Crowd Levels for Third Week of August

Don’t know if this is the proper way to do this, my apologies if this would belong better in another format:

My wife and I have booked a trip August 16th through the 22nd to visit the World. We specifically chose this week because my wife is a teacher and this is one of the few times of the year that a teacher from the Northeast can visit Walt Disney World without paying an arm and a leg. We were also particularly attracted to the lower attraction wait times based on historical crowd levels for this third week of August. However, upon reviewing the crowd times on the website for our coming trip, I’ve noticed an increase in crowd levels this third week of August compared to last year’s third week of August. I cannot find a concrete reason to explain this discrepancy: the kids are back in school throughout Florida and many other states, people have already taken their summer vacation at this point, it is value season at the resort, and I see no special events occurring during this time that would have any meaningful effect on the crowd calendar. Regardless, Touring Plans is still showing 9’s, 8’s, and 7’s for most of the parks throughout the week. Is this a discrepancy? Or a sign of things to come? I have two small children ages 3-1/2 and 1… should I take any special actions when following my touring plan during this week if it turns out to be hot AND crowded??

Sincerely, Pat from Moonachie

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Hi Pat! Crowds at Disney World have been increasing for the past few years. If I’m being entirely honest, though, I don’t pay too much attention to the Crowd Level provided by the calendar. I have found that, if you make rope drop and have a good plan, you’ll still get a lot done in a crowded park.

Also, as you noted, your wife is a teacher who is still off at that point in August. I believe many schools in the Northeast run on a similar schedule, and I would bet that a lot of people from that area save their Disney trip for late August for the same reasons that you did.

I hope this is helpful! Really, the key is a good plan. No matter what the crowd level is, the plan is what matters most.

Generally, the crowds lesson the later you go in August. Last year (known) and this year (predicated) have higher crowds in week 2 vs week 3. Week 4 will have the lowest crowds in Aug. 7 to 9 is crowded but agree that a good plan can really help. We’ve been in 9-10 level weeks and have used the usual techniques to get around the crowds. Too bad you can’t go in Sept and experience a level 1 day. It’s unbelievably awesome. Plans are not needed at all.

It will be hot, and, as always, it will be crowded. If you have the flexibility and desire to move your trip a week later, by all means, you’ll get slightly lower crowds.
BUT if you make a TP and run it for August 17th vs August 24th, the absolute differences in amount of time that you wait over the course of a whole day are VERY small… think 10-40 minutes, depending on how long/full your day is and what attractions you want to hit.
(I’m channeling Len and the UG here…) The single most important thing you will do at Disney World is develop and follow a good plan. This is more important than the crowd level on a given day. A good plan includes Rope Drop, strategic FPP, and getting to the “big” attractions early before the crowds arrive.
(Second point is that with kids 1.5 and 3 years old… don’t plan crazy full days. I went with my busy DSs at 0.5/2,1.5/3.5, 3/5… we’d start a Rope Drop, take our time, and by noon or 1 pm they were done, done, done and asking to go back to the hotel. Which we did, and loved. And we usually didn’t return to a park at all in the evening. And we had an amazing trip, every time.)
How exciting, you’re going to have an AWESOME time!

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Hi Pat,

Another point to think about is that although a proportion of the US schools have gone back, all the UK schools are still out until the end of August.

We are travelling to WDW on the 16th from the UK, and have chosen the last two weeks of August specifically because the US schools are back. I have no doubt that a lot of other Brits have had the same idea, and will push the crowd levels a little higher.

Do as everyone else has said; Plan, Plan,Plan. It will be magical, crowded or not, so have a great time!

Mark UK

We go this time almost every year, it usually isn’t too back except it’s hotter then the face of the sun in the afternoon :sunny::sunny::confused::sunny::sunny:… The schools in our area of Florida go back to school a week later this year (24th) so maybe that’s a factor? Good luck, plan plan and have fun!!!

Indeed, rachelmac22, that is exactly the reason for the changes. I changed my travel plans to cancel the third week of August and am going the last week - first day at MK will be the 24th, the first day the kids go back to school.

Now, here’s what’s weird: While Touring Plans is showing an 8/10 for MK on the 24th. The rest of the week is 5s, 4s, and 3s. There is no EMH at the MK that day, and I know that most people visit MK first on Mondays for their vacations. But that shouldn’t add up to an 8/10.

We will be there the same week :slight_smile: The 24th is a Monday. Mondays and Saturdays are the busiest MK days. I would look to change to another day during your vacation, if possible (we are going the Wednesday and it is predicted a “5”).

After I read this, I thought it did explain the crowd levels for third week of August. But my daughter just told me she returns to FAU on 8/17. I just looked up two counties in FL. Broward goes back on 8/24 and Palm Beach goes back on 8/17. .

If you look at the days around the 24th, it looks like the overall resort crowd levels are high through the 24th (7-9) and then drop starting on the 25th (mostly 4s and 5s). That must just be the “last hurrah” of vacationers before school starts. I do note some school systems do start on a Wednesday, not a Monday, meaning that people could stay through Monday, travel late Monday/Tuesday, and be ready for school or work on Wednesday.