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Best Time to Visit Disney World in 2019 & 2020

by Leap on March 1, 2019 1251 Orlando

Crowd Calendar Orlando - Best Time to Visit Disney World 2019 & 2020

It's a playground full of magic kingdoms and future worlds. You can stay inside of a rustic wilderness lodge or right in the heart of Disney animation. There is so much to do at Walt Disney World, the only question is ... when do you visit? While you can have a magical visit no matter the crowd level, visiting when the crowds are low (or lower) is the easiest way to ensure a great trip. This post will guide you through the best time to visit Disney World in 2019 and 2020, including the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge on Aug. 29. 2019!

Now, in our book, it's always a good time to visit Disney World. We've been to visit in every season and have found we can manage crowds just fine — by following our own tips for skipping the lines at theme parks, including learning about FastPass+ at Disney World. If you take our advice, you will find crowds can be manageable even during the busiest times! Now, we should set expectations up front: There is no "dead" time at Disney World. Even during the best times to visit Disney World, there are still more crowds than you would probably want or expect. This will be especially true after Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge opens.

It should come as no surprise that the best time to visit Disney World in 2019 and 2020 generally falls along school schedules, which is to say, when the kids are in school. Generally, any time there is a school holiday, there will be crowds at Disney World. If you want to experience the lowest waits, you will likely need to take your kids out of school. Now, we personally have a no-judgment policy over here for you parents who want to pull your kids out of school for a Disney vacation, but here are some things to consider.

Determining the Best Time to Visit Disney World in 2019 and 2020

When planning the best time to visit Disney World in 2019 and 2020, we recommend you check our Crowd Calendar. The yearly, monthly and daily crowd levels are right there for you to see, along with individual park recommendations and park hours. Park hours are important and should be factored in when deciding when to visit Orlando. This is because when crowd levels are lowest, park hours are shortest. Also, key shows, such as Happily Ever After at Magic Kingdom, Fantasmic! at Disney's Hollywood Studios and Rivers of Light at Disney's Animal Kingdom aren't always shown daily when crowd levels are lowest. When crowd levels are highest, the parks generally open earlier and close later, and key entertainment might have two showtimes each evening.

Best Time to Visit Disney World in 2019 and 2020 - September and October - Halloween at Magic Kingdom

Special events should also be a consideration in deciding the best time to visit Disney World, and they are also displayed on the Crowd Calendar. Disney World offers some spectacular events, such as Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. You just might decide you want to plan your visit during one or more of them!

And again, this is probably a good time to bring up Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. The opening of this land — and two new rides (set to open in phases) — inside Disney's Hollywood Studios will bring in a lot of people. You can bet the big fans are planning vacations during the Christmas holidays, so it could be the busiest holiday season Disney World has had in years! For this reason, we've gone ahead and adjusted our crowd levels from Aug. 29 through the remainder of the year.

So When Is the Best Time to Visit Disney World in 2019 and 2020?

Best Time to Visit Disney World in 2019 and 2020 - Magic Kingdom

The very best times to visit Disney World in 2019 are ...

  • Jan. 7-11, Jan. 23-Feb. 14
  • Feb. 25-March 8
  • The second half of August until Aug. 29
  • Most days in September*
  • Most weekdays in October*
  • Weekdays in November (minus the week of Thanksgiving)
  • Weekdays in December (minus the weeks of Christmas and New Year's Eve)

*While these are traditionally the best times to visit Disney World, keep in mind that the opening of Star Wars will raise crowd levels. It's still a good time to visit, but it won't be as good as it has been in years past.

The very best times to visit Disney World in 2020 are ...

  • Jan. 6-9, Jan. 13-16, Jan 27-Feb. 13
  • Feb. 25-March 6
  • The second half of August
  • Most days in September
  • Most weekdays in October
  • Weekdays in November (minus the week of Thanksgiving)
  • Weekdays in December (minus the weeks of Christmas and New Year's Eve)

Historically, September has been the very best month of the year to visit Disney World in terms of crowds because the kids have just returned to school. It is still our pick for best month to visit, but it has become a more popular month to visit, most likely because of Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando Resort and Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Do keep in mind that September is also the height of Orlando's rainy season. You should prepare for daily afternoon thunderstorms and possibly even more rain.

The days after Thanksgiving leading up to the week of Christmas are also a good time to visit Disney World, although not as good as they used to be. With the popularity of Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, which is held on select nights in November and December, and other factors, those days are also getting busier.

Some days in January, and some in February, are also great times to visit. The least crowded time we have ever experienced was in January, the week after the Walt Disney World Marathon. The big drawback to visiting at this time is reduced park hours and often scaled-back entertainment. While there isn't much rain, there are cold fronts that can make swimming chilly (but still doable most of the time.) Finally, this is when many rides go through refurbishment. Splash Mountain, Kali River Rapids and Disney's Blizzard Beach have annual Disney World refurbishments around this time.

Best Time to Visit Disney World in 2019 and 2020 - Epcot

The very worst times to visit Disney World in 2019 are ...

  • Jan. 1-6, Jan. 17-21
  • Feb. 15-24
  • March 21-April 7, April 20-27 (elevated crowds March 16-April 27*)
  • Weekends in May
  • June
  • July
  • The first half of August
  • The week of Thanksgiving
  • The week of Christmas through the week of New Year

The very worst times to visit Disney World in 2020 are ...

  • Jan. 1-5, Jan. 18-20
  • Feb. 14-23
  • March 7-April 19
  • Weekends in May
  • June
  • July
  • The first half of August
  • The week of Thanksgiving
  • The week of Christmas through the week of New Year

The biggest variable for spring is when Easter falls. When it's earlier, you can expect a shorter, more intense "spring break" season — and therefore, more crowds at Disney World. When it's later, there is generally a longer but less intense season as school districts vary more on when they let kids out. In 2019, Easter is on April 21. In 2020, it falls on April 12. 

Best and Worst Holidays to Visit Disney World in 2019 and 2020

Best Time to Visit Disney World in 2019 and 2020 - Mr. and Mrs. Claus

Let's hop over to the holidays. These are a popular time for families to make trips to Disney World, and rightly so. The Christmas holiday season especially, which runs from mid-November through the first of the new year at Disney World, is a wonderful time to visit because the parks are decorated and there are many fun special events. Many families love the atmosphere around the holidays, even with the extra crowds. The parks are most crowded around the following holidays:

  • New Year's Day - Jan. 1
  • Easter - April 21, 2019 and April 12, 2020
  • July 4th
  • Thanksgiving - Nov. 28, 2019 and Nov. 26, 2020
  • Christmas Eve - Dec. 24
  • Christmas - Dec. 25
  • New Year's Eve - Dec. 31

If you're thinking of visiting during these times, be sure to check out our survival guides for spring breakThanksgiving and Christmas. The other holidays also see an increase in crowds, although they are less pronounced than the ones above. The least busy holidays for 2019 and 2020 are:

  • Labor Day - Sept. 2, 2019 and Sept. 7, 2020
  • Columbus Day - Oct. 14, 2019* and Oct. 12, 2020
  • Veteran's Day (and Veteran's Day Observed) - Nov. 11, 2019* and Nov. 9, 2020 (observed)

*This year is likely to be be busier because of the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.

Well, there you have it — the best times to visit Disney World in 2019 and 2020. Let us know your favorite time of year to visit Disney World in the comments below! Curious how busy Disney World will be when you plan to visit? Check out our Crowd Calendar. You'll find more resources to help you plan your Disney World vacation on our When to Visit Orlando page inside the Orlando Planning Guide.

Keep hopping!

Keep hopping, Leap!
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551–559 of 559 comments
Feb 22, 2014 at 2:36 p.m. Patricia Lynch Says...

We have gone the first week of May several years now and I feel it is the best time. Weather is warm to hot but not yet humid, and the crowds are quite low. Second favorite time to go is mid-late October. I would love to go in January or February but Splash Mountain is usually down for maintenance then and there is NO way I will go without getting my Splash Mountain fix!

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Feb 4, 2015 at 12:53 p.m. Marcos Says...

Agreed! Disney World and Disneyland are dead to me in January, because the Splash Mountain refurbishment..

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Feb 21, 2014 at 4:11 a.m. Steph D Says...

We've been in or around the end of April the last two years and are heading back in a few months, and each time we can't believe how quiet the parks are at that time. Avoid the Easter weeks and you'll be in great shape. Both in Disney and Universal parks, we barely had any line-ups anywhere, and most of the 'line-up' time was spent walking through empty rope paths to finally get to the front!

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Aug 29, 2014 at 7:37 p.m. caryn Says...

Hello , I was reading your post im trying to plan my first trip to WDW how was the weather when you went , Im just trying to gather info I have no idea when a good time to go if u have any info u like to share would be great thanks

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Feb 21, 2014 at 1:33 a.m. Kim McQueen Says...

We went over the week of thanksgiving 2013 and the crowds were fairly large but with fast pass and spending two days at magic kingdom and Epcot, we had a great time with very little waiting. Pace yourself and do the early in-ready in the middle and stay late plan and it will be very enjoyable for you. Can't wait to go back!

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Feb 21, 2014 at 1:30 a.m. Kristin Says...

I have to say Although Christmas is THE WORST for Crowds....ITs truly a magical time of year. Really makes you remember all thats special about Christmas....FAMILY! I also cant believe how absolutely amazing the decorations are.

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Feb 13, 2016 at 8:31 p.m. Peggy Says...

I'm planning on going December 20th this year. Hoping it's not too bad! Nervous though because I've heard the parks are to their max capacity by 10.00! Ant tips anyone?

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Dec 12, 2016 at 5:37 p.m. Timmy Mims Says...

We were there in November thru 27th...and it was packed....9 was on app for Undercover Tourist and i will never return during this time

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Apr 8, 2015 at 6:10 p.m. Brad Says...

We have gone 2 times in the past 3 years for Christmas in the beginning of December. What was once a low crowd time, now has become a moderate to heavy (on the weekends) time. But the Christmas season has that extra magic that makes you keep coming back.

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Nov 19, 2014 at 6:10 p.m. Lori Says...

I'm with you. It's very crowded but we are going again. It's so beautiful.

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Oct 9, 2014 at 9:15 p.m. Sue Says...

The very best time to do Holiday Disney is the week after Thanksgiving to the week before Christmas. Everything is decorated. All the shows and parades are up but the crowds have either been there over Thanksgiving or are waiting for Christmas week.

I've been in early December a couple times with no complaints, although once I got caught in a cold snap, so be prepared for that possibility

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Feb 21, 2014 at 12:19 a.m. beth Says...

We are going 1st week of May, we did the same week last year and even though it was rainy we had NO WAIT in lines at the Magic Kingdom we literally got off space mountain and walked around and got back on! it was great!

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Apr 12, 2015 at 6:17 p.m. Scott Says...

We are going to Disney the 1st week of May, and have never been that early in the season. Does anyone know if the typical afternoon showers usually pop up that early like they do during the Summer months?

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Apr 17, 2015 at 6:37 p.m. Erin Says...

I have been to Disney a few times in May and haven't experienced the afternoon rain showers that are so prevalent later in the summer. I was there the first week in May 2 years ago and the weather was perfect, but Magic Kingdom and Epcot were both packed.. and it was during the week. I'm guessing it had a lot to do with New Fantasyland opening, but still, lines in MK were pretty crazy. Hopefully it'll be good for you guys this year.

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Mar 13, 2015 at 9:47 p.m. Kira Says...

We are going 1st 2 weeks in May also, that's made me feel much better. Being from Australia I don't think we ever experience anything like the crowds at disney land. :)

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Apr 4, 2015 at 5:16 p.m. Meagan Says...

We are going the first week of May as well and I have only heard good things about this time of year at Disney. My kids have been going diligently to school this year and not missing so they can be out this week. Think it's worth missing the crowds!

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Feb 20, 2014 at 7:50 p.m. Katie Says...

Just did Jan 19-24 2014! It was great! We saw an influx of people Mon-Tues for those that had done a long weekend with the MLK holiday. But otherwise it wasn't crazy! We followed tips from here and we were able to get around pretty good and didn't wait long for much of anything. Saw lots of characters too!

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Feb 20, 2014 at 7:02 p.m. Mary Says...

We used to go early September and it was great. This year we are limited to our dates so for the first time we are going in March for Spring Break. I am already having anxiety about it!

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Mar 10, 2015 at 3:44 p.m. Erin Says...

Hi. My family and I are planning to go to Disney World in September. You said you have gone before in this month. Did you have weather or hurricanes to worry about at that time of the year or are they further enough inland to not have to really worry about hurricanes?

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Jun 17, 2015 at 1:27 p.m. Linda Says...

We went in September 2014. It rained... a lot... every single day we were there. We lived in our ponchos. It was miserable. I will never go again in September.

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Jul 15, 2015 at 4:17 p.m. Stan Says...

Not all Septembers are the same. I have been there 2 times(around 9-11) and one it rained a good amount and the next time it rained for 20 min once the whole week.

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Apr 6, 2015 at 5:19 p.m. Nikki Says...

I've been in September. There was a period of rain that would come almost like clockwork, you could see it coming in time to take cover, and would pass through in about 30 minutes. In my mind, totally workable!

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Mar 16, 2015 at 3:28 p.m. Jenny Says...

I have been there in Sept. and I believe they are to far inland to make much of a difference. I have seen some damage but never at Disneyworld.

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Feb 12, 2015 at 2:15 p.m. Brittany Says...

I took my kids during Spring Break '14 and it was actually fine. WE experienced some very slow lines, but for the most part, the lines moved extremely quickly. To be honest, the only lines that were rough were the waits to see characters. We had to wait over an hour to meet Jasmine and Aladdin and at Princess Hall (or whatever) the wait would have been even longer. If you have a child who has BTDT with the characters (or if it's just adults) there is literally nothing bad about this time. The waits aren't even bad because it's not that hot yet.

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Oct 12, 2015 at 11:32 p.m. Maria Says...

What break do you mean, April Vacation?

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Jan 27, 2015 at 4:30 p.m. Kristi gaarling Says...

Mary was the crowds bad during spring break?

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May 1, 2015 at 4:27 p.m. Brenda Says...

We had 2 to 3 hour waits !!

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Sep 27, 2014 at 6:48 p.m. Cowboy Davy Says...

We have gone at Spring Break at both Disneyland and Disney World and we have had good weather and smaller crowds. Just check to see which rides or attractions are closed so there are no suprizes. Many times the rides are down for upgrades or repairs. Just make sure you dress in layers and pack a pair of long pants, a sweatshirt and a light jacket.

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Feb 20, 2014 at 5:44 p.m. Beth Says...

Planning on going the first week of September. We know its around Labor Day but hoping it will be very lean compared to the rest of the year.

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Aug 17, 2016 at 11:08 a.m. Lois McGurk Says...

We go in September almost every year. We will be there the second week of September this year. It is very hot, but the crowd levels make it worth it for us. Many walk on attractions. Get there early, take a break after lunch, return when it's a bit cooler in the evening. Stay hydrated! Have fun!

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May 19, 2015 at 3:41 p.m. Judianne Says...

We went that week last year- be prepared it.was.scorching hot!!

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Mar 19, 2016 at 10:18 p.m. CASEY ONEILL Says...

the princesses in wdw are all so unique and magical they are so nice the villains are nasty

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Feb 20, 2014 at 4:25 p.m. Akajako Says...

Oh Man....my WDW vacation is book for September 14 - 24....

Reply
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