How much weight do you give TP's Crowd Calendar when planning days?

I am planning a trip for my family of 4, spending 6 full days at WDW, park days would be Aug 25-30, 2023. I am contemplating doing a split stay, starting at AKL because it’s kind of a bucket-list resort for us. I worked out some ideas just looking at a regular calendar and at hotel pricing, considering which parks would work on which days for us, and I had us hitting AK on Fri Aug 25 (it was one of our favourite parks on our previous visit, we’re giving it a whole day, at least).

But now when I look at TP’s Crowd Calendar, that looks like the worst day I could possibly choose for AK on our trip - amidst a sea of 3’s and 4’s during our stay, that one day is predicted to be a 6. Should I care?? Is there something about Fridays at AK? Or is that just an anomaly on the calendar?


I don’t put a lot of weight into 1-3 point CL differences. If there is a large difference between days, I look for reasons why that might be the case, i.e. holidays, after-hours events, etc. It may be that something has happened in prior years that I wouldn’t expect to be repeated or was just a fluke, and so I disregard the day-by-day data.

In general, the CL data is better when looked at as a climate forecast rather than a weather forecast. It will tell you the general trends expected at a time of year, but there are many factors, especially factors occurring close to your trip, that simply can’t be captured by a third-party forecast.


This is kind of how I was hoping it would be - we are going in a generally lower crowd time of year, so how much difference can it really whether we go to AK on Friday vs Sunday? I get that there are real considerations for Epcot (avoid at weekends, if we don’t want to be mobbed by drinking around the world crowds) and maybe for MK especially during the Halloween party time of year we’re going. But it kind of seems like I should expect that HS will be busy no matter which day I choose, AK will be moderately busy no matter which day, Epcot would be better if I avoid the weekends.


You’ll be arriving right after Orange Co. schools go back in session (Aug. 21, 2023)

That’s going to help somewhat. Plus, a lot of people will arrive after you leave for the Labor Day weekend.

As long a you don’t get a hurricane, you should have plenty of time to play!


This makes sense to me

I wouldn’t worry about the predicted CL, they have been kind of all over the place especially after covid. Like Jeff said, I’d look out for special events and early/late park hours and utilize them accordingly.


My children’s school starts (frustratingly) on the Friday before Labor Day! It’s a pretty odd choice, and I suspect a lot of kids miss that first day. But, I have an anxious child who would not want to miss the first day, so we are flying home on the Thursday before Labor Day to make it - they will be exhausted, but present on Friday.

On our previous trip to Orlando, my kids started school on the Tuesday after Labor Day (middle school vs high school now), so we were able to stay at the parks through the lead up to Labor Day, and fly home on the Saturday. It was nice and quiet, but that was 2019!


That is the weirdest start date ever! I complain that we start the Monday before Labor Day and then get Friday and Monday off. This is a whole other level!

This time of year I would really only work around the Halloween parties and if you have or do not have hoppers and if you want to see fireworks at MK, etc. Then play the tetris all around those days.


I like planning and I love charts and calendars.

My planning involves a calendar with just the days of our stay, with a chart on each day of park and crowd level. All 4 parks, each day.

Once I’ve filled in the crowd levels for each park for each day, I look to see what day has the lowest crowd level for AK and, tentatively, that’s an AK day. Same with each park. Usually, parks don’t have the same low day.
Next round is to see how those lowest days fit in with other trip considerations.
Sometimes we’re going to AK on the second lowest crowd level day.
I always figure crowd levels are like guidelines.

I don’t even look at the crowd calendar to be perfectly honest.

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Never look at just the Crowd Calendar predictions only. Always look at the previous year(s) Historical Crowd Levels for reference and comparison and your similar date. Disney World Historical Crowds - August 2022

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Thanks for that info! It does look like maybe Fridays are a little busier, because of folks avoiding MK on the Halloween party days. But I think I’m going to stick with my plan of a split stay and doing AK on the Friday.

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:+1: Last year’s crowd level data trend during your comparable week shows the transition from end of summer vacations to lower crowds/back to school. But oddly, the TP prediction for 2023 does not show it.

So I think in general no matter where you start your trip, it should be busier on the front end and less busy on the back end.

I only look at crowd calendars once we get a date set. Then it comes down to if any parks have major differences in crowd levels on a certain day. What influences our visit more is avoiding after hours for deluxe since we don’t stay deluxe. Then avoiding partys unless we plan to attend.

Maybe I misunderstand, but party days are often great days to visit the respective park because crowds are dramatically lower. Even though regular park hours are less, you can typically do more rides.
Most folks avoid party days which leads to non party days being extra crowded!

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For us, we enjoy the nighttime, so it doesn’t work as well. We’ve finally got a teenager vs when DD was little and past 9pm was a struggle even with naps.

Never really look at them nowadays - since the advent of electronic FP/LL they are largely irrelevant for how busy ride lines will be. For AK you need to be more concerned about being able to arrive early and stay til close. Without doing this you’ll be in for long lines on FOP without an ILL and will likely need G+ for the rest - though your time of year may make it easier. But of course it depends entirely on your own priorities. Potentially calendars have use for the “feels like” rating around the parks. There’s too many unknowns too - like staffing. Thrill Data has AK as a weekday park.

I want to go 12/26-12/31 and only to Epc every day. I made the mistake of looking and I’m a bit terrified. I have nightmares about MK on NYE from 2012. But someone insisted EPC won’t feel like that so maybe I’ll do it. Cuz FotH is the only festival I need to collect! And I’ve used up all my vacay this year. Lol. (We get that week off)

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