DHS plans for Crowd Calendar level "3" and "6" look essentially the same?

Nope, they sure don’t. It doesn’t matter to me that they are in a different order. I’m just surprised that the in line wait times are the same.

Could it be that Disney opens up ride capacity when the parks are busier so there is not a notable difference in waits between a 3 and 6?

They are not the same plans. The plans are different based on the crowds to minimize the waits .


CLs are defined by wait times, not by actual crowds, so the average wait time for a CL 6 by definition will be higher than a CL 3…but that doesn’t mean the wait time for any given ride is always higher at the same time. This is where the TP app shines…knowing this type of data to give the least wait times overall for your day.

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Maybe? I think I’m going to play around and do the same thing with other parks, see if I get the same result. I also think I might apply the order it suggests for the “3” day to the “6” day and see how it changes, and vice versa. I think it’s interesting!

This is not a comment specifically to you, but to the thread in general:
The reason I use Touring Plans - and I think many of us use Touring Plans - is to minimize the “in line” wait. We use the Crowd Calendar so we can try to attend a specific park when it is a lower crowd day under the assumption that this will ALSO lower our wait time. So:
Touring Plan + 8-10 Crowd Day = a certain number of minutes waiting “in line”
Touring Plan + 1-4 Crowd Day = way less waiting than an 8-10 day.

Therefore we try to choose park days that have lower Crowd Calendar numbers. If @ryan1 is correct that the Crowd Calendar predictions aren’t very useful - that the value of using Touring Plans is mostly found in creating/using a plan, and that it doesn’t matter much how crowded the park is on that day… well then that means I spend WAY too much time pouring over Crowd Calendars trying to choose which days I’ll go to which park.

I would like to experiment with this a little more and see if this is still true at other parks, when I put the attractions in a particular order, etc. I know Park Reservations have got to be having some kind of impact. DHS seem to run out of park reservations pretty much every day, which means that during your one week vacation the exact same number of people would be at DHS each day of the week, right? Yet Touring Plans still calls one DHS day a 3 and a different day a 6. I know they have their reasons but I don’t totally understand it.

Even though it is frustrating to me because I am trying to settle on park days (I have already made Park Reservations but am waffling on it) I still enjoy discussing how it works (or how we think it might work) immensely!

@ryan1 What you’re saying is exactly what I’m scratching my head about. I agree that a CL3 should have overall shorter wait times than a CL6. But I put in the same rides, tell TP to put them in whatever order it sees fit, and the “In Line” times for CL3 and CL6 end up exactly the same.

Or maybe I’m not understanding what you’re saying?

This is particularly true right now with APRs filling up. In such cases, it doesn’t matter which day you pick because they park is always filling to capacity!

But when it DID matter, I would use CLs from other sites, such as the ones from Undercover Tourist and Kenny the Pirate.

Another think you can do is create a TP, and the just keep evaluating/optimizing it on each day to find which day goes you the lowest waits for each park. It is probably better that way


You may be right about that. Particularly with DHS, where I can safely assume all the ADRs will be gone throughout our entire trip… I could just choose the days that work well for the other 3 parks and fit DHS into those “not optimal” dates since DHS should be the same every day.

We’re going the week before kids will get out for Winter Break, and I’m betting that ALL of the parks will have run out of APRs… so maybe I should just ignore CLs and pick the days I want.

I’m a bit of a analytical planner though (can’t you tell? haha!) so ignoring the CLs would be SOOOO against my nature. But I could give it a try!

But a good plan will lower your wait regardless of the CL. A high CL does not mean you need to have long waits. You can sequence the attractions to minimize your waits. That is what your two plans demonstrate. The higher CL adjusted the plan to minimize the waits.

I have travels during President’s week and never waited more than 30 minutes for an attraction. A great plan allows that.


Understood. I did not explain my question very well. Is it that there may be a statistical difference between a CL3 and CL6, but to the average person a few minutes may not be significant.

I also wonder if it is some weird anomaly due to some rides being closed right now, unusual park hours, etc. For example, I don’t know which rides are included in CL predictions for HS and how the rides being closed changes the calculations. Also, doesn’t the calculation use 10-5 for the hours. What about the unusual park hours right now? Is there a TP update on the blog somewhere that explains it. It would be an interesting read.

I am interested in understanding crowd levels as well. If you are getting same times but a different order of rides, then you are already using TP to adjust to help “minimize waits” based on the higher crowd level.

Have you tried not optimizing and comparing the waits with the rides in the same order?


I actually started doing that yesterday but didn’t post it, and would like to do it a couple of different ways to compare. I will report back!


I’m going to follow along as I am also fascinated by how TP works. I have heard Len say a good TP beats a higher CL so maybe that’s exactly what you are seeing.


Right, except I would think a low CL combined with TP would be perform slightly better than a higher CL combined with TP. That’s the part I’m trying to understand. I would put in all the parameters, choose the attractions, and then Optimize so the software could figure out the best order to go in. It does place attractions on a “3” day a little differently in a different order than the “6” day, but the number of minutes you spend in line is still the same.

Like I said above I do plan to play around with it a bit more. What if it’s an “8” day vs a “3” day? What if I make note of the order the attractions it suggests on the higher CL day and then put that same order into a low CL day. (I actually did that yesterday just to play with it and again, they were very similar. But to be fair the order it suggested between a “3” day and a “6” day weren’t that different.)

I will report back when I’ve played with more numbers!


I am just not sure you can trust the CLs at all right now. Again, if park reservations are filling up, then it doesn’t matter…the same number of people are in the parks those days, and presumably staffing would be similar. Which means CLs are going to pretty much be identical in practice unless you have days they aren’t filling to capacity.

Great conversation. I believe there was a blog article recently that considered a few other factors.
Locals may try to get ROTR VQ’s more on Saturday and Sunday so consider HS during the weekdays. Same idea that locals like Epcot on the weekends so consider weekdays if possible.
But the bigger point remains, is Disney adjusting park availability…and if so, are they adjusting ride availability on higher capacity days.

Like you, I’m planning my third trip using TP. I’m not sure what your experience has been, but I found CL’s changed a bit even after my park selections have been locked in (due to FPP selections) – so stressing over TP’s CL predictions is probably not worth the effort… Though to be honest I plan the same way you do – and probably agonize over the same data points. I do try to use CL’s to guide my initial park selection – emphasis on “initial” because it wasn’t the most important factor (FPP availability was, at least in 2019).

In my case – I’m looking at visiting HS on August 21, 23, and/or 25 – crowd levels 7, 6, and 3 respectively. Same plan, same arrival times, each optimized. Total wait times are 326, 342, and 361 respectively. The inverse of what I would expect.

Perhaps TP expects that on higher CL days some rides are running at higher capacity? I will have to look and see where the variance is, and maybe try Evaluating the plans for each day on the other days to see why it recommends what it does.

I stressed over CLs for our preCOVID trip. At the end of the day, they are just best guesses based on data. Pretty decent guesses, but never the less guesses. And right now at sorta newly post COVID, I think the guesstimates are even more off. Have a good touring plan, RD, and it should be good.

I wrote about CLs here, if you care to read about my pre trip CLs and actual CLs: Laughing Over Stressing Over CLs.

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I’ve never actually looked at CLs at all, let alone base my park days on them. I just trust the plan.

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Me too.

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