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Disney Hotel Occupancy Rates Dropping Fast as Guests Cancel Walt Disney World Vacations Due to Florida COVID-19 Cases

Just a few days ago, Disney CEO Bob Chapek stated the following about the impact of the Delta variant on their theme park business:

“In terms of the Delta variant, we see strong demand for our parks continuing.”

Disney CEO Bob Chapek

Despite this claim, Walt Disney World is seeing a definite impact from cancellations and unwillingness to travel by tourists as the summer winds down.

According to internal sources, hotel occupancy on Disney property was expected to be at 93% this upcoming weekend. It is now expected to be at just 65%. Overall, they are seeing occupancy drop about 10% week over week.

Similar numbers are being reported by non-Disney hotels in the area as well, at least those we spoke to.

With school starting back up in most of the United States, and with this downturn in travel, the Walt Disney World theme parks are noticeably less busy right now. In fact, Boarding Groups for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance were available until 4pm on one evening, and eventually, they even allowed guests in without a Boarding Group. This is the first time this has ever happened at Walt Disney World.

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  1. I don’t necessarily think the amount of cases in Florida is the issue because the California counterpart is also pretty slow, also in both states most schools have already started and without annual passes there is less willingness to go, and lastly many people don’t want to go primarily having their entire families be in masks inside which is not worth paying the big bucks…

    1. I agree. Many friends of mine are not renewing their annual passes because of the park reservation system and masks.

  2. I think lying to investors and providing misguidance is a lawsuit waiting to happen. The cancellations have been happening for weeks yet last week Chapek states to investors attendance has never been stronger. That was a lie based on the facts the company had at their disposal.

    1. not really lying, he was presenting the financial data that showed uptick, and that the parks were self sufficient for the first time in 18 months.

    2. Chapek is making it a park for the rich, not what Walt Disney wanted when he created disnay parks
      Its definitely not magical, but money making & targeting for the rich disney wanted every family to be able to come to his parks, but it’s got so expensive with nothing to offer those that pay that extra on going to Disney hotels
      We were booked for Sept 2020, then reschedule for Sept 2021 due to corvid, but cancelled, we were going to book for 2024 but no way would we pay extra to pay for rides when we pay enough to get into parks, there is nothing for disabled you can’t expect disabled people / children to stay in long queue
      Worse idea in a long time, fasspasses worked, kept queues down DISNEY GOT GREEDY and people won’t pay extra when its expensive just to get into a park alone

  3. It could also be people responding to the face mask requirements. I know a few people who pushed back trips for that reason and were pretty vocal about it.

    Of course, it could argued that the face mask requirement is there because of the Delta variant, thus that would still be the reason. I see no reason to believe that masks will be required once case rates decline (heavily at this point). Especially if they do start distributing the vaccine to children this fall, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

    Unfortunately though, for the people I’ve talked to, they probably won’t be coming back until the spring regardless.

  4. Or maybe it’s because vaccinated people don’t want to wear a mask at Disney World, especially at those new prices.

    1. Some people are still getting covid even if they have been vaccinated and wear a mask everywhere they go. One of our veterinarians wife just tested positive for covid and our vet has been having the same symptoms as her. Just upper respiratory cold like etc. She is a school teacher and they are trying to get back this week for school starting. At least they may not get as sick with the vaccine, but they do have 2 small children.

  5. Or I don’t know, Covid is a factor, yes … But it continues to be light on entertainment. Hours are not late. And upcoming late hours are behind paywalls. Maybe the plan to reduce crowding and demand is working.

  6. So when will they begin to discount their tickets in attempts to garnish more visitors? That may be their only option.

  7. There are still no resorts open now for the week I’m going… Can’t be too bad.

  8. that’s funny. been looking at dates for disney resorts for month of October and all sold out.

  9. We’re still on for next Sunday-Friday at Disney World. 3 out of 4 of us have had Covid, we’re all fully vaccinated and we’ve been used to wearing masks for the past 17 months. It hopefully looks like we’ll have short waits.

  10. I think it is too early to speculate that this is all due to Delta. There was also a slight potential of a tropical storm hitting the area. You also mention that school is back in for a large portion of the Disney guest segment. Let’s wait a month and see what that brings. People have been reporting on Delta in Florida for over a month, now.

  11. When border restrictions get extended this week and it passes the 30 days to cancel, we’ll see the full impact on the October 1st anniversary bookings.

  12. …You don’t think this could POSSIBLY be because of 3 tropical storms (Yes I know none of them are actually a threat but public perception is different)? Or that this is typically when things slow down until HHN and Thanksgiving? Please stop with the sensationalism.

    1. So, the summer has been slower than this time of year for a few years now, so based on data, no. Also, people generally don’t cancel for storms until they’re actually hurricanes as you can’t really get a refund otherwise. 20,000 cases a day is pretty sensational enough, we felt no need to mention that.

  13. Masks.

    Just did 2 weeks in WDW.

    Horrible.

    Magic gone.

    35 years is being an UBER fan.

    Grew up near Disneyland.

    So much of a fan my non-Disney wife couldn’t handle WDW talk until 1 week out!

    Stack of AP’s 1-inch thick.

    I’ve had enough.

    Between the snide CM comments about masks and the WOKEness factor, Disney has lost its family friendly vibe.

    Never before have I walked away feeling like I wasted thousands of $$$$.

    Never again.

      1. I went to DL 1st timer ever in July. We didn’t have to wear mask then but I definitely would not have been comfortable in the heat and all the walking you do wearing one. You had to order most of your food thru an app and stand in line for take out food. There were no characters out except when you 1st came in for like 15 min and they were all up at the train. Absolutely didn’t see any other throughout the park all day. Not even Star wars Land. I definitely wasn’t impressed. I much prefer Universal.

    1. Awesome. As a CM. We don’t want people like you to attend. You will not be missed and we will all have a better time with out you! Snide mask comment……let us be more clear…your not special put your damn mask on and have a Magical day!

      1. Cm speak to guest that way now? What’s your last name Billy? Bet you wont throw that out there.

    2. It is what you make it. Mask up inside and have fun, its that simple. If you’re not ok with masks then don’t let the turnstile hit you on the backside on your way out.

    3. Also just got back from a two week trip with our APs. Completely agree that there’s an issue with value for the money. Didn’t mind the masks inside at all. In fact, put us at ease from the large population lying about vaccination status. I wouldn’t want to be herded like cattle (like is common at Disney) if 1/5 people were testing positive for an extra contagious and severe flu/pneumonia, either.

      Thanks for stepping away if you feel the magic is gone and wearing a piece of clothing to lessen sickness is too much for you. At the very least, it will decrease the amount of people at the resort that don’t share my family’s values.

    4. Sadly, it’s probably going to be years before the magic returns, if at all. Disney parks are headed for an economical downfall, I feel, with them removing the magic and raising prices. The overall experience of getting the most for your money is not there currently. Obviously they will continue to make money but they have to pull back on the experience because of the numbers, but their mistake is raising the price at the same time. That’s not an incentive for people on the fence about visiting the parks. Obviously people can still have a great time there, but it’s just not the same as it was pre-pandemic.

    5. Thinking of letting my pass go when it expires. Every ride reminds me of something magical that they took away for political correctness. Magic gone.. and the masks……universal may be the big winner here

      1. Oh does including others takes the magic from you? Spoken in true entitlement! Sorry them being more inclusive makes you upset. Out of all the things to be upset about. Oh and masks bother you too, not a surprise!

    6. So Disney can only be friendly to families like yours? Have a magical day, dreamer!

  14. Chapek can lie all he wants about this, but we all know it’s because there is no magic left in the billionaire’s club known as WDW. I’d be shocked if the board votes to keep him in power.

  15. We were there in April and had to be fully masked. We decided to come back for a weekend to do Boo Bash and Food & Wine and thought we’d be able to be maskless since were fully vaxxed. I’m disappointed that we will be masked at times but we are not worried about traveling again. We’ve worked non-stop since this all started anyway. Thirty days til WDW!!!

  16. This is the time of year that UK visitors flock to the parks but we can’t come. Does this account for some of the low numbers?

    1. We were due to go Sept 2020, then reschedule to Sept 2021, tui cancelled again, we got our refund, was going to rebook in 2024, but Disney has lost the appeal the disney hotels don’t offer nothing to stay their no disney dining, fasspasses gone, no deals at all, we in UK pay over 10k to get to florida, stay in a Disney resort, pay a fortune to get into parks & now they slap on extra cost for rides, why we pay so much just to enter a park when you have to pay extra to ride the rides in parks
      Disney got GREEDY, it’s not the most magical place on earth, its ripping off people & making affordable for the rich
      Walt Disney wouldn’t want this for his parks he created a park for everyone to enjoy, but it’s turned into a money making venture for rich, & not for families to enjoy, if they take all the deals away disney has nothing to offer
      As people won’t pay

  17. Yes, we canceled our trip due to COVID. Supposed to be leaving tomorrow, but with unvaccinated kids, we aren’t willing to risk it. Will try again next year.

  18. Universal Studio’s and Islands of Adventure was packed Thursday. No problems with attendance there. We dropped our Disney passes and opted to go with Universal this year and could not have been happier.

  19. We are not going until we can purchase annual passes at not too outrageous prices for the value. I know… good luck with that! I am concerned about all the comments about Disney loosing it’s magic. It was my childhood dream to work at Disney. Now, I am hesitant to apply….

  20. For me, one of best things about being in the parks was watching your friends and family as well as others around you enjoy the whole experience. Do I get enjoyment from the rides? Sure. But it’s almost impossible to capture those magical moments from your family’s expressions when they’re wearing masks.

    We went in March 2019 and it was the first time for our kids. I have the smiles on their faces burned into my memory and in my photos. If they would have been wearing masks, those moments would not hold as much weight as they do in my memory.

  21. I canceled due to WDW adding Masking rules and the feeling it is going to get worse. Why do they feel they can impose stricter rules the Fl Government? We don’t want Tobe masked at WDW.

  22. They’re also canceling because no one wants to wear a mask. I have no Intention of going back to Disney now. Maybe epcot for ratatouille. Then bye. Universal will continue to get my ❤💕 for now.

  23. Sadly, it’s supply and demand with Disney World hotels right now. Many of their hotels have not reopened yet; so they charging a premium for those that are available. “Value Resorts” are far from being a value anymore; Pop Century is nearly $300/night for some nights in early December and pushing $400 closer to Christmas.

    We typically go in early December for my birthday and stay at Pop Century for 9 nights. This year, such a trip would cost us about 40% more than it did 2 years ago (we did not go in 2020).

    “Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party” that we often did on my birthday, is gone and replaced with “Disney Very Merriest After Hours” for double the price of its predecessor; we’ll pass, thank you.

    A few years ago, I did the math comparing staying on property with transportation to/from MCO via DME vs staying at an inexpensive hotel on 192, renting a car, and pay for parking and the difference was literally only about $100. This year, we can stay off property, buy tickets from Undercover Tourist, rent a car, and even pay for parking for about $1500 less than staying at Pop Century.

    Okay, so we are not immersed in Disney 24/7, so what? The perks of staying on property are fading; no more free MagicBands and DME is ending soon.

    We can still spend time at Disney, but we can also spend our money on things around Orlando.

    1. NO room at Pop Century is worth even $99/night. There’s just one bed and a ‘table bed’ (whatever the f that is) now. Can you imagine what your back would feel like after miles on your feet all day then sleeping on a ‘table bed’??

  24. We are cancelling our Nov trip because Florida isn’t requiring masks as a state. We are vaccinated. Still, I have no desire to accidentally spread this to some child or immune compromised person. Florida is out of control and I feel terrible for the CMs who have to put up with unmasked unvaccinated people who feel its making their privileged vacation unbearable.

    We were hoping that De Santis would come round when kids started getting sick, but at this point, we just feel like it’s better to wait until children can be vaccinated or the unvaccinated people have either caught immunity or passed on.

  25. The travel ban to European visitors is also something to highlight, most Europeans with travel plans for August and September were waiting for the end of this travel ban almost until the last day but, since the news are that it will be active for more months all of us are now cancelling our plans or pushing them forward to the next year.

  26. We take our family (11 of us) to Disney every other year. We’ve been planning to visit Oct 19-24 (all adults and over 13yrs vaccinated) and have reserved a large house VRBO. Our deposit will be refunded if we cancel by Aug 20, but if not, we are on the hook for a $5,000 rental for the fam with 3 unvaccinated young grandkids going to a Virus hotspot and mingling with lots of unvaccinated people. We will cancel the booking, but not the flights, in case COVID does an about face. Our grown kids have heard from friends who went this summer that said the lines were horrible without fastpass. It’s less about the masks inside and more about exposing the kids. Definitely not worth the risk for them We’re used to the masks, though look forward to NOT having to wear them. Disney isn’t going anywhere. We will go another time. Fastpass needs to come back.

  27. Nope, but nice try….Its Disney’s mask policy, not the FL numbers…you fly into mco which requires masks and get shuttled to Disney which requires masks

  28. It will lose more with disney charging for rides, it cost to enter parks but disney got Greedy & now charging for not only Enterance to parks but slapping on charges for rides, people will just boycott the parks DISNEY GETTING GREEDY fasspasses worked but now disney taking deals away, disney got nothing to offer those booking disney hotels, they raking fasspasses away, they raking disney dining plans away, it’s all money making for the rich
    Walt Disney created a park for families, that everyone could afford, but their taking away the deals, to cash in on money making, people can’t afford to pay for to enter the park then pay for rides, what is the cost of entering the parks if it doesn’t include the rides people will just not pay & stop going to Disney

  29. I didn’t go because of the mask mandate . Had just as much fun at Funspot with no mask mandate for $80 family of 4

  30. Sounds like it’s time to go. While:

    1. Magic Express is still running from MCO to the parks
    2. FastPass is still free
    3. Mask rules relaxed
    4. Park capacity down.

    If I don’t go now, I probably will quit going with all of the unwelcome changes coming.

  31. We just canceled our family reunion with over 18 people to WaltDisney World. Several senior family members said Florida’s COVID policy is dangerous and deadly. Still vacationing Disney — going to Disney’s Aulani instead. When is Florida getting rid of that crazy Governor — he’s bad for business in Florida.

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