Do You think DISNEY has gone down hlll the last few years?

Discussion in 'Theme Parks Attractions and Strategies' started by brunette8706, Aug 2, 2010.

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  1. GadgetRick

    GadgetRick DIS Veteran

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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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  3. mrsswat

    mrsswat Irishtinksmama

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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.
     
  4. Indiana Rose Lee

    Indiana Rose Lee Baby Factory Extraordinaire! ;)

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    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.
     
  5. TDC Nala

    TDC Nala <font color=red>1937, what a year that was<br><fon Moderator

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    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.
     
  6. Purseval

    Purseval DIS Veteran

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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?
     
  7. disneyfan55

    disneyfan55 DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  8. labattblue

    labattblue DIS Veteran

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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". :sad2:
     
  9. Arielle22

    Arielle22 <font color=red>We have had spirits<br><font color

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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.
     
  10. Violet Parr

    Violet Parr DIS Veteran

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

    VP
     
  11. SydneyFalco

    SydneyFalco Stop asking ME about YOUR stuff... just ask me abo

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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.
     
  12. Tiger926

    Tiger926 DIS Veteran

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    I absolutely disagree that younger CMs are to blame. In fact, our experiences have been the exact opposite. We have had some middle-aged and senior CMs who were downright nasty and rude in their attitudes and how they handled guests. I am thinking of a few right now during last July, this March and a few weeks ago, who were sarcastic and rude to myself and a few other guests. They honestly seemed tired and overworked, with no desire to be there.

    On the other hand, most younger CMs have been extremely helpful to us most of the time. :thumbsup2

    I do not generalize at all, so these kinds of statements really irritate me. No matter what age, a person has the choice to act a certain way. So, continuously blaming young people, is just not going to cut it with me. Just like with rude guests - I see far more entitled adult to middle-aged parents (30-50 years) acting rude and crass with no sense of other guests surrounding them, yet these boards are full of teen tour group rants. I see so many adults in the parks, who do not know how to play well with others.

    It honestly is not as easy as picking a certain age group, and labelling them as the culprit. There is a general difference in tone at Disney, as I mentioned earlier, IMHO. I see things that I have never seen in all my years of travelling to Disney in regards to CM behaviour and attitude. This is across the board, and I cannot define a certain age group to it, but in our experiences, as I mentioned, we have seen more rude and snarky behaviour from older CMs over the past few years.

    Most of the time, we meet wonderful CMs (one of the hardest jobs as far as I'm concerned in terms of exposure to the public all day long) who make our stays pretty darn good, but just like in all retail and service sectors, there are some who don't seem to like, nor know their jobs very well. Does this mean Disney is going to crash and burn? Absolutely not - but perhaps it means that the increase in guests is taking its toll by creating overworked CMs, spread thin management and a sometimes feeling of things aren't like the good ole' days. I honestly don't know if things should, nor can be like the good ole' days, since Disney of today, is different. It is evolving and changing with the times...it would seem that staff is as well.

    Tiger
     
  13. LowesChevy

    LowesChevy The happy haunts have received your sympathetic vi

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    Disney has had to deal with the same problems facing other businesses and households, but on a much larger scale. There are many things we need to improve at work like buying new computers or machinery, but we cannot justify spending the money at this time. There is a lot of uncertainty in our economy right now and we do not want to take risk and lose a fortune.

    Most of us have become a little more conscious about how much we are spending on groceries, vacations, gifts, clothing, bills, and all other goods that cost money. Most of us have cut out a lot of the impulse or unecessary purchasing and are sticking to a strict budget. Disney is going to go with the flow like everyone else and try to save money where they can, like cutting back on staff and some services.

    Have I seen a decline in WDW over the past 10 years? A little. Have they cut back on perks for guests? Yes. Are there some things I would like to see improved or fixed? You bet, but it doesn't ruin my vacation experience. We go every year and have a wonderful time. I agree that there are a few areas on property that could use some serious tlc!

    I agree with the op that mentioned some of WDW's guests are just slobs, leaving food on tables when garbage cans are provided or not putting garbage in the trashcan. It is not all the fault of the service workers because there are a lot of piggies out there. One thing I cannot forgive though is a messy, filthy room that mousekeeping neglected. There is no excuse for that and I have read some poster's reviews on them, yuck!


    As far as food, we stick with table service dining. It is more expensive, but the food quality is better than your basic counter service meal. We do not travel with kiddos or want to eat at the crazy expensive buffets and character meals.
     
  14. Purseval

    Purseval DIS Veteran

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    I remember reading an article on Disney many years ago stating that they replaced every light bulb when it was at 70% of its useable life to make sure that visitors would never see a burned out light bulb and ruin the magic. Obviously times have changed.

    They have the added problem now of being upstaged by another theme park. The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter destroys the notion that Disney is the only company that knows how to do Imagineering the way Toy Story blew away the image of Disney as the standard bearer in animation. Now they have to play catch up and they can't just buy Universal the way they did with Pixar.
     
  15. Zippa D Doodah

    Zippa D Doodah <font color=red>Suffering from Fairy Alienation.

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    I do agree that WDW has "gone downhill" a bit. The economic environment has meant that a few too many decisions have been made to emphasize short-term profit rather than long-term viability. On the face of it that is OK, because -after all -Disney is a business and their only obligation is to their stockholders. However it is a dangerous game to play because eventually selling the soul of your corporate identity catches up with you. I am confident though that Disney will get WDW back on track (inasmuch as it is off track) as soon as possible. My general disagreement with corporate policy about not doing enough to add value to the parks is one big reason I have not joined DVC.

    The good news is that the park experience remains a great one. We have a deliriously good time every day we walk through the gates of a Disney park. I trust Disney with my vacations. That is saying something because I highly value my vacations.

    The one huge reason I keep going back to WDW again and again is that I can do it for about the same money I would blow on a family trip to Myrtle Beach. I appreciate them keeping costs down, and understand that to do so they can't/won't run Spectro every night, give me prime rib on a buffet, or frozen coke at Pop.
     
  16. brunette8706

    brunette8706 DIS Veteran

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    Disney as a whole is great! So I do concur with many here. But they do have to work on many things that have tarnished. One example, is the buffets. Okay, like I said earlier I did have an ADR for BOMA, best buffet at WDW in my opinion. But they are now charging $37.59 for this dinner. They are charging all guest a SUR-CHARGE!! WHY? Because they can. Right? Well it's in the months where most people take their children from June through August 15th. Well, in my mind it's called "gouging" the guests. Yes, as stated earlier I did cancel my ADR at BOMA and opted for Shula's with the restaurant.com $25.00 off certificate. Sorry, they're not going to gouge me for that restaurant. And to think that BOMA was $25.99 in 2007, boy it has gotten way too expensive. I personally don't like this type of business model. And I think pretty soon they are going to price themselves out and people will start bringing their own lunch or go offsite or opt for counter service. This type of thing just irritates me. Sorry, had to vent.

    Brunette
     
  17. kittythepoohbear

    kittythepoohbear Mouseketeer

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    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.
     
  18. Zippa D Doodah

    Zippa D Doodah <font color=red>Suffering from Fairy Alienation.

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    Brunette, the decent thing is that Disney does give us choices. For me, once was enough blowing $150 for eggs and french toast at Cinderella's castle. It hasn't cramped my style to cut back on a TS dinner or two per trip either. The good part is that there are other tasty food choices.
     
  19. TDC Nala

    TDC Nala <font color=red>1937, what a year that was<br><fon Moderator

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    In-room internet is free for DVC members staying at DVC resorts on points. However, it is wired, not wireless. For a wireless connection one must bring one's own router.
     
  20. brunette8706

    brunette8706 DIS Veteran

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    Hi Zippa D doodah!

    Yes, there certainly is. I just loved BOMA! LOL! And I just hate the fact about this so called surcharge for buffets. It just isn't right. But, you're correct, that's why I'm going to Shula's! LOL! I may go back to BOMA when they don't have the "sur-charge" though.

    Brunette:wizard:
     
  21. brunette8706

    brunette8706 DIS Veteran

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    Great post. Good points!
     
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