Fred Hazelton – TouringPlans.com Blog http://blog.touringplans.com Disney World and Disneyland News, Tips, Crowds and Attraction information from The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World and Disneyland Sat, 16 Dec 2017 14:05:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 http://blog.touringplans.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/cropped-t_circle_red_512_margin_transparent-32x32.png Fred Hazelton – TouringPlans.com Blog http://blog.touringplans.com 32 32 TouringPlans.com is well known for theme park vacation planning and information. This podcast features staff from the website discussing crowds, finances, attractions, hotels, and lots more about Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Universal Orlando, and Disney Cruise Line. Fred Hazelton – TouringPlans.com Blog clean episodic Fred Hazelton – TouringPlans.com Blog brian@touringplans.com brian@touringplans.com (Fred Hazelton – TouringPlans.com Blog) From the "minds" behind TouringPlans.com Fred Hazelton – TouringPlans.com Blog https://media.touringplans.com/podcasts/touringplans/t_circle_red_1400_margin_transparent.png http://blog.touringplans.com Crowd Calendar Update For Walt Disney World http://blog.touringplans.com/2017/12/10/crowd-calendar-update-walt-disney-world/ http://blog.touringplans.com/2017/12/10/crowd-calendar-update-walt-disney-world/#comments Mon, 11 Dec 2017 03:20:06 +0000 http://blog.touringplans.com/?p=134875 By Fred Hazelton

As we head into the last few weeks of 2017, it is time to update the Disney World Crowd Calendar for the next 365 days. We are fairly happy with the performance of the Crowd Calendar this fall. Two-thirds of the days saw a crowd level within 1 index point of predicted levels. Even if […]

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By Fred Hazelton

As we head into the last few weeks of 2017, it is time to update the Disney World Crowd Calendar for the next 365 days.

We are fairly happy with the performance of the Crowd Calendar this fall. Two-thirds of the days saw a crowd level within 1 index point of predicted levels. Even if you are only loosely following a touring plan a difference of one index level is virtually unnoticeable. When the calendar missed the mark by three or more levels it was usually due to severe weather or a higher than normal offline rate of key attractions. When major attractions go offline, wait times go up and the calendar shows a larger crowd than expected. Crowd predictions for Animal Kingdom and Epcot missed a little more often than Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. Fall 2017 was closer to an average fall than 2016. Last year we saw some very large crowds on days when we expected the crowds to be moderate. Overall, if you used the calendar during Fall 2017 the crowds you experienced were likely to be close to what the Disney World Crowd Calendar predicted.

Crowd Level Predictions for Fall 2017 were solid

All of our Walt Disney World wait time models are refreshed with the latest information and trends. In general, the trend is longer wait times although there are some days where the crowd level will be lower. May will be an interesting month for Hollywood Studios if Toy Story Land opens up in that month. Perhaps for Memorial Day weekend? Let’s see what the 2018 Crowd Calendar looks like now month-by-month, after this update.

January

Epcot sees some dips in crowd level throughout January while Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom see some increases. The month is still a great time to visit if you prefer lower crowds.

February

Hollywood Studios sees the largest jumps in crowd level in February. Some days will see an increase of more than 2 points. Other changes in the month are relatively minor – up or down a point. Mardi Gras and Presidents Day are only 6 days apart in 2018 so watch out for the compounding effect. When these two holidays fall on adjacent weeks, crowds can be extreme.

March

This update will bring more of the same for March. Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom tend to increase a bit and Epcot slides down a point on some days. Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival begins and the end of the month brings the beginning of the Easter Season. Add in Spring Break for 20-35% of school districts and March will be busy.

April

Easter Sunday falls on April 1 in 2018 which means the crowd calendar expects extreme crowds until April 8. Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom see more 10s on this update. As usual, the second half of the month will see moderate crowds.

May

The crowd levels in May will depend on what happens with Toy Story Land’s opening date. This latest update assumes that it will open in time for Memorial Day Weekend. Once we have an official announcement the crowd levels will be updated accordingly. When it does open we expect large crowds in the short to medium term but not quite the influx that we saw for Pandora at Animal Kingdom in 2017. Still, this franchise is very popular with all ages. We saw a 15-20% increase in wait times at other Animal Kingdom lands when Pandora opened so it is possible to see something similar at The Studios.

June

As we look toward June the crowd calendar becomes more speculative. A lot can change between now and then. However, the models are currently predicted slighter higher crowd levels for many days compared to the previous version of the calendar. Resort-wide this update sees a bump in crowd level of one point on most days in June.

July

It always surprises us when the crowd calendar predicts a crowd level below ‘7’ on July 4 at Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios but year after year it proves to be accurate. This latest update puts Hollywood Studios three points higher on that day but still only has it at a ‘6’. Considering how jammed Magic Kingdom and Epcot are on July 4, Hollywood Studios is a great option.

August

Crowd levels in August are up as well on this update however that is subject to change depending on the 2018-2019 school schedules. Watch for an update to August and beyond sometime in April.

September

Although September has been more crowded in recent years compared to the last ten, it is still a great month to visit. It is the only month where multiple days are rated as a ‘1’. Once Labour Day passes, September has the lowest crowds of the year.

October

You will see some increases of one index point in October as well although not as often as other months. Even though the trend of wait times is up, there are very few days where a crowd level increase by more than two points. On average, the increase is less than 1 index point.

November

In 2018, Thanksgiving falls on November 22 which is the earliest possible day on which it can fall. That means late November will see some low crowd levels like we usually see in early December. Other than some increases at The Studios, November crowd levels are relatively unchanged.

December

December looks similar on this update too. Some days see an increase in the second half of the month while the first half is nearly unchanged.

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November Crowds Are Larger Than Usual in 2017, At Disney World And Universal Orlando http://blog.touringplans.com/2017/11/13/november-crowds-larger-usual-2017-disney-world-universal-orlando/ http://blog.touringplans.com/2017/11/13/november-crowds-larger-usual-2017-disney-world-universal-orlando/#comments Mon, 13 Nov 2017 22:32:35 +0000 http://blog.touringplans.com/?p=133678 By Fred Hazelton

Crowds at Orlando Theme Parks are larger than normal so far in November. The TouringPlans.com Crowd Calendars for Universal Orlando Resort and Walt Disney World are reporting crowd levels one to two points higher than we usually see this time of year. We have some theories as to why we are seeing the increase. Times […]

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By Fred Hazelton

Crowds at Orlando Theme Parks are larger than normal so far in November. The TouringPlans.com Crowd Calendars for Universal Orlando Resort and Walt Disney World are reporting crowd levels one to two points higher than we usually see this time of year. We have some theories as to why we are seeing the increase.

  1. Times are good. The economy is churning along and gas prices are stable. When the economy is stable, travel tends to increase.
  2. Hurricane Irma re-bookings. Guests that had to cancel because of the hurricane re-booked for early November, a time when crowds are usually low and free dining was still available.
  3. November Popularity. As more and more guests travel to Orlando each year the number of available dates with low crowds has dwindled. So, moderately crowded weeks become busy ones.

Because the higher crowd levels are occurring at both Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando we don’t think the influx has anything to do with park operations like what we saw at Disney World in Fall 2016 and Fall 2015. We don’t see any indication from the school schedule data to suggest that is the answer either. So, one of the three theories is likely the culprit – or more likely, a combination of the three. But first, let’s take a look at how crowded it has been.

Crowds have been higher than expected recently at Orlando Theme Parks

We know that part of the increase in wait times this year at Walt Disney World is due to the impact of new attractions like Pandora and to the closure of other attractions at Disney Hollywood Studios. But the magnitude of the increase that we have seen in early November (and also early October) is significant. Wait times are 10 to 15 minutes higher than what we would normally expect for this time of year. Each index level on the Crowd Calendar represents roughly 10 minutes of average wait so the one and two point underestimates we have seen lately coordinate with the wait times we see in the chart.

The forecasts that we create for wait times take into account much more than just the historical averages. We use a 30-day trend that helps adjust the predictions in the direction of the most recent information. Also, our models account for the Pandora affect and the reduced capacity caused by closed attractions. But even with these adjustments, wait times are higher than expected.

If the driving factor turns out to be the Hurricane re-bookings then it is likely the impact will be short-lived. If it is the other two then the affect may last longer. The good news is that the impact on a personalized touring plan is nearly negligible. By arriving early and completing the busiest attractions in the morning, the total amount of time spent in line is unchanged from previous years if you follow a touring plan.

We currently have no plan to update the Crowd Calendar predictions. We prefer to see how the next few weeks play out. But as always, we continue to track wait times on a daily basis and will inform you when an update is in order. If you arrive in park and see longer lines than predicted, make sure to re-optimize your plans, that will ensure your plan is adjusted for the most recent information.

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Hurricane Irma Bounceback Effect May Be Increasing Wait Times At Disney World http://blog.touringplans.com/2017/09/25/hurricane-irma-bounceback-affect-may-increasing-wait-times-disney-world/ http://blog.touringplans.com/2017/09/25/hurricane-irma-bounceback-affect-may-increasing-wait-times-disney-world/#comments Mon, 25 Sep 2017 16:20:08 +0000 http://blog.touringplans.com/?p=131486 By Fred Hazelton

For the second year in a row a hurricane interrupted operations at Walt Disney World. Last year, Hurricane Matthew forced the closure of Disney Parks in early October, after which we saw a slight bump in attendance when guests returned. This year, the bounceback as guests return after Hurricane Irma may be more significant. In […]

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By Fred Hazelton

For the second year in a row a hurricane interrupted operations at Walt Disney World. Last year, Hurricane Matthew forced the closure of Disney Parks in early October, after which we saw a slight bump in attendance when guests returned. This year, the bounceback as guests return after Hurricane Irma may be more significant.

Crowds are up since Disney World re-opened after Hurricane Irma

In the 90 days leading up to the arrival of Hurricane Irma the Disney World Crowd Calendar correctly predicted the crowd level at Walt Disney World within 1 index point most days. Occasionally, the crowds would come in at a 2 point difference. Last week we saw a three-day stretch between Monday and Wednesday when the parks were two points higher than predicted each day. This could be an indicator that something is different. It may be that most visitors affected by Irma chose to rebook their vacations immediately after the storm passed.

Or, this may be a random fluctuation in crowd patterns. On Saturday (and Sunday) we noticed that the crowd levels were within the normal range for this time of year.

Regardless, we wanted to share what we have seen so far and let you know that we are monitoring the crowds daily and will announce if we decide to make any further adjustments to the crowd levels going forward.

Question: Were your travel plans affected by Hurricane Irma? 

 

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Expected Impact Of Irma On Crowds At Walt Disney World http://blog.touringplans.com/2017/09/12/expected-impact-irma-crowds-walt-disney-world/ http://blog.touringplans.com/2017/09/12/expected-impact-irma-crowds-walt-disney-world/#comments Tue, 12 Sep 2017 18:52:54 +0000 http://blog.touringplans.com/?p=130987 By Fred Hazelton

The Disney World Crowd Calendar will be updated Tuesday evening to reflect the expected impact of Hurricane Irma. In early October 2016, Disney World Parks closed as Hurricane Mathew passed over Florida, and we saw a bump in crowd levels for about two weeks after the parks reopened. We expect a similar impact this year […]

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By Fred Hazelton

The Disney World Crowd Calendar will be updated Tuesday evening to reflect the expected impact of Hurricane Irma. In early October 2016, Disney World Parks closed as Hurricane Mathew passed over Florida, and we saw a bump in crowd levels for about two weeks after the parks reopened. We expect a similar impact this year as guests return to Disney World after Hurricane Irma.

Early September is the least busy time of the year at Disney World, so even if every guest decided to delay their trip by a week, the impact would not be as significant as a storm that occurred in mid-October. However, Irma had a widespread and sweeping effect on Florida and surrounding states on a scale not seen before.

In addition, we are hearing that Disney Parks and Resorts will announce another round of layoffs sometime before Disney’s fiscal new year turns over on October 1. In 2015 and 2016 these layoffs had a surprisingly direct effect on wait times: they went up by 10 to 15%. We don’t know much about this round of layoffs or whether they will have a similar impact on operations at the attractions.

Bottom Line: Irma and layoffs mean that the Disney World Crowd Calendar index may see a one or two point jump on many days between now and mid-October.

 

________________

 

Update: The Crowd Calendar has now been updated (September 13).

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Disneyland Wait Times Lower Than Expected Since New Fantasmic! http://blog.touringplans.com/2017/08/18/disneyland-wait-times-lower-expected-since-new-fantasmic/ http://blog.touringplans.com/2017/08/18/disneyland-wait-times-lower-expected-since-new-fantasmic/#comments Fri, 18 Aug 2017 22:52:29 +0000 http://blog.touringplans.com/?p=129817 By Fred Hazelton

Recently we updated projected crowd levels for Disneyland Park in response to the re-opening of Fantasmic! on July 17. Although the new show is drawing plenty of visitors we have not seen an increase in wait times around the park. So, today we are posting a new update for now until Labor Day based on […]

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By Fred Hazelton

Recently we updated projected crowd levels for Disneyland Park in response to the re-opening of Fantasmic! on July 17. Although the new show is drawing plenty of visitors we have not seen an increase in wait times around the park. So, today we are posting a new update for now until Labor Day based on the latest wait times collected.

Annual Passholders who own a pass with blockout dates will have their first opportunity to see the new Fantasmic! on August 21. We expect the park to busy (especially Frontierland in the afternoon) between August 21 and 25 but we don’t expect a large increase in wait times at the attractions.

Very hot weather is contributing to lower than expected crowds as well. We have seen most days at two or three points lower than expected since mid-July. So, from now until September 4 you will see a drop in crowd level for many days.

 

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Disneyland Crowd Calendar Updates For August 2017 and Beyond http://blog.touringplans.com/2017/07/19/disneyland-crowd-calendar-updates-august-2017-beyond/ http://blog.touringplans.com/2017/07/19/disneyland-crowd-calendar-updates-august-2017-beyond/#comments Wed, 19 Jul 2017 11:46:42 +0000 http://blog.touringplans.com/?p=128341 By Fred Hazelton

Fantasmic! is back at Disneyland Park after a year-long hiatus. Early reaction to the new features of this popular show are positive so we expect crowds to increase at Disneyland for the rest of the summer. In particular, when summer blockout dates end in August we expect a large influx of annual passholders wishing to […]

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By Fred Hazelton

Fantasmic! is back at Disneyland Park after a year-long hiatus. Early reaction to the new features of this popular show are positive so we expect crowds to increase at Disneyland for the rest of the summer. In particular, when summer blockout dates end in August we expect a large influx of annual passholders wishing to check out the new show. So, a new update to the Disneyland Crowd Calendar is in order.

Southern California (and Southern California Select) passholders will have their first chance to see the new Fantasmic! show on August 21. The Disneyland Crowd Calendar expects crowds to be elevated at Disneyland Park between August 21 and Labor Day on September 4. Most passholders who want to see the new show will have done so by then. Crowd levels have increased for those days by as much as 6 index points. Disney California Adventure crowd levels remain unchanged.

If you have a trip planned for late August, don’t panic. Although this update represents a large increase in crowd levels on some days we believe the crowds will be mostly afternoon visitors coming in specifically to see the new show. So, if you arrive early and follow a touring plan you should be fine. It is also likely that the increased crowds will be mostly focused in Frontierland, where the show takes place.

There are very few updates to the Disneyland Crowd Calendar beyond August and almost no major changes. You will see some days change by a point or two but nothing more than that. Most days remain unchanged.

 

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Crowd Calendar Updates For Summer 2017 And Beyond http://blog.touringplans.com/2017/06/29/crowd-calendar-updates-summer-2017-beyond/ http://blog.touringplans.com/2017/06/29/crowd-calendar-updates-summer-2017-beyond/#comments Thu, 29 Jun 2017 10:00:40 +0000 http://blog.touringplans.com/?p=127354 By Fred Hazelton

Summer 2017 is in full swing, and it is time to refresh the the Disney World Crowd Calendar. We now know a little about the popularity of Pandora at Animal Kingdom and how the crowds at that park are affected by the new land. Disney’s Hollywood Studios is affected, too, as Animal Kingdom draws more than […]

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By Fred Hazelton

Summer 2017 is in full swing, and it is time to refresh the the Disney World Crowd Calendar. We now know a little about the popularity of Pandora at Animal Kingdom and how the crowds at that park are affected by the new land. Disney’s Hollywood Studios is affected, too, as Animal Kingdom draws more than its usual share of guests visiting a third park after Magic Kingdom and Epcot. We have completed a full review of 2017-2018 school schedules, as well, so we have more accurate forecasts for Fall 2017 and Winter 2018. But first, let’s take a look at how the calendar has been doing lately.

Error Rates for Walt Disney World Crowd Calendar so far in 2017

After some atypical crowds in 2016, the Disney World Crowd Calendar appears to be performing better thanks to some reworking of our models. In June the average error at Magic Kingdom is one index point, and for 11 of the last 14 days the calendar has been bang-on. Predictions at the other three parks also did well, with average errors less than 1.5 index points since June 1. Animal Kingdom remains as the most volatile park, as expected. Not only does it have the newest attractions on property, but the park has the fewest attractions of the four parks, so swings in the wait times there have a greater effect on the crowd calendar than at the other parks. In 2017 about 90% of the time the crowd calendar figures are correct within two index points, and about two-thirds of the time they are within one. That is an improvement of 4-5 percentage points over what we saw last year. As a guest using a touring plan, a difference of one index point is virtually unnoticeable, and a difference of two index points represents just 2-3 minutes of wait time per attraction. The error rates are nicely balanced, as well, with as many days overestimated as underestimated. So, if the calendar is off by two points, it is just as likely that you will wait 2-3 minutes less per attraction than 2-3 minutes more.

There are still odd days when we see crowds drastically different than what was predicted, but they are less frequent in 2017 compared to 2016. If you arrive in a park that appears to be much more crowded than predicted, don’t panic – stick to the plan and make sure to refresh it so that it can re-optimize using the latest wait times observed during the day.

So, now on to the update. This batch of changes is mostly minor, with movement of a point or two on some days. Most days will not change. When a day does change as a result of this update, it is most likely due to updated information about the summer schedule, the schedule for Halloween and Christmas parties in the fall, or new school schedule data. Let’s take a look by month.

July

Hollywood Studios doesn’t appear to have any special Fourth of July fireworks this year, so you will see a drop of four points at that park. They still have the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular, and we highly recommend that park on July 4th because Magic Kingdom and Epcot are expected to be very busy. With international travel down significantly and more families willing to take children out of school to do Disney World, our forecasts are showing drops for wait times this summer. Many days in July will see a dip of one to three points. It is still very crowded, however, so make sure to follow a plan.

August

This update brings only minor adjustments to crowd levels in August, mostly at Animal Kingdom. Pandora has shown some indications of holding its popularity through the summer, so the forecasts are nudging up the numbers until schools start to go back in session at the end of the month.

September

As always, September still looks like a great month to visit with several ‘1’s and ‘2’ on the calendar. No major changes on this update.

October

You may see some changes in October, and those are due partly to confirmed dates for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties. We have placeholders that allow us to make forecasts well in advance, but once we know that real dates the models need adjusting. Still, most changes are minor, with movement of a single point.

November

By November we expect the Pandora hype to settle down and Animal Kingdom to have normal crowd levels for that time of year. You will see a drop by a point or two at that park on some days to reflect this. Elsewhere crowd levels remain mostly unchanged by this update. Thanksgiving week will be packed, of course, and days around Veterans Day will have their typical bump.

December

We have minor changes for December in reaction to the latest schedule information for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parties. Park hours for December are confirmed, but there is a reasonable chance that we will make further adjustments as December approaches.

January

There aren’t a lot of changes to report for January, but the changes you do see are most likely due to the confirmation of school schedules for January 2018 (and beyond). When looking at dates in 2018 it is important to note that we are still six months away, so further changes are likely.

February

Our models seem to want to bump up forecasts for Presidents Week in February. You will see some bumps between February 15 and 25, especially at Magic Kingdom. These seem influenced by slight underestimates in 2017 during the same week. School schedule data may be a factor, as well. The other parks should be the same as the previous calendar most days in February.

March

When we see updates in March 2018 we can be fairly certain they stem from updates to the spring break schedule for the 100+ school districts we track. Combine that with observations from March 2017, and we get some significant bumps in crowd level for March 2018 across all four parks. The increases occur between March 7 and 17, 2018.

April

Updates in April are mostly going the other way, dips of one or two points, although many days remain unchanged from the previous calendar. Early in the month we do see an increase of a point or two for some parks.

May

In 2017, May was a great month to visit Walt Disney World. Crowds were moderate and predictable. We have no major changes to the crowd levels on this update, but the more we look at crowd patterns in May the more we like this month as a good choice, especially now that the window for really low crowds in September seems to be getting shorter every year.

June

It is a little early to analyze crowd levels for June 2018, but for the sake of completeness this calendar update includes some changes for June. They are minor changes and these figures will certainly be adjusted at least once more before we arrive at summer 2018.

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Long Term Wait Time Trends at Walt Disney World http://blog.touringplans.com/2017/04/26/long-term-wait-time-trends-walt-disney-world/ http://blog.touringplans.com/2017/04/26/long-term-wait-time-trends-walt-disney-world/#comments Wed, 26 Apr 2017 13:00:29 +0000 http://blog.touringplans.com/?p=125281 By Fred Hazelton

Our Walt Disney World wait time analysis shows that waits are up in the last 8 to 12 months compared to what have seen historically during the same time period. Until recently, we didn’t exactly know why. Take a look at this graph – but it takes some explaining to interpret. In data analysis we attempt […]

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By Fred Hazelton

Our Walt Disney World wait time analysis shows that waits are up in the last 8 to 12 months compared to what have seen historically during the same time period. Until recently, we didn’t exactly know why. Take a look at this graph – but it takes some explaining to interpret.

When you hold all factors constant, you see the true trend in Walt Disney World Wait times.

In data analysis we attempt to explain the ups and downs of a variable we are interested in by looking at all the other factors that can affect the variable. Sometimes it can be helpful to isolate one of the variables to see how it (and only it) contributes to the ups and downs. But isolating a factor is difficult because the factors all interact with each other. One can not isolate the ups and downs of wait times that are due to the day of the week without also accounting for days with bad weather, for example.

Anyway, our modelling of wait times at Disney parks allows us to do this – it is called a partial dependence plot. We plot the impact of a particular factor while controlling for all the other factors. When we do this using DATE as the isolated factor what we get is a picture of the unexplained noise in the data that relates only to the date that we collected the wait times. In other words, isolating DATE gets us a picture of the long term trend of wait times.

In normal circumstances, we would expect to see something close to a flat line. According to the graph, we see wait times going up in the last few years across all four parks but especially at Magic Kingdom. So, we asked around. Turns out that Magic Kingdom implemented a hiring freeze in September 2016. That could be an explanation for the spike that we see at the end of the Magic Kingdom trend. Less staff means lower attraction capacity and higher wait times. I wouldn’t be surprised if a similar hiring freeze took place at the other parks as well.

Remember, this is not a plot of the trend of average wait times, this is a plot of the trend of wait times when you hold all important factors constant. So, the trend we see can’t be due to new attractions, good weather, extended park hours, changes in school schedules or a strong economy. We also know that attendance is relatively flat since 2015 so it can’t be that. When we do the same analysis at Universal Orlando Resort we don’t see the same trend. So, it must be something operational at the Disney parks and understaffing seems like the most plausible explanation.

 

Note: This analysis is for information purposes only, it is not meant to be conclusive, just some observations from the data.

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Walt Disney World Crowd Calendar – April Preview http://blog.touringplans.com/2017/04/04/walt-disney-world-crowd-calendar-april-preview/ http://blog.touringplans.com/2017/04/04/walt-disney-world-crowd-calendar-april-preview/#comments Tue, 04 Apr 2017 15:00:56 +0000 http://blog.touringplans.com/?p=124971 By Fred Hazelton

When looking at April Crowds at Walt Disney World it all starts with Easter. This year Easter Sunday falls on April 16. Historically, Sunday is not the busiest day of the Easter season although you can expect to see very large crowds every day around the holiday. The Christmas peak season that we see every […]

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By Fred Hazelton

When looking at April Crowds at Walt Disney World it all starts with Easter. This year Easter Sunday falls on April 16. Historically, Sunday is not the busiest day of the Easter season although you can expect to see very large crowds every day around the holiday. The Christmas peak season that we see every year happens between December 27 and January 1, a few days after the holiday itself. For Easter, the busiest days at the Disney World parks happen before the holiday. Guests of the Disney parks can expect to see peak Easter crowds on the Tuesday through Thursday before Easter (April 11 – April 13).

Easter is very busy but not as extreme as Christmas and New Year’s Eve

Easter is not the only date of interest on the April calendar. In fact, April is chock-full of special events. Here is a breakdown of what’s happening in April and how it might impact crowds in the parks.

Flower & Garden Festival at Epcot

Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival continues throughout all of April. Guests can expect the parks to be extra busy on weekends, especially in the afternoon. The festival includes temporary food kiosks all around the park which bring in curious locals who come for the food but don’t ride the rides. This is why you might see very crowded parks with manageable wait times at the attractions. Avoid weekends unless you have no choice or if you are visiting for a specific concert.

Grad Nights

Grad Nights are back but now they are at Typhoon Lagoon. We don’t think those grads will spill over to the other parks in great numbers but beware if they do. There may be a premium on arriving early at the parks on days around Grad Nights – they tend to sleep in.

Easter

The Disney World Crowd Calendar is predicting very busy parks during the second week of April (April 10 – April 17). Two-thirds of the largest school districts are off at least one day that week and that means large crowds at Disney World. The good news is that park hours are extended to accommodate the influx of guests so the savvy planner can take advantage and arrive as early as possible. Do that and you will be ahead of the game. After the Easter break, 95% of school districts are back in class so we expect to see the parks return to moderate crowd levels fairly quickly after Easter Monday.

Star Wars Half-Marathon

The Star Wars Half is the next event on the April calendar (April 20-23). Like all runDisney events, the Star Wars Half Marathon will bring lots of guests to the resort but the majority of their activities will happen outside the parks and we don’t expect see a large impact on wait times.

Dapper Day & Morning Magic at Magic Kingdom

Once the Star Wars Half-Marathon weekend comes to an end the Disney World Crowd Calendar predicts that the parks will see their lowest crowd numbers since January. There are two events to note on the calendar in the final week of April. Magic Morning (not to be confused with Extra Magic Hour), a ticketed event at Magic Kingdom continues on April 25. The impact of these magic mornings has been minimal. Dapper Day (April 29 – 30) brings in a few thousand well-dressed guests that although easy to spot, don’t have a huge impact on wait times at the attractions.

Walt Disney World Crowd Calendar – April Preview is a post from the TouringPlans.com Blog. Signup for a premium subscription today! Or get news via Email, Twitter, & Facebook.

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Disneyland Crowd Calendar Adjustments http://blog.touringplans.com/2017/04/04/disneyland-crowd-calendar-adjustments/ http://blog.touringplans.com/2017/04/04/disneyland-crowd-calendar-adjustments/#comments Tue, 04 Apr 2017 13:00:48 +0000 http://blog.touringplans.com/?p=124958 By Fred Hazelton

Of the last 43 days at Disneyland Park, 28 have been a crowd level ’10’ on the Touringplans.com Disneyland Crowd Calendar. That is remarkable – and not good news for guests of Disneyland Resort. The last update to the Disneyland Crowd Calendar was March 16, 2017 and we published a blog article about the changes, […]

Disneyland Crowd Calendar Adjustments is a post from the TouringPlans.com Blog. Signup for a premium subscription today! Or get news via Email, Twitter, & Facebook.

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By Fred Hazelton

Of the last 43 days at Disneyland Park, 28 have been a crowd level ’10’ on the Touringplans.com Disneyland Crowd Calendar. That is remarkable – and not good news for guests of Disneyland Resort.

2017 has been crowded but especially the last three weeks!

The last update to the Disneyland Crowd Calendar was March 16, 2017 and we published a blog article about the changes, which you can read here. We mentioned that there were some signs that Disneyland crowds were beginning to return to normal but after a few weeks of observing crowds, that does not appear to be the case. In fact, it may even be getting worse.

So, we need to adjust the crowd levels to reflect the new reality for crowds at Disneyland Resort. That means we have to shift down the 1 to 10 scale to have more days in the middle and fewer days at the top. What it means for you is that you may see some changes to the crowd levels for your travel dates. What used to be ‘6’s and ‘7’s may now be ‘4’s and ‘5’s. What used to be ‘9’s and ’10’s will now be ‘7’s and ‘8’s. The good news is that your touring plans probably won’t change that much. The scale we use for the crowd calendar is based on what we have observed at Disney parks for the previous 6 months. Usually, we do not see a big change. This year is different.

Why is it different? That is the big question. There are no economic factors that indicate travel is trending up. In fact, there is evidence that international travel has dropped significantly. Disneyland Resort continues to offer a juicy buy-one-get-three ticket promotion which is likely a factor but that doesn’t explain the ridiculous crowds at a time of year that should be moderate to busy. Operational cut-backs are likely a large factor as well. Whenever park operations are understaffed, wait times go up.

We monitor the wait times at every Disneyland Resort attraction daily. Check the blog in a few weeks to see if the trend has continued. As for planning your trip to Disneyland Resort, a touring plan is your best friend! It will work wonders to save you time in line, no matter how crowded it is.

Disneyland Crowd Calendar Adjustments is a post from the TouringPlans.com Blog. Signup for a premium subscription today! Or get news via Email, Twitter, & Facebook.

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