Best Days to Visit Each Walt Disney World Park

Best Days to Visit Each Walt Disney World Park

If you’re wondering what sort of Big Bang Theory algorithm you’ll need calculate the best time to visit Disney World, we’ve got you covered.  Obviously, there are certain times where Walt Disney World is just 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 Disney parks no matter when your vacation. And now that you’re limited to one park per day via the Disney Park Pass Reservation system this info is more important than ever!

The Best Days to Visit Disney World Based on Crowds

Whether you’re looking for the least crowded time to go to Disney World, or even just the best time to visit Magic Kingdom, we’re going to break it all down in the post so you can make the best Disney itinerary for your trip. 

Overall Best Dates for the Lowest Crowd Levels 

Lowest Crowds at Walt Disney World 

  • January |  13-16, 28-30 |  Festival of the Arts
  • February | 3-13
  • May 5-14 | Flower and Garden Festival
  • August 17-31 | MNSSHP, Food and Wine Festival
  • September | Food and Wine Festival
  • November 16-18 | Food and Wine Festival, Holiday Resort Decorations
  • December 1-11 | Festival of Holidays

Overall Best Time to Visit Walt Disney World

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

  • Off-Peak Periods / 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
  • Peak Periods/ 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

Note: Your busiest times will always be around holidays, especially when kids are off school, and on weekends. Check out the EXACT DATES of when Disney is the Least Expensive every year. 

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 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.

Annual Events and Holidays

Planning a Disney Vacation for the perfect time is tough. As a result, it’s important to know the best times to visit to give yourself your best chance. We’ve pulled together a list of all the Disney Festivals and Parties that happen annually so you can choose the best time to visit. Here are also the major holidays and runDisney events causing the busiest times to visit Walt Disney World.

January: runDisney Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend 
February: Valentine’s Day/President’s Day Weekend, runDisney Princess Half Marathon, and Mardi Gras Week 
March: Spring Break
April: Easter, runDisney Springtime Surprise Weekend
May: Dapper Day, Memorial Day Weekend
July: Fourth of July Week
September: Labor Day Weekend
October: Columbus Day Weekend
November: Wine and Dine Half Marathon,  Thanksgiving Week, Destination D23
December: Christmas Week

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 rundown of yearly Disney festivals and activities. Check out our Walt Disney World Events Calendar for Details.

 

January

runDisney Marathon
Festival of the Arts
Martin Luther King Day Weekend
Best Week to Visit: 2nd or 4th Week

February

Festival of the Arts
Princess runDisney Half Marathon
Best Week to Visit: 1st and 2nd Weeks

March

Flower and Garden Festival
Best Weeks to Visit: 1st or 2nd Week

Expect Spring Break Crowds to be heavy 3rd week in March through the 2nd week in April

April

Flower and Garden Festival
runDisney Springtime Surprise Weekend
Best Week to Visit: 3rd or 4th Week

May

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

H20 Glow Night at the Water Parks
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

Food and Wine Festival
Disney’s After Hours Boo Bash
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

Best Week to Visit: 2nd or 3rd Week

disney epcot food and wine festival polkadotsandpixiedust.com

September

Food and Wine Festival
Disney’s After Hours Boo Bash
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
Best Weeks to Visit: All weeks fairly good:)

October

Food and Wine Festival
Disney’s After Hours Boo Bash
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
Best Week to Visit: 3rd or 4th Week

halloween at disney
 

November

Destination D23
runDisney Wine and Dine Marathon
Best Weeks to Visit: 3rd and 5th Weeks
 

December

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
Festival of Holidays
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 Each Disney Park?

Thankfully, even if you don’t pick a vacation during the best time to visit Disney World, you still have control over which days you go to which park. THIS is just as important. 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 (MK): Tuesdays & Thursdays

Hollywood Studios(HS): Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Fridays

Animal Kingdom(AK): Mondays, Tuesdays & Wednesdays

Epcot (EP): Mondays and Wednesday

Notice the complete absence of weekend days here. If you’re visiting during the weekend, Animal Kingdom is usually ok on a Saturday, now that more popular parks- like Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom-are attracting even more guests. And Magic Kingdom is usually ok on a Sunday. But try to avoid both EPCOT and Hollywood Studios on the weekends. 

Suggested Walt Disney World Park Planning Schedule

Here’s what you can control. We’ll assume for convenience that 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. 

You will find that 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 a 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: MK
  • Wednesday: HS
  • Thursday: EPCOT 
  • Friday: HS or Disney Springs
  • Saturday: AK 
  • Sunday: MK 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 the least busy M-Th mornings and afternoons.

Early Entry into the Parks

Days with magic hours for Disney Resort Guests ONLY, allow you to enter the parks 30 minutes before it opens. This offers opportunities to maximize your time! 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. Early theme park entry is now available every day.

disney boardwalk

Walt Disney World Planning Tips

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

  1. Pick One Park Per Day
  2. If staying at a Disney Resort, plan to be there early to take advantage of your 30 minutes extra on weekday mornings.
  3. Stay away from Epcot and Magic Kingdom on Saturday 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. Stay away from Epcot in the evenings from Thursday- Saturday
  5. Stay away from Magic Kingdom on Mondays. 
  6. MK and Epcot require at least 2 days each
  7. HS and AK are 1 day each
  8. Start vacation on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.
  9. End vacation on a Tuesday or Wednesday.

Sample Itinerary for a Disney Vacation in One Week

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 the park)
  • Thursday: Up early, MK (access early hours) first full day in parks
  • Friday: sleep in, EPCOT stay up late 
  • Saturday: up early HS (access early hours), head to Animal Kingdom if you have a park hopper.
  • Sunday: sleep in and head to brunch at Disney Boardwalk or Disney Springs
  • Monday: AK
  • Tuesday: MK (depart evening, 1/2 day in the park)

By far one of our best strategies for WDW planning. The opportunity to take advantage of early morning hours any day of your vacation is a good one. 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).

grand floridian resort at walt disney world

Cheapest and Most Expensive Times to Visit Disney

One of our favorite new hacks we learned on our DVC tour was that there is actually a calendar that shows the cheapest times to visit Walt Disney World. And frankly, until there is an update to this pricing schedule we’re gonna treat it like the gospel it is. The cheapest season to book is Adventure Season and the most expensive is Premier Season. Here’s where the dates fall for each.

Adventure Season ( cheapest)

  • Jan1-31
  • Sept 1-30
  • Dec 1-14

Choice Season

  • Oct 1-Nov 26
  • Nov 30
  • Dec 15-23

Dream Season

  • Feb 1- 15
  • May 1- Jun 10
  • Aug 16- 31

Magic Season

  • Feb 16- Apr 13
  • Apr 28- 30
  • Jun 11- Aug 15
  • Nov 27- 29

Premier Season ( most expensive)

  • Apr 14- 27
  • Dec 24- 31

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. And be sure to check out our Disney World Event Calendar for specific things happening this year!

Everything you need to know about which days are the best for each of Walt Disney World's four parks. Visit during lower crowds, different parts of the week and time of year can affect this. But no matter when your vacation read our tried and true rules. #disneytips #waltdisneyworld #polkadotpixies


Related Posts

6 Ways to Avoid Disney Resort Parking Fees Right Now

6 Ways to Avoid Disney Resort Parking Fees Right Now

Walt Disney World has decided to start charging for Disney Resort Parking, for all guests at Walt Disney World Resorts. If you’re looking for ways to Avoid Disney Resort Parking Fees we have a few options you may not have considered. Here’s the breakdown of […]

New Snacks at Walt Disney World 2021

New Snacks at Walt Disney World 2021

Walt Disney World welcomes new snacks all year long! So we are here to help you see what’s new and where you can find it. Here are all the Best Snacks at Walt Disney World you can find in the parks for 2021. Consider this […]



Comments are closed.