Early February Crowds

I’m just curious if there’s an explanation for the huge crowds this week. I see the 10s from yesterday that exceeded the crowd calendar expectations. Usually the crowd calendar is spot on, so I’m just wondering what’s driving the large crowds right now. ??

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There have been a lot of unexpected fluctuations in what is seen vs what is expected at WDW recently. Nobody can quite account for it except to shug and guess that the pandemic - and resulting changing conditions - is the explanation.

WDW has done a good job making it a tad less expensive to stay during what used to be the off season. Lower ticket prices, lower room prices, plus lower points for DVC owners/users.

Plus pent up travel demand, vaccines, etc. make traveling now more doable than perhaps in 2020/21.

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Gotcha. I’m thinking of a trip in early or mid September strictly bc I want to go during 1 crowd lol—which I’ve never experienced!! I just don’t want to get there and it be a 10🤦‍♀️

That’s not a thing anymore, at least at present. With the way Disney is managing things now (more and more crowd contro/management), I don’t know if it ever will be again.

I’m similarly nervous about my May trip-supposed to be 4-6 crowd levels depending on park. I’m starting not to believe that!

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I would plan a trip for the time of year you want to go and expect high crowds.


Same, we have always had good luck in late April but I’m starting to think it’s going to be wretched no matter what. And wait until vaccines are approved for small children. I know that’s what we have been waiting on, and are planning a 2023 trip.

Yep I think @PrincipalTinker has the right idea, plan as if it will be a 10 and then maybe be pleasantly surprised?

We’re debating between keeping May and going in August—lower crowd probably, but that heat…

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May is such a beautiful month to visit! The flowers are all in bloom and the weather is MUCH better than August. Makes the but more crowded parks more manageable.

We went in early September (2021) and it was 1s every day. It was great but the weather sucked. I’d rather have mid-level crowds and nice weather.

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This is what late October, November (other than Thanksgiving week), and the first 2 weeks of December used to be, but right now you may have a better chance at finding a unicorn.


I’m pretty sure that in the last year or two before the pandemic, late January / early February was not as light as it used to be. Part of that is just the spreading of out of crowds, but another part of it during those years where most certainly staffing reductions and planned reductions in ride capacity. @len and team figured that out at the time by physically watching and counting the number of people exiting attractions. I wonder if he or @SteveBloom have any other insights into why the crowd levels are so high. I expect a lot of it has to do with pent up pandemic demand, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Disney is cutting back on things a bit in the “slow season” to save money which is resulting in a slow season appearing to feel like a crowded season.

Exactly right. 2017 and earlier was consistently low crowd levels. In 2018 it all changed to at least moderate levels. (I had been researching ahead of my late January 2018 trip and was a little surprised when there.)

People catch on.


For sure. We used to go during late October/early November and it was always perfect.

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I think the Magic Kingdom’s 10 yesterday was due to the MK closing early today for a Castmember recognition event. With ticket prices the way they are, people want to get as much time in the park as possible. Along those lines, we expect to see higher-than-usual numbers at the non-MK parks today.

It’s true that today’s CM event was cancelled at the last minute because of weather, but people had to make plans and park reservations well before that happened, so plans were probably set.


Our first WDW trip was February 2017 and it was so so awesome! Glad we got lucky and timed it right. Great weather (hit 80 one day and we hit the pool), low crowds, so much fun.

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Those were the days :smiley:

Not only that, but todays MK crowd level was a 1.

This is the exact same pattern we saw a few weeks ago when MK was slated to close at 4:30. The Monday before was a 10, then the day itself was a 1.

I’m thinking this could be several factors.

  1. Yes, people want their moneys worth. The long weekenders who’d expected to be at WDW Friday thru Tuesday all made sure to do MK on Monday rather than Tuesday.

  2. I’m wondering if some of this is a measurement thing. The TP crowd calendars rely on rose times between 11am they 5pm. By closing at 4:30pm, the last half hour is literally “zero” for ride time. Plus, by 4pm presumably wait times are way down as people start heading for the exits. If TP doesn’t automatically remove those times between 4:30-5, is it possible they additionally skew the data?

Second week of December of ‘21 looked very similar to past years’ crowds. Definitely in the 1-3 category.