Disney Crowd Calendars – And Why We Don’t Use Them
In the past, when planning a Disney vacation, I looked to crowd calendars to help me plan my dates. That is no longer the case. With the changes made at the parks and the number of guests visiting these days, crowd calendars are not so accurate. I don’t recommend using a crowd calendar to plan your next Disney vacation.
Related – How To Handle The Crowds At Disney World
What is a Crowd Calendar?
Crowd calendars are usually created by Disney blog sites. They break down monthly, weekly, and often daily crowd levels for Walt Disney World and Disneyland. Typically, they will give a park a crowd level rating from 1-10 each day with 1 being the least crowded and 10 being the most crowded. Sometimes the sites use a color code instead with green being a light crowd day, yellow being moderately crowded, and red being very crowded.
Crowd calendars are typically created with multiple factors in mind. Factors can include historic crowd levels, resort and ticket prices, special events at the parks, school calendars, local events, holidays, historic (or known) promotions being offered, and more. The information is compiled and then crowd levels are estimated.
Crowd calendars are never 100% accurate and with the new park reservation system and increased park attendance since the pandemic, it’s even more difficult to predict crowd levels.
Related – Is there a slow season at Disney World anymore?
Why you Shouldn’t Plan your trip Around a Crowd Calendar
Here’s why you shouldn’t plan your trip completely around a crowd calendar:
Park hours can change! Disney changes park hours often and sometimes last minute. This can change crowd levels drastically! And with most guests planning their trip months (sometimes a year) in advance, that crowd calendar is not very helpful.
Opening dates for new experiences. Disney doesn’t always announce opening dates for new rides or restaurants until a couple of months before the opening. Typically, we will know the season a new experience is opening (ie. “coming summer 2022”) well in advance but the official date doesn’t come until much later. Crowd calendars can’t predict those opening dates with enough time to help guests plan.
Promotions. In the last couple of years, Disney’s promotions have varied from years past. You used to be able to predict when a promotion would be available. Now, promotions are added, extended, changed, or even non-existent.
Everyone uses crowd calendars. Since crowd calendars have become popular, more and more people have used them and based their trips on them. This in turn makes the lower crowd days not so low! The secret got out and more people are visiting the parks during historically lower crowd days.
Park Pass Reservation System. The Park Pass Reservation System, in theory, is good for Disney to control park attendance. Guests can also look at the reservation availability calendar before purchasing their tickets to see what days are full. This is not a guarantee of crowd levels, but you can see what days to definitely avoid.
How to choose vacation dates
Here are some good rules to follow if you want lower crowds during your Disney vacation dates:
Avoid holidays. Christmas, New Year’s, Easter, Independence Day…etc. All of those holidays will see large crowds at Disney parks. Also, avoid Spring Break and any 3-day weekends.
Avoid weekends. Weekends are always busier than weekdays. Locals tend to visit the parks more on the weekends as well as families taking quick weekend trips. Try to plan your trip for weekdays if you can.
Avoid opening days. The first day of an event or festival at the parks is busier than the rest of the time the event is happening. So, try to avoid the first day of an Epcot festival, a party day at Magic Kingdom, or an opening date for a new ride. Media like bloggers and influencers flock to the parks on the first day of any event which means that park will be very busy.
With post-pandemic attendance still increasing at the Disney parks, it feels like there’s no longer a “slow time.” Keep in mind that crowds are a part of Disney parks and you’ll likely experience them when you visit. The best thing to do is to plan for them and plan to have a great time no matter what!
It also helps to have someone help you come up with a plan to navigate the crowds during your trip. That’s where I come in! I am a travel agent with Destinations to Travel and my services are complimentary. I’d love to help you plan a magical Disney vacation so contact me today to get started!
Let our friends at Destinations to Travel help you book your next Disney Vacation. They are the preferred Travel Agency of Chip and Company and Disney Addicts, and who we use ourselves.
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