Disney World crowd calendar for the 2016-2017 school year

by Shannon Albert 105 comments Like the Facebook page

(Article last updated: August 15, 2016 to reflect WrestleMania dates in early April and correct cheerleading competition dates in early May)

Disney World crowd calendarPlanning to visit Disney World sometime between August 2016 and July 2017?

I've got a Disney World crowd calendar of predicted crowd times based on school calendars of many of the biggest districts, holidays, cheerleading competitions, runDisney races, and years of experience being in the parks at all times of year.

Let's dive in...

Quick Disney World crowd calendar note

I used to do a Disney World crowd calendar for an entire calendar year at a time because the end of the year was so easy to predict, but with fall breaks and new runDisney events, it's not so simple anymore. Because of that, we're switching to a school calendar to increase the accuracy of the predictions.

Click the graphic below to view the Disney World crowd calendar larger.

August

  • August 1-14 - heavy summer crowds that are common in the summer continue for the first half of the month
  • August 15-21 - summer crowds start to decrease
  • August 22-31 - the last half of August enjoys light crowds as many school districts are back in session

Get more info on the August dashboard.

September

  • September 1-5 - some light crowds appear through Labor Day
  • September 6-16 - very light crowds in the first part of September before the fall break crowds appear later in the month
  • September 17-30 - some light fall break crowds will start to appear in late September

Get more info on the September dashboard.

October

While the Food and Wine Festival is going on at Epcot throughout the month of October, it doesn't necessarily create an overall surge in crowds at all of Disney World as much as it creates a surge of locals going to Epcot on the weekends. That's why I never recommend Epcot on the weekends during this time.

  • October 1-7 and October 11-16 - the days before and after Columbus Day weekend see heavy crowds due to lots of schools with scheduled fall breaks
  • October 8-10 - Columbus Day weekend
  • October 17-27 and 29-31 - after the fall break crowds leave, late October sees relatively light crowds for most of the last part of the month.
  • October 28 - local schools are out and many of them head to the parks

Get more info on the October dashboard.

November

While the Food and Wine Festival takes place at Epcot for the beginning of November, it doesn't necessarily create an overall surge in crowds at all of Disney World as much as it creates a surge of locals going to Epcot on the weekends. That's why I never recommend Epcot on the weekends during this time.

  • November 1-2 - light crowds in early November before the race and Jersey Week
  • November 3-5 - the Wine and Dine Half Marathon sold out faster than just about any race and many hotels are sold out during these dates
  • November 6-13 - many schools in New Jersey have a couple of days off of school this week and families often take advantage and spend part or all of this week at Disney World in what's often called "Jersey Week." This time period also sees an influx of crowds for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon.
  • November 14-18 - light crowds just before the Thanksgiving crowds arrive
  • November 19-22 - Thanksgiving week is busy, but these days leading up to Thanksgiving aren't quite as busy as the last half of the week
  • November 23-27 - heavy Thanksgiving crowds
  • November 28-30 - crowds drop off significantly once the weekend after Thanksgiving has passed

Get more info on the November dashboard.

December

  • December 1-16 - December begins with relatively light crowds before the peak holiday crowds arrive.
  • December 17-31 - very busy time at Disney World as people spend their days off of work/school to vacation at Disney World for the holidays

Get more info on the December dashboard.

January

  • January 1-4 - the last bits of the holiday crowds will remain
  • January 5-8 - Marathon Weekend is January 4-8 where thousands of people show up to run 1 or more races
  • January 9-10 - Marathon Weekend has ended but attendees often linger for a couple of days to enjoy the parks
  • January 11-13 - light crowds between busier times
  • January 14-16 - a 3-day weekend due to Martin Luther King Day. Many people go to Disney World during this time expecting light crowds, but it's actually 1 of the busiest times I've ever seen.
  • January 17-31 - light crowds return for the end of the month

Get more info on the January dashboard.

February

  • February 1-2 - light crowds kick off February
  • February 3-5 - dance competition will bring a slight influx of people to the parks
  • February 6-10 - a brief dip in crowds between competitions
  • February 11-12 - cheerleading competition will bring in a new batch of people
  • February 13-16 - slightly fewer crowds in between events
  • February 17 - the end of February will be pretty busy, with some school districts beginning their winter breaks on this day so crowds will start to arrive
  • February 18-20 - President's Day Weekend is very busy, especially with it overlapping so many longer winter breaks
  • February 21-23 - the heaviest crowds of President's Day Weekend will subside but some crowds will linger, and some will begin to show up for the Princess Half Marathon
  • February 24-26 - Princess Half Marathon and Mardi Gras crowds
  • February 27-28 - some Princess Half Marathon crowds will linger and Mardi Gras crowds will create moderate crowds all week

Get more info on the February dashboard.

March

  • March 1-5 - Mardi Gras crowds and a cheerleading competition taking place March 3-5 will create some moderate crowds to start off March
  • March 6-10 - light crowds before the spring breakers start to arrive
  • March 11-26 - spring break crowds will show up during the last part of March, but not the heaviest spring break crowds which appear the week before Easter in April
  • March 27-31 - a break in the spring break crowds with hardly any school breaks scheduled during the last few days of March

Get more info on the March dashboard.

April

  • April 1-7 - lighter crowds to start off April, just before the busy Easter crowds begin
  • April 8-16 - Easter week, one of the busiest weeks of the year at Disney World
  • April 17-26 - Disney World is usually busy the week after Easter, but we looked at dozens and dozens of the largest school districts and almost none of them have this week off in 2017, likely due to Easter falling so late in April
  • April 27-28 - moderate crowds due to local schools having some time off during this period
  • April 29-30 - April will finish off with light crowds

Get more info on the April dashboard.

May

  • May 1-4 - light crowds as we enter May
  • May 5-7 - cheerleading competition will increase crowds a bit
  • May 8-24 - most of May enjoys light crowds until just before Memorial Weekend
  • May 25-26 - some school districts start their summers on these days and moderate crowds will appear in the parks
  • May 27-31 - Memorial Day Weekend

Get more info on the May dashboard.

June

  • June 1-9 - the first part of June enjoys slightly lower summer crowds in this "shoulder season" before the heavy summer crowds begin in mid-June
  • June 10-30 - the heavy summer crowds begin

Get more info on the June dashboard.

July

  • July 1-31 - the whole month is busy with summer crowds, but the parks get really busy around July 4, especially as people arrive to see the special fireworks that are usually shown for 2 nights

Get more info on the July dashboard.

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When do you plan to visit? Any questions about my Disney World crowd calendar? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.