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Old 02-17-2013, 03:43 PM   #1
Texas Crude
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Importance of the Recommended Parks?

If I'm going the the World over a few days where the crowds are listed as a 4 or a 5, is there going to be much of a difference between the recommended parks and the non-recommended parks? I guess I see it and think, a 5 is a 5, whether its recommended or not. With that said, I've never been to Disney World and defer to someone else's guidance!

Specifically, we want to hit the Magic Kingdom on our first and last days, which will either be Monday April 22nd and Thursday April 25th (both days recommended as the park to avoid), or Tuesday April 23rd and Friday April 26th (both days recommended, or at least neutral depending on the site).

Without having been, I'm trying to figure out if it's worth altering our travel dates to shift everything back a day, or whether it'll be only a marginal difference.

Thanks!
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Old 02-17-2013, 03:53 PM   #2
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I went last November for a quick 4 day trip, and we did all the things you're not supposed to do. IE go to the parks on the days they have EMH etc. We were totally fine, the crowds weren't super bad. We did rope drop, then took the afternoon off to come back and do the EMH.
so really just do what you want.
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Old 02-17-2013, 03:55 PM   #3
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My advice is to avoid a park that has morning extra magic hours as it just fills up the park early in the day. Usually parks without EMH are less crowded, and more enjoyable.
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Old 02-17-2013, 04:03 PM   #4
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We are always onsite and go early to whatever park we want, then leave as it gets too crowded for us. Never have paid any attention to touring plans and always have done just fine.
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Old 02-17-2013, 04:11 PM   #5
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we would avoid mk on mondays. at all costs.

we went to a park that we were told'to'avoid an dboy was it packed. if that was a five. i,d hate to see a 8
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Old 02-17-2013, 04:16 PM   #6
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We followed the Touring Plans crowds on our last trip - first and last time to do so. For instance - MK was listed as a 1, so we headed there - very crowded! We got there early in the morning and waits for small rides like Winnie the Pooh were up to 30 minutes (a crowd day of 1, to me, is a walk-on for those types of rides). We went to Epcot on our last day and it was listed as an 8 and it was more tolerable than MK at a 1. We had better luck on our previous trips when we followed no calendars.
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Old 02-17-2013, 05:04 PM   #7
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I find that if you have Park Hoppers, you can be more flexible with the recommended parks. If MK is a bad park for the day, the first few hours can still be great. I'd get there at rope drop, stay until 11, have lunch, then hop to another park after lunch/pool/rest time.
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Old 02-17-2013, 05:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Crude View Post
If I'm going the the World over a few days where the crowds are listed as a 4 or a 5, is there going to be much of a difference between the recommended parks and the non-recommended parks? I guess I see it and think, a 5 is a 5, whether its recommended or not. With that said, I've never been to Disney World and defer to someone else's guidance!

Specifically, we want to hit the Magic Kingdom on our first and last days, which will either be Monday April 22nd and Thursday April 25th (both days recommended as the park to avoid), or Tuesday April 23rd and Friday April 26th (both days recommended, or at least neutral depending on the site).

Without having been, I'm trying to figure out if it's worth altering our travel dates to shift everything back a day, or whether it'll be only a marginal difference.

Thanks!
What is a "5"? On touringplans.com they give an overall rating, then rate each park. So sometimes the overall rating might be a "5", but individual park ratings can vary.

For example, on April 22, I am seeing one park at 1.6. If it were me, I would go to that park on that day, and save the MK for the next day, which has a lower crowd level. I look for every advantage.

But I don't think the difference between a 5 day and a 3 day is really going to be that big. If your heart is set on going to the MK, then just be aware and have a plan when you arrive and you should be o.k.
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Old 02-17-2013, 05:35 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by SDFgirl View Post
I find that if you have Park Hoppers, you can be more flexible with the recommended parks. If MK is a bad park for the day, the first few hours can still be great. I'd get there at rope drop, stay until 11, have lunch, then hop to another park after lunch/pool/rest time.
We do the same thing - I feel that the park hopper option is completely worth it because of this. We get the benefit of the morning EMH, then 'hop' elsewhere if it gets too crowded. And keep in mind that if everything seems to be crowded, EPCOT handles crowds easier because of it's spacious layout. I've found that the 'recommended' days are best paid attention to when the overall crowd calendar is higher and if you don't have the ability to hop.
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:10 PM   #10
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The hopper is good. If you have diner reservations at any of the parks, your not locked into only that one for the day.
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:17 PM   #11
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The hopper is good. If you have diner reservations at any of the parks, your not locked into only that one for the day.
Is CRT the only one you have to pre-pay for? If I make reservations for Tuskers, for example, and we decide to skip AK that day is there any consequence?
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
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If I'm going the the World over a few days where the crowds are listed as a 4 or a 5, is there going to be much of a difference between the recommended parks and the non-recommended parks?
Absolutely. Yes. 100%.

The lower the overall crowd level, the more difference the park recommendations make, because compounded on top of all the usual reasons for crowd fluctuations (such as EMH and traditional travel patterns) you have the special issues that come during low/moderate season (such as differences in daily operating hours and entertainment only being offered on certain nights).

I know some people offered answers along the lines of that they never follow crowd calendars and don't see the reason for them, or leave the parks whenever they get busy. But since YOU are asking about crowd calendars, I assume that you do think they are important and that crowds are a major factor for you. If so, you might want to reconsider going to MK on non-recommended days.
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:39 PM   #13
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Some food for thought from Josh at EasyWDW, which I highly recommend btw for planning out which park to go to on which day:

"One other thing to keep in mind is that when crowds are “light,” it actually matters more where you go each day than when crowds are heavy.

In late January, Magic Kingdom hours are short and the Electrical Parade is only offered on three nights each week. That makes days with longer hours and the Parade significantly more crowded. Telling people, “It’s a low crowd time so it really doesn’t matter where you go” is among the worst advice you can give. It matters much, much more than in June or July when crowds are much heavier and Park hours and entertainment are more uniform.

Fast forward to July and the difference between a recommended and not recommended day at Magic Kingdom isn’t going to be as significant. We’re talking peak waits at Big Thunder Mountain of 70 minutes instead of 100 minutes. Or FASTPASSes at Peter Pan that are three hours out at 7pm instead of gone. Here in January, they aren’t even operating the second Dumbo."

I pulled this info from Josh's blog post here
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:44 PM   #14
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park hoppers are a lot of money for a lot of people-- we have 16 people and park hoppers will cost an additional 880.00

plus factoring in the time it takes getting from one park to the other....may not be productive if the parks are closing early....
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:53 PM   #15
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If it isn't a huge hassle, switch your days so that you do MK Tuesday and Friday. It is a pretty common desire to hit MK on first and last days, and for a lot of people, Monday is their first park day. If it IS a huge hassle, plan to hit the park early and break when it gets crowded.

Last edited by ChristineOH; 02-17-2013 at 07:14 PM.
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