No more incentives left for staying at Disney Hotels.

NightGuardianAngel

Member
Original Poster
There really is no incentives left in staying at the Disney hotels anymore. Free magical express, extra magic hours, free magic bands, fastpass plus (booked 60 days in advance if staying at a Disney hotel which gave you first dibs on everything in the parks), free parking at Disney hotels for guests, etc. have now all faded into the oblivion. Might as well just stay at a nearby Motel 6 and get an Uber. Disney hotels now charge for parking in addition to the room rate. I sure miss the good old days. I sure wish I can borrow Emmitt Brown’s (Doc’s) Delorean time machine and travel to the year 2015 and book a vacation to Walt Disney World hotels to savor and enjoy the magic of yesteryear. I would be like “Great Scott!!!”.
 
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JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
For many it’s still all about staying onsite , being near the parks, having the transportation , the food courts, the resort theming. We still book resort stays because of the above items and it’s convenient for us, we enjoy the resorts we book. Money isn’t always the factor that determines how we vacation. We wouldn’t use ME, but I agree that the other missing things are missed and made our resort stay more enticing.
But yes for many people staying off site is something they will do more of and Disney will lose a percentage of guests due to their new way of doing business.
 

Weather_Lady

Well-Known Member
It is a shame, and from a business standpoint, I'll always be baffled over why Disney jettisoned a practically all-inclusive bundle of onsite amenities that kept guests spending money "in the bubble," and replaced it with a bare bones, piecemeal offering that not only embraces all the worst parts of mundane vacation planning, but piles on extra layers of complication and stress (e.g., Genie+, ILL, parkhopping restrictions, park reservation requirements). Who wants to pay an arm and a leg for that?

At the same time, for those of us who visit from out of state without a car, I've been surprised, when I crunched the numbers, at how expensive even an offsite stay at a "budget" hotel or inexpensive AirBnB can get, when you add in the cost of a rental car and parking (or multiple rideshares, or the costs associated with a hotel shuttle). Visitors like me are really caught between a rock and a hard place, financially - at least, until rental car prices come down.

As Simon Cowell is wont to say, "It's a no from me," and we're in no hurry to return to WDW, onsite or off. I, too, yearn for the "good old days," and am incredibly grateful I got to enjoy them, with some loved ones who are no longer with me. However, Disney has moved on from its former standards, and after a little post-breakup mourning period (and despite some residual "kicking against the goads" in forums like this), I'm moving on, too. :)
 
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HouCuseChickie

Well-Known Member
There really is no incentives left in staying at the Disney hotels anymore. Free magical express, extra magic hours, free magic bands, fastpass plus (booked 60 days in advance if staying at a Disney hotel which gave you first dibs on everything in the parks), free parking at Disney hotels for guests, etc. have now all faded into the oblivion. Might as well just stay at a nearby Motel 6 and get an Uber. Disney hotels now charge for parking in addition to the room rate. I sure miss the good old days. I sure wish I can borrow Emmitt Brown’s (Doc’s) Delorean time machine and travel to the year 2015 and book a vacation to Walt Disney World hotels to savor and enjoy the magic of yesteryear. I would be like “Great Scott!!!”.

That's kind of how I felt after our last visit. I felt like the vast majority of the perks I used to list off to justify the onsite lodging costs were gone. Yet, I still decided to pay for deluxe accommodations because I felt the convenience factor may still be worth it. By the end of that trip, I felt like we should have just saved some $ and stayed off site. Not sure I want to splurge for the Four Seasons, but if I'm willing to pay onsite prices, getting into a real luxury hotel seems like the more logical choice. The Waldorf is actually pretty high on our list...decent location and would make it easy to go to Bull & Bear for dinner. Of course, we're not planning anything WDW anytime soon...but it's the way we're leaning whenever we choose to go back. Alternately, we could stay someplace nice that's priced more economically and save the $ for other things. At the end of the day...either option would likely make us feel like we've used our $ more wisely.
 

Club Cooloholic

Well-Known Member
I love the resorts, but also always drive. That said WDW really screwed up dumping the magical express, you practically beg people to to try an excursion off site to UNI, Legoland, SeaWorld or heck even Gatorland when you have them driving in. I really saw the difference with not Magic Express in the parking lots. Was never as full at the resorts as it is now.
 

NightGuardianAngel

Member
Original Poster
It sure would not surprise me if they start adding an extra fee for transportation within the “bubble” from one park to another and to and from hotel to park even to hotel guests especially with gasoline and diesel prices being around $5.00 per gallon or higher. At least, Disney does not charge you for the air you breathe (at least for now).
 
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Nottamus

Well-Known Member
I’ve often wondered if it’s the same for everyone as it is for the wife and I.

Our first stay was Coronado springs, but we visited AKL Jambo multiple times and eventually purchased a resale DVC there.

Well, we fell head over heels for the place and love going there twice a year if we can. The music, smells, sights…we crave it

We also like 3 of the 4 parks and believe that last one Is just overhyped and overcrowded.

We don’t buy into Genie and feel the loss of Fastpass- and paying for bands and parking etc

Once we all dry up and go away, a whole new generation of guests who don’t know the losses will fill their parks and resorts.

For now, we go. Will continue to go.

When water hits $20 a bottle, we will go no more than 3 times then stop.
 

SteveAZee

Well-Known Member
I love the resorts, but also always drive. That said WDW really screwed up dumping the magical express, you practically beg people to to try an excursion off site to UNI, Legoland, SeaWorld or heck even Gatorland when you have them driving in. I really saw the difference with not Magic Express in the parking lots. Was never as full at the resorts as it is now.
I'm really curious about how much this happens... people going to Orlando for WDW but going off to do other things as well. It seems like one of the many reasons given for not building a fifth park is the 'one week vacation' model... how long a family will actually visit Orlando, and with four theme parks, water parks, etc... it will fill a week for most families. There's also this cap now, when using G+, where you can't re-ride in the same day without hitting the standby line, so (perhaps) people will visit some parks two or three times during their trip just to hit their favorite attractions again. Perhaps Disney believes 'leakage' of guests to other resorts is pretty small.

Our family doesn't go every year, but when we go we stay for ten days at a time. We talk occasionally about venturing off to Universal or other places outside the bubble, but it never seems to happen.
 

Weather_Lady

Well-Known Member
I think we need to recognize that Disney is a business not a person.

You are right. At the same time, Disney spent decades positioning and advertising itself as a "nostalgia" destination that was more than a business: it was a place that cared deeply about guests' feelings, memories, and personal experiences, and was always willing to go above-and-beyond to deliver something that exceeded expectations.

I would argue that for a very long time, such marketing was pretty accurate, and I can recall some incredible customer service interactions we had over the first 30 years of my WDW experiences that reflected that, and which built my family's trust and loyalty in the brand, and made us feel safe investing in it not just financially, but emotionally -- which was exactly what Disney wanted. Their marketing appeals went straight for the feels, and amenities were incidental:

Now, Disney has shifted to a colder, more profits-driven attitude, more typical of other American businesses in general and theme parks in particular. The problem is that it's still trying to cash in on all the nostalgia and trust it built up under the former model, while chipping relentlessly away at all the things that used to raise the guest experience so far above the norm: that's what feels so manipulative, and triggers such a deeply emotional response in devoted long-term visitors.

Yes, I know we need to "get over it," and I have, but for people who have loved WDW all their lives and invested countless amounts of time and money in it -- the kind of people who regularly visit a forum like this just to talk about a vacation destination because it means so much to them -- that can be an appreciable hurdle.
 
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Weather_Lady

Well-Known Member
Our family doesn't go every year, but when we go we stay for ten days at a time. We talk occasionally about venturing off to Universal or other places outside the bubble, but it never seems to happen.
I encourage you to try it if you can! Once you go offsite, you'll be amazed at what fun there is to be had. Try a split stay (e.g., 3 days/nights at Universal onsite with some excursions along I-drive, followed by 3-4 days/nights at WDW onsite), and you'll never go back to being a single-destination vacationer. :) At least, my family hasn't!
 

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