It is time for an update to the Disneyland Resort Crowd Calendar.
Crowds Since Galaxy’s Edge Opened
Crowd levels have been volatile since the opening of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. We expected extreme crowds for the two weeks after opening but saw mostly ‘1’s and ‘2’s. We expected another influx of passholders in early September when the blockout schedule first allowed them access – they never came. September was fairly typical, but we saw some extreme crowds on weekends, especially Saturdays. Since Labor Day the average crowd level on Saturdays has been 6.5, and twice we saw the crowd level hit ‘9’ at Disneyland Park. Last week crowds at the resort seemed to surge out of nowhere, but then we saw crowd levels for Columbus Day weekend lower than usual (although still busy).
The good news is that the calendar still correctly predicts the crowd level within one or two points most days, which means that if you are following a touring plan we can predict how long it will take you to optimally experience the park within +/- 30 minutes. The better news is that although there is an increased risk that crowd levels may be much higher than expected there is the same chance that crowd levels will be much lower. We are seeing plenty of crowd level ‘1’s and ‘2’s at the parks, sometimes on days when we predicted a crowd level ‘5’ or ‘6’.
How To Plan When Crowds Are Less Predictable
The advice we give when crowds are volatile like this is simple.
- Go to the parks
- Use a touring plan
- Re-optimize it regularly
We say “Go to the Parks” because being at the parks when the crowd level is a ‘1’ or ‘2’ is a rare find. We set our 1-10 crowd levels in a way that attempts to label 5% of days as a level ‘1’. So far in 2019, we have seen 18% of days hit a crowd level ‘1’ at Disneyland Park. That is very high. Find a day with a manageable crowd level, say ‘6’ or lower’, and go to the parks. You may be treated to a quiet day at Disneyland Resort.
We say “Use a Touring Plan” because doing so will mitigate the risk of encountering a larger than expected crowd. When we test our touring plans with first timers we are amazed at how much the plan itself can disguise the crowded feel of a Disney park. It gets you there early before the crowd builds and often puts you in shows or less popular rides during the middle of the day when the walking paths get busy. Using a touring plan is your safety net. Use one as your best bet to beat the crowds on any day, regardless of the crowd level.
We say “Re-optimize it” because we know that our crowd level predictions can’t always be 100% accurate. Every few minutes we update the live wait times on the Lines App so that you can adjust your touring strategy to the current conditions. This works especially well if a ride is temporarily closed but also if crowds are larger than expected. Think of it like your favorite NFL team preparing for this week’s game. The touring plan is your Thursday practice regimen, the Lines App is your offensive coordinator up in the booth ready to make adjustments on Sunday. Now… GO! FIGHT! WIN!
What’s On This Update
This update doesn’t include any major changes to the crowd levels predicted for future days. Most changes you will see are an increase or decrease of one index level. If the rest of October shows different crowd levels than in years past we may need to make some more radical adjustments. Until then, we will continue to monitor the daily wait times.