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Predicting the Unpredictable
Predicting the crowds at Walt Disney World has always been a challenge, but lately its become downright fickle business. Crowds from the last two weeks have been much larger than even Disney was expecting. Park hours were extended, parade performances were added to the daily schedules and fireworks shows were repeated on some nights. All of these factors are important parts of our model that predicts crowds. When Disney gets it wrong, its hard for us to get it right.
Still, if we backcast our model for the previous two weeks including changes to the schedules we get crowd estimates of 9 and 10, exactly what was observed.
The latest numbers on occupancy and attendance also point to increased crowds throughout Spring and Summer 2009. We can only assume that Disney will also adjust hours for April, May and June. In fact, they have already made some changes.
Our latest updates to the crowd calendar show increased crowd estimates for May and June because of the latest data. As always, the estimates are subject to change as the information changes. Perhaps this is a good time for us to recite the TouringPlans.com credo:
Remember, a good touring plan is 5 times more important than choosing the correct day to visit a theme park. A good touring plan is the best way to deal with any crowd.