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  • [Question] Have Disney crowds conditioned the public not to show up?

    Been a while since I've written much of anything on here. Sorry for the old timers now getting over the shock of a Techskip post...

    I was reading the update this morning and stumbled upon this quote;

    "

    Initially I thought those at the park were "lucky". It meant lowered crowds. Then I thought a bit deeper. From a business standpoint the AP Program was designed to "pick up the slack", in other words fill the park when the working public wasn't on vacation. This is the middle of summer, there shouldn't be any slack. Hotels should be full, tourists should be spending money like crazy. Yet the crowds are "manageable". Older CM's will understand what I'm talking about. Reading "very manageable" in the dead of summer makes me question where the tourists are. As expected, AP's are blocked. Yet the crowds are "manageable". So I pose this question. Have years of "unmanageable" crowds conditioned the public to go elsewhere? Is it the price increase? Is it the aforementioned crowds (a majority of which are AP's)? Bear in mind that if the tourists don't show that means Disney will rely even more on the AP population to "pick up the slack".

    This is not a slight against AP's or the AP Program. I walked away from Disneyland when it became too crowded for my family in the off season. I just find it "interesting" that crowds are "very manageable" in the dead of summer. Traditionally this is when Disney should be making the most money. This is when we see what the park brings in without the AP Program running on all cylinders.
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"

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    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"


  • #3
    Re: Have Disney crowds conditioned the public not to show up?

    I think it could be a combination of things including:

    1) The single-day ticket price increases have finally gotten to a point to give potential visitors pause. $92 was closer to $90 and comfortably away from $100, but $96 is so close it might as well be $100 in many people's minds.

    2) It's a logical correction to the big attendance increase from Cars Land, which is two years old at this point.

    3) Nothing "new" at Disneyland (BTMRR is technically "new" and the Alice upgrade is terrific, but you know what I mean, and they haven't advertised either of those that I've seen).

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    • #4
      Re: Have Disney crowds conditioned the public not to show up?

      Disneyland has always been tourist deficient. The summer being less crowded is just a result of the higher percentage of the local audience having APs versus using single day entry. In other words the local audience traded going during the summer for going multiple times per year. Not sure if that means they are making less money. In fact they probably will make it up in Sept/Oct as the Halloweentime is their busiest time of year.

      I just checked Mousewait and Thunder is a 30 minute wait and space is 40. Seems like off season to me.

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      • #5
        Re: Have Disney crowds conditioned the public not to show up?

        Originally posted by whoever View Post
        Why would APs need to pick up the slack? There's revenue coming in without bodies occuping the park.
        If the projected attendance/revenue doesn't materialize then Disney will market even harder to the AP's come fall. The AP program used to supplement the tourist population, even out the overall attendance and fill in the gaps in the off season. More and more it's become a "money maker" with AP exclusive events and merchandise. What I wonder is if years of AP "crowds" have conditioned people into thinking "Disneyland = crowded"... and if that is why it seems "manageable" when AP's are blocked (and you see actual attendance vs AP boosted).
        "Happiness is a Low Water Level"

        sigpic

        "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"

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        • #6
          Re: Have Disney crowds conditioned the public not to show up?

          I'm going to say it was something else underneath any more immediate reasons like blockouts/pricing/etc.

          4th of July weekend is usually a huge box office draw, even when the movies out aren't particularly great, people go see them because it's a holiday.

          This year was down 44% over last year. That's a HUGE decrease that can't be explained by the fact that it was yet another Transformer's movie alone. Something else was off as well.

          So it wasn't just Disneyland that had lower crowds.

          Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits and Are melted into air, into thin air: And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on, and our little life Is rounded with a sleep. mycroft16 on Twitter

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          • #7
            Re: Have Disney crowds conditioned the public not to show up?

            Good to see you back, techskip.

            I can't speak for anyone else, but Disney has definitely conditioned me to not show up. After dealing with the crowds and CM's from the last few trips, I decided to not renew our AP's and take a break from Disneyland. Despite this, we already have the information that even with all of Disney's efforts to reduce the AP numbers, the numbers are actually up. I probably won't be back until I have confirmation that people are consistently able get around the resort without having to stand in line to walk.

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            • #8
              Re: Have Disney crowds conditioned the public not to show up?

              yeah but they got the AP holder's money even while they are blocked out!

              Think of the AP money as a constant drip of money - like coming from an IV bottle. People are renewing and buying APs every day but there are now more days when they are blocked.

              The recent history has taught ticket buyers (tourists) that the parks are really crowded on holiday weekends. If you are a ticket buyer, you are not necessarily going to check block out days before you decide to go to the park on a holiday weekend. You only remember that it was jammed in the past and you decide that if you are spending $100 per ticket that you are going to forego visiting the park when it is jammed.

              Also---- gas is $4 per gallon! Believe it or not, the price of gas has an impact on DLR attendance.

              The Grand Californian is $425 or about per night! How many locals are going to do that given a local recession ?

              I think Disney is getting closer to where they want to be. The revenue is at levels they are pleased with while the park is becoming un-jammed. When the word gets out that it is not too bad on July 4th holidays, the ticket sales will begin another upward trend. It takes months for these things to swing.


              Originally posted by techskip View Post
              If the projected attendance/revenue doesn't materialize then Disney will market even harder to the AP's come fall. The AP program used to supplement the tourist population, even out the overall attendance and fill in the gaps in the off season. More and more it's become a "money maker" with AP exclusive events and merchandise. What I wonder is if years of AP "crowds" have conditioned people into thinking "Disneyland = crowded"... and if that is why it seems "manageable" when AP's are blocked (and you see actual attendance vs AP boosted).
              --
              http://www.bewaterwise.com

              Comment


              • #9
                Re: Have Disney crowds conditioned the public not to show up?

                Originally posted by MrLiver View Post
                I just checked Mousewait and Thunder is a 30 minute wait and space is 40. Seems like off season to me.
                To a certain degree this is my point. This shouldn't be the "off season". This should be the "peak season" when the summer traveling tourist rents out hotel rooms and hits the parks. One of many discussions has always revolved around the tourist dollar vs the AP dollar (as in spending habits) and that Disney "relies" on the tourist revenue (hotels, merchandise, food). I'm curious what the drop in crowds looks like to the "bottom line".
                "Happiness is a Low Water Level"

                sigpic

                "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"

                Comment


                • #10
                  Re: Have Disney crowds conditioned the public not to show up?

                  Is it really a drop in tourist crowds or just a perceived drop due to the new norm with AP crowds that pack the park when their AP's aren't blacked out?

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Re: Have Disney crowds conditioned the public not to show up?

                    Originally posted by ravencroft View Post
                    yeah but they got the AP holder's money even while they are blocked out!

                    Think of the AP money as a constant drip of money - like coming from an IV bottle. People are renewing and buying APs every day but there are now more days when they are blocked.
                    Not going down this path. But it's a "drip".

                    The recent history has taught ticket buyers (tourists) that the parks are really crowded on holiday weekends. If you are a ticket buyer, you are not necessarily going to check block out days before you decide to go to the park on a holiday weekend. You only remember that it was jammed in the past and you decide that if you are spending $100 per ticket that you are going to forego visiting the park when it is jammed.
                    my point exactly!

                    Also---- gas is $4 per gallon! Believe it or not, the price of gas has an impact on DLR attendance.

                    The Grand Californian is $425 or about per night! How many locals are going to do that given a local recession ?

                    I think Disney is getting closer to where they want to be. The revenue is at levels they are pleased with while the park is becoming un-jammed. When the word gets out that it is not too bad on July 4th holidays, the ticket sales will begin another upward trend. It takes months for these things to swing.
                    The thing is vacations are typically booked in advance irrespective of gas prices. Road trips are one thing, but if you've booked plane tickets and a hotel chances are gas is the last thing you're looking at... especially if you're doing it well in advance. Hotel rooms in general are down (not just GCH). Again, this would be tourists not showing up... locals typically "go home" after a day at the park.
                    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"

                    sigpic

                    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Re: Have Disney crowds conditioned the public not to show up?

                      I don't think "crowd conditioning" has anything to do with it. I think the local population is finally starting to realize how much of a rip-off Disney has become lately, especially in combination with ever-increasing admission prices and ever-decreasing lack of show in return.

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Re: Have Disney crowds conditioned the public not to show up?

                        Originally posted by mycroft16 View Post
                        4th of July weekend is usually a huge box office draw, even when the movies out aren't particularly great, people go see them because it's a holiday.

                        This year was down 44% over last year. That's a HUGE decrease that can't be explained by the fact that it was yet another Transformer's movie alone. Something else was off as well.

                        Since all there was to see in the theaters was Transformers or Tammy I'm surprised it was only 44% down.

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Re: Have Disney crowds conditioned the public not to show up?

                          Originally posted by DisneyIPresume View Post
                          I don't think "crowd conditioning" has anything to do with it. I think the local population is finally starting to realize how much of a rip-off Disney has become lately, especially in combination with ever-increasing admission prices and ever-decreasing lack of show in return.
                          Yep, that definitely explains the increases in attendance and AP holders.

                          My guess is that Disney unintentionally conditioned tourists away from Disneyland for 4th of July weekend. The recent changes to the blockout tickets shows that Disney at least recognizes the issue, but with many vacations being planned out months in advance, the recent change hurt this current year's attendance. I'd expect that number to go up again next year when tourists get a better feel for the new AP landscape.

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                          • #15
                            Re: Have Disney crowds conditioned the public not to show up?

                            Maybe a combination of factors while alone might not make a different, but when added up together could?

                            Airfares are higher then they have been in the past due to less competition.

                            Gas is higher and climbing, and I know many who have stopped driving altogether, or have significantly reduced leisure driving.

                            Food has been going up in price, rent, and so on.

                            It might just be for an average family, the cost to go to a high cost theme park, is just not in the cards anymore.

                            Look at how much it costs for a family of 4 to get in, its a small fortune and more and more will just say no.

                            I have certainly stopped Disney trips, the cost for just 2 days can't be justified anymore for my girlfriend and I, and I am sure we are not alone.

                            Comment

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