Walt Disney World Needs Help, and Guests Can Fix It

in Walt Disney World

Disney World entertainment - Fireworks during the Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party event at Disney's Magic Kingdom park

Credit: Disney

Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort amassed record profits for The Walt Disney Company last year. Yet, Central Florida Disney Park fans aren’t happy with the Disney World experience.

Between increased Disney Parks ticket and Disney Resort hotel room costs, Disney Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane, and other add-ons, it’s not difficult to see how the Mouse made billions while degrading the Disney Parks guest experience. Immersive storytelling at Magic Kingdom Park, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios was traded for cold, hard cash, and now that it’s flowing, there’s no end in sight.

Space Mountain at sunset at Magic Kingdom
Credit: Disney

Last month, an Inside the Magic team member shared their ideas for a better, guest-centered Walt Disney World Resort. Now, let’s take a look at what other Disney Park fans have to say.

How Disney World Could Improve the Theme Park Guest Experience

The Central Florida theme parks are arguably the most important part of the Disney experience. Most theme park guests feel Walt Disney World Resort took a step in the right direction by nearly eliminating Disney Park Pass Reservations, but there’s more to be done.

A Disney Ride roller coaster filled with riders ascends a steep track against a backdrop of blue sky and rocky scenery.
Credit: Disney

Related: Disney Springs Location Shutting Down for Good

Our team members daydream about the return of free FastPass+ and the end of Disney Genie+/Individual Lightning Lane. Even though it’s unrealistic, we’re not the only ones–especially now that Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort are cracking down on Disability Access Service (DAS) abuse.

Storm Troopers in Rise of the Resistance, one of the Disney attractions that many incidents took place on.
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

“Maybe people wouldn’t be abusing the DAS system if WDW had never gotten rid of FastPass+ in the first place :),” @princess_polii wrote on X (formerly Twitter). “Food for thought, but I think Genie+ created the problem that they are currently facing …now it’s going to be harder for people who DO need DAS to get it approved smh.”

There was nothing wrong with [Disney’s] fastpass system pre Covid, it was free and pre determined months before your trip,” @DisneySwiftie71 echoed. “Of course there is an increase in das pass abuse, but only since the introduction of genie plus. #Disney nickel and dimed people after Covid to recover money.”

Inside the Magic’s team also suggested Walt Disney World Resort limit theme park capacity and improve the shopping & dining experience:

“The Disney parks are way too crowded. Just because the fire code lets you pack 40,000 people into Magic Kingdom Park doesn’t mean you should. No one wants to spend $200 to ride four rides, catch a glimpse of Mickey Mouse from one hundred feet away, and wait three hours for a parade spot.”

Going to Disney World literally requires insane amounts of planning,” @FilipinoFellow agreed. “If they wanna fight back against that then they need to fix many of the glaring issues of capacity, lightning lane, boarding groups, more affordable resorts, more high quality restaurants, etc.”

Improving the Disney Resort hotels

The best days at Walt Disney World Resort start at a Disney hotel. For a hefty price tag, Disney Resort hotel guests receive amenities like advanced dining reservations and Early Theme Park Entry at Magic Kingdom Park, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. These benefits apply whether guests stay at a Value Resort or use Disney Vacation Club (DVC) points at a Deluxe Resort.

Balcony overlooking Disney's Contemporary
Credit: Disney

Related: “Annoying” Disney Moderate Resort Policy Angers Guests

However, seasoned Walt Disney World Resort visitors will know these services pale compared to the pre-COVID experience. The Magical Express no longer picks guests up at the airport; Disney cast members don’t drop off luggage in Resort hotel rooms. From @DisneyGlimpses:

Is Disney really surprised that Disney Vacation Sales have been struggling? – Absurd resale restrictions added to contracts – Guests no longer get things like FP+ or Magical Express – The AP made available to members went up $200 – No Moonlight Magic at Magic Kingdom Shocking!

“Mears Connect is alright when you are too cheap to pay for a car & don’t want to drive but I do miss Magical Express,” @MouseEaredWorld agreed.

As for Early Theme Park Entry? It only lasts 30 minutes instead of the lengthy Extra Magic Hours guests once knew. @ashleyrm is one of many fans longing for the old days:

Always. Extra magic hours were incredible. Back in the long ago, evening magic hours were 3 hours. That last hour was the best.

One Walt Disney World Resort guest called their Early Entry experience a “rip-off.” By the time they fought through the rope-droppers and made it into EPCOT, wait times skyrocketed, making their early alarm worthless.

“We were trying to get on Frozen Ever After before the big crowd of day guests,” the guest explained. “We were a little behind and ended up being at Spaceship Earth at 8:55. I literally looked at my partner and said ‘Well, at least we still beat this big crowd.’ And they dropped the rope right after that.”

Frozen Ever After animatronics
Credit: Inside the Magic

“A huge hoard of people were literally running past us and we completely lost our early park advantage,” they continued. “It ended up being a 45 minute wait for us by the time we got to Norway…I wish we had known because I would have planned to go even earlier. I felt really ripped off when they impeded on our small 30 minute window by rope dropping early for day guests.”

How can Walt Disney World Resort improve the guest experience? Share your ideas with Inside the Magic in the comments section. 

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



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