What was going on with the crowds at MK last night?

Frogmom6

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jul 16, 2018
First timer here - we just arrived yesterday. We went to magic kingdom for a few hours last night and were blown away by the crowds. Anyone have theories on why a Wednesday in October would have crowds of a 9/10? Is that all from people traveling here because of the hurricane?

We still had a great time, thanks in large part to the advice on this board. Like I said, we are first timers and my family of six managed to get great spots on the tape line for fireworks viewing on a 9/10 night. I know that would never have happened without the advice of this group - so thank you! I just want to see if we should adjust our expectations as far as how much we can get done for the rest of our week here.
 

Shanti

Momketeer
Joined
Nov 29, 2015
First timer here - we just arrived yesterday. We went to magic kingdom for a few hours last night and were blown away by the crowds. Anyone have theories on why a Wednesday in October would have crowds of a 9/10? Is that all from people traveling here because of the hurricane?

We still had a great time, thanks in large part to the advice on this board. Like I said, we are first timers and my family of six managed to get great spots on the tape line for fireworks viewing on a 9/10 night. I know that would never have happened without the advice of this group - so thank you! I just want to see if we should adjust our expectations as far as how much we can get done for the rest of our week here.
October is now one of the busiest months at Walt Disney World. It has relatively fair weather, there are a lot of special events (Halloween parties, Food & Wine, etc.) drawing people to WDW, and for many years travel advice websites described October as the best time to go. Some of those advice sites still state that, despite the way crowd patterns have drastically changed over the past several years. Many parents no longer hesitate to take their children out of school for a week for vacations (as an elementary teacher, I see this firsthand). The result of all of this is that now October is one of the most popular months to go.

By contrast, midsummer now has just moderate crowds, except for the few days surrounding Independence Day.
 
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GADisneyDad14

TPAS Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Jul 3, 2014
The Gartner IT convention is this week, if I’m not mistaken.

Also severe supply / demand imbalance for HEA/regular park nights this week. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday are all party nights.... with Sunday, Wed, and Saturday being the only nights to catch HEA this week. That’s 7 days of demand with only 3 nights of supply. That phenomenon tends to peak here in the height of party and fall break season for some parts of the country.
 
  • anniemae

    Either she is eating a delicious
    Joined
    Jul 31, 2007
    This week and next week are fall breaks for quite a few states. Also, people leaving hurricane areas. Plus, Monday was a long weekend for many so I have heard a lot of folks came for the week.
     

    sharonabe

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 22, 2009
    The biggest reason for crowds in the evening at MK is party season. We were there last year as MNSSHP was winding down, and the difference between a party and non-party day at MK is easily a 3-4 point swing on TP's scale. You happened to hit MK on one of the busiest party weeks of the year too, so I'm not surprised it felt like a 9-10.
     
  • Nancyg56

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2005
    The Gartner IT convention is this week, if I’m not mistaken.

    Also severe supply / demand imbalance for HEA/regular park nights this week. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday are all party nights.... with Sunday, Wed, and Saturday being the only nights to catch HEA this week. That’s 7 days of demand with only 3 nights of supply. That phenomenon tends to peak here in the height of party and fall break season for some parts of the country.
    Party season for the MK. I expect those crowds on every non party night.
     

    Bmath

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 1, 2017
    I will say it's a combination of everything above AND the hurricane crowds. When Florence hit, I had multiple friends who lived along the coast that just took their kids to Disney. I would expect it to be similar for Michael.
     

    sharonabe

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 22, 2009
    I will say it's a combination of everything above AND the hurricane crowds. When Florence hit, I had multiple friends who lived along the coast that just took their kids to Disney. I would expect it to be similar for Michael.
    I have to disagree with this. My fear is people will see this and think "I'm going in Dec when there aren't any hurricanes, so my HEA night will be fine." It truly doesn't matter what else is going on during party season. NON-PARTY nights at MK are a MADHOUSE. Some people only have ONE night in their stay to see it and they're going to see it. People need to be prepared for the heavy crowds they will experience. It's not just the massive crowds watching HEA, wait times will be up ALL DAY LONG at ALL attractions. It is the nature of the beast that WDW has created with the number of parties during the week.
     
  • GADisneyDad14

    TPAS Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jul 3, 2014
    WOW! That's a trifecta: Columbus Day holiday, 4 out of 7 day party week, AND an almost extinct after midnight EMH. I bet it came close to Christmas day crowds.
    Yeah, and just for some context... last night was the only 11pm-1am EMHs on the calendar all month. The rest of October has 10pm-12am EMHs (granted hours could be updated). But yeah... generally speaking, Disney doesn’t make EMHs that late without a reason. :-)
     

    Bmath

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 1, 2017
    I have to disagree with this. My fear is people will see this and think "I'm going in Dec when there aren't any hurricanes, so my HEA night will be fine." It truly doesn't matter what else is going on during party season. NON-PARTY nights at MK are a MADHOUSE. Some people only have ONE night in their stay to see it and they're going to see it. People need to be prepared for the heavy crowds they will experience. It's not just the massive crowds watching HEA, wait times will be up ALL DAY LONG at ALL attractions. It is the nature of the beast that WDW has created with the number of parties during the week.
    I mean I guess if someone wants to try to jump to conclusions from that they could but I never came anywhere near saying that there will not be crowds when there aren't hurricanes. I was just saying that it's another contributing factor to the extreme crowds. Just like the previous poster who mentioned there is a major IT conference, scheduling around a conference doesn't mean you will have any lower crowds. Crowds occur from many factors, one of which is likely people who fled hurricane areas to Disney.
     

    jaysmom4285

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 19, 2002
    During MNSSHP and MVMCP seasons, MK will almost invariably be very crowded on the three days of the week that are not party days. It makes sense, because those are the only three days of the week that the park is open late to non party goers, and it is the only time the non party people can see HEA. People without party tickets tend to avoid MK on party days because the hours are short. Actually, those are the best days to go, IMHO, since more people tend to stay away. But this isn't a new development or due to some strange combination of holidays or conferences or hurricanes. It has been the norm for several years for MK to be very crowded on non party days. A little research would have borne this out for the OP.
     

    Frogmom6

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jul 16, 2018
    some people say crowd calendars are worthless, but at least they could have told you to avoid MK last night
    In their defense, the crowd calendars did say that MK would be the busiest park, but they predicted a 6 and then this morning said it was actually a 9. They were pretty on spot with the rest of their predictions, but MK was pretty far off.
     

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