CSR Convention Crowds

Obi-J Kenobi

Jedi Knight
Joined
Mar 15, 2021
Yesterday, my DW and I booked a 5 night stay mid-August at GDT (standard room) for her 50th birthday. Kid free trip. This would be our first CSR experience.

Today, I checked on the inter webs and learned that there is an IT convention scheduled during our trip with 75 exhibitors and 2,000 delegates (?). Now, I love IT folks as much as the next fella. Heck, I watched Battlestar. But, my question is the crowds. Do conventions negatively impact transportation and dining, etc.? Is there a rule of thumb from CSR enthusiasts to avoid convention crowds? We could switch resorts if conventions are no good.

I tried looking for another thread about this topic, and didn’t find one. Maybe I need someone from IT to help? If there is a thread some one could link, I would be appreciative. Any words of wisdom are appreciated too.

Cheers!
 

_19disnA

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 8, 2018
In July/August it is so hot in Florida that Disney isn't very enjoyable. Walking around in that heat/humidity is not our idea of a good time and we would never go then. One reason Disney might have scheduled the convention is to help fill more rooms at what might be an otherwise slower time. Might check the actual convention schedule of events since it could be that most of the convention activities are at your hotel so those people won't be spending as much time at the parks. At some resorts, the convention activities are in a different part of the facility and you may not see most of those people. They might also be making separate arrangements for food service to feed that many people such as having a breakfast bar/buffet setup/boxed lunches/etc. just for those at the convention.

We happened to be at Disney in the past when one of those dance competitions was going on and seemed to us the parks were not as crowded since parents and those involved with the competition were busy during the day and didn't have time to go to a park. In our view that actually made it a better time to be at one of the parks.
 

Farro

Argh.
Joined
Jun 19, 2016
The only thing that might be an issue is that in the past, conventions have rented Dahlia Lounge for an evening, so it was closed to general resort guests.

That didn't happen to use while we were there, but it's a possibility.
 

Marthasor

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 8, 2005
Convention crowds definitely impact dining and the atmosphere at CSR. Three Bridges was packed at night when we were there in December and there were tons of people just randomly walking around and smoking in non-designated areas on the resort grounds. I loved GDT, but that aspect of the experience with convention crowds was a bit unpleasant. I typically get a families-going-to-Disney vibe at the other resorts. This was more a get-drunk-with-the-dudes vibe.
 

DWillowBay

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 19, 2010
I've been at CSR often.....during cheerleaders, conventioneers, even the NBA.....and never been negatively impacted by those groups. Any 'busy time' (Christmas, Spring Break, etc) will bring crowds to every resort and dining option. You've gotta plan for that, but to say that larger groups impact the experience, I can't say that has been my experience.
 

lockets

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 27, 2021
Was just there with a lot of groups in house including a national sorority, a cheerleading competition and a heavy equipment conference at the same time. Transportation wasn’t affected. Only thing I noticed is walk up times for Three Bridges Bar and Grill for dinner can be long if you don’t get ahead of it. Also like another poster said sometimes they use the lounges for cocktail receptions. Other than that the property is huge enough to hold a lot of people and with all the groups behaving well I would not say they ruined the experience in any way. They were busy during the day and weren’t on transportation.
 

Scubadaddy32

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 12, 2019
Don't fret, we've stayed at GDT 3 times over the years, we have never had any issues other than 3 Bridges is crowded like others have stated.
 

lockets

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 27, 2021
Don't fret, we've stayed at GDT 3 times over the years, we have never had any issues other than 3 Bridges is crowded like others have stated.
And 3 Bridges is busy because the food is good! Plus the ambiance. We ate at all the on property restaurants and lounges, but 3 Bridges is the only one we went back to several times.
 

Obi-J Kenobi

Jedi Knight
Joined
Mar 15, 2021
Thank you so much for all your input and sharing your experiences at CSR during a convention.

My DW and I are excited to try the CSR and stay at GDT. The place looks groovy. And no one has said to avoid it like the Plague during conventions.

It would make sense that the bussing and dining would be less impacted during the convention programs and more impacted when the convention no longer has programs. Thus, I am settled on having a positive attitude that we will have a great time together and enjoy a quick trip to GDT for a few days in blazing hot and humid temperatures of WDW in August.
 

SteveH

Where's my Mai Tai?
Joined
Sep 8, 1999
My experince staying at CSR & SwanDolphin, both convention hotels, is that the impact to transportation is minor especially going to the parks. You will see an uptick going to Disney Springs though. Generally impact to hotel restaurants is going to be at night, but still many want to get out of the hotel (thus the impact on buses to DS). Getting a morning coffee... forget about it ;) The real impact I've seen is at the bars around property at night.
 

Obi-J Kenobi

Jedi Knight
Joined
Mar 15, 2021
My experince staying at CSR & SwanDolphin, both convention hotels, is that the impact to transportation is minor especially going to the parks. You will see an uptick going to Disney Springs though. Generally impact to hotel restaurants is going to be at night, but still many want to get out of the hotel (thus the impact on buses to DS). Getting a morning coffee... forget about it ;) The real impact I've seen is at the bars around property at night.
This may be problematic for my DW. She is a coffee nut. I may have to smuggle some extra K-cups on my carryon and promise a morning coffee in the parks. That's a fair compromise.
 

DanielleC

Trans Disney Girl
Joined
Mar 27, 2019
For the most part conventions don't interfere all that much for lunch and dinner. The convention has to guarantee a specific amount pp in food and beverage and Disney doesn't count anything ordered/paid for/bought in their restaurants. They are separate general ledger items, the conventions and the hotel. It also isn't cheap by any means, Disney wants the convention to spend on F&B and it's around $85 to $120 pp per day. The bars at night could be packed and the grab and go breakfast might be packed depending on what the convention does for breakfast.
 

Obi-J Kenobi

Jedi Knight
Joined
Mar 15, 2021
Just an update about the convention. I misspoke of the nature of the convention in my OP and it is not IT. The convention is called Disney Data and Analytics Conference or DDAC. During my lunch break, I investigated the webpage and some other webpages discussing this conference. According to one web page, there may be a significant number of attendees from Disney (ABC, ESPN, Cruise, Parks, etc.). If I see Bob C., I will give him everyone's well wishes from the DIS Boards community!

Oh my ... :)
 

csgrkw

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jan 31, 2014
My wife and I just returned from a Children's Pastors Conference at CSR in mid-Jan, so here's my perspective.

First, I agree with most that the convention itself didn't appear to impact transportation or park attendance during the daytime hours as the convention itself took place mostly during the daytime hours.

The primary impact we experienced was with dining at CSR, mostly for breakfast/lunch. Roughly an hour before the conference started each morning, both Rix Sports Bar and Mercado's began filling up until there was a wait time at Rix and a long line down the corridor for Mercado's. Believe it or not, we found it much easier to hop in our car, head to another resort resort for breakfast and then return prior to the start of the conference. Not everyone will have a car and not everyone will want to opt to do that versus waiting, but we enjoyed it. Also, we did notice that you had to time it right to get into Three Bridges, but Toledo's seemed to have plenty of dining options open for dinner.

There was increased traffic around the resort, but nothing that seemed unreasonable or crowded...even during the initial weekend which happened to be Marathon weekend. And while I'm sure many will disagree with me due to the location, accessiblity and sprawl of the resort, CSR is my favorite moderate resort because it has enough Disney for those who want that, but also feels a bit apart from Disney for those like me who really enjoy the relaxation of a beautiful resort without the hustle and bustle of putting the parks first.

I hope you and your wife enjoy her birthday as CSR is a beautiful resort for a kid-free experience.
 


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