Fourth of July is now within the rearview mirror, and the vacation weekend was surprisingly nice at Walt Disney World. This wait occasions report covers trip & each day knowledge for final month and the beginning of July 2022 at Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom, whereas additionally providing a glance ahead at what to anticipate.
Our final two wait occasions studies coated the primary half of June, overlaying what was (on the time) a spike in crowd ranges as in comparison with the shoulder season of Might. Unsurprisingly, wait occasions and crowds had been climbing, and Disney Park Move reservations had been beginning to refill for Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios most dates, plus Animal Kingdom and EPCOT from time to time.
In a standard summer time season, that is exactly what would occur. most of Might could be the calm earlier than the storm. Then trip season would kick off, slowly accelerating as extra colleges obtained out of session. An rising variety of households take their journeys round Independence Day, which is basically the halfway level of the summer time season. That’s often the height, with crowd ranges constructing to that time and slowly falling after it. Once more, all in a regular yr.
It was thus our expectation as of mid-June that the rising crowd ranges noticed then would proceed to extend by Independence Day, after which regularly development downward within the weeks following that. They’d proceed to take action till mid-August when colleges return into session. That’s the start of the low season and the unofficial begin of Halloween and fall at Walt Disney World. (Sure, actually. Seasons have little which means in Florida!)
Solely the primary half of all that has performed out to this point, however it’s already fallacious. Late June and early July haven’t gone as anticipated, which is able to possible as soon as once more kick the hypothesis machine into excessive gear. However earlier than we get to all of that, let’s dig into the information to try late June and July 2022 wait occasions so far. As all the time, all graphs and wait time stats are courtesy of Thrill-Information.com:
We’ll begin with the month-to-month numbers, which inform the story so far for July 2022.
That’s far much less true for late June. That’s as a result of wait occasions for the primary half of the month had been on par with the busiest stretches of February by April, with just one minute separating the peaks of these months and the primary half of June. Up till mid-month, it was on tempo to be the #2 month out of the final 12 for crowd ranges.
With the week by week view, we are able to see that wait occasions elevated steadily from their lows in early Might up till mid-June.
Once more, in a standard yr, these bars would proceed to go increased till Independence Day. As a substitute, wait occasions started dropping the week of June 19. The declines had been nominal at first–however nonetheless shocking provided that they need to have been rising into the center of summer time season!
Particular person days illustrate principally the identical, however with extra bars.
The best bar on the correct facet is June 13. Given the timing of our final crowd report proper after that, we suspected that was the beginning of a summer time surge at Walt Disney World. As you’ll be able to plainly see, that didn’t occur.
For park by park evaluation, we’ll begin with Magic Kingdom.
Curiously, this tells a barely completely different story than the downward-trending wait occasions for all of Walt Disney World. Relatively than following a constant sample, Magic Kingdom crowd ranges have been all over. The vary right here is 3/10 to 9/10, with no discernible day-of-week patterns for the highs and lows. Oh, and that 3/10 day? The Fourth of July.
Nonetheless, that’s a bit deceiving. We had been in Magic Kingdom over the vacation weekend, and the seems like crowds had been positively a lot increased than the wait time knowledge suggests. In all chance, it is because many individuals had been visiting Magic Kingdom not for rides, however for the patriotic fireworks and festivities.
We noticed (and waited in) decently lengthy traces for the PhotoPass Magic Pictures, and Fundamental Road was completely bonkers earlier than, throughout, and after the fireworks. That is turning into more and more widespread and is one thing addressed in Disney Enchantment Will get Second Exhibiting. We should always in all probability do a standalone put up about post-fireworks transportation woes, as this seems to be an evergreen concern.
Listed here are the precise averages for the month of July 2022:
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Prepare: 85 minutes
- Peter Pan’s Flight: 70 minutes
- Jungle Cruise: 62 minutes
- Splash Mountain: 59 minutes
- Area Mountain: 50 minutes
- Buzz Lightyear’s Area Ranger Spin: 45 minutes
The common Magic Kingdom wait time for the month to this point is 34 minutes, which is a major lower from final month–down 11 minutes from the primary half of June after we final did this report. That’s completely large over the course of a complete day.
Additionally notable that nothing is hitting triple digits, which is what we’d anticipate of Seven Dwarfs Mine Prepare throughout a real peak season. Given the current information about Splash Mountain–and the triple-digit “seems like” temperatures–we’re additionally shocked that isn’t topping 100 minutes. (Heck, it’s not even averaging an hour!)
Apart from some deep drops right here and there, Animal Kingdom is basically according to Walt Disney World as an entire.
Animal Kingdom was the one park with reservation availability on July 4th and, unsurprisingly, that was the park’s slowest day of the yr to this point. Not like Magic Kingdom’s 3/10 crowd degree on that day, that is regular for Animal Kingdom. With no fireworks and an earlier closing time, most company choose in opposition to DAK on Independence Day. Maybe it’s time to start out a brand new custom of consuming Flame Tree BBQ, watching kites crash, and attempting to time journey with a dinosaur. Sounds distinctly patriotic to me!
Listed here are the attraction averages for July 2022:
- Avatar Flight of Passage: 84 minutes
- Na’vi River Journey: 66 minutes
- Kali River Rapids: 48 minutes
- Kilimanjaro Safaris: 47 minutes
- Meet Disney Friends at Adventurers Outpost: 40 minutes
- Expedition Everest: 38 minutes
- Dinosaur: 33 minutes
Whereas these are large declines as in comparison with the primary half of June, Animal Kingdom remains to be increased than many busy dates earlier within the yr. The possible clarification is that individuals are staying longer in Animal Kingdom due to the reimagined Discovering Nemo musical and character meet & greet location. Kali River Rapids can also be extra in style in the summertime months, and Expedition Everest was not again for all of spring break season.
Over at EPCOT, wait occasions have as soon as once more been a wild of a trip–however a trip that’s usually dropping.
Most of those lows are occurring Fridays by Sundays, which is smart. EPCOT is the locals’ park, and Floridians usually tend to go to for festivals and ambiance than rides. (Paradoxically, crowds might really be worse on these weekends regardless of decrease waits as a result of fewer company are doing points of interest.) Locals are additionally extra possible than vacationers to cancel park plans on the final minute if the climate is dangerous–and it was a sizzling and wet month.
Listed here are particular person attraction wait occasions at EPCOT this month:
- Frozen Ever After: 67 minutes
- Take a look at Monitor: 65 minutes
- Remy’s Ratatouille Journey: 62 minutes
- Mission Area: 40 minutes
- Soarin’ Across the World: 39 minutes
Attention-grabbing to see the Rat Journey fall to #3. Whereas it and the Frozen sisters typically battle for the highest slot, that is the primary time we’ve seen Take a look at Monitor go Remy’s Ratatouille Journey.
Lastly, there’s Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
As soon as once more, essentially the most constant park–however nonetheless trending downward by a noticeable quantity from the second half of June. We haven’t even had any main complaints about our current experiences at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. They’ve been principally nice, particularly if avoiding the center of the day.
Listed here are ride-by-ride wait occasions for Disney’s Hollywood Studios for the month:
- Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance: 106 minutes
- Slinky Canine Sprint: 92 minutes
- Millennium Falcon Smugglers Run: 82 minutes
- Rock ‘n’ Curler Coaster: 73 minutes
- Toy Story Mania: 69 minutes
- Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway: 65 minutes
- Twilight Zone Tower of Terror: 55 minutes
- Meet Disney Stars at Crimson Carpet Desires: 41 minutes
- Meet Sulley at Walt Disney Presents: 35 minutes
- Alien Swirling Saucers: 37 minutes
Regardless of the general downward trajectory, most headliners maintained their elevated wait occasions as in comparison with the primary half of June. A number of really elevated. In reality, if we take away three points of interest from the combination, wait occasions are literally up barely.
The largest distinction is that the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror’s common dropped in half, from 108 minutes to 55 minutes. That’s as a result of it’s as soon as once more working at FULL capability, with the “stealth” refurbishment that took the trip right down to half-capacity completed. (Or fairly, one half of the refurbishment completed.) It’s unclear when work on the opposite facet will start, however our hope is in August throughout the low season.
Earlier than we get to the evaluation, above is a take a look at the weekly wait time averages for Common Orlando (each parks). We haven’t shared this beforehand, however thought it’d be worthwhile to incorporate for a pair causes.
First, lots of you might be planning journeys to Central Florida and people embody each Walt Disney World and Common. As such, this knowledge has sensible worth. Second, this gives one thing of a “management” variable for our varied theories about crowds at WDW. For essentially the most half, Common Orlando’s crowd ranges within the final month observe with Disney’s, so we are able to remove explanations that solely pertain to one of many park operators (e.g. Disney Park Move, nickel & diming, assorted controversies).
This leaves us with greater image explanations that might apply equally to each Walt Disney World and Common Orlando.
In different phrases, the standard suspects we’ve been discussing for months: pent-up demand amongst home guests could possibly be petering out, inflation on requirements leading to reductions to discretionary spending, depleted family financial savings and rising debt ranges, and the rising value of journey because of fuel costs. Air journey has additionally been an absolute nightmare within the final month. (Sadly, we communicate from expertise on that final one!)
Relatively than rehashing all of it right here, I’ll direct your consideration to What Does Walt Disney World Do Throughout A Recession? I believe that’s going to be more and more related within the coming months.
This nonetheless doesn’t make full sense. The Disney Park Move calendar has been yellow for thus many dates, with each Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom booked stable for June and the primary half of July, simply as they had been for many of Might…and March and April earlier than that.
In principle, this could imply that these two parks ought to’ve been equally busy each single day. In reality, they haven’t–we’ve seen Magic Kingdom have every thing from 3/10 to 9/10 crowd degree dates within the final month. That shouldn’t be the case if totally booked actually is totally booked.
As mentioned in final month’s crowd report, this helps the speculation that Walt Disney World is utilizing reservations to control attendance. The corporate is pushing folks in direction of Animal Kingdom and EPCOT to extend their utilization and normalize numbers throughout all 4 parks. Apart from deliberate manipulation, there’s actually no different good clarification as to why “totally booked” days have such inconsistent crowd ranges. (I suppose the Park Move system being completely random and/or damaged is one other chance, however that appears unlikely.)
If this principle is correct, it will be one other signal that the reservations system is right here to remain for at the least the near-term. Walt Disney World loves controlling crowds, and this is able to be one option to accomplish that even after staffing ranges return to regular and pent-up demand has fizzled out.
Yet one more factor value mentioning is that we seen some large discrepancies between posted and precise wait occasions at Walt Disney World shortly earlier than and over the vacation weekend. That is nothing new, and one thing defined in higher element final yr in Genie+ Purchaser Beware: Posted v. Precise Wait Instances at Walt Disney World.
Nonetheless, the diploma and extent to which wait occasions had been off caught us abruptly. It appeared a lot bigger than regular, with many points of interest having precise waits that had been lower than half of their posted occasions. (We’ve additionally been noticing sporadic backups of the Lightning Lanes, which could possibly be inflicting a few of these points.)
We hesitate to make any forward-looking predictions for the remainder of July at this level. As identified earlier, summer time often begins sluggish and will get progressively busier till the Fourth of July vacation after which regularly declines thereafter. Nonetheless, that’s already not how issues are enjoying out.
As a substitute, we might look again to final yr as the idea of our July forecast. If that repeats itself, wait occasions will now begin rising regularly till peaking in late July and falling off a cliff from August by October. Nonetheless, these circumstances had been very distinctive with pent-up demand, leisure of guidelines, and subsequent reinstatement of guidelines because of the Delta spike. There’s no purpose to consider final yr provides any precedential worth.
With completely no foundation to assist these predictions, my tempered expectation is that we’ll see a plateauing of crowd ranges for the following couple of weeks earlier than wait occasions begin declining in late July. The second week of August will as soon as once more be the massive turning level, with numbers plummeting as colleges return into session. Your guess is pretty much as good as mine, although.
It’ll be attention-grabbing to see whether or not these cherry-picked predictions find yourself coming to fruition, or if Walt Disney World crowds and wait occasions throw us one other curveball. We’ll proceed monitoring crowds and see how these predictions play out!
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Ideas on crowds within the second half of June or July 2022 so far? Predictions in the course of Summer season 2022? Assume the speculation in regards to the Park Move calendar getting used to redistribute crowds throughout all 4 parks is smart? Anticipating crowds to proceed lowering in July, or will this development reverse within the coming days and weeks? If you happen to’ve visited throughout the final month, what did you consider crowds? What about posted v. precise wait occasions? Congestion in Magic Kingdom earlier than, throughout, or after fireworks? Do you agree or disagree with something in our report? Any questions we may help you reply? Listening to your suggestions–even whenever you disagree with us–is each attention-grabbing to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas beneath within the feedback!