We have been at WDW the day after Christmas and several other top-volume days. the bottom line is that while the guides offer some smart advice that can make any day better (use fast passes effectively, arrive early, stay late, be flexible, use the line on the left when possible, etc…) when you get into the crowd, you will just have to deal and be patient.
One trick we use at MK is that if we get pinned in by a crowd (usually in Frontierland), we hop on the train and take it around to the area we want to be in. May not always be much faster, but it’s a great crowd-free ride!
Ditch the touring plan and set you own priorities and then be assertive at rope drop! At EC, we head over to TT and MS because while we love Soarin’, it’s not a ride we absolutely have to be on. But we can’t get enough TT and even on a really busy day, with FPs and an early stand-by line, we can usually fit in a half dozen rides first thing in the morning.
I don’t know what th enew guide says about TSM, but let me tell you I have never seen such insanity at any attraction! If you hit HS at rope drop, make a beeline for TSM. The line for the FPs gets really long really fast, and if you get there later in the morning, the FPS will be gone for the day! So one of your party needs to stop at FP line and get tic for everyone while another of you gets in the standby line. If you are one for the first people to arrive, and you get straight on the ride, enjoy it because by the time you get out of the ride, the FP and standby lines will be seriously long!