Why I chose not to visit Walt Disney World

Discussion in 'Theme Parks Community' started by Spokker, Mar 1, 2008.

  1. Spokker

    Spokker Mouseketeer

    Oct 25, 2007
    UPDATE: I posted this exact same thread on another message board. While I did receive some replies disagreeing with me and some agreeing with me, no one called me a troll. In fact they did something much more amazing, they worked with my concerns and gave me some good ideas on how to get to WDW for less.

    I am now seriously reconsidering a trip to WDW based on new information. Thanks for nothing disboards.com.

    Growing up I had always wanted to visit Walt Disney World. I'm a Southern California native who has been to Disneyland many times throughout my life but Disney World was always in the back of my mind. Last Spring I was so close to booking the trip that I could almost feel the humidity. Here's why I ultimately chose not to and visit Tokyo Disney instead.

    Attractions I wanted to see were gone - Horizons was the major spark igniting my interest to go to Disney World ever since I was a kid. It's the kind of attraction I've always dreamed of, and even today, enjoy it through an excellent DVD quality ride-through I found on the Internet. Mission: Space just doesn't seem that interesting to me.

    World of Motion was another classic Epcot attraction I wish I could have experienced. Test Track looks like an abomination. I can't fathom how anyone could prefer this to this. I hope GM got their money's worth, because WDW guests sure didn't.

    There were other things I didn't like. Alien Encounter turned into Stitch Encounter or something like that. 20,000 Leagues transformed into a Winnie the Pooh play area. A lot of things that would have otherwise attracted me to WDW were gone. I also didn't like the idea of the Tiki Room: Under New Management. That's not something I can support and I just didn't want to go anywhere near it.

    Already, I'm pretty disgruntled, but I was still willing to go.

    Transportation - I wanted to see Islands of Adventure in addition to the four parks at WDW, but there was no reliable, easy way to do it outside of renting a car or taking a taxi, two things I had no intention of doing. Much of the advice centered around taking a public bus but that the ride was slow. Others suggested staying off-site but I didn't want to rely on hotel shuttles.

    I was also disappointed at the transportation system at WDW itself. When I think of Disney World I think of sleek, fast, and reliable monorails, not buses, which were a nightmare as far as I read, especially when it's busy. I became bitter that Disney World has not expanded its monorail system since the 80s and pretty much lost all faith in the technology.

    Being a rail enthusiast I was enticed by Tokyo's entirely grade-separated, reliable, and always on-time rail network. I discovered that it would be so much easier to get to non-Disney destinations in Japan. I enjoyed riding on Japanese trains almost as much as seeing DisneySea.

    General lack of upkeep - I must admit that columnist Kevin Yee had a hand in this, whose updates on WDW were like weekly "What's broken this week at WDW?" reports. I get bent out of shape when I see a burnt out lightbulb at Disneyland and I'm just a SoCal passholder. When you're shelling out almost 3 grand for a trip to Disney World that stuff is even harder to swallow.

    Bad Policies - There are many policies I don't like at WDW, some of which I knew then and some of which I learned more recently.

    The holiday surcharge for eating on certain busy dates at certain restaurants.

    Not including tips in some Disney Dining Plan anymore.

    Not keeping the park open late for all paying guests, instead opting to hold special events like the Halloween and Christmas parties.

    Early Entry, another "illusion of value" feature where Disney saves money on operating costs but you think you're getting something extra.

    Some of these would have affected me, some would not, but they are not policies I want to support with my wallet.

    Conclusion - I was very close to booking the trip. I had everything planned out, from what parks we would visit on what days, choice of hotels, and how we were going to pay for it. Everything was a go and all I had to do was book, and in the 11th hour I said, "You know what? This is stupid." I felt like a moron, a sucker, for even considering Disney World in its current state, and decided that it just wasn't worth it.

    I decided to visit Tokyo Disney instead because of DisneySea, the desire to visit another country, my interest in rail mass transit, and the fact that it wasn't that much more expensive than WDW. Even today if I had to choose, I would visit TDR again before WDW.

    If you have anything to add, such as how Disney World has possibly improved since last year and/or how a trip could be easily made despite my grievances, please do so.
  2. CleveRocks

    CleveRocks Rock 'n' Roller Coaster worshipper

    Mar 5, 2005
    There's a whole world out there to see, of which WDW is but a speck, so far be it from me to tell you that you "should" go vacation there. Vacations are fun, and are all about our opinions and preferences, so we have to be happy with our choices. But since you ask, I do want to comment on some of your comments.
    We can't live in the past. If it were important to me to vacation somewhere where nothing had ever been closed, replaced, overhauled, changed, or demolished, I'd be limited to someplace that just opened a few years ago. Like Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic ... but then again I could pine for the natural unspoiled beauty that used to be there before the government decided the area should be developed, and thus maybe I wouldn't be able to enjoy what's there now. Otherwise, literally every place in the world has places that aren't there anymore, or have substantially changed, etc. Seriously, in this regard you have set criteria that are impossible to satisfy.

    And on a personal note ... Enchanted Tiki Room: Under New Management, in my opinion, is not only hilarious (as opposed to the original boring version), it's a welcome respite in the air conditioning in an otherwise run-around busy day.

    As for World of Motion versus Test Track ... I always thought WoM was a big snore. Test Track is not "The Best Thing Ever," but it's a fun experience that's worth the time. As for the photos you compare in your links, it's improper to compare a stylized, well-lit, well-composed nighttime photo with a very plain ordinary snapshot taken in harsh daylight; it's comparing apples and oranges. If you were to see a poorly-composed, harsh daylight snapshot of WoM, it wouldn't look very impressive ... just another building. I'm a photography hobbyist and I sell my work. I have a cherished photo from a trip to San Francisco, a shot of the Bay Bridge that is just one of the most beautiful shots I've ever seen, due mostly to the colors in the sky and the cloud formations. But my shots of the Golden Gate Bridge look like a hyperactive and colorblind 8-year-old took them. But in reality, if you were to compare the 2 bridges, which is more visually appealing in real life?

    I understand your feeling about this, but I don't understand your logic about this. "I don't want to go to WDW because they won't provide me free transportation to a competitor"??? In my opinion, hardly a reason to not visit somewhere. Just where in the world can you go that will conveniently transport you to a competitor, where you wouldn't have to take a taxi or rent a car to get to??? Again, I think your expectations are unrealistic in this regard. Your complaint here, in my opinion, isn't so much about WDW as it is about geography and capitalism.
    Again, here you are saying you won't enjoy something because it doesn't live up to an unrealistic expectation you have. That would be like be refusing to visit L.A. because their subway system never developed the way it was supposed to. If I look at only what isn't there that I think should be there, I really couldn't visit anywhere in the world.

    As neat as the monorails are, I think having concrete beams crisscrossing the entire area would look rather ugly.

    And you mention the bus system being a "nightmare" ... well, everyone's entitled to their opinion, but there are millions of people, like me, who think the bus system is a dream and not a nightmare. But if you are going to seek out the negative, you will always find it.
    Maybe if you could explain your "grievance" better here, I could comment better.

    I fail to see how Extra Magic Hours is a way for WDW to save money but give the illusion of guests getting something extra. Let's look at Epcot, the only of the 4 parks that has set hours every day of the year (Futureworld 9-7, World Showcase 11-9). On morning Extra Magic Hours, which maybe occurs about once a week, Futureworld opens at 8:00 a.m. to WDW resort guests. On evening Extra Magic Hours, which maybe occurs about once a week, everything stays open 'til midnight, for WDW resort guests. The EMH days are clearly a departure from the regular set schedule, they are clearly something "extra," and they are clearly available only to people paying to stay at a WDW resort as opposed to anyplace off-site ... so how exactly do you see EMH as a money-saver for WDW that is also an "illusion" of something extra for the guests? I could see your point if they reduced the public operating hours once a week and offered the resulting "extra" time to resort guests, but that is simply not the case ... so again, I'd be interested to know your reasoning with this one.
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  4. SnwflkCts

    SnwflkCts I wanna go back ... when can I go back???

    Jan 22, 2006
    One can probably find reasons for NOT visiting anywhere. That's why I choose to find the reasons TO vist places!

    If you enjoy another vacation spot better ... more power to you.

    OK ... the transportation to the competitor thing did leave me a little confused though :confused3 I hardly get angry at Holiday Inn for not taking me to the airport when I stay at Best Western .....
  5. jagafen

    jagafen Robo needs his own Bat-Light

    Jun 3, 2007
    Well stated, however, I couldn't help but hear "Fezzick" (Princess Bride/Iocaine Powder) in my head as I read this part!! :rotfl2:
  6. LindsayDunn228

    LindsayDunn228 <font color=teal>Quite a hunk of man, isn't he???<

    Dec 21, 2004
    More room for me then! :)
  7. CinderellasSister

    CinderellasSister DIS Veteran

    Jul 16, 2006
    OMG!!! You're right!!!!
    :rotfl2: :lmao: :rotfl2: :lmao: :rotfl2: :lmao: :rotfl2: :lmao:
  8. Dmcuth

    Dmcuth alldisneycharacters.com

    Feb 20, 2007
    I think you should stand by your conviction. Never go to WDW, everything you said is correct. WDW is a horrible place! Of course, I may just like the idea that one less person makes more room for me who has been going 4 times a year for 5 years and been visiting since 1977, and who is amazed that is gets better all the time.

    What's funny is you want to go to IOA, which, although I love the place, pales in comparison to the operation that Disney has going. You'll really complain about that place!

    Have fun in Tokyo!
  9. wildernesslodgelover

    wildernesslodgelover <font color=darkorchid>LOTW charter member!<br><fo

    Jun 3, 2004
    Are you a lawyer? Oh, BTW, I meant that as a compliment. You really worded everything perfectly. I felt all those things you said, but could never have thrown several paragraphs together on a message board and been as eloquent as you. Very well written, thought provoking post!:thumbsup2
  10. M-I-C-K-E-Y

    M-I-C-K-E-Y DIS Veteran

    Jun 13, 2006
    Hey - I found the following at Merriam-Webster:


    Main Entry: grumpy
    Pronunciation: \ˈgrəm-pē\
    Function: adjective
    Inflected Form(s): grump·i·er; grump·i·est
    Date: 1778
    : moodily cross : surly
    — grump·i·ly \-pə-lē\ adverb
    — grump·i·ness \-pē-nəs\ noun
  11. Cee

    Cee DIS Veteran

    Aug 8, 2006
    One day, I hope you give WDW a try. It's a truly incredible place. :thumbsup2
  12. richs52

    richs52 Mouseketeer

    Oct 23, 2003
    I agree with you...you should not go to Disney World. I don't think that anything there is anything that anyone can tell you on this message board that is going to help you truly enjoy your WDW experience. You have so many negative thoughts about the place, that you have already set yourself up for a bad time. You sound like you have found some places that you do like to go to, and that's great. I think you'd be happier at those places.
  13. DJ Disney Kid

    DJ Disney Kid Walt Disney World Vet

    Feb 12, 2004
    This thread will be locked by the time I get home from work. :surfweb:
  14. bdcp

    bdcp DIS Veteran

    Nov 13, 2004
    So, were you trying to convince us or yourself that you made the "right" decision? :confused3

    Did you think you were going to get applause or a high five for putting down someplace on a board dedicated to it? :confused:

    Please, go to Japan, but why do you feel the need to come on here and tell us? We never needed to know. It could have been your secret.:rotfl:
  15. deej696

    deej696 They say the recipe for Sprite is lemon and lime,

    May 27, 2007
    You are definitely entitled to your opinion, but man Spokker you gotta lighten up a little. First the "2fers brings out the undesirables" post, now this one. I hope that vacation to Tokyo gets there quick cause I think you need one:lmao: :rotfl:

    PS, since you wont be using them, can I have your fast passes?:rotfl2:
  16. twinspluscade

    twinspluscade DIS Veteran

    Feb 11, 2006

    I guess I'm a bit perplexed.:confused3. All the things you complained about could also pertain to Disneyland...which I'm guessing you like since you've been there many times.

    Why the heck would WDW offer transportation to a competitor?? That doesn't even make sense. Does Disneyland offer a bus to the Universal or Legoland parks in CA? I highly doubt it.

    It would not work to use the monorail for all over the park. Remember, WDW has over 20 resorts. It would be unfeasible--not to mention unsightly--to have them everywhere. The busses really aren't that bad.

    As for general lack of upkeep at WDW--this is no different than any other Disney park--including Disneyland and Tokyo.:confused3 .

    I also don't know how you can compare Test Track to Worlds of Motion when you've never been on either?

    I just find the whole concept strange of flying all the way to Tokyo to do Disney, simply because of a few nit-picky things you don't like about WDW. Surely the same things apply to the Disneyland and Tokyo parks?:confused3
  17. SarahKate

    SarahKate DIS Veteran

    Feb 5, 2006
    I think someone is here trying to stir the pot!!! :stir:
  18. Steven41782

    Steven41782 DIS Veteran

    Jan 12, 2004
    I liked this post as I like to hear everyone's opinion. My favorite thing was the light bulb comment. I thought I was the only person who was annoyed by burned out bulbs. (not just a WDW, but everywhere)

    I think that what you have remember about WDW is that at the end of the day it is a business. They are going to do what they think is neccessary to keep the guests pouring in. I think they are doing that.
  19. eliza61

    eliza61 DIS Veteran

    Jun 2, 2003

    Isn't it funn how two different people can look at the same thing and see two totally different things. Here's my take:

    1. Attractions: Sure some of my favorites are gone but the reality of ANY business is you keep current or you die! Disney is doing a good job of introducing new and exciting attractions (Soarin, Mission space, EE) sure they have duds every once in a while.

    2. Transportation. Ok, please tell me where in California do you visit that provides you transportation to the competitor? I guess you think Mcdonalds should start sellling Burger king. :confused3 No where else provides you FREE, reliable transportation. Once again,sure it needs to be tweek but the are few vacation venues the gives you this. Correct me if I'm wrong, I've been to LA and last I check the bus system and highway system there was lousy.

    3. Extra Perks, :confused3 Your mad because you can get into the park early meaning hopefully less crowds?

    Please just say you don't want to go to WDW, that's cool. I don't want to go all the time also, but please give up on the luke warm explanations, they are sad.
  20. cabanafrau

    cabanafrau DIS Veteran

    May 10, 2006
    Okay, before this gets out of hand I just have to say -- would everyone just leave my Tiki Room out of it!! :hippie:

    Thank you, your previously scheduled discussion may resume.
  21. jctwizzer

    jctwizzer DIS Veteran

    Oct 11, 1999
    At last, a RADP-type consumate troll in the same class as the legendary
    Paul T. :cool1: :cool2:

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