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



2017 Weeks to Visit Walt Disney World, Ranked in Order



By Dave Shute

OVERVIEW: THE BEST TIMES IN 2017 AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

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

If you can’t go then, presented below are my rankings of the weeks of 2017 in order of best to worst times to visit Disney World.

These rankings are designed for first time visitors who do not know whether or not they will return.

For visitors on a return trip, less concerned about ride closures or the peak of the hurricane season, the later January, early February, and September weeks would be ranked much higher.

These week rankings are based on my 2017 Disney World Crowd Calendar and on the 2017 Walt Disney World price seasons.

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

(For 2018 rankings, see this.)

RECOMMENDED 2017 WEEKS, RANKED IN ORDER

The thirteen recommended weeks that follow are wonderful weeks to visit Walt Disney World in 2017.

Week number one has it all–lower crowds, lower prices and wonderful Christmas programs and decorations. The first Saturday of this week overlaps with Thanksgiving crowds, but the rest of it will be marvelous:

  • 1: 11/25/17

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

  • 2: 12/9/17. A week as good as week 1 on crowds and holiday programs. Slightly more expensive, however, than weeks 1 or 3
  • 3: 12/2/17. Largely a terrific week with low crowds, low prices and wonderful holiday programs. However, this is a week that, because of Pop Warner football demand for resort rooms, is rarely discounted beyond its already low prices. Those intending to stay at a value resort, Caribbean Beach or Coronado Springs should consider avoiding this week and target week 1 or 2 instead, as Pop Warner guests may make these resorts boisterous this week

Week 4 has lower prices and crowds, and offers in its first few days Disney World’s Halloween program

  • 4: 10/28/17

Week 5 is a very strong week. It has low crowds and prices, and Disney World’s holiday program at the Magic Kingdom will be in place

  • 5: 11/11/17

Weeks 6 is your best 2017 Spring Break bet, with low crowds and moderate prices

  • 6: 3/4/17

Weeks 7 and 8 are similar to week 4 but projected at slightly higher crowds. They share great late autumn weather. These are near-tied, but are in calendar order as the better weather is earlier this time of year

  • 7: 10/14/17
  • 8: 10/21/17

Weeks 9 to 12 are all in the same 2017 post-Easter stretch, and share low crowds, moderate prices, and nice spring weather. They are in calendar order, as the weather is better earlier in this period

  • 9: 4/22/17
  • 10: 4/29/17
  • 11: 5/6/17
  • 12: 5/13/17

Week 13 is the second-best 2017 Spring Break week, with low crowds and moderate prices

  • 13: 2/25/17

This completes the weeks in 2017 that are recommended.

2017 WEEKS I’M NOT SO KEEN ON

Weeks 14-20 all have moderate crowd levels, with different prices and weather. I don’t particularly recommend moderate-crowd weeks for first time visitors, but they are quite manageable, and I would go myself such weeks with no hesitation.

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

  • 14: 11/4/17. Jersey Week”—teacher meetings in New Jersey, leading to a massive temporary immigration of New Jersey families to Orlando. Crowds moderate-minus, prices low to moderate, almost never with major discounts.
  • 15: 5/20/17 Similar to week 12, slightly more heat and humidity and crowds.
  • 16: 10/8/17. Columbus Day week, with higher crowds and prices than the great weeks (ranked 7, 8 and 4) that follow it
  • 17: 8/5/17  Moderate-plus crowds as the summer season begins to fade away
  • 18: 6/3/17.  Beginning of summer–similar crowds to week 17, but slightly higher prices in deluxes
  • 19: 4/1/17. Moderate+ crowds and high prices. My draft of this material had this as a better week, but the late-arriving crowd facts ended up not supporting such a position. Moreover, crowds may be higher than my forecast.
  • 20: 4/15/17. The week after Easter is usually quite bad, but the late Easter in 2016 has moderated the number of kids on break, especially after Easter Monday. However, crowds may be higher than my forecast.

Note: in May 2017 I changed the crowd forecast for the week of 12/16/17 to “moderate+.”  This would shift it into this group, with a ranking after 20 and before 21.

Weeks 21-28 have one thing in common: they occur during the peak of the hurricane season. Hurricanes are rare and even more rarely affect a Disney World vacation, but for first-timers who may never return, why not just avoid the risk? For returning visitors, though, the low-crowd weeks among this group can be wonderful times to visit.

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

Weeks 21 and 22 have among the lowest crowds and lowest prices of the year.

  • 21: 9/9/17
  • 22: 9/16/17

Weeks 23 to 25 are similar, but with slightly higher crowds than 21 and 22–with 25 forecast to have slightly higher crowds than 23 and 24

  • 23: 9/2/17
  • 24: 9/23/17
  • 25: 8/26/17

Week 26 is at the outer range of low crowds

  • 26: 8/19/17

Weeks 27 and 28 are the only moderate-crowd weeks in this hurricane group

  • 27: 9/30/17
  • 28: 8/12/17

2017 WEEKS TO AVOID AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

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

The first group, ranked 29-45, should be avoided because of crowds ranging from high to unbelievable.

This group includes all of later June, July and early August (massive crowds). It also includes the busy March Spring Break weeks beginning 3/11/2017, and the holiday weeks—President’s Day week, the week before Easter, Thanksgiving week, and the weeks around Christmas.

Click the table for exact rankings within these lousy weeks.

The next group includes the January and early February weeks when rides are often closed for repair or refurbishment—weeks 46-52.

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

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

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

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

If you must go during this period, avoid the first days of January (massive crowds), the Martin Luther King Day (1/14/17 arrival date) holiday weekend, and the week before the Pro Bowl (which is January 29th).

The Marathon Weekend (affecting arrival dates of 12/31/16 and 1/7/17) complicates the parks as well.

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237 comments

1 thomas madden { 10.19.15 at 8:04 pm }

we will be flying in on february 22nd of 2017 for mardi gras which is the 28th. we will be staying until march 5th. presidents day will be february 20th that year. my question is how bad will it for out first few days @ the parks thuresday-sunday should we do legoland & universal express pass until the following week of mardi gras when the crowds die down. never been this time of year
thanks

2 Heather { 10.21.15 at 2:01 pm }

We are going to Disney in spring 2017 with my 3 1/2 and 7 1/2 year old sons. I saw the week of 4/29, 4/22, 5/6, and 5/13 are all ranked pretty similar. Is there a benefit to any of them?

3 Dave { 10.21.15 at 2:25 pm }

Thomas, hardly any schools get Mardi Gras off, so it by itself has little impact on crowds. You will see heavy crowds everywhere through the 24th, but not much after that.

4 Dave { 10.21.15 at 2:47 pm }

Heather, the earlier the better from the perspective of weather. Otherwise they are very similar!

5 kristi { 10.22.15 at 1:35 pm }

I am debating when to do a quick four day trip for the Christmas party, I already posted on here but can’t seem to find it now ?!. when in november/december would be best for that?? thanks

6 Dave { 10.23.15 at 8:21 am }
7 Alex Christians { 11.03.15 at 11:00 pm }

We’re looking at going the 23 Jan – 28 Jan 2017. When do they usually post ride closures and such? How far in advance? It will be many peoples in my party first trip but since we will have two 2 year olds, we feel that small crowds will be better even if certain rides are closed. Smart? Or not a good idea? Any advice? Thanks!!!

8 Dave { 11.04.15 at 8:59 am }

Alex, it can be months ahead or weeks ahead. So long as you intend to return when the kids are older, the ride closures won’t matter, as they will miss so much because of their ages anyway..

9 Laura { 01.04.16 at 11:41 am }

Hi Dave,
I realize this is a draft, but do you anticipate the week of April 1st staying a low for crowd levels? Hoping to plan a trip in 2017 and my county has the first week of April off. Thanks.

10 Dave { 01.05.16 at 8:08 am }

Laura, the reason it’s a draft is because I won’t have all the relevant school calendars til the summer. The hardest part to forecast is spring break except for March and the weeks surrounding Easter. That is, your date is particularly one I am uncertain about, and will be til the summer…

11 Elle Hochman { 01.15.16 at 11:59 am }

I am planning a trip to Disney World in 2017. I am looking at either January 6 – January 13 or May 15 – 22. Which of the weeks would be better? I am most concerned about how crowded the parks will be and I am also concerned with out hot it can be if we go in May. We typically stay in the parks all day from opening to closing. I would appreciate any advice you can give.

12 Ashley { 01.15.16 at 8:31 pm }

We are planning to take our (then) 4 1/2Year old for the first time the 2nd week of January 2017! Do you think this is a good time to go for the first time? I’ve read many other blogs that state that the weather is a little to chili in the morning and at night

13 Dave { 01.16.16 at 10:30 am }

Elle, your January dates are likely to be less crowded and lower-priced than your May options, plus as you note cooler!

14 Dave { 01.16.16 at 10:32 am }

Ashley, yes it is cooler and more variable than much of the rest of the year, but crowds and prices will be low, so it is a good date!

15 Jennifer { 01.20.16 at 7:22 pm }

Question regarding the week of Memorial Day. Are the high crowds in place for the entire week, or is it mostly the weekend of and holiday itself? I ask because I just found out our district’s last day of school is May 25 (we’re in Texas and the state government just changed the instructional requirements from days to minutes-in-the-day, so we’re finishing before Memorial Day for the first time ever), and while I have no desire to attempt Disney on a holiday weekend, I could maybe see flying there on the Tuesday after? What are your thoughts?

16 Dave { 01.22.16 at 8:11 am }

Jennifer, they are much worse over the three day weekend than after, but remain high Tuesday and later…especially with all those Texans going 🙂

17 Jennifer { 01.23.16 at 3:46 pm }

Yes, between the presidential candidates we field and the throwing of random monkey wrenches into Disney crowd calendars, we’re kind of making a mess… 😉 Thanks, Dave! 🙂

18 Christopher { 02.15.16 at 1:01 am }

We are planning on January 1st – 7th 2017 and will probably not be in the parks on the 1st plane doesn’t arrive till late afternoon. Do the crowns clear out quickly after New years? Also we would like to spend 2 days in epcot and 1 day in mk, ds, and ak with Saturday the 7th for any thing we missed or would like to again. ANY suggestions on which days would be best for each park (least crowded) we have no preference on which park we go to first.

19 Dave { 02.15.16 at 9:36 am }

Christopher, my 2017 calendar is a draft, and I’ll be revising it based on more complete public school calendar data later this year. I won’t be able to advise specifically until 1. that’s done, and 2. Disney releases its operating calendar for that week, which should be in later June. So check back then!

20 Rebecca { 02.15.16 at 3:07 pm }

We are planning to travel to Disney the second week of February or March 3-12th with a 3 year old and a 2 year old. Do you think both weeks will be okay in terms of crowds? Usually the first week of March is crowded.

21 Dave { 02.17.16 at 9:28 am }

Rebecca, the first week of March is low-crowd, and has been for all the years I’ve been doing this.

22 Brooke { 02.17.16 at 3:07 pm }

How bad is the 2/11 week, really? I see you give it a 51 week rating, making it one of the worse, yet the crowds are moderate? We are planning to do a Disney cruise the week of 2/18 and not the parks because it will be so busy with Prez Week/school vacation, and I would prefer to do the cruise after the parks so we can relax. However, based on your chart I’m wondering if we may be better of cruising first and then doing the parks the week of 2/25, which has a much better rating. My Kids will be 7 and 5. Thanks!!

23 Dave { 02.18.16 at 8:51 am }

Brooke as the page notes, ride closures have a profound impact on these rankings, which are meant for first-time visitors who may never return. If you can/will return, then that’s an OK week–not great, because of higher prices and high crowds late in the week (low early in the week make it “moderate” overall).

24 Carrie { 02.27.16 at 10:23 am }

Hi Dave,
We were originally planning our first Disney trip for late April/early May 2017 but are now thinking of going in late January/early February for lower crowds. My two children (preschoolers) are small, both will probably still be under 40 inches when we go to WDW next year. Are most of the ride closures during that time rides that they would be too short for anyways? Or would they miss some of the best rides for their height/age? We would probably return again when they’re older (9 and 10 or so) in order to experience the thrill rides. This trip is mainly for the young “magical” character/little kid ride experience. They HATE waiting in lines, that’s why we’re now considering January/Feburary- just don’t want them to miss out on any rides that are must-do for preschoolers. Thank you!!
Carrie

25 Carrie { 02.27.16 at 10:52 am }

Oh one other question about Jan/Feb- it says that late night shows are limited but my kids will be exhausted by the end of the day anyways- would we miss out on much? in jan-feb will they still be able to see some of the must-see entertainment? thanks again

26 Dave { 02.27.16 at 12:58 pm }

Carrie, first you will wait in lines whenever you go. Some dates they are mcuh worse than others, but waits are always present. And second, if you plan to come back, then late Jan or very early Feb is a great time to go! So long as you can come back later, the 5 or 6 closed rides don’t matter–maybe one or two would be must dos for such youngsters, but there will be dozens more that will be open.

27 Dave { 02.27.16 at 12:58 pm }

Carrie, you will be able to see it all!

28 samantha { 02.27.16 at 5:16 pm }

January and Febuary is low crowds yes cheaper pricesyes but the weather is colder and don’t forget the running marathon week that takes place in the magic kingdom! make sure you look those dates up that wouldn’t be fun being in the park when there is a running marathon going on.

29 Sam { 02.28.16 at 11:44 pm }

I’m planning a 2017 trip to take my sister who will graduate from her grad program may 20th so I can’t decide if going the day after her graduation or during her break in early January is better. (If I could plan for sept/oct I would be we won’t know where she goes from school that far ahead) any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

30 Dave { 02.29.16 at 8:28 am }

Sam, what specific date in early Jan?

31 Carrie { 02.29.16 at 5:22 pm }

Thank you, Dave. We will look into going January or February. Due to it being cooler those months, will we miss out on water parks? Or are preschoolers too small for the water slides, etc.? We just went on a Disney cruise and my daughter was 1/2 inch too short for the water slide. Thanks!

32 Sam { 02.29.16 at 8:11 pm }

More than likely the first or second week but certainly not for New Years. I also want to be warm and I know January can be those cold snap weeks.

33 Dave { 03.01.16 at 6:37 am }

Carrie, I don’t track the water parks closely. One will be open, but if temps are down they will close it for the day. Many of the slides do have height requirements.

34 Dave { 03.01.16 at 6:39 am }

Sam, if you focus on the second week of Jan you should be fine. I don;t have the full set of school calendars for next year yet, and until I do, I will continue to worry about the week ending Jan 7

35 Tamarha { 03.10.16 at 11:11 am }

My personal expirence the last week of Feb & first week of march are perfect. The weather is great the crowds are low. I just got back from a 7days Disney Trip. And we did our 3 fast passes never went to the kiosk again we able to ride rides without them. The longest wait was 25 mins everything else was 5-15 wait on rides. Hollywood studios. We did universal as well same thing no crowds. Longest wait was 20-25mins. The kids rode woody wood pecker coaster 3 times in a row no waiting.

36 Judy { 03.13.16 at 11:58 pm }

Hello, I am trying to plan a 3 day cruise and 3 days at Disney world. Tough to decide which week. I want low crowds at the parks, decent prices for both, and good weather. I have gone before in early February and it was great but worried it will be chilly for the cruise. Same with early Dec. What do you think of the last week of April or first week of May for the land /sea trip? Thanks!

37 Dave { 03.15.16 at 8:28 am }

Judy, great choices!

38 Kim { 03.15.16 at 8:41 pm }

Hi Dave, thank you so much for all of the great information! We are a family of 6 with 4 kids and have been to WDW three times, all the week before Thanksgiving which was great but seemed to get more crowded each year. We were thinking of going March 4 – March 11 2017 and it looks similar crowd wise but so much that I read says there will be very high crowds that week. Do you think we are “safe” for that week without too much of the spring break crowds? Thanks so much!!

39 Dave { 03.16.16 at 7:45 am }

Kim, I’d pay no attention to anyone who claims that will be a high crowd week. It has not been for the last ten years…

40 Kim { 03.16.16 at 8:47 am }

Thanks so much, Dave! Even my travel agent just wrote me and said it looks like higher crowds and prices but friends of ours that were just there said exactly what you did so I greatly appreciate your advice! We’ll book it! 🙂

41 Jen { 03.20.16 at 2:52 pm }

Based on your expertise which is the better or lesser of two evil weeks to go for a family of 4 with a 4 year old and 2 year old- March 17-25th 2017 or June 12-20th 2017. We will go again to Disney when kids are older but as I am a teacher we are restricted to spring break or June/July.

42 Dave { 03.21.16 at 9:54 am }

Jen, the March dates will be more expensive but cooler. SO I’d pick between the two based on your tolerances for weather and prices…

43 Jen { 03.21.16 at 7:02 pm }

Thank you! So crowd level wise would there be much of a difference? Wait times? We plan to use touring guides and fast pass plus. My husband is thinking based on weather, I am thinking based on price 🙂 thanks so much! Love this site!

44 Tiffany { 03.22.16 at 7:57 am }

We are planning our third family trip for September next year. Around your week 20,21 as our top priority is low crowds. I have two questions: 1. If Disney does off free or discounted dining during those weeks what does that usually do for the crowd levels?? And 2. We enjoy time at our resort. For those lower priced weeks do you suggest splurging on a delux or sticking with a moderate or even value?? Thanks for your feedback!

45 Tiffany { 03.22.16 at 8:02 am }

Just to clarify our first trip was mid October and we just finished our second trip during the last week in February. Just wondering how September will compare to those other low crowd visits.

46 Dave { 03.22.16 at 3:45 pm }

Not much difference, Jen.

47 Dave { 03.22.16 at 3:56 pm }

Tiffany, the dining plan has no impact on park crowds or waits, but it does mean the restaurants and hotels tend to be booked up. I find it hard to make spending decision for other people, but if you can get free dining, often the moderates represent the best overall deal!

48 Dave { 03.22.16 at 3:57 pm }

September should be less busy, Tiffany!

49 Luis { 03.27.16 at 10:59 pm }

We were planning on a trip April 18-23 (Tuesday to Sunday) or 19-24 (Wednesday to Monday), since it’s our MA school vacation and it’s often a very good crowd week. However, at the time we had not realized the weekend prior is Easter weekend (Good Friday the 18th, Easter Sunday the 20th). You have the week of April 15 as an 8, week of April 22 as a 4. My question is, how far into Easter week should we expect the high (8) crowds before it calms down to the ~4’s. (Someone told me that since Easter is so late this year crowds should die down to regular late April levels mid week – not sure how accurate that is). Thanks much.

(I understand it’s way too early for accurate day for day projections but about what should we expect for the latter part of the week and/or the following weekend?)

Just trying to determine when I should target going. That time is what we had been planning for a while and makes the most sense from a kids time off from school standpoint.. but I’m trying to determine if I should just shoot for something in the October-December timeframe even though the vacation will be much shorter and I’d need to take the kids out of school a few days.

Thanks for the help

50 Luis { 03.27.16 at 11:02 pm }

(oops.. only intended to post the 1st paragraph.. sorry for long post. thanks for the help)

51 Dave { 03.28.16 at 12:51 pm }

Luis, Easter 2017 is April 16. The week leading up to it is wildly crowded. The week of the 15th to 23rd is very crowded, but not quite as bad, and better the later in the week you visit.

Me–I’d change dates in a heartbeat…

52 Paige { 03.30.16 at 1:11 pm }

I’m planning my first trip to Disney World with a 5 year old and a 9 year old. I’m looking for recommendations for a vacation planner has it together and is available for questions during the day! I want someone that knows what are must dos and will plan everything from start to finish, fast pasts/restaurant reservations/map to rides in best order, etc. I want to follow a schedule and have fun with no decisions! I want someone reliable that watches specials/deals so we get the best bang for our buck and get all items done so we make the most of the trip. Can you recommend someone?

53 Dave { 03.30.16 at 3:48 pm }

Paige, I highly recommend Kelly. See this for her contact info: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2015/03/19/introducing-kelly-b/

54 Kelly B with Destinations in Florida { 03.30.16 at 4:35 pm }

Hi Paige,

I would love to help you plan your upcoming Disney vacation. I\’m the dedicated Destinations in Florida travel agent for YourFirstVisit.net. All of our services are free. Please contact me at KellyB@DestinationsinFlorida.com or at 980-429-4499. Looking forward to helping you plan your vacation.

55 Alyshia { 04.04.16 at 3:31 pm }

Hello, I am thinking about planning a first time trip to disney with my husband and at the time our 9 year old daughter. I am thinking about arriving there February 20th and spending at least 6 days there, is that a good time for us first timers?

56 Dave { 04.05.16 at 9:33 am }

Alyshia, the week that includes President’s Day is one of the busiest and most expensive of the year, so I can’t recommend it.

57 Kirstin { 04.09.16 at 11:16 pm }

Hi! We are planning a trip to Disney World in 2017. If you had to pick between the week of March 20th and the week of Memorial day, which would be better? We were there in 2012 during middle of March and it was perfect, except it was pretty chilly in the pool. We plan to spend two days in Magic Kingdom, one day in Epcot, and one day at Animal Kingdom. Our kids are 13, 9, and 4.

58 Linda { 04.10.16 at 11:11 am }

Hi Dave, Please could you offer some advice?
I’m planning a trip in 2017 for our family of four visiting from the UK for two weeks.
Our options are either 11th to 25th Feb or 20th May to 3rd June.
Which of these would you rate better? How does President’s Day affect things, is it just a one day holiday or do schools have a week off?
We are returning visitors who would perhaps prefer the cooler temperatures in Feb (although our boys enjoy their pool time and we need warm weather for that).
Any advice you could give would be much appreciated,
Many thanks, Linda

59 Dave { 04.11.16 at 11:55 am }

Kirstin, you’ll face high crowds either period, higher prices in March, and warmer weather in May.

60 Dave { 04.11.16 at 12:00 pm }

Linda, Presidents Day crowds last from the Thursday before through the Saturday after. Both of your options includes a rough week and an OK week, so I’d pick based on weather…

61 Kristin { 04.15.16 at 2:42 pm }

Hi! Thanks for all the great info! I planning a trip for next year. I’m very limited in times I can go, as me and my husband both work in schools. I don’t want to go in July or August , as it is just too hot. We have the week of April 10th off. I see that it’s going to be totally nuts at that time. I was thinking of taking a few ‘sick days’ from the week before and traveling April 5th through April 10th. Is that a decent compromise? It will be myself, my husband , 6 yr old and 4 yr old.

62 Dave { 04.17.16 at 10:05 am }

Ho Kristin! It should be OK until April 9…so that sounds like a good plan.

63 Carey { 04.17.16 at 4:57 pm }

Planning third trip with my twin six year old daughters and trying to work around school schedules. Will going the week of mlk or Presidents’ Day be less crowded?

64 Dave { 04.18.16 at 8:10 am }

Carey, MLK. It’s busy only over the three day weekend, while PD is busy all week!

65 Luis { 04.18.16 at 12:26 pm }

Dave, when do you expect to have the 2017 version of the ‘spring break crowds’ calendar? Reason I ask is that it seems for us it’s either the week after Easter (Tuesday 4/18 to 4/23) or we wait a year.. and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that after you do your deep dive into 16/17 school district schedules perhaps we get lucky and it turns out there’s more schools off than usual the week after Easter due to Easter being so late (and hopefully projections come down for that week if that’s what you find – unless it’s already taken into account?).

66 Luis { 04.18.16 at 4:22 pm }

And to clarify, a reason I ask is that I checked a few dozen school districts or so (based on what wiki said where the top ones) and most seem to have 4/10-14 (or earlier) off. Then again, it seems last year most also were out the week prior to Easter. I guess I’m wondering what drives the week after Easter so high? Of course, I have no idea what I’m doing.. so that’s why I’m coming to the expert! Thanks

67 Dave { 04.19.16 at 12:45 pm }

Luis, I’ll have the revised calendar out this summer. I have already incorporated into the forecast the fact that many schools that traditionally take the week after Easter off shift into the week before Easter when Easter is late. It may shift with more data…

68 Dave { 04.19.16 at 12:49 pm }

Luis, see the chart lower on this page–a ton were out after Easter this year…

69 Luis { 04.20.16 at 4:42 pm }

Thanks Dave, I think I’ve been in wishful thinking mode and it’s time to face reality. I’m in MA and our April break in 17 happens to coincide with Easter. As I checked various crowd calendars I saw Easter week winding down (to low levels) as early as Wednesday on another site (Dad’s Guide), and as early as Monday on WDW Prep School, and I was hoping maybe they had done some analysis which you had not yet gotten to (I’ve used your calendars on the past and they have yet to steer me wrong – thank you very much!). If that was true, I would travel there Tuesday to Sunday or Wednesday to Monday.

I tried convincing the boss to shift to sometime October-December this year, but that’s not going to work. A question to you, what would you recommend as the lesser of the two evils.. President’s Day week 2017 (starting that Tuesday – to that Sunday) or the latter half of the week after Easter 2017? (or perhaps.. ‘wait another year’)? Thanks

70 Dave { 04.21.16 at 11:56 am }

Luis, there’s an amazing number of districts that don’t release their calendars until June, so any “analysis” anyone else did who be incomplete. My guess, prior to that analysis, is the the week after Easter will be SLIGHTLY better than the week of President’s Day.

71 J { 04.21.16 at 3:16 pm }

Hi Dave,
We (family of 4, boys 7 & 9 ) are debating going either March 11-25 or August 12-26, 2017. In march we are scared of the crowds and for august we are afraid of the heat! Do you think March will be less busy with Easter being so late in April? I thought that that might help ease the March crowds but based on your calendar it doesn’t look like it? Would you recommend braving the March crowds or the August heat?

72 Dave { 04.23.16 at 7:51 am }

J, a lot of schools have breaks in March, and it’s also a popular time for north-easterners to go to get away from winter. A great plan will resolve many crowd issues so if the heat is really trouble, pick March.

73 Becky { 04.23.16 at 1:54 pm }

We are planning on going April 20-28. We will be at the parks that Friday and Saturday (21&22) and then taking Sunday off and back to the parks for the whole week. I see the rest of the week looks good I’m just worried about the first 2 park days being insane. Will it be as bad as I think at the end of the week?

74 Dave { 04.26.16 at 8:45 am }

Becky it’ll be fairly lousy those two days, but not horrible, and with a good plan you can make it work!

75 Richard { 04.26.16 at 10:30 am }

Hi Dave.. I’m hoping to visit with my son ( he is on a wish trip) daughter and wife.. Date wise I’m looking at 20 Feb to 6 March .. Does that look good or should I consider delaying it by a week? Cheers

76 Dave { 04.28.16 at 10:58 am }

Richard the parks will be quite crowded until Feb 25. The rest of your period is great!

77 Anonymous { 04.28.16 at 11:27 am }

Cheers Dave, we’re all set to book POR Riverside from 27th for 2 weeks… So looking good , fingers crossed for the weather… What’s your thoughts on POR? And do you have any help on how the Qsdp works

78 Dave { 04.28.16 at 11:30 am }

27th of what month?

79 Richard { 04.28.16 at 11:40 am }

Sorry Dave , I meant to put my name to it? It’s February , so we’ll miss the busy part you were referring to

80 Dave { 04.29.16 at 10:27 am }

Got it, Richard! There are subtle pros and cons to all the moderates. POR does not top my list, but it does top many lists of others. See this.

For the QSDP, see the second half of this

81 Adam { 04.29.16 at 4:39 pm }

If we fly in on 2/25, then plan park visits for the 26th through March 1st do you think that would be good for crowd levels?

82 John Sharo { 04.30.16 at 8:51 am }

Hi, We are thinking of travelling either mid march, or waiting till after Easter Weekend which is around the 16th April.
For a 2 week holiday which would be better crowd wise?

83 Dave { 04.30.16 at 10:52 am }

Adam, yes!

84 Dave { 04.30.16 at 10:57 am }

John, I’ll have a better sense after I update my forecasts in June-ish, but at the moment I’d advise your April option, as it will include one good week.

85 John Sharo { 05.01.16 at 4:17 am }

Thanks, I am a bit surprised other sites are showing mid march as times to avoid.
Given Easter falls quite late in April, I would have expected March to have been okay.

86 Dave { 05.02.16 at 8:49 am }

I’m not, John, since almost half of kids don’t have breaks framed on Easter.

87 Kristi { 05.09.16 at 10:04 pm }

I just booked March 14-19 bring on the crowds (since I just read this) oh well I’ve been on the rides dozens of time – looking forward to the new restaurants in Disney springs ! Any new lands opening by then ? How is the weather ? I will just plan days by the pool and AK Concierge :-))

88 April { 05.10.16 at 8:12 am }

Hi, I’m booking my 5 year old twins’ their first trip to Disney World. I was looking at April 29th – May 5th. Is this is decent week to go? I noticed there was a cheerleading competition going on. Does that affect anything?

Also, the twins get out of school on May 19th. Would May 20th – May 26th be a lot more crowded?

89 Dave { 05.10.16 at 8:14 am }

Kristi, on weather see this (it’s about 2016, but will be the same then).

I guess there’s some chance that Avatar will be open at AK then, but doubt it…

90 Owen { 05.13.16 at 6:59 pm }

Hi Dave. We are all anxiously awaiting your 2017 crowd projections for March/April 2017. From the research we have done it seems Spring Break is either week of March 4th, April 8th or April 15th. We are either going to go March 25th or April 1st (9 vs 4 on your chart). 9 vs 4 is such a huge difference. When will you finalize your 2017 projections? Will these 2 weeks possibly change dramatically? Could April 1st and March 25th flip flop on your projections?
I don’t want tp book anything until I know for sure I am going to be there during a “4 crowd” week. Thanks!

91 Dave { 05.14.16 at 11:00 am }

Owen, spring breaks are every week, not just those 3. My projections will be finalized this summer, hopefully by the end of June

92 samantha { 05.14.16 at 1:12 pm }

Hi Dave. I plan on taking my son to Disney for the first time in 2017. He will be 4 at the time of our visit. I was planning on sometime in September or really anytime that would be best. Money is a concern and I will have to save for our visit, but weather is also a concern. I often get very sick in the heat. What time would you recommend as the best option? I know you’ve made a great deal of suggestions but I truly don’t know which would be best for myself, and my family.

93 Dave { 05.15.16 at 7:35 am }

Samantha, the heat in September can be quite miserable. To avoid heat, go from mid-October to March. In this period, the least expensive time is January after MLK day. For other good weeks see the page.

94 Tru { 05.19.16 at 6:39 pm }

Hi Dave i was going to plan a trip for February 6th to the 9th do you see the ride closer being a problem? Also concerned about the crowd level and the weather at this time, i do like warmer weather and don’t mind rain showers. But in February does it get cold at all

95 Dave { 05.20.16 at 8:08 am }

Tru, there could be a few ride closures, based on historical patterns. Weather in Feb is very variable, and often cool. See this–about 2016, but most of it will apply to 2017 too.

96 Julie { 05.30.16 at 11:13 am }

Hi there. This will be our 4th visit from UK and we are torn between arriving on 8th Feb for a 12 night break (using cost savings on accommodation to perhaps pay for a VIP trip during presidents weekend), or coming along on 1st April and blasting Disney 1st week with week of 8th onwards then dedicated to Discovery Cove, Universal, Legoland etc. Which would you feel would be the better bet?

97 Dave { 06.02.16 at 9:34 am }

Julie, I am still working on the updated crowd calendar for 2017, which should be out in about 30 days. I suspect that the first week of April will end up less good than currently shown. If you have to decide now, pick the Feb dates; if you can wait 30 days for the update, check back then.

98 Mike { 06.04.16 at 10:37 pm }

We plan on going January 20th-28th. Just found out that the NFL pro bowl will be in Orlando that week. Will the crowds be really big now because of this? I heard they are practicing at the Disney sports complex. Are there any other issues that will arise because of this?

99 Dave { 06.06.16 at 8:27 am }

Mike I am still thinking about this. Right now I don’t think it is much of a destination event, so expect the impact mostly to be on traffic around the Wide World of Sports complex, which is on Victory Way and isolated from pretty much everything except the Pop Century and Art of Animation resorts.

100 Jennifer { 06.09.16 at 4:47 pm }

I know you’re still working on your calendar and may not be able to answer this, but if the week of April 1 does change, do you think it would change enough to be undesirable for repeat visitors? It’s really going to be the only week next spring I can manage to escape with the kiddo, but I don’t want it to be a miserable experience either.

101 Dave { 06.11.16 at 9:22 am }

Jennifer, no. It would shift into “moderate,” which is fine for repeat visitors who know how to tour and use FastPass+

102 Jennifer { 06.11.16 at 4:09 pm }

Thanks to all I’ve learned from you, I think we qualify! 🙂 Thanks, Dave!!!

103 Carrie { 06.12.16 at 9:22 am }

Hi Dave,
We are hoping to go to Disney World for our first time with two preschoolers the week of February 4th. I read on another site that there’s a cheerleading competition that weekend-do you think that will affect the crowd level much? Also, I am a bit overwhelmed with planning and making sure I’m knowledgeable on how to book fast passes/character dining as early as possible. Any advice on websites for me to research the basics of this and also the best itinerary for a week-long visit with preschool age kids? There’s so much information out there, I just don’t know where to begin and I know I have to book soon. Thank you so much!

104 Carrie { 06.12.16 at 9:23 am }

From above post- *dance competition, not cheerleading. 🙂

105 Jo { 06.12.16 at 12:26 pm }

Hi Dave!
Its been a few years but we are looking to head back to Disney! I’m planning earlier than in the past because we are interested in either a studio at the Polly or a suite at A of A and I’m a bit nervous that they may book up sooner than other resorts I selected in the past. That said, what do you think of April 20th to the 25th? I’ve split that week after Easter before (to save my daughter from missing to many school days) and it worked out alright. I’m just a little nervous about doing it before you release your updated crowd assessment.
Thanks for all you do:)!

106 Dave { 06.12.16 at 1:24 pm }

Carrie, the competitions happen all the time and have next to no impact. What you want is the 2017 edition of my book, which will be out by the fall. The basics are all in the 2016 edition, here, if you want to use it for pre-planning that’ll be about 90% right…

107 Dave { 06.12.16 at 1:26 pm }

Jo, you’ll be fine the 22nd and on, and the days before then will be manageable (but rough) with excellent plans.

108 Dave { 06.12.16 at 1:27 pm }

🙂 Jennifer !

109 Jo { 06.13.16 at 5:05 pm }

Thanks Dave! As with all of your repeat readers I’ve learned so much here, I think we will be alright that Thursday and Friday. Am I correct to be a little worried that the Polly and A of A might book up sooner than others? Or am I a worry wart:)?

110 Dave { 06.13.16 at 6:03 pm }

Thanks Jo! The Little Mermaid rooms at A of A book very quickly, but not the suites. Poly books faster than it used to, because of the shift of supply to DVC.

111 Jo { 06.15.16 at 12:27 pm }

Thanks for the info…I just received my daughter’s school schedule for next year and we are getting a day off March 31. Now I’m toying with going March 31 to April 5th. do you have any thoughts on that time frame? Sorry, I keep sending you follow ups. I guess I should wait for your updated schedule and book right after that…

112 Kelly B - Destinations In Florida { 06.15.16 at 9:01 pm }

Hi Jo,

Prices for 2017 will come out next week. It\’s always best to book as early as possible. And remember that you can make changes up until 30 days before arrival at no charge. If you need assistant booking your vacation, I would love to help. You can contact me at KellyB@DestinationsInFlorida.com or 980-429-4499

113 Dave { 06.16.16 at 6:56 am }

Jo, sorry, I got nothing new yet. I have all the data I need except from 16 districts, but need more to redo my 2017 forecasts.

114 Jo { 06.16.16 at 1:22 pm }

Thanks Dave you are the best!
Kelly – sounds great – I’ll reach out to you off line

115 Chantelle { 06.23.16 at 11:33 pm }

Hey Dave, Technical Question: You recommend arriving the Saturday after thanksgiving. I’m assuming you’re going on a Monday-Friday work week model for most people. I work for myself and have a bit more flexibility. Would I be better to arrive Sunday when the crowds have thinned out? Or just stick with Saturday? (Obviously, the itinerary would change slightly, but this is my 8th trip (and certainly not the last) to Disney so I know my way around a bit)

116 Dave { 06.25.16 at 9:16 am }

Chantelle, your analysis of why I recommend Saturday is dead on, and things can work great with any arrival or departure date. That week, though, Sunday will be a really heavy travel day (the Sunday after Thx is one of the busieats travel days of the year), so with your flexibility I’d avoid it and travel Monday.

117 Kelly B - Destinations In Florida { 06.28.16 at 9:16 am }

Chantelle- The week after Thanksgiving is personally my favorite week to visit Disney. Christmas decorations, cooler weather, and LOW CROWDS. Sunday everyone just empties out.

118 Misty { 07.03.16 at 5:35 pm }

Hello, we are going to Disney World April 18-25 (Tues-Tues.)
I was wondering if you think the Easter crowd might be gone by then? I see the week of the 15th is moderate+ and the week of the 22 is low. So since we are arriving on Tues, I wasn’t sure if you thought the crowds might be lighter by then. Thanks!

119 Dave { 07.04.16 at 7:55 am }

Misty, the crowds will be better the 18th than earlier, but will still be at moderate+ levels thru Sataurdya the 22nd. See this.

120 Andrea { 07.07.16 at 1:01 am }

We live in Southern California and are frequent Disneyland visitors. My husband has a conference in Orlando March 15-17 (2017). We are considering traveling with him and doing Disneyworld the 12-14. I see your schedule has those days listed as high crowd. Is it so bad that its not worth the trip? We also considering maybe doing the other parks, things we don’t have here at home like Epcot.

121 Richard { 07.07.16 at 8:20 am }

Hi Dave, now that you’ve finalised your calendar would you feel happy if you’d booked the weeks I’ve booked.. From mon28th Feb to mon 13th March?…

122 Dave { 07.07.16 at 4:14 pm }

Andrea, it will be pretty awful then. Good daily plans (booking your FastPass+ as soon as you can, arriving early, having a good plan) will make up for much of the problems, but not all of them.

Unless this is a really special opportunity (like his airfare and your room being covered because of the conference), I’d hold for a better date.

If you do end up going, check back with me in 5-6 weeks and I’ll be able to advise you on the best days at the parks. Animal Kingdom and Epcot are the most distinctive FL parks, and Hollywood Studios the least.

123 Dave { 07.07.16 at 4:15 pm }

Richard, yes! the last two days will be busy, but the rest of your visit should be great!

124 Karen Cummings { 07.08.16 at 12:15 pm }

Hi Dave. Thanks so much for the great info you provide!! I am planning a trip to Disney World in January 2017 with my 83 yr old mother, sister, niece and 3 yr old great-niece. I would love for my great-niece to be able to see the castle in lights but I’m not sure when in January that ends. I was also thinking that January 22 – January 28 would be a good time also. Less crowds and lower prices. Now I’m reading about the Pro Bowl so don’t know if late January is a good time to visit or not. We have all been to WDW several times (except the great-niece), I appreciate your help. Thank You..

125 Lyndsey { 07.10.16 at 6:42 am }

My husband and I are taking our son (4) for his first Disney trip this winter. I had originally planned on going February 5 to 11, but our choice hotel (All-Star Movies; my son *loves* 101 Dalmatians) wasn’t taking reservations for that week, so I pushed up our trip for January 29 to February 4. at the time of booking, I hadn’t seen anything about the ProBowl. Now, I’m scared. One of the big points of this trip was that it was going to be during the “low crowd” periods. (My son is high-functioning autistic and doesn’t do very well with lines or lots of noise.) Do you think the football fever will calm down ater the game?

126 Dave { 07.11.16 at 8:40 am }

Hi Karen! While I can’t give you an exact date, the castle lights will be off in early January. Going in early December is the best way to see them. And yes, as noted here, Pro Bowl crowds might be an issue.

127 Dave { 07.11.16 at 9:01 am }

Lyndsey, I do forecast that–but since this is the first time for the Pro Bowl in Orlando, my forecast may be off. What about the end of February?

128 Mariah { 07.25.16 at 9:46 pm }

Dave, our family is going to Disney World for the first time in 2017, however we are debating between 2 different weeks, the week of February 25 and the week of March 4. Which would you recommend based on crowd levels? Thanks!

129 Dave { 07.26.16 at 8:41 am }

Mariah, I am seeing a slightly better week March 4. See this.

130 Roxanne { 07.27.16 at 8:36 pm }

We will be arriving on 4th October 2017 and staying for 17 nights at the Caribbean beach resort. After doing some research it seems as though people report higher crowd levels on Columbus Day and on weekends for most of October. Is it pretty much the same for other parks throughout Orlando such as sea world and universal? I was hoping to maybe go to other parks if it’s mostly Disney parks that are busiest on the days I mentioned.

131 Dave { 07.28.16 at 8:13 am }

Roxanne the crowding is everywhere.

132 Roxanne { 07.28.16 at 8:12 pm }

Thanx Dave.
Just hoping it’s nothing like Christmas just gone… Crowds were ridiculous, never seen it so busy ?

133 Dave { 07.30.16 at 10:11 am }

Roxanne, not remotely as bad as Xmas!

134 Maya { 07.31.16 at 10:36 pm }

Hi Dave. Thanks so much for all of the great info you provide. I am planning a trip to Disney World on the end of March 2017 antil the mid April with my family. What weeks during that time do you think are the best?
Thanks

135 Krista { 08.01.16 at 11:36 am }

Hi Dave!
I have been reviewing crowd calendars obsessively…what’s your pick…if you and to pick…week of March 26 or april 2? Every year we go last week of Feb/1st week of March. So we wanted to push it back a few weeks later to get some warm weather. I’m getting nervous to pick one week over the other…some places have the first week of April intense others it’s not, same with last week of March. We aren’t first timers and not even really worried about long lines as we do our fast passes and just chill so we are more worried about overall crowd level. Let me know what you think, or maybe one week doesn’t even make much of a difference? Thanks! Krista

136 Dave { 08.02.16 at 8:47 am }

Maya, as noted on this page the week of April 1 will be the best, by far.

137 Dave { 08.02.16 at 8:48 am }

Krista, my analysis is that the week of 4/1 will be better…

138 Kelly { 08.03.16 at 12:29 pm }

We are considering the weeks of 2/24-3/4; 3/3-3/11 or 4/15-4/22. Our kids’ spring break calendar coincides with the April dates and we would not have to pull them out of school, but I noticed on the crowd calendar that crowds are heavy up until Easter Day, but then subside to “low” that Monday following Easter. this will be our second trip and our first trip was back in late February/early March in 2015 and crowds and weather were great (little chilly at night though). Additionally, if we decided in the April dates, would the weather still be pretty comfortable?

139 Dave { 08.04.16 at 7:39 am }

Kelly, crowds don;t go to low the Monday after Easter–they do so a week later. April weather is my favorite!

140 Brad { 08.04.16 at 2:12 pm }

We are planning to arrive on Sunday, April 2nd 2017 and leave on Sunday, April 9th. Do you have any kind of an itinerary I could follow? I noticed this week use to be #14. Now 19? Thanks for your time and help!

141 Dave { 08.05.16 at 9:54 am }

Brad, I won’t until Disney publishes its schedule for then, in about 6 weeks.

Yup that number shifted from the draft calendar to the final calendar. See this for why.

142 Hi Dave { 08.09.16 at 2:05 pm }

We are planning on an arrival date of Wednesday April 121th depart Monday April 17th. How is the weather and crowds at this time?

143 Dave { 08.10.16 at 4:20 pm }

The week befroe Easter is one of the two or three most crowded and expensive of the year. The weather should be nice, though!

144 Heather { 08.10.16 at 7:49 pm }

Help……we are thinking of going April 8-15 2017. Is this a good date? I’m worried about crowds and prices.

145 Dave { 08.12.16 at 11:55 am }

Heather, the week before Easter is one of the two or three most crowded and most expensive of the year.

146 colleen { 08.20.16 at 5:34 pm }

hi – so we are thinking of going Friday to Monday – quick get away – March 10-13th – i know the 13th starts some college breaks – was thinking MK on the friday – hopefully less crowds & epcot sunday – what do you think?

thanks

147 Dave { 08.21.16 at 9:37 am }

Colleen, it’s the spring breaks of younger kids that matter, not college breaks. In 2017, they begin 3/11, so you should be fine 3/10, OK 3/11, and bad 3/12 and 3/13. MK Friday will be crowded because of its extra magic hours, but still better than the next three days. Epcot will be best Saturday, not Monday.

148 Teddy { 08.23.16 at 2:18 pm }

I’m planning a trip for a family of 6, to include 3 tweens and a 6 year old. We arrive on 3/12 and are checking out 3/17. We’ve purchased a 4-day ticket w/water park option. This will be our first trip to Disney World and I realize this isn’t enough time to take in all it has to offer. I desperately need help w/ my itinerary so we can take full advantage of the time. I was thinking about spending 1/2 day at each park, 1 full day at MK with a rest/water park day in between, and the last ticket being reserved for whichever park the kiddos wanted to revisit. No park hopper. Please offer your thoughts or recommendations. BTW this site is awesome!

149 Dave { 08.23.16 at 3:05 pm }

Teddy, not following you, as I count 5 park days–one at MK, a half day each at the 3 others, and the “last ticket…revisit.”

Also not sure why you would want to do half days at the other three parks…

Your dates will be very crowded, so good daily plans will be essential.

3/12 avoid HS and MK
3/13 avoid AK and Mk
3/14 avoid Epcot
3/15 avoid MK
3/16 avoid Epcot
3/17 avoid HS and MK

150 Emily { 08.26.16 at 11:37 am }

My sister and I are planning to take our kids to Disney World for the first time in 2017 ( they’ll be 6, 4, and 2 1/2). We’re debating between weeks in November ( the 11-18 or 27-Dec4) and December (2-9). My sister is a nurse and doesn’t think she’ll be able to take off the weekends before or after Thanksgiving. Any suggestions?

151 Laurie Gehner { 08.27.16 at 2:41 am }

Hello Dave,
I need help! We are on a budget! Looking for 4 adults, one child , Sleeping is the problem, I need a room with two beds (real ) beds. Then in another room I need a sleeping space for a couple, ( sofa bed is ok ) but a comfortable place would be better for an 8 night stay! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

152 Jo { 08.27.16 at 10:20 am }

Hi Dave,

I just got a peak at my daughter’s detailed school schedule and am now questioning my chooses of dates for our trip. If we go the week after Easter we have to go Weds 4/19 to Mon 4/24. Or we may try to go Sat 3/4 to Thurs 3/9. I’m just a little worried about snow in NJ early March messing up our flights. Any advice you may have would be greatly appreciated, as I’d have to plan meals etc this week!! Yikes;0

153 Kelly B - Destinations In Florida { 08.28.16 at 9:44 pm }

Hi Jo-

I’m a Jersey Girl (born and raised there), and miss that snow. But I know what a pain it can be when planning a trip. First – if you haven’t paid in full yet, I would highly recommend adding Disney’s Travel insurance ($77.50 per adult). Your week in April will start out crowded for the first 2 days, but after that things get less crowded. You definitely have warmer weather.

With some good planning, you could still have a great time with big crowds. Planning your vacation is half the fun. You don’t want to spend the next few months stressed over weather and if you’ll have plane issues. I would personally pick the week after Easter.

154 Kelly B - Destinations In Florida { 08.28.16 at 9:56 pm }

Hi Laurie –

There are some different options for you to consider. The two that come to mind are the family suites at Art of Animation (1 room with queen bed – other room has murphy bed (real mattress and sleeper sofa) or the Cabins at Fort Wilderness (1 queen and 1 bunk bed – other room has sleep sofa – plus full kitchen, but only one bath).

I would love to help you plan your upcoming vacation. I’m Kelly, the dedicated Destinations In Florida Travel Agent for YourFirstVisit.net. All of my services are FREE (plus, book a qualifying vacation and you’ll also get a FREE copy of The Easy Guide).

155 Kelly B - Destinations In Florida { 08.28.16 at 9:57 pm }

(To Laurie – continues)

So sorry I forgot to include my contact info KellyB@DestinationsInFlorida.com or 980-429-4499

156 Kelly B - Destinations In Florida { 08.28.16 at 10:12 pm }

Hi Emily,

I’m Kelly – the designated Destinations In Florida Travel Agent for YourFirstVisit.net. Dave is currently in the parks, so I’m trying to help out as much as I can while he’s away.

I would pick Nov 27 – Dec 4th. This is my absolute favorite week to visit Disney. Low crowds. All the decoration are up. Nice weather. You’ll just love it.

I would love to help you and your family plan your upcoming Disney vacation. All of my services (Dining planning, Fast Pass planning, booking, etc) are FREE. And when you book a qualifying Disney vacation, you’ll get Dave’s Easy Guide FREE.

You can reach me at KellyB@DestinationsInFlorida.com or 980-429-4499

157 Dave { 08.30.16 at 5:45 pm }

Emily, avoid the week that includes Thanksgiving. All your other choices are fine!!

158 Dave { 08.30.16 at 5:51 pm }

Laurie, your best options will be either off property or two connecting rooms at one of Disney’s Value resorts.

159 Dave { 08.30.16 at 5:55 pm }

Jo, the March dates will be much better.

160 Sonia { 08.31.16 at 2:59 pm }

Hi Dave, I’ll be visiting WDW Feb 1 through Feb 4. I have a 4 and 6 year old (both over 44″) and will be staying in an onsite resort. I’m planning on attending the following parks on the following days – Feb 1 – AK, Feb 2 – MK, Feb 3 – Torn between MK or EP, and Feb 4 – HS. Any recommendations on changing these? I do plan to go back for another visit (this will be our first time) and am also torn between doing two days at MK and skipping EP altogether for this trip OR doing one park each of the 4 days I’m there. Any advice on this also will be great.

161 Dave { 09.02.16 at 8:16 am }

Sonia, since you will be returning it doesn’t much matter! Epcot is more interesting to younger kids with the opening this summer of the Frozen ride and meet and greet there. On Feb 3 avoid both MK and HS, so I’d do that as your Epcot day. Your other choices look great!

162 Richard { 09.07.16 at 7:15 am }

Hi Dave, were visiting 27 Feb to 13 March 2017… I think you’ve already said the vast majority of this visit should be good crowd wise. I’m thinking itineraries now… Do you have any thoughts or a link to a busy day calendar?
Cheers

163 Dave { 09.08.16 at 6:55 am }

Richard, in general avoid parks on days they have EMH, and in addition avoid MK on Sundays and Mondays.

164 Lorelee { 09.08.16 at 9:09 am }

We are booked at POR the week of Feb 5 – 12 and I was concerned about ride closures but having just looked it up, it appears that there is no ride closures currently. Am I mistaken about this or are they not posted yet?

165 Richard { 09.08.16 at 6:19 pm }

Cheers Dave.. Where would I find when EMH are for that period. Am I over analysing things ? Basically I’m taking my son , who has a life threatening illness, on a wish trip… I want it to go without hitches… It’s hard to plan ahead as he has specific medical needs every day . I’m getting stressed just trying to sort things never mind thinking about fast passes/ qsdp/ and now when I should visit each park??

166 Kelly B - Destinations In Florida { 09.09.16 at 10:06 am }

Hi Richard –

If you haven’t done so yet – it would really help you to create a MyDisneyExperience.com account. (There is also an app). If staying on property, you’ll be able to link your reservation. But on or off property you’ll be able to make dining reservations, schedule FastPass+, see park hours and so much more. It’s really a great resource for any Disney trip.

Be sure to visit Guest Services when arriving at the parks so they can help you, and depending on your sons medical condition, possibly provide you with a Guest Assistance Card. And let you know of the resources available to your family.

Remember that ultimately this trip is about making memories. Even the most planned days can have hiccups. Don’t over plan. Allow for the unexpected. Plan what you must to meet your sons needs, but leave room for the special Pixie Dust filled moments.

167 Dave { 09.10.16 at 9:33 am }

Lorelee, it’s too early–they commonly show up 6 weeks or so ahead of time.

168 Dave { 09.10.16 at 9:40 am }

Richard a good plan is essential. See this for an example.

You can see EMH for Feb here and for March here.

169 Richard { 09.14.16 at 10:25 am }

Thank you Dave and Kelly, for your advice.Its very important to me that this goes well. I’ve already been on to both Disney and Universal… Disney are helping with planning fast passes and itinerary at beginning of year( they’ve very kindly given us 5 FPs a day and a VIP viewing experience …. Universal ,very kindly, are giving is a Gold VIP pass for our visits. So the pixie dust has started already. I’ve logged into MDE too. I think it’s still important to have a rough plan of where we’d like to visit each day . I noticed the EMH are in the evening .. How does that work? Also Dave .. Have I read it wrongly? Are there no parades when we visit… It says’ none’ on the page you linked to.
Regards Richard

170 Dave { 09.14.16 at 10:52 am }

Richard, the evening parade at MK will be shutting down shortly, with no announced replacement. During evening EMH the park stays open two hours later for eligible guests. Evening EMH has less of an effect on overall park crowding than morning EMH.

171 Brad { 10.03.16 at 9:46 am }

Hi Dave,
We will be arriving Sat, April 1st/2017. We will be leaving in the afternoon on Sat, April 8th/2017.
We are staying outside of the parks.
My question for you is…do you have an itinerary we could follow? This will be our 2nd trip to Disney. The last time was 2011. In 2011, we used your Christmas itinerary and it was AWESOME!

172 Dave { 10.04.16 at 8:18 am }

Hey Brad, you can use this as a start–it’s not an exact fit for your days, and I have to update a few things but that will happen well before your FastPass+ date, but its a start. (This itin is for a Saturday arrival, but crowds might be too high for it–you can use it, though, to pick days, and modify the days based on the daily agendas in the high crowd version.)

Like the December itinerary, it’s integrated and goes everywhere. On a return trip you might be more selective, and more interested in days off. To build an itinerary for that, start with the one and two day park plans in Chapter 6 of my book.

173 Dena { 10.15.16 at 3:47 pm }

We are planning a big family vacation Nov 12th 2017. Does that week have jersey week or food and wine with it?

174 Dave { 10.16.16 at 10:44 am }

Dena, F&W dates for then are not out yet, but my guess is that the last F&W day will be 11/13. Jersey week formally ends 11/12 in 2017, but you may see spillover into 11/13. The rest of that week should be great!!

175 Chance Huiet { 10.18.16 at 12:12 pm }

Planning a trip next year. Teying to decide between late April and early September. 3rd trip overall 2nd in 2 years. Not to worried about the hurricanes just trying to plan around crowds. These seem to be the 2 slowest times of the year and take advantage of package deals that allow price reductions. Any recommendations?

176 Dave { 10.18.16 at 2:30 pm }

Chance, also consider January after MLK into February (ending by 2/14/17). That period also sees low prcies and crowds–both lower than late April. I would choose between this period and September.

177 Chance Huiet { 10.20.16 at 11:47 am }

One last question. Wife now has the idea to go sometime in October for my sons birthday. How are the crowds and wait times. Looking at your chart the week of the 21 looks doable. I know epcot has the food and wine festival, but are there any other events at other parks?

178 Dave { 10.21.16 at 12:05 pm }

Chance see this–about 2016, but events should be similar

179 Shannon Lopez { 11.12.16 at 11:10 am }

Hi there. We are planning a trip to Disney either 3/4/17 – 3/10/17 or 4/15/17 – 4/21/17. Will we run into high crowds or high prices?

180 Dave { 11.17.16 at 9:12 am }

Shannon, your March option will be better on every dimension.

181 Kelly { 12.31.16 at 5:54 pm }

I am trying to decide between 1/28/17 and 2/4/17. I am only concerned with crowd levels. You have 2/4 as slighy lower crowd levels. Does that mean that the cheerleading competitions that week shouldn’t affect crowds (or volume level, lol) at the parks that week? Do you think 2/4 will be noticeably less busy? Thank you so much!

182 Dave { 01.02.17 at 9:17 am }

Kelly in an average week there’s more than 150,000 people on site each day. So the small increment from cheerleading makes no material difference.

183 Lisette { 01.02.17 at 10:20 am }

We booked a last minute trip this coming Martin Luther King weekend (Jan 13-16, 2017). I’ve seen many other crowd predictor calendars as being highly crowded predictions for that weekend. I though it wouldn’t be so crowded, not like Easter break or feb crowded. Any information on what crowds looked like past MLK weekends? Also any event or group tours that might increase crowd attendance that weekend?

Thank you so much!

184 Dave { 01.02.17 at 2:23 pm }
185 Lisette { 01.02.17 at 2:56 pm }

Thanks Dave for getting back to me. The website you recommended rated that MLK weekend crowd rating as a 8 out of 10 and your firstvisit ranking above said 4 low +. Any reason for the discrepancy?

186 Dave { 01.02.17 at 3:35 pm }

Lisette–sorry, I misunderstood your question. My crowd rankings are for the 9 day periods Saturday-Sunday. That overall period is low+, with high- crowds the first few days, then low the rest of the week…

187 Lisette { 01.02.17 at 3:43 pm }

Ohhhh…that makes sense. Thank you for the clarification. I should expect to see a big crowd the weekend we go.

188 PA Sara { 01.04.17 at 2:11 pm }

Hi Dave, We are starting to plan our 2017 WDW trip for late November. We are trying to take advantage of lower crowds but also school days off, what do you recommend for the day after Thanksgiving through Wednesday the following week? Looking at the crowd chart we will have both extremely high but also very low crowds.

189 Dave { 01.04.17 at 4:10 pm }

Sara, Friday and Saturday will be crowded but manageable with a good plan. The rest of your dates will be fine so long as you pick the right parks the right days, which I can help you with, after the November calendar comes out in a few months.

190 PA Sara { 01.05.17 at 12:16 pm }

Dave, thank you! I’ll look for the November calendar. We used your site and book on our last visit in 2015, it was spot on and made our trip even more magical. Thank you again for your consistently impeccable advice.

191 Dave { 01.06.17 at 8:41 am }

Great, Sara!!

192 Heather { 01.07.17 at 5:14 pm }

Looking at Columbus Day week 2017. We will not be going for the whole week so is there a better time to be there during that week. Better to wait until Tuesday? or another day?

193 Dave { 01.08.17 at 7:43 am }

Heather some schools have the whole week off as their fall break, but crowds do drop after Columbus Day.

194 Marshaq { 01.08.17 at 7:20 pm }

We were thinking of going to Disney 5/12- 5/15. First time visitors. Do you think that is a good time to go?

195 heather { 01.08.17 at 7:45 pm }

Are there better resorts to stay at that makes it easier to get to magic kingdom & epcot?

196 Dave { 01.09.17 at 8:44 am }

Marshaq, see my comments about that week on this page.

197 Dave { 01.09.17 at 8:45 am }

The resort that is most convenient to both, Heather, is the Polynesian.

198 Donna { 01.13.17 at 12:34 pm }

My daughter and I have one day to visit – January 19th. Any recommendations on Fast Passing, buying ticket ahead of time, etc. We’ve decided the Magic Kingdom would be best. We both love rides. Any advice you have would be appreciated.

199 Dave { 01.13.17 at 3:44 pm }

Donna, I can’t particularly recommend that–one day Magic Kingdom tickets are wildly expensive, (~$112 each that day), park hours are short (it closes at 8p) and at least some FastPass+ (7 dwarfs mine train) are already booked up.

If you must do it, get your My Disney Experience set up ASAP, buy your tickets through it, and pick and set up your FastPass+.

I don’t have any one day itineraries on this site, but here is an example from my book One Day Plan

Basically, select the rides you want to see. This might help. Of the most popular, pre-book 3 FP+ and then arrive well before open so that you beat the crowds and see three or four of the rest of the most popular then.

200 Richard { 01.14.17 at 3:02 am }

Hi Dave, were still on plan for 27 Feb to 13 March…… Are things still looking good for this spell? Any further tips you have would be welcome
Cheers

201 Dave { 01.15.17 at 8:19 am }

Hi Richard, yes, that will be good until March 10.

202 Melissa { 01.17.17 at 2:56 pm }

Hi,

I have a question not regarding which weeks to attend but rather which days of the week to attend Disney. My family and I are going to Disney for ten (10) days sometime between November 26th and December 17th. We will be attending the parks nine days, so two days of the week will be repeated. Which day of the week would you suggest we repeat based on crowd levels and opening hours. Looking forward to hearing your advice.

Thanks,
Melissa

203 Dave { 01.17.17 at 3:32 pm }

Hi Melissa, it varies then quite a bit based on the park, the operating schedule and the party schedule–none of which is out yet. See this for an (slightly outdated) overview of some of the complexities.

I will be able to help, but only after the schedules are out, which they should be for November in later April and for December in later May…

204 Lynn { 01.23.17 at 4:12 pm }

Is Jersey Week really worse than Pop Warner week, crowd-wise? I’ve heard horror stories about the latter – cheerleaders constantly cheering on rides, rude teenagers in the parks, miserable hotel stays with screaming teens, garbage everywhere, etc. It looks like the crowds in early December are a bit better than those in mid-late November, but those teens have me worried…

205 Dave { 01.24.17 at 6:36 am }

Lynn, there’s no contest. The only place most people even notice the Pop Warner kids is at the hotels they stay at.

206 Melissa Nicholson { 01.30.17 at 7:56 am }

We just got back left Jan 21 and I thought it was crowded. I thought the lines were going to be short

207 Dave { 01.30.17 at 8:29 am }

Melissa, what days where you in what parks?

208 Steph { 02.03.17 at 2:26 pm }

I’m torn between the week of April 24th or the week of May 8th. Which would you recommend crowd wise?

209 Dave { 02.04.17 at 8:41 am }

Steph, I have them as about the same.

210 Grayson { 02.27.17 at 5:57 pm }

We are looking at doing the 11/25/17 or 26th. When can you may reservations for then?
Do you have to wait for the 180 day window? are can you do a complete reservation this early?

211 Tokeshia { 02.27.17 at 9:43 pm }

We are looking to go the week of 10/28 sort of following your 9 day itinerary. I need a whole day off mid week for my husbands sanity and my mom will be with us early in the week. Thankfully her only demands are a ride on “Its a Small World” and good food. Will the Wine & Dine Half Marathon affect crowds towards the end of our trip? I know its a guesstimate at this point but you don’t really talk about it at length in your book so I am assuming it doesn’t have a huge impact that week. Alternatively, we are thinking the week of 11/11. Thank you so much for all you do on this site.

212 Dave { 02.28.17 at 11:36 am }

Grayson, you can book your room and tickets now. Dining is available at 180 days before, and FastPass+ at 60 days. See this.

213 Dave { 02.28.17 at 11:37 am }

Tokeshia, the running events have little effect on the parks.

214 Grayson { 02.28.17 at 1:56 pm }

Dave, thanks for your response and info.

215 Tokeshia { 03.01.17 at 10:28 am }

Thank you for your response and ignoring all my typos. 🙂

216 Richard { 03.09.17 at 11:56 pm }

Hi Dave, thanks so much for your advice recently. Our stay will shortly end and I must say your guide reflected our experience…. Although Epcot was heaving on Sat 4th March…
We were thinking of booking for similar period next year… Basically first 2 weeks of March… Any early thoughts?

217 Dave { 03.11.17 at 8:20 am }

Richard, so glad to have helped! See this for those weeks in 2018

218 Shaunie { 03.14.17 at 12:33 am }

Hi Dave- my husband and I are heading there solo 4/6-4/9 for his bday and I’m not sure of the best two day ticket options or itinerary. What would you recommend? What about best nightlife exp?
Plan to bring our 3 yr old next year when he turns four and want to be familiar/experience it first.

219 Dave { 03.14.17 at 8:06 pm }

Shaunie, there are four parks, so if you got a two day hopper ticket you could sample all four. For nightlife, Disney Springs, or diner at one of the deluxe hotels. See the right side of the chart on this page for dinner thoughts.

220 Stephanie B. { 04.03.17 at 3:05 pm }

Hi Dave! Love your site! We just booked December 4-8 at Pop not realizing that those dates are most likely Pop Warner week. I know most likely
pop Warner stays at the All Stars plus some moderates but I am worried about any overflow going to Pop Century. Now I am thinking we should switch to AOA. Would you suggest us switching resorts or do you think its safe to stay at Pop?

221 Dave { 04.04.17 at 11:09 am }

Stephanie, I’d switch–you will see lots of Pop Warner kids at Pop

222 Tom { 04.07.17 at 11:57 am }

Aiming for Nov 1-8, so we can do the Halloween & Christmas parties! I see this Jersey week thing will impact crowds. If we’re leaving (and not in the parks) on that Thursday, are the crowds there all week, or do they generally show up Wednesday or later?

223 Tom { 04.07.17 at 12:01 pm }

Oh! And we generally do Pop…I am suddenly thinking it may be a bit overcrowded compared to other options. What are your thoughts?

224 Dave { 04.08.17 at 8:50 am }

Tom, the Jersey Week extra folk are there all week long, but heaviest Thursday-Saturday.

225 Dave { 04.08.17 at 8:50 am }

Tom, there’s nothing that would make Pop more or less crowded than other resorts this week.

226 Julia { 04.10.17 at 1:10 pm }

Hi Dave,
Will July 16-July 24 be less crowded than July 4-July 12? Just inquiring about crowds, not cost of accomadations. Thank you so much.

227 Dave { 04.11.17 at 8:54 am }

Julia, the week of the 4th is always the most crowded of July, but there’s not a huge difference across the month.

228 Tom { 04.19.17 at 2:46 pm }

Hi there! (I apologize if this is a repost, I thought I had already posted this weeks ago, but now I can’t find it.)
We are planning to go from Nov 1-9 so that we can do the NSSHP & VMCP (yay! we’ve never done NSS). Do the Jersey crowds generally get there for the weekend, or sometime earlier in the week, and how long do they usually stay?

229 Tom { 04.19.17 at 2:47 pm }

…and now that I’ve posted, all of the 2017 comments have magically populated. Sorry for the repost!

230 Dave { 04.22.17 at 9:45 am }

Tom, it’s some of both, although Thurs-Sat is the busiest part.

231 michael angelo { 09.01.17 at 10:46 am }

Hey Dave. You know I “have to” email you this time of year 🙂
I had planned on going to DW Sept 11th-15th. Depending on this new hurricane I may have to go another week I n Sept. Wanna suggest next best week???
Thank you as always Dave!

232 Dave { 09.02.17 at 9:03 am }

Hey Michael. The chart says the next best week is that beginning 9/16. However, I am worried that I did not get good enough data for 2017 (I fixed this for the equivalent dates in 2018, 9/10 and 9/11), on schools being out in the Northeast starting 9/21 for Rosh Hashanah, so your next best bet is the week beginning 9/23.

233 michael angelo { 09.03.17 at 11:56 am }

Thanks Dave, hopefully we can make the Sept 11th week. All depends on the hurricane.
They are coming around weekly now! 🙁

234 michael angelo { 09.07.17 at 2:29 pm }

Hey Dave.
Are you still thinking the week of Sept 18th – 21st still busy? It’s usually one of the lowest weeks but you said something about Rosh Hashanah?

235 Dave { 09.08.17 at 9:31 am }

I did not account for Rosh Hashanah enough in my forecasts. It’ll be OK, but likely busier than I had thought.

236 michael angelo { 09.20.17 at 8:12 pm }

Hey Dave,
finally heading to Disney this Monday 9/25 through Weds. Can you tell me what parks to visit (or avoid) those days??? Thanks Dave!

237 Dave { 09.21.17 at 7:09 am }

Hey, have fun! Monday avoid MK and AK. Tuesday avoid Epcot. Weds avoid MK!

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