It’s a BIG day in Disney World. 2020 is officially over!
In the past, New Year’s Day has been one of the busiest (if not THE busiest) day of the whole year at Disney World. It’s pretty common to see the parks hit capacity on a normal year WITHOUT 2020 capacity limitations. Today…not so much. We’re checking out the CROWDS and WAIT TIMES on the first day of 2021!
Disney Park Pass
We definitely thought Disney World was gonna be SLAMMED today, so we took a look at the Disney Park Pass availability to confirm that the parks were full. Similar to yesterday though, the parks weren’t quite at capacity. The holiday has certainly brought the crowds, but only Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios were booked up for Theme Park Ticket Holders.
Resort guests still had availability at EPCOT and Animal Kingdom.
And Annual Passholders had full availability still.
This is especially interesting since today marks the return of park hopping. We didn’t see any of the parks reach capacity during Park Hopper hours today!
Let’s take a look at a weird holiday day in Disney World by checking out the crowds and wait times!
The parks closed before midnight last night, but that certainly didn’t stop folks from wanting to ring in the New Year in Disney World — and a bunch of them are in Magic Kingdom today!
Still, this park wasn’t at capacity so you could find some breathing room. Adventureland even had some pretty empty pockets.
Most quick-service locations had lines, but that’s been a typical occurrence since the parks reopened.
As you can see, folks were doing a pretty good job of social distancing.
Here you can see that Sleepy Hollow Refreshments had a pretty long line, but the paths around it are pretty empty.
Wait times definitely don’t look quite like New Year’s Days past! These were the wait times at 5:45PM ET.
Lots of attractions had typically low waits like Mad Tea Party and The Magic Carpets of Aladdin.
We’re definitely not over how weird this is for a big holiday.
Most attractions look like they have for the last few months when it comes to wait times.
Wait a minute…maybe we spoke too soon. Prince Charming Regal Carrousel is at 50 minutes!? Wild! The highest wait times in the park were 85-minutes for Splash Mountain and 95-minutes for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train when we checked.
Remember, even though some of these wait times might LOOK high, we’ve found that waits aren’t always what they seem in Disney World right now. So, you might be surprised by how long you ACTUALLY wait.
Traditionally, Magic Kingdom is the busiest day for most major holidays, but that doesn’t mean that we won’t see crowds in other parks too. The 2021 EPCOT International Festival of the Arts kicks off in just a few days, so we might see more crowds later this week.
EPCOT had some busier spots and some emptier spots. There was quite the line to get into The Land Pavilion.
We noticed that no one was to be found when it comes to the park to park transportation options. We were able to stroll right up to the Skyliner…
…and the Disney bus stops!
And how do these crowds translate to wait times in a park that doesn’t really have that many rides? The low wait times were about as low as usual.
But we did notice some higher ones. Frozen Ever After, Soarin’, and Mission: SPACE were all above an hour and Test Track was above two hours when we checked.
Whew! A 95-minute wait for Mission: SPACE is pretty beefy!
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a super high-demand park right now due to the popularity of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, so we definitely saw some crowds on New Year’s Day! Still, like the others, this park did not reach capacity and we saw some wide-open spaces while we were there.
Waits looked pretty similar to how they have for a while since Hollywood Studios tends to hit capacity more regularly than the other parks.
If you would have told us a few months ago that we’d only be waiting 30 minutes for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, we’re not sure we would have believed you.
High waits sat around an hour in this park.
We have seen some changes to waits in this park though. The addition of plexiglass dividers has sometimes made a big difference!
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Animal Kingdom does tend to be the lowest demand park, but New Year’s brought some crowds! Let’s see them.
Pandora looked (surprise, surprise) about like it usually does.
There were some pinch points though where pathways got narrow around attraction queues.
Every once in a while we found ourselves in a bit of a big group.
But still, things looked normal. The Expedition Everest line, for instance, stretched to about where it usually does.
Animal Kingdom doesn’t have too many attractions either. Does that make waits longer? Let’s see!
Answer: Not really. When we checked, the Pandora rides did have pretty long waits, but we’re not sure it’s any different from the norm.
Expected wait times are not an exact science right now, especially with changes such as loading every row on Flight of Passage, so we saw some fluctuation throughout the day too.
But not EVERYONE is hanging out in the parks today! There are some crowds over at Disney Springs too!
World of Disney had a wait every time we were in that area and Gideon’s had a 3-HOUR virtual wait when we visited in the afternoon.
We’ll continue to be on the lookout for any big news and noteworthy happenings from Disney World today. Stay tuned. Oh, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Join the DFB Newsletter to get all the breaking news right in your inbox! Click here to Subscribe!
Are you in Disney World for the holiday? Tell us in the comments!