Our May 2022 at Walt Disney World guide offers a free crowd calendar, weeks to visit & avoid, weather, new attraction openings & closures, and the kickoff of summer. All of this, along with other info & tips for Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios.
We like the month of May at Walt Disney World. For most people, earlier in the month is going to be better. However, even right around Memorial Day weekend, crowds at Walt Disney World aren’t nearly as bad as you might expect–discussed in more depth in the crowd calendar section below. We’ve had wonderful visits during May in terms of weather, crowds, and entertainment.
The other good news is that May sees a reduced slate of refurbishments, longer park hours, and only moderate crowds. Most schools are still in session during May, so crowds are typically fairly uniform for most of the month. While a lot is still up in the air for May 2022 at Walt Disney World, we do have a pretty good idea of what to expect…
There’s actually a lot more upside to May, especially as compared to other summer months…
May Weather at WDW
Our experience has taught us that the biggest make or break for May is the weather. I think that’s true when traveling to Walt Disney World during this time of year, in general. Low temperatures for May range from 64 to 70 degrees, with highs averaging 85 to 89 degrees. Those are just averages–temperatures in the 90s and high humidity aren’t unheard of.
As demonstrated by the “comfortable” band on this page for May, weather is generally on the upper end of nice (like you cold weather climate folks expect from a Florida vacation). It can creep into “unpleasant” territory with some regularity, with it being warm and above 64% of the time in May.
The potential for unseasonably hot weather in May is demonstrated with weather forecasts from last year that regularly topped out above 95 degrees and 75% humidity. Days like like make May a little questionable in terms of weather, but if you’re looking at a summer vacation and it comes down to May versus June, July, or August, May is by far the safest option. So there’s that upside.
While not technically weather, May is the first month of the year that you can get your money’s worth if you’re staying at Yacht or Beach Club. Technically, you have to spend 22.7 hours per day in Stormalong Bay (sorry, we don’t make the rules) to get appropriate bang for your buck, so at least the hotter weather helps with that!
May Special Events at Disney World
Throughout May, you can enjoy the 2022 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival; this annual event will run for the entire month of May 2022, ending in early July. Flower & Garden Festival features marketplace food booths, gardening entertainment, and beautiful ambiance to Epcot. While it’s not for everyone, it’s one of my favorite events of the year at Walt Disney World…and I don’t even enjoy gardening.
Normally, Memorial Day weekend is the official kick-off of summer for Walt Disney World. For Summer 2022, we don’t anticipate a big celebration, as Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary will be the main event; the World’s Most Magical Celebration runs until April 1, 2023.
With that said, expect entertainment and other offerings to debut in Summer 2022 to help give Walt Disney World a mild summer boost. What that will entail remains to be seen.
May REFURBISHMENTS & NEW ATTRACTIONS
In terms of other attractions that will be closed during May, check the Walt Disney World Refurbishment Schedule. Just a heads up: that might be a bit deceptive in terms of actual construction work. There’s going to be a lot of ongoing construction throughout Walt Disney World, and will be for the next several years.
The project that will have the most noticeable impact on the guest experience is the massive reimagining at the front of Epcot, which will eliminate Future World and replace it with 3 new neighborhoods. This project has already kicked into high gear, and will continue through at least 2022. This unprecedented overhaul has led us to address the question Should You Visit Epcot?
On the plus side, some of the Epcot additions will be open by May 2022. Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, Space 220, and Harmonious will all still be new additions come Summer 2022. Same goes for the Disney Enchantment fireworks at Magic Kingdom, and KiteTails at Animal Kingdom (assuming it’s still around by then).
The big attraction debuting for 2022 is Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. Currently, it doesn’t have an opening date, month, or even season–just the year. Our expectation is that it’ll open for Summer 2022, but whether that means May or June 2022 remains to be seen.
Beyond that, there are some wildcards. It’s possible–but unlikely–that the Play Pavilion or Moana’s Journey of Water will debut by Summer 2022. Same goes for TRON Lightcycle Run roller coaster at Magic Kingdom. It’s possible one or all debut in 2022–we shall see.
May 2022 DISNEY WORLD CROWD CALENDAR
We’ll start this free May 2022 Walt Disney World crowd calendar section with the same preface as other months–skip ahead a few paragraphs if you’ve already read it. There’s no color-coded crowd calendar here because they’re unreliable at this point. If we just had a visual crowd calendar graphic here, many of you would only look at that and not read the accompanying explanation that covers what you might actually expect. That’d be doing you a disservice.
While they can be useful tools, crowd calendars are but one small piece of a much larger puzzle. Crowd calendars are less and less reliable due to how Walt Disney World manipulates attendance patterns, staffing, closures, and ride capacity. (Additionally, May 2022 is still months away–we’ll update this with more specific predictions as May draws nearer.)
Disney doesn’t release official attendance numbers, so crowd calendars use things like school schedules, airport traffic statistics, hotel pricing & occupancy, and other indicators as proxies for crowds. For years, this approach worked and made crowd calendars reliable. Walt Disney World attendance followed an identifiable pattern that tracked with the aforementioned proxies.
More recently, wait times don’t always reflect actual crowds because Disney has become adept and more sophisticated at manipulating both attendance and crowd flow. Think of this as the difference between the actual temperature and the “feels like” temperature, but with crowds. We can still actual crowd and attendance patterns, but not wait times. The latter are what most of you likely care about (the “feels like” crowds), but it’s more difficult to accurately forecast wait times via Walt Disney World crowd calendars.
The entire month of May 2022 will be fairly uniform for crowds, with some dates below that and some slightly above average. In a normal year, it would begin below average and get progressively busier over the course of the month. We’re still expecting that general trend to play out, but with higher “feels like” crowds despite lower attendance than normal.
Early May 2022 should still be an attractive time to visit, with mostly average crowds. You’re not looking at low crowds, but the parks are still fairly manageable. Weekday crowds until around May 13, 2022 should be moderate.
Expect a modest spike the following week, and another bump for the Memorial Day holiday on May 31, 2022. With that said, as far as holidays go, Memorial Day still isn’t bad. This is because most schools aren’t off for summer vacation yet, so it’s still the calm before the storm in terms of tourists.
One final question mark is whether Walt Disney World will host big youth sporting events at the ESPN Wide World of Sports that are currently on the calendar. Almost all of these have been cancelled thus far, but there are signs these events will be going forward in the future. If so, there are cheer and dance summit events that could potentially spike crowds in May 2022.
May PRICING & DISCOUNTS
In terms of promotions, May is typically slim pickins’ for promotions. As of right now, the Free Disney Dining Plan promotion is not available for May 2022. It’s possible that discount will be released in the coming months, though.
Otherwise, when it comes to pricing, May is fairly average prior to Memorial Day weekend. For 1-day park tickets, May is “regular” season prior to the holiday weekend (read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post for multi-day ticket recommendations to avoid having to deal with seasonal pricing). For hotels, pricing is also typically at the “Regular Season” rate.
Overall, the month of May at Walt Disney World demonstrates that everything is relative. From our perspective, it’s a fairly appealing time to visit Walt Disney World in many regards. Yes, the weather is generally worse than February through April, but park hours are longer, summer entertainment begins to start, new additions have debuted, fewer refurbishments are occurring, and crowds are still manageable.
Plus, if you’re comparing weather to the summer months that follow, May is actually significantly better. (See, it’s all relative.) For this reason, if you’re looking at visiting during the summer (Memorial Day to Labor Day), the end of May is actually one of our top picks. In other words, if you’re limited to traveling during the summer and May is an option, it’s when we recommend visiting Walt Disney World then!
Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!
Do you agree or disagree with our thoughts on the month of May at Walt Disney World? Are you looking forward to Summer 2022 at Walt Disney World? Do you like to visit in May? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback—even when you disagree with us—is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!