This question comes from Sarah who writes:
I was wondering if it was better to go to the Magic Kingdom and other Disney Parks on any certain days of the week? I was thinking of booking our trip (flying in on Sunday) and going to the parks Monday-Wednesday and heading home Thursday. Thinking that there would be a large(r) Thursday-Sunday crowd than Monday-Wednesday crowd.
Excellent question, Sarah!
When planning a trip to the parks certainly crowd levels are a big factor in deciding when to go and what parks to attend on any given day. As a general rule I do think that Tuesdays through Thursday is a bit less crowded as many folks will extend sandwich vacation days around a weekend adding to park crowds on both Mondays and Fridays. During the weekends the crowd levels, especially on Saturdays will be higher as local residents tend to come and enjoy the parks. All of this being said, I do not think it is so much a concern of which day you are going, but which month and which week.
Let me explain. September is the month when both grade school and college students go back to the classroom. For this reason you will find most days in September to have very low crowds whether it is a weekday or weekend. Come June, after the first week, it is crowded no matter which day you pick all the way through the last week in August.
You also need to be aware of Monday holidays such as Veterans Day, Presidents Day, and Columbus Day. These holidays will ensure that Monday crowds will be high and that people will again sandwich vacation days around these days off.
When I begin to formulate a trip, the first thing I do is head to http://www.touringplans.com. I have a subscription to the site which is the best eleven bucks I have ever spent. I can pull up a crowd calendar which details crowd levels for every day of the year at every park. They rate the crowds on a 1-10 scale with 1 being the least and 10 being the most crowded. I think anything under a 5 or even a 6 is really a manageable crowd. I try to plan trips that have days in the 3 and 4 levels if possible. If I can get there during the 1 crowd levels I am ecstatic!
If you do end up having to be at the parks during a high crowd level day I suggest heading to Epcot which is a bigger park that can handle crowds a bit better. If you are visiting one of the other three parks I suggest arriving before park opening. This will allow you into the parks with low crowds that will grow as the day goes on. I also highly suggest using the fastpass system and having a good plan for visiting the attractions!
I hope this has helped you understand Disney crowds a bit more!