Are crowds THAT low when parks close early?

Chrislovesdisney

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 16, 2017
we are planning a mid-August 2019 trip (14th to 18th to be exact). The crowd calendars aren’t published yet, but that Friday will be the first MNSSHP of the year and MK will close at 6pm. Extrapolating from this year, it shows MK will this be at a 4 for the day given the abridged hours. Is MK really THAT MUCH emptier on a MNSSHP day in late August? I’m debating between the Thursday and Friday. Yes I realize I still have 7 months before I need to make any dining plans! But all the fun is in early planning!
 

kathy884

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 26, 2009
I've personally found that to be the case, and would always (If it was only my preferences in the planning) pick the close early days to visit the MK for the lower lines. Plus I don't care about the fireworks. All that said, my son's preference is to see the projection show and the fireworks, so we usually end up going on the more crowded day instead.

I think lots of people have someone in their family like my son and are just doing one day at the MK like we are, or they just want more hours at the park and are only doing one day. The parties really and truly skew the crowds to the point that when parties are going on, those non party days up crowd levels to be spring break crowd levels or above in certain cases when one would expect more moderate crowds. I have found the close early days to be a rare opportunity for mild crowds at the most popular theme park in the work, so if your party is agreeable to going that day, I would go then for sure. Having done both, you can really and truly feel the difference.
 
  • DisneyFive

    When is the 3:00 parade?
    Joined
    Jun 16, 2011
    MNSSHP really screws with MK crowd levels, especially when they get into full swing and there are 3 or more per week. You can't see HEA on MNSSHP days, and you lose serious park time, so yes it does make people go elsewhere.

    It also makes the non-party days much busier than they would have been otherwise.

    Having said that, even a 4 at MK is not s sprinkling of people. Based on our experience, there will still be waits of 60 minutes or more for the headliners in the afternoon so the morning is still your friend.

    Dan
     

    ShadeDK

    Permanently Staying in Room 237
    Joined
    Aug 9, 2017
    Yes - crowds generally are lower on party days (sometimes significantly). A variety of reasons, but the basic ones are: (1) most guests are using base tickets that only allow one park per day; (2) most guests don't rope drop; and (3) the inability to attend one of the biggest draws of the park (fireworks). If a guest is arriving late morning or early afternoon, they use their 1-park option on what they might perceive as a half-day experience (losing several hours in the evening) and missing HEA. So they skip MK on party days in lieu of a full-day on a non-party date.

    The counterintuitive part, however, is that you can get more done on a shortened party day than on a regular full day because of the lower crowds. It won't solve the fireworks dilemma, but I'm usually amazed at how empty MK can feel on the morning of a MNSSHP or MVMCP day.
     

    familyman123

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 15, 2014
    Through luck, we rope dropped an EMH MNSSHP day in the Magic Kingdom on a Friday in September 2016 and loved it. It was waaayyy lower crowds then the non-party day we went to 3 days prior.

    So now we specifically target party days. We are going in September and made sure to have 1 Magic Kingdom party day with EMH to hit as many attractions as possible. Then a second day where we soak up atmosphere (shops, and lower wait time rides) and see the evening show without fretting wait times on rides we already experienced.
     

    Lizziekris

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 14, 2011
    From what I am reading, it would be better to plan on going on a party day in October than a non-party day, especially since we have annual passes and can hop over to Epcot once people start coming in for the party? I was thinking of going on Wednesday since it is a non-party day, but if it's going to be busier on the non-party day, we may switch plans.
     
  • bryanb

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 10, 2013
    Hoppers definitely come in handy at times like these. You can get the best of both worlds with a relatively uncrowded MK during the day. And usually, I think, they compensate at another park with longer hours or EMH in the evening.
     

    DebbieB

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 24, 1999
    During party season, I always plan MK for party days. Non-party days are a zoo. If you really want to see the fireworks at night, hop over in the evening (but get there at least an hour before).
     

    mousiemom

    48th wdw trip
    Joined
    Apr 7, 2005
    we always do MK on party days, big difference in crowds. we always have hopper tixs with our package so we go watch fireworks one evening @ MK so we don't miss those.
     
  • Chrislovesdisney

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 16, 2017
    Thanks! My 2 year old is terrified of fireworks, and my 5 year old has a lot of sensory sensitivities so we weren’t planning on doing the fireworks anyways this go. I was just skeptical if we would be able to squeeze everything in by 6 given that we are hopefully doing CRT. The goal for them is really princesses, Ariel’s grotto, and belle though so I’m not going to drive myself too crazy! I wasn’t sure if other park goers would realize MNSSHP begins so early in August.
     

    sharonabe

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 22, 2009
    Thanks! My 2 year old is terrified of fireworks, and my 5 year old has a lot of sensory sensitivities so we weren’t planning on doing the fireworks anyways this go. I was just skeptical if we would be able to squeeze everything in by 6 given that we are hopefully doing CRT. The goal for them is really princesses, Ariel’s grotto, and belle though so I’m not going to drive myself too crazy! I wasn’t sure if other park goers would realize MNSSHP begins so early in August.
    Well, there is always a chance it WON'T begin that early next year. Last year the first party wasn't until the 24th; the year before that it was Sep 2. The 17th is VERY early. If it doesn't do well, they could push it back to late August.
     

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