Guest Recalls “Sad” Disney Vacation Amid Ongoing Park Changes and Requirements

in Disney Parks, Walt Disney World

Dad with mouse ears excited with son

Credit: Disney

For most “Disney adults” or hardcore Disney fans, if you know anything about planning a vacation to Disneyland or Walt Disney World, you know you need to research and plan. However, for the casual fan or someone who’s never been to the parks, that might not be so obvious.

Whether you know to plan ahead or not, there has been a rise in complaints about the amount of effort it now seems to take to plan a Disney vacation, especially at a theme park as big as Walt Disney World Resort. From planning flights and travel to the hotel, to booking a stay at one of Disney World’s many resorts, including the Grand Floridian and Pop Century, to purchasing a park ticket to EPCOT, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, or Magic Kingdom, to making a park reservation, figuring out a Park Hopper, food, merchandise, and everything else, it can be exhausting before you even get on the plane.

Guests riding Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at EPCOT Walt Disney World
Credit: Disney

Disney’s recent additions of the Genie+ and Lightning Lane systems don’t make planning any less stressful either. Not only is Genie+ an additional cost, but guests have complained about the requirement to constantly be on their phones, booking Lightning Lanes or checking wait times. However, one parent explains that their family trip was less-than-magical all around.

In the r/WaltDisneyWorld subreddit, u/mountainchick04 states they “had a not so great trip and I’m so sad about it.” Throughout their post, they explain that they were visiting with their three kids, all 14 and under and all autistic. While the user explains they loved visiting Disney as a kid and their kids love theme parks, the trip just wasn’t going right for them.

“With most rides, he was fine because we had DAS and we usually either walked on or waited less than 10 minutes, but certain rides we had to get out of line for because the wait was too long. Disney is overselling lightning lanes like crazy right now so I definitely suggest, before scanning in, ask the CM how long the wait is because having to pull out of line causes a huge meltdown…

“Another tough thing was the crowds and the noise levels at the parks. We were not prepared for this at all. It was so crowded and noisy and was a lot for my kids to handle…

Kids riding Big Thunder Mountain
Credit: Disney

“Another tip I have is to map out quiet areas in each park and make a list of them so you have it available. Going to first aid which could be across the park is not always feasible when you’re dealing with a kid that is melting down…

“Overall, we salvaged the trip by doing just a few hours in the parks at a time and hanging out a lot at the pool and visiting other resorts.”

blizzard beach kids in water
Credit: Disney

The user managed to receive some great advice in the comments, although others told her she failed to plan and research. “Disney is stressful for anyone with three kids. I am sorry that you were disappointed in your trip. I would recommend that you do much more planning and research some of the topics that you have brought up here. Another plan might be to divide and conquer some days. Take one child to the park at a time to focus on just what that child enjoys,” stated u/booksiwabttoread.

“With the greatest amount of respect, if you have 3 autistic children, especially with stimulation issues, Disney may not be the best idea. Disney does a crazy amount of accommodating but they have no control over an X amount of things. That being said, I would suggest doing a VIP tour! It will give your family a private experience with a personal guide, where you can all skip all lines, go as many times as you want, theyll hop with you to different parks etc.,” suggested u/MeddyVeddy.

A Cast Member in VIP Tour guide costume high fiving a kid and his father on their Disney vacation in front of Spaceship Earth at EPCOT
Credit: Disney

Eventually, the OP (original poster) replied to a comment stating, “I did send [Disney] feedback as well that they should not be advertising that they are accommodating to autism when they are clearly doing the bare minimum to make accommodations. We truly felt blindsided, and I researched for over a year. And I think it’s because there are so many blanket statements out there saying Disney is great for kiddos on the spectrum when that is clearly not the case.”

Unfortunately, a Disney vacation requires a great deal of planning and research, even for the typical guest. For a trip that often costs people a great deal of savings and time to plan, save for, and enjoy, fans have blasted the company for instilling such a need to prepare ahead of time. Gone are the days when most people could enjoy a surprise trip to Disney and manage to fit everything in.

What do you think about the need to research, plan, and prepare for a Disney vacation? Is that normal or has it become too much for the average park-goer? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Please note that the story outlined in this article is based on an individual guest’s personal Disney experience. No two Guest experiences are alike, and this article does not necessarily align with Inside the Magic’s personal views on Disney Park operations.

Comments Off on Guest Recalls “Sad” Disney Vacation Amid Ongoing Park Changes and Requirements