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Disney World Crowd Calendar 2022 & 2023

If you are trying to find out when the busiest time to visit Disney is, then our Disney World Crowd Calendars for 2022 and 2023 will help you avoid crowds and long waits in line. There is no real “off-season” in Disney World, but you definitely can find plenty of days when the crowd levels are low.

2020 Disney World Crowd Calendar

There are many tools that will help you to plan your Walt Disney World vacation, but perhaps none is more important than a Disney crowd calendar. Whether you are going alone, with friends, or with your family, it will help you avoid the crowds which will ultimately lead to a more fun trip.

In this post, we are going to share with you our 2022 Disney World crowd calendar, show you how to use it, and how to find the best dates for you. We’ll go over the busiest days and months of the year in the parks so you don’t find yourself there during those times.

We’ll explain exactly what a crowd calendar is, why it’s useful, but also why you can’t always rely on them 100%. And if you happen to find yourself in one of the Disney World parks on a day when it’s super busy, we’ll help you to avoid the crowds as much as possible and make the best of it.

Our Disney World crowd calendar is based on predicted attendance and will point out the exact dates when you are least likely and most likely to find the theme parks packed with people. Many factors are taken into consideration when making it like school schedules, events, holidays, and more, which will give you the best chance possible to go on the right days.

Disney Crowd Calendar

Crowd Levels aren’t the only factor you should take into consideration when deciding when to plan your trip. For a more balanced look, read our guide on the Best Times to Visit Disney World in 2022 which looks at the crowds but also the weather, park hours, and prices, among other things. We even rank our favorite months to visit from best to worst.

You may also be asking yourself: “Should I Visit Disney World in 2022 or Wait Until 2023?” Read our guide on that to help you figure out which year is right for you and the pros and cons of each.

Also, if you want the latest Disney World trip planning advice, including crowd calendar updates and more don’t forget to sign up for our FREE Weekly E-Mail Newsletter. You can sign up here: Join our E-Mail Newsletter

Latest Disney Crowd Calendar Update

Why to use a Disney World Crowd Calendar

(UPDATE 12/26/21) – We’ve updated our Crowd Calendar to reflect the latest crowd expectations for early 2022 and beyond.

As if planning a Disney crowd calendar in 2022 wasn’t already hard enough, things got a whole lot more difficult with the closure of the Disney World parks last year. In order to predict what could happen for the rest of this year, we have to take a good look at what has happened so far since the reopening phase started.

Since crowd levels have been rising since the parks’ reopening, we will address whether or not we expect to see the same increase in 2022 or if they might drop back down to where most predicted.

Just a word of caution, since the parks reopened, any traditional Disney World crowd calendar has been thrown out the window as it has been extremely difficult to predict attendance with any reliability up to this point.

EPCOT fountain pylons in sunset

Some of our predictions for 2021 came true (overall it was one of the lowest years for crowds in Disney World history), however, with so many unpredictable factors, we also got a lot wrong. Any estimates for 2022 should be taken with a grain of salt as this year has been harder than ever to understand crowds.

2021 was an interesting year to say the least, and we had no idea how crowd levels would react throughout the year. There were a lot of unknown factors in play such as the current health crisis, the economy, and guests’ willingness to travel in general (not that this has changed for 2022).

Walt Disney World is continuing through a phased reopening which started with Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, EPCOT, and Hollywood Studios back in 2020. Things are still not back to normal which is why Disney is still referring to the present as a phased reopening.

Empty Hollywood Blvd Hollywood Studios

Last year overall, crowd levels were extremely low compared to what they usually are. The theme parks resembled ghost towns at times in 2020, and while they were quite that low in 2021, if you went during the right week, many attractions had no more than a 15-20 minute wait to ride.

In 2021, things got off to a quiet start in January, then there was a modest rise in crowds during February, and things ramped up more in March and April as people started traveling more for Spring Break and Easter. The parks were incredibly busy during those months and even with the reduced capacity it still felt like the parks were full.

In May and June, there was a slight lull and then attendance exploded in July where it felt like normal Disney World crowd levels again. A lot of this had to do with the increased theme park capacity and fireworks returning to the parks once again.

If you really want to look at the numbers, our friends over at Thrill-data.com have some incredible charts where you can see the steady climb in wait times throughout the year.

Avg Wait times Magic Kingdom Monthly
Magic Kingdom Avg Monthly Wait Times

The above chart shows Magic Kingdom wait times starting in 2020 and going through December 2021. You can see the avg wait for an attraction was under 14 minutes when the parks reopened, and they reached 41 minutes by the end of this past year.

Here is are the graphs for EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom:

Avg Wait times EPCOT Monthly
EPCOT Avg Monthly Wait Times
Avg Wait times Hollywood Studios Monthly
Hollywood Studios Avg Monthly Wait Times
Avg Wait times Animal Kingdom Monthly
Animal Kingdom Avg Monthly Wait Times

There was a big drop in August and September, as there is every year. In fact, in September the avg wait time for all attractions was only 20 minutes, the lowest it had been in over a year.

October brought the 50th Anniversary and things up somewhat, just not as much as we had originally thought they would.

Once the holiday season came, the parks were full once again and this past November and December were the numbers 1 and 3 ranked months in terms of crowds since they reopened.

So does this mean crowds will continue to rise in 2022 and beyond? Yes, we think there is a good chance of that happening.

Crowds always increase from September to December, in the Spring and Summer due to the holidays and school schedules. However, the increases we saw over the last year have been more due to the current health crisis, people are open to traveling again, and park capacity increasing dramatically.

Disney World Crowd Calendar

The low levels last year were due to a number of factors. Many domestic travelers initially were hesitant to travel at first, but after a few months decided they felt more comfortable with the idea once they saw how Disney was handling the changes and procedures. Some of those procedures being removed, like having to wear a face mask outdoors, likely helped attract guests who before wanted to wait.

Also, many DVC members had to use up their points from canceled trips in 2020 and earlier in 2021 and were “forced” to go to Disney World last year so they didn’t lose their points.

Looking forward to 2022, there are many factors that will determine the crowd levels…

Disney has increased park attendance big time this year to well over 35% (the last actual number they have reported). Yes, guests still have to use Disney’s new Park Pass system to make reservations for the parks and the number is limited each day, but crowd levels feel almost back to normal again.

Recently, Disney CEO Bob Chapek said they will also increase park capacity again soon in an “aggressive” manner. That outlook was before the latest surge in new cases, but as the current health situation improves in the coming months, we expect park capacity to rise again.

As Disney gets more efficient running the parks in this new “normal,” Disney will slowly increase capacity to whatever level they can safely run the parks.

Simba Disney World 50th Anniversary Golden Statues Animal Kingdom

Travel restrictions originally played a big part in low crowds, but this is less of a factor now with fewer restrictions on travel in the U.S. right now, and the borders being opened up to international travelers once again. In 2022, people coming from Europe or South America will have more opportunity to visit WDW which should help boost attendance.

Then there’s the question of the economy. We originally thought this would be more of an issue and people wouldn’t have nearly as much disposable income for trips to theme parks and the like. With consumer spending high and Americans saving money as never before, so far, this hasn’t been a big stumbling block for visitors.

All of these are a combination of factors into the current crowd levels showing up in Walt Disney World now. Some of those factors should continue to improve in 2022 and we predict even more people in the parks than last year.

We do expect the trend of busier weekends to continue this year. Local visitors have been strong in the past year who come on the weekends to have fun. This has been especially true in EPCOT as the park gets much more full from people visiting for the various festivals.

EPCOT's Spaceship Earth white lights

When Disney World annual passes return, attendance from Florida residents should continue to rise.

Most families who are planning to go to Walt Disney World start doing so at least 6 months in advance, if not 1 year. At this point with vaccines being widely distributed among the population, the current health crisis should start to get better next year.

A lot of people who were in a wait-and-see frame of mind now want to book a vacation and Disney travel planners have been swamped with requests.

So what will 2022 look like?

After the holidays and into the winter, crowds will drop off somewhat, but perhaps not as much as normal years with the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World going on. Either way, the lowest part of 2022 will be in January and February.

March 2022 is where the crowds should start coming back, stronger than ever and it will be the real test of whether this health crisis is behind us or not. April should have massive crowds once again and then things follow the normal pattern after Easter and moving into the Summer.

Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway Hollywood Studios

May and June should have a slight dip from March and April, and the Summer should peak in July with all kids off from school and many families traveling to Disney World.

August and September traditionally have the lowest crowds, and we expect 2022 to be the same. different.

October 2022 will get busier in Disney World between Columbus Day and people already visiting for the 50th. The weekends in October should be slightly busier than the weekdays, though still much lower than normal.

By this time there should be new rides and entertainment to bring guests back in a big way. Combine that with increasing park capacity and you have a perfect storm.

Best Disney World Crowd Calendar

In November, things will be busier than usual in the first 2/3’s of the month with Veteran’s Day and runDisney events. There is a slight lull in the middle of the month until guests start coming for the Thanksgiving holiday. It’s possible we could see normal holiday crowds in 2022, especially if the capacity limits are increased.

December should follow a similar path as it normally does, lower crowds in the first half of the month and then slowly building up to the huge numbers at Christmas and New Year’s.

Overall, from Disney’s most recent comments, we expect demand and park capacity to continue to increase in the coming months. If everything goes to plan, a boost in attendance in time for Spring might make it feel like normal crowd levels even if the total number of guests is lower.

A lot is going to depend on where we are with vaccinations and the economy to determine when normal crowds come back. While we are hopeful, you never know how long this situation is going to drag out and for things to go back to “normal” it will take at least until 2022, but likely 2023 or later.

Disney World Crowd Calendar EPCOT

For all those reasons take our WDW crowd calendar with a grain of salt at the moment. We did recently update the dates with our expected attendance, but it’s a very unstable situation at the moment and things can change in the blink of an eye.

We will continue updating the 2022 and 2023 dates with our crowd estimates as the year goes on and as we have more information, so keep checking back.

One thing is fairly certain, however, overall crowd levels in Disney World this year will be higher than last year, though maybe not quite as much as in years past. We see the Spring being very busy in particular. Just how much remains to be seen.

If you are thinking about planning a trip, read our Guide to Walt Disney World Reopening where we share the latest updates on when the parks could reopen and what changes we will see there moving forward.

You can also check out our Disney World Closure Guide which explains what happened when the parks closed down plus how to get a refund, reschedule your trip, and more details.

What is a Disney World Crowd Calendar?

Disney World Crowd Tracker

A crowd calendar helps us predict how busy a Disney park will be on any given day. This means if used properly, a crowd calendar can help you avoid Disney World when attendance is highest and when the lines for rides are the longest.

Our 2022 Disney World Crowd Calendar takes all 4 theme parks into consideration, the two water parks, and how busy Disney Springs and all the restaurants on property will be.

If you hate waiting in line as much as we do, Disney crowd calendars are a life-saver! If there was such a thing as a Disney-planning toolbox, this would be your hammer, an essential tool never to leave home without!

(Update: Though a crowd calendar is less reliable during this reopening phase than usual, we still feel it’s an essential part of planning your trip to Walt Disney World and will at least give you an idea of crowds in certain periods compared to others.)

While not all guests have the flexibility to plan their entire trip around the least-crowded times of the year, using a Disney crowd tracker is still useful to pick days where there are only moderate crowds and at least avoid the absolutely busiest times of the year.

Why Crowd Calendars Are Helpful

How to avoid the crowds in Disney World

Using a Disney crowd calendar to find the right days to go to the parks means:

  • Less time wasted waiting in line for rides
  • Less time in line for food
  • Easier to get Advanced Dining Reservations
  • Easier to get Genie+ reservations for the popular attractions
  • More space when navigating the parks
  • Having more freedom to choose what to do once you get to the parks
  • More entertainment showtimes

Not all parks have the same attendance nor crowd flow. There are certain times of the year when a given theme park will flow differently than other times of the year. Even attraction lines behave very differently from season to season or week to week, with much dependant on how many cast members are working that day ride efficiency and how many people are in the park.

Rise of the Resistance AT-AT Walker Disney World

For example, if you try to ride Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance on a holiday or one of the busiest days of the year, you will have to get there well before the park opens if you don’t want to wait for hours in line.

Also, crowd levels in the parks can vary throughout the day from morning to afternoon and evening. That means it’s important to react and know what to do when peak crowds start arriving. If you have a basic understanding of how crowds work, you will have a much better time!

They are also great at seeing events in Disney World that you otherwise would never have realized are going on during your trip. I’m guessing you didn’t know that the D2 Summit cheerleading championship happens in May and can bring big crowds did you? Knowing all these small details will help you to be better prepared for your trip.

How Our Disney World Crowd Calendar Works?

How does a Disney World Crowd Calendar work?

How did we come up with our Disney World Crowd Calendar for 2022? It would be easy to just throw a dart at the calendar and assign a color, but that wouldn’t be a very effective way of predicting peak crowds.

We selected which days and weeks are going to be the busiest based on a variety of data factors. Those factors include:

  • Season
  • Historical attendance during that period
  • Ticket Prices
  • Hotel Prices
  • Hotel bookings (% of filled rooms)
  • Upcoming Events/Attraction Openings
  • Expected Wait Times
  • Theme park projections
  • Current Health Crisis
  • Bad Economy

Looking at all these different factors gives us a good idea of what kind of attendance you are likely to find on a given day. After decades of visiting the parks and observing attendance patterns, we’ve found this to be the best way to determine crowd levels as you can’t just go on school holidays alone.

All that said, no Disney World Crowd Calendar is 100% right, especially in a year like 2022. Expect there to be some small differences between our predictions and the actual crowd sizes.

It is meant to be used as a helpful guide and not the definitive source of your vacation planning and we do our best to constantly update our projections to give you the most accurate predictions for your trip.

Rating System

We’ve broken down each day on the calendar into one of 5 colors. Each of these colors represents the expected crowds in Disney World on that day. The colors and crowd levels are as follows:

  • Green = Least Crowded Days (Best times to go)
  • Light Blue = Light Crowds
  • Yellow = Moderate Crowds
  • Orange = Heavy Crowds
  • Red = Most Crowded (Avoid at all costs!)

Obviously, the more days you can fit into your vacation that are green (lowest crowds) or light blue (light crowds), the happier you are going to be. It’s almost impossible to have every one of your days in Disney World be a day with low crowds, but try to pick a week with as many as possible.

We also updated the meaning of the colors in 2022. That means if you see a Red symbol it is referring to the parks’ new reduced capacity, not the normal one. We did this to reflect how crowded the parks feel and wait times right now and we’re measuring things compared to how much space people actually have in the parks.

For 2022 there aren’t as many light days on our calendar as in years past, and many more orange days. Again, this reflects how full the parks will be based on their reduced capacities, which could change at any time. For now, it’s the new normal.

2022 Disney World Crowd Calendar

(Updated 12/28/21) – Here is our updated 2022 Disney World Crowd Calendar. Feel free to download it or print it out to bring with you on your vacation.

Also, if you are a journalist, travel agent, or blogger, feel free to link to this page to share this calendar with your audience.

2022 Disney World Crowd Calendar

Biggest Determining Factors for Crowd Levels in Disney World

queue for Flight of Passage Disney World Crowd Calendar

Figuring out when peak crowds will arrive at Walt Disney World isn’t easy, but it can be determined by a few major factors. Here are the most common factors to take into consideration:

School Schedules

School schedules are the biggest factor to consider when trying to figure out Disney World crowds. When the school season is in session, families are less likely to travel to Disney World, meaning fewer people in the parks during those days.

Some parents are willing to take their kids out of school for a week to bring them to Disney (thanks mom and dad!), but this is rare and not the norm.

Most parents are only able to bring their kids during the holidays or summer break period when they don’t have to take them out of school and it’s either 1. Go when crowds are heavy or 2. Don’t go to Disney World at all.

Obviously, we don’t recommend number 2, and we think if planned properly you can still have a great time if you visit when kids are off from school. A trip to Disney World is expensive, but prices are also much cheaper when kids are in school.

Not only will the parks be less full, but you will also save tons of money on your Disney vacation in the process.

We recommend reading our post on the cheapest time to go to Disney World if you are on a budget.

Holidays

Disney World Crowd Calendar holidays

Hand-in-hand with school schedules are the national holidays. Some of them bring bigger crowds to Disney World than others, but all of them increase the attendance at least some. Here is a list of the holidays that have an effect on crowd levels in Disney World in 2022:

  • New Year’s Day – Jan 1
  • Martin Luther King Jr – Jan 17
  • Valentine’s Day – Feb 14
  • President’s Day – Feb 21
  • St. Patrick’s Day – Mar 17
  • Easter – April 17
  • Memorial Day – May 30
  • The 4th of July – July 4
  • Labor Day – Sep 5
  • Columbus Day – Oct 10
  • Veteran’s Day – Nov 11
  • Thanksgiving Day – Nov 24
  • Christmas Day – Dec 25
  • New Year’s Eve – Dec 31

Not all holidays are created equal and some are much busier than others. Christmas, New Year’s, Thanksgiving, Easter, and the 4th of July are by far the worst and are the times when families visit the most. This is because of the convenience of having around a week or more off from school, making a trip to Florida doable.

Some of the holidays that bring fewer crowds to the parks are Labor Day and Memorial Day. So if you have to visit during a holiday, those are the best choices. St. Patrick’s Day and Valentine’s Day are even less crowded but don’t draw big crowds anyway on their own.

Disney World Special Events 2022

Disney World Crowd Calendar special events

Special events can greatly influence crowd levels in Disney World and a lot of people come out to the parks when there is something new going on. Some of these can include the EPCOT festivals, new attractions, runDisney races, hard-ticketed events like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

Even youth sporting events like dance or cheerleading competitions have a big effect on how many people are visiting the parks during a given week.

Here is a look at all the Disney World events in 2022 that will have an effect on the crowd levels:

  • Disney World 50th Anniversary Celebration: Oct 1, 2021 – March 2023
  • Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend: Jan 5 – Jan 9
  • EPCOT International Festival of the ArtsJan 14th – Feb 24
  • Pro Bowl Weekend: Feb 3 – Feb 8
  • Cheerleading Competitions: Feb 11 – Feb 13
  • Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend: Feb 24 – Feb 27
  • EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival: March 2 – July 4
  • runDisney Springtime Surprise Weekend: March 31 – April 3
  • Dance Competitions: Summer 2022
  • EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival: TBD; (Jul 14 – Nov 19)
  • Disney After Hours Boo Bash/Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party: TBD; (Aug 10 – Oct 31?)
  • Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend: Nov 3 – Nov 6
  • Disney Very Merriest After Hours/Mickey’s Very Merry Christman Party: TBD; (Nov 8 – Dec 21?)
  • EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays: TBD; (Nov 26 – Dec 30?)

Quite a few of the usual Dinsey World events are back in 2022 after they were canceled last year such as the marathons, and the cheerleading and dance competitions. Thankfully, most of the other big events were saved and will continue as normal or as modified versions of the regular events.

Why Crowds Calendars Aren’t Always 100% Correct

Disney Crowd Calendar not always right

As great as a good Disney World Crowd Calendar can be, it is not the end-all-be-all to Disney vacation planning. Don’t think you can just pick a time when the calendar tells you the parks should have fewer people and think that’s all you need to do to have a successful Disney trip. Crowd calendars are just one part of the planning.

You can’t count on them 100% as there are just too many variables that can change at a moment’s notice. In the past, everyone thought that the crowds for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge would be off the charts in Disneyland and Disney World and there would be lines outside the parks all day. It turns out that was completely wrong advice and the resorts on both coasts had one of the lightest Summer attendance ever.

The weather can turn a park from heavy crowds to empty in a matter of days. Whenever there are hurricanes in Disney World, the parks turn into a ghost town for days before and after the storm hits. You can’t predict the weather and you have to go with the flow.

Then there’s what happened in 2020 with parks closing and guests having to reschedule for a future date or completely cancel their vacations due to economic hardship. 2020 was on pace for one of the busiest years in Disney World in recent memory, and things changed overnight and it became the year with the lightest crowds ever once the parks reopened.

Empty Hollywood Studios

Disney is great at manipulating the park attendance and releases special offers throughout the year once they realize that bookings aren’t at the level they are looking for. Promotions like Disney Free Dining and Annual Passholder hotel discounts can end up bringing more people to the parks than originally anticipated.

Even when theme park capacity isn’t at 100%, it can feel more crowded than it actually is. Disney tends to reduce park hours and understaff the parks when they don’t anticipate a lot of people coming to the parks on a given day.

So even though there are half the people in the Magic Kingdom on a weekday in September than there are during the holidays, the actual wait times could be similar depending on if rides are running at full capacity that day or not.

This is made evident when Disney decides to do last-minute maintenance on attractions or there is a refurbishment for one of the higher capacity attractions. If Pirates of the Caribbean and It’s a Small World both go down at the same time, expect to see increased wait times in all the other attractions throughout the park.

Relying too much on a crowd calendar will just let you down. We think they are an awesome tool to put in the right position to succeed when visiting Disney World, but that they also must be combined with a good Genie+ strategy and overall touring strategy which will both help you solve any problem that going when there are peak crowds can solve.

When is Disney World Least Crowded in 2022 & 2023?

Disney World Crowd Calendar

The smaller the crowds are, the less time you are going to have to wait in line for your favorite ride. So the objective is to find when there are the least amount of people in the parks as possible when you go.

These are the best dates, solely based on the crowd levels, not including other factors like weather. Just the days when you are less likely to run into droves of people.

Here are the dates you’ll find are going to be the least crowded in Disney World in the next 2 years.

Lightest Crowds in 2022:

  • Jan 3-14
  • Jan 24 – Feb 10
  • May 2-13 (excluding weekends)
  • Aug 15-31
  • September (the whole month)
  • Nov 1-18 (avoid Veteran’s Day)
  • Dec 1-16 (excluding weekends)

Lightest Crowds in 2023:

  • Jan 2-13
  • Jan 23 – Feb 9
  • May 1-12 (excluding weekends)
  • Aug 14-31
  • September (the whole month)
  • Nov 1-16 (avoid Veteran’s Day)
  • Dec 1-15 (weekdays)

A lot of this could change depending on when the Disney World park capacities return to normal, potential travel restrictions, and how many people can actually afford a Disney vacation at this time. We’ll be updating these dates on our Disney Crowd Calendar as more information comes out.

When is Disney World Most Crowded? 2022 and 2023

When is Disney World most crowded

Walt Disney World always has peak crowds during the big holidays. New Year’s and the days following are always packed, with Martin Luther King Day Weekend, President’s Day Weekend, Spring Break, Easter, the 4th of July, Columbus Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas into New Year’s Eve.

If you are concerned about finding large crowds when you go, then you will definitely want to follow our crowd calendar to know which ones to avoid. Here is a list of when Disney World will be the most crowded in the next 2 years:

Busiest Days in 2022:

  • Jan. 1-2 (New Year’s Crowds)
  • Jan. 15-17 (Martin Luther King Weekend)
  • Feb. 18-21 (President’s Day Weekend)
  • Mar. 18 – Apr. 17 (Spring Break & Easter)
  • July (4th of July and the entire month)
  • Oct. 7-11 (Columbus Day Weekend)
  • Nov. 18-27 (Thanksgiving Week)
  • Dec. 19 -31 (Christmas and New Year’s Weeks)

Busiest Days in 2023:

  • Jan 1 (New Year’s Crowds)
  • Jan 14-18 (Martin Luther King Weekend)
  • Feb 18-26 (President’s Day Weekend)
  • Mid-March – Mid-April (Spring Break & Easter)
  • July (4th of July and the entire month)
  • October 6-9 (Columbus Day Weekend)
  • Nov 17-26 (Thanksgiving Week)
  • Dec 18 -31 (Christmas and New Year’s Weeks)

This is looking out all the way into 2023 so things can change from now until then, but for the most part, these are going to be the days with the highest attendance.

Busiest Days of the Week at Disney World

Busiest days of the week in Disney World

What about the busiest days of the week at Disney World? Are there certain days which are always better to visit the parks no matter what time of year you go?

Out of all the days of the week, Saturday is usually the busiest in the theme parks.

In general, the Disney theme parks are more crowded on weekends than on weekdays. This is because during the week the majority of visitors are there on vacation. However, the Florida locals also come to the parks more on the weekends when school and work are out, therefore filling the parks more.

Weekends are also a great time for visitors because it means taking off fewer days from work. If a family is coming for 5 days, you can be sure 2 of those days will be Saturday and Sunday. Many holidays are part of a long weekend, attracting both locals and out-of-town visitors.

EPCOT Weekends

Topiaries in EPCOT Flower and Garden

If at all possible, DO NOT go to EPCOT on the weekend. We just talked about Florida locals coming to the parks more on Saturday and Sunday, and Epcot benefits the most from this trend.

EPCOT hosts 4 festivals per year:

Each of these festivals lasts from 1 to 3 months and in total, there are less than 3 months per year when EPCOT does not have a festival going on. Locals are drawn here because it’s a great place to meet your friends and walk around World Showcase while grabbing some snacks and drinks.

You definitely should go to Epcot during your visit, but if there is a festival going on, make sure it’s during a weekday.

Magic Kingdom Mondays

While visiting the theme parks during the week is always recommended, you might not want to visit Magic Kingdom Park on Monday which happens to be one of the park’s busiest days.

The reason behind this is that many people are just starting their vacation on Mondays, and what better place to make you really feel like you are in Disney World, than stepping onto Main Street U.S.A.? For that reason, it always sees higher crowds on Mondays than the other days of the week.

Sunday is actually a pretty good day to visit the Magic Kingdom as guests are either arriving that day or leaving to go home. Any other weekday is also fine, just check the calendar to see if there is a hard-ticketed event that day. In that case, the park will close early to regular guests but as long as you aren’t staying past dinner time it won’t be a problem.

Early Theme Park Entry

Early Theme Park Entry Disney Parks

Early Theme Park Entry allows guests who are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, to enter the parks 30 minutes before the general public each and every morning.

We are big fans of rope-dropping the Disney parks to get a great jump on the attractions that day, and ETHE means you can do rope drop even before off-site guests. This can be a big advantage in avoiding the crowds and should be considered when planning your trip.

It doesn’t matter which Walt Disney World Resort Hotel you are staying at, they are all eligible for Early Theme Park Entry. This means you will have early access to your favorite attractions and can ride them before the crowds get too big.

This is the current replacement for Extra Magic Hours and at this time Disney if this is a long-term solution or only temporary. You no longer have to figure out which parks have early access on a given morning, all 4 parks are the same and each lets you in 30 minutes early, 7 days a week.

Crowds at Hollywood Studios in Galaxy's Edge

While there aren’t many perks anymore for staying on property, Early Theme Park Entry is one of the only ones left that actually helps, especially with new or extremely popular rides like Rise of the Resistance.

Staying Off-Site – In this case, you can’t participate in Early Theme Park Entry. From a planning point of view, you still want to show up at the front gate before the scheduled park opening.

When they finally let you into the park, many of the good rides will already be packed, but you still will have lower wait times than in the middle of the day. The wait times at Disney theme parks increase dramatically after the first two hours of the park opening, so even if you miss the first 30 minutes, there is still plenty of time to get things done.

Combining your crowd calendar while showing up for Early Theme Park Entry is a recipe for success!

Extended Evening Theme Park Hours

Disney World Crowd Calendar and Extra Magic Hours

Similar to Early Theme Park Entry, Extended Evening Theme Park Hours gives guests extra time in the parks, but instead of the morning, you have access at night.

The way it works is guests staying at one of the Disney Deluxe or Deluxe Villa Resort hotels get extended access to the theme parks on select nights. That means that you will be able to stay late at the parks and continue enjoying the attractions while all the other guests will have to go home.

Also, Extended Evening Hours are not in every park, and not every night of the week. It’s similar to the old Extra Magic Hours with each park selected on certain nights. On these nights, the parks stay open until 11:00 pm or 12:00 am.

This will be advantageous to you if you are a night owl because the majority of guests with kids are not going to stay out that late and ride wait times will be extremely low. Many times we’ve been able to go on rides like Space Mountain or Peter Pan’s Flight and only have to wait 5-10 minutes.

Read our Guide to Extended Evening Theme Park Hours for a more detailed look as well as tips.

More Tips to Avoid the Crowds at Disney

Disney World Crowd Calendar rope drop

Here are a few more key tips to make the best use of your Disney crowd calendar and avoid the crowds. (Some of these will not be useful during the phased reopening period).

Rope Drop Is Key!

The best way to avoid big crowds in Disney World is to rope drop the parks. Rope dropping essentially means getting to the parks before they open in order to be one of the first people on the best attractions.

Since the theme parks are usually at their peak attendance in the late-morning to afternoon, this is a tried-and-true strategy that will significantly improve the number of rides you can do in a day, and help you avoid crowds. It’s a must-do if you are going to the parks on a holiday.

Learn How to Use Genie+

Disney World Crowd Calendar and FastPass+

The next way to avoid crowds in Disney World is to have a good Genie+ strategy. This is the replacement service for FastPass+, and it also was created to allow you to essentially skip the lines on whatever attractions you make reservations for, giving you very minimal wait times.

There are 2 ride reservation systems, Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane selections, both of which you need to pay extra for if you want to use. Guests with reservations then use the Lightning Lane (the old FastPass lane) to bypass the standby line.

Genie+ costs $15 per day, per guest. With that fee, guests can make reservations for attractions they want to ride throughout the day in a specific time slot like FastPass+. They then come back when that time slot is called.

Attractions included in Individual Lightning Lane selections on the other hand let you skip the line for a one-time fee and not an all-day pass. This is useful if you just want to pay for one ride and not the whole day.

The process starts each morning at 7:00 am when you can start making Genie+ or Individual Lightning Lane reservations for that day using My Disney Experience.

The best strategy is to get a Lightning Lane reservation for the most popular rides with the longest wait times, that way you can avoid the longest lines when you visit that park.

This is easier to do when you choose a day from the crowd calendar that is expected to be low attendance because you will be competing with fewer people for those coveted Genie+ reservations. On peak-crowd days it is much harder, and rides like Slinky Dog Dash or Flight of Passage may be out of reach.

Read our Guide to Lightning Lanes & Genie Plus and our Guide to Disney’s Genie service for more info and tips.

Watch Out for Party Days

Disney World Crowd Calendar for parties

One thing that can ruin your park strategy is the hard-ticketed parties in Disney’s Magic Kingdom. These after-hours events only let in guests with a special ticket for the event and the Magic Kingdom closes at 7 pm on those nights.

The two main parties to be aware of are: Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, which takes place from August through October, and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party from November to December. Both of these events are held three times per week in Disney’s Magic Kingdom.

These events are usually packed themselves, so not a good idea if you are trying to avoid crowds as much as possible. The first party of the year is usually packed, and then crowds fall off a bit, only to reach peak levels in the days before the actual holiday.

It’s also important to know when the parties are being held so you don’t show up to the Magic Kingdom at 5 pm, thinking you have the rest of the night, only later to find out the park closes at 7 pm.

Use Hard-Ticketed Events to Your Advantage

There are some hard-ticketed events that you can use as a perfect way to experience the parks and rides the attractions without the crowds and without the long wait times. These events happen late at night usually at 10 pm, giving visitors 3 hours to explore the parks, while limiting entrance to only a few thousand people.

Such events include:

Planning Mid-Day Attractions Right

Disney World Crowd Calendar planning attractions

Timing is everything when trying to avoid long lines in the Disney attractions, and that means knowing what time of the day is best to do each one.

As a general rule, the big E-Ticket rides should be done early on in the day. This is because park attendance is always lower at the opening and gradually increases until mid to late afternoon. So naturally, the queue for Space Mountain is going to be much shorter at 9 am than 2 pm.

If you followed our Rope Dropping advice, that means getting in line before the park opens to ride the most popular attraction, especially if you aren’t using Genie+. The other big ones you should be able to knock out by waiting in line during the first couple hours after opening or by using your Genie+/Lightning Lane.

So what should you do in the middle of the day? This is the best time for shows. Any non-ride attraction or entertainment like parades or shows like The Lion King or Nemo should never be done in the morning. Many are indoors with air conditioning and are a great break from the Florida sun while waiting for some of the lines on the rides to lessen.

Then in the evening, it’s time to get in line for the popular rides again when the crowds die down as people go back to their hotels or go to dinner. Make sure to plan your midday right!

Plan the Best Rides at Beginning of Your Trip

Flight of Passage bike

Ok, so we told you that Genie+ and the Lightning Lane are useful in avoiding crowded lines right? The thing is depending on what time of year you go, you might have a hard time getting one for the most popular rides in Disney World since so many people are also trying to get one at the same time.

To help put the odds in your favor, we recommend doing the best rides at the beginning of your trip, as soon as you get the chance. For example, if you plan on visiting the same park on multiple days during your trip, do the most popular rides right away.

Prioritize those attractions in Genie+ and make them your first selections each day. The best rides tend to fill up right away each morning, so if you wait, there is a good chance they won’t be there later in the day.

This is good advice no matter if you are using Genie+ or not. If you are using the standby queues and see a popular attraction that has a decently low wait time, take advantage of that and do it right away. You may come back later in the day or another day and find the wait time is much longer so don’t procrastinate.

If you get another chance to ride them in the last few days that’s great, but at least you won’t feel forced to wait 3 hours in line because it’s your only option.

What to do if You Are In the Parks When It’s Crowded?

crowds on bridge in Epcot

Sometimes, even with the best planning and using a Disney World crowd calendar, you still end up with huge crowds on the days you’re in the parks. Maybe going during the holiday season was the only time you could bring your family, and now you’re stuck.

Don’t worry, there are still ways to minimize wait times and make your experience a pleasant one. Here are some tips:

Take a Mid-Day Break

taking a midday nap in Disney World

Let’s face it, most families (especially if you have little kids) just can’t do a day from rope drop until the park closes at night. I don’t have kids and I can’t even do it! This strategy is so good because it allows you to enjoy the two best parts of the day and skip the worst.

As we said, park attendance starts out slow in the morning and slowly gets busier and busier as the day goes on until the evening. That’s why we like to go early in the morning, then return to our hotel in the middle of the day when the people start flowing in the turnstiles.

We can then either take a well-earned nap in the room or put our bathing suits on and take a dip in the hotel swimming pool.

Depending on our plans for the rest of the day, we sometimes then go back to the same park later in the evening, once it’s calmed down some. That lets us not waste time in the middle of the day when lines are the longest and rest up for later.

Another great advantage of going back to the hotel at midday is you get an escape from the tremendous heat towards 12 pm and into the afternoon. That can be excruciating at times and you might be too tired to stay in the park all day until the evenings, which are the most pleasant for the heat.

Go to the Parks In the Rain

Fantasyland at night

When it starts raining in Disney World, thousands of families immediately start running for the exits and make their way back to their hotel. While that may be tempting considering the crazy downpours that are common in Central Florida, waiting the storm out and staying in the park is one of the best ways to beat the crowds.

Thunderstorms in Florida don’t last very long and usually will bring the sun back out a short time later. What you should do is find the nearest show to where you are, go in, and by the time it’s over, the storm is already likely to have passed by. Now you have a good portion of guests who have gone home and lower wait times on the rides.

Ride During the Parades

Disney World Crowd Calendar for parades

If you want low wait times, you need to go on the rides when the people aren’t there right? One great opportunity is to hit some of the most popular ones when a parade is happening (this is for the Magic Kingdom obviously).

Now I’m not saying to skip the parade and never see it, but if you are going to the Magic Kingdom for two days during your trip, there is no need to see the parade twice. The same goes for if you have been to Disney and seen the parade dozens of times already. Use that time wisely.

Eat at “Odd” Hours

empty restaurant in Epcot

This is another great one. Step outside the box and don’t eat your meals at traditional times. Not only will you find shorter lines getting your food, if you go on the attractions when everyone else is eating, you are likely to find fewer people in the queue.

This is especially true at Dinner and doesn’t work as well at Lunch. If you eat an early dinner at 3:00 – 4:00 pm, or a late one at 8:00 pm or later, you can use that window in between to ride attractions while the majority of guests are eating.

Disney World Crowds – Month by Month

Disney World Crowds in Animal Kingdom

Let’s take a look month by month at the Disney World crowds and get an overall snapshot of each of them. We’re going to look at all the major events and holidays occurring over the next 12 months, and then talk about the crowd levels throughout each month.

(Crowd Calendar details for 2022 will be continually updated as Disney releases more information including park hours, procedures, and special events.)

January 2022

busy crowds in the Magic Kingdom

Events of Note:

  • New Year’s Day – Jan 1
  • Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend – Jan 5-9
  • EPCOT International Festival of the Arts – Jan 14 – Feb 21
  • Cheerleading Competitions – Jan 14-16
  • Martin Luther King Jr Weekend – Jan 15-17
  • Pro Bowl Weekend – Jan 5-6
  • Jan 1-2 – Crowds are still at year-high levels from New Year’s with the rest of the holiday visitors. Since New Year’s is on a Saturday, levels are extremely high until guests go home on Sunday. Avoid these days at all costs.
  • Jan 3-4 – Crowd levels fall off from the extreme highs of the holidays back to low levels on Jan 3 and 4. Things pick up after a couple of days though to high levels for the Marathon Weekend.
  • Jan 5-9 – The highly anticipated Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend begins and moderate crowds come into the parks for a few days.
  • Jan 10-13 – This is a great 4-day stretch in Disney World as very little is going on and a break between the marathon and the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday the following weekend. This is one of our favorite weeks to visit.
  • Jan 14-17 – Attendance picks back up for these 4 days due to guests arriving for the Martin Luther King Weekend break. This is the start of The EPCOT International Festival of the Arts which will draw crowds to EPCOT over the weekend. National dance and cheerleading competitions can also bring crowds.
  • Jan 18-23 – This is another great time to visit in January. There are mostly moderate to light crowds.
  • Jan 24-31 – The rest of January has very light crowds. The weekend will have a slight uptick, but nothing big.

We expect January 2022 to have low crowd levels once visitors leave after the holiday season. It will probably have the lowest crowd levels all year. With the 50th Anniversary in progress, it won’t be as quiet as 2021, but it should be close to a normal January.

Heavy crowds come out for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, and the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend is a big draw. Avoid these two weekends for best results.

Weekends will be busier than weekdays in January with locals coming to EPCOT for the Festival of the Arts. Also don’t expect a drop-off in crowds at Hollywood Studios, which should be at max capacity during every month of the year.

So far, Disney Park Pass reservations are still available for most of January, so it doesn’t look like it will be a very busy month in Walt Disney World.

Read our guide to Disney World in January for more details.

February 2022

Kylo Ren and General Hux in Rise of the Resistance

Events of Note:

  • Cheerleading Competitions – Feb 4-6, Feb 11-13, Feb 18-20
  • Dance Competitions – Feb 4-6, Feb 18-20
  • EPCOT International Festival of the Arts – Jan 14 – Feb 21
  • Valentine’s Day – Feb 14
  • President’s Day Weekend – Feb 19-21
  • Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend – Feb 24-27
  • Feb 1-10 – Besides the competitions, these first two weeks are extremely quiet with low attendance and wait times. Awesome time if you hate crowds.
  • Feb 11-14 – The Valentine’s Day sees Disney World attendance go back up to moderate from the 11-14.
  • Feb 15-17 – Light crowds and a great time to visit.
  • Feb 18-21 – Moderate crowds on the 18 then heavy crowds for President’s Day Weekend.
  • Feb 22-23 – Moderate crowds for two days before the marathon.
  • Feb 24-28 – Moderate to heavy crowds usually come out for the Disney Princess Half Marathon and Marti Gras

The first half of February 2022 is going to be slow with few events and most visitors already traveling to WDW during the holiday period. Usually, we see moderate to heavy-level crowds during the middle and end of February as President’s Day Weekend and the Disney Princess Half Marathon are going on.

Weekends will definitely be busier in February rather than weekdays as Annual Passholders tend to come out more then.

So far, Disney Park Pass reservations are still available for most of February, again signaling a lighter month of crowds in Walt Disney World.

Read our guide to Disney World in February for more details.

March 2022

flowers in Epcot for Flower and Garden Festival

Events of Note:

  • Mardi Gras – Mar 1
  • EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival – Mar 2 – July 4
  • Cheerleading Competitions – Mar 4-6, Mar 12-13
  • Dance Competitions – Mar 4-6, Mar 12-13
  • Spring Break Crowds Arrive – Mar 12
  • St. Patrick’s Day – Mar 17
  • runDisney Springtime Surprise Marathon – Mar 31 – Apr 3
  • Mar 1-5 – Expect moderate crowds for the first week of the month, and a great time to visit. EPCOT’s Flower and Garden Festival opens this week but crowds will be light until the weekend when more locals come out.
  • Mar 6-10 – The second week of March is also a great time to visit before the Spring Break crowds arrive.
  • Mar 11-31 – Schools around the country start letting kids out and Spring break crowds start arriving in Disney World and get heavier as the month continues. Expect heavy crowds for the rest of March and long wait times in the parks.

March has two halves with very different stories. This first part is a wonderful time to visit with Spring in the air and flowers everywhere. This usually means moderate crowds in the first half of the month, and it should be the same in 2022.

Heavy crowds then come in the second half when kids start getting off school for Spring Break. Last year was really busy and the parks felt like they were back to 100%.

We anticipate Spring 2022 having many people with a pent-up desire to travel again and this could be their first opportunity to do so. Many people also want to come to WDW for the 50th Anniversary and this is the beginning of the busy season and high crowd levels.

Read our guide to Disney World in March for more details.

April 2022

Green Army Men drumming in Toy Story Land

Events of Note:

  • runDisney Springtime Surprise Marathon – Mar 31 – Apr 3
  • EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival – Mar 2 – July 4
  • Easter – Apr 17
  • Cheerleading Competitions – Apr 19-25, Apr 28-30
  • Dance Competitions – Apr 19-25, Apr 28-30
  • Apr 1-3 – The few days of the month has heavy crowd levels as guests are still here on Spring Break.
  • Apr 4-8 – This is a rare window in April with light to moderate crowd levels before Easter.
  • Apr 9-19 – The Easter holiday is one of the busiest weeks in Disney World every year and should be avoided unless you have no other choice. The first Easter crowds start arriving and attendance remains high through April 18.
  • Apr 19-30 – Some guests lingering from Easter. Crowd levels fall back down in the second half of April.

Easter week is always one of the busiest of the year, and it still will be in 2022. By this time overall park capacity could be back up to 100% and the wait times will be as long as they will be for all of 2022.

The second half of April is a much nicer time in Disney World with wonderful weather and the Easter and Spring Break crowds going home. It remains to be seen what the difference is here with higher than usual crowds for the 50th.

Read our guide to Disney World in April for more details.

May 2022

Epcot at night Disney World Crowd Calendar

Events of Note:

  • EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival – Mar 2 – July 4
  • Cheerleading Competitions – May 1
  • Dance Competitions – May 1
  • Memorial Day – May 30
  • May 1-20 – Light to Moderate crowds for most of May. Higher on the weekends as locals come to the parks more. One of the best stretches of the spring.
  • May 21-26 – Crowds slowly start coming to the parks as some U.S. schools start letting kids off for Summer Break.
  • May 27-31 – Memorial Day weekend is the opening of Summer and should bring increased crowds.

May is usually a good time to visit as crowd levels are low before the Summer crowds appear. Weekends are the only time to avoid as many locals come to the parks.

We anticipate May being back to normal levels in 2022. The very end of the month should have an increase when Memorial Day weekend comes. For the rest of the month, expect light to moderate crowd levels.

Read our guide to Disney World in May for more details.

June 2022

Disney World Crowd Calendar for June

Events of Note:

  • EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival – Mar 2 – July 4
  • June 1-24 – Crowds are moderate for the majority of June. Crowds are heavier on the weekends.
  • June 25-30 – Crowd levels increase toward the last week of June with guests starting to arrive for the 4th of July holiday.

There isn’t too much going on at Walt Disney World in June 2022 as far as special events. Hopefully, by this point, the health crisis in the United States is well on its way to being resolved and crowds start to rise closer to normal Summer levels.

Crowd capacities should be back on their way up at this point and the last week should be the busiest with 4th of July guests arriving.

Read our guide to Disney World in June for more details.

July 2022

Disney World Crowd Calendar in July

Events of Note:

  • 4th of July – Jul 4
  • EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival – Mar 2 – July 4
  • EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival – TBD (Jul 14 – Nov 19)
  • July 1-5 – I don’t have to tell you the 4th of July and the surrounding days are some of the busiest days all year in Disney World. There are usually wall-to-wall people, making wait times excruciatingly long.
  • July 6-31 – While July isn’t quite as busy as it has in years’ past, moderate to heavy crowd levels remain for most of the month as families with kids are visiting during Summer break.

July is always one of the busiest months of the year, with loads of people every week. Park capacity could be back to 100% making July 2022 should be a very busy month in Wat Disney World. U.S. residents will be in the middle of vacation season with many people finally feeling safe about traveling again.

The EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival comes to a finish and the Food and Wine Festival begins. That means EPCOT is crowded on the weekend which we recommend avoiding.

See our guide to Disney World in July for more details.

August 2022

Disney World Crowd Calendar in August

Events of Note:

  • EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival – TBD (Jul 14 – Nov 19)
  • Disney After Hours Boo Bash – TBD (Early Aug – Oct 31)
  • Aug 1-7 – Moderate crowds remain in Disney World for the first part of August. Avoid the weekends if you can which are worse.
  • Aug 8-14 – Disney World crowds remain at moderate levels in the middle of August as kids start getting ready to go back to school.
  • Aug 15-21 – Crowd levels drop off significantly and are mostly light with moderate weekends.
  • Aug 22-31 – From the end of August until Labor Day is one of the least busy times in Disney World every year with the majority of kids now back in school.

August is usually one of the more quiet months of the year, and between the heat and kids going back to school, it will stay that way in 2022.

The EPCOT Food and Wine Festival is already well underway in August which means EPCOT will be busier on the weekends. Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party also usually debuts in August, but this year it might be replaced again by the Disney After Hours Boo Bash. One of these two parties will debut in early August.

See our guide to Disney World in August for more details.

September 2022

September Disney World Crowd Calendar

Events of Note:

  • Labor Day – Sep 5
  • EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival – TBD (Jul 14 – Nov 19)
  • Disney After Hours Boo Bash – TBD (Early Aug – Oct 31)
  • Sep 1-2 – The first couple of days in September are very light with low attendance in the parks with most kids back in school.
  • Sep 3-5 – Crowds return to moderate levels for the Labor Day long weekend. Labor Day isn’t nearly as busy as some of the other holidays in Disney World but this is the busiest the parks will be until mid-October.
  • Sep 6-30 – This is traditionally the longest stretch of days with low crowds in Disney World. Even weekend crowds are low in the parks unless you go to the Food and Wine Festival in EPCOT (which we don’t suggest doing). This is when you will find good deals on hotel rooms too.

September, in general, is one of the least-crowded months in Walt Disney World, and September 2022 should follow suit. Labor Day will have an uptick in guests at the beginning of the month before dropping off in the middle of the month.

If you can stand the heat, this can be the most pleasant time to visit Disney World since wait times are super low and prices for tickets and hotel rooms are about as cheap as they will be all year. It’s also a good month for events with the Food and Wine Festival and Disney After Hours Boo Bash in full swing.

Read our guide to Disney World in September for more details.

October 2022

Disney World Crowd Calendar October

Events of Note:

  • EPCOT 40th Anniversary – Oct 1
  • Columbus Day – Oct 10
  • EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival – TBD (Jul 14 – Nov 19)
  • Disney After Hours Boo Bash – TBD (Early Aug – Oct 31)
  • Oct 1-6 – Moderate level crowds during the first week of the month.
  • Oct 7-16 – The Columbus Day week will see the heaviest crowds in Disney World for October and should be avoided if possible.
  • Oct 17-28 – After the Columbus Day holiday crowds return to moderate levels except on the weekends which are higher.
  • Oct 29-31 – The days leading up to Halloween will be busy, especially on October 31st at the Magic Kingdom.

October is usually one of my favorite months at Walt Disney World but it has also turned into one of the busiest. The Columbus Day holiday is a huge event in the middle of the month that has a big impact, so expect heavy crowds.

Expect the Magic Kingdom to have long waits the whole month with Halloween parties being a big draw. We also would stay away from EPCOT on weekends during the Food and Wine Festival as there are many more locals since they are off from work. EPCOT also is celebrating its 40th Anniversary on October 1 which will be a packed day in the park.

We would avoid the whole month if you want to stay away from crowds.

Read our guide to Disney World in October for more details.

November 2022

Disney Crowd Calendar November

Events of Note:

  • EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival – TBD (Jul 14 – Nov 19)
  • runDisney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend – TBD (Nov 3-6?)
  • Veteran’s Day – Nov 11
  • Disney Very Merriest After Hours – TBD (Early Nov – Dec 21?)
  • Thanksgiving – Nov 24
  • EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays – TBD (Late Nov – Dec 30?)
  • Nov 1-7 – This week normally brings heavy to moderate crowds, and that is once again true this year with the Wine & Dine Half Marathon likely happening. That combined with Jersey Week in the first week of November means slightly higher crowds than normal, but a little slower before Veteran’s Day.
  • Nov 8-10 – There is a brief 3-day window before Veteran’s Day when crowd levels are low.
  • Nov 11-13 – Veteran’s Day weekend brings heavy crowds to Disney World in 2022.
  • Nov 14-19 – This is the lightest crowds get in November and a short break before the Thanksgiving holiday begins.
  • Nov 20-22 – Thanksgiving begins to arrive and crowd levels go up to heavy.
  • Nov 23-26 – This is the peak for crowds in November, only topped by the Christmas and New Year’s weeks.
  • Nov 27-30 – Crowds fall to moderate/light as Thanksgiving visitors go home.

The two holidays in November usually make for a very busy month (at least half of it), and crowd levels in 2022 could be even higher than normal. We think Veteran’s Day will see heavy levels as usual. We will be able to tell a lot once Columbus Day happens and we see how many people come for that as a good indication.

The EPCOT Festival of the Holidays starts at the end of November which will increase crowds in EPCOT. The Disney Very Merriest After Hours event is likely replacing Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party once again in 2022, and that means even more crowds to the Magic Kingdom.

Thanksgiving will top off a very crowded month at Walt Disney World and will definitely be more visitors than locals in the parks. This will set up how Walt Disney World will close the rest of 2022.

A lot depends on how the health crisis improves by November. If it’s mostly past by then, things might be back to normal levels and crowd levels will be 100% like in a normal year. A lot depends on safety procedures still in place and how much Disney has increased capacity by then.

December 2022

Disney Crowd Calendar in December

Events of Note:

  • Disney Very Merriest After HoursTBD (Early Nov – Dec 21?)
  • EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays TBD (Late Nov – Dec 30?)
  • Holiday Decorations Go Up – Dec 3-5
  • Holiday Crowds Arrive – Dec 17
  • Christmas Day – Dec 25
  • New Year’s Eve – Dec 31
  • Dec 1-9 – The first week and a half of December crowds drop off and it’s one of the quietest times of the year in Disney World, especially if there aren’t any cheerleading competitions happening. Holiday decorations do go up so many locals also come to the parks and resorts to see them.
  • Dec 10-16 – Crowds start to build as the holiday approaches.
  • Dec 17-22 – Heavy crowds at Disney World in the week before Christmas.
  • Dec 21-31 – This starts the busiest two weeks in Disney World of the year from the days before Christmas until New Year’s week is over.

Like November, December is going to have periods of high crowds and moderate crowds, and the way things are shaping up, it should be comparable to a normal year, maybe slightly less. Crowd levels are always lower at the beginning of the month up until the week before Christmas where it then slowly increases.

The Disney Very Merriest After Hours party is running through the week of Christmas.

The Christmas to New Year’s period will have very heavy crowds like any other year. This will be the case no matter how many people Disney is letting in by then.

Ranking Crowds at Disney World by Month – #1-12

Disney World Crowd Calendar Least Crowded Months

We’ve created a list of all the months and organized them from numbers 12 to 1 in order from least busy to busiest. When creating our crowd calendar we assigned a number to each day of the year from 1-5 for how busy that day is. We then totaled up those numbers for a final total of points at the end of each month, with the highest number being the busiest month of the year.

We thought the overall months’ crowd rating would come out differently than it did when we added everything up, with some months held as being less crowded, much higher up on the list.

What’s important to remember is that this is a total that reflects the entire month, not just certain weeks or days. A certain month might be really busy in one part, but have light crowds at another part which balances things out.

Ok, here are the busiest months in 2022 at Disney World ranked:

  1. September
  2. August
  3. February
  4. January
  5. May
  6. June
  7. November
  8. July
  9. October
  10. April
  11. March
  12. December

With Christmas and New Year’s being the most popular holidays at Disney World, it’s no surprise that December is the busiest month of the year. However, it’s very quiet at the beginning of the month and extremely busy at the end so it depends when you go.

It also makes sense to find March and April near the top since Spring Break and Easter are two of the busiest times of the year for traveling and Floriday is always a popular destination.

As for the least busy, it’s the usual suspects. August and September are almost always the least crowded months since kids are going back to school then. January and February are usually next in line as many families have just finished the holidays and are reluctant to travel again so soon.

FAQs

What is the Most Crowded Time in Disney World?

The most crowded time to visit Disney World is during the holiday season. Easter, The 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s are the busiest ones.

When is Disney World the Least Crowded?

The least crowded is when kids are in school. Late August, September, and after the holidays in January and February are all good times with low crowds.

Does Disney Have an Official Crowd Calendar?

No, Disney does not publish an official crowd calendar. That’s why looking at a combination of prices, school schedules, holidays, and special events, we are able to make one for you to plan your vacation with.

Summary

Snow White Seven Dwarfs Mine Train track in Fantasyland

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to avoid crowds in Disney World, and none better than using a good crowd calendar. The busiest times of the year in the parks are always going to be when school is on break, especially during a holiday.

If you aren’t forced to visit during those busy times because you don’t have kids or your schedule is flexible, then we highly recommend you skip those busy times as it will save you time and money on your trip.

No matter what you decide, make sure to consult a Disney World crowd calendar to help plan things out. Just remember, it’s not a magic bullet that will make all the people disappear, and there is no real “‘off-season” in Disney World anymore. That said, you can position yourself well by using one, but also use a good Genie+ strategy and Rope Drop the parks when you can for maximum efficiency.

Read our Disney World Planning Guide for everything you need to know before a Disney World trip.

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Your Thoughts

I want to know what you think about our 2022 and 2023 Disney World Crowd Calendars…

  • When do you think the least crowded time in Disney World is?
  • When are you planning your next trip?

Let us know in the comments section below!

If you enjoyed this article, as always I appreciate it if you’d share it with others via social media.  I work hard at making this website into a useful resource for you and your family to plan your visit to the Disney Parks and I hope it can help you! Thanks 🙂

notu

Thursday 26th of May 2022

ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls thinking there should be a considerable loss in attendance with disney's woke stance.

notu

Sunday 17th of April 2022

need to update since the new woke decision by disney. from what I hear people are de-disneyizing from the park the media and merchandise.

Jen

Friday 11th of June 2021

Thank you for this detailed guide! Your work is very much appreciated!

Joanne Earle

Friday 11th of September 2020

We have a family trip scheduled for the end of January but our autistic grandson cannot and will not wear a mask. Will the mask restrictions be loosened at all to allow sensory kids to not wear one? If we are 6ft away from others, can the mask be lowered for family photos?

Ziggy

Tuesday 15th of September 2020

Hi Joanne. That's a good question, unfortunately, there are no exceptions for medical reasons and everyone has to wear a mask. They are not allowed to be lowered for photos or when walking around even far from others. The only exceptions are when you are sitting down or stationary while eating, while swimming, or in one of the designated relax zones. I don't see the mask policy being lowered by January either. Sorry for the bad news but this is the current status of things in WDW

Elaine

Wednesday 10th of June 2020

Does anyone know if mask wearing is going to be permanent?

And how are hopper passes going to work with crowd limits?

Thanks!!