2015 Weeks to Visit Walt Disney World, Ranked in Order



By Dave Shute

OVERVIEW: THE WEEKS OF 2015 AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

Walt Disney World Week Rankings for 2015 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 is the first draft of weeks of 2015 in order of best to worst.

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.

Disney World 2015 Weeks to Visit Rankings from yourfirstvisit.net v1--the weeks of the year ranked in orderThese week rankings are based on my draft 2015 Disney World Crowd Calendar and projected 2015 Walt Disney World price seasons.

Other factors are key as well–the Christmas season, ride closure season and hurricane season in particular.

I will revise these rankings at least once, in the summer of 2014.

(For 2014 rankings, see this.)

RECOMMENDED 2015 WEEKS, RANKED IN ORDER

The recommended weeks that follow are wonderful weeks to visit Walt Disney World in 2015.

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: 11/28/15.

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

  • 2: 12/5/15. 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
  • 3: 12/12/15. A week as good as week 1 on crowds and holiday programs. Much more expensive, however, than weeks 1 or 2

Weeks 4 and 5 are very strong weeks. They have 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 week #5, and most of Disney World’s holiday program except at Epcot will be in place during week #4

  • 4: 11/14/15
  • 5:  11/7/15

Weeks 6 and 7 share great late autumn weather and have low crowds. These are near-tied, but are in calendar order as the best weather is earlier

  • 6: 10/17/15
  • 7: 10/24/15

Weeks 8 and 9 share great late spring weather, low crowds but moderate prices. The April week comes out a little ahead because of slightly better weather

  • 8: 4/25/15
  • 9: 5/2/15

Weeks 10 is your best 2015 Spring Break bet, with low crowds and moderate prices

  • 10: 2/28/15

Week 11 is similar to week 8, with slightly higher crowds

  • 11: 4/18/15

Week 12 is similar to week 9, but with more chance of the beginning of summer-like weather

  • 12: 5/9/15

Week 13 is similar to week 10, but has higher crowds at the beginning of the week

  • 13:  2/21/15

Week 14 is similar to week 11, but with slightly higher crowds, especially at the beginning of the week

  • 14: 4/11/15

This completes the weeks in 2015 that are recommended.

WEEKS I’M NOT SO KEEN ON

Weeks 15-19 all have moderate crowd levels, with different prices and weather. I don’t recommend moderate-crowd weeks for first time visitors, but would go myself such weeks with no hesitation.

They are in order of least to most crowded, and within crowd groups are sorted by price.

  • 15: 10/31/15. Jersey Week”—teacher meetings in New Jersey, leading to a massive temporary immigration of New Jersey families to Orlando. Crowds moderate-minus, prices low, almost never discounted
  • 16: 5/16/15. Similar to week 12 but with higher crowds and more summer-like weather. Crowds moderate-minus. Prices moderate
  • 17: 10/10/15. Columbus Day week with higher crowds and prices than the great weeks (ranked 6 and 7) that follow it
  • 18: 8/8/15. Moderate-plus crowds and low prices as the summer season begins to fade away
  • 19: 5/30/15.  Beginning of summer–similar crowds to week 18, but higher prices

Weeks 20-27 have one thing in common: they occur during but the peak of the hurricane season.

They are ranked in order of first crowd levels, and within the same crowd level prices.

Weeks 20 and have among the lowest crowds and lowest prices of the year.

  • 20: 9/19/15
  • 21: 9/12/15

Week 22 has slightly higher crowds than weeks 20 and 21.

  • 22: 9/5/15

Weeks 23 and 24 have slightly higher crowds than 22.  There are slight price differences among these which drive the order within them.

  • 23: 8/29/15
  • 24: 9/26/15

Week 25 has slightly higher but still low crowds than the rest in this hurricane group, because of lingering effects of summer breaks. Prices are low.

  • 25: 8/22/15

Weeks 26 and 27 are the only moderate-crowd weeks in this hurricane group

  • 26: 10/3/15
  • 27: 8/15/15

2015 WEEKS TO AVOID AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

There’s two groups of weeks to avoid:  high crowd weeks and weeks when rides are often closed.

The first group, ranked 28-47, should be avoided because of crowds ranging from high to unbelievable. (Click the table for the exact ranking of these weeks, and for more specifics on crowds and prices.)

This group includes all of later June, July and early August (massive crowds, higher prices). Prices go down in Deluxes starting in mid-July, and in the other resorts in early August.

It also includes the busy March Spring Break weeks beginning 3/7/2015, and the holiday weeks—President’s Day week, the weeks before and after Easter, Thanksgiving week, and the weeks around Christmas.

Click the table for exact rankings within these lousy weeks.

The next group includes the January and early February weeks when rides are often closed for repair or refurbishment—weeks 48-53.

Many of these weeks have the lowest crowds and lowest prices of the year.

(But not all--click the table above.)

However, this is the peak time for ride closures at Walt Disney World, especially the January weeks.

If this may be your only family visit, why go when you know some of the best of Disney World will be closed?

If you must go during this period, avoid the first week of January (massive crowds), and the Martin Luther King (1/17/15 arrival date) Day holidays.

The Marathon Weekend (affecting arrival dates of 1/3 and 1/10/15) complicates and crowds the parks as well.

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34 comments

1 Troy { 12.09.13 at 8:51 am }

Hey Dave – I’m not trying to be a snotty grammar cop, but you strike me as the kind of person that would want to know, so you could correct it. Weeks 4 & 5: “they has low crowds…”

Even though our trip was a year ago and there are no plans for going again anytime soon, I still enjoy checking in and reading your site. Have a good Christmas…

2 tobey { 12.09.13 at 9:52 am }

we just got back from Disney. Our stay was from 11/30 to 12/7. It was busier than I have ever seen on this week. This is usually a good week to go (wk after Thanksgiving) but it was crowded more than it usually is. A family we were talking to said that they have been coming for 14 years the Saturday after Thanksgiving and have never seen it as busy as it was and that the crowds are usually low. What do you think is the reason? Could it be that everyone is catching on to this low crowd week, or do you think it’s because Thanksgiving was late this year?

3 Dave { 12.10.13 at 7:23 am }

Troy! Great to hear from you, and I love hearing about any kind of error–it just makes the site better. You and yours have a great Christmas too!

4 Dave { 12.10.13 at 7:27 am }

Tobey today’s my last day at WDW on a trip that started Tuesday the third, and the parks have been about as I expected them to be.

They are a little more crowded than last year, as they are every year, because of people, as you note, catching on!!–but not too much.

This is a time of year when because of hugely varying operating hours and evening programming at MK, which park you got to which day really matters. But even with that, late afternoon yesterday at MK headliner waits were only 45-60 mins–and this on an EMH day with the full evening program sandwiched between two early close days–that is, a high crowd day at MK…and Friday afternoon, headliner waits at MK were 30-45 mins…

5 Tobey { 12.10.13 at 10:23 am }

Thanks Dave! I didn’t think the crowds were insane, just busier than usual. I was also traveling with 2 other families so I think that made it difficult at times, because of all the age differences and preferences.

6 Dave { 12.11.13 at 8:31 am }

Touring Plans released an analysis that showed they were indeed up last week, but that it varied a lot by day/park. See http://blog.touringplans.com/2013/12/09/walt-disney-world-crowd-report-december-1-7-2013/

7 Cassie { 12.11.13 at 5:40 pm }

Starting off – love your site, great info. I was visiting 11/30 – 12/7 as well – wondering if the data that Touring Plans released on last week will affect your recommendations for 2015? We will probably return in 2015. I have traveled to WDW in the past during each of the Sept, Oct, Nov and December months and by far the Sept and Nov trips were the least busy and didn’t have much for ride closures – just have to deal with the heat. Would think those would make better experiences for first time visitors IMHO. . .we had 4 in our group that were there for the first time last week and it was a bit busy for our collective tastes. . .they came away thinking that WDW is crazy busy all the time if last week was a low crowd week :)

8 Dave { 12.12.13 at 7:23 am }

Hi Cassie, and thanks!!!

I was there last week (Tuesday the 3rd through Tuesday the 10th), and found the crowds fine–but I went to the right parks on the right days! See this for the general point http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/04/30/crowds-and-walt-disney-world/ and this for a “trip report” of a kind: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2013/12/12/fastpass-test-3-a-couple-of-meet-ups-more-resort-hopping/ These weeks get alittle more corwded each year…but are still a strong time to go.

I do like a lot for first time visitors who may never return late Oct (because out of the peak of the hurricane season) and November after Jersey week and before Thanksgiving week. For repeat visitors, the peak of the hurricane season matters less, so I’d add Sept for them!

9 Pete { 01.04.14 at 12:28 pm }

What a great site! Thanks for all the effort. We are a veteran Disney family changing visit for 2015 from late fall to winter. Looking at weeks jan 24-30, jan 31-February 6, Feb 21-27, or February 28-mar 6. Low crowds are a huge priority for us, especially with fast pass plus cramping our fast pass style. Just trying to balance better weather and ride closures with low crowds during these four weeks. How much lower will crowds be earlier dates? Will things closed jan typically be open in February or will closures be roughly the same. Closure concerns would mostly be on the big rides only. Thanks for any advice. I know it’s all educated guessing this far out.

10 Dave { 01.05.14 at 8:57 am }

Hi Pete and thanks!!

For low crowds it’s the Jan 24 or Jan 31 arrival dates.

To avoid ride closures but still see lower crowds, I’d pick Feb 28.

The crowd difference is substantial between these options, but myself I’d still pick the end of Feb. Crowds are still low enough then to be manageable, you avoid–as you note–the ride closure season, and the odds are it won’t be as cold…

11 Haylz { 01.18.14 at 4:45 am }

Hi,
I have found your website very useful, we are hoping to visit Disney world next year (2015) my husband has a special birthday coming up November 3rd was hoping to be in Florida for it. After looking at your best times to visit some of November is looking pretty good if you get it right. We have a little girl too so it would be nice to see some Christmas decorations up if we timed it right, we would prefer to go for 2 weeks which 2 weeks would you highly recommend for first time visitors. Thank You

12 Dave { 01.18.14 at 10:17 am }

Hi Haylz and I’m glad the site is helping! I recommend in November the two weeks beginning November 7!

13 Denise { 01.21.14 at 9:03 pm }

We’re planning a 3rd family trip in 2015. My kids will be 10, 6, and 4. I completely agree with leaving really young kids at home (which is what we did with our 2 year old this year). We are the type of disney travelers that love taking a midday break for the pool. We were thinking about going in November but I’m worried the weather may be too chilly for the pool. My husband was thinking maybe the end of August instead but that may be too hot for walking around. What’s the weather like for September and October???

14 Dave { 01.22.14 at 7:55 am }

Denise, I highly recommend the second half of October. You’ll be out of both summer heat and also the peak of the hurricane season, but won’t likely see the weather variability of November. For more on the weather in these months, see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/when-to-go/next-best-dates/weather-and-when-to-go/

15 Denise { 01.22.14 at 11:26 am }

I was looking at the weather you posted but it is a little complex! :) So, the week of Columbus day may be good then?? Thanks.

16 Dave { 01.23.14 at 7:21 am }

Denise, the week of Columbus day is a little crowded and expensive. I meant the last two weeks–the weeks beginning 10/18 and 10/25

17 Kara { 01.31.14 at 11:10 pm }

I have spent hours pouring over your site. You have so much great information. I am wondering what week you would suggest if my children REALLY want to go the water parks. I am thinking about weeks 6 or 7. What are our chances of free dining during that week? Also, would you suggest booking another day for one of the water parks or do you think we could squeeze them in during some of the free times or maybe the last day? We plan to follow your 8 day itinerary for the most part. My kids will be 8 and 9 and we will be driving so we have some flexibility on when we leave the last day. This will be our first trip to Disney World, but we have been to Disneyland. I am willing to spend a little more to go the water parks, but budget does remain a very important concern for us.

18 Dave { 02.01.14 at 10:17 am }

Hi Kara! I’d look to the May dates if waterparks are really critical to you–weeks 9 and 12.

There’s not a huge difference, but May temps are both a little higher and a little less variable, and you pretty much eliminate “rain from tropical storms” risk in May, while you’ve got a bit of that still in later October. For the details see this http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/when-to-go/next-best-dates/weather-and-when-to-go/

You can definitely squeeze a waterparks morning in, but at the cost of being crankier and more exhausted when you leave…I’d add a day…

19 DaniellePerry { 02.11.14 at 11:41 am }

Hi- We are in the midst of planning a 5th trip next year. My kiddos will be 8 and 10. Is there a major weather/crowd difference between the last week in April and the last week in May?

20 Dave { 02.12.14 at 8:04 am }

Yes there is Danielle, on both. The last week of May is a holiday week that also shows the beginning of summer breaks. The last week of April 2015 will be much less crowded. See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2013/12/05/disney-world-crowds-in-2015/

Sometime in May–the date varies–Orlando switches from spring to hot, muggy and rainy summer. See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/when-to-go/next-best-dates/weather-and-when-to-go/

21 Diane { 03.19.14 at 4:07 pm }

We are in the process of booking a trip 2/14/15-2/21/15. Do you know if they do offer discounts during presidents week off?

22 Dave { 03.20.14 at 7:52 am }

Diane, Disney hardly ever offers deals during wildly crowded and very expensive weeks such as President’s week.

23 Diane { 03.20.14 at 9:07 am }

One more question, we do have 3 young kids, do u think the crowds and long wait times will be unbearable during presidents week? Also, being that mardi gras falls on February 17th for 2015 which is the same week as presidents week does this make crowd levels worse?

24 Diane { 03.20.14 at 2:27 pm }

Continuation from above. Sorry about that. Do u find that the crowds during summer are the same as February break?
Thank you again for your help.

25 Dave { 03.21.14 at 8:19 am }

Diane, yes Mardi Gras will make it worse. I don’t think it will be unbearable, but there are much better weeks that will be more pleasant and also less expensive.

26 Dave { 03.21.14 at 8:21 am }

Diane crowds are about the same…

27 Chelsa { 03.22.14 at 10:43 am }

We are starting to plan our 2015 trip to Disney. My husband has been before, but the children and myself have not. We all would like to see the holiday lights without all the crowd. We have been looking at the week of November 28, 2015. My husbands family have timeshare down there so we will not be using the accommodations inside the park. We are also planning in our seven day trip to Visit Universal and Sea World. With that said, what is my best and most economical tickets to purchase to get into Disney. We are a family of 5 and we have some friends going with us and they are a family of 6 (all the kids’ ages 11,10,9,8,and three 7 year olds). We would like some relaxation time at the resort as well. I look forward to your response. Thanks you

28 Dave { 03.22.14 at 2:54 pm }

Chelsa, while it’s hard to say what may be true in 2015, in general there are no “economical” Disney World tickets. You can sometimes find them for 3-5% off…see this: http://www.mousesavers.com/walt-disney-world-vacation-discounts-and-deals/disney-world-ticket-pass-discounts/

29 Sydney { 03.23.14 at 7:12 am }

Hey Dave! I am planning a trip to come October 17th – 23rd of 2015, from reading your article I feel confident in the week we have chosen since we want to experience the Halloween decorations and the Food and Wine Festival… What do you are tips for coming this week? We always come the second week in December or February so this is a big change for us!

30 Dave { 03.23.14 at 11:30 am }

Hi Sydney! O H … But to your question, I won’t have any specifics to offer for 2015 until Disney releases its calendars for then–whihc it does about 6.5 months ahead–or a year from now…

31 Hayley { 04.10.14 at 5:13 am }

Hi, I keep reading through your website it’s so helpful as we have not visited Florida before, We have picked 7th November 2015 to visit for our first time visit but have now seen that you recommend as the best week being 28th November 2015 even though it overlaps thanksgiving slightly would it be crowed still. Is the 28th November better than 7th November? And in relation to swimming is it warm enough to swim during November? thank you its so hard to pick the right time to go.

32 Dave { 04.10.14 at 1:27 pm }

Hayley, as you can see from the chart, over the course of the week these are very similar. You’ll have a bit of crowds at the beginning of both weeks, clearing up each week by Sunday evening. The later week has the full Christmas program, the earlier one just bits of it. Both weeks have very variable temps, so you can’t count on swimming either. It’s likely–you just can’t count on it.

33 Dan { 04.12.14 at 9:43 pm }

Dave, this site has been so awesome as we’ve planned multiple trips to WDW! Thanks for all of your hard work and the hours you put in to help everyone!

Planning a trip next February. I work for a school, so my dates are unfortunately set for me. For the first time ever, our school is having a “winter break” next February; basically, we will travel to WDW Feb. 19-24, 2015. At first I thought “February, awesome! Low crowds!” But after looking at your calendars… Not feeling that way anymore….

What is the reasoning behind the spike in crowd levels that week? I know it is Presidents’ Day, but I guess I never thought of that as a major holiday that people would travel….

Just curious. Thanks again for this awesome site!

34 Dave { 04.13.14 at 12:08 pm }

Hey Dan, and thanks! A ton of kids in the northeast have the whole week off. Other families simply take the week off, to get away form the cold before the zoo in Florida of later March. So it’s always a mess at WDW…worse in 2105 because its also Mardi Gras week, when a few southern states are off too…

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