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  1. #1

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    Is there a new Off-Season?

    In the latest Lutz post, he wrote a little about the way that crowds have changed in recent years.

    "...with Saturdays in July having fewer people visiting than a Friday in October or a Tuesday in June."

    "...lesser holiday weekends like Columbus Day and Veterans Day now routinely pull in bigger crowds than the 4th of July weekend, and the average weekend in July and August is now less crowded than the weekends in the fall and spring."

    If this is true, what are the new "best times" to visit (on average, in terms of low attendance)?

    And, are the parks still sticking to the traditional refurbishment plans that seemed to coincide with the ebbs and flows of attendance in the past? Or is there evidence that those, too, are changing?

  2. #2

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    Re: Is there a new Off-Season?

    Quote Originally Posted by shirleyfilms View Post
    In the latest Lutz post, he wrote a little about the way that crowds have changed in recent years.

    "...with Saturdays in July having fewer people visiting than a Friday in October or a Tuesday in June."

    "...lesser holiday weekends like Columbus Day and Veterans Day now routinely pull in bigger crowds than the 4th of July weekend, and the average weekend in July and August is now less crowded than the weekends in the fall and spring."

    If this is true, what are the new "best times" to visit (on average, in terms of low attendance)?

    And, are the parks still sticking to the traditional refurbishment plans that seemed to coincide with the ebbs and flows of attendance in the past? Or is there evidence that those, too, are changing?
    It seems with all the promotions and discounts the only off season is when we have RAIN. And So.Cal doesn't get that much rain. Disneyland is like the freeways in the Los Angeles area. It can be 3 in the morning and the freeways will be crowded. Where is everyone going?

  3. #3

    • Darkbeer
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    Re: Is there a new Off-Season?

    OK, let's look when the parks get busy...

    When Disney has special promotions, such as Halloween Time and Christmas celebrations.

    School schedules have also changed, many start earlier (in August) and give more breaks during the school year. Plus there is no standard schedule for schools in America, which creates longer periods when students are on holiday. This is most obvious during Spring Break, which now starts in early March, and last to mid to late April.

    Many kids now get a week off for Thanksgiving, some get 3 weeks off for Christmas, and then you have things like Ski Week, Rodeo Week, The Utah Education Association break, etc. Disney is starting to learn and has expanded their operating hours for some of the better known ones.

    The slowest time of the year, IMHO, is most of September, as most kids are in school, and haven't gotten their first break yet. (Schools want to get "in the flow" early in the year.

    Then Halloween Time starts, so kids get a week off in October, and then you go into the Christmas Season until early January.

    January and February have many school holidays, and you also have Disney offering their best deals of the year to both locals and out of town guests this time of year. (Plus you have the "snowbirds" trying to escape the snow and cold by coming to Sunny Southern California).

    Then you have Spring Break.

    Late April and most of May is usually slow, as most kids are in school, getting ready for finals and the end of the year. IMHO, now the second slowest period of the year.

    Then you have June, when kids are getting out of school, and many locals with AP's have limited days in June before they get blocked out for the summer.

    Disney treats Peak Summer now as July and the first half of August, but the crowds are similar to Spring Break crowds. (Many AP's holders do get blocked out for a couple of weeks around Easter).

    Last half of August has the return of SoCal AP holders trying to get a day at the park prior to starting school again.

    And then you are are back to September.

    As for refurbs, Disney is making adjustments, as Crowd Capacity is based on the Fire Marshall limit. And closing rides reduces the amount of guests allowed into the park at any one time.

    So yes, they are getting more spread out, but trying to avoid the peak periods. But for example, the upcoming Fantasyland refurbs taking place this summer are low capacity attractions, so not really a major issue in regards to crowd capacity.

    I wouldn't expect a major E-Ticket to be closed During Peak Spring/Easter Break, Peak Summer Break, Thanksgiving week, and Peak Christmas season (second half of December) for a regular refurb. So Disney has to schedule these in between these periods. But you have the Haunted Mansion/"small world" yearly closures to factor into the plans.

    And Disney doesn't want to have multiple E-Ticket closures at the same time, unless one is under a long term major refurb, such as the recent "small world" refurb. But the attractions are starting to show their age, and Disney will be needing to do more of those type of major overhauls to keep things running smoothly.

    Hope that helps.
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  4. #4

    • DL Obsessed
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    Re: Is there a new Off-Season?

    The economy factor is probably going to come into play this summer. Even though they are giving a great offer, 5 for the price of 3, i think that many people that normally would go, cant miss 5 days of work anymore. So maybe some of the locals are going now, or a little earlier for a day or maybe 2 max, to go before the crowds, but those who have to fly to disneyland, or drive 1000+ miles, are not going to be able to find the time to make it. Not to mention gas prices rising back up, its going to be harder for many to come.

    I guess we will just have to see. All i know is that it seems like everyone isnt doing very good, if Disney started offering 5 for 3 FOR the busiest time of the season, and all local hotels are going along with it as well.

  5. #5

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    Re: Is there a new Off-Season?

    Pretty much the best time to go now is never, with all the new annual passes.


  6. #6

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    Re: Is there a new Off-Season?

    What I am far more curious about is the effect a monthly program has on the levels of AP's. Prior to the monthly, the most common AP was the lower levels because of upfront costs. Now that the payment is "monthly" I wonder how many opted for a PAP. In other words... has monthly swelled the PAP population which has no blackout dates? I've overheard many people say "well it's monthly so why not go Premium so we don't have blackout dates". The blackout dates were Disney's way of managing the park population. Simple strategy, let locals in when it's quiet but not when it's busy unless they are willing to pay more. If people are opting for PAP monthly then that system is moot.

    Aside from that others have already covered the nearly year round promotions... so I would say no... it's pretty busy most of the time right now.
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  7. #7

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    Re: Is there a new Off-Season?

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    What I am far more curious about is the effect a monthly program has on the levels of AP's. Prior to the monthly, the most common AP was the lower levels because of upfront costs. Now that the payment is "monthly" I wonder how many opted for a PAP. In other words... has monthly swelled the PAP population which has no blackout dates? I've overheard many people say "well it's monthly so why not go Premium so we don't have blackout dates". The blackout dates were Disney's way of managing the park population. Simple strategy, let locals in when it's quiet but not when it's busy unless they are willing to pay more. If people are opting for PAP monthly then that system is moot.

    Aside from that others have already covered the nearly year round promotions... so I would say no... it's pretty busy most of the time right now.
    That's exactly what I did. I've always been a So Cal AP but with the payment plan thing, my friend and I have bumped up to Premiums.

  8. #8

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    Re: Is there a new Off-Season?

    DL is headed down the route of TDL.


  9. #9

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    Re: Is there a new Off-Season?

    Quote Originally Posted by k_peek_2000 View Post
    DL is headed down the route of TDL.

    Please explain what you mean. I do not see how they could put a roof on Main Street, oversize the Castle, make Tomorrowland even more outdated, reduce the route of the railroad so that it circles only Frontierland, place an upgraded version of the Electrical Parade there, nor license the park to a development company.
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  10. #10

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    Re: Is there a new Off-Season?

    Quote Originally Posted by k_peek_2000 View Post
    Pretty much the best time to go now is never, with all the new annual passes.
    You beat me to the punch.. seems like the only offseason you'll find these days is between 10:45pm - 12am.

  11. #11

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    Re: Is there a new Off-Season?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darkbeer View Post
    OK, let's look when the parks get busy...

    When Disney has special promotions, such as Halloween Time and Christmas celebrations.

    School schedules have also changed, many start earlier (in August) and give more breaks during the school year. Plus there is no standard schedule for schools in America, which creates longer periods when students are on holiday. This is most obvious during Spring Break, which now starts in early March, and last to mid to late April.

    Many kids now get a week off for Thanksgiving, some get 3 weeks off for Christmas, and then you have things like Ski Week, Rodeo Week, The Utah Education Association break, etc. Disney is starting to learn and has expanded their operating hours for some of the better known ones.

    The slowest time of the year, IMHO, is most of September, as most kids are in school, and haven't gotten their first break yet. (Schools want to get "in the flow" early in the year.

    Then Halloween Time starts, so kids get a week off in October, and then you go into the Christmas Season until early January.

    January and February have many school holidays, and you also have Disney offering their best deals of the year to both locals and out of town guests this time of year. (Plus you have the "snowbirds" trying to escape the snow and cold by coming to Sunny Southern California).

    Then you have Spring Break.

    Late April and most of May is usually slow, as most kids are in school, getting ready for finals and the end of the year. IMHO, now the second slowest period of the year.

    Then you have June, when kids are getting out of school, and many locals with AP's have limited days in June before they get blocked out for the summer.

    Disney treats Peak Summer now as July and the first half of August, but the crowds are similar to Spring Break crowds. (Many AP's holders do get blocked out for a couple of weeks around Easter).

    Last half of August has the return of SoCal AP holders trying to get a day at the park prior to starting school again.

    And then you are are back to September.

    As for refurbs, Disney is making adjustments, as Crowd Capacity is based on the Fire Marshall limit. And closing rides reduces the amount of guests allowed into the park at any one time.

    So yes, they are getting more spread out, but trying to avoid the peak periods. But for example, the upcoming Fantasyland refurbs taking place this summer are low capacity attractions, so not really a major issue in regards to crowd capacity.

    I wouldn't expect a major E-Ticket to be closed During Peak Spring/Easter Break, Peak Summer Break, Thanksgiving week, and Peak Christmas season (second half of December) for a regular refurb. So Disney has to schedule these in between these periods. But you have the Haunted Mansion/"small world" yearly closures to factor into the plans.

    And Disney doesn't want to have multiple E-Ticket closures at the same time, unless one is under a long term major refurb, such as the recent "small world" refurb. But the attractions are starting to show their age, and Disney will be needing to do more of those type of major overhauls to keep things running smoothly.

    Hope that helps.
    Wow, we should have a sticky thread a bout when it will be busy in 2009. Someone should have thought this up months ago.
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  12. #12

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    Re: Is there a new Off-Season?

    Quote Originally Posted by simmer View Post
    Please explain what you mean. I do not see how they could put a roof on Main Street, oversize the Castle, make Tomorrowland even more outdated, reduce the route of the railroad so that it circles only Frontierland, place an upgraded version of the Electrical Parade there, nor license the park to a development company.
    In terms of crowds lol.


  13. #13

    • Rock Star Minion
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    Re: Is there a new Off-Season?

    Quote Originally Posted by shirleyfilms View Post
    In the latest Lutz post, he wrote a little about the way that crowds have changed in recent years.

    "...with Saturdays in July having fewer people visiting than a Friday in October or a Tuesday in June."

    "...lesser holiday weekends like Columbus Day and Veterans Day now routinely pull in bigger crowds than the 4th of July weekend, and the average weekend in July and August is now less crowded than the weekends in the fall and spring."

    If this is true, what are the new "best times" to visit (on average, in terms of low attendance)?

    And, are the parks still sticking to the traditional refurbishment plans that seemed to coincide with the ebbs and flows of attendance in the past? Or is there evidence that those, too, are changing?
    Sorry, this is an economy-based adjustment to crowds. Not a permanent thing.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  14. #14

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    Re: Is there a new Off-Season?

    Instead of plopping once a year a lot of money even a limited income person like myself can afford to have a premium DLR AP. I could never go to DKR on an AP if it was pay lump sum without using my credit card. I think that is going to impact parks as there are more people able to come to parks.

    I remember when I could come to the parks midweek and October with no lines. I remember when we could park without 45 minute waits on a spring Sunday.

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