Trip Report from this past week and I just fell out of love with Disney

PsycProfPlum

Ears Earned
Joined
Mar 15, 2018
Very interesting thread! I agree, cutting staff is despicable as it just boosts wait times and lines for those going out of their way to travel and not as busy times. Len Testa from TP actually measured throughput on rides Jan 2019 and found that they definitely cut capacity which artificially boosted wait times.

I wasn't there during the president's day week, but looking at various YouTubers and bloggers, it looked miserable! Like a couple of other posters, I'm actually considering more summer trips. I've been there in June 2018 and July 2019 and both had relatively light crowds (relatively, mind you). This was especially Epcot when there was not a festival going on.

Summer weather is miserable, but we'll typically rope drop a ride or two, do our fastpasses and head out by 1:00. Chill at the resort until almost dinner, then head back out. Often the rain will thin the crowds as well. The weather is brutal, but I also prefer bad weather to the crowds. I'm hoping to get there some September as crowds do seem to be the best then. I work at a university though so that's a tough time of year to travel.
 

Magical_Suitcase

aka: kid-at-heart
Joined
Oct 9, 2018
What a horrid park experience. I am so glad that your resort experience was good. Like you we have been DVC members for a couple of decades and at one time, went to WDW every year or two. However, once FastPass+ was installed it and the crowds kept increasing, it ruined the experience for us. We went to the parks for a few years after Disney started using fast pass +. Then stopped since it seemed the only rides we could ride on without waiting over an hour were the ones we had fast passes for. For the last few years, when we go to Disney we just stay in our resort for a night or two before moving on to other parts of Florida. WDW has pretty much become the overnight stop in route to “somewhere else”. I miss the old WDW.
 

DVCSunDevil

Mouseketeer
Joined
Mar 1, 2020
Trip report for both BWV and parks:
Travel party - Myself, husband, daughter, son-in-law, 2 toddler grandkids, son and daughter-in-law
Focus: Grandbabes & Star Wars Land for son-in-law.

I'll start with the good, I loved Disney for a long time, so good first.

A shout out to Gerald at the BWV who assigned our rooms. Thank you for paying attention to all three of my requests! Being this was a family trip including a 2 bedroom lockoff and a studio and the toddlers, I had requested close to lobby, lower floor and especially close to each other. Gerald arranged for all three and while room 2059 is the noisiest room in the resort (nothing to do with Gerald or the job well done he did for us), the proximity to each other was perfect and came in very handy when the stomach virus hit 4 of us at different times!

A huge thank you to Cindy and Jimmy, on call managers at the BWV, for everything they've done to help us with anything and everything we needed when the babes, my daughter and myself got sick. How horrible an experience that virus was!! Thankfully it hit the night before check out for my daughter and her son and then myself the morning of check out. My granddaughter had it earlier in the week but only for a few hours.

Cindy did everything she could and kept me in my room an extra night because I couldn't get out of the bed, except for getting sick that was, and both Cindy and Jimmy worked with me to cancel an upcoming trip (on borrowed points-returning leftover points to original use year) to access points to use for the extra night stay so desperately needed. They sent housekeeping to disinfect, with extra towels, paper towels, tissues, blankets, and anything else we needed. They offered to send medical assistance and called to check in multiple times. I cannot say enough about how well we were taken care of.

Justin, from Clarksville, (don't remember the state, maybe Ohio) at Guest Services in DHS. While the experience in that park was a complete wreck, Justin was great! He helped straighten out a few things gone amiss on the app for my son-in-law with a couple of extra fast passes thrown in (not for the most popular rides) for the enormous inconveniences we dealt with at DHS for over a day! And, he did it with a smile, patience and grace. Thank you Justin!

Now for the not so good.
We had a family trip from Saturday February 15 to Wednesday, February 19th, 2020. We are DVC members since 2000 and have been bringing our children since 1996. Now we have grandchildren (two toddlers) and have hoped to continue our wonderful Disney vacations with them.

Unfortunately, the park experiences of this week have forced us into the decision of staying away from Disney parks for years to come. Not the resorts, but my husband and I are done with the parks and my kids aren't looking to go back for years.

For the last couple of trips (November 2019/February 2019)I saw how much the parks have changed and how much Disney has changed regarding it's guest satisfaction. However, this past week's family trip has solidified just how bad it's gotten.

What Disney falls miserably short in is managing the crowd levels in the parks. I don't think they care to even bother trying to manage the crowds. In fact, I think its just the opposite. Disney now charges top dollar to enter the parks, closes them early a few nights a week for "special ticketed events", charging just about the same as a full day park pass for these special events, and ultimately "double dips" in bringing thousands more visitors to the parks each day. For what purpose? Not the purpose of guest satisfaction, certainly not the purpose of a "magical" visitor experience, no, not at all. For the purpose of making more money.

It used to be a place for children of all ages. Now, bringing little ones to the parks is NOT a good idea. The parks are over crowded, the wait times, even for the little ones rides, are too long for children to tolerate. They are overwhelmed and uncomfortable, as are the adults with 175 minute wait times for rides such as Kilimanjaro Safari. What?!!! We shouldn't have to "tolerate" anything with the money we pay to be there. We should pay for our vacations and enjoy them as we see fit.

Rise of the Resistance? Yes, we agreed to rise at dawn, get to the park before opening, tap into the park, open the app (sound ridiculous yet? because it is), and hit join boarding group at 8:00 on the button. Two of us got into a boarding group, two of us didn't - app glitch, of course. It was called at 8 p.m. We ran back into the park and waited a bit on line. Just got into the ride and..... it broke down. Here you go people, everyone out. Here's a "free" fast pass, return tomorrow. My SIL had a three day, one park a day pass that expired this trip. First day was used to get into DHS that day. Next day was for Epcot, day after MK. No worries, he was told he will be issued a one day entrance ticket to HS to come back tomorrow and use the FP to get onto ROTR. Okay, great, thanks.

Next morning, back into HS, after rearranging (and losing some of our plans) our EPCOT day with the family. We arrive at the ride only to find out it just broke down again. >:(Then SIL realizes that the one day entrance ticket wasn't used, but his three day expiring pass was instead. We tell the CM at the ride and they direct us to a Guest Services queue at the ride. We wait 20 minutes to speak to this CM at this Guest Services (not an actual guest services - it was set up at ROTR specifically for this ride), and she tells us she cannot help us with her ipad, that we need to go over to Guest Services at the beginning of the park, where they have computer terminals. We head over there, another hour spent waiting to fix the glitch with a promise that we won't have a problem with it being fixed. We could have done something else in the park during that time. Disney promotes ROTR as an amazing ride, or should I say an amazing broken ride? They need to come through on what they sell. Ride isn't ready to be opened.

Disney is a place I used to love emphatically. So much so, that all who know me wouldn't even consider taking a trip here without talking to me, the Disney "expert". I've taken just about everyone I love there and have done so for years.

I just fell completely out of love with Disney and Universal is looking fantastic. The last three trips piled up, and this past trip killed it. We can't walk through the parks and enjoy the atmosphere, or stand on the lines without actual pain with ridiculous hour and a half long waits (or longer). Who would want to? Not me, not us, not anymore.
Disney - get it together. You've lost focus. It's all about money now, where's the magic in that?
:eek:
I have been going to Disney parks for as long as I can remember...at least since 1985. I have to say, the parks have always been crowded. I remember waiting 2 hours to ride Splash Mountain back in the day. There is a reason why people us the "ride at Disney" analogy to describe something that takes a long time. I am not sure why you were suddenly shocked that the lines for rides take a long time, especially since you have been going to Disney for a long time. And I think some on this thread have been mentioning that Disney only cares about $$$, but the truth is that Disney has always cared about the $$. Walt Disney himself cited that one of his main worries before Disneyland opened was that people wouldn't be willing to spend enough to attend the park. Disney is a multi billion dollar company...they are super focused on profits. Not sure why this would shock anyone on here. All that said, WDW is a magical place. They sell magic, and I am buying :)
 
  • DeeCee735

    "How Do You Know of the Key?"
    Joined
    Mar 1, 2001
    I have been going to Disney parks for as long as I can remember...at least since 1985. I have to say, the parks have always been crowded. I remember waiting 2 hours to ride Splash Mountain back in the day. There is a reason why people us the "ride at Disney" analogy to describe something that takes a long time. I am not sure why you were suddenly shocked that the lines for rides take a long time, especially since you have been going to Disney for a long time. And I think some on this thread have been mentioning that Disney only cares about $$$, but the truth is that Disney has always cared about the $$. Walt Disney himself cited that one of his main worries before Disneyland opened was that people wouldn't be willing to spend enough to attend the park. Disney is a multi billion dollar company...they are super focused on profits. Not sure why this would shock anyone on here. All that said, WDW is a magical place. They sell magic, and I am buying :)
    I’m not really sure why you would be surprised to hear me say I was shocked. As I stated, I’ve been going to parks multiple times a year for years. And in my experience during those trips, I have never experienced waits and crowds like this. Just a fact. Sure the most popular newest ride has had long long waits but, as an example 175 minutes for KS in AK, never saw that, all the rides - older, not so popular, etc....long long lines. Quick service restaurants, couldn’t get near them. Even the pre-order lines were long waits. It’s very very very different from years ago. I’m speaking from my own experiences. Things changed. I don’t love the way things are in the parks these days. People say it was a popular week. Agreed. Disney is for kids and families. Kids are in school. My family works for schools, which is why we bought enough points in our first contract to go during presidents week 20 years ago, and why we’ve always visited during presidents week. Families with kids, families that work in schools don’t have the luxury of going to Disney on a random Tuesday of any month. I understand some take their kids out of school, but mostly school closings are when families with kids can go. I remember, and not so long ago, being able to easily run around a park and see most of it in a day anytime during that week. I don’t think we’ll go back to the parks so soon. We all agreed to take a break - it simply was not enjoyable for us.
     

    DeeCee735

    "How Do You Know of the Key?"
    Joined
    Mar 1, 2001
    So sorry you had so much sickness! It just went through our family and was awful.
    So now, in retrospect, I'm wondering if we actually had coronavirus? I'm hearing some people get the vomiting along with the fever and chills and aches and pains? It was a 10 day from hell thing for me - altogether. I'm patiently waiting for the antibody tests to be available, (like everyone else) to know one way or the other.

    Also, after my recent experience with Marriott's response to owners due to COVID19, Disney has yet again become top notch for us! How ironic after all my complaining about the crowds. How utterly incomprehensible that due to the virus, every place on earth now has to rethink how to handle crowded places in the future.

    After all is said and done....bottom line, my thoughts and prayers are with the entire planet. Priorities for health, safety and family have never been so loud and clear.

    Wishing everyone safety and health.
    Dee
     

    mickeymom629

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 24, 2002
    ....

    Also, after my recent experience with Marriott's response to owners due to COVID19, Disney has yet again become top notch for us! How ironic after all my complaining about the crowds. How utterly incomprehensible that due to the virus, every place on earth now has to rethink how to handle crowded places in the future.
    ....
    Hi Dee - So sorry about your recent WDW experience. I'm curious about what Marriott's response was.

    I had been planning a trip with the family (kids and grandkids for Dec, but so sad that this virus has changed our world and our plans, unless a miracle cure/vaccine is found soon. I was oddly sick at home this past Jan and wondering if I had a small case of some virus. I am always worried that someone in the family will be sick during our vacations. Sorry that it happened to you. My neighbors went to WDW (stayed off-site) in January and they were very sick during their trip also. :sad1:
     

    DeeCee735

    "How Do You Know of the Key?"
    Joined
    Mar 1, 2001
    Hi Dee - So sorry about your recent WDW experience. I'm curious about what Marriott's response was.

    I had been planning a trip with the family (kids and grandkids for Dec, but so sad that this virus has changed our world and our plans, unless a miracle cure/vaccine is found soon. I was oddly sick at home this past Jan and wondering if I had a small case of some virus. I am always worried that someone in the family will be sick during our vacations. Sorry that it happened to you. My neighbors went to WDW (stayed off-site) in January and they were very sick during their trip also. :sad1:
    Hi,

    Marriott's response was an automatic cancellation (understood) of our legacy week which was booked in our home resort for Spring Break week.
    Replaced with a "certificate" for an exchange in Internal International that has to be used by December 2021 and can only be booked 4 months prior. I had to pay membership for Interval Int'l. and I'll have to pay an exchange fee IF I ever find an acceptable trade for us. If not, I lose the week - paid dues in full and all.

    I currently have a trip to WDW planned for the first week in October, I did not book my flights yet, but am hoping we get back to being able to travel by then.

    We did get really sick on our last day in Disney in February. So much so, that I couldn't even leave the room. My daughter is convinced it was not the coronavirus. She feels it was just the winter bug. But I do wonder because I had fever going up and down for just shy of a week with muscle pain and exhaustion, with a very bad taste - and lack of taste on food for about 2 weeks. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't, maybe I'll never know.

    I continue hoping and praying for the entire world to get past this as well as we can.


    Dee
     

    Erica Ladd

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2018
    Thanks for your thread. Sorry y’all got sick. It is the worst away from home. I’m gonna have to start a spin-off thread about opening a 5th park! I think posters have a great idea to disperse crowds. How cool would it be if WDW opened a park that was more of a six flags/cedar fair experience with several fast/crazy rides and coasters? Seems like with all the Marvel stuff they own would be a perfect fit for this! Hope your spa stay at GF works out!!!
     

    DeeCee735

    "How Do You Know of the Key?"
    Joined
    Mar 1, 2001
    are the marriotts on Hilton Head open? I’m in NY and want to take a trip down at some point soon.
     

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