In the ParksWalt Disney World (FL)

PHOTOS: Columbus Day Weekend Crowds Are Starting To Arrive – And Wait Times Are Increasing

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We’re about to enter another holiday weekend and it’s already starting to show at Walt Disney World. Our team visited EPCOT and Disney’s Animal Kingdom yesterday and saw a visible increase in attendance. What we’re seeing so far mirrors the crowd levels we have in this weekend’s Crowd Calendar.

We’ve only encountered one other holiday weekend since Walt Disney World reopened. That weekend was Labor Day and at the time it was the busiest weekend we had seen since reopening. Since that time we have seen capacity and attendance increase at the parks. Tomorrow we are expecting a crowd level of 5 at Magic Kingdom and crowd level of 6 at EPCOT. This is shaping up to be the busiest weekend we’ve seen since the reopening.

Animal Kingdom Crowds Columbus Day Weekend
Animal Kingdom Crowds Columbus Day Weekend – Flight of Passage Extended Queue

Over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom the increased holiday weekend attendance increase coupled with physical distancing showed longer extended queues than we typically see. During midday the queue for Flight of Passage extended down the main walkway of Pandora. The average actual wait time for Flight of Passage yesterday was around 57 minutes. We are expecting attendance to pick up more over Saturday and Sunday of this weekend.

Animal Kingdom Expected Wait Times in Lines App 4pm 10-08-20

Over at EPCOT yesterday we noticed an uptick in attendance there too. This is not surprising, again since we are headed into a holiday weekend. Wait times were not significantly higher than other recent weekdays, but still enough of an uptick to be noticeable. Our teams are in the parks daily so we can tell when things are picking up, even just a little. Frozen Ever After’s average actual wait time yesterday was about 61 minutes.

EPCOT Expected Wait Times in Lines App 4pm 10-08-20
Frozen Ever After Expected Wait Time in Lines App 1pm 10-08-20

One of the really unique things about our Lines App is that it shows Expected Wait Times, using real-time data. These Expected Wait Times are more accurate than Disney’s Posted Wait Times, making it possible for you to better plan your day, and maximize your time. This tool is important and helpful no matter when you visit, especially with there being limited attractions and entertainment in the parks right now.

EPCOT Attendance Columbus Day Weekend
EPCOT Attendance Columbus Day Weekend

We are seeing that theater-style attractions like Mickey’s PhilharMagic at Magic Kingdom and MuppetVision 3-D at Hollywood Studios are having their highest wait times of the year. If a theater attraction is on your must-do list you may want to visit it earlier in the morning. Due to capacity restrictions we are seeing wait times lengthen throughout the day. Use our Lines App to see which attractions are best to do right away and which ones you should wait until later in the day–even just an hour later can make a difference.

EPCOT Attendance Columbus Day Weekend

Social distancing and mask compliance continue to go well. However, if you do visit on a busy holiday weekend such as this one it does take some extra diligence to maintain distancing. Take breaks, get lunch shortly after 11:00 a.m. or wait until 2:00 p.m. or later. Regardless of when you eat, use mobile ordering. Sign up to become a TouringPlans Subscriber so you have all the know-how at your fingertips.

Have you ever visited Walt Disney World on a busy holiday weekend?


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Born and raised in the land of sunshine and dreams come true, Dani is a proud Orlando Native who loves sharing her hometown with others. She's worked in nearly all of Orlando's theme parks, on board Disney Cruise Line, and in hotel management. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @thisfloridalife

One thought on “PHOTOS: Columbus Day Weekend Crowds Are Starting To Arrive – And Wait Times Are Increasing

  • Why doesn’t the current Lines app project what time of day wait times are expected to drop (or increase) like the old one did? I found it a very helpful feature in which to plan my strategy.

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