The incredibly popular President’s Day Weekend crowds are behind us and we’re in a bit of a lull before the March Spring Break crowds pick up beginning March 7th. Disney is actually predicting that most of March will be busier than President’s Day Weekend, so we’re in for a pretty serious wave of incoming crowds in the next couple of weeks. At the moment, it looks like the last three weeks of March will be solid “8’s and 9’s” on the Crowd Calendar, indicating significantly heavier than average crowds, but no risk of Parks closing to capacity. That has been the prediction since the March Crowd Calendar was put together back in September 2010. Heavy crowds should continue through the middle of April, at which point crowds are expected to ease to the point where the last week in April will see significantly lower crowds than any of the seven weeks prior. Even Easter week between April 17th and 23rd should be less crowded than originally predicted, with crowds in the “6-7” range.
Let’s have a look at today’s wait times at the recommended and not recommended Parks. We have a rare Tuesday night evening Extra Magic Hours at Hollywood Studios, which makes it “not recommended” like it normally would be on a Tuesday (as long as Fantasmic isn’t scheduled). All wait times are taken from what’s posted outside of the attraction between 1:00pm and 1:15pm.
Animal Kingdom (Most Recommended Park)
Dinosaur: 5 minutes, FASTPASS Return: 1:40pm
Expedition Everest: 10 minutes, FASTPASS Return: 1:40pm
It’s Tough to be a Bug: 5 minutes
Kali River Rapids: 5 minutes, FASTPASS Return: 1:40pm
Kilimanjaro Safaris: 10 minutes, FASTPASS Return: 1:40pm
Epcot (Not Recommended):
The Land Pavilion closed today due to a fire emergency. Soarin, Living with the Land, Circle of Life, Sunshine Seasons etc. were closed at 1pm. They reopened later in the afternoon. Hopefully you were not in attendance, since Epcot was “not recommended.” As of 5pm, Soarin’s standby wait is 110 minutes and Test Track’s is 50 minutes. Since 1pm wait times wouldn’t be very accurate because of the closures, I will skip them today. Barring any “issues,” the following would be the expected wait times: Soarin – 60 minutes, Test Track – 50 minutes, Sum of All Thrills – 15 minutes, Mission Space Green Team – 15 minutes, Mission Space Orange Team – 25 minutes, Maelstrom – 20 minutes.
Hollywood Studios (Not Recommended):
Backlot Tour: 25 minutes
Great Movie Ride: 15 minutes
Rock N Roller Coaster: 30 minutes, FASTPASS Return: 2:30pm
Tower of Terror: 35 minutes, FASTPASS Return: 1:50pm
Toy Story Mania: 80 minutes, FASTPASS Return: Sold Out
Magic Kingdom (Highly Recommended)
Big Thunder Mountain: 10 minutes, FASTPASS Return: 1:50pm
Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin:10 minutes, FASTPASS Return: 1:40pm
Haunted Mansion: 5 minutes
It’s A Small World: 5 minutes
Peter Pan’s Flight: 30 minutes, FASTPASS Return: 2:40pm
Pirates of the Caribbean: 5 minutes
Space Mountain: 10 minutes, FASTPASS Return: 1:40pm
Splash Mountain: 10 minutes, FASTPASS Return: 1:50pm
Winnie the Pooh: 20 minutes, FASTPASS Return: 1:50pm
Looks like the predictions were right on target again today. Low crowds overall with the recommended Parks seeing significantly lower wait times than the non-recommended Parks. After all, we’d much rather be in the Magic Kingdom or Animal Kingdom with 10 minute waits rather than Hollywood Studios with 30-80 minute waits right? However, the low overall crowd level makes even the “not recommended” Parks less crowded than they would be when the overall crowd level is much higher. We can expect waits at the Studios to be even higher on Thursday for Fantasmic and ESPN the Weekend.
If you’d like to compare these wait times to what we’ve seen over the last couple of weeks, click here for a look at crowds on February 19th and here for wait times exactly one week ago (also at 1pm). You’ll notice that waits are much longer because the crowd level was an “8-9” rather than a “2-3.”