For my thoughts on the re-opening of Walt Disney World, see this.


By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2020, the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever.

Available on Amazon here.

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By Dave Shute

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194 comments

1 Kate { 08.29.19 at 12:23 pm }

My husband, grandparents (age 85) and I are traveling with my 2 children (ages 2 & 5). We are staying at an off-site hotel (Sheraton Vistana). We will have a rental car and likely drive to all locations (parks). Due to my kids ages, we are planning to hit the parks as early as possible and will spend time at the resort in the evening. We will not be looking to go out much at night with the exception of a night or two during our trip. We plan to visit all 4 parks with a repeat day of magic kingdom (monday-friday). Our trip is going to be very “little kid focused” with small kid rides, little kid experiences, etc.

With this information, I am wondering if you can help me choose between the following weeks:

April 18-25 (I am concerned about the lingering spring break crowds from the NE as well as some of the star wars half marathon crowds)
April 25-May 2 (I am concerned about the cheer and dance competitions that seem to be going on the entire week. It looks like they JUST changed some dates of one of the competitions. wondering if this changes the crowd predictions)

2 Dave { 08.30.19 at 9:12 am }

Hi Kate, see my week rankings here.

The cheer competitions have no material effect on the parks (despite much uninformed online complaining about them). On an average day there’s 160,000 people in the parks. More people on property for a cheer competition just don’t translate into enough more people to matter.

Similarly, the NE spring breakers don’t much matter, as next to no one else is on break then, and many from the area head south during their common full week President’s Day week breaks instead.

With kids that age, I wouldn’t try to hit every park. For a 5 year old there’s little at Epcot and not a ton at HS or AK. A half day at each of the those two, and 2-3 half days at MK, would be my advice.

3 Lou { 08.31.19 at 3:40 pm }

So much wonderful info on your site. I am working my way through steadily. First trip to Orlando from UK coming next year.
This may be one of the strangest questions..but still….
Do you have any idea which resorts have bathrooms with what I would call a moveable shower,one that you can hold in your hand? I am desperately trying to trawl through all the room images online but it is not always clear. I have some minor mobility issues and this type of shower is really essential to my comfort and ease. I think I can see them in the Coronado Springs and possibly Pop resort pictures.
Anyone with any help on this I would be so grateful. It is a deal breaker for me so I need to know in advance before I book.

4 Dave { 09.01.19 at 10:08 am }

Great question, Lou. It’s not an issue I have focused on, so I can’t give a complete list. But I can confirm Pop and Coronado Springs. Disney also has in every resort “accessible” rooms which you can request. These will have more open baths, more safety rails, and hand -held options.

5 Melanie W. { 09.04.19 at 3:11 pm }

Great Disney sight- I had a question about going to Disney in May 2020. My husband and I are taking our two daughters (ages 8 and 2 ) and my mother to Disney World May 3-9th. I had done a lot of crowd calendar work and we figured with our jobs and schedules this would work best for our family. Now I am second guessing my choice because I see there will cheer competitions at Disney during the weekends flanking the start and end of our trip. How crazy busy does that make the parks? Do the cheerleaders tend to hang out after the competition weekends?I thought it would be lower crowds in early May? Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you,Melanie

6 Dave { 09.05.19 at 10:28 am }

Hi Melanie. The cheer competitions happen all the time, and have no material effect on the parks (despite much uninformed online complaining about them). On an average day there’s 160,000 people in the parks. More people on property for a cheer competition just don’t translate into enough more people to matter.

7 Arlene Chan { 09.10.19 at 2:22 am }

Hi Dave,
Our vacation at WDW 2019 went well thanks to your advice and your book. Have you any thoughts about the 50th Anniversary
Celebration at WDW? When to go, will the celebration start May 2021 or do you think as late as October 2021?

How will the 50th Celebration affect your attendance crowd calendars? We would like to attend the Opening Day celebration in 2021? Will the celebration continue into 2022 and we’ll celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary also?

THANK YOU and for JOSH for the great information, tips and plans you guys provide in your book and websites!

8 Dave { 09.10.19 at 1:26 pm }

Hi Arlene, and thanks!

I don’t have a strong feeling yet for 2021. I’d expect higher attendance than 2020 and much higher than 2019, partly due to all the new rides that will open between now and then, and partly due to the 50th. My best guess on when the 5oth will “formally” start is Sept or Oct 2021, and run though the first quarter of 2023 based on how past celebrations have gone.

9 Walter { 09.25.19 at 3:10 pm }

Hi Dave! Love your site-especially as it pertains to the resorts. Just wondering when the 2020 version of your book will be available on Amazon? I am going during Super Bowl 2020 (#54) and I have bought a copy every year. Thanks!

10 Dave { 09.26.19 at 5:19 pm }

Hey Walter and thanks! I am hoping that we will have it out by the end of October, but the situation is complicated…

11 michelle { 10.02.19 at 10:28 am }

i’m just wondering what in the ‘world’ is going on at epcot. just went last week and so much seems closed and under construction. as a florida resident and pass holder this doesn’t hurt so badly. but the poor folks who arrive and weren’t aware…not nice. also what happened with the minnie and mickey ride at hollywood studios. i thought that was to be opened already.

thanks!

michelle

12 Dave { 10.05.19 at 2:26 pm }

Hi Michelle! The Runaway Railway was delayed to 2020 back in April. The re-imagining of Epcot has been in the cards for a while now, and while few rides/World showcase offerings are affected, Epcot will be ugly for years. The god news is that new attractions and re-done shows will also be flowing out, beginning in 2020.

13 Anne Gibson { 11.12.19 at 4:48 pm }

Hey, Hope you are doing great!

I came across your blog, and I am impressed with the regular and frequent updates on it. Do you allow sponsored posts on your blog?

Kindly let me know the price per post (if you are interested in selling sponsored posts on your blog).

Also, we might be interested in placing in-content text links (placement of a text link on an existing blog post). If you can, let me know the price per text link placement as well.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon 🙂

Best Regards,
Anne Gibson
Outreach Manager at allcoolwebs

14 Dave { 11.13.19 at 10:43 am }

Anne I find it so rare that sponsored posts have much relevance to many of my readers that it’s been years since I’ve run one. But thanks for asking!

15 Carri Newbold { 11.15.19 at 10:10 pm }

Hi Dave!

Any idea when the 2020 edition of your guide book is expected to be released? We’re planning a trip in spring of 2020 and would love to use the most recent guide.

Thanks!
Carri

16 Dave { 11.16.19 at 9:18 am }

Carri, it’s in the hands of our publisher. At the latest, mid-December, hopefully closer to a week or so from now!

17 beth { 02.04.20 at 4:17 pm }

Taking my 5 year old to DW for the first time. Little Mermaid Standard Room or DVC Bay Lake Tower studio from location stand point and what each resort offers? I can see pros of each but not sure which one will make more sense from managing a 5 year stand point. Thank you!!!

18 Dave { 02.05.20 at 7:44 am }

Hi Beth. A five year old will be most interested in MK, and BLT is, by far, the most convenient resort for MK–you can walk there. This means if you need a nap or time out, you can exit MK and take either the resort monorail or walk.

19 Mary Sharp { 11.25.20 at 6:16 pm }

Good Morning I would like to contribute to your website some unique articles that could be a perfect match for you. Tell me please if you are interested in collaborating with me!
Best Regards

20 Tim { 03.12.21 at 12:13 pm }

I am in the very early stages of planning a trip to Disney and stumbled upon your site, and it is extremely informative. After a few days of trolling around I figured I would just reach out to ask some specific questions to our trip. I appreciate any help and guidance you can offer. I am thinking about doing a mini family reunion for my parents 70 th birthday, there would be 15 of us total 7 of them being children ranging in ages from 5-11. Most of us are teachers so we are limited to the weeks that we are off from school. I was thinking either Easter break, or the second to last week in August which week would be better with crowds and pricing. Based on your charts it sounds like the week in August but is the heat and humidity worth the lower prices and possibly lower crowds? The second big question is hotels. I have researched a few we are probably looking at a modest priced hotel I have stayed at Port Orleans riverside before which was beautiful, however the morning transportation to the park and the extremely long wait times make me wonder is it worth upgrading to a resort like the Polynesian or something with a monorail, and if so how much more would that cost? I was also looking into the boardwalk inn and the Caribbean beach resort but I have the same questions about the transportation issue. I am thinking of planning this trip for 2023 so as I mentioned there is plenty of time, but because of getting my siblings on board and such I want to get as much information as possible.
Thanks for all of your help,
Tim

21 Dave { 03.16.21 at 11:14 am }

Tim, I’ve copied your comment and then added my thoughts in bold.

I am in the very early stages of planning a trip to Disney and stumbled upon your site, and it is extremely informative.

Thanks Tim—do note that I have NOT updated it for COVID—although that may not be relevant to your 2023 dates.

After a few days of trolling around I figured I would just reach out to ask some specific questions to our trip. I appreciate any help and guidance you can offer. I am thinking about doing a mini family reunion for my parents 70 th birthday, there would be 15 of us total 7 of them being children ranging in ages from 5-11. Most of us are teachers so we are limited to the weeks that we are off from school. I was thinking either Easter break, or the second to last week in August which week would be better with crowds and pricing. Based on your charts it sounds like the week in August but is the heat and humidity worth the lower prices and possibly lower crowds?

It depends a little on how Disney World operates coming out of COVID—for example, does FastPass+ return?—but for prices and crowds I’d expect August to be much, much better.

The second big question is hotels. I have researched a few we are probably looking at a modest priced hotel I have stayed at Port Orleans riverside before which was beautiful, however the morning transportation to the park and the extremely long wait times make me wonder is it worth upgrading to a resort like the Polynesian or something with a monorail, and if so how much more would that cost? I was also looking into the boardwalk inn and the Caribbean beach resort but I have the same questions about the transportation issue. I am thinking of planning this trip for 2023 so as I mentioned there is plenty of time, but because of getting my siblings on board and such I want to get as much information as possible.

Because of the different price points these comparisons are very hard to make—and transportation convenience vary depending on which parks you plan to spend the most time in. For example, the Poly, while much more convenient for MK, is less convenient for HS than CB is. The presence of the Skyliner makes CB, AofA, Pop better for Epcot and HS than Riverside is…

Complicating this even more is the size of your group. I could advise a little better if I knew the size of each family.

You might also consider letting families pick their own resort, based on their own comfort with price points. The Skyliner makes it easier for folks at moderate CB, values Pop and AofA, and deluxes Beach Club, Yacht Club, Boardwalk Inn, to convene at one of those hotels then get back easier to their base hotel.

Thanks for all of your help,
Tim

22 Brian { 06.03.21 at 9:00 am }

Hi Dave….we used your website and all your advise to have a great 10-day Walt Disney World vacation a few years ago…it was our first (and only so far) trip and it was wonderful. We are now starting to plan a Disneyland vacation for 2022…do you suggestions/recommendations for the California Disney parks? If not, do you know of a good resource?

Thanks again for all the help…I would recommend your website to anyone heading to WDW.

Brian

23 Dave { 06.03.21 at 10:14 am }

Thanks Brian. Frankly, I don’t have much to help. California has traditionally gone to a different pattern with so much domination by locals. Expected changes in the Annual Pass program there may reshape it a lot. I can’t advise on another site because 1. I have not paid enough attention, and 2. the uncertainty noted above…

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