2014 Weeks to Visit Walt Disney World, Ranked in Order



By Dave Shute

OVERVIEW: 2014 WEEKS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

Best Weeks at Disney World in 2014 Ranked in Order from yourfirstvisit.netThis 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 2014 in order of best to worst.

The week rankings are based on the 2014 Disney World Crowd Calendar and 2014 Walt Disney World price seasons, as well as other factors–the Christmas season,  ride closure season and hurricane season in particular.

The 2014 crowd rankings and price seasons were updated in the summer of 2013–and these week rankings were updated then too.

There are two pages of 2014 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 should use the 2014 Disney World Week Picker.

(For 2015 rankings, see this.)

RECOMMENDED 2014 WEEKS, RANKED IN ORDER

The recommended weeks that follow are wonderful weeks to visit Walt Disney World in 2014.

Week number one has it all–lower crowds, low prices and wonderful Christmas programs and decorations. The first Saturday of this week overlaps with Thanksgiving crowds and prices, but the rest of it will be marvelous:

  • 1: 11/29/14.

Weeks 2 and 3 have many, but not all, of the strengths of week 1:

  • 2: 12/13/14.  A week as good as week 1 on crowds and holiday programs. Much more expensive,  however, than weeks 1 or 3
  • 3: 12/6/14. Largely a terrific week with low crowds, low prices and wonderful holiday programs. However, 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 a value resort should consider avoiding this week and target week 1 instead, as Pop Warner may make the value resorts crowded and boisterous this week

Week 4 is a very strong week.  It has low crowds and prices, and while the holiday program won’t be fully in place, the Magic Kingdom should be fully decorated for Christmas by early in the week

  • 4: 11/8/14

Weeks 5 and 6 are similar, sharing low crowds but moderate prices. The May week is ranked slightly higher because of slightly lower prices

  • 5: 5/3/14
  • 6: 4/26/14

Weeks 7-9 share great late autumn weather and have low crowds.  These are near-tied, but are in calendar order as the best weather is earlier.

  • 7: 10/18/14
  • 8: 10/25/14
  • 9: 11/15/14

Week 10 is similar to week 5, with slightly higher crowds

  • 10: 5/10/14

Weeks 11-13 are the best before-Easter options. Weeks 11 and 12 have similarly low crowds, but 12 has higher prices than 11. Week 13 has higher crowds than either 11 or 12, but prices comparable to those in week 11.

  • 11: 2/22/14
  • 12: 4/5/14
  • 13: 3/1/14

This completes the weeks in 2014 that are recommended.

2014 Weeks to Visit Walt Disney World Ranked in Order v2THE RANKING OF THE REST OF THE WEEKS OF 2014

The  rest of the weeks of 2014 continue here.

These remaining weeks are not recommended, although some are much better than others.

For a calendar view of the entire year, click the image.

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344 comments

1 Tiffany { 12.31.12 at 5:45 pm }

We are planning a 2014 trip and was looking at May 3-9. Looks like we picked good dates! So glad to have found your site!!!

2 Dave { 01.01.13 at 8:06 am }

Hi Tiffany and Happy New Year! Yup, love your dates!

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3 julie { 01.02.13 at 9:00 am }

we planning a trip in 2014 for 9 adults 3 kids n 1 infant its our first time at america, tho we been to paris one lots.wat wud be cheapest time n way to do 2 weeks
?

4 Dave { 01.02.13 at 5:31 pm }

Hi Julie! For the cheapest time, see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2009/12/21/the-tightwads-guide-to-when-to-go-to-walt-disney-world/ Let me know what you think when you’ve had a chance to look it through…

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5 Kelle Hughes { 01.04.13 at 6:48 am }

You website is awesome. Trying to plan a trip from Australia we have to ensure we aim for the right time and your site has answered so many questions. Also love that you have the 180 days out date on the side. Will be check back with your site every step of my planning experience thanks

6 Dave { 01.04.13 at 7:44 am }

Kelle, thanks so much! As you work through your plans, post any questions you have here!

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7 Kelle Hughes { 01.17.13 at 4:56 am }

Hi Dave,
So I’m been using your website daily as I plan our first trip and have decided 18th oct through 1st nov 2014. and I have a couple of questions
1; with the Disney dining package is it based on the nights booked at the hotel or the day passes brought. Sorry I’m a little confused with that,

2, do you recommend the magical express or getting your own way to the hotel

Thanks for all your help
Kelle

8 Dave { 01.17.13 at 7:27 am }

Hi Kelle, the dining plan is per hotel night, and has nothing to do with tickets, and yes I do recommend using Magical Express, as it can save you a ton. You might want to take a look at one of the To-Do lists you’ll find here as an example (I won’t formally release them for October for another couple of months, when Disney releases its October schedule): http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/to-do-list/to-do-lists-for-alternative-itineraries/

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9 Mommy Crystal From PA { 01.23.13 at 9:07 am }

Hello. I am always on your website, I thoroughly enjoy all your information. I have a ? for you….Just returned from an early January trip, enjoyed this time of month very much. Now planning a trip for May 2014. Was wondering why you ranked May 3,2014 a 5; but May 10,2014 a 10. I wanted to go over Mothers Day weekend, but wondering why such a ranking difference. Thanks! Hope to hear from you soon :)

10 Dave { 01.23.13 at 9:15 am }

Hi and thanks! These weeks are ranked in order from 1 to 52 so “10″ is still a great ranking! I’m forecasting slightly lower crowds for the earlier week, which is what moves it up in the ranking…

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11 Jen { 01.23.13 at 7:08 pm }

Hi Dave,
We just returned from Disney, going from Dec 30 to Jan 6th. The crowds were absolutely crazy, and never died down after New Year, until the last day. My husband refuses to go again at such a crazy time! As a teacher, I only have selected times to go and we are looking ahead at our Spring Break 2014. It Begins April 5th,2014. Looking at your crowd forecast it looks like a great week to go. Do you think you’ll change your opinion on that at all? Will it be a very expensive time to go? Thanks in advance! Thanks for all your information as well! I’ve been viewing your site for the past 2 years while planning our trips! It’s great!

12 Dave { 01.23.13 at 7:22 pm }

Hi Jen, and thanks! So glad the site is helping!

The short version is that the 2014 crowd forecasts may change this summer.

Each summer, I collect school break dates from 175+ districts and create a chart like the one here. I use this to finalize the crowd forecasts.

Too many schools don’t release their calendars early enough for me to do this before then!

Similarly the price forecast won’t be solid until Disney releases actual 2014 prices–which it typically does in the summer…

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13 Amanda { 02.04.13 at 3:11 pm }

Hi!

I have used your website several times in the past and I am back again to plan our next trip! Currently, we have a trip planned for December 2013 but I am thinking of moving it to March 2014 to celebrate our son’s 6th birthday. There are 2 weeks I’m looking at in March 2014:

1. March 1st: This will be during Mardi Gras for us so our son wouldn’t miss much school and it seems like you have the crowds being pretty low. But, my son’s actual birthday would not be during our vacation dates.

2. March 15th. We would be able to celebrate our son’s actual birthday during the vacation. But, I am curious about the week ranking and the crowd level. Looks like it’s ranked pretty low amongst the weeks – 38th. And the crowds you have at a 9. We’ve never gone during March so I really have no idea what to expect. With Easter being late next year (April 20th), do you really think the week of March 15th will be that crowded?

Thank you!!

14 Dave { 02.05.13 at 8:19 am }

Hi Amanda, yes I do. Some big states (like Texas) that don’t tie their breaks to Easter typically have that week off, and later March is the most popular time for “snowbird” visits…

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15 Amanda { 02.05.13 at 9:24 am }

Thank you for the explanation, Dave! Looks like we’ll probably head down during Mardi Gras with the rest of Louisiana. LOL!

16 Dave { 02.05.13 at 5:03 pm }

:)

17 Lee { 02.08.13 at 5:37 am }

Hi,
I was hoping to book for weeks ranked 13 and 14 in 2014 but the school won’t allow us to take the kids out early for week 14 so my option is then weeks ranked 13 and 45. This will be our first visit and want it to be special for the kids. So hoping to avoid big crowds. If we spend the first week solidly doing the parks (Universal etc.) are there things we can do in the second busy spring break week that are fun but quiter away from the crowds? Ie discovery cove, Everglades? My kids will be 13 and 15. Thanks for any advise. Lee.

18 Dave { 02.08.13 at 7:25 am }

Lee, absolutely nothing is away from the crowds during Easter week, not even the mosques! But with the time you have, you can focus in the first week on the rides that get crowded, and in the second week see the other rides in the mornings and evenings that don’t get as long a line…See this for guidance on which will be which, at least at Disney World http://yourfirstvisit.net/2011/03/09/the-comprehensive-guide-to-walt-disney-world-rides-and-attractions/ (and let me know if it isn’t self-explanatory

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19 Sarah { 02.12.13 at 8:22 am }

I am wondering why the week of March 10th is so high? Thats early for public school spring breaks isnt it?

20 Dave { 02.12.13 at 8:58 am }

Hi Sarah, public school breaks are much more varied than I’d ever thought before I started researching them for this site. There’s a group of school districts–e.g. in Texas–that take their breaks the second full week of March, which is also a very popular week for Northeasterners to get away from the snow and head to Florida. The combination makes it the third worst wee of spring break…For how this is unfolding in 2103 see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/07/25/disney-world-crowds-2013-spring-break-2013/

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21 Ron { 02.15.13 at 11:57 pm }

I’m actually planning to go back to WDW on your #1 week, The Saturday after Thanksgiving. Will it still be crowded for the weekend days? It seems like the crowds would be less in the last weeks of September, wondering why this week would be ranked higher. Any other advice for going the week after Thanksgiving?

22 Dave { 02.16.13 at 7:16 am }

Hi Ron, the Saturday after Thanksgiving is packed. My itinerary reflects this by having you go to Epcot that night, and seeing things that aren’t sensitive to crowds.

Re your September question, the rankings are for first time visitors who may never return. Because of that, the period from late August to early October gets dinged because it is during 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/ and this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/08/06/how-disney-world-2013-week-rankings-were-built/

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23 Ron { 02.16.13 at 11:09 am }

Dave, would I be better off waiting to arrive until Sunday then? Would AK be a viable option if I arrive Saturday? If Sunday I was planning on MK since there are no fireworks it should be less busy I’m thinking? It looks like the rest of the week would be good though crowd wise from your ranking.
Do you think there will be free Dining Plan at that time if you had to guess?.

24 Dave { 02.17.13 at 8:58 am }

Ron, as I noted Saturday does not matter if you follow my itinerary. I won’t have a sharp point of view on alternate itineraries until Disney publishes its December calendar, which won’t do until mid-May or so…

25 Brad { 02.18.13 at 9:25 pm }

Love the web site, my family will be coming the last week of Feb 2014, is that a great week for weather and crowds?

26 Dave { 02.19.13 at 8:43 am }

Hi Brad and thanks! That’s a great week for crowds, but weather can be all over the place. See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/07/30/february-2013-walt-disney-world/

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27 Kristy { 03.21.13 at 2:30 pm }

When do the Christmas decorations come down in January of 2014 and when do they go up in Nov or Dec 2014?
Thank You
Kristy

28 Dave { 03.22.13 at 7:23 am }

Kristy, they start taking them down right after New Year’s Day and they’ll be largely down within a week or so. They start going up in early November, will be pretty fully in place by around the 10th or so at the Magic Kingdom, and will be fully up everywhere by Thanksgiving.

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29 Anonymous { 03.24.13 at 10:47 am }

Thank You Dave

30 Ana { 03.30.13 at 9:52 pm }

Hi, the only chance my family have to visit Disney is the midle of july 2014. I know tha is a crowd month, but is possible to have fun! another question: the second option is to go in the lete of feb 2014, but we love the aquatic parks. the temperature is really low? thanks

31 Dave { 03.31.13 at 9:49 am }

Hi Ana–there’s one really bad week in February 2014–the week beginning 2/15–but other than that week February is a much better time to go then than in July. Yes, you’ll likely miss out on good weather for the water parks, but for most families those minor parks are the least important parts of a trip to Disney World….

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32 Erica { 04.02.13 at 1:38 pm }

Thank you so much for your website and info! My husband and I planned on taking our two boys sometime in 2014 and our aunt just offered us her timeshare from 11/29-12/6..the week you ranked as #1! Very excited! Looking forward to searching more on this site for more valuable information!

33 kristi { 04.04.13 at 11:25 am }

we are planning for next February as we like the lower crowds…which week is best?

34 Dave { 04.04.13 at 12:49 pm }

Kristi the best overall Feb 2014 week is the week beginning the 22nd. The lowest crowd week in Feb will be the week beginning Feb 1.

I like the later week compared to the earlier one for two reasons: less chance of ride closures (see http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/05/12/winter-ride-closures-at-walt-disney-world/ ) and more chance that the new ride Seven Dwarfs Mine train will be open!

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35 Kristi { 04.04.13 at 5:06 pm }

Thanks so much!!! We are looking at the 22nd or March 1….so thinking February will win out! thanks so much!

36 Dave { 04.04.13 at 6:57 pm }

Great Kristi!

37 Jameson { 04.07.13 at 8:58 pm }

I don’t get how 3/2/13 is listed as quite high on the crowd level and yet, 3/1/14 is listed as low. What happened in 2013 the first week of march that isn’t happening in 2014 during the first week?

38 Dave { 04.08.13 at 7:10 am }

Hey Jameson! Two things: first this is a draft calendar, and that week may change as I revis eit in the summer wiht the full data on the 175 public school holiday calendars that I track. Second, spring break crowds are profoundly shaped by the date of Easter. Easter 2013 was earlier in its range, compressing visits into a shorter period. Easter 2014 is three weeks later, opening up early March. See this for more on the gory details: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/07/25/disney-world-crowds-2013-spring-break-2013/

39 Ben { 04.09.13 at 4:09 pm }

Hi Dave, love the site and thanks so much for your hard work. Question about October 2014. I have noticed some school systems do a fall break and this is often in October. Is this common and does it impact October crowds?

40 Shannon { 04.10.13 at 6:35 am }

I noticed in an earlier question that you posted a 2013 Spring Break list average for school districts. I’m wondering when you’ll do the same for 2014, and where on your site it will be found? I’m a teacher, and our break will be earlier next year, not connected with Easter – starting 4/5/2014. I am trying at all costs to avoid massive crowds. You listed this as week #13, so I’m assuming that won’t be too bad!

Awesome site, by the way. Extremely helpful! Keep up the good work.

41 Debbie Denton { 04.10.13 at 6:45 am }

Hi, we are planning on visiting next year for w/c 29th March and following week, which you have listed as low crowds. However, the second of these weeks is the first week of the UK schools Easter break, will this make a difference to your predicted crowd levels?

Also, I’ve been informed by a travel agent that Disney’s free dining deal will exclude the period from 27th March over Easter, which suggests that they may think it will be busy from then?

42 James { 04.10.13 at 2:17 pm }

As Jen mentioned above about her Early Jan visit, HUSBANDS HATE CROWDS!
As a husband and father myself, I can attest to this.
I wish many of these WDW tip sites took that into consideration. I think the more gentile and patient species can handle the crowds better than us brutes, therefore, they tend to not take low crowds into as much consideration as, say, decoration, or weather. If you are taking your husbands, consider crowd size. A hubby with a short fuse can ruin a trip for all the kids if the crowds are too large.

43 Dave { 04.10.13 at 3:07 pm }

Hi Shannon and thanks!

I don’t start working on the equivalent 2014 charts until the summer, as too many school districts don’t release their calendars for the upcoming year until then. And once I do have and analyze all the relevant data, I’ll use it–if needed–to modify the crowd calendar. So the week ranking may change with more and better data…though I doubt it will!

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44 Dave { 04.10.13 at 3:10 pm }

Hi Debbie, I don’t have access to UK deals, so can’t comment on the specifics, but Disney pricing–including discount patterns–isn’t a great guide to crowds. Some periods of the year are low price and high crowd (e.g. early August), others are high price and low crowd (e.g. late February/early March). There aren’t quite enough visitors from the UK to materially affect overall crowd levels–although certainly it will be a little more crowded than if the break was not then!

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45 Dave { 04.10.13 at 3:29 pm }

And speaking also as a husband I completely agree with you!!

46 Dave { 04.10.13 at 3:31 pm }

Ben, except for the week of Columbus Day, fall breaks are varied enough to not have much of an impact on crowds…

47 Jodi { 04.11.13 at 12:28 pm }

Dave,
Thanks so much for this site. It is amazing and making this first Disney trip SO much more manageable! We are thinking of going in February, but are doing mid-week to mid-week. Right now we’re thinking Wed-Tues or Tues-Mon, somewhere surrounding the 15th through the 22nd. Would it be better to go 2/12/14-2/18/14 or go 2/18/14 to 2/24/12 or some other combination of those days? We have a 2 yr. old and a 4 yr. old so we are only doing MK and AK – probably 4 days at MK since it will be mostly mornings there (both kids still nap) and 1 day at AK which we will push through for a full day :)

48 Dave { 04.12.13 at 7:49 am }

Hi Jodi and I’m so glad the site is helping.

The President’s Day week crowds will begin to show up the 13th, and will be quite unmanageable by the 16th, so I’m not too keen on either option, though the one that has you arriving earlier has some better days. Waits this year in the afternoons exceeded 3 hours on the most popular rides…

49 Jodi { 04.12.13 at 3:58 pm }

Dave, Thanks for the quick response! We are trying to rearrange our dates to go the next week – you said 2/22/14 is a great week as is 3/1/14, so I’m assuming if we go mid-week to mid-week – starting 2/26/14 that we are good? Thanks again!

50 Dave { 04.13.13 at 6:45 am }

Hi Jodi, yes, those will be great dates! I’m glad you could change!

51 ingeborg { 04.14.13 at 12:33 pm }

HI,

I`m planning for 2014 and we really like to see all the Christmas decorating at disneyworld.
So we have decided to plan from nov. 21 till dec. 11 th. But we were wondering how busy it will be in the week from thanksgiving is it so crowded that it`s possible that you can`t go into the parks or not?? I`m from europe and never had a thanksgiving so I don`t know what it does with people……will they go out or just be with family and do schools have a week of or so??
Thanks

52 Dave { 04.15.13 at 7:45 am }

Hi Ingeborg! Disney World will be very crowded from November 23 through November 30 2014. See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/10/07/disney-world-crowds-2014/

You will be able to get in and to see a lot during those days but waits will be much longer than on the parts of your trip after the 30th of November and before the 23rd…

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53 kristi { 04.15.13 at 11:53 am }

Hi there. I am looking at flights already for next year and our original dates of February 22-march 1 won’t work :(
we are thinking February 24-march 5th. Will that still be good or should we do the week before??
thanks

54 Dave { 04.17.13 at 7:16 am }

Hi Kristi, yes, those alternate dates should be fine!

55 Jenn { 04.18.13 at 10:19 am }

Hi – I was looking at the 2014 dates and the week of Feb. 1st is noted as lowest across the board with possible ride closures (although I have found this throughout the year anyhow?) and is noted as 47. Not sure I understand the ranking? Thanks!

56 Dave { 04.19.13 at 7:17 am }

Hi Jenn!

The week rankings were built for first-time visitors who may never return, so that while rides can be closed as you note anytime, the time of year when you can reliably predict that they’ll be closed is severely downgraded.

Most of those weeks are great for returning visitors, as I note. For more on how the rankings are built, see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/08/06/how-disney-world-2013-week-rankings-were-built/

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57 Alisyn { 04.24.13 at 5:42 pm }

We are planning a trip to WDW March 30th-April 5th, 2014. I chose this week because it was rated at week 14. (Lower crowds.) However, when I called WDW to make reservations, she said that was peak Spring Break season and the place would basically be swarming with people. Now I’m a nervous wreck! Please tell me she was misinformed on her dates!

58 Dave { 04.25.13 at 7:44 am }

Alisyn, my official response is to check back this summer, as since by then I’ll have all the 175 public school calendars for 2013-2014 in hand that I track, I’ll be revising the crowd calendars, whihc may have some implications for your week.

But practically speaking, that week was a zoo this year–but that’s because Easter was March 31. Your reservationist was forgetting that in 2014 Easter won’t be til April 20, so early April 2014 should be just fine!

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59 Marie S. { 04.25.13 at 12:09 pm }

Hello Dave :) We just got back from our Disney trip and once again the information you provided was great. We have used your site and information when planning our last two Florida vacations. We are already planning our 2014 trip and are planning on going the two weeks right after Thanksgiving. According to your crowd projections that will be the 1st and 3rd best weeks to go in 2014. We are so excited!!! Thanks for all your help!!

60 Lindsey { 04.25.13 at 5:05 pm }

Hi Dave,
Love your site! We are looking at going either February 1-8 or 8- 15. I noticed they were not ranked very high. We just went in December 2012 and before that in December 2010. We would love to go back at that time but I will have a four month old. We like cool weather and low crowds. We will have two 6 year olds, one two year old, and a 6 month old. Since this is not our first time do you think this would be a good time to go?

61 Dave { 04.26.13 at 12:47 pm }

Hi Marie, I’m so glad the site helped you!

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62 Dave { 04.26.13 at 12:55 pm }

Hi Lindsey, and thanks!!

The week rankings are for first time visitors who may never return, and becasue of that I particularly ding the ride closure season–see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/05/12/winter-ride-closures-at-walt-disney-world/

For returning visitors, later January, and February up until the Thursday before Presidents Day, are great times to visit! They have low crowds and low prices.

Of the two weeks you are thinking about, I prefer the earlier one, as crowds will start building the 13th…

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63 Denise of West Columbia, SC { 04.30.13 at 11:29 pm }

Hi, thank you for doing all this valuable research to benefit others. If I might ask, what is the significance of the 180 days out? I’m sure it’s mentioned somewhere but I haven’t run across it. Also, do you think my grandsons who will be ages 4 and 6 in May 2014 (small in stature) may be too young to enjoy the Disney experience? Financially, we won’t be able to visit Disney World that often so I would like our vacation it to be as pleasurable/memorable as possible. Thank you!

64 Dave { 05.01.13 at 7:58 am }

Hi Denise, and thanks!

For the logic of the 180 days, see this http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/when-your-plans-need-to-be-firm/

If you’ll be able to take the boys back when they are say 8 and 10, then they won’t be too young in 2014 to enjoy 3-5 days. If you won’t be able to afford to come back til they are much older than 8 and 10, I’d wait…

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65 Paul { 05.02.13 at 7:14 pm }

We are looking to make a return trip to DW in late 2014. There are some attractive weeks in late November and early December. However, the comments mention that there is the XMAS Program in place. I assume this means certain parks will close early for the special event. Which parks are impacted by this?

66 Dave { 05.03.13 at 7:31 am }

Paul the only park that closes early is MK, on certain nights for its Xmas party. See this for how its flowing out in 2013: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2013/04/15/mickeys-very-merry-christmas-party-mvmcp-in-2013/

This party is wonderful, so it’s built into all my itineraries for that time of year–see for example this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/basic-itinerary/basic-itinerary-daily-links/

The party also has crowding effects on non-party days. See the second half of this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/04/30/crowds-and-walt-disney-world/

Hope this helps…

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67 Manuela { 05.03.13 at 10:38 am }

Hi Dave.
Love your site! Thanks for all the info.
I’m planning a trip for either the second week of December 2013 or the second week of January 2014. Which week do you think would be better?
Thank you!

68 Dave { 05.03.13 at 10:52 am }

Hi Manuela, and thanks!

The second week of January will be a little less crowded, but a little more expensive.

The Christmas program will be over by that time in January, and you will face the risk of ride closures–see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/05/12/winter-ride-closures-at-walt-disney-world/

If this will be your only trip ever, I’d pick the December week. If you’ll be able to come back, I’d pick the January week…

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69 Manuela { 05.03.13 at 1:14 pm }

Hi Dave.
Thanks for such a fast response.
The Christmas atmosphere was the reason why I was thinking about possibly going in December, but I thought that it would be more expensive than in January….
I’ve been to Disney World before and also to Disneyland Paris. My mom who’s coming with me hasn’t been, but she isn’t really into rides, so the closures wouldn’t be a problem.

70 Dave { 05.04.13 at 7:39 am }

Manuela, 2014 prices aren’t out yet, so the thought that Jan will be more expensive is a guess on my part. I may be wrong!

71 Debs { 05.07.13 at 7:24 am }

Hi Dave, I wondered if you were intending to make any crowd prediction revisions in the next few weeks? We are about to book for what your calendar calls weeks 13 & 14, and I’m with you on the crowds being OK then but busier as you get closer to Easter. Undercover tourist currently have those weeks as busier than the 2 either side of Easter which makes no sense to me so I’m assuming they don’t know when Easter is! Thanks for all the great info

72 Melanie { 05.07.13 at 8:58 am }

Hello, Dave. I love your website. Thanks for all the input! Planning a 2014 trip with my husband, 4 yr. old and 2 yr. old (turning on 3 on 3/25/14). Considering weeks of 5/4 – 5/10, 2/8 – 2/14 or 2/23 – 3/1. This is our first visit and we plan to return every 3 years. Also, the “baby” would be “free” if we go in February. We are concerned we won’t be able to use the pools due to cool weather, but like the idea of low crowds and comfortable daytime temps. If you were me, when would you go? Thanks!! :)

73 Dave { 05.07.13 at 9:26 am }

Debs, I’ll be updating the 2014 crowd calendar in late June or early July, based on full data from the 175 or so school districts I track. The spring break weeks (other than March and the weeks before and after Easter) are the hardest to forecast without that data, so those weeks may change…

Moreover I’m now buds with Undercover Tourist (see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2013/04/30/affiliation-with-undercover-tourist/ ) so I may also have a better understanding by then of why they are forecasting those weeks as so bad…

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74 Debs { 05.07.13 at 11:33 am }

Thanks for letting me know. We will need to book next weekend because flights are filling up from the UK for our dates! This is because lots of people are looking to get away before the UK free dining plan blackout dates over Easter! We will take our chances that these weeks won’t be too bad because Easter is so late! Thanks for your help

75 Dave { 05.07.13 at 2:38 pm }

Hi Melanie, and thanks!!

Among these dates, since you are able to return and because of the “free kid” point, I’d pick the 2/22 arrival date. This misses the potential ride closures of the earlier Feb date, and, just on the odds, will be a little warmer.

The pools are heated, so even if you don’t want to swim, the kids will be able to! For more on the range of high 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/

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76 Dave { 05.07.13 at 2:47 pm }

You bet Debs…

77 Brian { 05.13.13 at 1:46 pm }

Hi Dave–

Do you think the crowd trends could be similar to 2011 when Easter also happened to be very late that year? I was at WDW in 2011 from March 22-28, and the crowds were very manageable for the most part (compared to June/July). Being a teacher, my window in 2014 will most likely mean a March 11-17 WDW experience. I am hoping for a repeat later this year when the Disney hotels offer some discount pricing this time period.

Thank you for your time.

78 Dave { 05.14.13 at 7:41 am }

Brian, I’ll have a re-forecast of 2014 crowds out in late June or so, based on better data on 2103-2014 academic calendars. (I track 175 of them, and a lot don’t come out til the school year is over…I’m sure your district doesn’t do that!)

But I’m not too hopeful about your week, as that’s when I expect the Texas schools to be out and mobbing WDW…like I said I’ll have better data later…For teachers, often the best week is the beginning of June or end of August–whichever (if either)fits your calendar…

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79 B Thomas { 05.19.13 at 2:15 pm }

Hi Dave! I love your page! So helpful…although it has busted my previous plans, as I didn’t take into account Easter crowds until I saw your 2014 predictor. My friend and I (both well into adulthood) will be going on our third week-long trip sometime next spring, so we know what we’re looking for, just not sure how to get there because of when Easter falls next year. Neither of us have much patience for excessive heat or crowds. Our last trip was early this past November…and it was perfect! But we want to try a different time of year. Her first anniversary is May 4th, so I know she’s looking to be home by then. I was really looking forward to going April 20th-27th for the flowers, market, and Earth Day, all in one trip (and missing the Spring Break crowd insanity), but the 20th is Easter and that weekend (I’m not sure if your chart is in reference to the weekend until the 20th, or the week starting the 20th) is ranked 39th-ouch!
Do you have any recommendations? For vacation-time purposes, we were looking to go Sunday-Sunday and miss as much Spring Break crazyness as possible.

80 Dave { 05.20.13 at 8:51 am }

Hey B, my stuff is for “week beginning. The week following Easter–beginning the 19th–will be a zoo. See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/10/07/disney-world-crowds-2014/

I’d suggest arriving the week after–around 4/26–which should get you back by May 4!

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81 B Thomas { 05.22.13 at 6:39 pm }

Thanks for your help :) We had actually started to look into April 6th because it’s ranked 13th (one behind April 26th) and will be a little cooler. Do you think this is a good idea? Although the earlier (and cooler) the better, everything I’ve read absolutely condemns the crowds of early April, but I’m assuming those comments are in reference to most years when Easter is a lot earlier than April 20th?

82 Dave { 05.23.13 at 7:32 am }

Yes, there’s more nonsense said about April at WDW than any other topic! April crowds are almost entirely a function of Easter dates. I expect slightly better prices for your later dates (this is a forecast–the real prices will be out soon) which is why the rankings are as they are. But if cooler is more important to you then take the earlier date!

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83 B. Thomas { 05.23.13 at 1:59 pm }

Oh great, thank you so much! My friend is actually a cast-member, so the price difference in those weekends after her awesome discount will be much less noticeable. Just making sure that you think the 6th-13th would be good crowd-wise (your predictor ranks it at a 3!)? My friend and I like to think we’re pretty organized and thought-out…but I’m jealous of your skills. Thanks for all your help!

84 Dave { 05.24.13 at 10:31 am }

Well, if you are gonna kick around mean old words words like “sure”…a coupla disclaimers!!

  • Most important is that I’ll be revisiting this crowd calendar this summer, based on final data from the 175 school districts I track. I don’t expect that to make much difference–but I won’t know until I do the work!
  • Second, it will still just be a forecast…

So if you can wait, check back in July just to see if anything is different on the crowd calendar!

85 B. Thomas { 05.24.13 at 2:06 pm }

Haha, sorry, I didn’t mean to use such language. I was already planning to wait until your forecast came out before making reservations. Was simply looking into what your opinions were. Thanks again!

86 Jamie { 05.24.13 at 5:18 pm }

Hi Dave booked up for 24th march – 7th April 2014 just see your calender them weeks seem ok do you think they’ll stay like that ???

87 Dave { 05.25.13 at 2:57 pm }

:)

88 Dave { 05.25.13 at 3:01 pm }

Jamie, I have the week beginning 3/22 marked as “9/high crowds.” I expect crowds will be much better your second week–I have the week beginning 3/29 3/low crowds. See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/10/07/disney-world-crowds-2014/

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89 Celeste { 05.25.13 at 11:37 pm }

Hi! I just found this site and it seems awesome! I am looking at next May and it seems you recommend the first week over the others. Do you know when Star Wars Weekends typically happen?

90 Dave { 05.26.13 at 1:42 pm }

Hi Celeste and thanks!

My rankings are for first time visitors who may never return, so earlier May–less crowded–gets the nod, and I don’t even factor in Star Wars weekends, as I suggest first timers avoid HS like the plague those weekends becasue of the massive crowds.

Typically they start in mid-May. My guess is that they’ll start May 16th next year…

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91 Paul { 06.17.13 at 6:54 pm }

Dave:

We will be making a return trip to DW in late 2014. Since its been about eight months since you put out your crowd calendar guide I was wondering if you had any additional insight into the following weeks (in order of our preference):
1) 11/8/14
2) 11/29/14
3) 12/6/14
4)12/13/14

My concern is that each of top 2 choices are preceeded by very busy weeks (Jersey Week and Thanksgiving). I feel that there is an increased risk that more folks decide to either extend thier stay or delay their trip by a week. My question is do you feel that you are under-representing the projected crowds for 11/8/14 and 11/29/14?

92 Dave { 06.18.13 at 7:09 am }

Paul, first Jersey week is not that crowded–not like Thanksgiving week. See http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/05/02/jersey-week-at-walt-disney-world/ Second, weeks are crowded or not depending on whether or not there a lot of kids out of school. The pattern you are concerned about has not happened. SO I’m fine with my forecasts for your first two weeks!

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93 Rachel { 06.18.13 at 10:31 am }

Hi again Dave,
I just went ahead and booked (room only) at AoA for August 16-23, 2014. I used Susan at Destinations in Florida and she is amazing! I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t use a travel agent, especially since they are free. If you are trying to enjoy this planning process I highly recommend them.
Being teachers this was the latest date we could go, do you foresee us running into weather issues/ride closures for this time?

Is there anything else I should do between now and then? I have my calendar set for 180 days out to make my ADR and will plan our itinerary more in detail once you release it for August 2014.
Thanks again for all of your help. You have made this planning process so much fun!

94 Dave { 06.19.13 at 12:17 pm }

Heya Rachel I’m so glad Susan was so great! And thanks for the kind words…

On the planning process a couple of things. One is to keep coming back here now and then. Fastpass+ will change some things at some date, currently unknown. My guess is that anything different you’ll need to do will be within the 180 day window, not before it, but just in case come back now and then!

The other is to look at the table service restaurants in the current itineraries to test their fit for you. I don’t have individual reviews for most (but may by your 180 day mark!) but you can search for reviews etc. You want your dining plans set at the 180 day mark. Take a look at this for an example: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/12/06/summer-itinerary-for-walt-disney-world-v2/

And finally do tell your 1,000 closest friends about the site :)

95 Anonymous { 06.21.13 at 6:58 am }

Hi, any advice would be great as we are really struggling to decide when is the best time for us to visit. We are restricted to the first two weeks in April 2014 or the last two weeks of August 2014. We prefer cooler weather but HATE very bad crowds and we are concerned that April will be too busy. It will be our second visit, our first visit was in March 2008 which was very,very crowded and we really don’t want to experience that again if we can avoid it! We are coming from the uk.

96 Dave { 06.21.13 at 7:49 am }

Hi, because of the late Easter, early April in 2014 will be fine up until the 12th, when the mobs come in. I’d go with then!

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97 Rachel { 06.23.13 at 9:05 pm }

Oh don’t you worry Dave, even though our trip is farther than a year out I’m on your site daily! (I promise to share with my closest friends too). I’ve looked @ a lot of the restaurants you recommend in the itineraries and plan to have a list of places we’d like to go/with a very basic itinerary mapped out before our 180 days hits. When that time approaches I’m sure I’ll overload you with questions ;)

One final thing…do you know anything about photopass+, is that worth it in your opinion? Being this will be our first trip as a family to WDW we will definitely want all of those keepsake photos. Is that the most economic way to go?

98 Dave { 06.24.13 at 7:29 am }

Heya Rachel! I don’t track photopass closely, as I don’t see the value compared to just handing your camera to a cast member for a photo…but others do swear by it!

99 Janelle { 06.25.13 at 12:03 am }

Hi Dave, I am planning a family trip for five, including kids ages 4, 7, and 12. This is our first time and a friend recommended staying at Animal Kingdom because the kids will love the animals. However, I am hesitant because of the location in comparison to other parks. Is the distance that inconvenient? I have seen your recommendations, but could you please list the best place for a family of 5 to sleep comfortably in order between the Wilderness Lodge/Villas and Jambo House/Villas. Thank you.

100 Janelle { 06.25.13 at 12:04 am }

Also, I am looking at the first week of April 2014. Lower crowds and hopefully spring like weather, not as much heat and humidity.

101 Dave { 06.25.13 at 9:47 am }

Janelle, AKL is maybe 2 or three miles more distant than other options–depending on the park. That’s not a whole lot of difference.

Standard rooms at neither hotel will fit 5.

To fit 5, your least expensive option is a deluxe room at Wilderness Lodge–see this http://yourfirstvisit.net/2011/03/29/review-deluxe-rooms-at-disneys-wilderness-lodge/ One bedroom villas at WL only hold 4.

But (most) one bedroom villas at AKL hold 5–see this http://yourfirstvisit.net/2011/08/24/review-disneys-animal-kingdom-villas-jambo-house/ and also this http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/01/31/review-kidani-village-at-disneys-animal-kingdom-villas/

Hope this helps!!

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102 Karen { 06.25.13 at 8:57 pm }

Hi Dave…Awesome website. we are thinking of arriving Apr 25, and start with AK park on Apr 26. Should the Easter crowds be gone by then?
Alos, do you know anything about the fastpass+ and do you think this will help out familites going (only only families staying on sit e- the fastpass+ is only for on site guests). Thks, Karen

103 Dave { 06.26.13 at 7:07 am }

Hi Karen, yes, that should be a great week. And the details of Fastpass+ aren’t out yet…

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104 Anonymous { 06.26.13 at 7:46 pm }

Thanks a lot, Dave. ye s- it speculation is Fastpass+ will remain the same as the test that just completed today (staff and special guests tested it). Will be interesting to see if crowd calendars change…

Also, a question – I see you suggest animal Kingdom Lodge for fam of 5. Did you not mention the Value Resort Family Suites because they would be a bit more squishy …I know it is a queen bedroom, and dbl bed and 2 pull out singles, but AKL would be more spacious.? I think Music resport is a bit less costly, tho. thks again!

105 Janelle { 06.26.13 at 8:57 pm }

Hi Dave,
Thanks for the info regarding Animal Kingdom. Now I have
another question. What about the Polynesian? I am now leaning towards this resort because a friend of mine stayed at the Wilderness Lodge and although beautiful, would not recommend it because they were sometimes on the bus for an hour one way. Will all renovations be done on the Polynesian by next April? Is this resort preferable between the two?

106 Dave { 06.27.13 at 7:07 am }

Is this Janelle?? My concerns about Fastpass+ are how many “E TIcket” rides one will be able to book daily, and if this will vary on vs off-site, and deluxes vs values. DIfferent answers to these questions will have big impacts!!

I talked about AKL villas only in the context of the question, whihc was about WL vs. AKL. There’s lotsa other options for families of 5! Any family suite, the Alligator Bayou section of Port Orleans Riverside, the Cabins at Fort Wilderness, any standard deluxe room except AKL and WL, and several of the one-bedroom villas–Old Key West, Kidani, Jambo, Bay Lake Tower.

Prices for these vary a ton, so I rank them within price class here: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/04/26/walt-disney-world-resort-hotel-reviews/

107 Dave { 06.27.13 at 7:15 am }

Janelle, the Poly is my top ranked hotel for first time visitors who may never return. See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2013/06/17/review-disneys-polynesian-resort-2/

I wouldn’t worry too much about the buses though. An hour ride is…unusual…since nothing is more than 8 miles away. You can wait anywhere for a bus 20 minutes or so. The bus will then typically have another stop or two (except at AofA or Pop). Any stop can be delayed by the time it takes to load chairs and scooters, sometimes at each stop. But the rolling time is till 20 minutes or so max…and this is true of the Poly as well…so 60 minutes is way a worst case…

The core room renovations at the Poly will be done in 2013. But work on DVC there will stretch on for years. See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2013/06/25/the-disney-vacation-club-at-the-polynesian-resort/

108 Janelle { 06.27.13 at 7:57 am }

Thank you so much! I think we are going to go with the Polynesian.

109 Ray { 07.02.13 at 4:45 pm }

Dave Iam looking at the 3/5 to3/12 date 2014 and staying at the art of animation family suite. how does this fit in and when can I make the reservation at the resort? MAHALO

110 Dave { 07.03.13 at 7:55 am }

Hey Ray, I’m seeing that as a good week. You can make a room-only reservation now (see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2011/02/21/how-far-in-advance-can-you-book-a-walt-disney-world-vacation/ ) or wait til July 10, when the 2014 prices will come out and the Disney website will allow bookings 500 days out…

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111 Penelope { 07.03.13 at 11:25 am }

Not sure how I found this Site but I’m sure glad I did my (?) is my family is looking
At going oct 17-26 or nov8-16 will be only 2times we will be able to go I’m wondering will it be crazy busy Either of these times I see that it’s marked at 3 and I’m not sure what it means
Thank you :-)

112 Dave { 07.04.13 at 10:51 am }

Hi Penelope and I’m glad you are here too! Both of those are great weeks. The crowd rankings go from 1 (lowest) to 11 (highest) so 3 is good. At that time of year, though, you can still find wild crowds on certain days at certain parks, especially the Magic Kingdom. See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/04/30/crowds-and-walt-disney-world/

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113 Kristi { 07.06.13 at 9:14 am }

So we had to push our trip back to the fall of 2014, I am debating between last week of September and first week of October….which would you suggest?

114 Anonymous { 07.07.13 at 8:19 am }

Hi,
The only time we can possibly come because of our work schedules is Jan.15th to Jan 21st, . we have a 5 year old. Are we picking a bad time for a first time visit?

115 Dave { 07.07.13 at 8:43 am }

Kristi, I don’t see much difference between the two, but rank the October week a little higher just because it’s more towards the end of the peak of the hurricane season…

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116 Dave { 07.07.13 at 8:53 am }

Hi, that’s a pretty good time, if you will be able to return when the child is older. Some rides will be closed, and you’ll run into a bit of crowds over the MLK holiday weekend…

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117 Kelly { 07.09.13 at 1:18 pm }

Hi Dave – - planning our first trip and was thinking April 19-26. Or will that week be crazy with crowds? We are hoping to avoid bad crowds and the heat. My family doesn’t do well in the heat. Kids will be 11 and 7 and trying to avoid pulling them out of school.

118 Dave { 07.10.13 at 8:48 am }

Kelly, the week after Easter is one of the worst 4 or 5 weeks if they year. Very expensive, and wildly crowded. We’re talking three hour waits for some rides… Honestly–take the kids out of school. You really won’t regret it at those ages!!

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119 Joy { 07.11.13 at 12:42 am }

Hi Dave-
We were thinking about Jan 15-21, 2014 and staying at AofA. Are we making a big mistake coming over the MLK holiday? I thought we would be good since your chart said low crowds.
Do you have an idea what rides might be closed? And is that the only reason for the low ranking? Lastly, we heard from one person that the shuttle ride at AofA of terrible. I have read reviews and can find no supporting evidence. I have named you a personal expert and wondering if you have heard about long waits for the shuttle.
Thanks so much!

120 Dave { 07.11.13 at 8:50 am }

Joy, my crowd rankings cover 9 days–from Saturday through the following Sunday (because that’s the time frame my itineraries cover). The three days of MLK weekend will be quite crowded, but the next 6 days will be very low-crowd. Averaging these two gets me to low crowds.

Whoever said the buses at AofA are terrible likely has not used the buses at many other Disney World hotels. I’ve stayed at all of them, and used all their buses, and compared to the other choices, AofA buses are among the best. They may not have met that person’s expectations–but it’s not expectations that matter…performance compared to alternatives is what matters.

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121 Michael Roye { 07.11.13 at 2:54 pm }

Great site! I just got back from my first trip there (OK I went when I was like 3, but who can remember), and I have some opinions but also questions for you. I went from June 22nd thru the 28th (Sat – Fri). I should also point out that this was just me and my college buddy, we’re both 26. I had to plan the majority of the trip and I didn’t think a value resort would be worth it. I thought going for a moderate would be a huge upgrade and provide a more “resort” feel for slightly more $. We went with the Caribbean Beach.

My first opinion was that this was not the right fit for us. Way to many families, nothing really for us to do there, way too big of a resort, etc. The buses, however, were great. We were in “Jamaca” and I found that the buses were incredibly frequent, speedy, and convienient.

I guess I need to get to some pressing questions. I really want to go back, and I understand that there can be some great deals if we’re fine squeezing 4-8 people in a room/villa. Where would you recommend 25-29 year olds stay? Is there a certain hotel/area that’s more our age group? Is there a certain hotel that might not be our age group but if we’re cool having 6 people in a room we could get great deals?

Finally, I went there to golf, and if I were to go back I’d be bringing my clubs. I know Disney provides golfers with cab vouchers to get around, but by staying at the nearby Poly or Floridian are the golf courses walking distance? I always felt awkward taking a cab and giving the guy a voucher. Thanks!

122 Dave { 07.12.13 at 8:49 am }

Hey Michael, and thanks for the report!

I don;t track the off-site hotels–there’s too many and I don;t have the time–and all the on-site hotels will be full of kids.

That said, there is a best option for you–it’s a two-bedroom villa at Disney’s BoardWalk Villas. See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/01/16/review-disneys-boardwalk-villas/

These sleep 8. Prices vary over the year, and deals are sometimes available, but in early December 2013 you can get this room for ~$925 a night–that’s not bad divided over 8. It puts you right next door–within an easy walk–of the driniking and dining at Epcot, the drinking, dining, and clubs at the BoardWalk itself (see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/01/17/review-disneys-boardwalk/ ) and also the cool bars and dining in the nearby Swan and Dolphin.

Another option is a two bedroom villa at Saratoga SPrings. Saratoga Springs itself is lame, but it’s near the bars dining and clubs at DOwntown Disney. See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/04/18/review-disneys-saratoga-springs-resort-and-spa/ On the same dates, Sratoga Springs is much less expensive–$765/night

You could also get either of these at much less cost by renting points–see http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/special-circumstances/special-circumstances-large-families/more-on-large-families-at-walt-disney-world/renting-dvc-points-at-walt-disney-world/

Note that these are both “DVC” resorts, and as such don’t charge extra for more than 2 adults in room…

On the golf question…yeah you could walk from either the Poly or GF to the Palm and Magnolia course…but boy I wouldn’t it’s a bit of a hike with a bag…

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123 Kelly { 07.17.13 at 4:04 pm }

Thanks Dave, I had thought that week might be crazy, thank you for confirming that. So I’m now debating going March 1, October 25 or November 29th – - the weeks that are some of the ones you recommend for 2014. We want to go when it’s warm (but not hot) with low crowds and lower prices. Which of the weeks that I suggested would you recommend? I’m leaning towards October but wanted to get your input. I worry that March will be too cold. BTW, do you recommend any travel agencies?

124 Dave { 07.18.13 at 8:00 am }

Hi kelly! Of your targets, I’d go with later October too…the other options could be quite cool–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/

I partner with the travel agency Destinations in FLorida. You can see a contact form (and 800 number) on the middle of the right sidebar on every page!

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125 Lynn { 07.21.13 at 9:47 pm }

We are planning a trip to Disney thru the Make-A-Wish and we are trying to pick the best overall week. More worried about weather and crowds. We need cooler weather and less chance of rain. Can’t risk her getting sick. Our choices are November 30th or February 8th or February 15th. Would love your input.
Thanks

126 Dave { 07.22.13 at 7:04 am }

Hi Lynn! The best choice is 11/30. The week of the 15th–President’s Day week–is a zoo, and the week befroe it starts to fill up on Thursday (the earlier parts of that week are fine.)

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127 Kim { 07.23.13 at 1:03 pm }

I would like to book a 10 day trip to Disney with my elderly mom (uses a scooter wheelchair), my learning and physically disabled 18 year old (also in a push wheelchair) and my 27 year old daughter. As far as weather, crowds, low prices which 10 days would you choose from the choices below? Since we are staying more than a week, what is typically the best day of the week to arrive. I would like to attend during the lower crowd times because I want the navigation with the two wheelchairs to be the easiest possible, but also need to consider weather (my daughter has seizures if it is too hot). Do you have any special suggestions for getting around with wheelchairs? Also do you have any suggestions on which hotels might have the best accommodations for two wheelchair guests (Rooms/Buses, etc)? We will be flying in from NY so would also need to use the Magical Express, are they able to accommodate wheelchairs?
April 26, May 3, October 18, October 25, November 8 are the only dates we have to consider. Any help you can provide would be GREATLY appreciated!!!
THANKS!
Kim

128 Melissa { 07.23.13 at 3:30 pm }

Hey Kim! I use a wheelchair at Disney and whenever Dave says is the best time to go I would definitely choose those dates. It’s so much easier to navigate the parks when the crowds are lower. Most wheelchair accessible rooms are connected to a regular room, I always add that request for my clients just to be safe. That way you have room to spread out and you will have one bathroom that is accessible (you can request a tub with grab bars or a roll in shower). Some Magical Express buses also have a wheelchair lift. Just make sure that it is noted in your reservation so they have the right bus pick you up. I have a lot of accessible resort room photos on my blog, http://www.disneyonwheels.com/, if you would like to check them out and I’m happy to answer any more questions that you might think of.

129 Dave { 07.24.13 at 6:46 am }

Hi Kim!

I asked my friend Melissa who runs Disney on Wheels to weigh on one some of your specific chair questions. But in reaction to her post, I’m wondering about your thoughts about your nightly budget for rooms…

Saturday, Sunday and Monday are the busiest days at WDW, so set your arrival and departure dates so that you see only one of each.

I’d recommend among your dates an arrival date the week of October 18. This puts you in two of my top ranked weeks–see #s 7 and 8 here: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/10/15/2014-weeks-visit-walt-disney-world-ranked-order/

Let me know your thoughts on room budgets!

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130 Lori { 07.26.13 at 9:27 pm }

I see the week of November 8th is ranked #4. Is that early enough to see “the real” Disney, or will it be decorated for Christmas at that time?
Also, would you recommend visiting the Nov. 8th week over the Sept. 27 week mainly because of the Hurricane Season? Any other reason(s)?

131 Dave { 07.27.13 at 6:33 am }

Well, Lori, if you think decorations mean that it’s not the “real Disney,”–never heard of that before–then you won’t like Sept 27 either, because of the halloween decorations that will be up then…

And yes, if it were not for being in the peak of the hurricane season, I’d view the week of Sept 27 as a great time for first time visitors to go!

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132 Jane Toy { 07.27.13 at 8:12 am }

Hi from Australia, Just a question on crowds/wait times for rides during the around about june 21 2014, I know it is a busy time but figure it is slightly less busy than our only other time option which is the week of july 15 2014 ?? Your thought recommendations would be most welcome. Thanks Jane

133 Dave { 07.27.13 at 3:14 pm }

Hi Jane! Later June not much better than mid July. See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/10/07/disney-world-crowds-2014/

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134 Stephanie { 07.31.13 at 3:07 pm }

Hi, I tried to post a little while ago and I guess it didn’t go through. I am planning to go for our first family trip with my 6 year old and 2 year old. I am looking at 5/5/14 – 5/9/14 based on your charts. We will stay at one of the hotels on the monorail (right now the Contemporary priced lowest, but it could change.) Any thoughts or suggestions as to choosing parks based on crowds? I know you rank this as a good week with less crowds (that’s why I chose it) but what about Cinco De Mayo? Will that be an issue? Thanks!

135 Dave { 08.01.13 at 7:55 am }

Hi Stephanie!! I won’t have any suggestions until Disney releases its calendar for those dates, whihc it won’t do for another couple of months…

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136 Jeanne { 08.05.13 at 7:55 pm }

I guess my question is how do you come up with your rankings? I have been to Disney World 19 times, with my 20th visit coming in January 2014. If I am understanding your rankings, one is the best time to go, and I am assuming 52 would be the worst. From past experiences, I don’t see these rankings as being very accurate. Just wondering if I am reading your rankings correctly.

137 Dave { 08.06.13 at 8:19 am }

Jeanne, as the page notes, these rankings are for first time visitors who may never return. Thus, as it notes, they ding weeks that returning visitors would find just terrific–e.g. those during the ride-closure season in Jan and early Feb, and during the peak of the hurricane season.

For how I do these rankings, see this (for 2013, I haven’t published the 2014 equivalent page yet, but the logic is the same): http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/08/06/how-disney-world-2013-week-rankings-were-built/

Give them a scan and let me know what you think! Returning visitors, BTW, are bets served by the week picker. Not out yet for 2014–I haven’t yet found enough nights and weekends to do it–but I hope to have it out by the end of August. Here’s the 2013 version: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/08/27/the-2013-walt-disney-world-week-picker/

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138 Penelope { 08.17.13 at 2:33 pm }

can you tell what I can expect for crowds for the week of may 1-10
and what they weather is like that time of year .. thanks you

139 Dave { 08.18.13 at 9:46 am }

Hi Penelope! Early May is a great time to go. Kids are in school so crowds are low, and the weather is typically nice–plenty hot for pool time, not so hot or rainy that you are miserable.

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140 robin { 08.21.13 at 2:10 pm }

were going the 5th of april 2014 til the 12th of april 2014 cant wait

141 Shana { 08.22.13 at 8:57 am }

Hi Dave,
Unfortunately, we had to postpone our planned Disney trip. It was supposed to be in October, but we are now going February 23-March 1. Is weekend of 2/22 is the Princess Half Marathon weekend? If so and we get there on a Sunday, what will the crowds be like? I chose this week because it’s one of your “top weeks”. Thanks!

142 Dave { 08.22.13 at 10:16 am }

Robin, have a ball!!!

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143 Dave { 08.22.13 at 10:44 am }

Hi Shana, it is, but crowds diminish fast after the weekend…

144 Beth { 08.22.13 at 2:52 pm }

Yayyyy! Love it this list! We are going September 5-14, 2014. Looking for opinions on where to stay with hubby and 3 kids (ages 14,5 &3) Art of Animation family suite or Port Orleans Riverside or somewhere else!! Hoping for free dining promotion!!

145 Dave { 08.23.13 at 7:45 am }

Heya Beth! Before free dining, it’s a trade-off of more space and flexibility in AofA vs a lower price in Riverside. Add in free dining and Riverside, tho cramped, looks even better on the price side.

Because the price and space differences will be so large, I’d suggest a couple of things: 1. Look at the reviews closely (starting here: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/04/26/walt-disney-world-resort-hotel-reviews/ ) and also chekcing out some other five person lower price options– like the family suites at All-Star Music, and the Cabins at Fort Wilderness (links to reviews of those are on that same page.)

Hope this helps!!

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146 Morgan { 08.23.13 at 11:03 pm }

Hello!
I come every year, and I’m thinking of taking a quick trip in February. How busy do you think it will be February 8-12 (Saturday-Wednesday) ? I’ve haven’t yet visited in February before…but I would like to be there when crowds are lowest. Would a week earlier (February 1-5) be any better? Also, do you think free dining will be extended during this time? Thank you!!!

147 Ali { 08.24.13 at 8:11 am }

Hello,
Super site!!! Thanks for all the info. On previous posts you say you update your 2014 crowd calender after you recieve info about 175 public schools spring break dates. Is the current version of your calender the final one? I’m nervous because we have to decide whether to go on April 5 0r April 12. Huge difference between the 2 weeks. Also, any opinions on Bay Lake Towers? Thanks..

148 Dave { 08.24.13 at 9:48 am }

Morgan, for your dates either week will be fine. I expect to see crowds beginning to pour in Feb 13 for the the President’s Day week, but you will miss that.

I’m getting pretty close to retiring from the biz of free dining predictions. Disney has offered free dining then twice, but not in 2013. Based on that, I’d guess no for 2014. But see this for more: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2013/08/05/an-interesting-disney-world-survey-and-the-future-of-room-deals/

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149 Dave { 08.24.13 at 9:59 am }

Hi Ali, yes, it’s updated. See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2013/07/22/the-revised-2014-crowd-calendar-and-week-rankings-are-out/ The week before Easter is always the busiest week of spring break…and the week before that one of the best, unless Easter is early!

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150 Tammy { 08.25.13 at 5:51 pm }

Hey! Your info is so helpful. I am helping plan a trip for a fiend. One thought is the end of February? Are all of the rides opened back up? Another thought is waiting until October 8-13th or the 1o-15th, 2014. Is it crazy with Columbus Day crowds? Thanks

151 Dave { 08.26.13 at 9:28 am }

Tammy, as you can see, I rank the February week higher than Columbus Day week. Columbus Day is not horrible–it’s just that there a better options.

Wild rides can be closed at any time, the winter seaosn when they are commonly closed ends by President’s Day, so late Feb should be fine on that front…

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152 kelly J { 09.03.13 at 10:36 pm }

Hi Dave
Planning 1 trip with 2 family’s first timers we will be doing our own things but are looking at crowds to be low we were thinking oct18-25 2014 maybe adding a few days on … was also wondering what the average wait time would be for rides at the time of year thanks :)

153 Dave { 09.04.13 at 7:21 am }

Hi Kelly, I don’t do average wait times, but the crowds will be low then except for certain specific days–see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/04/30/crowds-and-walt-disney-world/

154 Jeff { 09.11.13 at 3:00 pm }

Dave,

Just curious, as an expert, would you roll the dice on the week of 9/20/14? It’s not our first visit. We did your Week #1 in 2012 and LOVED it. The holiday season at Disney is awesome. But, we skipped the water parks and didn’t use the pool at all, so this time we wanted to go when it’s still warm (hot?) without subjecting ourselves to summer vacation crowds. (Or I should say, the kids want that. Personally I’d be perfectly happy seeing the Osborne lights every year.)

September seems to have a lot of positives: low crowds and prices, summer weather, good chance of free dining. But, also one potentially HUGE negative. We can live with the daily Florida thunderstorms, but a hurricane completely wrecking the visit would be a disaster.

I’ve read the hurricane page, so I guess my long winded question is, in your experience how big a risk would we be taking?

155 Dave { 09.12.13 at 10:11 am }

Jeff, at the simplest level, hurricanes have affected operations–that is, led to park closings–half a dozen time sin the last 40 years. So by that measure the odds of serious disruption are low. If you factor in less serious items–from rain all day to flight connections being messed up–the chances of something going awkward are higher.

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156 Jason { 09.17.13 at 3:13 pm }

When do you anticipate publishing a 2015 weeks ranked to visit list? Planning a trip for early March or late April of 2015 and willing to put the deposit down on a room this fall.

157 Dave { 09.17.13 at 5:42 pm }

Jason the first draft should be out in the next thirty to forty-five days days.

I can tell you now that with the early April Easter in 2015 the seocnd half of April 2015 will be great. I will likely be OK with the very first week of March and the last week of February, but like later April (arrival dates of 4/11/15, and even better 4/18 or 4/25) much more…

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158 Bridget { 09.18.13 at 5:29 pm }

We are planning on a 2 day stop at Disney ( one Epcot day and one MK day) 4/12-4/14 2014- I know it a crazy time but we will be in Florida and my daughter wants to stop with the grandparents. This is not our first visit and we are planning our next big vacation at disney in 2015. My question is which resort do you think will be the best for this time of year I am thinking either deluxe or moderate…. We usally stay at the beach club … Any suggestions in terms of easy transportation at this time. Thanks!

159 Dave { 09.19.13 at 9:01 am }

Hi Bridget! I’d suggest the Polynesian, as from there you can walk to the both the Epcot monorail at TTC and the Magic Kingdom monorail.

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160 Melanie Goody { 09.23.13 at 5:41 pm }

Hello there!
We’re planning a return trip (yay!) In 2016. Big birthdays for my husband and I. Now it’ll be my 5th trip but 2nd without kids and his 2nd ever. My question is; given that Easter 2016 is late March, would we be better with two weeks in mid April or October? Many thanks from England xx

161 Dave { 09.24.13 at 7:24 am }

Hi Melanie! The second half of April 2016 and the second half of October will both be great times to visit! October will likely be less expensive, and April has more predictably better weather…

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162 Natalie { 09.30.13 at 5:09 pm }

We are planning a trip for the first week of January (Jan 2nd arrival)… do you think Disney will be releasing a promotion for that time? We went 2 years ago and we booked in the fall, and they released one. Just trying to decide if we wait before booking or need to go ahead and do it ASAP. THANK YOU!

163 Dave { 10.01.13 at 7:06 am }

Natalie, all I know is here: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2013/09/29/two-2014-disney-world-deals-to-come-out-october-8/ I don’t yet have any details. Rumors about these deals have them starting after your arrival date…as soon as I know something more, I’ll post it…

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164 Neil { 10.01.13 at 8:16 am }

Hi
We can only go between 2nd of August – 16th August, what do you think the weather and crowds would be like
Thanks

165 Dave { 10.01.13 at 4:03 pm }

Hi Neil! I have crowds then rated as high- the first half and moderate + the second half–see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/10/07/disney-world-crowds-2014/

August weather is typically hot, humid, with almost daily brief afternoon thunderstorms.

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166 Adam { 10.08.13 at 11:10 am }

We have our trip planned April 5-12, 2014. We have rooms at the AoA and dinners already booked. When do you think Disney will release any possible deals regarding certain %’s off or free dining plans for those date ranges. We go every two years and went in June 2 years ago and the free dining plan was HUGE!!! Love the site by the way. My sister and I use it to plan our families trips to Disney each time. Love the crowd calender.

167 Dave { 10.09.13 at 12:27 pm }

Hi Adam and thanks! A deal came out yesterday–see this http://yourfirstvisit.net/2013/10/08/two-deals-for-disney-world-in-2014-released-today/

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168 David Wall { 10.12.13 at 4:33 pm }

First time to resort. My Wife & I with 2 grandchildern. 5 & 10. We have 5 days & 4 nights
in april the highest week. Help replan , go ??

169 Dave { 10.13.13 at 11:29 am }

David, I’m not certain I understand you last three words…

170 Terri { 10.13.13 at 11:01 pm }

Hi Dave, we are planning our once in a lifetime trip from Australia to Disneyworld in 2014. We’d preferably like to go when the Christmas decs are up as have heard that nobody does Christmas like Disney. I want to go in the week you rank No. 1 for lower crowds, low prices and Christmas Decs and programmes but I don’t want to overlap with Thanksgiving crowds. Can you please clarify as there are no specific dates written. 1st to 11 December? Thank you!!

171 Dave { 10.14.13 at 6:21 am }

Hi Terri! The Thanksgiving crowds will be fully out by the afternoon of November 30, 2014!

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172 Jeanne { 10.16.13 at 1:57 pm }

I was concerned that your site was down the last two days I visited. Hope all is well with you, and I am so glad the site is in working order today. I did not book 180 days ahead which I now know is really important. Still, I was able to get a room at the Polynesian but not in the set of rooms that were discounted since they were all gone by the time I got onboard. I am still debating between 2 other dates for 7 days. May 3rd which is not discounted at this time and April 5th which has a substantial (#35% room disc.) and May 3rd. I figure I will be able to book more ideal times and dining sites then since I have more time to do that. Right now, I did get a Hoop Dee Do evening and I took the category 2 tickets so I could use my Dining tickets and see the earlier show. I also did get a Cinderella luncheon at the castle and a Candlelight Processional Package, but at this time I could only get the 5:00 viewing time with an earlier Biergarten luncheon with Whoopi Goldgerg narrating on a Friday night—the night before we leave. Will it be dark enough at that 5:00 time for a good experience. Should I just hope to be able to switch to a different time? Should I try for the other spring dates so I can follow your itinerary more easily? Also, would you recommend Typhoon or Blizzard for a water park for an 11 year old and a not so spry mom? Could you recommend specific room numbers in the Tahiti lodge for a standard room? Are the water parks a reasonable venture on Dec. 1st? Just how special is the Christmas experience for a first and only timer? Is it really so special? Please help me decide the dates. I am beating myself up for missing the boat on the good room deals and the early booking .

173 Dave { 10.17.13 at 10:09 am }

Hi Jeanne! Lots questions here!

First, I’m sorry you had trouble with the site, but more than 10,000 people were on it those days–it wasn’t down. I can’t guess at what might have happened for you.

Second, the Candlelight processional is within a ceilinged building with an wall behind the stage, so the time doesn’t really matter.

Third Waterparks though fun are nothing compared to the fun of the theme parks, or the needs for days off. So I would not let them factor too much in your planning, especially in December, when it may well be too cold.

Fourth, I would recommend Tokelau over Tahiti, as Tokelau’s rooms have been renovated, and Tahiti’s have not–Tahiti may even end up being closed then. See http://yourfirstvisit.net/2013/09/04/renovation-and-construction-at-disneys-polynesian-resort/

FInally, If it’s your only visit, I really do strongly recommend the Christmas season!

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174 Jeanne { 10.17.13 at 4:21 pm }

Glad to hear that the site was busy and it was not down—I feared it was more than crashing since I tried so many times on more than one day–Relieved that you are not sick or out of commission as I thought might be the case. I am hanging on your every word, so i will go with your recommendations.` Thanks ever so much

175 Heather C. { 10.21.13 at 4:05 pm }

Just wondering why the you have the second weekend of Feb. ranked so low as early / mid Feb. is generally a good time to go. That is when we are planning to go so I am just wondering if I am missing something here.
Thank you!

176 Dave { 10.22.13 at 7:51 am }

Heather–see the 6th and 7th paragraphs:

“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.”

177 kristi { 11.04.13 at 12:05 pm }

We are currently planning to book our vacation for next fall and are debating between the last week of September or the first week in October…is there any advantage to either week?? we are staying at the CR this time and I cannot wait!!!

178 Dave { 11.05.13 at 7:38 am }

Kristi they are pretty comparable weeks, but the Epcot Food and Wine Festival kicks off towards the end of September, attracting slightly higher crowds especially to Epcot on weekend evenings. You are most likely to get a free dining deal in September. Later September is more in the peak of the hurricane seaosn than is early October…though this is very close of course.

See this on this year’s Food and Wine http://yourfirstvisit.net/2013/02/13/the-2013-epcot-international-food-wine-festival/

This on this year’s September free dining http://yourfirstvisit.net/2013/05/09/disney-world-free-dining-for-september-2013/

And this on the peak of the hurricane season 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/

Me? I’d pick late September unless Food and Wine looks really good to you…

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179 kristi { 11.05.13 at 7:51 am }

It was actually! LOL. We have three small kids so food and wine is not something we want to be there for. We are considering a stay at BLT and AKV, are those ones you would recommend??

180 Dave { 11.06.13 at 6:47 am }
181 Rhian { 11.12.13 at 6:57 am }

I’ve just stumbled across this amazing site- thank you Dave! We’ve booked our honeymoon to Disney Florida (my first trip to USA and to Disney) and according to the ranked weeks 2014, we’ll be there for weeks number 1 & 3!!! any advice how to get the best out of these weeks?
My partner has been four times but as big family holidays (25+ people mixed age range) in the busy summer months- what kinds of queue times can we expect compared to that? He’s told me story’s of having to run all over the park getting fast passes!? Not very honeymoon like!
We’re staying at the Yacht Club with the 1 table service meal dining plan,and we’re on the Disney Dream Cruiseliner from the 5th-8th. Any help or guidance would be really appreciated :) Many thanks.x

182 Dave { 11.12.13 at 4:09 pm }

Hi Rhian, sounds like fun!! There’s a couple of things worth noting

1. Disney has a wonderful Xmas program–see this and its links: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2013/05/15/christmas-2013-at-walt-disney-world/ It also makes some notes about crowds. The page is for 2013, but it will be basically valid for 2014 as well!

2. FastPasses…well, you’ll still need them–lower crowds means lower compared to alternatives…you still need to get it right to avoid waits. But the FastPass program is shifting as we speak–see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2013/08/20/what-you-need-to-know-now-about-fastpass/ Come back about 7 months before your arrival and I’ll have more scoop for you!!

183 Ronda Kucken { 11.17.13 at 9:47 am }

Hi Dave ,
We are planning a trip to Disney in Jun of 2014 . The reason is because our kids school schedule we have a junior high student and the classes he is in are very demanding , so he can not miss a week of school . The time we would go would be the middle of june how is that looking for us?? Any information would be greatly appreciated ! Looking to go as cheap as possible. Thank you Ronda;)

184 Mark { 11.17.13 at 6:36 pm }

I”m considering giving my family a Disney vacation for Xmas with the actual vacation taking place later in yr., possibly the 5/3/14 dates. My first question, is this the week beginning date or the week ending date? Second, our children co-op school so we’re not limited by the public school schedule, but prefer the spring/early fall type weather. I’m glad I found this page and am sure grateful for any help, thanks.

185 Dave { 11.18.13 at 7:23 am }

Hi Rhonda, I will have more on June out any day now, when Disney releases its June calendar–which I expect to see today. But the middle of June is better than later in the month, or July…

186 Dave { 11.18.13 at 7:28 am }

Hi Mark! All dates on this site are “week beginning.” When Easter’s not so late, mid-late April is the best choice for weather, but the late 2014 Easter means heavy crowds then. The week you are targeting is fine, but the week before on the odds will be more spring-like.

187 Aivars { 12.08.13 at 10:15 am }

Just arrived back from Disney. I was there in first rated week 2013 (week after Thanksgiving). All is great weather, cost, Christmas etc but Low crowds is a myth. It was only slightly less crowded than early June. Big rides went from 60 to 120 minutes regularly. I was expecting 20 minute waits.

188 Dave { 12.08.13 at 12:23 pm }

I’ve been at Disney World since 12/3, and couldn’t disagree more. Wait times at the headliners have been commonly 30-40 mins, except Toy Story and Soarin, which are always crazy–if you avoid parks on their EMH days, and also avoid MK on days it doe snot have MVMCP. If you pick parks unwisely you will see much longer waits.

Waits on Space, Splash and Big Thunder were 30 minutes each Friday at 2.30p, and as I write this at 12.20 Sunday are 35-40 minutes–just what I’d expect in the middle of the day at this time of year…Low crowd does not mean no crowd!!

189 Pappy { 12.11.13 at 11:41 am }

Dave, I am looking at planning a date in December 2014 taking my family of 7. Looking at Dec. 4th thru Dec. 14th. Some flexibility in dates is available. Hoping to fall into FREE dining plan. Please advise.

190 Dave { 12.12.13 at 7:15 am }

Hey Pappy, I’m not expecting any December free dining next year, though of course I hope I’m wrong. And if there is any, it likely won’t be offered for the week of the 6th. That’s Pop Warner week in 2014, and Pop Warner week has never seen free dining…an arrival date of the 4th would likely be eligible, tho, if it’s offered at all!

191 Scott { 12.21.13 at 2:50 pm }

Hi Dave,

I see that an arrival of November 29th is #1 and an arrival of November 8th is #4. I have some questions on these.

Other than the Candlelight Processional not starting until after Thanksgiving and the big tree in the big tree in the Magic Kingdom not being set up during the week starting November 8th, would all of the other Christmas hoopla be in full effect?

Also, which of these weeks would be most likely to have any potential offers, be it room discount or free dining? I am not sure if the week including Veteran’s Day is ever discounted.

You indicate the crowds for November 8th would be lower and the crowds for November 29th would be low. I recently read comments that the week after Thanksgiving this year was busier than people expected. Do you expect a significant disparity between in crowds between these weeks?

I am leaning towards the week of November 29th if only because the Candlelight Processional is my favorite thing at Disney.

All said I am not sure either week would be a bad choice.

Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

192 Scott { 12.21.13 at 3:12 pm }

Please excuse my various typos in my prior comment My computer was lagging and I did not catch them.

193 Dave { 12.22.13 at 7:51 am }

Hey Scott, great question.

What you miss in earlier November is not just the Processional, it’s the whole Epcot program–the Holiday Strorytellers, the Christmas add on to Illuminations, etc. See this for more http://yourfirstvisit.net/2011/12/12/the-holidays-around-the-world-at-walt-disney-worlds-epcot/

Moreover, the resorts aren’t all fully decorated then. This year I was at WDW the 8th thru the 14th of November, at GF, AKL, and WL. The only holiday stuff I saw in these hotels was the gingerbread house at GF.

Both weeks are equally likely to be discounted in years when Veterans Day isn’t a Monday. (Vets Day is an actual-date holiday, but people who get it off–mostly public sector employees–get the day off on Monday if it falls on Saturday or Sunday, so 3/7 of years it’s a Monday holiday). In 2014 it’s a Tuesday, so that’s not an issue for 2014.

Crowds are higher the later week, and were a bit higher this year than anyone expected–largely expressed by parks being worse than expected on days that they would have been predictably rough anyway. (See the end of this for a discussion–I was there that week, too!: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2013/12/12/fastpass-test-3-a-couple-of-meet-ups-more-resort-hopping/ )

Once the party season starts in September, which park you go to which day really really matters–http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/04/30/crowds-and-walt-disney-world/

What you’ve made me think about here is also week 2 vs week 4. Week 4 has all the positives you’ve noted–week 2 is like week 1, but MUCH more expensive…for 2015, I did demote 2014′s week 2…but it’s still ahead of the earlier November weeks…I’ll need to think about that…http://yourfirstvisit.net/2013/12/08/2015-weeks-to-visit-walt-disney-world-ranked-in-order/

194 Dave { 12.22.13 at 7:53 am }

Scott, I saw only one typo–an un-capped “i”–and fixed that…

195 Scott { 12.22.13 at 12:19 pm }

Dave,

Thanks for the additional information, it is very helpful. I did not know that all the Epcot Christmas activities would not be up and running and the same with the hotels not all being decorated. We have some thinking to now.

Thanks for fixing my uncapped i. My other typo was repeating the big tree in paragraph two. I never was good at proof reading my own stuff. That couple with the fact that I cannot type.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family.

196 Dave { 12.24.13 at 9:46 am }

And Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, too, Scott!

197 Beth { 12.29.13 at 11:34 am }

My husband and I are planning in taking our twin girls to Dismey for their 3rd birthday on May 6th so I was so happy to see the week of May 3rd to be a good week!!! This site is awesome!!! Thank you

198 Beth { 12.29.13 at 11:42 am }

Also we are only going for 3 nights and 2 days which is plenty for 3 year olds but besides the magic kingdom which park would be best suited for them, I was thinking he animal kingdom…

199 Dave { 12.30.13 at 7:10 am }

Thanks, Beth!!

200 Dave { 12.30.13 at 7:11 am }

Hi Beth, there’s plenty at MK for 3 year olds, and not much elsewhere, so I would just stick with MK!

201 Nan { 01.03.14 at 8:48 am }

Hi Dave,
Love your site and have a question for you. We want to get Fl. Resident seasonal passes to start going over MLK weekend. I was looking at blackout dates in March and noticed 2013 was blacked out the last week, but not years 2011, and 2012. My question to you is how likely do you think Disney is to black out the last week of March for 2014?
So many of our other possible times to go are blackout dates, and we cannot pull our kids out of school as easily anymore, since they are in higher grades, to go during off seasons. Thanks for any advice you can give.
Nancy

202 amy { 01.03.14 at 2:59 pm }

I have been told that the Wine and dine Disney Marathon is the weekend of 11/8, wouldn’t that not make it the 4th rated week after all? I’m new to this but have been doing research and just don’t want to not know about these big events. Thanks!

203 Dave { 01.04.14 at 9:59 am }

Hi Nan and thanks!!!

I don’t track the FL passes closely, but here’s a thought: the blackout dates have to be shaped partly by the moving date of Easter (it can happen from 3/22 to 4/25). In 2014, Easter is really late, as it was in 2011, so using 2011 as the best guess for 2014 blackout dates is likely as good a forecast as you can get…

204 Dave { 01.04.14 at 10:01 am }

Hi Amy, good thing to point out, but that won’t affect the rest of the week, which will be dead quiet!

205 Holly { 01.08.14 at 9:44 pm }

Hello! Was wondering if you may know when DWR will put out their deals for December 2014? Looking to go 12/14/14 – 12/19/14. How’s the crowd prediction lookin? ;) Thank you!!

206 Dave { 01.09.14 at 5:25 am }

Hi Holly, in 2013 deals for those dates came out in early August. That doesn’t mean we’ll see them then for 2014–but that’s the best predictor. See this for crowds then: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/10/07/disney-world-crowds-2014/

207 Gigi { 01.10.14 at 10:48 am }

Hi! Great info! You should add the average temperature and precipitation to your fantastic chart!

208 Dave { 01.11.14 at 8:47 am }

Gigi thanks! But I hate “average temperature” for Orlando, becasue it masks the huge variability in winter weather. 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/

209 maria evans { 01.11.14 at 3:07 pm }

We booked for 9/24-9/28 but after looking at the ranking Im going to call our travel agent and see if we can change for 10/19-10/23 since the ranking was signifacantly different and only a few weeks difference!! Thank you so much

210 Dave { 01.12.14 at 9:16 am }

Yeah, I like the later week becasue it’s outside the peak of the hurricane season!!

211 courtney { 01.12.14 at 3:32 pm }

Hi I wanted to take my girls to disney World first time just not sure if October or first week in November better do u have any suggestions?

212 Dave { 01.13.14 at 7:47 am }

Courtney, see the image. The second half of October is higher-ranked than the first week of November.

213 Jason { 01.14.14 at 6:58 am }

I live 5 hours from WDW, and though late to the game, we are planning a initial long weekend trip. We are looking at March 28 weekend for an “initial” visit with our 6 year old. You rate this “moderate plus”–can you give me an idea of crowd levels/wait times? Thanks!

214 Dave { 01.14.14 at 7:56 am }

Jason, as always it varies by park and time of day. The most popular rides will have waits exceeding an hour by late morning–worse on some days

215 dave { 01.15.14 at 12:10 pm }

Hi Dave,

We are planning a Disney trip possibly May 3rd week. It seems to look like a pretty good week to go but we are flexible around that time, end April, beginning of May. What do you think would be best?

Thanks, Dave

216 Dave { 01.16.14 at 7:22 am }

Dave, the earlier in May, the better–see this http://yourfirstvisit.net/2013/10/15/may-2014-at-walt-disney-world/

217 Kristen { 01.16.14 at 9:54 am }

Thanks for your awesome website!!! I’ve used it in the past for our many many trips to Disney.
Our trips to Disney are planned around our kids school schedules. Last year we hit WDW on a peak wknd (Presidents’ Day). Tons of people but we still managed to have fun. :) This year we already booked our trip for our MN spring break. I was SHOCKED to see the weeks we will be there (last wk in March and first week in April) ranked so low!!!! Wonderful!
I don’t doubt your rankings at all but just wondered how a couple weeks right in the middle of spring break time can be ranked low?
Excited to head there again! We never get tired of going to Disney!!! Crowds or no crowds! :)

218 Dave { 01.16.14 at 6:31 pm }
219 Kylie { 01.19.14 at 10:17 am }

Is there any reason the week of 9/13 is ranked SO much busier than the week of 9/6?? We’re going 9/11-9/13 and were really hoping for lower crowds that we experienced in 2013 (when we went 9/2-9/9).

220 Dave { 01.20.14 at 6:24 am }

Kylie–it’s not much busier–both are still low crowd weeks. I have it as a bit busier because of the effects of this summer’s World Cup and the draw of the new Harry Potter at Universal on South American spring breaks. See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2013/09/16/walt-disney-world-crowds-in-2014-whats-up-and-whats-new/

221 Sue { 01.23.14 at 9:03 pm }

Hi, Im from Puerto Rico and we’re planning to go from May 1st – May 8… Are those good days …??

222 Amy { 01.23.14 at 10:02 pm }

Hi Dave,
We have been to Disney many times and we are going again during the very busy February president’s day week due to school vacation schedules. We are only planning on going to the Magic Kingdom for one day, possibly 2. What would your pick of the week to visit MK be from 2/16/14-2/21/14. Thanks!

223 Dave { 01.24.14 at 2:05 pm }
224 Dave { 01.24.14 at 2:07 pm }

Wednesday will be the bets day, Amy. For a seocnd day, Tuesday.

225 Jen D - Berks County, PA { 01.30.14 at 9:22 am }

Hi Dave. Our family loves Disney and we have been there at several different times of year (avoiding summer of course). We would like to try an October visit as we haven’t gone in October before. We are looking forward to some pool time and most importantly the Food and Wine!!! According to your ranking it looks like the second half of October is better than the first. Can you confirm? Thank you!

226 Dave { 01.31.14 at 6:42 am }

Hi Jen! My rankings are for first time visitors who may never return, so they ding the first part of October–the first week becasue it’s still in the peak of the hurricane season, and the seocnd week becasue of higher prices and crowds from Columbus Day, whihc is often a fall break week as well.

So for returning visitors I’d add back in the first week of October. Just on the math, it’ll be warmer, and you’ll still have Food and Wine!

227 Valorie { 02.03.14 at 11:02 am }

Hello my family and I are planning a disney world trip the third week of October 2014 and we are wanting to stay in a moderate resort. We will be traveling in a group of 12 we have 5 kids in the group aged from 5-16 which resort would you recommend ? Also looking at the past discounts do you think free dining is likely during this time? Should we book now or will we quit receiving pin codes ? I have gotten three in the last three months?

228 Erika { 02.03.14 at 2:30 pm }

Hi there! I’m looking to book a trip to WDW for me and my husband. We’d go for 8-10 days, leaving on a Sunday. Our available dates are 10/19-11/16. I’m really interested in spending Halloween at Disney, but my husband is not at all a crowds person. Will Halloween get crazy there? Which period would be more economical, as far as discounted lodging or free dining plans go? We would most likely stay at a moderate resort, probably French Quarter. We’re also desperate to get to US and IOA to visit the world of Harry Potter, so not all our time would be spent at Disney. Is there any kind of transportation between the two theme parks (WDW and US)? Thanks!

229 Dave { 02.04.14 at 9:14 am }

Valorie, among the moderates POFQ is almost always excluded from deals, so I’d avoid that.

After that, it’s a balance of theming (CB is best), convenience (CB is worst), the importance of queen beds (given the older kids, perhaps a big deal) vs fulls (CB has full, POR and CS queens, but the rumor is CB is moving to queens this year). Moreover, if anyone wants a 5 person room, only POR Alligator Bayou fits.

For more, see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2013/03/25/walt-disney-worlds-moderate-resorts/

On the pin codes…well I think I’d wait to book! I’d expect to see a room rate deal for then, but not free dining (though I hope I am wrong!)

230 Dave { 02.04.14 at 9:21 am }

Erika, you rarely find deals offered at POFQ, so if that’s important, don’t plan on staying there.

Room rate deals at the other hotels are common.

For getting to Harry Potter, see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2011/01/10/getting-to-harry-potter-from-walt-disney-world/

Halloween is not crazy, because kids don’t have the day off!!

231 Tamara { 02.04.14 at 12:08 pm }

Dave,
You seem like a pro on here so I was hoping to pick your brain!
We are late planners, but our agent assured us all was well for our dates…
We are first time disney goers and were orginally set for may 9-14 2014 but my hubby has to go out of the country that week (found out today)…grr…Nonetheless, thought the following week, May 17 through 22 2014 was a good option. I see the crowd forecase went from 2 to 5 and that worries me a bit….Is this still a manageable week for us and is the weather decent (not like scorching hot…we are Michiganders and we are used to -30 this month! haha)

232 Dave { 02.05.14 at 2:24 pm }
233 Tamara { 02.05.14 at 2:53 pm }

Thanks for the link! Your site is completely helpful in this process! I should mention we have 1 child, age 6 at the time of this trip, who is very geeked! not so much a Disney character lover, but Pixar and Phineas and Ferb freak, lol….I am thinking we “might” be able to handle that temperature swing, though, as I mentioned we are snow people..My biggest concern was crowds for it being our first time and the long waits..etc. Our son is 42.5 inches…do you know typical heights for many rides? I think we will be safe with “kiddy” rides, but some of the bigger ones I am not sure about. Thank you for your assistance!!!!

234 Dave { 02.05.14 at 3:04 pm }

Tamara, see this for ride height requirements–he’s ok for all but five! http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/04/21/ride-height-requirements-at-walt-disney-world/

235 Amanda { 02.09.14 at 12:28 pm }

Hi! Do you think free dining will be out anytime in October this year? or what would you predict the special offers to be then? Thanks!

236 Dave { 02.09.14 at 1:17 pm }

Amanda, I hope I am wrong, but my prediction is no–that all we’ll see is the room rate deal.

237 jaime { 02.09.14 at 4:39 pm }

I was wondering if you have ever been on a disney cruise? Cant decide if we want to take our 6 and 4 yr olds to disney or if the heat would be to much? We are looking to go the first or second week of june.

238 Dave { 02.10.14 at 6:42 am }

Jaime, I haven’t–sorry.

239 Christopher { 02.10.14 at 6:22 pm }

Looking at going for only a couple days . Dec. 1-3 looking at your rankings that should be a good time . Magic Kingdom and Universal . Also looked at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort . 265.50 total for 2 nights . Any recommendations or what I’m thinking is good . It’s me and my 2 girls . Thanks Chris

240 Dave { 02.11.14 at 7:51 am }

Chris, how old are the girls?

241 Jennifer { 02.13.14 at 9:58 am }

Good Morning Dave!
Thank you for all of your hard work! I have been to Disney multiple times and love using your Week Rankings to find the best times to go. Will there be a final version of the Best Weeks to go in 2014? I’m looking to go in October for the first time this year and want to make sure we pick the best week!! Thank you again for your assistance!

242 Dave { 02.13.14 at 10:15 am }

Hi Jennifer..this is final! Unless your browser isn’t refreshing, lol. If the chart at the bottom says “v2″ then it’s final!

243 Lori S. { 02.16.14 at 9:46 pm }

I’m looking at the Oct. 18-26, 2014, time frame. I see that a lot of Florida schools are out on Oct. 17 and/or Oct. 20. for student holidays/professional development. Will this make the parks busier on those days or the surrounding days? Thanks.

244 Dave { 02.17.14 at 11:13 am }

Lori, it may, a bit, but Florida, while the most important state, pales when you add all the visitors from outside the state and international…

245 Anonymous { 02.18.14 at 12:57 am }

Sorry i was asking if the heat/lines would be to much for my girls at disney world the first two weeks of June. If so we will prob. Cruise lol. Ate there many rides for 42inch and anywater rides splash pads etc. Thanks for your help

246 Wendy { 02.18.14 at 8:11 pm }

I am back! We are thinking of our next trip (Harry Potter is a big pull this time!) in early Nov. I notice week 4 on your list includes Veterans’ Day. Veterans’ Day at Disneyland gets busy – not at WDW?

Looks like a good target week for us, but I was wondering if I was reading it incorrectly.

Thanks!

Wendy

247 Dave { 02.19.14 at 7:16 am }

Hey Wendy and welcome back! I missed you…

DLR is relatively more of a “day visit from locals” park, so mid-week holidays are a draw.

WDW is more of an out-of-towners park. Veteran’s day draws out of towners much only if it’s a Monday or Friday, and then they don’t stay all week. Moreover, like Columbus Day a lot of adults don’t get it off at all… So I’m not forecasting to to have much of an impact…

248 Teresa R. { 02.19.14 at 1:05 pm }

Hello,

My husband & I are planning a trip to WDW for Jan. 2015 for our then 1-year old daughter’s bday.

Being that we’re not expected back to work until Jan. 20th, what would seem like the best dates to go for a 3-day adventure? I’m doing the planning & just noticed that the Disney Marathon looks like it’s scheduled from Jan. 7-11th. Obviously want to avoid those crowds. Not really concerned about major thrill rides being closed as that’s not really our thing–esp. with a one-year old. :)

Thanks! Your website has really been helpful!

249 Christopher { 02.19.14 at 8:10 pm }

Was looking at December 1-3 . My girls are 18 and 7

250 Wendy { 02.19.14 at 11:34 pm }

Glad to be back! Thanks for the info…is there likely to be a “deal” during that time frame? I know there is some suggestion that free dining will be more limited in the future, but are they likely to reduce room rates?
Thanks!

Wendy

251 Dave { 02.20.14 at 8:30 am }

Hi Teresa and thanks!!

If you aim for park days of Tuesday-Thursday, you’ll be fine any dates after 1/5. The other stuff just affects the weekends…

252 Dave { 02.20.14 at 8:44 am }

Christopher, on such a short trip, aim for Universal 12/1, and of the Disney options, two days at the Magic Kingdom 12/2 and 12/3

253 Dave { 02.20.14 at 10:36 am }

Yes, Wendy, I’d expect to see a room rate deal for then…

254 Wendy { 02.20.14 at 10:30 pm }

Thanks!

255 kristi { 02.21.14 at 3:44 pm }

we are booked to go September 21-28, I am slightly worried now that they moved up the food and wine festival….will this still be a good week to go??

256 Dave { 02.22.14 at 8:31 am }

Yes, Kristi, it is still a great week!!

257 Christopher { 02.23.14 at 8:39 am }

Thanks Dave !

258 Maria { 02.23.14 at 9:14 pm }

Hi Dave! Planning a trip for November 2014 with my family, and I’m wondering if you can tell me what Christmas programs are in place the week of November 29th that are not in place the week of November 15th? The only two Disney parks we plan to visit are Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios, and our kids will be 5 and 7 years old. Do you think the 11/15 week will be as good as the 11/29 week for us? Thanks!

259 Dave { 02.24.14 at 7:38 am }

Maria, Epcot’s program typically launches the Friday after Thanksgiving, and some of the decorations–especially at the resorts–will go up over the course of your week. But everything else in the Xmas program will be up your November week!

260 Sherrill Schier { 03.05.14 at 4:37 pm }

As a travel agent I have been following Intercot for many years. In the past couple of years I have found the information to be outdated so I began looking for a new source to replace it and add to my repertoire of sites to gleen information. I thank God I landed on this site. Thank you for putting it together.

261 Joe { 03.05.14 at 5:23 pm }

Just returned from Disney World the week of 2/22/2014-3/1/2014 and the Magic Kingdom appeared extremely crowded to me. Do you have any attendance figures to confirm this? I do enjoy going in February, do you think the large Magic Kingdome crowd will be a trend?

262 Dave { 03.06.14 at 8:30 am }

Sherrill, how kind, and thank you!!!

263 Dave { 03.06.14 at 8:33 am }

Joe, I was there last week too. I’d forecasted it would be a little busier than normal this time of year because of some huge conventions, and it was busier than that. What happened, I guess, is that with the lousy winter, a lot more families accompanied the conventioneers this year than usual…

264 Christopher { 03.06.14 at 7:40 pm }

Will they have Florida residents tickets again after the summer . The tickets they have now 3 days for 129.00 aren’t good for after June 6th . Thanks Chris

265 Dave { 03.07.14 at 5:59 am }

Chris, I’m sorry, but I don;t track the Florida resident deals…

266 Mike { 03.08.14 at 1:10 pm }

Dave, thinking of booking Oct. 5 thru the 12th. Should we wait 2 weeks because of hurricane season? I know your not the weather man but what do you think?

267 Dave { 03.09.14 at 9:57 am }

Well, Mike, if you can, I would. The risk is low the earlier weeks–but even lower the later ones…

268 Jennifer { 03.11.14 at 5:39 pm }

Hi. We went to Disney in 2012 and only did MK. We want to come back this year either 1st week of May or 1st week of October. The crane was in all of our pics in 2012 so hoping it is gone by either of those weeks, any insight? We do want to be able to swim at the pool so warmer weather is OK, but based on crowds, weather and construction…what would you suggest. We want to go to all 4 parks this time.
Thank you!

269 Allison { 03.12.14 at 12:58 am }

Hi- love your website and appreciate your hard work!!! We are coming to florida in April and wanted to take our kids to the Magical Kingdom for just one day. Looking at your prediction, the week of the 5th is a good time to visit, but the week of the 12 is horrible. I was thinking of going on the 11th. Am I crazy to consider that because it is closer to the week of the 12th? thank you!!!

270 Dave { 03.12.14 at 6:07 am }

Jennifer, October faces greater crane risks, and the first week is also in the peak of the hurricane season. Your May dates are a better choice!

271 Dave { 03.12.14 at 6:11 am }

Hi Allison and thanks! People will start arriving for Easter week breaks the evening of the 11th and all day the 12th. So the 11th should be fine!

272 kristi { 03.12.14 at 12:37 pm }

we are booked right now from the 21-28th september, but am considering changing it to the week before 14-21….would that be a good choice??? or should we stick to what we have??

273 Sara M { 03.12.14 at 1:01 pm }

Hey! Okay so now I am trying to decide how much worse off we would be crowd wise and price wise if we went in April vs. Nov…… I see the crowd level is low in Nov at a 2 and April can be either 3 or 4. Nov low prices, April Moderate.

Can you tell me by example how much of a difference this actually is in real time?

I personally loved November 2013 and would go again in 2014 BUT April 2015 would give us much more time to save $$.

Thanks Dave!

274 Dave { 03.13.14 at 7:34 am }

Kristi, tell me why you changed…those are both good weeks.

275 Dave { 03.13.14 at 7:37 am }

Sara, frankly I wouldn’t pay too much attention to the differences between my crowd forecasts of 3s and 4s…

276 Sara M { 03.13.14 at 1:55 pm }

What about from a 2 to a 4? Still okay?

Is April more crowded because of the Flower show? I would pick your recommended week for April anyways but just wondering ;)

277 Kristi { 03.13.14 at 4:48 pm }

We could only get BLT the first week

278 Dave { 03.14.14 at 7:25 am }

Sara, April is a little more crowded than November largely becasue the weather is more reliably warm!

279 Dave { 03.14.14 at 7:26 am }

OK Kristi, then go for it!

280 Chris { 03.15.14 at 3:43 pm }

How busy is October week of Columbus might go Wednesday -Friday ?? I don’t care too much for hotel prices cause I always find good deals . I’m worried about crowds . Thanks Chris

281 Dave { 03.16.14 at 8:08 am }

Chris, after Columbus Day it continues to be moderately crowded, as some kids have a week-long fall break then.

282 Chris { 03.16.14 at 10:26 am }

Thanks

283 Margo Price { 03.16.14 at 3:04 pm }

Hi! We are looking at the week of 11/29/14, which is your top pick. We are curious when Pop Warner crowds start affecting the parks….since that is the week following ours, will we have crowd issues on Thurs, 12/4 and Fri, 12/5? THANK YOU so much for your site! Even as repeat Disney attenders, we go to your site only for our planning each time. And we spread the word!

284 Dave { 03.17.14 at 7:35 am }

Margo, Pop Warner attendees don’t affect the parks. They affect the resorts they stay in. In 2014, Pop Warner begins 12/6.

285 Margo { 03.17.14 at 10:14 pm }

Thanks!

286 Brad { 03.19.14 at 5:03 pm }

Hi,

Why is it recommended to arrive on a Saturday? Is that really the best day to arrive? I appreciate your input & site.

Thank you!

287 Dave { 03.20.14 at 7:56 am }
288 Katie { 03.27.14 at 8:27 pm }

Planning a trip to Disney for our son the year before he starts kindergarten so we can go while kids are in school. What makes the week of Nov. 8th the fourth best week and the week of Nov. 15th the nineth? Is earlier in November much better? We live in a warm climate and can swim half of the year so we don’t care about not being able to swim.

289 Dave { 03.28.14 at 6:42 am }

Katie, my crowd rankings are Saturday-Sunday, because my itineraries cover the same period. The week of the 15th includes two days of the wildly-busy Thanksgiving holiday, bumping up crowds, and thus reducing the week ranking

290 Chantale { 04.23.14 at 11:58 am }

Hi Dave. We are planning a Disney trip the week after Thanksgiving this year. We went that same week last year and it was perfect…lower crowds, perfect weather, etc… Last time we did 3 days at Magic Kingdom and 1 day at Animal Kingdom. This time, we are planning on doing 5 days and will probably still do 3 days at Magic Kingdom and 1 day at Animal Kingdom. Our daughter is 5. She is into Princesses, Mickey and the Gang….but not at all into any of the Superhero. For the 5th day we have, would you recommend doing Epcot or Hollywood? Depending on the one you recommend, do you think there will be enough to keep her busy and entertained for the whole day? thanks so much!

291 Dave { 04.23.14 at 1:54 pm }

Hi Chantale, neither park has enough for a full day. Most kids find more to do at HS–see this for why: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2011/03/09/the-comprehensive-guide-to-walt-disney-world-rides-and-attractions/

292 Emily { 04.29.14 at 10:18 pm }

Hi Dave, love your site! We just booked a 7 night stay at POR with our children, 5 yo and 10 YO. We are hoping to book dinner at Cinderellas Royal Table, and one other character meal. Any suggestions? Also, any tips on which parks to visit and when? Thanks!

293 Emily { 04.29.14 at 10:20 pm }

Sorry Dave, 7 nights starting 11/8/14.

294 Dave { 04.30.14 at 8:13 am }

Hi Emily! That’s a tricky period–the weekend will be quite busy. I’d do HS 11/9, Epcot 11/10, AK 11/11, MK 11/12 and 14. Take the 13th off…there’s lots of great other character meals. Crystal Place at MK for Pooh and Tigger, Chef Mickeys at the Contemporary for Donald and Mickey and Minnie…See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/where-to-eat/dining-alternatives/character-meals-and-dinner-shows-ranked-in-order/

295 Leanne { 05.02.14 at 5:04 am }

Your site is amazing! Me and my husband have just won a holiday for a week to Disney world and have been debating on when’s best to go, we have a 4 and 2 year old all fast pass + are included. We would really want some nice warm weather as I’m coming from london, would love the halloween season and no big crowds am I asking for too much? When do they start the halloween season as I can’t find a season/event calendar online

296 Dave { 05.02.14 at 7:05 am }

Hi Leanne and thanks! Nice prize! The second half of October is a great time to go. See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2014/03/18/october-2014-at-walt-disney-world/ The party dates will be announced soon, but my forecasts for them are here: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2014/02/11/halloween-2014-at-walt-disney-world/

297 Leanne { 05.02.14 at 12:17 pm }

Thank you so much for getting back to me so quick. :) your page is amazingly helpful

298 Jesse { 05.03.14 at 2:29 pm }

Hi Dave
We went to the riverside in 2012 with free dining dec 8-18. It was perfect. We noticed a big crowd increase dec 16-18 and we are a bit concerned about our dates this year dec 12-20 for free dining. . What do you think about that close to Christmas for crowds? Since riverside is not included this year for free dining what other moderate would you suggest considering kid appeal is not hugely important? Thanks!

299 Dave { 05.04.14 at 11:33 am }

Jesse, when Xmas is midewek breaks don’t start til that week, so corwds are low the week befroe through Friday. This was also true in 2012. Crowds that week then were level 5 or below, so I’m wondering if maybe you went to the wrong parks on the wrong days. That time of year, there’s large variation day to day in park crowding because of the effects of 7p MK closes. See this http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/04/30/crowds-and-walt-disney-world/

If kid appeal is not important, I’d take Coronado Springs in a heartbeat–many more amenities than any other moderate. See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2013/02/19/review-disneys-coronado-springs-resort-2/

300 Lauren { 05.06.14 at 7:58 pm }

We were thinking of going Dec 12-16 a short trip with a 5 month old and taking advantage of free dinning. However I noticed the price is significantly less if we go Dec 6-10. But last year we went during pop Warner week and found the crowds to be high at night. I was thinking of skipping a trip all together this year and in 2015 going back to the sept/oct timing I prefer. Any advice on which week is the over all better value and crowds?

301 Dave { 05.07.14 at 12:30 pm }

Lauren, crowds are low both weeks–but not as low as September! The price bump hits 12/12. (See http://yourfirstvisit.net/2013/07/11/walt-disney-world-2014-price-seasons/ )

302 Roxanne { 05.24.14 at 10:46 pm }

Hi, my family of four, has already booked our 1st vacation for Sept 15-24. We liked the idea of low crowds, but now I am concerned about hurricane season. Can you provide any other info….

tks

303 Dave { 05.25.14 at 8:38 am }

Roxanne, 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/ A hurricane has not materially affected Disney World since 2004, but it could happen…

304 Chantale { 05.28.14 at 12:55 pm }

Hi Dave. We are going to Disney December 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th 2014. We went the same week last year and it was perfect! Since I want to make some dining reservations 180 days in advance (which is next week), I am trying to figure out what day to go where. For some reasons, they are not releasing the schedule for Magic Kingdom for the week in December. I can see the schedule for all the other parks. Do you have any idea what the hold up is? We are going to do 3 days at Magic, 1 day at Animal and the 5th day (which will be only 1/2 day), we’ll probably go back to Magic. We want to be at Magic one night they have fireworks. Any thoughts? thanks

305 Jade { 05.28.14 at 1:47 pm }

Hello! Me and my two kids are planning a visit June 7-11. How do you feel about this time?
And I called today to check prices for September 20-24 and the price is great and we get a family suite. Do you think we would have a better time in late September. We are first timers at Disney World.

306 Chantale { 05.29.14 at 3:17 pm }

Hi Dave,
they just released the hours for Magic Kingdom. will you still answer the rest of my question as far as what park when? thanks!!

307 Dave { 05.30.14 at 11:59 am }

Chantale, the 2nd and 4th will be good MK days–tho note the 4th has morning EMH. The 5th will be OK. The 1st will be a zoo at MK, so your best evening date at MK will be the 3rd.

308 Dave { 05.30.14 at 12:00 pm }

Jade, your September dates will be much less crowded!

309 chantale { 05.30.14 at 2:44 pm }

Dave. To make sure I get you. Our best 3 full days at MK will be the 2nd, 3rd and 4th. Our best full day at AK will be the 1st?
thanks!

310 Dave { 06.01.14 at 9:10 am }

Yes–noting that the 1st is morning EMH…

311 Chantale { 06.01.14 at 3:43 pm }

Thanks Dave. Your site is awesome and YOU are so helpful…..Awesome job!!! You make planning so much easier!

312 Jamie { 06.03.14 at 12:29 pm }

Hi, Dave. Great site; I’ve used it several times when planning our trip to Disney and your recommendations were awesome. I do have a question about a current trip. We are planning on going Oct 1 – 7 and I noticed that you have those dates ranked as 25 and 26, but the crowds are low. Could you please tell me why you ranked them in this order. Our major concerns are the hot/humid weather and crowds. Thanks!

313 Dave { 06.03.14 at 1:02 pm }

Hi Jamie and thanks!

For first timers who may never return, all the weeks in the peak of the hurricane seaosn get an extra ding. For returning visitors it’s much less an issue, and you are right that otherwise it is a fine week!

314 chantale { 06.06.14 at 9:26 pm }

Hi Dave. would you say that Monday December 1st would be a good day to visit Hollywood studio? I messaged you before. We are planning on doing Monday 1st at Hollywood, Tuesday (2)-Wednesday(3)-Thursday(4) at Magic Kingdom and finally Friday at Animal Kingdom. Does that sounds like a good plan based on hours, activities going on etc? thanks again for all your help!

315 Dave { 06.08.14 at 8:08 am }

Hi Chantale! Yes, and yes!

316 Tina { 06.27.14 at 4:16 pm }

I’m sure it is explained somewhere and I am overlooking it, but what does the plus refer to on your calendar (low-plus, moderate- plus, etc.)

317 Dave { 06.29.14 at 8:38 am }

Hi Tina!! The short version is “plus” means worse. So moderate-plus is worse than moderate, low-plus is worse than low. When I do these things I use the numbers 1-11, and assign them all words:

1 Lowest
2 Lower
3 Low
4 Low-plus
5 Moderate-minus
6 Moderate
7 Moderate-plus
8 High-minus
9 High
10 Higher
11 Highest

318 kristi { 07.10.14 at 3:08 pm }

looks like our september trip might be postponed and now we are looking at the week before march break in 2015…how bad will that be?? we went last year and it was great crowds but will that change?!

319 Dave { 07.11.14 at 7:10 am }

Kristi, I don’t know when your March break is…

320 kristi { 07.11.14 at 7:33 pm }

sorry, we are looking at going March 11-18th, 2015

321 Lara { 07.11.14 at 11:43 pm }

Hi Dave,
We really need your advice – we are so distressed about the refurb notice at the Wilderness Lodge! As soon as we saw it on your facebook page (yes we follow you all the time and have bought your book!) our hearts sank as we arrive there 28 September. We are the group of 14 from New Zealand coming to WDW for a first and only ever visit and I have asked your advice before on our itinerary. We booked WL in December last year and were so excited (as you said it was one of the best for kids appeal). Our first 6 nights are at WL and then next 7 nights at AK Lodge. As we have so much time were planning on having afternoons off around the pool before going to dinners (all booked thanks to you) at the favourite places mainly in MK area. Now we are beside ourselves as to what to do so please can we get your advice on this one. We have tried to get into the Contemporary or Bay Lake Tower instead but all the standard rooms are booked only club level left which is too expensive. Should we go for Art of Animation as there appears to be some family suites there still available? Only problem with this is we may lose our right to the free dining deal we secured as it is attached to a moderate or deluxe hotel only. Is it worth losing the free dining deal because there is no pool at WL and also the room rate we paid at WL (we got a very good deal back in Dec) is only US$350 more than Art of Animation (but then again will only need 3 rooms instead of 4 as they are bigger). The first week we are going to be spending a lot of time in MK area with dinner bookings too at Chef Mickey, Hoop de Doo, Crystal Palace, 1900 Park Fare, MK days, Wishes…etc so the WL was definitely going to very good location for all of this. Do you think if we jump on the monorail from MK and go to Contemporary for swimming and relaxing then take their free bus they are putting on for us back to WL it will be okay? Or will the hotel lose all its amazing kids appeal because the pool which I take is a main feature is out of action? We even upgraded to courtyard view room to take advantage of view of pool. So disappointed and just wanted to really know what you think we should do???? I can’t believe they can do this at such short notice when a lot of rooms are no doubt sold out.
Thanks!!

322 Lara { 07.12.14 at 6:30 am }

Hi Dave,
Our agent has just come back and said she can get some garden wing deluxe rooms for us at the Contemporary. In light of what I have said above shall we go with these? They don’t seem to have a vey good review on trip advisor from recollection (I might be wrong) or do we stick with WL?
Thanks so much in advance!

323 Dave { 07.12.14 at 8:35 am }
324 Dave { 07.12.14 at 8:40 am }

Tara, stay at WL.

When I rank kid appeal, I am considering the entire package of a resort’s look and feel, of which the main pool is a tiny part. If you stick at WL, you can take the boat back and forth to the Contemporary’s pool. Switching to the Contemporary will save you 20-40 minutes/day of pool commuting time, but on a trip as long as yours, I don’t think that much matters. The Contemporary garden wing rooms themselves are fine, but the hallways etc are worn and dated and the rooms have no balconies.

…I would stick with WL…

325 Lara Gordon { 07.13.14 at 6:40 am }

Hi Dave,
Thanks so much for your response. We are still concerned about the lack of pool as the website talks about the spring that begins in the lobby and goes into a waterfall with geysers…etc Will all that not be working I assume? The idea of commuting to a pool does bug us a bit given we are paying to stay at a deluxe and after commuting to the parks for the day last thing we want to do is to commute to a pool (which is supposed to be the relaxing part of the day).
We had another look at the AoA resort and if we stayed in three family suites instead of 4 rooms at Wilderness lodge for all of us we will save NZ$1000 per family however we will lose the free dining plan which is worth approximately the same amount. Therefore we could stay at A0A for the same price as the WL with free dining included at WL.
We do love the look of AoA and think our kids would love it the best but have two questions for you:
1. Is transportation at AoA going to be a lot less convenient than WL when all our things we are doing mainly in that first week revolve around MK things and restaurants like Chef Mickey, Crystal Palace, 1900 Park Fare and Hoop de Doo?
2. If we are eating Table service (at these restaurants) are we able to share a meal between two adults and a kids meal between 2 kids or is this not allowed? Have heard meals are big and can be shared at times but not sure if this includes these restaurants?
Thanks so much for your help!
Lara

326 Lara Gordon { 07.13.14 at 6:44 am }

One more thing: if we were able to get three room cancellations in the Tower of the Contemporary (rather than the Garden wing – no idea if that would be a possibility or not?) would that make you say stay at the Contemporary instead? Or would you still say WL.
Really interested in what you say about A0A though and Dining plan too!
Cheers
Lara

327 Dave { 07.13.14 at 7:19 am }

Lara, transportation will be a little more awkward at AofA, averaging about 20 minutes (total) per day more for the MK trips, and more than that for Chef Mickey’s and Hoop Dee Doo, which are accessible by a boat from WL but will take a bus/monorail or bus/boat trip from AofA. For 1900 and Crystal Palace, no material difference.

You can share at table service but still have to pay for everyone at the table. So there’s no savings at TS for sharing.

328 Dave { 07.13.14 at 7:20 am }

AofA and WL have stunning kid appeal; Contemporary does not. But the rooms at Contemporary are more livable (larger, and with a couch, although baths are not divided) than those at WL, and it is more convenient to MK.

329 Eleshia { 07.19.14 at 12:08 am }

Hi Dave,
Your site is great! We are going the week 11/8 thru 11/15 ( fly in 8th out 15th). We will go to the park 5 days. 1 day each park with the last day being repeat of favorite, and day in the middle to go to the beach . We had planned on going to MK first on the 9th but everything I am reading shows that as a busy day. This will be our kids (son 9 and daughter 7) first visit .i felt with first visit MK should be the first stop, but with the crowd level am I wrong? Thanks for your advice!

330 Dave { 07.20.14 at 8:29 am }

Eleisha, picking your last park during the visit used to work really well, but with FastPass+ not so much. I’d just plan on going to MK twice–as it takes two full days to see it anyway. My advice, BTW, is to see MK last, as the other parks–especially Epcot–suffer by the comparison.

Those dates,

11/9 MK is OK; avoid AK; HS and Epcot are the best choices
11/10 Avoid HS
11/11 Avoid MK, Epcot
11/12 Avoid AK
11/13 Avoid MK
11/14 Avoid Epcot

331 Scott { 07.20.14 at 6:17 pm }

Dave,

Do you think the weeks of November 8 and November 15 will be busier than expected with the free dining being offered during this time?
Thanks,

Scott

332 Dave { 07.21.14 at 8:40 am }

Scott, free dining has been coming out for a decade and has yet to have an impact on crowds.

333 Juan { 07.21.14 at 6:22 pm }

First time visitor, found your website on google, wanting to surprise family, I really like how informative you have created this.. Needing advice on an estimate for a family of 6, 2 adults 4 kiddos ( 11,10,5,1) want to put into budget so as have them enjoy for first time. Thanks! -Houston.

334 Dave { 07.22.14 at 6:07 am }

Hi Juan and welcome! There is so much variation in hotel costs that I can’t give you a budget. See this for how to figure one out: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/what-to-budget/estimating-budgets/

335 Dan { 08.07.14 at 11:14 pm }

I noticed that during the first weeks of march, there is the Disney Cheerleading event going on. This crowds out the value resorts.

336 michael angelo { 08.14.14 at 8:06 am }

Hi Dave…How have you been? We are are having a great summer in Pensacola…No hurricanes yet!!! :)
I’m planning my ;annual’ trip to WDW this Sept. Looks like the week of Sept 8th through 12th are the lowest crowds levels. Also the week of Sept 22nd through 26th looking good also. what say you. Seems I read something about a World Cup thing going on sometime is Sept. Can’t think of anything else I should be careful of. So glad you have this site!!!
Thank you again!!!
Mike

337 Dave { 08.14.14 at 5:08 pm }

Hey great to hear from you again! Well, I’ll be there the 11th through the 14th! I think we might see slightly higher crowds this Sept because of people not going in the summer because of the world cup (many South American spring breaks are in September) but others think I’m nuts. Even so, crowds will be low!!

338 Mike { 08.14.14 at 6:14 pm }

Hey Dave. I heard something about the World Cup playing a part this September. So I’m assuming you that week you (we) picked is going to be the best week in September to go.(?)
Got to tell you It’s going to be disappointing if the wait times are very long. I’ll admit I’m very spoiled going in September! When it gets a little closer I’ll give you my cell number and you can text me and if we happen to been at the same park at the same time I would like to him you. I think this time though I’m only going to spend one day in WDW and two days at Universal/Adventure Island since I didn’t make it there last September or Feb. Catch you soon Dave.

339 Dave { 08.16.14 at 10:25 am }

Mike at worst the waits won’t be long, just a little longer than usual in Sept. Got you on exchanging cels–email me at davidhobartyfv@gmail.com, or just put it in the comment line that asks for email, since nobody else see that. I’ll be at the Disney Analytics and Optimization conference on Thurs and Fri, at MNSSHP later Friday night (dinner first) and then with my older son and his girlfriend at the parks on Sat!

340 Mike Angelo { 08.17.14 at 9:03 pm }

Thanks Dave. We are still tweaking our plans but tentative the week of Sept 8th through 12th. Going to avoid the weekends of course. I’ll email you at your gmail if it works out. My girlfriend wants to wait until mid or late Sept so we will see.
Take care!

341 Bailee { 08.19.14 at 12:12 am }

Hi! I am coming December 5th-10th. I was wondering if the filming of the Christmas Day parade will affect the crowds at all?! Would you recommend MVMCP either on Friday the 5th, or Tuesday the 9th? I would like to go on the 5th the day we arrive, but I’m not sure what time they finish filming the performances that day. Does it affect the Christmas party at all?

342 Dave { 08.20.14 at 6:49 am }

Bailee, the parade taping clots up Main Street and makes getting around a bit awkward, but doesn’t really affect waits much. I don’t have a strong feeling on Friday vs Tuesday. If you had planned to arrive early on Friday (traditionally Disney lets you in beginning at 4p with party tix, even tho the tic will say 7p) you will see higher crowds Friday afternoon, as the 3p parade will be shifted to 5p becasue of the taping on Main Street.

343 Bailee { 08.20.14 at 11:55 am }

Ok thank you! I wasn’t sure and noticed it’s a little more expensive on Friday… So I’m assuming the taping will be over by 5:00 on Friday since the parade will be moved to then? Also, as of now I have a reservation at Art of Animation. Will it be really busy there because of pop warner or does that mostly affect the All Star resorts? Thanks for your help!

344 Dave { 08.21.14 at 8:56 am }

Bailee, the Disney resorts can be booked full even n the lower crowd times. So AofA likely will be busy. And yes, the odds are that the taping will be over by five. But if there’s a delay, they will push the parade to later rather than striking the sets…

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