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Disney is Empty Now, And It’s Going To Get Worse Next Year

Disney World 2023 attendance figures are down
Credit: patchrick84, Flickr

The story of the summer has been the crowds at Walt Disney World. Or, to be more precise, the lack of crowds. Throughout the summer, Disney World has been described as a “ghost town” and “absolutely dead” on the Fourth of July weekend. Even Disney CEO Bob Iger admitted that the crowds have declined at the Central Florida resort.

epcot animal kingdom crowds

EPCOT and Disney’s Animal Kingdom are much the same/Chris Epifanio

Related: Hey Iger, It’s the Price That’s Keeping Disney World Attendance Down

But Disney does not release the exact numbers of their theme parks, so it’s hard to determine just how empty Disney Parks have been this summer. During an interview with CNBC, Iger said that tourism is down by six percent throughout Florida, but that accounts for the entire state, not just Central Florida.

However, it’s time for Orange County to start planning how to spend its tourism dollars, and they have released some numbers that give an idea of just how far Disney attendance has fallen. Orange County collects a six percent tax on all rooms rented in the county, and that money is used to improve tourism sites, such as the Orange County Convention Center. The funds collected by the county can give a somewhat accurate account of just how far Disney’s attendance has fallen.

According to Orange County Comptroller Phil Diamond, Collections were down 3.5 percent in April, 6.7 percent in May, and 7.3 percent in June. But even more troubling for Disney, Universal Studios Florida, and Sea World, Diamond is projecting a 7.5 percent decrease next year.

Walt Disney World Empty,

Credit: Tom B., Flickr

While this is not exact, it is as close as we can see just how much Disney World attendance has fallen over the past few months and future projections.

Where is Everyone?

According to AAA, International travel is up more than 200 percent since 2022, and cruise bookings are up 300 percent. London alone saw a 350 percent increase in bookings over the summer of 2022.

“Travelers are making up for lost time and willing to spend more to see the world,” said Paula Twidale, Senior Vice President of Travel at AAA.

Disney World and Universal Studios Orlando saw this same bump in 2021 and 2022. There was pent-up demand after Covid, and travelers used those years to get back to the Theme Parks in Florida, but now, they’re heading around the world.

If the crowd level at Walt Disney World Resort continues, it becomes a disturbing attendance trend for Disney. There is a number for the lower crowds, including ticket prices and the overall price of a Disney World vacation, political issues in Florida, and Central Florida summer heat.

Walt Dreamer Statue

Walt Disney Dreamer Statue. Credit: Disney

Disney has made a vacation at Walt Disney World Parks financially difficult for many families. It costs thousands for a room at Disney World, not including extras like food and Disney Genie Plus.

Perhaps given this new data, Disney CEO Bob Iger will make some changes to the pricing, but that seems unlikely. Otherwise, there will be a lot fewer people visiting Walt Disney World in the future.

We will continue to update this story at Disney Fanatic.


About Rick

Rick is an avid Disney fan. He first went to Disney World in 1986 with his parents and has been hooked ever since. Rick is married to another Disney fan and is in the process of turning his two children into fans as well. When he is not creating new Disney adventures, he loves to watch the New York Yankees and hang out with his dog, Buster. In the fall, you will catch him cheering for his beloved NY Giants.

One comment

  1. The average family can’t afford the high prices of Disney World. Yet ,they keep increasing the prices. So sad. 25yrs ago I was able to take my family,not now a days.

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