I’ve been thinking about Disney’s decision to do a phased opening of SWGE. The short of it is, of course, that I see it as a “money grab” on the part of Disney. Now, that phrase definitely has negative connotations…but I don’t really mean it necessarily to be negative. Disney has spent a HUGE amount of money to bring us all what might quite possibly be the most immersive experience ever seen at an amusement park. As such, I think they have every right to get as much money as they can from it.
But from a more detailed perspective, I was thinking about how, at first, it seems odd to open SWGE early with only one ride. But then I wondered if this actually might be more beneficial not just for Disney’s pocketbook, but also for guests.
If SWGE opened all at once with everything ready to go, it means that EVERYONE who is waiting to see it will try to descend upon the park at the same time. This would cause the nightmarish crowds everyone fears. But, what happens if you open up PART of SWGE? I think you will definitely have a lot of people deciding to come. And, they will be deciding to come just when Disney faces what is traditionally one of their lowest crowd time periods. This means that Disney has room to accommodate extra crowds in a way they couldn’t at a busier time.
And yet, I can’t help but think that not EVERYONE who is anxious to see SWGE will want to come down until it is completely done. So, the crowds coming to see it will likely be significantly less than had they opened everything. Instead, you’ll get a big increase, but with others waiting. And then, when they finally open phase 2, you have those who already came for phase 1 who are now satiated enough to hold off coming back a little longer. This means that those who did NOT come for phase 1 will show up, but once again, not EVERYONE who would have come at the same time had they opened everything up at once.
As a result, phase 2 crowds will be high as well, but NOT AS HIGH. It balances the crowds somewhat. But then, after the initial phase 2 rush, you will start to see the phase 1 attenders wanting to return to see phase 2. As such, Disney ends up with SOME guests who come twice instead of once, all the while lessening the crowds.
This isn’t to say things won’t be busy/crowded/overcrowded. Only that it should help SOME. So, perhaps instead of making the crowds a Christmas CL10, it will just be a Spring Break CL10, or something like that.
I also read that it looks like MMRR will be opening later than originally thought. This might be intentional as well to help spread out the crowds more.
As much as I know people are disappointed at SWGE interfering with their overall “calm” trip plans in Septemberish time frame, I do think that OVERALL, this may have been a wise(ish) decision on Disney’s part, not only for themselves, but also for guests overall.