On recent autumn Fridays, as attendance at both Disneyland and DCA quickly swells by 30,000 or more after 5:00 p.m. when the local Annual Passholders get off work, TDA asked Guest Relations to compile statistics on how many GAC passes were issued daily now that GACs were no longer being issued for months at a time. Meanwhile, Team Disney Orlando staff were compiling the same types of statistics on GAC passes issued out of the four WDW parks on their typical busy days. The answer was shocking to the execs in TDA, but not at all surprising to the Guest Relations CM’s who crank out hundreds of passes per hour from the desks at City Hall and Chamber of Commerce. On the average Friday in autumn, when few if any Annual Passholder blockouts are in effect, the Disneyland Resort was issuing just over 2,000 GAC passes per day, roughly split evenly between Disneyland’s City Hall and DCA’s Chamber of Commerce. On similarly busy days at Walt Disney World, the four theme parks combined were issuing just 250 GAC passes, with about 100 passes going out of Magic Kingdom’s City Hall daily, and the remaining 150 passes split between the Guest Relations offices in Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios.
Since the average GAC in Anaheim is valid for 5 people, that means that 10,000 people out of an average Friday’s combined two-park attendance of 75,000 visitors is roaming the parks using a GAC to enter any Fastpass lane or ride exit they want with no questions asked. Assuming the average GAC party boarded 3 E Ticket rides during a four hour Friday evening visit, that’s 30,000 Fastpasses per day that couldn’t be issued to the tourists who got to the park much earlier in the morning. (No wonder the Fastpasses for Radiator Springs Racers are gone within two hours every morning) Out at WDW, barely 1,500 people using a GAC were creating vastly less impact spread amongst the 150,000 visitors roaming the four parks of Walt Disney World on a typical day.
The same type of GAC impact is repeated in Anaheim on Sundays, when few AP blockouts exist and the parks swell with 75,000 people from late morning through early evening. In short, the purely statistical take away was that the GAC problem in Anaheim was driven largely by Annual Passholders, and to a growing extent by Disney employees, and the Anaheim parks deal with a much higher percentage of visitors accessing attractions using a GAC than the WDW parks do.