Crowd calendar is not matching my experience

I was so excited for a 9/11-9/14 trip from Seattle to attend Oogie Boogie Bash and have a few days where crowd predictions topped out at a 3. Wow, if those were 1-3 crowds I guess I better never go more than a 1. Maybe Covid has impacted my ability to handle people in my personal space but I was super uncomfortable with the packed sidewalks, streets, pathways, and spaces throughout the entire park. We had trouble finding places to sit and tables free to eat at. Am I crazy or is wait time not always a great crowd metric?

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It depends but not always. During a festival at Epcot for instance, World Showcase could be packed but wait times short in Futureworld.

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Crowd level is sort of a misnomer for this particular product, I agree. But since helping you to wait less is what Touringplans is about, it is the best metric for this product.

I have long thought though that it should be called something else here. What that is, I couldn’t say. And there’s also the issue of having it be called something that folks can sort of comprehend the meaning of.

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Crowd Levels have never matched my experience in either park. I went to DLR in September too four years ago and we were also supposed to see CL1 crowds and it was anything but that. Same thing this Labor Day weekend at WDW, crowds were 3 or 4 times above CL1. I suggest you ask TP for a refund, that’s I do and they always accommodate me. Crowd calendar has never worked for me.

There’s some contrived explanation somewhere about how CLs are derived but it isn’t of much help.

Curious: what keeps you coming back, if you’re dissatisfied with the crowd level portion of the product. In other words, what is TP doing well that prevents you from abandoning ship altogether?

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I don’t need a refund as I’ve used the site for more than crowd predictions. I have been a member for years and this is actually the first time I have found the big mismatch. I wonder if the long closure means it will be years before there is a way to more accurately predict crowd trends.

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Yeah, fair point.

I’m curious what you think CL1 looks like?

TPs tracks their prediction and actual and they reported actual of CL1 on Labor Day (they predicted an overall 2, 1 at some parks)

https://touringplans.com/walt-disney-world/crowd-calendar/date/2021-09-06

CL1 doesn’t mean no crowds and no waits, it’s basically the slowest WDW gets…which is not very slow.

I remember seeing all over Disney Twitter that day that the parks were dead, as well, which corroborates the CL1.

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I was in Disneyland, sorry. Should have said. To me low crowds means there is not a literal sea of people in every direction. That I can walk through stores, down walkways, etc. without stopping every 10 feet to avoid either bumping in to someone or being bumped in to by someone. It means I can find a bench to sit on or a table to eat at without having to birddog or hover endlessly

The forum (not the website) provides a good balance of what’s happening in the parks so instead of having to read hundreds of blogs I can just hop in a month or so before my trip and see what has changed.

The people here are has some very ingenious ways to abuse the system so I also pay attention to that. If it hadn’t been for Joel’s absolutely excellent hack for RotR, we probably wouldn’t have experienced it. That’s why I keep coming back.

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Good to hear you find a lot of what is helpful right here in forum! :smiley:

Labor Day weekend (Sep 4 and 5) at WDW was not CL1. I not longer have access to double check but I remember they did admit CL3 or CL4.

Since you asked, how does a CL1 looks like? Well, I can tell you how it DOESN’T look like.

  • Waiting 35 minutes for a table BOG despite having an ADR is not CL1.
  • Waits times of over 70 minutes for Jungle Cruise is not CL1.
  • Camping 120 minutes for HEA is not CL1.
  • Refreshing the app and showing an expected wait time of 15 minutes for 7DMT at RD and then having to circle all the way back to little mermaid just to get in line is not CL1.

So yeah, no really CL1.

Look, we don’t help TP if we just coddle them all the time. We must call them out harshly when they screw up and constantly insisting that Labor Day has little impact on crowds is just false. As a local, I’ve never seen that.

If we really want TP to beat Genie then we must help them to up their game. So next time someone says a CL didn’t feel like it how about if instead we say “Hey, Steve, we know forecasting is hard but your model is falling behind, how about some fine tuning?”

But they post every day what the actual crowd level was and how it compared to their prediction. So there’s no coddling necessary - they know when they got it wrong and when they got it right.

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I agree that feedback and tuning is necessary. I also think that often expectations of what a CL looks like and the actual definition of a TP CL are very different, which may or may not be the case with your specific experience. It sounds like you had a very frustrating day.

I suspect a long ADR wait has more to to with restaurant operations than CL.

Wait times build extremely rapidly at RD, especially at SDMT. On the forum there’s been extensive conversations about RD and wait times, especially with the parks opening earlier than posted times. RD front of the pack is very different than RD walking up to entrance at actual park open (I’m not saying this is what you did). It’s a bit of a gamble because it can be tough to gauge where you and your family are in that spectrum (aka how much of the RD crowd is ahead of you).

I looked at MK 9/5. They predicted a CL2 and observed a CL3. I know you don’t have access anymore, but those that do can look at the detail for each ride that day and see what they predicted throughout the day and what was observed. Jungle Cruise happened to be one of the rides that was the most off. Average wait predicted was 42 minutes, observed was 59. Overall, the measured wait times were pretty on track with their predictions, except for one outlier that saw the wait climb to 70 minutes (maybe that measured wait time was you?).

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I agree with this for the most part, but I’m not sure how that could be rolled into a data driven product. What you’re describing is more of a “feel”, not the ride wait times that the crowd calendar is based on.

Short of Disney sharing their park reservation numbers, I don’t see a fix for this. I think the crowd calendars are pretty accurate for WDW, but Disneyland is a different beast due to the large number of locals. This results in a larger percentage of guests who want to be in the park but don’t necessarily prioritize going on a bunch of rides. The lines might be short but the park could still feel congested. Especially when locals are mostly milling about getting food while waiting for a parade or fireworks (or party in your case).

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