There are a few things to keep in mind when you’re thinking about a vacation to Walt Disney World. The day-to-day trends, seasonal shifts and the general rules of thumb.
Here are the Basics of Crowd Patterns at Walt Disney World
Days of the Week
Weekends tend to be incredibly busy, followed by Mondays, Thursday and Fridays.
Late morning through early afternoon are the ‘prime time’ in the parks, which is why we tend to Rope Drop and then nap mid-day before heading back in the evenings.
Any time that a park offers Extra Magic Hours, the parks are fairly predictable. If you’re staying on property, you want to be among the first to arrive and then spend the first hour of regular operating hours on attractions before heading to another park. The second park is where you should have your FastPass+ reservations.
Water Parks are bustling throughout the summer and anytime the weather isn’t forecasting rain.
Folks who are partaking in a round of golf at one of the on-property courses should expect higher traffic on the weekends, but that’s expected when you’re thinking about the “Vacation Kingdom.”
There are a bunch of patterns that you can take to the bank! We’re not going to talk about the biggies, as Christmas & New Years are pretty well going to make you feel like ants.
These times are a touch-n-go thing from a planners perspective. This is because the parks are very unpredictable with refurbishments and down-time of attractions and shows, along with more construction and less operating hours in the theme parks.
- 2nd week of January through the 1st week of February
- Week before Labor Day to the start of the Food and Wine Festival at EPCOT
- Week after Thanksgiving til to the weekend at the start of Christmas Week.
These dates refers to the times when there are “regular” amounts of crowds. Although it may seem busy, it’s well managed by Disney’s ability to staff accordingly. Remember, park management knows that a day guest wants to experience between 9-12 attractions a day to feel like they’re not getting ripped off…so this is evident through the extra performances of fireworks, parades and extra magic hours.
- 1st Week of January (After New Years)
- 2nd week of February through til President’s Week
- End of February til the 2nd week of March
- Last week of April through all of May
- After Food and Wine Festival through until the weekend before Thanksgiving
These are the times that the crowds in the theme parks are at their heaviest, with E-Ticket & Popular attractions ranging from 60 minutes to over 4 hours of a stand-by wait time. Basically, when teachers are able to get away from the classrooms…they’re at Walt Disney World!
- All Major Holidays
- Presidents Week
- WDW Marathons
- March/Spring Break
- Easter Week
- June through the 3rd week of August
- Food and Wine Festival
- Thanksgiving Week
- Christmas Through New Years Day
- Any other random school holiday
Hope this helps in your trip planning! It’s important to know what to expect before you go to Walt Disney World, and this is just an example of what goes into a successful and memorable trip to Disney! 🙂