Crowds Last Week

I know it’s been discussed over and over, but I just wanted to post about our recent crowd experience vs. TP estimates and also vs. our own prior experiences with the first week in March for the past several years. I don’t mean for this to be a bashing of TP crowd estimates – that is what it is, and I’m not smart enough to know whether something could have been properly estimated or predicted better than it was.

With that said, crowds were significantly worse than our prior experiences. You could have filled the LSU football stadium with the amount of LSU fans alone who were there. This wasn’t what I had “hoped” for in terms of the crowd estimates – that it would just be longer ride wait times but not actually a ton of people. Nope, there were a ton of people. (By our standards for this week anyway).

The lines themselves were obviously longer, even for rides like Small World and Dumbo (85 min for Dumbo at one point, were in prior trips, we had never seen more than about 45). But it was really the sheer number of people that was so noteworthy. Harder to get around. Longer lines for food at Epcot. Longer lines to enter parks. Those sorts of things.

And again, not trying to turn this into a “I’m cancelling my subscription” thread, but bottom line, when we planned this trip we were expecting crowds of 4-6 and we ended up with a lot of 8-9. Simply put, we wouldn’t have gone to Disney had we known the crowds were going to be like that.

Now to be fair, YES a good touring plan can alleviate much of this, and I’m thankful for that aspect of TP. But a good touring plan doesn’t help you push a stroller through a wall of people.

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I am curious, the TP update on the crowd calendar (I understand- very long after you planned this trip), was the update close to what you experienced?

I guess I am asking if the adjustment was right?

Most days, the updated predictions were still 1-2 points below actual, when I went back and compared the next day. In other words, some predicted 7’s that ended up being 9’s. Check out March 7 for example:

MK: predicted 6, was an 8
Epcot: predicted 7, was a 9
DHS: predicted 5, was a 7
AK: predicted 7, was a 9

March 6 was even worse with 6/8, 6/8, 6/9, and 4/9 (!!)

Now, all that being said, I do appreciate TP not burying their heads in the sand and simply staying put with their original predictions. I just wanted to post this so people would know that my experience was that a 9 felt like a 9. It wasn’t just longer wait times, as I had “hoped.”

It’s also my belief that we won’t see a 4 or 5 at DHS for at least 5 years based on current attractions and the upcoming Star Wars land. As well as ease of access from the SkyLiner and the 5 new hotels.

Ohh man this is not what I wanted to see! We are planning a trip in 2020 the first week in March and I was concerned about the crowd levels no doubt! I saw the updates levels a couple of weeks ago and it kinda was throwing me off! We have been the week after Thanksgiving and the 2nd week in December and the crowds were phenomenal based off our previous times going the last week in May for years!

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Just read your other thread, and I completely agree with those who say it’s a matter of perspective. Like you, there have been times we’ve gone and were really happy with the crowd sizes. Unfortunately, maybe we got a little bit spoiled, and from the way Disney is growing, it might just be the new reality that it’s going to be more crowded. But for us, we probably wish we’d done something else last week and then hoped to find a less crowded time to do Disney (despite what I just said about that being hard to find).

Knowing myself, I can be really happy at Disney up until about a 6 on the crowd tracker. Any higher than that – good touring plan or not – and I’m going to feel a little bit claustrophobic with the # of people. But again, that’s just me, and someone else might have a different perspective.

But there’s no doubt that the estimates vs. actuals were what they were, and I think that tends to support my perspective just a little bit.

Also, I do think Mardi Gras was the biggest factor in our crowds last week (see my LSU comment). Next year, Mardi Gras is a week earlier, so you might be a little better off 1st week of March 2020 than you would have been 2019.

I agree with the fact that Mardi was a big factor. I feel like everyone we talked to was from Louisiana.

Are you saying the last week of May was worse than Nov/Dec? Was it during Memorial Day or the week after Memorial Day? I am going May 29th this year so your comment caught my eye!

Now I will add this was about 5 years ago we always would go last week in May into a couple days in June, like that’s when we would always go everytime we would go! The crowds the last two times we’ve been in November and 2nd week in december was less crowded and weather was not as hot than in may!! It may be different now, but we could tell a difference in crowds for sure!!!

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I was also there last week and could have written your post. I was SHOCKED at how crowded it was. It often felt like the only time we had to move freely around was first thing in the morning in SOME parks. And the number of people from Louisiana… holy crow. The amount of purple and gold (LSU) was astounding.

Part of me says it was a waste to pull the kids out of school and take a week off of work in an effort to try and beat spring break… if it was going to be that crowded, we may as well have just gone during our break. But then the other half of me says, “Dear lord, what if spring break would actually be MORE crowded?” :flushed:

I think my biggest disappointment was the fact that even with all of my planning and TPs and fastpass refreshing, we weren’t able to go on every ride we wanted. Could NEVER get a Frozen FP to pop up, even with frequent refreshing over two days we spent time in EPCOT. Never got to ride Slinky, either. Just couldn’t make those two rides work with either RD or FP with the rest of the tiered attractions that we wanted to go on. Is waiting in line for hours inevitable if you want to ride everything?

This was my first trip back in 20 years, so I would never even attempt to say whether this was CL 7 or CL 9 or CL Infinity. I can’t put our experience in context. All I know is there were a LOT of people.

I feel like I am the only person who was not bothered by the crowds last week. I am not denying it was crowded, we did wait in the FPP line for ToT and RnR for a long time, but we did everything we wanted to do. It was our best trip yet. I never felt like the crowds hindered us.

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I was there and it just felt really crowded. I hadn’t been in 24 years so I can’t say for certain, just that it got bad.
People were sitting down on the ground to eat. Maybe that’s normal, but it seemed odd.

Wow. This is kind of scary. We have trip booked in a similar window for March 2020. It’s making me think we need to buy EMM just to get on some rides…