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Comments for Disney Guest Sends Bob Chapek Scathing Letter After Devastating Trip

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Credit: Disney

95 Comments

  1. David

    We just completed a Disneyland vacation in January 2022. Our experience was great with cast members, attractions, and dining. The parks were clean and security was thorough and polite.

    1. Julie

      First of all. If she is going to send a complaint letter to the CEO of a company, it would have been nice if she could have checked her spelling & punctuation. It’s not that tough!!!!

      1. Stacey

        Julie that was the first thing I thought too! Totally agree

      2. Htk

        I’m not a big Chapek fan, however this letter sounds like an attempt of public sympathy at the expense of rationality. Whomever wrote this letter sounds like they are extremely mentally incapacitated. I would be embarrassed to write such dribble.

      3. Susan

        I had an absolutely terrible Disney experience back in 2004. In fact, it was so bad, I wrote a letter about it to corporate. No response at all. I vowed to never return/stay at a Disney resort again. I won’t even look at Disney cruises. It was that bad.

  2. Ray

    I have noticed cast members are not the same as they have been in the past. I have never heard them talking about break times in front of guests before. Then, I heard one walking through the line at Monsters Inc. saying, “can’t wait until my lunch break, I am so ready to be done today.” Caught me off guard. I mean,I get it, who wants to be at work? But I’ve never heard it before at Disneyland so it stuck with me. Another time I caught a cast member on their phone. They were working the register and I was waiting to be rung up. It took a few seconds for the CM to notice me and look away from their phone. I get it, this happens all of the time at the grocery store, restaurants, even Target. But Disneyland is NOT Target, Disneyland costs a lot of money so I expect the best of the best, Disneyland could definitely do better.

    1. Melissa

      I had noticed pre-pandemic the decline in “Disney magic”. We were AP’s so we went about 3-4 times a year. We noticed the cast members were not as kind as they once were and had encountered many rude cast members as well which was very disheartening for us. We were also shocked at the amount of disrepair and uncleanliness throughout the parks.
      Many times I completed my after park visit reviews and voiced what we encountered. I’m sure it went unnoticed. I had even called a few times. We love Disneyland and I would hate for it to loose it’s magic due to poor management!

      1. Marc feldstein

        Often, rude cast members are the result of customers who expect perfection, don’t see cast members as equal and don’t consider the nature of their work.

        If a ceo removes toiletries in hotel rooms or implements another policy, it’s not investor relations they complain to. It’s the cast member.
        And while they may think the better of it later, 99% of the time they don’t apologize.

        Besides, I’m sure you never let lose with untoward verbiage, fail to notice an email or take too much time get back to someone when promised.

        What’s the name for you group? Saints aren’t judgemental so that can’t be it.

    2. Marc feldstein

      Consider the environment, Ralph.
      An uncertain work/career
      existence during covid. 3 kids under 5 died of covid in orange county. What is society, especially anti maskers and anti vaxxers subjecting cast members to?

      After Ralph got a c on his test, he just wasn’t motivated in his ap class. Can’t imagine why.

      After being required to help clients who smoke, ralph didn’t seem as positive or energetic.

      With his son’s broken arm and his uncles pneumonia why can’t Ralph smile anymore?

      There’s a very real pandemic occurring where some folks aren’t careful where they sneeze or consider cast members as equally human.

      May have something to do with it.

  3. John

    Just took the wife and my 11month old to California Adventure on Jan 9th. We had to use up the last of our Festival of Holidays tickets. So we decided to have lunch there that day. Place was beyond packed. There is no crowd capacity limit for sure. Cast members were very nice and the characters kindly came up to my baby girl and waved hi and had a pleasant interaction with her. I can understand paying that high of a price, you want the experience. I personally think the high crowds takes away that experience. Having to dodge and weave through people from your parking spot, tram pathway, both lands, tram pathway again,and back to your parking spot is quite tiresome.

    1. Brian

      We visited all four parks at Disneyworld the week of Christmas. While we had a magical time, I will echo some of the concerns in the above letter.
      The crowds did not seem reduced (this was our third time to go the week of Christmas) and the staff did NOT seem nearly as friendly.
      Any show we went into, there was no social distancing and we were forced to fill every single seat. While everyone was required to be masked, many guests were not comfortable with that. One family pleaded to be allowed to social distance and were told that every west had to be filled.
      That being said, guests were not friendly to cast in some circumstances either. I overheard two different altercations between cast members and staff. In one incident, a manager had to be called to the Bug’s Life show at Animal Kingdom. As my family was right behind the individual screaming at the staff member, it was very uncomfortable. I felt bad for the cast member as the guest was rude and unreasonable, but the cast member didn’t handle it very well either. I too heard several personal conversations between staff members (not in any way inappropriate, just not guest focused). Cast members were constantly having to “call out” guests to put their masks on. Some people just flat ignored.
      I too am a person that thanks cast members when we get on a ride, and then when we get off. It wasn’t always reciprocated or acknowledged.
      Food…well, if you were fortunate enough to get a reservation the week of Christmas or even grab something at a cafe, it just wasn’t great. We watched one family throw away all four of their overcooked footlong chili dogs. Our Japanese food at Epcot wasn’t even as good as our local take-out place but three times the price. Restaurant workers seemed stressed and understaffed. I don’t feel Disney was adequately staffed for the level of guests they allowed on park.
      Overall we had an amazing vacation, but it was not the same guest experience we have enjoyed in the past.

  4. Steven Eldredge

    You sound like a shrill for Disney!

    My last two trips to Disney World were even worse then she described. I gave up and never went back. That was in the fall of 2017.

    Instead of going to Disney 2 or 3 times a year like I used to, I go to Universal 2 or 3 times a year. If you are looking for a pleasant vacation and a great guest experience, go to Universal.

    Disney has completely lost their way. The magic and the pixie dust are long gone. This is the story you should be writing.

    1. Kayla

      Unfortunately, you are right!!! I just got back from a less than stellar trip. I stayed in MK all of four hours yesterday due to the crowds, rude cast members, and annoyance with the new genie system. I went before and during Covid many times, and have never experienced trips like my last two. It’s disheartening because I miss the old disney so much. I keep wanting to give it another chance. But for the first time in years, I don’t have another trip booked before leaving. It sucks. It’s just not worth the cost anymore.

    2. Cameron Debartolo

      And you sound like a universal shill. I haven’t been to disneyland for a while so I can’t say if this is true could be, but universal gouges your for everything they actually did a study where it wad like 20 times more expensive than disney and for what, they just keep throwing up Rollercoaster or rides that our basically screens, not to mention there customer service is the same just a joke , and the food is trash. If you have a problem with disneyland lately based on my reading maybe it’s merited . But every body that think universal isn’t doing the same crap is either a shill or mad at disney so there in denial.

      1. Steven E Eldredge

        You really don’t know what you are talking about.

        1. Cameron Debartolo

          Wow what a compelling argument. Typical mellinial bs just say I thank your wrong instead of making any valid argument

    3. K.T

      I totally agree, Disney has lost its way! Being a frequent guest at DLR and DCA, I have not experienced many CMs as she describes in her letter, but I can say that we did experience it at WDW. We just returned from a 5-day WDW trip over New Year’s, and can definitely echo some of the disappointment with CMs, their attitudes towards guests and the overcrowding. It is sad that going to any one of the parks, regardless of the location, is not as magical as it used to be.

  5. Heather Oglesby

    If you don’t like Disneyland you can choose not to go next time.

    1. Susan

      That’s her point.

      She says clearly she’s been to DL over 100 times. Her observations should be taken seriously – she isn’t some noob going to WDW for the first time and getting angry because of a series of rookie mistakes.

      I’m confident she, like a fast-growing number of lifetime Disney Fans, will choose not to go next time. Bob Chapek is a goof. He’s making major mistakes with the three major areas where Disney used to lead the pack: Leadership Excellence, Employee Engagement, and Quality Service. Universal is about to eat Disney’s lunch.

  6. Victor

    I went twice, in July ’21 and Oct ’21. Both times were pretty horrible using Disney standards. Both times were for 2 days. I understand things won’t go perfectly, but I had a 2-day park hopper for each trip. That was 6 attempts to get in the virtual queue for Star Wars. I did not get in once. I spent thousands of dollars to not have a tram, no Fantasmic, no World of Color. Understaffing made buying anything a nightmare. Hungry Bear was a 40 min wait in Oct at 7:00 PM! Ride capacities were way down. Crowding was horrible! I’ve been going to Disnelyand for over 40 years. The “reservation” system is a joke. The crowds were just as bad in Oct. The fact they don’t pay cast members a liveable wage is starting to bleed through into their performance. Unfortunately there isn’t really a difference between worn=king at Disneyland or McDonald’s and it is really starting to show. So sad to see light bulbs burnt out. Walt always said to change them before they burnt out. It was a really different experience. It is very apparent the parks are being run by a numbers guy.

    1. Juan Carlos

      She is right! We like to travel Disneyland or Disneyworld every 3 years since it is an expensive trip from our country. On this occasion we went to Disneyland from December 29 to 31, we like it better than Disneyworld because we feel that there is more magic and is more cozy, but we did notice many changes.
      There was garbage in many places, the parades with bad audio, the background music was barely heard. The attitude of the cast members did change, very rude in jungle cruise.
      The prices were high but we knew what we were going for, 150 usd for admission per extra day, 80 usd for the app plus 80 usd for rise of the resistance (which was worth every penny).
      The weather didn’t help and the crowds, but yes, you don’t really feel the magic anymore.

  7. Our family went to WDW at the end of May in to June last year. It was by far our worst trip ever. I agree that the cast members seem to have lost their “magical feeling” and the mask policing doesn’t help. It is bad enough that everything is full price but many experiences and restaurants were closed, your paying for more and getting less. It was just as crowded as any other time we have been despite at the time being told they were limiting admission to help control the virus spread. The need to schedule the park you will be in ahead of time just adds stress in my opinion. We have been as a family many times in fact we were married in WDW 20 years ago and our oldest daughter was also married there. I would guess we have been to WDW about 18 times with grandchildren, extended family, and just as a couple. Until things go back to the way they used to be we won’t be going back.

  8. Janet

    I’m just curious – has Disney stopped orientation for new cast members? Our last trip in November will BE our last trip, and it makes me really sad, there was no place like Disney World.

    1. dzneefan

      Janet, I was wondering the same thing? Do they still go through the University? Maybe they need to ramp up the classes?? It is a stressful time. All people seem to just be rude! Years ago when you went on vacation you enjoyed going and were friendly to everyone. Now, most seem angry to even be there! Then why even go?? If you can’t be nice to a cast member – then why would they be nice to you? You get more flies with honey and vinegar! LOL

  9. Regina LeValley

    We just went to WDW early Dec 2021. Overall the trip was ok. I used to work for Disney back in the 90’s and early ‘00’s. I have to say the crowds were overwhelming and no place to escape them. My husband is a disabled veteran. Theme parks with normal crowds are hard so quiet spots are important for us so he can refocus, regroup, and get a break. Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Epcot were good. Hollywood Studios though…..he lasted an hour. Just one hour and had to go. The park was well above what we consider normal crowds. It was a time that used to be off season. That time between Thanksgiving and Christmas break. I hated that he couldn’t find a quiet spot there. We had even spent the extra money for the Genie+ to get on rides faster. It ended up being a waste of money for our family.

    As far as meals, some were amazing and others not so great. Coral Reef was the worst. The genie service to order quick service meals crashed many times on our stay. We were grateful to have the chance to go to Disney. But I miss the magic that used to be there.

  10. Chris

    I think this person is simply looking for trouble. IF security did indeed damage her purse, she should have asked for a lead right then and there, which someone who has visited hundreds of times would legitimately know to do.

    IF a menu doesn’t show prices, ask for one that does and no, bread service shouldn’t be extra.

    But no matter what, if you have an issue, speak up then and there, Disney can’t fix what they don’t know about.

    1. Mousey

      I agree with you. Also….shouldn’t the purse have already been opened for security when she was in line?

    2. Mays

      Unfortunately, we spoke up during our trip and they didn’t give a rat’s bottom. Guest Relations was TERRIBLE and did nothing, not even issue an apology.

  11. Susan

    Denise is not wrong… we are passholders at WDW and have been twice in the last 6 weeks. We weren’t going to attend while masks were required outdoors (different gripe). The cast members are rude, had an issue at the resort- emailed and received a response a week later, five days after check out. Food is mediocre and overpriced. Chapek needs to start paying attention to what people we saying or he needs to go.

  12. We went with our family and 5 year old granddaughter in October 2021. It was her first time . It said it was at 35% capacity. No way! Crowds everywhere. We were there four days and could never get in Blue Bayou for ANY meal or get in the q for Star Wars. So disappointing. We tried reservations for meals way in advance for meals too. There were way too many people. I’m 65 and I’ve been going since I was a very little girl. Something needs to be done. Everything is so overpriced.

  13. Heather

    100% Agree with the letter written. Went to Disney November 28th-December 3rd. Horrible. HORRIBLE! I’ve been dozens of times. I remember by the end of each day my jaw was on the floor. The place was filthy. Cast members were nasty. Stock was empty. Just floored me. And talk about expensive! I never complain about vacations. I’m generally just excited to get away from home. This vacation hurt my heart. Definitely NOT the same Disney.

    1. Tiffany

      I agree with this letter. My family and I went to Disneyland for a week in December. We left feeling disappointed with the whole experience. Cast members were not as kind, the park was dirty and had a horrible sewage smell in Tomorrow Land, as we were eating by Galactic grill, the biggest roach I’ve ever seen was on the next table and the magic of disney was definitely missing. This is the first time I have left Disneyland not wanting to plan my next trip.

  14. Traci

    There are definitely a few things that she could have avoided just by being more proactive and prepared. On the Disneyland App there are menus for each restaurant. Those menus show PRICES. Even if you don’t have a smart phone, ask for a menu with prices or ask the price of the items you are interested in.
    You didn’t know you had to pay for bread- kindly ask for the manager. Point out, politely, that many restaurants have complementary bread and you were unaware that there would be a charge. Politely ask for a removal from your bill. They might have removed it if you asked politely.
    If security breaks or damages something, ask for a manager.
    Crowds? You came during the month of Christmas. That is not a slow season. It is up to you to provide yourself with adequate safety measures. If that means staying home to avoid crowds, stay home. We masked, faithfully used hand sanitizer and washed hands frequently. Two weeks at the World and we were blessed to all test negative when we returned home.
    Having just returned from Disney World, our trip covered the week before Christmas and the week between Christmas and New Years Eve. We knew it would be the busiest time of year. We set our expectations accordingly. It was crowded, but because we expected worse, we didn’t get upset. We stood by the entrance/exit at Magic Kingdom for the New Years fireworks. Yes we felt like Mufasa running from the Wildebeests. But we expected that would be the scenario. We had the best time ever.
    Your vacation is what YOU make of it. Don’t be a shrew and ask kindly when something is obviously not satisfactory and people might surprise you.

    1. Mindy

      Hey I stood back by there for NYE fireworks too! I opted for NYE at Disneyland this time around though. It took me only ten minutes to get through the gates afterwards. I did WDW two days before Christmas so I was expecting that crowd surge. Any time in the Christmas season is going to be super busy. I’ve never had an issue finding prices for food on my app, and Disney will replace whatever they broke if you speak to the manager. I don’t know about 100 visits, but I’m up there for Disneyland trips myself, as I’m also a pass holder.

    2. Steven E Eldredge

      The last time I went to Disney World, it was terrible. As an example, we checked into Pop Century, went to our room, opened the door and… There was a 12 inch diameter pool of vomit on the floor left by the previous occupants.

      I went back to the lobby and told them about the vomit, they told me that housekeeping would be right there. Almost 2 hours later, they came to clean it up and the housekeeper was very angry, I believe she thought we did it, but she didn’t speak English so I will never know. During our 2 hours wait, we had to stay outside because the room smelled so bad.

      After she cleaned it up and left, the room smelled like vomit mixed with disinfectant. It was disgusting. I spent the next 3 hours trying to get Pop Century to move us to another room, they finally did, but it was a big hassle and a lot of aggravation. We weren’t able to make it to a park that day because we wasted so much time dealing with the vomit room. I would have gotten better service at a motel 6.

      That was the start of my magical, pixie dust infused Disney vacation! The rest of it wasn’t much better.

      Never again.

  15. Christine Hoyt

    WOW, there are some SALTY people in here! She didn’t address her complaints to anyone here, she addressed Bob Chapek. You need to keep in mind that you were NOT there in her shoes. The beginning of this also states that some of the letter was removed. Some understanding folks are in here, thank you for that, and for your empathy. Some SALTY folks in here are pretty judgmental and rude, you might want to, {practice what you preach.} Just saying. Have a Magical Day.

  16. As a Magic Key Holder who visits often, I’m prepared. I get my park reservations two months out including my dining reservations.
    If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
    I LOVE the park reservation system and mobile ordering. I hope it NEVER goes away!
    There are clearly marked instructions to have your bags open and unzipped before you get to security. There’s absolutely no reason for the security personnel to need to open your bag for you.
    Kindness and generosity go a long way. Be pleasant and friendly to the CMs and see how your experience changes. Go into Disney looking for negatives and you will definitely find them. If you have a bad day at Disney, you’re doing it wrong.
    As far as crowds, no way is it busier than it used to be. I’ve been to the parks the week between Christmas and New Years pre-Covid. THAT was busy. Those were the times of 3+ hour waits for attractions. Yes, the wait for ROTR is long now because it’s the hot new ride. That can be expected. You can get around that by purchasing the $20 LL and walking on which is what we did on Monday. We don’t buy G+ as we go often enough that if we don’t ride it this time there’s always the next. Go Single Rider if the attraction offers it and DON’T give the CMs a hard time when your group is split up. Hence the name “Single Rider”. So you aren’t on the same vehicle as your group. The experience is the same and if you can’t be apart for 3 minutes then you have other issues.
    Yes, the park isn’t as clean as I remember. Disney has a staff shortage just like every other industry right now. It might help if everyone picked up after themselves and threw their garbage away too. We never leave a table without removing our trash and wiping it off for the next guest. Good grief, be respectful. There are a lot of people out there who feel entitled. I don’t care how much I’m paying Disney, part of my guest experience rests with me. I’m excited to be going back to the parks in 3 weeks and having a magical experience.

    1. Mindy

      Agree with you 100%!!!!!

    2. erik

      Thank you, Dorie, for taking the words right out of my mouth. I think far too few people accept responsibility for what part THEY play in having a terrible Disney vacation and would rather blame other guests, CMs and Bob Pachek…. when the truth is I have always believed that good customer service is a 2-way street. Too many people who are ill-prepared, ill-mannered and/or ill-behaved and are contributing to their own bad experience. Something will go wrong on EVERY trip… but that doesn’t have to equal a terrible trip… and I’ll tell you one more thing: if EVERYTHING goes wrong in your trip and you feel like you are needing to complain to a manager multiple times every day if your trip… sorry to say it, butt there’s a good chance the problem is actually you!

      1. Christine

        Yeah, Disney has definitely gone down hill.

        We went this past June and I had issues with Castmembers at EPCOT. We went to the smoking section and the one security guard waved us in after going through the metal detector. This was near the Pavilion. The chick that was handling the bags came over and gave me an attitude as we were walking into the park. (Now mind you I just passed the dude that waved us in.) I APOLOGIZED to her, why I don’t even know for misunderstanding and she sucked her teeth at me and told me that I should have paid attention. I told her she seriously better watch who she talks to like that, because really other people would have had a few choice words more to her then I did. The poor dude next to me nodded in agreement.

        Then, my boyfriend and I were walking near Mexico and a cast member said move to the left or right. I TRIED to go to the right and she said left or the right. (There’s that little path that goes toward the lands.) I hadn’t a freaking idea what was going on nor did anyone else because parades were canceled. I went to the left and she rolled her eyes at me and said to the guy she was with “these people.”

        (Yeah. These people who are following your directions, and what should have came out of her mouth was move to the left. Not hard. Like if you don’t want people to go to the right, say so!

        Then we were in line for Mission Mars and this teenager physically has his hands down his girlfriend’s shirt in the waiting area. Seriously. You can’t even make this up. Now there are kids there, including my own who are teenagers. We teach them to respect theirselves and others. So I said something. The cast members were standing right there. Hey, if I want to see that crap, I’ll go to Wildwood!

        I won’t even get into the fact that, to this day I’m perturbed that we arrived the Thursday before they closed for the pandemic and I asked prior to leaving if they were going to close. And when we checked in around 4pm. We’ll around 9 we found out from my ex husband who found out on Facebook! Seriously. Not even an email. They held me money in gift cards, even with travel insurance which is really why we went this past June.

        And I get the pandemic. I get some people are jerks. And I “get” It because I work as a medic. Maybe they should have worked during the riots to see what real frustration is.

        It’s honestly disgusting. People go to Disney because it is clean fun. Or did. Not with the decline in the level of courtesy all around. And it’s not about getting things for free, etc. It’s just about being a normal, decent human being!

        I have seen multiple posts of people’s strollers being taken, their kids toys being stolen. The fights. It is beyond ridiculous when you live in Philadelphia, and your neighbors have little issues keeping their personal things on their porch and people can walk away with a WHOLE stroller out of a Park! Like who wants to deal with that?

        I sure as heck wouldn’t look into cruises, because if that’s the way you are treated on land, not to mention the fact the food stinks at Disney, why would I want to be stuck on a BOAT in the ocean with this type of service.

  17. Jennifer

    I am a 6 year AP for WDW. I have renewed every year even if I had no plans to go. I am 99% sure I will not be renewing when my pass expires 3/2022. The last few visits I’ve made have not been Disney quality at all. I’ve been very disappointed with the parks, cast members, food, almost everything. And I’m not the only one. If Disney cared about the park guests they would pay attention to the groups and forums on social media. So many people are fed up with rising prices of hotelstays, tickets, food and merchandise when the quality of all of these things has diminished since pre Covid. As an AP I feel very unappreciated. I used to feel like a VIP when visiting. Not anymore. I was just Ben considering buying intoDVC. However I will be spending my travel budget elsewhere going forward. I will go back for my niece and nephew however my adult trips will halt. I know my pidly little money I spend isn’t much to them, but it is to me.

  18. Chris

    Made our first Disneyland visit in 8 and a half years. My visit was a few days before this persons Nov 30th visit. Rides were IMO (with the exception of Indiana Jones which is falling apart) significantly better conditions and very well kept compared to my previous visit.

    Cast members were outstanding and I had 3 separate experiences with cast member services. My wife had a poor experience at one of the shops as the cast member walk away immediately after a purchase, leaving the counter unmanned. Problem, he did not take the security tag off her purchase. I told her do not leave the register and don’t panic. I got a CM lead from outside the store and brought her to the register, we explained the situation and showed the receipt and they took care of it.

    One thing was noticeable was certain dinning venues were overrun while others were easily accessible and had quick mobile purchase response times.

    In regard to Indiana Jones, projection mapping is used in lieu of the broken door system which they are no longer able to repair but the sound is some areas is horrible, the snake no longer snaps, the rats are no longer visible leaving the smoke and a bright white light from the projector, and the boulder scene completely failed. This really fell hard.

    Alice in Wonderland, and Toad were constantly broken and I never got to ride them but, the lines were manageable and were ALL well below posted wait times. Our other family members were very pleased because restroom lines were very short compared to our endless memories of lines wrapped around corners and dinning venues. I was shocked to how open the park was…

    Disneyland Park cleanliness was outstanding, far superior to my last visit in 2013 visit. As we enter the park was saw walking areas that were freshly washed down, new flowers and the rides were all very clean.

    Of course I feel like I was fleeced because in comparison everything is so expensive now (A bottled soft drink in 2013 just went up to $3) however, I have had absolutely horrible experiences in Disney World parks.

    See how filthy and nasty the Florida parks are. I had to use a paper towel on the controls for Buzz Lightyear because the controls were grey from not being cleaned and someone stuck gum on the trigger. 2015 in Walt Disney World was the worst experience ever, on our visit to Magic Kingdom we rode a total of 5 rides end to end and broke down on Pirates for 47 minutes… no evacuation. In our total park visits, we never got to ride Toy Story Mania, Tower of Terror, Frozen EA, Soarin, or Spaceship Earth or Kilimanjaro Safari. Lines were out of control. We only got on Test Track because we used single rider.

    I did write Disney guest services but made sure to describe the issues as concerns not complaints. My response was very professional. They did not write back but they did call and thank me for writing. They asked a lot of detailed questions.

  19. jericho

    I am a longtime AP (and current Key Holder) and my latest trip was taking my mother to parks for our annual mother/son trip for the first week of December. I have been a number of times since the reopening. A few things I have noticed in my monthly trips…

    1) The parks are more crowded than a “limited capacity” would suggest.
    2) The parks seem to have a severe lack of institutional knowledge thanks to the Covid Cast Member churn.
    3) Prices are high in comparison to the current status of the economy.

    The limited capacity thing just doesn’t play well at this point. I realize that Mobile Order becoming ubiquitous across the parks has had a negative impact on crowd flow throughout the parks. (Lines of any kind push crowds into other areas leaving the park feel less crowded than it may actually be.)

    The real issue I find is Cast Members and the lack of institutional knowledge. While in my 15 days in the park since reopening have seen both wonderful and less than great experiences with CMs, the fact that in the past 10 years I have had less than once a year a day where i had multiple negative experiences with a CM. I have had a least one day a trip that has just plain been a negative experience. Whether its the CM being downright negative, or a CM refusing to understand my predicament as a disabled person there have been those days where I just didn’t want to return.

    The Institutional Knowledge is simply lacking. I understand trying to new strategies for line and guest flow to make things more efficient, but sticking with these “new strategies” after it clearly is doing more harm than good (the new overflow line for Pirates blocking guest flow in New Orleans Square) is ridiculous. I wish I could go into specific little details, but honestly its just the little things that Disney used to do so well, that they aren’t making an effort to do because the new CMs cant be bothered.

    Chapek’s “new Disney” has been a failure in the parks since the reopening. Its hard to completely blame him for the lack of staffing for sure. but every other choice his team has made since Iger stepped down with regards to the parks has been a failure for guests.

  20. Monique

    I experienced the same thing. Cast members not as friendly as before. Any incident used to be no problem. This time it seemed they were annoyed. I found the lines extremely long. There were only two of us. Food wasn’t that creams portions reduced for the price. I have to say Disney is definitely pricing me out of the market. Quality of merchandise has gone down and the variety wasn’t there. I understand a bottom line. But don’t expect me to line your pockets. It’s one thing to run a business and another to expect your big paychecks. That’s what gouging feels like. Most experiences are closed or run down.

  21. TQ

    I am a passholder and have gone to the park 5 times this year. One of the times I did wait patiently to ask a cast member in the Star Wars area a question. His reply was very rude and he mocked me for asking the question. This was shocking to me as I know this is not normal by any means. There were 2 other incidents of rude cast members after that. On December 2 was my last trip out. The day time the park was not crowded however once it got dark, there was honestly no room to walk. I was told by another visitor they were sent over from DCA as many of the rides were down due to an electric issue. I have a photo I wish to show of all the incoming guests walking in by the 100’s to Disneyland. It’s actually part of a video I made. Pretty disturbing to say the least.

  22. Bob

    I’m sure they didn’t care what her experience was. They had her money and someone else would take her spot when she doesn’t return. Bob Chapek probably wants to know who these CMs are so he can reward them for not giving into her. They got the memo on the new Disney company values.

  23. Shannon

    This sounds EXACTLY like my October trip and our sub-par OBB that we paid extra for. It was our worst trip ever and I never was able to get my hotel complaints settled.

  24. Jen

    I am lost as to how someone who had been to the park that many times did not know the cost of eating places.

    1. erik

      exactly…. that part alone makes the entire scenario difficult to swallow

  25. I visited Disney World in Aug. I’ve been countless times before. I found the cast members to be very unprofessional and very unfriendly. My theory is that since Disney fired so many during the pandemic that these were new and they hadn’t received the training/onboarding that they should have.

    1. I should add that in general the public/visitors are horrible and have gotten even more rude to the cast members. The pandemic has had a terrible effect on peoples attitude and they are just plain unkind and entitled and ready to snap more than ever. I’m sure that contributed to Cast members having compassion fatigue towards the guests.

  26. SewHappy

    Of course we have been plagued with bad Disney experiences. I thought that was the new norm. There are good experiences and there are bad experiences every trip I take. For example, my last trip the room smelled like backed up sewage and there was no other 2 bedroom room available. They locked out my magic band and I was stuck in the lounge with no way of paying. My magic band wouldn’t open my door so I could get my purse. Finally reached a family member who came to my rescue with my CC. Then I had to deal with the front desk person who was despondent. Called for bell service to move luggage and nobody ever came. Then we moved to a different resort and the hair conditioner dispenser in the shower was completely empty and my hair was tangled beyond belief. Two of my 50th anniversary pins were stolen. Disney said to fill out a lost item report. LOL. Nobody every turned in my pins. Then we moved to another deluxe resort so we could be closer to the Magic Kingdom for the Merriest Christmas party and it smelled like someone sprayed a whole bottle of Febreeze in the master bedroom. I could hardly breathe. That’s just the 3 deluxe resorts portion of the vacation. I had a rude person in an Electric scooter block me and my family from exiting the monorail at the Magic Kingdom stop. They weren’t exiting and moved to block us in so we couldn’t exit. I then had another person in an Electric Chair put his grandchild in his lap and ran into us while we were in line for a ride. Other guests have been irresponsible and outright rude. I had more rides break down while riding, haunted mansion, soaring, etc. One of our dining reservation was horrible. The staff sat us late in a sea of dirty tables and we had lack luster service and actually got sick after we ate there. Waived down a CM that told us it wasn’t there job to help us while dining. So yeah, we’ve had a bunch of bad experiences. But the vacation before this one was worse. A snake on our steps up to the treehouse at Saratoga. The broken AC all nights and no compensation. Just deflection and excuses. Disney promised to make it right and never did. Yet, I’ve had good experiences too. My kids built lightsabers, rode some great rides, and saw some cool things. It’s a mixed bag of experiences. But right now, I think we need a break from the diminished Disney vacations at Disney Parks and try something else. I am trying to stay positive, but the thought of selling all my DVC points keeps crossing my mind.

  27. Kristie

    I am sad to say I agree with most of these comments. We just got home yesterday from Disneyland. The biggest issue was the new Genie app. All of the people staring at their phones trying to get a time for the next available ride, having to order your food and even a ice cream cone ahead of time. This is more phone time for the “leader” in your group. It was so un reliable, my daughter was so stressed out having to manage everything via app and then half the time the app failed. Our whole visit was for family time, it was more of us all gathered around a phone trying to help navigate the streamlined system. That was a joke. We paid an extra $20 a day for 5 people over three days to use this horrible thing. Then we paid and additional $20 a piece just to be able to ride the Star Wars ride before we left as we had no luck with the online reservations. So a family saves for years to go to DL, they get in and then they have to pay MORE money to get the best experience for their chidren??? This is so wrong on so many levels. DL is pricing out people even once they get into the park. We had 3 rides break down on us. We had to leave DL before we were able to use the passes for other rides. We always buy the Festival of Foods passports. We on two different days were told they ran out of food!!! Ran out by 6PM. No group ordering, no anything! We came home with 8 un used tabs on our passports. I have no complaints about the cleanliness or the staff. A couple were less than friendly but I understand with the mass crowds and hectic environment you cannot always be the face of Disney. However I am so utterly disappointed in our trip we will not be going back for sometime. This is no longer family friendly. Lose the Genie app so everyone in a party can have a good time and not have all the pressure of having their nose shoved in front of a screen the whole time. This was not fair and we saw so many others in the same boat.

  28. We were annual passholders for almost 30 years. Until or unless everything goes back to where it was before this pandemic, we will not ever return. Most of my family do not have “smart” phones. We don’t want to run or digitally compete with anyone. We don’t mind waiting in a long line as long as we get to see what we came to see.We were there for every new ride on day one. We liked little things like getting A piece of chicken from the Plaza Inn.( no longer I heard) It was like a secret anyway. ..and no reservation to go into the park! If it’s not blackout and I don’t like how crowded it is, we could always leave or go to the other park.

  29. Did you used to notice that if it was going to rain sometime that day, that the place would still be the same as far as attendance, but if it rained early in the mourning before it opened, it seemed like you had the place to yourself.Ah!

  30. Mays

    We just returned from a trip to Disneyland on Jan 5 and it was also a horrible experience. My husband and I are former cast members and know the rigorous standards that are employed to create the “magic”. There was no magic on our trip. We experienced cast members who were less than friendly, unable or unwilling to help, and Guest Services “help”was laughable. A family member experienced an injury while in the park and we were made to place an adult in a child’s stroller to take her to the front of the park for first aide assistance. We were told they were “short staffed” and unless an ambulance was needed, we had to find our own way to get first aide assistance. After going to the er, my family member was diagnosed with a broken ankle. The park was very crowded despite “limited” entry and areas to take a break were non existent, as all benches and seating areas were at capacity. All in all, it was a less than magical experience and we will not return to Disneyland again.

  31. Lynette

    Our family was there in the three days immediately following her. I can confirm that Cast Members overall were not nearly as pleasant as in the past. My husband and I both commented on it. We only had two interactions on our 4 days that we would qualify as
    friendly and in-line with previous trips. We didn’t let it ruin our trip, and made sure we were extra pleasant to everyone we came in to contact with. She’s 100% not wrong.

  32. Erin

    My family of four spent two days at DL and DCA right before Christmas (12/22 & 12/23) and had a wonderful time. We did Genie+ both days and rode all of our favorite rides with almost no wait. I had no issues with rude cast members but I had very little interaction with them, tbh. I’ve been to Disneyland during Christmas before and I would say that, while it was still crowded this time around, it wasn’t as bad as it was pre-pandemic.

    Disneyland is expensive and the obvious money grab with Genie+ is inexcusable. Sub-par service from cast members is also completely unacceptable. However, I have a difficult time sympathizing with someone who didn’t bother to inquire about the cost of her food before eating it. Twice. The second time being a character dining experience where the cost pp is provided when you make your reservation. That was just willful ignorance on her part or she’s a liar. To file that as a grievance and expect to be compensated for an inability to budget properly is absolutely ridiculous.

  33. Gayla Cook

    I’m very disappointed with Disney the bathroom by the fire station at Disneyland resort was disgusting it was on Tuesday January 11th .There was dirt all around the toilets in every stall it was so gross I’ve never seen anything like it at Disneyland it looked like the bathroom hadn’t been cleaned all day there was urine all over the floors it was disgusting and I had a cast member be totally rude with me. I went to the bathroom I entered the side entrance that Flo’s Cafe in Cars Land nobody’s wearing their masks in the bathroom didn’t think about it walked out went inside Flo’s Cafe through the side door to get some ice water that I used to always get they had it sitting out for people in the past the guy told me I didn’t put my mask on I said oh no and I felt really bad so I turned away got my mask and put it on he went on and on scolding me that I didn’t wear my mask he did not quit he
    just kept on going what did he want to pick a fight for a simple mistake? He harassed me I should have got his name. I couldn’t believe it he got me so mad my girlfriend was shocked scolding me like I’m an idiot or something that I made a mistake ,then I went outside and I couldn’t even find a straw so my friend went back in and got a straws I was too mad but I was out there there was a cast member in the front making sure people entered in wearing masks and I told her how rude he was to me and she asked me the stupid question don’t you know we’re in a middle of a pandemic with an attitude like I don’t know this? I said I made a mistake I couldn’t believe that these cast members are starting arguments with me the magic is gone the place is dirty and disgusting. And the cast members are rude and mean. When we went into the emporium when it was still open close to closing time there was people still in there and the cast members would look at us and we could feel them staring at us like I wish you would leave. They acted like we shouldn’t be in there just because they’re overworked and understaffed doesn’t mean they have to treat us like this we pay all this money and we have to deal with crowds all day because it’s overcrowded and understand is not our fault they shouldn’t have attitudes towards us. I am so upset now I am afraid I’m going to get scolded if I forget to put my mask on because I am 64 years old and I’m going to forget sometimes. So I’m going to get scolded for that? Can’t imagine what these little kids are going through in school people are being so rude. No it’s not going to be so fun to go anymore. They need to do something people are not happy. I have been a pass holder for 14 years straight I’ve gone two or three times a month the cast members are not the same in the Disney parks are not the same it is very disappointing you need to do something to change it you’re losing a lot of people because of it.

  34. If anyone else was at Walt Disney World in Florida on December 6, 2021 you already know what I am going to say.
    1- The park was OVER capacity!
    2- my photo memory pack that I paid close to 200.00 for- we got 6 pictures….that was it.
    3- we upgraded our tickets-8 out of 10 of us that was in the park and we wasn’t able to use the upgrade at all. According to Disney, there was a world wide outage and it shut everything down.
    I was not offered even a partial refund for my memory photo package, nor were we reimbursed for the upgrade to the 8 tickets. We were told after standing in line for almost 2 hours at customer service, that Disney is not responsible for their computer system when it is shut down world wide.
    We made the best of Magic Kingdom on the 6th and Hollywood Studios-also booked beyond capacity on the 7th.
    I also have been to DisneyWorld several times. This trip was the first one that was disappointing. The majority of the employees were very nice BUT, none had a clue what was going on or how to fix it. One employee at the photo center told me not to worry, all my pictures would be in my packet once I got home. He said it takes them about a week to load. Not true…..

    1. Carol

      Have to agree! Dec 16th trip to WDW was a mistake! Couldn’t get dinner reservations! Everything at capacity since so much is still closed! At checkin we waited until 6pm and finally had a meltdown! Then they. “Found” is another room while at least 6-8 families were all waiting at Boardwalk Inn for rooms! Horrible service! 7pm and they are still cleaning rooms!! Parks were jammed. Social distancing? No way ! Lines everywhere and we had to renew our AP! Looked at prices and AP rates have doubled for so much less! Looked at ticket prices: ridiculous for park hoppers! We got AP. Again but Now we have blackout dates and we spent so much more!

      So disgusted! The parks were dirty! The public bathrooms horrible! Lines everywhere! Candlelight procession where seating was jammed together ! After waiting in line for an hour!

      I miss my old Disney! Barely recognize this place! It is soooo sad.

  35. Pamla

    What email can we use for Mr. Chapek? I too recently went and have some constructive comments regarding my visit.

    1. Christine

      Yeah, Disney has definitely gone down hill.

      We went this past June and I had issues with Castmembers at EPCOT. We went to the smoking section and the one security guard waved us in after going through the metal detector. This was near the Pavilion. The chick that was handling the bags came over and gave me an attitude as we were walking into the park. (Now mind you I just passed the dude that waved us in.) I APOLOGIZED to her, why I don’t even know for misunderstanding and she sucked her teeth at me and told me that I should have paid attention. I told her she seriously better watch who she talks to like that, because really other people would have had a few choice words more to her then I did. The poor dude next to me nodded in agreement.

      Then, my boyfriend and I were walking near Mexico and a cast member said move to the left or right. I TRIED to go to the right and she said left or the right. (There’s that little path that goes toward the lands.) I hadn’t a freaking idea what was going on nor did anyone else because parades were canceled. I went to the left and she rolled her eyes at me and said to the guy she was with “these people.”

      (Yeah. These people who are following your directions, and what should have came out of her mouth was move to the left. Not hard. Like if you don’t want people to go to the right, say so!

      Then we were in line for Mission Mars and this teenager physically has his hands down his girlfriend’s shirt in the waiting area. Seriously. You can’t even make this up. Now there are kids there, including my own who are teenagers. We teach them to respect theirselves and others. So I said something. The cast members were standing right there. Hey, if I want to see that crap, I’ll go to Wildwood!

      I won’t even get into the fact that, to this day I’m perturbed that we arrived the Thursday before they closed for the pandemic and I asked prior to leaving if they were going to close. And when we checked in around 4pm. We’ll around 9 we found out from my ex husband who found out on Facebook! Seriously. Not even an email. They held me money in gift cards, even with travel insurance which is really why we went this past June.

      And I get the pandemic. I get some people are jerks. And I “get” It because I work as a medic. Maybe they should have worked during the riots to see what real frustration is.

      It’s honestly disgusting. People go to Disney because it is clean fun. Or did. Not with the decline in the level of courtesy all around. And it’s not about getting things for free, etc. It’s just about being a normal, decent human being!

      I have seen multiple posts of people’s strollers being taken, their kids toys being stolen. The fights. It is beyond ridiculous when you live in Philadelphia, and your neighbors have little issues keeping their personal things on their porch and people can walk away with a WHOLE stroller out of a Park! Like who wants to deal with that?

      I sure as heck wouldn’t look into cruises, because if that’s the way you are treated on land, not to mention the fact the food stinks at Disney, why would I want to be stuck on a BOAT in the ocean with this type of service.

      And the park was dirty. Little everywhere and the like. Like come on.

  36. Marilyn

    I’ve been to Disneyland many times over the past 50+ years. Although not as many times as this guest. I can only remember one isolated not-so-great experience. One of my young children, in her excitement, darted through the turnstile for the Alice in Wonderland ride in spite of being warned by the cast member to wait until he gave the go-ahead. He snapped at her in anger because I’m sure it’s a safety measure. I gave him the benefit of the doubt since he was a young guy and the fact that she really had been warned. I hope he usually handled himself better than that. And my daughter learned to follow instructions.

  37. Randi V.

    I feel she was being very nit picky. Carthay Lounge is one of the more expensive restaurants there so if you don’t want to pay, don’t eat there. Also, I literally just went to goofys kitchen myself with a party of 10. Your parking ticket does get validated for up to 3 hrs and it is very clear in multiple areas. Also, any party 8 and over at ANY eating establishment charges the mandatory tip. Again, if you don’t want to pay that, don’t go or don’t go with so many people. They do not charge the mandatory gratuity if it is 7 or less people. It clearly states that on the website as well where you make the reservations. Sounds like for someone whose been there “100’s of times”, she didn’t do her research and had no clue what she was doing.

  38. Nu ya business

    We went on our Vacation to Disneyland Parks right after this woman and I can attest that this was by far the worst trip we had. In addition to a horrible Genie app that slowed us down much more than if we would have stayed in the line, the parks were packed, the stores were packed & there was little to no merchandise to shop for. Most of what was there was ugly rejects. The food size was so much smaller and the prices were almost twice as much. We did have some cast members that were nice but there were a lot of rude ones as well.
    My sister who loves Disney promised that the parks were better and had made changes and even she was disappointed in all of it. If you have a Pooh corner store, you should have Pooh merchandise and all we found was 1 shirt of each of the characters and the rest of the shop was Mickey & Minnie.

    It will be a long long time before I visit Disney again.

  39. Kelly

    I went in October of 2021. I didn’t have the best experience getting into the parking structure. We had payed for general parking online, but it said if we want to get preferred we would have to get it the day of at the structure. Ok fine. We get to the structure and the guy at one of the booths was just rude. No hello, how are you like they usually say. I asked if we could upgrade to preferred and he flat out said no. There was no reason as to the no until I asked again. He said preferred is not available due to Covid. Ok I get it. But I felt he could have given a little more information at the beginning.
    When we finally got into the park at opening, it was already packed. Like normal times packed. Likes were 1.5-2 hour waits, when it was supposed to be limited capacity. Even a few of the cast members said it felt like there wasn’t any limit to guests. It’s just disappointing that it seems like they hire people that don’t want to work with the public.

    On another note, I went to Disneyworld in November and had an amazing time there as always.

  40. Carol

    Oh forgot! The genie app was a joke. Nothing we wanted or asked for! Wanted to do Remy but couldn’t get in a queue and no standby line! Ridiculous!

  41. Allison

    As Florida residents, myhusband and I went on a last minute trip to Disneys Animal Kingdom on New Years Day. We thought that by making a “reservation” that they were enforcing some type of crowd control because of covid. Nope. The place was overcrowded and dirty. The main attractions had over a 3-4 hour wait. We waited for over an hour to ride Expedition Everest and it broke down right as we got to the front of the line. And that was just Animal Kingdom. We park hopped to Epcot and we were able to get on a few attractions. But EPCOT hasn’t been updated since the 80’s. All of Disney needs to be update. The rides are all the same old worn out rides. The kicker is that we paid about $200 per person and we also paid $50 to park. The food was bad and expensive and a bottle of soda or water was $4.50. Disney should be ashamed of themselves. Thankfully I don’t have children. I would never bring my family to this money trap. Not much of a return for the investment.

  42. M Lee

    We are local to WDW and go often. I can say it’s a different “world” now. Many of our friends and family are CM‘s and yes they are doing their best. They get yelled at all day for masks that aren’t their rules but the companies. People have become extremely rude. All the prices have gone up and the food quality is awful. Remember they are at 35-40% capacity per fire code. For MK that’s 100k so 40k people is almost pre pandemic crowd levels…. Plus everyone in the entire world seems to NEED a Disney vacation now , the place is busy. I think the reservation system is ridiculous and try getting a last minute hotel room, even living 5 min away , it’s nice once in awhile to go for the night. Nope they killed off the one night stay.

  43. Tina

    On a visit to Disney World, while at Animal Kingdom, we gave our strollers to a cast member. I had bought a lightweight MacClaren stroller for the convenience of easy folding and lightweight. As I was walking away, I turned and saw the cast member shove my stroller down the ramp, he did not walk it as he is supposed to. As it hit the other strollers, it bounced up, and then fell over. (That is the exit side of the ride) After the ride, I had planned to confront the cast member. When we retrieved the stroller, there was a large tear in the seat, a bar was bent, and I could not collapse it fully. I got his name and headed to guest services. I made a report, was contacted by Disney, and asked to send copies of my receipt for my stroller. For which I did. I received notification that they had received it and would be reimbursing me the $200 for the stroller. After a week or so, I called and email to get an update or status if my claim. Noone had answers, noone called me back. This went on for weeks. To this day, 8 years later, I never received my money, nor a phone or email, no explanation, nothing. That was and will be, my last ever visit to Disney.

  44. Robert Sulzer

    We were at WDW a week before Christmas and I agree with some of the comments regarding the crowds. It was almost shoulder to shoulder from Main Street to fantasyland. Making the app with the genie compounded the problem with people stopping right in front of you because the next attraction needs to be booked and get on the virtual queue. Then, using the phones on attractions is rude. The luster is gone.

  45. JT

    No, come on, ITM, it’s time to address the Cast Member issue. Standards for Cast behavior have been declining for the last decade, and the situation has reached a new low. It’s a complicated issue, encompassing a lack of training, a lack of job satisfaction, a lack of hiring standards necessitated by a lack of candidates, a lack of guideline enforcement, and a widespread lack of interest in the Disney legacy or what it means to be a Cast Member. No single factor is at the heart of it, but it’s been unchecked for so long that entropy has taken hold. Pretending standards are as high now as they have been at any point in the past is counterproductive. The abolishment of guidelines for Cast appearance a few months was spun as an exercise inclusion, but that was almost entirely a smokescreen. The purpose was employee retention.

  46. T

    Sweetie. Your inability to plan is not Disneylands fault. The prices for ALL restaurants is on the app and the website.
    You also went during the busiest time of the year. As someone who’s been “hundreds” of times , you should know that.
    As for the bad experience with cast members, it sounds like YOU were the one with the bad attitude and they were reacting to YOU.
    You sound entitled and quite unpleasant.

  47. Lisa D

    The last week of July my husband and I went to Disneyland one day and adventure the second day. The cart we went to by tomorrow land for our favorite Mickey pretzel and drinks we had a really rude young lady. The second time we wanted a drink we decided not to go to that Cart beacuse she was short tempered with us just beacuse we ordered something. She was a total spaz. She wouldn’t do the coke bottle shoop thing for me. She refused 🙁 than With raising her voice to hold on and slamming things around and saying things she hates about her job while taking it out on us. I was trying to be quiet and not let it ruin my day. My husband said to me, just don’t say anything back to her she’s having a episode or something..LOL. for a couple minutes I forgot I was a Disneyland beacuse it was a uncomfortable situation. Not everyone can be Disney perfect I guess. I hope she found a better job that is better fit for her.

  48. D

    I recently went to Walt Disney Workd this past September and have to say it was far from magical and I made it known to higher ups when I got home. My husband is disabled and the most disheartening thing I heard from him was, “I never felt so disabled in my whole life “

  49. Icytiff

    Went to Disney World the week before thanksgiving so “low crowd” week. It was still pretty busy. Almost none of the cast members were their typical friendly helpful selves and none said “have a magical day”. Which honestly really does make my day feel magical. We constantly felt like we we were being forced to pay extra for the new fast pass genie+ just to be able to ride any rides. We just felt like we were willingly letting ourselves be robbed. Speaking of which, a restaurant worker stole my sons Mickey bday hat and gave it someone else and ruined his 4th bday.

  50. Allison

    I’ve been going to Disney World one or two times a year for the past 35 years. We went on a eight day trip in August 2021 and I was incredibly disappointed as well. The staff were not as friendly and acted as if they did not want to be there. Out of all the staff members we met, and we did stay on property again, about 90% of them acted like they almost didn’t even want to be there. We visited three out of four of the parks and they were all very overcrowded. It cost over $100 per day per person not including food or hotel. The parks were incredibly crowded even though we went on our trip after most schools were already back in session. Now Disney World is starting to charge for fast passes and the free transportation from the airport is gone. There just aren’t enough perks anymore for us to stay on property anymore. Planning a trip down to the Orlando area in April and this will be the first time we are not planning on going to the Disney parks or property.

  51. Deb

    The nickel and and dime attitude has gone way far overboard at Disney. Everyone has lost money through the pandemic and to try to recover it is ridiculous. The magic has disappeared. The magic use to begin arriving at Orlando International Airport, now that is gone.
    Security has no clue about how to direct you to transportation or a radio to ask anyone. False information was given and after exiting had to reenter to get to transportation back on the monorail. Traveling with someone who is handicap this is just more challenging. Security was rude! Just not use to staff being so rude and incompetent.

  52. Kevin

    I’m on vacation with my family at WDW right now and had our first experience with Genie +. I paid $60 for 4 people to take advantage of genie + and the LL service. We were not resort guests this time so we picked our LL around 9am. The options were already starting at 1pm with some going Into the late evening. I picked a selection with a particular time and then when I went to book it, the time changed to hours later. Then when when we went to use them we found out the ride was either temporality down or closed. So I spent $60 and not got to take advantage of the service. I’m headed to Guest Services today to see what they’ll do.

  53. Christine

    Yes. August 2020.
    Magic is totally gone from the park. Overcrowding. people desperate to try to get to every ride because costs of tickets are crazy. Some areas were dirty and staff was ok. Definitely not the Disney I remember in the early 2000. It’s a crazy nutt house now with outrageous prices common people cant afford to enjoy a piece of magic. you have to be wealthy to enjoy one day. Walt would be ashamed.

  54. Cia

    I’ve never been to Disneyland, but we go to Disney World frequently and love it. Most recent trips in December 2020 and August 2021 and the magic is still alive in my experience. Yes, sometimes the parks are busy. Yes, Disney is expensive. You don’t go to Disney for a quiet atmosphere and some R&R. You don’t go to Disney to be cheap. If that’s the vacation you’re after I suggest a beach house or condo with a kitchen, and not a popular beach.

    Each time I’ve left Disney the past year I definitely felt the harsh reality of “the real world” once I stepped outside of the Disney Bubble. But while we were there it was nothing but pleasant. Especially interactions with cast members and characters (as limited as those were). Magical trips with magical memories, and so excited to go back in May!

  55. Alicia

    We are huge Disney fans and travel to Disney World about once a year from NY. We went last year and while we had a wonderful time we noted that cast members were definitely not the same. We would go as far as saying they were grumpy. And while one of the things we love most there is how we can escape the difficulties of life, the truth is they are only human and things are not easy right now. I’m sure they are feeling stressed. It’s no excuse but I also sort of understand they may be facing extra challenges. That noted, we decided not to book a trip this year there and are trying Universal. It really wasn’t the same.

  56. Kate

    Went on my first Disneyland trip in October (I usually go to Disney World twice a year), and I have to say that I too was disappointed. There certainly was overcrowding (which let’s face it, is generally expected), the rides continued to breakdown (maybe went on 3 rides a day due to this), and the parks were dirty. Disneyland was not as dirty as California Adventure but still very gross. Bathrooms had no toilet paper or hand wash for hours. I did ask cast members at the service desk what was going on, she was fantastic, and she said that the rides have not been very reliable and there were staffing issues. Which I do understand. She was kind and gave us some fast passes which truly helped the experience. But all in all and sad to say, it wasn’t good. Hoping the next time we go, we have better and more enjoyable (magical would be best) trip.

  57. Nan

    I find the cast treat the guests as the guests treat the cast. Guests these days are rude and entitled. Paying big bucks doesn’t mean you get to treat the cast like crap. Many guests are an embarrassment.

    1. Erik

      *clapping*
      louder for the people in the back

  58. Lawrence Lewis

    I feel her pain. Usually, the week after Thanksgiving is a good time to go to the parks because the crowd levels low. Not this time the parks were packed. Maybe it’s pinned up demand because of the COVID lockdowns, I don’t know. And if you have an if you have an older phone like I do you can forget about doing anything via the app. You’re just flipping in the wind because everything in on the app.

  59. Benjamin Collins

    Does anyone get the sense that denies used to work for the DCP? I kind of sense from her reporting that she used to be. Overcrowding can be a huge issue where, cast members can’t always respond.

  60. Ashlyn

    We went recently and most cast members were not the magical nice cast members were used to. We were yelled at on multiple occasions and ignored as well. We were also there on my brothers birthday and he had a button and normally cast members will always say happy birthday everywhere you go and he got none. It was very sad to be treated that way at Disney.

  61. Tim Hoster

    I found this article to be condescending in away. By them saying that the costs for a meal is on the App. You know this has finally convinced me that I will never ever go back to a Disney park ever again. I go on vacation to get away from the distraction of computers and technology. It is bad enough that I have to carry the phone and take calls for work while on vacation I don’t want to have my nose in the phone. This is why there is no interaction with people anymore. I hate break the news to Denise but the Florida parks have been like that for at least 10 years now. However it does seem like it is getting worse from the reports of people going recently.

    The only negative thing I have to say about her complaint is that if she is that concerned about Covid then she should not be out in public. Other than that she is spot on and probably could have listed more issues.

  62. Jeez

    I truly hope Disney World is this bad too so you tourists stop coming. Signed, Native Born Floridians

  63. IHeartOnlineShopping

    I have been going to Disneyland my entire life, up until I had too many health problems to deal with a day at a theme park. For five years, beginning in 2008, my significant other and I had Disneyland annual passes. Sometimes we would go once or twice a month and other times we would go every single weekend. We lived a two hour drive away from the park and would sometimes wake up and decide to go to Disneyland and we could just go and show up.

    Most of the experiences at Disneyland were positive over the years. Most of the Cast Members were polite, helpful, and helped bring out the Disney magic in Disneyland. There were however things we started to notice the longer we had annual passes which caused us to eventually not renew our annual passes, and this was long before the pandemic was even a thing.

    Now with masks, the pandemic, the limited entertainment schedule, the lack of characters interactions like being able to get a hug from Mickey Mouse, etc. we would never even considering making a trip to Disneyland. Disneyland’s magic started to dwindle a little at a time, and from everyone I know who’s visited the park lately, it’s the worst it’s ever been.

    The app is a huge reason we will never visit again. We don’t have apps on our phones. Yes they can run apps, but we don’t use them, nor do we use Wi-Fi even at home. When we visit Disneyland we turn our cell phones off so that we can enjoy a day of togetherness and Disney magic. Having to spend a day glued to an electronic device is something we can do at home for a heck of a lot cheaper than we can do it at Disneyland. Magic Bands are another reason why we won’t visit again if and when they are fully implemented at Disneyland. I don’t want technology in a theme park when my home life is filled with laptop computers, emails, cell phones, phone calls, and text messages. I want to escape to another world when I’m at Disneyland. I want to be spontaneous and if I decide I want chicken nuggets I want to be able to walk right up to the restaurant and order what I want, when I want it, without having to make a reservation.

    Does that mean every visit we had to Disneyland before the pandemic was perfect? Absolutely not. But the Disney magic was always there.

    During the last year we had annual passes you could already see problems developing at Disneyland:
    ~Favorite foods started disappearing off the restaurant menus.
    ~Cast Members at restaurants no longer cared about food allergies.
    ~Cast Members had very little knowledge of Disneyland.
    ~Cast Members don’t know the difference between scrapper and real pins and trade scrapper pins on their pin trading lanyards.
    ~People would return scrapper pins to Disneyland gift shops and then Disneyland gift shops would sell them so even though you bought the pin at a gift shop inside of Disneyland you couldn’t guarantee you were getting a genuine Disney pin and not a scrapper.
    ~Trash on the ground, even right next to trash cans.
    ~Trash cans overflowing and people continuing to pile trash on the trash can until it overflows onto the ground.
    ~Decreasing number of benches and areas to take a break inside of the park.
    ~Neglected areas that needed a fresh coat of paint.
    ~Ride animatronics not working on an increasing number of rides.
    ~Rides were always breaking down for an extended period of time, usually Alice in Wonderland and Indiana Jones were the worst though we broke down on Peter Pan’s Flight once as well.
    ~Parking prices kept increasing (even though parking was included in our annual pass)
    ~They would cancel fireworks because of “high wind” even though there was no wind and when we were leaving the park on more than one occasion Angel Stadium would have a fireworks display going on. They would mention it starting early in the day on the train that the fireworks could be cancelled, and whenever they did that they usually were. And it seemed like more than just a coincidence that they were always cancelled on days that were not very crowded during the off season, likely due to the cost of the fireworks show.

    Those are just a few of the things that we started to notice and this was YEARS before the pandemic started.

    The strangest/weirdest/bad experiences that we had at Disneyland in the past:
    1-We were in line for Casey Jr Circus Train and the Cast Member was talking to us and very friendly. My significant other asked her when the Mark Twain would be running again (it was closed for refurbishment at the time). She looked at him and said what’s the Mark Twain. My significant other said the “paddleboat”, I said “Rivers of America”, and my significant other said “the big white boat”. The Cast Member still looked confused. Finally I said “the boat at the end of Fantasmic” and you could see the light go off in her head and then she said “I don’t know” which clearly was established long before that moment.

    2-I had seen people walk around with slushies that were red and blue. I asked at three frozen lemonade stands where the slushies were sold. They assured me they didn’t sell slushies at Disneyland and that they only added flavors to the frozen lemonade that was sold in the park. I knew I had seen red and blue slushies but couldn’t prove it. One day I bent down to fix the buckle on my sandal and when I turned there was a slushie stand. Why the cast members feel like they have to give an answer even if it’s the wrong answer is beyond me.

    3-It was the Christmas season and I wanted a Mickey Mouse gingerbread cookie which was my favorite Disney treat at Christmas time. We went in the big bakery on Main Street and I asked three different employees about the cookies and they told me that the only store that had them was the Winnie The Pooh store in Critter Country. I walked all the way over there and they did not have gingerbread cookies. I walked all the way back. When I got back one of the Cast Members was holding a tray of gingerbread cookies. When I asked her about it (she was one I asked originally), she said “we had them in back the whole time” and laughed, like it was a funny situation.

    4-I had never had a negative experience with a character until I met Tiana. Disneyland was a place where I could fit in despite my disabilities and it felt like home every time we visited. I met Tiana for the first time. I was wearing my Cinderella ear hat and a t-shirt that said “Keep calm and be a princess” as I was obsessed with Disney Princesses. When I walked up to Tiana she looked at my shirt and hat and said “Your not a real princess”. While it seems like no big deal, it definitely killed the Disney magic for me.

    5-I got food poisoning at Disneyland. I started vomiting in the park profusely and constantly. They sent a First Aid team almost immediately (who were wonderful by the way) with a standard sized wheelchair even though the Cast Member told them that they needed an extra wide wheelchair. I ended up getting two large blisters that eventually turned into permanent scars on my rear end that I still have to this day. We were held at First Aid because the fireworks were going to start, and even after they cancelled the fireworks we were not allowed to leave until Main Street U.S.A. cleared out. I spent three hours in First Aid vomiting non stop with no relief and then another five hours in the emergency room (which was fantastic).
    and 6-I was visiting with my mom and my main goal was to meet Anna and Elsa. They were meeting in Fantasyland at the time in a very small location. My mom and I both had extra wide rollator walkers. We were assured by the Cast Members at the entrance that we could keep our rollator walkers the entire time, which was important because I used the seat on mine to prevent exhaustion when waiting in lines as I can’t stand for extended periods of time. When we got almost to the end there was a small, narrow, roundabout and the walkers would not fit through. My mom nor myself was capable of lifting them, so I got out of line and asked a Cast Member for help. She told us we could get out of line and go to the back of the line without the walkers. There was no offer to help, even when I asked if they could physically get someone to lift the walkers to the next spot in line (on the other side of the roundabout). I ended up lifting them both and was in bad back pain for a week.

    A lot of trips to Disneyland are what you make of them, and we usually made the best of difficult situations. So many times Cast Members were complete angels: the time I got nauseous and they brought me a cup of ice; the time I lost my newest pin because the Mickey Head back came off and Disney replaced it; the time I got my churro stolen by a rogue duck and Disney replaced it; etc.

    I don’t like what the Disney parks have become, so I just don’t go. I think people need to have realistic expectations and lots of planning. Most of the things that the woman mentioned in the letter could have been avoided by a little research.

  64. mike

    Bear in mind that this site is a Disney schill & front for Academy Travel Company ! You are not going to get any negative or unbiased replies abut Disney here !

  65. John

    I have to agree with Denise that the Disney experience lacks the magic it once had. As an early Christmas gift to ourselves, my husband and I booked a stay at the Disneyland Hotel for the first weekend of Holiday Time last Nov. We were disappointed by the whole experience. The hotel seemed grotesquely understaffed, wait times for simple things like a pre-dinner drink were excruciating, and Goofy’s Kitchen is a complete boondoggle: Ruth’s Cris prices for Denny’s style food. We’ll never go back. The park was insanely crowded. Several rides broke down multiple times, something we’d never experienced before (and we’re former annual pass holders). And the cast members by and large seemed to be newly hired people who didn’t give a s**t because this was just a “job.” My husband and I both noticed that the atmosphere in the park didn’t feel like it did in years past. It felt about as magical as a Six Flags park, to be honest. The sense of pride and care was gone. We hadn’t been for several years and I don’t anticipate we’ll be back for several more. And that’s such a shame.

  66. Justine Marie

    We visited Disney World is December and where do I begin!? $15K between two families to only be yelled at by Cast Members the entire trip! Cast Members are now empowered to yell at Guests through policing of the Face Masks! They now feel like they have the authority to chastise guests with everything! I used to speak so kindly about Cast Members and how nice and accommodating they were. Not anymore! Now we have a bunch of entitled millennials running the park who view their work and guests as a bother! Our beloved Disney World is GONE!

    Also, nothing like spending 10 hours in a park to come back to your Disney Property, $700 a night, non-discounted room filled with overflowing garbage, disheveled beds and damp bath towels flung over doors and balconies. OVER IT!

    We are no longer loyalists! This trip was the final nail in the coffin!

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