January 2020 or May 2020?

Hi everyone! I am a huge fan of Disney World and will be bringing my husband for his very first trip in 2020! The month we visit will likely depend on when he is able to get time off from his new future job (he is finishing his Master’s this spring.) However, if given the option of going either late January 2020, or early May 2020, which would you choose? We will be staying for 8 days, 1 of those days going to Universal. The other days will be spent at the 4 Disney parks. He has been dreaming of this trip since he was 6! And will he be 41 when we go, so I want this trip to be as amazing as I can make it. Do you think crowds will be better in January or May, especially for HS? I know he wants to visit Galaxy’s Edge and go on the new rides. I’ve been in January, so I know the weather is nice and cool, but what is the weather like in May? Any thoughts as to why once month might be better than another for a first-timer would be greatly appreciated!

Here is a resource you might find helpful geared to first timers:

Our family took our first trip last week of January this year and loved it! One thought - do you really need to squeeze in Universal this trip? My two cents would be to plan on going on a separate trip to really soak in Disney rather than trying to cram in 1 day at Universal. Maybe you could plan on a more relaxing 3-4 days at Universal?

I should have noted - my husband HAS been to Universal. We visited for 3 days about 2 years ago. So we just want to visit over 1 day (Unlimited Express Pass) and enjoy the parts we love the most. He specifically requested a day at Universal, otherwise I would have just done 8 days of non-stop Disney!
Also, I should note this will be my 8th trip to Disney, so I have experience planning trips there. But with Galaxy’s Edge opening up, I can’t help but feel it throws all of my experience out the window.

Both are good times to go. If you want to avoid the heat, then January is a better choice. Although if you want to avoid the possibility of cold, May is the winner. (We’re going the week of Mother’s Day in May 2020.)

January weather is more unpredictable in terms of temps, so you’ll have to pack with several options. Also, are you flying or driving? If you are driving (as we would do) take into consider winter weather along your route.

Following! Trying to make the same decision - end of January or late April/early May 2020. So far, I’m thinking the latter, and since Easter is earlier next year I’m hoping the crowds die down by then. Looking forward to other’s experiences!

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Great question! We will be flying. Weather of course can delay flights too, but i’m just going to cross my fingers if we go in January. My last two trips were in Jan/Feb… and we lucked out with weather and no delays.

I love your username! We are planning to stay at Wilderness Lodge for this trip. It will be the first time for me since like 20 years ago! Usually I go with a value or moderate resort, but I am splurging on this trip.

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We went to Universal for 4 days last year in February. Weather was fantastic. Was in the 70s and 80s the whole time. But that was a bit unusual.

Honestly, if we weren’t driving from Michigan, I’d not hesitate to do January/February time frame. Although, we don’t do water parks, etc. If you are interested in doing those, I think you’d be better off in May.

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I didn’t answer this question because, well, SWGE is the elephant in the room. No one knows, yet, how it will affect crowds or how Disney plans to manage them, etc. Any answer given is pure conjecture.

Yes, I think you’re right. Perhaps once SWGE is actually open at the end of August, and we can see how crowds are, people can start making more educated guesses as to how January or May 2020 will be affected.

Thanks! We loved Wilderness Lodge (obviously). We’re from Minnesota, and the cabin-y theme resonates. Plus the pool is awesome.


One thing I’m considering is the price difference for the room - from what I could tell, the crowd levels are similar (depending on the week you pick) in late January / late April-early May, but the room rates look generally higher in spring… our trip will be shorter than yours, but over 8 nights, it might be a thing for you.

Ooo, thank you for the link! I had noticed that May is certainly pricier than late January. I have been saving up religiously, so I should be able to swing the price difference. But at the same time, I could spend that money on other parts of the trip if we went in January. Good point!


Given the choice, I would do May. January does have tricky sneaky cold days. Also, crowds have been heavier in January the last two years.

Also, completely speculation, but many are thinking Rise Of the Resistance will open in SWGE in December. So that could do some nasty things to DHS crowds in January. Of course all speculation at this point…


We’ve been in Dec and had perfect weather, but I’m reluctant to go at that time again because for us the weather is part of the lure of Florida and we’d be disappointed if it was cold. Re SWGE I think the later the better. By May both rides will have been open for a few months and you’ll at least know what to expect and there might be FPP by then.

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