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  1. #1

    • Darkbeer
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    Where are the summer crowds?

    I have noticed very light crowds (for Peak Summer season) when I have gone to the DLR since June 30th.

    Here are a few shots from my last visit (Sunday, July 9th)

    A couple of shots of DCA crowds from the Monorail around 2:30 PM

    http://darkbeer.smugmug.com/gallery/...80614259/Large

    http://darkbeer.smugmug.com/gallery/...80614642/Large

    Then the Disneyland wait board

    http://darkbeer.smugmug.com/gallery/...80625990/Large

    And then the Parade of Dreams along Main Street (these photos were at 3:25 PM, the Parade had already started at the small world end at 3:15 PM, and should be on Main Street in about 10 minutes)


    http://darkbeer.smugmug.com/gallery/...80674365/Large

    http://darkbeer.smugmug.com/gallery/...80676203/Large

    Of course, there are a few more shots in the album...

    But that is a very small crowd... I have seen off-season weekdays with more people along Main Street than yesterday.

    So where are the guests?

    It looks like a bunch of factors.

    The weather lately has been hot and more humid than normal, but that really should only effect the locals, as visitors have already invested a lot of money in airfare (or gas and other car expenses) and hotels, plus many have pre-paid tickets as part of their packages.

    Reports have hotel rooms being available at many locations, both on-property and off in the next few weeks.

    Has the 50th Celebration been overplayed? Attendance was up last summer when Disney was strongly promoting the event. Also, some Disney fans decided to not visit in 2004 and early 2005 due to the combination of the large amount of refurbs and wanting to wait until the 50th started.

    Has the 50th help shift the local attendance? Once again, strong promotion had many locals attend in 2005. Some families are just not that much into theme parks, and find an expense of $200 and up for a day (based on tickets, parking, food, drink and merchandise for a family) not worth doing more than once every few years. Plus many SoCal folks were persuaded to convert to a Disneyland AP (using the ticket sellers, plus special handouts that came with the tickets, and other AP advertising). Many of these folks decided to get the SoCal or SoCal Select AP, which are blocked out for all of July and much of August. So locals need to have a Deluxe or Premium AP to visit yesterday, or buy a Blockout Pass for $30, or pay for a new ticket (non AP holders). So did the heat help keep the locals away?

    It was a busy day in Sports, heck the reason I was at the DLR was the World Cup, folks started to line up before 9 AM, and the place was full, and folks were turned away before the game even started. Plus you had the Wimbleton Men's Championship, plus NASCAR and the last day of baseball before the All-Star break, but many days have lots of sports, and I have seen Disneyland busier during NFL season, including the playoffs.

    Is it the costs of travelling to the DLR? Gas prices are up, which also make airlines fares go up. Last year crowds have allowed hotels to raise their prices, and they are not wanting to go back to the lower rates, even if there have been quite a few new and rebuilt hotel room added in the last few months.

    Of course, Disney has raised admission and other prices throughout the resort.

    Have many folks just decided to not go (or come back) in general? Is promoting some minor changes to a decades old attraction a good thing as the major marketing push?

    So why are the folks not going to Disneyland and DCA?
    Check out my Theme Park Photos at http://darkbeer.smugmug.com

  2. #2

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    Re: Where are the summer crowds?

    This is good news for me. I'm going on Tuesday for the first time in years and hopefully everyone stays away.

  3. #3

    • Sorcerer Supreme Bean
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    Re: Where are the summer crowds?

    Shh dont jinx it, I'm going tomorrow x.x

    Could be the gas prices though.

  4. #4

    • Still wants to be a cat!
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    Re: Where are the summer crowds?

    I'm pleased for selfish reasons. Yesterday we went on 10 rides in about 5 hours, plus shopping, chatting etc. It was wonderful! Not too good for Disney profits though, considering they expected the Park to be at record levels again this year. We'll have to wait and see what the next couple of months bring.
    Mom, remember, it's not what a person is like on the outside that counts,
    it's what they are like in their HEART!


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  5. #5

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    Re: Where are the summer crowds?

    I think the heat and humidity are keeping the locals away. At one point yesterday, there was a lone puffy cloud over the castle in an otherwise clear blue sky. Very much like the clouds I've seen in the midwest in the summer. Although this humidity we've had isn't nearly as bad, it's enough to keep the locals from coming out to play.

    Despite the small crowds, we left early yesterday about 2 because of the heat.

  6. #6

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    Re: Where are the summer crowds?

    I'll be there Tuesday and Wednesday as well, hopefully the crowds stay light like this for the rest of the week. Here's to hoping!

  7. #7

    • is on the rocks
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    Re: Where are the summer crowds?

    Hmm - DH and I were also at Disneyland yesterday and noticed the crowds were light for a mid-July weekend. We went to Knott's on July 4th and were able to walk right onto several rides, and didn't wait more than 15 mins. for any ride in the park. Pretty unheard of for a holiday.

    Our theory is that people in general just aren't traveling or going out as much. Possibly a combination of higher gas prices, and a general slowdown in the economy.

  8. #8

    • With my wife....
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    Re: Where are the summer crowds?

    Great question, Darkbeer. We were puzzled at the lack of crowds this weekend, as well. I'd say all of the factors that you mentioned above are valid and probably play some part in it.
    "I could never convince the financiers that Disneyland was feasible because dreams offer too little collateral"

    --Walt Disney

  9. #9

    • Back After Missing MC
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    Re: Where are the summer crowds?

    I am shocked to see the streets of DL and DCA so empty! I know for me, it is too expensive right now to make the long trip (as much as I would LOVE to). As for the locals, I would think a little heat/humidity wouldn't keep them away but I have read more than one complaint from AP holders that the weather was a factor for them (it is funny for me to read about how "hot" and "humid" it is there when it is common for it to be well in the 80's after midnight here).

    It is hard to say why but either way I was happy to see some more wonderful photos from your visit Darkbeer. Thanks for the update and keep that shutter flashing

  10. #10

    • Basking in birthday love
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    Re: Where are the summer crowds?

    The afternoon parade's always pretty dead in the summer. The shady spots on the route will fill up early, while the rest of the street is barren. Heat is a pretty big deal.

    Cinderella IV: The Bloodening

    "It's okay, Beaker, we're scientists. We get paid to fail."

  11. #11

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    Re: Where are the summer crowds?

    #1 Gas prices are keeping people from making road trips, people are keeping closer to home.
    #2 All those cheap So Cal passes that were sold over the past year, are blacked out until the end of August. I think the majority of the pass holders now are the So Cal Annual passes.
    #3 Regardless of what you read in the paper, the inflation rate is up, due to the higher gas prices, the economy has slowed down and a recession or correction is eminent. People are holding on to their money right now, instead of going on lavish vacations. Look at the numbes Pirates brought in this weekend, people rather spend $10 for a movie ticket, than spend it on a Disnyeland vacation.
    Disneyland might bring back the 2'Fers or some other special offer by the end of Summer, to bring in the local crowds if the place keeps being slow.

  12. #12

    • 10 years...
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    Re: Where are the summer crowds?

    As Sunday is the only day I can ever go, my wife and I made it a point to get to the park by 9am yesterday to avoid the midday crowds we have experienced in the recent past. It was as crowded (or un-crowded, as it were) at 1pm as it was when we got there! (which is a good thing)

    The only thing I can come up with is that everyone was staying home for the World Cup final?

  13. #13

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    Re: Where are the summer crowds?

    Quote Originally Posted by LlamaLover
    I am shocked to see the streets of DL and DCA so empty! I know for me, it is too expensive right now to make the long trip (as much as I would LOVE to). As for the locals, I would think a little heat/humidity wouldn't keep them away but I have read more than one complaint from AP holders that the weather was a factor for them (it is funny for me to read about how "hot" and "humid" it is there when it is common for it to be well in the 80's after midnight here).

    It is hard to say why but either way I was happy to see some more wonderful photos from your visit Darkbeer. Thanks for the update and keep that shutter flashing
    Oh, you wouldn't believe what babies we are when it comes to weather. We are so spoiled by year round mild temperatures, that when the temps get uncomfortably hot or cold, it makes newspaper headlines. Like all of our local news stations have "storm watch" reports when it rains a little. We really are pathetic.

  14. #14

    • Neep meep beep
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    Re: Where are the summer crowds?

    Darkbeer, I was there this past Saturday, and I expected much heavier crowds than I actually saw. All the wait times were down from earlier in the spring.

    Could this be, in fact, the "passholder effect"?

  15. #15

    • This is my car, Stitch :)
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    Re: Where are the summer crowds?

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfy999
    I'm pleased for selfish reasons. Yesterday we went on 10 rides in about 5 hours, plus shopping, chatting etc. It was wonderful! Not too good for Disney profits though, considering they expected the Park to be at record levels again this year. We'll have to wait and see what the next couple of months bring.
    Same here. When I did an all-day visit on the 30th it was very enjoyable. No huge lines. I went again Friday evening. Crowded but bearable. I'm enjoying the lack of crowds.

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