By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2018, the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever.

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yourfirstvisit.net—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

OVERVIEW: THE WEEKS OF 2015 AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

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 yourfirstvisit.net

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.

RECOMMENDED 2015 WEEKS, RANKED IN ORDER

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 I’M NOT SO KEEN ON

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

2015 WEEKS TO AVOID AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

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.

MORE ON WHEN TO GO TO WALT DISNEY WORLD

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

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212 comments

1 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?

2 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.

3 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!

4 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…

5 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.

6 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.

7 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

8 Dave { 08.25.15 at 11:40 am }

Thanks Mike!!

9 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!

10 Dave { 09.21.15 at 7:04 am }

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

11 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

12 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??

13 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.

14 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.

15 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.

16 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!

17 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

18 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’.

19 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

20 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.

21 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.

22 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!

23 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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