Op-Ed: 7 Issues Walt Disney World must address immediately

in Disney, Walt Disney World

Monorail lawsuit

I love the Most Magical Place on Earth because, well, it’s the most magical place on the earth.

I love the view we get of Cinderella Castle from the monorail and the way the Grand Floridian is illuminated at night. I love the scent of oranges on the Soarin’ attraction and the champagne scent at Mickey’s PhilharMagic. And I love the sounds of the music from the Festival of Fantasy Parade. But there’s always room for improvement, and at Disney World, there are some issues that I can’t believe haven’t already gotten attention.

disney world entrance
Credit: Becky Burkett / ITM Reporter

And so I’m not accusing of being “Debbie Downers” or “Negative Nancys” who point out problems and offer no solutions, I’ve included ways in which I feel Disney could correct the problems that seem to be blatantly staring them in the face.

Disney World must address these things. And now. Here are 7 of them, in no particular order.

Do away with the “3 FastPasses Per Day” Limit

I get it. More than 50 million people visit Disney World each year. That’s as many as 50 million Guests cramming into queues for the myriad of attractions I love at the parks. And I’m thankful for the 3 FastPass+ selections guests get each day; really, I am. But if I’m completely honest, pre-booking only 3 per day isn’t nearly enough. Think about it: you either are lucky enough to get all 3 in the morning or all 3 in the afternoon, or you have the luck of getting FastPass+ times that are inconveniently spread out across the day–4 and 5 hours apart from each other.

It sure would be nice to have one or two more selections each day, just to keep the Magic going strong. Some Guests might even pay for the option to have more selections per day; others will say they’re already paying enough that the option should be included (I’m ignoring the FastPass+ that you can book after you’ve used your 3 because let’s be honest the selection at that point isn’t very good).

Avatar: Flight of Passage
Credit: Disney

Allow Guests to reserve FastPass+ selections in different parks on the same day

Dear Disney World,

You encourage us to buy the Park Hopper option on our theme park tickets. We Passholders have the Hopper option standard on our passes. But you refuse to allow us to make FastPass+ selections for 7D Mine Train at Magic Kingdom, then Flight of Passage at Animal Kingdom, followed by Slinky Dog at Hollywood Studios–all in the same day.

Really, if you aren’t going to budge on the “3 FastPasses per day” limit, at least let Guests use their selections however they want to. It’s really no skin off your proverbial nose if Guests scattered their selections across 3 different parks. Why so pushy about the Park Hopper option if our FastPasses might keep us in one park for the majority of the day?

Sincerely,

A Majority of the 50 Million Guests who visit each year

Stop dangling Cinderella’s suite in front of us like a carrot.

This is really disappointing. Diehard Disney World fans have all seen pictures of the piece of Heaven perched high above Fantasyland inside the fourth floor of Cinderella Castle. Pictures that make us desperate to see the Cinderella’s suite with our own eyes. But alas, those pictures may as well be carrots dangling out there in front of us because guests know that less than 0.001% will ever see the suite in our lifetimes.

It might not even exist for all I know. The only way to enter the suite is by entering a sweepstakes that pops up every 3rd blue moon and then being the lucky 0.00001% that actually wins. (Disclaimer: Decimal values may be inaccurate.)

Cinderella Castle Suite
Credit: ABCNews

Either that or create more opportunities for more Disney fans to see the suite. Cinderella told us that if we keep on believing, the dream that we wish will come true, so I’m about 100% positive that she wouldn’t approve of the dangling carrot either.

Heck, it’s Disney World, so why not charge a crazy amount of money for a stay in the suite? You know there are Guests who would pay the fee. Yes, the waiting list for such a booking could be years long, but at least the dream that I wish has a better chance of coming true.

Cinderella Castle at Dusk
Credit: Becky Burkett / ITM Reporter

Expand the Dining Room at Cinderella’s Royal Table

While I’m on the subject of Cinderella’s Castle, let’s talk about the gorgeous restaurant located on its 2nd floor. Cinderella’s Royal Table Restaurant is a lovely venue with lovely and charming staff. The food is good, and the desserts win bonus points for creativity. But no points are awarded for accommodation potential at the restaurant. With room for only 130 Guests, it’s the smallest dining room at a table-service venue in the entire Walt Disney World Resort.

It’s one of the toughest dining reservations to score, and payment in full is due at the time of booking. Let’s find a way to expand the dining room or re-imagine another area on the 2nd floor that, with some pixie dust, could be turned into another dining area. I’ll ask the Imagineers; they’ll know what to do!

Cinderella Royal Table
Credit: Disney

Stop conducting routine maintenance on the monorail during park hours.

No explanation needed. It’s crowded enough as it is. No routine servicing of the monorail during park hours, unless there’s an emergency.

monorail at epcot
Credit: Becky Burkett / ITM Reporter

Give Annual Passholders a discount on daily park tickets.

As Passholders, we never have to think about the hassle of purchasing daily tickets to the four theme parks. But we often visit the parks with friends and family members who aren’t Passholders, and some of us also buy those tickets so our loved ones can experience the magic too.

Annual Passholders receive a 20% discount on most merchandise, a 10-20% discount on select dining venues and $0 parking. Why not allow us a 20% on park tickets as well, even if there’s a limit. Disney allows us a discount on water park tickets, so why not theme park tickets? My grandmother really wants to see Epcot!

Calm down with the crazy parking fees, will ya?

Yeesh! How many more times is Disney going to raise the parking fees this decade?

Parking fee revenue at Disney World is what I call “mailbox money.” It’s a continual, guaranteed stream of cash that accrues without too much effort or expenditures on the part of the recipient. (Must be a big mailbox.) Everyone reading this can multiply and add. Thousands upon thousands of vehicles parking each day x $25 per vehicle = $$$$.

And that’s not even including the resort hotel nightly parking fees which, by the way, are going up this fall from $13 to $15 at Value Resorts, from $19 to $20 at Moderate Resorts and from $24 to $25 at Deluxe Resorts and Deluxe Villas.

grand floridian
Credit: Becky Burkett / ITM Reporter

There’s simply no justification for the exorbitant parking fees at Disney World, and there’s certainly no justification for the multiple price hikes in parking fees over the past few years. Add to that the fact that someone who parks closest to the Transportation and Ticket Center at Magic Kingdom pays the same fee as the family who parked in the Heroes lot and has to ride the tram. If you’re not going to be more reasonable with the parking fees, dear Disney, at least charge a lower fee for lots that require a hop aboard a tram.

These are some of the issues I think Disney World should address immediately. Do you agree with any of them? What issues do you see at Disney World that need a solution?

View Comments (61)