Planning Advice: EMH vs. Crowd Level

Been lurking for a while, first post. TIA for any suggestions.

Second time to WDW, first with Touring Plans. Just booked for Aug 1-6 and are struggling with dining reservations (DDP)–which park, lunch v. dinner.

So question–is conventional wisdom still to plan by crowd level and NOT EMH?



Conventional wisdom is shifting, TBH.

Best practice around here is to go with a good touring plan, regardless of crowd levels, because those are so fungible, and use the touringplan as your crowd-avoidance measure.

As for go/avoid EMH: I think it was @ezed62 who was doing the collection recently, but was discovering that morning EMH seemed to have virtually no impact on pre-lunch crowd levels, and really only would affect the question of rope drop. Take of that what you will.


Wish I could take credit for data collection, but I can’t. I’m a big believer in doing EMH. I don’t know the numbers, but it seems reasonable that EMH would impact rope drop and ease up as people like me head back to pool or go to another park. RD+FP+Good Plan=Success


For our next trip, we’ll be ignoring CL but we will avoid EMH as we stay off-site and want to have a true RD. We plan the week the way it works best for us and our TP.

I plan based on EMH avoidance, then since the plan is 2 days at MK and EP the CL was sorta the tie breaker for which days at each. Right now I plan RD and lunch TS, that way we get a midday break even if it’s just eating. Then we can kinda decide if we want to go back to the resort for rest or keep going till close.

I have had trouble deciding this too, but ultimately what we are going with, is the parks with hard to get FPP later in the week, then we went to crowd level and if those were close we went for EMH. If I had more confidence in my teens getting out of bed, or if I was traveling solo (I’m a morning person) I would have def. put morning EMH as high determining factor over CL

The conventional wisdom has been to avoid an EMH park if you were not going to take full advantage of the extra hours - e.g., if you are staying off-site and can’t do EMH, you should not go to an EMH park. The reason behind this is that the park would be more crowded during normal hours because of all the extra prople who went there for EMH.

However, I recently compared TPs for MK on days with the same CL but one day had mEMH and the other did not. I made optimized TPs with the same attractions for each day, but just using the normal park hours. The non-EMH day had a longer overall wait time, but the difference was not very much, and definitely not great enough to warrant saying that the day should be avoided.

At the end of the day, you should choose the days that work best for your personal schedule. Take CLs, EMH, ADRs, and overall park hours into consideration when choosing days, but the most important thing is to make a good TP for each day. If your TP has you doing all the things that you want to do in a reasonable fashion, then you are set!


Just wanted to say thanks so much for the thoughtful replies! This is most helpful. Now let’s just hope the crowd level predictions hold–5 or less for each day of the trip.