Disney World Crowds in 2013: Summer 2013 Crowds
DISNEY WORLD 2013 SUMMER CROWDS: THE PRINCIPLES
Walt Disney World summer crowds are governed by two factors:
- Public school summer break calendars, which have start and end dates more varied than you’d think
- The beginning of the peak of the hurricane season, in mid-August
Pretty much all kids are off all of July. As a result, July is the busiest summer month, and during it, the week that includes the 4th of July the busiest week.
Varied dates for when summer breaks begin means June can start well (but see below), and then build to high crowd levels.
August has the opposite pattern, beginning with high crowds, but, through the combination of a trickle turning to a flood of back-to-school dates, and savvy travelers avoiding the peak of the hurricane season, it ends quite un-crowded.
Families that can only visit in the summer (for example, school teachers) should go as early in June or as late in August as their schedules permit.
2013 PUBLIC SCHOOL SUMMER BREAKS AND THEIR EFFECTS ON WALT DISNEY WORLD CROWDS
The chart to the right illuminates this.
It’s based on data from a weighted sample including almost 175 of the largest relevant US public school districts.
2013 school breaks begin a little earlier than in 2012; and in 2012, early June was more crowded than most–including Disney (and me)–thought it would be. So for both these reasons I’m predicting rougher early June crowds in 2013 than I did f0r 2012.
In 2013, almost 20% of kids are out by Memorial Day (compared to 10% in 2012) and more than half are out by June 8; the proportion builds over the rest of the month, with 75% out by June 18 and essentially all kids off by June 27, 2013.
Few families plan their vacation for their first day out of school, so there’s a lag in the effect of these dates on summer crowds that I can’t precisely quantify.
But the upshot is that early June 2013, while not too bad, is not as good as it has been in recent years.
I rate crowds the week beginning June 1 as 7/moderate-plus, June 8 the same, and June 15 begins a string of 9 straight summer weeks rated 9/high or 10/higher.
Because of the variation noted above in when people do go vs. can go, the weeks of June 9 and 16 may be a little better than I’m rating them, but my data sets won’t let me draw that conclusion.
THE PEAK OF THE HURRICANE SEASON AND DISNEY WORLD 2013 SUMMER CROWDS
It peaks, however, from mid-August to early October.
(Click the chart; see also Weather and When to Go to Walt Disney World.)
As a result, August crowds at Walt Disney World are affected not only by the end dates of summer breaks, but also by savvy travelers avoiding this potential weather.
Hurricanes rarely impact a Disney World vacation…but savvy travelers with choices in when they can go commonly avoid this period. (Disney knows this of course, and both drops prices and commonly offers free dining during this period to change the value and risk equation.)
As a result, I rate crowds for the first two weeks of August (arrival dates 8/3 and 8/10/2013) 9/high. The week beginning 8/17 gets a crowd rating of 6/moderate. The week beginning 8/24 gets a crowd rating of 3/low.
MORE ON WHEN TO GO TO WALT DISNEY WORLD
- For when to go to Walt Disney World, see this
- For the next best dates, see this
- For the best and worst times to visit, see this
- For forecasting crowds at Walt Disney World, see this
- For seasonal pricing at Walt Disney World, see this
- For weather at Walt Disney World, see this