These Are the Best Times of Year to Avoid Grotesque Disney Crowds

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INSIDER SECRET: September can be a great time of year to visit Disney because the weather is cooling off and most kids are back in school.

Disney parks are some of the world’s most popular vacation destinations, but popularity means people, lots of them. How can you enjoy a Disney getaway with smaller crowds? I’ll share the magic dates.

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The crowds at Disney can be unrelenting. (Photo by Mia2you/Shutterstock)

These Are the Best Times to Visit Disney to Avoid Crowds

Disney parks will always be busy to some degree. There will likely never be a time where you’re strolling through a theme park, thinking, “Where is everyone today?” There are, however, optimal times to visit a Disney park. Here are the top dates in 2020:

  • In January, there is a small window of weekdays after New Year’s Day: January 7 to January 10
  • Any day starting the Wednesday after Martin Luther King day until Valentine’s Day: January 23 to February 13
  • After Valentine’s Day there’s a window between school vacations: February 25 to March 8
  • Anytime in September after Labor Day: September 3 and beyond
  • Weekdays in October are usually good
  • Weekdays in November are even better, with the exception of Thanksgiving week: November 1 to November 21
  • Weekdays in December are also generally uncrowded until after Christmas Eve
Disney crowds are often huge. (Photo by Solarisys/Shutterstock)

One of the best parts of visiting Disney on a less-crowded day is that the pricing is relatively low. The more popular the day, the more expensive the ticket.

But, we’ve got great travel secrets to keep your costs low and to avoid those ridiculous prices!

I recommend staying at a local hotel and visiting the park a couple of different days. That way you can see more of the park and experience the ebb and flow of the crowds.

Bottom Line

Don’t fret over the crowds at Disney. It’s part of the experience.  Disney is a popular destination and it’s only going to get more popular with the new Star Wars attraction in the coming months.

We have listed the days when crowds should be smallest. Now, here are the most popular (i.e., crowded) times of year:

  • Holidays, especially major holidays like New Year’s Eve
  • Winter school vacations, generally between Christmas and New Year’s
  • Spring school vacations, scattered throughout March and April
  • Summer Break, middle of May through Labor Day
  • Disney Event Days, like the “Not-so-Scary Halloween Party”

Comment if you have any additional tips to avoiding the Disney crowds!

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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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Boonie
1 year ago

Spring Break is a busy and crowded time. Lines long 2+ hours. Definitely make restaurant reservations. I would avoid that time of year!

Jerry
1 year ago

Why are there pictures from Universal Studios in your post? The picture of Hogwart’s is a dead giveaway!

Boonie
Reply to  Jerry
1 year ago

I noticed that too! Maybe the title should say Orlando theme parks.

Megan Bower
1 year ago

We went the day after Christmas one year and it was fabulous. It took a lot for my Dad to convince my Mom to get up early and jump in the car, but there were no lines even in the most popular places!

April
1 year ago

We went to Disney the week before Thanksgiving and it was the best! The weather was still warm enough to swim! The best tip I can give is to get to the park early! You can get a lot done in that first hour or two before everyone else arrives.

Amber
1 year ago

One thing that you forgot to mention about February. Check what week Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday, day before Ash Wednesday) falls on. Many areas of Louisiana have the week off. Stack that with band, cheerleader, dance competitions. Also lots of Central and South America summer tour groups. All of that combined causes the crowd levels to peak to higher levels than other winter weeks. Staff has told us that when it happens in Feb around Presidents day, it can be as busy as summer. But at least not as hot as summer.