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.

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