We can all breathe a collective sigh of relief! Last week’s break from Disney Data Dump wasn’t permanent. My family and I were out trekking between a few national parks on the west coast, and there simply wasn’t enough connectivity to pull data and run analytics for this post. (But if you’d like some pictures from our trip, I’ll put them at the bottom of this article.) Never fear, we’ll cover the past two weeks today and get back into our rhythm. We’ve finally entered party season – with attendees of the first Halloween Party of the year really getting into the spooky spirit thanks to the triple-digit heat index during the party. We’ll talk about the wind-down of summer “crowds” and how parties are already starting to impact crowd behavior.
Observed Crowd Levels August 1 – 14
These crowds are lovely, y’all. Nothing above a 6, and even some 3 and 4s. The first week of August was a bit weird, but even with the start of Halloween Party season, the second week of August is back to our pseudo-roller-coaster. And if the highest crowds of this upcoming week is the 5 we hit on a Monday, that’s going to be a really nice week!
This chart gets a little crazy with two weeks of data. But we can still see some important things! Magic Kingdom’s predictable roller-coaster got thrown off by that rare crowd level 2 day. If you’re a regular Disney Data Dump reader, then you know what that dip was. The first Halloween party of the season! We also see Hollywood Studios spike a bit early in August and then come back to more reasonable crowd levels in the second week. And the crowd level 3 at Animal Kingdom on the 14th sticks out to me too. There’s no real reason for that park to dip on that day. Hopefully another sign of the coming September Slowdown.
Performance of Crowd Level Predictions
Each week, I’m giving you a very transparent look into how our crowd level predictions performed. Each day at each park is one data point, so this week we have 56 different crowd level predictions to evaluate because of our bonus-double-week-post. Any time a prediction is within one or two crowd levels, things won’t really “feel” much different than what we predicted. Being off by 3 or more crowd levels is where we’d like to be more accurate because you might feel that difference in wait times throughout the day.
In the past two weeks, Touring Plans predictions were either spot-on or within 1 crowd level 89% of the time. This is crazy-good predicting. 98% of the time Touring Plans predictions were within 2 crowd levels, and that means we earn an A+ for our predictions this past week! That’s the highest grade ever awarded in the history of the Disney Data Dump, and you were here for it! We should get commemorative toothpick holders or something. The biggest miss of the past two weeks overestimated crowds by three crowd levels, and that happened at Hollywood Studios on August 13th, when Touring Plans predicted a crowd level 6, which ended up only being a crowd level 3.
Attraction Downtime August 1 – 14
If we average all of the capacity lost due to unexpected downtime over the past two weeks, it comes out to 5.3% of attractions unexpectedly being down. Worse than the historical average, and somewhat in line with what we saw at the end of July. The park with the biggest issues was Magic Kingdom, with 6.1% of its capacity lost due to unexpected downtime. But no park was immune from problems. Animal Kingdom had the lowest downtime of any park, and it still averaged 4.1% downtime.
The worst day for attraction downtime in the past week was on August 10th. On that day, 9% of all capacity at WDW was lost due to unexpected downtime. The worst park-day of the week was at Magic Kingdom on August 5th. On that park day, a terrible 15% of the capacity at the park was lost due to unexpected downtime. Magic Kingdom was open for 13 hours on the 5th, so 15% downtime is the equivalent of the whole park being down for almost 117 minutes. It’s almost the same as Disney deciding on a whim to shut the park down at 8 pm instead of letting it stay open until 10 pm like it was supposed to. That’s a big impact on your touring day.
Attraction Downtime Worst Offenders
The worst offender of the past week was Pirates of the Caribbean, which was unexpectedly down for approximately 28% of the past week. More than a quarter of the whole week! The worst day for the pirates was on August 5th, when it was unexpectedly down for the entire day. Ouch.
Once again, the attraction with the most downtime this week isn’t one that has weather-related downtime. So we can’t blame everything on storms.
Rope Drop Downtime
Here are this week’s problematic offenders:
- Magic Kingdom: Pirates of the Caribbean (unavailable for 41% of its first hour of the day), Winnie the Pooh (unavailable for 22% of its first hour of the day), Haunted Mansion (unavailable for 15% of its first hour of the day)
- EPCOT: Test Track (unavailable for 21% of its first hour of the day)
- Hollywood Studios: Slinky Dog Dash (unavailable for 26% of its first hour of the day)
- Animal Kingdom: Expedition Everest (unavailable for 15% of its first hour of the day)
This is honestly not a terrible week for rope drop downtime. Slinky Dog Dash being down over a quarter of rope drop hours isn’t great, and Test Track being down over 20% of rope drop hours can screw you up if you’re entering from the main gate at EPCOT. But Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom had a pretty easy rope drop week.
Wait Times August 1 – 14
Attractions with the Highest Average Posted Wait at each park
- Hollywood Studios: Slinky Dog Dash, average posted wait of 98 minutes (98 minutes two weeks ago)
- Animal Kingdom: Flight of Passage, average posted wait time of 82 minutes (100 minutes two weeks ago)
- Magic Kingdom: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, average posted wait time of 78 minutes (83 minutes two weeks ago)
- EPCOT: Test Track, average posted wait time of 68 minutes (66 minutes two weeks ago at Frozen Ever After)
A set of mixed results here, with Animal Kingdom and EPCOT staying almost even in their highest average posted wait times, but Flight of Passage and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train seeing significant decreases. I expect these numbers to keep decreasing over the next two weeks as we move toward September!
Parks with the Highest and Lowest Average Wait
These parks likely won’t change week-to-week unless something ridiculous happens, but these data points will give us a high-level view of how wait times are trending from week to week.
- Highest: Hollywood Studios, average park-wide posted wait of 40 minutes (45 minutes two weeks ago)
- Lowest: EPCOT, average park-wide posted wait of 25 minutes (26 minutes two weeks ago)
EPCOT may be on the last week of its reign as the park with the lowest overall average posted wait times. Party season at Magic Kingdom always drags down the average there. We’ll start to see some impact next week, and then decreasing average wait times as party season really kicks into gear.
Most Inflated Posted Wait Times
We all know that Disney inflates their posted wait times on purpose. They have many reasons for doing this. Some are totally understandable, and some are potentially more problematic. We can figure out how much posted wait times are being inflated by comparing submitted actual wait times from the Lines App and the posted wait time when the person timing their wait entered the line.
Over the past week, actual wait times in the Lines App averaged 65% of what was posted. This is slightly higher than our historical average, which means that there is a teensy bit less inflation going on. If the posted wait time was 60 minutes, you could’ve expected to wait just 39 minutes instead.
But the worst offender for the past two weeks is Living with the Land. At this one attraction, submitted actual wait times were 42% of posted wait times in the past two weeks. That means that if Living with the Land had a 20 minute posted wait, you probably would’ve waited less than 9 minutes instead. Less than half of what was posted. Remember to always check the Lines app for predicted actual waits instead of believing what is posted.
Actual Wait Time Rock Star
The Actual Wait Time Rock Star for the past week was … ajmndirish, who submitted 50 actual wait times through the Lines App over the last 14 days! All 50 of those timed waits were standby waits. Thank you for all of that timing, ajmndirish! You didn’t quite make it to the all-time record of 78 recorded wait times in a single week, currently held by psymonds.
In the upcoming week, timed waits during and after nighttime spectaculars would be incredibly helpful!
Looking Ahead: August 15 – 21
You’ll be reading this post on the 16th, when the 15th is already in the past. But it takes time to crunch all of the numbers and write up this post for you! So I’m trying to stay as current as possible.
There are two Halloween parties in the upcoming week – the 15th and the 18th. Expect very low crowds at Magic Kingdom on those days, with potential slight bumps in crowds on the surrounding days.
Interestingly – at least so far- the crowd roller coaster of the summer appears to still be holding its pattern. That means weekends that are even emptier than the weekdays. I’m wondering whether this pattern will only break when the temperatures dip back to something lower than the surface of the sun. For now, we’re still holding on to regular thunderstorms and pretty high temps, so my hypothesis won’t be tested this week.
Enjoy the decreasing crowds! And if you don’t have a trip planned for September … don’t plan one. I want the park to be empty when I go 😉
As promised … some cute family vacation photos.