Disney World Crowds Suffer Again Amid Dangers in Florida

in Walt Disney World


Credit: @DrewDisneyDude

Magic Kingdom Park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and EPCOT reportedly remain empty as multiple experts warn that visiting Walt Disney World Resort is dangerous.

Summer was unusually tranquil at Walt Disney World Resort. Traditionally busy weekends like July 4 and Labor Day went by with low wait times and empty Disney Parks. Desperate to bring guests back to Florida amidst political turmoil, The Walt Disney Company offered unprecedented discounts on Disney Park tickets, Disney Resort hotel rooms, and VIP Tours.

Nothing brought Walt Disney World Resort back to its crowded “normal.” Some fans blamed the summer heat; others blamed the end of post-pandemic “revenge travel.”

A lull in Walt Disney World crowds, with only a few Guests standing outside Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run.
Credit: Inside the Magic

But the list of reasons guests avoid Walt Disney World Resort grows longer by the day. As BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ advocacy groups continue warning travelers to stay out of Florida, even more dangers threaten the Disney parks.

Last week, a viral report suggested that Walt Disney World Resort was on lockdown due to an uptick in COVID-19 cases. While the lockdown rumors are inaccurate, doctors warn that COVID-19 cases are rising in Central Florida, especially after Governor Ron DeSantis’s Central Florida Tourism Oversight District Board outlawed pandemic-related mandates at the Disney theme parks.

Days ago, air quality experts also warned guests that visiting Walt Disney World Resort could be dangerous. Smoke from Canadian wildfires traveled thousands of miles to Florida, putting the state’s Air Quality Index (AQI) in the “red.”

Lone Guest in Fantasyland at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Credit: Alice S.

AirNow.gov warned Floridians and visitors to avoid strenuous outdoor activities and avoid spending too much time outside. If unable to reschedule or move activities, they advised opting for less taxing movement (like walking instead of running).

Given these warnings, it’s unsurprising that wait times and crowd levels were down across Walt Disney World Resort last weekend. TikToker @disneydad2023 shared three videos from the Disney theme parks, showing empty walkways and low wait times.


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♬ original sound – DisneyDad93

Two were removed for unknown reasons, but the third video shows a screen recording from the My Disney Experience app during the guest’s visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Wait times across the theme park were shockingly low. Two of the most popular attractions, Kilimanjaro Safaris and Avatar: Flight of Passage, were at 10-minute and 40-minute waits, respectively. (40 minutes might seem like a long time, but Disney Park fans know that anything less than an hour is practically a walk-on in Pandora!)

Magic Kingdom crowds aerial view at Disney World
Credit: bioreconstruct

Despite guest reports about empty Disney Parks, The Walt Disney Company is making more than ever from its theme park division – so fans shouldn’t worry about Walt Disney World Resort’s future. Inside the Magic will continue to report on crowds and wait times at the Disney parks.

Have you noticed crowd levels declining 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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