By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2020, the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever.

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Disney World Crowds: Christmas 2015 and New Year’s 2015/2016

By Dave Shute


Holiday 2015-2016 Crowds at Disney World from yourfirstvisit.netDisney World sees its highest crowds and prices of the year in the later third of December and the beginning of January, in the week that includes Christmas, and the next week that includes New Year’s Eve.

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

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

In 2015/2016, more kids are out  New Year’s week than early in Christmas week, but there’s still plenty enough on break Christmas week to wildly crowd the parks…


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

In 2015, a Friday Christmas, and the patterning of school breaks around it, will make it easy for many families to head to Walt Disney World either week.

But the Friday New Year’s Day results in no schools re-opening between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

So almost all kids will be off all of the week that includes New Year’s Day, and unlike some years–like 2013–both weeks will be really lousy all week long.


Disney World Christmas 2015 New Years 2016 Crowds from

The chart above illuminates this.

It’s based on data from a weighted sample including more than 160 of the largest relevant US public school districts.

(For how the database is built, see this.)

The weekends are in black and the two holidays–Christmas and New Year’s Day–in red.  Click the image enlarge it.

You can see that many breaks begin Saturday the 19th, with hardly any kids on break before then, but almost 30% of kids are still in school the first three weekdays of Christmas week.

By Christmas Eve, though, everyone is out, and pretty much everybody stays out of school through January 3, 2016.

A few–very few–breaks continue past January 3.

So I’ve classed both weeks as 11/highest crowds, but of the two, New Year’s week will be the worse.

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