My family and I just returned from a familiarization trip with my travel agent company at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando Florida. I have been there many times and stayed on property a couple of times in the past as well. It has always been a pleasant experience but this time was different in a way.
The parks themselves have updated and changed a bit but not much since the last time I was there in 2004. They have added many new attractions and rides which I know will be great but I have to say that the wait times on the rides you have are horrible. Even the FastPass lines were at least 10 minute waits!! That is unacceptible to me. The purpose of getting a FastPass is so you dont have to stand in line. You go and get a scheduled time to come back if the ride you want has a long wait time and you go to something else that doesn’t have such a long wait. You return during that 1 hour period and supposedly get to board the ride right away since you have been waiting an hour or 2 already. That was not the case here. We got a FastPass for many of the popular rides and went on about our business just to find out that when we returned we still were in line for 10 minutes because you were boarding people from the stand by line in front of us. That to me was very upsetting. I know they had been waiting as well but FastPass is supposed to override any other wait times. That is why you developed this system but it needs work.
As far as the extra magic hours you are supposed to have for your resort guests, that is a bunch of crap as well. You open the doors an hour before the general time to hotel guests but non hotel guests are allowed to enter as well but cannot ride (supposedly) until the official open time of 9am. The late magic hours for resort guests are supposed to be for them and them only but you do not close the park!!!!You leave it open and it stays just as crowded as it was during the day. Your so called solution to this is making the hotel guests show their ID when they want to get on a ride and if they arent resort guests they are not supposed to be able to ride that ride anymore. Why don’t you just make an announcement an hour before the park is closing to state that it will be closing to non resort guests and that they will have to leave. That is the way you used to do it and you should go back to that. Besides why would a person who has spent hundreds of dollars to buy a ticket into that park want to stay during that late magic hours if they cannot ride anything without a resort ID? It should be what you describe it to be on your website and what we as travel agents are supposed to push when selling trips to your park. It is supposed to be solely for resort guests only. Why are we paying so much more money if we are still going to have to wade through a sea of human beings to get to a ride that we could not get to during the day. You even allow non resort guests to ride the busses now and they are supposed to be for resort guests as well. How is that exclusive to anyone?
The point of staying on property is supposed to be so your trip will be easier and less stressful. You have failed in that attempt. You need to go back to the old way where you opened the park 1 hour early for resort guests ONLY and proper ID had to be shown upon entry and as far as the late magic hours go you should make all non resort guests leave at normal closing times with anyone who is in the parks after that having to show proper ID to stay there. that is what you state that you do on your website but that is not how it is. If upi actuallyt did what you say you do on the website it would cut down on all the traffic in the parks.
I competely understand that you have to move forward as well with adding new features to the parks and rides but there was so much construction going on it made my whole day a bit upsetting. I dred what this place will be like when you officially open the new Fantasyland in December. It will be wall to wall, elbow to elbow people because you do not have a better system in place for crowd control. I don’t know about everyone else but I do not like having to wade through a sea of sweaty people like that. It was horrid!!
Now on to the rides themselves. Why did you change Pirates of the Caribbean? It was fine the way it was. We all liked seeig Davey Jones just before you go over the falls. Now you have to endure the ugly face of Blackbeard. What a disappointment. It will always be my favorite ride but I had to say that. As well as Snow White, why are you updating it? The classic story does not need updating! You need to leave it alone because if you are geering it towards Snow White and the Huntsman I’m sure you will lose people. Nobody wants to see robots of Kristen Stewart and Charlese Threon inside a ride. I’m not saying that is what you are doing, all I am saying is IF that is what you are doing you are making a mistake.
Why is Rockin Rollercoaster ALWAYS broken down when I go to Hollywood Studios as well? You guys make enough money that you should be able to make sure these rides are well equipt to last all day and night. The last 5 trips I have been down there it has either been closed for refurbishment or closed due to maintenance problems. If it’s that unsafe to ride then maybe you should remove it and bring in something else. Oh and I totally understand the the Toy Story Mania ride is new but 120 minute wait time…REALLY?
You guys really need to rethink these line procedures for these rides. It is an awesome ride and it was very fun (once I actually got to ride it around 10pm) but there should be an age limit or something….come on guys!!
In 100+ degree weather NOBODY wants to stand in line for 2 hours just to ride something that lasts 5 minutes, and I know that is all it took to ride this thing. There is absolutely NO REASON why anyone should have to wait for 2 hours for a ride that lasts 5 minutes. It doesn’t take that long to get people on and off a ride.
And what in the world was up with everything stopping while we were in the middle of the ride? Really people, do you think I enjoyed the Haunted Mansion ride stopping in pitch black darkness with nothing but an image of a psychotic bride holding and ax beside me? Yeah that wasn’t the high point of my day. I know it was just a hologram but still a little unnerving.
All in all we had a good time but you guys really need to do some maintenance on the way you handle some things in the parks. GO BACK TO THE OLD WAY FOR RESORT GUESTS….IT WORKED WHY DID YOU CHANGE IT????
The Spirit of Aloha Dinner show was one of your saviors for our trip. That show was amazing and the food was outstanding. THUMBS UP!!
Now on to the character breakfasts. As a resort guest that has purchased a dinng plan it is supposed to cover 3 meals a day for every night of your stay and anything you do not use rolls over to the next day. What we were told when we made our reservation was that we would have 48 meals between the 4 of us and in all reality we only had 36. Yes we did do 2 dinner shows but we also arrived late in the day and were told our meal vouchers would not wxpire until midnight of the last day of your stay. That should have been 48 meals. You shorted us 3 meals and that was extremely upsetting!!
You guys used to allow your resort guests to keep the photo that is taken of you when you arrive as well and now we have to pay. It used to be included in the price of the meal….why do we have to pay $30 for a picture after we are already paying $30- $40 a plate just for food and it does not include the tip. Are you really struggling for money that bad? The only meal we didnt have to pay for the picture was at Cinderella’s Royal Table. It was included in our dining plan and in my opinion every picture should have been included since it was included in the dining plan as well. The plan was paid for and it should have included everything. At least you do allow people to use their own cameras so they can get that memory…that was a good thing. Its just sad that so many things at your resort has changed and not all for the better. I like the way you used to do it. There was an exclusiveness to being a resort guests and we felt special. Not anymore since you have opened every ammenity you offer up to anyone and everyone on your property….
We will be back but I’m not sure I will ever stay on property again….the cost is too much for the hassle. I’m just glad that this time I didn’t have to pay for anything….