Disney World Crowd Calendar Report – April 24 to 30, 2016

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How Crowded Was Walt Disney World Last Week?
How Crowded Was Walt Disney World Last Week?

Crowds at Walt Disney World were higher than usual for the first half of last week then about average for the second half. The Disney World Crowd Calendar predicted that crowds would be a few points higher on our scale than what we saw during the same period last year but even that was not a high enough prediction for what we actually saw. Wait times were most surprising at Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week on the Touringplans.com Disney World Crowd Calendar Report:

Walt Disney World Resort Crowd Levels – Daily Breakdown

Sunday, April 24, 2016

WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
5
8

All four parks were a crowd level ‘7’ or ‘8’ on Sunday, thanks to wait times that were 5 to 10 minutes longer than expected. For example, Space Mountain averaged 58 minutes (predicted 49), Spaceship Earth averaged 24 (19), The Great Movie Ride was 30 (26) and Kilimanjaro Safaris averaged 48 minutes (predicted 45).

Epcot
5
7
Hollywood Studios
6
7
Animal Kingdom
7
8

Monday, April 25, 2016

WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
5
9

Wait times on Monday were moderate at Epcot as predicted but at the other three parks we saw crowd levels near the top level on our scale. At Magic Kingdom we saw Space Mountain average a 56 minute wait, Jungle Cruise 64, Peter Pan’s Flight 74 and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin averaged 42 minutes. At Hollywood Studios Toy Story Midway Mania led the way with an average wait of 89 minutes while Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster wasn’t far behind at an average of 69 minutes.

Epcot
4
5
Hollywood Studios
4
9
Animal Kingdom
6
8

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
5
9

Tuesday’s crowd was somewhat lighter at Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom thanks to average wait times like 68 minutes at Toy Story Midway Mania and 33 minutes at Expedition Everest. Magic Kingdom was remarkably busy once again with wait time averages like 87 minutes at Space Mountain and 68 minutes at Jungle Cruise at Peter Pan’s Flight.

Epcot
6
5
Hollywood Studios
5
6
Animal Kingdom
5
6

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
5
6

The Disney World Crowd Calendar was correct that Wednesday would be the least crowded day of last week but the crowd levels did not dip as low as expected. We saw average wait times like 64 minutes at Peter Pan’s Flight, 50 at Jungle Cruise, 71 at Test Track, 80 at Toy Story Midway Mania and 53 at Kilimanjaro Safaris.

Epcot
2
5
Hollywood Studios
2
5
Animal Kingdom
4
6

Thursday, April 28, 2016

WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
4
8

Epcot was the only park that stayed at a crowd level below the midpoint of our scale on Thursday thanks to average waits like 50 minutes at Test Track and 14 minutes at Spaceship Earth. Living with the Land was only a 5 minute wait on average, making it a ‘1’ out of ’10’. At 86 minutes, Toy Story Midway Mania had the longest average wait across the resort.

Epcot
4
4
Hollywood Studios
2
6
Animal Kingdom
5
7

Friday, April 29, 2016

WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
8
7
Solid predictions came through for each park on Friday with none missing by more than one index level. Epcot had the lowest crowd level once again, thanks to average wait times like 14 minutes at Spaceship Earth (predicted 21) and 7 minutes at Living with the Land (18). Animal Kingdom had the highest crowd level with averages like 65 minutes at Kali River Rapids and 55 minutes at Expedition Everest.
Epcot
5
4
Hollywood Studios
7
7
Animal Kingdom
7
8

Saturday, April 30, 2016

WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
7
8

Saturday’s wait times were within a few minutes of what the Disney World Crowd Calendar predicted except at Animal Kingdom where waits were a little lower than expected. Peter Pan’s Flight at 71 minutes had the highest average wait time at Magic Kingdom while Pirates of the Caribbean had the lowest at 27 minutes.

Epcot
6
5
Hollywood Studios
6
7
Animal Kingdom
8
6
What to Expect This Week
May 1 to 7, 2016

May is a favorite time of year at the Disney Parks for many visitors. The weather is warm but not as hot and humid as mid-summer and the crowds are usually busy but manageable. Crowds this April were busier than most years so it will be interesting to see if we return to historical averages in May or will we see new records for this month as well.

To see Walt Disney World Crowd predictions for the days of your vacation, check the Crowd Calendar.

To get details about our predictions of future crowds or details about crowds in the past check out the Crowd Calendar and select “Jump to Date” on the left margin.

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Fred Hazelton

Fred Hazelton maintains the crowd calendar, theme park wait time models and does hotel rate analysis for the Unofficial Guides. He's also done the models for the new mobile wait times product Lines. Fred Hazelton is a professional statistician living in Ontario, Canada. His email address is fred@touringplans.com. You can also follow him on Twitter: @DisneyStatsWhiz.

13 thoughts on “Disney World Crowd Calendar Report – April 24 to 30, 2016

  • May 10, 2016 at 1:14 pm
    Permalink

    This is crazy!! We were in Disney at this time last year and it was the least crowded we’ve seen in the last 3 years of traveling (3-4x per year). And weather was almost perfect! What is making such a difference??

    Reply
    • May 10, 2016 at 1:33 pm
      Permalink

      It is a mystery, Melissa. All signs point to moderate crowds this time of year. Some say it is staff cutbacks and diminished ride capacity but it is likely also an overall increase in attendance as well. Domestic Travel is up, Las Vegas had its busiest March ever in 2016.

      May crowds look like they may be offering some respite from what we saw in April. We will be watching closely (obviously).

      Reply
      • May 10, 2016 at 3:10 pm
        Permalink

        Many schools in the NY tri-state area had the week off because of Passover. We were there that week along with a ton of NYC, Westchester, NJ and Long Island families. It was packed.

        Because Passover varies from year-to-year, maybe future crowd calendar predictions can account for national and state public school vacation schedules?

      • May 10, 2016 at 3:15 pm
        Permalink

        Thanks Dave. We do track school vacations schedules as it is one of the best predictors for crowds at Disney World but the percentage of schools that had the week off was very small. Our models already take into account the Jewish holidays and school schedules for the top school districts.

      • May 10, 2016 at 4:20 pm
        Permalink

        Fred, we were at WDW during this week and I can honestly say that the NY schools being out had a huge impact. About 50% of the other guests we talked to were from NY. Even cast members I talked to during the week were commenting on how many people from NY were there. I said to my wife on Monday that MK felt like and 8-9. Guess I was right!

      • May 10, 2016 at 10:13 pm
        Permalink

        We were there that week too and all the families I chatted with were from New York! Hadn’t realized they had such a late break. Our school break in my part of Canada falls in mid-March.

      • May 11, 2016 at 1:52 pm
        Permalink

        The Disney earning call reported WDW attendance as being modestly down by Iger. In light of that, doesn’t it look like the staff cutbacks and diminished ride capacity are a big driving force in the increased wail times and crowd levels?

  • May 10, 2016 at 1:18 pm
    Permalink

    So, a 9 minute increase in wait times increases the crowd level 3 points?

    Reply
    • May 10, 2016 at 1:34 pm
      Permalink

      It depends on the attraction, Justin. For some, a 9-minute difference in the average wait time between 10am and 5pm represents a big difference when you look at the set of all days in the past.

      Reply
  • May 11, 2016 at 8:04 am
    Permalink

    I’m curious if these results are acceptable to you. Just looking at it quickly, looks like you got it about 50% correct. (If you accept being within 1 point plus or minus correct, which I guess could be debatable.) And I realize this is just one week out of 52, but it seems to be pretty close to the norm, accuracy-wise. Just seems statistically getting half right is not very reliable? Are you going to be updating or revising your prediction methods?
    I’m not trying to knock the service, just seems like it needs revising at this point to be more accurate.

    Reply
  • May 12, 2016 at 6:40 am
    Permalink

    I was going to say Passover break too. And it would have only impacted Monday-Thursday due to holiday restrictions. Which it looks like it did.

    Reply
    • May 12, 2016 at 6:59 am
      Permalink

      And further, from my inside knowledge of the Passover observing community, they don’t stay on property (they stay in the many Orlando hotels and rental villas that go kosher for Passover for the week) and don’t buy their tickets much in advance or get them from third party vendors. That means not many are doing advance fastpass reservations. So Disney has little clue that they’re coming and probably does not plan to staff accordingly.

      Reply
  • May 14, 2016 at 8:06 am
    Permalink

    Visited May 4th-May 11th. Even though there were people there, I found the crowds to be manageable. We never had long waits on rides. Disney does a good job keeping things moving.

    Reply

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