Crowd Calendar Updates and Unrealistic Low Levels

OK - so we are going to WDW on the first week of April (4/1-4/6 in parks) which is Easter Sunday and primary school spring break week in good portions of the South. We knew this was going to be busy and crazy and we love that a TP could help us. Basically it was almost straight 10 and 9s all week when we booked in January…yet since then the Crowd Calendar has been revised twice and both times it has taken the expected crowds way way down (A 6 ON EASTER SUNDAY AT MAGIC KINGDOM!!!) - I don’t get it? Besides algorithms and coding, can someone please explain to me how Easter Sunday which coincides with Spring break week will only be a 6 at MK? This is getting my hopes up way way too high.

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I’m curious about this myself. Crowds have been mostly under-predicted this week, more than once by a factor of three. We arrived at Animal Kingdom by bus yesterday around 11:30 am. Predicted crowd was five. The first thing we saw was a long line of people coming in from the parking lot. Never saw an end to the line. It looked like Moses was leading the Israelites out of the parking lot to the promised land. AK crowd level was 10 when all was said and done.

I’ve made a habit out of not getting anywhere near a park when it was that high, so I’m curious to know how reliable the April crowd level predictions are likely to be.


Yeah, things do look a little strange. We are going in May, and our crowd level on our day at HS is now a 1. But, when I re-evaluated the touring plan I tentatively have our wait time increased by 30 minutes from when the crowd level was a 5. Now, maybe it has something to do with the opening date of Toy Story Land, but it just seems pretty weird.

It’s my understanding that Disney is really starting to react to certain crowd levels. During lower “crowd levels” (I use quotes for a reason) they are staffing less and running at lower capacity. Which means that the lines are longer.

Touring Plans measures “crowd levels” as “wait times” because wait times are accessible objective data and crowd levels are not. I realize that this is a little bit of a misnomer and can be confusing.

So as far as Easter Sunday goes, the parks may have many more guests, but if Disney has maximum amounts of staff working and ride vehicles running, then the lines will actually be shorter. Hence the Touring Plans “Crowd Levels” might be lower than expected.

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I’m struggling with believing my touring plan, also! My trip is the week before Easter. My plans have very low wait times for most attractions? When I compare the wait times to what is currently happening in the park, the waits are MUCH LONGER now than what my plan suggests it will be during the highest crowds of spring break? Now I’m not sure how to plan? Should I trust my tp and assume I can get done most of the things I want and make ADR’s for the late afternoon/evening? Or will I end up having to stay most of the days all day long in the park to get done what I want? This is so FRUSTRATING!

Okay, I have to say, this crowd situation is frustrating, but I literally laughed out loud at this. Thanks for the humor!


I agree with @melcort10, busier times do mean more staff, every track running and longer opening hours. But Easter Sunday only being CL6 does seem unlikely. I would pad your TP with a couple of rides/shows that you’ll be happy to skip if you’re falling behind.

@len can you comment? I’ve seen my crowd levels go down for the week of 4/15 to mostly 4s and 5s.

Guys all bets are off with ALL crowd levels and crowd calendars because of AK’s Flight of Passage. It just came out last year. Word has gotten out about how good it is and now everyone in the entire natural world is coming to DW to see it.

And you can’t just say “well that’s for Animal Kingdom, not for other parks”…Noooooooooope. It affects everything! All the other parks, the ADR’s, the FP’s, everything is affected by ONE attraction being that good. It’s more people in DW in total!

Flight of Passage has changed people’s lives. And it’s only the beginning. Wait until Toy Story Land and Star Wars Land comes out. You wanna see crowds? You haven’t seen nothing yet.

I’ll ask the stats guys to comment on this in detail. Traveling right now.

Easter Sunday 2017 was a ‘5’ at the Magic Kingdom. In 2016 it was a 7. You can look up any date in the past using a URL format like this one..


I am going this week too and am surprised that Easter at MK is a 6. I havent been to WDW since I was 8 or 9 years old myself (in the early 90’s). Since I haven’t been in so long it’s hard for me to understand what the CL numbers are really like.

As best as I can figure a 10 day is probably like the day I went to Fright fest at Six Flags and you could barely even walk the paths were so full! Many rides had lines so long I didn’t even know where they began!

So did I! :smile:

From ur bytes to Mickeys ears Len…here’s hoping for a 6 at MK on Easter

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we are going what i thought was peak season, expecting levels 8/9 but they have all been downgraded some twice, we are as low as a 5 now on some parks for end of july early august

Yeah, I was going to post about this too. Our crowd levels for late June keep going down. We are going the week BEFORE Toy Story Land opens.

Also recall that the 1-to-10 scale is changing slightly. For now this will tend to show lower numbers for the same (previous) wait times.

For example, a ‘1’ day will be among the lowest waits we’ve seen in the past year, not in the past several years.

I would have thought that too, but our waits have gone up on our HS day which went from a 5 to a 1 on May 15th. That really surprised me.

I loved it to, as I could picture the move “The Ten Commandments”. Love it.

It would be nice if that were true, but it wasn’t the case last week. There seemed to be fewer cast members last week at 8 to 10 levels than I have seen previously at 5 to 7 levels or lower. That’s everywhere, not just the rides. The ride cast seemed to be bearing the brunt of it, however. A lot of them seemed pretty stressed out and frustrated. I couldn’t help but feel bad for them.

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I’m wondering if it was a combo effect. Disney cut back staff because it’s usually not busy, and then ended up being a lot busier than planned - perfect storm.