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  • [Question] Reducing Overcrowding?

    Without getting into the AP/Tourist debate explicitly again, I'd like to discuss crowding at Disneyland and how we perceive it, as well as how to fix it.

    I'd first assumed that overcrowding was just something that happened, affected everything in the resort, and took it as a given that lately it's worse than ever.

    Then I saw someone's "worst" being an hour wait on Indy and a half hour for Pirates and another 45 for Space Mountain.

    I can't be alone in looking at those times and saying "Hmm. Sounds like a light day, honestly.". I have clear memories of days with two+ hour waits for any e-ticket in the park and most other rides pushing 30 minutes+. Days where the lines breached the queues, the extended queues, the stanchions quickly thrown out by CMs and would make a break for meeting the lines at KBF (I kid, barely).

    So... First question. Is overcrowding not what people feel it is?

    Are we simply reacting to the natural effects of Fastpass causing an increase in off-ride congestion? The *rides* don't seem to be holding the length of line they used to but are still consistently full most days, so it's not a further sloughing of rides per capita. Those people not in line have to exist *somewhere*

    Second, taking the assumption that regardless of where the park is specifically overcrowded is moot, it's still too many people, and also (mainly because there's another really long thread on the forums right now explicitly dealing with APs) let's leave HOW people got into the park out of it, this has nothing to do with ticket media and everything to do with the gross volume of people Disney jams into the park:

    How do you fix this?

    Attendance cap?

    More rides to increase Per Capita, thus pulling more people into the ride/queue system and off the streets for longer each day?

    Removal of FP?

    Level Anaheim North to the 91 and East to the 57 and build the biggest durned theme park any idjit ain't never gonna see?
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  • #2
    Re: Reducing Overcrowding?

    I feel that the recent "over-crowding" issue is caused by the disney managment closing two or more e-ticket attractions for extended refurbs. There is little "play" left in the system for when another big ride closes mid-day due to mechanical issues.
    Once BTMRR is back up, all will be good in the world again, you watch,
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    Originally posted by VintageMouse;n8463446

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    • #3
      Re: Reducing Overcrowding?

      Uncrowd Disneyland in 5 easy steps:

      1) Eliminate Fast Pass.....this will unclog walkways and get people back into queues.

      2) Eliminate ODV.......this will unclog walkways and encourage people to take a few extra minutes out of their day to sit down to eat...this will also reduce attraction queue length as a bonus.

      3) Stay open a bit later.......this will encourage many people to go back to their hotels during the hottest and busiest part of the day knowing that they can come back in the evening with plenty of time to see and do.

      4) Re-open shuttered attractions to swallow more crowds.....imagine how many guests the Peoplemover, Skyway, and The Tahitian Terrace could suck out of the general mob?? Even the motor and keel boats could help a little.

      5) For the love of Pete, RAISE the price of the AP(or eliminate it altogether)....Disneyland isn't supposed to be the neighborhood hangout....it's supposed to be someplace special
      Waiting for Godot Micechat.com

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      • #4
        Re: Reducing Overcrowding?

        Originally posted by sleepyjeff View Post
        Uncrowd Disneyland in 5 easy steps:

        1) Eliminate Fast Pass.....this will unclog walkways and get people back into queues.

        2) Eliminate ODV.......this will unclog walkways and encourage people to take a few extra minutes out of their day to sit down to eat...this will also reduce attraction queue length as a bonus.

        3) Stay open a bit later.......this will encourage many people to go back to their hotels during the hottest and busiest part of the day knowing that they can come back in the evening with plenty of time to see and do.

        4) Re-open shuttered attractions to swallow more crowds.....imagine how many guests the Peoplemover, Skyway, and The Tahitian Terrace could suck out of the general mob?? Even the motor and keel boats could help a little.

        5) For the love of Pete, RAISE the price of the AP(or eliminate it altogether)....Disneyland isn't supposed to be the neighborhood hangout....it's supposed to be someplace special
        With you on all of them but the last - the parks have a mandated attendance level, and how they get it is immaterial to the sharp pencils. No APs just means a return to "Buy a day at half price, get a second day at each park free" etc. - which would likely fill the parks even further with people who now view it not as "I'm making payments on a $700 pass" but "I just got into Disneyland for under $20 a day"
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        • #5
          Re: Reducing Overcrowding?

          I have a whole different view on the crowding. For me it's always been crowded. My teen years in the 90s things had long waits. You had to pick which attractions you wanted to even attempt to go on. Now I am able to go on more which of course is due to FP. I think the crowds are basically the same in the parks. The capacity hasn't gone up I don't believe so it's always going to be busy. The capacity of the resort has gone up because of the edition of DCA.

          So what I notice when it feels more crowded than other times is when I notice things not running at full potential. One side of The Matterhorn closed early. Only two trains on attractions like BTMRR or Screamin less trains or cars on Space and Indy. Two towers on ToT instead of the three. I do believe when it comes to scheduling help they probably cut corners where they can save money for running attractions at max potential. I know there are technical difficulties too but that can't always be the case for running attractions lite. My theory was best shown during the 24 hour parties. The first one felt way crowded while the second one was manageable. You can tell they planned it better.

          Another one I always wonder about is why don't they stay open until 1am in the summer like they used to? Or extend DCAs hours? I believe the parks would do fine another hour in general but then you need more help and that means more money from Disney's side.

          So basically I believe it comes down to penny pinching. The Aps have been around a while now and the tiers and the payment plans and there still can be days when the park doesn't feel crowded IMO. Disneyland could use a couple more people eater attractions too which would help they have the room if they have the budget!
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          DL 55th BDAY trip report
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          • #6
            Re: Reducing Overcrowding?

            First question. Is overcrowding not what people feel it is?

            Guilty!!!! many prior visits, but last three Visited in 07, 10 and first week of Christmas 13. I thought I had picked a great off season week. That was my mindset. And then when I arrived, the Sky is falling, the Sky is falling. First time ever as an adult visitor that had the Christmas 2013 visit being my first experience of crowds and extreme displeasure. Yes, my wait times were your "light days", as I had never visited a real crowded park.

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            • #7
              Re: Reducing Overcrowding?

              I don't understand how eliminating FP would help overcrowding, wouldn't it make queues even longer because more people are forced to simply wait in line? Would someone mind elaborating? Thanks!
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              • #8
                Re: Reducing Overcrowding?

                just my thought and I could be wrong but it seems to me that over time the walkways have gotten smaller in some areas with rebuilds and renovations and vending carts. they have recently made some changes to reverse this by moving some vending carts off to the side, sacrificing some lawn and planter area.

                my point is that the lines may be a little longer and probably more often and a contributing factor to the "longer wait" feeling is just moving from point to point in the park has gotten to be an ordeal in itself.

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                • #9
                  Re: Reducing Overcrowding?

                  I think a few things could be done.

                  1. Attendance cap. I know this isn't popular, but think about it. If the park is overcrowded, it doesn't matter what kind of tickets the people have. It's still unpleasant. Knocking the attendance cap down by even 10,000 people could make a real difference.

                  If tourists who visit want to ensure they will get into the park, perhaps they could make a guaranteed reservation via My Magic. They plug in their visit date, their numbers are accounted for in the attendance cap, and as long as they show up before a certain time, they can get in.

                  b. Extend park hours.

                  c. Don't schedule so many refurbs at once.

                  This is a tricky one, and it might be impossible. If an attraction needs maintenance it has to go offline. Period. However, it is true that when three or four major attractions are closed at one time, it's going to have a negative impact and it's going to increase crowds.

                  d. Run more trains/vehicles if possible. I'm not even remotely suggesting that they should run more than the attraction safely allows, but if, say, it's a situation where one side of the Matterhorn is closed, or only one shaft at the Tower of Terror is running...for Heaven's sake, run both!
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                  • #10
                    Re: Reducing Overcrowding?

                    Originally posted by Mind Tricks View Post
                    I don't understand how eliminating FP would help overcrowding, wouldn't it make queues even longer because more people are forced to simply wait in line? Would someone mind elaborating? Thanks!
                    People actually standing in line are not capable of crowding a walkway at the same time......people virtually standing in line are, in a way, taking up multiple spots in the park at the same point in time.
                    Waiting for Godot Micechat.com

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                    • #11
                      Re: Reducing Overcrowding?

                      Originally posted by Mind Tricks View Post
                      I don't understand how eliminating FP would help overcrowding, wouldn't it make queues even longer because more people are forced to simply wait in line? Would someone mind elaborating? Thanks!
                      It's more alleviating the *impression* of overcrowding rather than the actuality.

                      50k people in the park with, oh, WAG with no basis in evidence let's call it 60% of the population involved in some way (FP or otherwise) with the line/ride/FP system.

                      With no FP, that means 30k people are in line or on a ride at a given moment and 20k people on the walkways.

                      Again, wild guess, but let's say that 20% of the riders use Fastpass. That's 6k people who are now free to join the 20k people - which pushes the park from 40% of the population out on the streets to 52% - you've gone from the majority of your park population on rides and accounted for to the majority of it on the streets, in shops etc. either circulating through the park or burning time from their FP.

                      I know my numbers can't remotely be correct, but the concepts and math are good.

                      I *personally* think that this has also caused a deflection of riders from Standby as FP redefines what an "acceptable wait" is. Rides that used to average 2 hour plus waits stay full the entire day but never top 60-90 minutes, often less. It almost seems like the "new wait" is 30-40 minutes for anything non-E, 60-70 for E, anything else means it's better to rejoin the crowds circulating the park until you find something else you want to do.

                      That last is sheer speculation. It'd require MUCH more detailed ridership and demographic/survey information than Disney released to prove/disprove.
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                      • #12
                        Re: Reducing Overcrowding?

                        I am surprised that no one has taken into consideration that the population of Southern Ca. has grown considerably in the past 20 years and accounts for the overcrowding in many ways, 5 years ago you had 30 mil. in Ca. now it is getting closer to 40 mil and that does not include the rest of the states. I am not saying they all visit Disneyland, but it is something to factor into the equation when you talk about crowds...I am 60 and grew-up here and to me everything is crowed these day's.
                        If your looking for Alice she's not here...sigpic

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                        • #13
                          Re: Reducing Overcrowding?

                          Originally posted by sleepyjeff View Post
                          People actually standing in line are not capable of crowding a walkway at the same time......people virtually standing in line are, in a way, taking up multiple spots in the park at the same point in time.
                          I'm not sure I understand this correctly. are you saying that if you have a fast pass for Indy, and eat lunch at River Belle while you wait, that your invisible alter ego is taking up space at Indy while you eat?
                          sigpic
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                          • #14
                            Re: Reducing Overcrowding?

                            Originally posted by FreshBakedDisney View Post
                            I'm not sure I understand this correctly. are you saying that if you have a fast pass for Indy, and eat lunch at River Belle while you wait, that your invisible alter ego is taking up space at Indy while you eat?
                            That's exactly what I am saying!
                            Waiting for Godot Micechat.com

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                            • #15
                              Re: Reducing Overcrowding?

                              Fast passes aren't going anywhere. Time spent in line is time not spent in stores and restaurants. Fast passes are the single greatest thing to happen to the bottom line ever. If anything, they would expand this service I think.

                              The problem I see with crowding is all about real estate. I freak out not when the lines are long, but when I can't protect my personal space. The only way to solve this is to either create more space for the physical bodies to occupy, or add more rides/attractions so that bodies can be more evenly distributed. The former being better than the latter.

                              But Disneyland has a finite amount of space to work with. The property is simply too small for any progressive changes. So short of limiting how many people are let in to the park, we simply have to be patient for Disneyland to create more space or more rides for us to distribute ourselves in.
                              sigpic
                              Find our trip report videos on Youtube at FreshBakedDisney. Find our blog at www.freshbakeddisney.com.

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