Disney CEO Bob Chapek Comments on Recent Park Capacity

When Disney World reopened in 2020, the parks were operating at a limited capacity.

We’ve certainly seen more crowds at Disney World recently.

However, as of 2022, we’ve certainly seen more crowds in the parks, even during a time of year when things are usually much quieter. And today, the company has commented on park capacity for the first time this year.

Today, during the company’s Q1 Earnings Call, Disney CEO Bob Chapek commented that Disney Parks were “generally operating without significant mandatory COVID-19-related capacity restrictions” such as those that were in place in the prior-year quarter.

Crowds at EPCOT

Chapek went on to say, “However, we continue to manage capacity to address ongoing COVID-19 considerations with respect to guest and cast health and safety.

You can’t enter a park without a park pass reservation

So what does this mean? Disney Parks are still using the park pass reservation system put in place after reopening, and from what we’ve learned previously, this system could be the new normal at Disney World.

He went on to state that “Our ability to increase our guest experience through our reservation system…has been something that we really like.”

This suggests that the parks may NOT be currently operating at the same level of crowds that would be a pre-closure capacity, but at a capacity that this new normal considers “full.” However, it’s hard to be sure as Disney has not provided recent park capacity numbers. Chapek did comment that there was really strong domestic demand for the parks, though.

Recent Hollywood Studios crowds

When asked about how the public should think about capacity now vs. prior to COVID, Disney CFO Christine McCarthy said that the parks were seeing changes because of COVID-19. like Mobile Order and Mobile Dine Check-In. She did not, however, address parks capacity specifically at the time.

We’ll be covering the entire Q1 Earnings Call, so stay tuned for more news!

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6 Replies to “Disney CEO Bob Chapek Comments on Recent Park Capacity”

  1. The comment “our ability to increase our guest experience through our reservation system …” = WHAT A JOKE! We’ve been twice during the past year and NOTHING concerning the reservation system has increased our experience. Just the opposite, we hate it, and so do the others I’ve talked with. We were most recently there Feb. 10-13, 2022 and the crowds were huge. After leaving I got online to see what attendance numbers were compared to pre-covid because there’s no way I believe the parks were below normal pre-covid numbers – but I see the actual counts aren’t being released. Hmmmmm?!?!

  2. Hate it. I want to get up in the morning and decide where I would like togo and if i want to visit all four parks in one day that is my business no one elses

  3. Don’t care for the reservation system. I plan my day when I arrive, if it’s raining, I’ll do park ‘a’ over park ‘b’. Not reserving a park also allows for meal flexibility. Perhaps 1st or once in a lifetime visitors will tolerate it, but it’s unfair to passholders or those who visit multiple times.

  4. The park reservation system is a deal breaker it totally ruined the reason we have been passholders for past 16 years. Having to plan a day and not being able to park hop to other parks till after 2:00 pm makes the magic less enjoyable. I always felt sorry for the planners who set up time slot for every moment of the day and what park they would go to and what restaurant they would eat at and what bathroom they would relieve themselves at. Trust me the parks were so much more fun when we would wake up on Saturday and say he lets go to Disney World and then literally decide which park as we were getting off the exit. And meals could be decided as you were walking past a place that sounded really good a the moment. It worked out very well. Well enough that we bought passes every year.

    1. I totally agree. We are travelling in August with 2 grandchildren aged 6 and 9. We have to plan and then if, on the day, they want a rest day, or vice versa, it takes all the spontaneity out of the vacation. We were hoping that this idea would have been discarded by then, but it looks like ths may not be so. A mistake, Disney.