Disney World Crowd Calendars: Who’s Is Accurate?

Disney World Crowd Calendars: Who's Is Accurate? Tips 1
A Magic Kingdom Tradition For Our F... x
A Magic Kingdom Tradition For Our Family

The Disney World crowd calendar is a tool for planning that many use to find out which days and times will be the busiest at the parks. This place where all your childhood dreams come true can be marred by long lines and crowded attractions if you don’t plan ahead! Times have changed it is largely hard to predict anything, let alone crowds at Disney World.

With only four theme parks available to accommodate everyone’s favorite mouse-eared entertainment, it’s no wonder these calendars are so popular among those looking forward to their vacations. But with such a large variety of options represented in this small package of internet real estate, which one should you trust?

Although it can be a bit daunting to navigate at first, Touring Plans (touringplans.com) has the most accurate and widely trusted Disney World crowd calendar on the internet.

Are Disney Crowd Calendars Accurate to Begin With?

Disney World crowd calendars are a wonderful tool, but an imperfect one. Even TouringPlans, the brand most trusted among Disney aficionados, isn’t completely accurate at every hour of every day of the entire year. So why would they publish a calendar that wasn’t as reliable as possible? Because every park, every crowd level, and every attraction is different. For example: let’s say Animal Kingdom typically has a high wait time from 11 am – 4 pm. If you visit on January 1st at 11 am, it might be deader than usual because everyone is watching fireworks or sleeping off their New Year’s Eve hangover. Or maybe it’s July 4th at 8 pm and even though Animal Kingdom technically closes at 9 pm, a sudden rain shower just emptied the park of guests. Or maybe school groups from Michigan are arriving in droves, and since school group arrivals are usually between 10 am – 1 pm, you can expect Animal Kingdom to be much busier than usual for most of that day.

crowds at disney world

When Is The Best Time To Go To Disney World?

One of the most frequently asked questions is, “When is the best time to go to Disney World?” A question that will undoubtedly get many different answers. Many people swear by exercising patience and waiting for school groups to end their trips in June, while others urge booking your vacations between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve because supposedly crowds are lower (and we all know how empty some theme parks can be on Christmas day or during weeks leading up to it!). But while we suggest avoiding summer breaks where schools visit Orlando en masse and holiday weekends, we don’t think there is a perfect time for everyone to avoid crowds at every park and attraction. There isn’t a one size fits all solution for when you go because each family has different priorities and vacation styles.

What Is The Best Time of Year To Go To Magic Kingdom?

If you’re a die-hard Fantasyland fan, then the best time to visit Magic Kingdom is during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, which takes place on select nights from November 8th – December 18th. It’s no surprise that families flock here to ride attractions, meet characters and enjoy holiday festivities between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve because it truly is an event unlike any other! Plus, this specially ticketed party includes complimentary hot cocoa and treats from select locations around six times daily! And although lines can be long for these events, they do have FastPass+ available so guests aren’t waiting in line the entire night. Otherwise, our next suggestion would be a day before or after a Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.

Disney World Crowd Calendars: Who's Is Accurate? Tips 2

What Is The Best Time of Year To Go To Epcot?

When asked about the best time of year to visit Epcot, many people will suggest you avoid it all together or at least do some research before committing to an answer. We’ll admit that when school groups are out in June, October and November (especially during Thanksgiving break!) it can be difficult to enjoy everything the park has to offer while still accommodating for long lines. However, there is one day of the year where wait times across every attraction drop significantly compared to other times of the day: The first two hours after World Showcase opens! On average, there’s only a 5% increase in wait times between 9 am – 11 am than 8 pm – 11 pm whereas outside of World Showcase during this window there’s up to a 60% difference. So if you want to explore the different countries and meet characters, go during this specific time frame!

Disney World Crowd Calendars: Who's Is Accurate? Tips 3

What Is The Best Time of Year To Go To Disney’s Hollywood Studios?

Like Epcot, it can be difficult to enjoy everything Hollywood Studios has to offer without having to brave long lines. Some people think that paying off-site guests will decrease wait times but that’s not always the case; in fact, it could increase wait times because most on-property hotel guests are given Annual Passes (and thus don’t care about riding Toy Story Mania with a 4-hour line or Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster at 90-minute wait). But one day where MOST rides have little to no wait is between the hours of 10 am – 12 pm. Why? Because this is when Disney resort guests are given Extra Magic Hours, meaning they can enter either park an hour early or stay for an extra hour after it closes (depending on the day). And while wait times during these hours aren’t drastically lower than other days, you should be able to ride your favorite attractions with minimal wait!

Disney World Crowd Calendars: Who's Is Accurate? Tips 4

What Is The Best Time of Year To Go To Disney’s Animal Kingdom?

Many will tell you to avoid Animal Kingdom altogether when going during the summer because it is both hot and crowded. Oh, and I’m not talking about hot like Orlando hot… because Animal Kingdom is geographically situated in kind of a bowl it is hotter than any other park at that time of year. That being said, there is a day with some of the lowest wait times across every single attraction: Christmas Day. While we love spending time at the parks when they’re decorated for Christmas and enjoying holiday treats from select locations, that’s not what makes this day so special. It’s actually because attendance plummets by 84% compared to other days in December! In fact, half of our daily crowd calendar goes completely empty here so if your priority is finding low wait times and riding as much as you can then this is your best bet.

Disney World Crowd Calendars: Who's Is Accurate? Tips 5

What Is The Slowest Day Of The Week At Disney World?

The slowest day of the week at Disney World is Wednesday. This isn’t because there’s anything particularly special about Wednesdays, but it usually works out that way because Saturdays and Sundays are extremely busy and people like to arrive early on Fridays and Mondays in anticipation of them. The start of June through Labor Day weekend (excluding the holiday itself) tends to be more crowded than mid-June through Memorial Day, or any other time you might expect school groups present. If you’re interested in seeing crowds without having to get up as early then sticking with days like this will give you a great experience!

What Day of the Week Is Least Busy at Disney World?

The day of the week with the least amount of people present at Disney World is Tuesday. This isn’t because there’s anything particularly special about Tuesdays, but it usually works out that way because Saturdays and Sundays are extremely busy and people like to arrive early on Fridays and Mondays in anticipation of them. The start of June through Labor Day weekend (excluding the holiday itself) tends to be more crowded than mid-June through Memorial Day, or any other time you might expect school groups present. If you’re interested in seeing crowds without having to get up as early then sticking with days like this will give you a great experience!

line for haunted mansion

So How Can I Make Sure I Don’t Get Stuck in Line?

By now it should be obvious that the internet’s Disney World crowd calendars are not perfect by any means, but there are some tricks to doing well with them- sometimes you just need to know where to look! TouringPlans crowd calendar is one of the best tools available for making informed decisions based on what crowds will be like on which days, and if you’re looking forward to your trip enough then it’s worth putting down $12. But even if you’d rather go off of an official source than rely on an unofficial one, there are still things you can do yourself without paying hundreds of dollars more than you’d like to.

Disney World crowd calendars are just that- they’re designed for crowd levels. They don’t tell you anything about ride wait times, closed rides, transportation bottlenecks, entertainment schedules or ride closure duration. These things can also affect your trip, and the best thing you can do to solve them is to get there early. Not only will going first thing in the morning reduce wait times for popular attractions, but it’ll help with other problems as well! The Magic Kingdom opens at least one hour earlier than every other park, which means fewer people getting stuck on Main Street trying to get from Transportation and Ticketing (T&T) over there before those park gates open up right at 8 am. While some people are okay with being the first in line at whatever time it is they go to Disney, if you want to avoid them altogether then there are a few things you can try. First of all, if you have an annual pass or are staying on-site, use your extra early morning hours at Animal Kingdom before everyone else arrives. Line up for Expedition Everest around 7:45 am and then trade that FastPass+ for another one an hour later at Test Track once crowds pick up! If this doesn’t work for you because you’re not going right when the park opens, then give yourself some buffer time by leaving your hotel room thirty minutes earlier than necessary. You’ll still get to T&T faster than everyone else without having to rush through the parking lot to the tram, and that will save you an awful lot of stress.

Conclusion

Even if you don’t like crowds or prefer to avoid them, it’s still important to figure out the best times to go to Disney World. If you can do that then you’ll be able to make sure your trip is as smooth as possible and truly enjoy yourself there- not just put up with what happens when too many other people want to go! Disney World crowd calendars are helpful for this, but they’re not perfect. With a little research and planning ahead of time you should be able to easily minimize the amount of time spent in line and maximize the amount of fun had by all.

Heather

Heather Noyes is the founder of this website and formerly a Disney travel agent. Ever since she was a little girl she's loved Disney. Over the years she has planned several trips for her family, friends and former clients to go to Disney World.

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