Happy New Year! It is mid-January, so let’s see how the crowd calendar has performed over the last 30 days.
|December 17 – January 16, 2020||Predicted Crowd Level||Observed Crowd Level|
|Magic Kingdom||7.2||7.3 (0.1)|
|Hollywood Studios||7.7||6.5 (-1.2)|
|Animal Kingdom||7.8||7.3 (-0.5)|
The calendar performed well, especially at Magic Kingdom and Epcot. Crowds were down at Hollywood Studios, which is a strange statement given the early morning craziness that plagues that park daily. Recall that the Crowd Calendar is a refection of the average wait times at key attractions between 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., not the park attendance. The virtual queue system for Rise of the Resistance is bringing in guests so early that by the time we get to the core hours of the day the wait times have dipped relative to historical averages for the same day. This means that if you do not intend on arriving early and attempting a boarding group for the new ride you should be able to tour efficiently in the afternoon without long waits.
Disney Hollywood Studios
We are tracking the virtual queue system at Rise of the Resistance daily to see how park operations might alter the process. So far, it seems pretty consistent day to day. The process to obtain (and use) a boarding group reservation is the same as it was when the ride opened in December. It seems like issues using the Disney app have waned, or possibly guests are better at using it. Speaking personally, I was able to get a boarding group for me and 5 of my family members in early January. Everything worked and the ride was great! The early start time for the park is still drawing guests in much earlier than previous years.
Animal Kingdom crowd levels are trending lower as well, although to a lesser degree than The Studios. On New Year’s Eve we saw Animal Kingdom hit a crowd level ‘6’, one level lower than predicted. This is despite the fact that the park opened until midnight and held special New Year’s Eve celebrations. Guests still preferred to visit one of the other three parks – where crowd levels all hit a ’10’. Perhaps the draw of Flight of Passage is finally subsiding now that Galaxy’s Edge is in full swing. It will be interesting to track wait times at Animal Kingdom throughout 2020 to see how it does now that there is a newer land on property.
All eyes are on Disneyland Park as Rise of the Resistance debuted yesterday at the west coast version of Galaxy’s Edge. Early reports show that the ride has had a bumpy start with some temporary shutdowns. Follow our blog for updates. We expect the impact of the ride to be similar to what we observed at Disney Hollywood Studios. Crowds will build early but during the core hours of the day we will see no major impact on wait times at the rest of the park.
Got questions for the stats team? Let us know in the comments.