Best Time of Year?

~Tonga Wingo~

A.K.A Mrs. Dale
Joined
Feb 22, 2011
I haven't been to Disney World in several years. We used to go in the fall and crowds weren't too terrible. I am trying to plan a trip in the next year or so for my husband who has never been. Recently been diagnosed with some auto-immune stuff so I fatigue easily and have a lot of joint pain. So if a line is longer than 45 mins - 1 hr, I'll likely have to pass. We don't do too many thrill rides so I think we will be OK - though some of the easier rides can be as equally long.

I've been researching when to go and have found many sites and articles that state Disney is always crowded now and there really isn't a downtime. Is this true? I was hoping September or February maybe. I know the fall has picked up quite a bit. It was busier on my last trip. I'd rather due November/early December, but ultimately would love to avoid crowds. If it's always busy, then I may just stick to the fall and we will do what we can.

I subscribe to touring plans so I can see crowd estimates. I just wondered if anyone has experienced lighter crowds in the last year and if so, when?
 

G719

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 7, 2012
The week before Thanksgiving week is still a good time to go. Crowds aren't terrible and the weather is good. It seems to be a lull between food and wine and the holidays.

Is the heat an issue with your health? November is less hot and humid. The sun goes down earlier and the sun doesn't seem as strong. This past November was a little warmer than past November trips we've experienced but still nice.
 
  • CAQDaddy

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 4, 2016
    I like early September although as each year passes I wonder if it will remain at reasonably low crowd levels.
     

    gharter

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2004
    There really is no quiet time at WDW anymore. There used to be many quiet times, but Disney has gotten very good at filling the off times.
     
  • ~Tonga Wingo~

    A.K.A Mrs. Dale
    Joined
    Feb 22, 2011
    Thanks everyone for your responses. I really appreciate it :). For some reason, I feel overwhelmed this time planning. I think I'll start planning early May 2020. It'll be our anniversary and hopefully less crowded. I'd love to go sooner and in cooler weather, but I'm afraid Nov 2019 will be overcrowded with Star Wars. We are excited for Star Wars and even got married on May 4th. I'll keep Nov 2020 as a backup if weather seems too warm this May. I've been in May and it was one of my better trips. I do have issues with heat, but Disney has a lot of places to go to stay cool and I'll likely have to head back and nap in the afternoon anyway. I used to be open to close in the parks so I'm going to have to force myself to do this lol.
     

    kniquy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 15, 2014
    I've been researching when to go and have found many sites and articles that state Disney is always crowded now and there really isn't a downtime. Is this true? I was hoping September or February maybe. I know the fall has picked up quite a bit. It was busier on my last trip. I'd rather due November/early December, but ultimately would love to avoid crowds. If it's always busy, then I may just stick to the fall and we will do what we can.
    I think it is always busy. I have gone for NYE, our kids April school vacation and the week after thanksgiving -- all times are busy, but how you plan can have the biggest impact on how you deal with crowds.

    If i could pick any time of year to go I would personally choose the last week of April -- this is for a few reasons. 1. Most schools are in session. Typically you will have spring break and other school vacations between March and April. But by the end of April schools are back in session. 2. The weather this time of year is near perfection -- you don't get the heat and humidity that you would in September, but the days are pretty warm. 3. Flower and Garden is going on during this time.

    I think your option of September would have lower crowds, but i think the weather would be more humid and rainy. Making it a bit less tolerable.

    If you fatigue easily then it might be best to plan to RD so you can hit attractions early with lower waits, plan your FP to start around 10am, have lunch around 12:30 and then return to your resort for the afternoon, resting so you can go back for a bit in the evening.

    I feel touring plans has become less reliable. i love their site for helping with planning, but when we went in November (after thanksgiving) crowds were supposed to be around 1-3, but we felt it to be just as crowded and with just as long of waits as we had in our April trip with crowds of 5-7. I think WDW adjusts their staffing and rides to balance with the crowds, thus making even lower crowd times still feel busy with longer waits.
     

    Jennifer Quire

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jan 18, 2019
    I do agree that a "down time" is hard to come by/predict anymore. And I also think "crowded" is very subjective & depends on people's individual experiences. In general, though, I have found the Winter months to be less crazy than Fall now (we used to always go in Oct). I was just there from Nov 29 - Dec 9 and I found the crowds to be VERY reasonable! I've read other posts saying just the opposite, though, and I think a lot of it has to do with park/time of day and then also just having the right frame of mind. For example, in my experience, Epcot gets busier at night (especially in Dec with the Candlelight Processional).. so we start earlier in the morning on Epcot days and plan to do other things at night. And crowds were great for us! Walked right up to booths with no lines, got into La Cava in the Mexico pavilion TWICE. But If you talked to someone who was only at Epcot at night, I'm sure they'd say the crowds were awful. So that's really just a timing thing that you can plan around!
     

    Mdsleiman

    disneyfan
    Joined
    May 16, 2017
    We are going the first week in May, what should we expect as far as crowd goes? We have gone the week before Christmas on our last four trips and have no clue about May.
     
  • dachsie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 13, 2014
    I just went last week and the crowds were fine. I remember at one point around 4pm lastWednesday heading in to the hub and thought, where is everyone.
     

    disneydreamer1980

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2017
    We always go the 2 weeks after thanksgiving, arriving the Saturday after.. used to be a slower time but has been picking up more crowds the last few years. I still think it’s a great time. The weathers usually great, and the crowds at MK on party days arent bad at all. If you’re lucky enough to be there on the CM party day the crowds are practically Nonexistent. And you can take an off day to explore all the resort decorations.
     

    mirak

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 26, 2014
    If you want the lowest crowds, your best bet is to go with the times when kids are most likely to be in school. The kids are most likely to be in school, and parents are least likely to pull their kids out of school, at the start of fall and spring school terms. So that would generally be mid-September and mid-January (watch out for MLK weekend).
     

    Disneypro1

    life is great!
    Joined
    Jan 20, 2019
    First week of May for us. Very low crowds. And usually hot and mild humidity. Imho there is no better time. Pools are great and again, Very.. low crowds,as school is in. We just pull our kids out for a week.
     

    Sarahbellum

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2018
    We also go the first week of May. Hot, not too humid, and not a lot of rain (usually). Last year we went May 12-20 and it rained almost constantly. So we're back to the first week of May for this year. Also pretty low crowds, we don't typically wait in line for more than 15-20 minutes (using fastpasses and being strategic with timing).
     

    gap2368

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 27, 2015
    One way to fine when the park will be less crowded is to go look at the hotel prices when room are cheapest the parks are less crowded for the most part
     

    bryanb

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 10, 2013
    The least crowded I've seen in the last five years was the last five-ish days in August. I arrived the day school started, and one of the CMs said it was eerie how crowded it was one day and suddenly not. (Many of the summer cast members also had headed back too.) It was still not dead by any means, with long waits for the recent headliners. The parks overall had plenty of walking space. Seemed like a lot more international guests by percentage, too. The main downside was the heat/humidity was cranked up to the max, and it was as muggy as Orlando ever gets.
     

    Timothy02359

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 25, 2016
    A few of our friends are cast members and say It`s always crowded these days, no matter the time of year.
     

    pitpat

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 21, 2017
    A few of our friends are cast members and say It`s always crowded these days, no matter the time of year.
    I know it's popular to say this now, but it's kind of lazy. We didn't find it crowded in early March, or our July and October trips last year. I know some of it has to do with which park you pick each day. Families could go the same week and have very different experiences - I've seen that firsthand.

    I'm sure "crowded all the time" will apply more after Galaxy's Edge.
     


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