I have noticed very light crowds (for Peak Summer season) when I have gone to the DLR since June 30th.
Here are a few shots from my last visit (Sunday, July 9th)
A couple of shots of DCA crowds from the Monorail around 2:30 PM
Then the Disneyland wait board
And then the Parade of Dreams along Main Street (these photos were at 3:25 PM, the Parade had already started at the small world end at 3:15 PM, and should be on Main Street in about 10 minutes)
Of course, there are a few more shots in the album...
But that is a very small crowd... I have seen off-season weekdays with more people along Main Street than yesterday.
So where are the guests?
It looks like a bunch of factors.
The weather lately has been hot and more humid than normal, but that really should only effect the locals, as visitors have already invested a lot of money in airfare (or gas and other car expenses) and hotels, plus many have pre-paid tickets as part of their packages.
Reports have hotel rooms being available at many locations, both on-property and off in the next few weeks.
Has the 50th Celebration been overplayed? Attendance was up last summer when Disney was strongly promoting the event. Also, some Disney fans decided to not visit in 2004 and early 2005 due to the combination of the large amount of refurbs and wanting to wait until the 50th started.
Has the 50th help shift the local attendance? Once again, strong promotion had many locals attend in 2005. Some families are just not that much into theme parks, and find an expense of $200 and up for a day (based on tickets, parking, food, drink and merchandise for a family) not worth doing more than once every few years. Plus many SoCal folks were persuaded to convert to a Disneyland AP (using the ticket sellers, plus special handouts that came with the tickets, and other AP advertising). Many of these folks decided to get the SoCal or SoCal Select AP, which are blocked out for all of July and much of August. So locals need to have a Deluxe or Premium AP to visit yesterday, or buy a Blockout Pass for $30, or pay for a new ticket (non AP holders). So did the heat help keep the locals away?
It was a busy day in Sports, heck the reason I was at the DLR was the World Cup, folks started to line up before 9 AM, and the place was full, and folks were turned away before the game even started. Plus you had the Wimbleton Men's Championship, plus NASCAR and the last day of baseball before the All-Star break, but many days have lots of sports, and I have seen Disneyland busier during NFL season, including the playoffs.
Is it the costs of travelling to the DLR? Gas prices are up, which also make airlines fares go up. Last year crowds have allowed hotels to raise their prices, and they are not wanting to go back to the lower rates, even if there have been quite a few new and rebuilt hotel room added in the last few months.
Of course, Disney has raised admission and other prices throughout the resort.
Have many folks just decided to not go (or come back) in general? Is promoting some minor changes to a decades old attraction a good thing as the major marketing push?
So why are the folks not going to Disneyland and DCA?