I’ve arrived at Walt Disney World on every day of the week and, I have to write, there’s a big difference for all seven days. And, yes, it turns out there is a best day to arrive at Disney World and it depends on what you plan to do and just how ambitious you plan on being. Here are the best arrival days at Disney World and tips to make the most of it.
Best Day to Arrive at Disney World – Best Days to Visit Each Disney Park 2023
If you’re like I am, when it comes to visiting any theme park, I prefer to goon a low crowd day. Not only is it much easier to navigate the park, the ride queues tend to be much shorter. So, to make things much easier for you, here’s the best day to arrive at Disney World plus answers to many more of your arrival day questions.
What Days at Disney World Are the Least Busy?
I love delving into the crowd analytics of Disney World, plus I’m all about visiting the theme parks when there are less crowds, so I’m happy to share with the days at Disney World are the least busy.
If you think about it, locals and Disney World Annual Passholders undoubtedly work through the week, so it goes without saying that weekends, and the days flanking them, are the most busy. So, if you want the least crowded Disney theme parks, visit on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. You’ll miss the long weekend visits as well.
As for the best time to arrive at Disney World, it’s all about rope drop, aka, park opening. The first two hours of the morning is the time to accomplish the most when it comes to attractions. Once to get closer to lunch the crowds increase and then begin to fade after dinner. Additionally, an hour before park closing has lower crowds as well.
When Is the Best Time to go to Disney World with Less Crowds?
And if I had to pick the least crowded months to visit Walt Disney World, choose October, November before Thanksgiving week, and December before Christmas week. After the first week of January, there are practically crickets, so if you can manage a visit mid-January, the weather is gorgeous and the crowds nil.
I know there’s a popular question for one month in particular: is May a good time to go to Disney World? The answer depends on when you visit. If you’re planning on visiting at the beginning of the month, yes. But the closer you get to June, the more the crowds increase.
What Is the Best Day of the Week to Arrive at Disney World?
If you think about it with a flying into Orlando perspective, flights generally cost less midweek (again, avoiding the long weekend visits). The same goes for Disney World. For me and my family, the best day of the week to arrive at Disney World is midweek, so Tuesday-Thursday. And if I had to choose only one midweek day to arrive, it would be a Tuesday.
Having written that, if there is a special event going on like runDisney or an opening day for an attraction, the park that it’s happening in is going to be very crowded.
Disney World visitors often have the same theme park mantra when it comes to visiting a particular park on a particular day. For the highest crowd levels, I go by this rule for days to avoid:
Monday & Saturday – Magic Kingdom
Tuesday, Friday, & Saturday – Epcot
Wednesday – Animal Kingdom
Thursday – Hollywood Studios
Best Day to Go to Magic Kingdom 2023
Of course, this will change depending on major holidays (Magic Kingdom is always the highest crowd level for Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Day, New Year’s Eve and Day, and Thanksgiving). My pick for Magic Kingdom is a Sunday or Tuesday ofr the lowest crowds.
So, if you want to avoid the crowds and visit the theme parks with less people, don’t visit on the days I mentioned using the above schedule. Now I know, for me and my family it’s very hard to resist driving up to Disney World on a Monday morning and not heading straight to my favorite theme park, Magic Kingdom. But, if I know there are going to be crowds, I’ll choose another theme park.
So, instead of picking Magic Kingdom, knowing that Epcot will be busiest on Tuesdays, we’ll go to Epcot or Animal Kingdom. And instead of going to Hollywood Studios on Wednesday, I’ll choose Magic Kingdom.
And having written that, if there’s a hard ticket event or nighttime party in Magic Kingdom, the park will close early. And because it closes early, there tends to be VERY low crowd levels in the park on that day. We love to take advantage of those kinds of days. It makes for an early night in where we can go to Disney Springs or even park hop after 2pm. Or, you can totally fell free to spend time at the resort – you’re paying top dollar for it so you may as well explore it and enjoy, right?
I have to write this as well: there is a Disney World crowd calendar that I frequently use make sure I’m on the right track. Undercover Tourist is always my go-to site for checking the ebb and flow of theme park crowds in Orlando.
Best Day to Go to Epcot 2023
Again, avoiding Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, choosing Wednesday or Thursday to visit Epcot is always a good bet. Most folks head to Epcot on Tuesdays as a natural choice and Friday & Saturday nights are for locals that like to drink around the World Showcase and watch the fireworks.
Best Day to visit Hollywood Studios 2023
You’ll want to avoid Disney’s Hollywood Studios on Sundays and Thursdays if possible to get the best crowd level bang for your buck. So, if you can visit, the best day to go to Hollywood Studios is on a Monday or Wednesday – there’s a pretty good chance you’ll have the lowest crowds in the park for the week.
I have to share this as well: Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is the spot in the park that gets crowded in the morning and stays pretty crowded throughout the day. So, keep an eye on the My Disney Experience app and look for waning wait times for its attractions if you don’t want to spend the money on Genie+.
Best Day to Go to Animal Kingdom 2023
If I had to choose a least-crowded park of all of the Walt Disney World theme parks, I’d pick Animal Kingdom for a couple of reasons. The park has a large sprawl, so there’s plenty of room for visitors. Additionally, I tend to consider it a half-day park so I’ll take my family in for the first two hours at rope drop. At that time, we’ll either go back to the resort room or head to Disney Springs for lunch.
When it comes to the best day to visit Animal Kingdom, avoid Wednesdays. Instead, plan to visit on a Thursday or Saturday. I can’t write about AK without mentioning Pandora – The World of Avatar. If there’s one area in the park that gets crowded and tends to stay crowded throughout the day it’s here. So, again, use the first two hours of the day rule to get the most bang for your buck. Or, if you’re staying on property, take advantage of the extra 30 minutes each morning at any of the theme parks to really help with getting on an attraction without a long wait.
In a Nutshell
Whew, that was a ton of information, wasn’t it? I know, it may sound confusing at first, but using the tips I’ve given you above will help ease the stress of high crowds and offer a more pleasant experience. And if all else fails, and you have Park Hopper tickets, feel free to hop to another park and enjoy it.
And lastly, if you visit one of the theme parks and there are a ton of guests but you really don’t want to leave, no worries. Sure, you may not get on all of the rides and attractions that you want, but people watching and moseying about the park is one of my, and my family’s, favorite things to do even on low crowd days. I love seeing the mini “Disney Princesses” walking around with their families, seeing guests smile compliments of castmember interactions, or even taking in the extras like fireworks, parades, and shows.