By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2019, the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever.

Available on Amazon here.





Category — Disney World Crowds

Disney World Summer Crowds in 2020

DISNEY WORLD 2020 SUMMER CROWDS: THE PRINCIPLES

Walt Disney World summer crowds recently have been governed by three factors:

  • Public school summer break calendars, which have start and end dates more varied than you might think
  • The block-out dates of the “Silver” annual passes that have a high penetration among locals
  • The beginning of the peak of the hurricane season, in mid-August

BLOCK OUT DATES

Disney changed block out policies on certain annual passes that are highly valued by locals in 2015, in time to affect the summer of 2016.  Since then, summer stand-by waits (which is how we all measure crowds, as there’s no better tool), while still not great, have been down, especially in July.

For 2020 for the first time I am creating this into my forecasts, as it has gone on long enough to be a thing, so some July dates now see “moderate” crowd rankings.

So…back to the other two drivers of summer crowds–school breaks and the peak of the hurricane season.

Pretty much all kids are on break in July, so traditionally it was the highest crowd month of the summer. But as noted above, the past several years it has been less crowded after the 4th than the later parts of June.

Varied dates for when summer breaks begin means June can start well, and then build to high crowd levels.

August has the opposite pattern, beginning with (recently) moderate 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, although later July is now more attractive than it used to be. [Read more →]

July 15, 2019   No Comments

Christmas Breaks in 2019 and Disney World Crowds

DISNEY WORLD CROWDS FROM LATER DECEMBER 2019 TO EARLY JANUARY 2020

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 2019, as always, there’s more kids out the week between Christmas and New Year’s than before or after.

However, because of the Wednesday Christmas, there’s not a lot of kids out the week before Christmas week–fewer than we’ve seen some recent years.

Crowds will be massive by December 21, 2019, and will be at their worst between 12/24/2019 and 1/1/2020.

More schools are taking two week breaks over the holidays in the 2019-2020 school year, so the week after New Years in 2020 has many kids still on break. Thus I expect Disney World to be heavily crowded through January 5, 2020. [Read more →]

April 9, 2019   No Comments

Fall Breaks in 2019 and Disney World Crowds

As explained here, where I cover when kids go back to school, I am kicking off my annual school calendar analysis early this year.

In this post, I am covering fall breaks.

Fall breaks as I define them analytically are periods when kids have at least a three day weekend, after Labor Day and before Veterans Day.

These off days can be for any reasons–they can be labeled as a “Fall Break,” can be simply a three day (or longer) weekend for Columbus Day, or simply can be an artifact of a teacher’s workday/”Professional Development” day being scheduled before or after a weekend. [Read more →]

April 8, 2019   No Comments

End of Summer 2019 Crowds at Walt Disney World

Every year, with the help of one of my niecelets, I collect the calendars for the upcoming school year for about 15 million US schoolkids—about a third of the US schoolkid population.

I weight these calendars, by state, based on the respective contribution of that state to this website’s visits, graphically analyze them, and use the results to note how the ability of kids to be easily out of school can affect Walt Disney World crowds.

I usually do this work in June, for the simple reason that while some school districts have no trouble posting their calendars for the next three or four years, some districts in some particular states—and yes, I am glaring at you, Michigan, and a bit at you, New Jersey—have problems getting out the next school years’ calendar even by early June.

This year, the niecelet and I launched this work early, as while I had no idea that Star Wars would partially in late August, I did suspect we would get an opening date before my traditional June presentation of this work.

The niecelet turned over to me her first pass through the ~280 districts we track at the end February (we track the 100 largest school districts, regardless of location, and then another 179 large districts mostly east of the Rockies, in states that contribute most of the visitors to this site), and we had then calendars for about 64% of the districts that schooled 69% of the 15.4 million kids we track.

By early April, I declared in victory on this early round of data collection, with calendars for 90% of districts and 89% of kids—13.7 million–in hand. I’ll am now publishing a series on the results of this work, and after the series is out, will be revising the second half of my 2019 crowd calendar.

This first one is about when summer 2019 school breaks end. [Read more →]

April 7, 2019   No Comments

Disney World Crowds in 2020

2020 CROWDS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

The chart lower on the page shows my forecasts for 2020 crowds by week at Walt Disney World.

It was updated in July 2019, and I may update it again after that, if material new information comes out.

2020 will be an interesting year at Disney World, with the new land Galaxy’s Edge dominating the news early in the year, but after that other new rides opening, and Disney World beginning its 50th anniversary celebration later in the year.

More on 2020 at Walt Disney World is here. For 2019 Disney World crowd forecasts, see this.
[Read more →]

January 13, 2019   69 Comments

Disney World Summer Crowds in 2019

DISNEY WORLD 2019 SUMMER CROWDS: THE PRINCIPLES

Walt Disney World summer crowds recently have been governed by three factors:

  • Public school summer break calendars, which have start and end dates more varied than you might think
  • The block-out dates of the “Silver” annual passes that have a high penetration among locals
  • The beginning of the peak of the hurricane season, in mid-August

BLOCK OUT DATES

Disney changed block out policies on certain annual passes that are highly valued by locals in 2015, in time to affect the summer of 2016.  All of July, most of June, and some of August were blocked out in the popular (because lower cost) Silver Pass in 2016 and 2017. Crowds both summers were lower than expected, likely largely because of this.

For 2018, the planned early June block out was lifted through June 29, and June 2018 saw higher crowds (according to the historical data on TouringPlans.com) than June 2017. The higher crowds may disappear now that the block out dates are back, and they may or may not appear next year.

For the summer of 2019, the Silver Pass block out dates begin June 3.  If the summer of 2019 is like 2016 and 2017, you may see as a result lower crowds–more at the moderate level–than I forecast below.  I’ll keep my eye on this s the summer of 2018 unfolds and update this if necessary. You will, however, still be in Florida in the heat, humidity, and rain of summer–and I can’t possibly recommend that…

So…back to the other two drivers of summer crowds–school breaks and the peak of the hurricane season.

Pretty much all kids are off all of July. As a result, July is typically 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, 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 1, 2018   2 Comments