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Unmagical Day at the Magic Kingdom

KATIEBUG101

New Member
Original Poster
Let me start out by saying that I love Disney World, or at least I did until my recent trip on Monday, March 3, 2014. I have been to Disney at least twenty times. I honeymooned at Disney World. I have Disney stock. I never ever thought I would ever write a complaint letter to the "happiest place on earth". Granted, I have not been in a few years. There have been lots of changes at Disney, and most of them are not good. The reason I have not gone in a few years is that I have been busy having children, an adorable little Princess who is 2 years old, named Skye, and my 5-month old little Prince Dylan. I also have a twelve year old princess, Julie, and 14 year old princess, Kaitlynn. We are a big family. We paid lots of money for our tickets.


The charge of parking has gone up. It is $14.00 and it was $10.00. When you park for the Magic Kingdom, you actually wind up at the ticket and transportation center and then have to take a tram. You can't put the baby and all the stuff in the stroller because it will not fit on the tram. I guess you could walk, because it took fifteen minutes to wait for the tram anyway. After you get to the Ticket and Transportation Center then you have to take the ferry or monorail to the actual Magic Kingdom. It took over an hour to actually get to the gates of the Magic Kingdom from the time we parked. I think that's a little ridiculous.


The first thing I noticed from the monorail is that the castle is under construction (hmmmm, not very magical). Once inside the park the moat is drained!!!! It is ugly, not magical at all. And the inside of the castle is closed. There were two cast members blocking the way who rudely told us we could go around the back - past the smoking area and drained moat - which is very un-magical. The cast members could clearly see that Skye was crying because all she wanted to do was see Cinderella's castle and meet Cinderella. They didn't do anything!!!! In fact, they just looked disgusted that we were bothering them and now my annoying kid was crying. They didn't say, "Don't worry, you'll see Cinderella later." or offer to escort her in back themselves, or tell us where we could meet or see Cinderella later, or even say "I'm sorry, little princess, please don't cry!" So basically, we were there for less than fifteen minutes and my little girl is crying. So we went in the back way, made a wish in the fountain, and saw what we could of the castle, which wasn't much.


My little girl never did see Cinderella that day. I thought we could meet her after the castle show because all the characters come down afterwards to greet the children, but apparently that is a thing of the past. After the show the characters disappeared? This caused my little princess to cry again. Then I was told that they are holding Cinderella captive in the new Princess Fairytale Hall and you can get a fastpass so you don't have to wait in line for over an hour. Well, I went to get fastpasses and the new system would not allow me to get one. Ariel was also "unavailable" and so was Rapunzel. I was able to get a fastpass to meet Mickey but that wasn't until 6:30pm - 7:30pm. I used to be able to get a fastpass outside any ride. Now you can only get three? This is a horrible system. I was waiting in line for 45 minutes to get the fastpasses! How is that fast or magical?


At lunchtime, we went to Cosmic Ray's, or at least tried to. I got little Dylan out of the stroller along with all the stuff and sent my hubby to get the food so I could sit down with the little kids. There were two cast members guarding the door to where the seating is blocking the way. I was told that I couldn't sit down unless I have bought food!!!!! What!!!!!!!! Are you serious?????? I pointed to my husband in line and told him that I could not wait 30 minutes with a two year old and five month old without a stroller. I told my husband who was furious and complained to the manager, Sam. Sam did nothing. Sam did not apologize. Sam did not let me sit down. Sam did not give us vouchers for free dessert. Sam did nothing but stand in front of the door and treat us like second-class citizens. I wasn't bringing in food from home. I was planning to buy it, but even if the opposite was the case - why aren't people allowed to sit down anywhere for free? Especially people with little children who paid over $100 per person to get into the park? I was so angry I left and went over to Pecos Bills. They also had cast members guarding the seats. I was hungry and frustrated, so I gave in and waited with the kids to get all the food before I sat down. This is a ridiculous policy and it needs to be changed right away. People are paying ridiculous prices for so-so food and you won't let a mother of four sit down! I'm serious, if you keep doing this to mothers with little kids, it will cause a riot. There was a mother of twins and another grandmother at Cosmic Ray's who were just as angry as I was. I would also like to mention that Julie , is a picky eater. She eats chicken nuggets or pizza. There was nothing on the menu at Pecos Bills for her to eat - only burgers. I talked her into a Southwest Salad, which had grilled chicken on it. Food selection, quality and customer service is better at the state fair, than at Disney World restaurants. Don't you think all the restaurants should have staples for the kids? - Hot dog, hamburger, pizza, mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, corn dogs. Skye wanted ice cream. I couldn't get it there. I was told to go to a vendor outside. And why don't you sell McDonald's fries anymore. I loved that! After we were seated I needed to get up and get napkins and toppings. Apparently, you are paying the guards to watch the guests because three cast members asked me what I was doing out of my seat and reminded me that I couldn't sit down unless I had bought food. They were not offering to help me get everything I needed to feed my troop - they were strictly enforcing the rules and treating everyone like cattle. A cast member followed me back to my seat to make sure I had really bought food! So lunch was not very magical at all. I paid over $70 dollars for everyone and nobody was happy.


For dinner, I tried to make reservations but was told there was nothing available unless I went to Downtown Disney. Crystal Palace and Be Your Guest had a three hour wait and we were told that people with reservations have priority. I find it really hard to fathom that Disney World is making it so difficult to get a simple meal. We skipped dinner and ate at Denny's - which was cheaper and made everyone happy.


Next week we are planning to go to Epcot or MGM during spring break. I called Disney Dining to make reservations. I was appalled when I was told I had to guarantee any dining reservation with a credit card and cancel up to 24 hours in advance or be charged $10 per person. Ok, so that's $60 if we are stuck on a ride or get there late. People with four kids are rarely on time. At this point, I was angry enough to ask for a manager to discuss all of these "new policies". I spoke to Winston. He was also no help. He said he would gladly take my reservation but not without a credit card. I told him about the debacle at Cosmic Ray's. He said he had never heard of that happening before, so I guess it's not his problem. I told him that I took my two year old princess to the Magic Kingdom and she was unable to see Cinderella or Mickey Mouse. Apparently, he didn't care about that at all? Then he had the nerve to tell me that everyone is held to their high standard of policies, even Executive Vice Presidents! Really, well how does he know I'm not an Executive Vice President? He said he knew because an Executive Vice President would not cut off his sentences. Wow! Well, you can tell Winston that I am not an Executive, but I am a travel agent. And you can bet that this letter is going to be emailed to everyone I can think of at this point. And if any of my clients ask me where they should visit in Orlando - I will definitely tell them that Disney World is not worth the money anymore. Their customer service is sub-par at best and they simply don't care if a little kid is crying because they can't meet their favorite character. And if I could have a dollar for every time a Disney Cast member rolled their eyes at me on my visit - I would have over $100 dollars - which would cover the cost of my over-priced Disney ticket. I asked Winston to refund my tickets because at this point I never want to go to Disney again. He offered to transfer me to ticketing but reminded me that the tickets are non-refundable. Great customer service Disney! Epic Fail! I am ashamed of you. I've been a loyal Disney fan and guest for forty years. It's a shame that that loyalty was shattered in one visit to the so-called Magic Kingdom. If you refuse to do anything to make this right, any future visits to theme parks for my family will be spent at Universal Studios or Busch Gardens. And I meanmorethan a half-hearted apology and an eye roll!
 

TubaGeek

God bless the "Ignore" button.
I have no hesitance to call Disney out on their BS, and you do have several legitimate points, but, primarily, you're coming off as someone who feels exceptionally entitled amongst tens of thousands of other guests who ALSO paid to get in and must "suffer" the same rules.
Some research, next time, will make your trip infinitely more fruitful.
And, if you really expect Disney to make your trip any better... well, I guess I'll see you at Busch and Uni then. I've been making good on that same ultimatum for a while now.
 

jagiord1

Well-Known Member
Alright.

First and foremost. I am a former College Program member who worked at Pecos Bills. Allow me to give you some insight into the whole "doors" policy that you encountered at both Cosmic's and Pecos. During periods of high traffic, usually spring break/summer/holiday from 12-3, all of the quick service restaurants have the same doors policy. It is enforced, not to make you buy food, but to keep guests from tying up tables. It's no secret that the act of just getting food in the magic kingdom can take up to 20/30 minutes. If you have one spouse on line to get food, and one spouse saving a table that ties up the table for the initial 20/30 minutes, plus however long it will take to finish your meal. In theory that doesn't sound too awful, but take in account that there are a fixed amount of tables in each restaurant. While it might have been unmagical for you to have to wait for your husband, imagine how unmagical it would be eating on top of a garbage can because you can't find a table, but look over and see a family reserving a table with no food. It's Disney's way of trying to be fair. It also makes it so that there is always a table available when your full party arrives with their food. I had to work the doors system every day during high volume periods. I've been called every name in the book while on doors. And I still support it 100%.

As for the rest of your post, I'm sorry but it all sounds like poor planning on your part. You claim to be a travel agent, but you have done no recent research on a trip to an ever changing environment like Walt Disney World? Construction has been going on for a while now. Happens all year round. The menus for every restaurant can be found online, so you can cater your day to your picky eaters. The new fast past system has been in place for months, you should have familiarized yourself with it. Expecting dinner reservations for the same day is almost laughable.

I myself have never accompanied young children to a huge amusement park. However, one day I will. And I know that I will put extraordinary amounts of research into the trip, and form a solid plan before tackling something like Walt Disney World. Especially if I considered myself knowledgeable about travel.

One more thing. Your crying children are your problem. Cast Members can try to help, and in the past I've comforted several crying children. But at the end of the day, they're not getting paid seven dollars an hour to coddle your children. All of this could have been avoided if you did your job as a parent and researched the things your children wanted to do the most. The characters haven't met after Dream Along with Mickey in at least five years. You can't hold Disney accountable for your ignorance.

I am sorry that you had an unhappy experience at Disney World. But the blame is on no one but yourself.
 

PHS79

Active Member
I hear why you are upset, but it sounds like poor planning on your part it the problem for most of the issues.

When we were at WDW in Feb of 2013 the castle had some work being done and they only allowed people through at certain times. The castle being worked on and the moat being drained, they have be be worked on at some point in time and it just happen that was while you where their.

With the dining reservations, we had 5 people in our group last year. We had 8 sit down reservations and we were never late for any of them, we made sure that we were at the restaurant at least 15 mins early. If we were dining in a park and had time to kill we would just look at the ride wait times on Disneys mobile app and go on whatever ride we had time to do and still make it to the reservation on time.

A little planning goes along way!
 

FettFan

Well-Known Member
You claim you've been to Disney World over 20 times....yet you are surprised that you have to park in front of the TTC then take the ferry or monorail to the Magic Kingdom?


I'm sorry, but it sounds like you're just griping for the sake of griping (aka: Making **** Up). That's been the set up for the past 40+ years.
 

BigTxEars

Well-Known Member
I am speechless honestly. If you are trolling then you deserve a pat on the back for the effort of writing a post of that size and scope to try and troll.

If you are serious then I can only imagine the mess those poor CMs had to put up with dealing with your self absorbed rants to them. My little prince and princess, oh man that is rich.....
 

Weather_Lady

Well-Known Member
Although there are many red flags in the OP's post, it was the complaints implying a desire for a variety of quality food -- followed by the complaint that the OP missed the McDonald's fries -- that made me laugh out loud! That, and a "travel agent" believing that Cinderella resides, or is to be found, inside Cinderella Castle! "MGM or Epcot" next? Seriously?

I give a big thumbs-up to those of you who've replied with kindness and words of wisdom, but I can't help but think that this thread was posted as a joke.

Oh, and I forgot -- as a non-Disney employee on an explicitly unofficial Disney World fan forum I can't offer any kind of apology on behalf of the corporation to you, Katiebug, but here's an eye roll for ya. :rolleyes:
 
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Magenta Panther

Well-Known Member
Sounds like your expectations were a bit unrealistic. I hope you'll stick around these boards and read trip reports and other news that might help you plan a bit better next time. And you HAVE to plan in advance. I go to WDW by myself most of the time, but I always plan ahead, especially regarding meals. The last time I went to WDW, I tried to book "Be Our Guest" but could not get a reservation - and I had booked months in advance of my visit. But I just so happened to visit the restaurant while at the park and casually ask, "I don't suppose there's any chance of my getting in?" and the host said, "You can get in right now, if you like." :eek::D It was the luck of the draw. I had a great meal. Anyway, sorry about your disappointment. And BTW, I think "Skye" is a beautiful name for a little girl.
 

mitchk

Well-Known Member
This has got to be a troll post. There's no way this story is real. You've been to disney about twenty times, yet you didn't know you park at the TTC then take the monorail or ferry? I find that very hard to believe. And also the moat is drained for the new hub construction work.

This....

Also, if you don't want to keep up with the changes that have been made...travel agent... Stay out of the most Magical Place on Earth ... Troll ...
 

JohnD

Well-Known Member
I can hear the frustration from the OP. But there has to be a balance. For the MK, which has been open for more than 40 years, there is constant need of refurbishment. You can't just leave it untouched. Otherwise, things will break down. As for the moat, you can argue whether or not you want a full circular moat or whether the area just south of the castle needs to be filled in (that's another discussion), but the moat drainage is part of an effort by Disney to improve traffic flow in the area.

If you don't want to see those things, then check sites such as this one that post a refurbishment schedule. If your planning is such that you can't go any other time, then make the mental adjustment to enjoy your time anyway, knowing that these refurbishments are for the future enjoyment of guests even if you're being inconvenienced at the time you are going.

Disney has millions of guests. So, that is why ADRs need to be made way in advance. And if do make them but don't keep them, I completely understand the $10 fee for not showing. It wasn't so much of an issue when you were dependent on calling them. But with MDE, you can make ADRs are the drop of a hat. The $10 fee seems reasonable to me.
 
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