Disney World crowd calendar for the 2017-2018 school year

Planning to visit Disney World sometime between August 2017 and July 2018?

I've got a Disney World crowd calendar of predicted crowd times based on school calendars of many of the biggest districts, holidays, runDisney races, and years of experience being in the parks at all times of the year.

Let's dive in...

Quick Disney World crowd calendar note

The cheerleading and sports competition dates were not available at the time we published this calendar. Once they're out, we'll update the chart to reflect those days as yellow (moderate crowds).

Looking for the 2016-2017 version? You can find it at http://wdwprepschool.com/disney-world-crowd-calendar-for-the-2016-2017-school-year/

Click the graphic below to view a larger version.

August 2017

  • August 1-13 - heavy crowds that are common in the summer continue for the first half of the month
  • August 14-21 - summer crowds start to decrease
  • August 22-31 - the last half of August enjoys light crowds as many school districts are back in session

Get more info on the August dashboard.

September 2017

  • September 1-4 - some light crowds appear through Labor Day
  • September 5-15 - very light crowds in the first part of September before the fall break crowds appear later in the month
  • September 16-30 - some light fall break crowds will start to appear in late September

Get more info on the September dashboard.

October 2017

While the Food and Wine Festival is going on at Epcot throughout the month of October, it doesn't necessarily create an overall surge in crowds at all of Disney World as much as it creates a surge of locals going to Epcot on the weekends. That's why I never recommend Epcot on the weekends during this time.

  • October 1-4 - the first few days of October should be moderately busy with some schools having fall break
  • October 5-16 - Columbus Day weekend and peak fall school breaks
  • October 17-31 - after the fall break crowds leave, late October sees moderate crowds for most of the last part of the month

Get more info on the October dashboard.

November 2017

While the Food and Wine Festival takes place at Epcot for the beginning of November, it doesn't necessarily create an overall surge in crowds at all of Disney World as much as it creates a surge of locals going to Epcot on the weekends. That's why I never recommend Epcot on the weekends during this time.

  • November 1 - light crowds before the race and Jersey Week
  • November 2-5 - the Wine and Dine Half Marathon sells out faster than just about any race and many hotels will be fully booked during these dates
  • November 6-12 - many schools in New Jersey have a couple of days off of school this week and families often take advantage and spend part or all of this week at Disney World in what's commonly called "Jersey Week." This time period also sees an influx of crowds for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon.
  • November 13-17 - light crowds just before the Thanksgiving visitors arrive
  • November 18-21 - Thanksgiving week is busy, but these days leading up to Thanksgiving aren't quite as busy as the last half of the week
  • November 22-26 - heavy Thanksgiving crowds
  • November 27-30 - crowds drop off significantly once the weekend after Thanksgiving has passed

Get more info on the November dashboard.

December 2017

  • December 1-15 - December begins with relatively light crowds before the peak holiday crowds arrive
  • December 16-21 - some moderate holiday crowds start to show up as some schools release students for holiday break
  • December 22-31 - very busy time at Disney World as people spend their days off of work/school to vacation at Disney World for the holidays

Get more info on the December dashboard.

January 2018

  • January 1-4 - the last bits of the holiday crowds will remain
  • January 5-7 - Marathon Weekend where thousands of people show up to run 1 or more races
  • January 8-10 - Marathon Weekend has ended but attendees often linger for a couple of days to enjoy the parks
  • January 11-12 - light crowds between busier times
  • January 13-15 - a 3-day weekend due to Martin Luther King Day. Many people go to Disney World during this time expecting light crowds, but it's actually 1 of the busiest times I've ever seen.
  • January 16-31 - light crowds return for the end of the month

Get more info on the January dashboard.

February 2018

  • February 1-15 - light crowds kick off February
  • February 10-16 - some moderate crowds due to Mardi Gras and many Louisiana districts being out
  • February 17-19 - President's Day Weekend is very busy, especially with it overlapping so many longer winter breaks
  • February 20-25 - the heaviest crowds of President's Day Weekend will subside as Princess Half Marathon crowds show up
  • February 26-28 - light crowds to finish up February

Get more info on the February dashboard.

March 2018

  • March 1-9 - light crowds to start March before spring breakers start to show up
  • March 10-16 - spring break crowds will show up during the last part of March, but not the heaviest spring break crowds which appear the first week of April
  • March 17-29 - heavier spring break crowds will appear in the parks
  • March 30-31 - peak spring break crowds

Get more info on the March dashboard.

April 2018

  • April 1-8 - peak Spring Break crowds for Easter week
  • April 9-18 - very few schools have scheduled breaks during this time, so crowd levels should be much more manageable
  • April 19-22 - moderate crowds due to the Star Wars Half Marathon
  • April 23-30 - April should finish off with light crowds

Get more info on the April dashboard.

May 2018

  • May 1-22 - light crowds as we enter May
  • May 23-24 - some school districts start their summers on these days and moderate crowds will appear in the parks
  • May 25-31 - Memorial Day weekend and summer crowds start to appear

Get more info on the May dashboard.

June 2018

  • June 1-30 - summer used to be super busy, but crowds have been dispersed a bit differently in recent years, so expect fairly busy crowds in June, but not as busy as in past years

Get more info on the June dashboard.

July 2018

  • July 1-5 - the busiest time in the summer is over July 4 when people visit to enjoy the impressive fireworks
  • July 6-31 - summer used to be super busy, but crowds have been dispersed a bit differently in recent years, so expect fairly busy crowds throughout most of July, but not as busy as in past years

Get more info on the July dashboard.

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When do you plan to visit? Any questions about our Disney World crowd calendar?

Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments, but please don't ask us to compare to crowd calendars from other sites. We've explained the reasoning behind our calendar here and won't be commenting on how other sites do things.

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Leave a Reply

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Jaime

Do you have a printable version? I’m such a paper/pencil person, and I can’t get the image to print nicely! 🙂

Ginnie

We are planning to go either Feb. 24-Mar 4, or March 3- March 11, 2018. I think the Princess Marathon is Feb 22-25, but I know some colleges have their Spring Break March 3-10. How much of an impact on crowds had the Princess Marathon ha. Generally do you think most people participating leave on Sunday? I would really prefer not to be there during Spring Break times. I am just wondering which week would be better, Thanks so much.

Sheila Palomares

I am already planning a trip to WDW in July 2018. Unfortunately, it will be the week of July the 4th. We are going with a 2 yr old and a 7 yr old. This is not my first time to WDW but it is my first time planning it all! I am very nervous of going during “heaviest crowds”. All I am waiting for are the packages for Summer 2018. Any predictions for them? Any tips for our trip?

LMD

I’m torn between April 23-30 or April 30 – May 7. Both should have dance/cheer comps, but I’ve heard that the one in May (Summit) is a bit more expansive than the one last week of April. Anyway, looking forward to your updates once you get the dates!

Christine Lynch

When do u typically publish the crowd calanders for next year? We are looking to go April 2018 but your calanders are like my planning bible! Thanks!

jess

I am looking to book late February but cannot via the Disney website – are resorts not open for booking yet? Any help would be great 🙂

Lindsey

We have a trip planned for February 9th-16th 2018. How do you think crowds will be? We just got back from going this past Mardi Gras, and we were able to ride everything we wanted but it was Very crowded. Do you think next Mardi Gras might be a bit better since there won’t be any marathon?

Andrea

We are planning a trip for to WDW from Oct. 16th to Oct. 23rd 2017. It shows a moderate crowds- I am a little nervous about the moderate crowd. I want to plan what days to visit and not visit certain parks. I was thinking you had those suggestions on this site, but I can’t find it. Can someone make suggestions as to where I might find this?

Thais B Winmill

Oh man! My daughter will be in Kindergarten this Fall. We’re pulling her out for a week in october for a Disney Cruise and are planning on WDW during her spring break so she’s not missing another week of school for a family trip. The calendar is not out yet for the school year but experienced moms have told me it’s always around passover and they’re estimating March 30-April 9. We’ve never been to WDW during heavy crowds, I’m wondering how awful it really is? We went this year during cheerleading competitions in Feb and it wasn’t horrible but all the teens were very frustrating.

samantha

hey! we went over easter break and yes it was crowded, but it wasn’t shoulder to shoulder. I was really nervous on how the crowds were gonna be but it wasnt bad at all. We had a great time and did SOOO much! Would deff do it again. Just make sure you have your all your fast passes lined up in the morning so you can use more fast passes the rest of the day. Have fun:)

Amanda

Our school calendar was just finalized for next year. We will be out the whole week before Christmas. We’ve never been to Disney World at this time of year but are thinking of planning a trip. Our dates would probably be Dec 16-22. So, we really want to know when the crowds will really arrive. Will many other schools be out the week before or are we safe until closer to end of the week? Should we plan to miss those last few days of school and go a few days earlier?

Megan

F lol, I love your site and all the information you provide is so helpful!! We are planning out next trip and it seems as though we are looking at the moderate crowds in october 2017. We have typically travelled in a September during the lightest crowds and this is making me nervous. What’s the difference in crowd sizes? Is there a huge change in wait times for attractions? We will have our 3 year olds with us and with a well planned trip we avoided waiting any more than 20 minutes this past year. Could you just explain a little more about the differences in crowds for me? Thank you!!

Sheri Thompson

Why is summer 2018 mostly orange and summer 2017 mostly red? Does it have to do with the 45th Anniversary?

Sara

Thank you so much for this ?
We have booked from 11th April – 25th April 2018. After we booked we realised it might possibly be Easter ?. This calendar is amazing, all our dates are green ?? so hopefully much more manageable.

Nicole

We are planning on going to Disney World some time during the first two weeks of December 2017. Do you recommend getting tickets to MVMCP or should we adjust our dates slightly and go when there is no party and everyone can see the Christmas parade and fireworks show etc.? Do you know the approx. dates that the MVMCP takes place?

Alex York

We went to DW from November 29- December 6, 2014, and there were MVMCP’s 2-3 times throughout our stay. I believe they start sometime around mid-November and go through sometime around or just after Christmas. We LOVED the parade and I would definitely recommend it!

AlexsMommy

I would like to seek your advice. We are going with our two year old in a few weeks on a low to moderate day at Magic Kingdom. We will be there at rope drop. We are using fast passes on the Mickey Meet and Greet, Mine Train/Thunder Mountain (child switch), and then Winnie the Pooh (to ride at around 11:30). We plan to arrive at rope drop and go straight to Peter Pan, Dumbo, Ariel, It’s a Small World. We have elected to skip Splash and Space Mountains as well as Belle’s Enchanted Tales and Ariel’s Grotto. We will go back to the hotel for a break and then return for non-Fantasyland Rides, shopping, dinner, Eoshes, and Kiss Good Night. Would you suggest we switch our FP for Winnie the Pooh to one for Peter Pan and go to Winnie the Pooh at rope drop instead? Thank you in advance for your advice!

Paul Holmes

Hi

Are to there for EMH?
If yes, that is the time for Mickey Meet and greet. If you go straight to it, there will be a couple of groups infront of you and a 5 – 10 min wait. If not going for EMH on an non EMH hours day it will probably be similar if you go straight there. As it is as you go in, and many people rush to the bigger ticket rides, I would do that first without a FP.
I get my Fast Passes kicking in from about 10.30 for the more popular rides. This year, mid August I think my first FP was for Pirates of the Caribbean at 10.30- and it was very busy at that time (moderate on crowd calendar day) . Before that we had arrived EMH and I used an itinerary off Touring Plans and didn’t wait for anything. My last FP was Mine Train at 2.30 before I could then book more if I wanted on the app.
Probably the worst ride to get on after mine train in an afternoon is Peter Pan I would say. If I were you, I would do Mickey first, then maybe head for Pooh. Peter Pan will be busy from the off, and you may as well use a FP for that a bit later when crowds are heavier.

MacKenzie Vattimo

Hi AlexsMommy,
Is this your first visit? We traveled about seven times with our now three year old. In answer to your question, I think you can make it to Peter Pan if you go there right after you enter. Does your daughter like characters? We used to make our fast passes for rides our daughter likes, but then we realized it was better for us to make the fast passes for lines that she didn’t want to wait in: Haunted Mansion, Jungle Cruise, etc. and sometimes we use fp for characters (a line that we do not like to wait in!) Good luck! Sounds like a fun day!

Any idea when the dates for mnss 2017 will come out? My wife along with some great friends are planning an October trip for our 40th.

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