# Just when I thought I understood crowd levels

What does this mean?

Overall level drops a bit, but each listed park goes up a bit…

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Ooo, crowd levels were updated today? Guess my dates were unaffected
That is strange indeed… I guess I would pay more attention to the individual crowd levels. But, if you’re curious, you could always send your question to the TP and they usually respond quickly.

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Don’t have an answer, but I’d like to know the answer.

I read through the TP page on crowd levels, but it doesn’t really address the overall crowd level versus park levels that I can see. I would think it would just be an average of the four parks, but looking over the numbers, that doesn’t appear to be the case.

In your case, HS is not listed, but when I look on the website, HS is a 4…so the overall crowd level of 4 wouldn’t result from such a HS rating. 21/4 = 5.25 (5), not 4.

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For the most part my crowd levels per park went down a bit each day. HS is a 1 on my full HS day.
This day shown is my half at MK and half at HS. It’s a Saturday so I expected it to be busier so I’m not really concerned. It is just not something I understand.

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lol - could it be the overall crowd level is lower because everyone is in the parks, so thre rest of the properties will feel less crowded?

It is odd and I’d love to hear an explanation of the meanings.

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Maybe @len or one of his team members can explain this for us.

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My understanding is that on busier days - days with more visitors to the parks - the park has higher levels of staffing and have whatever they can operating (multiple theaters, full capacity for ride vehicles, etc) so that an increase in crowd level overall may actually result in a decrease in park crowd levels (wait times).

So it seems the inverse is also true. The decrease in crowd levels means WDW is expecting fewer guests and therefore wait times may be a tad longer.

But I could have this all wrong.

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Not based on the way TP says they calculate crowd levels, though. They use formulas based on wait times to calculate CLs. So, even if actual crowds (number of people in the park) overall are lower, the CL number assigned could be higher because of longer wait times.

I’ll ask @fred to weigh in.

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This is a weird quirk in the way we calculate the crowd levels. The overall resort crowd level is not an average the four parks, we apply the same methodology that we apply to the park levels. That means we convert the average wait times at key attractions to a 1-10 scale. Then, we throw out the lowest and throw out the highest and take the average of what is left. It is this last step that I think is causing the quirk. Across the resort we are keeping more of the lower levels than at the park levels and with the averaging we ended up with an overall crowd level. This is rare but obviously it can happen.

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Thanks Fred.

What does this mean experientially?

Not much. Focus on park levels. Not overall

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I don’t see myself making any changes anywhere because, well, I just don’t have it in me.
Thank you

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The opposite happened for us - the overall crowd levels went up, but the individual park levels stayed the same.

I find this technique statistically suspect. It makes sense to do that in cases where you want to eliminate unintended bias, generally for subjective “objective” measurements. This is why the old figure skating scoring did this kind of thing. But wait times are wait times, and throwing out lows and highs skews things. Those people on line in the super long line still influence overall crowds, particularly for measurements that are not subjective at all.

I think it would eliminate this kind of nonsensical oddity.

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Going for Thanksgiving week–crowd level 10 every day! No surprises!

We use the same technique when we calculate the actual crowd levels. Throwing out the high and low helps, for example, when a ride like Space Mountain goes offline unexpectedly. When it comes back online, they’ve got to process the extra FastPasses that were missed, which drives up the standby line higher than it would be normally.

For an apples-to-apples comparison, we use the same high/low technique for predictions as well as actuals.

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