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Jersey Week at Walt Disney World



By Dave Shute

(This page is one of a series explicating Walt Disney World lingo, abbreviations, and FAQ for first time family visitors to Walt Disney World.)

JERSEY WEEK AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

“Jersey Week” is a partly mythical, partly real crowding phenomenon in early November at Walt Disney World.

Each year, the New Jersey Educational Association holds a convention that includes a Thursday and a Friday, typically the Thursday and Friday that end the first full week of November.

New Jersey public schools are closed those two days; many families in response head to Walt Disney World for either that long weekend, or for the entire week.

Consequently, Walt Disney World is more crowded during Jersey Week than it is the weeks before and after. (This is the “real” part.)

In 2015, the convention is November 5 and 6.

(Over time, dates for the convention for future years will be published on this page.  Thanks to Lori for pointing me to this page, and reminding me that Jersey Week is not always the first Thursday and Friday of November.)

Jersey Week will be the weeks beginning

  • November 1, 2015

This noted, the impact on the parks is not disastrous–Jersey Week is nothing like Easter or Christmas weeks. This is the “mythical” part.

As terribly important as the great state of New Jersey is, it just ain’t big enough to really move the meter.

New Jersey visitors account for 3 to 5 percent* of Walt Disney World visitors.

Thus, even if they came at a rate five times higher than normal, they’d increase crowds only by 15-25% or so.  This would be a big deal at other times of the year, but early November crowds start so low that this increase is not an insuperable problem.

That said, if you can avoid Jersey Week, do so–especially the days of the conventions themselves and the weekend that follows them.  The weeks on either side of it are great times to go to Walt Disney World!

*Data like this is not available from WDW; I base it on the fact that 3.5% of the visits to this site come from New Jersey…

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39 comments

1 Justin T. { 01.16.12 at 3:30 pm }

I’m from New Jersey, and our travel agent has suggested we do not visit Disney World during “Jersey Week” as we intended but instead to go our other possible week: the last week in August, saying crowed will actually be less even though it’s still the summer. What do you think? You can email me instead if you prefer. Thanks!

2 Dave { 01.16.12 at 4:31 pm }

Hi Justin, the last week of August has both lower crowds and lower prices than Jeresy week. See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/10/20/2012-weeks-to-visit-walt-disney-world-ranked-in-order/ and also this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2011/07/20/disney-world-crowds-in-2012-summer-2012-crowds/

Weather, though is worse–much hotter and more humid, and in the peak of the hurricane season. Hurricanes rarely have much of an impact on a WDW vacation…but an impact is possible–see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/when-to-go/next-best-dates/weather-and-when-to-go/chance-of-cyclonic-storm-affecting-florida/

3 Shawn { 10.02.12 at 4:01 pm }

Hi Dave! I’m hoping you can help me understand which itinerary to reference for our upcoming trip…we will be visiting the parks 10/3 – 11/5. Here’s our schedule (based on your guidance :)..not too flexible, as we have already made our dining reservations.
10/31: MK (and MNNSHP!)
11/1: AK
11/2: HS (will see Fantasmic)
11/3: MK
11/4: Epcot (unless you recommend skipping)
11/5: Return to our favorite (kids are 4 & 6, so guessing it will be MK)

Since we have a mid-week arrival, is there anything different we should do vs. your published itineraries with Sat-Sat dates, and any tips on more detailed itineraries, or things we should keep in mind for each park due to being there Jersey Week? Thanks in advance Dave! :)

4 Shawn { 10.02.12 at 4:02 pm }

Whoops – the park dates are 10/31 – 11/5 :)

5 Dave { 10.03.12 at 8:11 am }

hi Shawn, you’ve done a great job on the dates and parks. You can use my HS and AK itineraries pretty much as is, skipping some stuff as it will be too much for the kids. For MK, use this to help focus your days http://yourfirstvisit.net/2011/03/09/the-comprehensive-guide-to-walt-disney-world-rides-and-attractions/ And I’d for sure skip Epcot the 4th and take that day off instead…

Re Jersey week, the key is the same stuff that’s true all year long: 1. Be at the turnstiles before the park opens. 2. Ride the most popular rides first. 3. Use FASTPASSES to fit in other popular rides during the day…

6 Chris { 04.27.13 at 3:17 pm }

Dave, this is a great site. My wife and I are planning on taking our 4 y/o and 1 y/o to Disney from 10/30 to 11/6. We were in the hospital for birth of 1 y/o so we will celebrate that birthday at Disney on 11/1. With Jersey week falling on roughly half the trip and the Holloween Party the first half, I think we are in good shape with crowd sizes. Most, if not all, the time will be spent in Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, what do you suggest we avoid? We are staying at the Beach Club, hopefully, so we will have easy access to Epcot.

7 Dave { 04.27.13 at 4:10 pm }

Hi Chris, and thanks!!

First, that time of year which park you go to which day really matter a lot-=see the seocnd half of this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/04/30/crowds-and-walt-disney-world/

Second, for what to see and what to avoid at that age, see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2011/03/09/the-comprehensive-guide-to-walt-disney-world-rides-and-attractions/

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8 ¿Cuándo ir a Walt Disney World? Calendario Sugerido 2014 | CheMickey.com { 08.16.13 at 9:57 pm }

[…] 11/1/14. “Jersey Week”—teacher meetings in New Jersey, leading to a massive temporary immigration of New Jersey […]

9 Mark { 07.23.14 at 11:33 am }

the part you are missing about Jersey Week is it also fits into Veterans Day which is a school closure so kids only miss a day or two of school. So whats unique about it for 2014 is veterans day is the following week which makes jerseu week run Thurs – Tues

10 Dave { 07.23.14 at 5:36 pm }

Could be, Mark. On the other hand, my forecasts reflect that since Vets day is not an “always Monday” holiday, most people don’t think to plan vacations around it, and hardly anybody actually gets it off–only 21% of US companies give Veterans Day off–so most parents don’t view it as a particularly ripe time to go compared to the prior week. I suspect that Monday and Tuesday will be just fine, and that such is why Disney has a 7p close at MK on Monday and 9p on Tuesday…

11 Patrick { 08.26.14 at 9:08 am }

Dave,
My wife and i are scheduled to arrive at disney world on wed Nov 12th. Any thoughts on if “jersey week” spills over into that week or are we looking to be in the clear. I booked the vacation figuring the time between Halloween and thanksgiving is a great time to go.

12 Patrick { 08.26.14 at 9:12 am }

sorry meant nov not aug

13 Dave { 08.27.14 at 7:54 am }

Patrick, people are divided on this. I think things will clear out on Sunday the 9th. Others see jersey Week crowds extending through Tuesday. But you should be fine on the 12th and following!

14 Dave { 08.27.14 at 7:54 am }

Fixed!

15 sherry { 08.29.14 at 12:15 pm }

hi im going nov 1 -9 I should be alright with crowds right ????

16 Dave { 08.30.14 at 6:29 pm }

Crowds are higher then than the weeks around it, Sherry, but are still better than many other times of the year. See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/10/07/disney-world-crowds-2014/

17 Sheila { 03.17.15 at 6:50 pm }

Do you know the dates of Jersey week for 2015?

18 Dave { 03.18.15 at 8:25 am }

Sheila, thanks for this comment. I had forgotten to update the page, and it’s now updated with the correct 2015 dates!!

19 Kassie { 05.19.15 at 11:25 am }

I need help choosing November dates to attend the 2015 food and wine festival in very Merry Christmas party. We plan to spend the first few days doing the food and wine and the last few days doing Magic Kingdom. I had booked November 14 t I need help choosing November dates to attend the 2015 food and wine festival in very Merry Christmas party. We plan to spend the first few days doing the food and wine and the last few days doing Magic Kingdom. I had booked November 14 2/21 o 21 I was considering switching to November 9 to 15 but I am worried about crowds from Disney Marathon on the seventh and eighth and Jersey school week.

20 Kassie { 05.19.15 at 1:07 pm }

Sorry, looks like my comment above got jumbled. Should I go 11/9 to 11/15 or 11/14 to 11/21? And which days should I do Epcot & MK? We want to do the Christmas party. I was thinking Food & Wine the first 3 days since we will be at Board walk then do MK 4 days

21 Dave { 05.19.15 at 1:52 pm }

I would pick the later dates, Kassie. Let me know when you are set and I’ll advise on best days to go to the parks…will you have park hopper tickets??

22 Kathy { 07.29.15 at 9:31 pm }

Hi. Love the site and all the info. I am really hoping to make my sons birthday special this year but suprising him with a Disney trip and arriving on his birthday, the 8th of November. I already have reservations to arrive on the 8th, Nov and plan to use that day to do something. I just don’t plan to start that day until noon or 1PM. We are departing on the 12th of Nov but don’t plan to use that day for a park as I want to get an early start on our drive home. I have not been in years and don’t want to make a mistake. I want to have fun but with a plan. We have park hopper passes and counter service for food so I am open to any suggestions on the best days to go to what parks and try to fit in trip to Disney Quest if possible. Can I use the park hopper to go to Disney Quest and another park in the same day or do I have to buy another ticket? Is the Christmas special at MK really worth it? My son will be 10 so Im just not sure on this one. Again, any advice would be great….

23 Dave { 07.30.15 at 9:09 am }

Kathy, first on such a short trip I wouldn’t buy a park hopper–you will waste too much time going park to park that you could spend in the parks. Disney Quest is also a waste of time on such a short trip–it is so weak that it is being closed next year. (And no, your hopper won’t work for it–it has a separate cost.)

For the Xmas party, see this.

Make sure you set up your FastPass+ well in advance–see this for more about this new program whihc can make or break you trip.

Those dates,
The 8th is a good day at all parks except Disney’s Hollywood Studios
The 9th, avoid the Magic Kingdom–the other three parks are fine
The 10th, avoid Epcot
The 11th, avoid MK and the Animal Kingdom

24 Kathy { 07.30.15 at 8:29 pm }

Thank you for the info. It was a package deal so the tickets room and counter service meal came all together. The park hopper option was included for no extra charge so I selected it. And I put the wrong date that we are leaving on. We aren’t leaving until Friday the 13th so we have one extra day… We will have 5 days in all to navigate between the parks and such. I cant book the fast passes yet but will do once I am able to. I just haven’t been there in so long all these new options confuse me and since its just me and my son, I don’t want to waste time if doing something now will help. Thanks again. Atleast I can start to plan which park on which day and schedule the fast passes for the correct parks….Thanks so much!!!!

25 Susan Levering { 08.16.15 at 3:07 pm }

We are from Jersey and are going Jersey week, arriving late on November 1st and leaving on the 8th. We wanted to do the MK and perhaps Hollywood Studios. Any suggestions on which days to go to which park? Thanks!

26 Dave { 08.17.15 at 3:18 pm }

Susan for just those two parks, you’ll find the lowest crowds at MK the 3rd, 5th and 6th. All these are early closure days, so they miss the evening parade and fireworks. HS is fine all your dates except the 7th.

27 Jason Worgull { 08.21.15 at 5:01 pm }

Hi. So there are no fireworks or evening parade November 3rd? On the Disney website, it says Wishes is at 8pm?

If you were only going to one park, the Magic Kingdom for 1 day, would you still avoid November 4th 2015 with the extra magic hours? I see it’s the day prior to the Jersey schools being out, so thought maybe only half of that crowd may be in attendence. But I also understand many guests staying at Disney will utilize these hours.

We’ve been to Disney probably 10 times before, but am coming specifically for my birthday this year.

28 Jason Worgull { 08.21.15 at 5:04 pm }

Also was considering extending my trip and going to Disney Studios November 6th for the Osborne Light show. Are the crowds usually overwhelming on opening night?

29 Dave { 08.23.15 at 8:19 am }

Jason, you are right and I am wrong! I misread the calendar. Re the 4th, the attraction of the evening EMH is much more significant than the effect of the folk from New Jersey. You ca make the 4th work, with an early arrival and FP+, but it will be crowded…

30 Dave { 08.23.15 at 8:19 am }

Jason, not really, except at the every beginning.

31 Jason Worgull { 08.23.15 at 2:34 pm }

Thanks for your response. I see on the Disney site that Wishes will be every night that week. Is that correct? I know with the EMH, the MK will be more crowded. Do you think the impact would so much for me to rearrange my plans for that day? I know how to work the fast pass system well and have been there several times when it was very busy. However, we did go last October on a Saturday (and I do believe they had evening EMH that day) and it was terrible. We did a few things and ended up leaving after a few hours. Do you think it would be like that on the day I was speaking of? Or did the combination of EMS and Weekend put it over the top?

32 Jason Worgull { 08.23.15 at 3:01 pm }

I’ve never been to the Disney area for just a few days (Monday 5pm to Friday 10am). Since we usually go for at least a full week, I’m trying to space things out. Wednesday would be the best day for us to go (schedule wise) if we only do one park. I am open to chaning the day, but I’m torn over the crowd vs our schedule :( Do think the crowd will be that large on that Wednesday with the EMH, to warrant changing my plans?
Just trying to make the most of the trip. We were there last October for the MNSSHP and really didn’t plan on going back this soon. However, this November for my 40th B-day, my wife wanted to go back to Vegas, but I decided to come back to Disney :) She’s okay with that though… Really excited about suprising my kids :)

33 Jason Worgull { 08.24.15 at 3:28 pm }

Just 2 more questions for you: 1) If I don’t go to the MK Wednesday Nov. 4th, should I go Tuesday of Thursday? and 2) On Tues or Thurs when Wishes are at 8pm, do all the rides close down at 8pm, or do they run until Wishes are complete?

34 Jason Worgull { 08.25.15 at 4:08 am }

I read some schools may have off November 4th for election day…

35 Dave { 08.25.15 at 11:02 am }

Jason, it will not be as bad as the Saturday you saw before. Frankly, you can make it work, and it’s your birthday so you should do what you want to do!!

36 Dave { 08.25.15 at 11:26 am }

Jason on the first point, Tuesday. On the second, you can no longer get in line once the closing hour comes. The close, right now, is scheduled as 8p, same as Wishes. However, I expect the close to be shifted later to 9 or 10p Here’s the final hours for the same week last year: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2014/10/31/next-week-november-1-through-november-9-2014-at-walt-disney-world/

37 Jason Worgull { 08.26.15 at 5:46 pm }

Thanks so much. I’m pretty sure I will avoid Wednesday. Was the original close time for that date (Tues Nov. 3, 2014) earlier?

I originally thought Tuesday would be best, until I read somewhere that it’s best to go to a park that has EMH the night before (Thursday morning 11/5).

I also was looking at the Touring Plans crowd calender and saw that Wed (even with EMS) and Thurs were predicted to have the lowest crowds that week?

I think you’re probably right with Tuesday being the least crowded day to go, but still confused…

38 Dave { 08.27.15 at 6:36 pm }

Jason, Touring Plans is great at a lot of stuff, but their best/worst parks is almost always bettered by Josh’s stuff. See this.

I don’t keep the original hours, so can’t answer that question.

39 Jason Worgull { 08.28.15 at 5:23 am }

Thank alot :)

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