Best Days to Visit the Walt Disney World Parks: A Quick Guide

Best Days to Visit the Walt Disney World Parks: A Quick Guide

If you’re wondering what sort of Big Bang Theory algorithm you’ll need calculate the best time to visit the parks at Walt Disney World we’ll try to break this down for you! Obviously there are certain times of year which are particularly busy. You can look at any basic Walt Disney World Crowd Calendar to get this info and some crazy detailed pins, so we won’t go into that detail here. What we will share is what to expect and which days are best to go to which parks no matter when your vacation . It’s best to get a handle on which days you’ll be in which parks prior to dining and fast pass reservations.

Overall Best Time to Visit Walt Disney World in 2019

This quick schedule is repeated every year with slightly different dates, but here is a quick look at the Peak/Off-Peak times for 2019 at Walt Disney World.

  • Peak Periods 2019 / Most Expensive Times to Visit Disney
    • Winter Break: 3rd weekend in January/ MLK three day weekend
    • Spring/Easter Break: 1st week of March through 3rd week in April
    • Memorial Day: Last 2 weeks of May
    • Summer Vacation Last week in May through 2nd Week in August
    • Thanksgiving: Day and Weekend after
    • Christmas: 2nd week in December through 1st Week in January
  • Off-Peak Periods 2019 / Least Expensive Times to Visit Disney
    • January: 4th week in January through 2nd week in February
    • Spring: 4th week in April- 3rd week in May sees average crowds
    • August: Generally 2nd week in August through 1st week in December

Note: Your busiest times will always be around holidays, especially when kids are off school, and weekends.

Walt Disney World Crowd Calendars

If you want a day by historical look at crowds to get your vacation on a microcosm schedule, check out the crowd calendars. Know that Disney crowd levels have been changing around a lot, so take these with a grain of salt.

Undercover Tourist has an outlook calendar style layout that will show you exact days and levels to expect.

Disney by Age offers a very detailed pin that will tell you exactly what the crowd levels look like.

Walt Disney World Events by Month

Now, since there’s a good chance you planned your vacation because you had time off at work or were working around a child’s school schedule, the crowd level info in these guides can only get you so far.

To get a glimpse as to what you’ll be seeing at Disney while you’re there, regardless of when you go, here’s the run down of yearly Disney festivals and activities.

 

January
runDisney Marathon
International Festival of the Arts
Martin Luther King Day Weekend
Best Week to Visit: 4th Week

February
International Festival of the Arts
Princess runDisney Half Marathon
Best Week to Visit: 3rd Week

March
International Flower and Garden Festival
Best Weeks to Visit: 3rd Week

Expect Spring Break Crowds to be heavy 4th week in March through the 2nd week in April

April
International Flower and Garden Festival
Best Week to Visit: 3rd or 4th Week

May
International Flower and Garden Festival
Best Weeks to Visit: 1st and 2nd Weeks

Expect high school Senior Trip Crowds the 3rd and 4th weeks of May

June
Best Week to Visit: 1st Week

Expect lots of summer heat.  and pretty much why we’d recommend visiting any other time of year. 

July
Sounds like Summer Concerts in Epcot
Best Week to Visit: 3rd Week

August
Best Week to Visit: 2nd or 3rd Week

disney epcot food and wine festival polkadotsandpixiedust.com

September
International Food and Wine Festival
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
Best Weeks to Visit: 2nd and 3rd Weeks

October
International Food and Wine Festival
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
Best Week to Visit: 3rd or 4th Week

halloween at disney

November
International Food and Wine Festival
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
Best Weeks to Visit: 3rd and 5th Weeks

December
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
Best Week to Visit: 1st Week

Which Days at Walt Disney World are the Busiest?

Sunday is the busiest day at every Walt Disney World Park.

Saturday the second busiest.

Monday the third busiest.

Friday the fourth busiest.

busiest days at disney polkadotsandpixiedust.com

What are the Best Days to Visit Walt Disney World Parks?

If you’ve made your dining and fast pass reservations already some of these decisions may have already been decided for you. These are your best days to be in the parks with minimal crowds and minimal waits.

Magic Kingdom: Tuesdays & Thursdays
Hollywood Studios: Wednesdays & Fridays
Animal Kingdom: Mondays, Tuesdays & Thursdays
Epcot: Wednesdays & Thursdays

Suggested Walt Disney World Park Planning Schedule

Here’s what you can control. We’ll assume for convenience sake you are tackling one park each day of your vacation.

Keep in mind that Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios are the smallest parks, so fill up faster, so the weekend will feel extra crowded at these parks.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are by far the best days to be in the parks. Still, chances are your vacation will be longer than 3 days, so you will be venturing into the parks Friday through Monday as well. These are our recommendations if you want a little more elbow room and little less line waiting. We’ve added in the Disney Monorail Resorts as an honorary fifth location you can spend your time close to the parks because they are convenient and a nice change of pace.

Monday: AK

Tuesday: EPCOT or MK

Wednesday: EPCOT or MK or HS

Thursday: EPCOT or MK

Friday: HS

Saturday: AK or HS

Sunday: HS or AK or Disney Monorail Resorts

Disney Water Parks, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon, are least busy during the late spring and early fall on weekdays.

Disney Springs is least busy M-Th mornings and afternoons.

 

Magic Mornings

Days with morning magic hours are still pretty light when it comes to crowds so we definitely recommend, if you’re a morning family, to get up early and take advantage of the extra hours.

Magic Mornings-admission 1 hour earlier available to Disney Resort guests
Typically
Magic Kingdom: Thursdays
Hollywood Studios:  Saturdays
Animal Kingdom: Sundays
Epcot: Tuesdays

Extra Magic Hours

Days with extra magic hours in the evening usually draw larger crowds all day, so unless you are committed to staying the entire day visit these parks on non-extra magic hour days

Extra Magic Hours-extension 3 hours later to Disney Resort guests
Typically
Magic Kingdom: Sundays
Disney Studios: Mondays
Animal Kingdom: Wednesdays
Epcot: Fridays

Your Best Walt Disney World Week Long Vacation Plan

Here’s the planning algorithm we use when planning our trips to WDW.

  1. Pick One Park Per Day
  2. Choose Morning Magic Hours and Extra Magic Hour on weekdays.
  3. Stay away from Epcot and Magic Kingdom on Saturday and Sunday if you can help it. While lots of vacationers are beginning vacations on the weekend and usually head straight to Magic Kingdom, the locals head to Epcot.
  4. MK and Epcot require at least 2 days each
  5. HS and AK are 1 day each ( we imagine this will change with the renovations to Hollywood Studios by 2021)
  6. Start vacation on a Wednesday or Thursday.
  7. End vacation on a Tuesday or Wednesday.

We primarily make the choice to leave for vacation mid week because flight costs are cheaper. If you’re driving these aren’t requirements for your algorithm.

Wednesday: EPCOT (arrive morning, 1/2 day in park)

Thursday: up early, MK (magic morning hours) first full day in parks

Friday: sleep in, EPCOT (extra magic hours) stay up late

Saturday: up early HS (magic morning hours) 

Sunday: sleep in, MK (extra magic hours) stay up late  (we chose magic kingdom on sunday even though its busy because we needed a 2nd MK day and could get extra magic hours if we chose this one. Its a trade off.

Monday: AK

Tuesday: Resorts Day/Boardwalk/ Disney Springs Day (depart evening, 1/2 day in park)

This is one of our best strategies for WDW planning. The opportunity to take advantage of the extra morning and evening hours is always a treat and making sure to plan them at the less busy parks on the weekend helps. Additionally we always like to build in a day to get tea at the Grand Floridian, dole whip at The Polynesian and time on The Boardwalk. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a ticket to anywhere to have fun on the Boardwalk. Just access it from the secret path at the entrance of Hollywood Studios.

This plan is for your typical 7 day/ 6 night and 6 day park ticket ( assuming that either your arriving or departing day you will not be in the parks).

We hope this gives you a little more information than you had before and some good tips to make sure you make the most of your Disney vacation.

 

 

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