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What could Disney crowds look like when the park reopens? We take a guess at the numbers

2 of Disney World's 4 parks set to reopen Saturday

FILE - In this June 16, 2020, file photo, guests required to wear masks because of the coronavirus stroll through the Disney Springs shopping, dining and entertainment complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom will reopen on July 11. In May, the company opened Disney Springs. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)
FILE - In this June 16, 2020, file photo, guests required to wear masks because of the coronavirus stroll through the Disney Springs shopping, dining and entertainment complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom will reopen on July 11. In May, the company opened Disney Springs. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

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%.

ParkCapacityCapacity at 30%
Magic Kingdom57,000 people17,100 people
Epcot34,093 people10,227 people
Hollywood Studios30,843 people9,252 people
Animal Kingdom37,671 people11,301 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.

ParkCapacityCapacity at 25%
Magic Kingdom57,000 people14,250 people
Epcot34,093 people8,523 people
Hollywood Studios30,843 people7,710 people
Animal Kingdom37,671 people9,417 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.


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