Following the height winter week final month, Walt Disney World guests have loved some good occasions to this point in March 2023. This crowd report shares latest information, ideas on what’s more likely to occur subsequent with attendance ranges throughout and after Spring Break, and simply how sluggish the final couple weeks have been within the parks.
Traditionally, March has been a ‘story of two seasons’ at Walt Disney World, with peaks and valleys–excessive highs and low lows. That’s why we’ve recognized early March as one in all our favourite occasions to go to (it’s routinely one of many high 4 weeks of the 12 months) in our Greatest & Worst Months to Go to Walt Disney World. Within the final two years, this dynamic hasn’t been fairly as pronounced, however a number of regular developments haven’t performed out throughout that point.
There have been the everyday curler coaster crowd ranges as lately as March 2020, and I don’t imply earlier than and after the parks closed. Though, clearly, there have been fewer individuals in them beginning March 16 of that 12 months. Possibly 2019 is a greater instance, when the month began out sluggish (like 2020) however then spiked for spring break. So, how have crowds been in March 2023 thus far? Let’s have a look…
As all the time, what’s coated in these “crowd” experiences is definitely posted wait time information that’s pulled from My Disney Expertise and compiled into graphs for monitoring and evaluating varied days, weeks, months, and years. Loads may be gleaned from posted wait occasions, however it’s not essentially conclusive of in-park congestion or crowds.
There are a number of different variables that influence “appears like” crowds, from the beginning of the 2023 EPCOT Flower & Backyard Competition to climate to visitor demographics to experience breakdowns to operational effectivity to time of day or day of the week. And that’s only a partial record! Past that, wait occasions are sometimes inflated–however a minimum of there’s often consistency within the inaccuracy, if that is smart.
Briefly, wait occasions are an imperfect measure of Walt Disney World’s uncooked attendance or crowds–which have elevated by a number of million individuals over the course of the final decade-plus. With that out of the way in which, let’s dig into the information and take a look at Walt Disney World wait occasions. As all the time, all graphs and stats are courtesy of Thrill-Knowledge.com:
We’ll begin with the month-to-month numbers for Walt Disney World as an entire.
Whereas I like to overanalyze wait occasions information, this gorgeous a lot tells the entire story. I received’t bury the lede: 90% of this submit boils right down to this one chart. Via the primary 11 days of the month, March 2023 is only one minute busier than September 2021, which was far and away the slowest month of final 12 months. Early fall low season crowds however with early spring climate?! Signal me up.
If we break it down by week, it reveals just about the identical factor. For essentially the most half, the primary two weeks of March have been considerably slower than the final 3 weeks of February.
The start of this month has additionally been higher than the sluggish weeks of January, which is fascinating. With that stated, this chart really doesn’t inform the complete story, as a lot of these weeks embody busy and sluggish dates. So let’s take a look at the dailies…
This is a little more helpful, and it reveals that wait occasions really began falling within the second half of Mardi Gras week and into the Princess Half Marathon Weekend. By that Sunday, wait occasions had bottomed out at 28 minutes on common, for a 1/10 crowd degree.
Common wait occasions have been round that since, solely growing in the previous couple of days. Nonetheless, most days have had averages at or below half-hour, and the best crowd degree has been 5/10. It has been a remarkably good stretch for visiting Walt Disney World!
These graphs look similar to these from 2019 or 2020. I do know I joked above concerning the second half of March 2020 falling additional than this, however clearly, that’s not how issues would’ve performed out within the absence of the closure. That winter had been busier than ever earlier than the early March reprieve, and spring break would’ve doubtless been even worse. Suffice to say, you may wish to file these charts away for if you begin fascinated about the timing of your 2024 Walt Disney World trip. The final two weeks are in all probability not an anomaly, however slightly, a return to regular.
When crowd ranges are this constantly low, the person parks don’t actually add something, so I received’t waste your time with useless commentary. However, listed here are these numbers for individuals who need them:
For essentially the most half, what you see is what you get with the per park crowd ranges. Wait occasions spiked main into and out of Presidents’ Day, however fizzled out towards the top of that week, falling from reasonably excessive on Thursday and Friday to flat-out mild ranges on Sunday. They’ve stayed in that vary ever since, solely growing in the previous couple of days.
As all the time, EPCOT is the one park the place what you see might be not what you get. If you happen to visited on February 21, you’d’ve encountered wait time ranges that amounted to a 9/10 crowd degree, however you additionally would’ve missed the top of Competition of the Arts by sooner or later. If you happen to visited on March 1, you’d’ve been there for two/10 crowd ranges based on wait occasions, but additionally the beginning of the 2023 EPCOT Flower & Backyard Competition.
I’d be prepared to wager that should you requested 100 individuals to stroll round EPCOT on each of these two days, and by no means had them do points of interest or take a look at wait occasions, the bulk would say March 1 was busier. Greater than another park, EPCOT is the locals’ park, and that’s evident in situations like this.
If you happen to’re a vacationer specializing in points of interest, you continue to would’ve loved low wait occasions, to make certain, however you’d’ve felt rather more congestion than the group degree suggests. There’s no good answer to this discrepancy, aside from pointing it out. This does occurs on the different parks to some extent, however to not practically the identical diploma as EPCOT.
Now let’s flip to the common attraction wait occasions for the month of March 2023 to this point:
A number of issues price calling to your consideration right here. First, we now have extra wait occasions information for each Enchanted Tales with Belle and the Ariel’s Grotto meet & greet. The latter has been a Lightning Lane that books up quickest most days, and which may lead you to conclude that it’s excessive precedence. The typical wait occasions say in any other case. That’s mirrored in our up to date Magic Kingdom Genie+ Rankings.
Equally, the Adventurers Outpost Minnie & Mickey Mouse meet & greet at Animal Kingdom (#3 on the record above) continues to be fashionable, and now ranks above the whole lot outdoors Pandora. Bear in mind, these are averages over the course of your complete day. Do that earlier than 11 am and there’s an excellent likelihood your wait time is below quarter-hour. (I’ve seen it as a completely empty queue on a number of events.)
Lastly, the Tower of Terror stealth refurbishment is over, in order that attraction’s common wait time is in freefall. That is additionally mirrored in our up to date Disney’s Hollywood Studios Lightning Lane Rankings. Generally, we’ve seen Genie+ getting a lot simpler to make use of at DHS. It’s tough to inform whether or not it is a momentary phenomenon as a result of present crowd ranges, or the provision/demand dynamic has modified. We now have some testing to do there this week…
For these questioning how Walt Disney World’s wait occasions examine to Common Orlando, the development is about the identical for late February via mid-March 2023.
I wouldn’t be in the least stunned if there’s a divergence throughout this upcoming week. Common Orlando’s Florida resident ticket deal doesn’t have blockout dates for Central Florida spring break, that means that extra locals may select Common as a staycation choice. However in all probability, each theme park complexes will hit excessive crowd ranges.
Wanting ahead, I’ve gotta admit that I’m barely stunned by the park reservations scenario. Proper now, Magic Kingdom and DHS are unavailable for Monday and Tuesday, however that’s it. The remainder of the week is vast open. Equally as vital, the Annual Passes that aren’t blocked out have full availability after at the moment. An identical state of affairs performed out round Presidents’ Day, so it’s not a whole shock.
It’s however a constructive that Walt Disney World has not been using Park Go to redistribute or normalize attendance throughout all 4 parks. That is one thing we noticed even final August and September, when crowd ranges have been at their lowest. I’m actually curious what prompted the change. May very well be staffing, visitor satisfaction, or misplaced enterprise on account of making an attempt to “power” individuals to go to sure parks. Maybe a mix of the above.
Regardless, this development ought to put us one step nearer to Walt Disney World retiring reservations for everybody besides APs, or maybe for all dates besides peak vacation weeks. If subsequent week stays inexperienced–and even yellow–the Park Go system arguably has served its function and is not wanted for all company or dates. If Bob Iger desires to say one other huge win on the “listening to suggestions from our company” entrance, the door is now open for an enormous rollback of Park Go.
For spring break season crowds, one other variable is the 2023 Florida Resident Ticket Deal for Walt Disney World. That’s solely legitimate Mondays via Fridays (so weekends are all the time out), and likewise has blockout dates this coming week, April 3-7, and April 10-14.
This coming week is spring break for Osceola and Orange County, amongst different much less vital (from an attendance perspective) college districts round Central Florida. Even with the resident ticket deal blocked out, Orlando-area college districts out on spring break ought to have a large influence on attendance since so many locals are Annual Passholders, and reservation availability is at the moment ample.
Finally, it’s been a wonderful two-week run at Walt Disney World. It’s good to see this “valley” as soon as once more after a pair years throughout which they solely dipped a bit of between late February and early March. In all probability, it is a return to regular slightly than an outlier.
Once more, should you’re planning for a 2024 Walt Disney World trip, we’d extremely advocate preserving these dates in thoughts. This can be a high tier time to go to because of the delicate climate, EPCOT in bloom, and low crowds. It’s the calm earlier than (and after) the storm, and there are solely a handful of weeks that we’d rank greater from each a quantitative and qualitative perspective.
Now comes an fascinating take a look at. Our Spring Break 2023 Crowd Calendar for Walt Disney World predicted that this coming week can be the worst of spring break. That ought to have began to materialize yesterday, with locals inflicting crowd ranges to rise earlier than the vacationers arrived in full power. It’s beginning to occur at the moment (March 12, 2023) with greater wait occasions already and Genie+ returning to its record-high value. That means that Walt Disney World’s inside attendance forecast is at its highest degree, and crowds will solely worsen from right here.
Possibly not, although. Wait occasions have gone up, however not practically as a lot as would usually be the case on a ten/10 peak season day. It’s totally potential that our (and Disney’s personal!) forecast might be incorrect. Walt Disney World aggressively blocked out resident tickets and hasn’t bought new APs in an extended, very long time. Disney’s costs are excessive and airfare additionally isn’t low cost. Regardless that there ended up being some 10/10 days and Genie+ bought out for the primary two occasions ever, we overshot our predictions for Presidents’ Day and Mardi Gras.
Whereas predicting colossal crowds for spring break, we’ve additionally been saying there are indicators pent-up demand is fizzling and that final Christmas may’ve been the final hurrah for that. That has been evident from Walt Disney World’s elevated discounting alone, however can be recommended by management making constructive adjustments to enhance visitor satisfaction. It’ll be fascinating to see how the following few weeks find yourself enjoying out, however I’m already beginning to assume that our expectations for spring break have been too excessive.
That’s the excellent news–the dangerous information is that it’ll nonetheless in all probability really feel very busy. Even when our crowd predictions have been incorrect for the approaching week, it’s not going to be something just like the final two. Being “manner incorrect” right here means 8/10 or 9/10 ranges as an alternative of 10/10+ crowds, with over a dozen points of interest seeing triple digit averages and extra bought out Genie+ days. It’s nonetheless going to be dangerous–that’s just about a given. Reasonably, it’s a query of simply how busy it finally ends up being, and the way lengthy the excessive crowds stick round. Regardless, these decrease ranges for late February via mid-March bode extraordinarily effectively for late April and Might 2023. So there’s that to look ahead to!
Planning a Walt Disney World journey? Find out about accommodations on our Walt Disney World Lodges Evaluations web page. For the place to eat, learn our Walt Disney World Restaurant Evaluations. To save cash on tickets or decide which sort to purchase, learn our Suggestions for Saving Cash on Walt Disney World Tickets submit. Our What to Pack for Disney Journeys submit takes a novel take a look at intelligent gadgets to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Experience Guides will assist. For complete recommendation, the perfect place to start out is our Walt Disney World Journey Planning Information for the whole lot you might want to know!
Did you go to Walt Disney World on the finish of February or first half of March 2023? What did you consider the crowds? Any parks, occasions of day, or days of the week noticeably worse than the others? Did you discover the previous few days to be noticeably busier than the primary half of the week or earlier weekend? If you happen to’ve visited in previous weeks earlier than spring break, did you discover an enormous distinction in crowd ranges? Do you agree or disagree with something in our crowd report? Any questions we will help you reply? Listening to your suggestions–even if you disagree with us–is each fascinating to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas beneath within the feedback!