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Disney CEO Chapek addresses why capacity continues to be limited at Walt Disney World

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Disney CEO Chapek addresses why capacity continues to be limited at Walt Disney World
Credit: Disney

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As Guests continue to flock to Disney World, it seems as if there is no slow season anymore. We are all wondering what capacity Disney is operating at and whether or not changes will be made to that soon. Now, Disney CEO Bob Chapek has commented on capacity at Disney World.

Earnings Call

Credit: Jamie F

In Disney’s first quarter earnings call, Disney shared that they’ve had huge increases in earnings, despite many aspects of its Theme Parks operating with changes due to the global pandemic. While Disney expected revenues of $20.91 billion in the first quarter, the company is reporting revenues of $21.82 billion!

Chapek praised Disney’s Genie+ as a strong contributor to their financial success, stating 50% of Guests are upgrading to use this service!

Capacity Restrictions

Credit: Kenny the Pirate

Ever since Walt Disney World reopened in July 2020, capacity has been reduced in order to mitigate the risk due to the ongoing pandemic. Since that time, Disney has slowly increased capacity in its Theme Parks, but is often tight-lipped on just what that capacity is.

Chapek noted that there are now two big reasons why capacity is still limited in the Parks, and they may not be the reasons you’d expect!

According to Chapek, “self imposed capacity restraints are a function of food and beverage and live entertainment.”

Staffing Shortages and Live Entertainment

Credit: Jamie F

Chapek specifically noted that Disney’s Food and Beverage departments are struggling with staffing shortages, specifically with short-order cooks. He noted that “85% of Cast Members returned to work when they were asked to return,” but there are still severe shortages in this area.

Chapek also stated that live entertainment is also impacting capacity in Disney’s Theme Parks.

One of the last things to come back for us in a post covid world is live entertainment.  We are self regulating that because we don’t want our guests to feel an excessive level of density.  The places you get that is parades, etc.  I expect we will be increasing capacity in time.

Bob Chapek, CEO Disney

When will capacity return to prepandemic levels?

Credit: KtP

Chapek says Disney is working on restoring both live entertainment and the food and beverage Cast Members so capacity can return to its former levels.

And it appears we won’t be saying goodbye to Park Pass reservations any time soon. Chapek stated, “Our ability to increase Guest experience through the park pass system has been something we really like.  Guaranteeing our Guests have a great experience no matter when they come is really important to us.”  

What are your thoughts on Disney’s reasons for operating at reduced capacity? Do you think capacity will return to pre-pandemic levels soon? Let us know n the comments below, or tell us on Facebook.

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12 COMMENTS

  1. Lower park capacity? I was to the Magic Kingdom 2 week days in January, it was elbow to elbow packed,.didn’t look like a lowered capacity to us. The CEO doesn’t mention that they terminated experienced staff last year, then invited them to reapply now at starting wages..I imagine they made money off the lost benefits.The cooks and line workers I know refused to go back.. They felt that the yshould all have been laid off instead of terminated. With 1 day Magic Kingdom tickets at $148 asking people to buy Genie is a slap in the face.We won’t buy it

  2. I agree with everything except the park reservations. It was so miserable pre Covid we didn’t even want to go. We were annual pass holders but we don’t live close so if it was insanely crowded we couldn’t just come back another day.
    The rest is absolutely crap. Vote with your dollars. Just don’t buy the Genie+ and Lightening Lane up charges.
    We went to Disneyland in September and we only went for one day. The rest of our days, which we usually spent at Disneyland, we went to Knotts Berry Farm and Universal.

  3. Disney has no plan to reduce long lines or high wait times. Its all about increasing revenues. As capacity returns to normal, wait time will exceed four hours.

  4. Are you for real Bob Chapek? As someone who has had an annual pass for many many years, and live close enough that I used to spontaneously go to any of the parks just for one ride or dinner at any time, that is nothing but BS. The parks are as crowded as ever, like the others are saying, you’re on your phone the whole time you’re there. My phone used to be for pictures. Now it’s running out of battery charge half way through my time at a park. The Genie system is a total rip off, I used it once and got on one ride. The quality of the food being served since the parks all reopened is horrendous. Ditto for the merchandise. I didn’t even know someone else was at the helm. All I knew was when the parks opened after the lockdown, everything had changed. Since you’ve been in charge, the Disney Magic has been non-existent. The cost of annual passes, tickets for family when they come, the restrictions, even the cost of hotels is absolutely ridiculous. I miss pre pandemic Disney. It’s been very disheartening. Sorry, but you need to go. Walt was not about money. He was for family time in a “happy place” It’s anything but that.

  5. The park reservation system needs to be scrapped. We pay a lot to visit from the UK, hence we will not be paying extra for Genie + or Lightining Lane as the cost is ridiculous on top of what we already pay, and we used to love the spontaneity of deciding each day which park we wanted to visit. You now feel obliged to get to your reserved park as early as possibly to make the most of the day, as there is no guarantee you will be able to park hop to another park later in the day, which always used to be a lovely perk of the multipark tickets.

  6. I totally agree with Sandy, Stacey and Sue! It sure doesn’t seem as if any reduced capacity as it is mobbed! Genie+ is such a pain as I miss the Fast Passes. I hate that you are always on your phone and nothing is relaxing. This is true even to eat! So many people there and the lines are so long! Nickeling and dimming you to death and charging you for things that were free. Chapek needs to go! Sign the petition!

  7. Well I,hope all,disney shareholders have signed their proxies and voted against chapek for a board member……..suggest you write to every member of the board of directors tors with our complaints.
    March 9th at 1pm is when the meeting is…..if you can dial in and listen to it

  8. We are here now, I can assure you, there’s no limited capacity!! It’s almost busier than Christmas. It’s insane. Please just fire chapek. Please.

  9. If I really said what I thought, I’d be barred from every commenting again. The park pass system works? How so? You have to decide sometimes way in advance where you want to be on any given day. During busy seasons, if you want to park hop, there is no way of knowing in advsnce if the park you want to jump to is at max capacity. At reduced capacity? Could’ve fooled me. This is supposedly the slow session, but wait times are as long as ever.

    • Hi Sandy, I agree with you on these points! Disney seems happy with the Park Pass system, but most fans I know are not happy with it!

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