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Old 02-20-2013, 10:42 PM   #1
harvey
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Just returned....HUGE crowds

We were in Disney for our 17th trip from Feb 9-15th. This is normally a low-crowd time (Presidents week is the exception), and we were completely taken off guard by the crowds. Every park was crazy busy, and my friend who is a manager in the MK said they're all scratching their heads over the enormous crowds. She said there has been no down time in Disney since last October, and Christmas was completely 'nutty'.

We waited 20 minutes for the People Mover. There was a 20-40 minute wait for Spaceship Earth all day long. Moving around in Fantasyland was nearly impossible....you just get swept up in the throng, then when you need to stop, you are stepped on (or in my case, cursed at). Fast passes in all parks were usually given out completely. My friend also makes the announcements over the main speaker in MK as well, and I heard her all three days we were in MK announce that park hours were being extended.

We have always gone in January or February because of low attendance, so the crowds were such a surprise to us. We still had fun, but that's because we know what we want to do, and skip what doesn't thrill us. If it was our first time, I doubt we'd go back for quite a while. I witnessed several parents in epcot who had hoped to get pictures of their kids with characters and such, but lines were crazy long. And the new fast pass enforcement and rules about holding 2 at a time make it difficult to do everything.

And BTW, the line for the new Enchanted Tales with Belle is killer. Half of it has no cover from the sun, and the line only moves every 15 minutes as they let a new group in. We waited an hour for that one. On the plus side, the new Ariel ride has a pretty constant moving and interesting queue. Wait time was listed at 50 minutes, we were in within 30. Couldn't get near the Be Our Guest restaurant.

So....be prepared with your touring plans. Even this fairly seasoned Disney tourist was overwhelmed. I think Disney would do well to build itself a new park instead of more resorts/dvc.
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:47 PM   #2
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Several reasons:

Fantasyland Expansion
Warmer weather
More South Americans (and not just huge Brazilian tour groups...many, many families or smaller groups from the southern hemisphere)
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:58 PM   #3
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Hope it slows down a little next week. Oy!
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:14 PM   #4
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People are vacationing again, the economy is getting better (at least in northeast Florida), house market is getting better also.
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDUCKY View Post
Several reasons:

Fantasyland Expansion
Warmer weather
More South Americans (and not just huge Brazilian tour groups...many, many families or smaller groups from the southern hemisphere)
You forgot reason #1

Disney has a very talented, very well funded Marketing department and their sole job is to keep the hotel rooms, restaurants, and park full.

I laugh at all the "crowd level ratings". Just plan on it being an 11, and be happy when it is less.
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:41 PM   #6
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I'm so glad that we enjoyed a nice long visit last year. I keep hearing that it's continually packed and personally I would hate that.
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:46 PM   #7
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We were there the 10th-16th and besides Monday afternoon, we didn't find it bad at all. By that evening we didn't wait for anything. We didn't do any parks with extra magic hours since we were staying offsite, not sure if that helped.

Just saw the OP ticker, we were in Emerald Island also!
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:49 PM   #8
JDUCKY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSLRuser View Post
You forgot reason #1

Disney has a very talented, very well funded Marketing department and their sole job is to keep the hotel rooms, restaurants, and park full.

I laugh at all the "crowd level ratings". Just plan on it being an 11, and be happy when it is less.
Marketing isn't what's doing it. Unless they're REALLY marketing in South America. They expanded free dining like mad and gave big hotel discounts back in '09 and '10 to keep their own occupancy rates up (but non-Disney hotels weren't so lucky then). I can remember a weekend in May 2009 where Soarin' barely got to 30min. Barely any crowds at all. I remember the parks being dead in most of Jan/Feb and late April/early May even in the last two years.

Not so now. The FLE is a huge part of that, I'm sure. That's not marketing, per se.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chloelovesdisney
We were there the 10th-16th and besides Monday afternoon, we didn't find it bad at all. By that evening we didn't wait for anything. We didn't do any parks with extra magic hours since we were staying offsite, not sure if that helped.

Just saw the OP ticker, we were in Emerald Island also!
We were there same week and we were able to do everything we needed and we didn't wait long for rides, but we planned accordingly. The only wait we had was for ETWB and that was an hour, right at park opening. On our first MK day, which was a Monday a projected heavy crowd day we went to adventure land and frontier land and walked onto all the rides with no wait while everyone flocked to the new fantasyland. The 2nd MK day was supposed to be less crowded so we hit the new fantasyland that day and other than ETWB we didn't wait at all.
I did see a huge crowd for spaceship earth which I would never wait for, we walked right on spaceship earth at night. We were prepared and nervous about big crowds but we were pleasantly surprised at how it didn't affect us thanks to all the tips from the Dis!
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:23 AM   #10
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that week was also school vacation for many states.
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:01 AM   #11
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I sure hope these crowds die down by April 11
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:14 AM   #12
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I think anyone planning to vacation in WDW should plan for it to be super crowded. I was there over Christmas week and my expectations were to be squished by the hoards of people...when I was able to walk freely and do everything I wanted I was pleasantly surprised. Just expect the worse crowds so when you go in and its not wall to wall people you'll be relieved. That's what I do.

As if Christmas week was a crazy enough time to go, I've opted to go back during 'spring break' times (only because that's when my birthday is)

But seriously. If you're planning on going to Disney, expect crowds no matter what time of year it is. I personally HATE crowds, yet I go back to Disney year after year...Disney is the only place I tolerate the crowds because it is my happy place. I don't let the crowds put a damper on my big vacation.
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:18 AM   #13
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I hope they die down by the 26th...but I am prepared. I honestly just can't wait to get there
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:23 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harvey
We were in Disney for our 17th trip from Feb 9-15th. This is normally a low-crowd time (Presidents week is the exception), and we were completely taken off guard by the crowds. Every park was crazy busy, and my friend who is a manager in the MK said they're all scratching their heads over the enormous crowds. She said there has been no down time in Disney since last October, and Christmas was completely 'nutty'.

We waited 20 minutes for the People Mover. There was a 20-40 minute wait for Spaceship Earth all day long. Moving around in Fantasyland was nearly impossible....you just get swept up in the throng, then when you need to stop, you are stepped on (or in my case, cursed at). Fast passes in all parks were usually given out completely. My friend also makes the announcements over the main speaker in MK as well, and I heard her all three days we were in MK announce that park hours were being extended.

We have always gone in January or February because of low attendance, so the crowds were such a surprise to us. We still had fun, but that's because we know what we want to do, and skip what doesn't thrill us. If it was our first time, I doubt we'd go back for quite a while. I witnessed several parents in epcot who had hoped to get pictures of their kids with characters and such, but lines were crazy long. And the new fast pass enforcement and rules about holding 2 at a time make it difficult to do everything.

And BTW, the line for the new Enchanted Tales with Belle is killer. Half of it has no cover from the sun, and the line only moves every 15 minutes as they let a new group in. We waited an hour for that one. On the plus side, the new Ariel ride has a pretty constant moving and interesting queue. Wait time was listed at 50 minutes, we were in within 30. Couldn't get near the Be Our Guest restaurant.

So....be prepared with your touring plans. Even this fairly seasoned Disney tourist was overwhelmed. I think Disney would do well to build itself a new park instead of more resorts/dvc.
I didn't know there is a new rule about holding two fast passes at a time. Can you please tell me about it.
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:53 AM   #15
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Funny.

We went Dec. 8-16 of last year, did all the big ticket attractions (except ETWB), and didn't wait more than 10 mintues for anything (it helped that we always arrived before RD with a touring plan, had 7 days to visit 4 parks, and generally only stayed in the parks until around 1-2 pm).

We also went the week before President's Day last year (which was during a free dining period) and had about the same experience.
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