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RE: 2014 Operating Schedule

6:00 pm closing times during the week early in the season? There goes an after work run to BGW... oh well.
RE: 2014 Operating Schedule

I would think that they would stay open longer around Memorial Day Week. But It has always shown in recent years they add an hour each week, 6, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.
RE: 2014 Operating Schedule

Party Rocker said:
I would think that they would stay open longer around Memorial Day Week. But It has always shown in recent years they add an hour each week, 6, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.

Looks like you are correct comparing the two. Not sure why it felt like it was that much later.

Edit: I think what threw me off was the way the Spring Break falls in 2013 vs 2014.
RE: BGW - Operating Schedules

I updated the OP with the schedule that is posted on the park's website. There are some seemingly mistakes. For example Friday, Oct. 3rd the website says the park is closed, but I highly doubt that.
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RE: BGW - Operating Schedules

Monday April 21st the park is open. Um, typo maybe? I understand its the end of Spring Break but seems a bit out of place (No other days that week are operational).

RE: BGW - Operating Schedules

I updated the OP with the official park calendar which shows some differences from the website's schedule.

Yes I know April 21st is really an odd ball day. Also going with Spring Break, this is the first year that the park has given up the 9AM openings during Spring Break, at least officially. Maybe they planned to add the 21st to make up for getting rid of the early openings?

The following days seem to be inaccurate on their website: the May 10th and May 25th.
RE: BGW - Operating Schedules

April 21st was added because all of the local school systems are closed that day. A management member that I know said this week that there is a good possibility that October 31st, November 1st and 2nd will be added to Howloscream. That would not leave much time before Christmastown starting.
RE: BGW - Operating Schedules

I've always really wanted them to be open for HOS on Halloween, so that would be awesome. And of course, I'd take November 1st and 2nd as bonus BGW days.
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RE: BGW - Operating Schedules

I actually might think opening on Halloween would be a bad idea. Too many crazy people.
RE: BGW - Operating Schedules

I wasn't sure if I should make a new thread or use an existing one for this, but I decided to compile a crowd calendar based off personal observations and the park operating times. I'm pretty sure it would be VERY useful to most members (and non-members). I'll say it's far from perfect and I don't have specific dates listed outside of important events. It's more of a general thing really.

NOTE - The guide doesn't account for weather, concerts, or certain special events (passmember ride nights, Wild Days, NASA Day) Like I said, it's specifically based on personal observations and the park closing times. Major special events (CT, HOS, F&W) are noted.

Here's the guide to the colors

Green - Park is pretty dead. Expect little to no wait for rides/attractions (walk on to 5 minutes - 10 minutes max). Park may close early due to low attendance.
Yellow - Park has moderate crowds. Expect short waits for major attractions, no wait for everything else. (wait 5-10 minutes - 15 minutes max)
Orange - Park has average crowds. Major attractions will have a station wait although occasionally waits may be longer. Minor attractions will have some waits. These are typical peak season crowds. (wait 10-15 minutes - 25 minutes max)
Red - Park is crowded. Major attractions will have long waits. Minor attractions will have moderate waits. Fastpasses are ideal for these crowds. These are typical Saturday crowds. (wait times vary wildly from ride to ride, 20 mins min - 40 minutes max)
Black - Park is slammed. Major attractions will have very long waits which may go past the door. Minor attractions will have long waits. Expect the park to close to capacity or hit near capacity at least once. Also expect attractions that don't typically have lines to have lines. Fastpasses are necessary for these crowds. (45-60 minutes min - 90+ minutes max).

Factors that determine crowds
Weather - nice weather and comfortable temperatures bring people in like ants and flies to sweet stuff. Temperature extremes will keep people away. The park isn't very crowded on really hot or really cold days except in certain circumstances. All day rain showers or dismal looking weather is also ideal for park visiting.

Concerts - everybody loves a free concert. Victoria Justice brought people to the park in droves. It doesn't matter who's playing, expect the park to be busier than it normally is on a concert day.

Special events - of course everyone knows of Howl O Scream and Christmas Town and the crowds those events bring. The crowds might not be THAT much heavier than a normal day if NASA Day or Ramp Jam is in play, but expect people to show up for those.

While we're on the topic of special events, during spring the park holds band competitions and award ceremonies for schools up and down the East Coast. Generally speaking, even if people recommend visiting the park in the springtime for low crowds, those competitions bring in a huge amount of (often unsupervised :p) kids. Expect the park to be slammed with middle and high schoolers. Luckily those schools usually leave early so the park shouldn't be as bad later in the day.

Weekends, especially Saturdays will draw people from far and wide. If you can avoid Saturdays, I'd highly recommend it. Especially during HOS and CT, when the park can hit capacity or near capacity each weekend. If you insist on Saturday, make sure you plan ahead accordingly. There are a number of Saturdays that aren't busy, but those are few and far between.

Anyway I'll probably tweak this guide to make it easier to read/navigate in the future. Enjoy everyone!


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RE: BGW - Operating Schedules

That's me! Thanks! :-D

Party Rocker said:
:exclamation: IMPORTANT NOTES: :exclamation:
  • These schedules are posted as guesstimates. They are subject to change without notice. They are not fully accurate but paint a very likely picture of what is to come. With that said, I do not suggest using specific dates for planning vacations; however, try guessing a general time frame for a vacation and go for something like Mid- or Late or Early.
  • Don't like the look of this thread or its not efficient enough for you, let me know.
  • Credit goes to Luke McCarthy for posting the 2014 Official Park Calendar on the park's official Facebook page.

*Official Calendar*
*Website Calendar*
*Predicted Calendar*

*Predicted Calendar*
RE: BGW - Operating Schedules

Always glad to give credit where credit is due.

netdvn, I love the idea! I really want to take it and apply some more things to it and tweak it up a bit. I attached my 2014 Capacity Estimates to this post below. Basically, I have factored in day of the week, time of year, major holidays, special events, among other factors. The main things that are not factored in are concerts and weather. Since weather is unpredictable, that is a day by day call. Concerts depend on the current popularity of the artist. Artists who are popular with a younger audience tend to see much more attendance than artists popular with an older audience. Still, free concerts are still a bonus to many people and you can expect to see slightly larger crowds on those days.

RE: BGW - Operating Schedules

I will say some of those crowd levels need tweaking, but overall pretty good.

Saturdays in September are actually pretty crowded (I don't think I've ever seen a dead HOS Saturday since 2011 outside of a few bad weather weekends). Same with some of those spring Saturdays. Then again, those days are usually hit-miss to begin with.

- You should include Christmas Town as well. :cool:
RE: Operating Schedules

As far as September goes, I think I was fairly close with predictions. I mean I did estimate them to be busy, but not very busy. Honestly, I can't say things get really busy until October. That is when crowds really start to pick up that time of year. I mean, if there is really really good weather then I'd expect it to be busier than what I predicted, but with just okay weather that is iffy, I don't expect much out of it.

As far as spring goes, I'm only guessing such low numbers because the only times it is busy in the spring is when there are school groups and being that those aren't known exactly when, I am giving a rough estimate of a general look all around spring. Plus, the park just opened, some people may not have caught on that the park is open. Also, like with the fall, it doesn't get really busy it just gets to that just right spot where things are just barely reaching busy.

Plus, I am looking at actually number ranges. Now from what I have seen as far as numbers compared to a visual volume, just eyeballing it can be mistaken. I have seen times where there is about 2K people in the park, but it looks like 4K. Then there are times when it is near 1K but looks like 500. So when you look at specific number ranges, it may not seem to be accurate, and is slightly harder to tell unless you have actual numbers ;)

With that said, I also did some accounting for fair weather. A set a basis for fair weather specifically because that is the middle ground. If I based it on bad weather, the numbers would be much lower, if I based it on perfect weather, numbers would be higher. I know I said I didn't account for weather, but that was more for specific weather per day. I was just thinking, 'Okay, so on a decent day, not perfect, but not terrible' mixed in with other factors.

I'm actually definitely looking into a few things right now, and I might even expect some unexpected changes.
RE: Operating Schedules

I actually have a picture of the crowds from the first Saturday of HOS.


Heatherdowns crossroads.


Deadline at rope drop. I was actually standing at the end of the line. It wrapped around the splash deck and down the midway.


This was actually taken after Dig it Up finished. The pathways were already insane though.

I will say the crowds aren't traditionally this busy on the first Saturday, but it was slammed needless to say. I noticed that every Saturday (this year) was kinda like this throughout HOS even though the crowds normally peak in October (that's why the park closes at 11 all month). Last year, crowds weren't as bad as this in September and the year before, the park was a complete ghost town until the first weekend of October.

As for spring, I've noticed Labor Day/borderline July 3-4th crowds some weekends, and ghost towns other weekends. Normally Saturday is when all the school groups have band competitions, so crowds tend to be hit-miss. That being said, lately the park holds competitions practically every weekend (those ghost town days happened early in the season as well as those days when the weather was terrible), so that guarantees crowds for at least Saturday and Sunday.

Nobody can account for weather. Not even the local news can predict the weather in advance let alone building a schedule around it. I solely based my crowd calendar off the park operating hours and personal observations.
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RE: Operating Schedules

I will say that attendance was more spread out this year unlike previous years. I consider this to be an anomaly. Should the same thing happen again this year, I will consider it to be a continuing trend, and account for it.

A few things I'd point out, things like crowds around Deadline and Dig It Up, I'd account for larger crowds massed around those areas specifically for those attractions, especially at those times. I am certain Deadline's line was probably about half of what you pictured during the rest of the evening.

But this past Howl-o-Scream was rather odd, and like I said I will be checking a few things out, doing more calculations and such to determine a more accurate estimate.
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