FAQ on How to Use Our Tool to Spend Less Time in Line
What is a Crowd Calendar?
Our Walt Disney World Crowd Calendar is a researched measure of how many people are visiting Walt Disney World on a particular day. For Disney World as whole and for each individual theme park (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios), we give a rank for every day of the year, from those that are the least crowded (Level 1) to those that are the most crowded (Level 10).
You can use this information to make informed decisions about what time of year to plan your Disney vacation and to help decide which day to visit each theme park during your trip.
How do We Determine Crowd Levels?
We use a lot of data.
We have a pool of historical data that includes over 8 million wait times, accumulated over more than 10 years of Disney World operations. Additionally, we track holiday dates and the vacation schedules of more than 140 key school districts, paying particular attention to floating dates such as President’s Day and Easter which impact winter and spring break crowds. We also use economic data from the US and other countries, which point us to travel spending trends. Historical and predicted weather data go into our models, as do observations about Disney's operations such as new attraction openings and maintenance schedules.
Further, Lines (Our TouringPlans app) users and our own employees record attraction wait times every day.
Posted wait time is the wait time that Disney posts on a sign outside of an attraction and in their app. Actual wait time is the amount of time a guest actually waited to get on an attraction. We predict both posted and actual wait times. Disney typically inflates the posted wait time so people are happy when they actually wait a short time.
We then crunch all the numbers and patterns into highly educated estimates of crowd levels and wait times. Whew!
How Accurate are Our Predictions?
We offer the most accurate Disney Crowd predictions available, if we do say so ourselves.
We are completely transparent about our prediction success rate. The top of the Crowd Calendar always gives a summary of how well our prediction matches the actual observed crowds on the previous day. We also publish a monthly article on our blog at touringplans.com/blog with a summary of how our predictions fared during the previous month. And we periodically tweak our analysis to keep our numbers on track.
Overall, we’re incredibly accurate, and if we’ve had a bad day, we let you know, and let you know what went wrong.
What is a 'Crowd'?
Sounds like a silly question but it may not be as simple as you think. You might say, "a crowd is a crowd, of course" but do we all define it the same way? When we say that we want to measure how crowded a theme park resort is we might be referring to any one of the following possibilities.
- How hard is it to walk around the parks?
- How far in advance do I have to book my hotel to make sure I get a room?
- How long do I have to wait to experience the most popular attractions?
- What is the total attendance across the resort?
- When I tour around the parks how does it feel? Do I feel like people are in my personal space or is there room to breathe?
- There are lots of other ways too: “How hard is it to find a parking space?” “Can I get the restaurant reservation I want?” or “Will the bus from my hotel to the theme park be so full that I’ll have to stand?” These are all perfectly valid ways to define a 'crowd' and it really doesn't matter which one you choose. All that matters is that the definition is clear and that we all know which one we are using.
What Do the Crowd Calendar Numbers Mean?
The crowd level is based on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the least crowded and 10 being most crowded. The scale represents the average wait time between 11 AM and 5 PM at key attractions.
How Do I Use the Crowd Calendar?
Click on the individual days or use the "Jump to Day" form to see the crowd levels, park recommendations, park hours and parade and firework schedules for a single day on one simple page.
Compare the crowds from your previous trip to your next one in the Historical Crowds section.
How important is choosing the right time of year to visit?
We’ll be honest, all things being equal you’re likely to have a more relaxing visit to Walt Disney World if you visit on a day we’ve ranked as a Crowd Level 2 than you will on a Crowd Level 9 day. So, if you can choose a lower crowd time to visit, that may mean that you can be a little more lax with your trip planning and still get to see everything that’s important to you.
But we understand that school and work schedules may prevent you from visiting during the lower crowd times. (Lots of other people are in the same boat, that’s why certain times of the year are more crowded.) Even if you’re visiting on a Level 9 to Level 10 day, we have a big box of planning tools to help you save time in line and enjoy your vacation to the fullest.
Foremost are our Touring Plans and Lines app, which direct you to the best order to experience attractions with the least possible time spent waiting in line.
Our Hotel Tools can assist you in choose the best place to stay during your trip. We even offer a service that will make a request for a particular view or a particular room.
Our Best Ticket Price Tool can help you identify the best priced theme park tickets, leaving you with more money for entertainment, transportation, or souvenirs.
Our Menu Pages can point you to the places to dine for your family. And our Disney Reservation Finder Tool can help you get reservations at the restaurants you need.
How Important Is Choosing the Right Day to Visit Each Park?
The quick answer is...using the Crowd Calendar to determine which parks to visit in which order is not as important as you might think. The long answer is that there are a lot of more important factors that determine how long you will wait in line. The time of year, the time of day and the attractions you choose to experience will have a much greater impact on how much time you spend in line. And reducing your time in line is our goal and yours.
|Time of Day||10|
|Extra Magic Hour Morning||5|
|Day of the Week||2|
So what does this tell us? According to our data, the attractions you visit and the time of day at which you visit them will have the greatest influence on how long you wait. On the other hand, the day of week and the weather will play only a small role. Statistically speaking, the time that you arrive at the park is 5 times more important than the day of the week. Still, there can sometimes be an advantage to selecting one park over another on a particular day. For more on that, check out ourWalt Disney World Park Recommendations page.
The biggest tip to help with your day is to get to the parks before they open, which will allow you to get to the busiest attractions before they build large waits.
If you are staying at a Disney hotel, you can use the morning or evening Extra Magic Hours (EMH), which is an advantage in the morning. That's where we suggest starting when choosing your days; if you can use the morning EMH and think you'll be able to make it to the park at least 15 minutes before they start then choose the parks with morning EMH. If not, avoid those parks and try to get to the park at least 30 minutes before the regular opening time.
How does a particular holiday, special event, or convention affect crowds?
We have hundreds of direct and indirect factors that construct our crowd models, so the general answer to this question is, "Yes."
Some of the factors have greater influence than others, and each attraction is different. For example, attractions like Splash Mountain and Kali River Rapids have wait times that are heavily influenced by weather, and wait times at rides like Space Mountain and Rock 'n Roller Coaster are noticeably impacted by whether schools are in session.We have specific comments about certain holidays and events on our Walt Disney World Crowd Levels page.
Do You Predict Crowds More Than A Year in Advance?
We are only comfortable projecting the crowds up to one year ahead of time (and even that comes with a fair amount of uncertainty), so that's as far out as we make available.If you want a guess for tentative planning (which is all that can reasonably be done so far in advance), you can look at similar days during the current year.
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Which Disney crowd calendar is most accurate? ›
The Park Prodigy's Los Angeles Crowd Calendar is the best tool to see how busy each theme park will be during a specific month, week, and day. It's the perfect resource for families to rely on as they begin to plan their vacation at Disneyland and/or Universal Studios Hollywood.What is the least crowded month to go to Disney? ›
- January, February, and September (excluding holiday weeks) are historically the least crowded. ...
- January and February have the best weather. ...
- Late August and September are best for fall decor and Halloween activities.
- December 26-31. This is the most crowded and most expensive time of year. ...
- Mid-February through mid-April (or later, depending on the date of Easter). ...
- Midsummer (June through early August).
(For the exact same reason, Disney's Hollywood Studios is also seeing higher crowds on Tuesdays as it's become a #2 park for many people.) This leaves Wednesday and Thursday as the least busy days of the week at Magic Kingdom.What is Disney's best kept secret? ›
The existence of the utilidors — a system of tunnels underneath Magic Kingdom — is perhaps the best-known Disney World secret. The tunnels are key to keeping this park running — and the magic alive. Ever wondered how you've never spotted a cast member in an Adventureland costume over in Fantasyland?Does Disney overestimate wait times? ›
“They definitely skew about 20 percent higher than actual wait times. They do often use them as a way to pull people away from a ride.” Doug Sisk, who runs WDW Passport, which offers live wait times, says that Disney usually inflates times by between 25 and 50 percent.How do I avoid long wait times at Disney? ›
- Visit During the Off-Peak Period.
- Arrive Before Opening Time.
- Reserve Your Breakfast.
- Get a Fast Pass.
- Watch for Extra Magic Hours.
- Take an Afternoon Break.
- Approach the Park Differently.
- Avoid the Rush.
January 1-2 – very busy time as people use their days off from work/school to vacation at Disney World for the holidays. January 3-9 – most schools are back in session during this time, but you can still expect moderate to heavy crowds due to the extremely popular runDisney Walt Disney World Marathon.What is the hottest month at Disney? ›
- Hottest Month: July and August, 91 degrees Fahrenheit (33 degrees Celsius)1
- Coldest Month: January, 48 degrees Fahrenheit (9 degrees Celsius)
- Wettest Month: July, 7 inches.
- Driest Month: November, 2 inches.
It's always a great time to visit Disney theme parks! However, when planning a trip to the Disneyland Resort, expect lower crowds from mid-September through mid-November (before the Thanksgiving break). Mid-January through mid-March is another time when potentially lower crowds are expected.
Is Disney less crowded at night? ›
Many of the families and groups with smaller children tend to head in a little early and head back to their resorts during the late-night hours. This means that if the parks are open later that you can expect far fewer crowds during the evening hours.Which Disney park to skip? ›
Disney World Parks to Skip to Avoid Crowds
To accomplish this, you will want to skip Magic Kingdom. Magic Kingdom is the headliner park of Walt Disney World, and draws in the highest crowd levels, especially on weekends. Instead, try EPCOT and Animal Kingdom.
The Walt Disney Company pays its employees an average of $23.89 an hour. Hourly pay at The Walt Disney Company ranges from an average of $15.05 to $52.33 an hour.Can you bring food into Disney World? ›
A: Guests are allowed to bring outside food and nonalcoholic beverage items into the park for self-consumption, provided they are not in glass containers and do not require heating, reheating, processing, refrigeration or temperature control and do not have pungent odors.Why are there no mirrors in Disney bathrooms? ›
Because they cannot be monitored as easily, Disney restrooms have fewer mirrors to help cut down on vandalism. Fewer mirrors equal fewer scratches, defacements and other acts of vandalism.What is code v Disney? ›
Cast Members have a secret language
For example, a “Code P” means someone accidentally urinated in the park and a “Code V” stands for vomit.
According to an anonymous Disney employee, the gesture harkens back to when Disney use to walk through his eponymously named park, cigarette in hand, pointing out different areas of the park to guests with two fingers stretched out.What does a 13 minute wait at Disney mean? ›
If either attraction has a wait time of 13 minutes for the standby line, get in line! 13 minutes is a 'code' for no wait time at all. In the case of these two attractions, number 13 happens to be a lucky number! ( Photo Credit Meeko)What Disney park has the longest wait times? ›
- At Hollywood Studios, Tower of Terror took the lead with 98 minutes. ...
- And finally, we get to Disney's Animal Kingdom. ...
- What's your best advice for avoiding the long lines in Disney World?
The significant staff shortages were felt by guests since parks reopened. Understaffing has been the reported cause of a number of standards-related concerns, associated with everything from ride and park maintenance, customer support, and dining and resort experiences.
Is Disney World free on your birthday? ›
Guests often wonder if Disney World is free on their birthday. Disney does not give you free admission on your birthday but they do give you special treatment, free food, and other perks. Let's take a look at the benefits of celebrating a birthday at Walt Disney World Resort.What app tells you wait times at Disney World? ›
Use Disney Genie service, an exciting new feature, for: A personalized itinerary, based on your interests and favorites. Time-saving access to popular attractions and dining. Your own tip board, to track the wait times for your top experiences.Is January or February better for Disney? ›
Disney World theme parks are usually less crowded from January 2nd until Presidents' Day weekend (the third Monday in February), the week following Labor Day until the weekend preceding Thanksgiving week, and the week after Thanksgiving weekend until the weekend before Christmas vacation week.Is January too cold for Disney? ›
The weather at Disney World in January is fairly dry with warmer days and chilly nights making it a great time of the year to visit. The average high for Orlando in January is 72 degrees with the average low being 48 degrees.Is January too cold for Disney World? ›
Is it too cold for Disney World in January? On average, no. In January, average temperatures at the Walt Disney World Resort are a high of 72 and a low of 51. In February, it's 75 and 54 and in March it's a balmy 79 and 57.Why do they scan your finger at Disney World? ›
The finger scanning process is really there to help prevent ticket fraud which is why you'll need to do it each time you enter the theme park. Typing it all out makes it seem like a drawn-out process but really it takes 10 to 15 seconds per person at most.What is the rainiest month in Orlando? ›
The driest month is December with 7 mm of rainfall and 30 perfect sunny days. The wettest month is August with 85 mm of rain over 9 days.Is Disney too hot in October? ›
October is perhaps the best time of year to go to Disney World. The crowds range from light to low-moderate, and the weather is gorgeous. No siestas necessary for this month.Is Disney Genie Plus worth it? ›
For most guests who want to get on as many attractions as possible during their Disney trip, Disney Genie+ is worth the added cost to avoid spending hours waiting in line. There are plenty of ways to save money at Disney so that you can fit Genie+ into your budget and have the most magical vacation possible.What is the hottest month at Disneyland? ›
Spring Break: Second Week of March through Easter Week. Summer Break: Memorial Day through mid-August. Highest Summer Crowds: July 1 through mid-August.
How long do people stay at Disney on average? ›
After all, it's the world's most visited theme park. For a Disney vacation where you'll be spending multiple days visiting the parks, an average stay is around 4-5 days.How many days do most people stay at Disney? ›
Most Common Trip Length – 4 or 5 Days: This trip length works well for most people because you can visit all four Disney World theme parks, even possibly enjoy a second day at a favorite park, and it fits within most people's work vacation limits.What is a good age to take a kid to Disney? ›
School age (6-12)
Most should be tall enough to ride everything – including the more thrilling rides like Space Mountain and Rise of the Resistance. Tickets are discounted for kids 6-9. Kids this age have better stamina and can likely hang in the parks for longer stretches without getting worn out.
#1 – The Best Disney Park – Magic Kingdom
Home to the most magical castle on Earth and some of the most classic attractions in theme parks. Magic Kingdom is such a special park, Walt Disney World even through it an extra special 50th Anniversary Celebration in 2021!
Disney's Hollywood Studios is the smallest of the four theme parks at somewhere around 1.4 miles. You'll log these miles by walking the park's perimeter down Hollywood Blvd to Sunset Blvd, Animation Courtyard, Pixar Place, Grand Avenue, over to Echo Lake, and back to the entrance.Which Disney park is least kid friendly? ›
Hollywood Studios has the fewest toddler-friendly attractions. Most of the rides have height requirements that young ones won't be able to meet. However, the park has several locations to meet their favorite Disney characters.Who is the highest paid employee at Disney? ›
The Walt Disney Company employees with the job title Senior Software Engineer make the most with an average annual salary of $139,847, while employees with the title Marketing Coordinator make the least with an average annual salary of $49,490.What is the highest paying job at Disney? ›
|Rank||Job Title||Average The Walt Disney Company Salary|
|1||Senior Software Engineer||$167,171|
While these rules seem extreme, they're put in place for a reason: to keep things as magical as possible for guests. The pay is awesome. It's rumored that Tink gets paid around $500 per flight across the Magic Kingdom's sky, which isn't bad for 30 seconds of work, if you ask us.Is there free water at Disney World? ›
Bottled water at the Walt Disney World Resort is not free, but tap water is. There are several water fountains found throughout each park, and free tap water is available at all quick service locations.
Are backpacks allowed in Disney World? ›
Guests are welcome to carry a bag or backpack with them into the theme parks. The maximum allowable bag size is 24" by 18" by 15". All Guests and their bags will undergo a security screening process prior to entering the theme parks and Disney Springs.Can I refill my water bottle at Disney World? ›
Water bottle filling stations are a relatively new addition to Walt Disney World theme parks and are located mostly in new or newly renovated areas.What day of the week is Disney most crowded? ›
In general the best days of the week to visit the Disney World parks are Tuesday and Wednesday. The reason being is many families find that you need an entire week for a Disney vacation and typically arrive on Saturday or Sunday. We find weekends and Monday to be the busiest days at Walt Disney World.How do you beat the crowds at Disney World? ›
- Early Theme Park Entry.
- Ride Popular Rides Between 12-2 pm.
- Grab Lunch or Dinner at a Disney Resort.
- Reconsider your Disney Transportation Choices.
- Make Mobile Order your new best friend.
- Use Mobile Check-Out at the Gift Shops.
- Take the Secret Shortcuts at Each Disney Park.
Sunday is the busiest day at every Walt Disney World Park. Saturday the second busiest. Monday the third busiest. Friday the fourth busiest.How accurate are touring plans? ›
A: Two to Four Percent Depending On The Park
There is a small chance (but not an insignificant one) that you will experience a crowd level much higher than predicted so having a back-up plan (read: Touring Plan) is a very good idea.
Tuesday is the best
Tuesdays typically, not always, but typically, Tuesdays is the best day of the week to visit the Magic Kingdom. It's just the day when the last week crowds, the weekend crowds are gone. The next week crowds come in on Wednesday. So it's typically the best day.
Cut the standby lines with Disney Genie+
Many theme parks have cut-the-line or virtual queuing services that help you stand in line less. For many years, Disneyland offered a free service called FastPass and a paid upgrade called MaxPass that allowed guests to reserve times to return to rides with a shorter wait.
Disney's Hollywood Studios is probably the most crowded park in Disney World on a regular basis. Although crowds will be drawn away from it on special occasions such as New Years Eve or the 50th anniversary celebration, every regular day here include high wait times and crowds.How do you skip a line in Disney? ›
Disney Genie+ is a paid service that allows you to skip the standby line and use the Lightning Lane entrance at select attractions. Guests can book their first Genie+ ride selections starting at 7 AM on the day of their visit. This applies to both those who stay at a Disney Resort Hotel or stay off-property.
Is Disney World attendance down? ›
Disney continues to keep peak attendance at 20 percent below pre-pandemic levels at Walt Disney World.Does touring plans have an app? ›
Note: Downloading the app is free, but requires a Walt Disney World TouringPlans.com Subscription to gain access to the wait times and crowd data.Is Flight of Passage wait time accurate? ›
Avatar Flight of Passage Possible Delays
On average, there are 6 minutes worth of delays per day. A delay is considered as any time the attraction does not report wait time data for 10 minutes or more.