Touring Plans vs. WDW Prep School

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Touring Plans vs. WDW Prep School

I'm planning a once in a lifetime trip for my family to celebrate our 35th anniversary. I was thinking we'd go February 26 through March 5. Touring Plans crowd calendar shows 5 and 6 out of 10 and WDW Prep School crowd calendar says moderate crowds. A week later Touring Plans shows 7s all week and WDW Prep School shows low crowds. Do any of you use these crowd calendars? Which one is more accurate?
Thanks for your input.
AZ Shelly

JanJ's picture
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We personally never use any crowd calendar. When we travel, we just pick a park for that day and maybe try another park after lunch, but it's based on us, never any other info. That week should be ok, but it also might be the beginning of some spring breaks, so you may have to plan more, but you can still have fun.

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We have had some of the crowd calendars that were right on and some that were wayyyy off. It doesn't seem to be a particular site issue...just that trends and vacations change from year to year so the calendars can sometimes be off. I glance at them out of curiosity but I don't plan our vacations around them.

One thing to keep in mind...parks offering extended magic hours will normally tend to be busier that day as people without park hoppers may use their 1 park day ticket at the extended hour park to get more bang for their buck.

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Just an FYI, Mardi Gras falls during that week, so half of South Louisiana, South Mississippi and South Alabama will be there that week!! eek That is probably why the crowd calendars are showing moderate crowds. We go almost every year at this time (Mardi Gras week, which varies yearly), and we've never thought the crowds were bad... Now if it falls on President's Day Holiday and weekend, then all bets are off!! mad We will avoid years where Mardi Gras and Prez. Day week fall together. Also the Brazilian tourists tend to flock to Disney at this time since it is their Carnival and summer time... No low season any more, it seems!! confused eek

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I agree there is no low season anymore, so I do not even bother to look at the calendars. We went this February and the days were supposed to be 2s and 3s. Turned out to be more like 7s or 8s due to large tour groups and cheerleaders, but we still had a great time!

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Here's a calendar:

Weekends- Very crowded
Kids are out of school- Very crowded
Holiday- Very, very crowded
All other times- Crowded

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The Colonel wrote:
Here's a calendar:

Weekends- Very crowded
Kids are out of school- Very crowded
Holiday- Very, very crowded
All other times- Crowded

That sums it up perfectly!

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I saw that Mardi Gra was happening during one of the weeks we were considering. I thought people flocked to Louisiana for that, not WDW. Good to know. Thanks.
AZ Shelly

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If you're going to use a crowd calendar, use EasyWDW. The numbers are all relative (i.e. a "4" doesn't mean there will be no lineups, but it's less busy than "holy cow, they've closed the park!". Josh explains the reasons behind the numbers, and we've had great trips using his suggestions.

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LouisianaMike's picture
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AZ Shelly wrote:
I saw that Mardi Gra was happening during one of the weeks we were considering. I thought people flocked to Louisiana for that, not WDW. Good to know. Thanks.
AZ Shelly

Shelly,

Us locals leave for Disney to get away from the crazies that come to town for Mardi Gras. In most parts of South Louisiana, South Mississippi and South Alabama, schools are off the entire week of Mardi Gras, thus the vacations to Disney and skiing is popular too.

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LouisianaMike wrote:
AZ Shelly wrote:
I saw that Mardi Gra was happening during one of the weeks we were considering. I thought people flocked to Louisiana for that, not WDW. Good to know. Thanks.
AZ Shelly

Shelly,

Us locals leave for Disney to get away from the crazies that come to town for Mardi Gras.

I was one of those crazies a few times.

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JMed's picture
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We never us a calendar either, we go when we go and deal with it. If we have to leave one park for another, we do. We spend time in Disney Springs. And the Colonel is absolutely correct on his crowd calendar rolling

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I use Touring Plans, but I agree with Finngirl that you have to understand what goes into creating those numbers to begin with. Touring plans also does well to explain how they get at their numbers, and much of theirs has to do with the ride wait times. However if there are special events going on, that doesn't mean that the Park on't be crowded with guests doing non-ride based things. They have worked very hard over the past several years to adjust their data points to reflect the special events and these things are usually noted on their calendar as Disney has tried to level out it's peaks and valleys to a constant flow of guests.

You also need to know that no matter what the numbers say ahead of time, you never really know what it will be like. It's all just an educated guess.

I prefer to travel in times that Touring Plans says crowds are at a 3-4, but I can be comfortable up to a 5. After that it begins to get a little much for me, but members of my family have anxiety and really don't like dealing with crowds.

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I use Touring Plans to help me avoid the worst crowds, but you can never really know what the crowds will be like until you get there.