The Walt Disney World theme parks had not yet opened on the 4th of July this year. That means that Labor Day Weekend was the first chance that we would have to see a holiday weekend. On both Saturday, September 5 and Sunday, September 6 all four theme parks hit capacity in the three ticket classifications. Disney Springs also hit capacity, as did Universal Orlando Resort. I mentioned this a couple of days ago, but that was before I saw what capacity looks like for myself.
On Sunday, September 6 I was able to grab a last minute Disney Park Pass Reservation for Epcot. There were none available, I just happened to try when someone else gave one up (thank you!). I was curious as to what capacity would look like.
We don’t know what the number for capacity is. If you’ve heard numbers, don’t believe them as fact. Disney has never released what full capacity is, or what percentage is being allowed in right now. I have heard numbers from people who seemed to know what they were talking about, but without a direct link back to Disney it is just a guess. Disney has said repeatedly that they don’t release such numbers.
When I arrived at the toll plaza to park an electronic sign flashed that reservations were required to enter, and that no more reservations were available. I drove by Disney’s Animal Kingdom on my way home, there was a similar sign there.
Once inside the park it did not feel much more crowded than a weekend since the reopening. I did notice that the lines for the food kiosks were longer than a few days earlier. Wait times for the rides were also up. The longest ride line was for Frozen Ever After. It stretched all the way into China.
Even with more people in the park, the guests did follow the rules. World Showcase was fairly busy, especially near France and the United Kingdom. It looked like the crowd was heavier than it was, because most groups did make an effort to keep some distance. Pictures show people, and sometimes you can’t tell that there are spaces in between.
I think that Epcot is the hardest park to see the characters in right now. Since the Character Cavalcades don’t go all the way around World Showcase, it’s hard to figure out where to stand and watch. They do make it all the way around eventually, but their route is broken up. I only saw characters in the distance yesterday. I didn’t even see Winnie the Pooh or Joy because of the weather.
There is not much merchandise from the Flower & Garden Festival left. There could be more in the back somewhere, but I noticed that there wasn’t much out. I was able to buy the Spike T-shirt that I regretted not buying earlier in the week, so I was happy.
I left well before the park was to close. When I got off of Soarin’ there was thunder in the distance, and I could feel that a storm was moving in. By the time I got home it had stopped raining in our neighborhood, so I timed things well.
Since Epcot is spread out, reaching the current capacity can still allow for plenty of extra space. (At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, it was most likely a different case, since that park is so much smaller.) I’m glad that I was able to get a last minute Disney Park Pass reservation. I felt much better about when the crowd is larger, because the current capacity still feels safe. Plus I am now the proud owner of the Spike the Bee T-shirt that I’ve wanted since before the closure. Flower & Garden merch is 30% off, and then I received an additional 20% Passholder discount. It was a “sweet” (honey pun intended) deal.