By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2018, from the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever. Paperback available on Amazon here. Kindle version available on Amazon here.—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor

Walt Disney World in 2015

By Dave Shute


Disney World in 2015 from

Disney World in 2015 is coming out of a cycle of openings and major changes stretching back to the summer of 2012, including

(Small wonder that Josh and I thought the time was right for an entirely new guidebook, written from scratch for FastPass+.)

Compared to the last 30 months, there’s not much new at Disney World in 2015.

We’ll also see in 2015 the beginning of years of major construction to Interstate 4, mostly well north of Disney World, and, potentially, because of the strength of the dollar and collapse of oil prices (word to the wise: “light sweet crude” is really neither that light nor that sweet…) a reduction in the growth of overseas visitors to Disney World.

So 2015 is a year to luxuriate in and take advantage of all the recent developments at Disney World, and not a year in which to worry too much about what cool new thing will open when.  There just isn’t that new that will open in 2015 compared to the 30 months just past, or the couple of years that will follow.


Here’s more on Disney World in 2015, including

  • Disney World 2015 packages and booking dates
  • 2015 Disney World deals
  • 2015 Disney Armed Forces Salute
  • Free Dining in 2015 at Disney World
  • The best weeks of 2015 to visit
  • 2015 crowds at Disney World


Disney World in 2014 You can find 2015 Disney World price seasons here.

You can book a Disney World hotel room up to 500 days in advance. That means you can book all of 2015 on-line, and some 2016 dates over the phone.


Walt Disney World offers specials, discounts, package deals, and other deals only when, based on its booking rates, it believes it can profitably bump demand by doing so.

The windows it provides for such deals seem to range from a month to nine months ahead. Given this, the more the economy seems to be doing OK, the shorter the notice for these deals likely will be.

As deals launch, you’ll find them here.

For Disney World 2015 military deals and 2015 free dining at Walt Disney World, see below.


Disney World has announced special discounts for Military families for most of 2015.  See this for more. There’s no telling if this deal will be extended into FY16, or if so, when such an extension will be announced.


There’s no guarantee Disney will offer the Disney Dining Plan for free in 2015.

If it does, based on past dates, Disney will most likely offer more free dining in 2015 for much of September, and perhaps selected later dates in October, November and December, and announce it in the late spring of 2015.


For the best times for first-timers who may not return to visit Disney World in 2015, see 2015 weeks to visit, ranked in order. Returning visitors should use the 2015 Week Picker.

A few observations (all reflected in the 2015 week rankings):

  • New Year’s Eve is midweek in 2014, so the Disney World holiday season crush will last until Saturday January 3, 2015.
  • Mardi Gras 2015 is the day after President’s Day.  Many northeastern school districts have the whole week of President’s day off, which makes it a bad week to start with.  A few southern school districts have off around Mardi Gras, and they will add even more to the crowds this week.
  • President’s Day itself, February 16, 2015, is almost as early as it can be.  This means fewer low-crowd early February days, but a few more good days in later February.
  • Easter, on April 5, 2015, is in the middle of its range. The weeks before and after Easter will be mobbed, as usual, but there will be good weeks in very early March, and April after the 11th should be great in 2015!
  • Memorial Day, May 25, 2015, is as early as it possibly can be.  This makes me think the week that includes it will be a little less crowded than usual, but it’s still a week to avoid!
  • The Fourth of July in 2015 will be on a weekend, so it will be even more crowded than usual, and the weeks before and after it will be the worst ones in the summer of 2015 at Disney World.
  • Labor Day, September 7 in 2015, is as late as it can be.  Some states have school openings tied by law to after Labor Day, so the end of August will be a little more crowded than it is in years with an earlier Labor Day.  The end of August is still going to be a good time to go to Disney World crowd-wise–just not as good as years in which Labor Day is earlier.
  • Thanksgiving, November 26, 2015, is in the middle of its range.  The week that includes it will be as bad as usual, but there will then be three great weeks at Walt Disney World after it.  Pop Warner week in 2015 looks to be the week beginning December 5.
  • Christmas 2015 is on a Friday.  Some school districts will go on break Monday the 21st, and others Thursday the 24th.  Rough crowds will begin December 19, 2015, but New Year’s week at Disney World–the 26th of December 2015 through January 2nd, 2016–will be a particular mess.


See the 2015 Disney World Crowd Calendar.


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

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1 Kelley Griffith { 01.09.15 at 6:16 pm }

Taking grandchildren on first trip to Disney World -granddaughter will be 3 and grandson will be 1. we will be going the week between Christmas and New Years. I know it is a busiest week, but our work shuts down that week. Want to stay in Little Mermaid room/s might have 7 including both kids. What is the best place to book thru? Also, my daughter is worried about shuttles not having carseats for the kids. We will be flying in- don’t want to lug carseats everywhere- so this includes the shuttle from the airport! Any suggestions?

2 Steve { 01.10.15 at 10:03 am }

Yea for the “a reduction in the growth of overseas visitors to Disney World.” I did not hear much English at WDW over Christmas.

3 Dave { 01.10.15 at 10:57 am }

Kelley, book through Disney or a experienced travel agent. No Disney transport allows car seats, so there’s no point to bringing them unless you rent a car!

4 Kathleen Goulet { 01.10.15 at 2:07 pm }

Please explain fastpass. I’m a bit confused. I have the Military Salute Tickets and we are going in February. *8 with the grandchildren, could only get 6 tickets :(.
I was about to fastpass but what is the advantage of doing it 30 days out compared to 24hrs? Thanks so much for your response!

5 Dave { 01.11.15 at 8:10 am }

Kathleen, the most popular options begin to sell out 60 days ahead, and other popular ones have more and more limited availability as each day passes. Since you can chnage your FastPass+ anytime (to whatever is still available…) there’s zero payoff to waiting, and you should book your FP+ ASAP.

See this for more:

6 Kelly B - Agent with Destinations to Explore { 01.16.15 at 7:07 pm }

Absolutely agree with Dave. Book as soon as possible. You can change always change your selections. But popular ones like Anna & Elsa meet and greet, Toy Story Mania, Soarin, etc go quick. Sometimes within hours (depending on when you are visiting).

7 Katie { 04.13.15 at 11:52 pm }

I read your calendar of best dates to visit in 2015 ..what would yiu choose for your first visit..between. October 20-26th or November 10-16th…Xmas vs Halloween or crowd wise???

8 Dave { 04.14.15 at 7:56 am }
9 Kelly B - Agent with Destinations in Florida { 04.14.15 at 11:52 am }

Hi Katie-Kelly from Destinations in Florida here. I don’t think anything is more magical than Disney done up for the holidays. But I do know that this past year (2014) the week of Nov 10-16 was much more crowded than was expected. I arrived on 11/16 and caught the tail end of it and some really cold weather too. MNSSHP and Halloween decorations will be in full gear during the October dates. It’s more a preference than anything else.

10 Ari C { 04.14.15 at 10:23 pm }

I was at Disney World 01/03/15 – 01/07/15. We got the tail end of the holiday season craziness, but still had the Christmas spirit of Disney. We actually stayed in the finished Art of Animation in the Finding Nemo room. It was nothing less of fantastic! Our room felt like I was in Nemo’s anemone. When you walk around the hotel you will run into your favorite friends from The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, and Cars. Personally Cars was my favorite portion. That was literally Radiator Springs coming to life. The fastpass+ was one of the best parts of the experience. We were able to ride almost every ride we sought to right including Test Track in Epcot. I worst part of my experience was Magic Kingdom lines. We wanted to ride the Mine Train (new ride) you couldn’t even touch the Fastpass+. I was able to see Belle’s Village and ride Little Mermaids Journey of the Sea, both were amazing. I highly recommend. Of course no Magic Kingdom Christmas could end without the Light Spectacular. The crowds were beyond awful, I met some of the rudest people there. But the light show was more than I could have ever dreamed of. I recommend going if you can. I’ll be going back Aug 14th, 2015!

11 Dave { 04.15.15 at 9:17 am }

Respectfully disagreeing with Kelly. I was there that week as well, there was a hangover thru Veterans day of moderate crowds, then low crowds the rest of the week…During the party season, it’s critical to go to the right park on the right day

12 Dave { 04.15.15 at 9:25 am }

Thanks, Ari!!

13 Scott { 04.20.15 at 10:53 pm }

Hi Dave,

Any idea when the December calendar might be released?


14 Dave { 04.21.15 at 8:14 am }

Scott, mid-May

15 Miriam { 05.20.15 at 9:15 am }

We have chosen to go December 1-11 smack dab between the weeks you have chosen as 1-3. I was super stoked, now I keep hearing about this pop warner week and that is is not a good time to go. I bought our plane fare already :(. The input on my Facebook groups seem to be pretty split. I’m becoming concerned 🙁

16 Sue { 06.07.15 at 2:07 pm }

Hi Dave,

For downtown disney/disney springs….what is the best transportation to this location for dinner or after dinner- we are staying at the grand floridian but will have a rental car available. Is it best to get there by car? bus? does the GF offer boat service to there? thanks for your recommendations

17 Dave { 06.09.15 at 7:49 am }

Sue, traffic and parking can be a major pain, except during weekdays at mid-day. So I would take the bus that goes from GF to DTD. There is no boat connecting them.

18 Ashley rose { 06.13.15 at 4:37 am }

I have just started to plan my family’s WDW trip for the week ofAug 28th-Sept 3 or 4th 2016(haven’t decided which day to leave DWD yet). There will five of us 2 adults the kids 10,9,and 21 months when we will be there. We want to either stay in the art of animation the Nemo suite or jump up to the animal kingdom lodge (the African inspired resort) if I would call now to book my room would the reservation fee to just book the room be more than the traditional $200 deposit when the packages come out in the next few weeks. Should I book a room now or wait 6-8 weeks when the new 2016 packages will be out. We plan on taking advantage of the meal plan and park hooper options. Thank you in advance.

19 Dave { 06.13.15 at 8:16 am }

Ashley, it’s expected that the 2016 prices will be out June 22 or so, so I’d just wait!

20 Allison { 07.23.15 at 5:45 pm }

Hey Dave! Back again for more of your great advice! We are due to arrive in WDW 9/26 – 10/2
Its almost time to make fast pass + selections. I am not familiar with how this works or what we really need it for? Any insight would be much appreciated as I haven’t had much luck getting any info on this from the WDW site or staff. Thanks again!

21 Dave { 07.25.15 at 7:17 am }

Hi Allison!! For FastPass+, start here.

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