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Having just returned from a trip to Walt Disney World for the D23 Scavenger Hunt and other activities, I immediately went into my post trip sadness. Fortunately, there is one way to fix that – plan another trip! Yes, the best way to get over your post-Disney blues is to begin work on planning another trip, which is what we are here to help you do at TouringPlans.com.
The way I start planning is by first looking at the Crowd Calendar. In case you haven’t used it, the Crowd Calendar is based a decade’s worth of wait time data, and ranks the crowds each day based on how they rank in the overall scheme of things. So, for example, July 15 is a 7 out of 10, meaning it is a
I use the Crowd Calendar mainly to pick where I will go each day on my trip. For example, on July 15, the calendar says that Epcot is a park to avoid, so I will plan to be in one of the other three parks that day. If you click on the day in the calendar, it will give individual rankings for each park, which I use to plan out my Advanced Dining Reservations. Since Disney expanded the window to 6 months out to book dining, I usually will look at the crowd calendar 6 months out from my trip, and plan dining accordingly.
The great thing about Disney’s system is that you do not have to put a credit card down to guarantee most dining reservations, so you can make the reservations 6 months out, then change or cancel if they don’t fit your plans. So, I look at the individual parks ratings and pick my dining plans based on that. By clicking on the day on the calendar, each park’s crowd levels are listed, as well as parade and show times.
If you’re like me, parades and shows are an important part of your touring schedule. I made one evening of this last trip all about the evening events at the Magic Kingdom, so I had to plan around that. By using the crowd levels and the parade/fireworks schedules, I can pick the right place and park to eat.
For July 15, it looks like Magic Kingdom is a good bet, including Extra Magic Hours until 2 a.m., so I would book a late dinner at one of the monorail resorts, then make it over to the park by 9 p.m. to see the Main Street Electrical Parade, Wishes and Magic, Memories and You. Then I would have the attractions to myself. If you want to get super detailed, you can even click on the park itself and see the wait times forecast for that day. I usually use this a little later in the process.
I use the Crowd Calendar in that way, for long range planning and helping me plan which parks I will be at each day, therefore helping me to make dining and recreation reservations. Next week, I’ll talk about the next step in my planning process, using the Touring Plans.
What about you? How do you use the Crowd Calendar when planning your trips?