Crowd Calendar Jan. 21-22

About 4-6 weeks ago we booked a trip for Jan. 20-23 based on the crowd calendar. We also grabbed a great hotel rate at the Paradise Pier which I took as confirmation that the crowds would be relatively light (as compared to all of our other trips which have been at Christmas time). Then, the announcement of the return of the Electrical Parade was made and our hotel, as well as The Disneyland Hotel, sold out.

The crowd calendar hasn’t changed. Will or should it? I need to make our touring plans and am concerned that my plans will be way off. I welcome all opinions, suggestions, insight, and advice!

I have the same question. We are going Jan 19-21. Although we’ve been to WDW many times, It’s our first DL trip.

Do I trust the crowd calendar or not??

No. The crowd calendar has been off since May 2015 when the 60th celebration started. They are aware but haven’t done much to fix it. The crowds came with the 60th, and haven’t left as far as I can tell. With MSEP starting that weekend, expect huge crowds. The lines won’t be terrible in the mornings, but there will be tons and tons of locals there for the MSEP. You can tell which days will be really busy at DL in January- they are the days when the park is open long hours and EMH is at 7am instead of 8 or 9 am like it is most of the time. So Saturday 1/21 EMH is at 7am. That day will be very busy. Friday 1/20, the first regularly scheduled night of MSEP, will be crazy with locals. People will be saving their spots for the parades very early in the day. None of the annual passes are blocked on Friday, so the lucky locals who can get the cheaper passes will be there for date night. All the locals with the deluxe and signature passes will be there Saturday and Sunday (if not Friday). That being said, it is Disneyland and it is always great for us no matter how busy or slow. Having a great plan and hitting the parks early (yes, even that 7am EMH) will allow you to see everything. Go and have fun! If I wasn’t going to WDW on 1/25, I would be going that weekend too to welcome the MSEP back home!

I sent an email to the webmaster earlier today about this issue.

I’m going to go ahead and make my touring plan and hope for the best.

I have any example today as to how the crowd calendar is off. Today they predicted a 6 in Disneyland park. However, the park closed to capacity today. It did not close to capacity at all over the typical Christmas and New Years holiday. Some might think, well it is a random Wednesday in January, they couldn’t have known. But a few things tell me that a 10 level could have been predicted. Today was the first day since the middle of December that all AP blocks were lifted. Also many schools are still out and don’t return until Monday. Those 2 things together tell me there will be huge crowds, however TP doesn’t seem to take these things into account. I know TP looks at historical data, and this pattern may not have been evident last year as this year is the first time they have blocked almost all passes. But someone should be looking at all these details and adjust based on different circumstances each day (like the premier of the MSEP, for example). There just doesn’t seem to be anyone doing that. The crowd calendar seems to work much better in WDW, maybe because there is a much higher tourist percentage as compared with so many AP’s at DL.
My point is, don’t put much stock in the crowd level number, it will just make you mad when the numbers are far off from reality. Just go when you are able and have a really good plan. Have fun!

Long story short… My wife is going out there for a business trip. She works Tue, Wed, Thur.

So my son and I are flying out Wednesday afternoon as soon as he gets out of school. We’ll land at Santa Ana airport at 9:30pm local time. While he and I are going to the parks Thursday while my wife works, I don’t think we’ll be able to get up early enough to be at the park when it opens. I think we’ll probably get there closer to 10am.

We did get tickets for the MSEP after hours event, and my wife will be joining us for that. Hopefully that will allow us to see the parade and get some of the more popular rides done, that might have had long lines during the day. However being out that late, I think will mean we can’t get up and get to the park early Friday Morning either. We also booked a WoC desert party one night so we can sit while watching that, and not worry as much about wasting time trying to get there early enough to get a good viewing spot, and standing there until it starts.

I am making personal plans for each day with the rides we want to do. I expect some park hopping due to our dining reservations, so I’m making AM/PM plans for each day.

With the crowd predictors not being accurate, will that impact our touring plans much?

Big crowds at WDW I can handle, we’ve been there enough, I know the parks well, and we’ll go back again, so its less stressful. This trip, I’m nervous. Its our first, and likely only, Disneyland trip. Not being familiar with the parks, I’m worried that bigger crowds might impact our ability to ride and see the things we want, and that we’d fell disappointed on our way home.

I received a response to my email. Here’s the reply:

We don’t expect the crowds during the day will be affected by the return of the Electrical Parade. Disney is starting the parade in late January because of the low crowds. Locals will likely fill the parade route in the evening. Hotels being fully booked is typical and not a good indicator of the the crowd level.

I hope he’s right! @mmarzano, I think that since you have tickets for the special MSEP event and the WoC party, you’ll be in good shape, despite missing the early morning hours. I also think that your attendance on week days vs. the weekend is a plus.

Have fun!

Well, the rain and threat of rain helped. The parks weren’t too crowded. I can’t say if the CL was right on, or off, as I have nothing to compare it too… But we got on everything we wanted to, a few rides we rode more than once.

We had a great time!!

Yeah, we found the crowds to be manageable and we did most of what he wanted to do. Saturday was great, but the monsoon on Sunday was a major bummer (I know I’m exaggerating, but it was sooooo rainy!). I’ve never been in the park when they’ve announced that it will be closing earlier than is posted, so this was a first, and it certainly did impact our touring. CA closed 3 hours earlier than we expected and DL closed 4 hours earlier. Many attractions in CA were closed and if we hadn’t enjoyed the early hour there, I would have been really upset. I suspect a lot of people lodged complaints. We had a good time despite the storm.

Just got back from a trip. 1/20 - 1/24.

Monday there was some rain. CC predicted 2 and that is what happened.
Tue - Fri were predicted to be 2’s and 3’s. They ended up being 6-10. The touring plans were absolutely useless Wait times on most of the big rides were rarely below 40 min.

This trip was busier than the last trip we took in the summer.

Needless to say we were extremely disappointed as we prefer an empty park w/ shorter hours. What we got was a full park w/ shorter hours.

Only thing I can guess is the combination of the parade and the Lunar new year stuff in CA were the culprits.

We asked the CA trolley conductor about closing early. He said there were more employees in the park than guests, so it made economic sense to close it down early.

My wife and I were both suprised at this admission.

We were staying in the PP hotel w/ CA view during the rainstorm. Hadn’t used our tickets yet thank goodness. But we saw 3 fire trucks over at the Little Mermaid ride right after closing the park. Ride was up and running the next day though.