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

May 2017 at Walt Disney World

By Dave Shute

May   June   July   August   September   October   November


may-2017-at-disney-world-from-yourfirstvisit-netThis page reviews May 2017 Walt Disney World crowds, prices, deals and discounts, weather, and operating hours; adds a few other notes; and ends with week by week summaries.

Earlier May is a great time to visit Walt Disney World, with low crowds, moderate prices, and good weather.

Crowds build over the month, and the end of the month sees high crowds from Memorial Day, and the beginning of humid and rainy summer weather.


May 2017 crowds begin quite reasonably, build a bit over the course of the month, then become heavy over the Memorial Day weekend.

On a crowd scale of 1-11, I have the month rated with 4/low-plus crowds until the week beginning 5/20, with 6/moderate crowds that week.  The week beginning 5/27 I forecast as 8/high-minus crowds–better earlier in the week.

See this for more on 2017 crowds at Disney World.


May 2017 hotel prices begin the month 20-45% higher than the lowest of the year.

They stay at this level until May 26, when they bump up for the Memorial Day weekend.

On May 29, prices shift to Summer season–30-45% higher than the lowest of the year at the values, 15-20% higher at the moderates, and about 10% higher at the deluxes.

See this for more on 2017 resort hotel prices at Walt Disney World.


Deals are available for May 2017. Details are here.


May weather begins as good as it gets at Walt Disney World.

Over the course of the month, temperatures and humidity rise to near-summer levels, and the rainy season typically begins late in the month.

Disney World Temperatures and Percentile Distribution Click the image, or go to Weather and When to Go to Disney World, for more on typical May weather.


The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival continues until May 29, 2017.


Park operating hours vary by the day, and sometimes change without notice. It is rare for hours to be shorter than Disney has publicized, but Disney may lengthen them in response to unanticipated crowds.

The best way to keep up with operating hours is to check Disney’s official calendars, usually available six months in advance. Look for a major update to hours a couple of weeks before the month starts.

These calendars can be found by clicking the following links:


The week rankings that follow below are from 2017 weeks to visit, ranked in order, and are designed for first-time visitors who do not know whether or not they will return.

2017 Weeks to Visit Disney World Ranked in Order from

Click the image for a calendar view of 2017 weeks (when open, keep clicking to enlarge.)

4/29/2017  Moderate prices. Low-plus crowds. Crowd ranking=4. Week ranking=10. Recommended week. Use the FastPass+ Lower Crowd Itinerary

5/6/2017  Moderate prices. Low-plus crowds. Crowd ranking=4. Week ranking=11. Recommended week. Use the FastPass+ Lower Crowd Itinerary

5/13/2017  Moderate prices. Low-plus crowds. Crowd ranking=4. Week ranking=12. Recommended week. Use the FastPass+ Lower Crowd Itinerary

5/20/2017  Moderate prices. Moderate crowds. Crowd ranking=6. Week ranking=15. Use the FastPass+ Lower Crowd Itinerary

5/27/2017  High prices. High-minus crowds. Crowd ranking=8. Week ranking=33. Use the Higher Crowd Itinerary
The 2017 easy Guide

Kelly B Can Help You Book Your Trip

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1 Tina { 10.25.16 at 11:00 pm }

Hi, we are planing our first trip to Disney with our 5 years. But we are undecided on going in May or November. What would you recommend for a first timer going?

2 Dave { 10.26.16 at 9:21 am }

Tina, see this.

3 Jade { 12.29.16 at 8:25 pm }

We just booked May 30 arrival with June 3 departure at POR, with 2 day park tickets. What is our best bet for which park to visit when choosing from May 31, June 1, and June 2, with one day at MK and one day at Epcot–this is our first ever visit to Epcot. Kids will be 8 and 4. This is our 6th visit since 2012, and we already have plans to go back for a longer stay in 2018, so we don’t feel we have to “do it all” by any means.

4 Dave { 12.30.16 at 7:09 am }

Hi Jade!

May 31 will be bad at MK, fine at Epcot
June 1 will be bad at Epcot, fine at MK
June 2 will be fine at Epcot, bad at MK

5 Jade { 12.30.16 at 9:53 am }

Thank you very much for the quick response–as usual!

6 Elsa { 02.08.17 at 10:23 pm }

Hello, we’re undecided between 4/30 to 5/7 or 11/30 to 12/7, which would you say is best in terms of crowds and weather? Went last year mid September and the heat and humidity were unbearable, I was soooo miserable.

7 Dave { 02.10.17 at 1:16 pm }

Elsa, crowds will be similar. Early May tends to have little humidity and still be in the dry season. December weather can be wonderful or cold.

8 Tasha { 02.16.17 at 11:10 pm }

We are 1st time visitors at Disney and would like some advice on what parks we should visit and when during our stay. We will be there at 11am on May 1 – may 6. Any opinions?

9 Dave { 02.17.17 at 9:58 am }

Tasha, tell me more about your group–any kids? If so, what ages?

10 Tasha { 02.18.17 at 8:54 pm }

Hi. Yes my husband and I with our 2 children. Our son is 9 and our daughter is 7.

11 Dave { 02.19.17 at 9:30 am }

Tasha, at those ages, all parks are appropriate. I recommend 2-3 days at Magic Kingdom, a day and a half at Epcot, and a day each at the other two parks, plus some time off. That’s more than you can fit, so go with two days at MK and a day at each of the other parks. Note that you want to plan for and get your FastPass as soon as you can–30 or 60 days ahead, depending on where you are staying.

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

12 Tasha { 02.20.17 at 5:54 am }

Thank you so much for your help! I greatly appreciate it!

13 Monique { 03.21.17 at 11:38 pm }

Hi Dave! ? We’re 1st time visitors to Disney too! I’ll have my 6 year old daughter and my son will be 23 months, at the time. I’m assuming, he can’t do much. What would you suggest for my daughter and where and how can we visit all of the princesses, which days are best for which parks? We’ll be visiting from 5/17- 5/21

Thank you so much for your help!

14 Dave { 03.22.17 at 8:24 am }

Hi Monique, I don’t have princess-focused material on this site, but you can find it in the “Character-Centric touring plans” in Chapter 6 of my book.

5/17 avoid MK
5/18 avoid Epcot
5/19 avoid MK
5/20 avoid MK and AK
5/21 avoid HS

15 Kristin { 03.22.17 at 3:20 pm }

How many days in MK for first time? 7 year old girl

16 Monique { 03.22.17 at 10:45 pm }

Thank you, greatly appreciated!

17 Dave { 03.23.17 at 9:44 am }

Kristin, 2-3. See this.

18 Christine { 03.23.17 at 8:27 pm }

We have 4 park-4 day tickets for our party of 4 adults. We are planning on Disney World May 22-25. Which parks do your recommend for each day.

19 Dave { 03.25.17 at 6:03 am }

Hi Christine!

May 22 avoid MK and AK
May 23 avoid Epcot
May 24 avoid MK
May 25 avoid Epcot

20 Leanne { 04.01.17 at 3:25 pm }

Do you know what is going on in Disney may 7-13. We have it booked but we’re looking to upgrade and looking for different times for reservations for meals and every thing seems to be booked. Also how crowed to do think MK will be May 12 with the new happily ever after fireworks show. We have breakfast, lunch and Dinner reservations at MK that day and it’s our last night

21 Dave { 04.04.17 at 10:54 am }

Leanne, other than the new fireworks show–and yes MK will be mobbed that day–there’es nothing going on. The Disney resorts book about 90% of their rooms year round,and most people complete their plans about 3 months out. Because of that it can be very hard to book a longer stay–especially one that includes weekends–with such short notice. The most popular dining options book up 5-6 months out.

22 Makenzie { 04.27.17 at 8:24 am }

We are going may 21-25 2017 with our 4 year old. We are doing two days of parks. What do you recommend we do and how do you think the crowds will be? Thank you!

23 Dave { 04.27.17 at 8:45 am }

Hi Makenzie, with a four year old and two days I’d spend both at Magic Kingdom. See this for priorities. Tuesday and Thursday will be the best MK days your dates.

24 Julie { 04.27.17 at 12:09 pm }

Hi Dave, we are headed to Disney World May 11th – 17th, with our 5 and 2.5 year old. We have 4 day park hoppers and plan on taking breaks as needed. Can you tell me which parks to avoid on which days? We were hoping to manage every other day at a park if possible to give our kids some rest as well, but I also wasn’t sure if we should just avoid Animal Kingdom all together if it will be crazy with the Pandora previews. Thanks so much!

25 Dave { 04.28.17 at 12:21 pm }

Hi Julie, as soon as you pick your dates you need to book your FastPass+ ASAP.

The previews should not much matter. At those ages, I’d do two days at MK and a half day each at AK and HS.

May 11 should be fine everywhere but Epcot
May 12 avoid MK
May 13 avoid AK and MK
May 14 avoid HS
May 15 avoid AK and MK
May 16 avoid Epcot
May 17 avoid MK.

26 Julie { 04.28.17 at 3:25 pm }

Thanks so much! That’s very helpful! Yep, we were planning 2 days at MK for sure! Maybe split a day between HS and AK, and then attempt an Epcot day. Unless they get bored and we will go somewhere else. I actually can’t book Fastpasses yet, which is a total bummer. We got a really good deal through the D2 Summit cheer event on our tickets (we are just tag alongs supporting our older teammates), but because of that, we are not able to get our ticket codes in advance. We are staying off site, so we have to pick them up at Coronado Springs on the 10th. 🙁 We are going to do our best to try to get some FastPasses booked as soon as we get our tickets though.

27 Kate { 06.12.17 at 6:23 pm }

Hi I have a question about free dining. Is it ever offered in early May? Also what is the earliest Disney comes out with Spring Specials? Thank you!

28 Dave { 06.13.17 at 8:30 am }

Kate, free dining has not been offered earlier than August since the recession. A calendar of when deals for May have come out is here. For May 2017, such deals came out at the end of December.

29 Lorraine { 06.15.17 at 2:20 pm }

Hi there. What are ride closures generally like in mid may please? Estimate on previous years is there many referbishments at this time of year? Rides like pirates, mansion and splash, space mt in particular. Thankyou. Also if we stay 10 days will we see most things/ride most rides if only going to 4 parks? (Not water parks or sport or mini golf) and will fantasmic and the fireworks definently be on at least once during 10 days? Thankyou

30 Dave { 06.16.17 at 7:32 am }

Hi Lorraine, ride closures can happen anytime without a lot of notice, but they are not common then. For what you can get done in ten days, see this for an example. You can expect the evening shows to be on pretty much every night.

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