What's your limit?

I was talking with a friend who goes to Disney every couple of years from Christmas Eve to New Year’sI- and loves it. Yet I know for myself I could never do that - the insane crowds would be more stressful to my family than fun.

I’m curious as to what people consider their ‘limits’ in regards to crowds? At what crowd level does it start to become stressful for you? For the sake of discussion, let’s use the TP 1-10 schedule with two exceptions - Easter and Christmas weeks, which are in a category of their own. So a 10 in this case is any 10 day in the rest of the year that doesn’t fall in those weeks… What’s your limit?

Cl is not a factor 1 or 10 who cares it is Disney. With a good TP you can still get a lot done, no matter what the Cl is. Yes we all would love to visit on a Cl 1 day. For me it is the magic of being in Disney.


Christmas is the only time I have holidays long enough to travel to the US. I don’t think we could go at any other time now, our experience would seem lacking after experiencing Christmas.

FYI, we can’t do crowds. Panic attacks, the whole lot. While it was crowded at certain times, we found the crowds very manageable.

1 Like

We go the first week of April every year, and many times that lines up with Easter. We have never had a problem doing anything, we make TP’s and have great ADRs and FPP, the 9-10 crowds are really no big deal if you know how to work around them. We don’t have anxiety issues though, so the people don’t bother us. We have been on low, medium, and very high crowd days and honestly any day at Disney is okay with us.


I’m not quite sure what my own limit is. I never have been at Christmas - my past trips were in October, late April, and summer… I’ve never really paid attention to CLs until the last few trips, and those have been in the 4-6 range, mostly.

This upcoming trip (President’s Day), our CLs are mostly 8s, with a 10 at DHS (our arrival day) and a 7 at MK. So we will see how this is for us. :grinning:

Fortunately I have good Touring plans made and know that I won’t wait in long lines, and I’m good at the modify trick… My only question is how we will react to the ‘feel’ of the parks, and how much more crowded they will feel than our past trips. We do tend to take break mid-afternoon so we will miss some of the peaks…

Well, “Christmas 10” is definitely beyond my limit. We hated it.

We go out of our way to pick times when CLs are no more than 3 or 4. I think we can tolerate more…but if we can avoid it, we do. And usually we do.

Our May 2020 trip will be the first trip when some of our days will be CLs a little bit higher (although still low). I think we’ll need to rely more on a TP than we ever have in the past (meaning, with CLs at 4 or below, TPs frankly aren’t necessary if you know what you’re doing).

Our December 2020 trip will be interesting. Crowds will be a little higher, although still relatively low. But it will just be my wife and I, and we’ll be less ride-focused than usual. Also, higher crowds with just 2 is easier to navigate than when we have to get from point A to point B in the parks with 7 of us! :slight_smile:

I could not imagine doing Disney with 7 people. It’s challenging enough with the four of us!

Yeah, well. The problem is deciding on who to leave behind. Crazy, I know…but they all want to come!

It was sad, actually, for our 2016 trip because it was the first time our oldest son wasn’t with us (he had his college classes to attend to…I mean, where are his priorities?). Our February 2018 trip to Universal, we only had 3 of our kids (because now our oldest was married, and our second son was in college). It felt…weird. In May 2020, we’ll have 7 of us again, but my second son won’t be able to come because he has to work to pay for college. BUT, my oldest son and his wife will be tagging along. :slight_smile:

1 Like

I went early-mid December 2017. Most of our days were mid crowd levels but our final day was a non-party MK day and ended up being an unexpected 9. Our TP wait times were way off and it was difficult to even move in Fantasyland. We had a great day anyway but were very glad we’d also gone to MK on a party day with morning EMH so we had already done everything of importance. It was a tiki room/country bears kind of day with few same day FPP available. I definitely wouldn’t choose that type of crowd if I could avoid it.

I’m not sure I could handle a Christmas 10.

Our first evening at MK was a 9 and it was a little stressful for me, mostly because I was concerned our entire trip would be like this and one of the FP lines was ridiculously long and we had to modify it to something else. But then we got a decent spot for fireworks, so that surprised me.

But then our 2nd day at AK was a 10 and we were fine. The only thing we did standby was DH and DS2 on TriSpin (20 minute wait) while I rode FOP.

So if I went into the trip with the expectation of RD and my 3 FP being my only rides for the day and either MO or TS for lunch, I think I’d be fine with 9/10 CL days. Especially since we take an afternoon break. But that’s a lot of money to spend on basically 6 rides, a show or two, and evening fireworks.

If I could answer the question differently… For CL 1-8 I stick to my regular plan of 9-12 and 5-8 park touring. For 9-10 I would go into ‘battle plan’ mode and lower my expectations to 9-11 with 9/10/11 FP, lunch, longer break, return with only 4th FP and evening fireworks in mind.

Christmas 10s I would only do if my ticket was free (and I had hoppers and my own car) and I went with zero expectations of actually getting anything done.

I’m not really sure what my limit would be, as I haven’t reached it yet. We have been to AK at an 8 and we were great with a good touring plan and extra FPs.

Hmm. I live in a state with 7 people per square mile.

I’d say it doesn’t take much. We’re not happy at about an 7-8. In my TP there’s a day that’s 9 & 10 and we’re staying at the resort. Our departure day is also like that but we’ll just be up and out early with a long ADR at lunch time.

Our low crowd tolerance and extreme impatience with transportation (What?! You can’t equate miles with minutes?!?!") means we’re prepared to spend a fair amount just making things more convenient, such as staying at deluxe, buying club level FP and taking Uber/Minnie Vans. Knowing my family and Disney, there’s just no other way. That’s why we don’t visit often, too.

1 Like

we discovered that what was a 7 at Epcot felt really hard to manage in the World Showcase in the afternoon with our two boys (ages 6 and 10)… but as adults only we would have been ok. the other parks at the same crowd level just didn’t feel as crowded… Animal Kingdom in the Africa area was hard to maneuver as well, but it’s a small area compared to World Showcase. We did not have any issues with touring due to the wonderful advice and plans found on this website!

1 Like

We don’t have a CL limit but we do have a wait time limit. We won’t wait for any ride over 45 minutes. We’d rather walk around and take in the sights or have a snack than stand in line for anything.

1 Like

I wouldn’t intentionally go past a 7. I did Thanksgiving week once and never again. But, we only go every other year, so my tolerance might be different if I had an AP and came more often.

1 Like

What was it about Thanksgiving that didn’t work for you? The wait times, the crowds on the paths, or both?

You are a paragon of patience! I’m pretty sure our cutoff time is right around 20 minutes.

To be fair, it does depend on the ride. Were it Small World or Teacups 20 minutes would be pushing it!

I might wait an hour for FOP, maybe…

1 Like

Somehow we have managed to have very low CLs. The last trip in 2017 was a CL8 but our sons were grown and could go off and do their own thing (even though they often stuck with us). So that trip was just fine by me. The biggest stressor for me was keeping up with littles in large crowds no matter where we were (Disney or not). But the only time I was uncomfortable at WDW was at Epcot on a SATURDAY during Food and Wine…never again will I try that…down right obnoxious

1 Like

That’s just awful. If people can’t control themselves at WDW…:roll_eyes:
That’s the place we’re spending our morning on a CL 10 day over Memorial Day weekend. I plan an early start, a few FPs, then book it to WS for an early lunch.

Hopefully people aren’t staggering before then…