Our crowd calendar update for the month of December is on hold while we work out some internal issues with our wait time forecasts. Rest assured, our current calendar is valid and we expect our error rates to be within normal ranges. We want to take more time to find the hamster that has fallen off the wheel before updating the numbers.
If published, our latest refresh of wait time forecasts would have pushed many crowd levels downward on our scale. We can’t find a good reason to validate these dips so we are holding off for now. It wouldn’t be the first time if our models proved to be smarter than we are, but we want to make sure.
There is a lot that is new since our last update and any one of these factors could be impacting our forecasts.
- Disney After Hours Events. Although these events don’t impact regular park hours or Extra Magic Hour schedules, their existence makes 2019 look different than years past. Different park conditions can mean different crowds.
- Date-based ticket pricing. This is new as well and may be impacting the crowds.
- Shortened Park Hours. On some dates we have seen shorter park hours than similar dates in the past. Historically, the park hours are a good proxy for crowd level but when the pattern changes, it can lead to misleading forecasts. We are fairly certain this is a not a main cause however. We tested out new forecasts that used previous years park hours and did not see a significant difference.
- Some of the software we use was updated recently. Any debugger knows this can cause strange results in a production environment.
Watch for our update to 2019 Crowd Calendar numbers in early January. Next year will be an interesting one for Walt Disney World and Disneyland as the two resorts welcome the most anticipated new attractions since Avatar and Carsland, respectively.