Len Testa Interview

Discussion in 'The DIS Unplugged Podcast' started by bwbuddy5, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. disneyworldsk

    disneyworldsk Earning My Ears

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    Actually another question I have is then why is every resort most of the time fully booked to capacity the past year or two, and i understand the moderates are limited these days but booking less then six months out max is impossible most of the time. so 'it's crowded' means there are people booking the resorts so there are crowds, not just limiting the capacity of attractions. right? trying to figure it all out....
     
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  2. rteetz

    rteetz Rumors and News Moderator Moderator

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    Depends on the day. Marathon weekend was incredibly crowded because of both the races and that many schools were still off for Christmas break. Martin Luther King weekend is also very busy.

    As for February, Presidents weekend is always very busy.
     
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  4. rteetz

    rteetz Rumors and News Moderator Moderator

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    Disney has a ton of rooms out of stock right now. Pop Century is under going refurbs, Old Key West, All Star Movies, French Quarter, Coronado, and Caribbean Beach. That makes capacity much smaller. Even if all the resorts are full that doesn't mean all the parks are at capacity. You still have thousands of day guests, locals and APs, as well as guests staying off site.
     
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  5. disneysteve

    disneysteve DIS meet junkie

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    The parks were very crowded the past couple of months. Disney keeps doing things to boost crowds, like RunDisney events and the Epcot Festival of the Arts, for example, along with targeted discounts and special offers to boost hotel occupancy. They are packing more and more people into the parks including at times that traditionally used to be slow.
     
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  6. bwbuddy5

    bwbuddy5 First trips WDW MK 1972, Epcot 1982

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    My family is most concerned about the wait times. If you have a good fast pass plan and use Len’s other tools, you can navigate any size crowd efficiently.
     
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  7. jcb

    jcb always emerging from hibernation

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    This is true for FY 2018. Unlike the Federal Government, Disney's fiscal year varies by a few days each year.

    Disney's bylaws provide that: "The fiscal year of the Corporation shall be fixed by resolution of the Board of Directors." https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1001039/000095015717001598/ex3-1.htm The fiscal year typically ends the last Saturday in September but sometimes it ends on the first Saturday in October, if the last Saturday in September falls too early in September. So:
    FY 2017 ended September 30, 2017
    FY 2016 ended October 1, 2016
    FY 2015 ended October 3, 2015
    FY 2014 ended September 27, 2014
    FY 2013 ended September 28, 2013
     
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  8. WDW_Ding

    WDW_Ding Ohana means family.

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    I think that even if all the WDW resorts were at 100% capacity, it would only result in the parks being around 50% capacity.

    Also, you can absolutely book WDW resort rooms at less than 6 months notice. I just booked at 45 days out, for example.
     
  9. jcb

    jcb always emerging from hibernation

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    Disney's fourth quarter earnings conference call for FY 2017 reported domestic resort "occupancy was down three percentage points to 84%." Disney attributed the three percent decline to the Hurricane Irma. Even so, attendance at domestic parks increased by 2%. https://ditm-twdc-us.storage.googleapis.com/q4-fy17-earnings-transcript.pdf For the first quarter of 2018 (October to December) occupancy at domestic resort occupancy was at 91%. https://ditm-twdc-us.storage.googleapis.com/q1-fy18-earnings-transcript-1.pdf These are outstanding occupancy rates but still not 100%.
     
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  10. rteetz

    rteetz Rumors and News Moderator Moderator

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    Disney has said it would be very hard for them to hit 100% due to each person having a unique length of stay.
     
  11. jcb

    jcb always emerging from hibernation

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    Right. People perceive domestic resorts as being "full" when it is more accurate to say, I couldn't book AKL for all the nights I wanted to stay.
     
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  12. Stacy's a freak

    Stacy's a freak wrangles snakes

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    In addition to the special events and holiday weekends another poster referenced, there is at least one specific area in MK, Fantasyland (near Small World) that is just a bottleneck. This area seems to be the one that is most often posted on social media because it's a bit of a nightmare to get through there if there are any crowds at all. So just because this area is swamped, it doesn't necessarily mean the rest of that park is crazy.

    But to be clear, the crowds are definitely up in these traditionally slower times. This and the fact that many people are spending more time at the other parks since the Studios is basically a non-park with all of the construction. I wish we hadn't wasted a "day" at the Studios because it was not worth it but that would have put us with the hordes back in MK or AK, probably.
     
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  13. TheMaxRebo

    TheMaxRebo DIS Veteran

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    The parks definitely are more crowded than in the past - I don't think Len was trying to imply that wasn't the cast ... more he was looking for an explanation as to why January 2018 was so much more crowded (based on wait times) than basically any other time of 2017 - that sudden and stark change doesn't just happen because hundreds of thousands of people decide to change when they will vacation

    But over time the crowds are definitely up - last stat I saw was 2016 total crowds were up 14% over 2010. Lots of reasons for that - but I also think there is just more knowledge being shared online than in the past so now more people know when the "slow" times are supposed to be and targeting those times so that they are no longer as slow (that has been seen over the last few years that what were historically slow are no longer as slow) - but that doesn't explain the sharp increase Len's team saw this past January so they were trying to figure out why that specific change happened
     
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  14. WDW_Ding

    WDW_Ding Ohana means family.

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    That's right. And what Len and his team learned is that WDW is causing the long wait times by under-staffing the attractions.
     
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  15. whiporee

    whiporee DIS Veteran

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    No, they didn't and they never said that. They showed a 5 percent decrease in capacity during the week. That's what their investigation showed. They suggested under staffing could have been the cause, but they did not say they had any evidence of it, only an observation that their projected crowd levels were off in January.

    The issue is wait times. I think wait times have to be looked at differently they have in the past because every ride now has a FP component to it. In addition, while FP- was utilized, it's not utilized to nearly the degree FP+ is. As a result, standby lines have to increase because there are only so many seats on any given ride and Fps are taking up a part of them. So if you are comparing pre FP+ to current times, I think you have to go with the percentage adjusted average wait times, not just the standby ones.

    In the previous thread about this, Len talked about the 10-event model that he's heard is WDW's guideline. But even he said he was open to the idea that those 10 events have become 11 with FP+. So while posted standby wait times have exploded, the average amount time a family actually spends waiting in lines may be much less. I hope thats something he and his team investigate in the future -- the results could be revealing.
     
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  16. WDW_Ding

    WDW_Ding Ohana means family.

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    I'm curious if you listened to the whole interview or just the edited version that aired on the DIS Unplugged podcast.

    Technically, you're right. Len and the team counted riders leaving the attractions and then discerned that there was a 5% (or so, I'm not going to listen to the interview again to confirm what you have stated) decrease in capacity.

    As I recall Len hinted strongly that this was due to attraction being under-staffed or because WDW was taking ride vehicles out of rotation, thereby lessening capacity. And I don't see how there can be an other explanation. Len and the team found there was a decrease in capacity...what else could it be due to, if not under-staffing and taking ride vehicles out of rotation? Those certainly seem the likely reasons...
     
  17. Stacy's a freak

    Stacy's a freak wrangles snakes

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    Len also called this his "tin foil hat" theory. I think this theory makes perfect sense and is likely the case but only Disney and its CMs know for sure.
     
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  18. whiporee

    whiporee DIS Veteran

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    I did listen to the whole thing. He also talked about significant capacity reductions on some rides — 25 and 30 percent — but did not explain how the overall capacity reduction ended up relatively small. So some rides must have been showing greater capacity during the monitored time, even though he didn’t talk about that.

    It’s also important to point out that this was only an in-week observation, when WDW might have just mid-projected their needs. Most of the conspiracy and understaffing suggestions came from the interviewer, not Len.
     
  19. ckelly14

    ckelly14 DIS Veteran

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    I didn't quite understand this either. He talked about capacity being off 20-30% on some rides during the week, but somehow using a 5% decreased capacity overall improved the accuracy of TP...
     
  20. WDW_Ding

    WDW_Ding Ohana means family.

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    I think it is because wait times are only one data point they use to calculate their crowd calendar.

    @lentesta...can you clear it up?
     
  21. CeruleanMoon

    CeruleanMoon Mouseketeer

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    I was wondering if Disney had gone back to running rides full capacity yet, especially since spring break has now hit.
     

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