Is Disney World Attendance on the Rise After Low Summer Crowds?

Disney World attendance
Credit: Inside the Magic

Disney World appears to be experiencing a surge in attendance after the traditional summer vacation season has ended. While the Florida theme park suffered a bit of a downtrend in recent months, wait times seem to be holding or even increasing lately. However, outside of additional crowds, there may be a few more reasons surrounding this, according to park visitors on social media and other unexpected extremes.

Disney parade disturbed

Credit: Disney

Low Summer Crowds at Disney World

Many people have pulled out their megaphones to inform everyone that Disney World attendance has been down this summer. There is truth to this, and several reasons explain this trend. While some can argue that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and his policies are to blame, there are quite a few additional hurdles that Disney might have placed upon itself.

Disney’s ever-increasing ticket prices have made visiting the parks costlier, potentially dissuading some potential visitors. Furthermore, the intense Florida heat hasn’t done the theme park any favors. Finally, the appeal of going to Disney World this year hasn’t been as strong as it was last year when the COVID-19 pandemic was just ending. Guests are finding alternative vacation destinations while not traveling quite as much.

Disney World Crowded

Credit: Yesterland

Disney Wait Times Steady

However, a recent Reddit thread has indicated that Walt Disney World Resort is trending upward in wait times now that kids are heading back to school. The original poster asked for advice because they’ve been monitoring current wait times at Disney World, and they’ve noticed they have not improved or have even worsened compared to a few weeks ago when most children were still out of school.

I have a trip planned to disney world in a couple of weeks post labor day, trying to hit the “low season” as best I can. As such I have made a plan for each day at the parks (made from wait time data from multiple sites of the same comparable days last year to when I expect to go this year), is it perfect? No, but in my theme park going experience a plan for the day has always helped.

However, I have also been monitoring current Disney World wait times for all 4 parks lately, and to my shock the wait times have either not budged or have even got worse then they were a few weeks ago when all kids were still out of school.

Now all kids are back in school in more of the country (seems like some of the Northeast doesn’t go back until after Labor day), and they are back in school in all of Florida. However, once again this week the wait times seem as bad or even worse then they were a month ago.

So can anyone whom has been to the park lately tell me why? Or anybody that goes all the time and just legitimately knows their stuff? Are these mostly adults right now, or is it foreign tourists? Can I expect ANY drop in crowd post Labor Day when my trip is planned?

Even the Virtual Queue’s seem to be getting harder and harder to get each day according to a site I used that tracks how long they are available for at each opportunity to get them each day (7am, 1pm).

Anyway, anybody that could shed some light on this confusing wait time trend I would appreciate it!

disney world crowd

Credit: Facebook

Disney Attendance Increase

This unexpected influx of visitors has left many perplexed, given that this period is typically considered the “low season” at the popular theme park. However, responses were quick to point out several reasons behind the observation.

One notable factor contributing to the continued high attendance is the significant presence of international tourists, particularly from the United Kingdom and South America. Unlike their American counterparts, students in these regions don’t typically return to school until September. This means that families from these areas can choose when to visit the park.

Tons of brits and south americans in the parks, lately.

byu/WPack911 from discussion

Another reason for the sustained crowds is the diversity in school start dates across different states in the United States. While some states begin their school in August, others delay their start until after Labor Day. As a result, families from states with later start dates may still be taking advantage of the opportunity for a late summer vacation.

Kids haven’t gone back to school yet here. You’re still looking at summer vacation crowds.

byu/WPack911 from discussion

Additionally, it appears that some families may have planned last-minute trips to Disney World in anticipation of lower crowds following Labor Day. However, these expectations may not have been met due to the previously mentioned international and regional factors.

all the people whose kids go back later had the same idea as you.

byu/WPack911 from discussion

Disney’s Unpredictable Crowds

Crowds at Disney World are definitely volatile right now. Every parkgoer provides a different account, and wait times have been hard to measure, especially with the intense heat and storms passing through lately. Crowds may still be coming, but wait times are not always the perfect way to monitor their size. Lightning storms and ride breakdowns can also skew wait times due to closures, making the park appear busier than normal.

Some analysts have stated that Disney World is actually supposed to get more empty this season. However, not all experiences have led to this conclusion. Even Disneyland in California had a flood of visitors just a single day after Hurricane Hilary came through the park. A Disney vacation is often unpredictable!

About Michael Stoyanoff

Michael is a Disney fan with an entertainment background and passion for writing. Living in Orlando, he has been around the theme parks for over a decade. In his free time he enjoys running, playing video games, and traveling the world. He also loves hanging out with his dog, Mr. Pippers the Pug.

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