It is no secret that our motto for successful touring is “Follow a Touring Plan” – heck , we built our name around it! Following an optimized touring plan is the single best way to beat the crowds at a Theme Park.
Still, it is helpful to know what the crowds will be like during one’s trip – for which we use the Crowd Calendar. Our crowd calendar is the best source for crowd statistics, anywhere. Is it perfect? By no means. But, on average it does a great job predicting what the wait times will be on any given day of the year.
We recommend that you use the crowd calendar to get a sense of what the crowds will be like during your trip and choose a touring plan that will ensure you wait in line as little as possible. We stress the use of a touring plan because predicting crowds is somewhat like predicting the weather, or predicting anything in the future for that matter. Predictions are always subject to a certain amount of error but when it comes to experiencing a theme park effectively, touring plans are the best insurance.
Here are a few of our recent letters about crowd predictions and using touring plans.
From Tony, a subscriber who visited the Magic Kingdom on June 5, 2012.
Just thought I’d let you know, volume was heavy at MK today. My family of 4 was able to utilize a customized plan and hit all the attractions we wanted; went back today for a couple of do-overs and man-o-man, it was a packed park. We got to the park at 10:30 and wait times for Big Thunder was already 60 minutes. Later, wait times for Big Thunder and Buzz Lightyear were 70 mins. Went to Epcot 6/2 and 6/4 and it did seem to be lighter traffic-wise, which according to your plans, it was forecast as 1.1, so that’s good.MK however, was slammed. I’d rate today as a 9 or even 10.Thanks!– Tony
Here is what the Snyder family experienced after taking our advice and visiting the Magic Kingdom on Memorial Day.
Just wanted to tell you that Magic Kingdom on Memorial Day was as you predicted – a best park! Lines at the Mountains were 30-40 minutes but we only spent 10 minutes or less on all the other rides and Fast Passes were easily obtained. Thanks for suggesting MK as a best park. Everyone thought we were crazy for attempting it. We talked to others who went to Animal Kingdom and they said it was really crowded.– Snyder Family, El Dorado Hills, CA
Rating crowds at Disney Theme Parks is a difficult proposition because there really is no such thing as a slow day. On June 5, as Tony mentioned, we did underestimate wait times at the Magic Kingdom but it is important to note that even on an average day, wait times at Big Thunder Mountain can hit 50 or 60 minutes during the mid-day peak. We are always looking to improve the crowd estimates and when a day occurs that doesn’t match our predictions we work hard to determine why. We are proud of our crowd calendar and its accuracy but there are always exceptions that prove the rule. We use the crowd calendar on all of our trips to manage expectations but always come armed, at park opening, with a touring plan in hand…just in case.