When are the slow times?

Love Tink

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 14, 2011
Years ago when asking when the slow times were - there were some standard answers we all remember fondly. Then there was the internet, and eventually Disney related message boards, and Google and Facebook and iPhones and now Alexa and the like. I did a quick search experiment in Google and just typed in the phrase "when is the best time to go to" and a list pops up and one of the prefilled entries is "disney world". That means that there are a lot of folks doing a search to find out the same answer. You can guess the answers because they've been the discussed for many years - but those ranges they give have been shrinking at an alarming rate and the old "slow" was a lot less crowded than the new "slow". I even asked Siri on my iPhone and got the same sites. Make me wonder how Alexa or something similar would answer.

The short answer is - between Disney marketing and staffing changes, along with the easy availability of the answer to your quest for many thousands of potential WDW visitors via the internet, the likelihood of finding a truly "slow" time at WDW is dissappearing fast. If you do happen to visit at a time when it is truly "slow," just count your lucky stars.
Merely asking the question "when are the slow times at WDW" virtually assures there will be no slow times because the one thing the internet promises is thousands of answers to every question thereby effectively ending the slow times.
No one needs the internet to know that WDW is most busy when kids are out of school. Do you think before the internet people went in mid-July or Christmas week and were shocked that it was a high crowd time? Common sense predates the World Wide Web.

"Slow" is completely a matter of perception. Hang around this forum for a few years and you'll see repeated instances where two people at the same place on the same day have completely different views about how crowded it was.
 

_19disnA

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 8, 2018
^^ I agree. Disney is such a draw for people from all over the world, that it seems busy almost all year round. We went in early May this year and some of the parks were wall-to-wall people that made walking from one place to another a real challenge. We certainly didn't think it was a 'slow' time. I have no idea how people doing searches for 'Disney slow times' has anything to do with future crowd levels. Even Disney has no idea how many locals with AP's will decide to show up some weekend. The internet also provides a means for people to post LOTS of opinions, but I am not sure that has any direct relationship to future attendance. Obvious peak times like Christmas will never change, but I would expect it to be busy whenever you go.
 

tex1989

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 13, 2018
No one needs the internet to know that WDW is most busy when kids are out of school. Do you think before the internet people went in mid-July or Christmas week and were shocked that it was a high crowd time? Common sense predates the World Wide Web.

"Slow" is completely a matter of perception. Hang around this forum for a few years and you'll see repeated instances where two people at the same place on the same day have completely different views about how crowded it was.
Obviously people know when it is busy, always have, the point is it has become "busy" year round, prompted by discussions here and elsewhere to discuss the benefits of attending at off peak times which lead to long discussions on the merits and reasons to take kids out of school to go to WDW. So the non peak times have become peak times through the marketing of Disney, Food and Wine festival, Flower and Garden Festival, and now the Festival of the Arts. Based solely on the number and length of discussions I have seen over the years on these boards alone about taking kids out of school for the Disney trip I can say that yes people want to go when it is the least crowded and ask the question on the internet all the time. Services paid and free spend a lot of time posting crowd indexes, a virtual cottage industry has grown over the years discussing time of year to go, touring plans, fast pass usage schemes, etc. I have been going to WDW since well before the internet and remember in those days the most informative source was the Birnbaum books that were published annually.

So while you may say people know it's busy when kids are out of school I can say from personal experience I have had smaller crowds in June (when the kids are out of school) on several occasions than I have had in September when kids are in school. Common sense is not so common and lots of people go without in depth research.
 

disneygirlsng

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 16, 2017
Yeah. We’ve been the first week of May for the last 4 years. We didn’t see headlines at 30 or less minutes past 10 am. Yes, there are other times when you don’t see 30 minutes past 9:05. It’s slower than other times but you aren’t going to see 30 min headliners in the afternoon or evening. Especially now with adjusted staffing. And by headliners I mean things like EE and BTMR. Things like FOP and 7DMT are 90-120 minutes at 9:05 like any other time of the year.
Maybe I just got lucky, but I definitely saw multiple headliners (not FOP, SDMT, or SDD, but most others) under 30 minutes in the afternoon/evening during each of my last 3 trips (mentioned above that I walked on BTMR 3 times in a row at 2pm a few weeks ago). Now sure, it wasn't like that all day long every single day, but consistently enough to make it quite noticeable.
 

PrincessWithABlaster

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 1, 2016
Maybe I just got lucky, but I definitely saw multiple headliners (not FOP, SDMT, or SDD, but most others) under 30 minutes in the afternoon/evening during each of my last 3 trips (mentioned above that I walked on BTMR 3 times in a row at 2pm a few weeks ago). Now sure, it wasn't like that all day long every single day, but consistently enough to make it quite noticeable.
I’ve never been in Nov so I can’t speak to that.. Perhaps you’re better at picking park days in May or if you have hoppers and move around to lower crowds, maybe that explains it. The first week is always the cheerleading week so maybe it’s higher than the two non holiday weeks in May. I’ve definitely seen PoTC and Soarin at 30 mins (and everything that is typically a shorter wait than those, IASW, etc) in the afternoon but no mountains and JC i I’ve always seen around an hour.

The one exception was a Wed 3 years ago when it stormed before park open and misted for about 2 hours before raining solidly the entire rest of the day. 7DMT was 25 mins at 9:30. Splash was walk on at 2 pm. I couldn’t believe it. It ended up being a crowd level 1 day unfortunately my kids were done with the rain at 2 and were too young to convince otherwise. But other than that afternoon waits of 30 or less for bigger rides have not been my experience first week of May.

But all that said, May is still a really great time to go. It is a lower crowd time and cooler weather than Sept. I just don’t want people to get really high expectations and then be disappointed that the lower crowds were not the super low they were expecting.
 
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