Mom With Kids After Run
  • On Jun 20, 2008
    Stephanie from IN Asked

    My DH, DD 2 and brother 21 will be at Disney during free dining in sept. and staying at pop century. I am concerned about how busy the resort and parks will be. Have any of you traveled during this time previous years and could give me some insight?

    Stephanie,

    I have been to WDW during free dining, and I would say the parks are slightly less busy than average. The resort will likely be at or close to capacity, but that is very common throughout the year (WDW Resorts have a very high occupancy rate), and not necessarily different because of Disney's free dining offer.

    Disney offers free dining because September has historically been one of the slowest times of the year for the parks.  The free dining has definitely increased the crowds, but it still isn't overly crowded.  The one thing to be aware of, though, is that dining reservations are very difficult to get unless you plan far in advance (ideally 180 days in advance).  On a positive note, with all of the restaurants at or near capacity, there are fewer people out and about in the parks! ;-)

    To give you another data point, the Unofficial Guide's touringplans.com site predicts most of the crowd levels during September 2008 as 4, 5 or 6 (on a 1-10 scale) whereas most of the days in July as 8 or 9, and in August as 7 or 8.  To help understand what this means in the parks, on a "4" rated day, the average peak wait times at headliner attractions at the Magic Kingdom would be about 40 minutes, and on a "9" day the wait would be about 90 minutes.

    Unfortunately for all of us (but good for Mickey!) there are very few days (and practically no weeks) left in the calendar when WDW doesn't have a decent number of guests visiting the parks.  WDW is popular, and Disney is very good at figuring out ways to get guests to come during periods of time that used to be lighter. Nevertheless, visiting in September will be a reasonably "lighter" (not to be confused with " no lines") time of year to visit the parks.

    Hope that helps. ºoº
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Meet the Panelist: Bret,

As one of the dads on the panel, I have fun helping all Walt Disney World planners who want a dad’s perspective. Learn More About Bret

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