Why is Disney ruining things?

Discussion in 'Walt Disney World and Disney Springs' started by Slowhand, Dec 27, 2014.

  1. Slowhand

    Slowhand Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    On our recent trip to WDW, we were amazed at how the Disney experience is not what it used to be.
    First they made it nigh on impossible to dine anywhere on site unless you make ADR`s months before you visit....heck I don`t know where to have dinner the next day let alone 6 months in advance!
    We even needed a reservation for breakfast at the GF or face a 35 minute wait, whereas we used to be seated within 5/10 minutes

    Next, because of the pesky dining plans, many of the full service restaurants have downgraded their menus and yet increased the prices even more. A very good CM friend of ours told us that the restaurant managers are constantly adding a few cents here and there on everything on a regular basis....presumably to fund the "free" dining options.

    To cap it all, why mess around with the Fastpass system?
    For example, as my DW only does a few of the rides, on arriving at Epcot we always used to get a Fastpass for Soarin` [one of the few rides that she enjoys] on arrival at the park, returning a few hours later to do the ride.
    On this trip however there was a 120 minute wait for the standby line for Soarin` and no more fast passes were being issued...and this was at around 10.15 am !!!!
    The same applied to the 7 Dwarfs ride at MK and the Toy Story ride at DHS.

    It seems that nowadays you spend a fortune to get into the parks and unless you arrive as soon as the parks open, all you can do is just walk around or spend most of the time standing in line.

    The Magic Bands also gave us problems, as it took us over 30 minutes to check in at the GF as they faffed around trying to get the darn things operational....how about simple room key cards Disney?

    Fortunately DCL have escaped most of this and are as great as they always have been

    Rant over!!!
     
  2. Esmeralda

    Esmeralda Well-Known Member

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    I know :( I'm dreading it next year as to how to go on. I won't know what I want to do or eat until I'm over there and I don't want my days regimented to the point of I have to be at point A to eat at a certain time. Sod that malarkey. I'm on holiday not on an assault course.
     
  3. Slowhand

    Slowhand Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    That`s just how it feels now Esme. :furious:
     
  4. keith

    keith Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I said exactly the same when I got back :yes:

    I do still love it. Nothing like watching the fireworks at EPCOT with a glass of champagne or seeing the castle at the end of the night with snow falling on main street.

    However, wow, they're stretching my patience. For the Nov trip we tried to book be our guest in May at guest relations and there were absolutely no reservations available. Now, that's 6 months out and they were explaining that reservations went within minutes of being online for onsite guests who could book 6month+10 days or whatever it is now.

    How different from the days when we arrived at EPCOT and just wandered around till we felt hungry and just chose any restaurant we felt like, even Le Cellier.

    Talking of Le Cellier, we arrived for a 9pm ADR and the lady said do you have reservations, we said yes, you could see her thinking damn.... ok it's going to be about an hours wait and we close soon after so if you want to try somewhere else? Well no not really:/ given no where else had any ADRs and we booked this 6months ago! We were then rushed through the whole meal.

    It all felt a lot more like "crowd control" during parades/fireworks as well. OK it's ALWAYS been crowd control, but they've been nice at it, this time they were *serious* and being quite nasty in some cases as well.

    I think it comes down to too many people there now willing to pay whatever is asked and Disney are more than happy to take it. Everything is now about taking the money in the most efficient way possible... get everyone booked in and every meal sown up 6 mths ahead.
     
  5. MystikPiglit

    MystikPiglit Active Member

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    Well, we had a completely different experience. This was our best trip so far. I managed to make the ADRs we wanted between 4 weeks and 2 days out from our trip. Also 2 while we were there. We had no long waits for seating and even got into Ohana's 15minutes before our time slot.
    I got 2 bookings at BOG shortly before and during our visit.
    Our check in at Saratoga was the easiest we've ever had.
    We liked the magic bands and thought it made the whole time much easier.
     
  6. Dawn

    Dawn New Member

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    We're seriously thinking of making our next Florida trip a "no theme park" visit precisely because of all the changes going on right now. Was bad enough last time having to book meals 6 months out but now with magic bands and FP+ malarkey it's becoming far too regimented, even for me. And Universal is a no-go area too as we stay off site so get pushed to the back of the very long lines for everything there. Last year standby lines were over an hour for most things because hotel guests get priority and they sell the express pass which we refuse to buy after paying over $100 each to get through the gate to start with. I honestly don't think I would enjoy a theme park trip right now.
     
  7. Wendy

    Wendy A hui hou kakou Makuakane Staff Member Administrator

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    I know where you are coming from Terry and I'm with you Dawn, I'm looking into booking flights for next year and initially it was going to be later this year and then in 2016 if we can afford to go, we would go early to take advantage of Annual Passes. After talking about it last night, we aren't sure we will bother with the Parks, we ride very little and all we do is walk round and it's a heck of a lot of money to just walk round. I think I will miss it, especially Epcot but I just don't know.

    There are so many other things to do, it's going to be a long discussion about whether to bother with Disney at all.

    Sorry for people who love Disney, I do love it, honestly, I just object to the way it's become all about making money and not about the magic anymore. It's people like the locals and us that kept it going in the hard times, buy Disney seems to have forgotten that :sigh:
     
  8. Tink

    Tink Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    For taking a break there are still some things that you can do to give you a Disney feel. There is Disney Springs, of course. You can visit all the resorts, maybe have a meal at one or two. And remember, you can take the monorail for free from the TTC around and about.

    We've been out of the parks for several months now, with one exception when relatives came in the summer. That experience (one day visit to MK) was pretty dismal. We still miss things, but remind ourselves it's our memories of the former days and ways that we are missing.

    I'm truly happy for you Mystik!!! :yes: :hug2: It's really good to know that Disney can still provide a good experience sometimes. :yes:
     
  9. keith

    keith Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I agree :yes: As much as I feel let down in many ways, I do love reading good experiences. I wonder if perhaps I'm just seeing the bad because I'm getting a bit cynical about it all.

    You raise very good points about annual passes and things though. In the past, staying on site, it was easy. I had to have the passes. Now, staying in a villa, it's much more an Orlando/Florida holiday than a park one so should I be giving so much money to Disney just to walk around and see the odd fireworks :/ Don't know.
     
  10. Isafari

    Isafari Well-Known Member

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    Now.....I like the FP+ system. In the summer it doesn't matter so much to me but being here at this time of year it does. The parks often reach capacity and to get FPs you had to be there really early to get anything. Now, I know I can at least get on three attractions without the worry as they are already booked.
     
  11. keith

    keith Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    How early do you find you're having to book them to make sure you get them Issy? On the day? day before? or month before?
     
  12. Tony G

    Tony G Active Member

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    I don't book ADRs, I never have. Being a vegetarian, I'm too cheap to spend good money on food that's rarely any different from anywhere else where it's half the price.

    FastPasses, however, are a topic close to my heart. I quite liked the old system but I do like that there is now no need to go hiking around the park to get your next FP. My November trip was the first using FP+ and yes, it did glitch a little when trying to claim my additional FPs in a second park but otherwise was acceptable.

    In truth, it will take a lot for me to stop doing my usual routine of getting there early and riding all the headliners as soon as possible to queue the least.
     
  13. Isafari

    Isafari Well-Known Member

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    I book them on the day they become available for offsite guests
     
  14. Wendy

    Wendy A hui hou kakou Makuakane Staff Member Administrator

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    Stupid advance booking again! How am I supposed to know what I want to ride and when so far in advance.

    I think Disney want I sure guests only, day visitors will become less and less :( rant over :redface:
     
  15. Tink

    Tink Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Yep, the day visitor is clearly not very important to WDW, and that is the bulk of the local folks (you know, those who kept WDW afloat in the lean, early times).
     
  16. piglet

    piglet Well-Known Member

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    The last few times we have been there have been 6 of us and in 2016 there will be 7 so in lots of ways we have to be fairly organised. I generally make a list of 'must do' restaurants (e.g. Cali Grill, Yachtsman Steakhouse, Cape May and a couple of others) I aim to book at 180 days. Let's face it if we were going to have tea at The Ritz we would have to book a year in advance. Now I know Disney restaurants aren't anything like the Ritz but I do think they are good. We all our do own thing during the day, and in the late afternoon/evening meet up in the lounge at BC (Martha's Vineyard I think it's called) have a drink and then on to wherever we have booked. My DS has the job of booking FP's the night before and on our last visit we got everyone that we wanted so I have nothing but good things to say about them. I think there were about 8 restaurants that we didn't book in advance and we asked concierge staff to get us in to a couple that we hadn't booked and the rest we just turned up for. We never had to wait longer than 5 or 10 minutes to wait before we were seated. So for us this last holiday was absolutely perfect and it didn't take a lot of effort if I'm honest.
     
  17. Vikki

    Vikki Well-Known Member

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    I'm actually looking forward to trying Fp+. When we go in October it'll be the first time in years we're not doing the dining plan. We're just going to do counter service, to maximise our time during the week.
    I'm excited to be doing things differently next time.
     
  18. Tink

    Tink Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Will look forward to hearing how it goes, Vikki! I do like some of the counter service restaurants in WDW. :yes:
     
  19. perchy

    perchy New Member

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    It's definitely an advance planning kind of trip. I enjoy making fast passes and adrs. And if you are diligent (read, a little obsessive) you can still some reservations you want closer to the time. They give paying Disney guests the best advantage, so it's fair that way.

    It does require a solid understanding of how the system works tho. Disney isn't a last minute trip without knowledge.

    I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it. :(
     
  20. Slowhand

    Slowhand Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    It was not a last minute trip without knowledge as we have been going to WDW almost every year since 1982, sometimes visiting several time a year as we now own a villa in Orlando.
    We have totally supported Disney along the way, even becoming DVC members soon after it began in 1992 and despite owning our villa, we are regular guests at the GF and know many of the CM`s throughout WDW.

    What I was really stating was how in my opinion, the place is not what it used to be due to the numerous changes that have taken place over the years, many of which have had a negative effect on the experience IMHO.
     

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