Nearly Every Top Attraction at Disney Breaks Down During Record-Breaking Crowd Surge

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Crowds at Walt Disney World Resort

Credit: Marc Smith / Flickr

Today at Walt Disney World, things have gone awry after nearly every major attraction shut down at the exact same time.

Crowds gathering around Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom at Disney World
Credit: Inside the Magic

The busiest times to visit Walt Disney World are typically during peak vacation periods, such as holidays, school breaks, and special events. The holiday season, including Christmas and New Year’s, tends to be particularly crowded. Other peak times include spring break, summer vacation, and long weekends. Additionally, events like the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival and the EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival attract large crowds.

To avoid the busiest times, it’s advisable to plan visits during off-peak periods, which are often during mid-week, non-holiday periods when schools are in session. However, that is not always possible for guests. 

Just yesterday, it was reported that Walt Disney World had seen the largest crowds based on wait times since the parks reopened in 2023. Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) shared the news, “Based on attraction wait time data via @ThrillData, Friday, Dec. 29 was the most crowded day at Walt Disney World since the parks reopened in July 2020.”

With these crowds, we reported wait times for certain attractions hitting the five-hour mark, which is incredibly extensive, not usual, and takes up a large chunk of any guest’s day. 

Today, things have continued to progress in a similar nature, not just at Magic Kingdom but also at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, EPCOT, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Thrill Data (@ThrillData) wrote: Wait times across #WaltDisneyWorld today (black line) are trending right about the same as the previous two days.

With wait times soaring at such extremes and such large crowds coming in for New Year’s Eve, having an attraction breakdown can be detrimental to crowd spread, pushing more guests to other already populated areas.

Today, in the Disney Parks Reddit page, one user shared their My Disney Experience screenshot, which shared that at all four parks, one or more massive attractions was shut down, with no explanation.

Another tough day at WDW: top rides down across each park.

Another tough day at WDW: top rides down across each park
byu/thethurstonhowell indisneyparks

As we can see, Expedition Everest, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind (the most popular ride at EPCOT, which was also shut down yesterday), Pirates of the Caribbean, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance were all showing as “Temporarily Closed” at the same time.

Now, the rides are in operation again; however, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Prince Charming’s Regal Carrousel, and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith are all non-operational.

Disney wait times on My Disney Experience
Credit: My Disney Experience

Tonight, while it is not yet New Year’s Eve, at Magic Kingdom, the iconic Cinderella Castle becomes the centerpiece of a mesmerizing fireworks extravaganza called Fantasy in the Sky, accompanied by live music and a festive atmosphere on Main Street, U.S.A. The first showing began a 6:30 p.m. followed by a second showing at 11:50 p.m. These fireworks will also take place tomorrow night, along with the New Year’s Eve festivities that EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be holding.

Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World with crowds in front
Credit: Inside the Magic

With all of these offerings, it is easy to see why the crowds have become so dense. Additionally, in three days, the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend will begin (January 4th), which has likely already pulled in thousands, as many runners typically extend their run weekend into a vacation, especially if it coincides with a holiday, as many companies give their employees time-off.

On top of all that, Disney’s Genie+ is selling out while nearly maxing out at almost $40.00 per person, highlighting the desire that guests have to try and skip these massive lines. Disney’s Blizzard Beach has also been closed, and will remain shut down for six days due to cold weather conditions, giving guests one less place to go during the day.

Considering that just a few hours after the massive ride closure catastrophe, more attractions shut down, the long record-breaking lines that we have been seeing over the past few days will likely continue to grow. If you are planning to visit Disney over the next few days, be sure to pack those Mickey Mouse ears, and your patience.

Would you visit Disney World during the holidays? 

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