Are Touringplans crowd numbers inflated?

TraderJeff

Member
That picture of Fantasy Land though, wow! I hope the crowds are thinner on our upcoming trip the week of the 18th! Either way its almost go time for us so it is what it is!
 

cdmurphy727

New member
Ours isn't tied to Easter either since if Easter is too late it gets too close to the day school is out, which is just before Memorial Day.
But it is never AFTER Easter either. It's either at or before.
Angi based on your listed location you and I live in the same county. County school spring break was the week after Easter this year. Started on good Friday (the 25th) and went through the 1st. Which is late for our area. They usually do it the week before Easter. Not sure why the change this year.

Not sure it matters really just sayin sometimes it is after Easter. Maybe that's what you meant by "at".
 

cdmurphy727

New member
That is LITERALLY the worst bottleneck in Magic Kingdom. It doesn't take much for it to back up like that - just a family of three or four stopping near the Peter Pan queue to discuss where they're going to park the stroller.
This.
It was also a non-recommended day.
 

bnoble

he's right
His crowd numbers are assignments of numbers to specific days comparing a day to the days 6 months before and 6 months after.
...and, if memory serves, are based on daily attendance.
 
So any guess as to what has led to the huge increase? Or do you still think this week is not a high crowd week?

I mean, this paragraph doesn't seem to reflect what is happening this week. This week doesn't seem OK to me and I go at Christmas. That picture above is worse than I saw on 12/23

So I don’t see any real crowding issues from April 2, 2016 through mid-May. Almost all of these later spring weeks are recommended. If I’m wrong, the weeks of the 2nd and 23rd will be worse than I’m forecasting–but still OK.
Angie the short version is that I don't know if it's high or not--I will defer to Josh on that!!

All I know is that the spring break dates were not unknowns, that the TP measurement metric is way too sensitive to standby waits that are now swamped by FP+ effects, that reducing capacity goes straight to standby waits, that there have been operational/staffing issues this week that made them even worse (see Josh's tweet on the FP+ return line at 7DMT--that's operations, not crowds, and when the FP+ return line looks like that then the standby line gets even worse) and that the people who note that the biggest bottleneck at MK looks like that most sunny afternoons are right!
 
D

Deleted member 832

Guest
I guess I've been lucky in that I've never seen that many people in that area at MK ever. We've often been in the park in the afternoon but maybe just not in that spot
Though on 12/23 I met my cousin at 2:00 in front of the carousel and it wasn't that packed with people.

Angi based on your listed location you and I live in the same county. County school spring break was the week after Easter this year. Started on good Friday (the 25th) and went through the 1st. Which is late for our area. They usually do it the week before Easter. Not sure why the change this year.

Not sure it matters really just sayin sometimes it is after Easter. Maybe that's what you meant by "at".
Yes, that is what the "at" meant
I'm guessing it's the week after because they started school a week later than recent years
 

finnster77

New member
All the spring break dates were known (e.g. http://yourfirstvisit.net/2015/06/28/disney-world-spring-break-crowds-in-2016/), so they themselves did not lead to unanticipated crowds, unless behavior was different...
But the link you're providing seems to indicate that you did NOT anticipate all the spring breaks that occurred this week. E.G. the greater Atlanta area, many parts of Michigan, the Northeast, etc. has a lot of public schools on break. Many school districts simply did not want to break as early as Easter came this year.
 
But the link you're providing seems to indicate that you did NOT anticipate all the spring breaks that occurred this week. E.G. the greater Atlanta area, many parts of Michigan, the Northeast, etc. has a lot of public schools on break. Many school districts simply did not want to break as early as Easter came this year.
Sorry--the spring break dates were all known and in my database. That's why it is showing 10%* of kids off this week, which based on April history is not a big deal. What I can't/didn't predict is a change in guest behavior (propensity to visit during break) or capacity offered.

For reference I've included the chart from the link below.

Disney-World-Spring-Break-2016-Crowds-from-yourfirstvisit.net_.jpg

*It's not a straight 10% of the 50 million US schoolkids, but 10% of my weighted database where places like Florida and Georgia get extra weights and Hawaii, Alaska, and West Coast schoolkids on break get underweighted, to account for propensity to travel to WDW given location
 

snappity

New member
I'm going during the New England spring break - April 16-23- and have been slightly worried about crowd levels being off. I read last years "How we did" crowd calendar reports on TP blog, and this week last year was also much more crowded than predicted, but the following two weeks were less crowded than predicted, so I am hoping that data is predictive for 2016 as well. I don't know if other sites do the post-mortem, but I found it interesting and kind of reassuring.

I mean, we're going, no matter what - but I am hoping it's a little less insane than the last few weeks. Part of the reason we picked this year is because Easter falls in the NE vacation week next year.
 

DopeyRunr

the jeweled acrobats only perform amazing stunts f
Look, TouringPlans numbers are generated by a computer program. It's an algorithm (formula) which they built using statistical analysis of past behavior. When present behavior varies meaningfully from the behavior modeled by their algorithm (e.g., the introduction of FastPass+, the sudden and unexpected decrease in staffing levels, etc.) then the predictive model breaks. As long as TouringPlans expects crowds to be 8, 9, 10 and they actually end up being 8, 9, 10, it disguises how faulty their model is at predicting what's happening in reality. It's the "even a stopped clock is correct twice a day" theory basically.

TouringPlans problems are complicated by the fact that their owner is stubborn and refuses to accept that there's a problem because he has a graduate degree in statistics and is therefore an expert. If a doctor keeps killing patients and insists they should still be alive, would you trust him because he has a medical degree?

Again, models work great when current patterns resemble the past patterns upon which algorithms are built. But when there is significant deviation (think, global banking crisis) they are nearly worthless.
 

snappity

New member
How are other crowd calendars generated?

ETA: all of the crowd calendars show average levels for this week, but reports are that those are inaccurate. TP is the only one that seems to do a comparison of predicted vs actual, and I would assume that crowd calendars /cheat sheets/etc in general would use past behavior to predict future behavior. I'm finding both easywdw and TP helpful in figuring out our trip, not just the crowd calendars, but it seems ALL sites got it wrong for this week. Actually, it was interesting that yourfirstvisit noted that the first week of April might be busier, and I wonder what the insight was on that prediction.
 
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laribrook

New member
spring break

I still do not believe the crowds are all due to staffing cuts.
Staffing cuts and reduced ride capacity didn't cause this
Definitely!! It's Spring Break this week in all of Metro Atlanta, and we like our Disney Trips!!! I'm not sure why the sites don't take into acct the GA Spring/fall breaks. EVERYONE goes to Disney. It's only an 8 hr drive. We don't go over spring break but we do go over fall, and that week crowds are always higher than predicted also. So I wish they would take that into account, but seriously you can't look up every county in US spring break. But at least the nearby ones I think would help. This year GA fall break is Sept 17-30 depending on your county so I'm sure that will again, be higher than everyone predicts. BUT I know TP says they do NOT take into account how the crowds feel, only ride times. But seriously the crowd feel really affects your trip. I felt that during last years' September MNSSHP. It was super crowded but yes our 7DMT wait was only 35 mins. I found Josh's times more accurate than TP last fall when we were there.
 
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DopeyRunr

the jeweled acrobats only perform amazing stunts f
I don't know if TouringPlans still boasts of measuring their "success" as having actual crowd levels within 2 points, plus or minus, of their prediction. By that standard I could probably be as "successful" by just looking at an ordinary calendar. I'd reserve 10s for just 3-4 weeks/year, never use anything lower than a 3, and most of the time call crowds a 5, 6 or 7.

I don't think they're trying to rip anyone off. I really think they try hard to collect data and feed it into their black box. But that doesn't change the fact that their black box is broken and they're unwilling to admit it.

I have no idea how other websites generate their ratings. With some general familiarity with popular WDW seasons and school break information you could probably get "close enough." This is the only site I'm aware of that claims to use Disney's actual park attendance projections. Who is going to get closer to an accurate projection of Disney's park attendance than Disney itself?
 

snappity

New member
Haha, I love Nate Silver and just saw him talk a few weeks ago, he didn't mention that particular methodology. ;)
 

ChristineOH

Active member
Wow, impressive recording keeping. Curious, what method do you use to keep it? I wouldn't mind doing something like that on our trip next week but knowing me, I'd take 5 min to log those times (and I can't walk and type or write) ;)
I don't know what amk3 does, but I've texted myself notes throughout the day while at the parks. Last trip I used my notes app. I just do very quick notes like
900 bus stop
905 bus
920 MK
940 Space
950 off
And I fill in details later if I want to while in line, on the bus, etc. You can also snap a pic of the FP clock as you walk into a ride, but doesn't take much to type 8 or so characters to note times.
 
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Deleted member 832

Guest
I don't know what amk3 does, but I've texted myself notes throughout the day while at the parks. Last trip I used my notes app. I just do very quick notes like
900 bus stop
905 bus
920 MK
940 Space
950 off
And I fill in details later if I want to while in line, on the bus, etc. You can also snap a pic of the FP clock as you walk into a ride, but doesn't take much to type 8 or so characters to note times.
Too smart. Thanks for sharing your methods. Hadn't thought of either
 
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