Latest crowd level increases

Hi. We’re going the last week of July and taking my parents for their first trip ever. My dad will have a scooter, and my mom is just beyond excited! I saw this morning that my crowd levels increased by a lot. So frustrating, after making fairly good fast pass selections last week and getting my dining plans set. This is our fourth trip, but we’ve never had crowd level 9’s. We were there last summer when the crowds were actually very easy to manage. So what does everybody think about levels of 9 in the summer? We have Park Hoppers. My husband and I are teachers, and we have a crazy hockey schedule with our son, so summer is our only option this year. Any tips or suggestions? Thanks!

I’m going at the end of June and my MK days have moved to 9’s. I’m trying not to panic. It’s not clear that I’m succeeding.

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With a touring plan CL9 is no more difficult than CL5. You’ll be fine!


It seems crowd levels are continuing to increase across the board. I have two upcoming trips, one the first week in October and one the last week in November, and the crowd numbers have gone up for both. I’m actually debating not doing the November trip and pushing it off to late winter before the spring break crowd hits, though it will sadden me to miss Christmas time at Disney. I’m taking a break for a couple years once the star wars craze hits (I’m not into star wars, so don’t mind missing it… may do a cruise instead), but was hoping to get in two trips before then. We’ll see.

Just FYI: last year, we went in early November. The predicted crowds were 5-6. The two days both ended up being 8 in MK. I followed the TP and we did everything, some attractions more than once and had a blast. We did not even notice the supposedly heavier crowds. I would not worry too much.


TPs says they are within 2 CL points either way 90% of the time so when you pick your days base it on a range. If your day is a 7, it could be a 5 or a 9 in reality so small jumps in predictions may not really change things.

I understand that. The fact that I had more difficulty than usual getting dining reservations adds to my considering changing the week we go. We were only going the week after Thanksgiving because that was supposed to have “low” crowds. I guess it still does relative to other weeks during the Christmas season, but my DS2 has really not been doing well with crowds. I have a couple small non-disney trips planned this summer so I’m going to see how he does).

That is weird–we’ve gone several times that week with low crowds. But you are right, seems like the “low” crowd days are gone or at least not as predictable anymore.

Dining is not a great crowd predictor though. They cut back on staff and reservations during slower times. Also, some things are being held back for Candlelight processional packages. Plus MK has the Patty several nights that week which depletes available dinner reservations too. We went this time last year and really enjoyed it!


Hmm, I didn’t think about them cutting back staff and reservations for dining. That makes sense. I do think the mouse is out on the so called “low” crowd times and people are more likely to go now, thus no more low crowd times (or shifted crowds, which some would argue is a good thing). Hmm, I’ve still got a few months to decide, so I’ll see how things are looking as the months progress.

We went the first week in December, maybe 3-4 years ago, which everyone said was a low crowd time in the parks because the pop warner stuff affected the resorts (particularly value resorts) availability but not the parks. Crowds were terrible. Last year we went the first two weeks in November - the beginning we knew would be crowded due to Jersey Week (and it was), but that sweet couple days after the Jersey crowd left and before the Thanksgiving crowd came in were splendid! But it was literally only like 2-3 days. Guess that’s the best we can hope for nowadays!

Yea, we have a trip end of September and CL went from 1 to 5 this morning. What surprised me is that when I refreshed my TP, the waits for some things without a FP only increased by 1 or 2 minutes???

I’ll admit I’ve lost a good bit of confidence in the crowd level/wait time predictions lately. I still think TP is an incredibly useful tool for making a touring plan and gathering info, but I don’t put much stock in predicted crowd levels or wait times anymore. When predictions change 5 or 6 points at one time, it’s just hard to know what to believe. So, we are going assuming it will be crowded every single day and it will just be icing on the cake if we happen to have a slow day.

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My feelings exactly…

Years ago, I worked doing Software Engineering for a company where we had to make relatively accurate predictions as to when we could complete certain software features. Generally, those of us with experience, could hold our thumb in the wind and say, “Oh, this will take about 4 months.” But management didn’t like this. So they went on this journey developing all kinds of ways to populate spreadsheets, etc, with historical data based on all kinds of information from how long various tasks take in general, to how effective individuals were at various tasks.

It was a thing of beauty. We’d probably spend a good week filling it all out and making the plans to implement and assigning tasks, etc.

In the end, the spreadsheet would give us a number like, 6 months, 2 months, 8 months. But, what did it actually take? Oh. About 4 months. Just as we had predicted to begin with.

Despite the years it took to develop the system of calculating accurate development plans, we ultimately found that all that data just complicated matters.

I’m getting the feeling the same thing could be happening here.

Me? I still tend to trust the Undercover Tourist crowd calendar. It is the perfect tool in giving the thumb-in-the-wind estimate in planning which days to go to which parks. And, in my experience, it has been quite accurate.

He he. :smile:

And Disney is doing everything it can to make this happen. From an operations model, the ideal situation would be to have the exact same number of people in any given park every day of the year. So they target the traditionally “slower” times with resort deals, free dining, special events, and lower price tickets. Conversely, they jack the prices up during Spring Break, Summer, and especially Easter and Christmas. This is all to encourage people with flexible travel schedules to come during the “slower” times.

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We are going the week of Christmas. Crowd levels are definitely going to be 10s across the board for us. What am I thinking???

Repeat after me:

“Build the plan, trust the plan, work the plan.”

You will do better on a CL10 with that than another guest would do on a CL2 without it.


I was planning my next trip for my 60th birthday; April 26, 2019. Then I discovered that it was the week after Easter and the DVC points were through the roof (and the crowds no doubt would have been horrendous). I changed my plans and moved it to Dec '19; Doing all of the EP Christmas storytellers and CP have always been on my bucket list, and whether it will be heaven or hell, SWGE and MMRR will be open at DHS


Spooky. April 22 is my 50th birthday and I wanted to visit then. And for the same reason as you I decided it would be crazy to go during the Easter weekend.