Tuesday, August 14, 2012

An in-depth Disneyland attendance update

Miceage.com posted this long article by Al Lutz about the changes in attendance patterns at the two parks that make up DLR.  People have been flocking to Cars Land, World of Color and Mad T Party in DCA, so that the attendance at Disneyland has tended to drop but gone way up at DCA.  The article gives a year over year comparison of attendance figures that show this trend.  According to the article, the net effect of this so far has been to balance the crowds at both parks so that neither of them seem overcrowded.  Original thinking was for Disneyland to hold its attendance numbers and for DCA to see a slight increase.
What actually has happened in the last six weeks is something far more dramatic and far more impactful to Disneyland Park and the entire resort itself than anyone could have imagined. Instead of DCA increasing attendance by 5,000 to 8,000 and Disneyland staying flat at its breaking-point numbers, DCA has seen its daily attendance figures skyrocket by 14,000 to 23,000 compared to the same dates last summer. Even more dramatically, next door at Disneyland the attendance has declined by 7,000 to 15,000 per day compared to last summer, and the reduction of those crowds have made a huge impact on the overall feel at the 57 year old park with its much older facilities and much narrower walkways. There are now several days per week, often on Saturdays, when DCA gets higher daily attendance numbers than Disneyland.
The result is that Disneyland Park has had to entirely recalibrate the attendance estimates it uses like a Bible to plan for staffing and capacity, impacting everything from how many Davy Crockett Canoes to run on the river, to how many windows to open at Tomorrowland Terrace, to how much back stock to deliver every night for the next day’s rush at The Emporium. The operations teams inside the parks have reacted quickly, although the sharp pencil boys in TDA and up in Burbank have been much slower to respond and come to grips with the new attendance figures and crowd patterns.
The article also mentions that Disney is looking at this situation and thinking about doing something similar with Hollywood Studios, where attendance has apparently been tailing off.  

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