Walt Disney World Attendance in Decline

Exterior Shot of Cinderella Castle
Credit: Disney

Last week during the fourth of July holiday, Walt Disney World wait times were the lowest they’ve been in years. Although that may not be the best news for the theme park resort or the Walt Disney Company, it’s fantastic news for those planning a Disney World vacation.

RELATED: Disney World Sees Lowest Crowds in 10 Years

Disney World’s Decreasing Crowds

There has also been a lot of coverage in the media lately discussing the theme park attendance numbers and lack of crowds, especially during this month. Many have also speculated that the drop in attendance is why the price of Genie+ in each theme park has started to decrease as well.

alien swirling saucers

Credit: Disney

Others however, have posed the theory that theme park attendance is down this year because many Disney fans are holding off plans to visit until 2024 – when the dining plans return, park reservations go away, and other changes arrive to the Disney parks and resorts.

RELATED: 2024 Park Hopping Info You Need to Know

And finally, there are some who believe (some with fear, some with hope) that the decrease in attendance stems from the Walt Disney Company’s conflict with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and inserting themselves in hot button culture war issues.


Credit: Disney Tips

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Of course, it could be that Disney has priced themselves out of the market. Although theme park attendance has hit a slump throughout the industry, no parks appear to have been affected more than the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, and the Animal Kingdom. Disney Hollywood Studios still seems to gather a large amount of attendance, probably due to its popular Toy Story Land and Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge attractions.

Disney World Not Crowded

Credit: Disney

Disney World Attendance Data

As reported by Thrill Data, the average wait times at most of the Walt Disney World Resort parks have fallen in 2023. The figure sits at numbers lowers than 2019 and even 2022 –  signaling that COVID may no longer be the reason. The figures analyzed include each Walt Disney World theme park from January 1 to July 10 going back to 2019 (2020 is excluded due to COVID). The image shared below in the Tweet displays Hollywood Studios wait times – the purple line is this year, the green is 2022.

Some have tried to explain it away by pointing out weather conditions, but the same weather has not impacted the crowd levels at other Orlando theme parks. Whatever the reason for Disney’s soft attendance, it’s a problem that the Walt Disney Company must analyze and solve ASAP.

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About Steven Wilk

Steven has a complicated relationship with Disney. As a child, he visited Walt Disney World every few years with his family. But he never understood why kids his age (and older) were so scared of Snow White or Alien Encounter. He is a former participant of the Disney College Program (left early…long story), and he also previously worked in Children’s publishing, where he adapted multiple Disney movies and TV shows. He has many controversial opinions about Disney…like having a positive view of Michael Eisner, believing Return of the Jedi is superior to The Empire Strikes Back, and that Toy Story Land and Galaxy’s Edge should have never been built (at least not at Hollywood Studios). Every year for the past two decades, Steven has visited either Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Aulani or went on a Disney Cruise. He’s happy to share any and all knowledge of the Disney destinations (and he likes using parenthesis a lot…as well as ellipses…)