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Comments for Guest Calls Disney World an “Absolute Zoo” Due to Overly Packed Crowds

magic kingdom nighttime crowds

Credit: ITM Rebekah B.

68 Comments

  1. Chris

    We will be there next month and honestly, if crowd levels turn out to be that high, we may rent a car and go elsewhere. It isn’t because of COVID, it is just that high of a crowd level doesn’t look like fun to me.

    1. Carol Robertd

      We paid $1253 to spend the day at epcot, that is only the entrance fee. Spent more on food and drinks. COuld not get a booking at any of the restsurants. The park was grubby as were the rest rooms the amount of people was oppresive, the magic has gone, many of the food stalls were closed.Disney better up their game if they want to keep their popularity.our family will not be back, and we went on a regular basis.

      1. Jenn

        Was at Magic Kingdom just last night, and honestly I have never seen it so busy! Pre-pandemic we were able to do just about the entire park, but even paying for the genie + and the amount of people, we could only get through maybe 50%! People were rude, shoulder to shoulder, and we were amazed that the staff were allowing lines into the walking spaces and causing jams. Not sure what the capacity is supposed to be, but that was crazy!!! If your planning a trip, I would recommend an extra day at Magic!!

        1. TA

          We were at the MK on 1/24 also. It was unbelievably crowded. I have never seen so many people there and we have been there MANY MANY times. I’m not sure what the point of the reservation system is, as it appears Disney just ignores it anyway.

      2. Lette

        We are here now and you are spot on. We are DVC members and our costs are also increased to a “rethink” level of our vacationing future with Disney!

      3. brian

        We were at EPCOT last week for the Art Festival. It was grubby! But Disney fans get what they deserve: we posted a picture of an overflowing Garbage can online, and were shouted down by Disney defenders. Disney will continue lowering standards and raising prices as long as we tolerate it and keep paying them.

    2. Be advised, if you plan on parking your car/rental, you will be charged for parking on Disney property. Last year it was $13/day on top of hotel outrageous prices, food prices, “fast pass” which are ALL extra charges. Will NEVER GO BACK.

    3. Jamie

      We just got back from Disney and I tested positive for Covid. 1 out of 6 in my family. We wore masks where required to as well as in large crowds like the firework shows, but it was awfully crowded. I have not been there since I was a kid, so I can’t really compare the crowd levels.

      1. Sue

        It’s not bad. People need to stop with the over crowed. We go all the time bc we live here and it’s not bad. Those pictures are old. And if you are worried about getting sick then stay home and get out for Florida stop with all negative about crowds and worrying about getting sick

        1. Fab

          We love in Florida and also go frequently. I expected the parks not to be as crowded since you have to make a reservation and all. But, the parks are super crowded. I felt I had gone in the middle of summer pre pandemic. So YES it is overly crowded.

          1. FabFab

            Live not love*

          2. MMichael Cowin

            I’ve been saying for years that Disney World crowds have gotten way out of hand. The Season Passes have destroyed the magical experience. I will never go again until reasonable crowd limits are established.

        2. UnkindDonuts

          Thank you.
          Disney is always crowded. Only on a normal off season would it be a little less people there. Plus it’s Disney, that’s like jumping in a lake and complaining it’s wet.

          1. MMichael Cowin

            Not true. Disney crowds worsened due to the Season Passes. I used to go every other year sinse 1980. I know quite well what it’s always been like.

        3. Magicallycrafted

          The parks are in fact this bad. I’m an AP living in Florida and the parks are more crowded than they’ve ever been this time of year. Every single line at a booth at EPCOT was incredibly long and you could hardly get through crowds at Animal Kingdom.

    4. Linda B

      We have annual passes and we can’t go out there too much bc of the crowds. I too thought it was at 35% but apparently thats not the case. So my husband and I are retired and want to enjoy Disney when we go. We have scooters to drive and people don’t act like they see you when you are in the right of way n will cut in front of you. So we have to limit our times n go when our family can go with us, otherwise we can’t enjoy the times there.

  2. Daniel

    Just got back and crowds aren’t that bad. You also used a pic from the holidays…

    1. Ebs

      Today (25th) was an excellent day for the Magic Kingdom, thanks to a rainy day and early close around 4:30. Mine Train was 45 minutes most of the day, perfect! I was there yesterday (and a few other days the past week) and it was an oversold mess. A sea of people blocking Main Street hours before fireworks, with over an hour wait for most rides. We left for EPCOT and were able to enjoy the park a bit better.

      1. Mike

        We just got back from a Disney trip last week. We were surprised how busy and crazy the parks were. It was busier than we had seen it in January’s passed. Guests were rude and seem to have forgotten how to act in public. Crowds were much easier to maneuver first thing in the morning and after the fireworks.

    2. Deann

      We went last week (Jan 17), hoping it would be lighter like pre-pandemic. WRONG!!! WE HAD genie + and still didn’t get every ride! It was WAY too crowded, rude people, all of the above. I couldn’t believe they were okay allowing that many in. As someone said, 45 min wait for the worst ride, no thanks!! I think that was our last trip, no longer worth the cost and stress when we can’t do what we want.

  3. Jackie

    And they are not even at 100% capacity yet. This is nothing compared to magic Kingdom pre-pandemic at New Year’s eve.

    They haven’t got complete crowd management yet as there are still restaurants and some experiences still closed. The closer to normal we get the better the crowds will be even if the capacity is increased.

    1. Tim

      What happened to limits on capacity with theme park reservations??

  4. Christian

    Spent the last week at Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Universal. While busy I didn’t think it was overly crowded. Some rides wait times were a bit crazy (Mine Train I never saw drop below 70 minutes and didn’t understand the high 60+ wait time on Jungle Cruise), but at Magic Kingdom throughout the day waits on most rides would fluctuate from 5 minutes to 45 minutes (I’d say averaging out to 20 minutes for most rides). Just need to keep an eye on the wait times and plan accordingly.
    What boggled my mind was Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. I haven’t been to Disney for 6 years so I don’t know if it’s always been like this since opening, but the Rise of the Resistance ride never dropped below 190 minute wait while we were there and the whole Star Wars area was packed with people and ratio wise it was definitely more 30-40 year olds and the least amount of kids I’ve seen compared to other areas of all the Disney parks. I think that’s a shame, as a Star Wars fan, but also a parent Disney has always been IMO about the kids experience and even my 13 year old whos a big Star Wars fan commented on the wait times and the prices of lightsabers, jedi robes, etc and said “it’s not worth it, let’s go.” Looking at Disney’s Star Wars handling and the soon to open Galactic Starcruiser experience I think Disney has missed the mark on their Star Wars property.

    1. Tim

      Jungle was busy probably due to the new Jungle Cruise movie

      1. Christian

        I thought the same thinking it had been updated and more modern because of the movie, but no it’s the same old jungle cruise.

      2. People want to see the refurb. They want to see additions and substractions. Woke doesn’t believe fierce natives existed or exist now, so they are gone. Splash is on the list for woke refurb; I wonder which attraction is next.

  5. Thesalteddog

    As a Disney addict I always try to just go with it when it comes to the crowds but after a recent visit I have to say that we had the same awful experience of the parks being more crowded than we have ever seen them, they are dirty and not up to standards we have become accustomed to, lightning lane is a waste of money when crowds are that big every thing except children’s attractions are gone within an hour or give return times for many hours in the future. FOR the FIRST TIME EVER we left property and went to Universal. We didn’t regret our decision to do so. New management is really screwing it up

    1. Agree Disney is nasty and dirty now! The bathrooms are disgusting!

  6. Patrick

    Going in mid March. Weekdays. Will be crowded for sure. I just hope they optimize genie plus to be more easily used and with more results. Right now you can see LL gone by noon for most of the decent or better rides. Honestly Jungle Cruise and Peter Pan should be paid LL.

  7. Lou

    Well, if you look at all the hotels they keep building on Disney property, they’re planning and orchestrating for this. You can’t have that many hotel rooms without increasing the number of parks, or size of the parks significantly, without the result being that people are packed in like sardines. The current Disney executives evidently think that people are willing to mortgage their homes in order to go to Disney world to stand in 2 hour lines for a whole week. Personally, I think it’s extremely arrogant of them. Maybe they think they can keep this going long enough to stuff their own pockets for retirement and then get out while the getting is good, leaving the Disney brand in shambles. The worst thing Disney ever did was to go public with it’s stock. The next worst thing they ever did was to allow the self-serving Hollywood wolves to be in charge of the company. Walt Disney must be looking down from heaven and grieving over what his company has become.

    1. Leon

      How do you think a company works? Walt Disney’s family is totally fine with this because they make money. This isn’t a Hollywood eveil scheme, this is a place that makes a profit. It’s sad you thought they cared about any of you

      1. Bill

        Walt Disney’s family owns less than 3% of the company. They are not the ones making decisions.

  8. Where have yall been I mean Don’t Blame Covid on the crowds I have been going to these parks and working at these Parks off and on since I was a little girl my Career Started in 2006 with them and I cannot rember when there was not a crowd Evan before opening the gates the parking lots was full to where you where luckie to get a spot the Parks all of them and Cast Members was unbelievable yall have to realize that Cast Members for Each ride times guest sometimes there are like almost Ten Thousand plus Than you have the Carators Managenent Restaurant Staff so see there is a lot that goes into each Theme Park There is no slow time of the year Every singal every second every hour of every day each and every Theme Park The Cast Members Jobs are not just focused on one thing but believe it or not we have Our Jobs Every GUEST and there Saftey plus a Million Other Things we are Trained like Keeping the MAGIC THAT GUEST DOES NOT REALIZE JUST HOW MUCH GOES INTO PUTTING ON THAT DISNEY COUSTOME, SMILE ,WORKING IN THE HEAT 365 Days a year some time 12 hours a day sometimes 7 days a week some of us has been there for many many years.My PIONT IS THERE IS ALWAYS A CROWD NO MATTER WHAT ITS NOT BECAUSE OF COVID,OR BECAUSE THE WINTER HOILDAY,OR BECAUSE SOMEONES ON A HOILDAY ITS DISNEY WHERE DREAMS COME TRUE YOU COME HAPPY AND LEAVE UNHAPPY AND VERY TIRED.

    1. Momof13yearold

      Wow! I could take you more seriously if your spelling and grammar weren’t so bad.

      1. Laura Martin

        No kidding….I had to try reading it 3x just to basically get an idea of what it was supposed to say. I now have the beginning of a migraine 😆

    2. Victoria

      Read up on punctuation before commenting again, please.

    3. Victoria

      Please learn how to punctuate before commenting.

    4. Cari

      Woah. This comment was the best ‘Don’t go to a Disney Theme Park’ ad I’ve ever read.
      I mean, we canceled our $10+k reservation for June because of the lack of covid safety measures in the US, Florida, and, specifically, the Disney Hotels and Parks, but… this rant alone might have convinced us to oped out of what was supposed to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 0_0

    5. Robin

      I had the pleasure of experiencing many VERY slow times pre-COVID. We could get on most rides with little to no wait. I’ve never worked there but that was my experience. Doesn’t sound like that’s the case any more.

    6. Dog dad

      It cracks me up when you say “People are so stupid to only stay in the US their whole life.” And how do you know? Also Walt said ” want a place to where they can bring the whole family and can afford it. So in essence you are whining about people whining. So you are no better. Have a magical day.

    7. Dan man

      Read “Grammer for dummies.” Then get back with us.

  9. This is with park reservations. Why do we need them? Disney wants to have park reservations for 2-3 more years. What’s up with that?

  10. Jetsetter

    Cracks me up all the people whining about the cost and crowd levels. No one is forcing you to have a cliche Dusney vacation. Why does it have to be affordable for YOU? I don’t expect a Porshe to be affordable for me just because I want one.

    For what you waste on a theme park week in Florida you could take your family to Europe and experience better food and culture. People are so stupid to only stay in the US their whole life.

    1. Dog dad

      It cracks me up when you say “People are so stupid to only stay in the US their whole life.” And how do you know? Also Walt said ” want a place to where they can bring the whole family and can afford it. So in essence you are whining about people whining. So you are no better. Have a magical day.

  11. Minnie

    We went back in the first week of November 2021 and it was more crowded than it have ever been for us. Yes , we were the there the last couple of weeks of the food and wine festival, but Epcot was so crowded it wasn’t even enjoyable. We tried to book restaurants 3 months out and they were already booked. It was the craziest we have even seen it. I am a huge Disney fan, so of course will be planning on going back. But I will say Universal Studios lately is a much better place to visit.

  12. Benjamin Collins

    Do Disney guests need to make a reservation before entering the parks still?

    1. Sabin

      Yes

  13. Mike M

    I’m a passholder who took my family to disney twice in the past two months. We go for an overnight trip once a month. Each time the parks were packed and everybody came back with covid. We cancelled our resort reservations for february. Also we usually visit trader sams at the polynesian and they jacked up the prices, discontinued the collector’s mugs and the sushi roll I got this time hardly had any fish at all. I’ve been going to trader sam’s since it opened and now won’t bother going anymore, it’s all about getting the most $$$ and profit they can. Walt had to be turning in his grave!
    WDW has gone 110% downhill

  14. PERRY

    My wife and I are on our last day, today. We were in MK on the 24th and I gotta say, it was completely packed. Have never seen so many people in the park. Especially for the “slow” time. Disney is definitely not monitoring the capacity and it showed. Between the rain and it being overcrowded, didn’t have a great experience.

  15. Chad

    How are people affording Disney World? Each park is insanely expensive for a normal person to go to nowadays.

    1. Jordan

      You clearly haven’t been to Universal lately. It’s way worse. Honestly the whole world is like this and a lot of people just saved a lot of money for these trips. Not that surprising. I don’t know many people that just go on a big trip without saving up for it first.

  16. Chris

    Wife and I stayed at resorts for 3 day’s 2nights on Jan 22-25.
    Magic Kingdom was really over crowded. Wall to Wall most people without masks. Annual pass holder for 10 yrs never have I seen it this crowded during this down time of the year. 🥸

  17. Sabin

    I was just there the second week of January 2022 and I can confirm it was ridiculous. It was definitely a zoo. I stood in line for one ride for 2 hours. BUY THE GENIE + if you go or you will be waiting. I got the Genie + and thr longest wait I had was 10 minutes. They definitely let everyone in. Didn’t care about capacity. It was not as magical as they state. I also went to Universal Studios and had way more fun!

  18. Bill

    I went in November 2021 for a week. I am from out of state and went for a week. I have been many times since the very year it opened. The crowd was way too large to enjoy the park. I am canceling my trip in March. It was not worth what I paid. The genie thing was just as disappointing, and I knew how to use it. With the relatively cheap annual passes which have recently been offered to Florida friends and neighbors, and with the twice as expensive option offered to others, it is no wonder that the parks were overcrowded with locals. In the evenings especially, it seemed more like a hangout, with all that a hangout entails, such as riff raff and too much drinking. It did not have the feel of a vacation so much. Becoming a hang out for locals should not be surprising. When the price is so much less for one group, then of course that group will dominate the crowd. The Disney of old is gone, and people are realizing it after they come.

  19. Rose

    Was in MK the 24th in the morning and EPCOT at night. I have always liked going in January because crowd levels are usually down, that was definitely NOT the case this year. It was my first time buying Genie+, and it was a waste. By the time we got off our first ride at 10 AM or so, we could schedule one more ride for noon or 1300 that was a good ride but after that all of the good rides Lightning Lanes were unavailable since we were park hopping and couldn’t wait until 5 or 6 or later. My takeaway from this trip is that Genie+ doesn’t really work well with park hopping. I miss fast passes, anyone else agree?

  20. JRC

    Was there this past week and its no joke. 50 minute wait for Peoplemover and up from there. Kids waiting 1-2 hours in the freezing rain for rides. There his nothing magical about packing the parks like this. Worse than it has ever been at the slowest time of the year. Agree too that is is not up to standard.

  21. HJB

    We were so sad with our experience at Disney this time- (January 2022) The merchandise, in my opinion, was one of the most disappointing part of the trip; it was cheaply made, not cute, and super overpriced!!!! I don’t mind spending more money on something QUALITY, but COME ON, DISNEY!!!! Also, there wasn’t a lot of variance in the clothing. It was pretty much the same thing everywhere. There wasn’t a lot of quality merchandise at the new Star Wars land. It was cheap CHEAP junk!!! And yes, it was SUPER CROWDED!!! We went to MK in the morning, and only got ONE ride in by 2:00!! It was awful!!!!!!!

    1. Agree 100%. Everything is so cheaply made now. No quality whatsoever.

  22. It is not worth wasting your money or time and health to go to the Parks with Disney no longer setting limits while we are still in a pandemic! This is Greed at its best.

  23. Barry W Neun

    I was there January 20-24, and yes, the parks were crowded, more than I expected. That being said, it is the 50th Anniversary Celebration, so take that into account people!!!

  24. Megan

    I completely agree. I tried planning our trip around non peak times. We went last week at the end of January during and visited during week days. It was completely packed. Huge wait times. Genie+ was a joke, the app was buggy, I paid so much just to ride things to avoid 2 hour waits times. I won’t be going back for many years. Disney just isn’t enjoyable anymore.

  25. Connie

    We were at the MK on January 23rd and it was packed. No social distancing. We had planned the trip for a “slow” time like other years. This was the busiest we have ever seen the parks. This was our 24th trip since 1986. We talked about this may be our last trip. I am sad that we may not go again, but as older adults it is harder. We had always talked about that when we got older, we would just go to the park and people watch. Well there was no place to sit (especially on the rainy day the 25th). I feel sorry for families that may be on their only trip. At least we have seen everything during better times.

  26. PJ

    I was at WDW the 1st week of December 2021. It was suppose to be one of the least crowded weeks. LOL!
    It was extremely crowded. Disney has certainly become all about the $$$. It use to be my favorite vacation spot. Loss of amenities like the Magical Express and Fastpass have lost me as a guest.

  27. Natalie

    When I was there 2018 & 2019 I was already shocked about the crowds! Especially in MK! It wasn’t fun anymore and both visits we just spent one day there I instead of 2-3 in previous visits! To be honest I wouldn’t feel comfortable there now seeing what I’m seeing! Way too crowded, no social distancing no masks! Here in Spain if there’s theses crowds outside we have to wear masks outside! You wouldn’t be able to access these crowded places without proof of vaccination!

  28. Cherie

    💯 agree. We just came back and it was packed. And it rained all day but that sure didn’t stop the crowds. We were only able to ride about two rides. A couple of days we just left because people are so rude and there were so many you couldn’t walk. Even the Disney staff was rude which shocked me. I agree the parks weren’t as clean as normal either.

  29. Karen

    On January 24 magic kingdom was absolutely packed. Honestly they should’ve closed the gates besides being in a pandemic they were just too many people to walk around. We left twice for meals just to get out of the crowd which is kind of unfair since I paid to be in the park but I had to do that to stay sane. Since they have a park reservation system I would like to see them keep the numbers more manageable.

  30. Goofybatgirl

    We went last week. We booked it since it was normally the lowest attendance week. It was packed every park every ride. We didn’t even get to do half of our normal rides. It was insane. We’ve been there about 20 times in the past and don’t remember wait times this bad. Even booking reservations in advance was impossible for the ones I really wanted. It was disappointing and frustrating.

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