Disney World has been making some popular announcements lately, but many guests still have a lot of gripes with the way they have been running things lately.
From increasing prices to getting rid of classic rides, Disney can’t please everybody all of the time. But, there are a few things that they could do in the coming year that would make a big difference in winning over guests. Let’s take a look at some of the most-wanted changes!
After the COVID-19 closures of 2020, Disney made some critical changes to be able to operate safely. This meant adding Theme Park Reservations, pausing fireworks shows, and enforcing social distancing, among other restrictions.
One of the most upsetting policy changes involved park hopping. For a while, Disney paused park hopping in an attempt to closely monitor capacity. In January 2021, it returned, but not to what it once was — guests with Park Hopper Tickets and Annual Passholders with the availability could park hop after 2PM.
Previously, guests could park-hop as early as they wanted! This has made Park Hopper tickets less attractive to a lot of visitors. Annual Passholders who once appreciated the ability to be more spontaneous have been disappointed with this lack of flexibility.
Now that Theme Park reservations have gotten more relaxed (and will continue to do so in 2024), it’s not impossible that Disney will address this change in the near future. However, we still haven’t heard of any plans to change this policy as of yet!
Another complaint that many have with Disney World’s changes has to do with hotel perks. Staying on Disney Property does come with a lot of benefits — proximity to the parks, staying “in the magic,” free transportation, and Early Theme Park Entry to name a few — but many believe that Disney has taken too many perks away.
For example, guests who were staying at a Disney hotel were once able to make a purchase in the parks and have it sent back to their room — for free! This perk still hasn’t returned, unfortunately. While you can ship items back home from the store, there is a fee, so it’s not quite the same.
Another perk that was taken away is Disney’s Magical Express. This shuttle once took guests staying at a Disney hotel to and from the airport for free. Now, there are alternative options such as rental cars and Mears Connect Driven by Sunshine, but again — these are not free.
MagicBands were also once provided at no cost to guests staying at Disney hotels! There are plenty of ways you can get around the parks without one, like using Disney’s MagicMobile service on your phone or Apple Watch, but many guests lament the loss of yet another free perk.
Disney is unlikely to bring all of these free hotel perks back, but starting to focus more attention on what they can do for hotel guests might help them win back some fans!
Lastly, Disney replaced the once-free FastPass+ with a new, paid version — Lightning Lanes via Genie+ and Individual Attraction Selections.
With Genie+, a paid service, guests can choose return times for most attractions and bypass much of the standby line around the parks. Individual Lightning Lanes are a separate charge to skip the standby line for one specific ride. These can be purchased separately from Genie+.
Many guests would like a free service to return, but that is unlikely to happen since Disney is seemingly selling this product with no issues (it even sells out occasionally!) Another way that Disney could appeal to more guests is by allowing them to plan their Genie+ selections in advance.
Currently, the system requires visitors to be pretty attached to their phones throughout the day if they want to get the most use out of it, so a system where they could “set it and forget it” would be beneficial for a lot of guests. Fortunately, Disney is already talking about working out a way to do just that.
Disney stated, “Our goal is to give you the opportunity to spend less time planning in the park and more time enjoying your visit with friends and family.” We don’t have many details yet, but we’ll be sure to let you know when more is announced!
These are just some of the things that Disney could do to get back some of their fans. What do you wish they would change? Let us know in the comments below, and as always, stay tuned to AllEars for all the latest Disney news!
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What has been your favorite change in Disney World lately? Let us know in the comments!