Hey! The Crowd Calendar looks different.
Yes, it does--this is Crowd Calendar 2.0! Read more here.
I've got a question about Crowd Levels
Read the detailed Crowd Levels page.
I've got a question about Park Recommendations
Check the deep, explanatory Park Recommendations page.
You say Magic Kingdom is a park to avoid on a day when the park crowd level is a 0.8 -- what gives?
When we make recommendations, we consider more than just the absolute park crowd level (we list the full formula on our Park Recommendations). For example, we're not going to recommend Magic Kingdom on the evening of a hard-ticket event. Even though it may have low crowds, there may be another day that has just as low crowds, and has longer park hours. For a full explanation, check out this blog post: Per Park Crowd Levels And The Crowd Calendar.
How important is choosing the right day?
Worrying about the day of the week before you have a good touring plan is like ordering two triple cheeseburgers with fries, then wondering whether the restaurant has Diet Coke. Things like the predicted crowd level, the time of day, and the attractions that you wish to visit will all affect how long you have to stand in line, and in general how crowded a park will be. Other factors, such as day of the week and whether it's a holiday can affect the crowd levels too. Our research team measures all of these factors to develop a model that will predict the amount of time you'll spend waiting in line. The following table shows how important these factors are in determining how long you wait. An importance level of 10 means that a variable has a huge effect; while a level of 1 means that it has virtually no effect at all.
|Time of Day||10|
|Crowd Level Index||9|
|Extra Magic Hour Morning||5|
|Day of the Week||2|
So what does this tell us? According to our data, the attractions you visit and the time of day at which you visit them will have the greatest influence on how long you wait. On the other hand, the day of week and the weather will play only a small role. Statistically speaking, the time of day is 5 times more important than the day of the week.
Put another way, a good touring plan is much more important than choosing the right day to visit the parks. If you followed the Unofficial Guide's Magic Kingdom One-Day Touring Plan for Adults on a typical slow Tuesday and a typical busy Thursday, you'd only wait in line about 20 more minutes on Thursday - a little less than one incremental minute of wait time per attraction. In contrast, that same touring plan can save up to four hours of standing in line when compared to not following a plan.
Why do some estimates contradict advice in the book/website?
You'll occasionally see a particular recommendation here that contradicts the general advice printed in the Unofficial Guide or mentioned elsewhere on TouringPlans.com. As an example, the Unofficial Guide generally recommends avoiding any park on its Extra Magic Hour days. However, on July 4th, for example, we may recommend Epcot despite having Morning Extra Magic Hour, simply because Epcot is the best park to be in when the crowds are extremely busy.
Similarly, we'll occasionally recommend the Magic Kingdom on a Thursday or Sunday, especially during the slower months, even if there's a special event like Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party scheduled there. This is because we're trying to recommend each park at least once in any seven-day period, so that families taking a weeklong vacation can be sure to visit each park on a reasonably good day. When all of the other rules used don't fulfill this requirement, we're forced to make other "least bad" recommendations, similar to that explained above.
Why have the crowd estimates for my trip have changed?
We collect wait times at every Disney theme park every day. When the data warrants a change to the recommendations, we do it. Our philosophy is that it is better to have accurate information than to keep things the same purely for consistency's sake.
Does your calendar take into account the economic downturn?
We have dozens of direct and indirect economic factors that have always been included in our crowd estimates. Its an important piece of the puzzle when predicting crowds. Incidentally, there is little evidence that the economic downturn is making crowds lighter. In fact, Disney's promotions, cut-back hours and fewer cast members are indicating that wait times have gotten even longer in some cases.