Here now...crowd calendars WAY off!

CinderellaDreamer

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 27, 2007
Just got back, and the crowd calendars were WAY off. It was a 10 yesterday in MK. We were shoulder to shoulder moving through walkways in Fantasyland and other congested areas. The wait times were very long. We used our three FP's and waited in line for Columbia House (backed up to PP!) for lunch, and left. We had to share tables with other families there and other restaurants (which I personally enjoy meeting folks from other places). Saturday was a 9 in MK, and Sunday in EPCOT. We were trying to leave Saturday from the MK before 9 through the exit they open between Tomorrowland and Main street. Couldn't budge. Cast members yelling for folks to move to the sides, but there was no where to move. Fireworks hadn't even gone off yet, and it was that bad trying to leave. Extremely congested walkways.

I've been during spring break and Thanksgiving several times. It was that level of crowds, IMHO. All the crowd calendars had said 5/6 for parks. And that's what it was when we went this exact time last year. Ticket price increases have not deterred anyone from going to the parks obviously.

But despite the unexpected crowds, I had a lovely girl's only weekend away with my niece, and got to do most everything that I had wanted to do while I was there. We weren't too concerned with rides and made the best of the crowded parks. The food at the Food & Wine was worth the wait in the lines, and I had reservations for dinner at BOG. Perfect weekend away!
 

notfrostyjosh

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 5, 2006
Wouldn't lower staffing at opening and only operating one queue of an attraction (e.g. Tower of Terror) be considered intentionally lowering ride capacity to keep costs down?
I think the implication was that this was some kind of nefarious, far-reaching conspiracy, not running reduced capacity when it makes sense a la something like Primeval Whirl only running one side after 4pm because there are 15 people in line. Tower of Terror's reduced capacity is rarely if ever "intentional." They don't want a 90 minute wait at 10am because they can't get the ride going though it does usually happen once a week.
 

alopez926

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 22, 2009
Thanks, Josh, for your detailed explanations of crowd calendars, along with your unvarnished reviews and hilarious observations. We've followed your recommendations ever since we discovered your site, and you've never steered us wrong.
I think MK was a 10 (vs. 5 predicted) yesterday. So it would appear that everyone went to MK and no one went to AK!
 
  • notfrostyjosh

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 5, 2006
    I think MK was a 10 (vs. 5 predicted) yesterday. So it would appear that everyone went to MK and no one went to AK!
    Which is exactly what you would expect:

    Magic Kingdom: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

    Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am-9am

    Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 7pm and 9pm, Wishes Fireworks: 8pm

    Magic Kingdom is going to be busy today. Mondays are usually the second busiest day of the week at the Magic Kingdom, second to only Saturdays, for a variety of reasons. First, a lot of people travel over the weekend and visit Magic Kingdom on their first full day. In most instances, that day is Monday. Second, Mondays often feature longer hours, Wishes Fireworks, and Main Street Electrical Parade, when other days during the week have shorter operating hours and don’t offer the Electrical Parade. Anyone who wants to see the evening entertainment will have to visit on a day when it’s offered, like most Saturdays and Mondays. Here in the heart of Mickey’s Party season, that means Magic Kingdom closes at 7pm on four days this week. Every day with a later close and nighttime entertainment will be overwhelmingly more popular. Finally, Disney added a morning Extra Magic Hour, which will only drive more Disney resort guests to the Park because they truly believe the Extra Magic Hours schedule is Disney’s way of telling them where they belong each day. If you are Extra Magic Hours eligible, you can do well in the morning if you arrive prior to 7:30am and tour efficiently in the morning. But it’s going to be busier than any day other than Saturday from 11am-9pm. Wednesday is the best day of the week to see the Electrical Parade and Wishes.
     

    Happy_2_B

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 30, 2015
    I was referring to the bolded, the snarky uncalled for dig at TP.
    Happens a lot- more on his site than here. Seems to be a 'group mind' over there where everyone 'follows the leader' with the digs- it starts at the 'top' and works it's way down. A couple days ago- someone over there posted about the 'drama on the disboards' regarding water in the PoTC boats. Needless to say- some jumped on the bandwagon and attributed the issue to 'drama' rather than people actually telling the truth on these boards about the issue. I think some of the stuff on the site is great, usable information- but this lack of camaraderie regarding other message boards (and it extends beyond TP and the Dis to others) keeps me from posting over there.
     

    SparklePixie

    I don't have time for stupid.
    Joined
    Oct 1, 2015
    Happens a lot- more on his site than here. Seems to be a 'group mind' over there where everyone 'follows the leader' with the digs- it starts at the 'top' and works it's way down. A couple days ago- someone over there posted about the 'drama on the disboards' regarding water in the PoTC boats. Needless to say- some jumped on the bandwagon and attributed the issue to 'drama' rather than people actually telling the truth on these boards about the issue. I think some of the stuff on the site is great, usable information- but this lack of camaraderie regarding other message boards (and it extends beyond TP and the Dis to others) keeps me from posting over there.
    Yup.
     

    DisneyFive

    When is the 3:00 parade?
    Joined
    Jun 16, 2011
    Didn't read all the replies.

    Wow OP, that's pretty bad. 6 to a 9, and 3 to an 8? HUGE difference. (especially the 3 to an 8). For us, anything at a 5 or more is our threshold of when a park feels pretty crowded. I would say, well, just wing it then... but with FP+ tying up our park schedules now, it's hard to do! :sad1::sad1::sad1: Boy I miss the days of paper FP. Sorry, had to say it.

    Crowd calendars have been critical for us in the past, but I am reading more and more on the Dis that they just didn't seem to be accurate. It's a sad day if that proves true.

    Dan
     
  • jennerjoo

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jan 9, 2015
    We just got back this last weekend (Nov. 8 - 13). It was definitely hotter and more crowded than I expected! The walkways were terrible to get through with a double stroller. Most of the days we visited a park that was supposed to be the best park to visit (Except one day we went to AK on the worst day). There really was no difference in the low crowd park and the high crowd park. All were equally crowded. We did do MVMCP on Nov. 12. The crowds and weather for this were perfect! Definitely worth the money! My husband and I decided next time we go in November we are purchasing a Christmas party ticket for every day they offer it while we are there. Sounds terrible but I would pay the extra money to avoid those crowds!
     

    BuzzinDownToDisney

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 10, 2014
    I feel what factors into a certain number to determine crowd sizes has changed over the years. I used to only do 5s and under when I toured, felt I had a good grasp on what a 5 day felt like. Over the years I've noticed that the sites claim the previous day was a 5, when it felt nothing like a previous year's 5 day. We've found the wait times to be similar, but the congestion to be significantly more. Now, there's no such thing as "Zipping through the park" on a 5 day. I guess with historic number of people coming through the gate, it really throws crowd prediction off.
     

    GetMom

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jul 25, 2014
    So we went to Disney World for the first time last week (Wednesday thru Sat the 14th). We loved loved loved the Disney hotel but will never return to a Disney World park. It was just too crowded for all of us (even though we specifically planned to come at a low crowd week), and the things that we thought were great (like the Christmas lights at Hollywood Studios and the Food and Wine booths) were too crowded to enjoy. We felt like cattle being herded to the slaughterhouse at the Osborne Lights. The Magic Kingdom on Thursday and Friday seemed crazy busy to us-they were filming a TV parade show on the main street so we couldn't really see what was on it, and my kids couldn't last more than a few (very expensive) hours in those crowds before begging to go back to the hotel pool. We had park days we didn't even use b/c my kids didn't want to go to another crowded place (and we were planning on Animal Kingdom Saturday as was apparently everyone else!) And to pay $500 for your family to go to a theme park and then see lines for 60 min+ to ride a two minute ride? That is insane. You are paying for admission with the assumption that you should be able to do most of the park activities, not stand in line all day or only get to ride your 3 fast pass rides.

    I guess I really don't understand all the hype over the theme parks. DH claimed it reminded him of a Truman Show type human experiment. Wait in line for the tram, wait in line to get your bag checked, wait in line to pay to get in for the privilege of waiting in line for food, to ride rides or see shows, etc. Maybe lots of people will agree with me this year and it will be less crowded for the rest of you next year. But I do appreciate all the advice posted on here.
     
  • DisneyFive

    When is the 3:00 parade?
    Joined
    Jun 16, 2011
    I guess I really don't understand all the hype over the theme parks. DH claimed it reminded him of a Truman Show type human experiment. Wait in line for the tram, wait in line to get your bag checked, wait in line to pay to get in for the privilege of waiting in line for food, to ride rides or see shows, etc. Maybe lots of people will agree with me this year and it will be less crowded for the rest of you next year. But I do appreciate all the advice posted on here.
    Bummer. If you would have been able to experience a truly low crowd time of the year, you would feel differently about the parks I believe. Unfortunately, this past year seems to be much more crowded overall. It was the highest crowd levels that we've ever experienced for Sept (a truly low crowd month). It wasn't oppressive, but noticeably busier.

    Dan
     

    alopez926

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 22, 2009
    So we went to Disney World for the first time last week (Wednesday thru Sat the 14th). We loved loved loved the Disney hotel but will never return to a Disney World park. It was just too crowded for all of us (even though we specifically planned to come at a low crowd week), and the things that we thought were great (like the Christmas lights at Hollywood Studios and the Food and Wine booths) were too crowded to enjoy. We felt like cattle being herded to the slaughterhouse at the Osborne Lights. The Magic Kingdom on Thursday and Friday seemed crazy busy to us-they were filming a TV parade show on the main street so we couldn't really see what was on it, and my kids couldn't last more than a few (very expensive) hours in those crowds before begging to go back to the hotel pool. We had park days we didn't even use b/c my kids didn't want to go to another crowded place (and we were planning on Animal Kingdom Saturday as was apparently everyone else!) And to pay $500 for your family to go to a theme park and then see lines for 60 min+ to ride a two minute ride? That is insane. You are paying for admission with the assumption that you should be able to do most of the park activities, not stand in line all day or only get to ride your 3 fast pass rides.

    I guess I really don't understand all the hype over the theme parks. DH claimed it reminded him of a Truman Show type human experiment. Wait in line for the tram, wait in line to get your bag checked, wait in line to pay to get in for the privilege of waiting in line for food, to ride rides or see shows, etc. Maybe lots of people will agree with me this year and it will be less crowded for the rest of you next year. But I do appreciate all the advice posted on here.
    I'm really sorry your family didn't enjoy your vacation as much as you'd hoped. I was there the same time (but we did the parks from the 11th through the 15th). I had never been in the parks with crowd levels at 8 or 9 so this was a first for me (I thought crowd levels would be much lower too).I think I expected it to be horrible, and it wound up being OK for the most part, largely because we followed our touring plan. I felt really badly for my mom who needed a scooter this time. Navigating the crowds was very difficult for her and that took away some of the fun. If you do ever consider going back, try two weeks after Easter. The first week in May is good too!
     

    TeachTink

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Dec 31, 2013
    I think everything is about perception and experience, really. As a child, I had only been to Disney over Spring Break or around New Year's. Huge crowds were what I was used to. When I went as an adult last May and experienced "moderate" crowds, I was so happy. People on here were complaining that the lines were 40 min for POTC or Haunted Mansion, while that seemed very reasonable to me.
     

    Meldev

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 8, 2013
    As a TP subscriber, and someone who originally booked this week to go, I did get an email notice last week that the crowd level predictions increased for most of this week. I also follow for two weeks from now, when we're actually going now, they also increased, but not to the same level as this week.
     

    tlmadden73

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 9, 2014
    You'd think that eventually the parks will get to that point where people STOP going back because they can't justify the cost and the value they are getting.

    The value you are getting for your park ticket is diminished immensely when the park is crowded and you have to wait 30+ minutes for even the "basic" rides. Plus add in the fact that you have to wait long periods of time just to eat or even get anywhere. People (generally) don't like paying a lot of money to wait in lines.

    It's why Disney did Fast Pass .. they probably saw their park attendance increasing and knew they would need something to appease guests during crowded times (and it seems to do that trick) . .imagine the complaints if people had these crowd levels and couldn't "guarantee" to skip the lines on 3 rides?
     

    maxiesmom

    The Mean Squinty Eye Works
    Joined
    Jul 6, 2004
    So we went to Disney World for the first time last week (Wednesday thru Sat the 14th). We loved loved loved the Disney hotel but will never return to a Disney World park. It was just too crowded for all of us (even though we specifically planned to come at a low crowd week), and the things that we thought were great (like the Christmas lights at Hollywood Studios and the Food and Wine booths) were too crowded to enjoy. We felt like cattle being herded to the slaughterhouse at the Osborne Lights. The Magic Kingdom on Thursday and Friday seemed crazy busy to us-they were filming a TV parade show on the main street so we couldn't really see what was on it, and my kids couldn't last more than a few (very expensive) hours in those crowds before begging to go back to the hotel pool. We had park days we didn't even use b/c my kids didn't want to go to another crowded place (and we were planning on Animal Kingdom Saturday as was apparently everyone else!) And to pay $500 for your family to go to a theme park and then see lines for 60 min+ to ride a two minute ride? That is insane. You are paying for admission with the assumption that you should be able to do most of the park activities, not stand in line all day or only get to ride your 3 fast pass rides.

    I guess I really don't understand all the hype over the theme parks. DH claimed it reminded him of a Truman Show type human experiment. Wait in line for the tram, wait in line to get your bag checked, wait in line to pay to get in for the privilege of waiting in line for food, to ride rides or see shows, etc. Maybe lots of people will agree with me this year and it will be less crowded for the rest of you next year. But I do appreciate all the advice posted on here.

    Unfortunately you didn't pick a low crowd week to visit. The days you listed were given on Easy WDW as 5s and 6s. Not low numbers. Also, if you visit the Magic Kingdom while they are filming the parade for tv, it is crazy busy. Osbourne lights are bound to be nuts all of the time as it is their final year. If you decide to give it another go, refer to a web site like Easy WDW that has a crowd calendar, and look for 3s and under.
     

    GetMom

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jul 25, 2014
    Maybe. I feel like back when I planned this trip last year, the weekdays were supposed to be 4s, and it was a recommended week on one of the websites. I think supposed to be the 4th or 5th best week to go all year (?). And even if they were "average" days (5/6), it seems like if they are taking your admission money there is an implicit obligation to provide entertainment value in exchange (and waiting in line isn't fun). Three guaranteed rides for the cost of a ticket is pretty expensive "per ride".

    It didn't occur to me to check when the parade was being filmed when I planned our trip-that might be obvious to a hard core Disney person, but I would have thought the parade would be live, like the Macy's Day parade. We were completely perplexed with why the main street was closed down and thought maybe there was a medical emergency until an employee explained.

    That's OK, its just not for us! I was pretty surprised at how miserable the theme park experience was! Like, why do people keep coming back for this?? Kwim?
     

    alopez926

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 22, 2009
    Maybe. I feel like back when I planned this trip last year, the weekdays were supposed to be 4s, and it was a recommended week on one of the websites. I think supposed to be the 4th or 5th best week to go all year (?). And even if they were "average" days (5/6), it seems like if they are taking your admission money there is an implicit obligation to provide entertainment value in exchange (and waiting in line isn't fun). Three guaranteed rides for the cost of a ticket is pretty expensive "per ride".

    It didn't occur to me to check when the parade was being filmed when I planned our trip-that might be obvious to a hard core Disney person, but I would have thought the parade would be live, like the Macy's Day parade. We were completely perplexed with why the main street was closed down and thought maybe there was a medical emergency until an employee explained.

    That's OK, its just not for us! I was pretty surprised at how miserable the theme park experience was! Like, why do people keep coming back for this?? Kwim?
    You're right. The crowd predictions did tick upward as time passed. Also, there's not a lot of advance notice as to when the parade will be filmed....they keep that under wraps until a few weeks before, so not a lot you can do there either in terms of planning your trip around it, especially if you have a shorter trip planned. I can promise you that if it was always like our experience last week, we would not have gone back every year! Nor would I have planned my trip for this week.

    There are so many places out there to relax and enjoy. Hope your next vacation is much more fun and relaxing for you and your family.
     

    chris1212

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2014
    Good news, we were at MK today and crowds were low, wait times low too!! Today was a recommended day since there is a Christmas party. Mid afternoon wait at space mountain was 15 mins.... Can't get much better than that!!
     


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