If You Care About October 2011, Start Here:
I updated the full October 2011 Crowd Calendar last night with the addition of Fantasmic to most nights during the month. It is a slow process, as each month’s “analysis” is about 60 pages and there are certain nuances that change the recommendations from one week to the next. Some months are more different than others in regards to to how the schedule pans out. In October, Sunday sees Extra Magic Hours at three different theme parks. Two Mondays feature Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party while three others offer evening Extra Magic Hours and Main Street Electrical Parade. Three of the four Fridays have Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, while one has Wishes, but no Main Street Electrical Parade. Luckily, there are some constants, like Magic Kingdom’s extended hours and Main Street Electrical Parades on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Epcot’s Extra Magic Hours are also always on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. These sorts of events create an anchor for the rest of the week’s recommendations. The summer months are nice because the Extra Magic Hours schedule, evening entertainment, operating hours, and crowds are similar over the course of about ten weeks. Fall and winter…not so much.
Most of the recommendation changes in October are at Hollywood Studios. Since that’s the Park that now has added entertainment, it makes a lot of sense. Speaking of luck, Hollywood Studios will actually remain the most recommended Park on Wednesdays because of the evening Extra Magic Hours at Epcot and rare Main Street Electrical Parade/Wishes at Magic Kingdom every week. Hopefully many of you were planning to visit the Studios on a Wednesday anyway. The other major change throughout the month is that Saturdays at Hollywood Studios are no longer “tentatively recommended.” Previously, we only had the usual morning Extra Magic Hour without Fantasmic. Because Fantasmic was so popular when it was offered on a limited number of nights and Saturdays at Magic Kingdom were so popular, many Disney resort guests ignored the Extra Magic Hours schedule on those Saturdays. We can expect that more Disney resort guests will heed the Extra Magic Hours schedule now that they will also enjoy the same operating hours and Fantasmic. A similar explanation to this is attached to the “daily analysis” on most Saturdays throughout the month. Overall, most of you should get off pretty easy with the new update. There are only a few instances where actually changing your itinerary might be prudent and even then, arriving early and touring efficiently on a non-recommended day is better than arriving at 11am and trying to get on Toy Story Mania on the most-recommended day. Even on that non-recommended Saturday, you can still have a ton of success if you arrive by 7:45am, hit the headliners first thing, take a break around 1pm to rest up for Fantasmic, and return in the evening for dinner, some rides with FASTPASSes collected earlier in the day, and Fantasmic.
If You Only Care About March 2012 (and a little bit about November 2011 – February 2012), Start Here:
I’ll be updating the March 2012 Crowd Calendar next, followed by November, December, January, and February. I’m skipping ahead to March since that’s the next month where people will be able to make their original dining reservations. January shouldn’t change much because Fantasmic is only added to a few days at the beginning of the month. The second half of February will change a bit due to the addition of Fantasmic, but the first two weeks should stay largely the same. The changes to non-holiday weeks in November and December should be similar to October’s because the Mickey’s Party schedule is such an influence on crowd movement on any given day.