Fans Call Disney Parks a “Ghost Town,” Demand More Late Night and Adult Offerings

in Walt Disney World

Guests look on inside the Magic Kingdom besides the Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse statue, Partners, at Walt Disney World Resort

Credit: Disney

The Walt Disney Company had their Q4 Earnings Call earlier this week, discussing the recent profits and losses of the company and projected plans for the Disney parks and entertainment sectors.

During the call, CEO Bob Iger spoke of many plans to increase success across the company, including improving and expanding Disney’s streaming, sports coverage, film production, and, of course, the theme parks. Despite an overall increase in revenue and income compared to last year, many fans have been pointing out their own frustrations with the shortcomings of Disney, especially concerning their parks. 

Magic Kingdom entrance
Credit: Paul Beattie, Flickr

As we recently reported, at one point during the call, Iger mentioned the company’s plan to “turbocharge” its investments in the Disney Parks & Experiences, although no specifics were mentioned. However, some took to X, formerly Twitter, to share their own ideas about what could help reinvigorate the Disney parks.

User @AestheticPuppet spoke out on their own experiences at the park by saying, “You could do that by not having the entire resort become a ghost town by midnight.” Many of the comments agreed with the original sentiment that the parks should offer more late night offerings as a way to drive revenue and traffic to the most well-known theme park in the world.

Boardwalk Inn at EPCOT
Credit: Walt Disney World Resort

Some of these ideas included a “themed tip top club Christmas bar at Atlantic dance,” “Animal kingdom at night,” or to “bring back a ‘Pleasure Island’ type location.” Essentially, the vast majority of the comments all had the same general theme: keep Disney open later.

As of this writing no park stays open later than 9pm, with Magic Kingdom currently closing at 6pm due to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and Animal Kingdom closing at 7pm. Even Disney Springs, which is home to multiple bars and restaurants, closes at just 11pm.

Disney Springs bridge
Credit: ITM

As @Porgchopsandwch says, “Used to have the worst FOMO not bstaying [sic] on property. Like somehow there were really cool after hours things going on at the resorts once the parks closed. Now, it’s like WDW wants you tucked in early for another magical rope drop day instead of spending $.”

Fans bemoaned the current state of entertainment and relaxation offerings after hours, reminiscing over the by-gone era of “Pleasure Island,” the inability to relax by the pool after the parks close, and other similarly adult-centric offerings from the company. There is a feeling that Disney currently seems to be catering to the “family of four” demographic and ignoring any plans to fill out large swathes of wasted spaces and hours that could be utilized by adults or other late-night events.

Disney World Pleasure Island sign with Jessica Rabbit
Credit: Disney

Disney’s Boardwalk, nestled right behind EPCOT, is more often than not empty after hours despite being home to several themed bars, an ice cream parlor, multiple hotels, and a dance hall complete with its own bar and multiple stories.

Disney Springs closes an hour before midnight despite being less than an hour away from thousands of Orlando citizens looking for after work and late-night entertainment. The possibility of increased revenue through alcohol, food, merchandise, and activity sales is very much within Disney’s grasp.

Signage for Disney Springs
Credit: Disney Dining

We can only speculate that Disney prefers metrics and research when it comes to their allocation of resources rather than a more fan-desired approach. Why pay employees to keep parks open late when ticketed events and higher entry prices provide a better return on investment?

In the end, Disney is a company and the dollar outweighs every opinion. If the company can get by by offering more expensive tailored experiences in a shorter time frame, then there is no incentive to do well by the average person. Although the popular fan requests might be late-night offerings, adult-only spaces, and better utilization of their empty buildings and spaces, it just isn’t in Disney’s 10-year plan.

Do you think Disney could do well by keeping their resort offerings open later? What do you think would help reinvigorate the parks? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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