By far, the least crowded season of the year is the period between Labor Day and mid-September. Schools are back in session and most families have completed their summer vacations. Judging by last week’s crowd numbers that September lull may have begun a week early. We saw very low wait times across the resort.
Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week on the TouringPlans.com Disney World Crowd Report:
Walt Disney World Resort Crowd Levels – Daily Breakdown
Crowd levels were all below average as expected on Sunday. Magic Kingdom was the lowest with the other parks not far behind. Haunted Mansion (20 minutes), Jungle Cruise (18) and Winnie the Pooh (22) hit their lowest point on our 1 to 10 scale.
Our predictions of ‘4’ at Magic Kingdom and Epcot and of ‘2’ at Animal Kingdom hit the mark. Only The Studios fell outside normal range with a 22 minute average posted time at Great Movie Ride as well as 72 minutes at Toy Story Mania. Star Tours also hit a healthy 24 minute average.
Tuesday’s crowd at Epcot was the first sign that the Septmeber lull in attendance may have been occurring early this year. Test Track averaged 52 minutes, well below expected although Spaceship Earth hit 16 minutes, exactly as we predicted.
More signs of lower than expected crowds on Wednesday. All parks came in two or more levels lower than history would suggest. Many attractions hit a level ‘1’ on our scale, especially at Magic Kingdom, an occurrence that is normally reserved for the week after Labor Day.
Our predictions of ‘3’ or lower at Magic Kingdom, The Studios and Animal Kingdom were within range but Epcot’s crowd was unbelievably low. Test Track averaged 43 minutes, Spaceship Earth 10, Soarin’ 34 and Living with the Land 2, all the lowest on our scale.
Ones across the board (except for The Studios at ‘2’) are another sign of the Labor Day lull in attendance arriving early this year. No headliner attraction resort-wide went above a level ‘3’ on our scale – and the most common level by far was ‘1’.
Predictions returned to normal performance on Saturday with only one park (Magic Kingdom) missing the mark, slightly. We predicted Soarin’ would average a posted time of 49 minutes and we observed exactly that.
If last week was slow then imagine how quiet this week must be. By far, the number one best time of the year for low crowds is the week after Labor Day. The summer heat is still blazing however so be prepared to take breaks – not from the crowds but from the heat.
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.
There are many reasons why the Disney Parks stand apart from other theme parks around the world, but one of the biggest has to be Disney’s incredible attention to detail. You can see the extra mile in the form of details just about everywhere on Disney property, from attractions to parade costumes to resorts to transportation to even the bathrooms! Personally, I love the details. They are not only appealing to the eye and fun to find, but almost always meaningful to the history of an attraction or to the story the Imagineers are trying to tell. For today’s post, let’s take a look at the hidden details of the Disney World Resorts!
Grand Floridian Wedding Chapel
The Grand Floridian Resort and Spa: Disney’s flagship resort is also home to Disney’s Wedding Pavilion, a fairy tale location with a view of Cinderella Castle! Even if you’re not getting married, you can still walk over to the pavilion area where the chapel and Franck’s Bridal Studio are located. Be sure to look up to notice a special detail: a heart-shaped weather vane of Mickey posing as Cupid!
Animal Kingdom Lodge: Throughout Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Kidani Village you will find African quotes and proverbs on the walls and rock work; however, one of them is different from the rest in that it’s a quote from Walt Disney. You can find it around the Samawati Springs pool area!
The Contemporary: For years, guests have been reporting a small, metal Mickey perched on the edge of a rooftop at the Contemporary Resort. When riding the Express Monorail, keep your eyes open when you approach the entrance to the resort.
Hi, Everyone! Welcome to the Best Week Ever here at Walt Disney World! This week we’re visiting Typhoon Lagoon, taking a look at the fall decorations at Magic Kingdom, and stopping by to check on Frozen at the Disney’s Hollywood Studios. You may notice a little difference in the photo quality this week. I picked up a new camera, the Canon S110. I wanted to get something a little more portable than my big DSLR. I’m still getting the hang of it so forgive me if anything looks “off”. With that out of the way, let’s get started! I thought what better way than how I start every trip to Disney? WIth a quick pass under this magical sign!
Our first stop is Typhoon Lagoon, somewhere I’ve never taken you before! When I visited I had every intention of busting out the GoPro and taking you on some slides, but mother nature had a different plan. Black, ominous storm clouds started to fill the horizon and I knew it was going to be a short trip. I decided to run around and take a few photos and ask you if you’d like to see more. Pictured below is the Crush ‘n’ Gusher. I’ve only done the slides a few times and didn’t love it, but the wading pool out front is very nice.
I’m back again with quite a few great little tidbits that you may want to keep in mind for your next Walt Disney World vacation.
The Harmony Barbershop, located on Main Street, U.S.A., will be closed for almost two months this winter. The popular stop for guests to get their little one’s first haircut (and my hubby likes getting his cut here, too) will be closed from February 5 through March 30, reopening for guests on March 31.
We all know that Epcot will be getting new acts over the next few months in World Showcase. Well, now I’m here to share a few small details about the acts. Sbandieratori Flags is the flag choreography act in Italy; the Canadian Lumberjack Show, which is considered a thrill show, will take place in Canada; B’net Houariyat is a musical/dance act for Morocco; and Scottish Musical Trio will perform Celtic music in the United Kingdom Pavilion.
Edit 9/10/14: Well, it’s the day after this was supposed to have launched and nary a peep from Disney. In fact, the special website that I was previously able to access that included a video of how the game worked has been re-linked to the Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party page. Not sure what caused Disney to pull this game, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to be a part of this year’s Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween parties now.
Edit 9/3/14 4:30 p.m.: Odd…while I have the game app from the Apple Store, which I downloaded onto my iPad a few days ago, I cannot find it anymore in the Apple App Store. Also, more curious is that it seems that the Disney Parks Blog post about this is missing now too. Not sure if a re-launch is going to take place on September 9, the first party the app was slated to be active or if it has been pulled all-together. The experience was noted on the map for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.
The app is called Mayhem at the Mansion. The story behind the app is that The Haunted Mansion’s Hitchhiking Ghosts have escaped and are causing mayhem at the Magic Kingdom during the party. Your goal is to use the “Specter Collector,” found inside the app, to take photos of the ghosts, and return them to The Haunted Mansion. Guests can find the location of the ghosts by aiming the “Specter Collector” at a park map.
Once all three ghosts have been collected and returned, you will be able to unlock exclusive Mayhem rewards.
I recently downloaded it and started playing with it. The app is very simple. There is an introduction video, an link to purchase Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party via Disney’s website, a video explaining how the process of collecting works, and the “Specter Collector” camera. I am not sure if more will be updated once the app officially is unveiled for park use on September 9, but the basics are already there.
A common topic of discussion for Walt Disney World vacation planning is whether to stay on or off-site. Assuming you choose the latter, most look to Orlando area hotels and resorts. This of course gives you good access to Disney World parks and other area attractions, but if you are interested in a more complete Florida vacation, staying in Tampa for your Walt Disney World vacation is a compelling alternative. Because Interstates 75, 275, and 4 form a triangle around the city, most attractions in Central Florida are an hour or less away, and the best beaches in the continental United States are even closer.
Walt Disney World (All Parks)
Travel Time: 75 minutes.
On Friday, September 12, at 7:00 PM La Cava del Tequila (the tequila bar located Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion) will host a party at Rix Lounge at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. Limited to 150 people, each $30 ticket includes a shot of Patrón Single Barrel Reposado, a Patrón margarita, and light appetizers. Guests can RSVP via email to CavadelTequila@me.com
Most often a Walt Disney World vacation itself is the splurge. A break in one’s reality to spend time in a place where everything is as it should be for a fee. Often a significant fee. Despite the built in cost to a Walt Disney World vacation, at times it is nice to enhance your trip by spending a little bit extra. And, while I have sadly come to the realization that I will never be able to utilize Disney’s VIP Tour Services ($315 to $500 per hour—Ouch!), there are a few worthwhile and reasonable splurges that even a lowly blogger like myself can afford. Here are five:
The Beach Club Resort – Copyright Disney
Upgrade Your Hotel – Staying on Walt Disney World property is always part of the fun, regardless of where you choose to lay your head at night. However, for some folks, that’s all the resort hotel is: a place to wearily return for some shut eye before rising early the next morning to race back to the theme parks. Obviously, in that case, it may be sensible to stay in one of the Value Resorts. But if some time at your resort is a large part of your vacation then a resort upgrade is definitely worth the splurge. With each upgrade you will gain a larger room, a better themed pool, and more dining options. You will also start to get away from the cartoonish feeling that some of the Value Resorts provide. Statues of Disney characters are not generally found in the Moderate and Deluxe resorts as they are in the Value Resorts, and the décor will feel more adult, which can be good for an adults only trip, or a trip with older children. Splurging all the way to a Deluxe Resort will also mean a prime location somewhere on Walt Disney World property, which alone can be worth it (think Beach Club during Food and Wine).
It’s finally getting to be that time of year in Minnesota: jacket weather, football games, falling leaves and trips to the Pumpkin Patch. It all leads up to my favorite holiday: Halloween. As if I haven’t mentioned enough already, I will be visiting Disney World this Fall and experiencing my very first Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.To get into the Halloween spirit, I’ve taken inspiration from classic Disney characters and shared a few costume ideas with you fine readers!
Now, if you share the same sentiments as a few of my relatives, you may not jump at the chance to walk around in a hot and itchy costume for several hours. Therefore, my goal is to make the costumes you see here more ‘wearable’ and comfortable!
Let’s Begin with our Favorite Couple – Mickey and Minnie Mouse
Night of Joy, a separately ticketed event that features top contemporary Christian music artists, is scheduled to take place at the Magic Kingdom this Friday and Saturday, September 5 – 6, from 7:30 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.
For those of you attending, the schedule of artists performing has been released. Performers play for about 40-50 minutes per set. Performance times include: