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Old 08-03-2010, 11:51 AM   #106
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Originally Posted by kittythepoohbear View Post
The short answer is yes, I do think Disney has gone down hill in recent years. Too many little things that once would be deemed unthinkable when speaking of Disney are happening. There is a lack of general maintenance (paint chipping terribly, burnt out light bulbs, overgrown landscaping), a decrease in customer service (NOT a comment against CMs, but an overall dip resort-wide), a lack of cohesive theming and, sometimes, outright lack of imagination when it comes to the parks and attractions. Why is the Yeti broken at EE, especially when the attraction is only about 5 years old? Almost twenty years after adding it's last E ticket attraction, MK is seeing a large expansion to add...meet and greets, a couple of restaurants, and a C ticket ride?

These changes are more apparent the longer you have been visiting the resort. Those who only started going in the last decade may not notice too much of a difference. Those who started going in the 90's probably see a dip. Those who went in the 80's, like me, see more of the "Walmarting" going on. I've met many people who started going in the 70's who no longer want to travel to WDW because of the decrease in services and the price increases.

Unfortunately, Disney as a corporation has decided to put quality behind profits, whereas "old" Disney saw that quality and customer satisfaction increased profits. But, being that WDW gets so many new visitors every year who don't even know that the Yeti is supposed to move or that, for a short window of time, food quality in the WDW restaurants was really quite good, there is no incentive for Disney Co. to change tactics. I didn't renew my annual pass and, while I do plan to return, am looking on spending my vacation time and money at other destinations much more often than in the past.
Well put!
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Old 08-03-2010, 11:53 AM   #107
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My visits have been few and far between, but I think that while there are things that I really miss (River Country comes to mind), there are plenty of things that are better than before. I think it's easy to say "things were better in the old days" because in the old days there weren't 6 parks and 24 hotels to manage, staff, and maintain. To expect yesteryear quality today is unrealistic and, IMO, unfair. WDW is a *huge* place, over 30,000 acres, and it must be the biggest logistical nightmare of all time trying to keep it clean and in working order 100% of the time.

As for less-than-stellar CMs, I'm sure there are a few in the army of employees Disney has. I'm not excusing bad service but according to a lot of what I've read on these boards, these people are supposed to do their jobs perfectly every single time, remember to acknowledge each and every guest's special event/need/whim no matter how small, dispense endless amounts of goodies freely and equally, and never show any emotion other than absolute elation, because after all, they work for Disney, so that apparently makes them immune from bad days, grumpy moods, real-life problems, and mistakes. I worked in the service industry for years, but never in a place with standards as high as Disney's, and thank goodness for that. The pressure on Disney employees must be immense, especially since it seems more and more visitors to the parks feel that because they paid good money to visit, they should be allowed to behave in any uncivilized way they choose if the slightest thing isn't to their liking. JMHO.
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Old 08-03-2010, 12:20 PM   #108
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My visits have been few and far between, but I think that while there are things that I really miss (River Country comes to mind), there are plenty of things that are better than before. I think it's easy to say "things were better in the old days" because in the old days there weren't 6 parks and 24 hotels to manage, staff, and maintain. To expect yesteryear quality today is unrealistic and, IMO, unfair. WDW is a *huge* place, over 30,000 acres, and it must be the biggest logistical nightmare of all time trying to keep it clean and in working order 100% of the time.

As for less-than-stellar CMs, I'm sure there are a few in the army of employees Disney has. I'm not excusing bad service but according to a lot of what I've read on these boards, these people are supposed to do their jobs perfectly every single time, remember to acknowledge each and every guest's special event/need/whim no matter how small, dispense endless amounts of goodies freely and equally, and never show any emotion other than absolute elation, because after all, they work for Disney, so that apparently makes them immune from bad days, grumpy moods, real-life problems, and mistakes. I worked in the service industry for years, but never in a place with standards as high as Disney's, and thank goodness for that. The pressure on Disney employees must be immense, especially since it seems more and more visitors to the parks feel that because they paid good money to visit, they should be allowed to behave in any uncivilized way they choose if the slightest thing isn't to their liking. JMHO.
The changes for the worse started in the early 2000-maybe 2003. The food quality started suffering not long after the DDP started. At first, everything was fine but w/in the first year, there were cutbacks and the food became more uniform throughout the parks. I'd prefer no DDP and better food.

I don't expect CMs to cater to my every whim but I do expect not to hear disagreements and I do expect a concierge to put down the book and help their guests. And no, I don't think guests "should be allowed to behave in any uncivilized way they choose if the slightest thing isn't to their liking."

As I posted earlier, we love WDW but that doesn't mean Disney should be given a pass on their lowered standards.

ETA I reads an article stating that Disney would be upping their standards. I wish that i still had the article but I lost it when my computer crashed. There was a big shakeup at DLR in the executive dept and supposedly it was supposed to happen at WDW too. We'll see.
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Old 08-03-2010, 12:48 PM   #109
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The changes for the worse started in the early 2000-maybe 2003. The food quality started suffering not long after the DDP started. At first, everything was fine but w/in the first year, there were cutbacks and the food became more uniform throughout the parks. I'd prefer no DDP and better food.
I'm of the opiion to do away with the DDP or at least stop offering it for free.
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Old 08-03-2010, 12:57 PM   #110
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I'm of the opiion to do away with the DDP or at least stop offering it for free.
I agree with this! Free dining has really caused a decline in food, perhaps even more than the DDP. If they need to draw in guests in the slower months, perhaps resort deals and discounts should be extended or offered.

Also, I think if they do get rid of the DDP, they should open up TIW to the masses. They'll still make money on the card and on the food and beverages anyway, and it may even encourage more people to do TS restaurants.
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Old 08-03-2010, 01:32 PM   #111
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The problem with Disney is that it is currently being run by finance people and not Imagineers. Greed is in the air and I don't see it going away anytime soon. Disney makes millions in profit and continues to make cut backs.

They are outsourcing more every day and act like they can't control what the contractor charges or the quality of service that they provide.

Some of the cut backs and cost saving measures have resulted in accidents and injuries.

Some of the magic lost by the CM's are a result of their current working conditions and pay rate. I was talking to a Front Desk CM last trip and due to staff cut backs and replacing full time employees with part timers, he was scheduled to work at 4 different resorts that week.

There's nothing wrong with making a profit, but they need to keep a balance between profit and the Disney magic that makes Disney so special.

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Old 08-03-2010, 02:09 PM   #112
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Also, I think if they do get rid of the DDP, they should open up TIW to the masses. They'll still make money on the card and on the food and beverages anyway, and it may even encourage more people to do TS restaurants.
We do the TIW because we are annual passholders. Only problem with TIW is that they automatically add a 18% tip. I think that it opens up the chance to have shoddy service.
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Old 08-03-2010, 02:12 PM   #113
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[COLOR="Blue"]

They are outsourcing more every day and act like they can't control what the contractor charges or the quality of service that they provide.
I think this is the biggest cause of decline
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Old 08-03-2010, 02:24 PM   #114
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I guess I just don't put that much emphasis on food when I'm travelling. I've had good food at WDW and I've had lackluster food there, too, but I've been lucky enough not to have anything really terrible. Since I know where I am, I expect to pay out the nose for a meal. Maybe I'm just used to the price gouging; I can get a great meal at a decent price in my hometown at a satellite location for a Chicago restaurant, but if I eat that same meal at the same restaurant in the city, the price is jacked way up, simply to remind me I'm in the Windy City.

Like meals, I've never encountered a really nasty CM. I've had a grumpy bus driver or two, and a gate CM who was less than nice because I forgot to unzip an inner pocket of my bag, but if I had to check bags for hours and hours on end I might not be the most pleasant person sometimes. Should those employees have been complaining in front of you? No, that was bad form on their part. But unless it happened over and over and over again all day every day, did it really detract much from your vacation? I'm not trying to be snide, so please don't take it that way. I just think that a lot of people expect WDW to be the end-all be-all vacation and they overhype it to themselves, so when something less than magical happens, it colors their opinion more than it should sometimes, that's all.
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Old 08-03-2010, 02:43 PM   #115
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I guess I just don't put that much emphasis on food when I'm travelling. I've had good food at WDW and I've had lackluster food there, too, but I've been lucky enough not to have anything really terrible. Since I know where I am, I expect to pay out the nose for a meal. Maybe I'm just used to the price gouging; I can get a great meal at a decent price in my hometown at a satellite location for a Chicago restaurant, but if I eat that same meal at the same restaurant in the city, the price is jacked way up, simply to remind me I'm in the Windy City.

Like meals, I've never encountered a really nasty CM. I've had a grumpy bus driver or two, and a gate CM who was less than nice because I forgot to unzip an inner pocket of my bag, but if I had to check bags for hours and hours on end I might not be the most pleasant person sometimes. Should those employees have been complaining in front of you? No, that was bad form on their part. But unless it happened over and over and over again all day every day, did it really detract much from your vacation? I'm not trying to be snide, so please don't take it that way. I just think that a lot of people expect WDW to be the end-all be-all vacation and they overhype it to themselves, so when something less than magical happens, it colors their opinion more than it should sometimes, that's all.
I,madame,am inclined to agree with you! People ARE really expecting too much sometimes;things are the way they are-some good,some bad,and ocassionally some really great;BUT,all in all,Disney still does many things better than most,and for our family,we still feel like it is a great place to vacation,and spend time with each other away from the"Rat Race"!
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Old 08-03-2010, 03:07 PM   #116
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I guess I just don't put that much emphasis on food when I'm travelling. I've had good food at WDW and I've had lackluster food there, too, but I've been lucky enough not to have anything really terrible. Since I know where I am, I expect to pay out the nose for a meal. Maybe I'm just used to the price gouging; I can get a great meal at a decent price in my hometown at a satellite location for a Chicago restaurant, but if I eat that same meal at the same restaurant in the city, the price is jacked way up, simply to remind me I'm in the Windy City.

Like meals, I've never encountered a really nasty CM. I've had a grumpy bus driver or two, and a gate CM who was less than nice because I forgot to unzip an inner pocket of my bag, but if I had to check bags for hours and hours on end I might not be the most pleasant person sometimes. Should those employees have been complaining in front of you? No, that was bad form on their part. But unless it happened over and over and over again all day every day, did it really detract much from your vacation? I'm not trying to be snide, so please don't take it that way. I just think that a lot of people expect WDW to be the end-all be-all vacation and they overhype it to themselves, so when something less than magical happens, it colors their opinion more than it should sometimes, that's all.
I agree with you in part. A grumpy CM or bad meal doesn't ruin my vacation. For me, the visible decline in maintenance was the hard part. Burnt out light bulbs, hairs in the resort room, chipping paint, broken ride elements, tons more graffiti than I've ever seen before in line queues, litter that wasn't picked up within a 40 minute time period (during a lunch break). I do my part and let CM's know about spills or other hazards and I've even picked up other people's trash (it irritates my husband) just because I am a former CM and I want to make it better, but I want to bring my future children (if I have any) to the same quality place I love and if it keeps going downhill, that will be impossible. It is a scary thought to me and I wonder if we make our voices heard if we can stop the greed-takeover enough to at least have them fix up the paint and pick up the trash before they price gouge us! I would rather spend more money and have the park look the way it "should".
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Old 08-03-2010, 03:50 PM   #117
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My family moved about 35 minutes north of disney in 2006 because we loved it so much and I can say without a doubt the quality and overall experience of disney has gone down the tubes. We went to Le cellier a couple weeks ago for the first time in a year and just walked up and got the reservations and I could not believe what they had done. First of all the entire lunch and dinner menu was on one page. I ordered my usual french dip but for the 4th time they had shrunk the size of the item and no longer even give the juice to dip the sandwich in which made it dry and frankly really bad. I could go on and on about the quality and quanity of the food in all the restaurants but that would take days. Suffice it to say as someone who lives in the arena it is not even close to what it used to be.

The prices of the rooms are often twice as much as we used to pay and the ticket prices just keep going up while everything else goes down. Now in 2 days disney is going to raise ticket prices again which is ridiculous. What I have noticed is that reservations are easier to get now and hotels are not being filled hence the extra free dining period so disney is pricing its guests out and it has started to catch up to them.
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Old 08-03-2010, 03:51 PM   #118
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I kinda have to agree here too... Remember when guests used to respect Disney? They'd clean up after themselves and were nice and courteous to CMs and other guests?
I could not agree MORE With this statement...everytime we go, I am more and more amazed at the way some people behave.

On th eflip side of that, FH & I always meet really wonderful people as well.
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Old 08-03-2010, 04:25 PM   #119
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Hmm, a couple of things I'm noticing here...

First, those of us saying there has been a decline are not saying Disney sucks, so don't worry. I still go more than once a year even though I've been very vocal about many things. It's not a question of whether Disney is enjoyable, rather, whether it could be more enjoyable if certain things hadn't changed the way they did.

Secondly, and more importantly, I guess I really don't understand (and never will) the mentality of it is the way it is. Just deal with it and enjoy it. I'm paraphrasing here but many people have posted this sort of opinion. Honestly, that attitude is exactly why things are the way they are in many aspects of life--not just Disney. If you see something wrong, you should tell them about it. If you see something right, you should tell them about it. If you have ideas for changes, you should let them know as well. If we all had the, "it is the way it is," mentality, everything would get as boring as the food in Disney...
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Old 08-03-2010, 04:51 PM   #120
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I think this is the biggest cause of decline
I whole heartedly agree with this. The outsourcing that is.
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