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Disney World Crowds in 2016



By Dave Shute

April   May   June   July    August   September   October   November

2016 CROWDS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

Disney World Crowds in 2016 from yourfirstvisit.netThe chart lower on the page shows my forecasts for 2016 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 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

Disney World 2016 Crowd Calendar from yourfirstvisit.net.png

HOW TO INTERPRET THE 2016 DISNEY WORLD CROWD CALENDAR

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 often best avoided by first timers who may never return 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 particularly recommend to first time visitors, though the crowds can be managed with careful planning and lots of early mornings. 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.

MY DISNEY WORLD CROWD CALENDAR GOES UP TO “11”

The influence of the Unofficial Guide  and TouringPlans.com 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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242 comments

1 Kelly B - Agent with Destinations in Florida { 09.25.14 at 7:38 pm }

Hmmm, when to go, when to go. My vote is January or second week in September.

2 Lindsey { 09.29.14 at 10:11 am }

Hi Dave
We are looking at arriving on February 4th and leaving on the 10th or 11th. The 4th will be an arrival non-park day. This will be my family’s 4th time in the last few years but my sister and her husband and children are coming for the first time. When will you have a calendar out as to state what park will be the beat for each day? We are off the week of mardi gras but are trying to get there a bit early as to avoid to high of crowds later in the week. I know I’m early on this, just trying to plan ahead!

Thanks!

Lindsey

3 Dave { 09.30.14 at 6:53 am }

Hi Lindsey! I don’t do such calendars–I just answer when people ask! And I usually frame it as parks to avoid, so that you have more flexibility…

Those dates,
2/5 avoid MK
2/6 avoid Epcot
2/7 avoid MK and HS
2/8 avoid AK
2/9 avoid HS
2/10 avoid Epcot

4 Lindsey { 09.30.14 at 8:53 am }

Thanks so much!! You’re awesome!!

5 Lindsey { 09.30.14 at 9:58 am }

Just want to make sure you know I’m talking about 2016.

6 Dave { 09.30.14 at 6:29 pm }

Oh Lindsey then ignore this! I won’t have any good advice for good days in Feb 2016 until Disney releases its calendar for then, whihc it will do in late July 2105…

7 Lindsey Kennedy { 01.06.15 at 11:19 pm }

I’m considering running the Glass Slipper Challenge in 2016. We were planning on going back to WDW Nov/Dec 2015 but we may put it off a couple of months if I decide to run. If we come for the race, but plan to make a full week’s vacation out of it, would it be better to come the week before and fly home after the race or fly in on Friday and stay the week after the race? Thanks for your help!

8 Dave { 01.07.15 at 7:31 am }

Oh Lindsey I dunno! It depends on how you train and recover–if it was me, I’d put the vacation/recovery after the race, and train in my usual setting before it.

9 Stacey { 02.09.15 at 12:07 am }

We are looking into visiting from Dec 31-Jan 10. I see that the marathons are happening Jan 7-10. How does it effect crowds? Which parks would you avoid each day?

10 Dave { 02.09.15 at 10:50 am }

Stacey you will see wild crowds through Jan 2. Things will then be pretty empty until Friday the 8th, when marathon folk clot up the parks a bit–and the roads more. Their crowding effect will be trivial compared to what you’ll see up to the 2nd.

11 Kelly Browne { 02.13.15 at 1:43 pm }

We are thinking of going to WDW in October. You are forcasting low crowds but some of the other calendars I’ve seen are forcasting moderate to high. I’m really hoping for low crowds since our last trip to Disneyland was wall to wall people. How do you determine the crowd levels for the month?

12 Dave { 02.15.15 at 9:36 am }

Hi Kelly, you are on the 2016 crowd calendar– not sure if you mean October 2015 or October 2016. Either way, both years I only rate only half the month as low–the other half as moderate. No one else (that I know of) ranks weeks, and there’s no consistent definition of “low.” My “low” means I’d recommend that week to first timers who might never return with no hesitation–so long as they had a good plan, etc, of course.

Daily rankings will be much different, as they get averaged across my weeks. Disney’s October 2015 operating calendar is not out yet, but I can tell you now that the period from early September through mid-December is the most important all year for picking the right parks on the right days. That is, you’ll see once these hours come out big per-park differences in wait times, even though the overall week may be lower crowd.

In particular, avoid World Showcase at Epcot on weekends; avoid parks when they have extra magic hours; avoid MK on nights where it has late closes and shows the evening parade and fireworks, sandwiched between nights with 7p closes.

For more on the principles here, see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/04/30/crowds-and-walt-disney-world/ (Ignore the references to FASTPASS–that’s been replaced…)

13 Barrett { 02.15.15 at 9:34 pm }

Hi, our family is planning a trip in the second half of March ’16. which has been marked as very bad. is this because of ride closure, or crowds. We are looking at being around for 2 weeks so could time visits throughout the week. What are your thoughts?

14 Dave { 02.16.15 at 8:20 am }

Barrett, the weeks before and after Easter are reliably among the most crowded and highest priced of the year, and earlier March (except the first week) is almost as bad. You can make it work–and it will be easier if you have more days, as this gives you more FastPass+ and more early mornings.

15 Pete { 03.06.15 at 11:11 pm }

Great site Dave. On a practical level, what is your guesstimate difference in ride wait times between a crowd level 1 week like 1/30 and a crowd level 3 week like 2/27. Are we talking just a few minutes per ride? 5? 10? More? For example sake, Figure waits on popular yet not headline rides like jungle cruise, haunted mansion, pirates, pooh etc. Thanks.

16 Dave { 03.07.15 at 8:13 am }

Pete, on average, just five to ten few minutes per ride.

17 Steve { 03.17.15 at 6:38 am }

Hi Dave, Use your site every year we go -so helpfull!!
Can i ask when exactly will you be doing the revised draft of the crowd calender 2016? We are planning on going late April/Early May 2016 (which looks ok from the above draft) have you any idea if this is likely to change by a large margin? We would love to start booking but wish to avoide US school closures to keep crowds to a minimum!
Thanks again for all your information your site provides.
Steve, from not so sunny England!

18 Dave { 03.17.15 at 8:09 am }

Hi Steve, and so glad the site is helping! I revise the crowd calendar in the summer–when the calendars of the 180 or so US school district I track are complete. (Some districts do calendars years ahead, some wait until June or later).

That said, the only weeks of 2016 I worry about changing much are in early April. Late April and early May are very stable and they won’t materially change.

19 Melissa { 03.18.15 at 10:44 pm }

What’s going on Feb 13th 2016 week that has the crowd estimate so high?

20 Dave { 03.20.15 at 9:43 am }

The week of Presidents Day is mobbed at Disney World every year, Melissa, as many NE school districts have the whole week off.

21 Jason { 03.26.15 at 10:16 am }

Hi Dave,

I am looking to take my kids to Disney for the first time next winter for a week. I had seen a couple of other sights list the last 2 weeks of Feb and first 2 weeks of March as generally lighter crowds. We had been looking at the last week of Feb, 1st week of March roughly, but was curious as to why the first week in March was so heavy? I just want to make sure I am making the right decision. I was trying not to do too early in Feb as I know there are a lot of elementary schools that do winter vacation in New England in early Feb. Thanks.

22 Dave { 03.26.15 at 4:46 pm }

Jason, see this. One thing I have learned doing this site over the years is that kids have wildly different breaks, so you can’t predict crowds based on breaks in your own area. Hardly anyone is on break in early Feb, tons of people are in early March.

23 vanessa { 06.08.15 at 12:16 pm }

planning on going feb. 20 through the 27 based on your calendar hopefully those days are good!

24 Dave { 06.09.15 at 7:52 am }

Great dates, Vanessa!

25 HeidI theriot { 06.09.15 at 2:05 pm }

Hey well we plan on going April 30th to the 7th what will it be like then and will they have promotions then

26 Dave { 06.11.15 at 7:22 am }

Heidi, crowds will be fine then, and I expect a room rate deal for then too.

27 JennyJ { 06.12.15 at 12:56 pm }

Hello! We are planning a WDW trip for Jan 30th-Feb4th. It looks as if the crowd level is a 1 at that time, correct? Can you tell me which parks to AVOID during our vacation? Also, can you tell me which rides/attractions are scheduled to be closed for refurbishment those days? Thank you much for any information you are able to come up with!

28 Dave { 06.13.15 at 8:07 am }

Jenny, neither the refurbs nor the calendar is out yet, so I can’t tell you either. Refurbs may not be announced until December. The Feb calendar will be out in mid-August, and I can help you with parks to avoid then!!

29 JennyJ { 06.13.15 at 5:02 pm }

Ok thank you! I will check back in with you in a few months :)

30 Shannon { 06.14.15 at 6:48 pm }

Dave,
Any ideas on when the Brazil tour runs through Walt Disney World this year? I think it may be an international dance competition? Each year we have been going to Disney one of the last few weeks of January. It is hit or miss whether we beat the influx on Brazilian teenagers. Do you know if they are just on holiday or if there is an event? I have tried to Google it, but I haven’t hit on anything.

31 Dave { 06.15.15 at 8:01 am }

Shannon, you will find Brazilians and tour groups at WDW year round, but particularly in December and January when they have their summer vacation.

32 Vicki Calter { 06.15.15 at 1:17 pm }

Hi Dave,We visited WDW in 2013 for the first time from the UK. I followed the advice of another Touring Plan site and ended up with up to 120 mins wait for some rides and running around with one husband and two kids, 5yrs and 9yrs, for two weeks not really seeing the Magic. We are returning in October 2016 and are hoping for a more relaxed holiday that allows us to do everything and have time for family time. I’ve bought the book and every weekend I’m following the web sites. Your advise and Joss just seems to make sense. Sorry for my ramble but my question is when will the plans be out for next year. We land on the 27th October and leave on the 10th November. Also we are hoping to do the Mnsshp and Mickeys Xmas party, do you have touring plans for them. Thank you

33 Dave { 06.17.15 at 7:23 am }

Hi Vicki and I’m glad the site and book is helping! I won’t have any specific advice for October/November 2016 until Disney’s calendars for then come out–which should be in March and April 2016 respectively.

I don’t have touring plans for the two parties, but do have suggestions. See this and this.

34 pauline { 06.22.15 at 5:40 pm }

Hi Dave,
I am thinking of coming to Disneyworld august 21 to September 4. We have three kids (10,16,17) and wonder when the best time to book is? Do you have any idea? I want to take advantage of the deals they have on right now (free disney dining) but for 2016. I am anxious to book now, but would it be better to wait? Or book now and ask for the discount later when they are published? Thanks!

35 Dave { 06.24.15 at 7:10 am }

Pauline, it doesn’t matter when you book so far as discounts go. When they are announced, you have to compete for the limited inventory whether or not you already have a booking. Book more than 180 days ahead to get the best dining selections–see this .

36 Pauline { 06.24.15 at 10:21 am }

thanks Dave! I will review your notes!

37 Steve { 07.03.15 at 5:23 am }

Hi Dave, i posted above a while back about late April, we have now booked to go on 5th April, it shows ok on your crowd calender at the moment but remember you mentioned about the first two weeks of April can change on your revised calender. Do you know when it will be revised? Can you put me out of my misery and confirm if 5th-19th will be simlar to what you show currently? I hope so……! p.s As above, love the site i recomend it to everyone. Keep up the good work!

38 Dave { 07.03.15 at 5:23 pm }

Hey Steve and thanks!! This is now updated as of about a week ago. But see also this.

39 Marisa { 07.05.15 at 1:41 pm }

I really want to book April 18th-24th, it looks like great time to go. My only worry is school breaks? Do school breaks not really effect crowds much?

40 Dave { 07.07.15 at 7:49 am }

Marisa, see this

41 Melissa { 07.10.15 at 12:01 pm }

So I was wondering why the week of 5/28 has a higher crowd level than 6/4?

42 Dave { 07.11.15 at 9:35 am }

Melissa, because of the three day weekend, which makes it easier for parents to go.

43 Julianna { 07.24.15 at 3:34 pm }

Hi Dave, I absolutely love your site. It was very helpful for planning our trip we took this May! We are planning a trip for October 2017. Any idea when you will have your 2017 crowd calendar out?

44 Dave { 07.25.15 at 7:37 am }

Hi Julianna, and thanks!! I typically put a draft version out about 15 months before, in September, and then a final version about 6 months before the year begins, in the summer.

45 Julianna { 07.25.15 at 10:14 am }

Thank you so much for the fast reply Dave!!

46 Stephan { 07.25.15 at 11:24 am }

Hi Dave,
We’re planning our next trip to WDW for the beginning of December 2016. Altough we’ll go with our grandkids, I would prefer avoid staying at the same hotel(s) as all the Pop Warner Superbowl teams. We do hesitate between Disney Caribbean and Disney Port Orleans. Do they always stay at the same hotels? Or do they change every year? If so, how and when can I find out? Thank you very much for you help.

47 Dave { 07.26.15 at 9:20 am }

Hi Stephan! I don’t have perfect info on this, but what I hear is that the kids are predominately at the All-Stars, Pop Century, and Caribbean Beach. So that would push you to one of the Port Orleans resorts.

48 amanda { 08.03.15 at 8:41 pm }

Dave,
We’re planning a trip for 1/30-2/5. We usually like to go to 1 park in the morning, take naps over the lunch hour and then go back to a different park usually in the afternoon. WDW has just posted park hours, but I just can’t figure out which days to go to which park. Do you have suggestions?

49 Dave { 08.05.15 at 8:06 am }

Hi Amanda!

1/30 avoid AK and MK
1/31 avoid HS
2/1 avoid AK
2/2 avoid Epcot
2/3 avoid MK
2/4 avoid Epcot
2/5 avoid MK and HS

50 Danielle { 08.07.15 at 6:52 pm }

Hi! Just a heads up… We are planning a trip for spring 2016- school kids in the northeast will be on spring break April 23-25! It maybe a packed week that week!!

51 Dan { 08.07.15 at 10:06 pm }

The week of 4 -9-16 is looking a bit on the light side? What are you thinking are the best park days? Most likely going to do magic kingdom twice and Epcot one day.

52 Dave { 08.09.15 at 9:37 am }

Danielle, thanks, but it won’t. I analyze the school breaks of 10 million kids befroe publishing my final crowd calendars, and outside of NY state, hardly anyone has break then. See this!

53 Dave { 08.09.15 at 9:38 am }

Dan, I won’t know the best days for each park until Disney publishes its operating calendar for April, which it will do in about 5 weeks, so check back then!

54 Danielle { 08.15.15 at 6:07 am }

Such good news then, Dave!!!! (Regarding spring break in NY)! I was considering taking two days off a different week from work (bc I work in a school)! That makes me so happy!!!!

55 Marta { 08.25.15 at 3:57 pm }

i am planning the trip of muy life, with my four granddaughters, ages 9, 11, 12 and 17, May 15 to 27. The problem is that the two youngest don’t understand English. Which rides or shows would you recomend to stay away from?

56 Dave { 08.26.15 at 12:10 pm }

Marta, you can get translators for the most “talk” focused attractions covering 5 languages: German, Japanese, Spanish, French and Portuguese. See this.

57 Steve { 08.26.15 at 9:32 pm }

Took all your advice thus far. Booked a week at Pop Century starting the 27th. Looking forward to the trip with 4 kids (9,7,4,2) and their grandparents. Trying to plan which parks for which days so I can book the dining reservations. Was looking to do MK 3 days, Epcot 2 days, and HS 1 day. AK 1 day and then the day we leave. (3/5) Any suggestions in regards to which parks to visit which day and any idea if the fireworks and parades happen every night during that time of year. Thanks in advance for any input.

58 Dave { 08.27.15 at 6:40 pm }

Steve–just to make sure–you are arriving 2/27/2016?

59 Steve { 08.27.15 at 8:17 pm }

Yes, we are arriving on the 27th, hopefully around 9 am at orlando airport. Leaving on the 5th in the afternoon. 8 days, 7 nights! :-)

60 Dave { 08.28.15 at 8:00 am }

K Steve,

The 27th avoid AK and MK
The 28th avoid HS
The 29th avoid AK and MK
3/1 Avoid Epcot
3/2 Avoid MK
3/3 Avoid Epcot
3/4 avoid MK and HS
3/5 Avoid AK and MK

Note a lot of “avoid MK” here. So pick your dates there first, then fill in around them! E.g.
2/27 Epcot
2/28 MK
2/29 HS
3/1 MK
3/2 Epcot
3/3 MK
3/4 AK

61 Jennifer { 09.02.15 at 10:34 am }

Hi Dave, you have a great site. My family of 8 is at Disney World April 29th -May 5th. Could you tell me what parks to avoid. Thanks

62 Dave { 09.03.15 at 12:19 pm }

Hi Jennifer and thanks!

I can’t help until Disney posts its calendars for April (in a week or so) and May (in about 5 weeks). So come back in a bit!

63 Carolyn { 09.06.15 at 2:24 pm }

What would be your suggestions for a visit jan2,3,4,5,6? Am interested in crowd levels and which parks to visit each day . We don’t mind hopping to avoid crowds. Also are the park hours going to move to 8:00 am opening times for all? Thanks so much!

64 Dave { 09.08.15 at 12:27 pm }

Carolyn, there may be 8a opens the 2nd, but not the rest of your dates.

Jan 2 will be, by far, the most crowded day, and will be worst at MK.
Jan 3 avoid HS and MK
Jan 4 avoid Ak and Mk
Jan 5 avoid Epcot
Jan 6 avoid MK

There’s not ewnough good MK days in this, so go there the 4th and 5th. Do Epcot the 2nd, AK the 3rd, and HS the 6th.

65 Melody { 09.13.15 at 4:12 pm }

Hi Dave, thanks for all the info! How busy do you think the parks will be MLK weekend 2016? Any parks better than others those days? thanks!

66 Dave { 09.14.15 at 6:58 am }

Melody, they aren’t terrible, just worse than the rest of January except the first few days of the month. See Josh’s recommended parks by day here.

67 Chrystal Dupree { 09.14.15 at 11:34 am }

Hi Dave,
We are planning another trip 4/9/16-4/16/16. Please advise which parks to visit on what days. We will have park hopper. Thank you again :-). Your help was appreciated for our last trip and I look forward to your recommendations again.

68 Chrystal Dupree { 09.15.15 at 10:17 am }

Hi Dave,

I would also like to know if you feel the park hopper is needed for this trip. Is the dining plan worth it? I am not interested in repeating some of the table service restaurants that we have done numerous times. I am only really interested in Be Our Guest for dinner and Ohana for breakfast and dinner. I may do 1 other table service meal. Of course we will be purchasing counter service meals, eating 2x per day. I will also bring a few snacks, but will probably still purchase 1 snack a day for each of us. I have a family of four, 2 adults and 2 kids, ages 13 and 8. Thank you!

69 Chrystal Dupree { 09.15.15 at 10:18 am }

Only 2 meals per day total being purchased and snacks. I just wanted to clarify.

70 Dave { 09.16.15 at 10:50 am }

Hi Chrystal! The April calendar is not out yet, so check back in a week?

71 Dave { 09.16.15 at 11:06 am }

Chrystal, a hopper is not necessary, and you likely will lose money on the dining plan.

72 Hayley { 09.17.15 at 11:51 am }

Hi, how much difference in crowd level is there between early April ’16 and end of May? this will be our second trip,,,thanks

73 Dave { 09.17.15 at 1:31 pm }

Sorry, Hayley–I need your exact dates, as there are huge differences each month…

74 Hayley { 09.21.15 at 1:34 pm }

Right ok it will be 1st Apr-15th compared to last week of May-first week of June ’16……could you compare the waits for queues please as it is a big factor for when we choose……many thanks :)

75 Dave { 09.22.15 at 4:08 pm }

OK Hayley. April 1 and 2 will be terrible, but the rest of it will be much better than the end of May/beginning of June. Weather is better in April also.

76 Heather { 09.23.15 at 8:14 pm }

Hi,
We are planning a trip to Disney May 13- May 21 2016. How this that week in regards to the crowd?
Would you also recommend the meal plan? My husband and I will be going along with a 5 yr old.

Thanks,
Heather

77 Melanie { 09.23.15 at 9:44 pm }

Hi Dave my family will be going to Disney February 20-27 in 2016. Wondering what days to avoid what parks. This is our first time so want it to be perfect! Going with a 2 year old and 5 year old :)

78 Dave { 09.24.15 at 7:54 am }

Hi Heather, on that week, see this. If you get the regular dining plan, and if you book many one credit buffets/character meals, then you may come out ahead on the dining plan.

79 Dave { 09.24.15 at 7:56 am }

Melanie,

2/20 avoid Epcot and MK
2/21 avoid HS
2/22 avoid MK and AK
2/23 avoid Epcot
2/24 avoid MK
2/25 avoid Epcot
2/26 avoid MK and HS
2/27 avoid AK and MK

80 Chrystal Dupree { 09.24.15 at 3:07 pm }

Is the April calendar out yet?

81 Dave { 09.25.15 at 8:27 am }

Chrystal–yup!!

4/9 avoid AK and MK
4/10 avoid HS
4/11 avoid AK and MK
4/12 avoid Epcot
4/13 avoid MK
4/14 avoid Epcot
4/15 avoid MK and HS
4/16 avoid HS

Note these include all EMH days. With your hopper, you can attend an am EMH park if you arrive well before open, then hop to another park at mid-day…

82 Romo Ruz { 09.25.15 at 8:39 pm }

Just got back from a wonderful 12 days vacation in the Happiest Place on Earth.
Thanks to your crowd graphics, I plan accordingly. See, my daughter is a kidney transplant patient and was having a rejection episode, so the doctors gave her medication killing all her immune system, therefore recommended NOT going to Disney. We already had reservations, plane tickets, hotel, everything planned and paid. After studying your crowd graphics, the doctor said she could go.
The lines were minimal. Soaring was the longest wait, 20 minutes. Between fast pass and my scooter, we manage to avoid lines in 95% of the time.
Thank you for doing a great job. Keep it up.
Waiting for the free dining offer in 2016.

83 Chrystal Dupree { 09.26.15 at 8:52 am }

Thanks Dave! I think we are going to skip the hopper this trip. Would that change anything?

84 Dave { 09.27.15 at 9:51 am }

Romo, I’m so glad you had such a great trip!

85 Dave { 09.27.15 at 9:51 am }

Chrystal, nope!!

86 Renae { 10.06.15 at 10:06 am }

According to this, you expect crowds to be heavier the 1st week of March, than they will be the 1st week of April. That’s just crazy, why do you predict that?

87 Dave { 10.06.15 at 10:35 am }

Renae, see this for the why behind these predictions.

88 Melissa { 10.08.15 at 6:38 pm }

We are considering taking our kids 15,11 and 8 back to DW June 12-18 of 2016. We have usually gone in the spring (2010 and 2008) but do to school schedules can not come until summer. Are we crazy to go during this time?

89 Michele { 10.09.15 at 6:38 am }

We’re planning on bringing our boys (10 and 8) down from 1/30-2/6/16. It doesn’t look like a lot of rides are scheduled for closure at this point, but will we be able to truly enjoy the parks during this time? Character meet and greets (especially with the princesses) are NOT of interest to them. Thanks!!

90 Dave { 10.10.15 at 9:59 am }

Michele, sure you will. You might miss a bit, but you will be able to see the vast majority of the good stuff.

91 Kati { 10.12.15 at 10:20 pm }

I’m a first time disney goer with my husband and 2 boys, 6 &1. I was thinking of going March 8-15? Is this a bad week as far as crowds?

92 Dave { 10.13.15 at 9:24 am }

Kati, in yes it is.

93 Ted { 10.13.15 at 10:06 am }

We’re visiting for our second time Jan 29th, 30th,31st and Feb1st 2016. This is supposed to be more of a stress-free trip than our last in June 2015, which was a mess of crowds and heat. So we picked January, and we’re going for fewer dinner reservations and just enjoying the parks on our own time this time instead of rushing from breakfast res, to lunch res to dinner res all day. Anyway, which parks should we definetely avoid during which days on this trip? Our plan is to do two full days MK, one full day at Epcot and one day split between AK and HS.

94 Dave { 10.13.15 at 10:16 am }

Hi Ted, sounds like a great plan!

1/29 avoid MK and HS
1/30 avoid AK and MK
1/31 avoid HS
2/1 avoid AK and MK

Note there’s no good AK/HS day among these, and only one good MK day. Tell me two things: are you eligible for EMH (and willing to get up for an early one) and how old are any kids? With that info, I can help with the days a little more…

95 Marie { 10.13.15 at 11:23 am }

Hi Dave, my family and I will be traveling to Walt Disney World Feb 29 – Mar 8. We are wondering what days to avoid what parks. We are traveling with a 6 month old, 18 month old, 3 year old, and 6 year old. Thanks in advance!

96 Dave { 10.14.15 at 4:57 pm }

Marie with kids that young, you might want to focus just on MK. Those dates, MK will be best the 1st, 3rd 6th, and 8th.

Otherwise, the 29th avoid MK and AK
The 1st avoid Epcot
The 2nd avoid MK
The 3rd avoid Epcot
The 4th avoid MK and HS
The 5th avoid AK and MK
The 6th avoid HS
The 7th avoid MK and AK
The 8th avoid Epcot

97 Erin { 10.15.15 at 5:19 pm }

Hi! We visited WDW with our 5 and 2yo last spring the last week of April going into the first couple days of May. It was a bit hot our last couple of days but I’m more concerned about crowds than anything. This year I can’t decide between 4/18-4/29 or 5/3-5/13. Would you recommend one over the other? And if you do would you mind telling me which parks to avoid for either week? Thanks so much for all your help!

98 Lauren { 10.15.15 at 11:01 pm }

Hi Dave!
I am planning on going to Orlando for a wedding the week of June 12th through the 19th, Looking at going to Magic Kingdom and Epcot either the 13th, 16th,17th, or 18, Do you have any recommendations on when to go to either park? This will be our first trip going and have 4 kids. ALL ADVICE WELCOME and needed :) Thank you!

99 Dave { 10.16.15 at 8:22 am }

Erin, as you can see from this I like the April weeks a little better: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2014/09/28/2016-weeks-to-visit-walt-disney-world-ranked-in-order/

Let me know what you decide and I can then guide you on parks (May data is not out yet, but should be out soon).

100 Dave { 10.16.15 at 8:24 am }

Lauren, I won’t be able to help until Disney releases its June claendar, which it will do in about a month–so come back then, OK? In the meantime, you might want to check this out

101 Erin { 10.16.15 at 9:01 pm }

Thanks so much, Dave! Well looking at your calendar I decided on 4/12-4/21.

102 Hala { 10.21.15 at 11:04 pm }

Hello,
Planning our first family trip with my 3 boys ( aged 10,7 & 4 ). We can only go during March 2016 break . Plan so far is March 7-14. Would you be able to suggest what parks to visit ? We also plan to get the fast/flash pass & meal plan. Any thoughts on those?. We will probably be out all day and going back at night to the hotel. Since I only have boys , is there anything we can avoid seeing to gain more time at another place?.

Thanks a bunch!

103 Sherry { 10.22.15 at 9:47 am }

Hi, Dave!
Your site has been very helpful, and so has your book!
We have decided to visit from October 22-29, 2016, staying at the Beach Club (myself, husband, and 2 kids aged 10 and 7). Not planning to go to the Halloween party, but instead plan to park hop to try to avoid the MK on the busy days, and still see Wishes, etc. We also wanted to have a water park day; are the water parks generally very crowded in October?
When will Disney release it’s calendar for October? I want to be able to plan everything prior to making our dining reservations, and want to try to align them with our park days. I’ve noticed this year, that the Halloween party tends to fall on Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; do you think this will also be the case for 2016?
Also wanted to ask if Be Our Guest is a must-do? If so, I was considering a lunch reservation.
Thanks!

104 Dave { 10.23.15 at 8:12 am }

Hi Hala! Those dates, avoid the following parks:

3/7 avoid Ak and MK
3/8 avoid Epcot
3/9 avoid MK
3/10 avoid Epcot
3/11 avoid HS and MK
3/12 avoid AK and MK
3/13 avoid HS
3/14 avoid AK and MK

It’ll be tough to design daily plans that suit both the 4 year old and the ten year old. I have some thoughts on this here and there’s more in Chapter 2 of my book.

You may save money on the dining plan. But for sure you need to use FastPass+. See this.

105 Dave { 10.23.15 at 8:18 am }

Hi Sherry and so glad the site and book are helping!!

The October calendar should be out in mid-March.

In the past, the most common days for the Halloween Party indeed have been Sun/Tues/Thurs/Fri. The pattern, though, is typically is a little different Columbus Day week, and the week of Halloween itself. The 23rd, 28th and 25th are good bets.

Sorry that I don’t track water park crowds…

I myself don’t consider BOG a must do… the menu is somewhat limited for kids. But if someone in your crew is a big Beauty and the Beast fan, go for it!

106 Michelle { 10.23.15 at 12:38 pm }

My daughter’s bday id Feb 7th. When around this time is most reasonable for a 5 to 7 day stay?

107 michelle { 10.25.15 at 9:51 am }

Hi! Do you have any information regarding Star Wars weekends for 2016? I heard rumor it may not happen or this year might be the last year. We are planning to take our boys (who worship star wars) May 13-May 18. Hope it’s still up and running. Could you also give suggestions which parks are best which day? Thanks!

108 Dave { 10.26.15 at 8:09 am }

Michelle, see this (page down to the “May 2016 Special Events” section.

109 Cat { 10.27.15 at 9:22 am }

Hi! My husband and I will be taking our almost two year old to disney 2/6/16 – 2/10/16. Can you please tell me what parks to avoid on those dates? Also, does the cheerleading competition have a big impact on the crowds? Thanks so much!

110 Dave { 10.27.15 at 9:43 am }

Cat, the various cheerleading, running, etc events have next to no impact on waits. See this for why. I’d take a two year old only to MK, and at MK the worst dates are the 6th, 8th, and 10th.

More broadly,

2/6 avoid MK and AK
2/7 avoid HS
2/8 avoid MK and AK
2/9 avoid Epcot
2/10 avoid MK

111 Douglas { 11.09.15 at 2:11 pm }

Dave,
My fiance and I are visiting the parks Sun June 12- Sun June 19, 2016. The two Sundays are travel days so we will be visiting the parks Mon-Sat. We plan on using a 6 Day Park Hopper with one day at one of the Waterparks (most likely Blizzard Beach). We are getting the premium meal plan so we can go to some of the character meals. From what it looks like, this is one of the busier weeks during June. Can you please suggest the best plan of attack?

112 Lori { 11.09.15 at 2:39 pm }

Hi Dave, I just saw your page regarding “Spring Break Crowd 2016”. Very helpful and confirms my week this year in April – thanks!!

113 Dave { 11.10.15 at 6:27 pm }

Douglas, I’ll be able to advise after Disney publishes its operating schedule for then–which it should do any day now. So ping me back say Monday the 16th??

114 Dave { 11.10.15 at 6:28 pm }

Oops Lori I should have read all the comments before I responded to your first one!! Well, maybe that response will help others!

115 Lori { 11.11.15 at 8:49 pm }

Hi Dave – I don’t see my original submitted question but am very curious how you answered it (as I do not see that either). Need all the help I can get. Possible I posted on another page?
Thanks!!

116 Dave { 11.12.15 at 10:30 am }
117 Douglas { 11.14.15 at 1:10 pm }

Dave,
Per suggestions from the Easy Guide, we have extended our trip a few days so now we will be there June 12-21, with the 12th and 21st as travel days, giving us 8 days in the parks. I will check back once you have the June park info.

118 Lori { 11.15.15 at 12:05 pm }

Thanks Dave ! And love your site, so helpful!!

119 Dave { 11.17.15 at 11:17 am }

Thanks Lori!!!

120 Douglas { 11.20.15 at 3:54 pm }

Dave,
I read that the park bus system is spotty early in the morning. We are staying at the All Star Movies in June 2016 and there are a few mornings where we will be going to the early breakfast character meals. Should we drive our own car to the park from the hotel or wait for a bus to come get us?

121 Dave { 11.22.15 at 11:47 am }

Douglas, there’s a special set of buses that go to early character meals. Check in with the concierges in the lobby the day before your first one to find out the specifics.

122 Beth { 11.24.15 at 12:52 am }

Hi Dave,
My husband and I plus my 3 boys (10, 3, & 2) are going 2/2- 2/9. I am worried because of the 2 & 3 yo’s. I think we are going to book a suite at the A of A which you seem to recommend. Also we are going to these parks, based off what i’ve see on your site:
Feb 3 – AK
4 -MK
5 – Epcot
6 – HS
7 – MK
8 Epcot.
Thoughts on the itinerary based on the days I have to work with? Also, when you say to avoid a certain park is that because it is generally the busiest that day? I would like another day at MK but not sure there is a good day to go.

123 Dave { 11.25.15 at 7:30 am }

Beth, yes my “avoids” are based on relative crowds. Your day/park choices are great, but you likely have too much Epcot and not enough MK. While there are no good MK dates left your week, that’s common–most end up with a couple of good days and one bad day. With an early arrival and FastPass+ you can still see a bunch even on a bad day.

None of my itineraries works your dates. My book has both one and two day park plans, plus also suggestions on how to cope with kids of such wildly different ages. It’s available in paperback and Kindle formats here, and as a PDF here.

124 Jessica { 12.01.15 at 3:30 pm }

Hi Dave, we have a trip planned for February 7-11 2106. We are taking my aunt and uncle who are in there 50’s and have never been to Disney World. I have seen some of the recommendations you have made about which parks to avoid and I just wanted to ask your opinion of what I have planned. 2/8-Hollywood Studios, 2/9 Animal Kingdom until around 3(Mainly hitting the highlights) taking a small break at the resort and then Magic Kingdom for the nighttime spectaculars, 2/10-Epcot and 2/11 Magic Kingdom. We will be busy I know but I am expecting to have a blast!

125 Dave { 12.02.15 at 8:09 am }

Jessica this looks great!! And just to be sure, you know you need the hopper add on to go to MK after AK??

126 krislyn { 12.07.15 at 11:39 pm }

Hi Dave!
Do you think January 3-9 or 10-16 would be a better time to go regarding the crowds? Or any other information you can provide me with!

127 Dave { 12.08.15 at 7:00 am }

Krislyn, the 3rd-9th will be slightly better than the 10-16.

128 Lynn { 12.08.15 at 2:31 pm }

Hi! We will be in Kissimmee February 19th to the 26th 2016. I have called to book a table at Cinderella’s castle at Magic Kingdom and the only reservation I could get during that time was Sunday February 21st. I see this is the end of a red week/beginning of a green week. Do you think that day will be ok (we are only spending one day at magic kingdom and want to make the most of it with our young daughters) or should I cancel that reservation and go a different day? Thanks so much!!

129 Dave { 12.09.15 at 8:55 am }

Lynn, the 21st will be a good day at MK!

130 jean { 12.19.15 at 2:22 pm }

Dave we are booked Jan 31-Feb 5 -arriving late, leaving early . How bad is that week going to be be with cheerleading competition? also what parks would you recommend doing if we only plan on doing 2a3 days at a park? any thoughts on whether doing disney youth education program is worth it?

131 Elizabeth { 12.21.15 at 7:43 am }

Hello,

I would like to know if you have an idea on what the weather is like the last week of November and the first week of December? I am taking my family in November 26-Dec 02.

Also will the crowds be huge the?

132 Dave { 12.21.15 at 8:25 am }

Jean, the cheer-leading competition has next to no impact. See this (on a different but related topic) for why. My park recommendations would vary depending on how old your kids are, but plan two days in MK.

On such a short visit I can’t recommend the youth education program–your time is better spent on the rides!!

133 Dave { 12.21.15 at 8:35 am }

Elizabeth, see this and this. They are about 2015 but the basics on weather and crowds will still be true your dates in 2016.

134 Colleen { 12.26.15 at 7:55 pm }

Hi Dave, my 88 year young mom (born the same year as Mickey) and I will be arriving at Contemporary Resort around noon on Thursday 2/25 leaving noontime Tuesday 3/1. I’m about to start reserving fast passes. Any advice on which parks we should go to on which days? If you have advice on which attractions we should use the fast passes for we’d love your input on that too. Attractions that she can remain in her manual wheelchair work best but she can get out as long as it isn’t too tricky to get in to whatever it is she is getting in to. Also can’t take much bumping around. Thanks so much for your help. Colleen

135 Gary { 12.28.15 at 1:47 pm }

HI Dave,
We are in the unfortunate position as to having to go during the busy months (25 June – 7 July 2016) Staying in private Villa in Kissimee. Can you let me know which parks to avoid so I can best plan. Universal is also in the frame. All in the party are >18yrs, but big kids at heart !!

136 Michele { 12.29.15 at 8:14 am }

Dave

My daughter’s birthday is July 3rd and we have made reservations for Disney for July 3-8th. We aren’t newbies and have survived April in Disney before but how bad is July?

137 Dave { 12.29.15 at 8:54 am }

Colleen, most of my FP+ advice is in my book–I haven’t updated it on the site for a while.

2/25 avoid Epcot
2/26 avoid HS and MK
2/27 avoid AK and MK
2/28 avoid HS
2/29 avoid MK and AK
3/1 avoid Epcot

138 Dave { 12.29.15 at 9:06 am }

Gary,

June 25 avoid AK and MK
June 26 avoid HS and MK
June 27 avoid AK and MK
June 28 avoid Epcot
June 29 avoid MK
June 30 avoid Epcot
July 1 avoid HS
July 2 avoid MK and MK
July 3 avoid MK and HS
July 4 avoid all but AK
July 5 avoid Epcot
July 6 right now loks about the same at all parks
July 7 avoid Epcot

139 Dave { 12.29.15 at 9:18 am }

Michele, it depends on whether your April visit was also the weeks before or after Easter. It’s better than those!

140 Mike { 12.29.15 at 4:43 pm }

Hey Dave,
We’ll be at WDW April 4-7 2016. I’ve done a lot of research on multiple sites, but figured its best to go straight to the Master! We’ve planned everything to arrive the Monday after the Sunday after Easter. I’ve never been in the Spring. Is the crowd level drop on that date really as dramatic as you predict? Most sites verify it, but a few say avoid early April at all costs. I guess early is a relative term

141 Dave { 12.30.15 at 9:19 am }

Mike, see this.

142 Kevin { 12.30.15 at 6:19 pm }

hello Dave, my wife has been raving about this site for months and is on it every spare minute. so I decided to take a look and may I start by saying your site is freaking awesome!! it is the single most comprehensive online guide to doing DW… you have covered everything and anything possible in the universe of Disney, with your user friendly and easy to follow instructions and advise there is little to no effort on our part to planning our trip and using our time wisely and efficiently, you have done it for us. We are ordering your book from amazon today!!! so my thanks to all you do to make our trip truly as magical as it can be!! (now done with the gushing) So our family of 7 will be making the trip on April 5th and leaving the 14th spending 5 days in DW and 2 in universal (doing this park on the 6th and 13th undercover tourist recomened these days) so with that in mind I was wondering what 2 days you would recommend MK for our 3 youngest 5,7, and 11 for that week? and thanks again -Kevin

143 Dave { 12.31.15 at 7:41 am }

Kevin, are you sure she isn’t talking about another site?

The best days at MK your period will be the 7th and the 12th.

144 Kevin & Anna { 12.31.15 at 11:45 am }

LOL yes Dave it is your site. Thank you for the suggestions on the dates, we will be adapting your itinerary for the rest of the week for the rest of those specific dates and times, universal just put a kink in following it (but that is for the older kiddos) we are going over the fast pass section tonight. unfortunately with our large family plus 2 extra we will be staying of site… any suggestions on the best way to secure Elsa and Anna fast pass’s for those not so lucky to book them 60 days out? as always thank you again for your time… Kevin & Anna

145 Kevin & Anna { 12.31.15 at 12:10 pm }

one more quick question is there a site you recommend for universal? the one we were looking at doesn’t have as much comprehensive data as yours for DW.. -thanks Annalisa

146 Dave { 01.01.16 at 7:37 am }

Kevin, a couple of tricks are 1. to search for small parties–just two for example–and then try to add the others. Another is to try to find a breakfast reservation at Be Our Guest for 8.10. neither will likely work…so, you are most likely just gonna have to be at the park well befroe it opens and head striaght to A&E.

147 Dave { 01.01.16 at 7:38 am }

Kevin–for Universal, use http://orlandoinformer.com/

148 Kevin { 01.01.16 at 11:17 am }

Thanks Dave :)

149 Chris { 01.02.16 at 7:34 am }

Dave,
Nice site. I am taking my kids down for the second time but still think this site is worth the time to help plan. We arrive on 4/16/16 and leave 4/21/16. What parks should we avoid?
Thanks,
Chris

150 Dave { 01.03.16 at 5:25 pm }

Hey Chris, those dates:

4/16 avoid AK and MK
4/17 avoid HS
4/18 avoid AK
4/19 avoid Epcot
4/20 avoid MK
4/21 avoid Epcot

151 Michelle { 01.05.16 at 1:55 pm }

Hey Dave,
I am trying to plan a visit based on crowd control and weather!!! I’m from New Mexico and I’m not used to the wet/humid heat, I’m looking at dates in August where it is still in the green margins…also I don’t want to go in a rainy season, this is my first time going to WDW so I want to hit everything mainly Harry Potter land lol so what do you think am I going to be ok weather and crowd wise??? This planning is so stressful sheesh and I haven’t even booked anything yet;(

152 Michelle { 01.05.16 at 1:57 pm }

I forgot to add that I am 27 and my husband is 33 so no children no modified needs…we are coming for our delayed honeymoon so I want it to be “perfect” or as close as possible!!!

153 Dave { 01.06.16 at 8:34 am }

Michelle, first Harry Potter is at Universal’s parks, not Disney’s parks–see this.

The rainy season at Disney World runs from late May into early October. The peak of the hurricane season runs from later August into early October. So August will have high temps, high humidity, and frequent rain. For more on weather at Disney World, see this.

My ranking of all the weeks of the year from best to worst is here.

154 Michelle { 01.06.16 at 10:00 pm }

Thanks!!! See what I mean lol I don’t know what I’m doing!!!!!! This helps so much!!! My main trip is for Harry Potter, we are thinking about leows pacific or the royal one. I’m thinking early May then. Your website is awesome.

155 Dave { 01.07.16 at 4:17 pm }

Glad to help, Michelle!!

156 Alasdair Cook { 01.09.16 at 7:40 pm }

Hi Dave
My family and I which consist of 2 adults & 3 kids aged 1, 6 & 9 have booked to go on the 16/11/16- 30/11/16, we are staying on International drive so we can visit all parks. I see from your crowd calender that the week of thanksgiving is busy but how busy is it? Would you recommend staying away from Disney that week? Or is it mainly MK that is busy? would you have some sort of itinerary for thanksgiving week?
Many thanks
Alasdair

157 Dave { 01.10.16 at 8:22 am }

Alasdair, it will be wildly busy Thanksgiving week throughout Orlando. I will publish a WDW itinerary after Disney releases its operating schedule for then–about 6 months before. It’ll be here.

158 Jamie { 01.10.16 at 10:26 pm }

Oh bummer we are there from 2/9/16-2/18/16 and we have 3 kids under 7…from reading everything it seems it like the worst time to go…can you give me any advice to enjoy the time with the crowd amount?

159 Dave { 01.11.16 at 12:32 pm }

Jamie the basic approach is to have a good plan and get your FastPass+ ASAP. See this as an example, but it doesn’t work your dates, and is designed for older kids.

160 Beth { 01.14.16 at 11:34 am }

How will the crowds be May 21st 2016…to 27th thanks

161 Dave { 01.14.16 at 6:37 pm }

As the chart indicates, Beth, Moderate-Plus

162 Amanda { 01.17.16 at 1:50 pm }

Hi Dave,

I just found your site after weeks of planning using several others. I think what I’ve read here is pretty much in line, but since you don’t seem to mind, can you share your avoid recomendations for 2/7-14th. We have Park hopper 7 day passes. Hubby attending half day conferences on 2/11-13 in the am, but my in laws will also be with me so I’ll be doing split day tours. My kids are 9, 5, and 2. This is our second visit in past 12 months, but first on site (GF).

163 Dave { 01.18.16 at 10:34 am }

Hi Amanda!

2/7 avoid HS
2/8 avoid AK and MK
2/9 avoid Epcot
2/10 avoid MK
2/11 avoid Epcot
2/12 avoid HS and MK
2/13 avoid AK and MK
2/14 avoid MK and HS

164 Christy { 01.19.16 at 1:58 pm }

My oldest is in high school so it makes it hard for when we can go that is not going to be crowded. We had thought about the week of June 6-11th as two of my boys have birthdays that week. It shows high moderate that week. It would be our first time going, is a total crazy idea to be going then? The next lower crowds isn’t until when we will be back into school. Any advice would be awesome and any avoid days too. Thanks so much!

165 Kelly B - Agent with Destinations in Florida { 01.19.16 at 2:11 pm }

Christy – While you are planning on going just as summer vacation begins, it’s still a great time to go. Many of the northern schools are still in session. It’s not the melting zone of July and August. And you aren’t looking at crowds like Christmas or Easter week. With good planning its a great time to go. The “down” times just aren’t like the used to be. Right now there are discounts for your travel dates. I would love to help you plan. And remember, all my services are FREE. KellyB@DestinationsinFlorida.com

166 Dave { 01.19.16 at 6:04 pm }

Christy, as Kelly noted if that’s when you can go, then you can make it work. See this

167 Robin { 01.21.16 at 10:33 am }

Dave – I first want to say how impressed I am that you stay current with everyone’s comments and questions!
Our past two trips we have gone the week before Thanksgiving – a Friday through the following Sunday. It was a great time to go! However, the times we went, Veterans Day was not on a Friday. So, even though the week before Thanksgiving is considered a “low crowd” time, I’m thinking the weekends (Veterans Day and beginning of Thanksgiving) could be pretty crazy. What are your thoughts?

168 Dave { 01.22.16 at 8:12 am }

Robin, Veterans Day has little impact on crowds, as most parents don’t get it off, and the fact that it’s a moving holiday means that even those who do get it off don’t think of it as a three day weekend, even during the years that it is so…

169 Robin { 01.22.16 at 11:14 am }

Good point about the fact that most adults don’t get the day off. Thanks for your response!

170 michael angelo { 01.25.16 at 11:06 pm }

Hey Dave & happy new year!
I missed my “annual” September trip to DW so thinking about a week in Feb or April (March to busy). What would be your pick for a week in Feb (can’t go the first part) and your pick for a week in April? I saw your crowd calendar so have a idea but I know things change after you print the calendar. Thank you again for all your help over the years!

171 Dave { 01.26.16 at 8:10 am }

Hey Michael! In Feb I’d arrive the 21st or later. April is interesting. All the weeks are good after April 2, and the week of the 9th is probably the best. However, there’s the chance that AK will open its new evening programs n Earth Day, so a visit that includes the 22nd might be interesting.

172 michael angelo { 01.26.16 at 9:30 pm }

Hey, thanks! So you are sayin’ maybe avoid April 22nd.?
After reading your calendar I was surprised April is a low(er) crowd month. March is busy.

173 Andra { 02.01.16 at 9:10 am }

Hello, I am so impressed with your site and all your advice. We have a few friends and I that want to go before we graduate May 25-31, 2016 and would like to know if you think getting a meal plan would be a good deal? what parks to avoid although your calendar shows that this would be great time to go just before huge crowds?

174 Dave { 02.02.16 at 7:16 am }

Andra, no on the meal plan, it’s unlikely to save you money. My crowd calendar for the week beginning May 21 is moderate–not a great time to go, but better than later in the summer. My ranking starts the Saturday before and while there are lots of OK days early in the week, the late part of the week–Friday the 28th and on–will be quite crowded.

175 Nicole { 02.06.16 at 10:29 pm }

Dave,
Wonderful sight. Thank you for your efforts! We are coming to Florida 4/3 to 4/9 and in looking at your sight I thought it may be a great time to visit WDW for the first time. We have a 8, 6, 1 year old kids. However, when I started trying to find a hotel it was frustrating, everything I was interested in seems to be booked solid. Is it common for a lot of the hotels to be booked out even when the crowds aren’t supposed to be too bad?

176 Dave { 02.07.16 at 3:20 pm }

Nicole, the Disney hotels run at about 90% occupancy so it is routine for them to be unavailable even during lower-crowd periods.

177 Jodi { 02.07.16 at 9:18 pm }

Going to orlando March 24-30. What parks should we go to on what days???

178 Dave { 02.08.16 at 7:18 am }

Jodi, the weeks before and after Easter are always among the most crowded of the year, and such weeks it does not make a huge difference which parks you go to–they are all pretty bad.

That said,
March 24 avoid Epcot
March 25 avoid HS and MK
March 26 avoid AK and MK
March 27 avoid HS
March 28 avoid MK and AK
March 29 avoid Epcot
March 30 avoid MK

179 Anonymous { 02.08.16 at 11:53 am }

Dave { 09.25.15 at 8:27 am }
Hi Dave,
Would anything have changed here with these dates? I’m trying to finalize plans. Thanks!

Chrystal–yup!!

4/9 avoid AK and MK
4/10 avoid HS
4/11 avoid AK and MK
4/12 avoid Epcot
4/13 avoid MK
4/14 avoid Epcot
4/15 avoid MK and HS
4/16 avoid HS

180 Rita { 02.08.16 at 12:34 pm }

Hi Dave,
Great site with some awesome info! We(myself hubby & 4 kids) are planning on going to MK for 1 day while spending some time in Florida, I was thinking of going Thursday February 18,2016, is that still too close to Presidents day long weekend with lots of crowds. 2 years ago we spent a whole week at Disney and had a great time, hoping to spend 1 day there this time and have some chill beach time the rest of the week. Also should I buy the tickets online before we leave? Or is it the same price at the gates?

181 Dave { 02.09.16 at 7:03 am }

Rita, if you have to go that week the 18th is a pretty good day at MK. However, you need to book your FastPass+ NOW, which requires a My Dinsey Experience account with paid-for tickets in it. See this for more.

182 Michelle D. { 02.18.16 at 2:51 pm }

Have you ever posted or thought about posting actual photos of crowds? It’s hard for someone who has never been there to imagine what Low or High crowds actually look like because they have nothing to compare it to. …like maybe a photo of the Castle from afar show the about people for each scenario? And maybe give examples of average line wait times for each one too?

183 Michelle D. { 02.18.16 at 2:53 pm }

Castle from afar *showing the *amount people for each

184 Dennis R { 02.18.16 at 4:45 pm }

Hi Dave,
We have planned a trip to WDW for the week of May 1-8, 2016. I see that the Invictus Games will begin on May 8th. Do you know how this event will affect the week we are to be at WDW? Thank you for your attention to this question.

185 Dennis R { 02.18.16 at 4:48 pm }

Hi Dave,
We have planned a visit to WDW for May 1-8, 2016. I see that the Invictus Games are scheduled for May 8-12. Do you have an idea as to how this event will affect our visit for the week we will be there? Crowds?
Thank you for your attention to this question.

186 Dave { 02.19.16 at 11:05 am }

Hi Michelle! We do indeed have expected wait times by crowd level for every ride in Chapter 6 of our book.

187 Dave { 02.19.16 at 11:10 am }

Dennis, this will be only the second Invictus Games, and the first in the US, so it’s not entirely clear. Last I saw, only 500 participants are expected, so there should be zero impact.

188 Dennis R { 02.21.16 at 1:32 pm }

Thanks Dave. I think the last one had 400 participants, with 65,000 people showed up to watch. I am hoping that if they come for the games and plan on visiting WDW parks, they will do so after the games and not before.

189 Dave { 02.22.16 at 8:04 am }

Dennis, what’s your source for 65,000? I found a source for 6,500 at the opening ceremonies

190 Erika { 02.24.16 at 11:07 am }

September 2016
Arriving Sunday 9/18 and leaving Saturday 9/24
Will likely do MNSSHP on arrival night or that Tuesday, depending on your advice.
What parks do you recommend avoiding on any one of those given days?
I posted elsewhere here but had the dates off by 1 day. Thanks for your patience with me! :)

191 Dave { 02.25.16 at 8:33 am }
192 ann horton { 02.26.16 at 5:13 pm }

Taking our 4 yr old grandson may 19-24th 2016. Any advice? Thanks

193 Dave { 02.27.16 at 12:47 pm }

Ann, all my material on this site is for older kids, but you can find material aimed at kids that age in my book.

194 David Booker { 02.27.16 at 7:31 pm }

February 27th is NOT a 3. I’m literally in line for Pirates and it’s a 35 minute wait. It’s more like a 7 right now.

195 Dennis R { 02.28.16 at 12:04 pm }

Dave,
Located Invictus at – http://2014.invictusgames.org
“•Crowds of 65,000 packed venues to back 413 competitors from 13 nations in past 4 days”

196 Jonathan { 02.28.16 at 8:28 pm }

Dave – I’ve enjoyed your site for some time now. My wife, kids (7 yo daughter and 12 yo son), mother, and I are planning a trip this coming holiday season and I was wondering if you could give some crowd advice. We’re thinking of going either the week of Thanksgiving or from the 15th of December through the 21st. Which of these times should have lower crowds, or will they be about the same?

197 Dave { 02.29.16 at 8:12 am }

A 7 would be a 70 minute wait, David. Standby waits have gone up wildly since FP+.

198 Dave { 02.29.16 at 8:24 am }

Thanks Dennis–based on your link I also found this:

http://2014.invictusgames.org/news/bidding-process-open-for-aspiring-hosts-of-future-invictus-games/

The first ever Invictus Games saw 413 competitors from 13 nations compete for gold in nine sports, as well as a driving challenge organised by Presenting Partner Jaguar Land Rover, over 5 days in London this year. Some 79,000 spectators attended the sporting events, Opening Ceremony and Closing Concert and more than 10m viewers watched the Games for at least 15mins on the BBC, the Host Broadcaster. BBC audience research also found that viewers were extremely positive about the Invictus Games and that it was one of the most appreciated programmes of 2014.

79,000 over 5 days is about 16,000 a day. That will have little impact on a set of parks that already average 150,000 people per day…

199 Dave { 02.29.16 at 8:27 am }

Hi Jonathan, your December option will be better.

200 Dennis R { 03.06.16 at 12:26 pm }

Dave-Thanks for your expectation ref: Envictus Games

201 Taylor { 03.21.16 at 9:35 am }

Hi Dave, I started writing to you with all my Disney questions nearly a year ago…we are now down to 19 days and so excited! We arrive on April 9, one of your weeks predicted to be low crowd, but Disney just threw me for a loop. On Thursday, April 14, when I was hoping for the lowest crowds of the week in the Magic Kingdom, Disney just extended park hours to 11 and added a second MSEP. Can you read your crystal ball, peer into Mickey’s head, or wave your magic wand and try to give me some idea why they might have done this? Might they be expecting larger crowds that day? Of course, we have all our ADRs and FPs for the week, so not much to do about it now, but I need to get my expectations in order just in case. Thank you!

202 Dave { 03.21.16 at 10:01 am }

Taylor, this is routine and happens every month! No worries…

203 Taylor { 03.22.16 at 8:45 am }

Thanks, Dave! I didn’t realize that there is a second parade several nights that week, but I do find it odd that there isn’t a second parade on the weekends. Of course, now Disney has introduced this new after hours event. I can’t imagine anybody paying that kind of money to stay up until 2 am, but maybe I am just showing my age! 18 days to go…

204 Dave { 03.22.16 at 4:02 pm }

Yeah Taylor, the parade schedule March-May this year is kinda nuts, and not at all similar to what’s happened in recent years.

I’ll be at WDW 4/20 through 4/24, and will do the 4/21 after hours event if I can get tix for it, so that I can review it. It will build crowds in MK starting at 7p.

205 Kelly Barnes { 03.22.16 at 7:40 pm }

Can’t wait to see what everyone thinks of this new event. I’m like you Taylor, way past my bed time. But if you’re a night owl, the short lines and free treats could be worth the ticket price.

206 Katrianna { 03.26.16 at 12:06 pm }

Hi Dave, thanks for your emensly helpful website! We’re planning Orlando and we were thinking of doing magic kingdom on the 5th April just wanted to know if this was an ok date?

207 Dave { 03.27.16 at 12:56 pm }

Katrianna, yes, April 5 is a good MK day. However, you still need to get your FastPass+ ASAP. See this.

208 Mike Angelo { 03.29.16 at 8:25 am }

Hi Dave,
I sent an email here yesterday but don’t see it posted this morning. I’ll try again….
Was planning on a trip to Orlando in April. I see the week of the 9th is best. The 9th is a Saturday so planning on the 11th through the 14th. Best time to go?
Thanks as always.
Mike

209 Dave { 03.30.16 at 3:35 pm }
210 Karina { 04.04.16 at 12:27 pm }

Hi Dave,
We have a trip planned for May 28th to Jun 4th, 2016. Can you please recommend which parks to avoid on each date? Thank you so much!

211 Dave { 04.04.16 at 2:56 pm }

Hi Karina!

May 28 avoid AK and MK
May 29 avoid MK and HS
May 30 avoid AK and Mk
May 31 avoid Epcot
6/1 avoid MK
6/2 avoid Epcot
6/3 avoid MK and HS
6/4 avid MK and AK

212 Sue { 04.05.16 at 12:02 pm }

You’re the master! Thanks for the time you put into this to help us!

We will be in doing WDW April 24-29. Advice for days to schedule the different parks would be wonderful :)

213 Colleen { 04.06.16 at 11:03 am }

Hi Dave! When will calendars for March 2017 be updated? My daughter has spring break Mar 6-10, and from what I’ve gathered so far, that may actually be a decent time to visit. Thanks!

214 Taylor { 04.06.16 at 12:19 pm }

3 DAYS to DISNEY!!! Now that I have that out of my system, I have been hearing from people in the World this week that it is crazy busy, like a crowd 10+. Any idea why that might be and any guarantee that these people will vacate the premises before I arrive in 3 DAYS!?!?! Also, need advice on how to spend my time after this vacation is over…

215 Jen { 04.06.16 at 12:49 pm }

Hi Dave, I’m looking into booking a Disney vacation for Nov 5th-12th. We’re a family of five…my husband and I plus kids ages 4, 6 and 8. I’ve been to Disney a bunch of times prior to having kids and as a family of 5 we went a few years ago but we only did MK for one day while passing through to another destination. Now we’re ready for the whole week experience so i wanted to see if you had any advice on whether or not that was a good week to go and which parks to visit on which days? Thank you!

216 Dave { 04.07.16 at 11:22 am }

Hi Sue!

4/24 avoid HS
4/25 avoid AK and MK
4/26 avoid Epcot
4/27 avoifdMK
4/28 avoid Epcot
4/29 avoid MK and HS

217 Dave { 04.07.16 at 11:24 am }

Colleen, this summer no later than July. And yes, unless I get different data during the update, I do think that will be a fine week!

218 Dave { 04.07.16 at 11:31 am }

Taylor late morning and afternoon standby waits in non-recommended parks have been rough this week. The issue is not crowds, it’s capacity. Disney has oddly cut back substantially on staffing and capacity, so people without great plans are seeing long standby waits.

219 Dave { 04.07.16 at 11:36 am }

Jen, it’s a so-so week–OK, but not one of my recommended ones. See this. I won’t be able to recommend specific parks on specific days until the November calendar comes out, which should happen in a week or two so check back then OK??

220 Dawn { 04.07.16 at 4:18 pm }

Hi Dave,

I appreciate this site so much! I have a trip planned for 4/17-4/22. Your crowd calendar predicts light – moderate crowds. Have you confirmed the crowds have been low? I just viewed another site which predicted much higher numbers which is making me a little nervous. Thanks!

221 Jen { 04.07.16 at 8:38 pm }

Ok, thanks so much! Our kids have off school the whole election week so we might take a gamble and give it a try. I’ll check back in a few weeks to see which parks to stay away from. Thanks again!!

222 Dave { 04.09.16 at 9:16 am }

Dawn, there’s of course no way to confirm until they happen. So far in April, afternoon standby waits on major rides have been running longer than projections. The only reliable other crowd calendar is here http://www.easywdw.com/easy/calendars/april-2016-walt-disney-world-crowd-calendar/

223 Janna { 04.10.16 at 8:15 pm }

Our family of 5 adults is planning a Disney/Universal trip 12/26/16-01/02/17. We are two couples and one single. We are educators so our time is not flexible and I understand it is the busiest week of the year. Should we spend the extra money to stay on property? Which parks should we visit on what days? We plan to attend Disney three days and Universal two days.

224 Dave { 04.11.16 at 12:02 pm }

Janna, absolutely, both at WDW and at Universal. I won’t be able to advise on park days until Disney’s calendar for then comes out, which it should for December in about 5 weeks, and January a month after.

Educators usually do best at the beginning of June or end of August, if one of those fits their academic calendar…

225 Lisa Bristow { 04.12.16 at 4:16 am }

Hi Dave,

What a great site …! So we are doing our first Disney trip 21st may – 4th June.. We have a 3yr old and a just turned 1yr old… Are we mad? Will we be queuing forever and overwhelmed by crowds?

Thanks lisa

226 Dave { 04.12.16 at 9:41 am }

Hi Lisa and thanks! Crowds will be OK until 5/28. Since there’s not a lot for a 3 year old to do–a couple of days at MK, and a half day each at the other three parks–put all your park time before then and you will be fine!

227 Nithya { 04.14.16 at 1:14 pm }

Hi Dave, We will be visiting Orlando from 5/9 to 5/13 both days included. We plan to spend 1 day in Magic Kingdom. Among these days which day is best to visit Magic Kingdom or will crowd levels be more or less the same throughout the week in Magic Kingdom? thanks for your help!!!

228 Dave { 04.15.16 at 9:45 am }

Nithya, aim for the 12th or the 13th!

229 Helen { 04.16.16 at 2:26 pm }

Hello, we are going in sept. I have booked our dates and it is during the food and wine festivsl, not something we will be partaking of but we love epcot. Have an 11 yr old and doing the not so scary halloween, do you think it would be better to go before food and wine I didnt want to go the first week of sept due to hot. I was worriied that the food and wine festival would be extremely crowded. Should we risk the crowds and go later duringthe festival so not so hot?

230 Dave { 04.17.16 at 10:15 am }

Helen, F&W clots up Epcot’s World Showcase in the evenings and on the weekends, and especially Friday and Saturday evenings. And all of September can be wicked hot. So just avoid Epcot on the weekends, especially World Showcase, and you should be OK.

231 Emily { 04.19.16 at 6:38 pm }

I am hoping to go to wdw either the week before thanksgiving (my youngest would be free-her bday is nov 21) or end of February (to get over the Midwest winter). Which of these times would you recommend?

232 Tammy { 04.20.16 at 10:54 am }

Hey I love your website! I am trying to determine when to take my kids in September. We will be doing Magic Kingdom for 2 days (one of those being the Halloween Party), one day Hollywood Studios, and one day Epcot. should I have my park days be Thursday 9/22 thru Sunday 9/25 or SAturday 9/24 thru Tuesday 9/27? I’m looking for lowest crowds if possible. These dates would put us choosing between the Friday night or Sunday night Halloween party. Thanks!

233 Dave { 04.21.16 at 11:46 am }

Emily, so long as your Feb arrival is the 25th or later, both are great dates. I’d go with the November dates–some fun Xmas stuff, free kid!

234 Dave { 04.21.16 at 11:49 am }

Tammy, there’s not much difference. Epcot can be mobbed on weekends during the Food & Wine festival, so your second dates would give you a better day at Epcot (Monday). The party tends to be a little less crowded on school nights like Sunday, as fewer locals come.

235 Susie { 04.26.16 at 9:08 am }

Hi,

Thinking of going 11/15-11/21, worried crowds will be busy. On sat or sun should we do something other than parks during day and Mickey’s holiday party at night?

Thank you

236 katherine { 04.26.16 at 8:01 pm }

Hi there; please HELP! I have been planing for my very first trip to Disney with the family and it seems I went and picked a bad week, between the not-so-scary-halloween party, emh and columbus day weekend i’m stumped as to what to do for magic kingdom specifically. Once i get that part settled i’ll fill in the rest. So here goes my available days to do MK and I need to pick 2
Sunday October 9 (columbus day weekend open 9-10pm)
Wednesday October 12 (evening emh 9-10 with wishes, sandwiched between parties)
Saturday October 15 (weekend with wishes)
Wednesday October 19(evening emh no wishes, sandwiched between parties)
I am also able to do any party date if its a better option but I would prefer to do wishes(at the least once) Thanks for your help

237 Anonymous { 04.26.16 at 11:57 pm }

I need your opinion on something! In order to take advantage of free dining we had to move our planned dates around. We will be in the parks Thursday 9/22 through the afternoon of Sunday 9/25. We will have to do the Halloween party on Friday September 23rd. I am trying to decide which days to attend Epcot and which day to attend MK. I could do Epcot on Thursday the 22nd. I see that it has morning EMH. We would not be doing any of the Food and Wine and hope to be able to leave the park by the afternoon. Or we could do MK that day and do Epcot on Friday the 23rd before we go to the Halloween party that night. Most crowd calendars have Epcot in red both of those days but it is the only 2 days that we could do it. Which day do you suggest doing Epcot and which day would you do MK? Thanks!

238 tammy { 04.26.16 at 11:59 pm }

also looking at crowd calendars I was thinking Hollywood Studios that Saturday and MK again on Sunday until about 3pm. thanks

239 Dave { 04.28.16 at 10:54 am }

Susie, crowds will being to build Saturday and be serious Sunday. By avoiding EMH parks, and with an early arrival and FastPass+ though you’ll do fine.

240 Dave { 04.28.16 at 11:06 am }

Katherine, as you note, all lousy choices. With an early start and FastPass+ you can make any work, but I’d urge the later options, further away from Columbus Day. Pick the 15th or 19th, and also a party day.

241 Dave { 04.28.16 at 11:09 am }

I’d do Epcot Friday. The main impact of F&W is in evening, and you’ll miss that from the party…

242 Dave { 04.28.16 at 11:10 am }

Concur, Tammy!

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