It’s a busy busy day in Walt Disney World — all the Disney Park Pass reservations for all four parks are booked!
When the opening day of an EPCOT Festival intersects with the Thanksgiving holiday break, we get higher-than-normal crowd levels and wait times. Today, we’re on location at Magic Kingdom and EPCOT to see JUST how busy the parks are, and we’re looking at wait times for all four parks!
Disney Park Pass
Because we knew that the parks were going to be busy due to the holidays, we decided to check the Disney Park Pass availability calendar online. All four parks are booked solid today for Disney Resort guests!
Today, tomorrow, AND Sunday are fully booked for Annual Passholders!
AND today is booked up for theme park ticket guests, which means we have a Disney World at full 35% capacity!
Let’s take a look at what Disney World is really like at full current capacity by checking the wait times and crowds in the parks!
With many people having vacation time during Thanksgiving week, we definitely expected higher crowds in the parks! In Magic Kingdom, the area at the front of the park was looking pretty busy.
When characters came out to say hello, things got a little tighter in this area.
It was a little easier to keep ourselves distanced on Main Street, U.S.A., as we found more of the crowds in the other lands around the park.
Over in Frontierland, there were large crowds gathered along the sides of the streets waiting for the characters. Guests tend to get a little less careful about keeping their distance during the cavalcades. We have noticed this prior to today, so heads up!!
Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad were both popular rides today, and this area of the park was dense with people.
While the Space Mountain queue was busy over in Tomorrowland, we found that it was a little easier to maneuver in the other areas of the land due to the large amount of open space.
In this land, we really only noticed crowds gathered by the attractions, like the line over at the Astro Orbiter.
Liberty Square got pretty tight, especially in the area by the Haunted Mansion. This made it a lot more difficult to keep a 6ft distance from other guests.
The rest of the land wasn’t quite as bad, but the pathways here aren’t as wide as the ones in Tomorrowland. So as usual, we really noticed that crowding depends on the time of day and the location. While it felt busy, the crowds didn’t feel too out of the ordinary.
Like usual, we got several bottlenecks over in Fantasyland. This area of the park is really not built to accommodate large crowds.
Once we got out of the narrow area between “it’s a small world” and Peter Pan’s Flight, it was a lot easier to move around, although the carrousel was really popular today!
All in all, the crowd patterns here were pretty scattered. We found several areas that were empty at some points in the day, and packed during others.
As long as you keep aware of your surroundings, you should be able to navigate the park without too much trouble.
Checking out the wait times on My Disney Experience around the middle of the day, we noticed some pretty unusual trends. For one thing, the lowest wait time was for Tomorrowland Speedway, and the wait for Haunted Mansion was only 20 minutes!
The waits for The Barnstormer and Under the Sea — Journey of The Little Mermaid were actually longer than the Haunted Mansion’s wait! Most of the more popular rides had wait times of more than 40 minutes.
Also in the 40+ club were Prince Charming Regal Carrousel and “it’s a small world”, which tend to be among the attractions with shorter wait times.
However, it was no surprise that Peter Pan’s Flight and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train joined the Magic Kingdom mountains to round out the 5 most popular attractions of the day — we’d expect nothing less!
These times shifted throughout the day, but this is what they looked like around 2:30 this afternoon. If you’re concerned about waiting in long lines, don’t worry, we’ve found that the wait times may not be exactly what they seem during a typical park day.
Over in EPCOT, it’s the opening day of A Taste of EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays! Combine that with Black Friday crowds, and we had to wait in lines just about EVERYWHERE!
Early on in the day, we saw lower crowd levels — like when we watched the Frozen Holiday Promenade over in the UK pavilion.
The World Showplace is home to a beautiful gingerbread display, as well as a few food options, so we weren’t surprised to see it fairly packed in here.
Crowds tended to fluctuate, getting heavier as the day went on. For instance, here’s the France pavilion at one point…
…and later the crowds looked VERY different! This area doesn’t have a great “flow,” so timing your visit to the France pavilion to avoid large groups of people can be difficult.
We experienced long lines for many of the holiday kitchens (food booths), like this winding queue in the American Adventure pavilion.
Things also got pretty busy in Germany, where the line extended past the available markings. This area can bottleneck anyways, so that’s definitely something to be mindful of.
If you plan on visiting EPCOT’s Festival of the Holidays during the weekends or typical vacation days, it may be pretty tricky to avoid crowds like this.
If you want to visit the festival and you’re worried about crowds, we suggest trying to stop by on a weekday. We also recommend stopping by first thing when the park opens, or enjoying a late snack towards the end of the day.
Around 2:30, the EPCOT wait times were definitely lower than what we expected for a park at capacity. It’s likely, though, that most of the crowd was in the World Showcase for the start of the festival!
Frozen Ever After and Test Track topped the list of highest wait times, which surprises no one. We likely won’t see Frozen Ever After’s line decrease, especially as guests make their way “around the world.”
We’ll definitely be keeping an eye on these waits while we’re in the park eating our way through EPCOT’s Festival of the Holidays!
Wait Times Around 2:30
Even though we aren’t in the park at Hollywood Studios today, we decided to check out the wait times to see if we can get an idea of what was going on. A few attractions had fairly low wait times, including Alien Swirling Saucers and Toy Story Mania.
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway held a spot about halfway down the list, and Slinky Dog Dash had the longest wait time in the park at a posted 70 minutes.
We’re not likely to see the Mickey & Minnie’s wait time at the top of the list as often anymore, considering the attraction added plexiglass barriers to increase capacity last week.
Animal Kingdom Around 2:30
The wait times over at Animal Kingdom seem to average a little higher than the other parks’ do today. Surprisingly, Kilimanjaro Safaris was sitting at only a 10 minute wait!
Many of the other attractions had waits above 45 minutes, including Kali River Rapids, DINOSAUR, Expedition Everest, and the rides in Pandora.
With fewer attractions open at Animal Kingdom, it makes sense that we’re seeing higher wait times. Hopefully, we’ll get to see more of the park’s entertainment options return in the future to absorb the crowds.
We saw higher-than-average crowds in Disney Springs today as well!
There were waits to get into several of the more popular stores, and many of the main walkways got overcrowded.
Areas of Disney Springs that aren’t typically as busy were filled with people, as guests visited for traditional Black Friday shopping.
The line for World of Disney stretched behind Arribas Bros. all the way to the backside of Marketplace Co-op!
Because of the long line, Disney opened up a Cast Member entrance to let guests into the World of Disney store.
The checkout line inside the store stretched all the way to the boys’ section of the store. If you’re planning on stopping by tonight, be prepared to wait!
We’ll continue to be on the lookout for anything noteworthy with wait times and crowd levels in Disney World today. Since many people have days off for the Thanksgiving holiday, we’re not surprised that it’s very busy! Overall, there were a few bottleneck spots and lines were a bit long, but we still felt like we were able to keep our distance in most areas around the parks!
What do you think of these crowds? Tell us in the comments!