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Old 07-05-2009, 03:08 AM   #106
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Originally Posted by pepe of ohio View Post
I've read most of the posts but to me, the magic is there, the luster has dimmed by the internet. All these Disney forums on every little thing and direction has taken the thrill of the hunt out of a stay. Everyone knows all the tricks, little mysteries and how to get the most and than some out of a stay. Back before computers, you did a stay and discovered the hidden magic on your own, accepted the little extras CM's gave out, now, everyone knows what everyone got and they demand the same, takes the magic right out. For example, towel animals, given randomly by a mousekeeper that knew how to make them to shed alittle of her talents and own personal magic, spread across the internet boards and everyone and their brother demands them. Hidden mickeys, you discovered them on your own, now you can print out pages with all their locations, some hunt. This goes on and on across all the boards, best viewing, how to get this for free, comped for this and that, how to do it cheap, how to beat the system, guests don't have to discover anything on their own anymore, where's the magic, ask and others will tell you where to find it.

The magic is there and is still alive for us. I don't follow every Disney internet space, subscribe to any tour plan or follow any schedule or guide book on a Disney vacation. We discover most at Disney by just going out and seeing and trying the little things, asking a CM what's new or something to do. Printing out pages of internet forum tricks, schedules, tips and what not is killing the adventure of discovering for yourself. Now, everyone knows, wants, asks and demands and if they don't get it, they come home mad, and complain on these forums and want to file complaints. No, I believe we created our own monster with the Internet and publicizing all we know, want or got, just makes the next person want the same and more. I remember back in the 70's, you booked a room, that's it. No special building, special floor, exotic view, this many steps from the elevator.........Times have changed but for us old timers, most not in a good way but our stays are very simple with no wishes, demands or wants and we do see the magic, even after 42 trips and 30 some years, we just keep it simple.
A very wise, perceptive post.
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Old 07-05-2009, 06:56 AM   #107
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I have noticed that our very loud complaints to the execs did not and could not change what happened to us but they did change some procedures to make things better for others, hopefully. Yes visitors can be rude slobs and I have the scars on my heels from strollers to prove it. BUT, I don't think magic promotions can take the place of cleaning up the resorts. There was a rampant stomach problem when we went and cleanliness-even disinfectant might have helped. Also, more cm's than not talked to each other, ignored us, avoided eye contact and were like employees at walmart. There are always the wonderful cm's who make your day but they are not as plentiful as they used to be. We'll go again this year and be optimistic and positive and enjoy each other's company and will see.
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Old 07-05-2009, 08:45 AM   #108
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Me personally, I think there is definitely a decline at Walt Disney World, and I think that there's plenty of blame to go around.

I think guests have their own share of blame, as has been mentioned. An entitled attitude, disrespect and all that kind of thing definitely can be placed on the shoulders of those who come to the parks and resorts.

Cast members. There are so many that love their job, respect the history of the company, and the mission of the parks. But then there are those who are just there to get a paycheck. When you need a labor force as large as Disney needs, that's just going to be a fact of life.

Upper level management executives who have absolutely no interest in the parks other than as a cash cow. Taking away the little things that of themselves are nothing spectacular - but adding them all together - it makes for an overall lesser experience. (homogenization of merchandise, dumbing down of menus at restaurants, switching to Nescafe coffee....the list goes on....)

And lastly, I think the internet has also taken away a lot of the magic. Little touches that made for a magical experience for someone are reported on the internet. Everyone who reads that experience then expects that same thing to happen to them. Towel animals, balloons in your resort room on a birthday.... that kind of stuff.

Don't get me wrong - Walt Disney World is still my absolute favorite vacation destination. But I definitely notice there's a decline.
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Old 07-05-2009, 09:09 AM   #109
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Like pp, there definetly has been a slight decline in the room quality and guest satisfaction. However, there is no place like Walt Disney World. From the time it opened in 1971, to present times, it has always set a good example in guest satisfaction. My only biggest concern, is mousekeeping.
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Old 07-05-2009, 04:00 PM   #110
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This thread has me seriously rethinking our plans. For our family, this would be our first family vacation EVER. Yup, that's right, we haven't been on a real vacation (visiting family does NOT count) since our honeymoon (at WL and offsite learning to sail).

I went many, many, many times as a child to DL. Some of my fondest memories of my childhood are there. I have taken my oldest son twice for day trips, but he's too little to remember (family business took us to Los Angeles when he was under 2).

WDW was never the same, but it had its different charms and even DH liked it. If it is dirty and the CMs are surly and the parks are dirty, well, I will pay for YEARS and YEARS for spending the money.

Anyone with *other* suggestions, for place to take my family of 5 where we can still experience "magic" but get value for what it costs to go ... I'm all ears, no pun intended. I'd still love to go to WDW, but I only probably have 2 vacations for these kids ever and I can't blow them on a place with filthy restrooms and indifferent staff.
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Old 07-05-2009, 04:16 PM   #111
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Lost its magic

I am sad to hear you are thinking about you may cancel your Disney vacation. I said in a earlier thread, I am sad at what the upper management at Disney has let Disney become. I paid close to 5 thousand dollars this past June and I had the worst time ever. I encountered very rude cast members at our CSR resort rides that were breaking down not once but numerous times and at all parks.I truly feel Disney management does not give a darn or else they would do something about it. I know a million or so people how are looking for work and I am sure they would work at Disney and do a great job. I am sure the CM or overworked but that still does not give them reason to treat guests like dirt after we spend our hard earned at Disney. How can we all get Disney to listen? Do we boycott Disney until changes are made? I will not be back until changes are made and when I see the magic has returned. What fools are Disney when they take down major attractions in the summer tourist season and what is still open is not running for some reason. I may take my family and my money to Dollywood next year and see what they have to offer?
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Old 07-05-2009, 04:20 PM   #112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LandChildWorldAdult View Post
This thread has me seriously rethinking our plans. For our family, this would be our first family vacation EVER. Yup, that's right, we haven't been on a real vacation (visiting family does NOT count) since our honeymoon (at WL and offsite learning to sail).

I went many, many, many times as a child to DL. Some of my fondest memories of my childhood are there. I have taken my oldest son twice for day trips, but he's too little to remember (family business took us to Los Angeles when he was under 2).

WDW was never the same, but it had its different charms and even DH liked it. If it is dirty and the CMs are surly and the parks are dirty, well, I will pay for YEARS and YEARS for spending the money.

Anyone with *other* suggestions, for place to take my family of 5 where we can still experience "magic" but get value for what it costs to go ... I'm all ears, no pun intended. I'd still love to go to WDW, but I only probably have 2 vacations for these kids ever and I can't blow them on a place with filthy restrooms and indifferent staff.
I stated earlier that I do not think Disney has lost the magic. Is it as good as it once once? I don't know...we've not been there this year. I can tell you when we were there in September we had a perfect nine day stay with wonderful CM's at the Coronado (where we stayed for the seventh time...and they've always been terrific), we had great interaction with the CM's at the parks, the grounds were clean, etc. As I also stated earlier, my oldest son is there now. He just called me an hour ago and said they are having such a great time and that everyone has been very friendly, the parks are clean, the resort is clean, etc. Yes, you are going to run into a bad CM here and there, but I don't think that is true of every CM at Disney.
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Old 07-05-2009, 07:18 PM   #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LandChildWorldAdult View Post
This thread has me seriously rethinking our plans. For our family, this would be our first family vacation EVER. Yup, that's right, we haven't been on a real vacation (visiting family does NOT count) since our honeymoon (at WL and offsite learning to sail).

I went many, many, many times as a child to DL. Some of my fondest memories of my childhood are there. I have taken my oldest son twice for day trips, but he's too little to remember (family business took us to Los Angeles when he was under 2).

WDW was never the same, but it had its different charms and even DH liked it. If it is dirty and the CMs are surly and the parks are dirty, well, I will pay for YEARS and YEARS for spending the money.

Anyone with *other* suggestions, for place to take my family of 5 where we can still experience "magic" but get value for what it costs to go ... I'm all ears, no pun intended. I'd still love to go to WDW, but I only probably have 2 vacations for these kids ever and I can't blow them on a place with filthy restrooms and indifferent staff.
GO to WDW. Those of us that see a decline go often ( 2 or 3 times a year) and have alot to compare it to. Maybe our expectations have grown to high No matter were you go on vacation you may find surly employees and dirty areas. Even if you come across a dirty bathroom or a surly CM look past them towards the rest of the magic WDW has to offer to you.
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Old 07-05-2009, 07:49 PM   #114
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I would never discourage anyone from visiting WDW, but I can say that I have lost track how many times I have visited and sadly the service has declined over the years. It is sometimes difficult to think about visiting 10-15 years ago, when everything was perfect. I remember CM's who always have a smile on their face, always engaging guests and ensuring a "fantasy" atmosphere. I remember perfectly manicured grass, landscaping, etc. I remember extremely clean public areas and guest rooms. I remember extensive restaurant menus. I remember much better value for the dollar spent.

I continue to visit, but it just isn't the same.
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Old 07-05-2009, 09:21 PM   #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LandChildWorldAdult View Post
This thread has me seriously rethinking our plans. For our family, this would be our first family vacation EVER. Yup, that's right, we haven't been on a real vacation (visiting family does NOT count) since our honeymoon (at WL and offsite learning to sail).

I went many, many, many times as a child to DL. Some of my fondest memories of my childhood are there. I have taken my oldest son twice for day trips, but he's too little to remember (family business took us to Los Angeles when he was under 2).

WDW was never the same, but it had its different charms and even DH liked it. If it is dirty and the CMs are surly and the parks are dirty, well, I will pay for YEARS and YEARS for spending the money.

Anyone with *other* suggestions, for place to take my family of 5 where we can still experience "magic" but get value for what it costs to go ... I'm all ears, no pun intended. I'd still love to go to WDW, but I only probably have 2 vacations for these kids ever and I can't blow them on a place with filthy restrooms and indifferent staff.

Please don't cancel your trip! Bear in mind that this board has dissected WDW beyond what 99.9% of WDW visitors notice or care about! And I don't mean that in a bad way, but obviously, we disboarders do a lot of talking about our favorite subject so we see things quite a bit differently. I have often said, I am SO glad I found disboards after my first trip to Disneyland and that I barely ventured over to this side of the board before my first trip to WDW. Because honestly, had I read this board first, I would have felt just like you.

To me, 12+ trips to WDW in the past five years and 12+ trips to DL in the past six years, I cannot think of a single time I came home disillusioned, feeling ripped off or full of regrets. WDW is a wonderful place to take a family for a vacation be it a once in a lifetime type deal or just one of many that will be enjoyed.

Bathrooms as a rule of thumb are not filthy. Resorts can still deliver a wonderful stay. I know my recent experiences at two WDW resorts (a value and a DVC) were basically perfect.

I really hope you go and don't let this post or any other make you think you are about to waste your money.

As for indifferent staff, during my recent vacation at WDW like all my other ones I experienced kindness and very well trained cm's. I mean I could just go on and on about some of the nice little touches these people provided my family over the course of 16 days.

I hope you reconsider changing plans!
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Old 07-05-2009, 10:10 PM   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LandChildWorldAdult View Post
This thread has me seriously rethinking our plans. For our family, this would be our first family vacation EVER. Yup, that's right, we haven't been on a real vacation (visiting family does NOT count) since our honeymoon (at WL and offsite learning to sail).

I went many, many, many times as a child to DL. Some of my fondest memories of my childhood are there. I have taken my oldest son twice for day trips, but he's too little to remember (family business took us to Los Angeles when he was under 2).

WDW was never the same, but it had its different charms and even DH liked it. If it is dirty and the CMs are surly and the parks are dirty, well, I will pay for YEARS and YEARS for spending the money.

Anyone with *other* suggestions, for place to take my family of 5 where we can still experience "magic" but get value for what it costs to go ... I'm all ears, no pun intended. I'd still love to go to WDW, but I only probably have 2 vacations for these kids ever and I can't blow them on a place with filthy restrooms and indifferent staff.

Disney is absolutely still a very magical place. Don't cancel your trip because of what other people are saying. You need to form your own opinion. I can't imagine any other place that you could take them to that would bring so much joy, magic, and happiness! In my opinion, people are seeing a decline in the very high standards Disney has set, however, it is still an amazing place that every person on earth should see at least once in a lifetime. I think that the economy cut backs are obvious to people who go to Disney frequently. The parks are not dirty. The bathrooms may not be as immaculate as they have been in the past, or maybe not kept up with as quickly as they once were but as some other posters have said....if people just cleaned up after themselves Disney wouldn't have to hire people to do it. We were there in May and I did see some bathrooms that were not as clean as I have always remembered them but still far cleaner than many public restrooms. I found the food to be very good except for in a couple of restaurants. The resorts are beautiful, landscaping beautiful, and CMs are very nice...can't do enough for you. Remember....some people will always find something to complain about. Not that their complaints are not legitimate...but for every person that had a bad experience you would find 20 that had a wonderful experience. You may find an occasional CM that doesn't have the perfect personality...oh well! Your vacation will be what you make of it. It rained every day for 10 days when we were there in May, but we still had a great time. Yes...it was a BUMMER and would have been great to have sunshine and go home with a tan....but hey...we were at the "Happiest Place on Earth" and that's enough for me! There were a few things that I found were not perfect..but come on...nothing is perfect! Don't cancel your trip......your kids will love Disney!
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Old 07-05-2009, 10:14 PM   #117
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Okay, I've read through this whole thread and have to add a few things too:

1. I agree with previous posters who say that some of the blame resides in the guests. As a teacher, I've dealt with many students and their families over the years and have noticed a decline in respect, work ethic, optimism and just plain good manners. I've had students scream at me, "Why did you only give me a C?" Well, I didn't give you a C, you earned a C. We, as educators, are constantly challenged to try to reach every student, regardless of their levels of passivity, and believe me, the passivity is rampant. Blatant stereotpying here, but many people expect far too much and don't want to do anything to get it.

2. We have been shareholders in Disney for many years and used to love when Disney stock split. Those years are gone, and it's not only Disney that has felt the economic crunch. Is their top management overpaid and overcompensated? It wouldn't be unusal, look at the hundreds of other corporations that are top heavy, but take a look also at the governmental structure and tell me the congressmen and women are not overcompensated and overpaid.

3. I first went to WDW in 1978 then not again until 1985. In 1985 I was shocked at what I thought was a decline in Disney (e.g. there were kids smoking pot on the Haunted Mansion ride in front of us) and noticeable uncleanliness.

4. I've been back many times since and have witnessed ups and downs of Disney, but one thing that doesn't change for me is that it is a VACATION, yes I'm paying good money, but I've travelled all over this world and put things into perspective - as the lovely CM said, they are NOT cartoon character, but human beings, who feel the same pressures we do in our jobs every day. THEY are not on vacation and are doing their best to make yours "magical". I say do your part too and return the favor.
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Old 07-06-2009, 12:43 AM   #118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LandChildWorldAdult View Post
This thread has me seriously rethinking our plans. For our family, this would be our first family vacation EVER. Yup, that's right, we haven't been on a real vacation (visiting family does NOT count) since our honeymoon (at WL and offsite learning to sail).

I went many, many, many times as a child to DL. Some of my fondest memories of my childhood are there. I have taken my oldest son twice for day trips, but he's too little to remember (family business took us to Los Angeles when he was under 2).

WDW was never the same, but it had its different charms and even DH liked it. If it is dirty and the CMs are surly and the parks are dirty, well, I will pay for YEARS and YEARS for spending the money.

Anyone with *other* suggestions, for place to take my family of 5 where we can still experience "magic" but get value for what it costs to go ... I'm all ears, no pun intended. I'd still love to go to WDW, but I only probably have 2 vacations for these kids ever and I can't blow them on a place with filthy restrooms and indifferent staff.
Please please, please don't let anyone on these boards deter you from what will be the most wonderful magical trip of your life. If you had not read any of these threads you would be planning with such joy and I regret that your excitement has been dimmed by people who are so spoiled and lucky to be able to go these wonderful parks many times and forget the wonderment of their first time with Mickey. I am 61 years old and have been there many times, but still look forward to the planning and talking about & then the first time you enter Disney property. You see the sign and your stomach gets quivvery and you know you are able to forget problems and heartache & even sorrow while you are there. i have traveled and never found a place that could fulfill that claim except for Disney. Nowhere you go can you find a place that never has a cleanliness problem once in a while no matter how much you pay, this claim that six Flags is the cleanest park. I have visited many and they are nowhere near as big as WDW nor do they service as many people, so I take no note of the comparison. Surly castmembers? Did you notice what happened right before this? How rude & demanding and obnoxious were the people before you? Walk a mile in my shoes please.
I have only ever been treated with respect, because I give respect, if I have had a problem I report it with understanding and have had my problem solved.
I walk onto main Street and am filled with joy and wonder and
a feeling of homecoming second only to my family, so I ask you once again, go with an open heart and watch the joy and wonder on your childrens faces as well as your own and Have the most magical time of your life. And when you come back please let us know how you feel and let me tell you "I told you so"
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Old 07-06-2009, 01:01 AM   #119
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Please please, please don't let anyone on these boards deter you from what will be the most wonderful magical trip of your life. If you had not read any of these threads you would be planning with such joy and I regret that your excitement has been dimmed by people who are so spoiled and lucky to be able to go these wonderful parks many times and forget the wonderment of their first time with Mickey. I am 61 years old and have been there many times, but still look forward to the planning and talking about & then the first time you enter Disney property. You see the sign and your stomach gets quivvery and you know you are able to forget problems and heartache & even sorrow while you are there. i have traveled and never found a place that could fulfill that claim except for Disney. Nowhere you go can you find a place that never has a cleanliness problem once in a while no matter how much you pay, this claim that six Flags is the cleanest park. I have visited many and they are nowhere near as big as WDW nor do they service as many people, so I take no note of the comparison. Surly castmembers? Did you notice what happened right before this? How rude & demanding and obnoxious were the people before you? Walk a mile in my shoes please.
I have only ever been treated with respect, because I give respect, if I have had a problem I report it with understanding and have had my problem solved.
I walk onto main Street and am filled with joy and wonder and
a feeling of homecoming second only to my family, so I ask you once again, go with an open heart and watch the joy and wonder on your childrens faces as well as your own and Have the most magical time of your life. And when you come back please let us know how you feel and let me tell you "I told you so"
Please stop insinuating that anyone with a complaint about Disney World is spoiled? Disney is a good place to vacation but it is not w/out problems. I have never treated anyone at Disney with anything but respect however unlike you, I was treated rudely by a CM and it was because our tickets wouldn't scan. Now why treat me badly for something over which I had zero control? Then when I had problems with them 5 minutes after I left he snidely suggested that I was trying to get fast passes for my daughter and her friend without them being in the parks. So not only did he have a crappy attitude, he accused me of being dishonest. That is wrong pure and simple.
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Old 07-06-2009, 07:38 AM   #120
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As someone earlier said, I also think that we need to look at the population that is visiting WDW lately. The children of the baby boomers are the young parents of today, and frequently, I see a complete lack of control on their part when it comes to their children. Some of the parenting skills I've seen put into practice at WDW make my skin crawl. They don't know how to control their kids, so they don't. It's as simple as that. Kids run amok in hotel lobbies, and Lord help you if they run into you. It will be considered your fault. And don't dare try to tell them to watch where they're going, unless you are ready to get a tongue-lashing from an incompetent parent who's ready to blame everyone before looking at their own children as potentially being the problem. I've seen children drop trash in their parents' line of vision and nothing is said. A previous poster mentioned a child being laughed at for breaking the gingerbread house at the GF. Parents will lie, cheat, beg, steal and run over anyone in their way to get their child onto the rides they want and into a picture with Cinderella. A running joke amongst my friends involves overhearing a mom on the monorail last year reassuring her wailing child, "You'll be FIRST into the Magic Kingdom today." Whatever happened to, "We're paying good money, but so are the rest of these people, and we're going to have to wait our turn like everyone else." As an educator (and a young one at that), I can tell you with absolute certainty that when not given parameters, children WILL do what they want and will come to believe that their negative behavior is what is necessary to get what they want in this world.
Now, imagine these children coming to WDW a few years later on their own for Spring Break, or better yet, behind the check-in desk at your resort, or running Splash Mountain.
I'm not saying that Disney is faultless, and surely the tough times have likely forced Disney to make some cutbacks in some places, but before the blame is completely put on the Mouse, think about what the Mouse is forced to deal with in terms of its guests.

::I'll get off of my soapbox now::
I'm on that soap box with you. What I see every day in my line of work mirrors what you wrote (and I am an "older" educator ). It is a less polite world today. Decorum and appropriate behavior is just not practiced. Many children are not taught was is appropriate behavior in public places and about delayed gratification.

I have been visiting WDW since 1978 - about 20+ trips. I do agree that the magic is in me and I always have a wonderful time.
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