Disney World Crowd Calendar
Once you have made the decision to book a Walt Disney World vacation, then your next step will be to decide which week to go. But because park attendance fluctuates so much throughout the year, it’s really important to choose your dates carefully in order to avoid the rush. This is why we have designed a comprehensive Walt Disney World crowd calendar. Our updated crowd calendar predicts Disney’s theme park attendance a year in advance so that you’re able to narrow down the months, weeks, and days of your next vacation.
The best time to go to Disney World depends on many factors, including the weather, which time period fits into your busy schedule, and, of course, how crowded the theme parks will be. After all, who likes waiting in long lines when you could be enjoying the rides? Our methodology tracks past attendance in order to predict future crowds at Disney’s four theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios. Hopefully, this Disney crowd calendar information will help you focus on the dates that best suit your Disney vacation goals. So let’s begin!
** FastPass+ Booking starts at 7 AM on the date indicated. This date applies to guests staying at all Disney owned and operated resorts, as well as the Disney Swan and Disney Dolphin Hotels. If staying “off property” add 30 days.
*** Dining Reservations become available to book starting at 6 AM on the date indicated.
**** Update: Disney has set December 5, 2019, as the official opening date of the Rise of the Resistance ride at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Once it has opened to the public, you should expect heavier than normal crowds and longer wait times at this Hollywood Studios themed land for some time.
The MagicGuides Disney World Crowd Calendar not only provides information on crowd sizes, but we have also included updated information regarding the daily hours of operation, average daily temperature ranges for Orlando, Extra Magic Hours, the first day to book FastPass+ reservations, and Disney Dining reservations, as well as special events. Let’s review some background information so that you understand how the MagicGuides Walt Disney World Crowd Calendar is organized.
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What is a Crowd Calendar?
Crowd calendars predict how busy a theme park will be on any given day of the year. By using data compiled from recent years, Disney crowd calendars help us determine which theme parks will have the shortest lines and which parks will have the longest lines. While not every traveler has the flexibility to plan their trip around the least crowded dates, crowd calendars can still be a valuable tool. Knowing what to expect will allow you to plan accordingly and help you to maximize your Disney experience.
Below you’ll find our Walt Disney World Crowd Calendar infographic. It provides a quick and easy way to identify the best times of year to visit Disney World. Feel free to link it to your website or share it on social media. But if you need crowd estimates for specific Disney theme parks, then please see our comprehensive crowd calendar (above) to hone in on the best dates.
When is Walt Disney World Least Crowded?
Walt Disney World parks are typically less crowded from January 2nd until just prior to Presidents’ Day week (third Monday in February), the week after Labor Day until just prior to Thanksgiving week, and the week following Thanksgiving weekend until the week prior to Christmas.
When is Walt 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, and Christmas week through January 1st.
The MagicGuides Disney Crowd Calendar
So now that you have an idea about what crowd calendars are and when Walt Disney World generally sees the most visitors, let’s get more specific. Unlike many other Disney crowd calendars, MagicGuides has created a comprehensive calendar which predicts attendance volumes at each of the 4 Disney World theme parks for every day of the calendar year. The MagicGuides Crowd Calendar also lists additional key information to help you – the traveler – plan the best Walt Disney World trip possible.
How the MagicGuides Disney World Crowd Calendar is Organized
Let’s look at how we have set up the MagicGuides 2020 Crowd Calendar.
4 Theme Parks of Walt Disney World
Our crowd calendar tracks daily information for each of Disney’s 4 theme parks:
- Animal Kingdom
- Hollywood Studios
- Magic Kingdom
Rating System for the Walt Disney World Crowd Calendar
Our Disney World Crowd Calendar uses a rating system from 1 to 5 for each of the Walt Disney World theme parks. This information is compiled using historical data from the past several years. While past attendance figures are not completely reflective of future attendance, this information should be used as a guide to help you plan your trip and to give you a sense of what to expect when you arrive at Disney World.
Ratings based on Park Attendance:
1 = Light Crowds (minimal lines)
2 = Below Average Crowds
3 = Average Crowds
4 = Above Average Crowds
5 = Heavy Crowds (long lines)
Orlando, Florida is known for its nice weather. That said, there are some seasonal differences that you may want to take into consideration when booking your Disney vacation. For example, August is historically the warmest month while January is the coldest. July is typically the wettest month and June has the most sunshine hours.
The MagicGuides Crowd Calendar lists the average temperature range for each day of the calendar year. This will give you an idea of what to expect (and what clothes to pack) when you vacationing at Walt Disney World.
Walt Disney World’s operating hours can be confusing because these vary by season and from park to park. But don’t fret! Our Disney Crowd Calendar helps you navigate through these fluctuations for every day of the year. For your convenience, we have listed the daily opening and closing times for each of the 4 Disney theme parks.
Extra Magic Hours
One of the perks to staying at certain Walt Disney World hotels is the Extra Magic Hours. This benefit allows registered Guests of select Walt Disney World Resort hotels to experience more hours and fewer crowds during non-standard operating hours. Here is how it works:
Each day, Walt Disney World chooses one of its theme parks to open one hour early or remain open up to 2 hours after closing time. In addition, Disney Water Parks offers Extra Magic Hours during select times of the year. There is no additional charge for Extra Magic Hours, provided you meet the criteria outlined below.
Guidelines for Extra Magic Hours
- Morning Hours: Guests can arrive up to an hour before the designated park is scheduled to open. Guests are required to show a valid park ticket and Resort ID at the gate (if driving).
- Evening Hours: Guests can remain at the selected Disney theme park for up to 2 hours after standard operating hours. Each member of the party is required to present a Resort ID to participate in evening Extra Magic Hours.
The MagicGuides Crowd Calendar keeps you up-to-date with the current Extra Magic Hours of operations, as well as with theme park designations. Check back frequently, as this information is subject to change!
Disney’s FastPass+ service is like making a dinner reservation. It allows you to reserve access to attractions of your choosing at a specific time of your choosing – and skip the long lines. Each FastPass+ ride has a reservation window that lasts 1 hour. Thus, if you make a FastPass+ reservation to ride for Pirates of the Caribbean at 2 PM, you have until 3 PM to use it. The FastPass+ gives you the flexibility to change a reservation, or even cancel it (with a credit added to your account) if you are running late.
FastPass+ is a complimentary (free) benefit provided with the purchase of any park admission or Annual Pass. Each Walt Disney World ticket holder receives 3 FastPass+ selections for a single park (per day). Once your first 3 FastPasses have been used, then you may be able to book additional FastPass+ selections while you are at the park. However, keep in mind that availability and ride selection may be limited at this point.
Once you have purchased your park admission or Annual Pass, then you are able to make your FastPass+ selections as early as 30 days before you arrive. If you have a Walt Disney World Resort hotel reservation, then you can start making your selections up to 60 days before check-in.
Information on the MagicGuides Crowd Calendar lists when FastPass+ reservations begin for your selected dates. Just click on a specific date to see when you should start booking Disney FastPass+ reservations. If you have any questions about FastPass+ selections, feel free to call a Disney travel agent to assist you through this process.
Another unique feature of the MagicGuides Crowd Calendar is the dining reservations reminder. Newbies to Walt Disney World are often surprised by the unavailability of reservations when they get there. It is often impossible to just walk into a full-service restaurant at Walt Disney World and expect to get seated. Therefore, it is imperative to book your reservations well in advance to ensure your spot at as some of Disney’s outstanding dining establishments.
Guests can book dining reservations for Walt Disney World resorts up to 180 days in advance. Certain restaurants are more difficult to book, and traveling at peak times means there will be more demand for full-dining options, so it is important to book as soon as you are able.
The MagicGuides Crowd Calendar lists the specific date you should start booking your Walt Disney World dining reservations.
There are so many reasons to visit Walt Disney World on a normal day of operations, but going during a Disney World special event gives you one more. These events – which include festivals, food, races, concerts, holiday parties, and more – are traditionally held during off-peak times (in the spring and fall). Many of these special events have become quite popular and are reasons themselves to plan a trip to Disney.