Last updated on 05/22/2023
May at Walt Disney World starts off with low crowds that pick up for the busy summer travel season, which unofficially kicks off Memorial Day weekend.
Here’s what you need to know:
While Memorial Day crowds can be heavy, the days before and after typically aren’t bad since not all schools are out by then. The beginning of May is also a good time to visit and if you can plan a trip before most schools are out you’ll find the crowds to be quite manageable.
There are all kinds of reasons to love Disney World during May. Here are some of our favorites:
But while there is lots to enjoy about May at Disney World, there are a few other things you should know:
The beginning of May doesn’t usually see high crowds, but as schools begin to let out at the end of May and with Memorial Day (a busy holiday weekend) falling towards the last weekend of the month, crowds will vary.
There are mainly moderate crowds before the peak summer season, with comfortable temperatures and special events, like the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, attracting visitors.
During busier times of the year, Disney does try to improve guest experiences by doing a few things to help keep the lines down. Although they never officially announce anything, these are the things that we’ve noticed that do help:
Although Disney can make adjustments to keep the lines manageable, they can’t control just how busy the parks look and feel. During busier times of the year like May, walkways and paths in the parks may be full, Quick Service locations remain busy for longer, and the crowds for nighttime shows will be heavier.
We don’t tell you that to scare you, but to prepare you. May is not the time of year to just wing it. Spending even just a few minutes on a plan for your Disney World trip will make all the difference.
Here are the dates we are predicting will be the busiest in May:
PARK HOURS | PRICES & DISCOUNTS | SPECIAL EVENTS | WEATHER | WHAT TO WEAR | REFURBISHMENTS & CLOSURES | WHAT’S NEW | TIPS
Disney publishes its park hours about 75 days in advance, but those hours can (and very often do) change.
Note: This used to be about 180 days in advance, but since the reopening, they have transitioned to a roughly 75-day window.
As the dates get closer, it isn’t unusual for Disney to tweak either the opening or closing times. And during especially busy times of the year, they may change both.
That means to avoid having your plans sidetracked, you’ll definitely want to keep checking the park hours – including while on your trip.
When it comes to park hours – in general – the heavier the crowds, the longer the parks will be open during the day. Of course, that also means that the parks will be open fewer hours of the day during less busy times of the years.
In May, that means that you’ll typically find the parks open longer over Memorial Day.
If you are looking for a good deal, May is a pretty good time to find one.
Disney doesn’t offer discounts to be nice, they do it to fill hotel rooms and for them. Since early May is typically a less busy time of the year, that means you can often find good discounts for those dates.
Epcot never looks more lovely than during the Flower and Garden Festival, which means May is the perfect time for a visit to this iconic park.
Taking place in the spring (and sometimes early summer) this festival brings dozens of larger-than-life topiaries as well as plenty of food and drink options inspired by all things botanical.
Even though May isn’t even officially “summer” yet, you can expect it to be warm and even hot.
During May, the temperatures will range from lows in the upper 60s to highs in the upper 80s.
And, by the end of the month, expect those highs to creep into the 90s.
May is also the start of the rainy season. The further into the month you go, the more likely you’ll run into the typical midday showers that central Florida is known for.
We recommend that you come prepared with ponchos, multiple pairs of shoes (in case one pair gets wet), and umbrellas just in case.
By May, you’ll find that the pools will be one of the most popular places to be.
In addition to the pools at the resorts, Disney’s 2 water parks will also see their attendance numbers increase.
If swimming is a must-do and you are worried about the crowds, consider starting your day at the pool and head to the parks later in the day.
Most people reverse that plan which means the pools can get quite busy by the end of the day.
When packing for Disney World in May, most people will be comfortable wearing whatever they typically wear in the summer (shorts, capri pants, etc.).
One place where you might get cold, however, is inside some restaurants and attractions.
And in fact, even during the hottest months we keep a light jacket in our park bag because coming out of the sun into an air-conditioned space is sometimes too cold for our liking.
If you’re the kind of person that finds sitting under the AC to be too much, you might want to consider tossing in a light jacket, too.
While routine refurbishments aren’t typically scheduled in May, you’ll likely still run into a few attractions that are closed.
At this time, no major new attraction, restaurant, or show is scheduled to open in May.
Depending on the length of your trip, here’s how many days we recommend for each park:
When it comes time to decide which days are best for each park, here are some general things to keep in mind:
1. For each day of the month, we tell you on a scale of 1-10 how busy the entire Walt Disney World Resort is when compared to other days of the year.
2. Then, for each park, you’ll see the park hours and any special events that are planned.
3. We also track refurbishments and closings (which you can toggle on and off).
4. We have a handy feature that allows you to automatically add your Advanced Dining Reservation date to your calendar.
5. And, one of the most useful features is the ability to be able to print the calendar so that you can have a paper copy for planning (or to just use as a backup).
Official park hours are usually released around 75 days in advance.
The "crowd level" compares each day to the rest of the year; it indicates how crowded the entire WDW Resort area is on a scale of 1-10.
|Magic Kingdom||Epcot||Hollywood Studios||Animal Kingdom||Typhoon Lagoon||Blizzard Beach||Disney Springs||Dining Closings||Attraction Closings||Reservation Dates|