Crowd level question for staff and liner opinions

Our ADR is coming soon. Trying to finalize which park on what days for November trip. Recently got email that crowd levels dropped for the first week of november(yay). However looking over the past few years of actual CL this week, those new predictions look really low. I’m curious as to what the thoughts are on these low predictions. It also makes me nervous as other sites are predicting higher CL. Any insight would be great! I know this year MVMCP is starting later so wondering if this may be a factor. But it is jersey week and F&W race. We are set on this week so will enjoy our trip nostter what CL is, just want to prepare the best I can. TIA

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I confess I’m also interested @len. TP is usually right, but seems to be going against the grain/consensus on “jersey week” and 1st week in sept too.

Of course, if TP is right, I’ll be thrilled with all those crowd level 1-3’s. :wink: fwiw, going nov 11-15, but if crowds really are going to be that low, I’m considering extending back to nov 6-15.

Same here. Going Jersey week and I want to believe it, but not convinced. For example, the 1 CL on MK on that Friday seems to reflect the MVMCP that usually occurs the first Friday in November, but this year their isn’t a party that day. Any info would be helpful.

I’m so glad you posted. I was feeling like I might be overthinking this. Would love to hear the thoughts behind their current predictions. Hopefully @len will weigh in!!!

Passed this on to Fred and the stats team this morning. Look for an answer shortly. Thanks for mentioning this!


Thanks for posting this @nursesluvmcstuffins! Just like you, I was excited to get the updated crowd levels, but just not sure. I paid attention to that week last year b/c we knew we would be going in '15 and it seemed really busy! Will be eagerly waiting to hear what @len has to say!

It wouldn’t surprise me if the 1st week in September numbers are based on most other years when schools start that week. I’m guessing the numbers/models are computer generated based on the dates? :wink: But this year, Labor Day is at its latest, and NYC schools won’t be open until the Wednesday after Labor Day.

Also there’s the “Jersey week” aspect end of 1st week of November, with Veterans’ Day falling on a Wednesday also. I’m not sure if computer models can pick up on those kinds of variations?

Some other sites seem to take these calendar quirks & events into account, though they’re more “intuitive” & less data/numbers-reliant.

You can’t top wait time models & real historical data, but again, this seems to be one of those exceptional calendar years. Hoping I’m wrong & those really are crowd-level 1 days, rather than the next week.

Any update @len?

Hi all, thanks for the post, sorry for the delay.

For the last three years Jersey Week hasn’t packed the same punch as we’ve seen historically. I don’t know why but we the Jersey Week bump has been very hard to detect in the wait times. So, our models are reacting with lower wait time projections this year.

As for September, we noticed last year that pre-Labor Day crowds were low and we suspect that this year with the late Labor Day that will be similar. People just don’t travel much in early September.

Friendly reminder that it is not yet May, crowd projections for November (and to a lesser extent, September) may change.


Thanks for the reply @fred

Good news! Thanks for taking the time to replay @fred.



Thanks very much for the response.
I’ll trust your numbers on “Jersey week”.

However, I’m not sure I completely understand your response to the Labor Day aspect.
Were last year’s pre-Labor Day numbers in the 1-level, like this year’s 1st week in September numbers?

Perhaps a more specific question would be:
Is the software comparing this year’s 1st week of September to last year’s 1st week in September,
or last year’s last week of August? Last year, Labor Day was September 1.

I think it matters because this year, NYC schools (& other school districts) will be closed before Labor Day, which includes the 1st week of September.

If you have them, how were the numbers/crowd levels in 2009 (NYC schools didn’t start until Sept 9 like this year), or 2004 (didn’t start until Sept 13)?

Just trying to compare apples to apples. :wink:

Also, I have another question.
On the crowd calendar:

One of your descriptions for June says, " Watch out for Gay Days in early June
which brings large crowds to a specific park each day. "

And yet…

Saturday June 6 is the lowest number on the crowd calendar
for MK that week (and it’s open until 2am EMH to boot & EMH
tends to boost crowds?), and Sunday June 7 is the lowest number
for Epcot for a month on either side.

This seems contradictory to me.

We’re looking to do MK/EP that weekend and the crowd calendar
seems to say, “If you want to miss the crowds, go on the gay days”,
while your description says otherwise. As of now, I’ve planned to
go on the gay days based on the crowd level numbers (and to take
advantage of the EMH), but if you think that the gay days will actually
bring larger crowds, I may have to re-think that approach.

Many thanks for all you do; this is a tremendous resource.

These are great questions. I’ll be following. Thanks everyone for the information so far.

So do NYC schools usually start before Labor Day? Why are they starting so late this year with Labor Day being so late?

NYC schools always start after Labor Day.
But Labor Day can be as early as Sept 1, or as late as Sept 7.
And if we’re comparing to last year’s numbers, last year was Sept 1, this year is Sept 7.
So are we comparing pre-Labor Day to pre-Labor Day (which seems like the way to go intuitively),
or 1st week in Sept to 1st week in Sept (which seems to have very different circumstances).

Last year I was in the parks the weekend and Monday of Labor Day and it was still very light in terms of crowds. I will be repeating that plan this year. So I could see (and hope) that the crowds could still be very light even pre-Labor Day.

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That’s very encouraging to know, thanks!

In Michigan, schools can not start until after Labor Day by law. If we didn’t already have a November trip planned, I would being going that week. I’ll be interested to see what the reports of the crowds are that week.

So for NYC, Michigan and other places, do schools start on the Tuesday after Labor Day? Then Labor Day would hopefully be pretty light, especially in he afternoon as it will be a travel day for all those not skipping school the first day.

As far as my schedule, I’m here in southern Florida. My DD3 starts preschool a couple of weeks prior to Labor Day (same as the elementary attached to the preschool) but gets Labor Day off. I teach college and start a week before Labor Day, and also am off for Labor Day…but I’m also on a MWF teaching schedule, so I’m actually off until Wednesday that week. So we’re leaving the Friday before, going to the parks Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, and then driving home Tuesday. So my DD will miss one day of preschool, but that won’t be a big deal, and I won’t miss any face-time at work. We’re hoping especially that Monday at MK will be not very crowded, as that was the case last year when we had the same situation. So we have a big day at MK planned for Labor Day.

In NYC, the students almost always start on the Wednesday after Labor Day, though the teachers usually begin on Tuesday with a “staff” day. There was one year (2004) when they didn’t start until the Monday after, with the previous week being all “staff” days.

FWIW, here’s a mini-historical look at NYC school openings when Labor Day is late:

2009, started Wed Sep 9:

2004, started w/staff days & didn’t start until Mon Sept 13,
would have loved to have done the week after Labor Day that year:

1999, Thu Sept 9:

1998, Wed Sept 9:

1992, Wed Sept 9:

@eriinfo I don’t think you’ll have any problems on Labor Day if these photos from last year – when Labor Day was on Sept 1 – are any indication:

Unfortunately, due to plane fares being cheaper Sunday night & my wife not wanting to be traveling after Labor Day, we’re leaving Sunday evening & won’t be able to actually experience Labor Day.

Perhaps you can take some great empty-park pictures for us, and post them here so we can live vicariously through you. :wink: