EE worth it staying onsite with high crowd expectation?

Hi All!! I have a DLR trip planned for Saturday July 16th and Sunday July 17th - we are staying at Grand Californian and have EE on Sat for DL and EE on Sunday for DCA. The crowd tracker is telling me that they expect higher crowds (7) at DL on Sat (Same day as EE) and Lower crowds at DCA. On Sunday its the opposite - they are predicting higher crowds at DCA (we have EE for DCA) and lower crowds for DL.

My question is this: Is it worth it using the EE even though there will be higher crowds in that particular park or should we stick to the park that has the lower crowd predictions and skip EE?

Also, I’d love to hear your experience with the customized plans on high crowd days - I was going back and forth with these plans and ridemax - how has it panned out for you? I’m a total newbie at this.

Thanks for any help,

EE was a must for us on high crowd days especially because we were able to get many very popular attractions out of the way with little to no waits. Remaining E Tickets can be enjoyed with Fast Pass where applicable. If you have Park Hoppers, it’s super easy to move btw parks; in fact, we caught the DL and DCA nighttime shows on the same evening on two evenings.

Thanks for the advice! Have you followed any touring plans on high capacity days?

Yes. They helped me a little at DLR especially since I don’t know those parks anywhere near as well as WDW. Also, I didn’t really plug fast passes into my plans so I can’t speak to that…

Absolutely utlize EE. Being in the summer they will most likely be very early (probably 7am) and the earlier EE is the better it is for you because very few are willing to be up and ready that early. 7am EE’s at DL have left me feeling like DL really is my own personal land because there were so few other people around and you start to recognize the groups around you and they become a little familiar, making it an even nicer experience.

Sunday July 17th is DL’s birthday so I highly doubt that DCA will actually be more crowded as more people will probably be on hand to sing happy birthday to Disneyland and join in any festivities planned. The crowd levels are generated from wait times, so they may be accurate that the wait times in DCA will be higher, but the walkways in DL will be full of people there just for the experience of DL’s birthday so another reason NOT to follow the crowd levels alone for your decision.

I have used many a touring plan and I feel like as long as you’re not criss-crossing just to save a few minutes of wait times, they can work really well. I also try to build them at a slower pace (relaxed) and make sure I fit in at least one 10 min break every 2 hours. When we are walking from attraction to attraction our pace is pretty fast, but it is inevitable that we need to stop for water, bathroom, shopping and pin trading breaks. Doing these breaks helps keep me honest on how much we’ll actually be able to do as we go along. Of course I also make sure that any time we will need to be eating in the parks, there’s a longer break for a meal (usually 30-40 min for counter service meals, 60-75 min for table service). We don’t usually take that long, but again, building in buffer to help me see what’s actually possible with my family.

Also key to getting a lot done is to have a little hustle in the morning. Your wait times will be shortest in the morning, especially having EE so if you hustle without side-tracking you’ll most likely be rewarded by being ahead of the plan.

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Also, if you do go off plan (breaks, whatever), just reoptimize and go from there. I typically reoptimize every few attractions.