Never Again in February

Discussion in 'Theme Parks Attractions and Strategies' started by CHIPSTER, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. Sandy Fisher

    Sandy Fisher DIS Veteran

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    We always enjoyed January and February except we didn't ever go on weekends. We lived down there for 5 years and we could pick and choose. However, the slow times and small crowds are becoming more scarce all the time. Used to be able to know when the tour groups would be at the highest level. Now I'm not so sure.
    We rarely had a problem with the cheer/dance groups because they did a lot of their competition during the day and didn't go the parks when we were there.
    We thoroughly dislike extreme crowds of any kind and that's why we were usually very careful to watch for the crowd predictions and find out what was going on at ESPN wide world of sports, etc. Still it's difficult to avoid all the crowds.
    :confused3
     
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  3. Love Tink

    Love Tink DIS Veteran

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    Yep. (This comes from EasyWDW, too.) Mondays in the off season are always really busy at MK because you have people who want to see the parade - which is only offered a few times a week - combined with a crowd of people who arrived the day before and want to start their vacation at the MK.

    I have found that the people who post on here about how there aren't any slow times anymore, or about how crowded their recent trip was...are the same people who refuse to use crowd calendars to plan their trips, or who go to every EMH.
     
  4. lynypixie

    lynypixie Mouseketeer

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    We were there too and the crowds were insane. We had less people back when I was going in late may for star wars weekends!

    I was a little disapointed, but it didn't let us down. Still better be in Disney than home, dealing with snow suits.
     
  5. lynypixie

    lynypixie Mouseketeer

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    I used easyWDW for my trip, with recommended parks for each days exept for monday.

    Each days ended up being "red" in my line app. I was not happy.
     
  6. CHIPSTER

    CHIPSTER DIS Veteran

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    Just posting what we experienced and for those of you who did not experience what we did - great!
     
  7. Canooknic

    Canooknic Mouseketeer

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    We are here now and haven't had any problems with the cheerleaders. They've been very sweet and considerate from what I've seen - the "fifteen" group from Argentina however are a completely different story!!
    They almost trampled one of my boys on his way to Haunted Mansion, barged through everyone most of the day at MK on Thursday and on Sunday at Universal grouped right between my family and the US photographer at the globe while he was taking our picture (which is how I found out where they were from - he was really unimpressed with their behaviour all day and gave them a mouthful about their lack of manners!)
     
  8. Art 1

    Art 1 DIS Veteran

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    Saw a large group yesterday being severely reprimanded in Epcot by a CM. It was interesting to me that the tour guide at the time was standing on a bench speaking to the group in Spanish with a heavy American accent.
     
  9. eticketride

    eticketride Earning My Ears

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    I was at MK on 2/7, a touring plan rated "4" day at a neutral park. We are local so we usually avoid EMH days as we don't stay at hotels. This time we did stay on property so we took advantage of the early EMH and got everything done by 11 or so. But for those of you that doubt the OP's experience, here's a couple of pictures for you. 3:48, Thursday afternoon. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. I call the second picture, "Look Ma! No smiles."

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And for those that wonder about TP vs EasyWDW, TP had MK as "neutral" while Josh had it as "avoid" due to the EMH. We only went to that park on that day because we had a family reunion of sorts happening and that was the only day that worked for us. For an idea of other times, at 2:30, Mermaid was 70 minutes, SM was 70 and Jungle Cruise was 55.
     
  10. mad madam mim78

    mad madam mim78 DIS Veteran

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    Was at MK on 2/3. Longest line I waited in was the dole whip line. Haha! Such a nice day with great weather.
     
  11. SmallWorld71

    SmallWorld71 DIS Veteran

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    I, for one, don't doubt the OP!:goodvibes
    I am a firm believer in the fact that people tend to follow the same patterns on their vacations and that is why you can go the exact same week and have 2 very different crowd experiences.
    I believe it was Thursday, the 7th that those pictures are from? That was the day that the park had EMH and MSEP. (There was no MSEP on T, W, or F) Talk about a recipe for disaster! The irony is, I've seen pics of the MK from Tues. the 5th and the wait times were so low!
    So, yes, it is very believable that the OP had horrible crowds and I feel badly about that. But, the fact is, this past week still was one of the quietest times at Disney all year. Because of that, WDW adjusted hours and schedules accordingly thereby causing a larger percentage of the guests to follow the same pattern.
    OTOH, over the next 2 weeks, Disney has MSEP showing 2x every single night because of the Mardi Gras/ President's week crowds. The hours at the parks will be extended etc...So, the crowds will space themselves out much better making it seem like it's not that much more crowded even though that is not the case.
     
  12. LilRonGal

    LilRonGal Disney Dreamer

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    Yikes. I will be there in two weeks. I hope it has calmed down. The calm before the Spring Break storm, if you will. :rotfl:
     
  13. Mom2darlingboys

    Mom2darlingboys Mouseketeer

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    We were there February 5-11 and knew we were going against park recommendations, visiting Epcot during the week as we were staying (and attending a conference) at Beach Club, then switched to Magic Kingdom on the weekend as we moved to the Poly (geographically, it made sense to visit the park nearby).

    I agree with OP. The parks were a madhouse! We have travelled in May, September and October and have never seen it as busy as MK on the weekend. It was packed. We waited 40 minutes for a Dole Whip Float. The wait times OP listed were accurate and the counter service lineups were nuts. We have never had to queue for Pirates in the area out front, which has been used for stroller parking on all of our visits. This time, there was a snaking lineup.

    When I asked a CM if this was normal for this time of year, he said he didn't know what was going on, but they were expecting a 60,000 guest day. I don't know at what point they close the park, but that didn't sound good. And, when I asked if we could extend our stay at the Poly if the snow storm in the north closed the airport, they told me I could not as they were at capacity, but would direct me to another hotel if needed.

    I will say, however, that most table service reservations were running on time, and BOG lineup at 12:30 (prime time?) was only about 35-40 minutes, so not bad at all.

    We had no issue with the tour groups or cheerleaders. For the most part, they moved around in small groups, and we did not witness any obnoxious or inappropriate behavior. The real issue was the strollers! I've heard people complain about them in past, and never really got it. This time, it was bad, probably because they had to really struggle to get through the throngs.

    I took tons of crowd pictures as proof. To say it was crowded was an understatement. Another poster asked what OP was expecting travelling in February. I suspect, like I did, they expected low February crowds. What we got was summer crowds, based on photos I've seen. Not impossible, but not what you'd expect this time of year (perhaps they were all descending to try that Limited Time Magic Lobster Bisque at Magic Kingdom?!?). :rolleyes1

    Also unexpected was the weather - it was sunny and balmy. Shorts weather for sure. Couldn't beat that, although you did need a jacket most evenings and mornings, which also made for chilly swimming but nothing was keeping me out of Stormalong Bay!

    We will not likely return in early February again.
     
  14. inkedupmomma

    inkedupmomma If you live to be a 100, I hope to live to be 100

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    I was there 2/1-2/4 and thought it was busier than expected but not awful :) sorry it affected you so much.

    Sent from my iPhone using DISBoards
     
  15. antshelby

    antshelby Earning My Ears

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    I went from 1/18 thru 1/26 and it was crazy busy. Lots of groups from South America. We had to wait in lines outside of counter service rest. And wait to get in to order food.
     
  16. Iforgetmypassword

    Iforgetmypassword "I am Mrs. Nesbit!!"

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    I was there from 2/2-2/9. It was busy, but not too bad. We had a great time.
     
  17. pigletto

    pigletto DIS Veteran

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    I hope it doesn't appear that I am doubting the OP's experience. I've had a similar one in fact. In 2011 we went in February. It was quiet to moderate all week and we had no issues. One night after dinner I thought "How bad can it be if we head over to Wishes?"

    It was BAD. It took us 30 minutes to get down Main Street. Cast members were directing people out service entrances. Wall to wall people and the CM's doing their best trying to keep the crowds moving.
    It was a Friday night, a not recommended park and people were rolling in to start their Presidents Week vacations. I was so surprised. And it was then that I realized why MK was not recommended that evening. So sometimes hitting the wrong park on a seemingly moderate week can be mayhem.
    I don't do much planning of my actual day, but I always follow the crowd calendar recommended parks for the day now and it seems to help quite a bit.
     
  18. karenlynn416

    karenlynn416 Mouseketeer

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    Yep, we were there 2/1 to 2/3 for my days off that week, went to MK on friday... easywdw crowd calendar said it was a 3 that day and MK was the suggested park.

    Wait times were NUTS and not very accurate. Which goes back to the theory that they are fiddeling with fast passes and the ammount given out. It didn't slow down the entire day.

    We'll be back the 27th through 3/1 hopefully things will have slowed down a little by then.
     
  19. huhwhat

    huhwhat Mouseketeer

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    I was there 1/26 to 2/1 The only really crowded day at MK was fri 2/1 but it wasn't jammed...just busy. We had 10 minutes and under waits on most every ride....even character meet lines were short.....the BTG were rude, pushy and annoying !!!!!
     
  20. Timandalicia

    Timandalicia Mouseketeer

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    I will always go in February. But I sympathize with the fifteens problem. I am very straightforward with them. They do not have enough chaperoning, so I've decided to be assertive with them. They are just kids in a foreign country and need to be told things. And they listen well when you do. I tell them that when a child's sleeping on the bus, no chanting. I tell them they can't sit for the parade right in front of a group of 6 year-olds. Etc. someone needs to tell them. Their chaperones don't. and sometimes i will even tell their chaperones. A lot of times they are kids themselves, and also want to be welcome guests in our country. But I understand that most people aren't as bold as me. I think Disney will get it sorted out soon. We just need to keep bringing it to their attention.
     
  21. momof2gr8kids

    momof2gr8kids DIS Veteran

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    We were there Jan 30-Feb 8. We followed easywdw's recommendations for days. A couple we didn't and we knew going in to expect crowds and it was crazy those days.

    But for the most part we made rope drop and got lots done in the morning and enjoyed the shows, parades and less popular rides in the afternoon while the late arrivals waited in the lines! With going in morning, utilizing a couple of EMH and FPs we rarely waited in lines for rides. I think the longest line was for lunch at BOG!
     

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