I don’t enjoy crowds. I’m not one of those people that loves to shop after Thanksgiving, or goes to sold out sporting events, or thrives on events like Mardi Gras or New Years. I never liked going to clubs when I was younger, and my tolerance level for crowds has diminished significantly as I’ve gotten older. If people like to do those things, great for them, it’s just not for me. With that being said, it’s hard to find a time to travel to Disney when it’s not crowded. With events like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, Food & Wine Festival, Flower & Garden Festival, and the marathons, low season has shrunk.
|A very uncrowded |
Main Street circa 1984
So, why the increase in crowds? First and foremost, I believe that people today have more disposable income than they used to. You can talk about bad economy all you want, but one trip to Disney World or any major theme park or tourist center shows you that people have lots of money (or credit, in some cases) to spend. Airfare costs have decreased relatively, and automobiles are more fuel efficient. Traveling longer distances has become easier.
Disney marketing is amazing. I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t see an advertisement in print media, television, radio or the internet regarding Disney vacations. Disney characters are everywhere you look, and their target audience is families with young children. Generation X’ers, like myself, had an occasional Disney movie, a Disney lunchbox, and Sunday night Wonderful World of Disney. Kids now have Disney vitamins, Disney themed toothbrushes, Disney stores at the local mall, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Austin & Ally, High School Musicals, and a new Disney movie at least once a year. Add in Pixar’s contribution to the marketing effort and you’ve got a huge force to contend with. Marketing genius, true marketing genius.
I have to say that crowds are here to stay...much to my disappointment. Does that mean I won’t go to Disney World? Heck, no, but I’ll stay away from the holidays! :)