Crowd Calendars variation and planning park days for ADRs

OK smart people… my head is spinning! :woozy_face: My ADR date is a little over a month away. I put together a schedule that I was pretty happy with, basing it primarily on the TP CL predictions, and to some extent on avoiding parks when they have (predicted) morning EMH (we are NOT hopping).

Then, I discovered that UT also has a CL calendar, and the predictions there vary WIDELY from the TP predictions. Some days, the park that UT says is the best, TP says is the 3rd or 4th best. :roll_eyes: So I put together a Plan B, prioritizing the UT crowd predictions.

The # following the park is the TP predicted CL; the letter following the number reflects the UT CL (green, yellow or red) for that day.

Thu 1/2 travel + AK10Y travel + EP10G
Fri 1/3 HS10Y AK10G
Sat 1/4 EP10Y MK10G/HoopDD
Sun 1/5 MK6R (EMM$?) Universal8G/7G
Mon 1/6 Universal5G/5R HS8G (EMM$?)
Tue 1/7 HS5Y AK7G
Wed 1/8 EP4Y (PPO and/or EP 4Ever) HS6G (EMM$?)
Thu 1/9 MK4Y/HoopDD EP5G (PPO and/or EP 4Ever)
Fri 1/10 AK6G MK5Y
Sat 1/11 ?/Travel ?/Travel

Some other relevant info:

  • We are staying at Kidani, so I thought it would be nice to do AK for our arrival “half day”, since it will be closest (all parks are CL10 that day anyway).
  • I am considering giving the paid EMM a try, ASSuming (as I must) that the days will stay the same, and I think I’d prefer it at MK although not unwilling to try it at HS instead (unlikely to do both), depending on what form things take there (who the heck knows at this point??)
  • I could make 2 sets of ADRs to keep options open (can do my account and also DS18’s MDE account)… I could even throw in a few 3rd alternates, as long as I stagger times as needed. But, believe it or not, I’m trying NOT to overcomplicate matters! :flushed::joy::rofl:

I’m really struggling with how to plan things, given the variation in crowd predictions. I know it could all change anyway, but just wondering what my ADR strategy should be, and which CL predictions to give more credence to! :tired_face::thinking::woman_shrugging:

I realize that we will have a great time regardless, and that CL calendars are not the end-all-be-all of Disney planning. But on the other hand, when I’m putting in so much effort to plan the best possible schedule, it would be silly not to use the resources available, and hopefully end up with a strategic schedule!

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Don’t worry about the crowd predictions day to day. They are just estimates and a good TP is most important and can make a CL10 feel like a 4.

More important things to look at are hours including EMH if yo want to avoid or take advantage.

Also, if you want FP for SDD or FOP you want to put a HS and AK day at least 4 days out of possible.


Thanks! I sorta kinda knew about the FPP being more likely on the later days of the trip, but those are good reminders for me to add to my notes! Since we are doing 2 days in each park, I am trying to be strategic about how to split up the FPP. We may try to make RP once or twice and I’m thinking of doing one PPO breakfast if I can get it, but I don’t want to count on those methods for any of our must-do’s. :smiley:

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To add to what’s already been said and I’m sure you know it already, be flexible in your plan. Know what things are “must do” and what can be skipped. Trying to “do it all” is where a lot of people come back with stories about “how crazy / rough” going to WDW was for them. Your plan looks pretty fast & furious.

Most of my TPs go smoothly, but I still have to drop one or two things each trip. “Real life” gets in the way more often than I’d prefer and my family can’t / won’t go as fast or for as long as me. However, being able to go to each park two days should allow you time to do all your “must do” stuff. It’s just deciding what you might be able to go without is where it can be frustrating.

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Thanks for the feedback, and I totally agree! I am so glad that we have a longish trip, and can do 2 days per park, in part because I DON’T want to feel like we MUST be in the parks from RP-close every day. I’m too old for that, lol! :smile: Most of the TPs that I have “roughed out” (since it’s really way too early for that) have us through the bulk of what I want to do by mid-afternoon. I figure that gives us flexibility - stay and do more (hopefully with day-of FP), or head back to the resort and relax. :slight_smile:

For our trip in Feb, I did exactly what you did above. I planned every day out down to the smallest detail all based on the park that TP was predicting to have the lowest CL. In the end, it really didn’t work because…

  1. CLs changed so much by the time we actually went, and it was too late to change which parks we were going to due to FPP and ADRs.
  2. The actual CLs didn’t really correspond to what was predicted
  3. A CL 10 at EP is not as much of a problem or challenge as a CL 10 at MK or AK.

That’s why for our trip in March, I didn’t base our plan on CLs at all. I chose parks based on EMM, DAH, and the ADRs that I wanted, and we did everything we wanted multiple times despite 9-10 CLs.

More generally, I’ve tried to choose which week to visit based on the lowest CL predictions, but even that proved to be fruitless. I chose the 1st week in Feb, because TP, UT, Dad’s Guide all said it was one of the best weeks (think CL 2-3), but it ended up being super busy (CL 6-8). I chose this Sept, but then WDW announces SW:GE. In the end, it’s impossible to plan based on crowds alone.


This may be the most extreme but I look at all days as CL10 and plan based on park hours/Magic Hours. It’s easier to plan for less and achieve more than plan for more but feel like I’m rushing.

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I think that deciding which park which days 6 months out is the hardest part of planning Disney trips. I looked at all 3 of the crowd calendars (TP, UT, Kenny the Pirate) and combined that with what I know from being in the forums here and elsewhere. We have a 4 day trip, and I’m pretty set on days 1 and 4 (both partial days). But days 2 and 3 (Epcot and MK) I double booked my hard to get ADRs to keep my options open. TP’s predictions are making me doubt myself…I think my first choice is what we’ll stick with, but there’s a little bit of me wondering if TP knows something that the other calendars and I don’t.

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I’m Planning our next trip and I’m wondering how your trip planned out in the end.

We went Jan 2nd week as well and the first week was very crowded but we accomplished so much since we planned great FPP.