Other than Sunday at Animal Kingdom our predictions this week proved to be accurate. We correctly predicted the upshoot in wait times arriving Friday and Saturday. Crowds are greatly affected by weather this time of year either with warm temperatures bringing out local guests to the parks or with winter storms delaying the arrival of guests that fly in from feeder cities in the north, east, and central U.S. We’ll see what effect if any, the recent weather may have on vacationers traveling during the week of Presidents’ Day.
For now, let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up day-to-day last week.
|February 9, 2014 to February 15, 2014|
Sunday’s wait times at Animal Kingdom’s Dinosaur and Kilimanjaro Safaris were so high that they skewed the resort-wide crowd level to a ‘6’. In reality, the rest of the resort was much closer to the level ‘3’ we predicted. It is not clear why these two attractions hit their maximum average wait time (36 minutes at DINOSAUR, 64 minutes at Kilimanjaro Safaris) while all other attractions stayed near the middle of the scale, most notably Expedition Everest with an average posted time of 44 minutes.
Under-predictions at Animal Kingdom continued on Monday with attraction wait times exceeding our predictions by two to five levels. Again, our predictions for Expedition Everest were accurate but Dinosaur far exceeded what we expected. Resort-wide wait times were about average, at a level ‘4’, one level higher than our prediction of ‘3’. Other than Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom was the only park to reach as high as a ‘5’ on Monday.
All predictions on Tuesday proved accurate within one index level. Resort-wide we saw the lowest crowds of the week at a level ‘2’. The Studios had the lowest crowd as predicted with all attractions averaging their lowest posted times of the year. Toy Story Mania averaged a posted time of 49 minutes and Expedition Everest averaged only 11 minutes.
Predictions hit the mark again on Wednesday although two parks, Magic Kingdom and The Studios ended up over-predicted by two. A great day to visit any park, none reached a level above ‘3’. The largest crowd was at Animal Kingdom which hosted Extra Magic Hour morning and reached a level ‘3’.
Thursday’s crowds stayed at ‘5’ or below as predicted, continuing the lull before the Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Day crowds arrive. Magic Kingdom’s Extra Magic Hour morning brought in a crowd level ‘5’ as expected with Space Mountain averaging a 43-minute posted time. The Studios had the lowest crowds, a level ‘3’, with Star Tours averaging a posted time of 15 minutes and The Great Movie Ride averaging 14 minutes. Thursday was the last day of below average crowds before the weekend.
Valentine’s Day brought a level ‘8’ at Magic Kingdom, two higher than the ‘6’ we predicted. Surprisingly, it was Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion that had the highest relative wait times at 37 and 39 minutes respectively. Every year crowds on February 14th are less related to the celebration of Valentine’s Day than to its proximity to Presidents’ Day. When these two holidays coincide with Mardi Gras as well, expect crowds a lot higher the the resort-wide ‘6’ this year.
Six was the number on Saturday as well, as predicted. Only Animal Kingdom was more crowded than a ‘6’ but it reached only one level higher, a ‘7’. At every other park and resort-wide, ‘6’ was the number. Accurately predicting a level ‘6’ at Magic Kingdom on Saturday was impressive given that the park had extended hours from 8:00am to 1:00am, a schedule normally reserved for the busiest of days.
|February 16 to 22, 2014|
Mid-February marks an important transition in the Walt Disney World Crowd Calendar. Presidents’ Week crowds start to fade by Friday, but the resort then hosts the Princess Half Marathon. This then leads into Mardi Gras and eventually the busy Spring Break season.
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.