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

The Best (and Worst) Times to Visit Walt Disney World

By Dave Shute


The Best and Worst Times to Visit Walt Disney World from yourfirstvisit.netThe best times to go on a first family visit to Walt Disney World are lower-crowd periods outside of the ride closure and peak hurricane seasons.

These best times to visit include

  • Very late February–very early March
  • Between the second week after Easter and the week before Memorial Day
  • Later October
  • November– other than the first full week and Thanksgiving week
  • December up until a week before Christmas
  • (For returning visitors, January and February, except New Years week, Presidents Day week and the Martin Luther King Day holiday weekend, are also excellent, as can be September)

These periods are highlighted in this site’s 2017 weeks to visit and 2018 weeks to visit–each ranking the weeks of the year in order of best to worst.


Tigger at the Crystal Palace from yourfirstvisit.netPretty much all other times, but especially Christmas week, New Year’s week, and the weeks before and after Easter.

More specifically,

  • Walt Disney World is the most crowded when kids are out of school: over summer through later August, Thanksgiving week, Christmas and New Years weeks, Presidents Day week, the spring break month of March; and the weeks before and after Easter. Crowds matter because they can increase waiting times by a factor of 3-4, lengthening your trip and/or reducing its value as a vacation while you are there.
  • The times when kids are out of school are (mostly) also the most expensive times to visit–Disney increases resort prices at times of higher demand, so that for example the same room at the Polynesian is $1800 more during Christmas week than during the week this site recommends.
    • Walt Disney World pricing is complicated, and prices do vary during these busy periods–for example, prices go down quite bit in August, even though the first two weeks are busy.
    • But generally you will pay more during the periods when kids are out of school.
  • Rides are mostly likely to be closed (for refurbishment) between early January and mid-February. For more on winter ride closures at Walt Disney World, click here
  • The hurricane season officially runs from June 1 through November 30, but strongly peaks from mid-August through early October.
  • Warm weather becomes materially less likely starting in mid-November, and the chance of good pool weather does not sharply improve again until mid-February. See Weather and When to Go.

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1 Kimberly { 01.12.11 at 1:28 am }

Hello, so glad to have found your site. We are FL residents (8hrs from Disney still) season pass holders and we plan to go to Disney twice this year for about a two week trip each time. We are very fortunate in having completely open schedules. We would like to go once in the spring and once in the fall/winter (hopefully to catch Mickey’s Christmas party…we did Halloween this past Oct.). My question is, what are the best two week time periods to do this? We care the most about low crowds. It seems like May used to be low crowds years ago, but seems to be increasing?

2 Dave { 01.12.11 at 8:50 am }

Kimberly–for your spring trip, your best bet is still the first two weeks of May–unless you don’t care about the possible cold, in which case the first two weeks of February are better–less crowded and less expensive. If February, depart by the 18th to avoid the President’s Day crowds.

For your fall trip, to include the Xmas party, pick an arrival date between November 27 and December 8. That will yield two weeks with lower crowds and lotsa Xmas opportunities!

3 Gena { 04.03.11 at 12:57 pm }

We are thinking of going tomorrow, apr 4th and 5th, how are those dates for crowds? Is it still a huge spring break crowd?

4 Dave { 04.03.11 at 1:37 pm }

Hi Gena!

Spring Break crowds have been pretty high this year, and that’s likely to continue this week…

5 Laurie { 04.04.11 at 6:05 pm }

You have a wonderful site! Thank you so much for all the wonderful work. 🙂 I was wondering what your thoughts are for this upcoming week at Disney. We arrive April 9th and depart April 15th. I’m trying to decide if we need to add park hopper to our tickets. Thanks again!

6 Dave { 04.04.11 at 6:40 pm }

Hi Laurie, and thanks!

I think next week will be one of the better weeks of Spring Break. Hardly any kids are on break, and with Easter week following, few families take it off. It may be quite crowded, but less so than other Spring Break weeks

Remember–you can add your hopper after you arrive, if you decide you need it, at no extra cost compared to buying it now…

7 pam { 04.05.11 at 5:50 am }

Hello! We were thinking about going May 16-21. Is that a busy/popular time?

8 Dave { 04.05.11 at 6:50 am }

Pam, that’s a good time! Moderately hot and humid, and moderate to lower crowds. The late Easter, combined with summer breaks that typically begin later than your week, make it not that popular.

9 Betsy Grogan { 04.05.11 at 9:58 am }

We are planning a trip to disney and unfortunately the only time we have available is 8-7-11 through 8-14-11. We were going to go in May but our daughter is having shoulder surgery this month. We have been in Sept. and in May and have had wonderful experiences both times. I am aware of the crowed time we have chosen. Just wanting some guidance on how to have the “best” vacation possible. Our kids are 15 and 12. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

10 Dave { 04.05.11 at 2:58 pm }

Betsy, since you’ve been there before, you know how to handle the crowds–arrive before the parks open, head straight for the most popular rides, and use FASTPASSES! You should figure to take noon to 5 off for the pools and napping, to avoid the peak of the crowds and the mid-day waether! Have a great trip, and tell me how it goes.

11 Shari { 04.05.11 at 11:28 pm }

I have read in many places to avoid parks on the days they have extra magic hours. We arrive on April 9th and the 10th has extra magic hours at WDW. Should we avoid it? I heard Sundays are a good day to visit WDW but since it’s an Evening Extra magic hour day, I’m wondering if we should avoid it. Can’t decide because I’m sure it will be most fun to go there on our first full day in town! thanks.

12 Dave { 04.06.11 at 9:12 am }

Hi Shari! A park is more crowded than it would otherwise be on extra magic hours days. But that doesn’t mean therefore to always avoid it–it just means know your purpose and weigh it against the extra crowds. E.g. if that Sunday your purpose is to see the evening parade and fireworks and eat at a counter service, then the crowds don’t matter much; if your purpose is to ride Peter Pan and Space Mountain, and try to get a sit down meal from walking up wihtout a reservation, then it matters a lot.

13 Dave { 04.08.11 at 11:11 am }

April 16th through the 21st. We are on spring break in NC, how are the crowds @ Disney. Were hoping it’s not a big week? Thanks

14 Dave { 04.08.11 at 11:49 am }

Dave, unfortunately that’s the most common week for kids to be on Spring Break in 2011. So I expect the parks to be horribly crowded then. See Spring Break 2011

15 Ron { 04.13.11 at 7:50 pm }

Kind of in the same boat as Shari. We are arriving 5/4/11 and was thinking of taking the family to WDW the very next day which is EMH day. I heard on some of the websites that it would be best to go the day after a EMH day. Do you think it would be better to go the Friday after the EMH?

16 Dave { 04.14.11 at 9:56 am }

Hi Ron! Hard to say without knowing how long you are staying and where you are staying, but for the Magic Kingdmo I’d concur with you and avoid the 5th.

17 Ron { 04.14.11 at 10:28 am }

I am staying off site and will be in Orlando from 5/4/11-5/9/11.

18 Dave { 04.14.11 at 11:43 am }

Ok Ron, short answer: Epcot May 5, Magic Kingdom 5/6 and 5/7, AK 5/8 Studios and Fantasmic 5/9. I can give the longer logic behind this if you want!

19 Allison { 04.17.11 at 9:42 pm }

My family will be at Disney Dec. 17-23. I’m sure this week will be crowded. We want to attend Mickey’s Christmas Party. I’ve read that Tuesday is the best day for the party. Is that what you would recommend?

20 Dave { 04.18.11 at 7:21 am }

Hi Allison!

First, yes I’d go with Tuesday for the Party.

Second, I’m not–right now–seeing the first part of that week as crowded. This call may change as more schools publish their 2011-2012 calendars and I get more data on just when the Xmas breaks will be…but at least right now I’m seeing a lot of schools beginning their breaks the 23rd…

21 Cassie { 04.19.11 at 6:05 pm }

1st time family trip to disney– 4 kids ages 3 -9 at time of travel. wondering if we should go 1st week in Feb. 2012 or 1st week in May 2012? would still like to use pool and maybe water park.

22 Dave { 04.19.11 at 6:10 pm }

Hi Cassie!

May, no question. February is cheaper and has very low crowds. May a little more money and crowds. But pool weather in early feb is VERY iffy whereas that part of may is about as good as wdw weather gets!

23 Jan { 04.19.11 at 8:42 pm }

Hi! This will be our first trip to Disney World. We have two boys – 11 & 15. Any recommendations on when we should go (10/15, 10/22, later?) and what places we should be sure to visit since our boys are older? Thanks for any advice you can give.

24 Dave { 04.20.11 at 10:16 am }

Hi Jan!

The weeks you noted are both recommended weeks–I rank them 6th and 7th best of the year. For more, see 2011 Weeks to Visit Ranked in Order.

Though your boys are older, the horizotal axis of The Comprehensive Guide to Rides should still be valid for them!

25 Dewayne { 04.20.11 at 10:26 am }

We are looking at being at Disney December 12-16th. Is that a bad week to go to Disney this year. We have never been before and we want the kids to really enjoy the parks. Also, our kids are 4, 7, 9, and 12, what parks do your recommend. I am looking for any advice here. We have a place to stay, so we are good. Just don’t know what to do about dates. Also, any suggestion on where to buy park passes for 2 adults and my children? We would love a 2 day at the park and 1 day maybe a water park, but would water parks be open during December? Lots of questions for anyone who could help me. Thx

26 Dave { 04.20.11 at 10:58 am }

Hi Dewayne!

I rank your week the 2nd best of the year for first time family visitors. For more, see 2011 Weeks to Visit Ranked in Order.

One of the water parks will be open, but it may be too cold to be any fun–if its way cold, they will close it for the day.

For your other questions, see the links in red on the right side of the site!

27 Mary D. { 04.20.11 at 11:56 am }

We are going to WDW with our grandchildren ages 5 & 12 5/24-5/26. First trip for both. Because of the 5 year old and the short period of time we are only going to MK. but haven’t decided on just 2 days or all 3 at the park. What do you suggest? What is EMH and how would that effect the days we will be there?

28 Dave { 04.20.11 at 12:36 pm }

Hi Mary are you staying at a WDW resort?

Of course I recommend three days, but the ticket price difference between two and three days is significant.

According to the Disney calendars (see How to Use the Disney Park Calendars) the only EMH you will face at MK is the morning of the 26th. The 26th, though, is the only day that not only has the evening parade showing (the fireworks are on all three days), but also on which the park does not close right after the fireworks (which leads to a real mob scene when it happens).

I’m a fan of having the evening parade and fireworks happen on your last night, and not having the park then immediately close, and since that’s also the only night the parade is on, I’d make that one of your days at the MK.

If you are staying at a WDW resort, then you can also come for morning EMH and be at the MK only two days–the 26th morning and evening, and the 24th.

If you are not staying at a WDW resort, then you want to avoid MK the 26th until evening parade time (arrive 90 mins before the first parade), so you’d want to go to it both the prior days, for a total of 3 days.

29 Dawn { 04.23.11 at 9:43 pm }

We are planning our first ever Disney trip in 2012. Our options are to go from March 29 through April 7th, otherwise we will have to wait until the last week in May when the kids are out of school. Any suggestions or tips? I’m at a complete loss!

30 Dave { 04.24.11 at 9:45 am }

Hi Dawn!!

Your March/April dates cover Easter week, a horrible time to go to WDW–the crowds are almost unimaginable.

Your May option will be much better. See this:

31 Ellen { 04.26.11 at 9:08 am }

Great site… thanks! We are very limited when we can go to Disney. Which would be the least crowded: December 24th -30th 2011 or April 1-7 2012 or Nov. 19-25 2012. I know both are terrible but we have a highschooler and this is it… or nothing! Can you rank these three from best choice to worst? Thank you so much!!

32 Dave { 04.26.11 at 9:17 am }

Hi Ellen!

Best to worst is Thanksgiving, Easter, Christmas.

One note–based on your highschooler’s summer schedule, could you go in early June or late Augist? Either would be better than the three above!

See also:

33 Ellen { 04.26.11 at 9:22 am }

Oh really?? We could go August 15-21 2011. I thought that would be more crowded. Please advise comparing that to Thanksgiving week. Thanks again!

34 Dave { 04.26.11 at 10:15 am }

The week after would be better, but regardless, the 15-21 will be much less crowded than Thanksgiving. This is because different school districts go back to school at different times, ranging from early August to after Labor Day. Hence the shoulders of the summer–early June and late August–are not too bad.

Later August is also less crowded because the peak of the hurricane season starts in mid-August. Hurricanes are rarely an issue, but people do avoid Florida then because of them. See this:

As a result of these school and hurricane issues, later August is also typically about as cheap a time as you can go, in terms of WDW resort price seasons.

I’m currently predicting that the price break will start on 8/17/2012 for the values and moderates (it starts in mid-July for the deluxes). See this: Note that this is just my forecast–the official 2012 price seasons will likely come out in early August 2011.

35 Ellen { 04.26.11 at 12:40 pm }

You have been so very helpful. I would like your advice on one last option. Would Dec. 17-25 2011 or August 15-21 2011 be less crowded?

36 Dave { 04.26.11 at 12:48 pm }

I’m currently ranking the week of 12/17 higher than that August week. See . However, I don’t yet have enuf 2011-2012 school year calendars to be as confident in the week of 12/17 as I wish I were, so that may end up changing…

37 Cherice { 04.26.11 at 3:11 pm }

I am planning a trip to Disney World for my family of 6 adults and one 3 year old child. We were not expecting to be able to go so I am getting a late start. The two times we are looking at are the last week of July or the first week of October. Currently, there are promotions for July so that trip will be about $1800 less than the October trip. Which time would you recommend given weather and crowds?

38 Dave { 04.26.11 at 4:33 pm }

Hi Cherice!!

Here’s the deal. Late July will be much more crowded, and much more uncomfortable–heat and humidity.

The only thing wrong with the October date is that its still in the peak of the hurricane season (hurricanes rarely affect a WDW trip, but if they do, its likely to be between mid-August and mid-October…)

If I was sure the price difference was gonna stay at $1800 then I’d probably pick July.

But there’s every possibility that a deal will come out that will cover your October dates that might narrow or even eliminate the price difference…no guaratees, but I’d call it at least a 50-50 chance. That makes me lean towards October, which wins hands down at equal prices.

Another option: book July and cancel and re-book if a better deal comes out for October. This could cost you quite a bit–it depends on the specifics of your July booking–but it will cost you at least the prcie of a hotel night. If you take this approach, I’d do it via a travel agent who could get you into the deal structure that is the least costly to cancel.

39 Lee { 04.29.11 at 2:53 pm }

Hello! I’m taking my family to Disney World next week, May 2, 3, 4, & 5. Can you give my any idea what kind of crowds to expect and which parks to visit each day to avoid them? We do have the hopper passes.
Thank you!

40 Dave { 04.29.11 at 5:14 pm }

Hi Lee!

Crowds should be moderate or better those days.

Here’s the parks to avoid by day:
May 2: Avoid the Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios
May 3: Avoid Epcot and the Hollywood Studios except for that evening–see below
May 4: Avoid the Animal Kingdom
May 5: Avoid the Magic Kingdom

May 3 is the only day in your period that Hollywood Studios is showing Fantasmic. So you will want to use your hopper and go there in the evening to see it (see the second of the two shows (at 10.30), and arrive at least 60 mins before)

41 Hilarry { 05.04.11 at 1:44 pm }

Hello! We are a South Florida family who never makes the journey up the road to Disney. We are tossing the idea around for next week since we have family coming in from out of state to visit the parks. Here is the itinery: Mon 5/09 & tues 5/10 Magic Kingdom. Wednesday 5/12 Animal Kingdom, with some hotel time and other parks taking up the other days. I have been told that Magic Kingdom is horribly crowded on Mondays and that Thursdays are a better bet, what is your take on this?

42 Dave { 05.04.11 at 2:15 pm }

Hi Hilarry!

Crowds within a week are largely driven by the extra magic hours schedule. For the three days you mentioned, AK has am EMH 5/9 and 5/11, and MK has it in the evening of 5/9.

Unless you are staying at a WDW resort, the only good day for AK is Tuesday the 10th. MK will be fine on the 10th, but increasingly crowded over the day on the 9th.

Thursdays are almost always bad at MK, as it almost always has am EMH on Thursdays. Sundays and Mondays (ignoring the emh factor) do tend to be busier at MK because people often arrive on Sat or Sun and spend their first full day at MK. Add the EMH effect on 5/9 and you are better off at another park. Suggest if you can you do MK Friday the 13th…

To check out the EMH schedules, park hours, etc, see The Disney Park Calendars

43 Ken { 05.14.11 at 5:58 pm }

What will the crowds be like from may 29th – June 4th. I know first two days will be crazy busy because memorial day. How will the days after be like?

44 Dave { 05.15.11 at 7:54 am }

Hi Ken!

Your June days in particular should be fine. Hardly any kids are off school for the summer yet that week–about 20% of districts–so crowds aren’t bad.

45 Amanda { 05.20.11 at 12:36 am }

We are Aussie family of 5 (kids 5,9,11) arriving 28th Aug staying at Hilton Orlando for 3 nights and Portofino 4 nights…hope they are nice..
What do you think of my proposed park plan please
Mon 29 Aug a half day at Epcot or AK or Hollywood Studios followed by dinner at park
Tue MK with maybe a break and I have booked Cindereela Royal table for lunch for my duaghter and I and Crystal palace for dinner and fireworks..are they better than Epcot illuminations?
the 1st Sept Universal and 3rd Sep Island of Adventures (hubby can’t do too many parks)
ANY advice would be great!

46 Dave { 05.20.11 at 8:12 am }

Hi Amanda!!

Portofino is stunning. The Hilton is fine. It’s been more than 5 years since I’ve stayed there, but it was a little dull back then…it caters to both conventions and WDW guests so its not as imaginative as the WDW resorts or Portofino.

On your itinerary thoughts, in general, if you plan to spend that few days in the parks, and go 50-50 Universal and WDW, your proposal basically works. I expect Sept 3 to be a high crowd day at Islands of Adventure (it’s the beginning of a three day holiday weekend) but your Portofino early entry to Harry Potter and other privileges should make it fine for you.

Of the three parks you are considering for a half day and dinner on the 29th, Epcot will be the least crowded, but AK and HS have more kid appeal given the ages of your little ones. AK has morning extra magic hours (Hilton guests are eligible for EMH) that day so you want to be there bright and early. It closes at 5 that day so may not be the best choice from the point of view of dinner. HS has evening extra magic hours that day and will be open to you til 10p.

And yes, if I had to pick between Wishes (the MK fireworks) and Illuminations I’d go with Wishes in a heartbeat!

Personally, given the ages of your kids, I’d do Islands of Adventure the 1st and hold on deciding whether to do Universal the 3rd or a WDW park on the 2nd (if WDW do it the second to avoid the holiday crowds on the 3rd) til you’ve experienced both. If you stay flexible this way I’d bet that you will end up doing the Magic Kingdom again on the 2nd…

47 Alicia { 05.30.11 at 2:07 am }

I am planning a trip to disney world next year. When would be the best time to go these are my criteria has to be nice weather in order to go swimming and not to feel chilly, but not to be scorching hot, to avoid hurrican season, the park hours have to be great, and its not too crowded.

48 Dave { 05.30.11 at 6:34 am }

Hi Alicia! Late April and late October meet almost all of your criteria. See .

The only thing you can’t get is great hours and low crowds at the same time–Disney cuts back hours during lower-crowd periods.

49 Diana { 05.30.11 at 11:29 pm }

We arrive late on 6/2 and leave 6/9. One son is Star Wars Fanatic so were planning on going to Hollywood Studios 6/3. Do you have recommendations on a game plan or alternate day for HS? We thought we should do HS and AK one day each and Epcot and MK two days each. What are your ideas?

50 Dave { 05.31.11 at 9:18 am }

Hi Diana!

You might want to shift your Studios day to 6/4, as gay days is at the Studios 6/3 and that combined with the Star Wars weekend may make the Studios much more crowded than it will be 6/4.

See this for more on Star Wars weekends if you aren’t already up on it:

For the rest of your period, your allocation of days is spot-on, and see the links on this page especially towards the bottom: the Summer itinerary for a general approach (it’s Sat-Sun so doen’t quite match your dates), and the first two links under “HELPFUL ITINERARY LINKS” for figuring out which parks when

Hope this helps and have a great trip!! Dave

51 Mick { 06.02.11 at 4:08 am }

Hi Dave,

Looking at Disneyworld between 1st May to 10th May, 2012. WE will do 5 days there trying to pick the best days where possible. We are a family of 4 from Australia and that will be week 5 of a big trip. Already looking forward to it. Tried to go well after easter and before memorial Day…. hope my thinking is right.



52 Dave { 06.02.11 at 1:09 pm }

Hi Mick!

Yup, you’ve picked a great time–your dates are in my recommended weeks–see .

Have a great trip!! Dave

53 Nick { 06.08.11 at 8:26 am }

hi we are planning a trip end of october first week of november.
what I am wondering is how the 5 or 6 day pass works with the special event days? will we have to pay extra if we go on a day for the halloween festivities? or is it obsorbed in the multi-day pass?

54 Dave { 06.08.11 at 9:24 am }

Hi Nick!

On the special party days, the park will be open til 7p for the use of regular ticket holders (e.g. a five or six day pass). You do need a special ticket to attend the halloween party itself, which starts at 7p.

See this for more:

55 kate { 06.08.11 at 11:05 am }

Planning a first ever family trip to DW hopefully 3rd week of october 2012. I know this seems to be a great time of year to go from all the info i got on your site. I should be getting my vacation planning guide in mail soon. The questions I have are about the ticket prices. We are planning on renting a home just miles from disney, so we really wont get to use the bus systems or resorts deals. Should my family still invest in park hopper passes for 2 adults and 1 child 5yrs or just buy regular tickets for 4 parks? Are the parks even open late at night that time of year? Also, do you have to pay to park in the disney parks??? We are planning to do mickey’s halloween party, i realize you have to buy those tickets seperate and in advanced.

56 Dave { 06.08.11 at 11:38 am }

Hi Kate!

I would skip the park hoppers for now.

If you discover once you are there that you want them, you can add them to your tickets at the same price as if you had added them now–except that prices will likely go up 3-5% in August 2011.

For more on ticket prices and how they work see this:

57 Tia { 06.09.11 at 12:09 am }

I am debating on a Disney trip the week before the 4th of July…June 27-July 1…I was wondering how long to expect to wait in lines and how crowded it would be? Also would u recommend the dining plan, and staying inside the park or outside the park? Thanks a bunch!

58 Dave { 06.09.11 at 6:03 am }

Hi Tia!

It will be very crowded–you can beat the corwds by arriving before the parks open in the morning, and using FASTPASSES, but it waits of an hour or more will be common.

Yes, stay inside Walt Disney World, but skip the dining plan–the most fun restaurants will have long sold out (they start selling out 6 months before), so it won’t be worth it!

59 Bryan { 06.10.11 at 1:54 pm }


My wife and I are planning our first trip with our then-4-year-old girl late mid-late October. We really just want a long weekend Thursday to Monday where she can see some characters (mainly princesses since she’s obsessed), do the bibbity bobbity boo thing, do some small rides if possible, see some some animals, and maybe some fireworks one night. We just don’t think we can handle more time at Disney than that. We’re looking at the Carribean Beach Resort. Is that one any good? Do we need a dining plan? Any tips or suggestions? Been perusing your site and it’s got a lot of helpful info. Thanks for putting it all together!


60 Dave { 06.10.11 at 2:32 pm }

Hi Bryan that’s a great time to go–though avoid if you can the Columbus Day weekend.

Caribbean Beach is my top-ranked moderate, but I don’t recommend moderates for first time visits–see this for more: For my hotel recommendations, see

For figuring out which rides will work best for your 4 year old, see this: That will also help you pick your parks–though from your thoughts it’s sounding like Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom.

You can then use this to build your overall plans for the visit:

Hope this helps and have a great trip!!


61 Amanda { 06.13.11 at 12:40 am }

Thanks Dave
Now moved the Hilton booking to Beach Club followed by Portofino…thanks for your tips..really helpful

62 Dave { 06.13.11 at 6:01 am }

You are welcome and have a great trip!!

63 Martha { 06.20.11 at 11:37 pm }

We are wanting t0 take a trip to WDW around march 8-20th 2012 with our girls age 7&9, will there be big crowds at that time and what will the weather be like there. We are from Texas and don’t know what to expect in Florida that time of year.

64 Amanda { 06.20.11 at 11:43 pm }

Love your site!! I have a few questions. Our family took our first WDW trip this past May (7th – 14th). Crowds were moderate and actually great the beginning of the week, but by Fri MK was packed with field trips. The weather was just too hot for us. It was in the 90’s most of the week and waiting for the parades to start was just plain miserable. So we really don’t want to go that time of year again. As I’m trying to plan our next trip, I’m struggling between either Nov or Feb. As you can see we want cooler weather! 🙂 Yet, we would still like to swim. We would love to see the Christmas decor, so I’m really leaning towards Nov. It looks like costs aren’t too much higher than Feb. How are the crowds the week before Thanksgiving? Also, what about “Jersey Week” –does that really make the crowds that much larger? Our biggest concern is crowds & weather…which month would you suggest? Also, trying to decide between the Poly & Beach Club. Have never stayed onsite so I really want us to be drowning in the Disney magic!! 🙂 Which resort do you think gives you the best Disney experience? Thanks so much for your help!!

65 Dave { 06.21.11 at 7:01 am }

Hi Martha!

I’m expecting that week to be very crowded. March weather is all over the place, with typical highs ranging from the mid-60s to the mid 80s. See this for more:

66 Dave { 06.21.11 at 7:05 am }

Hi Amanda!

For the best crowd/cool weather balance for a returning visitor, go for early Feb. Arrive early enuf in the month so that you depart by 2/17 or you will run into Presidents day crowds and prices.

See also but note that these rankings are for first time visitors! I rank the Jan and early feb weeks much higher for returning visitors…

Poly, poly, poly hands down. See

67 Kate { 06.24.11 at 9:33 pm }

We have changed our plans to go to dw from october 2012 to march 2012 now. I noticed the Star wars tours is during the spring. Do u happen to know if its open in march and what date? or is not available till later. Have a 4.5 old son who loves star wars. Is he old enough to participate? I’m sure i will have more questions since it seems we are going to disney sooner rather then later!!!

68 Dave { 06.25.11 at 6:43 am }

Hi Kate, glad to help.

First March after the 9th will be wildly crowded…

Second there’s a couple of different Star Wars things at one of the theme parks, Hollywood Studios, that he might like. Two are open everyday: Star Tours, a ride, and the Jedi Training Academy, where he can learn to use a night saber and battle Darth Vader. That one requires you to be at the park when it opens and sign up.

Then typically in late May and early June there’s something called “Star Wars” weekends at the same park where he can see lots of Star Wars charaters, etc. This happens on weekends (Fri-Sun) over three or four weeks.

Hope this helps! Dave

69 Kate { 06.25.11 at 8:31 pm }

Thank you Dave. He will love the star wars training academy! I hate that we are not going in fall, i was really looking forward to that time of yr there. But we are most likely going the first week of march, so hopefully a bit less crowded. Most of us going are first timers to dw.

70 Dave { 06.26.11 at 7:14 am }

Hi Kate! The first week of March should be not nearly as crowded as the rest of the month! Have fun, Dave

71 Macy { 06.28.11 at 4:50 pm }

Hi was wondering if the week of november 22, 2012- november 27, would be busy

72 Dave { 06.28.11 at 5:33 pm }

Hi Macy!

Because of Thanksgiving, it will be very busy the 22nd-24th, ok the 25th, and uncrowded the 26th and 27.

73 Jenny { 07.08.11 at 9:42 am }

Hope you are doing well today.
We are visiting Florida from Aug. 13-27th
We are going to all the disney parks but not til our second week (21st-26th)
We are trying to plan an itinerary and I am getting conflicting results so I wondered if you could help.
Right now we have: Sunday: Waterpark; Mon: Epcot, Tues: Hollywood Studios; Wed: Magic Kingdom; Thurs. Animal Kingdom
But the problem is that my parents want to come to Magic Kingdom with us but they will be leaving on the 24th.
We also want to make sure we get in Fantasmic at hollywood studios (which I know is on Sun. Tues. Thurs.)
This may be hopeless but I thought I’d try
Some sites say that hollywood studios is fine on Sunday’s and some say it’s not.
What would our reccommended itinerary be based on the info I gave you?

74 Dave { 07.08.11 at 11:58 am }

Hi Jenny!

Disney has added a lot of showings of Fantasmic in August–it is now showing every night of your planned WDW visit.

This makes things simpler. I’d advise doing MK the 22nd, the Studios the 23rd, Epcot the 24th, and AK the 25th.

There’s no sense to saying a particular park is good or bad on a particular day–eg no one can say accurately “all Sundays are bad at HS.”

It all depends on the Extra Magic Hours schedule, which has a couple of typical patterns but does vary, and in the case of the Studios, if it has a limited slate of Fantasmics in a period. If it does, then Fantasmic days will be much more crowded. This does not apply to your period, so I’ve based the recommended days based just on the EMH schedule for those days…

Hope this helps!! Dave

75 Lara { 07.09.11 at 9:58 pm }


We will be at WDW 8/14/2011 – 8/20/2011. We have a child who is 4 and one that will be turning 12 on the 18th. We would like to do something special on the evening of the 18th but not sure what, any suggestions? (He is mature for his age.) This website is the first time I have ever heard of not attending parks on certain days. On our previous trip (5 years ago), we attended which ever park had early hours and collected fastpasses. We would stay until around lunch time, head back to the resort to rest, and then go to park that had late magic hours. We are staying at a Disney resort and have park hopper and waterpark fun-n-more options. We are expecting to split up some days because of the age difference in our children. You seem to have a lot of knowledge in this area, any input would be appreciated!

Thank you for your time!


76 Dave { 07.10.11 at 6:10 am }

Hi Lara!

Your approach (morning and evening EMH) works great for Summer EMH schedules and operating hours if you have a park hopper! No need to change it…

I’m thinking about the special celebration for the 12 year old and not coming up with any great ideas…have you done Hoop Dee Doo Revue? that’s a possibilty tho likely sold out for your dates…if other ideas come I’ll add them here!

77 Anonymous { 07.21.11 at 11:44 pm }

is the first week of november 2011 good to go? thanks!

78 Dave { 07.22.11 at 7:31 am }

It’s an OK week. Because of Jersey Week (see ) crowds are a little higher than the weeks before and after.

79 Brandon A. { 07.23.11 at 9:00 pm }

Hi all! I’m planning on going next July. I know this is an extremely busy time, but its all i can get. I was wondering if any week in july was less crowded than another. Also, I plan on proposing to my girlfriend while we are there. Any suggestions for a ‘disney’ proposal?

80 Dave { 07.24.11 at 8:01 am }

Hi Brandon!

Re July, the worst week is the one that includes the fourth of July and corwds get slightly better in the second half of the month.

Re the proposal, what a great idea! See this page: and I’m also gonna reach out to my network for more ideas!

81 Dave { 07.24.11 at 2:23 pm }

Brandon, here’s some more ideas I’ve got from others:

On the beach at the Polynesian Resort during Wishes

During Illuminations at Epcot

From the deck at Narcoossee’s, a restaurant at the Grand Floridian, during Wishes

From Splash Mountain–see The blog that link is to might be helpful also!

I’ve bolded items you can read more about on this site–use the search box at the top right…

Will post more ideas if they come in!


82 Brandon A. { 07.25.11 at 12:36 am }

Thanks a lot dave! I really appreciate the time you took to do this! I love the idea of the beach at the Polynesian. I’m also thinking something in the Animal Kingdom, as she loves animals. Thanks again!

83 Dave { 07.25.11 at 7:30 am }

Glad to help. Re the Animal Kingdom, note that most of the recommendartions so far are related to fireworks shows…and the AK doesn’t have those…I’ll noodle on other AK options and post here if I come up with anything!

84 Faye { 07.25.11 at 4:45 pm }


I have booked to go to Orlando from 19th March 2012 to 2nd April 2012. First 8 days in Orlando 2nd week in Tampa. Have now found out that this is Spring Break in the USA!!! Have I made a huge mistake?? We will be taking twin 4 year olds and dont want to spend the whole time queueing up. Can you advise what the queues will be like?

Many thanks

85 Dave { 07.25.11 at 5:19 pm }

Hi Faye!

I have both those weeks ranked as very high crowds, 10s on my scale of 1-11. There are ways to manage the crowds, especially if you are staying at a Walt Dinsey World resort hotel, but I’d avoid them if I could…

For more on Sprng Break see this

And if you are able to change your dates see this:

86 Dave { 07.25.11 at 5:43 pm }

Brandon: this podcast was suggested by one of my buds:

87 Faye { 07.26.11 at 1:52 pm }

Thanks Dave. I have managed to change dates today to 1st March until 14th March which I gather will be slightly better with regards to crowds…..just hope the weather is still Ok?! Thanks

88 Dave { 07.26.11 at 2:42 pm }

That’s great! The crowds at WDW will be reasonable until around the 10th…the weather can be all over the place in early March, but not in a much different way than your original weeks…

89 Deb { 08.03.11 at 6:47 pm }

i was just reading some of the questions above – we are going in December 2011 not exactly sure how our days will pan out – am i reading correctly that i could get regular day passes and add on the hopper once i am there – if we would decide to go to two parks in one day – and that would be approximately $52 per day – am i figuring this correctly – my husband i would probaably only do one park a day – but the rest of the family may do more – but not sure since the parks do close earlier – thank you so much and by the way your informaiton is GREAT!!!!!

90 Anonymous { 08.03.11 at 7:08 pm }

hi never been to disney world, but i am planning a trip and was wondering when I should go, im worried about crowds and weather. I want to be able to swim, but not have to worry about hurricanes.

91 Dave { 08.03.11 at 7:21 pm }

Hi Deb, and thanks!

You are mostly right except the price!

You can add the hopper only when you decide you really need it, at no more cost than if you bought it in advance, and its ~$50 per person, not per day–Each person has a ticket with between 1 and 10 days of park access, and the hopper is still just ~$50 more whether the ticket is for 1, 5 or 10 days.

(You can also add days at no extra cost compared to buying them before you arrive–if you start wiht a 4 day ticket, you can make it a 5 day ticket when you want (within 14 days of first use) at no more cost than buying all 5 days to start with.)

92 Dave { 08.03.11 at 7:23 pm }

Shoot for the time between the week after Easter (that is, arriving 6-7 days after Easter) and early May.

Crowds will be low, and the weather at this time of year is as good as it gets! And the hurricane season doesn’t begin until June 1, and isn’t really important until mid-August.

For 2012, see the April and May weeks on this page:

93 Melanie { 08.09.11 at 1:00 pm }

Promised my now 4 and 10 year olds we go next year. My youngest has never been but the oldest has. Want everything: great swimming weather, shorter lines and cheapest flights from NY. We don’t mind missing a couple days of school (3 at the most combined with a weekend). What time of year is best?

94 Dave { 08.09.11 at 1:05 pm }

Hi Melanie–I can’t comment on NY flight prices, but to combine short lines and great weather, arrive in mid April–e.g. April 14 or 21. See this for more:

95 Jennifer { 08.10.11 at 2:33 pm }


My family and I have been to WDW a few times and are planning on going back this fall. We homeschool so we have the option of going at any time during the year. We’d really like to go right after soccer season ends which is November 5th. I understand that the first full week in November is Jersey week and that it might be more full then. Is that right? Is it that big of a difference? We have other plans for Thanksgiving and need a few days to get home and repack for that trip. Would it be a good time to go from say the 9th to the 19th?


96 Dave { 08.10.11 at 2:46 pm }

Hi Jennifer!

See this for more on Jersey week:

It’s not that bad, it’s just worse than the other fall non-holiday weeks.

Jersey week will peak the 9th through 12th, and crowds will then be great the 13th thru the 19th, so your 9th-19th dates would work OK–the first few days busy, great the rest of the time.

97 Jennifer { 08.10.11 at 3:01 pm }

Thank you! Can you recommend which parks we should do those first busy days?

98 Dave { 08.10.11 at 6:52 pm }


You want to avoid the most popular parks–Magic Kingdom and Islands of Adventure–all those days, and also avoid extra magic hours parks (and the crowds they draw).

That suggests to me the Animal Kingdom or Epcot the 10th, Hollywood Studios the 11th, and whichever of AK or Epcot you did not see the 10th on the 12th…

99 Kris { 08.17.11 at 2:16 pm }

I will be in Orlando Aug 24-26 for a work conference. On Aug 25th (Thursday) I will have free time after 5:30 and would love to go to Magic Kingdom. What do you think the crowds/lines will be like during that time of the day and that week. I know probably Epcot would be less busy but if I have my choice I would rather hit Magic Kingdom. I’m trying to maximize the short window of time I have off so any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your input.

100 Dave { 08.17.11 at 2:48 pm }

Hi Kris, MK should be OK that day. Most kids are back in school, so the summer crowding will be largely over.

101 Kristin Shuffler { 08.18.11 at 2:19 pm }


We are coming to Disney with a 6, 3 and 1 yr old on November 18-25. Any ideas which days to do which parks to avoid the crowds as much as we can?

102 Dave { 08.18.11 at 2:46 pm }

Hi Kristin!

My specific advice is to get to the Magic Kingdom the 18th and 19th, as crowds will begin to really build the 20th.

Otherwise the key is to avoid parks that have morning extra magic hours that day. For more see this:

103 Mike Angelo { 08.22.11 at 10:14 am }

Dave, I sent you a email last week but I don’t think you got it so I’ll try again.
I’m going to WD Sept 6th through the 9th. Now I’m thinking I should have waited another week. I noticed the parks hours change the second week of Sept. What say you?

104 Dave { 08.22.11 at 10:19 am }

Mike–these are “comments,” not emails 🙂 –see this:

that said, I’ll send you an email too!!

105 Brenda { 09.07.11 at 9:52 am }

We are going to Disney for the first time with our 14yr old and our 7yr old from December 15th – 19th. I was wondering how the crowds were at that time of the year?

106 Dave { 09.07.11 at 10:25 am }

Hi Brenda! If you mean 2011, crowds should be fine. I epxect them to start building the 17th, and start getting even higher after you leave!

For more, see this:

107 Karen { 09.07.11 at 10:41 pm }

We want to go to Disney December 17-22 but just not sure if it will be worth it due to the crowds. This will be our first visit to Disney as a family. So we really don’t know much on how to plan this trip. Would it just be better to go sometime next year instead??

108 Dave { 09.08.11 at 7:56 am }

Hi Karen!

I think that week on average will be OK. It will start great, but get really crowded beginning Wednesday or so. See

However, if I’m wrong, it will be more crowded than I predict.

Thus, if I were you, I’d take a close look at this page and see if any of the recommedned weeks work for your family:

109 Stacey Kusterbeck { 09.08.11 at 5:34 pm }

Hello! We are headed to WDW staying at Beach Club Villas from 11/23 through 11/29….will it be very crowded the entire time due to Thanksgiving week, or is it more just the holiday itself that it’s crowded? We want to do Magic Kingdom and Epcot and try to see the Candlelight Processional. I can’t change the dates to early Dec., or I would do so.

110 Dave { 09.09.11 at 7:40 am }

Hi Stacey!

The peak crowds will be the 23rd through the 26th. The rest of your dates should be great, especilly the 28th and 29th…

111 Kelly { 09.16.11 at 9:18 pm }

We will be arriving on 11/16 around 3:30 in the mid afternoon leaving 11/22 early. We are traveling with a 5 yr old. Which parks would you visit on each day?

Thanks for your input!!!

112 Dave { 09.17.11 at 2:54 pm }

Hi Kelly! The trick for you is that crowds will start building the 20th.

My advice varies a little depending on whether or not you are staying in a Disney hotel. In the following I’m assuming you aren’t. I’m also leaving Epcot out as there’s little of interest there to a 5 year old

17: Animal Kingdom
18: Magic Kingdom
19: Magic Kingdom
20: Hollywood Studios
21: Pick your favorite and head back

113 Nina { 09.17.11 at 7:57 pm }

Hi! Great site! Based on your advice, my family and I booked a trip for December 5-9th. I was very excited until I saw that the Pop Warner kids will be in Orlando during the same time frame. Should I be worried?

114 Dave { 09.18.11 at 9:53 am }

Hi Nina! Pop Warner has little impact, so not to worry. See this:

115 DT { 09.20.11 at 10:17 am }

A family group is loking into the week of 6/16-6/23. Could you please give me your opinion on that week as relates to weather, crowd and cost? Would it be less to stay outside the park and shuttle in? Are there better weeks in the summer (off from school) to go?

116 Dave { 09.20.11 at 11:50 am }

Hi DT!

I’m not keen on that week–it’s crowded, hot and expensive. See this for better summer weeks:

It almost always costs less to stay outside the parks in term of pure hotel costs–but see this:

117 annette { 10.02.11 at 12:50 pm }

love your site and just subscribed. We are previous Disneyland pass holders and are planning our first trip to Disney World. Unfortunately, because our boys are 13, 11 and cannot afford to miss a week of school, we are going 12/31/11 through 1/7/12, during their holiday break. We are excited to see the holiday decorations and plan to navigate the crowds by waking up early each day or plan to. We will be staying at the Beach Resort/Disney property, will have the park hopper options, as well as monorail access, although we will have trek through Epcot to get to the monorail.

My questions:
When do all the Christmas decorations come down at each park? I really want to see the
Osborne Spectacle of Lights, Illuminations at Epcot/Candle Light Processional. Etc..

What else should be a priority the first few most crowded days before they are gone?

NYE will be wild and crowded but we are arriving that day at 4pm and will goto Epcot, best place to see the fireworks? Or will it be so crowded that we will not be able to get in?

I just made a preliminary itinerary but have some holes:

12/31 Epcot
1/1. Animal Kindom / ?
1/3. DHS
1/4. Epcot/
1/5. Magic Kingdom/
1/7. DHS 8am-11:30, return to Hotel to check out and go home:)

I want to utilize our park hopper options but not sure where to go in the evenings taking into acct travel time/our location and seeing things at night!

Having gone to Disneyland CA, a dozen times recently, it will be a priority for my preteens to ride new rides and see age appropriate shows, boys are not fans of the more kiddie shows. With that said they will still want to ride all the rides they are familiar with at least once to see if they are any different, space mountain, tower of terror, splash mountain, haunted mansion etc…

I have your book and have started to tag pages, and now with the web subscription, I am over armed with info!!!! Thanks for any reply and specific recommendations for our specific trip!!!!! We are warriors and look forward to a well planned trip to maneuver around the crowds and to see as much as possible at WDW.

From CA

118 Dave { 10.02.11 at 2:30 pm }

Hi Annette! I actually don’t have anything to do with either or The Unofficial Guide, other than the highest repsect (mostly) and an affiliation agreement.

Most of the special Xmas events end 12/30 or 12/31–the exception is the Osbornes, which end Jan 3. The decorations stay up longer, as it takes several weeks for Disney to get them all down!

Epcot the 31st is fine. After that focus on the Magic Kingdom and HS after the 2nd–picking the days they do NOT have morning EMH.

You want to avoid morning EMH as even though you get an extra hour, by late morning the park is even busier than it would have been on a non-EMH day. While you can park-hop then, park hopping takes 45 to 90 mins and so doesn’t always pay off. it’s best reserved for days that look like this: early at one park, afternoon sleeping or at the pool, evening at another park.

See this for more:

Suggest you redo your calendar to avoid morning EMH…

119 Tara { 10.12.11 at 3:14 pm }

We’re traveling to WDW in May with an 11mo old, 11yr old and 8yr old. Can you help me out with the BEST week to go for avoiding crowds (I’ll sacrifice a lot to avoid mass crowds with kids). Is there anything else that would be specifically special to see in May? Please advise me on the weather/precipitation and, if you know, the ins and outs of taking a baby on rides (will a front carrier work?). I really appreciate all your advice!
Thanks, Tara

120 Dave { 10.12.11 at 3:26 pm }

Hi Tara. The short version is the earlier in May the better.

See this for the best weeks:

For weather, see this: The rainy season typically starts in mid-May.

There’s a special garden show at Epcot that ends May 20. See this:

I don’t have much expertise on babies at WDW (I focus on older kids) but there’s a great section in The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World.

See also the links on the left side of the site!

Hope this helps, Dave

121 Sharon { 10.18.11 at 4:42 pm }

We are thinking of coming to WDW Dec. 17 thru Dec. 24? What will the crowds be like? I have been before but it was the end of Sept. ,first of October. The kids are in school and cannot get out to come any other time. I do not want to stand in line to ride for hours.


122 Dave { 10.18.11 at 5:11 pm }

Hi Sharon! I think it will be OK until the 22nd or the 23rd. Not as quiet as Sept/Oct, but still manageable. Xmas crowds will start pouring in at the end of the week… see this:

123 Tania :) { 10.19.11 at 9:24 am }

Hello:) How are you? Thank you for your insight!
My family and I are collectively trying to put together a 40th birthday trip for my sister inlaw. There will be 9 of us (6 adults, 3 kids aged 6,10,14). Her birthday is October 22nd, 2012. Just wondering….is we were going to try to see Halloween and Christmas in Disney what 2 weeks would you recommend? Thanking you:)

124 Dave { 10.19.11 at 12:03 pm }

Hi Tania!

There’s no complete overlap, as Halloween celebrations typically end Nov 1 and the Xmas program is not in full swing until the Friday after Thanksgiving.\

However, the special Mickey’s Very Merry Xmas Party recently has started around Nov 8 or so, so in 2012 if you arrived say Oct 28th and departed Nov 10th you might be able to see both parties.

This would put you there during Jersey Week, which is not bad, but not one of my recommended weeks.

For more on the Xmas party see this: For more on the halloween party see this: and for more on Jersey Week see this:

125 Jen { 10.29.11 at 9:55 pm }

Looking to go sometime in May 2012 – when is the best time during that month when the crowd would be the least?

126 Dave { 10.30.11 at 7:22 am }

Hi Jen!

The short answer is the earlier in May the better. For more, see this:

127 L { 10.30.11 at 8:38 pm }

We are planning on coming to Disney Dec 19-24. I have read all the sites about the crowds and I am concerned we have picked the worst time to come. Is it just miserably crowded then?

128 Dave { 10.31.11 at 7:01 am }

Hi, your first few days should be OK. I don’t expect the crazy crowds to start building until the 22nd. See this:

129 Nicci { 11.05.11 at 12:14 am }

Hi, Dave! We will be going to WDW from November 22 through December 7. We are renting a home a few miles from Disney, and plan on visiting WDW and Universal. Obviously, the crowds will be heavier until the 26th or so, but any adcvise on which days to go where? And will it still be warm enough to go to a water park? Thank you!

130 Dave { 11.05.11 at 7:41 am }

Hi Nicci!

You have a nice long trip that will allow you to pick and choose.

I’d avoid any parks til the 26th. That day forward, avoid parks on days they have morning extra magic hours, but otherwise it won’t matter much–crowds will be so low that you can’t seriouly err.

The best time to visit Universal is on the weekends and Monday, so target 12/3, 4 and 5.

Waterparks are a crap shoot. Highs can be in the 80s or the 50s. For more on winter highs, see this:

131 Annemarie Kehoe { 11.06.11 at 5:48 pm }

Hi Dave,
We are visiting Orlando and are arriving on the 27th of march-12th of April 2012 from Ireland.
Im worried now we probably have picked a very busy time. Our daughter is 3yrs old on the 3rd of April and wanted to visit WDW around that week. Will the crowds be very high? And will it be more expensive? We are stayin on International Drive. Thank you.

132 Dave { 11.07.11 at 8:35 am }

Hi AnneMarie.

This is indeed one of the most crowded and most expensive times of the year, and I’d change my dates if you can.

For spring break crowds, see this: and for prices see this:

Prices on I-Drive will follow this pattern as they are also shaped by the increased demand.

For better weeks, see this:

133 Annemarie Kehoe { 11.07.11 at 2:38 pm }

Thanks Dave,
What will be more expensive? Are you talking food and park tickets?We have our park tickets purchased here a while so we dont have to buy them over in Orlando. I dont know if we will be able to change flights as we got them at a good price with Aerlingus direct from Ireland. Im raging now we didnt book it for the febuary break we have over here. As i dont like my kids missing too much off school.
Our daughter is 3yrs on the 3rd of April so that is why we really wanted to go that time too.
Thank you for your help anyway.

134 Dave { 11.07.11 at 4:08 pm }

Annemarie–I was thinking your hotel would be quite expensive compared to other times…

135 Annemarie Kehoe { 11.08.11 at 5:53 am }

Thank you Dave,
We have our hotel paid for already awhile so we are ok that way. Im just worried that prices of food and merchandising will be up?? thanks

136 Dave { 11.08.11 at 8:19 am }

Hey Annemarie, you should be fine then. Merchandise prices won’t change. Food may be a little more expensive at sit-down venues–e.g.$3-$5 more per person…

137 Annemarie Kehoe { 11.09.11 at 9:24 am }

Oh thank you Dave 🙂 Happy to hear that as we were getting worried 🙂 lol
Thank you for your help!

138 Dave { 11.09.11 at 11:38 am }

You’re welcome and have a great trip!!

139 Anonymous { 11.12.11 at 7:49 am }

What a plethora of information you are! My family is planning a trip to Disney world in mid-July 2012, possibly the 15th, for a week, as we need to wait until everyone is out of school/work. My sister and I will be celebrating our 40th birthday on the 17th and we will also be celebrating both of our husbands retirement. This will be our mother and stepfathers first trip to Disney, as well, so we want to make it amazing! We would love to stay at the boardwalk, but don’t seem to be finding any packages to include park hoppers and meal plans, or do you think this is not the way to go? There are 11 of us total coming from new York, though I can’t get airline pricing yet either. We know it will be crazy busy in July but do you have any suggestions for our group to make the most of it? 5 kids ages range from 6-12. Thank you, in advance.

140 Dave { 11.12.11 at 8:43 am }

Hi, by “packages” I assume you mean discounts or deals? None have been announced past March of 2012. I doubt that much other than possibly a room discount deal will be available during your dates, as demand is high enough then that Disney does not need to discount much.

You may want to work with a travel agent who can help you set things up so that if a discount is announced you can have the best chance of being eligble. See the form on the lower right for getting in touch.

You can do fine in July if you follow one of my itneraries. The one most likely to apply is the summer itinerary (won’t know for sure until Disney releases its July calendar in early December)–see this:

For hotel options for such a large group see this:

141 Jeff Dearman { 11.13.11 at 12:18 pm }

I would say late Jan into Early Feb. (mid Feb would be too crowded due to school vacation weeks for New England and other northern states where a lot of people plan trips down feb break and april break. Early Feb would be quiet.

142 Jeff Dearman { 11.13.11 at 12:19 pm }

also the definition of pool weather would vary depending on which state or country you come from. For example someone from my area in Boston will have a different view of pool weather than someone from Atlanta Georgia or Phoenix AZ. I would be fine swimming when its 70 or higher. whereas floridians might not.

143 Dave { 11.13.11 at 1:45 pm }

Hi Jeff!

The recommendations are for first-timers who may never return.

As a result, common ride closures keep me from recommending Jan-mid Feb, which can be great otherwise as you note.

See this:

144 Dave { 11.13.11 at 1:45 pm }


145 Sarah { 11.23.11 at 9:34 pm }

Hi Dave
Thanks so much for your wonderful site. My sister and her husband are both disabled (CP) and in their fifties. We would love to surprise them with an overseas visit to Disney World – a long time dream. Do you have any recommendations for where to stay so that their wheelchairs won’t become a major hassle with transportation or grounds difficult to navigate? I saw your recommendations on the Polynesian, but it’s just too much for our budget.

146 Dave { 11.24.11 at 7:43 am }
147 Sarah { 11.25.11 at 9:49 am }

Hi Dave

Your recommendation of that book is invaluable. I had no idea it existed, and it will be so helpful. Thank you SO much!!

148 Dave { 11.25.11 at 9:53 am }

You’re welcome, Sarah. That book has helped many, it’s a wonderful resource. Have a great trip! Dave

149 Camille { 12.01.11 at 10:03 am }

We have the opportunity to go to Disney on Dec 30-Jan 2. How terrible will the crowd be? Any recommendations for our family? (children are 13 & 18)

150 Dave { 12.01.11 at 10:38 am }

Camille the crowds will be terrible through the 31st, and very bad the next two days. The keys are arriving early and using FASTPASSES. For more see this, which I wrote for last year but whose principles still apply:

151 gleecko { 12.02.11 at 1:12 am }

Hello Dave, thank you for this website. I’d love to read all the comments but I am pressed for a free time. I need a little of your wisdom. We have an almost 3 month old and a 2 yr old. We will be visiting the Disney Parks from 12/18-12/21 with other family and relatives. Is this a good time to be taking a baby there? How cold is Orlando around that time? Thank you very much!

152 Dave { 12.02.11 at 8:41 am }

Hi Gleecko! Crowds should start OK but will build over your visit. Weather in December is all over the place, it can be 45 or 85–see this

153 Alain { 12.03.11 at 5:41 am }

Dave, first I want to say that your web site is great. We are flying into Tampa on Dec 24 2011 from Switzerland and will be in Disney with a 6 day, 1 park per day pass, from Dec 25 to Dec 30, leaving for Miami on Dec 31. One different park per day, with 2nd days for EPCOT and the Studios. What would be the best days for each park? Are we really missing out by not taking the park hopper option? Our kids are 11, 14 and 17. Many thanks.

154 Dave { 12.03.11 at 9:15 am }

Alain, both the value of a hopper and the which parks which days questions are profoundly affected by whehter or not you are staying in a WDW hotel…can you let me know?

155 Alain { 12.04.11 at 2:28 pm }

Dave, we will be at a Ramada hotel, just south of Animal Kingdom and the All -Star Music and Movies hotels, on 192. So we are not in a WDW hotel.

156 Dave { 12.05.11 at 7:58 am }

Thanks Alain.

Here’s the deal. Because you are not a WDW hotel guest, you are more at risk of being excluded from a park when it hits capacity, and also need to avoid parks when they have morning extra magic hours–as they will already be near packed when you arrive.

For more on park closings, see this:

Because of the park closure potential, there is value to a hopper. If you go to a park in the am, go back to your hotel for a nap, and return to find it closed, the hopper will let you go to another park.

No days this week are good–especially at the Magic Kingdom–as your period is the most crowded time of the year. That said, some days are better than others because of the am EMH factor.

So do Animal Kingdom the 25th, Epcot the 26th, MK the 27th, Epcot the 28th, and the Studios the 29th and 30th.

Hope this helps, and have a great trip!

157 Paul { 12.19.11 at 8:44 pm }

Nice site. I’m confused as to why you rank the last week in March as being extremely crowded. I checked and found that very few colleges have spring break that week, and it is not close to Easter.

158 Dave { 12.20.11 at 10:19 am }

Hi Paul and thanks! If you are talking about the week beginning March 24, you are right that if I am wrong it will be a lot better than how I have it rated. For more on how it came to be rated this eway, see this:

159 Kenny { 12.24.11 at 6:09 pm }

Great site. Me and my wife went on out honeymoon to Disney World back on August 7th-13th. Very crowded. We are already planning our return trip for our Anniversary but are wanting to go in early December 2012. Probably December 9th-15th. How are those dates usually?

160 Dave { 12.25.11 at 12:17 pm }
161 Lisa { 12.28.11 at 12:45 pm }

Hello, I just wanted to say that your site is the best Disney site on the web. You are so nice to respond to everyones comments. I’m so impressed by your attentiveness. Keep up the wonderful work!

162 Dave { 12.28.11 at 5:09 pm }

Thanks Lisa! What a nice christmas present… 🙂

163 Lucca { 01.03.12 at 4:10 pm }

Hey i am leaving Orlando in the 15th of January, there are any great day to go to any of the parks, Island of Adventures and Magic Kingdom?

164 Gina C { 01.03.12 at 5:46 pm }

Hi! I found this site to be very helpful, however, I want to make sure I’m reading it correctly. A large group of my family will be going to Disney World October 21-28, 2012. We went before in November and found the crowd to be very low, which we loved. What is the crowd level during the Oct dates mentioned. Is this a good time to go?

165 Dave { 01.04.12 at 10:07 am }

Hi Lucca, I’m not quite understanding when you will be in Orlando and for how long…

166 Dave { 01.04.12 at 10:11 am }

Hi Gina, yes, that’s a great week–I rate corwds as a 2. See this:

167 Grace { 01.07.12 at 6:56 pm }

Hi Dave, I’ll be at Disney World from May 27 through the 31. I realize this isn’t ideal but it’s the only time I can manage. How are the crowds during this time compared to spring break and July?

168 Dave { 01.07.12 at 6:59 pm }

Hi Grace! MUCH better. The 27th and 28th will be busy, and the rest of your time moderately busy…but much better than spring break or July…

169 Angela { 01.08.12 at 4:33 pm }

Hi Dave! We will be at Disney march 31st through April 6. I know this is not the ideal time to go,but my daughter takes all honors classes and cannot miss any school.will it be extremely crowded? And how can we avoid the crowds and still do everything we want to do?

170 Dave { 01.09.12 at 8:35 am }

Hi Angela, yes it will be extremely crowded–that’s the second most corwded week of the year. To minimize crowds, avoid parks with morning extra magic hours, arrive well before they open, and use FASTPASSES….

171 Amanda { 01.09.12 at 4:02 pm }

Hi! I absolutely love your site! I will be in the World on March 4th through 9th. I understand that you ranked this week to be number 13 for the year. However, I am very nervous that it will be crowded due to Spring Break for Canada…(someone mentioned this on facebook to me a couple of days ago)…as well as Disney offered up the free dining plan for this week as well. Do you think these two things will have a big impact on crowd levels? I have been twice before, both times at the beginning of Feb and there were no crowds, which made for an awesome experience. Will it be that big of a difference?

172 Dave { 01.09.12 at 7:18 pm }

Hi Amanda and thanks!

WDW may be a little more corwded than I am forecasting, because of the discounts–if I’m wrong, though, I don’t expect it to exceed moderate crowds. That’s a lot more than the beginning of Feb–but since you know your way around, know to avoid morning EMH (unless you park hop), know to arrive before the gates open, know to ride the most popular rides first at opening, and know how to use FASTPASS, you should be fine!

I had someone suggest to me that I should rename that week “Quebec Week…” But here’s the deal…Canadian visitors are on the order of 7-10% of WDW guests. So even if they triple past normal, the parks would still have just 20-30% more people…in this week, given how few US kids are off, not in itself enough to make a big difference in waits if you follow the arrive early etc approach…

173 Susana Harrington { 01.10.12 at 5:24 pm }

Hello Dave! I´m very glad to have found your site!!! It is really very interesting and complete
My familiy ( husband & 3 teenagers ) will be visiting Orlando in March…..we had no idea about the existence of your Spring Break!!!! now I´m a bit nervous!! …from March 22th through March 30th and will not stay at a WDW resort. We want to visit the 4 WDW parks, one water park and both Universal´s parks .What are your recomendations ? Which are the best days to visit Islands of Adventures and Magic Kingdom?
Best regards from sunny Buenos Aires.

174 Dave { 01.11.12 at 8:44 am }

Hi Susana, and thanks!

First a bit of good news–while it may be quite crowded then, it may not be as crowded then as my forecasts–for why see this:

However, it’s hard to give specific advice, because if it is crowded, Disney may add “extra magic hours” and you want to avoid a park any day it has extra magic hours.

Right now per the schedule avoid MK the 22nd, Epcot the 23rd, HS the 24th, MK the 25th, AK and HS the 26th, Epcot the 27th, AK the 28th, MK the 29th, and Epcot the 30th.

As noted though Disney may add more of these EMH on short notice. To keep up, check Disney’s calendar every now and then–for how to check it, see this:

Generally, the best days to see Universal are Sundays and Mondays–see this:

Hope this helps and have a great trip! Dave

175 Kathy Bodden { 01.14.12 at 4:11 pm }

Thank you so much for this site its amazing!!! Well, you make it amazing since you help us a lot!!
We are a panamanian family (Panama, Central America) coming in July 16th until July 24th and we are staying at the AKL..
How is the crowd during this dates? I tried to book quite in the middle from the crowded season but its my son’s birthday and want to celebrate it Disney.
Which parks you suggest we should visit to avoid the crowd?
We want to go: Animal Kingdom (obvious), Magic Kingdom, Typhoon Lagoon, Universal Studios, Island of Adventure, Hollywood Studios…
Also, how is the weather? I’m pretty sure its nicer than ours!

Thanks so much for your help!
Please let me know asap your tips.


176 Dave { 01.14.12 at 7:13 pm }

Hi Kathy and thanks!

All the parks will be crowded. The key to getting ahead of the crowds is is to arrive early–before they open–ride the most popular rides first, and use FASTPASSES. For more on FASTPASSES see this:

The best days for Universal tend to be Sunday and Monday. For an approach to Disney, see this– It doesn’t quite fit your days, but gives you a place to start.

AKL is a great choice, you’ll love it!

Weather is very hot and humid, with brief afternoon thunderstorms common…

Also check out the instructions on the home page–

Hope this helps and have a great trip!

177 Jenny Bueno { 01.19.12 at 10:24 am }

Hello Dave,

I’ve been reading, and can’t decide which would be the best date to visit for the first time, since I’m from Monterrey, Mexico I do not know exaclty which are the dates “Between the second week after Easter and the week before Memorial Day”, so can I have a little help? Thanks a lot!

178 Dave { 01.19.12 at 10:41 am }

Hi Jenny, two things.

First, in 2012, that advice means arrive April 14 or later, and depart by May 27.

Second, see this page:

Hope this helps, and have a great trip! Dave

179 Becky { 01.25.12 at 8:38 pm }

Amazing site! Struggling to make a decision between arriving on 12/8/12 or 12/15/12 for a surprise Christmas gift for my 5 year old. We have visited before in late January and early October. Prices appear to be the same on Disney’s website for these 2 weeks. Any thoughts to help me make a decision would be SO appreciated!

180 Dave { 01.26.12 at 6:39 am }

Hi Becky, and thanks!.

12/8, hands down. For why, see this: which ranks the week of the 8th number 1, and this, which ranks the week beginning the 15th number 18

181 Titania Hernandez { 02.04.12 at 1:38 am }

hi… i wanted to plan a family trip to disneyland park in anaheim the last week of may or first week of june? do you think that would be the best time to go with prices and crowded people? The family i am going with are the ages from 2 yrs old to 12yrs old… and what do you think about the weather? this will be our first time going.. we just need to know what is first things to do? first time planning something big for our family.. please help me… thank you….

182 Dave { 02.04.12 at 9:29 am }

Hi Titania. I’m not an expert on DIsneyland in Anahiem, and its summer crowds are greatly affected by swchool breaks in southern california, whihc I know little about. Suggest you take a look at the Disneyland section on…

183 Mike Angelo { 02.25.12 at 12:18 am }

Hi Dave. As per your advice I went to DW the week of Feb 7th through the 10th. The crowd level was low and only a few rides had a wait time longer than 10 mins so you were right on going that week! If you remember I went in November (can’t remember the week but before the TG break) also and there were very low crowds then …Actually November was a tad less crowded. Thank you again for suggesting those weeks. I’m planning on another visit this September and you know I’ll be hitting you up before then for the best week. Thanks for all your help!!!! Mike

184 Dave { 02.25.12 at 12:20 pm }

Hey Mike, good to hear from you again! I’m glad the site helped, and don’t forget to tell your 100 closest friends…and the travel editors of the New York Times…about it 🙂

185 Fernando { 02.28.12 at 4:14 pm }

Hi Dave. Amazing site and very helpful
I have a couple of questions about the holidays. I’m planning a trip with my wife to Orlando from 11/30/12 to 12/20/12 and will be staying on an apartment near WDW.
We need to know if there is a difference in the parades or fireworks shows between the days before Christmas and Christmas day on any of the 4 parks???, also if there is a difference with the shows and parades on new years day???, cause I’ve read that the main difference is only the days of the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom.
And the other question is, do you know when the tickets for the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party come out this year 2012???, so we can buy them in advance, and is it true that if we go to Magic Kingdom like 3 o 4 days before Christmas the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is include in the park admission ticket????

Thank you Dave, and have a great day.

186 Dave { 02.28.12 at 6:05 pm }

Hi Fernando, and thanks!

There is a difference in the fireworks and parades beginning the week before Xmas, when the special parade and fireworks that were shown only at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party are shown to all guests.

Nothing else from the Christmas party is moved into this week.

New Years Eve fireworks are also different than normal nights at MK and at Epcot, but not New Years Day.

I don’t know when MVMCP tickets will come out–based on past practice, I’d guess July or August….hope this helps, and post any other questions you have! Dave

187 kimdione { 03.04.12 at 4:59 am }

Hi Dave,
I could use some advice. Ive planned several WDW trips but am at a loss with this one. I’m taking my sister,my 2 yr old niece & my 11 yr old nephew for a 4day trip with 3 day tickets. I just cant figure out when to go. I’m trying to avoid crowds,save money & make it before the 2 year old makes 3 on 9/4. I’m hoping August 29th- September 2nd.I would also like to get out before the hurricane seasons peak. Some sites say its one of the least crowded weeks other than early winter. Will it help that we are getting out before Labor Day? I was also offered the free dining but I dont think its a good fit for us. It just seems like we would have to upgrade. It just feels like Im either paying for it now or when I get there & not making a difference. I would appreciate any advice…Thanks!

188 Annemarie Kehoe { 03.04.12 at 11:40 am }

Hi Dave,
We are traveliing from Ireland and just wondering where is the cheapest place in Orlando(we are staying on I-Drive) to buy Universal park tickets for 7days ? We are not sure wether to buy them here or not! If we just got a rough idea with the price,,
Thanks a mil.

189 Dave { 03.04.12 at 12:41 pm }

Hi, that is the peak of the hurricane season. See

I rate crowds then as low/3 See

Not following you on free dining…what would you have to “upgrade”?

190 Dave { 03.04.12 at 12:42 pm }

Hi Annemarie, I’m sorry but I don’t track hotels outside of Disney World, or Universal tickets. A travel agent is your best bet…

191 Annemarie Kehoe { 03.04.12 at 1:34 pm }

Okay dave thanks.

192 kimdione { 03.05.12 at 12:11 pm }

Hi again Dave,
To clarify there is a free dining promotion until sept. 29th that covers 2 quick service meals a day. We would need to upgrade it by moving up to the 2nd plan the one thats actually called the disney dining plan & includes one quick & one table service.It wouldnt work b/c we eat mostly table service meals. I dont think I explained it correctly in my first comment. I’ve had time to think about it & I think we probably will go Aug. 29th to Sept 2nd & hope for the best. At least we are getting out before the peak of hurricane season & before the Labor Day crowds…

193 Dave { 03.05.12 at 12:21 pm }

K I get you. My guess is all in free dining will still be cheaper, even if you have to upgrade to the regular plan, and spend some cash for extra table service…You will still be there in the peak of the hurricane season, which begins in later August…but hurricanes rarely have an impact on WDW…

194 kimdione { 03.05.12 at 10:43 pm }

Hi Dave,
Thats exactly what I decided to do. I went ahead & booked free dining with the upgrade. after making a sample menu of where & what we would eat using online menus our tab was at $657. So I decided it was worth it. Just keep your fingers crossed for the weather for us,please. Im hoping this will be a slow season! Thanks for ALL your help!

195 Dave { 03.06.12 at 6:13 am }

Fingers crossed, and glad to help!

196 Stacy { 03.07.12 at 7:46 am }

Hi Dave,
I would love to plan a trip to Disney World with my two children ages 2 & 4 this year. Unfortunately, I don’t really know where to start to get the best deal and experience for my family. My husband is in the military and I believe we can get discounted tickets and possibly hotel/ condo. Also, there is the free dining I’ve heard about. We don’t want to mess with a huge crowd and would like warm enough weather to swim in the pool. Any suggestions on where to start would greatly be appreciated!

197 Dave { 03.07.12 at 10:13 am }

Stacy, you have multiple options.

One approach is to go in September. Crowds are low, and you can get any of four discounts: free dining, reduced price tickets, reduced price hotel rooms, or a lower-cost deluxe room at Shades of Green. You can combine the reduced price tickets with a stay at shades. but not easily with the other two deals. See

This however, is in the peak of the hurricane season. See this:

Your next best option is Shades in the second half of Ocotber. This is out of the peak of the hurricane season, more comfortable weather overall, but still low crowd. The other discounts-tix, reduced hotel prices, and free dining–will all have expired by then. See this:

198 Anonymous { 03.08.12 at 12:51 pm }

I have been searching for the not so scary halloween 2012 dates and eat to the beat 2012 schedule. Can you help or are these not out yet?

199 Dave { 03.08.12 at 1:33 pm }

They aren’t out yet. For my guesses on September Halloween dates, see this: I’ll post similar guesses for Ocotober after the October calendar is released..which should be in the next week or so…

200 not so scary halloween 2012 dates/eat to the beat 2012 schedule { 03.08.12 at 3:26 pm }

I will be watching. Thanks for your help!

201 Dave { 03.08.12 at 4:22 pm }

You bet!

202 Ashley { 03.09.12 at 11:53 am }

Dave, This is my first WDW trip and first time to Florida. I will be traveling with my boyfriend and parents. We are booked at a condo 5 minutes away from WDW. I purchased all of our tickets for 4 days at WDW, 2 days at Universal, and a day at Seaworld. We are going to be busy bees. Anyway I already booked our dates and put in for vacation without much research on the dates. Will April 21- April 29 be a good time to go? Crowd wise and weather wise. We are hoping for moderate to low crowds and nice warm weather, not hot. Any input would be appreciated. Thank you!

203 Dave { 03.09.12 at 12:32 pm }

Hi Ashley! You’ve picked a near-perfect time to go. See this:

204 Jamie { 03.14.12 at 1:32 am }

Hi Dave,
Thank you so much for running this page it is so helpful, my question is this I have been scouring to web to find out which days are best for which park during our visit, and
I get conflicting advise. Could you help? We are planning a trip to the parks June 7th – June 11th. Also, we were going to stay at Shades of green but were told we could get a better deal renting a home with Any thoughts? And thank you again for taking the time to answer all these questions.

205 Dave { 03.14.12 at 7:01 am }

Hi Jamie!

For the parks, avoid MK the 7th, 8th and 11th, avoid HS the 11th, avoid AK the 9th and 11th, and avoid Epcot the 8th.

You may be able to get a better deal offiste–tho Shades gives great value for money. But then you’d need a car…and would face added complexity…

206 Jamie { 03.14.12 at 2:38 pm }

Thanks so much! We are renting a car anyways as to be able to use our carseats. If we HAD to go to MK on the 7th or 8th which would you say?

207 Dave { 03.14.12 at 4:27 pm }

Jamie, if you are at Shades, you can use extra magic hours, and so I’d pick the 7th and arrive at the turnstiles by 7.30a a. If you are off-site, then the 8th would be better…

208 phoebe { 03.16.12 at 3:02 am }

Hi Dave,
My family of four is arriving on 4/10 and leaving on 4/12 and is the worst time to go, but because it’s spring break., we dared the high cost. I’ve a one day hopper and staying at Coronado Springs. what would be the best approach to use the hopper . I’ve a 23 y/o and a 9 y/o. Thanks.

209 Dave { 03.16.12 at 6:29 am }

Hi Phoebe–just to confirm you have only a one-day ticket?

210 Jamie { 03.17.12 at 1:50 am }


211 Rupi { 03.17.12 at 11:17 am }

Hi Dave,

Your website is truly brilliant! My family with one child, 5 years old will be visiting disney world from april 30 to may 7.
I’m hoping you can tell me which parks to visit on which dates. i do have dining reservations but am willing to change some of them in order to catch the shows such as Fantasmic.
here’s what i have so far:
may 4 – animal kingdom
may 5 – hollywood studios
may 6 – magic kingdom
we have 4 park hopper tickets.

thanks for your help!

212 Dave { 03.17.12 at 11:41 am }

Hi Rupi, and thanks!

These are days to avoid specific parks:
Avoid MK May 3 and May 6
Avoid HS 4/30 and 5/5
Avoid AK 4/30, 5/2,and 5/7
Avoid Epcot 5/1 and 5/4

Hope this helps and have a great trip–that’s a great time to go…

213 Rose { 03.18.12 at 7:10 pm }

Your dates are right in the middle of sinprg break, one of Orlando’s busiest times. Disney offers no discounts, they don’t need to, certainy not in high season. Their lowest price rooms are probably sold out at this point. You can check by going to their website. Instead, try one of the hundreds of hotels motels off property either on International Drive or Irlo Bronson Highway. There are plenty to choose from. Many have free shuttle service to ALL of the theme parks lets you avoid the parking fee (Disney is $12 per day)Expect to pay full price for Disney tickets, unless you qualify to buy them ahead of time from a place like Triple AAA. Sign up for your free birthday pass if your birthday falls on those dates.Also, check out the tourist magazines found everyplace in the area. They will give you coupons for hotels, food entertainment. Have a great trip.

214 Jenn { 03.19.12 at 12:54 pm }

Hi Dave, we will be visiting Disney May 5 though 12 and really wanted to spend our first day at Magic Kingdom. However, I see that Sun the 6th is an extra magic hour at MK (and we are staying off-resort). We have 3 children (4 months old/2 years old/3 years old) so we really want to avoid lengthy waiting lines as often as possible and will be avoiding all the attractions that wouldn’t interest or suit them. Should we rearrange our plans and go to MK later in the week? If so, what should we do that first day to make it “just as special”? We have reservations for character dining at Hollywood & Vine for Mon 7th (breakfast) and for Rainforest Cafe on Thurs 10th (lunch), so were going to spend those days in those parks. Are these okay days to go as well? Many thanks for your help!

215 Dave { 03.19.12 at 1:32 pm }

Hi Jenn! I’d move HS and Hollywood and Vine to Sunday–Monday is an EMH day there. MK is best on Tues and Weds…AK is fine on Thurs.

216 Amy { 03.21.12 at 2:35 pm }

Hi Dave,

My family and I will be visiting for the first time April 21-28. Family includes my husband, chilren, ages 9 and 5 and my parents. I had everything planned but now with the changes to the April schedule, I was wondering if you think my week is ok or if I should switch some stuff around. We have a 6 day park hopper but could extend to 7 if needed.
4/21 – arriving at airport at 4:30. Do you think we should try and do some park time that night yet?
4/22 @HS
4/23 @ Epcot
4/24 @ AK
4/25 @ MK
4/26 – revisit parks and hoop-dee-doo in evening.
4/27 – revisit parks or seaworld? Not sure if you give any advice on Seaworld or not, but wondering if its worth it or better to have an extra day in the parks.

Thanks Dave! Your site has been extremely helpful in plannng this trip!

217 Dave { 03.21.12 at 4:24 pm }

Hiya Amy, glad the site has helped!

The April changes–and I don’t know why they flipped the typical Friday and Sat EMH schedules–don’t look to have any impact on your itinerary which, to me, looks great!

Re Sea World, I would hold making the decision until 4/26. My guess is you’ll want to take the morning and afternoon of the 26th off, and to return to MK–which is really a two day park–on the 27th. By holding the decision until you have complete information you’ll have the best chance of making the right one!

All the best, Dave

218 dave c { 03.21.12 at 6:56 pm }

we are from n.j. we have vacationed at w.d.w. every other year for the past 6 years,we allways are there the first week of november give or take a day. our next trip will be in 2013. due to school comitments we will be traveling, possible the last week of question is due to the heat and weather conditions in your opinion do you think this will affect our good time. and if so how would you handle it. thanks dave c

219 Lori { 03.21.12 at 10:43 pm }

We are thinking of going to Disney World for the last two weeks of January 2013 or the last week in February & the first week of March 2013. We have two young children (ages 6 & 4), which time is the best time to go. We are worried about ride closures / early park closing times and the weather in January but the crowds sound like they pick up in March, yet the parks will likely stay open longer & more rides/ parades & shows will be there. What is your advice on which time we should go? Thanks!

220 Dave { 03.22.12 at 6:48 am }

Hi Dave…the last week of August is good from the point of view of crwods and prices, but is in the peak of the hurricane season–see this

The risk of a hurricane affecting you is slight–as you note, the real issue is heat and humidity. To manage that, think of your afternoons as being off–pools and naps–and focus your park visits to early morning and evening…

221 Dave { 03.22.12 at 6:58 am }

Hi Lori!!

It depends a lot on whether you hope to return in a few years–and I hope you do, as your kids are young for this to be their only visit.

If you can return, I’d take the January dates in a heartbeat.

Anything that might be closed you can see on your return visit, and the only show that can be hard to see because of schedules in the period–the evening parade at MK–is not a problem given how long you will be there–it’ll be on at least 6 times over the two weeks. Operating hours are shorter, but that’s becasue crowds are so low that everybody can see everything without MK being open til 1am!

If you will or may never return, then first see this: Then, if it does not persuade you, pick the late feb/early March dates. Plan to do more in the Feb week, as I’m worried the March week may be crowded…

Hope this helps! Dave

222 dave c { 03.22.12 at 7:16 pm }

hi! im in a pickle! it seems that august may be a problem for my party to travel to w.d.w.i was considering going in nov. around thaksgiving in 2013.ariving nov.23(sat)and leaving sun dec 1st. thanksgiving fall on thur. 28th.on our first day sat we usualy loung around our resort and start going to the parks on sun.our last day sun dec 1st is the day we depart back to jersey(no parks that day),from experiance what days during the holiday week would you go to what parks, to maximize your time to avoid long lines for atractions,(example sun,. mon-ak,tues mk, wed,epoct,thus,dh.fri,sat. we usualy get the park hopper for the duration of our trip and take one day somwere in the week to go to universal.if you were me how would you scedual your park time. a million thanks dave c

223 Dave { 03.22.12 at 8:04 pm }

Hi Dave! I can’t really comment yet on best days in 2013, as I’d be guessing. Disney posts its calendars 6 months in advance, and that’s what I use for better and worse days. So check with me in April/May 2013!

224 Alfie { 03.28.12 at 5:32 pm }

Hey Dave,
We are arriving to on Mon. May 28th 2012(memorial day) and are leaving on the 2nd of June. Can you let me know if that week is going to be too crazy. We have four day hopper tickets and dont plan to start using them until the day after memorial day. We are staying on property with 4 kids ages 6-14 and hope that we still can have great fun. Thanks for the info.

225 Dave { 03.29.12 at 7:09 am }

Hi Alfie! I expect Monday–and maybe even Tuesday–will be nuts, but the rets of your dates should be OK.

226 dave c { 03.31.12 at 8:17 am }

HI DAVE, We are planning a disnet world trip in january after new years day,the weekend following. we are dvc members,our home base is bay lake.we have 11 month advanved booking. all other resorts are 7 month advance for us. we have interest at staying at the boardwalk,my question is at that time of year what are our chances of getting two 2beadroom villas.if you cant help me is there someone out there who is familier with this resort thanks dave

227 Dave { 03.31.12 at 9:16 am }

Dave I’m not an expert on DVC availabilty to members, so you might want to check the dvc section on

That said, the BoardWalk Villas has a lot of capacity and the week you are aiming at does not have a ton of general public demand, so I’d think the odds are pretty good…

How do you like BLT?

228 dave c { 03.31.12 at 2:56 pm }

HI DAVE thanks for the response! just joined the dvc last year .havent stayed at bay lake yet.but toured the propert. looks fantastic! using my club points to go to disneyland in oct,for a short vacation.problem is i cant get in to the grand californian,but was able to get a room at the disneyland hotel,same amount of points ,lesser acomidations.but thats ok we will be able to see were it all begain! thanks for your help! dave c

229 Dave { 03.31.12 at 5:15 pm }

Hey Dave! I bet you’ll love BLT, but avoid the studios unless you have just one short kid…I’ve stayed at the Disneyland Hotel post its renovation and thought it real let-down compared to the Grand Californian, but you’ll have a ball at DL and DCA anyway!

230 Confused Canuck { 04.01.12 at 6:46 am }

Hi Dave,

Thanks for all of the great info. We are heading down to WDW, and have booked a villa at the AKL – Kidani for Sept 17 to the 21st. We are planning to attend the Hallowe’en party on the 18th. We will buy the extra tickets to attend that, but we did not purchase the parkhopper tickets at this point. This is our first time going to Disney as adults and with our children. We are 2 families totalling 10 people so there will be a lot of planning required to get everything done 🙂

We are thinking of going to AK on the 17th (Monday), MK on the 18th, HS on the 19th, and Epcot on the 20th. When I look at the calendars, it looks like we will be able to get everything done that way. What do you think?
Also, is the weather that hot during that time period?

Still 6 months until our trip, but I already can’t wait!


231 Dave { 04.01.12 at 9:12 am }

Hi! Yes, September can be remarkably hot and humid–see this

With one exception, I like your itinerary.

Suggest you consider swapping your AK and Epcot days. AK has morning extra magic hours the 17th. That will make it great for the first two hours, but the rest of the day will be more crowded than the 20th will be…as you are going during a low-crowd time anyway, not a big deal, but it’s what I’d do…

232 Ana { 04.01.12 at 11:03 am }

Hi, my Disney trip has been planned for months. I just had emergency gallbladder surgery on 3/26/12 and our trip is for 4/14/12. Any recommendations? Thank you!

233 Dave { 04.01.12 at 1:44 pm }

Hi Ana, and I hope you are doing ok.

I’m assuming your surgery was endocscopic, and you’ve talked to your doc about the level of mobility WDW will take.

Your best bet may be to rent a scooter–you can do that either for all your trip or at the parks themselves, although the parks sometime sell out. This book may also be worth buying: PassPorter’s Open Mouse for Walt Disney World and the Disney Cruise Line: Easy Access Vacations for Travelers with Extra Challenges

234 Karen D { 04.01.12 at 10:03 pm }

My birthday is late October (24) and would like to schedule a visit sometime around then for my self-gift. When would be a good 2-week span? (I’d like to check some other Orlando sites out as well).

235 Dave { 04.02.12 at 8:15 am }

Karen, the second half of October is a wonderful time at WDW–see this:

236 Sara { 04.02.12 at 1:40 pm }

I can’t decide if early May would be better or late September. I just want a time that has cooler weather (less humidity). Whats a better pick weather wise?

237 Dave { 04.02.12 at 4:08 pm }

Hi Sara! I’d pick early May in a heartbeat. While there’s some variability to when the rainy/humid season begins, mid-May is typical…and it continues through September, and the summer heat continues into September as well. See this:

238 Dev { 04.02.12 at 11:31 pm }

Hi, love your site…definitely the best…we will be visiting WDW 4/21/12-4/28/12 with 2 tiny princesses age 4 and 2 for their 1st visit…planning on 5 parks days the 23-27…can you recommend which parks on which days to avoid the crowds? Thanks!

239 Dave { 04.03.12 at 7:37 am }

Hi Dev, and thanks! For kids that age, there’s next to nothing at Epcot…here’s parks to avoid:

4/23 Avoid AK, HS
4/24 Avoid Epcot
4/25 Avoid AK
4/26 Avoid MK
4/27 Avid Epcot

240 Jacque { 04.04.12 at 11:38 am }

I will be at WDW with my daughter and her family Oct 21-Oct 28. Besides hitting all 4 parks (not waterparks) our goal is to attend a Not So Scary Halloween party and eat a breakfast at Cinderella’s Royal Table. We have 8 day hopper passes.
Can you advise the best or worse times or days for this schedule?
Thank You!

241 Dave { 04.04.12 at 12:04 pm }

Hi Jaque! Can you give me the ages of kids?

242 Jacque { 04.04.12 at 12:28 pm }

10 and 7.

243 Dave { 04.04.12 at 4:26 pm }

OK, Jaque, here’s some thoughts.

It looks like the party will be 10/21, 23, 25, 27 and 28. I’d aim for the 23rd–likely to be least crowded of these nights.

The 21st, avoid HS; the 22nd, avoid AK and MK; the 23rd and 24th, avoid Epcot; the 25th, avoid MK; the 26th avoid AK, and the 27th avoid HS.

Also take a look at this but also this The fit of these is not perfect to your trip, but is pretty close…

244 Jacque { 04.04.12 at 4:49 pm }

I appreciate you advice! It will help us plan a better trip. Thanks so much for your time!

245 Amy { 04.04.12 at 6:00 pm }

After going back and forth when to go,i finally booked for Sept 29 – Oct 6.I realize the food and wine festival is at Epcot but any pointers for this week what to avoid ect.?and when do you think Mickey’s Not So Scary tickets will be available? trying to plan .Thanks A Bunch

246 Dave { 04.05.12 at 6:28 am }

Hi Amy, I think that will be a great week. Food and Wine puts a lot more traffic into the World Showcase, but doesn’t have much effect on wait times. Not sure about the Scary tickets–late June/early July would be my guess. I have no specific suggestions for that week other than in general to avoid parks on days they have EMH…unless you have park hopper tix and plan to hop…

247 Dave { 04.05.12 at 6:38 am }

Jaque, good luck and have fun!

248 Alexis { 04.05.12 at 8:33 pm }

Hi! So my family is planing to go to Disney world October 16th 2012 to October 21 so what would you recommend we have 3 adults and 3 kids (2 only 3 years old) thanks a bunch :)!

249 Lexy { 04.05.12 at 8:36 pm }

Hi! Me and my family are going to WDW in October 🙂 and do you know what the dates are for “Mickeys not so scary Halloween” thanks 🙂

250 Dave { 04.06.12 at 7:16 am }

Hi Lexy! See this for my forecasts of the party dates:

251 Dave { 04.06.12 at 7:16 am }

Hi Alexis! How old is the third kid?

252 Britt { 04.11.12 at 1:58 pm }

We will be staying in FL for two weeks in June (9 – 23). I am wanting to take a trip over to the Magic Kingdom one of the days of our stay since it is only approx. 1 hour from the beach where we are staying. Could you give me some advice on which day of these 2 weeks would be best for our trip? We have been to DW before, but I thought this would be a nice surprise for them on one of our days. We plan to get up, drive over, spend the day, then return to the condo at the beach for what I’m sure will be much needed relaxation. Thank you!

253 Dave { 04.12.12 at 12:20 pm }

Hi Britt, in your window I’d target June 12 or June 13…

254 Maria { 04.16.12 at 12:00 pm }

Hi Dave,
Fantastic info you’ve got here. My family including our 2 and 4 yr.old have booked to come June 10-June 17, 2012. Any advice on crowds or which parks to do on which days? Anything would be greatly appreciated!

255 Dave { 04.16.12 at 12:31 pm }

Hi Maria, and thanks!

First, there’s little at Epcot, and not much at Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom, for kids that young. See this:

The parks will be busy with the beginning of summer break crowds your week. Parks to avoid:
6/10: Avoid MK
6/11: Avoid AK and HS
6/12 Avoid Epcot
6/13: Avoid AK
6/14 Avoid MK
6/15: Avoid Epcot, MK
6/16: Avoid HS
6/17: Avoid MK

Hope this helps, and have a great trip!

256 Marilyn { 04.18.12 at 8:10 pm }

We will be spending June 4-10 at Disney Park, 7-day pass (four children, 18, 10, 9, 3 and two grandparents. Appreciate any information regarding crowds or specific groups booking park for that week. I have M-F planned MK, Epcot, HS, AK ,Water park with two days used to return to our favorite. Any information is appreciated.

257 Dave { 04.19.12 at 8:31 am }

Hi Marilyn, I would flip your Epcot and HS days as doing so will result in lower crowds. Take a look at this and this: The second link does not fit your dates or trip lenghts, but the daily schedules can still help you plan your days…

258 Maria { 04.24.12 at 12:01 pm }

Hi Dave,
Thanks so much for the info. Two things, I’ve been told that avoiding Magic kingdom on Mondays is a good idea, any thoughts on that? And second, what’s your take on the character dining experiences? I have tentatively reserved two; one at Cinderellas’s Royal Table (dinner) and a breakfast at Askersus(?) in Epcot. Is one better than the other? I’m looking for an awesome princess experience for my little girl (aged 5), and really only want to do one. Would we be able to see the fireworks from Cinderellas castle during our dinner reso (8:30pm)? That might help make the decision…

259 Dave { 04.24.12 at 12:18 pm }

Hi Maria, most weeks Mondays are one of the two busiest days at MK. You can’t see the fireworks from within the Castle–you really want to be on the Main Street side of the outside of the Castle for the fireworks, which will likely be at 10p, altho I don’t know when you are going.

The choice between the two is tough, partly because the rest of Epcot is so un-interesting for a 5yo, and because the setting of Cinderella is more magical. On the other hand, Akershus is cheaper…between them I’d pick Cinderella…

260 Susana { 04.24.12 at 8:49 pm }

Hello Dave!

Awesome info but would like to ask you a few additional questions. We are planning on taking our son to Disney before he turns 3 on December 2012 for his first trip to see Mickey. I am also on a project that is scheduled to go live on October 12th 2012. As a precaution, I do not want to book this trip too close to that date in case things do not go as planned so basically wanting to hold off until about October 24th before travelling.
1) What dates you recommend between 10/24/12 and 12/10/12 (we will have alot of flexibility around those dates and are not looking specifically at any particular days of the week)
2) How long do you recommend we stay with an almost 3 year old and where? We were thinking Contemporary due to its location
3) What itinerary, you recommend for a toddler?

We thank you in advance for all your help and very appreciative for this great information.

261 Dave { 04.25.12 at 6:49 am }

Hi Susana! There’s 7 top ranked weeks in your window–see this:

There’s not a ton for toddlers outside of the Magic Kingdom…three easy days will take care of that. All my itineraries are designed for older kids, but see the bottom row of the image on this page, or check out the touring plans you can find here:

I think the Contemporary is a solid choice–see this: but also consider the Wilderness Lodge:

262 shari { 04.25.12 at 8:10 pm }

We are scheduled to go to Disney next week, May 1st-8th, but my husband hurt his back, and if we have the ability to change the dates, we were thinking about the second half of October 2012. We really want to have lesser crowds. We went the third week of April in 2008, and we thought it was extremely crowded thought the weather was perfect. (and we loved the pirate and princess night) If we end up going next week, how bad will the crowds be? It looks like it will be hot. It is much less crowded in the second half of Oct, or about the same as the first week in May? thanks

263 Dave { 04.26.12 at 7:46 am }

Hi Shari! Crowds are low and about the same both periods–see this:

264 Sharon { 04.27.12 at 4:49 pm }

I am trying to decide on Disney World 2013. We might go either 3rd week in April or 1st Week in May. Wed thru Sunday. Is either one of those weeks better than the other.

265 Dave { 04.28.12 at 7:25 am }

Hi Sharon, those are both great weeks, and barely different. See this:

266 Chrissie { 04.28.12 at 2:56 pm }

We will be staying at Pop Century Resort September 23-29, 2012. I’m concerned that the free dining promo is going to result in crowded parks during a time that is typically light. Will that be an issue? Thanks!

267 Dave { 04.28.12 at 3:33 pm }

Hi Chrissie, no it won’t; it’s the other way around.

They offer this discount because it’s so hard to get people into the parks then–parents don’t like taking kids out of school at the beginning of the school term, and savvy travelers know it is the peak of the hurricane season.

Despite the deal (which Disney has offered for years) September remains one of the two least crowded months of the year.

The restaurants will be packed, but the parks will be fine.

268 Deborah { 04.28.12 at 5:52 pm }

We are planning to visit Disneyworld with 2 children, ages 8 and 3 over the summer of 2012. Is August a good time for low crowds, low rates & good weather for swimming?

269 Kristen { 04.28.12 at 9:11 pm }

Hi Dave!

So glad I found this site! We will be in Disneyworld May 5 – May 11 2012 with our kids, ages 5 & 8…so excited, the kids first visit! What parks do you recommend for each of those days? Seems like this is a pretty good week to go? Thanks for any advice!

270 Dave { 04.29.12 at 9:26 am }
271 Dave { 04.29.12 at 9:35 am }

Hi Kristen, yes it is a good week!!

The 5th, avoid HS
The 6th, avoid MK
The 7th, avoid HS and AK
The 8th, avoid Epcot
The 9th, avoid AK
The 10th, avoid MK
The 11th, avoid Epcot

See also

272 kit kat { 04.30.12 at 11:46 am }

visiting walt disney world June 28 to July 5, 2012. Which days should we avoid which parks and why?

273 Dave { 04.30.12 at 12:36 pm }

Hi Kit Kat. The basic point is to avoid parks on days they have EMH, especially AM EMH.

So for your dates,
28: avoid MK
29: avoid Epcot and MK
30: avoid HS
1: Avoid Epcot
2: Avoid HS and AK
3: Avoid MK
4: See below
5: avoid MK

July 4 is a special case. It’s one of the busiest days of the year, especially at Epcot and MK, because of special fireworks. AK has EMH, so HS is the best option…

274 Leslie O'Brien { 05.04.12 at 8:40 am }

Hi Dave!
We were planning on visiting Walt Disney World this year for the week of Memorial Day, 5/28 – 6/1. I know that Monday will be exceptionally crowded, but I was hoping the rest of the week would be ok. We are now considering the week after instead (6/4 – 6/8) because of our work schedules. Do you think this second week would be a lot more crowded then the last week in May? We need to figure out how hard we should try to change our work schedules to go the first week or if the second week choice would still be ok.
Thank you very much for any advice!!

275 Dave { 05.04.12 at 9:35 am }

Hiya Leslie!

Yes I do think the June week will be better than Memorial Day week–see this: and also this:

276 Leslie O'Brien { 05.04.12 at 6:23 pm }

Dave, Thank you very much for taking the time to answer me. I very much appreciate the advice! I will now use your website this evening to plan the rest of our trip! Leslie

277 Dave { 05.04.12 at 7:54 pm }

You bet Leslie! Post any more questions as they occur to you…

278 Janice Hoguet { 05.05.12 at 1:03 pm }

We are from nj and will be visiting 11/4/12 to 11/10/12. What are the chances of Disney continuing some military discounts for rooms etc.

279 Janice Hoguet { 05.05.12 at 1:06 pm }

Sorry also I recently saw something about reduced price tickets for military for the Merry Christmas party how do I go about getting these?

280 Dave { 05.05.12 at 1:53 pm }
281 Dave { 05.05.12 at 1:54 pm }

Janice, I’d put the odds at better than 50-50…

282 Billie { 05.06.12 at 9:59 am }

Hi, I was reading the post of the traveler going 9/23-9/29 to take advantage of the free dining plan because I was planning on the same. I wanted to know why you said the restaurants would be packed but not the parks.. just how hot and humid and wet it really is that week normally??

283 Dave { 05.06.12 at 12:58 pm }

Hi Billie! The parks aren’t crowded because its hard for parents to take their kids out of school the first month of the term, but the restaurants are crowded because so many WDW hotel guests have free dining and thus make reservations…September is like summer, it’s hot and humid with afternoon thunderstorms common. See this:

284 Jack { 05.11.12 at 4:47 am }


My girlfriend and I are looking to visit Flordia this year, however, we are torn between whether to go mid September or begining of October. We both love hot hot weather but are quite concerned about hurricane season.

What would you recomend?

Also, we would like to stay in a park eg Walt Disney, Universal etc and are looking to visit all waterparks, sea world, theme parks etc as we are there for 2 weeks – would you recomend any hotels for us? we are 21 and 22 years old.

Thanks very much for your help. Look forward to hearing from you.

285 Dave { 05.11.12 at 6:52 am }

Hi Jack–that’s a tough call, as October on average is cooler than Sept. However, it’s still typically quite warm, so I’d pick the October dates. That also puts you there during the food and wine festival at Epcot, which given your ages can be fun. See these pages: and

I’d actually recommend doing two hotels, one at WDW and one at Universal for the days you plan to go there. It’s hard to recommend without having a sense of your budget, as WDW hotels start at around $100/night and go over $400 a night. (Universal hotels have a tighter price range and are all high end…) Let me know what you are thinking about hotel costs, or just see this: and this:

286 Lori { 05.11.12 at 5:39 pm }

Hello! Debating between 10/12 to 10/19 or 10/27 to 11/3… any comments on which would be better? Thanks!

287 Kati P { 05.11.12 at 11:09 pm }

Hi Dave!
My boyfriend and I are in our early 30s–no kids–and are planning our first trip to WDW! We are SO excited, as we both consider OURSELVES to be kids-at-heart!
Our dates are most likely going to be the last week in January. Do you recommend that time frame? We are fairly flexible. We want to do all of the crazy fun ridiculous classic activities, and don’t want to miss out on ANYTHING! Is there an all-inclusive park fastpass that will allow us to skip lines & be able to see the major parks? Do you reccomend the Dining Passes for adults without kids? Would love to hear your feedback on the best way to do an adult-only magical vaycay! 😉

288 Dave { 05.12.12 at 8:33 am }

Hi Lori! They are both great weeks, but I have a slight preference for the earlier one–see this:

289 Dave { 05.12.12 at 8:43 am }

Hi Katie, with a coupla of exceptions that’s a wonderful time to go.

The first problem is that its in the peak of the ride closure season, so a few special rides might be closed. See this:

Second is that weather can be all over the place, so you can’t count on pool time–see this

But crowds and prices are as low as they get!

Disney does not have a “head of the line” pass you can buy. (Universal does) It has a FASTPASS program that lets you skip lines, free and built into your ticket. See

The dining plan is more of a budgeting help than a big money saving plan. For it to save any money, you would have planned to have on average a waiter-service meal every day. That takes planning, as the best waiter-service meals (Disney calls them table service) book out in advance. See this:

Hope this helps to start and keep the questions coming!

290 Ken { 05.14.12 at 5:35 pm }

Hi Dave,

I have so many questions, I am going to WDW for the first time, for my honeymoon starting oct 14, any must see things for this time of year, also are you aware of any special things for honeymooners? Thank you!

291 Jessica { 05.15.12 at 12:01 am }

Hi Dave,
Awesome site! We’re planning our first family trip to Disney World for next year, either the second week of May or the 3rd week of November. I see you rank those 2 weeks about the same, and wonder if you could recommend one over the other specifically for family traveling with 2 little ones ( age 4 and 2)? Will Monday Nov. 11 (Vateran’s day) be very crowded? Is November too cold to enjoy the kiddie pool? Thank you so much!

292 Dave { 05.15.12 at 1:12 pm }
293 Dave { 05.15.12 at 1:14 pm }

Hi Jessica and thanks!

Kids that young love above all else playing in the pool with their parents. November weather can be all over the place, so I’d vote for May…

294 Jessica { 05.15.12 at 1:33 pm }

Hello Dave,

Thank you so much for your prompt reply! We’outplay for May next year! We can only stay for 3-4 nights – do you think we should focus on Magic Kingdom only or should we try a day in Epcot? We’re considering staying at monorail resort if good discounts come out. The pools at the new Art of Animation resort also look interesting as my kids love finding Nemo, but I’m not sure if the bus ride is too much for traveling with our 2 little ones and 2 strollers. Which would you go for? Thanks again for sharing your wonderful wealth of knowledge! So glad to find your site:)

295 Dave { 05.15.12 at 2:06 pm }

You’re welcome, Jessica! First, at those ages I’d focus solely on MK, and if you were to add a park, Epcot would be last. Think of spending two mornings, one mid-afternoon (for the afternoon parade) and one evening (for the evening parade and fireworks) at MK.

For strollers, the Contemporary has a lot going for it–as you can, if you wish, walk back and forth, or take the monorail. See this:

296 Ken { 05.15.12 at 2:11 pm }

well we aready booked the hotel, we are staying in Port Orleans Riverside and are staying 7 nights.

297 Jessica { 05.15.12 at 2:24 pm }

Really appreciate your advise, Dave! Thanks again & Have a wonderful day 🙂

298 Dave { 05.16.12 at 9:41 am }

Ken, OK…in addition to what I suggested looking at yesterday, check out the links for October 13 that you can find on this page: It’s not an exact fit for yuo dates, but it will give you an idea. Note that the restaurants in it are largely picked for kid appeal…

I find Port Orleans French Quarter the most romantic and usable of the moderates–if you are interested in changing your reservation, see this: and also this:

299 Dave { 05.16.12 at 9:42 am }

Jessica, have a great trip and come back and let me know how it went…

300 Jessica { 05.16.12 at 1:21 pm }

Hi Dave, need your advise again! We might be able to rent DVC points to stay at Bay Lake Tower studio for our visit next May ( it will be cheaper than getting a room at Contemporary if it works out). I know you don’t recommend DVC resort for first time visitors, and you also mentioned the studio is very small. Would it be a really bad choice for us ( family of 4 with a 4yr old & 2 yr old)? The fact that we can walk to MK in less than 10 min and cost less than Contemporary seems very attractive. What would you advise? Thank you so much!

301 Dave { 05.16.12 at 2:00 pm }

Jessica, that can work if the 2yo is in a crib…that way you don’t have to extend the sofabed for the 4yo…it will be cramped–not much room for the crib…

302 Jessica { 05.16.12 at 4:41 pm }

Thanks again Dave! Your site & feedback are making my planning process more fun 🙂 would you recommend us getting the dining plan? I assume our 2 yr old is free and will just eat out of our plate, right?

303 Monica { 05.16.12 at 5:21 pm }

Hi, I want to visit Disney from May 25 to 29 it will be to crowded? Thank you for your help!

304 Jessica { 05.16.12 at 11:05 pm }

Hi Dave, planning continue… As you suggested before, we will only go to Magic Kingdom for our 4 nights stay in May next year. Which days of the week is least crowded at MK? Shall we schedule a Sunday arrival and mid-week departure (Sun-Thurs) or Monday/Tuesday arrival and weekend departure? Hoping to plan a pool day for kids & us to relax in between park days. Thank you so much again!

305 Ken { 05.17.12 at 7:12 am }

Thanks for the info Dave! Also you have a great site, with alot of info!

306 Dave { 05.17.12 at 9:11 am }

Hi Jessica! First, I don’t think you can get the dining plan if you rent points–the person who rents you the points has to get it for you…it can pay off a little bit but only if you use all your credits, and would have done that many waiter-service meals anyway…and yes the 2 year old can eat off you your plate! Portions at Disney are huge…

307 Dave { 05.17.12 at 9:12 am }

Monica, because of the Memorial Day holiday, it will be pretty crowded…not as bad as in mid-summer, but more crowded than most weeks. See this:

308 Dave { 05.17.12 at 9:24 am }

Hi Jessica! Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the least crowded MK days, and Sat-Mon the most crowded. So shoot for a Monday arrival!

309 Dave { 05.17.12 at 9:29 am }

Thanks Ken!

310 Jessica { 05.17.12 at 12:46 pm }

Thank you so much again for taking your time to provide us valuable advise! Have a great day!

311 Dave { 05.17.12 at 12:47 pm }

You bet Jessica!

312 aimie { 05.17.12 at 7:05 pm }

hi dave i have looked at youre dates and considering weather and crowds and first time to orlando we have a chance to visit arriving on may 31st from the uk for 9 days or 3rd week in october. we have 1 week of free tickets for universal and island of adventures but really would like to do seaworld, mk, maybe animal kigdom and my husband and son are big star wars fans we would like to chill by the pool not just dash around the parks we will do anouther visit sometime in the future the kids are 5 and a girl of 7 i am overwellmed with youre site when should we come i havent got much time to plan if its may but thats ok. the choices of hotel are hiltons on wd , or international drive please give me any advice you think would help and thankyou so much.

313 Dave { 05.18.12 at 5:47 am }

Aimie, honestly I’d wait til October. Prices, crowds and heat will be better, and you’ll have more time to plan things like fun meals, which will be pretty much already sold out for the May/June dates…see this: and also this:

314 Jessica { 05.18.12 at 1:40 pm }

Hi Dave, do you know how long is the bus ride from Contemporary resort to Blizzard Beach? The kiddie area at BB seems so much fun than the Bay Lake tower pool. Is it worth it to take our 2 little ones to spend a day at BB on our off-park day? Thank you as always!

315 Jen { 05.19.12 at 1:31 am }

Hi Dave,

How great that you provide such good tips! I am hoping you can offer some help to my husband and I. We want to go to Disney World before we get ready to have kids as a final hooray, and would like to go in late fall. Neither of us have been to Florida, only Disneyland. I hear that the rainy reason goes through September and sometimes October. We want to be able to catch the water rides and but still want nice weather. Do you think October, November, or the beginning of December would be best? We want to go when crowds are low, the weather is likely not to rain, and at a time when we can enjoy all that Disney has to offer. Thank so much for your help!

316 Dave { 05.19.12 at 8:44 am }

Hi Jen and thanks! For what you are looking for, among your options I’m a pretty big fan of the second half of October–see this and also this:

However, the hurricane season does run from June 1 to November 30. While late October is out of the peak season (see ), and hurricanes are rare to start with…if one does hit–which it hasn’t for years–you may see some rain!

317 Dave { 05.19.12 at 8:50 am }

Jessica, it’s about 25-30 mins. The bus route to BB goes to Downtown Disney first with multiple stops, then to on to BB. Personally, I think they’ll be happy as a clam at the Contemporary pool. It is dull, but kids love any pool

318 Anonymous { 05.19.12 at 9:15 pm }


Thank you so much for your help… I will change dates.. =)

319 Jessica { 05.19.12 at 10:06 pm }

You’re right, Dave! Thank you & have a great weekend!

320 Dave { 05.20.12 at 8:51 am }

You’re welcome!

321 Dave { 05.20.12 at 8:51 am }

You too, Jessica!

322 Jessica { 05.20.12 at 11:03 pm }

Hi Dave, hope you enjoyed your weekend. Sorry to ask you more questions again…. My friends’ family just came back fron Bay Lake Tower and she found the studio to be really tight for 4 pp. (just as you said). Contemporary would be the next choice for being able to walk to MK. What kind of room-only discount have you seen in the past for late April-early May? The 2012 rack rates I found on Disney website are way over our budget, and I wonder if any discount is available? Thank you so much!

323 Dave { 05.21.12 at 6:01 pm }

Hi Jessica…my recollection is that deluxe discounts of 30% were available this year for that period…but some resorts were excluded, and the Contemporary may have been one.

A thought: check out the Wilderness Lodge–it’s typically more than a hundred or so a night less expensive than the Contemporary…boats run from it to MK every 15 minutes or so, and it’s a real kid-pleaser:

324 Jessica { 05.21.12 at 9:34 pm }

Thanks Dave! I’m sure I”ll ask your advise again as planning continue 🙂 until then- wish you and your family a nice Memorial day weekend ahead!

325 Emma { 05.29.12 at 8:29 am }

Hi Dave, my husband and I have booked to go to Orlando Marth 9th 2013 for 2 weeks. We are from England so we were not aware of the Spring Break crowds when we booked…..I take it from looking at your site we have booked two of the busiest weeks of the year?? I am getting worried now about the crowds in the park! Any advice you can give will be greatly appreciated! thanks

326 Dave { 05.29.12 at 1:21 pm }

Hi Emma! Yes, I am expecting all of March 2013 expect for maybe the very first week to be rough. My advice…perhaps un-helpful–is to change your dates! See this:

327 Emma { 05.29.12 at 2:57 pm }

Oh dear! well unfortunately we can’t change the dates as its all booked around work commitments…. I think the fastpasses will be our friends! Thank you so much for responding and for the brilliant site – it will be well used over the next few months!!!!

328 Dave { 05.29.12 at 4:14 pm }

Emma, showing up well before the parks open is the single most important tactic! 🙂

329 Emma { 05.30.12 at 3:23 am }

Good tip! We last went in November 2006 and I think we were spoilt by how light the crowds were….we are big kids who are up early anyway so we will def get there nice and early. Thank you!

330 Dave { 05.30.12 at 8:33 am }


331 Christy { 06.02.12 at 5:23 pm }

Hi Dave!! Thanks for this site! Very helpful! A few questions. We are going to Disney 10/22-10/26th. How would you break up the parks among the days. Thursday we have to go to MK due to BBB and MNSSHP. We are going with a baby and four year old so we have to leave for a nap and I don’t think we will make it to the park before opening 🙁 Thanks for the help!!

332 Christy { 06.02.12 at 5:33 pm }

Oh and do you think there will be any discounts coming up for October 2012?

333 Dave { 06.03.12 at 8:36 am }

Hi Christy!

A couple of things…first, for kids that age, there’s not much at any park other than the Magic Kingdom–see this:

Got you on the naps–you should plan to spend mornings and some evenings. Not getting there before opening will cost you hours of waiting time…

Here’s the worst parks, by day:
10/22: MK and AK
10/23 Epcot
10/24: MK, Epcot
10/25: MK
10/26: AK

334 Dave { 06.03.12 at 8:39 am }

Hey again Christy. No telling whether they’ll offer discounts for October. They did so for a limited number of arrival dates last year–see this: and announced them in early August. Whether they do so this year is a question of how their hotel bookings are going–which in turn is driven by the economy. With the slow growth in the economy the past few years, their policy has been to continuously limit and narrow the discounts they offer….

335 Jerrod { 06.04.12 at 9:58 pm }

Our kids have the week of Oct 8-12th off. (GA Schools) how do you think the crowds will be this week? this will be our third trip to WDW.

336 Dave { 06.05.12 at 7:30 am }

Hi Jerrod! I’m seeing moderate crowds that week, thanks to Columbus Day and some fall breaks like yours. I wouldn’t recommend the week for first timers, but since you know how to do the parks you should be fine.

337 Luke { 06.12.12 at 9:24 pm }

We are going be in the Miami area the week of July 4th. Is there a day during the week that is better to visit than others?

338 Is halloween a good time to go ? { 06.13.12 at 7:13 am }

Hi back from Orlando after been there from 16th of May 2012 -29th May .. unfortunatly experience hurrican Beryl at the end of our trip . Great time over there for our first trip. Hoping to go for halloween 2013 can you recommened if its a good time of year to go ..

339 Dave { 06.13.12 at 7:21 am }

Luke, that’s the busiest week of the summer, and I can’t see any reason why any one day will be different enough to recommend. I’d certainly avoid the 4th though…

340 Dave { 06.13.12 at 7:27 am }

Yup, there’s a lot of weeks in late October/early November that I highly recommend–see this: There’s also a fun–but expensive–party many nights in Oct–see this for the 2012 details

341 Emily { 06.20.12 at 4:06 pm }

Hi! I’m planning to go to Disney from 8/6-8/12. I know this is not the best time to go but I was wondering how bad the weather and the crowds will be? Also, can you give some suggestions on which parks to visit on which days? Thank you!

342 Dave { 06.21.12 at 7:06 am }

Hi Emily! Crowds will be bad. The weather is typically quite hot and humid. See this for more:

Here’s parks to avoid by day:

8/6 HS, AK
8/7 Epcot
8/8 AK
8/9 MK
8/10 MK, Epcot
8/11 HS
8/12 MK

343 Gomezfam { 06.28.12 at 11:17 pm }

Hello, Your webiste is a great tool. Our family(husband, children ages 7 and 9 and me) is planning first time trip to Orlando. We would like to visit MK, AK and Universal Studios, during the week of July 14 – 20 OR Thanksgiving week. I know both weeks are crowded but which one is worst.
THanks for your help!!!!

344 Dave { 06.29.12 at 6:57 am }

Hi! As you note, both weeks stink. Thanksgiving week may feel a little more crowded, because the operating hours may be a tad shorter. On the other hand, the weather will be much more humane then–unless you are a fan of high heat and high humidity!

345 FamilyMom { 07.12.12 at 9:24 am }

Thanks for the info on your site. We are planning our first trip to Disney World with a soon to be 5 year old and soon to be 3 year old twins. We are looking at this fall or next spring, dates are pretty open. I have just started planning and would take ANY advice you can give me, including best dates! Thanks!

346 Dave { 07.12.12 at 12:10 pm }

Hi FamilyMom! Most of what’s on this site is targeted at kids a little older, but not the dates. See this for date rankings including this fall: and this for next spring:

For all other advice, begin on the home page and work your way through it and its links!

347 Krista { 07.16.12 at 12:54 pm }

Hello Dave,
First of all I want to say that your site is very helpful. My husband and I are season pass holders and are FL residents, we live about 6 hours from Orlando in panama City. We are planning a trip to WDW in December and are looking at Dec 14-Dec 18 possibly 19. We want to attend the Christmas Party. We have never been during the holiday season and would like your advice. We are the type of people that like to go with a plan. Looking at the party dates we will either go on Sunday the 16 or tuesday the 18. any help would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance!

348 Krista { 07.16.12 at 1:02 pm }

I see that you have the week of the 8th as your number one week to go. We are flexible and could do dec 7-11 possibly 12. What would you recommend for this week also?

349 Dave { 07.16.12 at 1:58 pm }

Hi Krista, I think anytime the 8th til the 19th or so will be fine. Since you are flexible, I add avoid the weekends if you can! See also this:

350 Meg { 07.27.12 at 11:55 pm }

Great, informational site! We are thinking of visiting Disney week of August 27. Considering the FLoridays Hotel. But we (adults) would also like a beach vacation in Florida. Can you recommend a beach resort (non Disney) away from Orlando that’s no more than 2 hours from Disney to make everyone happy? Also, is that week a good time to visit the park? THANK YOU!

351 Dave { 07.28.12 at 8:08 am }

Hi Meg, and thanks!

On your second question, yes, that’s a great week from a crowd and prices point of view. On the first, sorry, I don’t have an opinion…

352 billy { 07.28.12 at 10:20 pm }

dave, how about late april early may for fort wilderness campground and do you happend to know which camp site is best for 35 ft. fifth wheel

353 Dave { 07.29.12 at 8:47 am }

Hi Billy, that’s a great time for Fort Wilderness! See this:

There’s a couple of different loop types at Fort Wilderness– see this: So you pick your loop type first, and when you reserve it, you’ll get a window asking for details about your rig…

354 Lisa { 08.04.12 at 1:07 pm }

Hi! 🙂 We are planning our second whole family trip to from the UK to Disney and we are really restricted dates wise as my husband is a teacher. So we will have to come in one of the peak times and also need to avoid the hottest weather for my dad. We are leaning towards Christmas but reading words like ‘horribly crowded’ is a little off putting!! Easter and Christmas are the best options as the only school holidays with 2 weeks. So I guess the question is Easter or Christmas?! Is there much in it crowd wise because if there isn’t I think the kids would love to be there for Christmas…..did I just answer my own question?!! Haha x

355 Dave { 08.04.12 at 5:29 pm }

Lisa, you did indeed largely answer your own question, but it might vary a bit. If for each period you could give me the earliest and latest dates you could arrive, I might have slightly different advice…

356 Chad Walz { 08.12.12 at 12:03 am }

Hi Dave,

Great site you have going here!

We are going to be in Orlando from Thursday Oct 18 through Tuesday Oct 23, 2012, just me and my wife, no kids. We’d like to spend 3 days at Disney World, 2 at Magic Kingdom, 1 Blizzard Beach. Our preference would be to go Thurs, Fri & Sat, but I would like to know if there would be any significant difference in crowd levels if we were to go on the Sunday, Monday & Tuesday.

Thanks a lot,


357 Dave { 08.12.12 at 8:15 am }

Hi Chad and thanks!

Sat/Sun/Mon are the peak days at WDW in general and MK in particular, so your first set of dates is the ones to shoot for!

358 Emily { 08.12.12 at 11:34 pm }

We have to do AK on the 12th or the 14th of November which both days are Early Magic Hours (we are staying one night at Cars resort 11/9 but the rest in a condo offsite) which we won’t be using since we are offsite. Would it be better to go on Wednesday vs Monday as far as crowds go? I also have DHS for 11/12 right now but that is the Extra Evening Hours that night and we want to see the Osborne lights that night (without having to get park hoppers for another night). Would it be super crowded to see Osborne on the extra hours night? I am thinking of switching DHS to the 14th and AK to the 12th instead….hope that makes sense! 🙂

359 Dave { 08.13.12 at 7:20 am }

Hi Emily, I think your overall crowds will be best if you do just what you are thinking of–AK on the 12th and HS the 14th! It won’t make much diff at AK, but will at HS…

360 Silver { 08.23.12 at 12:07 am }

Hi Dave,
I recently just got married, and my wife has decided she wants for our honeymoon to revisit the first trip I ever took her on, to WDW. Sadly, schedules have made it so we can’t go until Cecember 20th, returning on Christmas day.

I’m pretty sure we can expect crowds. Besides Christmas Eve, how bad can we expect it to be those preceeding days?

Do you have any recommendations on which days to go to which parks? (no park hopper, sadly).

Also, how bad of an idea is it to goto the 12/21/12 MVMCP?

Any insight is appreciated.

361 Dave { 08.23.12 at 7:46 am }

Hi Silver and congrats!

Crowds will start building the 20th, and be massive the 22nd and later–see this:

The key is to see as much as you can the 20th and 21st, and yes, I would do MVMCP the 21st, as MK will be wall to wall the 22nd and later…

Basically, you want to avoid parks on their EMH days–which is no real help at MK as it has EMH every day starting the 22nd…

362 Sean { 08.27.12 at 12:34 am }

We were thing about going in late April early May, is this a good time for enjoying the water parks, and what are the worst times for the water parks.

363 Dave { 08.27.12 at 7:36 am }

Hi Sean, I don’t track the water parks specifically, but that should be a great time–plenty warm enough, and low overall crowds. See this:

364 Yvonne { 08.27.12 at 8:59 pm }

Hello, my family and I are visiting Walt Disney World on November 16-21 2012. I Would like your suggestion on which parks to visit on which days? It is also my daughters 15th birthday and would like to know if the resort we are staying at can do something special for her in our room?
Is the Disney storytelling experience worth watching?

365 Dave { 08.28.12 at 6:49 am }

Hi Yvonne! I don’t think the maids will decorate your room, but if you put up a banner (so they know), and have been tipping them…you never know! See also this:

I’m not sure what you mean by “the Disney storytelling experience”…

Disney World is very crowded thanksgiving week, so you want to target MK on Friday and Saturday. After that the crowds pour in and it won’t make much difference where you go, but avoid MK the 18th, AK and HS the 19th, Epcot the 20th, and AK the 21st…

366 Jill { 09.12.12 at 9:42 am }

Grandma is looking at treating all of her kids and their children to a Disney World vacation this winter. (Breakdown of 12 adults, 3 young twenties, and 5 grandchildren with the youngest being 5). I think we are looking at February to take advantage of lower airfare and timing for school. Do you have a suggestion on where to stay? (I don’t think everyone will be there the whole time.) And I was thinking of booking our airline and then waiting to see if we can get discounted rooms or meal plan. What are your thoughts on that. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated:)

367 Dave { 09.12.12 at 9:48 am }

Hi Jill what fun!

First be sure to avoid the week that includes President’s Day…wildly crowded.

Second, for where to stay, take a look at this and its links:

On the discount issue, you can wait, or book now and then convert your booking later if your hotel and arrival dates are eligible……

368 Jacque { 09.14.12 at 10:13 am }

We will be at Disney World October 20-29th. Do you know when Test Track is scheduled to reopen?

369 Leslie { 09.14.12 at 11:00 am }

Hi Jacque!

We are SO ready for Test Track to reopen! At this point, the official word from Disney is still just that “this attraction is temporarily closed for refurbishment and is scheduled to reopen in fall 2012”. There have been lots of speculation on specific dates of reopen for Test Track, but the truth of the matter is, we won’t know much of anything until Disney decides to reopen the doors of the attraction. 2 years ago, I was in the Magic Kingdom 2 days before It’s A Small World was supposed to reopen, and a cast member walked right up to me and asked if I’d ridden it since it had been reopened that day! So you never know. Just keep your eyes and ears peeled because as soon as the doors open, people will be talking about it!

Have a wonderful vacation!


370 Jacque { 09.14.12 at 11:45 am }

You won’t believe this but I must have been at the Magic Kingdom the same day you were there. We were walking by “It’s a Small World” because it wasn’t supposed to be open and suddenly it was and we got in line. It had just opened and we were fortunate to be there at that time to ride it. My Grandaughter was 5 and she loved it.
It really is “A Small World After All”!!!!
Thanks for the info! I can’t wait to be there again!

371 Brenda Berding { 09.14.12 at 1:58 pm }

I’m looking at may 2013 second week in May for our 40th annvisary. Is this a good time? Will there be any specials for that week?

372 Dave { 09.14.12 at 3:05 pm }

Hey Jaque–in addition to Leslie’s point, the operating calendar indicates Test Track is closed until 11/30 (see e.g. ) As Leslie notes, it may open before then!

373 Dave { 09.14.12 at 3:07 pm }

Jaque what a great story!

374 Dave { 09.14.12 at 3:08 pm }

Hi Brenda, yes that’s a good week– I have it ranked 13th bets of the year! See this: Discounts have been common in early May, but no guarantees!

375 Leslie { 09.16.12 at 11:37 am }


That is too funny! Isn’t it amazing to think we may have even ridden in the same boat? “It’s A Small World” indeed! 🙂


376 Lisa { 09.16.12 at 2:27 pm }

Hi Dave, re my post 354 and your reply 355, we are restricted for dates as my hubby is a teacher so no flexiblity on when we go. The dates for April 2014 would be flying from the UK on Saturday 12th April and returning on 26th April and for christmas it flying Saturday 20th december and returning 3rd jan. any throughts? 🙂

377 Dave { 09.16.12 at 5:10 pm }

Lisa, each of your two weeks is dead aimed at drop dead crowds. The xmas period is more crowded than Easter each of the two weeks by enough to be appreciable, and is also more expensive. If it weren’t for the heat issue, I would recommend Easter. With the heat issue, and the delight of xmas, it feels more like a coin flip.

You can make either visit work, especially since you are vets, and understand the keys to avoiding crowds (arrive before opening, avoid mid-days and return in the evenings, use FASTPASSES, etc) but the key will be having really low expectations and being delighted when things turn out even moderately well!

Also see this for a way to potentially spend your way out of some issues: (note that the FASTPASS+ program may end up making this not work…)

Finally, thanks for citing the comment numbers–that really helps!

Let me know your thoughts in response…

378 Patrick { 09.18.12 at 8:25 pm }

Is it typically more crowded the few days before Thanksgiving or the few days after? Or is it 6 one, half dozen the other? Thanks!

379 Dave { 09.19.12 at 6:26 am }

Patrick it’s pretty crowded from the Sunday before thru the Saturday after…

380 Lisa { 09.20.12 at 4:38 pm }

Thanks Dave 🙂 I think we will plump for Christmas. Everyone is psyched at the idea of Christmas in florida and yeah it will be crazy busy but we will be there 2 weeks so we can really spread out the time spent at the parks and get some early starts in. I need to look at the fastpass+ as I have no clue about that yet.

I’m told by our local travel agent that early booking for 2014 will be out in October/November this year…..does that sound right to you?

381 Dave { 09.21.12 at 7:58 am }

Lisa, on FASTPASS+, hold, as all you’ll find is speculation–including from me! (See e.g. ) You can book 500 days ahead. See this: So you’ll be able to book Xmas week 2014 in August 2013…

382 Tiffany { 09.25.12 at 1:07 pm }

I love this site! Thanks for all the great info! I’m planning a family trip to WDW next month–Oct 24-28 with my husband and our 2 yr old daughter. I’ve noticed that nearly all the hotels for those days are booked, but the weeks before and after have plenty of vacancies. We already have our hotel and dining reservations booked, but I was wondering if you know of something going on that week that means it’s going to be extra busy? I just want to be mentally prepared if we’re going to expect huge crowds! Also, would you recommend Thurs Oct 25 or Fri Oct 26 for Mickey’s Halloween party? Thanks so much!!

383 Dave { 09.25.12 at 5:14 pm }

Hi Tiffany and thanks!!!

Your dates are in one of the periods when free dining is available, and that may be why the hotels are crowded. See this: But the parks will not be crowded! And I’d shoot for the 25th for the party.

384 Jen { 10.02.12 at 3:53 pm }

Looking to book a last minute trip Nov 18-22 2012. Is that a bad idea?

385 Dave { 10.03.12 at 8:19 am }

Hi Jen! I think it is…Thanksgiving week is one of the 6 or seven most crowded weeks of the year…

386 Brannon { 10.03.12 at 10:08 pm }

Thinking about taking a trip right after Christmas? Dec 27th – Dec 31st.

387 Dave { 10.04.12 at 6:57 am }

Brannon, that’s the busiest time of the year, and I’d really recommend not going then!!

388 Eva { 10.16.12 at 8:54 am }

I could read the posts for hours!!! Great site.
Quick question, you have written that November is a great month to go except for the first week, why is that? We are going to be there November 3-11 and hitting up Disney on the 9th.
Good idea or bad idea? Thanks in advance!

389 Dave { 10.16.12 at 9:22 am }

Hi Eva, and thanks!

Two problems in November–Thanksgiving Week, and (much less of an issue) Jersey week, which is the first full week. See this: In 2012, Jersey week effects should be largely over by 11/10, but there’s some possibility that if they get the 12th off for Veterans day that weekend could be rough…

390 Natasha { 10.22.12 at 11:13 am }

Me and my family will be visiting this year .When is the best time to go especially now that the summer has end and school is in. Wen I go i want to see alot of interresting fun thing exspecially while Im taking a family of five.

391 Dave { 10.22.12 at 1:15 pm }
392 Erica { 10.25.12 at 5:07 pm }

Hello, I am planning a DW trip for my daughters fifth birthday!!!! We want to go November 3 2013 to November 9 2013 What do you think? Will it be to crowded or more expensive? We are just a family of 3!!

393 Erica { 10.25.12 at 5:13 pm }

My daughters birthday is 11/8 and that is on of the Jersey week days for 2013 should I change it for the week after the 8th?

394 Dave { 10.26.12 at 9:45 am }

Hi Erica! Jersey week is OK–nothing to panic over–but the next week is much better. See this:

395 Ariel { 10.28.12 at 10:34 pm }

We’re thinking of bringing our daughter for the first time around the first week of April 2013, is there a better time, or better days of the week to try for? (example: avoid the weekend) She’ll be 3 at the time and we’re wanting to stay in the park. Thanks!

396 Dave { 10.29.12 at 6:44 am }

Hi Ariel, that’s a horrible time to go–one of the 4 or 5 most crowded weeks of the year. See this:

397 Matthew Smiley { 10.29.12 at 6:34 pm }

Hi Dave,
My wife and I have three kids ( 3, 8, 12) and we are planning our vacation to Disney World in June 11-18, June 23-30 or the July 1-8 2013. This will be our first time visiting Walt Disney. We are planning on staying on one of the Disney Resorts that will include meal plans for all. Based on these three dates which one will be the best dates for us? Which park should we visit first (last)? Is a renter car needed, since we will be flying into Orlando airport? After reading blogs I noticed that you advised some people to purchase fast passes, Should I purchase a fast pass also? Should we purchase hopper passes or purchase each individual park tickets. I know these are a lot of questions, but it appears you have the experience to answer all of them and enlighten me on the ones I may have missed. Thank you, for any advice that you give us

398 Dave { 10.30.12 at 7:46 am }

Hi Matthew! First, all of your choices are bad weeks, but the earlier June week is the best. On your other questions–FASTPASSES are free, the hopper is an option you usually don’t need, car rental is not necessary if you use Disney’s Magical Express for airport transport… I suggest you begin on the home page and work your way thru its topics! That’s what this site is for…

399 Hayley { 11.18.12 at 8:16 am }

Hi Dave, Great site! My family and I have booked to go to Orlando April 5-19 2013, We are from England so have no idea on Spring Break dates, can you advise on crowd level pls, and which is the best day to visit the Magic Kingdom as kids will be desperate to get there….many thanks

400 Dave { 11.19.12 at 7:01 am }

Hi Hayley! You will face the final efflorescence of spring break crowds through April 6, but after that crowds should be fine. The first really good MK day will be Tuesday April 9.

401 Joseph { 11.26.12 at 3:52 am }

Hi Dave! First off I have spent so much time on your site, and I think it’s awesome you’ve put all of this together! I know I speak for a lot of people when I say — GREAT JOB! Moving forward, I apologize because I’m probably going to be asking questions that have already been asked, so I’m going to try my best to answer them myself so you know that I did (try) to do my research!
Please note that there will be 8 total in my party: 4 adult parents, two college students, and two high school students. It will also be our first time travelling to Disney World.

1.) We are from flying from California and will be staying in a vacation rental home about 15 minutes away from DW. We don’t expect to arrive in Florida until about 4 or 5pm, so obviously we won’t begin our venturing into DW until the following day. Since our main concern is going to be crowds, we don’t know if it’d be in our best interests to fly into Florida on Saturday to begin our itinerary on Sunday, or to fly into Florida on Sunday to begin our itinerary on Monday? … or to begin Saturday evening, as your summer itinerary suggests? Ideally we would like to use our arrival day as a day to relax and brace ourselves for the busy days ahead, but we also want to make the best of our time as well! **EDIT — after reading more comments by you, is your suggestion of spending a Saturday evening in the park is to catch a fireworks show?!

2.) Would the week beginning June 2, 2013 (Sunday) be a better time to go than the week beginning May 26, 2013 (Sunday)? I know that going in late May / early June is definitely not ideal, but unfortunately my university is on a semester system, and the Spring semester won’t be finished with until May 24th, but I know that May 27th is Memorial Day, and looking at your 2012 Weeks To Visit Rankings, I believe the week of Memorial Day had a 7/10, and the week after had a 5/10.

3.) Regarding your very well put together itinerary, I know you suggest skipping Epcot for families with younger kids — though my family and I would love to experience the best DW has to offer, do you think there is anything we could omit from the itinerary, given that the youngest in our party will be a sophomore in high school? Particularly because, I would love to include a trip to Blizzard Beach — and regarding Blizzard Beach, which day would you suggest going?

4.) I’m not going to bother Googling “Where can I find cheap tickets for DW!” — I’d rather bite the bullet and purchase the Magic Your Way tickets off the website directly so I don’t find myself in an embarrassing pickle at the entrance gate! Since your itinerary involves staying in the same park the whole day (unless I’m blind and can’t read), is it safe to assume that we don’t need to add the Park Hopper feature to our tickets? If I don’t need to add the Park Hopper feature, that would keep the average price of the ticket per day very low, but since I’m interested in spending a day at Blizzard Beach, it would still be in my best interest to add the Water Park Fun & More option to our ticket order, instead of paying for it separately at the actual entrance to Blizzard Beach, correct?

Dave, any help with these questions you are able to send my way, I would GREATLY appreciate it. Thank you so much!

402 Joseph { 11.26.12 at 3:52 am }

Wow I’m so embarrassed at how long that came out to be! So sorry -.-

403 Dave { 11.26.12 at 11:11 am }

Hi Joseph! Thanks for your kind words about the site!

Answers by your numbers:

1. I suggest 9 day/8 night trips (see this: ) and the Saturday arrival is just to fit them into the normal “week off of work.” You can arrive any day, and just have to adjust the itinerary. The itinerary is by day–Monday means “Monday,” not “Day 3”–so this adjustment can be a little tricky. The itinerary is also designed for people staying at a WDW resort, so there’s changes that should be made to account for that as well. Once you have your arrival and departure dates set in stone, get back to me and I can help with the needed changes.

2. Yes, the week beginning 6/2 should be better than the week beginning 5/26. See this:

3. I don’t track good vs bad days at Blizzard Beach. This book has some good pages on it:  The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2013 You can thin down the itinerary by using this: You can also pull out some of the dining, which is aimed at kids younger than yours.

4. You are correct that the summer itinerary does not need a hopper. Since I don’t track the water parks, I’m not sure about pricing, but think it will likely be cheaper for you to buy a one day water park ticket than for you to add the water park and more option. You’ll need to check the prices for each to double check!

Hope this helps!

404 Dave { 11.26.12 at 11:12 am }

No worries, that’s what this site exists for!

405 Joseph { 11.26.12 at 5:12 pm }

Thanks Dave, you’re a lifesaver! HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

406 Dave { 11.27.12 at 8:11 am }

You’re welcome, Joseph! Have a great trip and let me know how it went!

407 Anonymous { 12.08.12 at 9:16 am }

what are the best to ok times to go to Disney Orlando Florida from February to the end of April in 2013.We have to drive from Pa. and have a package of hotel paid 4 nights, orlando , 2 nights daytona and one free pass day for 2 people @Disney. We have to pay for everything else. Also we are adults in our mid to late 50’s who never went on fast rides.We haven’t gotten on vacation since 1992 and want to make the most of it and have the best time. Thank you.

408 Dianna { 12.08.12 at 9:47 am }

anonymous again (Dianna) Sorry I forgot to leave my e-mail and name before. I thank you for your help. Do you have any suggestions on what to see in Disney or/and elsewhere.Should we do more than one day in Disney? We were at Disney in 1992 with our children but are going adults only this time, no fast rides.. I am vegan/celiac(gluten free) and hope to not get sick.Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

409 Dave { 12.08.12 at 12:19 pm }

Hi! Just one day? Too bad…most people would go to Magic Kingdom if they had just one day, but for many adults Epcot is their favorite park. I don’t track parks by day–you can find that on but your best bet will be a Wednseday in the second half of April. (For why, see this and this

410 Dave { 12.08.12 at 12:21 pm }

Hi Dianna, for how many days, see this but also with a filter from this:

For veagn at WDW, see this:

I don’t have much to say for options beyond WDW…I can barely keep up with WDW!

411 Jenn { 12.10.12 at 4:42 pm }

I am planning a family vacation and have never been there so any suggestions would help. It would be me, my husband and our 5 yr old son. Would you recommend purchasing the passes in a package or separately when we get there? Are there must see things for a 5 yr old?


412 Dave { 12.11.12 at 9:22 am }

Hi Jenn, you are in the right place! Start on the home page and work your way through its topics. And it doesn’t really matter how you buy the tickets…

413 Pam { 12.26.12 at 10:58 pm }

We will be retired next year and my husbands wish is to be at the Disney Christmas Parade and New Years Eve 2013. Whenever he watches the parade on tv he says we will go there before he dies. When would be the best time to arrive and also see the parks?

414 Pam { 12.26.12 at 11:01 pm }

We will be retired next year and my husbands wish is to be at the Disney Christmas Parade and New Years Eve 2013 before he dies. When would be the best time to arrive and also see the parks?

415 Dave { 12.27.12 at 9:24 am }

Pam, the Christmas Parade is taped over a two day period in early December, and edited the rest of the month before it shows on the 25th. So you can’t really “see” it–what you can do is stand around during multiple retakes and waits for the next act to be recorded, etc. It’s not designed for spectators….The week that includes New Years is by far the busiest of the year at WDW, with 3 hour waits for the major rides not uncommon…So New Years Eve is a challenge too. The best way to do NYE at WDW is to forget about rides as a priority…if you are still interested, comment back and I’ll share some more thoughts…

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416 Jenn { 12.31.12 at 12:55 pm }

Hi Dave! Were planning our first family DW trip with my 7 yr old daughter. I was wondering which week is better 6/30/13 to 7/8/13 or 7/8/13 to 7/15/13? I’m sure both are bad but is the 7/4 show worth it? Where is the best place to be for firework show? Also, what are the best hotels you recommend.. I’m thinking Animal kingdom and Beach Club? Thank you!

417 Dave { 12.31.12 at 2:13 pm }

Hi Jenn!

Since three of the four parks have fireworks every night in the summer, there’s not much value to the 4th fireworks themselves. So I’d go your later week…

For my hotel recommendations, see this and its links: Then come back to me with many questions it raises!

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418 Luis { 01.02.13 at 10:03 am }

We’re planning to go from the 5th to the 12th on January. Crowded?
I’d appreciate your help!

419 Dave { 01.02.13 at 5:37 pm }

Hi Luis! You’ll find high crowds the 5th, and some more congestion the 11th and 12th, but the days in between will be wonderful–very low–in terms of crowds!

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420 Elixabeth { 01.09.13 at 4:18 pm }

Hi Dave!
So glad I came across this site!
I plan on visiting disney for the second time this October with two 4 yr old boys and 6 adults. Which week do you recommend is the best time to go and what kind of attractions do they offer for the Halloween season?
Any advice is appreciated

421 Dave { 01.09.13 at 5:34 pm }

Hi Elizabeth, and I’m glad the site is helping!

In general, I like both the last two weeks of October a lot–see this:

Disney offers a special, and extra-price, Halloween party multiple times in October and September. For more on it, see this:

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422 Melanie { 01.11.13 at 10:12 am }

Love your website—so much helpful info! We are planning a trip for 9/27/13-10/7/13 in hopes that they will announce free dining in the next couple months. Fingers crossed! My question is, do you feel this is a good time to visit? I’m wondering if the Food and Wine festival will have an impact on crowd levels at all parks or just at Epcot. We are looking for a fall visit where we can go to the MNSSHP, have low crowd levels and decent weather. My son’s birthday is 10/5, so I liked the idea of a Disney birthday celebration but now I’m wondering if I should move the trip to mid-October because of hurricane season. Too many things to consider….help!:)

423 Dave { 01.11.13 at 12:30 pm }

Hi Melanie and thanks! Food and Wine affects only crowds inthe World Showcase section at Epcot. I’d wait til there’s any word on free dining your dates; if they are not included, or it isn’t announced, then suggest the late October dates…those dates have everything you are looking for, but,as you note, are not in the peak of the hurricane season…

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424 AJ { 01.14.13 at 10:53 am }

The only thing I don’t agree with is September is not on your list of being one of if not the best time to go to Disney in Orlando. We go every September (2nd week) because we find this is the time of the lowest crowds and no waiting times at all to get on any of the rides. We live 2 hours away from Orlando.

425 Dave { 01.14.13 at 11:28 am }

Hey AJ–my comments are aimed at first time visitors who may never return.

Because of that, I ding the weeks in the peak of the hurricane season

For returning visitors, or first timers who can return, for whom a little risk of vacation disruption is less of a big deal, those are great times to go, and you’ll find many such weeks highlighted in the week picker– Hope this makes at least some sense!

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426 Carnaval na Disney,é muito cheio? | miturista { 01.16.13 at 12:11 pm }


427 Karen D { 01.22.13 at 2:23 pm }

We are looking at going to Disneyworld the week before out Thanksgiving break November 2013, the 8th – 15th. We would like to extend the trip a little longer but don’t want to run into higher prices, more expensive air fare, larger crowds. When should we plan to leave out of there and is there hope for any discounts during that time?

428 Dave { 01.22.13 at 3:10 pm }

Hi Karen, in terms of WDW crowds and prices those dates work great. I can’t really comment on air fares but just on the merits they ought not to start skyrocketing until the 17th or so. While that period has been discounted the past few years, Disney has been cutting back, so yes, there’s hope, but I wouldn’t count on them!

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429 Rissa { 01.23.13 at 11:12 am }

I am so excited about finding this site and hopefully you can help. We are looking to take a first visit to WDW this year sometime! We have a 5 year old, 10 yr old, 11 yr old twins and a 12 year old. We need all the advice possible for our trip including but not limited to where to stay, where to go, what preparations to take before we get there and should we book through the Disney site, book flights, hotels and/or cars individually or flight and hotel together and tickets separately? We are totally oblivious on how to go about the whole trip and that’s why it’s been put off for years.

430 Dave { 01.23.13 at 5:43 pm }

Hi Rissa, this site was built for you! All your questions but one–and key other points as well–are covered from the topics on the home page and its links. See

I don’t address your last question on the home page or its links. I would book your room and park tickets via Disney, and your air travel separately. You don’t need a rental car–see this

Work through the home page topics, then get back to me with any questions you have!

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431 Christina { 01.24.13 at 6:10 pm }

We Are Taking Our 3Year Old For The First Time To AnimAl Kingdom And Magic Kingdom. We Plan On Staying At The Art Of Animation Resort From April 22-26.Would You Say That’s A Great Time In April To Go Before Schools Let Out For Summer But After Spring Break? All Help Is Greatly Appreciated.

432 Dave { 01.25.13 at 6:58 am }

Hi Chrisitna, yes I do think that’s a wonderful time to go! See this:

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433 kylie { 02.05.13 at 11:49 pm }

Hi there! Planning a trip this year, kids ages 4 6 and 8. Looking at either march 23rd to 29th or the first week of june. Suggestions?

434 Dave { 02.06.13 at 7:14 am }

Kylie, the week before Easter is horribly crowded. The June week, while not great, is much better.

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435 Scott { 02.20.13 at 4:48 pm }

My wife and I want to take our daughter for her 3-year birthday for about a week. How would you compare going in October vs November (2013) or even the following January-February ? Specific dates are not a problem for us…we’re looking for most affordable and fewest crowds but also ensuring warm weather.

436 Cathy { 02.23.13 at 4:43 pm }

Hi, We’re going to be arriving in WDW for the 1st time on 26th June and staying for 12 days with 2 children, aged 2 and 4. As we won’t be having late nights with the young children what do you recommend for the fourth of July – should we avoid the parks completely? Does that apply for the weekend too? We’re travelling from the UK so not really sure about how long 4th July celebrations go on for, and how that will impact on how busy the parks are? Any help would be much appreciated, thanks.

437 Dave { 02.24.13 at 10:15 am }

Hi Cathy! The parks will be busy your entire visit, and most busy June 30 to July 6. July overall is the busiest month at WDW, and the week that includes the 4th the busiest of its weeks. Epcot and MK will be mobbed the 4th, and given your long trip, and the ages of the kids, I would definitely take the 4th as one of your off days!

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438 Joy { 02.26.13 at 4:51 am }

Great tips! Taking my 5,7, and 8 yr old girls Thurs. Feb. 28, 2013- Mon., March 4, 2013. Staying at Port Orleans Riverside. Any tips? I see Splash Mtn is closed 🙁 and haven’t seen Fantasyland redone, but excited cause my girls like the princesses (especially the 5yr old)… We’re definitely doing two of our three full days at Magic Kingdom. Would you recommend Animal Kingdom or Epcot for the other full day for my girls’ ages?? I’m kind of leaning toward the half day being Epcot since it is closer to Port Orleans which I assume would mean a shorter trip to rush back to the hotel and get to the airport. But I keep changing my mind…. What do you think? Thanks!

439 Dave { 02.26.13 at 7:38 am }

Hi Joy! The travel time difference between AK and Epcot and POR is trivial, so don’t let that guide you. There’s just not a ton at Epcot for kid that age, so I’d go with AK. See this:

I don’t have itineraries for trips as short as yours with younger kids, but do avoid MK on Thursday unless you are planning just to go in the evening for the fireworks and parade…

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440 Alyssa { 02.26.13 at 2:22 pm }

we are headed out this year on march 4th-8th. is this a pretty busy time? its my first trip

441 Dave { 02.26.13 at 3:09 pm }

Hi Alyssa, I have crowds that week as at the high end of the moderate range. If I’m wrong, they’ll be better than I think! See this:

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442 Katie { 02.26.13 at 9:40 pm }

Hello! Great page -super helpful tips, thank you!
From the research I’ve done, it looks as though Tuesdays and Wednesdays are 2 of the best days of the week to visit MK, Mondays and Thursdays being 2 of the worst. For Animal Kingdom, Thursdays and Fridays are the best whereas Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the worst. And, finally Hollywood Studios’ best days are Tuesdays and Thursdays with crowded days being Sundays and Wednesdays… Would you say this is accurate? I am not really concerned about parades, special events, etc as my husband and I will be there with our 2 and 4 year olds and they are much more interested in the rides and meeting a few characters. I basically want them to be able to go on as many rides as possible 😉
Also, we are making two trips and thinking of going sometime during two of the following weeks: April 15-19 OR April 22-26, and then May 20-24 OR May 20-24. The first trip we want to first go to MK and then to HS. We were thinking we’d arrive in the afternoon, go to Downtown Disney, then head back to the hotel. Go to MK the first day we are there and HS the second/last day. Our second trip will start out much like our first only we will go to AK the first full day and MK our second/last day.
I’m hoping all of this info I’ve included makes sense and that you can give me a little insight into what days we should plan our trips, etc.
Originally, I was thinking we would head there Tuesday, April 23rd and stay until Thursday, April 25th (doing MK on that Wednesday and HS Thursday). I’m not sure which week we would prefer in May, but we wanted to do AK first and MK second.
Essentially, if you think there might be a better plan… I’m all ears! Mickey ears, that is! 😉 THANK YOU!!

443 Katie { 02.26.13 at 10:06 pm }

SORRY! That should read May 6 – 10 or May 20 – 24.

444 Dave { 02.27.13 at 8:24 am }

Katie, the short answer on the best days is that on average you are close, but for any given date it’s not quite so simple. Changes in extra magic hours, the presence or absence of the evening shows, and specific special events create variations in the patterning of best days/worst days. So you can reliably only establish these for actual dates with the Disney World (and other calendars!) in hand…

I can help with that, but only after you’ve settled your trip length (see below) and dates. For my specific thoughts on your various potential dates, see this:

Couple of questions– 1. Why two trips so close together? For most families, this will be much more expensive than one longer trip–see this: 2. Why Downtown Disney? There’s little there for kids that age…

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445 Johanna { 02.27.13 at 4:21 pm }

This site is great! Wanted to know your opinion about going 4/19/-4/23? Good time as far as crowds and weather? Thanks for the advice!!

446 Dave { 02.27.13 at 5:08 pm }

Hi Johanna, and thanks! That’ll be a great week–see this:

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447 Katie { 02.28.13 at 10:47 am }

Well, I just had everything typed out for you and I accidentally erased it all! That’s frustrating, lol.
First of all, thank you for such a quick reply! I really appreciate it!
To answer your first question, we are making two trips because – 1. we only live a couple of hours away, 2. my husband’s work schedule probably won’t permit him to take more than a couple of days off at a time during that time, 3. I don’t want to burn the kids out with excitement, lol. 😉
We are taking advantage of the $130 for 4 day tix/person (our youngest being free). We figured one way we could save on expenses would be to stay for 2 nights at a time at an ‘economy’ type hotel. I’ve averaged that our gas expense will be about $40-$45/round-trip, and I’m going to do more research and find out which hotels offer multiple, free shuttle services to the parks to save the $15 on parking. That’s the *plan* anyway!
As to your second question, we went last year when they offered three parks for $99/person. We drove 3 separate times. The first trip we went to Downtown Disney after being at Magic Kingdom all day and the kids actually had a pretty good time considering how worn out they were. We didn’t stay for long, just grabbed a bite to eat and let the kids have fun walking around the shops. For our third trip, my husband was already staying at the Swam resort on business, so the kids and I stayed with him his last night there and went to Animal Kingdom the next day. We went to Downtown Disney afterwards and, again, they were pretty good.
My thought was that, if we get there let’s say on a Tuesday afternoon we can check in to our hotel and if the weather is nice we can play at the pool/park followed by a trip to DDisney. The next whole day we will do Magic Kingdom and the last day we will go to HS. Our second trip we want to do AK first and MK last.
I’m super super detail-oriented and a little obsessed with planning (it’s a terrible fault of mine). I just want to avoid, as much as possible, the high crowds and also be as economical as humanly possible when one goes to Disney with 2 little ones, no less. 😉 Crowds and cost… those are my most important factors!

448 Katie { 02.28.13 at 10:48 am }

^^That comment left by Anonymous is me responding to your reply! Sorry!

449 Dave { 02.28.13 at 12:25 pm }

OK got it. On your first trip, aim to be in MK Tues or Weds and HS the next day. On your second, aim to be at AK Tues and MK Weds.

I like later April and earlier May best, but so long as your April arrival is April 9 or later, and your May arrival date is May 21 or earlier, you’ll be fine!

On the hotels, the biggest issue is how early the shuttles arrive at the parks, so that you can be at the turnstiles before the park opens. Many off-site shuttles look frequent, but don’t start early enough, or have so many stops between your hotel and the final destination that you can’t beat the crowds…

Got you on DTD. Since the kids have proven they ;love it, go for it!

450 Dave { 02.28.13 at 12:26 pm }

Got it, fixed it!

451 Katie { 03.01.13 at 6:18 pm }

That’s what I’m most concerned about. We may just say ‘forget it’ and drive to the park from the hotel anyway. To MK especially, since the kids can go on most every ride I want to be there as early and as late as possible. As for HS, this will be our first time there, and to my knowledge there isn’t too much for the kiddos to do there (my 4 year old is tall enough to ride the Tower of Terror, so that should be fun), so I’m not as insistent that we get there super early/stay super late. But we shall see!
Thanks for ALL the advice and the super informative links!

452 Dave { 03.03.13 at 5:40 am }

Katie, you should ALWAYS aim to be there early. The difference can be enormous. Even at HS, your 4yo will love Toy Story Mania–where waits hit 90 minutes within an hour of park opening, and where FASTPASSES often disappear for the day by 11a…

453 Lee { 03.05.13 at 6:42 pm }

Would the end of September start of October be busy?

454 Dave { 03.06.13 at 7:24 am }

Hi Lee, no it won’t up until the weekend of Columbus Day, which does get busy. However, at that time of year, it makes a big difference whihc day you go to which park–see this:

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455 Mel { 03.09.13 at 11:09 am }

Hi Dave
Perhaps you could give us planning advise. We arrive 6/4 (late) & depart 6/11 (early).
We only plan on visiting magic kingdom and HS. We plan on hanging at new pool at Marriott world center the other days and 1 day at sea world.
Which days should we go to the 3 places. Also, would you recommend a little timetable of how to plan our parks. (Routes, shows, attractions, meals, etc). We will have a 11, 8 & 3 yr old.
I know it’s a busy time but its when we had to go. I am worried about lines and missing out on something. We don’t know what to hit when….
Your blog is great!

456 Dave { 03.09.13 at 1:07 pm }

Hi Mel, and thanks!

Coupla things. First, go to SeaWorld on 6/9. See this for why: (It’s about Harry Potter but applies to all the non-Disney parks.)

Second, avoid HS 6/7 through 6/9–It will be Star Wars weekend then, and the park will be mobbed.

On your dates, the best day at MK will be 6/5, and then 6/10.

Take a look at this for how to see those two parks, dining and what to do when. It’s not a tight fit for you, but you can edit it down for your plans…

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457 Mel { 03.09.13 at 6:37 pm }

You are awesome! Thanks for your help!
I’ll let you know how it all works out!

458 Dave { 03.10.13 at 8:15 am }

You bet, Mel!

459 Jennifer { 03.13.13 at 1:33 pm }

We are going to be in Florida the week of March 23-March 29th. I know it is the week before Easter and we wanted to see Seaworld, Universal Studios and Walt Disney World. What would be the better days to go to each park. Thank you.

460 Dave { 03.14.13 at 8:23 am }

Hi Jennifer, I don’t follow Sea World or Universal very closely, but see this for Disney World:

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461 Pat { 03.19.13 at 11:00 am }

Hi Dave!
Going to Disney (4 adults, 3 kids) from 9/9 – 9/18..staying at Port Orleans…have dining plan..(hoping it will be a free promotion)….any ideas/suggestions? will we be there for the Halloween parade? we saw it several years ago and it was fantastic

462 Dave { 03.19.13 at 4:57 pm }

Hi Pat, take a look at this: and also this: It’s not an exact match to your dates, but you can modify it to suit.

Dates for the Halloween party aren’t out yet, but my forecast is that it will be offered several nights on your dates. See this:

Hope this helps! And if so…

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463 Jennifer { 03.20.13 at 11:34 am }

Hi Dave,
Your advice is wonderful and I really appreciate it. We have booked our 1st WDW vacation for 6/24-6/28. We have a 3-day Magic Your Way Park Pass and will be visiting the parks on Tuesday, Wed, and Thurs. On Monday, we will probably spend time at the hotel pool or Downtown Disney and same thing Friday. Here are my questions:
1. We have 3 children (2, 4, and 6 at time of trip). We have the quick-service meal plan booked but I am wondering if you think it will be worth it with such young kids. We also have a VERY picky eater and he may be finicky with some of the choices. I have heard the portions are big…so would you recommend having the quick-service dining plan or just using out of pocket? This way, we can snack around for breakfast and lunch and then probably purchase supper on our own??
2. I know this will be a very busy time of year; however, we wanted to book our trip before our 2-yr-old turns 3 in July. Should we change our trip to the middle of October to avoid the crowds? But, how would that affect the prices with our little one being 3?
3. We definitely want to go to MK and HS. We are debating between two days of MK and then HS or one day at each of MK, HS, and AK. What do you recommend for the ages of our kids.
Thanks again SOOO much!! 🙂

464 Dave { 03.20.13 at 2:16 pm }

Hiya Jennifer and thanks!

1. IF the kids will eat the meals, the quick service plan is a pretty good choice when they are all under ten, as it’s pretty inexpensive for them. What I’d do in your shoes is after you map out your itinerary, check the kids menus both at the hotel and in the parks quick service place you think you might eat at, to see if you think they’ll eat what’s on offer…if not go with cash…

2. This is a tough call at that age. Even with the June crowds, by showing up early and using FASTPASSES you’ll be OK til 1 or so…and that’s about as long as the kids can take anyway. You can then return for the evening fireworks and parades. If they were older, and had the stamina for full days, I’d go with September, but at those ages–and the fact that it’ll cost you at least $240 more for the birthday–I’d be inclining to do June…

3. You absolutely want AT LEAST two MK days. I’d leave the third day open, and decide the night before whether you want to return to MK or head to another park on your third day. There’s just not that much outside of MK for your younger ones–see this: Incidentally, the best days at MK that week will be Tuesday and Weds anyway…

Hope this helps! And, if so…

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465 Steven { 03.21.13 at 4:20 pm }

Hi Dave,

Just been reading through your site and wow! Sooooo much info!! Superb 🙂

I’m going to have loads of questions hat I’m hoping you’ll be kind enough to help me out with!! My girlfriend and I are planning our first trip to WDW for this year… I was thinking about going September time and Shula (my gf) wanted to go earlier in the year. Reading your advice at the top, October seems like the month! Is the weather still nice and warm?

We will need to plan a good itinerary for the 14 days that we’re there but there’s plenty of time to do that!!

We’re don’t know wether to stay in a hotel or get a villa… Too many options. We don’t want to spend loads of money on hotels so we have more spending money 😀
Do you have any ideas??

I don’t want to hit you up with millions of questions straight off the bat… So there’ll be plenty more in the future lol

Thanks in advance 🙂


466 Jen { 03.21.13 at 7:20 pm }

Hi Dave,

this will be the second time to disney with my family of four. First time we went July 27,2009 to August 3, boys were 6 and 5. And they were awesome…..but the trip was crazy for dad and I. Lines were super long, fast passes were sold out by sometimes 10 am. so the times we got to enjoy the parks were after hours and we were super exhausted. My husband and I would love to give it another try, so i’m wondering if you could give me some advice on either what dates are good after september 1,2013 or anytime in 2014. Looking to go for 8 days or 10 days. Please any help would be greatly appriciated…Thank you so much for your time. I would just love this next visit to disney to be unforgetable and not exhausting in a not so good way….

Thanks so Much!!!!!

467 Dave { 03.22.13 at 9:51 am }

Hey Steven, the second half of October is a great time to visit! While average temps are dropping, they are at a nice point between the blazing summer heat and the variable coolness of winter—see this:

You will save much money if you stay off site, but also miss out on some perks and other stuff. Take a look at this– Given how long your visit is, I’d suggest may 2/3 off site to save money, and 1/3 on site for the perks and experience?

Hope this helps, keep the questions coming, and…

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468 Shenner { 03.22.13 at 12:31 pm }

Hi Dave

Thank you for a great site and for providing lots of info to make trips better. We are visiting MK on Easter Monday and are booked at tomorrowland terrace for wishes. We are planning on arriving at MK at around 4 in the afternoon, do you think this crowds will be a little better and how about after the fireworks. We are prepared elsewhere for mad crowds. Thank you once again

469 Dave { 03.22.13 at 1:09 pm }
470 Dave { 03.22.13 at 1:17 pm }

Shenner, crowds will be down then just a tad, as many people will leave right after the 3p parade. But honestly, it won’t seem that way…it’ll seem mad…

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471 Steve { 03.23.13 at 7:13 am }

Hi Dave,

thanks for your reply!! In the UK, the week beginning October 21st is a school holiday – only for that week. Does that mean that it’s gonna be extra busy then?


472 Dave { 03.23.13 at 2:27 pm }

No Steve, not enough people from the UK come to WDW as a percentage of total visitors to materially affect the crowds…

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473 Wout { 03.25.13 at 6:40 pm }

Hi !
We are from Belgium ! So it is a verrrry long & expensive trip for us ! But we really wanna go to Disney World. Do you think that september is a good time to go ? Or do you prefer october ?
It is my first time… So do I need to go more that 1 week (only Disney world/parks, nothing else) ?

474 Dave { 03.26.13 at 7:42 am }

Hi Wout, the second half of October is the best choice among your options, as it avoids the peak of the hurricane season. See this:

For just Disney World, a week will do– see this:

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475 Rocio Dosal { 04.08.13 at 2:02 pm }

Hello, so glad to have found your site.
We are planning our second visit with our childs in october, but in our past visit to wdw in october we founded it to crowded and really hot, these was from the 1st ntil 9th of october.
Wich time of october do you recomend us to be there? We don´t really want crows, we want to our childs have a very nice time.
Thank you

476 Dave { 04.08.13 at 2:19 pm }

Hi Rocio, beginning 10/6 you would have run into the Columbus Day crowds, but if you found the part of your visit before then crowded, then I’m not sure I can help, as most of the rest of the year is much more crowded than that.

However, at that time of the year, which park you go to which day makes a huge difference–see this: to se eif it resonates.

A little less crowded, and much colder, are a couple of weeks in late January and early February–in 2014, the weeks beginning Jan 25 and February 1…

477 James { 04.10.13 at 1:51 pm }

I noticed you state “For returning visitors, January and February” are best.
I have been to WDW 5 times or so, so I am no rookie, but this is my first time planning it for my family myself.
I have gone in late Jan in the past, but am wondering the theory behind why it is best for those who have been to WDW before? Just curious.

478 James { 04.10.13 at 1:53 pm }

And FWIW, late Jan weather in central Florida is great! There MAY be a 25% chance of rain on average, but if 71 degrees as an average high is too cold for you, yes, stay home. As for the lows (55-ish) a light jacket fits the bill, and maybe no shorts. I remember my very first trip to WDW when I was 5 years old. Literally the only memory I have is that my feet felt like they were on fire. We went in July. Going to a non-beach location in Florida in July – August is akin to suicide.

479 Dave { 04.10.13 at 3:27 pm }

James I don’t say they are best–I say that returning visitors will find they can add January (excluding New Years week) and early Feb excluding the week of Presidents day to the list of good options. This is because they are low crowd and low price…not great for first timers who may never return because of their ride closures…

480 Dave { 04.10.13 at 3:29 pm }

James, see this: While averages are nice, they are misleading that time of the year, because of high variability.

481 Sarah { 04.15.13 at 1:43 pm }

I am doing research on Disney!!! I am planning our FIRST trip next year for my oldest son’s 5th birthday!!! His birthday is April 12! From reading this site that is not a good time to go is it? Where is the best place to stay? And what are some must do’s to do with my young ones! I’ll have a 2 1/2 year old also.

482 Dave { 04.17.13 at 7:26 am }

Hi Sarah, yes the week before Easter is always one of the two or three worst weeks of the year at Walt Disney World. See this for 2014 alternatives:

For where to stay, see this:

The itineraries on this site are designed for kids 8 and older. (See this for why: )

For a trip focused on younger kids, you could use this to set your plans: or use a couple of paid resources– or

Hope this helps!

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483 Carrie { 04.17.13 at 8:54 pm }

Hello! We will be in WDW May 1-5. I am hoping the crowds will be light. I planned our itinerary (wed-AK; thurs-MK; fri-epcot; sat-HS). Then I noticed I picked all of the Extra Magic Hour days! Should I rearrange to avoid those days, or is taking advantage of the hours during a time with shorter park hours a better idea? (FYI–one gliche is that we don’t arrive on Wed. until noon, and AK is only open until 6. But I heard that this park has the least to do.) This is our first time taking our kids…ages 6 and 9. Mostly interested in rides and quick meals, and early mornings, not-too-late nights. Thanks so much for any assistance!!

484 Dave { 04.18.13 at 7:41 am }

Carrie, unless you have park hopper tix, it’s best to avoid days with morning extra magic hours. While the first hour or too is great, overall the days will be more crowded than alternative days.

And on your arrival day, your best choice is a park with an evening show–that is anything but AK. Wait lines peak in the early to mid afternoon, so you’d go to see the evening shows and to get an overview of the park, not expecting to ride many rides.

Each of the other parks has an evening show that day–Epcot has illuminations at 9, MK has Wishes at 9 (but no parade) and HS has Fantasmic at 9. I’d vote for Epcot, as with kids that age, Epcot is overall the least interesting, so you can see a bit of it then focus on more fun parks later in your visit. Avoid MK the 2nd, Epcot the 3rd, HS the 4th, and MK the 5th…

For help sorting out what to do, see this:

Hope this helps!!

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485 Chris C. { 04.27.13 at 4:54 am }

Hi Dave,

So glad that I found your site! As a recently MBA grad and mom of two young children (age 3 and 6 months) your site is just the perfect material for both informational and nostalgic (of MBA days) reasons. And You really put in so much effort into making people get the best out their WDW.

I am just starting to plan for our first trip to WDW with my family of four in 2014, no firm dates yet in mind, and our kids will be 4 and 1.5+ years old. Your site will help tremendously in our planning through the next several months. I will be back to ask questions for sure.

Just want to let you know how much I love your site and please keep up with the good work!

486 Dave { 04.27.13 at 4:01 pm }

Thanks Chris! And come back with any questions you have…

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487 Thomas { 05.01.13 at 7:01 am }

Hi! How are the dates of Sept. 16 – 21st in terms of crowds, weather and pricing usually? Thank you.

488 Dave { 05.01.13 at 8:05 am }
489 Renee { 05.01.13 at 11:56 am }

I have been to Disney several times but this is the first time we will be going with ALL of my family. There will be 15 of us. Any suggestions or tips for traveling with a large group? Also, we are thinking of going on Feb 2-8 but its some first trip. Are the closures really that bad that it would ruin a whole trip?

490 Dave { 05.02.13 at 6:49 am }

Hi Renee, no it won’t ruin a trip–there just may be a ride or too you really want to see that wont be open. See this

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491 Kelly { 05.02.13 at 4:59 pm }

Hello Dave,

My family and I are thinking about going to Disney this year September 8th (sunday) through September 13th. We figured most of the kids would be back in school by that time so it wouldn’t be too crowded? Thoughts?

492 Dave { 05.03.13 at 7:28 am }

Hi Kelley, yes, but the weather is worth thinking about a little…see this:

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493 Carolina { 05.13.13 at 12:46 am }

Hi Dave,
Great site! We are planning to go to the parks in 2014 from March 28th (friday) through April 9th (wednesday).
We were there in 2011 from april 11th through april 16th and it was OK. Would it be similar considering that Easter was on april 24th in 2011 and will be on april 20th in 2014? Or should I consider something else?

494 Dave { 05.13.13 at 8:03 am }

Hi Carolina, and thanks!

Because of the late Easter in 2014, I do think that week will be fine–see this:

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495 Kristi { 05.15.13 at 8:08 am }

Hi there
We are planning to arrive February 24, 2014 but I just read that the half marathon will be the weekend before. Is this still a good time to go or will it be too busy because of the runners?

496 Dave { 05.16.13 at 7:55 am }

Hi Kristi, the weekend will be a little clotted up, but the rest of that week will be fine!

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497 Kristi { 05.17.13 at 10:38 am }

thank you…so if we arrive the tuesday after the marathon weekend we should still be okay?

498 crystal { 05.17.13 at 8:25 pm }

We are taking your advice and going the first 2 weeks of December, when will they release the names of the narrator’s for the candlelight celebration? We are planning on doing the dinner package for the second show time if we can, the Garden Grill is our first choice, can I book multiple restaurants for different nights, for a better chance of someone we really like?

Now that I think about it, can I book multiple restaurants every night and then make a final decision later, or is that just rude….I`m sure there is some ” Disney” etiquette I know nothing about…

We have several restaurants in mind that use 2 dining credits, do they get used as you book a reservation or when we actually get there?

499 Judy { 05.17.13 at 11:00 pm }

Hi Dave, I have read through many of your comments and I have learned quite a bit. I do have a concern about our trip to WDW scheduled for May 26th-June 1st. I have just learned that gay days is from May 29-June 2. I am getting some conflicting information on the event and am wondering if I should be concerned about exposure to my 7 and 4 year olds. Can you tell me the level of exposure if we schedule our park visits opposite theirs? I know this is a sensitive topic and don’t mean to offend anyone, I just don’t want my kids to see something they are not prepared for. Is there any other advice you can give me for visiting the parks during this time? Our plan so far is to visit AK on Tues. and MK on Friday. Other than that our days are open. We do plan to take a day to drive to the beach as well. Any suggestions there? Thank you so much for all the information you have provided on this site, it has been extremely helpful! I look forward to your reply!

500 Tiffany { 05.18.13 at 10:20 am }

We are taking our 5 and 2 year olds to WDW March 2, 2014- March 8, 2014. What do you think about these dates as far as crowds/weather?

501 Dave { 05.19.13 at 6:33 am }

Absolutely, Kristi!

502 Dave { 05.19.13 at 6:44 am }

Heya Crystal, it can take a while for the narrator names to come out, some not being finalized til the month before. I wouldn’t expect much specifics til late summer or early fall.

You can reserve independently of the amount of credits you have, and they aren’t used until you pay the bill!

Regarding multiple bookings…the etiquette is to do as little of this as you can, do it only for a solid reason (e.g. not yet knowing who’s narrating, and thus which night you will actually be at EPcot) and to cancel the overlapping bookings the minute you know you won’t be using them.

Note that some special programs and the highest demand places require a full pre-payment, which will be refunded when you cancel.

Hope this helps!!

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503 Dave { 05.19.13 at 7:02 am }

Judy, thanks for the kind words!!

I can’t comment on “level of exposure” because honestly I’ve been at WDW on gay days a bunch of times and just not really noticed anything…just people doing people stuff.

But to avoid it the most, you can, as you note, just schedule opposite it. Including gay days and crowds, for the later part of your trip, on Thursday avoid AK and MK, on Friday avoid Epcot and HS, on Sat avoid HS and MK, and on Sunday avoid d MK and Epcot.

Hope this helps!

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504 Dave { 05.19.13 at 7:07 am }

Hi Tiffany! I expect crowds then will be fine–see this: Weather then can be all over the place. It could be lovely, or cold. See this:

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505 Judy { 05.19.13 at 10:27 pm }

Thanks Dave! That makes me feel better. A few things I read on other websites got me worried. I don’t think we will have a problem scheduling around it. Hopefully that will help us avoid the crowds!!! Thanks again! All your information is awesome!!!

506 Megan { 05.21.13 at 9:48 pm }

Hi Dave! Fabulous site – have gotten lots of questions answered, but I still have quite a few.
I’m in the early stages of planning our second trip to DW and I’m torn between early Fall (for pool weather) or after thanksgiving/beginning of December to see all of the Holiday festivities. Which is cheaper? Less crowded? Also, do both of these times have all of the attractions open? I’ve read on websites/blogs that the less crowded times won’t always have all of the attractions open, and we definitely don’t want that.
About my family:
3 girls ages (at the time of trip) 5, 3 and 1.
We have been to DW before, but unfortunately we were only able to do one day at MK, so we are hoping to go for at least 3 days this time – sometime in Fall/early winter of 2013.
Which time of year do you recommend? Least amount of crowds is top priority. We will be using hotel points and will not be staying at any of the resorts.
I would LOVE for my girls to experience the Christmas season at DW – the colorful lights on the castle at night, and everything else. Are ALL of the attractions open during that time? Might be a dumb question but is it bad pool weather? I’m from GA so it’s not uncommon for it to be warm-ish that time of year for us.
Can you explain how the dining plan works if you’re not staying at a resort?
Bottom line: how can we get the biggest bang for our buck? Planning to just visit MK and AK with the little ones. Probably 2 days at MK and 1 day at AK.

Thanks a bunch!

507 Dave { 05.22.13 at 6:36 am }

Megan, there’s no easy answer to this, but on balance I’d go with December. See this:

Ride closures are not an issue either date. Crowds will be a little lower in Sept, and so will prices–and Sept prices’ll be a lot lower if your December options include the 13th and later, when holiday prices start to kick in.

September weather can be horrible, and the month is in the peak of the hurricane season. December will be much more comfortable less risky, but it may be too cool for the pools.

For more on each month, see this and this

You can’t buy the dining plan if you are not at a Disney hotel. You can still make reservations and all, you just can’t use the dining plan to pay for them.

BTW there are a couple of deals out for Sept you should check into—see this

Hope this helps!

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508 amy { 05.28.13 at 8:15 pm }

my husband and I and our two children want to visit disney world in 2015 for our 10 year anniversary maybe staying 10-12 days over there.
I would like to know when is the best time to visit where we can enjoy all of the parks including the waterparks and not having a closed park due to wether conditions.
its awesome I found this website has alot of info.

509 Dave { 05.29.13 at 7:16 am }

Hi Amy, and thanks! I haven’t paid a lot of attention to 2015 yet, but the most comfortable weather is typically the seocnd half of April and the second half of October. If I had to pick, I’d go with April. Be sure to arrive no earlier than April 12, 2015, to miss the Easter crowds…

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510 Jason { 06.05.13 at 3:35 am }

Hi Dave,

love your site. we are planning a trip to WDW this year and are confused as to whether we should visit between the 28th of June to the 7 of July 2013 or 16th August or 26th August 2013.
we will be travelling wit ha 4 year old. is there a lot of things to do for a 4 year old or would it make sense to wait till she is older.

thanks Jason

511 Dave { 06.05.13 at 7:23 am }

Hi Jason and thanks!

A 4 year old can have fun, but will have much more fun when older. See this:

I don’t like any of your dates, but the one at the end of August is best. See this

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512 Claire { 06.07.13 at 8:55 pm }

Hi Dave,
Have spent the past hour reading the entire site, awesome!! I am planning too book our Disney holiday November 25th through too December 9th. Will the crowds not be crazy then?
Also you mention the weather isn’t great this time of year…what about heated pools, or will it be too chilly for a 4,7&15 year old?
Super excited too visit, husband is in the military and gets back from Afghanistan just before we go away, so want too make this the best holiday ever
Thank you
Claire xxxxx

513 Dave { 06.09.13 at 7:46 am }

Hi Claire and thanks!!

Your dates, because of the late Thanksgiving, it’ll be very crowded through the 30th, but will be wonderful after that.

Keep your eye out for an extension of the Disney Military Salute. If this happens, it’ll potentially save you a pile on a Disney hotel. If it happens, I’ll have a link to it in this section:

The pools are heated, and kids will want to go swimming unless it drops to the 50s or below…

Keep the questions coming!

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514 Kristi { 06.13.13 at 10:10 am }

So we were planning on February 2014 but now have to push it back 🙁
I am debating between mid September or early October…which would you recommend?? we will be staying at the polynesian for a week! thanks so much!
Dates are flexible so we could go anytime in September or October.

515 Dave { 06.13.13 at 7:36 pm }

Hi Kristi, both months have their pros and cons.

The peak of the hurricane seaosn covers all of September and also early October. Prices and crowds are lower in September. The Epcot Food and Wine Festival begins at the end of September. The week that includes Columbus Day is more crowded and expensive.

For more including links to all these points see this: and this:

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516 kristi { 06.25.13 at 11:21 am }

so we decided on october 2014. which week would you recommend??
I was thinking late September for better discounts but am worried about hurricane weather.

Will October be okay discount wise? crowd wise?

517 Melissa { 06.25.13 at 11:32 am }

Hi Dave–what a wealth of information you have here!! Thank you so much. I’m looking to visit over New Years Eve. I thought it would be the perfect time to take my 9 year old son. However recently he mentioned being in favor of the beach, pooltime and Disney. So tell me first is the beach and swimming out of the question at this time of year? In Ohio of course, but I’m unsure what it’s like there. Are the fireworks better than the fireworks at other times of the year? Lastly, compare the crowd size to say late Aug/early Sept. Thank you so much.

518 Dave { 06.26.13 at 6:57 am }
519 Dave { 06.26.13 at 7:03 am }

Hi Melissa, and thanks!

That is, by far, the worst time to visit Disney World. Crowds are so unmanageable that the parks routinely close to new entrants, and 3 hour+ waits are common…See this for more:

Weather then is all over the place–highs can be 30 or 80. See this:

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520 Tourist Time: Least Crowded Days to Visit Orlando Theme Parks { 06.26.13 at 10:21 am }

[…] certain days that offer optimal times to visit any of the tourist spots in town. There are certain days to visit theme parks like Disney World that you should know if you are making an effort to come check out our nation’s premier […]

521 Kym { 07.06.13 at 10:53 am }

Planning trip for Dec.2-15. Retirement celebration! Haven’t been @ Christmas since 2007. When they film the parade for TV, all garland comes down, that much I know. How long before it’s back in place? (If filming is Fri 6-Sun 8) In 2007 it took several days before it was back in place. Also, will it come down days before in preparation? I just need an educated guess. I may need to subtract two days somewhere, and would like to have a good guess. My concern is not crowd, or expense, it’s the garland!!!! Thanks so much, really enjoy your site.

522 Dave { 07.07.13 at 8:45 am }

Sorry, Kym, I don’t really have much to go on here. What comes down is the garlands across Main Street–all the other decorations are still up. These aren’t hard to take down or put up, so I’d guess they’d be back up by Sunday morning.

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523 Tina { 07.10.13 at 3:20 pm }

We are planning a trip for April 24th to April 30th 2014 for our granddaughters 5th bday. We would wait till the 27th to the 3rd of may to come if it wasn’t for her bday being on the 24th and wanting her to be there for the crowds are considerably lower than. my question is when did they come out with the room discount this year for the spring because our trip will happen the Thursday after Easter. I think they started the discount the Monday after Easter this year with the week before Easter being a blackout dates for discounts. Just wondering if it would be better to wait or if you think by your experience if the crowds do go down toward the end of the week after Easter.

524 Dave { 07.11.13 at 8:26 am }

Tina, the week after Easter is typically pretty horrible, and while it gets better later in the week, it’s still bad through the Saturday after Easter. Because of the late Easter in 2014, indications are that there will be many fewer kids on break then than this year, but I’m still gonna call it as high crowd…

i don’t track blackout dates, and don’t know anyone who does, but I do think that if there’s a deal that week it’ll start Monday or later…

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525 Tina { 07.11.13 at 5:20 pm }

Thank you so much. We have been to WDW several time, but I always use your site for my research every time. It is the best!!!!!!! There is not that much difference in the prices between the two dates so in order for her to be there for her bday I quess we will brave the crowds for a few days. LOL

526 Sandy P { 08.01.13 at 3:29 pm }

Hi, Dave
Not our 1st time to WDW however, it is the first New Years there. Which Park would be the best to ring in the New Year. (4 adults no childern) I know the crowds are going to be out of control, but is it worst than 4th of July or about the same. Also, we purchased the Deluxe meal plan, do you have a favorite must eat at restaurant.

527 Dave { 08.01.13 at 3:49 pm }

Wll, Sandy it’s by far the worst day of the year. I would not ring in the new year anywhere. I’d either see the identical celebration at MK on the 30th, or skip the whole deal and spend NYE at the Animal Kingdom–much less crowded because it has no celebration. If I had to have fireworks, I’d spend the day at AK then head to the Hollywood Studios for NYE fireworks.

See also this:

See this for dining:

528 Jay Radloff { 08.08.13 at 9:55 am }

Hi Dave,

We will be visiting Disney May 3 through May 10 of 2014. Family includes my wife and our two twin girls age 8. We will be staying inside the grounds and will have a 5 or 6 day hopper. Any advice on which parks to do on which days and which ones to avoid starting from Sun. 5/4 through and including Fri. 5/9. Anything would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your great website!

529 Dave { 08.09.13 at 10:58 am }

Hi Jay, I won’t be able to comment on May until Disney’s calendar for then comes out, which it should in about 3 months, so check back with me then, OK?

530 Lisa { 08.30.13 at 4:26 pm }

Hi Dave! Love your site. We are traveling down on October 29-Nov 2. Dont care much to do the Halloween festivties at MK. Havent seen much anywhere about crowds that week or for Halloween. What do you think? Thanks!!

531 Dave { 08.31.13 at 10:38 am }

Hi Lisa, and thanks!! I expect low crowds those days–see this:

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532 Juliet { 09.06.13 at 4:29 pm }

Going November 29th-December 3rd of this year. Really crowded? Thanks!

533 Dave { 09.07.13 at 10:38 am }

Hi Juliet! The 29th and 30th will be quite mobbed, but your December days should be wonderful!

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534 Sarah { 09.10.13 at 5:13 pm }

Hi Dave,

Which dates in the summer 2014 would you recommend for a 6 night stay at Disney?

535 Dave { 09.11.13 at 6:47 am }

Hi Sarah! Crowds (and prices) are lowest at the end of August. Next best is the beginning of June.

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536 Debra { 09.12.13 at 7:11 pm }

We are planning to visit Disney World June30-July11 2015. It is a family/ graduation and a birthday /H.S. graduation celebration for my grandson and my college graduation as well as the rest of family joining. There will be 8 of us going. Most are over age 12 except one who will be 9. But someone mentioned that It might be less hot and better prices if we went during Christmas Break(Dec 19-Dec. 30 2015). We are planning on renting a house and getting ready to send a deposit. My question is which time do you think would be better for costs and less heat. Some of our family gets sick from the extreme heat and humidity so this is the reason for my question. Any other tips you can give me would be greatly appreciated. I have planned for a 7 or maybe a 10-day hopper including a water park if this helps? Thank you. Debra

537 Dave { 09.13.13 at 1:01 pm }

Well, Debra, honestly I’d avoid either date.

Your summer dates will be wildly crowded and likely quite hot. The Christmas dates will be even more crowded, much more expensive, but much less hot.

Almost any other dates (except Easter) are better than the two options you’ve presented.

If these are your only choices, then I guess becasue of the heat issue Xmas is better…but you need to go with the understanding that 1. in the afternoon three hour waits for the best rides will be common then, and 2 that the parks will at times close to those not staying on site–see this:

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538 Angie { 09.16.13 at 9:30 am }

Hi Dave,
We are planning a 2nd visit in April 2014. Due to school holidays in UK we have chosen to be at WDW from 29th March to 9th April 2014. For our 1st visit this year we were there from 15th May to 24th May 2013, and we were pleasantly surprised how low the crowds were and wait times short, it was great. I am rather worried that we have picked a bad time to go in 2014 and that it is going to ruin our second experience. We will be staying onsite, probably POR for 8 nights and Beach Club for 4 nights. Is it likely to be dramatically different with crowds and wait times as our previous dates ?
Thank you ! Angie.

539 Dave { 09.16.13 at 10:28 am }

Angie, the first part of your visit will be more crowded than your May trip, and the second part, beginning 4/5, should be just wonderful.

However, since you know your way around now, know to arrive early,and don’t need to see everything, you should be just fine. Moreover, you should be able to use FastPass+, which will help in the afternoons. See this:

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540 Maria Elena { 09.17.13 at 9:31 am }

Hello! My family wants to go to Disney. My kids will be 4 and a half and almost 2. We want to go in the range from end of January till end of February. What dates should I consider? We don’t want the rides to be closed but we also don’t want too much crowds. you recommend?

541 Dave { 09.17.13 at 5:35 pm }
542 Kelly { 09.18.13 at 11:17 pm }

I want to go to disneyworld in the fall and stay on property. where would you suggest, 2 adults. want a reasonable price with dining option. which option plan is best deal? do they have. free dining option and if so, which plan is the free one. would like to stay 7 or 8 nights. is it cheaper to book hotel, tickets, airfare, and dining all together as opposed to purchasing the, separately? what is the best week to go for less crowds and best deals


543 Kelly { 09.18.13 at 11:22 pm }

Dave ,
one more thing, would like to see not so scary Halloween

544 Dave { 09.19.13 at 9:16 am }

Kelly, there’s no free dining available for the fall, although there is a room rate deal–see this:

For the best fall weeks, see this

I can’t tell you if it’s cheaper to book air and everything else together, as that varies too much by city.

There’s no such thing as “reasonable prices” at the Disney hotels. The least expensive great choice is a Little Mermaid room at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. See this:

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545 When to go to Disney World | The WDW Reporter { 09.19.13 at 6:02 pm }

[…] out “The Best (and Worst) Times to Visit Disney World” from This page outlines the average crowd levels for your time of […]

546 Eric { 09.22.13 at 11:38 am }

We’re looking at January 2014 and there are a couple of days my kid’s school is closed after the Martin Luther King holiday. I don’t see anything about that holiday in your article. Is it a busy day there?

547 Dave { 09.23.13 at 10:42 am }

Eric–the short answer is that the weekend is busy. See this for more:

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548 Holly { 10.02.13 at 10:41 pm }

How crowded is “Jersey week”? We recently had to change our vacation from October to the week of November 2nd-8th. I was unaware of this time being crowded.

549 Dave { 10.03.13 at 8:05 am }

Holly, it’s not bad, it’s just worse than the weeks befroe and after. See this for more:

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550 Happy { 10.06.13 at 1:25 pm }

we are planning to go there in november 23 and 24, is that too cold or just right??? usually november rains in san diego, ca…are those days the busiest? thanks!

551 Kim { 10.06.13 at 10:20 pm }

Hi Dave,

Thank you for making this page and making it very helpful to travelers like myself.

We will be visiting Orlando (10 adults) from December 22- 28, 2013. We plan on going to MK and Epcot for 2 days out of those dates. I know those dates are REALLY BAD, but is there a particular day that is less crowded then the other?


552 Dave { 10.07.13 at 7:51 am }

Hi Happy! You will start seeing Thanksgiving crowds then, especially the 24th. November weather is all over the place–see this:

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553 Dave { 10.07.13 at 8:02 am }

Hi Kim, and thanks!!

Are you staying at a Disney owned and operated resort? It makes a big difference, as most of those days WDW hotel guests get in an hour early…let me know, and I’ll give you then the best of a bad set of choices…

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554 Kim { 10.07.13 at 8:47 pm }

Hi Dave,

I don’t believe we are.

555 Dave { 10.08.13 at 8:05 am }

Ok, Kim–while noting again that all days are rotten, right now Epcot looks best the 23rd and 27th. I don’t see any good MK day, but if I were you I’d target the 26th.

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556 Bill W. { 10.08.13 at 2:28 pm }

My wife and I have been to WDW many times. Back in the mid 80’s we visited right after the New Year. We were in Orlando two days before New Years and didn’t go to them until after New Year’s day. It seemed like everyone left on New Year’s day and it felt like we had the place to ourselves. With New Year’s Day on a Wednesday this year, I was wondering if we could expect a similar circumstance this year. I’ve noted that the room rates at the resorts drop significantly after New Year’s. (We would plan on staying at a Disney Resort. It is just the two of us, no children). Any insight you can offer would be helpful. Thanks.

557 Bill W. { 10.08.13 at 7:34 pm }

I may have answered my own question by digging a little deeper into your site. I would still be interested in what you have to say.

558 Dave { 10.09.13 at 12:37 pm }

Hi Bill, in 2014, becasue of the patterns of kid’s breaks, I do expect WDW to be a zoo through January 4–though it will be better after than before Weds. See this for why:

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559 Karen { 10.10.13 at 11:17 am }

Thinking about an extended family trip to Disneyworld Dec or Jan this year… just considering the lines at this time? Is Disney any less crowded leading up to and including Christmas (ie, 23rd, 24th and 25th) vs a day or two after Christmas (26th and 27th)? Wasn’t sure if families chose to stay home for the holiday and then head to Disney? Would there be a notable drop of in guests after Jan 2nd or is that unlikely this year since the holiday is on a Wed?

560 Dave { 10.11.13 at 7:07 am }

Karen, it is insanely mobbed the week around Christmas and worst Christmas Day. I expect a minor drop-off in crowds beginning 1/1, but not enuf to much matter–see this

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561 Stefanie { 10.13.13 at 11:41 am }

Hi Dave!
I’m writing to ask about a trip I’m planning to Disney World in 2014. I’m planning on taking my brother for his first trip. He is handicapped and was wondering which week would be better, either 3/19 to 3/25 or 3/26 to 4/1? Also I know the parks rent the scooters but he can’t drive those and while he can walk I fear it might be a bit too much for him so I was wondering if the park rents out the normal push wheelchairs? Thanks so much for the site and any advice you can give me will be much appreciated.

562 Dave { 10.13.13 at 11:52 am }

Hi Stefanie, both weeks are crowded, but the later week is a slightly better choice–see

Disney does rent regualr wheelchairs, but may sell out, and renting one first thing at the parks each morning digs into your time when the parks are least busy. What I’d do is rent a folding wheelchair for your whole visit–there are companies that will deliver it to your hotel…

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563 Jay { 10.15.13 at 10:51 am }

Hi Dave,

My family and I will be visiting WDW for the first time May 3-10. My family includes my wife, twin girls who will turn age 8 during our trip. I have a tentative plan of action and I was wondering if you think my week is OK or if I should change anything. If anything, can you recommend which parks to avoid on which days? Thanks.

Sat. May 3 – arriving at airport at 10:15 a.m.
Sun. May 4 – @HS with the Fantasmic Dinner Package
Mon. May 5 – Either water park or Downtown Disney
Tues. May 6 – MK with a 5 p.m. Cinderella Royal Table Reservation
Wed. May 7 – Either Water Park or Downtown Disney
Thurs. May 8 – AK and Hoop-De-Doo evening dinner
Fri. May 9 – Open day to maybe revisit parks
Sat. May 10 – Breakfast at Askershus at Epcot before leaving at 5:00

564 Dave { 10.16.13 at 7:09 am }

Hi Jay with one exception I like this! The exception is that you are long on DTD/waterparks and short on MK. MK is a 2+ day park, Epcot, if the twins like it, is a 1+ day park, and HS and AK are one day parks. I would at minimum changes May 7 to MK.

Otherwise this looks great!

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565 Jay { 10.16.13 at 9:41 am }

Thanks Dave, you have a great site.

One final question, If we go to AK on Thurs and then to Hoop-De-Doo for a 6:15 dinner, how much time should we give ourselves for travel to get there for 6 -6:15. Also, what is the best way to get there from AK and are there any monorails to ease the burden? I know we have to go to MK first.
Thanks again

566 Dave { 10.17.13 at 9:52 am }

Hey Jay! From AK, take a bus to Fort Wilderness. It will drop you off at the entry to the resort. You then need to take an internal bus to Hoop Dee Doo. Allow–nice round numbers–30 minutes of “wait for the buses” time and 30 minutes of travel time. They also want you to check in for Hoop 30 minutes before. So for a 6.15 show, you’d wanna be at the AK bus stop for Fort Wilderness at 4.45p.

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567 Anne { 10.21.13 at 9:25 pm }

Hi Dave!
We are planning on going to Disney for our honeymoon and we’re planning on going around May 24th to the 28th or so…is there anything you can suggest or what date could be better for us if we plan to get married in May? Thank you!

568 Dave { 10.22.13 at 7:58 am }
569 Best and Worst Times to Visit Walt Disney World | Family Vacations Blog { 10.24.13 at 3:25 am }

[…] Tips in this blog post were retrieved from The Best (and worst) Times to Visit Walt Disney World by Dave Shute. Here […]

570 Tips for Planning Your Disney Vacation | Mickey's Vacations { 10.29.13 at 9:21 pm }

[…] Some of the tips in this blog post were retrieved from The Best (and worst) Times to Visit Walt Disney World by Dave Shute. Here […]

571 Jessyca { 11.18.13 at 12:57 am }

Hi Dave, We are planning to visit WDWon November. We depart on Nov21 and get there at 9pm …so we would be there 22-23 ..We booked the Boardwalk and have two.all day passes . And with a pass hopper option . Its a short period that we will be staying we also booked something with the epcot . We have never been to WDW before so we are kinda freaked out on what to expect we have a 10 year old daughter and two teenagers 17 daughter 15son …im just concerned that we wont be able to enjoy it as much because od the 2days what do you suggest ? Thank you

572 Dave { 11.18.13 at 7:36 am }

Jessyca if you plan on returning it’ll be fine. Spend one day at Epcot and one at the Magic Kingdom.

573 Lori { 11.25.13 at 9:55 pm }

So, we are taking the grandkids the week before Christmas (December 17th and 18th). We went 9 years ago at this week and it was perfect! Was wondering if that week is still a good one for lines?

574 Dave { 11.26.13 at 8:23 am }

Hi Lori! It varies a bit by year depending on actual school schedules, but I like those dates this year! See this:

575 George Arenschield { 11.27.13 at 12:36 pm }


Enjoy your comments and vast knowledge of WDW. My wife and I are taking my son and his 2 kids (10 and 12) in early August. I know this is a bad time for crowds, but with sports and school it’s the only week open. We’re staying at the Beach Club for 5 nights and have purchased a 5 day park hopper pass along with the basic dining plan. Do you have any tips to help navigate the crowds, maximize the attractions, and make our trip a little more pleasant? Thanks, George

576 Kelly { 11.27.13 at 8:41 pm }

My mother, husband, three kids (ages 6, 4 and 2), and I have a Disney trip planned for Dec. 14-21. Dec. 14 and 21 are travel days. For the six full days we have we are planning two at MK, one at HS, one at AK, one at Seaworld and one rest day. I am having trouble deciding where we should go when. Our primary objective is avoiding crowds. We are staying onsite (but close). We are not planning around any special dining reservations or evening entertainment (kids are too young to stay up late). Various crowd calendars are presenting conflicting advice. Would so appreciate your advice! Thanks so much.

577 Tabitha { 11.28.13 at 11:14 pm }

March 24th – 28th, we have a 4 year old, we know it’s spring break but that’s the only time we can do it (at least here in Wisconsin it is). Any advise on which day of the week is best? Also which area of the magic Kingdom would be best. He is 38″ in height and have been researching rides. We will only do 1 maybe 2 days but not back to back. We plan on actually staying in Cocoa Beach. Any advice would be amazing, as when my husband and i went we were both much older.

578 Dave { 11.29.13 at 11:54 am }

Hi George! I won’t have specific suggestions until the park calendars come out–which they’ll do in mid-January. But the keys will be picking your dining 6 months ahead, arriving well before the parks open, using FastPass+, and having a plan for each day. Kids of that age will enjoy all the parks, so I’d suggest 2 days at MK and one each in the other three parks.

579 Dave { 11.29.13 at 12:00 pm }

Kelly, I don;t have a strong opinion on Sea World (I don’t track it closely) but it should be best the 15th and 16th. The lowest crowd MK days will be the 15th, 17th, 19th and 20th. For Epcot, the 16th will be best, and avoid the 17th and 20th. Avoid AK the 16th and 18th, and avoid HS the 15th!

580 Dave { 11.29.13 at 12:07 pm }

Tabitha, based on current operating calendars the best MK days your dates will be the 25th, 26th and 28th.

There’s much at MK that will be over his head or inappropriate, but also a lot that can be great fun. See this:

581 Dana { 12.04.13 at 3:13 pm }

Hi Dave!

I am planning a trip with my kids to WDW with us arriving on Aug 2nd and departing on Aug 7th. That will basically give us a full 4 days (Aug 3-Aug 6) to enjoy the parks. We will be purchasing the Disney Armed Forces Salute Tickets with the Hopper and Water Park add-on.

My kids will be 16, 14 and 5. The older 2 and I have been to WDW before with family (they paid therefore we went and did everything they wanted to do) about 6 years ago. My husband and 5 y/o have never been. Are these dates like the worst I could go on or what?? Also is there a good guide (in print) that I can buy that lists each park and breaks it down with every ride, attraction and good character dining? I want to plan it out so we hit what we are interested in but also not miss out on great character pic opportunities.

582 Dave { 12.05.13 at 9:00 am }

Hi Dana, they are lousy dates, but not the worst, and you can make it work! I won’t have a lot to say about then til Disney releases its August calendar, whihc won’t be for another six weeks of so. As to guides, I’d get The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2014

583 Margaret { 12.30.13 at 10:13 pm }

I have a family of 3 (Me, my husband, and a 13-year-old daughter). We were thinking of going down June 13 or 14 and staying for a week. Is this going to be a very busy time at the parks? And also which parks should we visit on each day?
Thank you for your help!

584 Dave { 12.31.13 at 7:08 am }

Hi Margaret, yes, it’ll be pretty busy then. See this At the end of it you’ll find links to suggested itineraries…

585 Holly { 01.01.14 at 4:49 pm }

I was wondering if November 14-22 is a good week crowd wise and if the decorations are up then!! We usually go in September but want to see the Christmas! Thanks

586 Dave { 01.02.14 at 8:05 am }

Hi Holly, on the dates, see this, week #9:

On what of the Xmas program will be up, and what won’t, see this: By the end of your dates, the Epcot program won’t be started yet, but everything else will be!

587 Yvette { 01.04.14 at 2:43 pm }

Hi Dave…love reading all your valuable and knowledgable comments. This is mine, never been to Disney..I m no good with heat, not great with crowds either..I have 3 kids, 16,14 and 11. This will be one and only holiday of a lifetime ..2 weeks, when is the best time to go for my dilemmas?

588 Dave { 01.05.14 at 9:04 am }
589 sherry { 01.05.14 at 6:51 pm }

We are planning our first trip as a family. My son will be 7 when we travel, is that to young? We are debating between April 20-26 and June 8-15.
Any thoughts?

590 Dave { 01.06.14 at 8:14 am }

Hi Sherry! If it’s his only visit ever you might want to wait a year–but otherwise 7 is a great age!

Neither week you are targeting is good. The April week will be more expensive and have better weather. The June week will be less expensive (except at the values), much hotter, and have slightly higher crowds–both weeks have high crowds…

See this for more:

591 Traci { 01.08.14 at 11:29 am }

I’ve read that Feb. 16-22 isn’t such a good week to go to Disney. We can only afford to go to one park. And we’ve decided as a family that Magic Kingdom was the one to go to. For some of us, this will be our first going to Disney and for the others it will only be their 2nd time. We haven’t decided what day we are going on.

What day during Feb 16-22 would be the best to go to Magic Kingdom? What can we expect for that week just in general for Florida? Do you have knowledge of any other “Reasonable” places to visit during that time? (Beaches, cities, etc.)

Thanks for the help. We appreciate it.

592 sylvia { 01.08.14 at 6:32 pm }

so going June 6th-13th would be good? 🙂 If I could take my son out of school for a week to go while everyone else is in school i SO would but education 1st lol

593 Dave { 01.09.14 at 5:09 am }

Hi Traci I expect that Wednesday is the best choice. And on your seocnd question about other places to visit…I got nothin’! I can barely keep up with Disney World!

594 Dave { 01.09.14 at 5:17 am }

Sylvia I wouldn’t call the 6th-13th good, but its better than later in the summer…

595 Erika { 01.30.14 at 6:27 pm }

Hi there! I’m looking to book a trip to WDW for me and my husband. We’d go for 8-10 days, leaving on a Sunday. Our available dates are 10/19-11/16. I’m really interested in spending Halloween at Disney, but my husband is not at all a crowds person. Will Halloween get crazy there? Which period would be more economical, as far as discounted lodging or free dining plans go? We would most likely stay at a moderate resort, probably French Quarter. We’re also desperate to get to US and IOA to visit the world of Harry Potter, so not all our time would be spent at Disney. Is there any kind of transportation between the two theme parks (WDW and US)? Thanks!

596 Susan { 02.09.14 at 11:48 pm }

We take a “big” family vacation every other year and we’re considering taking our two boys (currently ages 16 & 10) to WDW this summer since this is the year for the “big” vacation. Since the oldest is in the high school band, the entire month of August is out. We are considering either 6/3-6 or 7/2-5. I’ve heard the fireworks on July 4th are AMAZING, but would it be worth the crowds? Also, is staying inside the theme park worth the price or should we save our money and stay close by?

597 Dave { 02.10.14 at 6:41 am }

Susan, it’s hard to describe how bad bad crowds at WDW are. Think 30 minute waits for the restrooms…I’d go in early June in heartbeat, especially on such a short visit. Ditto on staying on site–but see this for more on that topic

598 Michelle { 02.10.14 at 1:34 pm }

Just wanted to update on our trip last week for those considering an early February Trip. We went to WDW last week and literally walked onto almost every ride – The only rides that we needed the FP+ for was Soarin, Test Track, Toy Story Mania, Enchanted Tales with Belle and maybe peter pans flight. (granted we skipped the 48″ requirement rides). But really, it was such a great time of year as far as minimal lines on rides. The weather was 80-85 the first 4 days then 50-60 with rain the last couple days – so it does go to show that weather can be all over the place in february! All around a great trip. We were able to use a FP+ to meet rapunzel – the character meet and greets seemed to almost always have long lines. To meet Anna and Elsa in Noway was a 3-4 hour wait! ( we skipped that, no FP+ Offered). Another great thing was that if we showed up to a ride to use FP+ and the wait was only 10 mins, we could just wait, and change our FP+ to something else. We didnt even use them all some days as they weren’t necessary. Thanks for all the help form this site prior to our trip – it helped immensely.

599 Dave { 02.11.14 at 7:50 am }

Hi Michelle, and thanks for the feedback! I’m so glad the site helped!

600 Beatrice { 03.06.14 at 10:11 am }

Hi! First off I love this site and all the help! So we are planning a trip on june 28-july 6, what is your thoughts on these dates? I can still change it up if needed! Thank You!

601 Dave { 03.06.14 at 1:06 pm }
602 Roger { 03.06.14 at 1:16 pm }

What will the crowds be like at WDW for the week of March 10- 17, 2014?

603 Dave { 03.06.14 at 5:30 pm }

Roger, they will be very high that week. See this:

604 jeremy { 03.10.14 at 11:29 am }

We have 2 choices for going to Disney. May 27-30 or Aug. 12-15. Will only be going to 2 parks: animal kingdom & park formerly mgm studios can’t ever remember new name). Crowd charts are close. Do you have idea which week would be better? We have been before. Taking 8 yo child. Thanks for your time.

605 Dave { 03.11.14 at 7:40 am }

Jeremy, that’s a close call. Your May dates will be a little less crowded (both will be crowded), with better weather, but more expensive. Your August dates will be hotter, less expensive–but also provide you with extra time to make dining reservations. So I’d go with May if weather matters most, August if prices or dining matter most…

606 Lauren { 03.12.14 at 12:58 pm }

Hi! Im in the process of planning our 2014 Disney vaction. We want to go for a week in November, but i am unsure on when the best time would be. I know Jersey week in a big thing, and I want to avoid the crowds! I am also hoping they have the free dining again as well. I was thinking Nov 9-15th, but now im thinking 16-22nd would be better? Thanks!!

607 Dave { 03.13.14 at 7:36 am }

Lauren, I doubt we’ll see free dining then. November 2014 is good between the 9th and the 22nd, but best between the 12th and 22nd.

608 Lauren { 03.13.14 at 10:14 am }

shoot you think so? Ive had a few agents tell me that there was dining the past few years then so there was a good chance there would be this year as well!

609 Dave { 03.14.14 at 7:18 am }

Lauren, free dining those dates was an artifact of recovery from the recession. Disney has made it very clear that it is cutting back on deals, and has cut way back on free dining. So this year I expect it only in September–though of course I hope I am wrong!!!

610 Andrew Collins { 03.16.14 at 10:18 am }

Hello, we are visiting Disneyworld Sat 9th Aug 2014 for 3 weeks from the UK. Can you please tell us how the crowds will compare to our previous visits for Halloween, 20th October 2013 until 5 th November. Many Thanks

611 Dave { 03.17.14 at 7:29 am }

Andrew, crowds will be much higher the first two weeks, and lower the last week.

612 Melissa { 03.20.14 at 10:47 pm }

Hello, this is a great site. I am hoping to take my daughter to WDW right after her 6th birthday. It will just be the two of us, and I can probably only afford two days at the parks and three nights at hotels. Should we stick to the Magic Kingdom, or is there another park I should try to get to? She loves princesses etc. I am looking at August 11-14, but may be able to push it back one more week. Would it make much difference? Thanks so much

613 Dave { 03.21.14 at 8:37 am }

Melissa, there’s more than enough at MK for two days (with some afternoon breaks) so I’d stick with that! If by “push it back” you mean later in August–well, the later in August the better. See this:

614 Rebecca { 03.21.14 at 7:25 pm }

Hi Dave,
We are going to WDW 4/27-5/3 and are wondering which parks to visit on which days? We’ve heard it’s best to avoid the parks that have Extra Magic Hours, is that true? Also, what are the top 1 or 2 character dining experiences you would suggest? We are bringing 3 boys ages 10, 7 and 3 so no princesses. 🙂 Thanks!

615 Dave { 03.22.14 at 2:46 pm }

Hi Rebecca, yes avoid EMH unless you have park hopper tickets and plan to change parks. Those dates,

4/27 avoid MK
4/28 Avoid MK and AK
4/29 Good at AK and MK
4/30 Avoid AK
5/1 avoid MK
5/2 Avoid Epcot
5/3 Avoid HS

For the boys I’d suggest Hoop Dee Doo revue, Crystal Palace and Chef Mickeys!

616 Lee { 03.23.14 at 3:27 pm }

Hi Dave! What a fabulous site! We could start our trip any of the three weeks starting 10/27 – 11/10. We have three girls – 11, 9, 7, who are very excited about the water parks, as well as MK, Epcot, HS. This looks to be a good time for both weather and crowds? Also, we’re planning a split stay using DVC (we prefer a kitchen as we have 7 people, and due to food allergies, even though DW is very good with them!) — thinking part at BLT to be close to MK and BCV to be close to Epcot/HS and for Stormalong pool? Thoughts on these? Thank you!

617 Dave { 03.24.14 at 7:47 am }

Hi Lee and thanks! For the weeks I recommend then, see this:

And I think a split stay between BLT and BCV is a great idea!

618 Ann { 04.15.14 at 9:39 pm }

Just wondering about late Oct and crowds. I am hoping to start planning a trip for a year and a half from now, but am doing some research now so I know what I am looking for and want. I also would like to know what will be going on at Disney during the week of Oct 18th and Oct 25th (2015) is there anything for Halloween or would those dates be too early? My daughter will be ten at the time of our vacation and if there is something we can take her to involving Mickey that would be great to know.

619 Dave { 04.16.14 at 8:05 am }
620 Mel { 04.16.14 at 4:54 pm }

Please send me a schedule for 2 girls (20 months and 10 years). We want to visit August 2014 for roughly 10 days. Can you suggest best dates during that month and which parks would be recommended, time to arrive / depart etc

621 Dave { 04.17.14 at 9:36 am }

Hi Mel, everything is here or linked to from here:

622 Kevin { 04.19.14 at 3:55 pm }

We are planning a trip to Disney mostly for the kids but will also be hitting universal for adult rides as well what is the best days to do Disney and we have a 3 day pass to all the parks which parks would you recommend aside Disney for the Kids and what days for what parks do you think would be most logical. Arrival 8/16 Departure 8/23

623 Dave { 04.20.14 at 9:50 am }

Kevin, how old are the kids?

624 Penny { 05.07.14 at 6:03 pm }

We are thinking of taking a trip and doing all three parks. Would it be better to do it Nov. 28-Dec. 1. or Dec 1.-6? Four adults, one child 7 and a teenager who has Autism. How cold is it during these times? Thank you.

625 Natasha { 05.07.14 at 7:24 pm }

Hi Dave ,
Want to visit parks in July with an 8 year old girl. What is the less crowded week in July-if any… And where would you suggest to stay within the Disney compound?

626 Dave { 05.08.14 at 8:06 am }

Penny, there’s four parks. Your longer visit–the 1st thru the 6th–will allow you more time. See this:

December has highly variable and unpredictable temperatures. It could be 80, or 45. See this:

627 Dave { 05.08.14 at 8:07 am }

Natasha, the whole month is bad, but the later the better. For my suggestions on where to stay, see this:

628 Patrick { 05.12.14 at 5:30 pm }

This site is really informative. Great Job. We are planning our first family trip to Disney World and plan to get a 5 or 6 day pass. We plan on giving it to our kids for Christmas this year and want to fly in on the 2nd of January through January 9th. Although I had originally thought it wouldn’t be that crowded I am now thinking otherwise. Predictions for this time of year would be appreciated.

629 Dave { 05.13.14 at 12:13 pm }

Patrick, thanks! See this: Crowds will be hihg through the 3rd, but will be fine after that!

630 Mary H { 05.18.14 at 9:56 pm }

hi dave, we are set to go to WDW October 25-29. We booked this before the free dining dates were released. we are unable to change our dates and also are not eligible for the free dining. do you know if crowds will be expected to be very busy during that time due to the free dining? thanks for your expertise!

631 Dave { 05.19.14 at 11:53 am }

Mary, free dining has zero impact on crowds! But you can run into high waits that week simply from going to the wrong park the wrong day. See this:

632 Keatha { 05.23.14 at 6:15 pm }

We are planning a trip for 2015. We really want to go in the first part of the year before it gets hot and when the crowds are small. I have never been before and my son will be 4 when we go. I know that may be a little young but we plan to take him every other year or so, and we just can’t wait any longer! I would love any info and tips you could give me such as when to go, where to stay, what a 4 year old can do etc! I am so glad I stumbled upon this site! I believe that it will save me a lot of time and stress when trying to plan this vacation.

633 Dave { 05.25.14 at 8:30 am }

Hi Jeatha! Just work your way down the topics on the home page here:

634 Kyla { 05.31.14 at 8:18 am }

Hi Dave! Visiting disney 11/18-11/25, traveling with 1 and 5 year old staying at Pop. I got the 7 day park ticket without park hopper (do i really need it?) and so far my plans look like this and would like yr advice thanks!
11/18 mk, dinner at crystal palace
11/19 mk, dinner kona cafe
11/20 ak, lunch tusker
11/21 hs, lunch hollywood vine
11/22 epcot, dinner akersush
11/23 not sure yet but dinner chef mickeys
11/24 not sure yet but dinner ohana
11/25 depature day

Thanks! Appreciate any feedback

635 Josh { 05.31.14 at 6:12 pm }

Coming to Orlando the week of June 15-22. Going to buy a 2 day pass for me and my 11 year old daughter. We are definitly going to Magic Kingdon, but are unsure on what the second park choice should be? Also, what days of the week are best? We are flexible to go any two days from Monday – Saturday of that week. Which days would be less busy? Thank you so much! Love your site!

636 Dave { 06.01.14 at 9:22 am }

Kyla, the important thing is you will be facing massive crowds beginning the 23rd, so try to push all your priorities to befroe then. MK will be very crowded the 18th, I’d do AK or HS then, and MK the 20th or 21st depending on whihc you move.

637 Dave { 06.01.14 at 9:34 am }

Josh, that’s a crowded week overall. MK is a two-day+ park, so I would spend both days there. The best MK days will be the 17th and 18th.

638 Barbara { 06.02.14 at 4:47 pm }

My daughter wants to go to Disney around her 13th birthday (July 2014). We can go anywhere from June 29 until July 18. Any suggestions? My children are 11 and going to be 13, so we can be flexible with times, no naps, etc. I know it will be hot and crowded, but she REALLY wants to go for HER birthday. Best case scenario? Special ideas or tips? Thank you for all your great information on your site!

639 Dave { 06.03.14 at 6:53 am }

Hi Barbara!

All of July is lousy, but the week that includes the 4th is worst–parents, needing to take a day less off of work, find trips that include it more attractive. Because the 4th is a Friday this year, i also expect long weekend visits to spill over into the next week. So aim for the later part of your window.

For some ideas on birthday stuff, see the seocnd half of this:

640 Pairoj { 06.09.14 at 7:11 pm }

Is it a good time to visit WDW during October 4-18 ?

641 Dave { 06.10.14 at 8:39 am }
642 Debbie { 06.12.14 at 12:59 pm }

Hi Dave,
We are planning a trip to Disney over Newyears eve. I know you have stated it is the worst time, because of the crowds, but this is the only time for a Family Vacation. Kids are in there early 20’s. That being said. What would you suggest for a Moderate level hotel. Also What would you suggest for dining that night. We are planning on doing Epcot on the 31st.?

643 Dave { 06.13.14 at 7:08 am }

Hi Debbie!! For a hotel for older folk, I’d suggest Coronado Springs. It has–by far–the best amenities among the moderates. There’s so many cuisines at Epcot that it’s hard to recommend without knowing you better. Suugest you pick up a copy of The easy Guide to Your First Walt Disney World Visit and check the reviews there….

644 Denis { 06.15.14 at 12:16 pm }

Hi Dave,
We are planning our first trip to wdw in 2015. My daughters will be 6 and 8 by then. I was thinking of going before thanksgiving (Nov. 15-25) or after (Dec. 3-13). I would like some Christmas decorations. What do you recommend? Also, I was wondering if you had any suggestions for on site hotels? I was looking for budget or moderate type hotels. As you can imagine both of them enjoy the characters and especially princesses. Thanks for your help!

645 Dave { 06.16.14 at 6:59 am }

Denis, it will be much more crowded during your November dates, so pick your December ones! See this:

FOr my rankings of the moderates and values, in order, with links to reviews, see this:

646 Disney on a Dime Part 1: Doing Disney Cheap! { 06.24.14 at 10:43 pm }

[…] Start here –>> When should you go? […]

647 stephanie { 07.01.14 at 4:47 pm }

Me and my husband are making our first WDW trip from So Cal- and we can’t chose a date! Do we do January(either the week b4 the marathon or the last week of the month) or the beginning of May? We don’t care about pools or water rides, and since we don’t have kids we aren’t huge on the parades. When would you go? I know its less hours in Jan but if its less crowds it probably evens out. We can’t pick!!!! What would you do and why?

648 Dave { 07.02.14 at 3:07 pm }
649 Michael { 07.11.14 at 1:22 am }

Hi Dave,
Thanks for the helpful site! We’re currently considering a week-long trip to WDW. We can go (almost) any time in the next year, but we’re leaning towards either the first week in December or the first week in February.

Stuff that might be relevant to our decision:
We’re traveling as a couple, but we’re trying to get pregnant and so the wife might be pregnant when we go.
We’ll be staying at a Disney resort (a deluxe one if we can afford it).
We’ve got week-long trips to visit family planned for both late October and over Christmas; since vacation time is limited, we’re wondering if we might be overdoing it if we try to plan two separate vacations in December, as we might not get another for the better part of a year. There’s also a small chance we wouldn’t be able to get another week in December off because it’s so close to our Christmas vacation.
We haven’t been to Disney World since we were small children, but we’ve been to Disneyland LOTS of times (although I’ve never been in December).

What would you recommend?

650 Dave { 07.11.14 at 7:22 am }

Michael, either choice has lots of positives.

Early Feb will have lower crowds, lower prices, and a higher risk of a few ride closures. It will also possibly be later in your wife’s pregnancy. For more on ride closures see this:

Early December will have higher (but still good!) crowds and prices, less risk of ride closures, and of course the full Xmas celebration. For more on the Xmas program see this:

Me–I’d do December…

651 Rennie Breznik { 07.16.14 at 11:22 am }

Oh my….this so overwhelming! We just decided to go to Disney with my 8 year old daughter and I have no idea where to start. There are so many comments about places, meals, rides, things to do ,etc etc etc. I have no problem taking my daughter out of school for this trip so timing doesn’t really matter. We are from Canada and my husband is military. So, wondering what can be discounted? I figured 8 days or so as I want to do as much as I can with my daughter. She really wants to go to legal and which I know is not in Disney and I was told to do Discovery Cove as it was friends best part of the trip. Now hubby doesn’t earn to do tons of Disney stuff and wanted to go to Kennedy space centre I believe? What options are there for travel to these places? I’m assuming renting a car. Should I do that from here or there re: saving costs. Also. Do you have to make dinner reservations or can you just walk into places? Is there a separate meal plan that is offered aside with discounted hotels? This will definitely be our once in a lifetime trip for her so I want to fit in as much stuff as possible. I really want her to experience Disney but she is outgrowing the whole Disney princes thing but still likes the newer characters. I figure do legoland one day, if we do discovery cove another although I was told very expensive and don’t think hubby wants to do that. Then do a waterpark in Disney another day, magic kingdom one day, Epcot is debatable as I don’t know much about it since I went in 1987. I have seen discounts of 30% off being offered at the moment for certain times. I just am so overwhelmed by everything. Is it cheaper to buy tickets online before going or once we get there because I don’t really know what to do or when. Hubby mentioned November because of early Christmas stuff? Can you go to any hotel to eat or just the hotel you booked at?Any insight/direction would be soooo greatly appreciated.

652 Rennie Breznik { 07.16.14 at 11:23 am }

Legal should be Legoland.

653 Rennie Breznik { 07.16.14 at 11:48 am }

Oh gosh I forgot to include Animal Kingdom and Hollywood studios. Can you go into anyplace to watch the fireworks at night? Do they only have them certain places each night? What are some other things to do in the evenings? I’m sure we are going to be too tired to do much!

654 Dave { 07.17.14 at 7:37 am }

OK Rennie, what you need to do is start on my home page and work your way through its topics. Almost all of your questions will be answered from that:

Some other points not addressed there or that are there but I’m giving you a quick head sup on here: I don’t cover non-Disney stuff, but yes you will need a rental car to get to Kennedy. There are no Canadian military discounts that I know of. There are no other discounts out now for your dates–if any are released, they’ll show up here: The mos tpolular (and fun) dinner options begin filling up 180 days ahead…

655 Cristina { 07.21.14 at 7:43 pm }

We are planning on visiting WDW on August 7-10 or August 14-17 for the first time. We are worried of the weather, is there a lot of rain going on? How about August 28 or 29- September 1 Labor day weekend?

656 Dave { 07.22.14 at 6:10 am }

Cristina, it rains pretty much every afternoon at WDW during the summer. Moreover the peak of the hurricane season is from late August through early October. On the other hand, crowds are higher in early August. See this:

657 Taye { 07.22.14 at 12:59 pm }

Hi! I’ve been there for the first time to WDW back in 1997 of June or July and it was fun. I enjoyed it very much. It was very crowded but we were able to get through the crowd and still enjoy our wonderful time there. Now I’ve met a wonderful person and he has 2 boys 5 and 11. They’ve never been there and he would love to bring his boys to WDW. Please tell me when is the best time we can come when it’s really not too crowded. Also would you please tell me the cost of tickets for an adult and children. I will really appreciate it. Thank you and we can’t wait to be there.

658 Dave { 07.22.14 at 5:36 pm }

Taye, start with my home page and work your way down its topics here: All your questions–including some you may not have though of!–are answered there…

659 Tim { 07.22.14 at 9:53 pm }

Hi, I’m planning a trip for Nov. 30 – Dec. 7 but just got notification that Dec. 12 – Dec. 23 will offer a free dining plan for the hotel I’m choosing. With it being so close to Christmas will that make the crowds much worse than my original dates?

660 Dave { 07.23.14 at 6:43 am }

Tim, crowds will start building on 12/20, and room prices go up a lot on 12/12–see this: Depending on where you mean to stay, the ages of your family, and how many you are bringing, the rom rate pop may blow out the dining plan savings.

661 Becky { 07.23.14 at 10:43 am }

Hey Dave!! I am very excited to be going back to disney world in early October the 4th-11 and I was just curious what to expect with the crowds and weather! I went in october when I was a little girl but not since then! I am also nervous about how the new fast pass works, I can’t make any selections until Aug 5th. Soo…I didn’t know if u had any tips? Mk is where we will spend a lot of time! I also was curious what the fast pass for wishes is about? I would appreciate any tips, thanks so much 🙂 !

662 Dave { 07.23.14 at 5:32 pm }

Hi Becky! For October, see this: And honestly for FP+ you should get and read our book–it’s the first guidebook to be written after FP+ was instituted and has both recommended uses and step-by-step guidance! The Easy Guide to Your First Walt Disney World Visit

663 Melissa { 08.23.14 at 8:33 pm }

Hello – We are planning a trip to Disney for February 21 to February 27, 2015. We are planning to go to the four main parks (MK, Epcot, AK, HS) but would also like to go to Typhoon Lagoon and visit Downtown Disney. This might be premature but I was wondering if you could give some guidance as to the best days to visit each of these places during our stay. Thank you in advance!

664 Dave { 08.24.14 at 1:19 pm }

Melissa, I don;t have thoughts for for Typhoon Lagoon. Downtown Disney is worst on weekends and evenings.

The 21st, avoid HS and MK
The 22nd, avoid AK
The 23rd, avoid MK and HS
The 24th, avoid Epcot
The 25th, avoid AK
The 26th, avoid MK
The 27th, avoid Epcot

665 Melissa { 08.24.14 at 4:39 pm }

Hi Dave,
I jumped over here after you suggested a fp for pretty much everything for our trip. 🙂
We will most likely travel to Disney Sat-Sat either the week of May 2nd or 9th, to avoid crowds.
Again, we will have 2 two year olds with use, and would like an ample amount of down time, for swimming and exploring our hotel (animal kingdom).
Can you please give me an idea on an itinerary we could follow? We will have hopper passes and the dining plan.
This will NOT be our only trip. We will go when the kids are older (7-9).
Thanks Dave!!!

666 Dave { 08.26.14 at 6:48 am }

Melissa–I may have already suggested this, so forgive me if I did–check out the daily plans at the end of Chapter 6 of our book: The easy Guide to Your First Walt Disney World Visit All the stuff on this site is for kids 8 and older, but there’s plans there better adapted for younger kids. You can then edit them for afternoons/days off!

667 Melissa { 08.27.14 at 3:49 pm }

We are looking at taking our family of four to Disney in the coming months. We are weighing our options between the week of 26 December-1 January and 11-17 April. In addition to not knowing the best time to go between those two options, I’m curious as to how to make the most of our trip without being exhausted by the time we’re headed home. We have an 8 and 5 year old. What would you do?

668 Dave { 08.28.14 at 8:19 am }

Melissa, your April choice is far, far better. My itineraries help with the exhaustion point. I haven’t yet published April, but see this for an example

669 Jeff { 09.30.14 at 4:01 pm }

We are looking at going to Disney World from May 12th thru May 21st 2015. What do you think about weather and crowd during this time. We want to make the most of our trip with more comfortable weather than July as we have our kids 12 & 6. We are thinking about getting park hopper tickets for 5 or so days as I need to look at pricing as we want to enjoy a park or parks and then go back & forth to our timeshare in Winter Garden. Do you have any insight for us?

670 Dave { 09.30.14 at 6:38 pm }

Well, Jeff, it will be much better than July! I’ll have more on weather crowds and such for May 2015 out in about two weeks, but you can see the basic patterns from May 2014 here:

Regarding how much time, tickets and such–take a look at this:

671 Carla { 10.06.14 at 6:25 am }

We will be in Florida over Winter Break, which I’ve never done besides when we lived there. If we had to pick one day between 12-24 to 1-3, which would be the best? And I am thinking Epcot would be best to have the least amount of crowding. Do you agree?

672 Dave { 10.06.14 at 8:41 am }

Well, Carla, they are all horrible, but the 24th, 2nd and 3rd will be best among them. AK tends to be least crowded, but it will vary depending on which specific day you choose. The 24th avoid Epcot and MK, the 2nd avoid Epcot, the 3rd avoid HS

673 Shannon { 10.30.14 at 5:08 pm }

We are planning our WDW vacation for early 2015 with our 4 yo, and grandparents. We have some flexibility since she’s not in school, and would like to avoid heavy spring break crowds as waiting inline would be a challenge for her, and us. We were thinking late Feb. due to comfortable weather (we’re from WAY up north)and less crowds . WAHT EXACT DATES TO YOU SUGGEST FOR A 4-5 DAY EXPERIENCE?
Also what kind of park/show itinerary would you recommend for a child this age who can’t go on the BIG rides yet?
Thank you.

674 Dave { 10.31.14 at 1:59 pm }

Hi Shannon! WDW is least busy Tues-Fri, so in 2015 that’ll work as Feb 24-27–check in the 23rd, leave the 28th. All my itineraries are for older kids, but you’ll be able to find ones for younger ones in the 2015 edition of my book, coming soon–see this:

675 Kevin { 11.11.14 at 9:03 pm }

We are headed to Magic Kingdom tomorrow with our 6 year old daughter, who loves anything to do with Disney Princesses. Any recommendations on the can’t miss rides or shows? Struggling to figure out the best time to go, first thing in the morning or around lunch time. Do crowds tend to die down in the afternoon or pick-up because it’s a little cooler?

676 Dave { 11.12.14 at 7:34 am }

Kevin crowds are low first thing and peak in the afternoon. Get FastPass+ right away for whatever Princess meet and greets are available. Then focus on Fantasyland…

677 Danny { 11.17.14 at 3:36 pm }

Taking my 3rd trip. As a 24 year old male, I love going because I honestly feel like a kid again. I’m at the age were adulthood slaps you with bills, and a 9-5 job. Here I can harbor my inner-child and be lost in the wonder only Disney World can bring. My challenge: Attempt not to cry during Fantasmic!….which I’m 100% I’ll fail. “THIS IS MY DREAM!” Regardless, my family has always gone in July, and June. Though the weather is BRUTAL, we alaways manage to have a wonderful time. This year we’re going the first week of December due to the low crows. I’m super excited. But i’m a little concerned about the unpredictable weather. I’ll be able to tough it out, but I’ll be traveling with a 2 year old and a 10 year old. Any idea on how to dress them. Layer up? Or just take extra jackets. Any advise would help! TY! =)

678 Dave { 11.18.14 at 7:06 am }

Danny, December weather can be all over the place, so pack layers, and check the forecasts each morning. And have a fun! I always cry during Wishes myself…

679 Svetlana { 12.08.14 at 11:49 am }


So, if one has no other options but to go during the worst time (the last two weeks of December), which day would you say is the best between Dec. 25 and Dec. 30? Would Dec. 25 have a smaller crowd?

Thank you!

680 Dave { 12.09.14 at 7:28 am }

Svetlana, it’s bad everywhere every day, but there are small differences. 12/25 is crazy at MK and Epcot, but better at AK. 12/26 and 12/27 are better at MK and Epcot. See Josh’s details here for more:

681 Svetlana { 12.12.14 at 9:22 am }

Dave, thank you!

682 Dana { 12.16.14 at 3:11 pm }

Hi! We live about 40 mins from Disney and are planning to go this week. Which day, Wednesday or Thursday is best?

683 Dave { 12.17.14 at 9:13 am }

Dana sorry to have gotten behind on my response here. so this may be too late.

Weds: bad at MK, AK, good at Epcot, HS
Thurs: OK everywhere, best at MK and Epcot.

684 Tia { 01.04.15 at 2:18 pm }

Thanks for all the great tips….I used many on our first trip this past October. We are planning our 2nd trip for this May 27-31. We were there in Oct. during Columbus Day week and it was pretty crowded at MK and Epcot. Several friends that were there at the same time said it was more crowded than previous years that same week. I know Memorial Day week isn’t ideal but is it as crowded at the end of that week as it is over the holiday weekend?

685 Tia { 01.04.15 at 2:20 pm }

Sorry…..hit submit too quick! Also, would you pick last of May or Oct. Columbus day weekend? Thanks!

686 Dave { 01.05.15 at 11:57 am }

Tia, it’s much better late in the week, as few kids are fully out of school yet, but still worse than Columbus Day.

687 Dave { 01.05.15 at 11:57 am }

Oh. Columbus Day weekend for sure..

688 shawn { 01.12.15 at 12:42 pm }

Great site.. thanks for all the info.
We are planning our first trip to Disney in Oct. 2015 with our kids 9 & 7 So the only thing I would like to know is why moderate resorts are not recommended for first timers… if its only for the kid experience then not sure that really matters if most of our time will be at the parks anyway… do we really need to sleep in a cars room 🙂
I think the moderate resorts are more our style, than the value resorts and the deluxe are probably more money than we want to spend. Any advice? Thanks again and great site.

689 Dave { 01.13.15 at 12:48 pm }

Shawn, the logic–and an alternative!–is here: But of course you should do what makes sense to you!!

690 Christina { 01.16.15 at 11:35 am }

We are strongly considering going May19th through May 23rd this year. This way its before Memorial Day and will hopefully avoid some crowds. Do you have any recomendations for which parks will be less crowded on which days. My daughter has no interest in the Star Wars weekend at HS which I assume will amp up the crowds on Saturday? What do you think?

691 Dave { 01.16.15 at 12:43 pm }

Christina, here’s parks to avoiud by day (Star Wars creates crowds Fr-Sun):

May 19: Avoid Epcot
May 20: Avoid HS and AK
May 21: Avoid MK
May 22: Avoid Epcot and HS
May 23: Avoid MK and HS

692 sara { 02.07.15 at 5:03 pm }

I am looking to book a trip for 2017 before my little girl starts school in September. Not tied by dates or times so looking for a balance of reasonable weather and cheapness. Will be the last time we will probably be able to visit for a number of years. Any suggestions of when i should be looking at.

693 Dave { 02.08.15 at 11:55 am }

Sara, take a look at this: Some specifics will change for 2017 because of the moving holidays (esp. Easter and Thanksgiving) but my recommendations will follow the same basic pattern.

694 Cindy { 02.18.15 at 5:11 pm }

We’re going to be in Florida the week after Easter. We love Epcot and would really like to go just one day between April 5th and April 9th. I know the crowds will be really bad. Is it worth it at all to go, and if so, which day would be best?

695 Dominick { 02.19.15 at 5:30 am }

Dave we are thinking of going to Disney April 23, 2016 for a week. How do you see the crowds being for this week? Thanks

696 Dave { 02.19.15 at 8:45 am }

Well, Cindy, every day will be horrible. The 6th is likely the best choice. If you are gonna go, get your tix soon (prices are about to go up) and book your FastPass+ as soon as you are eligible. See this:

697 Dave { 02.19.15 at 8:50 am }
698 Erin F. { 02.24.15 at 2:38 pm }

Hi Dave,

Thanks for the helpful information!!! Quick question. Do you think it would be less busy on April 5th (Easter) or April 6th? We can only go either of these days. Also, any suggestions on the Fast Passes? I have a son with special needs and he will NOT be able to wait in longer lines. Thanks for any help!!

699 Dave { 02.24.15 at 2:53 pm }

Erin, while nothing will be good, it varies more by park than by day. Easter, HS should be so-so-ish, but AK, MK and Epcot will be mobbed. One Monday, MK will still be mobbed, HS will be busy, but Epcot and AK will be so-so-ish.

For FastPass+, see this

You should also look into a disability access card

700 Jonathan { 02.27.15 at 2:32 pm }

Dave- I did not read through 700 responses but wondering if you could talk more about the middle of October for a visit to WDW? We are tentatively planning a visit mid Oct. but would love to hit a free dining plan week or room deals and still be there for low crowds = lines. Am I asking for too much or is this a potentially possible? Thanks for being a WDW guru. I see your book that might be a good buy too.
cheers from Colorado.

701 Dave { 02.28.15 at 11:27 am }

Jonathan, cheers from Ohio!

You will see moderate crowds the first half of the month, low after. There’s typically very little free dining in October (see this for last year’s eligible dates) but there are room-rate deals.

See also this, noting weeks #5 and 6…

702 lisa { 03.02.15 at 8:25 am }

Hi there

We will be coming to America for 3 weeks (yay!) over the Summer and travelling from Florida to Virginia. We will be starting our holiday in Miami and driving to Richmond (and back) between 11th July and 2nd August. Is there any time during this period that we could visit any theme or water park in Orlando without having to wait for hours and hours in lines? Do you recommend any, in particular that we could go to, if we stop off in Orlando for a couple of days? We’ve been to all the theme parks a number of time and absolutely love them but I don’t want to take the kids if it’s going to be an expensive nightmare! Thanks so much for any advice you can give – you gave me fantastic advice when we visited Orlando in 2012 and really appreciated your help. Best Wishes. Lisa

703 lisa { 03.02.15 at 8:47 am }

Hi again Dave – in my previous email, I am talking about the Disney Parks – totally appreciate that you don’t have time to look into the other attractions in Orlando!! thanks. Lisa 🙂

704 Dave { 03.02.15 at 9:00 am }

Lisa, there’s no good days those dates. However, FastPass+ –new since you visited, and I’m so glad to have helped before! — when combined with an early start, can really knock down the waits. See this.

705 Dave { 03.02.15 at 2:54 pm }

Hello Dave!
Great site. This would be first time for family of 7 and 3 yr olds. I looked over your recommended weeks page..I know the week before Easter looks chaotic. Would it be better to wait until June 21th week or August weeks 9th or 16th?
Also is it worth getting a park hopper pass with kids that young?

Thanks in advance!

706 Dave { 03.03.15 at 8:51 am }

Dave, later August will be much less crowded–although the weather will likely be miserable. See this. Hoppers can’t hurt, but if your trip is long enough usually not necessary.

707 Walt Disney World Planning Tips: Family Travel - A Little Bit of Momsense { 03.03.15 at 9:09 am }

[…] had gone in January, and checking out some very handy Walt Disney World blogs (like this one and this one), we found links like this one that told us when the busy times were.  While we knew some rides […]

708 Lee { 03.10.15 at 3:10 pm }

Where can I find crowd levels for September/October 2014?

709 Dave { 03.10.15 at 3:52 pm }

Lee, I redirect each “old” year to the current year to limit confusion. Click the image for the 2014 crowd calendar's Disney World 2014 Crowd Calendar v2

710 Sarah { 03.15.15 at 4:37 pm }

I was thinking of planning our trip for March or April 2016 but after reading some of your posts I’m giving it more thought. What is the best time to visit when the weather is at least warm and the crowds are not crazy?

711 Dave { 03.16.15 at 4:23 pm }

Sarah, it depends on what you mean by “least warm.” Days can be quite cool–even cold–November through February. For “comfortable weather”–nicely warm for the pool, but not miserably hot–the second half of October and second half of April (except in years with a late Easter) are kinda just right.

See this for more specifics–but note that it’s a draft, and I may ding early April more after I revise it with better data this summer.

712 Sarah { 03.17.15 at 9:33 am }

Thanks for that info on the weather. So late April would probably be nice weather- are the crowds ok during that time. It will be the first visit for my 6 year old so I just want to do it right. Thanks again!!

713 Todd { 03.17.15 at 12:26 pm }

I am heading down to Disney April 6th through April 13th. Going with the knowledge the week will be busy, but do the lines typically tail off the weekend after Easter? April 11 & 12th.

714 Dave { 03.18.15 at 8:19 am }

Todd, the 11th no, but the 12, absolutely.

715 Marie { 03.19.15 at 1:08 am }

Hi Dave.
First time at WD. We are going 4 adults and 2 childrens. From april 2 to 8. What do you recomend in our schedules?

716 Dave { 03.20.15 at 9:48 am }

Marie, that’s one of the three or four most most crowded weeks of the year. It’s critical that you book your FastPass+ asap. See this for picking days in each park, this for how FastPass+ works, and this for suggested itineraries

717 Holly { 03.29.15 at 10:07 am }

Hello Dave, planning a trip starting around November 8th which is sunday. We are flexible a day or two on arriving and will not visit any park on first day. Which day is best to arrive on ? We are staying at the Grand Floridian and want the MK to be our first park visit. Any idea will help. Thank You.

718 Dave { 03.30.15 at 7:28 am }

Hi Holly! Check back with me in ten days or so, after Disney has released its November calendar!

719 Erica { 04.01.15 at 2:15 pm }

Love your information! Thanks for everything. We are planning a trip for 2017 as we have to book very far in advance to use a time share exchange. Do you know when you will come out with 2017 recommendations?

720 Jac { 04.01.15 at 6:42 pm }

Great site! If I wanted to take my family to Disney next year and have perfect weather without any crowds, which week would you recommend? My idea of perfect weather would be 60-80. I absolutely detest summer weather (100 & humid)… and I don’t want to wait 30 minutes for a ride. I have a 14 month old and a 7 1/2 year old and we probably won’t go to Disney again for another 4-5 years after this trip. Thank you in advance for any information you can give.

721 Dave { 04.02.15 at 8:04 am }

Erica, I usually don’t get really specific until the September 15 or so months ahead–so September 2015…

722 Dave { 04.02.15 at 8:06 am }

Jac, there’s no such thing as “without any crowds” –they are low, or high, but not absent!! That said, aim for the second half of April 2016…

723 Megan { 06.04.15 at 11:59 pm }

Hello! We have planned our first trip to Disney in November. We will arrive on the 19th and will fly back home on thanksgiving day which is the 26th ( I know this is said to be a really busy time but we wanted to spend my son’s birthday there on the 25th). I was just trying to plan which parks would be best to visit which days and was just wondering if you had any insight? In your opinion which two days will be the best to do MK? And what is the weather typically like during this time? Thank you so much 🙂

724 Dave { 06.05.15 at 8:32 am }

Hi Megan! For weather then see this.

Crowds will be OK the 19th and 20th, build the 21st, and be high the 22nd on. So load your visit into the earlier days!

The 19th, avoid Epcot, the 20th avoid AK, the 21st avoid MK and HS, the 22nd avoid HS, the 23rd avoid MK, the 24th avoid Epcot, and the 25th avoid MK and AK.

725 Llew Brown { 06.09.15 at 10:42 am }

Hello, i have never been to Disney World in Florida. I will be in Florida from Dec. 25-Jan 2nd and want to take the family there for 2 days. When would be the less busy days in that time period? Thanks so much!

726 Dave { 06.11.15 at 7:18 am }

Llew, there really are no less busy days then. See this.

727 Ariel { 06.18.15 at 12:07 am }

Hey Dave. Me and my boyfriend were thinking about going to Disney for a couple days between August 16-21. Which days do you think would be the best days for us to go?

728 Dave { 06.18.15 at 8:50 am }

Ariel, it depends what parks you wish to visit. In general crowds will be lower later in your dates, but

8/16 avoid AK and MK
8/17 avoid MK and HS
8/18 avoid Epcot
8/19 avoid HS and AK
8/20 avoid MK
8/21 avoid Epcot

729 Philippe { 06.18.15 at 1:30 pm }

Wow, what a great site, thank you! we are debating for either end of april 2016 or second week of may 2016, I know these are very close, but in terms of pricing and also crowd avoidance, do you have a preference for the period? travelling with small kids so star wars weekends are out of the question for now

730 Dave { 06.19.15 at 7:14 am }

Hi Philippe and thanks!!

I haven’t published this yet, but I as I get ready to revise my 2016 Week Rankings I am struggling with the week of April 23-30. Passover crowds might be just a little higher than I had though when I drafted it, so if you are choosing between those two weeks, the second week of May is a little more reliable from the crowd forecasts point of view. Prices likely will be the same. Weather, though is a little better–and more reliably better–in April.

731 Philippe Henri { 06.23.15 at 2:54 pm }

We booked the second week of may based on your advice, so thank you! one more question, how big an influence will the new Frozen ride in epcot have on epcot crowds? we booked for 10 days beginning 12th of may, should Epcot be avoided on weekends? or once Flower and garden festival ends, do crowds diminish? THANKS!

732 Dave { 06.24.15 at 7:21 am }

Philippe, Flower and Garden has no impact on crowds.

The Frozen ride will make Epcot more attractive to younger kids than it is right now, but there’s still not a ton at Epcot for the youngest, so their length of stay in the park won’t be long. Thus I don’t expect it to have a ton of impact on crowds.

733 jacqui { 07.18.15 at 11:59 pm }

Is the week directly following thanksgiving better or the week after that?

734 Dave { 07.20.15 at 9:31 am }

Jaqui they both have strong features. See this.

735 Zufster { 09.03.15 at 5:58 am }

Hi Dave, great site that you’ve got here. I’ll be making a trip to the US from th 31st October to 12 Nov 2015. When would be the best 2 days during that period to avoid the crowds to make a trip to Disneyworld? I’m still pondering between Epcot, MK and Hollywood Studios 🙂

736 Dave { 09.03.15 at 12:27 pm }

Zufster, it varies by park.

Epcot will be best the 2nd and 9th
MK will be best the 3rd, 6th, 8th and 10th
HS will be best the 4th, but has several other good days–the 2nd, 6th, and 9th.

737 All the Walt Disney World Planning Links You Need » failing Together { 09.04.15 at 8:29 am }

[…] Here’s a good article, although it doesn’t really mention September, which is my favorite time to go. (Cheap and […]

738 Jen { 09.05.15 at 9:50 pm }

Hi Dave, Thanks so much for the website! I don’t know how you keep up with it all. Would you be able to give advice on which Disney parks to go to on which days during our trip February 21st – 27th. Park days will be the 22nd through the 26th. I was thinking 2 days at MK and one for each of the other parks. We will also be going to the Cirque show one night. Am also planning on purchasing your guidebook. Thanks so much in advance!

739 Dave { 09.06.15 at 8:27 am }

Hi Jen! Our 2016 guidebook should be out soon, so don’t buy the 2015 version!!

The 22nd of Feb, avoid AK and MK
The 23rd avoid Epcot
The 24th avoid MK
The 25th avoid Epcot
The 26th avoid MK and HS

Note that with the “avoid MK” days, your bets MK choices will be the 23rd and 25th. There’s lotsa options for the other parks. Cirque will be best your AK day (as it has no evening entertainer) or one of your MK days–with the other seeing MK’s evening parade and fireworks.

740 Marion { 09.07.15 at 8:08 pm }

Hi Dave! What a great site. However I am a bit confused and I am hoping for your help on 2 topics.
First, I saw you recommended the week of 2/20/16 to 2/27/16 as a time with least crowds, yet that is the week of the Princess Marathon. My question to you is this, will this still be a good choice in the month of February. We would like to come at the least busiest time that month. We are 3 old female friends getting together and hope it is not too overwhelming with guests. This now leads to second question, what resort would you best recommend for elderly folk who are able to walk short distances due to lung issue (COPD) I have been going crazy trying to determine which would be most accommodating. Thanks so much for this incredible site again!!

741 Dave { 09.08.15 at 12:52 pm }

Marion, the running events have only trivial effects (for why see this). That said, the lowest crowd part of February is the beginning of the month–more precisely January 19 through February 6.

Disney World is filled with walking, including the hotels. The most compact resort is the Tower rooms (not the Garden Wing, and not Bay Lake Tower) at the Contemporary.

742 Lori { 11.08.15 at 10:17 pm }

Dave – I would like to go April 10th -16th. Other sites do not recommend any time in early to mid April. I assume they are thinking of Spring Breaks for that time. Spring Break 2016, from what little I have researched, will be over for schools and U.S. colleges by then, correct? That week was marked as a good choice on your PDF. Just want to get your thoughts again on that week before booking.

743 Dave { 11.10.15 at 6:26 pm }

Lori, the spring break crowds have nothing to do with colleges, just schools. And the vast majority of breaks will be over by the week after Easter. See this for the details

744 Bethany { 12.08.15 at 12:29 am }

Hello… family and I were planning on going to.disney the last week of November I believe 27 would be the first day but I was.planning to go to school and seen we wont have a break until December 16……would you.recommended going that late in December (just a heads up we have three kids 3-9 and one about to turn 2) any and all advice would be appreciated 🙂

745 Bethany { 12.08.15 at 12:30 am }

That 2016 as would assume lol

746 Dave { 12.08.15 at 7:03 am }

Bethany, in 2016 the crowds will become massive starting around the 16th, so I can’t recommend then. See this. Tell me a little more about your school calendar. Like when does it begin in the fall? Is there a fall break?

747 Muffin { 01.02.16 at 11:43 pm }

First I want to say your site is amazing. It assisted me in planning our first trip last may. I am thinking about returning from 8/26-9/4 . My fiance is extremely nervous about hurricane season. Does anyone have experience with Orlando during the late August early September months? We are from upstate NY so this is not something I am familiar with. I understand that the weather gets very hot during these months so any advice/recommendations would be appreciated! We are traveling with our 7 year old.

748 Dave { 01.03.16 at 5:40 pm }

Hi Muffin and thanks!!

There’s been no material issue with hurricanes at Disney World since 2004, and 2016 is expected to be a low-hurricane year. But if your fiance is worried, I’d pick another date. There’s plenty of good ones–see this.

749 Shawn { 01.04.16 at 1:51 pm }

Hi Dave, we are looking at the first week after Thanksgiving (arriving Saturday, 11/26) for a visit- will the parks still be crowded with Thanksgiving travelers on Sat 11/26 and Sun 11/27? Are any of the parks to be avoided on these days? We are also looking to visit Universal Studios, so we could potentially hit those parks in that time period, and wait on the WDW parks until Mon 11/28. Thank you!

750 Dave { 01.05.16 at 8:11 am }

Shawn, there will still be crowds the 26th, but not the 27th. Universal will be equally crowded the 26th. With FastPass+ you can still do fine the 26th. I won’t be able to advise on specific parks until the calendar for then comes out several months from now…

751 Tabitha { 01.07.16 at 2:49 pm }

We are planning a trip to Disney World this summer. Right now, our potential dates are June 18-23, August 1-6 and August 13-18. Which of these three dates would be best? We are also looking at June 6-11 but are nervous that our daughter wouldn’t be out of school because of snow days. From what I can tell, the crowds seem to be less that week. Are they substantially less to take that risk or is the difference between that and the other weeks slight? Thanks!

752 Dave { 01.07.16 at 4:29 pm }

Tabitha, see this: The later August date has lower crowds and lower prices, but is in the peak of the hurricane season. Hurricanes are rare, and an impact on a DIsney World vacation is rarer, but it is possible. If you are not willing to take the slight risk, then the earlier in June the better.

753 Triah { 01.09.16 at 11:05 pm }

We are going June 10-16 2016. How crowded do you think it will be?

754 Dave { 01.10.16 at 8:22 am }

Triah, see this.

755 George { 01.30.16 at 5:22 am }

Hi Dave,
Thanks so much for the website!, I have to choose one week, We were thinking about going in April 2th to 9th or 9th to 16th. ¿which week you recommend me?

756 Dave { 01.31.16 at 11:53 am }

George, for the reasons noted here, the later week.

757 Kelly { 04.07.16 at 7:42 am }

Awesome site! We currently have 2 options – September 15th or October 20th – 5 nights for me, my husband, and 12 yr old daughter . Our daughter has autism so crowds aren’t her thing. Also she tends to like activities geared towards younger kids. In your opinion, which is the best date of the two and which parks?

758 Dave { 04.07.16 at 11:41 am }

Kelly, an important point is that Disney World is never not crowded, it’s just that some times are better than others. September will be less crowded than October.

759 sandy szul { 04.07.16 at 6:16 pm }

We are going to Disney Oct 19-22 2016. I hate crowds. Is this a decent time to go, on another Website I had read crowds become heavy on the 20-22. Please advise, thank you for your time. Sandy

760 Dave { 04.09.16 at 9:19 am }

Sandy, Disney World is always crowded–it’s just that some times are much worse than others! Your dates are just fine, but you do have to be really careful which park you got to which day

10/19 avoid MK
10/20 avoid Epcot
10/21 avoid HS and Epcot
10/22 avoid all but HS

761 Freya { 04.10.16 at 4:16 pm }

Hi my family of four are going to Disney from the 9th-23rd. we are trying to go to parks for the first week and chill for the rest, do you have any tips to avoid crowds? (we are staying off site) and the best date to go to the Xmas party and such.

thanks x

762 Dave { 04.11.16 at 12:01 pm }

Freya, what month?

763 Courtney { 04.21.16 at 1:30 am }

Hi Dave! I am in the process of planning our first trip to WDW next year! We are considering the first week of September and are looking to spend about 10 days! I know we are thinking a day at seaworld and a day or two at universal with the rest a mixture in the parks! We will have a 4 yr old and almost 3 yr old twins, all boys! Is that a decent time? What are your suggestions park wise? Are we crazy?! 🙂 thanks in advance!

764 Dave { 04.21.16 at 12:11 pm }

Courtney, see this for general observations on September (it’s about 2016, but 90% will be true for 2017). 10 days is a long trip for kids that young, so you will have a very easy visit. A few half days at MK, and a half day each at the other three parks, will cover it.

765 Taylor { 04.26.16 at 7:58 pm }

Hello! My boyfriend & I are planning on doing Disney World in January 2017. We are both returners so we figured this was the best time that fits with our school schedule. We are planning on going the Monday and Tuesday directly after the Marathon weekend (or the Tuesday and Wednesday). How busy are the parks a day or two after the marathon? For specific dates- it is January 9th & 10, or 10th & 11th. Thank you!

766 Dave { 04.28.16 at 11:02 am }

Taylor they will be fine! Tues and Weds will be a little better than Mon and Tues, but not enough to make a huge difference.

767 Gail { 05.12.16 at 12:47 pm }

We are going to be in Orlando on July 15, 16 & 17. I’m already aware that it’s going to be busier than normal due to summer break, but that was our only option. Trying to decide which day to go to MK – would Sunday, July 17 be our best bet?

768 Dave { 05.13.16 at 8:50 am }

Gail, not much difference but yes, Sunday is the best choice!

769 Gail { 05.13.16 at 6:30 pm }

Thanks, Dave. We’re coming from California with a 6 year old son and a 3 year old daughter in tow. We’ve conquered Disneyland but are anticipating much more stress at MK. Do you suggest we head to anything in particular first in the day? Anything MK has that is different than Disneyland?

770 Dave { 05.14.16 at 10:58 am }

Gail take a look at my itineraries or my book for some ideas.

771 Gail { 05.16.16 at 2:06 pm }

Okay, one more question – since we only have one day, would you suggest MK over Epcot with kids?

772 Dave { 05.17.16 at 7:14 am }

With kids, Gail, MK in a heartbeat.

773 Sonia { 06.01.16 at 9:22 am }

We have booked to go Orlando for two weeks (June 21st – 5th July 2017), I keep seeing that June is the worst time to go but that was the date that was advised to us as September can have bad weather. We can change the dates and can go any time in the year. So ideally want to avoid high crowds unless its a special occasion like July 4th for example. What would you advise?

Thank you!

774 Eric { 06.01.16 at 11:33 am }

Hi Sonia, I think Dave just put out his 2017 crowd calendar. I would determine based on that. I’m sure it will be very close to the tips given at the top of this webpage. I’m planning 2017 for my family and have adjusted our dates based on the above. If you have the flexibility, why not?

775 Scott { 06.01.16 at 9:05 pm }

Sonia – if you have the flexibility to go at any time I would recommend arriving the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It has traditionally been one of the lower crowd times at Disney, although in recent years the crowds have increased some. The Christmas decorations, programs that Disney does are excellent. Plus the weather is quite nice.

776 Kelly B - Destinations In Florida { 06.02.16 at 7:46 am }

Hi Sonia – I\’m Kelly, the designated Destinations in Florida travel agent for I have to agree with Eric and Scott. I would change your dates. Not only can your original dates be crowded, but they can be hot and crowded. The winter months of January and February (just avoid the holidays), and the week Scott mentioned are great. Even if you run into a crowded day you aren\’t dealing with that Florida heat. So standing in line is tolerable.

777 Dave { 06.02.16 at 9:42 am }
778 Gail { 06.08.16 at 6:40 pm }

I previously asked you for advise regarding the best day to go to MK. We now have a little more wiggle room as we are staying in Orlando a little longer – so my question is, would going to MK on Thursday (7/14) be better than going on Sunday (7/17)? I read that since Wednesday is an EMH day, Thursday mornings are relatively less crowded since the park is open until midnight the night before. Thoughts/opinions?

779 Dave { 06.09.16 at 11:36 am }

Gail, July sees the least day to day variation of any month. That said, Thursday will be a little better than Sunday.

780 Jennifer Walker { 06.09.16 at 2:01 pm }

My husband and I are planning an anniversary trip. We’re looking at dates after Oct. 15 and in November. I would like the Food and Wine Festival to still be going on. Any suggestions?

781 Kelly B - Destinations In Florida { 06.10.16 at 9:37 am }

Jennifer, The F&W festival runs through 11/14 so you\’ll be fine any of your dates. The week of the 23rd – 28th should have lower crowds than the previous week.

I would love to help you plan. You can contact me at or 980-429-4499.

782 Dave { 06.11.16 at 9:18 am }

Jennifer, see also this

783 James { 06.11.16 at 11:16 am }

We are debating a trip next year in honor of our daughter’s 5th birthday. We hope to go for a week and know we want to stay at POFQ. Her birthday is March 4th. I admit the idea of waking her up the day of her birthday and saying “We’re going to DisneyWorld” is great fun and we love the idea of her getting to wear a pin and getting birthday greetings. . . . .. BUT. . . some sites are saying that the crowds may be a little higher. . our other option is to go the beginning of May. May would be warmer and we know our daughter would want to play in the pool and the new water play ground and March might not be warm enough. Any thoughts?

784 Dave { 06.12.16 at 1:21 pm }

James, the first full week of March is typically fine! See this.

Note that Disney has strict rules about when you can wear a birthday pin–must be at least 6 months before your birthday, or within 6 months after…

Early May will indeed be more likely to have better pool weather…

785 Belle { 07.23.16 at 11:15 am }

Hi, my husband & I are planning a trip from Australia to WDW in 2017. Could you please advise when is the best months & dates to visit as we really have no idea. We were considering 2 weeks in August as we would like to visit all the parks. If we decide to book for August what dates would you suggest being the less crowded and is August a good month to visit WDW. We greatly appreciate any help. Thank you

786 Belle { 07.23.16 at 6:18 pm }

Hi, I forgot to mention that we are flexible with our dates in 2017 and can travel to WDW in July, August, Setember, October or November. We would just like to know when is the best month and dates to visit for 2 adults to avoid large crowds and bad weather? Thank you

787 Dave { 07.25.16 at 11:22 am }

Belle, see this.

788 Stephanie { 08.23.16 at 11:42 pm }

I am seeing if you can help me make my plans? We are sceduled to be there Oct 1-4,16, We have the park hopper with water park passes. I am having a hard time figuring out which park to do which day to get it all in. If we don’t need the waterpark passes can we get those refunded before we leave? Or do I need an extra day? We are then off to universal for a few days. Any suggestions on how to get to Universal from Disney?

789 Denise { 08.24.16 at 9:19 am }

I am wanting to take a trip to Animal Kingdom. Can you tell me when the best time of year would be to go. Thanks.

790 Dave { 08.24.16 at 3:15 pm }

Stephanie, are you bringing kids? If so what ages?

791 Dave { 08.24.16 at 3:18 pm }

Denise, this page gives you the best times overall. In any given week, at least based on current patterns, Sundays and Tuesdays are the best days of the week to go to AK.

792 Kelly B - Destinations In Florida { 08.25.16 at 10:45 am }


Other than what Dave mentioned, some things to keep in mind about visiting Animal Kingdom

– The animals are active when then weather is cooler. During the heat of the day, and during hot months, they sleep a lot and find shaded (hidden) areas So you just don\’t see them as often.

– Most of what you do at animal kingdom is outside. Another reason to avoid those hot months.

Some of the best visits to Animal Kingdom have been in late Fall and early Winter.

Let me know if I can be of help with planning your vacation –

793 Michael { 09.26.16 at 4:33 pm }

We went March 1-10th and it was almost strange. The park was EMPTY!!! I have photos all over the park of 3-4 people standing around, and my kids on rides with NOTHING but empty seats around them. It was crazy. Not only that but disney gave us a free upgrade to a family 2 bedroom 2 bathroom suit for free as they had so many empty rooms. We have been back about 6 times and never seen this again. The weather was great, park was empty, best trip ever. One photo shocks people when they see it, kids on Dumbo at 4pm with not a single other rider on the ride.

794 Dave { 09.28.16 at 2:33 pm }

Thanks, Michael!

795 Amanda { 12.11.16 at 8:59 pm }

Hi Dave, we are planning a trip to WDW Feb 5-7th, 2017. Our kids are 8 and 5. I think we’ve decided on Magic Kingdom, Hollywood studios, and epcot. Could you tell me which days best for those parks? Thanks

796 Dave { 12.12.16 at 7:44 am }

Hi Amanda!!

Avoid the 7th at Epcot, the 5th at HS. The best MK day will be the 7th, which suggests the 5th at Epcot, and 6th at HS.

797 Noereena { 12.23.16 at 3:24 am }

Hi Dave

Trust you keep well!

We are a family from South Africa and would like to know when is the best time to visit. We love the heat so winter time would be a no no for us. It would possibily be 2 adults and 2 kids age 11(girl) and 14(boy) can you suggest where should we book for a great vacation and which hotels as I see on the Disney site there are plenty to choose from and advice would be great please ….

Maybe to add on we looking at a 10 day stay and where can we get a qoute from …

Thank a mil..

798 Dave { 12.23.16 at 10:32 am }

Noereena, start here and work through the topics that begin with the words “INSTRUCTIONS FOR YOUR FIRST DISNEY WORLD VISIT”

For help with booking, use Kelly at 980-429-4499 or–tell her I sent you…

799 Noereena { 01.12.17 at 1:55 am }

Hi Dave

Thanks so much for your assistance…

Warm Regards

800 Dave { 01.12.17 at 11:04 am }

🙂 Noreena

801 Melissa Williams { 01.19.17 at 10:25 am }

We are thinking of planning a trip during the middle of March 12th – 18th, 2017. Just wondering what the crowd will be like. It will be a multiple family vacation with about 6 children age ranging from 2 – 17. Are there certain days that are better for specific parks? Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom?
Thanks for any info.

802 Dave { 01.21.17 at 6:06 am }

Melissa, I class that as a week to avoid because of crowds and prices. More is here.

You need a good plan for those dates–see this and its daily plans for example, although some of its elements needed to have been booked months ago.

You can also build itineraries from the per-park touring plans in my book, although there too you have (just) missed a few deadlines.

On park days, here’s what it looks like now:

3/12 avoid MK and HS
3/13 avoid MK and AK
3/14 avoid Epcot
3/15 avoid MK
3/16 avoid Epcot
3/17 avoid MK and HS
3/18 avoid MK and AK

Note that the many “avoid MK” days make targeting it easy (14th and 16th); the rest of your park days are then easy to slot in.

803 Kris Wright { 03.13.17 at 10:29 am }

Hi there!

First family trip to WDW is scheduled from 7/25/8/5. Yes, we know it will be hot and crowded, but it is what it is and is better than staying home! Can you recommend which days to do MK?

804 Dave { 03.13.17 at 12:40 pm }

Hi Kris! Your best MK days will be Tuesdays and Thursdays.

805 Dee { 03.21.17 at 9:42 pm }

We are trying to decide between August 7-15 2017 & November 6-17 2017. Staying on property. Do you suggest getting park hopper? We will get the 9 or 10 day passes.

806 Dave { 03.22.17 at 8:20 am }

Dee, for which week to pick, see this. On a trip that long, a hopper is usually an unnecessary expense.

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