212 responses

  1. Aaron S
    December 8, 2015

    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!

    Reply

    • Dave
      December 9, 2015

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

      Reply

  2. Melissa
    November 15, 2015

    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.

    Reply

    • Dave
      November 17, 2015

      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.

      Reply

  3. Nicholas
    November 14, 2015

    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’.

    Reply

    • Dave
      November 17, 2015

      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

      Reply

  4. JT
    November 5, 2015

    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!

    Reply

    • Dave
      November 6, 2015

      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

      Reply

  5. Naomi
    October 21, 2015

    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.

    Reply

  6. Naomi
    October 20, 2015

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

    Reply

    • Dave
      October 21, 2015

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

      Reply

  7. Sashea Williams
    September 20, 2015

    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

    Reply

    • Dave
      September 21, 2015

      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??

      Reply

  8. Ashley
    September 20, 2015

    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!

    Reply

    • Dave
      September 21, 2015

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

      Reply

  9. Mike
    August 25, 2015

    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

    Reply

    • Dave
      August 25, 2015

      Thanks Mike!!

      Reply

  10. Chris
    August 4, 2015

    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.

    Reply

    • Dave
      August 5, 2015

      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.

      Reply

  11. Misty
    June 9, 2015

    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!

    Reply

    • Dave
      June 11, 2015

      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…

      Reply

  12. RobD
    May 18, 2015

    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?

    Reply

    • Dave
      May 19, 2015

      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.

      Reply

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My response to questions and comments will be on the same page as the original comment, likely within 24-36 hours . . . I reserve the right to edit and delete comments as I choose . . . All rights reserved. Copyright 2008-2020 . . . Unless otherwise noted, all photos are by me--even the ones in focus--except for half a dozen from my niecelets . . . This site is entirely unofficial and not authorized by any organizations written about in it . . . All references to Disney and other copyrighted characters, trademarks, marks, etc., are made solely for editorial purposes. The author makes no commercial claim to their use . . . Nobody's perfect, so follow any advice here at your own risk.

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