Busy Day Guide Accuracy
The DIBB produces one of the easiest to use and best Busy Day Guides (Crowd Calendar) for the theme parks available. Our busy day guide is constantly updated, almost on a daily basis and covers not just Disney theme parks but also the other major theme parks in the Orlando Area.
The DIBB Busy Day Guide does not just recommend parks based on the predicted crowd level, we use other data and over 20 years of experience to recommend what we think is the best park to visit on any given day.
What is even better is it is totally FREE, you do not need to subscribe.
What is a Busy Day Guide?
A Busy Day Guide or Crowd Calendar is a guide to give recommendations for which park to visit on a given day.
Why would anyone want to use a Busy Day Guide?
Knowing which theme parks are busier than others on certain days allows you to plan the best days to visit each theme park and avoiding the theme parks that are at their busiest. If you visit a theme park and it happens to be very crowded then you spend much longer standing in line waiting for the rides, shows and restaurants. So avoiding the crowds makes good sense to maximise your time in the theme parks.
It is worth noting though that in some instances a park can be more crowded but still be the best park to visit on that day as it depends on what the crowds are doing. If they are eating and drinking at a special event for example, that leaves the attractions with shorter lines.
Does using a Busy Day Guide mean I will be able to select parks that will have no crowds?
The simple answer to this is, no.
The Busy Day Guide is an indication of what parks should be crowded or are less crowded on a particular day. However if you visit at peak times it's worth noting that ALL the parks are going to be very busy and the difference in crowd levels between a recommended and not recommended park can be very slight, almost un-noticeable. Due to this the DIBB often recommends a park based on factors that are not dependant on just crowd levels.
Why do the Busy Day Guides differ from each other?
Along with the DIBB some other websites also produce their own busy day guides or crowd calendars and we often get asked by our members which guide is the most accurate, well to answer this you really need to know how the Busy Day Guides are calculated.
There are generally 4 ways to produce a Busy Day Guide:
- Use a mathematical formula based on factors that influence crowd patterns and add in years of experience.
- Use historical park crowd data and change the dates to match future months.
- Make a complete guess.
- Copy another sites data
Here at the DIBB we use method number 1 above. We create a crowd pattern formula based on things like, Live wait times from the parks, Historical attendance and wait time figures, theme park opening hours, extra magic hours, special events, public holidays and much more. Using this formula and combining our many years of theme park experience we can come up with a very good prediction.
Assuming another website hasn't just made a random guess (and some of them do) and are using a similar formula that we use then you would think that the busy day guides they produce would be exactly the same as the one we produce. However if you compare them, you will find differences. Sometimes those differences may be slight other times they may be polar opposites, such as one guide recommending a park and another not recommending a park on a certain day.
So why the differences?
Well we could baffle you with pages of technical details and pages of explanation trying to convince you that ours must be the best because we explain it such great detail but I think that would be wrong.
We do like to give you the truth here on the DIBB, this might come as a shock to you, but...
It is all just a GUESS
OK, Let me explain
Yep, that's right, I did say it's just a guess!
, when I say a guess what I actually mean is an educated guess or prediction, the DIBB has a very good track record of making very good predictions when it comes to the best park to visit on a given day.
No one, not even the theme parks themselves can accurately predict the numbers of visitors each theme park will receive each day. There are just too many variables that can affect guests visiting the theme parks.
We use all available data to produce a formula that allows us to come up with what we think will be the best day to visit a park.
You will find differences between websites. The DIBB will have a completely valid reason as to why we either recommend or don't recommend a particular theme park on a particular day.
Very often we use other factors not associated with crowd levels to help us recommend park. As an example at EPCOT during the Food and Wine Festival the formula may tell us to avoid EPCOT due to the extra crowds, however experience shows us that although the Food and Wine festival increases the crowds in EPCOT significantly, it doesn't generally increase the ride wait times. This is because the crowds flock to the food and drink stands and the ride queues are usually shorter than the crowds would indicate.
Another example and one which I think other sites neglect to take in to account is the manipulation of wait times. Attractions/rides do not always run at full capacity and the associated wait times can vary depending on the level of manipulation, this in turn can give a false indication of crowd level if only looking at wait times.
If the crowd level in a park is low then it makes economical sense not to fully man the attractions and to artificially increase wait times. For instance if you take a ride like Dumbo which has two carousels it makes no operational sense to run both carousels and have a wait time of 10 minutes. It is much better (operationally) to just run one carousel and increase the wait time to 20 minutes, this saves staffing costs and wear and tear on the ride. If you were to use wait times as an indication of crowd levels then you would have a false prediction in this situation.
One thing to keep in mind is that the crowd levels between the theme parks on any particular day is usually very slight. So if there are no special events occurring then in real terms the difference in crowd levels between a recommended theme park and a not recommended theme park may be only very small.
So, which Busy Day Guide / Crowd Calendar is the most accurate?
In our opinion the DIBB is the most accurate Busy Day Guide. This is because we do not solely rely on historical crowd data like other web sites and we do not solely rely on wait times like some sites. Additionally we factor in and cover all the theme parks, not just the Disney ones.
In our opinion any guide that tries to predict more than 6 months in advance is probably going to be less accurate. The reason for this is the biggest factor governing crowd levels is the Park Hours and Extra Magic Hours. Disney do not release the schedules for more than about 6 months in advance. Any guide giving you more than 6 months in advance is more than likely using a guess based on previous years data and you will probably find that they change their predictions quite a lot as and when the actual hours are released by Disney.
We have lots of members reporting back that the DIBB Busy Day Guide worked for them. I personally use it and it definitely works for me. We have seen reports where members reporting back from WDW say the park they were in that day was extremely quiet and when we check the DIBB's guide for that day it says that park was a recommended park where other guides say it was not recommended. That speaks volumes for our predictions
With all that said though, we do feel that in reality, no one can realistically tell you that one guide is more accurate than another. The main reason for this is, if you are using a particular guide and the park you are in is recommended as being the quietest by that guide, you might think that the guide has got it right, but how do you actually know? The other parks, the ones you are not in, could actually be a lot quieter, thereby making your park the busy one and making the guide inaccurate
I often hear someone being adamant that the guide they use is the most accurate, they normally justify their argument by quoting pages of technical reasons that some site has listed, but in reality you cant be in more than one place at once, so they only think their guide is the most accurate, not that it actually is.
You also have the catch 22 situation. If by some sheer chance one particular guide was proved to be the most accurate, then everyone would use it and that in itself would make it inaccurate
So if someone tells you that a particular guide is the most accurate, we would recommend that you take that assessment with a large 'pinch of salt', as they say.
I don't want to baffle you with science or try to make you think that our guide is the best guide on the internet (although you already know it is
) I just want to make you aware that there will be differences between the various guides and that no one, in reality, can tell you which is the most accurate.
Our advice, it's good to have a choice, so pick one guide and stick to it, do not compare the different guides as any slight differences will just cause confusion.
Some final words, it's easy to forget with all the planning that this is actually supposed to be a HOLIDAY, if you want to go to a particular park on a particular day and the guides don't recommend it, you can still go to that park, you may be pleasantly surprised
Check out these DIBB Theme Park and Holiday Planning Tools