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Old 02-18-2013, 06:15 PM   #1
chefsparrow
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Crowd Levels...

Our first trip to Disney World is still a ways away (November 4th - 8th) but I've been periodically checking on different crowd calendars, and a couple of questions popped up and I'd like to ask some trusty DISers for their valuable opinions.

1.) What website do you feel has the most reliable crowd calendar, and how far out do you think they can accurately predict crowd levels? As in, how many times do you think the crowd level will change for our days from now until the time we actually show up?

2.) According to Undercover Tourist, the crowd levels we will experience are mostly 4s with one 5... but the week after we're going to be there is mostly 3s with one 4. Is the difference between a 4 and 3 significant enough that we should consider delaying our trip by one week?

Thanks, DISers... I've been dying to go to Disney World since I was a little girl, and my parents never could afford to take us... now as an adult, I've planned a few trips that had to get cancelled for one reason or another, and I really really just want this trip to be as ideal as possible.
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Old 02-19-2013, 08:09 PM   #2
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I'm probably not the best person to answer your specific questions. I've only used easywdw.com's crowd calendars. I find it to be pretty accurate but I don't feel like there are any "low" seasons any more. We were just there a few weeks ago and the crowds were much higher than they were the same time of year 6 years ago. I only travel during "low" seasons and I feel like it's a lot more crowded every time I go over the last five years. That being said, a 4 or 5 won't be ridiculous...and since it's your first trip to Disney I'm sure you'll have a great time no matter what!
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:06 PM   #3
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Touring Plans was NOT accurate for us. I've heard Easywdw.com is good, but I've never used it. Personally, we plan to just get the park hoppers from now on and hop if it's too crowded somewhere.
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Old 02-20-2013, 12:55 AM   #4
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November 4-8 will not necessarily be low attendance; it's Jersey Week, and there is a half marathon that weekend. I like touringplans.com, because the crowd calendar has already built these two things into their schedule.
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:50 PM   #5
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We check touringplans.com (and subscribe) and love the general information, but use www.easyWDW.com for our strategy. Josh has not been wrong this year (3 trips), April, July, December (all with different crowd levels). He not only gives you the crowd calendar, but gives you day by day analysis and touring strategies. Pay heed to his most recommended park for that day and other tips and you will have a great trip regardless of the crowds.

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Old 02-21-2013, 03:22 AM   #6
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Might want to keep in mind also that all the crowd calendars and projections may be off to a degree from the FP+ and mymagic changes coming. TGM touringplans easy wdw and the rest really have nothing to base a model off of or to go by. These new implementations may have little to no effect or they could have a much larger impact no one really knows yet. Also the rumors flying off no more EMH would almost definitely have some effect as well
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:05 PM   #7
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We have always looked at esaywdw before deciding what park to plan for each day. If you are not wanting to get hoppers and if you are not interested in EMH then stay away from what ever park is offering EMH that day because that is going to be the most crowded. I have found tho that we like EPCOT EMH when the are at night. Come about 9 pm it is almost like having the park to yourself no mater what time of year we have gone.
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:30 AM   #8
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I usually use touringplans.com but I can tell you from experience that the week you are thinking about is busy towards the end of the week. That is "Jersey Week" and especially Thurs through Saturday, it is a little more crowded than usual. However, it is a manageable crowd level. We have actually gone both the week before and the week after the time you picked and found those crowds to be lighter. Keep in mind that Food and Wine is usually ending about that time which makes the Epcot World Showcase crowds a little heavier (but F&W is worth going to anyway!)
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:06 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sillylily View Post
November 4-8 will not necessarily be low attendance; it's Jersey Week, and there is a half marathon that weekend. I like touringplans.com, because the crowd calendar has already built these two things into their schedule.
Not to mention its the tale end of F&W and also butts up to Veterans day.
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Old 03-05-2013, 01:01 PM   #10
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Personally I like Josh's site best - Easywdw. Everytime I've listened to him - it works and when I don't (for whatever reason we do something else than his suggestions), I nearly always regret it. He's got some solid logic behind him, in my opinion, and visits a lot so he should be up to speed with the new Magicband thing when it comes out.

With regards to the weekend of the 8th. I can only speak from my experience there Nov 9-13, 2012 when I ran the W&D half marathon. Epcot was really crowded on sunday (the last weekend day of food and wine festival). I've been there at various times of the year and I would equate that park crowd level to spring break (but not Easter or Christmas) crowds. If you knew what you were doing and planned accordingly, you could do things but there were crowds.

We were able to do everything we wanted to DHS on Monday, but we weren't aiming for all the headliners on that trip. Monday and Tuesday were less busy, but still more busy than say, early-February or early September. I would assume that at least Epcot will be busy on the weekend of the 8th again. We heard that some Jersey people also postponed their trip a week last year because of Sandy, and that increased the crowds a little more that usual so you never know. But on the plus side, we were able to do F&W festival, run the race, go to the Christmas party, and see Osborne lights all in 4 days. That was fun.
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Old 03-10-2013, 09:41 PM   #11
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1. I use Touringplans.com and subscribe every year. This year I did the 2 year subscription as I regretted not getting it last year. I do not know how many times the crowd levels will change between now and then, but the nice thing about TP is that you can track certain days, and if there are any changes, you will be emailed by them. I love that feature. I have found them to be very accurate.

2. As for the difference between levels 3-4 and 4-5, it is only a couple minutes difference. I just printed some info from TP last night that shows me the wait times I can expect for each ride in each park. For instance: Ariel's Grotto has these wait times: Level 3=35-51 mins Level 4=33-53 mins Level 5=34-61 mins; Those are the higher waits though. For something like Pirates of the Caribbean: Level 3=10-13 mins Level 4=11-14 mins Level 5=11-15 mins. So you see...it isn't that big of a deal if you keep your dates. For the higher wait rides I use fastpass.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmartinez1895 View Post
We have always looked at esaywdw before deciding what park to plan for each day. If you are not wanting to get hoppers and if you are not interested in EMH then stay away from what ever park is offering EMH that day because that is going to be the most crowded. I have found tho that we like EPCOT EMH when the are at night. Come about 9 pm it is almost like having the park to yourself no mater what time of year we have gone.
I would say this is true of morning EMH more than evening EMH. We LOVE, LOVE, LOVE evening EMH and plan our days around them. We find the lines to be very short, so we use fastpass during the day for longer wait rides, ride the low wait rides frequently, then hit ride after ride with little to no wait during evening EMH. The later it gets, the shorter the lines get. We usually can get off Peter Pan and go right back on. However, we don't go at high crowd times, so that helps. We like April or May and September or October. Perfect weather, perfectly low wait times during EMH.
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Old 03-11-2013, 02:23 PM   #12
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I wouldn't worry about it. Just research and plan your attack. I subscribed to Touring Plans but easywdw is free. Plus, there is tons of great info on that site. We went for our first trip when crowd levels were 7s & 8s.

I think the single most important thing I can tell you is to get there early no matter what time of year. I was talking to a co-worker about her upcoming WDW trip. She said she hated crowds & thought nobody would be at WDW between Christmas & New Years'!!! She has been to WDW 4 times. I have been 1 time (other than a partial day trip to the Magic Kingdom as a kid). After talking to another co-worker who had been at Christmas, she postponed her trip.

I told her I was able to get a lot of rides in at the MK because of planning & arriving early. I told her we did the following in this order (copying this from my notes):
Breakfast at the Main Street Bakery
Carousel
Peter Pan
Pooh
Small World
Snow White
Swiss Family Tree House
Magic Carpets
Pirates of the Carribean
Jungle Cruise
Dole Whip snack
BTMRR
WDW Train x2
Peter Pan

She said: We did all that, too. I always heard that it was best to go in the afternoon because of all the people leaving from the morning."

When I told her we did all of the above between 8:30am & 11:30am, I thought her eyes were going to pop out of her head! So, get there early, do your research, and have a plan. Knowing what rides were slow loading and most popular was invaluable. We had a great time at 7s & 8s so I know you will, too, at the lower level.
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tina.tina View Post
I wouldn't worry about it. Just research and plan your attack. I subscribed to Touring Plans but easywdw is free. Plus, there is tons of great info on that site. We went for our first trip when crowd levels were 7s & 8s.

I think the single most important thing I can tell you is to get there early no matter what time of year. I was talking to a co-worker about her upcoming WDW trip. She said she hated crowds & thought nobody would be at WDW between Christmas & New Years'!!! She has been to WDW 4 times. I have been 1 time (other than a partial day trip to the Magic Kingdom as a kid). After talking to another co-worker who had been at Christmas, she postponed her trip.

I told her I was able to get a lot of rides in at the MK because of planning & arriving early. I told her we did the following in this order (copying this from my notes):
Breakfast at the Main Street Bakery
Carousel
Peter Pan
Pooh
Small World
Snow White
Swiss Family Tree House
Magic Carpets
Pirates of the Carribean
Jungle Cruise
Dole Whip snack
BTMRR
WDW Train x2
Peter Pan

She said: We did all that, too. I always heard that it was best to go in the afternoon because of all the people leaving from the morning."

When I told her we did all of the above between 8:30am & 11:30am, I thought her eyes were going to pop out of her head! So, get there early, do your research, and have a plan. Knowing what rides were slow loading and most popular was invaluable. We had a great time at 7s & 8s so I know you will, too, at the lower level.
I know people have a lot of success with getting there early, but I am NOT an early bird, and I do very well. So...in essence there are two types of families. There's the get up early, get to the park early type of family. There's also the sleep in, get to the park late, stay for late night EMH type of family. The second one is where my family falls in.

I have some pretty bad sleep disorders, so it is very difficult for me if I get up too early. I am just miserable and feel sick if I do. However, at evening EMH, I am in my glory!

This is a list of what we accomplished during the last half of the day and during a late night EMH at MK last trip. The only thing we did before going back to CBR and resting was BBB for 3 kids, PL for 2 kids, a parade, lunch at the castle, and a ride on Pirates:

*Train to > Splash Mountain (before the regular park hours were over as it does not operate during late night EMH anymore.) rode Splash 2x
*Pirates 3x
*Jungle Cruise 1x
*BTMRR 2x
*Haunted Mansion 4x
*Peter Pan 3x
*It's a small world 2x
*Pooh 3x
*Dumbo 1x
*Barnstormer 3x
*Splash area (much to my chagrin b/c the kids got soaked)
*Tomorrowland Speedway 3x
*Stitch 1x
*Buzz Lightyear 10x right in a row!!!! Yeah!!!
*Carousel of Progress (again before regular park hours were over. Caught it right as they were shutting it down.)
*Space Mountain (while I was on Buzz on an elephant rescue mission b/c my daughter dropped her Dumbo. Luckily we were able to get him back!) 5x
*Somewhere in there we ate a late dinner
*We also had time for my husband to get busted by CMs as he stood on a rock and tried to look over the construction fence while I was yelling at him to get down. I was so irritated and embarassed.

I think that is it. Now that I look at it typed out instead of scribbled in my notes, it looks like we got a lot more in than I thought!

I'm not disagreeing with you, but trying to offer a little different insight into another way to do it. Sometimes I won't go near certain sections of a park until EMH. I rode Toy Story with a 10 minute wait and then a 20 minute wait during HS late night EMH!!! I rode it twice in a row and was stoked! My brother took the kids over to RnR while we did TS and they got right on.

Anyway...it doesn't work for everyone, but for some of us it is the only way.
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Old 03-13-2013, 02:58 PM   #14
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Might want to keep in mind also that all the crowd calendars and projections may be off to a degree from the FP+ and mymagic changes coming.
Can you tell me where to find info on the FP+ and mymagic changes? This is news to me. We are in the pre-planning stage and still trying to figure out when we should go. We are thinking of heading back for April again however these changes may impact our decision.
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Old 04-01-2013, 10:44 PM   #15
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November 4-8 will not necessarily be low attendance; it's Jersey Week, and there is a half marathon that weekend. I like touringplans.com, because the crowd calendar has already built these two things into their schedule.
what's jersey week? I am planning my vacation for November 1st to the 6th
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