Disney World Sets New Unprecedented Restriction, Colossal Impact Forthcoming

in Disney Parks, Walt Disney World

Statue of a man pointing, accompanied by a cartoon mouse, in front of a fairytale castle under a blue sky with clouds, surrounded by visitors.

Credit: Javier Parigini, Flickr

Disney has been cracking down on third-party vendors and services on its property, and now, another rule has been implemented for the millions of guests who visit Walt Disney World each year.

A serene morning at a magical theme park, featuring a statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse, with a majestic castle standing tall in the backdrop amidst a clear blue sky.
Credit: Canva

Disney World likes to ensure they have full control of the guest experience, and when things are outsourced to other companies for a service that the company offers as well, Mickey Mouse is not too big of a fan. Not only does it take revenue away from the parks, but it leaves Disney out of control of the guest experience, which can, in turn, ruin the image of the theme park if practices that do not align with their business are used.

One significant example of a recent crackdown on a third-party program was the ban on all third-party tour guides. 

According to reports from Business Insider and the Washington Post, numerous third-party tour guides, whose fees range from $150 to $300 per hour for private tours, have encountered issues at park gates where their season pass wristbands have turned blue, resulting in denied entry. Subsequently, they have engaged in surprising discussions with park managers and received notifications from local law enforcement officers assigned to the parks. In contrast, Disney offers private tours at rates of $450 to $900 per hour, which include exclusive privileges such as expedited access to rides and attractions, as well as backstage areas inaccessible to smaller tour operators.

VIP Tour Guide leading family across Main Street, U.S.A.
Credit: Disney

This year, Disney has intensified its enforcement against external tour operators, attributing it to “a significant increase” in unauthorized sales of its own services, encompassing restaurant and hotel reservations, the Disability Access Service, and the time-efficient Genie+ line-cutting service.

“When this activity happens, it impacts the experience of other guests following the rules–including our guests with disabilities–and impedes our theme park operations,” a spokesperson told the Post. “Just like Starbucks would not permit a third party to come into their stores to sell coffee to their customers, Disney does not permit unauthorized commercial activities in its theme parks.”

According to the Disney World website, there are three rules that can conflict with any commercial visits to the parks (AKA any visit that will make someone money while on Disney World property):

  • Unauthorized events, speeches, or use of any flag, banner, sign or other material for commercial purposes or as part of a demonstration.
  • Photography, videotaping or recording of any kind, or otherwise engaging in any activity, for unapproved commercial purposes.
  • Unauthorized solicitations of any kind, whether commercial, religious, educational, or otherwise, or conducting any unauthorized commercial activities, including solicitations of money or other contributions or donations.
A Cast Member in VIP Tour guide costume high fiving a kid and his father in front of Spaceship Earth at EPCOT
Credit: Disney

Running an unauthorized business and using Disney World as your product is something that the company can certainly take legal action against, and that is what they have done.

Of course, third-party resellers are also not allowed at Disney, and doing so will result in trespassing for life. 

Now, a new “crackdown” is underway.

At Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, many guests who choose to stay at the 750-acre resort often bring a golf cart with them to cruise around the property. While you can rent a golf cart at Fort Wilderness, they can cost up to $84.51 per day, which adds up if you are staying for a few days. Now, it will be a little more difficult to bring a golf cart of your own to Disney.

Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Campfire Sing-Along at Fort Wilderness Resort
Credit: Disney

Per KennythePirate.com, “Starting June 1, 2024, guests bringing their own golf cart must be prepared to present proof of insurance upon check-in and sign an agreement and waiver.”

Additionally, guests who have rented an RV from a third-party company will not be able to have their RV delivered to them, as “Disney now prevents third-party providers at Fort Wilderness.” You can still rent an RV or bring your own, but only guests staying at the resort will be allowed to enter with them, not a company dropping one off.

These new rules do make it more difficult to use your own items at Fort Wilderness, which is meant to be a resort that resembles a real campground, where guests would typically bring all of their own gear.

This is one of many changes that have recently come to the resort, including the ongoing overhaul of the cabins.

Concept art for the Cabins at Fort Wilderness Resort
Credit: Disney

It will be interesting to see if Disney ever disallows third-party strollers to drop off at Disney resorts. While Disney does rent strollers, they only rent them for the park day and not overnight, which is likely why they have not cracked down as of yet.

What do you think of these new changes to Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort?

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