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Disney Data Dump December 21 2022

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Welcome to the darkest and shortest day of the year! It’s officially winter, and it’s officially large crowd season at Walt Disney World. I hope all of you lovely Disney data fans avoid the snow, ice, and sub-zero temperatures and get to enjoy the holidays with your family. If you were in Orlando this past week, you may have had a very surprisingly uncrowded time, or an “oh no, the crowds have arrived early than expected” time, depending on the day. This week was really a tale of two crowd levels. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. And we have all of the data about both.

Observed Crowd Levels 12/13 – 12/19

Observed crowd levels from December 13th through 19th, 2022

Well, color me surprised. Because there is no way I would have predicted green crowd levels this late in December! If you were in Walt Disney World between the 13th and 16th, I stand and applaud for you for a decision well-made. Holiday decorations and entertainment, and below-average crowds. Next time, invite me along with you please. If, however, your vacation didn’t start until the 17th … well, oops. This should be the steady upturn of crowds leading into the holidays.

Observed crowd levels at Magic Kingdom from December 13th through 19th, 2022

Crowd level 1! At Magic Kingdom, in December. That’s pretty much perfection, and I hope some of you readers were there to enjoy it. Even as the crowds are starting to increase, party days still make a difference of at least two crowd levels compared to the surrounding non-party days. But there are only two more party days before the end of the year, on the 20th and 22nd. And then Magic Kingdom should go back to more normal. Hooray 🙂

How our predictions performed from December 13th through 19th, 2022

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 we have 28 different crowd level predictions to evaluate each week. 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 week, our predictions were either spot-on or within 1 crowd level 64% of the time. This is a drop from the 71% rate of the past two weeks … but the good news is that most of the misses were in a direction that makes everyone happier. 79% of the time we were within 2 crowd levels, and that means we earn an C+ for our predictions these past two weeks. Not one of our best results. In fact, we overestimated the crowds by three crowd levels on 6 different park-days. 4 of those were all on December 15th. What a weird day!

Attraction Downtime 12/13 – 12/19

If we average out all of the capacity lost due to unexpected downtime over the past two weeks, it comes out to 3.3% of attractions unexpectedly being down. This is almost identical to last week, and it feels like downtime is staying under some sort of control in December. The park with the biggest issues was Magic Kingdom, with 4.3% of capacity its lost due to unexpected downtime. This is a remarkably low park high for the week compared to all of the rest of our weekly reviews.

The worst day for attraction downtime in the past week was on December 16th. On that day, 5% of all capacity at WDW was lost due to unexpected downtime. The single worst park-day of the week was also on December 16th, at Magic Kingdom. On that day, 7% of the the capacity at that park was lost due to unexpected downtime. Magic Kingdom was open for 10 hours on that day, so 7% downtime is the equivalent of the whole park being down for just above 45 minutes. It still sounds bad, but after the trend we’ve seen over the past few weeks, it really not that bad … y’know, comparatively.

Attraction Downtime

I’ll give you a dollar if you guess the attraction with the most downtime this week. Because … I’m guessing none of you would ever guess it. And you’re the smart ones who read this!

I’ll wait …

The worst offender was … drumroll, please … Mickey’s Philharmagic. Who earned a dollar? This surprising attraction was unexpectedly down for approximately 16% of the week. Its worst day was easily December 16th, when it was unavailable for the entire park day. I don’t have much else to say about Philharmagic being down on the 16th. Other than if that was your one day at Magic Kingdom, and Philharmagic is a must-do for you, then sorry. And I’d like to know what your must-do attractions are in the other parks too.

Rope Drop Downtime

Here are this week’s problematic offenders:

Oy, Magic Kingdom. Why you gotta be messing with those non-Early Entry rope droppers? That left side of the park continues to be really problematic. If you don’t have early entry, you could start with Jungle Cruise and see if the others are open by the time you finish seeing the backside of water.

Thank you, Jungle Cruise, for being … more reliable than the other surrounding attractions

Wait Times 12/13 – 12/19

Attractions with the Highest Average Posted Wait at each park

  • Hollywood Studios: Tower of Terror, average posted wait of 97 minutes (96 minutes last week)
  • Animal KingdomFlight of Passage, average posted wait time of 105 minutes (94 last week)
  • EPCOTRemy’s Ratatouille Adventure, average posted wait time of 74 minutes (78 last week)
  • Magic KingdomSeven Dwarfs Mine Train, average posted wait time of 71 minutes (68 last week)

In good-ish news, Tower of Terror doesn’t have the highest average wait time of any attraction anymore? Just the second-highest. Flight of Passage saw bigger increases in the past week and hit triple digits for its average posted wait. Eek. This list also doesn’t show the big picture, which is that Hollywood Studios has 3 out of the 4 highest average posted waits from any of the parks. Rise of the Resistance and Slinky Dog Dash come in third and fourth place. Most interesting here is that Remy saw a decrease in its average posted wait. Spoiler alert: that won’t last long! As of the morning of 12/21, the physical line for Remy goes all the way back to Morocco.

At 9:15 am on the 21st, the line for Remy was posted as 105 minutes and reached to Morocco. Before 10 am, the posted wait time was at 145 minutes.

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 46 minutes (last week 47 minutes)
  • Lowest: Magic Kingdom, average park-wide posted wait of 24 minutes (last week 24.5 minutes)

Interestingly, overall park-wide wait times are pretty similar to last week. Last week we had steady 5 and 6 crowd level days, and this week we had some 3/4 days and some 7/9 days that all even out to look close to last week on an average level. But depending on which day you visited, your experience would have been very different.

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.

From December 13th through 19th, actual wait times in the Lines App averaged 64% of what was posted. So if the posted wait time was 20 minutes, you could’ve expected to wait just under 13 minutes instead.

But the worst offender for the week was Frozen Ever After. At this one attraction, submitted actual wait times were 49% of posted wait times, which means that if Frozen Ever After had a 90 minute posted wait, you probably would’ve waited just about 44 minutes. Less than half of what was posted. Remember to always check the Lines app for predicted actual waits instead of believing what is posted.

Oh hey, another mention of Frozen Ever After, another opportunity to share this glorious mom fail moment. I can’t let it go.

Looking Ahead: December 20th through December 26th

Since it takes time to pull data and write a post, you’ll be reading this on the 21st when the 20th is already in the past. But we’re staying as close to real-time as possible.

One word: CROWDS

Okay, more words. Schools are getting out for winter break now, and that means families have more freedom to take vacations and let their kids enjoy the most magical place on earth during the happiest time of the year. Many, many of them will do just that. Now, in case you live under a rock (or in California), there is a HUGE winter storm brewing right now that will almost certainly have large impacts on travel. We’ll see if this keeps anyone from making it down to Florida. I’ll gladly stay cozied up in my warm house in STL while the roads “flash freeze” in the -30 wind chills over the next couple of days and let you all sort that out.

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Becky Gandillon

Becky Gandillon was trained in biomedical engineering, but is now a full-time data and analytics nerd. She loves problem solving and travelling. She and her husband, Jeff, live in St. Louis with their two daughters and they have Disney family movie night every Saturday. You can follow her on LinkedIn: or instagram @raisingminniemes

5 thoughts on “Disney Data Dump December 21 2022

  • We were there from the 10th to the 17th, and we were overjoyed to have MUCH lower crowds than we were expecting. We visited the MK using early entry on the 13th, and we had less than 10 minute waits for everything we did during the first two and a half hours, including Peter Pan, Big Thunder, Splash, Haunted Mansion, Pirates, and Jungle Cruise, and Pooh. Between early entry, deluxe resort extended evening hours, and strategic park hopping, we were able to pack in so many attractions! We used Genie+ on two days, but in hindsight, we probably would have been fine without it.

    • I’m so glad you had a great time! Really can’t beat that MK lineup with those waits. I’m definitely jealous.

  • It looks like part of the article didn’t load, unless you meant to end it with “Here are this week’s problematic offenders:”

    • It appeared that the ads kept covering up the bottom portion, on the PC. Whole article stays put on mobile.

    • I’m surprised because the Sorcerer blackout dates stated on the 17th. We specifically structured our trip to hit three days in parks from 14-16 and then a week at the resort while blacked out. I figured others with Sorcerer passes also would have made a last minute park push before blacked out. Maybe there just aren’t as many with passes as I thought and the day ticket percentage of ticket mix is higher than I thought.


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