35 responses

  1. Matt
    August 14, 2019

    We are visiting Nov 12-18, which by all accounts is one of the slowest weeks of the year according to your calendar rankings and other crowd calendars, however, I am concerned that may not be the case. Free dining begins on the 17th I believe and WDW customer service said that the start date is based upon lower than normal crowds. If that was an accurate statement, why wouldn’t it start immediately after the previous holiday 3-day weekend? I’m also concerned that all but one of the All Star resorts are currently showing no availability on rooms. Are we wrong in our thinking that our vacation days will be slower than normal? Thank you for your insights! Much appreciate your time.

    Reply

    • Dave
      August 15, 2019

      Hey Matt, the basic point is that the Disney-owned hotels are not crowd calendars. They run at about 85-90% occupancy year round, filled up by a variety of strategies ranging from differential seasonal (and daily prices) to various promotions. The ebb and flow of folks in the parks is shaped more by occupancy in the off-site hotels, as the Disney hotels are always almost full, on the lowest or highest crowd days.

      Reply

  2. Carmen
    August 9, 2019

    November 29 to 27 and we can’t change dates since we are coming from all over and that is the only time it works.

    Reply

    • Dave
      August 10, 2019

      Hi Carmen, did you have a question?

      Reply

  3. Heather
    August 7, 2019

    Hello! We are going for the first time Nov 8-12. What would be your suggested parks to avoid on those particular days?

    Reply

    • Dave
      August 8, 2019

      Hi Heather!

      11/8 avoid HS
      11/9 there are no good choices. Epcot might be best
      11/10 avoid HS and MK
      11/11 avoid HS and AK
      11/12 avoid HS and MK

      Reply

  4. Bill
    July 27, 2019

    2019 Jersey Week Nov 2-10 coincides with
    Swan + Dolphin’s Food & Wine Classic 10th Anni on Nov 8-9.
    fwiw

    Reply

    • Dave
      July 28, 2019

      Yup, Bill.

      Reply

  5. Kelly
    July 18, 2019

    We will be there 11.9-11.16. We’ve pretty much nailed down our schedule but I have a couple questions:

    We are going to MK on 11.10 and for the MVMCP on 11.12. Are there any rides you recommend not getting a FastPass for on 11.10 and saving for 11.12?

    We have some flexibility on 11.14 and 11.15 but one of those days must be AK. What day out of the 14th or 15th do you recommend AK?

    I’m debating making the other day a 3rd MK option. My thought was since MK closes early on the 14th, we should maybe go there that day in hopes of a lighter crowd. Of course with the new HS stuff, our 6 and 3 year old may very well prefer to go back there twice vs. MK for a 3rd day.

    Reply

    • Dave
      July 18, 2019

      Hi Kelly, re FP+, there’s a couple of rides that have longer waits at MVMCP–Seven Dwarfs and Peter Pan. So those should be particular targets for your FP+.

      I don’t see much difference between the 14th and 15th for AK.

      During the party season, MK is almost always best on a party day, and much, much worse on a non-party day.

      Reply

  6. Jacqueline
    July 16, 2019

    Hi Dave!
    We are currently booked for Nov 10-17, but with the free dining dropping for Nov 17-24 we have considered moving dates to save money. Would you switch and have dining for free? As far as crowds go, can you give me your opinion on those weeks?

    Reply

    • Dave
      July 17, 2019

      Hi Jacqueline, I see crowds as comparable the two weeks. Free dining may or may not save you money–it depends on whether you had already planned to buy hoppers, whether you have to upgrade your room, etc., and of course availability. It may even be (it varies by resort and party size and ages) that the discount offer is better for you.

      My advice would be to work with someone like Kelly to get her to see a. if anything is available in free dining for your proposed dates, b. if there’s a better deal for either those or your current dates, and c. in either case, if you actually save money.

      Reply

  7. Kristy
    June 6, 2019

    Excited for the December 2019 Basic Itinerary to come out. Do you expect it soon?

    Reply

    • Dave
      June 10, 2019

      Hi Kristy! First, I’m so sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you. Day job demands…

      Second, I got the Basic Itinerary out yesterday–it’s here.

      Reply

  8. Barbara
    June 4, 2019

    Hi Dave, I don’t see December yet, but am planning ahead…any idea if you were going to MK the week between Christmas and New Year (27-3) which day would be best? I know it is the WORST week to go at all, but we will be in Florida with a lot of family and there is talk of hitting MK one day and I’d like to pick the least crowded of crowded, if at all possible! Thoughts on the 30th?? Thanks!

    Reply

    • Dave
      June 5, 2019

      Barbara, there is no material those dates that I can predict now. If when the final calendar comes out some days do not have morning EMH, those will be better, although if a. you are morning EMH eligible, and b. EMH starts at 7a, then doing EMH will be the best way to do MK.

      Reply

  9. Cassie
    May 28, 2019

    Hi Dave! Can you give me your thoughts on which parks are best for 11/17-11/22? We are tentatively thinking:
    Sunday 11/17 – MK
    Monday 11/18-AK
    Tuesday 11/19- Epcot or HS and Christmas Party
    Wed 11/20 – HS
    Thurs 11/21- Epcot
    Friday 11/22 – MK (2nd choice for Christmas party – do you think it will be terribly busy?)
    Thanks!

    Reply

    • Dave
      May 29, 2019

      Hi Cassie! Monday AK has EMH, so it might be a bit crowded. Tuesday will be crowded at both Epcot and HS. You might consider doing Epcot Monday and AK Tuesday. Epcot will be crowded Thursday because of its EMH and MK’s early close. You might want to do MK on Thursday and Epcot on Friday. Of your party options, Tuesday should be better.

      Reply

  10. Rachel
    May 26, 2019

    Thanks so much, Dave! Yeah, it didn’t seem like any park was really a good choice on 11/2. At least between it being the last day of EEMH, Food and Wine, and the day after a party there are incentives for people to head to all 3 of the other parks, too!

    Reply

    • Dave
      May 27, 2019

      Concur, Rachel!

      Reply

  11. Rachel
    May 26, 2019

    Hi, Dave. Such great advice on your site–thanks! We’re going to be at Disney for a short adults only trip from Nov. 2-5. Not knowing what they’ll do about extending hours and EMH after 11/2 is making planning hard. I keep telling myself that we’ll know well before our FP day and trying not to think about it too hard yet, but somehow I don’t really like that answer, LOL. Here’s what we’re thinking so far. We’re staying on site and want full days (or the equivalent) at MK and EP. We don’t have hoppers but are open to the idea of adding them if it works better.

    11/2-Arrival, AK mid-afternoon to close
    11/3-MK
    11/4-Epcot
    11/5-Park until noon. Planning on HS (not GE) but depending on crowds and park hours might skip HS entirely this trip and do MK or AK today.

    Is there anything you’d do differently? At least we have the benefit of being there between the Halloween and Christmas parties, so there won’t be early MK closes on our dates. Thanks so much!

    Reply

    • Dave
      May 26, 2019

      Hi Rachel, this looks pretty sound to me. I’m not wild on AK 11/2, as it has EMH that morning, but frankly don’t think any other park will be materially better. It is a Saturday after all…

      Reply

  12. Steve
    May 21, 2019

    Thanks for this. We are in Disney 11/14 – 11/18. Traveling with 4 kids under 5 so we are thing MK on 11/15 and 11/16 and AK on 11/17. Looks like MK has Extra morning magic hour in 11/15 and is open til 9 on the 16th. If we steer clear from HS, I assume crowd levels will be ok? Our group of kids will have no interest in Star Wars. Thanks!

    Reply

    • Dave
      May 22, 2019

      Steve, even ignoring Star Wars, crowds ebb and flow based on MK’s hours. 11/16 will be wildly busy at MK, as it follows two days of early closes and has an early close 11/17. If you are willing to skip the fireworks–which kids that young may not be able to stay up for anyway–you would be much better off doing MK 11/15 and 11/17, and AK 11/16.

      Reply

  13. Tena
    May 3, 2019

    Hi Dave!
    We arrive Friday 11/23 and depart Friday 11/29. Plan to spend Wednesday 11/27 off site, and thinking Epcot on Thanksgiving Day. What are your thoughts on best parks (or parks to avoid) for those dates? Thanks in advance!

    Reply

    • Dave
      May 4, 2019

      Hi Tena, traditionally folks have gone to either Epcot or MK on major holidays, and in later 2019 with Star Wars HS might be added to the list. AK is the best choice on Thanksgiving Day.

      Here’s some draft thoughts about the rest of your dates. When Disney’s calendar comes out in a few weeks I should be able to sharpen them up

      11/23 is Saturday, so I am starting with 11/122

      11/22 avoid Epcot and MK
      11/23 avoid everything…
      11/24 avoid HS
      11/25 avoid AK
      11/26 avoid Epcot
      11/27-you are off site
      11/28 avoid all but AK
      11/29 avoid MK

      Reply

  14. Drew
    May 2, 2019

    Thank you Dave!!!

    Reply

  15. Mladena
    May 2, 2019

    We are a family of 4, kids are 7 & 5. Favorite park is Epcot. One park per day tickets. Which park would you pick each day for 11/2-11/8 (travel days on either side)? We were thinking 3 Epcot days, 2 MK, and 1 each of the other parks….

    Reply

    • Dave
      May 3, 2019

      Hi! Disney’s calendar for then is not out yet, but here are my draft thoughts–check back with me in a couple of weeks and I’ll be able to confirm or change.

      Your dates Epcot will be best Monday and Wednesday. MK will be OK most days, worst Saturday, Weds and maybe Friday. HS is hard to predict right now but for sure avoid 11/3 and 11/8. Ak will be worst Saturday and Monday, best Sunday, fine the other dates

      Reply

      • Jeanine A
        May 19, 2019

        Your suggestion fit my itinerary to a tee!
        I’m traveling Saturday and arriving late.
        Sun-EMH at HS then head to Magic Kingdom no later than 12p. (BOG dinner and end night with Happily Ever After or what ever night show is there)
        Mon-Fri EMH on hold for planning based on wdw calendar changes.
        Mon- Epcot (Eat and Drink Around the World Day)
        Tues- HS (ending with Fantasmic)
        Wed- Animal Kingdom
        Thur- AM reservation @ CRT. Then after a few rides at MK- heading over to HS. (Ending with Star Wars Spectacular)
        Fri- Disney Springs for lunch and freebie night based on what we wanted to see again.
        Sat- Character Dining at our hotel for breakfast and fly back home.

        Reply

      • Dave
        May 21, 2019

        Hey Jeanine! Wednesday will be much better at HS than either Tuesday or Thursday–both those days, MK closes early, so the other three parks will be particularly busy. On Weds, in contrast, MK is both open late (the only such day among all the weekdays that week) and has PM EMH, so it will be quite the crowd draw. The easiest fix would be to flip Wednesday and Tuesday

        Reply

  16. Drew
    May 2, 2019

    Thank you for the post! Per your comment about asking about specific dates….
    We are arriving 12 November and staying through17 November. We were thinking:
    13 Nov (Wed) – Animal Kingdom
    14 Nov (Thurs) – Magic Kingdom (Christmas Party)
    15 Nov (Friday) – ?
    16 Nov (Saturday)- ?

    I can’t decide which parks(Epcot and Hollywood Studios) are better on Friday/Saturday. Between Galaxy’s Edge & food and Wine I feel like they could both be bad on those days…

    Reply

    • Dave
      May 2, 2019

      Epcot will be crowded in World Showcase either day, Drew, but ride lines won’t be much affected. I would avoid HS on weekends until it is proven to be OK–my thought is that it will be OK, but why not wait for facts. So that would suggest HS on Friday and Epcot on Saturday

      Reply

  17. Janine
    May 1, 2019

    Been stalking for Nov info. Thx! Going to parks Nov 10-15 with young adult children (1st trip!) and 3 year old. 9 in group. Usually start & end MK but maybe not best?? Xmas party 1 night. No hoppers. Would really appreciate any advice on which park each day. Love all this info!!

    Reply

    • Dave
      May 2, 2019

      Hi Janine! The calendar for then is not yet out, so view these thoughts as preliminary–and check back in three weeks or so

      11/10 avoid HS, and MK may be a problem
      11/11 avoid AK
      11/12 avoid Epcot
      11/13 avoid MK
      11/14 avoid Epcot
      11/15 avoid MK and Epcot (in the evening)

      Reply

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