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
- 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.
- Park has moderate crowds. Expect short waits for major attractions, no wait for everything else. (wait 5-10 minutes - 15 minutes max)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
) 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!