Disney World Crowds: Christmas 2013 and New Years 2013/2014
By Dave Shute
DISNEY WORLD CROWDS FROM LATER DECEMBER 2013 TO EARLY JANUARY 2014
Disney World usually sees its highest crowds and prices of the year in the later third of December and the beginning of January, in the week that includes Christmas, and the next week that includes New Year’s Eve.
This is for a pretty basic reason: kids are out of school these weeks.
However, not every school district has the same break schedule.
In 2013/2014, more kids are out Christmas week than New Year’s week, but there’s still plenty enough on break New Year’s week to wildly crowd the parks…
SCHOOL BREAKS AND DISNEY WORLD CROWDS
- Long breakers–districts that take at least 2 full weeks (and three weekends) off
- Short breakers–districts that take off as close to only December 24 to January 1 as they can
In 2013, a Wednesday Christmas, and the patterning of school breaks around it, will make it easy for many families to head to Walt Disney World either week. However, the preponderance of kids will be off Christmas week, so that week will be much worse.
ACTUAL 2013-2014 CHRISTMAS SEASON SCHOOL BREAKS
It’s based on data from a weighted sample including more than 180 of the largest relevant US public school districts.
(For how the database is built, see this. The weekends are in black and the two holidays–Christmas and New Years Day–in red. Click the image enlarge it.)
You can see that breaks almost all begin Saturday the 21st, with hardly any kids on break before then, and fewer than 10% of kids in school the first day or so of Christmas week.
Everybody pretty much is on break through January 1. On January 2, about 30% of kids go back to school, and the other 70% of kids are off through the following weekend.
At the simplest level, what this means is that about 30% of kids can only go to Disney World Christmas week through the Wednesday after, and 70% can go either Christmas or New Years week.
Given this, if the 70% that can go either week is randomly distributed between the two possible weeks, then about twice as many kids will be at Disney World Christmas week than late in New Years week.
As a result, I’m classing Christmas week 2013 as 11/highest crowds, and New Years week 2014 as 9/high crowds. New Years week will start enormously crowded, then slow down just a bit after the 1st.
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