Magic Gone 😢

I’m am I the only one who thinks the Magic is gone at WDW? Rude people, massive amount of strollers and mobility vehicles, horrible food across all parks and insane wait times for tired old rides.

Our last trip was so disappointing. If you don’t purchase genie plus and ILL you wait forever. The wait times were always longer than posted. The food was bad at every restaurant we ate at. We’ve been going to Disney for over thirty years. Been annual passholders (out of state so paying premium price) multiple years. We’re done. We’ve cancelled our two upcoming trips. Leaving almost a year of our pass on the table.

Each trip over the past year has gotten progressively worse. I’m sad and frustrated. If we had the three fastpasses every day like in years past it might be tolerable. But why pay thousands a dollars a trip to not have fun. I’ve written to Disney and they didn’t even bother to respond. They only care about the money.


May I suggest Universal? I, too, got fed up with everything you said and more. I have been a WDW fan for close to 35 years. I checked out Universal two years ago & haven’t looked back! (I did go to MNSSHP & MVMCP last year)

However, I’ve now been to Universal almost 10 times since 2022. I live in TN, so it’s not like I’m a local.

I can get an Annual Pass for both theme parks AND the water park for $575 with tax included. The value hotels have all been built in the last 5 - 7 years. They have modern amenities and you can get rooms as low as $75 per night. I can get a moderate for $125

The rides are awesome. The shows are fun and exciting. There’s something for all ages. UOR has a reputation as a thrill park, but it has plenty for kids. There’s street entertainment and characters everywhere that you don’t have to wait in a awful queue or reserve.

Heck…there’s no reservations of ANY type needed - except TS. Even those can be available a couple weeks before your trip…

No G+ / ILL nonsense either!

Whenever I do have an issue I can get it resolved in person or online. I have UOR Guest Services bookmarked. They respond within an hour or so & have always gone BEYOND to resolve my problems.

If you haven’t ever burst out of the WDW Bubble, maybe now is the time!

I promise I don’t work for Universal. I just had the same issues you do now & I hate it for you. We spend so much money & time planning these WDW trips. The last couple of years it’s felt like, to me, they are actively making hard to give them money…

That’s my rant!!! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts::smiling_face_with_three_hearts::smiling_face_with_three_hearts::smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


I don’t think you are alone in this common. It’s becoming a more common view.

I get where you are coming from and agree to some extent, but I don’t agree with all of this.

It’s been about 25 trips to WDW over the past 45 years for me. I think there have always been a massive amount of strollers so I don’t see much change there. I agree that the food has gotten signficantly worse and more expensive over the past 10 years. The stand-by wait times are very long so I agree on the one. Yes, some rides are old, but there are some new one too (not enough, but TSL, SW:GE, GotG and Tron are all great additions) … not enough new ones, but I wouldn’t say WDW is the same tired old rides.

I do feel like the Magic has significantly decreased. I went on many adult only trips in the past, but due to the decrease in the Magic, I have no desire to do any more adult only trips. That said, I love going to WDW with my kids. To my kids, there is still Magic (they don’t know the old days to have the comparison) and I love seeing their faces at WDW along with the generational memories created.


People have gotten ruder since Covid. It’s not a Disney thing. I don’t agree with the rest - we had a great time last year, granted we maxed at G+ and didn’t wait more than 10 minutes for anything. Food was good. Every time I go a local theme park I get annoyed because it’s not as nice as Disney and o definitely end up waiting longer.


I agree with you that Universal is great. Lots of advantages.

But…I don’t think Universal has ever come close to the “magic of Disney” that Disney has had in the past. So, while we love Universal, if you are looking for the “magic”, I don’t think you will get it at Universal either. Universal is quickly following many of the changes Disney has done, and much of the year, Universal is as expensive or MORESO than Disney.

Now…back to Disney…there is a lot to complain about in terms of recent changes. I complain a lot about G+, and rising costs and longer waits, etc. But…we have shifted our way of doing Disney and definitely find the magic is there…you just have to work a bit more to find it.

When we go (and we are going MORE often nowadays rather than less often) we find the magic. We bring the magic with us. So I wouldn’t say it is gone. Lessened, yes. But not gone. There is still more magic there than any other park (including Universal).

We are increasingly less about doing the rides and more about ambiance and exploration now.

The cost is definitely a factor. You are to pay so much more now for similar experiences. but that’s true everywhere. The Universal seasonal pass has increased about 30% in just the past couple of years, for example. The per-day ticket price at Universal is pretty much on par with Disney now, but with less to do.

I think crowds were getting particularly bad at Disney during COVID revenge travel. You have to find the lower times and be willing to go then. It isn’t Disney’s fault that more people are going to the parks…but they got flack for making changes to try to mitigate the increases in crowds.

The magic is still there. it just looks different.


Welcome to the forum!

I joined Touring Plans in 2015 for a family trip that didn’t go so well (not Disney’s fault). I have distinct memeories of what Disney was like for some people on chat at that time - and how magical some of things Disney did for its fans were (things like 24 hour park days). The people who were happiest with Disney during that time are the ones I hear saying very similar things to you about the magic being gone.

The majority of my trips have happened since COVID, so I am in a different camp. But my daughter is 13 and Disney is something we share, so the timing is good for me to find the magic right now.

G+ seems to be a major breaking point for a lot of people. As in, ones feelings on G+ almost directly predict your current feelings on WDW! (@ryan1 excepted)

I find MK to be the most crowded, with the rudest people. I had some days there that were way less than magical. My good memeories at MK are entirely made up of the first 3 hours of the day and the last 3 hours of the day when it has a different feel. (Except there is onr adorable calvacade that runs in the middle of the day). But I really love the other 3 parks.

I have found places that I really enjoy eating and feel like some of the QS food has improved. At the same time they also changed dishes or restaurants thay I loved. I miss BATB quick service - it was magical and affordable. They changes my favorite dish on property at Geyser Point to something that is not good. But I can’t wait to go back to Shiki-Sai. So food is a toss up for me.

I’m sorry the magic is gone for you. Are you hoping to get it back? Or moving on?


This is something at least my family is struggling with now. Especially the rude people. I really do think the happiest place on earth brings out the nasty in a lot of people.

I have been taking my boys since 1999- and they have already started to give up their APs. Mostly for things neither me or Disney can fix.

IMO it’s the FOMO that Disney very much encourages bad manners and attitudes. Combine that with entitled attitudes and it’s a fluster cluck. That and what Disney has done to “ reduce planning” has made it a nightmare for us. I may be alone in this but the 60 day window is the worst.

Like others have said UO has filled that gap for at least my youngest and the my oldest just got home from exploring Italy.

I had gotten a phenomenal deal on a room for July - and this is probably the make or break for my AP.

On another thread the topic of Eisner vs Igner started-
Eisner’s Disney is the one we loved.


I have went 14 times since 2019. It’s all about what you make of it. I went in March this year, I was like this is going to suck - Spring Break crowds. …we had a great time. I went to a restaurant and they had changed things up and didn’t have my favourite item - ordered one of the new items, loved it more.

I don’t complain about the prices, because everything across the board has gone up since 2020. …and if you want to see worse, just go to a sports game. At least where I live, the costs of food and parking are crazy :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: …also WDW compared to Disneyland is cheaper I leaned this year.

I’m also a G+ user, rope dropper and take breaks in the afternoon when things get crazy.


At this price point, I should not have to bring any of the magic.

It’s been incrementally less pleasant since 2014. And I’ve been reducing our visits since then too.

So much jumping through hoops.

Consider Universal and Disneyland.


I think my biggest complaint is G+ and the food.
A lot of the qs items have now turned into generic food options across the board, and the menus have been cut down so much-and some a lot of the food is just mediocre now- definitely the quality of some of the food has gone downhill while the prices have gone up. We try to work around this-
As far as G+ - not all of us have $100 or so a day extra to spend on this. I’ve learned that I can get what I want done strategically without G+ but still will use it one or two days.
The magic of the cast members is still there.

If I didn’t have DVC and credit card rewards/airline points etc, I would definitely consider traveling there less, mostly due to cost:value ratio.


Look! @heathernoel thinks I’m EXCEPTIONAL! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

(That IS what she meant, right?!?)

I think this is so true. And yet…I’m surprised/shocked by how many people still decide to pay for it. It is like people have just resigned themselves to the fact that G+ is the only way to go, and just fork over the money for it.

(I’m still trying to figure out a way to “bill” Disney for every time they allow someone to jump ahead of me in line with G+! :wink: I didn’t agree to that, yet Disney is profiting by stealing MY time!!!)

One thing that I’ve noticed, watching several vloggers, plus some anecdotal reporting, is something that I predicted Disney might do back when they first announced G+…but thought it was potentially something they could be sued for. That is, they seem to be, a great deal of the time, mis-reporting the standby wait times as higher than actuals…something significantly so! This, of course, wasn’t a problem pre-G+, because who didn’t like to wait less than they were told? But with G+, they are selling a product based on what people are observing the standby wait times are. By them reporting the times as higher than they actually are, it convinces more people to fork over to G+…which, ironically then drives up the ACTUAL standby times. :confused:



And the inflated wait times are BS.

There is a theory that the wait times are inflated to stretch out the return time for DAS. There is a lot of reasons why this theory makes sense (as does yours).

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Technically you did by choosing the stand by line. Think of it like flying stand by. The LL line is the “real” queue and you are choosing the stand by option, so if there is room for you then you get to ride.

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You’ve been drinking the Kool-Aid! :slight_smile:

If you have to pay EXTRA for it, that isn’t the “real” queue. But I am choosing to wait in standby for the price of the ticket. The fact that Disney charges people to let THEM jump ahead of ME without my consent means they are stealing from ME, but THEY are profiting from it.

The example of flying standby is entirely different. You aren’t paying for anything you are even guaranteed. You are just HOPING to get on. (ANd this is a way for airlines to ensure no seat flies empty.)


Not just QS- we have found the menus at TS to have been drastically reduced and it’s the same stuff over and over again- seriously reports that Olivia’s is now serving bagged chips vs house made and conche fritters never returned.
We were just went food shopping and our local warehouse club had a decent deal on short ribs- I said no we are going to WDW it’s going to me on the menu 8 days straight

Nope just stating facts.


This kills me - I think since genie there is absolutely to much work and all at the last second.


Yeah, technically when Disney started charging for the jump-the-line queue, the price of admission should have dropped.

When the system started in 1999 it was free, and everyone was pretty much on the same playing field. (FP kiosks)

Now it’s a class system. In general, people with more money to spend get a big advantage. And those that cannot, (or choose not too) do not get an admission discount for waiting longer and therefore experiencing less attractions in a day compared to the past.


As a first-time G+ user yesterday — and inspired by this thread — I have written my own thoughts on G+ in my trip report.

Spoiler: G+ is bad.


Our DLR VIP Tour Guide told us this about DAS: He said there are days when 50% of the park is using it and it drives u StandBy wait times. That’s why they are making the changes recently announced.