Discussion in 'Theme Parks Community' started by WillowRain, Jan 11, 2018.
Some of the school districts here are now taking a 3 week Christmas break, which ties in to the MLK holiday weekend this year, so the kids got out December 22 and don't go back until January 16th.
Definitely a YMMV thing. We've been here since the 6th and it has been a (relative) ghost town.
I dunno. Just seems like so many people! Yes it's much bigger than land so I guess I'm not used to it. Last night during emh it was lovely. AK wasn't so bad today, decent waits but felt crowded. Avatar was at 240 atone point, we had a fp and it took 40 from start to finish. Doing epcot Tom and hoping for much lower crowds.
Pirates was 60 minutes (I FP it). Haunted Mansion was 40 minutes (I FP it). No Splash Mountain due to referb., which might be adding a bit to other attractions since today was very nice weather. Carousal of Progress was not empty at all and Peoplemover had a 10 minute wait. What shocked me was The Little Mermaid, it was ~50 minutes!
Most people I spoke with echoed the same thing...the week after New Year's should be lower crowd levels.
Also remember they have less employees working
In addition to the long weekend, many schools have today off too for teacher workshops. Also, everyone read how slow Jan is so everyone flocked to book trips for Jan. No more slow times.
The crowd calendars I looked at always show it as medium crowd levels, not dropping until after MLK day. The week after New Year's is definitely high crowd levels. The first half of January is going to be way better than the week after Christmas, but still medium to high crowd levels are generally expected.
Perhaps, I plan to go back over to WDW next week after MLK. Epcot has their Arts Festival and will be interested to see if that induces higher crowds at that park.
I was looking at wait times yesterday and according to Touring Plans, AK was supposed to be a two. The waits were crazy and when I looked this morning, the actual crowds at AK yesterday turned out to be an 8! I would say that yes, it's busy due to the holiday weekend. But as others have said, I think WDW has just gotten to the point where it always feels crowded no matter the time of year. I don't think it's safe for anyone to go in expecting anything less than moderate crowds and hope doesn't turn out to be heavy crowds!
This is very often overlooked. Disney shrinks the work staff when crowds are smaller, resulting in an experience by that smaller crowd that is only slightly different from that of a larger crowd. As reports are showing, wait times are not even close to a really crowded time. One might have dreamed of a trip where the parks are so sparsely crowded that almost every ride is a "walk on". But that will simply never happen and Disney doesn't want it to happen. There is a certain "pacing" if you will, that Disney finds to be optimal for the overall enjoyment of the guest. Believe it or not, psychologically, people have more fun when the have 15-20 minute waits between rides than if they literally run from ride to ride with no wait. The latter is fun for a couple of hours, like with the old E Ticket nights and the recent After Hours event. But if you had that type of experience for 14 straight hours, you would get bored, leave, spend fewer days at the parks, shrink your overall vacation time, and spend less money. Disney wants all guest to have a vacation that paces out in a way that requires at least 4 or 5 days, (6 or 7 would be even better) for full enjoyment. They don't want you knocking off AK and DHS in a single day. That's fewer meals bought. More mousekeepers to turn over rooms. Less ticket revenue. So the bottom line is that Disney intentionally slows things down for you, making even the off season seem like the high season. But in reality, it isn't, as shown by the posted wait times.
This is why people stopped doing crowd calendars. People took it as a definite when they saw a two, or a three then got upset when it was more like a six or a seven. There is no way to predict crowds anymore. Too many variables like free dining, special parties, hurricanes, unexpected holidays, more people homeschooling etc. Crowd calendars mean nothing IMO, except once the parks close, after the fact LOL! I think people should just go when they want and plan for huge crowds, then be happy with anything less. It's either really crowded or REALY crowded.
I do agree with you. I don't put much stock into crowd calendars beyond very general planning. They've been wrong for me more than they've been accurate for sure, but it does seem as if they inflate people's expectations and that makes the let down even worse when you show up and it's not what you imagined.
I do like to look and see what was predicted and then what actually happened -- it's like a game.
That's an insane difference. It is very odd for sure. Using crowd calendars to plan your vacation is a good idea but they're not 100% accurate (usually way closer than that though!). I would say Touring Plans, is probably 70% accurate. In my personal experience using it, it was about 90% accurate. There was only 1 day that felt busier than I expected.
You're right. Usually it's not quite that far off. But the wait times were pretty nuts, so I knew it had to be quite a difference.
You and I are traveling at the same time -- we'll be there from 1/28-2/04. I've got my fingers crossed that it'll be what I expect! I hope I have realistic expectations!
I wonder if the NE blizzard affected crowd levels. Maybe people pushed their trips by a few days due to the big blizzard.
The other parks weren't that far off -- they were only slightly more crowded than TP predicted. AK was waaaay off though. Wonder why.
I noticed that too. Predicted wait times across the board were pretty accurate, except for AK which was way, way off.
I agree with this. I'm not sure why so many people dog the crowd calendars these days. I think I'm just really impressed with the amount of data analytics that go into the Touring Plans site. Will it be wrong sometimes? Of course. But to act like they're just looking at the crowds a year ago and putting the same number down is ridiculous. If anyone is going to predict a crowd, it's these guys.
And no I don't work for TP. I just am really impressed with their advanced algorithms.
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