Disney World Crowds: Christmas 2016 and New Year’s 2016/2017
By Dave Shute
DISNEY WORLD CROWDS FROM LATER DECEMBER 2016 TO EARLY JANUARY 2017
This is for a pretty basic reason: kids are out of school then.
However, not every school district has the same break schedule.
In 2016, as always, there’s more kids out the week between Christmas and New Year’s week than before or after, but there’s still plenty enough on break before Christmas week to wildly crowd the parks. The week after New Years in 2017 has many more kids on break than usual, so I expect it to be crowded too, especially the first part of the week.
SCHOOL BREAKS AND DISNEY WORLD CROWDS
Most years, there two typical sorts of breaks:
- 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
As a result, the period Christmas-New Years is always mobbed at Disney World, as everyone is out of school then, but the periods before and after vary from year to year depending on what day of the week Christmas falls.
In 2016, a Sunday Christmas put long-break districts in the position having to pick when to schedule their second week–before Christmas weekend, or after New Years. Enough put it before Christmas that I expect to see heavy crowds that week, even with a lot of kids shifted to the first week of January
But their’s still a ton of kids in districts that picked the first week of January for the second week of their break. As a result, in my 2017 Disney World crowd calendar I am shifting my former forecast of that week from “moderate” crowds to “high” crowds–particularly high early in the week, and better later in the week.
ACTUAL 2016-2017 CHRISTMAS SEASON SCHOOL BREAKS
The chart above illuminates this.
It’s based on data from a weighted sample including almost 280 of the largest relevant US public school districts with almost a third of total US school kids included.
(For how the database is built, see this.)
The weekends are in black and weekdays in blue. Click the image enlarge it.
You can see that many breaks begin Saturday the 17th, with hardly any kids on break before then. More kids go on break beginning the 21st, and by the 24th everyone is on break.