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Crowds Confirmed: Disney World’s “Slow Season” Took the Year Off

It looks like Disney World’s “Slow Season” has decided to take 2022 off. After weeks of social media being abuzz with unusually large crowds at The Most Magical Place on Earth for weekdays in the middle of January, this reporter spent Thursday, January 27, at EPCOT. He can confirm the crowds are crazy for this time of year.

If it wasn’t for the weather and the clear designation of the International Festival of the Arts in full swing, I would have thought by the crowd size that it was the middle of summer! I didn’t ride and rides, so I can’t report on the wait times, but for someone looking to enjoy the festival in World Showcase, I can tell you that, indeed, the thoroughfare was packed with people. Here are some pictures:

Crowds at EPCOT

Credit: TK Bosacki/DisneyFanatic

Related: First Look at Everything Coming to the 2022 EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival

Crowds at EPCOT

Credit: TK Bosacki/Disney Fanatic

Now, to find the Park unusually crowded isn’t exactly something new for a local Annual Passholder like myself, especially now that people are finally starting to take their freedom back and travel again. But what did surprise me was the number of kids I saw with their parents!

I was shocked to see so many kids out of school having a Disney day. You couldn’t tell that it was a school day, and I’m not going to lie, my inner child was very jealous.

Regarding the crowd’s effect on the overall enjoyment of the day, I believe it all comes down to expectations. If you are expecting the usual January crowds and being able to get away with things like last-minute dinner reservations and easy pickings for fireworks spots, you’re in for a rude awakening. At the same time, the crowds still are not as bad–at least, at EPCOT–as they are during the “high” summer season and during EPCOT’s International Food and Wine Festival.

At the end of the day, I was happy to see so many people breaking the molds of what the regular Disney visitors see as “normal.” I was excited to see so many kids being able to break out of school to have a magical adventure.

Spaceship Earth, EPCOT

Credit: TK Bosacki/Disney Fanatic

Related: Disney World Park Pass Reservation Update: Availability 1/28 – 1/30

I’m sorry the parks are nowhere near as empty as they used to be at this time of year, but it’s all about expectations. Plan on the crowds, and you will still have a Magical Time.

About T.K. Bosacki

TK is a writer and editor based in Tampa, FL with a passion for all things Disney, and adventure.