It's kind of a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation for non-locals, because if you just restrict it to guests staying on-site, all that means then is that locals just book a night or two for the parties (like we did the first year) and that results in less resort availability.This is the big part for me.
I did the very first event ever (the 2nd week of it)- which was Typhoon Lagoon in 2015- which is the only park that had anything that year. It had basically no one there and was absolutely fantastic. At the time, it was guests with resort reservations and we could bring up to TEN guests- but still, it was dead (and great weather).
Last year- it was way worse. They then allowed Up to TEN guests for MK in Feb/March (Didnt go), Typhoon Lagoon in June/July (I went- way more crowded- not near as fun as 14'), and DAK in Sept (I went- not crowded- fun). The kicker was they introduced allowing non-resort people to come in.
Fast forward to this year- it's only 5 guests per event, instead of 10- but still allow non-resort people to come in, and they added Epcot for 2 nights in December- while removing 2 of the DAK nights (only 2 in Sept instead of 4), and also merry mixer. So actually the same amount parties for them to have, but more spread out- w/o the cost of the merry mixers.
I'm glad they have them- they're awesome. I'm from Texas- so I have to stay when I go- clearly. So selfishly, I wish they'd only allow hotel guests. If nothing else for Typhoon Lagoon. Allowing non-resort guests simply make it too crowded. 2 days ago might be skewed because it had rain- but the week before looked and sounded like 2015 crowd levels- which are simply too much for that small of a park. MK and DAK can handle it, not TL. And if future world + frozen are the only things open for Epcot- I'm guessing that will be pretty danged crowded too.
I'm looking forward to the DVC DAK event during my Sept. Universal trip quite a bit but certainly nervous about the Epcot event I'll be at for my WDW trip in Dec.
It's just this massive added "perk" for local DVC people. They have DVC discount, FL resident Discounts, way more trips to the parks, etc- we don't need to throw local DVC another bone- simply make them book a room to go. Give me a less crowded park instead, please. I'm happy either way- free is free- I just don't understand their reasoning.
I'm really looking forward to the Animal Kingdom party this year, I'm hoping it will be relatively manageable to get onto Flight of Passage.