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Disneyland crowds. Can the issue be solved?

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  • #76
    Originally posted by Donald1980 View Post

    The problem isn't getting more strollers, the problem is where do you store the added inventory. When we would run out of strollers, we would have to get our emergency set, which required a lot of time, effort and cast members just to retrieve them and bring them to the shop. Space is very limited and hard to find backstage. On paper everything works, till you go out and have to experience it for yourself. Everyone on this board says they wish the TDA execs would go out and deal with the crowds in person. Well, I will say the same thing to the people on these boards when it comes to deciding what Disney should do. Till you deal with it yourself and realize what was drawn up on paper doesn't really work, it's truly hard to understand. I understand where you are coming from and trust me I agree things need to change when it comes to strollers and ECVs overall. I am tired of having to fear getting ran over or dealing with the slow moving vehicles. Something does need to change.
    That's one of many logistical issues that would have to be worked out.

    Comment


    • #77
      Originally posted by BiggestDisneyFan View Post
      There is NO way that Disney will get rid of AP's unless there is some major public blowback about the crowding, causing a noticeable decline in attendance. Considering that such an event would be self correcting (people get upset about crowding and stop attending, so people see that crowds are diminished and start attending in larger numbers, again), it wouldn't really matter.
      I don't think Disney will ever get rid of APs. But, I do think we'll eventually see them do things that cause the total number of APs to decline.

      It won't be because overall attendance is down, but because overcrowding will eventually cause tourist visits to decline (if it hasn't already), and the ratio of APs to non-APs will get too far out of whack.

      A lot of people on the forum have a different opinion, though, so only time will tell.

      Comment


      • #78
        Originally posted by Donald1980 View Post
        ...Staffing is another reason they aren't open as much as you would think, because they require a good amount of cast members.
        It requires cast members that Disney management is too cheap to hire. Instead, Disney squeezes every dime they can out of their staffing numbers, and spreads onstage CMs 'way too thin for the crowds.

        "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
        Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
        imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

        - Neil Gabler

        Comment


        • #79
          Originally posted by longbeachaztec View Post
          I don't think Disney will ever get rid of APs. But, I do think we'll eventually see them do things that cause the total number of APs to decline.
          I agree, and sooner than some people think. My guess would be that we'll start seeing drastic changes to the AP program sometime in early 2018 because I think Disney will want just a fraction of the current AP numbers to be around by the time SWL opens in 2019.
          "In Hell, everybody loves popcorn."

          Comment


          • #80
            Originally posted by Donald1980 View Post

            Bad show is the least of the worries, however it is still a worry for Disney. Safety would be the issue here and so would be cost. Disney won't staff the needed amount of cast members if they deemed it unnecessary to do so. It requires a bit of cast members to have the back stage routes opened. If it was a simple as you think it is, wouldn't you think Disney would already be doing it?
            I was offering a solution to a problem I experienced in the parks. If safety is priority to disney, certainly the gridlocked mass is not the best case scenario. As far as the staffing goes, it might take 4 extra cast members for each side of the street, but those payroll hours surely won't set the company back too far. I think you're correct when you asserted that disney doesn't want to staff cast members there if that area doesn't technically need to be open. I'm just arguing that it does, in fact, need to be open.

            Comment


            • #81
              Originally posted by Golden Zephyr View Post

              Actually what you are talking about is the benefit of pricing and supply. See it is hard for most people who work to travel during the week, non holiday's and non-summer, i.e. it costs them more (vacation days, etc), those days naturally have lower demand hence why the park is cheaper to get into on those days. It is cheaper as an enticement to use when demand is down and it is less convenient.

              Summer is available to any Annual Passholder who deems it worth the cost, i.e. Signature and above on Summer Saturdays and Holidays.

              The highest demand days, the last two weeks of the year, are unbearably crowded and ALL passholders, save for Signature Plus, are blocked out. The last two weeks of the year are the MOST crowded days of the year, with capacity limits being hit more often during that time, than any other time during the year.

              Why? because that is actually when most people are able to visit the parks and the highest demand. If anything, that shows that the AP program works relatively well as Signature Plus Passholders are a VERY tiny minority of APs.

              If you want the parks to be less crowded, in a way that makes sense for Disney, the price must be raised.

              You would likely be quite pleased to attend on a day when single entry visits are $200/day. I imagine it would thin the crowd substantially.

              You also can have an amazing line free stroll through the park, have the BEST parade viewing spots with seats, Fireworks viewing with seats, get reservations waterside at the Blue Bayou at the last minute should you desire and all sorts of other little perks even in the most crowded conditions. How? By purchasing a VIP tour.

              In the end it gets down to money, how much are you willing to give to Disney, the more you pay, the better off your experience is likely to be.
              Charging $200 for a park hopper hurts the out of town visitor or occasional visitor. It does nothing to deter the one million+ APs from entering the park.

              Comment


              • #82
                Originally posted by Natalie Price View Post

                Charging $200 for a park hopper hurts the out of town visitor or occasional visitor. It does nothing to deter the one million+ APs from entering the park.
                Golden Zephyr said nothing about "$200 for a park hopper". "They said:

                "You would likely be quite pleased to attend on a day when single entry visits are $200/day"

                Also, there is something to deter the on million +APs: it's the fact that the parks can't accommodate a million people. I don't think even Disneyland can handle 100,000. That means that on any given day, 90% of all passholder would have to not be there.
                I did a little rough math, and I figured that, given those 900K passholder who are NOT there each day(and that must be accurate according to this "1 million" number I keep hearing), they are actually making quite a sizable sum of money off of people who are not even there.
                For sake of argument, let's say that all passholders are on the "monthly payment" plan (which I realize they're not). That would mean that on any given day, about 1/365th of those 900K plus have passes that are up for renewal. They will either renew, or they will let the pass expire, and will be replaced by a new, or "newly new" passholder. Of the remaining 364/365th, they will receive a monthly payment each day from about 1 in 30.
                If you do the math, you can see that they are making at LEAST $800,000 PER DAY off of people NOT EVEN IN THE PARK! Not taking up ONE parking space. Not occupying ONE SQUARE INCH of space in the parks.
                And of course, they are making about 1/9 of that from the people in the park, even if they don't spend a dime on food or retail. And I'm not even talking about parking.
                Do you understand how the AP program is good for the company, Natalie? Those AP holders you see in the park eating out of coolers, checking their phones, and (allegedly) not spending anything: so you understand that despite them not spending money in the parks, the AP program that enables them to be there is itself generating close to a million dollars or more PER DAY from people not even there.
                If my math is off, someone please tell me! I based the numbers on everyone being on the MPP, and also on everyone having the "SoCalSelect". Since, of course, not everybody is, the actual money made each day is significantly higher.

                Comment


                • #83
                  Originally posted by 9oldmen View Post
                  ...Also, there is something to deter the on million +APs: it's the fact that the parks can't accommodate a million people. I don't think even Disneyland can handle 100,000. That means that on any given day, 90% of all passholder would have to not be there.
                  I did a little rough math, and I figured that, given those 900K passholder who are NOT there each day(and that must be accurate according to this "1 million" number I keep hearing), they are actually making quite a sizable sum of money off of people who are not even there.
                  For sake of argument, let's say that all passholders are on the "monthly payment" plan (which I realize they're not). That would mean that on any given day, about 1/365th of those 900K plus have passes that are up for renewal. They will either renew, or they will let the pass expire, and will be replaced by a new, or "newly new" passholder. Of the remaining 364/365th, they will receive a monthly payment each day from about 1 in 30.
                  If you do the math, you can see that they are making at LEAST $800,000 PER DAY off of people NOT EVEN IN THE PARK! Not taking up ONE parking space. Not occupying ONE SQUARE INCH of space in the parks.
                  And of course, they are making about 1/9 of that from the people in the park, even if they don't spend a dime on food or retail. And I'm not even talking about parking....
                  ka-VLANGO! (a Very Large Bingo). Suffering through a pre-accountant tax organization hell this evening, I was only too happy to do a rough run on 9oldmen's numbers. It checks out. If anyone wonders why Disney keeps aggressively marketing APs when the park is crowded, that's why.

                  I also did an order-of-magnitude calculation on the number of gallons of water Disney saves every day in toilet flushes by having those 900K passholders stay home.

                  You don't want to know.






                  ...Look, it was either that or taxes.


                  "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
                  Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
                  imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

                  - Neil Gabler

                  Comment


                  • #84
                    In the Wall Street Journal this morning:

                    Fed Rate Increase Makes 0% Financing Deals More Pricey for Retailers

                    I have been saying this for years. Now it is time to see what Disney does about it!
                    --
                    http://www.bewaterwise.com

                    Comment


                    • #85
                      The benefits to Disney of the AP program are not insignificant. But, I'm going to keep beating the drum that they have limits, as well.

                      For example, how many times in the last few years has a family of four from Phoenix, Salt Lake City or Portland decided to skip Disney because the crowds were so bad the last time they visited?

                      Every time that happens, Disney loses money to the tune of hundreds of dollars a day - more if that family likes Disney hotels or souveniers.

                      It can add up in a hurry, too. If Disney goes from averaging 20,000 full-paying tourists a day, to 19,000, the daily revenue hit is easily into six figures. The longer such a trend continues, the less attractive all that passive AP income looks.

                      "But, longbeachaztec, the parks are still more crowded than ever! Every time one person stays home, another one easily takes their place!"

                      True.

                      But, when the one staying home would've paid $100 a day just to walk in the gates, and the one replacing them pays only a fraction of that to visit 3-4 times a month for a few hours at a time, the equation starts presenting problems.

                      Disney needs APs. I think everybody understands that. But, what none of us knows is how much the AP crowds are driving away tourists. Even a marginal drop in out-of-town visitors is costly, and changes the AP revenue formula pretty significantly if it becomes consistent.

                      Comment


                      • #86
                        Originally posted by longbeachaztec View Post
                        The benefits to Disney of the AP program are not insignificant. But, I'm going to keep beating the drum that they have limits, as well.

                        For example, how many times in the last few years has a family of four from Phoenix, Salt Lake City or Portland decided to skip Disney because the crowds were so bad the last time they visited?

                        Every time that happens, Disney loses money to the tune of hundreds of dollars a day - more if that family likes Disney hotels or souveniers.

                        It can add up in a hurry, too. If Disney goes from averaging 20,000 full-paying tourists a day, to 19,000, the daily revenue hit is easily into six figures. The longer such a trend continues, the less attractive all that passive AP income looks.

                        "But, longbeachaztec, the parks are still more crowded than ever! Every time one person stays home, another one easily takes their place!"

                        True.

                        But, when the one staying home would've paid $100 a day just to walk in the gates, and the one replacing them pays only a fraction of that to visit 3-4 times a month for a few hours at a time, the equation starts presenting problems.

                        Disney needs APs. I think everybody understands that. But, what none of us knows is how much the AP crowds are driving away tourists. Even a marginal drop in out-of-town visitors is costly, and changes the AP revenue formula pretty significantly if it becomes consistent.
                        But you also don't know they are driving away tourists, its a safe assumption, but still an assumption. Not saying it's not true. However, the same could be true of an AP from those same places. That maybe they decided not to take an extra trip or not. I'm a local Signature AP holder and I have only gone maybe 6 times in total this year and haven't gone since November. And yes, I am still planning on renewing.

                        Comment


                        • #87
                          Originally posted by longbeachaztec View Post
                          The benefits to Disney of the AP program are not insignificant. But, I'm going to keep beating the drum that they have limits, as well.

                          For example, how many times in the last few years has a family of four from Phoenix, Salt Lake City or Portland decided to skip Disney because the crowds were so bad the last time they visited?

                          Every time that happens, Disney loses money to the tune of hundreds of dollars a day - more if that family likes Disney hotels or souveniers.

                          It can add up in a hurry, too. If Disney goes from averaging 20,000 full-paying tourists a day, to 19,000, the daily revenue hit is easily into six figures. The longer such a trend continues, the less attractive all that passive AP income looks.

                          "But, longbeachaztec, the parks are still more crowded than ever! Every time one person stays home, another one easily takes their place!"

                          True.

                          But, when the one staying home would've paid $100 a day just to walk in the gates, and the one replacing them pays only a fraction of that to visit 3-4 times a month for a few hours at a time, the equation starts presenting problems.

                          Disney needs APs. I think everybody understands that. But, what none of us knows is how much the AP crowds are driving away tourists. Even a marginal drop in out-of-town visitors is costly, and changes the AP revenue formula pretty significantly if it becomes consistent.
                          But this assumes that butts through the gates are the only numbers that matter when it comes to calculating revenue. How much they spend once they get in makes the difference. We already know we don't have the numbers to discuss this for real, but we can assume that the day-tickets are spending more per visit than the APs are. However, for every AP who spends less than $20 on a refreshment for the entire visit, there are many who spend upwards of $100 on a couple of meals and a souvenir item. So where is the loss if, for the most part, it varies by the hour given which guests leave for the day and which enter for the first time?

                          Comment


                          • #88
                            But you also don't know they are driving away tourists, its a safe assumption, but still an assumption.
                            But this assumes that butts through the gates are the only numbers that matter when it comes to calculating revenue. How much they spend once they get in makes the difference.
                            Yep. A lot of us like to speak in absolutes on this topic, but it's all just personal assumptions unless somebody secretly has inside info.

                            It's possible that overcrowding has caused no significant dip in non-AP attendance. It's also possible that APs spend so much more at the cash registers inside the park compared to non-APs, that it compensates for any other revenue gap between the two.

                            If either or both of those possibilities are actually true, then the rest of my argument is moot.
                            Last edited by longbeachaztec; 03-23-2017, 09:16 AM.

                            Comment


                            • #89
                              Originally posted by longbeachaztec View Post
                              It's possible that overcrowding has caused no significant dip in non-AP attendance. It's also possible that APs spend so much more at the cash registers inside the park compared to non-APs, that it compensates for any other revenue gap between the two.
                              You are likely right on both counts. One, until the the park hits capacity, tickets are sold, APs simply fill out the unused capacity. They are desirable because they have committed their money UP FRONT to Disney. Anyone who has sold a product or service knows that getting consumers to commit their cash now, is far better than hoping they will come again some other time. There is always competition for consumer dollars and people are fickle, this is why there are perks, rewards, and discounts to committing money today for services later.

                              To your second point, you are right again, APs are measured against Total Annual Spend, which in many cases exceeds the average guest on an annual basis. Annual Spend is often ignored in these discussions because it is not well understood by those not in business or the industry, but it is one of the most important metrics.

                              The average guest, who may come every few years, likely spends SIGNIFICANTLY less money on an annual basis with Disney than a Signature AP who frequents the park and buys food and merchandise on an even occasional basis.

                              Take a hypothetical Example, most people who buy tickets don't even visit Disneyland every year, but ever couple of years. APs are highly sought after because they spend FAR more money on Disney than your typical guest. Most people at most visit Disneyland every few years and don't shell out oodles of cash, but we'll use generous numbers for the day guest and conservative numbers for the AP. The numbers are notional, but illustrate one of the reasons that the AP program exists.

                              Signature AP:

                              Year 1: $849 + misc food and merchandise throughout the year say $501 (and that number is WAY low) $1350
                              Year 2: $799 + $501 =$1300
                              Year 3 $799 + $501 = $1300
                              Year 4 $799 +501 = $1300

                              4 Year Total = $5250 Total Annual Spend average ~ $1300

                              Average occasional guest

                              Year 1 $299 Park hopper + $500 ($100/day) + $201 misc = $1000
                              Year 2: Visits Universal, Grand Canyon, Magic Mountain, No Disney
                              Year 3 Visits Sea World, Goes to Hawaii, Yosemite, No Disney
                              Year 4 $299 Park hopper + $500 +201 = $1000

                              4 Year total $2000, Total Annual Spend Average over 4 years $500

                              The AP spends thousands of dollars more on Disney. Remember, most guest DO NOT stay in Disney properties, only buy a few meals in the park and buy a few souvenirs.

                              Taking this example, you can see why Disney gives special perks to APs, holds AP appreciation days, why they market the program obsessively, and why Disney to the confounding of some, keeps the program, year after year.

                              Also, APs, essentially make use of spare capacity in the parks. Until the gates are closed and no new tickets are sold, Disneyland essentially has unsold capacity that could be monetized. That is the idea behind AP programs and how the blockout dates are structured, to avoid having APs crowd out new ticket sales.

                              Disney's job is to maximize revenue and monetize all channels of business available. Allowing the park to sit around with unused capacity is technically "leaving money on the table".

                              I do not like a crowded park, but I think it is fair to acknowledge that Disney would rather see it pretty full, than sitting half empty. Perhaps their idea of spare capacity and what most of us consider spare capacity differ. I would love to see it return to days of yore, when numbers were much lower, however, without a big increase in overall capacity (supply) or a big increase in price (demand), raw economics dictate that the park will likely continue to be crowded so long as current trends continue.

                              Comment


                              • #90
                                Originally posted by Golden Zephyr View Post

                                You are likely right on both counts. One, until the the park hits capacity, tickets are sold, APs simply fill out the unused capacity. They are desirable because they have committed their money UP FRONT to Disney. Anyone who has sold a product or service knows that getting consumers to commit their cash now, is far better than hoping they will come again some other time. There is always competition for consumer dollars and people are fickle, this is why there are perks, rewards, and discounts to committing money today for services later.

                                To your second point, you are right again, APs are measured against Total Annual Spend, which in many cases exceeds the average guest on an annual basis. Annual Spend is often ignored in these discussions because it is not well understood by those not in business or the industry, but it is one of the most important metrics.

                                The average guest, who may come every few years, likely spends SIGNIFICANTLY less money on an annual basis with Disney than a Signature AP who frequents the park and buys food and merchandise on an even occasional basis.

                                Take a hypothetical Example, most people who buy tickets don't even visit Disneyland every year, but ever couple of years. APs are highly sought after because they spend FAR more money on Disney than your typical guest. Most people at most visit Disneyland every few years and don't shell out oodles of cash, but we'll use generous numbers for the day guest and conservative numbers for the AP. The numbers are notional, but illustrate one of the reasons that the AP program exists.

                                Signature AP:

                                Year 1: $849 + misc food and merchandise throughout the year say $501 (and that number is WAY low) $1350
                                Year 2: $799 + $501 =$1300
                                Year 3 $799 + $501 = $1300
                                Year 4 $799 +501 = $1300

                                4 Year Total = $5250 Total Annual Spend average ~ $1300

                                Average occasional guest

                                Year 1 $299 Park hopper + $500 ($100/day) + $201 misc = $1000
                                Year 2: Visits Universal, Grand Canyon, Magic Mountain, No Disney
                                Year 3 Visits Sea World, Goes to Hawaii, Yosemite, No Disney
                                Year 4 $299 Park hopper + $500 +201 = $1000

                                4 Year total $2000, Total Annual Spend Average over 4 years $500

                                The AP spends thousands of dollars more on Disney. Remember, most guest DO NOT stay in Disney properties, only buy a few meals in the park and buy a few souvenirs.

                                Taking this example, you can see why Disney gives special perks to APs, holds AP appreciation days, why they market the program obsessively, and why Disney to the confounding of some, keeps the program, year after year.

                                Also, APs, essentially make use of spare capacity in the parks. Until the gates are closed and no new tickets are sold, Disneyland essentially has unsold capacity that could be monetized. That is the idea behind AP programs and how the blockout dates are structured, to avoid having APs crowd out new ticket sales.

                                Disney's job is to maximize revenue and monetize all channels of business available. Allowing the park to sit around with unused capacity is technically "leaving money on the table".

                                I do not like a crowded park, but I think it is fair to acknowledge that Disney would rather see it pretty full, than sitting half empty. Perhaps their idea of spare capacity and what most of us consider spare capacity differ. I would love to see it return to days of yore, when numbers were much lower, however, without a big increase in overall capacity (supply) or a big increase in price (demand), raw economics dictate that the park will likely continue to be crowded so long as current trends continue.
                                I agree with a lot of your points. The AP program is valuable, and will never be discontinued. It serves a very useful purpose. But I also think your math overestimates the average AP spend and underestimates the spending profile of Disney's target tourist.

                                I'd argue that Signature-level APs aren't representative of the average. I think it's safe to assume they are a relatively small minority. Most APs are at one of the SoCal levels, and I think they spend less than you estimate. I also think the "average" tourist in Disney's definition is much closer to an annual visitor. Tourists also come in groups that I think are much larger than the average group of AP visitors, among other key differences.

                                Finally, I'll repeat a point I've tried to make before, that maximum attendance itself isn't a logical goal. If it was, Disney could put 80,000 people in the parks every day of the year, simply by cutting their gate prices. The only goal that matters is (and always has been) maximum revenue. If attendance drops but revenue goes up (due to price increases), nobody in Burbank or on Wall Street will be doing anything other than cashing their bonus checks with a smile.
                                Last edited by longbeachaztec; 03-23-2017, 01:59 PM.

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