May is truly one of the Frog Family’s favorite months to visit the Walt Disney World Resort and the Orlando theme parks. Because school is still in session for most of the country, crowds are mostly neutral and there are a ton of fun events at the parks — most notably Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®.
This May is even more spectacular for a number of reasons. On the 24th of SeaWorld’s most-ambitious exhibit/attraction to date, Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin. There is also a new meet-and-greet opening at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park, and Disney World’s first Starbucks opens in Magic Kingdom® Park. Want to know what else is coming to the theme parks? Look no further than Tad’s exhaustive list (which just keeps growing and growing).
Additionally, to kick off its Monstrous Summer promotion, Magic Kingdom® Park will be open 24 hours on May 24, starting at 6 a.m. (Click here for our tips if you plan to attend!)
The first half of the month sees the lowest crowds, with neutral crowd levels during the week and slightly higher crowd levels on weekends. Starting the week of the 19th, crowd levels increase and will remain elevated, particularly around Memorial Day on May 27. Be sure to download our wait-time apps before you head to the parks. Getting to the park before opening is always a good idea, but it’s even more crucial when crowd levels are high. (Wanna know the SECRET to avoiding Disney World CROWDS? Here it is!)
For those of you planning to take part in the Magic Kingdom® Park All-Nighter on May 24, expect the park to be very, very busy! For this reason, the park has gone from a neutral recommendation to red, and while the daily crowd level is 7 out of 10 for all parks, Magic Kingdom® Park itself is expected to be more crowded.
Predicted best days of the month to visit (and recommended parks)
- May 7 (Magic Kingdom® Park, Disney’s Hollywood Studios®, Universal Studios)
- May 8 (Epcot®, Disney’s Hollywood Studios®, Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure)
- May 15 (Epcot®, Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure)
Check the crowd calendar to see recommended days for the whole month and beyond.
Magic Kingdom® Park and New Fantasyland™
Understandably, many people are making New Fantasyland™ their first stop in Magic Kingdom® Park, and even at opening it’s quite common to find a 45-minute wait for Enchanted Tales with Belle (here are details about it and the other New Fantasyland™ attractions). There is no Fastpass for this attraction, so if it’s a priority, your best bet is to hop over first thing at park opening. If you arrive and find a line less than 45 minutes, do this first and then Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid and Ariel’s Grotto. If you find the line more than 45 minutes, head to Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid and Ariel’s Grotto, because after the opening “rush,” Enchanted Tales with Belle sees a slight dip between 10 a.m. and noon on most days and won’t see lower wait times again until late afternoon and evening.
Closings and Refurbishments
At Magic Kingdom® Park, Mad Tea Party has a refurbishment for most of May. Fountain View Ice Cream Shop in Epcot® is closed the entire month for its conversion to a Starbucks location. For more details and a list of all refurbishments, check our closings page.
Temperatures are on the rise in May, with an average high of 88, a low of 66 and medium rainfall chances. Here is the packing list for this time of year.
- Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival runs daily through May 19. Among this year’s highlights are the brand-new garden marketplaces, which offer themed eats and drinks, as well as an interactive play area and midway-style games based on the “Oz The Great and Powerful” film. See our highlights from this year’s event.
- As part of its Limited Time Magic promotion, Disney’s Hollywood Studios® plays host to “May the 4th Be With You,” a one-of-a-kind “Star Wars”-themed celebration that will keep the park open until midnight.
- The final weekend of SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa’s Viva La Musica, which celebrates Latin music, cuisine and culture, is held May 4 and 5 (Cinco de Mayo). See our highlights from this year’s event as well as the lineups.
- May 3 and 4 mark this year’s Expedition Everest® Attraction Challenge. This timed endurance event pairs a 5K with a nighttime scavenger hunt through Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park. While the race is sold out, there are spots left for the kids races and pre-race picnic and post-race party.
- Celebrate the Star Wars saga during Star Wars Weekends, which kick off May 17 and run through June 9 on Fridays and Saturdays at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®. Highlights include a Character Processional through the park, Star Wars character meet and greets, Disney Characters in Star Wars themed outfits, and autograph opportunities from Star Wars celebrities.
- Internationally known animal expert Jack Hanna, along with some of his animal “co-stars,” pays a visit to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay on May 18 and 19 for Jack Hanna Weekend.
- While not an official theme park event, Gay Days is a vacation extravaganza that takes place at one theme park per day May 30-June 2.
Will you be visiting in May? Let us know what you are planning!