2015 Weeks to Visit Walt Disney World, Ranked in Order



By Dave Shute

OVERVIEW: THE WEEKS OF 2015 AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

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

If you can’t go then, presented below are the weeks of 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 Week Rankings from yourfirstvisit.net

These week rankings are based on my 2015 Disney World Crowd Calendar and on 2015 Walt Disney World price seasons.

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

(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 at the values and moderates, however, than weeks 1 or 2

Weeks 4 is a very strong week. It has low crowds and prices, and most of Disney World’s holiday program except at Epcot will be in place

  • 4: 11/14/15

Weeks 5 and 6 share great late autumn weather and have low crowds. These are near-tied, but are in calendar order as the best weather is earlier

  • 5: 10/17/15
  • 6: 10/24/15

Week 7 has many of the positive features of week 4, but a price kick-up at the beginning for the end of Jersey Week

  • 7: 11/7/15

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 particularly 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 5 and 6) that follow it
  • 18: 8/8/15. Moderate-plus crowds as the summer season begins to fade away
  • 19: 5/30/15.  Beginning of summer–similar crowds to week 18, but higher prices in deluxes

Weeks 20-27 have one thing in common: they occur during but the peak of the hurricane season. Hurricanes are rare and even more rarely affect a Disney World vacation, but for first-timers who may never return, why not just avoid the risk? They are ranked in order of first crowd levels, and within the same crowd level prices.

Weeks 20 and 21 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

Week 23 has higher crowds than 22, and week 24 slightly higher than 23.

  • 23: 8/29/15
  • 24: 8/22/15

Week 25 has similar crowds to 24, but higher prices at moderates and deluxes.

  • 25: 9/26/15

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.

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 mid-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.

MORE ON WHEN TO GO TO WALT DISNEY WORLD

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78 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…

35 Marlene { 04.23.14 at 11:21 am }

We are starting to plan our 2015 trip with our oldest now starting school which limits the times we can go to between May 29-August 20th for the summer. Based on your calendar week of August 8th has less crowds but will the heat be too overwhelming?

Thank you!

36 Dave { 04.23.14 at 1:53 pm }

Marlene, the heat and humidity is typically horrible until later September. Honestly, until your kids are in AP classes in high school, I’d take them out of school…

37 Belinda { 04.29.14 at 11:07 pm }

I have never been to WDW but was thinking of going Nov 17th-22nd 2015. My question is what are the temperatures and is it hot enough to get in the pools that time of the year. Another thing is my son will be 5 then. Which value resort would be best for him. Thanks for your help in advance.

38 Dave { 04.30.14 at 8:20 am }

Belinda, on November crowds, weather etc see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2014/04/15/november-2014-at-walt-disney-world/ For a five year old boy, I’d recommedn Pop Centruy or All-Star Movies. Links to reviews of them are here: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/04/26/walt-disney-world-resort-hotel-reviews/

39 aurielle { 05.10.14 at 6:23 pm }

hello my family and i are hoping to take a vaction in march of 2015 would that be a good time to go. it would be 3 familys going together we would have 7 kids going and 5 adults kids ages range from 1

40 Dave { 05.11.14 at 4:39 pm }

Aurielle, the only good week in March 2015 will be the first week. The rest of the month will be crowded and expensive.

41 Nicole { 05.22.14 at 12:07 am }

Hello! I am repeating a question I already asked you because I can’t remember where I asked the darn question in the first place, so I am really sorry!

Anyway, we used your site to plan our first trip in December 2012 and now we are headed back in January 2015! I want to start making plans but I am waiting to find out when they will announce ride closures for the winter. We are pretty flexible, but there are a couple of rides that my son would be devastated to miss! Do you know when they usually make these announcements?

Thanks so much! (And sorry for the double post!)

42 Dave { 05.22.14 at 9:57 am }

Nicole, your question, and my not-too-helpful answer, are here: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/06/04/the-press-room-at-yourfirstvisit-net/#comment-494472

43 Nicole { 05.22.14 at 12:12 pm }

A-ha! There it is! Thanks :)

44 Marlene { 05.27.14 at 11:18 am }

I think we have narrowed down our 2015 date to either week 18 May 30th or week 19 August 8th. Any recommendations on one over the other? Price isn’t an issue since we are DVC members and will be using points. Our boys will be 2 and 5 at that point.

Thank you!

45 Marlene { 05.27.14 at 11:19 am }

Oops I got the weeks wrong in my previous post. Sorry.

46 Dave { 05.28.14 at 8:22 am }

Marlene, I like the May dates just a little better–weather will likely be better, and crowds may be a bit lower, though I have then ranked the same right now.

47 Melissa { 05.31.14 at 1:53 am }

Hi Dave,

My family are mostly all adults (with the exception of two under 15) and planning a trip already for 2016 (we can’t save up enough by 2015). We’re looking at potentially 10 people on a budget. Is it too early to start planning? (Two families: 6 and 4) Thinking Art of Animation at your request. Any idea what this would run us and when we should consider as first-time visitors in a low crowd/cheap/not toooo many ride closures time frame? Finally, is Destinations Florida “in the know” with all your recommendations from this site?

48 Dave { 06.01.14 at 9:19 am }

Hi Melissa! It’s never to early to set a budget and start saving. In terms of when to go there’s no perfect time but if cost is a really big deal aim for September–see this http://yourfirstvisit.net/2009/12/21/the-tightwads-guide-to-when-to-go-to-walt-disney-world/

For where to stay, the family of 6 complicates things, as there are few inexpensive options for that size. See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/special-circumstances/special-circumstances-large-families/

49 Cathy { 06.05.14 at 3:21 pm }

Good day sir,
My husband and I have been planning to bring our daughters and their families to walt disney for several years. The date has now been set for the week of May 18, 2015. Our daughters will stay Monday til late Friday, with my husband and I staying on til May 26. We would like to book at Disney Art of Animation resort. The granddaughters will be 5, 4 and 2 years of age. We would like to include a dining plan, park hopper and a character breakfast. We will also need airline tickets from DFW. Could you give any recommendations in whom to contact to help with such a group with these needs?

50 Dave { 06.06.14 at 7:54 am }

Hi Cathy–do you mean a travel agent? If so, I work with Destinations in Florida–here: http://destinationsinflorida.com/?affId=96837

51 Colleen { 06.09.14 at 11:44 am }

Is the reason you rank late January at the bottom of the weeks to go list strictly based on ride closures? I assume you feel its significant? Sounds like a great time to me. But we do tend to go once a year or so (and I realize not every can or cares to (weirdos!)). What do you think the chances of the new rides being closed (ie. dwarf mine train)? And do rides tend to close every year, obviously I can understand the older ones do due to increased maintenance needs, but how about new ones? Thanks so much for what you do! I love your site and tell all my friends about it.

52 Dave { 06.10.14 at 8:33 am }

Hi Colleen and thanks!

The rankings are for first time visitors who may never return. So the ride closure season gets nailed. Splash Mountain, for example, in many people’s top 5 of all of WDW, is almost always closed at least part of the time then. Closures are otherwise unpredictable.

For returning visitors who can see a missed ride another year, the late Jan-early Feb dates are wonderful!

53 Krista { 06.25.14 at 9:39 am }

Hi Dave! LOVE LOVE LOVE your site! I’m wondering if you know when Disney will announce their pricing for Jan/Feb/March 2015? I’m anxious to start planning for February and called to receive room quotes but am eager to get the “real deal”. Also, I would think it’s possible to get 14 day tickets, but the website only goes up to 10 days…any insight on that?
Thanks!
Krista

54 Dave { 06.26.14 at 8:11 am }

Hi Krista and thanks!!! The “real” prices oughta come out any day now. Disney limits tix to ten days…although I know some overseas packages are for longer. It may be worth a call to see if there’s something longer than 10 that you can get.

55 Lucia { 06.27.14 at 8:54 pm }

Hi Dave,
We have booked our stay for the week of April 25th. I was really happy we will have great weather on lower crowds, until someone told me s love bug season and I shunt go to Florida tat week. Are love bugs such a ad thing at WDW?

56 Dave { 06.29.14 at 8:43 am }

Lucia, the love bug seaosn–typically twice a year–is a trivial annoyance unless you are driving your own fancy car, in which case you need to take special steps to keep them from marring the finish. Otherwise they just bump into you a bit at the pools, tickling but having zero other effect.

57 Gemma { 07.06.14 at 2:49 am }

Hi Dave, your site is fantastic, really useful when planning my trip last year. Last time we visited in late Feb/early March 2014 and crowds were quite heavy (think because of a huge local conference). In 2015 we were hoping to visit just after Easter. Not the best time we know but now we have kids in school (we live in UK) and have to fit a trip around school holidays. What do you think of the dates April 6th-16th? Will it be super crowded? Thanks!

58 Dave { 07.06.14 at 9:59 am }

Hi Gemma! It will be much more crowded than your Feb/March dates through the 11th. However, with your experience you should be able to make the crowded days work, as you know how to do things now!

59 Nick { 07.15.14 at 9:38 pm }

Hey Dave, nice work on analyzing all of these statistics. I have once suggestion. Can you also factor in the dates that the parks are open the longest and shortest amount of time? They can range from 10 to 16 hours of operation. Those extra 6 hours can make a huge difference in time as well. Maybe a certain week is better on crowds, but you might have less time to get around the park anyway because it closes earlier than other days. Funny the price of admission doesn’t reduce when they close early. Thanks for your research!

60 Dave { 07.16.14 at 6:32 am }

Hi Nick and thanks for the thought! Opening hours are wildly complicated, and don’t relate to waits in the ways you might think. Typically you can see more in a low crowd 10 hour day than a high crowd 16 hour day…

61 Thomas DiDonato { 07.29.14 at 10:38 am }

We went from Jan. 26th to Feb. 3rd 2014. It was very crowded. I think
All of South America was there. Hotel prices were good, and u cant
Beat free dining plan. Thanks for great site..

62 Nicola { 08.01.14 at 5:16 pm }

Hi Dave, great site! We’ve booked our Honeymoon for Oct 15-27th 2015 and I’m starting to panic slightly about crowds. We had it very good on our previous trip Sept 12-27th 2013 and pretty much walked around empty parks the whole time (apart from HS, that was always busy?). We’ve decided to go for October as we want to catch the food and wine festival and have less rain (fingers crossed) and humidity. But I’ve just found out its half term during October (school holidays for the UK) and Colombus day just before we get there. Am I panicking for no reason? Or should I consider moving things back/forward?

Thanks
Nicola

63 Dave { 08.02.14 at 7:46 am }

Nicola, the UK does not send enough traffic to matter, and Columbus Day crowds in 2014 will slow by 10/15–see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2014/07/30/fall-breaks-and-autumn-2014-crowds-at-walt-disney-world/ So you will be fine!

64 Nicola { 08.02.14 at 10:39 am }

Thanks Dave! We will notice a bit of a difference in crowds compared to beginning of September though won’t we? Hopefully nothing too drastic!

65 Bev { 08.02.14 at 11:36 pm }

Hi Dave,
So happy I have found your site. This is brilliant!!!

I have a quick question for you. We have lunch at CRT at 12pm and then I have a FP+ reservation at Space Mountain at 1.00-2.00pm as I had read somewhere on your site that you should allow 90 minutes for character meals. We should therefore finish CRT at 1.30pm and make it to Space Mountain on time? Or should I go for a slightly later time to be on safe side as there is a 1.50pm – 2.50pm slot for Space Mountain? Just want to make sure we are ready for the afternoon parade at 2.30pm you have said. What should we do?

Also, there are 13 of us and we have the table dining plan for 6 nights (1 counter, 1 table and 1 snack each day) but have more Table service meals booked than this so just wondered where we are best to use our dining plan credits vs paying for the meal?
1. Fantasmic Dining Package (dinner)
2. Only 5 of us have booked Akershus (lunch)
3.Chef Mickey (dinner)
4. 1900 Park Fare (dinner)
5.Crystal Palace (dinner)
6. Hoop de Doo Show (dinner) 2 credits
7. Cinderellas Royal Table (lunch) 2 credits
8. Whispering Canyon (dinner)
9. Sci- Fi Diner (lunch)

Thanks so much and am about to buy your kindle now that I love your site so much!
Bev

66 Dave { 08.03.14 at 1:07 pm }

Nicola it will be a little more crowded. Even more cortically, the timing of the Halloween parties can send massive or light crowds to MK and the other parks, so picking the right park the right day is critical that time of year…see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/04/30/crowds-and-walt-disney-world/

67 Dave { 08.03.14 at 1:12 pm }

Hi Bev and thanks!!!!

You oughta be able to get to Space Mountain, but it can’t hurt to delay! And on the meals–in general the two credit meals are best paid for in cash, since the way the math works they “cost” only about 1.5 credits.

68 Bev { 08.06.14 at 4:25 am }

Thanks Dave. That’s great advice thank you. Am assuming that the 5 in our group doing Akershus should use their credits for that then and the other 8 of us use ours at Sci-Fi Diner.
Also, checking in online to AK Lodge, I know you have suggested to someone else 3rd or 4th floor near lobby but when I went to check in I could only pick two of the following:
Ground Floor, Upper Floor, Near Lobby (tick), Near elevator, Sunset Savaanna view, Highest floor, Kudu Trail View, Lower floor, Near transportation. Which one is considered 3rd or 4th floor??
You are the best!
Bev

69 Dave { 08.06.14 at 10:15 am }

Bev, sign up for “higher floor” then also call– see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2014/03/25/getting-your-disney-world-room-request/

70 Bev { 08.06.14 at 4:07 pm }

Thanks Dave, that article is very helpful! Will have to use your agents that you recommend next time. When you say “Higher Floor” – sorry but do you mean “Upper Floor” or “Highest Floor” which are my two options? And this is a better request than asking for sunset savant view or Kudu trail view?
Cheers
Bev

71 Dave { 08.07.14 at 7:01 am }

Upper floor, Bev!! And I don’t think which Savanna matters much…

72 Anne Curry { 08.21.14 at 1:50 pm }

Hi there,
Thanks for your site, it’s very informative!
I plan to visit with my husband children (14 & 9) for 2 weeks from August 15th or 17th 2015. We are in England, don’t want to take them out of school.
How busy is it likely to be (ie wait time for big rides)? Also as we will be visiting Space Centre, Discovery Cove, Universal etc we plan to stay in a Disney Villa. Which ones do you prefer, Boardwalk or Beach Club and when do they go on sale? There seems to be no availability at the moment on the WDW website!

73 Tina { 08.22.14 at 12:04 am }

Hey Dave, We are planning our 2015 Disney Vacation. We always try to come in Nov when the Christmas is going on. Usually around the second week. I noticed that the week of the 14th was a good week but hoping to get free dining. In times past free dining would usually start the second full week of Nov. We like to try and get in for the Christmas and free dining. What do you think about this week and is it better to start your days on a Sat or Sun. We usually go for the whole week. Thanks for this site.

74 Dave { 08.22.14 at 11:40 am }
75 Dave { 08.22.14 at 11:47 am }

Tina, I’ve got no insight into free dining next year, but would a. follow the patterns of prior years–e.g. this http://yourfirstvisit.net/2014/05/07/general-public-free-dining-for-select-arrival-dates-august-december-2014/ and b. would expect any deal to begin Sunday.

76 Matt { 08.24.14 at 10:38 pm }

Dave,
First off, thanks so much for this site. It’s amazing!
We live in California and are able to visit Disneyland every 3-4 years, so many of the ride closures are not such a big deal for us since we can experience the Disneyland versions. Our kids are 8 and 11 years-old, and this will be our first and (probably) only visit to Disney World, and to make it affordable, we have to go when I have a conference for work in Orlando (pays for my tickets and part of the hotel!), so we’re stuck with the week we have to go. We’re planning to go the week of 1/18/15 (arrive in Orlando Sunday evening, spend 3 days at the Disney parks and two days at Universal – the kids are Harry Potter fanatics – then fly out Saturday afternoon). Which days do you suggest going to which Disney parks, and which days are we better off skipping Disney and hitting Universal (not asking for opinions on Universal, I know that’s not your area, but that’s what we’ll be doing on non-Disney days)?
Thanks!

77 Matt { 08.24.14 at 10:40 pm }

Re: previous comment – it pays for my plane tickets, not the park tickets!

78 Dave { 08.26.14 at 6:53 am }

Matt, historically Universal has been least crowded Sat-Mon, and most crowded Thurs and Fri. The holiday gets in the way of that pattern your dates, so I’d aim for Tues and Weds at HP. Among the Disney parks Animal Kingdom and Epcot are the most different from California, Hollywood Studios tends to disappoint people who know DLR the best.

Assuming the Tues/Weds at Universal, do AK on Monday, Epcot on Thurs, and MK on Friday…

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