Orlando theme parks see capacity crowds around holiday

Posted Thursday, December 29, 2011 8:32 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Local amusement parks reported that they were filled to capacity during the holidays. Disney parks extended their hours. Disney and Universal both temporarily closed their gates.

Read more and see video from WESH/Orlando.

Thursday, December 29, 2011 8:40 AM

The article fails to mention that Legoland reached capacity yesterday too...and is expected to do so again today. (Not technically Orlando, I realize.) I guess if there was concern that the park couldn't sustain crowds then that concern might have been overblown. (By all accounts they have been pleased with attendance...even during non-peak times.)

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Thursday, December 29, 2011 8:47 AM

Too early to know if the concern about sustaining crowds is overblown. It will take several years for that to be determined.

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Thursday, December 29, 2011 9:09 AM

True...but I highly doubt they would be ready to roll out the waterpark if they didn't have some pretty high confidence that this isn't just a flash in the pan.

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Thursday, December 29, 2011 10:42 AM

Interesting how when we go down just a few days after the new year... The parks are near dead.

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Thursday, December 29, 2011 11:22 AM

Best time to visit, in my opinion, is in the first couple of weeks after Thanksgiving or in the first few weeks after New Year's. Wait too long in the spring though and you begin to battle the spring break crowds.

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Thursday, December 29, 2011 12:57 PM

On January 20, 2009 I took the liberty of visiting EPCOT because I didn't want anything to do with a festivity that was taking place in Washington, DC. The park was PACKED, even though it was a School and Work Day. I guess a lot of people had the same opinion as I did, and spent the day at EPCOT (and other Theme Parks) rather than have that other festivity rammed down their throats! :)

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Thursday, December 29, 2011 1:47 PM

Busch Tampa is also typically PACKED this week. All of the bowl games bring bazillions of tourists to the area, and the college football fans invade like locusts. I thought we'd beat them by going to BGT the week before Christmas....we were one week late, apparently, and they'd already arrived. (Luckily Cheetah Hunt had improved *somewhat* from earlier visits).

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Thursday, December 29, 2011 4:32 PM

I don't feel one bit sorry for all the stupid people that went this past week. They were complaining that they just spent all day waiting in lines. Get a freakin clue already.

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Thursday, December 29, 2011 7:27 PM

One of my clients asked me if the Holidays were a good time to visit instead of the spring break period and I happily told him no and why. For the Orlando and California parks, I will usually try to hit them the week after Halloween while everyone is in school and there is no chance of running into any holiday traffic. Works out pretty well, though Epcot Center has the "Food and Wine Festival" at that time.

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Thursday, December 29, 2011 8:16 PM

It's pretty simple. The big market for these parks is families with school-aged children. Schools are out for a week or two around the holidays.

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Thursday, December 29, 2011 8:38 PM

This is a bad time for FIRST time visitors. Those that know the ins and out of Fastpass, and know typical traffic flows can actually have a BETTER time during the holidays. The atmosphere, entertainment options, and extended park hours are a perk.

Now...IF you are not a morning person...forget about it. But I actually prefer Holiday Season to the dead times these days for the reasons listed above.

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Friday, December 30, 2011 9:13 AM

IOA has had to throttle two days in a row...
http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2011-12-29/business/os-theme-pa...theme-park

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Sunday, January 1, 2012 8:25 AM

The first two weeks in December, in my opinion, is the best time to go.

Light crowds, perfect weather (usually), and you get all of the Christmas stuff.

The only negative is that park hours are shorter, but you can easily adjust....plus, there is no need to be in a theme park at 1am....

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Wednesday, January 4, 2012 9:54 PM

Anytime to be out of the snow in Michigan is a good time for me.

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