Disney World Crowd Calendar Update for March 2021

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We have been holding off on doing any big Crowd Calendar updates until we saw how the crowds were in 2021. It is typical for the weeks of Presidents Day and Mardi Gras to be the busiest weeks in January and February. When the two holidays are in the same week, like it was in 2021, Walt Disney World sees crowds similar to Christmas break. Even with Disney’s reduced capacity and the global pandemic this pattern still holds true. EPCOT had the highest crowd levels, which means it had the highest posted wait times relative to its average. Hollywood Studios has the newest and most popular attractions, but the size of the park is limiting the number of people that can enter that park.

Spring Break 2021

Spring Break is one of the most difficult times of year to predict crowd levels. We follow over 100 school districts so we can know when schools are taking their breaks. Some school districts take the same week off every year, others base their break when Easter is. Typically Easter is the end of Spring Break unless Easter is early. This year Easter is early, April 4. Most school districts will have their Spring Break completed by April 11, 2021. March through April 11, we expected crowd levels similar to February 13-21.

Late Spring

After Spring Break, we will see a decrease in crowds. This is typically a good time to visit Walt Disney World. The weather is good, and children are in school. More people will have been vaccinated, so we expect the crowds will be higher than what we saw in January.

Summer and Beyond

We, Disney, and everyone else hopes summer 2021 will be closer to normal. Disney will likely increase park capacity and more people will feel comfortable traveling. Typically the Florida summer heat keeps some people away. We will be keeping an eye on vaccination coverage and travel trends and make Crowd Calendar adjustments as needed.

Walt Disney World's 50th Anniversary
©Disney

Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary

October 1, 2021, will be Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary. Many superfans will want to be at the resort on October 1. There will be a bump in crowd levels the first weekend of October. Disney is planning on celebrating the anniversary for 18 months. Many of the planned offerings will be rolled out over the 18 months. If you want to get the full impact of The World’s Most Magical Celebration you would be better off waiting until 2022.

 

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Steve Bloom

By helping TouringPlans.com continue to reach the most accurate crowd level predictions, Steve finally found a way to meld his training in statistical analysis with a lifelong passion for Disney. He first visited the Magic Kingdom in 1972, just a few months after it opened. Now he enjoys frequent trips with his two kids. At age four his son insisted on wearing cowboy boots to reach the height requirement for Test Track, and his daughter believes that a smoked turkey leg and Dole Whip make a perfectly balanced meal. Even though she doesn't quite get it, Steve's wife is supportive of his Disney activities.

25 thoughts on “Disney World Crowd Calendar Update for March 2021

  • February 26, 2021 at 2:07 pm
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    Ha! I must made my Park Reservations about an hour before this was posted! Time to redo. 🙂

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  • February 26, 2021 at 2:28 pm
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    You have got to be kidding me! How does changing your projections a week away help anyway plan? That’s not a plan, that’s “Touring Chaos & Confusion.”

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  • February 26, 2021 at 2:35 pm
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    Hi Steve- as you said Presidents’ Day week is usually a very busy week, however I just noticed that most days for this week in 2022 just dropped by a lot (AK going from 7 to a 1) and no day over 5 for the whole park. What is driving this? Is this really what you guys think will be the case next year?

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    • February 26, 2021 at 5:09 pm
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      Everything is relative. The parks will not see normal spring break crowds but will be elevated from what we saw earlier this year. Pent-up demand will bring large crowds to Disney in 2022 & 2023.

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    • February 26, 2021 at 5:18 pm
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      We don’t expect the crowds will be any higher than what we saw for Presidents’ Day week.

      Reply
  • February 26, 2021 at 2:59 pm
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    Thank you for all the work you do to help us. With all the variables and changes I am glad I have touringplans to help!

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  • February 26, 2021 at 3:02 pm
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    You’re right, Michael. They should keep their updated numbers to themselves so that the users all feel warm fuzzies and no one’s plans are disrupted. 😛

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  • February 26, 2021 at 3:06 pm
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    Not my point. I don’t like the “timing” of the update. I work in data science. The timing of forecasts are as important as the accuracy. I love Touring Plans. I should have phrased my post better.

    Reply
  • February 26, 2021 at 4:18 pm
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    Since many of the largest school districts are still not doing in-person learning and kids are at home, how much will spring break surge that you have used in the past effect your models this year?

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    • February 26, 2021 at 5:13 pm
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      This is why we wanted to wait and see how Presidents Day and Marti Gras would affect crowds. We still believe that a larger percentage of people coming to Disney is driving, so closer school districts are going to have a larger impact on crowds.

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  • February 26, 2021 at 5:26 pm
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    Agree with Michael that the timing of this update is annoying for those planning a trip in March. Based on this crowd update I would have liked to switch my AK and HS days but there is no park availability for HS on my desired switch date 🙁

    Reply
  • February 26, 2021 at 6:57 pm
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    Steve, I know we’re all doing the best we can on limited information and TP is doing better than most, but:
    Have you not adjusted your scale to account for park capacity? We know that all parks were full (as in, no passes available) on Saturday the 20th, but you give a 3, 2 4s, and a 6.

    On Feb. 16, TP reported AK had an average wait time of 57 minutes, which ranked #23 over the past year. It got a 4. What would it take to get a 7 or 8? Does the model still think that on an average (level 5 or 6) day, the average wait is over an hour? How much are pre-COVID wait times affecting the model?

    We also know that DHS is full pretty much every day – is it possible for it to get above a 4? When park passes sell out, is there any reason to think one day will be more crowded than another? I suppose longer park hours would be a factor, and I would guess but don’t know that AP holders would be more likely to use a park reservation on the weekend. Or does it matter when days sell out earlier?

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    • February 26, 2021 at 10:02 pm
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      Our crowd levels are based on attraction wait times. We made the decision not to adjust our scale so people that were familiar with our scale could compare wait times from before the pandemic. So, even when the Park Pass reservations are all claimed it is unlikely that a park will be a 10.

      Reply
  • February 26, 2021 at 8:13 pm
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    First time reader. I like the chart, but I still am having to guess at what the Obs and Pred represent. Is there a key I’m missing? I reread this post a few times after skimming it the first time around, but still am not seeing the obreviations. Pred = prediction? Obs = observed?

    Reply
  • February 26, 2021 at 10:01 pm
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    I’m a little confused, I y see February calendar not March. ‍♀️

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  • February 26, 2021 at 10:24 pm
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    They are showing what actually happened in February to explain the basis for the changes they are making to their predictions for March, April and beyond. You’ll need to go to the Crowd Calendar page on the site to see the specific daily predictions.

    Reply
  • February 27, 2021 at 8:27 am
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    Do you think park hours will be extended in late April and may? It would be wonderful to be able to be in magic kingdom after sunset. It’s also our favorite times to ride rides without long waits. Thanks!!

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    • February 28, 2021 at 2:24 pm
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      I would expect park hours will be extended. Recently Disney has been making park hour changes within 2-weeks of a given day.

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  • February 28, 2021 at 9:11 am
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    Will park hours be extended in March???

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  • February 28, 2021 at 9:15 am
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    Hey Eric! Park hours have been extended already for the first two weeks of March. We expect more hours extensions for the second half of the month, too. Good luck!

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  • February 28, 2021 at 3:20 pm
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    Is Epcot available for tickets on March 25. The chart skips from 2/28 to April.

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  • March 10, 2021 at 2:39 pm
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    Please can you tell me about date is better: week of 21 to 27 May / week of 2 to 8 June
    Thanks you very much!

    Reply

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