Trying to predict crowd levels has been a challenge this year. By July it looked like we had turned the corner and things were back to normal. Disney relinquished the mandate of the mask; more attractions, restaurants and hotels opened; and attendance increased. In August and September, we saw waiting times and low people levels. For October, with the 50th anniversary, the reduction of COVID-19 rates and the sale of annual passes, we expected more normal audience levels.
After seeing the first week of October, we expect people to keep coming down. If COVID-19 rates remain low in Florida, the earliest we expect to have normal crowds is the Thanksgiving break. The current update only affects October 8 to November 18. Predictions of waiting times and crowd levels from November 19 are based on pre-pandemic data. If the trip to Florida stays low, we will re-evaluate and update the crowded calendar in mid-November.
How can it be that people’s levels are so low when …
Yes, Disney is organizing the most magical celebration in the world. The celebration began on October 1, but lasts 18 months. 2022 will be a better time to visit it. Planned attractions, such as Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, will not open until next year.
Yes, the availability of Disney hotel rooms is low. Disney’s hotel occupancy is high year-round. Even in normal times, Disney will manipulate the number of rooms available to keep prices high. During off-peak hours, Disney will host conferences and sporting events to fill venues. They will also schedule reforms when demand is low. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Disney has kept entire hotels closed.
Yes, Disney restaurant reservations are hard to come by. We know that our Booking Search has more than 12,000 active searches over the next 60 days. Like hotels, Disney does not use 100% of the capacity in restaurants and some restaurants are not open. Below are images from Space 220 and Boma. Even with no reservations available on the Disney website, less than half of the tables are seated.
Yes, park reservations are not available. Park reservations are easier to get than many restaurants, but there are dates and parks to fill. Like hotels and restaurants, Disney limits the park’s capacity. On October 2, I was in Hollywood Studios. I arrived at the park at 6:10 p.m. In less than 3 hours, I did Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Slinky Dog Dash and Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, as well as Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance twice.
Why does Disney limit capacity?
The root causes of capacity reduction are COVID-19 and benefit. The pandemic has had many unintended consequences. Supply chain disruption has limited the products Disney can get. There has been a shortage of staff across the country and it is affecting Disney. The more material and staff they need, the more it will cost. When capacity is limited, Disney may charge a premium. Below is a hypothetical graph. Disney has determined that there is some specific capability that will maximize profits.
For the crowds to return to normal, it will take longer than the end of the pandemic. Disney costs will have to return to normal or guests will have to pay more to offset the increase in Disney costs. One thing is certain: even with progress toward “normalcy,” we still have a long way to go.
Do you have any questions about this Crowd Calendar update? Let us know in the comments.