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 Lowest Crowd Weeks of 2012 at Walt Disney World

By Dave Shute

2011 Weeks, Ranked in Order      2011 Week Picker      2012 Weeks, Ranked in Order


I’ve been working lately on my formal Disney World crowd calendar for 2012.

(The 2011 Walt Disney World Crowd Calendar is here; my 2012 Weeks to Visit Walt Disney World, Ranked in Order is here.)

For reasons I’ll post about later, the data sources I use as the basis for my Disney Crowd Calendar are becoming a little less reliable—especially for the relative ranking of moderate and high crowd weeks. So I’ve been re-thinking my approach.

See the image for the sophisticated analytic tools I use to support this work.

While doing such noodling I noticed a disboards thread on the lowest crowds at Walt Disney World over the year.

I was surprised at the variance among and vehemence with which various times were proposed.

So I went to my bookshelf and here’s what I found:

  • Guidebook 1: Lowest crowds right after Labor Day
  • Guidebook 2: Lowest crowds the first two weeks of December
  • Guidebook 3: Lowest crowds in the middle of January

My own approach (which is good at “low” but not really reliable for “lowest”) at the first level, before modifications that I apply to it, suggests January-early February, and October.

Well, all these can’t be right. The only people who really know work for Disney World, and is the next most reliable source that I know about.

That said, I thought it would be interesting to canvass a number of sources and find how much they agreed or disagreed.

My starting point was the 2011 editions of four well-known guidebooks, the calendars on three strong websites, my own first level 2012 calendar, and a proprietary crowd calendar that the team at was kind enough to share with me.


Only three of these nine had a specific point of view on 2012 at all, and only one (mine) was complete.

So what I did was infer their principles and apply them to 2012, adjusting for the changing dates of key holidays. In some cases I also had to infer (usually straightforward—see the analytic resources available in the image higher on the page) the distinction between low and lowest.

(In my “other” job, I’m a consultant specializing in business strategy, so this future oriented inference—I almost said BS—is what I do every day.)


See the image for the result.

(Click it to open it; once open, click it again to enlarge it.)

Based on my inferences, 21 different weeks would be indicated by at least one source as lowest, with an average of about 3.5 votes each (out of nine possible).

Seven weeks were noted as lowest crowd in half or more of the sources (in the image, they are highlighted in green):

  • January after the Marathon Weekend until early February, excluding Martin Luther King Day week, and
  • The week after Labor Day until the opening of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival


Based on the same approach, I also built a view of the “low crowd” weeks of the year at Walt Disney World.

Click the image to open it up.

  • Thirty two weeks got noted as low
  • Twenty two got votes as low from more than half of the calendars

A couple more in later April were impossible for me to infer because of the major change in Easter dates compared to 2011.

Likely some of these April weeks will get promoted into the “more than half” category once the sources develop their official 2012 calendars—remember that for almost all I am inferring some or all of their 2102 crowd calendars from their approach to 2011.

Click the image to see all these weeks–the ones with more than half the crowd calendars supporting them are highlighted in green.

(By the way, it’s because I am basing this on such inferences that I’m not identifying the sources—any errors here—and there’s bound to be some—are mine, not theirs.)

So there you have it—a best efforts shot at a broad-based view of the lowest and low-crowd weeks of 2012 at Walt Disney World.



Have a thought or a question?...

Comment by typing in the form below.

Leave a Comment | Ask a Question | Note a Problem

My response to questions and comments will be on the same page as the original comment, likely within 24-36 hours . . . I reserve the right to edit and delete comments as I choose . . . All rights reserved. Copyright 2008-2017 . . . Unless otherwise noted, all photos are by me--even the ones in focus--except for half a dozen from my niecelets . . . This site is entirely unofficial and not authorized by any organizations written about in it . . . All references to Disney and other copyrighted characters, trademarks, marks, etc., are made solely for editorial purposes. The author makes no commercial claim to their use . . . Nobody's perfect, so follow any advice here at your own risk.