The dates provided are according to Disney's dates. Disney has 5 levels of crowds. Level 5 is the worst and most busy time to visit. If you went to Walt Disney World during one of the times that is recommended, you would see a large crowd and think I'm nuts for recommending that time. There's a big difference between what we consider to be crowded versus "Disney Crowded". There are no slow times anymore. There are "less busy times". Dates will change year to year depending on when some holidays fall. If at all possible, these are the worst times to avoid in 2018 and are considered to be level 5 out of 5 levels:
- December 24 - December 31
- March 25 - April 7
Other really busy times that are not recommended in addition to the above dates are and are considered Level 4 out of 5 levels:
- 3rd week of February - March and April (Spring/Easter break)
- Middle of June through middle of August
- November 21 - 23 (Thanksgiving).
The remaining weeks will be listed below. Level 3 of 5 is still very crowded, but not nearly as bad as 4 or 5. Level 2 of 5 is almost empty according to Disney, but still very crowded to us. Level 1 of 5 is prime time to go to Walt Disney World. Please remember that our version of slow is very different from "Disney slow". But, trust me, all of the weeks below are WAAAAYYYY better than any of the weeks on levels 4 and 5.
Another very important thing to remember is that the weekends are never really that good year-round (especially holiday weekends). **Some weeks listed below include holidays, which will be busier than the slowest times, but, certainly, not like the crazy, busy times like Christmas, summer and Spring/Easter breaks. The weekdays are always best in the weeks below.
With all of that being said, here are the weeks that are considered to be "slow" according to Disney (levels 1, 2 and 3):
January--All month. **(Level 1 of 5)
February--First and second week. (Level 3 of 5)
May--All Month. ** (Level 3 of 5)
June--The 1st through the 10th. (Level 3 of 5)
August--Last two weeks. (Level 3 of 5)
September--All month. ** (Level 1 of 5)
October--All month.** (Level 2 of 5)
November--November 1 - November 20th
November 24 - November 30. (Level 2 of 5)
December--First and second week (Level 1 of 5)
Week before Christmas (Level 2 of 5)
It's also important to remember that there are 52 weeks in the year. It all depends on what days fall where and when full weeks begin, which also determines when kids go back to school or get out of school. This list is based on Disney's 2018 dates.
Final thoughts and personal experiences: Be mindful of holiday weekends like Memorial Day, Martin Luther King Jr, Labor Day, etc. They can be more crowded than usual, but not too busy to change your vacation. You may just want to avoid the Magic Kingdom on the weekend and go on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. And, avoid Epcot Friday-Monday during Food & Wine Festival. In my opinion, the first week in January is pretty busy, too, because of marathon weekend, which is the first weekend in January after the 1st. There's a significant drop in crowds from the holidays, but the rooms are packed with runners from all over the world for the only full marathon Disney has.