Walt Disney World Resort reopened to Guests in mid-July at a limited capacity. Since then, it has been confirmed that capacity has continued to increase, which means a growth in attendance as well.
Disney World Capacity
When the theme parks at Walt Disney World Resort first opened, the limited capacity that was put into place stood at 25%. Then, in November 2020, Disney CEO Bob Chapek announced that Walt Disney World Resort had increased its capacity for the theme parks — Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom — by nearly 50% of what the parks were operating at before so that they would be operating at a 35% capacity limit.
Today, on The Walt Disney Company’s Q2 earnings call, CEO Bob Chapek confirmed that the theme parks have already started increasing capacity again, which you can read more about here. But with an increased capacity also comes a growth in attendance — which Disney World has seen since reopening last summer.
Increase in Attendance and Demand at Disney World
Christine M. McCarthy, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of The Walt Disney Company, confirmed that Walt Disney World’s theme park attendance has continued to steadily improve.
“At Walt Disney World, attendance trends continued to steadily improve throughout the second quarter. And guest spending per capita again grew by double-digits versus the prior year. Disneyland Resort reopened on April 30th, and as Bob mentioned earlier, we are very encouraged by the initial guest response. Forward looking bookings for park reservations at both of our domestic parks are strong. Demonstrating the strength of our brands, as well as growing travel optimism as case counts decline, vaccine distribution ramps, and government restrictions loosen.”
Additionally, CEO Bob Chapek commented on theme park demand at Walt Disney World during the earnings call, saying:
“So in terms of the parks demand domestically, our intent to visit at Walt Disney World is growing and is actually already flat with 19 which is obviously our last pre-COVID year. So that’s really good news for us.
And since we’ve opened up Disneyland Resort, intent to visit is actually growing as well. So we’re thrilled with the Guest response to that. So, as capacity limits increased we don’t think we’re going to have any problem at all sort of increasing our attendance to match that capacity. That is not something that keeps any of us up at night.
In terms of our yield management, as you know, we’ve been practicing yield management for a while. And it’s really become an art form with this extraordinarily limited capacities that we’ve been operating at. But you’ve seen the margins very healthy, our yield is growing up from a very healthy standpoint, consumers are spending more, and we’re doing it under some tremendous cost management parameters, because everything’s become automated. So we’ve sort of got the perfect positive storm, if you will, where we’ve got plenty of demand, we’ve got really great yield management gains, and the cost management at the same time.”
At this time, we do not know exactly what percentage of capacity Disney World is operating at, but Inside the Magic will update you as we get information.
Planning a Disney World vacation?
If you are planning to visit one of the theme parks at the Walt Disney World Resort, you must have both a valid ticket and a reservation for the park you wish to visit on that day utilizing a new reservation system called the Disney Park Pass reservation system.
In case you aren’t familiar with the Disney Park Pass system, the Orlando Disney Resort implemented this new reservation system when the theme parks reopened in July 2020 as a way to manage capacity. Now, to visit a Walt Disney World theme park — Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, EPCOT, or Disney’s Animal Kingdom — Guests must have both valid admission and a Park Pass reservation.
At this time, the Disney Park Pass system currently allows Guests to book available theme parks through January 2023, indicating that theme park reservations are not going away anytime soon, so Guests should get familiarized with the system if they are wanting to visit the Most Magical Place on Earth.
Do you have a Walt Disney World vacation planned? Let us know in the comments below.