By now we pretty much all know that Disneyland attendance has been down this summer.
There are multiple reasons behind this. There is one HUGE reason that isn't really being addressed. And that is that they've turned off the GP due to overcrowding.
Written by Gregg Condon
Disney blocked CM and AP's so much because they thought the General Population would show up in droves to see the all new Star Wars Galaxy's Edge. It hasn't happened. And the reason isn't because nobody wants to see it.
The reason is because of the AP Monster Disney has created.
Imagine you are a family of 4. You make a once yearly trip to Disneyland, maybe once every two years. In the 00's you could get a room, get a 2-3 day park hopper and enjoy your time in the park. It may be busy, but chances are 1 out of those 3 days you are going to get moderate crowds. If you go in the offseason, even a better chance you are going to be able to enjoy the parks at a leisurely pace and see everything you want to see. Multiple times.
Let's imagine you were that same family that could get moderate crowds in the 00's going to the park in the 2010's after the Annual Pass numbers have skyrocketed at Disneyland.
You are now spending MORE for your hotel. MORE for your parkhopper tickets. And instead of a slow/moderate crowd at Disneyland you are finding the park filled with 50,000 to 60,000 Annual Passholders EVERY DAY.
Where is your incentive to repeat that vacation in subsequent years?
Disney has created this AP monster, and there is no going back. And now that low to moderate crowds are here, Disney is freaking out (even though guest spending is up, WAY up).
Disney has gotten so used to long queues and crowds that they no longer remember what it was like to have an off-season. Sure, an off-season in June/July is kind of weird.
Here's the thing, we are a family of those infrequent visitors. We had AP's for 14 years. And we used them. And used them well.
But since 2012 we've been to the park 3 times. And each time the parks were busier than the last time.
After hearing how low the crowds have been we were actually thinking of going to the park during the Galaxy's Edge Reservation period. That's right, we were totally willing to go to Disneyland, knowing we couldn't see Galaxy's Edge JUST so we could enjoy the rest of the park with no crowds.
(Due to work and other things we didn't end up going)
But now Disney is freaking out. Lifting CM blackout dates. Cutting CM's hours (because they can really afford to get LESS money).
Disney knows the one thing that would fix this, and that's lifting AP blockout days. Something they've been unwilling to do, yet.
Why? Because that would be admitting that Disneyland isn't the "resort" they've been trying to tell us it is since 2001. It would be admitting that Disneyland is an Annual Passholder "Locals" park.
Because that's what it is. And it's Disney that made it that way.
There's no turning back now ...