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6 Times to Visit Walt Disney World If You Hate Crowds

4. Weekdays in early May

Figment topiary in front of Spaceship Earth

Image: Disney

This one is hit or miss, but there is a sweet spot in mid-April and early May where crowds temporarily dwindle. It’s not as solid a bet as the old window surrounding Spring Break, but it’s still not a terrible time to visit.

For April, this small window kicks in after schools across the nation have finally exhausted all the various weeks for Spring Break, but before Easter weekend kicks in. For May, its reliably tucked in the first few weeks, steering clear of weekends if you can. For silver Passholders, it’s a nice time of year to get your Disney fix before summer blackout dates arrive. For those who enjoy Disney’s spring offerings, like the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival, it’s a beautiful time to visit, even if crowds are slightly higher than the other options on our list.

5. Super Bowl Sunday

Super Bowl Player at Disney World

Image: Disney

Want to pick a very specific day to visit with low crowds? Don’t care about football? Plan to stay away from sports bars in the parks? Super Bowl Sunday is the dream Disney day for you.

We stumbled upon this one almost by accident when we planned a Disney vacation that started on Super Bowl Sunday. If you don’t like crowds, it might just be one of the most magical days all year, particularly when the game is going on.

Most visitors who want to watch the game hurry back to their resorts or pack into The Rose and Crown, The ESPN Club, and resort bars. At this point, the parks empty surprisingly. Queues become pleasantly short, and while you may hear the occasional holler from excited fans watching the game on a smartphone, a very nice quiet settles. It’s a seriously fun time to visit if you don’t like crowds—and you can always tell when the game is over from the resounding cheers and boos you hear across the parks when the final score is settled.

6. The immediate days before an impending hurricane

Palm tree under Hurricane Irma skies

Image: Todd Van Hoosear, Flickr (license)

Yup, this is a real thing.

This is one mostly for the locals or those who walk on the wild side—we obviously do not encourage travel in the middle of a hurricane warning or planning a trip when a hurricane is coming. However, if you happen to be in the unique position of visiting Walt Disney World immediately before a hurricane is about to strike, don’t despair. You might strike gold on getting the park all to yourselves.

Locals and visitors from abroad who ventured into Disney parks immediately before the arrival of Hurricane Irma reported finding crowd levels at the lowest they’d ever seen. Most local passholders from across the state were scrambling to prepare their homes for the incoming storm. Other guests had already cancelled reservations or holed up in resorts. The parks emptied.

Most hurricanes don’t affect Orlando. They may gust the city with tropical storm winds, but its rare for Disney World to get hit. Irma was a rare exception that did leave her mark and was an exceedingly dangerous storm. However, for those locals and visiting guests who had completed their hurricane prep, Disney parks were otherworldly quiet the day before the parks had to close, with extremely low queues even for busy rides. Your visit may carry a similar foreboding to visiting The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, but you can’t beat a near-empty park.

Obviously, you can’t and shouldn’t plan a trip around a hurricane warning. Hurricanes are a frightening and terrible catastrophe. However, if you happen to be in Orlando right at that sweet spot before one, don’t feel shy about taking advantage of the lull. You may get to enjoy the quietest Disney day you’ve ever had during the calm before the storm.

What’s your favorite time to visit Walt Disney World without crowds?

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