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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
— Thrill Data (@ThrillData) July 10, 2023
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.