Each year we collect school schedules from U.S. elementary districts. We include the largest school district in 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 country’s public school students. We put all our effort into picking up school schedules because school schedules are one of the best predictors of people’s levels. More children in school means fewer families in theme parks.
One important thing when looking at your school schedule is to realize that not all schools follow the same schedule. It’s also important to realize that not all school districts have the same impact on crowds. When evaluating school schedules, we consider the distance to parks, the size of school districts, and the historical impact on people levels. For example, schools in Southern California will have a big impact on Disneyland crowds, but little on Walt Disney World.
The following calendars show the percentage of students in session for each day. Each column is a different collection of schools.
Hopefully, the previous calendars show that different schools have different schedules.
Fall breaks have gained popularity and increased crowds at Walt Disney World in October. This year, there are fewer schools stopping in the fall. This is probably because schools do not want families to travel during a pandemic.
Christmas / New Year holidays
Depending on the day of the week that Christmas occurs, schools have different rules about when the break begins. Similarly, the day of the week that New Year’s Eve occurs affects when students return to school. As the Disney Marathon is the first weekend in January, the crowd stays inflated even with students returning to school.
Many Northeastern schools have Presidents Day Free Week. Schools in and around Louisiana have Free Mardi Gras Week. When the two holidays are the same week, this makes the theme parks very crowded. Luckily, in 2022, Presidents Day is February 21st and Mardi Gras is March 1st.
The spring holiday season changes from year to year. Some school districts link their rest to Easter. Other schools will have spring break tied to Easter if Easter is early. Other schools have the rest the same week of the year regardless of Easter. In years like 2022, when Easter is late, the spring break season extends from mid-March to mid-April. Easter is April 17, 2022.
As long as COVID-19 rates are high, the pandemic will prevent families from traveling, regardless of school hours.
These are just some of the factors we keep in mind when adjusting the crowdfunding schedule.
Do you have any questions for our statistics team? Let us know in the comments.