Disney World Crowd Calendar Report – September 6 to 12, 2015

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How Did the Disney World Crowd Calendar Do Last Week?
How Did the Disney World Crowd Calendar Do Last Week?

On Tuesday through Friday last week we saw crowds that followed closely what the Disney World Crowd Calendar predicted but on Sunday, Monday and Saturday we saw crowd levels much higher than history would suggest. Each year between 2012 and 2014, Labor Day Monday was a crowd level ‘2’, this year it was an ‘6’! These drastic differences between crowd levels on the weekend and during the week are rare on the calendar. This may be an indication that weekend crowds in September may be larger than usual.

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

Walt Disney World Resort Crowd Levels – Daily Breakdown

Sunday, September 6, 2015

WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
4
7

Animal Kingdom a ‘9’ in September? This is very rare. Going back to 2006 only one┬áSunday in September has brought a crowd level above a ‘5’ at Animal Kingdom. Last year, the Sunday before Labor Day at Animal Kingdom was a ‘1’! Crowd level ‘7’s at the other three parks were a surprise as well.

Epcot
5
7
Hollywood Studios
5
7
Animal Kingdom
4
9

Monday, September 7, 2015

WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
2
5

Crowds were up on Monday as well except at Epcot for some reason. There we saw Soarin’ average 57 minutes, about average for the year while at Hollywood Studios we saw Toy Story Midway Mania average 92 minutes, a number normally reserved for mid-summer or Thanksgiving.

Epcot
4
3
Hollywood Studios
4
8
Animal Kingdom
3
6

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
2
4

Perhaps equally as surprising as the large crowds on Sunday and Monday was how quickly they dissipated. On Tuesday, crowd levels dropped immediately to levels that we usually see in September. The Disney World Crowd Calendar predicted Tuesday’s crowd levels within one at all parks except Magic Kingdom which had wait times only slightly higher than predicted.

Epcot
2
2
Hollywood Studios
2
1
Animal Kingdom
1
1

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
1
2

That’s more like it! Wednesday brought the crowd level ‘1’s and ‘2’s that we are used to seeing in September. Soarin’ averaged 34 minutes, Test Track 39 while Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster averaged 20 minutes and Tower of Terror only 12. Hard to believe given that only three days prior Soarin’ averaged 73 minutes.

Epcot
2
1
Hollywood Studios
2
1
Animal Kingdom
1
2

Thursday, September 10, 2015

WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
2
4

Epcot and Hollywood Studios managed to stay at crowd level ‘1’s on Thursday while the two Kingdoms were a little busier. Morning Extra Magic Hour at Magic Kingdom brought average wait times like 46 minutes at Space Mountain and 29 at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, both very manageable.

Epcot
2
1
Hollywood Studios
2
1
Animal Kingdom
2
2

Friday, September 11, 2015

WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
1
2

Friday’s crowds were similar to the previous few days with no park reaching a crowd level above ‘3’. Soarin’ and Test Track hit an average of 53 minutes and Toy Story Midway Mania averaged 62 but otherwise headliner wait times were very low.

Epcot
3
3
Hollywood Studios
2
2
Animal Kingdom
1
2

Saturday, September 12, 2015

WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
1
3

Saturday brought more surprisingly high wait times at all four parks although waits at Magic Kingdom and Epcot were not as drastic as what we saw at Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. It is not clear what may be causing these spikes in wait times on weekends but last Saturday seems to offer more evidence that it is a trend.

Epcot
2
4
Hollywood Studios
2
7
Animal Kingdom
2
6
What to Expect This Week
September 13 to 19, 2015

We expect weekdays, especially Tuesday through Friday, to be very light at all four parks this week and throughout the rest of September but the previous two weeks sheds some doubt on the crowd levels predicted during the weekends. There is some evidence that weekends in September may be more crowded than usual. We still expect the crowds to be manageable however, especially if you have an optimized touring plan.

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.

7 thoughts on “Disney World Crowd Calendar Report – September 6 to 12, 2015

  • September 15, 2015 at 4:34 pm
    Permalink

    Fred, I was at MK yesterday and it was indeed higher than predicted. AK today also seemed more crowded than usual. Did Disney have a promotion, maybe a non-US based one that would be generating higher crowds? Of course a good touring plan kept us out of the rough.

    • September 16, 2015 at 11:55 am
      Permalink

      We’ve been brainstorming on this and so far can find no explanation why September crowds are up. September crowds have been in the lowest ranges of our scale since 2006 when we started tracking wait times at Disney World. It may be the secret is out, it may be the late Labor day, it may be an overall increase in attendance, who knows? What is clear is that this September is unlike any we’ve seen so far. The wait times we are seeing are more like mid-October or February.

      Still, with proper touring plans these crowds should be manageable. It feels like “busy” is the new normal for Disney World.

  • September 15, 2015 at 11:36 pm
    Permalink

    lol, we should warn people when we’re visiting. Last time we visited and used touring plans we were surprised by a ‘6’ when a ‘2’ was predicted. Yesterday (Monday) we were again at the Magic Kingdom and a ‘2’ was predicted and it felt very crowded again. Today we were at Animal Kingdom and it also seemed a bit crowded to be a ‘1’. Tomorrow we’re going back to Magic Kingdom and we will see how we do.

  • September 16, 2015 at 7:13 am
    Permalink

    Tuesday at the Studios (9/15) was also much busier than expected. Lines at GMR and Star Tours were definitely not typical for September.
    Epcot, though, was what we would expect – modest lines for the headliners, and short waits for everything else.

  • September 16, 2015 at 6:24 pm
    Permalink

    We were also at MK on a day that was predicted to be a 2 and turned out to be a 6 or 7 (I forget which). Hope the numbers are more accurate for our upcoming Sept/Oct trip…

  • September 16, 2015 at 10:26 pm
    Permalink

    Fred, in talking with some guests today, they believed that the high crowds that were seen on Monday and Tuesday of this week were a result of Rosh Hashana. Crowds at MK were certainly lighter today (Wednesday) , when the Rosh Hashana crowds were said to be back in school. (They certainly lightened up after the rain, but even before that things were very manageable.)

    Does TouringPlans include Rosh Hashana in its prediction methodology?

  • September 17, 2015 at 6:42 am
    Permalink

    I wonder if it there may have been some extra factors from up north contributing as well? Our school system (generally) doesn’t start until after Labour Day, oil is down too, making some flights cheaper. Also, with the dollar down and Disney raising prices, there isn’t an easy time in the future to plan to go. Labour Day weekend is becoming the cheapest/coolest (temp-wise) time for Canadians with school-age kids to go.

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