The magic is gone. (At least not fully back yet)

In my experience, so far this week, the magic that I loved so much and Disney World is gone. :cry:

The staffing issues have caused the following:
Not enough staff in the resorts to handle guests efficiently.
(Seemingly) half the cast members are in training.
Many, probably newer, cast members are not nearly as friendly and excited as in the past.
World Showcase is filled with American cast members instead of national representatives.
Food options at table service locations is extremely limited.
The lack of free fast pass.
The lack of free transport from the airport.

There might be a few more that I’ll have to think of and add later.

But for the amount of money I’m paying to be here, at Beach Club, I would like the true Disney World experience, which I’m not getting.

I likely won’t be back for years, until they can get everything back to pre-pandemic levels.

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This is the solution to your first point.

It’s definitely not the same as it was. But then, is anything, anywhere?

I hope you’re still having a good time even if it’s not quite the experience you were wanting.

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I agree with your comment regarding the TS locations. The food was not of its usual standard and some of the loos were gross. However, I didn’t notice any difference in the attitude and behaviour of CMs. I did note the poor behaviour of guests who blatantly ignored CM requests. Some CMs deserved awards for their patience and tolerance. Sometimes I think we may all fall into the trap of focussing on the negatives.

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I really really miss the world showcase cast members who are local to their representative country.

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I noticed the CM issue as you described much more blatantly on my trip in June. My recent trip a few weeks ago, however, I had wonderful experiences. I even need to get out a few cast compliments.
The World Showcase is not the same without the country representatives. I am glad to still be able to get slushies in France though!

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As someone who is trying her hardest to keep up with @Dreamer and her unlimited visits because of the dog! I have been 5 times in the past year (and once to just universal and once to Disneyland/USH). It’s different than before but I have found magic in each visit. The first trip in Oct 2020 was probably my least favorite because I was honestly terrified from all the people who weren’t wearing their masks properly (more in Universal) and people who ignored social distancing markers as this was all before vaccines. But it was more a reflection of the guests than the CMs who were standing in walkways telling people to wear their masks. They were great as people continually broke the rules and they had to police constantly. I’ve not to meet a bad CM in those trips but I’m sure they’re out there. I have found some really great restaurants too but yes some like Be Our Guest are without a doubt worse and for what they are charging I couldn’t agree more that I should be getting very high quality food. But Topolinos, Cali Grill, Tiffins, Le Cellier, space 220, rose and crown, some of the festival food booth items, biergarten, Tutto Italia, Teppan Edo, la Cantina de San Angel, Hollywood Brown Derby, yak n yeti, Jungle Navigation Co, Sanaa, Homecomin have all been really great dining experiences for me even as they are now. I enjoyed the fireworks dessert party too. I think that there are some restaurants out there still getting it right at least some of the time. Compared to Universal the food quality in Disney is still better consistently.

I think it’s a hard time for everyone and I’m happy that some of that magic has been there to help get me thru the stress of this time (and my missed DLP trip…thanks Covid!) as it’s literally the only time I leave my house since I work from home. Even if it’s not the full offering, more and more is coming back with each visit and I have hopes we’ll get there sooner than later. But I do understand your frustration with paying more for less. I’m just willing to do so personally because it’s better than life! Lol

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We were there Nov/Dec 2021. I didn’t notice staff in training so much. But I agree with the different attitude of many CMs. Many of them just seem like typical theme park employees, not Disney CMs. They weren’t mean, just indifferent. We did find a few that seemed more like what we were used to. I also missed the CMs from other countries in Epcot.

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Okay…I’ll start by saying I’m NOT making this comment to judge anyone’s impressions of their experience at all, so please read this more from an observation/experiential lens…

But I think the view that the “magic is gone” really is bound up in expectations going in. We all have a tendency to do a comparison…looking at it “before” and “after”. Not just in terms of magic, we even do it when Disney has the audacity to replace some ride or experience with something else. “No! Don’t touch it! Leave it alone!”

People have been sort of mocking/joking with the “you are the magic” line…but, I can’t help but think that if we manage our own expectations, we CAN find the magic. Maybe that magic looks different than it used to.

From my own experience, we did two trips to Disney in 2020. This was a time period when a lot of people were refusing to go not JUST because of COVID, but because they didn’t want to pay full price for a reduced experience from normal times. That’s fine. But, despite the fact that we paid gobs of money to Disney with a “reduced experience”, I would say that those two trips were possibly my favorite trips to Disney ever!

Sure, I rode MMRR and went, “Eh. They should have left The Great Movie Ride alone,” etc. But overall, we were finding ways to make and experience magic.

Is there LESS magic than before? No doubt. But that does NOT mean you can’t go to Disney and not have a magical time. We did. Twice.

I think, for me, the “magic” I’m feeling ruined for Disney is less about what I’m experiencing in the parks themselves, but just looking at the way things are being run, the way the price gouging is happening, etc. It is like the details leading UP to the trip is spoiling my attitude. But I know that when I arrive, we’ll have a great time. Perhaps not the SAME great time, but great none-the-less.

And to be clear…I do NOT think this justifies Disney being okay with the “new normal”. I’m willing to give everyone (Disney included) a bit of a pass as we continue to work through the implications that a worldwide pandemic STILL is having on employment, supply chain, pricing, etc. I’ll be LESS inclined to give them a pass in, say, two years from now (or whatever) once we are beyond this (oh…we BETTER be beyond this by then!).

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I am mobile so can’t fully reply, but I like many of you points. Lowering your expectations can make a better experience, but paying the same (or more) as “before” doesn’t really make that possible. For me, anyway.

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That’s where the rub is right now. Agree with this.

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I did lower my expectations for our trip (which honestly I think is just a sad thing to do when I paid much more for our trip than our 2 prior trips as a family). We had fun, but when we left, I did not feel that compelling desire to return, as I did with our previous trips. Back at home, DH and I both remarked about how WDW fundamentally felt different. Some of the magic is with those going on the trip, but an equally big part is the magic of the company and employees that work at WDW. It’s a relationship, not just an expectation. We saw and felt the difference between the CMs that were blah and the few CMs that really seemed to want to be there. And I get there are issues with employment and housekeeping, but it just isn’t to the Disney level of hospitality. Sorry it’s just not.

I don’t have all the answers, but I do know WDW is losing customers. These crowds won’t last forever, as it seems like people are just trying to get through this pandemic and are doing their make up vacations. We already don’t plan on coming back for a long time, when hopefully, this ridiculous money grabbing, less of a park experience nonsense stops. So probably many years from now.

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This is what I have been fearing. We plan to go back once Tron opens, but if we have to wait longer we will. We had the perfect vacation right before the pandemic hit, so there is no rush. But I do miss home a lot.

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That’s true. We also had a blast on our recent trips, but since I have soured a bit on Disney overall as a company with how it’s being currently run, that may be contaminating my observations a bit, and I’m probably looking for problems and unmet expectations with WDW more than I ever have. If I could get all of that out of my head, I probably wouldn’t care much about what’s actually missing in the parks. They are definitely still fun and magical.

This is definitely true. I face the same dilemma. Which is all the more reason that, IF you are going, to work hard to separate that from your time there. I guess that’s all I’m suggesting. If you are going, forget about all the Disney IT problems, the extra charges for this and that, the differences in the food, blah blah blah. Those are worth discussing and being frustrated with. BUT, since I’m paying a lot of money to be there, I don’t want a ruined Disney experience to be a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts.

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A quick thought on training, I know the first cohort of pandemic era college progam young adults recently finished up their stint. Many are somewhere in the “being permanently hired” phase but that is apparently moving slowly.

But I am guessing there is a new cohort in now and that accounts for the high number “in training”. When I was there in late July everyone was in training. I didn’t see anyone in December but I think that was at the end of the cycle, and you are back at the beginning.

As far as the magic goes - I think it is person to person. My December trip was magical. It was perfect for my family. But I am very frustrated that I had to have an advanced degree in Disney technology to make that happen. I didn’t mind. I enjoyed learning. But my sister is going in April, and I have no idea how to talk her through all the different ways to trouble shoot the technology to make it work the way it is supposed to. That is terrible and so stressful.

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You have a point. Angela Bassett’s narration at the end of the fireworks where she emphasizes the “You Are” in “You are the Magic” gives me all the feels.

I find myself frustrated with Disney, which has never been a thing. But the Magic is still there for me. I just wish all the people would go away. :laughing:
Did you guys see there was another brawl between guests this week? On Main Street. :roll_eyes::grimacing:

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No, I didn’t see that. :woman_facepalming:

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I had an absolutely magical time both in my May/June trip and my early October trip. While there were offerings missing, I have always struggled to fit everything in anyway, so it was nice to fully dedicate my time to those offerings that were available and take a slightly less hectic pace.

I’ve been happy to see attractions, shows, parades, meet & greets, and restaurants continue to reopen since I was there in October. On the other hand, the rollout of Genie+ is mixed at best and the removal of DME is a bummer.

But by the time I return to WDW in 2023, I’m optimistic that GotG, Starcruiser, and maybe Tron will compensate for whatever is still missing / gone. And I suspect they will tweak/overhaul Genie+ by then as well to make it more guest-friendly. (Jim on the Disney Dish said they will likely wait 3-6 months to make any significant changes so they can accumulate robust feedback.)

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I wonder what changes they might make? G+ started end of Oct, so three months later is now. Trip starts Friday (so close I don’t need to say the date, swoons) I think my head my explode if they changed the rules during my trip. Adding and even subtracting stuff from G+ is fine.

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He meant 3-6 months from now, including the Spring Break crowd.

My guess is that they will change things like the 7am wake-up time, or anything else that is causing people to dislike their vacation.

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