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.





Disney World Crowds in 2018



By Dave Shute

2018 CROWDS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

The chart lower on the page shows my forecasts for 2018 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 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

HOW TO INTERPRET THE 2018 DISNEY WORLD CROWD CALENDAR

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.

MY DISNEY WORLD CROWD CALENDAR GOES UP TO “11”

The influence of the Unofficial Guide  and TouringPlans.com 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.”

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186 comments

1 KT { 01.21.18 at 3:58 pm }

Hi Dave,

Going to the parks 4/25-5/1 of this year and staying at a Disney resort. Any advice on which days to visit each park would be great. Thank you!

2 Dave { 01.22.18 at 9:29 am }

Hi KT!

4/25 avoid AK
4/26 avoid EPcot
4/27 avoid MK
4/28 avoid MK and AK
4/29 avoid HS
4/30 avoid AK
5/1 avoid Epcot

3 JS { 01.23.18 at 12:36 pm }

Planning a trip for March 11th – 15th. We are staying at a Disney resort. What days are best for each park? Thanks!

4 Dave { 01.25.18 at 7:58 am }

JS all those dates will be very crowded.

3/11 avoid MK and HS
3/12 avoid MK and AK
3/13 avoid pPcot
3/14 avoid MK
3/15 avoid Epcot

5 Dina { 01.28.18 at 11:26 am }

We are going the week of 3/31 for Spring Break with cousins. Total of 6 adults and 5 kids ranging in age from 2-7. Which days are the best to do which park? We are thinking 2 days in Magic Kingdom, 1 in Epcot, 1 in Universal and 1 in Hollywood. (and maybe in in animal kingdom depending on how burned out the kids are)

6 Dave { 01.30.18 at 7:07 am }

Dina, all the parks will be extremely crowded all week. Let me know what hotel you are staying in and if you have park hoppers, as the combination of going to morning Extra Magic Hours (if your hotel is eligible) and then hopping to another park can work OK during such crowded weeks

7 Mary { 01.28.18 at 4:44 pm }

Hello!

Looking at going the week of June 2-June 8. What days would be best for each park? Thank you SO much for your help! I really appreciate it!

8 Dave { 01.30.18 at 7:11 am }

Hi Mary!

June 2 avoid MK and AK
6/3 avoid MK and HS
6/4 avoid AK
6/5 avoid Epcot
6/6 avoid MK
6/7 avoid Epcot
6/8 avoid MK

9 Pamela { 01.30.18 at 8:42 am }

Hi –
Returning trip to Disney May 19-26 of 2018. Suggestions on which parks to visit / avoid each day? And what are you basing these recommendations on? Thanks!

10 Dave { 01.31.18 at 9:23 am }

Pamela, my parks to avoid suggestions are based on the historic ebbs and flows of crowds, as moderated by various special events or unusual hours.

5/19 avoid MK and AK
5/20 avoid MK and HS
5/21 avoid AK
5/22 avoid Epcot
5/23 avoid MK
5/24 avoid Epcot
5/25 avoid MK
5/26 avoid all but Epcot

11 Rhonda { 01.30.18 at 1:12 pm }

Hi!
Disney trip planned 8/3-8/8. Staying at the Beach Club and we will have 6 day park hopper tickets. There will be 4 adults and 3 teenagers (17,16 &13). Suggestions on which parks to visit/avoid each day. Thank you so much for your help!

12 Dave { 01.31.18 at 9:24 am }

Hi Rhonda! The calendar is out only through July 30, and will add day for day. So check back in about ten days, OK?

13 Lara Keck { 02.08.18 at 6:23 pm }

Hello, We are planning a trip to WDW et al in October and am thinking about the following dates for each park. Your feedback is appreciated.
AK – 10/12
HS – 10/13
MK – 10/14 (inc. Halloween Party)
EP – 10/15
Thank you.

14 Dave { 02.09.18 at 8:16 am }

Lara, I’ll be able to help, but only after the calendar for then is out, which will be in a couple of months. So ping me back, OK?

15 Gaston { 02.09.18 at 11:38 pm }

Hola, viajamos desde Argentina para visitar Los parques por primera vez. Estaremos en Orlando desde el viernes 30 de marzo hasta el miércoles 11 de abril. La idea nuestra es visitar los cuatro parques de Disney y uno de agua, los dos de universal y sea world. ¿Qué días sería mejor para cada parque? ¡Muchas gracias por tu ayuda! ¡Realmente nos seria de mucha ayuda.

16 Ryan { 02.13.18 at 2:58 pm }

Hi Dave we are going Friday July 27-Sunday August 5 staying @ Hilton BV Palace – did the 7 day park hopper – which days/times are best worst to hit each park. Going in with eyes wide open that is will be crowded! thanks

17 Dave { 02.14.18 at 12:57 pm }

Ryan, the past two years the summers have actually not been that bad.

Note that you can use this itinerary: https://yourfirstvisit.net/2017/05/11/disney-world-higher-crowd-itinerary/

7/27 avoid MK
7/28 avoid AK and MK
7/29 avoid MK and HS
7/30 avoid MK and AK
7/31 avoid Epcot
8/1 avoid MK
8/2 avoid EPcot
8/3 avoid MK
8/4 avoid AK and MK
8/5 avoid MK and HS

18 Rhonda { 02.14.18 at 2:00 pm }

Hi Dave!

Checking back in per your notes a few weeks ago.
Disney trip planned 8/3-8/8. Staying at the Beach Club and we will have 6 day park hopper tickets. There will be 4 adults and 3 teenagers (17,16 &13). Suggestions on which parks to visit/avoid each day. Thank you so much for your help!

19 Dave { 02.15.18 at 11:29 am }

Hi Rhonda. The hoppers add flexibility. For example, if you are able to arrive at morning EMH by 30 minutes before EMH starts, you can begin your day at the EMH park and then hop later to another park (that will be less crowded), using your pre-booked FP+ at the second park. With the typically longer hours and later evening shows of the summer, a nap or pool time in between works well.

So 8/3 avoid MK–unless you do EMH there and then hop to any other
8/4 avoid MK and AK–unless you want to do morning EMH at AK
8/5 avoid HS and MK, unless you want to do morning EMH at HS
8/6 avoid MK and AK–unless you want to do morning EMH at AK
8/7 avoid Epcot and there’s no morning EMH
8/8 avoid MK and there’s no morning EMH

20 Dina { 02.14.18 at 3:05 pm }

We are staying at the Dolphin/Swan 3/31-4/7.
Kids are 3, 5, 6, 7 and 8.
We have 4 day base tickets. Best days/parks? Also my son’s birthday is on the 6th. Any ideas/suggestions to make his bday special? I wanted to book dining at one of the restaurants depending which park we’ll be in that day.

21 Dave { 02.15.18 at 11:35 am }

Hi Dina, that is one of the 4 or 5 worst weeks of the year, and no parks will be good on any day–although things will be better, a bit, later on your dates than earlier. If I were you, I’d do the last four days in the parks.

If you agree, then
4/4 avoid MK
4/5 avoid Epcot
4/6 avoid MK
4/7 avoid AK and MK

Probably any restaurant I’d recommend is already booked up by now, but take a look at the places in the top row of the chart on this page.

22 Ryan { 02.15.18 at 8:11 am }

Thanks Dave for your advice. I was thinking of doing something like:
27 – travel / Disney Springs
28 – Epcot
29 – AK
30 – MK
31 – Hotel / Disney Springs
1 – HS
2 – AK
3 – MK
4 – Whatever we want to do again
5 – Fly home

Am I crazy for trying to do MK and AK on the days I had thought – I know you indicated to avoid MK on some of those days.

Thanks

23 Dave { 02.15.18 at 11:43 am }

Ryan the only serious issue I see is 8/3 at MK. The Hilton BV Palace is now eligible for morning EMH (which MK has that day) but you need to be sure you are able to get to the turnstiles 30 minutes before EMH starts to take advantage of it.

24 Dina { 02.15.18 at 1:11 pm }

Thanks Dave!
The kids will be too excited to not go the first day- but I’m going to try to do the bulk the last few days. I’m thinking:
4/1- MK
4/3- Epcot
4/5- MK
4/6- HS
Also, I’m downloading the book on my Kindle today. I need to get moving on the Fast passes 🙂

25 Dave { 02.17.18 at 9:17 am }

OK Dina!!

26 Helen { 02.17.18 at 10:47 am }

Hi Dave………. planning a couple of days at one of the value resorts, 4/8 4/9 4/10 have annual passes, live in florida and go to Disney often….celebrating a birthday,,,,is this a good
time to go after Easter. don’t need to do everything…… thank you so much for your attention! 🙂

27 Dave { 02.18.18 at 10:10 am }

Hi Helen, yes the Easter crowds should be largely gone by 4/8!

28 Adrienne { 02.18.18 at 10:04 am }

Hi Dave! These are such great tips!!! We’re in Georgia, so I’m very well aware the first week of April is a NO NO, been there, done that and will try to avoid due to Georgia spring break being that week. We are going March 8 – 12 for a mini break. I saw your response to JS, any tips for 3/8 – 3/10?

29 Dave { 02.18.18 at 10:29 am }

Well, Adrienne, on such a short visit, the key is what are your park priorities? Texas break starts 3/10, so that will be the most crowded day–especially at MK and AK. 3/9 MK has AM Extra Magic Hours, so I’d go to MK that day only if you are EMH eligible and can get to the turnstiles by 30 minutes before EMH start. Thursday is the same at Epcot–avoid unless you can do EMH and arrive early.

30 Barbara { 02.22.18 at 6:51 pm }

My family of 5 is planning on going to Disney World in the fall for 5 days. Would you suggest Columbus Day or Veteran’s Day

31 Dave { 02.23.18 at 7:58 am }

Barbara, so many families have fall breaks framed around Columbus Day that your Veterans Day choice (which because of the nearness to Thanksgiving sees fewer kids out of school) is the better choice.

32 Becky Knight { 02.25.18 at 2:20 am }

Every site has different crowd calendars. We will be at the Fort 4/28 thru 5/4. Planning parks 4/29-5/3. 4 days: MK x2, AK, and HS. No Epcot this trip. One site recommended MK 5/1 stating they’d have the lowest attendance, another stated avoid MK 5/1 due to highest. What do you recommend? For all?

33 Dave { 02.26.18 at 9:27 am }

Becky, I’d fall more on the “MK will be better that day than the days before and after” camp.

34 Heather { 02.25.18 at 3:39 pm }

We are planning on going October 4th-9th… does this seem like a good time? My husband 6yr old daughter and I will be staying on grounds. with a park hopper for sure!

35 Dave { 02.26.18 at 10:35 am }

Not particularly, Heather–the period before and after Columbus Day is very busy because of fall breaks, and somewhat expensive. See this.

36 Sierra { 02.26.18 at 10:16 pm }

I’m trying to decide between going to WDW December 8th-18th 2018 or April 4th-14th 2019. Which do you recommend?

37 Dave { 02.27.18 at 8:53 am }

Hi April, see this–but note it’s a draft and I will be re-doing it this summer.

38 Lisa { 02.27.18 at 7:44 pm }

I will be taking my two teenagers 4/7-4/11. We have 5 days in the parks (Sat-Wed). We have had Disneyland passes since the kids were little and we want to make sure we see all of the unique attractions to WDW. Can you suggest which parks to visit/avoid and the one we might do twice?

39 Dave { 02.28.18 at 9:22 am }

Hi Lisa, the parks with the least overlap with DLR are Epcot and Animal Kingdom, each worth a day and a half. That puts you in the other two parks a day each (if you have a hopper). Without a hopper, devote a day to each of the four parks and save your fifth day to return to your favorite. You may already know this, but the overlapping rides at MK are almost all not as good as those at Disneyland, so that’s why just a day there works.

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