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

2015 Weeks to Visit Walt Disney World, Ranked in Order

By Dave Shute

December  January   February   March   April   May   June    July


This site recommends arriving at Walt Disney World one of the first three Saturdays after Thanksgiving.

If you can’t go then, presented below are the weeks of 2015 in order of best to worst. (For 2016 rankings, see this, and for 2017 rankings, see this.)

The ranking is designed for first time visitors who do not know whether or not they will return.

For visitors on a return trip, less concerned about ride closures, the later January and early February weeks would be ranked much higher–with the Marathon and Martin Luther King Day weeks being the worst of these.

Disney World 2015 Week Rankings from

These week rankings are based on my 2015 Disney World Crowd Calendar and on 2015 Walt Disney World price seasons.

Other factors are key as well–the Christmas season, ride closure season and hurricane season in particular.


The recommended weeks that follow are wonderful weeks to visit Walt Disney World in 2015.

Week number one has it all–lower crowds, low prices and wonderful Christmas programs and decorations. The first Saturday of this week overlaps with Thanksgiving crowds and prices, but the rest of it will be marvelous:

  • 1: 11/28/15.

Weeks 2 and 3 have many, but not all, of the strengths of week 1:

  • 2: 12/5/15. Largely a terrific week with low crowds, low prices and wonderful holiday programs. However, this is a week that, because of Pop Warner football demand for resort rooms, is rarely discounted beyond its already low prices. Those intending to stay at a value resort should consider avoiding this week and target week 1 instead, as Pop Warner may make the value resorts crowded and boisterous this week
  • 3: 12/12/15. A week as good as week 1 on crowds and holiday programs. Much more expensive at the values and moderates, however, than weeks 1 or 2

Weeks 4 is a very strong week. It has low crowds and prices, and most of Disney World’s holiday program except at Epcot will be in place

  • 4: 11/14/15

Weeks 5 and 6 share great late autumn weather and have low crowds. These are near-tied, but are in calendar order as the best weather is earlier

  • 5: 10/17/15
  • 6: 10/24/15

Week 7 has many of the positive features of week 4, but a price kick-up at the beginning for the end of Jersey Week

  • 7: 11/7/15

Weeks 8 and 9 share great late spring weather, low crowds but moderate prices. The April week comes out a little ahead because of slightly better weather

  • 8: 4/25/15
  • 9: 5/2/15

Weeks 10 is your best 2015 Spring Break bet, with low crowds and moderate prices

  • 10: 2/28/15

Week 11 is similar to week 8, with slightly higher crowds

  • 11: 4/18/15

Week 12 is similar to week 9, but with more chance of the beginning of summer-like weather

  • 12: 5/9/15

Week 13 is similar to week 10, but has higher crowds at the beginning of the week

  • 13:  2/21/15

Week 14 is similar to week 11, but with slightly higher crowds, especially at the beginning of the week

  • 14: 4/11/15

This completes the weeks in 2015 that are recommended.


Weeks 15-19 all have moderate crowd levels, with different prices and weather. I don’t particularly recommend moderate-crowd weeks for first time visitors, but would go myself such weeks with no hesitation.

They are in order of least to most crowded, and within crowd groups are sorted by price.

  • 15: 10/31/15. Jersey Week”—teacher meetings in New Jersey, leading to a massive temporary immigration of New Jersey families to Orlando. Crowds moderate-minus, prices low, almost never discounted
  • 16: 5/16/15. Similar to week 12 but with higher crowds and more summer-like weather. Crowds moderate-minus. Prices moderate
  • 17: 10/10/15. Columbus Day week with higher crowds and prices than the great weeks (ranked 5 and 6) that follow it
  • 18: 8/8/15. Moderate-plus crowds as the summer season begins to fade away
  • 19: 5/30/15.  Beginning of summer–similar crowds to week 18, but higher prices in deluxes

Weeks 20-27 have one thing in common: they occur during but the peak of the hurricane season. Hurricanes are rare and even more rarely affect a Disney World vacation, but for first-timers who may never return, why not just avoid the risk? They are ranked in order of first crowd levels, and within the same crowd level prices.

Weeks 20 and 21 have among the lowest crowds and lowest prices of the year.

  • 20: 9/19/15
  • 21: 9/12/15

Week 22 has slightly higher crowds than weeks 20 and 21.

  • 22: 9/5/15

Week 23 has higher crowds than 22, and week 24 slightly higher than 23.

  • 23: 8/29/15
  • 24: 8/22/15

Week 25 has similar crowds to 24, but higher prices at moderates and deluxes.

  • 25: 9/26/15

Weeks 26 and 27 are the only moderate-crowd weeks in this hurricane group

  • 26: 10/3/15
  • 27: 8/15/15


There’s two groups of weeks to avoid:  high crowd weeks and weeks when rides are often closed.

The first group, ranked 28-47, should be avoided because of crowds ranging from high to unbelievable.

This group includes all of later June, July and early August (massive crowds, higher prices). Prices go down in Deluxes starting in mid-July, and in the other resorts in mid-August.

It also includes the busy March Spring Break weeks beginning 3/7/2015, and the holiday weeks—President’s Day week, the weeks before and after Easter, Thanksgiving week, and the weeks around Christmas.

Click the table for exact rankings within these lousy weeks.

The next group includes the January and early February weeks when rides are often closed for repair or refurbishment—weeks 48-53.

Many of these weeks have the lowest crowds and lowest prices of the year.

(But not all--click the table above.)

However, this is the peak time for ride closures at Walt Disney World, especially the January weeks.

If this may be your only family visit, why go when you know some of the best of Disney World will be closed?

If you must go during this period, avoid the first week of January (massive crowds), and the Martin Luther King (1/17/15 arrival date) Day holidays.

The Marathon Weekend (affecting arrival dates of 1/3 and 1/10/15) complicates and crowds the parks as well.


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

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1 Troy { 12.09.13 at 8:51 am }

Hey Dave – I’m not trying to be a snotty grammar cop, but you strike me as the kind of person that would want to know, so you could correct it. Weeks 4 & 5: “they has low crowds…”

Even though our trip was a year ago and there are no plans for going again anytime soon, I still enjoy checking in and reading your site. Have a good Christmas…

2 tobey { 12.09.13 at 9:52 am }

we just got back from Disney. Our stay was from 11/30 to 12/7. It was busier than I have ever seen on this week. This is usually a good week to go (wk after Thanksgiving) but it was crowded more than it usually is. A family we were talking to said that they have been coming for 14 years the Saturday after Thanksgiving and have never seen it as busy as it was and that the crowds are usually low. What do you think is the reason? Could it be that everyone is catching on to this low crowd week, or do you think it’s because Thanksgiving was late this year?

3 Dave { 12.10.13 at 7:23 am }

Troy! Great to hear from you, and I love hearing about any kind of error–it just makes the site better. You and yours have a great Christmas too!

4 Dave { 12.10.13 at 7:27 am }

Tobey today’s my last day at WDW on a trip that started Tuesday the third, and the parks have been about as I expected them to be.

They are a little more crowded than last year, as they are every year, because of people, as you note, catching on!!–but not too much.

This is a time of year when because of hugely varying operating hours and evening programming at MK, which park you got to which day really matters. But even with that, late afternoon yesterday at MK headliner waits were only 45-60 mins–and this on an EMH day with the full evening program sandwiched between two early close days–that is, a high crowd day at MK…and Friday afternoon, headliner waits at MK were 30-45 mins…

5 Tobey { 12.10.13 at 10:23 am }

Thanks Dave! I didn’t think the crowds were insane, just busier than usual. I was also traveling with 2 other families so I think that made it difficult at times, because of all the age differences and preferences.

6 Dave { 12.11.13 at 8:31 am }

Touring Plans released an analysis that showed they were indeed up last week, but that it varied a lot by day/park. See

7 Cassie { 12.11.13 at 5:40 pm }

Starting off – love your site, great info. I was visiting 11/30 – 12/7 as well – wondering if the data that Touring Plans released on last week will affect your recommendations for 2015? We will probably return in 2015. I have traveled to WDW in the past during each of the Sept, Oct, Nov and December months and by far the Sept and Nov trips were the least busy and didn’t have much for ride closures – just have to deal with the heat. Would think those would make better experiences for first time visitors IMHO. . .we had 4 in our group that were there for the first time last week and it was a bit busy for our collective tastes. . .they came away thinking that WDW is crazy busy all the time if last week was a low crowd week 🙂

8 Dave { 12.12.13 at 7:23 am }

Hi Cassie, and thanks!!!

I was there last week (Tuesday the 3rd through Tuesday the 10th), and found the crowds fine–but I went to the right parks on the right days! See this for the general point and this for a “trip report” of a kind: These weeks get alittle more corwded each year…but are still a strong time to go.

I do like a lot for first time visitors who may never return late Oct (because out of the peak of the hurricane season) and November after Jersey week and before Thanksgiving week. For repeat visitors, the peak of the hurricane season matters less, so I’d add Sept for them!

9 Pete { 01.04.14 at 12:28 pm }

What a great site! Thanks for all the effort. We are a veteran Disney family changing visit for 2015 from late fall to winter. Looking at weeks jan 24-30, jan 31-February 6, Feb 21-27, or February 28-mar 6. Low crowds are a huge priority for us, especially with fast pass plus cramping our fast pass style. Just trying to balance better weather and ride closures with low crowds during these four weeks. How much lower will crowds be earlier dates? Will things closed jan typically be open in February or will closures be roughly the same. Closure concerns would mostly be on the big rides only. Thanks for any advice. I know it’s all educated guessing this far out.

10 Dave { 01.05.14 at 8:57 am }

Hi Pete and thanks!!

For low crowds it’s the Jan 24 or Jan 31 arrival dates.

To avoid ride closures but still see lower crowds, I’d pick Feb 28.

The crowd difference is substantial between these options, but myself I’d still pick the end of Feb. Crowds are still low enough then to be manageable, you avoid–as you note–the ride closure season, and the odds are it won’t be as cold…

11 Haylz { 01.18.14 at 4:45 am }

I have found your website very useful, we are hoping to visit Disney world next year (2015) my husband has a special birthday coming up November 3rd was hoping to be in Florida for it. After looking at your best times to visit some of November is looking pretty good if you get it right. We have a little girl too so it would be nice to see some Christmas decorations up if we timed it right, we would prefer to go for 2 weeks which 2 weeks would you highly recommend for first time visitors. Thank You

12 Dave { 01.18.14 at 10:17 am }

Hi Haylz and I’m glad the site is helping! I recommend in November the two weeks beginning November 7!

13 Denise { 01.21.14 at 9:03 pm }

We’re planning a 3rd family trip in 2015. My kids will be 10, 6, and 4. I completely agree with leaving really young kids at home (which is what we did with our 2 year old this year). We are the type of disney travelers that love taking a midday break for the pool. We were thinking about going in November but I’m worried the weather may be too chilly for the pool. My husband was thinking maybe the end of August instead but that may be too hot for walking around. What’s the weather like for September and October???

14 Dave { 01.22.14 at 7:55 am }

Denise, I highly recommend the second half of October. You’ll be out of both summer heat and also the peak of the hurricane season, but won’t likely see the weather variability of November. For more on the weather in these months, see this:

15 Denise { 01.22.14 at 11:26 am }

I was looking at the weather you posted but it is a little complex! 🙂 So, the week of Columbus day may be good then?? Thanks.

16 Dave { 01.23.14 at 7:21 am }

Denise, the week of Columbus day is a little crowded and expensive. I meant the last two weeks–the weeks beginning 10/18 and 10/25

17 Kara { 01.31.14 at 11:10 pm }

I have spent hours pouring over your site. You have so much great information. I am wondering what week you would suggest if my children REALLY want to go the water parks. I am thinking about weeks 6 or 7. What are our chances of free dining during that week? Also, would you suggest booking another day for one of the water parks or do you think we could squeeze them in during some of the free times or maybe the last day? We plan to follow your 8 day itinerary for the most part. My kids will be 8 and 9 and we will be driving so we have some flexibility on when we leave the last day. This will be our first trip to Disney World, but we have been to Disneyland. I am willing to spend a little more to go the water parks, but budget does remain a very important concern for us.

18 Dave { 02.01.14 at 10:17 am }

Hi Kara! I’d look to the May dates if waterparks are really critical to you–weeks 9 and 12.

There’s not a huge difference, but May temps are both a little higher and a little less variable, and you pretty much eliminate “rain from tropical storms” risk in May, while you’ve got a bit of that still in later October. For the details see this

You can definitely squeeze a waterparks morning in, but at the cost of being crankier and more exhausted when you leave…I’d add a day…

19 DaniellePerry { 02.11.14 at 11:41 am }

Hi- We are in the midst of planning a 5th trip next year. My kiddos will be 8 and 10. Is there a major weather/crowd difference between the last week in April and the last week in May?

20 Dave { 02.12.14 at 8:04 am }

Yes there is Danielle, on both. The last week of May is a holiday week that also shows the beginning of summer breaks. The last week of April 2015 will be much less crowded. See this:

Sometime in May–the date varies–Orlando switches from spring to hot, muggy and rainy summer. See this:

21 Diane { 03.19.14 at 4:07 pm }

We are in the process of booking a trip 2/14/15-2/21/15. Do you know if they do offer discounts during presidents week off?

22 Dave { 03.20.14 at 7:52 am }

Diane, Disney hardly ever offers deals during wildly crowded and very expensive weeks such as President’s week.

23 Diane { 03.20.14 at 9:07 am }

One more question, we do have 3 young kids, do u think the crowds and long wait times will be unbearable during presidents week? Also, being that mardi gras falls on February 17th for 2015 which is the same week as presidents week does this make crowd levels worse?

24 Diane { 03.20.14 at 2:27 pm }

Continuation from above. Sorry about that. Do u find that the crowds during summer are the same as February break?
Thank you again for your help.

25 Dave { 03.21.14 at 8:19 am }

Diane, yes Mardi Gras will make it worse. I don’t think it will be unbearable, but there are much better weeks that will be more pleasant and also less expensive.

26 Dave { 03.21.14 at 8:21 am }

Diane crowds are about the same…

27 Chelsa { 03.22.14 at 10:43 am }

We are starting to plan our 2015 trip to Disney. My husband has been before, but the children and myself have not. We all would like to see the holiday lights without all the crowd. We have been looking at the week of November 28, 2015. My husbands family have timeshare down there so we will not be using the accommodations inside the park. We are also planning in our seven day trip to Visit Universal and Sea World. With that said, what is my best and most economical tickets to purchase to get into Disney. We are a family of 5 and we have some friends going with us and they are a family of 6 (all the kids’ ages 11,10,9,8,and three 7 year olds). We would like some relaxation time at the resort as well. I look forward to your response. Thanks you

28 Dave { 03.22.14 at 2:54 pm }

Chelsa, while it’s hard to say what may be true in 2015, in general there are no “economical” Disney World tickets. You can sometimes find them for 3-5% off…see this:

29 Sydney { 03.23.14 at 7:12 am }

Hey Dave! I am planning a trip to come October 17th – 23rd of 2015, from reading your article I feel confident in the week we have chosen since we want to experience the Halloween decorations and the Food and Wine Festival… What do you are tips for coming this week? We always come the second week in December or February so this is a big change for us!

30 Dave { 03.23.14 at 11:30 am }

Hi Sydney! O H … But to your question, I won’t have any specifics to offer for 2015 until Disney releases its calendars for then–whihc it does about 6.5 months ahead–or a year from now…

31 Hayley { 04.10.14 at 5:13 am }

Hi, I keep reading through your website it’s so helpful as we have not visited Florida before, We have picked 7th November 2015 to visit for our first time visit but have now seen that you recommend as the best week being 28th November 2015 even though it overlaps thanksgiving slightly would it be crowed still. Is the 28th November better than 7th November? And in relation to swimming is it warm enough to swim during November? thank you its so hard to pick the right time to go.

32 Dave { 04.10.14 at 1:27 pm }

Hayley, as you can see from the chart, over the course of the week these are very similar. You’ll have a bit of crowds at the beginning of both weeks, clearing up each week by Sunday evening. The later week has the full Christmas program, the earlier one just bits of it. Both weeks have very variable temps, so you can’t count on swimming either. It’s likely–you just can’t count on it.

33 Dan { 04.12.14 at 9:43 pm }

Dave, this site has been so awesome as we’ve planned multiple trips to WDW! Thanks for all of your hard work and the hours you put in to help everyone!

Planning a trip next February. I work for a school, so my dates are unfortunately set for me. For the first time ever, our school is having a “winter break” next February; basically, we will travel to WDW Feb. 19-24, 2015. At first I thought “February, awesome! Low crowds!” But after looking at your calendars… Not feeling that way anymore….

What is the reasoning behind the spike in crowd levels that week? I know it is Presidents’ Day, but I guess I never thought of that as a major holiday that people would travel….

Just curious. Thanks again for this awesome site!

34 Dave { 04.13.14 at 12:08 pm }

Hey Dan, and thanks! A ton of kids in the northeast have the whole week off. Other families simply take the week off, to get away form the cold before the zoo in Florida of later March. So it’s always a mess at WDW…worse in 2105 because its also Mardi Gras week, when a few southern states are off too…

35 Marlene { 04.23.14 at 11:21 am }

We are starting to plan our 2015 trip with our oldest now starting school which limits the times we can go to between May 29-August 20th for the summer. Based on your calendar week of August 8th has less crowds but will the heat be too overwhelming?

Thank you!

36 Dave { 04.23.14 at 1:53 pm }

Marlene, the heat and humidity is typically horrible until later September. Honestly, until your kids are in AP classes in high school, I’d take them out of school…

37 Belinda { 04.29.14 at 11:07 pm }

I have never been to WDW but was thinking of going Nov 17th-22nd 2015. My question is what are the temperatures and is it hot enough to get in the pools that time of the year. Another thing is my son will be 5 then. Which value resort would be best for him. Thanks for your help in advance.

38 Dave { 04.30.14 at 8:20 am }

Belinda, on November crowds, weather etc see this: For a five year old boy, I’d recommedn Pop Centruy or All-Star Movies. Links to reviews of them are here:

39 aurielle { 05.10.14 at 6:23 pm }

hello my family and i are hoping to take a vaction in march of 2015 would that be a good time to go. it would be 3 familys going together we would have 7 kids going and 5 adults kids ages range from 1

40 Dave { 05.11.14 at 4:39 pm }

Aurielle, the only good week in March 2015 will be the first week. The rest of the month will be crowded and expensive.

41 Nicole { 05.22.14 at 12:07 am }

Hello! I am repeating a question I already asked you because I can’t remember where I asked the darn question in the first place, so I am really sorry!

Anyway, we used your site to plan our first trip in December 2012 and now we are headed back in January 2015! I want to start making plans but I am waiting to find out when they will announce ride closures for the winter. We are pretty flexible, but there are a couple of rides that my son would be devastated to miss! Do you know when they usually make these announcements?

Thanks so much! (And sorry for the double post!)

42 Dave { 05.22.14 at 9:57 am }

Nicole, your question, and my not-too-helpful answer, are here:

43 Nicole { 05.22.14 at 12:12 pm }

A-ha! There it is! Thanks 🙂

44 Marlene { 05.27.14 at 11:18 am }

I think we have narrowed down our 2015 date to either week 18 May 30th or week 19 August 8th. Any recommendations on one over the other? Price isn’t an issue since we are DVC members and will be using points. Our boys will be 2 and 5 at that point.

Thank you!

45 Marlene { 05.27.14 at 11:19 am }

Oops I got the weeks wrong in my previous post. Sorry.

46 Dave { 05.28.14 at 8:22 am }

Marlene, I like the May dates just a little better–weather will likely be better, and crowds may be a bit lower, though I have then ranked the same right now.

47 Melissa { 05.31.14 at 1:53 am }

Hi Dave,

My family are mostly all adults (with the exception of two under 15) and planning a trip already for 2016 (we can’t save up enough by 2015). We’re looking at potentially 10 people on a budget. Is it too early to start planning? (Two families: 6 and 4) Thinking Art of Animation at your request. Any idea what this would run us and when we should consider as first-time visitors in a low crowd/cheap/not toooo many ride closures time frame? Finally, is Destinations Florida “in the know” with all your recommendations from this site?

48 Dave { 06.01.14 at 9:19 am }

Hi Melissa! It’s never to early to set a budget and start saving. In terms of when to go there’s no perfect time but if cost is a really big deal aim for September–see this

For where to stay, the family of 6 complicates things, as there are few inexpensive options for that size. See this:

49 Cathy { 06.05.14 at 3:21 pm }

Good day sir,
My husband and I have been planning to bring our daughters and their families to walt disney for several years. The date has now been set for the week of May 18, 2015. Our daughters will stay Monday til late Friday, with my husband and I staying on til May 26. We would like to book at Disney Art of Animation resort. The granddaughters will be 5, 4 and 2 years of age. We would like to include a dining plan, park hopper and a character breakfast. We will also need airline tickets from DFW. Could you give any recommendations in whom to contact to help with such a group with these needs?

50 Dave { 06.06.14 at 7:54 am }

Hi Cathy–do you mean a travel agent? If so, I work with Destinations in Florida–here:

51 Colleen { 06.09.14 at 11:44 am }

Is the reason you rank late January at the bottom of the weeks to go list strictly based on ride closures? I assume you feel its significant? Sounds like a great time to me. But we do tend to go once a year or so (and I realize not every can or cares to (weirdos!)). What do you think the chances of the new rides being closed (ie. dwarf mine train)? And do rides tend to close every year, obviously I can understand the older ones do due to increased maintenance needs, but how about new ones? Thanks so much for what you do! I love your site and tell all my friends about it.

52 Dave { 06.10.14 at 8:33 am }

Hi Colleen and thanks!

The rankings are for first time visitors who may never return. So the ride closure season gets nailed. Splash Mountain, for example, in many people’s top 5 of all of WDW, is almost always closed at least part of the time then. Closures are otherwise unpredictable.

For returning visitors who can see a missed ride another year, the late Jan-early Feb dates are wonderful!

53 Krista { 06.25.14 at 9:39 am }

Hi Dave! LOVE LOVE LOVE your site! I’m wondering if you know when Disney will announce their pricing for Jan/Feb/March 2015? I’m anxious to start planning for February and called to receive room quotes but am eager to get the “real deal”. Also, I would think it’s possible to get 14 day tickets, but the website only goes up to 10 days…any insight on that?

54 Dave { 06.26.14 at 8:11 am }

Hi Krista and thanks!!! The “real” prices oughta come out any day now. Disney limits tix to ten days…although I know some overseas packages are for longer. It may be worth a call to see if there’s something longer than 10 that you can get.

55 Lucia { 06.27.14 at 8:54 pm }

Hi Dave,
We have booked our stay for the week of April 25th. I was really happy we will have great weather on lower crowds, until someone told me s love bug season and I shunt go to Florida tat week. Are love bugs such a ad thing at WDW?

56 Dave { 06.29.14 at 8:43 am }

Lucia, the love bug seaosn–typically twice a year–is a trivial annoyance unless you are driving your own fancy car, in which case you need to take special steps to keep them from marring the finish. Otherwise they just bump into you a bit at the pools, tickling but having zero other effect.

57 Gemma { 07.06.14 at 2:49 am }

Hi Dave, your site is fantastic, really useful when planning my trip last year. Last time we visited in late Feb/early March 2014 and crowds were quite heavy (think because of a huge local conference). In 2015 we were hoping to visit just after Easter. Not the best time we know but now we have kids in school (we live in UK) and have to fit a trip around school holidays. What do you think of the dates April 6th-16th? Will it be super crowded? Thanks!

58 Dave { 07.06.14 at 9:59 am }

Hi Gemma! It will be much more crowded than your Feb/March dates through the 11th. However, with your experience you should be able to make the crowded days work, as you know how to do things now!

59 Nick { 07.15.14 at 9:38 pm }

Hey Dave, nice work on analyzing all of these statistics. I have once suggestion. Can you also factor in the dates that the parks are open the longest and shortest amount of time? They can range from 10 to 16 hours of operation. Those extra 6 hours can make a huge difference in time as well. Maybe a certain week is better on crowds, but you might have less time to get around the park anyway because it closes earlier than other days. Funny the price of admission doesn’t reduce when they close early. Thanks for your research!

60 Dave { 07.16.14 at 6:32 am }

Hi Nick and thanks for the thought! Opening hours are wildly complicated, and don’t relate to waits in the ways you might think. Typically you can see more in a low crowd 10 hour day than a high crowd 16 hour day…

61 Thomas DiDonato { 07.29.14 at 10:38 am }

We went from Jan. 26th to Feb. 3rd 2014. It was very crowded. I think
All of South America was there. Hotel prices were good, and u cant
Beat free dining plan. Thanks for great site..

62 Nicola { 08.01.14 at 5:16 pm }

Hi Dave, great site! We’ve booked our Honeymoon for Oct 15-27th 2015 and I’m starting to panic slightly about crowds. We had it very good on our previous trip Sept 12-27th 2013 and pretty much walked around empty parks the whole time (apart from HS, that was always busy?). We’ve decided to go for October as we want to catch the food and wine festival and have less rain (fingers crossed) and humidity. But I’ve just found out its half term during October (school holidays for the UK) and Colombus day just before we get there. Am I panicking for no reason? Or should I consider moving things back/forward?


63 Dave { 08.02.14 at 7:46 am }

Nicola, the UK does not send enough traffic to matter, and Columbus Day crowds in 2014 will slow by 10/15–see this: So you will be fine!

64 Nicola { 08.02.14 at 10:39 am }

Thanks Dave! We will notice a bit of a difference in crowds compared to beginning of September though won’t we? Hopefully nothing too drastic!

65 Bev { 08.02.14 at 11:36 pm }

Hi Dave,
So happy I have found your site. This is brilliant!!!

I have a quick question for you. We have lunch at CRT at 12pm and then I have a FP+ reservation at Space Mountain at 1.00-2.00pm as I had read somewhere on your site that you should allow 90 minutes for character meals. We should therefore finish CRT at 1.30pm and make it to Space Mountain on time? Or should I go for a slightly later time to be on safe side as there is a 1.50pm – 2.50pm slot for Space Mountain? Just want to make sure we are ready for the afternoon parade at 2.30pm you have said. What should we do?

Also, there are 13 of us and we have the table dining plan for 6 nights (1 counter, 1 table and 1 snack each day) but have more Table service meals booked than this so just wondered where we are best to use our dining plan credits vs paying for the meal?
1. Fantasmic Dining Package (dinner)
2. Only 5 of us have booked Akershus (lunch)
3.Chef Mickey (dinner)
4. 1900 Park Fare (dinner)
5.Crystal Palace (dinner)
6. Hoop de Doo Show (dinner) 2 credits
7. Cinderellas Royal Table (lunch) 2 credits
8. Whispering Canyon (dinner)
9. Sci- Fi Diner (lunch)

Thanks so much and am about to buy your kindle now that I love your site so much!

66 Dave { 08.03.14 at 1:07 pm }

Nicola it will be a little more crowded. Even more cortically, the timing of the Halloween parties can send massive or light crowds to MK and the other parks, so picking the right park the right day is critical that time of year…see this:

67 Dave { 08.03.14 at 1:12 pm }

Hi Bev and thanks!!!!

You oughta be able to get to Space Mountain, but it can’t hurt to delay! And on the meals–in general the two credit meals are best paid for in cash, since the way the math works they “cost” only about 1.5 credits.

68 Bev { 08.06.14 at 4:25 am }

Thanks Dave. That’s great advice thank you. Am assuming that the 5 in our group doing Akershus should use their credits for that then and the other 8 of us use ours at Sci-Fi Diner.
Also, checking in online to AK Lodge, I know you have suggested to someone else 3rd or 4th floor near lobby but when I went to check in I could only pick two of the following:
Ground Floor, Upper Floor, Near Lobby (tick), Near elevator, Sunset Savaanna view, Highest floor, Kudu Trail View, Lower floor, Near transportation. Which one is considered 3rd or 4th floor??
You are the best!

69 Dave { 08.06.14 at 10:15 am }

Bev, sign up for “higher floor” then also call– see this:

70 Bev { 08.06.14 at 4:07 pm }

Thanks Dave, that article is very helpful! Will have to use your agents that you recommend next time. When you say “Higher Floor” – sorry but do you mean “Upper Floor” or “Highest Floor” which are my two options? And this is a better request than asking for sunset savant view or Kudu trail view?

71 Dave { 08.07.14 at 7:01 am }

Upper floor, Bev!! And I don’t think which Savanna matters much…

72 Anne Curry { 08.21.14 at 1:50 pm }

Hi there,
Thanks for your site, it’s very informative!
I plan to visit with my husband children (14 & 9) for 2 weeks from August 15th or 17th 2015. We are in England, don’t want to take them out of school.
How busy is it likely to be (ie wait time for big rides)? Also as we will be visiting Space Centre, Discovery Cove, Universal etc we plan to stay in a Disney Villa. Which ones do you prefer, Boardwalk or Beach Club and when do they go on sale? There seems to be no availability at the moment on the WDW website!

73 Tina { 08.22.14 at 12:04 am }

Hey Dave, We are planning our 2015 Disney Vacation. We always try to come in Nov when the Christmas is going on. Usually around the second week. I noticed that the week of the 14th was a good week but hoping to get free dining. In times past free dining would usually start the second full week of Nov. We like to try and get in for the Christmas and free dining. What do you think about this week and is it better to start your days on a Sat or Sun. We usually go for the whole week. Thanks for this site.

74 Dave { 08.22.14 at 11:40 am }
75 Dave { 08.22.14 at 11:47 am }

Tina, I’ve got no insight into free dining next year, but would a. follow the patterns of prior years–e.g. this and b. would expect any deal to begin Sunday.

76 Matt { 08.24.14 at 10:38 pm }

First off, thanks so much for this site. It’s amazing!
We live in California and are able to visit Disneyland every 3-4 years, so many of the ride closures are not such a big deal for us since we can experience the Disneyland versions. Our kids are 8 and 11 years-old, and this will be our first and (probably) only visit to Disney World, and to make it affordable, we have to go when I have a conference for work in Orlando (pays for my tickets and part of the hotel!), so we’re stuck with the week we have to go. We’re planning to go the week of 1/18/15 (arrive in Orlando Sunday evening, spend 3 days at the Disney parks and two days at Universal – the kids are Harry Potter fanatics – then fly out Saturday afternoon). Which days do you suggest going to which Disney parks, and which days are we better off skipping Disney and hitting Universal (not asking for opinions on Universal, I know that’s not your area, but that’s what we’ll be doing on non-Disney days)?

77 Matt { 08.24.14 at 10:40 pm }

Re: previous comment – it pays for my plane tickets, not the park tickets!

78 Dave { 08.26.14 at 6:53 am }

Matt, historically Universal has been least crowded Sat-Mon, and most crowded Thurs and Fri. The holiday gets in the way of that pattern your dates, so I’d aim for Tues and Weds at HP. Among the Disney parks Animal Kingdom and Epcot are the most different from California, Hollywood Studios tends to disappoint people who know DLR the best.

Assuming the Tues/Weds at Universal, do AK on Monday, Epcot on Thurs, and MK on Friday…

79 Nicola { 09.01.14 at 12:45 pm }

Hi Dave,

So, we’re looking to change our holiday from mid october to 9th Nov for 2 weeks. I’ve heard of ‘Jersey week’ and I believe there is another school holiday in November as well? Will we be affected by these? In terms of weather, will it be warm still? Still want to be able to swim etc. Thanks!

80 Dave { 09.03.14 at 8:12 am }
81 Anne Curry { 09.04.14 at 8:48 am }

Hi Again, thank you for the reply. I am quite keen to try the Beach Club Villas but nothing seems to be on sale for next August except OKW resort & Saratoga. Do the other Villas go on sale a lot later?
Your book is great too by the way!

82 Dave { 09.04.14 at 12:56 pm }

Thanks Anne! Because DVC point owners get to start reserving at 11 months and 7 months, it’s not uncommon to not see a lot of DVC inventory for the rest of us until 7 months or so from the arrival date

83 Tina { 09.09.14 at 9:02 pm }

Would Nov 8th thru the 15th, 2015 be a good time to plan our trip? The Christmas decorations are usually up by then? I was wanting to go the Week after that but was afraid that it would be getting to close to Thanksgiving. Also compared to this years free dining, if they start it around the same time the dining will end during that week also. Great site. Thanks

84 Becky { 09.10.14 at 8:32 am }

Do you have a list of best weeks for Disneyland? Thx!

85 Dave { 09.10.14 at 12:45 pm }

Sorry, Becky, I don’t…

86 Dave { 09.10.14 at 12:47 pm }

Tina, yes that will be a good week!! The xmas program should be fully in place except at Epcot, which traditionally starts the day after Thanksgiving.

87 Stuart { 09.16.14 at 10:32 am }

Originally my wife and I wanted to take our kids out of school, but since we can save on a week of summer camp for 2 kids, we decided to go early June. Is 6/13/15-6/20/15 manageable? Would 6/6/15-6/13/15 be better?

88 Dave { 09.17.14 at 8:21 am }

Stuart, the earlier in June the better.

89 Emily { 09.20.14 at 4:55 pm }

Hi, I am a teacher so I am limited to the dates when I can travel. I know both will be bad with crowds but which will be better, Mardi Gras Week or the week after Easter? Thank you for your help!

90 Dave { 09.21.14 at 8:26 am }

Emily, the week of Mardi Gras! It’ll be lousy–as that’s also Presidents Day week in 2015–but the week after Easter looks as ugly in 2015 as its been in a while…

91 Phoebe { 09.23.14 at 1:04 am }

Hi Dave!
I have a conference in Orlando on January 9th & 10th and I was hoping to get to Disney for 3-4 days in the week before and after the conference. I see that both weeks are ranked really low, what would be the best days to try for?

92 Dave { 09.23.14 at 8:14 am }

Phoebe the low ranking is because of ride closures. Otherwise those are low crowd, low price dates except for the weekend, which sees some mess from the marathon. To avoid the marathon, aim for arriving Jan 4 and you should have a great Disney visit!!

93 Maureen { 09.28.14 at 9:43 am }

Hi Dave. We used your sight for our first trip back in the Spring 2012. Your predictions in way of crowds and pricing were spot on correct. We pretty much followed your itinerary. We had the best family vacation ever! This site is a wealth of useful information. Thank you.

We enjoyed our first trip to Disney so much we are going back next Spring. I notice that you rank the week of April 18, 2015 as a crowd level 4 or Low-plus. Here in the Northeast that is school vacation week. Won’t that effect the crowds? I would think the crowds would be higher. What do you think? Thanks, Maureen

94 Dave { 09.29.14 at 7:13 am }

Hi Maureen and I’m so glad the site helped! There’s a ton of kids in Mass of that week, but that’s about it–all other large pop states have earlier spring breaks, and the northeast kids are not enough to move the needle on crowds to above “4”. See the chart on this page:

95 Kelly { 09.29.14 at 10:54 pm }

We are planning a disney trip for 2015 and want to do it as inexpensively as possible. We are a family of 3 with a 3 year old. She will be 4 in June. When do you think is the best time to go based on discounts, low crowds and great weather? My daughter loves princesses and we hope to do several character dinings …. Is it better to go during free dining if we do 3 or more character places ( Cinderella royal table, akershus and Hollywood and Vine) . Some of our potential dates are all for 2015:
April 25
October 17
October 24
November 14
Nov 28
Dec 12
Last question: when are discounts typically released for those time frames and are any of those dates typical times for free dining based on past trends? Thank you for your advice in advance!

96 Dave { 09.30.14 at 7:05 am }

Kelly, there’s no date that combines all of low prices, low crowds, great deals, and great weather. If you ignore weather, September is the best time to go–see this: But Sept can be wildly hot and humid, and is also in the peak of the hurricane season.

The best time among your options for crowds/prices/weather is the second half of October. It has slightly higher crowds and prices than Sept, and much less chance of free dining–tho a room rate deal is likely–but much better weather.

Deals typically come out ~ 2-4 months ahead.

97 Anonymous { 09.30.14 at 1:15 pm }

Planning for a trip Feb 2015. Why do you rank Feb 28 week higher than Feb 21 week? Is it weather, crowds…there is some discrepancy among crowd calendars regarding which week will have lower crowds. We could go either week, but need weekends to travel due to husbands job, it has to be one or the other.

98 Dave { 09.30.14 at 6:36 pm }

There is a spillover of crowds from the prior weekend (21st and 22nd) that makes crowds overall a little worse in the earlier week. If you will be missing the weekend in the parks, then they are just about identical!

99 Amber { 10.28.14 at 10:22 am }

We are planning a trip to Disney World in April 2015. We chose the week of April 25, according to your rankings. I just noticed that the Cheer and Dance competition will be at the ESPN facility that weekend — will this event cause crowds at the parks to be greater than we had hoped?

100 Nissa { 10.28.14 at 6:22 pm }

Thanks for the nice break down of prices and crowds. I’m planning a winter trip for my family–we have a 4.5 year old and child who will be under 2 yrs old. They will be interested in the slowest, most boring rides possible and we are planning to do some character encounters. The jam 31st week seems appealing from a crowd and cost perspective. Do they oftenclose kiddy rides all at the same time?

101 Dave { 10.29.14 at 8:10 am }

Amber, happens every year, is well known to have little impact on park wait times.

102 Dave { 10.29.14 at 8:13 am }

Nissa–only one or two rides, typically. You will be fine!!

103 Jill { 10.31.14 at 11:33 pm }

Hi Dave,
Planning a trip for the fall 2015….not our first (or last!) time. Want to try to catch food and wine festival and Halloween party but keep the crowds as low as possible. Recommended week? Definitely want to be able to swim as we may do the Beach Club this time, but don’t want a miserable husband from the heat (he’s a skier!). We will have 3 adults and 3 kids aged 7-10 and probably 2 rooms. Looking for your expert opinion on when and where you would stay.,

104 Dave { 11.01.14 at 5:19 pm }

Hi Jill! Aim for the second half of October–it perfectly matches all your criteria. For your hotel, take a look a the material that begins here–there’s links to both less expensive and more comfortable options

105 Tasha { 11.05.14 at 8:47 pm }

Hey Dave -We are planning our second trip to DW (went for the first time in 2014, last week of feb and crowds were awesome! No wait times at ALL!) We were only at Disney for 3 days last time and only did 2 days of parks. We want to go back and do it right this time – stay at Disney for a week and do all 4 parks in 4 of the 7 days. I have to go sometime between April 1 to June 1 due to work schedule. According to your recommended weeks I am considering arriving at Disney 23rd-24th of April and staying through the 1st or 2nd of May. Since we will only be doing 4 days of parks are there certain days of the week you recommend for the parks? Trying to get as lucky as we did last year and avoid the lines and crowds. Any advice is appreciated!!!

106 Dave { 11.06.14 at 10:50 am }

Tasha, in general target Tuesday to Friday. You cna find exact advice for which parks which days on Josh’s site–see this for April:

107 John { 11.06.14 at 3:55 pm }

Great site Dave! We’re planning our family’s first trip to Disney World for November 2015. How do you recommend booking the trip to maximize savings? The Disney website or some other method? Also, I was thinking of arrival on 11/28/15. Would you recommend departure on 12/5 or 12/6. . . .or does it really matter? Thanks.

108 Dave { 11.08.14 at 3:02 pm }

Hey John thanks! There’s no particular way to book that generates any real savings compared to alternatives. For departures…well longer trips are better than shorter ones, unless your kids are under 8…

109 Bill { 11.10.14 at 1:01 pm }

I am puzzled by your recommendation regarding the week of MLK birthday holiday ie, the week of 1/17/2015. After checking ride closures, it does not appear any major rides are closed. Perhaps I missed something or need to do more research. Could you explain your position on this week more fully? Thanks

110 Dave { 11.10.14 at 4:42 pm }

Hi Bill! While more closures are possible, the material one–as it almost always is this time of year–is Splash Mountain, closed Jan 5 to Jan 31.

111 Terry { 11.14.14 at 2:58 pm }

hi dave im coming to orlando 12/28 to 1/10 we have tickets for most of the parks could you pleases give me some advice on where to go and when to avoid big ques if poss. we want to go to epcot new years eve we have kids 2,6 and 11.

112 Dave { 11.16.14 at 8:37 am }

Terry, the parks will all be miserable –up to four hour peak waits for the most popular rides–through January 3. They will be incomparably better the 4th and after. Epcot will be a madhouse on New Years Eve–see this

113 Vilda { 11.21.14 at 10:34 pm }

Hi! Thanks so much for putting this together and keeping it up to date. My husband and I are planning our first trip to Disney to take our 5 year old the daughter. We will also have our 18 month old with us, but the trip is really for our daughter. We do plan to make more trips to Disney after this first one. We were originally thinking of the week of April 2nd because that’s when we have spring break in NYC and my husband works with the school system so we are limited by their calendar. But after seeing your website, looks like we should avoid that week, especially in 2015. So we are now thinking of August since school here doesn’t start until after Labor Day. I noticed that the last two weeks are the best ones, but since we are trying to have other family join us and their school calendar is different, we were thinking of the week of August 16th. According to your site, looks like half of that week may have big crowds and half low crowds. Can you confirm I understood that correctly? Also, which parks should we focus on for our 5 year old? She loves princesses and we also want to make sure we go just to places where she can ride so we can avoid some tantrums explaining she’s too young for other rides. And last question is where would it be best to stay since we would go for one week max and take some breaks in hopefully a hotel pool. And if we go with family, are any villas or houses inside Disney worth it?

114 Lorrie { 11.23.14 at 2:37 pm }

Hi Dave.

We are planning on going to Disney for one of the Star Wars week-ends in 2016. I know Easter is early that year (March 27). Are their star wars week-ends always in March/April? And do they have any discounts available then? Thanks

115 Dave { 11.24.14 at 11:51 am }

Hi Vilda! I have the week of August 16th as moderate corwds and low prices. See this: Weather stinks–hot an dhumid, and near the beginning of the peak of the hurricane season. But I would avoid the week before or after Easter in a heartbeat, and August even with its flaws is a better choice.

A kid that age can have a wonderful time focused entirely on the Magic Kingdom, for two longer or three short days. Half days at AK and HS are the next best ads, then a half day at Epcot.

116 Dave { 11.24.14 at 11:57 am }

Lorrie, Star Wars weekends have traditionally been mid-May through mid-June. Room rate discounts are common these months.

117 Della { 11.30.14 at 12:42 pm }

Hi Dave,
Any idea what made week of November 9th of this year an absolute nightmare as far as crowds?? I’ve gone this time of year for many years and never experienced anything like it. Spoke with several people who visit during that time and also cast members who was more than surprised at the amout of people there. Thanks so much for the information you provide, but will have to rethink early November for next time

118 Dave { 11.30.14 at 2:41 pm }

Della, I was there then as well. Crowds were pretty much as I expected them. You always see moderate crowds the weekend of Jersey week, and this year that lasted through the veterans day holiday. The hangover of Jersey week through Tuesday, and the usual effects of the party nights, made it more important than usual that you not go to the wrong parks. Saturday MK and HS were predictably bad choices, similarly Sunday MK and AK were bad, Monday HS was bad, Tuesday MK and Epcot, Weds AK, Fri Epcot, Sat the 15th MK was mobbed from the party effects, etc. Perhaps you were at the parks these days??

119 Della { 12.01.14 at 12:04 pm }

yes, looks like I was at the parks on the wrong days. The 15th was crazy at MK. Just never experienced it like that before in all the parks and have been visiting every year same time for many years

120 Dave { 12.01.14 at 2:14 pm }

Yeah, Della, the 15th was a special day. Saturdays are always busy at MK. With evening EMH–a new thing on Saturdays this year–they are even worse. And the 15th in particular was the only late close/parade/fireworks night in a stretch of 5 days…

121 Jake { 12.10.14 at 1:58 pm }


I have been pouring over your site, and it is very helpful. I’m coming from a tour overseas, and will be back the first week in August 2015. We are planning on taking my 5 year old daughter to DW. It seems price, and crowd wise that it might be a good idea to hold off until August 15th. Is it going to be a really bad idea with the weather?

Thank you.

122 Dave { 12.11.14 at 7:29 am }

Jake– by “tour” do you mean you are in the US Armed Forces? If so there are some great deals out there for you. Lemme know and I’ll post links. The actual chance of a hurricane disruption is slight, so between earlier and later August I’d pick as late as possible to avoid the crowds.

123 Bella { 12.15.14 at 10:17 am }

Hi! I’m thinking of coming for a weekend (I come all the time) in the spring. Either April 17-20 or May 1-4. Which do you think would be better? Any chance of free dining or room offers? Thanks so much!

124 Dave { 12.17.14 at 9:07 am }

Bella, room offers are likely. I don’t see a ton of difference between the weekends. There’s a race your May dates. It has little impact on wait times, but can make AKL busier (and louder) than typical, so if you are thinking Animal Kingdom Lodge you might do better in April.

125 Karen { 12.17.14 at 8:28 pm }

Hey Dave! I love your site! Me and my family are planning a trip this summer. I am a teacher and have to go in the summer! Is it that much of a difference between June, July, and August? I saw that the week of the August 8th was supposed to be “moderately plus”. Is that pretty accurate? Our school doesn’t start until the third week of August, so that week would work for me!

126 Dave { 12.18.14 at 8:11 am }

Hi Karen, and thanks!!

It’s accurate that there’s an increasing difference over August compared to July. The first week of June is also a good choice. See this for why:

127 Jessica { 12.26.14 at 5:45 am }

Hi Dave. We are planning our trip as always for the weekend of Oct 31 – Nov 8. We have never noticed issues before with crowds during “jersey week” but maybe I am comparing to summer crowds. My question is I noticed that the Wine and Dine marathon is that weekend of the 7th. Do you think this will affect the crowds? Thanks! 🙂

128 Aaron { 12.27.14 at 3:28 am }

Hi Dave,
My family and I are coming to in on April 4th – the 11th I know it is going to be super busy but are there any days to visit certain parks or does it not matter? Any other advice?

129 Dave { 12.27.14 at 8:29 am }

Jessica, the races don’t usually have much of an impact on ride waits! And Jersey Week, while an issue, is as you note not a big deal. See this:

130 Dave { 12.27.14 at 8:39 am }
131 Jenny { 12.29.14 at 9:49 pm }

we unknowingly scheduled our Disney vaca over the marathon weekend (Jan 7-12)…any tips on how to survive? should we completely avoid all parks on the day of the actual marathon or will the wait times not be affected?
P.S. Your website is amazing…thank you for all the time and effort you put into it!

132 Dave { 12.30.14 at 9:55 am }

Jenny, it won’t matter much!

133 valerie { 01.03.15 at 11:56 pm }

Hi! I love your site! Thank you for the super info. We’ve never been to Disney and want to go during Star Wars weekends (are we crazy) Our kids, ages 8 and 5, love star wars and so we feel like that’s our time to go…..
Have booked nothing. Need big help. Thinking 6 nights, 5 day passes, resort ? don’t know yet.
Are we crazy for letting our first trip be May 12-18?

134 Dave { 01.04.15 at 11:15 am }

Well, Valerie, on the basics (how long, where to stay, etc) just start with my home page and work your way down On Star Wars weekends, see this: From last year, but still valid as an overview.

135 Charlotte { 01.18.15 at 5:42 am }

Hi there, we are planning our 2nd visit to Disney from UK with extended family, which will be their first time. We have 2 options in mind, Oct 2015 16th-29th or April 2016 5th-19th. Our previous visit was on the 25th October 2011 for 2 weeks and we found that time of year fine for crowds and weather. We would like to try a different time of year but are concerned about the dreaded April spring break! Out of the 2 options which do you think would be the best as some sites are saying that October will have moderate crowds and that April is always busy. Thanks

136 Dave { 01.18.15 at 9:02 am }

Charlotte, it is incorrect (although commonly claimed) that “all of April is busy.” See this

137 Charlotte { 01.20.15 at 6:46 am }

Thanks for the link. So that suggests the dates in Oct and April have similar crowds and either would be ok, Oct being slightly quieter? It’s just after reading lots of forums everyone says to avoid the first 2 weeks of April regardless of when Easter falls!

138 Dave { 01.20.15 at 9:20 am }

Charlotte, having slept on it let me give you a more thoughtful response. My final 2016 forecast will be based on analysis of school calendars (like this for 2015 ) that I’ll complete this summer (as that’s when all the calendars are out).

That first week of April is indeed the hardest 2016 week to forecast right now. Going off the patterns of my analysis of years when Easter has a similar date to 2016, I’m fine with my 4 low-plus forecast. But it may well change this summer to something in the moderate range. So if you have to decide now, and aren’t willing to take that uncertainty, then do October.

People who say “avoid the first two weeks of April regardless” simply haven’t done the work of analyzing spring break dates (e.g. the work that leads to stuff like the link above) …which I’ve done every year for almost a decade…

139 Charlotte { 01.20.15 at 4:04 pm }

I know it’s difficult to forecast that far in advance and I did try to find previous data myself of when Easter fell in March but your online crowd calendars don’t go that far back. I used your site and Touring Plans for our last trip and it worked out really well so I know your charts are pretty accurate. My problem is timing as I we need to book now if opting for October. I just don’t fancy taking the risk on April, it’s too expensive! Thanks for your insight. Charlotte

140 Dave { 01.20.15 at 5:17 pm }

October makes sense!! A point worth noting is that picking the right days to be in which park is critical in October, as crowds really ebb and flow becasue of the Halloween Party. I won’t have any specific insight for a couple of months, as that’s when Disney will publish its October calendar…

141 Angela { 01.24.15 at 5:15 am }

Hey Dave -great site! Planning a trip for this year- we have always visited in October and have always had great weather, low crowds,etc.Unfortunately I now have 1 child in high school and 1 in college so it is not so easy to pull them out of school and their vacations are at different times.The only choices I had were xmas vaca or summer.Summer way too hot for me-we went in July once-over again.I booked Dec 17-27 however we plan on being out of Disney parks by the 23rd and doing some “other” parks…I expect it to be busy but I had to choose between just busy or hot and busy…now looking at your rankings I see the week I picked is 45..the only other time I could possibly go is thanksgiving week..that’s ranked 40 and still highest crowds..would it be worth it to change or do you think there is not much of a difference crowd wise to warrant a change? If I did I would come in the Fri night before thanksgiving and leave the Sunday after..Thanks

142 Dave { 01.24.15 at 9:06 am }

Angela, I’d switch to Thanksgiving week in a heartbeat…

143 Emily { 02.01.15 at 10:49 pm }

Hi Dave, I love your website. I was so overwhelmed with planning our first WDW trip with our kids until I found your site which makes everything so easy. Thanks so much!
I had a question for you about which week would have lower crowds. We are choosing between 3 weeks based on your rankings- Nov 7th (I know it’s the end of jersey week but I’ve heard veterans day can also be very crowded, is that true?), Oct 17th (I read that local schools will be out 2 days that week. How will that affect crowds?) and Oct 24th (how does Halloween affect crowds? Do you recommend against being in the parks on the 31st?). I’d so appreciate your advice so I can make a final decision! Thanks so much, Emily

144 Amy { 02.02.15 at 3:38 pm }

Hi Dave! Love this site, lots of great info! I have a question about the date rankings. My family is set to arrive this Saturday, Feb 7. In looking at your list, that week is ranked last at 52 but you say that the crowds are light and the prices aren’t too bad. Why is this week ranked so poorly over the horribly hot weeks of the summer or the crazy busy days during Christmas? We chose these dates because it’s my daughter’s birthday so it’s not really something we would change but I’m just curious as to why this week is ranked last in your opinion.

145 Dave { 02.03.15 at 6:32 am }

Hi Emily and thanks!! Because hardly anyone gets it off, Veterans Day only matters when it has the effect of extending the weekend. It’s a Wednesday in 2015 so won’t matter. Local school holidays matter little unless parents have them off too, and they don’t those dates. Halloween I would avoid at the Magic Kingdom, but the other parks will be fine. Among your dates I’d go with Nov 7. But they are all great choices…

146 Dave { 02.03.15 at 6:46 am }

Amy, early on the page (4th para) I note:

“For visitors on a return trip, less concerned about ride closures, the later January and early February weeks would be ranked much higher–with the Marathon and Martin Luther King Day weeks being the worst of these.”

..and then right above the discussion of these weeks towards the bottom of the page there’s this:

“The next group includes the January and early February weeks when rides are often closed for repair or refurbishment—weeks 48-53.

Many of these weeks have the lowest crowds and lowest prices of the year.

(But not all–click the table above.)

However, this is the peak time for ride closures at Walt Disney World, especially the January weeks.

If this may be your only family visit, why go when you know some of the best of Disney World will be closed?”

147 Amy { 02.03.15 at 9:36 am }

Thanks for the insight, Dave! We are Florida residents and pass holders as well so we visit Disney several times during the year and come over for 2 or 3 big trips each year. Ride closures aren’t a big deal to us as we can just do it on our next visit and my kids are little so we skip most of the big rides that go down for refurbishment anyway. I can see how many people coming to Disney one time might be upset about a popular ride being closed. I was just surprised that of all the weeks we picked to have our big trip, it was ranked last. I’m glad to know what other factors contributed to its low ranking. I just stumbled onto your site yesterday but I sure bookmarked it for future reference! 🙂

148 Lilly { 02.03.15 at 7:57 pm }

I have an annual pass and there’s special rates for ap holders until June right now.. Do you think there will be for the last week of August? Planning a trip then… Thanks!!!

149 Lilly { 02.03.15 at 7:58 pm }

Also, how busy do you think it will be the weekend of May 1st? I saw crowds are ranked low. Do you predict that weekend or the last weekend of August being less busy? Thank you!

150 Dave { 02.05.15 at 8:43 am }

Great, Amy!!

151 Dave { 02.05.15 at 8:55 am }

Lilly, my bet would be yes!!

152 Dave { 02.05.15 at 8:57 am }

Lilly, I have them about the same–see this:

I’d do May in a heartbeat as the weather is likely to be much more comfortable, and you avoid the slight hurricane risk that comes with August. See this vs this

153 terri labaty. { 02.05.15 at 7:04 pm }

Hi Dave. I just booked a trip to disneyworld for Oct12-17. I was wondering How you think the clouds will be during this time? Do you think we will have long wait times? We are staying at Art of animation in a mermaids room. We requested bldg. 7 What do you think?

154 Dave { 02.06.15 at 8:03 am }

Terri, crowds are a little high that week from Columbus Day and some schools having fall breaks all that week, but manageable with a good plan. See this: And building 7 is the perfect choice!!

155 Lisa { 02.09.15 at 2:02 pm }

Hi Dave-My husband and I booked the Mermaid Room for our family the wk of May 18. Our 5 Yr old has dietary issues so we will need to carry w/ us some of our own food to the park. Just realized room doesn’t have freezer compartment in refrigerator. Need to keep food cold and ice packs frozen all day to go to parks. Any suggestions other than ice machine? rent a refrig w/ freezer for week? or is only option to get a suite? Thanks for your help! 🙂

156 Dave { 02.10.15 at 7:28 am }

Lisa, first check whether WDW dining can accommodate the issues–it’s remarkable how much they can cover! See this (click the “read more” thingies)

Next best option is a soft-sided cooler using ice from the ice machine…

157 Nicole { 02.11.15 at 10:05 am }

Hi Dave, would you consider the Princess 1/2 marathon a bad time to go or the Wine and Dine 1/2? I noticed you have them marathon down, which brings way more people, but what about at least listing these races so first timers know what is going on especially when they have people running through the parks changing park traffic flow. Thanks!! Love the website:)

158 Dave { 02.12.15 at 7:46 am }

No, Nicole, I don’t in themselves. On this site I constantly fight an often losing battle with complexity, and thus try to limit minor points. The princess marathon ends an already bad (President’s Day) week, so doesn’t need its own notice; Wine and Dine ditto, becasue it ends Jersey Week, not nearly so bad as President’s Day week, but already warned…

159 Kristen { 02.17.15 at 2:56 am }

I’m planning on taking the kids in the fall when is the best time to go either in September or October and I’m looking for the free dining plan

160 Dave { 02.17.15 at 8:45 am }

Kristen, the most reliable time for free dining is September.

161 Devon { 02.19.15 at 11:09 am }

Hi! I’m debating between 2 different weeks and would love your advice. This is our first trip. Either September 27th through October 5th. The other week is November 14 through 22nd. Family of four with a six and nine year old. We are also really hoping for free dining to be able to afford the trip. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

162 Dave { 02.19.15 at 5:13 pm }

Hey Devon! While I like the November dates better, the Sept ones are more likely to see free dining. The eligible dates last year are here: With occupancy at 91% in the 2014 quarter that included November, I’m a little skeptical we’ll see similar deals in 2015.

163 Devon { 02.19.15 at 7:46 pm }

Thanks for the info. If I am booking myself through Disney and I go with the September date, how hard would it be to change it to November if free dining is offered? Thanks!

164 Dave { 02.20.15 at 8:09 am }

Devon, it’ll depend on availability–calling as soon as the deal comes out is the best way to try to get it.

165 Tina { 02.21.15 at 12:05 pm }

I’m considering planning a surprise trip to Disney World for my husband’s 55th birthday the week of Oct 20th in 2016. What would be the best Disney resort for a childless couple who likes to relax with a great meal and a good beer at night?

166 Carla { 02.22.15 at 4:32 am }

Great site, just found it tonight and added it to my favorites tab. Just wanted to know if you knew and accounted for the fact that weeks 11 & 8 are the weekends/weeks leading up to two of the largest and most prestigious competative cheerleading competitions in the world. We will be there for weeks 8/9 and I am wondering if all of the predictions I see for low crowds take these into account.

167 Dave { 02.22.15 at 10:21 am }

Tina, any of the Monorail resorts would suit. Each has it sown fine dining, and because they are connected via the resort monorail, easy access to each others dining.

If the price points of these are impossible, then pick the Wilderness Lodge. It has a better bar than any of the monorail resorts, its own fine dining, and is connected to the Contemporary via boat. One at the Contemporary, you can dine there or take the monorail to the other two monorail resorts.

168 Dave { 02.22.15 at 10:33 am }

Hi Carla and thanks!! I do know this, and have incorporated it. While such groups add a bit to the crowding in the parks, they don’t add materially to wait times, for the simple reason there aren’t tens of millions of other kids on break at the same time. An extra ten or twenty thousand people, divided over four parks, the hotel pools, and the competitions themselves, makes little difference, so vast is the scale of WDW.

169 Tina { 02.22.15 at 11:36 pm }

I saw that Disney will be opening an Avatar park in 2017 and that would be worth waiting for our first visit. Do you think the crowds will have settled down by Oct 2017?

170 Dave { 02.23.15 at 7:25 am }

Oh, Tina , I’m afraid that’s too far off to forecast. Will Avatar actually open in 2017? I dunno, and if so will it open in February or October? Dunno that either. Either way it remains true that hardly any kids are on break in October, so it remains a lower-crowd month compared to months when tens of millions are off…

171 Shannan { 02.24.15 at 12:41 pm }

A friend went last yr in October and said the week we booked oct 17-24 this year 2015 was a HiGh crowd week as schools have off that week. Every site I check says its low. I’m a bit worried. I don’t want to get there and it’s crowd is terrible. I did read on one site two days have local schools out, but any idea if a lot of schools have a week off here? She said its for year round schools.

172 Dave { 02.24.15 at 2:54 pm }

Shannan, see this for some of the reasons you hear such things and how to have a great trip then.

173 Megan { 02.25.15 at 1:41 pm }

Hi Dave, I am booked for our trip during your suggested week #4 (11/14/15). I just read that the “wine and dine half marathon” is scheduled for that weekend. Should this be a concern? Thanks!!

174 Dave { 02.26.15 at 12:44 pm }

Hi Megan, the half-marathons have next to no impact on ride waits!!

175 Megan { 02.26.15 at 5:02 pm }


176 Cory { 03.01.15 at 10:38 pm }

Hi Dave,
I love your article, and I completely agree with your list, especially the top 3. But one thing to consider that’s new for 2015 … Disney added a 5th Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party to the Week #3: 12/12/15. That might lower that week in your rankings, as guests are typically at most attending one of those parties, and thus will have limited nights in the Magic Kingdom.

177 Cory { 03.01.15 at 10:54 pm }

Nevermind, the wdwinfo website had the dates incorrect. Just 4 Christmas parties that week.

178 Dave { 03.02.15 at 8:58 am }

Cory, even if it had been 5, it would still be a good week, as MK crowds are typically low during the days on party nights! If you do see a party, then you see better fireworks than Wishes, and a better evening parade than MSEP…making another evening at MK optional

179 Scott { 03.04.15 at 5:26 pm }


Is a Garden View room a good option to be in closer proximity to the food court and bus stop? Or is a standard room a good option?



180 Gen { 03.07.15 at 9:37 pm }

We are planning to go over spring break (March 29-April 3). Do you anticipate the crowds to be such a bear we will have to worry about them closing parks due to capacity and such? How bad is spring break this year expected to be (since Easter is later we know many schools are not on break this particular week).

181 Dave { 03.08.15 at 10:56 am }

Gen, the week before Easter–your week–is reliably on of the four worst of the year. See this. Park closures are possible.

The key is 1. to set up your FastPass+ as soon as you are eligible; and 2. to arrive at the parks well before they open, and have a good plan for the first hour or so.

182 Elizabeth { 03.19.15 at 2:57 pm }

Hi Dave,
I just found your site and love it! My family and I are planning a trip for this fall, yet are waiting on some fall deals to come out. Any ideas on when these promotions for September-November make their appearance? I don’t want to wait too long as I want to make sure we make some dining reservations with characters for the kids, as last time they missed out on several we wanted to see. Is it worth waiting until these deals come out or should we book and cross our fingers?

183 Dave { 03.20.15 at 9:54 am }

Hi Elizabeth and thanks!!

It could be as early as May. Note that you can book meals 180 days ahead even with no reservations.

The best way to approach deals is that if you are gonna go regardless, make your room reservation so that you’ve got your pick of resorts/views/room types/dates. Then if the deal comes out, call to try to get it–and have backups in case your resorts/views/room types/dates is sold out or not offered…

184 Justin { 03.23.15 at 6:10 pm }

Hi dave what are the value moderate and deluxe prices for? I am trying to plan a first time vacation to disney and just thinking i need to get all the info available before planning anything. Thanks

185 Dave { 03.24.15 at 3:31 pm }

Justin I don’t think I understand your question? If you literally mean “what do the words on the image mean,” they refer to different pricing levels in the three main price classes of Disney resorts.

See this for a quick overview of what you get by resort price class
See this for seasonal pricing
For links to reviews of the resorts, and to more summary info, see this

186 kerri { 04.10.15 at 12:01 am }

Great website! We are hoping to go to Disney in Nov/Dec 2015. Low crowds and warm weather, holiday decorations and free dining is what we are looking for! A tall order, I know 🙂
What week do you recommend?

187 Dave { 04.10.15 at 9:02 am }

Kerri you can’t have it all lol.

Weather gets on average cooler and more importantly highly variable the later in your period, so earlier is best.

Crowds will be lowest Nov 11-20, and Nov 29 to December 18.

Who knows if we’ll see free dining any of those dates, but applying the 2014 dates yields eligible arrival dates Nov 8 through the 19th, and Dec 11 throug the 23rd.

So with all this I’d aim for an arrival Nov 11…

188 Debbie { 04.27.15 at 9:33 pm }

I decided to book what feels like a last minute trip for my family of 5 to Disney world from October 24-31, 2015. Dining booking begins today so I wanted to know your opinion on which parks to visit on which days to avoid crowds. We want to do the Halloween party and my children are 16,14,14. Thanks In Advance!

189 Dave { 04.28.15 at 8:09 am }


10/24 avoid Epcot and MK
10/25 avoid Epcot and HS
10/26 avoid MK
10/27 avoid HS and Epcot
10/28 avoid MK and AK
10/29 avoid Epcot
10/30 avoid all but HS
10/31 avoid HS and Epcot

190 RobD { 05.18.15 at 7:22 pm }

Great site, great insight. February 12 is my wife’s big birthday and I am in the planning stage to get the family together for a celebration. I can assure you it is a tough task! However I have discovered your site and you suggests the overcrowding will be ‘horrible’ that week with Mardi Gras on Feb 9, and Presidents Day on Feb 15. I reckon the family won’t come if I move her big day to any other day. Same time it won’t be any fun if the parks are as busy as the summer. You are very knowledgeable – should I give up?

191 Dave { 05.19.15 at 1:26 pm }

Thanks RobD!

This page is about 2015. The equivalent for 2016 is here.

While not as bad in 2016–because Mardi Gras doesn’t overlap with the week of Presidents Day–it’ll still be terrible beginning the 13th/14th (crowds start building the 11th, but don’t get horrible til the evening of the 13th). Arriving earlier and ending your trip the 12th (or 13th) should be fine.

192 Misty { 06.09.15 at 4:27 pm }

I am so glad I found this sight! We have planned a last minute trip WDW for first week of August. What should we expect far as weather, wait times, etc. We are staying at Port Orleans Riverside, (hope we made a good choice). We did not get meal plans or park hoppers, which our trip is only going to be 4 days so we purchased two day tickets with no hopper. What is your opinion on that as well? I appreciate any or all the information you can give! Thanks again!

193 Dave { 06.11.15 at 7:28 am }

Hi Misty! For what to expect in August, see this. For Port Orleans Riverside, see this.

How old are your kids? For older kids, 5-6 days in the parks is right. For younger ones, just a couple of days in Magic Kingdom can be just fine…

194 Chris { 08.04.15 at 10:07 pm }

Hi Dave. Your site is great. You have probably answered these questions several times so I apologize for being repetitive. We are finally going to take our 7 and 9 yo to Disney. Ae originally looked at Columbus weekend but the crowds seem intimidating esp for our son who has special needs. What is you opinion on the last few weeks of September vs later in October….as far as attractions open, prices etc. I also wanted to know your recommendations on places to stay. Is it easier on the shuttle or easy enough to drive. I know these are vague questions but we are slightly overwhelmed at this point. I love your site.

195 Dave { 08.05.15 at 8:16 am }

Chris, for a special needs kid who benefits from especially low crowds, September is the better choice. My recommendations on where to stay are here. It is easier to drvie to 3 of the 4 parks, and the Disney bus is the best choice for the Magic Kingdom.

196 Mike { 08.25.15 at 12:43 am }

Love your and joshs book it is a good thing to have when you are trying to put a vacation together thanks for your part with the book and can’t wait to see the next one come out

197 Dave { 08.25.15 at 11:40 am }

Thanks Mike!!

198 Ashley { 09.20.15 at 9:24 pm }

Hi Dave. Thank you so much for your insight! We have the option of attending Magic Kingdom on either Nov 20 or 23rd (bad days, I know! But those are our only options) So… Out of those two days, which would be the best to choose?!? We will have three children with us (ages 9, 7 and 5). Thanks!

199 Sashea Williams { 09.20.15 at 10:20 pm }

Hey Dave:

My family and I will be arriving to Disney World on December 18th, and staying for a week and a half, what would be the best route for us to go? It looks like the armed forces tickets will expire 2 days into our trip, so I don’t think that will be an option.

Thank you

200 Dave { 09.21.15 at 7:04 am }

Ashley, Nov 20 will be a great day at MK, and the 23rd will be lousy…

201 Dave { 09.21.15 at 7:05 am }

Sashea, that’s a really lousy time to go–enormous crowds, and the highest prices of the year. Are you sure you want to go then??

202 Naomi { 10.20.15 at 4:38 pm }

Hi Dave
So per this site; november 28th would be the best weekend to visit Orlando. Am planning on it.

203 Dave { 10.21.15 at 2:31 pm }

Naomi, as noted I don’t rank weekends, but rather 9 day weeks for first timers who may never return.

204 Naomi { 10.21.15 at 4:04 pm }

Oh okay; thanks for clarifying that Dave ?. Planning on a solo trip which which I might postpone. It will be my first and wan’t to have a great time.

205 JT { 11.05.15 at 6:51 pm }

Hi Dave,
You’re site is great and very helpful. We are heading to WDW Dec 4-9th , which seems to be a good week (I hope!). Do the Parks get more crowded because it’s Pop Warner week? We seem to be having a tough time getting reservations anywhere (I’m assuming it’s because it’s so late). The trip was very last minute. I was wondering if you could help me figure out which days may be best to visit which parks. Or which Parks to avoid which days. Thanks so much!

206 Dave { 11.06.15 at 11:28 am }

JT, Pop Warner has next to no impact on the parks. See this. Yes, the most popular restaurants book up staring 180 days in advance, and the DIsney hotels–since they run at 80-95% full year round–are hard to book on short notice too.

Those dates

12/4 avoid AK
12/5 avoid HS and MK
12/6 avoid HS
12/7 avoid MK
12/8 avoid Epcot
12/9 avoid AK and MK

207 Nicholas { 11.14.15 at 1:14 pm }

Just a little FYI. My wife and I based our trip dates based on the information contained on this site. As a result we have endured the worst crowds we have ever put up with at Disney. Or trip coincided with weeks ranked 15, 7 & 4. They have thus far gotten progressively worse. Just sayin’.

208 Melissa { 11.15.15 at 6:08 pm }

Just returned from a week long trip at Disney (Our 4th visit). We arrived on 11/7/2015 and stayed at the Bay Lake Tower and on this site it is ranked as week 7 as the week to go…I would suggest to make this week as week 15-20. It was one of the busiest weeks to visit and I do not plan on visiting that week again with our 3 kids. It was extremely crowded and the wait times were long. On another site, it predicted that crowds would be at a 4 or 5, and in reality when the site was updated….the crowds were closer to a 7 and 8. We arrived the day of the Wine/Dine marathon (11/7/2015) and this week was not good for little toddlers as wait times were long and the crowds at Epcot and MK were closer to a 6 or a 7 out of 10. We traveled with 3 other families who have also been to Disneyworld and agree that it was too crowded and this week should be ranked lower for first time visitors.

209 Dave { 11.17.15 at 8:47 am }

Hey Nicholas, thanks for the feedback. I am very sorry the trip is not meeting your expectations.

I’ll have a more thoughtful (well, at least longer) response as a blog post soon. But a few notes might be worth sharing now…

First like every other one, my “Crowd Calendar” is not a crowd calendar–it’s a ride wait time calendar. So it does not take into account the mobs you see in World Showcase from Food & Wine, as these in themselves have little effect on waits.

Second, this time of year you can run into massive crowds by picking the wrong parks. Any night MK is open past 7 it will see massive waits; nights it closes at 7 will see much lower waits. Add EMH to a late MK close and you see summer-level waits that day

Third for the same reason parks that have EMH on a day MK closes at 7 will see massive waits, but will have much lower waits on days they do not have EMH and MK is open late.

Finally, in addition to all this wait times have unusually spiked since mid-September. Although many are working on this, no one really knows why (though some talk as though they do.) More than ever, optimizing the basic tools (arriving well befroe the parks open and wisely using FastPass+) is critical

210 Dave { 11.17.15 at 11:36 am }

Melissa, thanks for the feedback. I am very sorry the trip is not meeting your expectations.

I’ll have a more thoughtful (well, at least longer) response as a blog post soon. But a few notes might be worth sharing now…

First like every other one, my “Crowd Calendar” is not a crowd calendar–it’s a ride wait time calendar. So it does not take into account the mobs you see in World Showcase from Food & Wine, as these in themselves have little effect on waits.

Second, this time of year you can run into massive crowds by picking the wrong parks. Any night MK is open past 7 it will see massive waits; nights it closes at 7 will see much lower waits. Add EMH to a late MK close and you see summer-level waits that day

Third for the same reason parks that have EMH on a day MK closes at 7 will see massive waits, but will have much lower waits on days they do not have EMH and MK is open late.

Finally, in addition to all this wait times have unusually spiked since mid-September. Although many are working on this, no one really knows why (though some talk as though they do.) More than ever, optimizing the basic tools (arriving well before the parks open and wisely using FastPass+) is critical.

211 Aaron S { 12.08.15 at 2:53 pm }

Just got back from a week in Disney and your recommendation was awesome for the first full week after Thanksgiving. We waited 15 minutes or less for most rides and the longest was for 30 minutes to character meet Cinderella & Rapunzel. One thing I would point out is that the Mickey’s Night Christmas party was way overbooked. We went to MK from 8am-7pm on those days and our friends paid extra for tickets from 4pm-midnight for the party. They had been in past years and raved about how there were no lines or crowds. They were very disappointed that it was packed in 2015. My recommendation is enjoy the day with less crowds at MK (since other people avoid the park because of the reduced hours) and go to an earlier dinner. Thanks for all the help planning our magical first Disney vacation!

212 Dave { 12.09.15 at 8:56 am }

Aaron, so glad to have helped, and that you had a great trip!

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