2018 Weeks to Visit Walt Disney World, Ranked in Order
By Dave Shute
OVERVIEW: THE BEST TIMES IN 2018 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 draft rankings of the weeks of 2018 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.
These draft rankings will be revised after the final 2018 price seasons are released and school calendars analyzed, in the summer of 2017
(For 2017 rankings, see this.)
RECOMMENDED 2018 WEEKS AT DISNEY WORLD, RANKED IN ORDER
The thirteen recommended weeks that follow are wonderful weeks to visit Walt Disney World in 2018
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: 11/24/18
Weeks 2 and 3 have many, but not all, of the strengths of week 1:
- 2: 12/8/18. A week as good as week 1 on crowds and holiday programs. Slightly more expensive, however, than weeks 1 or 3
- 3: 12/1/18. 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 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
- 4: 11/10/18
Week 5 has lower prices and crowds, and offers in its first few days Disney World’s Halloween program
- 5: 10/27/18
Weeks 6 is your best 2018 Spring Break bet, with low crowds and moderate prices
- 6: 3/3/18
Week 7 is similar to week 5 but projected at slightly higher crowds.
- 7: 10/20/18
Weeks 8 to 12 are all in the same 2018 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
- 8: 4/14/18
- 9: 4/21/18
- 10: 4/28/18
- 11: 5/5/18
- 12: 5/12/18
Week 13 is the second-best 2018 Spring Break week, with low crowds and moderate prices
- 13: 2/24/18
This completes the weeks in 2018 that are recommended for first-time visitors who may never return.
2018 WEEKS I’M NOT SO KEEN ON
Weeks 14-18 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: 11/3/18. “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: 10/13/18. A week with moderate crowds, moderate prices, and great weather that has become more crowded in recent years
- 16: 5/19/18. Similar to week 12, slightly more heat and humidity and crowds.
- 17: 12/15/18. The same Christmas program as week 1-3, but higher crowds–especially later in the week–and higher prices
- 18: 6/2/18. Beginning of summer, with traditionally the lowest crowds until late August
Weeks 19-26 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.
Week 19 has among the lowest crowds and lowest prices of the year.
- 19: 9/8/18
Weeks 20 and 21 are similar to Week 19, but with slightly higher crowds
- 20: 9/1/18
- 21: 9/15/18
Weeks 22 and 23 have slightly higher crowds, and Week 23, higher prices
- 22: 8/25/18
- 23: 9/22/18
Weeks 24 to 26 are the moderate-crowd weeks in this hurricane group
- 24: 8/18/18
- 25: 8/11/18
- 26: 9/29/18
2018 WEEKS TO AVOID AT WALT DISNEY WORLD
The first group, ranked 27-45, 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 3/10/2018, and the holiday weeks—President’s Day week, the weeks before and after Easter, Columbus Day week, Thanksgiving week, and the weeks around Christmas.
Click the table for exact rankings within these lousy weeks.
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 (1/13/18 arrival date) holiday weekend, and possibly the week before the Pro Bowl (which is January 28th).