There are so many busy times for Disney, but there are some days that are worse than others. If schools are out, Disney World is busy. Disney has a season, but it’s not like the normal seasons. Besides being more crowded, prices tend to go up. Not for the park tickets, but for just about everything else. One plus to attending the parks during the peak times is that Disney usually pulls out all the stops. There are usually extra hours, shows and attractions open.
Let’s start at the beginning of the year and cover the busy times. Not always just a specific day, these seem to happen mostly with holidays, three-day weekends, Run Disney events and school schedules. Note – there are 5 race weekends at Disney World and they bring thousands, think in the range of 25,000 extra people to the area.
1. New Year’s Day is usually busy. Crowds will drop off significantly as kids return to school after the winter break.
2. Next up is Disney Marathon Weekend, usually the weekend after new year’s, but it does change. Thousands descend upon Disney to run and to cheer on family and friends.
3. Martin Luther King Day gives us another three day weekend, and another time for high crowds.
4. President’s Day weekend is another busy one. With the cold up north, many come down for a brief respite and a long weekend in the Florida sun.
5. Princess Marathon weekend is in February and brings in record crowds just like the marathon weekend does in January.
6. Spring Break for many falls right around Easter so the parks are in for a double whammy. Magic kingdom has been known to hit capacity on Easter.
7. Star Wars weekends have been a big attraction. Check the schedule on Disney.com to see who’s going to be in and signing autographs. This event takes place in Hollywood studios so it doesn’t necessarily overflow in to the other parks.
8. Memorial Day (observed) is the last Monday in May, so that is an extended weekend for most people and the kick off to the summer season in Disney World. Long weekends are notoriously busy at WDW.
9. ‘Gay Days’ occur the first weekend in June, is usually a busy time, but they go to specific theme parks each day, so you can just check their schedule.
10. Summer In general is busy with the kids out of school, but Memorial Day weekend is always crowded. The parks will be pushing 80-90% of capacity that weekend.
11. Fall is also the time for the Food & Wine Festival and Columbus Day. This doesn’t necessarily increase the crowds everywhere, but Epcot will be busier.
12. Halloween is getting to be busier because of the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party (which starts in late September), but it still doesn’t compare to fourth of July. Disney has special fireworks events and even Epcot gets packed.
13. Disney Wind and Dine half marathon brings in an influx of people. The race takes place over a weekend in early November. Check the Disney site for details.
14. Thanksgiving is another busy time. Schools out so crowds go up. Four-day weekend for many, so families use it as a time to gather together. Plus the Christmas decorations are already up by this time. They are usually gone by the Monday or Tuesday after the holiday.
15. The Pop Warner Cheerleading competition is at the beginning of December, which brings in lots of people. They can be found more at the hotels and the sports complex until the eliminations start happening. Then they are off to the Parks. But the crowds they bring are nothing compared to what is about to descend upon Disney later in the month. Which brings us to…
16. Christmas. By far, this is the worst time of year to go if you want to avoid crowds. The week between Christmas and New Year’s will actually push the park to capacity and cause it to close to new guests. If you can get in early, don’t plan on leaving on those days if you want to see the fireworks at night. Who wouldn’t want to spend Christmas morning or new year’s eve at Disney?
No matter what is going on in the parks, any time is a good time to go to Disney. Just prepare yourself for crowds and weather and you will do just fine.
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I am a lifelong Disney fanatic and mother of a future Disney fan. I've run several of the RunDisney events, including hte Disney Princess Half Marathon and Walt Disney World Half Marathon. When I'm not planning my next vacation to WDW, I can be found online at http://www.amothersdesign.com