Reports of Slow Guest Traffic at Disneyland - Analysis

There have been reports of Disneyland California not being as busy as it usually is during the summer season. Several sites and media networks have reported that guest traffic seems to be slow. Theme Park Insider is reporting that guest traffic has been slow for much of the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge land after the land was fully opened to the public without reservations. MiceChat is reporting that Walt Disney Parks and Resorts has removed Cast Member visit limitations for the summer and is now offering a new Annual Passholder benefit that allows Passholders to bring a guest with them for $99 through August 30th, 2019. Also, if a guest's Annual Pass is blocked out for a specific day, a Passholder can now buy a ticket for $99.

Many of the sites are reporting that the guest traffic slowdowns could be attributed to the appearance of fewer guests due to the expanded capacity of the park, brand fatigue, guests waiting to see the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge land after the crowds "diminish," and other factors.

A photo of the Front Entrance Area of Disneyland with the Main Street Train Station on our Guest Traffic Slow Down Page

Above photo of Disneyland's front entrance area and the Main Street Train Station by HarshLight on Flickr and Wikimedia Commons. Photo slightly enhanced by NavFile and released under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

The Economy and Disneyland's Slow Down

One reason for the slow down may have to do with the economy and other factors that are affecting Disneyland. In its recent quarterly earnings report, The Walt Disney Company did not provide any information on how Disneyland was performing. They only mentioned that Walt Disney World and Hong Kong Disneyland were performing well for the company and that Shanghai Disneyland was lagging in attendance.

The absence of a Disneyland in its earnings report may be a sign that the resort is not performing to the company's expectations right now. With the slow down in guest traffic, there are no signs that the park is increasing its performance even with the launch of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.

The primary reason for the potential decline in Disneyland's guest traffic may be a result of recent developments in the state of the economy. The Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank's GDPNow is reporting that it estimates that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate for the second quarter of 2019 will come in at 1.3 percent, which was recently downgraded from 1.5 percent. If growth comes in at 1.3 percent, that would be a significant decline from last quarter's 3.1 percent and last year's second quarter growth rate of 4.2 percent.

The slow down in the economy could be showing in the attendance at Disneyland and may be the main reason why the park is seeing sluggish performance for the summer so far.

What Can Be Done

The Walt Disney Company has taken steps to counter the slow down by opening access to the park to Cast Members and allowing Annual Passholders to purchase discounted tickets; however, if performance continues to decline, the company may need to take action to attract people to the park. If the economy is behind the slow down, more discounts may be the way to go; however, the organization will likely be careful with price cuts as demand could suddenly pick up.

An extension of Disney's demand-based pricing is one way the company could increase guest traffic during slower days.

Disneyland will be a pivotal resort to watch going forward.