What a busy week we’ve all had! May the Fourth, Cinco de Mayo, Revenge of the Fifth. Also important holidays like World Donkey Day and National Roast Leg of Lamb Day. Oddly enough, there weren’t that many people celebrating all of these important days in Walt Disney World. Instead, the parks continued their post-Easter pre-summer trend of being wildly uncrowded.
Observed Crowd Levels 5/2 – 5/8
Another beautiful, uncrowded spring week at Walt Disney World! We actually see more green, below-average crowd days this week than we did last week. Things kicked back up on Monday … but they did the same thing this week. This shouldn’t yet be the start of a return to more moderate crowd levels, but these ideal low crowd levels probably won’t last much longer.
As an example of just how great things are in Orlando right now, let’s take a look at Hollywood Studios:
I mentioned last week that Hollywood Studios is currently seeing its longest stretch of low crowds since last September. That continues this week, with May 7th being a perfect example of an ideal day to visit the Studios. That crowd level 2 is incredibly rare. There have only been 6 crowd level 2 days in the past year. Four of those happened between 8/31 and 9/11 last year. If you were at Hollywood Studios on the 7th, I want to shake your hand and congratulate you on your statistically awesome day.
Magic Kingdom was a pretty special place to be this week too. A pair of crowd level 2 days, and a pair of crowd level 3 days. Enjoy those low wait times! And, if you’re visiting Walt Disney World on a low-crowd day, keep in mind that the 1 pm virtual queue for TRON has been staying open for multiple hours on some days, letting park-hoppers get a chance to get into a boarding group, and maybe even a coveted night-time ride on Disney’s newest attraction.
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 50% of the time. Better than last week, but lower than our historical average, which has happened for each of the past 4 weeks. 79% of the time Touring Plans predictions were within 2 crowd levels, and that means we earn a C+ for our predictions this past week. Predictions were, once again (broken record), pretty skewed this week. Rather than having a roughly equal number of over- and under-predictions, almost all predictions were over-predictions. These are the kind that make people happy because the parks are less crowded than they expect, but any skewed results make stats people like me a little sad inside. The biggest miss of the past week over-predicted crowds by a very very off 6 crowd levels. That happened at Hollywood Studios on May 7th, when a crowd level 2 happened on a predicted crowd level 8 day.
Attraction Downtime 5/2 – 5/8
If we average out all of the capacity lost due to unexpected downtime over the past two weeks, it comes out to 3.1% of attractions unexpectedly being down. This is pretty close to an all-time low, and the first time we’ve seen a downtime number this low when crowds weren’t very high. The park with the biggest issues was Hollywood Studios, with 4.6% of its capacity lost due to unexpected downtime.
The worst day for attraction downtime in the past week was on May 2nd. On that day, 4.75% of all capacity at WDW was lost due to unexpected downtime. The worst park-days of the week were at Animal Kingdom on May 6th and Hollywood Studios on May 8th. On those park days, 9% of the capacity at each park was lost due to unexpected downtime. Animal Kingdom was open for 12 hours on the 6th, so 9% downtime is the equivalent of the whole park being down for over an hour. And Hollywood Studios was open for 13 hours on the 8th, so 9% downtime is equivalent to the whole park being down for over 70 minutes.
The worst offender of the past week is the Magic Carpets of Aladdin, which was unexpectedly down for approximately 36% of the past week. This is a repeat winner for downtime, after 38% downtime last week too. The worst day for our the Carpets was on May 8th, when it was unexpectedly down for 75% of the day. And this was closely followed by May 2nd, when it was down for another 74% of the day. Something’s happening with the Carpets. I blame the camels.
Rope Drop Downtime
Here are this week’s problematic offenders:
- Magic Kingdom: Magic Carpets of Aladdin (unavailable for 22% of its first hour of the day)
- EPCOT: No rope drop downtime issues this week
- Hollywood Studios: Rise of the Resistance (unavailable for 16% of its first hour of the day)
- Animal Kingdom: Expedition Everest (unavailable for 24% of its first hour of the day), DINOSAUR (unavailable for 12% of its first hour of the day)
What an upside-down crazy kind of week! Other than Rise of the Resistance having rope drop downtime. After such a good string of reliability. Oh bother. But then we have EPCOT with a string of good mornings this week, Magic Kingdom with no issues other than the Magic Carpets, but Animal Kingdom having issues at Everest and DINOSAUR when it usually has downtime-free mornings.
Wait Times 5/2 – 5/8
Attractions with the Highest Average Posted Wait at each park
- Hollywood Studios: Slinky Dog Dash, average posted wait of 70 minutes (74 minutes last week)
- Animal Kingdom: Flight of Passage, average posted wait time of 81 minutes (75 minutes last week)
- EPCOT: Frozen Ever After, average posted wait time of 59 minutes (58 minutes last week at Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure)
- Magic Kingdom: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, average posted wait time of 66 minutes (72 minutes last week)
A little bit of a mixed bag this week compared to last week, which goes to show that wait times and crowd levels are staying nice and low. Wait times decreased at Slinky Dog Dash and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, but increased slightly at Flight of Passage and at Frozen Ever After – enough that Frozen took over from Remy as the highest wait at EPCOT.
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 34 minutes (33 minutes last week)
- Lowest: EPCOT, average park-wide posted wait of 22 minutes (23.5 minutes last week)
Hollywood Studios is continuing to have low average waits, even though it bounced up just a little bit. And EPCOT saw its already crazy-low waits go even lower this week, mostly thanks to decreases at Remy and Test Track.
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 61% of what was posted. This is much lower than our historical average, which means posted wait times are more inflated than normal. So those low wait times … are actually much lower because the posted wait times are more inflated than usual! If the posted wait time was 60 minutes, you could’ve expected to wait under 37 minutes instead.
But the worst offender for the past week is Living with the Land. At this one attraction, submitted actual wait times were 43% of posted wait times in the past week. Yipes! That means that if Living with the Land had a 20 minute posted wait, you probably would’ve waited under 9 minutes. So much 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 … ccsademko, who submitted 46 actual wait times through the Lines App over the last 7 days! This includes 20 Lightning Lane waits, 24 Standby waits, and 2 virtual queue waits. Thank you for all of that timing, ccsademko! You came so close to claiming the all-time record, which is still held by shop.kgb, with 50 recorded wait times in a single week.
In the upcoming week, wait times during early entry would be incredibly helpful to us!
Looking Ahead: May 9th through May 15th
I assume everyone will be taking their mothers to WDW for Mothers Day this upcoming weekend. Who wouldn’t want to spend their day celebrating in the most magical place on earth?! So look out for massive crowds in the parks on that day! (I’m totally just being sarcastic, because it’s where I wish that’s where I was spending Mothers Day).
But let’s get real. There is no reason for crowds to suddenly descend upon Orlando just yet. Most schools are still going strong, with exams and end of the year celebrations. That means fewer families taking vacations, and less-crowded parks. Still.
The weather is getting quite spring-y, with potential afternoon thunderstorms or showers most days of the upcoming week, so go prepared with a poncho or umbrella! Splash through the puddles and enjoy those empty parks.