I wanted to take a moment to make sure we’re all on the same page about Park recommendations on the easyWDW Crowd Calendars. Each box on the crowd calendar looks something like this:
December 15, 2010
The fifth line lists each of the four major theme parks, either in green or red. Green indicates the Park is “recommended” and red indicates the Park is “not recommended.” However, it is important to note that all recommendations are not equal. The Park listed on the far left of the line is the most recommended Park to visit that day. The Park second to the left is the second most recommended, and the third from the left is the third most recommended. You could think of it as the first Park is rated five stars, the second is rated four stars, and the third from the left is rated three stars. Often times, the second or third recommended Park will only be recommended if you’re interested in a particular feature that the Park has to offer that day. For example, December 15th is shown in the picture above. Epcot is our most recommend Park because it had morning Extra Magic Hour yesterday, Fantasmic at Hollywood Studios will draw a lot of people, the Magic Kingdom is open late with both Wishes and Main Street Electrical Parade scheduled, and Animal Kingdom has a very popular evening Extra Magic Hours. This means that the majority of people will have a reason to head somewhere other than Epcot and Epcot will have the lowest crowds of the week.
Hollywood Studios is recommended, but only if you want to see Fantasmic as indicated in the lengthy day-by-day analysis below the calendar. Every day has an explanation of why the Parks are recommended or not recommended and in what circumstances it makes sense to go to a Park that is recommended second, third, or fourth on the list. Hollywood Studios is almost always busier when it has a Fantasmic scheduled in the evening due to the popularity of the show and limited offerings throughout the week. Since there is no way around seeing Fantasmic without being at the Hollywood Studios on a day when it’s shown, Hollywood Studios is tentatively recommended because the Animal Kingdom’s evening Extra Magic Hours will be popular and the Magic Kingdom’s late hours and Wishes and Main Street Electrical Parade will also pull people away from Hollywood Studios. It is not an optimal day to head to the Studios, but it remains recommended if you want to see Fantasmic. The same is true for the Magic Kingdom. It is not the best day to go to the Magic Kingdom during the week, but it will be fine if you’re interested in seeing the Main Street Electrical Parade and Wishes. For optimal days at both Parks, look for when they are recommended first on the calendar and be sure to read the analysis for each day of your vacation in its entirety. If you have any questions or aren’t sure about something, feel free to post a question or send me an email through the “about me” button at the top of this page.
Basically, if you want to find the shortest lines and the easiest touring experience, you’ll want to strongly consider the most recommended Park to visit each day, which is indicated by the fact that it’s recommended “first.” The second and third recommended Parks may also make sense to your group, but it usually means you’ll run into heavier crowds than when the Park is recommended higher.
This is explained above the crowd calendar image, but I wanted to make sure no one missed it because it is an important point to consider when making your plans.