Opinion: Walt Disney World visits sub-optimal for non-resort guests right now

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

Right now, Disney is going through an awkward tech transition phase that in its current incarnation rewards guests staying at Disney-owned resorts at the expense of everybody else. It won't last, but it will be uncomfortable until advance access to the new FastPass+ isn't just limited to its overnight patrons.

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slithernoggin's avatar

Disneyland Resort gets far more local, repeat guests than Walt Disney World. In turn, Walt Disney World gets many more international guests than does Disneyland Resort. Simply counting the number of attractions on each coast ignores the many other factors involved.

^I would argue not for US visitors. I love WDW, and it is by far my favorite resort of the two (its larger allowing for a feeling of escape, and has much better food.) However, in the past 4 years Ive had the opportunity to visit either resort and have decided everytime to go to California. Heres the thing, its cheaper to go there, they have really upgraded the resort offerings with new attractions, many of the classic attractions are better in California (POTC, Space Mt, Fantasyland style dark rides) they do much more seasonal offerings, and they put on better night shows (Remember Dreams Come True is by far the best firework show I have ever seen, hands down.)

Im probably not going back to WDW again until this MyMagic stuff is sorted out, for now, the way I see it I benefit much more from the old Fastpass system (I admit Im a super user) and do not want to be restricted to 3 fastpasses a day. I eagerly await the day when they start offering tiered fastpasses and allow you to use your fastpasses at more then one park a day because I park hop and I always stay at a deluxe or DVC property.

Last edited by Touchdown,

2022 Trips: WDW, Sea World San Diego & Orlando, CP, KI, BGW, Bay Beach, Canobie Lake, Universal Orlando

LostKause's avatar

I would just like to say that because they are offering only three Fastpasses per day, I bet the standby lines are shorter, so it all probably works out the same from before this was implemented.


Lord Gonchar's avatar

The problem is that you still look at the standy-by line as the 'real' line.

The stand-by line just accounts for the margin of error in trying to reserve the ride's capacity. (assuming the ultimate goal is near-100% reservations for the most popular rides)


The standby lines by all accounts are just as long, and in some cases longer according to the disney websites (which I realize is not unbiased.)

With fastpass Ive been spoiled into thinking I can ride the three magic kingdom mountains 2-3 times each in a day, and ride soarin, tower of terror, and everest 3-4 times on days I visit their respective parks. Only having a total of 3 fastpasses will greatly cut down on my laps on those rides (With fastpass I dont think Ive waited more then 30 min for a disney ride since the system went into place.) While I fully accept that I was an outlier, that still doesnt change the fact that with the system they have in place down there, and they dont have a new ride (that isnt cloned in California, at least until Snow White opens) that I havent ridden yet makes me not likely to go to WDW.


2022 Trips: WDW, Sea World San Diego & Orlando, CP, KI, BGW, Bay Beach, Canobie Lake, Universal Orlando

Touchdown said:

The standby lines by all accounts are just as long, and in some cases longer according to the disney websites (which I realize is not unbiased.)



And this is the problem. Standby lines for the major rides haven't gotten any shorter, AND they've thrown FP+ onto rides that have no need for it ( Captain EO, Land, Imagination, Muppets).

solution in search of a problem. Whatever ultimate goal they were going for, this intermediate stop is a complete cluster, and as the original title of this thread says, it's a sub-optimal time to visit WDW.

LostKause's avatar

That's pretty interesting. If that is true, it looks like the standby lines reach a certain length before people refuse to wait.

Seriously though, I don't like to put much thought into how it all works anymore. I guess I got burned out on that discussion a long time ago. I want it to interest me, but it doesn't anymore. :)


Jeff's avatar

The super negative fanboy (anti-fanboy?) stuff about how poorly everything is run still strikes me as noise that's disconnected from the reality. At the end of the day, what I observe is people having a good time, not the end of days. I might be critical, but at least I'm keeping perspective.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

Iger had some pretty interesting things to say about MM+/FP+ in the most recent quarterly call. Apparently, many more guests are using FP+ than used the old system---that can only be a good thing overall.

http://cdn.media.ir.thewaltdisneycompany.com/2014/q1/q1-fy14-earnin...script.pdf


Jeff's avatar

That's expected though, since resort guests are encouraged to use them via the bands and the online booking. Not only that, but going on two years now, you couldn't get a seat at the better restaurants without a reservation. I think that planning notion carries over to attractions.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

Lord Gonchar's avatar

Jeff said:

Not only that, but going on two years now, you couldn't get a seat at the better restaurants without a reservation. I think that planning notion carries over to attractions.

This.

Great way of wording/comparing it.


That's been my line to people who can't fathom why this system will be easier for guests to understand than the old paper system. It's just a reservation; folks have been making them for decades in restaurants---not just at WDW, but in the "real world" as well.


rollergator's avatar

CreditWh0re said:

rollergator said:

Maybe if each of the park's had their own governor, and two of the parks refused to sign on....and then one relented JUST at initial roll-out.

I meant in the way the various components were farmed out and then tried to work with each other. Gator, I was not taking a crack at the ACA and its provisions. :)

Totally agree on the "piecing it out" bit. State of Floorida now has about six or seven vendors doing the job we had been doing for the birth-3 Early Steps program. Eligibility, provider enrollment, billing, reimbursement, service cordination, federal reporting - every aspect has another IT shop running it. We're now just over two years since initial implementation, and it's basically a disaster...but hey, privatization, right? :-P

The ACA had a large number of groups actively trying everything from legislative action or inaction to DoS attacks and every other imaginable ploy to MAKE the system, not work. Here in Florida, the "navigators" are forbidden from setting up at the local health departments (you know, the place where they'd be the most useful). Disney, OTOH...just had too many chefs in the kitchen.

Jeff's avatar

Consultant, vendor and contractor waste in particular has been huge, from what I understand. Communication between concerns (ops, finance, resorts, etc.) wasn't great either.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

Jeff said:

The super negative fanboy (anti-fanboy?) stuff about how poorly everything is run still strikes me as noise that's disconnected from the reality. At the end of the day, what I observe is people having a good time, not the end of days. I might be critical, but at least I'm keeping perspective.

You should pay more attention then to the small stuff that's happening and how cast members morale is dipping. What is your reaction to the closure of a classic dark ride for meet and greet with princesses?

If things were so good, why is Disney giving such discounts to the DVC (Disney Vacation Club, aka Disney point based time share business) members for annual passes? They gave in fall 2012 a 399$ promo for out of state resident for a 4 parks, no black out annual pass. A nice 200$ discount. This was done to keep the DVC members on site and not have them go up to Universal or Sea World or somewhere else. From now until april 30th, DVC members can get a 484$ Premium Annual Pass (that include theme parks, water parks, Disney Quest interactive park, a par 3 golf course and parking. It is a 245$ discount versus regular price.


Absimilliard said:
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It is a 245$ discount versus regular price.

that's obvious. DVC members will more than spend that $245 back. That's like a casino offering a valued guest a comp room and a resort credit. You know you'll make more than that back in spend if you get them on property.

^^

That "classic dark ride" almost never generated a line of substance, until it was announced that it was closing, and barely even then. The princess meet-n-greet has been a MUCH larger draw. Granted, I'd've rather kept Snow White, but it's hard to say that was such a horrible decision, particularly with that story represented across the way in the 7DMT, assuming the latter is ever completed.


Jeff's avatar

Absimilliard said:

What is your reaction to the closure of a classic dark ride for meet and greet with princesses?

There are few things I could spend less time thinking about. Maybe it's because I'm not a little girl, but judging by the wait times, clearly if I was it would appear to be the right decision.

And yes, discounts for DVC members make sense, because they play free and loose with their cash. Don't you think they have mountains of data to prove that out?


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

Ah, that's cute. Someone is predicting doom and gloom for Disney because they've done something that get under the skin of the fan boys. Tell me, how many times in the past has Disney struggled as the result of doing something that didn't exactly give the fan boys a chubby?


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