Category — Disney World Crowds
PEAK 2012 CROWDS WILL BEGIN DECEMBER 22, UNLESS THE WORLD COMES TO AN END
In later December–beginning around December 20, but really rolling in on December 22–the 2012 holiday crowds will begin to slam Walt Disney World.
Unless of course the world comes to an end on December 21.
Multi-hour waits will be common on the best-loved rides (waits crossed 3 hours at times last year), senior managers will be bussing tables, and park closures are possible.
But for the hundreds of thousands of you who will be there then, here’s some thoughts on how to make the best of it!
DEALING WITH THE HOLIDAY CROWDS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD [Read more →]
December 4, 2012 No Comments
2014 CROWDS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD
In the image you’ll find my current projection of Walt Disney World 2014 weekly crowds.
Dates in it are the beginning of the week, and the forecast covers the following 9 days.
This projection will be updated in the summer of 2013.
October 7, 2012 61 Comments
Pretty much every time Disney World announces a free dining deal (like this one), I get a bunch of comments like this:
“Dave–with free dining now announced for my week, should I move my dates to avoid the crowds it draws?”–Perplexed
My short answer is always something like “No, don’t change. It’s mathematically impossible for free dining to much change park crowds.”
For the longer answer–and why the short answer is true–keep reading!
FREE DINING CAN PACK THE DISNEY WORLD HOTELS AND RESTAURANTS, BUT NOT THE PARKS
Here’s the basics:
- The vast majority of people in the parks are NOT staying in a Walt Disney World hotel
- Free dining only affects the number of people staying in Disney World hotels
- Some people who take advantage of free dining arrival dates would have been in Walt Disney World hotels then anyway, so don’t incrementally add to park crowds
- Some people are simply pulled into Disney World hotels from off-site hotels by free dining, so have no incremental impact on park crowds
- Some people would not have gone during one of the eligible arrival dates at all except for free dining
Only this last group has an incremental impact on park crowds, and it is so small that it can’t affect park crowding much.
The last bucket–people who would not have come but for free dining–is going to book at most 20% of these rooms, or about 5500 rooms.
At 3 people per room, that’s about 16,000 incremental people.
Divided across 4 theme parks, two water parks, off-days, Universal and SeaWorld, etc., the incremental effect on any given park is de minimis.
For example, on a slow day (and basically free dining is only offered during the slow periods–that’s why they offer it…), the Magic Kingdom will have 20,000-25,000 people in it; adding another 5,000 or even 10,000 people will have only a trivial impact on park crowding, as this will still put the crowd level well below the point where the park lines start going crazy.
Free dining does make the park crowds higher than they would be on the same exact dates without free dining, but not enough to change the nature of the parks or their lines.
It does crowd the hotels–that’s the point–and crowd the restaurants–that’s the tool.
But in general, you should view the presence of free dining during your week as an indicator that it’s a pretty low crowd week to attend!
August 14, 2012 11 Comments
2013 CROWDS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD
August 1, 2012 2 Comments
DISNEY WORLD 2013 SUMMER CROWDS: THE PRINCIPLES
Walt Disney World summer crowds are governed by two factors:
- Public school summer break calendars, which have start and end dates more varied than you’d think
- The beginning of the peak of the hurricane season, in mid-August
Pretty much all kids are off all of July. As a result, July is the busiest summer month, and during it, the week that includes the 4th of July the busiest week.
Varied dates for when summer breaks begin means June can start well (but see below), and then build to high crowd levels.
August has the opposite pattern, beginning with high crowds, but, through the combination of a trickle turning to a flood of back-to-school dates, and savvy travelers avoiding the peak of the hurricane season, it ends quite un-crowded.
Families that can only visit in the summer (for example, school teachers) should go as early in June or as late in August as their schedules permit. [Read more →]
July 31, 2012 4 Comments
DISNEY WORLD SPRING BREAK CROWDS: THE PRINCIPLES
Walt Disney World Spring Break crowds are governed by two and a quarter factors:
- Public school Spring Break calendars, which are still largely framed around Easter
- 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 later March and early April weeks.
Easter 2013, on March 31, is early in the possible range. President’s Day 2013, on February 18th, is in the middle of its possible range.
As a result, 2013 Spring Break crowds at Walt Disney World will be fine the last week of February, iffy the first week of March, and bad from March 9 through April 6, with the peak crowds (rated 11 on my 2013 crowd calendar) happening the weeks beginning March 9, March 23, and March 30.
2013 PUBLIC SCHOOL SPRING BREAKS AND THEIR EFFECTS ON WALT DISNEY WORLD CROWDS [Read more →]
July 25, 2012 142 Comments