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.





2019 Weeks to Visit Walt Disney World, Ranked in Order



By Dave Shute

OVERVIEW: THE BEST TIMES IN 2019 TO VISIT WALT DISNEY WORLD

For most years, this site recommends arriving at Walt Disney World one of the first three Saturdays after Thanksgiving–although in 2019, the late Thanksgiving costs us a week, so the week beginning the third Saturday after Thanksgiving is not as good a choice as the earlier two weeks.

If you can’t or don’t want to go then, presented below are my rankings of the weeks of 2019 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 lower-crowd September weeks would be ranked much higher.

These rankings assume that you follow sound touring plans and pick the right parks to visit on the right days–an especially big issue during the party season in the last third of the year.

A major forecasting issue for Disney World in 2019 is the impact of the opening of the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge land in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The land will partially open on August 29.  My forecasts for what will happen because of it, and why, are detailed on this page. The short version is that the land and its ride(s) will be mobbed, other thrill rides at the Studios will see longer waits, but the rest of that park–and the other three parks–will not be much immediately affected.

This last point comes from people flocking to Disney World and the Studios for Star Wars being in some measure compensated for by people avoiding Disney World and the Studios because of the potential Star Wars crowds. So if you are tempted to avoid Disney World August 29, 2019 and later to avoid the Star Wars mess, then please do avoid it, as otherwise my forecast won’t come true!

And if my forecast is wrong, things will be worse at Disney World after late August than I indicate below.

The rankings are also in calendar order on the image.

These week rankings are based on my 2019 Disney World Crowd Calendar and on Disney World 2019 price seasons.

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

(For more on how I build these rankings, see this; for 2020 week rankings, see this.)

RECOMMENDED 2019 WEEKS AT DISNEY WORLD, RANKED IN ORDER

The eleven recommended weeks that follow are wonderful weeks to visit Walt Disney World in 2019. 

Update: The recently announced opening of the second ride at Galaxy’s Edge December 5 makes the first two weeks of this ranking more uncertain than they were.

Week number one has it all–lower crowds (except on 11/30 itself), lower prices, and wonderful Christmas programs and decorations.

  • 1: 11/30/19

Week 2 has most of the strengths of week 1, but has higher prices. It is also  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, as Pop Warner guests may make those resorts boisterous this week. The recently announced opening of the second ride at Galaxy’s Edge this week

  • 2: 12/7/19.

Weeks 3 and 4 are very strong weeks. They have lower crowds and prices (with higher crowds over the  weekends), and Disney World’s holiday program at the Magic Kingdom will be fully in place these weeks.

  • 3: 11/16/19
  • 4: 11/9/19

Week 5 got bumped from its former position as week 3 as a result of my April update.  A  few more kids on fall break the weekend of 10/26, when combined with the Star Wars partial open, has led me to bump crowds for it a bit, so it makes its way to number 5 on my list.

  • 5. 10/26/19

Weeks 6 through 9 are all in the same 2019 post-Easter stretch, and share lower crowds, moderate prices, and (especially in weeks 6 and 7) nice spring weather. They are in calendar order, as the weather is better earlier in this period, with humidity and rain arriving sometime in mid- to later May

  • 6: 4/27/19
  • 7: 5/4/19
  • 8: 5/11/19
  • 9: 5/18/19

Week 10 is your best spring break week

  • 10: 2/23/19

Week 11 is in what I believe will be a window between March and Easter spring breaks. If I am wrong, crowds will be higher and the week would shift into the next group.

  • 11: 4/6/19

This completes the weeks in 2019 that are recommended for first-time visitors who may never return.

2019 WEEKS I’M NOT SO KEEN ON

Weeks 12-17 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 if you have to pick one. These got re-arranged a bit with the April update as I am forecasting slightly higher crowds for the week of 10/19, which has more kids on fall break than I had previously forecast.

They are in order of least to most crowded, and within crowd groups are sorted by price.

  • 12: 11/2/19. 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, rarely with major discounts.
  • 13: 12/14/19. Despite its high prices, this week had been ranked in my top 3 every year since I started providing this list. However, attendance this week has crept up–even though hardly any kids are on break during it–so I am now calling it a moderately-crowded week. Good choices in your daily plans and in particular in which park to visit which day can make it fine, but my logic forces me to take it off of the “Recommended Weeks” list, as I can no longer call it a “low crowd” week.
  • 14: 10/19/19. Similar to week 5 but with more crowds
  • 15: 3/2/19. This week was recommended in both my first draft of 2019 and in prior years, but creeping attendance leading to moderate crowds has caused me to demote it.
  • 16: 6/1/19  Beginning of summer, with traditionally the lowest crowds until mid- August.
  • 17: 3/16/19.  Some years this is a very rough week, but the late Easter in 2019 and its effects on school breaks lead me to forecast it as a moderate+ crowd week instead.  Prices will be very high.

Weeks 18-26 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.

Most of these weeks saw increases in my crowd forecasts from a combination of Star Wars and  the new data on fall breaks. Particularly bumped are the weeks of the Star Wars opening (8/29) and the Labor Day week that follows it.

They are ranked in order of first crowd levels, and within the same crowd level, prices.

Weeks 18 through 20 have some of the lowest crowds in this period

  • 18: 9/7/19
  • 19: 9/14/19
  • 20: 9/21/19

Week 21 through 23 have higher crowds, on average, and week 21, slightly higher prices. Note that weeks 21 and 22 are particularly hard to forecast, as no one know what will happen 8/29 through 9/2, as Star Wars partially opens while some kids are still out of school. Expect heavy crowds at the Studios these dates

  • 21: 8/31/19
  • 22: 8/24/19
  • 23: 9/28/19

Weeks 24 to 26 are the highest crowd weeks in this hurricane group, with the last one nearing “high” crowds

  • 24: 8/17/19
  • 25: 10/5/19
  • 26: 8/10/19

2019 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 27-47, 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 through 2018 were much more manageable than I’d thought they would be).

It also includes the busy March spring break weeks beginning 3/9/2019, and the holiday weeks—President’s Day week, the weeks before and after Easter, Columbus Day week, Thanksgiving week, and the weeks around Christmas.

See the table above 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 among the lowest crowds and lowest prices of the year. The later January and early February weeks were unexpectedly bad in 2018–a circumstance that most believe was due to some operational experiments which I am forecasting won’t be repeated in 2019.

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 probably be closed?

If you must go during this period, avoid the first days of January (massive crowds), and the Martin Luther King Day (1/19/19 arrival date) holiday weekend.

The Marathon Weekend (affecting the weekend of 1/12/19) complicates Disney World as well, although it has little impact on park crowds.

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134 comments

1 PegP { 03.10.19 at 4:26 pm }

You do NOT want to go to Disney during Pop Warner week! We made that mistake last year because all of the blogs say it\’s not that crowded & a good time to go. WRONG!

To give you an idea of the crowd size, we went to the T-Rex breakfast with Santa on Sunday, Dec 2nd. We barely ate. They kept running out of food because 150 cheerleaders of all ages were there at the same time. On the bright side, the manager said that the day before (Saturday) was even worse when they had a total of 450 cheerleaders.

We got there the Wednesday before it started. I figured that would give us a few days before the crowd hit. WRONG! Our first day trying to get to the park saw us waiting for the 4th bus in the morning before we were able to board one.

The following Wednesday was our last day there. That was the middle of Pop Warner week. We ended up leaving Magic Kingdom early because the lines were just ridiculous. Even with a FastPass for The Haunted Mansion, we waited in line 25 mins before be able to get onto it. It was an hour and a half without a FastPass. I know it\’s a popular ride, but that\’s a long wait on a school night when the park isn\’t supposed to be very crowded (per the blogs).

And even with ADRs at Chef Mickey\’s and Garden Grill, we had to wait a half an hour for a table.

So if you can, in any way, avoid going during the 1st week of December, do it. It\’s certainly a costly mistake that we made and will never make again

2 Dave { 03.11.19 at 9:02 am }

Hi, Pop Warner has nothing to do with crowded buses at the beginning of the day, since, with 94% occupancy of the rooms all quarter long, they have nothing to do with additional crowds. Nineteen out of 20 rooms, on average, were booked every night from Oct-Dec, Pop Warner or not. Nor does Pop Warner have anything to do with ADRs–the most popular venues are always booked up, 365 days a year.

A point to note is that experiences vary wildly during all the party season depending on whether or not people have made wise choices on which parks to see which day. See this for the details, but going to MK during the party season on a Wednesday is a choice that will lead to massive crowds.

3 Cheryl { 03.18.19 at 2:02 pm }

Are there any special admission (or other) prices for seniors? Best entrance to the parks and best times to get there?

4 Dave { 03.19.19 at 6:31 am }

Hi Cheryl, no on the discounts. The nature of your second question makes it clear to me that you need to start at the beginning. You might want to work through the topics of my home page in order (after all the “RECENT POSTS,” the section beginning “INSTRUCTIONS FOR…”)

To get to your direct questions, to get a sense of how to approach the parks, you might scan through one of my example itineraries and the links you will find on it to daily plans. See this and its links, for example.

Alternatively, if you prefer to read and mark up a book rather than to go through a website, you might want to get a copy of my book.

5 Carmen Sada { 03.26.19 at 1:17 pm }

Hello Dave, is your Crowd Calendar updated considering the opening of Star Wars Land. In other word, we are planning to go the week o November 9 to November 16-17, how do you think the crowds will be? Is that date still number 5? Regards,

6 Dave { 03.27.19 at 8:53 am }

Carmen, I have not yet formally updated it, but my thought on the implications of the opening are here.

Probably the most important thing to note as that regardless of predictions, no one actually knows what will happen.

7 Disney World Easter Week Magic Kingdom Morning Touring Plan – easyWDW { 04.19.19 at 2:26 pm }

[…] sure is already sitting proudly on your mantle. You can pull up Dave’s 2019 crowd calendar here with 2020 following […]

8 Christopher Fasula { 04.30.19 at 1:09 pm }

I looking to go for 2 nights . 10/9/19 and 10/10/19 . How busy those days ?

9 Dave { 05.01.19 at 12:12 pm }

Hi Christopher, those should be the best days in an otherwise moderately busy week.

10/9 avoid MK
10/10 Avoid Epcot
10/11 avoid MK

10 Amy { 05.14.19 at 10:44 am }

My family and I just returned from WDW this past Saturday. We spent the week of 4/28- 5/3 in the parks as well as one day the following week (5/8). My family and I have used your prediction calendars for our past two visits and they have been pretty spot on. Unfortunately, this time those weeks were completely incorrect! The parks were super crowded with waits being over an hour on many attractions. The weather was also very hot toward the end of the first week with highs in the mid to high 90s with high humidity. While I realize that your calendar is just a prediction, we were very disappointed about the crowd levels that we experienced. Any idea why your calendar was so off this year versus trips in the past? We used your calendar in 2015 and 2017 (although 2017 was a bit more crowded Han calendar predicted also, but no where near as bad as this time).

11 Dave { 05.16.19 at 9:16 am }

Hi Amy, the only reliable tracker of past crowds is at touringplans.com, and they have all your dates as either 4s or 3s, some I am not sure what to say. Waits over an hour are common even on the lightest days at popular attractions…

12 Four Things to Consider when Planning a Disney World Vacation – Halee with a Flair { 05.25.19 at 9:41 pm }

[…] The last thing you want to do is go to Disney unprepared during peak season.  Disney World has various peak seasons and the majority of them circle around school breaks.  A fellow blogger that I’ve used myself has the best articles on this.  This blog factors out the best weeks of the year to go based on ride closures, hotel prices, school breaks, etc.  The site ranks each week of the year from best to worst.  Check it out here: https://yourfirstvisit.net/2017/10/01/2019-weeks-to-visit-walt-disney-world-ranked-in-order/ […]

13 cmj { 07.19.19 at 11:16 pm }

It may have already been pointed out, but Pop Warner Week appears 12/7-14 this year. Thanks for the great content and info, love the site!

14 Dave { 07.20.19 at 11:10 am }

CMJ thanks so much! I just did a basic fix of this.

15 LB { 08.28.19 at 2:01 pm }

Booked our trip for December before dates for POP Warner were announced, going the same week 🙁 Worried about higher crowds, was unable to get any character meals we wanted, but are going and will have a fabulous trip anyway!

16 Dave { 08.30.19 at 9:02 am }

Hi LB, Pop Warner has little effect on the parks. Not surprised you did not get any character meals–though keep checking. Times popular with savvy WDW travelers–like early December–always see such booked earlier than average, as the savvy travelers know about the 180 day availability.

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