February '19 Crowd Calendar Update

As those of us tracking dates will have seen, the new update is here, and it looks like @len @SteveBloom might have a few quieter days than this time last month!

Quickly scanning the most controversial early March dates things feel a lot more reasonable. They are still up on early predictions, but the 10 days of CL10 for AK are down to 7s and 8s. Some of those were 4s originally so that’s still a big jump, but 7s I can cope with, all the 10s were what personally freaked me out. For me the fact my dashboard has now lost ALL it’s red days is a joy to behold.

If I have a criticism of that blog post, it’s not very helpful explaining the drops from the huge spikes we’ve seen. I’ve asked about it in the comments.I’m sure we all love seeing predictions drop, but with the stress it caused lots of us last month it’d have been nice if Steve had commented on it. Perhaps he or Len might chip in here?

I’ll continue to track things on my CLWatch thread - so join us there to keep an eye on how predictions are comparing with actuals.


Steve replied in the blog comments:

The biggest change in the models this month is that we put less weight on the 2018 data. Easter is later this year, and it brings the early spring crowd levels down. In November, Thanksgiving is a week later and the 2018 data was causing the week before Thanksgiving 2019 too high.

That raises some interesting points about how key holidays are being built into the model. Actual dates are only valid for a few like Christmas, others like Easter, Thanksgiving and many public holidays move around up to a week each way.

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I just received notification of the updated CLs for my March trip dates. Of my 9 park days, 4 increased by 2, 2 increased by 1, 2 stayed the same, and 1 decreased by 1. I’m not alarmed as all 4 of those days with a 2-point increase had decreased by 1 the last update so it is really an increase of 1 since I chose my park days. No big deal. But…

What I found interesting is that I re-evaluated the TPs for my first 4 park days (E, MK, AK, and HS in order). Day 1 CL increased by 2 and the overall wait times in my plan increased by 7 minutes. Ok. Day 2 CL increased by 2, and my overall wait time decreased by 11 minutes, Day 3 CL increased by 2, and my overall daily wait times decreased by 1 minute.
And Day 4 CL stayed the same, but my overall daily wait time increased by 20 minutes which throws a wrench in my plans a bit b/c it throws off time for a show and my ADR-- so I will play with it a bit and reorganize (still plenty of free time to work with in the plan).

I will adapt now and again when the plan is tested in real time, but I just thought it was interesting and makes me think I don’t really understand the CL predictions the way I thought I did.

My week in April increased across the board, but by only 1 or 2 pips. I am not concerned, but I wish decade-ago Disney still existed, where on at least SOME days, you could see more than a few meters ahead without a sea of people blocking your view. Ah well.

Week after Easter saw CL drops most days, one or two went up only a point so I’m fine with that!

Think of the CL as an “average” of all the attractions. If you drill down into your specific day, you can see what the wait time estimates are for each attraction for the day. As they get more data, they refine those wait times. So it’s possible that while the overall average is staying the same, the predictions on their wait times for certain attractions changed, and based on what attractions you chose, may have impacted you more than it impacted others.

Looks like most all my CLs went down one or two. This was end of Feb/first week of March. There were a bunch of 10’s in my days after the last update and now they are down to 7 or 8s.

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I noticed that too. We arrive tomorrow & stay a week! Fingers crossed!