Crowd Blog

Disney World Crowd Calendar 2016 Review & 2017 Preview

by on December 31, 2016

Another New Year is arriving and while the champagne is chilling let’s take our annual look at the crowds in 2016 and what to expect in 2017. Here is last year’s post. 2016 was a year with highly variable crowds at Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios while Magic Kingdom and Epcot remained predictable. Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom saw the most significant changes take place in 2016. The Studios saw many of its attractions affected by the construction of Star Wars Land and Toy Story Land while its most popular attraction, Toy Story Midway Mania increased its capacity per hour by 50%. Animal Kingdom saw major construction as well for Pandora and the park saw closing hours after sunset for the first time in the parks history.

Walt Disney World Crowds Since 2011

In 2016, for only the second time since 2005, Christmas fell on a Sunday. This led us to suggest that Christmas crowds in 2016 might be the lowest in recent memory since school boards spread their scheduled holidays over more weeks than usual. That seems to be coming true as we have yet to see any park reach capacity during this year’s holiday rush. It is very likely that Magic Kingdom will end that streak on New Year’s Eve but in most years we see many park closings due to capacity before December 31st.

Thanksgiving crowds in 2016 were similar to what we see most years and the rest of the fall continued the pattern of larger crowds than what we have seen before 2015. Summer was busy but had pockets of lower than usual crowds. May ended up being a good time to visit, partially due to the lack of Star Wars Weekends at Disney Hollywood Studios. The period between mid-March and Easter week saw some of the largest crowds we have ever seen during that period. Presidents Week was busy as usual and January was similar to what we saw in 2015.

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Universal Crowd Calendar Update

by on November 15, 2016

After a three month examination of crowds at Universal Orlando Resort an update to the Universal Crowd Calendar has been posted. Over the past twelve months wait times at Universal Studios have skewed slightly higher than history would suggest and wait times at Islands of Adventure have skewed lower. These new calendar figures adjust for this ongoing trend.

If the crowd levels have changed for your travel dates, don’t panic. A touring plan is still, by far, your best defence against a crowded Universal park. Follow it and you won’t notice a difference between a crowd level ‘5’ and a crowd level ‘8’. If you want to be notified when a crowd level has changed, check out the Crowd Tracker. For a description of how we come up with the numbers, see our Crowd Levels page.

Here is a quick look at how this new update affects the crowd level predictions over the past twelve months.

November 2016

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Walt Disney World Crowd Calendar Report – October 30 to November 5, 2016

by on November 12, 2016

How Crowded Was Disney World Last Week?

How Crowded Was Disney World Last Week?

Crowds at Walt Disney World were down last week, especially during the middle part of the week. Magic Kingdom led the way with the busiest crowd level most days while Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom had some of the lowest crowd levels we have seen this fall.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week on the Touringplans Walt Disney World Crowd Calendar Report:

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Disneyland Crowd Calendar Report – October 30 to November 5, 2016

by on November 12, 2016

How crowded was Disneyland Resort last week?

How crowded was Disneyland Resort last week?

Wait times were up at Disneyland Resort last week, especially during the middle part of the week. Disneyland Park was mostly responsible for the spike with crowd levels two to three points higher than Disney California Adventure most days. Other than on the weekend, Disney California Adventure saw crowd levels no higher than a ‘3’ on our scale.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week on the TouringPlans.com Disneyland Crowd Calendar Report:

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Universal Crowd Calendar Report – October 30 to November 5, 2016

by on November 12, 2016

Universal Crowd Calendar Report for October 30 - November 5, 2016

Universal Crowd Calendar Report for October 30 through November 5, 2016

Last week, Universal Orlando crowds were down, in the lowest third of our crowd scale most days. Universal Studios park saw crowd levels much closer to what the Universal Crowd Calendar predicted than at Islands of Adventure where crowds stayed one to two points lower.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week on the TouringPlans.com Universal Crowd Calendar Report:

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Disneyland Crowd Calendar Update

by on October 25, 2016

The new crowd calendar distribution shifts days towards the middle of our scale

The new crowd calendar distribution shifts days towards the middle of our scale

Wait times are up at Disneyland Resort in California, and it is time to calibrate and update the Disneyland Crowd Calendar. Over the past twelve months the average crowd level at Disneyland was between 6.5 and 7.5 on our scale. We would like that average to be between ‘5’ and ‘6’. In addition, the crowd calendar needs to periodically adjust to the changing forecasts for wait times at the attractions. The forecasts use hundreds of factors to determine what the wait time is likely to be at any given date and time and since many of those factors change periodically, so must the Crowd Calendar. School calendars, events, park hours, annual passholder blockouts, single-day ticket prices, holiday schedules and attraction refurbishments are some of the many factors that influence wait times.

Today the latest Disneyland Crowd Calendar numbers appear on the Crowd Calendar page. The new figures represent a three month long examination of what affects wait times at each of Disneyland Resort’s attractions. The result will be a shift in the overall distribution of crowd levels on our scale. This means that a change in crowd level for a particular day doesn’t necessarily mean that the day will have different wait times that what we predicted before, although it can mean that too. Think of it like fixing a dollar amount based on the value of a dollar in a given year. You may have read articles that use “based on 2012 dollars”, to compare prices over time, for example. Well, the Disneyland Crowd Calendar is now using 2016 wait times as a fixed reference point.

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Disney World Crowd Calendar Report – September 2016

by on October 6, 2016

How Crowded Was Disney World September 4-10, 2016?

How Crowded Was Disney World September 4-10, 2016?

Historically, September is the least crowded month at Disney World as families settle back into a new school year. As we saw in 2015, the crowds in early September are determined largely by where the Labor Day weekend falls. This year, the holiday Monday fell on September 5 and crowds matched what the Disney World Crowd Calendar predicted. As it turned out, the resort-wide predictions matched what we saw nearly every day during the first week of the month.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day between September 4 and 10, 2016:

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Disney World Crowd Calendar Report – August 2016

by on October 5, 2016

[Disney World Crowd Calendar Reports are back after a lengthy hiatus to fix an issue with some of our crowd calendar calculations. Here is a report for the month of August with a report for September coming soon.]

How Crowded Was Disney World August 7 - 13, 2016?

How Crowded Was Disney World August 7 – 13, 2016?

Crowds at Walt Disney World in early August lagged behind what we saw during the same period last year, especially in the second half of the week. Animal Kingdom was the most unpredictable park of the week with low wait times dragging the resort wide crowd level down a few points most days. Crowd levels at the other three parks were close to predicted levels almost every day.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day between August 7 and August 13, 2016:

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Crowd Calendar Reports Returning Soon

by on September 20, 2016

Our crowd blog reports have been on hiatus recently while we investigated a bug with how we report the crowd levels that we observe. The issue affected days dating back to August 3, 2016. We have a fix in place and we are doing a final review before we publish the new observed crowd levels. Once we do that we can return to weekly reports.

In the meantime we can report that wait times have been lower than historical averages throughout most of August and September. Compared to wait times in September 2015, this September has been much less busy. The crowd reports will likely show a lot of crowd level ‘1’s and ‘2’s these past few weeks when we saw mostly ‘3’s, ‘4’s and higher for much of Fall 2015.

Also look for retroactive reports on what we saw through August.

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Disney World Crowd Calendar Report – July 31 to Aug 6, 2016

by on August 22, 2016

Walt Disney World Crowd Calendar Report

How Crowded Was Disney World Last Week?

This year, crowds at Walt Disney World for the first week of August lagged behind historical averages mostly due to inclement weather. Sunday through Tuesday saw crowds a couple points lower than expected while Wednesday through Sunday saw some of the shortest lines we have seen in 2016. Crowds last year varied between a level ‘7’ and ‘9’ and the Disney World Crowd Calendar predicted slightly higher crowd levels this year.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week on the Touringplans.com Disney World Crowd Calendar Report:

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