Disney World Maximum Capacity 5 Tips to Remember

Disney World Maximum Capacity 5 Tips to Remember

Wondering how crowded Disney World will be? Disney World Maximum Capacity limits are real. It may seem strange that Walt Disney World closes when it reaches maximum capacity, but keep in mind that, without the magic, it’s still just a theme park and has to adhere to fire code regulations. With everything happening at Walt Disney World and holiday plans, there will likely be times when the parks hit capacity and turn away guests. And now that Disney Parks have capacity limits due to safety and health regulations, we’ll see more of this. So, if you’re visiting Walt Disney World anytime in the next few years, here are 5 tips to make sure you DON’T GET LOCKED OUT! 

Walt Disney World Closes at Maximum Capacity? Yes, Walt Disney World does close when it gets too full. Contrary to popular belief, you actually have some control here. Unlike the hours before the hard-ticketed party events, Disney Cast Members will not go through the parks and kick you out. But the Capacity of Disney World is something you should know if you’re traveling through the busy months. Whether it’s about adjusting how you plan your vacation or altering your plans for the day you do have a say and some actions you can take to make sure you’re on the right side of the gate when the park reaches capacity. Note: Typically, Disney World hits Maximum Capacity at Magic Kingdom FIRST.

All Star Movies Disney Value Resort Review Walt Disney World

What are the Disney Capacity Limits at Walt Disney World?

Walt Disney World has a daily maximum capacity of 320, 000 people collectively across all four parks. In this post, we cover maximum capacity levels at each park and who is allowed into the parks in each Disney World Max Capacity phase below. So if you’re looking for something specific to your situation, scroll down. Keep in mind that these 5 tips are foolproof. It won’t matter if you’re a Disney resort guest if you didn’t get there early enough to get in before they closed for the maximum capacity. See Tip #1. It really is sort of a first-come, first-serve situation.

What’s the Disney Capacity Limit for Each Disney Park?

Before we get started, here are the capacity limits for each Disney World Park. Note: The acreage limits do not correlate with the fire capacity at Disney World parks, as physical space, ride space, restaurant seating, etc. for the public is what determines Disney World Capacity. The capacity shown here is Guests Per Day.

  • Magic Kingdom Capacity: Walt Disney World’s smallest park, Magic Kingdom is 142 acres and accommodates between between 85,000-100,000 people. 
  • EPCOT Capacity: At 300 acres, the second biggest park, EPCOT accommodates 110,000 people
  • Animal Kingdom Capacity: Animal Kingdom park is the biggest Disney Park at 500 acres and accommodates 60,000 people
  • Hollywood Studios Capacity: One of the smaller parks, Hollywood Studios is 154 acres and can accommodate 60,000 people

Epcot Max Capacity

What is the capacity of Epcot Park? One of the busier parks due to the nonstop EPCOT festivals throughout the year, the max capacity of Epcot is 110,000 people per day. Though typically, a busy day at EPCOT is about 90,000 people. As with any park, the closer you get to the max capacity number, often means people begin to leave because it’s too crowded. Also, as the second largest park at Walt Disney World, EPCOT park capacity rarely hits the limit and usually stays around 35k people a day. However, it does “feel” more crowded, because there are fewer rides and indoor spaces to keep people off the sidewalks. 

Magic Kingdom Maximum Capacity

 The max capacity of Magic Kingdom is 100,000 people, but the park will sometimes close for capacity at less than that, if congestion is too high. As Disney’s smallest park, with the most rides, it will always feel more crowded than it is. As a result, during the busiest times of year, like the holidays, the park sometimes closes, which is where the 5 tips in this post come in handy. Magic Kingdom max capacity limits are also dependent on things like the Halloween or Christmas Parties, special parades, ride openings and other special events. As Disney often prioritizes the comfortability of the crowds in choosing to close for capacity. 

Hollywood Studios Maximum Capacity

What is the capacity of Hollywood Studios? About 60,000 people, but it typically only sees about half that on a daily basis. As Disney World’s second smallest park, Hollywood Studios often feels more crowded that it is, though rarely closes for capacity. Toy Story Land in particular becomes very congested, even on days when it’s not that busy. 

Animal Kingdom Maximum Capacity

As Disney World’s largest park, you would expect the capacity to be higher, but the maximum capacity at Animal Kingdom is only 60,000 people. Though the park typically only sees about 40,000 people a day, you can hardly feel it most days. With the exception of the common spaces in Africa, and on Discovery Island, most people disperse on the rides, and trails, and it rarely feels too crowded. 

How Many People Visit Disney World Every Day?

Walt Disney World has about 160,000 Visitors a Day, across its 4 theme parks. Daily visitors at each Disney park vary throughout the year, but in round numbers here is the breakdown for each park leading up to about 58 million guests annually. So, How Many People Go to Disney World a Day?

  • Magic Kingdom has about 60,000 people a day, about 21,170,000 annually
  • EPCOT Park has about 35,000 people a day, about 12,410,000 
  • Hollywood Studios has about 30,000 people a day, about 11,315,000 annually
  • Animal Kingdom has about 40,000 people a day, about 13,870,000 annually

Disney World Capacity and Park Pass Reservations for Disney Annual Passholders 

In 2024, the Park Pass Reservation system at Walt Disney World is no longer required for guests with date based tickets. However, for Disney Annual Passholders, Park Pass Reservations are still required. While the all day park hopper ticket privileges return, Passholders will need to continue to make reservations, even when they have Disney Resort Reservations. While this may be due to managing the capacity of Disney World, it’s more likely due to wanting to make sure that all types of vacationers are able to enjoy the parks. And not just those guests who have an annual pass. Note all Disney passes, except the most expensive the Incredipass, priced at $1300 each, have blackout dates. 

How to Check When Disney World is at Full Capacity?

Wondering what Capacity is Disney World Right Now? Through the period of time where Disney Park Pass Reservations were required, it was easy to tell when Disney is at Full Capacity, because the Park Pass Reservation system would simply “close park availability” for those days on the calendar. Now you can also check the Disney Ticket Availability Calendar to see that same info. If they’re selling tickets, they’re not at capacity.

What Capacity is Disney World at Right Now?

Even though Disney World no longer requires the park pass reservation system, you can tell if a Disney World Park is at capacity, by checking the Park Pass Reservation Calendar. Since passes are still required for passholders, it’s the best way to see what the live capacity at a Disney Park is at any given time. So, while Disney does not share how many people are in the park in a live feed, you can see if the Disney Max Capacity has been reached at any park simply by seeing if any tickets are park pass reservations are available. 

Another way to tell is to check the Capacity of Disney World in the My Disney Experience App. This Walt Disney World App shares real time push notifications to notify guests of Park Hopping capacity limitations, and park capacity limits. 


disney at aximum capacity

5 Tips to Remember when Disney World hits Maximum Capacity

Withstanding the Park Pass required reservation system in place these 5 tips are the MOST IMPORTANT to remember for Disney Capacity Limits. Tips #1 and #2 are very HIGH PRIORITY. If you do nothing else to plan your vacation these are the big ones. High Capacity times are typical during holidays, starting around Thanksgiving, and new attraction openings. 

disney mornings


When Walt Disney World Closes at Maximum Capacity this tip is the most common sense. And the most in your control.  And the absolute easiest!!! So you’ve booked a vacation at Walt Disney World around busy times? The best way to make sure you don’t get turned away at the gate is to get there right when the gate opens.

The monorail starts running at 6:30 am and the parking lots tend to open 1.5 hours before the park opens that day. So if there are early magic hours at 8 am the lots are usually open by 6:30 am. Keep in mind though that if the park doesn’t open until 9 am, you won’t be able to get in the parking lot until 7:30 am. So check out park hours ahead of time. Animal Kingdom usually has later opening hours so the lots may open closer to 8:30 am there.

Ways to maximize this early morning time with the new rope drop ceremony is to book an early breakfast at Crystal Palace or Cinderella’s Royal Table. That way it will still feel fun, you won’t “waste” precious time and you’ll beat the crowds. Check out the app for park hours or the calendar on the Disney website for daily times.

Note: Keep in mind most everyone on the planet shows up at Disney between 10-11 am, so getting there before then is key.


This second common sense tip for when Walt Disney World Closes at Maximum Capacity helps you out even if you ignore all the rest of our tips. True, we always condone visiting the resorts for everything from relaxation time to dining to shopping. BUT, physically leaving the park to go somewhere else is not in your best interest on days that may get busy. The exception to this is IF you have the park hopper ticket. They will let you in again to re-enter the park all the way through the phase 2 closing process. But after that, you would be out of luck. So our advice is to just stay. 

beauty and the beast restaurant


Through Phase 3 both dining and special appointment reservations are honored. This is a major plus! If you’re traveling with a Make Your Way package you already have a multi-day ticket, are staying at a Disney resort, and most likely using Disney transportation. So you’re already in the clear and most likely won’t be turned away. If you, however, don’t have any of those things, a Disney Dining Reservation, which can be made at any time, may be your saving grace! When Walt Disney World Closes at Maximum Capacity having a restaurant reservation, a boutique reservation, or any special experience tours booked will get you access to the park through phase 3.

disney world swan and dolphin off site resort at disney


This is a no-brainer if you’re traveling to Disney during busy times. Mainly because the Orlando traffic alone may kill you. So you will want to be as close to the action as possible and not on the Orlando roads. That said, know that Disney transportation will be packed to the max! While you can take the Disney Skyliner, monorail, and buses, you can’t guarantee timely arrival on busy days. So, you may want to spring for Lyft or Uber to drive you into the parks to avoid waiting in lines at the bus stop. Being a guest at the Disney Resorts will also ensure you’re still able to get in the parks through Phase 3. This does include the Swan and Dolphin which is definitely one of the best options if you’re looking for a nearby resort without the transportation nightmares.


We wouldn’t recommend park hopping at Disney during busy times at Disney. Mainly, because tips #1 and #2 are absolutely our best advice. But a park hopper ticket may be your only chance to get into the parks through Phase 1 and 2 when Walt Disney World Closes at Maximum Capacity. Especially if you’ve ignored tips 1-4.

hollywood studios opening gate

Disney Maximum Capacity Closing Phases at Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World Closes in phases. Disney has everyone’s best interest at heart. They do put vacationing guests first and assume these folks have booked a make-your-way package, are staying on-site, and are using Disney Transportation… hence the ability for these folks to get into the park through closing phases. If you however are playing it cheap, not staying on-site, and just want a day ticket, you will be the first to get turned away.

People in the biggest trouble as the park starts getting close to capacity are Guests:

With One Day, Single Park Tickets
Using Cast Member Passes
Staying Off-site
Without Reservations
Without Park Hopper

Note: If you’ve driven in you will be turned away at the gate, as you will be unable to park. If the parks get full after you park, you’ll be turned away at security.

First Phase | In Phase 1 you CAN enter the park IF you…

  • Are a Disney World Annual Passholder 
  • Have a multi-park or multi-day ticket.
  • Staying at a Walt Disney World Resort, The Four Seasons, The Swan and Dolphin, Shades of Green, or staying at any of the Disney Springs Resorts arriving by bus: Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort Hotel, The Buena Vista Palace, DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel, B Resort, Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort, Hilton.
  • Are re-entering the park that day.
  • Arrived via Disney Transportation (busses, Minnie van)
  • Are a Golden Oak resident with registered guests.
  • Are Park Hopping
  • Have an Advanced Dining Reservation (ADR) for a restaurant in the park.
  • Schedule an appointment at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, Pirates League or the Harmony Barber Shop.
  • Purchase Memory Maker.

Note: The only change between Phase 1 and Phase 2 is that it won’t matter if you have a memory maker.

Second Phase | In Phase 2 you CAN enter the park IF you…

  • Are a Disney World Annual Passholder 
  • Have a multi-park or multi-day ticket.
  • Staying at a Walt Disney World Resort, The Four Seasons, The Swan and Dolphin, Shades of Green, or staying at any of the Disney Springs Resorts arriving by bus: Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort Hotel, The Buena Vista Palace, DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel, B Resort, Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort, Hilton.
  • Are re-entering the park that day.
  • Arrived via Disney Transportation (busses, Minnie van)
  • Are a Golden Oak resident with registered guests.
  • Are Park Hopping
  • Get an Advanced Dining Reservation (ADR) for a restaurant in the park.
  • Have an appointment at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, Pirates League, or the Harmony Barber Shop.

Third Phase | In Phase 3 you CAN enter the park IF you…

Fourth Phase | In Phase 4 the Parks Are CLOSED to All Guests

In Phase 4 Disney enacts the one-to-one rule. The 1:1 Rule means when one person leaves the park, one person is allowed to enter. This is usually at their discretion and definitely doesn’t happen immediately.  As they need to build a little cushion regarding the capacity levels which will mean you can get split up from your party if you’re adamant about getting in.

disney toy story land disney construction

Why is Walt Disney World so busy?

Disney has been losing its off-season for a few years by adding deals to get more guests to come during slower times. This, as a result, just makes all times busy. Remember that while Walt Disney World closings are somewhat rare, the activities and openings over the next few years are so vast that many many people are planning to book their vacations during these times to get the most bang for their buck. Vacation packages open up to be booked in June the year prior to when you plan to visit. We’re not expecting the momentum to slow down anytime soon, so if you’re visiting be prepared for the crowds. Check out our Best Tips to Handle the Crowds at Walt Disney World.

What Else Do I Need to know?

For a quick education on when the parks have closed and prevented guests from entering check-out touring plans. To know at the moment if the parks are open and allow guests to double-check the My Experience App. The info usually updates there first. Checking Disney social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter would also have the up-to-date info if you need it.

Hopefully, this post has given you a good foundation for understanding the closing phases that Disney goes through during their busiest times. Know that you do have some power over the situation if you plan and prepare ahead of time.

Walt Disney World closes at Maximum Capacity. All the things you can do to make sure you don't get locked out of the parks when you have a ticket. #polkadotpixies #disneytips #waltdisneyworld

Co-Founder and Director at Polka Dot Pixie Co LLC | Website

Rochelle Mariah is a writer, designer and photographer with an MLIS in Information Science and a B.S. in Arch and Design. Determined to make Planning a DIY Disney Vacation easier she makes lots of lists and drinks lots of coffee. When not designing apparel at Polka Dot Pixie Shop, she's watching old movies and planning the holidays. She has been traveling to Disney destinations since 2010.

Related Posts