Tour groups at WDW end of January

@brklinck - I have never spent time reading posts in the chat room since I thought it was specifically for use while in the parks… But your post peaked my interest in the chat room, so I checked it out… pretty cool stuff, but now I’m freaking out a bit… Our family is heading to WDW in exactly one week, and read a chat-thread that makes it sounds like the SA (South American) teenage tour groups are running rampant!

Can anyone report on current tour group activity at WDW or predictions for next week (Jan 29 - 31)? We are staying at POR and I read a review on trip advisor from a family that felt completely overrun by several Brazilian tour groups staying at POR as well…

It’s too late to make any trip changes, but I’ll gladly take any advice for dealing with the tour groups.

Thanks in advance :smile:

I am interested in this as well, since I’ll be checking in as you are checking out! Overall crowd levels seem to be moderately low though, I think?

That was the week we went in 2013. We did see some large tour groups (both South American and cheerleaders - much to our teen DSs great joy!) :wink: but the crowd levels were still low and we had a fabulous time. We stayed at Pop and a few times there would be a tour group crowd trying to catch the bus but the drivers were on top of it and had another bus come immediately. I wouldn’t worry about it at all - I would definitely go back at that time of year again. We had such a great time! :smile:

1 Like

@LoveBug53 - thank you, thank you, thank you! You’ve helped me relax a lot. For the past year, I’ve felt like I could control so many variables with respect to this trip, but, I’m accepting the fact that the closer we get to our trip, the less control I’ll have.

1 Like

I’m the same way @vpillers. :slight_smile: All of this research and planning you’ve done ahead of time - the hours you are putting in - will pay off! It’s hard to believe, but the majority of people head to the parks without a plan in place. Even if things don’t go exactly as planned (and there will be things that don’t) you’ll have your knowledge to fall back on and a Plan B will quickly come into place.

Take time to just look at the details and take in the magic! POR is a beautiful resort and each park has so many amazing things to experience. One tip - don’t panic if the posted wait time is higher than you expected - I have found that it is usually closer to TP’s prediction. You have picked an awesome week to go! Have the best time ever! :smile:

1 Like

I’ve been there that week and yes, there ARE tour groups, but they had little impact on the touring. The only aanoyance was that they tend to do LOUD group chants from time to time.

1 Like

I had a discussion about this with my son yesterday on our ride home from work. We usually go during our school vacation in April. There are no South American Tour Groups, but there are hoards of “Senior Trips”. I went to the world in July with lots of tour groups this year. I prefer the tour groups. They are generally well supervised.

1 Like

We went that time two years ago… Had great crowd levels at parks but did actually leve a night early due to a huge tour group of teens taking over our mansion section of POR. It was awful. The CMs were moving families in the middle of the night to different sections because they can’t “do anything” about these groups. I was shocked they were even at POR, since I always just assumed they stayed in value resorts! Boy I was wrong :slight_smile: but the bright side was POR did move families to different areas and I’m sure did everything they could to help…

1 Like

@rachaelmac22 - I’m in the process of putting together my room request fax for next week’s arrival at POR and was wondering where you’d recommend we stay? We have to stay in the alligator bayou section since we’re a family of 5 and need the murphy bed. Our kids are old enough, that a bit of walking isn’t an issue and we’ll have our own car, so bus transportation is optional. At first, I was planning to request one of the bayou buildings closest to the main building, but now, the thought of loud and rambunctious tour groups has me thinking that the further away from the main building the better (and more quiet)…

Any suggestions?

Thank you :smile:

I think the tour group problem was they took over our whole building… Running the halls, courtyards, etc… That was our first stay at POR and prob our last :frowning: (dh has banned!) so I’m not sure about building selections for noise etc… We didn’t have too much of a problem walking to the main buildings/pools/etc even though it’s a pretty big resort! (We are use to AoA an that walk ;)) I am sure you will be fine with whatever you pick and will have an amazing trip!!!

Oh and I forgot… We never had a parking problem in jan at POR… Place was empty! We drive to the parks usually and all the parking lots were very close to the rooms :slight_smile:

We’ve been in the various parks for the last three days and as mentioned above, there are a number of cheerleader and Brazilian tour groups. We didn’t notice them too much on Sunday and Monday at MK, but they were EVERYWHERE at AK yesterday. The area outside EE was completely full and as they wandered around the park there were loud chants going on. AK was listed as a 2 yesterday but it was really quite busy. We noticed a few today at HS, but not nearly to the same degree.

We are staying at POR and haven’t seen any groups as yet.

All that said, it hasn’t really affected our trip at all and I wouldn’t concern yourself with it. I’m sure you’ll be so happy just being here.


I had a similar experience during my ONE stay at ASM. I booked last minute and got the last remaining room on an entire floor of college kids. I’m all for a party, but at 2AM it got old. The condition I found the grounds in at 7AM when I left the room for the parks was disgusting. Beer bottles on the walkway, a puddle of vomit I had to step over and even a used condom hanging in a shrub…I complained the next morning and was told the group was checking out that morning. They apologized and comped.the first night. Hard to complain about that as it was only a 2-night stay; the second night was much better.


I used to always stay at POR. I miss it terribly! My last stay there were high school groups. They smoked everywhere. They backed up the buses so much that one afternoon I waited 90 minutes with hundreds of them to get to MK. It took 5 buses before we could get close to the line and not pushed away. Families with young children gave up and there were never any adults with them. I knew then I would never return to POR without a car.

We are leaving Monday for POR. Last year we were at Pop the first week in Feb and there were tour groups there. They crowded the dining hall from time to time, but were never at the bus stops early. If you are planning RD in the mornings I think you should be okay. Most of them seem to sleep in.

We check out on the same day the 31st. Maybe we can fend them off together if needed. Liner’s power activate.


I’m curious about this topic. We’ll be there from Feb 2nd to the 6th and the crowd levels predicted are low, but I’m wondering if this is a thing for like all of January and February that’s pretty much unavoidable.

I’ve been around a few times when large groups were present and none have ruined my vacation. Some nuisances I’ve experienced included

  • loud talking teenagers late at night/early in the morning in the room next door at Coronado Springs (though I spent 13 years teaching middle school, so other than the timing this wasn’t a new thing for me)
  • loud chanting cheerleaders at dawn in a common area between rooms at All-Star Sports
  • swimming pools full of youth football players at cheerleaders at All-Star Sports
  • various large groups in line for buses at value resorts
  • large groups getting in line for attractions in the parks.

This may sound unpleasant, but I’ve never experienced all of these things at the same time I’ve learned to set my expectations realistically and a few other tips. For example, the value resorts are more likely to host these large groups (though I suspect that’s less so at Art of Animation, since those “value” rooms tend to be more expensive). The groups don’t have much effect on touring the parks, unless you arrive at an attraction right after a large group has already gotten in line (or, if you’re in a queue and don’t like people chanting or cheering, though that doesn’t always happen). The biggest potential problem is getting behind a large group while using buses. In the case, if an alternate route to your destination is available, then that may help (take a bus to All-Star Music if you’re staying at All-Star Sports or take a bus to Art of Animation if you’re staying at Pop Century, for example). If not, then Disney tends to react to large queues by diverting extra buses to clear out a long line, so your wait time might not be as bad as it seems, though your comfort level may be impacted by the full load of people on the bus.

1 Like

Those are some good tips! We are staying at All-Star Sports, so I am trying to get a realistic grasp on my expectations, although we will be there M-F and checking out in time to avoid any potential crowds coming in over the weekend - who knows if that will make any difference. I wish there was a calendar available or some easy way to know what big groups might be staying at which resorts and when!