Crowd Calendars and Wait Times

I was there yesterday for a “1”. Ha, not!

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Covid-19 messed up everything - including Disney Parks. :confused:

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This whole thing is odd to me and it might be time to evaluate if those school districts included are representative of the country. Cant understand how the model would give a 1 to Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples Day holiday weekend. It has become the defacto fall break date for most schools and i have been to WDW a couple of times on this weekend the past several years and while not 7+ the crowds have never been anywhere close to less than 3 in my real life wait time experience. Plus, i don’t know if any of you did any travelling this past weekend (I did) and the airports were SLAMMED with kids on fall break. Really don’t get where a 1 came from in the model to begin with.

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I’m not sure how that explains today though. You’d think it would normalize since it’s not full weeks off.

Good point. I was stunned to see so much travel going on though. Maybe all those southwest flights out of Orlando got cancelled again and everyone said screw it lets go back to the parks. Kidding…not kidding.

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This has supposedly been the most crowded week in HS this entire year, in terms of posted wait times. Fascinating.

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Realizing the HS spike is probably motivated by people trying to sneak in RotR between VQ and genie+

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“We are reverting our crowd predictions after having a week of higher crowds this week”

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I wonder how much of the crowds were people rushing over before the Genie kicks in…

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This was a fascinating article! One of my favorites they’ve done in recent times.

What a lot of people forget about forecasting is that things change. Even Disney had no way of predicting that the Delta variant would scare away guests in August, or that the first week of the 50th Anniversary would be dead (then suddenly everyone would show up in mid-October). And of course, earlier in the year it was volatile with the vaccine rollout, removal (and later reinstatement) of mask requirements, and park capacity restraints.

Prediction is a tough business! TP does pretty well with the constraints they operate under. But people shouldn’t expect them to always be right. The world isn’t that orderly.

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I really enjoyed that article and it gave me some things to think about regarding ticket pricing. I think I was looking at it wrong initially.

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I specifically remember that comment in that previous blog mentioned at the beginning of this article!

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Hmm. I read the article…and while a fun exercise, perhaps…it seems quite meaningless in any practical sense. With all the number manipulations and massaging of data to get things in line, and then constant changes in predictions along the way…well…not sure I can glean anything useful from any of it. The whole thing was set up as a means to try to convince people to use TP, basically? Disney never uses their pricing as a means to predict crowds. It is a means to CONTROL crowds. It is an apples and oranges comparison.

I suppose the idea is that Disney expects larger crowds, and therefore wants to distribute some of those crowds to other weeks with less attendance, and therefore it kind of becomes a way to predict crowds? Only, there are other factors as play (as mentioned in the article). Disney, for example, might be able to staff better on weekends, and therefore better accommodate larger crowds…but also charge more on weekends not only to dissuade, but to drive up profits during those time periods.

When you used the phrase CONTROL crowds, I think a better way of putting it might have been TAKE ADVANTAGE of crowds. That phrase seems to fit the current Disney company much better in my book. In other words, the crowds are coming at these times (to some extent no matter what we do) so let’s make them pay for it.

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I’m not sure I’d be quite so harsh. The fact is, Disney is there to make money, first and foremost, and so charging the most when most people want to go is smart business. BUT, it also allows them to raise prices to a point that they hope to move some of those people to other days/weeks when crowds are lower. This reduces strain on their resources.

I think the benefit of the article is 1) giving some context for why the crowd level TP predicted didn’t match the crowd level you observed when you arrived on your trip (as they said in the article, "an educated consumer is our best friend’). And 2) as an exercise for TP themselves to improve their predictions and processes and be transparent with users.

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This update covers dates between February 22, 2022 and December 31, 2023

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Finally an update!

"We are consistently underpredicting crowd levels at Hollywood Studios so you can expect to see some increases on this update."

"This update includes changes to the calendar between August 15, 2022 and December 31, 2023 (even though only one year of forecasts are visible at a time)."

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