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

Available on Amazon here.





2017 Weeks to Visit Walt Disney World, Ranked in Order



By Dave Shute

 December   January   February   March   April   May

OVERVIEW: THE BEST TIMES IN 2017 AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

This site recommends arriving at Walt Disney World one of the first three Saturdays after Thanksgiving.

If you can’t go then, presented below are my rankings of the weeks of 2017 in order of best to worst times to visit Disney World.

These rankings are 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 or the peak of the hurricane season, the later January, early February, and September weeks would be ranked much higher.

These week rankings are based on my 2017 Disney World Crowd Calendar and on the 2017 Walt Disney World price seasons.

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

(For 2018 rankings, see this, and for 2019 rankings, see this. For more how I build these rankings, see this.)

RECOMMENDED 2017 WEEKS, RANKED IN ORDER

The thirteen recommended weeks that follow are wonderful weeks to visit Walt Disney World in 2017.

Week number one has it all–lower crowds, lower 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: 11/25/17

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

  • 2: 12/9/17. A week as good as week 1 on crowds and holiday programs. Slightly more expensive, however, than weeks 1 or 3
  • 3: 12/2/17. 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, Caribbean Beach or Coronado Springs should consider avoiding this week and target week 1 or 2 instead, as Pop Warner guests may make these resorts boisterous this week

Week 4 has lower prices and crowds, and offers in its first few days Disney World’s Halloween program

  • 4: 10/28/17

Week 5 is a very strong week. It has low crowds and prices, and Disney World’s holiday program at the Magic Kingdom will be in place

  • 5: 11/11/17

Weeks 6 is your best 2017 Spring Break bet, with low crowds and moderate prices

  • 6: 3/4/17

Weeks 7 and 8 are similar to week 4 but projected at slightly higher crowds. They share great late autumn weather. These are near-tied, but are in calendar order as the better weather is earlier this time of year

  • 7: 10/14/17
  • 8: 10/21/17

Weeks 9 to 12 are all in the same 2017 post-Easter stretch, and share low crowds, moderate prices, and nice spring weather. They are in calendar order, as the weather is better earlier in this period

  • 9: 4/22/17
  • 10: 4/29/17
  • 11: 5/6/17
  • 12: 5/13/17

Week 13 is the second-best 2017 Spring Break week, with low crowds and moderate prices

  • 13: 2/25/17

This completes the weeks in 2017 that are recommended.

2017 WEEKS I’M NOT SO KEEN ON

Weeks 14-20 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 quite 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.

  • 14: 11/4/17. 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.
  • 15: 5/20/17 Similar to week 12, slightly more heat and humidity and crowds.
  • 16: 10/8/17. Columbus Day week, with higher crowds and prices than the great weeks (ranked 7, 8 and 4) that follow it
  • 17: 8/5/17  Moderate-plus crowds as the summer season begins to fade away
  • 18: 6/3/17.  Beginning of summer–similar crowds to week 17, but slightly higher prices in deluxes
  • 19: 4/1/17. Moderate+ crowds and high prices. My draft of this material had this as a better week, but the late-arriving crowd facts ended up not supporting such a position. Moreover, crowds may be higher than my forecast.
  • 20: 4/15/17. The week after Easter is usually quite bad, but the late Easter in 2016 has moderated the number of kids on break, especially after Easter Monday. However, crowds may be higher than my forecast.

Note: in May 2017 I changed the crowd forecast for the week of 12/16/17 to “moderate+.”  This would shift it into this group, with a ranking after 20 and before 21.

Weeks 21-28 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 21 and 22 have among the lowest crowds and lowest prices of the year.

  • 21: 9/9/17
  • 22: 9/16/17

Weeks 23 to 25 are similar, but with slightly higher crowds than 21 and 22–with 25 forecast to have slightly higher crowds than 23 and 24

  • 23: 9/2/17
  • 24: 9/23/17
  • 25: 8/26/17

Week 26 is at the outer range of low crowds

  • 26: 8/19/17

Weeks 27 and 28 are the only moderate-crowd weeks in this hurricane group

  • 27: 9/30/17
  • 28: 8/12/17

2017 WEEKS TO AVOID AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

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

The first group, ranked 29-45, should be avoided because of crowds ranging from high to unbelievable.

This group includes all of later June, July and early August (massive crowds). It also includes the busy March Spring Break weeks beginning 3/11/2017, and the holiday weeks—President’s Day week, the week before 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 46-52.

Some 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 days of January (massive crowds), the Martin Luther King Day (1/14/17 arrival date) holiday weekend, and the week before the Pro Bowl (which is January 29th).

The Marathon Weekend (affecting arrival dates of 12/31/16 and 1/7/17) complicates the parks as well.

Kelly B Can Help You Book Your Trip

Follow yourfirstvisit.net on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest!!

RELATED STUFF

237 comments

1 Melissa { 01.17.17 at 2:56 pm }

Hi,

I have a question not regarding which weeks to attend but rather which days of the week to attend Disney. My family and I are going to Disney for ten (10) days sometime between November 26th and December 17th. We will be attending the parks nine days, so two days of the week will be repeated. Which day of the week would you suggest we repeat based on crowd levels and opening hours. Looking forward to hearing your advice.

Thanks,
Melissa

2 Dave { 01.17.17 at 3:32 pm }

Hi Melissa, it varies then quite a bit based on the park, the operating schedule and the party schedule–none of which is out yet. See this for an (slightly outdated) overview of some of the complexities.

I will be able to help, but only after the schedules are out, which they should be for November in later April and for December in later May…

3 Lynn { 01.23.17 at 4:12 pm }

Is Jersey Week really worse than Pop Warner week, crowd-wise? I’ve heard horror stories about the latter – cheerleaders constantly cheering on rides, rude teenagers in the parks, miserable hotel stays with screaming teens, garbage everywhere, etc. It looks like the crowds in early December are a bit better than those in mid-late November, but those teens have me worried…

4 Dave { 01.24.17 at 6:36 am }

Lynn, there’s no contest. The only place most people even notice the Pop Warner kids is at the hotels they stay at.

5 Melissa Nicholson { 01.30.17 at 7:56 am }

We just got back left Jan 21 and I thought it was crowded. I thought the lines were going to be short

6 Dave { 01.30.17 at 8:29 am }

Melissa, what days where you in what parks?

7 Steph { 02.03.17 at 2:26 pm }

I’m torn between the week of April 24th or the week of May 8th. Which would you recommend crowd wise?

8 Dave { 02.04.17 at 8:41 am }

Steph, I have them as about the same.

9 Grayson { 02.27.17 at 5:57 pm }

We are looking at doing the 11/25/17 or 26th. When can you may reservations for then?
Do you have to wait for the 180 day window? are can you do a complete reservation this early?

10 Dave { 02.28.17 at 11:36 am }

Grayson, you can book your room and tickets now. Dining is available at 180 days before, and FastPass+ at 60 days. See this.

11 Tokeshia { 02.27.17 at 9:43 pm }

We are looking to go the week of 10/28 sort of following your 9 day itinerary. I need a whole day off mid week for my husbands sanity and my mom will be with us early in the week. Thankfully her only demands are a ride on “Its a Small World” and good food. Will the Wine & Dine Half Marathon affect crowds towards the end of our trip? I know its a guesstimate at this point but you don’t really talk about it at length in your book so I am assuming it doesn’t have a huge impact that week. Alternatively, we are thinking the week of 11/11. Thank you so much for all you do on this site.

12 Dave { 02.28.17 at 11:37 am }

Tokeshia, the running events have little effect on the parks.

13 Grayson { 02.28.17 at 1:56 pm }

Dave, thanks for your response and info.

14 Tokeshia { 03.01.17 at 10:28 am }

Thank you for your response and ignoring all my typos. 🙂

15 Richard { 03.09.17 at 11:56 pm }

Hi Dave, thanks so much for your advice recently. Our stay will shortly end and I must say your guide reflected our experience…. Although Epcot was heaving on Sat 4th March…
We were thinking of booking for similar period next year… Basically first 2 weeks of March… Any early thoughts?

16 Dave { 03.11.17 at 8:20 am }

Richard, so glad to have helped! See this for those weeks in 2018

17 Shaunie { 03.14.17 at 12:33 am }

Hi Dave- my husband and I are heading there solo 4/6-4/9 for his bday and I’m not sure of the best two day ticket options or itinerary. What would you recommend? What about best nightlife exp?
Plan to bring our 3 yr old next year when he turns four and want to be familiar/experience it first.

18 Dave { 03.14.17 at 8:06 pm }

Shaunie, there are four parks, so if you got a two day hopper ticket you could sample all four. For nightlife, Disney Springs, or diner at one of the deluxe hotels. See the right side of the chart on this page for dinner thoughts.

19 Stephanie B. { 04.03.17 at 3:05 pm }

Hi Dave! Love your site! We just booked December 4-8 at Pop not realizing that those dates are most likely Pop Warner week. I know most likely
pop Warner stays at the All Stars plus some moderates but I am worried about any overflow going to Pop Century. Now I am thinking we should switch to AOA. Would you suggest us switching resorts or do you think its safe to stay at Pop?

20 Dave { 04.04.17 at 11:09 am }

Stephanie, I’d switch–you will see lots of Pop Warner kids at Pop

21 Tom { 04.07.17 at 11:57 am }

Aiming for Nov 1-8, so we can do the Halloween & Christmas parties! I see this Jersey week thing will impact crowds. If we’re leaving (and not in the parks) on that Thursday, are the crowds there all week, or do they generally show up Wednesday or later?

22 Dave { 04.08.17 at 8:50 am }

Tom, the Jersey Week extra folk are there all week long, but heaviest Thursday-Saturday.

23 Tom { 04.07.17 at 12:01 pm }

Oh! And we generally do Pop…I am suddenly thinking it may be a bit overcrowded compared to other options. What are your thoughts?

24 Dave { 04.08.17 at 8:50 am }

Tom, there’s nothing that would make Pop more or less crowded than other resorts this week.

25 Julia { 04.10.17 at 1:10 pm }

Hi Dave,
Will July 16-July 24 be less crowded than July 4-July 12? Just inquiring about crowds, not cost of accomadations. Thank you so much.

26 Dave { 04.11.17 at 8:54 am }

Julia, the week of the 4th is always the most crowded of July, but there’s not a huge difference across the month.

27 Tom { 04.19.17 at 2:46 pm }

Hi there! (I apologize if this is a repost, I thought I had already posted this weeks ago, but now I can’t find it.)
We are planning to go from Nov 1-9 so that we can do the NSSHP & VMCP (yay! we’ve never done NSS). Do the Jersey crowds generally get there for the weekend, or sometime earlier in the week, and how long do they usually stay?

28 Dave { 04.22.17 at 9:45 am }

Tom, it’s some of both, although Thurs-Sat is the busiest part.

29 Tom { 04.19.17 at 2:47 pm }

…and now that I’ve posted, all of the 2017 comments have magically populated. Sorry for the repost!

30 michael angelo { 09.01.17 at 10:46 am }

Hey Dave. You know I “have to” email you this time of year 🙂
I had planned on going to DW Sept 11th-15th. Depending on this new hurricane I may have to go another week I n Sept. Wanna suggest next best week???
Thank you as always Dave!

31 Dave { 09.02.17 at 9:03 am }

Hey Michael. The chart says the next best week is that beginning 9/16. However, I am worried that I did not get good enough data for 2017 (I fixed this for the equivalent dates in 2018, 9/10 and 9/11), on schools being out in the Northeast starting 9/21 for Rosh Hashanah, so your next best bet is the week beginning 9/23.

32 michael angelo { 09.03.17 at 11:56 am }

Thanks Dave, hopefully we can make the Sept 11th week. All depends on the hurricane.
They are coming around weekly now! 🙁

33 michael angelo { 09.07.17 at 2:29 pm }

Hey Dave.
Are you still thinking the week of Sept 18th – 21st still busy? It’s usually one of the lowest weeks but you said something about Rosh Hashanah?

34 Dave { 09.08.17 at 9:31 am }

I did not account for Rosh Hashanah enough in my forecasts. It’ll be OK, but likely busier than I had thought.

35 michael angelo { 09.20.17 at 8:12 pm }

Hey Dave,
finally heading to Disney this Monday 9/25 through Weds. Can you tell me what parks to visit (or avoid) those days??? Thanks Dave!

36 Dave { 09.21.17 at 7:09 am }

Hey, have fun! Monday avoid MK and AK. Tuesday avoid Epcot. Weds avoid MK!

Leave a Comment | Ask a Question | Note a Problem

My response to questions and comments will be on the same page as the original comment, likely within 24-36 hours . . . I reserve the right to edit and delete comments as I choose . . . All rights reserved. Copyright 2008-2018 . . . Unless otherwise noted, all photos are by me--even the ones in focus--except for half a dozen from my niecelets . . . This site is entirely unofficial and not authorized by any organizations written about in it . . . All references to Disney and other copyrighted characters, trademarks, marks, etc., are made solely for editorial purposes. The author makes no commercial claim to their use . . . Nobody's perfect, so follow any advice here at your own risk.