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What's deflated your WDW enthusiasm the most: Pandemic or Genie+

What has deflated your WDW enthusiasm the most?

  • The pandemic

  • Genie+


Results are only viewable after voting.

Karakasa

Well-Known Member
I'm not sure how the pandemic would deflate my enthusiasm. They just needed to close for a bit. The changes I'm seeing are either common sense and temporary, or probably would've happened anyway and the pandemic is just an excuse. Anyway, there's many many more things to be worried about with the pandemic than, say, having to wear a mask at a theme park or having to socially distance from characters or what have you that you could be talking about. So I'm a little confused, OP.

Genie+, now, that's a big morale hit. I understand offering some kind of lineskip service is just something needed in the theme park industry these days, but I feel like paper Fastpasses were just a lot fairer overall.
 
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Chi84

Premium Member
Anyway, there's many many more things to be worried about with the pandemic than, say, having to wear a mask at a theme park or having to socially distance from characters or what have you that you could be talking about. So I'm a little confused, OP.
I'm not sure why you're confused. There are people (a whole lot of them) who are bothered by having to wear a mask at a theme park and having to socially distance from characters. In fact, many have reported they'll stay away from the parks because of COVID restrictions. Obviously those things don't bother you personally, but are you really confused that others may feel differently?
 

Cliff

Well-Known Member
i just have this feeling that Disney's decision makers are disconnecting from the fans. They dont understand their customers any more.

They dont understand what we want or what our expectations are any more. It's almost like they are making every decision based on mathematical research data without asking themselves;

"How will customers "FEEL" about our mathematical decision choises"

lower management gets it....upper management? It seems like the top people are business people that have zero understanding of what it means to be an actual fan.
 

Andrew25

Active Member
i just have this feeling that Disney's decision makers are disconnecting from the fans. They dont understand their customers any more.

They dont understand what we want or what our expectations are any more. It's almost like they are making every decision based on mathematical research data without asking themselves;

"How will customers "FEEL" about our mathematical decision choises"

lower management gets it....upper management? It seems like the top people are business people that have zero understanding of what it means to be an actual fan.

It's been happening for years, it's just more obvious now
 

Jon & Susy

New Member
I just returned from a trip to both Universal and Disney over 14 days. The difference between the two resorts were pretty obvious to me. Universal appears to be better staffed and fully open Vs. Disney. My wife and I stay at the Boardwalk and not having ESPN Club or Flying Fish open yet in addition to the smaller carts, Jelly Rolls and the local entertainers leaves a big part of the experience lacking. So for me, the Pandemic has left Disney playing catch up and paying full price for less than 100% is a bit deflating.

Wearing masks or having to take them constantly on and off does not make a whole lot of sense to me either because based on my expereince, most people preferred them to be off, so the expectation of protecting one another via a mask wearing policy that is not enforced evenly is not effective.

IMO Disney did this to themselevs when they laid off a lot of employees during the Pandemic and now are struggling to staff up. I was pretty sure I recognized former Disney employees at many locations during our stay at Universal.
 

Jrb1979

Well-Known Member
I'm not sure why you're confused. There are people (a whole lot of them) who are bothered by having to wear a mask at a theme park and having to socially distance from characters. In fact, many have reported they'll stay away from the parks because of COVID restrictions. Obviously those things don't bother you personally, but are you really confused that others may feel differently?
What it shows to me is how different Canada is to US. Our parks have required masks since day 1 and barely anyone complained about it.
 
It's relating to cuts due to the pandemic, but the lack of street entertainment and contributions to the atmosphere of the parks. My girlfriend is limited in what she can ride due to severe motion sickness and relies on "streetmosphere" to be entertained. Since most of this is gone, we have no reason to go back unless the small things that made Disney so fun return.
 

Karakasa

Well-Known Member
I'm not sure why you're confused. There are people (a whole lot of them) who are bothered by having to wear a mask at a theme park and having to socially distance from characters. In fact, many have reported they'll stay away from the parks because of COVID restrictions. Obviously those things don't bother you personally, but are you really confused that others may feel differently?
It's temporary though, is the thing. I can understand not wanting to go now, that's very understandable, but to have it potentially mean you don't want to go down the line (which is what "deflated enthusiasm" would mean to me), I gotta say, I don't get. Especially compared to Genie+ which appears to be far more permanent.
 

bjlc57

Well-Known Member
i am to the point where I don't want to see the Disney ads on tv.. they make me sick.. because right now.. disney is for the ultra rich and not everyone.. and thats fine in the short term.. but it cannot sustain its self in the long term.. When we , the middle to lower middle class stop coming. and stop buying the ears and the pins and every thing else.. Disney is going to be in trouble... I am in the fishing tackle business.. and Our industry cannot survive on the elite of the industry.. the Musky guys, the bass pros or the fly fishing trout guys.. Yes, they may spent the most AT TIMES>. but its the bank fishermen that keep us in business.. the kids.. the elderly.. the guys who fish 5 times per year.. why.. because they OUT NUMBER THE ELITE like by 5 to 1.. they buy hooks and sinkers and worms.. but they keep us all in business..
consequently , i would bet that the most repeat disney guests stay at the all star hotels or Pop or art of animation.. and when you lose the people that make the whole thing possible.. you don't have enough people to survive.. Disney is trying to get back what they lost last year in ONE YEAR.. and it may work in the short term.. but I can't see it working in the long run.. YOU ARE GOING TO KILL THE GOLDEN MOUSE .. all because of one years worth of greed.. like I have stated.. I have ONE MORE trip.. but after that.. you can kiss my grits.. thats really how I feel about disney and the new blue GREEDY.. and the GREED FAST LINES>.
 

ULPO46

Well-Known Member
I just returned from a trip to both Universal and Disney over 14 days. The difference between the two resorts were pretty obvious to me. Universal appears to be better staffed and fully open Vs. Disney. My wife and I stay at the Boardwalk and not having ESPN Club or Flying Fish open yet in addition to the smaller carts, Jelly Rolls and the local entertainers leaves a big part of the experience lacking. So for me, the Pandemic has left Disney playing catch up and paying full price for less than 100% is a bit deflating.

Wearing masks or having to take them constantly on and off does not make a whole lot of sense to me either because based on my expereince, most people preferred them to be off, so the expectation of protecting one another via a mask wearing policy that is not enforced evenly is not effective.

IMO Disney did this to themselevs when they laid off a lot of employees during the Pandemic and now are struggling to staff up. I was pretty sure I recognized former Disney employees at many locations during our stay at Universal.
You're spot on. No one understands unless you live and work in the Central Florida region. SoCal is a whole other discussion but lets stick to Orlando and surrounding region. Rent has gone up all across the state of Florida during the pandemic. What once was a rent of 1,200 USD is now approaching 1,800 USD for a one bedroom apartment. Rents of 2,000 USD are not unheard of and are becoming the reality. Disney going to 15 dollars an hour is a joke. The rest of the State of Florida will reach 15 dollar minimum wage by 2026 what then? When you make the same working for another job it becomes difficult to really incentives the parks as a place to work. Not to mention the cutting of many hours and benefits for hourly employees has made things difficult. Even in the corporate world and upper management at Parks, Experiences, and Products is getting rough with benefits becoming lower and lower each quarter.

The question doesn't become is it worth it anymore, it becomes can I really support my husband/wife/children/family. Disney has stopped caring for its cast members at all levels. It's hard to staff these parks as well because of the rent. When rent went up and the majority of Orlando was shut down due to the Pandemic people left Orlando for places like Tampa, Miami, Jacksonville, and out of state to find work and cheaper housing. No one thought Disney would be closed for so long. That affected a lot of people who after US taxes maybe make 800 dollars a week (EPCOT-Every Paycheck Comes Out Thursday). Keeping the parks staffed has been difficult when Universal and even Seas are offering higher pay and more hours than Disney is willing of late.

Naturally you have your occasional cast member who is ok financially and gives up their hours but a vast majority are struggling to get them if at all. Reminder under Florida State Law full time is anything above 40 hours but Disney gets sneaky about that 39.5, when adding rent, food, and other essentials it becomes difficult to justify the cost of life in Orlando with a dream to work for the company. I count myself as lucky that I am a salaried CM, but I know way too many friends of mine who have had to leave the company due to loss of benefits, hourly employees not getting enough hours ect. You're in no way wrong with seeing ex Disney CM's over on the other side of I-4.

It's sad because time and time again whether it be twitter, instagram, or my Facebook, I get messages from friends and family asking why experiences aren't up and running when the majority of the State of Florida has been open since January 2021. There's just no simple answer and we can't control what corporate deems appropriate. Personally if Bars in Miami Beach can stay open at 100% Capacity past 2 am in the morning, I think Disney can reopen the boardwalk and all hotels. Yet again Casting is a whole other beast in its self. If there aren't enough Mousekeepers, Hotel Bellpersons, Engineers, or Guest Relations/Front Desk Agents we cannot open 100%, but to what extent that's an excuse I have no idea. I know way too many people I grew up with asking constantly if we're hiring.


I mean if the 1,000 USD bonuses didn't resonate, that's one thing to prove people just don't want to work in the service industry for lousy wages when the rest of the state has caught up to Disney's wages.
 

"El Magnifico"

Premium Member
What did it for me is the micro-managing of one's time. Vacations are supposed to be stress free. At least conceptually. Over the past few years Disney has introduced all sorts of things that counter that. You pretty much need an itinerary now. I miss being able to wing it and just going with the flow.
 

John park hopper

Well-Known Member
You're spot on. No one understands unless you live and work in the Central Florida region. SoCal is a whole other discussion but lets stick to Orlando and surrounding region. Rent has gone up all across the state of Florida during the pandemic. What once was a rent of 1,200 USD is now approaching 1,800 USD for a one bedroom apartment. Rents of 2,000 USD are not unheard of and are becoming the reality. Disney going to 15 dollars an hour is a joke. The rest of the State of Florida will reach 15 dollar minimum wage by 2026 what then? When you make the same working for another job it becomes difficult to really incentives the parks as a place to work. Not to mention the cutting of many hours and benefits for hourly employees has made things difficult. Even in the corporate world and upper management at Parks, Experiences, and Products is getting rough with benefits becoming lower and lower each quarter.

The question doesn't become is it worth it anymore, it becomes can I really support my husband/wife/children/family. Disney has stopped caring for its cast members at all levels. It's hard to staff these parks as well because of the rent. When rent went up and the majority of Orlando was shut down due to the Pandemic people left Orlando for places like Tampa, Miami, Jacksonville, and out of state to find work and cheaper housing. No one thought Disney would be closed for so long. That affected a lot of people who after US taxes maybe make 800 dollars a week (EPCOT-Every Paycheck Comes Out Thursday). Keeping the parks staffed has been difficult when Universal and even Seas are offering higher pay and more hours than Disney is willing of late.

Naturally you have your occasional cast member who is ok financially and gives up their hours but a vast majority are struggling to get them if at all. Reminder under Florida State Law full time is anything above 40 hours but Disney gets sneaky about that 39.5, when adding rent, food, and other essentials it becomes difficult to justify the cost of life in Orlando with a dream to work for the company. I count myself as lucky that I am a salaried CM, but I know way too many friends of mine who have had to leave the company due to loss of benefits, hourly employees not getting enough hours ect. You're in no way wrong with seeing ex Disney CM's over on the other side of I-4.

It's sad because time and time again whether it be twitter, instagram, or my Facebook, I get messages from friends and family asking why experiences aren't up and running when the majority of the State of Florida has been open since January 2021. There's just no simple answer and we can't control what corporate deems appropriate. Personally if Bars in Miami Beach can stay open at 100% Capacity past 2 am in the morning, I think Disney can reopen the boardwalk and all hotels. Yet again Casting is a whole other beast in its self. If there aren't enough Mousekeepers, Hotel Bellpersons, Engineers, or Guest Relations/Front Desk Agents we cannot open 100%, but to what extent that's an excuse I have no idea. I know way too many people I grew up with asking constantly if we're hiring.


I mean if the 1,000 USD bonuses didn't resonate, that's one thing to prove people just don't want to work in the service industry for lousy wages when the rest of the state has caught up to Disney's wages.
Could it also be people don't trust Disney they get hired and then down the road their hours=wages are cut. I sure wouldn't want to live like that with that hanging over my head
 

Chi84

Premium Member
What did it for me is the micro-managing of one's time. Vacations are supposed to be stress free. At least conceptually. Over the past few years Disney has introduced all sorts of things that counter that. You pretty much need an itinerary now. I miss being able to wing it and just going with the flow.
I read this here all the time, and I just don't think every type of vacation is destined to be stress-free.

WDW is so large now and offers so much; 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, an entertainment/restaurant/shopping district and resorts like AKL that are destinations in themselves. People go for a week (some even longer) and want to experience specific attractions or events, such as fireworks shows, the newest ride or a popular restaurant with a specific view. They go with their families, who often have to accommodate the schedules of younger or older members. Itineraries are the only way these people are going to get a shot at getting what they want at a time convenient to them. Despite rising costs, the parks are full and these experiences book up far in advance.

We take at least two trips each year - some with just my husband and me and others with the entire family (currently expanded to 6 adults and 3 grandchildren under 3 years old). DH and I would book FP+ and ADR's in advance because we wanted to ensure that we could do certain things at certain times (for example, go to a water park during the day and then hit FOP, EE and KS in the evening at AK with Tiffins thrown in somewhere for dinner). But just about every vacation, we made some last minute changes, usually based on weather.

Our April 2022 trip with the family is going to be challenging, but I would have much preferred the old FP+, 180-day ADR system to whatever is being put in place now. You just don't "wing it" when it comes to making dinner reservations for 9 people. Disney long ago made the decision to favor the certainty of getting particular experiences to the spontaneity of last-minute choices. What I fear is that they have now come up with a weird hybrid of letting people make reservations (60 days out for ADRs and last-minute with Genie+) that will force spontaneity without the certainty of getting what you want.

We've been going to WDW since 1984, when you made dining reservations on the phone or at a kiosk in the parks and there was no line reservation system. We've never had a bad vacation there, and I've always said that the two things most necessary for success are a positive attitude and the flexibility to work with any system Disney currently has in place. This next year is going to test that concept, but I'm willing to give it a chance before deciding it won't work for us.
 

"El Magnifico"

Premium Member
I read this here all the time, and I just don't think every type of vacation is destined to be stress-free.

To an extent there is a level of stress in almost everything. Planning is normal. Making a list of things you'd like to do or see or places you would like to eat at is one thing.

Disney though has created an environment where people start getting stressed out 60 days before they even visit by frantically hitting "refresh" to "win" their preferred dining location and time. Then making a reservation to get into a park. Was the same with FP+. You commit 2 months before you even get there.

If something changes. Let's say you go through that process and really wanted to eat at BoG but couldn't score a res at first. So you accept it and move on to planning the rest of your vacation. Only to find that 3 weeks later a spot at BoG has opened up. Only, it's not the day you made your park res for the MK. So now you scramble to re-arrange things to slot BoG in. But in doing so you have to give up your res at La Hacienda. And change your Epcot day to your MK day and then scramble to see if you can get an ADR at Biergarten or Chefs for the new EPCOT day. And hope that there is availability to change park days.

I've been going since the 70's. Here is the one big issue I have. I live 100 miles away. And up until 2 or 3 years ago, I could wake up on a Saturday and on a whim just decide - Hey, I'm going to take the family - go to a park - stay overnight - come back home. Not a lot of planning was necessary. Sure, I wouldn't get great FP times, and probably wouldn't get prime ADR's. But I could always wait in lines, or walk up to a lot of restaurants even without an ADR and have a chance to be seated. And I did it all at my own pace, without commitments to time-frames.
 
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Chi84

Premium Member
To an extent there is a level of stress in almost everything. Planning is normal. Making a list of things you'd like to do or see or places you would like to eat at is one thing.

Disney though has created an environment where people start getting stressed out 60 days before they even visit by frantically hitting "refresh" to "win" their preferred dining location and time. Then making a reservation to get into a park. Was the same with FP+. You commit 2 months before you even get there.

If something changes. Let's say you go through that process and really wanted to eat at BoG but couldn't score a res at first. So you accept it and move on to planning the rest of your vacation. Only to find that 3 weeks later a spot at BoG has opened up. Only, it's not the day you made your park res for the MK. So now you scramble to re-arrange things to slot BoG in. But in doing so you have to give up your res at La Hacienda. And change your Epcot day to your MK day and then scramble to see if you can get an ADR at Biergarten or Chefs for the new EPCOT day. And hope that there is availability to change park days.

I've been going since the 70's. Here is the one big issue I have. I live 100 miles away. And up until 2 or 3 years ago, I could wake up on a Saturday and on a whim just decide - Hey, I'm going to take the family - go to a park - stay overnight - come back home. Not a lot of planning was necessary. Sure, I wouldn't get great FP times, and probably wouldn't get prime ADR's. But I could always wait in lines, or walk up to a lot of restaurants even without an ADR and have a chance to be seated. And I did it all at my own pace, without commitments to time-frames.
Yes, I do think Disney decided to prioritize the not so frequent visitor over someone like you. But in the worst of times I never had the type of stressful experience you posited. I think one needs to have a somewhat accepting attitude toward planning and at least some flexibility in changing out experiences like dinner reservations. What I don’t want is to show up somewhere with 9 people and then find we can’t get in.

People vacation differently. FP+ and 180 day ADRs worked great for us. Apparently it didn’t work well for others so it had to change. We’ll see how this new system works for us.
 

Greg in TN

Active Member
People vacation differently. FP+ and 180 day ADRs worked great for us. Apparently it didn’t work well for others so it had to change. We’ll see how this new system works for us.
I understand what you're saying, but I don't think what's going on now had anything to do with "the way people vacation." I think it's all about, "Hey, we can make money off this fastpass-thing." So that's what they did.
 

macefamily

Well-Known Member
I'm waiting to see this Genie deal and what it's all about. I heard rumors before the pandemic that Disney was considering monetizing the Fast Pass system. I live in PA and I have an annual pass. We get down there about five times a year. If they're going to try and charge me extra for using the "Lightning Lane" I already told my wife and daughter that I will let my pass expire. When we go down, I won't visit the parks. I'll stay back at the room and watch my daughter's dog. I have to draw the line somewhere.
 

The Tuna

Well-Known Member
Pandemic since it took my job, but Genie+ just let me know I am no longer their target market after 16 trips. Feels like something was taken away from me, to be honest, but that is life. I also don't drive a Lamborghini. I understand business and making lots of money, but it sucks nonetheless. I am very fortunate to have visited many times but now it stinks because I am obsessed with WDW. hahaha come on lotto win.

There has never been a good value proposition when going to Disney and if I was loaded I would pay the crazy prices. Sadly I am not.
 

Chi84

Premium Member
I understand what you're saying, but I don't think what's going on now had anything to do with "the way people vacation." I think it's all about, "Hey, we can make money off this fastpass-thing." So that's what they did.
They have a long history of making decisions based on the way people vacation, which included the free legacy FP sometime in the 90’s and the FP+ system that lasted for years. The new system won’t make them money if it doesn’t take into account how people vacation.
 

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