ORLANDO, Fla. – Walt Disney World is set to once again open its gates to the Magic Kingdom following a lengthy closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But with most families staying inside and not traveling, how crowded will the theme parks really be when they reopen?
We’ll take a guess at the figures -- but first, a little background:
Shanghai Disneyland was the first park to begin a phased reopening on May 11.
Typical capacity in the Shanghai park is 80,000 visitors a day, but the government cut that to about 30%, or 24,000 a day, said CEO Bob Chapek.
During a roundtable discussion, Disney executive George Kalogridis said the company was considering reopening its U.S. parks with 20% to 30% capacity.
We still just know Disney will be operating at “reduced capacity.” No hard numbers or percentages have been confirmed or released.
We also know that in order to enter one of the Florida theme parks, guests will need a reservation in advance on top of their ticket.
Kalogridis told U.S. Vice President Mike Pence that the company’s Shanghai park sold out of tickets for the first day of reopening at 20% capacity, saying that guests still want to head to the parks, even under restrictions.
We gathered information based on the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions’ 2018 annual attendance estimates, which are the industry standard, and applied the rules set in place by other Disney parks.
The graph below illustrates the number of guests allowed on a normal day compared to the number of people allowed in the park if capacity were set at 30%.
|Park||Capacity||Capacity at 30%|
|Magic Kingdom||57,000 people||17,100 people|
|Epcot||34,093 people||10,227 people|
|Hollywood Studios||30,843 people||9,252 people|
|Animal Kingdom||37,671 people||11,301 people|
As you can see, the parks would appear very empty if leaders decided to open with 30% capacity.
Just to have a little fun, we also looked at a 25% capacity.
|Park||Capacity||Capacity at 25%|
|Magic Kingdom||57,000 people||14,250 people|
|Epcot||34,093 people||8,523 people|
|Hollywood Studios||30,843 people||7,710 people|
|Animal Kingdom||37,671 people||9,417 people|
A park at 25% capacity would mean very minimal wait times. Not to mention, getting that picture in front of Cinderella’s Castle with no one in the background would be much easier to snag.
As we can all imagine, visiting a Disney theme park when it reopens will be a new experience for all -- no matter how many times you’ve visited.
The Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom parks will open first July 11, with Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios reopening July 15.