Curious to see how people choose which park to go to each day. In the past I’ve followed various methods of picking the lowest crowd park but nowadays it doesn’t seem to matter. Is it really just whatever we feel like doing? If we have park hoppers, are their certain parks that are better to go to early in the day vs at night (mostly with regards to genie+)?
Second question- if I’m going in spring 2023, should I assume that extended evening hours will be finished?
It seems like most advice suggests if you can use early entry at Animal Kingdom then you don’t need to use any LL there, and you can stack later times at HS or MK instead (where they have multiple rides that have high demand for LL).
I’m watching the daily LL availability on thrilldata and it looks like a good plan for my Saturday.
Crowd levels have become very difficult to predict with any useful degree of accuracy. Other than identifying special days like when a holiday party occurs, they are not useful to distinguish between parks. Also, with G+ nimble fingers and scheduling discipline are way more important than crowd levels.
So to answer your question, don’t pick a park based on CL and instead do whatever fits your schedule.
I think it is kind of whatever you feel like doing. For our recent trip I felt like spending a bunch of time (chore avoidance technique). Our Disney time is in blocks - mornings (till 11 or noon) and evenings (about 5-6ish to close or maybe 9); we get park hopper tickets usually. I looked at crowd level possibilities for each morning of our trip, adding up the hourly numbers and assigning the park with the lowest number to that day. Same with evenings. Altho sometimes a different park has a lower evening number.
As luck would have it, about a month before our trip there was some report of this day generally being better for HS and that for MK, etc. Generally speaking. Checked it against my scribblings and whaddya know, we mostly were in agreement.
By the time we actually left for Disney I realized the touring plan for DH and me was mostly going to be finding a bench to occupy. The two teens traveling with us went to the parks indicated by my messing about with the hourly crowd level numbers and, without Genie+ or LL, rode everything they wanted with no excessive line wait except Peter Pan - well over an hour - because they wanted to kill some time before something. Parade or fireworks, maybe.
Essentially the choice seems to be, get to parks early, or spend a little bit of time figuring out G+ and LL so you can sleep in and ride at a reasonable hour. It really is kind of whatever you feel like doing . . .
For traditional family trips, we bookend with MK and then use the crowd calendar to select the best park order taking all park levels into consideration. By which I mean, lets say that EP has a score of 4 one day and 6 another, but AK has a score of 3 one day and 6 another, I’m going to pick the lower crowd day for AK (which often feels crowded even when it’s not) because IME that’s more impactful than EP which is larger and more spread out. We consider those things all together.
For other trips, solo, couples, friends, we choose based on arrival time to WDW, location in relationship to parks, and “purpose” of trip.
Somewhat random, but also depends on certain events. This past February I was there for FARTS, so my park time leaned Epcot heavy. MK is my favorite, so I try and get there ASAP, but never on arrival day. I have this thing about my first site at MK being early morning when it first opens. There’s something about the energy of rope drop MK. This trip coming up HS will be first because it’s my husband’s favorite. (That’s what he thinks.)
Looking at the itinerary we won’t make it to MK until day four. I need to play around with that more because it’s blasphemy. Before park reservations it was a lot easier to be random. I’ve never really used CL to pick a park.
This is a huge factor. Also, until Cosmic Rewind AK had one of our main reasons to arrive as early as possible to a park. As well, AK can be warm. Best done early. Epcot has more table service restaurants and some good quick service. More spread out also feels slightly cooler.
Heck, AK has several reasons for early morning touring.