In just a few current posts, we’ve coated the very best and worst days to do Magic Kingdom subsequent month. This has been predicated upon the 2022 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Occasion, which causes crowd ranges to fluctuate dramatically by day at Walt Disney World in August, September, and October. (Up to date July 29, 2022.)
That is actually nothing new. As we’ve mentioned numerous occasions, MNSSHP disrupts crowd dynamics, nevertheless it does so predictably. The Halloween celebration pushes attendance a lot larger on the dates it’s not occurring and decrease on days of the occasion. It was a scorching matter final yr when Disney After Hours Boo Bash was introduced, a choice that was probably primarily based at the least partly on anticipated heavy crowds for the kickoff of Walt Disney World’s fiftieth Anniversary. (Which by no means materialized attributable to reinstated masks guidelines and the Delta variant.)
Magic Kingdom crowd dynamics throughout celebration season has been one of many key dialogue factors of our August by means of December crowd calendars for a number of years. It’s truly one of many best “predictions” we make. These are air quotes round prediction as a result of this sample has performed out predictably and persistently for the final 5+ years. It’s akin to “predicting” that Peter Pan’s Flight and Seven Dwarfs Mine Prepare may have larger wait occasions than Carousel of Progress.
Lately, Walt Disney World adjusted its schedule to account for this. Magic Kingdom will now keep open for one further hour–till 11:00 pm–from now by means of August 2, plus the next dates:
- August 13-15, 2022
- August 17, 2022
- August 20-22, 2022
- August 24-25, 2022
- August 27, 2022
These extensions are all on nights when Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Occasion is not being held.
Beforehand, in our August 2022 Crowd Calendar Replace, we predicted that these could be essentially the most crowded dates of the month. In fact, that’s relative–after the primary 10 days, August is the autumn low season. From mid-August by means of late September isn’t a very busy time as an entire at Walt Disney World.
Extra importantly for savvy Walt Disney World trip planners, Magic Kingdom will open an hour earlier–at 8 am–on the next dates:
- August 12, 2022
- August 16, 2022
- August 19, 2022
- August 23, 2022
- August 26, 2022
Once more, that is additionally attributable to MNSSHP–these are all occasion nights when Magic Kingdom is closing to day friends at 6 pm. We beforehand predicted these could be the slowest dates of August 2022 at Magic Kingdom.
For our half, we’ve been strongly recommending that readers go to Magic Kingdom through the day on Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Occasion nights, after which bouncing to a different park at round 4 pm. Park Hopping is crucial throughout celebration season.
The underlying rationale for that is that many day friends keep away from Magic Kingdom on celebration dates as a result of the park hours are shorter and fireworks should not proven to common friends. This leads to considerably lighter crowds earlier than the celebration. These similar friends then flock to non-party days in Magic Kingdom.
For guests with out the Park Hopper choice (which is a lot of individuals), visiting Magic Kingdom on non-party nights is the apparent, intuitive selection. For a similar ticket value, they get a number of extra hours within the park and get to see the fireworks.
That’s precisely why our zig once they zag suggestion has been to do Magic Kingdom on days of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Occasion and to Park Hop someplace else round 4 pm.
Regardless that Magic Kingdom has longer hours on today, you’re going to get much less achieved than you would earlier than 4 pm on a celebration day. As long as you’re snug lacking the fireworks (Disney Enchantment is nothing particular) or are wonderful watching from a resort restaurant or the TTC, we extremely advocate doing all your days in Magic Kingdom on celebration dates.
All of this was our recommendation earlier than Magic Kingdom moved to eight am opening occasions on MNSSHP dates. Now, it’s an absolute no-brainer, as rope drop occurring at 8 am means considerably decrease crowds for that. Ditto Early Entry beginning at 7:30 am. The overwhelming majority of friends can not or is not going to be at Magic Kingdom at that hour, so that you’ll have an incredible benefit. We’ll check touring technique as soon as these dates roll round, however I’m guessing (with an inexpensive diploma of confidence) that Genie+ received’t even be wanted at Magic Kingdom on these MNSSHP dates.
We can not overemphasize the gang disparity between days with and with out the early closure because of the Halloween celebration. It is a prime instance of taking the counterintuitive method and embracing the shorter hours. You’ve in all probability learn all of this earlier than.
The rationale we’re reiterating all of it is because one thing odd has occurred within the final week. Above is a have a look at the Disney Park Cross calendar for August 2022 as of this morning. Disregard the primary week, which remains to be summer season season and the final hurrah for a lot of locals earlier than faculty goes again into session.
What’s extra attention-grabbing is August 12, 16, and 19, all of that are yellow–totally booked for Magic Kingdom. (Till yesterday, August 23 was additionally yellow.) All of these are Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Occasion nights. So, what offers? Are our crowd predictions incorrect?
That’s at all times a risk. Now we have been stressing for some time that crowd calendars are much less dependable than ever because the reservations system, pent-up demand, and different unprecedented elements undercut historic knowledge and underneath predictors of crowd ranges.
It’s thus doable that we’re going to get this one incorrect. I’m humble sufficient to confess once I’m incorrect, and can achieve this once more if that seems to be the case right here, and wait time knowledge for Magic Kingdom on non-party days displays decrease crowd ranges for these dates.
With that in thoughts, let’s focus on some potentialities about what’s occurring right here…
First, one theoretical state of affairs is that tons of individuals learn our August 2022 suggestions and I single handedly managed to govern Walt Disney World attendance patterns. (Not sounding so humble now, am I?!) That is talked about as a result of commenters sometimes query whether or not they need to do the reverse of our recommendation since “everybody else” is studying this and can comply with these methods. Take into account that the counter-counterintuitive method.
Whereas I actually want extra individuals would heed my warnings and comply with my recommendation, that is utter nonsense. If Walt Disney World guests have been following this weblog’s options on any significant scale, Nation Bear Jamboree would have perpetual 90 minute waits, Sanaa could be essentially the most coveted ADR, Chester & Hester could be out of enterprise, and Mickey would’ve had his chef’s hat revoked by now. None of these issues have even come near occurring.
Even when each single individual who has learn any of our a number of posts with the August 2022 park suggestions adopted them, that might solely quantity to ~1% of all Magic Kingdom guests on any given day. In all chance, that dramatically overestimates the affect of our recommendation. Lots of common readers probably don’t have journeys deliberate for August and others are unwilling or unable to comply with our suggestions.
Briefly, this weblog isn’t shifting the needle on crowd patterns at Walt Disney World in any significant approach. That’s true not simply with this specific matter, however at all times. The counterintuitive methods right here work as a result of the overwhelming majority of holiday makers don’t use them, and go for the intuitive method. Even most individuals who do learn this weblog disregard a variety of its recommendation and can by no means know the fun of Nation Bear Jamboree.
A second risk is that Walt Disney World has set its preliminary attendance limits for every park in August 2022 and is counting Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Occasion ticket gross sales in opposition to these caps. This could clarify why MNSSHP dates have been the quickest to replenish through the early fall low season.
This could make nearly no sense. Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Occasion happens largely after park closing; the one overlap between that occasion and day friends happens between 4 pm and 6 pm. That two hour window could be crowded and chaotic with an inflow of arriving and departing friends, however the remainder of the park isn’t noticeably busy in consequence. (Particularly in August.)
Odd as it would sound, this can be a risk. Now we have it on good authority that Walt Disney World tries to set attendance caps to permit unimpeded Park Hopping, which has meant decrease every day limits for Magic Kingdom as extra friends head there after their first park for Disney Enchantment.
That is smart throughout regular operations if the opposite parks have extra capability. Not a lot in terms of Halloween or Christmas celebration dates since there’s minimal overlap between every day ops and the occasions. It’s actually simply two hours, and there are nearly as many individuals leaving then as are arriving.
If this “doesn’t make a lot sense,” then why is Disney doing it? Effectively, your guess is pretty much as good as mine. Lots of Walt Disney World followers need to imagine that the corporate is all-knowing, taking part in a well-orchestrated sport of 4D chess that’s past the comprehension of anybody trying on from the skin.
That’s typically not the case–one hand typically doesn’t know what the opposite is doing. Fundamental blunders are made attributable to a scarcity of foresight, lack of institutional information, vanity, and so forth. There may be a need to imagine there’s some deeper rationalization right here, nevertheless it’s fairly probably a easy mistake.
Giving Walt Disney World management the advantage of the doubt, one other risk is that that is purposeful. Administration anticipates the opposite 3 parks having loads of extra bandwidth to soak up friends on days that Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Occasion is being held, and has intentionally set a decrease attendance cap at Magic Kingdom in consequence.
On this state of affairs, their purpose could be making certain that the visitor expertise is best for many who have a shorter day within the park, with individuals in a position to accomplish simply as a lot in a partial day as an entire one at Magic Kingdom. This could be a charitable rationalization, however nice if true. My hesitation in believing that is my very own eyes. I’ve seen every thing else that they’ve achieved to the visitor expertise within the final couple of years, making this rationalization a tough promote.
It’s additionally doable that that is purposeful, and attributable to ongoing staffing shortages. A couple of individuals recommended this within the feedback and on social media, and it’s extremely probably that they’re right. We’ve identified on a number of events in park hours updates that Magic Kingdom probably can’t open sooner than 9 am or keep open later than 11 pm with out including shifts, and that may’t be achieved attributable to an inadequate variety of Forged Members.
Whereas staffing has been bettering and sure will get higher by the point Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Occasion begins, it’s nonetheless a difficulty. Walt Disney World in all probability remains to be ready that Magic Kingdom might want to reallocate some daytime shifts to the night throughout MNSSHP.
In principle, this might impression trip capability or effectivity, thereby growing wait occasions through the day of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Occasion. This could most definitely be evident on sights cast-intensive rides like Jungle Cruise or Area Mountain, however dispatch intervals could possibly be impacted on different sights.
Nonetheless, we might not anticipate this to extend wait occasions a lot in mid to late August 2022 exterior a handful of sights. That is normally a gradual time with extra capability, so a slight lower in operational effectivity shouldn’t damage a lot. What it’s extra prone to imply is an extended line to select up Cellular Orders, fewer PhotoPass photographers through the day, and issues that aren’t measured by regular wait time knowledge.
My working assumption at this level is that Disney has lowered the day visitor cap for some cause–whether or not that be benevolence or clumsily counting MNSSHP friends in opposition to it. The actual cause doesn’t matter, as long as it’s not truly attributable to extra demand for the 6 pm closure days.
It’s doable–if not possible–that we’ll see extra Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Occasion dates “replenish” for Magic Kingdom in August 2022 on the Disney Park Cross reservation calendar. Given how issues have performed out up to now, that may in all probability occur earlier than many non-party dates guide up. (Though sooner or later, the yellow will turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy and other people will scramble to guide different dates, too.)
Nonetheless, this doesn’t imply these dates might be busier. As we’ve coated elsewhere, Walt Disney World has been utilizing reservations to govern attendance and the Disney Park Cross calendar isn’t conclusive of crowd ranges. The corporate has been utilizing reservations to extend the utilization and normalize numbers throughout all 4 parks.
That’s why “totally booked” days have such inconsistent crowd ranges, and Magic Kingdom has ranged from 3/10 to 9/10 crowd ranges on dates that have been “totally booked.” There wouldn’t be such dramatic fluctuations in wait occasions if “totally booked” have been a comparatively constant attendance quantity.
If our principle is right right here–that Walt Disney World is for some cause counting MNSSHP friends in opposition to the every day attendance cap for Magic Kingdom–that may quantity to a fair odder approach of redistributing attendance away from Magic Kingdom. It could even be one that might backfire, assuming changes aren’t made with attendance limits previous to the Halloween and Christmas events.
Personally, I don’t assume that’ll occur–or received’t occur greater than as soon as. If August 12 rolls round and nothing modifications, Magic Kingdom could possibly be fairly gradual through the day. That might in all probability (hopefully?) end in management reevaluating reservations, and why Magic Kingdom had such low daytime attendance on a completely booked day.
My precise hope and expectation could be that Walt Disney World begins evaluating Park Cross reservations as soon as August arrives, and somebody inside questions what’s up with Magic Kingdom. In that state of affairs, reservation availability is refilled for MNSSHP days, and the dates that truly guide up are Saturdays, adopted by different non-party dates.
In fact, that is all extremely speculative and assumes there’s not another rationalization I’m not overlooking. Possibly mid-August is instantly the recent time to journey and extra individuals wish to go to Magic Kingdom on days it closes at 6 pm. (Maybe they’re petrified of vampires.) This could defy years of historic precedent, crowd stage knowledge, and fundamental logic. Nevertheless it’s nonetheless doable.
Finally, that’s my take and it could possibly be incorrect. Nonetheless, not solely am I keen to stay with this one, however I’m doubling down on it fairly strongly by way of this publish. That ought to say one thing about my confidence stage and the quantity of crow I’ll should eat if this finally ends up being inaccurate and Magic Kingdom is packed on MNSSHP days with sanguivoriphobiacs.
Even within the face of “proof” on the contrary by way of the Disney Park Cross reservation calendar, I merely don’t imagine days when the Magic Kingdom closes at 6 pm might be busier than days it closes at 11 pm. For one, that might fly within the face of years and years of information on the contrary. For one more, the Disney Park Cross calendar stopped being determinative of crowd ranges months in the past, so why would we instantly give it any credence?
All issues thought-about, August 2022 ought to be a comparatively low to reasonable month throughout the board at Walt Disney World as soon as faculty goes again into session, reducing throughout the board starting round August 10, 2022. That’s the date that each Orange County Public Colleges and Osceola County Public Colleges begin their first day of lessons, and people districts have a disproportionate impression on crowd ranges at Walt Disney World. As different districts across the South, Midwest, and Northeast begin their tutorial years, crowds will proceed dropping for the rest of the month.
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What do you assume…will non-party days when Magic Kingdom closes at 11 pm be busier, or an excessive amount of of a vampire danger for the typical Walt Disney World visitor? Is August 2022 going to be the yr that defies historic precedent and logic, with days of MNSSHP being busier? Do you agree or disagree with our evaluation? Any questions we can assist you reply? Listening to your suggestions—even if you disagree with us—is each attention-grabbing to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas under within the feedback!