Labor Day Weekend Crowds?

I was planning a trip in august or September of this year and was working around labor day weekend on the assumption it would be busy but looking at the crowd calendar projections as well as history it looks really light that weekend. Can anyone confirm this of their own experience? It seems counter-intuitive to me

It has been a few years since we went on Labor Day weekend but it was pretty much true. Parks were fairly empty since all schools systems are back in session after that weekend and many have just started back.

The only crowds we encountered was Sunday evening at MK. Parking lots were packed since the locals were there but parts of HS looked like a ghost town

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Labor Day weekend is a four day weekend in my district and I used to always book a MVT special rate for the weekend. The crowds picked up the last few years precovid, but were never crazy. Raglan Road does a special event that weekend that is fun (extra entertainment).

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Be aware that these CLs and waits are not definite until about 45 - 30 days out. Right now they are just using historical data for 2019, 2020, 2021.

(Sadly, this is an average using all the reported wait times. The waits in 2020 & 2021 were low because people weren’t traveling as much and capacity was somewhat limited…)

This means that the historic three year average CL is much lower than pre-COVID. The rest of 2022 and beyond are going to see massive crowds returning the parks as people travel again to do postponed trips and more people “getting back out there”. The spring break crowds have been insane compared to even pre-2019

CL’s shouldn’t be used to determine your travel dates. They just are helpful to see “trends” in crowds.

Basically, start making your plans, but know that you’ll “real” plan won’t be ready until about 30 days in advance.

I love TP but any CL # that is more than 45 - 30 days out I no longer trust. Wait and see… it’ll fluctuate. TP only updates about 45 - 30 days in advance and copies & pastes the previous year’s historical info into the farther away future dates.

FYI – A common misconception about Touring Plans Crowd Levels is that they are an indicator of the number of people in each park. However, they are an indicator of average queue waits at the rides in that park during 11am – 5pm - the peak ride times. Touring Plans only cares about the ride wait times, not how full the parks are.

A CL 1 can feel like a CL 4 in terms of park capacity, but the queues may be moving quickly. Conversely, you can be in a CL 9 park that feels like a CL 5 because the streets aren’t packed. However, all the queues are super long.

Every different website crowd calendar has their own way of getting their CL number. I like to look at multiples to get a better idea of when it is a “slower” time to go. CLs for a specific date aren’t reliable.

From trip reports I’ve followed, Labor Day tends to be one of the less crowded holidays, even better than some non-holiday periods. This is also true at DLR, btw. My best guess is that people tend to avoid vacations right after going back to school.

However, keep in mind that Labor Day falls during a very active portion of hurricane season. It seems like there has always been either a hurricane making landfall or threatening to around the beginning of September the last several years.

I agree that on the whole September is traditionally one of the slower times to go. It’s when I often go myself. (I have a trip to Universal this September because of this.)

However, every holiday weekend is packed including Labor Day. I never go in September until at least the second full week. This bypasses that weekend and the couple days after for people doing long weekends.

I know I must sound like I am all “doom & gloom”, but I realize what an investment these trips are. If a holiday weekend is the only time you can go, I want to be candid and help temper your expectations.

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