How long will I have to wait in line at Walt Disney World

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“Hey, Dad. We’re planning to go to Walt Disney World January 17th and 26th. We won’t be at the parks every day, but we’re staying onsite. I have viewed the crowd calendars for that time and for the most part it looks like crowds will be low. I was wondering if you could give me some experience or some idea as to what low crowd levels are characterized as. Are the majority of lines less than ten minutes? Also, with low crowd levels, do you think it will be easier or harder to get reservations? Thanks in advance.”

All right. This is really a good question. Le me say it again: This is really a good question because I talk all the time about crowd levels. Low, moderate, busy … Our crowd calendars have crowd levels on them, but what does that really mean?

Dad's Line Wait Time predictions

I made a little chart, that shows low crowds on the slow rides, the ones that never really have long lines … On those slow rides, that you can just walk on during low crowd times. Moderately busy rides, the ones that typically have 20, 30, 45 minute lines, those lines will be 10-15 minutes during low crowd times. On the busy rides, the Space Mountains and the Soarin’s, Test Track. Those rides, they’re going to be around 30 minutes or so. That’s during slow times of the year, low crowds. Slow crowds.

Dad’s 2017 Crowd Calendar page

During moderate crowd periods, slow rides will be 10-15 minute lines. The moderate rides, 25-40 minutes. Busy rides, 60 or so minutes. You’ll start to see some lines at restaurants. You go to Casey’s Corner, you might have to wait. Lines might be three or four people deep, two or three people deep.

For heavy crowds, slow rides under heavy crowds are going to be 20-30 minutes. On the moderate rides, you’re going to have 45-60 minutes. On the busy rides, you’re going to have 90+ minutes. Then if you go to, let’s say, Casey’s Corner, you’re going to have to wait 10-15 minutes to get your order in. Maybe up to 30.

Now, the extreme crowd times … The Christmas week and maybe President’s Day week. Not so much in the summer anymore. Maybe some time during Spring Break, the extreme crowd slow rides are going to be 45-60 minutes minimum. Moderate rides 90-120 minutes. The busy rides, just forget it. They’ll be 240 minutes or more. It’ll be crazy. 120-240 minutes. It’d just be crazy.

Can reservations be hard to get during slow periods. Depends on what kind of reservations. Room reservations, yes and no. You sometimes see that more people are staying on the Disney Resorts because the prices are down, so they can actually be a little harder to get during slow times than you expect. ADRs, the hard restaurant reservations are always going to be hard to get. The ‘Ohanas, the Le Cellier, Cinderella’s Royal Table. Those are always going to be hard to get even during slow times. The rest of them you’ll find there will be some availability. Now, it may be late at night, but there will be a lot more availability.

I hope that helps. I hope that lines out what the crowd levels really mean.


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