Everyone take a breath about Crowd Levels. It's not the end of the world!


You mean that WDW is not sufficiently investing in preventative maintenance? Gee, I would never have guessed that. (Where is the sarcasm font when I need it?)


Thank you for your hard and thoughtful work to try to glean insightful predictions for us into an ever changing environment with so many out of our control variables.


I just remind myself that I am far better off and better prepared then the gazillions of people who are not on this forum. I will confidently and happily be zigging left as the masses zag right!

Line on liners! On with the planning. If the CLs messed it up, it is but a riddle to be solved :fist:


Wait… you mean TP can’t change the future?


I think we’ve seen major changes over the last year or so and had similar reactions each time. I’ve actually moved away from creating full touring plans as a result. I now hit rope drop, do a few rides before my 9-10am FPP (which I try to make the hardest to get FPP), try and move up the other FPPs if I can and then play the same day FPP game to determine where we go from there. But we are also have APs so if we don’t hit everything, it’s not the end of the world.

But all that being said, I will join everyone else when I say I was surprised at just how much the CL jumped for my February trip! But we will roll with it!


I’ll admit I kind of freaked when I saw increased numbers, but we went the past two summers with CL 8-10. Because of Touring Plans, we only waited max 25 or so minutes. And this was only because of the warm Florida rain forcing people inside. Personally, I love the warm Florida Disney World rain :slight_smile:


My thought when seen a predicted increase is to look at how much of a difference in wait times it averages. So far maybe an extra 15 minutes, some no time increase. There hasn’t been any changes yet that would cause me to choose a different park for the day because we plan for which is the least crowded overall. If anything I hope it means more hours the park is open because we enjoy night time more than day.


Much more likely to be a waffling heretic: An inability to maintain you heretical position. :sunglasses:


What if all government workers decided to go to Disney due to the shutdown. Some events cannot be predicted. TP does the best the can with researched data. They make changes when they get new confirmed data. It is kind of like weather, you can be prepared to deal with it or get wet.


Agree with OP. The Touring Plans I set up for that same week allowed me to avoid those rides at peak times, and suggested the appropriate FPP. I have re-evaluated all of my plans with the new CLs and needed to make very few (minor) changes.


I had the same experience, and I also reminded myself that plans are never truly finalized. It is all predictions and using the tools is all about updating and re-updating with the most recent data.


Yeah. On January 17th AK CL went from 3 to 8.


:+1: also adding that for us it seemed like it changed overnight, but for the people doing the data analysis it was a long process of evaluating and checking before releasing what the models predicted.


^This. Also remember that they did not release the December monthly update because they weren’t sure what was going on and wanted to do a full analysis. So a lot of time and thought has been put into these new numbers.


@fred @len

Has the wait time per rides per park also been updated ?

For example, March 1st 2019.

AK is a CL 10

However, Everest at 1PM shows 35 minutes. How can everest be 35 minutes on a CL 10 at AK ?

Another example is March 4th 2019.

MK is a CL 10

However, Peter Pans is 46 minutes at 1PM and Space Mountain is 60 minutes.

Space Mountain should be a 130-205 on a CL 10.

Can you please let us know what is going on ? Something is definitely wrong.

Thank you very much,


@len Can anyone over there shed some light on this? The wait time graphs don’t seem to match the CLs in several instances.


Hi mikejs78, I responded to SpykeYs question on another thread but I thought I would also respond here.

This an an example that highlights how “not all CL10s are the same”. There is also some confusion about the difference between Posted time and Actual time.

  1. Space Mountain is defined as a CL10 if the average Posted time exceeds 111 mins. This happens on roughly 10% of days throughout the year. Some days, like those near Thanksgiving and Christmas far exceed the 111 min threshold needed to be classified as a CL10. Other days, like those in March just barely clear it.
  2. With an average Posted time greater than 111 mins it is still possible to have an Actual time around 60 mins. Our data shows that the busier the attraction, the more Disney inflates the Posted time.

Hope this helps.


Not necessarily. This is a problem I have with touringplans.com and touring plans in general, and by that I mean MY problem applying TP’s tools and data to MY specific needs. TP uses wait times for rides and attractions to estimate crowds, which is fine for most people since it seems that many, if not most, people are primarily concerned with wait times. I’m not. I’m primarily concerned with crowds. Pure population. Bodies per square meter. Even if I could afford a VIP tour guide to walk me onto every ride without a wait I wouldn’t intentionally get anywhere near WDW during peak crowds. So I completely understand getting worked up over sudden dramatic upticks in predicted crowd levels.

Attempting to derive crowd level estimates from wait time metrics becomes problematic when a) Disney artificially increases wait times by manipulating ride capacity and manpower, or b) when rides are not the main source of a park’s attraction. I’ve been at Epcot when the TP crowd levels were low and ride waits were negligible. Future World was a ghost town, yet it was shoulder-to-shoulder in World Showcase due to one festival or another. I’m the first to admit that I don’t have any better ideas, but as someone who has relied on TP’s information to choose the least crowded days to visit I have found the TP crowd calendar to be less and less useful over the last few years. I don’t blame TP. Their model has proven reliable in the past. But it is clearly vulnerable to ongoing changes in Disney’s service and operating philosophies.

TP would probably catch a lot less grief if they removed the phrase “crowd level” from their vocabulary and replaced it with the more accurate “wait times.” It still wouldn’t solve my problem, though.


I’m pretty much in the same boat as you. I’m more crowd averse than wait time averse. I know that GENERALLY speaking, they impact one another…but even if Disney adjusted all ride capacities to make it so you had to wait just as long as when there are twice as many people, I STILL want the CL to reflect that there are half as many people. There is no way to control what Disney does with their staff and ride capacity. But crowd levels still matter and are widely variable depending on when you go.


I think that TP’s problem (customer expectation-wise) is that wait times are influenced by more than crowds, and crowd level doesn’t seem to be the most influential factor at times. Trying to tie the two together to predict both seems to be more challenging every year.