Disney World Crowd Calendar Review For May 2019

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We are halfway through May, so it is time for our mid-month Crowd Calendar review. Here’s how the calendar did since our last review in mid-April

Park Predicted Crowd Level Observed Crowd Level
Magic Kingdom 5.6 4.8 (-0.8)
Epcot 6.5 4.9 (-1.6)
Hollywood Studios 5.6 5.2 (-0.4)
Animal Kingdom 6.2 5.7 (-0.5)

For the second month in a row, crowd levels are trending downward. On average, the Crowd Calendar overpredicted every park in the last 30 days. That is a good sign for guests heading to Disney World in the next few months. I believe it is fair to say that crowds will be lighter than usual between now and mid-August. Now, that does not mean that the parks will be empty–just lighter than usual for this time of year. We still strongly recommend using a touring plan. Notice that the observed crowd levels in the last 30 days were between 4.8 and 5.7 at the four parks, right around the middle point of our scale. Average crowds can still mean an 80-minute wait for Soarin’ and 120-minute wait for Flight of Passage.

May continues to be a a good time to visit the parks. The extreme low crowds of September that we used to see each year are becoming closer to a “normal” low, which means that May is becoming a really good option. Of course with Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge opening this August we may see the busiest September yet.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Questions about crowds at Galaxy’s Edge are rolling in steadily. Here are the key points to know:

  1. Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge will be VERY crowded.
  2. Hollywood Studios will see a significant bump in wait times at its other attractions, although it will still be possible to experience them with minimal wait if you use an optimized touring plan.
  3. REMINDER: The Disney World Crowd Calendar reflects the average wait time between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. at key attractions. Because it is so new, Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge attractions are not included in the list of key attractions. They will likely be added in winter 2021 after we observe at least 12 months of wait times.
  4. Hollywood Studios will likely see another surge in wait times when Rise of the Resistance opens (currently, we have no official date for the opening).

Updates In June

The next update to the Crowd Calendar will be in early June. It will include some adjustments related to the following:

  1. Extra, Extra Magic Hours hours which were recently announced to deal with the opening of Galaxy’s Edge.
  2. School Calendars for the 2019-2020 school year. Currently we have collected school calendar data for 90% of the top 100 school districts. By June, that should reach 100% and the calendar will reflect the latest school data.
  3. If our over predicting trend continues for another two weeks our next update might adjust predictions downward slightly for the rest of Spring and into Summer.

Have any questions for the stats gurus? Ask away in the comments!

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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.

4 thoughts on “Disney World Crowd Calendar Review For May 2019

  • May 15, 2019 at 6:38 pm

    Thanks for this update. I’m very much looking forward to your June update and information about the Extra Extra Magic Hours this Fall.

  • May 15, 2019 at 8:47 pm

    Always interesting, Fred. If you don’t mind me asking, what data changed that resulted in a prediction of lower crowd levels? I love this stuff.

  • May 16, 2019 at 2:11 pm

    Hi Fred – needing to tap into your expertise!
    We’re one of those totally insane families that have decided to go the week of Thanksgiving this year (11/23-11/30/19). Our 1st full day is Sunday the 24th, here are my 3 options regarding park selections… let me know what you think if our goal is to have minimal wait times (which is like an oxymoron during the week of Thanksgiving but you know what i mean ;o) :

    (1) AK – you’re predicting the lower crowd level of 9 vs all the others having a crowd level of 10
    (2) MK-regular admission only – it will possibly have lower crowd levels because it closes early due to the Christmas Party
    (3) MK-Christmas Party admission only – parties have a tendency to have lower wait times in general

    Keeping in mind that the plan is to do MK 2 days out of the 6 we’re there and if you recommend one of the MK options above it will count as 1 of the 2 days.

    What would you do?

  • May 23, 2019 at 9:53 am

    I think an overall adjustment downward from now until near the opening of GE makes a ton of sense. The new Summer One World tickets WDW just rolled out is yet another attempt by WDW to goose sales during a time of year when they normally wouldn’t need to. By my count, that’s the THIRD major program rolled out to goose sales this summer (the steep room discounts/free dining they announced at the beginning of June, the *second* round of discounts they announced earlier this spring, and now the Summer One World tickets). I think we’re in for a wild ride – a relatively soft summer followed by (at least) four straight months of packed crowds between GE opening, festivals, Halloween, and the Holidays.


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