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Sep 10, 2012
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A few months ago, a discussion of capacity & parking started up on the Meal Reviews thread somehow. Obviously, we hijacked it and the posts were deleted (rightfully so). I remember Party Rocker, myself and a few others being involved. I have been meaning to revisit the subject because it was good information. So here it is at last. Also, before anyone jumps on anybody else, I am hoping to get JUST THE FACTS folks. I have been asked about this stuff a lot and am only guessing at some things. I am sure with all of the brain power on this site that we can accomplish that. Plus, it will be fun for the sake of trivia and maybe somebody will learn something. :cool:

QUESTIONS:
1. What is the capacity of the park?

2. Is capacity the same all year round, or does it change for different season events like Howl-O-Scream, Christmas Town, etc. with fewer areas/rides being open?

3. When the park makes the announcement that it is near capacity, what does it mean? Is there a specific number or is it a prediction of visitors to come?

4. When the park makes the announcement that it has reached capacity, what happens next?

At least these two things are correct:
- No more cars are allowed through the gate.
- No more people are allowed through the turnstiles.

But a couple of questions come up:
- If you were allowed to park, will you be allowed through the turnstiles?
- If you were in the park and had to go out to your car for some reason, will you be allowed back in or have to wait?

5. How many people have to leave the park in order for it to open back up? Specific number or percentage?


Bonus. How many parking spaces for visitors are at BGW?

Super Bonus. Same as Bonus, but broken down by parking lot (Germany, France, Ireland, England, Scotland, etc.)?
 

netdvn

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Jan 12, 2012
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From a number of friends/inside connections.

Average capacity is around 30,000-35,000 people. The park usually closes the gates at around 28K-29K to allow people elbow room.
Christmas Town capacity is around 20,000-22,000 people. The park usually closes the gates at around 18K.

Most of the time, on a capacity day, the tollbooths are closed and they let cars in only as people inside the park drive out. So if there's a line of cars at the tollbooth, once one car leaves the park, they'll let one car into the lot.

Common sense ;)
Near capacity should mean that the park is almost full (lower end number) and they will be closing the tollbooths soon so you won't be able to head into the parking lot if you come too late.

Assuming the park has hit capacity with the lower end number, you can still walk out to your car and walk back in later as you can technically allow more people into the park without violating fire codes. If the park hits absolute max, they will have to hold their gates (gotta allow for people to walk around/fire codes).
 
Dec 23, 2011
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I am so mad -_- I had counted out every parking spot via Google Earth for each lot and I had my reply all ready and I pressed Post Reply, but before it could post, I accidentally closed the tab.

However! I managed to remember it is roughly 6,000ish parking spaces total.

Rough estimates:

England: 800ish
France: 800ish
Germany: 700ish
Italy:1,050ish
Ireland: 1,020ish
Barvaria: 700ish
Scotland: 700ish

Like I said my actual data was deleted so this is these numbers are all that I can really remember.

1. What is the capacity of the park?

The absolute max, is right around 36K

2. Is capacity the same all year round, or does it change for different season events like Howl-O-Scream, Christmas Town, etc. with fewer areas/rides being open?

Yes, with props on pathways or areas blocked off and not in use, the capacity varies all the time, that is why there isn't really an exact number per say but an estimated capacity number. Christmas Town is right around 23K max.

3. When the park makes the announcement that it is near capacity, what does it mean? Is there a specific number or is it a prediction of visitors to come?

The park has a budgeted attendance number and a estimated attendance number ready each morning. The estimated attendance number changes throughout the day, however when the park says it is near capacity you can bet they will be at capacity within 30 minutes.

4. When the park makes the announcement that it has reached capacity, what happens next?

They stop letting people through the turnstiles, since no one can go through the turnstiles, what is the point of even parking, so they stop the toll booth, especially since there are an estimated 6K spaces, it just isn't worth driving around to find a spot unless people come out.

But a couple of questions come up:
- If you were allowed to park, will you be allowed through the turnstiles?
- If you were in the park and had to go out to your car for some reason, will you be allowed back in or have to wait?

-Not necessarily, you still have to wait if the park is full, you aren't getting in. Just enjoy the nice look of the turnstiles from outside the park until a few hundred or thousand or so people leave.
-Not really because if they stop letting people through the turnstiles, you aren't getting in because you still have to wait in line at the turnstiles.

5. How many people have to leave the park in order for it to open back up? Specific number or percentage?

Although I am not positive on this on exactly, I would estimate a thousand or so have to leave first.
 
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Ben

Apr 12, 2012
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Party Rocker said:
I am so mad -_- I had counted out every parking spot via Google Earth for each lot and I had my reply all ready and I pressed Post Reply, but before it could post, I accidentally closed the tab.

images
 
Apr 29, 2010
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My eyes would hurt after that long. But we have nothing else to talk about.

Capacity was 35k in 2011 and was raised to 36k in 2012. It's hard to believe that many people being in the park.
 
Sep 10, 2012
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Maybe the variance in capacity numbers is due to fluctuations of the average guest size/weight? I have seen some big folks walking around up in there; much bigger than me. ;)
 
Dec 23, 2011
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I would like to say the increase could have been due to Verbolten, seeing how it can take so many people off the pathways at a time, that could have really helped with capacity.

Capacity is about giving the average sized person more or less a certain amount of sq. ft. as determined by the fire marshall, I don't think bigger people could fluctuate capacity too much.

I will have to recount the parking spots because it is annoying me how I don't have exact numbers anymore. However I will say the numbers won't be right on point for the fact that the Germany parking lot needs to be repainted because those lines are faded and hard to see via Google Maps. Then you also have the what if I mess up once or twice and count a spot twice, so that will be my goal, to get an accurate as possible number.

I bet you guys didn't know there were 57 steps by Loch Ness ;)

pandorazboxx said:
You can't right click and reopen closed tab? What are you using internet explorer? Haha.

I am using Google Chrome, sadly my internet wasn't feeling so hot and was not cooperating with me and would not work.
 
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Apr 7, 2011
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As a former security employee there I can say that capacity has everything to do with the parking lots and not the number of guests in the park. Capacity has been anywhere from 29k to nearly 40k. Record attendance was set a couple years ago around July 4th. There was an event in the morning (I recall a band and cheering competition) that filled most of the lots, then when they left around 5 or 6 the lots filled up again with guests to watch the fireworks. On average, when the lots fill up the in park count is in the low to mid 30's. When Christmastown first opened, since the entire park was not going to be open, they did not use some of the lots and they shut down when the lots they were using filled up
 
Sep 10, 2012
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Party Rocker said:
I bet you guys didn't know there were 57 steps by Loch Ness ;)
This was going to be one of my trivia items for the future. Darn you!! :p hehe.
Now I have to confirm. Have you counted them in person?
 
Dec 23, 2011
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chickenking said:
This was going to be one of my trivia items for the future. Darn you!! :p hehe.
Now I have to confirm. Have you counted them in person?

Yes, I counted them myself, I may be off by like one or two but that is it I am sure of it.

Animator said:
As a former security employee there I can say that capacity has everything to do with the parking lots and not the number of guests in the park.

I highly doubt that capacity has nothing to do with the number of guests solely because the fire marshall sets a limit of people in the park and that number is set to ensure everyone can exit the park safely or stay inside the park safely. Now I understand the park may determine that if their parking lots are full they should probably close, but capacity is solely the amount of people that can safely be allowed in one place as determined by the local fire marshall.

Animator said:
. . . when the lots fill up the in park count is in the low to mid 30's.

Well seeing that there is an estimated 6K parking spaces, and if let's say each spot was taken by a family of five that would be 30K people, so that makes sense. However estimating the park attendance via parked cars is very difficult mainly because you have no idea how many people will come in one car, not to include busses or even drop offs.

Animator said:
When Christmastown first opened, since the entire park was not going to be open, they did not use some of the lots and they shut down when the lots they were using filled up

Christmas Town has a different capacity amount and being that there is more limited space that obvious means they can't fill 6K spots up with families of five, therefore they must have an average amount of people per car ratio that they used to determine if they should use the overflow lots or not. That ratio very much helped them to determine a safe number, lower than the number provided from the fire marshall, to let into the park and determined a fair amount of parking spaces.

Let me get exact parking space numbers first and I will do the math for you.
 
Jul 22, 2010
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Some inaccurate Fire Marshal statements being made. BGW's revolves solely around parking spots. PLENTY of people can still park elsewhere and walk up after gates are closed. SWF and BGT have much more parking and do not have any real capacity numbers. Shoulder to shoulder is legal. Fixed capacity is ONLY for indoor establishments and that is the ONLY thing that a Fire Marshal can regulate. Open air is open game. Uni and WDW shovel them in until no shoulder room is open. Outdoor queues are not only cheaper but also immune to Fire Marshal jurisdiction. As a relative of a Fire Chief I can say it in 100% confidence.
 
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Sep 10, 2012
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^
So then there is no issue leaving the park to go to your car and get back in when they announce the park is at capacity?
 

Zachary

Administrator
Sep 23, 2009
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Atlantis said:
Outdoor queues are not only cheaper but also immune to Fire Marshal jurisdiction.

This is actually a very interesting point that I had never really thought of before, thanks for sharing. Do you happen to know what justifies a building? Would Verbolten's first queue building qualify as one?
 
Dec 23, 2011
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I finally finished the parking spaces count!

England: 771
France: 190 Handicapped; 942 Regular; 1132
Germany: 766
Italy: 936
Ireland: 961
Scotland: 1565
Bavaria: 875

Grand Total: 7,006

Thanks for that clarification Atlantis.

EDIT: Anyone is welcome to go back and double check my numbers!
 
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