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.

May 2018 at Walt Disney World

By Dave Shute

May   June   July   August   September   October   November


This page reviews May 2018 Walt Disney World crowds, prices, deals and discounts, weather, and operating hours; adds a few other notes; and ends with week by week summaries.

Earlier May is a great time to visit Walt Disney World, with low crowds, moderate prices, and good weather.

The weather typically gets hotter and more humid over the month, and the end of the month sees high crowds from Memorial Day.


On a crowd scale of 1-11, the weeks beginning 4/28 through 5/12 have a crowd ranking of 4/low-plus. The week beginning 5/19 has a ranking of 6/moderate–better than that early in the week, worse late.  The week beginning 5/26 has a crowd ranking of 8/high-minus.

See this for more on 2018 crowds at Disney World.


May hotel prices begin the month 10-25% higher than the lowest of the year, and stay at this level into late May.

All prices pop up for the Memorial Day weekend, beginning 5/25/18. The Disney resorts then shift into summer pricing, which is 5-15% higher than the lowest of the year at the moderates and deluxes, and 30-40% higher at the values.

See this for more on 2018 resort hotel prices at Walt Disney World.


Deals are available for May 2018. Details are here.


May weather begins as good as it gets at Walt Disney World.

Over the course of the month, temperatures and humidity rise to near-summer levels, and the rainy season typically begins late in the month.

Disney World Temperatures and Percentile Distribution Click the image, or go to Weather and When to Go to Disney World, for more on temperatures.


The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival continues until May 28.


Park operating hours vary by the day, and sometimes change without notice. It is rare for hours to be shorter than Disney has publicized, but Disney may lengthen them in response to unanticipated crowds.

The best way to keep up with operating hours is to check Disney’s official calendars, usually available six months in advance. Major hours updates–often with later closes–can happen a month before.

These calendars can be found by clicking the following links:


The week rankings that follow below are from 2018 weeks to visit, ranked in order, and are designed for first-time visitors who do not know whether or not they will return.

Click the image for a calendar view of 2018 weeks (when open, keep clicking to enlarge).

4/28/2018 Moderate prices. Low+ crowds. Crowd ranking=4. Week ranking=10. Recommended week. Use the Lower Crowd Itinerary

5/5/2018 Moderate prices. Low+ crowds. Crowd ranking=4. Week ranking=11. Recommended week. Use the Lower Crowd Itinerary

5/12/2018 Moderate prices. Low+ crowds. Crowd ranking=4. Week ranking=12. Recommended week. Use the Lower Crowd Itinerary

5/19/2018 Moderate prices. Moderate crowds. Crowd ranking=6. Week ranking=17. Use the Lower Crowd Itinerary

5/26/2018 High prices at values, moderate at deluxes and moderates. High-minus crowds. Crowd ranking=8 Week ranking=38. Use the Higher Crowd Itinerary


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1 Ashley { 01.19.18 at 12:25 am }

Hi Dave! You have helped me out in the past so much by helping me pick my days to go to each park, so I figured I would ask again. The past 2 times we’ve gone in previous years have been in January. This year we have to change our trip to May, so I’m used to January crowds and everything. What can I expect for May that will be different than January, crowd-wise? We are planning on going from the 14th-21st with a break somewhere in the middle. So 7 park days total. We were thinking of possibly skipping Hollywood Studios since there isn’t much there right now. Does Animal Kingdom need 2 days to do now with Pandora being open? We usually do 2 days at MK and 2 days at Epcot. We’ve never been to the water parks. Which water park is more fun? Thanks for any help you can provide!

2 Dave { 01.19.18 at 8:27 am }

Hi Ashley, so glad to have helped!!

Most of May (until Memorial Day weekend) has average crowds, which by the odd (but explainable) standards of this site I call “Low+.” That’s more crowded than January but not by a material amount. Crowds may be higher, especially at HS, if the new Toy Story Land there opens in later May, as it is widely expected to. I have a personal marked preference for earlier in the month rather than later, as the rainy season (which is also the humidity season) typically starts sometime in the second half of May. If you are hoping to see Toy Story Land, then aim for your trip to end as near Memorial Day as you can.

HS has been widely slandered. In fact, only one high-capacity, high-popularity ride has closed–The Great Movie Ride. Everything else that closed is either low-capacity, low-popularity, or both. It still has a ton of great rides and shows.

AK post-Pandora works best with a day and a half, if you want to see all the new stuff. See this. If you want to skip either Na’vi River Journey or the new evening show Rivers of Light, then you can do it in one hard day. Flight of Passage there is the hardest FastPass+ to get, so aim for an AK day towards the end of your trip and get right on your FastPass+ bookings at 60 days and book it first on that late-trip day.

With seven park days I’d do 2 at MK, 2 at Epcot, 2 at AK (really 1.5) and 1 at HS.

Lemme know what you think and your final dates, and I’ll advise on park days.

3 Ashley { 01.22.18 at 4:18 pm }

Thank you so much for getting back to me. Sounds like May should be a great time to go. Here’s hoping the weather is nice! I had heard Toy Story was probably going to open around that time, but it’s okay if we don’t end up getting to see it for this trip. If we do I will just consider it an added bonus!

Thank you for the link to your article about Pandora. It was highly informative! And it’s making me even more excited to see it in person! I think we will end up doing 2 days there, just to be able to see it all and do everything we normally like to do there! We definitely want to do both of the new rides so I will for sure be online trying to get that fast pass as soon as it’s available!

Our final dates in park are going to be 5/13-5/21. So that’s 9 days total, and we would like to schedule a break somewhere in there. We are doing 8 in park days.

3 (probably more like 2 1/2) days at MK
2 days at EP
2 days AK
1 day HS

We were thinking of scheduling our break on the 19th which is a Saturday because the crowds will probably be higher that day, right? Also whatever day we choose to use as our 3rd day at MK we will more than likely just do a partial day there. Do you have any recommendations on which day we should do which park? I’m open to any suggestions! Thank you so much for all of the awesome advice you give to everyone!

4 Dave { 01.25.18 at 7:52 am }

Thanks, Ashley!!

5/13 avoid MK and HS
5/14 avoid AK
5/15 avoid Epcot
5/16 avoid MK
5/17 avoid Epcot
5/18 avoid MK
5/19 avoid MK and AK
5/20 avoid MK and HS
5/21 avoid AK.

The best approach–with all the “avoid MK” dates–is to pick your MK dates first, then fit the other parks around them!

5 Ashley { 01.24.18 at 6:53 pm }

Hey Dave! I’ve been looking around on some sites and come up with an (sort of) itinerary lol. Do you think these days sound alright?

13th-Magic Kingdom
14th-Hollywood Studios
15th-Animal Kingdom or Magic Kingdom??
17th-Magic Kingdom or Animal Kingdom??
18th-Animal Kingdom
20th-Magic Kingdom or Epcot?
21st-Epcot or Magic Kingdom?

Thanks for your help!

6 Dave { 01.25.18 at 8:31 am }

Ashley–just double checking–you mean May 2018, right? (I know that’s the page you are on but things can get weird…)

If you do mean May 2018, you have picked some great days! The 13th and 20th will be crowded at MK. If you tell me how many days you want at each park, I can give you more specific advice! (I would advise 2-3 MK, 2 at AK and Epcot, and one at HS)

7 Ashley { 01.25.18 at 6:02 pm }

Hey Dave,

Sorry for the confusion. That is me in both of the comments up there, if that clears up any of the confusion! And I’m the one you replied to the first time as well! I’m just taking up all of your May comments haha! Yes we are doing 3 in MK, 2 in EP, 2 in AK and 1 in HS. May 13th-21st of 2018. Looks like I may need to switch a few of my days around based on what you said. I’ve never gone to the park this many days in a row so it’s so hard to figure out what days to go to which park!

8 Dave { 01.26.18 at 10:03 am }

🙂 Ashley. So I’d advise AK on your two Sundays, MK on Tuesday, Thursday and one more day, Epcot on your first Monday and Wednesday, and HS on your second Monday.

9 Catie { 02.13.18 at 8:50 am }

Hi Dave!

This is our first time going in may! We’re usually September people but want to sneak in a quick trip

Magic kingdom is a must at least twice and Hollywood studios and Epcot once each

Going to do parks 5/5-5/8
What days do you suggest for each park??

10 Dave { 02.14.18 at 12:52 pm }

Hiya Catie!!

5/5 would be OK at Epcot or HS
5/6 avoid HS and MK
5/7 will be OK at HS
5/8 MK is best, Epcot worst

Note there’s not two good MK days, but with a rope drop and a good plan you can make one of the bad days there work.

11 Ashley { 02.23.18 at 6:07 pm }

Hi Dave! We have a trip planned 5/11-5/19. We only have 5 day hopper tickets. At this time, this is what I have:
5/13 MK
5/14 HS
5/15 Epcot (this was chosen due to morning tour & firework dessert party @ Epcot on this day)
5/16 I didn’t schedule on this day because we have a grad party at Typhoon Lagoon
5/17 AK
5/18 MK

We’ll be staying off-site and driving our own vehicle so not opposed to actually using hoppers to get the most out of the trip

12 Dave { 02.26.18 at 9:23 am }

Ashley, 5/18 MK opens an hour early to those eligible for EMH. So those not eligible for EMH will arrive at a park already full of people. Are you eligible (tell me your hotel if you are not sure). If not, I’d flip 5/18 and 5/19.

13 Morgan { 02.25.18 at 2:23 pm }

Hello, this will be our first trip to Disney! My daughter is competing at the D2 Summit the weekend of May 11 2018. We have a 4 day hopper pass.. Would you mind helping us figure out which parks to go to on which days? We have never been and are clueless! We plan on being down there may 9th or 10th until the 13th… thanks in advance!

14 Dave { 02.26.18 at 10:24 am }

Morgan, two things. First let me know what hotel you are in, as on such a short visit I might give you different advice depending on whether or not you are eligible for Extra Magic Hours. Second, take a look at this and use it to pick (and then let me know!) which parks you want to see, and how much time each.

15 Cynthia { 02.25.18 at 3:11 pm }

Hi Dave.

We will be at Disney World May 14-18. We have a 3 day pass to Disney world. What are the best days and what parks to visit?

Thank you!

16 Dave { 02.26.18 at 10:34 am }

Hi Cynthia, see my response to Morgan just above–same questions for you!

17 Marie { 02.28.18 at 1:21 pm }

We will be traveling to Disney 5/14 (arriving at 11am) and leaving 5/19. We have 5 & 7 year-old boys. This is our first time. What parks do you suggest on what days? We do not have hopper passes. And what rides/shows do you suggest? My sons hare 42″ and taller. We are staying at All Star Sports. This is very overwhelming so any advice is appreciated. Thanks!!!

18 Dave { 03.01.18 at 8:58 am }

Hi Marie!!

5/14 avoid MK and AK
5/15 avoid Epcot
5/16 avoid MK
5/17 avoid Epcot
5/18 avoid MK
5/19 avoid MK and AK

With kids that age I’d do (at least) two days at MK, one eat each of AK and HS, and might skip Epcot. Your 7 year old can do pretty much everything, but some stuff will be likely too scary or intense for your 5 year old.

I don’t have itineraries on this site that will work for you, but you will find one and two day plans per park in my book. You can then identify in them the stuff that might not work for the 5 year old on this page (which is also in the book)

19 Ashley { 03.07.18 at 9:38 pm }

Ashley, 5/18 MK opens an hour early to those eligible for EMH. So those not eligible for EMH will arrive at a park already full of people. Are you eligible (tell me your hotel if you are not sure). If not, I’d flip 5/18 and 5/19.

We are staying off-site, so we will not be eligible for EMH. We hadn’t planned on going to the parks 5/19, mostly because we’ll likely leave early that afternoon to head home since we’re driving.

20 Dave { 03.08.18 at 9:32 am }

Sorry Ashley, that was a typo on my part; I’d meant to say flip 5/18 and 5/17. So do MK on 5/17 and AK on 5/18

21 Charmion { 03.07.18 at 11:25 pm }

Hi Dave! I am taking my daughter who is turning 9 to Disney for a special mommy and me birthday! We arrive at 11a on 5/8 and will need to leave the parks by 7pm 5/13. We have been there before a couple years ago, and might not be back for almost 5. I have 6 kids, two under 2 and were lucky to get away for this! At being said and her being the oldest and not being back until 14 or 15 if we’re lucky…what do we need to for sure get in? I was thinking of getting a 4 day hopper plus and fitting in both water parks as well? Here’s what I chose so far and please tell me if I should change the plan to get it all in? I need to purchase our park tickets this week!
5/8-typhoon lagoon
5/9-Hollywood studios
5/10-magic kingdom
5/11-animal kingdom
5/13-blizzard beach

Should I get base tickets and only do one water park or make sure I get them both in or what? Any places to for sure eat at? We will probably split every meal so we can try more and not take too much time eating over playing. I appreciate your advice!

22 Dave { 03.08.18 at 9:39 am }

Hi Charmion, what a great trip! Your park choices look good to me. I’d rarely advise do two WP days but only one MK day, but since you’ve been before you know what you are getting into.

I have ride rankings in the matrix on this page. Focus on the rides in the right column!

I have dining rankings on this page. The ones at the top are more fun, the ones on the right side more elegant. Note that many of the most fun options are buffets or “family style” meals where in effect you can’t share–you’d each have to pay.

I don’t think you need a hopper if you shift to 5 days in the parks with two MK days.

23 Tee { 03.17.18 at 12:46 pm }

Hi Dave, sounds like you have some great advice. Our 1st trip includes 3 adults and 3 children ages 11,8,and 2. Any quick advice our dates are 5/17-5/21/2018. 17- Epcot, 18- MK, 19-HS,20- AK..Quick trip but wanted the children to see this before they are older. Any advice

24 Dave { 03.18.18 at 12:47 pm }

Hi Tee, you’ve picked a couple of days I would avoid.

5/17: avoid Epcot
5/18: avoid MK
5/19: avoid MK and AK
5/20: avoid HS

I don’t have itineraries for such short trips on this site, but you can find 1 day itineraries in my book.

25 Lyle Smith { 03.20.18 at 3:43 pm }

Hey Dave,
How’s it going? Not too bad here. My wife and I are just trying to get over all the butterflies and excitement, not to mention keep the secret from our two kids. This will be our very first family vacation EVER, not to mention our very first time to Disney World like many others. We’re driving from Texas on mothers day (May 13th) and will be checking into the All Star Sports resort on May 14th and staying until that Friday (May 18th). My daughter is 10 and my son will be celebrating his 9th birthday on mothers day. A couple of things, any idea of how we should surprise them with the trip? And May 15th we were planned MK, May 16th we planned HS, and May 17th we planned AK. We have splurged for the Deluxe dining plan and reserved our first meal today at Ohana for breakfast on the 15th. Is there anything we should plan for as far as the weather goes? To be honest any and all information is GREATLY appreciated! I think we’ve watched just about every YouTube video not to mention the vacation books I bought for us and the kids yesterday at Barnes and Nobles. Thank you in advance. Have a great day sir.

26 Dave { 03.21.18 at 9:03 am }

Hi Lyle! What a great experience you will have.

Your park day choices look fine to me!

You need to book your FastPass+ ASAP. You can find one-day touring plans, with suggested FastPass+, in my book (not available in Barnes and Noble!). You laos need to book your dining ASAP–see the top of the image on this page.

HOWEVER…the deluxe dining plan is rarely worth it even on long trips, and on such a short trip is particularly difficult. It really takes 4-5 days to do the parks you are targeting, and taking 3 hours a day out of that to do as couple of sit-down meals is not the best use of your time…

Sorry, I have no great ideas on how to break the surprise, but google that question and you’ll find lots more youtube ideas!

27 Lyle Smith { 03.21.18 at 10:54 am }

Thank you sir! I will definitely do that.

28 Gaby { 03.29.18 at 3:59 am }

Hellooo Dave!!
My family and I will be traveling to Disney 4/26 and leaving 5/5. We have 8 year-old twins, boy and girl. This is our first time for the entire family!! And we are staying at All Star Movies. We are so excited!!

We are doing 7 days in parks, do you think this days sound good?? I’ll appreciate so much your help!!

4/27. Epcot
4/28. Animal Kingdom
4/29. Magic Kingdom (because of reservation in Cinderellas Castle)
4/30. Universal
5/1. Hollywood Studios
5/2. Magic Kingdom
5/3. Universal

I have to mention the days in Universal because we have tickets for 2 days to the park.

Any suggestions 🙂
Thank you so much!!

29 Dave { 03.29.18 at 6:46 am }

Hi Gaby, I would not do AK on 4/28 or MK on 5/2. 4/28 I’d do HS, then MK on 5/1 and AK on 5/2.

Also you need to book your FastPass+ ASAP!

30 Carolina { 04.03.18 at 6:01 pm }

Hi!! My husband and I are taking our sons (ages 2 and 4) for 4 days (May 16-19). Will 2 days in MK and 2 days in AK be enough? We were also debating doing 2 days in MK , 1 day in AK, and 1 day in one of the water parks, but we don’t know if the water park is worth it or not. Also do you recommend purchasing a meal plan?? And last question, is rain something we should be concerned about? Thanks!!

31 Dave { 04.04.18 at 8:30 am }

Hi Carolina! To decide how much time you want to spend in each park–and to pick your FastPass+, which is even more important–see this.

On the meal plan, it depends on what and where you want to eat. A problem is that some of the best-loved venues will be already booked up. From that and the age profile of your group, I’d say no. (

The rainy season starts in mid-late May, so you may run into rain.

32 Lorraine { 04.14.18 at 7:53 am }

Hello Dave: we are doing a mother/daughter trip celebrating her 25th birthday from 4/30 to 5/4. Fairly last minute plan. Staying off-site and arriving on flight Monday at 1:30 pm. Have a 3 day park hopper. Planned to head to Epcot that afternoon to see the Garden Expo and Illuminations that evening. Only fast pass was for test track. Will spend all Tuesday at MK and did get 3 FP. Would appreciate suggestions on remaining time. She’d like last evening on Thursday seeing Fantasmic so I booked dinner pkg at Brown Derby. Only FP available was Rockin Rollercoaster. Not sure how to fit in AK with no FP. Try for Thurs am without them? Should I buy another days ticket? Considering day at Harry Potter as well. Last day is spa/pool day. It’s been 6 years since last visit so we’re very excited !! Many thanks.

33 Dave { 04.14.18 at 11:22 am }

Hi Lorraine, the way Disney prices tickets, a fourth day is an expensive addition (around $90 each) but for sure that’s the way I’d go if you can afford it!

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