Disney Resorts Slowly Being Eroded and Dismantled by WDI, Guest Questioners and Outside Design Firms

Flynnwriter

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
One by one, room by room detail by detail, Walt Disney Resorts are losing their details, story and unique character and starting to look and feel like any Hotel USA.

I just posted my thoughts (review below) on this problem, from a recent stay at Disney's Yacht Club - a prime example of this erosion and dismantling of cohesive, immersive Disney Resorts. Please take a look and send a thumbs up if you agree - it is known that Disney reads TripAdvisor frequently. Thank you!


Once Regal, Disney's Yacht Club Has Lost Its Magic... Be careful Disney!
This once immersive and magical resort hotel was a regal, rich and layered place that told a story of glamourous yachts, exploration, the sea and a time when ocean travel was a grand experience. It was also a sophisticated (for Disney) oasis from the theme parks and chaos.

The public areas were always fresh, beautiful and pristine. The rooms were never amazing, but they offered quiet, tranquil settings with some spectacular views.

But over the past several years, The Yacht Club story and theme has been eroded, watered-down, and wiped out. It now has the middle-of-the-road, copycat esthetic of an "anyplace Hilton" decorated by your aunt who dabbles in interior design and an admiration for Wayfair and HGTV. It is a mismatched disaster. A random modern rug here, more black paint, brass light fixtures from 2016, a yellow arm chair from a nightclub. Who did this? If they work for Disney they shouldn't, and if they are from an outside design firm, Disney should think twice. And, is anyone in charge of "Disney taste and resort storytelling?" It's feeling like the answer is "no".

Disney World's greatest resorts don't look like a Property Brothers' makeover - they transport you to another time and place. They are a movie set - not a modern design job from an interior designer looking to "update" Disney's design esthetic.

The Yacht Club is now a confused mess. The old stands out from the new. The new looks cheap and out of place with the architecture and grounds. And the painfully "trying to look hip" deigns are dated from the moment they hit the floor.

You want change Disney? You want The Yacht Club to feel fresh? Don't ask the public. The public will lead you to bland and mediocre.

You want a new update? Try gutting the bathrooms, new lighting, real custom carpeting, wall coverings and opportunities for views. Change for the better and long-term can't be done by ordering a blue wave rug someone liked on Overstock.com.

On a high note, the staff was amazing and the pool is legendary.

We love Disney World Resorts, but one by one, restaurant by restaurant, they are starting to seem less special, less detailed, and more like everyplace else.


IF YOU AGREE PLEASE VISIT TRIPADVISOR AND THUMBS UP
 
Last edited:

nickys

Premium Member
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An interesting piece. I can’t comment on the content, except to query the very last statement.


We love Disney World Resorts, but one by one, restaurant by restaurant, they are starting to seem less special, less detailed, and more like everyplace else.

I don’t understand that sentence. You didn’t mention a restaurant in the “article”. Did you mean to say resort?

Another thing, the title of the thread mentions design firms; yet in the article you don’t appear actually know whether it is a design firm to blame or not.
 

SteveAZee

Well-Known Member
One by one, room by room detail by detail, Walt Disney Resorts are losing their details, story and unique character and starting to look and feel like any Hotel USA.

I just posted my thoughts (review below) on this problem, from a recent stay at Disney's Yacht Club - a prime example of this erosion and dismantling of cohesive, immersive Disney Resorts. Please take a look and send a thumbs up if you agree - it is known that Disney reads TripAdvisor frequently. Thank you!


Once Regal, Disney's Yacht Club Has Lost Its Magic... Be Carful Disney!
This once immersive and magical resort hotel was a regal, rich and layered place that told a story of glamourous yachts, exploration, the sea and a time when ocean travel was a grand experience. It was also a sophisticated (for Disney) oasis from the theme parks and chaos.

The public areas were always fresh, beautiful and pristine. The rooms were never amazing, but they offered quiet, tranquil settings with some spectacular views.

But over the past several years, The Yacht Club story and theme has been eroded, watered-down, and wiped out. It now has the middle-of-the-road, copycat esthetic of an "anyplace Hilton" decorated by your aunt who dabbles in interior design and an admiration for Wayfair and HGTV. It is a mismatched disaster. A random modern rug here, more black paint, brass light fixtures from 2016, a yellow arm chair from a nightclub. Who did this? If they work for Disney they shouldn't, and if they are from an outside design firm, Disney should think twice. And, is anyone in charge of "Disney taste and resort storytelling?" It's feeling like the answer is "no".

Disney World's greatest resorts don't look like a Property Brothers' makeover - they transport you to another time and place. They are a movie set - not a modern design job from an interior designer looking to "update" Disney's design esthetic.

The Yacht Club is now a confused mess. The old stands out from the new. The new looks cheap and out of place with the architecture and grounds. And the painfully "trying to look hip" deigns are dated from the moment they hit the floor.

You want change Disney? You want The Yacht Club to feel fresh? Don't ask the public. The public will lead you to bland and mediocre.

You want a new update? Try gutting the bathrooms, new lighting, real custom carpeting, wall coverings and opportunities for views. Change for the better and long-term can't be done by ordering a blue wave rug someone liked on Overstock.com.

On a high note, the staff was amazing and the pool is legendary.

We love Disney World Resorts, but one by one, restaurant by restaurant, they are starting to seem less special, less detailed, and more like everyplace else.


IF YOU AGREE PLEASE VISIT TRIPADVISOR AND THUMBS UP
Um, "Be Carful"?
 

chrisbarry

Active Member
I stayed at The Yacht Club after the redo and have stayed there many times before. I have to honestly say, I had no problems with the place. I thought the older furnishings were looking old and the new room looked fresh and new. It still felt like Disney to me. I've been in many many standard Hilton-ish hotels all over the place and I never felt like that in The Yacht Club on that last trip.
 

Flynnwriter

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
An interesting piece. I can’t comment on the content, except to query the very last statement.




I don’t understand that sentence. You didn’t mention a restaurant in the “article”. Did you mean to say resort?

Another thing, the title of the thread mentions design firms; yet in the article you don’t appear actually know whether it is a design firm to blame or not.
I want just commenting that all aspects of the resorts are showing signs of missteps.
 

NelleBelle

Well-Known Member
One by one, room by room detail by detail, Walt Disney Resorts are losing their details, story and unique character and starting to look and feel like any Hotel USA.

I just posted my thoughts (review below) on this problem, from a recent stay at Disney's Yacht Club - a prime example of this erosion and dismantling of cohesive, immersive Disney Resorts. Please take a look and send a thumbs up if you agree - it is known that Disney reads TripAdvisor frequently. Thank you!


Once Regal, Disney's Yacht Club Has Lost Its Magic... Be careful Disney!
This once immersive and magical resort hotel was a regal, rich and layered place that told a story of glamourous yachts, exploration, the sea and a time when ocean travel was a grand experience. It was also a sophisticated (for Disney) oasis from the theme parks and chaos.

The public areas were always fresh, beautiful and pristine. The rooms were never amazing, but they offered quiet, tranquil settings with some spectacular views.

But over the past several years, The Yacht Club story and theme has been eroded, watered-down, and wiped out. It now has the middle-of-the-road, copycat esthetic of an "anyplace Hilton" decorated by your aunt who dabbles in interior design and an admiration for Wayfair and HGTV. It is a mismatched disaster. A random modern rug here, more black paint, brass light fixtures from 2016, a yellow arm chair from a nightclub. Who did this? If they work for Disney they shouldn't, and if they are from an outside design firm, Disney should think twice. And, is anyone in charge of "Disney taste and resort storytelling?" It's feeling like the answer is "no".

Disney World's greatest resorts don't look like a Property Brothers' makeover - they transport you to another time and place. They are a movie set - not a modern design job from an interior designer looking to "update" Disney's design esthetic.

The Yacht Club is now a confused mess. The old stands out from the new. The new looks cheap and out of place with the architecture and grounds. And the painfully "trying to look hip" deigns are dated from the moment they hit the floor.

You want change Disney? You want The Yacht Club to feel fresh? Don't ask the public. The public will lead you to bland and mediocre.


You want a new update? Try gutting the bathrooms, new lighting, real custom carpeting, wall coverings and opportunities for views. Change for the better and long-term can't be done by ordering a blue wave rug someone liked on Overstock.com.

On a high note, the staff was amazing and the pool is legendary.

We love Disney World Resorts, but one by one, restaurant by restaurant, they are starting to seem less special, less detailed, and more like everyplace else.


IF YOU AGREE PLEASE VISIT TRIPADVISOR AND THUMBS UP
I guess I don't quite get this statement after you criticize them for using a bad design firm, you then seem to attack the public for having bad taste (which, unless you have a background in design, makes you public, too).

I booked the YC after viewing the new refurb pictures and liked the nod to old cruising. We debated about staying at BC but frankly, I didn't like the decor there. Does it make me wrong for liking YC more, probably in your book, but to each their own.

I just don't know what the review is trying to accomplish? Not to stay there because of the decor? I think this is better suited as an email to disney resorts instead of a travel review site, IMO.
 

wdwfan22

Well-Known Member
I disagree with your review. The Yacht Club still has its yacht club feel. The lobby is now more modern but still fits and is beautiful. The rooms are in my opinion so much better looking than they were in the past. i think it’s safe to say that the majority of Guests staying in Deluxe resorts want that crisp clean toned down look. Some of the old rooms were over the top (Grand Floridian is a perfect example) those rooms were horrid in my opinion.
 

JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
I dont see it as bad as youve portrayed it. Yes, there are some resorts better themed and the atmosphere may draw guests in more in some than others depending on what appeals to them. But after visiting most of the the resorts, Ive yet to think of any as any Hotel USA. They all have their charm and advantage points if one only looks past first impressions and really sees what each property has to deliver. The problem is, that many reviews are tainted by guests desire to plow on complaints that arent always warranted. Once you start going negative, its easy to shut off any positives. Like a business owner friend says to me... Look at the bad reviews online, with a very open mind. For every negative one listed, there are a hundred or more positive ones that should be there but never get written.
 

MmeLeota

New Member
One by one, room by room detail by detail, Walt Disney Resorts are losing their details, story and unique character and starting to look and feel like any Hotel USA.
totally agree...we were going to Disney since 1970's...for recent years (10 or so) we went every month until covid...we have seen the Disney theming go down for years..The Beach used to have great theme and the kids loved looking for the different Little Mermaid characters that were woven into the carpet!! Now, it dull neutral carpet you find in any nice hotel..nothing special.
the last time we stayed at the Contemporary (used to be our favorite in the 1970 - 2000 years) we texted pictures to my nephew and played "Where's Mickey" to see IF you could find one anywhere...You used to wake up in the morning and look around and say Yes...we're at Disney...now you have to look out the window to tell! very sad
 

aliceismad

Well-Known Member
I disagree with your review. The Yacht Club still has its yacht club feel. The lobby is now more modern but still fits and is beautiful. The rooms are in my opinion so much better looking than they were in the past. i think it’s safe to say that the majority of Guests staying in Deluxe resorts want that crisp clean toned down look. Some of the old rooms were over the top (Grand Floridian is a perfect example) those rooms were horrid in my opinion.
I agree. The old Yacht Club room decor did not at all match the premium prices they demand.

The new decor, while more generic and perhaps a bit less "fun", is more upscale. I've only seen photos, but it seemed like all of the fixtures and furniture are a slightly more modern take on similar pieces in the public areas of the resort. As for the "custom carpet" mentioned in the review, I think many hotels are moving away from carpet in rooms, especially since luxury vinyls have become more popular. They are much more durable, waterproof, easier to clean and maintain, and don't harbor bedbugs or mold.

I do agree that many of the recent renovations have moved in a similar direction (raised beds, fake-wood floor, white bed linens, etc.), which makes the individual resorts feel a bit less unique.
 

Miru

Well-Known Member
Disney do however plan to make up for this with their “Star Wars Hotel”, but will it actually work? I do miss when more subtle theming was common than the in-your-faceness of the Value Resorts.
 

Clamman73

Well-Known Member
I agree. The old Yacht Club room decor did not at all match the premium prices they demand.

The new decor, while more generic and perhaps a bit less "fun", is more upscale. I've only seen photos, but it seemed like all of the fixtures and furniture are a slightly more modern take on similar pieces in the public areas of the resort. As for the "custom carpet" mentioned in the review, I think many hotels are moving away from carpet in rooms, especially since luxury vinyls have become more popular. They are much more durable, waterproof, easier to clean and maintain, and don't harbor bedbugs or mold.

I do agree that many of the recent renovations have moved in a similar direction (raised beds, fake-wood floor, white bed linens, etc.), which makes the individual resorts feel a bit less unique.
I think the whole bedbug thing about 5 yrs ago or whenever it was started this whole room redo thing to an easier to keep “clean” style.
Can you imagine with how things are now if the Values still had the old rooms and room service would hardly be there for your trip...yuck.
 

Tom 55

Well-Known Member
In 2009 it was the first time I visited POFQ. Every time you walked in the front door there was a greeter there to give you beads to go with the theming. Me and grandson had some on us each time we went out and shared with other guest in the park. When we went back in 2012 when we checked in they gave us 2 strand of beads each. The only time we saw any beads. Our next time was 2017 and there are no beads and no greeter.
The buses used to be fun to travel in. The drivers made the trips fun. Now it is impossible to find a driver that does more than just drive.
Can not sit in with the driver on the Monorails anymore. That used to be a treat.
I liked to visit hot tub at resort early in the morning or late at night. Before I went off to park or after park close. Now pools and hot tub are locked up during the times I used to visit them.
When you visited Tinkerbell they used to sprinkle fairy dust on you to bring you down to her size. Now it is just come and visit.
It is things like this that I have noticed that make Disney less magical.
 

pj4963

New Member
Going to stay at Yacht Club on our June trip We are looking forward to the Deluxe feel.
I think Disney has gone more towards whites linens because they can be cleaned much better than colors. As far as decor sometimes less is enough is enough I have found over the years we like a more sleek look.
Looking forward towards June
 

NelleBelle

Well-Known Member
Going to stay at Yacht Club on our June trip We are looking forward to the Deluxe feel.
I think Disney has gone more towards whites linens because they can be cleaned much better than colors. As far as decor sometimes less is enough is enough I have found over the years we like a more sleek look.
Looking forward towards June
Agree! Sometimes you need a little break from all the "in-your-face" Disney, 24/7. I appreciate the subtitles that the room decor has in the YC rooms on the art and curtains.
 

Djsfantasi

Active Member
I stay on site because the hotels remind you that you’re still in the bubble. Even if they are not decorated with Disney IP, the detail and theming made you feel that you weren't in Florida USA.

Until I stayed at the BW... If I didn’t look out the window, I felt like I was just on a business trip. Not at Disney. It was my first, and last, deluxe hotel I would pay for.
 

aliceismad

Well-Known Member
I stay on site because the hotels remind you that you’re still in the bubble. Even if they are not decorated with Disney IP, the detail and theming made you feel that you weren't in Florida USA.

Until I stayed at the BW... If I didn’t look out the window, I felt like I was just on a business trip. Not at Disney. It was my first, and last, deluxe hotel I would pay for.
Are you referring to the Boardwalk Inn or the Boardwalk Villas, and when? Just curious.
 

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