6 Things That Are Making Disney Fans Change Their Travel Plans

This is a major transition period for both the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts as they introduce new rides, lands, and guest experiences. 

Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom

Many of these changes are causing people to change their Disney travel plans. Some are even canceling their Disney vacations altogether!

We’ve pulled together a few of our readers’ comments to try to get a better understanding of what’s making people change their Disney plans.

1. Increase In Crowds

For many, the parks have simply become too crowded. Lines are excessive — even FastPass lines can be long — and there doesn’t seem to be a slow season. The crowds are already EXTREME and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge hasn’t even opened yet.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Concept Art

Many people are changing their travel plans to try to avoid the Galaxy’s Edge crowds. This means they are avoiding the summer at Disneyland, since the land opens on May 31, and the fall at Disney World, where  the land opens on August 29.

Reader Comment: “The crowd levels are certainly frustrating for those of us who have been going for years and were spoiled by the ‘good old days’ of 30 minutes being a long time to wait. I feel bad for those who don’t get to go as much as we do. I could see how all these crazy crowds could leave a bad taste in the mouths of those who only get to maybe go once in a lifetime.”

A two-hour wait time!

2. Price Increases

Disney seems to have an increase in prices and tickets every year. And this year was no different — view the ticket price increase information here! 

Disney is already expensive, but some feel it is reaching the point where it isn’t even a feasible option.  Some folks are changing or canceling their plans because they’re starting to feel like the overall experience just isn’t worth the massive cost.

Reader Comment: “My first annual pass to Walt Disney World was in 1986 and it was $155, and it has gone up almost every single year to where it is today at $849 (renewing is slightly less). Disney has priced out ordinary Americans to become a resort for the elite. I admit that I used to spend a fortune at WDW, but I have cut way back because it’s becoming such a burden to go there… I have always loved Disney, but my love is beginning to wane.”

Disneyland Opening Day Ticket

3. Smoking Ban

This new policy became effective on May 1. There are now no designated smoking locations inside the parks. Instead, guests must exit the park to smoke. This was not the only major policy change that went into effect on May 1. View the rest here!

Many people are very upset and even offended over these policy changes. This is causing a large number of longstanding Disney fans to cancel their vacations.

Reader Comment: “We had a tradition of going to Disney World every odd year. My wife and I are now going to cancel our $8K trip and go to Universal instead. Disney’s prices are outrageous now, so due to that and the ‘No Smoking’ policy it will no longer be worth it. It’s their right, but I am a consumer and now boycotting Disney World and all of their stores. Yes, I know smoking is bad for your health, but that is my business.”

No Smoking Policy

5. Increase In Alcohol

This is a bit of a tricky topic because our readers seem to be very split on the issue. Many feel that theme parks are not an appropriate place for massive amounts of alcoholic beverages.

Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival

Some want to kick back and relax at the parks while on their Disney vacay, others feel like this is detracting from the family feeling of the parks. This latter group say they are changing their plans to make sure they do not visit during festivals like Epcot’s Food & Wine to try to avoid excessive drinking. Where do you stand on the issue?

Reader Comment: “They need to do just the opposite and prohibit the sale of alcohol. Tired of all the drunks. Especially in Epcot. Look at the tourists. Half are wearing t-shirts with verbiage about drinking and getting drunk. Tired of this crap. Can’t we return the family orientation to WDW?”

Specialty Drinks

6. The Overwhelming Amount Of Construction

With big projects like the Disney Skyliner gondolas, the Epcot transformation, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and more, the parks seem to be in a bit of a shambles visually right now.

And though many people are excited for these changes, they are waiting for all of the construction and projects around the parks to be complete.

Reader Comment: “I am glad that I am not traveling to Disney World at this time. Too many projects going on at the same time and it does not appear that they are making any attempt to hide them from view. This goes for both Epcot and the Magic Kingdom.”

Sleeping Beauty Castle Refurbishment

Is there anything making YOU change your travel plans? Let us know in the comments below! 

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29 Replies to “6 Things That Are Making Disney Fans Change Their Travel Plans”

  1. I was appalled at the DIY t-shirt slogans I saw at Epcot this week: Bibidi Bobidi BOOZE and an Ariel shirt that said UNDER THE INFLUENCE instead of “under the sea.” Good Lord! When did Epcot become a booze around the World Showcase!!!

  2. I have made my last visit to WDW at the end of April. If I had known they were going to ban smoking in the parks I wouldn’t have renewed my AP. I have already cancelled my other two trips and will now be doing Universal,Sea World and Busch Gardens. Tampa has always been a city that I enjoy so now I’ll be there more often. Prices,crowds and deteriorating service have broken the magical spell

  3. yep agree with all about Disney price and no longer for families. it was further brought to my attention when WDW began charging for parking at resorts where folks had reservations. when i commented about that i was told “other resorts in Orlando do it”. WOA!!!!!! Disney always prided itself on being leader, but now a follower?? i was offended and what would Walt say?? I used to tell folks the WDW was an experience not just a theme park. But now it is an EXPERIENCE alright as well as JUST a theme park.

  4. We are still going. Two trips still planned this year and one next year. We make the most of it with planning and positive attitude.

  5. We have been WDW fans for years, with having 8-9 trips under our belts. The new prices on EVERYTHING and the crowds are just too much to bare. We are not fans of the increase in alcohol at the parks either, Walt is turning over in his grave! The WDW of yesteryear was the best. We may try one last visit/vacation for the 50th anniversary and then we are, sadly, DONE. The “magic” of it all is slowly turning to unhappiness. I hope management will seriously take all the fan comments to heart.

  6. I totally agree. I never thought I would sour on Disney and thought it would be “blasphemous” to go to Universal Studios instead. With the constant increase in prices and large crowds, my family and I are planning our next Disney free vacation.

  7. Well, we had so many issues at Beach Club with surly cast, even management, that after our trip in 2014, we decided to try Disneyland in 2015. What a mistake! It was worse, and the crowds were awful! After years of going, we dropped our trips, and haven’t been back since….and no plans to go in the future. Have a set of park tickets for 2 adults, so we will go back someday, I hope. Really don’t want to eat that…but have no idea when… The crowds, the prices, and the no night parade at MK have added to our lack of interest….

  8. I hate the alcohol thing. WDW is not the place to be drinking! The crowds are horrible. I do not care to go to the parks anymore, instead I go to Disney Springs to get my fix!

  9. Well, we just made our dining reservations for our upcoming trip in November. With all the pre-planning necessary to just visit WDW these days, we have gradually lost the magic that was once a pleasure and exciting time to go there. NOT ANY MORE! Provided we are in good health next year, we may just book our 50th wedding anniversary trip and stay on property at the resort and sit by the pool and dine at our favorite restaurants. Why put ourselves through the maddening crowds that will overtake the parks to the point of ruining our anniversary. Thank goodness we don’t have to pay for our room any longer, being DVC members since 1993. After 2020 we may just hang it up and use the RCI exchange to visit other destinations. Like I’ve said before, “All good things must come to an end”. It’s a shame, but it is what it is.

  10. We have been going to Disney World since 1973 and have been annual Passholder’s for over 20years, visiting 2-3 times a year, usually with one or two grandchildren for the last ten years. We did not renew our annual passes this year and don’t plan to go at least this year. Costs are really excessive and crowds are too much. Disney is over booking and over charging. We will spend our thousands on something else at this time.

  11. We are having a Disney resort only vacation this year,1 water park day, putt putt and pool day and NO theme park day. We go to Disney every year, but this year kids did not want to go the parks this year. Too crowded,people have become too rude, parks are just not enjoyable as I went as a kid in tHe 80s and with my kids in the late 90s and early 2000s, New Disney business culture is losing the original focus, I wish they would just build another original magic kingdom and epoxy and let it be for us nostalgic Disney fans. We never had tO decide where to go on vacations, but that is sadly changing, it is becoming ridiculous expensive anyway. the Disney deals are not such great deals any more, not much of any discounts, free dining for 2 meals, etc, much better deals several years ago

    1. Sounds like your kids are desperately trying to tell you to move on from Disney. Time to cut your emotional cord and cal it a day at Disney

  12. With all of these swelling crowds Disney has been getting, I guess there are far richer people out there than I. All we can expect is for the prices to continue to soar since no one seems to be protesting with their pocketbooks. Oh well…tell me how your trip was because I won’t be there!

  13. Number 1 and 2 seem at least a bit in conflict. If price is so prohibitive, why is it so crowded? Reminds me of the old Yogiism about a New York restaurant: “No one goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”

    1. Disney likes to say they increase pricing to thin out crowds or that it’s a measure to do that. But, if they don’t do it in conjunction with reducing their advertising, it’s never going to thin out. The other piece is the whole social media thing. Whether it’s from Disney or from the slew of social media people they give perks to, it’s more advertising.
      The fact is Disney doesn’t care what the crowds are like, they only care about increasing revenue each quarter and year. They market running apps on your phone and staring at it as part of your vacation. You should be able to let it all go for a week or at least a whole day while you’re on vacation.

  14. I am so happy about the no smoking policy! I am sick and tired of in haling others smoke. If people want to put that junk in their lungs fine do it far far away from me. I neither want to smell it or smell like it. PU

  15. Not the Disney we use to know and love! I agree with this article! Even the cast members don’t seem as happy! Maybe time for our family to move on!

  16. The alcohol is out of control in epcot. This is Disney not a frat party. The prices are out of control. Our trip this year was over $5000 for three the adults. Disney is getting trip for elite. We may still go I’m in end stage this may be our last trip

  17. We have over 50 trips under our belt, but our December trip may well be out last. It is no longer a family vacation for most families. Cost is prohibitive. At almost $900 for 2 5-day base passes, $1200 for a room, and heaven knows how much for spending money, we are priced right out of Disney. I am discouraged and dis-illusioned with the direction Disney is taking. It makes us very sad.

  18. Yes, it is certainly a changing Disney. Accomodations keep being built as park crowds swell. Even in
    Janaury, I could not believe the crowds. Visiting during Food and Wine proved embarrassing situations
    as groups of young girls fell drunk in front of the food and wine booths. How awkward when traveling
    with children. Vulgar T shirts, etc. is this the Disney I use to love?? Angry and impolite visitors
    seem to be everywhere. I used to worry about what to do when the expiration of my DVC came close. Not
    any more. By that time the prices will definitely be astronomical and other destinations looking better
    and better.

    1. While curtailing / controlling alcohol sales would help some, there will always be drunks in WDW because there are drunks are every vacation destination. Watch the strollers go by, statistically every 8th or 9th one – that’s not water in Mommy’s sippy cup!

      1. So, are you saying that I should take a swig out of the sippy cup of every 9th stroller I pass? Not a bad idea to reduce my alcohol budget.

  19. We have 3 reservations for Fort Wilderness this year but we’re not sure we’ll go there at all next year with the intrusive new resort being built in the Fort’s backyard. Cottages on ‘our’ beach, parking lot nearly next to the Hoop Dee Doo/Trail’s End building, etc. Plus the cost of the sites are higher and higher…nearly $200 at some times of the year. NO!

    1. Yes, it is certainly a changing Disney. Accomodations keep being built as park crowds swell. Even in
      Janaury, I could not believe the crowds. Visiting during Food and Wine proved embarrassing situations
      as groups of young girls fell drunk in front of the food and wine booths. How awkward when traveling
      with children. Vulgar T shirts, etc. is this the Disney I use to love?? Angry and impolite visitors
      seem to be everywhere. I used to worry about what to do when the expiration of my DVC came close. Not
      any more. By that time the prices will definitely be astronomical and other destinations looking better
      and better.

  20. Changing travel times isn’t going to do much to lower crowds, decrease ticket prices, Allow you to smoke, or reduce alcohol. That can Only be accomplished by changing travel destination.

    ….and I guess #4 is the mystery “thing”