By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2017, from the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever. Paperback available on Amazon here. Kindle version available on Amazon here. PDF version available on Gumroad here.



yourfirstvisit.net—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor



Disney World Crowds in 2017



By Dave Shute

2017 CROWDS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

Disney World Crowds in 2017 from yourfirstvisit.netThe chart lower on the page shows my forecasts for 2017 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 2018 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

 

HOW TO INTERPRET THE 2017 DISNEY WORLD CROWD CALENDAR

Dates are the beginning of the week.

As is the case in every good Disney World crowd calendar, the forecasts are about wait times on rides–not about how crowded the areas outside the rides might be.

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 peak 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. 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.”
The 2017 easy Guide

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179 comments

1 Chryssa Wilson { 10.12.15 at 2:12 pm }

I think most everyone was surprised by the crowds in Sept. 2015 due to the schools being closed form Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. You don’t feel that will affect the 9/23/17 week?

2 Dave { 10.13.15 at 9:20 am }

Chryssa, only one expert thought crowds were meaningfully higher than expected, and I view that as an anomaly. I do need to deeper into this, but don’t expect much to change, for the reasons noted here and here.

School closures for the high holy days remain uncommon, especially outside of the northeast.

3 Mary { 10.18.15 at 10:21 pm }

I love your site, why do you have late April and early May higher than 2016?

4 Dave { 10.19.15 at 8:21 am }

The much later Easter, Mary.

5 Lisa { 11.13.15 at 6:11 pm }

That’s my family in your picture!!!

6 Dave { 11.17.15 at 11:45 am }

Cool, Lisa!!!

7 Brenna { 12.23.15 at 11:53 pm }

Any suggestions for MarChristmas or April 2017?

8 Brenna { 12.23.15 at 11:54 pm }

Should say March or April 2017

9 Dave { 12.26.15 at 8:06 am }

Brenna, see this.

10 Mish { 12.30.15 at 10:23 am }

HI There! Debating the first week of March VS. the first week of April 2017. Could have extended family with us (meaning lots of kids under 10), will be our 4th trip, Have done Feb 1, October 20, and November 14 trips prior. October certainly seemed busier! But the weather was pretty great at 80. Any input?

11 Dave { 12.30.15 at 11:30 am }

Hey Mish, I like the March option better, but either looks good. See this.

12 Dawne { 01.02.16 at 7:33 pm }

So the week following New Year’s is bad? Much like the week after Christmas? That’s the only week I can get my fam together…

13 Matthew { 01.03.16 at 3:36 am }

Hi Dave. Really interested in a two week visit from 4/22/17. Usually I arrive first week of May which is perfect crowd levels for us. Should I expect similar crowds for end of April? Worried about the late Easter affecting us.

14 Dave { 01.03.16 at 5:38 pm }

Dawne, how long after 12/31 the parks remain horrible is purely a question of when in the week it falls. 12/31/16 is a Saturday, and some schools will return 1/2 and others not til 1/9, so I expect that week to have high-moderate crowds, worse earlier in the week.

15 Dave { 01.03.16 at 5:44 pm }

Matthew, the Easter crowds will last until 4/21, so you’ll be golden!! See this.

16 Louise { 01.23.16 at 7:47 pm }

First time at WDW, coming from Australia just after the New Year. Judging by this chart January will be a good time for me to visit? Will likely arrive after the 4th Jan 2017. Any recommendations of dates? I was hoping to spend at least 4 days at WDW then maybe 2 at Universal.

17 Dave { 01.25.16 at 9:06 am }

Hi Louise! Note that this calendar is a draft, to be revised in summer 2016 as more US school calendars come out. One week that’s particularly subject to revision is the first week of January.

So if you need to decide now (as opposed to later) I would try to arrive no earlier than Jan 7 2016, and also try to avoid the MLK Day holiday weekend 1/14 thru 1/16/17.

18 Louise { 01.30.16 at 6:01 am }

Hi Dave,

Thanks for that! I’ve been playing around with the dates of the places I’m going before I head to WDW so at the moment I should be arriving in Orlando on the 5th or 6th January but wont pick my exact Disney dates until closer. I’ve probably picked an annoying time of year to travel but I have to come during Australian holiday periods which are usually peak times everywhere else. I really appreciate your tips, I’ve been fussing about this for months and finally started booking things in today!

19 Rebecca { 01.30.16 at 8:14 am }

We are thinking about traveling March 3rd- 9th, 2017. According to your chart it looks like low crowds. Most planning sites say to avoid March. Are you giving a lower crowd rating because Easter is later pushing spring breaks to a later time? We are trying to decide if it is better to go the first week in February or March. It will be the first time taking our kids (3 and 2). Thanks!

20 Dave { 01.31.16 at 11:54 am }

Good luck, Louise!

21 Dave { 01.31.16 at 11:58 am }

Rebecca I can’t speak for other’s sites. The only crowd calendar besides mine that I unequivocal recommend is this one, which has similar results for the first week of March.

Any sites that says “avoid all of March” or “avoid all of April” is unwilling to do its homework…like this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2015/06/28/disney-world-spring-break-crowds-in-2016/

22 Christy { 02.01.16 at 11:14 am }

Dave, we are planning an April 2017 trip – 3/31-4/8. Thankfully, that week misses the Easter crowds and looks good on your calendar. If it were to drop a week or 2 in your rankings, would it still be a recommended week to go? We have been the first week of June before and didn’t find it too bad, just crazy hot. We are looking forward to spring weather!

23 Dave { 02.02.16 at 7:22 am }

Christy, if after my re-forecast my crowd forecast goes up, then that week will move out of the recommended weeks. It may move just a a week or two, but if the crowd forecast goes up it will go into the “moderate crowd” weeks and none of those hot my “recommended weeks” list.

However, with a good plan and judicious use of FastPass+ you can make a moderate crowd week work just fine!

24 Patrick { 02.21.16 at 5:10 pm }

Looking at the calendar, what do you think the chances are of the week of April 1st staying Low+? It just seems to be surrounded by Highs, and having one week be Low seems too good to be true. In our case, that week is the week prior to our school’s spring break, so maybe it is the same for most other schools?

25 Dave { 02.22.16 at 8:07 am }

Patrick, if it is going to change it will go into the moderate range. School breaks are much more varied than most people realize–that’s why I review the break calendars of 10 million kids every year.

26 Patrick { 02.22.16 at 1:21 pm }

Dave,
Thank you. My wife now wants to go 11-17 November…maybe she’ll keep this date.

btw…awesome site.

27 Dave { 02.23.16 at 8:30 am }

Patrick, that’s a great time to go…

28 Michelle { 03.17.16 at 8:08 pm }

Hi, Dave,
We are looking to visit in January 2017. How does the marathon affect crowds for the month?
Thank you, Michelle

29 Cristal { 03.18.16 at 12:14 pm }

Hi Dave,
Thank you so much for this awesome information, I’ve been poring over all of this for a week!
My husband and I are planning a 2017 visit and I’m happy to see that the week of 3/4 (my birthday week) and week of 12/9 (our anniversary week) are both ranked well for crowds. I have never been and I don’t think we’ll return until after we have kids. Which week would you recommend to for a better overall experience?

30 Dave { 03.18.16 at 1:42 pm }

Only slightly, Michelle.

31 Dave { 03.18.16 at 1:55 pm }

Cristal, I’d pick based on how much you like Christmas vs warmer temps. The Christmas season at WDW is spectacular–see this from 2015–but December weather can be all over the place.

32 Cristal { 03.21.16 at 1:45 pm }

Thanks for the reply!
After discussing it, I think we’re going to go with December. Christmas at Disneyland is my absolute favorite.
Personally, I’d rather layer up during cooler weather than sweat all day!
I imagine that rain isn’t much of a concern during that time?

33 Brittany { 03.22.16 at 10:38 am }

Hi Dave! I’ve been reading that there is usually a cheerleading competition during the first/second week (5th-7th) of March and the parks are extremely busy. Do you know of a competition for 2017 that would make planning a vacation with two toddlers for that week undesirable? Should we pick a different week? Thanks!

34 Dave { 03.22.16 at 3:45 pm }

Cristal, unless there’s a specific front, rain is not usually an issue then.

35 Dave { 03.22.16 at 4:03 pm }

Brittany this happens every year, and has next to no impact on crowds.

36 Nicki { 03.25.16 at 2:01 am }

I wanted to go to Disney for Christmas 2017, we were thinking of going December 3rd-11th. I was hoping there would be a room discount offered in June/July and would book then, but is that too late? Will we ruin our chance to get some of the places we want to stay if we don’t book sooner?

37 Kelly B - Destinations In Florida { 03.26.16 at 9:53 am }

Hi Nicki – 2017 prices should be released late June or early July. If you would like I can place your name on my 2017 release list. Then when the packages are released we can get you booked in your preferred resort/room. One of the perks of booking with me and Destinations in Florida is that we always watch for discounts. Then, based on availability, we will apply them to your reservation. But booking as early as possible is always best. That way if Disney does not release a discount, or there is no discount availability for you, you have your package locked in (at the current pricing), and we can get started making reservations as soon as they are available.

Contact me at kellyb@destinationsinflorida.com or 980-429-4499. All my services are free.

38 Dave { 03.26.16 at 10:08 am }

Nicki, did you mean 2016? The room rate deal that covered December 2015 didn’t come out until late July in 2015.

Once you have booked you can later try to add the deal. That’s a wildly popular period among people who know WDW well–who are the most likely to book at WDW hotel–so they can sell out early.

39 Nicki { 03.27.16 at 1:17 pm }

Thank you both so much! This was very helpful info!!!! We did want to go in 2017, I’m just a super planner and need to save my pennies! ?

40 Barb { 04.08.16 at 11:32 pm }

Won’t the week of March 4 th 2017 be crowed due to Mardi gras? We can Decide what week would be best, the week of Feb 25th or March 4th? Looking for low crowds and Weather warm enough to swim

41 Dave { 04.09.16 at 9:20 am }

Barb, among the 50 million US schoolkids, only a few million have any time off related to Mardi Gras, so it has only a slight impact on crowds. So either week would be a fine choice.

That early there’s no guarantee of warm enough weather to swim–it’s likely, but not sure.

42 Blair { 04.17.16 at 1:55 pm }

Why are the levels the end of September and beginning of October so high? We are looking for October but we are not big crowd people.

43 Dave { 04.17.16 at 2:56 pm }

Blair, fall breaks and Columbus Day trips

44 Emily { 04.28.16 at 7:44 pm }

Dave,
Looking at the list of college spring breaks for 2017 online it looks like almost all of them (esp large schools) are either week of March 4th or March 11th. Not many are March 17th so would you think that week would be lower than predicted? HS spring breaks would be more likely in April?

Thanks!

45 Dave { 04.29.16 at 10:33 am }

Emily, college breaks don;t matter as Disney World is not a spring break destination for college kids. I’ll have my full analysis of 2017 spring breaks done in June, but many, many school districts have March breaks–Texas, Florida, etc.

46 Lee { 05.03.16 at 12:14 pm }

Hello Dave.

Thanks for the info. Glad I found your site. We typically try to visit in February. I noticed on another site that there were really no very low crowd dates in February like we typically see. I found your site and you still have the first week of Feb low. Is Feb starting to be a busier month than it has been in years passed?

47 Dave { 05.04.16 at 8:56 am }

Lee I can’t speak for other sites. Low crowd is a relative measure, and there are huge differences in February. The worst time in 2017 will be between 2/16 and 2/25

48 Heather { 05.09.16 at 10:45 am }

You mention that “The worst time in 2017 will be between 2/16 and 2/25”. Why is that? My family is planning a late Feb / early Mar 4-day trip. I want to know if we should push it before / after that week.

49 Dave { 05.10.16 at 7:48 am }

The worst time in February 2017 is then, Heather, as every year the parks see high crowds from the Thursday before Presidents Day through the Saturday after.

50 Sara jane { 05.30.16 at 5:01 pm }

Hi. Just wanting to ask, I was wanting to go 2nd week of January but now won’t be able to. What will be the difference in the crowd level from the 2nd week of January to the 1st week. (Starting on Jan 2,17)

51 Dave { 06.02.16 at 9:36 am }

Sara Jane, I am still working on the updated crowd calendar for 2017, which should be out in about 30 days. My preliminary results suggest a lot more visits during the first week of January, so it you have to decide now, avoid it.

52 Rochelle { 06.20.16 at 2:29 am }

Hi!
I’m planning a first time trip next year to WDW from Australia, any extra advice you can give as to what time of the year would be best for first timers? We are flexible to what time of the year we can travel, but didn’t want to have to deal with the biggest crowds.
Thanks!

53 Dave { 06.21.16 at 10:21 am }

Rochelle, see this. Note that it’s a draft, and I’ll be updating it over the next 3-4 weeks.

54 Stacey { 07.06.16 at 9:17 pm }

Dave,
You are awesome! I am just starting to plan our first trip to Disney and your site is a HUGE help! We are looking at traveling April 21-28 (dates are somewhat flexible as we haven’t booked our plane tickets). Do you know yet which parks should be avoided on what days during that time period?
Thanks!

55 Dave { 07.07.16 at 4:08 pm }

Hi Stacey and so glad to help! My “parks to avoid” advice is based on Disney’s calendar, which it publishes ~6.5 months ahead. So I’ll be able to advise on April days in mid-September.

56 Stacey { 07.08.16 at 10:42 am }

Thanks so much!

57 Crystal { 07.09.16 at 9:49 pm }

Hello Dave,
In 2015 we had our first trip to Disney with our 8 and 2 year old. It was the first week of December and it was fun! We are looking to book our next trip in 2017 and I’m curious, since we will be going every other year is a different date recommended for returning families. Crowds were ok but I see in feb your crowds are lower, due to ride closer maybe? I guess my question is what date would you recommend for families that will return every other year?

58 Dave { 07.11.16 at 8:54 am }

Crystal, look at the far right side of the chart. Green there means good for returning visitors.

59 Mimiet { 07.12.16 at 6:02 pm }

Looking for best weeks to go in the fall.We are retired and would like to go end of September or sometime in October or November. With low crowds.

60 Dave { 07.13.16 at 8:09 am }

Mimiet, see the green-marked weeks on the chart.

61 Ashley { 07.17.16 at 5:01 pm }

For our 2017 trip, we are trying to decide between weeks of 2/25 or 9/2. We live in Louisiana so we have Mardi Gras off, but would have to take our kids out of school for the 9/2 trip. We went this year, 2016, during Mardi Gras and the cheer leading competition was that same week. I saw where you said the cheerleading competitions don’t usually affect crowd level much and was wondering if the crowd we experience was typical for Mardi Gras. Also wondering if anyone knows if the cheerleading competitions will be the week of Mardi Gras for 2017. We dealt with a lot of very loud and rude cheerleaders and don’t plan to return when they have their competitions…

62 Kelly B - Destinations In Florida { 07.18.16 at 8:22 am }

Ashley – In my experience the Cheerleading competitions don\’t affect the crowns in the parks, but can really change your experience depending on the resort you choose (if they share the resort) and without good adult supervision, you time in the parks.

One possible perk to going in December, is that Disney historically releases Free Dining for those dates. So if they do again for next year, based on availability, you could get free dining.

Let me know if I can be of any help booking your Disney vacation. Remember when you book with me, all of my services are FREE!!! KellyB@DestinationsInFlorida.com

63 Greg { 07.18.16 at 10:29 am }

Hi Dave,
My wife and 2 boys (ages 11-9) have reservations from April 18 – 30, 2017 at Pop Century. From everything I have read here, looks like that crowds die down after April 21, 2017?

64 Dave { 07.18.16 at 12:28 pm }

Ashley, Presidents Day crowds at WDW begin the Thursday before and extend through the next week. This often overlaps with Mardi gras (as it did later in your 2016 week) but the crowds were from Presidents Day, not Mardi gras. I don’t foresee issues like that in 2017. Labor Day traditionally has not been an crowd issue as it is so near the semester beginning that parents are loath to take their kids out of school.

There will be a cheerleading competition at the beginning of the MG week in 2017…

65 Dave { 07.18.16 at 12:29 pm }

Greg, yes!!

66 Emma Mae { 07.18.16 at 10:46 pm }

My family is going Feb 5-10 2017. I was wondering which parks you would recommend going to which day? Thanks!

67 Dave { 07.20.16 at 8:26 am }

Hi Emma Mae!

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

68 Amy { 07.20.16 at 7:49 pm }

Hi Dave,
thanks for the above – our family will be there the same week so that is super helpful. Just to clarify though – on 2/7 and 2/8 when Epcot and MK have their evening EMH – we were thinking that these would be the nights where Illuminations and Wishes would be on, therefore we’d actually want those parks on those days? Do the evening shows go every night regardless of EMH in February?
And thanks so much for the super, awesome update you posted yesterday that answered my question about Fantasmic and the Star Wars Projection show and likely needing 2 different nights for those. I guess HS is no longer a 1-day park for us! Thank-you, thank-you!

69 Ani { 07.21.16 at 3:58 pm }

Hi there!
Our family is planning a trip to WDW from March 26-31st 2017. Would this be a good time to visit as far as crowds? Also, it is our first trip….What parks do you recommend on which days? Please advise
Thank you
Ani

70 Dave { 07.22.16 at 8:06 am }

Amy, Illuminations is on every night, and Wishes every night your dates. So no worries! And I’m glad my overview helped!!

71 Dave { 07.22.16 at 8:08 am }

Ani, as the crowd calendar indicates, that’s one of the highest crowd weeks of the year. I will be able to advise on March parks after Disney releases its March calendar, in about a month.

72 Jonda { 07.23.16 at 3:31 pm }

What can you tell me about the crowds during Jersey Week? Is that a week I really want to avoid or how is it?

73 Angela { 07.24.16 at 7:24 pm }

What’s the least crowded time I’m February? I’m thinking about coming Feb 4- 2017

74 Dave { 07.25.16 at 11:24 am }

Jonda, see this.

75 Dave { 07.25.16 at 11:30 am }

Angela, a visit that ends by 2/16 will see the lowest crowds.

76 Dave { 07.25.16 at 7:04 pm }

Dave –
My wife is a teacher so we always face busy times when we go to Disney. My wife and kids don’t go back to school until 1/9. We are planning on going to parks on 1/1, 1/2 and 1/3. Two questions: What parks should we avoid or definitely go to those days (we are planning on MK, E and HS)? Will this week be more or less crowded than high school spring break in April?
I appreciate your feedback and love your website!!!
Dave

77 Dave { 07.26.16 at 8:40 am }

Dave, because so many people will be sleeping in, the morning of 1/1 should be OK everywhere except HS but especially MK and Epcot. Then use your FastPass+ for the afternoon. 1/2 Avoid AK, and 1/3 avoid Epcot.

This first part of the week will be as crowded as Spring break. See this.

78 Mike { 08.04.16 at 11:02 am }

Hi Dave, my family and I are planning to go to WDW during a Mon- Fri December 4-8 2017. So after Thanksgiving and before Christmas. Is that a good time to visit for lower crowds?

79 Dave { 08.05.16 at 9:53 am }

Mike, that’s a great time to visit. See this. (About 2016, but all the basics should still be true in 2017.)

80 Catherine { 08.07.16 at 9:05 pm }

It seems a little odd that the crowds would be lower the week of 10/28…. Are the wait times for rides lower because of everything else happening for Halloween? How crowded would the park itself be around this time?

81 Dave { 08.09.16 at 9:43 am }

Catherine crowds are lower because few kids are on vacation.

82 Mike { 08.10.16 at 8:37 pm }

Hey Dave! First week of February? 1-8. Super Bowl have any bearing on park crowds?

83 Dave { 08.12.16 at 11:56 am }

Nah, the Super Bowl cuts back on visits from locals that afternoon and evening, but not so you’d notice it.

84 Arie { 08.13.16 at 1:23 pm }

For the 2017 calendar, I’ve notice a few discrepancies with other calendars so I’m hoping you could share your thoughts. The last week of Jan is listed as a very low crowd week, but I read somewhere about a cheer and football competition taking place The weekend of Jan 29th. Also, there is a cheer competition the weekend of Feb. 3/4 as well as March 4/5 and March 11/12. I would like to pick a low crowd week in the Spring but it’s proving difficult. We’ve been an September and the crowds were wonderfully low, but was hoping not to have to wait that long to go next year. Thank you!

85 Dave { 08.14.16 at 1:58 pm }

Arie, the cheer competitions happen every year and have no impact on crowds. On an average day there’s more than 150,000 people on site. An incremental cheer competition disappears as a rounding error.

86 Angela { 08.14.16 at 11:13 pm }

Hi Dave – I am trying to decide between taking our family the week of 1/21-1/28 or doing 1/28-2/4. We want the lowest crowds. What would you recommend?

87 Dave { 08.15.16 at 8:22 am }

Angela, see this for why I think the later dates will be better

88 Jessica { 08.17.16 at 2:57 pm }

Hi Dave~

We have planned our trip for March 4-10 2017. If I’m reading everything right, we should have lower crowds? Also, are most parks okay to go to any of those days or should we be looking at certain parks on certain days?

Thanks
Jeasica

89 Dave { 08.18.16 at 12:13 pm }

Jessica, certain parks will be better or worse certain days–I can advise you on that as soon as Disney releases its schedule for March, which should be soon. So ping me back in a week, OK?

90 Stephanie { 08.19.16 at 8:12 am }

We are visiting Disney Parks for a short 2 day/night stay with our tween & teenage children. This will be our third visit. We have to choose between 2 days during President’s Day week (Feb. 21-24) or 2 days the week after Easter (April 17-20). I had assumed February would be much more sane as far as crowds go, but now it seems that may not be the case. Which would you choose? Thanks you!

91 Jessica { 08.19.16 at 11:37 pm }

I defiantly will!!
Thanks.

92 Dave { 08.20.16 at 8:30 am }

Stephanie, unless my forecast is wrong–it happens 🙂 –I’d give a slight nod to April. However, for returning visitors, a good plan beats high crowds every day, and since the dates are similar, you might pick on other criteria like weather.

93 Stephanie { 08.22.16 at 8:25 pm }

Thanks, Dave! Hmmm…good plan: Arrive early, break for lunch, come back later in the day, is that still the gold standard? Weather: February looks dry and cool, April is wet and warmer? I’m not a fan of this new fast pass system. Use to be able to go all day and park hop, too! Now only 3 fast passes per day restricted to one park? The park hopper now seems like a waste of money. Do you have any advice on how to use the new system and park hop? Is it ever worthwhile? We are hoping for one day at MK and split 2nd day between HS and Epcot. Thanks again!

94 Dave { 08.23.16 at 2:57 pm }

Stephanie, yes–the old approaches still work fine. To hop, book your FP+ in the park you mean to be in second.

95 Staci { 08.27.16 at 11:07 am }

Hi Dave,

Do you know when you will have your 2018 crowd calendar out? I am planning a trip to DW for early that year. I’m able to go anytime between the end of February and throughout the month of April. Easter falls on April 1 that year, so I’m looking for the best time with lower crowds, lower costs, and nicer weather. Thanks 🙂

96 Kelly B - Destinations In Florida { 08.28.16 at 9:37 pm }

Staci –

I’m sure Dave will have a more exact answer. Just try to avoid week before and after Easter and you should have lower crowds.

97 Jessica { 08.29.16 at 1:44 pm }

I was just checking back to see of the calendars were out yet?

Thank a bunch
Jessica

98 Jessica { 08.29.16 at 7:30 pm }

I guess I should mention. What I tentativly came up with is….

AM on the 5th
HS on the 6th
MK on the 7th
Epcot on the 8th
MK on the 9th.

We want Magic Kingdom 2 days. So hoping I’m somewhat on right track:)

99 Dave { 08.30.16 at 5:59 pm }

Staci, it’ll likely be October before I get it out. But I can tell you now that the weeks beginning 2/24/18 and 4/15/8 and later into mid-May should be great. The second half of April will be the best combo of weather, crowds, and prices.

100 Dave { 08.30.16 at 6:13 pm }

Jessica, great choices!!

101 ISA { 09.15.16 at 11:51 pm }

Hi Dave,
We just started to plan our first Disney trip. We have have a really flexible schedule and we are going with two kids (3 and 5 year old). We would love to go for my daugthers 3rd b-day on 09/07 BUT it’s completly out of our plans just because of weather (high heat + huminity). We are thinking about October! We will be in Orlando probably for 5 days but our plan is to visit MK and AK only and I personally think that’s enough for 2 small kids for their 1st Disney trip. Anyways, I would like to know when in October is the best week for us! Good weather (not chilly) and lower crowd. And we will avoid MK on Saturday!!! Thanks in advance!!!

102 ISA { 09.16.16 at 12:09 am }

I forgot to mention about Columbus Day in the begining of the month and Halloween + possible chilly in the ending of the month. Should we go in the middle of October?

103 kristin { 09.19.16 at 1:14 pm }

Hi! Great site. Thanks for all the helpful info.
So, traveling to WDW from April 5th through 11th. Trying to plan itinerary so I can book dining. I came up with this:
4/5: PM HS
4/6: MK
4/7:AK
4/8: MK
4/9: Epcot
4/10: MK
4/11: Home:-(
Yeah or Nay?
TIA

104 Dave { 09.20.16 at 5:22 pm }

Hi Kristin, I can’t comment until the April calendar comes out, which should happen within a week. So check back, OK?

105 Dandy { 09.21.16 at 3:45 pm }

Steve,

We are trying to decided the best time to take our first trip. We were thinking either the week of Feb 5th or Feb 11th. Due to the low crowds but I heard that’s a Refurbishment time and I’m wondering if a lot of attractions would be closed. Another time frame we were looking at was Sept 9th or Sept 16th weeks but I heard the weather is a factor during that time. Which would you suggest as we will have 2 kiddos with us that don’t do really well in high humidity conditions.

106 Dave { 09.22.16 at 10:50 am }

Dandy, it’s not a lot of attractions–likely 3-6, 1 to 2 major, out of around 100. So I would do February. Between the two feb weeks, I’m not keen on the week of the 11th so would advise the week of the 5th.

107 Caroline Roughley { 09.25.16 at 3:44 pm }

Hi there! This is such a useful site thank you. We are from London and been saving forever for our first trip next year. We were thinking of last 2 weeks in August 2017, I understand it’s quite rainy and humid then but we are tied somewhat by the school holidays but maybe crowds should be lower if American schools are back then. Any idea what date they go back? Thanks so much in advance!

108 Dandy { 09.25.16 at 7:17 pm }

Dave,

So you would recommend the week of Feb 5th.

What about Sept? The week of the 9th or 16th. For a return trip how is the weather during those times. Thanks!

109 Dave { 09.26.16 at 2:24 pm }

Caroline, there’s no single date–see this for how it worked in 2016. Crowds should be low the last week of August, but a little higher the week before.

110 Dave { 09.26.16 at 2:25 pm }

Dandy see this–it’s about 2016, but the weather will be about the same!

111 Maria { 09.26.16 at 4:22 pm }

Dear Dave:
we´ll traver from Argentina to spend the hollydays and one more week until january 8th. to WDW
The info we have in my country is that from jan 2nd. the crowds goes down (because of the begening of school). But at your callendar you show that the week from december 31st. to january 7th. the crowds are high.
We know about the marathon but other travellers say it don´t modify much the crowds.
Can you tell me why you considered high crowds all the week after new year?
Thank you in advance. We enjoy a lot your web.
Maria.

112 Dave { 09.28.16 at 2:33 pm }

Hi Maria, see the explanation here.

113 Dave { 09.29.16 at 1:00 pm }

Dave- we are planning our 3rd trip to WDW and struggling between the first week in June (4-10) and the week of Dec 17-23.
Our last visits were in Sept 2013 and June 2015. We’d really like to try December for the cooler weather and decorations, etc, but not sure we can handle the crowds. And our kids love the midday breaks at the resort pool.
We live in Houston so we can handle the heat, but a break would be nice… we don’t want to freeze either.
So conflicted, lol.
We understand how to use the crowd calendars but worried that the crowds would still be insane in December… so, swimming in June or the “magic” of Disney at Christmas?

Any thoughts/advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

114 Dave { 09.30.16 at 10:02 am }

Dave, I would save December for a time when you can do your trip in the first half of the month.

115 Yaskara { 10.04.16 at 1:19 pm }

I got a bit scared about the President’s week crowds, but februrary was the only month my boss allowed me to take a full month vacation. I’m coming for the 7th time to the parks, but I do enjoy them moderately empty. I’ll be at Universal Resorts during the first week of februrary (which I’m glad to know it will be quite empty… but did you consider the Harry Potter Celebration event until January 31st?) and at Disney Word resorts a week before Presidents’ Day. Are you sure the week before won’t be impossibly crowded? Those graphics are amazing, thank you so much!

116 Dave { 10.06.16 at 2:23 pm }

Yasakara, my crowd forecasts are for Disney World Saturdays-Sundays (nine days). Universal follows the same basic patter, but specific events (like Harry Potter) may change specific days at either place. The crowds the week before Presidents Day begin the Thursday before Presidents day.

117 Christine { 10.19.16 at 10:07 pm }

Hi Dave! Your site is VERY helpful! Thx for all your effort and research.
Can you help me decide which week you think will be less crowded in 2017…the week of March 12th or Thanksgiving week?? THANKS!

118 Dave { 10.20.16 at 7:16 am }

Christine I think Thanksgiving will be a little better, but not enough to drive me to it, so I’d pick between the two based on other factors like weather and prices.

119 Christine { 10.20.16 at 5:11 pm }

Thanks for the quick response. It’s near impossible to miss the crowds since we’re tied to school schedule. Booo! I would love to do Christmas week but since it’s craziness, gotta go for plan B.

120 Andrew { 10.24.16 at 9:36 am }

We are also going to Disney from 2/2-2/8. Why avoid these parks these days? It is not our first times and have missed things just because we weren’t sure where to look, like last time HW had an anniversary deal with all kinds of extra stuff going on, and we missed it because we took advantage of extra magic hours at another park that day. I’m ok with larger crowds if something special is going on. Thanks

121 Dave { 10.25.16 at 7:55 am }

Andrew, the rankings are for first-timers who may never return. Everyone else should like at the column on the far right, where your week is marked as good!

122 Heidi { 11.01.16 at 4:17 pm }

Looking to take our 2 almost 3 year old between Jan 31 thru Feb 6, any suggestions on which parks on which days for that age? Also won’t be our last visit. Thanks! 🙂

123 Dave { 11.02.16 at 7:10 am }

Heidi, there’s not a ton for kids that age to do. A couple of days at MK, and maybe half days at Epcot, AK and HS, will suffice.

1/31 avoid Epcot
2/1 avoid MK
2/2 avoid Epcot
2/3 avoid MK and HS
2/4 avoid MK and AK
2/5 avoid HS
2/6 avoid AK

124 Ashley { 11.19.16 at 11:07 am }

Hi, we are taking an extended trip to the Orlando area next year. Dates are 8/31-9/17. We plan to spend 6-8 days at Disney parks. Any suggestions on which days would be the best or which should be avoided? We plan to visit other parks/entertainment in the area, but everything else is being planned around our time at Disney.

125 Dave { 11.19.16 at 12:44 pm }

Ashley, I won’t have any advice until Disney’s September calendar comes out, which will be in about three months.

126 Jennifer { 11.22.16 at 10:56 am }

Although you’d recommended April over June in answer to one of my previous queries, we’re going to have to go that first week of June due to scheduling challenges. Now we’ve got the D23 announcement that Avatar Land is opening “Summer of 2017.” First, do you think there’s any real possibility that “Summer of 2017” would actually be the first week of June? Second, if by some chance it is, what might be the overall effect on the crowds, not just the obvious ones at AK, but all over?

127 Dave { 11.24.16 at 8:15 am }

Jennifer, it should have little effect. When New Fantasyland–a much bigger deal–opened, it had little short-term effect. Also FWIW “summer” I think means “between June 21 and September 21”

128 Jennifer { 11.24.16 at 8:33 am }

That’s what I was hoping you’d say!!! Thanks again, and have a great Thanksgiving. 🙂

129 Lisa { 11.26.16 at 8:42 am }

I noticed Disney usually puts together package deals from Sun – Thus. We are planning to go the last week of Aug….when do you think they will announce the discounts for summer 2017?
Thank you.

130 Dave { 11.26.16 at 9:44 am }

Lisa, there’s not enough a trend to predict the what dates the deal will cover. Room rate discounts for then and a free dining deal for then will likely come out in late April/early May.

131 Brooke { 12.03.16 at 4:40 pm }

Hello!
Our vacation is planned for Feb 5-10 … the reason we picked this week, low crowds and hopefully low wait times 🙂 This is our 4th trip and first time in February 🙂

Could you tell me what to expect regarding wait times??

Thanks in advance!!

132 Dave { 12.04.16 at 1:16 pm }

Brooke, we have detailed expected wait charts, by crowd level by ride by hour, in Chapter 7 of our book.

133 Deb { 12.05.16 at 12:32 am }

Hi Dave,
We are two just retired Canadian adults and want to visit Disneyworld for the first and probably the only time. We were thinking of the week of November 26 to Dec 3, 2017 or Dec 3 to Dec 10 (pop warner week) . In your opinion which would be the better week for lower crowds. Thanking you in advance. Merçi

134 Dave { 12.05.16 at 1:11 pm }

Deb, as the calendar notes, the first week is slightly better, but both are good!

135 Dominique { 12.07.16 at 3:55 pm }

Hi! Love your website!!
We are trying to decide between the week after Thanksgiving and the first week in December. What do you think?? Thanks for your help!!

136 Dave { 12.07.16 at 5:54 pm }

Hi Dominique and thanks! Either is a great choice, see this.

137 Nikki { 12.09.16 at 1:16 am }

Hello,
Thank you for offering such great info. We are planning on going for my sons 3rd birthday, the week of Nov 5th, 2017 and going for the whole week with park hopper. Will crowds be bad for 1st timers? Weather good?
Thank you in advance

138 Dave { 12.09.16 at 8:20 am }

Nikki, see this. That’s not a bad week, but there are much better ones. BTW, you don’t really need a hopper pass.

139 Peter C { 12.21.16 at 11:33 am }

Hi Dave,
Absolutely awesome site. You gave me great info on Hollywood Studios last yaear, thanks.
I am returning to Disney in late August 2017 with a group of 21 students from the UK, all aged around 18. Is the Banshee ride at Pandora likely to be separately ticketed at an additional cost? We have 7 day hopper tickets but would obviously love to go on this ride. Any information greatly appreciated.
Peter

140 Kelly B - Agent with Destinations in Florida { 12.21.16 at 6:54 pm }

Hi Peter C –

All rides and attractions are included with your park hopper ticket. No separate pricing for individual rides. You’re covered.

141 Linda Cote { 12.29.16 at 6:55 pm }

Hi Dave,
I’ve always wanted to go to Disney to experience the holiday season. Unfortunately, as a teacher, that means going at the same time as every other person on school break. I have booked the trip already but because the time is so far out the dates can still be changed. This will be my families 4th trip in 4 years (my sons will be 8). We have been during April vacation, July 4th week(our first trip), and the first two weeks of August. Is it just foolish of me to book a Christmas week vacation? I’m so torn! Thank you for any advice.

142 Dave { 12.30.16 at 7:07 am }

Linda, if you are willing to stay on-site (for morning EMH) and get to the parks really early, as an experienced visitor you can do just fine!

143 Angel { 12.30.16 at 10:45 pm }

Hi Dave!
My family is planning our 4th trip to Disney World 3/31-4/6 would you recommend these days?

144 Dave { 01.02.17 at 9:12 am }

Angel, all these days will be rough

3/31 avoid MK
4/1 avoid MK and AK
4/2 avoid MK and HS
4/3 avoid avoid MK and AK
4/4 avoid Epcot
4/5 avoid MK
4/6 avoid Epcot

145 Ashley { 01.02.17 at 9:48 pm }

Oh boy! I just booked my families first visit to Disney World March 20-26th. Doesn’t look good in regards to crowds. Any tips on how to navigate the parks on these days? Thanks for any advice!

146 Dave { 01.03.17 at 8:35 am }

Ashley there are four tricks: arrive well before park open; have good FastPass+ picks; look for more FastPass+ after you’ve used your pre-booked three by refreshing all the time; and design the flow of your day (using the first two tactics) to avoid stand by lines on higher-wait rides. Take a look at some of the daily plans in this to get an idea how this works.

147 Kat { 01.17.17 at 1:46 pm }

Hey Dave I was hoping you could tell me a good day to go to AK this coming February. I’m taking my best friend out there and she’s never been. We can only go towards the end of February and either on a Friday or Saturday.

148 laura { 01.26.17 at 5:32 pm }

hi dave…
so much great info…thanks!! trying to decide on going either the week of 11.4.17 or 11.11.17? it’s our first time as a family going to disney. thanks for the help!

149 Kelly B - Agent with Destinations in Florida { 01.28.17 at 8:39 pm }

HI Laura,

Dave’s in Disney – so I thought I would share my thoughts. The week of 11/4 is known as Jersey week. NJ schools are out for teacher’s convention, so many families flood to Disney. The crowds are starting to know that, and things are changing. But I would recommend the week of 11/11. And taking a look at Dave’s best time to visit his charts agree.

150 Dave { 01.29.17 at 7:49 pm }
151 jasmine { 01.30.17 at 5:07 pm }

Hi I was wondering if February 25 was a good day to go out to Animal Kingdom?

152 Dave { 01.31.17 at 2:55 pm }

Jasmine, unless you are Extra Magic Hours eligible and can arrive at the turnstiles by 30 minutes before EMH begins, no, it’s not. Are you EMH eligible? (Where are you staying?)

153 Jen { 02.09.17 at 11:25 pm }

Hi Dave,
Love all this great info! Booked a trip for my family of 4, Nov. 25-Nov. 28. Will be going to the parks on 11/25, 11/26, & 11/27. No AK this trip. Not wanting to do MVMCP but would like to see fireworks at MK and only have 1 day. Which parks do you recommend for each day? Thanks!!

154 Dave { 02.10.17 at 1:21 pm }

Jen I will be able to recommend, but only after Disney releases its calendar for then and the Xmas party schedule. That should be in around mid-April.

155 Evelyn { 02.10.17 at 5:20 pm }

Hello,
If you have to pick a weekend to go to MK and Epcot (Feb 25th or March 4th) which one would you thing is better in terms of crowds? Thank you

156 Dana { 02.12.17 at 11:04 am }

We have been to Disney many times around spring break and June. We are considering a trip December 26th-January 1st 2017. I know that is a crazy busy time, but how crazy busy in comparison to spring break and June? We are great at touring and planning, but I just don’t want everyone to be miserable because of the crowds. I teach, so I can only go when school is out.

157 Dave { 02.13.17 at 10:42 am }

Evelyn, the March dates.

158 Dave { 02.13.17 at 10:44 am }

Dana, it’s worse than Spring break and much worse than June. However, experienced folks who stay on site, do morning EMH (which can start at 7a at MK), and buy park hoppers to hop away can do just fine!!

159 Emily { 03.04.17 at 12:03 am }

We have been at Disney this week (Feb 26-Mar 5 and the crowds have been higher than we’ve ever seen in spring and fall. I think the whole state of Louisiana is here. We even had to wait in line for Tomorrowland Transit Authority!?!?

160 Dave { 03.04.17 at 10:07 am }

Hi Emily, yes, they were a little higher than I expected through Wednesday.

161 cristina { 03.05.17 at 3:24 pm }

Can we expect large crowds the week of memorial day? We are arriving the Tuesday following memorial day and will be there for several days.

162 Dave { 03.06.17 at 8:28 am }

Cristina, yes–that’s what the red in the crowd calendar means…

163 Amanda { 03.11.17 at 11:56 am }

Our school calendar was just finalized for next year. We will be out the whole week before Christmas. We’ve never been to Disney World at this time of year but are thinking of planning a trip. Our dates would probably be Dec 16-22. We understand the crowd calendars, we are always at parks when they open and avoid EMH. So, we want to know when the crowds will really arrive. Do you think many other schools be out the week before or are we safe until closer to end of the week? Should we plan to miss those last few days of school and go a few days earlier?

164 Dave { 03.13.17 at 11:25 am }

Amanda, I’ll have a better idea after the full set of 2017-18 school calendars is out, but for now I’m expecting heavy crowds beginning mid-week, so you would miss most of them.

165 Valerie Kolaric { 03.21.17 at 9:24 am }

Hi, I love your site! We were planning to go to Disney the week of Thanksgiving only because we are trying to have our son miss as little school as possible. We have been to Disney three times before. All three times, we went mid-November and loved the weather and, what seemed to be, low crowds. What is your honest opinion of going Thanksgiving week?

166 Sarah { 03.22.17 at 4:43 pm }

Our family of 8 have recently booked for the last 2 weeks in October, do you know what the crowds will be like. We will be taking 4 children ages are 10, 6, 2 and 3months (yes we are mental) so would like to plan ours days to avoid large crowds.

Thanks in advance

167 Dave { 03.23.17 at 9:45 am }

Hi Sarah! How many days to you mean to spend in each park (see this for help if you don’t know).

168 Amber { 03.30.17 at 8:54 pm }

Looking to go the week before Thanksgiving to see it decorated for Christmas! What’s your opinion on the crowds? I have been mid-June, October, & the March before.

169 Dominique { 04.01.17 at 3:07 am }

My family (3 adults 2 children 11 & 6) will be traveling to Florida May 27-June 2. We want To spend one day at Magic Kingdom and one maybe two days at Universal Studios. Can you recommend the best days to go?

170 Dave { 04.04.17 at 10:36 am }

Amber, as the chart notes this is a lower-crowd week.

171 Dave { 04.04.17 at 10:49 am }

Dominique, the best Magic Kingdom days will be May 30 and June 1.

172 Jen { 04.08.17 at 6:24 pm }

Hi Dave,
Now that the holiday party schedule is out, wondering if you would recommend going to MK on a party day and also purchasing tickets and staying that night for the party? We only have one day to be at MK this trip and are looking at Sunday, Nov. 26. How will the crowds be the Sunday after Thanksgiving? Thanks!

173 Dave { 04.10.17 at 7:46 am }

Jen, that will make for a long and expensive day. It might be easier to spend the morning at a park you have less interest in, take a break and then go to the party, saving another full day for MK. Either way, a mid-day break for a nap will help people stay up. Crowds that Sunday will be just fine!

174 Donna A. { 04.10.17 at 10:23 pm }

Random question…if i buy Disney gift cards at BJ’s wholesale club and use them to pay for dinner at Table service restaurants, will i be able to put the tip on them as well or will i have to use cash for the tip?

175 Dave { 04.11.17 at 8:57 am }

Donna, you can use the gift card–see this.

176 Dani Harris { 05.16.17 at 3:58 pm }

Hi! Love this site- so many great tips! I will be traveling with my family during 4th of July week :/ What should I prepare myself for? How long do you think the wait times will be like?

177 Dave { 05.18.17 at 7:47 am }

Dani, a good plan and judicious pre-booked FastPass+ will help a lot. See this for how to think about FastPass+, and this (and its daily links) for an example of a good plan

178 Kallie { 05.18.17 at 7:46 pm }

I was hoping you could help chose the best Friday in September for MNSSHP? Me and my friend really want to go this year and I was wondering when the crowds will be the lightest?

179 Dave { 05.19.17 at 9:04 am }

Kallie, the earlier in the month, the better.

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