Diehard Disney Fans Call It Quits With the Parks

in Disney Parks

Disney World Guests using MagicBands

Credit: Disney

With prices increasing seemingly every day as well as unprecedented crowd levels, some “diehard” Disney fans are calling it quits on the Disney Parks and Resorts.

rain at disney world
Credit: Disney

Related: Disney Finally Reveals When Expedition Everest Will Reopen

There is no denying that the Disney Parks are a completely different beast than they once were and this is mostly due to the COVID-19 pandemic that broke out in early 2020. This scary and deadly virus left both American Disney Parks closed in an unprecedented move. As time has gone on, both Parks reopened but things have fundamentally changed inside. As of now, both Shanghai Disneyland and Hong Kong Disney are closed due to COVID-19 still.

During the pandemic, Guests saw lots of their favorite experiences vanish before their eyes with things like character meet and greets being cut. Shows like Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular at Disney’s Hollywood Studios were also removed, leaving Guests with a very limited selection of experiences to choose from.

Pin Trading Cast Members
Credit: Disney

One issue Guests have had both inside and outside the Disney Parks and Resorts has been customer service. In a recent post on social media, one Disney Guest discussed the current state of Disney’s customer service. Titled, “Horrible Customer Service, I guess not everything is magical”, the user went on to say “I’m not sure what is going on and Disney World, but I’ve waited on hold on 5 different occasions, 4 were over an hour and 1 was 2 hours and 20 minutes. I’ve sent multiple emails, and it’s been weeks without a response. I guess everything isn’t magical. If it wasn’t for my kids, I’d cancel everything and just go on a different vacation.”

In the comments, several users agreed, with one saying it is “horrendous” and that all the money was going to a “greedy CEO”. Another said there must only be two representatives working as they were on hold for hours. One Guest even claimed they waited 16 hours total between two days attempting to try and get DAS passes (disability pass), claiming they were done with the Parks. Another said they waited for 4 hours to get a hold of someone.

We recently covered a story on a Guest being put on hold for five hours. A portion of that report reads:

Calling the Walt Disney World Resort once evoked a feeling of happiness, where a simple thing like a ticket change or resort reservation request brought a few seconds of Disney music and a helpful “cast member” representative.

But those calls now are time-consuming, ill-will promoting, and ultimately lead to a training-challenged representative who has no idea what they’re doing. Even Disney apparently has customer service issues still reverberating from the peak of COVID.

Our wait was just shy of five hours before someone answered the phone at 407-939-2273, the direct line for ticket sales and reservations.

disney cast member
Credit: Screenshot via Annual Shareholders Meeting

Another major issue Guests have right now is using Disney’s new Genie+ and Lightning Lane systems. In the last few years, we have seen lots of changes, updates, and improvements to how the Disney Parks work and operate, From new and exciting rides, virtual queues, and Park reservations, planning for a Disney vacation is a lot more work than it used to be. This is exemplified further by Disney’s newest venture into a “FastPass” system.

Disney Genie is free, but for an extra charge, Guests can upgrade to Genie+, which allows them other access to reservation systems and the option to purchase individual Lightning Lanes for rides, essentially letting them pay to skip the stand-by ques. As stated above, this new system has been met with lots of frustration and criticism from new and long-time Disney Guests and fans.

You don't have to buy Genie to skip the line!!
Credit: ITM

Related: Guests Shocked By Disney’s Current State, “It’s Like We Were At Six Flags”

Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane were released last year to some criticism and frustration, leaving some Guests feeling confused by the service. In theory, this paid service should enhance Guests’ experience at the Parks, but in practice, it seems to just be an expensive itinerary planner for some, while others love it. 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. At Disneyland, the cost is slightly higher at $20.00 per hour.

While Disney promises a more efficient Park experience when using Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane, the company has even backtracked on its description of these new systems, changing their official descriptions online. We also continue to see these Lightning Lane lines get backed up, making lots of Guests wonder if what they paid for was really worth it. At Disney World, with Lightning Lane, 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
disney genie
Credit: Screenshot via Disney Parks Blog

Another issue Guests have with the current Disney parks experience is the insane crowd levels. As of now, the Disney Parks require Guests to use a reservation system, meaning they not only have to purchase tickets but have to make sure the days they visit they have a reservation. One of the newer additions to the Walt Disney World Resort, after Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios reopened have been that Disney Park Passes are now needed to enter a Park. Gone are the days of purchasing a Disney Park ticket and strolling into the Park of your choice, now, reservations must be made on your My Disney Experience.

One Guest shared their disappointing experience at the Disney Parks recently on Twitter which you can read below from Ken Storey (@KLStorey):

My mom is a diehard Disney fan. She loves Disney and always has. Today she went to Magic Kingdom for the first time in 2 years. She told me “It was way too crowded, worse so than I’ve seen before. It’s more expensive but the waits are longer than ever. It’s just not worth it.”

The user responded to the original tweet, following it up with this statement:

I know this doesn’t sound like a lot but she’s exactly the type of fan Disney spent so long going after. She adores Disney still but said she’s not really into WDW anymore. Just wild. I hope they can right the ship bc if they’re losing ppl like her then they’ve got a problem.

While the intent may be to help Guests navigate the Parks as well as alleviate some of the stress from larger numbers within the Park, lots of Guests have had issues with this system. Recently, we reported on multiple Guests facing issues regarding the Disney Park Pass reservation system. We have seen a huge rise in the number of complaints regarding crowds, whether they are here for Spring Break or not. Transportation is also another issue Guests have had to combat.

The Disney World Resort offers Guests multiple modes of transportation, all with varying degrees of efficiency and utility. Firstly, Guests can use buses to get around the “Disney World bubble”, with the service taking Guests to all four Parks, all Disney World Resorts as well as Disney Springs, the Resort’s huge shopping district. At Disney World, Guests have a wide array of options to choose from when trying to get from point A to point B. Firstly, Guests have the option to walk or use ferries from certain hotels to get to certain Parks. One of the more recent additions to transportation is Disney’s Skyliner, a gondola-style capsule that can take Guests from their hotel room right to EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

And of course, there is the most iconic mode of transportation in all of Walt Disney World: the buses.

disney bus
Credit: Inside the Magic

These can be incredibly helpful to Guests hoping to hit the Parks at “rope drop” as well as a super fun way to navigate the Resort. Unfortunately, sometimes buses can be slow or run at a lower capacity, causing problems for Guests. Sometimes, however, it’s other Guests that can be the bigger issue.

We previously covered how Guests feel this service is a “total mess” and that there were issues facing how buses operated at the Disney Parks.

More on Disney Bus Transportation

Let Us Do the Driving

Save time, money and the hassle of driving and parking. Almost anywhere you want to go at Walt Disney World Resort is conveniently accessible by our buses, which run continuously.

Getting to Disney Theme Parks, Water Parks and Disney Springs from a Disney Resort Hotel

  • Bus service between Disney Resort hotels and Disney Springs is available during Disney Springs operating hours—and ends one hour after closing.
  • Bus service between Disney Resort hotels and Disney theme parks begins 45 minutes prior to opening and ends one hour after closing.

Getting to Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park from a Disney Resort Hotel

  • From all Disney Resort hotels, please take the bus to the Disney Springs area and then transfer to the bus to Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon water park.
  • Bus service from Disney Springs to Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon water park begins one hour prior to water park opening.
  • Bus service from Typhoon Lagoon water park to Disney Springs ends one hour after water park closing.
  • Disney’s Blizzard Beach water park remains closed at this time.

Getting Between Different Disney Theme Parks, Water Parks and Resort Hotels

Please tap “Get Directions” in the My Disney Experience app or ask a Cast Member to assist you in planning your trip from one park to another. The most direct route may involve a combination of bus, monorail, boat or walking.

Credit: Six Flags

We also recently covered how some Guests felt that Disney feels more like Six Flags after everything that has changed and becomes increasingly more crowded. Spring Break seemed to almost crush the Disney Parks, especially in Walt Disney World where we saw hoards of Guests trapped after transportation shut down. As all of the Disney Parks and Resorts slowly get back on track, we can look forward to everything that is coming. We can only hope things move to a more smooth operating process in the coming months, with so many great things to look forward to.

In 2022, so much is happening and changing within the Disney Parks and Resorts. From new rides like the thrilling TRON coaster in the Magic Kingdom as well as the exciting Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind in EPCOT to the upcoming Mickey & Minnie Runaway Railway in Disneyland in Southern California, Disney Guests have a lot to look forward to this year.

How do you feel about the current state of the Disney Parks and Resorts?

Let the expert team at Academy Travel help you plan your next magical vacation to Disneyland Resort, including Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure, and the Downtown Disney District. Or what about Walt Disney World Resort’s 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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