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The Post-Covid Crowd Rush... Is WDW Ready?

Sctble

Member
Original Poster
Don't worry, this topic starts with Covid, but isn't technically another Covid thread. It's about crowds and how prepared Orlando will be.

So, hypothetically speaking, let's say the vaccine is a success (very likely). Next thing you know, borders are reopening, travel is resuming, and there are a lot of people around the globe with cabin fever and ready for a change of scenery. Tourism starts to BOOM with a flood of the cooped-up and sick of being at home population.

Again, all hypothetical. When/if that day comes, could WDW see entire months that resemble that infamous week between Christmas and New Year's? You know, where a walk from Swiss to Tiki Room can feel like an eternity as you squish and get elbowed through the masses? But instead of a few short holiday weeks, it's months as the locked down & stuck inside seek some much needed escapism?

The natural human programming after such a stressful time indicates there will be travel like this planet has never seen before. (Can you blame anyone?)

The question is, will WDW be ready in staffing, resources, and so-on for what could be a flood of NYE's in crowd levels? Or do you think people will be too afraid to travel DUE to expecting crowds at every turn, resulting in a slower build to "Normal"?

Edit: Another point to add, that @drizgirl mentioned: People's personal economies. Whether or not this pandemic took too big a bite out of livelihoods to rebuild slowly or rapidly will also play a big part in where tourism goes from here.
 
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bdearl41

Well-Known Member
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My worry is efforts to cut budget and reduce staff, followed by reluctance to bring back staff will lead to a real problem. I hope I’m wrong and WDW starts bringing back employees in April or so to get them back up and running for the mass of people who will start coming in the fall. It’s a great question though and will be fascinating to watch. I agree with you and am of the belief that far many people want to instantly return to normal over a gradual return.
 

Sctble

Member
Original Poster
My worry is efforts to cut budget and reduce staff, followed by reluctance to bring back staff will lead to a real problem.
If this vaccination rollout brings results many speculate it will, Disney would be foolish to not at least have the former entertainers and theater personnel on call. I can't see why they would axe them permanently over a temporary setback, and "temporary" is looking more & more key each day.
Historic huge returning crowds + no shows as crowd eaters would not go well for the visitor at least. But as for now I can see why there are no plans in motion to reinstate entertainment just yet. The parks took a hit.
 

bdearl41

Well-Known Member
I think too many people will be suffering economically for this to be an issue.
This has been a bizarre recession. Normal recessions hurt the middle class (Disney’s bread and butter) however this recession has primarily affected the lower class while middle and upper classes have actually increased wealth and spending. See Market performance, Increased retail investing, increased home purchases and prices, and record breaking new car sales. I don’t think this will be an issue as seen in 03-04 and 09-10, at least not for WDW
 

Miru

Well-Known Member
Given the brainless choices Chapek has been making, like getting rid of Magical Express with no immediate replacement, this becomes even LESS clear. DisneyLAND for that matter may receive an even bigger rush due to having been completely closed off.
I could see them reconsidering some plans, and they better get on that fast.
 

Shouldigo12

Well-Known Member
IF they see historic crowds, and Disney hasn't prepped by adding in extra staff and bringing back most of the entertainment options, then yeah. I think we can expect some pretty crazy crowds and lines. That's an if too big to consider certain right now though.

For one, as mentioned, there's the issue of money. Everyone still needs the cash to be able to on a big trip, and they have to be willing to spend it.

Two, there's the more psychological aspect. As we can see there's plenty of people willing to deal with crowds right now, but those are also more controlled crowds. As far as I'm aware the parks haven't been packed like they are at Christmas yet, and it's unclear how many people are going o be willing to be squished in like that in the near future. Yes, they'll be vaccinated, but a year of being told to avoid crowds and stay six feet apart the traditional theme park crowds might look too overwhelming even when you logically know you're safe.

Third-theres going to be competition. A lot of it. Tourism has arguably been hit the hardest by the pandemic, and as soon as things start going back to normal every travel destination is going to be desperate to convince people they need to go *there*. I know Disney is Disney, and a lot of us have already decided thats our first stop. But it's not us they need to convince to come, it's everyone else.


So. We'll see. It's possible everyone will flock there, but I think it's also possible one or more of the above factors could lessen the impact.
 

drizgirl

Well-Known Member
This has been a bizarre recession. Normal recessions hurt the middle class (Disney’s bread and butter) however this recession has primarily affected the lower class while middle and upper classes have actually increased wealth and spending. See Market performance, Increased retail investing, increased home purchases and prices, and record breaking new car sales. I don’t think this will be an issue as seen in 03-04 and 09-10, at least not for WDW
Give it some time. The fallout isn't over.
 

DisneyNittany

Well-Known Member
This has been a bizarre recession. Normal recessions hurt the middle class (Disney’s bread and butter) however this recession has primarily affected the lower class while middle and upper classes have actually increased wealth and spending. See Market performance, Increased retail investing, increased home purchases and prices, and record breaking new car sales. I don’t think this will be an issue as seen in 03-04 and 09-10, at least not for WDW

The Fed has made it quite clear that they're going to keep propping up the market. The middle class and above (those who have wealth tied up in investments) are doing just fine (as you said), so I have to imagine once we get the all-clear, they really won't be impacted financially from visiting WDW.

So, long-winded way of saying I agree with your assessment. I don't think we'll really see "light crowds" once things go back to normal, like they did in those times.
 

DisneyNittany

Well-Known Member
Welcoming my first child any day now, so not sure when our next trip will be anyway. Wife and I would love to get down there on a trip once things get back to normal, if we A) can work up the nerve to even leave our daughter for a day and B) if she is able to handle a few days at grammas. So, it's a crapshoot.

With that said, I'm already planning a Fall 2022 trip to take my future princess down to the World.
 

JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
Before everyone begins flooding back into Disney in horrific numbers, theres going to be a time where businesses and travel industries will start to see a rebound. Things arent going to "poof" instantaneously be normal. Disney is watching numbers very closely and they will determine when it looks promising enough and then how many people to bring back, rehiring in many different capacities. Disney will be chomping at the bit and be ready to have guests and their open wallets back in huge numbers.
People may be hurting economically from covid, but that hasnt stopped them before from overextending credit, borrowing, to get to a Disney trip when they shouldnt. Having Disney reboot their lives and wipe away the doldrums will wipe out any notions that they cant afford it.
 

dmw

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
Crowd levels and pricing for tourism destinations around the world will be interesting to watch as travel and vacationing resumes. There are several factors that will come into play...
1. What requirements will be imposed for air travel? (proof of vaccine, negative test, other) This probably will vary not only by country, but also by air carrier.
2. What requirements (like above) will be imposed for entry into the destination? This will likely vary greatly not only by country, but also by destination within the same country. As an example, Hawaii has incredibly strict rules and quarantine requirements right now, compared to Florida with very few (are the limits to guests from the Northeast US still in effect?).
3. Will the tourist destinations initially limit capacity as guest volume increases, due to having reduced staffing?
4. How much discounting will tourist destinations offer to attract guests, and will we see a battle for vacation revenue?

I'm sure there are other factors than what I have listed.
 

Fox&Hound

Well-Known Member
Welcoming my first child any day now, so not sure when our next trip will be anyway. Wife and I would love to get down there on a trip once things get back to normal, if we A) can work up the nerve to even leave our daughter for a day and B) if she is able to handle a few days at grammas. So, it's a crapshoot.

With that said, I'm already planning a Fall 2022 trip to take my future princess down to the World.
Yay! Congratulations!!!!
 

ParkerLoLs

Well-Known Member
Without DME, I expect fewer resort guests. If anyone’s paying attention to the social media thunderstorm, the complaints are making the Splash Mountain announcement look like a single drop of rain.
 
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CastAStone

Well Well Well Member
Premium Member
I think too many people will be suffering economically for this to be an issue.
The flip side is that most of the upper middle class and wealthy class that makes up Disney World visitors has been spending the last 10 months not dining out and not traveling and has more disposable cash than ever. The savings rate for the US has been off the charts good for the last 9 months.
 
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CastAStone

Well Well Well Member
Premium Member
Once bitten twice shy, right? Disney was bit hard by people mass cancel by the thousands after they reopened, and spent a ton of money preparing for crowds that didn’t come until the holidays.

Of course They’ll be too slow to reopen. They’re going to want crowds to “prove it” first. And the capacity constraints on many rides and the lack of shows will keep the parks feeling more crowded than they are. But they can’t remove those restrictions or open most indoor shows until ALL their guests are certified COVID free. It’s gonna be wild!
 

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