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Disappointing trip!

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  • Disappointing trip!

    We just returned from a two day trip to the park. My wife and myself together with both of our Grandchildren, and their parents. This was the first cost for the little ones so we were all very much looking forward to it. The first day was at the old park and we visited the new California side yesterday. It just seemed like they are not maintaining the rides as well, or maybe it's just plain obsolescence?
    We went their knowing that there are some major new rides going in, and researched which rides would shut down for regular maintenance (quite a few), but we had seven additional rides that either were broken down as we got to them, or shut down once we were already in line! We went during the middle of the week hoping the crowds would be smaller, but with all the maintenance going on, and the failed rides, the lines were as long as you typically see in summer months.
    I have been going to Disneyland since very young, and I'm 62 now, I never remember a single ride breaking down in the past, maybe I was just lucky? It seems like I never saw maintenance workers either, they were always hidden behind the scenes. It was strange to see mechanics trying to free up two cars that were stuck together on Indiana Jones!
    I have never heard a rude remark from any employees it the past either, so I was disappointed when an older gentleman at the railroad ride made a snide remark to me and quickly retreated, when we were complaining to him about all the down rides.
    I just really hated for our adult children and their children to be disappointed. We were hoping we were starting another generation of our family, on a love of Disney. I'm not so sure now, it was that bad!
    We did enjoy the California side, so things were not a complete loss.
    I almost feel bad posting this, I have never had anything bad to say to anyone about this place.

  • #2
    To be fair the parks are just really busy right now it's not just because of downed rides. And complaining to cast members about down rides that they have no control over it will get you nowhere.

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    • #3
      You complain about the rides being in bad shape, but you also complain about the rides under much needed maintenance.
      It's the offseason after a long summer and holiday. They have to close rides during this time of year to fix them or things could be much worse.
      As for the crowds, I agree with you on that. There is NO off season anymore when it comes to crowds. And that's a problem Disney has to fix.

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      • #4
        You say you've been coming to the parks since you were very young. Well things have changed a lot since then. One major thing is that the parks are now open every day of the year. Back in the "old days" Disneyland was closed 2 days out of the week which allowed for detailed maintenance in rides, which led to lesser breakdowns and less visibility of maintenance workers on stage.

        I hate to break it to you but Disneyland's overall quality has gone way down since the days when Walt ran it. I haven't been in 5 years - just dont want to cough up the money for a comparatively mediocre experience. Today's Disneyland is a mere shadow of its former self.

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        • #5
          When it attraction goes down, there are many possible reasons for them. The obvious one would be the technical issue where possibly more updated maintenance could help prevent it. Disney does there maintenance a little bit differently these days. Years and years ago an attraction would close down once a year for about one month. Now it seems they will attempt to close an attraction for a shorter amount by doing multiple closures throughout the year, except with the occasional long term refurb needed here and there. Another possible reason for a ride going down is human error, whether that is a cast member not paying attention, a guest dropping something onto a track, or a guest not following directions. Matterhorn is a good example of this, if the bobsleds are not released from the station by a certain amount of time, the ride will shut down due to the ride requiring momentum to keep the bobsleds moving. Im sure there are other reasons, but I'm guessing it doesn't help to truly never have an off-season any more where electricity and constant bodies on the attractions play a huge part.

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          • #6
            Right now there is so much ride capacity offline due to Star Wars Land construction that any additional ride closure has a big impact. I was going to do a trip this March, but with the path from Fantasyland to Frontierland, Tom Sawyer Island and boats, railroads all still closed, plus Matterhorn and Pirates closed it seems like a diminished park. No wonder all the other rides have long lines.

            I'd actually be very interested to know how much attendance is up and how much is due to more people walking around. I've been assuming it will be much better once those rides reopen and so a trip after the fall or next spring would have a totally different feel. Would love to hear from people who know more about this than me.

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            • #7
              The closures are inevitable, but one thing I think makes a huge impact on experience is the cast members. I kind of agree that it feels like those cast members that would make the experience solid or give meaningful interaction are the exception the the rule when I go, when I feel it used to be the opposite. I understand the crowds are tough to deal with and I don't really expect them to bend over backwards, but it's hard to even find smiling cast members any more. I still love Disneyland and that won't really ever change for me, but I do wish that the employees didn't remind so much of just walking into a movie theater, a little soul can go a long way for both guests and cast members.

              On a side note, I have no idea why some closures were so poorly thought out. I know Disney are the pros here and have all the cards but I cannot understand what is the problem with the Matterhorn that requires it to be down for so long. Combine that with tower being down due to what many perceive as an uneccesary change, pirates needing its regularly scheduled upgrades, and grisly being down for ""winter"" maintenance and you have 4 E tickets down for what cuts pretty close to the early spring breaks across the country. The train being down hurts crowd traffic, there is no thunder mountain trail anymore, Disneyland itself is a near literal traffic hazard. Atleast Main Street has the side alleys now.

              Sorry you had a bad time. Disneyland is in a weird transition period, by 2019 things should all be in shape. Heck, by summer the trains and e tickets will all be back up, this seems like one of the worst refurb schedules we've ever gotten in a while (then again, I guess I've only noticed starting late 2000's, so maybe I'm no expert ).

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              • #8
                You were probably a little unlucky in the week you chose to visit. This week was the start of Spring Break season. For the next four weeks crowds are going to be at or close to peak summer levels. The week prior was actually quite pleasant, although the park hours were shorter.

                It does seem to me that rides shut down a lot more than they used to. It could just be perception, but I've also wondered if they're quicker to shut down and reset rides now due to liability. Or, maybe trying to run some of them at higher capacity decreases the margin for error. I think it's Space Mountain that is notorious for "breaking down" a lot, because running at high capacity creates a very small window for loading/unloading. Any delay in the boarding area causes the computers to automatically shut the ride down before rockets start colliding on the track.

                To the CM's credit, though, rides don't seem to stay down for long. Usually you just have to go back an hour later or so, and it will be right back open again.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by jammom View Post
                  I'd actually be very interested to know how much attendance is up and how much is due to more people walking around.
                  The anecdotal evidence seems to indicate that attendance is actually down a little bit compared to the last two years. But, with so much capacity offline, it doesn't usually feel that way in the parks.

                  I'm curious to see how things feel this summer. I'm assuming crowds will stay flat or low compared to the last two summers, and ride capacity will be back up. The expanded fast pass offerings are another wildcard, though.

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                  • #10
                    I went on Monday the 13th, crowds weren't unmanageable, but man, having the rivers down, the train down, "Pirates" down and the "Matterhorn" really clogs up things. On top of that, "Hyperspace Mountain" and "Indiana Jones" kept going down.
                    "Have I gone mad?"
                    "I'm afraid so. You're entirely bonkers. But I'll tell you a secret. All the best people are. "

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                    • #11
                      It makes a big difference when the trains and river boats are down. They really soak up some of the crowd and give them some entertainment for a while. Even 10 years ago this time there was an off-season to enjoy. Now there seems to be a constant crush to come out with something new. Sorry you and your family had a disappointing trip. It is hard to know what to expect lately, except for crowds. I went with my daughter on January 4th, hoping to miss the holiday crowds crush and wound up hitting the busiest day. We came early, hit our important rides first, and then adjusted our expectations. While not the slower visit we'd hoped for, we still had a good time. I hope that your next family vacation works out better, and that you decide to give the parks another try down the road.

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                      • #12
                        When I first heard about Star Wars Land being built, and the railroad being rerouted, I promised myself not to return until at least the prospect of having the railroad back. My next trip is in September. Hopefully, I won't be disappointed, and the railroad will be back.

                        Planning, and spending a lot of money, and not getting a complete experience, as you envision is definitely a real bummer.
                        BarbaraAnn

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Barbaraann View Post
                          When I first heard about Star Wars Land being built, and the railroad being rerouted, I promised myself not to return until at least the prospect of having the railroad back. My next trip is in September. Hopefully, I won't be disappointed, and the railroad will be back.

                          Planning, and spending a lot of money, and not getting a complete experience, as you envision is definitely a real bummer.
                          Well the good news is that according to rumors they seem to be aiming for July, atleast that's what conductors have said recently. Man do I miss the railroad, my SO has never gotten to see the dinosaurs...

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                          • #14
                            This is tough I guess most of all I wouldn't suggest that people plan a big family trip to Disneyland during the time of year that many rides will be under refurbishment, especially with everything that is down because of Star Wars Land and rerouting The Rivers of America. That has always been the trade-off with Disneyland, that in the late winter/early spring they will be doing refurbishments. Also, while So Cal doesn't get much rain, we do get some, and this time of year can also lead to closures due to rain.

                            My family goes to Disneyland 2-3 Saturdays a month, often on days that are a 10/10. We do go as close to rope drop as we can, which does help mitigate the crowds. We don't mind the busy days at Disneyland! The E-ticket rides aren't be all and end all of a day at Disneyland for us. We love to watch as many musical acts as we can, for example, and to explore tucked away corners and even to look at all of the window displays on Main Street.

                            I'm sorry that your family didn't have as great a time as you remember from the past. I've been going for nearly 50 years now, although admittedly my memories of it are far clearer for the past 35-40. It is a different experience, to be certain, but at the same time so many of the changes are positive. Maybe you can try again during the holiday season

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                            • #15
                              1. Ride refurbishments are 100% necessary. If you want rides that are fun, you have to refurbish them often. 2. Rides break down. It happens every day, and almost all of the time it's not Disney's fault. People can drop bags on the track, people throw up, its just the way things happen. Also, there is now way to "hide" maintenance workers. You can't jumpstart Casey Jr. or tighten a bolt on a rollercoaster vehicle from 100 yards away. 3. Crowds exist, and there's really no other way to put it. Lots of the people in these crowds are able to have fun anyways. (There is no excuse for that railroad worker though, unless you were being rude, but it doesn't sound like you were) In summary, it does totally suck when things go as planned, (Last time I went to DL we didn't get seats for MSEP and Indy was broken down a lot and Small World was down, and it really did bite.) but we got to make the best of it. It can't be the happiest place on earth unless you really want it to be.

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