Crowd Blog

The Times They Are a-Changin’

by on April 21, 2015

TouringPlans logoHere at TouringPlans we make our predictions based on empirical data. We spend a crazy amount of effort and time gathering as much information to make the best predictions as possible. We track schedules of the 100 largest school systems in the country. We have a database with millions of wait times. We know what the weather has been in Anaheim and Orlando for the past 10 years. We check the Disney website daily for any changes in events, shows, attractions, and park hours. Out of all the information that we track, school schedules and park hours are some of the best predictors of crowd levels.

Park hours are much more variable than you might think. Walt Disney World’s initial park hours are released to travel agents 6-7 months ahead of time.  Unfortunately, the initial park hours are rarely the final park hours. Besides Epcot’s 9am-9pm schedule, the other parks’ hours may change several times. There are even days where the park hours change within 24 hours. To minimize the changes in our crowd calendar models, we make a prediction of the final park hours.

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24-Hour Summer Kick-Off Celebrations Wait Times

by on April 21, 2015

TouringPlans logoDisney will be doing their 24-hour summer kickoff for the third year at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. As in the past, this year’s summer kickoff events starts at 6 AM on the Friday before Memorial Day. Disney did their first 24-hour event “One More Disney Day” on February 29, 2012. Disneyland Resort’s event “Diamond Celebration 24-Hour Kickoff” will be the opening night for the three new nighttime spectaculars: “Paint the Night” Parade, “Disneyland Forever” Fireworks, and “World of Color – Celebrate! The Wonderful World of Walt Disney.” Expect large crowds at both Disneyland parks with guests wanting to be the first to see the nighttime spectaculars. The best viewing spots will be taken very early as guests will camp out for hours before the shows. Our attraction wait times do not totally capture the crowds of people in the park. Walt Disney World’s event will be “24-hour Summer Kickoff” and will celebrate the start of the “Coolest Summer Ever.” There are no details on what will make this the “coolest summer ever,” or what will make this year’s event any different than last year’s.  “Frozen Summer Fun” does not start until June 7, at Disney Hollywood’s Studio and is a copy of last years activities.

For this blog post we are look back at wait times for 2013 and 2014. We can assume that 2015 attraction wait times will be similar. The tables show the average posted wait times in two hour increments, and the charts shows the detail data and the 2015 predicted wait time through the 24-hours. During the 24-hour events some attractions will be closed for maintenance and safety checks.

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Universal Crowd Calendar Report – April 12 to 18, 2015

by on April 21, 2015

Two weeks ago the Universal Crowd Calendar predicted crowd levels that ended up being too low indicating that post-Easter / Spring Break crowds were larger than expected. So, it follows that last week’s crowd levels were lower than expected, a sign that the spread of Easter and Spring Break visitors may have been one week shorter than the Universal Crowd Calendar expected.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week on the TouringPlans.com Universal Orlando Resort Crowd Report:

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Disneyland Crowd Calendar Report – April 12 to 18, 2015

by on April 21, 2015

Last week, the Disneyland Crowd Calendar expected wait times to be higher than they actually were. This is an indication that the Post-Easter / Spring Break Season may have arrived a week earlier than history would suggest. The wait times at both parks historically are low once the Easter and Spring Break seasons come to a close so this is a good sign for guests to the parks between now and Memorial Day.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week on the TouringPlans.com Disneyland Resort Crowd Report:

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Disney World Crowd Calendar Report – April 12 to 18, 2015

by on April 21, 2015

Two weeks ago crowd levels surprised us by being higher than we predicted indicating that more vacationers spent their post-Easter / Spring Break at Walt Disney World Resort than expected. So, I suppose it is only natural that last week we saw crowds go the opposite direction, with crowd levels much lower than predicted most days.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week on the TouringPlans.com Disney World Crowd Calendar Report:

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Schools’ Make-up Days

by on April 14, 2015

2014-11-26 at 14-02-42This winter, cities from the Southwest to Northeast had extreme winter weather, leading school districts to cancel school due to snow or frigid temperatures. Each school district has its own plan to make-up the missed days.

Most school districts already had extra days in their school schedules or added days during the regular school calendars, making it unnecessary to extend their school years. In addition, to avoid extending the school year, some school districts have held school on Saturdays, on teacher work days, or during parts of their spring breaks.

Here is a list of the schools districts that we track that are extending their school years:

  • Chicago, IL – added 3 days (June 17, 18, and 19)
  • Montgomery, MD (DC area) – added 2 days (June 12 and 15)
  • Louisville, KY – added 4 days (May 29 – June 5)
  • Greensboro, NC – added 2 days (June 12 and 15)
  • Boston, MA – added 6 days (June 22-29)

The make-up days are well distributed across the country, and we do not expect an impact on crowd levels.

Are your kids having to make-up school days? Did it affect your vacation plans?

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Disney World Crowd Calendar Report – April 5 to 11, 2015

by on April 14, 2015

The Disney World Crowd Calendar predictions did well on the first two days and the last two days of last week but from Tuesday through Thursday wait times were significantly higher than expected. The week after Easter last year, wait times at the parks hovered between a level ‘6’ and ‘8’ on our scale but this year the Spring Break / Easter rush extended to the week after Easter as well.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week on the Touringplans.com Disney World Crowd Calendar Report:

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Disneyland Crowd Calendar Report – April 5 to 11, 2015

by on April 14, 2015

Peak Spring Break Crowds lasted a week longer than we expected this year. In 2014 and in the three years previous, the week after Easter had wait times one to two points lower on our scale than the week before Easter. This year, wait times reached the same level before and after the holiday.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week on the TouringPlans.com Disneyland Resort Crowd Report:

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Universal Crowd Calendar Report – April 5 to 11, 2015

by on April 14, 2015

The Universal Crowd Calendar predicted a flatter range of crowd levels last week but what we saw was a more up-and-down pattern. The ‘up’s fell on Monday through Thursday while the ‘down’s fell on Sunday, Friday and Saturday.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week on the TouringPlans.com Universal Orlando Resort Crowd Report:

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Photo Gallery: 2015 Universal Orlando Spring Break Crowds

by on April 7, 2015

The Easter eggs have all been hunted, and the Passover seder plates are put away, but the 2015 spring break crowds have not yet departed from Orlando’s attractions. While wait times over the weekend weren’t quite as bad as initially predicted, it’s still been a very busy holiday week at Universal Orlando, as Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure both experienced their heaviest attendance since New Year’s Day. In case you weren’t brave or foolish enough to experience Easter Week in person, here is a photo gallery of Universal Orlando spring break crowds to give you a virtual taste of last week’s madness.

Universal Studios Florida Spring Break Crowds

You know its going to be a busy day at USF when the temporary turnstiles in between the entry gates are in use.

Universal Orlando spring break crowds 2015

Spring break crowds descended on Universal Orlando last week. (Photos by Seth Kubersky)

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