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You don’t need to be a master statistician to predict that Disney theme parks will be crowded during the Christmas holidays. Every year, the period between December 24th and January 1st is the most crowded time of the year. It can be a great time of year to be at the theme parks though. The decorations. The extended hours. The holiday spirit of the cast members. Some of the theatre attractions actually seem more enjoyable when they perform to a full house.
But unfortunately, wait times are at super-high levels like no other time of year. Many readers ask us if Christmas should really be en eleven on the Crowd Calendar. In fact, it should be a fifteen!
But just how crowded is it, really?
Here it is by the numbers.
- On the slowest day of the year the Average Peak Wait time is 23 minutes.
- On most days of the year the Average Peak Wait time ranges from 26 to 32 minutes.
- On the busiest day of the year (other than during Christmas break) the Average Peak Wait time is 43 minutes.
- During Christmas break the Average Peak Wait time is 45 minutes!
That means the average peak wait time during Christmas break is 2 minutes higher than the most crowded day during the rest of the year. So there’s crowded and then there’s Christmas-crowded.
This year’s crowds leading up to Christmas day were a little heavier than expected. Then, we were shocked to see that crowds at the Animal Kingdom on December 26 were high but not super-high. We recommended the Animal Kingdom as a “Best Park” but the wait times were even lower than expected. In fact, they were low enough to make the overall resort crowd level a 9.
|Date||Predicted Crowd Level||What Really Happened|
|December 26||10||9 (Animal Kingdom wait times were even lower than expected)|