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2019 Weeks to Visit Walt Disney World, Ranked in Order



By Dave Shute

OVERVIEW: THE BEST TIMES IN 2019 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 draft rankings of the weeks of 2019 in order of best to worst times to visit Disney World. I will revise and update these as necessary as more 2019 information comes out, likely in the summer of 2018.

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.

The rankings are also in calendar order on the image. For a printable PDF of the draft rankings, click here.

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

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

(For 2018 rankings, see this. For more how I build these rankings, see this.)

RECOMMENDED 2019 WEEKS AT DISNEY WORLD, RANKED IN ORDER

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

Week number one has it all–lower crowds, lower prices and wonderful Christmas programs and decorations.

  • 1: 12/7/19

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

  • 2: 12/14/19. A week as good as week 1 on crowds and holiday programs. More expensive, however, than weeks 1 or 3
  • 3: 11/30/19. Largely a terrific week with low crowds (other than the 30th itself, which overlaps with Thanksgiving 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

Weeks 4 and 5 are very strong weeks. They have low crowds and prices, and Disney World’s holiday program at the Magic Kingdom will be fully in place for week 4 and largely in place for week 5

  • 4: 11/16/19
  • 5: 11/9/19

Weeks 6 and 7 have lower prices and crowds, and offer both the Food &Wine Festival and Disney World’s Halloween program

  • 6: 10/26/19
  • 7: 10/19/19

Week  8 through 10 are all in the same 2019 post-Easter stretch, and share low crowds, moderate prices, and (especially in weeks 8 and 9) nice spring weather. They are in calendar order, as the weather is better earlier in this period

  • 8: 4/27/19
  • 9: 5/4/19
  • 10: 5/11/19

Week 11 and 12 are your best spring break bets

  • 11: 2/23/19
  • 12: 3/2/19

Week 13 is in what I believe will be a window between March and Easter spring breaks. If I am wrong, crowds will be higher and it will shift to being not a recommended week.

  • 13: 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 14-17 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, 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.

  • 14: 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, almost never with major discounts.
  • 15: 5/18/19. Similar to week 10, slightly more heat and humidity and crowds.
  • 16: 6/1/19  Beginning of summer, with traditionally the lowest crowds until late August
  • 17: 4/20/19.  The week after Easter is typically a high-crowd week, but the very late Easter in 2019 leads 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.

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

Weeks 18, 19 and 20 have some of the lowest crowds of the year

  • 18: 9/7/19
  • 19: 8/31/19
  • 20: 9/14/19

Weeks 21 and 22 have slightly higher crowds, and Week 22, higher prices

  • 21: 8/24/19
  • 22: 9/21/19

Weeks 23 to 26 are the moderate-crowd weeks in this hurricane group, with the last two nearing “high” crowds

  • 23: 9/28/19
  • 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 and 2017 were much more manageable than I’d thought).

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.

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 (1/19/19 arrival date) holiday weekend,.

The Marathon Weekend (affecting the weekend of a 1/5/19 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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42 comments

1 Kelly B - Destinations In Florida { 10.01.17 at 8:06 am }

We don’t expect packages to be released for 2019 until end of June 2018. Feel free to email me at KellyB@DestinationsInFlorida.com. I’ll add you to my 2019 watch list and contact you as soon as they are. It’s never to early to start planning your Walt Disney World vacation.

2 Mandy { 12.25.17 at 3:34 pm }

Hello – We are looking at Jan 3-9th 2019. I keep reading about the marathon and how that can affect crowds. But the marathon dates listed on the WDW info site, says the dates for the 2019 marathon is Jan 9-13. Can you confirm that? http://www.wdwinfo.com/news-stories/rundisney-releases-2018-2019-event-calendar/
The first falls on a Tuesday. Do you think it will be packed all week? Or just the first couple days of Jan?

3 Dave { 12.29.17 at 9:02 am }

Hi Mandy, my Marathon dates were a forecast. The dates are now out, and as you note, it’s indeed Jan 9-13. There are various races during that entire period. The marathon attendance itself has only a moderate impact on crowds–it has more of an impact on the hotels and transportation routes.

4 Bunny { 12.27.17 at 10:26 am }

Your information above is not going to be right because you have the marathon information on incorrect days. Those dates have already been released by Disney.

Today, runDisney extended it’s calendar, announcing more of its 2018 and some of its 2019 events.

The new races announced include:

2018 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend
November 1-4, 2018 (on sale March 13, 2018)
2019 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend
January 9-13, 2019 (on sale April 17, 2018)
2019 Disney Princes Half Marathon Weekend
February 21-24, 2019 (on sale June 12, 2018)
Star Wars Half Marathon-The Dark Side
April 4-7, 2019 (on sale August 7, 2018)

These races are in addition to the following races that are already on the schedule:

2017 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend
November 2-5, 2017
2017 Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend [the final race at the Disneyland Resort]
November 9-12, 2017
2018 Walt Disney World Marathon
January 3-7, 2018
2018 Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend
February 22-25, 2018
2018 Star Wars Half Marathon-The Dark Side
April 19-22, 2018
2018 Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend
September 20-23, 2018

5 Dave { 12.29.17 at 9:03 am }

Thanks, Bunny!! I will revise!!

6 Teresa { 01.12.18 at 10:11 am }

I have heard that Star Wars is opening on may 5th. If looking for low crowds for first time with small children, should end of April and may be avoided?

7 Dave { 01.12.18 at 10:29 am }

Teresa, you may be thinking of Disneyland. For Disney World, the expectation is still the 4th quarter of 2019–October-December. Moreover, I don’t expect Star Wars to much affect the other parks.

8 Teresa { 01.12.18 at 10:34 am }

Oh great! Ty!

9 Ryan { 01.14.18 at 9:43 pm }

Hi! We are thinking of going the week of 3/23,but you have the crowd rated an 8. With Easter not until late April that year, how has that historically affected the crowds this week in March?

10 Dave { 01.15.18 at 8:29 am }

Hi Ryan, the short answer is that I’ll be reforecasting these based on actual school breaks this summer, so check back then.

The long answer is that a lot of school breaks these days have no link to the Easter calendar, but rather operate on e.g. a “third week of March regardless of when Easter is” approach. These breaks happen every year from early March into late April, but are concentrated into the latter two-thirds of March and the first week of April.

11 Evie { 01.24.18 at 2:44 pm }

We are first time visitors and are planning on celebrating our son’s 21st birthday and our daughters 16th birthday . We are looking at a Wednesday to Wednesday trip January 16-23,2019 . We will have my parents with us and are lloking for a room that can accommodate all of us, on a budget. We would need to be near transportation because my parents can’t walk far. Any suggestions? Does WDW offer riding scooters for people with disabilities?

Thank you

12 Dave { 01.25.18 at 8:23 am }

Hi Evie, generally the least expensive way to sleep 6 is to get two standard value resort rooms. Value resort “family suites” sleep six, but the beds in them won’t work well for your group. Before you arrive, you will be able to request “near transportation.”

You might want to book this trip through a travel agent to make sure you get all room options thoughtfully covered–including staying off site, which can be much cheaper for a large group, but much less convenient. I recommend Kelly, whom I’ve worked with for years. Call or text Kelly at 980-429-4499 or request a quote from the form on this page.

WDW rents scooters for use in the parks. Many who want scooters instead want them all the time–e.g. to use in their resorts as well as the parks (the Disney buses take scooters.) Those you can rent from third parties who will deliver them to your hotel.

13 Erika { 02.06.18 at 2:22 pm }

I know it’s too soon, but would you somehow tag me or email me when you post your week ranking for 2020? Please. Looking specifically at the 12th through the 19th. Thank you!

14 Dave { 02.08.18 at 10:35 am }

Erika, I know myself well enough to know that it’s unlikely I’ll remember to do this. Sorry, but trying to be honest.

I am currently targeting the first draft for 2020 to come out in late October 2018, and the final version to be done in the summer of 2019

15 Shannon { 02.17.18 at 3:46 pm }

It’s going to be interesting to see your thoughts on January after the marathon revision. My child goes back to school on 1/7 and we were considering a trip leaving New Years since the marathon is a week later.

16 Dave { 02.18.18 at 10:13 am }

Shannon, the effect of Christmas breaks on crowds swamps the relatively trivial impact of the Marathon. While I won’t know for sure until the full set of 2081-2019 school breaks is out early this summer, I expect half the kids in the country to be off through January 6, 2019, and the parks to be mobbed through then.

17 Corey { 02.19.18 at 2:39 pm }

If you didn’t take into account ride closures, would that affect your rankings for the weeks in early February? Would it boost the rankings? When you say ride closures, how bad is it? Our young girls are more concerned with the actual characters and that part of the experience. We only plan to be there for approximately 3 days, is there still enough to make you feel that “Disney Magic” or do the ride closures really take away from the whole experience. Thank you for all of the information, Disney planning can be stressful!

18 Dave { 02.20.18 at 7:52 am }

Corey, these rankings only apply to first timers who will never return. As I say on the page, if you can return, the later Jan and early Feb weeks are better (because you can see on your return what was closed on your first visit). The closures vary from year to year, but typically only include a few rides, typically including one or two that would be considered among Disney World’s top 10.

19 Vitor { 02.28.18 at 11:51 am }

Hi Dave. I really love yourfirstvisit.com. 🙂 Considering 2019 Walt Disney Marathon Week will be on january 9-13, 2019, do you believe that the crowd calendar may be affected? And the forecast price season? Thanks!!

20 Dave { 03.01.18 at 8:51 am }

Hi Vitor and thanks! On crowds, see my reply to Shannon: https://yourfirstvisit.net/2017/10/01/2019-weeks-to-visit-walt-disney-world-ranked-in-order/#comment-522430 And yes, we should see a small price bump for the marathon period.

21 Richard { 03.10.18 at 5:35 pm }

Hi Dave… first off I’d like to thank you for your advise over my last two
WDW visits…. your accuracy has been spot on for me…
So, next year I’m planning on heading back for my 50 th…… I’m looking at 10 days arriving on 25/02/19…..me, my wife and at my son….what’s your thoughts on these dates for a return visit?
Any inkling on possible Disney Hotel refurbs in this period?
Cheers
Richard

22 Dave { 03.11.18 at 10:40 am }

Hi Richard, so glad to have been helpful! That should be a fine set of dates. All the refurbs I am aware of should be done by then. More will emerge. Let me know what resort class(es) you are aiming at, and I will speculate!

23 Richard { 03.12.18 at 7:26 pm }

Hi Dave… I’m hoping to return for my 50 th next year . Chances are it would be Riverside( we love it there )…. although I’m open to options and advice too

24 Dave { 03.14.18 at 7:48 am }

Richard, Riverside actually will be going into a room refurb in later 2018 going into 2019–I forgot that in replying to your initial comment. I’d expect to see it done building by building in Alligator Bayou and in sections of the mansions in Magnolia Bend.

25 Richard { 04.10.18 at 6:00 am }

Thanks for your help Dave.
Another thought was for 2 weeks from last Monday of April 2019….
How would this spell compare TPN the 2 weeks from last Monday of February…..regarding cost, busy parks, weather?
Cheers

26 Dave { 04.10.18 at 9:01 am }

Richard, prices and crowds should be comparable, and the weather ought to be better in May!

27 Carrie { 03.18.18 at 1:44 pm }

We are planning our second trip to Disney World. We followed your crowd predictions for our last visit and went the week leading into the start of spring breaks. The crowds were low until our last day there Saturday as predicted by you. You were exactly right and we thoroughly enjoyed our week!

We would like to go in October 2019 this visit. We are looking at the last week of October (10/26-11/2/19), but we’re worried about the Halloween crowds. You don’t predict this to be a busy week, but some of the other Disney sites comment Disney World gets busier the closer you get to Halloween. Would you say the increase in crowds closer to Halloween is only at the party at MK? My gut tells me Halloween week might be busier, but I trust your prediction more than my gut! ? Would you please comment on crowds specifically around Halloween? Thank you!

28 Dave { 03.19.18 at 10:14 am }

Carrie, so glad that the site helped!! Re your next trip, traditionally it’s been school breaks that drive crowds–and there aren’t many the week of Halloween, with most of the effects of school breaks in October being the weeks before and especially of Columbus Day. So you should be OK!

29 Jackie { 03.20.18 at 1:30 pm }

Hi Dave,
Your site has been so helpful for our last 3 trips from 2015-2017. Question for you: We love the end of January but must stay at Swan/Dolphin due to using SPG points. Both are full for a convention during the last week of Jan. So we’re considering first week of Feb (2/2-2/9). We only do parks on weekdays – never weekends (pool/resort days for us). We’re hearing warnings about swarms of cheerleaders and South American tour groups for our week in Feb. Should we try to find a different week? We’ve been fine during Pop Warner if it’s anything similar. Thanks!

30 Dave { 03.21.18 at 8:55 am }

Jackie, so glad to have helped!

The tour groups and cheerleaders are generally easy to avoid, and have little impact. Most years the week you are targeting had been great, but in 2018 because of capacity reductions stand-by waits were unexpectedly high. I’d expect it to be better next year–but can;t be sure. Either way, good plans beat unexpected waits pretty much any week of the year.

31 Joy { 03.20.18 at 9:05 pm }

Hello Dave, we are going for our 3rd visit to Disney World in September 2019, preferable the last week of the month. What are your suggestions for a seven day stay? What do you believe will be the least busy week in 2019?

32 Dave { 03.21.18 at 9:09 am }

Hi Joy, on the chart I rank the weeks of the first half of the month better than the second half. One of those first two weeks should be the least crowded of the year.

33 sandy { 03.22.18 at 3:06 pm }

we are going the January 5- 12- hoping many peeps will be leaving that Saturday from the holidays……….what do you think

34 Dave { 03.23.18 at 7:08 am }

Sandy, you should be fine after January 6!

35 Jenny { 03.25.18 at 7:17 am }

Hi Dave, love your site! We’re hoping to visit for a minimum of 2 weeks in 2019 (coming from Ireland!) Preferred months are October / November/ December. What 2 weeks would you recommend as best crowd wise?! Many thanks

36 Dave { 03.26.18 at 10:08 am }

Hi Jenny, thanks for the kind words!!

You’ll note on the chart that there are three periods where you can find goodish two week stretches that tine of year–beginning 10/1, 11/9, and 11/30.

A couple of points to note:

1. Disney’s new Star Wars land will open sometime in this period. I expect this to crush Hollywood Studios but not have a huge impact elsewhere. If I am wrong, crowds will be higher than I have forecast.
2. Disney has special parties (extra cost) and decorations for halloween, and even more for Christmas. The Halloween program ends at the end of October, and the Christmas program starts up around November 7 or so, and is fully in place by around 11/29. If you have strong preferences for one holiday over the other, this might matter.

37 Kim F { 04.02.18 at 8:46 pm }

Hi Dave! We are trying to plan our first trip to DW for the week we will be out for the Mardi Gras holiday. Our arrival would be 3/2/19 and departure 3/9. I’ve been to Disney twice as a child but this will be the first trip for my husband and 5 kids. I will have ages 17 to 2 yr old twins. Do you have any lodging and theme park recommendations for my crew that are budget friendly?

38 Dave { 04.03.18 at 9:43 am }

Hi Kim! Your least expensive option in a Disney resort will be booking two connecting Value resort rooms. For getting a start on your theme park plans, look at this page. And come back to me with any questions!!

39 Ingrid { 04.05.18 at 3:41 pm }

Dave,
I am trying plan a first Disney visit for my 5 year old triplets either Presidents Day week (2/16-23/19) or Memorial Day week (5/25-6/1/19) or the week after (6/1-8/19). I would like to stay in the Polynesian. Which week would you recommend in terms of crowds and cost? I am a little worried about the heat and rain in June, but want to keeps the crowns to a minimum. School calendars make these out only viable dates. Thank you!

40 Dave { 04.06.18 at 10:08 am }

Ingrid, all these weeks have pros and cons, and with a good plan you could make any of them work well enough, so long as you can get the triplets up and out early in the morning. I would aim for the June week.

41 Karen Kalon { 04.09.18 at 5:23 pm }

Hi Dave,
I have enjoyed reading all the helpful information you have provided! Thank you! We are planning on a visit around June 10, 2019. What are your thoughts on those weeks? We are planning on staying at Riverside – do you think the renovations should be done by then? And when will the prices for 2019 be available?

Thank you,
Karen

42 Dave { 04.10.18 at 8:53 am }

Hi Karen, so glad to help! See this on June 2018–June 2019 ought to be similar. The Alligator Bayou section of Riverside should be done by then, but it’s possible that Magnolia Bend may not be complete. This page will have updates as they emerge.

Prices for 2019 should come out this summer, but you can actually book a room now–see this for how to do it.

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