Disney 100 Characters; mother, father, daughters; Donald Duck, Pluto, goofy
  • On Oct 3, 2023
    Scott from MD Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    Visiting 1/20-1/28, 8 day park pass, planning 2 days in each park. After researching various individual park crowd calendars online planning to do Epcot, MK, AK, HS, AK, MK, HS, Epcot. Am I overthinking this? Are the crowd calendars accurate?

    Hiya Scott,

    Welcome to planDisney! I’m really excited to be part of your planning journey and help you prepare for your upcoming vacation.

    As someone who researches every aspect of her Walt Disney World Resort vacations with as much thoroughness as when I wrote my dissertation, I firmly believe there is no such thing as too much knowledge. If I were in your shoes, I would also check out as many perspectives as possible to prepare for my vacation. Historically, crowd calendars have been a helpful tool for planning vacations to Walt Disney World Resort; they were compiled using trends over several years and some basic, well-supported assumptions. Holidays, runDisney Race Weekends, and weekends tended to be less crowded. Most of January, February, May, September, and early November were considered “off-peak” and less crowded. Unfortunately, Scott, the last few years have rendered these crowd calendars less effective. I visited in February of last year and was surprised at how busy it was compared to years past. I can sum it up with the sentiment, “You just never know.” Here is what I can tell you, Scott. I don’t think it hurts to look at crowd calendars; they can help you make some initial plans, but plan to be flexible. My top three tips for navigating Walt Disney World Resort if it is crowded are:

    1. Arrive early and stay later (take a break in the afternoon) to visit the most popular attractions. Crowds tend to be smaller earlier in the day and later in the evening. If you can take advantage of that, you can make even a crowded day feel manageable.

    2. Eat at non-traditional hours; when everyone else eats lunch or dinner, that is the perfect time to ride attractions. You are also more likely to get the advanced dining reservations that you want if they aren’t the traditional times.

    3. Try to plan your EPCOT day on a weekday (especially if a festival occurs). In my experience, it tends to be less crowded than weekends, and avoiding larger crowds is typically a safe bet.

    I hope this was helpful, Scott. If not, and you want to overthink some more, please come back and see me. I would happily help you walk through any research you have collected.

    Happy Planning,

    Ashley F
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Meet the Panelist: Ashley, Texas

Hey Y'all! I’m Ashley and I live in Texas. My family and I love trying out the yummy snacks (DOLE Whip anyone!) and taking full advantage of our resort days. When we are not piloting the Millennium Falcon, exploring Kilimanjaro Safaris, or watching fireworks, you can find me planning our next adventure to Walt Disney World! I am so excited that you are planning a trip, and I look forward to helping you dig a little deeper and find the magic in all of the wonders of Walt Disney World Resort. Learn More About Ashley

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