Disney Parks in both Anaheim and Orlando are in a tricky position. Apart from the current legal situation in Florida with Governor Ron DeSantis, Disney has reached a crossroads when it comes to how the parks function and the ever-difficult balancing act between supply and demand. While attendance in the parks has previously been controlled by a tiered pricing structure that saw peek times attract higher prices that created a deterrence, Disney is caught between a rock and a hard place where attendance is rising, and the optics of more price increases are no longer worth the effect they place on crowd control. Now that Disney is starting to move away from the highly unpopular reservation system (which I will admit, I love), how will they manage crowds during those busy periods without simply turning masses of people away?
There is a theory circling internet news outlets that would be a radical change to Disneyland Park and Magic Kingdom as we know them, but it might not be as far-fetched as you will initially think.
If you can’t control capacity without disappointing your guests, the only natural way forward is to find ways to increase capacity to accommodate more people. Now, we aren’t just talking, shoving more people in, and hoping for the best. No, this is a little more complicated. Disney would need to look at creating more spaces and attractions that can occupy more guests as they move around the park. This process is very hard to plan out when working with extremely limited land in Magic Kingdom, and even more so in Disneyland, where suburban Anaheim has built up all the surrounding area. This brings me to a solution that several news outlets are sharing online, said to be on the table with Disney Imagineering as a real consideration.
Filling in The Rivers of America.
A quick scout of either park map will show that there aren’t many other options available that have viable access to the current park layout. And when you really consider the number of guests that are accommodated between Tom Sawyer Island and the Liberty Square Riverboat, does it justify the use of all that space? I honestly don’t know where I stand on this one. Is this a realistic plan? I’m hoping our DIS Community can weigh in. Would you support the redevelopment of this iconic area in Disneyland or Magic Kingdom?
Zoë Wood is a travel writer from Sydney, Australia. Since her first visit to Disneyland at the age of 6, she has spent her years frequently visiting Disney Parks and traveling around the world.
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