When Disney World Proved Everyone Wrong

Disney World has made a lot of decisions over the past few years that have angered fans.

Cinderella Castle

You’ve probably heard it around the Internet: “Everyone is mad at Disney World,” right? There are various reasons why people are upset with Disney, like price increases, FastPass changes, getting rid of Magical Express, and more. But, Disney has also made some decisions that were controversial at the time, but turned out to be the right call. Let’s break down when Disney World proved everyone wrong!

Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway

Okay, we’re starting out with a bit of a hot take, so get ready. Disney shut down the Great Movie Ride back in 2017 to make way for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. There are a LOT of people who were huge fans of the Great Movie Ride, so naturally, they were pretty upset, and we don’t blame them — the ride had been at the park since it opened in 1989.

The boarding area for The Great Movie Ride. ©Disney

It took guests through the history of iconic movies, but it was super outdated in terms of both technology and storyline. So, it makes sense that Disney wanted to replace it with something brand new. Runaway Railway might not be loved by everyone (especially those really big GMR fans), but the ride is incredibly popular!

Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway

We can’t ignore the technological relevance of Runaway Railway — the trackless ride system is really cool, as is the animation. It’s also a ride that people of all ages can go on, and it’s a bit more exciting than the Great Movie Ride was!

Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway

It also brought some more classic Disney into Hollywood Studios, which is fun for fans. So, as much as people might have been mad at Disney for replacing their favorite ride, those regular high wait times prove that people seem to think it was a good decision!

Click here to see more about Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway!

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Speaking of new rides, let’s talk about the newest one in all of Disney World — Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind! This ride was announced several years ago and many people were critical, worried that a Marvel attraction wouldn’t fit into the theming of EPCOT.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

But, Disney chose to put the ride in World Discovery, which already has a prominent space theme with Mission: Space and Space 220, so it totally fits in with the theming.

Inside the queue

The ride also incorporates EPCOT storylines into the queue when Star Lord is talking about visiting the park when he was a kid. He brings up some of the original attractions, so EPCOT history fans can have some fun references to enjoy! It really ties the ride in with the park very well.

Cosmic Rewind queue

And again, the popularity of the ride just proves that Disney made the right decision. Boarding passes fill up in seconds and Individual Lightning Lanes sell out as well. Disney doesn’t even have a regular line for the ride because of how popular it is!

Click here to see our spoiler-free review of Cosmic Rewind!

Disney Genie+

We can already feel some of you sprinting to the comment section, but hear us out! Look, we totally understand why people were mad about the introduction of Disney Genie+. Disney got rid of the free FastPass system and replaced it with a paid option, and price increases are generally something people aren’t happy about.

Disney Genie Pamphlet

And, we know a lot of fans still are upset with Disney for Genie+, but when you look at the numbers, they tell a different story. Disney said in an earnings call recently that 50% of the people who walk through the park gates in Disney World are buying Genie+.

Jungle Cruise Lightning Lane entrance

Yep, half of ALL the people in the parks have apparently purchased Genie+ to use, so the system must be somewhat liked if that many people are buying it!

Click here to see our FULL GUIDE on Disney Genie+

Harmonious

EPCOT’s nightly fireworks show has caused some controversy as well. The previous permanent show, Illuminations: Reflections of Earth, was a big fan-favorite, so a lot of people didn’t want to see it leave. But, Disney debuted Harmonious anyway.

Harmonious

Fans have not been super happy about the giant barges that are now permanently in the middle of World Showcase Lagoon for the fireworks show. They do take up a decent amount of space and draw a lot of attention.

Harmonious

But, judging by the crowds that watch the show every night, it seems like people actually enjoy Harmonious. There are some great elements of the show that we really enjoy, and the music is awesome! We understand that people are upset about the barges, but the show might just be worth dealing with them.

Click here to see more about Harmonious!

Adding in Intellectual Property

A lot of Disney Parks fans have been worried about intellectual property being added into the parks and hotels, changing the original designs or theming. For example, when Disney replaced Maelstrom in EPCOT’s Norway Pavilion with Frozen Ever After.

Maelstrom

While there are definitely still some big Maelstrom fans out there, the wait times at Frozen Ever After over the past several years definitely prove that people enjoy the ride. The same goes for putting Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure in the France Pavilion — it regularly has one of the highest wait times in the park. These IP rides are certainly in demand!

Frozen Ever After

A similar situation has happened in the Disney World hotels. Some of the original Disney World hotels have had their rooms re-themed to fit the aesthetic of certain Disney movies. The rooms at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort got a Moana theme

Moana-themed room at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

…and the rooms at Disney’s Contemporary Resort got an Incredibles theme.

New rooms at the Contemporary

Some people haven’t been happy about the change, but something has to be said for how subtle Disney has made these makeovers. The theming still completely fits in with the aesthetic of the hotels while adding a little more movie magic into the rooms. And, people are definitely still staying at these hotels!

Click here to take a tour of the Moana rooms at the Polynesian Village Resort

‘Ohana Noodles

Finally, we’ll talk about a small (but important!) change having to do with some famous Disney food. Years ago, ‘Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort used to serve cheesy scalloped potatoes at dinner. They were a big fan-favorite — how can you go wrong with potatoes and cheese?!

‘Ohana Noodles

But then, these famous potatoes were replaced by noodles! A lot of folks were upset that the potatoes were no more. But, these noodles have become famous on their own! People LOVE the ‘Ohana noodles and they’re pretty much iconic to the restaurant now. It looks like Disney made the right decision here!

  • Noodles at ‘Ohana

So, even though Disney makes a lot of changes that anger people, it seems like some were actually the right call. Of course, we know that not EVERYONE agrees with these opinions, and that’s okay! But, we think there are definitely two sides to all of the changes we’ve talked about!

Stay tuned to AllEars for more Disney World tips, tricks, and info.

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What change has Disney made in the past that you think was actually for the better? Tell us in the comments!

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Walt and Lillian at Mr. Toad in Disneyland

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4 Replies to “When Disney World Proved Everyone Wrong”

  1. Yes, I bought Genie+ when we took our grandson in April. But make no mistake…I felt forced to do it. To make the most of WDW and allow our grandson to ride as many rides as possible… I forked over the money and did it. I did not WANT to and HATE that I had to wake up at 7:00 every morning to plan our day. Besides the money I hated the inconvenience. We’ve traveled from Texas to WDW some 20 times over the past 35 years, and the last trip was by far the most stressful.😨😢

  2. I’m shocked by the deliberately dishonest logical conclusions that because people are forced to watch the substandard Harmonious show and deal with the evil looking black video tacos in the lagoon that they are loved and that Disney management was ‘proved right’ to make such a costly, artistically disastrous mistake. It is further ridiculous to draw the conclusion that the painfully poorly implemented Genie + and Lighting Lane system is indeed being used and in some cases paid for that it is beloved and successful and that the appalling mistakes by Disney management are somehow vindicated by people with little choice actually using it.

    I love Disney and WDW but I see and understand real situations and factual circumstances for what they are, not as a cheerleader for misguided management. If anything, the huge mistakes by Disney administrative and creative management demonstrate that a restart and reset is in order and the organization should get back to the roots of Walt’s and Roy’s original vision and stop forcing customers, employees and fans to accept bad management as if it were necessary.

    1. Totally agree with you, Victor. I will credit AllEars with their statement (sic) “almost half of those who ENTER THE PARKS purchase G+”. That translates to half of those who are still visiting the park(s) are willing to be further gouged by the cost of G+ in an attempt to make the best of a bad situation. In no way does the fact that half the current customers are also paying for G+ mean that any of them are happy doing it and certainly should not be misconstrued that half of Disney’s potential customers and/or boycotting customers are happy with the G+ system or purchasing it. This weeks report in this newsletter about lower crowds will hopefully be an indicator that the revenge visitors have either had their fill of Disney or the facts of just how much Disney is charging for so much less offerings have finally soaked into the minds of potential visitors.

  3. What choice do we have but to go along with the changes ?Though everything mentioned in this article can be hotly debated but don’t say Disney proved us wrong…Most of the newer attractions in my book qualifies as a once and done experience and Genie plus can just disappear…disappear. Something I’m seriously considering doing if only I can persuade a couple other family members in following my lead…getting close though.