Disney has reaffirmed their goal to improve the parks…can they do it?
Over the past few years, and since the pandemic-induced shutdown of Parks across the globe in 2020, there has been a lot with which people have taken issue regarding Disney. Generally speaking, these aren’t critics of the company either: they’re fans. Die-hard fans who have been going to the parks, watching the movies, and enjoying Disney their entire lives! After years of feedback, Disney is finally taking note, it seems.
There’s a lot to say about what Disney could do better when it comes to the studio. It has been years since Walt Disney Studios has produced a wildly successful and popular animated film, leaving most of the heavy lifting in that department to Pixar. It’s even been over a decade since the last 2D animated release from the studio, which got its start in that medium.
What has been even more depressing for Park goers has been the sad state of the theme parks and resorts which, to millions, have served as a home away from home for decades. While Guests to Disney Parks like the Disneyland Resort or the Magic Kingdom have come to expect regular price hikes for tickets, merchandise, and more, there was a lot in these past three years that came as an unpleasant surprise. The rapidity and frequency of ticket price increases for one.
Disneyland tickets alone have risen 36% in the past five years, and Disney World is right in that same ballpark. That’s not the worst of it, though. It’s understandable that prices would rise; with cost and demand, it’s reasonable. It would be reasonable, that is, if the services rendered were the same or better than they were before. Disney Genie and Disney Genie+ have proven that isn’t the case.
For years, Disney Parks provided Guests with FastPass. This complimentary service acted as a placeholder: Guests could scan their tickets and get a return time to some of the most popular attractions around the Parks. This ingenious innovation eased congestion at the stand-by lines and provided a way for every single Guest to be able to have a great Disney experience with these popular attractions within a limited time. Genie+ has introduced a pay-to-play class system within the parks, making an already expensive trip that much more expensive.
In a recent news burst, Disney and Disney Parks have introduced several measures fans believe are designed to combat this discontent. Some complimentary amenities have returned, like free Resort hotel parking in Walt Disney World, free PhotoPass included with Genie+ at Disneyland, and just this week, the reopening of Magic Key sales for Disneyland, but there’s a lot of work left to do.
Less than a week ago, it was reported that Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Josh D’Amaro promised that the organization would “listen to our Guests and change where we need to change.” With a new release from Disney, it seems that they’re feeling the pressure to follow through on this commitment.
According to a recent SEC filing from Disney, reported by Journalist Scott Gustin, one of Disney’s “Key Strategic Changes” moving forward will be a focus on “Improving the Guest experience by providing more value and flexibility.” What this means can only be speculated, but with any luck, improvements to things like Disney Park reservations and Genie+ are on the way. Guests have voiced their opinions; now the ball is in Disney’s court!
What do you think Disney could do to improve your value and Park flexibility? Let us know in the comments below!