Crowd levels in WDW vs Hotel availability

Hi. We are visiting the week of 04/16-04/23. According to the crowd calendar the average crowd levels for this time are not too bad, averaging about a 6/10 (5.714 if you want to get technical).

However there appear to be extremely few hotel rooms available for that period of time, and from the looks of the website, 21 out of the 31 hotels seem to be completely sold out or otherwise unavailable. I understand that this is extremely last minute for a Disney vacation. It seems highly unlikely though that a casual traveler would stay at a Disney resort, just for the accommodations, and not go to the parks.

Why then is there such a discrepancy? Is this a ploy by Disney to keep hotel rates artificially high, or am I missing something?

EDIT: Just a bit of background, my wife and I are former longtime Orlando residents so we know what ‘typical’ crowds look like. We have both been to the parks dozens and probably closer to hundreds of times. For the time of year, the resorts look extra crowded, but the crowd calendar seems typical. So where did all of these hotel guests come from? If they’re not all going to the parks, why are they there? I checked for large conventions and the like, but other than some obscure sign makers trade group, I didn’t see anything notable.

When you are looking at availability, are you looking using an offer code or special promotion of any kind? Those are often very limited and can make it appear that no rooms are available. However, if you take the promo off, rooms will suddenly be available. If you’re having trouble finding a room via their website, call them. The phone reps are really nice and helpful and will help you figure out whatever it is you need to find.

Good luck!

Something else to note is that the vast majority of people taking a Disney vacation aren’t staying on property. Disney’s goal is to keep their rooms at about 95% capacity year round. So that is why there are special offers, etc… In general, last minute on property stays are difficult. Start looking more as you are getting closer to 30 days out, though. That is when folks with reservations for packages must have paid in full. If they haven’t, their reservations will be canceled.

1 Like

Resort room availability (or lack thereof) is not a good proxy for park crowd levels. The WDW marketing machine does a great job of making sure that the resorts are operating at or near capacity, regardless of the season. Remember that in the more crowded seasons there are many people going to the parks who are staying off-site.

1 Like

Also, at peak times associated with school breaks, there are more guests per room since more families with children are visiting. Disney also fills in with convention guests during weaker tourist times. This fills room with a lesser impact on park attractions.

1 Like

Based on very limited data in the public domain. Onsite guests are guesstimated to make up 12-20 % of park guests at any one time. Wdw fills hotels with conference guests off peak.

Nope. Not using a code. We are Florida residents, but the Florida Resident discounts seem to be pretty weak.

Are all if your searches starting with the 16th? I would think the SW half would pact rooms on the 16th but I had no problem getting a discounted room starting the 17th. (Of course I booked a couple of months ago)- it is school vacation week).

Don’t forget some travels sites and travel agencies like Orbitz actually book blocks of rooms to re-sell, and you’d be surprised how many people will go stay at a Disney site and never hit the parks.