We have been to Walt Disney World during Mardi Gras when many southern states are out of school. The crowds were fine. We are planning on going during "Jersey Week" this year, and I was wondering how the crowds during this week compare to Mardi Gras crowds? We won't be going to Epcot at all, so I'm not concerned about the Food and Wine Festival.
This one is no contest (it might be depending when Mardi Gras was). In 2012 Mardi Gras coincides with one of the busiest weeks of the year at Disney World. (Presidents Day.) In 2011, Mardi Gras was in early March when the Disney World Crowds are fairly low.
Jersey Week is one of the most overblown, over hyped, over reported weeks in Disney World history. If you read anything that talks about the huge crowds during Jersey Week don't believe it. It's just not true. Dad talks about this every year. Last year, Dad got a note back from a reader who had asked about Jersey Week. Here is what that nice reader wrote.
Early November is a great time to visit Walt Disney World. Yes, you'll miss the end of the International Food and Wine Festival but you will get to see most of the wonderful Christmas decorations.
The crowds in early November are pretty light. Even though the whole state of New Jersey comes down (if you read the "Disney" press), crowds are still not only very manageable but just downright light.
Becky, the bottom line is the crowds should about the same (if you went in early March) or smaller and very easy to deal with. The parks will be beautiful. It's a great time to visit and you'll have a ball.