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Disney Data Dump October 18 2023

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So far, it’s been a pretty light October. Don’t get me wrong – it’s definitely more crowded than September. But it’s not a total crush of humans like Octobers have been trending toward for years. All things point to people taking advantage of fall breaks from school … and not really traveling as much otherwise. Even the Disney100 celebrations aren’t making as much of an impact as I would personally expect. Let’s look through the data and see what it means for your upcoming trips!

Observed Crowd Levels October 10 – 16

Observed crowd levels from October 10th through 16th

Last week I called out that we saw a temporary uptick in crowds for the fall break weekend, and that they’d stay elevated for a while as more schools hit fall break. It’s not all bad news. This October is still decently less crowded than last year – by an average of a full crowd level per day for the first half of the month. Wednesday through Friday look like the best days to visit WDW so far this fall.

Observed crowd levels at each park from October 10th through 16th

As predicted earlier this month, the days of crowd level one party days at Magic Kingdom are gone. Still, when non-party days are reliably crowd level 9 or 10, a crowd level 2 or 3 is a remarkable difference. At the other parks, Wednesday, Thursday … and, oddly, Sunday, saw the most reasonable crowds this week. I feel like our summer pattern of crowds decreasing throughout the week is now competing with fall break long weekends. It’ll be interesting to see which behavior “wins” later in the year.

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.

How our predictions performed from October 10th through 16th

Now, if this isn’t a beautiful pie graph, I don’t know what is. In the past week, Touring Plans predictions were either spot-on or within 1 crowd level a whopping 79% of the time. This is much higher than what we’d been seeing in late September and early October when crowds were lower than predicted. 92% of the time Touring Plans predictions were within 2 crowd levels, and that means we earn an A- for our predictions the past week. And for the first time in about a month, we’re back to a balance between overestimates and underestimates. Crowds are finally catching up with the readjusted predictions from the summer crowd calendar update. All of those “big” misses were on party days at Magic Kingdom – both the overestimates and the underestimates. Say it with me, friends. Non-party days are going to be crowded. Party days aren’t.

Attraction Downtime October 10 – 16

If we average all of the capacity lost due to unexpected downtime over the past week, it comes out to 3.6% of attractions unexpectedly being down. This is quite a bit better than we’ve been seeing during the summer and fall. Hopefully a good readjustment! The park with the biggest issues was … EPCOT, with 4.3% of its capacity lost due to unexpected downtime. That’s a bizarre and rare win for EPCOT. And, sadly, what I was even more shocked by was that Hollywood Studios had a day of 0% downtime this week! If you were in the Studios on the 12th, please go back regularly. You must be a good luck charm.

The worst day for attraction downtime in the past week was on October 11th. On that day, 4.3% of all capacity at WDW was lost due to unexpected downtime. The worst park-day of the week was at EPCOT (yeah, I don’t get it either) on October 16th. On that park day, 8% of the capacity was lost at EPCOT due to unexpected downtime. EPCOT was open for 12 hours on the 16th, so 8% downtime is the equivalent of the whole park being down for almost 58 minutes.

Attraction Downtime Worst Offenders

The worst offender of the past week was Journey Into Imagination with Figment, which was unexpectedly down for 15% of the past week. This week we’ve got an attraction that can handle some downtime pretty easily and a low overall percentage! That’s a double-win. By far, the worst day for Figment was October 16th, when the ride was down for 64% of the day – only coming online for the late afternoon and evening.

“Hello? It’s Figment! I’m not home right now!” (photo by Michael Carelli)

Rope Drop Downtime

Here are this week’s problematic offenders:

Other than our stalwart rope-drop downtime attractions Rock’n’Roller Coaster and Pirates of the Caribbean, there aren’t any big surprises on this list. What may be more surprising is that we’ve got a week without Rise or Slinky or Frozen showing up. Huzzah!

The continued struggles of the “left side” of the park

Wait Times October 10 – 16

Attractions with the Highest Average Posted Wait at each park

Lots to unpack here! We’ve got our first return of a triple-digit average at Slinky Dog Dash (even though it had a pretty reliable week), but almost no movement on the average wait at Flight of Passage. I’ve heard reports of people virtually walking right onto it in the afternoon – something that should become even more common when park-hopping restrictions are relieved in January. Remy overtook Frozen for the top wait at EPCOT (Frozen had an average posted wait of 72 minutes this week), and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train saw a 10-minute jump in its average. That’s due to not-ghost-town party days and terribly crowded non-party days.

Remy is cute. It is not 83 minutes cute. Don’t do that to yourself!

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 (40 minutes last week)
  • Lowest: Magic Kingdom, average park-wide posted wait of 28.5 minutes (25 minutes last week)

The real news is a little bit buried here because I don’t show historic wait times per park. But just two weeks ago, that Hollywood Studios average was down at 30.5 minutes for the entire park. So in the course of two weeks, wait times have increased by 50% at that park. That’s a big deal – it will make a huge impact on your ability to tour the park efficiently in a day.

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 63% of what was posted. This is right in line with our historical average. If the posted wait time was 60 minutes, you could’ve expected to wait less than 38 minutes instead.

But the worst offender for the past week is Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. At this one attraction, submitted actual wait times were 37% of posted wait times in the past week. Wowee Zowee. That means that if Buzz had a 30 minute posted wait, you probably would’ve waited just 11 minutes instead. Just over a third of what was posted. Remember to always check the Lines app for predicted actual waits instead of believing what is posted.

Waiting less time than expect to defeat Zurg? Priceless. (photo by Mike Sperduto)

Actual Wait Time Rock Star

The Actual Wait Time Rock Star for the past week was … Woof4Pluto, who submitted 35 actual wait times through the Lines App over the last 7 days! This includes 10 Lightning Lane waits, 22 Standby waits, and 3 virtual queue waits. Thank you for all of that timing, Woof4Pluto! But this doesn’t come close to the all-time record of 78 recorded wait times in a single week, still held by psymonds.

In the upcoming week, timed waits after joining the physical line for a virtual queue would be incredibly helpful!

Looking Ahead: October 17 – 23

The crowd calendar for the upcoming week has some relatively low predictions for Magic Kingdom non-party days. Don’t believe them. The last three non-party days at Magic Kingdom have seen crowd levels of 10, 9 and 9. Non-party Mondays are especially bad. You’ve been warned.

Otherwise, here is my prediction for the rest of October – EPCOT will continue to be a little elevated thanks to all of the new stuff and things, while Hollywood Studios will calm back down a little bit. Magic Kingdom should stay pretty steady at crowd level 2-3 on party days, but those non-party days are going to be ugly.

“Fall” weather is finally hitting Orlando, which means highs in the 80s instead of the 90s, and also potentially an end to the daily afternoon rain showers. Looks like a pleasant and sunny week. If you can hit some weekdays between now and the end of the month, you should have a lovely time!

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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

One thought on “Disney Data Dump October 18 2023

  • Hi! I am a frequent October visitor. Let’s just say I haven’t missed an October since 1980. This year I am here from 10/15 through 10/28. Something I noticed at the MK on 10/18 was the fact that the Lightning Lane lines looked insane. For example, at Haunted Mansion the line snaked down the walkway all the way to the riverboat. Is this the new world with Lightning Lanes? I didn’t remember seeing anything quite like that when I was here in March/April. Is Genie+ purchasing up? Are people starting to consider it a necessity? I’m not so much on rides. I really just like hanging out in the parks. I did manage to experience both the Tiki Room and Carousel of Progress on 10/18–in deference to the 100th anniversary of the Walt Disney Company. Both were a walk-on.


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