Fans waiting on Disney’s reservation system to go away may be in for a big disappointment. At the Bank of America Securities conference call on Wednesday with Disney’s Josh D’Amaro and Christine McCarthy, hints were given about the program’s future. Disney executives sound like they intend to keep the system in place.
When asked how the Covid 19 permanently changed the Parks, D’Amaro spoke about the reservation system saying, “We’ve made sure every move that we’ve made was centered on a better guest experience…and that won’t ever change. One of the things that we did was we put a cap on attendance. We wanted to make sure that we didn’t end up In a situation where, on New Year’s Eve, for example, it was kind of “show up as you want” we wanted to make sure that we preserve that guest experience, so we put a cap on that. We are very, and we will continue to be very disciplined on smoothing seasonality. Making sure that we have full utilization of our assets.”
That alone may not sound like a permanent change, but as he went on, it became very apparent that this was not simply a Covid measure for social distancing. It may have started that way, but it seems as though they have found value in keeping it in place.
D’Amaro went on to say, “We have a reservation system in place. Obviously, that was a huge help to us when we were in the Covid period and had to significantly restrict our attendance. But as we came out of it, we realized that we could use this as a tool to much better manage the capacity available for the guests’ experience that we wanted to ultimately deliver. With that cap, so to speak, on our attendance, it allows us to much better yield. Like a hotel would, like an airline would, when you set your capacity, you’re in a much better position to yield.”
Those comments lead us to believe that the reservation system is now a permanent part of a Disney vacation. This sounds like bad news for spur-of-the-moment travelers and annual passholders but good news for those visitors that don’t come as frequently and plan far in advance.
Lower park capacity means a better time. I remember the first few trips I took after Covid. We felt like we had the parks ourselves, which was absolutely fantastic. We never expect to experience anything like that again, but we can’t help but agree with D’Amaro that lower attendance does make for a better Disney day.
It is important to keep in mind that this is not a confirmed statement. It is purely our takeaway from D’Amaro’s statement. Let us know what you think. Do his comments sound like the reservation system is here to stay?