Sadness in Control, writing a Disney rant--sorry!

I know some of you will understand. Others of you will want to revoke my Liner card. But I can’t explain this to any of my non-Disney friends.

I really, REALLY miss the Disney World of long ago (pre-Iger). It seems to me like everything today is an extra fee, and the rides and attractions are seen by most guests today as an aside to the “theming” and “entertainment” available in the parks.

Bear with me…if you wish.

Disney has (instead of building more rides) made queues with “themes”. So now a waiting pen is an experience. Disney has (instead of maintaining/improving/retooling the internal transportation system) purchased “Money Vans”. So now getting from one place to another is an “event”. Disney has usurped all the desirable sitting/standing space for nighttime entertainment (which actually can be considered an “attraction”) and ransomed it out for those willing to fork out mo’ money for cookies and punch! “Dollah billz, y’all!”

They’ve made restaurants (Skipper’s, BOG) with “themes”. So now they can charge extra money so you eat in an “attraction”. They’ve added “exclusive pins” and “limited release t-shirts”. So now “merch” is an “attraction”. Enter early, stay late, they’re all not included in the thousands of dollars you paid to come here in the first place?! They’ve even built an entire mall, and labeled the whole blinking thing as an “attraction”. The only attraction there is the magnetic pull of our dollars out of our wallets on overpriced meals, sunglasses, Legos, and Disney MERCH!

If you think it’s going to get better, I offer exhibit B…Toy Story land has TWO low-capacity, slow-loading rides, themed sidewalks, themed dining, and all the merch they can shove into a toy box. Also, by all current accounts, exhibit C - $tar War$ Black $pire Out-cost, I mean Outpost - will be no better. Two rides, outdoor theming to distract you from the lack of attractions, money meals, and OMG (Outrageous Merch Galore). Only the new theme hotel ($$$$$$$$$ per night) will provide any inkling of a real experience for its guests.

I don’t blame Disney, or its shareholders. Yup, business, what the market will bear, speaking with our wallets, I know. I blame the park guests who just close their eyes and open their pocketbooks. Again, and again, and again. Why do first-time Disney guests just blindly stumble around in UnderArmour stores and say “OOH, I can get this sports bra at Disney Springs, rather than at home for 20% less, and have a Money Van drive me there and back for $50, and then go bowling and eat sushi for $100+. Yup, way better at Disney!”

Now we have $1M homesteads, but the Yeti is still broken. $50K private clubs, but the monorail doors won’t close. And it’s easier to get into Cinderella’s Royal Table than to get into Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

Thanks for listening. I thank you for not hating me, and invite you to return to your regular Disney enjoyment. Someday when I find my pot o’gold (Darby O’Gill am I), I will do likewise!


You have spoken very well. From the heart. And truth.

I agree with what you say. It is our fault as much as its Disney’s fault. Disney raises the prices and we shell out more. WHY??

For me. I want to experience the magic that is Disney. I love it there.


:sob::sob::sob::sob::sob: I have sinned, I am a bad man for I am dragging my family to the most over rated and over priced place on earth.:sob::sob::sob::sob: But with that said I’ve booked the cheapest room plan on only using Disney free transportation (free meaning no extra cost). I bought Disney gift cards at our wholesale club at a discount and used them to pay for the whole Disney stay. I got the free summer dining plan at no added cost to what I was spending and upgraded to DDP at a savings of $400 from my original cost. There are ways to minimize the cost and not hemorrhage money. That is why I’m here to get tips and tricks


I agree with some of what you said. The Minnie Vans should not be needed. The space that used to be free for night time events are now part of upcharges. MK closes early for parties that you have to shell out $100/person. I also agree they should be making repairs, rather than building or adding extra add ones and clubs.

However, Downtown Disney, now Disney Springs, has always been an area to shop. The LEGO store was there in 2007 during my honeymoon and the World of Disney was there in the 90’s. Merchandise is in every theme park around the world and is always overpriced.

Theming has always been a part of Disney World. MK has Tomorrowland, Adventureland, etc. I think they have just gotten better at it and I don’t mind it at all. To me it just makes the experience of beingn in a Disney Park more fun.

I always enjoy the rides at Disney World, but to me it is more than rides. It’s an experience. I was glad to be at HS this past May before Star Wars and Toy Story madness. My family and I sat on a bench in the area near Muppets 3D, at one of the old Streets of America, and enjoyed how peaceful it was there. We people watched the few people over there and just took it all in. In about a year and a half, that area will be mobbed with people getting into Galaxy’s Edge. But that will be a whole new experience and I think it will be a lot of fun.

I get what you are saying, but not everything stays same and I think that there are plenty of us that still enjoy the parks despite some of the changes.


And I also try to look for the best deals for my trips, the last time using MVT. My kids get gift cards for Christmas and birthdays for the trip and we use our Disney Visa rewards for tips and souvenirs. I also don’t buy what I can get at home. :slightly_smiling_face:

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I love it too, @Jedilogray, and will go back until the cost of basic admission just prices me out. I will bring food from home, photograph things with my own camera, and stay off-property. But I will surely go back!

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We are all sinners here, @joefishing209. No condemnation, you are absolved of all your Disney “sins”. And you made me laugh out loud!!! So THANK YOU!! :wink:

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@Alewis678, Disney Springs, whatever iteration we recall (Pleasure Island, Downtown Disney, or DS) has indeed always been a currency printer for the Mouse. But I don’t recall ever seeing it so overrun with people so desperate to separate themselves from their paychecks.

I agree with you that the opening of Star Wars Land will forever change the landscape in HS. You probably won’t be able to see the landscape anymore over the heads of the tourists! :laughing:

I can’t seem to find the patience to people-watch. I hear cash registers ringing with each hour that I’m not engaging with the attractions in the parks. (It’s even WORSE when the Hoodlums tell me they’d rather go back to the hotel and play on their phones! That is indeed a dis-inheritance event in my mind!!)

Of course, I wish unto all happy touring. We are indeed all very different, and yet united in our enjoyment of all things Disney!

HS is indeed going to be crazy.

It helps that my kids are too young for cell phones (I refuse to get them one until they are at least teenagers) and since they have their own gift cards they tend to be more frugal with their money. :slightly_smiling_face:

I agree with every single point that you have made (perhaps not quite as vociferously) . The WDW of today is NOT the WDW of yesteryear - and not necessarily in a good way.

But I still enjoy going (albeit not as frequently as I used to). I boycott all add-on parties and special up-charge events; basically anything that costs more than the park ticket. I boycott CMs because they charge a fortune for characters and serve mediocre food (with perhaps one exception). I buy virtually nothing in the way of souvenirs except an occasional Christmas ornament (we collect them from everywhere we go) and a very occasional t-shirt or hat. I use no transportation for which I have to pay extra.

If others are OK with falling into these money traps, that’s their problem. The thousands that they spend are of no import to me.

If I’m going to be stuck in a line (which is, always was, and always will be part of WDW), I would rather it be interestingly themed and part of the “story” than one of the industrial switch-back cattle pens that you find at Six Flags.

I actually am an advocate that a “theme park” is more than just rides; if all you want is rides, Six Flags is a much better choice. Disney is the master of theming, and I think that too many people spend too much time running from ride to ride and miss out on a lot. Many of the shows are also unique and add to the “immersive” atmosphere.

And they are building rides; in the course of 5 or 6 years, they have/will be adding 12 rides - 6 of which are “E” ticket rides. I’ll be the first to admit they have fallen way behind while focusing on international parks, but the attention is being turned back to WDW and DL.

I accept the raised prices for (good) food and drink; the settings are frequently unique, serve food that I cannot get at home, and some have entertainment. And it’s vacation. And it’s still cheaper than at an airport - which offers none of the above.

Back in Walt’s day the philosophy was “make it the best we can and people will come”. Now with Iger it’s “charge as much as we can, and people will still come”. And sadly for us “average” folk, there will always be enough really rich people to keep WDW full…


:broken_heart: BLASPHEMY You need a young priest and a old priest to exercise those demons out of them. Start chanting “The power of Christ compels you” and through some holy water on them.

Sorry sorry I read that and something snapped I agree 110%. I’ve put so much time and effort in this trip all I want to hear is THANK YOU and see smiles.:grinning::grinning::grinning::heart_eyes::heart_eyes:

I remember when Disney Springs was Lake Buena Vista shopping plaza.

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The advantage of the Holy Water is if you get it in the right place, the phones would go kaput.

Of course you’d probably have to replace them later, but…


LOL yea more money

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I didn’t ever see WDW until last December, so for me it’s a magical amazing place. We go to Disneyland all the time as well, and even that is still magical for me.

I hope you can recapture the magic.

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I expect overpriced food and merchandise everywhere, it is a theme park and they have you captive. I understand deluxe resorts and club level and extra FPP and paying for plaids. But what I don’t like are all the upcharge events where the average visitor (either due to finances or information) is left out. I have done tours, dessert parties, character meals, BBB, dining packages etc. so I am part of the problem for supporting WDW but I don’t like the extras being extra. And yet I am planning my 2nd and 3rd trips this year (and these will be my 7th and 8th trips since 2008) so something is still magical.


I’ll be honest the thing that got me the most when we went, was paying all that cash to stay in the expensive hotels on site AK and WL and not even getting an included breakfast. Which of course made staying in the bubble quite hard, if it wasn’t for the delivery of cereals and milk it would have been much harder again.
I wouldn’t have thought it would have been too hard to include a few bits of toast, some cereal and a glass of juice among the $500+ USD a night I was shelling out.


I totally agree. Disney is slowly out pricing the ‘Disney’ experience. Disney should be for everyone, not just the upper class.
As I read other replies I am saddened to hear that so many people have to save for months, wait for sales, use tip & tricks, not buy souvenirs, stay off site, carry in your own lunches, and are happy being denied meeting certain characters and experiencing good viewing spots because of ‘up’ charges.

I still have fond memories of visiting Disneyland with no particular plan and a few bucks in your pocket. We didn’t miss out on anything.
I know it will never go back the way it was and I will have to be happy planning every move I make months in advance.
I love Disney and unfortunately I am one of those people that keep going back and allowing Disney to justify increased pricing.


I don’t disagree with anything. But I also think Disney is still there, just at different levels for different budgets. I’m on several boards. Many people just prioritize differently. I see a lot staying at value. But they don’t get hoppers, and have a character meal or premium dining once or twice a day. We stayed at deluxe, with hoppers, and only had 1 character meal for a week, and usually just 1 TS per day, none of them premium.
I’d have loved a continental breakfast without having to pay for club level. We do disney every 2-3 years, the way we like to travel. Others go more often and use their resources differently. I think there will always be people that are willing to spend more to enhance their experience. And Disney has figured that out and will profit from it.


I have to agree with so much of what you’ve said.

I so much miss the “Walt” vision that when you make it the best, people will come. I feel like this idea has been lost to those in charge.

I have no problem with new themed lands, nor the fact that they are building new attractions. While they may garner E-ticket lines, virtually nothing that’s been built lately is E-Ticket quality. I’d mark FoP an E, SDMT and SDD a D, and everything else that’s opened at WDW in the last 5 years a C-ticket or lower. Which is not to say they shouldn’t be built - a park needs a mix of A,B,C,D, and E ticket rides, preferably spread across the park, not in one area.

Where I take exception to recent construction is that “two or three rides and a bunch of themeing” now seems to constitute a land. And while there are certainly “legacy” lands that have that quantity of attraction, you also see most of the “lands” within MK and EPCOT to be chock full of attractions.

I’m not even upset about themed TS restaurants - you’ve gotta eat, and sometimes I want to take that kind of time.

I’m also annoyed by the loss of vision for 2 of the parks. Hollywood Studios is having an identity crisis, and the direction it’s going isn’t “Hollywood” but ‘these few IPs’. Which is fine as far as it goes, but it misses the mark on the theme of the park.

Similarly, the expo center of the Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow has lost its way. Most of Future world has been changed over from an ‘Ideas-Progress-Wonder’ theme into a “how can we cram characters in here?”, and while World Showcase still mostly gives you a chance to experience cultures around the world… it’s sorely in need of a refresh. Preferably not by throwing already-extant characters into the little space they already have, but by adding on attractions that make you feel like you’re visiting the country. The long-mentioned “Rhine River Cruise” for the Germany pavilion would be a start. EPCOT Center was always supposed to be a different sort of a park - that was what people loved about it. Nowadays it feels like it’s becoming just more and more of the same.

Just my rant-additions.


I think because of all of THIS is why DH was not a Disney fan even after our last trip. He doesn’t mind spending money on a great experience or something he values but I think he kept seeing these costs and looking at what we were getting in return without a “magic filter” on. As soon as you put on that filter then suddenly paying $25 for a minnie van or $33 for valet parking when you are already paying a parking fee seems reasonable. When I first started our planning as a complete novice I was dumbfounded at the expense of things. But by the end I was jumping for joy that I had secured CRT reservations at $70 per head.

So I remain torn. I completely get all of the opinions expressed here. It makes me wonder why I am so willing to be one of those people who are willing to fork over the money (much to DHs chagrin). I have been trying to find a balance for us to be able to go but not to blindly jump on board booking us for every upgrade. It truly takes effort though. My recent struggle was with deciding about CP. We are going early Dec to enjoy the season in the world before Christmas. So it goes with out saying that we MUST go to CP right?! But when you look at the dining package prices they really are outlandish (even breakfast packages are around $50 per adult which now even my 11 yo is considered an adult!). In the end, I plan for us to listen to the concert while strolling around the area which I am sure my kids will actually enjoy more. So hard for me to let these things go!!