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View Full Version : What was your least crowded trip ever?



Aurora
10-07-2013, 10:46 AM
Inspired by the "What Do You Consider Busy?" thread, here's an opposing question: What was your least busy/crowded trip ever to WDW -- specifically the month and year?

Ours was in January 2002, a few days after New Year's and several months after Sept. 11. The parks were wide open, Christmas decorations were still up, and there were no lines for anything. The flip side was the parks closed early (6:30 p.m. at the MK one night) and it was chilly -- days were nice but some nights it got down into the 30s.

Main St. Jim has said that was the lowest attendance at the MK. It may have spoiled us a little.

How about your least crowded trip?

Ian
10-07-2013, 11:02 AM
September of 1997 ... my brother and I stayed a week at the GF and I'm telling you it was like we had the run of the place.

We did one of the old E-Ticket Nights they used to have in Magic Kingdom and there couldn't have been more than maybe 3,000 people in the entire place. We actually stood outside Haunted Mansion for a good 5-10 minutes just marveling at the fact that there wasn't another human being in sight.

It was awesome ... CM's were letting us ride around and around on the rides without even getting off, no wait time was longer than maybe 10 minutes tops, and you could plop down five minutes before parade time and get a prime spot.

Best trip I've taken ever in terms of crowd levels.

EpcotFan182
10-07-2013, 11:06 AM
This past trip - May 2013. I have always gone in either July or August so it was refreshing to see a lower crowd attendance!

Belle of the Ball 051411
10-07-2013, 11:08 AM
This past April (week of the 21st).

waymickey
10-07-2013, 11:11 AM
Mine least crowded trip had to be the day before Hurricane Charley and the Day after. We were staying on site and the parks were empty. The reosrts did not provide transportation so the only way to the parks was by personal veichle. Most locals were home preparing for the storm and many of the people at the resorts flew in and did not have a way to the parks. We drove so we were able to get to the parks quickly and have a choice of spots to park. Many of the rides were closed but not all and there were no lines, really no lines. You did not even have to get off the ride if you did not want to since no one was waiting. CMs were scurrying around tying down objects around the park the day of and the day after they were cleaning up areas and there were still no lines. We rode things over and over and over to the point my DD and niece got sick riding mission space and test track. Yes they closed early for the storm and we had to be inside the resort during the storm. But we had a blast. The characters; mickey, goofy, pluto, and donald came to the WL and sat on the lobby floor and played games with the kids from the gift shop.
Now that is something that does not happen often and one that I will never forget.

MississippiDisneyFreak
10-07-2013, 12:29 PM
First week of January 2003. After the 1st the crowds seem to diminish. The decorations were still up and it was very cold if I recall.

bruin1344
10-07-2013, 02:11 PM
Mid-May 2005. I think we got done all the major attractions in MK and Epcot done in 1 afternoon/evening.

Mrs Bus Driver
10-07-2013, 05:32 PM
Back in end of January 2009 beginning of February. Remember going to DHS and riding ToT several times in a row (walk on) and 10 minute waits for ARR. No waits more then 20 minutes the whole trip. Wow :thumbsup:

tundramom
10-07-2013, 07:34 PM
September 15-24, 2001 eery and somber
Also there for Hurricane Charlie- parks closed at noon day of (CBR) and we had transportation, day after buses ran to MK and EPCOT just got a little later start (not sure where waymickey stayed).
I would trade either of those trips for a little more crowded days if the events could be negated

russ57
10-07-2013, 07:38 PM
October 11, 2001. There was almost no one anywhere in the parks. BWI Airport was not ready with enchanced security, Soldiers with guns in front roaming the airport. High security when we landed in Atlanta, in Orlando soldiers had weapons holstered and not out in front. No lines for any ride, and many of the shows were reduced on numbers of runs. Only area with a crowd was MK night parade. It was somewhat unsettling.

Opus X
10-07-2013, 08:04 PM
Going in late April to early May...all our trips are light crowd wise.:thumbsup:
September is clearly the best time to go and have low crowds..but, we like spring.

Terra
10-07-2013, 08:16 PM
September of 1997 ... my brother and I stayed a week at the GF and I'm telling you it was like we had the run of the place.

We did one of the old E-Ticket Nights they used to have in Magic Kingdom and there couldn't have been more than maybe 3,000 people in the entire place. We actually stood outside Haunted Mansion for a good 5-10 minutes just marveling at the fact that there wasn't another human being in sight.

It was awesome ... CM's were letting us ride around and around on the rides without even getting off, no wait time was longer than maybe 10 minutes tops, and you could plop down five minutes before parade time and get a prime spot.

Best trip I've taken ever in terms of crowd levels.
That is awesome!!

For me, believe it or not, it was just this past Friday night at MK at the MNSSHP! There wasn't more than 5-10 minute waits on anything! They let us go a couple of rounds on Splash Mountain! It was wonderful!!

The Dad
10-07-2013, 08:29 PM
Mid December of 2001 (shortly after the murderous tragedy of 9/11). Beginning in '94 with the "Jolly Holidays" promotion we have always planned our visits in early to mid December. Back then (in '94) our son and daughter were 5 and 3 respectively and I must say that first visit was one of the most memorable times of my life.....the kids (now young adults of course) still remember most of it.
However, I digress....in December 2001 the parks were almost like a ghost town and it was an absolutely great time to enjoy WDW!
Our last visit was in '08.....truly looking forward to the Wilderness Lodge this December.......YEE HAW!
Brian
___________________________________
Love all, trust a few, do harm to none.

bxrluv
10-07-2013, 11:11 PM
October 2004. Several hurricanes had crisscrossed FL and through central FL. We arrived shortly thereafter to seemingly empty parks. I did run into a very sweet lady who had evacuated to POFQ from gulf coast.

bxrluv
10-07-2013, 11:18 PM
Mid December of 2001 (shortly after the murderous tragedy of 9/11). Beginning in '94 with the "Jolly Holidays" promotion we have always planned our visits in early to mid December. Back then (in '94) our son and daughter were 5 and 3 respectively and I must say that first visit was one of the most memorable times of my life.....the kids (now young adults of course) still remember most of it.
However, I digress....in December 2001 the parks were almost like a ghost town and it was an absolutely great time to enjoy WDW!
Our last visit was in '08.....truly looking forward to the Wilderness Lodge this December.......YEE HAW!
Brian
___________________________________
Love all, trust a few, do harm to none.

We did our first trip with the kids Dec 28th that year. On NYE day by 2pm they had closed down entry to everyone but resort guests. It ended up so catastrophic shortly thereafter we had to climb over a wall in Mexico to get out handing over kids/stroller. Awful!:crowd::

bxrluv
10-07-2013, 11:19 PM
*claustrophobic yes....catastrophic no :mickey:

JerseyDad
10-07-2013, 11:28 PM
.....Aug/Sept 2011 ......in conjunction with hurricane Irene. As we drove down I-95 ....we "passed" Irene on it's northward move (we hit 90 seconds of rain in S.C.). We got to WDW the next day ...and it was empty. The original predicted storm track toward Fla. scared a ton of people away from flying to WDW ...and the Northeast Seaboard airports were impacted heavily ...and it was almost empty when we got there. ....basically walking onto or having less then 5 minute wait for most rides.

....the last 3 days there (10 day trip) and the crowds picked up ...but still really low.

....we were also there ...same time-frame last year ...when hurricane Isaac hit ...and it was low crowds again for about 5 of the 10 days we stayed.

Susan A
10-08-2013, 10:02 AM
Our least crowded trip was the third or fourth week in January of 2004. It was after Martin Luther king weekend during the lotusphere conference.

Waits were short and crowds were light.

Boy, was it cold one night! I was glad we had our winter coats when we walked to dinner at the Boardwalk! The wind blowing off the lake was cold.

On a side note, I was able to extend my trip a few days because of snow back home. I was a teacher at the time, so why return when work is closed? A four day trip turned into a seven day one! The room at the Dolphin was paid for since my husband was there for the conference.

Ahhh, memories...

TheVBs
10-08-2013, 10:10 AM
It was a September trip, but I can't remember which year. We got there just before Labor Day weekend and after the holiday the resort became a ghost town and the park crowds were really light. I have to admit we were actually just a little bummed. Having more people there fore the dance parties and movies by the pool made it more festive. Although, the crowds in the parks were manageable before the holidays, so I probably wouldn't have been disappointed by the drop in crowd levels if they hadn't been.

c&d
10-09-2013, 09:51 AM
Ours was the first week of December 2001. There was no one around. We walked into the food court at POR at dinner time and only about 5 tables were filled.

MarkC
10-10-2013, 01:52 PM
Labor Day week 2011. Wife and I rode many rides over and over and were done with everything by noon. That trip cost me a lot because we had too much extra time to shop.

My most vivid memory was having a Fastpass for ToT on a Wednesday at 11am. I was the only person in either the fastpass or standby lines walking in to the building. I asked the CM if I was the only one riding. She said she could see a few people walking up a ways behind me. It was awesome.

Scar
10-10-2013, 01:54 PM
Week between Jersey week and Thanksgiving 1999.

Never been in Jan or Feb.

Middle of the Map
10-10-2013, 09:54 PM
My first trip ever to WDW was in July 1992. It was a nightmare because of the heat, storms, crowds, tour groups, and did I mention crowds?

Least crowded trip was last year 2012, Nov 10-13. Got a great deal on room at Grand Floridian and the parks were wide open in the morning. We rode Expedition Everest 3 times in a row one day. Nighttime temps were pleasant, just light jackets and sweaters were needed. Had no trouble getting dinner reservations where we wanted.

quackaddict
10-10-2013, 10:10 PM
Honeymoon trip, early October, 2003..... All 7 days we felt we had the run of the place except one day at MK... we failed to realize Epcot had a Media Day (Good Morning America, Today show, whatever) so MK was pretty busy. We left by 1 pm and resort hopped. They seemed empty as well.

Every attraction we wanted to see/get on/go in was a breeze, and like most posters here, rode many time after time without ever exiting... Going in June 2014 and kind of apprehensive about the crowds, especially since the DS8 and DS 5 are going to be there for the first time !!

tjstrike
10-11-2013, 07:29 AM
End of Jan. into Feb. about 5 yrs ago. Was cold and rainy most of the trip but no lines.

Melanie
10-11-2013, 07:51 AM
Ours was the week following the marathon in January, 2006. There was no one there! I remember being able to look from Germany to Japan in Epcot and see about 10 people. Yep, the good old days, before the Brazilian Invasion. :/

Fantasia2005
10-11-2013, 09:48 AM
September 2000, week of Labor Day. Wait times were very low the entire trip.

PlutoPlanet
10-11-2013, 01:20 PM
October 2004. Several hurricanes had crisscrossed FL and through central FL. We arrived shortly thereafter to seemingly empty parks. I did run into a very sweet lady who had evacuated to POFQ from gulf coast.

Yeah, we rode out Hurricane Frances in 2004 and the days before and after we had the park to ourselves. Still, I don't want that again.

lawgirl
11-02-2013, 06:26 PM
One special memory I have is from MVMCP Dec 2010. We hadn't planned to go, in fact, I hadn't researched it at all, just on a whim my hubby and I went around 7 pm, I think it was a Friday night. There was hardly anyone there, no lines for anything, the parade was empty, so we had front row perfect spot. Around 11:30pm, we headed back down Main Street, and were (almost) the only people on the street. It was one of the most magical things I've ever experienced. I'll never forget it...it felt like we had rented out the park! Of course, it was FREEZING that night. Simply perfect.

SlinkyDog
11-02-2013, 10:27 PM
First week of May 2004. Walked on every ride, it was unreal. Also first week in December 2005. The parks were filled with people yet none of the rides ever had a wait.

SurferStitch
11-02-2013, 10:52 PM
Our least crowded trip was the week after 9/11. It was eerily empty in the parks and at the Grand Flo. That was the trip that we got a free upgrade to a 2 bedroom suite on the Disney Wonder because so many people had backed out, too.

I also remember our Honeymoon in October of 1996 being very low crowds, too. And those old E-Nights were amazing... literally like we had the park to ourselves!

Disney1977
11-03-2013, 02:22 PM
Our lowest attendance trip was early December 2002. It was a great trip.

SBETigg
11-03-2013, 02:49 PM
November 2001. Tourism was way down post 9/11 and crowds were low until the last two days of our trip, the weekend before Thanksgiving. It was the first time we brought our kids, and a trip that we won in a radio station contest. They were still letting people into the parks before opening and my kids had a magical first experience in a nearly empty MK.

LVT
11-05-2013, 08:27 AM
Spring Break 2002, post 9/11. Still eerie.

BelleCiavo
11-05-2013, 04:40 PM
September 2004, after Hurricane Francis. Our trip was delayed due to Francis, very sad flying in and seeing the devastation. The first few days the parks were empty. I think they were giving away Night of Joy tickets it was so bad. I'm sure a lot of the local church groups decided not to attend.

joonyer
11-05-2013, 06:00 PM
Ours was in February, 2005. The weather was cool, but not wintry. Crowds were light and during evening EMH we rode several attractions over and over without getting off. It was a mid-week trip, Monday through Thursday, so I'm sure that helped. We ate TS wherever we wanted, with no ADRs and only a minimal (10-15 min) wait at even 'Ohana and California Grill. It was great. I don't think we'll ever see it less crowded, from what I read nowadays.

NJGIRL
11-06-2013, 12:50 PM
Third week in October 2001. :(

Our pictures show empty parks.

crltkcagle
11-06-2013, 05:20 PM
September 2007

jillluvsdisney
11-06-2013, 06:28 PM
The quietest trip was late October 2001. I think people didn't want to travel after 9-11 and the anthrax scare was also going on at the time. We stayed at the Boardwalk and encountered mostly foreigners staying there with us. Due to the fact that the price of airline tickets fell, my sister and her 2 kids were able to join us last minute for the trip.

mcjaco
11-07-2013, 10:37 AM
Hit the way back machine. The best time to go was the early eighties in November.

This is from our trip three weeks after EPCOT opened in 1982.

http://www.retrodisneyworld.com/images/photos/147/27/bcbcdf45f5fd7c807f220ae9.jpg

SandmanGStefani24
11-08-2013, 09:15 PM
this last food and wine trip was pretty darn easy for me. rode everything I wanted to ride at least 3 times, and had no issues with meals.

My Feb '09 and '10 trips were just about the same too. Without too much effort rode most rides two or three times. They had their crowded points, but mostly nearing fireworks time, and all other times were easily managed by eating/riding off sequence with the pack.

MissMaryPoppins
11-18-2013, 02:21 AM
January 1996. I was home on Christmas break and my Dad was in the hospital over Christmas. He felt like he ruined the holidays for us and needed to make up for it. We booked a very last minute trip and had no problem getting a villa at Old Key West or a flight out. The day we were leaving to go down, we were hit with a blizzard and our flight was the last one out of Newark airport. People were stranded because of the weather but I remember the parks being pretty quiet and in our pictures, the parks look deserted. It was pretty cold all week, no lines (my brother and I rode Space Mountain 7 times in one day), and we had no trouble getting reservations where we wanted them. It was so nice!

Lindsey310
11-18-2013, 11:55 PM
Either last week in August 2012 or first week of December 2011. :mickey:


82 days!!!! :cloud9: