If you’re planning your first Walt Disney World vacation, or if it’s the first one that you’ve taken in years, you might have heard about crowd calendars. These are online tools that will tell you the magical days to go to Walt Disney World when the parks are less busy. How accurate are the crowd calendars? Should you plan your trip around them?
First off, let me state that any day at Walt Disney World is magical if you allow it to be. My family and I once hit all four parks on Christmas Day, and we had a blast. It’s all what you make of it.
That said, crowd calendars can be a useful tool, but don’t rely too heavily on what they say. Remember, there is no exact science for determining how many people will be at a park each day. With new lands, rides, shows, and restaurants opening all the time, people are flocking to Walt Disney World. Expect a crowd, even if you’ve used several crowd calendars. Disney is a very busy place.
If you’re trying to find a less crowded time of year to visit, there are a few things to keep in mind. If schools are not in session, it will be crowded. Remember to factor Spring Break into the equation, and do a little bit a research, because schools across the country take their Spring Breaks at different times. Three day weekends (which some families turn into four or five day weekends) also see larger crowds.
Another thing that you will want to check in order to experience smaller crowds is if there are any special events going on during your visit. For example, the picture at the top was taken during the celebration of Epcot’s 35th Anniversary. The crowd in the picture is not normal, even during the summer. The first and last weekends of the Epcot Festivals usually see a jump in attendance. You might want to check the runDisney schedule, because the races bring a lot of people to the parks.
To wrap things up, crowd calendars can help you to narrow dates down, but do not base your entire vacation on what they say. I’ve been in a park that wasn’t too crowded when the calendar said it would be packed, and I’ve been there when it was supposed to be low attendance and there were wall to wall people. If you’re flexible on your dates, I’d honestly suggest planning your Walt Disney World vacation around the weather rather than a crowd calendar. You’ll thank me for it.