March is here and excitement is building for Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. This Crowd Calendar update assumes the new land will open on or around June 19, 2019. Once it does, Disneyland will be jammed. Disney California Adventure may even see a bump in crowds as the hoards of Star Wars fans (and non-fans) balk at the long lines and head to the other park.
Keep in mind that the Disneyland Crowd Calendar represents the average wait times expected at Disneyland’s key attractions but that the new Star Wars attractions are not yet included. They are too new. Once we observe the wait times at Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge for a year we can add the new attractions to the list of those we use for the calendar.
Here is the average monthly change per park on this update:
|Disneyland Park||Disney California Adventure|
Now let’s take a look month to month:
Wait times at Disney California Adventure have been more volatile than normal so far in 2019, a phenomenon we have also observed at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom. Read more on that here. How the Crowd Calendar does in March will depend a lot on whether this trend continues. Disneyland crowds have been slightly lighter than usual so far in 2019 although much of that is due to the cooler than usual temperatures. Now that details are out about this summer’s new land it may be the case that guests put off trips to the resort until they can check out the new Star Wars attractions in June.
The trend for April on this update is for crowd levels to go down slightly. We still expect to see extreme crowds at Easter time however. This means that between April 15 and April 26 the crowds will be very busy. The exception is Easter Sunday itself where the Crowd Calendar shows a ‘6’ at both parks – this is what we observed last year as well.
Many days in May are dropping at Disneyland as a result of this update. This seems reasonable since many guests will delay their trip until Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge opens in June. May crowd levels might go up during our next update if we observe higher than expected wait times in late March and early April. May is still a favorite time to visit for many of us at TouringPlans.com. Crowds are light, the weather is pleasant and park hours are generous for getting in those extra rides at night.
June is all about Star Wars. Despite the recent media campaign we still know very little about how the new land will operate. We anticipate several thousand guests a day will be willing to wait all night long for a chance to tour Batuu and drink the blue milk. But how will Disney control access to the land? Separate tickets? FastPasses? First come, first served? Needless to say, Disneyland will be jam packed when it opens. The increase in wait times that we see at the non-Star Wars attractions and at Disney California Adventure will be interesting to follow. Our estimates indicate a bump of 10 to 22% depending on the attraction. Once we know more details about the plan for crowd flow into Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge we will update our forecasts for the resort.
Forecasts are up for July but not every day. This update brings several increases to Disneyland of a point or two but not many days more than 2 points. Some July days at Disney California Adventure actually go down as a result of this update. That may change once we see how Star Wars Galaxy Edge impacts the parks.
August – December
The last half of the year will see a mix of changes as a result of this update. Again, a lot will depend on what happens at Star Wars. Even though this fall will see some low crowd numbers we think the new Star Wars attractions will see multi-hour wait times daily until late into 2020. Recall that the new Star Wars rides are not part of the calendar so when you see a ‘1’ or a ‘2’, that represents a low wait time at the existing attractions.
Note that the day after Labor Day is the first day that Southern California Select Passholders can visit Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge using their pass. We expect that rush of passholders to push the park to a level ‘8’ or above for at least a couple days. That is significantly higher than that week would be historically.
Got any questions about this update? Let us know in the comments.