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 — 9. Spring Break and Easter at Walt Disney World

Disney World Spring Break Crowds in 2016

DISNEY WORLD SPRING BREAK CROWDS IN 2016

Spring Break Crowds at Disney World from yourfirstvisit.netWalt Disney World Spring Break crowds are typically governed by two and a quarter factors:

  • Public school Spring Break calendars, which are still largely framed around Easter but vary more than you might think
  • 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 early March and early April weeks.

Easter 2016, on March 27, is early in its possible range. President’s Day 2016–covered in more detail here–is also early, February 16. Unusually, Passover 2016 is decoupled from Easter, and begins April 22.

As a result, 2016 Spring Break crowds at Walt Disney World will be

  • Bad Presidents Day Week
  • Fine the weeks beginning February 20th and February 27th
  • Bad the week beginning March 5
  • Very rough the weeks beginning March 12, 19, and 26
  • ..and back to fine after April 2.  The weeks of April 2nd and 23rd may in fact have more crowds than I am forecasting, but not enough to move them into the “bad” category.

2016 PUBLIC SCHOOL SPRING BREAKS AND THEIR EFFECTS ON WALT DISNEY WORLD CROWDS

Although more and more school districts are moving away from an Easter-centered Spring Break, the plurality of kids still have the weeks before Easter or following Easter off.

As a result, the single biggest factor determining better and worse Spring Break weeks at Walt Disney World is the date of Easter–which can range from March 22 to April 25.

A later Easter has a couple of different effects: first, it spreads out the dates of breaks for school districts that don’t frame their breaks around Easter, and second, if particularly late, will push districts that typically take the week after Easter off into the week before Easter instead, to keep from compressing their May academic calendars.  

An earlier Easter has the opposite effects.  Districts that traditionally try to take the week after Easter off will be able to do so, and districts that don’t base their calendars on Easter will be largely compressed into a couple of March weeks.

The date of President’s Day–which can range from February 15 to February 21–also has an effect. Because many districts both have a spring break and also take the week of  President’s Day off, the later President’s Day is, the better early March will be–as parents avoid taking their kids out of school the weeks after a long President’s Day break.

The effect of the various dates in 2016 is to compress most 2016 school spring breaks into three consecutive weeks: those beginning March 12, March 19, and 26.  There’s also breaks clustered the weeks of April 2, 16, and 23rd, but since these weeks are not nearly as attractive to snow birds, I don’t forecast they will be bad.

ACTUAL 2016 SPRING BREAKS

Disney World Spring Break 2016 Crowds from yourfirstvisit.net
The chart above illuminates this.

It’s based on data from a weighted sample including more than 165 of the largest relevant US public school districts.

(For how the database is built, see this. Weekends are in black, except Easter, in red. Click the image to enlarge it.)

President’s Day week–not charted, but see this–has a crowd ranking of 10/higher.  Crowds will start to show beginning the Thursday before and remain high through the 20th.

Next to no kids are on break in 2016 between the week after President’s Day and March 5. I rate the week beginning February 20 4/low-plus crowds–higher early in the week, better later.  The week beginning February 27 is rated 3/low crowds. Both of these are recommended weeks.

The week beginning March 5, 2016 has fewer kids on break than I thought I’d see when I published my draft crowd calendar 9 months ago, so I’ve bumped it down to 8/high-minus crowds. It may even turn out to be a moderate crowd week–but don’t bet on it.

The weeks beginning March 12, 19 and 26 have a lot of kids on break, and even more visitors coming to take a break from the snow. For 2016, I rate all three as 11/highest crowds.

Only scattered districts are on break in April 2016–e.g., Georgia districts the week of the 2nd, Massachusetts districts the week of the 16th, and New York districts the week of the 23rd–and people escaping winter are much less prevalent in April compared to March.

So I don’t see any real crowding issues from April 2, 2016 through mid-May. Almost all of these later spring weeks are recommended. If I’m wrong, the weeks of the 2nd and 23rd will be worse than I’m forecasting–but still OK.

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June 28, 2015   38 Comments

April 2015 at Walt Disney World

April    May   June   July   August   September   October   November

OVERVIEW: APRIL 2015 AT DISNEY WORLD

April 2015 at Walt Disney World from yourfirstvisit.netThis page reviews April 2015 Walt Disney World crowds, prices, deals and discounts, weather, and operating hours; adds a few other notes; and ends with week by week summaries.

Unless Easter is very late, the weeks before and after Easter are terrible times to go to Walt Disney World, with the highest prices and crowds outside of the week between Christmas and New Years. The period beginning a week after Easter, however, is a great time to go.

APRIL 2015 CROWDS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

Massive numbers of kids are on break the week beginning March 28, 2015 and even more the week after. I rank the week of the 28th 10/higher crowds and the week beginning April 4 as 11/highest crowds.

Crowds then diminish the rest of the month, as except for a few northeastern districts the spring break season is over.  I rank the weeks of the 11th and 18th as 4/low-plus crowds and the week of April 25th as 3/low crowds.

See this for more on 2015 crowds at Disney World.

APRIL 2015 PRICES AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

On March 29 prices hit 75% higher than the lowest of the year at the values, and 45% higher at the moderates and deluxes.

On April 12, they drop to 16% higher at the deluxes,  20% higher at the moderates, and 25% higher at the values.  They stay at this level through late May.

See this for more on 2015 resort hotel prices at Walt Disney World.

APRIL 2015 DEALS AND DISCOUNTS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

Deals are available for April 2015. See this for more.

APRIL 2015 WEATHER AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

April weather completes the shift from the variable and cooler temperatures of winter to the warmer and more consistent temperatures of spring.

For example, at the beginning of April, 60% of the time the daily high will be between 72 and 87.  By the beginning of May, 60% of the time the daily high will be between 80 and 90.

All in, April weather is as good as it gets at Walt Disney World.

Disney World Temperatures and Percentile Distribution Click the image, or go to Weather and When to Go to Disney World, for more on temperatures.

APRIL 2015 SPECIAL EVENTS

The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival continues throughout April.

APRIL 2015 OPERATING HOURS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

Park operating hours vary by the day, and sometimes change without notice. It is rare for hours to be shorter than Disney has publicized, but Disney may lengthen them in response to unanticipated crowds.

The best way to keep up with operating hours is to check Disney’s official calendars, usually available six months in advance.

These calendars can be found by clicking the following links:

WEEK BY WEEK COMMENTS FOR APRIL 2015 AT WALT DISNEY WORLD BY ARRIVAL DATE

The week rankings that follow below are from 2015 weeks to visit, ranked in order, and are designed for first-time visitors who do not know whether or not they will return.

Disney World 2015 Week Rankings from yourfirstvisit.net (960x1280)

Click the image for a calendar view of 2015 weeks (when open, keep clicking to enlarge.)

MORE ON WHEN TO GO TO WALT DISNEY WORLD

Want a second opinion?  Then check out my book lol.

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September 16, 2014   40 Comments

March 2015 at Walt Disney World

March   April   May   June   July   August   September   October

OVERVIEW: MARCH 2015 AT DISNEY WORLD

March 2015 at Walt Disney World from yourfirstvisit.netThis page reviews March 2015 Walt Disney World crowds, prices, deals and discounts, weather, and operating hours; adds a few other notes; and ends with week by week summaries.

The first week of March can be a great time to go to Disney World, and is so in 2015. The rest of March 2015 will be a bear, with high prices and high spring break crowds.

MARCH 2015 CROWDS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

Few kids are on break the first week of March, so I have it rated as low crowd with a crowd ranking of 3.

The next three weeks have large and roughly equal numbers of kids on break, and are also popular with northern families taking their kids out of school and away from the snow.  I have each of the weeks beginning 3/7, 3/14 and 3/21 ranked as high crowd with a crowd ranking of 9.

The week beginning March 28 is the week before Easter, traditionally a horribly-crowded week at Walt Disney World.  In 2015 I’m seeing the week after Easter as worse, and the week before Easter as a little better, than usual. But the week of the 28th will still be lousy, with higher crowds and a crowd ranking of 10.

See this for more on 2015 crowds at Disney World.

MARCH 2015 PRICES AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

March hotel prices begin the month at 25% higher than the lowest of the year at the values, 20% higher at the moderates, and 16% higher at the deluxes.

On March 6 they jump to 45% higher at the values, 30% higher at the moderates, and 33% higher at the deluxes.

On March 29 prices go up even more, to 75% higher at the values, and 45% higher at the moderates and deluxes.

See this for more on 2015 resort hotel prices at Walt Disney World.

MARCH 2015 DEALS AND DISCOUNTS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

Deals are available for March 2015. See this for details.

MARCH 2015 WEATHER AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

March weather shifts from the variable and cooler temperatures of winter to the higher and more predictable temperatures of spring.

For example, at the beginning of March, 80% of the time the daily high will be 70 or better, but it will be higher than the lower 80s only 20% of the time. By the beginning of May, 80% of the time the daily high will be 80 or warmer, and it will be 90 or higher 20% of the time.

Tornadoes can be an issue during this period. See this for more.

Disney World Temperatures and Percentile Distribution Click the image, or go to Weather and When to Go to Disney World, for more on temperatures.

MARCH 2015 SPECIAL EVENTS

The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival begins March 4 and continues until May 17.

MARCH 2015 OPERATING HOURS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

Park operating hours vary by the day, and sometimes change without notice. It is rare for hours to be shorter than Disney has publicized, but Disney may lengthen them in response to unanticipated crowds.

The best way to keep up with operating hours is to check Disney’s official calendars, usually available six months in advance.

These calendars can be found by clicking the following links:

WEEK BY WEEK COMMENTS FOR MARCH 2015 AT WALT DISNEY WORLD BY ARRIVAL DATE

The week rankings that follow below are from 2015 weeks to visit, ranked in order, and are designed for first-time visitors who do not know whether or not they will return.

Disney World 2015 Week Rankings from yourfirstvisit.net (960x1280)

Click the image for a calendar view of 2015 weeks (when open, keep clicking to enlarge.)

MORE ON WHEN TO GO TO WALT DISNEY WORLD

Want a second opinion?  Then check out my book lol.

Follow yourfirstvisit.net on Facebook or Google+ or Twitter or Pinterest!!

August 13, 2014   2 Comments

The 2015 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

(This page is one of a series explicating Walt Disney World lingo, abbreviations, and FAQ for first time family visitors to Walt Disney World.)

DISNEY’S 2015 INTERNATIONAL FLOWER AND GARDEN FESTIVAL AT EPCOT

The Epcot International Flower and Garden Show from yourfirstvisit.netEvery year from roughly early March through mid-May, Walt Disney World presents the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival.

In 2015, the Flower and Garden Festival is scheduled for March 4-May 17.

The gardens at Epcot are almost always lovely, and they are at their loveliest during this period.

Disney’s own wonderful landscaping is supplemented by additional plantings, topiary, and specially themed gardens.

Also presented are special programs presenting gardening tips, and weekend concerts.

Likely growing in 2015 is the more emphasis on food we saw beginning in 2013.

See the official Walt Disney World web page for the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival here.

[Read more →]

August 12, 2014   3 Comments

Disney World Spring Break Crowds in 2015

DISNEY WORLD SPRING BREAK CROWDS FROM FEBRUARY THROUGH APRIL 2015

Spring Break Crowds in 2015 at Disney World from yourfirstvisit.netWalt 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 but vary more than you might think
  • 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 early March and early April weeks.

Easter 2015, on April 5, is in the middle of its possible range. President’s Day 2015, on February 16th, both is early, and by a quirk of the calendar, is the same week as Mardi Gras–which some southern schools get off as well.

As a result, 2015 Spring Break crowds at Walt Disney World will be

  • Horrible Presidents Day Week
  • Fine the last week of February and the first week of March,
  • Very rough the weeks beginning March 7, 14, and 21
  • Horrible the week before Easter–the week beginning March 28
  • Really horrible the week after Easter, from April 4 through 11, as more schools than usual are off this week in 2015
  • ..and back to fine after April 11

2015 PUBLIC SCHOOL SPRING BREAKS AND THEIR EFFECTS ON WALT DISNEY WORLD CROWDS

Although more and more school districts are moving away from an Easter-centered Spring Break, the plurality of kids still have the weeks before Easter or following Easter off.

As a result, the single biggest factor determining better and worse Spring Break weeks at Walt Disney World is the date of Easter–which can range from March 22 to April 25.

A later Easter has a couple of different effects: first, it spreads out the dates of breaks for school districts that don’t frame their breaks around Easter, and second, if particularly late, will push districts that typically take the week after Easter off into the week before Easter instead, to keep from compressing their May academic calendars.  

An earlier Easter has the opposite effects.  Districts that traditionally try to take the week after Easter off will be able to do so, and districts that don’t base their calendars on Easter will be largely compressed into a couple of March weeks.

The date of President’s Day–which can range from February 15 to February 21–also has an effect. Because many districts both have a spring break and also take the week of  President’s Day off, the later President’s Day is, the better early March will be–as parents avoid taking their kids out of school the weeks after a long President’s Day break.

The effect of the various dates in 2015 is to put most 2015 school spring breaks into five consecutive weeks: those beginning March 7, March 14, March 21, March 28 and April 4.

ACTUAL 2015 SPRING BREAKS

2015 Spring Break Crowds at Disney World from yourfirstvisit.net
The chart above illuminates this.

It’s based on data from a weighted sample including more than 165 of the largest relevant US public school districts.

(For how the database is built, see this. Weekends are in black, except Easter, in red. Click the image to enlarge it.)

President’s Day week–not charted–will be more than its usual mess, because of its 2015 overlap with Mardi Gras. I’ve assigned it a crowd ranking of 11/highest.  Crowds will start to show beginning the Thursday before and remain high through the 21st.

Next to no kids are on break between the week after President’s Day and March 6. I rate the week beginning February 21 4/low-plus crowds–higher early in the week, better later.  The week beginning February 28 is rated 3/low crowds. Both of these are recommended weeks.

The weeks beginning March 7, 14 and 21 have a lot of kids on break, and even more visitors coming to take a break from the snow. For 2015, I rate all three as 9/high crowds.

The week of March 28 is the week before Easter, typically the busiest week of spring break at Disney World.

However, in 2015 more kids are on break after Easter than before it, so I have the week beginning the 28th ranked as 10/higher crowds, and the week beginning April 4th as 11/ highest crowds.

Only a few school districts are on break after the week after Easter–and many of these had earlier long breaks in February. So I don’t see any real crowding issues from April 11, 2015 through late May! Almost all of these later spring weeks are recommended.

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August 4, 2014   6 Comments

Spring at Walt Disney World

WDW Magazine Spring EditionSpring is around the corner at Disney World, bringing with it big Spring Break crowds, the Flower and Garden Show, and welcome and wonderful warming.

These and other topics are in this month’s WDW Magazine, which you can find on Apple NewsstandGoogle Play or at WDW-Magazine.com.

My contribution this month is avoiding the spring break crowds.

The best way to do so is to not go then; the second-best set of ideas are in WDW Magazine!

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March 2, 2014   No Comments