Looking Over the November 2012 WDW Crowd Calendar

by on November 3, 2012 10 Comments

Filed under: Crowd Blog, Trip Planning

November is a fun month at Walt Disney World, even if we are a little late with this post.  Here’s a quick view of Walt Disney World’s November 2012 Crowd Calendar.

And here are a few specific days that I would like to bring to your attention:

  • November 6, 2012 is a strange day for us here at Touring Plans. Along with November 7, 8, 13, 14, and 17, the operating hours at the Magic Kingdom were recently extended to 8am through 1am. The reason appears to be due to the Annual Passholder previews of New Fantasyland, but it leaves us in a bit of a pickle as far as crowd ratings are concerned. As Master Statistician Fred Hazleton addresses on our blog, we at Touring Plans have chosen to be conservating in our ratings, so you will notice higher ratings for those days.
  • November 9, 2012:  This is the day that starts many of the holiday festivities. This is the first Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, which will also be held on November 12, 15, 16, 25, 27, 29, and 30. Advance-purchased tickets range from $58-65 for adults and $54-60 for children ages 3-9, plus tax. Same-day tickets range are $65 and $60, plus tax (purchase Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party tickets here). The Magic Kingdom closes at 7 pm these nights, which has its good and bad points. The bad is obviously that you have less touring time. The good is that many people stay away due to the shortened park hours. Since many do avoid the park on those days, we expect the Magic Kingdom to have very low crowds on all of the party days.
  • November 9, 2012:  The date so nice we mentioned it twice! This is also day of the first lighting of the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. This daily extravaganza can make the area around Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ Streets of America very congested.
  • November 10, 2012 is the day of the Wine & Dine Half Marathon, which is a popular event ending at Epcot. This weekend also includes the Veteran’s Day holiday and is the final weekend of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Expect all of this to bring some extra people to the resort.
  • November 17, 2012 is the start of Thanksgiving week, which is one of the busier weeks of the year. Make sure you arrive early and use your Touring Plan!

As a reminder, here’s how to interpret the crowd calendar:

  • Crowds are rated on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 indicating the highest crowds.
  • The crowd rating is based on attraction wait times, not the number of people in any given park.
  • Ratings are generally comparable with previous years, so if you visited Disney World in 2010 on an “8” day you can expect an “8” day in 2012 to be similarly crowded.
  • Ratings are not comparable from park to park. A “6” at the Magic Kingdom is not necessarily comparable to a “6” at the Animal Kingdom.  Why?  The Animal Kingdom has fewer rides and shows than the Magic Kingdom, handling different numbers of people per hour.  The number of people that make the Magic Kingdom a ‘6’ would overwhelm the Animal Kingdom’s rides.
  • Some rides, such as Soarin’ and Peter Pan’s Flight will still have a wait of around 60 and 30 minutes respectively, even on the crowd calendar’s “1”-rated days.  A “1” simply means that it is one of the least busy days, relative to all other days.

If you are fortunate enough to be traveling on a day with low crowds…enjoy! If you find yourself going on a day that has a higher crowd rating…you have no worries, either! Why, you ask? As a TouringPlans.com subscriber you have access to thousands of Touring Plans (which are now optimizable) and our Lines mobile application which will guide you through the parks and keep you from waiting in long lines. Arriving at park opening and following a Touring Plan is the best way to totally negate the crowds.

Hopefully this shed some light on our Crowd Calendar ratings. Feel free to ask questions!


Posted on November 3, 2012

10 Responses to “Looking Over the November 2012 WDW Crowd Calendar”

  • On touringplans site Epcot is a worst park on sat 11/24. I am trying to determine why. All the parks are showing high crowd levels that day. I figured Epcot would be a good choice due to the large size of the park. Wouldn’t it handle the large crowds better than the others?

  • Would you please keep us updated on your blog as to how the Fantasyland preview dates in November are going. Would like to know if Magic Kingdom is indeed packed on those dates.

    • by Andrew Drummond on November 6, 2012, at 1:24 pm EST


      If you check out Lines today, you can see the waits are not bad at all.

      Around 12:30PM both Buzz and Haunted Mansion were reported as walk-ons.

      Space Mountain had a 7 minute wait at 11AM.

      If this continues, it will be no problem at all on those days.

  • by Andrew Drummond on November 5, 2012, at 10:13 am EST

    Do you have any data (anecdotal or otherwise) on how busy the Food and Wine booths will be on the last day? (Nov. 12)

    Will there still be holdovers from the marathon?

  • I just want to add that I love the calendar view above (in addition to the current crowd calendars). It is a great way to see the month as a whole. This is an easy way to compare week to week or month to month when planning a trip. =)

  • by Dianne McCaulla on November 7, 2012, at 8:49 am EST

    We planned our November WDW trip SOLELY based on the per-park crowd levels you showed in May… all 1’s, 2’s and 3’s. We decided it was worth it to take our child out of school in order to go when the crowds would be at their lowest, we carefully planned which parks to visit on which day, we scheduled in-park character meals accordingly, and even purchased tickets to the MVMCP event – all based on the statistics from touringplans.com!!! We even looked back at the historical numbers just to be sure. Now that it’s almost time to go, our days have jumped up to a 9!!! I can understand a small increase, but not this significant of a change. Who can I talk to about this? I AM NOT HAPPY AT ALL!!!

    • by Brian McNichols on November 7, 2012, at 8:58 am EST

      I am very sorry that our numbers changed so drastically, but I have some good news for you Dianne. First let me explain what happened, the park hours for the Magic Kingdom were changed, and the change was unprecedented. That is why a) our historical numbers are less helpful and b) we chose to err on the side of caution.

      Now the good news. Yesterday, November 7, was the first of these extended hour weekdays and, at first glance, it appears we were too conservative. I watched the wait times throughout the day and they appeared to be relatively low. We are all hoping that we chose the wrong conclusion and that these days will continue to be the low crowd days that we initially forecasted.

      I would be happy to share any extra advice or explanation. You can email me directly at Brian@TouringPlans.com

  • We were going to avoid the parks yesterday and go to downtown disney and hang out at the hotel, but noticed that despite a 8.8/10 at Magic Kingdom, wait times were short. Went over to park, to find lines non existent. Literally, and I mean literally, twice walked onto Space Mountain with NO ONE in line ahead of us. Kinda upset we didn’t go over till afternoon because of the extreme high crowd estimate. What happened?

  • I was in the same boat. Angry and freaked out about the jump from 1’s and 2’s to 8’s and 9s. We went to MK yesterday and it was a BREEZE! Wait times were the lowest in a long time. Crowds in the park were more conjested then we would like. But it was fantastic. Not anywhere near a 8 or 9. Don’t worry!
    Epcot and HS were more crowded in the aisles, but not on the rides. Typcial waits for Toy Story mania and such. But other stuff was easy!

  • I am booking ADRs for my March 9-17th trip and am trying to figure out why the Studios is so crowded, 9.4 – 9.8 that entire week. Other parks have days in the 7s, 8s and 9s so I can plan accordingly.

    What is going on at Hollywood Studios that week?

    Also, is there a difference significant enough to make it worthwhile to switch my plans from the studios on a 9.8 day to a 9.5?

    any advice welcome!