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Old 01-13-2019, 10:54 AM   #11
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I would balance the two priorities. If Disney is pretty new to you, the crowd calendars can be a good crutch to know when to go where (due to special parties, weekend crowds at Epcot for F&W, EMH impact, party impacts, etc...).

That said, I would also suggest that you not adhere to them to the detriment of your family. If you are staying at BLT, with MK in sight, with young kids, the notion of waiting to go in and see the castle may not be the best idea. In such a case, your family needs very well may trump the minor (and sometimes unpredictable) crowds from day to day.
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Old 01-13-2019, 11:25 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by helenabear View Post
I'm no longer a fan of them as a whole. I find most to be contradictory and rather inaccurate. Some years some are closer to realities than others, but I really don't think one is great or always right.

In short, don't sweat it. Go with your plans and don't worry.

Originally Posted by MamaB24 View Post
Many are based on extra magic hours...meaning parks with EMH are not recommended due to higher than normal expected crowd levels. I have found crowd calendars to be rather accurate and tend to navigate by suggestions. That said, you can also do an EMH park if you tour accordingly. For example, we may go to an EMH park but plan to leave by noon-ish or 1pm. We have found that morning EMH at the busiest of times (ie Christmas, NYE) have been some of the best times to be in the park. FWIW.
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Originally Posted by Miki View Post
I donít hold much stock in crowd calendars like I used to. Too many changes in the past few years. FP+ really changed things up, and Disney pulls rides/cars out of service, TOT running an elevator short on low attendance days, etc. Disney manipulates the wait times and it makes it more difficult now.
That said, we always do Magic Kingdom on a Wednesday. I too, believe that most people arrive on a weekend or a Friday and go to MK first. Also the weekends are crazy with local people as well.
I always do Epcot on a Monday/Tuesday, and then MK on Wednesday and fill in Thursday and Friday with AK and HS.

I donít think they are super accurate. Theyíre not completely wrong, but they donít take all the factors into account. Honestly, I donít know how they would because there are so many things going on and changing at once.
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Old 01-13-2019, 11:28 AM   #13
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I agree with everyone else’s comments. I consult a couple of crowd calendars but rely mostly on touringplans.com to try to select the week. I don’t tend to use them to plan my days. As others have mentioned it’s better to look at where EMH and the paid events for extra park time are falling.

Based on when you’re there, touring plans has the least crowds at MK on your first two days; those are days when either there are paid early times at other parks or evening extended hours at MK.

In general, I have noticed that crowd calendars are struggling with April and October crowd predictions usually related to weekends; I think those months maybe are increasing in popularity?? But that my anecdotal experience FWIW.
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Old 01-13-2019, 11:33 AM   #14
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Well... you have to use something to decide, and you need to know by 60 days out to get FPs. Why not a crowd calendar? In any case, the time of year you go is more important than which park on which day.

I've found that morning EMH parks work very well if I get there by 7:30. Not for everybody, but it works for me.

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Old 01-13-2019, 11:39 AM   #15
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For your first day, April 10, MK is listed as busy/avoid because it has LATE 10PM-12AM EMH. You didn't mention the ages of your kids so I will assume they are young. If you want to start your first trip to WDW at MK, by all means do that. Just arrive at the gate 30 minutes before opening and you will be fine. Just make sure to have your FP+ selections at the 60 day mark for your arrival date for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (7DMT) if you want to ride that because it will go quickly. Also, if Peter Pan is something you want to ride, do it early. It doesn't have to be FP+ if you do it first or second. The morning will get noticeably busier about 2 hours after opening and be very busy by lunch.

Our general plan is to get FP+ times starting about 1 hour after we get to the park and every hour until lunch. That way we do standby for rides for the first hour while the crowds are light and as the crowds get heavy, do FP+ rides. I'm sure many others do this too. We typically exit the park by 1-2 PM and head back to the hotel for pool time/ relaxing, etc.

Hope your first visit with kids is Magical!
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Old 01-13-2019, 12:14 PM   #16
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Regardless of crowd calendars, I always give this sure bet advice.....

Do rope drop
Leave the parks around 11-noon
Enjoy nonpark activities or pools mid-day
Other then "must" do rides, save fastpasses for evening park time.

Easter is April 21st. Typically, the week prior and after Easter are super busy. You are going two weeks before Easter, which will help with crowd levels. However, a lot of schools/colleges will still be on spring break and the parks will be busy.

Evening EMH hours are so-so, in my opinion. When they were 3-hours, getting on rides were much better then the current 2-hour EMH in the evenings.
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Old 01-13-2019, 04:35 PM   #17
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I think you should plan the trip you envisioned and plan your days expecting crowds. I know that undercover tourist is much more dependable these days than when they first started doing a crowd calendar but Disney can adjust staffing in slower times and attraction times will increase. Or they can release a great deal (for example summer free dining) to increase the crowds.

Recently, there have been many angry posts on the Touring Plans site due to increases in their calendar.

I always try to assume high crowds across all parks. Then, if I have a low crowd day, it is an unexpected gift.

Enjoy your trip!
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:08 PM   #18
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I agree with what others have said in that I consult multiple crowd calendars and use it more of a guide than a hard and fast rule. Also keep in mind while that Wednesday MK might be considered the worse park, what is the overall crowd level expected to be. Is it the worst park when the overall Disney crowd level is an 8-9 or is it the worst park on a 3-4 level day because that makes a difference.

We always do MK first when we get to Disney no matter the day. It just doesn't seem right to go to another park first. We usually take an early flight in so we are at the parks by lunchtime that first day. So sometimes that means we just go for a few hours before hoping to another park.
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:58 PM   #19
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We base our days on what FPs we can get and the restaurants we will be going to. We do a lot of park hopping - almost every day - and can be in 2-3 parks each day (all 4 once). So crowds are less important to us. If you have the FPs you want, then the rest is about the experience you want.

We ALWAYS like to start our trip at MK. We own at PVB so typically stay there or BLT. That makes MK almost always our first park. MK is a "magical start" IMHO and sets the tone for the rest of the trip. Nothing better than starting on Main Street and seeing the castle. Makes me smile even thinking about it. Is it May yet? LOL
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Old 01-14-2019, 12:57 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Miki View Post
I donít hold much stock in crowd calendars like I used to. Too many changes in the past few years. FP+ really changed things up, and Disney pulls rides/cars out of service, TOT running an elevator short on low attendance days, etc. Disney manipulates the wait times and it makes it more difficult now.
This is what I've read also. One site had data on wait times over the last year and even the old EMH vs. Non-EMH advice didn't hold. I saw this the other day https://twitter.com/wiredforflight/s...22299402096641 I think someone said that they wound up being somewhere in between, but still. If the predictions can be so far off, then is there really any point?

I used a calendar a couple years ago and then didn't use one this past year. It didn't make a difference in my experience. Actually, I think we did better on the trip without one because I had a better idea about our plans for each day. We even changed our plans for park days mid-week and we were still fine.
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