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

Category — a. When to Go to Walt Disney World

October 2017 at Walt Disney World

March   April   May   June   July   August   September   October


This page reviews October 2017 Walt Disney World crowds, prices, deals and discounts, weather, and operating hours; adds a few other notes; and ends with week by week summaries.


Later October has some of the best times of the year to visit Disney World, with nice weather, low crowds, low prices, and fun special events.

The first half of the month is not so good, as

  • The first week is still in the peak of the hurricane season
  • Both the first and second week see extra crowds from fall breaks, and
  • The second week sees higher prices from Columbus Day.

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March 25, 2017   5 Comments

September 2017 at Walt Disney World

April   May   June   July   August   September   October


This page reviews September 2017 Walt Disney World crowds, prices, deals and discounts, weather, and operating hours; adds a few other notes; and ends with week by week summaries.

September combines low crowds with low prices, and typically also has OK room rates and free dining deals as well.

This makes it a great month for returning visitors.

But it has lousy weather, combining continuing summer heat and humidity with the peak of the hurricane season, making me not so keen on the month for first time visitors who may never return.

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February 15, 2017   8 Comments

August 2017 at Walt Disney World

April   May   June   July   August   September   October


August 2017 at Disney World from

This page reviews August 2017 Walt Disney World crowds, prices, deals and discounts, weather, and operating hours; adds a few other notes; and ends with week by week summaries.

There are no great times for first-timers who may never return to visit in August. Kids start going back to school in August, so crowds go down later in the month–but that’s also when the peak of the hurricane season kicks off.

Prices begin the month low at the deluxes and stay low all month long. Prices begin the month OK at the moderates, and high at the values. Values prices drop to moderate levels on 8/13, and on 8/25 prices drop to among the lowest of the year at both the values and the moderates.

For first-timers who can’t return, the best week is that beginning 8/5–higher crowds and prices than later in the month, but lower hurricane risk. For those who can return, then later in the month is best.

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January 18, 2017   No Comments

July 2017 at Walt Disney World

April   May   June   July   August   September   October



This page reviews July 2017 Walt Disney World crowds, prices, deals and discounts, weather, and operating hours; adds a few other notes; and ends with week by week summaries.

Because pretty much every US school kid is on break in July, July overall is the most crowded month at Walt Disney World.

Prices begin the month low at the deluxes, OK at the moderates, and high at the values. Moderate and value prices stay at this level all month, but at the deluxes prices drop to even lower levels on July 7.

Weather is miserably hot and humid all month long.

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December 23, 2016   No Comments

2018 Planning Tools for Walt Disney World


Over the past few days, I’ve published draft versions of the key planning tools for selecting when to go to Walt Disney World in 2018:

Prices can vary by 50% over the year, crowds by even more, and the best weeks to visit–for first timers, or for others–are also affected by weather, special events, and ride closures.disney-world-in-2018-from-yourfirstvisit-netSo these forecasts are key tools for you to use in planning your 2018 Disney World vacation.

For more on when to go to Disney World, see this.


My draft calendar of Disney World price seasons in 2018 shows forecast changes in Disney World resort hotel prices over the dates of 2018.

It’s based on recent practices by Disney World.  Disney changes its practices commonly–the most recent trend has been to increase prices in the final third of the year compared to past practices by changing lower priced seasons to higher priced seasons.

I’ll update this material when Disney releases its final 2018 price seasons calendar, most likely in the summer of 2017.


My draft 2018 Disney World crowd calendar indicates lower, moderate, and higher crowd weeks to visit.

It’s based on recent trends–especially lower summer crowds and higher crowds in the first half of October–and the impacts of moving holidays, particularly Easter, and the actual day of Christmas in 2018 (which effects the start of an enormous number of school breaks).

The early Easter and Tuesday Christmas make the broad patterns of Disney crowds fairly straightforward to predict for 2018, but I will update this crowd calendar as needed  in the summer of 2017 after a deeper set of 2017/2018 school year calendars is out, and once the patterns of 2016-2017 have revealed themselves more.


My draft week rankings for 2018 are based on the above price seasons and crowd forecast, and also are influenced by weather, seasonal events, and ride closures.

These 2018 Disney World week rankings will be revised as needed in the summer of 2017 after the 2018 crowd calendar and price seasons are revised.

The 2017 easy Guide

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November 1, 2016   8 Comments

2018 Weeks to Visit Walt Disney World, Ranked in Order


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.

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 draft rankings will be revised after the final 2018 price seasons are released and school calendars analyzed, in the summer of 2017


These week rankings are based on my draft 2018 Disney World Crowd Calendar and on my draft 2018 Walt Disney World price seasons.

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

(For 2017 rankings, see this.)


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

Week 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.


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


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

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.

The next group includes the January and early February weeks when rides are often closed for repair or refurbishment—weeks 46-53.

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).

The Marathon Weekend (projected affecting arrival dates of 12/30/17 and 1/6/18) complicates Disney World as well, although it has little impact on park crowds.
The 2017 easy Guide

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October 31, 2016   8 Comments