How long will the "wave" last, do you think?

With both Disney’s 50th coming up, as well as the (hopeful) end of COVID limitations soon enough (by year’s end?), I expect we’ll see a wave of people wanting to “catch up” on their trips to Disney (and elsewhere). As such, I anticipate that 2022 will likely be a bad year in terms of trying to find a good time to go. (Which is okay, since we weren’t planning to return until at least 2023.) But this gets me wondering what people are THINKING. How long will this wave of increased attendance last, do you think? Between backlogs of DVC stays and normal Disney vacationers, plus those just sick to death of being stuck at home, I can’t help but feel it will be a while.

Let’s do this poll-style.

How long do you think higher-than-normal crowds will last once we return to normalcy?

  • Through the end of 2021
  • Through Spring 2022
  • Through Summer 2022
  • Through all of 2022
  • Beyond 2022, but before 2024
  • We’ll never see normal crowds again
  • Wave? I don’t think there will be a wave!

0 voters

I don’t think it is necessarily a wave exactly. I think this will be a gradual return to normal crowds. There are a lot of people at DW for spring break, but those crowds are lower than they typically are for spring break due to attendance caps. 2021 and 2022 were also supposed to be busy anyway due to the 50th anniversary.

So I voted no wave because I don’t think it is going to look like a wave that might occur if attendance was open with no caps.

We are doing a make up trip for our cancelled trip from May 2020. But we had previously thought about doing a Universal/Disney for a day or 2 trip in 2022. That trip is now getting pushed out further since we are doing Disney this year.


I for one welcome celebrating being in the Happiest Place on Earth with a seething, steaming mob of humanity in 2022.


WDW has already announced that the 50th-anniversary celebration of the Magic Kingdom will last 18 months. That means it will end in the Spring of 2023. They have moved the opening of Ratatouille so it can be part of this. I can see WDW spreading out the openings of various other new attractions over this period to keep interest high for the entire time period. IMHO, Disney wants to ride the “wave” starting in October 2021, all through 2022, and into 2023.

Also, the 40th Anniversary of EPCOT will be October 1, 2022. (sorry wrong year, fixed it) That will help sustain the “wave”.


Good point!

Usually just once around the stadium.

I’m guessing through summer 2022 and ending as schools start back up that year.


We’re kicking around the idea of taking my sister-in-law and her two kids (our treat) for Spring Break 2023…I hope things are back to normal-ish(?) by then. Recognizing that spring break is always a busy time.

Totally agree! The newest “rumors” have GotG opening 2022 and Tron waiting until 2023 just for this reason.


2022 will also see international guests returning, assuming everything goes according to plan.


No Tron till 2023?! That sucks.

Just a rumor, heard it a couple places, but seems logical. Even Len & Jim think it’s a possibilty.

Spreading out the opening of these rides might be to another reason I hadn’t thought of until just now. But basically, for the past year, any and all NEW endeavors Disney had been planning to START on were put on hold (or perhaps cancelled). This means the only FUTURE-LOOKING things they have on the table for the foreseeable future were the projects already in progress. Star Wars hotel, Tron, GotR, and Remy. Without projects to be finished in stages behind those, if they opened all those things up in quick succession, they risk having a long-term drought of nothing new. So, spreading them out much more than originally plans will give guests something new the look forward to each year until Disney can “catch back up” with stuff in the pipe-line.


Bob Chapek has stated that WDW has no problem on the “demand” side, there is more demand than the present restricted operating capacity.

Opening a new attraction creates more demand, good business sense is to save these new attractions as operating capacity returns to normal, which might extend well into 2022.


I agree, but having worked in theme parks for years, people want something new EVERY year. It’s frustrating. You can build the most awesome coaster and by midseason they’re already asking what will open next year.

It’s more about spreading out customer expectations and press releases than business.

However, IMHO, they’ll have it all done before Epic Universe opens up in 2024 - 25

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Plenty of resort availability right now but I will tell you that bookings have soared in the last two weeks. I’m on track to easily have my best year.

That said so far I haven’t had any issue getting people what they want in terms of rooms and park availability is generally wide open


I’m not going until there is something available (FP, MaxPass, whatever) between only standby and VIP tours. I assume there are other people like me out there!


2022 is going to be crazy and I am a little worried about our trip, but another reason why we are investing in the deluxe resort vacation so we can chill if the parks are too much. I think once the littles start to get vaccinated it will get crazy busy. I don’t foresee people traveling to Disney if the restrictions are lessened without vaccines. I can’t wait as long as 2023 to go though, so 2022 it is.

Disney is going to stagger new rides openings and other offerings to keep the parks as close to capacity as possible to try to recoup their losses from the last year. Crowds will follow. I expect attendance will be higher for the next 2-3 years as a result. With Tron and Guardians delayed. New fireworks shows. The return of some sort of FP system. People will have a reason to keep coming back.

This is why I put “beyond 2022” - I think the wave won’t end until after Tron opens + 6-12 months. But that said, I agree it will be somewhat gradual, with fits and spurts around events like the 50th of MK and 40th of Epcot.

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I’m still planning on going on my first DLR trip before going back to Orlando. It’s all tentative of course!
I’m thinking
2022 = DLR
2023 = Get a Universal Annual Pass and go 5 - 6 times
2024 = WDW with everything, hopefully, in place

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