When is Disney World Least Crowded?
Walt Disney World’s parks are typically least crowded:
- January 2nd until just prior to Presidents’ Day week (third Monday in February)
- The week after Labor Day until just prior to Thanksgiving week
- The week following Thanksgiving weekend until the week prior to Christmas.
The reasons for this are that parents typically plan Disney World vacations around two major factors, school schedules, and Summer heat.
Labor day is typically around the time U.S. schools get their year started, so the month or so after that is the least crowded time of year.
July and August can also be good times to go if you don’t mind the typically higher heat and humidity.
When is Disney World Most Crowded?
Walt Disney World parks generally experience their highest attendance around:
- Presidents’ Day week (third week in February)
- the Spring Break period from mid-March through late April
- Memorial Day weekend, Summer (mid-June through Labor Day)
- Thanksgiving week
- Christmas week through January 1st
- Weekends are typically more crowded than weekdays
- When it comes to weekdays, Mondays and Fridays tend to be slightly more crowded than Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
How bad are the crowds at Disney on a “most crowded” day versus a “least crowded” day?
The difference between a “least crowded” day and a “most crowded” day can be significant.
What are crowds like on Least Crowded days?
On the least crowded days at the parks, you might find that you’re able to walk straight through the line for at least a few of the rapidly-loading rides in the parks. Many middle-tier rides will have waits around 10-15 minutes, with the most popular attractions like roller coasters having waits of around 30 minutes. Dining is usually easy to obtain, with short waits for quick service dining and even the ability to get same-day reservations at some table service locations.
What are crowds like on Most Crowded days?
During the parks’ most crowded days, even quickly loading rides routinely show wait times of 15-45 minutes. 60+ minute waits for the most popular rides are not unheard of. Fortunately, the implementation of theme park reservations (Park Pass) has eliminated many of the nightmare scenarios we used to see, such as 3-5 hour waits on Christmas Day or New Years Eve. Dining can also be a bit more challenging on crowded days, with longer waits (and occasionally having to “hover” to snag an empty table) at some quick service restaurants during peak lunch and dinner hours. Same-day reservations at table service restaurants may not be available.
Should I avoid the parks on Most Crowded days?
All of the scenarios listed above are just representative samples. Individual days have their own individual quirks; you might have shorter than expected waits on a “most crowded” day or longer than expected waits on a “least crowded” day.
It’s obviously best to plan your trips during less crowded times whenever possible, but we all know that it’s not necessarily possible due to work and school schedules. If you do find yourself traveling during a more crowded time, you’ll still have a good time on vacation. You’ll just want to plan ahead and take advantage of all the tools at your disposal – extended park hours, advance Park pass reservations, advance dining reservations, Genie/Genie+, our Disney World Crowd Calendar, and the like – to make the most out of your time in the parks.