Why Disney Fans Hate Change

If you are a Disney fan or know a Disney fan, you might know that Disney fans tend to hate change.

Magic Kingdom

After all, Disney World has a lot of beloved aspects that trigger nostalgia and make fans sentimental. That’s why Disney World feels like “home” to so many people. So it’s pretty common for fans to get upset when one of those aspects is about to change (or changes abruptly).

Here’s why Disney fans hate change.

A lot has changed in Disney World recently! 

We’ve seen a good amount of anger from Disney fans recently because there’s been an awful lot of change in a relatively short period of time. There are a few particular examples that have drawn a lot of ire.


First, IllumiNations, EPCOT’s nighttime spectacular, was retired in favor of Harmonious. Die-hard IllumiNations fans have not been happy with the shift, and those who think EPCOT should remain free of Disney intellectual property have criticized the show for its heavy use of IP.


At the same time, Happily Ever After was replaced by Disney Enchantment. The show has been widely criticized despite having more and newer projections and fireworks. Why? Because people loved Happily Ever After (except those who were still sour over the end of Wishes…). Disney fans hate change, and that means a predisposition towards not liking the new show.

Happily Ever After

And perhaps the most heavily criticized decision was the call to replace Fastpass+ with Disney Genie. The old service was free, and the new skip-the-line offering costs money. That change is a big one, and it has been a lot to adjust to for fans. Toss in the confusing new system, and it’s even more difficult for guests to adjust.

And a lot of Disney fans aren’t happy. 

We’ve seen messages from readers and reactions across social media that show a lot of negative reactions. And we get it! These are big changes, and Disney fans happen to be pretty averse to any change.


There’s a big reason Disney fans hate change. 

Change messes with memories! For most die-hard Disney fans, Disney is a place with a lot of nostalgia. Most of us have special memories tied to shows like Illuminations and Happily Ever After. That can make it hard to say goodbye! A lot of us are still sore about saying goodbye to the show before Happily Ever After, Wishes.

Disney Enchantment

Disney is amazing at creating lifetime memories and nostalgia. So when they take something away, it also takes away the chance for people to relive those wonderful moments.

Goodbye FastPass lane, hello Lightning Lane!

Beyond that, when systems are confusing we can get attached just because we’ve learned to use them. Many fans were upset when Disney shifted away from paper Fastpasses and toward Fastpass+. Then once they were versed in that system, they had a hard time saying goodbye to the new one (especially when its replacement costs money).

But change isn’t always the worst thing!

A big point of Disney World is that it’s going to keep changing. As Walt Disney said of his original park, “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.”


In general, fans aren’t mad something new is coming, they’re sad something beloved is gone. But change is a chance to make new memories!

Change is part of the Disney spirit! Sure, you’re not going to like every change. But sometimes we can say both a fond goodbye to something we love and a fond hello to something new to love.

What changes make you upset? Tell us in the comments!

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8 Replies to “Why Disney Fans Hate Change”

  1. I can actually agree with this article. I think the change I’m most upset about isn’t anything physically in the parks, we know those things are going to change all the time. The change I’m most upset about is them taking away the bus transportation from the airport and taking our bags from the airport to our hotel room for free. I’ve never heard of a vacation doing that before even at an all inclusive resort in the Bahamas or something. Of course they toke that service away and still charge the same amount (which we knew was going to happen.) I know the high speed train is being built from the airport to Disney springs, but as of now there is no way for me to get from the airport to disney through disney. When I got on that bus from the airport it felt like my vacation already started, and not some that magic is gone, and likely not going to return

  2. $$$$
    Basically Disney has forgotten why Walt opened Disneyland, now the company is all about greed, plain and simple

  3. That’s a generalization that isn’t entirely true. The idea that Disney fans don’t like change because of nostalgia is an over simplification. The examples you use are good ones but the reasons are wrong – the reason people are upset about Harmonious is two fold; it’s just not as good as Illuminations AND we have to put up with eyesore barges during the day. The reason people don’t like Enchantment is because the song choices are weird and not reflective of a 50th anniversary show. You say people loved Happily Ever After, well that’s not an old show. So clearly people accepted that change.

    No, Disney fans hate change because under Iger and Chapek what we keep getting is not change for progress or improvement but it’s change for cost savings, synergy, or pushing another agenda. And a good majority of the changes under those two have shown a fundamental lack of understanding of what makes the parks special. What prompts anger is when some change is pushed and then Walt’s quote is used to essentially say this is what Walt would have wanted.

    Really? Walt cared about themeing more than anything so do you think he’d be okay with a movie based on a French story from the 1700s made into a bar shoved into a hotel themed after turn of the century America? You see, no one is tied to Mizner’s but the anger over the BatB bar is not the change, it’s the pushing of IP over adherence to theme.

    So no, Disney fans don’t hate change. Disney fans hate when we don’t get good things back in return or when it’s obvious the change was made with ulterior motives.

  4. Change is inevitable. I didn’t like it when they changed the Soarin ride so early in it’s tenure. I really thought they should include both films so you had a choice. But. hey, such is life. Rides change, parades and fireworks shows come and go, menus change, and so on. But don’t try and portray Disney Genie as an isolated change. It is one more added expense to a list of them that all happened in a short period of time. Just like if one by one over a year Disney decided to close all the roller coaster rides in all the parks. You can’t look at the last one closed and say “Wasn’t it hard to take when Disney closed, say, the Seven Mines Dwarf ride?”. And ignore all the others. AllEars is constantly trying to make a mountain look like a mole hill.

  5. I think it is not so much that fans are adverse to change as much as they are upset about priced out of a favorite vacation spot because many of the changes come with a new price tag

  6. Yes but the thing that many Disney fans forget is what Walt Disney said about his parks, “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.”

    Change is inevitable, the world is changing rapidly and thus the Disney parks must do the same. Maybe the new shows are creating new memories for first time visitors. And I still see a ton of “First Visit” buttons being worn around the parks.

    We never seem to hear those peoples opinions on the state of the parks, because to them it’s all a first time experience.

    It’s still possible to go to WDW and never lift your phone up to do a thing. Once Genie+ came out we decided to give it a go, and we will never look back. Makes me think of the old days at WDW to not be constantly using your phone.

  7. And that’s how Walt wanted it. He wanted his parks to grow and change. Despite peoples love of Carousel of Progress Walt would probably say that old thing is still going?