Crowd Calendars

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Belle1082
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Crowd Calendars

Post by Belle1082 » Oct Mon 31, 2016 11:09 am

I hope this wasn't covered in another thread, but I searched and couldn't find anything...

...anyone have any preferences for what they use for a Crowd Calendar? Any idea which ones have been the most accurate for your trips?
I'm making final changes on our schedule (we leave on Saturday!!!) and i'm getting pretty conflicting information from the two sites I usually go to ---
TouringPlans.com & Undercovertourist.com

Anyone have any input on either?!?

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Re: Crowd Calendars

Post by Wizzard419 » Oct Mon 31, 2016 2:52 pm

Not sure about those sites (always seems iffy since they have to use unverified info and I think they are charging for access), but it used to be that the operating hours for the parks would give you a good idea of how large a crowd they expect that day.

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Re: Crowd Calendars

Post by Amy » Oct Mon 31, 2016 7:25 pm

I don't use either site. A good rule of thumb is that whatever park has the EMH for resort guests is likely to be the busiest, at least in the morning hours. I don't know if it makes a big difference in the evening since some people have already left by then. I always planned ahead, but when we got there and I checked the shows, especially the nighttime offerings, like parades, fireworks, we usually ended up in a different park than I had planned. It's good to have a plan, but also good if you are flexible. Especially if you have park hoppers :D
Have a safe trip and a great time!

cy1229
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Re: Crowd Calendars

Post by cy1229 » Nov Tue 01, 2016 11:28 am

I've used TouringPlans.com for my last three trips - 2012 to WDW and 2015 and 2016 to DLR. They use a rating system, with 1 being virtually empty and 10 being OMG. (That might be my own paraphrase.) Then, people who are in the park rate the crowds, and they compare those ratings to their predicted crowd levels. They've been pretty accurate with the algorithms and such that they use, but what I consider a 10 and what you consider a 10 might be very different.

Having said THAT, I've never used the other site you listed, so I can't compare. I CAN tell you that the expected crowd levels and the actual user-rated crowd levels have been pretty accurate. But again, it's a limited number of guests doing the rating. If they had a kiosk set up where they would poll everybody with a "how crowded would you say this park is right now" kind of thing it would be the best metric. But I doubt Disney would allow that. In fact, I'll say they would never allow that. :lol: When I used TouringPlans app, I felt like I had a pretty good handle on what to expect.

In general, rumor has it that crowd levels are pretty good in early November, and that as November and December progress the crowds get worse until they're beyond OMG levels between Christmas and New Year's. Exception to that might be the week after Thanksgiving being much better than the week of Thanksgiving.

Was that helpful at all?

As far as the cost, Wizz, it's only $13 for an entire year (for one park). So, like, nothing. :lol: 8-)
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Re: Crowd Calendars

Post by Wizzard419 » Nov Tue 01, 2016 3:10 pm

Yeah, but that is most of the cost of a cocktail, so I would rather have the drink. :D

Anyway, I am almost positive their algorithm is based on park hours and special events with an overlay of time of year rather than being an accurate picture.

At the same time, they could throw out a random number, since you don't have the ability to see the entire crowd at once you simply go "Yeah, that sounds about right".

Pretty much, they are worthless metrics for the average guest. They often have a fixed window for when they are able to go, which is why there is the busy season. If you have the flexibility to go when it is dead, then you don't the site for that. Even then, you may not want to do it since they scale back attractions and shows during the slow times.

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Re: Crowd Calendars

Post by Amy » Nov Tue 01, 2016 6:03 pm

cy1229 wrote:...In general, rumor has it that crowd levels are pretty good in early November, and that as November and December progress the crowds get worse until they're beyond OMG levels between Christmas and New Year's. Exception to that might be the week after Thanksgiving being much better than the week of Thanksgiving....
Yes and no. I have a higher crowd tolerance when I am at Disney than I do in my normal everyday life, because, well, I'm at Disney. Up to about 15 years ago, November was one of the best times to go to WDW, and especially the weeks between Thanksgiving and the last couple weeks of December. You could go and nothing would be over a 10 minute wait, unless you hit Fantasyland about mid-morning, but even then you might wait 20 minutes or so for Dumbo, Peter Pan, etc. On our last few trips though, with the addition of the marathon runs, food events, and other off-site things coming in like Pop Warner football and cheerleading, there isn't a non-busy time in my opinion. Granted, it won't be as bad as it would be in the height of tourist season ~ the summer months come to mind ~ but there just isn't a "swing a cat without hitting another guest" sort of time frame anymore :( But that is also the good news because if the parks were dead, they might feel the need to cut back even more than they do already.

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Re: Crowd Calendars

Post by cy1229 » Nov Tue 01, 2016 8:20 pm

Wizzard419 wrote:Yeah, but that is most of the cost of a cocktail, so I would rather have the drink. :D


Me too! :lol: :lol: :lol:
Wizzard419 wrote:...Pretty much, they are worthless metrics for the average guest. They often have a fixed window for when they are able to go, which is why there is the busy season. If you have the flexibility to go when it is dead, then you don't the site for that. Even then, you may not want to do it since they scale back attractions and shows during the slow times.
I did find the app useful for a touring plan. I was dubious at first but it proved its worth. And wait times were more accurate.

Crowd calendars are kind of moot if you're bound to a certain time, as you say.

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Re: Crowd Calendars

Post by Wizzard419 » Nov Tue 01, 2016 8:46 pm

How did it compare against the free apps?

Also, how is the data populated to the app? If it is user submission then that is a problem.

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Re: Crowd Calendars

Post by Amy » Nov Wed 02, 2016 8:21 am

cy1229 wrote:Amy, stay away from my cat...
:lol: :lol: :lol: I wouldn't really do it :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: Crowd Calendars

Post by cy1229 » Nov Wed 02, 2016 1:49 pm

Wizzard419 wrote:How did it compare against the free apps?

Also, how is the data populated to the app? If it is user submission then that is a problem.
The wait times are user populated. But they also were more accurate. The app has a timer built in. Start it when you first get in line, stop it right when you exit. Works for most of the rides except the ones deeply entrenched like Space Mountain and ToT.
Polynesian 1980
All-Star Movies 2001
Pop Century 2008
Saratoga Springs 2010
Bay Lake Tower 2012
Hyatt Place Anaheim Resort/Convention Center 2015
Marriott Anaheim Suites 2016

cy1229
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Re: Crowd Calendars

Post by cy1229 » Nov Wed 02, 2016 1:49 pm

Amy wrote:
cy1229 wrote:Amy, stay away from my cat...
:lol: :lol: :lol: I wouldn't really do it :lol: :lol: :lol:
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Polynesian 1980
All-Star Movies 2001
Pop Century 2008
Saratoga Springs 2010
Bay Lake Tower 2012
Hyatt Place Anaheim Resort/Convention Center 2015
Marriott Anaheim Suites 2016

Wizzard419
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Re: Crowd Calendars

Post by Wizzard419 » Nov Wed 02, 2016 8:45 pm

cy1229 wrote:
Wizzard419 wrote:How did it compare against the free apps?

Also, how is the data populated to the app? If it is user submission then that is a problem.
The wait times are user populated. But they also were more accurate. The app has a timer built in. Start it when you first get in line, stop it right when you exit. Works for most of the rides except the ones deeply entrenched like Space Mountain and ToT.
Just like the free apps... so that is a hard pass.

Belle1082
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Re: Crowd Calendars

Post by Belle1082 » Nov Thu 03, 2016 1:21 pm

Thanks all for the input!

I am always a little weary of the apps, especially Touring Plans, because I know that they base their stats on historical data. So for instance, one year, one day could have a certain event, etc so it would be a busier day, but then the next year on that date doesn't have the same event, therefore the numbers seem a little screwy.

For example, this weekend is the Food & Wine Marathon and Touring Plans says that EPCOT's crowd level is 4 out of 10. And from my understanding, don't they do big events at EPCOT on that Saturday night? I can't imagine crowd levels would be only 4 out of 10 on a day/night like that.

In any case, I'm sure we will be fine as I think this is an OK time to go. My bigger concern about crowd levels is the fact that I'm currently 7 months pregnant, so my time and energy (especially having a 2 year old son!) is limited! Just want to make the most of our vacation and my time!

Thanks all!

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Re: Crowd Calendars

Post by Amy » Nov Thu 03, 2016 1:47 pm

Belle1082 wrote:Thanks all for the input!

I am always a little weary of the apps, especially Touring Plans, because I know that they base their stats on historical data. So for instance, one year, one day could have a certain event, etc so it would be a busier day, but then the next year on that date doesn't have the same event, therefore the numbers seem a little screwy.

For example, this weekend is the Food & Wine Marathon and Touring Plans says that EPCOT's crowd level is 4 out of 10. And from my understanding, don't they do big events at EPCOT on that Saturday night? I can't imagine crowd levels would be only 4 out of 10 on a day/night like that.

In any case, I'm sure we will be fine as I think this is an OK time to go. My bigger concern about crowd levels is the fact that I'm currently 7 months pregnant, so my time and energy (especially having a 2 year old son!) is limited! Just want to make the most of our vacation and my time!

Thanks all!
That estimate does sound low for the Food & Wine Marathon weekend!
Good luck on your energy levels! Will your 2 year need a nap back in the hotel in the afternoon? Or will he be good just napping in the stroller? Might be a good idea for you to have a nap too if you can. I'm always too excited to sleep, even if my crabbiness levels really do indicate I need a nap ;) :lol:

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Re: Crowd Calendars

Post by Wizzard419 » Nov Thu 03, 2016 3:04 pm

Wow... so perhaps they aren't even using an algorithm for time and events, it might simply be by date. Which then gets back to the inability to get the high level view, so you probably just agree with whatever you see.

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