“Record-Breaking” Weather Leads To Crowd Shortage, Closure in Disney World

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The Mickey and Walt statue in front of Cinderella's Castle inside Disney's Magic Kingdom

Credit: Disney

Yet again, Disney World seems to be experiencing low attendance rates, much lower than previous years. This summer’s heat has been so overwhelming that a popular Disney location shut down today for lack of a cooling system.

Magic Kingdom entrance at Walt Disney World Resort
Credit: Paul Beattie, Flickr

Disney World Low Attendance Rates This Summer – An Anomaly?

In July, a particular holiday weekend, it brought in record-low wait times, empty parks, and more at WDW. The attendance rate was so alarming that major news networks like CNN, FOX, and The New York Post. Pre-COVID, the Resort was noticing a hefty increase in numbers throughout all parks in terms of visitors per year. But post-COVID numbers have changed drastically since 2020.

But despite all these news outlets reporting on Disney having low crowds, guests were quick to jump on the opposite side of things, claiming that the parks were not empty. Since the Fourth of July weekend, not much has changed aside from one particular event drawing in more crowds than usual.

Pumpkins with carvings looking directly at a hurricane with Magic Kingdom in the background
Credit: Inside The Magic

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party saw its grand opening on August 11, drawing in crowds for the opening night. The family-friendly Halloween event is always a popular staple in the world of Disney. This year, it would appear that families and guests are all thinking the same thing, as multiple event nights have already sold out for September.

The other factor that could be mentioned in this discussion is Hurricane Idalia, which pushed through Florida earlier this week, leading to flights, guests leaving the state, and Disney vacations getting canceled. But that has since passed, and now, the Autumn season is upon us, which means the “off-season” for Disney World will soon commence.

So what about this heat? Could it be the main contributing factor to low attendance levels at Walt Disney World Resort?

Disney World experiencing one of their hottest summers on record as a heat wave passes through Central Florida
Credit: Inside The Magic

Heat Waves Lead To Lower Than Average Guest Attendance Numbers?

WDW has suffered some pretty intense heat waves this summer. The first heat wave arrived sometime in June, while July and August have not let up, leading to scorching temperatures and unbearable humanity levels across Central Florida. But despite these circumstances, the crowds still showed up in large numbers. But some places are starting to see the toll from the record-breaking heat. Gideon’s Bakehouse closed down today due to a lack of an AC system, which led to a ton of backlash from guests hoping to get in the already-long lines to enter the establishment in Disney Springs.

August 2023 was a scorcher! It was not only the hottest August on record for Orlando, Daytona Beach and Vero Beach, but it was also the hottest month ever on record for these sites!

The numbers for August were released today, and they were not good. As you can see from the tweet above, Orlando saw the hottest month on record, with average temperatures reaching 85.9 degrees, slightly higher than in 1903. Still, the heat is something that should not be ignored. September and October are still cooking up to be hot in terms of humidity, which means any relief from the heat will not arrive until November or December. But the moisture brings those temperatures way above the mid-90s on most days.

By prioritizing your comfort, health, and well-being through proper hydration and heat management, you can make your Disney World visit an enjoyable and memorable experience.

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