The past couple years have brought amazing new additions to Walt Disney World. We flew on the backs of banshees in Pandora — The World of Avatar, transformed into toys in Andy’s backyard in Toy Story Land, and experienced magic come to life while watching Happily Ever After. And if you thought these were the most epic experiences that Walt Disney World has to offer, just wait until you visit the Most Magical Place on Earth in 2019.
2019 is going to bring even more magic and fun to Walt Disney World Resort, with the biggest expansion being Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The immersive “Star Wars”-themed land will bring entirely new experiences to the theme park when it opens in late fall 2019, and while Disney hasn’t specified what that means exactly, many fans speculate December could be the land’s opening month. Although we don’t have an exact opening date of the land, we expect larger than normal crowds in the later quarter of the year.
Other new experiences and attractions are also set to premiere in 2019, including Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and an all-new fireworks spectacular at Epcot. Because of everything new coming to Walt Disney World in 2019 and fan-favorite events returning to the theme parks, we can expect what is known as the typical busy season to become even busier.
How can Walt Disney World crowds impact your vacation?
Because a majority of guests visiting Walt Disney World are not locals or Annual Passholders, but instead are vacationers, the crowdedness of the theme parks can depend highly on the seasonal events and school schedule. Visitors who are only able to vacation at Walt Disney World once a year (or perhaps once in a lifetime) often highly prioritize booking the must-do attractions and must-eat restaurants, like Frozen Ever After, Flight of Passage, Be Our Guest Restaurant, and Cinderella’s Royal Table. This can make reserving FastPass+ and dining difficult, and it can increase the queues at most of the rides and restaurants in the theme parks. Visiting Walt Disney World during busy seasons can add stress to your vacation because you may not be able to accomplish everything you want to.
During a low season, guests will likely find shorter queues (and lower wait times), decreased park hours, and overall less crowded and easier to navigate parks. During a busy season, queues and wait times are typically much longer, the parks are more difficult to navigate, the parks are often open longer, there are often more entertainment showtimes available. During a moderate season, the theme parks feel somewhat in the middle, and you don’t really know what you could get on any given park day.
Walt Disney World Resort crowd levels are often dependent upon the school schedule, groups visiting for national competitions (like dance and cheerleading), special events and festivals, and holidays. Knowing that the busy seasons lead to less available dining reservations, longer ride wait times, and often difficult-to-navigate theme parks, you may be inclined to research the times of year that attract the lowest crowds at Walt Disney World.
- January 22 through the end of January
- February 4-8 and 11-14
- Last week in February
- Weekdays at the beginning of March
- Most weekdays in April
- First 1-2 weeks of May
- Weekdays in October
- November 1 and 4-8
- January 15-21
- The first and second weekend in February
- April 4-8 and 21-24
- Weekdays in mid through late May
- Weekdays in late August through Labor Day
- Columbus Day weekend
- Weekends in October
- November 11-22
- January 1-6 and 9-13
- February during President’s Day weekend
- Weekends in mid-April and mid-May
- Memorial Day weekend
- Weekends in June through August when the Halloween season begins (Halloween Time at Walt Disney World generally runs from mid-August through October 31.)
- Weekends in November when the holiday season begins (Holidays at Walt Disney World Resort generally run from early November through early January.)
- Late November around Thanksgiving
- December (in anticipation of the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge)
When is the best time to visit Walt Disney World Resort?
There’s so much magic coming your way at Walt Disney World in 2019. Whether you’re a “Star Wars” fan wanting to make it to the opening of Galaxy’s Edge or you want to beat the crowds no matter the stakes, there’s a lot to consider when booking a trip. If you’re itching to get to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge when the new land opens at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, then visiting in mid to late December will be your best bet for a 2019 trip. But for those of you wanting to avoid the crowds, here are some things to consider:
Visit in the winter: We know that one of the perks of Florida is the tropical weather and sunshine year-round, and it may be worth braving the colder months and visiting in the winter this year. If you visit during the end of January or February, you’ll experience low crowds and the third annual Epcot International Festival of the Arts, the newest festival at Epcot.
Visit in September: If you love Epcot International Food & Wine Festival and you don’t have kids, consider visiting Walt Disney World in September. September traditionally has low crowds because most kids are back in school after Labor Day. Plus, you’ll get the benefit of experiencing the theme parks before they become crowded with all of the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge fans. If you have kids and wouldn’t mind taking them out of school, September is the month to do it. You can also attend Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party during this time.
Visit in mid-November: The middle of November right before Thanksgiving week is another time when the parks aren’t very crowded, but you’ll still get all the benefits of seeing the Christmas decorations and attending Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. If you want to visit during the holidays this year, we recommend going in November before all of the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge hype begins in the month of December.
Inside the Magic recommended travel dates
At Inside the Magic, we recommend visiting Walt Disney World Resort during the following dates in 2019:
- February 10-14
- May 1-14
- September 3-13
- November 11-18
If you are looking to book a 2019 Walt Disney World Resort vacation, we at Inside the Magic recommend booking your vacation with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner at Destinations to Travel. Agents at Destinations to Travel can get you the best deal on a Walt Disney World Resort vacation, book your FastPass+ and Advance Dining Reservations, and stay up-to-date on the latest money-saving offerings. Best of all: booking with a travel agent is completely free. Click here to request a quote for your 2019 Walt Disney World Resort vacation.
Walt Disney World Crowd Calendar
Inside the Magic’s Walt Disney World 2019 Crowd Calendar shows the low, moderate, and busy seasons at Walt Disney World Resort for 2019. This calendar is based on our own experience and research, and while it is a helpful vacation planning tool, it is meant to be a prediction and Walt Disney World crowds are subject to change.
Additionally, Walt Disney World Resort has calendar-based ticket prices that vary depending on the day your tickets are valid. Walt Disney World Resort has Value, Regular, and Peak ticket prices, but these prices do not always indicate the crowd levels or busyness of the four theme parks at Walt Disney World. When planning your trip, we suggest comparing our crowd calendar to the Walt Disney World Resort ticket price calendar to find the dates that work best for you.