Hey everybody, there’s a new itinerary out for arrivals 8/31 through 10/26/2019. You can find it here.

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.





Category — a. When to Go to Walt Disney World

March 2020 at Walt Disney World

 August   September   October   November   December    January   February   March

WHAT IS MARCH LIKE AT DISNEY WORLD?

Early March can be a great time to go to Disney World, and is so in 2020. The rest of the month will mostly be lousy–with high prices and high crowds.

[Read more →]

August 21, 2019   No Comments

February 2020 at Walt Disney World

 August   September   October   November   December    January   February   March

WHAT IS FEBRUARY LIKE AT DISNEY WORLD?

Early February 2020 will have some of the lowest crowds and prices of the year, but also the risk of ride closures.

The very end of the month brings slightly higher prices and crowds, but better weather and few closures.

In between–in 2020 the period from Thursday the 13th of February through Saturday the 22nd–we will see high crowds and high prices.

[Read more →]

July 24, 2019   4 Comments

January 2020 at Walt Disney World

WHAT IS JANUARY LIKE AT DISNEY WORLD?

Early January 2020 at DIsney World will be dominated by holiday crowds and higher prices, but after the 5th, most days will see lower crowds and lower prices–with upticks around the marathon and the Martin Luther King Day three day holiday weekend.  Because of the Festival of the Arts, which will be returning in 2020, Epcot’s International Showcase can be busy most of the month, and especially on weekends and evenings.

January is not recommended for first-time visitors who may never return, because of ride closures. For returning visitors–and first timers who know they can return–after the first week, January is usually a great time to visit, with low crowds and low prices. If you can, visit after Martin Luther King Day–January 20 in 2020.

[Read more →]

July 23, 2019   2 Comments

Updated Disney World Planning Tools for 2020

Yesterday I completed updating the key tools for planning a Walt Disney World visit in 2020:

All of these except the ticket price calendar had already existed in draft form.

The crowd calendar was updated largely based on the actual school break schedules in 2020 for more than 15 million kids, exemplified by this post. I also revised the July and August crowd predictions to better match the actuals of the past few years.

Resort price seasons are now based on the actual 2020 prices Disney published in June 2019. The biggest differences for 2020 are more, and higher, holiday upcharges, and astonishing ~20% increases in the prices of the Skyliner resorts across room types and across the year–I’ll publish more on that later.

2020 ticket prices by day were also published in June. I would not read too much into them, because since they show an average 2% increase across the year, I expect another ticket price increase by early 2020.

All of these combined with other factors led to my revised list of recommended 2020 weeks. The number of recommended weeks dropped from eleven to ten, and eight weeks I’d formerly forecast with crowds in the high class are now in the moderate crowd class, which in turn shifts these week from “avoid” to “not so keen” in my week rankings.

The long-time travel agent partner of this site, Kelly, can help you book your 2020 Disney World vacation–or your 2019 or 2021 one! Contact her using the form below.

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY

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July 22, 2019   No Comments

Color-Coded Calendar for Disney World 2020 Ticket Prices

I’ve color coded the start dates of the various base ticket lengths in Disney World’s date-based ticket pricing system to indicate less and more expensive ticket dates in 2020, compared to available prices in all of 2020.  The prices I show are pre-tax, per ticket day, and rounded to the nearest dollar.

In what follows, basically

  • The more and the darker the green, the better
  • The more and the darker the red, the worse.

Dates with black text on a white background are everything else–you can think of them as “typical” or “average.” The technical details on how I color coded are at the end of the post.

(The 2019 version of this material is here.)

I have not commented on the charts,

  • Partly because the colors speak for themselves (green during back-to-school periods at the beginning of each semester, red for times when kids are out of school), but
  • Mostly because I expect at least one major price increase. Prices released in July 2019 overall for 2020 went up about 2%, and stayed the same as 2019 on certain key dates–e.g. Christmas to New Years Eve.  That simply won’t stand for very long.

Tickets bought before any price increase will not be affected by future increases. (Unless you buy them as part of a package, and then change something else in your package–If you do so, your package will be marked up to current prices.)

JANUARY AND FEBRUARY 2020 DISNEY WORLD TICKET PRICES

MARCH AND APRIL 2020 DISNEY WORLD TICKET PRICES

MAY AND JUNE 2020 DISNEY WORLD TICKET PRICES

JULY AND AUGUST 2020 DISNEY WORLD TICKET PRICES

SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER  2020 DISNEY WORLD TICKET PRICES

NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER 2020 DISNEY WORLD TICKET PRICES

TECHNICAL DETAILS OF COLOR CODING

  • The lowest prices for a ticket length have darker green fill and bolded black text
  • Ticket prices approximately in the bottom 10% have darker green fill and black text
  • Ticket prices approximately in the next lowest 10% have a lighter green fill and black text
  • The next approximately 10% of prices has white fill and green text
  • Dates with prices approximately in the 70th to 80th percentile have white fill and red text
  • Prices approximately in the 80th to 90th percentile have a light red fill and black text
  • Prices  in roughly the top 10% for the year have a darker red fill and black text
  • The highest price of the year for that ticket type has darker red fill and bold black text
  • Every other price in between has black text and white fill.

Note that my work is largely based on the rounded prices Disney published. As a result, the “10%” breaks are not exact. Prices shown are also pre-tax.

 

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July 21, 2019   No Comments

Disney World Summer Crowds in 2020

DISNEY WORLD 2020 SUMMER CROWDS: THE PRINCIPLES

Walt Disney World summer crowds recently have been governed by three factors:

  • Public school summer break calendars, which have start and end dates more varied than you might think
  • The block-out dates of the “Silver” annual passes that have a high penetration among locals
  • The beginning of the peak of the hurricane season, in mid-August

BLOCK OUT DATES

Disney changed block out policies on certain annual passes that are highly valued by locals in 2015, in time to affect the summer of 2016.  Since then, summer stand-by waits (which is how we all measure crowds, as there’s no better tool), while still not great, have been down, especially in July.

For 2020 for the first time I am creating this into my forecasts, as it has gone on long enough to be a thing, so some July dates now see “moderate” crowd rankings.

So…back to the other two drivers of summer crowds–school breaks and the peak of the hurricane season.

Pretty much all kids are on break in July, so traditionally it was the highest crowd month of the summer. But as noted above, the past several years it has been less crowded after the 4th than the later parts of June.

Varied dates for when summer breaks begin means June can start well, and then build to high crowd levels.

August has the opposite pattern, beginning with (recently) moderate crowds, but, through the combination of a trickle turning to a flood of back-to-school dates, and savvy travelers avoiding the peak of the hurricane season, it ends quite un-crowded.

Families that can only visit in the summer (for example, school teachers) should go as early in June or as late in August as their schedules permit, although later July is now more attractive than it used to be. [Read more →]

July 15, 2019   No Comments