Labor Day Is Busiest Weekend at Walt Disney World Since Reopening

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As predicted in our Crowd Calendar, this Labor Day weekend saw quite an increase in attendance across Walt Disney World. It comes as no surprise that Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios were booked up and busy, whereas Disney’s Animal Kingdom continued to be the runner up, with plenty of room. We recapped the pre-Labor Day weekend crowds and wait times. Now, let’s look at how this weekend shaped up and how our Lines app saved users lots of time.

Big Thunder Area Crowds 09-05-2020
Magic Kingdom Expected Wait Times 9-5-2020 1:00 p.m.

Magic Kingdom Wait Times: Saturday, September 5, 2020

Both days this weekend were busy, of course, which came as no surprise to anyone. We tend to see the highest wait times between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. at Magic Kingdom. At 1:00 p.m. yesterday we did observe some of the highest wait times of the day, though our Lines app showed that actual wait times were about 10 – 15 minutes less than what Disney had posted. You can see from the screenshots below that our app recommended to wait until later in the day to ride Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, and Big Thunder Mountain.

  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
    • Posted Wait Time 50 / Expected 38
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
    • Posted Wait Time 60 / Expected 47
  • Jungle Cruise
    • Posted Wait Time 45 / Expected 35
  • Haunted Mansion
    • Posted Wait Time 30 / Expected 24
  • Big Thunder Mountain 
    • Posted Wait Time 25 / Expected 33
Magic Kingdom 09-05 1:00 p.m.
Frontierland Afternoon of 09-05-2020

Magic Kingdom Wait Times: Sunday, September 6, 2020

We continued to see higher crowds on Sunday at the Most Magical Place on Earth. The wait times in the 1:00 p.m. time frame (one of the busiest times of day at this park) are very similar between Saturday and Sunday. And as indicated in our Lines app there were plenty of instances that it would be better to wait until later in the day to ride some attractions. You can also see in some of the screenshots below where Liners (users of our app) submitted actual wait times they experienced that day to help with the real-time data.

  • Splash Mountain
    • Posted Wait Time 60 / Expected 51
  • Jungle Cruise
    • Posted Wait Time 35 / Expected 37
  • Big Thunder Mountain
    • Posted Wait Time 35 / Expected 29
  • Haunted Mansion
    • Posted Wait Time 30 / Expected 26
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
    • Posted Wait Time 60 / Expected 40
Magic Kingdom 09-06 1:00 p.m.

To provide a little more context about how busy this holiday weekend let’s look at the observed wait times at Magic Kingdom versus the observed wait times from Sunday two weeks ago. These charts show the average predicted wait times compared to the average observed wait times. On average yesterday’s wait times were 10 -15 minutes higher than two weeks prior and about 5-10 minutes higher than the busiest weekend we’ve seen since reopening, prior to this holiday weekend. This solidifies that Labor Day weekend has been the busiest weekend since reopening, so far.

Magic Kingdom Observed Wait Times 08-23-2020
Magic Kingdom Observed Wait Times 09-06-2020

Animal Kingdom Wait Times: Sunday, September 6, 2020

Although Animal Kingdom continues to experience low crowds and solid availability, this weekend did see an uptick in wait times. We tend to see wait times the highest around 11:00 a..m to lunch time and then things slowly begin to trickle off, with the last hour of operation being one of the best periods for low wait times.

Around 1:00 p.m. yesterday we saw some higher wait times posted by Disney, however, our Lines app predicted wait times to be about 15 minutes lower than what was posted. Our app also makes recommendations as to when to visit an attraction. In this case, it recommended to wait on riding Kali River Rapids, which ended up having no wait at all toward the end of the day.

  • Dinosaur
    • Posted Wait Time 45 / Expected 30
  • Kali River Rapids
    • Posted Wait Time 25 / Expected 36
  • River Journey
    • Posted Wait Time 45 / Expected 33
  • Flight of Passage
    • Posted Wait Time 50 / Expected 36

 

Animal Kingdom Expected Wait Times in Lines App 09-06 1:00 p.m.
Expedition Everest Area 09-06
Tree of Life Area 09-06

This Labor Day weekend marked the first major holiday weekend since Walt Disney World reopened. Not all of the Disney parks experienced large crowds, but it was definitely one of the busiest weekends we’ve seen in this new era. We saw large, sold out crowds at Universal Orlando’s theme parks too.

Our team observed that mask compliance and physical distancing had some weaker moments than previous visits, but they were rare moments. Physical distancing is much stronger when there are physical markers presents. Overall the parks did a good job of upholding the practices they’ve worked so hard to establish over the summer.

Do you have a Walt Disney World trip planned soon? What planning information can we help you with?

Dani

Born and raised in the land of sunshine and dreams come true, Dani is a proud Orlando Native who loves sharing her hometown with others. She's worked in nearly all of Orlando's theme parks, on board Disney Cruise Line, and in hotel management. Follow her adventures on Twitter and Instagram @thisfloridalife

One thought on “Labor Day Is Busiest Weekend at Walt Disney World Since Reopening

  • September 7, 2020 at 12:44 pm
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    I love the look of the new app. I would enjoy seeing an article on the best way to use the app as a local, who is not planning a big trip. Maybe just an afternoon or evening in a park.
    I’m adjusting to switching from a yearly trip to a local.
    Thanks for all the great tips.
    Thanks

    Reply

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