Summer at Disney World 2024 – Where Is Everyone?

by Dom
July 7, 2024

Summer at Disney World usually means one thing: crowds. Historically, the park sees a significant surge in visitors, especially during the 4th of July weekend. Families, teens, and Disney enthusiasts alike flock in, eager to soak up the magic and enjoy the warm weather. But 2024 has been an anomaly. The typically bustling park is experiencing unusually low crowd levels, leaving many to wonder—what’s going on at Disney World this summer?

Walt Disney World Monthly Average Wait Time. Credit: Thrill Data
Walt Disney World Monthly Average Wait Time. Credit: Thrill Data

What’s Behind the Decline in Attendance?

Increased Costs

One of the most significant factors contributing to the lower attendance is the increased cost of visiting Disney World. Rising ticket prices, expensive dining options, and pricey souvenirs are making it harder for families to justify the trip. Price gouging, or the perception of it, is another issue. From food to merchandise, many visitors feel they are being overcharged, contributing to a growing sense of dissatisfaction. Many fans who once considered Disney World an annual pilgrimage are now looking for more affordable vacation options.

Removal of Free FastPass+

The removal of the FastPass+ system, replaced with the paid Genie+ service, has also raised eyebrows. Previously, FastPass+ allowed visitors to skip long lines at no additional cost. Now, guests need to pay extra for the same privilege, leading to frustrations and disappointment among long-time fans.

Removal of Disney’s Magical Express

Disney’s decision to discontinue the Magical Express bus service has added another layer of inconvenience. The complimentary service, which transported guests from Orlando International Airport to their Disney resort, was a beloved perk. Without it, visitors must arrange their own transportation, adding to the overall cost and hassle of the trip.

Imagineering Projects with Cost-Cutting Measures

Recent Imagineering projects have also come under scrutiny. Many fans feel that new attractions and refurbishments have cut corners, prioritizing budget over experience. This sentiment has dampened enthusiasm, leading some to opt out of their usual summer visit.

Splash Mountain Re-themed

The re-theming of Splash Mountain has stirred mixed emotions. While some applaud the move towards inclusivity, others are nostalgic for the original and feel alienated by the change. This split sentiment may be influencing attendance numbers as well.

Saving Money for Epic Universe

Another factor could be the excitement surrounding the upcoming 2025 opening of Epic Universe. Some theme park enthusiasts might be saving their vacation funds to experience this new attraction, thereby skipping Disney World this year.

Florida’s Oppressive Heat and Humidity

Florida’s summer heat and humidity are notorious, but they’ve never been enough to keep the crowds away in the past. However, with the other contributing factors, the intense weather might be the final straw for some visitors.

No Festivals at EPCOT

A lack of summer festivals at EPCOT is puzzling. These events usually draw significant crowds but this year, EPCOT’s calendar is surprisingly sparse. This absence is notable and likely contributing to the overall dip in attendance.

Lack of New Rides

The absence of new ride openings this summer has left thrill-seekers looking for excitement elsewhere. For many, the allure of fresh attractions is a key motivator for a visit, and without them, Disney World loses some of its pull.

Reduced 4th of July Decorations

For those who did visit, the reduction in 4th of July decorations was apparent. Compared to previous years, the festivities were noticeably scaled back. This move may be Disney’s way of acknowledging the lighter summer crowds.

Insights from Regular Visitors

Regular visitors have shared their experiences on social media, showcasing unusually empty walkways and pavilion concourses such as the new CommuniCore Hall. These insights paint a picture of a different Disney World experience this summer, one that is less crowded and more relaxed.

Predictions for the Future

The big question is, what does this mean for the future of Disney World and its attendance? While it’s hard to predict with certainty, several possibilities emerge:

  • Short-Term Impact: If the trend continues, Disney may need to reevaluate its pricing strategies and perks to lure back visitors.
  • Long-Term Impact: Persistent low crowd levels could affect the company’s revenue and lead to changes in how Disney approaches its theme park operations and guest experience.


This summer at Disney World is unlike any other, with unusually low crowd levels creating a unique atmosphere. While several factors contribute to this phenomenon, it’s clear that Disney must listen to its fans and adapt to maintain its magic. If you’re a Disney enthusiast, this might be the perfect time to visit and enjoy the park with shorter lines and a more laid-back vibe.

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Written by Dom

Dom is fascinated with the magic and scale of Walt Disney World and visits the parks as often as he can.

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