Is attendance really down at WDW this or…

DisneyHead123

Well-Known Member
Supporting this angle — I was unable to book Pop Century or Art of Animation for first week of December this year. And zero DVC studios available then either.
I'll be curious to see how park visits play out in the cooler months. As has been noted, overall tourism to Florida is up this summer. That said, there is a difference between going to indoor clubs in Miami at night, or lying on the beach with a breeze and a drink and an ocean nearby, and trekking through the parks in that kind of weather. My guess is that bookings are indeed down somewhat but not as catastrophically as one would think by looking at summer months alone - that's just a guess though.
 

C33Mom

Well-Known Member
Supporting this angle — I was unable to book Pop Century or Art of Animation for first week of December this year. And zero DVC studios available then either.
This also supports the pricing out angle— the cheaper options are harder to get as people stretch. In 2022, I couldn’t get the holiday week at Beach Club or Boardwalk at any price (most other deluxe had zero/limited rooms as well)…after weeks of hunting for cancellations I ended up in a villa (through Disney not DVC) because it’s what was available. Much easier to get deluxe rooms last year when I looked.
 

easyrowrdw

Well-Known Member
Each time we've been we've seen 9-10 characters, and they don't rush you so sometimes characters will stop more than once. off the top of my head, on our last visit we saw: Pooh, tigger, Captain Hook, Chip and Dale, Suzy and Perla, Max, Pluto - and Minnie Mouse you see and take a picture with outside before getting seated.
Wow! That's a ton of characters. I can see the appeal for sure.
Breakfast is $46 Adult / $27 - I’ve never been but I’ve heard people rave about how many characters are present and how it’s a great way to start the day since you get lots of characters met and a filling meal.

Now for me at Disneyland, the morning is when the lines are low and you can get a lot in - I like to spend the money for a sit down restaurant at lunch time when it’s hot and crowded in the parks.

It’s not quite as pricey as wdw character spots…$45/$27…especially in California

But it offers a lot of rotational characters and they play more.

Disneyland still offers way more personal touches

Wdw is built to overcharge fools from the east coast. At least since Bob took over
Thank you all for the responses. We'll be at Disneyland this summer, but like Trains said, I expect we'll spend our morning on rides.
 

bwr827

Well-Known Member
This also supports the pricing out angle— the cheaper options are harder to get as people stretch. In 2022, I couldn’t get the holiday week at Beach Club or Boardwalk at any price (most other deluxe had zero/limited rooms as well)…after weeks of hunting for cancellations I ended up in a villa (through Disney not DVC) because it’s what was available. Much easier to get deluxe rooms last year when I looked.
Good point. Although all of the all-stars still have availability. I think Pop and Art are special in the value category thanks to the Skyliner.
 

Mondo

Member
This is a case where I think there is some truth to some things but here's the real problem. They really did have a bunch of people come running to them, but then the product they put out wasn't something that everyone said. Oh, that was such a fantastic experience. I can't wait to go back again now they really blew it. They had a chance to really impress a lot of people and instead they reach for their wallets
I think people go to theme parks to escape the regimented doldrums of daily life. And most of them accomplish this- except for the ones at WDW. I really shouldn’t have to go at the height of the off-season if I don’t want to be planning my every move. Disney’s greatest strength is awakening our inner child, and having reservations for every damn ride runs exactly counter to that.
 

stepjune28

New Member
It’s been dropping for 2 years WITHOUT a recession across the board.

Because they overpriced it combined with bad management ideas.

I’ll go ahead and give you “the secret”
One consideration is that 2 years ago was 2022. Peak of the crazy crazy travel time post-Covid. It isn't surprising that attendance has normalized since then. The real question to me is-- is attendance down in 2024 compared to 2018?

I do 100% agree that it is overpriced. I couldn't believe the difference in prices when I compared how much our 2021 trip cost compared to planning one for 2025 (same number of people, same resort, same number of days.... and it is almost 40% more expensive.) It is insane. But I also couldn't believe the insane price to take my family to a 2-hour NBA basketball game in March with mid-priced seats (it cost almost as much as a full day at Disney.) In other words, everything is so overpriced now.
 

easyrowrdw

Well-Known Member
Wonder why? Can’t be that they want $64 for a 10 year old to eat, could it?

That 10 year olds are considered adults for tickets is bad enough, but for eating it's just. Oy.
I know plenty of people who make reservations for their 10-13 year old kids as kids despite being Disney adults. Only the primary person needs to be identified in the reservation. To my knowledge, they've never been charged an adult meal. These are cash bookings, though, not dining plan.
 

stepjune28

New Member
I'll be curious to see how park visits play out in the cooler months. As has been noted, overall tourism to Florida is up this summer. That said, there is a difference between going to indoor clubs in Miami at night, or lying on the beach with a breeze and a drink and an ocean nearby, and trekking through the parks in that kind of weather. My guess is that bookings are indeed down somewhat but not as catastrophically as one would think by looking at summer months alone - that's just a guess though.
In the past 12 months, the cooler months have been busier than in the past, and I would guess that the next 12 months will be no different.
 

Sirwalterraleigh

Premium Member
I know plenty of people who make reservations for their 10-13 year old kids as kids despite being Disney adults. Only the primary person needs to be identified in the reservation. To my knowledge, they've never been charged an adult meal. These are cash bookings, though, not dining plan.
Three things:

1. It’s scummy…even if we get it.
2. They care more than they used too…the waiters will bump your kids or ask if they think they’re over.
3. That’s the route people want to go?
 

natatomic

Well-Known Member
Still much easier to travel with no school

For some, maybe. But I think there’s a couple of things to consider.

One, it’s becoming increasingly accepting to pull kids out of school for family vacations as people are realizing there isn’t any huge benefit to having perfect attendance. No one is gonna be arrested for their kid skipping school for a vacation so long as they don’t miss too many other days.

Two, there are new breaks during the school year that definitely didn’t exist when I was a kid (I’m late 30s now): fall break in October and - we talked about this one before - winter break in February (though that one still seems to only be in a handful of states). Those weeks in those months are now often slammed like what summer used to be at Disney. And I think people are choosing to do their family vacations during those weeks as opposed to summer because the weather differences.

And three, homeschooling is up tremendously allowing families to vacation in what used to be the dead seasons.
 

Sirwalterraleigh

Premium Member
For some, maybe. But I think there’s a couple of things to consider.

One, it’s becoming increasingly accepting to pull kids out of school for family vacations as people are realizing there isn’t any huge benefit to having perfect attendance. No one is gonna be arrested for their kid skipping school for a vacation so long as they don’t miss too many other days.

Two, there are new breaks during the school year that definitely didn’t exist when I was a kid (I’m late 30s now): fall break in October and - we talked about this one before - winter break in February (though that one still seems to only be in a handful of states). Those weeks in those months are now often slammed like what summer used to be at Disney. And I think people are choosing to do their family vacations during those weeks as opposed to summer because the weather differences.

And three, homeschooling is up tremendously allowing families to vacation in what used to be the dead seasons.

Ok…

Do you believe attendance is down?
 

easyrowrdw

Well-Known Member
Supporting this angle — I was unable to book Pop Century or Art of Animation for first week of December this year. And zero DVC studios available then either.

Yeah I think I may be disappointed by high crowd levels, unfortunately. But we only booked because our flights were cheap — less than half of what we paid last year.
Early December is big for DVC because the points tend to be lower. The first couple weeks used to be the lowest point category, but Disney has shifted that in recent years. It's still on the lower end of the charts though. Although if you're booking cash maybe that wouldn't be a connection. I dunno.

Anecdotally, we've gone later in December two of the last three years and have found the crowds to be manageable. I hope you have a good trip!
 

easyrowrdw

Well-Known Member
Three things:

1. It’s scummy…even if we get it.
2. They care more than they used too…the waiters will bump your kids or ask if they think they’re over.
3. That’s the route people want to go?
1. Eh, it's scummy for Disney to classify a 10 year-old as an adult.
2. Okay. I couldn't say. We haven't done any fixed price meals with my non-kid kids.
3. If they're kids, then I think people feel fine paying kid prices for them.

Your new profile picture is very funny btw.
 

Sirwalterraleigh

Premium Member
I don’t know what the overall numbers are, but summer seems to be down, and the “slow” months seem to be packed. Just from anecdotal experience.
Ok…Disney has told everyone - cause that’s what stocks do - their attendance has been in decline for 3 quarters…go ahead and lock in 4 with no end In sight.

It’s a loss…not a shift

Judge it how you like
 

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