Today, crowd levels are 4 across the board, but not park reservations available at all. Friday, the same thing, except you can go to EPCOT, but only with a normal pass, not an annual pass.
Animal kingdom is all 3’e and 4’s this week, but no reservations, but on Saturday, it goes up to an 8, and reservations are available. So you can only get reservations when it is real busy? makes no sense at all.
And it really punishes local people who may just want to go for dinner or desert. The reservations assume everyone going will all be going at park open, and stay until park closes. but we all know the crowds get less during the final hours, especially after the fireworks. But the reservation system does not care.
The only thing that Disney could do to annual pass holders which would be worse would be for them to remove the free parking, which would drive all the locals to other parks (maybe that is what Disney wants).
Sorry for the rant, but I am just so frustrated. I have only had an annual pass a few months but it is not at all what I imagined. I figured I could go to Disney anytime, after the sun set and it was getting cooler and crowds were thinning. I was so wrong.
I did reserve HS for May the 4th well in advance. I think it filled up some 6 weeks before the date. The entire week of the 15th and May 27th are already booked for EPCOT due to the new ride opening.
I have recently been going to SeaWorld more often than Disney because at least I can get in. I signed up for a 5k and am trying to get steps in for exercise in the parks, but that should probably be a separate post.
I believe TP has come out and said that CL’s are designed to predict ride wait times, not crowds per se, or reservation availability for that matter. Most days will eventually sell out on park reservations anyway.
Best use of CL’s IMO is as a rough guide of when to go when planning in advance, assuming you have some choice. i.e. if all else is equal, pick a week of CL 4’s rather than CL 9’s. But I wouldn’t worry too much about about a 5 vs a 7, and even a 3 doesn’t guarantee much.
Silver lining is CL10 is nowhere near as bad as it used to be back in the day. Disney’s data is equalizing the experience between days/parks and with staffing and hours so bottom line is plan to go when it makes sense for your schedule and get your reservations early.
I wouldn’t mind it so much if it maybe gave me a sense of how crowded a park will be. But I’ve been to parks when there are no APR’s left from any bucket that “feel” exactly the same as days that are all green. It really makes no sense
sometimes… you can modify them. If the APR is more than 24 hrs out (I think) you can modify instead of cancel and rebook. That way you can at lease keep your current APR if there are no other parks open. But you have to do it on the website and not on MDE
Disney NEEDS a way to control crowds. The APR system is the most direct way Disney has been able to do that. So, there is definite benefit in that regard.
The down side is that Disney is now controlling crowds, and so can no longer allow spontaneous access to the parks as a result. This is mostly positive for the average guests…but AP guests are most limited. It is not surprising that Disney continues to restrict purchase of APs as a result.
For those with an AP already, you are most negatively impacted. While there is an allotment for AP guests to ensure they aren’t blocked entirely by regular guests…you also have a lot of AP guests who are now booking their APRs quite a bit out, which contributes to the loss of spontaneity the AP used to offer.
I don’t see it returning. In many ways, Disney has no choice. Every other alternative causes more problems than it solves.
I remember being able to modify in the past, but I could not figure out how to do it this past weekend. And then not everyone who is going has an AP so that two different sets of APRs. It was annoying.
If all other resources were entirely predictable, that would be the case. But staffing, ride up time, food availability, and a myriad of other reasons, makes determining an ideal APR variable. Disney never said that it was a fixed number…but then everyone assumes it was, and blames Disney for it not making sense! But that’s not Disney’s fault.
I agree with your AP analysis. IMO Disney is lowering the AP experience b/c their analysis tells them AP’s are bad from a short term revenue maximization angle. They went too far in CA/Disneyland though - they have a class action lawsuit on their hands there.
Yes. For sure. Although, I think it primarily comes down to staffing. But, yes. They need to know how many food booths they can open, if a ride is down, how they need to reallocate those staff to other rides, etc…
If they really do, I guess that’s something. I still don’t love the system. And I’m not sure how good their predictions are since sold out parks can feel empty and ones that aren’t can feel crowded (I know that’s subjective).