Crowds at Walt Disney World are a big factor when planning a vacation for many families. So what Disney World dates to avoid when planning a trip? There are many times of the year that are busier than others and some of these might surprise you. If you want to avoid crowds at Walt Disney World, you need to read this to plan your dates.
Keep reading for more information on the Disney World dates to avoid including the worst days of the year to visit.
What is the Busiest Month at Disney World?
Walt Disney World crowds have been a bit unpredictable the past couple years throwing many traditional crowd calendars for a loop!
Currently, we’ve seen April and July with some of the largest crowds Walt Disney World has seen in the past few years. This makes sense from a couple standpoints as both coordinate with popular school breaks like Spring Break and summer! These two months usually stay consistently busy throughout the entire month which is another reason I rank them in the busiest month at Walt Disney World. While December might also see high crowds, especially the last two weeks around the holidays, the first two weeks of the month are still considerably more mellow.
There is also another consideration when avoiding crowds at Walt Disney World- how busy travel seasons also impacts the Orlando (MCO) airport! The security lines can get out of control at that airport during busy times of the year so it’s not uncommon to see these lines showcased on social media. This is another great reason to think about dates to avoid at Disney World. It also helps to plan your transportation in advance if you plan on visiting during ac crowded time of the year so you can avoid Uber/Lyft surge pricing which will skyrocket when the airport is packed. You can read more about the best way to get to Walt Disney World from MCO in our guide.
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Three Day Weekends Disney World Dates to Avoid
You can read more about the special events that take place throughout the year at Disney World in our crowd calendar which all impact some of the Disney World dates to avoid. Three-day weekends are always guaranteed to draw Disney World crowds which include:
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day
- 3rd Monday in January
- President’s Day
- 3rd Monday In February
- Memorial Day
- Last Monday in May
- Labor Day
- First Monday in September
- Indigenous/Columbus Day
- 2nd Monday in October
- Veteran’s Day
- November 11th each year
Since nearly all of these holidays are three day weekends (except Veteran’s Day occasionally) these will create Disney World dates to avoid. Three day weekends are always extremely crowded at Disney World as many families take advantage of these long weekends to travel. You will also have to contend with local Disney World annual passholders and locals as they might take advantage of that longer weekend to visit the parks.
Read about the best months and specific dates to visit Disney World.
When Are the Busiest Times at Disney World?
Disney World Spring Break Crowds
You will see some larger crowd levels during the peak of Spring break which is often the second half of March through the month of April. Spring breaks vary from school to school so it’s hard to pinpoint the exact timeframe but you can expect large crowds levels during this time frame. Spring at Walt Disney World is a popular time to visit not just due to the school breaks but also the great weather as compared to the hot summers or hurricane season in the fall.
Florida is also a popular place in general to visit for Spring Break, not just because of Walt Disney World, so you will see an increase in rates for flight and hotel costs across the board too. If you can visit during the beginning of March before the larger spring break crowds set in, that would be your best bet! But if my main priority was avoiding crowds, I would avoid spring break at all costs! But the bonus of visiting Walt Disney World during spring break is taking advantage of the mild weather. It all comes down to what you prioritize first when making plans for your Walt Disney World trip.
Disney World Summer Crowds
Summer at Walt Disney World is a popular time to visit because of the school break season. You will see crowds pick up towards the middle of June and stay pretty consistently busy until the beginning of August. As always, consider any holidays that may increase crowds more than usual like 4th of July!
Summer is also a time to consider avoiding if you do not enjoy hot, humid temperatures because this is one of the hottest time periods of the year at Walt Disney World! I am someone who loves hot weather and my first summer trip to Walt Disney World definitely caught me off guard. Summer in Orlando is hot, hot, hot. So if you don’t like the idea of crowds and heat, this might be one of those Walt Disney World dates to avoid.
Now, don’t think you have to write off the entire summer if you want to avoid crowds at Walt Disney World! You will see a general ebb and flow of crowd levels throughout the summer which definitely make it more appealing than spring break which often stays consistently busy without much relief.
Disney World Christmas Crowds
You can expect the end of Thanksgiving week to be crowded, especially on Thanksgiving Day and the day after, in November. Thanksgiving week is easily going to be the busiest week of the month and the one to avoid if you hate crowds! If Veteran’s Day falls on a Friday or Monday, this will create a three day weekend for many people and that will also draw large crowds levels.
But when it comes to Disney World dates to avoid during Christmas, the last two weeks of December through New Years Day is hands down the busiest time of the entire holiday season. Walt Disney World on New Years Eve is known for being one of the busiest days of the entire year. If you are looking to avoid crowds, you don’t want to be anywhere near the parks during that holiday as this is one of the most crowded days of the entire year.
Despite the higher crowd levels that come with the holiday season at Walt Disney World, Christmas at Walt Disney World is one of the best times to visit! If you love celebrating the holidays, you will love this time of year. I always find that dealing with any crowd level is worth that ten times over.
Should I Visit Disney World on a Holiday?
If you are looking to avoid crowds, then some of your top Disney World dates to avoid are any holidays. But not all holidays are created equal and some bring level 10 tier crowds to the parks (New Years Eve) while others are much more manageable. Holidays like Memorial Day and 4th of July can actually be pretty pleasant in comparison and a fun way to spend those days.
I am a frequent Disneyland and Walt Disney World holiday traveler so I have spent many holidays at the parks including Memorial Day, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. While some of these holidays were crazier than others (Thanksgiving!) we created great family memories. I spent both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in Walt Disney World and we were expecting crowds that would unbearable and actually… it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought. Yes, it was extremely crowded but we arrived with a flexible mindset and I had made plenty of dining reservations for the day so we were never stuck waiting in lines for food.
For Christmas Eve, we spent the holiday in EPCOT for the day and by following our EPCOT morning strategy we were able to ride all our top favorites before the crowds really picked up in the afternoon. Knowing that the afternoon and evening would be busy, I booked the Candlelight Processional Dining package so we had a great place to eat dinner and then most of our night taken up with watching the Candlelight Processional. Sometimes it’s all about how you plan your day when you know it will be crowded. Christmas Day we spent at Magic Kingdom and again, it was crowded, but not nearly as bad as I expected. We had booked dining reservations for brunch and dinner and then just took our time throughout the day. Since we attended Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party earlier in the week, we spent the time during the holiday parade and fireworks riding attractions since those entertainment options drew such large crowds. So don’t always write off a big holiday if you hate crowds, we had a great Christmas at Walt Disney World.
If you are on the fence about a holiday, think about whether you want to do a summer holiday (much less crowded) or a winter holiday (more extravagant park celebrations) and see what your family prioritizes. It can be a lot of fun to mix things up. I especially enjoy not having to cook or clean on holidays and having that extra time to spend with family instead.
If you are looking to find information about more Walt Disney World dates to avoid and special events, stay up to date on our Walt Disney World calendar which provides a full 12 month overview of the parks including a monthly breakdown of weather, events, and crowd levels.
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