In the Q&A session which was held yesterday at Morgan Stanley’s 2022 Technology, Media & Telecom Conference, Disney Chief Financial Officer, Christine McCarthy answered some important questions.
Everyone knows how crowded the Walt Disney World parks have been in recent weeks, starting with the Presidents' Day Weekend back in February. We saw two weeks of Disney's Magic Kingdom at capacity with limited availability at the other parks. It has led Disney fans to ask the question, "have the parks returned to full capacity?".
Yesterday, Christine McCarthy addressed this issue and said that Disney has no intention of increasing the capacity of the Walt Disney World parks back to pre-pandemic levels. She continued to say that Disney is trying to manage things differently with the help of the Parks Reservation System.
The Parks Reservation System which although is a negative for many guests, is very helpful for Disney as it allows the company to manage crowds more effectively as they know how many people will be in each park each day which should make for a better experience for guests.
You could think, "oh great, Disney are actually just thinking of their guests" but the thinking behind it is that happier guests are ultimately more likely to spend larger amounts of money which is great for Disney's bank balance.
Some may question whether the parks are actually currently fairly close to pre-pandemic capacity levels as the parks appear to be crammed right now with many wait times for attracitons being recorded as 100+ minutes.
With the current high demand and the news that capacity will not return to pre-pandemic levels, it leaves us wondering whether guests will struggle as we head into the Spring and Summer months to actually secure reservations for the Walt Disney World parks? Annual Passes for new passholders are still paused and it seems unlikely we will see these reinstated in the near future based on the recent crowding.
We are already seeing the Park Reservation System filling up for March with all Walt Disney World parks currently full for March 14 - 17. If you are hoping to visit Walt Disney World in the coming weeks it will pay to get your tickets and reservation booked quickly to avoid disappointment.