Updated Planning Tools for Disney World in 2017
By Dave Shute
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve updated my key planning tools for a 2017 visit to Walt Disney World:
(Kelly B can book your 2017 Disney World vacation for you–contact her at KellyB@DestinationsInFlorida.com or 980-429-4499.)
The price season update was based on Disney’s actual price calendar for 2017, published June 21.
The crowd calendar update was based on analysis of the 2016-2017 school year breaks of more than 15.4 million school kids–see this for an example. I analyzed for 2017 almost 280 districts, and too many of these don’t finalize their calendars until June–late June in the case of many Michigan districts, which go on spring break April 1 in 2017…
And the week rankings were revised because actual prices and updated crowd forecasts are major components in their design–with other important factors being as always ride closures, the peak of the hurricane season, and the Disney World holiday program.
After major price season changes in 2016, structural changes to the seasons on 2017 were minor–although the changes in 2017 price levels are interesting. So my forecasts largely held up, and the only week that saw a material change from the actual prices was the week beginning 4/22. It sees lower prices at the beginning of the week than I’d forecast, and moved as a result in the week rankings from #12 to #9.
Crowd rankings saw several significant changes.
- Because Christmas breaks extend longer into January than I’d thought they would, the first week of January 2017 saw an increase in expected crowds.
- Disney World’s recent announcement of its involvement in the 2017 Pro Bowl caused me to increase expected crowds in later January.
- And actual 2017 spring break calendars suggest that crowds the week of April 1, 2017 will be higher than I had last forecast.
The most significant change to week rankings from changes in the crowd calendar came for the week beginning 4/1, which moved from a ranking of 14 at the bottom of my list of recommended weeks to a week ranking of 19 near the bottom of my “not so keen” weeks.
As always, I’m sorry about where I got it wrong–especially the week of 4/1. I get one week so substantively wrong every two years or so, and almost always in the spring break seasons, where the moving date of Easter cause a cascade of other effects, not all predictable even though I’ve been doing this for a while now.
But the alternative, delaying any forecasts for the next year until July, when the full set of school calendars and (usually) prices is available–also seems to me a mistake as well, since there’s so much value to being able to plan your trips ahead of time…