We are headed to WDW in September, this is my first trip and I am trying to get it right. I have convinced my family that we are going to use a touring plan and I have been working on refining what will go on it (though that is likely to continue for some time).
My concern is the accuracy of the predicted wait times and whether I am trying to cram too many things in. The crowd levels are predicted to be very low while we are there like 1-3 type range, but when I looked at last year the crowds look like they were frequently more in the 5-6 type range.
So if I optimize, adjust, evaluate my touring plan based on the expected crowd level, how much trouble am I going to be in if the predicted crowd level is off.
I am trying to leave free time throughout the day to allow for little pop up things (we will have an almost 5 yo on the trip) and getting behind schedule, but I don’t know if I have budgeted enough if the crowd level is off by that much.
I guess my question, is how often do you see the predicted crowd level off, and if it is significantly higher, does it throw a wrench in your plans?
Your predicted crowd level might go up before you leave, so you’ll have time to adjust it then. Sounds like you’ve already put in breaks, so you should be ok. It will make more difference on the queue’s for rides, but you’ll still be trying to get the same rides done in the first couple of hours. Some rides like Figment, Aladdin, Mad Tea Party, Dumbo, you’ll probably be able to get an extra FPP for later, so you can always skip if you are behind.
There was a TP blog post which looked at the results when a given TO was optimized for each potential CL. There really wasn’t that much of an incremental difference as you stepped fro 1 to 10 until you hit CL 9 and 10. That is the beauty of the optimizer - if you find that you are going off-schedule then you can re-optimize while in the park and it will find the best possible plan for completing your day based on the current conditions.
One thing to do here is to set your Walking Speed to Relaxed - that will buy you a little extra time throughout the day.
I was there last Sept with the unexpected crowds. Our mornings were fine, the afternoons got thrown off a bit but we honestly weren’t following our tp by that time anyway. Use your tp more as a guideline than exact, otherwise you might get overwhelmed. Since it’s your first trip, don’t stress about missing things or running behind, make sure to stop and smell the roses! And have a great time!
Just to be clear, they were optimizing the plan for each crowd level, and a plan optimized for a CL2 day might not do so well it changes to CL5. However, re-optimizing in the park when things start to go off-track should help to minimize the effects.