much. Websites say its hot hot hot with short showers daily. But a friend who lives in the States says it would be fine (though she lives in Arizona!). We are staying for 7 days at MK so we have plenty time not to rush around in the heat to try to do everything….do you think it will be too hot for us (especially the 3yr old)?
Thanks

176 Dave { 11.29.12 at 1:05 pm }

Well, Katrina…there are many better times of the year to go than early June, so what’s your next best option? Late April and late October, for example, will be great in 2013…June is miserably hot and humid even by the standards of people who live in Florida…see http://yourfirstvisit.net/2009/12/23/the-most-comfortable-time-to-go-to-walt-disney-world/ and http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/11/18/june-2013-walt-disney-world/

177 Kisha { 12.11.12 at 10:34 am }

Hi Dave,
I’m interested in seeking advice from you about planning a trip for my family to Disney next year. We wanted to take the kids including my nieces and nephews during the Thanksgiving break. I did review the peak times and crowd, but feel the experience will be great for the kids. Would you recommend Christmas or Thanksgiving or should be stick with our plans for Thanksgiving?

178 Dave { 12.12.12 at 6:25 am }

Hi Kisha! Well, I wouldn’t recommend either, but between the Christmas week and Thanksgiving week I’d go with Thanksgiving.

179 Chanelle { 12.12.12 at 8:42 pm }

Hi Dave,
We are looking at going to Disney for the first time either mid September or early December 2013. Since we have a lot of Hilton points, we were considering using our points at either the Embassy Suites or DoubleTree. Any advice or recommendations? I know the Double Tree has a shuttle every 1/2 hour…not sure about DoubleTree. Thanks so much!

180 Dave { 12.13.12 at 8:55 am }

Hi Chanelle–I’m sorry but I don’t track the off-site hotels…there’s too many of them!

181 chanelle { 12.13.12 at 1:24 pm }

no problem! thanks! how about timing between mid september and early December?

182 Dave { 12.14.12 at 9:52 am }

Well, Chanelle, as you can see I rank the early December weeks at the top…mid Sept will be less crowded, warmer, but is in the peak of the hurricane season–see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/when-to-go/next-best-dates/weather-and-when-to-go/chance-of-cyclonic-storm-affecting-florida/

183 Erica { 12.18.12 at 3:08 pm }

Hi Dave,
I love all the information on your site. So useful for a neurotic planner like myself! I have one question I would so appreciate you attempting to answer for me. We’re looking at possibly going to Disney the week of 5/11/13. However, we’re flexible and could actually go 10/19/13, 10/26/13, 11/9/13, or 11/30/13. I know that you’ve ranked these weeks but crowd-wise, is there really a big difference between week 2 (11/30) and week 13 (5/11)? Crowd is the most important factor for us. Thanks for any insight you can offer!

184 Dave { 12.18.12 at 6:36 pm }

Hi Erica and thanks! I’m seeing them as about the same–but if I’m wrong, week 2 will be a little less crowded!

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185 Joel { 12.19.12 at 4:58 pm }

My family is all booked for our trip to Disneyworld, this Dec 31st thru Jan 6th. We are now starting to panic as we keep reading that the crowds are going to be very large. We don’t do well with big crowds and are afraid that it will be even worse than expected because of the way the calendar falls and that most kids will not be going back to school until the 7th. We are seriously considering canceling the trip and re-scheduling for sometime in May perhaps.
Any thoughts?

186 Dave { 12.20.12 at 8:45 am }

Joel, I’ve been calling that a nhorrible week since the summer (see http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/07/17/disney-world-crowds-2013-christmasnew-years-crowds-20122013/ ) and certainly would reschedule if you can!

187 Jodi { 12.22.12 at 7:11 pm }

haha Dave we are going back Nov 8 th -17 2013 lol just cant keep me away

188 Sarah { 12.28.12 at 5:21 pm }

Any tips for large groups? My friends church is organizing a trip in June (despite my best efforts to change their minds about the date) and are going to have 62 people. They want rooms with a stove, but don’t want to break the bank. They don’t care if it is on site or off. Is there a good travel agent to help with this, or any where you can suggest for them to stay?

189 Dave { 12.29.12 at 9:27 am }

Hi Sarah, myself I don’t consider a group large unless it has at least 63 people… :)

I don’t have any great tips for large groups, other than that, since you are a church group, you should test whether you’ve got enough kids involved to qualify for Disney’s youth program–which can yield some terrific savings on tickets–not perhaps for everyone but for enough to make a big difference in the overall group cost. See this: http://www.disneyyouth.com/our-programs/education/sp/youth-education-series/#categories-youth-education-series,categories-youth-education-series

Re housing, there’s no option on WDW that includes a kitchen that doesn’t break the bank. Closest would be a buncha cabins at Fort Wilderness. Each has a full kitchen and sleeps 6. Including tax, in June they’ll cost ~$65-70/person/night. There may be room rate deals available then (see http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/12/28/disney-world-discount-much-february-june-2013-coming-out-next-week/ ) and there may also be a room rate deal available as part of the YES program. For more on the Cabins, see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2009/10/26/review-the-cabins-at-disneys-fort-wilderness-resort/

There may be other opportunities I’m not aware of or thinking of, so you should assuredly work with a travel agent, if only to help keep everything organized! I recommend Allison Jones, who runs Destinations in Florida and has won so many travel agent of the year awards that I can’t count them. Her email is allison@destinationsinflorida.com

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190 Allison Jones { 12.29.12 at 12:58 pm }

Hi Sarah! We work with lots of groups! We look forward to helping you plan your group trip!

Allison

191 Shana { 12.31.12 at 11:19 am }

Hi Dave. We are planning a trip (me, husband and 5 year old daughter) for October 2013. I can’t decide between the week of 10/19 and the week of 10/26. I am leaning towards 10/19 because it might be a touch warmer?? Any suggestions? It seems to be the exact same price at Fort Wilderness Lodge for each of those weeks. Also, is it better to arrive on a Saturday or arrive on a Monday or Tuesday? Thank you!

192 Dave { 12.31.12 at 2:04 pm }

Hi Shana, those are both great weeks, and I have a slight preference for the earlier one for the exact same reason you do.

If you are on a long visit it doesn’t much matter when you arrive, but weekends are busiest both at the parks and the airport so there’s some value to arriving on Monday or Tuesday!

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193 Shana { 12.31.12 at 2:12 pm }

Thank you! Very helpful. We are planning to stay at Fort Wilderness Lodge. If I book a “standard” room, what are the chances that we could get upgraded upon arrival? Or should I just spring for an upgrade now?

194 Mike Angelo { 01.01.13 at 11:00 pm }

Hi Dave, my bad. I had your weeks of 2012 set to one of my ‘favorites’! I’m on 2013 now!!!
Thanks :)

195 Dave { 01.02.13 at 6:31 am }

Silly Mike!

196 Cara { 01.09.13 at 8:35 am }

Hi Dave,
So happy I found this site! I’m ready to pull my hair out trying to sort through information and what really is the best prices and times to go, there is so! much information to sort through on other sites, so this site is a lifesaver!
I am hoping you can help me with a few details of planning our 2013 trip to Disney World. This will be my families first time to Disney, my kids are boy age 6 and girl age 8. My plan is to surprise them with the trip as their Christmas gift but now I’m second guessing myself do to crowd levels and prices for the week of Christmas. With your expertise and knowledge is there a week in December that the Christmas extravaganza will be taking place but with lower crowd levels. We are planning to be there 7 days staying in a Disney resort. Ive been using the Disney website to plan and customize our trip but was interested in knowing if I can find better deals going through a travel website or agency. Thank you so much for your help, and I will continue to use this site to help in my planning for what I hope to be an amazing family vacation!

197 Dave { 01.09.13 at 9:03 am }

Hi Cara, and I’m so glad the site is helping!

Yes avoid Christmas week like the plague. Disney’s xmas program is fully in place by the Friday after Thanksgiving, so early December is a great choice. See the top-ranked weeks near the top of this page.

Travel agents can’t get you better deals than you can get yourself…they just save you some time…

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198 Mike { 01.15.13 at 9:02 am }

Hi there Dave.
Looking to come down over in your neck of the woods soon. I see the week(s) of Jan 27th through Feb 8th are the LOWEST crowd levels. I’m thinking either the week of Jan 27th or waiting to go the week of Feb 3rd. What would you do? Thanks again!!!
Mike

199 Dave { 01.15.13 at 9:34 am }

Hey Mike! First, my neck of the woods is Northeast Ohio, and no one with any sense comes here in late Jan or early Feb!

Those weeks are as you note pretty identical. I’d then pick the late one, just because of the slight likelihood it’ll be warmer!

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200 Mike { 01.15.13 at 10:32 am }

Hey Dave, just ‘assumed’ you lived in Orlando. Yep it’s a bit to cold over your way this time of year. Since I’m only a few hours from Orlando and I can go either week. I’ll make sure to pick the warmer week. last Feb when I went it was in the upper 70′s!
Stay warm,
Mike

201 Cheryl { 01.15.13 at 12:40 pm }

Hi Dave,
Finding this site has been a treasure in itself but I have a few questions I would like your guidance on. We will have 4 adults and a 3.5 year old when we make our visit. We have flexibility so we are shooting for low cost and low crowds. We were looking at The weeks of 10/13 , 10/20 or in November the weeks of 11/3,11/10 or 11/17 we are planning on a 5 day trip without Park Hopper. So 3 questions…Are any dates better than others? Do you recommend a dining plan? and lastly advice on how to plan the week? Since our son is only 3.5 we were thinking just MK and AK ?
Thank you,
Cheryl

202 Dave { 01.15.13 at 3:21 pm }

:), Mike!

203 Dave { 01.15.13 at 3:38 pm }

Hi Cheryl, I’m so glad the site is helping!

most of what I think about those weeks is captured on the page. All are great weeks except for the week of 11/3–that’s Jersey week. (See http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/05/02/jersey-week-at-walt-disney-world/ ) The October weeks will be warmer, likely, and have Halloween decorations; the November weeks will have the beginnings of the Xmas decorations and the Xmas holiday program. If it was me I’d pick 10/13 or 11/17.

The dining plan can save money with kids that age.

I concur that you should have a MK-focused trip. AK and HS each have a bit for kids that age, but MK should be 3/4 of your visit at least. I don’t have itineraries that suit, but try these: http://touringplans.com/magic-kingdom/touring-plans?utm_campaign=referral&utm_medium=website&utm_source=yourfirstvisit&utm_content=r1&property_id=1

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204 Jill { 01.16.13 at 11:22 am }

Dave, I’m taking my daughter (18) as a special mother/daughter trip. We will be in the parks April 2-7. We really have no other choice than to go this week. We’ve always gone at low crowd times. After what I’ve read, I’m freaking because of anticipated high crowds! We’ve been to Disney 5 or 6 times as a family, but now just the 2 of us are going . We know what we like to do, so we always hit those things first and then do other stuff as time allows. Will we be ok? I’m so nervous now!

205 Dave { 01.16.13 at 11:58 am }

Hiya Jill! You’ll be OK, mostly, if you do what you already know to do: arrive well before parks open, ride the rides that you are targeting that build crowds quickly first, then start fastpassing. The difference will be that you’ll want to leave by early afternoon because of the crowds…and then come back later for the evening shows…

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206 Damian { 01.16.13 at 7:55 pm }

Planning a trip for my family. Son is 14 and daughter is 7. Looking at the third or last week in August hoping to hit the free dining plan. Goal is to stay at the “new” Animation resort. Any thoughts? Can you use any Pool at that resort? Any itinerary suggestions for a 7 and 14 year old? Thanks!

207 Dave { 01.17.13 at 7:22 am }

Hi Damian! Yes, if you stay at AofA, you can use any of AofA’s pools. I have itineraries for both weeks–but they are different because Disney’s operating calendar shifts at the end of the month. See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2013/01/15/august-2013-walt-disney-world/

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208 Matt { 01.17.13 at 9:05 am }

As a long time Disney traveler this is a GREAT page. I do have one question and I apologize if this has been already addresses. It appears that your weeks start on Saturday. Above you state that “1: 11/30/13. Lowest crowds and prices of the first three weeks.
2: 12/7/13. Tail end of Thanksgiving week makes the first Saturday and Sunday of this week more crowded than week #1.” Thanksgiving is on 11/28/13 so would #2 not be for the date 11/30? I am hoping to go right around this time frame and am either considering the week before Thanksgiving or the Saturday after…I need to make sure that the Christmas lights are all up though. Thanks for the clarification.

209 Dave { 01.17.13 at 12:54 pm }

Matt, thanks so much for catching this (and for your kind words about the page)! I have fixed it. What happened is that I learned earlier this week that Pop Warner dates will be different than I had forecast (see http://yourfirstvisit.net/2013/01/13/pop-warner-will-begin-december-7-2013-december-1/ ) which led me to swap the first two weeks–but I didn’t get the words describing the weeks properly fixed too. They are right now!

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210 Mike { 01.17.13 at 12:55 pm }

Hey Dave. May have to change my dates to arrive in Feb. The best time (and the time we wanted) was around Feb 3rd through the 7th. But may have to wait until the 10th through 14th. How much more crowded to you think it will be at that time?
Thanks again,
Mike
ps, it’s FREEZING down here…LOL

211 Dave { 01.17.13 at 1:03 pm }

Hey Mike yeah I heard about the cold snap! You should be fine the later dates. Crowds may begin to build the 14th, but before then they’ll be great…

212 Mike { 01.17.13 at 8:10 pm }

Ok, thanks again Dave.

213 Jessica { 01.20.13 at 3:51 pm }

Hi Dave, great site you have. Just the person I was looking for help!
I have been trying to research for an upcoming 2013 Disney World vacation for my family, but its been a little overwhelming.
My husband & I have two daughters Karla 10 & Karen 8 and can’t wait any longer to take them to Disney. Which Disney resort would you recommend? We were thinking of going anytime in November. How should I start planning? Please advise when you have a moment! Thanks

214 Dave { 01.20.13 at 5:20 pm }

Hi Jessica, you want to start at the home page http://yourfirstvisit.net and make your way through its points, but here’s some specific stuff to get you started:

There’s several great November weeks listed on this page itself

My hotel recommendations are here: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/where-to-stay/next-best-resort-choices/

But go to the home page and work your way down it!

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215 Melissa { 01.20.13 at 9:15 pm }

Hello,
Thinking of booking a 5 night trip for April, saw the spring offer that is out…I come every year. How busy do you expect it to be April 14-19 (Sunday-Friday)? And what about April 21-26 (Sunday-Friday)? Prices are the same, and the first date works better for me, but I don’t want it to be too busy. Thanks

216 Dave { 01.21.13 at 9:25 am }

Hi Melissa! Those ar eboth great week,s but I like the second week a little better–see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2011/09/12/disney-world-crowds-in-2013/

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217 Susan { 01.21.13 at 1:55 pm }

First trip to Disney World-7 and 4 year old children with us. We want to go as inexpensive as we can with LOW crowds. I’m looking at September 23-27 2013. What do you think?

218 Susan { 01.21.13 at 1:57 pm }

We could really go anytime, but must put in for vacation now in order to get it. I really want this trip to be great. May not ever get to go again. Any advice would be much appreciated as it is seeming a little overwhelming at the moment, lol.

219 Dave { 01.22.13 at 7:13 am }

H Susan, based on your criteria that’s a great choice. It is in the peak of the hurricane season, tho…see http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/when-to-go/next-best-dates/weather-and-when-to-go/chance-of-cyclonic-storm-affecting-florida/

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220 Dave { 01.22.13 at 7:14 am }

Susan, just start on the home page and work your way through its topics in order! http://yourfirstvisit.net/

221 Kerry { 01.23.13 at 3:45 pm }

Hi Dave! this site is great, thank you! Quick question, we too were planning on what I now see is Jersey week, but we were hoping to catch the end of Halloween and the kickoff of Christmas. Do you know when that normally happens?

222 Dave { 01.23.13 at 5:45 pm }

Hey Kerry and thanks!

The last Halloween party is one of the first few days of November. Then they take down the Halloween stuff, and then start putting up the Xmas stuff. The Xmas stuff should be fully in place at the Magic Kingdom in 2013 by around November 10 or so–later at the other parks.

So it’s hard to bracket both unless you visit for a while…

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223 Rachel G { 01.23.13 at 9:35 pm }

Hi! We are considering taking our 3yr old either the week of Feb 24 or March 23. Which week would you recommend?

224 Beth { 01.24.13 at 2:16 am }

Love this site! I have already made a reservation for AOA October 4-11. 2 adults 10 and 6 year olds. Is it possible to get tickets through YES program (great discount) and still add a dining plan to my reservation? The Disney reservation specialist I spoke with only knew of the YES program as a group thing, but I have seen that individual enrollment is an option. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

225 Dave { 01.24.13 at 10:45 am }

Hi Rachel–the February week will be much less crowded, and also less expensive!

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226 Dave { 01.24.13 at 10:48 am }

Hi Beth, sorry, all I know about re YES is the group stuff…

227 Melissa { 01.25.13 at 10:31 am }

Ok thank you. Looks like I’ll have to come April 14-19… I looked at the crowd calendar… How long will lines be/how busy will it be during these dates? Probably staying at All Star Music. Thanks

228 Melissa { 01.25.13 at 1:52 pm }

Also, will be visiting Magic Kingdom on April 14 (Sun) and April 18 (Thursday). We will only have base tickets… On which day (April 15, 16, 17) should we go to Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom to avoid crowds as much as possible?

229 Dave { 01.26.13 at 8:01 am }

Melissa, April 14-19 should be just fine!

230 Dave { 01.26.13 at 8:05 am }

Melissa, those are the worst days that week to see MK, as it has extra magic hours both days, which makes the park more crowded…are you sure you want to go to MK those days? The basic strategy with base tickets is to avoid parks on days they have EMH, especially morning EMH…

231 Scott { 01.26.13 at 2:27 pm }

Hi Dave,

I see that you rank October 19 as #4 and October 26 as #5. Would you expect the crowds to be higher during the week of October 26?

Thanks,

Scott

232 Dave { 01.26.13 at 6:19 pm }

Scott, I’m forecasting crowds to be about the same…

233 Beth { 01.27.13 at 12:28 am }

Just to update my question. I figured out a way to do it! I bought 1 day of tickets with my hotel reservation so I could get the dining plan and bought the other 3 days through the YES individual enrollment. It saved me about $250!

234 Dave { 01.27.13 at 6:00 am }

Cool, Beth!

235 Susie { 01.28.13 at 8:47 pm }

Hi Dave! We are planning a visit sometime next month (Feb 2013) to celebrate our twins 10th birthday. We don’t have a particular date picked out yet, but we are Florida residents and are flexible. I was thinking about purchasing the seasonal passes that are for weekdays only (we homeschool, so during the week is easy for us). We would love to be able to find a Disney hotel that is reasonable as a surprise to the kids. Can you offer any advice or suggestions on timing as far as crowds (my son has a difficult time with his stamina because of his heart) and also on hotels. Any information would be so helpful. Thanks so much!!!

236 Dave { 01.29.13 at 6:47 am }

Hi Susie!

My hotel suggestions by price class are here: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/where-to-stay/next-best-resort-choices/ Many are booked up already for the first half of February…

In Feb the key is to avoid the week that includes President’s Day. I’d advise mid-week at the end of the month. But the most important thing to avoid crowds is arriving before the parks open. For your son, see also this: PassPorter’s Open Mouse for Walt Disney World and the Disney Cruise Line: Easy Access Vacations for Travelers with Extra Challenges

Hope this helps!

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237 The Nerdy Nurse { 01.29.13 at 7:49 pm }

I completely disagree with the “First Saturday after Thanksgiving.” We went 2012 and it was PACKED! The cast members said this was always a busy time for them and suggested October to get less crowds.

238 Dave { 01.30.13 at 5:39 am }

Hi, of course that Saturday is packed. But the notion is that it’s the first day of a 9 day trip, and the rest of the period has wonderfully low crowds. My itineraries have people doing nothing that first Saturday that’s affected by crowds–see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/basic-itinerary/basic-itinerary-daily-links/first-saturday-basic-itinerary/

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239 Emily H. { 02.01.13 at 9:40 am }

Hi Dave,
I am considering taking my family of 5 (3 kids ages 9, 7, &4) to Disney the week of Oct 26, 2013. I noticed that you have ranked it in the top 5 weeks to visit Disney. And everything I have read has said that October is a great month to visit. Should I be concerned that the Halloween Festivities would make the parks more crowded? I want to go when crowd levels will be low. We recently visited the Magic Kingdom on January 3 &4, 2013 and the crowds were (to me) outrageous. Poor Planning on my part I guess, so we really want to take the kids back when they can enjoy rides and less crowds. And are certain days of the week better to visit than others? Thanks!

240 Dave { 02.01.13 at 11:36 am }

Hi Emily, actually, it’s the opposite–they put on the halloween stuff to draw people in what would otherwise be dead slow times–moving them form “dead slow” to just “slow.”. That said, the parties do have a big effect on day to day attendance. See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/04/30/crowds-and-walt-disney-world/

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241 Kylee { 02.01.13 at 10:20 pm }

LOVE this. What great information. My friend posted this for me and I was so happy to see that I picked the 7th best week to visit Florida and WDW. April 19-26. We really lucked out. It’s our first time going as a family. My children will be 11 and 8. Any tips for 1st timers?

242 Dave { 02.02.13 at 7:32 am }

Hi Kylee and thanks! This whole site is tips for first timers! Start with the home page and work your way through: http://yourfirstvisit.net/

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243 Gretchen { 02.02.13 at 9:41 am }

I just heard that ” Cheerleading and Dance ” finals are the week of 4-27-13. Should this be a problem with the crowds that week? Thanks

244 Marly { 02.02.13 at 10:25 am }

This is the authoritative site for everything needed when planning your trip to Disney.

Although I myself have traveled to Disney before, I always reference this site when planning my next trip.

From crowd schedules, to pricing information, to Florida weather and more, it’s everything you need in one stop to pull together your dream Disney vacation.

I have worked with travel agents who provided no where near as detailed and relevant information as what is provided on yourfirstvisit.net.

Furthermore, I love the fact that the webmaster provides a “helpdesk,” answering visitors questions within 24 hours!

I wholeheartedly recommend this site to all my friends planning for a Disney vacation.

245 Dave { 02.02.13 at 5:38 pm }

Hi Gretchen, this sort of thing happens a dozen times over the course of the year, and matters little.

Specifically, they crowd the resort hotels more than they would be otherwise, and crowd the parks a tiny bit the evenings of the event days and the days before and after the events.

But not so much that you really notice. This is just math– e.g. 5,000 contestants, bringing another 10,000 family members, account for <10% of WDW average daily population! Not enough to materially move the crowd needle...

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246 Dave { 02.02.13 at 5:42 pm }

Marly, what a wonderful comment and testimonial! Thank you from the bottom of my heart! Dave

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247 Mike { 02.02.13 at 10:48 pm }

We love ya Dave!!!! :)

248 Dave { 02.03.13 at 7:05 am }

Hey Mike!!!

249 Mike { 02.12.13 at 7:54 pm }

Hey Dave. We have had a change of plans going to DW this month. The plan now is doing the parks Feb 25th – 26th and 27th. I’m thinking the Magic Kingdom will be busy Monday and we’ll do that park another day. What would you recommend doing Monday for less crowds? I see that week is one of your picks for lower crowds.
Thanks again.
Mike

250 Dave { 02.13.13 at 6:45 am }

Hey Mike! Monday your best bet is Epcot. AK and HS both have EMH, and MK will see its usual Monday crowds, as you note…

251 Alicia { 02.13.13 at 5:57 pm }

I’m going the week of May 18 to May 25 with a 10 year old and 8 year old girl. This is our 2nd time going. Which days should we visit each park? We are staying inside the park at Port Orleans Resort, so we have that one hour of extra park access. We also have the park hopper option and are interested about the waterparks, which we didn’t get to visit last time because we went in March. :)

252 Toby { 02.14.13 at 9:51 am }

Hi. Used your site for our first trip in December of 2011 and it was perfect. We are thinking of going back in October or November of this year (last time we booked exactly 12 months in advance; hoping it’s not too late for us). My question is about your recommended weeks 5 and 6. What do you think the impact will be on week 6 of the wine and dine 1/2 marathon, jersey week and veteran’s day?

If we’re too late, we may try for your 6th choice for 2014 -2/22, but I’m a little afraid of school vacation crowds. Crowds and cost are much more of a concern to us than weather.

Thanks

253 Dave { 02.14.13 at 4:09 pm }

Hi Alicia! That should be a great week, except that because of Star Wars weekends Hollywood Studios will be mobbed on Fridays-Sundays. The parks overall will be busiest on weekends/Mondays, and best Tues-Fri.

I’m not overly keen on the morning extra magic hours, as, because of them, the park that offers them is more crowded by around noon than it would be on alternate days. Of course you can then hop to another park…but that’l cost you transport time…

So I can’t advise on the best parks until you tell me whether or not you are using morning EMH! See also this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/07/16/park-hoppers-hopping-walt-disney-world/

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254 Dave { 02.14.13 at 4:20 pm }

Toby, I’m so glad the site helped you in 2011!!

Re the points you raise about week #6, none of these should matter much except over the first weekend. All three together will make the parks a bit of a mess then, but the rest of the week–including Monday, as hardly anyone gets Veterans Day off–will be great!

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255 Joy { 02.14.13 at 7:00 pm }

Dave;
My husband and I would like to do a Disney trip this year. We were thinking November before the holiday rush. We didn’t know which week would be best. Could you suggest when would be the best time would be? We were wondering on the weather if it still be warm enough? Would we see any holiday decorations and such if we go the second or first week of that month or do they only do the Christmas stuff after thanksgiving? I noticed something called Jersey week? What is that and does that get to crazy with the crowds and stuff? One more question. My daughter also wanted to go to fantasy land and eat in the beast’s castle would we be able to make reservations for that now or would it be too soon?

256 Dave { 02.15.13 at 6:59 am }

Hi Joy, the weeks beginning 11/9 and 11/16 are your best bets. These avoid most of the Jersey Week crowds and the Thanksgiving crowds. (For more on Jersey Week, see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/05/02/jersey-week-at-walt-disney-world/

The holiday decorations start going up in the Magic Kingdom in early November and likely will be fully in place by November 11th or so. The other parks start about the same time, but aren’t done quite so quickly.

Weather at this time of year can be all over the place–see this http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/when-to-go/next-best-dates/weather-and-when-to-go/high-temperatures-year-round/ but typicla daytime highs are between 70 and 80.

Be Our Guest is the new beauty and the beast restaurant, and offers reservations for dinner beginning 180 days ahead. SO it’s still too early to book it. But it is booking up fast, so once you make your timing decision, count 180 days back and be ready to reserve then! See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/when-your-plans-need-to-be-firm/

Hope this helps!

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257 Mike Angelo { 02.23.13 at 11:12 am }

Hi Dave. We had to cancel our DW trip the beginning this week due to rain here and Orlando. However the middle of next week is looking better – just cold there. We are now thinking Feb 27 through Mar 1st. Anything going on there that would cause a issue with larger crowds? Thanks again Dave!
Mike

258 Dave { 02.23.13 at 12:52 pm }

Mike, that should be fine!

259 Sara { 02.24.13 at 5:17 pm }

My father passed away recently and left money specifically to be used to take my daughter to WDW. I’m taking her this fall tot the WL for 9-10 days for a once in a lifetime trip. We won’t have the money to go again. We both really want to do the Halloween party but also want to see some Christmas decorations and the Osborne lights. Is it possible to do? Can you suggest a range of dates that may work? If only we knew we’d go again one day. Thank you for your advice!

260 Dave { 02.24.13 at 5:33 pm }

Hi Sara, what a bittersweet story, and I’m sorry about your loss.

The official dates won’t be out for months, but my prediction is that the last Halloween party will be Nov 1, and the Osborne lights will open sometime between November 8 and November 11, likely on the earlier side of that range. The Magic Kingdom will be fully decked out in Xmas decorations by the same time as the Osborne lights start, and the first Xmas party there will be about the same time…So this seems possible!

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261 liza { 02.24.13 at 5:49 pm }

Hi, I am trying to figure out the best time to take our twin girls back to wdw. They will turn 4 December 2 and we went the first week in October 2012 and it was packed! I have been many times in the summer and once the first week of November and was surprised by the October crowd. Wondering if we should go 2nd week of November or first week of December. December has the parade taping and pop warner so i was wondering if you could give advice concerning the two options. Want to avoid crowds! Thanks!

262 Sara { 02.24.13 at 6:16 pm }

So maybe Oct. 31 -Nov.10 would work. Hopefully whatever “Jersey Week” is won’t make it too much more crowded.
Thank you so much for the quick reply!
Sara

263 Sara { 02.24.13 at 6:26 pm }

I just saw your note that there is almost never a discount this week. I was really hoping for one so that I could afford to get the dining plan. That’s disappointing.
Thanks again,
Sara

264 Dave { 02.24.13 at 6:49 pm }

Liza, the first week of October was not packed, and had in the parks maybe half as many people as you’d see in July. Unless by “first week” you mean the second week that included Columbus Day? But even so Columbus Day week in 2012 was much better than any part of the summer other than early June and late August…

Perhaps you went to the wrong parks on the wrong days? This can really affect MK in particular in October–see this to see if it rings a bell: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/04/30/crowds-and-walt-disney-world/

Pop Warner begins 12/7, and the taping just clots up Main Street, so neither should much affect you.

Otherwise, my crowd forecasts are here: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/04/30/crowds-and-walt-disney-world/

265 Dave { 02.24.13 at 6:50 pm }
266 liza { 02.24.13 at 7:05 pm }

Hi Dave,
We were there October 1-5th and we must have gone to all the wrong parks. Don’t get me wrong it was nothing like July or August but a lot busier than I expected! So according to your best week to go it is the week of November 30th, so you think that’s better than 2nd week of November? Whats the reasons for that week? We will go one of these regardless just stewing over a decision. thanks.

267 Dave { 02.25.13 at 6:33 am }

Hi Liza, either would be a great choice.

The second week of November may have slightly higher crowds early in the week from the possible hangover of Jersey Week into veterans day, but overall will be a great week.

The week of the 30th will have on the odds slightly more iffy weather, more reliably low crowds (except the 30th itself), and the full Disney Xmas program–which will be largely, but not entirely, in place by the end of the earlier week too..

268 Nicole { 02.25.13 at 10:14 am }

Hi Dave, I wanted get your thoughts on the week I’ve got penciled in- 11/9-11/16. You have it as 6th which seems great, but I’m a little worried about the crowds which are our biggest concern. We were there 4/28/12-5/4/12 and the crowds were very low. With this Nov date I’m worried about Jersey week ending, the half marathon Saturday night, F&W ending that Sun and also the Veteran’s day holiday. Seems like a lot going on which would inflate the crowds. The reason I picked that week is due to the holiday as one less day to take off of work and also due to school as it would only be 3.5 days of school missed for that week. I’m anticipating Sat and Sun being pretty crowded, but hoping the rest of the week is OK. What do you think?

269 Dave { 02.25.13 at 10:45 am }

Hi Nicole! I agree that for all the factors you note, Sat and Sun will be pretty messy. There may be some added hangover on Veterans Day–but most people don’t get it off, so I’m not seeing it as a big issue. And the rest of that week should be great!

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270 Jada { 02.25.13 at 10:52 pm }

Any hopes week 10 will slow down as it continues!?? It’s been a busy mess the last two days!!! when we left magic kingdom today – the line to meet the princesses was at 75 minutes! yikes!

271 Dave { 02.26.13 at 7:35 am }

Jada, the worst days in any given week at MK are Sunday and Monday, which is why my itineraries never have them visited those days at the beginning of the itinerary. Make sure to avoid days with extra magic hours–while the first 90 minutes are great, the rest of the day the park is more crowded than alternatives! So avoid Epcot today, AK tomorrow, and MK on Thursday!

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272 Jada { 02.26.13 at 5:28 pm }

Thanks Dave!! Hollywood Studios had wait times today up to 85 minutes!! Hoping for a slower day tomorrow at Epcot!!

:)

273 Dave { 02.26.13 at 5:42 pm }

Jada, again, the top rides build long lines every day of the year.

Right now Tower of Terror is 60 mins and Toy Story Mania 75 minutes which is typical even on the slowest days of the year.

But every single other ride at the Studios has a less than 30 minute wait.

“Low” crowds does not equal no waits, and it does not equal a short wait at the most popular rides! It just means much better than other times of the year.

The way to avoid line is to follow the principles in the itineraries–arrive at the turnstiles before the park opens. Ride the rides that build crowds quickly first. Use FASTPASSES to get to other such rides later in the day.

274 Fernando { 02.28.13 at 9:59 am }

Hi Dave! You really do a fantastic job making our plans a lot better!
I was wondering, from all the weeks of the year, wich ones do you prefer?

A lot of blessings

275 Dave { 02.28.13 at 11:47 am }

Hi Fernando, and thanks!!

My own personal favorite is any time I can afford to go!

Seriously, so long as Easter is not then, it’s late April. Prices and crowds are reasonable, and Florida is at its best in the spring. If Easter is late, then the second half of October. See also this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2009/12/23/the-most-comfortable-time-to-go-to-walt-disney-world/

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276 Mike Angelo { 03.06.13 at 8:51 pm }

Hi Dave.
It seems most people are concerned about crowd levels and rightly so. Through trial and error (and you advice of course) I have found September is THE best month for hotel prices and crowd levels – I know you agree. Of course the weather can be a factor so plans may have to be changed.
I was wondering if you have another web site? When I Google ‘The best times to go to DW” I( found a site I believe was yours also?

277 Dave { 03.07.13 at 8:34 am }

Hi Mike–yes I agree. Wondering what website it was that you found? Can you post a link? This site started for a month at a different url, but moved here in April 2008…

278 Mike Angelo { 03.07.13 at 11:43 am }

Dave, I’ll see if I can find it again and let you know.

279 Dave { 03.07.13 at 12:16 pm }

Thanks Mike! PS–the original version of the site from 2008 is here: http://planningyourfamilywaltdisneyworldtrip.wordpress.com/ Was that it??

280 Mike Angelo { 03.11.13 at 10:52 am }

I think it was Dave.

281 Dave { 03.11.13 at 12:22 pm }

Thanks, Mike

282 Jackie { 03.15.13 at 11:06 pm }

Hi Dave:
We are planning a trip to MK with our granddaughter who will be 3 in August. We have a pretty small budget since we have limited income. We are looking to go during the lowest crowd/best prices and are thinking about the week of 9/14 thru 9/18. Is it cheaper to book the room and passes and dining plan seperate or do they really offer discounts packages? we are also thinking of a 5 day 4 night trip what would be the best day of the week to start our vacation? do they have more activities on the weekend that we might miss if we arrive in the middle of the week? Thank you so much for this site it is the best I have found. Jackie

283 Kathy { 03.20.13 at 7:44 pm }

Hi Dave!
We are heading to DW 3/28/13 for 2 nights! I know THE worst time! I have booked universal as well due to the front of line capabilities and I am quite leary of LONG lines at DW! Having a 6 and 2 year old to be wowed do you think we should continue with DW or opt for the less wait time at Universal? Of course their worlds are the characters! Thanks for the response and your wonderful site. Kathy

284 Dave { 03.21.13 at 6:36 am }

Hi Kathy!!! And thanks for the kind words. Well, there’s not all that much at Universal for kids that age…so give it a shot, then consider going over to the Magic Kingdom if you run out of things to do there.

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285 Eileen { 03.23.13 at 3:15 pm }

So we have been longtime visitors to Disney World with our kids. They are now in college and we are hoping to finally get to go to the food and wine festival in the fall. I have us on wait list at Boardwalk, the only resort I really want to stay at, but I am worried that this is such a popular time and we won’t get confirmed reservations. Any advice?

286 Eileen { 03.23.13 at 3:19 pm }

I forgot to mention that we are DVC members and are using our points. Don’t know if that will be a positive or not.

287 Dave { 03.23.13 at 3:21 pm }

Hi Eileen, it’s not a particularly popular time, which is why they put on both Food and Wine and the Halloween Party, to draw more attendance.

But, because of Food and Wine, it is wildly popular at the Epcot resorts!! I don’t have any great ideas for you…

288 Eileen { 03.23.13 at 5:16 pm }

Thanks anyway.

289 Ron { 04.05.13 at 6:31 pm }

Dave,
With the release of the dates for the 2013 Mickey’s Christmas Party, what park order would you suggest for arriving the Saturday after Thanksgiving and leaving probably the following Saturday? I’m thinking Epcot Sat nite, HS on Monday and MK on Wed and Friday for Party nites. What would be your suggestion? 2nd trip actually with wife, 8 yr old and 2 yr old. Thanks as always!

290 Tina Griego { 04.08.13 at 4:21 pm }

I am planning on coming Dec. 14, 2013 staying till Dec. 21, 2013. Is this an ok time for low crowds. I came twice during Christmas into New Years and it was so crowded in 2009 and only got to ride one ride. I refuse to do that again due to how much tickets cost. I am bringing someone who has not been so don’t want her to experience that.
Thanks
Tina

291 Dave { 04.09.13 at 7:38 am }

Hi Tina, you should be fine! Because of the mid-week Christmas, most school breaks won’t begin until the 23rd. So you won’t see real crowds until the 21st…

Note though that at this time of the year, because of the Christmas Party nights, which day you go to which park–especially MK–matters a lot–see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/04/30/crowds-and-walt-disney-world/

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292 Tina Griego { 04.10.13 at 8:27 am }

Dave,
Is there any tips on where to save money the best on tickets to the parks besides at the gate, are the tourist agencys ligit to buy from and where can you save the most money? I heard that Walmart or Sam’s club sells tickets is this true?

293 Dave { 04.10.13 at 3:13 pm }
294 Luis { 04.17.13 at 5:36 pm }

Hi Dave! I wanted to say THANKS for this information. I would like you to know that I made my family plans according to your crowds time table. I set my vacation for 3rd – 12th December, knowing that this dates are the best.

Thank you very much! A lots of blessings from Guatemala

295 Dave { 04.17.13 at 5:45 pm }

Luis, have a wonderful trip!!

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296 David { 04.22.13 at 2:36 pm }

Dave,

our family is going to DW 5/14 – 5/22, looks like these will be ideal dates, anything we need to worry or be concerned about?

297 Dave { 04.23.13 at 8:05 am }

Hey David! The only thing to worry about is Star Wars weekends, which will be going on at Disney Hollywood Studios Fri-Sun. Avoid that park those days!

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298 Mike Angelo { 04.25.13 at 1:45 pm }

Hi Dave, this is more of a comment than question. I was in DW last February and noticed the bakery on Main Street was closed. I just found out they (DW) are replacing the bakery with a Starbucks! I can’t believe they would even consider that! The bakery was a icon of Main Street
and the pastries were delicious. I hope this isn’t a trend to National chains in DW, sad.

299 Dave { 04.26.13 at 12:51 pm }

Hey Mike, I’ll reserve much in the way of response because I’ve written about half of this site from various Starbucks around the country and in Orlando!

But here’s hoping for both better coffee and better pastries!

In a funny way, this is a return to Disney roots. Disneyland was conceived from the start as sponsored by national (and even local) brands (I still remember the Upjohn locale at Disneyland), becasue of a shortage of both capital and expertise, and that carried over to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot. We see less of it nowadays, but it’s still there, especially at Epcot…

300 Sara M { 04.28.13 at 11:39 pm }

Ok, so out of these weeks, which is the BEST for LOW crowds?

301 Sara M { 04.28.13 at 11:42 pm }

When you say 5: 10/26/13. A wonderful week. Great weather, low crowds and low prices. When does the week start ?

302 Dave { 04.29.13 at 9:33 am }

Sara, see the weeks ranked “1″ here: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2011/09/12/disney-world-crowds-in-2013/

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303 Dave { 04.29.13 at 9:33 am }

Sara, that’s for the week beginning 10/26.

304 Sara M { 05.03.13 at 12:55 am }

I’m sorry but I am so confused ;( If November 9th is rated 6th best week to go in 2013 and Jersey week is the 7th and the 8th, than how is this going to be a low crowd week? We want to arrive on November 10th and leave the 15th. I am so worried about picking the right dates. Should we change the dates to Nov 17th to the 21st?

P.S
Does Cinderella Royal Table reservation charge your credit card or is it just a hold in case you don’t show up?

305 Dave { 05.03.13 at 7:42 am }

Sara my itineraries (see http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/basic-itinerary/alternative-itineraries/ ) are 8 nights and 9 days, so when I rate a week, it’s based on a Saturday to Sunday visit. So a few bad days don’t stink up a week if there’s 7 great ones. In your case, with a shorter visit, I’d aim to arrive the 11th…

Cindy is a real charge, which gets refunded if you cancel within the cancellation window…

306 Rach M { 05.22.13 at 3:59 pm }

Hi! If we went at what seemed like it was going to be a slow time at Magic Kingdom (sorry, I can’t remember when it was exactly) but there were TONS of cheerleaders, maybe middle school age…do you know why? Now that I think about it, it could have been late November. It was a nightmare! They were running a muck and there seemed to be one adult per 50 screaming, giddy tweens! And they all had to ride every single ride together :/ They turned every single ride into a 2 hour wait, I swear! Thoughts? I’d like to avoid THEM like the plague next time and we might go back at the same time since I think we went for my daughters birthday.

307 Dave { 05.23.13 at 7:25 am }

Hi Rach, there’s cheerleading and sporting events year round at ESPN Wide World of Sports, and only a few of the larger ones are on the calendar. While they can lead to raucous and noisy packs, they really don’t have much impact on waiting times–it would take 80,000 kids to add two hours to the waits at MK, and there aren’t even a tenth of that!

More likely, if you were there in November, was wait problems caused by the wildly different attractiveness of MK on different November days–see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/04/30/crowds-and-walt-disney-world/

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308 Katie { 05.24.13 at 3:04 pm }

Hi Dave,
How much do you think free dining will affect the crowd levels and wait times overall in September? We are going Sept. 23-29th, I wasn’t sure if there was another month you would compare it to or if you think it will still be pretty low overall. Thanks for a great site!

309 Dave { 05.25.13 at 2:58 pm }

Hi Katie, and thanks!

I’ll explain why in a post tomorrow, but free dining does not much effect wait lines in the parks.

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310 chanelle { 05.26.13 at 1:42 pm }

Hi Dave. Couple of questions for you.
Are Extra Magic Hours only for people that stay on the Resort or can we still take advantage of them if we are staying offsite? Also, if the regular park hours are 9am to 9pm and extra magic hours are 9pm to 11pm and Fireworks are scheduled at 9pm: If Extra magic hours only for people on the resort and we are not staying on the resort, does that mean we cannot attend the fireworks that day? Hopefully this makes sense.
Also, we are thinking about going to Chef Mickey’s during our stay during the week of December 2nd 2013. It looks like the hours for breakfast are through 11:30. Would you say that a later reservation time at 11 will give us a lesser experience as far as meeting the characters than an earlier reservation? I assume that the 11:30 is only the time that the last reservation is taken? or is it the time the place is closing down? thanks so much for your help1

311 Dave { 05.26.13 at 1:55 pm }

Chanelle, with four exceptions–the Hilton in Downtown Disney, the Swan, the Dolphin, and Shades of Green–extra magic hours are indeed only for people staying in a Disney owned and operated hotel. But in the specific example you’ve given, with 9p park close and 9p Wishes, then EMH after, you will be able to stay and see Wishes. If wiht the same hours Wishes was at 10p, you couldn’t stay to see it…

The trick to breakfast at Chef Mickey’s is that if you plan to be in MK before it, book it as late as you can, as the first 90 minutes or so after park opening are the best in terms of low crowds…It doesn’t have to be the last seating, but, if you plan to be in MK that morning, aim for something 10.45 or later…

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312 chanelle { 05.26.13 at 2:21 pm }

Thanks Dave! So the 11:30 end of breakfast time they are showing on the Disney website is for the last reservation time then? So a 10:45 reservation time would not give us only 45 minutes there right? we were thinking about doing around 11 so it sounds like we would be ok! awesome!
For Cinderella’s table, would you recommend doing something similar? we were thinking about doing last breakfast or first lunch time. last breakfast appears to be around 1040
thanks so much! you are sooo helpful!

313 Dave { 05.27.13 at 5:28 pm }

Hi Chanelle, yes to both!

314 chanelle { 06.04.13 at 2:22 pm }

Hi Dave. We are planning on December 2-3-4-5 2013 which is a week I know you love!
Would Animal Kingdom be significantly busier on Wednesday December 4th since they have extra magic hour scheduled for 8am to 9am?

315 Jaime { 06.04.13 at 4:44 pm }

First, Congratulations! your site is awesome!!! very helpful! We are planning on 8/31/13 which is Labor Day week, do you think it will be a good time? with the peak of Hurricane Season? and also, is Labor Day a busy day or big celebration? Im not american so I have no idea if that monday is going to be very crowded.

316 chanelle { 06.04.13 at 6:56 pm }

hi. one more question for you. Do you think Sunday December 1st is going to be a busy day since it is the weekend following Thanksgiving? If we want to do 4 days, would you recommend to do Dec 2, 3, 4, 5 as opposed to Dec 1, 2, 3, 4?
thanks!

317 Laura { 06.04.13 at 10:52 pm }

Hi Dave,

We are planning a trip to Disney but, we have to schedule it around my boys school. Which week do you think would be better Aug 30-Sept 3 or Oct 6- 10? We were there in Dec 11 and the crowds were bad, so we are looking for a less crowded time. Thanks!

318 Dave { 06.05.13 at 6:45 am }

Hi Chanelle! AK should be OK the 4th, because while EMH is a draw, it just had EMH 12/2, and MK is open later and with fireworks and the evening parade the 4th, but not the 3rd or 5th–which will draw people away from AK and to MK on the 4th!

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319 Dave { 06.05.13 at 6:53 am }

Hi Jaime, and thanks!!

You should be fine.

hurricanes are VERY rare, so on that front, while you take a risk, it’s small.

Labor Day weekend and Monday are not big family vacation times in the US, as most kids are back in school, and the rest about to go back to school. See this for more: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2013/02/25/september-2013-at-walt-disney-world/

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320 Dave { 06.05.13 at 7:13 am }

Chanelle, I don’t think the 1st will be busy. But if I had to pick 4 days from among your choices, the visit where the first full day is the 2nd would be a little less busy…

321 Dave { 06.05.13 at 7:19 am }

Hi Laura! I’m forecasting the August dates will be slightly less crowded than the October dates–see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2011/09/12/disney-world-crowds-in-2013/

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322 Leslie { 06.06.13 at 12:52 am }

Hi Dave, we are thinking of taking our first trip with our almost 12 yr old daughter either July 8th week or One of the first two weeks in August. Which would you recommend for low cost, weather and parks for our daughter? Also what resort is the best in value and comfortable beds? Thanks!!

323 Dave { 06.06.13 at 8:22 am }

Hi Leslie! All of those are lousy weeks–crowded, hot and humid. The second August week will be the best for prices. See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2013/01/15/august-2013-walt-disney-world/

For where to stay, see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/where-to-stay/next-best-resort-choices/

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324 Jodi { 06.06.13 at 12:29 pm }

hey Dave just wanted to tell you we are going back again lol, nov 2013 and we got free dining for 7 of the 10 days. P.S. I love this page ;)

325 Dave { 06.07.13 at 7:48 am }

That’s great, Jodi!!!

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326 Chanelle { 06.07.13 at 7:54 am }

Hi Dave. With a trip on December 2, 3, 4 and 5, 2013 and wanting to do 3 days at Magic and 1 day at Animal. what park would you do each day based on what they have going on and when they have Extra magic hours?
thanks again….this website is awesome!

327 chanelle { 06.08.13 at 6:06 am }

Dave, in reference to my previous question, keep in mind that we will not stay on the resort and therefore, will not take advantage of Extra Magic Hours. Also, we will not do a hopper pass.

328 Lindsay { 06.08.13 at 8:25 pm }

Dave. We are going to florida the week of arrival on Nov 30- Dec 7 with a group of all different ages and kids from 2 to 12, we are concentrating on Disney but will spend a day at Universal for the older kid. our arrival day attentive plan is to do dinner fantasmic package since we only have half a day. I though about doing that it Friday the 6th as a ending trip show? thoughts? What day is best to skip Disney and do Universal? What parks are best for what days? Also I have called and been online every day at 6 am to try and book a Cinderella Castle Royal Table Meal and it is booked every day as soon as they open at 180 day mark, that makes me worried that if the lowest crowd week is so booked it may be more crowded than anticipated, Also can’t get reservations at Be Our guest either, And most of restaurants are booked! For lowest crowd week this scares me not being able to get reservations at 6 am on 180 day!!!!!!!

329 Dave { 06.09.13 at 7:16 am }

Hi Chanelle! The 3 and 5th will be best at AK. MK will be best the 3rd, worst the 2nd for several reasons and not entirely good the 5th because of morning EMH the 5th. So it doesn’t quite add up, with the 2nd not being great at either park. But on balance for you the 5th is clearly the right choice for AK, and with three days, you can make MK work fine the 2nd-4th.

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330 Dave { 06.09.13 at 8:01 am }

Got it, Chanelle, and have incorporated in my remarks…

331 Dave { 06.09.13 at 8:55 am }

Lindsay, your week won;t be crowded because kids aren’t out of school then. It really is that simple.

Cindy and BOG routinely book up the day they open reservations year-round–especially BOG, becasue they have such low capacity compared to demand. Because savvy travelers know your dates are great weeks, and know about the 180 day rule, they can book up even faster then than say, in July, when savvy travelers don’t go, and many who do go don’t know about reservations, much less the 180 day rule…

For what to do when, see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/basic-itinerary/basic-itinerary-daily-links/

The best days at Universal are Saturday-Monday. See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2011/07/31/the-best-and-worst-days-of-the-week-to-see-the-wizarding-world-of-harry-potter/

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332 Rachel { 06.09.13 at 3:56 pm }

Hi Dave,
Your site is amazing! Seeing how I haven’t been to Disney since I was a kid, your suggestions and posts have been extremely helpful in planning my family’s vacation. I have looked at your “week picker/crowd calendar” extensively and while I would love to go during one of your top 5 weeks I am a teacher and my husband is an administrator so we have few options….I wanted to see which week your think would be better:
1. The week after Easter – 4/20/14 (if we go with this option it will cut into our time @ the park because of travel and having to get back to school)
2. Some time at the end of July/early August…I was thinking August 9th? If we go in the summer we will have more flexibility with travel time and will be able to have a lengthier stay. I’m just worried about weather during this time….

What are your thoughts…What’s the best time for teachers to travel with there families? Also, any idea when the prices will be out for this time frame and how early should I book? We are planning on staying @ AOA. Thanks again!! :)

333 Dave { 06.10.13 at 12:28 pm }

Hi Rachel and thanks for the kind words about the site!

Teachers with spring breaks framed around Easter–either before or after–should go as early in June, or as late in August, as their academic calendars permit–with early June being the better choice for weather, and late August the better choice for prices and crowds.

Your August week–while much better than the week of April 20, 2014–is a little early to be a “good” week, but it is one you can make work, if you can’t go later!

Prices for then will be out any day now–they may even be out now, I haven’t checked since last week.

Hope this helps!

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334 Rachel { 06.11.13 at 8:53 pm }

Thank you for such a speedy response Dave!
After looking at what you said and talking with my husband I think we will be much better off going in the summer. We can only go late June (6/21) or early August (8/16/14)…I know you mentioned the opposite, early June/late August but unfortunately our school calendars will not allow for it. Is there a better of the two weeks I have for options? Price really isn’t that big of a factor, I’d rather have an enjoyable time and not deal with as many crowds/weather issues….Even though I know it will be crazy during any time ;) Thanks again! I already have so many questions and it’s so early in the planning process…once our dates get closer your going to get sick of all my questions!

335 Rachel { 06.11.13 at 8:53 pm }

I forgot to include my name in the above post…oops!

336 Dave { 06.12.13 at 7:47 am }

Rachel, your mid-August date will be a fair amount less crowded than your June options, Rachel. See his http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/10/07/disney-world-crowds-2014/

…and keep the questions coming! Anything you are wondering about, someone else is wondering about too…so your questions helps lots of people!

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337 Dave { 06.12.13 at 7:47 am }

Fixed!

338 Rachel { 06.12.13 at 1:14 pm }

Sounds good, thanks. We will plan on going in August 2014. We want to stay @ AoA, standard room. I know summer prices haven’t come out yet. When should I book/how early can I book?

339 Dave { 06.12.13 at 5:50 pm }

Rachel you can book up to 500 days ahead–see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2011/02/21/how-far-in-advance-can-you-book-a-walt-disney-world-vacation/ The standard rooms at AofA are wildly popular..so for a summer visit I’d book now…

340 Rachel { 06.12.13 at 9:27 pm }

I figured that…I tried looking it up on Disney’s website and it wouldn’t let me look @ that specific date yet. Thank you for the link, I plan to call Disney Destinations to have them help me set it up. Do you know what type of deposit they require? I know somewhere I read $200 is due at time of booking and the rest is due 45 days before your arrival, is that correct?

341 Dave { 06.13.13 at 12:57 pm }

Rachel it varies by booking type…since you’ll only be able to book room only right now, the deposit is one night…

342 Ebrahim Mohideen { 06.16.13 at 11:03 am }

Hi,

I am from Malaysia and intend to take my kids (8 and 5 ) to Disney world. The websites seem to have loaded info’s that’s kinda confusing. Any simple suggestions on where to start and where to finish? I am planning a visit around second week of August 2013 for around 7 to 10 days.

thanks

343 Gina { 06.17.13 at 12:13 am }

Hi Dave,
I recently booked my trip to Disney for the week of December 14 to December 21. I based it largely on your recommendations. I am starting to worry though! Other planning websites say this is a bad week, as far as crowds go. One site said wall to wall people. Yikes! What do you think??

344 Dave { 06.17.13 at 11:29 am }

Gina, not only am I sure that hardly any kids will have that week off, but the two best daily crowd calendars agree with me. I’d be skeptical of a site that says you’ll see “wall to wall” crowds before the 21st…

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345 Dave { 06.17.13 at 11:30 am }

Ebrahim, start here and work your way down its topics! http://yourfirstvisit.net/

346 Carol { 06.19.13 at 11:20 pm }

Dave,

We will be booking a trip for June 2014…I know lousy time…but it is what it is. We will be in a group of 10(4 being children). And I have been looking over this site and so many others and find it all a bit overwhelming to say the least. We will have one Veteran with us. I contacted an independent travel agent and was shocked to say the least so any help would be greatly appreciated!

347 Dave { 06.20.13 at 7:43 am }

Hi Carol, start here and work your way down its topics! http://yourfirstvisit.net/

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348 Ann { 08.12.13 at 4:37 pm }

Not many dates did you rate an 11, so I need to tell you that our family of 4 was in disney world the week of may 30-June 7 2013. It was out of controlled packed!!!! I would rank that entire week an 11 for sure!! We will not be traveling to Orlando ever again at the end of may ,early June. This was not our first trip, thank god, as many ,if not all rides were over 120 min. Our saving grace came when we went to universal. They were not as crowded.

349 Dave { 08.13.13 at 6:52 am }

Hi Ann! Honestly, you have to be there on an 11 day to understand how much worse it is even than your dates! Three hour waits and park closures are common then…

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350 Michael Angelo { 09.03.13 at 12:53 pm }

Hey Dave, it’s your buddy in Pensacola :)
It’s “that” time of year again ang looking at a couple of dates in Sept to visit the parks.
This is going to be a mini vacation so to speak. I’m looking at two days; Sept 9th (I know Mondays are bad for Magic Kingdom) and 10th. Or Sept 16th – Sept 17th. Actually I could wait
until Sept 23th and 24 if need be. Just want to go when the crowds are the lowest. Thanks again for your input. you have really helped out over the years……..Mike

351 Dave { 09.03.13 at 2:25 pm }

Michael…just for MK? Or are you thinking other parks too? MK is really tricky this time of year–see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/04/30/crowds-and-walt-disney-world/

352 michael angelo { 09.03.13 at 8:14 pm }

Thanks Dave, I replied through email.

353 Mike { 09.10.13 at 2:32 pm }

Hi Dave-

Great site. In the above “best weeks”, there really was no mention of 10/5-10/12. Lucky me, thats when we are headed to WDW.

I have seen the crowds will be low and the potential of Huricane season (wonderful), but any other insight on that week? We have the F&W at epcot and MNSSHP on Sunday, but any thing we should be concerned about?

We are so excited for low crowds even with these events, what do you think??

Thanks – Mike

354 Dave { 09.11.13 at 6:45 am }

Hey Mike, and thanks!

Yup, no hurricane season weeks are in my “recommended weeks” list. But other than that risk your dates are great! Towards the end of your week, you will run into fall breaks/Columbus Day crowds, but they won’t be bad (see http://yourfirstvisit.net/2013/07/18/fall-breaks-and-autumn-crowds-at-walt-disney-world/ )

The main thing to worry about your dates is hitting excess crowds at MK becasue of limited showings of the evening events–see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/04/30/crowds-and-walt-disney-world/

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355 Mrs Tung { 10.20.13 at 11:52 pm }

Hi Dave:
Your site is so helpful! We are considering going to Disney for 4-5 days Dec 4-7, 2013. I noticed you left the week of Dec 2 off your list of recommended weeks to visit. Is there any reason that would be a bad week to visit? Would it be better to visit the following week? Why do you prefer to arrive on a Sat, vs another day of the week? Thank you!

356 Dave { 10.21.13 at 10:04 am }

Hi Mrs Tung! My week rankings start with Saturday (becasue my itineraries start on Saturdays). So I call the week of 12/2 the week of 11/30, and it’s listed as #1!!

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357 chantale { 10.28.13 at 8:06 pm }

Hi Dave. I would like your opinion on Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Do you think it is an activity that is worth the money and would be interesting fun for a 4 1/2 year old girl? thanks!

358 Dave { 10.29.13 at 7:48 am }
359 chantale { 10.29.13 at 11:01 am }

Thanks Dave. I’m still trying to figure out if it would be good for a 4 1/2 year old. it sounds like the main differences are that the parade is more Christmas related and the fireworks as well? What has been your experience with a child that age? thanks so much! your site is sooo helpful….I love it!!!
also, on another note….We will be there the week after Thanksgiving. 3 days at MK and 1 day a AK. Would you recommend doing one area of MK (as an example FantasyLand) at a time and hit the busiest rides first? Or do you recommend going from one area to another (as an example going from Fantasy Land to Tomorrow Land) and do those busy rides first)? let me know your thoughts. thanks again!

360 Dave { 10.30.13 at 2:34 pm }

Hi Chantale, it’s a tough call for a 4.5 year old, because of the expense. If you’ll be coming back in the next 3-5 years, I’d save it for then.

And because you will be going multiple days, it’s more straightforward to stay in an area each day…

And thanks for the kind words about the site!!

361 chantale { 11.13.13 at 6:11 pm }

HI Dave. One more question for you. We are going the first week of December. We are staying off site. We will have a car and will be driving to the park. We have a reservation at Chef Mickey’s around 11:00 a.m. on one of the days. Magic Kingdom opens at 9:00 a.m. that day. What is our best bet as far as parking/logistics? Do we park at Magic Kingdom’s parking, walk around the park between 9 and 10:30 then walk over to Contemporary Resort? How long of a walk would it be? Or can we take some type of transportation there? OR, could we park at Contemporary Resort first thing in the morning and tell them we have a reservation later that morning? After we are done with our brunch, can we access Magic Kingdom from Contemporary? Or are we better off going back to the main parking area?
Any advice you have on this would be great!!! thanks!

362 chantale { 11.14.13 at 9:02 am }

hi Dave. one more question for you. You had said that MK was not a great park to visit on Monday December 2nd but since we are going to be at MK for 3 days, we can still get it to work. Would you say that on the 2nd, the park will be busier later in the day since there are EMH at the end of the day…so if we are planning on being there very first thing in the morning, we should be in pretty good shape?
also, when deciding what ride to do first, I assume you are better off doing the rides that get very busy first and don’t offer FP, as opposed to doing a FP rides first thing in the morning.
thanks again for all your help!

363 Dave { 11.14.13 at 10:20 am }

Chantale, leaving the car at the Contemporary may mean other people can’t park for their breakfast, and the first hour the park is open is by far the most valuable touring time–crowds are lowest then. So park at the Transportation and Ticketing Center, take the monorail or ferry to MK, see a ride or two, then walk to the Contemporary.

364 Dave { 11.14.13 at 10:41 am }

Chantale, it’s always best to be there first thing! There will be extra crowds even then, but you will beat most. And yes, do first rides that get crowded fast…but pretty much all of them also offer FP…

365 chantale { 11.14.13 at 2:39 pm }

thanks Dave! how long would you say it would take us to walk from let’s say Fantasyland to Contemporary? 10-15 minutes? I assume a cast member can direct us right? also, where can i see an updated list of Fastpass attraction? or do they change all the time? thanks so much again for all your help!!!

366 Dave { 11.15.13 at 7:32 am }

Chantale, 15 minutes is a good number. And do you mean regular Fastpass, or Fastpass+?

367 chantale { 11.15.13 at 8:01 am }

what’s the difference? I didn’t know there was Fastpass and Fastpass+ :-)

368 Dave { 11.16.13 at 12:00 pm }
369 michael angelo { 12.02.13 at 7:31 pm }

Hi Dave. It’s been awhile since I have emailed you. We went to DW (forget the week) in September and had a great time. I’ve never seen such low crowds in a very long time.
Anyway i’m thinking about going back this Feb. From what I read on your site the first week of Feb will have the lowest crowds for the whole month….You still sticking with than plan? :)
Thank you again for all these past years of you helping me!

370 Dave { 12.03.13 at 7:24 am }

Heya Michael good to hear from you! Yup, that’ll be a great week. The only variable out there is when the 7 Dwarfs ride opens…I have no prediction but visits will go up when it is open…

371 Michae Angelo { 12.03.13 at 7:26 pm }

Yep, good point. If so happens we’ll avoid fantasy land!
Thanks!

372 Ron { 12.26.13 at 12:52 am }

Great site. Do you think there will much of a difference in crowd at Hollywood Studios on Dec 31 versus Jan 2. Trying to choose between that park and Universal where I can get ExpressPass to mitigate lines. Planning to go to Epcot on Jan 1 and MK on Jan 3. No crowds will be bad all week but trying to have best plan possible. Any suggestions?

373 Dave { 12.26.13 at 10:18 am }

Yes, Ron, I do, because a fair number of kids are back in school on January 2–see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2013/07/30/disney-world-crowds-christmas-2013-and-new-years-20132014/ So I’d do HS Jan 2 and EpxressPass 12/31

374 Ron { 12.26.13 at 12:41 pm }

Thanks Dave makes perfect sense!

375 Susan { 12.27.13 at 12:35 am }

Hi Dave…we are passholders this year with Weekday Select passes and have really enjoyed being able to come on a moments notice since we are just 3 hours south. We homeschool, so this was the perfect option for us. Trying to get at least one more nice trip in before our passes expire the 10th of February, and wanting to celebrate our twins’ 11th birthday (which is on the 6th of Jan). The weeks we have been looking at are either Jan 13-17 or Jan. 27-31. We are flexible. Are one of those weeks better than the other as far as crowds or can you suggest another week before Feb. 10th? So grateful for your site and all your incredibly helpful information. Thanks so much!! — Susan

376 Dave { 12.27.13 at 8:30 am }

Hi Susan, I’d recommend any dates between January 21 and February 10! Your earlier Jan dates will run into a little clotting up from the Marathon weekend…Jan 21 so that you avoid the MLK Day weekend…

377 Susan { 12.27.13 at 11:03 am }

Thanks, Dave! Really appreciate your advice. Think we will go between the dates you suggested!

378 Dave { 12.28.13 at 10:35 am }

You bet, Susan!

379 Mike { 02.18.14 at 8:37 am }

Hi Dave. Hope the weather has improved up there for you guys…What a winter we all have had.
I was kinda – sorta planning a trip to DW the begging of Feb but plans have changed now looking for next week. Are there going to be any crowd issues I should know about. I’m thinking Feb 24th – 27th. I went this same time last year and the crowds were very low!
As always thank you very much,
Mike

380 Dave { 02.18.14 at 4:10 pm }

Hey Mike! I am so tired of winter…another below zero day yesterday, rush hour snow today. Anyway there’s a couple of big conferences in Orlando beginning the 23rd that weren’t there the same dates last year. So I am forecasting higher crowds than typical next week–still in my “low” class, but not as low as the week following President’s Week usually is…

381 Mike { 02.19.14 at 9:54 am }

Thanks Dave. I’ll have to think about going now. Is there in week in march that would be better? I know a lot of school will be on Spring break so maybe the first week of March?
Well I hope you guys get a early spring and warmer temps. This is the first week in months we are getting in the 70′s and 50′s at night. I cannot remember a colder winter.

382 Dave { 02.20.14 at 8:26 am }

Mike the very first week of March should be fine…today we hit 50, so of course we are on flood watch…

383 Mike { 02.20.14 at 12:50 pm }

Wow…A balmy 50!!! Still may have to wait on bringing out the sun tan lotion…LOL
Catch you another time Dave….

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