Disney closes gates of Magic Kingdom and Disney-MGM at capacity
Posted Friday, December 29, 2006 9:47 AM | Contributed by Jeff
Big holiday crowds Wednesday afternoon forced Walt Disney World to temporarily close the gates at Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom for one to two hours after they reached capacity. Traffic was diverted for a couple of hours at Disney-MGM Studios after the main parking lot filled.
This is the only week ive ever been to WDW, 2 years in a row a couple years ago. I guess I didn't notice or it wasn't nearly as crowded when I went. It didn't seem THAT bad anyway... *** This post was edited by P18 12/29/2006 12:07:00 PM ***
I have been there during the week of Christmas and New Years and I will not do that ever again. 3 hr waits on all major attractions and fast passes sell out quick. It is wall to wall people everywhere you go. Give me Sept. to Nov. anytime.
It's like trying to do Cedar Point all in one day on a Saturday in July. Do people plan these things out or do they just not care how busy the place is? I didn't like waiting longer than 30 minutes for any ride at Disney earlier this month, I can't imagine the waits when the park is so crowded they can't handle anymore people.
Bob O(Edit) 12/28/2006 10:05:17 PM This is why I always visit wdw the first week of Dec. You get all the great x-mas shows/decorations etc without the crowds!!!
That's what I thought when I vacationed at WDW this past December 9-13. While I wouldn't describe the place as "packed", I couldn't believe how "crowded" it was, considering it was supposed to be "dead". I asked a few folks for theories and apparantly more and more people are visiting WDW during the slow seasons to take advantage of the great deals and light crowds, thus making the "slow" season a bit "faster". The deals are great. My girlfriend and I got 5 days in a moderate, hopper "plus" tickets and food plan for under $1000, which is a steal. After airfare and extras the while trip was around $1500, which is still a steal for a decent 5-day WDW vacation!
Having said that, waiting 15-30 minutes for the top attractions is still a lot better than "peak" wait times of 60 minutes+, so I will still continue to visit WDW in December or January (minus Christmas week of course).
It's happening on the west coast as well. I have a couple of friends out at SoCal right now and they said Disneyland literally sold out of tickets when they were there yesterday. Knott's, on the other hand, was nearly desolate this week. Strange. They also said people were diverted across the street to California's Adventure when the crowds reached capacity.
*** This post was edited by coasterqueenTRN 12/29/2006 11:32:34 PM ***
When I worked at Epcot as a CM in 2002-2003, they actually gave out packets one day to people who would show up at the Magic Kingdom parking and told the lot was full, but Epcot had plenty of room and attractions... The packet included free parking, a coupon for breakfast and a fast pass if my memory is right.... Pretty nice of WDW, since Epcot can accommodate a LOT of people!
Disney's midways are the problem. They push people through the lines fast enough but damn it gets hard to walk from ride to ride to restroom on a busy day. I always keep looking for the break in the crowd, but there never is one.
I always try to go to WDW in mid-February. Except for Valentine's Day, President's Day (surprisingly busy!) and the week of the Daytona 500, the place is yours. On many rides, the waits are less than 15 minutes.
This is just my theory, but I believe that WDW is learning to manipulate the “standby” wait times on the Fast Pass Attractions to reap further benefit from the Fast Pass program.
What benefit? Well, we all know that the Mouse did not create FastPass as another wonderful Guest Service program. Yes it does benefit the guest, but FastPass was really created to boost per caps. It was an act of genius, as WDW figured out a way to get guests out of line so they can spend more $$$ in the park. From some of the folks I have spoken to, the FastPass program has exceeded expectations with increased per-cap spending.
I now believe that WDW is taking the FastPass program to the next step by grossly over estimating the posted “standby” wait times to drive FastPass “sales”, and thus further driving per-caps, particularly during slow periods when Fast Pass may not be as critical. I noticed this throughout all of the parks where the “standby” estimate was double or triple what the actual wait was. The most obvious example was Soran (on two occasions) indicating a “Standby” wait of 65 minutes and the actual wait was less than 15 minutes. Again I noticed this on just about every FastPass attraction across all of the parks.
This is just my theory, but I submit that WDW is overestimating standby wait times, particularly during slow periods, to drive FastPass sales and keep Guests on the midways where they can spend lots of $$$. Might be one reason for the “crowded midways and no lines”…*** This post was edited by Hanging n' Banging 12/30/2006 2:04:24 PM ***