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Old 08-21-2010, 02:08 PM   #751
wanttobeinvienna
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I am impressed by the responses in this thread...they are all well stated, and obviously well thought out... (Don't expect that out of mine )

For me, in short, the answer is no...and I carried this conversation over to our family dinner (family being my family of DH, and 4 kids, my brother, his wife and 2 kids, sister, and our parents). We have all been to Disney World every year for the past 30+ years. My parents started taking us when we each turned 2, and now we carry that tradition on with our own children. There has been very little we have missed in the growth and changes of Disney. Each one of us landed on no, and that the opposite is true- Each trip is better than the last. Each trip has a little more magic, in more unexpected places.

In terms of decorations...here is my thought- and I certainly don't mean it sarcastically- Just because it happens one year, doesn't mean we should expect it the next year, and the next. We need to just relish and enjoy what we see in that moment- not compare and contrast it. Small example- I work in non-profit... Last Christmas we had about $5000 we had to dump- so we bought medical supplies for our clients- they were elated. This year we don't have that money in the budget- but we will still carry the wonderful services that we always provide. I don't want my clients to think we shortchanged them... I want them to celebrate and enjoy the gift we could give the previous year. That's how I look at the "extra's" at Disney- the entertainment, the decoration, etc. Disney still provides an amazing product. Sometimes there are amazing, unexpected perks... but we aren't being shortchanged when Disney can't provide that- their product is still really really outstanding.

Food- Well.... I like food- all cheap food- Like- I go to my kids school and have lunch with them on Pizza day, because I like the school rectangle pizza so much Greasy Chineese food is heaven , so I am not picky, and will be the first to admit, I would make a terrible food critic. We choose where we eat based on the park we are in and which characters we will see, so I don't notice a decline (although I am a bit bummed the mayonaise isn't blue at the Tomorrowland Terrace anymore!)

CM's- are one of my favorite parts of the trip- I have yet to have a negative experience... ever. Seriously... But then again- we keep our expectations real. If my kids spill their drink everywhere- we clean it up. If the rule is stay on the sidewalk because the parade is coming- we stay on the sidewalk... We keep it real- just like we would at home.

Cleanliness- I don't know- I don't see a decline here- sure I have seen an overflowing trash can- but only when it is crazy busy and all CM's are busy.. I have not ever seen blatant disregard by CM's. However, as someone many posts ago said... I have seen a lot of people walk and just drop trash, spill things and just walk away...etc. That frustrates me.

OK- So do I sound like Pollyanna yet? I really feel like we have the best in Disney, and I feel so lucky that as a family we can continue to experience it each year-

Our next trip is in 40 days - the 6 of us are going (2 adults and a 13, 11, 9, and 7 year old) for 6 days. It will cost us $78 per person per day, including food and hotel, and MNSSHP. That is still a steal!!

Go Disney!
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Old 08-21-2010, 03:06 PM   #752
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In terms of decorations...here is my thought- and I certainly don't mean it sarcastically- Just because it happens one year, doesn't mean we should expect it the next year, and the next. We need to just relish and enjoy what we see in that moment- not compare and contrast it.
Actually LOW were there for a while not just one year and we found out about them not to be installed right before season. Other decorations were also in a smaller ammount. With this being said, many people travel over holiday season specifically to see decorations, they spend money for that, so I cannot say, be happy with whatever left. I live in NY and if one year decarations here will be less, not a big deal, all I spend is $5 for a subway, but with Disney it would be $3,000 and it would be disapointing.
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Old 08-21-2010, 03:11 PM   #753
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Ok, one more idea and I'll be quiet for a while.

I want to talk about decline in an area that is precious to me....Christmas.

Over the years I have watched the resort decorations reduced. I remember when the Beach Club introduced it's current theme of smaller trees in blues and greens vs. the giant tree of read poinsettias in the lobby. I noticed the smart resort manager KEPT some of the retired decorations....one specific.....they had beautiful Christmas "sprays" on the walls on the far side of the gift shop heading to the rooms. The red sprays were there after the blue/green theme was introduced.

The old decorations were kept and put up in places where budget cuts prevented new decorations to be made. (DH is a castmember and we were chatting with the assistant manager and he talked about the cutbacks in resort decorations).

Remember the EPCOT Christmas tree was on a platform and each night the tree lighting included characters?

Ok....I have to carry the crisis hotline number this December for my husband.....Lights of Winter.

They used to have those beautiful Liberty Red Poinsettias in the planter boxes on top of ALL the trash boxes surrounding the EPCOT resorts.....and garlands ringing all the lamp posts.

We have a photo of the Christmas tree behind Boardwalk - between the building and the lake. It was so tall it made my DH look like a munchkin. The next year and since, it's about 8 feet.

I remember describing all the EPCOT decorations to my (at the time) fiance. It was his first Christmas at WDW. I told him how the Beach Club decorations began as you drove up to the entrance wth giant wreath out front...gone....decoratons on the breezeway walk to the busses......gone. At least the poinsettia trees and the poinsettias in the plantings are still there.

In our house I begin my Christmas planning in the summer....I make tree decorations each year for our family and this year I have (Ok, I know...not well) pretty much finished my shopping. I NOTICE Christmas decor everywhere.

I just notice each year when something I loved in the past....is gone. $$$ cuts make it difficult for Holiday Services to replace exhisting decorations at the same scale.

Sure it's still beautiful....but no question a decline from years past. Let's not forget that everything guests touch at WDW over the holidays is priced at a premium.....heck a standard room at BC goes from $325ish to over $500 p/night!

Disney's Holiday mantra ---- give 'em less, charge 'em more!


Ok, I'll give everyone a rest from my ramblings.
*
Hi! No, you're not rambling. Actually you make very valid points. Per my launch thread, and your contention Lights of Winter was just beautiful. I have no idea why they got rid of this amazing Christmas light attraction. It kind of reminded me of the lights at Rockefellor Center in NYC. It was pure magic walking through those lights from Future World to World Showcase. Last Christmas at EPCOT it just wasn't the same. Heck WDW made close to a billion dollars in profit last quarter. Not sure why they would not erect these lights. Someone also said during the Mickey's Christmas party and the Food and Wine Festival they would have amazing decorations, now they just use cheap cardboard cutouts! WHY? It's very frustrating to say the least. Especially while going to those parties. Once again people pay a premium for these, yet people are getting less and less. I understand the Halloween party a few years back used to be great with candy etc. Now last year the candy was slashed. And the types of candy was really downgraded. All this while increasing the price of the party! UGH!
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Old 08-21-2010, 03:15 PM   #754
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Eisner and food. I will give the nod for his vision.

Eisner actually created a division dedicated to improving the quality of the food offered at WDW. He wanted the bar raised so WDW would be considered a "foodie" destination. How do I know? I worked with a woman who was in that department.

They searched and hired some of the best chef's they could, gave them the budgets to create the reputations that many of the restaurants are riding on now.

Three years ago, when the first round of layoffs began, they slashed the budgets for the restaurants. Next they changed the rules for the chefs....cutting out more expensive cuts of meat for example. Now they "shop from the company store" and are told what to do vs. the creative element we enjoyed. Even worse, some of the food is cooked in a centeralized kitchen and delivered to the restaurants. Next time you are at Riverside's Boatrights.....know you are, for the most part, eating the same food, cooked in the same kitchen as CRT for 40% more over there. I use this as an example because on our last trip we ate at Boatrights (before seeing BOB---love Yehaa Bob) and the next night asked for a refund at CRT because we had the same menu as the night before for far less $$$).

It doesn't end there. Food and Wine festival.

One or our dearest Disney friends is a F&W addict. He has attended each one and knows many of the guest chef's very well. The stories he was told about their $$ cutbacks and new restrictions has him wondering if he wants to go to F&W at all this year.

We might not like Eisner....but he DID have a vision for dining at WDW and DL.

Now we get to eat Denny's food at WDW with different themes. (Ok, I admit it...when my 90 year old mother goes out to dinner....she often chooses Denny's. But it doesn't cost $36 p/psn for the buffet.)

....and don't forget the staff cutbacks the last two years.....which means fewer staff at the restaurants...and more stress for those still there.

What does it mean.....less quality in food options overall.
Interesting post,gives us all a little insight on what is happening at disney. At this point I just hope whoever is in charge starts to turn things aroung a little.
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Old 08-21-2010, 03:19 PM   #755
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I'm now sorry I didn't make it down for the past christmas seasons.I always wanted to go down then before the high season starts and just look at the lights,reading alot of the things here really disheartens me.
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Old 08-21-2010, 03:34 PM   #756
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I'm now sorry I didn't make it down for the past christmas seasons.I always wanted to go down then before the high season starts and just look at the lights,reading alot of the things here really disheartens me.
MK still has castle in ice and Osborne Lights still there. Disney is not naked during holidays but it less dressed.
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Old 08-21-2010, 03:38 PM   #757
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MK still has castle in ice and Osborne Lights still there. Disney is not naked during holidays but it less dressed.
Yes I would like to see those.Just not happy to hear about the reductions.It always looked so nice on travel channel.
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Old 08-21-2010, 03:50 PM   #758
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I'm now sorry I didn't make it down for the past christmas seasons.I always wanted to go down then before the high season starts and just look at the lights,reading alot of the things here really disheartens me.

I agree with Kelly.

The castle lights are spectacular - it reminded us of the old Disney days when they created experiences which were over the top.

Osborne Lights are GREAT....you will enjoy them.

Candelight Processional - our official beginning of the Christmas Season. If this doesn't get you in the mood....nothing will. Go to YouTube and search for.....Candelight Processional 2007: Marlee Matlin.....will bring you chills she is so good.


Last year, with LOW gone, we choose to visit DL for our post-Thanksgiving pilgrimage. Sleeping Beauty's castle lights are wonderful too. Did you know Walt named Sleeping Beauty's castle BEFORE they began working on the movie Sleeping Beauty. He had a plan.

This year we return to WDW and I have promised my DH that I'll have the crisis hotline number with us when we go into EPCOT for the first time without LOW. We ended each night at WDW with a stroll around WS after all the people were gone. Remember the short lady on the decorated scooter doing donuts around the plantings....to the music?

I don't want to discourage ANYONE from going at Christmas because it is the most magical time of year.

We just miss our friends......Country Bears Christmas, LOW, EPCOT tree lighting....sigh.
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Old 08-21-2010, 04:19 PM   #759
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I agree with Kelly.

The castle lights are spectacular - it reminded us of the old Disney days when they created experiences which were over the top.

Osborne Lights are GREAT....you will enjoy them.

Candelight Processional - our official beginning of the Christmas Season. If this doesn't get you in the mood....nothing will. Go to YouTube and search for.....Candelight Processional 2007: Marlee Matlin.....will bring you chills she is so good.


Last year, with LOW gone, we choose to visit DL for our post-Thanksgiving pilgrimage. Sleeping Beauty's castle lights are wonderful too. Did you know Walt named Sleeping Beauty's castle BEFORE they began working on the movie Sleeping Beauty. He had a plan.

This year we return to WDW and I have promised my DH that I'll have the crisis hotline number with us when we go into EPCOT for the first time without LOW. We ended each night at WDW with a stroll around WS after all the people were gone. Remember the short lady on the decorated scooter doing donuts around the plantings....to the music?

I don't want to discourage ANYONE from going at Christmas because it is the most magical time of year.

We just miss our friends......Country Bears Christmas, LOW, EPCOT tree lighting....sigh.
I guess the one thing I can be sort of happy about is if I haven't seen these things I guess I can't miss them!
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Old 08-21-2010, 07:57 PM   #760
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Hey All!
Brunette here. Okay, I'm a Disney freak, nut, etc. I'm obsessed with Walt Disney World. I love it there, so much that we go about 6 - 8 times a year. We are annual pass holders. But I'm getting alot of bad vibes as to what is really going on in the world and it's really starting to get me to wonder. Is Disney turning into a money machine, that is only interested in making a buck and forgetting about all it's fine customers/guests? Here is my reasoning, if you will:

Disney dining - They have increased all buffets services and lowered the quality of food, i.e. took off prime rib at Boma and a few other restaurants.

Disney CL Service - I've been reading that the food isn't what it used to be. Yet people pay a large premium for this. Food runs out and is not replenished etc.


Christmas attractions - Took away the lights at Epcot. It was just beautiful. It totally ruined the whole effect last Christmas season.

Nickel and Diming the guest - Holiday surcharges for buffets. Okay, I can understand Thanksgiving and Christmas. But Memorial Day through 4th of July too! It's just plain wrong.

Doubling the price of a stroller- Double stroller 1 1/2 years ago was $18.00 now it is over $30.00. If you multiply that by 7 days it's the price of a rent a car!

Ticket increases - Every August there is a ticket increase!

Brazilian groups- Extremely disruptive, rude, crass, and down right hazardous (blocking pathways), making loud noises outside of value hotel rooms in the early morning hours. There are 2-3 threads about this outrageous behavior, with hundreds of complaints from our DIS friends. Yet, Disney refuses to do anything about this.

With the economy in the tank, people out of jobs, it would seem that Disney shouldn't be this greedy, for a lack of a better word. I'm just starting to notice some of these ill effects taking place. This is just my observation.

Any thoughts?

Thanks all!
Brunette
We discussed this and would have to answer: no.

We ate all of our meals at Disney under the deluxe dining plan during the last two visits and enjoyed almost all of our meals and service with very few complaints. I am a relatively big guy 6' 3', 230 lbs and never felt that the portions were skimpy, in fact I was full for most of the trip despite racing through the parks each day.

I thought that the parks were clean as I did not notice any trash on the ground. Granted I was not looking for it but nonetheless I do not recall seeing it.

I have always felt that WDW nickels and dimes the guests but have learned to live with it.

I have enjoyed the Christmas theming of the parks and have been particularly struck by the beauty of the lighted castle.

Haven't experienced the Brazil crowd and I guess I should be thankful.

Of course I am not thrilled by the increase in ticket prices but we have always looked for the resort saving packages and credit card awards to offset this.

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Old 08-21-2010, 08:17 PM   #761
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I do not think Disney has gone downhill for the most part.

I have been saddened by some of the attractions they have closed down (World of Motion, Horizons, Wonders of Life), but aside from that.....

-I find the cast members as pleasant as can be. I have never had an issue with a CM being unprofessional or less than *Disney*

-I find the parks to be clean and well taken care of. I have never had an issue in this area.

-Prices have raised, but WDW is certainly not exclusive of this. Our economy is not good. Everyone is cutting costs. I still think, for what you are getting (rides, attractions, shows, fireworks, parades, level of service), the price is well worth it.

-I find the food just as wonderful. I'm not a "foodie," but I am a picky eater & I've never really had a complaint about their food. There have been changes, but I think Walt wanted his parks to always be evolving.

-I have noticed the portion sizes to decrease over the years, but to me this is a great thing! I found some of the portion sizes to be just disgusting-too big for the average person to eat! I like that they have scaled them down to a more normal size. I am also a fan of the healthy additions they have incorporated into their foods. I can't complain about fruit, yogurt, & raw veggie options to CS meals & I am delighted to see WDW up with the times and adding whole grain bread to their menus. Almost all major fast food chains are now offering no trans fats, grilled options, whole wheat, I feel it would be a disservice for WDW not to do that as well.
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Old 08-21-2010, 10:27 PM   #762
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I do not think Disney has gone downhill for the most part.

I have been saddened by some of the attractions they have closed down (World of Motion, Horizons, Wonders of Life), but aside from that.....

-I find the cast members as pleasant as can be. I have never had an issue with a CM being unprofessional or less than *Disney*

-I find the parks to be clean and well taken care of. I have never had an issue in this area.

-Prices have raised, but WDW is certainly not exclusive of this. Our economy is not good. Everyone is cutting costs. I still think, for what you are getting (rides, attractions, shows, fireworks, parades, level of service), the price is well worth it.

-I find the food just as wonderful. I'm not a "foodie," but I am a picky eater & I've never really had a complaint about their food. There have been changes, but I think Walt wanted his parks to always be evolving.

-I have noticed the portion sizes to decrease over the years, but to me this is a great thing! I found some of the portion sizes to be just disgusting-too big for the average person to eat! I like that they have scaled them down to a more normal size. I am also a fan of the healthy additions they have incorporated into their foods. I can't complain about fruit, yogurt, & raw veggie options to CS meals & I am delighted to see WDW up with the times and adding whole grain bread to their menus. Almost all major fast food chains are now offering no trans fats, grilled options, whole wheat, I feel it would be a disservice for WDW not to do that as well.
**
Personally if I spend a substantial sum of money for a premium menu item, I want a "substantial" portion. Not a 1 ounce serving not fit for an appetizer. I want my money's worth period. If people are unable to control their eating habits that's their problem not mind,lol! A poster earlier mentioned that she ordered a milkshake 16 oz., last year at SCI FI for approximately $10 bucks. This year the same milkshake was in a juce glass for the SAME AMOUNT of money. Sorry, but that's just not right, in my opinion. If Disney is going to decrease the amount you get by over 50 percent, then they should also decrease the price too in my opinion.

Brunette
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Old 08-21-2010, 10:33 PM   #763
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I think you are 100% right brunette,My question is if this isn't called gouging what creative name should we use for it,maybe taking advantage or an unmagical charge!
*
I like the "unmagical" charge! LOL!
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Old 08-21-2010, 11:00 PM   #764
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**
Personally if I spend a substantial sum of money for a premium menu item, I want a "substantial" portion. Not a 1 ounce serving not fit for an appetizer. I want my money's worth period. If people are unable to control their eating habits that's their problem not mind,lol! A poster earlier mentioned that she ordered a milkshake 16 oz., last year at SCI FI for approximately $10 bucks. This year the same milkshake was in a juce glass for the SAME AMOUNT of money. Sorry, but that's just not right, in my opinion. If Disney is going to decrease the amount you get by over 50 percent, then they should also decrease the price too in my opinion.

Brunette

I agree with this 1,000%!!!

The last two times we dined at Le Cellier I became ill...that aside, the very last time I returned food. What was worse was when my DH's onion soup (which he talked about ALL DAY) arrived at our table not in the traditional croc with the cheese covering perfectly toasty brown. Nope, the last time it arrived in a TEA CUP with a thin slice of bread with a sliver of cheese toasted on the bread stuck in the soup.

I could not believe his face when he saw that.

I had to return food which tasted......off.....and then about 30 minutes after we finished...as happened the year before.....I became intimately familiar with EVERY ladies room surrounding World Showcase.

I said it before......give 'em less, charge 'em more.

Le Cellier has been removed from our list and it broke our hearts.
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Old 08-21-2010, 11:09 PM   #765
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I agree with this 1,000%!!!

The last two times we dined at Le Cellier I became ill...that aside, the very last time I returned food. What was worse was when my DH's onion soup (which he talked about ALL DAY) arrived at our table not in the traditional croc with the cheese covering perfectly toasty brown. Nope, the last time it arrived in a TEA CUP with a thin slice of bread with a sliver of cheese toasted on the bread stuck in the soup.

I could not believe his face when he saw that.

I had to return food which tasted......off.....and then about 30 minutes after we finished...as happened the year before.....I became intimately familiar with EVERY ladies room surrounding World Showcase.

I said it before......give 'em less, charge 'em more.

Le Cellier has been removed from our list and it broke our hearts.


*
WOW!!! And they're not cheap either! I'm sure that onion soup was over $6. Yes, this is the kind of thing that really bothers me. Onion soup is supposed to be served in a croc not a tea cup sized bowl! Sheesh!
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