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Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
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    Default Is the “Magic” Still There?

    My son (10YO) and I went to Walt Disney World last October. Because of all the restrictions and cut-backs, it was a fairly unenjoyable vacation. One of the few at WDW. We had several issues arise and I wrote to complain. I received correspondence, but nothing more than, “I’ll pass these issues on to upper management.”

    I still love WDW (waning) and follow many posts and video reports. It appears WDW is moving away from Customer-Service oriented to Bottom-Line oriented, which comes at the expense of customer service. Is that what recent visitors are noticing?

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  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrPeetrie View Post
    My son (10YO) and I went to Walt Disney World last October. Because of all the restrictions and cut-backs, it was a fairly unenjoyable vacation. One of the few at WDW. We had several issues arise and I wrote to complain. I received correspondence, but nothing more than, “I’ll pass these issues on to upper management.”

    I still love WDW (waning) and follow many posts and video reports. It appears WDW is moving away from Customer-Service oriented to Bottom-Line oriented, which comes at the expense of customer service. Is that what recent visitors are noticing?
    Honestly don't know the right answer here. So, I would imagine that some of the magic is gone for cast members as they have seen many of their colleagues be let go over the past year and a half. It's got to be tough right now as they are probably understaffed and with all the restrictions that were in place previously, overburdened by disappointed guests. So - I feel for the working folk who have stuck it out all this time - only to be dumped on by guests for something that's not their fault.

    Management wise, I think this has been hard on many businesses navigating the tough waters. That said, prices keep increasing and right now, you are getting less for that price. Things are getting back to crowded levels and a lot of the cuts remain.

    I am hopeful in the coming weeks and months, things get back to normal - but Eiger said it himself - that this was a chance for them to reshape their business. So normal may not look like it once did. Things like fastpasses as we knew may not come back. Scheduling parks may be what we're left with (lets hope not).

    Time will tell... as a for profit company, things have certainly pushed towards maximizing profit. I for one would like to see a balance between making shareholders happy and keeping things within the affordability range of the regular joe.
    John - aka. The Master Control Program
    Owner, Chairman & Chief Imagination Officer - INTERCOT

  4. #3
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    “Mickey Views,” a young kid with a video blog, seems to have his ear to the ground and is usually pretty accurate. He said, pre-Covid, Disney believed the guest had all the power. Not enough buses? Complain and they addressed it. Upset at customer service? Complain and they addressed it.

    Post Covid, they realize THEY have all the power. Cut back the buses, they still come. Remove fireworks, they still come. Take away parades, meet-and-greets, they still come. Put them on hold for four hours, they still come. Whatever we do to them, they still come.

    The days of Disney being the gold standard for customer service are over (for now.) No more “free” stuff. Make them pay. (I argue NOTHING was “free.” Everything was factored into the price.)

    I understand they took a huge financial hit. My tiny business saw revenues drop $200,000 in 2020. I’m Still recovering. But in not cutting back on any service!!

    This new model feels like short-term gain, long-term disaster. The “Magic” was making each guest feel like their personal experience was priority among 40,000 people each day. Lose the “Magic,” lose the guests’ loyalty!!

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  6. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrPeetrie View Post
    “Mickey Views,” a young kid with a video blog, seems to have his ear to the ground and is usually pretty accurate. He said, pre-Covid, Disney believed the guest had all the power. Not enough buses? Complain and they addressed it. Upset at customer service? Complain and they addressed it.

    Post Covid, they realize THEY have all the power. Cut back the buses, they still come. Remove fireworks, they still come. Take away parades, meet-and-greets, they still come. Put them on hold for four hours, they still come. Whatever we do to them, they still come.

    The days of Disney being the gold standard for customer service are over (for now.) No more “free” stuff. Make them pay. (I argue NOTHING was “free.” Everything was factored into the price.)

    I understand they took a huge financial hit. My tiny business saw revenues drop $200,000 in 2020. I’m Still recovering. But in not cutting back on any service!!

    This new model feels like short-term gain, long-term disaster. The “Magic” was making each guest feel like their personal experience was priority among 40,000 people each day. Lose the “Magic,” lose the guests’ loyalty!!
    That is the corporate profit model in all it's glory. We all know what happens to pretty much every big corporation that starts focusing almost entirely on profits. The customers get a bad taste in their mouth at some point finally and turn away. Once you turn them away, it is usually very difficult to win most of them back. Have they hit that point yet? No, it doesn't look like it but they sure are tap dancing on most of us long time, repeat customers nerves here lately. I have cut way back on my trips.

  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1DisneyNut View Post
    ...I have cut way back on my trips.
    DisneyNut, I, as well, have cut back my trips. I still love Disney World and I’m sure I’ll come back at some point, but currently I’m not feeling the customer appreciation I once felt. The “Magic” of WDW was despite 40,000 people in a park, I was made to feel as though MY HAPPINESS was paramount. And that same “Magic” was spread about the remaining park goers, make each feel as though their happiness was paramount. The money was freely handed over because each was made to feel special. Now, I feel viewed as a “cash cow” for them. Nothing more.

    These changes usually have short-term gain in the balance sheets, followed by huge losses long term. Then a rebirth will happen; a rededication to customer service. They will rediscover their roots, their greatness — their “Magic.” Hope I’m still around.

  8. #6
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    I guess that's why Baskin Robbins has 47 flavors. People's love for Disney may wax and wane, but I'd say Disney and Mickey Mouse are about as American as apple pie. Do I need to visit WDW every year? No. Is maybe every three to four years good for us to see what's new and relive some of that magic? Yes.

    I've got to say that right not I'm not trilled with some of Disney's messaging (be it ABC, ESPN or otherwise). I also agree that the prices are rising, but so is the cost of nearly everything else and there are options for a variety of budgets. However, I've got to say that our last visit about a month ago was probably our best to date. Despite some limited options and hours, we had a really great time!

    To each his own I guess, but I bet I'll still be headed to central FL and visiting WDW well into my golden years. Heck, I'll probably still be on this site so long as John and his crew are kind enough to host.
    Beth & David

    09/82 Treehouse Villas, 06/86 BVP, 10/95 CBR, 10/99 DI, 08/03 PORS, 10/05 POP, 11/06 AKL, 09/09 POLY, 10/10 Wonder, 05/11 Dream/PORS, 08/13 POLY, 11/13 GF, 04/15 POLY, 11/15 BLT, 11/16 Aulani, 03/17 BLT, 08/18 BLT, 07/19 AKL, 06/21 BLT

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  10. #7
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    This has been a discussion that rears up every so often on here, and I used to defend Walt Disney World and the "magic" quite vigorously. But, I agree that I think that Walt Disney World is pushing the limit these days.

    That said, we went with a group of 16 people in May, and we had a great time. We didn't miss the FastPasses, and we certainly loved the online ordering for food. But, with 16 people and all of the buffets closed, we mainly ate quick service.

    I hated FP+ with a burning passion, and I'm glad that they're taking this opportunity to reshape that part of the guest experience. Honestly, I like what they do at Disneyland with MaxPass, and I'd pay an add-on fee for that.

    All of that said, we have a week-long trip to WDW planned for January (just me and the wife), and that is likely to be our last trip for a while. The only reason we're going in Jan is because we have APs (bought pre-Covid and activated for the trip this past May), and we have DVC points that are going to expire. Going forward, our daughter plans to use the DVC points in two years for a post-High School graduation trip with friends, and then our other daughter would like to use the points a few years after that to take some of her good friends. We'll go back, for sure, but it could be years before we do. There are just so many other things we want to see and experience. A trip to Alaska. Another to the Pacific Northwest. Hawai'i. I really want to go to Europe and see some castles (not Disney castles!). Maybe even New Zealand. Definitely want to go to Samoa. Disney just doesn't fit in to the picture for the foreseeable future.
    2002 - 2017: 20+ visits (POR, BW, All Stars, VWL, CSR, BLT, BC, SSR, CB, Dolphin, OKW, offsite x4)
    DL - 1996, 2019
    Next up - May 2021 offsite

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  12. #8
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    @AZCAVALIER, I'm with you 100% on all three points you brought up.

    I would never stand in line for quick serve, especially at a park. Online ordering is the way to go!

    We too did not miss FP+. It will be a shame to see that proposed "pay to play" passes coming online.

    We're also thinking about exploring other aspects of DVC. Definitely a trip back to Aulani, maybe combined with another stay elsewhere in Hawai'i or trips to HHI or VB. Lots to see!
    Beth & David

    09/82 Treehouse Villas, 06/86 BVP, 10/95 CBR, 10/99 DI, 08/03 PORS, 10/05 POP, 11/06 AKL, 09/09 POLY, 10/10 Wonder, 05/11 Dream/PORS, 08/13 POLY, 11/13 GF, 04/15 POLY, 11/15 BLT, 11/16 Aulani, 03/17 BLT, 08/18 BLT, 07/19 AKL, 06/21 BLT

  13. #9
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    For me, the "magic" is what I make it. I don't expect CMs to make it 'more' magical, but appreciate it when they do - even in their normal greetings/queue management/custodial jobs. FP is nice, but not necessary (for most things!) to add to the magic.

    Yes, there are some things that have been 'taken away' over the past few years, but the magic is still there, and will be, as long as I carry it in with me. Maybe I am wearing the 'rose tinted glasses' and maybe I just appreciate the ability to 'lose' myself and revert to being a big kid again.

    No, it is not the same place I first visited 18 years ago, but there are both positives and negatives in the differences. The point, for me, is to NOT focus on the negatives and fully enjoy the positives.
    -Bud

    Walt Disney World:
    9/03 - CBR
    1/09 - BWV
    9/05; 2/07; 12/07; 9/08; 9/09; 9/10; 9/11; 12/13; 12/17; 4/18; 10/18 - PC
    5/15 - POR

    Disneyland: 12/15 - Paradise Pier Hotel

    Next up: WDW - Jan. 2022 - PC

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  15. #10
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    The magic isn't gone for me yet but it's getting there. It's not the same place me and my family fell in love with. We are currently in Disney World and they have stripped it to the bare bones and just keep letting more and more people into the park.

    For example, we drove due to lack of certainty with flying with lack of crew. So we are driving to the parks. The fact that they don't have trams running is ridiculous. Walking to and from the TTC in the hot Florida sun is not a fun task. Then the park reservations system is a complete joke. I had to reserve my "reservation" a month or more ago but as I walk into the park they are allowing people to purchase tickets and enter the park that day!

    We also go for the food just as much as the rides etc. So many of our favorite food and desserts are no where to be found, which is extremely disappointing. I get it, again lack of staff but to be honest I always thought Disney didn't use it's resources effectively, now it's more visible. Everywhere I turn I see one person working and one or 2 people talking in their ear no doing anything. Whether that be in the parking lot or managing the crowds in queue. Also why do they need 5 people at every possible exit of the park when you are leaving?

    Finally, fast pass.... I don't even know where to begin with this. I think this is where I magic was taken away from us the most. We have been to Disneyland and World so many times and rode all the rides so many times we typically do our 3 fast passes for the major rides and fill in when lines are short for anything else and if possible book more fast passes. 80 minutes for haunted mansion is CRAZY! I have never seen it like that ever! Also the nice part about Disney world queues is that they are mostly inside or mostly shaded. But with no fast pass and these huge crowds and whatever other BS Disney feeds you the crowds extend what seems like miles down pathways. I saw slinky dog extend past one man's dream the other day.

    If things keep up at this pace and if the rumors are true with paid fast pass, my family and I are going to be looking for other options for our vacation. We have been considering a Disney cruise so this may force our hands. I understand things are different since it's a "pandemic" but Disney seems to be using it as an excuse to cut everything to the bare minimum and charging more and turning the screws on their guests. They are packing the park and not giving you any of the perks they used to. It's a money grab at this point. Why would they ever bring back fast pass, parking lot trams or any of that stuff if people are still coming at record numbers without it?

    Sent from my Pixel 3a XL using Tapatalk
    August 1989- Caribbean Beach Resort
    July 1996- Swan
    July 1998- Contemporary Resort
    May 2010- Boardwalk
    October 2011-POP!
    June 2013 - Off Property
    July 2014- Off Property
    October 2014 - AKL
    April 2015 - POP!
    June 2015 - ?

  16. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hog View Post
    We have been considering a Disney cruise so this may force our hands.
    DCL is a good alternative, but still top dollar! Good post Hog! Bring back Michael Eisner?
    Beth & David

    09/82 Treehouse Villas, 06/86 BVP, 10/95 CBR, 10/99 DI, 08/03 PORS, 10/05 POP, 11/06 AKL, 09/09 POLY, 10/10 Wonder, 05/11 Dream/PORS, 08/13 POLY, 11/13 GF, 04/15 POLY, 11/15 BLT, 11/16 Aulani, 03/17 BLT, 08/18 BLT, 07/19 AKL, 06/21 BLT

  17. #12
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    I feel like switching to a Disney cruise doesn't send them the right message. It's still putting money in their pockets.
    With that being said, cruising is awesome, and I think you'll have a great time.
    I'll meet you at the Rainbow Bridge.

  18. #13
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    The magic is still there. The multiple-repeat guests will surely notice the changes and have opinions. Yes, they will still come back and they will lament over the missing magic. Maybe they will skip a future trip or split it with a few days at Universal. Maybe management is OK with this for a few years, since business models seldom go beyond 3 years before being adjusted. Like another person said, we make our own magic. My fondest memories are just the joy of having my family growing up with the parks over the span of childhood to adulthood. Yes, Disney supplied a lot of that magic, but so did we.

    What I wonder about is the first-timers that are wowed by everything through fresh eyes, but are still "once and done" because of the cost/benefit. Indifferent CMs, pay for everything, pay to park, limited options, etc. may affect the likelihood of the "bounce back" return visit. They lack the historical experiences that keep many of us coming back.

    I do think that management has this figured in their decision making, as job # 1 for them is to maximize corporate profit and shareholder dividends. And I do think the investment in park infrastructure and new experiences is also taking some priority over previous years.

    I remain optimistic for the future.

    2018 Port Orleans Riverside
    2012 Port Orleans Riverside
    2011 Port Orleans French Quarter
    2009 Grand Floridian
    2007 Contemporary
    2006 Grand Floridian
    2004 Polynesian
    1980 Day trip to MK

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  20. #14
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    To follow up on my previous post, I saw 15 cast members standing at 3 exits at Epcot last night. Why can these cast members be repurposed or retrained to cover a fast pass return, drive a parking lot tram or work in one of the many eateries that are closed because they are short staffed?

    Disney should be limiting capacity and offering the same experiences as they always have with what they are able to staff!

    Sent from my Pixel 3a XL using Tapatalk
    August 1989- Caribbean Beach Resort
    July 1996- Swan
    July 1998- Contemporary Resort
    May 2010- Boardwalk
    October 2011-POP!
    June 2013 - Off Property
    July 2014- Off Property
    October 2014 - AKL
    April 2015 - POP!
    June 2015 - ?

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