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Disney World Crowds in 2015



By Dave Shute

December  January   February  March   April   May   June   July

2015 CROWDS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

Walt Disney World Crowds in 2015 from yourfirstvisit.netThe chart lower on the page shows my forecasts for 2015 crowds by week at Walt Disney World.

Dates in it are the beginning of the week, and the forecast covers the recommended Saturday-Sunday 9 day stays.

(For 2016 crowds, click here, and for 2017 crowds, see this.)

Crowd levels are ranked by week from 1-11 in the following way:

1: Lowest of the year

2: Lower

3: Low

4: Low-plus

5: Moderate-minus

6: Moderate

7: Moderate-plus

8: High-minus

9: High

10: Higher

11: Highest
Final 2015 Walt Disney World Crowd Calendar v2

HOW TO INTERPRET THE 2015 DISNEY WORLD CROWD CALENDAR

Dates are the beginning of the week.

The “low crowd” weeks–those colored green, and rated 1-4–represent the only crowd levels a family visiting for the first time, and unsure if it will ever return, should consider.

However, lower crowds, especially lowest crowds, do not always mean a better week. The lowest weeks are low for a reason–typically because they are in the hurricane or the ride closure seasons.

The “moderate crowd” weeks–those in black and rated 5-7–have crowd levels I would not recommend to first time visitors. However, I’d go during such weeks myself with no hesitation, and think these levels are OK for returning visitors who don’t need to see everything and already know how to work Walt Disney World.

The “high crowd” weeks–those in red, rated 8-11–should be avoided by everyone. They aren’t, which is why they are so high.

MY DISNEY WORLD CROWD CALENDAR GOES UP TO “11”

The influence of the Unofficial Guide  and TouringPlans.com has led almost all Disney World crowd calendars to top out at 10.

However, I’ve always thought that the really nastiest weeks of the year deserved an 11 for emphasis.

So, in homage to Spinal Tap, I assigned 11 to “highest.”

MORE ON WHEN TO GO TO WALT DISNEY WORLD

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153 comments

1 Adrienne { 12.06.14 at 11:15 am }

We are planning a trip to Disney first few weeks of December 2015. This will be the first time taking our 4 and 3 year old. Are these good weeks to go and what can you tell me about holiday time there. Any rides shut down? Or best resorts and activities to do with them? My husband and I haven’t been for 10 plus years so I’m sure many things have changed. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

2 Dave { 12.06.14 at 1:49 pm }
3 Patti { 12.28.14 at 7:14 pm }

I really want to see and enjoy Disney at Christmas time. Is the first week of Dec good and do they have everything i want to see? Or is the week of CHristmas better? Thank You

4 Dave { 12.30.14 at 9:39 am }
5 Mary { 01.04.15 at 9:24 am }

Hello; we are planning on going to Disney the Thursday of presidents week through following Monday. The crowd calendar drops significantly between these two weeks. Why is that week ranked so high? Due to Valentine’s Day? Trying to figure out how many days we actually are going to hit the parks. Thank you!

6 Dave { 01.04.15 at 11:17 am }

Mary, a lot of northeastern schools have the full week of President’s Day off, so it’s quite crowded. Crowds are lower later in the week.

7 Terri { 01.06.15 at 8:09 pm }

Hello, my family is planning a trip to WDW 12/26/15 – 01/01/16. Your crowd calendar shows very high for this time of year. Can you tell about the ride waits, will we be waiting hours to get on rides and to see attractions? Also, can you tell me about ride closures? Thanks, Terri

8 Dave { 01.07.15 at 7:30 am }

Terri, waits that time of year peak at 4 hours on the most popular rides. Ride closures are rare that week.

9 Victoria { 01.13.15 at 1:45 pm }

Hi, I was hoping to book a trip the week of March 7th and was surprised to see that as such a crowded week. I’m very curious as to why it would be so busy? Thanks for your help!

10 Dave { 01.14.15 at 1:40 pm }

Victoria, for years now that week has been the start of the busy spring break season. See this: https://yourfirstvisit.net/2014/08/04/disney-world-spring-break-crowds-in-2015/

11 cory { 01.19.15 at 5:27 pm }

Hi Dave I booked a trip for the week of chismas 12-24-15 thru
1-2-16 just to do it once. This will be my fourth time going so I have done everything thing there. I think it will be fun to wake up chrismas morning in Disney world what do you think or am I just crazy for this one. It will just be me and my wife our age is mid 30’s.

12 Dave { 01.20.15 at 9:26 am }

Cory, I think so long as you know what you are getting yourself into that it will be a ball to try out!!

13 Jill { 01.24.15 at 6:15 am }

We are going to be in Orlando 2/11-2/13 and would like to spend one day in Magic Kingdom. Any thoughts on which day would be best. Trying to avoid the crowds.

14 Dave { 01.24.15 at 9:06 am }

Jill, 2/11 is the best.

15 Anonymous { 01.27.15 at 4:18 am }

Thanks Dave!

16 Sue { 02.06.15 at 2:54 pm }

Hello!
My daughter and I are planning a 3 days at WDW in March we arrive March 19th and fly out March 27th. I am just wondering when to visit the parks as it is very busy then. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday would that be are best bet?
Thanks!
Sue

17 Dave { 02.07.15 at 7:21 am }

Sue, it varies by park. Which were you thinking of visiting?

18 becca { 02.07.15 at 11:05 pm }

I was curious how you calculate your crowd predictions. I planned a vacation based on your recommendations which has a 3 rating and in the top 10 weeks then according to another site it is a crowd rating of 6. That’s a significant difference.

19 Dave { 02.08.15 at 12:00 pm }

Hi Becca. There’s no consistent treatment of this across sites–and I’m not even aware of another site that does weekly ratings like mine, rather than daily ones. If you give me the week and the other site, then I can tell you which predictions (my or theirs) are more uncertain, and why!

My rankings are designed to guide people to good weeks and away from bad weeks. As a result, I have many fewer “in between” rankings than many have. Specifically, I don’t have an even distribution–same numbers of 5s as 1s, etc. I’m thin on 5, 6 and 7 in particular because on this site those are “maybe but probably not” rankings for first timers who may never return, and I want to limit such wishy-washiness.

20 becca { 02.08.15 at 7:48 pm }

Thanks Dave,
Touring Plans is where I got my info. I am looking to go to Disney February 27. We really hate crowds so I am hoping your information is more accurate.

21 Dave { 02.09.15 at 10:48 am }

Becca I used to think the world of the Touring Plans calendars but I now think the best source of daily crowds is Josh’s site e.g. http://www.easywdw.com/category/calendar/03-march-2015-crowd-calendar/ He’s showing 4s and 5s, which is consistent with my ranking. Hardly any kids are on break that week, and that’s what drives crowds–see this https://yourfirstvisit.net/2014/08/04/disney-world-spring-break-crowds-in-2015/

22 Tami { 02.09.15 at 8:11 pm }

Hi!
Just found your site and love all the info! But bummed….we are book Febuary 16-22. I thought week after holiday Monday would be a quite week. We were there Jan 4- 10 and even with the marathon found it to be quite enjoyable. Has the week after President Day traditionally been one of the highest?

23 Dave { 02.10.15 at 7:42 am }

Yes, Tami. A lot of Northeastern schools have the whole week off, and many other snow-country families just take it off since it’s already a short week at work and at school, and they need some sun! In 2015 it’s even worse because Mardi Gras also happens to fall that week, and some southern districts have a break around Mardi Gras.

24 Becca { 02.11.15 at 11:31 am }

Thanks Dave for the info! I really appreciate your time efforts and knowledge!

25 Dave { 02.12.15 at 7:49 am }

🙂 Becca

26 Shannon { 02.21.15 at 8:36 am }

Hey Dave,
Our trip is planned this coming wed-sun. At the parks 26-28…. Looks like a low attendance week per your chart… Any breakdown for days or better parks to hit on days? What a great site you have and such awesome info! Thank you!!!!

27 Dave { 02.21.15 at 10:18 am }

H i Shannon and thanks! The 26th avoid MK, the 27th avoid Epcot, and the 28th avoid HS and MK!

28 Shari { 02.21.15 at 12:52 pm }

Hi Dave! I have been to Disney many times and I took my husband for the 1st time two years ago! We went May 2nd thinking it would be a great time as it was after Spring Break and before Schools got out. It was absolutely awful, I couldn’t believe it! Seems there were band and cheerleader competitions from all over the world that week! Anyway, we are trying to go again and are looking at Mid Sept or Mid October. Any advice and also how do we avoid the activities going on during that time like we were hit with last time? Any ideas appreciated!

29 Dave { 02.22.15 at 10:27 am }

Shari, I’m not sure much how much I can help. If you found early May absolutely awful, there are very few dates with significantly lower wait times. Luckily, though, one of them is September.

However, in September it’s critical to pick the right park on the right day. It’s not just a matter of avoiding EMH days, but also dealing with the very real flow of crowds in and out of MK based on the party schedule. See this.

Once you set your dates, get back to me and I can help with parks to avoid by day…

30 cody w howell { 03.04.15 at 11:44 pm }

Dave we will be arriving sunday march 15 2015 and was planning on going that tuesday to magical kingdom. Now we went last year the first week of august and it was elbow to elbow I was wondering in your opinion which day from monday to wensday would be the best thank you

31 Dave { 03.05.15 at 10:00 am }

Cody, looking pretty bad all week. Tues and Weds will be better than Monday

32 Karen Holmes { 03.06.15 at 12:33 pm }

Hello! We just returned from a wonderful trip the WDW, and while we had a great time, we weren’t expecting the much larger than anticipated crowds for the last week of February… We suspect that the Princess Marathon was the reason. We picked February for the low crowd predictions, but every day, we were so surprised by how packed the parks were. I’m sure they are worse in the summer and on holidays, but at times, it was wall to wall people- pretty thick trying to move through. I’m wondering why none of the crowd calendars I’ve seen seem to reflect to larger crowd this event apparently has begun to attract…? We thought maybe it would thin out as the week progressed, but it never did, and somehow, even though we didn’t go to the parks with extra magic hours at the end on the week, the parks we chose had the largest crowds. I just thought perhaps that last week of February, or whenever they plan the half marathon next year should be revised to reflect the larger crowd. Even the cast members in the parks commented on how much larger the crowd was than usual.

33 Dave { 03.07.15 at 8:10 am }

Well, Karen, the thing is, it was a low crowd week… if you don’t believe me, see this and (way down the page) this.

There’s a number of reasons behind the mismatch of the fact of low crowds and the different feeling people have about their own experience. Many are here.

But I am guessing just from what you said that it is our words that have misled you.

What we all call “Crowd Calendars” are not, in fact, crowd calendars. What they are is ride wait calendars, and waits and crowds are not perfectly correlated.

Specifically, it is quite common for crowds outside the ride queues to be high on days that the waits (compared to alternatives) are low. That’s because people do not fear lines getting longer, and hence aren’t compelled to get into the lines. This can literally put tens of thousands of people on the walkways on “low crowd”–that is, low wait–days.

34 Lindsey Perry { 03.10.15 at 2:23 pm }

How do you feel about 8-14 leaving 8-20. 5 park days. Weather and crowd wise? Thanks! 2 kids 6&5 second trip

35 Dave { 03.10.15 at 3:51 pm }
36 Jane { 03.22.15 at 10:36 pm }

Hi Dave, we are planning a return visit for Thanksgiving week 2015 (after going the same week last year). I wanted to start planning which days we’d be at which parks, but I see that info for that far out isn’t out yet (i.e. no extra magic hours released yet, no month calendar on Josh’s site, etc.). Do I have to wait until right before my 180 day window opens for dining to figure out the days? Or should this info be available sooner? If you could hazard a guess, I’d love the intel: we will arrive on Sat Nov 21 and depart Sat Nov 28, so our full days will be Sun 22 – Fri 27. We are intending (hoping….) to get military salute tickets again, so we’d have 4 day park hoppers–so, 6 days there with only 4 days of parks. Planning to skip Tgiving day as a park day again b/c that worked out well last time, but otherwise open to any suggestions. Things went so well last time using all your advice–I don’t think we waited in any line more than about 15 minutes. Thanks!

37 Dave { 03.23.15 at 11:49 am }

Hi Jane! November won’t be out for around three weeks, but I don’t expect crowd or operating patterns to change compared to last year, so you can use Josh’s Nov 2014 Thanksgivings week for preliminary planning, asking any adjustments (if needed) when the real calendar comes out!

38 Erin { 03.24.15 at 3:50 pm }

Hi Dave,
My family planned on visiting Disney on 11/30/15 to 12/5/15. (We are DCV members.) However, we are finding it very difficult to find a 2 bedroom villa. The only resort available is Animal Kingdom. Is there something going on that week that is taking up all the rooms?

39 Dave { 03.24.15 at 4:54 pm }

Erin, the full Disney Christmas program is in place only 11/27 through 12/18, and savvy travelers–such as DVC owners–know that’s one of the best times of the year to go. So every year it’s really hard to find places you can use your points then (especially earlier in the period) unless you do your home resort before the 7 month window opens…

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