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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Category — Disney World Crowds

Disney World Crowds in 2024


The chart lower on the page shows my current forecasts for 2024 crowds by week at Walt Disney World.

I’m forecasting a “return to normal” for crowd patterns in 2024, with less crowding in particular in January and in the summer compared to 2022 and 2023–though 2023 was a mixed bag.

My Disney World crowd forecasts are based on a combination of historical patterns and the specific influence of school breaks. The varying year to year timing of school breaks particularly shapes crowding during the spring break season.

Ticket prices also had some influence on my forecasts, but ticket prices are not the clear crowd forecast that some think they are.  Lower-priced days will be less crowded, but not all higher priced days are more crowded, as Disney prices tickets not only for quantitative demand but also for perceived value. For more on 2024 ticket prices at Disney World, see this.

As always, I forecast by Saturday arrival date, and the forecast includes the arrival Saturday through the second Sunday following–so 9 total days. [Read more →]

August 31, 2023   4 Comments

Disney World Crowds in 2021


The chart lower on the page shows my current draft forecasts for 2021 crowds by week at Walt Disney World. I explain how I built it at the end of the post.

2021 will be an interesting year at Disney World, with COVID-related capacity restrictions dominating crowds early in the year, but after that new attractions opening, old attractions re-opening, and Disney World beginning its 50th anniversary celebration later in the year.

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January 6, 2021   No Comments

Disney World Summer Crowds in 2020


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


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 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