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Category — m. Disney Crowd Calendar

Disney World Crowds in 2013

December   January    February   March   April   May   June   July

2013 CROWDS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

Disney World 2013 Crowd CalendarIn the image you’ll find Walt Disney World 2013 weekly crowd forecasts (revised on January 13, 2013).

Dates in it are the beginning of the week, and the forecast covers the following 9 days.

(For 2014 crowds, click here.)

Crowd levels are ranked by week from 1-11 in the following way:

1: Lowest of the year

2: Lower

3: Low

5: Moderate-minus

6: Moderate

7: Moderate-plus

9: High

10: Higher

11: Highest

HOW TO INTERPRET THE 2013 DISNEY WORLD CROWD CALENDAR

Dates are the beginning of the week.

The “low crowd” weeks–those rated 1-3–represent the only crowd levels a family visiting for the first time, and unsure if it will ever return, should consider.

However, lower crowds, especially lowest crowds, do not always mean a better week. The lowest weeks are low for a reason–typically because they are in the hurricane or the ride closure seasons.

The “moderate crowd” weeks–those rated 5-7–have crowd levels I would not recommend to first time visitors. However, I’d go during such weeks myself with no hesitation, and think these levels are OK for returning visitors who don’t need to see everything and already know how to work Walt Disney World.

The “high crowd” weeks–those rated 9-11–should be avoided by everyone. They aren’t, which is why they are so high.

You may have noted that there’s no level 4 or 8. There’s a reason for that.

MY DISNEY WORLD CROWD CALENDAR GOES UP TO 11

My analytics only let me distinguish 9 groups–the lowest through the highest crowd levels noted above.

Since the influence of the Unofficial Guide and TouringPlans.com has led almost all Disney World crowd calendars to top out at 10, this presented a problem of needing to skip a number. The skipped number is hard to place among 9.

However, I’ve always thought that the really nastiest weeks of the year deserved an 11 for emphasis. So, in homage to Spinal Tap, I assigned 11 to “highest.” That let me skip two numbers, the ones that separate the moderate crowd levels from those higher and lower.

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September 12, 2011   234 Comments

What’s Different About the New Walt Disney World 2012 Crowd Calendar?

I recently published my Walt Disney World Crowd Calendar for 2012 and, based on it and other factors, revised the list of 2012 weeks to visit Disney World ranked in order.

I’ve also published details on 2012 crowds during key periods–

In this post, I’ll be explaining how my Disney World 2012 Crowd Calendar is different from those I’ve been publishing for the last 3+ years (e.g. this one for 2011) but also how it’s the same!

SAME PURPOSE: HELPING FAMILIES FIND THE LEAST CROWDED TIMES AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

The new crowd calendar has the same old purpose–to help first time family visitors, unsure if they will ever return, to find the more and less crowded weeks at Walt Disney World.

It’s not mean to give precise day by day crowd forecasts–the best source for those is TouringPlans.com.

It also uses the same data sources I’ve always used–greater and lower operating hours, the exact dates of kid’s school breaks, and my own inferences based on experience, knowledge, and research.

I’ve incorporated even more school breaks than I had in the past, where my focus had been solely on sharpening up the Spring Break crowd forecasts.  My school calendars now cover all the major family vacation periods.

What’s different is how I bring all this to a label.  In the past, my crowd “number” came from a normalized index of excess operating hours, which I then adjusted based on school break info and inferences.

However, this approach no longer works so well.

The biggest problem with it has been that Disney has lately been frequently changing its operating hours–usually adding to them–which caused my crowd calendar to both look funny—crowded later dates don’t look as bad as they will be because hours have not yet been added–and to change month to month in ways that actually aren’t important.

So what I’ve done in the new 2012 Disney Crowd Calendar is, using the same analytics as before, to re-label every week from 1 (lowest crowds) to 11 (highest crowds).

This makes it both more accurate and more stable. So weeks that I know will be crowded, and that will thus have operating hours added, are just indicated as high crowd weeks now…

MY DISNEY WORLD CROWD CALENDAR GOES TO 11

The choice of 1-10 as the ranking would have been easier–it would have followed the traditional TouringPlans.com model.

But what TouringPlans.com currently groups together as “10” weeks seems to me to mask among these really bad weeks some really nightmarish ones.

I’d recommended to them (see this comment and the one that precedes it) that the distinguish these nightmare weeks, but they haven’t taken me up on this advice 🙂 .  So I took it myself, both as a source of additional crowd precision and as a tribute to Spinal Tap!

The final changes are that the layout of the Crowd Calendar is now horizontal rather than vertical, which gave me room to add the dates of every week, and I’ve now color-coded the bars.

Check it out–it’s here.

MORE ON WHEN TO GO TO WALT DISNEY WORLD

August 1, 2011   No Comments

Disney World Crowds in 2012: Christmas/New Year’s 2011-2012

In this post, I’m covering the Christmas-New Year’s season 2011-2012.

(I’ve also posted on spring break crowds at Disney World here and summer 2012 crowds at Walt Disney World here.)

DISNEY WORLD CROWDS FROM MID-DECEMBER 2011 TO EARLY JANUARY 2012: THE PRINCIPLES

Disney World usually sees its highest crowds and prices of the year in the second half of December, in the week that includes Christmas, and the next week that includes New Year’s Eve.

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

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

  • Not every kid gets two consecutive weeks (or more) off
  • And the days of the week that these holidays fall on matter

As a result of all this, I’m seeing the week beginning the 17th of December 2011 as an OK week, with crowds beginning to build in the middle of that week and lasting through the morning of 1/2/2012.

SCHOOL BREAKS AND DISNEY WORLD CROWDS

[Read more →]

July 5, 2011   14 Comments

Disney World Crowds in 2012

December   January    February   March   April   May   June   July

2012 CROWDS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

In the image below you’ll find Walt Disney World 2012 crowd forecasts. (Click it to enlarge it; when open, click it again.)

(For the 2013 Crowd Calendar, click here)

Crowd levels are ranked by week from 1-11 in the following way:

1: Lowest of the year

2: Lower

3: Low

5: Moderate-minus

6: Moderate

7: Moderate-plus

9: High

10: Higher

11: Highest

HOW TO INTERPRET THE 2012 DISNEY WORLD CROWD CALENDAR

The “low crowd” weeks–those rated 1-3–represent the only crowd levels a family visiting for the first time, and unsure if it will ever return, should consider.

However, lower crowds, especially lowest crowds, do not always mean a better week. The lowest weeks are low for a reason–typically because they are in the hurricane or the ride closure seasons. See this for recommended 2012 weeks for first time visitors, and for the 2012 Week Picker, see this.

The “moderate crowd” weeks–those rated 5-7–have crowd levels I would not recommend to first time visitors. However, I’d go during such weeks myself with no hesitation, and think these levels are OK for returning visitors who don’t need to see everything and already know how to work Walt Disney World.

The “high crowd” weeks–those rated 9-11–should be avoided by everyone. They aren’t, which is why they are so high.

You may have noted that there’s no level 4 or 8. There’s a reason for that.

MY DISNEY WORLD CROWD CALENDAR GOES UP TO 11

My analytics only let me distinguish 9 groups–the lowest through the highest crowd levels noted above.

Since the influence of the Unofficial Guide and TouringPlans.com has led almost all Disney World crowd calendars to top out at 10, this presented a problem of needing to skip a number. The skipped number is hard to place among 9.

However, I’ve always thought that the really nastiest weeks of the year deserved an 11 for emphasis. So I assigned 11 to “highest.” That let me skip two numbers, the ones that separate the moderate crowd levels from those higher and lower.

A NOTE ON DISNEY WORLD CROWD FORECAST ACCURACY

This site’s forecasting approach has stood the test of time.  But nobody’s perfect, and it can’t hurt you to look at other Disney World crowd calendars—such as TouringPlans.com –far and away the best daily crowd calendar on the web.

(TouringPlans.com charges a trivially small fee. Buy Testa and Sehlinger’s book and get a discount on TouringPlans.com.)

I particularly suggest checking other forecasts for 2012 Spring Break–late February, March and early April–visits, as crowds in this period are the hardest to forecast.

MORE ON WHEN TO GO TO WALT DISNEY WORLD

June 29, 2011   55 Comments

Crowd Calendar Updated to Include October 2011

DISNEY CROWD CALENDAR UPDATE

I’ve updated my Walt Disney World Crowd Calendar to reflect recently-released October 2011 Disney World operating hours.

You can find the updated crowd calendar here.

On a related note, I always recommend checking another crowd calendar–preferably that at TouringPlans.com–before committing to a specific time to go to Walt Disney World.

The folks at TouringPlans.com have recently added forecasts of operating hours going out twelve months.

You can read about this on Henry Work’s blog post here.

April 11, 2011   No Comments

Crowd Calendar Updated to Include September 2011

DISNEY CROWD CALENDAR UPDATE

I’ve updated my Walt Disney World Crowd Calendar to reflect recently-released September 2011 Disney World operating hours.

You can find the updated crowd calendar here.

On a related note, I always recommend checking another crowd calendar–preferably that at TouringPlans.com–before committing to a specific time to go to Walt Disney World.

The folks at TouringPlans.com have added a feature to their suggestions for which parks are best to visit which days.

They will now alert you if their park recommendations change, or if their own crowd calendar shows a material change.

You can read about this on their blog here.

These services are unnecessary for first time visitors following one of this site’s Disney World itineraries.

However, they are very handy for repeat visitors trying to put together a plan of for which days at which park at Walt Disney World, especially if they aren’t tied down by in-park dining reservations.

March 8, 2011   No Comments