In a previous post, we looked at the viability of predicting WDW crowd levels.
In truth, “predicting” is just a nicer version of “guessing”…which is really all we’re doing here. The better question may be – crowd level projections even matter?” Said another way, should I choose to visit Disney World one week over another because the data tells me it will be a less crowded week?
I’ll save you the suspense. No. You should never choose a specific time to visit a theme park based on what the data tells you the crowd level will be.
You will inevitably be disappointed.
Let’s go back to the idea of demand-based ticket pricing and add the layer of park reservation requirements on top of that. Do you really think Disney doesn’t know how many people will be in their parks on any given day? Do you think Disney is not going to scale down operationally when the numbers warrant it?
Of course they will.
Disney will save every operational nickel they can by scaling capacity back and making your experience feel more crowded than expected. How do they do that? Well, by reducing park hours, limiting ride vehicles in operation, cutting the # of entertainment performances…you get the picture.
You’ve heard the Vegas phrase “the house never loses?” Well…I really hate to type this, but I can’t make myself stop…the mouse never loses either.
In an age where Disney has more data than ever regarding your visit, it’s going to be progressively harder and harder to find a “down” week at the parks – especially at the current high demands parks like Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios.
So what does all of this mean? Are we still able to find pockets of low crowd weeks Well, sort of. We’ll always see level of fluctuation – mostly up rather than down – but it’ll be there.
The point is, I don’t know that you need to put a lot of decision-making stock in trying to find these pockets of low crowds. There is simply too much operational variable contributing to a crowd level’s effect on your daily experience.
What you can do, however, is try to avoid those times where demand has always outstripped operational capacity – see major holidays.
That’s just a common sense kind of thing.
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