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Crowds in March 2018

Shouldigo12

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#1
I went to DW last year from March 3 to March 7. This was my first trip, so I had nothing to compare crowds to, but I thought crowds were light to moderate. I'm a little curious if that was actually the case though, because when I was reading a guife for best times to visit in 2019 (I'm not going this year, but it's nice to dream) the author acted like the crowds for the first week of March were awful. So I'm a little curious- was that week really that bad? It seemed fine to me. If anybody here was there during that period and can give some perspective I would appreciate it.
 
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#2
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It might just be that you have a different standard for crowds than other people? When you say "moderate" to some people that may be unacceptable, and they prefer going to parks when they're ghost towns (that would describe somebody like me). I think that a lot of the crowds in March are going to be driven by spring break schedules. It looks like the calendars say that early March gets crushed, but it doesn't say why. I'd imagine that early March is too early for spring break, so I can't imagine that it would be that crowded in realty. There are no real seasonal special events going on then, and parents probably want kids in school between the winter and spring breaks.
 

Shouldigo12

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#3
It might just be that you have a different standard for crowds than other people? When you say "moderate" to some people that may be unacceptable, and they prefer going to parks when they're ghost towns (that would describe somebody like me). I think that a lot of the crowds in March are going to be driven by spring break schedules. It looks like the calendars say that early March gets crushed, but it doesn't say why. I'd imagine that early March is too early for spring break, so I can't imagine that it would be that crowded in realty. There are no real seasonal special events going on then, and parents probably want kids in school between the winter and spring breaks.
That's what I was wondering. I mostly just prefer to know if my standard of crowds differs from most people because that'll definitely change how I look at crowd calendars. I looked at the authors crowd calendar from last year a minute ago and he had predicted the crowds to be moderate (lining up with what I experienced) so either he decided he was wrong about the crowds or he prefers an empty park.

For context, his definition of moderate crowds is an average of a thirty minute wait on most rides and 1 to 2 hours on the big ones.
 

BASS

Active Member
#4
Long time visitor . . . I went in March a couple years ago and found it lighter than usual.

Another thing to keep in mind, the weather in March should be nice. The weather has such an impact on your stay. When it's hot, the crowds seem worse because you're hot, sweaty, thirsty, and generally in a crappier mood. The converse is true when the weather is more doable.
 

Shouldigo12

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#5
Long time visitor . . . I went in March a couple years ago and found it lighter than usual.

Another thing to keep in mind, the weather in March should be nice. The weather has such an impact on your stay. When it's hot, the crowds seem worse because you're hot, sweaty, thirsty, and generally in a crappier mood. The converse is true when the weather is more doable.
The weather was pretty great. Warm, but not definitely not too hot. But a suppose that's another "your mileage may vary" thing.
 
#6
We were at WDW at the same time:)
We felt that crowds were moderate, to us, but using fp's and rope drop helped a lot. We avoided alot of the crowds that way. Spring break starts in March by the 3rd week?? Not sure, but it does start for some schools in March.
 
#7
The first week of March in 2019 is Mardi Gras. Much of Louisiana gets the whole week off of school and many families go to WDW (or skiing) that week. Last year, Mardi Gras was in mid-February, so your trip the first week of March would have been sandwiched between Mardi Gras and most spring breaks.
 
#8
That's what I was wondering. I mostly just prefer to know if my standard of crowds differs from most people because that'll definitely change how I look at crowd calendars. I looked at the authors crowd calendar from last year a minute ago and he had predicted the crowds to be moderate (lining up with what I experienced) so either he decided he was wrong about the crowds or he prefers an empty park.

For context, his definition of moderate crowds is an average of a thirty minute wait on most rides and 1 to 2 hours on the big ones.
As a coaster enthusiast (318 different coaster credits and counting) where Disney is only secondary to me, those crowds make me cower in fear anywhere other than Disney. 1-2 hour waits are what I call a "only for the credit wait" -- only for parks that I haven't been to before, or credits that I haven't grabbed yet. Its pretty hard to enjoy a ride after an hour wait -- my brain turns to jelly.

Ideally, I like getting in all the rides, and getting 10+ laps on my favorites to study them and understand them enough to properly rank them. Can't really do that when you're talking 20-30 minute waits. A lot of parks really no have no waits for much of the year, and really depend on certain times of the year to make their money. I try to really be thoughtful about when I go, and not get in situations where I'm calling a 30 minute brain melting wait "short."

But I understand that you have to check your expectations at Disney. And Disney really lives or dies off of your FP+ selections. If you screw up your FP+'s you get rocked.
 

Shouldigo12

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#9
As a coaster enthusiast (318 different coaster credits and counting) where Disney is only secondary to me, those crowds make me cower in fear anywhere other than Disney. 1-2 hour waits are what I call a "only for the credit wait" -- only for parks that I haven't been to before, or credits that I haven't grabbed yet. Its pretty hard to enjoy a ride after an hour wait -- my brain turns to jelly.

Ideally, I like getting in all the rides, and getting 10+ laps on my favorites to study them and understand them enough to properly rank them. Can't really do that when you're talking 20-30 minute waits. A lot of parks really no have no waits for much of the year, and really depend on certain times of the year to make their money. I try to really be thoughtful about when I go, and not get in situations where I'm calling a 30 minute brain melting wait "short."

But I understand that you have to check your expectations at Disney. And Disney really lives or dies off of your FP+ selections. If you screw up your FP+'s you get rocked.
I think at least part of why I saw it as being a lot less crowded that the author is because, as you said, you have different expectations at Disney World. I was fully prepared to be struggling to find rides less than an hour during the afternoon, but everything except the big ones ranged from 5 to 30. So that most definitely played a part. Now I have to ask: what are your favorite and least favorite amusement parks (and rides if you have the time)?
 
#12
I think at least part of why I saw it as being a lot less crowded that the author is because, as you said, you have different expectations at Disney World. I was fully prepared to be struggling to find rides less than an hour during the afternoon, but everything except the big ones ranged from 5 to 30. So that most definitely played a part. Now I have to ask: what are your favorite and least favorite amusement parks (and rides if you have the time)?
My inner circle of parks is (in no particular order):
Cedar Point (well this one is #1, everything else is in no particular order)
Holiday World
Kentucky Kingdom
Knott's Berry Farm
Six Flags Magic Mountain
Animal Kingdom

Most of those are just because I love the experience there and how much I agree with their philosophies. There are some parks with better line-ups. The exception was SFMM. It probably has the best line-up you can name other than Cedar Point, but it still has that yucky Six Flags feel to it. But the line-up was so exceptional I couldn't leave it off. My home park is Busch Gardens Tampa. Its a great park, but has some operational issues, and doesn't quite have a stand-out coaster yet. When they RMC Gwazi in 2020, that will probably be a top 5 ride for it, and it may enter the inner circle.

Top 10 Steel:
Steel Vengeance
Wicked Cyclone
Twisted Collosus
Maverick
Intimidator 305
X2
Superman:the Ride (Six Flags New England)
Storm Chaser
Diamondback (Kings Island)
Leviathan

Top 5 Wood:
El Toro
Voyage
Ravine Flyer II
Boulder Dash
Phoenix (Knoebles)

I really need to rework the rankings. I'd like to have a top 20 steel and top 10 wood up and running. Top 20 steel because tough because I know that #11-20 will be a bunch of similar B&M hypers. I'm not sure if Millennium Force will crack the top 20 steel. The last RMC (Georgia Cyclone) will find its way in the top 20 somewhere, but its still the lowest of the RMC's. I may put Expedition Everest somewhere in the top 20 steel especially if its submitted at night. I wanted to find a place for Lightning Run in the top 10 steel but I just couldn't find a place for it. It just shows that a coaster can be small and cheap, but still be a world class ride that keeps your out of your seat the entire ride. You get thrown out of your seat at 80 degrees on the first drop, and never look back the entire ride.
 

Shouldigo12

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#13
My inner circle of parks is (in no particular order):
Cedar Point (well this one is #1, everything else is in no particular order)
Holiday World
Kentucky Kingdom
Knott's Berry Farm
Six Flags Magic Mountain
Animal Kingdom

Most of those are just because I love the experience there and how much I agree with their philosophies. There are some parks with better line-ups. The exception was SFMM. It probably has the best line-up you can name other than Cedar Point, but it still has that yucky Six Flags feel to it. But the line-up was so exceptional I couldn't leave it off. My home park is Busch Gardens Tampa. Its a great park, but has some operational issues, and doesn't quite have a stand-out coaster yet. When they RMC Gwazi in 2020, that will probably be a top 5 ride for it, and it may enter the inner circle.

Top 10 Steel:
Steel Vengeance
Wicked Cyclone
Twisted Collosus
Maverick
Intimidator 305
X2
Superman:the Ride (Six Flags New England)
Storm Chaser
Diamondback (Kings Island)
Leviathan

Top 5 Wood:
El Toro
Voyage
Ravine Flyer II
Boulder Dash
Phoenix (Knoebles)

I really need to rework the rankings. I'd like to have a top 20 steel and top 10 wood up and running. Top 20 steel because tough because I know that #11-20 will be a bunch of similar B&M hypers. I'm not sure if Millennium Force will crack the top 20 steel. The last RMC (Georgia Cyclone) will find its way in the top 20 somewhere, but its still the lowest of the RMC's. I may put Expedition Everest somewhere in the top 20 steel especially if its submitted at night. I wanted to find a place for Lightning Run in the top 10 steel but I just couldn't find a place for it. It just shows that a coaster can be small and cheap, but still be a world class ride that keeps your out of your seat the entire ride. You get thrown out of your seat at 80 degrees on the first drop, and never look back the entire ride.
Awesome, I was hoping to see my home park Kings Island make the list! It seems like you're pretty passionate about this. Now I knoe what parks I need to add to my bucket list.
 
#14
Awesome, I was hoping to see my home park Kings Island make the list! It seems like you're pretty passionate about this. Now I knoe what parks I need to add to my bucket list.
It was funny, I was close to putting KI in -- they're almost a mini-CP, but they don't quite have the firepower needed. Growing up, Kings Dominion was about 2.5 hours from me, and they were both Taft turned Paramount turned Cedar Fair parks. KD has surpassed KI with Intimidator 305 and Twisted Timbers.

But if you're that close to KI, you should be in the power alley where you can also easily get to Cedar Point, Kentucky Kingdom, and Holiday World. Holiday World has a lot of the positive charm of Disney and a small local park but also has world class coasters too. KK has two world class coasters and management that really is putting its eggs in the basket of marketing to enthusiasts (but also very family friendly too). Cedar Point, you'll want to spend a few days at. Its almost like Disney -- you have to make a plan, possibly consider staying at a hotel on site, and crowds will always be an issue but the operations and restraint checking is lightning fast. Its the kind of park where you'll see a train on the lift hill, a train in the middle of the course of the ride, and a train in the station about ready to be dispatched. Unheard of these days at most amusement parks.
 
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