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What was it that made you start to feel not so great about Disney as you used to?

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  • What was it that made you start to feel not so great about Disney as you used to?

    For me, it's not like I never understood that "Disney is a business" or that "Disneyland is not a museum"; I knew they existed for shareholders and that change in the parks is a normal progression.

    But the thing that really just tipped the scales for me was when they closed off the Court of Angels. That area had always been to me the quintessential example of the Disney "quiet spot" that was filled with exquisite detail that many people would walk by and not notice but some would accidently wander in and be engulfed in theme.

    When they decided that this area was now only going to be available to Club 33 members and guests, it was like being told "you're not worthy". Suddenly all the normal decisions Disney made now screamed "Greed"; I just didn't look at the company the same way anymore.

    Is it petty of me to feel that way? Probably. There are still tons of little, beautiful quiet spots. But I can't deny how I feel and that was the point the relationship changed.

    We stopped going (for several reasons) and recently returned for the first time in 3 1/2 years. It was fine. We had fun. But it just wasn't the same and I'm not sure it ever will be or that I want it to be. I'll always have our wonderful memories, but it's a lot of effort and money to travel someplace that just isn't the same to me any more. It's a loss, but in a way I feel like they also lost out on us (but I also feel they couldn't care less).

    So how about it? I think most of you haven't had this happen or ever will. But for those in the same boat, what was it that finally changed your perspective?

  • #2
    Increasing cost of attendance. There was a point a few years ago when it broke the proverbial camel's back and I cut my trips from annual to every other year. Everyone is sensitive to price at a certain point and it got there for me. The only way to show dissatisfaction is to stop going, so that's what I did.


    • #3
      I have to agree, removing the Court of Angles was a big one for me. The price increase as well as the crowds are wearing on me too. A couple trips ago I had the only moment in all of my trip memories when it just hit me that this is not fun and not Disneyland. This moment was when we got stuck in the death march heard being forced to walk around Main Street during the fireworks and constantly being told to "keep moving". Honestly I just wanted to get out of there.

      Because of that we have cut our trips down to 1 day of Disneyland in the fall and one day at Disneyland and the next day at DCA around Christmas. So a total of 3 days a year now.


      • #4
        For me it's the constant upcharges. I understand that they say "it's in line with what other companies are doing" however I don't agree with it as Disney has a different feel than other places. But these days there is an upcharge for almost everything. And $79 for a dessert package!!! Ugh. And because it's Disney they somehow convince people it's worth it. Raising prices for admission will NOT decrease crowds. It would have to go to $500 per person to do that in my opinion. People will continue to pay and put it on credit cards, thereby bankrupting sometimes. I wish Disney would realize just because they can, doesn't mean they should.


        • #5
          Originally posted by skoolpsyk View Post
          So how about it? I think most of you haven't had this happen or ever will. But for those in the same boat, what was it that finally changed your perspective?
          It was an accumulation of management decisions over a period of time.

          It was Paul's reign, with his drastic cutbacks in DL's standards of maintenance, training, merchandise, rides, restaurants and customer service. It was seeing longtime senior merch CMs disappear, along with DL's international buyers and unique shops, and be replaced by lackluster new-hires selling generic junk. It was the rock-solid expectation that Paul would be fired -- followed by the reality that not only was his approach exactly what the Company wanted, but that for a time he was lauded as Michael's potential successor. And when Paul finally left, it was watching the revolving-door parade of his equally unqualified successors continue the core elements of his management M.O.

          It was seeing the abrupt decline of staff morale at the Disneyland Hotel after Disney bought out the Wrathers. It was watching WDI become infected by Michael's toxic style of corporate politics.

          But three individual instances stand out: The gut-punch of walking into DCA 1.0 for the first time and realizing that the concept art was indeed as bad as it seemed; the heartbreak of walking into the Court of Angels and seeing it had been turned into an ODV sales venue hawking generic Disney Parks merch; and the outrage of the Court of Angels closure and Club 33 "upgrade."

          That -- and knowing that all those were just the visible part of a very deep iceberg.

          Last edited by Mr Wiggins; 09-26-2017, 12:09 PM.
          "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
          Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
          imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

          - Neil Gabler

          "I didn't know the story of baby Jesus could be any better,
          until Thor told it to me."
          Young girl at Disneyland's 2017 Candlelight Ceremony


          • #6
            I vacationed most recently for my birthday from September the 3rd, until the 9th. Have I reached my limit? I don't think so, but I might be nearing my breaking point. I had a marvelous time of course, because I always do. Those of you who know me know that if I don't have a good time, I blame myself, and not circumstances, and/or people. However, I definitely try and educate myself as to what I am getting into. I also live by another standard, and that is when something is more aggravation than it is worth, I run in the other direction. Disneyland is still full of lots of magic for me. I stopped kidding myself long ago, and I know that it is not by any means perfect. I guess I could pull a Rory Gilmore, and make myself two lists. The Good List, and the Bad List. In the end, it's a matter of the heart and the pocketbook for me. I'm also not getting any younger, and if I hold a grudge against the place I love, who will I be hurting in the end? I guess time will tell the answer to that one.


            • #7
              I'm in the parks 17 days a year or so. I don't know that it has lost any of it's magic for me, but I am getting priced out, that's for sure! I'm in Northern California, so it's plane fare, a hotel, etc, etc each trip. That plus the crazy upcharging for EVERYTHING is definitely pushing us out.


              • #8
                For me, it is the employees. While there are good ones, I can see it on their faces when I am sitting and people watching. I see them make faces when they are asked questions. Also the employees that come on the site and complain about about guests here. I get it, there are a lot of bad guests, but I do not want to hear about how bad they are, or what your opinions of what makes a bad guest, or how we visit the parks, or what Walt would think about how the park is today.

                But I get it, it is just as easy not to visit this site, because the employees will just try to justify their attitudes when they post here. Ciao.


                • #9
                  I expect change...for better or worse.

                  For me it is the mentality of how high can we jack up prices of things while finding the lowest threshold of quality.

                  While I have also noticed the decline in Cast Member attitudes, I also recognize the level of disrespect and expectations from the guests has increased exponentially and they have to put up with a lot more unnecessary crap these days.


                  • #10
                    Cost was a factor. I had always held a Premium AP, because that's the only one that fits my schedule... the blackout days on the other passes don't make them worth their value for me. And I've always said when that pass went over $1000, I was out. And I've stayed true to my word. At that point, it's more economical for me to just buy a single day ticket than the AP.

                    The mismanagement of the security checkpoints was also a pretty big dealbreaker for me. I could give them a pass for the first few months, even up to a year or two, as they worked out different methods. But it's been well over a decade (remember, security checks began not long after 9/11), and it's still so poorly managed with gigantic lines that have no options for guests with no bags (which Universal does, by the way... they have almost nearly as many for guests without bags as they do with, so it can be done), it's just abhorrent. There's absolutely no reason by now why there haven't been permanent, more appealing, and more efficient security checks put in place by now. That security line is literally the first experience a guest has with Disney, and it's extremely unpleasant. I'd be irritated and in a foul mood well before even getting to the main gate.

                    And the obvious crowds. If you didn't get there at the crack of dawn and take advantage of those first 2-3 hours of park opening, you essentially had no chance to get on anything meaningful.

                    I've traded up for a Universal AP, and I couldn't be happier. Alleviates all these problems. Their Platinum pass is expensive, but I do feel I get my monies worth with the Gate A access being included. I know I can always get on virtually any ride I want, no matter what the crowds or time of day is like.
                    Does anyone even bother with signatures anymore?


                    • #11
                      Re-skins and forced advertisement. Costs bugged me but not as long as the park was progressing, but that's just not what i'm feeling. I'm feeling a direction that's taking the parks towards a more Universal side of things.

                      If I was old enough, I surely would've been angry at RR departure. Not because it was or wasn't great, but because it didn't get the necessary care during construction, or budget it deserved, and this multi-billion dollar company thought it was a great idea to cut costs at every turn. Then came the announcement of Star Wars at Tomorrowland. Just couldn't wait for SWL to open. Space Mountain being replaced with cheap projections and a reused soundtrack and calling it "Hyperspace mountain!", did nothing for me. It was Season of the Force, then lasted to be years of the force.

                      And then that big announcement came which devastated my love for Disney parks. Mission Breakout. Not put in to better an attraction, but because that Cheapie Chapek wondered why Marvel was missing from the parks. It begins with that and ends with Marvel taking over half the park. But hey, it advertises their newly acquired asset so why not.

                      Muppet Vision? Moved to advertise.. i'm sorry, "preview", upcoming films.

                      I could rant on but DL is changing so rapidly I'm afraid to have a new favorite attraction because it could go away too.
                      KA CHOW


                      • #12
                        The loss of many cast member benefits, primarily the cast member holiday family parties.


                        • #13
                          Speaking of the loss of Court of Angels, my wife lost her favorite quiet spot. She used to love interacting with the water fowl on the lower deck of Hungry Bear when it used to go right up to the river.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by DisneyPilot View Post
                            I expect change...for better or worse.

                            For me it is the mentality of how high can we jack up prices of things while finding the lowest threshold of quality.

                            Indeed, but the thing that was most irritating about that is them doing it while they were simultaneously posting record profits.

                            Incredibly short-sighted to squeeze out a bit more profit at the expense of tarnishing the image of the brand and alienating their incredibly loyal fans.

                            They have been in the unique position to make shareholders happy AND maintain the highest levels of quality and guest experience, but choose not to..


                            • #15
                              Obvious crowds is a factor ,long with the Price......
                              Also so many Games that Disney have been doing with the Guest
                              Such as crazy upcharging for EVERYTHING!

                              I hate the way's the parks is being use as a bill boards ,for Advertisment,
                              For standards of maintenance, training, merchandise, rides, restaurants and customer service
                              all went down ,getting less = while paying more............

                              Guest experience is worst than ever before and that the Draw me.

                              Loss of Court of Angels , to the Guest was just wrong.
                              Soaring like an EAGLE !