Disney World’s 4th of July Crowds SURPRISED Us

It’s been a busy year at Disney World!

Magic Kingdom getting ready for 4th of July!

We’ve seen huge crowds at various points already throughout the year, which had us thinking: is Disney World’s slow season a thing of the past? Spring break and summer have brought a good amount of people to the parks. But wait times around the 4th of July were surprisingly LESS than what we had expected. So just what were the crowds like on the 4th of July itself? We had to find out!

For reference, by around 2:50PM ET, this is what the Park Pass calendar was looking like for the 4th of July. Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios were all fully booked in terms of park passes for those with Theme Park tickets and those staying at select resort hotels.


Similarly, reservations were only available for IncrediPass holders for Animal Kingdom. Now let’s see what things looked like in the parks.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, things were looking pretty good in terms of crowd levels. That could largely be due to the fact that Animal Kingdom doesn’t feature a fireworks show at night, so guests may have skipped that park today to visit EPCOT or Magic Kingdom instead, both of which will have special 4th of July fireworks.

Animal Kingdom

As we walked through the park, there were crowds in some areas, but plenty of space to walk around them.

Not Too Bad

And other places were fairly empty!

Pretty Empty Over Here!

Maybe the concern surrounding big wait times and huge crowds kept some guests at their hotels for the day?

Some Crowds

When we checked wait times at around 2:40PM ET, Avatar Flight of Passage was at about a 55 minute wait time, Expedition Everest was at 15 minutes, Kali River Rapids was at 55 minutes, Kilimanjaro Safaris was at 20 minutes, and Navi River Journey was at 50 minutes. 

Not That Bad in Terms of Wait Times

In other words, even some of the popular rides were at wait times UNDER an hour — not bad!

Pretty Empty!

Overall, if you don’t feel the need to see fireworks in the park and instead just want to spend the holiday in a more relaxed, less busy park, it seems Animal Kingdom is THE place to be. You could always try to hop to another park later in the day (provided there’s availability — there was today when we hopped over to Magic Kingdom) or book a dining reservation for a spot outside the parks that offers fireworks views!

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

As we made our way through the front of Hollywood Studios, there was a substantial amount of crowds.

But, as we walked through the rest of park, there was a bit more space. Areas near popular attractions were busy, as you might expect.

As of around 2:40PM ET, Rise of the Resistance was at an 85 minute wait. That’s a decent wait, but not nearly as bad as some of the MUCH longer wait times it’s had in the past.

Busy But Not Terrible


Right around that same time, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway was at a 55 minute wait, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run was at a 75 minute wait…

Over an Hour Wait Here

…Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster was at a 70 minute wait, Slinky Dog Dash was at an 85 minute wait, and Toy Story Mania was at a 90 minute wait. Also around that time, Star Tours — The Adventures Continue was at a 25 minute wait and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror was at 45 minutes. At one point we did see Tower of Terror at an 80 minute wait though, so just keep in mind that times can fluctuate.

Tower of Terror

Overall though, things didn’t feel too terribly crowded in Hollywood Studios. So we made our way to Magic Kingdom to see what things were like there!

Magic Kingdom

One important thing to note is that we were in fact able to hop from Hollywood Studios to Magic Kingdom today. Despite the holiday and crowds, Park Hopping to Magic Kingdom was available (unlike other busy days when it has filled up).

In terms of the crowds there, much like Hollywood Studios, there were a decent number of people around, but still lots of pockets of space around them.

Some Space Here

We made our way down Main Street, U.S.A. and there was actually a good amount of space for walking (at least when we hit it!).

Not So Bad

In terms of wait times, right around 2:40PM ET, there were some rides with waits right around 25 minutes, like Astro Orbiter and The Barnstormer. At the same time, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad was at 40 minutes, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin was at 60 minutes, Haunted Mansion was at 35 minutes, Jungle Cruise was at 30 minutes, one side of the princess meet-and-greet at Princess Fairytale Hall was at 50 minutes, Peter Pan’s Flight was at 65 minutes, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was at 75 minutes, Space Mountain was at 45 minutes, and Splash Mountain was at 60 minutes.

What Do You Think About the Crowds?

There were certainly some rides with longer wait times, but other wait times were not as bad — particularly those around 25 minutes or less.


Finally, while we didn’t make our way over to EPCOT, we did take a look at this park’s wait times. At around 2:40PM ET, Grand Fiesta Tour was at 30 minutes, Living with the Land was at only 15 minutes, Mission: SPACE was at 45 minutes, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure was at 80 minutes, Soarin’ Around the World was at 40 minutes, and Test Track was at 60 minutes.


It was a mix of longer lines in some places, with much shorter waits at other spots.


It was an interesting day for crowds and the crowds we saw were somewhat unexpected. While there were a good amount of people in some areas, other areas were pretty quiet or at least had lots of walking room. Wait times also weren’t terrible in the afternoon. We did, however, see big crowds during the Magic Kingdom 4th of July fireworks that were offered on July 3rd.

Crowds on July 3rd

It’s possible that guests took advantage of the daytime to spend a few hours in their hotel at the pool or simply outside of the parks, and then plan to return to the parks at night for the festive fireworks shows.


Disney World crowds and wait times can get pretty overwhelming, but we have everything you need to make the most of your Disney World day even if the parks are packed! You can check Disney World’s reservation calendar to see which days are filling up quickly, and familiarize yourself with Disney’s Genie+ service. Genie+ is a paid service that could help to skip some of those long wait times. We’ve got the tips and tricks you need to become a Genie pro!

We’ll continue to watch for crowd changes in Disney World. Stay tuned to AllEars for more!

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6 Replies to “Disney World’s 4th of July Crowds SURPRISED Us”

  1. I honestly believe that Disney could’ve done much better. When you choose to go to celebrate the Fourth of July at a Disney Park you would think that there would be some aspects that would show that Disney was proud to be in America. It was amazing to go to the park looking for specialty pins and other items that might indicate that it was America’s Independence Day. There was nothing to be found. Every store had Disney pride pins and memorabilia, however there was nothing other than a limited release pin and a patriotic Minnie hair bow. The streets weren’t decorated, there was very little to indicate that it was even an American holiday. The fireworks were phenomenal. The castle was beautifully done at night with the lights. Overall this was an underwhelming experience. Probably not going to ever invest the amount of money that we have invested, to be this disappointed again.

  2. Because of recent U.S. events, a lot of people were boycotting celebrating Independence Day, so it makes sense that there would’ve been less people in attendance.

    1. My impression is that crowds will start to normalize as the year continues. There’s obviously been a lot of pent-up demand that is finally getting met in post pandemic time. But The economy has started to sour a bit, along with tremendously high gas and travel costs will keep people away in time

  3. We have been fortunate enough to be in Disney World a few times for Fourth of July..it was packed but exciting. Since we use to camp, we realized we could watch from the sands of the campground (before we knew about the alligators in the lake) and avoid the crowds. The fireworks in the Magic Kingdom are spectacular and I hope everyone gets to see them just once.

  4. We were there last night and it was so busy in Main Street from 7:30pm you could hardly move. The fire works we’re spectacular but unfortunately trying to get home was less than impressive, I suppose we should have given more thought to this but I also think Disney could have helped more trying to get people away from the park after the show, there were so many families stranded that couldn’t get a bus or a taxi over to international drive area. After waiting over an hour for a cab that never showed we eventually got on a bus to Disney springs and got a cab from there, sharing with another family alto try and help get people home. Maybe Disney could have offered some buses to IDrive?