Disney World Spring Break Crowds in 2015
By Dave Shute
DISNEY WORLD SPRING BREAK CROWDS FROM FEBRUARY THROUGH APRIL 2015
- Public school Spring Break calendars, which are still largely framed around Easter but vary more than you might think
- The demand of snow-belters for a break from winter weather, which peaks in March, and
- The quarter factor, the date of President’s day. Later President’s Days (which can range from February 15 to February 21) tend to make the first part of March better
An early Easter combines the first two factors, making for more than the usual horrible crowds in March but a great April; a late Easter spreads the first two factors out, yielding some good early March and early April weeks.
Easter 2015, on April 5, is in the middle of its possible range. President’s Day 2015, on February 16th, both is early, and by a quirk of the calendar, is the same week as Mardi Gras–which some southern schools get off as well.
As a result, 2015 Spring Break crowds at Walt Disney World will be
- Horrible Presidents Day Week
- Fine the last week of February and the first week of March,
- Very rough the weeks beginning March 7, 14, and 21
- Horrible the week before Easter–the week beginning March 28
- Really horrible the week after Easter, from April 4 through 11, as more schools than usual are off this week in 2015
- ..and back to fine after April 11
2015 PUBLIC SCHOOL SPRING BREAKS AND THEIR EFFECTS ON WALT DISNEY WORLD CROWDS
Although more and more school districts are moving away from an Easter-centered Spring Break, the plurality of kids still have the weeks before Easter or following Easter off.
As a result, the single biggest factor determining better and worse Spring Break weeks at Walt Disney World is the date of Easter–which can range from March 22 to April 25.
A later Easter has a couple of different effects: first, it spreads out the dates of breaks for school districts that don’t frame their breaks around Easter, and second, if particularly late, will push districts that typically take the week after Easter off into the week before Easter instead, to keep from compressing their May academic calendars.
An earlier Easter has the opposite effects. Districts that traditionally try to take the week after Easter off will be able to do so, and districts that don’t base their calendars on Easter will be largely compressed into a couple of March weeks.
The date of President’s Day–which can range from February 15 to February 21–also has an effect. Because many districts both have a spring break and also take the week of President’s Day off, the later President’s Day is, the better early March will be–as parents avoid taking their kids out of school the weeks after a long President’s Day break.
The effect of the various dates in 2015 is to put most 2015 school spring breaks into five consecutive weeks: those beginning March 7, March 14, March 21, March 28 and April 4.
ACTUAL 2015 SPRING BREAKS
It’s based on data from a weighted sample including more than 165 of the largest relevant US public school districts.
(For how the database is built, see this. Weekends are in black, except Easter, in red. Click the image to enlarge it.)
President’s Day week–not charted–will be more than its usual mess, because of its 2015 overlap with Mardi Gras. I’ve assigned it a crowd ranking of 11/highest. Crowds will start to show beginning the Thursday before and remain high through the 21st.
Next to no kids are on break between the week after President’s Day and March 6. I rate the week beginning February 21 4/low-plus crowds–higher early in the week, better later. The week beginning February 28 is rated 3/low crowds. Both of these are recommended weeks.
The weeks beginning March 7, 14 and 21 have a lot of kids on break, and even more visitors coming to take a break from the snow. For 2015, I rate all three as 9/high crowds.
The week of March 28 is the week before Easter, typically the busiest week of spring break at Disney World.
However, in 2015 more kids are on break after Easter than before it, so I have the week beginning the 28th ranked as 10/higher crowds, and the week beginning April 4th as 11/ highest crowds.
Only a few school districts are on break after the week after Easter–and many of these had earlier long breaks in February. So I don’t see any real crowding issues from April 11, 2015 through late May! Almost all of these later spring weeks are recommended.