Crowd Level doesn't seem to jibe with wait times in TP

We will be visiting 8/2-8/11 (next week!). For most of those days most of the parks are listed at 8-9 crowd levels. But when I do the TP most rides have me waiting less than 10 minutes for anything but the most popular items. Is the TP really that good? Or do the massive crowds not really translate into long lines except for the most popular items? I’ve used TP once before to great success but it was in November when the crowd levels were around 4’s. I’m having trouble reconciling the high crowd level warnings with the touring plans.

On a similar note, we had planned to hit AK on an EMH day, which of course is a big Liner No-No. But the TP is telling me 5-6 minute waits for everything but the shows as long as we have a FP for the Safari or hit it first. So should I stick with the plan and trust the TP that it will all work out? Or trust the crowd calendar and switch things up?

Stick with the plan, as it is based on the Crowd Calendar. It is using the Crowd Calendar data that has been worked out down to specific attraction levels and determines the plan that will give you the least amount of waiting. The results that you are seeing are not unusual - they are what the Optimizer is designed to do.

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oh my gosh…I just posted almost the same thing! Please PLEASE. I’d love if you could report back after your trip and let us know how accurate they truly are. I’m going in January and for some of my days the parks are only listed at a 3 or 4 for crowd levels. I’m waiting 3-5 minutes on average. I’d love to hear how you make out in a crazy busy park!!

Jan is too far away to be accurate yet. But after 6th it will get quiet. Data recalculate about every 2 weeks

at what point do they become accurate?

I’d be a bit suspicious…

What about the show times and closing times? Do they reflect the day you’ve selected or do you have to wait until closer to your trip for those to be accurate as well? Kali River Rapids Optimized on my plan for 4:55 on a day the park closes at 5pm in October.

Trust the TP. Why is AK a no-no on EMH day? Even if you’re off-site, you’ll be behind a fairly small cohort of guests and will probably be okay early in the day.
We’ve used TPs with crowds up to a 6 with great success and accuracy. Only glaring inaccuracy was a prediction that KS would be 35 minutes… we went for it anyway, and it was 18. :smile:

I’m honestly so excited if this is what our days are going to look like. The touring plans have us hardly waiting AT all, if they are really that good then I will be a very, very happy camper and will tell the world about this awesomeness. Or maybe I won’t - that way the world won’t cotton on :wink:

Not AK specifically, but all the parks. The general wisdom I’ve seen is to avoid the parks having the EMH because they end up packed. Just about any crowd calendar you look at (incl TP’s) shows those parks as the busiest.

As people have mentioned, the CL predictions will become more accurate the closer you get to the actual date in question - kind of like weather predictions. That being said, the TP time predictions are usually very accurate IF the CL ends up as predicted - I have followed TPs where I was a little ahead for certain attractions and a little behind for others, but at the end of the day I finished up almost bang on time. The only things that tend to throw off a plan overall are things that TP cannot account for, like a ride closure or weather.

Another thing to bear in mind is that a shift in the CL prediction of 1 or 2 points generally does not affect the overall touring time that much, especially if you re-optimize. One of the reasons for this is that WDW has ways of coping with crowds, like adding additional ride vehicles and show times. There was a TP Blog post about this, but I cannot find it at the moment, and if I recall correctly the rise in overall time as you increased the CL was very gradual until you hit 10, where it jumped significantly as the park was reaching capacity.

Those parks are often slightly busier (by a point or two)… but if you can make am RD with am EMH, you get a golden hour to do the moderate-wait attractions with typically short waits (e.g. PP, WtP, Buzz, Splash, BTMRR, Space). Then if you make strategic FPP for later in the day, you can spend the peak hours on lower-wait attractions to which you only add a couple of minutes to wait time on a higher CL day… e.g. waiting 14 minutes for IASW instead of 10 on a lower-crowd day.
Most liners who are morning people embrace morning EMH as really super awesome.
Also, as will tell you, having a good TP is MUCH more important than the specific crowd level on a given day.
Seriously, trust the TP. The math is sound. Agree with @brklinck.