OVERVIEW: THE BEST TIMES IN 2023 TO VISIT WALT DISNEY WORLD
The rankings that follow 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, later August, and September weeks would be ranked much higher. All weeks good for returning visitors are marked in green at the far right of the image below.
The rankings are in calendar order in the image above. In the discussion below, for each category, they are in rank order within that category.
These week rankings are based on my 2023 Disney World Crowd Calendar, on Disney World’s 2023 resort hotel price seasons, and on Disney World’s 2023 ticket price calendar.
Other factors are key as well–the holiday program, ride closure season and hurricane season in particular.
(For more on how I build these rankings–although it’s old, it still is how I do it–see this.)
RECOMMENDED 2023 WEEKS AT DISNEY WORLD, RANKED IN ORDER
The eleven recommended weeks that follow are the best weeks to visit Walt Disney World in 2023 for first time visitors who may never return. They are lower-crowd weeks that are not in the peak hurricane or ride closure seasons.
I divide them into two groups–the first group is weeks during the holiday season, and the second group weeks the rest of the year.
Among the four holiday season weeks, the first three have the full holiday program, and the last some of the holiday program.
- 1: 11/25/23
- 2: 12/2/23
- 3: 12/9/23
- 4: 11/11/23
Weeks 5 through 8 are mostly in the same 2023 later April–early May post-Easter stretch, and share lower crowds, moderate prices, and (especially in weeks 7 and 8) nice spring weather. There are only slight differences among these four weeks based on slightly varying prices.
- 5: 5/6/23
- 6: 5/13/23
- 7: 4/29/23
- 8: 4/22/23
Weeks 9 and 10 are in later October, after the peak of the hurricane season and between the Columbus Day and Jersey Week higher-crowd periods.
- 9: 10/21/23
- 10: 10/28/23
Week 11 is the last really good week before spring break, is much more expensive than weeks 5-10, and will likely be substantially cooler than them.
- 11: 2/25/23
This completes the weeks in 2023 that are recommended for first-time visitors to Disney World who may never return.
2023 WEEKS I’M NOT SO KEEN ON
Weeks 12-21 all have moderate crowd levels, with different prices and weather. I don’t particularly recommend moderate-crowd weeks for first time visitors, but if you have to pick one, with good plans they are quite manageable. They are also fine for returning visitors.
As always I rank these weeks first by crowd levels, then by resort hotel prices, then by ticket prices.
However, as in all these rankings, the levels I use for “resort hotel prices” is based on the simple average across all three resort types, so a week with high prices at the values, low at the moderates, and moderate at the deluxes would be evaluated the same as a week with low prices at the values, moderate at the moderates, and high at the deluxes.
So you might want to dig into the specifics (presented on the chart) to pick the best week for you based on where you are staying.
Weeks 12-15 see the lowest crowds of this moderate crowd group, with varying prices—week 15 in particular has very high prices
- 12: 6/3/23
- 13: 5/20/23
- 14: 10/14/23
- 15: 3/4/23
Weeks 16-18 will be a bit busier than weeks 12-15
- 16: 6/10/23
- 17: 4/15/23
- 18: 3/25/23
Last in this group are its highest-crowd weeks
- 19: 5/28/23
- 20: 3/26/23
- 21: 5/27/23
Weeks 22-29 have one thing in common: while low or moderate crowd weeks, they all 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? I’ve always thought this, and am completing this page while trapped in Orlando due to Hurricane Ian…reinforcing this recommendation even more…
For returning visitors, though, the low-crowd weeks that can be found among this group can be, with weather luck, wonderful times to visit.
These peak hurricane season weeks are ranked in order of first crowd levels, and within the same crowd level by resort hotel prices, then ticket prices.
Weeks 22-25 have some of the lowest crowds and lowest ticket prices of the year, and generally nicely low hotel prices, except at the moderates.
- 22: 9/9/23
- 23: 9/2/23
- 24: 8/19/23
- 25: 8/26/23
Week 26 has low crowds and ticket prices that are comparable to weeks 24 and 25, but slightly higher hotel prices.
- 26: 9/16/23
…and Week 27 is similar but with slightly higher crowds and slightly higher ticket prices.
- 27: 9/23/23
Weeks 28 and 29 are the moderate-crowd weeks in this hurricane group.
- 28: 9/30/23
- 29: 8/12/23
2023 WEEKS TO AVOID AT WALT DISNEY WORLD
There’s two groups of weeks to avoid in 2023: high crowd weeks and weeks when some rides are often closed.
The first group, ranked 30-45, should be avoided because of crowds that traditionally range from high to unbelievable.
This group includes much of the summer–later June into early August. It also includes many of the busy March and April spring break weeks beginning 3/11/2023, 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 2023 weeks when rides are often closed for repair or refurbishment—weeks 46-52.
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 likely a few of the best of Disney World will probably be closed?
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Over a month late but to comment on David’s accuracy question….All I can say is that Dave hasn’t let me down, once. When we chose the Halloween party in October, we know it would be crowded. It was (though not unbearable). We chose other specific dates based on his rankings, and it worked well. TRUST
Just a quick question, what is the possibility of comparing your predictions for the year with the actual crowd levels and review if you ranked them well? This could give us an perspective on projections compared to actual. Thanks!
Oh David, I’ve been doing this a million years now, and over time I have gotten the relative crowd measures to be pretty sound. There’s some variable accuracy though. If you give me your target dates I can comment on them.
For some insight into how the crowd calendar is built (and some of what’s behind it) see the “Disney World Crowds in 2023” section of this page: https://yourfirstvisit.net/2022/10/17/disney-world-in-2023/