WARNING: Make Like the Locals and Avoid Disney World This Week

Credit: Disney

It’s a well-accepted fact that Orlando residents and Florida locals have the right pulse on crowd levels at Disney World, and it’s entirely possible they will avoid the Central Florida Disney Resort this week. 

The Walt Disney World Resort and the Disneyland Resort are both well-known as prime Disney vacation spots for guests from any culture all over the world. From the amazing rides and attractions on offer, like Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, to lands like Pandora at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park, there’s a lot to love about the Disney experience and a Disney World vacation. 

Mickey Mouse at Magic Kingdom Park

Mickey Mouse at Magic Kingdom Park, Walt Disney World Resort / Credit: Disney

Related: Best Time to Visit Disney in 2024 To Avoid Crowds

However, even Disney World has times when it can feel less like the immersive magical experience we all know and love and rather becomes a bit challenging to enjoy. (We’re talking about times when the parks are crowded beyond measure.)

‘Crowds at Disney World are a highly contested phenomenon. All of last year, many insisted that Disney World was increasingly becoming a ghost town with nobody present at the parks. These guests questioned how well Disney was doing, positing that The Walt Disney Company was struggling more than they wanted to admit. 

toy story land entrance hollywood studios

Toy Story Land, Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park / Credit: Stone Hood, Unsplash

However, others disputed this claim saying that the parks were as crowded as ever, sharing photos and videos of how difficult it was to get around, noting wait times as high as eight hours. 

It’s worth noting at this juncture that even Disney CEO Bob Iger admitted that overall crowd levels were down at the Central Florida Disney Park. This said, this drop didn’t horribly affect revenue (no surprise considering the cost of going to Disney World at all), seeing as the Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products division of the company is still incredibly profitable. 

epcot's world showcase lagoon

EPCOT’s World Showcase lagoon / Credit: Becky Burkett

So, while it can feel to some that the parks are always horribly crowded (or, on the flip side, completely empty), this isn’t actually the case. What is actually true is that crowd levels fluctuate throughout the year, and the theme park experiences off-seasons. 

(Though, we’d be remiss not to acknowledge that many have been questioning whether Disney World even has off-seasons anymore.)

One of the most commonly accepted off-seasons historically has been the time between spring break and the end of May, leading into Memorial Day. But the last week of April might see extra crowds due to sports competitions taking place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex this week.

The Tree of Life at Disney's Animal Kingdom

The Tree of Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park / Credit: Disney Parks

This week, Disney World is going to get its dance on.

The 2024 ICU Junior World & World Cheerleading Championships, organized by the International Cheer Union, will be held from April 24 through April 26. 

Immediately after this, from April 26th to 29th, The Cheerleading Worlds and The Dance Worlds competitions will take place at ESPN Wide World of Sports and Coronado Springs Resort, respectively. 

While the existence of both of these competitions doesn’t necessitate excessive crowds, what they do guarantee is that there will be more footfall to the Disney Resort than just the expected Disney guests. 

Seeing as this is the case, many astute locals might be avoiding the parks this week, and we might be wise to follow suit!

About Priyanka Kumar

Priyanka is a writer, artist, avid reader, and travel enthusiast based in Chicago. In her free time, she is probably walking by the lake, catching up on the latest releases on TV, or spending inordinate amounts of time rewatching Moana, Encanto, and her Disney Channel life-long favorites Zack and Cody wreak havoc on the Tipton.

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