By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2019, the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever.

Available on Amazon here.





Disney World Crowds in 2019



By Dave Shute

2019 CROWDS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

The chart lower on the page shows my forecasts for 2019 crowds by week at Walt Disney World. Updated in early July 2018, I may need to update it again, particularly for the last quarter, as more news about the new Star Wars land comes out.

There’s no formal opening date yet for this land — “late fall 2019” is current plan. I expect it to unfold much like Harry Potter did at Universal–with crushing crowds in the actual land, but not a huge spillover effect on the other parks–or even the rest of Hollywood Studios. If I’m wrong, expect to see an increase of a point or two in the crowd levels after it opens.

THE 2019 DISNEY WORLD CROWD CALENDAR

Dates in the Disney World Crowd Calendar are the beginning of the week, and the forecast covers the recommended Saturday-Sunday 9 day stays from that beginning.

(For 2018 Disney World crowds, click here.)

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 2019 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. 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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62 comments

1 Cooper { 07.20.18 at 4:01 pm }

we have been to Disney 4 or 5 times so we do know where to go and what to do, however I have never gone in the summer. I am planning on going late may/ early june of next year. do you have any articles displaying how to do it efficiently for summer crowds? or do you have any partner websites you suggest I look at?

Thanks!

2 Dave { 07.22.18 at 12:18 pm }

Cooper, the principles don’t much change, with the exception being that the heat, humidity and afternoon thunderstorms, when combined with later closures, make the idea of taking some or all of the afternoons off even better than other times of the year. For an example itinerary, see this.

3 James { 07.23.18 at 1:54 pm }

Dave,

My wife and I were continuing the debate on the value-adding an extra day to spend in MK on January 13 as part of the week-long vacation. We original only budgeted for 5 days but are contemplating adding a 6th day. If you had a choice that Sunday with the Half Marathon going on, would you go to MK or what Park would you recommend? Thanks for any guidance on this.

4 Dave { 07.24.18 at 7:42 am }

James, the half marathon is Saturday the 12th, the full is the 13th. The principal impact of the races is to clot up the roads, so allow extra time to get around in the mornings. The marathon route in the past has gone through all four parks, starting and ending in EPcot. Avoiding Epcot might be wise, and HS has morning EMH, so avoiding it might be a good idea as well. Either MK or AK would be the best choice.

5 Ingrid { 08.29.18 at 10:52 am }

Dave,
I am planning on taking my three 5 year olds on their first trip to Disney in the spring of 2019. I want to avoid the crowds and, based on my husband’s work schedule, we are pretty limited (he’s free when everyone else is!). Based on this forecast, you say the week of 4/6 is good, but I wonder why you think that since it is so close to Easter. It would work out for us so I want to make sure it’s a good time. So would the week of 5/11, but I’m worried about the heat/rain then. Also, I want to stay at the Polynesian. Would you recommend a standard room at he resort or one of the studio villas? They seem about the same price. Thanks!

6 Dave { 08.30.18 at 8:21 am }

Ingrid, for more on why I think the week of 4/6 will be OK, see this, especially the chart lower on the page.

The studio vs regular room question is not obvious. A regular room gives you more living space. The studio guarantees you a balcony or patio (1/3 of regular rooms have neither) and adds a half bath, but is a little more cramped. With five, the extra bath space might help…

7 Melissa Blackson { 08.30.18 at 2:12 pm }

Hi,
My fiance and I are basically first-timers. It’s been over 30 years since either of us have visited. We are coming in April 29th -May 6th, and thanks to a generous 7-night off-property timeshare wedding gift, we will NOT be staying on Disney property. We are about 15 minutes away by car. Any tips?

8 Dave { 08.31.18 at 7:57 am }

Hi Melissa! So much is different that you ought to treat it like your first visit! Start here, and then take a look at this.

9 What to Expect on the Day Disney Announces the Disney Armed Forces Salute • Military Disney Tips Blog { 08.31.18 at 11:39 am }

[…] See The YourFirstVisit.net 2019 Crowd Calendar  […]

10 Christine { 09.02.18 at 10:54 pm }

What are your thoughts on when Galaxy’s Edge opening will be better known? My friends and I want to plan a trip for when it opens plus a few extra days for visiting other parks, and we want to be sure we have enough time for planning dining fastpasses etc. And also what is the best resort for group of 4 (2 couples sharing 1 room) either moderate or deluxe

11 Dave { 09.03.18 at 8:46 am }

Christine, 3 to 6 months before seems a good guess, abse don how far in advance these opens have been announced lately.

12 Ashley { 09.03.18 at 5:38 pm }

Hi,

I am planning a trip for my 40th Birthday in November 2019, and I am planning Nov. 17-22, so that I will be there on my actual birthday. I am concerned about how the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge could effect my trip for my first time visiting as an adult. I have been to MK when I was 12, but not the other parks. Is the crowd going to be a huge difference when it opens? When will the date of the opening be firm?

13 Ashley { 09.03.18 at 5:40 pm }

Sorry, you basically answer all of that in the post. I should have read it more carefully!

14 Dave { 09.05.18 at 7:18 am }

🙂 Ashley!!!

15 Kashayna Alanis { 09.03.18 at 5:46 pm }

When does the guide for 2019 come out?? Thanks

16 Dave { 09.05.18 at 7:19 am }

Kashayna, it’s being uploaded to Amazon this week!

17 Arlene Chan { 09.20.18 at 12:34 am }

Dear Dave-I love your book, have bought it for friends & myself for last 3 years. Thank you for the update in 2017, we went Oct & I bought the book 1-24-17. Didn’t buy 2018 cuz we are going in 2019, specifically 3-23 to 4-1, weeks your crowd calendar rank 10 & 9. Never been to WDW at such a busy time. I need help, got 2 grandkids (2 & 5) going & Josh no longer does those great weekly calendars by the month on EasyWDW. Too soon to buy the 2019 book?
Any tips would be appreciated. Thank you for the great book!

18 Dave { 09.20.18 at 7:36 am }

Hey Arlene, so glad and thanks! The 2019 book just came out, and our updates to it will include evolving touring plans, as you already know! It’s available here.

Questions for you: are you staying at EMH-eligible resorts, and do you think you can get the beasts up and going in time to arrive before EMH starts?

19 Arlene Chan { 09.21.18 at 2:50 am }

Hi Dave-Thanks for answering email questions! Yes, we are staying on site at BW & AKL EMH resorts, getting the little ones up & running is hard, the parents “we are on vacation!” In the past we avoid the EMH early parks because they are so crowded if you do not get there early and our dining reservations seemed to dictate which park we went to on any day. We try to follow your general “picking the best days to visit the parks” recommendations, but would like to fine tune the plan since it is so crowded & do not know how much additional time it will take to tour with the new attractions. Will order your 2019 book tonight. Thank you ahead of time for your help.

20 Dave { 09.21.18 at 12:01 pm }

Arlene, first the calendar is out only through 3/20, so ping me back in ~10 days and I can give you park days advice.

The problem, though is that some 8a opens may be added as late as February (or conceivably even up to the night before), so the early morning issue–whether EMH or not–can rear its head.

The best way to tour in super busy times is to buy a hopper, go to the morning EMH parks, then hop away. Second best is to rope drop–that is, avoid EMH parks, but arrive well before open. If you can’t do that, then your best bet is to be in the parks every single day–even your arrival and departure days–so that you maximize your FastPass+ opportunities.

21 Arlene Chan { 09.22.18 at 6:05 pm }

Hi Dave,
Thank you for the tips, will check back with you in 10 days. Amazon getting your book to me on
Sunday and will read up.

22 Dave { 09.23.18 at 11:40 am }

OK Arlene!

23 2019 WDW Consolidated Crowd Calendar (6 in 1) – ryan erickson { 10.15.18 at 5:50 pm }

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