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

March 2018 at Walt Disney World

OVERVIEW: MARCH 2018 AT DISNEY WORLD

This page reviews March 2018 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 2018, up until March 9. The rest of the month will be lousy–with high prices and high crowds.

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October 2, 2017   No Comments

Disney World Spring Break Crowds in 2018

DISNEY WORLD SPRING BREAK CROWDS IN 2018

Walt 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 can spread the first two factors out, yielding some good early March and early April weeks.

Easter 2018, on April 1, is early in its possible range. President’s Day 2018, is also late, on February 19. As a result, my draft 2018 crowd calendar shows (generally) bad March crowds but (generally) good April crowds.

Now that I have the full set of 2018 spring breaks from 280 school districts with more than 15.3 million kids in them, I can see that this is generally right, but March (other than the first week) will be even worse than I had thought and April (other than the first week) even better.

2018 Spring Break crowds at Walt Disney World will be

  • Bad Presidents Day Week
  • Fine the weeks beginning February 24th and March 3rd
  • Very bad the week beginning March 10th
  • Bad the week beginning March 17
  • Very bad the weeks beginning March 24 and March 31
  • Fine April 7 and later.

I will shortly be revising my “draft” 2018 crowd calendar to reflect these new predictions.

2018 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 northeastern 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 2018 is to compress most school spring breaks into just four weeks beginning March 10 and continuing until the end of the week beginning March 31.

ACTUAL 2018 SPRING BREAKS

 

The chart above illuminates this.

It’s based on data from a weighted sample including 280 of the largest relevant US public school districts. 15.3 million kids–about a third of US school kids–are in the database, and they are weighted based on propensity to go to Disney World.

(For how the database is built, see the this. Weekends are in black, except Easter, in red. Holidays (Mardi Gras and President’s Day) are also in red. Click the image to enlarge it.)

When I update my 2018 Disney World crowd calendar, it will show this:

  • The week beginning February 10, 2018 has a minor bump early from the small number of kids with Mardi Gras off, and a larger bump later as long weekends for Presidents Day begin Thursday February 15. Overall I give it a 5/moderate-minus rating–better earlier, worse later
  • Presidents Day week, the week beginning 2/17, has high crowds through Tuesday and pretty high crowds the rest of the week. Overall it gets a crowd ranking of 8/high-minus, worse earlier in the week and better later
  • The weeks beginning 2/24 and 3/3 have hardly any kids on break and get crowd ratings of 4 (low plus) for the week of the 24th and 3 low for the week of the 3rd
  • The week beginning March 10 both has a ton of kids on break (thanks, Texas!) and is also attractive to snowbirds. It gets a 10/higher crowd rating.
  • The week beginning 3/17 has fewer kids on break than the weeks that surround it, but is still attractive to snowbirds. I’m giving it a rating of 8/high-minus crowds.
  • The week beginning 3/24 is the week before Easter and will be a zoo, as it usually is, and gets a crowd rating of 11/highest.
  • The week after Easter (beginning 3/31/18) has even more kids on break in 2018 than the week before and also gets a crowd rating of 11/highest.
  • The week beginning April 7, 2018, will be much better than I had thought. I’m now giving it a crowd rating of 5/moderate-minus. If I am wrong–it happens–this week will be better than I am forecasting
  • The rest of April will be just fine.

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July 10, 2017   11 Comments

April 2017 at Walt Disney World

April   May   June   July   August   September  October

OVERVIEW: APRIL 2017 AT DISNEY WORLD

april-2017-at-walt-disney-world-from-yourfirstvisit-net

This page reviews April 2017 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 late Easter in 2017 and the pattern of pricing and spring breaks before and after it means that the only period in the month that I recommend is the end of the month–April 22 and later.

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September 21, 2016   82 Comments

March 2017 at Walt Disney World

March   April   May   June   July   August   September   October

OVERVIEW: MARCH 2017 AT DISNEY WORLD

March 2017 at Walt Disney World from yourfirstvisit.net

This page reviews March 2017 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 2017, up until March 10.  The rest of the month will be lousy–with high prices and high crowds.

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August 21, 2016   24 Comments

Disney World Spring Break Crowds in 2017

DISNEY WORLD SPRING BREAK CROWDS IN 2017

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 can spread the first two factors out, yielding some good early March and early April weeks.

Easter 2017,  on April 16, is late in its possible range. President’s Day 2017–covered in more detail here–is also late, February 20. As a result, my draft 2017 crowd calendar had one good early April week in it.

Now that I have the full set of 2017 spring breaks from almost 280 school districts with more than 15.4 million kids in them, I can see that I was wrong, and in fact there will not be a good spring break week in 2017 from March 11 through the week beginning April 15–although some weeks are better than others.

2017 Spring Break crowds at Walt Disney World will be

  • Bad Presidents Day Week
  • Fine the weeks beginning February 25th and March 4th
  • Bad the weeks beginning March 11, March 18 and March 25
  • Moderately bad the week beginning April 1
  • Very bad the week beginning April 8
  • Moderately bad the week beginning April 15
  • Fine April 22 and later.

2017 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 2017 is to spread most 2017 school spring breaks into six consecutive weeks beginning March 11 and continuing until the end of the week beginning April 15.

ACTUAL 2017 SPRING BREAKS

Disney World Crowds Spring Break 2017 from yourfirstvisit.net

The chart above illuminates this.

It’s based on data from a weighted sample including almost 280 of the largest relevant US public school districts.

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

From my updated 2017 Disney World crowd calendar:

  • The week beginning March 4, 2017 has very few kids on break, and I’m classing it as 3/low crowds
  • The week beginning March 11 both has a ton of kids on break (thanks, Texas!) and is also attractive to snowbirds. It gets a 9/high crowd rating.
  • The weeks beginning 3/18 and 3/25 have slightly lower numbers of kids on break, but are attractive to snowbirds. They get rating of 8/high-minus crowds.
  • I had though that the week beginning 4/1 would be OK, but the actual data suggests not.  Less attractive to snowbirds, it gets a crowd rating of 7/moderate+.
  • The week before Easter will be a zoo, as it usually is, and gets a crowd rating of 11/highest.
  • The week after Easter, even with its alignment with many New England spring breaks, will be a little better than I had thought, and gets a crowd rating of 7/moderate+.
  • The rest of April–after the 22nd–will be just fine.
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July 3, 2016   35 Comments

April 2016 at Walt Disney World

April    May   June   July    August   September   October   November

OVERVIEW: APRIL 2016 AT DISNEY WORLD

April 2016 at Walt Disney World from yourfirstvisit.netThis page reviews April 2016 Walt Disney World crowds, prices, deals and discounts, weather, and operating hours; adds a few other notes; and ends with week by week summaries.

Whether or not April is a good time to go is almost entirely a function of the timing of Easter and the patterning of spring breaks after it. 2016 combines an early Easter with relatively few April breaks (compared to March), so most of the month is recommended.
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September 22, 2015   35 Comments