Since September 1, 2019, crowds at Disneyland Resort and Universal Orlando Resort have been down compared to the same time in the past. In the last 30 days we predicted an average crowd level of 5.7 at Disneyland Park. Based on the wait times we collected during that time the average crowd level was a 3.8. That is nearly two points lower than predicted. Similarly, the crowds were lower than predicted at the other three parks. The average at Disney California Adventure was 3.1, we predicted 4.6. Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure averaged 3.9 in the last 30 days, and the Universal Crowd Calendar predicted 5.1 and 4.2, respectively.
This is a good sign for guests planning trips to these resorts during the remainder of 2019; however, there is no guarantee that these low crowds will continue. Let’s take a closer look at each park and what you can expect from this November update.
Galaxy’s Edge continues to draw moderate crowds with wait times at Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run averaging 45 minutes since its grand opening. During that same period the average wait time at Space Mountain was 46 minutes, one minute higher. A new headliner attraction averaging lower wait times than Space Mountain is surprising, to say the least. We have adjusted our forecasts for Smugglers Run to reflect the latest wait times. We believe this attraction has already stabilized and that we will continue to see moderate waits, even when Rise of the Resistance opens in January.
On this update you may see the crowd level lowered on some days. This is in response to the latest trends we have seen at Disneyland Park. Wait times are down, in general; however, there are some days where we have seen small spikes in wait time. If you are planning a trip to Disneyland Park in the near future, you should expect crowds to be at or below the predicted crowd level on most days.
Disney California Adventure
Since we were comparing average wait times at Disneyland, let’s look at California Adventure’s most popular attraction. Radiator Springs Racers averaged 66 minutes since the opening on Galaxy’s Edge – cue the Route 66 music!
Not a lot has changed at Disney California Adventure as a result of this update. You will see a few days change by one point (up or down) over the next few months. You can expect crowds at DCA to be manageable between now and Thanksgiving and then settle back down after the holiday. In December we expect crowds to be low until we reach the week of Christmas.
The next big date on the Disneyland Crowd Calendar is January 17, 2020. That is when Rise of the Resistance is scheduled to open at Galaxy’s Edge. We expect this attraction to draw large crowds, but we don’t think those crowds will drastically increase wait times at other attractions. Smugglers Run will have been open for 8 months, and it doesn’t seem to have a lot of appeal for repeat riding. Rise will see long lines for many months, but the rest of the resort should be manageable outside of holidays and special events.
Islands of Adventure
Universal’s newest headliner attraction continues to have difficulty with operations. Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is plagued with ride outages and long lines. Guests seem to be willing to wait for hours, even on days with light crowds. Since opening in June, Hagrid’s has an average wait time of 147 minutes. That’s 2 hours and 27 minutes – on average! Admittedly, that average includes a lot of 600 minute waits shortly after it opened, but we still see wait times in the 120-180 range on a daily basis. If you are visiting Islands of Adventure and want to try out the new ride, don’t plan anything else for that day. Get it line and grind it out.
The November crowd calendar update doesn’t bring many changes to Islands of Adventure. We expect similar crowd levels to what we previously predicted, with some minor tweaks here and there. Incidentally, in 2019 our predictions were more accurate for Islands of Adventure than for any other park.
Universal Studios Florida
Crowds at Universal Studios Florida are looking good these days. We haven’t seen that park hit a crowd level above a ‘6’ since the October 18, 2019. We expect these moderate crowds to continue.
We do not have any major changes to report as a result of this update for Universal Studios. If you do notice a change in crowd level, it is likely only a change of one point up or one point down.
Watch for our mid-month report on how crowds are looking at Walt Disney World. It’s coming soon!