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

February   March    April   May    June   July   August

OVERVIEW: THE BEST TIMES IN 2019 AT 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 week beginning the third Saturday after Thanksgiving is not a good 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. 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.

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

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

  • 20: 8/31/19
  • 21: 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 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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112 comments

1 Maria { 10.04.18 at 5:43 pm }

Thanks for the prompt response! That link was exactly what I was looking for.

2 Dana { 10.10.18 at 4:48 pm }

The week of February 23rd you have listed at #10. Will the Princess Run make the crowds bigger at the parks?

3 Dave { 10.11.18 at 11:11 am }

Dana, it never has before.

4 Lee B { 10.11.18 at 3:17 pm }

Hi Dave! If that has been addressed before let me apologize first . I was wondering why Pop Warner week is a more favorable week than Dec 7. I have concerns of it being more crowded due to being right after TG as well as the all the cheer crowds etc. especially if they offer free dining again. We are planning 10 days. What are your thoughts?

5 Dave { 10.12.18 at 7:43 am }

Hi Lee, the difference between the weeks is indeed slight. Those who track numbers, like me, know that Pop Warner has much less impact than many think it does–see this, and free dining is almost never offered during Pop Warner week. I give the week of the 30th the nod over the week of the 7th because those staying the whole 8 nights I recommend will pay higher prices at the end of the week of the 7th.

6 Reese { 10.13.18 at 12:32 pm }

A package for a family of 8 in November / Thanksgiving Holiday 2019

7 Dave { 10.15.18 at 7:01 am }

Hi Reese, are you looking for help from Kelly? If so, fill out the form here.

8 Kelly B - Destinations in Florida { 10.15.18 at 9:17 am }

Hi Reese,

I’m Kelly from Destinations In Florida. I would love to help you plan your upcoming vacation. If you could contact me at KellyB@DestinationInFlorida.com or 980-429-4499. We’ll start planning that magical vacation right away.

9 Laura { 11.01.18 at 1:05 am }

Hi Dave, I am looking to return to DW for our 3rd and final time in 2020. (Pushed back from “late fall” due to Star Wars opening). We plan on doing Disney and Universal. We want to see Star Wars. We’ve have gone at low crowd times previously for 5-6 days. We plan on doing a full week this time. Question is… looking at presidents week winter break in February or right when we get out for summer vacation (June 13ish). Would you recommend one over the other regarding crowds, cost and Staw Wars chaos? Thank you.

10 Dave { 11.01.18 at 7:55 am }

It’s a toss-up, Laura, so I’d pick based on weather and when you really need a break. Enough people are out of school Presidents week that I expect Star Wars to be mobbed then…but the hype will still apply to visits the summer of 2020 for folks who can’t go other than during their summer breaks…

11 Jackie { 01.04.19 at 10:56 am }

Hi Dave,
Will you please update us when/if you notice any evidence that WDW is possibly repeating the adjusted staffing levels vs. ride capacity issue that they experimented with last January and February (which seemed to cause increased wait times)? We’re a bit nervous about potential wait times for our upcoming trip the first week of February.
Thanks so much!

12 Dave { 01.05.19 at 7:52 am }

Hi Jackie, I will, but a good plan will make such changes–if they happen– barely noticeable.

13 Jessa Cintron { 01.04.19 at 12:49 pm }

Hi Dave,
I was wondering if you have any changes to this now based on the free dining promotion early release? We are looking at 11/3/19-11/9/19 or 12/01/19-12/07/19 but would love your feedback before we decide.

14 Dave { 01.05.19 at 7:51 am }

Hi Jessa, no–no changes!

15 Richard { 01.06.19 at 5:43 pm }

Hi Dave. Booked our trip to Wdw back in April…. was grateful for the info you provided then.
It would appear that things have changed regarding busy weeks etc
We are going for two weeks from 25th Feb… I was sure that, in April, these were pretty good weeks to go.
I note that now the second of these weeks would appear to project as being very busy. Just wondering
What’s changed?

16 Dave { 01.07.19 at 8:41 am }

Hey Richard, every summer, after the full set of school year calendars is out, I update my crowd calendar for the upcoming year based on both that and on apparent trends. As noted here there’s been longer waits the first week of MArch the past couple of years, so I bumped up the crowd forecast for that week (the week beginning March 2, 2019) which led to that week being downgraded in the wek rankings.

That said, since the introduction of FastPass+, most weeks of the year having a good plan and avoiding the “bad day” parks is much more important than the specific crowd level!!!

17 Anonymous { 01.07.19 at 6:09 pm }

Thank you Dave
I think I should be ok…. looks as though the second weekend around 9 and 10 March will be busiest of the whole holiday.
Will have a plan in place and FPs complete
Cheers

18 Dave { 01.09.19 at 7:47 am }

Great!!

19 Amy { 01.09.19 at 2:12 pm }

We are wanting to take a trip in the next year during a low crowd time. We were looking at Nov 15-20 to see Christmas decorations (first time) or Feb 2020. Is it usually crowded the days before Thanksgiving? I am getting mixed reviews on that. Or if we are worried about crowds should we stick to Feb 2020?

20 Dave { 01.10.19 at 11:21 am }

Hi Amy, crowds are usually OK until the Sunday before Thanksgiving, so you should be OK. Not all the Xmas program will be in place those dates.

21 Cindy { 01.12.19 at 6:46 pm }

Hello,
Sorry if this has already been asked, cant see all the comments. When does the next years list of best weeks come out? (2020)

22 Dave { 01.13.19 at 4:28 pm }

Cindy, my draft will come out probably next Sunday, and if not then, soon thereafter.

23 Tricia { 01.22.19 at 8:39 pm }

We are planning a Disney/Universal trip for (potentially) November 16-23 2019. I’m thinking that this is looking like a good time weather and crowd wise from what I’ve read (correct?).
My concern is the Star Wars opening. We do not plan to go to Hollywood Studios but I’m worried how this may impact the rest. When will the opening date be announced?

24 Dave { 01.23.19 at 9:17 am }

Tricia, nobody knows. My thoughts on the opening are here, but recently rumors have been rampant that DIsney World is aiming for an October opening.

If Star Wars troubles you, I would plan for a visit earlier in October, or in later April (4/18 or later) or May 2020.

25 Heather { 01.25.19 at 12:21 pm }

First, thank you! It is evident that you love Disney by all the information and hard work you have done to provide such an amazing website for the rest of us to learn from. Secondly, I would greatly appreciate your opinions, concerns, and recommendation on which of the following dates would be best for my family’s WDW trip!

My family is looking to take our first trip to Disney World. I am having a difficult time making a final decision. I have read your website through and through as well as several others. I have narrowed our trip down to 3 different times to go. I have already looked at room reservations and they are currently available for these times. My priorities are avoiding high temperatures (into the 90s) and avoiding the crowds. However, I am still thinking about hurricane season, swimming weather, and missing out on reservations for shows.

Some info that I think may impact your recommendation. My husband and I have twin boys, currently 5 years old and they will be 6 in September of this year. They are both under 44’ inches so no “big” rides for them this trip. On this trip to WDW we would like to go to Magic Kingdom, The Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Epcot. We most likely will return when they are about 10 to do the “big” rides, to do EVERYTHING Star Wars at WDW, as well as add Universal Studios to the trip. My husband is in the military and so this year we will buy the Armed Forces Salute 4-day Park Hopper tickets and plan to stay at Shades of Green for 6 nights/7 days. (The dates below are still available at Shades of Green.)

My dates of consideration are the following.

1. May 13- May 24:
Pro: I have read that this time frame would provide low crowds. And would avoid the Memorial Day Crowd.
Con: The temperature is high 80s and creeping into the 90s. It may be too late to reserve shows like Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue (my twins LOVE cowboys) or a character meal.

2. September (anytime):
Pro: Low crowds as children are back in school. I have time to reserve shows and meals. My twins birthday is September 24th and they could celebrate their 6th birthday at Disney.
Con: The temperature is still in the high 80s and low 90s. It is hurricane season so, a hurricane could throw a wrench into our WDW plans.

3. November 2-23:
Pro: Low crowds. The temperature is no longer in or creeping into the 90s. Time to reserve shows and meals.
Con: The temperature may be too low for the children to enjoy going to the pool (which they love). The Star Wars land could open and as I have read, create much larger crowds than typical at that time. YIKES! (hmmm…is it worth the RISK of the pro; typical low crowds suddenly becoming a con; HIGH crowd levels?)

26 Dave { 01.25.19 at 12:42 pm }

Hi Heather! First you have done a great job at identifying the pros and cons, and all are legit.

A couple of further points in response:

Re May, an advantage vs Sept is that (especially during your earlier dates) humidity may be low. There is typically a point in May when Orlando shifts from the dry to the wet season, adding both humidity and rain, which is not perfectly forecastable but typically happens later in the month rather than earlier.

Also on May, you can check dining availability this second–and book it. You don’t need a hotel or tickets to do that. I tested Hoop Dee Doo and for example it’s available for 4 folks on May 15 and May 16–that’s all I checked, other dates may be available as well. For Hoop you have to pre-pay, and others require either a pre-pay or a credit card number so that you can be charged a non-show penalty. But you can book, and then cancel if you pick another date, and your no show will be waived and your pre-payments refunded. Here’s a link to the hoop reservation page: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/cabins-at-fort-wilderness-resort/hoop-dee-doo-musical-revue/

On Sept, the heat and humidity are real, and while the risk of hurricanes is low, you need to think about refundability. The tickets are not refundable–you can use them at a later eligible date if that works for you folks, but you can’t get your money back. See http://www.militarydisneytips.com/Disney-Armed-Forces-Salute.html#themepark Shades has a thirty day canellation policy–if you cancel closer to your dates, you may lose your deposit. See http://www.militarydisneytips.com/Shades-of-Green/Shades-of-Green-Roomrates.html. You would want to look into trip insurance, especially if you are flying, but I don’t know if it would cover the tix/deposit.

On November–my experience with kids that young is that they will swim if the pool is open, no matter the weather, and typically the pools are only closed for thunderstorms or severe (and unlikely then) cold snaps. You and your husband may be miserable!! The Galaxy’s Edge issue is real. My forecast is that it will only overwhelm the rides at HS that yours are too young for anyway. But I might be wrong. My general advice to people is that if they are worried to avoid these dates.

One semi-final note–for kids the ages of your boys on a four day ticket, I would not spend a day at each park. Rather, I’d spend two days at MK and skip one of the others. Epcot on average has the least appeal for kids that age, but if you pick November, it might be prudent to skip HS.

Finally, my advice would be May–and the earlier the better–even if you need to miss a priority meal or two.

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