There was an error in the update that was published March 23, at 1 pm. A second update was published at 9:40 pm to correct the error. If you received a Crowd Calendar Tracker email, disregard the first one. All Crowd Level predictions are tentative until we know when the parks reopen.
Everyone’s number one priority right now is to help slow the spread of COVID-19 by practicing social distancing. Disney did their part by closing the parks. It is unknown how long the closures will last, but we on the stats team are looking ahead at some possible scenarios and how they might impact crowds.
We at touringplans.com use historic data to derive our Crowd Calendars. A pandemic closing the parks is unprecedented. We have data from hurricanes closing the parks for a few days, and causing people to cancel trips. The September 11 attacks closed the parks and disrupted travel. During the 2008 recession, people reduced spending on vacations. The data for all these disruptions in Disney’s operations shows an initial reduction in attendance, and then a bounce back.
Once Disney opens, we expect that it will take 8-10 weeks for Disney attendance to reach normal levels, and then attendance will be above normal as people reschedule their canceled vacation. This means it would take a year for Disney to get back normal crowd levels.
The length of the pandemic and a potential subsequent recession will affect crowds returning to the parks. We will update our Crowd Calendars on a regular basis, but without knowing when the parks will open our adjustment curve will be reapplied to our models. The shape of the adjustment curve will stay the same, but the length and magnitude of the curve will likely change.
Below is a chart showing the adjustment curve applied to the average weekly crowd for Walt Disney World if the Re-Opening Date is April 1, May 1, June 1, or August 1, 2020.
Maybe you had a trip that has been canceled or have one that looks likely to be disrupted. Maybe you are looking at economic concerns, travel challenges, or concerns about health and safety. At some point, however, we’d expect most of our readers to make a trip to Walt Disney World. So we’re asking you:
When will you go back to Walt Disney World after the parks reopen?
We’ll keep you updated here on the blog as we get updates about park reopening schedules and the impacts those changes will have to the crowd calendar. Thank you for your support during this challenging time.