By the co-author of the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook ever -- The easy Guide to Your First Walt Disney World Visit.

Now available in PDF format!—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor

Disney World Crowds in 2015

By Dave Shute

October   November   December  January   February  March   April   May


Walt Disney World Crowds in 2015 from yourfirstvisit.netThe chart lower on the page shows my forecasts for 2015 crowds by week at Walt Disney World.

Dates in it are the beginning of the week, and the forecast covers the recommended Saturday-Sunday 9 day stays.

(For 2016 crowds, click here, and for 2017 crowds, see this.)

Crowd levels are ranked by week from 1-11 in the following way:

1: Lowest of the year

2: Lower

3: Low

4: Low-plus

5: Moderate-minus

6: Moderate

7: Moderate-plus

8: High-minus

9: High

10: Higher

11: Highest
Final 2015 Walt Disney World Crowd Calendar v2


Dates are the beginning of the week.

The “low crowd” weeks–those colored green, and rated 1-4–represent the only crowd levels a family visiting for the first time, and unsure if it will ever return, should consider.

However, lower crowds, especially lowest crowds, do not always mean a better week. The lowest weeks are low for a reason–typically because they are in the hurricane or the ride closure seasons.

The “moderate crowd” weeks–those in black and rated 5-7–have crowd levels I would not recommend to first time visitors. However, I’d go during such weeks myself with no hesitation, and think these levels are OK for returning visitors who don’t need to see everything and already know how to work Walt Disney World.

The “high crowd” weeks–those in red, rated 8-11–should be avoided by everyone. They aren’t, which is why they are so high.


The influence of the Unofficial Guide  and has led almost all Disney World crowd calendars to top out at 10.

However, I’ve always thought that the really nastiest weeks of the year deserved an 11 for emphasis.

So, in homage to Spinal Tap, I assigned 11 to “highest.”


Want a second opinion?  Then check out my book lol.

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1 Kim Smith { 04.23.14 at 1:09 pm }

I was wondering if your 2015 calendar took into account that school vacation weeks in the Northeast and perhaps other parts of the country were on the week of 4/18/15?
Thank you.

2 Dave { 04.23.14 at 1:56 pm }

Hi Kim, yes it does!

3 Ashley { 05.04.14 at 2:16 pm }

My husband and I are planning a return trip to Disney in 2015 as a second honeymoon. We went several years ago when we got married and loved it! We don’t have any children, but I am a school teacher and am not comfortable asking my principal to approve time off for a vacation like that so early in my career. When we got married, we were still in college and went to disney over spring break. It was crowded, but we still managed to have a pretty good time. In our county, our spring break is quite early next year (starting on 3/7), so we thought it would be a great time to plan that second honeymoon we have been dying for. Other crowd calendars predict that week as moderate, but yours is much higher. Are there things you are taking into account that other sites aren’t? (I’m not trying to accuse you of being wrong, but I want to plan for a couple extra days if crowds are potentially going to be nuts). Thank you!

4 Dave { 05.05.14 at 7:04 am }

Ashley, I update this draft calendar in the summer with the results of analyzing about 180 school calendar covering 10 million kids. So the short answer is “check back then.” The long answer is that if break patterns follow the past, that will be the first week of high spring break crowds.

5 Ken { 05.07.14 at 11:42 am }

Our family is scheduling a Disney trip for 2015. We have 2 different times that we are looking at. April 3-11 2015 and June 5-13 2015. We are not sure what date would be better with crowds. We are morning people so we are at the parks when they open. We went the week before this past Christmas and had a great time with very little crowds. We are just torn between what time to go in order to have the best time possible.

6 Dave { 05.07.14 at 12:42 pm }
7 Andrea { 05.08.14 at 1:07 pm }

Is there usually a big crowd on MLK bday weekend in January? Your week picker doesn’t indicate that as a busy week. Our schools have a 4 day weekend, and I was looking at that as a possible bounce back trip.

8 Dave { 05.09.14 at 7:37 am }

Andrea my crowd calendars cover a nine day period from Sat-Sun. So a week can be low overall with some peaks over a few days. And that’s what we see that week–crowds are quite high over MLK weekend, then collapse.

9 Andrea { 05.09.14 at 1:19 pm }

Are they generally high through Monday then drop on Tuesday, or do they drop Monday since people are traveling back home?

10 Dave { 05.10.14 at 7:44 am }

While Monday is better than the weekend, many people take extra days out of school, so crowds don’t drop til Tuesday, Andrea

11 Meagan { 05.24.14 at 4:44 pm }

Thinking about planning a trip the week of 4/25/15 or 5/2/15. Are there any special offers that time of year? Also, when would those offers become available to book the vacation? Thanks so much!

12 Kevin { 06.05.14 at 2:25 pm }

Hi Dave, I’m pretty excited about the low crowds in green in late January and early February. However, in your 2015 Weeks to Visit chart, you list those January/February dates as 49, 48, and 52. Pretty much the worst weeks to visit. Is that due to the ride closures or is there some other reason why they are ranked so poorly considering the crowds are the lowest of the entire year? We’re basically trying to decide upon the last 2 weeks of January or last 2 weeks of February (yet Feb is ranked 13 and 10 by you).

Thanks, Kevin

13 Dave { 06.06.14 at 7:49 am }

Kevin, my rankings are for first-timers who may never return, and so I seriously ding the ride closure weeks. For returning visitors, late January to early February is a great time to go!

14 Arashi { 06.09.14 at 6:06 pm }

Hello, Dave!

I’ve been browsing your website to make plans for a possible visit to Disney – it’s still just a possibility, you know :-). I had the same doubt as Kevin – late January and early February would be awesome for my family, because we’re Brazilian and that’s the end of our summer vacations – mom’s a teacher and both my sister and I go to college. The only other time in which we could visit Disney would be late July, which is our winter vacation, and OMG the crowds! And the prices are way higher.

We would be first-times who might never actually return (Disney is way too expensive for us). Given that we can choose either January to late February or July, and given that we really don’t mind missing on water parks like Blizzard Beach (my sister is a veterinary science student and she’s totally against visiting Sea World and Discovery Cove as well), what’s your advice?

15 Dave { 06.10.14 at 8:38 am }

Arashi if your only choices are those two periods, and you don’t mind missing at least one, and perhaps two, of WDW’s top attractions, then late Jan early Feb is the best choice.

16 Ninette { 06.11.14 at 5:21 am }

We have booked to go to Disney and stay on the resort 1st September 2015 for 2 weeks. I am coming as a family of all adults who like warm weather and this was the only two weeks we could all be off work, college etc. I know it is considered Hurricane season but as their is a late bank holiday (Monday 7th September Labor Day) in 2015 I presumed there would not be ride closures. We also want to use the water parks and again presumed they would be closed in the winter. Can you offer any insight to whether we are going at a good time or not and if there is anything else we should know. Many Thanks Ninette

17 Dave { 06.11.14 at 9:44 am }

Ninette, other than that it is in the peak of the hurricane season, that’s a great time to go!!

18 Lucia { 06.14.14 at 7:59 am }

After going back and forth between October and Spring we decided we are going on the spring. We will be staying-offsite (need 3 bedrooms, on-site is too expensive) for 9 nights. Either at the end of April or the beginning of May, which one is best? it seems both are equally less crowded

19 Dave { 06.14.14 at 1:05 pm }

Lucia, while it varies a bit by year, in 2015 both the end of April and beginning of May are just fine, and about equally so! Just on the odds, weather will be better in April…

20 Lisa { 06.16.14 at 3:56 pm }

Hi, We are thinking of going for 10 days. We are
Looking at Feb 19 til the 28th or Feb 26 til March 7.
Which do you recomend? I was a little concerned about
The crowds the first couple of days if we go the first week
due to the end of Presidents Day week. Thank you Lisa

21 Dave { 06.17.14 at 7:45 am }

Lisa, yes, you will face higher crowds through the 22nd, so if you could go either period, the later one is better!

22 Mike { 07.01.14 at 2:16 pm }

Hey Dave Great Site! My family and I are planning a Disney vacation at one of their Deluxe resorts, for August 2015. Is it better to book now, in a couple of months or closer to the time we are going? I dont want to reserve and then they have an amazing deal that I cannot take advantage of, Thanks Again………

23 Dave { 07.02.14 at 3:05 pm }

Mike as long as you book more than 180 days ahead it doesn’t matter, as already having a room will neither hurt nor help if a deal comes out…

24 Karen { 07.09.14 at 10:47 am }

Your website is fantastic! We are on the west coast and have visited Disneyland a number of times usually in September. We are now planning on coming to WDW in 2015 for 10-12 days with our 17 yr old, 14yr old and 6 yr old. Based on our location, this could be our one trip to Florida for a while. Our dates are flexible – yes, I am one of those parents that will pull their kids out of school for anything Disney ;-). My two biggest factors in order are crowd levels and weather. I like to feel like I’m getting my money and time’s worth as Disney can be expensive!! Based on what I’ve read on your site it seems like September, 2nd week of November 10-21st or 1st couple weeks in December would be our best choices. Which do you think would be best?


25 Dave { 07.09.14 at 12:40 pm }

Hi Karen, and thanks!! Plus late October–see this for my precise recommendations:

26 Cole { 07.09.14 at 4:09 pm }

Dave, lots of info on here! wow… Ok so I want to bring my girls 7 & 5 to Disney next spring. End of april early may from your site. But I only will have 3 days 4 nights as I also have to visit family in the state. We would fly in on a Saturday and leave Disney on Wednesday morning. I am thinking animal kingdom one day and 2 days at magic kingdom as they love princesses. Any ideas on how to get most out of a 3 day 4 night stay? Thanks.

27 Dave { 07.10.14 at 6:18 am }

Hi Cole and thanks!!

At those ages 2 days at MK plus another at another park is a fine approach! AK is a fine choice for the second park, but if they are Frozen fans, and if HS keeps its special frozen show up past this summer, HS might be a better choice.

I don’t have plans aimed at kids that young on this site, but you can find them in my book, The easy Guide to Your First Walt Disney World Visit. You may want to wait to buy the 2015 edition, which will come out –we expect– late this year…although many wise people will buy both…

28 Melissa { 07.20.14 at 8:06 pm }

When will Disney world release their list of ride closures for January & February 2015? I am waiting to book something until I see the list but 180 days is coming up at the end of July. All they have listed so far is Cinderella’s Royal Table. Please help!

29 Dave { 07.21.14 at 8:41 am }

Ride closures typically come out about 8 weeks in advance, Melissa.

30 Brian { 08.02.14 at 10:36 am }

Hi Dave—I was at WDW this year from March 10-16, and the perfect storm of many schools throughout the midsection and south being on Spring Break definitely made the parks very crowded. Also, the locals coming on the weekend for events compounds it too.

Back on message, do you see that same trend in 2015 for the second week in March where many of the schools in parts of the country will be off at the same time? Or will an earlier Easter tweak that a bit?

31 Brian { 08.02.14 at 10:36 am }

I meant to say perfect storm…sorry!

32 Dave { 08.03.14 at 1:05 pm }

Brian, the schools that are out that week are out pretty much every year then, so it’ll be just as rough in 2015. More on this tomorrow!

33 Dave { 08.03.14 at 1:05 pm }


34 Karen { 08.03.14 at 4:47 pm }

Hi! We want to plan our first trip to Disney but our oldest is in college so that limits us with her days off corresponding with the younger kid’s school breaks. Going the week of New Year’s works, and I’d be so excited to be there for the Holiday season, but I’m concerned that it’s going to be so crowded that we won’t enjoy ourselves. Should we just wait until next summer?

35 Dave { 08.05.14 at 8:54 am }

Karen, I’d wait til next summer…in 2013 waits during the week of New Years exceeded 4 hours at times. You can still have a lot of fun, but will have more fun in the summer…

36 dan { 08.05.14 at 10:48 am }


will there be another 2015 crowd calendar update? looking at April 18th

37 Liz { 08.15.14 at 12:42 pm }

Love the books and website and have used them both many times. Last trip was in 2012. If we are going (can’t change the dates) day after Christmas this year should I get the 2015 book?

38 Dave { 08.16.14 at 10:29 am }

Liz, if you are going the day after Xmas you should get someone else’s book so that you can blame the crowds on them, lol. Be sure to use Josh’s calendar here to pick your park days:

39 Marianne { 09.04.14 at 3:37 pm }

I am agonizing over when to begin out 7 nt. trip to Disney. We are booked at POR for Feb 21-28 (visiting parks Sun ~ Thur HS, EP, MK, MK, EP. Wondering if we should push it one day and arrive on Feb 22 to avoid the weekend chaos (visiting parks Mon~Fri EP, HS, MK, EP, MK. What would you suggest? Will that last weekend of Feb into March 1st be ok? OR would either be ok…the various website crowd calendars don’t seem to agree on the levels to expect!

40 Dave { 09.06.14 at 8:20 am }

Marianne, it can’t hurt to push a day later and might help!

41 Marianne { 09.11.14 at 2:45 pm }

Me again…we could come Feb 28 week. I booked ADR’s for both weeks, can’t make a decision. Would that be a better choice? Just a bit nervous that the 1 st week in March will be more crowded than the last week in Feb. (Week of 21st) We can easily go either week or in the middle, I just want the lower crowds! Which dates would you choose?

42 Dave { 09.12.14 at 9:21 am }

Marianne–go midweek to midweek e.g. arrive the 24th or 25th!

43 Roel Keizer { 09.14.14 at 9:51 am }

Hi Dave,

My family and I are visiting WDW next year for 8 days. We arrive on Friday 31th July and leave on Saturday 8th August.
I know it is a busy period but it was the only time we could make it. We saved for years and looking forward. We only will visit Disney and leave all the other parks, except for one, Discovery cove. We would like to do this on the busiest day of the week in WDW. Could you give us a suggestion of the day. Thanks and warm wishes, Roel

44 Dave { 09.15.14 at 8:39 am }

Hi Roel! I won’t have a sharp point of view until Disney publishes its August calendar, which it will do in about 4 months. But typically WDW is busiest Saturday-Monday, and the other parks least busy then…

45 Roel Keizer { 09.21.14 at 6:40 am }

Hi Dave,
Thanks. Very helpful. We will book Discovery Cove on our first Saturday in Orlando (because off maximum visitors a day in park, and to recover from 5 days NYC) and use the other days in the Disney parks.

46 Cathy { 09.24.14 at 3:17 pm }

We have been to WDW several times, but have never seen the Christmas decorations. I want to see everything but not Christmas week. We were considering the first week of Dec. 2015, but your predicted crowd calendar shows it busier than the second week. Why and would this still be a good week or would you recommend the second? What are the chances for free dining during these times? Thanks.

47 Dave { 09.25.14 at 6:35 am }

Cathy, I recommend both, but see the details here: Free dining has been available in December the past few years, but not for the first week.

48 Jeremy { 09.30.14 at 11:30 am }

Thinking about going for either April 25th-29th (park days 26th-28th) or May 6th-10th (park days 6/7th?-9th). Do you see any advantage to one of those opposed to the other in regards to crowds/prices/attractions? Or are they about the same? Just want to really pick the best dates to go since this will be my kids’ first visit (8+10yr old). Thanks.

49 Dave { 09.30.14 at 6:34 pm }

Jeremy, I have a slight preference for your April dates–maybe slightly lower crowds, maybe better weather. But honestly there’s not much difference between the weeks. See this:

50 Mary { 10.02.14 at 7:46 pm }

My ap expires sept 8, how do you think the crowds will be the 1st to. 8 th??

51 Dave { 10.03.14 at 6:59 am }

Mary, I think they will be great!

52 Kate Thomas { 10.06.14 at 11:34 am }

My husband is planning a “Surprise” trip for me for my (gulp) 40th birthday. If we are there for my actual birthday we would arrive on 1/1 or 1/2/2015 and head home on 1/4 or 1/5. Would be be better off waiting a few weeks – next option would be 1/16 – 1/19, or will the holiday crowds have died down after New Years Eve? I really don’t want to spend my entire birthday weekend standing in lines!

53 Dave { 10.07.14 at 6:40 am }

Kate the holiday crowds won’t profoundly slow til the 4th, so I would definitely wait.

PS your husband isn’t very good at surprises…

54 Ali { 10.07.14 at 10:38 pm }

My family is planning on going to WDW jan 24-30. I keep reading about large tour groups that come in January. We usually stay at a moderate hotel. Can you tell me what hotel the tour groups usually stay at. And are there groups in feb too?

55 Dave { 10.08.14 at 4:42 pm }

ALi, honestly, there are tour groups all year round, and they stay in all kinds of different lodgings. South American school breaks tend to end at the end of January. I have not noted a preference among tour groups for a specific moderate, though I would guess they are least likely at POFQ, since it has fewer amenities.

56 evelyn { 10.15.14 at 11:02 am }

I’m planning my first visit for my son who is 11 and myself in late January! What do you think about January 25-31 or or Feb 1-7 which would be the best time for us to go?

57 Dave { 10.16.14 at 11:30 am }

Evelyn a couple of big rides reopen from being closed for refurb on 1/31 and 2/3 so I would pick the Feb dates.

58 Mistie { 10.23.14 at 9:41 am }

My family and I will be taking our first trip to Disney World Feb 2-Feb 10 2015. Could you recommend which parks would be best for us to visit which days? We do not have the park hopper pass. Thank you so much for your help! P.S. I love your site!

59 Dave { 10.23.14 at 10:16 am }

Mistie thanks! Glad to help–but tell me the ages of the kids?

60 Mistie { 10.24.14 at 8:22 pm }

Of course, my girls will be 5 and almost 3 years old.

61 Dave { 10.26.14 at 10:21 am }

Mistie, At those ages, you’ll likely skip Epcot and want to focus on the Magic Kingdom over multiple days, with much time off for naps and paying at the pool.

Feb 2, avoid HS. Feb 3, avoid Epcot. Feb 4, avoid AK. Feb 5 avoid MK. Feb 6 avoid Epcot. Feb 7, avoid HS and MK. Feb 8 avoid AK. Feb 9 avoid HS and Feb 10 avoid Epcot.

62 Lauren { 10.27.14 at 2:51 pm }

Hi! Can you tell me how the 2015 summitt all star cheerleading competition on May 1-3 2015 will affect crowds at the resorts, restaurants and parks? Thanks!

63 Dave { 10.29.14 at 7:59 am }

Lauren, happens every year, is well known to have little impact on park wait times or dining. While the hotels will be a little more crowded than if it were not happening, they average more than 80% full anyway, so other than packs of kids it’s hard to notice the difference.

64 Shannon { 10.30.14 at 6:06 pm }

I submitted a previous question regarding our trip in late February with our 4yo and grandparents, now it turns out we may actually be going March 3-7. Please advise on crowds during this week and a recommended park/show itinerary. Thank you!!!

65 Dave { 10.31.14 at 2:00 pm }

Hi Shannon–see my answer to your first comment on the park/show itinerary. Still would do the weekdays…

66 Sherry { 11.16.14 at 8:15 am }

Trying to figure out the best time in 2015 to go shortly after turkey day. Your chart looks like the 28th is best day to check in. We will be staying 7 days not 10…do you still recommend that date? We are looking for the best value and hopefully free dining.

67 Dave { 11.16.14 at 9:01 am }

Sherry, we haven’t seen free dining in that period for the past few years. See for example this for the dates this year

My charts don’t suggest arrival dates as being best. Rather, the best itineraries are 9 days and 8 nights, so a Saturday arrival best fits the typical “week off of work.” For a 7 day trip an arrival date of the 29th or later is best, as the Thanksgiving crowds collapse after the 28th.

68 Carmen { 11.18.14 at 10:15 am }

Hi Dave! My husband my sister in law and I are planing a Disney trip on march 2015 we would be arriving on the 5th and staying for a week. I have seen your crowd calendar and I was wondering how bad would it be, you’ve rate it as “high” but how would you describe it. We are from Paraguay (South America) and we don’t really go to Disney very often so I was wondering if it would be worth it to to on that week. Sorry for the english.

69 Dave { 11.19.14 at 4:32 pm }

Carmen, you can make it work, but you will need to make and follow very good plans. My higher-crowd itinerary doesn’t match your days of the week, so your best bet is to use my book The easy Guide to Your First Walt Disney World Visit 2015

70 Nina { 11.28.14 at 11:15 pm }

Hi, we had our first vacation in 20 years this past October, November. Booked a bounce back offer for this fall with free dining at POFQ for September 12-20th. I really want the lowest crowd level possible and going by your chart it looks like we’ve made the right choice. Can you suggest the best day for each park? We have five base tickets and don’t plan on going to Animal Kingdom this trip. This will be a surprise for my (will be) 11 year old granddaughter who hasn’t stopped talking about her first trip and really wants to go back. I really appreciate your help.

71 Nina { 11.28.14 at 11:22 pm }

That should have been animal. Also want to ask if you know if the crowd level might be heavier during that week due to out of country schools being on break? Thanks again!

72 Dave { 11.29.14 at 10:31 am }

Hi Nina! I won’t be able to recommend days until Disney releases its calendar for then, which it will do in about 3 months. In the meantime, may I suggest my book? See

73 Dave { 11.29.14 at 10:32 am }

Fixed, and no.

74 Nina { 11.30.14 at 11:01 pm }

Hi Dave, Thank you for your response. I am a little bit confused. The crowd calendar on a different page on this site shows the 6th of September as the lowest crowd day, while this page has 9/12-9/19 being lower than 9/5. Please tell me which week you believe will have the lowest crowds in 2015. I realize that this is peak hurricane season, but can you please be specific why you feel this is such a bad time to go? Is it the weather, possible ride closures, or what ? We just went this past Oct/Nov for a 9 day stay, including 7 nights at a deluxe resort, went to MNSSHP and had a hopper so we will have to be more frugal to go again this soon. During our stay the weather was wonderful, but we hated the crowd level. I’d like to try POFQ and I doubt it will be included in future free dining promotions, however I would consider changing resorts later on if the free dining were offered and I could choose a different month. I wish we could go Nov/Dec, but my daughter cannot get away from work during those months. October is the latest she can go. Thank you again. I appreciate all of the information you provide.

75 Dave { 12.01.14 at 9:54 am }

Nina, I don’t have any daily crowd calendars, so I can’t answer your first question. The lowest crowd weeks are the ones marked as 1s on this page, in Jan and Sept. And the Sept weeks are deprecated for first time visitors who may never return because they are in the peak of the hurricane season. Since you are not a first time visitor who may never return, the ranking does not apply to you!!!

76 Adrienne { 12.06.14 at 11:15 am }

We are planning a trip to Disney first few weeks of December 2015. This will be the first time taking our 4 and 3 year old. Are these good weeks to go and what can you tell me about holiday time there. Any rides shut down? Or best resorts and activities to do with them? My husband and I haven’t been for 10 plus years so I’m sure many things have changed. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

77 Dave { 12.06.14 at 1:49 pm }
78 Patti { 12.28.14 at 7:14 pm }

I really want to see and enjoy Disney at Christmas time. Is the first week of Dec good and do they have everything i want to see? Or is the week of CHristmas better? Thank You

79 Dave { 12.30.14 at 9:39 am }
80 Mary { 01.04.15 at 9:24 am }

Hello; we are planning on going to Disney the Thursday of presidents week through following Monday. The crowd calendar drops significantly between these two weeks. Why is that week ranked so high? Due to Valentine’s Day? Trying to figure out how many days we actually are going to hit the parks. Thank you!

81 Dave { 01.04.15 at 11:17 am }

Mary, a lot of northeastern schools have the full week of President’s Day off, so it’s quite crowded. Crowds are lower later in the week.

82 Terri { 01.06.15 at 8:09 pm }

Hello, my family is planning a trip to WDW 12/26/15 – 01/01/16. Your crowd calendar shows very high for this time of year. Can you tell about the ride waits, will we be waiting hours to get on rides and to see attractions? Also, can you tell me about ride closures? Thanks, Terri

83 Dave { 01.07.15 at 7:30 am }

Terri, waits that time of year peak at 4 hours on the most popular rides. Ride closures are rare that week.

84 Victoria { 01.13.15 at 1:45 pm }

Hi, I was hoping to book a trip the week of March 7th and was surprised to see that as such a crowded week. I’m very curious as to why it would be so busy? Thanks for your help!

85 Dave { 01.14.15 at 1:40 pm }

Victoria, for years now that week has been the start of the busy spring break season. See this:

86 cory { 01.19.15 at 5:27 pm }

Hi Dave I booked a trip for the week of chismas 12-24-15 thru
1-2-16 just to do it once. This will be my fourth time going so I have done everything thing there. I think it will be fun to wake up chrismas morning in Disney world what do you think or am I just crazy for this one. It will just be me and my wife our age is mid 30’s.

87 Dave { 01.20.15 at 9:26 am }

Cory, I think so long as you know what you are getting yourself into that it will be a ball to try out!!

88 Jill { 01.24.15 at 6:15 am }

We are going to be in Orlando 2/11-2/13 and would like to spend one day in Magic Kingdom. Any thoughts on which day would be best. Trying to avoid the crowds.

89 Dave { 01.24.15 at 9:06 am }

Jill, 2/11 is the best.

90 Anonymous { 01.27.15 at 4:18 am }

Thanks Dave!

91 Sue { 02.06.15 at 2:54 pm }

My daughter and I are planning a 3 days at WDW in March we arrive March 19th and fly out March 27th. I am just wondering when to visit the parks as it is very busy then. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday would that be are best bet?

92 Dave { 02.07.15 at 7:21 am }

Sue, it varies by park. Which were you thinking of visiting?

93 becca { 02.07.15 at 11:05 pm }

I was curious how you calculate your crowd predictions. I planned a vacation based on your recommendations which has a 3 rating and in the top 10 weeks then according to another site it is a crowd rating of 6. That’s a significant difference.

94 Dave { 02.08.15 at 12:00 pm }

Hi Becca. There’s no consistent treatment of this across sites–and I’m not even aware of another site that does weekly ratings like mine, rather than daily ones. If you give me the week and the other site, then I can tell you which predictions (my or theirs) are more uncertain, and why!

My rankings are designed to guide people to good weeks and away from bad weeks. As a result, I have many fewer “in between” rankings than many have. Specifically, I don’t have an even distribution–same numbers of 5s as 1s, etc. I’m thin on 5, 6 and 7 in particular because on this site those are “maybe but probably not” rankings for first timers who may never return, and I want to limit such wishy-washiness.

95 becca { 02.08.15 at 7:48 pm }

Thanks Dave,
Touring Plans is where I got my info. I am looking to go to Disney February 27. We really hate crowds so I am hoping your information is more accurate.

96 Dave { 02.09.15 at 10:48 am }

Becca I used to think the world of the Touring Plans calendars but I now think the best source of daily crowds is Josh’s site e.g. He’s showing 4s and 5s, which is consistent with my ranking. Hardly any kids are on break that week, and that’s what drives crowds–see this

97 Tami { 02.09.15 at 8:11 pm }

Just found your site and love all the info! But bummed….we are book Febuary 16-22. I thought week after holiday Monday would be a quite week. We were there Jan 4- 10 and even with the marathon found it to be quite enjoyable. Has the week after President Day traditionally been one of the highest?

98 Dave { 02.10.15 at 7:42 am }

Yes, Tami. A lot of Northeastern schools have the whole week off, and many other snow-country families just take it off since it’s already a short week at work and at school, and they need some sun! In 2015 it’s even worse because Mardi Gras also happens to fall that week, and some southern districts have a break around Mardi Gras.

99 Becca { 02.11.15 at 11:31 am }

Thanks Dave for the info! I really appreciate your time efforts and knowledge!

100 Dave { 02.12.15 at 7:49 am }

:) Becca

101 Shannon { 02.21.15 at 8:36 am }

Hey Dave,
Our trip is planned this coming wed-sun. At the parks 26-28…. Looks like a low attendance week per your chart… Any breakdown for days or better parks to hit on days? What a great site you have and such awesome info! Thank you!!!!

102 Dave { 02.21.15 at 10:18 am }

H i Shannon and thanks! The 26th avoid MK, the 27th avoid Epcot, and the 28th avoid HS and MK!

103 Shari { 02.21.15 at 12:52 pm }

Hi Dave! I have been to Disney many times and I took my husband for the 1st time two years ago! We went May 2nd thinking it would be a great time as it was after Spring Break and before Schools got out. It was absolutely awful, I couldn’t believe it! Seems there were band and cheerleader competitions from all over the world that week! Anyway, we are trying to go again and are looking at Mid Sept or Mid October. Any advice and also how do we avoid the activities going on during that time like we were hit with last time? Any ideas appreciated!

104 Dave { 02.22.15 at 10:27 am }

Shari, I’m not sure much how much I can help. If you found early May absolutely awful, there are very few dates with significantly lower wait times. Luckily, though, one of them is September.

However, in September it’s critical to pick the right park on the right day. It’s not just a matter of avoiding EMH days, but also dealing with the very real flow of crowds in and out of MK based on the party schedule. See this.

Once you set your dates, get back to me and I can help with parks to avoid by day…

105 cody w howell { 03.04.15 at 11:44 pm }

Dave we will be arriving sunday march 15 2015 and was planning on going that tuesday to magical kingdom. Now we went last year the first week of august and it was elbow to elbow I was wondering in your opinion which day from monday to wensday would be the best thank you

106 Dave { 03.05.15 at 10:00 am }

Cody, looking pretty bad all week. Tues and Weds will be better than Monday

107 Chasity { 03.05.15 at 3:47 pm }


We will be going october 18th thru the 24th..what parks do u recommend on those days? We are wanting to visit each park and we do want it attend MNSSHP …I was thinking on Thursday the 22nd (was thinking there may be lower crowds for the party on a weekday) what do you think?

108 Dave { 03.05.15 at 4:06 pm }

Hi Chasity! I won’t have an opinion until Disney releases its October calendar, which should be within a week or so.

109 Karen Holmes { 03.06.15 at 12:33 pm }

Hello! We just returned from a wonderful trip the WDW, and while we had a great time, we weren’t expecting the much larger than anticipated crowds for the last week of February… We suspect that the Princess Marathon was the reason. We picked February for the low crowd predictions, but every day, we were so surprised by how packed the parks were. I’m sure they are worse in the summer and on holidays, but at times, it was wall to wall people- pretty thick trying to move through. I’m wondering why none of the crowd calendars I’ve seen seem to reflect to larger crowd this event apparently has begun to attract…? We thought maybe it would thin out as the week progressed, but it never did, and somehow, even though we didn’t go to the parks with extra magic hours at the end on the week, the parks we chose had the largest crowds. I just thought perhaps that last week of February, or whenever they plan the half marathon next year should be revised to reflect the larger crowd. Even the cast members in the parks commented on how much larger the crowd was than usual.

110 Dave { 03.07.15 at 8:10 am }

Well, Karen, the thing is, it was a low crowd week… if you don’t believe me, see this and (way down the page) this.

There’s a number of reasons behind the mismatch of the fact of low crowds and the different feeling people have about their own experience. Many are here.

But I am guessing just from what you said that it is our words that have misled you.

What we all call “Crowd Calendars” are not, in fact, crowd calendars. What they are is ride wait calendars, and waits and crowds are not perfectly correlated.

Specifically, it is quite common for crowds outside the ride queues to be high on days that the waits (compared to alternatives) are low. That’s because people do not fear lines getting longer, and hence aren’t compelled to get into the lines. This can literally put tens of thousands of people on the walkways on “low crowd”–that is, low wait–days.

111 Lindsey Perry { 03.10.15 at 2:23 pm }

How do you feel about 8-14 leaving 8-20. 5 park days. Weather and crowd wise? Thanks! 2 kids 6&5 second trip

112 Dave { 03.10.15 at 3:51 pm }
113 Jane { 03.22.15 at 10:36 pm }

Hi Dave, we are planning a return visit for Thanksgiving week 2015 (after going the same week last year). I wanted to start planning which days we’d be at which parks, but I see that info for that far out isn’t out yet (i.e. no extra magic hours released yet, no month calendar on Josh’s site, etc.). Do I have to wait until right before my 180 day window opens for dining to figure out the days? Or should this info be available sooner? If you could hazard a guess, I’d love the intel: we will arrive on Sat Nov 21 and depart Sat Nov 28, so our full days will be Sun 22 – Fri 27. We are intending (hoping….) to get military salute tickets again, so we’d have 4 day park hoppers–so, 6 days there with only 4 days of parks. Planning to skip Tgiving day as a park day again b/c that worked out well last time, but otherwise open to any suggestions. Things went so well last time using all your advice–I don’t think we waited in any line more than about 15 minutes. Thanks!

114 Dave { 03.23.15 at 11:49 am }

Hi Jane! November won’t be out for around three weeks, but I don’t expect crowd or operating patterns to change compared to last year, so you can use Josh’s Nov 2014 Thanksgivings week for preliminary planning, asking any adjustments (if needed) when the real calendar comes out!

115 Erin { 03.24.15 at 3:50 pm }

Hi Dave,
My family planned on visiting Disney on 11/30/15 to 12/5/15. (We are DCV members.) However, we are finding it very difficult to find a 2 bedroom villa. The only resort available is Animal Kingdom. Is there something going on that week that is taking up all the rooms?

116 Dave { 03.24.15 at 4:54 pm }

Erin, the full Disney Christmas program is in place only 11/27 through 12/18, and savvy travelers–such as DVC owners–know that’s one of the best times of the year to go. So every year it’s really hard to find places you can use your points then (especially earlier in the period) unless you do your home resort before the 7 month window opens…

117 Chasity { 04.07.15 at 11:07 am }


We will be going october 18th thru the 24th..will actually be in parks 19th thru the 23rd. What parks do you recommend on those days? We are wanting to attend MNSSHP …I was thinking on Thursday the 22nd (was thinking there may be lower crowds on a weekday) what do u think?


118 Dave { 04.08.15 at 8:44 am }

Heya Chasity!

The 19th, avoid MK
The 20th avoid Epcot
The 21st avoid MK and AK
The 22nd avoid Epcot
The 23rd avoid AK and Epcot

This close to Halloween all the MVMCPs tend to sell out, but Tuesday may be better than Thursday

119 Mike { 04.13.15 at 7:20 am }

Thinking of attending the MVMCP on the first day. That would be Nov. 8th. Have been to it on other days and it was crowded. Is the first day of the party crowded or normal crowded?

120 Tonya { 04.13.15 at 3:20 pm }

I am planning on taking my 11 year old daughter May 30 – June 6. I know this is busy time but when we could go. We have never been before. Wanting to know if you have any suggestions to make this a smooth trip? Is it worth it to do park hopper passes? Any help is appreciated.

121 Dave { 04.13.15 at 5:13 pm }

Mike it should be “normal”!!

122 Dave { 04.13.15 at 5:24 pm }
123 Mal { 05.15.15 at 11:23 am }

We will be at Disney Oct 29-Nov 6th. Going to MNSSHP on the 1st. Any recommendations on which park which day? Or any other good tips for us 1st timers???? Thanks so much!
P.S. We have 2 LO’s w/ us.

124 Dave { 05.16.15 at 11:43 am }

Mal, I do have a few thousand good tips for first timers on this site lol! Start at the home page and work your way through its topics.

October 29 avoid Epcot
October 30 avoid AK and Epcot
October 31 avoid HS and Epcot
November 1 avoid HS and Epcot
11/2 avoid MK
11/3 avoid Epcot
11/4 avoid MK and AK
11/5 avoid Epcot
11/6 avoid AK and Epcot

125 Mike { 06.18.15 at 2:53 pm }

Dave, thank you! your site has helped us plan two great family vacations. avoiding crowded weeks significantly increases everyones enjoyment. Understandably, you rate the week of Thanksgiving a “10” . In sharp contrast, the week prior to this is rated a “2”. how about the weekend in between? e.g. Sat Nov 21st, Sun 22nd and Mon the 23rd and Tue the 24th ? closer to 2 or 10? when do the “10” crowds tend to arrive ? Sun, Mon? or not until Wed? We are considering flying out Thur Nov 19th and spending 6 full days at the parks. flying back to LA Thanksgiving day (a much quieter travel day compared to Wednesday before Tgiving). thanks again! -Mike

126 Dave { 06.19.15 at 7:19 am }

Mike it used to be that Weds and following were the worst bits of Thanksgiving week, but now it’s pretty much all week–beginning Sunday the 22nd. The 20th and 21st should be fine.

The 20th, avoid AK
The 21st, avoid MK and HS
The 22nd, avoid HS
The 23rd avoid MK
The 24th avoid Epcot
The 25th avoid MK and AK

127 maria { 07.16.15 at 7:11 am }

Hi Dave,
So just to be sure, before making reservations….i live abroad and i’m taking my 11 yr old daughter for the first time (for her) this year. Should we go Dec. 11 – 19, or Dec. 12-20. I’m afraid the 19 will get very crowded already. What’s your advice? this is a good time to go right?
Thanks so much. Maria

128 Dave { 07.16.15 at 7:36 am }

Yes, Maria, the 11th-19th will see one fewer day of high crowds than the 12th to 20th!

129 Michele V { 08.10.15 at 8:07 pm }

Do you know why it is so busy during the first 2 weeks in October? We usually go the 3rd week in Sept but the last 2 years have been very rainy. We thought we would try Oct.
Thanks so much!

130 Dave { 08.13.15 at 8:47 am }

Michele, it’s not very busy then, but the uptick in crowds you see comes from fall breaks being focused on Columbus Day.

131 KAREN { 08.20.15 at 6:30 pm }

Hi, first trip next two weeks starting Monday 24th Aug. I have been checking the live crowd sites this week and the major rides still have lon waits.
will they go down alot next week?

132 Dave { 08.21.15 at 12:08 pm }

Karen, the major rides always have long lines. They are simply much less long during quieter periods–as the week of the 24th will be. But you still need a plan, good FastPass+ selections, etc to minimize waits.

133 Lynn { 08.26.15 at 6:52 pm }

We are finding that all the hotels at Disney even Marriott are sold out for December 1 – December 11th. This is rated slow time. What is going on? Anyway you can answer ASAP? Thank you!!!!

134 Dave { 08.27.15 at 6:38 pm }

Lynn, this happens every year at this time of year. Don’t worry about it. I’ll write a more detailed post early next week on this topic, but the short version is that Disney’s hotels are always highly booked, and don’t serve as a crowd calendar.

135 Lynn { 08.28.15 at 9:20 am }

Thanks Dave, however it is all the hotels. It is every Marriott and all the hotels are packed for some reason like we have never seen before last two weeks in November/beg. of December time frame when it is not supposed to be too busy yet to have all those chains and Disney tells me something very busy is going on and don’t want to stand in at least 45 min lines for each one. That is why I wanted to check. Thank you!

136 Dave { 08.29.15 at 8:49 am }

Lynn, November is a different issue–Thanksgiving is always a zoo, and sees hotels everywhere in Orlando booked up. There’s also two 20,000 person conventions in town (which don’t affect WDW crowds) one before and one after Thanksgiving.

I checked Marriott for 11/29 to 12/5 and found three pages of Orlando availability in its various brands. At WDW, rooms were bookable then at Pop, Sports, Music, CB, the Cabins at FW, AKL, BC, SS, OKW, BLT and VGF.

So I think what’s hurting you is an 11 day trip. At 90% occupancy at WDW (and 80% in the rest of the 100,000 rooms in Orlando), and rooms booked up to 500 days ahead, it will be hard to find a room available at this late date for 11 nights, and you may have to break your hotel reservations into chunks. A travel agent can do this perhaps more easily than you can…

137 Lynn { 08.29.15 at 9:58 am }

Thank you Dave! What about Dev 1-Dec 11 vs Nov 5- Nov 20 which would be more busy at Disney? Your the best for looking into this!!!!!

138 Dave { 08.30.15 at 8:45 am }

Lynn, they are about the same, but the November dates will be harder to book as they are closer.

139 Kristin { 09.03.15 at 8:16 am }

Hi Dave! We’ll be in Orlando 9/5-9/11. We are only visiting the Magic Kingdom for one day with our 2 year old. I’m assuming the Magic Kingdom will crowded Sat-Mon because of Labor Day. Would you recommend visiting the park Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday? Thanks!

140 Dave { 09.03.15 at 12:28 pm }

Kristin, not much in the way of crowds over Labor Day. MK will be best Wednesday!!

141 Happyg { 10.08.15 at 12:36 am }

We are going to be at disney oct 25- 28 (oct 25 arriving around 2 and oct 28 leaving around 2). Plan is oct 25 pm hollywood studios and oct 26 mk and oct 27 tues mk and Oct 28 AK. I know that these are. Usirr times for the places selected but we dont have park hopper and dont need full day at hs or ak…will thia trip be super crowded all around if we flow this itinerary? Any suggestions (oct 26 is the only night MK open latw…we have a 6 year old so he wouldnt be out late but my husband and I might try). What are your thoughts? Thx!!

142 Dave { 10.08.15 at 7:53 am }

Happyg, where are you staying? Weds will be rough at AK unless you are staying at a hotel that does Extra Magic Hours. Use a good itinerary (and get your FastPass+ ASAP) and you can have a good trip otherwise. You can find good approaches to the parks in Chapter 6 of my book.

143 Happyg { 10.08.15 at 11:18 am }

Thanks for your response. We are staying at the Contemporary Garden Wing. Should I get FP for AK on Weds? We were at Disney a year and a half ago so this time, its just a quick trip.. but it seems like it is a busy week there (when I thought it would not be). So, not sure what I could switch up… I know HS is rec’d for Monday, but we really do not need that whole day there… will it be awful on Sunday (got FP for Toy Story, Star Tours and LM… we don’t want to do TT or RR), and want to see the Indiana Jones Show, and Lights etc.. if possible… and Fantasmic.
Will we need FP for AK on Weds if we only want Kilimanjaro Safari, Kali River Rapids (no Dinosuar or Expedition Everest)?

144 Happyg { 10.09.15 at 8:02 pm }

hanks for your response. We are staying at the Contemporary Garden Wing. Should I get FP for AK on Weds? We were at Disney a year and a half ago so this time, its just a quick trip.. but it seems like it is a busy week there (when I thought it would not be). So, not sure what I could switch up… I know HS is rec’d for Monday, but we really do not need that whole day there… will it be awful on Sunday (got FP for Toy Story, Star Tours and LM… we don’t want to do TT or RR), and want to see the Indiana Jones Show, and Lights etc.. if possible… and Fantasmic.
Will we need FP for AK on Weds if we only want Kilimanjaro Safari, Kali River Rapids (no Dinosuar or Expedition Everest)?

145 Dave { 10.10.15 at 9:49 am }

Happyg, with your FP+ and your lack of interest in TT and RR, you should be OK at HS. At AK, depending on the weather Kali may build long lines.

146 Happyg { 10.10.15 at 7:36 pm }

Thank you!! As of now i have fp for mk in case of bad weather for weds. If weather looks good perhaps nite before i can get fp… thx again!!

147 mike { 10.14.15 at 3:21 pm }

Hello Dave, our trip to the MK on Nov. 10 has the Christmas Parade taping. how crowded is it and how bad will it get ? Is there any good news with this surprise thrown at us. Thanks

148 Dave { 10.14.15 at 5:08 pm }
149 mike { 10.15.15 at 11:56 am }

Thanks Dave, don,t know if its a good thing or not. Thank You

150 Virginia { 10.20.15 at 5:03 pm }

My family of four has tickets to MNSSHP on Oct 31 with an ADR at BOG for 4:05pm. I have read that we will be able to enter the park at 4 o’clock. If I send my husband ahead of us will they still honor our reservation if he is possibly 15 minutes late?

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