Trusting "the plan" & crowd calendar

Edited because I’m a ditz:
What crowd calendar do you find to be the most accurate? I’m seeing that they can be somewhat different depending on where you look.


I’m not sure what you mean by ‘it doesn’t take into account the day’. You have to put in the day when you set up a customised plan and everything is based on the predicted hours and crowd level for that specific day.

Hmmmmm. Maybe I’m missing something…
Not the first time!

In general, I really like the Undercover Tourist crowd calendar. I like how it is organized, etc. And when we when to Universal Studios this year, I felt that the UT crowd calendar was far more representative of what we ultimately experienced compared to the TP crowd calendar for the same days/parks.

Having said that, I think TP’s strength is Walt Disney World, so I can’t give an honest/fair comparison of UT versus TP when it comes to WDW.

ETA: I’ve used the UT crowd calendar for YEARS, including for our Disney trips, NOT just Universal…I just mean I can’t compare it to TP’s calendar for Disney specifically since I’ve not had access to TP’s crowd calendar at my past Disney trips.

Thanks - I agree. I find UT crowd calendar easier to navigate.

I used to use the easyWDW one but he stopped doing it and I stopped looking at one - I check the EMH and that’s it.

I don’t know how you could have missed the date as it’s practically the first thing it asks for. I’m not even sure you can carry on without it.

This is the first thing you see when you start to create a customised plan:

I don’t really understand the difference between calendars on different sites and how they make their crowd estimations. We will be in the park September 9-15 and the TP calendar shows crowd levels on 1 to 2 all week whereas the UT calendar shows higher crowd levels - some days up to a 5. I like the TP crowd level estimation better. :smile:


I think picking the one with the LOWEST crowd levels definitely makes the most sense! :wink:

While I don’t have directly insight in their methodology, if I were to summarize the difference, it would be that TP judges crowds based on wait times for a subset of specific representative rides, whereas UT uses general CROWD levels. There is a correlation between the two, of course, so they will usually have some level of similarity. But I actually care about overall crowd levels moreso than individual ride wait times. For the days we were at Universal, the UT crowd calendar accurately reflected, for example, the rise in crowds that we actually saw. TP, however, kept the level the same on Monday as it was on Thursday, even though the crowds felt SIGNIFICANTLY larger on Thursday (as were wait times). But as I said, I’m not sure how fair it is to extrapolate the Unversal experience to the WDW experience.


We will be there for the same period next year. I would love to know how you find it.

I strongly suggest not to get too hung up on crowd levels. CL are useful to choose a week to visit and identify potential park specific crowd surges related to events like marathons, festivals, ride openings, etc.

Once you pick a week and select your park days, my personal recommendation is to forget about CL and just roll with the punches.

Levels are just numerical abstractions linked to wait times. I once visited on a CL1 and I have evidence of elbow to elbow crowds and stroller parking as far as the eye could see. Fretting about choosing a CL5 park versus a CL4 or even a CL3 is a pointless endeavor. Your energy is better spent on a good plan and managing your expectations…


I’ll make sure to let you know. :wink:

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I use Kenny the Pirate’s crowd calendars and TP’s touring plans. A good, flexible touring plan works the best.



It’s best to prioritize FPP/Tours/Party/Event availability over individual days once you have your trip time figured out.

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I find the Touring Plans crowd calendars to be the most accurate.

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“the plan” is also so much more than simply throwing the kitchen sink and clicking optimize.

You must know what works for your family and what should be a priority. Do you need a break and go back to the hotel? is budget a problem? are you rider-switching? do you need plenty of bathroom breaks? do you want time to shop? do you care about meet and greets? do you rope drop? are shows important? must you try everything?

There are so many things that are beyond the TP time calculations. A good plan expects the worst but is flexible enough to allow for cancellations and reorgs.

For example, I refuse to pay for dessert parties but I am a big fan of the EMM paid event. We got a prime location to watch HEA without spending a dime and it only took scouting a location 60 minutes before the show. This was after a long day were everyone welcomed the opportunity to just sit down (although they do make you stand up about 30 minutes before the show starts). I was able to do this because I knew perfectly what my family wanted to ride and sacrifice.


I didn’t miss it…I forgot. sigh
Trying to do too many things at one time.

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That make sense. Years ago I used Tour Guide Mike and I felt it included more helpful information about where to be and when. This is our first time going with the new fastpass system so I’m trying to figure all that out, and get a general idea of what our daily plan will be.
Thanks for the advice.

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I love your explanation because I am the total opposite! I hate waiting for fireworks, so I would much rather pay for dessert parties, but I know with a good plan or FPP I can do 7DMT, PP and WTP without problems. I actually would rather wait 60 minutes for a ride than for fireworks. But that’s why there are so many options and we have to find what works for our family.


I have to admit that after watching HEA I’m flexible on changing my stance. I didn’t expect HEA to be as jaw-dropping amazing as it was. Some people in this forum claim to cry every time they see HEA and I always thought they were exaggerating until I watched it myself two weeks ago. It is incredible and well worth the price of a dessert party.

However, some dinning packages do feel like a cash grab. Fantasmic is just plain weird and I’m unsure if I would ever pay again for a dining package. What is up with that pseudo-Pocahontas segment? Fantasmic is so different to the DLR show, not as charming.

The Lion King is another package that I’m unsure if it is worth it. No need to pay extra. Again, it is all about what your family and budget can accommodate.

I think had the Fantasmic DP been priced along the lines of HEA, I would have felt it was a cash grab too. Definitely didn’t feel it was the value the HEA DP was (great selection of food, and we were able to roll into the reserved area a minute or two before the show and get outstanding spots) but we would do it again.

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