Any other time the advance purchase of tickets would be fine…
So when Zachary and I go down to Disney, I purchase a 10 day Magic Your Way ticket with water parks and Disney Quest for the both of us. Because we don't cram in everything, we seldom use up all the park ticket part of it. We didn't use 2 last year and 4 the year before, but that was my choice. Next year, I plan to use all of them.
Now, why I don't buy in advance, last year was a prime example. My ex-wife (Zachary's grandmother) passed away just days before we were to go on our vacation. And thanks to all the TPI members who encouraged us to go, we chose to continue with our plans.
But what if we had decided not to go and I had already purchased my tickets, what would I have done with them? I realize the 14 day expiration doesn't start till the first day you use them, but would they honor them a two or three years later? I think not.
So what happens if you purchase tickets in advance and can't use them as you planned to because you had to cancel your trip. I had to cancel vacations at the last minute a number of times. That's one of the reasons I started to get annual passes, until the prices got so high.
Still haven't figured out what to do about Universal since they changed their ticket prices.
It is indeed 'money in the bank', but it doesn't seem like it would matter much if you effectively lost a quarter of your sales, since the money all gets put into the bank eventually.
Simply put, they shouldn't completely abolish the ticket booth in favor for advance purchases, but simply scale down the ticket booths and start encouraging advance purchases.
For seasonal parks, I'd strongly consider blocking out the park's most popular dates (e.g. July 4, Labor Day, etc.) from seasonal passes, and selling those days as advance-sale-only hard tickets. I'd also limit the crowd size on those days to something reasonable (i.e., no more than 60- to 90-minute waits for anything), and charge the full, undiscounted day rate, if not $5-10 more per ticket so that the tickets don't sell out immediately.
Sigh ... rookies.
Perhaps the consideration should not be based upon a concept of overall park admissions, but rather portions of the park experience. An incentive, of sorts. Purchase your tickets on line and be given the option to RESERVE a fast pass. Parks could allocate a LIMITED NUMBER of fast passes that could be purchased in advance (for a small fee [$5.00 per guest]) to one or two of the most popular attractions.
Leave it as it is.
At Disney World, on the rare occasions they turn guests away, the World has other places that can be visited and generate income for Disney (including many hotels). A guest has one option removed but has many others left.
When a place like USS turns guests away, guests are left to decide on something else not USS related while they fume about their impacted vacation plans.
So no, advance dated tickets make no sense in WDW. They might make sense at other medium sized parks. They make perfect sense at isolated, high-demand, smaller parks.
Spontaneity is fast being eroded from our lives and that's sad on all levels.
Advanced purchasing benefits the tech savvy and obsessive planners, but not the spontaneous or simple travelers.