The huge 2018 holiday crowds have arrived in Walt Disney World

The week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve is one of the busiest times of the year at Walt Disney World. Guests flock to the theme parks in huge numbers for some holiday fun before having to return to work or school.

What kind of crowds are we talking about? Massive ones that stretch as far as the eye can see.

Wait times have been enormous across the four theme parks. Flight of Passage at Animal Kingdom has seen waits between three and five hours while Slinky Dog Dash at Hollywood Studios has also seen waits above four hours.

As crazy as the wait times above are, some attractions still have some relatively small lines.

Despite the enormous crowds, none of the parks have had any closures due to capacity as of the morning of December 30th, 2018. Disney will close the parks in phases in order to maintain a handle on how many guests are visiting any park at one time. They’ll first turn away those without tickets, those with single-day tickets, and those with cast member passes. The phases will grow to include more and more people until the park as a whole doesn’t welcome any more guests.

Visiting during Disney World’s busiest times is all a matter of perspective. Understanding that you won’t be able to ride or experience everything is key when the crowds and wait times swell to this size. However, you can still have a great time by accomplishing what you can and taking in the magical atmosphere and decorations found during the holidays.

We wouldn’t be surprised to see the Magic Kingdom reach some level of closure as guests fill the park for a New Year’s Eve celebration. Looking further ahead, we’d expect similarly-sized crowds for the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in 2019.

Keep visiting for the latest Disney news and information.

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David is a Disney travel expert who created Notes from Neverland in 2018 after visiting Disney theme parks countless times. Previously, David spent way too much time writing about sports, and was featured in Sports Illustrated, MSN, Yahoo!, and in many other publications. Learn more or contact us.

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