The Most Magical Place On Earth is just that for many people. But to some Guests, the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Central Florida is lacking the magic. That once shining crown jewel in the Disney Parks portfolio has come under increasing backlash for its rising costs, high crowds, and operation changes — hello, Disney Genie+!
For one family visiting the Disney Resort this past weekend, a series of unfortunate events led to them claiming to never return to the Walt Disney World theme parks, and it echoes what others have been feeling since the Resort reopened following the pandemic closures.
Walt Disney World Resort: a collection of four theme parks, multiple hotels like Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, the Disney Springs retail, and dining area, and countless other experiences. It is often at the top of any Disney fans’ wishlist — to see the sparkle of Cinderella Castle, embrace the nostalgia of Main Street, U.S.A., and see fireworks light up the Orlando sky. However, over the last year, tensions have risen among casual and diehard Disney World fans who are finding the Parks increasingly difficult to navigate with the added pressure of 7 a.m. wakeups, virtual queues, and Disney Genie+ gymnastics.
It’s no secret that the Disney Parks in Florida — and those at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California — have seen steep increases in ticket admission, merchandise, food, and beverage, as well as the new added cost of Disney Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane Selections. The latter being Disney’s answer to the retired “FastPass”-style services previously found at these locations. And even then, the cost of Disney Genie+ is now dependant on a variable pricing system which means that on the days the Parks are more expensive to visit, a Guest can bet the Genie will also have an upcharge.
All these factors are slowly worming their way into a Guest’s overall Disney experience, where vacation is now but a word of myth and early mornings, low cellphone battery, and long lines are the norm — all the things that are somewhat opposite to the idea of relaxtion. It could be argued that Disney World trips have never been for those looking for peace and quiet, but there has certainly been a shift in the overall attitude to the House of Mouse’s premier Disney Park destination.
As Mr. Gagnon discovered on his latest trip to Disney World. Speaking to Inside the Magic, the Guest described how a $600 day at The Most Magical Place On Earth led to him revoking his Disney World fan status, and vowing to never go back. Mr. Gagnon visited EPCOT Park this last Saturday, November 5, 2022, and faced multiple attraction issues while there. He said:
We went on numerous rides that had delays due to technical difficulties. It started at Test Track which had a 75 minute wait when we got there and had 3-4 delays due to technical difficulties. We then went to [another] which had a 40 minute wait and again started to have delays due to technical issues, we ended up leaving this ride. We then went to Ratatouille ride which had a 90 minute wait.
Unfortunately, the problems didn’t just stop at the long wait times. After a two-and-a-half-hour wait for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, the attraction broke down just one minute into the ride. Mr. Gagnon told us:
We were maybe a minute into the ride and it just stopped. They did take a little while to try and restore it but after maybe 20 minutes or so they brought up the house lights and asked us to stay seated until the cast members could escort us out and unlock the cart. It did take awhile for cast members to get to us as I think we were the last cart. A cast member would unlock two or three carts at a time and then escort us all out as a group through the ride itself. Once we got back to the boarding area it had been completely cleared of all guests. We got in line around noon and this happened somewhere around 2:45-3pm.
And it wasn’t just problems with the attractions at EPCOT, which has just welcomed the new Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, the Guest claims to have experienced poor service while waiting for food at the Disney Park, leaving him to state, “Disney can’t seem to keep rides running and the customer service experience has plummeted. After spending almost $600 for tickets and lightning lanes I have no interest in going back and I’m selling all my stock in the company.”
It is sad to see Guest’s experience the Parks in this manner, especially when they hold so much promise. This could be a very individual case of events — albeit a very unfortunate case of events, but the frequency that others are speaking out about their lack of enjoyment at Disney World, could be a sign that more are certainly feeling this way about the Resort.
Have you ever had a really bad day at a Disney Park? Let us know in the comments down below!
Walt Disney World Resort boasts four theme parks: Magic Kingdom Park, EPCOT Park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios Theme Park. It also features two Disney water parks, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park and Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park, and the retail and recreation area, Disney Springs. A valid ticket, as well as a Park Pass reservation, is needed to enter each Park and Park Hopper hours begin at 2 p.m. daily.