My last trip didnt go as planned. Long lines, long waits, much more crowded than touring plans stated it would be

Hub + sunshine + food = heaven on an MK day! Especially when its bonkers crowded everywhere. Everyone is hurrying from one place to another and the Hub is just a lovely place to sit and take in the atmosphere and people watch.

@HyprSloth, I’m sorry your trip was disappointing. In my experience, my attitude and feelings about how our trips go are very much related to my expectations. Our first ever trip we went in January (Low Crowds! I thought) and it was insanely busy and all of my TPs were thrown off and I really struggled to not feel like I “lost” at our trip after so much time spent planning and trying to make it JUST PERFECT. Since then, I try and temper my expectations (i.e., I just expect it to be crowded. And if its not, I’m pleasantly surprised instead of grumpy and irritated that its not low crowds like I had wanted).

Learning the Disney “secrets” as you put it has been hugely instrumental in more of our trips ‘going my way’ so to speak. I hardly ever ride things in the afternoon if I can help it. Or if I do, I have a LL. I make sure I know the most recent LL drop times. I like to go early. Leave in the middle of the day. Avoid the WS on Friday and Saturday evenings. Etc. This forum is tremendously helpful in navigating these things, as I’m sure you already know!


A single “tour group” can be up to a thousand people. It’s definitely possible to have multiple tour groups at WDW at the same time.

There’s 2 main times they tend to come: mid-January through February, and mid-June through July.

There lots of articles about them, here’s a pre-pandemic one about Brazilian ones (but there are very large tour groups from many differentSouth American countries).


I was there last week as well and the crowds were definitely in the lower middle range, so 4-5 seems about right. There is no such thing as no crowds at Disney anymore — there will always be places that are crowded and there will always be some level activity. It takes a bit of planning and having appropriate expectations to avoid long waits and elbow to elbow crowded areas.

For example, fireworks on Main Street are among the most crowded events in the World, even on a low-crowd day. It’s good to avoid that if you want a more relaxed environment. That requires either shelling out for a dessert party or watching from another area.


The trip wasnt bad, else I wouldnt be booking another one likely tomorrow lol. It wasnt what I was hoping for or near it though. I did some new stuff, which is really cool. AND I got to do the Star Wars rides with my family, and we all really liked that. I almost wish Disney had half day tickets. We did pretty much what we wanted to in a half day, and then dragged on doing various things - waiting alot, sitting where/when we could, waiting for dinner and then evening crowds to thing out. Of course, we did go back to our hotel for a freshen up, quick nap/rest, coffee etc so that was helpful.


…to be continued

To be continued again,…



Then it happened!

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We were at AK on the 16th and then Epcot late night and HS on the 17th with MK late night and there were definitely moments it felt very crowded. We were in Dinoland from 10-12:30ish and it didn’t feel too bad, but then we walked through the tree area and over in Africa it felt very crowded. Honestly, I think this is just how the parks feel. 11 to 4ish felt particularly crowded.

If it makes you feel any better, when crowds are truly low, Disney runs a lot of rides at low capacity so you end up waiting more for some rides even though the walkways aren’t as crowded.

I agree with your thoughts on lunch. Lunchtime is a madhouse, which is why we packed sandwiches and did QS dinner instead. Which we mobile ordered for the 4:45-5 pm window.

Or not watching them at all. MK hub & Main St are panic inducing for me.


Which is why I try to do a late breakfast or a late lunch. I try to zag when everyone is zigging.


Eating at “off” times has been a successful strategy for my family on several visits.


Everything is relative. I found the parks to be much more crowded in October 2022 than they were the same week in October 2019. But 2018 and 2019 were much more crowded than 2009-2014.

It does sound like you may need to modify your general touring plan a bit if you want to find some short lines. The best time to be at the parks (for short lines) is RD to 10:30 am (with the exception of HS which seems to never have short lines). Also best to avoid meals during prime eating hours.

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Prepandemic crowds, while larger on paper, felt a lot lower for the most part I think. Few factors for this were longer hours across all parks, all the things open, being able to bail on any park at anytime with hoppers, and all things running were doing so at full capacity. Now, none of that is in play.

We just got the rail road back and I definitely felt that lowered the crowd pressure as it took people out of the streets and put them on the rail cars. On the 22nd, all parks but MK were ghost towns. The most popular rides were walk on. (Heheh thinking on it, it was very much like 10/1/21)

Additionally, splash was spotty all week, and when it was running, it pulled crowd. When it wasn’t… ehhh. And should animal kingdom ever decide to move away from friggin’ bankers’ hours again, that’ll help too, instead of sending everyone to all the other parks.

However, the biggest anecdotal evidence of low crowds I have comes to the fireworks. During summer or significant crowd days, getting close to the hub is just a fantasy unless you steak it out. Last week, they were directing people to it up until 5-10 minutes before show time. I was able to get ice cream and a close-to-hub spot with zero issues. That hasn’t happened in a long time.

But even so, there were definitely times it felt crowded, and if you had the luck to hit ALL those times constantly, I could certainly see where the feeling that TP missed the mark comes from.


I agree with everything you said, but especially this. We were there that week also with park days 1/17-1/22. We had a great time and crowds were fine. I mean, I’d prefer a completely empty park except you fine Liners, but that is not reasonable haha! We got to do everything we wanted and then some.

We wanted our last day to be at MK, coincidently this was also 1/22 and the last day of Splash. Poor planning on my part. MK was pretty bad the whole day we were there and we rope dropped. We would have bailed long before we did if we could have hopped like we wanted to, but that damn2pm thing just flat out sucks. So we were trapped until at least 2.


You will definitely find lots of great tips here in the forum, but I also highly recommend reading the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. I learned about Touring Plans through the book and almost everything I read here is reiterating info I learned from the book.


I find this odd. Why single out other guests? I don’t care what language other guests are speaking to each other in private conversations and find it strange that you dwell on it to this extent. Replace “people from spanish speaking countries” with blacks, Jews, Hindus, or gays and re-read your statement to see how it sounds.

I find the suggestion that there were 100,000 people from foreign tour groups questionable considering MK’s capacity is only about 90,000. It is not TP’s or Disney’s job to give you a “heads up” that there will be Spanish-speaking foreigners in the park. There is no “normally wouldn’t be there”. TP’s job is to forecast the total number of guests, using ride wait times as a proxy. TP forecasted a 7 for MK, but it turned out to be a 4 - I’d have been happy in your shoes :slight_smile:

I don’t know what you saw, but multiple Liners were in WDW last week, and didn’t report this level of crowding. I was in WDW over Xmas week (CL10+) and didn’t experience “elbow to elbow humans in most areas for most of the day”. I’m very careful with COVID and am conscious of when people come close. The only places that were consistently elbow to elbow were lines, and walkway choke points at times, e.g. the bridge after getting off Slinky to come back to Toy Story Land.

Even New Year’s Eve in Epcot - CM’s divided the walkway in two and made guests walk to the right - people were about 2-3’ away but constantly elbow to elbow? No. Nobody was running us down if we stopped for a minute. There were places that were elbow to elbow - like the NYE dance parties - and if I walked into them I would have been gridlocked - but easy enough to avoid.

Maybe, it’s possible that if you ran into a large tour group, of say, 60 people at a choke point and their guide had them stop to get organized, you could get gridlocked for a minute. I empathize that you don’t like crowds - I don’t like 'em either, for COVID reasons. So my advice is look ahead, spot crowds forming before you get there, and avoid or wait them out. There’s often more than 1 way to get from A to B, as well - MDE was good at helping us find our way and can be used to find alternate routes.


Thank you for saying this. I cringed as I read the statement about language for this very reason.


Or maybe it was,…all of Texas going to Tokyo Disney! DONT you dare ask why!

Mods delete this post and my account. I’m invoking my right to be forgotten. Some of the responses are extremely offensive to me.

We are lost as a society.

Thanks for addressing the elephant in the room. That’s all I’m going to say :zipper_mouth_face:


Seems quite the contrary, at least when talking about this forum. You continued on an agressive and disrespectful rant and still, the replies were more then reasonable and many were actually trying to understand your view point despite the obvious hyperbole. You can tell posters here go out of their way to be nice and helpful, but I’m glad someone ultimately called you out. Your last reply certainly cemented they were right.