Disney Complaints That Have a Point
If you have internet access, you’ve watched someone vent about what’s bothering them.
People use the internet as free therapy, raging against the machine and posting every stray thought.
As a writer, I must confess that I’ve done this many times, not all of them when my arguments were sound.
However, sometimes, people have a point. Here are six Disney complaints that possess at least some basis in truth.
Change to Park Passes
Yes, Disney has indicated that Park Passes will remain for the foreseeable future.
In fact, you can book them all the way into 2023! Now, for many longtime Disney fans, that’s not welcome news.
We’re used to having the run of the parks whenever we want. Thankfully, Park Hoppers still do…sort of.
As long as you book a Park Pass for any of Walt Disney World’s four theme parks, you can Park Hop anywhere else that day.
However, when you don’t reserve a Park Pass, you cannot enter a Disney theme park on that date…which isn’t great.
So, Disney has changed and added new requirements that do feel like extra hoops you must jump through. You’re right about that.
How big a deal is the new Park Pass process? I don’t think it’s a massive change, but if you don’t like it, that’s totally valid.
We’ll know in about 18 months whether Park Passes are really here to stay or just something Disney did during the pandemic and kept for the 50th-anniversary celebration.
Lack of Disney Dining Plan
The following criticisms fall into the category of “damned if you do, damned if you don’t,” in that Disney doesn’t have much choice here.
During the pandemic, Disney laid off 32,000 people. That’s an almost incomprehensible number of workers who couldn’t contribute when Disney needed them most.
The brutal part of this financial concession involved planning what would come next.
Many of the individuals who would participate in those discussions weren’t working at the time.
As such, Disney theme parks entered a weird state of limbo wherein strategists couldn’t accomplish anything of note.
Instead, dedicated cast members expended all their energy keeping the lights on, so to speak.
When you hear about all-time low morale at the parks, you should believe it. Cast members suffered through the worst grind of their Disney careers.
Meanwhile, the parks remained in stasis as executives couldn’t plan for what came after the pandemic. They faced too many question marks, just like the rest of us.
When vaccination lessened the spread of COVID-19, everything changed virtually overnight, at least from guests’ perspective.
Meanwhile, Disney officials still struggled with returning the parks to a state of normalcy.
Some cast members decided they didn’t want to come back. Others have returned, but they needed training for new job assignments.
In short, Disney has entered an unprecedented state of flux, which has slowed its ability to move forward past this nightmare year.
So, park officials couldn’t state when things like the Disney Dining Plan would return. They just didn’t know when it’d be possible!
Thankfully, we finally know that dining plans will return, just not a date. But, hey, at least it’s something!
Lack of FastPasses
The same thought process explains Disney’s indecision with FastPasses.
No, we don’t know when FastPasses will return. For that matter, we’re not totally confident that they ever will.
Walt Disney World will use…something to allow guests to skip the lines. I mean, they already do for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
After all, Boarding Groups are really just FastPasses by a different name.
So, the concept will remain, even if what we call it becomes a matter of semantics.
Still, Disney has let down its fans by not offering insight into what will happen next. I can’t really blame them, though.
Very few people within Disney’s inner circle even know what’s up for discussion. It’s one of the best-kept secrets at the company.
For this reason, if anyone tells you that they heard what Disney will do with FastPasses, they’re misinformed unless their name is Chapek or D’Amaro.
Pretty much nobody else knows for sure. So we’re all just guessing, which suck-diddly-ucks.
If you’re awaiting clarity about the return of FastPasses or dining plans, you’re right to feel frustrated. And you’re not alone.
Reliance on Phones
Yeah, I hear you on this one. I hear you a lot.
Some folks, especially those who are the age of, say, Generation X, or above feel like society spends too much time on phones.
A few years ago, critics lambasted smartphone designers for worrying about how video would look on a smartphone.
Who would stare for any length of time at a screen that size, right? Oops. That argument held up about as well as LeBron James never winning a championship.
Phones have grown ubiquitous in our society, which has forced Disney’s hand. After all, it’s in the business of keeping customers happy.
You may not think of phones as a magical experience, but I can assure you that many people feel just as strongly the other way.
Honestly, I’m one of them. I used to rock a Blackberry 850 in 1999 and then upgraded to the T-Mobile Sidekick a couple of years later.
So, I was early on the smartphone bandwagon and have had some form of portable internet for more than 20 years. I couldn’t live without it.
Still, I understand why others feel more comfortable without glancing at their phones every few minutes. And Disney should appeal to them, too.
The company has relied too much on My Disney Experience and has left some longtime fans in the dust, which isn’t cool.
Too Much Planning
We’re kind of hanging in intermission on this particular complaint, but it’s still viable.
Over the past decade, Disney has veered hard toward planning requirements. As a result, it expects guests to know far too much, far too soon.
For example, you should book more than six months ahead of time. That way, you can schedule your Advanced Dining Reservations and FastPasses.
You can see why this one isn’t the hottest topic at the moment. During the pandemic, Disney has changed dining reservations to 60-day windows.
As for FastPasses, well, we just talked about that. So, you can act more impulsively with your Disney vacation right now than at any point this decade.
Still, we all presume that the parks will return to pre-pandemic standards soon. At that point, the planning requirements will once again feel oppressive.
In fact, the Park Pass requirement may accentuate the problem. Imagine making all your plans, only to discover that you’ll be at a different park that day!
Disney needs to provide vacationers with more flexibility. The current system is too demanding on those of us who aren’t planners by nature.
Worsening Customer Service
Here’s the other bugaboo that ties into several other complaints.
Disney has suffered staffing issues since March of 2020. Simultaneously, the cast members who kept their jobs didn’t feel lucky.
Instead, these workers faced a ceaseless onslaught of hostility from a small percentage of thoughtless jerks.
For no apparent reason, these park guests showed up, knowing that they must wear face masks and follow social distancing practices.
When cast members enforced the policies, these people acted aggressively and obnoxiously. It wasn’t what anybody expects from working for Disney.
Meanwhile, Disney cut its phone support staff to the lowest possible number of workers because it couldn’t afford any more.
As such, the few cast members handling customer support felt overwhelmed and irritable.
Counterintuitively, even as you recognize the worsening customer service, you should act all the more appreciative to these dedicated employees.
They were the last line of defense to keep Disney vacations magical, and they did better than anyone else could have in the same circumstance.
Still, Disney bears the onus to return its customer service to the world-class level we’ve all grown to expect. Until that happens, you’re right to feel annoyed.