Saturday January 30th
Predicted Crowd Level: 7.
Actual Crowd Level: 6.
Weather: High of 72 and low of 48. A very pleasant, sunny day.
Over the last weekend in January, we saw what might be a surprising predicted overall crowd level with a “7 out of 10.” That’s the same as a weekend over the busy spring break season in March or the same as most weekdays in June, July, and August. The Saturday one week prior, the recommendation was the same with an overall crowd level of “5 out of 10.” This is what those wait times looked like:
It’s a pretty significant different as you’ve got wait times that are 50% higher overall. 25 minutes at Safaris versus 59 minutes at Safaris for example. Anyway, Animal Kingdom wasn’t recommended and with a higher crowd level than the day before, waits are even higher. Back on the 19th, the overall wait was 12 minutes with an overall crowd level of “3.” These are not insubstantial differences.
With Soarin’ now closed for nearly a month, it’s become clear that people are systematically spending at least one day less at Epcot. If Soarin’ was operating, you’d expect triple digit waits there and at Test Track, along with longer waits everywhere else given more people visiting. Those of you that do still enjoy Epcot are in for a bit of a treat over the next four months as attendance is down sharply.
You’d think the bad press over Studios’ closures would have an adverse effect on attendance, but it’s actually up given the seasonal overlays and advertisements for the Star Wars additions. Waits might look bad…but they’re going to get a lot worse over spring break when the Studios isn’t recommended. Time will tell what happens come April 3rd.
More 8am opens at Magic Kingdom would do a lot to ease wait times throughout the day, in addition to offering an extra hour of short waits first thing for those of us that know what we’re doing and arrive by 7:30am. The late close also sees short waits, but you do see a 30+ minute average wait across all attractions from 10:45am basically through 8:45pm. That’s how it usually works on days with heavier crowds and longer operating hours. The early morning and late evening are still good, but the middle of the day sees much heavier crowds and longer waits.
Sunday should see above average crowds before things drop back off heading into the first week in February.