Why I Gave Up on Walt Disney World

DGsAtBLT

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 10, 2017
You can get just about any ADR the night before. Seriously.
Yup. I mean if something is important I would absolutely book it in advance if at all possible, but the notion that you can’t eat anywhere decent without ADRs made months in advance is not true.

I think it’s ironic that the very thing the author is blaming (the ease of booking, MDE) is part of what makes it so much easier to get those last minute bookings.
 

fla4fun

DIS Veteran
Joined
Nov 12, 2006
well, I for one, would have a full spreadsheet going for my trip to London and would have all the days planned out (and have done this in the past). Probably would have a day or 2 in there where I wouldn't have a dinner planned .... but we do that with Disney as well. You don't *have* to book out every night of your stay, but for a few things if you want to book them you need to do it in advance - just like places in London and many other places
However, it is possible to go to London and not book any dining in advance and still eat well. I have done it twice. The only pre-booking I did for those trips was booking a hotel And airline ticket. I had a loose idea of what I wanted to see, but wanted to be able to take the weather into account each day before deciding that day’s itinerary. Since the itinerary wasn’t set in stone, the dining wasn’t either.

Disney is the same for me. The only dining I might book in advance is if someone else is joining me for a particular day of the trip. Many trips I don’t book any dining in advance. I book some FP, but I am always moving park days around and canceling/rebooking them. It is possible to do a spontaneous Disney trip if you really want to. You just have to balance your desire for spontaneity against the very few, hard to book, ADRs and FPs. I prefer the spontaneity.

There is no way I could stay in a room smelling of vomit. I wouldn’t even be able to enter it or I would be adding to the problem . . .
 
  • TheMaxRebo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2008
    However, it is possible to go to London and not book any dining in advance and still eat well. I have done it twice. The only pre-booking I did for those trips was booking a hotel And airline ticket. I had a loose idea of what I wanted to see, but wanted to be able to take the weather into account each day before deciding that day’s itinerary. Since the itinerary wasn’t set in stone, the dining wasn’t either.

    Disney is the same for me. The only dining I might book in advance is if someone else is joining me for a particular day of the trip. Many trips I don’t book any dining in advance. I book some FP, but I am always moving park days around and canceling/rebooking them. It is possible to do a spontaneous Disney trip if you really want to. You just have to balance your desire for spontaneity against the very few, hard to book, ADRs and FPs. I prefer the spontaneity.

    There is no way I could stay in a room smelling of vomit. I wouldn’t even be able to enter it or I would be adding to the problem . . .
    agreed and that was what I was arguing against with this article in that for everything he hates about the new systems, other people love it - and you don't *have* to do all the booking craziness that you can do - it adds stress if you feel you have to as many people do, but in reality Disney doesn't force you to - you can still go with next to no plans and enjoy yourself (just have to have the proper expectations)

    Other items I do think he is spot on about as far as overall level of customer service just not being what it used to be - which is extra tough to take when they keep raising prices
     

    Brianstl

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 8, 2019
    Regarding the staff seeming overworked and overwhelmed: Remember that we are seeing record low unemployment, which means the labor market is very tight. It's extremely hard for many employers to find people to hire these days. WDW can increase wages to attract and retain staff, but we have to realize that means prices for guests will be raised as well. And who knows what will happen when the next recession hits and guests no longer have $10K to burn on two weeks at Disney!
    Prices have nothing to do with wages at place like Disney. Disney prices are set by what Disney believes the market will be willing to pay. The people who set the prices at Disney will research volumes of data on their customers/potential customers financial situations, psychological profiles and studies, economic forecasts, etc. The wages of cast members are not included in that information.

    Now, when it comes to maintenance fees at DVC, wages do factor into that cost.
     
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    disneyland_is_magic

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 16, 2016
    I am guessing the gripe about the phone thing is it used to be a more concierge system. Like sometimes you'd call and get something not showing available because they work some magic or something. Sometimes you get really, really great CMs on the phone. I have had phone calls with CMs that customer service was so excellent, I'd hang up feeling the Disney "magic" at home. And sometimes the really knowledge ones saved me a bunch of research.

    But yes, sometimes you get nonsense using the phone. I once had to call and change a Hilton Head reservation, because it was last minute I HAD to call. They are handled by the call reservations in Florida. And guess what day it happened to be? Yep, free dining release, I was trying to get through, on hold for hours and I wasn't even going to Florida. When I finally got the CM on the phone, we both had a good laugh about it.

    It's has good and bad like everything.
     
  • Minerva Mouse

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 16, 2012
    So what would happen, if fast passes and dinning reservations didn't exists? Would you stop going, or go more often?
     

    disneyland_is_magic

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 16, 2016
    Oh, I am watching to see if Deni pops in to say hello and assure us she isn't done with Disney. I am pretty sure she is a regular on the boards from what's she said, but maybe she doesn't want to "out" her screen name.
     

    TheMaxRebo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2008
    So what would happen, if fast passes and dinning reservations didn't exists? Would you stop going, or go more often?
    hard to say for certain without seeing it play out. I don't think if they went away it would change how often we go - but I am fairly certain we would stay on site even less than we already do if there wasn't the 60 day vs 30 day and 180+ day benefit to those staying on property
     

    CanadaDisney05

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 20, 2017
    This is the kind of article written by someone who is jaded and needs to take a break from WDW. Hey, I don't blame him... it's just psychology and economics. The less you have of a product/service, the more you're going to value it, and the less you're going to see its glaring flaws. I know. I was that guy for a moment.

    People have complained for decades that Disney is getting worse and worse, and nobody is able to cherry-pick the worst parts than the fans who have had more than their fill. And when prices are rising as they do, it just makes the disconnect even worse.

    I'm not saying his opinions have no merit (I agree with some and disagree with others). But overall, people love WDW, and its popularity can't exist without positive experiences with attractions, shows, atmosphere, and guest service... no matter what the naysayers believe.

    (We get a lot of people every year thinking that Disney suddenly became all about the money and is just coasting... that can't be true every year for decades.)

    So when you get jaded, take a break.. just like I did. And when you're ready, come on back to WDW. Chances are you'll fall in love with it again.
    This.

    I went to Disney as a kid, but then again only just returned a couple of years ago. Been to WDW twice and DL once in the past 3 years. My experiences have been overall fantastic in terms of customer service, ability to book dining reservations, book fastpass, ease of access on property, cleanliness, and everything else.

    If you keep going to the same place every year for 30 years, your going to notice the faults. It's natural. The DIS team always seems to rail on WDW for customer service and cleanliness in comparison, but in my experiences I found it to be completely the opposite. The level of customer service at WDW was incredible. The customer service at DL left something to be desired. But I don't live in Orlando and don't visit WDW 5x a week. I get it from their perspective. Going to WDW is just another day, while going to DL is vacation. Of course their going to see it with more rose colored glasses.
     
  • jenrose66

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 17, 2005
    Last time I was at Disney was in December of 2017. I was at the Christmas Party standing next to the ropes waiting for the parade to start. We were I believe in Adventure Land (I could be wrong) but it was an area where there was a rope across the street where it wasn't intuitive a rope would be there...and it was dark. Anyway, there were maybe 6 or 7 cast members standing with flashlights (I could only assume they were supposed to be there directing guests). They weren't paying attention to what was going on around them, instead they were talking amongst themselves in a circle. A woman on a scooter was driving thru and close lined herself on the rope. As guests we saw it coming and started yelling at her to stop but it was noisy and she didn't hear. It was horrible to see. If the cast members were actually paying attention and doing their job, they could have made sure that woman had made it down the street safely. To me that sums up what has happened to customer service at Disney as of late.

    On that same trip I had horrible hotel service as well. I called the day before we were to check out to request help from Bell Services with my luggage upon check out. They told me there was going to be no one available at the time I needed help (it would have been 7am). They told me they could come to the room at 3:30am...that was the soonest they had available. This was at Coronado Springs and we were in the Ranchos area. I declined and figured I'd just drag mine and my mom's suitcase the half mile to the front of the hotel. Fast forward to the next day and the wheel on my luggage breaks. It was too heavy to lift and I was really feeling terrible. I tried to call to the front desk and of course I'm put on hold b/c every time you call Disney for anything now a days you are put on hold. It took me crying and pleading my situation to finally get them to send a housekeeping tram to ride me up to the area where we needed to catch our magical express. We made it with 5 minutes to spare and I had left the hotel room 90 minutes before I needed to meet magical express. That's just ridiculous.

    It used to be that I'd never worry about having trouble at Disney because you knew if something went wrong they would make it right. However, I don't believe that anymore and after that trip I walked away feeling like I had wasted premium money on a subpar experience.
     

    sharadoc

    Visit WDW since '86, driving since '94.
    Joined
    May 6, 2008

    Was this a farewell to the troops? I enjoyed watching her on tthe dis unplugged vids!
    Hi. You could consider changing the title of this thread. You can Edit it, it's not set in stone.
     

    Beer Me

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 3, 2014
    This.

    I went to Disney as a kid, but then again only just returned a couple of years ago. Been to WDW twice and DL once in the past 3 years. My experiences have been overall fantastic in terms of customer service, ability to book dining reservations, book fastpass, ease of access on property, cleanliness, and everything else.

    If you keep going to the same place every year for 30 years, your going to notice the faults. It's natural. The DIS team always seems to rail on WDW for customer service and cleanliness in comparison, but in my experiences I found it to be completely the opposite. The level of customer service at WDW was incredible. The customer service at DL left something to be desired. But I don't live in Orlando and don't visit WDW 5x a week. I get it from their perspective. Going to WDW is just another day, while going to DL is vacation. Of course their going to see it with more rose colored glasses.
    Familiarity breeds contempt
     

    disneyland_is_magic

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 16, 2016
    I don't think people necessarily get negative just because a lot of years have gone by and it becomes redundant or too familar. Our local amusement park just closed for the season, as regulars, we just went for our last blow out visit of the year. We walked around trying to soak it all, alot of "one last time of this or that" till they reopen in spring and I got pretty nostalgic, almost emotional.

    We walked a few haunted houses, I rode the Merry Go Round that's now well over a 100 years old and it felt magical. We got a delicious chocolate treat, we stopped and looked at the new ride under construction, stretching to the sky and wondered wistfully what it will be like. The lines were light and we walked on everything, something that almost never happens at Disney anymore. The neon lights on the boardwalk style games were bright since it had gotten dark so early. Several times I said to my boyfriend, how lucky I felt to have a park of this size only minutes from our house.

    The park has plenty of flaws, but oh man, I love love love for all it is and for all it's not. I love it more now with so many memories attached. The price for a yearly pass is about one single day at DL so maybe I am not so "hard" on it.
    But I don't think it's fair to say if we say something is wrong now, the fault is in the guest for staying "too long at the party. " I think they are seeing serious signs of misdirections or poor management about something they are deeply invested in. If my park started to lose it's direction, I think I would be upset, but it wouldn't mean I just was too familiar with it.
     
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    parasail_of_congress

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Aug 22, 2019
    Okay I am startled a few of you are coming down so hard on him. Let’s have a lively debate on the points if you want, but a few posts seemed too harsh.


    The fresh vomit in their Pop room sounds insane. Vomit, ugh. Not only is it generally gross, but it can carry sickness. And ZERO compensation, apologies and bad customer service to boot for a vomit room. Pete’s family gets a free night, dinner comped, apologies and a bellhop to pack and move their stuff over a maintenance issue. What?! I find it unnerving, you are at complete mercy of whoever is on duty.
    All the issues mentioned - price increases, the nutty need to plan things out 6 months in advance all certainly resonate with me.

    I really don’t think he is acting entitled at all. He mentioned many of the things they said on the show last week “15 Things that need fixing”. The team says it everyone cheers them on like heroes in battle, an unknown person says it and he is treated like (and called) a whiner.
    Personally, I don't believe the author's vomit story. I suspect that someone in the author's party got sick, but they pretended as if it was already there. It would make no sense to go into detail about how vomit smells, and I just don't believe that the folks at Pop Century would ignore the situation, especially if it had already been there. Combine that with the fact that this stay was during freakin' hurricane, and I just don't give any validity to the article whatsoever.
     

    MickeyWaffles

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 28, 2010
    The FP planning is IMO much more complicated than the ADR planning. People generally know what time they like to eat, what food they like to eat, what type of meals they’re looking for, etc. They’re also more forgiving (save for a few) if you don’t book them far in advance. Its when you have to start planning 4+ things per day that it can get dicey.
    I am not an overplanner - we like playing it by ear. Our trips aren’t scheduled outside of an ADR (usually just a few, except we are trying the DDP on our next visit so we will have more) and our 3 pre-booked FP. Growing up, we didn’t choose our park until the morning of ... based on the weather, or sometimes just hopped on whichever bus came first!

    Now as the mom of 2 small kids, I love FP+. Knowing that we have a specific time to get on in-demand rides is really nice. I much prefer being able to book a few FP in advance over rushing to or dragging my whole family to a ride to get a paper FP that could be for 6 hours later. I love knowing that I don’t have to rush to PPF at rope drop. My kids are morning people, so we enjoy the lower crowds then and do FP at 10/11/12 or 11/12/1. Then we book more or take a break. The rest of the day we keep pretty flexible.

    I was actually against FP+ when it came out - stressed me out about over scheduling. But after our first trip with it, I wouldn’t want to turn back.
     

    MaidMarian444

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 18, 2019
    Prices have nothing to do with wages at place like Disney. Disney prices are set by what Disney believes the market will be willing to pay. The people who set the prices at Disney will research volumes of data on their customers/potential customers financial situations, psychological profiles and studies, economic forecasts, etc. The wages of cast members are not included in that information.

    Now, when it comes to maintenance fees at DVC, wages do factor into that cost.
    True, prices and wages don’t have a perfectly correlated relationship. But there’s a reason you can go to a pristine resort in a developing country and be waited on hand and foot with a smile for the same price as a room in Disney with dirty dishes in the hall and overflowing trash cans in the park. One has cheap plentiful labor to exploit, the other does not.
     

    disneyland_is_magic

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 16, 2016
    Personally, I don't believe the author's vomit story. I suspect that someone in the author's party got sick, but they pretended as if it was already there. It would make no sense to go into detail about how vomit smells, and I just don't believe that the folks at Pop Century would ignore the situation, especially if it had already been there. Combine that with the fact that this stay was during freakin' hurricane, and I just don't give any validity to the article whatsoever.
    Everything else is basically a well known consensus, so why lie about this point?
    Ryno shared he was assigned a room at Pop that absolutely reeked of bleach. Was he lying too?
    This poor chap has been called everything from a liar to a whiner for an article that is basically a similar consensus to these boards.
    What is going on here??!
     


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