May 2013 at Walt Disney World



By Dave Shute

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OVERVIEW: MAY 2013 AT DISNEY WORLD

This page reviews May 2013 Walt Disney World crowds, prices, deals and discounts, weather, operating hours, adds a few other notes, and ends with week by week summaries.

MAY 2013 CROWDS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

May crowds begin low, then build later in the month to high levels around Memorial Day.

See this for more on 2013 crowds at Disney World.

MAY 2013 PRICES AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

May prices are moderate all month long until May 31, when some prices drop and others increase.

May prices begin 30% higher than the lowest of the year at the values, and 16-18% higher at the moderates and deluxes.

On May 31, they shift to 50% higher than the lowest of the year at the values, 11% higher at the deluxes  and 17% higher at the moderates.

For an example of how prices move over 2013, see the image.

See this for more on 2013 prices at Walt Disney World.

MAY 2013 DEALS AND DISCOUNTS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

You can find deals for May 2013 here.

MAY 2013 WEATHER AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

May weather begins as good as it gets at Walt Disney World.

Over the course of the month, temperatures rise to near-summer levels, and the rainy season typically begins in the middle of the month.

Click the image, or go to Weather and When to Go to Disney World, for more on temperatures.

MAY 2013 OPERATING HOURS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

Park operating hours vary by the day, and sometimes change without notice. It is rare for hours to be shorter than Disney has publicized, but Disney may lengthen them in response to unanticipated crowds.

The best way to keep up with operating hours is to check Disney’s official calendars, usually available six months in advance.

These calendars can be found by clicking the following links:

OTHER NOTES AND COMMENTS ON MAY 2013 AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

The 2013 Epcot International Flower and Garden show  runs until May 20.   See this for more.

Star Wars weekends will begin in the middle of the month–likely May 17.  These are of little interest to typical first time visitors  but do crowd Hollywood Studios late in the month on Fridays-Sundays.

Memorial Day is 5/27.

WEEK BY WEEK COMMENTS FOR MAY 2013 AT WALT DISNEY WORLD BY ARRIVAL DATE

The week rankings that follow below are from 2013 weeks to visit, ranked in order, and are designed for first-time visitors who do not know whether or not they will return.

Click the image for a calendar view of 2013 weeks (when open, keep clicking to enlarge.)

4/27/2013 Moderate prices and lower crowds. Crowd ranking=2. Week ranking=8. Recommended Week. Use the Autumn-Winter-Spring Itinerary

5/4/2013 Prices moderate, crowds lower. Crowd ranking=2.  Week ranking=9. Recommended Week. Use the Autumn-Winter-Spring Itinerary

5/11/2103  Prices moderate and crowds low.  Crowd ranking=3. Week ranking=13. Recommended Week. Use the Autumn-Winter-Spring Itinerary

5/18/2013 Moderate prices and crowds. Crowd ranking=5. Week ranking=16. Use the Autumn-Winter-Spring Itinerary

5/25/2012  Moderate prices and high crowds. Crowd ranking=9. Week ranking=31Use the Summer Itinerary

MORE ON WHEN TO GO TO WALT DISNEY WORLD

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95 comments

1 Jessica { 12.13.12 at 8:59 am }

Hi Dave, Reading your site is always a joy :). Want to check back with you on the crowd level for Magic Kindom on May 8-10. Any 2 days are the best? Would also like to visit AoA during our trip – do you think the bus ride from MK to AoA is too much for traveling with 2 toddlers (age 2&4) ? Is the AoA ground really big to walk around for kids without strollers? Would be easier for us on the bus if no stroller is required. Thank you!

2 Jessica { 12.13.12 at 9:47 am }

Few more questions please – would you recommend EPCOT’s Flower & Garden festival for our little ones? Plan to focus on MK only but just read the F&G are on the time we visit. Should we plan a day there? Or get park hopper to visit both during our 2 park days? Thank you so much again!

3 Dave { 12.14.12 at 9:42 am }

Hi Jessica, and thanks! Over your dates, the best MK day is the 8th, and the worst the 9th. For such a short trip, I’d hold the AofA visit for your off-day. Seeing all of it will be a hike, but you can see some without strollers…

4 Dave { 12.14.12 at 9:47 am }

Jessica, I wouldn’t spend a ticket day on Epcot with kids the ages of yours. What would be worth a third ticket day would be for you to get a babysitter the late afternoon and evening of your non-MK day, and have you and your spouse head to Epcot around 4pm and stay through Illuminations, have a nice dinner, wander around World Showcase…

5 Jessica { 12.14.12 at 10:10 am }

Thank so much Dave! How long is the bus ride to/from MK to AoA? How many hours will be sufficient for 2 little ones to tour the AoA ground? We’ll stay at BLT. Do you think it’s doable on our arrival day if we go in the late afternoon and have dinner at Landscape of Flavor? How’s the food there ? Appreciate your help again!

6 Jessica { 12.14.12 at 10:13 am }

Out of our date (May8-10), which night is better for EPCOT? Thank you!

7 Dave { 12.15.12 at 2:46 pm }

Hi Jessica! Bus time is about 15 minutes. Sure you can do it on your arrival day! And Landscapes of Flavor is the best counter-service at WDW!

8 Dave { 12.15.12 at 2:48 pm }

…for Illuminations, May 10 is best, as Epcot has evening EMH, which means you (and 30,000 other people) don’t have to leave right after the fireworks. For general crowds, the 8th or 9th are better…

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9 Jessica { 12.16.12 at 7:45 pm }

Thanks so much, Dave!

10 Jessica { 12.16.12 at 7:46 pm }

Thank you so much, Dave!

11 Dave { 12.17.12 at 8:18 am }

:)

12 Brenda { 01.24.13 at 2:24 pm }

We are debating whether to do to WDW April 28 or May 6. Will that May 6 week put us too close to the rainy season? And would it typically rain all day?

13 Dave { 01.24.13 at 3:04 pm }

Brenda, there’s enough variability in when the rainy seaosn starts that you could pick either and likely avoid it. The rain comes as afternoon thunderstorms, often brief…

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14 Melissa { 02.24.13 at 11:21 am }

Hi Dave, we are visiting from Apr 30-May 8 with our 2 girls (6 and almost 3 yrs) and getting either 5 or 6 day park tix w/no hopper. We don’t plan to visit the parks on Sat, will rent a car and visit family. It seems that you recommend avoiding parks with EMH but do make exceptions. Here are my Q’s:
1. We want to see the electrical parade at MK but noticed on the calendars it is only shown on EMH days. Which 2 days do you think MK with EMH will be less crowded that week- Thur, Fri or Sun? We want to visit MK 2-3 days.
2. Do you recommend AK on non EMH days or is it better to arrive at 8am on EMH days?
3. Does it matter which day we see Fantasmic?
4. Having a hard time deciding on a hotel, picked Pop but with an 8nite stay maybe a bigger room and queen beds would be good, but is the bus travel time from moderates to parks just as long bc they have multiple bus stops? A Deluxe would be perfect but not in the budget :( Thanks so much!

15 Dave { 02.24.13 at 4:33 pm }

Hi Melissa!

On your first question, the Electrical Parade is on the calendar at 9 and 11p May 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6–so you have several non-EMH days to see it.
On 2, I generally only recommend AM EMH days at AK if the park is closing at 5p. That’s not happening at all your dates
On 3, It’s best to see the second show of Fantasmic on nights it has two shows.
On 4, yes the moderates have no transportation convenience compared to Pop or Art of Animation. Have you considered a split stay–say your first 5 nights at Pop or Art of Animation, and your last 3 at Wilderness Lodge? This costs about the same as 8 nights in a moderate, has much more kid appeal, and gives you both a deluxe and some queens at the end of your visit, when you’d need it the most!

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16 Melissa { 02.24.13 at 7:10 pm }

That’s super helpful, thanks Dave! I am looking into Wilderness or a suite at AofA for last 3 days. Have to convince the husband that it wouldn’t be too much of a hassle.We are renting a car for a day so that would help to change hotels.

17 Dave { 02.25.13 at 6:38 am }

Great, Melissa!

18 Jessie { 02.25.13 at 8:46 pm }

Hi Dave,
My husband, 2 daughters (ages 9 & 13) will be in Disney from 5/21-5/28. My littlest is turning 10 on the 25th and we were hoping to do Magic Kingdom on that date but it looks as though it may be very crowded due to Memorial Day weekend. We will have the 4 day Park Hopper with water parks- hoping to see all 4 parks but we’re all not as interested in Hollywood studios. Any suggestions would be great appreciated!

19 Dave { 02.26.13 at 7:29 am }

Hi Jessie, things will be fine the 21st through the 24th, and OK the 25th. So I’d try to push everything into that earlier part of your visit that you can. In the first few days, avoid Epcot the 21st, HS the 22nd, MK the 23rd, Epcot the 24th, and AK the 25th. MK will be more crowded the 25th than it will be the 21st, 22nd and 24th, but if a. it’s your second day there, and b. you show up before the turnstiles open )(whihc you should do every day at every park) you’ll be OK!

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20 Elena { 02.27.13 at 1:29 pm }

Hi Dave,
Awesome tips! We are planning a trip to Disney for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. We were planning on going to the Magic Kingdom on Memorial Day itself but are concerned about possible crowds. Touring Plans says that they are usually lower than expected because of the previous evenings extra magic hours at Magic Kingdom. What are your thoughts? We are also planning on going to MK on the Wednesday after Memorial day. Thank you.

21 Dave { 02.27.13 at 3:22 pm }

Hi Elena! My reaction partly depends on which other day (in addition to Weds) you’d go to MK if you don’t go Monday, and what park you’d go to Monday instead. While I think TP is wrong for a couple of reasons (which I can tell you if you want!) and MK will be quite busy Monday, the only way better park will be Epcot.

So let me know what you’d be doing if you didn’t go to MK Monday!

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22 Elena { 02.27.13 at 4:21 pm }

Thank you for the prompt response! The other day we were planning on going to MK was Friday, May 24 but only from 4:30 PM until closing. We were also considering switching our trip to MK from Monday to the next day, Tuesday. That would put us in MK for 2 consecutive days. I could go to Epcot on Monday. Originally we were going to going to Hollywood Studios on Tuesday, but if I go to MK instead, I will go to HS on Saturday. TP says to avoid MK on Tuesday though I’m not sure why. Thank you so much!

23 Dave { 02.27.13 at 5:11 pm }

Elena, you want to avoid HS like the plague Fri-Sun, as that will be one of the 3 or 4 Star Wars weekends and thus packed.

So lets start over: give me your arrival and departure dates (and flight times if you can go to the parks those days) and your current plan, and I’ll give you a response that integrates everything!

24 Elena { 02.27.13 at 7:03 pm }

I arrive on Friday, May 24th. I depart on Thursday, May 30th. My plan was Fri: MK in the late afternoon, evening, Sat: EP, Sun:AK, Mon:MK, Tues:HS, Wed: MK. Thursday –no time for a park. I am staying at the Yacht Club. Thank you so much for your help. Awesome website!

25 Dave { 02.28.13 at 7:00 am }

Thanks Elena! When I look at your plans in totality, I think Monday at MK is fine–just be sure to arrive well before the park opens (which you should do at every park every day–except Friday!) The problem child is HS, and also the fact that on such a short trip, only MK is worth a return visit. If you can’t do HS Fri-Sun because of Star Wars Weekend, and want to avoid it Mon because of EMH (and because everyone else who avoided it over Star Wars weekend will also be there Monday), then there no good other place to go on Monday, since, rightly, you’ve knocke doff AK and Epcot over the weekend…

26 Chawntae { 02.28.13 at 10:44 am }

Hi Dave,
Boy, I wish I would have found your site before I booked my food reservations and park assignments. I have seen so much conflicting information from other sites on busy/non-busy days. I would love your thoughts on my itinerary and changes I should try and make. There are 5 of us; myself, husband, 14 and 10 year old daughters, 7 year old boy. I wasn’t sure what to do on Monday since it’s Memorial Day and my schedule leaves out HS – not sure where to put it with Star Wars weekends as well as the Gay Days (I’ve heard that causes lots of crowding as well).
May 26th – Arrive at 12:00 Flying (EPCOT that afternoon/evening)
May 27th – Right now open; thinking about Typhoon Lagoon
May 28th – AK (going to see the fireworks from the Pirate and Pals boat this night)
May 29th – MK
May 30th – Seaworld
May 31st – Universal???
June 1st – MK
June 2nd – Leave at 11:00 am

I appreciate your help!

27 Dave { 02.28.13 at 12:15 pm }

Hi Chawntae, this looks largely great to me. One thing I’d do is move MK from the 1st to the 31st, and move whichever of SeaWorld/Universal is more important to you to June 1. This will lower your crowds at both parks.

Universal, BTW, is aimed (even much of Harry Potter) at older kids not subject to motion sickness who love wild thrill rides and world-class roller coasters. In other words, it scares the pants off of some kids the ages of yours.

If based on this you decide to skip Universal, then 5/30 is a great day for HS, so the end of your trip would go 5/30 HS, 5/31 MK, 6/1 SeaWorld.

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28 Jose { 02.28.13 at 9:28 pm }

Hello Dave,

The family and I are gonna be in Disney World from May 2nd through May 9th. Landing there around 8pm on the 2nd and leaving at 3 on the 9th. We have a boy (9) and a girl (3). What Parks do you recommend going on what days? I heard the parks will be crowded that weekend. We are not planning to visit the Water Parks, But we do want to walk around Downtown Disney. Your input would be really appreciated.

29 Dave { 03.01.13 at 7:04 am }

Hi Jose, crowds will be fine then! See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2011/09/12/disney-world-crowds-in-2013/

The 3rd, avoid Epcot; the 4th, avoid HS; the 5th, avoid MK; the 6th, avoid HS and AK; the 7th, avoid Epcot, and the 8th avoid AK. Beyond that, you ave lots of flexibility…

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30 Chawntae Applegate { 03.01.13 at 7:11 pm }

Hi Dave,

I appreciate your answer (above) very helpful! On Memorial Day would you suggest Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon?? I’ve seen a lot of conflicting information.
You’re sight is great!

31 Jose { 03.02.13 at 12:40 am }

Thanks for your input Dave… Your plan sounds great. Cannot wait to go there. Thanks for all you do in this site. You take care now

32 Dave { 03.03.13 at 5:41 am }

Thanks Chawntae, but I don’t really see much to choose…both will be equally crowded, and each has their die-hard fans…

33 Dave { 03.03.13 at 5:43 am }

Thanks, Jose, and have a great visit!!

34 sheritta { 03.14.13 at 9:58 am }

Hi Dave!
I’m taking my husband to Disney during the Memorial Day weekend in celebration of his graduation. It will just be the two of us (no kids yet). We will arrive Thursday 5/23 and depart Monday evening. He’s never been to Disney and is mainly interested in MK. We’re open to any suggestions to help make our extended weekend a fun one. By the way…what should we expect weather/crowd wise? Thank you!

35 Dave { 03.15.13 at 8:52 am }

Hi Sheritta! Friday will be your best day, and after that Saturday. The holiday weekend, and the fact that schools are on summer break then, means that the weekend and Monday will be pretty crowded.

You also want to go to Epcot–typically a big hit with adults.

I don’t have itineraries focused on adults, or for short trips, but you can get a sense of how to work you visit by looking at one of my longer, family-focused ones– like http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/basic-itinerary/alternative-itineraries/itineraries-for-the-rest-of-the-year/v2-of-2009-autumn-winter-spring-itinerary/

Also think now about dining. The best spots book up 5 to 6 months in advance. Check out this, and book soon! http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/where-to-eat/dining-alternatives/the-comprehensive-guide-to-walt-disney-world-dining/

Late May is summer weather–hot, humid, and with afternoon thunderstorms common…

Hope this helps and have a great trip!!

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36 Amanda Bates { 03.21.13 at 8:25 am }

Hi Dave, Thank you so much for this site – it is amazing!
I’d like your advice on our trip to Disney this year – we arrive 17 May in the evening and leave evening 31 May. There will be 3 adults and 2 girls (ages 5 and 10 their first visit) staying at Port Orleans Riverside (we’ve requested a waterview room) near the restaurant/amenities. We’ve got 14 day tickets so we’re planning on spending Sat 18th at MK, Sunday 19th at EP for flower festival, either Sat 25th or 26th at HS for Star Wars and then 31st back at MK and AK. The other days in between are flexible – Disney parks and water parks, we have a 1 day ticket for IOA and probably Sea World too. We also plan on at least 1 or 2 days shopping (if girls allow). Are we better off shopping/hanging around hotel pool for Memorial Day weekend (except for Star Wars at HS) or are some parks ok to visit? Thanks a lot, Amanda.

37 Dave { 03.22.13 at 7:19 am }

Hi Amanda and thanks!

Given the length of time you have in Orlando, you could skip stuff over the holiday weekend, or just go in the mornings, before the crowds build and the FASTPASS return times stretch out!

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38 Amanda { 03.25.13 at 5:40 am }

Hi Dave, thank you for your reply.

I’m not sure I could keep my daughters away for the whole weekend but I hadn’t thought of just going in the mornings – that’s a great idea! Thanks again.

39 Dave { 03.25.13 at 7:15 am }

You bet Amanda, have a great trip, and let me know how it goes!

40 Anonymous { 03.27.13 at 1:04 pm }

Hi Dave,

I am taking my family and some friends to Disney World over the Memorial Day weekend. We are staying at the Pop Century. We arrive Friday night and leave Monday night. It is the first time for some in the group so we were thinking of doing AK or HS on Saturday and MK on Sunday and maybe Monday. What are your thoughts? Any advice? Thank you.

41 Elizabeth { 03.27.13 at 1:05 pm }

Hi Dave,

I am taking my family and some friends to Disney World over the Memorial Day weekend. We are staying at the Pop Century. We arrive Friday night and leave Monday night. It is the first time for some in the group so we were thinking of doing AK or HS on Saturday and MK on Sunday and maybe Monday. What are your thoughts? Any advice? Thank you.

42 Dave { 03.27.13 at 5:18 pm }

Hi! That’s a very busy weekend to start with, and it’s complicated to pick good days for the parks–

AK has extra magic hours Saturday and Monday, meaning it will be extra crowded those two days, and Sunday will be the best day there
MK has EMH on Sunday, and Mondays (and holidays) are usually crowded, so Saturday will be the best MK day
HS has no good days–it will be wildly crowded with Star Wars weekend Sat and Sun, and has extra magic hours Monday. If you have to go to HS, go Monday…

Hope this helps a little…

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43 Katherine Chadrick { 03.29.13 at 1:36 am }

Ok, so I’m reading everything here which is very helpful but it sounds like my plans are backwards. We will be at DW May 5,6,7,8 and staying at all sports hotel. I chose MK on the 5th for the EMH, 6th at HS for the EMH, Epcot on the 7th (magic Hours) and short day at AK the 8th flying out at 7pm….on my last visit it seemed less crowded if we went to the parks in early am, then back to hotel for a break for a few hours then ready for night time magic hours.??? Did I get it all wrong?? Have I been torchering myself unnecessarily? What would u recommend for those dates? Help!

44 Dave { 03.29.13 at 7:22 am }

Katherine, if you have a park hopper, the approach you propse out works just fine! Morning EMH is great for a few hours but by 2 hours or so after opening the park is more crowded than on a non-EMH day. Leaving after lunch and then returning to a different park in the evening solves this. Since most people don’t have hoppers, that’s why you see the kinds of “avoid emh” recommendations I make…

45 Claudia { 04.12.13 at 10:03 pm }

Hi,
We’re thinking of going to Typhoon Lagoon on the memorial day 5/27 and island of adventures on the next day. What are your thoughts on the crowd? Thanks!!!!

46 Dave { 04.13.13 at 7:00 am }

Claudia, both will be quite crowded!

47 christy { 04.16.13 at 3:58 am }

Hello i wish we discovered you first…..bu. this is what I’m working with….arrive 5/25/2013. depart 5/30/2013. Me, hubby and five year old daughter. best plan of action…. thx for your help. not interested in epcot universal or hollywood… eexcept we are scheduled to eat there one day…..

48 Dave { 04.17.13 at 7:43 am }

Hi Christy–I don’t have much specifics for a kid that young, but here’s some thoughts:

As you’ve already figured out, MK is the best focus for your trip. You want to plan on around 3 mornings, one afternoon, and one evening. See this for help focusing what you see: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2011/03/09/the-comprehensive-guide-to-walt-disney-world-rides-and-attractions/

That week things will be quite busy, but if you arrive at the turnstiles in the mornings 30-45 minutes befroe opening, focus on the most popular rides first, and then use fastpasses you should be OK.

The best days at MK your dates will be the 28th and 29th, and the worst days the 26th and 27th…

Hope this helps a bit!

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49 Tom { 04.20.13 at 10:47 am }

Hi Dave,
Great site. I am going to Disney May 4-10. We will have Sunday – thursday to do the parks. I definitely want to do MK, UIA, AK. I may do Epcot and HS and a water park. I am staying at the embassy suites so EMH is not an option. Wondering if I should buy the park hopper or water parks included. I was going to buy a 4 day single park for disney and 1 day single park for UIA. Does that make sense? I am hoping that the week we are going is not going to be crowded so we will be able to do all things in one day and not have to park hop. Thanks very much. Tom

50 Dave { 04.21.13 at 8:01 am }

Tom, what ages are the kids? It’ll affect my answer…

51 Tom { 04.21.13 at 10:15 am }

The kids are 6, 10, 12. We were thinking that we are going to add in a day at discovery cove and swim with the dolphins. Any specific day you recommend? What park would you do on Sunday to get the most our of it? So as of now we are set on discovery cove/seaworld one day, MK one day, UIA one day. The other 2 days are open. AK, HS, Epcot???

Thanks again,

Tom

52 Tom { 04.21.13 at 8:19 pm }

One more question…is SW and DC two days? I dont want to rush it. If so then from Sun 5- thurs 9 i need to figure out when to do UIA, MK, SW, DC, and either HS or AK or Epcot for my 6, 10, 12 year olds. I really want to get this right. :-) That would mean 1 day UIA, 2 day disney and 1 DC (which includes SW) right? Thanks Tom

53 Dave { 04.22.13 at 8:02 am }

Hi Tom, first I don’t track SW and DC closely so can’t answer that question.

Overall, Saturday-Monday is best at the non-Disney parks. See http://yourfirstvisit.net/2011/07/31/the-best-and-worst-days-of-the-week-to-see-the-wizarding-world-of-harry-potter/ So target your non Disney days for Sunday and Monday.

At Disney, MK is a two day park, and is worst (of the remaining days) on Thursday, so target Tuesday and Wednesday there.

Then spend Thursday at one of the three remaining Disney parks–given the age ranges of your kids, either HS or AK would do.

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54 Keith { 04.24.13 at 8:55 am }

Hi Dave,

Love the site…we’re considering a last minute vacation arriving Tuesday May 28 through Sun June 2 and am wondering about the crowds then. I see you have it as a red week but will it start dwindling after Memorial Day or will it be heavy throughout the week??? Any thoughts/suggestions? We wanted to go the following week but have a commitment and would not want to go any later because we would miss SWW.

Thanks
Keith

55 Dave { 04.25.13 at 7:27 am }

Hi Keith, I fear it’ll be crowded that whole week–and HS will be mobbed over SWW…

56 Rosalyn Pena { 04.26.13 at 9:57 pm }

Hi! My little girl (9) and I will be at Disney from May 20 to May 25 (the 4 parks) which are your suggestions!!! thank you

57 Dave { 04.27.13 at 3:58 pm }

Hi Rosalyn! You have lots of options, so I’m going to suggest parks to avoid by day

5/20: Avoid HS and AK
5/21: Avoid Epcot
5/22: Avoid HS
5/23: Avoid MK
5/24 Avoid HS and Epcot
5/25: Avoid HS and AK.

For how to set your time among the parks see this http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/how-long-to-stay/other-trip-lengths/designing-your-own-walt-disney-world-itinerary/designing-your-own-itinerary-continued/ and for whihc reide sot target see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2011/03/09/the-comprehensive-guide-to-walt-disney-world-rides-and-attractions/

58 Rosalyn Pena { 04.27.13 at 5:05 pm }

Waooo! Thank you for your quick response! U r the best! Greetings from Puerto Rico!! :-)

59 Dave { 04.28.13 at 11:33 am }

Have a great visit, Rosalyn, and greetings from Northeast Ohio, where I live between Disney World visits…

60 Kelly { 04.29.13 at 2:30 pm }

Hi! We were planning our only day at MK on May 24, but heard they were keeping the park open 24 hours. Are we correct in assuming this will be a nightmare and need to reschedule? Thanks.

61 Dave { 04.30.13 at 7:51 am }

Well Kelly, it sure was a nightmare during the equivalent event in 2012–the 24 hour leap day. So to be safe, I’d avoid MK that day…

62 Kelli { 05.01.13 at 11:43 am }

Hi! My family of 4 are going to Disney May 25th – May 31st. We have 2 girls and they will both be celebrating birthdays while we are there. Also my husband is handicaped and will have to use his mobile scooter. I have meals planned for us everyday so some of the parks I picked based on that. Could you look at what I have and see if you have any suggestions?
May 25 – Arrive thnking maybe MK (we eat at Chef Mickeys at 8:00 that night)
May 26 – Epcot (Dinner at 1900 Park Fare)
May 27 – HS (Eating lunch so we wil have reserved Fantasmic tickets)
May 28 – MK (Breakfast at Royal Table for Birthday Celebration and Tomorrowland Desert Party that evening at 9:15)
May 29 – AK (Tusker House for lunch)
May 30 – Open to go to any park

63 Dave { 05.02.13 at 6:48 am }

Hi Kelli, this looks great!

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64 stacie { 05.02.13 at 10:05 am }

Trying to plan an itenerary for our up-coming trip!
May 24: Arrival Day (Maybe MK? what about the 24 hr party?)
May 25: AK (ADR breakfast @ Tusker House)
May 26: HS
May 27: MK
May 28: Water Park
May 29: Epcot
May 30: Water Park
May 31: Departure

Will these parks and events work on these days? If not can you give me the best days for each park?
thanks!!

65 Dave { 05.02.13 at 6:34 pm }

Hi Stacie, it’s hard to comment without knowing how old the kids are–let me know!–but some observations:

While MK will be mobbed the 24th for the reason you note, you can still see the fireworks and evening parade (where crowds don’t matter), and a lot of high-capacity, medium popularity (and hence lower-wait) rides like Carousel of Progress, Small World, Hall of Presidents, Liberty Belle, Tom Sawyer Island, etc. So that’s OK, especially since your itinerary is overall a day short on MK.

May 25: Don’t like AK, especially if your breakfast is before 10a. It has morning extra magic hours, which means the park will be great from 8-10 but quite crowded the rest of the day. Today I’d go to MK, becasue many will have gone the day before for 24 hours, or will target Sunday for EMH.

May 26: Star Wars weekends, combined with the holiday weekend, will make HS a zoo. Avoid it like the plague and go to AK instead.

May 27: Epcot will handle the holiday crowds best.

May 28: HS. Bracketed between 2 EMH days, and no Star Wars weekend! Best day at HS this week.

May 29: MK–best day at MK this weeek.

May 30 Off, water park, or return to your favorite park. Decide the night before.

Hope this helps. This all assumes the kids are mostly 8 or older…let me know if they aren’t!

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66 Stacie { 05.04.13 at 7:34 am }

Thanks Dave! And yes – the kids are all 10 (triplets!) and looking forward to riding some of the “big” rides… so YAY!

67 Dave { 05.04.13 at 7:45 am }

Great, Stacie! Have a wonderful trip, and come back and let me know how it went!

68 brian { 05.05.13 at 6:26 pm }

dave,
we are going may 11th- 19th with kids ages 5, 8, and 10 yrs of age. Staying at port orleans
we will do HS at night on the 11th, next day mothers day at animal kingdom dinner at polynesian
may 13th at epcot
may 14th at MK, may 15 th MK
may 16th rest
may 17 HS -kids love Star Wars i know it will be crazy full
may 18th MK
leave may 19th
Does this sound ok any changes? Thanks for your time

69 Dave { 05.06.13 at 12:16 pm }

Brian, this looks great. The only change I’d suggest is not committing to anything on May 18–just decide the night before where you want to return to…

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70 gigi { 05.09.13 at 6:37 pm }

hey!!! Im going to Disney on May 29th to June 6…this is the plan!We are a party of 9, 5 adults, 2 teens (12,13).Im going with my two Kids, 5 and 6. My oldest is diagnose with autism (we are getting the assitance pass)…so this is my calendar ajust it to my son..to take some free time for him ..so what do you think of this:
May 29- free day (grocery shopping, stroller rental, rest for plain ride, we are taking a red eye from Puerto RIco.
May 30- Hollywood Studios
May 31-Magic Kingdom (my daugthers birthday)
June 1-Free Day
June 2 Universal Studios
June 3 Epcot
June 4 Free day
June 5 Magic Kingdom
June 6 Animal Kingdom / leaving for a red eye back to PR.

71 Dave { 05.10.13 at 1:34 pm }

Hi Gigi, this looks great to me! The only revision I’d suggest, if you think it’ll work for your son, is swapping June 1 and June 2, as Universal likely will be less busy June 1. See this for why: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2011/07/31/the-best-and-worst-days-of-the-week-to-see-the-wizarding-world-of-harry-potter/

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72 Lisa { 05.11.13 at 3:02 pm }

Hi Dave,
Great advice on all.. Our itinerary below 2013.. We booked almost a year ago and already reserved some dining so planned around this, sure wish I would have found this site first. Any added advice or suggestions? It’s the girls first visit and we want to soak up as much as we can..
My daughter and I are taking my 3 grand-daughters age 5, 8, and the older will have her 10th birthday at Disney.
Sunday May 26 – Arrive – Animal Kingdom – Chef Mickey Dinner
Monday May 27 – Hollywood:( and Sci-Fi for late lunch
Tuesday May 28th – Magic Kingdom and Castle for early birthday dinner
Wed May 29th – Epcot – early lunch Coral Reef
Thurs May 30 – open probably Magic Kingdom
Friday May 31 – Magic Kingdom Lunch Crystal Palace
Sat June 1 – check out
We are staying at the Port of Orleans Riverside – Thank You

73 Misha { 05.11.13 at 7:58 pm }

Hello Dave,
We are going to Disney from 5/16 to 5/19 and will be staying at the AoA suites with the dining plan. On Thursday, 5/16, we will be at Blizzard Beach for the free admission for annual passholders after 2p, dinner at Landscapes of flavor at AoA and catch a movie under the stars. On Friday, 5/17, Will be at MK @ 8am for rope drop and leave around 12 or 1p. Return to resort and hang out at the pool for a few hours. Later that evening we have character dinner reservations at Garden Grill(Epcot) and stay for the EMH. On Saturday 5/18, HS @ 8a for rope drop and fastpasses, have character breakfast reservations at Hollywood Vine and leave around 12 or 1p. Return to resort and hang out. Later that evening, possibly planning to go to MK because it’s open until 1am. 05/19, AK @ 10a and have reservations for breakfast at Tusker House 10:30a, hang around the park and head home around 3pm. What do you think of these plans? We are a party of 6 (2 adults, 4 kids ages 2, 3, 9, 11).

74 Dave { 05.13.13 at 7:13 am }

Hi Lisa, this looks pretty good!

One minor change I’d suggest if you can do it without messing up your dining too much is swapping Monday and Weds. HS will be busy Monday from people attracted to the pm EMH who had been avoiding it because of the Star Wars weekend…and Epcot will be fine both days…

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75 Dave { 05.13.13 at 7:18 am }

Hi Misha! Your plans sound great–the perfect way to use hoppers!

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76 The WedWay People { 05.19.13 at 9:35 am }

We Disney freaks are super excited about the 24 hour party on May 24th. Just want to know how much of a crowd is expected that day and what would be the best time to arrive? We are planning on being there at rope drop, so considering the monorail ride from TTC, what time should we plan to arrive on that day…is 5am to early or too late?

77 annette { 05.19.13 at 11:37 pm }

We will be staying from may 24th through 30th. We have 4 kids (6-16). We want to do both water parks since this is our first time to be down when its not spring break and water parks are closed. We want to do one day mk, one day hs and one day ak/epcot. Also thought about going to seaworld for one day. What would be the best days for those parks. I was originally thinking mk on the 24th but now that there is the 24 hr party, I believe it will be too crowded. Will the 25th be better for mk since a lot of people will just have spent 24 hours there? Thanks for your help!

78 Dave { 05.20.13 at 8:47 am }

Hey! I haven’t focused much on the 24th (since this site is for first time visitors and I don’t send them to MK that day.) Last year at the 6a rope drop things were as full as at a 9a rope drop, but almost no one came for the next 3 hours. I did all the “circles” (which for some reason is what I decided to focus on)–the Speedway, Dumbo, Astro Orbiter, Teacups, Carousel, Aladdin– plus others between 6 and 8a. Crowds were heaviest late in the day thru 2 a or so. 5a at TTC should be fine!

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79 Dave { 05.20.13 at 9:01 am }

Hi Annette, SeaWorld will be best the 25th. MK will be great that day too, for the reasons you note, but SeaWorld will be so crowded because of the holiday week the rest of your days that I’d go to it the 25th instead. I’d do a HS the 28th or 30th, and Epcot will be best the 29th. Good days at MK will be the 25th, 28th and 29th. Ak will be best the 24th, 26th and 29th…

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80 Sarah { 05.22.13 at 1:26 pm }

First of all, this website is awesome!! Thank you!! So we have on day left on a 4-day pass. We plan on coming Memorial Day weekend and would like to do either Animal Kingdom or Magic Kingdom on Sunday, May 26th. We assume all parks will be pretty crowded. But which of these two will be least crowded on that day?

81 Dave { 05.23.13 at 7:21 am }

Hi Sarah, and thanks! AK will be much better than MK the 26th.

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82 Alyssa { 01.16.14 at 12:51 am }

I hope you will still get a notification even though this post hasn’t been touched for very long…

Dave, let me say that what you do does a wonder and a half for the people you are helping with their vacations….I’ll be using this site for the rest of my Disney Vacations!

My best friend and I (I am 20, she is 19) are planning a trip to Disney World from 5/19/2014 to 5/25/2014. Our boyfriends are coming on the trip as well aged 20 and 21. We have 5 day passes with no Park Hopper option, but we did get the Waterpark option which is something we really are looking forward to. (We’re thinking Typhoon Lagoon although I believe Blizzard Beach will be newly renovated by then so we’ll have to see…) So far, we have no plans or ideas about which park is the best to go to on which day. I read that the time that we’re going is when the rainy season starts, is this true? If so, I am really interested in which parks to avoid on which days of our trip so that we can determine which day we’ll do the water park based on the best weather day if that makes sense. However, please let me know if there is a particularly good day to visit a specific park, it just seems that letting me know which parks to avoid on which days will be easier for you and you are already doing so much! :)

Also, any tips as far as saving money on food? We are staying at the All Star Sports Resort and were considering taking a taxi to the nearest grocery store to get things for sandwiches, etc. to take to the parks. We are going to pack lightly and only bring carry-ons with our clothes and necessities, since each checked bag will be 25 dollars leaving and returning for a total of 50 dollars per bag… is it worth it to bring one checked bag split between the three of us to carry food and such? Thats only 12.50 per person, plus we can use the empty checked bag to bring home any souvenirs we may have.. I think I’m answering my own question here… but anyway, what is your opinion on that matter? (Remember the only refrigeration we’ll have is from the mini fridges, but we each have our own room (with a conjoining door), so there will be two fridges between us two couples. Not sure how I feel about icepacks for cold foods like lunchmeats in a checked bag, but they might have that at the hess station in downtown disney?

Phew! Sorry for such a long message. Really looking forward to your response, I hope you see this because I would truly value your opinion!

Thanks again!

83 Dave { 01.16.14 at 7:59 am }

Hi Alyssa and thanks so much for the kind words!!

First, on food, see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/08/30/the-tightwads-guide-to-how-to-eat-at-walt-disney-world/ I do lie the idea of bringing staples and supplies in a bag that you can then use for souvenirs… though not anything that needs ice!

On your dates, here’s parks to avoid by day:

5/19: Avoid HS and AK
5/20: Avoid Epcot
5/21: Avoid HS
5/22: avoid MK
5/23: Avoid HS and Epcot
5/24: Avoid AK and HS

Blizzard Beach isn’t being “newly renovated” so far as I know–each water park spends part of the winter closed for routine maintenance and rehab…and because there’s no need for tow in the colder months!

Finally, you may already know this, but Disney does not guarantee connecting rooms. Getting them depends on availability, and groups with many little kids and few adults get the highest priority…

84 Alyssa { 01.16.14 at 4:21 pm }

Thanks a lot Dave! Yes I called and talked to them and was aware they are based on availability. Hoping for the best!!! :)

85 Dave { 01.16.14 at 6:39 pm }

Good luck, Alyssa!

86 Ashley { 02.09.14 at 12:51 am }

Hi, Dave! I’m very excited to have found your site. My husband and I have visited DW once before about 6 years ago. This will be our first visit with our kids, 5 and 3. We did hardly any planning for our first visit and had an awesome time, but now that we have kids, we want to make the best of a fairly short visit. We will arrive the morning of 5/25 and leave the evening of 5/29 and are staying at Pop. So far, I’ve worked out a tentative schedule, but I would welcome some suggestions on how to make it as efficient as possible. We would like to visit MK at least two days. Wednesday our day is firm and your calendar says this is the best park to visit. I’m not sure if we should visit on our arrival date since EMH are until midnight (I doubt we will make it that late, but just in case?) or if Monday would be better.

5/25 – Flight arrives at 9:40 am. MK
5/26 – AK
5/27 – HS
5/28 – MK *This day is firm. (We have BBB and CRT scheduled back to back.)
5/29 – HS again? Flight leaves at 7pm

We are also debating between AK and Epcot. Which would be better to spend a day at with children their ages? Because of the DW promo right now, we are receiving a 5th ticket free which we are planning to use the last day.

87 Dave { 02.09.14 at 1:15 pm }

Hi Ashley and welcome!! …with kids that age, I would focus on MK, and skip Epcot. HS and AK are worth a half day each, but MK should be 2-3 days of your visit…See this for more: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2011/03/09/the-comprehensive-guide-to-walt-disney-world-rides-and-attractions/

88 Shaun { 03.05.14 at 4:13 am }

Dave, this site is great!
We are driving in from the Youngstown area May 5th. We are planning:
Magic Kingdom- May 6th
Epcot- May 7th
Animal Kingdom- May 8th
Magic Kingdom- May 9th
Then any combination of those plus Hollywood Studios for our last two days.
We have a 5 year old daughter that is coming.
Do you think we have the correct days to visit the parks?
What would you recommend for the last two days?
Would you recommend breakfast at Cinderella’s Castle, Be Our Guest, or Crystal Palace?
Thank you so much for your help!

89 Dave { 03.05.14 at 8:15 am }

Hi Shaun! First greetings from the Cleveland suburbs, where I live when I’m not in WDW doing research for the site!

Second, the dates you’ve picked for the parks look great. There’s not a lot at Epcot to interest a five year old. I think you should just play your last two days by ear–you may need a day off, for example.

Third, avoid breakfast unless you can get a very early (e.g. 8.10a) or very late (10.30a or later) seating. This is because the parks are least crowded at their (typical) 9a open, and you don’t want to spend low-crowd periods doing anything but see rides.

Of the three restaurants you noted, BOG doesn’t do breakfast, and Cindy has likely been sold out for months. You may be able to get a late morning or lunch seating at Crystal Palace, and also consider Akershus in Epcot–see this http://yourfirstvisit.net/2013/10/31/review-princess-dining-at-akershus/

90 Shaun { 03.05.14 at 3:08 pm }

Dave, I like to think of it as the Pittsburgh suburbs haha. Thank you so much for the help. I haven’t seen this much Disney info on any other site. Great job.

91 Dave { 03.06.14 at 8:27 am }

Thanks Shaun! I know lots of Steeler fans from Mahoning County….

92 Shaun { 03.07.14 at 4:19 am }

Dave another question for you. Looking at crowd calendars, Monday May 5th is showing high crowds but Saturday May 10th is showing only moderate crowds. Which would have the least amount of people, the Monday or Saturday at Magic Kingdom? I’m just wondering if the crowd calendars go by actual people in the park or what.
Thank you again.

93 Dave { 03.07.14 at 6:05 am }

Shaun, I don’t know what crowd calendars you are looking at. Both those dates will have average crowds at MK…e.g. ranking of 4-6… The crowd calendar estimates that all do are predictions of wait times…

94 Heather +11 { 03.17.14 at 5:30 pm }

Hi Dave, I’ve been reading all of your suggestions and I REALLY need your help. I am coming with my in-laws and 1 teenager, 2 small kids – 5 and 8. We are planning to fly in to Orlando 5/28 and fly out 6/4. I was wondering if you could give me some ideas on what’s the best to see and when. With so many of us I feel a relaxed itinerary would be best. This will be the first time for everyone though so I’m not sure what’s the best to see first in case we run out of time…. Thanks for your help!

95 Dave { 03.18.14 at 7:18 am }

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