By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2018, from the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever. Paperback available on Amazon here. Kindle version available on Amazon here.—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor

Crowds and Walt Disney World

By Dave Shute


Every now and then I get a comment or an email saying something like (this is an exact quote, but for reasons that will become apparent I’m not going to link to it):

  • “Our last visit was Sept. 2011 . . . The crowds were not low in the parks. MK closed most nights at 5 pm for MNNSHP. Only EPCOT was open late and DTD. They were mobbed . . . impossible to find a place to eat if you didn’t make your reservations 180 days out. MK very crowded during the day. The shortest wait we saw for Toy Story Mania or Soarin’ was 90 min. and fast passes gone by 11:00 am. . This same week has a crowd level of #1!”

Or to put it another way…I said it was not going to be crowded, but it was!

Now there’s a number of errors of fact or interpretation in this comment (MK closes at 7, not at 5, for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party; the restaurants are always packed during free dining; FASTPASSES are almost always gone for Toy Story, and often for Soarin, by late morning at every time of the year).

But there’s two bigger points.

One is that if you don’t know what high crowds are, it’s hard to know you are experiencing a low crowd.  

And the second is that even in the lowest-crowd weeks of the year, sometimes the days you choose for specific parks matter a lot.


Low crowd periods, as used in this site and its crowd calendars, are low compared to other times of the year with higher–often spectacularly higher–crowds.

That does not necessarily mean that the parks will feel uncrowded compared to your expectations, as that depends on your expectations, because low does not equal empty.

Even on the quietest of days, if you arrive at 11a and stay through the afternoon parade, you may run into mobs of people, long lines, and fully-distributed FASTPASSES.

But all of these will be much better than they would be during a more crowded period.

The least crowded day I ever had at the Magic Kingdom was a cold and rainy January day during a long stretch of cold and rainy days.  It was already one of the lowest attendance periods of the year; everybody knew the forecast; everybody was tired of the cold and the rain; tons of people stayed home; and I had 20 rides in by 1p.

The busiest day at the Magic Kingdom I’ve ever personally seen was a late Wednesday afternoon the week after Easter 6 or 7 years ago.  Because I was tent-camping at Fort Wilderness, I drove; and for unrelated reasons had  arrived a couple of days earlier than I had planned.

I took 45 minutes to get a burger at Pecos Bill’s, and even the Carousel of Progress was mobbed…

So “Low Crowds” does not necessarily mean lower than you think they will be, or a low as you wish they were; it means lower than the other choices you have.


You can also, by art or by error, design your trip so that you hit the parks on their most crowded days.

Because both shorter and longer trips typically include weekends, weekends (and Mondays) are typically the times that see the most people in the Disney World parks. Operating hours are often extended over weekends (except at Epcot), but not in proportion to demand, so crowds can be high even during low times of the year.

Days when a park has Extra Magic Hours will be more crowded later that day than they would be without these special hours. This is because these hours disproportionately attract Disney resort hotel guests, many of whom don’t have hoppers and thus have that as their park all day.

During weeks with highly varied show schedules and/or operating hours, the Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios can show real variation in crowding across the week.  This may be what happened to the commenter I quoted at the top of the page.

During many non-holiday weeks from September through President’s Day, there will be weeks when the Magic Kingdom closes some nights at 7, 8 or 9p, and others at 11p  Some of these nights will have no evening parades or fireworks, and others will.

This is particularly an issue many weeks September through much of December, when because of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party the Magic Kingdom can be closed at 7p, with no fireworks or evening parade available to the general public, multiple times a week.

As a result, people are both “repelled” by the 7p closings and lack of evening shows, and “attracted” to the days when the park is both open late and showing fireworks and parades…and those days can be mobbed.

The better way to handle these periods is to see the Magic Kingdom on days when it closes at 7p, and see the evening events on a different day, without having spent the earlier part of that day at MK.


This last point is an example of how to think about crowds at Disney World.

Think about why you are drawn to Walt Disney World in general during a particular week, or to a specific park on a particular day, and whether your reasons are the same as those of the typical family with children.

If the reasons you have are also those of the typical family with children, then you will likely run into disproportionate crowds.

So as much as you can, do the opposite of the typical family–that’s the judo.

  • Go when almost all kids are in school.
  • Avoid parks on days when they have Extra Magic Hours.
  • Avoid the daylight part–or at minimum, the afternoon part–of days when parks have less-common evening entertainment available to everyone with regular tickets
  • Go during lousy weather

The point you have to be specially careful about is “go when almost all other kids are in school.”  I’ve learned a couple of things over the years of running this site:

  1. School breaks across the country are more varied than most parents think–especially spring break
  2. There’s a number of parents who think “We’ll go to Disney World during Thanksgiving/ Christmas/ Easter, because everybody else will be home with their families, and it’ll be great.”  Oh no it won’t…
  3. You  need a plan that includes showing up before the parks open, riding the most popular rides first, and using FASTPASSES.  See this post on the blog for how much this matters.


Want a second opinion?  Then check out my book lol.

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1 Anonymous { 02.26.13 at 11:52 am }

then dont go

2 tbuff { 07.18.13 at 9:00 am }

I don’t feel it is as though Disney is doing something wrong….if they were, they wouldn’t have the crowds!!!!! I don’t know of any parks that I have visited where there haven’t been lines longer than a 5 min. wait. That’s not to say that there weren’t ANY rides that had low wait times, but most were longer than 5 min. When you find a park that has wait times for MOST of their rides that are 5 min or under, please let me know because I would make it a must do! I don’t like to wait either so I’m with you on that, but I do it because that’s just part of the process. Look at have good plans to help you get through the parks with minimal wait times. I hope you enjoy your visit.

3 Brian { 08.22.13 at 3:33 pm }


How important is it to not visit the days on Extra Magic Hours? This is the first time I have stayed on property and wasnt sure how much a difference it would make.



4 Dave { 08.23.13 at 7:48 am }

Brian it’s not a huge factor, just a tool for not avoiding the highest crowds. Morning EMH are great, but the park is more crowded later in the day than it would have been without EMH. Evening EMH also draw extra crowds, without much benefit other than later hours…

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5 TrainerBBD { 09.26.13 at 12:53 pm }

Your comment about the interpretation of crowd level is soooooo true.

We have gone to Disney in 08, 10,12 and going back again this year … We have planned our trips around “Slow”periods but have also been very lucky as far as crowd levels go.

Our first trip we went last week of august and first week of Sept — Signs on almost all rides had 5 minute wait on them … It was awesome … Some rides we did not even have to get off as they let us stay on if no one was waiting to ride in our car.

Our second trip we went first 2 weeks of September and again we had great wait times … More of the 15 minute ones but still allot of 5’s spread in.

Our third trip was last week of Sept and first week of October. Well most rides were 30 minutes with some 60 minutes spread in… This seemed SUPER busy to us (lol)

But our friends went during March break and they were getting 60 – 90 minutes everywhere with some up to 120 minutes …. They never saw a 30 minute or less sign :s

So to them what we considered busy would have been heaven to them ………

The best thing I advise my pals is to make the trip about the kids, go at their pace, see the rides they want to see and “Listen” to them ….. Some days our kids just want to go back to the house and swim in the pool… We make very little reservations so this saves us from the “We have to be at XXX by XXX time” ….. We eat BFast at the house, lunch by quick dining at the park and then typically we eat at a restaurant out of the parks for supper…..

We can’t wait to see Disney all Christmassy this year and look forward to the night party as we did the Halloween one last trip.

Coming from Canada it will be nice to see snow — Not !!! (lol)

Safe travels and have fun to all going !!

6 Dave { 09.27.13 at 6:41 am }

Thanks, TrainerBBD, for the detailed and thoughtful post!

Was this even remotely helpful?

Well then mosey on over to the home page, and like it on Facebook or pin it on Pinterest!

7 India { 04.16.14 at 11:58 am }

Hi Dave!

Thanks for all your help and hard work. Even though it’ll just be my fiance and I on our honeymoon (we have no kids), your site has still been my #1 help in planning! I do have a question for you. On October 23, Thursday, we are planning on doing AK. However, upon looking at park operating hours, I see that MK is open 9a to 7p but with 8a to 9a EMH. What do you think of days like these?

8 Dave { 04.17.14 at 9:02 am }

Hi India and I’m so glad the site is helping!

Days MK closes at 7 tend to be very uncrowded even with the added attractor of morning EMH. People have a way of seeing MK and Epcot early in their visits, and AK and HS later, so AK, while OK, is not as good a choice that day as MK.

9 Amber { 05.14.14 at 1:51 am }

We are planning our family trip for MNSSHP the weekend of October 17-19. When I spoke
to customer service they do tell us they start getting guests who dont have MNSSHP tickets out of the park at 4 p.m. The party starts at 7:00, so the people who dont have tickets to the event should be out before the party begins. I think its fair that they have guests without event tickets leaving at 5, because paying close to 400 for 3 adults, and 2 children for 8 hours in the park, the event, less crowds, and less ride times is what we pay for.

10 Dave { 05.14.14 at 7:15 am }

Amber, if the party started at 5 I’m sure DInsey would do just what you suggest. But the party begins at 7. That’s when non-party guests leave. As a courtesy to party guests, they typically are allowed in as early as 4p. But that doesn’t mean the party starts anytime other than 7!

11 Jen { 08.09.14 at 4:54 pm }

Hi Dave, we are planning a trip December 11-16 I see it’s pop warner week but also that it’s the 2nd best week to visit per the calendar. We are going to MMVMCP on the 11th and I had planned MK on the 12th due to assuming low crowds with a 7pm closure. I have done a lot of research and per touring plans this Friday is rated higher at MK than Saturday the 13th which is open until 10. I just really question why a Saturday with no evening entertainment would not be crowded? It’s only a 2 vs 3 rating but I’m wondering if you would recommend switching the dates? We were planning AK Saturday so easily able to interchange. Also I was wanting to know your opinion on Epcot with 3 and 4 year olds? We have candlelight dinner and akershus reservations but will they enjoy it or would you recommended an additional day at MK on Monday 12/15? Thanks!

12 Dave { 08.10.14 at 10:01 am }

Jen the 12th will be MUCH less crowded than the 13th, for exactly the reasons you note. There is little at Epcot for kids that age–I would skip it for sure…

13 Jen { 08.11.14 at 10:29 am }

Thanks for the advice Dave! I will stick with the original Friday the 12th plan for MK. Our plan as of now is MK Friday, AK saturday, HS Sunday, then back to MK Monday does that sound ok crowd wise or would you recommend any changes? I know HS is a gamble due to the EMH but at the time decided that since we tried to avoid Epcot on the weekend. Will there be a BIG difference in crowds on Sunday? Also a bit concerned with the Monday MK since a lot of people do it at the beginning of their trip. Any info would be greatly appreciated!

14 Dave { 08.12.14 at 7:54 am }

Jen I would for sure flip Sunday and Monday. Monday will be very crowded at MK because it is a late-close full evening program day between two 7p close days. And HS will be crowded Sunday not just becasue of EMH but laos becasue of the early close at MK!

15 Jen { 08.12.14 at 10:15 am }

I was afraid of that, my concern there is the obvious that we will be at magic kingdom two days with no electric parade or wishes fireworks, I keep seeing on touring plans if crowds are rated 4 or under and you have a touring plan the crowd difference shouldn’t matter. Would you agree or disagree? I guess it comes down to giving up evening parades and fireworks or giving up the lighter crowds. It’s just that viewing touring plan times they show Sunday and Monday at HS a 4 with similar wait times. I just wish I knew if that will really be the case! Thanks again your info is greatly appreciated.

16 Dave { 08.13.14 at 9:14 am }

Jen if you are going to MVMCP you can skip the electrical parade and wishes! TP did a massive redo of its crowd calendar earlier this summer and I can’t make sense of it. I would use Josh’s calendar here:

17 Jen { 08.13.14 at 4:52 pm }

That helps a ton! I will start re-arranging our dining reservations and definitely follow your recommendation. We don’t need to see the events twice and would much rather have less crowded days. Your calendar is very easy to follow I hadn’t seen that before so thank you I think we are set now.

18 todd { 08.17.14 at 9:15 pm }

Hi Dave, my girlfriend and I are going our first time to Disney in July. We’ve heard this is a very busy time and we’re kinda nervous but it’s the only time we can go. Any advice on enjoying ourselves in the hot july weather and busy crowds?

19 Dave { 08.18.14 at 12:52 pm }

Todd, see this for my thoughts on July 2014. The situation in 2105 will be similar!

20 kathy { 08.20.14 at 10:55 pm }

going to Walt Disney World on October 14th through the 21st we do have a four day park hopper pass and are looking to go to Universal Studios one to two days will not be arriving to Disney until around 2:00 on the 14 and need to leave the 21st by 11:00 any recommendations thanks

21 kathy { 08.20.14 at 10:55 pm }

sorry forgot to mention that it is going to be 8 adults several who have never been before

22 Dave { 08.21.14 at 9:04 am }
23 kathy { 08.31.14 at 8:17 am }

Thank you I already have viewed several guide books but am trying to figure out which parks are best for which days….

24 Dave { 09.03.14 at 7:47 am }

Sorry, Kathy–misunderstood your question!

Universal tends to be best Sat-Mon.

The 15th, avoid Epcot. This is a good day for MK’s evening events
The 16th avoid MK
The 17th avoid AK and Epcot
The 18th avoid all but AK
The 19th avoid HS
The 20th avoid MK and AK
The 21st avoid Epcot

25 jan { 09.07.14 at 7:32 pm }

Hi, I’m planning a quick trip to MK on 12/4 or 12/5. I’m a little concerned about the crowds. Since these dates have MVMCP in the evening, will that create larger crowds during the day? I plan on going whichever day does not have the EMH. Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. Great site by the way!!!!!

26 Dave { 09.08.14 at 7:33 am }

Jan, on MVMCP dates the park closes early to those without tickets, and does not offer the evening parade or fireworks to them. As a result, MVMCP days are much less crowded at MK than days where the park is open late and offers the full evening program.

27 jan { 09.08.14 at 5:05 pm }

Thanks Dave, that’s what I thought but then I saw this comment…
“Avoid the daylight part–or at minimum, the afternoon part–of days when parks have less-common evening entertainment”

Thought this might mean there are higher crowds during the day when there is evening entertainment.

28 Dave { 09.09.14 at 6:41 am }

Oh–good point Jan–I hadn’t thought people would read the sentence that way! To possibly help clarify it a bit, I added “available to everyone with regular tickets” to the end. Thanks for the catch!!!!

29 Joan { 09.28.14 at 10:02 am }

We are headed to Disney the week of October 18…any thoughts on the crowds bases on Orlando local school calendars? We thought they were off earlier in the month but the schools seem to be closed that week…ugh

30 Dave { 09.29.14 at 7:14 am }

Hi Joan, the Orlando schools have little effect!

31 Francesca { 11.05.14 at 10:43 am }

Hi Dave,
Thank you so much for all of this wonderful information. It is much appreciated! We just reserved a VERY last minute cruise, for the sole reason that it stops at Port Canaveral for the day (11/11/14), and we can take our two little ones (5 & 7 to Disney). They have been before, but my 5 year old was too little to remember. We plan on visiting for a week next year, so we don’t mind the quick trip and limited time in the parks. Needless to say, the kids are excited beyond belief. I’ve read alot of information and crowd history about visiting the MK on 11/11, and it seems that Epcot may be our best bet. But, unfortunalty my daughter is all about the princesses (not that I blame her) , and really wants to see the castle. Keep in mind that we will be there in thE afternoon ( peak times 🙁 ). But we are thrilled to even visit for a day! Any help or suggestions woudl be greatly appreciated- Epcot or MK! Thanks in advance!

32 Tanya { 11.05.14 at 8:41 pm }

Hi Dave,

Sunday, May 3 to Saturday, May 9.

2 kids; 4 & 6.

Monday – Epcot (if even; not great for kids this age; is there anything you would substitute here?)
Tuesday – MK
Wednesday – MK for afternoon/evening events
Thursday – AK (half day? morning or afternoon?)
Friday – HS (half day? morning or afternoon?)

Sunday and Saturday are travel days and so far we haven’t thought of what parks we would visit (would depend on flight scheds) …if time permits; MK Sunday, AK Saturday?

Please let me know what you think 🙂 THANK YOU!

33 Dave { 11.06.14 at 10:38 am }

Francesca, since you will be coming back later, I think you will be fine at MK 11/11. You just need to get FastPass+ for some of the princess greets now! Anna and Elsa will have booked up months ago, but others may be open. There just isn’t enough at Epcot of interest to kids that age for it to be worth the ~$100 each…

34 Dave { 11.06.14 at 10:48 am }

Hi Tanya! At those ages I think you need a day off more than you need a day at Epcot. So I’d do AK on Monday, and take Thursday off! Reserve your departure day for a revisit to a favorite park–almost certainly MK, so you can go ahead and set your FastPass+ for that, and chnage to another park if needed. On your arrival evening, if the family likes fireworks, consider HS or Epcot.

35 Tanya { 11.06.14 at 1:44 pm }

Thanks Dave! If we have an off day do you think a trip to Epcot soley for the Akershus Royal Banquet Hall for dinner is a good idea? I think the park is too old for the kids otherwise. Would that work on the Thursday evening? We have the 1900 Park Fare booked for early dinner on MK Tuesday …is there any point to doing both princess meals or are they much the same? Also …on the MK Wednesday day were thinking Chef Mickey’s for 11:30, then staying through fireworks in the evening (will be long/late day) …wasn’t sure about Be Our Guest or another alternative (Crystal Palace?). Thanks for your help; love your site! P.S. Best moderate for kids?

36 Tanya { 11.06.14 at 1:51 pm }

for dinner I mean …Be our Guest, Crystal Palace, or some other option for dinner on MK Wed. 🙂

37 Dave { 11.08.14 at 2:58 pm }

Tanya, the two meals are wildly different, so both is a great idea. While you are in EPcot anyway, do Turtle Talk with Crush and Living with the Land. Your other plans sound great, BOG is not so hot for kids who are picky eaters. For my moderate recommendations, see this:

38 Dave { 11.08.14 at 2:59 pm }

Oh! Crystal Palace, Tanya…

39 Amanda hayes { 12.10.14 at 10:54 pm }

We will be in Florida for a brief time around New Years and have added Saturday 1/3 at Magic Kingdom with a 3 year old and an 11 year old. We’ve been many times but always for long stays. This time we are driving and staying the night of 1/3 at A.o.A. Any advice for parking? Check in first or later in the day? We have a two hour drive the morning we arrive. Concerned about crowds and dealing with transportation to value resort via bus be driving when leaving the park with a tired toddler. Fastpasses we’ve gotten are for evening times; morning must be unavailable. Thanks for advice!

40 Dave { 12.11.14 at 7:32 am }

Amanda, in your shoes your idea to drive to MK is a good one. Check in to AofA first so that you get the parking pass that will save you from having to pay at the MK lot.

41 Kelley { 12.22.14 at 2:26 am }

Hi there! My family and I only have a few days to choose from (for reasons way beyond my control) and our options to bring our 5 kids were Mon, Tues or Wed. After reading about the EMH, we’ve crossed Monday out. Hollywood Studios is our destination. Do you have a recommendation for Tuesday or Wednesday (the calendars favor Tues over Wed, from what I’ve read so far)? I appreciate your site and the time you put into it!

42 Dave { 12.22.14 at 8:38 am }

Kelley, Tuesday will be the better day!

43 Bethany { 02.09.15 at 11:23 am }

I was trying to find a back calendar to look at Oct 2014 to help with park hours (since the 2015 one isn’t out yet) but to no avail. We will be in DW Oct 8th-12th, based on my research it looks like Thurs or Mon would be best for Epcot (due to Food & Wine – avoid weekends), but since Mon is Columbus Day I was going to stick with Thurs (8th), then Fri (9th) for HS, then take Sat off, do you think Sun or Mon would be best for MK and AK? My initial thought was Sun for AK and Mon for MK but with Columbus day should I switch them? Should we use a Sat instead of a Mon and just go hard for 4 days? Thanks so much for any help!

44 Dave { 02.10.15 at 7:25 am }

Bethany, I expect that on Columbus Day MK will have a 7p close for the Halloween Party–that’s been the pattern the last few years. That means that crowds will be low at MK that day, so I’d do MK the 12th, AK Sunday.

45 Shivanthy { 04.21.15 at 5:41 am }

Hi Dave,
Planning a trip to Disney Oct 22 to 29th 2015 with 4 kids (2 11yo’s, 9, 7). Doing my itinerary and wanted to do either Monday or Wednesday for MK to see Wishes (we’re doing MK on Sunday as well). So far:
10/22 :arriving AKL
10/23: AK
10/24: Checkin BLT
10/25: MK
10/26: MK EMH am
10/27: EP EMH am
10/28: HS
10/29: EP or choice, depart at 5pm for airport
What are your thoughts? We have a 6day no park hopper tickets. I’ll be making my ADRs v soon and I need to firm up my itinerary. Thank you so much for any help you can give me.

46 Dave { 04.21.15 at 8:19 am }

Shivanthy, I don’t recommend parks on their EMH days unless you have a hopper and can thus hop away as they become crowded. Those dates

10/23 Avoid AK and Epcot
10/24 Avoid HS, MK and Epcot
10/25 Avoid Epcot and HS
10/26 Avoid MK
10/27 avoid Epcot
10/28 avoid AK and MK
10/29 Avoid Epcot

47 Shivanthy { 04.21.15 at 12:51 pm }

Thanks for your advice. Unfortunately I can’t change AK since we’re staying at the Lodge for the two nights. I’ll change around MK but would it make a difference if we go back to the hotel for a break for a few hours and come back in the evening? Thanks again!

48 Dave { 04.23.15 at 7:56 am }

Shivanthyy, you have to take a bus to AK from AKL–so if you are getting on a bus anyway, why not go to a less crowded park?

49 Shivanthy { 04.24.15 at 5:31 am }

That’s a good point. Back to the drawing board! Thanks again for your help.

50 Cathy { 05.21.15 at 5:09 pm }

Hi, love your site! I sent you a question several days ago, but since I haven’t received a reply, I thought I would try again. We will be at Pop Century Nov. 28-Dec. 5. We have visited many times and usually come during Oct. but this year we wanted to see the Christmas decorations. We also will be using dining plan so we need to make our park selections soon. Which parks on which days do you recommend? Any advice would be appreciated as these times are new to us. Thanks. Keep up the good work.

51 Dave { 05.24.15 at 10:08 am }
52 Megan { 06.13.15 at 8:46 pm }

Going to Disney Oct 30 – Nov 5. Staying at Boardwalk to be close to Epcot. How do you think the crowds will be?

53 Dave { 06.15.15 at 7:57 am }

Megan, see this.

54 Liz Yost { 06.20.15 at 11:00 pm }

Hi! Oh how I wish I would have found this site before we made our schedule and dining reservations. I did a lot of research before planning our trip, had everything reserved and then the Free Dining Dates came out and we moved our trip back two week, so we will be in the park Friday, 10/30-Friday 11/6. I am questioning our choices as I see it will be Jersey week and after I made reservations, TP changed their crowd levels quite a bit for while we are there! So this is what I have scheduled, any advice about changes we should make would be much appreciated! Though it may be tricky with DRs. We do have Park Hoppers since that was required with the Free Dining.
10/30 MK, dining at 1900 Park Fare for Dinner
10/31 AK, late breakfast at Tusker House
11/1 Day off, dining at Hoop Dee Do Review
11/2- HS, dining at 50s Cafe for Lunch
11/3- Epcot, dinner at Akershus
11/4- MK, late breakfast/early lunch at Chef Mickey’s
11/5- HS in am, switching to Epcot later, dinner at Coral Reef
11/6-MK, dinner at Be Our Guest
Thank you so much! I really appreciate all your input!

55 Dave { 06.22.15 at 9:12 am }

Hi Lizzy! Jersey week is not that bad–it’s just worse than the weeks befroe and after. See this.

I like some of your dates, and not others. Specifically 11/3 and 11/5 are lousy at Epcot, and so is 11/4 at MK. I’d swap the 3rd and 4th for sure.

56 Liz Yost { 06.22.15 at 10:41 pm }

Thank you so much! After doing some further research, that is what I was leaning towards! 🙂

57 Claire { 07.29.15 at 6:58 pm }

Hi Dave,
Great site! we are at Disney Oct 6th Tuesday – Leave Friday Oct 9th. It is our first time there. MK is on the list as well as any star was stuff, Epcot, and rides. we have Girl 9 & boy 6. Any suggestions on which day for what ? also we would like a hotel on site with a nice pool and kind of close to stuff, any recommendations? P.S. we are getting your book..:)

58 Dave { 07.30.15 at 9:03 am }

Claire, that’s an awfully short trip, and there’s not much at Epcot that will entrance a 6 year old, so I’d focus on the Magic Kingdom, with also a visit to Disney’s Hollywood Studios whihc is where you find Star Wars stuff.

Those dates, avoid MK the 7th–so make that you Hollywood Studios day. The other dates are fine for MK. See the book for what to do in the parks, paying special attention in Chapter 6 to the Jedi Training Academy at HS.

There’s no hotel close to both parks, so focus on the Magic Kingdom resorts–Wilderness Lodge, Polynesian, and Contemporary in particular. Reviews are in the book, and there’s longer reviews–with pix–linked to from here.

59 Candi { 09.04.15 at 10:18 am }

Hi Dave,
I’m getting very nervous for our trip. First time going to Disney World. I have 10 year old twin girls and a 5 year old who loves Mickey Mouse more than life itself. I have no idea on how to plan this trip. We arrive late on November 1 and leave NOvember 8, we got the 6 day pass, we took the quick service meal plan. What is going on that week than make our trip memorable or ruin it. Will the crowds be bad with the Jersey break? We are staying at the All star Musical Resort. Any information would be helpful, I am starting to be overwhelmed.
Thanking you in advance.

60 Dave { 09.05.15 at 9:59 am }

Candi, the most important thing for you to do is to pick parks for each day, then pick your FastPass+.

Use this as a starting point but swap Weds and Thurs, and ignore the meals–they will be sold out. There’s also not enough Mickey in here for your 5 year old. But it’s a start…

61 Heather { 03.15.16 at 3:30 am }

But you SAID Low Crowds… waahhh.

Exactly. You said, “Low Crowds”. Emphasis on *crowds*. They are still crowds, as this is WDW, and it is crowded.

Lol 😀

62 Debbie { 04.15.16 at 2:49 pm }

Going to Disney October 5 – 9th. What parks which days? Where should we stay?? Me (MOM) and two girls, 13 / 15.

Thank you!!

63 Dave { 04.17.16 at 10:08 am }

Debbie, on where to stay see this.

On 10/5 avoid MK
10/6 avoid Epcot
10/7 avoid HS and Epcot
10/8 avoid all but HS
10/9 avoid all but AK

So this translates into Epcot 10/5, MK 10/6 and 10/7, HS 10/8 and AK 10/9

64 Dack { 06.26.16 at 10:26 am }

HI Dave,

We will be in WDW December 1-4, and then we are going on a one week Disney Cruise the 5th-9th. We come back early the morning of the 9th and plan on spending one more day at WDW before we fly out on the 10th. If you have the time, I would love to get your thoughts on our current plans:
Arrival day Dec 1= Ohana’s 11:30 breakfast and Epcot the rest of the day.
Dec 2= Tony’s Town Sq. and MK (we chose this as a day at MK because every other day has Mickey Christmas Party which we don’t plan on attending) but we want to see wishes and the light parade.
Dec 3= Minnie’s Seasonal Dine HS
Dec 4= Crystal Palace (8am breakfast) and Be Our Guest (QSR) MK
We plan to do AK when we return on the 9th.
It should be noted that this is our 3rd year in a row and we have 3 little girls so we have our routine down. Just curious your thoughts on crowds in the specific parks on each day and if we should consider going to the Mickey Christmas party. We have gone the last 2yrs and are undecided if it is worth the cost given the interest level and age of our girls. They usually crash about an hour in.
I know this is a lot of info, so I apologize. But I have always valued your opinion.

65 Dave { 06.28.16 at 6:46 am }

Dack, 12/1 will be busy at Epcot, and there is a MVMCP in 12/2 (but not on 12/3). If you’ve gone to the Xmas party, then you might want to wait til the girls are older…

66 Dack { 06.29.16 at 11:32 pm }

Thanks Dave, not sure what I was thinking on the MVMCP dates. Now we are considering this schedule:
Dec 1- Ohana’s and Epcot.
Dec 2- Tusker House and AK
Dec 3- Tony’s Town Square and MK ( this will allow us to see Light Parade and Wishes.
Dec 4- Crystal Palace and Be Our Guest at MK.
Then go to HS when we return on the 9th. We would have to give up Minnie’s Seasonal Dine due to it being booked out, but I think this will work for us. Any other thoughts or suggestions?

Thanks as always,


67 Dave { 06.30.16 at 5:39 pm }


12/1 avoid Epcot
12/2 avoid HS, and avoid MK if you can’t arrive befroe, or aren’t eleigible for, the morning Extra Magic hours
12/3 –got you on your wish to see MK
12/4 avoid HS
12/9 avoid HS, and avoid MK if you can’t arrive befroe, or aren’t eleigible for, the morning Extra Magic hours

Therefore, assuming you are fixed on your MK dates,
12/1 do AK or HS
12/2 do AK or Epcot
12/9 do AK or Epcot

This tells me you should do HS on 12/1…

68 Dack { 06.30.16 at 6:20 pm }


Simply put… you are the man! Thank you as always.
Final plans:
12/1= Ohana’s then HS
12/2= Akerhus and Epcothe
12/3= Tony’s and MK
12/4= Crystal Palace, Be Our Guest and MK
12/9= AK


69 Dave { 07.03.16 at 8:33 am }

Great, Dack!

70 Andrea { 10.17.16 at 1:30 pm }

We are heading do Disney Nov.26-Dec.3. 4 adults, 2 kids 7 & 12. We are staying at Coranado Springs
We have planned..
11/27 HS a.m and Epcot p.m
11/28 AK
11/29 MVMCP in evening
11/30 MK all day
12/02 Universal
It’s a first visit for all of us 🙂
Will there be any major problems with these days?

71 Dave { 10.18.16 at 12:39 pm }

Andrea, 11/27 will be busy at HS, 11/28 at AK, and 11/30 at MK. Also just making sure you know that you need a “park hopper” to go to two parks on the same day–it’s much cheaper just to add a ticket day.

You also need to book your FastPass+ ASAP.

Those dates:
11/27 avoid HS
11/28 avoid AK and MK
11/29 avoid Epcot
11/30 avoid MK
12/1 avoid Epcot
12/2 avoid HS

72 Melanie { 07.30.17 at 1:30 pm }

Hi Dave,

I like this article because you talk about perspective. One year we went the week of Easter – never again. Wall to wall people. Now we go in either end of August, September, or October. Crowds are way lighter than Easter! It’s all about perspective 🙂

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