A Mickey From The UK Facebook Group member asked, "Those of you who visit Disney world frequently, what is it actually like there at the moment in comparison to 3 years ago? We are booked to go but all of the negativity we are seeing is really putting us off."
After coming back from our 3 and half-week Florida trip - and my last trip also being 3 years ago - I am in a good position to accurately answer this question, at least from my perspective and experience. In summary, the answer is yes, but with some caveats.
The "magic" depends on what the "magic" is to you. Is it watching fireworks? Getting a character hug? Having a cast member gives you a sticker? The general atmosphere of the parks? If you were to write down what makes Walt Disney World magical to you, I think you'll find most - if not all- of those things are still there and present.
If it's watching fireworks at the Magic Kingdom, the magic and tingles are still there. Sure, Disney Enchantment doesn't quite match up to Happily Ever After (but that is returning in the Spring), but the finale is still beautiful.
Is it getting character hugs? The characters are as good as ever. They're still so good and amazingly playful. Here's an example of Pluto wanting the photo by himself, and the effect your favourite characters have on you.
Is it the atmosphere? For just one example, sitting in EPCOT and watching the world go by is still one of my favourite things to do. The new light show on the ball is just stunning- I could sit and watch for hours.
Amazing moments? We had Donald & Daisy on the parade noticing our Donald & Daisy Halloween party costumes. These magical moments still happen.
However, there are three, let's say, hurdles, that impact the "magic". Crowds, the cost, and planning changes. The park reservation system, park hopping limitations, Genie+, etc, are added hassles to the way you experience the parks now. It's still quite crowded at Walt Disney World, and Disney knows this. It's why they're increasing their prices so rapidly and have introduced dynamic pricing to try and spread crowds throughout the year. Even with the recent price increase, it's still quite busy. What a problem for a business to have, right? Following that is probably one of the main reasons people are upset, the cost. Which is only made worse by the poor GBP>USD exchange rates right now. Every time Disney increases prices, your cost-to-magic ratio limit might be reached. What's worse is the more you have to pay, the higher (even subconsciously) your expectations are- which is a vicious cycle. The cost might kill the magic for some (understandably), but the magic is still in the parks.
In summary, the magic is still very there much. It's just costing us all much more with some extra hurdles to experience it.
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