Walt Disney World has added a number of extra ‘Good-to-Go’ Days in Winter 2024, providing a powerful sign that the corporate is forecasting an attendance slowdown (albeit temporary!) within the coming weeks. This takes a have a look at the newest have a look at the park reservation calendar and discusses what that would imply for crowd ranges for the remainder of this month and February.
As background, Walt Disney World launched “good-to-go days” for Annual Passholders and Forged Members earlier this month. On these “good-to-go days,” Annual Passholders and Forged Members could go to theme parks without having a park reservation. Though the corporate is looking them good-to-go days in AP and CM communications, they’re listed as “reservations not required” days on the precise calendar.
Good-to-go days take the place of bonus reservations, and like bonus reservations, are added periodically and could also be launched days or even weeks prematurely. If an Annual Passholder has an upcoming park reservation that turns into a good-to-go day, the reservation will probably be eliminated and now not depend in opposition to their most reservation maintain, however they’ll nonetheless be capable to view their earlier reservation within the My Plans part in My Disney Expertise.
There was a little bit of a backlash and disappointment when Walt Disney World launched the primary batch of good-to-go days and it solely included 6 dates over the course of two months. These dates had been January 16, 18, 23-24, 28; February 1, 2024. Many Annual Passholders had a “why trouble?” response, and felt that Walt Disney World had (once more) overpromised and undelivered.
For our half, we predicted plenty of good-to-go dates for Annual Passholders…ultimately. Our expectation was that Walt Disney World would begin slowly and scale up, including a handful of winter low season dates on January 11, 2024 and seeing how that goes. If the parks will not be inundated and overwhelmed by reservationless APs (they usually gained’t be), they’ll add increasingly more good-to-go dates to the calendar.
We’d be prepared to wager that by the point late April 2024 rolls round, at the least half the dates in early summer time will probably be good-to-go for Annual Passholders. It wouldn’t be in the least shocking if each single day is good-to-go for Animal Kingdom and EPCOT, and reservations are solely vital for Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. By late summer time/early fall, it wouldn’t be shocking if between 75% and all dates are good-to-go for all parks.
Throughout the second half of the 12 months, it’ll most likely be simpler to listing the dates that aren’t good-to-go fairly than those which might be. For that, our preliminary prediction could be that reservations will probably be required for less than (roughly) the ‘worst’ dates in our listing of the 10 Greatest and 10 Worst Weeks to Go to Walt Disney World in 2024 & 2025.
These had been our predictions again previous to the discharge of the primary good-to-go days earlier this month, and we basically stand by all of that. Admittedly, what we did not anticipate was the elevated crowd ranges that we’ve encountered in mid-to-late January 2024 (see Winter (Nonetheless) Is Not Off-Season at Disney World).
That’s why this newest batch of good-to-go days is barely stunned, and could possibly be a constructive signal. To that time, right here’s a have a look at the newly-added good-to-go days:
It ought to most likely go with out saying, however Walt Disney World goes so as to add good-to-go days when their inner projections counsel that there will probably be extra capability–that means decrease attendance. Disney makes use of quite a lot of information for this, from date-based ticket gross sales to resort reservations. I might additionally assume they share with third events–MCO quantity projections, Mears reservations, third get together lodge bookings, and many others. (Even when this isn’t shared, Disney definitely has the sources to reverse-engineer it.)
That is an imperfect science, and Disney will get it incorrect now and again–and is usually gradual to right issues or entice individuals to go to at occasions which might be much less busy. For instance, we first famous that Saturdays and Sundays had been changing into the least busy days of the week final 12 months round this time. That pattern actually solidified by March and was patently apparent after Easter.
And but, Walt Disney World stored blocking out weekends on subsequent resident ticket offers and retained elevated resort costs for Friday and Saturday nights with the discharge of 2024 charges (resort pricing arguably wasn’t a mistake given that almost all of friends come from off-site and there’s a rising disconnect between resort occupancy and attendance).
In any case, that is one in all a number of examples of Disney being reactionary to shifting attendance patterns or just lacking them. So one thing like that could possibly be occurring right here, too. I believe it’s not, and that the subsequent couple of weeks are going to see a little bit of a slowdown from the average to excessive crowd ranges noticed at Walt Disney World for a lot of the year-to-date.
That’s excellent news for vacationers who deliberate to go to throughout one in all our 10 favourite weeks of the 12 months: January 28 to February 3, 2024. Or those that learn the commentary to that entry, which additionally indicated that the primary full week of February also needs to be within the “dialog” when debating which of those nice dates to decide on.
We expect the subsequent couple of weeks to be higher than the previous couple of, but in addition must admit that they’ll nonetheless most likely be barely worse than anticipated when making that listing of dates. As mentioned in the latest crowd report, our expectation was that pent-up demand would proceed to exhaust itself pretty persistently with final 12 months’s pattern line, that means one other year-over-year drop (particularly for winter, since revenge journey didn’t actually begin to burn off till after Easter). That has not occurred so far, and possibly gained’t this winter to the diploma forecast.
However, we’ve heard from some frightened readers questioning in the event that they’ve picked dates that can now be dangerous. Walt Disney World’s new launch of those as good-to-go days sends a powerful sign that the inner forecast is decrease–in order that needs to be reassuring.
Actually, even within the absence of this, we’d stand by the advice of late January or early February 2024 as a good time to go to Walt Disney World. Our listing of greatest weeks is each quantitative and qualitative, that means it’s not simply on the idea of crowds. Whereas these weeks needs to be fairly favorable on steadiness, they’re additionally really useful for nice climate, EPCOT’s Competition of the Arts, good park hours (no party-shortened days), and simply an general nice time to expertise the parks.
As we’ve mentioned earlier than, anybody singularly targeted on crowd ranges ought to merely go to from mid-August by means of mid to late September. If the listing had been fully data-driven, like 5 of the very best weeks could be incorrect that timeframe. These weeks are persistently the slowest of the 12 months, and the “best” to forecast as a result of (in contrast to different stretches) that has by no means actually modified.
However anybody who visits then could be disabused of the notion that crowds are the one factor that issues after their first day of triple-digit ‘seems like’ temperatures lasting till 9pm. (For those who’re on the fence about this tradeoff, see Is It Nonetheless Value Visiting Throughout the Early Fall Offseason at Walt Disney World? for a larger dialogue of climate vs. crowds.)
Suffice to say, now continues to be a subjectively nice time to go to Walt Disney World. If there are new developments which might be going to end in elevated crowd ranges in 2024 as in comparison with 2023, they’re most likely not going to be confined to the months of January or February anyway. Expectations would possibly should be adjusted upwards for a lot of the 12 months, that means that the winter wait occasions may find yourself being ‘good’ relative to the weeks and months to return. Or what we’re seeing now could possibly be a blip, with extra good-to-go days signaling an finish to that very quickly.
No matter all that, don’t anticipate any good-to-go days within the second half of February 2024. This newest batch might be the final till early March (or maybe the previous couple of days of Feb). As soon as Mardi Gras, Presidents’ Day, and Princess Half Marathon Weekend roll round, crowds will decide up fairly considerably. (See Keep away from Ski Week Crowds at Disney for extra–or just confer with the ‘worst’ facet of that 10 greatest & worst weeks listing.)
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What do you consider Walt Disney World including ‘good-to-go’ days for Annual Passholders in late January and early February 2024? Assume which means, internally, the corporate is forecasting decrease attendance for these weeks? Are you wanting ahead to having fun with the nicer climate, higher park hours, EPCOT Competition of the Arts, and (hopefully!) low-to-moderate crowd ranges at Walt Disney World in Winter 2024? Any questions we will help you reply? Listening to your suggestions–even whenever you disagree with us–is each attention-grabbing to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas under within the feedback!