The data in the charts were updated on 9/24/2021
Each year we collect school schedules for primary school districts across the United States. We include the largest school district from each state, the 50 largest school districts in the country, and school districts within 100 miles of Disneyland and Walt Disney World. This gives us 121 school districts and about 80% of the public school students in the country. We put all the effort in to collect school schedules because school schedules are one of the best predictors for crowd levels. More children in school means fewer families at the theme parks.
One important thing when looking at your school’s schedule is to realize not all schools follow the same schedule. It is also important to realize that not all school districts have the same impact on crowds. When we evaluate the school schedules we consider the distance from the parks, the size of the school districts, and the historic impact on crowd levels. For example, schools in Southern California will have a large impact on crowds at Disneyland, but little impact at Walt Disney World.
The calendars below show the percent of students in session for each day. Each column is a different collection of schools.
Hopefully, the above calendars shows that different schools have different schedules.
Fall breaks have been gaining popularity and have increased the crowds at Walt Disney World in October. This year, there are fewer schools taking a fall break. This is likely due to schools not wanting families to travel during a pandemic.
Christmas/New Year’s Break
Depending on the day of the week Christmas occurs, schools have different rules on when their break starts. Likewise, the day of the week that New Year’s occurs on affects when students return to school. With the Disney Marathon being the first weekend of January, the crowds do stay inflated even with students going back to school.
Many schools in the Northeast have the week of Presidents’ Day off. Schools in and around Louisiana have the week of Mardi Gras off. When the two holidays are in the same week, this makes the theme parks very crowded. Luckily, in 2022, Presidents’ Day is February 21, and Mardi Gras is March 1.
The Spring Break season changes from year to year. Some school districts tie their break to Easter. Other schools will have their spring break tied to Easter if Easter is early. Other schools have their break the same week of the year regardless of Easter. In years like 2022, when Easter is late, the spring break season is spread out from mid-March to mid-April. Easter is April 17, in 2022.
As long as COVID-19 rates are high, the pandemic is going to keep families from traveling, regardless of school schedules.
These are just some of the factors that we consider when making adjustments to the crowd calendar.
Have any questions for our stats team? Let us know in the comments.