Disney ADRs And Crowd Level Predictions

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Okay, before we get into the crowd blog, a couple of news items floating around the web: the Pinocchio Village Haus at the Magic Kingdom will apparently stop serving hamburgers on May 8. As one wag on WDWMagic.com notes, this leaves only 22 other places to get burgers.

Also, Disney’s changing the name of “Priority Seating Reservations” to “Advance Dining Arrangements.” Apparently they got tired of explaining how something with the word “reservation” in it isn’t really a reservation. And the legal department must have had issues with my idea: “I-Can’t-Believe-They’re-Not-Reservations.” Thanks to Mike Scopa at Mouseplanet.com for the heads up. Not only does Mike write a Disney column for Mouseplanet, but he was recently named one of Disney’s “50 Happiest Passholders.” As I write this, he’s in WDW with his son, apparently trying to talk his way into driving the monorail. Good luck with that, Mike.

Finally, Disney’s added several sit-down and counter-service restaurants to the Magic Your Way with Dining plan, as well as new snack options. Most of Epcot is now represented, and Coronado Springs gets a boost. Check out our updated description here.

On to the crowd predictions. First, a look back at what we’ve predicted over the last couple of weeks:

Original
Prediction
Modified
Prediction
Actual
Crowd
Level
Fri Apr 15
4
6
8
Sat Apr 16
4
7
Sun Apr 17
6
6
7
Mon Apr 18
7
7
8
Tue Apr 19
5
6
n/a
Wed Apr 20
5
6
7
Thu Apr 21
5
7
7
Fri Apr 22
5
8
7
Sat Apr 23
5
8
6
Sun Apr 24
6
6
n/a
Mon Apr 25
7
7
n/a
Tue Apr 26
6
7
n/a
Wed Apr 27
5
6
n/a
Thu Apr 28
5
6
8
Fri Apr 29
4
6
6
Sat Apr 30
4
5
n/a

Recall that the “modified prediction” uses an average of four things: historical occupancy rate, number of hours the Magic Kingdom is open in a given week, trips booked for that date in the Unofficial Guide’s free Trip Planner, and WDW resort availability on Expedia.com. The original prediction is from the Guide’s “Best Days” page.

M1 predicted the correct crowd level 2 times out of 9. It was +/- 1 four times, and +/- 2 the remaining three times for which we’ve currently got data. The original method was right zero times, +/- 1 three times, +/- 2 four times, and +/- 3 or more twice. Ouch. On the other hand, M1 was +/- 1 on the crowd level 6 of 9 times, which ain’t a bad first step.

It appeared that the modified method was better than the original method we used, so we’re looking now at ways to improve on the formula used. For simplicity, let’s refer to the modified method and its components as “M1.” Our new method, M2, uses the same inputs as M1, plus the actual number of hours the Magic Kingdom is open that day. It also uses a weighted average for each input, instead of a simple average. Those weights are as follows:

Historical Hotel Occupancy Rate: 0.4
Weekly Magic Kingdom Hours: 1.0
Expedia Hotel Availability: 1.05
Unofficial Guide Trip Planner Stats: 1.4
Magic Kingdom Daily Operating Hours: 1.9

M1′s standard deviation using an unweighted average was 1.80. M2′s standard deviation with the weighted average is 1.04, so the hope is that M2 will be both more accurate and less volatile a measurement, and we can more easily make adjustments to the formula. Incidentally, the standard disclaimer applies: I’m not a statistican, and our regular statistican (the sublime Fred Hazelton) is currently booked on our new transportation and restaurant number-crunching projects for the 2006 edition.

That being said, here are M2′s crowd level predictions for May. Remember that we’re going to eventually switch to a new 1-10 scale. For now, I’ve translated to peak wait times at the MK’s headliner attractions (Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad):

Date
Predicted Peak Wait Time at MK Headliner Attractions
Sun May 1
70 minutes
Mon May 2
70 minutes
Tue May 3
65 minutes
Wed May 4
65 minutes
Thu May 5
70 minutes
Fri May 6
70 minutes
Sat May 7
80 minutes
Sun May 8
70 minutes
Mon May 9
70 minutes
Tue May 10
75 minutes
Wed May 11
70 minutes
Thu May 12
70 minutes
Fri May 13
75 minutes
Sat May 14
80 minutes
Sun May 15
65 minutes
Mon May 16
70 minutes
Tue May 17
65 minutes
Wed May 18
65 minutes
Thu May 19
65 minutes
Fri May 20
75 minutes
Sat May 21
85 minutes or more
Sun May 22
85 minutes or more
Mon May 23
90 minutes or more
Tue May 24
85 minutes or more
Wed May 25
85 minutes or more
Thu May 26
80 minutes
Fri May 27
90 minutes or more
Sat May 28
90 minutes or more
Sun May 29
80 minutes
Mon May 30
70 minutes
Tue May 31
75 minutes
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Posted on May 2, 2005
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