How Were Thanksgiving Crowds at Walt Disney World?
Last week, I chronicled the traffic surge at Walt Disney World.
Even though Thanksgiving wasn’t until last Thursday, crowds increased several days early, leading to a…rough week.
Nobody really cared because they were still spending the holidays at Disney, though.
You’re probably wondering about the crowds for Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday weekend. Weeeeeeeell….
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Avatar Flight of Passage always works as a sign of how overall crowds were. And I’m going to shock you here.
The Pandora attraction required a 76-minute wait. That’s a drop of more than half (!) from the previous week’s 155 minutes.
Remember that this data includes a couple of days from this week as well. Still, it hints that this update will be more positive than expected.
Na’vi River Journey also dropped 18 minutes to a 62-minute wait. This trend continued across the park, too.
Here are the other attractions:
- Kilimanjaro Safaris – 40 minutes, down 32
- Expedition Everest – 24 minutes, down 23
- DINOSAUR – 20 minutes, down 40 (!!!)
- TriceraTop Spin – 12 minutes, down 13
- It’s Tough to Be a Bug! – 11 minutes, down 9
The average Animal Kingdom attraction required a 33-minute wait, down 32 minutes. So yes, wait times basically dropped in half.
For whatever reason, the trend here is that people visit several days before Thanksgiving and then tend to leave soon afterward.
Remember this if/when you plan a Thanksgiving vacation here!
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Actually, I’m getting ahead of myself. It’s possible, albeit unlikely, that the other parks didn’t do as well.
At Hollywood Studios, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will tell the tale.
Thankfully, its average wait time was “only” 116 minutes, down 61 minutes from the previous article. So, that’s a good sign.
Another attraction that usually comes with a prolonged wait is Slinky Dog Dash. It averaged a 93-minute wait, down 17 minutes from last week.
The other E-ticket attraction here, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, included a 70-minute wait, a drop of 13 minutes.
Here’s everything else at Hollywood Studios:
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run – 61 minutes, down 24
- Toy Story Mania! – 57 minutes, down 15
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith – 55 minutes, down 26
- Twilight Zone Tower of Terror – 52 minutes, down 17
- Alien Swirling Saucers – 40 minutes, down 7
- Star Tours – The Adventures Continue! – 24 minutes, down 9
- Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy – 14 minutes, down 1
- Muppet*Vision 3D – 11 minutes, down 1
Overall, the average Hollywood Studios attraction required a 47-minute wait, down 13 minutes.
My favorite park never comes with long wait times, which simultaneously breaks my heart and thrills me. I can ride whatever I want here without waiting long!
Of course, a few exceptions exist. For instance, Frozen Ever After averaged a 78-minute wait. While that’s down 36 minutes, it’s still waaaaaay more than usual.
So, we’ve identified at least one ride that surges during Thanksgiving week.
Elsewhere at EPCOT, Test Track required a 47-minute wait, down 35 minutes from last time. Again, that’s MUCH lower than I would have expected over the holiday.
Here’s the rest of EPCOT’s attractions:
- Soarin’ around the World – 35 minutes, down 27
- The Seas with Nemo & Friends – 16 minutes, down 14
- Spaceship Earth – 15 minutes, down 20
- Journey into Imagination with Figment – 13 minutes, down 11
- Living with the Land – 12 minutes, down 6
- Mission: SPACE – 11 minutes, down 22
- Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros – 10 minutes, down 10
- Turtle Talk with Crush – 9 minutes, down 10
Overall, EPCOT attractions averaged a 24-minute wait, down 21 minutes from last time.
This park should come pretty close to normal the next two or three weeks before we witness that massive end-of-year spike in wait times.
I think you can guess the overall behavior at Magic Kingdom based on what we’ve tracked thus far.
Crowds were larger than during non-holiday weekends, but they were down from last week’s averages.
Here are the individual attraction wait times:
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – 86 minutes, down 21
- Jungle Cruise – 79 minutes, no change
- Peter Pan’s Flight – 79 minutes, down 2
- Haunted Mansion – 50 minutes, down 9
- Space Mountain – 45 minutes, down 32
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – 44 minutes, down 18
- Splash Mountain – 42 minutes, down 17
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin – 41 minutes, down 7
- Pirates of the Caribbean – 40 minutes, down 5
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – 39 minutes, down 4
- Astro Orbiter – 38 minutes, down 4
- It’s a Small World – 37 minutes, down 4
- Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid – 34 minutes, down 2
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant – 31 minutes, down 4
- The Barnstormer – 28 minutes, down 8
- Magic Carpets of Aladdin – 26 minutes, down 4
- Princess Fairytale Hall – 24 minutes, down 3
- Prince Charming Regal Carrousel – 21 minutes, up 1
- Tomorrowland Speedway 21 minutes, down 11
- Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover – 20 minutes, down 5
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic – 19 minutes, no change
- Mad Tea Party – 18 minutes, down 5
- Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor – 17 minutes, down 2
- Town Square Theatre – 11 minutes, up 3
- Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress – 5 minutes, no change
- Country Bear Jamboree – 4 minutes, down 1
The average Magic Kingdom attraction required a 36-minute wait. That’s down four minutes from last time.
Overall, only two attractions at Walt Disney World saw an increase in wait times from the previous article.
Also, I expect this trend to continue for the next two updates at a minimum.