Disney World Crowd Calendar Update – July 2020

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All four Disney World Parks are now open and crowd levels can be described in one word. Low. Every day has been a crowd level ‘1’ at each park (except yesterday when EPCOT edged up to a level ‘2’). We think those low crowds are going to continue until significantly more admission reservations are offered. We don’t have a lot of wait time data since the reopening but because the parks have fixed attendance the wait time patterns look similar every day. So, we are updating the Disney World Crowd Calendar.

What’s On This Update

Attraction wait time forecasts for Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom are first, then Epcot and Hollywood Studios will be updated on Friday. However, the Crowd Calendar for all four parks will be updated now. You will see crowd level ‘1’s predicted every day though July and August. If you have a Magic Kingdom or Animal Kingdom touring plan scheduled for a day in July or August it would be a good idea to re-optimize it now. For EPCOT and Hollywood Studios plans, you should re-optimize on Saturday. Our testing shows that despite the low wait times you can still save 45 minutes of standing in line by following an optimized plan. Not only that, but by definition, an optimized touring plan is also optimal for social distancing. Follow the plan and you will minimize your exposure to bottlenecks and crowded queues.

We are tracking the availability of ticket reservations multiple times a day, so if we see more reservations available that may indicate an increase in a park’s attendance cap. In that case, another Crowd Calendar update will be in order.

Wait Time Patterns

We expected to see spikes in posted wait time during attraction vehicle cleanings which are scheduled throughout the day. However, it doesn’t appear that those spikes have occurred. We do see spikes in actual wait times though, so if you get in line and it isn’t moving it is likely because the vehicles are being cleaned. This adds between 7 and 15 minutes to your wait, depending on the attraction.

New Models

Since the wait time patterns are so different since the reopening we have new models to forecast the wait times. These new models use only what we have observed since July 11. They are a lot simpler than the usual models because the wait time patterns don’t vary much day to day. We are watching closely for changes though, if we see something we will let you know.

Have any questions for the stats team? 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.

10 thoughts on “Disney World Crowd Calendar Update – July 2020

  • July 22, 2020 at 11:00 am
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    Fred, I recall some discussions about Rise of the Resistance tipping the wait times at DHS more toward the morning last year. Essentially, people were much more likely to go early (causing long waits in the AM) and the wait times would trickle down through the day. Similarly, there were some of the same trends for the Pandora attractions (possibly a combination of trying to rope-drop FoP and Navi, and the lack of nighttime appeal in AK).

    Is the current situation (where guests reserve a specific park but cannot hop to other parks) causing a similar pattern across all four parks? If so, is there a change being discussed for the crowd calendar methodology since the “peak” no longer occurs at midday?

    Reply
    • July 22, 2020 at 12:40 pm
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      Hi Craig- Disney is trying to Discourage people arriving early at the parks. Parking lots are only opening 30 minutes before the parks opens, and Disney transportation does not bring people to park much before the parking lots open. Guests on foot, are also held back. For DHS, the boarding groups now are released at three times during the day. The current trend is for the crowds to build in the morning and leave before the park closes. The first hour and the last few hours the parks are open have the lowest wait times. Most people will have done everything they want by mid-afternoon and the summer heat is causing people to leave early.

      Reply
  • July 22, 2020 at 6:20 pm
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    Should I really count on level 10 crowds for Thanksgiving week?

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    • July 23, 2020 at 10:47 am
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      I would say a 10 is as likely as the parks being closed. How COVID-19 evolves so will attendance at Walt Disney World. If conditions in Florida and the US improve, Disney will increase capacity in the parks. I do not see conditions improving enough for crowds to reach a 10, or even a 7. With Flu season overlaying with COVID-19 it is possible for conditions to worsen and the parks are forced to close.

      This update only included July and August because we just don’t know where things will go with this pandemic.

      Reply
  • July 23, 2020 at 11:54 am
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    Do you think we will see unprecedented low levels in September? Typically slow anyway, with school ‘back’ in some form, what are your thoughts?

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    • July 23, 2020 at 12:13 pm
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      Yes, very low levels. Might be higher than the current crowd levels if Florida COVID-19 conditions improve.

      Reply
  • July 25, 2020 at 2:08 pm
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    Crowd calendars in October are showing Epcot with EMH-pm hours. Is that an oversight (removing all EMH) or a rumor (WDW may open up Epcot EMH-pm) for October. Potential impact on my park reservations plans. Thanks.

    Reply
  • August 1, 2020 at 7:24 pm
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    Has Disney reduced room rates at the Polynesian. After 911, Disney offered book 4 days and get 7 days at the Polynesian.

    Reply
  • August 3, 2020 at 3:49 am
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    I noticed the wait times jump in September….all of august is very low- all 1s and then Sept 1 the wait times jump and go back up to what I would think would be more reasonable and to be expected for September. I saw predictions of 60-90 minute waits for Mickey and Minnie’s Railway, FOP etc. Are the September wait times up to date and accurate or is it too early to really know what they will be like? Do you think we can expect super low wait times in Sept as well?

    Reply

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