By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2020, the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever.

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Disney World Crowds in 2017

By Dave Shute

December   January   February   March   April   May


Disney World Crowds in 2017 from yourfirstvisit.netThe chart lower on the page shows my forecasts for 2017 crowds by week at Walt Disney World.

Dates in it are the beginning of the week, and the forecast covers the recommended Saturday-Sunday 9 day stays.

(For 2018 Disney World crowds, see this, and for 2019 crowds at Disney World, see this.)

Crowd levels are ranked by week from 1-11 in the following way:

1: Lowest of the year

2: Lower

3: Low

4: Low-plus

5: Moderate-minus

6: Moderate

7: Moderate-plus

8: High-minus

9: High

10: Higher

11: Highest



Dates are the beginning of the week.

As is the case in every good Disney World crowd calendar, the forecasts are about wait times on rides–not about how crowded the areas outside the rides might be.

The “low crowd” weeks–those colored green, and rated 1-4–represent the only crowd levels a family visiting for the first time, and unsure if it will ever return, should consider.

However, lower crowds, especially lowest crowds, do not always mean a better week. The lowest weeks are often best avoided by first timers who may never return because they are in the peak hurricane or the ride closure seasons.

The “moderate crowd” weeks–those in black and rated 5-7–have crowd levels I would not particularly recommend to first time visitors, though the crowds can be managed with careful planning. However, I’d go during such weeks myself with no hesitation, and think these levels are OK for returning visitors who don’t need to see everything and already know how to work Walt Disney World.

The “high crowd” weeks–those in red, rated 8-11–should be avoided by everyone. They aren’t, which is why they are so high.


The influence of the Unofficial Guide  and has led almost all Disney World crowd calendars to top out at 10.

However, I’ve always thought that the really nastiest weeks of the year deserved an 11 for emphasis.

So, in homage to Spinal Tap, I assigned 11 to “highest.”
The 2017 easy Guide

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1 Lisa { 11.26.16 at 8:42 am }

I noticed Disney usually puts together package deals from Sun – Thus. We are planning to go the last week of Aug….when do you think they will announce the discounts for summer 2017?
Thank you.

2 Dave { 11.26.16 at 9:44 am }

Lisa, there’s not enough a trend to predict the what dates the deal will cover. Room rate discounts for then and a free dining deal for then will likely come out in late April/early May.

3 Brooke { 12.03.16 at 4:40 pm }

Our vacation is planned for Feb 5-10 … the reason we picked this week, low crowds and hopefully low wait times 🙂 This is our 4th trip and first time in February 🙂

Could you tell me what to expect regarding wait times??

Thanks in advance!!

4 Dave { 12.04.16 at 1:16 pm }

Brooke, we have detailed expected wait charts, by crowd level by ride by hour, in Chapter 7 of our book.

5 Deb { 12.05.16 at 12:32 am }

Hi Dave,
We are two just retired Canadian adults and want to visit Disneyworld for the first and probably the only time. We were thinking of the week of November 26 to Dec 3, 2017 or Dec 3 to Dec 10 (pop warner week) . In your opinion which would be the better week for lower crowds. Thanking you in advance. Merçi

6 Dave { 12.05.16 at 1:11 pm }

Deb, as the calendar notes, the first week is slightly better, but both are good!

7 Dominique { 12.07.16 at 3:55 pm }

Hi! Love your website!!
We are trying to decide between the week after Thanksgiving and the first week in December. What do you think?? Thanks for your help!!

8 Dave { 12.07.16 at 5:54 pm }

Hi Dominique and thanks! Either is a great choice, see this.

9 Nikki { 12.09.16 at 1:16 am }

Thank you for offering such great info. We are planning on going for my sons 3rd birthday, the week of Nov 5th, 2017 and going for the whole week with park hopper. Will crowds be bad for 1st timers? Weather good?
Thank you in advance

10 Dave { 12.09.16 at 8:20 am }

Nikki, see this. That’s not a bad week, but there are much better ones. BTW, you don’t really need a hopper pass.

11 Peter C { 12.21.16 at 11:33 am }

Hi Dave,
Absolutely awesome site. You gave me great info on Hollywood Studios last yaear, thanks.
I am returning to Disney in late August 2017 with a group of 21 students from the UK, all aged around 18. Is the Banshee ride at Pandora likely to be separately ticketed at an additional cost? We have 7 day hopper tickets but would obviously love to go on this ride. Any information greatly appreciated.

12 Kelly B - Agent with Destinations in Florida { 12.21.16 at 6:54 pm }

Hi Peter C –

All rides and attractions are included with your park hopper ticket. No separate pricing for individual rides. You’re covered.

13 Linda Cote { 12.29.16 at 6:55 pm }

Hi Dave,
I’ve always wanted to go to Disney to experience the holiday season. Unfortunately, as a teacher, that means going at the same time as every other person on school break. I have booked the trip already but because the time is so far out the dates can still be changed. This will be my families 4th trip in 4 years (my sons will be 8). We have been during April vacation, July 4th week(our first trip), and the first two weeks of August. Is it just foolish of me to book a Christmas week vacation? I’m so torn! Thank you for any advice.

14 Dave { 12.30.16 at 7:07 am }

Linda, if you are willing to stay on-site (for morning EMH) and get to the parks really early, as an experienced visitor you can do just fine!

15 Angel { 12.30.16 at 10:45 pm }

Hi Dave!
My family is planning our 4th trip to Disney World 3/31-4/6 would you recommend these days?

16 Dave { 01.02.17 at 9:12 am }

Angel, all these days will be rough

3/31 avoid MK
4/1 avoid MK and AK
4/2 avoid MK and HS
4/3 avoid avoid MK and AK
4/4 avoid Epcot
4/5 avoid MK
4/6 avoid Epcot

17 Ashley { 01.02.17 at 9:48 pm }

Oh boy! I just booked my families first visit to Disney World March 20-26th. Doesn’t look good in regards to crowds. Any tips on how to navigate the parks on these days? Thanks for any advice!

18 Dave { 01.03.17 at 8:35 am }

Ashley there are four tricks: arrive well before park open; have good FastPass+ picks; look for more FastPass+ after you’ve used your pre-booked three by refreshing all the time; and design the flow of your day (using the first two tactics) to avoid stand by lines on higher-wait rides. Take a look at some of the daily plans in this to get an idea how this works.

19 Kat { 01.17.17 at 1:46 pm }

Hey Dave I was hoping you could tell me a good day to go to AK this coming February. I’m taking my best friend out there and she’s never been. We can only go towards the end of February and either on a Friday or Saturday.

20 laura { 01.26.17 at 5:32 pm }

hi dave…
so much great info…thanks!! trying to decide on going either the week of 11.4.17 or 11.11.17? it’s our first time as a family going to disney. thanks for the help!

21 Dave { 01.29.17 at 7:49 pm }
22 Kelly B - Agent with Destinations in Florida { 01.28.17 at 8:39 pm }

HI Laura,

Dave’s in Disney – so I thought I would share my thoughts. The week of 11/4 is known as Jersey week. NJ schools are out for teacher’s convention, so many families flood to Disney. The crowds are starting to know that, and things are changing. But I would recommend the week of 11/11. And taking a look at Dave’s best time to visit his charts agree.

23 jasmine { 01.30.17 at 5:07 pm }

Hi I was wondering if February 25 was a good day to go out to Animal Kingdom?

24 Dave { 01.31.17 at 2:55 pm }

Jasmine, unless you are Extra Magic Hours eligible and can arrive at the turnstiles by 30 minutes before EMH begins, no, it’s not. Are you EMH eligible? (Where are you staying?)

25 Jen { 02.09.17 at 11:25 pm }

Hi Dave,
Love all this great info! Booked a trip for my family of 4, Nov. 25-Nov. 28. Will be going to the parks on 11/25, 11/26, & 11/27. No AK this trip. Not wanting to do MVMCP but would like to see fireworks at MK and only have 1 day. Which parks do you recommend for each day? Thanks!!

26 Dave { 02.10.17 at 1:21 pm }

Jen I will be able to recommend, but only after Disney releases its calendar for then and the Xmas party schedule. That should be in around mid-April.

27 Evelyn { 02.10.17 at 5:20 pm }

If you have to pick a weekend to go to MK and Epcot (Feb 25th or March 4th) which one would you thing is better in terms of crowds? Thank you

28 Dave { 02.13.17 at 10:42 am }

Evelyn, the March dates.

29 Dana { 02.12.17 at 11:04 am }

We have been to Disney many times around spring break and June. We are considering a trip December 26th-January 1st 2017. I know that is a crazy busy time, but how crazy busy in comparison to spring break and June? We are great at touring and planning, but I just don’t want everyone to be miserable because of the crowds. I teach, so I can only go when school is out.

30 Dave { 02.13.17 at 10:44 am }

Dana, it’s worse than Spring break and much worse than June. However, experienced folks who stay on site, do morning EMH (which can start at 7a at MK), and buy park hoppers to hop away can do just fine!!

31 Emily { 03.04.17 at 12:03 am }

We have been at Disney this week (Feb 26-Mar 5 and the crowds have been higher than we’ve ever seen in spring and fall. I think the whole state of Louisiana is here. We even had to wait in line for Tomorrowland Transit Authority!?!?

32 Dave { 03.04.17 at 10:07 am }

Hi Emily, yes, they were a little higher than I expected through Wednesday.

33 cristina { 03.05.17 at 3:24 pm }

Can we expect large crowds the week of memorial day? We are arriving the Tuesday following memorial day and will be there for several days.

34 Dave { 03.06.17 at 8:28 am }

Cristina, yes–that’s what the red in the crowd calendar means…

35 Amanda { 03.11.17 at 11:56 am }

Our school calendar was just finalized for next year. We will be out the whole week before Christmas. We’ve never been to Disney World at this time of year but are thinking of planning a trip. Our dates would probably be Dec 16-22. We understand the crowd calendars, we are always at parks when they open and avoid EMH. So, we want to know when the crowds will really arrive. Do you think many other schools be out the week before or are we safe until closer to end of the week? Should we plan to miss those last few days of school and go a few days earlier?

36 Dave { 03.13.17 at 11:25 am }

Amanda, I’ll have a better idea after the full set of 2017-18 school calendars is out, but for now I’m expecting heavy crowds beginning mid-week, so you would miss most of them.

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