Magic gone missing

We just returned from my fourth and final Disney vacation full of disappointment. I expect high prices, but what I’m paying for is the Disney magic.

We found that many of the “cast members” were mere employees–not staying in role at all. At many attractions we were told (ordered) to “pack it in” in the waiting area, although it wasn’t crowded and there was plenty of space. This wasn’t done in a Disney “magical” way, but just a bossy order. One attraction featured the order that “if you can see the floor under your feet you’re not close enough.” I think when a Disney vacation makes me think of slave ships, it’s not working. In general when I saw a Disney employee talking to someone, it was unlikely to be a guest–generally it was another employee, and there was no “role” happening.

The legendary Disney clean has also gone missing, with trash in every park. One of the hallmarks of Disney as a family park was no alcohol, but beer is now sold at every food court. Previously, we’ve loved the commentary and interactivity on the boats to the resorts, but found this time that commentary on the boats was limited to the required safety announcements. No Disney trivia. No tour guide pointers. Nothing.

The icing on the cake had to be the drink cups with RFID to make sure people don’t get extra refills. I thought for sure I’d made it to a Six Flags park at that point. We didn’t want extra refills, as we were leaving for home, but that kind of expense to make sure we didn’t get any little extra appalled us.

I am sorry that you did not find the magic.

The volume of people visiting Disney World these days does present some operational challenges and it stinks when you feel like cattle being herded around, however, I still don’t know anywhere else to find as many people who legitimately enjoy their jobs as I do in Disney World. During a brief visit last week, Peter Pan playfully appeared at a character meet asking what everyone was waiting for before realizing the wait was for him, Gaston wandered off from his character meeting spot into his Tavern, a Crystal Palace employee helped my friends find Mary Poppins while they shared their mutual adoration for that character, the servers at the new Skipper Canteen offered me a tour of the restaurant while sprinkling puns throughout the meal, and I had pleasant exchanges with quite few ride operators and gift shop clerks. There were a couple times when I ran into folks who appeared to be just going through the motions and I suppose that’s always going to happen when you have to hire 50,000 people in a resort, but I can’t remember ever having a Disney experience so horrendous that it overshadowed all of the positives from one of my vacations.

Of course, we all must decide where we want to spend our vacation dollars and there’s no reason to visit a place that you don’t expect to enjoy. I would be interested to know what vacation destinations you find that do deliver the “magic” that was missing from your recent Disney vacation. (that may sound like I’m questioning whether such a place exists, but I would probably enjoy visiting such a place, as long as it’s also somewhere warm!)


I have consistently found that people here, there and everywhere reflect back to me the exact energy I expend towards them.


Slave ships. Seriously? That seems like a regrettable analogy.

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Sorry it wan’r a good vacation for you. I have not observed any of the things that you cited - except alcohol being available at locations other than at the MK - something I consider a plus…


I agree that it was entirely regrettable, but it wasn’t an analogy. Just that the words used by the cast member were almost exactly the same words used by a high school teacher describing conditions on a slave ship. The statement I made was that the experience I had at WDW made me think of slave ships. That was true. And it was regrettable.

Unfortunately, the Disney magic was unique to Disney. It didn’t exist before Walt had his unique ideas, and it doesn’t exist elsewhere. It’s why people were willing to spend years saving up to go to the properties–because the Disney magic wasn’t available elsewhere.

Should’ve gone with “Bataan Death March.”


Except the guests of Walt’s Era were the type that dressed in their Sunday Best to fly, didn’t expect freebies handed out like cooties, and didn’t post on social media sites because their experience wasn’t the same as someone’s else. Walt’s guests still had the capacity to be awed.


I’m sorry you were disappointed in your vacation. The comment by CMs about seeing the floor and filling in space has been going on for as long as I can remember. While it is a bit uncomfortable for someone like me who has personal space standards, I don’t think it comes close to slave ships where unwilling occupants were captured, sold and sent away in bondage. I also don’t think getting the drink you pay for without a refill is unmagical. Sending pixie dust that you find a vacation that suits your needs and expectations in the future.


I agree with the sentiment that you often find what you’re looking for. I’ve been to the world many times as a child and now as an adult. Is everything perfect? No. Is it still memorable and fun? Absolutely. If it’s not for you, it’s not for you. But your analogy smacks of hyperbole.

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a comparison between two things, typically on the basis of their structure and for the purpose of explanation or clarification.

That said, I do not know a Black American who would not be extremely insulted by the comparison of Disney World attraction boarding procedures to a slave ship. If your mind wandered to such hell on earth during your vacation , I urge you to think closely about how you interpret the era of slavery in this country. Ripping human beings from their families and homeland, reducing them to the status of animals and insuring that the remainder of their lives was an unspeakable misery, should not be evoked so lightly.

I am not only offended by this analogy, but disheartened that such thinking exists.


I would ask that you consider erasing your post (using the edit button). You may be very successful in creating almost a “perfect storm” of a post.

I believe Disney “magic” may be the ultimate illusion. We bring the magic to Disney and our smiles, our joy that creates pixie dust. A CM has never created a negative experience for me. Talking to them, thanking them, and letting them know how much I appreciate them is what creates my experience. Other guests can sometimes try to suck the magic right out of the magic kingdom- but we do not allow it!

Please erase your post. Thank you.


Exactly like being on a slave ship.

With the notable exception of being in chains, no clothing, starvation, beatings, disease, being forced to be there, not being able to leave, and the whole lifetime of forced servitude. Yeah. Exactly like that.


I haven’t been on forum in weeks (months?) but after getting all Disney-crazed again at Disney on ice today I decided to log in for some magic. Then I saw this.

You no doubt want sympathy for what you feel is a horrible trip and I do sympathize with you. I sympathize because you can’t find ANY good in the fact that you were away with your family in a place that many people can only dream of being.

I have no doubt that you encountered some rude castmembers. They were probably reacting to your negativity. You get what you expect.

If you didn’t enjoy yourself and things have changed, that’s fine but don’t be so bold as to compare yourself to a slave. You might not have had a magical time but we’re you unwillingly handcuffed, tied and bound? Somehow I don’t think so.


I literally cannot even. Slave ships? This almost has to be trolling. I don’t mean to be harsh, but if the kind of things that cause outrage in your life include not getting free refills then you should count your blessings. Most people without an insane sense of entitlement would file everything you described under ‘minor inconveniences.’ And then they would carry on having a great vacation. Because you’re at Disney!


I’m sorry your trip didn’t meet your expectations. Perspective can often help, so I’ll share a trip experience we had.

In 2013, my family went on a much anticipated WDW trip. Unfortunately, our 12 year old son got very sick and ended up spending the majority of our vacation in a FL hospital. We even had our Thanksgiving dinner there. Now, when we vacation and something less-than-optimal happens, my DH and I ask, “Well…is anyone in the hospital?” We then laugh and shrug it off. Our subsequent WDW vacations have all been wonderful.

I wish you the best in discovering the magic you are missing.


Visiting during the holiday season is stressful and tough for most people. Disney does its best to handle the volume of people along with spreading magic to as many people as it can. I am also visiting Disney during the holidays and feel less magic than previous off-peak visits. But I suck it up and smile because my family and I love Disney and I enjoy seeing their smiling faces when they find magic on their own without the help of a CM.

Because of this, no where on Disney property can an experience compare to a slave ship. You are one disturbed person and should read about slave ships and reflect on your original post of comparing your experience as one. Magic is everywhere regardless of price or a CM negatively affecting your experience. Just smile a bit and take a breath when you’re down and you will find your are at one of the most magical places on earth!

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I think that the point has been made. It’s a little “pile on” at this point.

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