Before we dive into discussing May Disney World crowds, let me start by saying that I LOVE visiting WDW in May! Okay, sure, I love visiting WDW during any month, but May is honestly towards the very top of my list.
There are many reasons to plan a May WDW visit—some of which include the continuation of the EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival, Star Wars festivities (mainly specially released merchandise) related to “May the Fourth Be With You” and “Revenge of the Fifth” Star Wars days, Memorial Day Weekend happenings (there always seems to be something special happening at this time, like the opening of Pandora – The World of Avatar in 2017 or the start of the “Incredible Summer” limited time offerings in 2018).
Plus, not only can Mother’s Day be celebrated at WDW unlike anywhere else, but you can celebrate with special restaurant offerings, exclusive desserts throughout the parks, and maybe even new limited edition Mother’s Day pins!
So, are you ready to head over to WDW in May? If the answer to that is yes (before we even get into the crowds details), let our friends and partners at Destinations to Travel know. Their team of Authorized Disney Vacation Planners are just waiting to help you plan the most perfect trip possible (oh—and don’t forget to tell them that Danny sent you)!
May Disney World Crowds
May Disney World crowds can be a bit busier than average—especially on Memorial Day Weekend! Wait times for the most popular attractions can soar up to well over an hour, if not even higher. Plus, since Memorial Day Weekend marks the start of summer at WDW, often times there are special happenings to make it even more eventful. Even though Memorial Day Weekend is very crowded, given the excitement for the kickoff of summer, I do find it worth dealing with the extra crowds to visit during this time.
The EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival runs throughout May, Mother’s Day has great opportunities (in terms of dining!) to celebrate, and The Force is quite strong with Star Wars Day (May 4th). While Mother’s Day does draw in some extra crowds for that weekend, the other seasonal experiences typically don’t make WDW too crowded in May. EPCOT crowds remain consistent with what you’d expect during a festival (fairly average on weekdays and more crowded on the weekends), and Star Wars Day is more about being high energy for the fans than it is about high crowds.
Dad’s Guide to WDW Crowd Calendar Disclaimer
This calendar is based on historical facts as we know them today, and personal experiences. Walt Disney World is an ever-changing destination and you might find the crowds, weather, or seasonal experiences to be different from what we’ve predicted.
How to avoid May crowds
Mother’s Day weekend and Memorial Day Weekend (though the latter is far more impactful on crowds) are the busiest parts of May at WDW. Just as the weather heats up towards the end of the month, so do the crowds as Memorial Day begins the “unofficial” start of summer. If you’d like to visit in May, and you’re able to do so before Memorial Day Weekend, that would be ideal for avoiding crowds.
However, if you do plan to visit WDW on Memorial Day Weekend, remember our general tips for avoiding crowds, which apply year-round.
If you’ll be at WDW on Mother’s Day weekend, you might want to avoid Disney Springs (even though that’s most likely where you could find most of the special restaurant offerings for Mother’s Day). As with weekends in general, but amplified due to Mother’s Day, Disney Springs can get very crowded due to many locals heading there to celebrate.
Even though Star Wars Day usually doesn’t have a large impact on crowds, if you’d like to be extra careful, you could opt to visit any park other than Disney’s Hollywood Studios on May 4th.
- EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival – Food, flowers, topiaries – oh my! This festival is known for its gorgeous topiaries of some of our favorite Disney characters, and its fresh eats from the outdoor kitchens located throughout the park. Oh—and we couldn’t forget about the Garden Rocks Concert Series, which takes place at the America Gardens Theatre (in The American Adventure)!
- Star Wars Day – There’s no better way to celebrate Star Wars than by piloting Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run and telling your fellow flight crew members “May The Fourth Be With You.” On May 4th (and May 5th, hence the “Revenge of the Fifth” saying), you can usually find special merchandise released at Disney’s Hollywood Studios celebrating these 2 unique days.
The Best Time to Visit Disney World?
Wondering when is the best time to visit WDW? Of course, that really depends on you—your preferences, your schedule, and what’s on your must-do list. But, before booking your next vacation, here’s a breakdown of the factors you should consider.