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If you are thinking about going to Disney World or Disneyland, you probably have quite a few questions. You may be wondering where to stay, what to eat, and which rides you have to go on, but probably the question I get asked most often is, “What is the best time to go to Disney so it won’t be crowded?
Honestly, if you’re looking for an empty park, that’s not going to happen, but crowd levels do vary. Here are all of my tricks for deciding the best time to go to Disney.
Tips for Choosing the Best Time to Go to Disney
My first 3 tips cover Disneyland or Walt Disney World as a whole. Basically when is the most popular times to take a Disney vacation. If you can go in a “off season”, you will experience lower crowds.
Holidays and school breaks
First holidays and school breaks are always going to be the busiest. Although it’s tempting to say, “No one goes to Disney on Christmas day”, everyone is thinking that which makes it one of the busiest days of the year.
(Labor Day may be the one exception to this rule. People don’t seem to vacation that close to the beginning of the school year. This is
And don’t just think about your kids’ school. If you want to go for spring break, check if the local Florida and California schools are off the same week as your kids. That’s going to affect the crowds more than the rest of the country.
Disney now sells tiered one-day tickets. Why is that important to us? It means they charge more for days they expect large crowds. Tickets are labeled value, regular, and peak which translates to low, average, and high crowds. So take a look at what category your vacation days fall into.
If you’re between a couple of different weeks that fall into the same ticket category, try comparing hotel prices. Lower prices equal less demand and less people.
If you need help choosing where to stay, try this post on Choosing a Disney Resort.
Tips for Choosing a Park Each Day
So far I’ve been talking about Disneyland or Disney World as a whole, but now you need some tips on how to choose the least crowded park each day.
Look at the park hours for the days your going. During high crowd times, the hours will be longer in general, but you’ll also notice something called Extra Magic Hours. Guests at the Disney Resorts can get in earlier or stay later than the regular guests during these hours.
More people choose that park because of the longer hours. Either choose a different park without Magic hours or use a parkhopper ticket to attend Magic Hours and then head to a different park for the rest of the day.
Finally, Disney loves a good promotion. Whether it’s Mickey’s birthday, a food festival, or a new attraction, you can count on a crowd to show up.
Personally, many of these events are worth braving the crowds for, but if you’re sole purpose is to avoid crowds then you’ll what to steer clear of those areas. Simply check the Disney website to see all upcoming promotions so you can plan accordingly.
Don’t Let the Crowds Scare You
Whenever someone asks me when the best time to go to Disney is, I always offer this extra piece of advice…Don’t get too hung up on the crowds.
We once went on Thanksgiving weekend- one of the busies times- and still managed to hit over 20 attractions at the Magic Kingdom in one day. The key is having a good plan.
So manage your expectations and enjoy the day no matter what! And if you want some help beating the crowds with a solid plan, check out the Planning a Disney World Vacation Email Challenge above!