When to Visit Walt Disney World? 2023 Disney Crowd Calendar

For as long as people have visited Walt Disney World, a common question has continued: When should we visit Walt Disney World? This important question leads to various answers based on your group dynamics. This resource provides essential information so your group can decide when to visit Walt Disney World for vacation

Asking, “When Should We Visit Walt Disney World?” often leads to more questions. When can we take time off from work? What about the kid’s school schedule?  What about their sports or music schedule? When does grandma want to go?

Some of those questions must be answered before the when to visit Walt Disney World question. Even if you have limited options for when you can go, with proper planning, you will have a good time making memories with your group at Walt Disney World.

Nevertheless, with over 50,000 people visiting Magic Kingdom alone on an average per day, visiting on historically lower crowd-level days might make your visit easier. To help you avoid the higher crowd level days, note the tips and guidelines below based on historical crowd levels.

Reminders Before Looking at When to Visit Walt Disney World

Understandably, Disney theme park crowd levels will fluctuate even with the most accurate data to predict them. Times of year with usually lower crowds might have a day or two at some theme parks during that period when crowds are very heavy. Especially since 2020, crowd levels have become less predictable. Despite that, the basic principles will place you ahead of most other guests in terms of planning. So, the following data, tips, and guidelines will not be foolproof. However, this data reflects the latest information.

Theme park reservations are required at Walt Disney World. Guests must make a theme park reservation and purchase tickets to Walt Disney World. Guests may only enter Walt Disney World theme parks with reservations, even with valid ticket media.

Park hopping may not happen until 2:00 p.m. each day. If your group likes to start in one theme park and then “hop” to another, this cannot occur until 2:00 p.m. Still, you only need to make a theme park reservation at the first theme park you visit.

The weather in the Orlando area should be considered as you plan your vacation. First, as seen in 2022, the hurricane and tropical storm season can lead to interruptions in Walt Disney World operations. In fairness, Walt Disney World ranks as one of the safest places to be during a significant storm. However, the months of June through November can experience severe storms. Based on the history of storms, that weather factor should be considered if planning to visit, especially from late August through October. Weather-wise, the Florida sun and heat play a more prominent role in your Disney vacation. If you are not used to 90 Fahrenheit (or about 32 degrees Celsius), then much of the summer in Florida may be challenging for you. Also, the summer involves far more pop-up rain showers. Once again, though, Walt Disney World still makes a nice vacation, even in very warm or wet weather.

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General Crowd Level Guidelines When Visiting Walt Disney WorldPop Century- When to Visit Disney World

Even though crowd levels can vary daily, some basic guidelines will assist in finding a slower time of year to visit Walt Disney World. Remembering these factors will point you towards a historically slower time of year regarding crowd levels.

Weekends vs. Weekdays

Generally, the Walt Disney World Resort theme parks will be busier on the weekends than weekdays. Exceptions exist, but this rule makes a good starting place.

Some of the logic involved with this makes obvious sense. More people work and go to school on weekdays, so fewer people can visit theme parks at those times. However, Walt Disney World Resort draws visitors from around the world. People plan vacations to this destination years in advance. Based on this, once should not expect an empty theme park when you show up at the Magic Kingdom on a Tuesday in September. In basic terms, though, the weekends will have more people visit.

Also, the weekends draw more crowds to Epcot during festivals. The opening weekend of an Epcot festival will draw high crowd levels to that theme park. Many locals visit during these events, leading to higher crowd levels.

Though other essential factors in determining potential crowd level exist, the weekend vs. weekday factor should be considered. However, if you can only visit a Walt Disney World theme park on the weekend, please do not let that stop you.

United States of America School Calendar

Speaking of essential factors, the U.S.A. school calendar plays an important role in determining probable Disney theme park crowd levels. Whenever schools are out of session, there is an immediate increase in attendance at Walt Disney World. This includes holiday weekends, summer holidays, and any week-long breaks like winter, fall, or spring break.

In recent years, holiday weekends, like President’s Day, have been hectic. The summer will be more active with theme park guests when school is out of session than during a typical school week. Week-long or more school breaks will drastically impact Walt Disney World crowd levels. For example, some school districts have winter breaks and fall breaks. Those breaks impact typically slower weeks in Feb. and Oct.

The school breaks most impacting crowd levels at Walt Disney World are spring breaks and the holiday break around Christmas and New Year’s Day. The spring break season lasts up to seven weeks since different school districts in the U.S.A. use different weeks. The spring break week crowds tend to run from early March until the week following Easter Sunday, depending on when that falls on the calendar. The middle week of March, the usual spring break for locals, and the weeks before and after Easter Sunday rank as the busiest spring break weeks at Walt Disney World.

The busiest weeks by far would be around Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. These weeks consistently drew the highest crowds leading to maximum capacity in Walt Disney World theme parks and other Orlando area theme parks. You would be incorrect if you thought people would stay home and spend time with family over the holidays. Many families visit during this time of year. This makes the Christmas season at Disney theme parks feel congested.

Special or Seasonal Events at Walt Disney World

In decades past, finding a lower crowd level time of year would be easy to locate. Walt Disney World Resort leaders worked hard to level out the crowds to avoid a truly slow season. A true slow season no longer exists at Walt Disney World. Sure, slower times of year continue to happen. Walt Disney World created many special events to increase crowd levels during the historically slower times of the year. These events include food festivals, runDisney events, after-hours events, and seasonal or holiday events. Many of these events draw large crowds impacting the crowd levels at all the Walt Disney World theme parks.

New or Returning Attractions and Restaurants

Anything new draws a crowd at Walt Disney World. Depending on when you visit, crowd levels may be influenced by new attractions or restaurants at Walt Disney World Resort. Some of these may impact crowds slightly, while others could lead to higher crowd levels than usual.

Tron Lightcycle / Run opens in early April in the Magic Kingdom. This long-anticipated attraction should create more traffic at Magic Kingdom this year. This should also increase crowd levels in the Tomorrowland area of the theme park.

Woody’s Roundup Rodeo BBQ restaurant has opened recently. This previously delayed concept adds another restaurant to Hollywood Studio's Toy Story Land. Decorated with the theme of Andy's toys, this table service restaurant will serve “family-style barbecue-inspired comfort foods.” At least through summer 2023, advance dining reservations will be at a premium. In addition, we expect traffic in Toy Story Land to increase due to this new restaurant.

At Epcot, Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana is set to open in late 2023. This walk-through style attraction should be fun for all ages.

Walt Disney World Fireworks

Happily Ever After fireworks at Magic Kingdom and the EPCOT Forever nighttime lagoon show have now returned to Walt Disney World. Also, a new fireworks nighttime spectacular will be coming to Epcot in the near future. Epcot Forever will be performed until the new show arrives at Epcot.

Communicore Hall and Communicore Plaza are expected to debut this year at Epcot. This area will be used for festivals and character interactions. Also, a new Figment character meet and greet will be opening in Epcot in 2023.

The Hatbox Ghost will appear at Disney World's Haunted Mansion this year. This element of the iconic Haunted Mansion attraction will be added this year at Magic Kingdom. We anticipate this to increase the crowd level for this attraction and Magic Kingdom when the Hatbox Ghost arrives. Educated guesses suggest that the hatbox Ghost will appear when the new “Haunted Mansion” movie releases in July 2023. However, no official date has been given by Disney.

Summer House on the Lake restaurant opens at Disney Springs in 2023. This restaurant serves a variety of menu items such as tacos, salads, and pizza in table service fashion at their other locations. The menu reflects a California style of cuisine. We suspect reservations here will be tough to acquire once it opens.

Finally, this year marks the 100th anniversary of the Disney company. At this point, we need more details from Disney about events and activities related to this celebration in Florida. We suspect some special events will be announced in honor of this anniversary. These events will draw more guests when they happen.

This resource will break down most factors determining crowd level at Walt Disney World theme park. However, we have placed below a basic summary to refer to quickly as you plan your Disney vacation. Of course, each month brings some unique factors, so this functions as a summary, not a complete explanation.

DisneyWorld at night

Highest Crowd Level When Visiting Walt Disney World

  • Spring Break season (March through the middle of April) with a particular focus on weeks before and after Easter Sunday and central Florida’s spring break.
  • The week before Christmas through the first two weekends of January, with the weeks including Christmas Day and New Year's Eve bringing in the historically highest crowd level each year.
  • Summer break (the middle of June until the middle of August)
  • Thanksgiving (U.S.A.) week brings in crowds comparable to Christmas week.
  • Any holiday weekend will be busy

Lowest Crowd Level When Visiting Walt Disney World

  • Mid to late January
  • Month of February, apart from the days around and the week of President’s Day
  • Late April and early May
  • September after Labor Day
  • November before the week of Thanksgiving
  • First full week of December

Pros and Cons of Visiting During a Historically Slower Time of YearToy Story Land- When to Visit Disney World

While visiting during a slower time of year sounds great, not everything shines during those weeks. Besides potential weather-related issues, theme park hours of operation may be shorter. Also, some attractions may be closed for refurbishment.

For example, during January and February, the colder months, water-based attractions will close for refurbishment for a few weeks. Of course, Splash Mountain is currently undergoing a major refurbishment to transform into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, scheduled to open in late 2024.

In addition, during traditional lower crowd-level times of the year, Disney will use those times of year to refurbish additional attractions. Scheduled refurbishments get announced well in advance so you can plan accordingly. For instance, Rock N’ Roller Coaster is under lengthy refurbishment as of the time of writing. Most attraction refurbishments will happen during slower times of the year. Walt Disney World wants as many attractions as possible open for the busier weeks to spread out the crowds.

Like fewer attractions being potentially open during a slower week, fewer shows and character interactions will happen. In contrast, more showtimes and character meeting opportunities will occur during historically higher crowd-level weeks. The primary trade-off for visiting during slower crowd-level times of year revolves around potentially some attractions and entertainment not happening.

Hours of Operation

Theme park hours of operation will be shorter during the lower crowd-level weeks. Walt Disney World manages the staffing and maintenance schedule during the slower season with earlier closing times for the theme parks. The theme parks will close earlier if you visit during a typical slower week. You should still have adequate time to enjoy your theme park day. However, a very late night will be far less likely to happen. In contrast, the busiest weeks will have the later theme park hours. For instance, theme parks might stay open on the busiest days until midnight or later.

Monthly Crowd Level Information For Visiting Walt Disney WorldCinderella's Castle

Each month at Walt Disney World has different positives and negatives regarding a vacation. In fact, historical crowd levels may differ significantly within the same month. Below, we have listed each month’s most significant crowd-impacting events and circumstances.

January Crowd Level Factors

Depending on the year and when New Year’s Day falls, the first week or so of January will be hectic. Many Christmas decorations and activities will still draw more people to Magic Kingdom. Now, the first week of January will be slower than between Christmas and New Year’s day. This time might make a decent opportunity to enjoy a little bit of the magic of Christmas at Walt Disney World with slightly below maximum crowds.

The holiday weekend of Martin Luther King Jr. Day will be busy. This crowd level falls below the Christmas week level, however. Still, the crowd level picks up noticeably around this weekend compared to other days this month.

The year’s first full weekend usually involves the Walt Disney World Marathon events. Various Disney running events have increased attendance at Walt Disney World during slower times of the year. These runDisney events draw people from all over the world to participate. This runDisney event involves merchandise, after-hours parties, races, and meals. The Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend involves four days. Guests visiting during this time will notice higher crowd levels than on a typical January day. In addition, the table service restaurants will also fill up with reservations quicker this weekend.

International Festival of the Arts

The International Festival of the Arts happens at Epcot starting in mid-January. This will increase attendance at Epcot, especially on weekends and evenings. Epcot will have lower attendance in the mornings, however. Since this month offers some of the lowest crowd levels, weekdays should be easier to manage. Still, the Disney on Broadway Concert Series happens every night of this festival, drawing crowds for evening performances. Disney on Broadway Concert Series features live performance art, which includes international musical and variety acts, acrobatics, impressive living statues, marching bands, workshops, and art galleries.

This month can involve the coldest temperatures of the year in Florida. Most locals dislike any cold weather. If you dress appropriately, you may find lower wait times at attractions, with people avoiding the cold by staying home. If this happens, the next warmer day at Walt Disney World will have longer wait times for attractions since the locals will have returned. Remember, a high temperature for a day in the low 60s or low 50s Fahrenheit will be considered cold to many locals. If you visit from a colder climate and bring warm enough clothes, a colder day may create a magical experience regarding crowd levels.

February Crowd Level Factors

February offers some lower crowd levels except for President’s Day Week. Still, a few positives and negatives should be considered.

Epcot’s International Festival of the Arts continues for several weeks in February. It ends around the third weekend of the month. Like the previous month, weekends and evenings at Epcot can be busy.

February gets its own runDisney marathon event. The Princess Half Marathon Weekend occurs in late February.  Though this runDisney event will influence crowd levels less than the marathon weekend held at the beginning of the year, an uptick in crowd levels and table service dining reservations will be seen that weekend.

Many northern United States of America school systems have a winter break. This usually falls in the middle of February. A small percentage of Florida private schools also have a break around this time. So, in addition to the busy President’s Day weekend, guests should expect higher crowds for a few days after that weekend. These crowds will not reach maximum capacity in the theme parks like some other busier times of the year.

when to visit disney world

March Crowd Level Factors

Crowd levels will increase this month. The first week increases some. The spring break week crowds start in full force in the following weeks. So, the first week brings the lowest crowd levels of this month. The crowd levels qualify as busy during this month.

The weather also turns warmer on most weeks in March. You may need to bring a jacket for occasional colder days. Like in earlier months, an unusually colder day will lower crowd levels slightly for those willing to brave the colder Florida weather.

The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival starts in March at Epcot. This Epcot festival lasts until early July. The opening days of this event and weekends in March will be busy at Epcot. This yearly event presents guests with beautiful gardens and entertainment. The well-sculpted topiaries around Epcot make excellent photos. In addition, the food festival involved with this event attracts many guests.

St, Patrick's Day

St. Patrick’s Day creates some minor crowd-level changes at Walt Disney World. The United Kingdom Pavilion in the World Showcase area of Epcot will be busier than usual on this day. The Rose and Crown Dining Room makes a popular spot on this day.

If you venture over to Disney Springs around St. Patrick’s Day, the Raglan Road Restaurant will be a hub of activity. The St. Patrick’s Festival at Raglan Road lasts for several days. Talented Irish entertainment groups amaze guests during this event. Dining here for this event has become very popular, so reservations would be strongly encouraged. However, reservations are not accepted on the actual holiday, and a cover charge will apply due to the demand for this experience.

Also of note, if Easter Sunday should happen to fall on the last weekend in March, anticipate very high crowd levels the week before and the week after Easter Sunday.


April Crowd Level Factors

Speaking of Easter Sunday, April tends to be the month of this holiday. Once again, the week before and the week after Easter Sunday will be busy. On the bright side, numerous special activities will occur due to the Easter holiday at Walt Disney World.

The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival continues in April. This festival will still influence crowds. Nevertheless, the pattern of heavier crowds in the World Showcase area of Epcot on weekends and evenings will continue.

Earth Day

Disney’s Animal Kingdom opened on April 22, 1998, for Earth Day. The Earth Day celebrations happen annually on April 22 at Animal Kingdom. The crowd will be heavier here on that day. This rings true, especially if Earth Day falls on a weekend..

April receives its own runDisney event each year after the rush of spring break visitors. This encourages some guests to stretch their Disney vacation a few more days past the spring break period. Races happen Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of this week. The Disney theme parks will enjoy more visitors that weekend and Disney Springs will also be busier than average after the races each day. Since the races happen very early in the morning, runners will be seen post-race all over Walt Disney World property.

May Crowd Level Factors

The crowd levels increase slowly during the month of May. With the weather not being oppressively hot yet and schools still being in session, the first week of May makes a lovely time to visit.

The weekend holidays tend to influence the crowds most this month. Mother’s Day will add to the masses. Yet, the increase will be slight with so many college graduations happening that weekend also. The significant crowd impact of Mother’s Day will be seen in the lack of weekend brunch dining reservations available then. If wanting a brunch reservation, you should plan ahead! At the 60-day mark, those advance dining reservations disappear.

Memorial Day

Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of summer for some. This weekend tends to ring in summer school vacation for many. Not all U.S.A. schools will be out of session. Still, most of the schools closer to Orlando will be closed. This equals more visitors to Walt Disney World. If visiting on that weekend, expect higher crowd levels. On the plus side, the theme park operating hours will start earlier and end later than normal. Even if you visit during this usually busy time, you will have more hours to enjoy your day in the theme parks.

If visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios, beware of May 4. Since for Star Wars fans, this day makes a great day to say, “May the 4th be with you,” This theme park draws higher crowds than average on that day. If May 4 falls on a weekend, expect theme park reservations for Disney’s Hollywood Studios to be harder to acquire. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge makes a beautiful place to celebrate May the 4th for Star Wars fans.

Lastly, remember the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. Especially on weekends, this will raise crowd levels at Epcot. Still, based on the land area of Epcot, this Disney theme park handles the crowds better than the others.

When to Visit Disney World- Blizzard Beach

June Crowd Level Factors

Except for the first week of June, every U.S.A. school system will be experiencing summer break. June has a lower expected crowd level than July and the first week of August. Still, June would not be considered a slow season. However, crowd data over the last five years shows that summer draws fewer crowds than five years ago. Yet, this would still be defined as a busy season.

Like May, the crowd level will steadily increase as the month progresses. Also, the rainy season increases in force starting in June. The percentage chance of an afternoon thundershower in June rates as very high. In preparation, bring an umbrella or poncho. Walt Disney World will be happy to sell you some. However, the price will look more appealing if you buy your own before your trip.

The bad news about rain involves the closure of popular attractions like Test Track in Epcot if bad weather occurs. The good news is two-fold. One, afternoon rainstorms tend only to last a short time. If you prepare, you can be ready for shorter queues for attractions right after the storm. Some guests will leave Disney theme parks if it starts raining. Also, far fewer guests enter theme parks during the rain.

Two, most Walt Disney World attractions happen indoors or at least mostly indoors. If rain starts to fall, you can duck into a standby queue for an attraction like Pirates of the Caribbean. Hopefully, when you emerge from “Davey’s Jones Locker,” the rain will be gone.

The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival marches on in June. From a crowd-level standpoint, this festival plays a minor role regarding crowd levels in June.

July Crowd Level Factors

July brings the heat–literally! The crowds grow at the Disney theme parks and water parks in June. Yes, the weather reaches some summer-like levels. To go with Florida’s hot sticky weather, this month sees the most visitors during the summer.

The Fourth of July holiday draws plenty of people to Walt Disney World. Increase that amount if the holiday falls on a weekend. Since Magic Kingdom holds a special July 4th fireworks nighttime spectacular, massive crowds flock there for this holiday. Generally, this special fireworks event happens on one additional day besides July 4. If you desire to see this enormous pyrotechnic display with possibly lower crowds, try the day besides July 4. This special fireworks display has been known to cause Magic Kingdom to hit capacity levels on July 4.

Epcot will also be popular around July 4. The Disney brand of United States of America patriotism can be enjoyed in Epcot and Magic Kingdom. Special performances will happen in conjunction with the holiday. As a result, Magic Kingdom and Epcot will be busy. Still, if you visit those theme parks, plenty of entertainment will be provided for your vacation budget.

The probability of rain during this month rates as high. Guests should arrive prepared for this. Despite potential rain during parts of every day, the crowd level will be increased. Nevertheless, the Disney theme park operating hours will be extended, providing a full day for guests.

Regarding festivals at Epcot, the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival finally ends in early July. However, have no fear—a new festival will rise to take its place. In mid-July, the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival begins. As you might expect, this Epcot festival's opening week and weekends increase crowds at that theme park. This festival includes various food and beverage booths, fantastic wine displays and offerings, and unique entertainment.

Based on the Epcot festival schedule, July offers many reasons to visit Epcot. Still, if visiting Epcot in July, the few days between festivals will have lower crowds than during the celebrations. Those few days might work for those wanting to enjoy Epcot with a slightly lower crowd level in the summer.

When to Visit Disney World

August Crowd Level Factors

The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival remains in August. This provides food, fun, and entertainment. The weekends draw larger crowds, even in the summer.

The first two weeks of August match July regarding weather and crowd levels. However, the final two weeks of August see many school-age children returning to classrooms. This directly relates to lower crowd levels starting then. Crowds will decrease progressively as the month ends. If your vacation must happen during a school break, the closer you get to the end of August, the lower the crowds should be for your visit to Walt Disney World.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

For those unfamiliar with the flow of Walt Disney World’s calendar of events, Halloween starts in mid-August at Walt Disney World. The very popular Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party happens on select nights starting in August and running until October 31st.  This separately ticketed after-hours event occurs at Magic Kingdom. On those select evenings, Magic Kingdom will close to everyone without a ticket to this event at 6:00 p.m.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party drastically changes attendance patterns at Walt Disney World from August through October. The earlier closing time for Magic Kingdom causes many guests to avoid Magic Kingdom on those days. This increases attendance in the other three Disney theme parks on those days. In addition, Magic Kingdom will be very crowded from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. People with tickets to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party may enter Magic Kingdom at 4:00 p.m. Since both day guests and after-hours party participants are in the park between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., the crowd levels will be high.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party also influences crowds even on days it does not occur. Since the nightly fireworks cannot be enjoyed inside Magic Kingdom for day guests when that park closes at 6:00 p.m., a higher percentage of guests than typical visit Magic Kingdom on the days before and after a Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. They do this to see the nightly fireworks at Magic Kingdom. Magic Kingdom will feel very busy in the evening on days before and after party nights.

Fortunately, several weeks in August are lower crowd-level times. So, if you want to see the fireworks at Magic Kingdom the day after a Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party evening, you should be okay crowd-wise. However, that will not be true in future months during a visit to Walt Disney World.

September Crowd Level Factors

Apart from Labor Day weekend, September marks a proper off-season time for a visit to Walt Disney World. Schools are back in session. The weather cools off a little compared to July and August. This makes a great time to visit Walt Disney World Resort.

Disney+ Day falls on September 8. You can expect higher crowds on that day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, especially in the morning.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties will press on this month, with two to three happening weekly at Magic Kingdom. This special ticketed Halloween event features unique Halloween shows, fireworks, special character meet and greets, trick or treating, and some attractions overlays for the season. These parties will influence crowd levels, as described in the August section.

EPCOT's International Food & Wine Festival continues for all of September. Guests can expect many wine displays, international food and beverage booths, culinary presentations, and other special-themed events. Like other festivals, the weekends and evenings at Epcot will be busier than weekday mornings.

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October Crowd Level Factors

The month of October brings higher crowd levels than September. The most significant factor creating more crowds would be the holiday weekend of Indigenous Peoples' Day / Columbus Day weekend. Besides the higher holiday weekend crowds, the week of this holiday usually matches the fall break week for many schools in the northern portion of the U.S.A. October, overall, has become a busier month at Walt Disney World compared to September and November. Yet, this month still makes a reasonable time to visit compared to Christmas, for example.

The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival happens all month. Guests visit to experience the large variety of wine, international food booths, concerts, culinary demonstrations, and other special-themed events. This event increases crowd levels at Epcot on weekends and evenings. If you are trying to avoid crowds, there are better times to visit Epcot than the holiday weekend in October.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party increases in the number of times it happens in October. Magic Kingdom will be busier, especially at night, on days before and after an evening that Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party happens. The early closing time for Magic Kingdom on Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party pushes guests to the other three theme parks on the days the party happens.

November Crowd Level Factors

The first few weeks of November see a return to moderate crowd levels. Very high crowd levels start the week of Thanksgiving (U.S.A.) but dissipate some after that weekend. Still, a few factors influence crowd levels besides the significant holiday.

The first weekend of November sees Walt Disney World hosting the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend. There are races for every person, including children’s races, the half marathon, and shorter races held that weekend. Based on the last few times this event has been held, the Walt Disney World theme parks will be busy that weekend. With a special post-race event on a Sunday evening, Epcot will be very busy then.

As soon as the calendar turns from October to November, the decorations at Magic Kingdom change from Halloween to Christmas. In fact, this literally happens overnight, creating a transformation for November 1. With that transition, crowds come to enjoy the season at Magic Kingdom. These decorations stay up until a few days into the following year for people when they visit Walt Disney World.

November also brings Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. This after-hours holiday event shares similar characteristics with Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party occurs on select nights at Magic Kingdom. This separately ticketed event involves unique holiday entertainment, particular character interaction, and fireworks. The after-hours holiday event also includes beverages and cookies with the admission price.

This after-hours Christmas celebration causes Magic Kingdom to close at 6:00 p.m. This drives Walt Disney World visitors to the other three theme parks on days this event occurs. Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party events start around the second November weekend. After that, the after-hours holiday event occurs on average three times weekly.

The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival continues until the week of Thanksgiving at Epcot. The array of food and beverage food locations at Epcot will continue drawing guests, especially on weekends and evenings during his event.

November closes out with the beginning of Epcot's International Festival of the Holidays. This starts soon after Thanksgiving Day and lasts through December. This festival features exceptional food and beverage locations, a holiday cookie stroll, festival entertainment, holiday storytellers, and the famous Candlelight Processional. The Candlelight Processional consists of a large choir, a live orchestra, and a celebrity narrator. This event tells a story of Christmas in words and music. Depending on the narrator, this event will be popular. Like other Epcot festivals, this one generates higher crowds at Epcot on weekends and evenings.

Disney World Skyliner

December Crowd Level Factors

This month, Walt Disney World welcomes the highest number of guests. However, that happens around Christmas and the school break weeks. The first two weeks of December see only average crowds at Walt Disney World. Also, the December weather can turn cold so you should prepare for that.

Epcot's International Festival of the Holidays continues until the end of the month. The popular Candlelight Processional continues to occur until slightly after Christmas. This Disney staple involves a celebrity narrator unfolding the traditional story of Christmas along with a choir and orchestra. This event creates a significant crowd on some nights, so be prepared for that.

The first week of December used to bring the Pop Warner and National Cheer & Dance Championship to Walt Disney World. This event now happens at the Orange County Convention Center, with the Universal Orlando Resort hotels housing most of the groups. Still, several cheer groups will visit Walt Disney World. Nevertheless, if you see a cheer group in a theme park going one way, then go the other to avoid the mass of humanity in that direction. If Pop Warner or cheer groups stay on Disney property, they will be at Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort that week. We suggest avoiding those accommodations during the first week of December unless you enjoy cheer teams practicing at all hours.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

December includes several evenings of Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. This after-hours holiday event shares similar characteristics with Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party occurs on select nights at Magic Kingdom. This separately ticketed event involves unique holiday entertainment, particular character interaction, and fireworks. The after-hours holiday event also includes beverages and cookies with the admission price.

This after-hours Christmas celebration causes Magic Kingdom to close at 6:00 p.m. This drives Walt Disney World visitors to the other three theme parks on days this event occurs. Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party events start around the second November weekend. After that, the after-hours holiday event occurs on average three times weekly.

The closer the date gets to Christmas Day directly connects to the larger crowds at Walt Disney World. This culminates with Christmas week being the busiest time to visit Walt Disney World by far. On the plus side, though, plenty of entertainment and unique offerings will be available during this time of the year.

New Year’s Eve will be busy. Still, the celebrations across the Disney theme parks include special fireworks displays, live entertainment, dance parties, and DJs playing music all evening at Epcot. Yes, the Disney theme parks will be crowded, but it is hard to find a better place to ring in the new year. a visit to Walt Disney World over these holidays will involve large crowds but it will still be a fun experience.

Ready To Go Visit Walt Disney World On Your Next Vacation?

Disney Dose strives to provide the most up-to-date information about Disney vacation planning. We offer lots of resources to help you with your Disney vacation. In addition, we offer email updates that you can sign up for here. Also, consult the articles listed below for more Walt Disney World vacation planning information.

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