Guests Say Disney Is Pricing Them Out, Calls Park Experience a “Nightmare”

in Walt Disney World

cinderella castle at Walt Disney World

Credit: Disney

While Walt Disney World is “The Most Magical Place on Earth”, there is no doubt that the Resort has had to change and evolve in recent years, largely due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as well as supply chain issues.

walt disney world railroad
Credit: Disney

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While some Guests have been able to ignore certain issues while in the Parks, many are starting to feel frustrated toward the Resort in Orlando, Florida, claiming it’s getting too crowded and too expensive. One of the biggest complaints we’ve seen from Guests lately has been caused by the new Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane systems which were introduced in late 2021.

Disneyland Disney Genie
Credit: Disney

This replacement for Disney’s FastPass system has seen much criticism and frustration, leaving many Guests feeling confused by the service. In theory, this paid service should enhance Guests’ experience at the Parks, but in practice, it seemed to just be an expensive itinerary planner for some, while others love using the system. These paid services allow Guests to skip lines for a price, meaning Disney now has a financial incentive to have long lines. At Disney World, for $15.00 per day per Guest, you can skip the long standby queue by making a Lightning Lane reservation (new FastPass) and returning at that time.

genie disney phone mobile
Credit: Disney

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At each Park, however, there are two attractions that Guests would need to purchase a separate Lightning Lane ticket for if they wanted to skip those lines. Those attractions are: 

  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Space Mountain
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
  • Frozen Ever After
  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
  • Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
  • Avatar Flight of Passage
  • Expedition Everest

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Credit: Disney
This is just one part of the puzzle, however, as many Guests feel as though the quality of the experience has gone down at Walt Disney World. A recent post on Reddit, a popular social media site highlighted how one particular Guest felt about their most recent trip. See the full post from ShootImFeelingGreat below:

Likely my last trip for years

I have to say, we’ve been coming to WDW at least once, if not twice a year (including the pandemic) since 2017. This is by far and not close, the absolute worst trip we have ever had.

Likely my last trip for years from WaltDisneyWorld

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User u/emmettito commented:

Unfortunately, Disney is going to keep pricing out guests until attendance dramatically falls. But with current demand, I can’t imagine that will be for a looooooong time! My family was priced out in 2020/2021 when they cancelled our Annual Passes to Disneyland, then increased ticket prices, then increased the price for Fastpasses, and then introduced the botched new Annual Pass program… it’s just not financially feasible to go anymore.

User u/unicornbomb commented:

The new systems have totally killed the appeal for me. I dont want my vacation to require more day of logistical planning, waiting, and scheduling than a day at work. Wheres the relaxation?

mickey mouse in front of cinderella castle
Credit: Disney

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User u/TadWaxpole commented:

Long time WDW fan and local annual pass holder here. It sucks but I agree. I didn’t renew this year and don’t intend to anytime soon. Disney World had drastically changed for the worse and very rapidly.

And here’s an opinion that might be unpopular in this sub: Right now the experience at Universal Studios is far superior to what Disney is selling. If you’ve never given Universal a chance, you might be surprised how great it is.

User u/GladiatorDragon summed a lot of frustrations up in one long reply:

From what I can tell, these past few days have been hell over there.

The thing is that Disney keeps raising the price to try to keep crowds down, but, as observed, it’s done practically nothing. Additionally, they’re letting too many people in, and the attractions don’t have the capacity to handle them. This is particularly evident in Magic Kingdom.

What angers me is that they have the resources and talent to expand the parks, providing more attractions and more space to help deal with the crowds, but they’re not doing that. Look at the past two decades of WDW, and you’ll see something – a massive period of time where the parks weren’t expanding between Everest (2006) and New Fantasyland (2012). Pretty much everything they “added” during that period was simply a replacement of something that was already there – that also used the exact same framework as the previous attraction to boot. They only actually started making an effort because they felt pressured when Universal opened Harry Potter.

Heck, if you exclude Everest, which was a fix for Animal Kingdom’s lacking attraction lineup, you could push this even further back.

Additionally, their failure to go through with Beastly Kingdom will always sadden me.

Disney has the resources to do practically anything they want, they just don’t want to. That period between Everest and New Fantasyland really says a lot – they’d do nothing if they could get away with it, which is practically the opposite direction Walt wanted the parks to go to.

disney world american flag with cinderella castle
Credit: Disney

While these opinions do not represent the entirety of Walt Disney World or even Disneyland Guests, there seems to be a large number of people agreeing about Disney being too pricey. This post alone had over 300 individual comments, with most in the post sharing similar issues, giving us the idea that this isn’t exactly a rare occurrence.

How do you feel about the overall experience at Walt Disney World right now? How have your plans or visit changed at the Parks? Let us know in the comments below!

Let the expert team at Academy Travel help you plan your next magical vacation to Disney World’s water parks, four theme parks — Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios — and the Disney Springs shopping and dining district!

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