Park Capacity question


#1

I have a couple of questions about park capacity at the various resorts in June.

I realize that if the parks reach capacity at some point during the day they won’t allow any other visitors, but how does this affect reservations at the restaurants? Also I thought I read in one of the guide books that they will allow resort guests in anyway.

I am mostly concerned about my parents who are in their 60s and would like to go back to the resort for a nap during the day. Will they be allowed back in during the day if a park reaches capacity?

Also, we were planning to show up at the waterparks around 3:00 in the afternoon, but I just read in the guidebooks that this is a bad idea because the parks generally reach capacity by 11:00 or so. We all had terrible sunburns last year from being at the Waterparks during the hot, noon sun. What would you recommend for times to go to the waterparks?

Thanks,
Jennifer


#2

We have a plan for the water parks … we go very early and then split up inside. One of us gets the locker, one of us gets the towels, and the rest of us race to find a lovley couple of chaise lounges in the shade.

At 10 a.m., you may not feel like a chaise in the shade is a big deal, but by noon, you will be very happy you made the effort!

We usually leave the water parks just after lunch, go back to the room to clean up, and then head out to a regular park and dinner. That way, we are out before the water parks get closed down.


#3

They will only allow you into a park in which you have a dining reservation if the ADR was booked on a credit card. So, if you have an ADR at CRT or Akershus (those are the two I’m thinking of atm… maybe Bistro de Paris), then you can still get into the park after it has reached “capacity.” Any other ADR, and you’ll need to go to guest services to rearrange your ADRs. They’re really nice about it and try to accommodate you as best as they can. We learned this out the hard way when we had an ADR at CP in MK, but the park was no longer accepting guests.

As for resort guests always being allowed into the parks, don’t be so sure. It depends on how you are getting to the park. If you are a resort guest that is currently at Epcot, then they will not allow you to take the monorail to TTC to switch to MK (craziness! We learned that out the hard way, as well). But, they will allow you to go to TTC and switch to the resort monorail, so you could then get on the resort monorail and get off at MK. Whether or not they would accept you at the gate, idk because we haven’t been that persistant about it (if the park has reached capacity, you really don’t want to be in it, anyway, unless you have an ADR).

You should really just be careful and make sure that you are in the park an hour before your ADR, and if you are going to MK on a day that is typically crowded (any day the week before/after Christmas, week of Thanksgiving, week before/after Easter, and week of Fourth of July), be sure to arrive early in the morning. If you want to be able to experience attractions, it’s best to arrive at opening time.

MK is really the only park you ever have to worry about reaching maximum capacity. Epcot is large and can accommodate many people. AK is also large, and DHS isn’t nearly as popular as MK. I have only seen MK hit maximum capacity recently. The last I saw AK hit maximum capacity was the year it opened (we were rejected :frown:).

Also, MK typically reaches maximum capacity between 10:00 AM and 12:00 PM. By 4:00, the crowds have usually thinned out, and they begin allowing people back into the parks. So if you left the park around noon and came back around 4:00, you shouldn’t have much trouble getting back in.


#4

You should be safe regarding park admittance in June. We were at WDW for the last few days of December to January 3, 2010. This is an extemely crowded time. We were not closed out of any park, but we started early each day, went back to our resort to rest, then headed back to the parks late afternoon. The Studios, MK and AK were all near capacity and got to Phase 3 closing…which means that resort guests and AP holders were the only ones admitted to the parks. This only lasted for a few hours each day…not all day long. Just do your research prior to your trip and you should be able to manage your trip as to where to be when…Water parks do get crowded during the summer, so you really should start early those days.

Have a wonderful time planning your trip!!! June is a great time to go.


#5

We have never had a problem in June. Now July 4th is another story. NEVER AGAIN.


#6

We always go to WDW in the summer and have never been shut out of a park and we rarely spend a whole day in a park.


#7

We’re actually going to be there through July 5th. I think we are going to try the parks, but with the understanding that it is more for atmosphere than to get on any attractions. I’ve already forewarned my parents that we will have a hot, crowded day that day and we have reservations at Liberty Tree so there won’t be any rest times at the resort.

Thanks for all the advice and input. I’m glad we are going to be there 10 full days this time so that we can make sure we see everything we want to see before the 4th of July weekend.

I’m going to have to juggle a few things around to make it to the waterparks before they reach capacity. I’m wondering if it helps at all that the days I have them scheduled are a Monday and a Thursday.

Thanks again!


#8

I was there in July 08, dh and fam there June 07, June 06, June/July 05. Never had the parks reached capacity. It never crossed my mind that they would, especially with people in.out going to hotels, other parks, dining ressies etc.

As for the Florida sun…well there is never really a ‘good’ time especially when it involves water. We are olive skinned Italians who live in SW Fl year round and while I might not burn normally but I burn whenever I’m in the water. Whether it is 11am of 4 pm. I’d do what a PP said and go early. I’ve been on the buses at closing times for the water parks and lord did those people look tired, whooped, burnt (not like we all aren’t by the end of the day:laugh:) and it was an even longer bus ride all around. IMO Early is better for any theme park and that includes the water parks. It will be harder if you have a large group to find chairs all together at mid to late day.


#9

I can honestly say it has never crossed my mind that the parks would get full.


#10

We have always gone to the water parks early and love it. We get a few chairs and a locker and stay from opening to about noon. I think that Typhoon Lagoon also has more shade.


#11

Don’t the Water Parks usually close around 5pm? Get there at 3 then leave at 5pm won’t cut it with the kids. Lather up the sunscreen!


#12

I thought the waterparks were open until 8:00 in the summer. I’ll have to check on that.

I’m working on changing a few things around so that we can get there around 10:30 or so. We have brunch reservations both days or it wouldn’t be a problem.


#13

We saw MK hit capacity in July too- dont know about June. Also, I think the water parks tend to start thinning out around 3, as guests who have been there since park opening ( like us) have generally had enough sun or water or both! I think too that the water parks do close early even in the summer months-I would have said 5 or 6 at the latest.


#14

Not in the summer. I didn’t look at early July but during our trip later in the month (July) both water parks are open until 8.


#15

I can’t find where I read it last year (I thought it was on touringplans.com or actually in The Unofficial Guide), but I think that the best days to go water parks are Sundays and Thursdays as far as crowds go. I am not absolutely positive on that–I’m going to keep looking.