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.



yourfirstvisit.net—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor



2018 Weeks to Visit Walt Disney World, Ranked in Order



By Dave Shute

January   February    March   April   May   June   July

OVERVIEW: THE BEST TIMES IN 2018 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 2018 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 updated  2018 Disney World Crowd Calendar and on the final Walt Disney World 2018 price seasons.

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

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

RECOMMENDED 2018 WEEKS AT DISNEY WORLD, RANKED IN ORDER

The fourteen recommended weeks that follow are wonderful weeks to visit Walt Disney World in 2018

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: 11/24/18

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

  • 2: 12/8/18. A week as good as week 1 on crowds and holiday programs. More expensive, however, than weeks 1 or 3
  • 3: 12/1/18. 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 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

  • 4: 11/10/18

Week 5 has lower prices and crowds, and offers in its first few days Disney World’s Halloween program

  • 5: 10/27/18

Week 6 is your best 2018 Spring Break bet, with low crowds and moderate prices

  • 6: 3/3/18

Week 7 is similar to week 5 but projected at slightly higher crowds.

  • 7: 10/20/18

Weeks 8 to 12 are all in the same 2018 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

  • 8: 4/14/18
  • 9: 4/21/18
  • 10: 4/28/18
  • 11: 5/5/18
  • 12: 5/12/18

Week 13 is the second-best 2018 Spring Break week, with low crowds and moderate prices

  • 13: 2/24/18

Week 14 is similar to weeks 8-11, but has higher prices in the deluxes

  • 14: 4/7/18

This completes the weeks in 2018 that are recommended for first-time visitors who may never return.

2018 WEEKS I’M NOT SO KEEN ON

Weeks 15-19 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.

  • 15: 11/3/18. 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.
  • 16: 10/13/18. A week with moderate crowds, moderate prices, and great weather that has become more crowded in recent years
  • 17: 5/19/18. Similar to week 12, slightly more heat and humidity and crowds.
  • 18: 12/15/18. The same Christmas program as weeks 1-3, but higher crowds–especially later in the week–and much higher prices
  • 19: 6/2/18.  Beginning of summer, with traditionally the lowest crowds until late August

Weeks 20-27 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 20 and 21 have some of the lowest crowds of the year

  • 20: 9/1/18
  • 21: 9/15/18

Weeks 22, 23 and 24 have slightly higher crowds, and Week 24, higher prices

  • 22: 9/8/18
  • 23: 8/25/18
  • 24: 9/22/18

Weeks 25 to 27 are the moderate-crowd weeks in this hurricane group

  • 25: 9/29/18
  • 26: 8/18/18
  • 27: 8/11/18

2018 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 28-47, should be avoided because of crowds that traditionally range from high to unbelievable.

This group includes all of later June, July and early August (traditionally massive crowds, although I do need t0 note that the summers of 2016 and 2017 were much more manageable than I’d thought).

It also includes the busy March spring break weeks beginning 3/10/2018, and the holiday weeks—President’s Day week, the weeks before and after Easter, Columbus Day week, 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 48-53.

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), and the Martin Luther King Day (1/13/18 arrival date) holiday weekend,.

The Marathon Weekend (affecting the weekend of a 1/6/18 arrival date) complicates Disney World as well, although it has little impact on park crowds beyond the effects of leftover holiday visitors.

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54 comments

1 Melissa { 01.07.18 at 9:54 pm }

What are EMH days ? Can u tell me which parks would be best for the following days. We want to do magic kingdom 1 day then park hop to two parks to do what we can the other day.
April 26and 27. Thanks

2 Dave { 01.08.18 at 10:41 am }

Melissa, EMH are explained here.

I can’t advise hopping on day two–it costs more and you waste time going from park to park–but if you must, ignore me!!

On your April dates, MK will be best the 26th.

3 Heather { 01.08.18 at 1:22 pm }

Planning a trip of less than a week.
For crowd levels.
May 24th
Or Oct 6th (could arrive 6, 7 or 8)
?

4 Heather { 01.08.18 at 1:32 pm }

We could arrive May 24 or after.
I noticed June 2 looks like better crowd levels.
So May/June or Oct
Crowd first priority & temps second 🙂
Thanks.

5 Dave { 01.09.18 at 5:51 am }

Heather, by temps do you mean looking for hot or looking for comfortable? If the latter, I’d advise late October.

6 Heather { 01.09.18 at 4:02 pm }

Less than week trip with options of
Arriving oct 6, 7, or 8
Or may 24, end of May, beg June
First concerned with crowd levels
Second concerned with not unbearably hot

7 Dave { 01.10.18 at 6:07 am }

Heather, the period around Columbus Day can be quite crowded, as so many kids are on Fall break then. The week of Memorial Day is also quite crowded. So The beginning of June is your best choice form a crowd perspective. However, Florida in the summer can be unbearably hot and humid…so none of your dates really fit your criteria.

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