Spring break crowds down?


#1

I have been tracking crowds using the TP website for a few months now. This past week (today is April 10th), the crowds have been much lower than the previous weeks/months, even though it is spring break for many. Yesterday, a Sunday for example had a crowd level of only 5!!! I have been to the parks on 3 different Mondays since January, and every single one of them was a 10. What is up? Anyone know why the crowds have been so relatively low this past week? I think they are still selling those cheap tickets to locals, so that shouldn't be a factor. Weather from what I can tell has been nice, it's spring break, fireworks scheduled every night.... Crowds should be insane! Could it be that too many people are now going to "slow" days/months and avoiding the predicted crowded times, so that the slow times are the crowded times and the crowded times are the slow times (with a few exceptions). That is what I have done so maybe that is what others have done?


#2

We got the first week of April most years. This year, and also April 2014, the first week was amazing based on not being around Easter. I think it is the one week that is an odd choice for spring break. Many schools that get out in late May have break before the end of March. Many other schools have break the week before or week after Easter. This makes the first week lower crowds than others. We were also there in April 2015 and it was quite a but busier, since Easter was in early April.

Yes, this too. Many people would never dream of going during spring break because it is supposedly crowded, so they pick a random week that shouldn't be. Disney offers them a great deal money wise, and eventually the slow times are now busy, and the busy times with high prices are now slower. At least that is how it appears to me. Plus I think Disney operates better when they are prepared for it to be busy. In the slow season they don't staff as well and run less vehicles on the rides, making the lines longer with less people.
This past Monday 4/3, we went to MK around 6:30pm and stayed until close to 11pm. 7DMT had a posted wait of 20 min at 9:30pm. Pooh was walk on at the same time. There were hardly any people in Fantasyland. Why? No clue, but I do know that Wednesday night with PM EMH and Friday with early EMH the parks were a lot more crowded.
Oops just realized this was for Disneyland, not WDW. Sorry.


#3

Yes they are, however, blockout days of April 9 through April 23, 2017 apply for those cheap tickets. Also, seems like yesterday was a blockout date for SoCal Annual Passholders (both Select and reg SoCal). Add into that it was a peak pricing day for 1-day park tickets and so the only people you have are passholders Deluxe & Up plus tourists on regular priced multi-day tickets.

I went back a day before to Sat April 8th too and saw it was 7's but the cheap tickets
you mentioned were still eligible. However, it was a blockout day for Deluxe passholders in addition to SoCal passholders & also a peak pricing day for 1-day tickets.

Also, because of a dramatic increase in CLs (something like 28 of 43 days were 10's earlier this year), Touring plans did adjust their scale for a second time in a year to better distribute when crowds were least busiest (1) to busiest (10). So while you see 5 for Sat it is what a 7 felt like earlier this year but if there are never any 1's or 2's appearing on the scale then they need to adjust so that for someone who is looking for the least busiest days to go sees when they are, even if under Touring Plan's old system that 1 was a 3. This adjustment was recent so it's making it look like CLs are slightly down, when it's more likely they have maintained and TP adjusted (just for DLR though, not WDW).

Lastly, I do think there is something about the pricing, people are looking to go when it's a better deal and "supposedly" not as busy, but (most) everyone else is too so it ends up creating a busy time. Whereas peak times that are priced higher are now seeing (slight) relief in crowds, which is exactly what Disney set-out by going to a peak pricing/blockout tickets approach- better crowd distribution.


#4

Thank you for the info! After I posted I figured those cheap tickets were being blocked out, but I didn't know about Touring Plans making an adjustment. Did they make that widely known to their subscribers? Anyway, I am glad I found out about it now so that if I visit on a level 7 day and it feels like a 9, I'll know why. Thanks again!


#5

TP did a blog post about the adjustment that someone posted on the chat feature in the Lines App is how I found out about the change. There was another adjustment they did (maybe end of last year?) that was for CLs in both WDW & DL- also announced with a blog post. While I don't closely follow the blog, I do read it and especially when other helpful liners are posting in chat about them, I'll pay attention.


#6

@lolabear_la summed it up pretty good. We used to get the mid level APs every other year from 1998-2010. Towards the end it was busy just about anytime we went. We used to go Sundays and Monday but stopped when even though days became crowded. We preferred going in the off times and Halloween/Xmas before they became slammed (I miss those days). I can recall going Sunday/Monday in late September thinking all of the kids would be back in school and it was still busy with what seemed to be a bunch of Europeans.

I used to read Al Lutz"s articles and I think he explained it pretty good. The Anaheim execs wanted to switch the demographic to favor high spending tourist and restrict the locals APers by blocking out days unless you had the ridiculously priced premium pass. Their goal was to limit APers to weekdays and have the premium paying and spending tourists there for the weekends. The Apers were frowned upon because they would take up parking (very little carpooling or families) and pop into the DLR for just a few hours Friday or Saturday night to hang out and go on a ride or two. As Lola mentioned, the parks are probably still well staffed on weekends for the high spending tourist and smaller staff on weekdays for the APers and locals who by the discounted tickets (i.e. one side of the Matterhorn open instead of both sides). This is why Summer may be less crowded than traditional slower times. I do not enjoy crowded parks so we no longer have APs. We now go once a year to the Not so Scary Party. It works great for our family since my girls are not into the meet and greets. We get to go on rides with short waits and experience the park at night...my two favorites.


#7

Thank you for the link! You have been very helpful!


#8

Thanks for the insight. I have a deluxe AP but live in Colorado so don't get to go all that often and this is my first year in about 30 that I've been to Disneyland. My family's first trip together was this past January when I expected low crowds and was meet with high crowds. We still loved it enough to buy APs though. We saw the Christmas decorations, Christmas overlays, Paint the Night and the Christmas version of World of Color and so was blown away. We had been to WDW in the summer of 2015 and thought it great but Disneyland seemed so magically despite the crowds. Now that we have been 3 times, the magic does seem to be wearing off a bit because of the crowds. I am sure we won't renew next year. Thanks again for your reply it was interesting.


#9

i was pleasantly surprised that spring break was not that crowded for us... I kept thinkin this is soo weird, where are all the people. we went back for a grad nite may 10 and it wasnt too bad then either. then i heard the following week was a mad house!! they even closed the gates.. Its just gotten so unpredictable . weekdays during summer are usually pretty bearable.. I had a deluxe pass so we never went on the weekends other than the weekend we actually upgraded the pass so I have no idea but i can imagine they are bad! My AP just expired and im already going through withdrawls!