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News Early Theme Park Entry coming for resort guests

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
This is the answer for anyone not wanting to pay premium and extra charges for a WDW vacation: Stay off site. Huge numbers do anyway.

People with more... disposable... income will pay to enjoy being in the bubble, which is more of a feeling than an advantage (except with regard to transportation, but, if you're staying off site, then you have a car for at-will transportation).

Of course having a car for at-will transportation still isn't that great considering the traffic involved in getting to and parking at each park. I think the Disney transportation is by far the biggest benefit to staying on-site at this point -- it's the only reason I continue to do so, considering I drive to WDW anyways. It's just so much easier and less stressful to leave my car parked at the resort and use Disney transport, with an occasional Uber/Lyft supplement (but using that all the time would get expensive quickly).
 
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Stitch826

Well-Known Member
I miss the days of Disney in the mid-to-late 2000’s when the company actually cared about giving their guests a quality experience. Nothing beat being able to go to Disney and experience MK after hours, being able to walk straight onto many rides and even stay on to ride a second time without getting off. I remember being a teenager and riding Space Mountain with my brother probably a half dozen times in a row, with less than a ten minute wait each time. Going to Epcot in the early part of the 2010’s and having EMH at Epcot and doing Test Track numerous times in a row.

Now Disney wants to give guests a whopping 30 minutes in the morning. That will allow them what, one ride and maybe a second before non-resort guests arrive? With the long queue and pre-ride show at some rides like FOP, that will eat up the entire time. Not to mention the fact that many people are not early risers, especially on vacations. As well as the fact that people still have to get breakfast before arriving, requiring them to wake up even earlier.
 

MisterPenguin

Rumormonger
Premium Member
I'm fine with increasing prices as a form of crowd control. I'd rather pay an extra $300 for my ticket and get severely reduced crowd levels than the reverse.

But as you said, they're not only increasing prices, but cutting/decreasing almost everything else along with it. That's where I have a serious problem. When the whole experience is lesser than it was 20 years ago, but the cost is much higher, it's hard to justify going at all.

While that operates as crowd control too, it will eventually reach a point where it's unsustainable.
One would have thought with yearly double digit inflation of costs and years of reduced perks WDW would have found that point that numbers went down for more than one year in a significant way... but they haven't.

I never used morning hours or magical express and I bought designer MBs. The only perks I ever used as a resort guest was evening extended hours and transportation and 60 day window for FP+s. So... until they price me out of the resorts (and they're close to doing so with Pop's prices exploding and the Swolphin now charging deluxe rates), I'll probably still go with a Disney resort.
 

MisterPenguin

Rumormonger
Premium Member
I miss the days of Disney in the mid-to-late 2000’s when the company actually cared about giving their guests a quality experience.
While I'm not saying they didn't care about the quality of what you got back then, all the extra perks were to drive up numbers attending. They don't need to do that anymore.

As a service industry, anything Disney does should be at high quality. Doesn't mean they have to heap on lots of free high-quality perks. The few perks that remain should be high quality.
 

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
One would have thought with yearly double digit inflation of costs and years of reduced perks WDW would have found that point that numbers went down for more than one year in a significant way... but they haven't.

I never used morning hours or magical express and I bought designer MBs. The only perks I ever used as a resort guest was evening extended hours and transportation and 60 day window for FP+s. So... until they price me out of the resorts (and they're close to doing so with Pop's prices exploding and the Swolphin now charging deluxe rates), I'll probably still go with a Disney resort.

Oh, I agree -- I'll likely stay at a Disney resort whenever I go back solely because of the transportation benefit (and the FP+ window, if that still exists). I also think there's something to being in the bubble with a themed hotel (such as it is at this point); I think it would feel less like a Disney vacation if I was staying at a Hilton or a Holiday Inn.

But as you said, if they continue to jack up the resort prices, it'll eventually hit a point where I'm no longer willing to pay. I usually stay at Riverside because it's my favorite moderate (and I really dislike the value resorts), but I'm not going to pay $400 a night to stay there and things are heading in that direction.
 

homerdance

Premium Member
"Early Theme Park Entry: We know how much guests enjoy extra park time, so coming later this year as part of our 50th anniversary celebration, Disney Resort hotel guests and guests of other select hotels will be able to enjoy more fun with 30-minute early entry to ANY theme park, EVERY day. It’ll be a great way to get a jump start on your Disney day, no matter the day! As a reminder, the Extra Magic Hours benefit was suspended when Walt Disney World Resort reopened last summer, and as we continue to manage attendance with health and safety top of mind, Extra Magic Hours will not return. The new early theme park entry benefit helps us better spread visitation across all four theme parks, while providing added flexibility by giving guests extra early park time on each day of their vacation and in the park of their choosing. Please note that guests need valid admission and a park reservation made via the Disney Park Pass system to enter a theme park."

Based on the comments they are allowing, pretty good sign the PR department wasn't a fan of the move either.
 

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
This is an upgrade IMO. It's not a "cut that I'm trying to rationalize by saying it's not that bad." I legitimately like it better.

I would understand some people liking it better if it was an hour early at all four parks. Would still be worthless to me, but I could see the benefit for some. 30 minutes is such a small window (as I've said above) I just don't think it's going to be very beneficial to anyone.
 

aliceismad

Well-Known Member
I would understand some people liking it better if it was an hour early at all four parks. Would still be worthless to me, but I could see the benefit for some. 30 minutes is such a small window (as I've said above) I just don't think it's going to be very beneficial to anyone.
I agree. The perception of having an hour extra vs a half hour extra is a big change. A half hour is nothing. It's the same amount of time some of us spend wrangling toddlers to get dressed every day.

I do appreciate that it's at every park. That is a nice change.
 

networkpro

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
Yes
This is an upgrade IMO. It's not a "cut that I'm trying to rationalize by saying it's not that bad." I legitimately like it better.

I think it's also a win for the remaining cast members.

Time to check out what's going at Universal.

You mean you haven't already ? I have as well as checking out Bush Gardens and Sea World.
 

Stitch826

Well-Known Member
While I'm not saying they didn't care about the quality of what you got back then, all the extra perks were to drive up numbers attending. They don't need to do that anymore.

As a service industry, anything Disney does should be at high quality. Doesn't mean they have to heap on lots of free high-quality perks. The few perks that remain should be high quality.
Honestly, which perks actually remain for resort guests other than actually staying in the Disney bubble? No more Magical Express after this year. No EMH. No fast passes. No dining plan (that’s one I won’t miss, but many do). No fireworks or nighttime shows. Limited dining options. No housekeeping at hotels. And the list goes on. Obviously some will be brought back gradually, but the question remains, what’s the advantage for guests to stay on property?
 

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
Like the last five years?

I had not been in about a decade before going in 2018 -- taking my GF for the first time. She loved it and wanted to return so we went back last year. At the moment I don't have plans to return any time soon, although she will probably want to go back.

Which is probably what Disney is counting on. If you didn't attend 20 (or even better, 30) years ago, you don't have any comparison to/memory of how things used to be.
 

brettf22

Premium Member
This is an upgrade IMO. It's not a "cut that I'm trying to rationalize by saying it's not that bad." I legitimately like it better.

I can see your point of view. But IMO, on the surface, at best it’s a push. The positive “30 minutes at every park, every day” is offset by the negative shortened duration and removal of evening extra hours.

But most of this analysis is hypothetical until there is some time to see what the real dynamic impacts are. Every time I think I’ve figured out how a change at Disney should affect guests’ behavior, the more I realize people’s reactions to change can be wildly unpredictable.

If nothing else, it will provide many more hours of analysis for @lentesta and his crew.
 

DisneyOutsider

Well-Known Member
If you usually/always stay on-site, then there really is no gain here. I'm not going to say it's a big loss... EMH had become something to avoid rather than enjoy over the past 5 years or so (though WDW could have fixed this if they so desired).

If you're an off-site person or local, then this is a significant loss as it pertains to rope-dropping. The benefit of this new approach is that you have a shot at lower waits for a headliner attraction (FoP, SWGE, MMRR, Slinky, Mine Train, upcoming EPCOT attractions) by rope-dropping. Those headliners will now be an unavoidable long wait for all locals/off-site guests, fastpass notwithstanding.
 

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