Recently we reported that crowds are unusually low right now. This is usually the time of year when things start picking up. Schools are breaking for the summer, and families are traveling early in the hopes of avoiding the crowds (which, of course, just creates a crowd). This year, however, things are different.
You can tell how crowded the parks are typically by dining reservations. If you know what to look for, there are tell-tell signs. If a restaurant that is usually reliable for a last-minute reservation (like Tony’s Town Square Restaurant) is all booked up, you know the park is going to be hopping. On the flip side, if you find a last-minute table for an incredibly popular restaurant, that’s a sign that the parks are quiet.
Today we were perusing available reservations and found some surprises! Not only are some of the more popular table service restaurants available, but some absolutely impossible-to-snag character dining options were available too! That is a clear sign that the Parks are slow.
Be Our Guest is arguably one of the most popular restaurants at Walt Disney World. It completely books up 60 days in advance, and many people try their best to snag a reservation without success.
Sci-Fi Dine-In is also another good indicator of crowd size. The unique atmosphere of this table service eatery makes it a popular reservation. The unique tables also limit the number of guests the restaurant can accommodate daily. Finding same-day reservations is rare.
50’s Prime Time Cafe gets an honorable mention here. It’s not impossible to snag a same-day reservation, but it isn’t easy. The stars need to align just right to get in here on short notice. Today, reservations for the nostalgic restaurant are wide open. With many available times for lunch and dinner.
It probably goes without saying that character meals are the largest draw in any Disney Park. The chance to meet your favorite Disney character and eat a delicious meal? Yes, please! Because of this, almost every location books well in advance. We have never gotten a same-day character meal (and that includes during the low crowds after the Covid reopening)
Storybook Dining is available today. That alone tells you everything you need to know. This character meal has been popular since it opened in 2018. Demand has not slowed down due to the unique character experiences here. While you can meet Snow White at EPCOT year-round, meeting the Dwarves usually only happens during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. This is the only place to meet the Evil Queen.
Crystal Palace is another popular dining option. Meeting Pooh and friends while enjoying an all-you-can-eat buffet is hard to resist. While we’ve seen a same-day reservation here a time or two, it is incredibly uncommon.
Akershus surprised us the most. This princess dinner may just be the most popular character meal at Walt Disney World. Dining inside a castle with your favorite Princesses is an unforgettable experience. We have never seen any same-day reservations open up that weren’t immediately snagged, let alone multiple times.
Yes, it’s safe to say that the crowds have thinned substantially. While our method isn’t fool-proof, it is right more often than it’s not (we checked wait times on the app and confirmed Disney is experiencing one of its slowest days since the Pandemic). Easter crowds have gone, and while summer crowds should be moving in, they simply aren’t. We wonder if this will be a trend all summer long or if people have simply delayed summer vacations until later in the season this year. Stay tuned right here, where we will keep you up to date and informed on crowd levels for your upcoming Disney vacation!