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Is Disneyland becoming a LESS popular attraction for non-locals?

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  • #41
    Originally posted by longbeachaztec View Post
    I'd like to take the AP vs. non-AP monetary debate out of the discussion for a minute. Rather than go around in circles again about who spends however much money, let's just talk about the raw number of warm bodies passing through the gates.

    I think there's case to be made that Disneyland has faded in the last 20 years as a true national or international destination and its growth in "popularity" as measured by attendance is actually decreasing outside of California. I'm not 100% sold on this yet, but I'm leaning more in that direction the more I try to study it. There are some anecdotal data points (mostly unofficial) that seem to back it up, and I'll try to summarize them in this post.

    Anecdotal Data Point 1: The total number of APs is around one million based on legit media estimates and our best "rumor" sources. MiceAge quoted 990,000 in an update four years ago.

    Anecdotal Data Point 2: Disney's PR hack stated that passholders visit the park an average of 10 times per year in an interview earlier this year.

    Anecdotal Data Point 3: From the same February interview, the number of passholders has quadrupled in the last 20 years.

    Anecdotal Data Point 4: Disneyland annual attendance estimates published by TEA. Probably the best unofficial estimates available. They can be concisely viewed on Wikipedia.

    Taking all that and doing a bit of math...


    DLR's total 2017 attendance was estimated at 18.3 million by TEA. A million APs visiting 10 times per year, means we can assume that 10 million of the 18.3 million visitors were APs, and 8.3 million were not.

    Going back to 1997, total Disneyland attendance was estimated at 14.2 million. If the PR hack's info was legit, we can guess there were 250,000 APs around at that time. Assuming APs in 1997 visited the park roughly as often as they do today, that equates to 2.5 million total AP visits, and 11.7 million non-AP visits.

    Assuming the vast majority of APs live locally, and figuring that even a lot of the ticketed guests from both 1997 and 2017 are locals, there's not a lot of growth that can be pinned outside Southern California in those numbers. In fact, considering the population growth of the US since 1997, the relative number of non-Californians visiting Disneyland has most likely shrunk in the last 20 years.

    On a personal note, I grew up in the western United States, and now live in the central time zone. Disneyland is far off the radar here unless I'm talking to another western transplant. WDW is popular enough, but I can probably count on one hand the number of people I personally know that are Disneyland fans, but have no other personal connection to DLR's general geographic footprint.


    Now that's just sad.

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    • #42
      Originally posted by Natalie Price View Post
      [/COLOR]

      Now that's just sad.
      That's just reality.

      Although that math is highly subjective. I high doubt all million Aps go to the resort 10 times a year. Most of the time I had an AP I went about 5-6 times a year and I lived a half hour way. And I had friends who bought APs from a different country and they basically came twice a year. It was still cheaper in the long run to buying park hoppers not to mention the discounts.

      Comment


      • #43
        Originally posted by Fctiger View Post
        ...I high doubt all million Aps go to the resort 10 times a year. Most of the time I had an AP I went about 5-6 times a year and I lived a half hour way.
        "All or nothing" (false dilemma) logic fallacies aside, I remember "how often do you visit Disneyland" threads on this forum in which large numbers of posters said they went 5-6 times a month. That's in sync with eyewitness CM accounts after Disney launched its E-Z Monthly Payment Plan, when CMs began reporting seeing a huge increase in the number of recognizable repeat visitors -- mostly after-school and after-work teens -- who they saw hanging out in the park several times a week, week after week, month after month. Ask the CMs who were there in the years before as well as after the Monthly Payment Plan about the simultaneously increase in overall crowding and the "same faces" they saw hanging out after school and after work.

        Last edited by Mr Wiggins; 06-14-2018, 03:07 AM.
        "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

        "I didn't know the story of baby Jesus could be any better,
        until Thor told it to me."
        -
        Young girl at Disneyland's 2017 Candlelight Ceremony
        narrated by Chris Hemsworth

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        • #44
          One word for the reason less people choose to spend all their hard earned money on a vacation to Disneyland...overcrowded!
          Click image for larger version

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          • #45
            Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post

            "All or nothing" (false dilemma) logic fallacies aside, I remember "how often do you visit Disneyland" threads on this forum in which large numbers of posters said they went 5-6 times a month. That's in sync with eyewitness CM accounts after Disney launched its E-Z Monthly Payment Plan, when CMs began reporting seeing a huge increase in the number of recognizable repeat visitors -- mostly after-school and after-work teens -- who they saw hanging out in the park several times a week, week after week, month after month. Ask the CMs who were there in the years before as well as after the Monthly Payment Plan about the simultaneously increase in overall crowding and the "same faces" they saw hanging out after school and after work.
            Of course, there will be those who will deem this observation from Cast Members invalid because...they're coming from Cast Members. It seems being at the parks as an employee 5 days a week doesn't justify any comments concerning overcrowding.
            Last edited by Natalie Price; 06-14-2018, 07:18 AM.

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            • #46
              Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post

              "All or nothing" (false dilemma) logic fallacies aside, I remember "how often do you visit Disneyland" threads on this forum in which large numbers of posters said they went 5-6 times a month. That's in sync with eyewitness CM accounts after Disney launched its E-Z Monthly Payment Plan, when CMs began reporting seeing a huge increase in the number of recognizable repeat visitors -- mostly after-school and after-work teens -- who they saw hanging out in the park several times a week, week after week, month after month. Ask the CMs who were there in the years before as well as after the Monthly Payment Plan about the simultaneously increase in overall crowding and the "same faces" they saw hanging out after school and after work.
              Just to point out that people on this (and other) fan sites tend to be bigger Disney "fans" and will visit more than the average population. With the total number of pass holders probably a fraction of them are ones who even frequent this site. So asking people on this site how often they go would hardly be considered sound scientific methodology. This would be like asking a Theater full of people watching a Harry Potter or Star Wars marathon how many times they have seen the movies and then extrapolating that out as fact for how many times the "average" person has seen the movie.

              I am not saying that there aren't some who go 5-6 times a month, there are probably some that go 5-6 times a week. But in the OVERALL attendance can any PROVE that these people are making anything more than a significant dent in any "overcrowding" compared to the Passholder who may go once or twice a month? And does any of this PROVE that it is becoming less popular for "non-locals"

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              • #47
                Originally posted by Natalie Price View Post
                One word for the reason less people choose to spend all their hard earned money on a vacation to Disneyland...overcrowded!
                Click image for larger version

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                Please indicate how many of those are "non-locals", and how many are "Pass holders", then indicate how that picture shows that Disneyland is becoming less popular for the Non-Locals.

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                • #48
                  I'm a non-local who used to have an annual passport. I grew up in Anaheim and had a pass for years and years. Then I moved to Utah and still had a pass. The last time I had one was in 2009. I have since gotten a pass for Knotts and haven't looked back. The reasons are plenty...Price keeps going up and up, now you can't even add parking to deluxe pass I mean wtf? The park is body to body people at all times, there were times I would always go while I lived in Cali and it would be dead, now there is no more of that at all. It's just a terrible experience and you don't get that much bang for your bucks. I get passes for my family for Knotts cheaper then a one day park hopper at Disneyland for family. Also no blackout days. Knotts also has no crazy crowds when I decide to go so it's an enjoyable time the whole time I am there. I also have more money to spend on merchandise and can eat in the park without worrying about breaking the bank. Plus I have money leftover to schedule other vacations elsewhere if I want. It's just great. I wish I could go to Disneyland much more then I do, but alas I just can't. It's not worth the headaches.

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                  • #49
                    Originally posted by DLMountainFan View Post

                    Just to point out that people on this (and other) fan sites tend to be bigger Disney "fans" and will visit more than the average population. With the total number of pass holders probably a fraction of them are ones who even frequent this site. So asking people on this site how often they go would hardly be considered sound scientific methodology. This would be like asking a Theater full of people watching a Harry Potter or Star Wars marathon how many times they have seen the movies and then extrapolating that out as fact for how many times the "average" person has seen the movie.

                    I am not saying that there aren't some who go 5-6 times a month, there are probably some that go 5-6 times a week. But in the OVERALL attendance can any PROVE that these people are making anything more than a significant dent in any "overcrowding" compared to the Passholder who may go once or twice a month? And does any of this PROVE that it is becoming less popular for "non-locals"
                    Agreed. There are also valid reasons why AP'ers who visited the park so often, in the past, may no longer go as often. For one, the crowding. Who's to say that crowding doesn't negatively affect the number of times that locals/AP'ers visit Disneyland, like it does those who would be visiting for a vacation? I know that last year, when my family had APs for the first time in several years, we didn't go as often as we used to, just because we didn't want to go on days when it would be really crowded. Another reason would be cost, both for APs and for parking. Splitting up the cost of a Disneyland AP over a year does make it more palatable, but the costs have become insane. So those that do purchase APs are probably now more likely to opt for the less expensive types with more blocked dates. However it's the cost of parking that I believe may be the biggest deterrent to really frequent visits. Unless one opts for the most expensive AP, which it seems most do not, parking is now $20 per visit, whereas adding parking for an entire year used to cost just $40. That means visiting five or six times a week would cost hundreds of additional dollars per month. Disney has effectively also closed off DTD parking for those that used to use it as free parking for quick jaunts to the parks.
                    Last edited by BiggestDisneyFan; 06-14-2018, 12:43 PM.
                    Dead Mice Tell No Tails!

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                    • #50
                      Originally posted by BiggestDisneyFan View Post
                      Who's to say that crowding doesn't negatively affect the number of times that locals/AP'ers visit Disneyland, like it does those who visiting for a vacation?
                      This is a good point, and one I haven't really seen talked about before.

                      You also mentioned parking, but I also don't think we've talked enough about Disney discontinuing renewal discounts starting this year. Seems like that would be an especially big deal for families that renew multiple passes all at once.

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                      • #51
                        Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post

                        "All or nothing" (false dilemma) logic fallacies aside, I remember "how often do you visit Disneyland" threads on this forum in which large numbers of posters said they went 5-6 times a month. That's in sync with eyewitness CM accounts after Disney launched its E-Z Monthly Payment Plan, when CMs began reporting seeing a huge increase in the number of recognizable repeat visitors -- mostly after-school and after-work teens -- who they saw hanging out in the park several times a week, week after week, month after month. Ask the CMs who were there in the years before as well as after the Monthly Payment Plan about the simultaneously increase in overall crowding and the "same faces" they saw hanging out after school and after work.
                        I'm sure you can agree that a poll of Disneyland visits on a board frequented by the most ardent of Disneyland fans will not yield the most unbiased results. Naturally those who buy passes and have a strong love for the parks will report more frequent visits than those whose love wanes a little more.

                        I know this is just my opinion, but I don't see how APs who frequent the parks to congregate is a bad thing. It's a safe place where they know what their favorite entertainment options are, they have friends who are also regulars, and they can stay until midnight if they like. It gets them out of the house and out walking around, and away from their computers where they may be lazy and gaming instead. It gets them used to being around large groups of people, which is a fading ability considering the rising levels of anxiety among younger people who don't spend time with others as much as previous generations. Plus, APs are the park's single largest customer base, and the biggest reason why so many CMs continue to have the jobs they have.

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                        • #52
                          Originally posted by DLMountainFan View Post

                          Please indicate how many of those are "non-locals", and how many are "Pass holders", then indicate how that picture shows that Disneyland is becoming less popular for the Non-Locals.
                          Its easy, just look for the number of guests wearing backpacks. ;o)

                          Comment


                          • #53
                            Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post

                            "All or nothing" (false dilemma) logic fallacies aside, I remember "how often do you visit Disneyland" threads on this forum in which large numbers of posters said they went 5-6 times a month. That's in sync with eyewitness CM accounts after Disney launched its E-Z Monthly Payment Plan, when CMs began reporting seeing a huge increase in the number of recognizable repeat visitors -- mostly after-school and after-work teens -- who they saw hanging out in the park several times a week, week after week, month after month. Ask the CMs who were there in the years before as well as after the Monthly Payment Plan about the simultaneously increase in overall crowding and the "same faces" they saw hanging out after school and after work.
                            Oh no I don't doubt that. But its probably inaccurate to say everyone with APs do that as well. And I have friend with an AP who goes nearly every weekend but she's been doing that since the 80s so yeah for the truly hardcore they will always go a lot. But she usually went to have dinner with friends, ride a few rides and go home. She goes less now because she says its too crowded lol. Even then she still goes twice a month at least.

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                            • #54
                              Originally posted by Natalie Price View Post

                              Of course, there will be those who will deem this observation from Cast Members invalid because...they're coming from Cast Members. It seems being at the parks as an employee 5 days a week doesn't justify any comments concerning overcrowding.
                              Do you ever take it up with your bosses? This is a real question. Seems like that would get better results than here, right? End of the day this a message board that makes up a very tiny fraction of Disney fans. Some people will agree with you, others won't. Regardless nothing here makes any real difference in that regard. If you want to vent as an employee, that's fine, but not everyone will see it as an issue as you do nor do they have to.

                              End of the day this is Disney's policy, no one here had anything to do with it. And Disney clearly wants an overcrowded park. I don't know how many times that can be said. They clearly don't see it as a 'problem'. I'm sure if you talked to your supervisors they will probably say the same thing. End of the day all people can do is decide is it something they want to tolerate for their vacation or not. And clearly many do, hence why its crowded.

                              Maybe one day they will decide to lower the crowds in a substantial move but since being crowded has always been seen as a positive for shareholders and executives in the theme park industry or any vacation/tourist industry I wouldn't hold my breath on any big change anytime soon.
                              Last edited by Fctiger; 06-14-2018, 12:19 PM.

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                              • #55
                                Originally posted by Nirya View Post

                                VR is nowhere close to having the kind of public penetration to make a dent on children. Video games, sure, but not VR.
                                We'll have to agree to disagree. Sony and Google have made quite a pretty Penny on selling VR experiences to Kids. Its one of the fastest growing electronics components. VR is a broad term and it included video game as well as drone and social media use on top of in home experiences.

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                                • #56
                                  Originally posted by moregumboplease View Post

                                  Its easy, just look for the number of guests wearing backpacks. ;o)

                                  Dead Mice Tell No Tails!

                                  Comment


                                  • #57
                                    Originally posted by Natalie Price View Post

                                    Of course, there will be those who will deem this observation from Cast Members invalid because...they're coming from Cast Members. It seems being at the parks as an employee 5 days a week doesn't justify any comments concerning overcrowding.
                                    That's a bit of a gross generalization. I think the times when MiceChatters question the veracity of information provided by CMs is when what's provided is of a 'insider' variety, like foreknowledge of specific details about unannounced changes/additions to the parks or other details which only top-level management should know about, or facts that seems questionable in nature.
                                    Dead Mice Tell No Tails!

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                                    • #58
                                      Originally posted by Fctiger View Post
                                      Maybe one day they will decide to lower the crowds in a substantial move but since being crowded has always been seen as a positive for shareholders and executives I wouldn't hold my breath on any big change anytime soon.
                                      The one bit of inside info I most wish I could see is what Disney considers optimal capacity. What's the magic number above which management decides it's "too crowded?"

                                      It would help solve an awful lot of debates around here.

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                                      • #59
                                        Originally posted by moregumboplease View Post

                                        Its easy, just look for the number of guests wearing backpacks. ;o)
                                        What if they have a backpack AND a double-wide stroller?

                                        Comment


                                        • #60
                                          Originally posted by UltimateSurvivor View Post

                                          I'm sure you can agree that a poll of Disneyland visits on a board frequented by the most ardent of Disneyland fans will not yield the most unbiased results. Naturally those who buy passes and have a strong love for the parks will report more frequent visits than those whose love wanes a little more.

                                          I know this is just my opinion, but I don't see how APs who frequent the parks to congregate is a bad thing. It's a safe place where they know what their favorite entertainment options are, they have friends who are also regulars, and they can stay until midnight if they like. It gets them out of the house and out walking around, and away from their computers where they may be lazy and gaming instead. It gets them used to being around large groups of people, which is a fading ability considering the rising levels of anxiety among younger people who don't spend time with others as much as previous generations. Plus, APs are the park's single largest customer base, and the biggest reason why so many CMs continue to have the jobs they have.
                                          I think that the answer to that, for some people, is that APs frequenting the parks to congregate is a bad thing for everybody else, because the more that the same guests visit the parks, the more crowded the parks will be. While the idea that more repeat visitors could result in more crowding definitely is sound, ascribing all or even most of the crowding to people with APs, or even just locals, is a pretty simplistic view of a situation with numerous factors.
                                          Dead Mice Tell No Tails!

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