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View Full Version : Allow me to rant for a minute



SlinkyDog
01-23-2014, 08:36 PM
Am I the only person who is just a little upset that as we sit here and try to figure out how all this my magic+ stuff works, Universal will be opening the second part of Harry Potterland this summer. The videos and concept art look mind blowing and Disney is pushing us to buy doodads for our magic bands. If the Seven Dwarves coaster ever opens it's already been beat by Potter. As a Disney fan it drives me nuts. During my last trip a few weeks ago it felt like there was less and less to do in the parks. Disney's stock price is sky high, they have just purchased Star Wars, Indy, and Marvel so naturally they build Avartar land first. Can they please invest in some new rides and have them built before 2035? Serenity Now!

LandFan
01-23-2014, 08:53 PM
Yeah - I totally get that. :mad:

buzznwoodysmom
01-23-2014, 10:02 PM
I have to say I kinda feel the same way right now. Our last Disney trip, in November, was my least favorite Disney trip ever. Don't get me wrong, we had an enjoyable time, but there wasn't anything memorable about the trip.

While we are excited about the mine coaster, it's nothing compared to our excitement about the new potter stuff at Universal. If we return to Orlando this year it will be for a Universal only trip. Never thought I would say that......

For the first time in over 9 years we have no intentions of visiting Disney this year. I don't know if we simply need a break, but I feel we need to give it some time to hopefully restore the magic we once felt. Maybe it's just us being burnt out, maybe it's because Disney has become "stale", I don't really know. But I do know we won't spend the amount of money we've spent over the last few years for the experience we had in November. It just didn't feel worth it to us. Sad, but true.:(

To be fair, we had several newbies with us and they were BLOWN AWAY by everything in Disney. So maybe it is just us. Maybe we have been too often over the past few years and that's why the magic has diminished for us. Maybe a nice, long break is all we need.

Melanie
01-23-2014, 10:12 PM
Preach!

bxrluv
01-23-2014, 10:15 PM
We're doing 2 or 3 days at the end of our trip in March at Universal. I have a feeling it's going to be the same for us. I'm so frustrated right now trying to plan this trip and I usually love planning.

BrerGnat
01-23-2014, 10:22 PM
I agree with you to a point.

Here's the thing, though, for me at least.

I definitely want to see the HP stuff. I still haven't been to IOA since WWoHP opened up.

HOWEVER, in Universal Studios, that is the ONLY thing that interests me, for real. In IOA, there are a few rides that I like outside of WWoHP, so that park has more going for it, IMO. I remember my last trip to Universal Studios. I was SERIOUSLY underwhelmed and unimpressed. We were out of there within 3 hours.

It's cool that Universal is doing so much new stuff, but the place as a whole doesn't have the kind of appeal that would lead my FAMILY to spend a week there. There is absolutely nothing there for my kids right now.

On the other hand, all the FP+ garbage is really turning me off from WDW, at least for this year, until they finish testing and working out the kinks.

We will be heading to Disneyland this year instead! I might get down to Universal as I will be in Orlando for a few days this summer to help out my parents as they relocate there, and since I will be alone, I might finally get to check out the HP stuff. I will spend one day there, total, maybe 2 if I can get a cheap ticket.

CaptSmee
01-23-2014, 10:33 PM
I'm one of the few people that could care less about Harry Potter :confused:
I do look forward to what Disney has upcoming & think that the competition from universal will push them to develop more

1DisneyNut
01-23-2014, 10:47 PM
I feel the same way. The FP+ garbage and having to preplan everything has me so disgusted we don't even have a WDW trip in the works at all and I usually have vacation ideas in the works for 2 years out. I never thought I would be in this position as I have always been a huge fan and we have been to WDW multiple times a year many times and had AP's. We have been at least once a year for the last 13 years and have a year pin to prove it. lol

I am SO glad I didn't buy DVC. I almost bought in 2007, had the contract in front of me but decided to give it some more thought. I decided I couldn't predict the future and what the corporate side of Disney might do and my vacation plans might change. I would hate to be stuck with DVC right now.

This past weekend we were actually discussing trying Universal Orlando for the first time. It is beginning to look like our next trip to Orlando, probably in 2015, will be to Universal and Sea World.

The good news though is that with WDW being so messed up, we decided to finally go see Disneyland. We are going there this summer. I am so excited about not having to preschedule everything and not having to run all over the park messing with very many fastpasses that I can't hardly wait. It is going to be like old times at Magic Kingdom when you just showed up and started riding rides!

Maybe they will come to their senses and can all of this FP+ junk but who knows. All I know is that if I have to pre-plan my every move months in advance, I probably won't be visiting very often. I don't have the time or patience for all of it.

Ian
01-23-2014, 11:24 PM
Yes I completely agree. Disney has sunk a $1.5 billion into this RIDICULOUS Fastpass+ nonsense all while Universal is pouring money into top quality attractions and park expansions.

I'm actually struggling to figure out how WDW management doesn't get that they're about to go down in flames? :confused:

I mean, except that they're clueless dolts lol

SlinkyDog
01-23-2014, 11:59 PM
I'm one of the few people that could care less about Harry Potter :confused:

It's not about caring about Potter (which I don't) it's the fact that the only thing on Universal's mind is top notch rides, rides, rides. Like Potter or not, Forbidden Journey is the best ride I have ever been on, and the theme is beautiful and massive. On top of that the new Simpsons land and Transformers rides are great, and they have more rides in the works.

Universal is building rides which bring more and more people into the parks, then they build new hotels for those new people to stay in. Disney is building hotel after hotel for DVC, cramming as many people in as they can and only offering a few good rides at 3 out of the 4 parks. AK, DHS, and Epcot need at least 2 new E ticket rides ASAP. There is only so much I can drink at Epcot.:beer::marg:

Quadstriker
01-24-2014, 12:07 AM
Serenity Now!

Well you just got me thinking just how amazing a Firefly Land would be.

/dream

PirateLover
01-24-2014, 12:18 AM
The OP is my hubby, and I agree with him :thumbsup:
I am the huge Harry Potter fan in the family, I just drag him along with me :blush:.
Where Universal really has Disney beat in recent years is that they make these huge announcements and then the lands/rides themselves are never that far behind, and they totally live up to expectations. As far as little kids go, I would agree that Universal isn't as "family friendly" per say, but for any one who is tall enough to ride coasters/thrill rides, Universal is taking the prize. I hadn't been to Universal since I was kid, but we spent 2 days there in 2010 shortly after Wizarding World opened, and I really enjoyed myself at both parks. Spiderman is still better than almost anything at Disney, and yes, Forbidden Journey is the best ride I've ever ridden. The specs on the new Gringotts coaster make it seem like it's going to be even better.

Hollywood Studios is a Half day park hands down. As repeat visitors, I don't even remember the last time we waited around for a show. Animal Kingdom will have more going for it with Avatarland but how long ago was that announced and they JUST broke ground this month! Also, as cool as it looks, it's not an additional draw. Countless people will come to see the Potter expansion just because it's Potter. Avatar doesn't have that same potential.

As adults, we spend a lot of time in World Showcase enjoying the ambiance, but Future World needs a lot of help.
I definitely think our next Orlando trip will be Universal-centric.

DizneyFreak2002
01-24-2014, 12:34 AM
I have been saying WDW has been doing absolutely NOTHING.... I been trying to tell you all how pathetic WDW is being run... But, people don't ever want to hear bad things about WDW... Disney is resting on its laurels in Orlando... They force feed nostalgia... That only lasts so long... And now, looking around on the different WDW fansites, I would say the negativity toward WDW has gone up, and probably is now about 50/50 (some boards the negativity rules the conversations)...

People are finally starting to wake up to what many of us have been saying for a year or two or three now... WDW IS STALE!!!! And will remain that way cause Iger, Staggs, Meg, and the rest of the brainless morons just don't care about WDW...

All they know how to do in WDW is cut offerings to guests, cut entertainment, shut rides/restaurants with no replacements, and just keep on cutting all the while raising prices... 10-15 years ago, 20 years ago, you got your money worth... Today?? Not so much... People need to step back and stop being brand advocates for a company who looks at you as an ATM machine.. THEY DON'T CARE ABOUT YOU!!!!!

DizneyFreak2002
01-24-2014, 12:44 AM
Yes I completely agree. Disney has sunk a $1.5 billion into this RIDICULOUS Fastpass+ nonsense all while Universal is pouring money into top quality attractions and park expansions.

I'm actually struggling to figure out how WDW management doesn't get that they're about to go down in flames? :confused:

I mean, except that they're clueless dolts lol

$2.5 billion but who is counting...

mickclub1955
01-24-2014, 08:40 AM
I have been reading about all of this mess as well. One theory on another board which kind of makes sense is that Disney doesn't care about the frequent visitors. They are trying to add value to their parks to new visitors by having them "Lock In" attractions, because it adds value. Almost to an "exclusive" mindset. Even on attractions that we don't see as not needing fp. By locking in an attraction it must me a very important attraction. Their idea is "if it is exclusive" families will not want to go anywhere else. That is why we are seeing fp for Fantasmic, parades, and fireworks. We see those as "why would you need a fp for that?" But those who are first time visitors do not know that. Also, for making their attractions seem exclusive these new guests will pay more and stay longer.
That is just what I am reading out there. Disney is sacrificing its loyal guests for new ones.

tinksmom02
01-24-2014, 09:22 AM
I am actually really apprehensive about our upcoming trip because of FP+. We're doing 3 nights in Disney and 2 at Universal, and I can see us doing more Universal in the future and less WDW. I haven't even experienced FP+ yet and our trip isn't until May but I'm already stressing about what FP times are optimal for our touring plans. Just when I got us weaned off of ADRs for every day of our trip and am truly in a "go with the flow" mode! If it's a seriously negative experience, our future visits will definitely be impacted.

We might plan a trip to CA in 2015, to see where it all began, but the next WDW trip isn't on the horizon (and there's always one on the horizon). :confused:

Reedy Creek Buccaneer
01-24-2014, 10:04 AM
Maybe they Disney is planning a perfect NCAA bracket? At least they could get a billion back.

dnickels
01-24-2014, 10:13 AM
Obviously being a Disney board most of us are inclined to like Disney more, but it really is a stark contrast when you compare the amount of money Disney has spent to give us FP+/MagicBands/MME and Universal has spent to give us actual rides.

At the end of the day, guest revenue is what really talks. I see a lot of people who claim they're not renewing their APs (some have even made this statement year after year) or they're not going back (again some that have been saying this year after year), but then you pick up in their posts that they've still been going back or they still have an upcoming trip planned. I know some people have legitimately given up on Disney, but until enough people actually follow-through on those threats to stop going that it starts hitting Disney in the pocket-book we shouldn't expect much change.

Terra
01-24-2014, 10:37 AM
I'm the lone one who thinks Disney is still better than Universal. I went once, hated it, will never go back.
Disney by far rocks my socks off, even 15 years later [since moving to Florida and going all the time.]

I don't care for Harry Potter so the new addition doesn't impress me any no matter how elaborate.

I'm not saying Disney doesn't need new things. I just don't "get" Universal. I'm not all about rides though. I'm all escaping reality so I adore the fantasy that Disney has always given me.

So in that, the more people that go to Universal, mean less waiting for me and my family so have at it ;)

P.S.- though I'm not a fan of the FP+ as a Florida Resident. We don't even have bands yet and I think the FL resident AP holders should have been the first.

mickclub1955
01-24-2014, 11:02 AM
I'm the lone one who thinks Disney is still better than Universal. I went once, hated it, will never go back.
Disney by far rocks my socks off, even 15 years later [since moving to Florida and going all the time.]

I don't care for Harry Potter so the new addition doesn't impress me any no matter how elaborate.

I'm not saying Disney doesn't need new things. I just don't "get" Universal. I'm not all about rides though. I'm all escaping reality so I adore the fantasy that Disney has always given me.

So in that, the more people that go to Universal, mean less waiting for me and my family so have at it ;)

P.S.- though I'm not a fan of the FP+ as a Florida Resident. We don't even have bands yet and I think the FL resident AP holders should have been the first.

You are not alone. I love the detail that Disney puts to their attractions. I think everyone on this board loves Disney or they wouldn't be here. I just think most are concerned on where Disney is headed. I agree Disney made a big snafu on the AP issue. I think the way this whole thing was rolled out was one big mess. I do believe though that it will take a long time for UNi/IOA to catch up to an inkling to what Disney is. As Walt said at Disneyland's tenth anniversary "We cannot rest on our laurels." Disney the company needs to heed that warning.

The Hitchhiking Ghost
01-24-2014, 11:10 AM
Well you just got me thinking just how amazing a Firefly Land would be.

/dream

I'm on board with that, loved that short-lived show.

The Hitchhiking Ghost
01-24-2014, 11:19 AM
This is a great thread. Most boards I go on, like IMDb, if you dare criticize something someone loves, wholely cow, it rains down on you like a ton of bricks.

My MJ travel agent had a facebook post with the Universal updates on Diagon Alley, and all I can say is, Disney is in for a serious butt-kicking, and from what I can tell, about their only response can be is "thank you sir, may I have another".

For us, with 3 dd, ages 7-8-11, Universal might still be a few years away as a family. I haven't researched height/age requirements for some of the rides, but I have a feeling my youngest and maybe middle one would be excluded. But I never thought I'd say this, as I was a bit underwhelmed by Universal 10-15 years ago (except for Spidey), but I'm more excited by what Universal is offering than what Disney is. Is the Gringotts ride going to be the same as the Dwarf's mine ride?

Fortunately for us, the whole WDW experience, staying on property, soaking in the surroundings and not just the 4 parks is still part of the allure that I don't yet perceive at Universal but as they would say in Mary Poppins, I think the winds may be a chang'n.

If we pull off a trip late this year, I would give very serious consideration to pulling at least 1 if not 2 days out of Disney for Universal.

disneynarula
01-24-2014, 11:47 AM
I have to agree. We will still go every three or four years but IMHO there are other places to go and spend my money.

I am way annoyed over this new MyMagic whatever. I don't understand why they spent a ton of money on something that wasn't broken yet they don't fix the stuff that is.

Bass T-bone
01-24-2014, 11:58 AM
Yes, and as Disney begins to price themselves out of the market they seem to forget that the public expects a better return for their dollar to boot.

:(

Coach Goofy
01-24-2014, 12:07 PM
We are creatures of habit, so when something new comes along that we don't understand we are HIGHLY skeptical. I say let the Fastpass+ stuff play out. I kind of like the idea of not having to half-sprint and throw elbows at rope drop getting to some of these attractions (like TSM) to get Fast Passes.

I think a lot of these concerns are partly from burnout and oversaturation. I read these boards and see all these posters that go every year, sometimes multiple times a year. The wife and I don't get to go nearly that much and everytime we get to, it's super exciting.

We had early reservations at Crystal Palace and were walking around Main St before park opening one morning. We came upon a group of new CM's that were apparently in some kind of training/orientation tour. We slid ourselves to the edge of the group and listened. We heard the leader of the group say that Disney owned enough land inside the resort to hold 4 more Parks. I don't know if anything is in the works or not, but the space is available.

I'm still holding out for an "Evil Park" that is mostly thrill rides and geared toward us older thrill seekers....kinda like a Disney-themed Cedar Point. All the rides would be associated with the "bad guys" of Disney :thedolls:. Just my opinion, but nobody has asked me yet.

Goes4FastPass
01-24-2014, 01:47 PM
...
I am SO glad I didn't buy DVC...

Of all the things people have said on this thread and others like it this should be the thing that catches somebody's attention.

I can tell you how many times we have stayed at WDW in the past 5 years but what's going on at WDW doesn't lead me to want to commit to going there as often as we have in the past,

I'm still hoping this whole thing will calm down and we'll be saying, "Remember back when they tried that thing where you couldn't get FPs for Soarin and TT on the same days?" "Yeah, that was a short lived mistake."

PirateLover
01-24-2014, 02:00 PM
Stale is exactly the right word. As has been stated, we are all obviously Disney fans to be on this board to begin with. Believe me, we are definitely in that "sucker" class who probably won't STOP going to Disney... but where we previously spent all our days on Disney property, we won't allow ourselves to be stuck in the mouse trap in the future. As was mentioned in this thread, this is what Disney wants- From the Magical Express (Hey, we'll pick up your luggage and transport you for free so you don't even think about renting a car!) to the My Magic + planning every detail of your trip- they are trying to trap people rather than give more reasons to stay. I found Brian Roberts' (Comcast CEO) recent quotes very interesting. He says Comcast Universal is "doubling down on theme parks...We think that there is a lot of 'there' there in the theme-park business for many years to come and that we have a low market share — and only one way to go." Strong words.

Coach Goofy- yes, Disney has lots of land, but they need to work on their current parks before they even think of opening a brand new one.

Terra
01-24-2014, 02:00 PM
You are not alone. I love the detail that Disney puts to their attractions. I think everyone on this board loves Disney or they wouldn't be here. I just think most are concerned on where Disney is headed. I agree Disney made a big snafu on the AP issue. I think the way this whole thing was rolled out was one big mess. I do believe though that it will take a long time for UNi/IOA to catch up to an inkling to what Disney is. As Walt said at Disneyland's tenth anniversary "We cannot rest on our laurels." Disney the company needs to heed that warning.
I get what your saying. And I realize that it's based on opinion too and we all won't agree 100%.

I guess for me, I've been going for 15 years [live 45 minutes from it], one or twice a month [and then some over nighters/vacations] and I'm not sick of it, I don't think it's lacking that badly. It's still an exciting time and I continually discover new things when I go. Again though that's just me.

mrte62
01-24-2014, 02:04 PM
Yes I completely agree. Disney has sunk a $1.5 billion into this RIDICULOUS Fastpass+ nonsense all while Universal is pouring money into top quality attractions and park expansions.

I'm actually struggling to figure out how WDW management doesn't get that they're about to go down in flames? :confused:

I mean, except that they're clueless dolts lol

And what has Iger and company been saying? They are happy with the way things are going. As noted in various earnings calls and statements, reveenue is predicted to increase at WDW because:

1) Prices for food, lodging, entertaiment and admissions are going to continue to increase.

2) Discounts are going to be fewer.

3) Special events with additional costs will be tested and added.

4) Overseas guest visits are increasing, so any flat or downward USA guest trending will be offset.

5) There will be a continued push to maximize revenue on a daily basis from each guest.

So that is what we can all look forward to.

Hammer
01-24-2014, 03:50 PM
I have been reading about all of this mess as well. One theory on another board which kind of makes sense is that Disney doesn't care about the frequent visitors. They are trying to add value to their parks to new visitors by having them "Lock In" attractions, because it adds value. Almost to an "exclusive" mindset. Even on attractions that we don't see as not needing fp. By locking in an attraction it must me a very important attraction. Their idea is "if it is exclusive" families will not want to go anywhere else. That is why we are seeing fp for Fantasmic, parades, and fireworks. We see those as "why would you need a fp for that?" But those who are first time visitors do not know that. Also, for making their attractions seem exclusive these new guests will pay more and stay longer.
That is just what I am reading out there. Disney is sacrificing its loyal guests for new ones.
That's what I've seen as well. I'm sure that marketing has figured that the
new visitors/ once every 4-5 years visitor is what their research has found is the most profitable market segment for WDW. That's why marketing for WDW is different than Disneyland; the demographic is different.



At the end of the day, guest revenue is what really talks. I see a lot of people who claim they're not renewing their APs (some have even made this statement year after year) or they're not going back (again some that have been saying this year after year), but then you pick up in their posts that they've still been going back or they still have an upcoming trip planned. I know some people have legitimately given up on Disney, but until enough people actually follow-through on those threats to stop going that it starts hitting Disney in the pocket-book we shouldn't expect much change.
100% agree.


Well you just got me thinking just how amazing a Firefly Land would be.

/dream

Well, Nathan Fillion does work for Disney now. They have had some funny Firefly references on Castle.

Gator
01-24-2014, 03:50 PM
Well you just got me thinking just how amazing a Firefly Land would be.

/dream

YES!!! Original cast can do the grand opening, if Fillion can get away from Castle for a week.

Gator
01-24-2014, 03:54 PM
I have to say I kinda feel the same way right now. Our last Disney trip, in November, was my least favorite Disney trip ever.

To be fair, we had several newbies with us and they were BLOWN AWAY by everything in Disney. So maybe it is just us. Maybe we have been too often over the past few years and that's why the magic has diminished for us. Maybe a nice, long break is all we need.

It's called the Law of Diminishing Return. The first time you experience something, it's just amazing. The second time can be equal to, or even greater than, the original experience because you know what you're getting and the anticipation alone is a huge source of satisfaction. But after a while, the Return on Investment becomes less and less as you become very familiar with the experience.

I felt the exact same way on my last WDW trip. That's why we went to DL last trip, to experience something new. And it really was fantastic! DL may have broken the WDW addiction - at least for a little while.

joonyer
01-24-2014, 04:47 PM
I'm on board with most of you guys. We still love Disney and always will. But as our boys became teenagers, we started visiting US/IOA also, and I have to say that the big attractions there, especially the new ones, FJ included, blow most of the Disney rides/attraction away. Yes Disney has some fabulous ones, but most of them are old, old, old (Space Mtn., Splash). TSM is the only new one that competes with US/IOA's newer attractions as far as state-of-the-art ride tech and excitement.
I still think that WDW is better at immersing you into the magical fantasy world, but if you are into big coasters and other excitement, then WDW better get busy fast if it wants to lure customers away from US/IOA parks. As of right now, it's the other way around, WDW is losing customers to them.
I too love the grand old favorites of DIsney, like Splash Mountains; (IOA's water flume is not even in the same league), but there's nothing at WDW that compares with Spiderman, Hulk, Dueling Dragons, Mummy, Simpsons, RR&R, Transformers, and expecially Forbidden Journey. And now with the upcoming the Gringott's attraction, Disney's response is the 7 Dwarves mine coaster. I hope it's really good, but it should have been created and opened 20 years ago (Disney's Snow White was 37 years old when MK opened).
They should be opening a new e-ticket attraction every couple of years instead of once every 6-7 years. The last two really good ones, TSM - opened more than 5 years ago, and EE opened 8 years ago. Everything else is over 10 years old or is just a re-working of a previous attraction (Stitch, Monster's Laugh floor, Star Tours, etc.)
I love Disney World, I just wish they'd get on the stick. And I'm hoping the mine coaster will be great, but I'm starting to wonder.

twinboyz
01-24-2014, 05:05 PM
IMHO
I don't have regrets to buying DVC.. We will always vacation somewhat Disney related.:mickey:

I agree.. some things could be improved, changed, new exciting things, however, different strokes for different folks.

If rides are your thing, Universal seems to be the place to go, just not my interest.

All of that being said, we are staying for a week on Disney grounds, however, only headed to one park for one day, compared to the normal 4. I too am a bit disgusted by the bands and the trouble we had with them in October, so were changing things up. We'll head to Clearwater for a day, other Orlando attractions for 3 days, then do our shopping for food/restaurants off the grounds for most of the meals.

I know the little bit we spend will not impact the bottom dollar for Disney, but I am ready for a different kind of Disney vacation.;)

Prudence
01-24-2014, 09:24 PM
We went for a day to ioa and hated it. The Harry potter experience ride was broken and everything else was <snip> for us. Thrill rides or kiddie rides, nothing in between or interesting. Now the extended Harry potter is in the other park and so if we were interested in seeing it we'd. Have to get a pass for both parks since we never even got to see the original ride.

Prudence
01-24-2014, 09:25 PM
I didnt say a bad word, but it blocked it out, so I'll say our visit to ioa was less than pleasant.

RunDMV
01-25-2014, 12:22 PM
Long time lurker here. Been going to Disney every year, at least once a year, since 1989. 35+ visits.

After the debacle of my last trip in November of 12 when the computers went down and I was forced to pay OOP for everything until the computers came back up and my paid off reservations could be accessed, I lost my desire to return. I was treated like a number rather than the loyal customer I was. I haven't been back. (and this coming from a person who ran the marathon 9 years straight.)

Now reading all the less than stellar reviews of FP+ and being totally, completely, and unequivocally against planning every detail of my vacation 180 days out, I have no desire to return to WDW. None. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

I am afraid that TDO has decided they don't give a rip about loyal, return guests (who know how to maximize their enjoyment to dollar ratio) in favor of clueless one time visitors who allow themselves to be raked over the coals for every penny.

i'm grumpy
01-25-2014, 01:51 PM
I have never seen a Harry Potter movie and havenít been to Universal for probably 20 years, but they seem to have the right idea! I find the whole new FP thing confusing and donít have a smart phone. The money spent is just insane. How much merchandise has to be sold to pay for this and the new pop machines!! I donít care about Marvel or Avatarland either. :(

Prudence
01-25-2014, 02:40 PM
The fast pass system at universal is to pay an extra $25 or so per day's ticket to get in express line (no assigned times). When we were there 3 years ago the express lines in the Harry potter section were still 30 minutes or more. Rest of the park wasn't crowded and wouldn't need the express line.

MNNHFLTX
01-25-2014, 03:06 PM
I think a lot of these concerns are partly from burnout and oversaturation. I read these boards and see all these posters that go every year, sometimes multiple times a year. The wife and I don't get to go nearly that much and everytime we get to, it's super exciting.
I understand what you're saying, but burnout and oversaturation are not the reasons that I am choosing Universal as the destination for our next Orlando trip. I would be more than happy to visit the WDW that I love; the carefree place where you can relax and immerse yourself in the magic. But the MME stuff has tainted that experience for me, or at least the way it is right now. I am a planner by nature, but even I think that Disney is forcing people to over-plan and over-complicate their vacations. That is a pretty serious statement coming from someone like me! They've been going that direction for a number of years, it's true, and I've adjusted. But I've finally reached my tipping point. I think it's safe to say that many of us "long-timers" are feeling a bit alienated at the moment, and Universal will help fill the void.

BTW, for those of you that haven't been to Universal in recent years (say, the last five or so), it might be worth it to check it out again. They really do have some phenomenal rides and it sounds like they have plans for more. And truthfully, I am not a Harry Potter fan, but Forbidden Journey is an awesome ride! :thumbsup:

DizneyFreak2002
01-25-2014, 04:12 PM
The fast pass system at universal is to pay an extra $25 or so per day's ticket to get in express line (no assigned times). When we were there 3 years ago the express lines in the Harry potter section were still 30 minutes or more. Rest of the park wasn't crowded and wouldn't need the express line.
Are you sure you were at Islands of Adventure? If you were, you'd know Forbidden Journey does NOT have Express Pass...

Prudence
01-25-2014, 09:12 PM
Are you sure you were at Islands of Adventure? If you were, you'd know Forbidden Journey does NOT have Express Pass...

That ride was broken the entire day I was there, so I didn't know that. I was referring to the two roller coasters in that section. The wait for to just enter a gift shop was over 1/2 hour. This was when it was pretty new though. I hated IOA. We have free passes to go back and we're thinking it's too much of a pain to even bother. Of course, our whole purpose in going was to ride the Harry potter thing and we weren't able to do that.

DizneyFreak2002
01-25-2014, 10:57 PM
That ride was broken the entire day I was there, so I didn't know that. I was referring to the two roller coasters in that section. The wait for to just enter a gift shop was over 1/2 hour. This was when it was pretty new though. I hated IOA. We have free passes to go back and we're thinking it's too much of a pain to even bother. Of course, our whole purpose in going was to ride the Harry potter thing and we weren't able to do that.

If the ride was down all day, I could see the Express Pass being 30 minutes for Dragon Challenge, though that does seem rather high... Especially for the kiddie coaster, Flight of the Hippogriff...

But, since you said this was 3 years ago, I take it you went in 2010/2011 right when the land first opened... The years where IOA saw a 30% and then a 29% increase in attendance... An attendance jump which caught them off guard to be honest... However, since then, they have learned and things have gotten much better...

Despite still being insanely popular, the crowd control has gotten much much better... If you have free passes, go again... You are missing out on the best themed theme park in Orlando... And it will only be getting better!!!!

faberj
01-26-2014, 12:55 AM
I may be alone here, but I love the magic of disney. I think they do an amzaing job with the theming. I am very impressed of what they have done to the Magic Kingdom. The Litte Mermaid ride is awesome! We don't get to Disney all that often either (it is usually several years or more gap between trips) I have been to Universal once (about 6 years ago) and it was ok. I am not a huge thrill ride person so that might be part of it. I also did not feel the Magic at Universal either, felt to me more like a Six Flags theme park. With a 3 yr old DS Universal doesn't offer enough for us as a family to even consdier spending the money to go there. I will go to Legoland and Sea World before I go back to Universal.

ransam
01-26-2014, 01:22 AM
Not a big fan of Universal. I've been there a few times and to be honest very unimpressed.
The park is not very well kept up, a lot of chipping paint, not a very good lay out and not a real family atmosphere.
Harry Potter area was cool. but I couldnt' go on the rides because of my size. I'm big, but not that big. Never had a problem on any disney ride, but couldn't ride any of the rides at Universal.
Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but if you really think that Disney is doing nothing, I think that's crazy.
In the last few years-
A complete new fantasyland that is amazing
Opened up Art of Animation Resort
Completely redid California Adventure
Built an awesome new area in California Adventure in Cars Land
Have updated numerous cues and continue on that.
Updated Stars Tours
Opened up a resort in Hawaii
Started a brand new land in Avitar
announced a complete new update to Animal Kingdom that I have seen the plans and it's amazing
Completing refurbish Downtown Disney, which again, I've seen and it will be awesome.
And continue to put out movies that like Frozen which is amazing.,
Not to mention the customer service is still top notch and the park is beautiful.

I'm really not sure what all you want.

TheVBs
01-26-2014, 10:10 AM
DH and DD13 enjoy thrill rides, DD9 and I do not. We'd love to see Harry Potter world at Universal, but at the moment, it just doesn't have enough to offer the whole family to warrant the price tag. However, we all currently enjoy the immersive experience WDW gives us. There are so many things we all enjoy there. I think this is at least partially an apples to oranges comparison, but take that with a grain of salt since we haven't actually been to Universal.

We don't exclusively vacation at WDW, or Disney properties. I think that's partially key to the level of enjoyment of our WDW trips. If the magic is gone for you, there are so many other places to go that are amazing! Places besides Universal. Places that aren't theme parks. You can create wonderful memories on so many different kinds of trips.

If we ever have a WDW trip that we think wasn't worth the money we paid, or if we thought it had lost the magic, we would simply choose another destination. So far, that hasn't happened. I'm not negating anyone else's experiences, but in return, don't negate ours. We are by no stretch of the imagination Disney "suckers". We still have a wonderful time there, so we continue to go every couple of years. Not singling anyone out, but as a good example, if we ever came to think of it as a "mouse trap" we would never even consider putting our money there.

I don't think there's anything wrong with saying here, if you don't think Disney is earning your money, don't give it to them. Try other destinations, then if you feel like it down the road, try Disney again and see if they've earned your money back. :thumbsup:

DizneyFreak2002
01-26-2014, 11:50 AM
The park is not very well kept up, a lot of chipping paint, not a very good lay out and not a real family atmosphere. For a minute there, I thought you were describing WDW over the last 10-20 years... Cause there are plenty of areas with chipping paint, dead lightbulbs which cause an eyesore, DHS has a terrible lay out, and the family atmosphere is disappearing with rude CMs and horrible, despicable guests...


Harry Potter area was cool. but I couldnt' go on the rides because of my size. I'm big, but not that big. Never had a problem on any disney ride, but couldn't ride any of the rides at Universal.How big are you exactly? You say not that big... Well, i'm a big guy too, and yet I fit into their rides just fine... Dragon Challenge and Hulk have two seats per train for "larger" guests (wider shoulder harnesses) and each "bench" in Potter have two wider seats on the outside of each vehicle to fit larger guests... Again, I fit with no problem in the larger seats... And even Mummy has larger seats, something I just learned this year... I saw a family have to move from the front of the vehicle to the back cause the back of the train had larger seats for the husband/dad...

The OP was talking about, and we are talking about WDW not the Disney company in general... So, with that said, half your list of what Disney is doing can be eliminated...

1. A complete new fantasyland that is amazing - style over substance... Disney used to be about style AND substance... The new Fantasyland area has style, just no substance... BTW, TDO didn't even want the new Fantasyland area... They were force to accept it... And with that, they wanted bare minimum...

2. Opened up Art of Animation Resort - On property which sat rotting for 10 years before they built over priced family suites...

3. Completely redid California Adventure - has nothing to do with WDW..

4. Built an awesome new area in California Adventure in Cars Land - again, has nothing to do with WDW

5. Have updated numerous cues and continue on that. - you mean those annoying interactive queues? The HM one is a travesty and ruins the ambiance of the HM... Remember, the HM is supposed to give the aura of foreboding... That headache inducing, cartoon nonsense takes that away... BTW, they are not going to be "updating" any more queues... The Nextgen nonsense has balloon and has now begun to take money away from other projects...

6. Updated Stars Tours - you mean the Star Tours TDO did not want? You mean the new Star Tours update Burbank forced down TDO's throat? TDO didn't want the new update, and if they had to have it, only wanted a bare minimum refurb... Again, Burbank forced their hand...

7. Opened up a resort in Hawaii - again, nothing to do with WDW...

8. Started a brand new land in Avitar
announced a complete new update to Animal Kingdom that I have seen the plans and it's amazing - Announced 3 years ago and we still have little idea about what is supposed to be in the land... You saw the plans or the concept art? If you work behind the scenes and saw the plans, good for you... if you are talking concept art, well, remember, nothing ever looks like the artist rendering... All they is coming to Avatar is a boat ride and a Soarin clone... Hardly something that makes me want to visit there right now... Maybe they can surprise me, but lately, Disney hasn't surprised anyone... BTW, don't know if you noticed but, other than FP+ and this MyTragic nonsense, Avatar has been met with a load of negativity from the fan base... Not a ringing endorsement I would say...

9. Completing refurbish Downtown Disney, which again, I've seen and it will be awesome. - again, you seen plans or concept art/models? What is so awesome about it? More stores (BTW what stores are coming?)... It is your typical outdoor lifestyle center/mall... Nothing which makes me say HEY I WANNA GO VISIT WDW CAUSE DTD IS GOING TO LOOK SO AWESOME!!! Oh and it only took them what, 5 to 6 years before deciding to do something about the mess that is DTD????

10. And continue to put out movies that like Frozen which is amazing. - again, nothing to do with WDW...

11. Not to mention the customer service is still top notch and the park is beautiful. - Parks have looked much better in the past... Customer Service has dipped extremely low... CMs are much more rude than ever... CMs show they don't care anymore, much more than in the past... WDW's customer service has declined, much like the rest of WDW...

Tekneek
01-26-2014, 11:56 AM
Overall, there has been less and less to do at WDW over the past decade. As the prices started to jump faster and faster, attractions were shuttered and not replaced with anything. We can debate the quality of the current attractions, but the trend of paying more for less is well established. Some feel that a WDW vacation was under-priced before and still offers a competitive value, while others do not.

mom2morgan
01-26-2014, 01:13 PM
I DO love Potter, and we always travel over to Universal for a day or two. But I am so mind-boggled and confused by all this "change" at Disney, and I'm actually THINKING of staying on-site at Universal for 3 days then coming over to Disney for a few. That will be a radical change for me and I don't know if I like it...but it would also let me take advantage of Universal's front of the line privileges. Although I'm against that in principle because I always thought it was elitist...at least it is a little more straightforward!

PirateLover
01-26-2014, 01:23 PM
I'm not negating anyone else's experiences, but in return, don't negate ours. We are by no stretch of the imagination Disney "suckers". We still have a wonderful time there, so we continue to go every couple of years. Not singling anyone out, but as a good example, if we ever came to think of it as a "mouse trap" we would never even consider putting our money there.
:hi: I'm the one that used those terms, and I don't care about being "singled out." Mouse trap was more of a tongue-in-cheek term and I didn't coin it... but honestly, I do feel that is exactly what Disney is focused on with the My Magic stuff. They are interested in NEW guests who will stay exclusively on their property. They know they have us repeat guests hooked and it will take a LOT for us NOT to go back. As has been mentioned, a lot of us complain yet we continue to go back because we still love the ambiance and also, the nostalgic feeling of being back "home."

Tekneek's last post really articulated how we are feeling. We still love Disney, but at Walt Disney World, prices continue to go up but not much is added. That's all. Not negating anyone's experience are calling you suckers- just saying how we are starting to feel when we take a step back and look at this objectively.

Ian
01-26-2014, 02:21 PM
Guys, let's try and refrain from the bullet point-style rebuttals of other folks' posts and the extensive back-and-forth debating.

Make your point once and then let others have their turns. All that ever comes from the debating stuff is hurt feelings, reported posts, and the thread ending up closed.

Prudence
01-26-2014, 02:43 PM
I can see universal being good for a family with teenagers seeking thrill rides. For our family with multi-generations traveling, it didn't offer much. I found the food to be terrible compared to disney parks (especially since I'm a vegetarian) and the workers were very aggressive in trying to sell us meal plans and credit cards as we entered. I like the Spider-Man ride, but that was about it for me - maybe I'd like the other side of universal better than ioa. Couldn't handle the crowds at potter. Just a lousy day and waste of money for us, but I can see it being good for people with different interests.

JerseyDad
01-26-2014, 02:57 PM
:hi: I'm the one that used those terms, and I don't care about being "singled out." Mouse trap was more of a tongue-in-cheek term and I didn't coin it... but honestly, I do feel that is exactly what Disney is focused on with the My Magic stuff. They are interested in NEW guests who will stay exclusively on their property. They know they have us repeat guests hooked and it will take a LOT for us NOT to go back. As has been mentioned, a lot of us complain yet we continue to go back because we still love the ambiance and also, the nostalgic feeling of being back "home."

Tekneek's last post really articulated how we are feeling. We still love Disney, but at Walt Disney World, prices continue to go up but not much is added. That's all. Not negating anyone's experience are calling you suckers- just saying how we are starting to feel when we take a step back and look at this objectively.

........I too .....am one that "loves" Disney ....and for that reason ....am completely disappointed about the pronounced downturn in service ....and value.

.........as a person that 'discovered' WDW 10 yrs ago at the age of 43 (when we could finally afford to go) .....and returned each year over the those years ....it's absolutely NOT hard to stop going. 2014 will be a year with no WDW trip for us. I was always acutely aware of the premium cost associated with a WDW vacation ......but continued to return each year, because I knew "what I was going to get" for my money. The past 2 years however ....I saw a definitive downturn ....in food, customer service, and upkeep. Our last trip in August .....was the first time ever ...that I returned home angry ....because I felt as if I was ripped off. The 'value' ...was not there.

.....for those experiencing WDW for the 1st time ...it will always feel like the best thing since sliced bread. However, to a frequent visitor ...who remembers when the bread was freshly baked, freshly sliced, and its enticing aroma permeated every corner of every venue ....it's now a leftover slice that's become quite stale.

....in a tough economy .....I don't think it'll be so hard for people to make a choice that will bring them more bang for their buck.

DonaldDuckUSA
01-27-2014, 03:42 PM
We are creatures of habit, so when something new comes along that we don't understand we are HIGHLY skeptical. I say let the Fastpass+ stuff play out. I kind of like the idea of not having to half-sprint and throw elbows at rope drop getting to some of these attractions (like TSM) to get Fast Passes.

I think a lot of these concerns are partly from burnout and oversaturation. I read these boards and see all these posters that go every year, sometimes multiple times a year.

I agree.

DBF and I are not renewing our annual passes, partly because of cost, but partly because of burn out. Don't get me wrong, we still LOVE it, but we are taking a break. I think we've lost some of the magic on our last few trips. We've simply done it all.

I am SO impressed with what Universal has done in the past ten years. SO IMPRESSED. However, maybe it's just me, but the quality is still not there. I rarely (save two rides) get motion sickness at Disney, but I get it on all Universal rides (new HP ride included). To me, Disney still does it better.

Say what you want, but park attendance is exploding. Disney must be doing something right.

We've lost the magic, but give it two years and we'll be kids all over again, Mickey hat and all.

CaptSmee
01-27-2014, 06:22 PM
I was just at Universal this week & even though it was busy, we rode everything in the park, literally (minus the minion ride) in a few hours (wirhout express pass). We saw the Animal Actors & Horror makeup shows & could have left before dinner but I wanted to stick around to watch the nighttime show.

My point being sure Disney has half day parks, but neither Universal park is a full day park. Do I still enjoy them, sure I do. There's some good stuff there.

My only other observation about the Universal park this week is that there is absolutely no theming left to the park now (minus the simpsons section). The giant transformers building is so subtle...

Jen1984
01-30-2014, 09:53 AM
I have to say that I'm one of those who love Universal, and any trip for my family wouldn't be complete without spending at least two days there. I'm certainly not a thrill ride person (I get scared by Splash/Space Mountain and have still yet to go on EE) but I do love the rides in Universal. I can never understand it when people say there is nothing to do in Universal. Despicable Me, Shrek 4D, ET, the Simpsons, Transformers, Mummy, Men in Black, Disaster, Terminator, Rip Ride Rockit (which obviously I wouldn't even contemplate going on) plus a couple of shows. On a rough estimate, I'd say at least 6 of those are from the last 10 years, not to mention IOA, and the future HP update. Every time we travel there it seems like there is something new, big and exciting to look forward to.

We're heading back to WDW in March, and we're staying on site- I had fierce opposition from DBF as we could have stayed at Universal's RPR for the same money as POFQ, with some extra benefits (FOTL pass), but I love the atmosphere of Disney, particularly Epcot. Fastpass+ isn't such an issue for us, we do usually prefer to head to the theme parks later on in the day, so to have those guaranteed rides is a big plus point for us, so that certainly isn't the reason we're spending time at Universal. I do also find the restaurant standards and theming a lot more enjoyable at Disney, (at US/IOA only Tchoup Tchoup wowed us), but I'm sure there are plenty of naysayers to disagree with that! I'm not one for the DDP, and I only book a couple of ADR's but we still manage to eat very well.

I suppose my (very long-winded!) point is that I completely agree with the OP that Universal is fantastic and spends money where it counts for the consumer, but Disney certainly still does have a place for me!

zipadeedoodah
01-30-2014, 11:06 AM
I am a die-hard WDW fan, but I have to agree unfortunately, with these rants. I am less than enthused with the directions that Disney has been choosing to go in WDW lately. Fastpass+ just sounds like a mess. (I leave tomorrow for a WDW/Universal trip, so I will report back on what my opinions are) So far, my disappointments haven't begun to keep me from wanting to go back each and every year, however I do see that happening eventually if they continue down this path. I spent thousands of dollars each year at WDW, and more and more often, I am finding myself leaving the parks feeling frustrated instead of having a magical experience. Maybe somebody needs to print off these comments and send them to Disney. :thumbsup:

jclightchasr
01-30-2014, 11:19 AM
I'm one of the few people that could care less about Harry Potter :confused:
I do look forward to what Disney has upcoming & think that the competition from universal will push them to develop more

No you are not IMO (and this only applies to me not others) I consider Universal blasphemous.

joonyer
01-30-2014, 06:18 PM
Maybe some people are not fans of Harry Potter, but millions of people are. And at any rate the point is that Universal is spending $billions on new "state-of the art" attractions and supporting themed areas that attract new customers away from other theme parks. Whether you like the story behind them or not, those new attractions are immensely popular. There is certainly an advantage for WDW purists in the short term, if significantly more WDW guests start visiting other theme parks. That just leaves more WDW for the rest of us. But that is not good for WDW in the long term.

Yes, Disney has spent millions on some new attractions and themed areas (new Fantasyland) but let's face the facts. In the current times, the tales of Harry Potter are way more popular than Beauty and the Beast or Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Disney is counting on spending billions on new technology that is supposed to make visiting its theme parks easier, but so far seems to be frustrating its repeat customers. I have always loved WDW and still do, so I am hoping this all works out differently than it seems right to be now and ends up making WDW even better than it used to be. My fingers are crossed.

tomwitham
01-30-2014, 07:45 PM
Well you just got me thinking just how amazing a Firefly Land would be.

/dream

I'll be in my bunk.

Prudence
01-31-2014, 04:46 PM
I've never been to the first park at universal, so maybe I'd like that better than ioa. Would've chosen that park if they had told us the main Harry potter ride was out of commission before we entered.

MrPeetrie
02-01-2014, 10:55 PM
.. WDW IS STALE!!!! And will remain that way cause Iger, Staggs, Meg, and the rest of the brainless morons just don't care about WDW...

I'd LOVE to see John Lasseter take over the helm at Disney. He has the Midas touch! He's a "Parks" guys! He loves Disney! And he's got his finger on the pulse of the public.