Walt Disney World a Ghost Town as Florida Tourism Crashes

in Walt Disney World

Sparse Walt Disney World crowds, shown on Main Street at Magic Kingdom.

Credit: Inside the Magic

Crowds continue disappearing from Walt Disney World Resort as tourism declines across Florida. Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Guests saw shortened wait times over the past month, even as July 4 approached. (The holiday itself saw moderate crowds.)

This week, Walt Disney World crowds dwindled even more despite historically heavy crowds. On Sunday, Guests shared their experiences at the Disney Parks, Disney Resort hotels, and Disney Springs on Reddit. Some blamed the empty Disney Park on the end of the post-COVID-19 travel boom, while others blamed rising costs throughout Walt Disney World Resort.

“The parks were less attended in 2022 than they were in 2019,” u/ukcats12 wrote. “Hotel offers, bounce back offers, and things like the dining plan are coming back. I think Disney is fully aware they may have gone too far with all the price increases, nickel and diming, and adding constant increasing complexity to their Parks…The chickens are finally coming home to roost.”

Magic Kingdom Evening Wedding
Credit: Disney Weddings

“The constant nickel and diming and getting rid of perks for people staying in their own hotels was a turnoff for me,” u/huhzonked agreed. “I really enjoyed my trip, but there was the underlying feeling that I was getting ripped off.”

Some Disney fans blamed Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ anti-LGBTQIA+ and immigrant laws for scaring people away from the state.

“Not wanting to open a political can of worms, but I’ve been seeing that Florida in general is seeing a huge decline in tourism with recent laws being passed in Florida,” u/jmacrosof said. “Conventions being canceled, beach spots seeing a huge decline in numbers, etc. I think Florida, in general, is seeing a decline.”

Moana crosses her arms in front of Animal Kingdom's Tree of Life
Credit: Disney

Others speculated that rising costs nationwide contributed to the declining Walt Disney World attendance.

“I’m surprised it’s as high as it is in this economy, with high inflation and interest rates with wages not keeping up,” said u/Efficient_Scar3959.

Still, cities like Chicago and Las Vegas saw record tourism numbers in 2022 and 2023. People are traveling, just not to Walt Disney World Resort. And Disney knows it. Between the crowd level, $99 ticket offers, and room discounts, this summer is possibly the best time to visit the Central Florida Disney Park in years.

Have you noticed Walt Disney World crowds declining? Share your experience with Inside the Magic in the comments. 

Please note that the story outlined in this article is based on personal Disney Parks Guest experiences. 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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