Thursday 1/24 Magic Kingdoms reported CLs vs what I saw...What am I missing?

Just got back from 7 days in the park. We’ve gone twice before over the past 3.5 years (first in early March, second time over halloween into November). Both times were pretty light crowds, maybe a 5/10 at the maximum but a nice 3 or 4 in there too.

I thought 1/20-27 would be pretty good in terms of crowd levels. I realize 1/21 was MLK day, but the rest of the week should have been pretty clear, right? Touringplans predicted mainly 6-8s when they updated their crowd levels, so I was a little apprehensive.

All the days ended up more crowded than predicted but 1/24 Magic Kingdom (predicted 6/10) was NOT an actual 2/10! How did they come up with a 2? I wish it was a 2, that would have been amazing. It was more like a 7/10. We were there from 9am to 4pm, and there were definitely a lot of 45+ wait times.

Friday 1/25, Animal Kingdom was a predicted 8/10, revised to an actual 7/10, but again, this was the MOST crowded we’ve ever seen the park. I would have though the actual was a 9 or a 10/10. Flight of Passage had a 310 minute wait when we walked by!

Anyway, rambling now, but I am starting to feel like there is no rhyme or reason to the crowds, and except for the day-of time-in-line postings, I shouldn’t really bother doing all this crowd research ahead of the trips…
Anyone else have any ideas?

The actual CLs are determined by average posted wait time for key attractions during peak periods. If you look at, 45 minutes isn’t at all out of line for a CL-2. A CL-7 would have had wait times up around 75+ for many attractions If you look at you’ll see how each attraction fared and how it was measured.

I tend to look at CLs as a reference. The most important thing to me is the touring plan - which can help you maximize your day whether a CL1 or CL10.

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Yes, we were still able to use the optimized itinerary and hit 12-13 rides, so I agree with you there. But when the crowds are so bad, people are cutting in front of you and the photographer during photo ops, and the carousel is a half hour wait, I can’t think that a “2” is even in the ballpark.

We also noticed on this trip that a lot of WDW’s wait times were way off, and we stood in line longer than the sign said. There seemed to be a delay in changing the time estimates.

Maybe we were just in the crowded section of the park at any given time? I’ll adjust my expectations going forward.

We were also at MK that day and I agree that some of the posted times were not accurate. For example, both Tink and Rapunzel/Tiana were posted at 10 minutes and I waited 30-35. But there was a LOT of same day FP availability for the smaller attractions. We FP bounced from 6-7 and could have continued if we wanted to.
I don’t think TP uses the attractions I mentioned or the same day FP availability into account, but I think it’s still relevant information.

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Hm. That’s unusual. Typically the posted wait times have been much longer than actual wait times. Disney tends to inflate their wait times. I wonder why the difference on your day, I wonder if they’re doing anything different, or if it was unique to that day? In any case, if that’s the case it may explain why the actual CL (which is based on posted wait times) was off - as this is something that doesn’t usually tend to happen in my experience. @len @fred @SteveBloom Any thoughts on the above?

Steve’s attending to some family things this week. I’ll ask him to look at actuals vs posteds for 1/24. If they were off systematically, that would be something worth investigating.

Thanks for confirming I was not imagining things! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Currently on our trip. At MK today. We all commented that things seemed off. Multiple times the posted wait time has been much lower then we actually waited or changed significantly while we were in line. Most notable today was a posted 15 minute wait for the little mermaid, ended up taking 45 minutes and barnstormer posted 10 minutes took 35. We did see lengthy closings at space mountain, big thunder and winnie the pooh today. I’m sure that inflated other ride times.