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Old 08-02-2010, 05:16 PM   #1
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Do You think DISNEY has gone down hlll the last few years?

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 Concierge 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.

****EDITED to include the following Newsworthy topics that have or will be discussed on this thread:****


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We encourage all to participate on this thread. Would love to hear your experience at Walt Disney World, the good and or bad or both. We want to use this thread as a source for YOUR planning needs by experiences per our DIS friends. Maybe your meal at Ohana was AWESOME, well let's hear about it. Maybe you went to Cape May and it wasn't that great, we want to hear that too. You could have had a wonderful stay at a Value Resort or a mediocre stay at a Deluxe Resort, we would all love to hear about YOUR experiences Walt Disney World wide! Feel free to chime in.

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Last edited by brunette8706; 10-20-2011 at 05:35 PM.
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Old 08-02-2010, 05:21 PM   #2
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Hate to agree, but we have also noticed some changes and not for the better over the past couple of years. The food service has definitely been lacking and while we don't have kids, I can't imagine paying that kind of money for a stroller. I'm sure Disney has felt the affects of the recession, but we've even noticed some CM that are not as friendly and helpful as in the past. I think Disney certainly needs to remedy this situation before they find out that people are just going to stop coming.
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Old 08-02-2010, 05:27 PM   #3

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I'm not sure Downhill is the word I would use to describe it. One of the problems of being a return visitor, things change, some times for the best & some times for the not so good. right now we are in a not so good category.

I think Disney is no more of a money machine than any other company. I think the problem is we (general public) are a "Walmart" mentality nation.

Quality has taken a back seat to cost. For the most part we have sent the signal to companies that we want items as cheaply made as possible. regardless to quality. Now it's biting us in the backside. Products from China are being recalled left and right, toyota pretty much gave away its lead in the car sector due to quality issues and the way they handled it.

Now companies have to make a profit so they have to make up the difference some how.
We see it in the airline industry. people want the cheapest fares possible. Airlines cannot survive like that so we see the nickel and diming, going on although the airlines call in "unbundling" Now we are beginning to hear a cry for "just give me the cost of the flight,$%$ and stop nickeling and diming me to death"

we want cheap meals at disney, so in order to provide that Disney cuts quality and menu offerings. service has become inconsistent at best.

Spectromagic is expensive to put on so since they can only raise ticket prices so much, they cut the days they offer it.

Now we are in a vicious cycle. Would I go to Disney and pay regular rates. No way. Would I pay full price for the meals they offer, heck no. So in order to keep rooms and restaurants full they have to discount. which leads to more cut backs. Look how the ddp has changed in a short period of time.

Disney is simply giving us what we want and if you're a first timer, you don't know the difference.
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Old 08-02-2010, 05:28 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 08-02-2010, 05:30 PM   #5
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I would say the one thing that seems to be slipping is the food in some but not all of the restaurants.

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Old 08-02-2010, 05:44 PM   #6
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Nope, and either way they are still getting a good % of our income every year. I read thread like this alot before our trips and keep a watchful eye out for bad CM behaviour, trash lying about, poor service, etc and I just don't see it. Maybe its all the magic that makes me miss it, but I'm ok with that.
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Old 08-02-2010, 05:54 PM   #7
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Some ancillary services--such as stroller, wheelchair and ECV rentals--are provided by outside vendors. That explains a significant price increase in those areas. It is the outside vendors' only revenue stream at WDW--they want to make the most of it. Do I like it? No. But unless enough people complain to WDW directly, nothing is likely to be done about it--and even then, not until current contracts expire.

There was a noticeable decline in TS food quality between 2003 and 2007. Tables even closer together, substitution of lower quality meats, etc. We frequently dine (dinner) at buffet venues, as I am a picky eater and my BFF is significantly more adventurous. The prices do not reflect the quality of the food. Personally, I would love to see more buffet venues without characters. The character meals are fun, but it would be nice to see more options--with slightly lower prices after the "entertainment fee" has been eliminated! *LOL*

Still, I haven't complained to WDW directly, and probably won't until my next visit in 2011 or 2012. Yes. Four or five years between WDW visits! *sob*
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Old 08-02-2010, 06:08 PM   #8
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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.
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Old 08-02-2010, 06:14 PM   #9
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I wouldn't use "downhill" either, but how about not as good as Disney has gotten us used to? Dining has definitely diminished with more of a feed the masses mentality than the quality we used to experience. In recent years we have also noticed maintenance issues which seem to be allowed to go on longer than before on rides. For example, when was the last time everything was working on Splash Mountain? Either Brer Rabbit doesn't pop up on the left while hiking along or the fountains aren't all working in the laughing place. We have also experience more less-than- Disney-like cast members on recent trips (but they are still far outnumbered by the magical Cast Members!).

Maybe Disney has spoiled us in the past and when they start making changes to adjust to the masses, we feel less spoiled, but that doesn't keep us from going back as we still believe in Disney Magic!

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Old 08-02-2010, 06:16 PM   #10
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I would say one thing about food compared to other parks. We went to Sea World last year and later in the year to Aquatica. I was shocked at how expensive the food was. I kept saying to my mom that the kids meals at Disney were much less expensive for the same amount of food. The only noticeable difference between the kids meals is that you don't get the plastic container and cup. The food quality and selection may have gone done, but it is still better and less expensive than comparable parks. I can't comment on US because I haven't been there in years. DS isn't really old enough yet to get enough out of it.
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Old 08-02-2010, 06:17 PM   #11
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Can't say it's gone downhill. However, I do not like some of the changes made by current management.

I think Disney certainly needs to remedy this situation before they find out that people are just going to stop coming.
They haven't stopped coming. I haven't either.
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Old 08-02-2010, 06:19 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by PIRATEGIRL007 View Post
Nope, and either way they are still getting a good % of our income every year. I read thread like this alot before our trips and keep a watchful eye out for bad CM behaviour, trash lying about, poor service, etc and I just don't see it. Maybe its all the magic that makes me miss it, but I'm ok with that.

Same here - this will be our 6th trip and can't wait Just love it - all of it
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Old 08-02-2010, 06:24 PM   #13
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Disney needs to get rid of free dining and their problems with people complaining about food decline will be solved.
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Old 08-02-2010, 06:24 PM   #14
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Things change because the market will bear it. Disney has always been out to make a buck. They're a business - the first goal is to turn a profit. I don't understand why people are so surprised when they figure that out.
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Old 08-02-2010, 06:26 PM   #15
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Everything in outside world is more expensive then it was before and if price is the same, then quality is worse. Disney is just like any other business tries to keep its profit. Does this make me sad, yes. Will this stop me from comming to Disney, no.


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