Walt Disney World Attendance Questions

So, I just got back from Walt Disney World a couple of nights ago. Hooray and all that!

I chose to go in October because it’s the off-season then. In fact, when Mrs. HeyHomie and I went last year (also in late October) the place was practically empty. Our longest wait was 30 minutes at Splash Mountain (and that was because we didn’t have Fastpasses).

Not so this year. In fact, the place was packed. 90-minutes waits for popular attractions. Jammed parking lots. Long lines at the lunch counters. Everything one associates with busy season at WDW. (FTR, though it was crowded, it was still a far cry from what I would have expected during summer or holiday season).

I note two things that may have swelled crowds a little bit (although neither of them should have affected the crowds on this order of magnitude). One is that Orlando schools were dismissed on Friday, October 17 (which may have prompted many locals to visit the parks… but for all of last week???). The second is that the Twighlight Zone Tower of Terror reopened with a new ride sequence after a three-week refurbishment, which may have attracted a larger crowd (again, why would the rest of WDW have been so packed?).

Any Orlandoish locals know anything about what’s going on down there? I see two possibilities:
[li]This was a minor perturbation in attendance that no one could have predicted. You know, sometimes crowds just show up.[/li][li]This was normal October attendance and last year’s thin crowds were a result of the weak economy, post September 11th travel jitters, etc.[/li][/ul]

Does anyone have the Straight Dope on what’s going on down there?


Your experience last year was atypical. Since 9/11 all Orlando area parks have been having problems with attendance, this has gotten better lately, which would explain why this time around was more crowded. Look at it this way, it was busy but at least it wasn’t 130 degrees in the shade.

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