We’ve made it through another week, Disney data fans! And as we progress through June and march toward July with its full slate of family vacations, we should expect to see crowd levels start increasing slightly. This is compounded by increasing attraction down time – with that resort-wide average nearing 5%, which is equivalent to every park being totally down for over half an hour every day. Decreased supply, supposedly increased demand … so are we seeing crowd levels go up? Or are summer crushes of people a thing of the past?
Observed Crowd Levels 6/6 – 6/13
If you’re a weekly Disney Data Dump reader (we should all get matching t-shirts, but I digress) – you should be having some data deja vu right about now. This graph looks eerily similar to last week, riding downhill throughout the week and the rocketing back up on Monday. I’m personally interested to see if this trend continues – with Monday and Tuesday being the most crowded days and Saturday/Sunday seeing the lowest crowds.
Looking at the crowd level by park, we can see that Magic Kingdom is the main driver behind this roller-coaster crowd level behavior. It started the week at an 8, then slowly fell off to a 3 on Saturday and Sunday before rocketing right back up to a 7. Hollywood Studios showed similar behavior, but to a lesser extent. And Animal Kingdom and EPCOT stayed pretty steady through the whole week, not varying more than 2 crowd levels between high and low for the past 7 days.
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 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, Touring Plans predictions were either spot-on or within 1 crowd level 39% of the time. That’s a slight decrease from the level of accuracy we saw last week. 75% of the time Touring Plans predictions were within 2 crowd levels, and that means we earn a solid C for our predictions this past week. Same as last week! Unfortunately, predictions are back to being pretty skewed. Only one park day in the past 7 days was underestimated by 2 or more crowd levels. Compare that to the 16 park-days that were overestimated by 2 or more crowd levels. Boo. The biggest miss of the past week over-predicted crowds by an astounding 6 crowd levels. That happened at Hollywood Studios on June 10th, when Touring Plans predicted crowd level 9, and it ended up being a crowd level 3 day. Similarly, June 11th was overpredicted by 5 crowd levels at the Studios.
Attraction Downtime 6/6 – 6/13
If we average out all of the capacity lost due to unexpected downtime over the past week, it comes out to 4.6% of attractions unexpectedly being down. This is a pretty significant uptick from the past few weeks. The park with the biggest issues was Magic Kingdom, with 5.6% of its capacity lost due to unexpected downtime. Animal Kingdom was close behind with 5% downtime for the week.
The worst day for attraction downtime in the past week was on June 9th. On that day, 7% of all capacity at WDW was lost due to unexpected downtime. The worst park-day of the week was at Animal Kingdom on June 9th. On that park day, a truly horrible 19% of the capacity at the park was lost due to unexpected downtime. Animal Kingdom was open for 12 hours on the 9th, so 19% downtime is the equivalent of the whole park being down for over 136 minutes. Imagine a 12 hour park day, and in the middle of the day, the whole park takes a 2 hour and 15 minute siesta. Come on now.
The worst offender of the past week was Pirates of the Caribbean, which was unexpectedly down for approximately 18% of the past week. The worst day for Pirates was on June 10th, when it was unexpectedly down for 75% of the day. In fact, it went down around 11 am on the 10th, and didn’t really come back up until almost noon on the 11th. So hopefully all of the fans of this classic attraction rope-dropped it this weekend!
Rope Drop Downtime
Here are this week’s problematic offenders:
- Magic Kingdom: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (unavailable for 24% of its first hour of the day), Buzz Lightyear (unavailable for 23% of its first hour of the day), Pirates of the Caribbean (unavailable for 14% of its first hour of the day), Astro Orbiter (unavailable for 14% of its first hour of the day)
- EPCOT: Frozen Ever After (unavailable for 14% of its first hour of the day), Spaceship Earth (unavailable for 13% of its first hour of the day)
- Hollywood Studios: Rock’n’Roller Coaster (unavailable for 20% of its first hour of the day)
- Animal Kingdom: DINOSAUR (unavailable for 14% of its first hour of the day)
Magic Kingdom continues its rope drop struggles. In particular, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train being down for a quarter of all first hours of the day this week is terrible. Tons of people rope drop Mine Train. Lots of canned Touring Plans have you rope drop Mine Train. Shame on those dwarfs for their unreliability. Thankfully, things at the other parks weren’t quite as bad, with Hollywood Studios having a relatively steady first hour of the day this week. How nice.
Wait Times 6/6 – 6/13
Attractions with the Highest Average Posted Wait at each park
- Hollywood Studios: Slinky Dog Dash, average posted wait of 85 minutes (90 minutes last week)
- Animal Kingdom: Flight of Passage, average posted wait time of 88 minutes (82 minutes last week)
- EPCOT: Frozen Ever After, average posted wait time of 68 minutes (67 minutes last week)
- Magic Kingdom: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, average posted wait time of 84 minutes (80 minutes last week)
Overall not much different from last week Slinky had a better week, Flight of Passage and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train had worse weeks (mostly due to downtime for Seven Dwarfs), and Frozen Ever After stayed mostly the same. So maybe crowds picked up a bit overall compared to last week, but not by much.
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 39 minutes (39 minutes last week)
- Lowest: EPCOT, average park-wide posted wait of 26 minutes (25.5 minutes last week)
In this view too, crowds and wait times are almost identical to last week. At a very high level, Hollywood Studios had the same average posted wait time both weeks, and the wait times at EPCOT went up by 30 seconds overall.
Actual Wait Time Rock Star
The Actual Wait Time Rock Star for the past week was … LZurg, who submitted 48 actual wait times through the Lines App over the last 7 days! This includes 24 Lightning Lane waits, 2 Standby waits, 2 virtual queue waits. Thank you for all of that timing, LZurg! Although you sound like you may be evil … You came pretty close to the all-time record of 50 recorded waits times in a single week, currently held by shop.kgb and ccsademko.
Looking Ahead: June 13th through June 19th
It takes some time to crunch all of the numbers, so when you’re reading this article, June 13th will already be in the past. But we’re trying to stay as timely as possible. So let’s get along with our predictions.
Once again, our pattern of early summer crowds should continue with crowd levels hovering in the 6-7 range over the coming week. I don’t expect things to pick up again until late June or July. This upcoming Monday is a federal holiday, which brings with it the possibility of some folks who would normally have to work taking advantage of the holiday and planning a vacation around it. Mondays have already seen pretty large crowd levels compared to the other days of the week. Still, I say bring dad to the park for Father’s Day. Sundays have been uncrowded, so I’ll make that my pick of the week and hope for no holiday weekend crowds.
The next few days look sunny and hot, but then it’s back to the era of afternoon thunderstorms, starting on the 16th and 17th. Make sure you’ve got indoor activity options so that you can wait out the rain and enjoy an emptier park once everyone gets washed away!