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  1. #1
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    Default Splash Mountain Makeover - It's time for a change. Walt would agree.

    At the risk of infuriating some of you, I completely understand not wanting it to change. You love it just the way it is, and we're never going to get it back once it's gone. I get it.

    My wife and I have been watching The Imagineering Story on Disney+, and we just watched episode 5, which talks about Bob Iger's time as CEO and a bunch of the changes to various parks, such as the DCA makeover and introduction of Cars Land.

    But there is one segment where they talk about a change made to IASW at DL, where they introduced classic Disney characters into the ride and how much hate and vitriol was spewed by fans. Finally Marty Sklar had to write an open letter to calm people down. They had just introduced Captain Jack Sparrow to POTC, and now this change to IASW and people were just *upset*.

    Here's what he had to say: https://thedisneyblog.com/2008/04/04...-sklar-letter/

    If you're unhappy with the change, I suggest you read his letter. It's OK to miss a beloved ride. But we can't just keep things the same forever. And Walt wouldn't want us to.
    2002 - 2017: 20+ visits (POR, BW, All Stars, VWL, CSR, BLT, BC, SSR, CB, Dolphin, OKW, offsite x4)
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  4. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by azcavalier View Post
    At the risk of infuriating some of you, I completely understand not wanting it to change. You love it just the way it is, and we're never going to get it back once it's gone. I get it.

    My wife and I have been watching The Imagineering Story on Disney+, and we just watched episode 5, which talks about Bob Iger's time as CEO and a bunch of the changes to various parks, such as the DCA makeover and introduction of Cars Land.

    But there is one segment where they talk about a change made to IASW at DL, where they introduced classic Disney characters into the ride and how much hate and vitriol was spewed by fans. Finally Marty Sklar had to write an open letter to calm people down. They had just introduced Captain Jack Sparrow to POTC, and now this change to IASW and people were just *upset*.

    Here's what he had to say: https://thedisneyblog.com/2008/04/04...-sklar-letter/

    If you're unhappy with the change, I suggest you read his letter. It's OK to miss a beloved ride. But we can't just keep things the same forever. And Walt wouldn't want us to.
    Marty's words not Walts and,, that was very old disney, not new disney/current disney. But nice post.
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  5. #3
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    I can't say I like the Disney characters put into It's A Small World. I don't like the addition of Pirates of the Caribbean movie stuff into the ride. I don't like the Frozen theme that replaced Maelstrom.

    Missing one beloved ride may be ok, but when you transform everything into a whole new park, I have no reason to return. I kept going back, because I liked the things they had. If I wanted a whole new park, I would go somewhere that charges me a whole lot less.
    I'll meet you at the Rainbow Bridge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cinderelley View Post
    I can't say I like the Disney characters put into It's A Small World. I don't like the addition of Pirates of the Caribbean movie stuff into the ride. I don't like the Frozen theme that replaced Maelstrom.

    Missing one beloved ride may be ok, but when you transform everything into a whole new park, I have no reason to return. I kept going back, because I liked the things they had. If I wanted a whole new park, I would go somewhere that charges me a whole lot less.
    Then I think, respectfully, you don't understand Walt Disney's vision. He didn't want things to stay the same. He wanted things to change. Part of what drives the Imagineers is this idea that while we honor the successes of the past. We can't consider them sacred. Then the parks become museums, become stale, and remain stagnant. As the Imagineer Tom Morris said, "Disneyland and all Disney Parks defy entropy. They get better every time you go." (Because of the idea of "plussing" that Walt held to.) Disneyland is far better than it was when it opened 60 years ago. My wife and I went to Disneyland in 1996 for our first anniversary, and we went back last October with our three children. It was better this time. Improved. Awesome.

    For certain, there are changes that have been made that I don't like. I don't like the Nightmare Before Christmas overlay of the Haunted Mansion in DL that they do each year. I don't like the changed Pirate Wench Auction scene to be the redhead woman in charge. I don't like that the stores on the side of Main Street USA in the MK are one long, generic apparel store instead of having different, specialized themes like they used to. I don't like that Be Our Guest and Le Cellier Restaurants are now Signature Dining only. I don't like Soarin' Around the World as much as Soarin' Over California.

    However, the things that they have changed that I DO like far outweigh the changes that I don't. I miss the old Soarin' and Maelstrom. I'll miss the Fountain of Nations and Club Cool. I'll really miss O'Canada with Martin Short when they get the update in place. I'll miss the original Splash Mountain.

    However, how can we as fans, on the one hand, complain when they never do anything to bring the parks up-to-date or to compete with Universal, and then on the other hand complain when they DO change the rides and try to modernize the parks with new and interesting attractions. Maybe these are two different segments of the fanbase, but on these message boards, it's frustrating to see all of the negativity to matter what Disney decides to do. They're damned (and cheap, and out of touch) if they don't update stuff, and they're damned when they do (messing with classic attractions that fans consider sacred).

    Remember that the Imagineers are more than fans. They're fans (and, yes, employees) whose entire lives revolve around these parks. They are far more creative than I ever will be, and I love to see what they will come up with next.
    2002 - 2017: 20+ visits (POR, BW, All Stars, VWL, CSR, BLT, BC, SSR, CB, Dolphin, OKW, offsite x4)
    DL - 1996, 2019
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    Quote Originally Posted by texas211 View Post
    Marty's words not Walts and,, that was very old disney, not new disney/current disney. But nice post.
    Thanks. If you haven't watched The Imagineering Story, then go watch it. And if you have, go watch episode 5 again. Marty wrote what Walt believed. Also, that letter was only 12 years ago. It's pretty modern Disney.
    2002 - 2017: 20+ visits (POR, BW, All Stars, VWL, CSR, BLT, BC, SSR, CB, Dolphin, OKW, offsite x4)
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    The one thing I can think of to point out is it is simple to know when an attraction has ran it's course and needs change.......the line will be short and few people will go on the attraction. They keep up with all of that and know from those numbers when people do not like an attraction. Splash Mountain is one of the most popular rides in Magic Kingdom in it's current form so people obviously enjoy it just the way it is now.

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  12. #7
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    Excellent post.

    The ride needs to change and I'm glad it will. The lines will still be long for it after the makeover.

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    Quote Originally Posted by azcavalier View Post
    Then I think, respectfully, you don't understand Walt Disney's vision. He didn't want things to stay the same. He wanted things to change. Part of what drives the Imagineers is this idea that while we honor the successes of the past. We can't consider them sacred. Then the parks become museums, become stale, and remain stagnant. As the Imagineer Tom Morris said, "Disneyland and all Disney Parks defy entropy. They get better every time you go." (Because of the idea of "plussing" that Walt held to.) Disneyland is far better than it was when it opened 60 years ago. My wife and I went to Disneyland in 1996 for our first anniversary, and we went back last October with our three children. It was better this time. Improved. Awesome.

    For certain, there are changes that have been made that I don't like. I don't like the Nightmare Before Christmas overlay of the Haunted Mansion in DL that they do each year. I don't like the changed Pirate Wench Auction scene to be the redhead woman in charge. I don't like that the stores on the side of Main Street USA in the MK are one long, generic apparel store instead of having different, specialized themes like they used to. I don't like that Be Our Guest and Le Cellier Restaurants are now Signature Dining only. I don't like Soarin' Around the World as much as Soarin' Over California.

    However, the things that they have changed that I DO like far outweigh the changes that I don't. I miss the old Soarin' and Maelstrom. I'll miss the Fountain of Nations and Club Cool. I'll really miss O'Canada with Martin Short when they get the update in place. I'll miss the original Splash Mountain.

    However, how can we as fans, on the one hand, complain when they never do anything to bring the parks up-to-date or to compete with Universal, and then on the other hand complain when they DO change the rides and try to modernize the parks with new and interesting attractions. Maybe these are two different segments of the fanbase, but on these message boards, it's frustrating to see all of the negativity to matter what Disney decides to do. They're damned (and cheap, and out of touch) if they don't update stuff, and they're damned when they do (messing with classic attractions that fans consider sacred).

    Remember that the Imagineers are more than fans. They're fans (and, yes, employees) whose entire lives revolve around these parks. They are far more creative than I ever will be, and I love to see what they will come up with next.
    It's fine that you feel this way. You just can't expect everyone to feel the same way you do. I just don't. As I said, I go back because of the things I liked. My first Disney trips were to Disneyland in the 1970s. I loved it. Now, not so much. I used to go to a Disney park every year. Now my vacation plans include more non Disney plans than Disney plans.

    I completely disagree with the idea that Disney parks get better each time I go. In fact, after our 2018 trip, my youngest DS said he wouldn't be going back to a Disney park. My oldest DS didn't say that he wouldn't go back, but he is all for exploring new places. My huge Disney fan daughter asked about going to Universal during our next trip in 2023. Everyone agreed that they would rather ride Big Thunder than Seven Dwarves Mine Train.

    I don't complain that the parks aren't "up to date". I go back, because I loved what was there. Going to Universal (or any other theme park for that matter) wasn't a thought for me until they changed a lot of the things I loved about Disney. As I stated before, if I wanted a new park, I would go to a new park and pay a lot less than I do for Disney. Unfortunately, they are putting me into the position of looking for a new park due to the changes they are making.

    You can change things without destroying your history, and there isn't any need to tie every ride in with a movie.
    I'll meet you at the Rainbow Bridge.

  14. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by azcavalier View Post
    Thanks. If you haven't watched The Imagineering Story, then go watch it. And if you have, go watch episode 5 again. Marty wrote what Walt believed. Also, that letter was only 12 years ago. It's pretty modern Disney.
    Marty isn't walt.. and yes, seen it. 12 years ago, ages ago. World and company has changed quite a bit since then. But a circular arguement as the "what walt would" ones tend to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cinderelley View Post
    It's fine that you feel this way. .
    Yeah, removing what is familiar, and doing such a strong job if it, alas the world we live in. I'm waiting for them to take down the castles, replace them with something else. But I don't see going back until a, the wife makes me, and b, that won't be at a minimum until the mask thing goes away, and thats probably a few years off.
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  15. #10
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    Sorry for the long response. Just a lot to unpack here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cinderelley View Post
    It's fine that you feel this way. You just can't expect everyone to feel the same way you do. I just don't.
    Sure. I mean, as I said in another post, I can't stand the Country Bears or the Tiki Room, and others love them because they're "nostalgic". That's cool.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cinderelley View Post
    I used to go to a Disney park every year. Now my vacation plans include more non Disney plans than Disney plans.
    I get this as well. We used to go to Walt Disney World at least once a year, sometimes more. But, we got burned out and we started doing National Parks. Since 2016, we've been to 20 of them all across the country (and the Virgin Islands!) And we haven't been back to Walt Disney World since 2017. We do plan to go back next year when it becomes safe to do so. We miss it. But it's been nice to travel and see a lot of other amazing places.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cinderelley View Post
    I completely disagree with the idea that Disney parks get better each time I go. In fact, after our 2018 trip, my youngest DS said he wouldn't be going back to a Disney park. My oldest DS didn't say that he wouldn't go back, but he is all for exploring new places. My huge Disney fan daughter asked about going to Universal during our next trip in 2023. Everyone agreed that they would rather ride Big Thunder than Seven Dwarves Mine Train.
    And this is where we disagree. While there are certainly things I think have not gotten better (the service isn't as good as I remember), I think that the attractions are much better. 7DMT is the bomb! That thing is so smooth. Love it. It's just too short. Now, having just ridden BTM at DL, that one is better than the one at the MK. So, I would much rather ride the DL version than the MK version. And while I haven't yet been able to ride Rise of the Resistance, every single person I have talked to that has ridden it says it is the BEST ride they've ever been on, hands down. Period. Anywhere. I am so excited to experience it!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cinderelley View Post
    I don't complain that the parks aren't "up to date". I go back, because I loved what was there. Going to Universal (or any other theme park for that matter) wasn't a thought for me until they changed a lot of the things I loved about Disney.
    Fair enough. But when Universal was rolling out the Harry Potter World, many on here did exactly that. They complained that Disney wasn't doing anything to keep up...or what they were doing wasn't good enough. Meaning, that in their eyes, Disney was leaving their parks the way they were, and that wasn't a good plan.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cinderelley View Post
    As I stated before, if I wanted a new park, I would go to a new park and pay a lot less than I do for Disney.
    I have yet to find any other parks that are "a lot less" than Disney while being anywhere close to Disney quality. Here in VA, we have Kings Dominion and Busch Gardens. Kings Dominion has been around since I was a kid, and I used to love it. My daughter has now been there a few times with the band, and I've been a chaperone. My wife and other daughter tagged along, paying for their admission. Day tickets were around $50/piece. But that just gets you in to the park. And, yes, you can ride the rides. But if you want their version of the Fast Pass, it was another $60. Lo and behold, we're all of a sudden paying Disney prices for a much lower quality experience. And the food is terrible as well. And they don't do *anything* to keep the lines moving, etc, etc. I'm a firm believer in "you get what you pay for". And I think that Disney does it right. I've been to a couple of Six Flags, Sea World, Busch Gardens, and Kings Dominion/Kings Island. They're fun for a day, but they're not Disney, yet they're also not cheap.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cinderelley View Post
    You can change things without destroying your history, and there isn't any need to tie every ride in with a movie.
    I would be remiss if I didn't point out that Splash Mountain was already tied to a movie. Or that Disney still has lots of rides that aren't tied to movies, such as Soarin, Spaceship Earth, Test Track, Mission: Space, Kali River Rapids, Expedition Everest, Space Mountain (in the MK, at least), BTMRR, Jungle Cruise (for the time being), etc. But I get that it seems like they're not developing new stuff that isn't tied to an existing property. Was Soarin' the last one of these? Or Test Track?
    2002 - 2017: 20+ visits (POR, BW, All Stars, VWL, CSR, BLT, BC, SSR, CB, Dolphin, OKW, offsite x4)
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  16. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by texas211 View Post
    Marty isn't walt.. and yes, seen it. 12 years ago, ages ago. World and company has changed quite a bit since then.
    No one is Walt Disney. But I still think that those Imagineers who KNEW Walt and worked directly with him get what he wanted a little better than you or I, or any other average Disney fan. So I'll trust he knows what he's talking about.

    The company has certainly grown in the last 12 years, but I don't think that the idea/focus of the Parks has. I think that Bob Iger really started bringing the Disney Parks back on track to the way they used to be, like when Michael Eisner and Frank Wells were in charge. Once Frank Wells died, Michael lost focus it seems. And I think that it's taken until Bob Iger fixed California Adventure for things to start getting better (in the parks). Although FP+ sure was a huge mistake. Ugh.
    2002 - 2017: 20+ visits (POR, BW, All Stars, VWL, CSR, BLT, BC, SSR, CB, Dolphin, OKW, offsite x4)
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  17. #12
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    Cinderelley and texas211, I hope you both realize that I'm not trying to be argumentative or contrary. I appreciate you both taking the time to engage and have a good conversation about it. Truly!
    2002 - 2017: 20+ visits (POR, BW, All Stars, VWL, CSR, BLT, BC, SSR, CB, Dolphin, OKW, offsite x4)
    DL - 1996, 2019
    Next up - Who knows?? :(

  18. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by azcavalier View Post
    Cinderelley and texas211, I hope you both realize that I'm not trying to be argumentative or contrary. I appreciate you both taking the time to engage and have a good conversation about it. Truly!
    No worries from me. It is always good to see other people's opinions.
    I'll meet you at the Rainbow Bridge.

  19. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by azcavalier View Post
    Then I think, respectfully, you don't understand Walt Disney's vision. He didn't want things to stay the same. He wanted things to change. Part of what drives the Imagineers is this idea that while we honor the successes of the past. We can't consider them sacred. Then the parks become museums, become stale, and remain stagnant. As the Imagineer Tom Morris said, "Disneyland and all Disney Parks defy entropy. They get better every time you go." (Because of the idea of "plussing" that Walt held to.) Disneyland is far better than it was when it opened 60 years ago. My wife and I went to Disneyland in 1996 for our first anniversary, and we went back last October with our three children. It was better this time. Improved. Awesome.

    For certain, there are changes that have been made that I don't like. I don't like the Nightmare Before Christmas overlay of the Haunted Mansion in DL that they do each year. I don't like the changed Pirate Wench Auction scene to be the redhead woman in charge. I don't like that the stores on the side of Main Street USA in the MK are one long, generic apparel store instead of having different, specialized themes like they used to. I don't like that Be Our Guest and Le Cellier Restaurants are now Signature Dining only. I don't like Soarin' Around the World as much as Soarin' Over California.

    However, the things that they have changed that I DO like far outweigh the changes that I don't. I miss the old Soarin' and Maelstrom. I'll miss the Fountain of Nations and Club Cool. I'll really miss O'Canada with Martin Short when they get the update in place. I'll miss the original Splash Mountain.

    However, how can we as fans, on the one hand, complain when they never do anything to bring the parks up-to-date or to compete with Universal, and then on the other hand complain when they DO change the rides and try to modernize the parks with new and interesting attractions. Maybe these are two different segments of the fanbase, but on these message boards, it's frustrating to see all of the negativity to matter what Disney decides to do. They're damned (and cheap, and out of touch) if they don't update stuff, and they're damned when they do (messing with classic attractions that fans consider sacred).

    Remember that the Imagineers are more than fans. They're fans (and, yes, employees) whose entire lives revolve around these parks. They are far more creative than I ever will be, and I love to see what they will come up with next.
    So I was thinking about this today. Granted, I'm not a Disney history expert, but I don't think Walt ever changed what existed to put something new in its place. He always expanded - like buying the land for Disney World. Didn't he say something about now having the land to do all of their ideas? If he wanted to continually change things, wouldn't he have just torn down what he built to make room for his new ideas?
    I'll meet you at the Rainbow Bridge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by azcavalier View Post
    Cinderelley and texas211, I hope you both realize that I'm not trying to be argumentative or contrary. I appreciate you both taking the time to engage and have a good conversation about it. Truly!
    AZ, do you know who Paul Harvey or Cecil B Demille? Paul Harvey used to read pages of the news and then say what page he was on and Demille, long movies... Are you related to them
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    1998 Dixie Landings
    1990's, Dixie Landings, Misc Offsite

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    Quote Originally Posted by azcavalier View Post

    I have yet to find any other parks that are "a lot less" than Disney while being anywhere close to Disney quality. Here in VA, we have Kings Dominion and Busch Gardens. Kings Dominion has been around since I was a kid, and I used to love it. My daughter has now been there a few times with the band, and I've been a chaperone. My wife and other daughter tagged along, paying for their admission. Day tickets were around $50/piece. But that just gets you in to the park. And, yes, you can ride the rides. But if you want their version of the Fast Pass, it was another $60. Lo and behold, we're all of a sudden paying Disney prices for a much lower quality experience. And the food is terrible as well. And they don't do *anything* to keep the lines moving, etc, etc. I'm a firm believer in "you get what you pay for". And I think that Disney does it right. I've been to a couple of Six Flags, Sea World, Busch Gardens, and Kings Dominion/Kings Island. They're fun for a day, but they're not Disney, yet they're also not cheap.
    This is another point we will have to disagree on. I feel that "Disney quality" is not Disney quality any more. We have a place here that I can pay $50 for the ultimate ticket and enjoy it just as much as I would enjoy a day at Disney - rides, miniature golf, video games, fewer people, less money. They started out as a little miniature golf place when I was in high school. They've grown as I've gotten older. All the things I used to love are still there and new things to try. Plus, the employees there know exactly what is going on and when. It is hit or miss whether anyone at Disney knows what is going on around there.
    I'll meet you at the Rainbow Bridge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cinderelley View Post
    So I was thinking about this today. Granted, I'm not a Disney history expert, but I don't think Walt ever changed what existed to put something new in its place. He always expanded - like buying the land for Disney World. Didn't he say something about now having the land to do all of their ideas? If he wanted to continually change things, wouldn't he have just torn down what he built to make room for his new ideas?
    Yeah, impossible to say. I don't think he was around long enough for us to know for sure, I suppose. But I know that somewhere in one of the episodes of "The Imagineering Story" one of the Imagineers talked about how Walt didn't want anyone to go back and change any of his movies, but he wanted change in the park.
    2002 - 2017: 20+ visits (POR, BW, All Stars, VWL, CSR, BLT, BC, SSR, CB, Dolphin, OKW, offsite x4)
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    Quote Originally Posted by texas211 View Post
    AZ, do you know who Paul Harvey or Cecil B Demille? Paul Harvey used to read pages of the news and then say what page he was on and Demille, long movies... Are you related to them
    Oh, I know Paul Harvey. I'm almost 50. "And now you know....the REST of the story."
    2002 - 2017: 20+ visits (POR, BW, All Stars, VWL, CSR, BLT, BC, SSR, CB, Dolphin, OKW, offsite x4)
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    I think I tend to be somewhere in the middle on all of this when it comes to change. For the most part, I really like when the change is the result of adding something new. I think Pandora was a great and needed addition to Animal Kingdom. I am excited about Tron, Ratatouille, and the Star Wars stuff. I was pleasantly surprised by the Slinky Dog ride. I personally think 7DMT is a bit overrated, but a good addition nonetheless. However, I generally don't like when things are destroyed or significantly changed that don't need to be. Did adding Captain Jack Sparrow really have any significant effect on POTC in terms of popularity or ride quality? I agree with 1DisneyNut that there is a difference between replacing or enhancing a ride that is not popular anymore (after all, Disney is a business) and spending the money to change an existing classic ride that is still extremely popular. I loved Horizons (one of my favorites) and think it was far superior to Mission Space, but also realize that it was not drawing many people (and apparently had structural problems). Splash definitely is still extremely popular.

    We still enjoy Disney World, but our level of enjoyment has declined over the years. We do like the added attractions, but with FP+, you cannot enjoy them as frequently over the course of a vacation. I refuse to wait 2 hours plus for a ride. The spontaneity has been greatly reduced. The food has seemed to get more generic (I attribute this to the Dining Plan), although there are some signs of improvement in this area. And, I do believe the customer service is not what it used to be.

    My biggest gripe is that for the longest time Disney seemed to have spent a lot of money trying to figure out how to get customers to spend even more money without improving the experience significantly. They seemed to go away from the model of spending money to be the best and build the best. I am extremely grateful to Universal for upping the competition and forcing Disney World to add the new experiences. I just wish it didn't take so long for them to complete these projects (and now with Covid, it will take even longer).

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