I’ve seen questions about whether or not the “recommended/not recommended Parks” matter when the overall crowd level is low. It seems like the prevailing opinion is that going to the “green” Parks is less important when crowds are low than when crowds are heavy. I would actually argue the opposite. Let’s take the busiest week in July or “solid 9’s” on the overall crowd calendar. When crowds are this heavy, Disney runs evening entertainment multiple times every night, extends the operating hours at all Parks every day, adds additional Extra Magic Hours, increases staffing, etc. When crowds are that large and most days “look the same (as far as operating hours, entertainment, etc.),” there isn’t a ton of variance between different days during the week. Will Magic Kingdom be less busy on a Wednesday in between two days with Extra Magic Hours? Will Epcot be less crowded on a Friday after hosting evening Extra Magic Hours the night before? Sure. But the differences are more subtle. We might be talking about 50,000 people entering the gates at Magic Kingdom rather than 60,000. In other words, Magic Kingdom might be an “8” on Wednesday and a “10” on Thursday. When the overall crowd level is a two or a three in September, we have much more variance in theme park hours, evening entertainment, and Extra Magic Hours. Magic Kingdom could very easily be a “1” on a Tuesday with 9am – 7pm operating hours and no evening entertainment and then be a “6” on a Saturday with longer hours of operation and both nighttime spectaculars. Yet on those two days, the exact same number of people are at one of the Disney theme parks.
There are also constant discussions about whether or not Disney promotions like “Free Dining” contribute to overall crowds and whether or not Disney World is going to be crazy busy because all theme park view rooms at the Contemporary Resort are booked and Le Cellier is booked solid. In reality, Disney resort occupancy has very little to do with the overall crowd level. We always assume that Disney is going to fill their rooms, whether that means they need to offer discounts, book large events/conventions, or do nothing because demand is higher in the summer or over holidays. Disney resort occupancy hovers around 80%-85% at any given time on about 25,000 rooms. This is true when the overall crowd level is a “1” and when the overall crowd level is a “7.” The overall crowd level has everything to do with the number of people that are coming from off-site. In September, few people will be arriving from the Howard Johnson down the highway. This is evident in the fact that motel/hotels all along the highway are currently offering rooms for $150-$200 a week. These are the same rooms that would have run $60 a night last month. There are a lot of contributing factors when it comes to Disney resort occupancy and you shouldn’t equate full hotels to heavy crowds. Often times, Disney resorts will be full when the overall crowd level is low and it’s not uncommon to see lower occupancy during major holidays when prices are much higher.
With all of that said, we’re headed to Magic Kingdom on a Saturday that it is the “least recommended Park.” Also note that we’re in the midst of the highest overall crowd level for September due to the Labor Day Holiday. It should be busy.
We can already tell it’s going to be busy just by this ridiculous line for tickets at the Ticket/Transportation Center. Get your tickets in advance!!
Disney is sticking to their guns on the Monorail hours. This weekend is the first 7pm close at Magic Kingdom since the new Monorail hours took effect. I’m sure I’ll find myself standing outside reporting on what’s going on. I don’t think I’ll be doing Night of Joy though – maybe if they book Metallica between now and Friday.
Seriously thinking about going to Epcot instead at this point. But we all have to do things we don’t want to do. Lines like this for the Express Monorail are common during the summer, but we shouldn’t see anything like it when Magic Kingdom is recommended until Thanksgiving.
Geeeeeeze. This is around 11:30am.
Those who decided to skip the lines at the Transportation/Ticket Center didn’t fare much better at Guest Relations outside the Magic Kingdom. This is a ridiculous line and certainly wouldn’t be the way I’d want to spend an hour-plus.
Disney has put up the rest of the Halloween decorations. The pumpkins on the grass are new since our last visit on August 30th.
But mom, I don’t want to leave yet.
The “Town Square” area right in front of the entrance looks great. A little eery without being scary for the kids. This is a popular area until after 2pm as more and more people arrive in the late morning. Come back after 4pm for easier pictures or after 1:30pm if you want pictures with the characters. Check your Times Guide because characters generally appear here from 9am – 2:30pm. Just as an example, the second picture above was taken at 11:30am and the third one was taken around 1:45pm.
City Hall looks even better with the additional garlands. I have a really embarrassing secret to admit!! On my last post, I actually Googled “Interior Design Terms” to try to figure out what to call those decorations. Thanks to Hilary from the comments section for using the appropriate term. “Garland” sounds better than “trim.”
Speaking of garlands, the first image is what Town Square Theater looks like now and the second image is what it looked like last week. Someone decided they didn’t like garlands at the top of the pillars or they needed to be replaced.
Here’s the link to the full-size image if you’d like to read the ingredients: https://www.easywdw.com/reports/Special_Recipe_Ingredients.jpg. This Rice Krispy Treat made to look like candy corn is fun – $3.95.
Another look up and down Main Street. Those Mickey Pumpkins are too precious!!
You can still collect FASTPASSes for Mickey Mouse and then collect FASTPASSes for any other attraction immediately after, including the Princess Meet and Greet. Even though the Mickey FASTPASS says I have to wait until 11:50am, I was still able to get a Princess FASTPASS at 11:47am. Other things to keep in mind – everyone that enters the line for either Meet and Greet will need their own FASTPASS if you’re going through the FASTPASS line. The cast member manning the FASTPASS machines is trained to tell you this. You won’t have any problem using “late” FASTPASSes either, at this Meet and Greet or any other attraction. Don’t buy the hype.
A lot of people watching Dream Along with Mickey. Shows after 4pm are much less crowded.
Fairies continue to have long waits. It will be even longer the next time we walk by.
Not too bad.
Even Tiki Room has people that want to see it! It’s sort of hilarious how much positive press the “relaunch” of the “original” Tiki Room got in the Disney blogosphere. It sucks!!! But I’m not allowed to say that so pretend like I didn’t.
Certainly busier than Tuesday, but not crazy busy. Big Thunder Mountain was at 25 minutes and Splash Mountain at 40 minutes.
The front of Pecos Bill is out from behind scrims and looks great. The side is still covered though.
Other than Main Street, Liberty Square is the only other section of the Magic Kingdom that’s decorated for Halloween.
Busy in Fantasyland. Peter Pan’s wait is 20 minutes longer than Tuesday.
This doesn’t seem like a good place for stroller parking.
But this doesn’t seem like the ideal place to put a huge blue wall either.
This entire area was roped off across from Winnie the Pooh as well.
“Contemporary Hotel” was the working title for the resort we now know as the “Contemporary Resort.” However, this was never supposed to be its official name. In 1971, it was decided that the Contemporary would be named the “Tempo Bay Hotel.” When Roy Disney got wind of the “new name,” he immediately nixed it, saying “I just don’t like it. I like Contemporary. I like names that are simple and say what they are. The other name is phony and plastic.” We can only assume that “Beef Salad” is an homage to Roy’s preference for simple names that say what they are. What is it? It’s a beef salad.
This thing is huge – with lettuce, carrots, cabbage, artichoke hearts, egg, some sort of citrus fruit, and steak with a balsamic vinaigrette and a side of bread. Of course, the menu doesn’t say any of this, so one really doesn’t know what to expect. This was actually a really good, fresh salad. Balsamic vinaigrette isn’t my favorite and there was a ton of it on the salad, but everything was fresh and prepared well, save for the citrus fruit that didn’t appear to be ripe. Unlike most quick service salads, I don’t think it was made ahead of time either. Every time I’ve seen someone order it (myself included), it’s taken several minutes for it to appear from the kitchen. That’s much different than the salad at Pinocchio Village Haus or Toy Story Pizza Planet where you’ll see dozens of pre-prepared salads being wheeled around. Overall, I think you’ll be pleased with this salad if you like balsamic vinaigrette and…beef salad in general.
A 70 minute posted wait at Space Mountain. I’m not sure what the actual wait was – my army is pretty thin on Football Saturday.
A ton of people in line for Chip and Dale. They’re actually on their way backstage here, which means everyone in line will have to wait for an additional 15 minutes or so on top of however long it takes to make it to the front of the line. Not pretty.
30 minute standby wait at Buzz.
Back up to Fantasyland.
Winnie the Pooh has a low capacity and gives out a ton of FASTPASSes. Waits are almost always 30+ minutes in the afternoon. During summer, a 60+ minute wait was common.
Insert 100 Fantasyland construction pictures. *Yawn*
Busy, but FASTPASS return times were just 90 minutes in the future and the standby wait was down to 40 minutes.
20 at Haunted Mansion.
Not bad here either. We do have a low overall crowd level.
15 minutes at Pirates is probably pretty accurate.
Too long. Get here early in the morning or save it for the late evening.
On our way out.
Overall, it was much busier than our recommended day earlier in the week, partially because of the holiday and partially because Magic Kingdom was our “worst Park to visit” today.