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Old 08-02-2010, 07:22 PM   #46
rie'smom
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Food quality has definitely hit the skids. We're hungry, it's food so we eat it-period. The food used to be unique and delicious. My FIL's gourmet group took a trip to eat at the Epcot restaurants in the 1990's These are men that traveled all over the world to eat at various restaurants. They thought the food was gourmet quality at the restaurants. Today, if he was alive he would not be impressed. Heck, i'm not even close to a gourmet and I think it's pretty awful.

The other big decline is CMs. Some are still super nice and wonderfully helpful. The past several years though I have noticed CMs complaining to each other about petty things when guests are around. There have been disagreements right in front of us. This would not have happened in the past. Also, we were staying club level at a resort a couple of years ago and the concierge was reading a book. He looked at my husband and me and started reading again. After about 5 minutes he finally put down his book with a heavy sigh. Sorry to be a bother but we wanted to ask about reservations and that was his job. Again behavior that would not have existed at a WDW resort once upon a time.

Also cleanliness is an issue. 3 times I've been in bathrooms in the parks reached for the tp and almost touched bm. The people doing this are totally disgusting. The CMs need to keep it clean.

We still love Disney World though and are hoping these things improve.
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Old 08-02-2010, 07:26 PM   #47
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We have been going often since 1975. I think the main "downhill" that I notice is people's expectaions, need to vent, great is never good enough, etc. The advent of the internet gives everyone the ability, and certainly the right to share every thought and emotion about their trip. 10 years ago, that was not the case.

We have noticed lots of changes in the park. I would estimate 95 % of them for the better. We will continue to go, and report in our Pollyanna mentality. We have great trips, or we would not keep going back.

((

We have great trips too. It's just the decline in food service while raising pricing and a few other things that kind of bother us. On the whole scheme of things Disney is great! But, the above issues I stated in my opening post are a bit much, especially the food and the CL services. But, yes, we do have a great time at Disney! We're heading back on Thursday to stay at the Wilderness Lodge.
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Old 08-02-2010, 07:27 PM   #48
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I don't know it I would say it's an all out downhill slide...We've been 4 times since Dec 2007 and I can say I've always been happy with the food (at least the adult meals - I do wish there was a bit more variety for kids, and so does my dd!).

I will say that I don't like the changes to the DDP - I wish they would at least give you the choice between an appetizer or a dessert, instead of just the dessert.

And housekeeping has been inconsistent over our 4 trips...the best on our first trip, the worst on our last this May at CBR.
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Old 08-02-2010, 07:32 PM   #49
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It used to be you could go to Cinderellas Castle and order from a menu a la carte. Last time we tried to make a standby reservation we were told all we could have was a prix fixe of something around $53/person for lunch. No idea what it was, we couldn't get in. Is that something to do with the DDP?
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Old 08-02-2010, 07:35 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by BunsenH View Post
I was at WDW in January and didn't notice much 'downhill'.

IF services are cut and prices are increasing, let's not automatically blame 'the economy'. Disney stock is up about 30% in the last year. If they are cutting back or charging too much, they are choosing to do so to benefit their shareholders (of which I am one) more than their guests.

Disney stock basically tracks the market (large indices) -- and thus to a fair degree the economy at large (though there are lag issues). The stock is "up 30%" from the major down point it saw in 2009. Many of the issues cited by OP seem to me linked directly with the economy (e.g. fewer Spectro nights), rather than signs of a major decline in quality, for instance.

Given Disney's "core principles" (quality among them), I think there is a line below which they will not dip. Though no organization is perfect, this is a darned good one - a model for many companies and business schools around the world.

All that to say that I have faith. The company's long-term ability to make big money is rooted in maintaining quality. Leadership ultimately has proven to realize this at this firm.
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Old 08-02-2010, 07:41 PM   #51
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To add to my previous post:

Gas has increased from $1.78 a gallon to $2.78 a gallon since 2005. Since that time, Disney has implemented Magical Express. That's a tremendous service. It's also a smart business move, as it encourages people to stay onsite and never leave. But I feel this makes my relationship with Disney mutually beneficial. Because of ME, I don't have to take booster seats for my kids. I don't have to carry my bags, rent a car, carry my bags, check in, carry my bags, check out, carry my bags, return the car, etc. For a family that always goes to WDW with at least one infant in tow, this is a spectacular service. In return, I stay onsite at all times and spend all of my vacation dollars there. (Except for WWHP this time around!)

Some might complain about the loss of things like prime rib at Boma (again, something our family would never notice) but personally I'm just thrilled that they have not cut ME or the constant free transportation throughout WDW, even in light of massive increases in gas costs.

ALSO, I'd MUCH rather they cut things out elsewhere than cut out things like nightly fireworks!

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Old 08-02-2010, 07:47 PM   #52
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I'm not sure I'd categorize Disney as going downhill either. We are AP holders, and spend several weeks per year there as well, so as regulars we've noticed changes - some positive and some not so positive:

Dining - Used to eat 2-3 TS meals per day, but not anymore. We did the regular DP and DxDP a few times, as hubby wanted to check them out, but we much prefer TIW (DDE). I will though say, that food and service have gone downhill over the years. Not sure if it's the DP, but after having eaten at pretty much every restaurant on property, we've noticed a decline in TS dining.

CMs - Have noticed a change in tone and attitudes with CMs as well. Have witnessed rude behaviour to guests, talking about guests aloud, complaints, etc. Some CMs seem downright bothered by guests, and this is not acceptable at all.

Prices - Prices go up, and quality goes down. Have already discussed food, but merchandise is another. Oh, boy! The quality of Disney merchandise is horrendous. But, people continue to snap the stuff up, so I can't see this changing anytime soon.

Surcharges - Fees and surcharges are a big pain. This year, dining surcharge/upcharge for the summer was 1st week of June - Aug 15 (OP's dates were incorrect, as they change each year). We have no choice but to pay them, as we use TIW, and character meals are important to us, as we have young kids. Disney though doesn't advertise them at all, and just hits the guests with higher meal prices. We saw people leave their ADRs as they chose not to dine there as the higher meal prices were out of their budget.

Cleanliness/Maintenance - Have noticed a decline in this area as well - washrooms, parks, resorts, etc. Our DVC housekeeping is sometimes horrible, and this is an area that I've seen get worse over the past few years. During our trips in March, and a few weeks ago, we noticed more broken down rides/attractions/monorail issues, than ever before. Is this due to maintenance cutbacks? Not sure...?

Overall, we continue to enjoy our Disney vacations. As DVC members, and AP holders, we go with the flow, but we have noticed small declines or changes over the years. I wouldn't categorize Disney as going downhill though, as they have improved in other areas, by adding new and exciting products or events that weren't there before.

I think Disney is continually evolving, and some issues are positive, whereas others are negative, but I wouldn't say Disney as a whole is going downhill or in a bad state across the board. I will say though that Disney needs to be careful with major areas such as dining, entertainment and housekeeping, as too many cutbacks in these areas will absolutely impact negatively on guest vacations.

Tiger

Last edited by Tiger926; 08-02-2010 at 08:10 PM.
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Old 08-02-2010, 08:00 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rie'smom View Post
Food quality has definitely hit the skids. We're hungry, it's food so we eat it-period. The food used to be unique and delicious. My FIL's gourmet group took a trip to eat at the Epcot restaurants in the 1990's These are men that traveled all over the world to eat at various restaurants. They thought the food was gourmet quality at the restaurants. Today, if he was alive he would not be impressed. Heck, i'm not even close to a gourmet and I think it's pretty awful.

The other big decline is CMs. Some are still super nice and wonderfully helpful. The past several years though I have noticed CMs complaining to each other about petty things when guests are around. There have been disagreements right in front of us. This would not have happened in the past. Also, we were staying club level at a resort a couple of years ago and the concierge was reading a book. He looked at my husband and me and started reading again. After about 5 minutes he finally put down his book with a heavy sigh. Sorry to be a bother but we wanted to ask about reservations and that was his job. Again behavior that would not have existed at a WDW resort once upon a time.

Also cleanliness is an issue. 3 times I've been in bathrooms in the parks reached for the tp and almost touched bm. The people doing this are totally disgusting. The CMs need to keep it clean.

We still love Disney World though and are hoping these things improve.
GREAT POST! I totally concur with your findings.
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Old 08-02-2010, 08:02 PM   #54
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Just curious...

Those of you who have had cleanliness issues, what time of year do you generally go?

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Old 08-02-2010, 08:03 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger926 View Post
I'm not sure I'd categorize Disney as going downhill either. We are AP holders, and spend several weeks per year there as well, so as regulars we've noticed changes - some positive and some not so positive:

Dining - Used to eat 2-3 TS meals per day, but not anymore. We did the regular DP and DxDP a few times, as hubby wanted to check them out, but we much prefer TIW (DDE). I will though say, that food and service have gone downhill over the years. Not sure if it's the DP, but after having eaten at pretty much every restaurant on property, we've noticed a decline in TS dining.

CMs - Have noticed a change in tone and attitudes with CMs as well. Have witnessed rude behaviour to guests, talking about guests aloud, complaints, etc. Some CMs seem downright bothered by guests, and this is not acceptable at all.

Prices - Prices go up, and quality goes down. Have already discussed food, but merchandise is another. Oh, boy! The quality of Disney merchandise is horrendous. But, people continue to snap the stuff up, so I can't see this changing anytime soon.

Surcharges - Fees and surcharges are a big pain. This year, dining surcharge/upcharge for the summer was 1st week of June - Aug 15 (OP's dates were incorrect, as they change each year). We have no choice but to pay them, as we use TIW, and character meals are important to us, as we have young kids. Disney though doesn't advertise them at all, and just hits the guests with higher meal prices. We saw people leave their ADRs as they chose not to dine there as the higher meal prices were out of their budget.

Cleanliness - Have noticed a decline in this area as well - washrooms, parks, resorts, etc. Our DVC housekeeping is sometimes horrible, and this is an area that I've seen get worse over the past few years.

Overall, we continue to enjoy our Disney vacations. As DVC members, and AP holders, we go with the flow, but we have noticed small declines or changes over the years. I wouldn't categorize Disney as going downhill though, as they have improved in other areas, by adding new and exciting products or events that weren't there before.

I think Disney is continually evolving, and some issues are positive, whereas others are negative, but I wouldn't say Disney as a whole is going downhill or in a bad state.

Tiger
Hi Tiger! Another great post. I had no idea the surcharge was June through August 15! Sheesh that's when we'll be there. I may have to cancel a buffet or two. We also have the TIW, which really is a good deal. THanks for the heads up.

Brunette
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Old 08-02-2010, 08:12 PM   #56
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Very interesting story! Thanks for the post friar!
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Old 08-02-2010, 08:12 PM   #57
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Hi Tiger! Another great post. I had no idea the surcharge was June through August 15! Sheesh that's when we'll be there. I may have to cancel a buffet or two. We also have the TIW, which really is a good deal. THanks for the heads up.

Brunette
You are most welcome! Don't quote me on the exact date it ends in August (I have it written down in my DVC file, but that's downstairs at the moment), but I believe it's the day before free dining begins. You can call Dining Dept. and they'll give you the exact prices for your meals, as this might help you. What buffets do you have planned?

Have a wonderful trip, Tiger
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Old 08-02-2010, 08:12 PM   #58
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Hmmmm, well our first trip ever was in April and we loved every minute and every aspect of Disney! LOVED LOVED LOVED! We thought everything was perfect, well worth the money and we can't wait to go back to this magical place!!! CMs were AWESOME, the place was clean and neat as a pin and everyone was happy all the time! Maybe we are blind because we are newbies, but hey, ignorance is bliss!
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:01 PM   #59
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What I have noticed most is the cut-backs in the "extras" that used to be so much fun. For example, I remember when Fantasmic was new, there was pre-show entertainment. They had a juggler and a magician, and there was something to watch while you were sitting there for an hour, waiting for F! to start. "Four for a Dollar" used to entertain while you waited for "Beauty and the Beast" to begin. There were far more "street entertainers", whether it was role actors at DHS or native/traditional bands in WS (I can remember clearly doing the "chicken dance" with about 500 others outside of Germany). Sword in the Stone is gone, magicians and jugglers are gone, even Storytime with Belle is disappearing! I know that some people think BBB and Pirates League are great, and they are, but they are a separate cost, and they are expensive. Disney used to make magic in the parks for EVERYONE to enjoy, once they bought their park pass. There just isn't much of that left anymore. I miss all this stuff!
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:16 PM   #60
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You are most welcome! Don't quote me on the exact date it ends in August (I have it written down in my DVC file, but that's downstairs at the moment), but I believe it's the day before free dining begins. You can call Dining Dept. and they'll give you the exact prices for your meals, as this might help you. What buffets do you have planned?

Have a wonderful trip, Tiger
**

Hi! Okay I just called Disney Dining. Boma is $37.29 for dinner. Nope sorry, we're cancelling. Back in 2007 Boma dinner was $25.99. There is no way I'm paying this for a dinner, especiallhy without the prime rib. Is there no end to the lunacy? This is the thing that really gets on my nerves. Oh, well like someone else said on this thread that they talk with their dollars. I think that's what we are going to do. We made a reservation for Shula's and I did get a coupon for $25.00 off 2 entrees. Restaurant.com has excellent deals on restaurants surrounding DTD. My dollars will be going there. Thanks again Tiger, I just thought the buffet surcharges were May through July4, boy was I wrong.

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