Despite it being the height of summer vacation season, tourists are saying that Disneyland is surprisingly "empty."
Guests at the California theme park claim that the park isn’t as crowded as they expected, with some even going as far as to describe it as a “ghost town.” This comes as a bit of a surprise, not only because summers are usually crowded at the park, but also because Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge recently opened, and was considered "one of the most anticipated theme park openings since Disneyland itself."
The new land, based off the “Star Wars” movies, opened on May 31, but guests had to make reservations ahead of time to enter the area. It opened up to all park guests on June 24 and seemingly drew massive crowds. The Hollywood Reporter reported that within an hour of opening, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge had reached capacity.
Since the opening, however, guests have noticed a significant decrease in waiting time for the park’s attractions, The Orange County Register reports. Disney’s California Adventure vice president Patrick Finnegan said the resort has not seen wait times this low in decades, according to the outlet.
Even at the new Star Wars land, guests are reporting seemingly sparse crowds. One user on Twitter compared the crowds on opening day to later crowds, saying “My time on Batuu was SO varied and unexpected it was wonderful! We went from a big excited reservation crowd on our first day to a practically empty chill evening the next day. What a completely perfect Star Wars experience!”
Several other users reported similar experiences throughout the rest of the park. As one user put it, "By Disneyland standards, this place is a ghost town."
The are several reasons why the crowds may appear to be lighter than normal, The Orange County Register speculates. Mainly, Disneyland hasn’t just increased its acreage, but has also widened walkways and narrowed planters across the park. Aside from Galaxy’s Edge, several new attractions were opened at the same time in Disney’s California Adventure Park. This could potentially cause crowds to disperse more evenly across the theme parks.
Another major factor could be annual pass holders being blocked out for large chunks of the summer. There are a variety of annual passes available, but many dates during June, July and August are blacked out.
In a statement to Fox News, Disney spokesperson Liz Jaeger said, “We are incredibly focused on delivering a great guest experience for the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. This land has added 20% more capacity to Disneyland Park, and together with all of our new offerings, advanced planning and innovative technology, has resulted in incredible feedback and satisfaction from our guests.”
Another possibility is that some fans were afraid of the massive crowds that Galaxy’s Edge was expected to draw and may have decided to wait until the hype died down to visit the park. Either way, with the warm weather and short lines, this could be the best time ever to visit Disneyland — unless word gets out that the park is empty and everyone decides to head out there now, which will bring the massive crowds back.