The Christmas season is usually one of the most popular times at theme parks like Walt Disney World, and it turns out that even in the middle of pandemic, that's still the case. While Walt Disney World is currently not open to its maximum capacity, all four Disney World parks hit their current capacity over the weekend, showing that there is still a significant demand for the theme park magic at this time of year, regardless of what else is going on in the world.
According to Disney (via Disney Food Blog), all four Walt Disney World parks were sold out of reservations on December 5. While the parks are currently only running at about 35% of max capacity according to statements from Disney CEO Bob Chapek last month, they opened at about 25% of capacity, and so the attendance in the parks has only grown. While the current reservation calendar isn't showing a completely sold out day going forward, it's certainly possible that could happen as people still clearly want to experience Walt Disney World during the holidays.
Whether we'll see Walt Disney World increase capacity limits right now or not is hard to say. The current limits are likely in place with the understanding that proper social distancing and other precautions can still be managed even if the parks are "full." While I'm sure the resort will increase its capacity as soon as it is able to do so, Disney has also shown a willingness to take things slow in order to be certain that safety measures are followed. Walt Disney World has already announced that the parks will not remain open until midnight on New Year's Eve, as has been the tradition in other years, so Disney fans looking to celebrate the new year will need to make other plans.
This is, more than likely, a seasonal bump and crowds will start to drop back down again after the holidays are over. The first couple months of the year are frequently the slowest period at Walt Disney World. However, it's also possible that this is part of a larger trend of consumer confidence and that we'll continue to see crowds at higher levels going forward. Even during Disney World's slow period it likely was more than a third full, so it won't take much of an interest for the demand to out pace the supply of available reservations.
While the Disney Parks have been hit hard financially speaking, Walt Disney World is still making money under the current circumstances, even if it's not making nearly as much as it's used to making. So the crowds starting to come back is certainly good news in that regard.
There are, as you might expect, a number of different opinions concerning the fact that so many people are heading to Disney World. Since the global pandemic is far from completely under control, many are concerned. Having said that, there have been no major outbreaks traced to Walt Disney World and so it appears that the health and safety measures being taken have been sufficient.
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CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis. Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.