Has Disney Forgotten their Park Strategy?

With the lay offs of so many cast members I started thinking about what strategies Disney used in the past to incentivize on-site stays, and I am wondering why they have abandoned that model.

From all reports, park attendance has been increasing. In the past they have used early FP bookings and extra hours to increase on-site stays. Now, there does not seem to be any reason to book a Disney resort?


No reason at all that I can see. But maybe they don’t want to increase hotel bookings right now with limited capacity in the parks? That’s all I can think of.


I guess I assume that some of those increasing crowds could/would book onsite with increased incentives and save some jobs, which just annoys me.

Most likely I am completely wrong :grinning:

I think they might be focused on DVC stays primarily at this point. Of course, those don’t directly bring in additional revenue…but they are an obligation. And I suspect a lot of folks with DVC are renting out/gifting those points so that others can come. This brings in, at least, residual income in the way of park tickets, merch, and dining.

I think Disney really wants to burn through the DVC points obligations as much as possible during this time period.

That’s the only reason I can figure. Early on, Disney seemed to be going to great lengths to REDUCE the number of on-site stays significantly…probably too much, in hind sight. But crowds are returning, and you’d think Disney would want to get those folks on-site as much as possible.

On the other hand, if they are filling the hotels they DO have open and filling the parks to the limited capacity, then opening up more hotels on property probably doesn’t help them a whole lot. But they did offer the 40% off stays for AP holders, and 30% off stays for everyone else through December. I think they will likely open up more discounts for January and beyond eventually.

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Yes maybe. But maybe running costs make it not worth their while.

Park reservation priority.

but that’s it


I’m probably a bit jaded having gone through this when my career ended with Six Flags, due to their bankruptcy in 2007. IME - A lot of companies, especially entertainment see front line employees as disposable. (especially at a high profile place like Disney & SF where they turn away numerous applicants) They can dump that payroll off their books for a short time and then either rehire or pick up new applicants out of the pile of 1,000s wanting to work there.

IMHO, it takes more money long term to find / train people than hold onto them. There are many strategies Disney could have done to avoid this. Layoffs are just the easiest.


Although I just had a thought. In schools we have capacity/transportation issues.

Can they transport more guests?


Ah. That’s a good point. Transportation has been a big problem with socially distanced buses, etc. So that’s definitely part of the equation, I’m sure.

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Very interesting question! With the usual caveat that if you add 99 cents to my opinion you might still get a cup of coffee at McDonalds, I’ll say this. Short of being the proverbial mouse in the corner of the room during one of Josh D’Amaro’s staff meetings, all we can see are their tactics and how it affects us as guests. Frankly, it looks like they met their match with this pandemic (not to mention local authorities where their parks are located). Like everyone else in the world right now it seems they are just playing defense … protect, minimize, cut costs, implore the government to reopen, etc. In an environment like that, a big risk for them is that no matter what they do, they will be wrong. I think ryan1 nailed it. Until time clears things up, it will be hit or miss with Disney. Here is hoping for more hits than misses. :pray:


In the TP article I read yesterday with a Crowd update, it states that they think attendance is half what it was in 2019. That’s still pretty low.

After seeing what Universal is offereing, I’m seriously thinking about jumping ship for next late spring/early summer.

Disney isn’t doing enough…scratch that…anything to draw me in.


But at some point I feel like I saw “Theme Park Tickets guests” with more availability than APs or even on site guests? I mean, they could easily play with this though.

But I agree that I have been downright shocked with the lack of push for folks to be on-site. Even disincentives with the buses arriving AFTER the parked cars!


I’m wondering now, though, if that’s by design.

If they are cutting their workforce, they can’t service more rooms. They have already kept some resorts shut, and not having so many onsite could allow them to shut even more. If they can keep their operating costs down, but keep guests in the parks just the same, that might help their bottom line.

I don’t know, though. I’m just guessing.


I think this gets back to the whole chicken/egg scenario! Like what I think @PrincipalTinker is getting at, is if they incentivized on-site stays a little more (at all!) then they would have more people at those resorts and would be able to keep more of the workforce on the payroll, right?

Same with what some people think about the Fireworks, etc, if they want more people to come, they need to figure out a way to add more back to the day. Cutting hours certainly doesn’t help! Then more people would come and they could afford to have more staff.

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Easiest and fastest.

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My exact thinking! If they wanted to save job, they could take steps to increase on-site stays (resorts and dining CMs would be needed - boats/buses).

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I think they are using this as an opportunity to create a new and different strategy.

Folks on here are different than the 90% of the usual WDW guest. We knew how to “play” the old system for maximum advantage.

The majority of WDW guest never had a chance at so many opportunities for FP, ADRs, etc because they were locked out 30, 60, 60 and 180 days ahead of time.

Just my guess, Disney has not forgotten their Park Strategy, they are trying to create a new one. What exactly it is remains to be seen,


Also, from what I have seen about what people are willing to do in this current Covid-19 environment, the vast majority of people are not interested into taking a trip to WDW with all that is involved.

Airline travel is still way down, hotel business is way down. Even if WDW offered more incentives for guests, probably people still will not come.


I understand that but even if they offered dining at day 75 or some sort of early access to onsite stays it would sell more rooms?

But park attendance has increased.