Since October 1 we have collected over 164,000 wait times across the four Disney World parks. Overall the average posted wait times at Magic Kingdom (27 mins) and EPCOT (26 mins) are about the same compared to the same time period in 2019 (28 and 26 mins, respectively), but that is not the case for Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. At the Studios the average posted wait time is 41 mins compared to 31 mins in 2019. At Animal Kingdom we see the opposite, a 27 minute average wait time this year and 40 minutes last year. It seems reasonable that Hollywood Studios is the bigger draw lately with Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Train, Galaxy’s Edge, and the still popular Toy Story Land.
Although the average posted times are similar pretty much everything else is different. Park schedules, attendance limits, social distancing measures, and closed attractions are making touring plans look a lot different this year. Let’s see how the Crowd Calendar did in the last 30 days.
Crowd levels at Magic Kingdom continue to stay below a crowd level ‘5’, averaging 1.8 during the last 30 days. The average of our predicted crowd levels during that time was 2.5, slightly higher than what we observed. It is rare for our models to predict a crowd level ‘1’ since that implies a near-empty park, but Magic Kingdom did hit that level several times in the last 30 days. Our touring plan testers are still seeing gains by following the plan however, with at least 30 minutes a day saved compared to the ‘wander and ride’ approach. This is true even on the least crowded days.
The average at EPCOT was 2.5 thanks to several days that reached a crowd level ‘6’ on our scale. The average predicted was 3.4. We had predicted several days would reach a crowd level ‘7’ but that never happened. Posted wait times are clearly higher on weekends at EPCOT with all of the ‘6’s and ‘7’s falling on weekends and all the ‘1’s and ‘2’s during the week.
At Hollywood Studios we observed an average crowd level of 1.8 in the last 30 days which is a half-point lower than what we predicted during that time (2.3). A level ‘3’ is the maximum level reached at the Studios and we never predicted a level higher than that. The crowd level ‘3’ occurred twice in the last 30 days, both on a Wednesday which feels more like a coincidence than a pattern.
Crowd levels at Animal Kingdom were the lowest of the four parks and the most accurate on the Crowd Calendar. We saw an average level of 1.4 and we predicted an average of 1.3. Posted waits at Animal Kingdom attractions do seem to be slightly higher on weekends but the difference isn’t large. Animal Kingdom saw the most crowd level ‘1’s of the four parks in the last 30 days.
We are very curious about the crowd levels during the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. We think crowds will hit their highest levels since Labor Day and we are hoping that our observations will help us adjust our predictions for holidays in the near future like Christmas, Martin Luther King Jr. Day in January, and Presidents Day in February. Obviously, these are strange times and a lot can change in the next 90 days. We will be watching closely and preparing to make adjustments to the Crowd Calendar predictions as needed. The next update to the calendar will come early in December.
Have any questions for the Crowd Calendar crew? Let us know in the comments.