Might 2023 has arrived, which suggests the summer season vacationer season is a couple of month away at Walt Disney World. This crowd report shares wait occasions information, which dates ended up being the worst of the season, ideas on what’s prone to occur subsequent with attendance ranges within the subsequent two months, and extra.
We first seemed on the post-spring break attendance tendencies in Sharp Shoulder Season Slowdown at Walt Disney World. Nonetheless, that was solely revealed just a few days after the center of the college break season had ended and earlier than new Annual Cross gross sales resumed.
It was very a lot a preliminary evaluation, with just a few days of information. These days might’ve been a short lull earlier than crowds picked again up or the beginning of shoulder season at Walt Disney World. (Given the title of the publish, it’s best to have the ability to surmise which is the case.) This crowd report principally appears to be like at whether or not that’s the case and what to anticipate going ahead…
As at all times, what’s coated in these “crowd” studies is definitely posted wait time information that’s pulled from My Disney Expertise and compiled into graphs for monitoring and evaluating numerous days, weeks, months, and years. Rather a lot could be gleaned from posted wait occasions, however it’s not essentially conclusive of in-park congestion or crowds. Nonetheless, wait occasions should not the identical as “seems like” crowds or congestion.
Briefly, wait occasions are an imperfect measure of Walt Disney World’s crowds, particularly if you happen to’re evaluating present circumstances to prior years. Walt Disney World attendance has elevated by a number of million folks over the course of the final decade-plus, so the overwhelming majority of days in 2023 shall be extra crowded than their counterparts in 2015 or 2017.
With that out of the way in which, let’s dig into the information and take a look at Walt Disney World wait occasions. As at all times, all graphs and stats are courtesy of Thrill-Knowledge.com:
We’ll begin with the month-to-month numbers for Walt Disney World as an entire.
With a mean wait time of 40 minutes, April ended up being the second-least busy month of 2023 up to now. This displays an ongoing shift of attendance patterns with January and February getting busier (an extended winter break and Mardi Gras/Presidents’ Day coinciding in February didn’t assist).
It additionally underscores simply how a lot attendance plummeted within the final two weeks of the month. As of our final crowd report, which encompassed just a few days post-spring break, the typical wait time for April 2023 was 47 minutes. Via its first half, it was the busiest month ever at Walt Disney World.
The truth that April didn’t find yourself being the busiest month ever (and even within the prime 20) regardless of such a robust first half ought to let you know just about the whole lot you might want to know.
Above is a take a look at weekly wait occasions. The final two weeks have been each 1/10 crowd ranges. April did end with the second-busiest week of the 12 months (Easter), however outdoors of that, each single week was common or (far) under.
Zooming out extra, we come to the resort-wide day by day numbers for Walt Disney World.
This exhibits a drop-off post-Easter, however extra considerably, it exhibits a downright plummet beginning on Saturday. That Sunday two weeks in the past ended up being the slowest day of 2023 (up to now) at Walt Disney World. Most days since have been 1/10 or 2/10 on the gang calendar, with two days that have been 4/10.
At Magic Kingdom, the numbers aren’t fairly as unhealthy. As a substitute of 1/10 being the commonest crowd degree since Easter, it’s 2/10 with a handful of three/10 crowd degree days. Nonetheless a good time to go to Magic Kingdom.
That’s adequate for a mean wait time just under half-hour within the final two weeks. (Though you may’t see them as a result of I’ve narrowed the graph date vary, however the lows of final 12 months’s social gathering season nonetheless skew crowd ranges at Magic Kingdom. Outdoors of these days, the second half of April was about nearly as good because it will get at Magic Kingdom!)
As at all times, EPCOT is the park most impacted by turnout amongst locals. It’s seeing its lowest wait occasions of the 12 months, regardless of (arguably) a rise in attendance and congestion after the resumption of AP gross sales.
Our expectation is that Might 2023 is the ‘candy spot’ of low wait occasions and ‘seems like’ crowds at EPCOT. Flower & Backyard Competition is now outdated information, so it received’t be as a lot of a draw for locals, and the story with wait occasions received’t reverse. (That’s, except Cosmic Rewind drops the digital queue, during which case it received’t actually be a reversal a lot as new information coming into the system.)
The second half of April was the most effective stretches of the final two years at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. As beforehand talked about, April 16 was the slowest at DHS since October 2021.
It’s exceedingly uncommon when DHS doesn’t have a single attraction–not even Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance or Slinky Canine Sprint–common a wait time of over an hour. And but, that’s precisely what has occurred right here on a number of days within the final two weeks.
Animal Kingdom had the busiest days of any park within the second half of April, which is undoubtedly as a result of Earth Day and its twenty fifth Anniversary. I’m considerably shocked that this moved the needle that a lot on wait occasions, as that doesn’t often occur for Magic Kingdom or EPCOT.
My guess (an entire shot at nighttime) is that locals make the trek out to DAK much less, so once they do, they’ve extra of an incentive to do a number of points of interest. In contrast, the whole lot at EPCOT and Magic Kingdom is outdated information as a result of they go to these parks exponentially extra. (Maybe that is me projecting, however I actually don’t suppose so. Now we have buddies who go to EPCOT and/or Magic Kingdom greater than as soon as per week, and perhaps do DAK 1-2 occasions per 12 months. It’s a fairly frequent dynamic.)
For these questioning how Walt Disney World’s wait occasions examine to Common Orlando, the pattern is about the identical for the final couple weeks. Normally, Common has seen a extra pronounced slowdown on off-peak dates than Walt Disney World this 12 months.
Like Animal Kingdom, Common additionally noticed a pointy spike for Earth Day. That in all probability has extra to do with it being a Saturday than Earth Day, although. (Except I’m lacking one thing.)
That is our first time sharing the above graph, which tracks the worth of Genie+ (blue) with common wait occasions throughout all of Walt Disney World (gray).
One factor that ought to stick out is that the best crowd ranges correspond with the best costs. That makes full sense. Nonetheless, what’s most attention-grabbing about this to me is how poorly the non-peak pricing tracks with crowds. If you happen to take a look at average or decrease crowd ranges…the costs for Genie+ are in all places. I’ll allow you to draw your personal conclusions about Walt Disney World’s capability to forecast attendance and value accordingly.
Turning to forward-looking crowd forecast, we actually don’t have something so as to add or modify as in comparison with our recently-updated 2023 Walt Disney World Crowd Calendars or predictions in Sharp Shoulder Season Slowdown at Walt Disney World. In a nutshell, Might 2023 ought to be a good time to go to, with solely a handful of dates that current potential yellow flags.
Suffice to say, it’s shoulder season till round mid-June 2023, which is after we’d usually count on summer season crowds to begin arriving in full drive. Attendance will pattern upwards earlier than that–beginning round Memorial Day weekend–however the parks ought to see any really unhealthy days till mid-June.
In contrast to the early fall low season, Might 2023 is just not an inherently undesirable time to go to Florida. Whereas beginning to heat, the climate is just not one thing that actively discourages vacationers. From that perspective, it’s not the identical as storm or hurricane season. Might 2023 additionally comes after shorter faculty breaks, versus the prolonged summer season trip that’ll lead as much as August/September 2023.
Nonetheless, Might is comparable in different methods. Walt Disney World’s massive public occasion is EPCOT’s Flower & Backyard Competition, and that’s outdated information by the point Might 2023 rolls round. It’s additionally arguably much less of a draw than the early finish of Halloween season and EPCOT’s Meals & Wine Competition in August and September.
There’s just one cheer or dance competitors scheduled on the ESPN Huge World of Sports activities this month, however there in all probability are plenty of conventions and group occasions. As a basic matter, these occasions have minimal impression on total crowd ranges, however they’ll impression ‘seems like’ crowds on a case-by-case foundation.
If Might 2023 follows established tendencies, crowds will proceed to drop this month, earlier than bottoming out within the second week of the month. In a standard 12 months, wait occasions would begin to rise once more within the third week of Might. Nonetheless, it’s price noting that the top of April often affords the next baseline, that means there’s extra room for crowd ranges to fall.
If you’re beginning with a 1/10 or 2/10 crowd degree common, that actually isn’t the case. There’s undoubtedly extra draw back danger of wait occasions worsening that ordinary. Personally, I’m anticipating the established order to be roughly maintained for the subsequent 3 weeks, however who is aware of. Wait occasions might spike barely as “phrase will get out” about low crowds, or there might be extra of a drop-off as even fewer faculty districts have breaks. Stranger issues have occurred.
Nonetheless, there’s some variability to all of this within the historic information, and the primary 3 weeks of Might are shut sufficient collectively that issues like climate or attraction downtime are sufficient to maneuver the needle. Usually talking, all of those weeks are good, with low-to-moderate crowd ranges on common. (On common, there’s a 1-2 minute distinction in wait occasions these first 3 weeks. It’s nearly statistically insignificant.)
It’s related for the next week, which is the lead-up to Memorial Day weekend. Though that is the unofficial begin of the summer season season, Memorial Day usually is not among the many worst holidays at Walt Disney World for crowds. It’s quite a bit like Labor Day, which is the unofficial finish of summer season.
Finally, the approaching month ought to be a good time to go to Walt Disney World, with decrease crowds, wait occasions, and temperatures as in comparison with June by mid-August 2023. All of because of this Might 2023 ranks because the #3 month of your complete 12 months on our Greatest & Worst Months to Go to Walt Disney World.
Trying ahead to June and July 2023, I don’t have practically as a lot confidence within the crowd calendar. As famous beforehand, Walt Disney World hasn’t skilled a “regular” summer season in a number of years. Final 12 months, the second week of June ended up being the height, which was as a result of rising oil/fuel costs. Earlier than that, the resumption of normalcy adopted by the COVID-comeback threw a monkey wrench into late summer season crowds. COVID is a non-factor for Summer time 2023, however fuel costs stay a giant wildcard this 12 months.
Past that, I ponder whether Walt Disney World wait occasions and crowd ranges will keep decrease for longer. Maybe that is what the exhaustion of pent-up demand actually appears to be like like; perhaps shoppers are lastly altering their spending habits; it’s potential rising costs on the whole lot have lastly completed their injury. All or any of this might end in extra of a summer season droop. We’ve heard unsubstantiated rumblings suggesting that may be the case over the months to return, however nothing to conclude that crowds will keep this low. We will see–it’ll be attention-grabbing to look at!
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Are you visiting Walt Disney World in the course of the Might 2023 shoulder season earlier than summer season break arrives? Have you ever visited previously in the course of the month of Might? Have been you within the parks in the course of the second half of April? What did you consider the crowds? Any parks, occasions of day, or days of the week noticeably higher or worse than the others? Did you discover Saturday and Sunday to be higher than the ‘coronary heart’ of the week? If you happen to’ve visited in previous weeks following spring break, did you discover a giant distinction in crowd ranges? Do you agree or disagree with our evaluation? Any questions we may help you reply? Listening to your suggestions–even once you disagree with us–is each attention-grabbing to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas under within the feedback!