Does anyone have an opinion on the very best week of the year to go to DLR? Caveats being that we like to go for 5 days, Monday to Friday to make the crowds more manageable, and don’t mind taking the kids out of school.
In 2017 I did a lot of newbie research and was convinced the best time to go would be the quietest days possible according to the crowd calendar, and took my family in late February. We had a great time, but it was quickly evident that our timing was not the best. Firstly, it seemed like a quarter of the park was under refurbishment. So not only did we miss out on some rides we were excited about, but the lower crowds were less dispersed among attractions and the wait times were much longer than expected. Second, with 9 am opening times, everyone seemed to show up right for 9, and getting into the park took forever (though Harbor security seems much improved since 2017).
So to redeem myself, I checked touring plans daily and would compare actual crowds to the predicted. I was convinced that the optimum time to go is the week after Thanksgiving. After going Monday-Friday of that week this year, I’m convinced this really is the best time to go. The park was running at full capacity, with no refurbishments, Christmas entertainment and decorations were amazing, full park hours every day, and the parks were gloriously not busy. We were easily doing 20-25 attractions a day without pushing it.
I’m curious whether anyone else has found a different sweet spot during the year? Now that we already plan to go again in three years, I’m convinced we should go the exact same week again. Halloween looks great in the parks, but for out of towners who aren’t big on Halloween, I think we liked Christmas time there too much to change.
I agree the weeks between Halloween and Christmas, excluding Thanksgiving week, is the best time to go. We have gone the second week of November a couple of times and the weather is perfect, the rides were mostly all open, and the crowds were low.
However, I went the week that SWGE started previews this last year (last weekend of May/ first week of June) and the crowds were so low, the weather was great, and it was fun being there during the opening of the new land. I was so surprised that the crowds didn’t materialize outside the new land. This past summer was a fluke, but summer has generally been slower in recent years due to AP block outs.
The only times I would NOT go again is August (so freaking hot), October (Halloween crowds are insane nowadays), holiday weeks, or Jan-Mar due to colder weather and refurbs. But if you can attend frequently, any time is fine if you don’t expect to accomplish much.
We went last year during Spring Break for 4 days. It was extremely busy, but we got everything done we hoped to do. I’ve heard it’s busy in the summer and during holidays. Our favourite week at WDW is the week before Thanksgiving. I’d bet that its similar at DL?
Actually, DL can be great in late June and July. Many pass holders are blocked which really helps control crowds, hours are long and everything is open.
I’m doing my first DLR trip this year. I chose mid-Sept for my trip to avoid crowds. I’ve seen multiple crowd calendars and blogs stating this is a good time for lower attendance. I was tempted by the lower February crowds too, but I saw the refurbishment calendar. A lot is going down for repair this winter / spring
By going in September, I’ll get all the Halloween decor and treats without the October crowds and kids will be back in school. (I’m more of a Halloween fan than Christmas)
For me personally it is the two weeks before Thanksgiving or the week after. I absolutely adore Christmas time at DLR! I was however pleasantly surprised on the crowds this year on Dec 17 & 18.
The next best time for me is during Halloween. Like @darkmite2 said, it is best to hit this time during September.