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Whose idea was that? What’s going on with the new changes at WDW?

by Dad
(The Office)

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I gotta tell you, Dad is not happy. I think it’s time for Dad to go on another rampage about some of the new changes at WDW.

Ariel in the Paint the Night parade is not one of the new changes at WDW

It looks like Ariel and Paint the Night is not coming to WDW – Photo by Andy Sanchez

Bob, Bob, Jill, George, Kevin or anyone else on the Leadership Team for Walt Disney World, you need to STOP and LISTEN to Dad. I know you’ve listened to Dad before. It’s time to do it again. Remember the wheat bun debacle or the 2015 Free Dining disaster? I was right about those and I’m right about this. So sit back and in the words of Jiminy Cricket, “give a little listen.” Oh, that’s right he said whistle, but you need to LISTEN.

This year has not been a good one for Walt Disney World and especially for us WDW fans. The news we hear out of Lake Buena Vista has us all very nervous.

Let’s start with tickets. The announcement about the UNBELIEVABLY big price increases on tickets and especially Annual Passes was a shock and really hard to swallow. Pair that up with the hotel price increases all I can say is it’s crazy.

Shockingly, he says sarcastically, crowds are way down this summer.

And judging from the 2017 Bounceback offers, you’re expecting crowds to be down again next summer. I wonder why?

Whose idea was the new ticket pricing thing? Do they still work there? Why?

Next, there’s the whole Animal Kingdom thing. For months you told us, Rivers of Light is coming, Rivers of Light is coming. You had a whole summer promotion is based on Rivers of Light is coming! (One if by land, two if by sea.) From now on Animal Kingdom is going to be a full day park. It’s going to be open after dark. That’s what you told us. We’ll add a bunch of new stuff and everyone will pack the new restaurants that are open late.

Not quite working is it?

And then there’s the Animal Kingdom fall schedule. What’s going on? Everyone is dying to know if the park is going to be open after dark this fall. I get that question a couple of times every week. What am I supposed to say?

This makes me very nervous for Pandora – The World of Avatar. If you can’t get the proven technology behind Rivers of Light to work, how are you going to get all the new technologies for Pandora to work? Maybe you should take some of those Imagineers you laid off from Shanghai and put them to work in Florida.

Which brings up another point. You are entering a big building phase in Florida, but you’re laying off 25% of the Imagineering staff? What’s up with that?

Whose idea was that? Do they still work there? Why?

Back to the new changes at WDW.

We keep hearing about Cast Member layoffs, about cutbacks in programs, about cost cutting measures in the restaurants, at the hotels, in the parks. Some of them I take with a grain of salt, but come on. It’s starting to be hard to ignore.

In your earnings report you called this downsizing maximizing efficiencies. Bunk.

The lack of Cast Members to do basic crowd control during the parades and fireworks is becoming noticeable. The lack of staff in the hotels and restaurants is really showing. The general mood of Cast Members is not good. Yes, they put on a smile and do a great job, but the grumbling behind the scenes is out of control.

Whose idea was that? Do they still work there? Why?

This week you finally roll out the Holiday room only promotion. Yeah. It’s about time. The details were kind of disappointing. Only 20% tops? 10% on Value Resorts? That’s not very exciting. I guess it really didn’t matter since there was absolutely no rooms available.

Yes, it sounds good, we ran a Holiday promotion that makes everyone happy. Everyone except all the people that have been waiting to book and save money for the fall. All they hear is no rooms available. Sorry. Pretty bad PR if you ask me. (I know, you didn’t. But you should.)

Again I ask, whose idea was this? Do they still work there? Why?

Yesterday, you announced that Main Street Electrical Parade is going to Disneyland. OK, I can live with that since a couple weeks ago it was announced that Paint the Night is closing at Disneyland. So it makes sense. Just switch them. Paint the Night will be really great at WDW. I’m happy!

What? Three hours after you announce MSEP is moving, you announce Holiday hours for Paint the Night at Disneyland? That’s nuts. You are leaving your biggest park without a nighttime parade? Is that correct? I hope you have something up your sleeves.

Yes, I know, you’ve got the Boo to You Parade and the Once Upon a Christmas Time Parade, but those are only for the Halloween and Christmas Parties. Or are they? Is that what you are going to use for the rest of the year? That would be disappointing.

Who’s making these decisions? Goofy? They sound pretty goofy to me. (No offense Goofy. It was a play on words.)

I know, you’ll point to the earnings report that came out Tuesday and say everything is hunky dory. Yeah, that might be true, but that’s not the feeling we get out here in flyover country.

Dad’s Bottom Line

Maybe I’m just in a bad mood because of the hot days we’ve had here in Oklahoma the last few weeks. I know there is a lot to be excited with the new changes at WDW. Disney Springs is incredible. Frozen Ever After opened on time. The Toy Story Mania and Soarin’ expansions are done (If you could just get the movie at Soarin’ fixed.) Lots of good things have happened. I get that.

But that doesn’t fix the bad taste that’s been left in our mouths by the price increases and all the unrest in the Cast Member community. Trust me. All the good will you garnered with the new changes at WDW announcements you blew with the price increases, especially the Annual Passes.

Right now, we don’t trust you very much. Like I said, Whose idea was it? Do they still work there? Why?

LISTEN to Dad. Dad knows Walt Disney World.

Comments for

Nov 08, 2018 New changes
by: Anonymous

I am not happy with the world of Disney refurbishment. The last time I went it looked magical but now it looks mediocre. Once upon a toy shrunk down. That does not fix the Disney taste at all. The other thing I am mad about is how they changed the Disney baby blanket plushies

Jul 31, 2017 Not this year
by: Kathy l

This would have been our 7th yearly visit to Disney World. Was told months ago that on site hotels were booked for weeks were could vacation. Called several times and each time I got nowhere. Don’t like many of the changes. Including Disney Springs. Visited WDW for 30 plus years for its charm. No longer the case, Seems like our beloved downtown Disney has become like any other mall in the USA. Or the malls in Las Vegas!!!
We decided to book the Hard Rock hotel and will be visiting the Universal parks.
This family of 6 is done with Walt Disney World!!!

Mar 10, 2017 Lot of changes
by: Jim

I am convinced the inflated price for Star Wars and the politically correct Star War’s Movie turned a lot of people off. I think a lot of the price increases, cuts in staff, and eliminating the night parade are a result of a bad business decision associated with Star Wars. The Star War’s movies were a flop in my social setting-not worth the money or time.
My grandchildren’s-they are very young-thought the Light Parade was the best part of the day. Never understand eliminating it.
We go virtually every year-11 of us and each year seems to be more disappointing and more expensive.
Disney loses its magic and they will be in trouble.

Sep 05, 2016 Downsizing
by: Anonymous

I’m 72 & seen this time & again.Cut staff,outsource more,raise prices etc. “NOTICE”any downsizing is “never”done in “upper”management. How many times have you seen WDW downsizes “Boaed of Directors!!
Arnold made a statement in 1980 when he won the OLYMPIA( the crowd s boos were long & loud)!He smiled & said ,give it 6 mo.& all they will remember is I won!! Same with WDW upper management. Give it a little time. People will scream,moan & rant…but they will still” pay” & the complaints will die down to a whimper!
What upper mangement in all their greed fails to realise or ignores is there is a war going on & UNIVERSAl is winning!
Times coming when UNIVERSAL will start getting more & more of fed up Disney fans!

Aug 24, 2016 Thank you!
by: Anonymous

My sentiments exactly. We went this past June and both my husband and I agreed that the magic seemed a bit off this time, though we couldn’t quite put our finger on it (in full disclosure we were there the week of the gator attack so that did contribute). It just doesn’t seem to be the same amazing customer experience as it used to be. And someone else already said this but I would concur…DON’T mess with Future World by bringing in more IP and thrill rides that half of us can’t go on anyway. Get back to the original focus of EPCOT!

I was that child of the 80s who fell in love with the premise, always been my favorite park. Now my children love it too! Stop going for the quick fixes and invest in the quality and innovation you are known for!!!

Aug 20, 2016 Chill
by: Another Disney Dad

I’m not the Disney Dad you were implying nor do any of my opinions represent him, but l can say we all know except you that he is a family man and has shared almost all his Disney bests and worst with us.

I personally have followed Dad for many years as does my wife and to be honest we just love the stories.

For the less experienced visitor he has probably enhanced all their trips with all the tips and tricks to navigating parks while avoiding crowds.

Not to mention his passion either pro or con, yes he will speak his mind even if Disney doesn’t want to listen we do.

Maybe research and read some of his articles and stories and l can assure you Dad is just like all of us who visit as much as we can or planning the future trip.

Either way l love the articles and enjoy the comments even more.

Since l won’t be coming back any time soon it is still enjoyable material to read which l can assure you Dad gets first hand from Disney Experiences not Travel agent cut and paste

Aug 20, 2016 Who are you?
by: Anonymous

This website is a prime example that anyone can be a self proclaimed expert about anything on the Internet.

Who’s dad, and exactly what makes him a WDW expert? How often are you at WDW dad? This is just one of the many travel agent sites disguised as a WDW information site.

I know WDW, I’ve been there for 50 weeks a year for 20 years and most of what’s posted here is taken off the legit WDW sites and reformatted. Give me a break dad.

I realize that this will not appear in the comments section, but it’s just to let dad know that you’re not fooling everyone.

Aug 13, 2016 Disney Dining
by: Anonymous

I was very disappointed that on my 180 day mark my daughter and I got up at 5 a.m. to get in sync so that we could call and make our dining reservations for the Deluxe Dining plan in December. Going there for years we know it is a challenge to make that many reservations for a weeks stay. When at 6 am we started making reservations and calling at 7 am because of our frustrations, we were able to get TWO of our reservations requested out of TWENTY !! THAT IS INSANE. We are spending $13,000 (yes, that is also insane) for our family to go and cannot eat at any of the restaurants or shows we love! As much as we love WDW, we are all just about done. Pricing is out of control and making it so much work to go spoils the trip. Need to go back to the age of Eisner. He at least seemed to care about the guest and their experiences in the Walt Disney tradition. And moving the electric light parade is very sad. I have 6 grandchildren going with us that we were excited for them to see it. And in talking with my travel agent, it was posted to them that the parade at Disneyland has no foreseen move to WDW.

Aug 12, 2016 I was a Cast Member
by: Claire

I worked at WDW for years. May of 2015 I left and never looked back. I don’t miss it in the least. What I miss is the old WDW that was a wonderful place to go as a guest and a Cast Member…when Guest Service was number one and Cast Members were supported and rewarded by the company!

Once a quarter, Tom Igor sends out an email to everybody that has company email (any CM that is a Trainer or above) to give a summery of the previous quarter. He thanks them all for all their hard work at making this the best quarter ever. What he’s really thanking them for is making it so he and the other executives can get their millions of dollars in bonuses while pay the Cast slave wages. Most full time Cast works two jobs to get by because WDW has cut off their chance to get enough overtime! That’s how it is there!

Aug 12, 2016 Taking a Disney breather…
by: Jackie K

Yep – love what you’ve said here and we still love going to WDW. But, price increases, re-construction chaos, lots of hype for new with ‘meh’ results, and a certain lackluster implementation of new technologies have dulled the pleasure of late.
We’re taking a breather year – will pop over to that other major FL theme park with year passes, and hope to return to WDW after construction phase is more complete.

Aug 12, 2016 Too high prices and parking
by: Anonymous

I have been going to Disney since for 30yrs every year and the new price hikes for parking is too much we go into Disney for 3 weeks and at $20 a day parking is terrible especially when you have a double buggy and can’t get it on the tram unless you put it on the seat, surely with all that money they could of made bigger trams that allow pushchairs. They are just getting to greedy and the service is getting worst by not having enough cast members

Aug 12, 2016 Sigh
by: Another Disney Dad

This is sad news. I have noticed the price increases in the last 10 years. My family has gone every year except the last two years. We are a family of 4 and sadly have quit going…period. We can board a cruise like Oasis of the seas out of Fort Lauderdale for 3000.00 for 4 for a week and the entertainment is exactly what we need to enjoy our 1 week holiday per year.
We miss Disney and have another cruise that we booked when on our last cruise and were given 500.00 credit to use on our previous cruise which we fully enjoyed. Being a Disney Dad l couldn’t resist wondering the what if we left a day early for just 1 night in Disney.
After quick research and to my disappointment my value resort is over 300.00 per night and an we all know it costs 500.00 for a family of 4 to walk in a park in WDW. There are no incentives or deals or any value in this.. 800.00 American is what 1 day of memories costs now in WDW. As well meals,snacks and staying refreshed and souvenirs brings the Magic even higher. I will stay off Disney property until l see 50% slashed prices, that’s right 50%
I have loved every Disney trip and all the memories, crowds never were a bother even at peak times, there are many tricks to navigate through without waits.
It all has come down to Value for the dollar for me and my family has absolutely loved cruising and all the excursions and all the major cruise lines marketing staff are incredibly dedicated to providing your family with an enjoyable trip. Not to mention you don’t need to walk 22 kms in a day to only exit a park at closing to wait 2 hours in line after an exhausting day of trying to do it all and then having minimal rest to be at the next day’s rope drop with your family to maximize what you spent on your tickets and do it again.
I Miss and love Disney but….l don’t believe you are The Happiest Place On Earth and it all comes down to Family
Ask your kids if they would like to go to Disney alone for a week……Or go explore the Rockies or a nature park, or camping, or another Theme Park….that’s right..Another Theme Park, or fishing, or A Cruise or a resort in a tropics destination with Mom and Dad. Our family just loves to be together and active and no matter where we go we are building memories.
I wish you the best WDW and l know you can keep increasing prices and will still fill the House and with all the renovations and changes l can only see more price increases coming. Are the guests coming as happy as they used to be. I am a huge Disney Dad and know all the ins and outs of Disney and appreciate all the Cast Members as they all do an Excellent job keeping a park clean and happy but the VALUE is gone.

Aug 11, 2016 Not Sure What WDW is Doing
by: Emily

I think a new parade will (hopefully) be online shortly after the MSEP does its last run. Everything else, though, Dad hit right on the head. I think after this trip in December, my family might not be returning until Star Wars land is open and I know a lot of other families are feeling the same thing — to just wait everything is done.

Aug 11, 2016 Disney price hikes and quality service comments
by: Anonymous

took the words right out of my mouth.

Aug 11, 2016 Listen to Dad!
by: Anonymous

I am a shareholder and I’d rather see long term positive changes in the parks than immediate dividends. One thing I would add to what Dad said is that you should not be changing the theme of Future World. New attractions should be celebrating advances in technology and changes anticipated for the next decade rather than movie based rides, which should be in the Studios. While you are at it, add a country. I think AHEPA would be interested in co-sponsoring a Greece attraction.

Aug 11, 2016 Don’t take away the magic
by: Daniel

Bravo Dad! For saying it the way it is.
The important thing is that when you are at WDW you feel special, you feel that you are receiving VIP service all the time. And that is due to the great cast members. If they are reduced in numbers and are not happy the guest experience will be diminished. If this happens, the magic won’t be there no more. If this happens, why not go to Universal (or elsewhere) instead?

Aug 11, 2016 And $$ security
by: Anonymous

I think you also have to add in what its got to be costing for security. I think a lot of people forget,with all that’s been going on,Disneys had to put in a lot of extra security.

Aug 11, 2016 Well said
by: Allison

Well said Dad. I always try to give WDW the benefit of the doubt, but ending Main Street Electrical Parade was a blow to the face. YIKES! I was really shocked! Like you said, I hope they have something up their sleeve and it really needs to be impressive!!
Rivers of Light – I actually gave up on it. I’ll be there in January and not even hoping it’ll be ready. Really hard to plan meals, itinerary when you don’t know when things will open.


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