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 AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

This site recommends arriving at Walt Disney World one of the first three Saturdays after Thanksgiving–although in 2019, the week beginning the third Saturday after Thanksgiving is not a good choice as the earlier 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. I updated and revised these in the summer of 2018, and may be forced to revise them again.

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 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 opening of the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge land in Disney’s Hollywood Studios in “late fall” 2019. 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 rides 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 in the late fall of 2019 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 in the late fall of 2019 than I indicate below.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 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 2018 rankings, see this. For more how I build these 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

Week number one has it all–lower crowds (except on 11/30 itself), lower prices, and wonderful Christmas programs and decorations. 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 2 instead, as Pop Warner guests may make those resorts boisterous this week

  • 1: 11/30/19

Week 2 has most of the strengths of week 1, but has higher prices

  • 2: 12/7/19.

Weeks 3, 4 and 5 are very strong weeks. They have lower crowds and prices (with slightly higher crowds over the first weekend of week 5), 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

  • 3: 10/26/19
  • 4: 11/16/19
  • 5: 11/9/19

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.

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: 10/19/19. Similar to week 3 but with more crowds from the tail end of fall breaks.
  • 14: 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.
  • 15: 3/2/19. Like week 14, this week was recommended in both my draft of 2019 and in prior years, but like week 14 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.

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

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

  • 18: 9/7/19
  • 19: 9/14/19

Weeks 20 and 21 have slightly higher crowds, and Week 21, slightly higher prices

  • 21: 8/31/19
  • 22: 9/21/19

Weeks 22 and 23 have slightly higher crowds than weeks 20 and 21

  • 22: 8/24/19
  • 23: 9/28/19

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

  • 24: 10/5/19
  • 25: 8/17/19
  • 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 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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91 comments

1 Riley { 06.04.18 at 8:49 am }

I have booked a week at Old Key West Jan 5-Jan11, 2019. I can make my ADRs Jul 9. I need to know which days we will be in which park in order to do that but the parks calendar online only goes through November. I’m thinking the January calendar is not going to be available by Jul 9. Any suggestions then on how to make reservations for January?

2 Dave { 06.05.18 at 8:36 am }

Hi Riley, I’ve lately been using a source that’s offering hours for dates later than what Disney’s calendar shows. So far it’s been pretty reliable. However, it does not yet have January up. Ping me back in a week or two!

3 Amanda { 06.09.18 at 9:12 am }

Have you been able to tell if the beginning of March 2019 is still a good time to go? I know you commented that you were waiting for schools to get out to see if Spring Break dates would be released or changed?? I’m from Louisiana, and we were thinking of going during our Mardi Gras break since my husband refuses to go in the summer months. Thanks for all your help!

4 Dave { 06.10.18 at 8:49 am }

Hi Amanda, I’ve just started on this work, so ping me back later this month!

5 Ashley { 06.11.18 at 9:30 pm }

Any update on your prediction for best week for either March or April? Is the week of 4/6/19 still the best for low crowds? We are looking to book our trip, just wanted to double check! Thank you!

6 Dave { 06.12.18 at 9:16 am }

Hi Ashley, I just started working on this!

7 Kristy { 06.18.18 at 10:13 pm }

I wondered the same thing. With Easter so late it’s a rough call.

8 Seth { 06.20.18 at 11:08 am }

I am curious about the week of 3/30/2019. I know you haven’t updated the list yet but that week is part of the “Regular” season and has slightly lower rates. Do you think that week may change in your rankings? Is it so low because of college spring breaks? Just curious as I am looking to book either that week, the week starting 4/6 or the week starting 5/4.

Thanks in advance.

9 Dave { 06.21.18 at 7:36 am }

Seth, I have not looked yet at 2019 prices, as the 2018 release was such a mess that I had to redo my analysis three times the first week! That said, when Easter is late (as it is in 2019) Disney in the past has had regular season weeks in late March and early April. Disney price seasons are not perfect crowd calendars (they also reflect the competitive Orlando hotel market, which is shaped not just by crowds but also the convention seasons).

My preliminary analysis (I should finish this by SUnday) is that the week of 3/30 will be rotten, and the week of 4/6 just fine. There’s always the risk that I am wrong, and 4/6 is more subject to that risk than 5/4, which I really, really think will be fine!!

10 Seth { 06.21.18 at 10:40 am }

Thanks Dave! Appreciate the help. I will look for your preliminary analysis. One other question about beginning of May is the weather. I have family is south Florida and I guess it is a crap shoot for humidity the beginning of May.

11 Amanda { 06.25.18 at 1:12 pm }

Any idea yet if the week of Mardi Gras 2019 will still be a good time to go before Spring break season kicks in??

12 Dave { 06.26.18 at 12:28 pm }

Hi Amanda, I have not updated it yet on this page but in fact I did downgrade that week–not a lot, but some. See this. It’s not because of Mardi Gras–just that the updated data shows that week as moderately busy each of the last two years, so I am calling it that for next year.

13 Riley { 07.01.18 at 7:16 am }

Hi again, Dave. I check the park calendars all the time to see if January has been added but it has not. How am I going to make ADRs on the 9th of this month without knowing which park we will be in on which day of the week? Do you have any information you can share on which days which park will have EMHs from Jan 5-Jan 12?

14 Dave { 07.01.18 at 10:04 am }

Riley, see this. I can’t vouch for it, because I have not been tracking it long enough, but at least it is something to plan around til Disney releases its own data, and is fully consistent with what I would expect.

15 Riley { 07.01.18 at 2:35 pm }

It’s a start! Thank you sooooo much.

16 Sue { 07.02.18 at 3:00 pm }

Hi Dave,
Do you think the opening of Galaxy’s Edge in late fall 2019 will affect the crowd size for those weeks? I haven’t been able to find any hotels on the Disney site beginning mid November.

17 Dave { 07.03.18 at 10:29 am }

Sue, for my thoughts on the impact of Star Wars see this. The hotels are always eventually full, but not this far in advance. I have heard reports from others that they can’t book then. You might want to call instead of using the online system to see what’s up.

18 Sue { 07.02.18 at 3:08 pm }

Sorry! Last question was for Dave, not Riley 🙂

19 Dave { 07.03.18 at 10:30 am }

I edited it, Sue 🙂

20 Riley { 07.11.18 at 6:37 pm }

Sorry, Dave, to bother you again but I have gotten conflicting responses to a question about what exactly is available with a table service meal and you seem very knowledgeable so I thought I would tap into your “guru-ness” just once more. Some sites say a table service meal consists of an entree, dessert and drink. Some say just an entree and drink. Some even say no drink is included. If that is the case and I decide on dessert or drink, is the entree deducted from the plan’s count as a whole TS meal and I then pay separately for the add-ons? The plans have changed since my last visit and I’m confused. Thanks in advance for any knowledge you can share.

21 Dave { 07.12.18 at 2:13 pm }

Riley, frankly you need to stop reading sites other than mine and Disney’s! 🙂

From the Disney website at https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/guest-services/disney-dining-plan/, bold added:

“Each Table-Service meal includes (for lunch or dinner):

1 Entrée
1 Dessert*
Non-alcoholic Beverage (or Alcoholic Beverage, for Guests 21 and older)
-OR-

1 Full Buffet** or Family-Style Meal
*Ask your server about potential substitutions, but substitutions are not guaranteed. **If available.”

Note that there’s no dessert at breakfast (unless you are buying a buffet, in which case dessert-like stuff might be available. This may be the source of the confusion.

22 Riley { 07.15.18 at 8:36 am }

I hear you! I will henceforth consider the words of Dave gospel. ? Thanks a bunch.

23 Dave { 07.15.18 at 11:52 am }

:), Riley!

24 Joe { 08.07.18 at 5:06 pm }

Hi Dave, And thanks for putting up such an informative site to help us Disney travelers. We’re planning a trip with the grand kids for Jan 24th to the 28th, 2019. What can we expect for crowd increases due to the Pro Bowl in Orlando that weekend? I have tentatively chosen; Epcot on the 25th, HS on the 26th, and MK on the 27th. MK has EMH on both the 25th and 27th. Your thoughts will be greatly appreciated. Thanks, joe

25 Dave { 08.08.18 at 6:30 am }

Hi Joe, and thanks!!

There’s been two years of Pro Bowl experience. The first year it had no impact. The second year the parks saw unexpectedly high waits from late January into early Feb. The extra waits extended too long to be related to the Pro Bowl, and it’s widely suspected that they came from operational choices that Disney made and probably won’t repeat.

Your park days look fine–if you are eligible for and can arrive before the start of EMH on 1/27!

26 Joe { 08.08.18 at 3:57 pm }

Hi Again Dave, and thanks for you fast response. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to take advantage of the EMH on Sunday Jan 27th 2019. We have been to Disney several times, and have noticed that Sundays in the MK seamed somewhat less busier than Fridays and Saturdays. Perhaps a lot of people are leaving or arriving that day of the week, just my opinion. Your thoughts on entering the MK at 9 AM on that day are most welcome. Thanks, joe

27 Dave { 08.09.18 at 1:09 pm }

Joe, morning EMH is Tomorrowland and Fantasyland, so if you head to the west side of the park you’ll do better!

28 Sarah { 08.14.18 at 5:18 am }

Hi Dave,

We are yearly Disney visitors, but so far have only gone to magic kingdom, in favorable weeks. Usually the first two weeks of December and once in the first week of March. This year the kids are older, so we are considering doing the 4 main parks, in their spring break week beginning March 30. I am considering spring break only because of the late easter which I hope will diffuse the crowds across March and April somewhat. The question is- how much worse/more crowded will the experience be than what we are used to? We usually get in early with prime early dining reservations, and we bear with the crowds at the 3 pm parade time. We watch the fireworks in the back of the park where it is not crowded. We don’t stay on property though, so we get second pick at the fast passes. We would ride mine train early after our dining and hope to do the same with frozen, but not sure how animal kingdom and Hollywood studios would work out. In the past, we have reserved fast passes strategically throughout our days at mk and have ridden everything and never really waited in line. I guess I’m wondering if you can somehow describe how much worse the Disney experience will be for us on a spring break week?? And whether it could work for us as MK veterans trying to experience the other parks for the first time. Thanks so much!!

29 Dave { 08.14.18 at 7:41 am }

Hi Sarah! A couple of thoughts–

–Not sure where you usually stay, or why you stay there, but more hotels now have access to 60 day FP+ and EMH–i.e. all the Disney Springs resort area hotels, Shades, and Four Seasons have joined the Swan and Dolphin (and Shades re EMH) in offering these.

–Early breakfasts often backfire during spring break, as 8a opens and/or extra morning EMH are not uncommon, and sometimes are not announced til pretty close to the day itself

–Otherwise you can make this work with good plans and refreshing FP+. My best advice is to get a copy of my 2019 guidebook when it comes out, which will have plans for all the parks. My day job has been intense the last few months, so we are behind on getting that out, but it should be available late Auugst/early Sept

30 Char { 08.16.18 at 1:03 pm }

When you say ride closures being particularly bad in 2018 for those last two weeks, (because those are the weeks we had just booked for this year) Can you give me an example of what was closed 2018 vs what is usually closed during that time of year? And, for how long? For example, one year when they were making the frozen ride and we were there net time of year, the rise was closed the whole week or two. But then another time we were there, another popular rode was closed for a few days tops, and we still were able to ride it later in the week before we left. I hope this makes sense! Thanks!

31 Dave { 08.20.18 at 9:40 am }

Hi Char it varies every year. Typically one to (less commonly) three headliners are closed, most commonly Splash Mountain and Kali River Rapids, and one to three minor rides, most commonly the riverboat in Rivers of America.

32 Sarah Cowgur { 09.16.18 at 8:47 pm }

Hi Dave, this is so helpful.
I’ve heard that crowds are getting much higher week after Thanksgiving especially with free dining promotion the last few years. Why do you expect the week of November 30th to be preferable to the week prior to thanksgiving (16th)? Is it just because of crowds or is there another factor?

33 Dave { 09.17.18 at 11:00 am }

Hi Sarah, there’s been no material change to free dining. I rank the week after Thanksgiving higher solely because the full Christmas program will be in place. If you don’t care about that, then the week before Thanksgiving is a great choice!

34 Emily { 09.17.18 at 9:11 pm }

Thank you so much for your research and information! My husband and I are teachers on a tight budget with limited vacation time and are hoping to take our 5 and 2 year old January 5-9 with 3 days in the park (hopefully one each at MK, AK and Epcot). Based on your crowd calendar, I’m wondering which day would be best for Epcot since the 6-8 are all “not recommended” days. I’m guessing overall crowds would be less on Sunday than Saturday but I could be wrong – we will be the first on both sides to ever visit Disney so we are definitely newbies. =) What would your recommendation be? Thank you so much!

35 Dave { 09.18.18 at 10:35 am }

Hi Emily, with kids that age I’d skip Epcot entirely, and spend either two days in MK or replace Epcot with HS. The 6th should be fine!

1/5 avoid everything
1/6 avoid HS
1/7 avoid Epcot
1/8 avoid Epcot
1/9 avoid MK

36 Amanda { 09.21.18 at 12:03 am }

Hello there, I am planning on taking my 10 year old during MLK weekend January 19-22, 2019. I was hoping it would not be insanely crowded but it looks like a lot of rides may be closed. This is her first visit. Wondering if I should change to mid March. I would appreciate your advice. Thank you so much.

37 Dave { 09.21.18 at 11:43 am }

Amanda, mid-March will be much more crowded and expensive–see this. I would stick with your MLK plans.

38 Maria { 10.03.18 at 10:39 pm }

Hi Dave, I love your site and used it extensively when planning our last trip in 2017. We’re planning a trip for early 2019 and our options are very limited now that our eldest is a senior in high school. Would you recommend January 1-6, January 25-29, or February 2-6? January 1-6 is appealing because the kids wouldn’t have to miss any school and we’d have an extra day. I know the parks are super busy through December 31st, but will crowds die down after New Year’s Day? Thanks!

39 Dave { 10.04.18 at 8:11 am }

Hi Maria, a ton of other kids are also on break in early January, so you definitely want to avoid that–see this. Your other two options are both great choices!

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