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Discussion in 'WDW Trip Planning' started by UncleFastpass, Jun 18, 2017 at 5:03 PM.
crowd calendars,how accurate are they and what is the best one?
I like touring plans. They state how close they are on wait times for previous days. It's on the homepage of the website. That way you know how accurate they usually are.
I don't put a lot of faith in them. Traffic trends have been on the steady increase over the last few years and the crowd calendars often lead people to unreasonable expectations. It used to be where a 1 may be 10,000 people, 5 may be 30000 and a 10 may be 55,000 people. Now, the 1 may be 30000 people, 5 may be 50000, with 10 being 75000. So when somebody went 7 or 8 years ago during a "5" it was steady but not too busy. Now when they go during a "5" they expect the same traffic but in reality there is almost twice as many people.
We always tell people to go expecting high crowds and if it happens to be light traffic then that is a bonus for you.
I've been using the Touring Plans crowd calendar for years. I don't plan my trip around it, but I do use it to manage my expectations and mentally prepare myself for crowds.
Pandora opening will likely render crowd calendars moot for a year or so.
I also like touringplans. However, as even touringplans will tell you, things like weather and last-minute scheduling changes can throw a wrench into predicting the crowds, and at the end of the day, your touring effectiveness is far more dependent on a good touring plan (especially with wise use of FP+) than on any difference in crowd levels between parks.
For me, the highest and best use of crowd calendars is in choosing which week to visit WDW, rather than selecting which park to visit on which day of that week. We've always relied on the crowd calendars (a combination of touringplans and yourfirstvisit) for picking which week to go, and so far, they've never steered us wrong.
So do you believe that Pandora will cause an overall increase in crowds or an increase focused on Pandora which might cause lower levels in other parks/areas?
I thought that might be the case when we were there the first of June but with all the rain it was hard to tell. I just think that until the Pandora impact is better able to be determined, crowd calendars that were developed based on info without Pandora wont be that reliable.
Thank you everyone for your responses. I have never used a crowd calendar because I have always gone when I was able so crowds were what they were. Kind of like the weather,you can look at a forecast but the most accurate is just looking out the window. I am planning a trip this winter,sometime in January or February. So I guess my question should have been,I can choose anytime in January or February is there any week that is better than another. I know that Disney has done marketing and plans events so that there are no more "slow" times,but how does someone find out when is a better time to go?
I look at all the crowd calendars and get an idea of what they are forecasting to see any consistent trend. But I do put more faith in Touring Plans, they seem to have been more reliable than others. But as stated by others, its still an unknown until you actually get intro the park to see for yourself. We always get park hoppers so if we do show up to any park and its busier than we were expecting, we cam hop somewhere else.
January is usually a decent month crowd wise, Id go anytime during the 4 weeks. February, I'd go in the beginning of the month, avoiding the raising crowds coming in as the month progresses into/during school vacation week and Presidents weekend.
Thank you,sounds like earlier in the year is better and touring plans has been recommended a number of times so I'll probably try them. I just would rather not go during the Brazilian cheerleader wine and flower marathon week
That is not what their numbers mean. Per https://touringplans.com/walt-disney-world/crowd-levels/
"We at Touring Plans define a 'crowd' as the average posted wait time for the key attractions between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm"
@MickeyMomV 's post isn't wrong. A "1" means that TP expects that day to be in the bottom 10% of crowds for the year. A 10 means the top 10% most crowded days, and so on. A 1 this year doesn't mean that the waits will be the same as they were for a 1 in 2006. If crowds literally double after Star Wars Land opens, there will still be 1s and 2s on the crowd calendar; they just won't mean the same thing they do today. They will be the first to tell you that just because the calendar says it's a 1, it doesn't mean that (insert super popular ride here) will be a walk-on.
There was also a shift in the F&W Festival too, so some of those crowd levels may be understated.
I honestly don't put much faith in any of the crowd calendars. They have been repeatedly off for a while. My favorite one no longer even does it because it's not very accurate and they know it. Touringplan's crowd calendars are IMO too broad of a range in probably wait times to use it effectively. Also with some of the changes of pricing I've noticed some shifts in crowds. The low times are not as low as they used to be. The summer months are less busy than they used to be. Things have changed in the last 5 or more years to make them less useful IMO.
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