Saturday January 16th
Predicted Crowd Level: 8.
Actual Crowd Level: 8.
Weather: Heavy wind early – should not have affected crowds.
Ah yes, what a difference a couple of days makes. Friday ended up being a throwaway with the tornado warning and heavy rain in the morning, but Saturday proves that we should have been talking about much higher wait times. Animal Kingdom was not recommended and this chart doesn’t include wait times from 7am-8am, which would have all been short. Even with Everest hitting 50 minutes by 9:45am and Safaris peaking at 90 and only dropping to 75 at the end of the day, you can still do very well with a very early arrival and an intelligent touring plan. On the other hand, the average waits at every ride are considerably higher today than they were back on December 31st, which is easily the busiest day of the year overall. The averages at DINOSAUR, Everest, Safaris, Primeval Whirl, and TriceraTop Spin would all be in the top 10% compared to 2015.
Epcot was recommended and all things considered, this is better than you would expect. You almost never see regular 8am opens at Epcot – usually just the days in between Christmas and New Year’s Eve and then last year, we saw regular 8am opens over Presidents Day Weekend in February as well. You don’t even see 8am opens around Easter or July 4th. Assuming you can arrive 30 minutes before the park opens, an extra hour in the morning is almost always beneficial. Here at Epcot, anything other than Test Track is a walk-on in the first hour and short waits persist until at least 10am. You may remember that Test Track never posts a wait shorter than 30 minutes first thing even if a lot of people will experience the ride with a shorter wait immediately after open. An hour of downtime pushes up afternoon waits at Test Track, but otherwise, this is a great day with below average wait times at the majority of attractions.
This is what it looks like when a problem with a theme park’s cooling system causes four out of your five rides to close for 3+ hours in the morning. It would make it difficult to do much of anything in standby in the afternoon and waits with FastPass+ would be significantly longer as you have so many more people than usual arriving with “priority.” There otherwise isn’t a lot we can take away, other than Great Movie Ride’s waits are a lot shorter than you might expect given nearly everything else being closed. Maybe everybody left. That probably contributes a bit to Animal Kingdom’s higher wait times.
These waits are on the high side, though the 8am open and 12am close help distribute crowds better over the course of a longer day. Otherwise, nothing really jumps out, though Haunted Mansion posting a 145-minute wait shortly after reopening in the afternoon is a little jarring.