What Do The Crowd Levels Actually Feel Like?

One question we get asked a lot: what do the Crowd Levels on our Crowd Calendar actually “feel like?” On a Magic Kingdom Per-Park Crowd Level ‘5’ day, how long will the waits actually be? What about on a ‘3’ day, or an ‘8’ day?

We now list the “average peak wait times” for each Per-Park Crowd Level by attraction:

If you look at the MK Crowd Level Wait Times page, scroll down to Space Mountain, you’ll see that on a ‘5’ day, Space usually peaks at about a 55-minute wait. On a ‘1’ day, it peaks around 29 minutes, and on a ’10’ day, Space on average has about a 77-minute wait at its longest. We also list the lowest and highest wait times we’ve seen, ever, for each attraction on these pages.

These Crowd Level to Wait Times are also now listed on each attraction page (see Expedition Everest or Big Thunder Mountain Railroad).

Analysis

When the numbers are broken down this way, one thing that pops out is that even when the parks are least busy (‘1’ or ‘2’ days), you’ll still see significant peak wait times for some of the most popular attractions: Toy Story Mania! will be ~80 minutes at its longest, Soarin’ will be ~60 minutes, Test Track ~55, Peter Pan’s Flight will be ~40. While these attractions remain extremely popular, this also may show that Disney is doing an increasingly good job at keeping the parks busy year-round.

You’ll also notice that certain attractions have little difference between a ‘1’ day and a ’10’ day in terms of wait times. Peter Pan’s Flight goes from a 40 minute average peak wait time on a ‘1’ day to 61 minutes on a ’10’ day (and we’ve only seen Peter Pan’s peak at 75 minutes). Other attractions have much greater spread, such as Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster: 15 minutes on ‘1’ days, 39 minutes on ‘5’ days, 70 minutes on ’10’ days — and we’ve seen Rock ‘n’ Roller peak at 108 minutes. The spread has to do with fixed vs. variable capacity on these attractions. During the peak times, Rock ‘n’ Roller will operate more trains than it would in light crowds, whereas Peter Pan has a fixed Number of Voyages To Neverland Per Hour (NVTNPH) year-round.

Notes

-These are peak wait times — that is, the highest wait time for a given day you’d expect to see.
-These are averages by Per-Park Crowd Level, not the overall Resort Crowd Level.
-These are just averages — check the minimum/maximum wait times chart to see what the “worst case” and “best case” numbers could actually be.

Henry Work

Henry is the developer at TouringPlans.com, joining to work on the website and build Lines, among other things! Before joining the Unofficial Guide team, Henry was the lead developer at TechCrunch, one of the world's leading technology blogs. Though he would live at Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort if he could, he's become a huge Disneyland fan since moving to the bay area. You find Henry on the TouringPlans Twitter account or contact him at henry@touringplans.com.

8 thoughts on “What Do The Crowd Levels Actually Feel Like?

  • November 29, 2010 at 4:21 pm
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    I love the maximum maximum wait time: Soarin at 191 minutes! Might as well read “to infinity and beyond!”

    • November 29, 2010 at 6:30 pm
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      Indeed! It’s pretty amazing to think of the patience of the guests who got in line when the wait was 180 minutes.

  • November 29, 2010 at 7:31 pm
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    This is a great addition! Really helps me understand the crowd calendar even better. Can’t wait to apply them to a future trip … hopefully in low crowds in late August 2011. Thanks for continuing to respond to users/customers’ queries!

    • November 30, 2010 at 1:00 am
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      Cool — thanks Julie! Lots of improvement yet to come.

  • November 30, 2010 at 12:31 am
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    Not to be repetitious but….you guys are AMAZING!!!

  • December 1, 2010 at 9:23 am
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    I think this will clear up a lot of confusion. I think when people saw a crowd level of 1 they would think they could just walk on to everything with no wait at all and they were confused. Keep up the good work!

  • January 24, 2011 at 11:36 am
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    I was suggested this web site by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my trouble. You’re amazing! Thanks!

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