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Thread: Friends went to Disney...... but didn't enjoy it

  1. #1
    Administrator keith's Avatar
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    I guess I've read a few of these type of posts over the years.

    Early last year a colleague announced he and his then fiancee were going to get married in UK and go to Orlando for honeymoon. We started talking about Disney, universal and all the usual things.

    Of course I extolled the virtues of all the parks, especially EPCOT but in the end, after looking around and talking to people, they decided that they'd stay at a universal resort and only had one day to spare for Disney!

    In itself that was interesting. They showed me the different marketing materials and Disney was all about the kids, universal was much more young couple friendly whilst also managing to appeal to families. Universal had citywalk for the evenings, Disney had nothing.

    So in the end, it came down to one day at Disney. I said EPCOT but then they wanted to see the castle and the magic kingdom parade. Since park hopping has become expensive, they decided to do a whole day at the magic kingdom.

    I told them to buy and wear the just married mouse ears and get the badges from city hall which they did.

    Well by all accounts they had a very mediocre experience. Cost them just about $200 to get in for the day. It was totally packed out. The whole time, although other guests wished them well because of the ears/badges, not one of the cast members they met did and no one went out of their way to say hello to them.

    They had a reservation at crystal palace but in the event didnt feel like it so tried to cancel it. They were told they couldnt without paying $20 so they tried to offer it to the many people waiting who didn't have a reservation and were told off for doing that! In the end after an argument about that, they left because they wanted to see the shows.

    The light show was almost impossible to see because the crowds of people with kids on shoulders and it was hard to move around to get a better spot. Every time they moved someone would bump them or stand in their way or complain that they were moving (I think we've all been there!!!)

    They went to a cast member to ask if there was somewhere quieter for a second show, she said you just have to move around and live with it, its busy.

    They found everything really expensive and found the cast members bordering on rude or if not rude, very disinterested. There was certainly no fuss made of them there. They felt the rides and shows had seen better days when compared to the newer stuff at Universal.


    So all in all, a pretty poor experience.

    Now 15yrs ago, I never heard stories like this. If I recommended Disney people came back and thanked me for it! heck back when we were married there, we couldn't walk past a CM Without them saying congratulations and asking us all about it.

    Do you feel it's changed that much? What is it, the CMs not as interested any more? the Company itself? a more cynical society and a harder to please audience? False expectations because of people like me saying how great it is?

    Have you recommended Disney only to have people come back disappointed with it?
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  2. #2
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    I often recommend people to try WDW once in their life time. Normally I recommend to stay on site to get an extra magical experience.

    Most of them came back saying that they understand why we go back often.

    I always explain that you either go and visit Orlando or going to see WDW as both are quite different holiday experience me think.


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  3. #3
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    I don't think so Keith, when it's busy it can be hell and if you haven't got the Disney bug then I can up understand how spending all that money would be a problem.














  4. #4
    Senior Member Esmeralda's Avatar
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    Maybe it's the turnover of staff? I have seen a difference in attitudes too since I first went to now. There are still those staff that are what Disney is all about but they do seem to be getting fewer and fewer




  5. #5
    Administrator Tink's Avatar
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    Well, I didn't like my first visit. It was a day trip on December 27 to the MK. I had NO IDEA how very busy it would be. I was astonished by the long lines, confused by all the talk of Disney friendliness when all I saw were overworked CMs who frowned and actually snarled at people, expensive prices for anything, and brats, brats, brats!

    So I do get what they were saying. I think it sometimes takes fresh eyes to point out the reality of things, instead of those of us who are so into Disney we don't see it clearly.

    Now, obviously I went back and had a totally different experience, and kept going.

    But, I will say from my perspective things have changed mightily. It's not as clean as it used to be, the CMs are not nearly as well trained, the prices are stupidly high for lower quality, the merchandise on offer is all generic and overpriced for it's quality, they've ruined dining, and I think it's completely asinine that a theme park charges people for changing their minds about meals!

    I know the other night the weather was HORRIBLE, terrible downpour and deadly lightning strikes every few seconds for over 2 hours. Cape May had 13 no shows in the thick of the worst of the storm. Those people are still going to be charged!

    I cling to my love of Disney, but cognitive dissonance is definitely a factor.

    I don't want to face the reality that WDW has changed markedly over the past 15 years, and I for one do not find it for the better.

    Sorry you asked now, aren't you?






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  6. #6
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    I think crowds and money are the most off putting things!! Its just crazy expensive now to get into disney, once you get in there you find there are so many other people there that you spend so much time queuing - none of it seems worthwhile. The only time it doesnt seem so bad is if you have one of the 14/21 day tickets so that you dont have the pressure of doing things all in one day - we never buy one of those tickets and its only on our 4th visit that we didnt feel so pressured.
    Everything seems to be about money too, all the merchandise is expensive (and the prices still get me, i still expect to pay what the tag says and i get to the checkout and its more cus of tax - when will i remember that?!) and they want to ensure they dont miss out on money so now charge you to cancel meals with them!

    I can understand why your friend didnt stay onsite tbh, we never have and spend most of our time at US/IOA/SW etc - and we love it!



  7. #7
    Administrator Wendy's Avatar
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    we've recommended it to friends and they have come back and not been impressed at all. I always feel bad now and if someone asks my opinion I tell them it isn't for everyone and explain my reasons.

    It has changed so much from when we first went, it was all I imagined it would be and more and when we came home I was comparing things to WDW for a while, how clean the toilets were, how friendly staff were etc.

    I have stayed onsite once at the Poly; I had always seen it from the monorail and said that I wanted to stay there one day. When the opportunity arrived and we went to check in, the bubble burst. We had a horrible room that overlooked the little car park on the side; it was dark and needed to be re-decorated. We were kept awake all night because of the family in the next room shouting and their kids screaming.

    The next morning Chris went and spoke to a cast member on reception and we were moved to another room which was much better. I'd heard stories of towel animals and other little things that happened, I made envelopes for housekeeping and left them on the dresser every day, I know you shouldn't expect it but we never did get a towel animal We came back to the room on 3 occasions and the door to the room hadn't been closed properly so we were able to just push it and walk in. The bathroom wasn't cleaned and all in all I was so disappointed I wanted to check out

    We go back every year but we seem to spend less and less time at the parks, they aren't as clean as they used to be, the CMs are definitely less friendly, but there is always the exception to the rule and there are some really nice CMs as well.

    I used to love buying gifts for people that you could only get from each specific park, not you can get the same thing everywhere even DTD

    As for the dining aspect, I think Disney had to do something because of free dining people were booking 3 or more reservations for the same time on the same night. The deposit has stopped this to a certain extent, but again in the case of Cape May, if people had phoned and said it was because of the weather then I think Disney should have refunded their deposits.

    I don't know what the answer is, but it's certainly not the Disney I fell in love with anymore









    If ever there is a tomorrow when we're not together.......
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  8. #8
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    Is it bad to think, "one less person that won't be on HM when I want to"?

  9. #9
    Administrator Wendy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by foreverducky, post: 282602
    Is it bad to think, "one less person that won't be on HM when I want to"?
    well that's one way to think of it









    If ever there is a tomorrow when we're not together.......
    there is something you must always remember.
    You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.
    But the most important thing is, even if we're apart...... I'll always be with you.
    Winne the Pooh - A A Milne



    A friend is a hand that is always holding yours,
    no matter how close or far apart you may be.
    A friend is someone who is always there and will always, always care.
    A friend is a feeling of forever in the heart.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Esmeralda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by foreverducky, post: 282602
    Is it bad to think, "one less person that won't be on HM when I want to"?
    Yes that's very bad, go and sit on the norty step and don't come off until I say you can....




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