We received a lot of questions about this year’s Easter crowd level predictions, most of them doubting the crowds could be that low on Easter weekend. We stuck by our estimates however knowing that Easter crowds are lighter when it occurs in late April, and it turns out that we were right. In fact, thanks to a storm on Friday the crowds were actually lower that expected heading into the Easter weekend. We correctly predicted that the peak crowds around Easter would occur mid-week, not on the Holiday weekend itself. Easter will not occur late in April again until 2019.
Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week.
|April 13 to April 19, 2014|
Sunday’s crowds were the lowest we would see between Sunday and Friday last week. Magic Kingdom was a ‘7’ as predicted even though it hosted Extra Magic Hour morning, Extra Magic Hour evening (until 3:00am), two daytime parades, two evening parades and Wishes. No other park was more crowded than Magic Kingdom on Sunday with Epcot and Animal Kingdom reaching a level ‘6’ on our scale (predicted ‘8’s at both parks). The Studios was also less crowded than expected with average wait times only reaching a level ‘3’ (we predicted ‘5’).
True Easter-week crowds rolled in on Monday with park level crowds reaching levels ‘9’, ‘8’, ‘7’ and ‘6’ at Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom and The Studios, respectively. Resort-wide we predicted a level ‘9’ but those park levels we observed translate to one level lower, a resort-wide ‘8’. Our predictions were all within two index levels including one level too low at Magic Kingdom, one too high at Epcot and two levels too high at both The Studios and Animal Kingdom.
Again on Tuesday our resort-wide prediction of ‘9’ proved one level too high. Only Epcot reached a crowd level ‘9’ on our scale, as predicted with the other parks coming in one or two levels lower than expected. At Magic Kingdom we saw a crowd level ‘7’ with average wait times such as 54 minutes at Space Mountain (predicted 80) and 66 minutes at Peter Pan’s Flight (predicted 76). The Studios was a ‘7’, only slightly lower than expected with average wait times of 66 minutes at Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster (predicted 81) and 46 minutes at Tower of Terror (predicted 66). Our prediction for Toy Story Mania was pretty close at 104 minutes (we predicted 101).
The number of the day on Wednesday was ‘9’. We predicted a resort-wide ‘9’, a ‘9’ at the Magic Kingdom and a ‘9’ at Epcot. All proved accurate. We predicted a ‘9’ for the Studios and an ‘8’ for Animal Kingdom but the wait times we observed translated to the reverse, an ‘8’ at The Studios and a ‘9’ at Animal Kingdom. Wednesday’s resort-wide wait times were as high as any other day throughout the 2014 Spring Break Season. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad averaged 75 minutes, Spaceship Earth 38 minutes, Great Movie Ride 23 minutes and Primeval Whirl averaged 33 minutes, all within their respective highest ranges.
Crowded parks continued on Thursday including a crowd level ’10’ at Epcot thanks to a 120 minute average wait time at Soarin’ and a 28 minute average at Mission: SPACE (Green). Even Spaceship Earth hit an average wait time of 37 minutes, the highest average wait time that attraction has seen since New Year’s Eve. Conversely, The Studios and Animal Kingdom which we predicted would be a level ‘8’ underwhelmed and came in at a level ‘6’. Toy Story Mania averaged 85 minutes which is about average for the year while Expedition Everest averaged 36 minutes, slightly higher than average.
Friday surprised us with lower crowds than expected. Our attraction models thought that Easter week crowds would continue through Saturday and they may have if not for an afternoon storm on Friday. As a result, wait times were quite low including a paltry 75 minute average wait at Toy Story Mania. Overall, the resort was a level ‘6’ and only Epcot reached a level higher than that, a level ‘7’.
Lower than expected crowds continued on Saturday with a resort-wide ‘5’, two levels lower than predicted. We saw ‘6’s at Magic Kingdom (as predicted), Epcot (predicted ‘8’) and Animal Kingdom (predicted ‘7’). The Studios was three levels lower than predicted coming in at a level ‘3’.
|April 20 to April 26, 2014|
Late April and Early May is a great time to visit Walt Disney World if you are not fond of crowds, especially early May. We don’t expect crowds to rise above average until late May. Watch out for Star Wars Weekends and Memorial Day, otherwise touring is generally relaxed. Note that Magic Kingdom is open for 24 hours on May 23.
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.