Disney May Never Return to Former Capacity to Avoid ‘Parks Bursting at the Seams,’ Says Executive

The Walt Disney Company participated in a Q&A session today at Morgan Stanley’s 2022 Technology, Media & Telecom Conference. Disney CFO Christine McCarthy was there to represent the company.

In addition to being quoted saying that character meet and greets will soon be returning to the parks, McCarthy also spoke on the current crowd levels at the parks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

When asked about park capacity, McCarthy said the parks are not yet back to their “normal” capacity. She said attendance levels will not be returning to what they were pre-pandemic.

According to McCarthy, Disney is “managing things differently now.” With Disney’s new reservation system, the company is able to track how many guests are going to the parks each day, which allows for better crowd management.

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McCarthy stated that Disney does “not want to have the parks bursting at the seams.” When the parks aren’t overwhelmingly crowded, guests have a more enjoyable time and are more likely to spend more money.

McCarthy was also recently quoted saying that reducing food portion sizes for guests would also help increase profits for the Disney Parks.

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  1. Attendance will be optimized around Genie+ data. Only thing they want “busting at the seams” is their wallets.

  2. I agree that when guests are happier, they spend more money. However, when I was at Magic Kingdom last, the Peoplemover was pulling a 25 minute wait with many rides around 90 minutes. I’m not seeing how capacity is being reduced in a significant way that guests satisfaction is all that different. Then again, I have historically avoided the very busiest days.

    It seems to me, Disney is really only modifying capacity for a very select few days of the year; otherwise, it’s busier than ever before on an average day. I certainly am not seeing a huge savings in wait times when compared to pre-pandemic. As the matter of fact, without Genie+, the average guest probably spends more time in line than pre-pandemic when Fastpass+ was around.

  3. well, i’m sure that the parks’ former capacity will return very soon, after all, it’s Disney’s choice. not mine. :)

  4. Agree agree agree. So happy to hear that they’re adjusting and learning from the shutdown and not just bringing everything back to what it was.

  5. My sister thinks that what she means is that they will take a long time to return to normal since they want to play it safe as COVID is still out there. We are in one of the most darkest times with one of the most dangerous diseases in history since Aids or the Black Death.

  6. Thanks I needed that laugh today!! Has McCarthy been in a park? IT’s so enjoyable waiting 100+ minutes for a ride.

  7. The parks are bursting at the seams regardless of this article. The big 50th isn’t anything special. I don’t know what the big hype is. Went there the first week in February and the wait for the lines were over an hour. I would say my family got to enjoy riding 10-15 rides each day.
    The only Disney show was Beauty and the Beast. And the parade was Tinkerbell and Minnie. My family got the annual pass so MAYBE we will hit it right and go at a time when you get off one ride and onto another just like the old days.
    Oh, and the $15 Genie pass is the amount you have to pay, just to see if the ride is even available. Then, if there is availability, you have to pay to ride. WHAT??
    Disney is MONEY and MERCHANDISE.
    There’s no more magical feeling. We didn’t even get to go on Peter Pan or A Small World. Just too many people to wait for hours.

  8. She’s right. I hope they limit the capacity. Big crowds ruin the experience

  9. Christine McCarthy stated that Disney does “not want to have the parks bursting at the seams.” – Translation – Pay us more and eat less you fat pigs!

  10. However, she neglected to comment on how Genie+ and LL is creating outlandish stand-by lines and causing a negative guest experience with the new system. Not sure about y’all, but I would take a slightly busier day at the parks in return for the old FP+ system!

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