Are you planning a trip to the world’s most popular theme park? We can understand why! Disney World is a magical experience, and there are plenty of attractions, dining, shopping, and entertainment for the young at heart. The yearly visitor stats reveal why Disney World is worth the magic you’ll experience during your visit.
With an average annual attendance of over 58 million visitors, Walt Disney World in Florida is the world’s most visited theme park globally. Whether you are planning a trip or just curious about how many people visit Disney World, we have statistics and tips to make your trip to the happiest place on Earth perfect.
Disney Theme Parks
There are four theme parks at Walt Disney World Resort:
Every year, these parks are visited by millions of people worldwide for enchanting entertainment. The following numbers are from the 2021 operating season.
- Average Daily Visitors: 57,000
- Annual Visitors: 21,170,000
- Average Daily Visitors: 34,000
- Annual Visitors: 12,410,000
- Average Daily Visitors: 31,000
- Annual Visitors: 11,315,000
- Average Daily Visitors: 38,000
- Annual Visitors: 13,870,000
Most Crowded Time To Visit Disney
With 58 million guests yearly, Disney World has the most crowds during school breaks, holidays, and weekends. Generally, you can expect seasonal events, especially the holidays (December 26-December 31), to see the most crowds.
However, the holiday season is the most magical time for events and the overall wow factor. Visitors can get wrapped up in tinsel-tactic décor, spectacular shows, festivals, and other entertainment to celebrate the season’s spirit and extra-special magic.
Least Crowded Time To Visit Disney
You can enjoy the rides and attractions more if you plan your Disney trip when parks are at the least crowded.
If you prefer avoiding larger crowds with lower off-peak prices, the theme park is typically less crowded after the new year (January 2) through mid-February, when schools are out for President’s week vacation. After Labor Day (September) through November, weekdays are typically relatively empty until Thanksgiving weekend, and weekdays in December also typically see fewer guests.
What Affects Visitor Attendance?
“It’s too expensive!” is a familiar phrase, often exclaimed by parents and caretakers alike who may be stunned at some of the price tags of tickets and souvenirs. Families can better experience the magic of Walt Disney World with a realistic view and budget and enter the trip knowing what to expect.
One-day park tickets range from $109 to $159, but prices depend on dates of travel and any additional add-ons. Now multiply this price times a family of four or more. If you’re not local, you’ll need to add flights, hotels, parking, food, merchandise, and souvenirs, where applicable. (Sidebar: You can’t leave the park without a signature Mickey Mouse Ear Hat!).
Disney enthusiasts recommend a game plan to navigate the crowds of people and the heat and humidity, depending on the season. You should expect crowds and lines during your Walt Disney World visit, but there are some ways to avoid the most crowded park hours:
- Go when the park first opens
- Go to the park just before closing
- Disney resort guests receive Extra Magic Hours, basically extended hours where the park is only open for resort guests.
- Check the crowd calendar before planning your trip or reaching the park for the day.
- Head to the parks when it’s raining or inclement weather (some outdoor attractions may be closed).
- Some special park events only release a specific number of tickets (such as Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party), so crowds are limited to ticket holders only and not general park admission.
Release the expectation that you will avoid waiting in lines, which can be lengthy. From the park entrance to character meet and greets, to the rides, be ready to pack not just a water bottle but your patience. Ride lines are part of the Disney experience. For example, the average wait time for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is 78 minutes.
Don’t forget, you will be standing in line for 30 minutes or more, whether for a bus, monorail, or to enter a show — just to stand the entire duration.
Want to avoid long lines at Disney? You’re going to have to pay extra. The Lightning Lane entrances are available at various attractions via the Disney Genie, a free navigation app that helps plan your visit.
For a more personalized top-notch experience, Disney VIP Tour Services can plan the itinerary for your group of ten (or less) to ensure you see the sights at the top of your list. Pricing ranges from $425 to $850 per hour. If you’re willing to pay for a more personalized Disney experience, these VIP Guides will make sure your day is nothing short of perfect.
Planning Tips For Disney World
Crowds, lines, and prices are part of the magical Disney experience, but planning ahead can help alleviate the stress and make for a more enjoyable trip.
If you’re overwhelmed by all the data regarding how many people visit Disney World, it is a good idea to check before planning your visit. With so much to see and experience, where does one start?
We recommend checking out these planning tips for a magical Disney World vacation:
The sky is the limit for how much you can spend but make a budget if there is one. Prioritize food options and include any restaurant reservations in locations you know you want to check out during your stay.
Consider options such as the Disney Dining Plan and meals included with your hotel stay. Walt Disney World properties and parks allow guests to bring in food and drink (no glass bottles) and offer water refill stations throughout the parks. Keep this in mind when planning your food budget.
Consider the character meal experiences to see many characters at once while enjoying breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Off-site vendors rent strollers if you still have youngsters who will need the walking breaks, which is another budget-friendly option.
Planning Your Days
Download the My Disney Experience app and the Disney Genie navigation app to help plan your visit and before you arrive to help navigate the experience. As mentioned before, try to visit during a less-busy time of year, if your schedule allows.
Make a list of everything you want to prioritize during your trip, including rides, restaurants, shows, etc., and book your reservations to visit the park in advance (as early as possible).
Try to get to the theme park early before it opens to avoid lines and crowds. Gift shops are also best to visit during the early hours for lighter crowds.
Other tips and details to keep in mind when packing for your trip include packing for different weather, including an umbrella, sunhat, poncho, etc., and make sure to wear comfy shoes made for walking!
Be aware of first-aid station locations and take breaks often, especially in the heat.
It’s always best to have a backup plan if your preferred choice or itinerary doesn’t work. Pocket-sized itineraries for your group members are a great way to ensure everyone has a meet up point.
Perks of Staying On Property
If you’re staying at a Disney World hotel, you can enter each park a half-hour before the opening time. Keep this in mind when planning your days; you may choose to spend the first part of your day at a park furthest from your hotel and in the evenings at the park closest to your hotel to save transportation time.
10 Fun Facts:
Did you know any of these Disney fun facts?
- There are more than 25 Disney hotels in the Disney Resorts Collection.
- Walt Disney World has over 300 dining outlets.
- Approximately 250,000 guests travel daily to and from various Disney-owned properties via bus, monorail train, or water taxis provided by Disney.
- Disney sells approximately 13 million water bottles and 75 million Coca-Colas each year.
- There are currently 173 rides at Disney World Orlando (including 41 at Magic Kingdom, 42 at Epcot, 17 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and 46 at Animal Kingdom).
- Animal Kingdom is roughly five times the size of Magic Kingdom and is the largest theme park in the world when measured in acres.
- Ticket prices range, but the cost of a standard theme park ticket for individuals ages ten plus is $109.00 per person day. When Disney World first opened in 1971, it was only $3.50!
- Disney made $67.418 billion in worldwide revenue during the fiscal year 2021.
- Typhoon Lagoon is the second most visited water park in the world.
- Disney resort has over 600,000 square feet of space for conventions and meetings.
Disney is loved by millions of people of all ages worldwide because it immerses guests in iconic attractions, nostalgia, and a pinch of Mickey magic! No matter when you visit Disney, prepare for a magical place to make family memories that last a lifetime.
Will you be one of 58 million attendees to visit Walt Disney World this year?