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Crowding - A Serious Discussion

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  • [Chat] Crowding - A Serious Discussion

    Alright. It's time for a proper assessment, folks.

    It's probably the fourth Micechat update where I've read that crowds are close to intolerable. We cannot blame AP's in this instance. It appears Disney will not cap its attendance, and with the looming announcement of Magic Key and California Resident discounts, it seems like the issue of crowding is here to stay, but I want to be proven wrong.

    I've read time and time again from Disney loyalists that Disney is addressing this issue, but the issue at hand, in my opinion, feels worse than ever. How does Disney address it? Why is Disney introducing more programs if the parks are packed? What gives? Why all this PR speak when you can zip your lip, Bob? Ken? Josh?

    Is there a way Disney can spread these crowds out? Does live entertainment play a role in crowd management?

    Join me in this vent/discussion as we dissect the mystery of these congested walkways.

    PS. I'm of the mindset that as an AP, I had the luxury of being at the park at rope drop (a less crowded experience in 2019) and leave when things felt too choked. We're in a new era where we're all forced to endure a full day at Disney due to the overwhelmingly high price tag. Did AP's help in this instance? I clearly saw the difference upon my most recent visit.
    Last edited by Captain Andy; 08-02-2021, 01:28 PM. Reason: I accidentally made a pun in ill taste

  • #2
    Now that everyone is paying full price, they want to get their full fill, (except for me when I went on May 19th). When I was an AP, I didn't feel the need to get my full fill, and as you mentioned, when it started feeling to hectic, that is when we left (as I'm sure many other AP's did too). But now, I imagine no one is leaving early unless they absolutely have to.

    To me all that PR talk is just that, talk, lip service, verbal diarrhea. They don't give two you know what's about improving the guest experience.
    Big Thunder Ranch > Galaxys Edge

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by BigThunda View Post
      Now that everyone is paying full price, they want to get their full fill, (except for me when I went on May 19th). When I was an AP, I didn't feel the need to get my full fill, and as you mentioned, when it started feeling to hectic, that is when we left (as I'm sure many other AP's did too). But now, I imagine no one is leaving early unless they absolutely have to.

      To me all that PR talk is just that, talk, lip service, verbal diarrhea. They don't give two you know what's about improving the guest experience.
      It's a real shame. I want to say I'm not shocked and yell "I told you so!", but no one wins this fight besides the execs filling their glasses with champagne.

      It's just disappointing to see Disney acting so dense these days in every corner of the company.

      Comment


      • #4
        It's hard to tell but I think a lot of people are visiting because they have not been in a long time but I also think a lot of out-of-town people are not visiting until they feel DL is stable.

        I 'm from northern Nevada and I would not visit just yet because I don't think they're stable at all. The last thing I need is to travel a long distance only to face huge crowds or even worse, be turned away for any reason at all.

        It'd be interesting to see where all the guests actually live. Are they locals or from far away?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by micromind View Post
          It's hard to tell but I think a lot of people are visiting because they have not been in a long time but I also think a lot of out-of-town people are not visiting until they feel DL is stable.

          I 'm from northern Nevada and I would not visit just yet because I don't think they're stable at all. The last thing I need is to travel a long distance only to face huge crowds or even worse, be turned away for any reason at all.

          It'd be interesting to see where all the guests actually live. Are they locals or from far away?
          YEP......Great Point.....in what going on. IMO
          Have to Agree....specially what is going on at Disneyland Resort.......
          Most people , are still waiting or going to other place's for there Vacation!

          Disneyland has many Issue that been on the News....
          and feel there "PR" is backfire as well !
          Last edited by Eagleman; 08-02-2021, 05:08 PM.
          Soaring like an EAGLE !

          Comment


          • #6
            "Disneyland is always so crowded, nobody goes there anymore"

            I think we are at the point where a lot of people just want to go to Disneyland! It's easy to complain about how there are tons of people and it ruins the experience, or how they are delivering a substandard product for the same cost, but until we all rally around Mr. Wiggins and start acting with our actions instead of our forum posts, Disney won't really change anything. If we all keep packing into the parks, Disney keeps making money, we keep complaining, and the status quo stays the same. Someone has to make the first move, and it's not going to be Bob Chapek. (At least, not a move in the right direction!)

            Either the parks are so bad we stop going at the current price actually forcing Disney to change, or Disney has set the price and conditions at just the level where we all still line up and go to the parks (and hand them our money - nice one Disney), but not without a little complaining.

            Comment


            • #7
              It’s almost like a double edge sword. On one hand the parks are crowded so we can’t say Disneyland is struggling. Then on the other hand the overall morale and experience is not up to par with what we expect for the price. A lot of people “need” their Disney fix, so they go despite the crowds and the struggling atmosphere. I miss the parks, it’s been years since I went, but I just can’t justify going knowing the experience is going to be very different with less offerings because of covid, altered experiences and crazy crazy crowds. I know I would be unhappy, so it’s not worth it for me right now.With that said I can’t help but think there will be some magical time this year where the parks will be pretty dead and I would hope to be able to book and go during that time. My biggest gripe is the crowds. They were absolutely horrible the last few times I went, and this was before Star Wars. I figured I’d have to take a few years “off” for that hype to die down. But who knows yall, who knows.

              Comment


              • #8
                1. It's summer and the parks were closed for a year. So its part summer business + part pent-up demand, hence crowds.

                2. Disney is no longer required to cap attendence(for now), so it appears they aren't limiting customers. The only reasons why the reservations are kept, is likely to better assign manpower & budgeting throughout the week.

                3. We still don't know the details for Magic Key, which will be announced later today (August 3rd).

                4. Because I have no more reasonable points to make on the crowding situations, I will just irrationally blame the black market resellers for the crowding. (Hey, we need a scapegoat!)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Management does not care about the negative impact of overcrowding on the guest experience because they've already got your money. If you have such a miserable time that you never come back, there are plenty of suckers to replace you. Who needs loyalty when you've got an invincible brand?
                  Like this post? Read more like it at The Disneyland Dilettante!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Karalora View Post
                    Management does not care about the negative impact of overcrowding on the guest experience because they've already got your money.
                    There was a time I would agree with this 100 percent, but now I think the reservation system proves that there are limits. I think management does realize that there is a level of overcrowding that is just too much, as hard as that might be to believe. I think the wait times for DL this summer were proof. DL could have increased reservation capacity, but they didn't, and wait times have been pretty normal all summer long.

                    I think the reservation system is what made them change their mind about not bringing back passes. The success of the reservation system proved they could bring it back, if that's what they wanted to do.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by PhotoMatt View Post
                      I think the reservation system is what made them change their mind about not bringing back passes. The success of the reservation system proved they could bring it back, if that's what they wanted to do.
                      The sad part is they didn't have to create this ill will and drama for their customers and the press Disney is beyond the all press is good press level and negative press does hurt their bottom line. Many of us said during the time when AP's were simply on hold that all they needed to do to control the crowding issues is make all AP's use a reservation system like Flex and put in a realistic capacity limit that is less than the legal one. Many of use said an annual pass program would be coming sooner than later as they needed it even though some claimed "AP's are dead" and they were "never coming back". We did not have the data that management did, but we had something they didn't, the experience of actually going to the parks and listening to other guests for years. Funny how all their data, analysts, marketing and accounting "geniuses" missed the solution many of LP's saw as obvious.
                      Disneyland Fan since the 70's

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Starcade View Post

                        The sad part is they didn't have to create this ill will and drama for their customers and the press Disney is beyond the all press is good press level and negative press does hurt their bottom line. Many of us said during the time when AP's were simply on hold that all they needed to do to control the crowding issues is make all AP's use a reservation system like Flex and put in a realistic capacity limit less than the legal one. Many of use said a annual pass program would be coming sooner than later as they needed it even though some claimed "AP's are dead" and they were "never coming back" We did not have the data that management did, but we had something they didn't, the experience of actually going to the parks and listening to other gusts for years. Funny how all their data, analysts, marketing and accounting "geniuses" missed the solution many of LP's saw as obvious.
                        Not to overuse the term like my generation often does, but this definitely felt like a form of gaslighting, and crowding falls into this category for me.

                        I've read many trip reports now where they question how much the capacity has been raised and had they known better, they wouldn't have attended. During my trip, I was slightly shocked despite having read the writing on the wall, but from all the harping that Disney and (I apologize for the call-out, guys...) Micechat were doing, I guess I expected it to feel slightly better than what I imagined? Instead, it was slightly worse.

                        Of course, I'm sure Disney did pull a mental 180 somewhere along the line, but it's a shame, especially when this is an issue that many people have voiced is not a great experience at the parks.

                        I fully intend on holding my money until another relative shakes me to attend the parks. I can't say no to good company. I used to go to Disneyland on a biweekly basis with my AP, but that last trip burnt me out like no other. I can only handle someone breathing down my neck for so long!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I remember months ago when a number of members on here were saying guests wouldn't be flocking in to Disneyland once opened but that obviously hasn't been the case. I posted this in a different thread back in November of last year:

                          Originally posted by Gamedog View Post
                          Having worked as a contractor at Disneyland for many years, my gut says Disneyland will be back as strong as they were, if not stronger.

                          Disney has created a very loyal fan base and fans will be itching for just a glimpse of the magic they all grew to love. Masks or no masks. Sit down restaurants or no sit down restaurants. Pirates of the Caribbean or no Pirates of the Caribbean. Won't matter. Park capacities will be met daily. CM's will be back and happy as ever because they know they're adding to the magic everyone is there for, reason being Disney instills a different level of loyalty from their CM's and those who partner with them.

                          Disney World has been operating well given their limitations, what makes anyone think Disneyland would do any different?

                          How long will it take? Hard to tell. Disneyland's only limitations will be those that it has no control over.
                          My gut says a lot of guests that have been flocking back are all who have been extremely anxious see that "glimpse" of magic I mentioned in my post above. Kinda like spongeocto4 said in his first point. I think we give it a few more months, and things might slow down a bit. Likely after the holidays.

                          We'll see!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Gamedog View Post
                            I remember months ago when a number of members on here were saying guests wouldn't be flocking in to Disneyland once opened but that obviously hasn't been the case. I posted this in a different thread back in November of last year:



                            My gut says a lot of guests that have been flocking back are all who have been extremely anxious see that "glimpse" of magic I mentioned in my post above. Kinda like spongeocto4 said in his first point. I think we give it a few more months, and things might slow down a bit. Likely after the holidays.

                            We'll see!
                            I see the opposite happening. We will likely have a lull as you mention but then a massive pent demand come next summer when borders open and covid is further behind us (well maybe in America which is proving to be a covid dumpster fire yet again). I know of several people up here booking Disneyland for next summer anticipating a border opening. Remember all of these “quiet” parks are quiet now with basically zero international tourists.....

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Starcade View Post

                              The sad part is they didn't have to create this ill will and drama for their customers and the press Disney is beyond the all press is good press level and negative press does hurt their bottom line. Many of us said during the time when AP's were simply on hold that all they needed to do to control the crowding issues is make all AP's use a reservation system like Flex and put in a realistic capacity limit that is less than the legal one. Many of use said an annual pass program would be coming sooner than later as they needed it even though some claimed "AP's are dead" and they were "never coming back". We did not have the data that management did, but we had something they didn't, the experience of actually going to the parks and listening to other guests for years. Funny how all their data, analysts, marketing and accounting "geniuses" missed the solution many of LP's saw as obvious.
                              Many people were also saying that a reservation system would be terrible and that it would kill the spontaneity of a trip. It wasn't Disney that ever said that the AP program was never going to come back. My guess is that was just some wishful thinking from people who never liked the AP program anyway.

                              There are plenty of options on how to reform the AP program. Seems like while the park was closed it was a fine time to wipe the slate clean.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Co Foo View Post

                                Many people were also saying that a reservation system would be terrible and that it would kill the spontaneity of a trip. It wasn't Disney that ever said that the AP program was never going to come back. My guess is that was just some wishful thinking from people who never liked the AP program anyway.

                                There are plenty of options on how to reform the AP program. Seems like while the park was closed it was a fine time to wipe the slate clean.
                                I think the name change is what gave them the green light to say/leak the AP's are dead. They were playing semantics and I had a feeling that would be the case.
                                Disneyland Fan since the 70's

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Starcade View Post

                                  I think the name change is what gave them the green light to say/leak the AP's are dead. They were playing semantics and I had a feeling that would be the case.
                                  They said the whole time that they were going to re-evaluate the program. Their initial press release said so.

                                  "We plan to use this time while we remain closed to develop new membership offerings that will utilize consumer insights to deliver choice, flexibility and value for our biggest fans. We plan to use this time while we remain closed to develop new membership offerings that will utilize consumer insights to deliver choice, flexibility and value for our biggest fans."

                                  I always assumed that the revised AP program would be released at some point. I actually didn't expect it to come out so soon.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Co Foo View Post

                                    They said the whole time that they were going to re-evaluate the program. Their initial press release said so.

                                    "We plan to use this time while we remain closed to develop new membership offerings that will utilize consumer insights to deliver choice, flexibility and value for our biggest fans. We plan to use this time while we remain closed to develop new membership offerings that will utilize consumer insights to deliver choice, flexibility and value for our biggest fans."

                                    I always assumed that the revised AP program would be released at some point. I actually didn't expect it to come out so soon.
                                    I had a feeling (you can see it in my past posts.) The metrics that mattered pointed to a cliff where the moment the 3 day SoCal passes ended so would the crowds. They were already dropping off prior and surged when the 3 days were released. I doubted they would simply keep re-introducing the 3 day every 3 months because they knew it would lead to issues with many guests feeling the need to do rope drop to fireworks and they would burn out people fast. They know half the parks attendance was AP's that is not a insignificant amount. They need us guests who come in partial days and spend more per hour as much as ticketed guests. Sure we may spend less per visit but those of us with kids to tend to come in in the morning and leave in the afternoon and those without kids arrive in the afternoon and stay well into the evening. in place of that full day ticket guest they often get 2 half day AP's which often spend more between the two groups than those who are trying to get their "moneys worth" by doing as much as possible while budgeting themselves all day.

                                    Ideally Disney wants you to arrive right before breakfast and get the hell out right after dinner and hopes you go shopping on the way out. They do not want you just sitting on a bench catching your breath or getting some shade, once your getting tired your less likely to buy food or merch, they want you gone at that point. With ticketed guests only they had a lot of people taking up space while not actively buying anything. Those HIGH margin popcorn buckets don't move unless there is a bunch of fans that can spend a chunk of their day inline to purchase and then leave.
                                    Last edited by Starcade; 08-03-2021, 02:36 PM.
                                    Disneyland Fan since the 70's

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Karalora View Post
                                      Management does not care about the negative impact of overcrowding on the guest experience because they've already got your money. If you have such a miserable time that you never come back, there are plenty of suckers to replace you. Who needs loyalty when you've got an invincible brand?
                                      Exactly. In the 35 years since the advent of Eisner, generations of Disney management have been trained by the behavior of Disney Parks consumers to expect increasing attendance, no matter how high the price and how diminished the product.

                                      I think the only thing that could change that mindset would be a sustained period of declining market share (a combination of non-growth or declining attendance at DLR and increasing attendance at other theme parks). And even then, management would likely go through a prolonged period of finger-pointing at the wrong causes (as with their decade-long denial of the problems of DCA 1.0).
                                      "Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because
                                      it combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning,
                                      together with every variety of recreation and fun,
                                      designed to appeal to everyone."

                                      - Walt Disney

                                      "Disneyland is all about turning movies into rides."
                                      - Michael Eisner

                                      "It's very symbiotic."
                                      - Bob Chapek

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Starcade View Post

                                        Ideally Disney wants you to arrive right before breakfast and get the hell out right after dinner and hopes you go shopping on the way out. They do not want you just sitting on a bench catching your breath or getting some shade, once your getting tired your less likely to buy food or merch, they want you gone at that point.
                                        You Got It- I feel the same in what DI$NEY wants !

                                        Soaring like an EAGLE !

                                        Comment

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