Saturday January 27, 2017
Predicted 4-Park Crowd Level: 7.
Sum of Predicted 4-Park Average Wait Times: 143 minutes.
Actual 4-Park Crowd Level: 7.
Sum of Actual 4-Park Average Wait Times: 142 minutes.
Weather: High of 57 and low of 46. A very cold day for Orlando.
Animal Kingdom was predicted to be 35 minutes and came in at exactly that. It’s a little jarring to see such high wait times considering just two days prior the average wait was 14 minutes. But for whatever reason, the last weekend in January has been “crazy busy” the last couple of years and these high wait times at Animal Kingdom reflect that.
Epcot is rarely recommended on Saturdays under the new version of the crowd calendar as it’s typically the most crowded day of the week. Part of that is the higher overall crowd level on the weekends, but it seems like it makes sense to avoid a day when local visitors are more likely to clog up World Showcase and wait times at the headlining attractions are so much higher. The 31 minute average is lower than the 25 we were expecting, but it’s considerably higher than the 18 minutes we saw earlier in the week and the 19 minutes we’ll see tomorrow.
Hollywood Studios was the only expressly recommended Park and while peak waits here are typically high with just five rides, we have a very manageable first hour and things are relatively reasonable after 7pm with the exception of Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. I would think the 90 minute wait there prior to close would be about 75 minutes longer than reality.
According to the crowd calendar entry:
Magic Kingdom: 8am – 12am (Tentatively Recommended)
Upon A Time Castle Projection Show: 7:30pm, Wishes: 9pm
Expected Average Wait: 30 minutes
Actual Average Wait: TBD
The long hours offer two very good opportunities to tour, even given the high overall crowd level and the fact that it’s a Saturday with above average attendance. The 8am open is beneficial because few people will arrive by then, making the 8am-10am time frame better than most other days from 9am-11am. The late night is also great for anyone that can stay out late with short waits at most attractions after 9pm and largely nonexistent waits after 11pm. Consider visiting Magic Kingdom if you can take advantage of one or both of these times, but keep in mind that the afternoon from 11am-7pm is going to have above average wait times. Most people will want to take a break or use FastPass+ while mixing in the high capacity/less popular attractions. Overall, you can do very well in the early morning and late evening, but the afternoon will be a bit of a mess.
That’s just about what happened, though massive downtime at Seven Dwarfs Mine Train pushes afternoon wait times up considerably in the afternoon and Space Mountain’s long waits after 10pm prop up late evening waits.
We’ll continue with Sunday.