Category — a. When to Go to Walt Disney World
OVERVIEW: SEPTEMBER 2017 AT DISNEY WORLD
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.
February 15, 2017 5 Comments
OVERVIEW: AUGUST 2017 AT DISNEY WORLD
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.
January 18, 2017 No Comments
OVERVIEW: JULY 2017 AT DISNEY WORLD
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.
December 23, 2016 No Comments
WALT DISNEY WORLD IN 2018
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.So 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.
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.
November 1, 2016 4 Comments
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).
October 31, 2016 6 Comments
2018 CROWDS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD
The chart lower on the page shows my draft forecasts for 2018 crowds by week at Walt Disney World.
These forecasts will be revised in the summer of 2017, when the full suite of 2018 school year calendars comes out.
Dates in it are the beginning of the week, and the forecast covers the recommended Saturday-Sunday 9 day stays.
(For 2017 crowds click here. )
Crowd levels are ranked by week from 1-11 in the following way:
1: Lowest of the year
HOW TO INTERPRET THE 2018 DISNEY WORLD CROWD CALENDAR
Dates are the beginning of the week.
As is the case in every good Disney World crowd calendar, the forecasts are about wait times on rides–not about how crowded the areas outside the rides might be.
The “low crowd” weeks–those colored green, and rated 1-4–represent the only crowd levels a family visiting for the first time, and unsure if it will ever return, should consider.
However, lower crowds, especially lowest crowds, do not always mean a better week. The lowest weeks are often best avoided by first timers who may never return because they are in the peak hurricane or the ride closure seasons.
The “moderate crowd” weeks–those in black and rated 5-7–have crowd levels I would not particularly recommend to first time visitors, though the crowds can be managed with careful planning. However, I’d go during such weeks myself with no hesitation, and think these levels are OK for returning visitors who don’t need to see everything and already know how to work Walt Disney World.
The “high crowd” weeks–those in red, rated 8-11–should be avoided by everyone. They aren’t, which is why they are so high.
MY DISNEY WORLD CROWD CALENDAR GOES UP TO “11”
However, I’ve always thought that the really nastiest weeks of the year deserved an 11 for emphasis.
October 30, 2016 9 Comments