Disney World Sees Lowest Crowds in 10 Years

Exterior Shot of Cinderella Castle
Credit: Disney

When you visit Walt Disney World Resort, lines are expected. And traditionally, the July 4 holiday is one of the busiest times of the year. But for some reason…this year saw the lowest attendance for the holiday weekend in a decade.

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Spaceship Earth 4th of July

Credit: Zach Riddley

Peak seasons at the theme parks are typically around holidays, with Christmas, Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, and the Fourth of July leading to Walt Disney World’s busiest times.

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A Slump Year

Walt Disney World has seen a little bit of a decline in 2023. Although the Magic Kingdom still ranks as the most visited theme Park in the world, it has yet to reach the heights it once did. In May, Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Josh D’Amaro confirmed that Walt Disney World is currently witnessing a “moderation” in demand.

Josh D'Amaro outside

Credit: Disney

The evidence of this drop in attendance was painfully clear on July 4. Thrill Data reported average wait times far below those of every Fourth of July dating back to 2014 – making it Walt Disney World’s slowest Fourth of July in a decade.

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July 4th Disney Decline

At around 5 p.m., the Disney World theme parks’ average wait time was just over 20 minutes. According to the wait times listed on the My Disney Experience app, some of Disney World’s most popular rides – including Expedition Everest and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror – had wait times under 20 minutes.

Expedition Everest

Credit: Disney

In the past, wait times at the Magic Kingdom Park and EPCOT (typically the busiest Parks on July 4) have pushed nearly three hours. This year, however, the average wait time at the Magic Kingdom was only 26.9 minutes, while EPCOT’s was just 17 minutes. The longest wait in any of the four theme parks was for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride at 79 minutes.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Credit: Disney

There could be many reasons why Park attendance is down this year, including Guests exhausted by price increases, dissatisfaction with Genie+ and the lightning lane system, the weather, and even the battle with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

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Regardless of the reason, there’s no denying that Walt Disney World crowds are low this summer season. So if there was ever a chance to enjoy a low-crowd vacation at the theme Park Resort, now is it!

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…)