Planning a Disney World Trip – Choosing the Best Week

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A trip to Disney World is a big occasion for most families.  The biggest decision you’ll need to make is which week to go. It’s important to not base your decision of when to go solely on your vacation days.  If you want to make the most of the time you have in the parks, it’s vital that you pick a week that is typically less crowded.  Who really wants to wait in line for 2 hours with 2 children just to ride a 2 minute ride?  (trust me, if you go during spring break or between Christmas and New Year’s you will wait that long!) Going to Disney World during a less crowded week also means the resorts have lower prices to entice you to their property.  Smaller crowds, shorter wait times and lower prices makes for a great Disney vacation, and of course a happy family!

I used several different crowd calendars and rankings to choose our week, which was predicted to be the 10th slowest week of 2013.  Each one offers a different view with different features.  When used all together I was able to the find perfect mix of smaller crowds, low prices and mild weather. Here are the best 4 resources for picking the best week for your Walt Disney World vacation.

Undercover Tourist’s Crowd Calendar by month and daily crowd levels
If you’re a visual person this is the easiest to “read”.  You can look quickly at the anticipated crowd calendars for each week, and for each day.  This is particularly helpful if you won’t be staying for an entire week.  At the top of each monthly calendar it shows you the average highs and lows for the month as well as expected rainfall.

Your First Visit’s list and image of ranked weeks to visit
This page lists their top 15 picks for the best weeks to visit.  They aren’t necessarily the slowest weeks, but they’re accompanied by an explanation of what events are happening in the parks that may make them good choices.

Touring Plans’ Crowd Calendar by day for 365 days
This is a list of crowd levels by day, which makes it hard to choose a week, but easy to look at a glance and see if it’s a bad week to be at Magic Kingdom. To see past the next 30 days you’ll need to subscribe to their service, which costs about $11/year. It’s not necessary to subscribe at all, but certainly not months before your trip.  You will want to subscribe to their service for the time you’re in the parks, but I’ll tell you more about that later. Ask around, you may be able to find a friend (or a sweet sister) who will give you their login to use. :-)

Easy WDW’s Detailed Crowd Calendar
This is a month by month detailed (i.e. very type A personality) crowd calendar.  If there’s a bit of information needed to choose the best time for a Disney World vacation, Easy WDW has it.  Be sure that you have a good amount of time to read through this, as there is a great deal of information here.  I’d recommend leaving it for once you’ve narrowed down your choices to 3 or 4 weeks.

It’s ok, and probably preferable to pick your top 3-4 weeks.  Life happens, and your top pick for the trip may not end up working out.  It’s just as easy to do the footwork to choose the top few weeks as it is to choose the top week.

Next week I’ll share tips for your transportation to and around Orlando. 

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