Spring Break 2024 Crowd Calendar for Disney World

Spring break is one of the busiest times of the year at Walt Disney World. Crowd levels increase during school holidays, culminating with peak weeks in March and April 2024. Easter is infamous for its high wait times in Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios. That’s not the only week of elevated attendance, as spring break is a season with different districts having weeks off in two different months.

Spring break season kicks off in early March as colleges and universities, and K-12 school systems take their 1-2 week breaks, but not all dates within that range are equally crowded. To the contrary, as covered in our 2024 Walt Disney World Crowd Calendars, some dates that fall within traditional spring break season are relatively good times to visit.

Our goals with this are highlighting weeks that will have the highest wait times and worst crowd levels at Walt Disney World during the spring break season. In so doing, we’ll look at school schedules for some of the largest districts that impact Walt Disney World, last year’s crowd levels, and general travel trends for spring break to predict which dates will be “red flags” on Walt Disney World crowd calendar for March and April 2024…

Let’s dig right in with the kickoff of spring break season, which will arrive on March 8, 2024. If you’re wondering why this specific date is being highlighted, it’s because that’s the Friday when Osceola County starts its student holiday, with the district being out of session for spring break from March 11 to 15, 2024. Same deal with its neighbor to the west, as Polk County is also out March 11-15.

After that, Orange County has its spring break the following week, March 18-22, 2024. Its neighbor to the northeast, Seminole County, is also out those same dates. Even if no other districts in the entire United States had spring break these two weeks, they would be busy at Walt Disney World due to those area school systems. This catches some longtime Walt Disney World fans by surprise, as locals did not have such an outsized impact on park attendance a decade or so ago.

Central Florida has seen a population explosion in the last several years, with these two counties in particular seeing an influx of remote workers and upper middle class families who visit Walt Disney World in strong numbers. As we’ve seen time and time again in the last few years, holiday breaks in Central Florida counties now have significant impacts on attendance at Walt Disney World. And in actuality, other school districts around the United States will also have breaks coinciding with this same week–it’s not just Orlando-area and outlying districts.

However, the big difference this year as contrasted with last year is that Central Florida spring breaks are more staggered. Last year, Osceola and Orange Counties coincided, as did other Central Florida school districts, in mid-March. (To the best of my recollection, these two major districts usually coincide–I can’t recall a time since I’ve been tracking crowds that they haven’t, but I’m sure locals who actually have school age kids can correct me in the comments.)

As a result, spring break last year essentially had twin peaks. The first occurred during the heart of the Central Florida districts being out of session, with heavy crowds and a slew of 9/10 and 10/10 dates from March 11 to 17. Even counting weekends (which were surprisingly slower), that week registered 9/10 on the crowd calendar. It surpassed Presidents Day/Mardi Gras (which coincided last year), and was the second busiest week of that year-to-date, falling short of only the first week of the year, when those same districts were still out for holiday break.

While we often lump Osceola and Orange County together, our strong but-yet-untested belief is that Orange County actually has a far bigger impact on crowds at Walt Disney World. This is largely a numbers game, as Orange County is significantly more populous than Osceola. It also comes down a bit to demographics–Orange County has a measurably higher median household income than any of its neighboring counties.

As such, even though we’re marking the kickoff of spring break season as March 8, 2024…we believe the truly heavy crowds won’t arrive until the following Friday: March 15, 2024. That should be the start of the first peak week of spring break, with the week prior to that being when levels increase to above-average.

Again, all of this is untested, but I’d bet on 7/10 or so crowd levels starting March 8, and 9/10 starting around March 15. We shall see which Central Florida districts truly have the biggest impact on Walt Disney World attendance after the dust settles on those two weeks!

We don’t have the time, resources, or inclination to comb through the schedules of every single school district in the United States. If we did, it would probably reveal a range of breaks in the next two months, with the bulk from mid-March through early April 2024.

There are a several specific districts in Florida that are among the largest in the country and have an outsized impact on attendance at Walt Disney World. Those districts have spring breaks during the following timeframes:

  • Hillsborough County Public Schools: March 11-15, 2024
  • Palm Beach County Public Schools: March 18-22, 2024
  • Duval County Public Schools: March 18-22, 2024
  • Miami-Dade County Public Schools: March 25-29, 2024
  • Brevard County Public Schools: March 25-29, 2024
  • Broward County Public Schools: March 25-29, 2024
  • Volusia County Public Schools: March 25-29, 2024

Here are other major school districts and their spring break 2024 dates that could significantly impact crowd levels at Walt Disney World:

  • Houston Independent School District: March 11-15, 2024
  • Dallas Independent School District: March 11-15, 2024
  • Gwinnett County Public Schools: April 1-5, 2024
  • Chicago Public Schools: March 25-29, 2024
  • Detroit Public Schools: March 25-29, 2024
  • New York City Public Schools: April 22-30, 2024
  • Fairfax County Public Schools: March 25-29, 2024

Note that some districts have ‘professional development days’ or flex dates off the Friday before or Monday after their breaks begin. I opted against including these since some districts use them as makeup days in the event of snow days, and it seems like there have been a lot of those thus far in Winter 2024.

This is not an exhaustive list of spring break schedules. This baker’s dozen of districts were selected because they’re among the country’s largest districts that are either near Walt Disney World or feed heavily into visitor demographics. That’s why Chicago is listed but Los Angeles Unified, Clark County (Nevada), and Honolulu’s school districts are not.

Obviously, there are more than 12 major school districts in the United States with breaks that contribute to crowds at Walt Disney World. Notably, there’s very little representation from the Northeast and Midwest. This is not to say that New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Indiana, etc. don’t have a huge impact on crowds. They do!

There’s a reason Jersey Week is a “thing” that November crowd calendars track. Listing every single major school district’s 2024 spring break dates is simply beyond the scope of this post. (I also don’t want to get any wrong, as some counties have calendars, but then individual districts within that deviate.) Feel free to share your breaks in the comments, though!

Additionally, our focus here is on K-12 school districts, but universities have spring breaks that can cause slight spikes to attendance. Colleges usually have less of an impact on Walt Disney World crowds due to age demographics, but they don’t have zero impact. Notable examples include Florida State University, University of Florida, University of Central Florida–you get the idea.

There are a couple of things that are really interesting about the 2024 spring break calendars. The first is that comparatively few districts have breaks March 11-15. Whereas one-third of the major school districts we track in Florida had their spring breaks during the equivalent dates last year (March 13-17). Some still do, but the majority have shifted to the following week, or even the one after that.

This just reaffirms our expectation that March 11-15, 2024 will not be as busy as its equivalent week last year. Well, with the exception of Friday, March 15, which is the overlap of those spring breaks and student holidays for the districts with the following week. It should go without saying, but that weekend will also overlap, and we’d expect it to be very busy as a result.

Normally, break/holiday crowds don’t peak until the middle of the week, but we wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see them peak over the weekend (March 15-17, 2024). Given that the demo being discussed is largely local and thus doesn’t have to deal with flights or hotels, Friday through Sunday could be busier than the following Monday through Thursday.

The other interesting thing is that many districts have spring breaks the week of Easter. This might seem obvious, as it’s a common assumption among many Walt Disney World guests that ‘Easter equals spring break.’ But that hasn’t always been the case–it’s simply true that more districts have breaks anchored to Easter than any other week. Spring break is still very much a season. 

But in comparing spring break 2024 dates to last year’s dates, we’ve noticed that a higher number have March 25-29, 2024 off than the week leading up to Easter (April 3-7) last year. That’s in part because there are districts that do their breaks the last week of March each year plus the ‘anchored to Easter’ districts, both of which are March 25-29 this year. In addition to that, we noticed a bunch of other districts shift to that week.

In other words, Easter is normally bad, but there are varying degrees of “bad” (see last Thanksgiving vs. last Christmas to NYE). Easter will probably be worse than normal because a higher number of districts have breaks falling that week than did last year.

I couldn’t tell you why–my guess would probably be that they viewed Easter as “too late” last year for spring break, but it’s more convenient this year, so maybe there was a “why not–it’s nice for families to whom the holiday is important” mentality? Complete guess–I have no clue how school boards think (or don’t) when choosing dates. Could just be a dates on a dartboard scenario for all I know.

In any case, that two-plus week stretch from March 15 until March 31, 2024 will be really bad. Unlike the twin peaks of last year, we’d expect to see crowds get and stay heavy for pretty much the duration of those dates. To be sure, not every day will be equally bad at every park, but the weeks as a whole should be the worst of spring break season.

I’d go a step further and predict that both of those weeks will be worse than their counterparts last year since there seems to be more of a consolidation of crowds. (Same idea as when Presidents’ Day and Mardi Gras coincide.) Unlike last year, more districts have breaks March 18-22, 2024 than they do March 11-15, and by a pretty wide margin.

Same story with March 25-29, 2024. Once you add in the weekends and student holidays, you end up with March 15-31, 2024 being very bad. Walt Disney World was also surprisingly aggressive with March resort discounts, which could be a contributing factor for crowds. (Most guests come from off-site, but higher occupancy at the hotels is still a signal for higher attendance.)

The flip side of that, and a silver lining for those traveling outside of that two-week block is that spring break crowds are (sorta) a zero-sum game. Worse crowds because of more breaks certain weeks means better crowds because of fewer breaks other weeks. To be sure, we are not suggesting that March 11-15 will be slow or that the calendar turning into April 2024 will mark the start of shoulder season.

There are still tons of districts with early or late breaks, and it doesn’t take much in the way of school recesses to have an impact on crowds. Again, see the Jersey Week example. That’s just one state and it’s a big deal!

If you’re wondering which set of dates will be worse of the two highlighted weeks, our expectation is that March 25-29, 2024 will be busier. Probably significantly busier.

Easter was the worse of the two weeks last year, and that was even as more Central Florida districts had breaks during the same week in mid-March. Even though the Florida breaks fall a week later in 2024–and thus will also overlap with other districts outside the state–a lot of other districts have moved to the week of Easter.

As such, we’d expect March 22 through March 31, 2024 to be the busiest week (plus) of the quarter, and one of the worst 5 weeks of the entire year at Walt Disney World. Expect daily crowd levels of 9/10 or 10/10 at every park during this date range. Some of those 10/10 days will have particularly high wait times (not all 10/10 days are equally busy–that’s just the maximum crowd level).

Beyond that, we’d expect spring break season crowd levels to end up resembling a bell curve with the highest levels all in those two weeks plus a smaller lead-up and a bit of a longer tail afterwards.

Although much less attention is given here to the first two weeks in April 2024, those dates will still be busy. We’ve found that both the first and second weeks of April are common spring break timeframes for school districts in the Northeast and areas of the Midwest. I suspect there’s a strong correlation between districts that do a full mid-winter break in late February and spring break in early to mid-April, as another lengthy recess in March would be “too soon.”

In any case, we’d expect spring break crowds starting to fizzle out by the weekend of April 13-14 as the Northerners start heading home, and fully falling off by Tax Day (April 15, 2024). One thing to note is that the runDisney Springtime Surprise Weekend is April 18-21, 2024. Race weekend participants tend to arrive a couple of days early and leave right at the end of the event–so they’ll contribute to crowds on the front half of that, but we really don’t expect anything truly terrible. A lot of fans overestimate the impact of runDisney events on crowds based on experiences a decade ago; things have changed since.

Before you worry too much, let’s talk beating the crowds. I spent extensive time in the parks last year during these same timeframes, and was able to get a ton done despite the crowds. (See What Went Right During My Peak Week of Spring Break at Walt Disney World, but also, What Went Wrong During My Spring Break at WDW.)

The first bit of good news is that we strongly suspect that park hours will be extended for spring break dates very soon (possibly the same afternoon this is published). That should mean Magic Kingdom opening at 8 a.m. and closing at 11 p.m. or maybe even midnight on some days. If recent precedent is any indication, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios will also get longer hours. This is incredibly advantageous–especially the earlier opening times since most travelers don’t want to do the early wake-up call on vacation.

By simply arriving early or staying late, you can beat the worst of the midday crowds. Of course, that’s “simple” in theory but more difficult in practice, especially if you have small children. That’s a big reason why wait times are lower first thing in the morning and later in the evenings.

Nevertheless, we cannot overemphasize just how useful Early Entry is at every park except Magic Kingdom–and it’s actually quite valuable there on 8 a.m. opening days. (If you’re going to skip Early Entry anywhere, skip it at Magic Kingdom on 9 a.m. opening days.) Our ‘Extra Hours’ category of posts contains a number of Early Entry photo reports and trial runs–those can be valuable for seeing what you can accomplish, potential pitfalls, etc.

Beyond that, be sure to also check out our Walt Disney World Itineraries for step-by-step strategy. All of the standby-only plans have been updated for 2024, and can be paired with Early Entry or Lightning Lanes if you so desire.

Suffice to say, it’s entirely possible to beat bad crowds by utilizing Genie+ and Lightning Lanes, Early Entry, Extended Evening Hours, rope drop, etc. We cover the best & worst approach for each park in Best Time-Saving Strategies for Walt Disney World. If you’re only going to read one planning post, make it that. There are great ways to beat the crowds–even on busy days–without buying Genie+ or Individual Lightning Lanes.

Speaking of which, we have a ~4,500 word Guide to Genie+ at Walt Disney World & Lightning Lane FAQ for those who want to thoroughly master paid FastPass. Weeks like this, it’s definitely a good option for Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and EPCOT. Maybe even Animal Kingdom if you’re not an early riser!

Overall, that’s about what you can expect to experience during Spring Break 2024 at Walt Disney World. To summarize, our prediction is elevated ‘feels like’ crowds from around March 8, 2024 until April 14, 2024. That’s just the general ‘season’ as a whole, though, which will be busy relative to early March or late April and the entire month of May 2024. But not all of those weeks will be among the 10 or even 20 worst weeks of the year.

Drilling deeper, this year will see spring break crowds consolidated largely into two weeks, March 15 through March 31, 2024. Instead of the twin peaks like last year, that stretch is going to see the bulk of the crowds, with few (if any) 9/10 or above days before or after that. As such, there aren’t really sweet spots or lower pockets within the spring break season (as was the case last year)…it’s just before and after those couple of weeks.

For what it’s worth, early March tends to be fantastic. We’re huge fans of that week overlapping with the end of February, and we also wouldn’t hesitate to do the first full week of the month (March 3-9, 2024). That might have some spring break early arrivers, but it shouldn’t be bad. Then there’s April 15 through pretty much the entirety of May 2024. Those are also good dates to visit, although you start running the risk of hotter and more humid weather.

In the end, we wouldn’t necessarily avoid spring break season if you have a school-aged child and have no better options outside of summer or holidays. The weather still should be nice, and that alone would cause it to “beat” June through mid-August for me. Just be aware that attendance levels across-the-board from mid-March until mid-April 2024 will be higher than they’ve been during January and February (minus Presidents’ Day and Mardi Gras).

As always, attendance at Walt Disney World has been increasing across the board and still surprises us from time to time, with “feels like” crowds being fairly bad for much of early 2024. Accordingly, you might visit in mid-April and find it seeming way busier than you expect based on the above. But if you also visit during that last week of March, you’d definitely feel the difference between the dates. It’s all relative.

Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!


Have you visited Walt Disney World during spring break season in the past? What did you think of the crowds? Are you visiting this year for Easter or spring break? Any other major school districts having spring breaks during these windows? Anything else we missed that could impact crowds during March and April 2024? Do you agree or disagree with anything in our crowd forecast for Walt Disney World? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!

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