Predictions really off lately

It seems the crowd calendar have really been off lately (yesterday was supposed to be 3 overall, and was a 9, the day before was supposed to be a 2, and was a 6. The 13th was supposed to be a 4, and was a 9).

I get being off occasionally. That falls in line with statistical analysis, but with the given regularity the last month and a half, has anyone gone back to correlate the differences between the predicted and the actual numbers?

It has actually been off for about 21 months, since the 60th anniversary things started in May 2015. They (TP) haven’t tried to fix it, or adjust for holidays that are not the same day every year. On chat we just say add 3-4 to any number on the calendar, or better yet plan for every day to be a 9 or 10. Sad, but that’s what it has come to. Just go when you can, have a great plan, and try to enjoy.

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I agree with both of your assessments on the crowd levels being off. Our trip to Disney is next week so I’ve been watching the actual verse predicted for the past few weeks. Their prediction is always low; disappointing that they do not update those more often. Next week starts spring break; no way crowd levels will be in the 5 range when the past few weeks were are already at 7 to 8. Hope touring plans makes fixes for the future.

Hmm, if Touring Plans isn’t going to fix their Crowd Calendar predictions, why am I paying for this? That is supposed to be one of the benefits and why I renewed for our DL vacation this year.

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Right! There is not much of an incentive for them to fix it because if they say the truth which is: most days are a 9 or 10 with the next few being a 7 or 8, (unless it rains which they can’t work into their calendar) then no one needs a crowd calendar. Like someone said - just count on it being packed. I think it is greedy and deceitful that they keeping selling this subscription knowing that people are getting it for an accurate crowd calendar. I have heard them talk about their vacations on various podcasts and let me tell you friends, they are living high!

Not @rlp per se - just generally inexperienced w/chat forum (been a liner since 2010) & can’t figure out how to just reply generally to the thread. Anyhow, FWIW I actually emailed about this exact complaint around the time FPP went live and have watched closely the predictions etc for a very long time.
A few thoughts / observations:

  1. many ppl will tell you your fee is for the various touring plans not crowd calendar predictions & a good TP trumps crowds everytime. I personally say “phooey” - if that was true the crowd calendar would be completely free & available rather than extremely limited without a paid subscription. But that’s just my opinion…
  2. today’s “5” crowds feel much more like 2010s “8” crowds… as Disney has gotten better at crowd manipulation, FPP has gone mainstream (how many of us used the FP System to our advantage while clueless guests waited 2 hours in standby?), cuts are made (we’ve all seen the reports surrounding budget cuts/staffing/etc), and large swaths of various parks are closed (or previously ‘included with admission’ perks cost a premium $) it has just pushed total crowds up thereby moving wait times up…
  3. I haven’t tracked any specific dates in almost a year but I am now & expect that, as in the past, TP will email me a few times between now & my trip with changes in crowd levels - it totally stinks but Disney doesn’t even REALLY roll out final hours for parks in advance …

At the risk of getting flamed, I say we all gotta relax & remember that everything is always subject to change esp with Disney - I agree TP used to do a better job of predictions, however Disney used to do a poorer job of managing their own parks / systems / crowds & there weren’t the all-to-regular major changes we see now. I mean - truth be told, I’m more irritated at WDW than TP. I’m forced to book ADRs, FPP, etc months before based on incomplete information - I can make educated guesses based on available & historic information but in the end it’s all guesswork… I mean ask anyone who booked last year based on when they assumed FD would occur OR MNSSHP (whose dates shifted ever so slightly last year…)

*Edited to add - clearly I’m not very good at the forum chat - I just noticed this thread is in the DL section not WDW sigh :nerd_face:

I was just going to comment that we are talking about Disneyland, but I see you figured that out. No worries about posting the wrong place, it happens a lot. And I agree with you about what you say about WDW. DL is a different story though. All the attention from TP is to WDW, that’s their bread and butter. I find the plans to be fantastic and they do work. Disneylands on the other hand…yikes.

yes no worries posting here. you mentioned that TP has good touring plans for their subscribers, but that would be based on good crowd predictions so I don’t see much of a value for the TP DL touring plans. I have been to WDW once in recent years and also got touring plans for WDW. They had predicted 7 and 8s for our early June trip but it ended up being 10s everyday. I don’t think we would have chosen another time to visit WDW but I do not feel TP was needed or of value for WDW either since it seems that everyday in summer is going to be packed or nearly so.

No, they did a major readjustment last year where they renormalized the statistical curve, stating that given increasing crowds over time, the 5 of today will feel a lot more like the 8 of 5 years ago.
In spite of this adjustment, there are two problems:

  1. People want a 5 of today to feel like the 5 of 5 years ago and are angry that it isn’t. (TP can’t really control that).
  2. WDW has really adjusted their operations such that there is no “low” season. I’m not convinced that attendance is necessarily universally up, but they seem to run fewer tracks/lines/staff/etc when crowds are lower, leading to more uniform wait times than historically. This means that attendance can be adjusted for, but waits really can’t, at least, not until WDW establishes a more consistent pattern.
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This!! Glad I read this… I was thinking I was going at a low crowd time :-/

Does this mean that the customized plans won’t be accurate because it is predicting lower lines than expected?

To some extent, probably so. However, we have used Touring Plans for a few years now and I know we will continue to subscribe. We went to Disneyland at the end of 2015 and the crowd predictions were way off and at the time, I thought the whole trip would be a nightmare. What I realized was that, while I would like to have an idea of how busy it will be, as someone else already pointed out, it’s becoming nearly impossible to predict crowds now. Disney is making sure they find ways to distribute those crowds throughout the year. I feel like the benefit of Touring Plans comes, not in knowing the crowd size, but in the plans. We downloaded the Lines App and had all of our plans on it. As we progressed throughout the day, we optimized our plan and went as told. That in itself is worth the few dollars a year. I’m sure there will be those who disagree and that’s fine but I’ve been very pleased with our subscription to the service and the Lines App has honestly been a life saver during every single one of our trips.


Here here! Last time I used Lines for the first time, and when we decided to go “off plan” because times were off, it was easy to see where to go from there. The app is VERY accurate for day-of planning.

I will say that even though a 5 is no longer what a 5 used to be, it is still better than summer and Christmas. I’ve even been on days that were 7-8–not really my preferred crowd level–and with plans and the app, never waited more than 30 mins on those days, even with posted wait times in the 90 min range for some rides.

We planned on semi-off peak (September last year) and while The Haunted Mansion was insane and it got really crowded near the evening because it was a Saturday, by staying on site and being at rope drop - literally touching the rope, DH and I got to experience everything we wanted and more. I was very impressed with the Lines app and fiddled with our plans and re optimized all the time. We only got in trouble when RSR went down and we couldn’t ride it and I ran to get the fast pass and then we waited almost 45 minutes for Soarin and that was the only sour note on our 2 day. Having a plan and getting great tips really helped us, made my husband a believer in my fanaticism and totally made what we paid for the year priceless.