Disney Crowds Are Actually A Good Thing.
After having two distinctly different experiences this week at Disneyland, I had time to reflect on the positive side of Disney being busy. My commentary also applies to Walt Disney World or any theme park resort.
It had been raining, and most people come out when it’s raining because they think it’s going to be less crowded. What happens is everyone believes that so a lot of people can show up when it is pouring. People love Disney in the rain. I was there Tuesday after it had rained. The park was way less crowded than usual. It was wonderful. It must have been a fluke. By no means was Disneyland dead it was just more pleasant because you could walk down Main Street.
Then I went back a couple days later and it was so crowded you could barely walk in some places. It’s just how it is it is there are days where the crowded. It’s nobody’s fault it’s a theme park. It’s a tourist destination. It’s supposed to be busy. I think people forget it's not just their second home or favorite place to hang out. It is a business, and if it’s not busy, it’s a bad thing.
Let’s put into perspective Disneyland is a business. Not only is Disneyland a business it’s an astronomically huge one. Disney is the largest employer in Orange County. If it wasn’t for Disneyland Anaheim and most of Orange County wouldn’t be what it is.
What do you think happens to all of the people that work at Disneyland, the Downtown Disney District, and the surrounding hotels, restaurants, and business when Disneyland is in the offseason?
Are their days at work just more peaceful? No. They are probably working a second lousy part-time job or not working at all because they’re not getting as many hours. It’s supply and demand, and when there’s no demand, they cant to supply the workers with hours.
There was a time when working at Disneyland meant you were part of this great union and you had a pretty stellar contract. The new Cast Members are part of a different union and on a separate contract. They don’t make as much money, and Disneyland gives hours based on seniority.
I cannot name names but I personally know a Cast Member who will have to wait for a person that has worked at Disney for nearly 40 years, another for 15, and several over 10 to retire even to get full-time work. If you transfer from one attraction or restaurant, you forfeit your seniority.
One of the most popular table service restaurants in Downtown Disney closes earlier than usual when it's too slow. Now some shops and restaurants can't close early it’s just against the corporate policy and if they could, they would. Operation costs can mean there is no profit for the day. The shops and restaurants are paying people to work when there are no customers. That has to be made up from somewhere. Or worse when a place closes early the employees lose a few hours wages.
So think of it this way if you’re a Disney Parks Fan and you enjoy the resort, and you enjoy the Downtown District it’s because of the people that are working there. Disneyland has a massive effect on the city of Anaheim and the rest of Orange County. There are a lot of business that would not exist without Disneyland.
Do you hate it when you go to the parks, and there are no fireworks? No parades? Sad when there’s no Mickey’s Magical Map? Well, they can’t afford to put on shows, have fireworks, or parades when its slow for a reason. Attendance equals revenue. Shows, parades, and fireworks are expensive.
Fantasmic alone costs $30k. On a night with two shows that is $60k alone. When I worked for some big retail chains, we spent about $60-100k for a month of payroll. Sixty grand for two Fantasmic performances are you kidding me?
I cannot even get a new cost for Fireworks an 11-year-old post says 13 years ago it was 33k per show.
I’m not trying to be preachy at all. I’m trying to make the point that if you love Disneyland and you have a great time when you’re here it’s because of the people who run it. Without the Cast Members Disneyland would be just an empty place.
If Disneyland were not busy, we would not be getting the expansion. Yes, those crowds paid for Star Wars Galaxy Edge. Crowds made that possible.
As someone who relies on Disneyland being busy, I can assure you there are a lot of families in this area that depend on Disneyland. It's their job, and if it’s not busy, they don’t get the hours. When we don’t get hours, our kids don’t get extra things like food or electricity.
That’s why I reccomend tipping when you patronize Disney Resort Dining. Even if it’s a non-Disney restaurant on the property, you should tip. If it is not a Disney restaurant or shops, the staff does not work for Disney and has no union. When it's slow, it hurts them too.
There’s a lot of the people don’t know this. Hence why I am relaying this information.
When you see a crowd at Disney remember, that it's not that bad after all.
Your attitude is also going to impact your experience considerably. If you walk in and think oh great it’s crowded already; you’re not going to have a good time.
I bet that the children who are there do not mind the crowds because crowds don't matter to kids. Being at Disneyland does. Think like a child. Be happy and grateful that you are at Disney.