The Disney World Crowd Calendar will be updated Tuesday evening to reflect the expected impact of Hurricane Irma. In early October 2016, Disney World Parks closed as Hurricane Mathew passed over Florida, and we saw a bump in crowd levels for about two weeks after the parks reopened. We expect a similar impact this year as guests return to Disney World after Hurricane Irma.

Early September is the least busy time of the year at Disney World, so even if every guest decided to delay their trip by a week, the impact would not be as significant as a storm that occurred in mid-October. However, Irma had a widespread and sweeping effect on Florida and surrounding states on a scale not seen before.

In addition, we are hearing that Disney Parks and Resorts will announce another round of layoffs sometime before Disney’s fiscal new year turns over on October 1. In 2015 and 2016 these layoffs had a surprisingly direct effect on wait times: they went up by 10 to 15%. We don’t know much about this round of layoffs or whether they will have a similar impact on operations at the attractions.

Bottom Line: Irma and layoffs mean that the Disney World Crowd Calendar index may see a one or two point jump on many days between now and mid-October.




Update: The Crowd Calendar has now been updated (September 13).


  1. I am due to arrive 9/16-9/22. I chose this week due to the low crowds. As of a few minutes ago every single room at WDW was booked for this week so I’m guessing the crowds will NOT be as I hoped and dining will be impacted as well!

    • The hotels being booked may just be from people who evacuated and need a place to stay. There’s tons of people without power in Florida. Disney hotels have power and air conditioning. Being the week after Irma, it is probably safe to say not all the people in these rooms will be going to parks.

  2. I clarified with an actual person at WDW as this info was given to me by someone on a chat- it is only for the weekend every room is booked.

    • Also, this is low season for the hotels so many rooms are slated for refurbishment during this time. That decreases room availability and artificially increases the occupancy rate.

  3. i have a trip scheduled for week after thanksgiving and i noticed the crowd levels increased on the new calendar. are you expecting those levels to increase more between now and then? i thought that was usually a great week to visit WDW because of low crowds?

      • Fred,

        I’m with Jon. We’re scheduled to be down Nov. 26th and now every Disney property hotel is booked solid that week. There’s several hotels that have vacancies during Christmas week and we know how busy that time frame is. I’m thinking about bailing on our week, but I’m going to stick by your guys data.

      • I agree w/ Lance & Jon. We have a trip booked for the week of 12/10. Every week from thanksgiving week through the end of the week we are scheduled to be there has little resort & dining reservation availability, but the week of the 17th & the week of Christmas have quite a bit of resort reservations & dining reservations availability. I’m scratching my head over this.

  4. We are expected to go to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party the night of 10/20 and the crowd levels have jumped from 5 to 7! We are planning on only going to the party so will the party crowds change as well? I figured it would be busy being a Friday and so close to Halloween but I hope it isn’t unbearable!

    • The crowd levels are for the estimated wait times between 11am and 5pm. The evening parties are ticketed events and typical have medium to large crowds each night. Watch out for long lines at character greetings but otherwise you should be fine.

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