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  • [Question] So what's the average guest's solution to the problem with WDW?

    So after reading many people's opinions about the problems at Walt Disney World, I ask all of you what are your suggestions for turning things around? Can the average guest really do anything to make things better?

    Perhaps you are happy with Walt Disney World. You may not think that there are problems. Or you notice some things, but they don't bother you enough to stop going, and/or stop spending your money there.

    I have been to Disney World in 1997, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2009. My trips usually average at least a week. I have always stayed on property. I have done the dining plan, and don't care for it. I have eaten in a lot of nice restaurants, and stayed at these accomodations: Pop Century, Port Orleans, Caribbean Beach , Coronado Springs, The Contemporary, Grand Floridian, Polynesian, and the Beach Club.

    My vacations have not been cheap. It usually takes me quite a while to save up enough money for my trips. I have traveled alone, with friends, and also with family.

    I don't see myself returning to WDW in the near future. Magic Kingdom has always been my favorite of the 4 parks, and with the renovation of Fantasyland, I really have no desire to visit construction walls.

    Money is a definite issue with me right now, and if I manage to save any, I'd like to finally make it to a MiceChat Anniversary.

    Please don't tell me to visit any of the foreign parks because they are better. I'd like to know how to make WDW better.

    I'd really like to hear MiceChatter's suggestions about what the average guest can do to increase the quality of Walt Disney World. I'd be willing to take a few of those suggestions and act upon them, if I thought it would mean Walt Disney World would be a better place to visit in the future than it is at this point in time.
    Last edited by Barbaraann; 09-15-2010, 03:17 PM.
    BarbaraAnn


  • #2
    Re: So what's the average guest's solution to the problem with WDW?

    Well personally what it takes I don't like. Because as a lover of Orlando and Central Florida, and someone who has worked at Disney, and marketed Orlando, it pains me to even truly consider it... Spend your money else where.

    I love Orlando. I think Orlando has a lot to offer. Universal, SeaWorld, soon Legoland, and all sorts of wonderful natural adventures like Kayaking, canoeing, island camping etc.

    Just don't give your money to Disney. I have been holding off getting my WDW AP since I moved back in protest. I won't get it until i have family intown.. or the micechat meet whichever is first... lol

    I have a SeaWorld Platinum, a Universal Premium, but no Disney... why? Because I honestly don't see the value.
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    • #3
      Re: So what's the average guest's solution to the problem with WDW?

      I have finally broke down and purchased an AP for drum roll please.......DISNEYLAND, that's right it is a bigger pain in the you know what for me to try and fly out to LAX as well as much more expensive of a two or three day trip but other than the trip that I'm getting for FREE, I refuse to give WDW any of my hard earned dollars to send to their stock ticker...until I feel that the parks have started improving I will continue to do so...

      MY AIRLINE even changed their outing this year from the Magic Kingdom to Universal IOA, why? because it was the better value they felt to reward their employees now mind you this is 100+ people that my company brought into IOA for free(for the people NOT the airline I work for) imagine all of the dollars that went to IOA instead of one of the Disney parks...this type of thing should speak volumes of what people think of WDW atm...and the more people that do this like Eric said the more they will think about changing their ways...
      The test of success is not what you do when you are on top. Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.
      -George S. Patton

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      • #4
        Re: So what's the average guest's solution to the problem with WDW?

        I have to agree with Eric.

        In order for WDW to improve, the average guest will have to demand it. Unfortunately, the average guest is so amazed by what WDW does have to offer that they don't notice or care about the decline so they keep going back year after year.

        The Magic Kingdom still has the highest attendance of any theme park in the world, Walt Disney theme parks dominate theme park attendance in 2009. It's a golden cash cow that finances many of Disney's other ventures. But as long as it remains number 1, Disney won't be motivated to fix what's wrong.

        The only reason DCA is getting its makeover is because no one went to the park. Unless that happens at WDW, nothing is going to change and the decline will continue.

        So, the solution is - don't go, as crazy as that sounds.

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        • #5
          Re: So what's the average guest's solution to the problem with WDW?

          There are millions of people who vacation at Disney World each year. If I don't go, and spend my money there, won't someone else just take my place? Perhaps someone who has never been there before. Disney doesn't take names, and miss us when we don't show up. Not when the rooms are filled, and the parks are crowded.
          BarbaraAnn

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          • #6
            Re: So what's the average guest's solution to the problem with WDW?

            I agree, the best thing to do is take your business elsewhere and send Disney a note letting them know why you've done so. Unless they lose business, it's going to continue to be status quo.

            I completely understand and agree with much of the criticism, but I'm still going next week because it's still worth it to me. Admittedly, this is due largely to the free dining perk, which adds a lot of value to my trip. I wouldn't pay full price to go necesscarily, but Disney piles on the discounts and we gobble up the product.

            Honestly, I don't necesscarily blame Disney for their actions from a business standpoint. It's easier to cut corners, and then fill the parks via discounting. A common desire amongst us die-hard fans is that Disney would offer a premium product, and we'd be willing to pay accordingly. But, why would they take that risk? Why spend money to make money, when they can make money by discounted volume business instead.

            TDLFAN, one of the most vocal critics in these parts, whose criticisms are largely spot-on I might add, continues to go because, I'm assuming, the annual pass represents irresistable value to a local. I don't want to speak for him, but he's obviously frustrated by the decline in quality, yet Disney still gets his business with discounting. No matter how bad things get, Disney still finds a way to get us in the door. I wonder if it wouldn't take a massive customer revolt to shake things up?

            P.S. Go to Tokyo, it's totally worth it
            My Micechat cruise trip report, Part 1:http://micechat.com/14795-disney-wonder/

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            • #7
              Re: So what's the average guest's solution to the problem with WDW?

              It's already happening.......tomorrows parents are coming home from Disney trips less enchanted then their parents did when they were children; so their desire to take a trip to WDW 10, 15, and 20 years later, will not be as strong as their parents.

              The Disney brand has rested on laurels for a very long time.......way too long imho
              Waiting for Godot Micechat.com

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              • #8
                Re: So what's the average guest's solution to the problem with WDW?

                I'm not so sure about Disney not taking names... My family still gets tons of "reminder" postcards from WDW, and we haven't been there since 2008 (sadly had to cancel our Orlando vacation earlier this spring). After our 2008 trip, we were inundated with surveys, and even a standard issue 'thank you' from the manager at the hotel we stayed at (POR).

                I'm a big believer in putting your words in written form. If you see something that could be improved and feel really strongly about it, definitely let Disney know. If you are going to take a "break" from your "relationship" with Disney (that is, after all, pretty much how alot of us feel) and spend your money elsewhere, tell them why and how it could be better. You may not see immediate results, but if enough people feel the same way, you'll definitely see an improvement.

                Originally posted by Barbaraann View Post
                There are millions of people who vacation at Disney World each year. If I don't go, and spend my money there, won't someone else just take my place? Perhaps someone who has never been there before. Disney doesn't take names, and miss us when we don't show up. Not when the rooms are filled, and the parks are crowded.
                Wanna trade pins or power discs? PM me!

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                • #9
                  Re: So what's the average guest's solution to the problem with WDW?

                  Originally posted by Barbaraann View Post
                  There are millions of people who vacation at Disney World each year. If I don't go, and spend my money there, won't someone else just take my place? Perhaps someone who has never been there before. Disney doesn't take names, and miss us when we don't show up. Not when the rooms are filled, and the parks are crowded.
                  Best solution has already been made three or four times already.

                  You cannot control what others do, nor can you control what TPTB at WDW do.
                  You can remember all the good times you had. No one else can take that away from you.

                  Main reason is that TPTB are not there long enough to care about making any long-term solutions. (Even up at Iger's level.) There are plenty of other "theme" parks in the area, and nothing is stopping some middle manager from bolting for a better deal.

                  You have to stop thinking that WDW is your only vacation option.

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                  • #10
                    Re: So what's the average guest's solution to the problem with WDW?

                    Disney has made it easier for the average family to take a Disney World vacation. Especially someone like me, who does not drive. I can catch a plane here in Chicago, fly direct to Orlando, use Magical Express, and stay in one of their many resorts.

                    I never took any vacations growing up. There never was any money. My only time spent away from home as a kid, was at church summer camp. I've only been on a few trips as a married woman. I'm not complaining. It's just the way it is.

                    My husband and I took our grandson to Disney World in 1997, and that began my history of vacationing there. My husband won't return, because quite frankly he'd rather vacation in the Dells. We began doing that in 1998 and have been there every year since. I love my trips to the Dells. It's relaxing, close by, and my husband, who does drive can do that in 3 hours tops.

                    In 2005, I finally made it to Disneyland, and quite frankly I'd rather go there.

                    However, I always enjoyed my Disney World vacations. I always had a great time. I always felt like I got my money's worth. That is until last August. That was the first time that I came back, and did not want to start planning my next trip there.

                    At 63 years old, money is tight in our household. Vacations are rare for me, so I'd like all of them to be special. There are probably a few other places that I would like to go to, but that takes money and a way to get there.

                    I guess I need to get creative in my old age.
                    BarbaraAnn

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                    • #11
                      Re: So what's the average guest's solution to the problem with WDW?

                      Originally posted by cris77 View Post
                      I'm not so sure about Disney not taking names... My family still gets tons of "reminder" postcards from WDW, and we haven't been there since 2008 (sadly had to cancel our Orlando vacation earlier this spring). After our 2008 trip, we were inundated with surveys, and even a standard issue 'thank you' from the manager at the hotel we stayed at (POR).

                      I'm a big believer in putting your words in written form. If you see something that could be improved and feel really strongly about it, definitely let Disney know. If you are going to take a "break" from your "relationship" with Disney (that is, after all, pretty much how alot of us feel) and spend your money elsewhere, tell them why and how it could be better. You may not see immediate results, but if enough people feel the same way, you'll definitely see an improvement.

                      ^This. Sure not spending will have an impact, but there are a ton of reasons why you might not be spending your money. Disney execs (especially in this economy) can spin the loss of revenue anyway they want, unless you tell them why.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: So what's the average guest's solution to the problem with WDW?

                        Originally posted by PhotoMatt View Post
                        (snip) the average guest will have to demand it. Unfortunately, the average guest is so amazed by what WDW does have to offer that they don't notice or care about the decline so they keep going back year after year.

                        (snip)

                        So, the solution is - don't go, as crazy as that sounds.

                        Originally posted by Barbaraann View Post
                        There are millions of people who vacation at Disney World each year. If I don't go, and spend my money there, won't someone else just take my place?
                        Originally posted by BC_DisneyGeek View Post
                        I agree, the best thing to do is take your business elsewhere and send Disney a note letting them know why you've done so. Unless they lose business, it's going to continue to be status quo.

                        I completely understand and agree with much of the criticism, but I'm still going next week because it's still worth it to me. (snip)
                        TDLFAN, one of the most vocal critics in these parts, whose criticisms are largely spot-on I might add, continues to go because, I'm assuming, the annual pass represents irresistable value to a local. I don't want to speak for him, but he's obviously frustrated by the decline in quality, yet Disney still gets his business with discounting. No matter how bad things get, Disney still finds a way to get us in the door. I wonder if it wouldn't take a massive customer revolt to shake things up?

                        P.S. Go to Tokyo, it's totally worth it


                        Originally posted by sleepyjeff View Post
                        It's already happening.......tomorrows parents are coming home from Disney trips less enchanted then their parents did when they were children; so their desire to take a trip to WDW 10, 15, and 20 years later, will not be as strong as their parents.

                        The Disney brand has rested on laurels for a very long time.......way too long imho
                        These points all speak to how heartbreaking this is for those of us who are slowly losing something near and dear to our hearts... It does seem hopeless, at least for the forseeable future. I'm still going to spend my money there because I don't believe that if I stop, personally, that anything will change. Indeed, a mass revolt is necessary, but it's not going to happen. People will still come in droves. The powers that be are letting it all slide into a pit because they big fat can.

                        Personally I would only stop going if I didn't want to go anymore, not because I thought it was going to do any good. But I do still want to go. As mentioned, the AP's here are just too good a deal to pass up, especially because I want to keep taking my kids while they are kids. But undoubtedly, it's not as magical as it used to be, and it's getting worse every year. I do believe that things will turn around eventually, but decades down the road, not any time soon.

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                        • #13
                          Re: So what's the average guest's solution to the problem with WDW?

                          Originally posted by Barbaraann View Post
                          So after reading many people's opinions about the problems at Walt Disney World, I ask all of you what are your suggestions for turning things around? Can the average guest really do anything to make things better?
                          At the risk of sounding like a broken record... WDW will not improve until there is a management team in place with a real sense of the company's traditions and a team who is willing to make things better... by talking a look at the way Disney parks should be operated and striving to offer that quality through and through. The current management simply does not want to hear what the fans are telling them... reason why my rants fall on deaf ears.. but the fact that I continue to visit, making me a Disney consumer, gives me all the right in the World to demand the upmost quality.
                          One more thing... if management was willing to actually hear what guests are really saying, those survey takers in the park would be asking questions like.. "are you happy with cleanliness? CM's efficiency and levels of staffing?" etc etc. Instead, they ask you if you are willing to spend this much for that much.. and those who participate are sending the message that they will pay whatever to go. reason why ticket prices continue to go up year after year, while a quality park like TDL has been charging the same prices for almost 4 years in a row and offering new spectacular events every year, plus state of the art attractions and levels of staffing that would be enough manpower to staff all 4 WDW parks and their water parks as well.


                          I don't see myself returning to WDW in the near future. Magic Kingdom has always been my favorite of the 4 parks, and with the renovation of Fantasyland, I really have no desire to visit construction walls.
                          Oh too bad. They are pretty construction walls...


                          Please don't tell me to visit any of the foreign parks because they are better. I'd like to know how to make WDW better.


                          Barbaraann... You NEED to go to Tokyo Disney Resort. Only then, will you be able to see the real problems WDW has, and how great we can really have it here in our own backyard... which is the core source of my frustration.


                          Originally posted by BC_DisneyGeek
                          TDLFAN, one of the most vocal critics in these parts, whose criticisms are largely spot-on I might add, continues to go because, I'm assuming, the annual pass represents irresistable value to a local. I don't want to speak for him, but he's obviously frustrated by the decline in quality, yet Disney still gets his business with discounting. No matter how bad things get, Disney still finds a way to get us in the door. I wonder if it wouldn't take a massive customer revolt to shake things up?

                          P.S. Go to Tokyo, it's totally worth it
                          YES, she should GO. Chicago to Tokyo on United or AA is only 12 hrs away.
                          But BC... you are absolutely correct. WDW still gets my business, but not because of discounting. If the AP option was not available, I would still visit as often as financially possible because unlike many here who just to go WDW for the Dinning Plan or the free Tragical Bus ride to/from the airport... I LOVE DISNEY.
                          Discounting is not something that compells me to go there, which is the reason why I would like to see the Dining plan and hotel discounts gone and see them charging for favoritism services such as fastpass and extra magic hours. I go to WDW because I love Disney and that's all there is to it. Plus, I am only 15 mins away from the place
                          And for your information.. how much am I willing to pay for my QUALITY Disney Fix? A lot. My credit card statement shows that my renewal AP at Tokyo Disney resort.. where there are NO discounts of any kind.. just cost me $889 US dollars. That only entitles me to visit TDL and TDS and parkhop.. but *blocks* me from visiting if I arrive there and parks are full due to capacity. That same AP does not offer discounts on merchandise, shops, dinning or hotels, or any other services such as the frumpy girls' Bibbidi boutiques.
                          So next time, feel free to speak on my behalf but get it 100% right. now you know.. I will pay whatever it takes to enjoy Disney as long as it is quality like what everyone gets at TDR. This is the reason why I am using other TDR goes' trip reports on my signature. Don't take it from me.. read what others have to say in the matter.

                          BUT... to re-emphasize Barbaraann's question... WDW will not improve until they have a management team that is genuinly interested in making things better and restoring the "magic" to the levels their park admission prices reflect. And while I undertand they are a business and may get business by discounting... then fine! Discount the prices but not the experience.. because what's happening is management sitting back in their Team Disney offices saying... "they have no right to complain because they are not paying the fair price so screw them! Just put a Mickey rubber head in the parade and they will be happy". Everything else that was important (like maintenance and surpassing expectations) is no longer a priority.. It's all about filling a quota.

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                          • #14
                            Re: So what's the average guest's solution to the problem with WDW?

                            A couple of other options:

                            1) Go to Disneyland. I know Barbraann herself has done that, but for any other WDW regulars who haven't, try the west coast original at least once. You may have heard there is less to do, but more is made of that point than the reality. Disneyland itself seems to have at least as many attractions and entertainment options as The Magic Kingdom plus Hollywood Studios. You'll see a great many familiar attractions in an all new light.

                            2) Take a day or two out of a WDW vacation to visit other Orlando attractions, especially Universal's Islands of Adventure. No, Universal isn't in any danger of having more visiters that WDW, but Disney hates losing a single dollar of your vacation money to the competition. Every click of Universal's turnstile is an incentive to WDW to improve. If Wizarding World continues to pack 'em in, those incentives may eventually add up to an improved Walt Disney World.

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                            • #15
                              Re: So what's the average guest's solution to the problem with WDW?

                              Well, like Walt said, Disneyland will never be finished...and i think that goes as an imagineer standpoint AND a maintenance point. It's a park, it's used by thousands of people so there will be problems with wear and tear here and there.

                              http://www.disney.parkeleven.com/ - Disneyland Resort Photos!
                              http://www.hiddenmickeys.parkeleven.com - Hidden Mickeys!

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