The Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando continues to prove that Guests are desperate to visit the magic. While the Disney Parks at the Central Florida Resort are not at full capacity (and will likely never be so), crowds and lines are bigger and longer than ever, despite the arrival of the controversial Disney Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane Selections service.
And, entertainment offerings have been no different. Disney Enchantment at Magic Kingdom Park’s Cinderella Castle attracts massive crowds stretching down Main Street, U.S.A., with Guests flocking to see the fireworks light up the Orlando sky. While the moment should be the height of Disney magic, crowds of course bring drama and one Guest’s experience watching the nighttime spectacular was “wild”.
Currently amid The World’s Most Magical Celebration, Walt Disney World is thriving. Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapek recently revealed staggering Disney Parks revenue with Florida tourism also growing beyond pre-pandemic levels. Guests wanting to return to the magic of Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, have superseded expectations with other visitors now canceling their vacations because of the huge demand.
The strain of crowds and long lines at Walt Disney World Resort, and in some ways Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Southern California, can be attributed to the ticket reservation and Disney Park Pass system that was put in place post-pandemic and looks likely to stay until at least 2024. Guests wanting to visit the Disney Resort must book a reservation via the Disney Park Pass system in addition to having a valid Park ticket; the Park Hopper option then allows Guests to head to another Park in the afternoon. The Park Pass system is said to manage Guest expectations and keep crowd levels reduced.
However, even so, crowds have been noticed by many Guests and attraction lines more so. And it is not just at the Parks where issues have been raised as seen by this incident at a popular Disney Resort.
In a detailed report from their vacation to Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World, one Guest (@missmeh3) revealed that, despite their otherwise drama-free vacation, the crowds for Disney Enchantment proved to be an incredibly “wild” and “awful experience”. The Disney Guest said:
Made it back for the fireworks. It was so incredibly crowded. My husband and I were saying we would have been worried having small children in the middle of the crowds. With just two of us we were able to slide in somewhere, but people with families and strollers were walking laps looking for anywhere to stand. People had camped out since 6:30 we were told.
Overall, crowd was an awful experience, security had to almost throw out two people near us on two separate occasions, there was almost a fight, it was wild, never had seen anything like it at Disney. Show was fantastic- if you want to see it, use your genie+, camp out, whatever it takes, don’t try and wing it with 20 minutes til showtime like us, because it sucked.
The Guest goes on to explain their get out strategy to avoid getting caught up in the crowds after Disney Enchantment ends:
Afterwards, we dipped about 30sec-1minute before the show ended and started running towards Tomorrowland otherwise we might have been trampled.
Walt Disney World Resort has always been busy but some are now saying that there isn’t even a slow season anymore. Guests could always opt to visit EPCOT’s World Showcase and witness Harmonious take over the World Showcase Lagoon instead of Disney Enchantment. Or even, skip the Parks altogether and head to Disney Springs.
Unfortunately, it is not the first time a Disney Resort Guest has been worried about crowds and the fear of being trampled. Multiple accounts of line-cutting, pushing past other Guests, and even one altercation with a stroller at the Magic Kingdom ferryboat that ended in a police presence have been heard recently.
While this Guest did describe this less than desirable Disney Enchantment experience, they did commend the Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane system, contrasting other Guests’ opinions. The service lets Guests board their favorite attractions like Spaceship Earth, Haunted Mansion, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, and Space Mountain for an additional fee
A Disney Park Pass reservation is needed for all four theme parks — Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom — but not currently for the Disney water parks, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park and Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park (currently closed for refurbishment).
What has your crowd experience been like at Walt Disney World recently? Let us know in the comments down below!
If you want to book a Disney vacation and visit one of the four theme parks be sure to reach out to our friends at Academy Travel, who will be with you every step of the way when planning your magical Disney vacation.