News Disney Park Pass System announced for Walt Disney World theme park reservations

MisterPenguin

President of Animal Kingdom
Premium Member
Not a chance.

Once capacity issues are resolved, it is going to be a race to raise prices and cram as many bodies into a park as quickly as possible. Whenever they talk about limiting capacity for the guest experience it’s all lip service. Don’t believe it? Their track record shows it.
The track record of cramming people into the parks was forced upon them when
  1. their product became overwhelming popular, and,
  2. they sold tickets and passes enabling an arbitrarily large number of folks to show up at the same time.

Theoretically and previously, everyone with a park pass and an any-time ticket could all decide to show up at MK on September 13. MK would hit phased closing almost right at opening and hundreds of thousands of guests would be turned away at the gate TTC parking lot I4.

WDW had no way of preventing that from happening except to use carrots and sticks: Increased prices, surge prices, discount off-peak, etc...

Two different CEOs have talked about "the problem" of too many people in the park.
  • Guest satisfaction goes down and it hurts the brand which hurts every other Disney-branded profit center.
  • Once restaurants and food service hit their capacity and stores can't fit any more people, then profit from concessions is maxed out... more people does not mean more 'yield' from them.
  • Over-packed parks require more employees to manage the crowds that aren't spending more.

Disney doesn't gain from over-packed parks. The Bobs talk delightedly about how they increased revenue and 'yield' from parks with less attendance.

Disney now has a tool to keep parks from becoming over-packed in advanced.
 
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disneygeek90

Well-Known Member
The track record of cramming people into the parks was forced upon them when
  1. their product became overwhelming popular, and,
  2. they sold tickets and passes enabling an arbitrarily large number of folks to show up at the same time.

Theoretically and previously, everyone with a park pass and an any-time ticket could all decide to show up at MK on September 13. MK would hit phased closing almost right at opening and hundreds of thousands of guests would be turned away at the gate TTC parking lot I4.

WDW had no way of preventing that from happening except to use carrots and sticks: Increased prices, surge prices, discount off-peak, etc...

Two different CEOs have talked about "the problem" of too many people in the park.
  • Guest satisfaction goes down and it hurts the brand which hurts every other Disney-branded profit center.
  • Once restaurants and food service hit their capacity and stores can't fit any more people, then profit from concessions is maxed out... more people does not mean more 'yield' from them.
  • Over-packed parks require more employees to manage the crowds that aren't spending more.

Disney doesn't gain from over-packed parks. The Bobs talk delightfully about how they increased revenue and 'yield' from parks with less attendance.

Disney now has a tool to keep parks from becoming over-packed in advanced.
How often did parks ever hit phased closing outside of Christmas week? I surely can't recall any time in mid September I was turned away from MK.
 

MisterPenguin

President of Animal Kingdom
Premium Member
How often did parks ever hit phased closing outside of Christmas week? I surely can't recall any time in mid September I was turned away from MK.
Well, phased closing was their drop dead limit in which they sacrificed people's enjoyment of the parks in order to honor paid tickets and to avoid all those refunds.

Setting a hard cap with a park reservation system avoids that... at the gate. In people's homes, they'll be hopping mad when they can't get a reservation for Christmas week and complain bitterly about it on the Internet. There will still be throngs in the parks, but not crazy phased-closing amounts.

For those that do get into a park on Christmas week, they'll be able to get food and use the restroom without an hour's wait.

Once WDW goes back to normal ops, it will be unlikely people will experience those reservation limits except on the peakiest of holidays. AP black out dates and surge pricing on tickets will also keep "the buckets" from getting filled up completely.

All this presumes WDW sees the benefits of Park Reservations, decides to keep and implement it, and does so in a sane fashion.
 

monothingie

I'm both Crunchy and Delicious!
Premium Member
The track record of cramming people into the parks was forced upon them when
  1. their product became overwhelming popular, and,
  2. they sold tickets and passes enabling an arbitrarily large number of folks to show up at the same time.

Theoretically and previously, everyone with a park pass and an any-time ticket could all decide to show up at MK on September 13. MK would hit phased closing almost right at opening and hundreds of thousands of guests would be turned away at the gate TTC parking lot I4.

WDW had no way of preventing that from happening except to use carrots and sticks: Increased prices, surge prices, discount off-peak, etc...

Two different CEOs have talked about "the problem" of too many people in the park.
  • Guest satisfaction goes down and it hurts the brand which hurts every other Disney-branded profit center.
  • Once restaurants and food service hit their capacity and stores can't fit any more people, then profit from concessions is maxed out... more people does not mean more 'yield' from them.
  • Over-packed parks require more employees to manage the crowds that aren't spending more.

Disney doesn't gain from over-packed parks. The Bobs talk delightfully about how they increased revenue and 'yield' from parks with less attendance.

Disney now has a tool to keep parks from becoming over-packed in advanced.
Come on @MisterPenguin it can’t be both ways. They happily took the crowds and offered token lip service with regards to limiting capacity. Then they took advantage of the situation and started selling the parks 2 or 3 times per day to capitalize on the crowds.

If there was more than a token concern for guest satisfaction, there would be a lot more changes than yet another excursion into big data saving the day.
 

MisterPenguin

President of Animal Kingdom
Premium Member
Come on @MisterPenguin it can’t be both ways. They happily took the crowds and offered token lip service with regards to limiting capacity. Then they took advantage of the situation and started selling the parks 2 or 3 times per day to capitalize on the crowds.

If there was more than a token concern for guest satisfaction, there would be a lot more changes than yet another excursion into big data saving the day.

I'm willing to vilify WDW for making the upsell Holiday Parties too crowded. The were selling the idea of a capped crowd, and the last few years were too crowded for that sales pitch. They received strongly worded emails from me.

However, for the After Hours events, you get what was advertised... a very reduced capacity crowd. I enjoyed them muchly.

As for selling the park twice, it's complicated. It spreads crowds into two different parts of the day, helping to avoid overcrowdedness at any one time. It also began when the Fall was dead-time for the parks and they closed early anyway. The parties seemed to have drawn the Summer crowd into the Fall and reduced the Summer crowds. But, that's just my guess... I don't have access to WDW's demographics.

As for cramming then in whenever they can because that's what they do... they're not doing that now, even though they could (labor shortage and union agreements notwithstanding).
 

pdude81

Well-Known Member
The track record of cramming people into the parks was forced upon them when
  1. their product became overwhelming popular, and,
  2. they sold tickets and passes enabling an arbitrarily large number of folks to show up at the same time.

Theoretically and previously, everyone with a park pass and an any-time ticket could all decide to show up at MK on September 13. MK would hit phased closing almost right at opening and hundreds of thousands of guests would be turned away at the gate TTC parking lot I4.

WDW had no way of preventing that from happening except to use carrots and sticks: Increased prices, surge prices, discount off-peak, etc...

Two different CEOs have talked about "the problem" of too many people in the park.
  • Guest satisfaction goes down and it hurts the brand which hurts every other Disney-branded profit center.
  • Once restaurants and food service hit their capacity and stores can't fit any more people, then profit from concessions is maxed out... more people does not mean more 'yield' from them.
  • Over-packed parks require more employees to manage the crowds that aren't spending more.

Disney doesn't gain from over-packed parks. The Bobs talk delightfully about how they increased revenue and 'yield' from parks with less attendance.

Disney now has a tool to keep parks from becoming over-packed in advanced.
Thankfully, for now, Universal is only limiting based on capacity for hopping. And that's where Disney has to be a little careful with restrictions on park hopper tickets and APs. If you show up at a park and the lines are terrible, having to wait until 2 to be able to switch it up is a huge pain in the butt.

Now if this is a diabolically genius plan to make people beg for fastpass since they are stick in a park for 5 hours already anyway, then kudos to the Bobs on their foresight. This seems a lot more accidental than that and so it's just frustrating to have to block off half a day months in advance when they don't even have their schedules finalized for those days.
 

BoarderPhreak

Well-Known Member
Personally, I think the Park Pass system is stupid. Sure, it'll control swarms of people migrating to different parks somewhat (e.g. MK being open later than AK). But it also royally screws over the whole selling point of Park Hoppers... Which I won't be adding onto my tickets anymore. For what? Being able to choose one additional park that I can't even enter until 2pm? This isn't the way to do "crowd control." Maybe don't sell so many tickets that the parks are mobbed in the first place? Not to mention it adds yet another layer of planning required for trips. It's too much work for a vacation to have FUN and RELAX.

Honestly, with all the other cutbacks (e.g. DME, park hours, EMH, entertainment, etc.), changes (e.g. Swalphin switching to Mears for transport) and the general construction site vibe of Epcot... I'll be thinking long and hard on ANY future trips. The value equation has changed too negatively in recent years and it's not even to blame on the pandemic.
 

Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
Welcome to the dark side. I'm sure more will follow. Lol. I have noticed more and more Disney loyalists are now starting to go to Universal that have never been before.
I've got to confess that I started going to Uni when it first opened. I didn't go every trip, but probably 70% of them. I always enjoyed the park(s). However, Disney was always our target location, but I see that changing drastically now. My target is now Universal and if I have the time I might run over to WDW as a day tripper. My last trip down there in 2019 I stayed in a Universal Hotel. Quite the change for me.
 

Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
The track record of cramming people into the parks was forced upon them when
  1. their product became overwhelming popular, and,
  2. they sold tickets and passes enabling an arbitrarily large number of folks to show up at the same time.

Theoretically and previously, everyone with a park pass and an any-time ticket could all decide to show up at MK on September 13. MK would hit phased closing almost right at opening and hundreds of thousands of guests would be turned away at the gate TTC parking lot I4.

WDW had no way of preventing that from happening except to use carrots and sticks: Increased prices, surge prices, discount off-peak, etc...

Two different CEOs have talked about "the problem" of too many people in the park.
  • Guest satisfaction goes down and it hurts the brand which hurts every other Disney-branded profit center.
  • Once restaurants and food service hit their capacity and stores can't fit any more people, then profit from concessions is maxed out... more people does not mean more 'yield' from them.
  • Over-packed parks require more employees to manage the crowds that aren't spending more.

Disney doesn't gain from over-packed parks. The Bobs talk delightedly about how they increased revenue and 'yield' from parks with less attendance.

Disney now has a tool to keep parks from becoming over-packed in advanced.
They could have solved that problem years ago by strengthening the attractions in the other three parks. They just a few years ago started that with the draw of attractions in DHS. That place was never a problem previous to that now it is one. but it should be helped by the passage of time. All that space in DAK and almost nothing to see or do. Seriously, as good a park as that is, they easily could have built it less like a Notazoo and more like a theme park with rides and attractions. You can look at a sleeping tiger or lion just so long.

I know that the purist have put a lot of pressure on the company not to change the theme of Epcot, and now they are playing catch up because it needed more MK and less grammar school in todays society. Yes, I to loved the original EPCOT, but it could not hold it's own in todays dumbed down society that just wanted to be thrilled or entertained. They seem to be trying to maintain and rebuild some of the original but not without a lot of protest and slowly change the remaining to more current trends. Everything has to change to some degree. I don't want to get old either but I don't seem to have anyway to make that happen without losing everything to stop the process. Because of the way of society MK will probably always remain the most popular but if there were enough new and exciting things to see and do in the rest of the place, it might not have an unmanageable crowd.
 

Parker in NYC

Well-Known Member
There is a certain logic to it for sure. I'm saving judgement until they announce the details. Especially as it concerns the new AP plans.
dan levy comedy GIF by CBC
 

412

Well-Known Member
MyMagic+ and the Park Pass Reservation System both have the same goal: help Disney predict attendance and cut costs (aka dynamically manage staffing).

Both systems are a hassle for guests because they require advance planning and penalize spontaneity.

BUT with MyMagic+, guests receive something in exchange for locking themselves into a specific park: FastPasses and dining reservations. The system benefits Disney, but it also benefits guests.

Conversely, the Park Pass Reservation System has all of the downsides and none of the upsides of MyMagic+. Guests sacrifice spontaneity and lock themselves into a particular park and, in exchange, Disney gives them nothing. It's good for Disney management but bad for guests.
 

flynnibus

Premium Member
Quite honestly, they can keep the park reservation system running even with full capacity limits....and when that happens, it's no longer about *restricting* the number of people that go through the turnstiles, but *predicting* the number of people that go through the turnstiles.

I see it more like FP+ - forcing people to lesser used attractions to boost utilization. It's the 'stick' approach..

I'm sure Disney already had pretty bad- modeling of park demand, especially once you had FP+, etc. Would the improved accuracy really be worth the potential pushback? Probably not IMO...

But if you could boost attendance of parks, and avoid capacity constraints by ensuring more people goto other parks ?? Now that's stuff that can show up on the bottom line.
 

CosmicRays

Well-Known Member
Chapek... "unprecedented demand" for virtual queues... yeah, when you REQUIRE people use them for the most popular attractions.. they will use them at 100%. How convenient...

Park Reservations post-pandemic for anyone besides AP-like programs is a horrible idea that only goes to serve the company, not the customers. I hope Disney comes to their senses on this.
"Today we have seen unprecedented demand for gasoline with cars on the highway. We really believe this system of getting gasoline is a game changer."
 

jt04

Well-Known Member
MyMagic+ and the Park Pass Reservation System both have the same goal: help Disney predict attendance and cut costs (aka dynamically manage staffing).

Both systems are a hassle for guests because they require advance planning and penalize spontaneity.

BUT with MyMagic+, guests receive something in exchange for locking themselves into a specific park: FastPasses and dining reservations. The system benefits Disney, but it also benefits guests.

Conversely, the Park Pass Reservation System has all of the downsides and none of the upsides of MyMagic+. Guests sacrifice spontaneity and lock themselves into a particular park and, in exchange, Disney gives them nothing. It's good for Disney management but bad for guests.

Disney will say you are getting fewer guests in the parks and more efficient experiences such as dining and shopping. We will see.
 

hopemax

Well-Known Member
I think some people have alluded to it, but the parks final max capacity “post-pandemic” will likely be lower than the previous max capacity.

Still working to get a few more sources to verify this, but it seems to make sense for the reasons I’ve been told.
This will be interesting, especially if we can get some numbers as to what that number is vs what it was.

While I have long thought Disney has oversold their parks, and accused Disney of knowingly selling tickets to people when they know they don't have the capacity to service them, I am still skeptical that they will purposefully lower the limit significantly enough to make the park experience better for those who are there. Example, if the MK's tipping point for manageable guest flow is 50,000 but they've been running at 60,000 and the Christmas week / shut the park is 70,000. I could maybe, see Disney saying, lets cap at 60,000 or 65,000, but not all the way down to 50K. I would think the lost ticket sales and lost attendance numbers from where they were in 2019 would be a problem when it comes to profit numbers for shareholders. So either, prices for the 50K sold go up sharper than normal, to compensate for the missing 10-20K people, or they don't accept the missing 10-20K and they just make the cap 70K, but that way they don't have cars lined up on World Drive unable to park because of a phase closing.

My Dad calls all of this "guest hostile." Not even average, hostile.
 

Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
How many years did they sell open tickets? Go to whatever one you want when you want. If they reached Capacity, which they seldom ever did, they just stopped them at the gate (or before) and then you would go to a different park. They always theoretically oversold MK because no specific park was required, but it was never a real problem until they turned every attraction into a FP attraction. In all my years of going there, never once did I hit a "fullup" situation. To make that more in line with reality, I never went in the summer time, and do not intend to do so now. But they still require park reservations no matter what time of the year it is. I would be one of the people that wouldn't go if it was a rainy day, I'd find something else to do and go the next day. Now I have to either extend my vacation or jump through more hoops and it just frankly isn't worth it. I do not want to tour WDW in the rain. It may be fine for others, but not me.
 
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Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
I've got to confess that I started going to Uni when it first opened. I didn't go every trip, but probably 70% of them. I always enjoyed the park(s). However, Disney was always our target location, but I see that changing drastically now. My target is now Universal and if I have the time I might run over to WDW as a day tripper. My last trip down there in 2019 I stayed in a Universal Hotel. Quite the change for me.
But you know what makes me sadder? The fact that they don't care. I've been a loyal WDW fan for 38 years and they don't care because my wallet isn't big enough for them anymore. It doesn't matter that I have been to Disneyland and Paris Disneyland, I'm just not important enough for them to care because I can't ring the cash register loud enough.
 

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