As a passionate Disney World fan and frequent visitor, I've experienced the most magical place on earth during every season. While there's really no "bad" time to visit Disney World, some weeks are definitely less crowded than others. Planning your vacation during the least busy times will mean shorter wait times for rides, easier restaurant reservations, and a more relaxed overall experience.
After years of research and firsthand experience, I've narrowed down the best times to visit Disney World for smaller crowds:
The Best Weeks for Low Crowds at Disney World
- Early January
- Early to Mid-May
- Mid-August to Mid-September
- Late October to Early November
- Early December (except right around Christmas week)
January is a great time for low crowds at Disney World since kids are back in school after the holidays and the weather hasn't gotten too hot yet. The week right after New Year's is one of the absolute least crowded times all year. Wait times for popular rides might be less than 20 minutes!
May and September are shoulder seasons, so crowds are lower and temperatures are milder. Mid-August into September is still summer vacation for many families, but crowds are tapering off once schools go back in session.
Late October through early November is a sweet spot between summer crowds and the busy holiday season. With Halloween festivities in full swing and cooler temperatures, it's one of the most pleasant times of year for a Disney vacation.
Early December, excluding the weeks right around Christmas, is another nice option for thinner crowds before the holiday rush. Park hours are extended for the festive season, so you can enjoy all the holiday decorations and events before peak crowds descend.
The Busiest Times to Avoid at Disney World
- Spring Break & Easter Week
- Late May to Mid-August
- Thanksgiving Week
- Mid-December to Early January
Spring break is a popular time for families to visit Disney World, especially around Easter week in April. Crowds and prices skyrocket, so try to avoid these dates if possible.
Summer is notoriously the most crowded season at Disney World, with peak crowds from June through August when kids are out of school. The heat and humidity are intense as well.
Thanksgiving week is another extremely busy time, along with the two weeks around Christmas and New Year's. No matter when you go, make sure to avoid weekends, especially Saturdays.
Least Busy Days of the Week at Disney World
Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday are the best low-crowd days during heavier seasons. Even during the busiest weeks, aiming for mid-week days will mean thinner crowds than the weekends.
Monday & Friday are moderate crowd levels, so still not bad as long as you avoid holidays and peak season.
Saturday & Sunday are almost always the busiest park days. Avoid weekends, especially Saturdays, for the lowest crowds.
Best Times of Year for Low Crowds at Individual Disney Parks
Magic Kingdom is least crowded in September once summer crowds wind down. May is another good option. Avoid Easter week and Christmas week.
Epcot is least crowded from late August through October when kids go back to school. January and May are also good bets here.
With huge draws like Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, Hollywood Studios stays busy year-round now. But your best low-crowd bets are early January, September, and November.
Animal Kingdom is least crowded in January, late April, and September through November. The heat keeps crowds down in the summer.
Strategies for Avoiding Crowds at Disney World
Even during busy times, you can still beat the crowds with good planning:
- Use Early Entry: Take full advantage of Extra Magic Hours at your resort or early park entry for all guests. You can knock out several rides with short waits during the first hour of the day or before the official park opening.
- Book FastPasses: Get those coveted FastPass reservations 60 days in advance for the most popular rides like Flight of Passage in Animal Kingdom or Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in Magic Kingdom. This allows you to skip long standby lines.
- Visit at park closing: Staying in the parks at night means shorter lines for evening shows and attractions as crowds thin out.
- Use a touring plan: A customized daily touring plan optimized for low crowd levels can save hours of waiting in line. TouringPlans.com is a great resource for crowd-based planning.
- Avoid one-day tickets: Guests with a single day in the parks tend to arrive mid-morning and cluster in the most popular lands like Fantasyland. Opt for a multiple-day ticket to split time more evenly across parks.
The Best Resort for Avoiding Crowds
Staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel offers tremendous crowd-avoiding perks through Early Extra Magic Hours and 60-day FastPass booking. For the lowest crowds, I recommend:
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
As one of the largest Deluxe resorts on sprawling savannah grounds, Animal Kingdom Lodge rarely feels crowded even at peak times. The on-site restaurants like Jiko and Boma are among the easiest to book for dining. And with animals visible outside your balcony, this resort truly immerses you in the magic outside the parks!
Don't Let Crowds Ruin the Magic
Visiting Disney World when crowds are lower will make your entire vacation more relaxed and enjoyable. But with good planning, you can still have a magical trip even during the busy seasons. Stay flexible, take breaks each afternoon, utilize FastPass, and don't try to do everything in one day. Focus on fun rather than getting it all done, and you can find the Disney magic no matter when you visit!