Crowd Calendar Review for March 2019

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We’re more than halfway through March, so let’s take a glance at the Walt Disney World crowds so far this month:

Park Predicted Crowd Level Observed Crowd Level
Magic Kingdom 7.8 7.8 (+0.0)
Epcot 7.0 7.6 (+0.6)
Hollywood Studios 7.0 7.8 (+0.8)
Animal Kingdom 7.1 8.1 (+1.0)

Predictions are doing well so far in March. One of our goals in predicting Disney World crowds is to average no more than a point difference and we accomplished that in all parks. There was a fair amount of variation from day to day however, with some days higher than expected and other days lower.

Crowd Calendar Updates in April

If we were to update the calendar today, our wait time models would push Animal Kingdom numbers a point or two higher on many days in 2019. We have blogged a lot about the wait time patterns at Animal Kingdom lately, and it seems like our models are catching up to the pattern. However, since our last post about it, the crowd levels at Animal Kingdom have stabilized, and the patterns have smoothed out to something resembling historical shapes. We will be watching Animal Kingdom closely for the rest of March before deciding how to update predictions at that park.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios may see some dates in April and June go up a point or two when we update in April. Magic Kingdom would see some minor tweaks, and Epcot would not really change at all. We are hearing that a lot of guests are changing (or considering changing) their travel dates in response to the opening dates of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Presumably this means a bump in crowd level between now and the end of August, but there isn’t enough evidence to support that just yet. If we see Disney expand park hours, that would be an indication that bookings are up.

2020 and Beyond

In April we may update forecasts for 2020 as well although it is a little early to know what crowds will look like. A lot depends on how the summer goes. Within three months we will have our first look at Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge crowds (at Disneyland). Once we hear the reviews and observe the flow of crowds we will know a lot more about what 2020 might look like.

Got any questions for the number gurus? Theories about the odd spikes at Animal Kingdom? Let us know in the comments.

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.

9 thoughts on “Crowd Calendar Review for March 2019

  • March 19, 2019 at 12:07 pm
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    So we are thinking spring levels will go up due to people changing their fall dates? I’ve been loving my low crowds after Easter but I’m a little worried these will now go up?

    • March 19, 2019 at 12:17 pm
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      I think the period after Easter and before Memorial Day is still a good time for quieter crowds. June is when I think we could see crowd levels go up. If you’re travelling in May I think you’re good.

      • March 20, 2019 at 4:06 pm
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        We were hoping for moderate crowds in mid June, I hope there isn’t too much change. Better work on our touring plans…

  • March 19, 2019 at 2:50 pm
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    I’m looking at predictions for the beginning of December, and I’m surprised that crowd numbers for AK are higher than for HS. I know there will be a lot of revisions coming, but with the Star Wars section open, why would that be?

    • March 20, 2019 at 8:35 am
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      A couple reasons. Animal Kingdom has had the highest crowd level since December of last year and we expect that to continue. Each park has its own crowd level scale. So a ‘9’ at Animal Kingdom doesn’t necessarily mean more people than a ‘6’ at Hollywood Studios. Also, Star Wars Galaxy Edge attractions are not included in the crowd levels.

      • March 20, 2019 at 9:54 am
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        I didn’t know that about each park having it’s own crowd level scale. I’ve always used the crowd numbers to decide which park to go to on any day of my stay. So, I guess that’s not valid if each park has it’s own scale. Correct?

        • March 20, 2019 at 12:55 pm
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          I assume that they would be relative numbers, not actual. So, a 10 at AK would *feel* like a 10 at HS, but the actual number of people would be different.

  • March 21, 2019 at 10:08 am
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    Can you explain the different parks crowd level scales? I’m booked for September 29-October 9th and thinking of shifting to September 26-October 5 or 6 because crowds look a little better the week before. We plan to get up super early and be at the gates an hour before park opening and following our Touring Plans but also don’t want the crowds to be crazy and stressful. What do you think?

  • March 21, 2019 at 8:06 pm
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    We are headed to WDW the first week of June. Should we anticipate larger crowds or do you expect them later in June?

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