Help with MK plans and crowds

Momx4 first visit

Earning My Ears
Joined
Aug 24, 2017
We are planning a trip to MK the week of 11/16. We are going to spend 2 days at MK and have tickets to a Christmas Party. Touring plans is projected level 1 crowds on days that they close at 6:00 and level 6 crowd the night they are open until 9:00. I am struggling between having a quieter park day with minimal crowds vs. dealing with a crowd level 6 to stay late and see fireworks, especially where we will see them at the Christmas party. Thoughts on best option?
 

SaintsManiac

Adventure is out there.
Joined
Dec 9, 2014
The fireworks are different on non party nights, so take that into consideration.
 

kathy884

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 26, 2009
We've done both before, as well as the party. This year we are going to the MK on a party day when we will need to leave at 6 p.m. (crowd level 3 prediction) vs. a full day (crowd level 9 and 10 predictions for our week) vs. party. We usually just do one visit to the MK on any one trip.

This choice will give us a great rope drop to 6 p.m. day, a nice relaxing evening at our condo, and put us in good shape for rope drop and a full day the next day at SeaWorld. For multiday trips we like to pace ourselves a bit, so a low crowd day (even if it isn't all day) at the MK works really well for us. Everyone is different, but I'd go for the shorter lower crowd day. I'm in the less is more camp.

On trips where we did the full day on party weeks (hate how that makes crowds unusually heavy) this is because DS really wanted to see fireworks, and I let him make the decision.

Just me, but I feel like Disney is double dipping on admission to the MK with all the parties. It skews crowds tremendously meaning crowds are way higher than they would otherwise be for the full days.

Since you have touring plans too, maybe put in what you want to do on each day in two different plans and see how your waits and how much you can get in before fastpasses. That sometimes is a really good way to gage if you would be happy with the shorter day or happier with more time and longer lines.
 
  • Alison S

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 5, 2018
    If you're already going to a Christmas party, I would definitely not going another evening. Choose the low crowd day!
     

    Disneyd923

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Aug 7, 2018
    I agree with the above. Take the low crowd day over a more crowded day into evening. You have party tix and the Christmas parade and fireworks you will see are pretty amazing and unique! On a lower crowd day you might even gain some time to squeeze in a little afternoon rest before heading back for the party. That’s what we did for the Halloween party last year! Have so much fun!
     

    Klayfish

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 19, 2016
    We are planning a trip to MK the week of 11/16. We are going to spend 2 days at MK and have tickets to a Christmas Party. Touring plans is projected level 1 crowds on days that they close at 6:00 and level 6 crowd the night they are open until 9:00. I am struggling between having a quieter park day with minimal crowds vs. dealing with a crowd level 6 to stay late and see fireworks, especially where we will see them at the Christmas party. Thoughts on best option?
    If you're going to be in MK around the holidays, there is no "minimal crowds". Very busy time of year for WDW, and MK is the busiest park. Don't waste your time with those crowd calendars, they're totally useless. The crowd probably will be somewhat less the night they close at 6, but it won't be empty.

    Having said that, I suggest going on the day YOU want to go. Presuming you're not talking about Xmas Day itself I see no reason not to go to MK on a party night day if that's what you want. Any day in MK is going to be busy, so just go when you want and enjoy it.
     
  • Brett Wyman

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 30, 2018
    If you're already going to a Christmas party, I would definitely not going another evening. Choose the low crowd day!
    Agreed there is a HUGE difference in enjoyment level between a TP 1 and TP 6 level day.

    If you're going to be in MK around the holidays, there is no "minimal crowds". Very busy time of year for WDW, and MK is the busiest park. Don't waste your time with those crowd calendars, they're totally useless. The crowd probably will be somewhat less the night they close at 6, but it won't be empty.
    For the most part this is correct, except where party days are concerned. Touring plans is right. The crowds will be much much lower on a party day and that makes the non-party ones(which there are few of) VERY VERY crowded at MK around the Holidays. If crowds matter to you. Go on a party day. Especially since you will be there at night for the party another day.
     
    Last edited:

    SaintsManiac

    Adventure is out there.
    Joined
    Dec 9, 2014
    Agreed there is a HUGE difference in enjoyment level between a TP 1 and TP 6 level day.



    For the most part this is correct, accept where party days are concerned. Touring plans is right. The crowds will be much much lower on a party day and that makes the non-party ones(which there are few of) VERY VERY crowded at MK around the Holidays. If crowds matter to you. Go on a party day. Especially since you will be there at night for the party another day.

    I think the issue here is that people see a "1" and think it will be empty. That's my beef with TP, though. I can't speak for @Klayfish.
     

    Brett Wyman

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 30, 2018
    I think the issue here is that people see a "1" and think it will be empty. That's my beef with TP, though. I can't speak for @Klayfish.
    Good point. 1 is definitely lower than 6 but all relative to the new level of WDW crowds. In my experience though, if you dont mind leaving MK at 6pm, party days are about the best crowd levels you're goign to get these days.
     

    SaintsManiac

    Adventure is out there.
    Joined
    Dec 9, 2014
    Good point. 1 is definitely lower than 6 but all relative to the new level of WDW crowds. In my experience though, if you dont mind leaving MK at 6pm, party days are about the best crowd levels you're goign to get these days.

    Oh I absolutely agree about that. In the trips we took during party season we always went to the MK on a party day.
     
  • Klayfish

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 19, 2016
    I think the issue here is that people see a "1" and think it will be empty. That's my beef with TP, though. I can't speak for @Klayfish.
    Yes, that's a huge part of my beef with crowd calendars. People think a "1" (whatever that means anyway) is that the park is empty. Obviously, that doesn't happen. The other part of my beef is that it's voodoo science and snake oil anyway. Beyond generalizations such as Xmas is busier than a random week in June, or a party day vs. a non-party day, trying to predict specific crowd size is silly, and subjective at best.

    And sure, non party days are more crowded. We've done a couple of Xmas weeks. I also agree it's purely subjective. The crowds on a non-party day never bothered us any more than any other day. But that's just us, for others I can see why it would bother them.
     

    Sjm9911

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 11, 2019
    Of you have 2 days at mk and a party , tou really have plenty of time to do everything you want to. I'm here now , and we had a Halloween party and 2 days at the park. Kido didn't stay up for the later fireworks, just did the one last night. Have a plan, and your fastpasses planned out ahead of time. Dont go back and forth across the park, stick to an area and knock it out. Use the refreash to get extra passes on your late night. We got to do everything there multipal times, only thing we misses was the country bears. That was because a ride was broke the previous trip that the kido wanted to do, so it through the plan off a bit. Have fun dont stress.
     

    jaysmom4285

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 19, 2002
    I respectfully disagree with klayfish that touring plans information is based on snake oil and voodoo. They use as scientific a method as is possible to try to predict human behavior. It's far from perfect, and it can obviously be affected by weather, unexpected changes in hours, and rides breaking down, but they're right more often than they're wrong. And few people will take the time to go to their website and read their extensive explanation of what the numbers actually mean. They just assume that a 1 means there's no one there, when all it means is that it is one of the least crowded days, crowded being relative. But I think it's pretty much a given that a party day at MK is going to be significantly less crowded than a non-party day, because most people will choose to go to MK when it is open late, rather than have to leave by 6 . We have gone to WDW in early December for many years and have found this to invariably be true. Non-party days are very crowded, and party days, while hardly deserted, are much more manageable. If a non-party day at MK is the only time someone can be there, it can certainly be navigated fairly well with some really good planning. But, given the choice, I'd take a party day at MK anytime.
     

    dreynolds1982

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 7, 2009
    We had a similar situation (sans MVMCP aspect). MK is always less busy on party days, but we also wanted to see MK at night (I love it at night, all lit up). So we split things up. We're doing a pretty full day of MK on the party day, but on one of our other days, we're popping over to MK after dark. We know it's going to be busy, so we'll get in most of our rides and such on the party day, and just take it easy that night, soaking up the atmosphere (and hitting up any day of FPs we can get).
     

    Wojodis

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 15, 2017
    I think Happily Ever After is the deciding factor—if it’s a must see then do the non party day but if it doesn’t matter, definitely do the party day!
     

    Klayfish

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 19, 2016
    I respectfully disagree with klayfish that touring plans information is based on snake oil and voodoo. They use as scientific a method as is possible to try to predict human behavior. It's far from perfect, and it can obviously be affected by weather, unexpected changes in hours, and rides breaking down, but they're right more often than they're wrong.
    What you wrote above is part of why I say they're snake oil and voodoo science. You listed several variables, which I totally agree with. Those variables make trying to "predict" crowd size (which isn't even what they're trying to predict anyhow) three Thursdays from now have no statistical value. The other problem is how would you know if they were "right" or "wrong", since it's 100% subjective?

    Certainly everyone can make their own decisions on what to use or not to use. When people talk about making plans around what a crowd calendar says, my feeling is to ignore them. Just IMO, I think it's a shame to plan a trip and make compromise plans for things you really wanted to do....or switch them around...simply because of what someone is inaccurately attempting to predict.
     

    RememberWhoYouAre

    Annual Passholder
    Joined
    Jul 26, 2018
    I think Happily Ever After is the deciding factor—if it’s a must see then do the non party day but if it doesn’t matter, definitely do the party day!
    This is my thought as well. We love fireworks and HEA, so we'd definitely do non-party night to see it. There will also be Once Upon A Time projection show on non-party nights, if you have any interest in seeing that as well.
    If low crowds is your top priority then do the party day.
    I don't trust crowd calendars at all either, but party days do have lower crowds than party days. I would not believe/trust a crowd level prediction of 1 at MK, but that's just me. We always expect crowds at MK
     

    jaysmom4285

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 19, 2002
    What you wrote above is part of why I say they're snake oil and voodoo science. You listed several variables, which I totally agree with. Those variables make trying to "predict" crowd size (which isn't even what they're trying to predict anyhow) three Thursdays from now have no statistical value. The other problem is how would you know if they were "right" or "wrong", since it's 100% subjective?

    Certainly everyone can make their own decisions on what to use or not to use. When people talk about making plans around what a crowd calendar says, my feeling is to ignore them. Just IMO, I think it's a shame to plan a trip and make compromise plans for things you really wanted to do....or switch them around...simply because of what someone is inaccurately attempting to predict.
    You can know if they're "right" or "wrong" because they post on their crowd calendar website how they did with their predictions. They are the only site I know that owns up to this. And, as you alluded to, they are trying to estimate wait times, not general crowd levels, since that is the only thing that is objectively measurable. I totally agree that no one should plan their entire trip around any one site's crowd predictions. I do think they're useful to generally inform about what is anticipated, but even touring plans will say that having a good, solid plan is many times more important than what day you go.
     

    TheSouthernBelle

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 21, 2017
    We are planning a trip to MK the week of 11/16. We are going to spend 2 days at MK and have tickets to a Christmas Party. Touring plans is projected level 1 crowds on days that they close at 6:00 and level 6 crowd the night they are open until 9:00. I am struggling between having a quieter park day with minimal crowds vs. dealing with a crowd level 6 to stay late and see fireworks, especially where we will see them at the Christmas party. Thoughts on best option?
    We have done both and have been to MK around the same time of year, we visited last year 11/14-11/19. We did the party on a Thursday night and our full MK day on a Saturday. While we found the crowds at MK to be a little tight after the fireworks shows, overall we never felt like crowds were insane at all either at the party or our regular park day. We did take advantage of showing up at MK on our party day at 4pm to get the most out of our party tickets. And we are ride/attraction people and don't really care about parades, stage shows and characters that much. Overall, we snacked and rode everything we wanted with minimal waits. We loved it. Also loved our regular park day too.

    I used the crowd calendar as a guide to help with our park touring plans but I really didn't pay attention to the levels predicted. Don't let those numbers fool you. As a general rule of thumb, as most people mentioned, MK will typically be less busy on a MVMCP day since most people don't want to use a full day's ticket on a 6pm park close day. But really, go with what makes sense for your trip as far as your MK days. As long as you have a party plan and a full MK park day plan, you will have a great time.
     

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