Is it better to utilize extended hours in the morning (e.g. opening at 8 AM on 10/23 with a crowd rating of 7) or go on a low rated crowd day without the extended hours (10/27 with crowd rating of 5)?


#1

Is it better to utilize extended hours in the morning (e.g. opening at 8 AM on 10/23 with a crowd rating of 7) or go on a low rated crowd day without the extended hours (10/27 with crowd rating of 5)?


#2

So...I've never been to Disney World (first trip is in December), but I'm a researcher by nature and from things I have read it seems that parks that have extended hours, especially in the AM, are actually busier on those days than anticipated. People make plans to attend the parks so they can participate in the extended hours, but if their plans change and they don't make the morning extended hours they still most likely will stick with their plan to attend that park thus the added bodies. Again, I have nothing to base this off of other than things I have read. Would love to hear what more seasoned WDWers have to say on this.


#3

I would prefer to go to the less crowded park myself. It's just more pleasant. While you can use the extended hour to ride something that is usually crowded, you probably need to be at the park by rope drop to make it worthwhile. After the hour is over (if it's a morning hour) the park will be crowded with everyone.


#4

Agree. Definitely do the lower crowd day. You will not get much extra ride time out of that 1 extra hour, and as already stated, the park will fill up fast.


#5

Make a personalized TP and optimize it for each day. Then go with the day/plan that you like better.


#6

Going on the lower crowd day an hour later will probably end up being a happier day overall... even if you have more time to spend (and therefore "enough" time to do everything you want to do) nobody actually likes waiting in longer lines, and then there's the very early morning that probably isn't going to help. Even if you're staying at an MK are resort you're going to be leaving your room by 7:00 (6:30 if you want to grab a bite to eat) in order to beat the crowd at RD.

That said, the difference between a 5 and a 7 is going to be barely noticeable so in my own planning I'd probably leave that decision to all of the other factors. In other words: which of those days works better into your other plans? Can you get a much desired ADR/FPP on one of those days? Is some other park a 2 on one of those days but a 5-7 every other day of the trip? If you're using a hopper then is there a later evening going on elsewhere that you'd like to try (which would make the earlier AM even more questionable)?


#7

Our kids (9 and 2) are early risers, so the morning EMH is doable and worth it if we hit the popular rides a time or two before 9am, then again later with a FP. I would be tempted to skip the EMH and go to a less crowded park if the difference in crowd level was big. But for our Feb 4-11 trip, no parks are more than 1-2 points apart. And I think there's enough uncertainty there that it could go either way.