How Disney World Crowds have changed over the last year and what it means for your next vacation

wdwcrowds

The biggest request I get when guests start to plan their Disney vacations is “what are the lowest crowd times?” I have always told guests that September is historically the best time to travel as well as much of January and Feburary. In the past couple of years, Disney has made great strides in increasing crowds throughout the year so there’s no one time of year that you’ll see a consistent low crowd or empty parks. With conventions, competitions, and promotions for guests across the world, I wouldn’t expect a completely empty park anymore!

Don’t fret, there are still some great times to travel to Disney World and it’s very similar to the best times you’ll see throughout the year which include…

  • January outside of marathon and MLK Jr. weekend
  • February outside of half marathon, Valentine’s Day, and President’s Day
  • End of April into early  May
  • Mid-May at least 4-5 days prior to Memorial Day weekend
  • September (the earlier in the month the better)
  • Mid to late October (especially on Halloween if you you are ok being outside of Magic Kingdom)
  • The week after Thanksgiving
  • First two weeks of December

I’m not saying ONLY go during these times. I understand that it’s hard to take kids out of school (especially as they get older and schools become more strict on attendance policies) and that it’s hard to get days off of work outside of the holidays. What I AM saying is that these are likely going to be the lower crowd times you’ll find in Disney.

This was our view in Animal Kingdom walking from the Expedition Everest to Kilimanjaro Safaris right after the park opened. Not a person in site!

This was our view in Animal Kingdom walking from the Expedition Everest to Kilimanjaro Safaris right after the park opened. Not a person in site!

My family was fortunate enough to travel twice in 2015 – once at the end of April and a second time at the beginning of September and the feel around the parks is that crowds were LOWER in April than in September which goes against everything I’ve ever thought of Disney vacations and planning. April had a blip of time with a cheer competition that flooded an afternoon at Magic Kingdom and a morning in Epcot, but the entire trip in September was much more crowded than we expected as it got toward the middle of the day. One day in Hollywood Studios the wait was 105 minutes which is UNHEARD of for that time of year!

As you start to plan your Disney World vacation, the best advice I can give is to have realistic expectations of your travel time! Know that Disney World will come with lines. Throughout all of our travels, my husband and I joke that the longest line we stand in is waiting for a bus after fireworks even on busier than anticipated days in Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. Patience and a little bit of planning truly make the biggest deal! Flexibility is also key to make sure you accomplish everything you’d like to do. Arriving early is truly the biggest marker of success. Plan on arriving to your preferred park 20-30 minutes before the scheduled park open and know what your plan of attack is as you start your day. Plan your FastPasses appropriately (or have a professional do it for you) and know how to make changes to FastPasses on the fly once you arrive in Disney.

A free gift for your Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

A free gift for your Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

Ready to get started planning your 2015  or 2016 Disney World vacation? Please contact me at any time for a free quote. The benefits to using an authorized Disney vacation planner include saving time before and during your vacation with itinerary planning which can help save you hours of standing in line each day. Plus you won’t have to watch for available discounts, research resorts, wake up early for dining reservations, or stay up late for FastPasses. The best part about using a travel planner instead of planning yourself? It’s totally FREE! Plus I’ll take away some of the stress and confusion of planning a Disney vacation (especially if it’s your first one!)It’s also a worry free vacation opportunity. I’ll walk through through all of the steps to the process with a few little insider tips along the way! If you already have your vacation planned and are interested in transferring your vacation, ask me how!

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