Last year (2010) was similar in that one of the most fun, least crowded days of the summer was the Saturday before (day before last year) 4th of July (had a Premium AP then and found the best time to use it was when the rest were blacked out). Before the introduction of cheap APs, that would have been one of the last times to choose to go due to crowding!
The new paradigm of "it's more crowded off-season than on holidays" (due to lower level AP overcrowding VS blackouts) doesn't compute for non-AP locals who have tried to go off-season for decades to avoid the crowds (and know nothing about AP patterns - why would they?). I have tried to explain the crowd shift of recent years to normal family members but I probably sound nutty.
Note: This year, even the Costco and SoCal multiday ticket deals were blocked out July 2-4. And I suppose employee Silver Pass was blocked as well. So practically the only people able to get in were full price single or multiday tickets (other than Premium passholders) which just had a heavily media trumpeted price hike only weeks before.
Seems like a bad time to choose to raise your prices, just before a big vacation holiday. Sort of "in your face, people." Why don't they do it more quietly off-season?