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.





2020 Weeks to Visit Walt Disney World, Ranked in Order



By Dave Shute

OVERVIEW: THE BEST TIMES IN 2020 AT WALT DISNEY WORLD (DRAFT)

For most years in the recent past, this site has recommended arriving at Walt Disney World one of the first three Saturdays after Thanksgiving. However, in 2020, 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 draft rankings of the weeks of 2020 in order of best to worst times to visit Disney World. 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.

I will revise these rankings at least once, after Disney’s actual 2020 prices come out (likely in the summer of 2019) and after I update my 2020 crowd forecasts, also likely in the summer of 2019.

Finally, 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.

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 2020 Disney World Crowd Calendar and forecast of Disney World 2020 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.)

RECOMMENDED 2020 WEEKS AT DISNEY WORLD, RANKED IN ORDER

The eleven recommended weeks that follow are my current forecasts of the best weeks to visit Walt Disney World in 2020.

Week number one has it all–lower crowds (except on 11/28 itself), lower prices, and wonderful Christmas programs and decorations.

  • 1: 11/28/20

Week 2 has most of the strengths of week 1, but has higher prices. Moreover, it is a week that, because of Pop Warner football demand for resort rooms, is rarely discounted. Those intending to stay at a value resort, Caribbean Beach or Coronado Springs should consider avoiding this week, as Pop Warner guests may make those resorts boisterous this week

  • 2: 12/5/20

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: 10/24/20
  • 4: 11/14/20
  • 5: 11/7/20

Weeks 6 through 10 are all in the same 2020 post-Easter stretch, and share lower crowds, moderate prices, and (especially in weeks 6 and 7) nice spring weather. They are mostly in calendar order, as the weather is better earlier in this period, with humidity and rain arriving sometime in mid- to later May. The final two weeks are not in calendar order, as they see a few days of higher crowds and prices over one of their two weekends.

  • 6: 4/25/20
  • 7: 5/2/20
  • 8: 5/9/20
  • 9: 4/18/20 (worse the first weekend)
  • 10: 5/16/20 (worse the second weekend)

Week 11 is your best spring break week

  • 11: 2/22/20

This completes the weeks in 2020 that are recommended for first-time visitors to Disney World who may never return.

2020 WEEKS I’M NOT SO KEEN ON

Weeks 12-16 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: 10/31/20. 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: 10/17/20. Similar to week 3 but with more crowds from the tail end of fall breaks.
  • 14: 2/29/20. This week was recommended in many prior years, but creeping attendance leading to moderate crowds has caused me to demote it
  • 15: 12/12/20. 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.
  • 16: 5/30/20  Beginning of summer, with traditionally the lowest summer crowds until mid- August. Crowds this week have been increasing the past few years, so the risk-averse may wish to avoid it.

Weeks 17-25 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, and many of them traditionally see what can be a great deal, Free Dining.

These peak hurricane season weeks are ranked in order of first crowd levels, and within the same crowd level prices.

Weeks 17 and 18 have some of the lowest crowds of the year

  • 17: 9/12/20
  • 18: 9/5/20

Weeks 19 and 20 have slightly higher crowds, and Week 20, slightly higher prices

  • 19: 8/29/20
  • 20: 9/19/20

Weeks 21 and 22 have slightly higher crowds than weeks 19 and 20

  • 21: 8/22/20
  • 22: 9/26/20

Weeks 23 to 25 are the moderate-crowd weeks in this hurricane group, with the last one nearing “high” crowds

  • 23: 10/3/20
  • 24: 8/15/20
  • 25: 8/8/20

2020 WEEKS TO AVOID AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

There’s two groups of weeks to avoid in 2020: high crowd weeks and weeks when some rides are often closed.

The first group, ranked 26-47, 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–that said, the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in late 2019 will likely out an end to this recent trend of tolerable summer crowds.)

It also includes the busy March spring break weeks beginning 3/7/2020, 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. 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 (1/18/20 arrival date) holiday weekend.

The Marathon (affecting especially the weekend of 1/11/20) complicates Disney World as well, although it has little impact on park crowds.

Follow yourfirstvisit.net on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest!!

RELATED STUFF

22 comments

1 Jennifer S { 03.19.19 at 2:27 pm }

Hi!
Will Mardi Gras being February 25th In 2020 effect that whole week? Some people say it’s crazy and other sites don’t mention it…I want to plan a trip Thursday Feb 27th-Thursday March 5th. What are your thoughts on these dates. I hate crowds.
Thank you!

2 Dave { 03.20.19 at 7:24 am }

Jennifer, very few folk actually get the time off, so it does not have a material affect.

3 Gregg { 05.26.19 at 9:20 pm }

Hi I am planning on going to Disney with my 4 year old twins for the first time in 2020. Wanted to go in February 2020. Debating between the week of 2/10 or 2/24. I want to go when there is the best chance to have the lowest crowds. Your crowd calendar has the week of 2/24 as the better week than 2/10, but I am worried that some people might still have spring break and therefore it will be crowded. Another website I looked at had earlier February as the much less crowded time. Would like to get your perspective.

Thanks!

4 Dave { 05.27.19 at 8:37 am }

Gregg, February breaks (with rare exceptions, e.g. New Hampshire that are not large enough to move the needle) are clustered from the Thursday before President’ Day through the Sunday after it. So in 2020, you would be best to avoid 2/13 through 2/23. Before and after those dates are much better.

5 GREGG HERMAN { 05.27.19 at 8:44 am }

Thanks for quick reply. I would image early February is better than going in March?

6 Dave { 05.28.19 at 7:55 am }

Yup, it is, Gregg

7 Dave { 05.28.19 at 7:57 am }

Hi Shawna, my calendar is for the 9 day period Saturday to Sunday. February breaks are clustered from the Thursday before President’ Day through the Sunday after it. So in 2020, you would be best to avoid 2/13 through 2/23. So the crowds 2/13 and later influence the ranking of that week. If 2/13 is your last day, you should be fine!

8 john { 06.02.19 at 8:31 pm }

Would you recommend week of 2/8 or 2/22? in 2020? Following up on your previous February 2020 thread as we want to go the same month.

Thanks

9 Dave { 06.05.19 at 8:51 am }

John, at the moment 2/22. See this. I say “at the moment” as I will be revising (if necessary) the linked page in mid-summer, as more of the data for 2091 comes in.

10 Lara Gordon { 06.05.19 at 6:51 am }

Hi Dave, our family of five from New Zealand can’t get enough and are coming back in July 2020. You have been so helpful for our last two trips (2014 and 2016) so hoping you can help us again!
Re dates: We have a cruise booked from 11-20 July 2020 so looking at either doing WDW the week before this (but maybe not a good idea being same week as 4 July?) or the week after the cruise? Also our main goals with three kids who will be 11, 13 and 15 is really to mainly focus on what we have not seen before when we were there last time (Oct 2016). So this will mean Galaxy Edge, Toy Story Land, Avatar to name the biggies and then also keen to do the new Harry Potter motorcycle ride at Universal. After reading through your website about Galaxy Edge am thinking our safest bet would be to book at the Beach Club hotel (although would have preferred the more budget Pop Century!) but nervous with crowds in July and the need to get to Galaxy Edge early in morning. Am I right in thinking that it will still be super busy in July?
Also re FP+ which I understand Disney may introduce later for Galaxy Edge I am conscious of the fact (having made FP+bookings in the past) that we need to stay at least a week at a Disney hotel as sometimes we could only get the FP+ towards the end of our week when the booking window opened (although would have preferred just to stay a few days Disney hotel this time given we have done a lot already and a day at Universal hotel) what do you think?
Forever grateful to you for your answers!!!
Thanks so much
Lara

11 Dave { 06.05.19 at 9:57 am }

Laras, I am still thinking–but in the meantime take a look at this.

While expensive per night–and not guaranteed to still be a thing next July–if it happens it would let you shorten your overall LOS at the Beach Club… Lovely wife Amy Girl and I did this in June 2018. See the image for one of our days…

12 Lara Gordon { 06.06.19 at 5:49 am }

Wow! Thanks so much Dave I had no idea that this was now available. A bit similar to Disneyland FP Max that I had read about although a lot more money!! I had a look at Club Level at Beach Club and not sure it takes five in a room like the standard room does though? If it does then it could be an option you are right but at $150 per person for the five of us and then the extra per room each night it would have to be worth it for those VIP FP. Do you know if we stay the minimum three nights does the extra FP+s start on the day that you check in or not? Gosh its a bit scary though if you can pay for these VIP FP+s they will be even harder to get at the 60 day mark. Maybe we should fly to Disneyland to do Galaxy Edge might be more guaranteed to actually see it with FP Max. I guess thats the thing coming all the way from NZ and this will be our last ever visit to Disney we really want to guarantee that we can see Galaxy Edge! And then I wonder what happens if we book a Club room for this reason and they change the rules by July 2020 eek what to do!!

13 Dave { 06.06.19 at 7:02 am }

Lara, let’s keep talking about this. On a couple of specifics–yes, you can book club for 5. And if you book, and the program then becomes unavailable, you can cancel–so long as you do it within the required period (it varies by how you book) you will get your money back. Needless to say, you would want to be double-booked into a cheaper alternative, so that if you cancel your club level you still have a place to stay! Frankly, you would also want to make the cancellation decision 61 days before check-in, so you can get 60 day FP+ on your second reservation with no muss… Re the start of your 90 day FP+, I’m sad to say I don’t recall–you could ask the question on that forum I linked you to (or I can ask it for you–just let me know!)

On going to DL instead, I don’t have enough experience with either summer crowds or their programs to be able to advise…

14 Lara Gordon { 06.06.19 at 6:23 pm }

Thanks so much Dave that is all really great advice! I will get Kelly B to look at prices then for us for Club room and yes a double booking into a cheaper alternative too (didn’t realise you could do that which is great). Cool happy to ask that question on that forum to save you some time. I guess it will be a big splurge for 3 nights but if it guarantees us to see specifically Galaxy Edge then probably worth it! We would then move somewhere cheaper to do Universal. Although to do the new Universal Harry Potter ride we might need to stay at a Universal hotel which we did in 2014 and 2016 to get in with the early hours – is that still the case?

And if the price for club level comes back at just too much $ to spend, any suggestions/thoughts on the “minimum” number of nights we should look at staying at the Beach Club standard room to get a FP+ to the top attractions? Just thinking that 7 nights in a standard room at Beach club without paying the extra $150pp a day might work out cheaper than 3 nights of a club room there paying the extra $150 pp!

15 Lara Gordon { 06.06.19 at 6:27 pm }

Actually Dave can you please ask the question on that forum as I have just looked and might take me a while to figure out how to do it!!

16 Dave { 06.11.19 at 7:43 am }

Lara, the answer is yes, you first (and last) days are eligible..

17 Lara { 06.11.19 at 4:30 pm }

Hey Dave, Thats great thanks for that. So I am taking from that then for 3 nights you would get 4 days of FPs is that right? So we could do 3 nights Beach Club “Club level” room then move to a budget (non Disney) hotel after that if we want to stay longer (as would have got through 4 days of WDW with all the top FP+ rides) and any extra days we have, we would use at a waterpark and doing Universal.

Other option though is to book 5 or 6 nights Beach Club standard room for probably similar price and risk getting the FP+s we want. What are your thoughts on “minimum” number of nights we should stay to get FP+s to the top attractions when the booking window opens at the 60 day mark? Thanks heaps!

18 Lara { 06.12.19 at 4:44 am }

Hi Dave, Have just found out that club level rooms are not available at the Beach Club and Yacht Club for our dates at the end of July 2020! Crazy stuff! So unfortunately we will have to rule out that idea now! Our options now are staying 5 nights Beach Club hotel standard room or 5 nights Caribbean Beach hotel. Do you think 5 nights is enough though of a booking window to get FPs or do we need 7 nights? And while Carribean Beach is a lot cheaper than the Beach Club I am thinking if we want to see Galaxy Edge during EMH we would be best to stay at Beach Club right as can walk? Thank you!!

19 Dave { 06.12.19 at 9:10 am }

Lara, well that simplifies things. First, the big variable with CB will be what time the Skyliner starts. We should know that by September, maybe earlier. Uber/Lyft would be your back-up plan. Second, on the booking window…assuming Galaxy’s Edge is on the FP system by then, the longer the better.

20 Carol { 06.19.19 at 9:08 am }

Hello! I am looking at late-February or early-March. I had originally planned for 2/19-2/27, with our daughter and son-in-law joining us from 2/22-2/27. Looking at the Disney events and calendar and the overall holiday calendar, I am a little worried that will be hitting President’s Day and Princess Half-Marathon crowds. I’m wondering if I would be better bumping us forward week, with a trip from 2/26-3/5 and having them join us from 2/29-3/5. Any specific thoughts on this, particularly since they are looking at a shorter trip?

21 Dave { 06.19.19 at 10:31 am }

Carol. the marathon has little effect, but the impact of President’s Day is substantial, as many northeastern districts have that entire week off. You should arrive 2/22 or later. Spring break crowds then kick in beginning 3/7//2019, so you should end before then.

22 Carol { 06.19.19 at 10:33 am }

Thank you very much!

Leave a Comment | Ask a Question | Note a Problem

My response to questions and comments will be on the same page as the original comment, likely within 24-36 hours . . . I reserve the right to edit and delete comments as I choose . . . All rights reserved. Copyright 2008-2019 . . . Unless otherwise noted, all photos are by me--even the ones in focus--except for half a dozen from my niecelets . . . This site is entirely unofficial and not authorized by any organizations written about in it . . . All references to Disney and other copyrighted characters, trademarks, marks, etc., are made solely for editorial purposes. The author makes no commercial claim to their use . . . Nobody's perfect, so follow any advice here at your own risk.