Disney World Crowd Report – August 17 to 23, 2014

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Our prediction that summer crowds would dwindle starting last week seems to be well timed. We saw some low crowd levels at Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom last week that we haven’t seen since May. Lots of ‘4’s, ‘5’s and ‘6’s elsewhere with only a few minor surprises. Guests using our crowd calendar to plan late August trips will be very happy with the moderate crowds we observed.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week on the TouringPlans.com Disney World Crowd Report:

 

Walt Disney World Resort Crowd Levels – Daily Breakdown

Sunday, August 17, 2014

WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
6
5

We considered Sunday to be the de facto end of the summer break for Disney World guests and the moderate crowds seem to agree. Only Animal Kingdom, which hosted Extra Magic Hour morning hit a level ‘6’ but the average posted time at Expedition Everest was only 25 minutes.

Epcot
4
5
Hollywood Studios
6
5
Animal Kingdom
6
6

Monday, August 18, 2014

WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
6
7

Magic Kingdom and Disney Hollywood Studios edged a little higher on Monday but crowds were mysterious at the Studios. We saw Toy Story Mania hit an average of 91 minutes (a ’10’ on our scale) while Tower of Terror only averaged 41 minutes ( a ‘1’ on our scale). Animal Kingdom was a stark contrast with the lowest crowd level by far, as predicted.

Epcot
4
5
Hollywood Studios
5
8
Animal Kingdom
3
3

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
4
7

On Tuesday, it was Magic Kingdom that stood out with most attractions showing average wait times higher than expected. Splash Mountain averaged 49 minutes (predicted 34), Jungle Cruise 36 (predicted 23) while Big Thunder Mountain Railroad averaged 33 minutes, only one minute lower than the 34 minutes we predicted.

Epcot
7
6
Hollywood Studios
5
5
Animal Kingdom
3
4

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
4
5

Crowds at Magic Kingdom and The Studios settled nicely on Wednesday while Epcot’s wait times went up. Again, average waits at Spaceship Earth are up significantly with an average posted wait of 24 minutes, a ’10’ on our scale while Test Track was way down, averaging a mere 54 minutes, a ‘1’ for that attraction.

Epcot
3
6
Hollywood Studios
5
5
Animal Kingdom
6
8

Thursday, August 21, 2014

WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
6
5

No park hit a level above ‘5’ on Thursday, a sure sign that summer crowds are dwindling. Magic Kingdom hosted Extra Magic Hour morning but only Splash Mountain averaged a posted time above 50 minutes. Our predictions for Buzz Lightyear, Peter Pan, Space Mountain and the Haunted Mansion were all within a couple minutes of what we observed.

Epcot
4
5
Hollywood Studios
4
5
Animal Kingdom
3
4

Friday, August 22, 2014

WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
4
4

Animal Kingdom’s level ‘2’ on Friday was the lowest level we’ve seen at any park all summer. We almost didn’t believe our prediction of a level ‘2’ but the predictions were right, including a 19 minute average at Expedition Everest and a 16 minute average at Kilimanjaro Safaris. Crowds seemed mostly focussed at Epcot and The Studios where we saw ‘6’s, both two levels higher than expected.

Epcot
4
6
Hollywood Studios
4
6
Animal Kingdom
2
2

Saturday, August 23, 2014

WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
4
3

Saturday’s ‘3’ at Magic Kingdom was the lowest we’ve seen at that park all summer as well. Only Peter Pan’s Flight (40 minutes) and Space Mountain (43 minutes) reached average posted times in the 40s while most other attractions averaged posted waits in the 20s.

Epcot
4
6
Hollywood Studios
5
3
Animal Kingdom
4
4
What to Expect This Week
Aug 24 to 30, 2014
How Crowded is Disney World
How Crowded is Disney World?

Now that summer crowds have left, fall crowds have begun and we enter the single best time of the year to avoid crowds at Disney World. The heat will remain but we’ll see average wait times at some attractions reach their lowest point of the past 365 days. Labor Day weekend will bring a small bump in attendance but not enough to push crowds above average for the year.

To see Walt Disney World Crowd predictions for the days of your vacation, check the Crowd Calendar.

To get details about our predictions of future crowds or details about crowds in the past check out the Crowd Calendar and select “Jump to Date” on the left margin.

Fred Hazelton

Fred Hazelton maintains the crowd calendar, theme park wait time models and does hotel rate analysis for the Unofficial Guides. He's also done the models for the new mobile wait times product Lines. Fred Hazelton is a professional statistician living in Ontario, Canada. His email address is fred@touringplans.com. You can also follow him on Twitter: @DisneyStatsWhiz.

3 thoughts on “Disney World Crowd Report – August 17 to 23, 2014

  • August 25, 2014 at 1:30 pm
    Permalink

    I seems like Spaceship Earth is most often the “cause” of missed predictions at Epcot. Could you briefly go over why you think the wait for Spaceship Earth is so unpredictable? Has the predictability been affected by FP+?

    Reply
    • August 25, 2014 at 1:39 pm
      Permalink

      Spaceship Earth is an enigma. It’s proximity to the front of the park makes it popular to guests who arrive and want to ride the first thing they see – which means it is popular during mid-day when guests arrive at the highest rate. However, it also has a very high capacity per hour so it can process a lot of guests. Thirdly, the FP+ changes have affected no other attraction more than Spaceship Earth. Spaceship Earth used to be a near walk-on all day, now we see posted times in the 30s regularly. The flow of guests through Spaceship Earth is completely new and so our models will take a while to “learn” it again.

      Reply
  • September 5, 2014 at 1:06 pm
    Permalink

    HS felt higher than a 3 on 8/23. We waited 44 minutes for TOT getting in line at 9:45. I also felt during this trip that Disney has reversed their posted wait time strategy. In the past I always though Disney purposely posted wait times that were well above (in many instances) the actual wait times to drive guests to other area’s of the park. Using HS as an example they would post a wait time of 50 minutes for TOT when the actual wait was 25 to drive guests to Star Tours or other attractions.

    Conversely on this trip I felt Disney was purposely posting wait times that were lower than actual. For example that 44 minute wait I had for TOT at the time the posted wait time was 30 minutes. This happened several times during the trip and unfortunately the expected wait times using Lines also seemed to be off (are they driven by what Disney posted?). Why Disney would do this I can’t really rap my head around but standing at Mickey’s meet and greet at Town Hall one day I watched them change the expected wait time from 30 to 70 minutes. If you showed up a minute earlier and thought you would only wait 30 minutes you were in for a surprise.

    Reply

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