Disney World Crowd Calendar Report – December 20 to 26, 2015

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How Crowded Was Disney World Last Week?
How Crowded Was Disney World Last Week?

The peak holiday season has arrived at Disney World. Crowds at all four parks were at the top of our crowd scale almost every day last week. Animal Kingdom was the only park that had some days at a level lower than ‘8’. The Christmas holiday is the single busiest period of the year at Disney World. Wait times hit their highest averages for the year, only to be outdone by next week. Surprisingly, the parks were not as between December 24 and 26 as they were before but that is entirely due to lower wait times at Animal Kingdom. That park is a great choice when the other parks are as packed as we saw last week.

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

Walt Disney World Resort Crowd Levels – Daily Breakdown

Sunday, December 20, 2015

WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
9
10

On Sunday, Hollywood Studios was the only park that didn’t hit the top level on our scale. At Great Movie Ride the average posted wait time was 28 minutes, a level ‘4’. Otherwise, the Hollywood Studios attractions were at a level ‘7’ or above. Epcot and Animal Kingdom hit a crowd level ’10’ as predicted.

Epcot
10
10
Hollywood Studios
8
9
Animal Kingdom
10
10

Monday, December 21, 2015

WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
10
10

Monday’s predictions missed only at The Studios and only by one level. Magic Kingdom wait times averaged 10 minutes at Peter Pan’s Flight, 91 minutes at Jungle Cruise and 117 at Space Mountain. Meanwhile at Epcot, Soarin’ averaged 143 minutes and Test Track averaged 96.

Epcot
10
10
Hollywood Studios
9
10
Animal Kingdom
9
9

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
10
10

All four parks were extremely crowded on Tuesday. Only Animal Kingdom had a crowd level lower the top level on our scale. Still, a crowd level ‘9’ is extreme with wait time averages like 79 minutes at Kilimanjaro Safaris, 58 minutes at DINOSAUR and 61 at Expedition Everest. The Disney Crowd Calendar correctly predicted the crowd level at all four parks.

Epcot
10
10
Hollywood Studios
10
10
Animal Kingdom
9
9

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
10
10

The Disney Crowd Calendar predictions hit the mark at all four parks again on Wednesday. Big Thunder Mountain (59 minutes), Buzz Lightyear Mountain Railroad (45 minutes), Jungle Cruise (69) and Space Mountain (83) hit crowd level ’10’.

Epcot
10
10
Hollywood Studios
10
10
Animal Kingdom
9
9

Thursday, December 24, 2015

WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
10
10

On Thursday, three of the four parks hit a crowd level ’10’ again but Animal Kingdom was significantly less crowded with average wait times like 30 minutes at DINOSAUR and 35 minutes at Kilimanjaro Safaris.

Epcot
10
10
Hollywood Studios
10
10
Animal Kingdom
8
6

Friday, December 25, 2015

WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
10
10

Friday’s resort wide crowd level was pulled lower by the remarkable crowd level ‘6’ at Animal Kingdom. Wait times there were much lower than the other three parks, relatively speaking. We have seen in years past as we did this year that Christmas Day is not as busy as the days surrounding it, especially at Animal Kingdom.

Epcot
10
10
Hollywood Studios
10
10
Animal Kingdom
8
6

Saturday, December 26, 2015

WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
10
10

Saturday was as crowded as Friday resort wide but Epcot was one level lower and Animal Kingdom was one level higher. Magic Kingdom completed a week long sweep of crowd level ’10’s.

Epcot
10
9
Hollywood Studios
9
10
Animal Kingdom
8
7
What to Expect This Week
December 27, 2015 to January 2, 2016

As busy as last week was this week will be that much busier. I would be surprised to see a park hit a crowd level lower than ‘8’ this week and certainly Magic Kingdom should stay at a level ’10’ all week.

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.

6 thoughts on “Disney World Crowd Calendar Report – December 20 to 26, 2015

  • December 29, 2015 at 9:15 am
    Permalink

    We had an amazing Christmas trip. We saw little to no wait times on most rides Christmas Eve night which was a big surprise for us since the park was in a Phase 1 closure. The fireworks, shows and parade drew people off the rides and most people seemed to leave the park after the first shows. We always do Animal Kingdom on Christmas Day and it did not disappoint. No crowd, no lines and very active animals. Crowds picked up Saturday and Sunday but the early mornings were still pretty bare. With some careful planning, we honestly didn’t even notice the Christmas crowds.

    Reply
    • December 29, 2015 at 11:20 am
      Permalink

      I agree with Kristina’s sentiment. Waits were short at night on Christmas Eve at the Magic Kingdom. Even on Christmas Day at Epcot, walkways were clear and manageable, definitely less crowded than a typical night of the Food & Wine Festival. Standby lines for Soarin’ and Test Track were long, as expected, but booking FP+ makes it totally doable.

      Reply
  • December 29, 2015 at 10:17 pm
    Permalink

    At what point during the day do you guys lock in you “what we saw” crowd level for that day? When touring the parks, it would be really helpful if we knew what the levels are during that day at the different parks. Because if we’re at MK and it’s unbearably crowded, it would be useful to know that another park, like AK is at a 6 so we could hop there.

    Reply
    • December 31, 2015 at 12:10 am
      Permalink

      If I’m not mistaken, generally the ride wait times are calculated from 10am to 5pm (during the peak crowd surge).

      Reply
  • January 3, 2016 at 5:30 pm
    Permalink

    We were there the 18th-24th and it was definitely crowded. Having a plan ahead of time was absolutely essential. We were able to see and do pretty much everything we wanted and weren’t too bothered by the crowds. As I used my Fast Passes, I just had to shake my head in amazement at the people that would actually stand in line 3 hours for a ride. WHY?? These people obviously know nothing about how to plan a Disney World trip. The one time I was frustrated by crowds was my own fault for not checking time guides. I had a dinner reservation at BOG and didn’t realize we would have to make our way through parade crowds when we arrived at the park.

    Reply
  • January 6, 2016 at 5:27 pm
    Permalink

    I think that there’s a typo on Monday 21 December. I don’t think that Peter Pan ever has a 10 minute wait, even when the park is closed!

    Reply

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