August is probably one of the most complicated months to head out to the Walt Disney World Resort and it takes come careful planning to make sure you are making the most of your vacation.  Now what are the crowds like? Well, that is where every can get a little complicated. 

Here we are going to break down when is the best time to take a Disney Vacation during the month of August with a Disney World crowd calendar breakdown and what you can expect during your stay.

Crowd Levels at Disney World in August: The Facts

When it comes down to the month of August, you can break the weeks down fairly easily:

  • First week of August:

Expect this week to be a high traffic time.  This is going to be one of the last weeks of summer vacation so expect for there to be high crowds at the theme parks.

  • Second week of August:

This week is going to begin with high crowds and end with more moderate crowds.  This is really going to be the last week for all travelers before school begins to gear up so the crowds are going to disappear.

  • Third week of August:

Now we are really going to see a crowd decrease.  There is going to be moderate crowds and they are going to continually be getting smaller.

  • Fourth week of August:

This is going to be one of the lighter weeks of the year.  The end of August marks the beginning of a slower season that will grow through September WITH the exception of Epcot which we will get to later.

Disney World Tips:  There WILL be some exceptions while you are at the theme parks.  Due to special events some crowds will see a surge in crowds even during slow season.

When Should I Arrive?

So now we have the basics down of what each week is looking like for crowd levels during the month of August, but now you’re probably wondering, when is the best day to arrive?

The answer to the question is hidden in the keys of pricing and when most people are not checking is. Sunday evening.  Yes that is correct, Sunday is going to be the best day to check into any of the Walt Disney World resorts. 

Why?

Well, the first is going to be pricing.  The most popular days for people to be at the Walt Disney World Resort is going to be the weekend.  Since the weekend is the busiest time for people to be in the theme parks, the resorts are crowded as well so there is a price surge.  If you are staying at a value resort during a weekend you are looking at spending about $25-40 more a night. 

If you want to stay at moderate resort than you are looking at about $25 to $40, and if you chose a deluxe resort you could be spending anywhere from $20 to $100 more per night.  Just because it is the weekend!

So if you are doing Disney on a budget, it is important to pay attention to that weekend pricing surge.  This is a simple way to cut a cost.  Also, the parks of the most crowded during the weekend.  When you check into your resort on a Sunday evening, you can head over to Disney Springs for a nice dinner or just relax around the resort, get to your room early in the night and get a good night’s rest. Now you are going to look forward to a bunch of week days with the lightest crowds.  It is a simple way to plan your vacation more efficiently. 

Mondays are also a popular day to check in because you can spend four nights five days at the resort and still avoid those weekend surges while enjoying a week with smaller crowds. 

Even if you are spending a full week at the Walt Disney World Resort, Sundays are still going to be the best time to check it. You are going to be checking in while everyone is checking out giving you that leg up in the game that will be magic for the next week of your lives.  So remember that no matter how long you are staying, where you are staying at or even what time of the year you are coming: Sunday. Pick Sunday no matter what.

Special Events

Two of the biggest Disney Special Events begin in August and this is key when trying to plan your Disney Vacation. The first is going to be happening at the one and only Magic Kingdom, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. This is by far one of my most favorite events of the entire year at Disney World.  Beginning usually in about the third week of August, the Halloween festivities begin. Ticket prices begin at $85.  This is crucial for two important reasons:

  1. More people begin to frequent Magic Kingdom for this once of year event.
  2. Magic Kingdom CLOSES EARLY for the specially ticketed event.  That is correct, instead of a late night at Magic Kingdom you are going to be asked to leave unless you have a ticket.

Going to Magic Kingdom during this time of the year is a mixed bag of nuts.  If you are looking for one of the best ticketed events on the Disney property then you need to go.  And even on the days that the park is closed early for the event, the crowds are still light during the end of the month.  The one downside is that if you go during a day when the park closes at 7 pm, you will miss the nighttime firework show at Magic Kingdom.  Now you can always grab a park hopper pass and come back another day or buy a ticket for the Halloween party and watch one of the best firework shows throughout the year.

Overall, while the halloween party can shorten your day at Magic Kingdom, it will not drastically change the crowd sizes that are already expected. Make the most of your day and just make sure you get there early in the morning so you can do everything you want to do.

BUT WAIT! There is more.  If Halloween parties aren’t your thing, there is another specially ticket event happening at Magic Kingdom: Disney After Hours.  If your biggest concern about going to Disney World is the crowds then this event was made for you! This is a three hour event that happens on select nights where if you pay the price of $119 per person you will have the park with less crowds all to yourself.  As an added bonus you will also have unlimited popcorn, ice cream and select beverages included with the price of your ticket.  This is every crowd avoiding person’s dream with small lines and over 25 attractions open, it is a great way to do everything you could imagine in the park without all of the chaos that is there during the day.  Oh and it is cooler! Which is always an added bonus in this hot Florida Sun.

On the other hand, we have one of the most popular not specially ticketed events happening at Epcot: the Food and Wine Festival.  This literally begins during the end of the last week of the month, but expect for those two days at Epcot, to be packed.  It is one of the more popular Disney events throughout the entire year and the first couple of days are always the busiest.

If you plan on going to Epcot, expect to wait in longer lines than normal for a light week and be prepared for a crowded World Showcase area. Almost all of the food kiosks for the Food and Wine Festival are located in that area so many people will be waiting in lines trying to get their favorite treats.  If you are looking forward to the Food and Wine Festival, I would recommend waiting a couple of weeks when the crowds die down from the excitement.

Extra Magic Hours

Now one of the perks of staying at one of the Walt Disney World resorts is going to be the Extra Magic Hours, but you’re probably wondering how fantastic is this perk?  Well, if you are going to be attending the parks that has extra magic hours assigned that day there is going to be a larger crowd.

See, when one of the parks have extra time to visit for all of their resort guests, a lot of them are going to want to take advantage of that opportunity. Because everyone has the same extra magic hours the park is going to be busier.  I usually recommend using the the extra magic hours if the park has them in the morning, but if they are at the end of the day just skip it unless it is Magic Kingdom.  The Magic Kingdom park stays open so late that most people are not going to use their extra magic hours, but for the rest of the parks it is going to be just as crowded.

Now if a particular park does have extra magic hours in the morning, I suggest going to that park just for the morning and then hopping to another after.  That way you can benefit from the extra magic hours but not deal with a crowded park for the rest of the day.  It is truly the best of both worlds.

What’s the Verdict?

If you are trying to do Disney during a summer vacation when school is out you are going to be strapped for time slots.  Everyone is on school break at the same time during the summer.  This results in the parks being incredibly busy during the first two weeks of August.  But if you have the opportunity to move your dates around, then the last week of August is going to be one of the best times of the year to go.

Not only will there be plenty of special events going on during that time, but due to school being back in session there are not as many people heading out for their family vacation.  Monopolize on that opportunity.  Just keep in mind that Epcot will be crowded the first couple days of the Food and Wine Festival so always keep your eyes out on Disney’s website to see when the events actually begin.

One last perk of coming during the month of August is the rain.  I know, you would think that it would be a bummer to come during a month when there is a lot of rain, but that does mean that people leave the parks.  So if you do happen to get stuck in a Florida shower while you are here, do not leave the park.

Go find an attraction that is indoors and wait it out.  While everyone else is heading back to their hotel room, you can wait for the hour or so it will rain and then sneak out on.  That is always a sure way to help dissipate the crowds and allow you to maximize the rest of your day in the theme parks.

If you do see a day where it is predicted to have more rainfall than others, make sure to hit any attractions that are outside first.  Those do close down when the rainstorms are accompanied by thunder and lightning, so this way you can enjoy the rest of your day at the park with more indoor attractions but not miss out on any fun even though it is raining.

In the end, do not be afraid of August.  It may seem that being the end of the summer it would be quite crowded but with the weather and special events and the end of the season, it can be considered one of the best times of the year to go. So keep an eye out for any deals and try to make your trip closer to the end of the month.  You will not regret it.

You Also Might Want to Read:

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  2. Disney World Crowd Calendar: When Should I Visit WDW?
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