Disney World Crowd Calendar Report – August 30 to September 5, 2015

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How Did The Disney World Crowd Calendar Do Last Week?
How Did The Disney World Crowd Calendar Do Last Week?

The Disney World Crowd Calendar over-predicted wait times early in the week but correctly matched what we observed for most days last week. Early September is historically the least crowded time of the year and this year appears to be no exception.

Incidentally, last week was a particular week of interest for many given that Labor Day occurs late this year. We discussed the week in this post from back in May. There we discussed why the calendar was predicting low crowd levels before Labor Day. Based on the wait times we observed it looks like we were right. It will be interesting to see how wait times change once Labor Day has passed.

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

Walt Disney World Resort Crowd Levels – Daily Breakdown

Sunday, August 30, 2015

WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
5
3

Epcot and Hollywood Studios hit crowd level ‘2’s on Sunday and no park hit a level above ‘3’. Even Animal Kingdom which hosted Morning Extra Magic Hour had wait times lower than usual. DINOSAUR averaged 16 minutes (predicted 25) and Expedition Everest averaged 25 (28). At Magic Kingdom, Peter Pan’s flight had the highest average wait, by far, at 52 minutes.

Epcot
6
2
Hollywood Studios
4
2
Animal Kingdom
6
3

Monday, August 31, 2015

WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
5
1

Monday’s predictions were too high at all parks. Monday was actually one of the least crowded days we have seen all year. Only Hollywood Studios had wait times high enough to justify a crowd level higher than the lowest point on our scale. For example, Space Mountain averaged 21 minutes, about as low as you will ever see.

Epcot
4
1
Hollywood Studios
6
2
Animal Kingdom
4
1

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
3
2

More very low crowds on Tuesday, even lower than expected by the Disney World Crowd Calendar, especially at Epcot. There we saw average wait times like 3 minutes at Living with the Land, 37 minutes at Soarin’ and only 38 at Test Track!

Epcot
5
1
Hollywood Studios
2
1
Animal Kingdom
2
1

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
1
1

By Wednesday, all four parks hit the lowest level on our scale but the difference was that the Disney World Crowd Calendar expected the low levels. If you have ever wondered what low crowds are like, go in early September. Haunted Mansion averaged 13 minutes, Jungle Cruise 8 minutes and Splash Mountain averaged 23.

Epcot
2
1
Hollywood Studios
2
1
Animal Kingdom
2
1

Thursday, September 3, 2015

WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
2
2

The Disney World Crowd Calendar correctly predicted the crowd level at all four parks on Thursday. Only Magic Kingdom had wait times higher than the lowest levels possible with average waits like 18 minutes at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and 15 minutes at Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin.

Epcot
1
1
Hollywood Studios
1
1
Animal Kingdom
1
1

Friday, September 4, 2015

WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
2
2

Friday’s wait times were equally as low. Guests at all four parks saw average wait times near the lowest levels that we will see all year. Toy Story Midway Mania averaged 57 minutes, Star Tours 13 and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster 31.

Epcot
3
2
Hollywood Studios
2
1
Animal Kingdom
1
1

Saturday, September 5, 2015

WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
3
6

By Saturday, wait times increased across the board although Epcot’s crowd level was as predicted. This may be an indication that Labor Day weekend may have brought more visitors than usual. We don’t expect four parks above a level ‘2’ for many weeks, this may be last time we see that until October.

Epcot
3
3
Hollywood Studios
2
5
Animal Kingdom
1
6
What to Expect This Week
September 6 to 12, 2015

Labor Day weekend may bring higher wait times that we saw last week but as holidays go, Labor Day is light. We expect wait times this week to be among the lowest that you will ever see.

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.

11 thoughts on “Disney World Crowd Calendar Report – August 30 to September 5, 2015

  • September 8, 2015 at 11:16 am
    Permalink

    Wow, those were some pretty big misses on Saturday. 3 of the 4 were more than double what was predicted. Saw that Sunday crowds at DHS were significantly higher than predicted, too. Why do you think that happened, and is this an indicator that future Labor Day weekend crowd levels will be higher than they have been historically?

    Reply
    • September 8, 2015 at 1:36 pm
      Permalink

      On our crowd calendar, the fact that a crowd level is double another crowd level is not necessarily relevant: wait times are not double for a 6 instead of a 3. But you are correct that our predictions were off for September 5.

      Fred wrote above that Labor Day seems to have attracted more folks than usual. Perhaps that’s because the holiday is late this year, perhaps it’s because of weather, maybe it’s related to the fact that Disney World is attracting more guests in general, or perhaps something else. Lots of factors affect wait times, so I wouldn’t assume that this speaks for all future Labor Days.

      Reply
    • September 9, 2015 at 10:09 am
      Permalink

      Yes Brian those misses were unsettling when we saw the numbers. I personally don’t have an explanation why this year was so busy but it feels too soon to call it a definite pattern. I still think early September is a fantastic time of year to visit the parks if you want to avoid crowds, including Labor Day weekend. We will leave it up to our statistical models to determine if this is just an anomaly, a trend or the new reality.

      Reply
  • September 8, 2015 at 11:50 am
    Permalink

    Would be interesting to see Friday’s of long weekends by morning and evening. Am in magic kingdom was very light but evening was very heavy. Mine train was running over 90 minutes all night.

    Reply
    • September 8, 2015 at 1:27 pm
      Permalink

      Our crowd levels cover only 10 AM to 5 PM, so they do not reflect anything happening in the evening.

      Reply
  • September 8, 2015 at 12:53 pm
    Permalink

    I was at WDW this whole week. Gotta say that “1” at Epcot on Thursday was the real deal. I think I heard crickets chirping (of the non-Jiminy kind). Meanwhile, it’s scary to think what an 8-10 day at Animal Kingdom must feel like. We were there for what was apparently a “1” day on Friday, and it still felt real-world crowded (realizing WDW-crowded is a whole nother thing), though the waits for rides were short.

    Also, it should be noted that cast members kept referring to the threat of tropical storm Erica as a reason for the light crowds (spin maybe).

    Reply
    • September 9, 2015 at 9:59 am
      Permalink

      Glad you were able to experience a ‘1’ at Epcot, DCJP. Epcot handles (hides) crowds better than the other parks while Animal Kingdom shows its crowds the most.

      Cast members referencing storm threats as a reason for low crowds is less likely “spin” and more likely just misinformation or assumption. From a data point of view any relationship between threats of tropical storms and low crowds is subtle at best. Locals may delay visits to the parks but travelers are unlikely to voluntarily change plans. Crowds would have been very low last week even if no storm was brewing.

      Reply
  • September 8, 2015 at 4:03 pm
    Permalink

    I was at WDW from Aug 28 through Sept 6th. The 6 at the MK on Sept 5 felt far worse than the 5 on Aug 28. In all fairness I did three parks on Sept 5 and the MK was the last one we went to and the crowd was huge compared to the the other days which varied from a 1 to a 3. We definitely like visiting the parks at the low crowd levels. But on the higher crowd level days, getting there early and having a plan helps you do what you want. On Sept 5, we were able to use 9 fast passes before we left the park at 5 PM. The trip was awesome and we took advantage of getting our fill of rides on the low crowd days and did other things when the lines got longer like the in park games and finding new things to eat.

    Reply
  • September 9, 2015 at 8:13 am
    Permalink

    We were there this past week as well – and I second the information on tropical storm Erica. Everywhere we went the CMs were telling us it was lower than usual because of Erica – which worked out in our favour!

    Reply
  • September 9, 2015 at 2:58 pm
    Permalink

    I was there Thurs – Monday. I was unfortunately at AK on Saturday. HOLY COW. I spoke to several CM’s about the crowd, even they admitted to the fact they were not expecting to see such large crowds as the entire park was understaffed. It was awful between 10-3.

    Thursday, MK during the day was nice. By parade time MK was miserable but I guess that is to be expected. Both FP areas for Wishes were slammed packed full of people. Well worth the FP that night.

    Friday’s HS number seems about right. That night at Epcot for the EMH it was pretty crowded.

    Reply

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