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How Crowded Was Walt Disney World throughout the First half of 2023?

How Crowded Was Walt Disney World throughout the First half of 2023?


We’re greater than midway into 2023, one of the vital fascinating years ever at Disney theme parks.

Throughout 2022, cabin fever drove tourism as vacationers lastly escaped their properties.

Orlando, MCO

Picture: OrlandoAirports.internet

Disney warned for a number of quarters that Walt Disney World would witness a site visitors downturn in some unspecified time in the future in 2023. Has that occurred but?

What We Know

On April 1st, 2023, Walt Disney World entered a brand new period.

Gold statues

Gold statues

On October 1st, 2021, essentially the most visited theme park on this planet celebrated its 50th birthday.

Don’t query the maths of it, however Disney celebrated till March thirty first, 2023.

Cinderella Castle

Nonetheless has the Fiftieth signal!

The vacationer patterns for this prolonged get together are ones that received’t make sense to future researchers.

In the beginning of the 50th anniversary, the pandemic triggered sufficient well being considerations that Disney throttled attendance by way of Park Passes.

Covid Biden

Photograph: WHO

At seemingly random intervals, attendance would drop resulting from COVID-19 outbreaks not simply in Florida however different vacationer areas.

Some company understandably prevented airport journey for concern of contracting the mysterious virus.

Orlando International Airport

Photograph: Orlando Worldwide Airport

Finally, sufficient folks both took their vaccine pictures or stopped worrying about COVID-19 that the pandemic successfully ended.

At that time, client habits basically switched in a historic method.

A time period referred to as Revenge Journey unfolded, whereby folks lastly escaped their properties.

theme parks


The place did a lot of them need to go to now that they may? Everyone knows that the reply is Walt Disney World, the Most Magical Place on Earth.

So, attendance switched from “a waking nightmare” to “I’m not mentally ready to be round this many individuals once more.”

Juky 4th crowds MK

Crowds at Magic Kingdom

Severely, I felt the latter means throughout my first theme park go to after the pandemic. Oddly, I by no means did once I visited throughout the pandemic, although.

The group management strategies and social distancing completely labored.

Memorial Day Small Crowds Magic Kingdom

Afterward, Walt Disney World returned to one thing approximating pre-pandemic ranges.

All through this course of, Disney officers warned that Walt Disney World attendance would drop as soon as the Fiftieth-anniversary get together ended, although.

Disney World

Disney World

What Can We Be taught from Wait Occasions?

I’ve tracked Walt Disney World (and Disneyland and Common Orlando Resort) wait occasions for a number of years now.

This course of is inscrutable at finest and mercurial at worst. I’ve acquired to take plenty of seemingly random knowledge and draw a broad conclusion.


Photograph: Pc Hope

A number of different websites do the identical factor. Most notably, Thrill-Information and Queue-Occasions have databased this data.

I’ve began doing this as nicely, however I doubt I’ll have something to indicate you anytime quickly.


(Matt Stroshane, photographer)

What I can say with confidence is that wait time estimates require a considerable quantity of alchemy.

Certain, we will calculate the typical wait occasions. That’s straightforward sufficient now that My Disney Expertise lists this data frequently, as do some social media websites.



Nonetheless, figuring out what they characterize entails some alchemy, as there’s not often any single reply that matches all conditions.

I strongly imagine that we will draw conclusions by monitoring knowledge over time, although.

Others do as nicely, which has led to a number of current discussions concerning Disney attendance.

Wall Street Journal

(AP Photograph/Matt Dunham, file)

As an example, the Wall Road Journal printed this text, which interviewed MickeyBlog’s personal Greg Antonelle.

Fox35 Orlando carried out a superb dwell interview with MickeyTravels agent Jennifer McCormick, which you’ll watch right here:

Each conversations circled again to one thing I discussed final week.

July 4th attendance at Walt Disney World was decrease than anticipated, a minimum of judging by wait occasions.

Probably the most current set of wait occasions reinforces this level. Primarily based on wait time intel, attendance was fairly sturdy, however it wasn’t extraordinary.

That’s what we’ve come to anticipate throughout vacation weeks, particularly July 4th.

Juky 4th crowds MK

Crowds at Magic Kingdom

Certain, we had extenuating circumstances with the blistering warmth and bizarre calendar configuration of the nationwide vacation falling on a Tuesday…however nonetheless.

Walt Disney World was the least crowded on July 4th that anyone had tracked in ten years.

Was Disney Attendance Down throughout the Previous Six Months?

Right here’s the place the dialog grows murky – and I apologize as a result of I understand we dwell in a world the place everybody needs definitive solutions.

Was July 4th the product of flukish occasions? Was there even an issue with park attendance?

Anecdotally, MickeyBlog snagged some pictures of crowds on these three days that steered they had been. The wait time calculations proved…much less conclusive.

Additionally, there’s the facet situation that Disney pays plenty of sensible folks some huge cash. Their sole job entails lowering wait occasions for widespread sights.

Space Mountain PhotoPass photo

Photograph: Disney

Over time, Disney has taken a number of totally different approaches, together with a superb top-down one which doesn’t fear about particular person rides however relatively collective park throughput.

After we emphasize wait occasions an excessive amount of, we considerably negate their work. It’s completely attainable that everybody did their job and uncovered nifty new methods.

july 4th wait times

In that situation, wait occasions had been decrease as a result of Disney is actually good at theme park administration.

So, we’ve acquired loads of questions right here, however we even have this tweet from Scott Gustin:

He’s performed what good analysts ought to do. He has tried to match apples to apples and present the massive image relatively than make a sizzling take.

Gustin makes use of Thrill Information as his supply and determines that Disney wait occasions have dropped general from the identical time in 2022.

down arrow

Photograph: Wikimedia

Nonetheless, this comparability entails a time when Disney was strictly imposing attendance vs. the brand new actuality of 2023.

Even after layoffs, Disney has staffed the parks extra this 12 months because of the return of the school and worldwide ambassador packages, which elements into what number of company it may possibly function nicely.

Cast Members in front of Roundup Rodeo BBQ

Solid Members in entrance of Roundup Rodeo BBQ

I believe you’re getting a way of what number of extenuating circumstances are concerned in guesstimating attendance.

How Was Disney Site visitors throughout the First Half of 2023?

Primarily based on what I’ve tracked, my exact reply is, “excellent however not anyplace close to 2019 ranges.”

Disney100 Cast Members

Photograph: Disney

I’ll add one caveat to them. Disney could not need that many company at its parks.

Just lately, high executives have careworn that park crowd management does a superb job of accelerating visitor satisfaction surveys.



I do know that on our social media, numerous folks made feedback alongside the traces of, “I want I’d been there when the waits had been that low.”

Clearly, demand isn’t a difficulty. AT ALL!

Nonetheless, I can say anecdotally that I’ve expressed shock and confusion at a number of factors this 12 months when wait occasions weren’t as I’d anticipated.

EPCOT spring break crowds 2023 spaceship earth line

Spaceship Earth

For instance, January and Spring Break crowds had been wild. Conversely, July hasn’t been what I’d have guessed.

Final 12 months, Disney wait occasions truly topped out in mid-June after which maintained in July for essentially the most half.


I’d written that habits off as a byproduct of Revenge Journey. Now, I’m questioning whether or not that’s the rising vacationer habits.

Individuals know to not go to the week of July 4th as a result of crowds and the warmth, which oddly led to July 4th being fairly nice on the parks…nicely, the indoor sights anyway.

Mickey's PhilharMagic

Photograph: Disney

The general variations I’ve tracked with year-over-year wait occasions from 2022 and 2023 are sometimes negligible.

In most cases, the variations are so small that I’ve written them off as statistical noise.

Hollywood Studios crowds

Last Ideas

We’re listening to reviews that counsel in any other case, a minimum of for the remainder of this summer season…and we’re inclined to imagine these feedback.

In spite of everything, they align with what former Disney CFO Christine McCarthy mentioned would occur. 

Christine McCarthy

Photograph: Disney

She warned that Walt Disney World would decelerate after the 50th anniversary. And she or he mentioned it a number of occasions.

Disney’s theme park intel is the gold normal within the trade. They might know first.

McCarthy additionally acknowledged that within the occasion of slowdowns, Disney would supply offers to incentivize vacationers. We’re seeing these now.

Christine Mccarthy

Photograph: Getty

In the meantime, we’re additionally witnessing occasions just like the Oogie Boogie Bash promote out completely.

Admittedly, that’s a Disneyland occasion, however it’s an information level indicating that Disney demand stays sturdy for the second a part of the 12 months.

Notably, Walt Disney World’s equal occasion, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Occasion, has solely offered out for Halloween Evening to this point.

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

Photograph: Disney

So, perhaps there’s something to the thought that persons are much less inclined to go to Florida proper now.

I’m even skeptical about that, although. The attendance I’ve tracked throughout the first half of 2023 appears to be at or close to finest case situation for Disney.

Memorial Day Small Crowds Magic Kingdom

Whereas the second half of the 12 months could play out fairly in a different way, Walt Disney World has had a magical begin to 2023.

theme parks

Photograph: MickeyBlog

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