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View Poll Results: Most accurate crowd calendar
touringplans 99 22.15%
dadsguide 3 0.67%
yourfirstvisit 10 2.24%
easywdw 325 72.71%
undercover tourist 10 2.24%
Voters: 447. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-26-2012, 11:17 PM   #1
Ariel on Land
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Who has the best crowd calendar?

It seems between touringplans, dad's guide, undercover tourist, and yourfirstvisit I get seriously different numbers for end of May/beginning of June. So who do I trust? This will be our first time not visiting during LOW season, so I'm trying to pick my dates wisely!

Which site do you think is most accurate??
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Old 07-26-2012, 11:22 PM   #2
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The only way to really know for certain would be to learn about all of them and then spend many, many days running back and forth between theme parks all day, taking notes and analyzing stats.

I haven't done that. I don't think anyone has done that, but maybe they have.

I also think this "best days" business has been blown way out of proportion. It's just not that important.

If you aren't utilizing EMHs, avoid those parks. Otherwise, don't worry too much. That's MNSHO.
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Old 07-27-2012, 08:04 AM   #3
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lol- I suppose you're right that there's no real way to know for sure. But when one calendar gives 2s and one gives 9s.... Makes you wonder!!
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Old 07-27-2012, 08:45 AM   #4
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I like that Touringplans.com is strictly based on actual attraction wait times.

They don't measure crowd levels per se, however wait times and crowd levels I'm sure correlate very well for the most part. To me, attraction wait times are more important than the actual number of bodies in the parks.

I can deal with more or less people, but I want to know if it is going to be difficult or not to go on the attractions I want. Touringplans uses actual measured wait times to predict future "crowd levels", so for me that works best. Plus they have some great charts for each ride in each park to represent, for instance, what a wait time is for a level 4 day versus say, a level 9 day for each attraction.

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Old 07-27-2012, 09:16 AM   #5
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I like that Josh @easywdw.com gives a detailed explanation as to why he picks each park and why. I have used him for June trips ever since he started and he has NEVER steered us wrong.

I also like touringplans.com for their personalized touring plans (Len, if you are reading- this was a GREAT addition!!) and the line app in invaluable once you are in the parks to help cut down on needless criss-crossing and/or park hopping.
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Old 07-27-2012, 10:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaligal View Post
The only way to really know for certain would be to learn about all of them and then spend many, many days running back and forth between theme parks all day, taking notes and analyzing stats.

I haven't done that. I don't think anyone has done that, but maybe they have.
.
Of course we do that. We have many dozens of Lines users in every park, every day, and they submit anywhere from several hundred to maybe 1,500 wait times every day, from key attractions. They also include actual wait times. And we try to have paid staff in the parks when crowds are lower.

I get an email every day that shows the crowd level for yesterday for each park and for WDW as a whole. And we have a spreadsheet dedicated to tracking how well we do against every other crowd calendar available.

I'd be comfortable posting that comparison here. It uses wait times for the data. The mods might want to weigh in on that, though.

The other calendars use "crowd feel", so you have to ask how you measure something like that in a way that everyone agrees on, and that doesn't obviously contradict the lines you see at the parks. For example, what's the difference in "feel" between a 7 and an 8? Who decides? How is it measured after the fact, so you know whether it was right? And can a park have a feel of "8" if its longest line is 20 minutes?

Has anyone ever seen that explanation from the other calendars? I admit that I haven't looked that closely for them. But they may be there.

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Old 07-27-2012, 11:58 AM   #7
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Thanks for your input Len! I've always used your site in the past, and this is actually the first time I've even looked at the others and was surprised to see such a difference!!
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Old 07-27-2012, 12:07 PM   #8
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I use a combination of TP and easywdw. I made a list side by side of what both recommended, and then chose based on park hours and how many times we want to visit each park over the whole trip.
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Old 07-27-2012, 01:11 PM   #9
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Len might not love this full answer ---
I really like touringplans, I think overall it is WELL worth the subscription price. For the cost of less than 1 counterservice meal at Disney, for the cost of a pair of Mickey Ears -- You get a ton of useful stuff. Lines app, recommended touring plans, customizable touring plans, AND the crowd calendar.

And I do use the TP crowd calendar for its raw data... BUT.... I use it in conjunction with easywdw.com. While TP spits out numbers.... and rather useful numbers, easywdw's calendar combines it with real discussion and advice, which is invaluable.
For example, both easywdw and TP may recommend against Magic Kingdom on a day with evening EMH... but easywdw points out that the morning at Magic Kingdom could be an excellent time to tour, since the EMH crowds will arrive later.
Easywdw will give you advice about "what if you want to see the parade" and will tell you the best day to see the parade. So you can make a judgment call, about if you are willing to sacrifice the parade or not. If you didn't care about the parade anyway, you may simply take the lowest crowd day. This type of information is easily available on easywdw, but not apparent on the TP crowd calendar.

So assuming easywdw and TP aren't going to be joining forces any time soon, I highly recommend that people use both.
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Old 07-27-2012, 02:10 PM   #10
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I have always used TP and they never steered me wrong. They have done their research, not saying the rest have not but TP is very accurate. I like Josh's site and he is very through and he explains himself well. TP's touring plans are well worth the investment. I have gone to Disney over 20 times in my life and when I starting using TP about 5 years ago it was a God send, they saved me time in line and helped me plan a more smarter and easier vacation for me and my family. You can count on is TP says the crowd level is a 5 that it is a five. I think the most important thing is not which day you go to which park but to have a plan in place on how you are going to tour the park and that is where TP is by far the best at.
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Old 07-27-2012, 03:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by havoc315 View Post
Len might not love this full answer ---
I really like touringplans, I think overall it is WELL worth the subscription price. For the cost of less than 1 counterservice meal at Disney, for the cost of a pair of Mickey Ears -- You get a ton of useful stuff. Lines app, recommended touring plans, customizable touring plans, AND the crowd calendar.

And I do use the TP crowd calendar for its raw data... BUT.... I use it in conjunction with easywdw.com. While TP spits out numbers.... and rather useful numbers, easywdw's calendar combines it with real discussion and advice, which is invaluable.
For example, both easywdw and TP may recommend against Magic Kingdom on a day with evening EMH... but easywdw points out that the morning at Magic Kingdom could be an excellent time to tour, since the EMH crowds will arrive later.
Easywdw will give you advice about "what if you want to see the parade" and will tell you the best day to see the parade. So you can make a judgment call, about if you are willing to sacrifice the parade or not. If you didn't care about the parade anyway, you may simply take the lowest crowd day. This type of information is easily available on easywdw, but not apparent on the TP crowd calendar.

So assuming easywdw and TP aren't going to be joining forces any time soon, I highly recommend that people use both.
I've got my spreadsheet with my days, what we want to do, and information from TP and easywdw. With my schedule, the shows/parades we want to see, and my preferences (such as not doing the same park 2 days in a row, and insisting that we do MK first and last) it just isn't not possible to do the "best" or "recommended" park every single day. But using the tools found in both TP and easywdw, I have it narrowed down to what should still be a great vacation, avoiding the long lines where possible and maximizing our fun.

Touringplans is well worth the cost. And easywdw has valuable information.

I read undercovertourist before our last trip but am not impressed at this point and am skipping it.

I've read yourfirstvisit.net a bit. The red text throughout is a bit hard on my eyes and they really push that kids should be older (I know that it says if it will be your only visit) ... I'm bringing a 3 year old against their advice.

I can't speak for dad's guide - I don't think I've even been to the site.
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Old 07-27-2012, 03:17 PM   #12
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Josh's touring plans are spot on. We just returned home from WDW. We walked on to 99% of the rides. Knowing which rides are busiest allows you to prioritize your top rides. I refuse to wait an hour to ride a WDW attraction.
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Old 07-27-2012, 04:11 PM   #13
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Easy WDW wins, no question.

I compared Easy to Toringplans for our trip this past Spring Break, and Easy was spot on. Touringplans not so much.

I also like that Easy lists all 4 parks and tells you which one is best, which one is the next best, and so on. And why.
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Old 07-27-2012, 04:23 PM   #14
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I've used EasyWDW, UT, and Dad's. EasyWDW was spot on, Dad's was accurate but not the best, and UT wasn't even close.
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Old 07-27-2012, 04:29 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxiesmom View Post
Easy WDW wins, no question.

I compared Easy to Toringplans for our trip this past Spring Break, and Easy was spot on. Touringplans not so much.
Maxiesmom, as post #2 notes, you'd have to spend your days running back and forth between all four theme parks to make this determination. Are you saying you did this? I'd be super-impressed. I'd also have a bunch more questions.

Len
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