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Disney CEO Bob Chapek

Disney CEO Bob Chapek recently spoke at the J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media, and Communications Conference about the current challenges Disney Parks are facing as the effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic wind down and the theme parks brace for a massive influx of guests this summer. 

One of the biggest changes to the Disney Parks experience since reopening has been the implementation of the Disney Park Pass theme park reservation system to manage capacity. And though it has been speculated for some time, Chapek confirmed at this recent conference that this would remain in place for the foreseeable future. 

Image: Disney

Of course some may take a look at the current Parks Pass availability (which continues to be VERY limited) and wonder if this will make a visit to Disney Parks harder, especially for annual passholders at Walt Disney World. However, Chapek addressed the park's currently reduced capacity, saying the relaxation of guidelines, which should include capacity caps, should take effect before the end of the year.  

In addition to talking about the future of parks capacity and the Parks Pass system, Chapek also touted the use of the virtual queue system as something that has helped guests stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, which may explain why Disney has chosen to use this system for the upcoming WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure

Though it may be a little concerning to see Disney Parks move away from visitors able to visit casually without reservations or use familiar systems like FastPass+, it looks like this new way to visit Disney parks is here to stay. What do you think about these changes? 

 
 
 
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Comments

I just returned from a 2 day trip to Disneyland in California. I have no idea what Bob Chapek is talking about: Disneyland was packed! Lines to many attractions were often over an hour and entrance onto the Avenger's Campus – without a boarding time (Virtual Queue pass) – were listed at times as over 4 hours.

I am a long-time Disneyland guest having been hundreds of times over the past 50 years. I have even held annual passes on several occasions. I have only seen Disneyland this crowded one other time in my many years visiting the park and this was as they contemplated closing the entrance to the park due to the crowd reaching 100% capacity.

Getting into the park took hours: Our first day we arrived at 5.30a. There were already hundreds – if not thousands – of people waiting for the security stations to open. The second day, we arrived around 7.30a knowing we'd have to queue. The line had us walking almost a mile as we wound around Harbor Boulevard and the bus arrival area several times before being allowed to queue in front of a park on the esplanade.

I understand that there are no large shows to absorb crowds and that the queues were mostly outdoors and socially spaced, but I honestly don't believe the crowds we saw on 6/6 and 6/7 were at 35% capacity. Anyone wanting to visit should be prepared for very long queues that start far away from the attraction you're wanting to experience.

I should also point out that getting a boarding pass for either Rise of the Resistance, or Web Slingers isn't guaranteed. In fact, we were told by cast members you only had a 50% change even if you were perfectly positioned at 7a and again at 12p to try and obtain one.

We were mostly lucky and were only turned down once in our 4 attempts, but guest should know that there were a lot of disappointed people waiting in line for the park to open. For those who got up at 4a or 5a to try and be one of the first to enter the park and find out at 7a that they weren't going to get a morning boarding pass it was frustrating.

Disneyland is Disneyland and its almost always fun, but going now thinking that 35% means a near empty park with lots of space is just not the case. Walkways are extremely crowded and lines are long.

Having type the above… it was still a lot of fun and a wonderful trip.

I'm perfectly happy with that idea.

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