• Welcome to the WDWMAGIC.COM Forums!
    Please take a look around, and feel free to sign up and join the community.You can use your Twitter or Facebook account to sign up, or register directly.

What's with the wait times!? (hint.. they're low)

SirWillow

Well-Known Member
Been watching the wait times like a hawk for the past few weeks to get a sense of what to expect next week when we go. One thing I have noticed at DCA is Incredicoaster never gets above a 20 minute wait and usually hovers around the 10 minute mark. Odd for an E ticket at a park that offers only a handful. Does nobody care for that ride?
What you, and some others, are missing is how many people they can push through on that ride in comparison to others. It's an extremely high capacity ride, being able to push through around 2400 riders per hour (in comparison, Matterhorn and Space Mountain can both do about 1500 per hour) When you have a ride that is super high capacity like that, it's going to keep the lines relatively short and fast moving, even when there are a lot of people in the park.
 

SirWillow

Well-Known Member
Advertisement
A packed park won’t lower revenue. There’s no proof of that. Lower guest satisfaction won’t affect revenue. Disney already offers an experience above the competition. There’s a ready made market of customers. The balancing act is about how to manage costs with revenue to increase margins, thus the cut in entertainment and service that causes the lower guest satisfaction. More guests equals more revenue means more entertainment and future attractions thus more guest satisfaction.
A packed park won't necessarily lower overall revenue, it WILL lower per cap spending, which is also a measure of guest satisfaction. When people are happy, they spend more money. When they have to wait in long lines for everything, including food, drinks and souvenirs, they are far more likely to skip it and decide that it's not worth waiting in the line to spend the money. Per cap spending absolutely drops when the parks are crowded- sometimes dramatically.

Which is why a park can often make just as much money, sometimes even a bit more, if they have a small drop off in attendance compared to a crowded day. Even with photopass at the time we sold more photos in the parks, we would sell a lot more on moderately busy days than we would on packed days because people were so sick of waiting in lines that they didn't want to do it anymore. At the park my wife worked at in merch, her sales were down on crowded busy days compared to moderate days for the same reasons. She would make more money at her store on a day that was at 65-70% of capacity than she would when it was 85% of capacity.
 

DanielBB8

Well-Known Member
A packed park won't necessarily lower overall revenue, it WILL lower per cap spending, which is also a measure of guest satisfaction. When people are happy, they spend more money. When they have to wait in long lines for everything, including food, drinks and souvenirs, they are far more likely to skip it and decide that it's not worth waiting in the line to spend the money. Per cap spending absolutely drops when the parks are crowded- sometimes dramatically.

Which is why a park can often make just as much money, sometimes even a bit more, if they have a small drop off in attendance compared to a crowded day. Even with photopass at the time we sold more photos in the parks, we would sell a lot more on moderately busy days than we would on packed days because people were so sick of waiting in lines that they didn't want to do it anymore. At the park my wife worked at in merch, her sales were down on crowded busy days compared to moderate days for the same reasons. She would make more money at her store on a day that was at 65-70% of capacity than she would when it was 85% of capacity.
In park spending can certainly go up, but revenues includes admission and parking fees that Disney can get up front before they even enter the gates. Disney can sell special dining packages that they couldn't do if the park isn't crowded. The incentive is upfront seating and other perks that deep pocketed customers highly value. Disneyland added sufficient new park capacity to absorb higher crowds. Thus, Disneyland seems even less crowded with Galaxy's Edge. They're leaving quite a bit of money on the table. Stores and dining aren't getting sufficient customers to buy their wares and eat their food. Thus, the laying off of employees.

Disneyland appears to be well under park capacity, maybe 50 - 60% throughout the summer. There's no reason why lines for the most popular rides shouldn't be at least 1 hour all summer long. No one will feel exhausted from long lines since this is the theme park ritual most anticipate year after year. Sometimes longer lines drive interest unlike short lines make customers apathetic. They finish the park earlier and leave after half a day, thus cutting back opportunity to spend more money in the parks. That's what I would do. If I can get my rides in before dinner, I'll leave and eat dinner at home or nearby restaurant.
 

shambolicdefending

Well-Known Member
There's no reason why lines for the most popular rides shouldn't be at least 1 hour all summer long. No one will feel exhausted from long lines since this is the theme park ritual most anticipate year after year. Sometimes longer lines drive interest unlike short lines make customers apathetic. They finish the park earlier and leave after half a day, thus cutting back opportunity to spend more money in the parks. That's what I would do. If I can get my rides in before dinner, I'll leave and eat dinner at home or nearby restaurant.
There has to be a point where lines are "too long," and the park is "too crowded." Where that point is probably varies somewhat from one customer to another, but I think you have to do some real mental gymnastics to conclude that hour-long waits are actually better for customers than shorter ones.
 

DanielBB8

Well-Known Member
There has to be a point where lines are "too long," and the park is "too crowded." Where that point is probably varies somewhat from one customer to another, but I think you have to do some real mental gymnastics to conclude that hour-long waits are actually better for customers than shorter ones.
Of course, but Disney was touting 5 hours lines for Smugglers Run at DHS, and Universal was touting 10 hours waits for Hagrid's Motorbike on the first day. Avatar's Flight of Passage had 3 hours waits for 2 years straight. DCA's Radiator Springs Racers had 120 minutes waits up to right before Galaxy's Edge opened. These long waits drove up attendance for all these parks with new records. It's not a fluke. The opposite proves to be the killer. 1 hours waits is barely even worth mentioning. It's not long at all. Go to any Six Flags park. Their roller coasters can be 1 hour waits on a slow day.
 

Disney Irish

Well-Known Member
A packed park won’t lower revenue. There’s no proof of that. Lower guest satisfaction won’t affect revenue. Disney already offers an experience above the competition. There’s a ready made market of customers. The balancing act is about how to manage costs with revenue to increase margins, thus the cut in entertainment and service that causes the lower guest satisfaction. More guests equals more revenue means more entertainment and future attractions thus more guest satisfaction.
I don't see how you can make the claim that lower guest satisfaction won't affect revenue. If a guest isn't happy they aren't going to be ready to fork over their money for in-park purchases. Whereas a happy guest will be more likely to spend money in-park.

A crowded park only increases gate clicks (ie ticket purchases). It doesn't mean in-park purchases will actually increase just because there are more bodies in the park. It just means there is more potential for purchases. But this goes back to guest satisfaction. If a guest is happy because the park is less crowded they are more willing to spend money. Hence a less packed park can actually increase total revenue due to more in-park purchases even though your upfront revenue (ticket purchases) might be down.
 

DanielBB8

Well-Known Member
I don't see how you can make the claim that lower guest satisfaction won't affect revenue. If a guest isn't happy they aren't going to be ready to fork over their money for in-park purchases. Whereas a happy guest will be more likely to spend money in-park.

A crowded park only increases gate clicks (ie ticket purchases). It doesn't mean in-park purchases will actually increase just because there are more bodies in the park. It just means there is more potential for purchases. But this goes back to guest satisfaction. If a guest is happy because the park is less crowded they are more willing to spend money. Hence a less packed park can actually increase total revenue due to more in-park purchases even though your upfront revenue (ticket purchases) might be down.
You're equating more sales with "happy" guests, which you know that's not the only tool Disney uses. Disney is a marketing powerhouse. They do whatever they can to sell items. A happy guest is one that wants something because it's available at Disneyland. Thus the popcorn buckets, the limited item bakery item, the special drinks, the spirit t-shirts. Nobody will buy it just because they are unhappy with waiting a long line. People will wait a few hours for the priviledge of buying a limited item fresh candy cane. Plus, Disney has to prepare these items in bulk so they must sell out the food stuff or they gets trashed. This can only occur with sufficient crowds to buy the food.
 

shambolicdefending

Well-Known Member
Of course, but Disney was touting 5 hours lines for Smugglers Run at DHS, and Universal was touting 10 hours waits for Hagrid's Motorbike on the first day. Avatar's Flight of Passage had 3 hours waits for 2 years straight. DCA's Radiator Springs Racers had 120 minutes waits up to right before Galaxy's Edge opened. These long waits drove up attendance for all these parks with new records. It's not a fluke. The opposite proves to be the killer. 1 hours waits is barely even worth mentioning. It's not long at all. Go to any Six Flags park. Their roller coasters can be 1 hour waits on a slow day.
I think the window of time when an outrageously long wait is desirable to customers is very small. Probably no more than 30 days.

And are we really making comparisons to Six Flags? The whole point of Disney parks is to NOT be like those places.
 

Disney Irish

Well-Known Member
You're equating more sales with "happy" guests, which you know that's not the only tool Disney uses. Disney is a marketing powerhouse. They do whatever they can to sell items. A happy guest is one that wants something because it's available at Disneyland. Thus the popcorn buckets, the limited item bakery item, the special drinks, the spirit t-shirts. Nobody will buy it just because they are unhappy with waiting a long line. People will wait a few hours for the priviledge of buying a limited item fresh candy cane. Plus, Disney has to prepare these items in bulk so they must sell out the food stuff or they gets trashed. This can only occur with sufficient crowds to buy the food.
Except the guests you're talking about buying those limited time items are APs, not daily ticket guests. And even then half of those waiting in long lines for those items likely leave once they get the special item.
 

DanielBB8

Well-Known Member
I think the window of time when an outrageously long wait is desirable to customers is very small. Probably no more than 30 days.

And are we really making comparisons to Six Flags? The whole point of Disney parks is to NOT be like those places.
This is absolutely not true. Lines for popular rides will continue to be very long. That's why you use Fastpass whenever you can.

The comparison to Six Flags is apt. 1 hour waits is common everywhere. It's actually on the low side for a Disney theme park.
 

shambolicdefending

Well-Known Member
Galaxy's Edge at Disneyland is 103 days old, today.

How interesting has it been to watch the narratives evolve. From, "Just wait until the reservation period ends!" to "Just wait until all of the AP blackouts are lifted!"

And here we are. Still no big crowds. No buzz. No word-of-mouth excitement. Wasn't there a nostalgic thread just before opening about how we were about to enter a new era, and Disneyland would never be the same? Who could've guessed what our conversation points we be 100 days later...
 

DanielBB8

Well-Known Member
Except the guests you're talking about buying those limited time items are APs, not daily ticket guests. And even then half of those waiting in long lines for those items likely leave once they get the special item.
Disney does not disallow purchases by the day guest. All guests are advertised the exact same way.

APs do not leave the park after their purchases. They are there to increase the lines. (cough) Galaxy's Edge (cough).
 

Disney Irish

Well-Known Member
Disney does not disallow purchases by the day guest. All guests are advertised the exact same way.

APs do not leave the park after their purchases. They are there to increase the lines. (cough) Galaxy's Edge (cough).
I'm not sure how you figure all this. Especially when Disney specifically makes AP exclusive items, and even goes so far as to specifically try to limit APs from buying up all the non-AP exclusive items because they know they will if they don't limited them. So yeah they may not "disallow" day guests from purchasing but APs make it hard for day guests to purchase.

Also I'm not sure if you've been on a day when these special items get released, but half do leave after getting the item. I've sat there and watch it happen on the days when the new popcorn buckets get released, APs crowd in the morning, and by mid-morning when the buckets are gone so are the APs that lined up for it. Now I can't say if they come back or not, but they do indeed leave. Its even been joked on boards like this "do these APs not have jobs"....
 

Disney Irish

Well-Known Member
Galaxy's Edge at Disneyland is 103 days old, today.

How interesting has it been to watch the narratives evolve. From, "Just wait until the reservation period ends!" to "Just wait until all of the AP blackouts are lifted!"

And here we are. Still no big crowds. No buzz. No word-of-mouth excitement. Wasn't there a nostalgic thread just before opening about how we were about to enter a new era, and Disneyland would never be the same? Who could've guessed what our conversation points we be 100 days later...
Its interesting to say the least. I'm still wondering what will happen in January when RotR opens, and what will happen next summer.

Is this the new norm? Have prices really risen so high that its finally affected all attendance levels including APs? Only time will tell....
 

DanielBB8

Well-Known Member
I'm not sure how you figure all this. Especially when Disney specifically makes AP exclusive items, and even goes so far as to specifically try to limit APs from buying up all the non-AP exclusive items because they know they will if they don't limited them. So yeah they may not "disallow" day guests from purchasing but APs make it hard for day guests to purchase.

Also I'm not sure if you've been on a day when these special items get released, but half do leave after getting the item. I've sat there and watch it happen on the days when the new popcorn buckets get released, APs crowd in the morning, and by mid-morning when the buckets are gone so are the APs that lined up for it. Now I can't say if they come back or not, but they do indeed leave. Its even been joked on boards like this "do these APs not have jobs"....
How I figured this out isn't hard. AP exclusive items are not exclusive after the APs get their fill. Okay, they buy it out. Then the inventory replenishes. Everyone can buy it. This isn't hard. The Oogie Boogie popcorn buckets are easily available at any popcorn stand. The thing is the APs buy them in the morning and stand in line. The day guest can do it too. They'll scan their day pass, right? Everyone is limited to 2 per day.

You're doing a ball park that some leave. You omit thousands of APs who don't leave because they didn't buy it right at that moment or they are there because they want to enjoy the park like other guests. These APs are there to buy other stuff.
 

Disney Irish

Well-Known Member
How I figured this out isn't hard. AP exclusive items are not exclusive after the APs get their fill. Okay, they buy it out. Then the inventory replenishes. Everyone can buy it. This isn't hard. The Oogie Boogie popcorn buckets are easily available at any popcorn stand. The thing is the APs buy them in the morning and stand in line. The day guest can do it too. They'll scan their day pass, right? Everyone is limited to 2 per day.

You're doing a ball park that some leave. You omit thousands of APs who don't leave because they didn't buy it right at that moment or they are there because they want to enjoy the park like other guests. These APs are there to buy other stuff.
And you're making assumptions that thousands (that is a lot btw) stay. Point is we can go round and round on this, but we both don't have solid numbers to go on just anecdotal evidence (which is no real evidence at all).

Either way you have your belief that a packed park even with lower guest satisfaction results in higher revenue, and I believe the opposite. That a less packed park can have greater revenue due to more happy guests spending more money.

Since we're not in a position to really say which is more true, we should just leave it here and agree to disagree.
 

SSG

Well-Known Member
I keep hearing how crowds are down at Disneyland and the bosses are panicking. This may be a dumb question but is there evidence that attendance is down? I understand there isn't the crazy crowding many people feared. I also understand that GE doesn't seem to be the draw Disney wanted. But is it possible that attendance is similar to previous years, but the additional capacity from GE is spreading the crowds more? Thereby making the park seem less crowded?

Asked another way, is the problem fewer people, or no increase of people?
 

DanielBB8

Well-Known Member
And you're making assumptions that thousands (that is a lot btw) stay. Point is we can go round and round on this, but we both don't have solid numbers to go on just anecdotal evidence (which is no real evidence at all).

Either way you have your belief that a packed park even with lower guest satisfaction results in higher revenue, and I believe the opposite. That a less packed park can have greater revenue due to more happy guests spending more money.

Since we're not in a position to really say which is more true, we should just leave it here and agree to disagree.
You have a lot of chutzpah to call me out on assumptions when you made it to begin with on your theories. Either way, you're still sticking to your assumptions and that's a lot of ridiculousness.

A less packed park means Disney will never make the sale if the customer was never there. Every day that goes by is a lost opportunity.
 
Top Bottom