CROWDS. MORE CROWDS. CROWDS ON TOP OF CROWDS. This is one of the first things people say to me, when they say they aren’t ‘Disney’ people. And I get it – standing in 120 minute lines isn’t my idea of a bitching time either. I’d rather go to the dentist (and I probably need to stop avoiding that appointment) than wait in a 360 minute line for Frozen Ever After. Disney veterans, like myself, really don’t mind the crowds – I’ll get to the parks early, stay late, or use FastPasses to make the parks feel less crowded. But for first time guests, or people that don’t go as often, I understand that crowds can be a serious buzzkill for the vacation you dreamed of. The good news is this – while the ‘dead season’ of yesteryear doesn’t exist anymore, there is an off season, and it does thin-out the crowds some.
Again, we stress that the concept of the parks being ‘dead’ are a notion of the past. Disney World is an incredibly popular place (as it should be), and will always have people there. Certain times of year however, there aren’t as many people there, based on natural circumstances (such as school being in session). Some of those times are as follows.
Mid January – Beginning of March
Mid September – Mid November
The Month of May (before Memorial Day weekend)
The First Week in December
Crowds in those times will fluctuate, but you won’t experience nearly as many people as you will during Spring Break, or the week of Christmas. Those tend to be two of the most crowded times of the year, when the crowds can swell to levels that will make you want to drive an ice pick in your forehead, instead of hearing one more refrain of ‘Zippity Do Da’.
The crowds during off season are hit or miss. We know that it will be less crowded, but we can’t guarantee HOW much less crowded it will be. We’ve been in the parks during the off season before when it still felt really crowded (especially on weekends), and we’ve been there on the off season when the wait times for Frozen (the longest line out there) was only 40 minutes.
The most popular deal that is run during part of the off season is the free dining promotion that is run in the fall months. We have mixed feelings about free dining, since full priced tickets have to be purchased, as well as a full priced hotel room – but if you know how to utilize a dining package to its best capacity, you can make it into a really good deal.
There’s no bad time to visit Walt Disney World. But there are times of year that are less crowded than others. If crowds aren’t your things (are they really anyone’s thing?), book a trip during the off season for a less crowded experience.