Disney World Resort Hotels, Restaurants Struggle Amid Crowd Decline

in Walt Disney World

Low crowds at Walt Disney World

Credit: Alice S.

We at Inside the Magic consider ourselves experts in all things Walt Disney World Resort. But even with shocking summer ticket and Resort hotel discounts, we were surprised when the Disney Parks were practically empty over the July 4 holiday weekend.

The weeks of national media coverage that followed were a tad overblown, as Guests reported typical lengthy wait times. Though Walt Disney World Resort saw an attendance lull this year compared to 2021 and 2022, so did other Theme Parks (including Universal Orlando Resort).

But there is some truth to the rumors. As inflation rises and the post-pandemic travel boom ends, people aren’t traveling to Walt Disney World Resort. Many Guests report empty transportation, surprisingly open availability at popular restaurants, and Resort hotels that feel like ghost towns.

Tree of Life at Disney's Animal Kingdom Park in Walt Disney World Resort
Credit: Disney

“I can tell you the Park pathways this week have been less congested,” Reddit user u/highseaslife said. “Time last night from magic kingdom Main Street to TTC via ferry post-fireworks was about 30 minutes. Wait time for gondolas has been 10 mins. Walked into a World Showcase restaurant for dinner today without a reservation and was seated within five mins.”

“It was empty at times when I was there earlier this month,” u/LiveYourDaydreams echoed. “A couple of times, I was the ONLY one on the bus heading to the parks.”

Wait times remain the same, suggesting Central Florida locals are still visiting Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. But where are all the tourists?

Guests in front of Cinderella Castle at night
Credit: Lee (myfrozenlife) via Flickr

“Tourism spending is down,” u/cmfolsom said. “Our Lyft driver told us he’s noticing fewer tourists.”

Some Disney Parks fans argued that while crowds are down, they’re still overpacked.

“It’s not empty, it’s just not as busy as every summer has been for the last 15 years or so,” u/Rumbananas wrote. “No doubt, Disney considers this a huge loss.”

Have you noticed low crowd levels at Walt Disney World Resort? Share your experience with Inside the Magic in the comments. 

Please note that the story outlined in this article is based on a personal Disney Parks Guest experience. No two Guest experiences are alike, and this article does not necessarily align with Inside the Magic’s personal views on Disney Park operations.

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