Don’t kid yourself, they certainly do…I think Len can attest to that…They are well aware of the blogs and forums and the opinions of their fans…There are a lot of diehard blogs/forums on competing sites and most of the time the narrative is similar
Universal has changed closing time to 10 PM for the next two Saturday/Sunday for Halloween
After that, it goes back to a 6 PM closing.
EPCOT is scheduled to close at either at 9 PM Friday, Saturday & Sunday for the same period except for Halloween night where the park closes at 10 PM. MK closes at 8 PM Fri-Sun (9 PM Halloween)
EPCOT will close at 9 PM nightly starting Friday 11/6 except for the week of Thanksgiving where the park closes at 10 PM. MK goes to an 8 PM close with a 9 PM close Thanksgiving week.
I am thisclose to switching my 8 day WDW/2 day UOR to 5 day UOR/2 day Sea World & Busch Gardens/2 day DHS.
I’ve been getting emails from TP that crowd levels are rising for the time I’m going to be there and unless there is something in place to reduce the wait times, we will switch.
I’m not giving them much time to fix that, either, because I have my eye on those buy 2 days get 3 free from UOR.
Totally agree with all of the points made by the OP.
We have a Universal trip planned over Christmas, staying at the Hard Rock. The Express Pass perks are unrivaled and it gives you “piece of mind” knowing you can skip the lines regardless of how big the crowds turn out to be.
We also love WDW, but I am not going back until FP comes back in some form. It is too expensive a vacation to have “no line of sight” as to whether you will be able to ride the headliner attractions. For all its faults, at least under the old FP system, you could lock-in three rides per day/per park and then you could fill in the rest of the touring with other attractions. I also don’t want to go back to WDW until they officially bring back park hopper tickets. We love touring one park during the day and hitting another park at night.
Disney is stuck in a chicken or the egg syndrome. Many people (like myself) refuse to pat the still-exorbitant prices with so many limitations (no live shows, no PM hours, no EMH or FP+, no M&Gs, no Park Hopping, and so few restaurants/resorts open) - not to mention having to wear a mask all of the time). Yet Disney says that more thimngs will open when the attendance numbers increase. UOR took the leap of faith and opened as many things as possible given Covid restrictions and offered incentives for people to come, knowing that the park experience will be somewhat reduced.
I’ve been going to one WDW and/or DLR (I lived on the west coast for 13 years) since 1975; needless to say, I’m a fan. But if I was planning a trip in the next year, it would be to UOR. I have tentative plans to return to WDW sometime in 2022, when I hope things may be back to “normal”
If NY would lift the dang post-trip quarantining (are other states doing this?), I’d have a trip for DH and DS20 & DS18 for the prolonged winter break for USO. The packages are excellent. My boys could quarantine, DH could not.
Great list! One thing I’ll add that has stuck in my mind. UOR was in the parks prepping for a safe reopening WAY before WDW was. Instead of sitting back and not knowing quite what to do, they were busy working. I can still remember UO asking to present their reopening plan to the governor/team. Their proposal and opening date left Disney scrambling to prep for their opening a whole month or so later.
oh ya, I forgot about this! Usually it’s Disney that leads the way but they were outpaced.
What really concerns me are the inclings that Virtual Queues will replace FP+. While Virtual Queues makes a step back towards the original FP that I somewhat agree with (same day in the park distribution) Virtual Queues book the entire daily capacity of the attraction and leave no room for the stand-by line. In my mind, Virtual Queues add another lottery to the vacation. Book a room, see if you can get a Park Pass … Use a day of your admission ticket, see if you can get on an attraction.
In addition, implementation of Virtual Queues would necessitate that Disney find some way to compensate DVC members and on-site resort guests. I’m sure the Bard can remember E-Ride night when only on-site guests could attend the extra hours. Something would have to be put in place to justify the higher cost of staying on-site.
Mass still has the 14 day rule - but if you get a negative test within 72 hours, you don’t have to do the full quarantine.
One other thing in UO’s favor - my MVT travel agent said that they are now getting great agency exclusives with UO. Much better than the Disney ones.
That is far more reasonable IMO.
I agree. This is the only thing allowing DS and I to go in early December
I agree with many of OP’s points. One thing I’ll add to the conversation: Disney was initially trying to scare guests away. If everyone who normally came arrived as they were supposed to, they would have in many cases 4x as many people as they could accommodate, many of whom had their vacations (hotel, tickets, dining, FPs, etc.) booked for over a year in advance. They simply couldn’t honor all they had promised given the constraints of the pandemic.
That said, I think attendance at first was much lower than they expected. So the reduced offerings and the general effects of COVID definitely scared away more people than they thought.
And yet … on more and more days, the parks feel like they’re reaching capacity.
So in conclusion, Disney did many things to reduce their insanely high usual demand, and it worked. Universal doesn’t have the same problem - they can stay at capacity with just locals, it seems.
That said, it’s high time for Disney to make each day as magical as it can be for their guests. I agree a lot of this is driven by a desire to cut costs, and they’re being too austere. They can control demand and supply in other ways.
They were distracted by NBA money.
Oooooo…off to Google MVT!
Magical Vacations Travel! I work with Brandi and she’s awesome. If you want to contact, her email is email@example.com…she’s in the Guide book as a recommended travel agent AND she’s a Liner!
This sounds a bit like, “The beatings will continue until morale improves”
What worries me if attendance improves too much with limited offerings, Disney will get the message that, “These suckers will come anyway.” Just from watching from outside, I get the feeling that a lot of the Magic has been due to inertia. Like Fast Passes were offered recently only because they were already in place.
Even pre-lockdown, I read that on low crowd days they would scale way back on the CM’s and therefore use much fewer ride vehicles so that your ride wait time would still be long.
I remember asking about this in June or so wondering why anyone would go with reduced offerings… and having my head handed to me. Apparently even some Disney is enough for many. My pockets aren’t deep enough for that.
Thank you for reminding me of this phrase! It’s a blast from my past.