By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2017, from the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever. Paperback available on Amazon here. Kindle version available on Amazon here. PDF version available on Gumroad here.—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor

End of Summer 2015 Crowds at Walt Disney World

By Dave Shute

This site’s Disney World crowd calendars always show crowds dropping off in later August.

For example, in 2015, crowd rankings go from 8/high-minus at the beginning of August down to 2/lower in early September.

This page both explain how that comes about and also reviews how the site’s crowd calendars are built.


End of Summer Crowds at Disney World from

The highest-crowd periods at Walt Disney World all have one thing in common: they are convenient times for parents to take their kids to Orlando. That is, they are times that kids are out of school and that parents traditionally can take off of work.

What’s not so clear until you do the numbers is that actual school vacation dates are much more varied than you’d think.  And there’s no good source you can go to that explains what all these varied dates are.

So every year about this time one of my nieces goes to more than 180 school district websites and captures all the key vacation dates for the upcoming academic year.

(This time of year because you’d be surprised many districts don’t put their calendars up for the upcoming year until June; this year, 170 of the 186 had their calendars out by the time we agreed to stop collecting data.)

These include the 100 largest school districts in the U.S., plus almost 90 more of the next largest school districts in the more highly-populated states east of the Mississippi–that is, the states from which in particular Walt Disney World draws its visitors.

I then create a database that shows based on district enrollment every kid who is off on every date, sum these by state, and weight them based on the state’s proportion of total US visits to this website (because Disney won’t tell me actual visitation by state!). See the image above for a screenshot example.

Finally, I calculate percentage of total weighted kids on break by date and use that to inform the crowd calendars. (There’s about 12.4 million actual kids in the database.)

Disney World End of Summer Crowds 2015 from

Above are the results of this for when kids go back to school in 2015.

So you can see that

  • Kids don’t start going back to school in real numbers until Monday 8/10
  • More than a third are back in school the week beginning 8/15
  • Almost 60% are back during the week beginning 8/22, and
  • More than 80% are back in school before Labor Day.

In 2015, pretty much all kids are back in school by the Wednesday after Labor Day.

Moreover, vacation patterns typically don’t have people returning from their vacation the night before school begins, so the effect of these back-to-school dates is offset into earlier August by around a week.

Thus, in the 2015 crowd calendar, the week of 8/1 is rated 8/high-minus crowds, the week of 8/8 7/moderate-plus crowds, the week of 8/15 6/moderate crowds and the week of 8/22 4/low crowds.

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My response to questions and comments will be on the same page as the original comment, likely within 24-36 hours . . . I reserve the right to edit and delete comments as I choose . . . All rights reserved. Copyright 2008-2017 . . . Unless otherwise noted, all photos are by me--even the ones in focus--except for half a dozen from my niecelets . . . This site is entirely unofficial and not authorized by any organizations written about in it . . . All references to Disney and other copyrighted characters, trademarks, marks, etc., are made solely for editorial purposes. The author makes no commercial claim to their use . . . Nobody's perfect, so follow any advice here at your own risk.