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.—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor

May 2016 at Walt Disney World

By Dave Shute

April   May   June   July    August   September   October   November


May 2016 at Walt Disney WorldThis page reviews May 2016 Walt Disney World crowds, prices, deals and discounts, weather, and operating hours; adds a few other notes; and ends with week by week summaries.

Earlier May is a great time to visit Walt Disney World, with low crowds, moderate prices, and good weather.

Crowds build over the month, and the end of the month sees high crowds from Memorial Day, and the beginning of humid and rainy summer weather.


Few US school kids are on break in earlier May. Summer breaks in some districts begin in later May, and many families go during Memorial Day week (Memorial Day in 2016 is May 28).

I rank the weeks beginning April 30 and May 7 as 4/low-plus crowds, the week of May 14th as 5/moderate minus crowds, and the week of May 21st as 6/moderate crowds.

See this for more on 2016 crowds at Disney World.


May hotel prices begin the month 25% higher than the lowest of the year at the values, and 20% higher than the lowest of the year at the moderates and deluxes.

Prices then stay at this level until the Friday before Memorial Day–May 27.  That night they change to 45% higher than the lowest of the year at the values, 15% higher than the lowest of the ear at the moderates, and 10% higher than the lowest of the year at the deluxes.

See this for more on 2016 resort hotel prices at Walt Disney World.


Deals are available for May 2016. The details are here.


May weather begins as good as it gets at Walt Disney World.

Over the course of the month, temperatures and humidity rise to near-summer levels, and the rainy season typically begins late in the month.

Disney World Temperatures and Percentile Distribution Click the image, or go to Weather and When to Go to Disney World, for more on temperatures.


The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival continues until May 30–a 15 day extension compared to prior years.

Star Wars Weekends have been cancelled for 2015.


Park operating hours vary by the day, and sometimes change without notice. It is rare for hours to be shorter than Disney has publicized, but Disney may lengthen them in response to unanticipated crowds.

The best way to keep up with operating hours is to check Disney’s official calendars, usually available six months in advance.

These calendars can be found by clicking the following links:


The week rankings that follow below are from 2016 weeks to visit, ranked in order, and are designed for first-time visitors who do not know whether or not they will return.

2016 Disney World Week Rankings from

Click the image for a calendar view of 2016 weeks (when open, keep clicking to enlarge.)

4/30/2016. Moderate prices. Low-plus crowds. Crowd ranking=4. Week ranking=12. Recommended week. Use the 2016 FastPass+ Lower-Crowd Itinerary

5/7/2016 Moderate prices. Low-plus crowds. Crowd ranking=4. Week ranking=13. Recommended week. Use the 2016 FastPass+ Lower-Crowd Itinerary

5/14/2016 Moderate prices. Moderate-minus crowds. Crowd ranking=5. Week ranking=16. Use the 2016 FastPass+ Lower-Crowd Itinerary

5/21/2016 Moderate prices. Moderate crowds. Crowd ranking=6. Week ranking=18. Use the 2016 FastPass+ Lower-Crowd Itinerary


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1 Jim McGinnis { 11.02.15 at 6:07 pm }

Hi there! Love your site. Trying to figure out how to modify the lower crowd itinerary to arriving Sat the 7th of may and departing Saturday the 14th. Any suggestions? Party of 7, 5 adults and a 7 and 5 year old. Staying at Polynesian.


2 Dave { 11.04.15 at 8:40 am }

Jim I’ll be publishing a version that goes Sat-to-Sat any day now, maybe even later today.

3 Casey Weeks { 11.19.15 at 11:00 pm }

love the site and the new 2016 book…the amount of info is staggering. I have a sunday to saturday booked May 22-28 at polynesian (with 5 and 8 yr girls). trying to get a handle on schedule so I can book the reservations for dining next week…suggestions to rearrange the itenerary? Thanks!!!!

4 Dave { 11.22.15 at 7:48 am }

Casey, I don’t have any itineraries that will work. This one is the closest, but is designed for kids older than your 5 year old. To make it work, shift what it shows as Mon Tues and Weds to Sun Mon and Tues, do what it shows Fri on Weds, and shift the last two days to Fri and Sat.

Alternatively, suggest at those ages 2-3 days at MK, one each at Epcot, AK and HS. Use the touring plans in Chapter 6 for the actual days, and use Josh’s calendar here to pick your parks.

5 Jennifer { 01.07.16 at 8:57 am }

Good morning!

I have to questions:

Boyfriend and I have an upcoming trip 5/8-5/14. I’m reading mixed opinions about that time of year. People from various sites, including Facebook are saying it can be busy that week due to cheerleading competitions. Aren’t they scheduled for end of April this year? Then that wouldn’t be true would it? I was there last year at the same time in May and it was fine.

Also, since my boyfriend is in a wheelchair I know they’ve modified the disability access program. Are the auxiliary entrances still there do you know? (Eg splash mountain?) this way I know which attractions to book fp for in advance. I looked at the parks to avoid section from easy wdw and I used that as a guideline to book our dining. Hopefully it’ll help reduce maneuvering around large crowds easier somewhat

6 Dave { 01.07.16 at 4:24 pm }

Jennifer, pay no attention to any site that suggests cheerleaders have a material impact on crowds. They don’t. There just aren’t enough of them. Remember that on an average day there’s 140,000 people in the parks.

The disability access program applies only to non-visible disabilities. There’s been no change to how (visible) wheelchair users are treated. Typically–though it varies a bit–you are in the same line as everyone else. On some rides/attractions it’s the same line all the way through, in others you peel off to a special loading area or get directed to a special seating area.

7 Paul Kightley { 01.14.16 at 9:07 am }

Hi, I have a question related to Disney but not about good times to visit, I hope you don’t mind! We are travelling from the UK from 4/5/16-18/5/16 and we have the Memory Maker included in our park tickets. I have been reading that to make the most of Memory Maker you need a magic band. We won’t have a magic band as we are staying at Bahama Bay this year. Can we buy a Magic Band from the Disney website and transfer our park tickets onto the band?



8 Dave { 01.14.16 at 6:36 pm }

Paul, yes you can!

9 Lisa { 04.04.16 at 8:30 pm }

How is the weather for may 7-13,2016. Does it rain a lot in may also. And do they do anything special for Mother’s Day. Be going with my daughter and I only. Please let me know thanks hunn!

10 Dave { 04.05.16 at 9:36 am }

Lisa, it’s too early for a long range forecast to be of much value, but that’s typically in the end of the dry season. El Nino is making things wetter and cooler this year, though..

11 Jennifer { 04.28.16 at 10:07 pm }


I’ll be going down with my bf may 8-14th and just found out there’ll be some kind of sports event going on at the sports complex from the 8 to the 12 called in victus sports? Never heard of it but do those typically effect park crowd levels?

12 Dave { 04.29.16 at 10:33 am }

Jennifer, it should not matter.

13 Ashley { 05.01.16 at 2:00 pm }

Love this site! Okay so, our visit is from May 21-26. I’m hoping that the crowd level will be better than Thanksgiving week. That’s when we usually go. Just hoping that the hotel discounts won’t impact the crowd level for this week ?? I was thinking that if we went before Memorial Day weekend, we would be in the clear? What is your thoughts on this with all the discounts Disney offered for this stay period? Also, we live on the Alabama/Florida line (80 miles from the gulf) The weather will be pretty much the same as here, right? Thanks!

14 Dave { 05.02.16 at 8:50 am }

Ashley, hotel discounts have no impact on crowds, and are no different this year than they have been the past few years. Crowds will be better than Thanksgiving week!

15 denise { 05.28.16 at 4:11 pm }


I wanted to go to MK next week, maybe tuesday or wed? Will it be too crowed on the 31 or 1st june?


16 Dave { 06.02.16 at 9:25 am }

Denise, both days will be crowded, but not horribly so. Mk will be worse the first. You need to book your FastPass+ asap.

17 Chris { 09.09.16 at 1:00 pm }

Is the Memory Maker worth the price? Can I download photos and use right away or are they watermarked? Do I have to buy each picture or are all the downloaded photos mine to keep?
Thank you

18 Dave { 09.10.16 at 9:40 am }

Chris, once you buy it the pix are yours.

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