How bad would MK be on a non-recommended day...
With a crowd level of 3? My DD birthday is Monday, January 28. I had planned on being at MK on her birthday, but I don't want to wait a long time for rides when I wouldn't have to on another day. I know what the answer will be when the crowd levels are much higher, but what about with a crowd level of 3?
The reason it is not recommended is because of MSEP, which is only offered 3 nights that week. So people who don't have park hoppers and who want to see the parade will be there.
We've personally found that during low crowd levels, non-recommended parks feel very crowded! I think it has something to do with the fact that WDW doesn't increase staffing as much during value season as they do in busier times, and they don't have the rides running at their full potential. For instance, there are two loading sides to BTMRR and during a busy day in value season, they may only run one side even when the standby wait time is 60+ minutes.
Also, there are less food options open, not as many kiosks and quick service registers, so wait times for food can be longer than expected.
Add to that any closed attractions and yes, the park will feel busy and wait times will be higher.
That said, if you could plan a day where you are there at rope drop, stay until noon or 1pm, then leave and do something else and return just for evening entertainment, I would say it is definitely do-able and would be a fun day.
That is the way is was one Sept/Oct when we were there, but I think it there was a higher crowd level when we were there. I may readjust my plans. There are still Be Our Guest reservations available, so I may go ahead with plan B!
Not yet aware she's on A&E's "Disney Intervention"
Originally Posted by pfalcioni
We are going Jan 13-19 and have never been non-holiday, always 9-10 level crowds- maybe a 7 or 8 three days after Thanksgiving. I assumed the non-recommended park was in relative terms to the other parks for the day, not that they adjust all other things accordingly for lower attendance. Have you done peak as well as low crowds to let me know if we would find WORST park- level 3 day anywhere near as bad as BEST Park on a Peak 9 day? (Or something like that?) Maybe I'm overthinking, but we do find best park on Peak days to be quite do-able.
1979 Poly/1982 Poly- Oahu (Tokelau) /1984 FW & Vacation Villas/1989 Off Site
Polynesian Thanksgiving 2007- Grand Gathering of 15!
Poly again..April 2009..just our family of four...ahhh...
February 2011-Back to the Poly says the Birthday Girl! Daytona 500 and WDW for DD's 16th B-Day
February 2012- MKV Room at the Contemporary changed to...thePoly! Then Daytona 500 again!
January 2013- -DH starts college- let's keep life normal! Looks like CR MKV! Nope, GF LV!
The most crowded its been for us is a 7 or 8-ish. Hard to gauge as that was using Tour Guide Mike rather than EasyWDW. We stuck with all recommended parks for the 2 days that were crowded. We noticed that standby lines got longer faster, and that crowded sections of the parks were more difficult to navigate, but the stores weren't packed, and we were able to tour about the same way we always do.
The most crowded park I've ever been in was HS in January of 2009. They had just cut Fantasmic shows back to 2 a week, and Tour Guide Mike hadn't revised the crowd calendar to reflect any potential issues. It was INSANE. We got there at 8am and all the lines were already backed up to the ticket booths. By 9:30 standby at Tower of Terror was 60 minutes.
Contrast that to our HS day earlier in the week with no Fantasmic (same crowd level of 3 or 4). Tower of Terror was a walk-on all day. I did have a 10 minute wait in the Single Rider line for RnRC but I think the standby line was never more than 30 minutes.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that Disney seems to ramp things up during crowded weeks and months, but they don't respond as well to crowded days. At least, that's been my experience. Josh or any of the others here who have gone during Christmas or other really busy seasons can give you a better idea.
who gon stop me? HUH?
Magic Kingdom can surprise you with crowds when the Electrical Parade is scheduled on a limited number of days. With that said, you can certainly make it work. It's going to be busier, but if you do 9am - 2pm with a break and a return, you'll be just fine. If you have another day at Magic Kingdom to hit the biggies, you can also plan to cater more to whatever your daughter wants to do that day. The "specialness" of the day may be worth heavier afternoon crowds.