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Regular visitors to Disneyland expect to see changes happen in the park on a regular basis. It's part of how the theme park gets guests to return again and again. However, the newest change in the park could be a problem for a lot of people. It seems that many benches and other seating areas around the park are being removed. While this would seem to be a move that would cause problems for many guests, the reason behind the removals appears to be an attempt to deal with another guest issue, overcrowding.
Crowds have been an ever-increasing problem at Disneyland. It seems that, regardless of how expensive tickets to the park become, people are willing to pay them and the crowds never go down. This is resulting in Disneyland taking the step of removing benches and other potential obstructions to traffic. If the park can't reduce the number of people in the park, it needs to make the flow of all those people as easy as possible.
The crowds may be a problem now, but you ain't seen nothing yet. With the impending opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge in less than a year, the crowds are expected to hit record numbers. Combine that with the fact that there's no easy access to Galaxy's Edge from Main Street U.S.A, and the crowds through half the park are going to be nuts. Even if all you want to do is get to Thunder Mountain Railroad or the Haunted Mansion, you'll have to compete with crowds that need to go through those areas in order to get to the new land.
Seats aren't the only things being removed to make additional space for crowds. According to the Orange County Register, planters are also being taken out, potentially changing the ambiance of the area.
Disney says that while some seating has been removed, it will be added back in other places, though it appears many of those places will be restaurants, meaning you may need to be planning to have a meal to get access to at least some of it.
While this decision may be understandable, it's no less frustrating. While being able to get from one location to another inside Disneyland easily is certainly important, so is being able to get off your feet from time to time. You'll walk miles inside Disneyland Resort over the course of a day and sometimes you just need a break.
Beyond that, part of the fun of Disneyland is simply being able to experience the park. Sitting down, maybe with some unique sweet treat from a food cart, and watching the world go by while music plays around you is part of the fun. Main Street U.S.A. and the various lands are part of the attraction of Disneyland. The way that each place feels unique and separate from the rest of the park and that you can simply get lost in it is what separates Disney from other parks. If you can't just sit down and take it in, some of that could be lost.
With Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge on the way, crowds will be a problem for the foreseeable future. There is one other major thing Disney Parks are trying to do to help with crowds at Disneyland. Construction has already begun on a new Marvel land at Disney's California Adventure which may help draw crowds to the other park when it opens in 2020.