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.



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Category — a. When to Go to Walt Disney World

Christmas 2017 at Walt Disney World

OVERVIEW: CHRISTMAS 2017 AT DISNEY WORLD

The Christmas season at Walt Disney World includes both the best and the worst times to visit, with both prices and crowds at both lower and very high levels over the period.

Decorations, special Christmas shows, programs, and events, and Christmas trees are everywhere, making Disney World as special a place to celebrate the holidays as you can find.

THE CHRISTMAS SEASON AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

December crowds at Walt Disney World begin at lower levels. They will begin to build on 12/22, and by 12/24 will hit their highest levels of the year, where they will stay until about January 2, 2018. Crowds will still be high–though not at the holiday levels–through January 7.

AK-Christmas Mickey and Minnie at Disney's Animal Kingdom from yourfirstvisit.net

Walt Disney World resort hotel December prices at the beginning of the month are at one of the lower levels of the year.

Prices increase 12/10, again 12/15, and again 12/22, ending at the highest levels of the year.

December weather is cooler and variable. While the average daily high is 73, this masks tremendous variability.

CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

Christmas 2014 at Walt Disney World form yourfirstvisit.net
Each of the parks has wonderful Christmas decorations, and the Magic Kingdom and Epcot (and likely Hollywood Studios) have special Christmas events, which will begin in early November at Magic Kingdom, mid-November at the Studios, and right after Thanksgiving at Epcot.

  • At the Magic KingdomMickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party—a special event that requires its own ticket—runs on many nights from November 8 through December 22nd. Later in December, its signature events—a special Christmas parade, and special Christmas fireworks—are available to all guests. Christmas decor is in place by the night of the first party–in 2017, November 8.
  • At the Studios, in 2016 the Christmas projection show Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! kicked off on November 14. I don’t know if it will return for 2017.
  • At Epcot, the evening fireworks show Illuminations has special Christmas additions. In addition, most nights Christmas carols are sung by massed choirs in the Candlelight Processional. Many of the countries in Epcot’s World Showcase have special Christmas events as part of Epcot’s Holidays Around the World program. Epcot’s special events are fully in place the Friday after Thanksgiving–November 24 in 2017.

NEW YEAR’S EVE 2017 AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

New Year’s Eve festivities have not yet been announced, but based on past practices will occur December 31, 2017 at Disney World’s Epcot, Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios theme parks, and also at the Magic Kingdom on December 30. The Animal Kingdom in the past has had no special New Years events, but may well in 2017.

Based on the past, the schedule will look like this:

  • Epcot will be open until 1a on New Year’s Eve; Disney’s Hollywood Studios until at least midnight, and the Magic Kingdom until 1a or later
  • The Magic Kingdom likely will have Happily Ever After at 7.30p and special New Year’s Eve fireworks at 11.48p
  • Epcot likely will have its Illuminations fireworks show at 6p and 11.40p, plus DJs in various pavilions.
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios likely will have fireworks at midnight
  • There may be a New Years Eve show at the Animal Kingdom–the first ever
  • Note that alcohol is not available at the Magic Kingdom (other than at a few restaurants), but is available at the other three parks

The Magic Kingdom likely will have the same fireworks at the same times on 12/30/17. This date will likely be a little less crowded than 12/31.
The 2017 easy Guide

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June 12, 2017   No Comments

Disney World Crowds: Christmas 2017 and New Year’s 2017/2018

DISNEY WORLD CROWDS FROM LATER DECEMBER 2017 TO EARLY JANUARY 2018

Disney World sees its highest crowds and prices of the year in the later third of December and the beginning of January, in the weeks around Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

This is for a pretty basic reason: kids are out of school then.

However, not every school district has the same break schedule.

In 2017, as always, there’s more kids out the week between Christmas and New Year’s than before or after.

Unlike 2016, because of the Monday Christmas (the first since 2006), there’s not a lot of kids out the week before Christmas. Crowds the first part of the week of December 16 will be fine, but will build at the end of the week and be massive by December 23, 2017.

The week after New Years in 2018 has many more kids on break than usual, so I expect it to be heavily crowded through January 8, 2017.

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 25 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 2017, a Monday 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 after New Year’s that I expect to see heavy crowds that week.

Note that I had originally forecast the week beginning 12/16/2017 as “high crowds.” However, more long-break schools than I’d expected put their second week in January rather than December, so I am now calling that a moderate-plus crowd week–which is the combined effect of moderate-minus early in the week and high late in the week.

ACTUAL 2017-2018 CHRISTMAS SEASON SCHOOL BREAKS

The chart above illuminates this.

It’s based on data from a weighted sample including more than 270 of the largest relevant US public school districts with almost a third–more than 15 million–of total US school kids included.

The holidays are red, the weekends black, and weekdays blue.  Click the image enlarge it.

You can see that some breaks begin Saturday the 16th, with hardly any kids on break before then. More kids go on break beginning the 2oth, and by the 23rd everyone is on break.

Pretty much everybody stays out of school through January 1, 2018, and while many go back to school January 2 or 3rd, almost 40% of US schoolkids remain on break through January 7.

The 2017 easy Guide

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May 29, 2017   2 Comments

November 2017 at Walt Disney World

June   July   August   September   October    November   December

OVERVIEW: NOVEMBER 2017 AT DISNEY WORLD

This page reviews November 2017 Walt Disney World crowds, prices, deals and discounts, weather, and operating hours; adds a few other notes; and ends with week by week summaries.

Very early, mid and late November are some of the best times of the year to visit Disney World, with cooler weather, low crowds, low prices, and fun special events.

Other parts of the month are not so good. Jersey Week see moderate crowds. Thanksgiving week, with high crowds and higher prices than the rest of the month, should be avoided.

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April 27, 2017   28 Comments

October 2017 at Walt Disney World

OVERVIEW: OCTOBER 2017 AT DISNEY WORLD

This page reviews October 2017 Walt Disney World crowds, prices, deals and discounts, weather, and operating hours; adds a few other notes; and ends with week by week summaries.

Later October has some of the best times of the year to visit Disney World, with nice weather, low crowds, low prices, and fun special events.

The first half of the month is not so good, as

  • The first week is still in the peak of the hurricane season
  • Both the first and second week see extra crowds from fall breaks, and
  • The second week sees higher prices from Columbus Day.

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March 25, 2017   25 Comments

September 2017 at Walt Disney World

OVERVIEW: SEPTEMBER 2017 AT DISNEY WORLD

This page reviews September 2017 Walt Disney World crowds, prices, deals and discounts, weather, and operating hours; adds a few other notes; and ends with week by week summaries.

September combines low crowds with low prices, and typically also has OK room rates and free dining deals as well.

This makes it a great month for returning visitors.

But it has lousy weather, combining continuing summer heat and humidity with the peak of the hurricane season, making me not so keen on the month for first time visitors who may never return.

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February 15, 2017   8 Comments

August 2017 at Walt Disney World

OVERVIEW: AUGUST 2017 AT DISNEY WORLD

August 2017 at Disney World from yourfirstvisit.net

This page reviews August 2017 Walt Disney World crowds, prices, deals and discounts, weather, and operating hours; adds a few other notes; and ends with week by week summaries.

There are no great times for first-timers who may never return to visit in August. Kids start going back to school in August, so crowds go down later in the month–but that’s also when the peak of the hurricane season kicks off.

Prices begin the month low at the deluxes and stay low all month long. Prices begin the month OK at the moderates, and high at the values. Values prices drop to moderate levels on 8/13, and on 8/25 prices drop to among the lowest of the year at both the values and the moderates.

For first-timers who can’t return, the best week is that beginning 8/5–higher crowds and prices than later in the month, but lower hurricane risk. For those who can return, then later in the month is best.

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January 18, 2017   1 Comment