Several months ago during an earnings call Disney executives said that they did not anticipate a slowdown of demand when the theme parks reopened, as their research showed that guests were very excited to return to Walt Disney World and the only issue they anticipated was strictly enforcing capacity limits. However, Walt Disney World has now been open for over a week, and outside of opening day, and thus far foot traffic has been very slight. Perhaps more worrying for Disney though, is the fact that hotel bookings are also down from what they were likely hoping for, which would seem to indicate that park traffic will continue to be slow for quite some time.
However, in an effort to try and get as many guests back to the park as possible, Disney is deploying a number of tried and true strategies to get its most loyal fans back to Walt Disney World this summer.
1. Room discount now available for Florida residents, Cast Members and Annual Passholders
One of Disney's most tried and true strategies for pumping up attendance is offering room discounts, and it was recently announced that they will be offering some of their most loyal guests the chance to save big on hotel room reservations:
- Florida residents now have the chance to save up to 35% on resort hotel rooms on most nights from now through September 30th. The maximum discount applies to select Deluxe Resorts and Villas, with up to 30% off for Moderate Resorts and 25% for Value Resorts.Tickets and/or annual passes are not required to book these discounted rooms and this deal cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion.
- Cast Members can save 60% off on most nights in September, and select dates in July and August at select Disney Resort hotels if they book between now and and September 30th.
2. Annual passholders can now book more days
Though Disney originally said that annual passholders might have a hard time making reservations due to a large umber of guests trying to get into the resort at one time. However, Disney has announced that additional Disney Park Pass reservations have been made available for annual passholders this summer, as there has been less demand than anticipated for regular day park tickets during this period, which means there are more opportunities for annual passholders to visit the theme parks.
In addition, Disney has made some changes to how Annual Passholders can make their reservations as passholders staying at select Disney Resorts can now make Theme Park reservations for each day of their resort stay, in addition to holding up to 3 days of Theme Park reservations at a time. Disney has also opened up park passes to passholders on a rolling basis, which means once a passholder uses a Theme Park reservation, they can then make another reservation for a future date immediately with no waiting.