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Which is the better way to plan: crowd level or best park?

Kristamouse

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Hubs and I have been discussing this in circles all day...
Would you pick the day you are touring a park based on Crowd Preditcions OR based on a best day for that park?
Our example: 4/18 busier week, best day based on just about every crowd calendar OR 4/24 slower predictions, worst day to be in MK of that week, EMH 12:00-2:00
We are both curious to get your general opinion...I usually go with best and plan our weeks🤷‍♀️
Thanks!
 

JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
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I really do a combination of both. Because the crowd calendar predictions are now not as accurate as they once were, conditions that once were rated as 4's,5's, 6's cant be guaranteed. I look for the best numbers and then try to plan on matching those parks that have been rated for best day of the week to visit. When I have to choose one way over the other I guess I still go with the crowd calendar. Sometimes things fall into place and we are successful, other times find it much worse than anticipated. But we always go with Park Hoppers so we can easily move around.
 

CaptainAmerica

Premium Member
I only use the crowd calendar to pick my week, and then mostly ignore it unless part of my trip is a holiday weekend or something else unusual.

We do two parks per day, one in the morning and one in the evening. We avoid the parks that have EMH regardless of whether they're in the morning or in the evening because we're not up early enough for them and would prefer to avoid the extra crowds. We avoid major events like Gay Days, but try to hit the Magic Kingdom on the morning of hard-ticketed nighttime events because they can be very slow on those days.
 

aliceismad

Well-Known Member
Unless the numbers are significantly different, like one park is a 3 and the others are 8s, I wouldn't bother caring. You never know what might drive up attendance at a certain park on a certain day anyway.
 

Weather_Lady

Well-Known Member
Unless there's a huge difference in crowd levels for a particular park on a particular day, we ignore the projected crowd levels and "best days" altogether. Our touring has more to do with park schedules than crowd levels. We go where we want, when we want, with the following "rules," similar to what @CaptainAmerica mentioned above. (A la Pirates of the Caribbean, they're more like "guidelines" than actual rules):

- We almost always start our day with a rope drop arrival, but we avoid doing so at any park that's had a "magic morning"-type event, since the park will already be full of people when rope drop happens. (Granted, we did have to do this once, at HS, and I don't think it delayed our morning touring schedule by more than 20 minutes or so, but I'd still rather have avoided it.)

- If we have parkhoppers and there's a seasonal party at MK (Halloween, Christmas) that is going to result in an early closure every other day, we favor starting the day in MK on those days because it will be noticeably less crowded - and then we tend to avoid MK on the non-party days, when the folks with non-hopper tickets who didn't want to "waste" one on an early-closure, party day, will be scheduling their visits.

- Unless we're visiting during a high-crowd time that makes our own use of EMH a priority, we avoid starting our day at a park with morning EMH, or ending our day at a park with evening EMH.

- If we're visiting during the Food & Wine Festival at Epcot, we avoid visiting Epcot (or if we do visit Epcot, we stay out of World Showcase) on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday night, when the crowds are increased with a large number of locals who come to dine and drink. (Caveat: We have kids for whom that crowded scene doesn't offer anything. If we were visiting as a couple and were after the food and wine rather than attractions, we'd probably gravitate toward World Showcase on the weekends rather than away.)

- Since weekends are generally more crowded at WDW for every park, if we're going to have any non-park days (or waterpark days, etc.) we try to plan those for a Saturday or Sunday, so we can take advantage of the mid-week slump (lower crowds Tue-Thurs most weeks) at the parks. In fact, when planning a trip, we try to depart mid-week and come back mid-week whenever possible, since airfare is cheaper on weekdays, and this puts our preferred non-park day(s) right in the middle of the trip, when we tend to appreciate them most.
 
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DisneyJoe

Well-Known Member
We used to choose based on park hours, but that isn't always cut and dry anymore, sometimes the park hours are so close across our week it doesn't matter.

What we do now is use the TouringPlans Lines app as well as create Personalized Touring Plans, plug in the rides/attractions/meals/breaks/ADRs/FP+ etc as best we can, or just leave it fairly loose with a simple plan, than as we go thru the day, just re-optimize the plan based on current reported conditions or based what we see in the MDE app. This has really helped us feel less stressed as we just go with the flow and the app suggestions.
 

DISR

Active Member
I only use crowd calendars as a tie breaker when I have a choice of two parks and nothing else driving the decision. I would also guess that MK might be busier on weekends than during the week, but Disney often defies conventional wisdom.
 

Roakor

Well-Known Member
Hubs and I have been discussing this in circles all day...
Would you pick the day you are touring a park based on Crowd Preditcions OR based on a best day for that park?
Our example: 4/18 busier week, best day based on just about every crowd calendar OR 4/24 slower predictions, worst day to be in MK of that week, EMH 12:00-2:00
We are both curious to get your general opinion...I usually go with best and plan our weeks🤷‍♀️
Thanks!
the way the parks are now, and how Disney keeps changing things around, just throw darts at a calendar.
 

aliceismad

Well-Known Member
I will add that we chose some days of our upcoming itinerary based on logistics, and then found out later that we chose a park that has an Early Morning Magic (the pay-to-play event). So if you care, you might take that into consideration.
 
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