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View Full Version : Max capacity at DL & DCA? What is it?


2boysmom1998
05-12-2012, 02:23 PM
What is the max capacity for DL & DCA? Do you think that in the weeks after Cars Land opens it will be at max capacity? When do they start stopping people from coming in? What is the magic number? I'm guess for both parks it's 100,000 or so? Touringplans.com has both parks combined at a crowd level of 8 from the Cars Land opening until the Fourth of July when it goes up to 10. I was there last year and touringplans.com had one of the days we were there as an 8 and I didn't think it was too bad. We went to WDW several years ago and went to the Magic Kingdom on a Saturday, and that was horrible busy. We will be in Anaheim at the end of June, just trying to psych myself up to brave the crowds!

williamson_ja
05-12-2012, 02:38 PM
From what I can tell, there is no exact number that works for every day. They have a formula that they use. It depends on if all the rides are open, how many cast members are there. They also say that the fire marshal can come in at any point and say that he thinks it's unsafe and to not let anyone else in.
I just hope I am never there on a day like that. I totally love going off season when you can just walk on the rides and don't have to worry about crowds. :cool1:

Disney Dreams
05-12-2012, 02:44 PM
There is not an exact number that triggers it. It depends upon the flow of people. 10,000 people throughout the park and 10,000 all on Main Street at the stroke of midnight are both 10,000 people, but by no means, equally safe. It has to do with safety and flow overall, not just a specific number.

/\ As explained to me by cast members.

As for your actual scenario, June is a busy time at DLR. It's gorgeous out, schools around the country (and world) are getting out, DLR offers max entertainment. All of that adds up to a busy time. Then add in the opening of CarsLand and the redo of Buena Vista Street and a highly anticipated four-year-long project completed.... yeah.

- Dreams

arthur06
05-12-2012, 03:14 PM
According to Wikipedia, DL had 15,980,000 visitors in 2010. That breaks out to roughly 44,000 per day.

I would just figure that if 44,000 per day is average, then that many would be roughly a 5 on the calendar for the day.

I don't know what the closure procedure is for the parks, I just know that I don't want to fight the crowds on those days.

skiingfast
05-12-2012, 03:28 PM
I was there last year and touringplans.com had one of the days we were there as an 8 and I didn't think it was too bad. We went to WDW several years ago and went to the Magic Kingdom on a Saturday, and that was horrible busy.

TP has adjusted how it calculates it's crowd level. I can't remember the exact details but for a while it was different depending on which resort. I'm not sure it's the same now, but there have been changel in the last year. So what you recall based on your guidance from TP may be out of date.

Take these things Disney Dreams said,
As for your actual scenario, June is a busy time at DLR. It's gorgeous out, schools around the country (and world) are getting out, DLR offers max entertainment. All of that adds up to a busy time. Then add in the opening of CarsLand and the redo of Buena Vista Street and a highly anticipated four-year-long project completed.... yeah.

And expect crowds.

skiingfast
05-12-2012, 03:34 PM
According to Wikipedia, DL had 15,980,000 visitors in 2010. That breaks out to roughly 44,000 per day.

I would just figure that if 44,000 per day is average, then that many would be roughly a 5 on the calendar for the day.


While that may seem logical it's more complicated than that.

In a typical week, 4 days are slow, 1 day is busy for half or it, and 2 days are busy. So you would find on the average days it's slow, but your number is only the average of a week where the busy weekend can pull up the average.

The other things that DLR does to handle more crowds which artifically lowers waits is this, they have more attractions open and more vehicles per ride operating. So line waits don't increase naturally with higher attendance.

nannyz
05-12-2012, 07:00 PM
What I would like to know is this: If I go in early in the morning, then the park reaches max capacity, then I go out and get a handstamp, will I be able to come back in with the handstamp even though the park has reached max?

sonnyjane
05-12-2012, 07:22 PM
What I would like to know is this: If I go in early in the morning, then the park reaches max capacity, then I go out and get a handstamp, will I be able to come back in with the handstamp even though the park has reached max?

Another complicated answer. There are different "levels" of max capacity. I can't remember what they are exactly, but for example, the first level might be stopping the sale of new tickets at the ticket booths. Then the next level might be only allowing people with handstamps, AP's, or people staying on site. Eventually, though, there is a time when NOBODY else is allowed in period, no matter where they are staying or if they have stamps, because the parks are totally maxed out. It is RARE for this to happen. It has happened around Christmas/New Years, and obviously June 15th will be a very busy day, but in general your average summer day, even a busy holiday weekend, won't reach capacity.

xXtowerOFterrorXx
05-12-2012, 07:34 PM
I found this on a thread I read a few months back, it was a sort of Q&A of DL..
Q: Any other sudden or emergency closures of the park?

A: The park has stopped admitting people several times due to high attendance. Even Disneyland has a maximum capacity, and it has been reached on a couple of occasions. Curiously, when this happens, it's usually New Year's Eve or New Year's Day. It's never happened during the summer. Because of the events in New York and Washington D.C., the park did close, and turn away guests for the remainder of the day on September 11, 2001. But it was open for business as usual the following day. On May 5, 2005, at the commencement of the 50th Anniversary celebration, I had reports that the park stopped admitting new guest in the early afternoon for a brief time due to capacity crowds. This is unconfirmed. However the park did NOT stop admission at any time during the July 17, 2005 birthday celebration. While kept a "closely guarded secret" those in the know say that Disneyland's actual capacity is about 85,000 guests.

Heres the link where I got this info. http://www.pacificsites.com/~drhoades/faq.htm

skiingfast
05-12-2012, 07:37 PM
What I would like to know is this: If I go in early in the morning, then the park reaches max capacity, then I go out and get a handstamp, will I be able to come back in with the handstamp even though the park has reached max?

It depends on what level of capacity the park has reached.

I works by doing these different things to limit the flow of people into the park.
Stop selling new tickets.
Stop letting people in with hoppers and they stop letting APs in.
Stop letting in the resort hotels guests.
Stop letting people re-enter.
Nobody can enter until crowds leave.
Then they reopen it to guests in the reverse order. This often can start after parades, around dinner time or at worst after fireworks.

Often when capacity crowds are possible you will see some literal warning signs; such as 'Disneyland is Full" on the roads around the park or "All Guests" and "APHs must get thier hand stamped" to reenter.

A flood of traffic from a closed Mickey and Friends Garage, to other parkin guest coming in from Pumba, and use of the Pinochio and Simba park lots are all signs of huge crowds. If guest need to park at the convention center or Garden Walk these are a sign that park are going to reach capacity levels.

Disney Dreams
05-12-2012, 07:52 PM
What I would like to know is this: If I go in early in the morning, then the park reaches max capacity, then I go out and get a handstamp, will I be able to come back in with the handstamp even though the park has reached max?

As SonnyJane said, there are levels of closure.

The first level is they stop selling tickets. People with multi-day passes, staying onsite, APs, or who have already entered and have their hand-stamped can enter.
The second level is reentry only. You must have a hand-stamp to enter.
The third level is absolutely no entry. Period.

If you are at the Park on a very busy day, look for signs as you are exiting saying things regarding getting hand-stamps and possible closure/capacity. If you see those signs, I would consider not leaving the Park.

When you do leave the Park, even if you think you are not coming back, get your hand stamped. It can only help.

- Dreams

fctiger
05-12-2012, 09:28 PM
Another complicated answer. There are different "levels" of max capacity. I can't remember what they are exactly, but for example, the first level might be stopping the sale of new tickets at the ticket booths. Then the next level might be only allowing people with handstamps, AP's, or people staying on site. Eventually, though, there is a time when NOBODY else is allowed in period, no matter where they are staying or if they have stamps, because the parks are totally maxed out. It is RARE for this to happen. It has happened around Christmas/New Years, and obviously June 15th will be a very busy day, but in general your average summer day, even a busy holiday weekend, won't reach capacity.

And I think people are forgetting the most recent incident where the parked was maxed out and no one was let in for nearly hours. It was Febuary 29th, 2012 or One More Disney Day (in hell)! ;)

Everyone who wants to know when it can get beyound miserable that day will be the go-to reference for probably years! That was Disney's biggest attendance day in the history of the park with around 110,000 people. It was estimated the park had hit capacity at 85,000 people after 10 p.m. and they couldnt let people in for hours while thousands more waited outside the gates. Of course that's VERY rare, but yes when it hits capacity it hits capacity!

As for DCA, the best knowledge is that max capacity is between 30-32,000 people! Now that will clearly change a bit when Carsland opens but no clue what the new number will be. My guess is maybe 2-3,000 more! Eitherway, from 85,000 for DL to 35,000 for DCA really does tell you how much smaller that park is and what a challenge it could be come June 15th! I suspect it will reach full capacity that day since its not very hard for DCA. When and how long is anyones guess but my advice is anytime people plan to go on these high capacity days is go early, get a handstamp to get back in and if its gone insane where even that wont get you back in stick it out and find a happy place! ;)

Oddly those are the days I avoid like the plague usually but will be risking it on June 15th!

Feistygirl916
05-12-2012, 11:24 PM
And I think people are forgetting the most recent incident where the parked was maxed out and no one was let in for nearly hours. It was Febuary 29th, 2012 or One More Disney Day (in hell)! ;)

Everyone who wants to know when it can get beyound miserable that day will be the go-to reference for probably years! That was Disney's biggest attendance day in the history of the park with around 110,000 people. It was estimated the park had hit capacity at 85,000 people after 10 p.m. and they couldnt let people in for hours while thousands more waited outside the gates. Of course that's VERY rare, but yes when it hits capacity it hits capacity!


Oddly those are the days I avoid like the plague usually but will be risking it on June 15th!

Ooh, me me me! I remember that day well! :thumbsup2

We went in around 8pm, and it was beyond crowded. We walked back to the turnstiles to see if there were any lines forming around 11pm and people were chanting loudly "let us in, let us in" :scared1: We were fine with people watching, because the lines were so outrageous. It was definitely an experience, but something I wouldn't say was negative in any way. You just have to have the right mindset when you walk through the turnstiles. :thumbsup2

I took pictures of it, :rotfl2: because I had never seen anything so crazy in my times at DL. A friend of ours arrived around 10pm and waited in line to get in for over 2 hours! That to me is not worth it, and I would never wait in line like that to get in the parks...

fctiger
05-13-2012, 12:00 AM
Ooh, me me me! I remember that day well! :thumbsup2

We went in around 8pm, and it was beyond crowded. We walked back to the turnstiles to see if there were any lines forming around 11pm and people were chanting loudly "let us in, let us in" :scared1: We were fine with people watching, because the lines were so outrageous. It was definitely an experience, but something I wouldn't say was negative in any way. You just have to have the right mindset when you walk through the turnstiles. :thumbsup2

I took pictures of it, :rotfl2: because I had never seen anything so crazy in my times at DL. A friend of ours arrived around 10pm and waited in line to get in for over 2 hours! That to me is not worth it, and I would never wait in line like that to get in the parks...

What's funny was I was thisclose to going myself! I didnt even want to go! I just didnt see the point of being on SM at 3 a.m. lol. But a friend kept pushing me to come with him for about a week. Kept saying we show up around 9-10 p.m. and go until about 6. There are very few places I'm out at 4 a.m. without a beer in my hand lol, but he FINALLY wore me down so I said ok, I would meet him around 10 p.m. and stay until closing unless I was just too tired. He was going to get there at 9 p.m. and we meet somewhere in the park 10ish.

A little before 9 p.m. I got a text from him saying 'Dont come!' I had no idea what he was talking about and just called him and he said he was still out on the street just WAITING to park! He said he heard the park was already at capacity and the road was so jammed he wasnt even sure when he could get into the park. So I got on my computer to see what they were saying on MC and WOW!!! The stories were just crazy! LOL, it was no way I was going to attempt it then.

It took my friend an hour just to park! When he finally got on the tram which was another 20 mins, got to the gates and saw the THOUSANDS of people lined up trying to get in, he just didnt bother and turned right back and just went home. It basically took him two hours total just to get to the gate and get back home and he lives 15 mins away lol.

Yeah, sooooo happy I didnt go! I was about 20 mins away jumping in my own car!

Sorry its off topic but yeah if June 15th is anything close to that madness at least I will be in the park where there will be tons of alcohol! :thumbsup2

HydroGuy
05-13-2012, 09:54 AM
Another note to the capacity issue is that DCA has never had capacity issues - it has always been DL. If the capacity issue happens mid-day as it would usually then guests are allowed to go to DCA which never fills up.

If the capacity issue happens late in the evening such as OMDD or NYE and DCA is closed then guests have nowhere to go and have to leave or wait it out. But generally the capacity issue is not late at night. So guests can just go to DCA.

Now this year we have something possibly unprecedented happening - DCA hitting capacity and guests being turned away to DL! :scared1: Wouldnt' that be a sight!

That DL and DCA would both hit capacity this summer is extremely unlikely. It just does not happen. On June 15th? I suppose it is possible but I suspect even DL would not get there.

hootey
05-13-2012, 10:49 AM
We were at DL the week of christmas 2009. Christmas day and the day after, the park was closed about one pm. It was broadcast over the park public address system several times. They simply stopped letting people in the park until a certain amount had exited the park. We were told the park capacity was 87000. It was not fun, both days we went back to the disney hotel and went swimming. :cool1:

fctiger
05-13-2012, 04:16 PM
Another note to the capacity issue is that DCA has never had capacity issues - it has always been DL. If the capacity issue happens mid-day as it would usually then guests are allowed to go to DCA which never fills up.

If the capacity issue happens late in the evening such as OMDD or NYE and DCA is closed then guests have nowhere to go and have to leave or wait it out. But generally the capacity issue is not late at night. So guests can just go to DCA.

Now this year we have something possibly unprecented happening - DCA hitting capacity and guests being turned away to DL! :scared1: Wouldnt' that be a sight!

That DL and DCA would both hit capacity this summer is extremely unlikely. It just does not happen. On June 15th? I suppose it is possible but I suspect even DL would not get there.


Yeah good point! The capacity issues have always been at DL basically, never at DCA! DCA has always been the 'overflow' park basically. I dont think DCA has ever had to shut down due to overcrowding before. Maybe it happened somewhere in its history, but nothing I can recall.

But yes, June 15th COULD be that day! I'm guessing 80% of all people who show up that day plan to go to DCA at least at some point to see CL! But I dont think DL will be anymore than an average day so if DCA does sell out, they will still can just go to DL! Whats funny about it is when DCA opened in 2001, they actually thought that would happen, but the park sucked so never even came close to happening!

Anyway, it will be curious to see what happens on that day! I think it will be very busy and COULD sell out, but I'm not really sure it will. Besides the fact it will be a non-holiday day, a huge segment of the APs are blocked out that day (ALL Aps were open for OMDD), although I suspect Disney will sell a lot of block out day tickets. But I dont think there will be a day BOTH parks will be full! That would just be insane!

And remember its not exactly going anywhere. It will be there for a looong time to come. Only hard core freaks like people on these boards would even attempt going opening day I suspect! Majority will just wait it out.

skiingfast
05-13-2012, 05:29 PM
That DL and DCA would both hit capacity this summer is extremely unlikely. It just does not happen. On June 15th? I suppose it is possible but I suspect even DL would not get there.

I doubt it, but DCA now has more reasons for people who can't get into DL to come in. As during Halloween Parties when DL closes to the general guests, DCA gets busy. I would guess that Christmas Week may be the first time we see both gates shut.

taaren
05-13-2012, 07:39 PM
I wonder if the capacity for DCA will be increasing given that Carsland is adding 12 acres? I'd guess that it would depend on whether there are emergency exits from Carsland as well since that's usually one of the components of the fire code ...


Only time I ever saw DL anywhere near capacity was on New Year's Eve 2008 and we just went in around 4p, they said if we went out they couldn't guarantee us getting back in, so we went to Futureland and hung out and spent most of the night there/counted down on top of Space Mountain. Didn't feel terribly crowded as long as one stayed out of Adventureland and away from the main hub/IASWA.

DLR29
05-13-2012, 07:52 PM
And I think people are forgetting the most recent incident where the parked was maxed out and no one was let in for nearly hours. It was Febuary 29th, 2012 or One More Disney Day (in hell)! ;)

Everyone who wants to know when it can get beyound miserable that day will be the go-to reference for probably years! That was Disney's biggest attendance day in the history of the park with around 110,000 people. It was estimated the park had hit capacity at 85,000 people after 10 p.m. and they couldnt let people in for hours while thousands more waited outside the gates. Of course that's VERY rare, but yes when it hits capacity it hits capacity!

As for DCA, the best knowledge is that max capacity is between 30-32,000 people! Now that will clearly change a bit when Carsland opens but no clue what the new number will be. My guess is maybe 2-3,000 more! Eitherway, from 85,000 for DL to 35,000 for DCA really does tell you how much smaller that park is and what a challenge it could be come June 15th! I suspect it will reach full capacity that day since its not very hard for DCA. When and how long is anyones guess but my advice is anytime people plan to go on these high capacity days is go early, get a handstamp to get back in and if its gone insane where even that wont get you back in stick it out and find a happy place! ;)

Oddly those are the days I avoid like the plague usually but will be risking it on June 15th!

I wonder if the capacity for DCA will be increasing given that Carsland is adding 12 acres? I'd guess that it would depend on whether there are emergency exits from Carsland as well since that's usually one of the components of the fire code ...


Only time I ever saw DL anywhere near capacity was on New Year's Eve 2008 and we just went in around 4p, they said if we went out they couldn't guarantee us getting back in, so we went to Futureland and hung out and spent most of the night there/counted down on top of Space Mountain. Didn't feel terribly crowded as long as one stayed out of Adventureland and away from the main hub/IASWA.

My guess is that opening both Carsland and Buena Vista Street will add a LOT more than 2-3000 in capacity.

If you think about it, the capacity for RSR has been estimated to be around 1500-2000 riders per hour. If lines for RSR will be 2+ hours, that's an extra 3000-4000+ just waiting in line for that one ride. Each of the other rides might add around 1000 each (maybe a bit less). The restaurants and shops in Carsland add probably a couple thousand as well. From some very basic estimations, I'd say Carsland (operating at full capacity) by itself will add about 8000-10,000 more people to capacity.

And the shops on Buena Vista Street will also add a couple thousand. This is a big expansion!

Even still, I can definitely see DCA closing due to capacity on the 15th and perhaps on busy days in the future.

halfmonkey
05-14-2012, 08:47 AM
What is the max capacity for DL & DCA? Do you think that in the weeks after Cars Land opens it will be at max capacity? When do they start stopping people from coming in? What is the magic number? I'm guess for both parks it's 100,000 or so? Touringplans.com has both parks combined at a crowd level of 8 from the Cars Land opening until the Fourth of July when it goes up to 10. I was there last year and touringplans.com had one of the days we were there as an 8 and I didn't think it was too bad. We went to WDW several years ago and went to the Magic Kingdom on a Saturday, and that was horrible busy. We will be in Anaheim at the end of June, just trying to psych myself up to brave the crowds!

Two years ago, we went to DL after Christmas and because of the rain the previous week, many people got pushed into the following week. On the first day of our visit to DL, they did end up reaching capacity and pushing people over to DCA. So of course, it turned into a domino effect the people that got pushed away on that first day woke up early to not get pushed away the next day and by then DL reached capacity at about 10am and apparently DCA reached capacity as well. We were lucky enough to make it into the park on our planned days as we got up super early and got in with no problems but when we got home, I did a search for news reports and there was quite a bit. I remember seeing a news cast of a person being interviewed and if I remembered correctly, the guy was from overseas and unfortunately for him, he wasn't able to make it into the park.

I don't think on a "regular" summer day, you're going to encounter the same level of crowds as we did two years ago. That was a one off because of the Christmas time crowd plus the weather situation adding to it.

Let me just say though that it was crowded. For the most part, people were dealing with it as best as they could. There really isn't much you can do at that point when it's that crowded. It was seriously a sea of people and everywhere, I mean everywhere, you looked, it was people. THe lines were wrapping all of the place for all rides but they must have had all hands on deck because even with all of the people, the ride lines were moving along.