Crowd Blog

Walt Disney World Crowd Report – March 2 to March 8, 2014

by on March 10, 2014

Last week we saw higher crowds earlier in the week and lower crowds later, including a storm-filled Thursday that kept many guests from venturing to the parks. Our predictions stayed within expected error ranges all week. We are preparing for an update to the calendar in reaction to some park hour changes, Fastpass + and some improvements in our statistical models. Watch for the update early in the week. To be notified if the calendar changes for your dates of your travel use the Crowd Tracker.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up day-to-day last week.

The Crowd Report for March 2-8, 2014

The Walt Disney World Crowd Report
March 2, 2014 to March 8, 2014

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Crowds came in slightly higher than expected at Epcot (a ’6′, predicted ’5′), The Studios (a ’6′, predicted ’5′) and Animal Kingdom (an ’8′, predicted ’6′). Our prediction of a level ’7′ at Magic Kingdom was correct with most attractions hitting our targets within 3 to 10 minutes. For example, Peter Pan’s Flight’s average posted time was 62 minutes, we predicted 63. Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin had an average posted time of 34 minutes, we predicted 38.

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Walt Disney World Crowd Report – February 23 to March 1, 2014

by on March 3, 2014

Our resort-wide predictions were too low last week although when we missed it tended to be only at one park. We were within one or two index points for 25 of our 28 park level predictions last week and for the other three we missed twice by three index points and once by four. Our resort wide chart below clearly shows however that wait times were higher than expected. When we look at attraction level wait times we see something interesting. The majority of the time when we underpredict it is with an attraction that we would consider secondary, not the headliners. For example, we were virtually bang-on at Peter Pan’s Flight and Space Mountain but missed at Jungle Cruise and Pirates of the Caribbean. This may relate to Fastpass+ integration, something that we have discovered before and continue to spend time examining, watch for more blog articles about that.

In the meantime, let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up day-to-day last week.

Walt Disney World Crowd Report Feb 23-Mar 1

The Walt Disney World Crowd Report
February 23, 2014 to March 1, 2014

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sunday’s resort-wide crowd level ’3′ was the only resort-wide prediction that was spot on for the week. All parks had below average crowds including Magic Kingdom which peaked at a level ’4′. Epcot and Animal Kingdom were one level lower at ’3′ while The Studios came in as the lowest crowd level at ’2′.

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Walt Disney World Crowd Report – February 16 to 22, 2014

by on February 25, 2014

Presidents’ Week began with near peak crowds on Sunday and then slowly tapered off the rest of the week, exactly as predicted by the crowd calendar. Our park-level predictions performed well with the majority hitting the mark or missing by only one or two levels.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up day-to-day last week.

The Crowd Report, February 16-22, 2014

The Walt Disney World Crowd Report
February 16, 2014 to February 22, 2014

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sunday’s crowds brought the peak wait times of Presidents’ Week, as predicted. All parks had a crowd level ’9′ except for Magic Kingdom which came in at a level ’8′. At the Animal Kingdom three attractions, Dinosaur, Kilimanjaro Safaris and Primeval Whirl reached a ’10′ on their respective attraction-level scales thanks to respective average posted times of 40, 64 and 30 minutes.

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How FastPass+ Is Affecting Your Wait In Line At Disney World

by on February 19, 2014

FastPass+ is having a minimal effect – so far – on lines at Walt Disney World. That’s according to our initial analysis of 330,000 standby wait times collected at Walt Disney World since FastPass+ went into effect in January. We compared those to 3.9 million standby wait times collected across Walt Disney World since 2009.

This is good news to families concerned that they’ll wait in line longer because of FastPass+’s various restrictions, and even better news to those who hoped standby lines would be shorter because of better guest distribution throughout the parks.

The results indicate FastPass+ is not causing significant changes to standby wait times:

  • Wait times are increasing less than 1 minute, on average, across all attractions at all parks
  • Super-headliner attractions have seen a small drop (under 1 minute) in standby waits

This indicates FastPass+’s impact on wait times is at the low end of Disney’s original estimates. Here’s the breakdown by park and ride type:

FastPass+ Impact on Standby Wait Times

And Now, The Math

The challenge in doing this analysis is in attributing an increase or decrease that you observe, to a particular change in circumstances. If standby times go up, can we be sure that the increase is due to the new system? In reality, it may just be due to a general increase in attendance. So we must work some statistical magic to find the partial dependence of the new FastPass+ system as it relates to standby waits. That is, holding all other factors constant, we want to find the level of increase or decrease on the standby waits due only to FastPass+.

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Walt Disney World Crowd Report – February 9 to 15, 2014

by on February 17, 2014

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.

The Crowd Report

The Crowd Report

The Walt Disney World Crowd Report
February 9, 2014 to February 15, 2014

Sunday, February 9, 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.

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Walt Disney World Crowd Report – February 2 to 8, 2014

by on February 10, 2014

In general, our predictions came in too low this past week, with warm weather bringing out some larger than expected crowds. Resort-wide levels never did peak above average, though, so it was a still a great week to visit the parks. Some park levels surprised us this week, especially at Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios, and more specifically at attractions other than the super headliners. This may be a symptom of FastPass+ integration throughout the resort since guests can not repeat super headliners as easily in a given day. Regardless, our attraction estimates performed well, meaning that those of you who used our touring plan optimizer experienced near optimal conditions if you followed the plan.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up day-to-day.

The Crowd Report

The Crowd Report

The Walt Disney World Crowd Report
February 2, 2014 to February 8, 2014

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Super Bowl Sunday brought some higher than expected crowds to Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom. Magic Kingdom reached a level ’7′ on our scale, and Animal Kingdom an ’8′, much higher than the ’4′ and ’3′ we predicted, respectively. Surprisingly, though, our attraction predictions were fairly accurate in most cases. We may have to look closely at some specific attractions to see if FastPass+ is causing a distinct impact. For example, on Sunday Space Mountain reached an average posted time of 43 minutes while Pirates of the Caribbean averaged 31 minutes. Normally these two attractions would have a much larger difference than that.

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Walt Disney World Crowd Report – January 26 to February 1, 2014

by on February 3, 2014

Our predictions performed very well this week with no predictions missing by more than 2 index points. Crowds were very light with the resort-wide numbers staying below average all week as predicted until Saturday when we saw a level ’5′.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up day-to-day.

The Crowd Report

The Crowd Report

The Walt Disney World Crowd Report
January 26, 2014 to February 1, 2014

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Magic Kingdom had the highest crowd level of the four parks on Sunday although it stayed at a level ’5′ on our scale. Pirates of the Caribbean was the only surprise at the flagship park with a 24-minute average posted time, 5 minutes higher than expected. Big Thunder was less crowded than expected with only a 35-minute average. Epcot and The Studios came in as the least crowded parks at a level ’3′ while Animal Kingdom was in the middle with a level ’4′.

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Walt Disney World Crowd Report – January 19 to January 25, 2014

by on January 27, 2014

Our expectation that Martin Luther King Jr. holiday crowds would flatten out by Wednesday turned out to be correct last week. The parks stayed at or below average most of the week after the holiday with only a few exceptions. Predictions were accurate within our expectations although Tower of Terror at The Studios showed possible signs of operational issues. We have seen that during periods of low attendance Tower of Terror might shut down one elevator shaft thereby inflating the posted wait times.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up day-to-day.

Crowd Levels: January 19-25, 2014

The Walt Disney World Crowd Report
January 19, 2014 to January 25, 2014

Sunday, January 19, 2014

As predicted, crowds on Sunday represented the peak of the Holiday weekend with a resort-wide level ’8′ on our scale. Magic Kingdom was the only park that didn’t reach a level ’8′ even though it hosted Extra Magic Hour Evening. It was a ’7′ thanks to slightly lower than expected waits at most attractions. Even The Studios hit a level ’8′ despite our prediction of ’5′ although Star Tours and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster both had wait times higher than expected.

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Walt Disney World Crowd Report – January 12 to January 18, 2014

by on January 20, 2014

It is not hard to see from our Crowd Level chart how Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the first holiday of the calendar year, brings a bump in crowd levels. Wait times stayed below average each day until Friday and Saturday, when they spiked to a ’5′ and ’7′ on our scale, respectively.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up day-to-day.

The Crowd Report

The Crowd Report

The Walt Disney World Crowd Report
January 12, 2014 to January 18, 2014

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The beginning of the week brought a continuation of the low to moderate crowds of the previous week. The Resort-wide level was a ’3′, one less than the ’4′ we predicted. No park had wait times above a ’4′ although we did predict ’5′s at Magic Kingdom and Epcot. The Studios had the lowest crowd level as predicted. Toy Story Mania hit an average of 61 minutes, three less than the 64 minutes we estimated. This is about as slow as it gets at Walt Disney World’s most popular attraction.

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Walt Disney World Crowd Report – January 5 to 11, 2014

by on January 13, 2014

Extreme wait times from the Christmas Holiday have subsided at Walt Disney World, and guests who chose to extend their vacations into the second week of January experienced some below average waits. The remnants of holiday crowds remained through Sunday and Monday, but once Tuesday arrived, crowds stayed at or below average. Predictions did well again this week, with the exception of some overestimates at Epcot. Epcot’s wait times came in distinctly lower than history would suggest for early January.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up day-to-day.

The Crowd Report

The Crowd Report

The Walt Disney World Crowd Report
January 5, 2014 to January 11, 2014

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Seven was the lucky number on our scale Sunday. All crowd levels came in at a level ’7′ with the exception of Epcot which only reached ’5′. All of Epcot’s attractions had average wait times below a level ’8′. Average posted times were 70 minutes at Soarin’, 74 at Test Track, 24 at Mission: Space (Orange) and 15 minutes at Spaceship Earth. We correctly predicted the ’7′s for Magic Kingdom, The Studios and the resort-wide number. We predicted one level lower at Animal Kingdom and overshot by three at Epcot. Sunday saw the conclusion of this year’s rendition of The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at The Studios.

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