It is mid-November, so let’s see how the crowd calendar has performed over the last 30 days.
|October 18 – November 17, 2019||Predicted Crowd Level||Observed Crowd Level|
|Magic Kingdom||3.9||3.7 (-0.2)|
|Hollywood Studios||4.2||3.6 (-0.6)|
|Animal Kingdom||4.0||3.7 (-0.3)|
The calendar performed well. Crowds were down in general over the last 30 days, although only Epcot was significantly down. Our estimates for Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom were nicely centered with an equal number of over-predictions and under-predictions. At Epcot and Hollywood Studios about two-thirds of the last month saw over-predictions. This is good news for guests. If you went to parks in the last 30 days there is a reasonable chance that you experienced a lighter crowd level than the same day in years past.
The flow of crowds from day-to-day was pretty typical for Fall. We saw big swings in Crowd Level at Magic Kingdom depending on whether or not it hosted a Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. We saw at least one day for every crowd level on our scale except the maximum level ’10’. Rainy weather kept crowds away from the parks in some days in late October. Other than due to poor weather, our crowd predictions were within one or two points almost every day in the last 30.
Primeval Whirl continues to be down at Animal Kingdom with no evidence that it will start up anytime soon. That is pushing wait times up slightly compared to years past. Guests are still flocking to Pandora attractions every day making it the busiest land at Walt Disney World. (Toy Story Land at Hollywood Studios is close behind.)
Looking Ahead to Late 2019 and Early 2020
Based on what we have observed at Disney World since Labor Day it looks like the rest of 2019 will have crowd levels close to what the Crowd Calendar predicts. The Rise of the Resistance might bring substantial crowds back to Batuu when it opens on December 5. We have already taken into account the expected impact of the new ride on our crowd forecasts. As a general rule we highly recommend you avoid the area around any new attraction unless you are there specifically to experience it – and are willing to sacrifice a large portion of your day to do so.
We have concerns about the posted park hours in mid January, specifically around the Martin Luther King Junior holiday. Last year, those park hours were changed by Disney in late December and we think that may happen again this year. When it does, you may see crowd levels for that weekend go up. Watch for Steve’s blog post later this week about how we deal with dynamic park hours. It is an issue unique to Disney World parks.
November 28 is the latest possible day that Thanksgiving can fall and that is when it falls this year. We think that means crowds will be light for the rest of November leading up to the holiday and perhaps lighter than usual in early December as well. Disney World is always crowded though.
Our next update will arrive in the beginning of December, however we may have to make quick adjustments to the forecasts depending on what happens with Rise of the Resistance of December 5. Stay tuned!