When a Park shows as sold out, does that mean its a 10 crowd wise?

When a Park shows as sold out (ex. May 31 is showing sold out for Epcot and MK), does that mean its going to be a 10 crowd wise?

No it doesn’t. This is for complicated reasons that I can’t explain but some knowledgeable person will.


@ryan1 come over here with your dot phrase.


I really DO need to save what I write on the matter. :confused:

Anyhow…Disney doesn’t reveal all the details as to why they set their number of park reservations to what they do…but it is not a “fixed” amount. So, for example, one day, they might allocate 10,000 park reservations, and another, 12,000. So, a full park on the former would typically look busier than on the latter. Why would they do this? It could be a myriad of reasons…but one definite reason would be if Disney is aware (or unsure) of what staffing might be for any given day. If they know they won’t have enough staffing, they might reduce park reservations availability to be able to better manage the crowds.

We also see that Disney sometimes opens up reservations as you approach dates that previously were “sold out”. Reasons? Again…most likely staffing is involved…as Disney gets closer to a date, they probably have firmer information as to what staff is or isn’t available. If more staff can commit to working, they might able to open reservations.

In the end, it is important to remember that CLs are not based on number of people in the park, but on average wait times in the park during the busiest time of the day.

We’ve already seen several instances of “full” park days ending up with a CL of 4 or 6, etc. So, clearly you can’t use park availability as an accurate means to determine what the CL might be.


"We’ve already seen several instances of “full” park days ending up with a CL of 4 or 6, etc. "

Wow! That’s crazy. Thanks for the info.

So, I randomly picked a day (no significance to it): https://touringplans.com/walt-disney-world/crowd-calendar/date/2022-04-13

If you look, park reservations had been full at EACH of the parks well ahead of the actual day. And yet, you had CLs 7 (MK) , 6 (EP), 7 (HS) , and 7 (AK).

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Quick answer is that capacity is dynamic based on estimated demand to plan staffing.

The days when Disney would have near-constant staffing and ride capacity resulting in a much better guest experience in low season are over IMO. I suspect their analytics people have been tasked by execs with proving it doesn’t pay, have done so, and execs decided why give people something for free.

Finding the new sweet spots on when to go will require more data analysis on our part than in the past b/c that’s the game Disney is playing these days.


Except…this isn’t actually true. It DOES pay. See, during slower time periods, they need to create incentives for guests to fill up their hotels. Part of that may be offering cheaper rates…but that’s not enough. They need to draw of the reduced crowds as well. We have always chosen when we go based on lower crowd levels. If lower crowd levels start to prove NOT to be a thing, we would no longer be inclined to choose those times of year. I suspect others would decide the same. Now, Disney is left with a glut of rooms they can’t fill up.

So, while they do use numbers to control staffing (and they can do it better with ADRs than they could with FP+), they STILL need to have periods, longer term, with crowd levels that pull people into those rooms!

Now, this particular year will be a one-off due to circumstances.


It pays in the short term with the COVID travel boom and that’s how Disney is thinking right now. They think they can dial demand up or down as needed.

Where they’re wrong IMO is by burning through their long term goodwill, they will eventually regret it. I remember my Marketing prof. saying, the less sophisticated org thinks profits come from sales volume. The more sophisticated org realizes profit comes through customer satisfaction. You can’t build a long term biz out of ****ing off customers. Disney is not the monopoly that they are acting like.

Feels good to say it but it doesn’t help us in the short term. Our choice is only to buy or not buy. So I go, but I buy less. I buy those offerings that help me and skip the ones that don’t. I stay offsite except for a 1 night dummy room for the ROTR $ILL. I get preferred parking bc it saves wear and tear on the feet after a long day. I get PH to mitigate the inflexibility of the reservation system. I do a split stay with Universal. I use liner wisdom to get the most out of G+. I try to find the sweet spots using thrilldata - they do exist. Disney is transactional, I’m transactional. Others may decide it’s just not worth it and wait it out.


Here are some recent discussions on the topic:

We really should pin this question some way, it’s (understandably) a very popular and relevant topic right now


I just pinned it for a year, I hope this nonsense is over by then!