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Old 08-31-2008, 05:46 PM   #1
HydroGuy
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List of American Holidays

For the benefit of our international participants I have compiled below a list of major and minor American holidays. Of course holiday periods tend to be busier than non-holidays at American Disney resorts and international visitors may want to avoid visiting during such holidays.

The main difference between major and minor holidays in my definition here is whether businesses close. For major and minor holidays most or all schools close (if in session), most banks close, and most or all government offices close. For minor holidays many or most businesses do not close. Minor holidays are sometimes called "Federal Holidays". Major holidays are sometimes called "National Holidays."

Minor holidays tend to not be as busy at the Disney resorts as major holidays since many adults who work at businesses do not have the day off. There are off course other holidays both religious and non-religious which affect a small percentage of Americans and do not significantly affect visiting patterns at the Disney resorts.


January

January 1 is a major holiday for New Year's Day. If January 1 falls on a Saturday then Friday is usually the day taken off work. If January 1 falls on a Sunday then Monday is usually the day taken off work.

Third Monday is a minor holiday which celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. birthday.


February

Third Monday is a minor holiday known as President's Day which corresponds roughly with George Washington's birthday. Also February 12 is Abraham Lincoln's birthday which is a state holiday in California and some or all schools get that day off. This would have little effect at the Florida resort but could in California.

In some areas of the country schools are given the entire week off as a "mid-winter break" although this is not common.


March

Some schools close for Spring Break for one week starting mid-March.

Easter is an international religious holiday always on a Sunday in March or April. It is not an official holiday in the USA although it might be called a traditional holiday. Since it is on a Sunday it does not result in significant additional closing of businesses. Schools and government offices are already closed since it is Sunday. At least some schools schedule Spring Break on the week before or after Easter Sunday.

Good Friday is not an American holiday but some businesses do close on Good Friday.


April

Some schools close for Spring Break for one week up through mid-April.

Easter is an international religious holiday always on a Sunday in March or April. It is not an official holiday in the USA although it might be called a traditional holiday. Since it is on a Sunday it does not result in significant additional closing of businesses. Schools and government offices are already closed since it is Sunday. At least some schools schedule Spring Break on the week before or after Easter Sunday.

Good Friday is not an American holiday but some businesses do close on Good Friday.


May

Last Monday of May is a major holiday known as Memorial Day. It signals the beginning of summer for most Americans. Schools in some parts of the USA begin summer break before Memorial Day. Some schools do not get out for summer break until mid-June. Southern California schools tend to stay in session until early to mid-June.


June

None.


July

July 4 is a major holiday called Independence Day. It is always celebrated on July 4 no matter what day of the week. If July 4 falls on a Saturday then Friday is the day taken off from work. If July 4 falls on a Sunday then Monday is the day taken off from work.

While not any kind of holiday, July 17 is the anniversary of the opening of Disneyland and this day tends to attract Disney fans to Disneyland and attendance bumps up slightly.


August

None. Schools in some parts of USA re-open in mid-August after summer break. In other parts of the USA schools do not re-open until mid-September. Southern California schools tend to re-open in early to mid-September.


September

First Monday is a major holiday called Labor Day. It signals the end of summer for most Americans.

In some parts of the USA schools do not re-open until mid-September. Southern California schools tend to re-open in early to mid-September.


October

Second Monday is a minor holiday called Columbus Day.


November

November 11 is a minor holiday called Veterans Day. If November 11 falls on Saturday or Sunday then the day off from work is on the following Monday.

Fourth Thursday is a major holiday called Thanksgiving. The Friday which follows Thanksgiving Thursday is also taken off from work making a four day weekend. Many schools take off the entire week and this week is one of the busiest of the year at Disney resorts in California and Florida. The Thanksgiving holiday signals the beginning of the Christmas season for most Americans.


December

December 24 and 25 are major holidays for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Some businesses do not take off December 24 but most do. If they fall on a weekend then the Friday before and/or Monday following is taken off work.

Most schools in the USA take off two weeks for Winter Break which usually begins on the Saturday before December 25 and concludes on the Sunday following January 1. The period of December 25 - January 1 is one of the busiest weeks of the year at Disney resorts in California and Florida.
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Last edited by HydroGuy; 04-23-2012 at 06:16 AM.
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Old 08-31-2008, 05:53 PM   #2
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In April, there IS a major holiday, which is Easter. (I guess you didn't include it since it's not just a U.S. holiday...)

Anyway, many schools have the week BEFORE or the week AFTER Easter or at least a 3-4 day weekend surrounding it.
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Old 08-31-2008, 06:08 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ter-moo View Post
In April, there IS a major holiday, which is Easter. (I guess you didn't include it since it's not just a U.S. holiday...)

Anyway, many schools have the week BEFORE or the week AFTER Easter or at least a 3-4 day weekend surrounding it.
Good point. I was trying to focus on holidays which result in closed schools and businesses. Since Easter is on a Sunday it does not result in almost anything closing. I thought about mentioning that some businesses close for all or last half of Good Friday but decided not to because it is a small percentage. It is true that some schools connect Spring Break to Easter (my kids do not FWIW) but I did cover Spring Break already.
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Old 08-31-2008, 10:09 PM   #4
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good info.
thanks
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Old 08-31-2008, 10:11 PM   #5
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Thank you so much.
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Old 08-31-2008, 11:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HydroGuy View Post
Good point. I was trying to focus on holidays which result in closed schools and businesses. Since Easter is on a Sunday it does not result in almost anything closing. I thought about mentioning that some businesses close for all or last half of Good Friday but decided not to because it is a small percentage. It is true that some schools connect Spring Break to Easter (my kids do not FWIW) but I did cover Spring Break already.
I just had to comment that I had never heard of a school not coinciding Spring break with Easter in someway. Like PP said, most schools here (in CA) get either the week prior or the week after. Often times, colleges have a different week than elemtary, middle, and high schools. I never have the same Spring Break as my kids, mine is always the week before Easter and theirs is the week after. Although my DSS, who lives in SoCal, is usually the week before Easter as well.

And while you did cover the Spring Breaks above, I would vote for editing and adding as a major holiday since most CA schools are out at that time and many, amny, Californians flock to DLR. Just my 2cents, other wise, excellent info!!
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Old 08-31-2008, 11:29 PM   #7
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Good post, as usual, Hydroguy.

The only thing I would probably include/add is that as ter-moo said, Easter. Many businesses get Good Friday off, and that makes for a 3-day weekend. (I was surprised to find a few years ago that Good Friday is EXTREMELY busy at Disneyland. Catholic schools get the Thursday before Easter (Holy Thursday) off, which makes for a longer weekend, and the following week off, and many public schools get the week after Easter off, so Easter can be considered a "floating holiday" where you can expect higher crowds at Disneyland.
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Old 09-01-2008, 12:09 AM   #8
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Thanks - as an o/seas poster, it really does help to have this list...maybe with the rest of your tips for future reference?
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Old 09-01-2008, 01:52 PM   #9
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Thanks Hydroguy for always thinking of others.

Too bad there isn't a post like this for disney paris, tokyo, & hong kong for those who would like to visit.
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Old 09-01-2008, 02:02 PM   #10
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Just thought I'd add. My oldest goes to school in Southern California and she still gets both Washington's Birthday and Lincoln's Birthday off.

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Old 09-01-2008, 07:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blue donkey View Post
Thanks Hydroguy for always thinking of others.

Too bad there isn't a post like this for disney paris, tokyo, & hong kong for those who would like to visit.
DLR Paris does have something like this on the forum here on DISBoards focused on the British holidays and school break periods. I did not see this for France though. The Brits are the second biggest nation visiting DLRP after France.
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Old 09-01-2008, 07:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 21yankees View Post
Just thought I'd add. My oldest goes to school in Southern California and she still gets both Washington's Birthday and Lincoln's Birthday off.

steph
I grew up in the SoCal school system a...cough, cough, cough...few years ago and it always worked the way you describe. My sister has kids in the system there. I am going to ping her about their school district and Mr. Lincoln.

I checked Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preside...United_States) and they said that Lincoln's birthday was never a federal holiday but is a state holiday in California. I did not know there were "state" holidays. Here is what they said:

Quote:
In California, Connecticut and Illinois, while Presidents Day is a federal holiday, Abraham Lincoln's birthday is still a state holiday, falling on February 12 regardless of the day of the week.
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Old 09-01-2008, 07:38 PM   #13
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I experienced firsthand the "Lincoln's birthday" crowds this year on February 11. The schools gave that day off, and the parks were beyond crowded on both Sunday and Monday. Monday was over-run with school-age kids. Tuesday, the 12th, was by far the best day crowd-wise, so I could only assume that the schools were back in session.
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Old 09-01-2008, 07:55 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary Jo View Post
Good post, as usual, Hydroguy.

The only thing I would probably include/add is that as ter-moo said, Easter. Many businesses get Good Friday off, and that makes for a 3-day weekend. (I was surprised to find a few years ago that Good Friday is EXTREMELY busy at Disneyland. Catholic schools get the Thursday before Easter (Holy Thursday) off, which makes for a longer weekend, and the following week off, and many public schools get the week after Easter off, so Easter can be considered a "floating holiday" where you can expect higher crowds at Disneyland.
I incorporated this advice into the OP. See how it reads now.

FWIW, no school or business I have ever been at has taken off Good Friday. I am aware some businesses do take it off and of course parochial schools. I have never heard of public schools taking it off. But maybe some do?
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Old 09-01-2008, 11:10 PM   #15
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I've never heard of public schools getting Good Friday off, just the week after. My dad worked for a company that got Good Friday off, and if I remember correctly, (brain's foggy in my old'ish age ) I think my mom also got it off when she worked for Toyota, but could be she just took the day off.
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