By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2017, from the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever. Paperback available on Amazon here. Kindle version available on Amazon here. PDF version available on Gumroad here.—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor

2016 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 my rankings of the weeks of 2016 in order of best to worst.

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.

2016 Disney World Week Rankings from

These week rankings are based on my 2016 Disney World Crowd Calendar and on 2016 Walt Disney World price seasons.

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

(For 2017 rankings, see this, and for 2018 rankings, see this.)


The fifteen recommended weeks that follow are wonderful weeks to visit Walt Disney World in 2016.

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, but the rest of it will be marvelous:

  • 1: 11/26/16.

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

  • 2: 12/3/16. 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: 12/10/16. A week as good as week 1 on crowds and holiday programs. Much more expensive, 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: 11/12/16

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

  • 5: 10/22/16
  • 6: 10/29/16

Week 7  has great late spring weather, low crowds but moderate prices.

  • 7: 4/9/16

Weeks 8 is your best 2016 Spring Break bet, with low crowds and moderate prices

  • 8: 2/27/16

Week 9 is similar to weeks 5 and 6, but with higher prices

  • 9: 10/15/16

Weeks 10 through 13 are similar to week 7, but with slightly higher crowds. They are in calendar order as the better weather is earlier.

  • 10: 4/16/16
  • 11: 4/23/16
  • 12: 4/30/16
  • 13: 5/7/16

Week 14 is similar to week 8, but with slightly higher crowds, especially at the beginning of the week

  • 14: 2/20/16

Week 15 is similar to week 7, but with higher crowds and prices at the beginning of the week. This week may end up with higher crowds than I am forecasting, but such would move down just a spot or two in the rankings.

  • 15: 4/2/16

This completes the weeks in 2016 that are recommended.


Weeks 16-21 all have moderate crowd levels, with different prices and weather. I don’t particularly recommend moderate-crowd weeks for first time visitors, but they are manageable, and I 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.

  • 16: 5/14/16. Similar to week 13 but with higher crowds and more summer-like weather. Crowds moderate. Prices moderate
  • 16: 11/5/16. Jersey Week”—teacher meetings in New Jersey, leading to a massive temporary immigration of New Jersey families to Orlando. Crowds moderate-minus, prices low to moderate, almost never with major discounts. A little more crowded in 2016 than recent years, because Veterans Day falls on Friday of Jersey Week.
  • 18: 5/21/16. Similar to week 17, slightly more heat and humidity and crowds.
  • 19: 10/8/16. Columbus Day week with higher crowds and prices than the great weeks (ranked 9, 5 and 6) that follow it
  • 20: 8/6/16. Moderate-plus crowds as the summer season begins to fade away
  • 21: 6/4/16.  Beginning of summer–similar crowds to week 20, but higher prices in deluxes

Weeks 22-29 have one thing in common: they occur during 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? For returning visitors, though, the low-crowd weeks among this group can be wonderful times to visit.

They are ranked in order of first crowd levels, and within the same crowd level prices.

Weeks 22, 23 and 24 have among the lowest crowds and lowest prices of the year.

  • 22: 9/10/16
  • 23: 9/3/16
  • 24: 9/17/16

Weeks 25 and 26 are similar, but with slightly higher crowds than 22-24

  • 25: 8/27/16
  • 26: 9/24/16

Week 27 is at the outer range of low crowds

  • 27: 8/20/16

Weeks 28 and 29 are the only moderate-crowd weeks in this hurricane group

  • 28: 10/1/16
  • 29: 8/13/16


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

The first group, ranked 30-47, 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 3/5/2016, 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 few days of January (massive crowds), and the Martin Luther King Day (1/16/16 arrival date) holiday weekend.

The Marathon Weekend (affecting arrival dates of 1/2 and 1/9/16) complicates the parks as well.
The 2017 easy Guide

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1 Lori Talamo { 01.26.15 at 4:28 pm }

Can you tell me why 2/6/16 week isis a bad week to go? I was planning a trip but keep finding stuff to discourage me. We went for Mardi Gras 2014 and it wasn’t that bad (I am from New Orleans). So just trying to see if its becaus eof Mardi Gras or other events causing it to be a bad week…

2 Dave { 01.27.15 at 7:38 am }

Hi Lori, as the page says, the main issue is possible ride closures, but also among the ride closure weeks crowds are higher from both MG and the building of President’s Day crowds that begins the Thursday before–the 11th.

3 TeresaTras { 02.05.15 at 10:03 am }

This is great information! Thank you!

4 Dave { 02.06.15 at 7:58 am }

Thanks Teresa–note that it may get revised this summer after I do the final crowd and price analysis!!

5 Sparky { 02.08.15 at 10:00 pm }

Hi Dave,
We are planning our April 2016 WDW vacation based on your suggestions. Another website – which shall remain nameless (Dad’s Guide to WDW) – says that in April 2016, the crowds will reverse and the weekdays will be far busier than weekends. He says he doesn’t know why this will happen but it will. Dave, can you verify this please? Is it true? If so, why?

Thanks very much for your superb website and your help!

6 Dave { 02.09.15 at 10:48 am }

Sparky, in my professional opinion Carl is being silly…

7 Sparky { 02.09.15 at 2:16 pm }

Thanks so much for your fast reply. And thanks again for all you do. We will be travelling a long distance for our family’s first WDW visit so your very helpful advice is greatly appreciated much more than you may realize. We are grateful to you. 🙂

8 Lindsey { 02.09.15 at 3:16 pm }

Hi Dave,

Planning our 2016 trip. We are booked to arrive on the 4th of February but that will be a non-park day. We are leaving on the 10th. So we have five park days. We like going to magic kingdom two days, and leaving one day for each other park. We also don’t like park hopping just yet. what days do you suggest going to which parks? This will be our 4th trip as a family.

Thanks as always!!

9 Dave { 02.10.15 at 7:28 am }

Thanks, Sparky!!

10 Dave { 02.10.15 at 7:29 am }

Lindsey, I won’t have a firm opinion on that until Disney releases its operating calendar for then, which it will do in about 5 months.

11 Lori Talamo { 02.10.15 at 12:22 pm }

COnsidering the crowd level and your response to my first question for Mardi Gras week – do you think Thanksgiving 2015 would be any worse than Mardi Gras 2016?

12 Dave { 02.10.15 at 3:44 pm }

Lori, in 2016 Mardi Gras week is the week before President’s Day, so it will be much less crowded than Thanksgiving!

13 Jon { 02.27.15 at 11:34 am }

Based on the table, the week of Jan 2nd (low crowd and low/moderate prices) is worst than Christmas week (highest crowds and highest prices), just because some rides might be closed???

14 Dave { 02.28.15 at 11:24 am }

Jon, the rankings are for first timers who may never return.

With enough advance notice, parks days, and good plans, someone staying Christmas week at a WDW hotel can still have a good time and see Splash Mountain. No amount of planning will let them see Splash Mountain when it is closed.

Those not on an only trip, and repeat visitors, will have a much better visit in January than Xmas week. But that’s not who these rankings are for.

15 Taylor { 03.04.15 at 6:01 pm }

Can you please explain why some weeks in April have slightly higher crowd levels (Low-Plus) than others (Low)? Fall is out for us because my daughter starts Kindergarten in September, so it looks like late spring is our best bet. Thanks so very much.

16 Dave { 03.05.15 at 9:49 am }

Taylor it’s a combination of three factors–the first 4 is from the overlap with Easter, the second from Massachusetts springs breaks, the last is part of the trend of crowds building slowly through May.

17 Taylor { 03.05.15 at 4:30 pm }

This is extremely helpful. Thank you so very much!

18 Dave { 03.07.15 at 7:44 am }

Thanks, Taylor!

19 Taylor { 03.10.15 at 11:42 am }

Hi Dave, this is a little off point, but you seem to be so willing to help Disney first-timers, I thought I would try. We are planning our first Disney trip for April (after spring break) of next year. I want to set up our dinner reservations 180 days in advance (we are staying on site), so around October. Will park opening times, extra hours, parade schedules, night events, etc. be available that early? As one example, I was thinking about trying to schedule a character breakfast for one morning before the MK opens. Based on this year, it looks like that might be 9 a.m. when we are going, but I guess it could be 8, so hard to plan. I also wanted to do some of the night events, like Fantasmic at H.S. on a night that does not have extended hours. We would want to make dinner reservations before the show, but I am not sure what night to pick. Any advice? Thanks so very much. You offer a really incredible service.

20 Dave { 03.10.15 at 3:42 pm }

Taylor, how sweet and of course I’ll help!! Yes they will. The schedules come out about 6.5 months before–so for April, it should be by mid-September.

21 Doris { 03.10.15 at 5:06 pm }

Planning first visit the first week of May in 2016. I see this is low plus according to your chart. So this is a good thing for crowds. Can you tell me what the weather is like that time of year? We are traveling from Europe and are so excited to come. Also what does Moderate plus mean? i was trying to find a guide to deciper the diffrent meanings of moderate minus, low plus all that. Sorry if i sound really confused. Also will you be releasing a 2016 version of your guide book? if so when?

22 Dave { 03.10.15 at 6:06 pm }

Doris, we will be doing a 2016 version in the fall. My “moderate low” etc are ordinal, not cardinal, so they don;t mean much beyond lower numbers are better. Specifically, I recommend weeks with “low” in the ranking, am not keen on weeks with “moderate” in them if its a first timer who may never return.

Josh has more specific guidance on what he means by sixths (his rankings are not the same as mine…I push more crowds into 3 and 4 than he does…) at the end of his cheat sheets.

For more on May, see this. It’s 2015 but the weather and basic crowd patterns etc will be similar!!

23 Taylor { 03.11.15 at 11:02 am }

Thank you, Dave! I know I am obsessing about this vacation really far in advance, but I can’t wait! This probably won’t be our only trip, but I doubt we will make it back for several years. Thanks so very much for providing such a wonderful resource.

24 Dave { 03.12.15 at 10:25 am }

You bet, Taylor!

25 Lindsey { 03.12.15 at 12:21 pm }

We are planning our 1st (and probably only) trip to Disney next spring. What is the significance of the 180 days on your chart?

26 Dave { 03.12.15 at 2:34 pm }

Lindsey, see this

27 Anonymous { 03.12.15 at 6:23 pm }

Thanks, Dave! Very helpful! Obviously I am a rookie at the Disney planning!

28 Kelly B - Agent with Destinations in Florida { 03.14.15 at 11:20 am }

Lindsey- I’m Kelly the dedicated Destinations in Florida Travel Agent for

I would love to help you plan you vacation. My services are free, and if you book a qualifying vacation you’ll get Dave’s Easy Guide to Your First Visit FREE.

You can contact me at 980-429-4499 or

29 Lianne { 03.17.15 at 12:34 am }

Thanks for all the helpful info. Don’t suppose you have similar info for Disneyland in California?

30 Dave { 03.17.15 at 8:06 am }

Sorry, Lianne, I don’t…

31 Virginia { 03.19.15 at 2:51 pm }

I am planning a disneyworld family vacation next year in early Oct for my Mom’s 60th birthday. Half the group are 1st timers and the other half have been there before but, not recently. I have two questions: 1. Does Disney usually offer promotions/discounts during that time? 2. Any suggestions on how I can make the trip magical for all?

32 Dave { 03.20.15 at 9:51 am }

Virginia, room rate deals for then are common. For how to make the trip magical, well, start on the home page of this site and work your way through its topics!!

33 dan { 03.22.15 at 10:18 am }

Nice guide.. You have missed off st paddys day.. a day to avoid at all costs – spring break and drunk teenagers does not a great combination make in any park – but EPCOT seemed to suffer terribly this year.

It does have the advantage though of being a week when free dining plans in deluxe villa resorts can be great value

34 Dave { 03.22.15 at 10:53 am }

Dan, there hasn’t been free dining before August for years now.

35 dan { 03.22.15 at 11:19 am }

we must still get it in the UK for March (perhaps as a special promotion).. we’re still using it as I type

36 Dave { 03.23.15 at 11:38 am }

Oh good point Dan. I should have added “except for those who got pin codes, and those eligible for UK deals.”

37 JennyJ { 03.27.15 at 10:26 am }

Hi Dave, I’m planning our 1st and probably only Disney vacation for Jan 30st, 2016 to Feb 4th. (Ranked 49th on your list) I am not worried about some ride closures because there is SO many other things I know we can do and see. I’m more concerned about avoiding the most crowded parks those days and, unrealisticly, hoping for 10 min waits at any attraction we do go to! Ha! Can you tell me which parks we should visit on which days that week? Jan 30th will be a non park day. Thanks so much!!

38 Dave { 03.29.15 at 9:20 am }

Jenny, I can’t comment on best parks until Disney publishes its operating calendar for then–which it will do about 6.5 months before. So check back in a couple of months!

39 Chris { 04.12.15 at 6:33 pm }

I noticed you have the week of April 23, 2016 as #8, low crowds. Would the fact that many schools near us (New York) have only a short break at Easter (4 day weekend) but have the last week of April off since it coincides with Passover, change your prediction?

40 Holly { 04.13.15 at 12:13 pm }

Hi Dave, What a great site! We are planning a trip arriving Jan. 16, MLK weekend. We’ve been with my son, and this will be my 3-year-old daughter’s first trip. (But not our last.) The timing and prices in January are very appealing to us. I understand that only one major ride at each park would be closed. Do you know if that’s correct? Also, what is your recommendation for a resort? We’ve visited in late summer and usually do moderate resorts. But since prices are low, is this our best chance to stay at a deluxe? Which would you recommend for this time of year with a 3- and 7-year old? Thank you!

41 Dave { 04.13.15 at 5:11 pm }

Chris, as noted in para 3 I’ll revise these predictions in the summer based on actual breaks. NY would need to be joined by many other districts in my database for me to move the week out of the “low” group, but I could see it going to “Low+”! More to come in June or so…Great question!!

42 Dave { 04.13.15 at 5:23 pm }

Hi Holly and thanks!!

On average, I’d say it’s less than one major ride per park, but Splash Mountain–the favorite of many–is almost always closed.

With kids that age, among the deluxes I’d think hard about the Wilderness Lodge. But also consider a (value but similarly priced because so large) Family Suite at Art of Animation

43 Holly { 04.14.15 at 11:44 am }

Very helpful, Dave. Thanks!!

44 Becky { 04.15.15 at 5:51 pm }

Hi Dave,
First off I love your site, your depth of knowledge is amazing! We’re from the UK, trying to plan our first (and likely only) trip in Aug 2016, 2 adults and 2 kids who will be 9 and 7. Looking at your week rankings, is 6th Aug as good as it seems? What would the crowds be like at that time of year? We’re bound by UK school holidays so we need to be home by the beginning of Sep – do you think 14 nights is too long a trip, bearing in mind how far we’re travelling? I think we’re in for a shock in terms of weather/crowds/prices. I’m looking at Art of Animation (like you recommend) but unsure what to do about food/drinks – whether to do the dining plan, or pay as we go, or I’d read somewhere that some people put an amount on a Disney gift card and use that to pay for food without the limitations of the dining plan. We’ll be cutting costs as much as possible as it’s UK school holidays so the flight prices are astronomical, therefore if we can save on anything unnecessary or that we won’t end up using then we will. What would you recommend?
Sorry to ask so many questions that I’m sure you’ve answered over and over before! There is just so much to take in that I’m starting to drown, any lifelines you can throw will be gratefully received! Thank you so much.

45 Dave { 04.17.15 at 8:21 am }

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

Many UK visitors stay for two weeks for just the reasons you note. The later in August, the better. See this–about 2015, but crowd patterns should be similar in 2016. On the dining plan see the second half of this post.

There’s been a free dining deal for UK visitors for years now–I believe its offered through Virgin. I can’t see UK deals from the States, but check out (tell them Dave sent you)–a UK-focused Disney discussion board!!

46 Camille { 04.21.15 at 11:02 am }

Hi, Dave!

Thanks so much for this great information! I love your in-depth analysis. We are planning on taking a trip the week of April 2nd, and I am curious as to why you say that you will know better about crowds for this week this summer? What type of info will you learn this summer that will affect your prediction for this week? Thanks!

47 Kate { 04.23.15 at 12:45 am }

Hi Dave!
This site is amazing! Thank you for creating that table!!
So we’ll be traveling with a 5 and 2 year old and the week of Jan 30 is calling to me because of the low prices but I’m concerned about the “some ride closures.”
Does disney release a schedule of closures perhaps so I can decide if we can live without certain rides before I book?
Also I’ve heard the wilderness lodges have the most space and is the only place with full kitchens? With our age children and 2 adults where should we stay?
Thank you so much in advance!

48 Dave { 04.23.15 at 8:20 am }

Kate, thanks so much. The ride closures are announced fitfully between October and December. If you will be able to return when the kids are older, they won’t much matter.

Ummm…standard rooms at WL are tied with AKL for the smallest on property, and have no kitchens.

Take a look at this.

49 Scorr { 04.28.15 at 8:06 pm }

Dave, we are planning a Trip to WDW in January of 2016. Our kids are a little younger so ride closures are not an issue. Was wondering if they offer the free Dining during January? Thanks for your help.

50 Dave { 04.29.15 at 9:02 am }

Scorr, no free dining then has been offered for years, but room rate deals are common.

51 K. Reames { 05.14.15 at 9:57 am }

Looking at the 2016 calendar of Week Rankings, I see that January 23 and January 30 are ranked 48 and 49, but crowds and prices are the lowest. Can you tell me if these would be bad weeks to go and why?

52 Erica { 05.14.15 at 4:51 pm }

Could you give any advice on weeks to go in April/May of 2017? With Easter on April 16, 2017 it seems like there might be a small window for low crowds that year. I know this is very far out but I have a lot of pieces to organize (timeshare trading, different families). Thanks for the great website!

53 Dave { 05.16.15 at 11:08 am }

K. as noted on the page

“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.”

That is, ride closures are what make these weeks not so hot for first timers who may never return.

54 Dave { 05.16.15 at 11:23 am }

Erica, the week after Easter will be better than it commonly is, given how late Easter is in 2017, but still lousy. You should be fine April 22 2017 through May 20 2017.

55 Aimee { 05.24.15 at 9:27 am }

We are looking at at Mardi Gras 2016 or Thanksgiving 2016.. Will be traveling with a 5 year old and 2 year old.. It will be the 2 year olds first visit. What week would you recommend out of those?

56 Alexander { 05.24.15 at 9:34 am }

Hi Dave, I am a first time visitor planning a trip down for February 9- February 18, what will the crowds be like and what ride closures will there be? Thanks for your help

57 Dave { 05.24.15 at 11:02 am }

Aimee, Mardi Gras week will be much less crowded in 2106 than Thanksgiving week.

58 Dave { 05.24.15 at 11:06 am }

Alexander, other than what you see on this page, which is bad crowds the week beginning the 13th, I won’t have any further specifics on daily crowds until Disney releases it operating calendar for Feb, which it will do in mid-July. Ride closures are often not announced til 6 weeks befroe, but those dates most should be complete–they tend to finish the refurbs before the crowds come in the week of Presidents Day.

59 Sarah { 05.27.15 at 5:00 pm }

Hi Dave!
My family is considering a trip to Disney Feb 26-March 6 2016. I am aware that the prices are not out yet but from previous history are the prices generally lowing? Also for the same dates how are the crowd rates? We would stay at a value resort (POP or MOVIES). Thank you so much????

60 Sarah { 05.27.15 at 5:01 pm }

Excuse my typos my phone acted up

61 Dave { 05.28.15 at 4:54 pm }

Sarah, see this for my prcie forecasts and this for my crowd forecasts

62 Angie { 05.28.15 at 7:37 pm }

Great information and I’ll definitely bookmark this page! But I was wondering if you have the same information or know where I can find it for the best weeks to visit Disneyland? Is it comparable to Disneyworld?

63 Dave { 05.31.15 at 7:14 am }

Sorry Angie, I don’t.

64 Kate { 06.01.15 at 4:08 pm }

Thank you so much for your reply!! Apparently there’s a lot of misinformation out there about where to stay and I was very mistaken. I really appreciate the help!:)

65 Chrisynda { 06.09.15 at 5:12 pm }

Hi there,
You indicate that the first week(s) in April may change. How soon this summer do you think you will have the crowd estimations for April?
Thanks! (love your site!!)

66 Dave { 06.11.15 at 7:29 am }

Chrsynda, I have the data now, so it should be within a week or so.

67 Malissa { 06.11.15 at 9:59 pm }

Hi, love yr site, we planning to visit either thanksgiving 2015 or February 8-12,2016, any advise on which is better crowd level,prices, etc, and with 5 adults and 1 child, would u recommend staying on prosperity or off, everything I’ve looked at on prosperity (that isn’t sky high in price) is 1bath with enough sleeping room,but with 5 ladies, we need 2 baths, any ideas, thanks so much

68 Dave { 06.13.15 at 8:05 am }

Hi Malissa and thanks!!

The February dates will be much better on every dimension.

It’s hard to find affordable options on property for larger groups. Check out a family suite at Art of Animation–still pricey (over 300 a night) or shoot for two lower priced value resort rooms at one of the All-Stars whihc together will be about 2/3 that price. Reviews of all are linked to from here.

69 lara { 06.16.15 at 6:16 am }

Hi we are booked 11 feb for 15 days 1st time family holiday and didn’t know about presidents day and holiday so am now thing omg crowds and queues. I went as a child at easter is it likely to 2-3 hour queues like it was then?
We will do beaches or something else instead if it is going to be horrendous on the actual holiday day.

Any help majorly accepted thanks

70 Dave { 06.17.15 at 7:42 am }

Lara, the whole week is bad–not just President’s day. See this.

71 Jana { 06.19.15 at 3:29 pm }

We were planning a trip January 23-28 2016. My kids aren’t much in the roller coaster rides. More into the younger rides, shows, and meet and greets. Would this be a good week to go for that kind of stuff?? 🙂

72 Dave { 06.20.15 at 8:37 am }

Jana, there’s no telling now what might be closed for refurb then, but other than that it’s a great time to visit!

73 Christina { 06.21.15 at 11:09 am }

Looking at March 2016. (maybe 1-7?) We went in May 2015 (18-22) & it was almost too hot for us. Crowd wise was good except Friday at animal kingdom. What’s your ideas about March 2016?

74 Dave { 06.22.15 at 9:13 am }

Christina, they are in the table on this page. I like the first week of March 2016, and nothing else.

75 Taylor { 06.30.15 at 3:02 pm }

Hi Dave, I asked (and you answered) this question back in March, but I was wondering if you could clarify further now that you have completed your 2016 analysis. What makes April 9 a better week than other April weeks? Some other websites suggest that Spring Break crowds might linger until mid April. I want to take full advantage of my kids still being in preschool so not restricted to school breaks (and the crowds that come with them)! Thanks oh so very much.

76 Dave { 07.01.15 at 7:59 am }

Taylor, see the chart here.

77 Julie { 07.03.15 at 9:51 pm }

We are coming January 25-31 because my husband has a convention there, so the dates are firm. Do you know when the refurbishment schedule comes out? I’m sorry if you’ve answered this, I didn’t see it. So excited for our first WDW trip!!!

78 Dave { 07.04.15 at 7:23 am }

Julie, there’s no set date for how far ahead they are announced, but 6 ish weeks is common. Commonly closed for part of the period are Splash Mountain, Kali River Rapids and the Liberty Belle, and usually 1-3 other rides. Of these the only don’t miss is Splash Mountain, and it often re-opens around that weekend…

79 Cindy { 07.06.15 at 10:13 am }

Is the entire week of Memorial Day crowded? If we arrived on Wednesday June 1st would the crowds be lighter? Or would it be best to arrive on Saturday June 4th? Thanks!

80 Dave { 07.07.15 at 7:50 am }

Cindy, it’s pretty crowded. June 4 will likely be a little better.

81 Angelica { 07.08.15 at 9:32 am }

Hi Dave. We are trying to plan our 2016 Disney trip. At first we were planning in February. Particularly 2/11-2/15 or 2/18-2/22. However after reviewing your site I’ve decided against that. We won’t be staying at the resorts. Our daughter will be 4 so it will mostly be about meeting the princesses and etc. I’ll be pregnant so I won’t be able to ride with her. My husband doesn’t really like rides. Do they have rides she can go on by herself?

82 Angelica { 07.08.15 at 9:34 am }

I forgot to add that now we are planning for 4/7/16-4/11/16. We can only go a Thursday through Monday time. From reading your recommendations it seems like that would be a good time.

83 Dave { 07.09.15 at 8:14 am }

Angelica, sorry, but no.

84 Angelica { 07.09.15 at 1:12 pm }

She’s very tall for her age. Over 3 feet. It’s hard to imagine she won’t be able to go on any rides my herself. What about visiting 4/7-4/11/16. Is that a good time?

85 Amanda Peters { 07.11.15 at 8:40 am }

Angelica – the following is copied from a post by an attractions CM (Disney employee). I have never heard of exceptions being made (I have two kids and was thrilled when they got to age 7 so I didn’t have to ride Space Mtn anymore!):
“Children are allowed to ride by themselves at age 7 or older. If a child is age 6 or younger, they can ride as long as they are with someone who is at least 14 years old. This is the standard policy across WDW property. If your [child(ren)] wants to ride anything you chose to sit out on, another adult will have to accompany her.”

86 Dave { 07.11.15 at 9:49 am }

Thanks Amanda!! And Angelica, yes those dates are noted on this page as good dates.

87 Jennifer { 07.16.15 at 6:57 pm }

Due to Texas STARR test rescheduling (not worth discussing, and you don’t want me to get started on that…), my annual “pull the kid out of school for a week” is going to have to happen during the beginning of April. I suspect the teachers will be more amenable to the week of the 3rd, and in terms of resort pricing I don’t really care since, thanks to the DVC, I’m now the proud owner of what probably amounts to half a drawer handle at the Poly. 😉 But the crowd situation has me worried. Although my son is MUCH better with the lines than he was 4 years ago, this is most likely the last time we’ll be able to have a week during school and I don’t want it to be marred by the longest waits we’ve had to date. I’m considering incurring the wrath of the teachers and going for the week of the 9th if the difference is as dramatic as it appears. You indicated the crowds might be even higher April 3 than you’ve currently predicted; when do you think you’d have a better idea?

88 Dave { 07.17.15 at 3:00 pm }

Jennifer, the issue with April 2 is genuine uncertainty that I don’t expect to be able to resolve between now and then. (Georgia is the only huge state that’s off that week, and all my data says its an OK week. But GA is such an easy drive that I may be wrong, if more Georgians come then than I forecast) To eliminate the uncertainty, go the week of the 9th!!

89 Jane { 07.18.15 at 11:38 pm }

Dave, we are from Georgia and the state has divided their spring break by counties. Some go the first week of April and others the second week. We went during spring break this year, April 6-11th. It was packed. 90+ minute waits on rides or longer. Question, March 7th is the beginning of College spring break. Is Disney really that packed with college students?

90 Jennifer { 07.19.15 at 12:46 pm }

Dave AND Jane, thanks so much for the info. Week of the 9th it is, and hopefully the teachers will forgive us if we bring back enough Mickey-shaped apologies. 😉

91 Dave { 07.20.15 at 9:30 am }

Thanks Jane! The timing of Easter in 2015 (4/5) made that week much crazier than it will be in 2016, with its 3/27 Easter.

92 Jane { 07.20.15 at 1:39 pm }


If we go March 7th-12th, is it busy because of college spring break?

93 Dave { 07.21.15 at 5:50 pm }

No, college students have next to no impact. It’s north-easterners getting away from the snow…plus a few schools on break.

94 Jeremy { 07.22.15 at 9:35 pm }


Looking at a trip the week of either April 9th or April 16 in 2016. I see you have the 9th as a 3 vs the 16th as a 4. Is there any risk of Easter (Spring Break) crowds lingering into the week of the 9th, or do you feel that is pretty safe for the lowest crowds of April? What drives the week of the 16th to a slightly higher crowd ranking?

Also, we are looking at a 7 nt trip, would you recommend a Fri to Fri trip or Sat to Sat?

Thanks for your help, great site!

95 Dave { 07.23.15 at 12:01 pm }

Hi Jeremy and thanks!

For the crowd differences those weeks, see the chart on this page.

I don’t think there’s a material difference in the arrival dates, except that if you are flying you may find lower prices on the Sat-Sat trip.

96 Jeremy { 07.23.15 at 1:15 pm }

Thanks Dave, great info on that link, that was exactly what I was looking for!

97 molly { 07.25.15 at 7:51 am }

Hi Dave,
I will be at WDW June 26th – 29th 2016 for a conference and wonder if I should bring my kids along, we could come early or stay later to enjoy the parks. It would be our second trip to WDW, but it looks like a terrible time to visit! Any advice?

98 Frida { 07.25.15 at 9:30 am }

Hello! I know I’m a little early on planning our dream vacation to Orlando, but since we have to save up tons of money – time is key. Do you have any comments on visiting WDW in early March 2017? We have looked into going the first two weeks (15 nights) and are traveling from Sweden. Does spring break affect the crowds that early or is it calmer since Easter is in late April that year?

Best regards,

99 kelley { 07.25.15 at 10:26 pm }

hi there, Love your site. I will be taking my 2 kids by myself the week of April 9, (2nd visit) we were there with a group during xmas week in 2013 and it was crazy. I know you are forecasting low crowds. We are from CT and that is spring vacation and I am a teacher. How different will it be from our previous visit. We had to go to MK 3 days and still didn’t do everything there. I am excited by the prospect of not having to fight through crowds but want to plan accordingly. thanks for what you do!

100 Dave { 07.26.15 at 9:15 am }

Hi Molly!!

As do you, I have mixed feeling about this. The positive is that your travel is paid for–and of course the kids are out of school, which if they are older can matter. The negative is the crowds–which you can largely, but not entirely, overcome by good planning and early mornings, and the weather.

My general rule when it comes to WDW is that when temptation hits, succumb. But it depends on what you would do otherwise. If you would be coming again anyway within a year or 18 months at a better time, maybe save the money, and wait til then. If rather this is a unique opportunity, then go for it!!

101 Dave { 07.26.15 at 9:19 am }

Frida, I expect that the week of March 5th, 2017 will be fine, but that crowds will be moderate plus to high minus the week of the 12th. A better two weeks would be February 26th through March 11.

102 Dave { 07.26.15 at 9:36 am }

Hi Kelley, and thanks!!

It will be much better!!!! You still need to plan your days and often get up early, but all will be much more humane!!

Note that since your visit FastPass has profoundly changed. See this for what the change means.

103 Brett { 07.26.15 at 8:40 pm }

Hi Dave, thanks for all this great info, it really helps! I am planning a trip for my family of 5 (wife, me 3 boys 16, 14, 14) and I have a few questions. 1) We have 2 dates in mind, 4/23/16- 4/30/16 or 10/22/16- 10/29/16. I know you rank the October week higher. My kids have the April week off, but they really want to go in the fall for the Halloween Party. (And I would like to try the Food and Wine festival!). So with this info and your opinion, which should go with? 2) We plan on staying at a Deluxe Studio at the Wilderness Lodge Villas. Will it be too tight? 3) I just found out about the renovations that might happen during the October dates for the Lodge. How will this affect our trip? Should we change dates or resorts if Disney confirms it? Once again thanks for all the help and have a great night!

104 Dave { 07.28.15 at 8:50 am }

Brett, unless the boy you are aiming at the fold down bed is pretty short–around 5′ 9″ or less so–I think this will be rough and cramped. These spaces are the least expensive way to get 5 into a deluxe, but its a bit of a shoehorn. If you can afford it, aim for a studio at the Poly instead. If that’s too pricey, how about an Art of Animation family suite?

I’m still noodling over the impact of the construction. If you don’t plan to be in the Villas much during the day–that is, if you think you’ll be at the parks, in the main Lodge, or at the main pool all day, with no expected (or unexpected!) naps, then I think it’ll be OK. However, for half the rooms in the Villas (the ones facing Bay Lake) the daytimes will be noisy and busy with the construction…

105 Tina { 07.28.15 at 10:04 pm }

We are starting to plan our trip for 2016. We have gone in march(land), june, july, and dec(world). The last time we went was in dec and it was aweful and we were only there for two days. Our daughters are physically disabled and since Disney changed there disability pass our daughter get worn out fast. We are looking for the best time in sept, oct, nov time frame. Thank you so much!!

106 Dave { 07.30.15 at 8:49 am }

Tina, the least crowded time is September.

107 Lisa from NJ { 07.30.15 at 10:45 am }

Hi Dave,
Planning on taking a family vacation either sat 9-10-16 or Sat 10-15, 10-22-16 very confused with the weather etc. it will be 1st time for my 2 grandchildren 1 will be turning 3 in mid Oct &the other will be 2 11-24-16. we wanted to be there while it was warm & do family adventures. What do you recommend?

108 Dave { 07.31.15 at 7:24 am }

Lisa, later October.

109 Madison { 08.08.15 at 3:11 pm }

hi! I am planning my trip in jan 2016 the 11th to the 18th. Is it really that bad of a time to go? You have me a little worried. I want to have the best time as possible.

110 Dave { 08.09.15 at 9:51 am }

It will be quite busy over the MLK weekend, Madison, but fine before then. You will see a few ride closures then–which is why I downgrade these weeks for first-timers who may never return.

111 Dee { 08.09.15 at 9:48 pm }

Hi! Planning my son’s 3rd birthday for a trip on Jan 2 – Jan 7. Our party is of 6 adults and 1 child. Everything kid friendly since it is his birthday. How are these dates sounding from your experience? I know for girls they can be transformed into Princess is there anything special like this for boys in boy themes? This will be our 2nd trip with our little guy. The first was in Sept 14- Sept 19, 2015 which we got lots of rain those days. So trying to avoid that this trip! Any great tips or recommendations welcomed. Thank you in advance!! 🙂

112 Dan { 08.09.15 at 9:50 pm }

Hi davey, looking to go April 10th to the 16th. 2016. Looks like it might b a good week according to your chart. What do you think the best days to hit a spefic park. We will doe majic kingdom twice and Epcot once. Thanks bro

113 Mike { 08.10.15 at 4:07 pm }

Wow, a ton of info from your site; almost too overwhelming. Family of five, me, wife, d 15, s 13, s 11. Done Disneyland twice, now time to do the DisneyWorld, but with the understanding that this will be our only time. We are travelling from Vancouver Canada by plane and are looking at the last two weeks of August (16-31). Everyone in the family needs to be back for school the day after Labour a Day. Looking at 8 day passes, 2-3 days at Universal, 1 day at Cape Canaveral, and 1 day SeaWorld. So many questions. Onsite or offsite for hotel? Do we need more days or is 8 enough? Park hoppers or one park a day? Water park included or no? Rental car or using shuttles? My mind explodes with every new piece of info. Thanks in advance.

114 Dave { 08.10.15 at 5:02 pm }

Hi Dee, the 2nd and possibly the third will be rough, but after that you should face a great week. The closest equivalent for boys is getting outfitted as a pirate (which many girls do as well)–see this.

If he’s a star wars fan, also consider Jedi Knight training.

115 Dave { 08.10.15 at 5:03 pm }

Dan, I won;t be able to advise on best days until Disney comes out with its calendar for April, which it will likely do in about 5 weeks or so, so check back then!

116 Dave { 08.10.15 at 5:22 pm }

Mike, 2015? If so, a let me know, and b. read this right now.

117 Dee { 08.10.15 at 10:32 pm }

Dave Thank you so much for the information. I also forgot to ask, Do you have any updated information for 2016 Salute the troops?

118 Mike { 08.11.15 at 2:16 am }

Ugh, I meant 2016 sorry.

119 Dave { 08.13.15 at 8:47 am }

Dee, it’s expected to be renewed for 2016, perhaps soon.

120 Clare { 08.14.15 at 6:03 pm }

Hi Dave, I have booked my Disney trip for 7 days arriving on the 10th Feb. I stupidly forgot to look at crowd levels until after I booked. I’m a little worried that the queue times will be similar visiting in August summer (which I was trying to avoid!). This is my first and mos likely last time I’ll visit. Should I be worried?

121 Dave { 08.15.15 at 7:39 am }

Clare, yes the corwds will be similar to early August–much worse than late August… if you can, re-book.

122 WJ { 08.17.15 at 9:54 am }

I booked a trip for January 16th 2016. I have a very hard time with one child being in year round schools and one child being in traditional. The only times they are out together are Christmas, spring break and July. Those were not options because of expensive, crowds and heat. When I first looked into those dates I was seeing that was a good time with low crowds. What might my issues be with this time frame?

123 Dave { 08.17.15 at 3:20 pm }

WJ, the MLK holiday weekend is always pretty crowded, and you’ll also run into some ride closes. How long is your trip?

124 Kim { 08.18.15 at 2:31 pm }

Any word on Star Wars Weekends for 2016? Will they be continued with all this new stuff coming out?

125 Dave { 08.19.15 at 7:46 pm }

Kim, I expect they will be similar, but even more stuff (and crowd) -filled

126 Emily { 08.28.15 at 1:50 pm }

Hi Dave!
I apologize if you’ve already answered this question. I’m looking at the Disney Cruise for October 7-10 and would like to stay on a few more days to visit WDW. This is our first time (but likely not the last). We also live in Southern California and are AP holder for DL Resort. It’s not really a priority to experience every attraction (since we’ve done that here). I’m really looking forward to experiencing the things that make WDW unique.
The time we’re there are Moderate/Moderate plus in crowds. In your opinion – would this be sufficient to enjoying 3 days of attractions unique to Florida?

127 Dave { 08.30.15 at 8:37 am }

Emily, a trip focused on Epcot and the Animal Kingdom will have the least overlap with DLR. A day and a half at Epcot, and a day at AK, is enough.

128 kristi { 08.31.15 at 12:44 pm }

hi Dave…I am trying to plan our fourth trip to disney and I have two children (16,7). We have always gone the day after memorial day for the week…but I am considering going March 5-12…Which would you suggest?? May 31-June 7 OR March 5-12, 2016

129 Dave { 09.02.15 at 8:47 am }

Kristi, that’s a pretty close call, especially if you are planning to stay at a value (moderate and deluxe prices are lower in June than March but values prices are about the same.) Crowds are similar, I much prefer the cooler and variable weather of early March to the heat and humidity of June…but you may not!!

130 kelley { 09.05.15 at 11:05 pm }

Hi there you had perviously answered a question about the week of April 9-16. I see that you still have it as a great week to go. How do you anticipate the Star Wars half marathon events impacting the crowds now? Now I am nervous that the parks and the resorts will be busier than I was hoping for?

131 Dave { 09.06.15 at 8:29 am }

Kelley, as with the other marathons, it will have next to no impact. See this for why.

132 Julie { 09.17.15 at 2:45 pm }

any deals offered for last part of Feb 2016? free dining or % off resorts??
we have part of our vacation booked….. Any thoughts? Our second time going so excited…it’s been 4 years now….probably our last….

133 Dave { 09.19.15 at 12:59 pm }

Hi Julie, I expect a room rate deal to come out for those dates very soon!

134 Carrie { 09.27.15 at 3:28 pm }

Hi Dave,
Great website! I am planning a first time trip for my family (kids are now 2 and 4) and was wondering if you had any thoughts as to the best weeks in either March or April 2017? I know it is far out, but I am debating traveling either then in the spring, or earlier in November 2016. (Since the kids will be a bit older in the spring I think they will be easier and maybe remember the experience a little more, too)! Thanks so much.

135 Dave { 09.30.15 at 9:01 am }

Carrie I’m still working on this, and will have a sharper opinion shortly. But if you need an answer now, the first week of March, the first week of April, and April 22 and later will be the best weeks. The best of these, I suspect, will be as late in April as you can go, so long as it’s after the 21st.

136 Dawn { 09.30.15 at 9:43 am }

Hi there! Planning a trip to WDW next April for week 10 of your suggested weeks. Do you feel the crowd levels will differ that drastically from week 7? My dates are somewhat flexible and trying to debate if it’s worth moving our weeks just for crowd levels. Do you feel it will still be warm enough to swim if we move our trip to week 7?

137 Dave { 09.30.15 at 10:09 am }

Amy, I seeing only a minor difference between the two weeks. And the weather should be about the same.

138 laura { 09.30.15 at 4:09 pm }

hi firstly I would like to say this is a great site and has given us loads of info.we are planning our first trip next year but we will be planning on coming back again sometime.we have two kids who willjbe 3 and 7,we our undecided on dates and would value your opinion. we are either looking at going for 3weeks from last week aug/first two weeks sept or last two weeks oct/first week nov.we have been told oct/nov dates will be busier due to uk half term and Halloween and we would be better with aug/sept dates as would be quieter. what would you recommend? I see oct/nov dates are ranked alot higher here why is that is it just down to the weather? any help be great thanks

139 Dave { 10.01.15 at 1:38 pm }

Laura, the Oct/Nov dates will be busier, but the late August/September weeks are in the peak of the hurricane season, whihc is why I suggest those who may never return avoid them. The risk of a hurricane actually having a major impact on a visit is small, so if you will be able to return, and can take the heat and humidity then, August/September is a good choice.

Note that neither Halloween nor the UK half terms have anything to do with why the crowds are higher in the later period. The October dates are only moderately higher, and are so because travelers who can go anytime avoid the heat/humidity/hurricane risk of the late summer, and few US families travel in September, as school has just started. The first part of November is a bit busier from Jersey Week and a small effect of the Veterans Day (11/11) holiday.

140 laura { 10.01.15 at 2:25 pm }

thanks for reply the heat that bad end aug/sept.we went tenerife in August this year and was 34c/93f everyday but didnt rain.would there be a big difference in crowd levels just wondering if be worth braving weather for lower crowds or would there not be big difference.what dates would you pick if you had to chose between them?thanks

141 Dave { 10.02.15 at 1:43 pm }

Laura, I’ve been a bunch of times both periods, and would pick the cooler/dryer later period.

142 Jennifer { 10.21.15 at 10:37 am }

This will be our second trip, I used all your advice for our first and we had such a wonderful, easy experience. We are going again April 29th to Thursday May 5th, do you have any advice on what parks to avoid on certain days? Thanks again

143 Dave { 10.21.15 at 2:41 pm }

Jennifer, so glad to have helped!!

4/29 avoid MK and HS
4/30 avoid AK and MK
5/1 avoid HS
5/2 avid AK and MK
5/3 avoid Epcot
5/4 avoid MK
5.5 avoid Epcot

144 kristi { 10.23.15 at 12:48 pm }

I am planning a trip for 2016 to see the Christmas party…our dates are considering four nights…would you recommend weekdays over doing say a friday-tuesday?? also what dates in november/december would you recommend?? thanks

145 Dave { 10.24.15 at 7:42 am }

Michelle, prices at the Disney hotels go up 2/7/16 then up again 2/11/16. Crowds are fine from Jan 19 through Feb 11. So you could end the trip on her birthday, avoiding the price increase, or stay on after it–paying more–thru the 11th. More on 2016 prices is here.

146 Dave { 10.24.15 at 7:50 am }

Kristi, that time of year while overall crowds are low (except Thanksgiving week, when the party is not even on, and to a lesser extent Jersey week (Nov 5-12)), crowds ebb and flow among parks precisely due to the party schedule and the EMH schedule. So during the party season picking the right park the right day is MUCH more important than weekends/weekdays distinctions. I can help you with that–but not until the November calendar comes out, in May.

The full Xmas program isn’t in place til the Friday after Thanksgiving, so if you wanna see for example Holidays Around the World at Epcot aim for after that.

Do note that most of the WDW hotels charge more for Friday and Saturday nights than the rest of the week, and if you are flying, it’s often the case that Tuesdays and Saturdays are cheaper days to fly…arguing for a weekday trip…

147 Kristi { 10.25.15 at 9:09 am }

Thanks so much. So I should pick December 2-6 if I want to see all the Christmas stuff then right?? I took your advice on parks this past week for the Halloween party and you were right on!! Thanks

148 Dave { 10.26.15 at 8:07 am }

Kristi, that’s a great choice!

149 Tabitha { 10.26.15 at 9:00 pm }

When do you expect Disney to put out information for May2016?

150 Dave { 10.27.15 at 9:38 am }

Tabitha, it’s been out for a week or so. See this

151 Alicia { 10.28.15 at 12:43 pm }

My family and I are planning our 3rd trip to Disney. We are planning on going on your #1 ranked week the end on November beginning of December. There will be 2 adults and 3 kids ages 10, 8, and 5. Which resort would you recommend Caribbean beach or riverside? We do not spend much time in our rooms but we will have one full day to enjoy the pools. Also since that is the week after thanksgiving will all of the holiday decorations and programs be in place?

152 Kelly B - Agent with Destinations in Florida { 10.28.15 at 2:38 pm }

HI Alicia, I’m Kelly from Destinations in Florida. The week you are planning on going is one of the best to travel. Are you going this year or in 2016? If you haven’t booked yet, I would love to help (

The resort begin to get decorated at the beginning of November and everything except Epcot’s Holidays around the Word is in full swing by the middle of the month. Be prepared for cooler temperatures though. Nov/Dec at Disney can be anywhere from shorts and flip flops to jackets and pants (even a hat and gloves when the sun isn’t out). But this would be a perfect time to tour some of the resorts. See all the trees, and gingerbread creations.

153 Jennifer { 10.29.15 at 8:07 am }

We have reserved a stay at Disney for Christmas this year. Can you tell me if we made a bad choice? This is our Christmas gift to our children and we have a group of 15 going

154 Dave { 10.29.15 at 10:44 am }

Alicia, the main pool at CBR is much better than the one at POR. And all holiday programs will be fully in place by the Friday after Thanksgiving. And my friend Kelly is absolutely right about weather–they may or may not be a great pool day then…

155 Dave { 10.29.15 at 10:48 am }

Jennifer, if your dates are between 12/19 and 1/1, that’s not I time I would recommend to anyone. Prices are high and crowds are terrible. It’s particularly bad if you are not staying at a WDW-owned hotel.

156 Alan { 11.01.15 at 9:35 pm }

Tons of great information here.
My family and I (wife and 10 year old daughter at time of travel) will be returning for our third Disney trip some time in October 2016. Right now we are booked for the first week in October but having looked at your calendar I am starting to reconsider. We have only ever gone in May but want to do the Disney Halloween experience. Both prior trips were at POR. We are considering a split stay, first 5 days at AOA and the remaining 3 at AKL, or just the full time at Carribbean Beach. Will return for a Christmas trip at WL to see all the decorations. What would be your ideal 8 days in October 2016 and would you recommend the split stay or the week at CB? Thanks in advance for your recommendation.

157 Dave { 11.02.15 at 7:24 am }

Alan, any arrival date 10/15/16 or later will be fine. Either of your resort concepts will be fun, so I’d just pick on resort appeal. (For full reviews of all 3, see this if you haven’t already.)

158 Kristi { 11.03.15 at 12:29 pm }

So I am just finalizing my plans for December 2016. I am planning either December 2-6 or 5-9 Does it really make that big a difference for crowds and MVMCP??

Also, I was considering wilderness lodge but just can’t do it as it reminds me of winter at home which I am leaving at that time 🙂 is the poly a good choice??

159 Dave { 11.04.15 at 8:47 am }

Kristi, there’s not a ton of difference, but your weekday visit will probably be a little less crowded than the weekend visit, as it avoids locals. And the Poly is a great choice–see this.

160 Chris { 11.05.15 at 9:48 pm }

I am considering doing a one-day trip to the Magic Kingdom on Sunday January 3rd, since this is the only date over the holidays that will work and I’m hoping the park will be less crowded than the week of Christmas with people returning to school. Would you recommend going on this date? I’ve been before, but my daughter has not been in several years, so this will feel like a first-time visit. I visit Florida at least twice a year, although I tend to go during the busy holiday or spring break season. I’ve seen different crowd estimates, with some calendars showing Sunday as being terribly busy and others showing a significant drop in crowd levels on the 3rd. Do you have any thoughts? Thank you in advance.

161 kristi { 11.06.15 at 9:50 am }

Thank you….would the poly still be a great choice for December?? I recently read where tikiman doesnt recommend it for december trips 🙁

162 Dave { 11.06.15 at 11:31 am }

Chris, Sunday won’t be “terribly busy,” but it will be moderately crowded at MK–crowds will be much lower later in the month.

163 Dave { 11.06.15 at 11:32 am }

Kristi, can you copy a link to where Steve says that?

164 Chris { 11.06.15 at 11:39 am }

Thank you so much for your quick response.

165 dana { 11.17.15 at 7:44 am }

Hey Dave,
Our plan right now is to hopefully go when they are offering the free dining. The past 2 years they have offered it one time in December. And if I have figured it out right, it will start Dec 13th of 2016. We were thinking bout going for 7 days so from 12/13-12/19 which I just noticed will be over a couple of busy days. Do you think we will be ok, since 4 out of 7 days is not suppossed to be busy?

166 Dave { 11.17.15 at 11:44 am }

Dana, first of all don’t count on free dining–take it as a positive if it happens. Second, the 17th to 19th will be bad, but you will be able to work around it!!

167 Dustin { 11.19.15 at 7:44 pm }

when you say jersey week is the 5th of novemebr 2016 is that the start or end we were looking at leaving somewhere on the 4th or 5th of November in 2016 because that’s when I could start my vacation next year thanks

168 Dave { 11.22.15 at 7:41 am }

Dustin, in 2016 Jersey Week begins November 6, and is at its peak 11/10 to 11/13. It’s not that big a deal, though…

169 Meagan { 12.26.15 at 8:22 pm }

Due to school and work scheduling, we will have to go on a “busy” day…which is worse, MLK or President’s Day? It will just be a quick trip this time 3 or 4 nights.

170 Dave { 12.29.15 at 8:54 am }

Meagan, MLK is the better choice!

171 Andrea { 12.30.15 at 9:57 am }

Hi Dave – I’m confused…you say April 9th is a good time to visit, but Undercover Tourist lists April 9 & 10 as among “the very worst times to visit Disney World in 2016.” Thoughts??? Thank you!

172 Dave { 12.30.15 at 11:27 am }

Andrea, my rankings are for the 9 day (Sat-Sun) weeks beginning the dates I note, not for days. The logic for my ranking for that week is here. See the chart lower on the page in particular.

There is exactly one reliable daily crowd calendar, and it is not UT–it’s Josh’s. His April crowd calendar is here.

173 Brenna { 01.07.16 at 12:02 am }

Well, I’m going from March 3rd through the 7th & staying at a resort with monorail mainly because I’m in a wheelchair! Bring on the crowds! It’s always a bit busy & that’s not always a bad thing?

174 Courtney { 01.07.16 at 3:04 am }

My family has been to Disney World 5 times and the most recent was in 2014 arriving the Sunday (2 days after Thanksgiving) and staying until the following Saturday. It was a million times better than going in summer, so I totally agree with that week being ranked #1! For 2016, our normal family size vacation of 5 is doubling to 10 as we are going with my husband’s family. I have been designated as the master planner, so I have a question for you. Due to other family members school and work schedules the dates that work for everyone are November 17-22, 2016. I know this overlaps with a slow week and into the beginning of Thanksgiving week. I have warned them that it may be crazy Sat-Mon (Tues they won’t be going to one of the parks). Just wanted to pick your brain and see if you could tell me how busy these dates really are. We are staying on WDW property, so I plan to take advantage of EMH bc I know the younger kids will be easier to get to the park at open rather than stay til closing. I am planning on waiting until WDW releases Nov calendar to decide which park to go to each day, but I am thinking MK will have to be Fri. Sorry for the long post. This will be their first and probably only time there, so I want to do my best to make it special for them. Thanks so much for your help!

175 Kelly B - Agent with Destinations in Florida { 01.07.16 at 9:23 am }

Brenna – I just wanted to make a note that the monorail only runs guests directly to Magic Kingdom. To get to Epcot, you’ll have to transfer monorails at the Ticket and Transportation Center. To get to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios, you’ll have to take a resort bus.

176 Dave { 01.07.16 at 4:20 pm }

Courtney, Saturday will be fine. Crowds will build Sunday, and be rough on Monday. Re your EMH strategy, that can work fine if you aim your FP+ for late morning and early afternoon.

177 Douglas { 01.17.16 at 10:47 am }

Looking at taking kids March 11-15 to Disney world or Disney land. We have 2 teenagers but really going for 4 yr old to experience Disney first time. We have to work around school. So, should we attempt spring break week or go when school is out beginning May 30th and beginning of June with ole some schools are still in school. Also, do u suggest Disney land bc he is small or Disney world?

178 Douglas { 01.17.16 at 10:49 am }

I forgot to mention spring break is March 14th week so we could go anytime that week or start our trip March 11th.

179 Cheryl { 01.18.16 at 9:48 am }

We are thinking of a Disney Vacation 11/3-11/10. Do you think any Christmas decorations will be up by then? Also what are your thoughts on crowds?

180 Dave { 01.18.16 at 10:32 am }

I can’t speak to DL, Douglas, but early June would be a much better choice than your March plans at WDW.

181 Dave { 01.18.16 at 10:38 am }

Cheryl, my crowd calendar for 2016 is here. you will see Xmas decorations going up early in your visit, and they should be fully in place at MK by the end. They will be less fully out in the other parks, and mostly not out in the hotels.

182 Diane Jones { 01.22.16 at 10:51 am }

We have booked 2 weeks at Saratoga Springs in August and are wondering which are the best rooms to go for,we have booked a 2 bedroom apartment (3 Adults), I cannot walk far but would like a balcony and water view as I may not be able to go out every day. It seems to be a big resort so dont know if I would be better off near the reception area or going for the views of disney springs. Any ideas please.

183 Dave { 01.23.16 at 9:48 am }

Diane, it’s a huge resort. The area with a view of Downtown Disney is far from a any other services–like dining. You can walk to the bus stop and take the bus to the central area…

184 Kendra { 02.04.16 at 2:59 am }

I will be returning to Disney for the first time in a few years, in about 30 days. I was wondering why the crowds might be so high in March when most primary and secondary school age children won’t be on spring break until the end of March. Are you taking into consideration the spring break weeks of other states as well? I will be going on March 8th during my university spring break. All of your information is so helpful! Thank you for sharing.

185 Dave { 02.04.16 at 6:38 am }

Kendra, for how spring break crowds work, and the results of my analysis of the break calendars of 10 million kids, see this:

186 Frank { 02.04.16 at 3:09 pm }

Hi Dave,
Thank you again for all the advise that you gave for our last trip (Jan 2016)! It was very helpful and we had a great, but chilly time!
My wife, 5-year old daughter and myself are looking at taking a shortened trip to DW at the end of November to early/mid December (4/5 night – compared to our usual 9 night) to check out DW at Christmas time. We were going to stay at the Art of Animation Resort for cost savings (we usually stay at PO Riverside) and because our daughter wants to stay in an Ariel themed room. I have read all you reviews on when to go, resort to stay at, etc., which are unbelievably helpful, but I just wanted to get specific advice on what days you think are good for low resort rate, lowest crowd & with the Christmas theme going? We were looking at November 27/28th to December 2/3, 2016. We were avoiding weekend days, but what do you think? We have only been to DW twice and both times were in January (2015/2016). Thanks!

187 Dave { 02.05.16 at 8:01 am }

Frank, so glad to have helped!!

Prices are the same (except weekends–Fridays and Saturday are higher) 11-26 through 12-10. So aim for weekdays within that period!

188 ashley { 02.07.16 at 6:27 pm }

the week of december 3 is the pop warner week… does that mean the parks will be more crowded or just the value resorts?

189 Dave { 02.08.16 at 7:15 am }

Ashley, neither. The hotels are always near-full anyway, so Pop Warner has no real difference on that. What happens is that the hotels affected become more boisterous. See this.

190 kristi { 02.09.16 at 2:21 pm }

Good afternoon, the people we were going with in december cancelled so now I can go whenever is best….for a four night stay what would be the best nights to go…thinking early december?? wondering if arriving on a sunday is better then arriving on a friday??

191 Dave { 02.10.16 at 4:29 pm }

Kristi, weekdays except Monday are usually less crowded than weekends, and many of the Disney hotels charge more on Friday and Saturday nights than the rest of the week.

192 Kristi { 02.12.16 at 7:24 am }

Thank you. Would you recommend arriving December 2-6 then or pushing it back to 4-8 or 5-9? I saw your recommended weeks the first week of December is highly recommended as week 2 of all year but on the graph it shows the week after as better??

193 Dave { 02.12.16 at 7:42 am }

The week before is better, as it has lower prices–although prices don’t go up until 12/11.

194 Amy { 02.18.16 at 9:07 pm }

Information on this site is so helpful. We will have our first visit to Disney world from April 4 to April 8 of 2016. Any suggestions on parks we should avoid on those specific days? Thanks!

195 Dave { 02.19.16 at 11:12 am }

Hi Amy!!

April 4 avoid AK and MK
April 5 avoid Epcot
April 6 avoid MK
April 7 avoid AK
April 8 avoid HS and MK

196 Laura { 02.22.16 at 10:09 pm }

Hi Dave. Due to work I am unable to go for a full week. I am looking at the last weekend in October (Friday Oct 28- Tuesday Nov 1). Or December 2-6 or 7. Any thoughts or suggestions. Thanks.

197 Dave { 02.23.16 at 8:34 am }

Laura, umm, thoughts or suggestions about what, specifically?

198 Laura { 02.23.16 at 2:26 pm }

Hi Dave. Looking to go to Disney for 5 days, as that’s all the time I can get. Would you recommend October 28-November 1 or December 2-6 or 7? Both are low on your charts regarding crowds but wondering if you had opinions about them one way or the other. We would be staying at Art of Animation. Thank you.

199 Laura { 02.23.16 at 2:27 pm }

Sorry I didn’t see my other comment…. But maybe this one clarifies.

200 Dave { 02.24.16 at 8:24 am }

Laura, I’d pick among those weeks based on whether you prefer Halloween decorations and festivities and perhaps the Food and Wine Festival, or Christmas decorations and programs (2015 material)

201 Brittany { 02.28.16 at 1:16 pm }

hello! So the only time my family could take off was the days 18-24 of june 2016. We have a 2 , 4 and 5 year old. We already have our trip booked. I read where There is really no “good” time to go . But now I am getting scared. I just keep reading all these discouraging things about going in June. Especially when we are going. This is my first trip and my kids. My husband has been. My mother and father in law is going also. Reading all these horrible things about disneyworld in June is bumming me out big time. I have a planner . I have thousands of tips and I have all of our reservations done. But our fastpasses of course. Please tell me something good haha! any tips? Is it true to try to be there when they first open and ride as many rides you can the first hr your there? Then get fast passes for the end of the day? We are also staying at the art of animation. I’ve have been wanting to go since I had born. Now taking my children I am beyond excited. But after reading all these things of Disney in June I just feel like I said bummed out. we are also driving from Kentucky.

202 Dave { 02.29.16 at 8:25 am }

Brittany, you can make June work fine so long as you arrive early and make wise use of FastPass+. See this for how I recommend doing it.

203 Nate { 03.11.16 at 7:16 am }

I had the opportunity to visit Disney World the third week of September 2015 and made a day of each park with a short revisit to Magic Kingdom on the last day. I was surprised by the crowds, having specifically picked this period for its reported low census. I though maybe I was comparing the crowds to my experience 15-years earlier and that this was the new low.

I had a conversation with some friends who came back from a February 2016 visit and it sounds like the crowds were far less than what we had experienced. They described a wait time at the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train as 20-minutes vs a reported 120-minute wait while we were there. Overall, it *sounded* less busy.

I ran across this article ( where they briefly report that September 2015 experienced higher crowd levels than normally expected and state some plausible explanations…

Might those looking to go in September 2016 expect to see similar crowds as in 2015? Would you care to provide your assessment on September 2015?

204 Dave { 03.12.16 at 10:04 am }

Nate, crowds were up about 3-4% last fall–that is, the increase was immaterial. What was up a lot was afternoon standby waits on a lot of rides. The smart money is on the idea that More FP+ capacity was both offered and utilized, which meant so little capacity for standbys that waits skyrocketed. So the key–as always–is to avoid standby lines in the afternoon…

205 SLS { 03.12.16 at 8:14 pm }

How much does the Epcot Food/Wine Fest impact crowds in September? It’s our first visit, with a four year old, and debating arriving 9/10 vs 9/17. Thoughts?

206 Dave { 03.15.16 at 8:27 am }

SLS, Weekends and evenings are busier in World Showcase. Future World is not much affected.

207 JT { 03.22.16 at 1:24 pm }

Hi Dave, Since crowds are expected to be relatively low the week of December 10-17th, why do the rates go so high compared to the first week of December? Trying to determine which week to go.

208 Dave { 03.22.16 at 4:03 pm }

JT the short answer is that prices go up then every year, because willingness to pay goes up…

209 kristi { 03.30.16 at 12:16 pm }

Okay so I have narrowed it down to december 2-6… that a good week?? planning to do MVMCP the sunday night….now to decide if POR is a good choice or not??

210 Dave { 03.30.16 at 3:46 pm }

Kristi, yes it is. My review of POR begins here.

211 Kevin { 04.01.16 at 3:06 pm }

Any word on Free Dining offer for Fall 2016 ?
Was hoping to visit 11-10-16 through 11-17-16. Do those dates avoid Jersey Week ?
Read the book cover to cover and really enjoyed it.

212 Erin { 04.01.16 at 9:26 pm }

I am looking at dates for late April/early May of 2017 for our first trip to Disney with our children ages 3 and 5. One set of grandparents will also be joining us for a total of 4 adults and 2 kids. I want to avoid the spring break crowds as well as the cheerleaders, which I’ve heard are there the last weekend of April. Does May 6-12 look okay? We are flexible with dates in March-May.

213 Dave { 04.03.16 at 9:58 am }

Kevin, last year it came out in late April. Eligible arrival dates for it then are here You will miss most of Jersey week but will see affects from it the 10th through the 12th.

So glad you liked the book!

214 Dave { 04.03.16 at 10:05 am }

Erin arrive 4/22 or later and you’ll be fine. The cheerleaders don’t matter. They are around multiple times every year but have no effect on waits. There just aren’t enough of them to move the needle in a system of parks that averages around 150,000 people a day…

215 Kristi { 04.11.16 at 1:59 pm }

Ok so I decided against POR as I was considering a royal room. We are now biking the Polynesian. Does it matter if I do 2-6 or 5-9???

216 Kristi { 04.11.16 at 2:00 pm }

Booking not biking 🙂

217 Dave { 04.12.16 at 9:44 am }

Kristi, typically weekdays are less crowded and less expensive than weekends.

218 Angelina { 04.26.16 at 11:36 pm }

We are booked for Sept 12th/16th 2016… can you please give me suggestions on what parks to visit each day with regards to your crowd estimate… was super excited about visiting during a lower crowd time but second guessing it now… with the start of the Wine Fest at Epcot starting on the 14th.
Thank you!!!!

219 Dave { 04.28.16 at 11:08 am }

Food and Wine has little impact except on Epcot’s World Showcase, Angelina, especially evenings and weekends.

The 12th avoid MK and AK
The 13th avoid Epcot
the 14th avoid MK
The 15th avoid Epcot
The 16th avoid HS and Epcot

220 Shirley { 05.02.16 at 11:01 pm }

Absolutely LOVE your website! We are planning a trip for 11/27-12/3 2016 based on your recommendations. Very excited to see low crowds for that week and this will be our first time during the Christmas season. Any recommendations on which parks to avoid on which days? First and last days are not park days. Also which day would be the best for MVMCP? Thank you in advance!

221 Shirley { 05.02.16 at 11:02 pm }

Forgot to mention we will be celebrating my daughter’s 7th birthday!

222 Dave { 05.04.16 at 8:52 am }

Shirley, I won’t have recommendations for then until Disney releases its December calendar, which it should do in a couple of weeks

223 Mimi { 05.14.16 at 2:58 pm }

Hi Dave, we’ll be at WDW 11/28/16 – 12/6/16, staying at Poly. What crowd impact do you think the Pop Warner visitors will have on our trip once they arrive on 12/3/16? Will we even notice- at the resort? at the parks? Truly appreciate your advice. Thanks!?

224 Dave { 05.15.16 at 7:35 am }

Mimi, Pop has little impact on the parks, and none on the Poly!

225 Mimi { 05.15.16 at 1:10 pm }

Thank you for your response Dave! Phew- can’t tell you how much you’ve allayed our concerns! Appreciate you, and the valuable information you share on your site. Thanks again!

226 Dave { 05.17.16 at 7:11 am }

You bet, Mimi!

227 Katie { 05.22.16 at 4:30 pm }

My husaband and I are going 11/26/16-12/1/16 for our 5 year anniversary. This is far from our first time going, but it is our first time without the rest of the family. We typically go with our entire family the week of Christmas to New Years (we know we are insane). Since free dining has been released for 11/26 will that make the crowd levels move to moderate or still low? And what is your best plan of attack? We are going to the Christmas party the 29th of that helps.

228 Kelly B - Destinations In Florida { 05.23.16 at 10:16 am }

Katie- You\’ve picked one of my all time favorite times to visit the parks. Low crowds, cool weather and Christmas decorations. The crowd levels that week compared to your usual week are completely different. You won\’t know what to do with yourself. You should still have low crowds even with the Free Dining. Enjoy yourselves.

229 Dave { 05.25.16 at 9:13 am }

Katie, free dining has no impact other than making dining reservations a little harder to get.

11/26 avoid MK and AK
11/27 avoid HS
11/28 avoid MK
11/29 avoid Epcot
11/30 avoid MK
12/1–no data yet, but likely avoid Epcot

230 Natasha { 06.12.16 at 4:23 pm }

Hi Dave,
Your website is fantastic! We just started planning a last minute trip for this November. This is our first trip to Disney, so far we have only done a Disney cruise. We have a 4 & 6 year old, and are planning to spend 4 nights at AoA (Nemo)… after reviewing your recommendations for resorts. We plan to return in a few years once the kids are older, so we are thinking we’ll take our time and do 3 full days at MK. I really want to see the castle dream lights on our last night (Nov 16 or Nov 30), but no interest in MVMCP this trip.
Would you recommend Nov 13-17 or Nov 27-Dec 1? Or is there not really much difference?
Will 3 days at MK be too much?
Any other tips are appreciated! Thanks!

231 Dave { 06.13.16 at 8:59 am }

Hi Natasha, three days will give you plenty of time for breaks and 50% more FastPass+ than two days, so I think that is fine. Not much difference between your dates for a MK focused trip–if you are flying, getting tix/being at the airport on the 27th will be a bear because of the post-Thanksgiving flight crowds…

232 nikki { 08.14.16 at 10:58 am }

How would crowds be 11/24-11/27?

233 Dave { 08.14.16 at 2:02 pm }

Quite high the 24th through the 26th, and fine the 27th.

234 dave o { 08.18.16 at 12:51 pm }

Dave – you rock!

We are planning an October 2016 trip. Maybe the week of the 17th or 24th with our 7 year old twins.

What are your thoughts on weekend vs weekday. We home school our kids, so Monday/Tuesday is just as easy as a Sat/Sun. If it’s worth it, I can burn some vacation to avoid the crowds.


235 Dave { 08.19.16 at 7:25 am }

Thanks Dave! because of the Food & Wine show at Epcot and early closes at MK for the Halloween party, you see different crowd patterns at the parks during your dates than at other times of the year.

So for example Sundays are good at MK your dates, unlike other times of the year, because the 7p close makes people choose other parks.

In general the parks are most crowded Sat-Mon, and prices are higher at most WDW hotels Fri and Sat. Tuesdays your dates will be good at all parks except Epcot, Wednesdays at all except MK, and Thursdays at all except Epcot.

236 Jessica Frost { 09.12.16 at 10:51 pm }

Your site is so thorough! I just love it. We will be arriving November 27th! What a relief to see that it is your MOST recommended week. I have a feeling its going to be a magical week for us! Thanks for all the wonderfully detailed information.

237 Dave { 09.13.16 at 7:00 am }

Thanks, Jessica!

238 Jim { 12.11.16 at 10:27 am }

We usually avoid the Pop Warner week but due to scheduling conflict we had to go to the parks last week during their Super Bowl. I was randomly looking for their dates for next year and ran across this site. You recommend going to the park that week as your #2 week – I have to tell you that it.was.mobbed. We’ve never seen it that crowded – and it didn’t help that Splash Mountain was closed the whole day and Frozen – we had a Fast Pass and it was our last FP of the day – broke right before our pass started, it reopened and then broke while we were in line.

Not our finest Magic day…

Again – not sure why you highly recommend that week since it’s generally mobbed with packs of kids all cheering and clapping the same thing over and over again.

239 Dave { 12.11.16 at 11:47 am }

Jim, it’s a myth that’s been exploded for more than a decade that Pop Warner has a material effect on the parks. I suspect you were in parks on bad days, which is quite easy during the party seasons. E.g. if you were in MK last week on Sat, Mon, or Weds, or Epcot Tues or Thurs, you would have seen summer-level crowds–not because of Pop Warner, but because of the distinct ebb and flow shaped by the early vs late close to MK.

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