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.





Disney World Crowds in 2020



By Dave Shute

2020 CROWDS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

The chart lower on the page shows my draft forecasts for 2020 crowds by week at Walt Disney World.

I will update this forecast at least once, in the summer of 2019, and may update it again after that.

2020 will be an interesting year at Disney World, with crowds from the new land Galaxy’s Edge dominating the news early in the year, but after that other new rides opening and Disney World beginning its 50th anniversary celebration later in the year.

More on 2020 at Walt Disney World is here. For 2019 Disney World crowd forecasts, see this.

THE 2020 DISNEY WORLD CROWD CALENDAR

Dates in the Disney World Crowd Calendar are the beginning of the week, and the forecast covers the recommended Saturday-Sunday 9 day stays from that beginning.

Crowd levels are ranked by week from 1-11 in the following way:

1: Lowest of the year

2: Lower

3: Low

4: Low-plus

5: Moderate-minus

6: Moderate

7: Moderate-plus

8: High-minus

9: High

10: Higher

11: Highest

HOW TO INTERPRET THE 2020 DISNEY WORLD CROWD CALENDAR

Dates are the beginning of the week.

As is the case in almost every good Disney World crowd calendar, the forecasts are about wait times on rides–not about how crowded the areas outside the rides might be.

The “low crowd” weeks–those colored green, and rated 1-4–represent the only crowd levels a family visiting for the first time, and unsure if it will ever return, should consider.

However, lower crowds, especially lowest crowds, do not always mean a better week. The lowest weeks are often best avoided by first timers who may never return because they are in the peak hurricane or the ride closure seasons.

The “moderate crowd” weeks–those in black and rated 5-7–have crowd levels I would not particularly recommend to first time visitors, though the crowds can be managed. However, I’d go during such weeks myself with no hesitation, and think these levels are totally OK for returning visitors who don’t need to see everything and already know how to work Walt Disney World.

The “high crowd” weeks–those in red, rated 8-11–should be avoided by everyone. They aren’t, which is why they are so high.

MY DISNEY WORLD CROWD CALENDAR GOES UP TO “11”

The influence of the Unofficial Guide  and TouringPlans.com has led almost all Disney World crowd calendars to top out at 10.

However, I’ve always thought that the really nastiest weeks of the year deserved an 11 for emphasis.

So, in homage to Spinal Tap, I assigned 11 to “highest.”

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13 comments

1 Nicky S { 01.14.19 at 11:01 pm }

Hi, thanks for the info, I will be a first timer to DWR in 2020(but I’ve been to DisneyLand), and if I choose to go in March, which is going to be very crowded, do you think my experience for ride wait times will be much improved if my family purchases Fastpass? Thanks in advance.

2 Dave { 01.15.19 at 6:21 am }

Hi Nicky. The first bit of good news is that access to FastPass+ is free and included in everyone’s ticket. The key is using it well. The program is explained on this page.

The second bit of good news is that most days of the year, good plans can overcome most of the problems of high crowds. Good plans include judicious use of FastPass+, getting to the parks before they open, and sequencing the rides you see–especially first thing–to avoid crowds. For an example of such a plan, see this, part of this.

3 Kelly { 01.20.19 at 9:10 am }

What did you use to determine March 2020 being so high?

4 Dave { 01.21.19 at 7:29 am }

Kelly, every year massive numbers of public school spring breaks begin in early March and continue until the week after Easter. Disney crowds are profoundly shaped by how easy it is for families with kids to come, so every year March (after the first week) sees heavy crowds.

For an example of how these breaks will unfold in 2019, see this.

5 Beth { 01.22.19 at 11:42 am }

Hi, do you know yet when the cheer/dance competitions are in April 2020? We went in May 2017 and the cheer camps really affected the crowd levels so hoping to avoid on this trip. Thanks so much!!

6 Dave { 01.23.19 at 9:13 am }

Hi Beth, such groups are very visible, and annoying when they get into line ahead of you. But asd I note on this page,

“… the cheering competitions, runDisney events, etc., don’t much matter to park crowding. Fifteen thousand cheerleaders or runners and family members may seem like a lot to you…but translate into less than 10 percent more people on property.”

7 Beth { 01.23.19 at 10:16 am }

Thanks so much! I really appreciate all of the information on your site! We’re trying to decide between the week of April 19th or the 26th and thought maybe one would be better than the other to avoid them??

8 Dave { 01.24.19 at 7:04 am }

Beth, the week of the 19th should be fine, but you’ll see a day or two of spillover from Easter breaks, plus a but of added visitation form the Northeast who is on spring break that week. The 26th will be slightly better. But either will be fine!

9 Beth { 01.24.19 at 10:05 am }

Thank you so much! I’m so glad I found your site!! So helpful!

10 Nicky S { 01.26.19 at 8:42 pm }

Thanks again for the info for 2020, we are flying in from Australia, so we need to work in with our own school holidays etc, we have from about the 20th March to the 17th April, and wanted to do 7 days, somewhere over that time. I’ll look at your links for planning the fast passes. Thank you!

11 Dave { 01.27.19 at 8:49 am }

You bet, Nicky!

12 Andrew { 02.07.19 at 1:06 pm }

Hi Dave,

Do you still think mid-to-end of January crowds will be low? Doesn’t seem to be the case for 2019 (we just returned) and 2018 was also high that time of year. Thanks

Andrew

13 Dave { 02.08.19 at 8:22 am }

Hi Andrew, for what it is worth, touringplans has average January 2019 daily waits after MLK day as being 5.2 (TP is fine for historical crowds–it’s their forecasts that can be curious). That puts them slightly below average, and almost a full point below last year’s number for the same days. On this site, for reasons too complicated to explain here, an average week gets a 4 ranking. So I am OK with my forecast for next year.

Star Wars will make absolute waits not directly comparable to prior years, but ought not to change a lot the relative ebb and flow of waits across the year, which is what I focus on. What might change things on the relative ebb and flow would be much bigger differences in 2020 in the highest and lowest date-based ticket prices than we see in 2019–but there is nothing on that front yet.

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