Responding To "Here is why my family is finally done with the parks" Article
Insider posted an article titled "Here's why my family is finally done with the parks." I always enjoy these articles that get mainstream attention, so I'm going to go through her points and see if I can offer any counters.
"My family and I have reached our breaking point with Disney World" she begins. They are/were silver annual passholders that cost them $2,100 a year for the whole family. That's the price of just three 14-day tickets from the UK, and they get to go all year round?! "Over the past three years, the way I feel about Disney World has changed, and our experiences in the parks have, in my opinion, gotten worse." she continued, let's see why.
1) The crowds have become difficult for us to deal with
"The number of people at the parks these days feels overwhelming." and "The days of hopping on a ride with little-to-no wait are over." I don't think we've just been hopping on all the rides since the 90's. If you're reading this, you likely love Walt Disney World, and it's not hard to conclude that many other people love it as well. The fact that Disney has been increasing prices to help reduce demand so the parks aren't so crowded - yet are still crowded - is testament to how much we all love to go- and will continue to pay a bit more.
2) The days of impromptu Disney trips are long gone because of the park-reservation system
Yeah, there's no sugar coating this one. The park reservation system needs to go.
3) The confusing, expensive Lightning Lane service only makes the wait times for rides worse
It is all overly complicated. Disney know this though, hence them adding 6 video guides about the service in My Disney Experience. It's complicated because they wanted more money for the top-tier rides. The Disneyland Paris Premier Access (love it or hate it) is a lot less complicated. Every attraction has an à la carte price to "skip the line". The fact they wanted a set price service that includes some attractions, and an à la carte option for others, coupled with having a "free" service with the same name which doesn't have anything to do with line skipping... is just such a mess. Even typing that out and thinking it through makes me roll my eyes, I can't even fathom how a casual visitor must feel with it all.
4) Technology is taking over the parks
I don't mind the introduction of more technology. However, the infrastructure has to be there. The WiFi is often spotty at best, and the apps do sometimes go haywire and just won't behave. It's handy to pull out your phone to quickly check show times or wait times, but with more reliance on these systems, they need to be in top-notch working order.
5) I feel like there are even fewer interactions with employees
I'm about to go on my first post-pandemic WDW trip, so I can't speak for how things are now. So I'll just have to take her word for this until I experience it myself. I'll be sure to come back and add my thoughts.
6) I feel like I'm spending more money for fewer perks
Prices always go up. It's not unreasonable for that to happen. You can't expect Toy Story Land, Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, Guardians Of The Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind etc to all be built and the ticket prices remain the same. With Extra Magic Hours replaced, Disney's Magical Express gone, complimentary MagicBands gone, reduced housekeeping etc, this is a common argument at the moment. I don't mind paying more, but I'm not a fan of paying more and getting less, and I fear what it's going to do to the experience going forward. On the flip side, you're not paying for "perks" per se. Just because things aren't how they used to be, you're paying for whatever service Disney is offering at this time.
"I am heartbroken to say goodbye to Disney World, my happy place, and I cried over the decision not to renew our annual passes. But it's time for my family to move on." To be honest, this is what Disney is trying to do right now. That's one less family with annual passes in the parks, thus reducing crowds! Believe me, when they need to increase demand and attract people back, they will. For now, the biggest complaint is crowding, so at the moment it's going to be more pricey than usual. I know this makes people mad- especially if they've been priced out. Time will tell what will happen, especially with this economic cycle we're currently going through. It's still my favourite place in the world to visit, and I can't wait to go again!
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