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Old 08-02-2010, 11:53 PM   #76
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We don't go to a ton of different theme parks but we go to our fair share and I'll just say this in Disney's defense.....they seem to at least try to make sure you are get your money's worth. When it comes to most parks, all I can think about when I leave is how ripped off I feel. When it comes to WDW all I can think about is how long it will be till I can bring the family back.
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Old 08-03-2010, 12:03 AM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyFL View Post
We don't go to a ton of different theme parks but we go to our fair share and I'll just say this in Disney's defense.....they seem to at least try to make sure you are get your money's worth. When it comes to most parks, all I can think about when I leave is how ripped off I feel. When it comes to WDW all I can think about is how long it will be till I can bring the family back.
I wonder if this also contributes to the raised prices. I have seen (IRL and on the boards) people complain/lie to a CM to get something for free. It adds up.

I have noticed a lot of the same things others notice. I miss the pre-DDP days and I miss the lights at Epcot, but most of all I miss the attention to detail. I NEVER used to see so much graffiti and litter, but now it is invading my beloved parks! (esp. Soarin FP lane!) I still love Disney but it does take some of the magic away. Honestly, I'd rather them raise prices and bring the park back to its cleaner heyday.
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Old 08-03-2010, 01:43 AM   #78
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I miss the lights at epcot. I miss the appetizer and tip on the DDp. I miss the frozen coke at pop. I miss the great, flat french fries at the maya pool at coronado.
and I do notcie the parks aren't as clean. and often the CMS aren't knowledgable .
there is still So much I love about WDW. just responding to the thread topic.
I agree that, in this economy, I can't believe they raised the ticket prices again, when parks like 6 flags, indiana beach, cedar point, are lowering their prices. (of course, we keep paying them)
last few times we saw spectro, there were fewer dancers, etc. between the floats. (butnow, of course, I miss spectro at all! please bring it back!)
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Old 08-03-2010, 06:33 AM   #79
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Old 08-03-2010, 06:47 AM   #80
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Personally, I don't think anything has slipped. I think you get used to things, and start to remember the past, as different, or perhaps "better" than it actually was.

We have been going for years, and frankly, I enjoy our trips, the service we get, the food, and the experience, as much, if not more, than ever! It's the reason we keep going back year after year. A Walt Disney World vacation is a BARGAIN compared to just about anything out there, especially considering what it is you are getting for your money.

For instance. We are heading down in a few weeks, , and doing an 11 day\10 night stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. For myself, wife, and two kids, with food included, it's running me just over 3K. Heck, I can't go to the Jersey shore for 11 days and spend less than that!

Sorry, can't agree at all with the OP. Disney has always been the best vacation spot on the planet, and always will be!
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Old 08-03-2010, 06:54 AM   #81
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This comes up a lot--I had a thread about this not so long ago. Things have changed for sure. Some for the better and some for the not-so-better. Sort of normal actually.

The problem is, some of the things they've change for the not-so-better are pretty big. For instance, one of the single worst changes they've made (imo--and it seems many others) is the dining plan. Yes, the food has gone WAY downhill since they started. They standardized on the same (crap) food throughout DW. No real variety like there used to be. I remember people always raving about the food and the choices in DW. I don't hear that much any longer.

Someone mentioned, if they had to pay the full price for the meals, they'd complain, too. Well, guess what else they did when they came up with the dining plan? They INCREASED the prices to encourage more people to buy into the dining plan.

Now, the plan was genius on their part. Their goal is to have you NEVER leave the property. The more time you spend on property, the more money you spend. The biggest reason (I'm guessing) people leave the property (who are staying at a DW resort) is for food. They took that part right out of the equation. Sure genius.

Unfortunately, the genius move was at the expense of food quality. That really is a shame because it doesn't have to be that way.

Another bi-product of the plan is it's next to impossible to get into most establishments (sit-down) unless you've planned your meals MONTHS in advance. I don't know what I'm eating tonight much less MONTHS from now! What causes the problem? Well, because it's so hard to get in. And because most people don't know what they're eating MONTHS from now, people make multiple reservations and they don't cancel the ones they aren't going to use. Not sure (exactly) how to fix that problem but it would help open more seats.

There are other things I miss but don't really impact the fun we have down there (except for maybe the lame recordings on the busses and the lame bus drivers). The plan is really my biggest gripe to be quite honest. I wish they'd do away with it and improve their food back to what it used to be.

I do miss other things. Here is a quick short list:

-e-ticket nights--much better than EMH. Less people, more fun.
-Nobody seems to give the kids the mickey stickers like they used to. Get them every so often but used to get them just for thinking about looking at a CM. Ok, that was a bit overboard but something in the middle would suffice.
-package delivery to your room. Remember this?
-Snickerdoodles. Still don't know why they stopped making these!
-riding in the front of the monorail. I know, it's for safety, but I (and my kids) miss it.
-baked potatoes in the little food market area towards ToT. Used to be a great snack.
-Ice Station Cool--nuff said.


There are a lot of good things they've done here is a short list of some things I think they did well:

-more refurbs going on--may be inconvenient at times but it keeps things fresh
-better attractions--they really have worked hard to give us better attractions. Some of the newer ones are really quite good.
-bus service seems to have gotten less spotty. Still hate the recordings and the boring drivers and why can't they just make each resort go into the same # bay in each park? Would make it less confusing.
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Old 08-03-2010, 07:23 AM   #82
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we have found housekeeping to be ridiculously inadequate the last few times we were there. All different hotels. For the price I pay, I expect my room to be spotless, not just OK.
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Old 08-03-2010, 07:38 AM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rotlex View Post
Personally, I don't think anything has slipped. I think you get used to things, and start to remember the past, as different, or perhaps "better" than it actually was.

We have been going for years, and frankly, I enjoy our trips, the service we get, the food, and the experience, as much, if not more, than ever! It's the reason we keep going back year after year. A Walt Disney World vacation is a BARGAIN compared to just about anything out there, especially considering what it is you are getting for your money.

For instance. We are heading down in a few weeks, , and doing an 11 day\10 night stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. For myself, wife, and two kids, with food included, it's running me just over 3K. Heck, I can't go to the Jersey shore for 11 days and spend less than that!

Sorry, can't agree at all with the OP. Disney has always been the best vacation spot on the planet, and always will be!
No kidding! It is crazy expensive to travel.

I am so glad the dining plan isn't offered for free when we go. I enjoy being able to walk in to whatever restaurant we like. The food is average, so we choose wisely.
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Old 08-03-2010, 07:51 AM   #84
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So why blame the dining plan?
WDW had "dining plans" in the past, but relatively few guests used them. There was not the widespread use you now see with the package add-on plan started in 2005. It's worked spectacularly for Disney because guests now book onsite just to get the dining plan. They book packages, so they're buying tickets from Disney, not discount brokers. Then, they have to eat at Disney. Fewer onsite guests run off to Universal for a day or so, because they need to eat at Disney.

I see the current widely popular dining plan as a symptom and not a cause - the food would have changed and been standardized under current management whether or not there was a dining plan. There is no widespread use of a prepaid dining plan at Disneyland (different majority guest demographic over there - they get more locals), and the same standardization of restaurant and bar offerings in food/beverage service areas run by Disney.

I may never forgive the WDW powers that be for shuttering the Adventurers Club. I could say gutting Pleasure Island but for me the whole area over there was about that one club.
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Old 08-03-2010, 08:01 AM   #85
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Last time we tried to book into DVC through RCI there was a $100 surcharge to use ME (even though we drive in), Internet (which is free at any fast food restaurant, gives you an idea of how much tht costs) and other worthless items which you would think should be included at the prices they charge for DVC membership. Do they charge DVC people also or is that just another way to gouge visitors?
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Old 08-03-2010, 08:15 AM   #86
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I think Magical Express is actually not a cost to Disney. I keeps you on property pretty much like the dining plan does. The main difference is really see is the cleanliness part. The parks, general public areas and hotel rooms in years past were much cleaner. Although prices have gone up, that's to be expected. I do think the mass use of the dining plan has lead to decreased quality in the TS restaurants as many have stated. I recall during my early visits in the late 70s and and early 80s the cleanliness of the parks etc. While we only ate in 2-3 TS per trip, the quality really was good. Now, even in the more elite TS (requiring 2 TS on dining plan) the food is really not that great. It's fine but not that wonderful. I know that's just my opinion, but the quality of food has decreased. I used to always have that can't wait to return feeling, now not so much. While I do love WDW, just not quite the yearning to be back right away.
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Old 08-03-2010, 08:19 AM   #87
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My two biggest complaints about WDW...

1. I hate seeing lights burned out or other general maintenance that is clearly not a "new" problem. Next time you walk down Main St., take a look at all the bulbs burned out that outline the building perimeters. By the sheer numbers, it is clear that they all didn't burn out since the previous evening. In fact, I would guess you could go to MK for an entire week and the same bulbs would be burned out your entire stay. How much does it cost to send a CM down Main St. each evening in a cherry picker and with a box(or two or three) of light bulbs?

2. Lack of new attractions. WDW knows they have problems with a lack of "major" attractions in DHS & AK, but other than TSM, what has been added in the two or three years, and even worse, nothing has been announced in terms of new attractions to be constructed in these parks. EC is also a problem in terms of new attractions, but should not come before the other two parks previously mentioned. Instead, all the expansion money is being funneled into "Princess Meet & Greet Land".
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Old 08-03-2010, 08:46 AM   #88
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I have been going to Disney since 1989. Overall, I don't notice a decline.

On our trip last year I noticed 2 things which bothered me. First is the removal of resort specific souvenirs.

Second when DDs and I were in a quiet pool at the resort I noticed a couple of tiles missing from the pool. That surprised me.

We still enjoy some TS meals and buffets.

I think part of the cleanliness problem is other guests. People don't think twice about dropping trash or trying to stuff more trash into a filled trash container.

DDs are teens now but I have no problem with stoller rental charges. If you don't like it just bring you own. When my girls were young I did both, rental and bringing our own.

Disney is still our vacation of choice. DH and I will be there in Nov and then next August we will be back with our girls.
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Old 08-03-2010, 08:47 AM   #89
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Originally Posted by Arielle22 View Post
I have been going to Disney since 1989. Overall, I don't notice a decline.

On our trip last year I noticed 2 things which bothered me. First is the removal of resort specific souvenirs.

S
Have they completely done away with resort specific souvenirs all together? Or are there just fewer?

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Old 08-03-2010, 08:56 AM   #90
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I try to keep reminding myself how, when in 2008 I came back to WDW after seventeen years absence, I was pleasantly amazed with how much of the place's dignity and charm had managed to survive the corporate profit maximization model.

As the years now go by that gets harder and harder, as more and more resorts and timeshares go up and less and less is done to invigorate the customer experience. There will be a tipping point, but I'm not there yet.
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