Predicting crowds based on hotel availability?


My family is staying at Howard Johnson - Anaheim the first week of June and we’re thinking of doing one day at California Adventure Mon. 6/3 or Tues. 6/4. With SWGE opening at DL, I’ve been trying to feel out potential crowd levels before we committ. Of course, by all accounts, DL and CA are supposed to be busy. The weird thing is, many hotels on and off site still have availability, even for the most desirable room categories.There is also still availability for the desert party and ADRs at CA. Based on this, it’s making me think crowds might be lower than predicted. I know DL is a “locals park” so hotels aren’t the best reflection but I’ve never seen this much last minute availability (we live close, so we do random visits to SoCal every now and then).

My kids and I have been to both DL and WDW at near peak capacity so crowds aren’t a big deal to us. However, my mom would be with us for the first time and I worry she’d be overwhelmed if crowds are huge.

Any thoughts on my theory? I’m asking mostly out of curiosity but any input would be appreciated. Thanks!

This is an interesting question and I think there may be something to it. Here’s my theory for your particular dates:

  • With SWGE opening, people with a reservation are obviously going to be there. But people without a reservation will likely try to avoid the parks.
  • Anyone staying in a Disney hotel will get a reservation. Therefore, there will be higher than average demand for a Disney hotel over a neighbor hotel.
  • Demand for non-Disney hotels will likely be lower than usual for a given crowd level because guests will want to avoid SWGE crowds unless they have a reservation.

Conclusion: you would actually want to check demand and pricing at both Disney and non-Disney hotels together to get a better sense of crowds. It would probably take a lot of data points over a wide range of dates to draw a specific conclusion.

My hunch: The parks will be quite busy and if you have any flexibility, the further from opening day the better, but not later than June 23rd public opening.

P.S. I will be there June 3rd and 4th as well so I hope you are right that it will be less busy than many are predicting!

I doubt that there is really that much of a correlation between hotel occupancy and CLs at DL.One of the big differences between WDW and DL is that DL draws much more heavily from the local population than does WDW, therefore hotel capacity has a much less of an effect on number of people in the park. Another factor is the shear number of hotels/motels in Anaheim

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I agree with everyone else that the locals typically influence the crowds but know that hotels are also a good indicator for the block-out dates (which I am assuming without looking at the calendar that these are block-out dates for passholders). ALSO, the predictability of DL crowds as of late has been straight out of the twilight zone…a predicted 10 turns into a 1 and a predicted 3 becomes a 9. I say if you aren’t bothered by the crowds take the gamble and go, you are a veteran and as long as you prepare your mom for the possible crowds your expertise navigating the park will make up for any congestion.