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Ask The Disney Experts Discuss Crowd Levels and the Economy in the Ask The Experts forums; I know that Disney is making a concerted effort to increase attendance (through the 4 + 3 free offer) . Does anyone have any anecdotal information about how the economy ...
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    mickielea is offline A-Ticket holder
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    Question Crowd Levels and the Economy

    I know that Disney is making a concerted effort to increase attendance (through the 4 + 3 free offer) . Does anyone have any anecdotal information about how the economy and Disney's efforts to counter-act it is actually having on the crowd levels? I have a trip planned for March 4 - 14 and wonder if it is going to be busy or more like the typical crowds in January or late Nov/Early Dec?

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    MandaBella's Avatar
    MandaBella is offline "She who must be loved."
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    In all my early to mid December trips, this past one in 2008 wasn't any lighter on crowds than previous December trips. Actually, I thought the crowds were slightly heavier. The lightest I have seen was in early December 2001 of any WDW trip we have taken.

    However, many people book their trips months in advance. So even with the US economy in its current states, some people may continue to take their WDW vacations they have already paid. The full effects may take some time to show up. I can't comment on January as I haven't been during that month.
    Amanda
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    Spodie's Avatar
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    Hopefully the crowds won't be too bad as I will be there around the same time in March (Spring Break - Woo!). I've heard that the people who are still booking trips are doing it 2-3 weeks in advance rather than about 6 months in advance. This is probably because many people don't have as much job security now than they did a few months ago. With this new time frame that many people are booking within, it probably will be hard to tell what the crowd levels will be until right before you leave.
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  4. #4
    Serkazong's Avatar
    Serkazong is offline Keep to the code.
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    I have been fortunate enough to take my family on some very nice WDW vacations over the past few years. However, the industry I work in has been hit very hard by the economic downturn and my income is not what it was in years past. As a family, we decided that our annual WDW trip was important enough that we would find a way to go no matter what.

    The buy 4 get 3 came at a perfect time for us. It enabled us to book a trip that is within our budget without compromising our length of stay (I still won't be ready to leave, but you get the idea).

    I guess where I'm heading with this is, like us, some families may have to drop down a category in their resort choices and may have to pass on a few of the deluxe meals and the impulse purchases, but most who want to be @ WDW will find a way. In that respect, I believe park attendance levels may remain similar to years past but the average amount of money spent per family will be less.

    It will be interesting to see the attendance levels as the year progresses and I may be way off base with my "theory", but whatever the case we will go this year and find a way to get there in 2010 even if things don't get better.

    Think positive..........

  5. #5
    PlutoGirl is offline C-Ticket Holder
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    I'm here now. Sunday and Monday were part of a long weekend and we expected them to be a bit heavier ("7"s on the unofficial guide calendar). Although they seemed very heavy compared to our last trip in May I don't think they were quite 7s. probably 6 or 7. In any event, I was hoping that it would be a bit less crowded too but I didn't really see it.

    Tuesday was about what I expected (around a "5") and today was incredibly light crowds but also very cold with wind chills below freezing at park opening so that probably influenced it most heavily.

    Just to weigh in with my opinion overall...there are far fewer domestic travelers than I'm used to seeing and lots and lots of people here from abroad. Specifically South America. I'm guessing its summer vacation down there from the herds of high school and college age kids on group tours from Brazil, Argentina and Chile. Either that or the exchange rate is so favorable no one cares if its school time...
    Disney Lover and Mom of 2 little guys (ages 4 and 2)
    Royal Plaza '84, P.O Fr. Qtr '93, Off-site Honeymoon 2003, Off-site 2007(first visit for boys), CR/FW Cabin January 2009, planning FW Cabin May 2010 now...

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    We'll be there next week and even though it is typically considered to be one of the "deadest" weeks of the year, I'm anticipating crowds. In addition to what a lot of people above have said, many families schedule and pay for their trips up to a year ahead of time so it's possible that Disney attendance won't truly be impacted for another few months yet. I'd guess that maybe peak attendance time in the summers may see less crowds but I don't know that it'll ever be enough to truly make a difference in what we experience as guests. Me, I always plan for a crowd and long waits so that I am pleasantly surprised if there aren't.
    Sometimes all you need is a reminder that out there lies a better place... a better world... a Walt Disney World.
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    We just got back home yesterday(01/22). The crowds were slightly larger than last January when we went but we went in late January last year. Pluto Girl stated there were large numbers of Brazilians there. That is true as was the case last year. A CM told me they are on break from school. I believe the buy 4 get 3 deal brought some more people in and there seemed to be a lot of locals there enjoying a long MLK weekend. By Wednesday the numbers were back in line similar to what we had last year. It was very cold on somedays but the crowds were just a little later getting there than normal. Disney was also hosting college and high school cheer and dance competitions at Wide World of Sports and at DHS Indiana Jones stunt show theater. My 18 year old son didn't seem to mind that too much. Ha!

    I learned a lesson. If you go in an off season make sure to not book the trip with a holiday weekend in it. The crowds weren't unbearable but I'm not going to wait more than 20 minutes for any attraction.

    And it was very cold some days while we were there. And the wait times for Splash Mountain was zero. Yes we rode it and I got drenched one time. But I didn't wait long to ride. Gotta go blow my nose now. lol
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  8. #8
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    We just went Jan 4 thru 9 and crowds was no different to me than normal. I would say I think Disney had cut back alot on resort buses like OKW. I've stayed at SSR and Caribbean in the last 9 months and had nowhere near the wait at OKW. Next time I will go back to renting a car from MCO. The wait was ridiculous and several people on board got names of drivers as well as phone numbers fromm drivers to complain.

  9. #9
    PlutoGirl is offline C-Ticket Holder
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    We just got back late Saturday. The last few days of our trip had much better crowds. Friday it was finally warm again and crowds were back up but still I didn't see waits over an hour for anything in the Magic Kingdom and most things were 30 min or less. I think they would have been shorter but Space Mountain was out of commission most of the day so it wasn't pulling people over like usual.
    Disney Lover and Mom of 2 little guys (ages 4 and 2)
    Royal Plaza '84, P.O Fr. Qtr '93, Off-site Honeymoon 2003, Off-site 2007(first visit for boys), CR/FW Cabin January 2009, planning FW Cabin May 2010 now...

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