Crowds were larger last week than we expected although we did predict high crowds most days. The Animal Kingdom hit a crowd level ’10′ while other parks hit a level ’9′ on some days. Some bad weather likely affected wait times later in the week.
Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up day-to-day last week.
|March 23, 2014 to March 29, 2014|
Sunday was the first of five days last week where wait times exceeded what we expected. Hollywood Studios was a level ’6′ on our scale as predicted but the other three parks were underestimated by one level (Magic Kingdom), two levels (Animal Kingdom) and three levels (Epcot) respectively. Epcot’s level ’8′ was particularly surprising with a 24-minute average posted wait at Spaceship Earth.
On Monday, it was The Studios that surprised us thanks to higher than expected average wait times at Toy Story Mania (108 minutes), Tower of Terror (84 minutes) and Great Movie Ride (30 minutes). We predicted ’6′, The Studios ended up at a level ’9′. Our predictions did well at the other parks, each missing by only one index level, including a predicted resort-wide level ’7′ that ended up one level too low.
Tuesday ended up as the most crowded day of the week which is a rare statement for Walt Disney World. No park had a crowd level lower than ’8′ and the Animal Kingdom reached level ’10′ (we predicted ’8′). Magic Kingdom was an ’8′ as predicted and The Studios also hit a level ’8′, one above our prediction of ’7′. Epcot ended up a level ’9′, two levels higher than the ’7′ we predicted.
Our resort-wide prediction of a level ’8′ was one level too low on Wednesday thanks to higher than expected wait times at Epcot (was an ’8′, predicted ’6′) and The Studios (was a ’9′, predicted ’7′). Animal Kingdom remained very crowded as well with a crowd level ’9′. Our prediction of a level ’8′ at Magic Kingdom was very close to what we observed. Only Big Thunder Mountain (72 minutes) and Haunted Mansion (50 minutes) had wait times significantly higher than we predicted.
Thursday’s crowds were the most surprising of the week with the resort-wide crowd level two levels higher than the ’7′ we predicted. That happens only 15% of the time since we launched our new crowd calendar. Thursdays predictions at Magic Kingdom (8) and Animal Kingdom (9) were accurate within our normal range but both Epcot and The Studios surprised us with crowd levels three levels higher than the ’6′s we predicted. At Epcot it was Soarin’ (107 minutes, predicted 77) and Mission: Space (36 minutes, predicted 19) while at The Studios it was Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster (102 minutes, predicted 57) and Toy Story Mania (103 minutes, predicted 83) that caused the increases.
Predictions did well on Friday. Although Epcot had a higher crowd level than expected, our resort-wide prediction of a level ’7′ was accurate. We predicted The Studios at a ’5′ and Animal Kingdom ’7′ but observed the reverse. Some bad weather likely influenced the wait times at many attractions on Thursday and Friday.
Resort-wide crowd levels dipped below our predictions for the first time of the week on Saturday, thanks to a crowd level ’5′ at the Magic Kingdom. All other parks were within one of our predictions. In fact, The Studios which hosted Extra Magic Hour morning had a crowd level ’6′ as predicted.
|March 30 to April 6, 2014|
We expect that last week’s crowds may end up being the peak of Spring Break. We expect very crowded parks between now and Easter but likely not to the extent that we saw last week. This is why we feel touring plans are most important this time of year because crowds tend to surprise us more often than most other times of the year. Mix that in with unpredictable weather and planning becomes difficult. A touring plan will protect you against any crowd and if you use Lines to optimize your plan while in the park, you can rest assured you are doing the most to beat the crowds!
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.