Five Fantastic Ways Disney Could Make Fans Happier
Let’s be honest. Disney has survived the pandemic and deserves plenty of credit for that.
A business built on revenue from theme parks, movies, and sports programming suddenly lost all three money buckets in March of 2020.
A poorly managed company would have gone under or sold to a wealthier competitor. Instead, Disney remained afloat and has come out better on the other side.
However, survival mode has come at a high cost. As a result, Disney has alienated many of its most loyal fans.
Simply stated, Disney needs some good PR, the kind that comes from satisfying irritated guests.
The company used to be the best in the world at this bit of customer service…and it could be again.
Here are a few ways that Disney could make fans happier and thereby restore its reputation.
(I’ll also rank the likelihood of each method coming to fruition.)
Bring Back Magical Express
Disney doesn’t deserve all the blame for the death of Magical Express. The company had a licensing agreement with Mears Transportation.
Then, that company laid off most of its drivers, leaving Disney paying for substandard service. So Disney understandably chose to end that agreement.
Still, Disney canceled its customer transportation program without choosing a replacement. So, guests must fend for themselves now.
We’re upset about the matter. Disney could mollify us by adding a free form of transportation. But, sadly, the odds of this happening aren’t good.
I’ll explain why in a moment, but this one looks like a pipe dream, even though Disney could easily do it.
In fact, I’ll even make an additional suggestion here. Disney should purchase Mears Transportation as a whole or this division of Mears at a minimum.
Then, Disney would vertically integrate Magical Express into its core park business and control transportation to and from the airport. It’s a move that should happen. Will it? Probably not.
Bring Back Free FastPass of Some Sort
Okay, hear me loud and clearly on this subject. Paid FastPass isn’t going away. Ever.
Disney was among the last major theme parks to introduce this sort of service. Since then, its revenue has increased dramatically per guest.
People are willing to pay in exchange for less time spent standing in lines. So, they do.
Disney won’t abandon that newfound revenue stream under any circumstance.
However, the old system provided some benefits. For example, Disney could keep wait times in check by providing each guest with three paid FastPasses.
No matter the name, Disney could still do that now. It could offer one or two “Lightning Lane” bookings for moderately popular rides.
Stuff like Test Track and Peter Pan’s Flight wouldn’t be on this menu. An attraction like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad or Kilimanjaro Safaris could be, though.
Disney would reduce wait times AND guarantee guests one or two short attraction waits in the process.
You’d take that rather than your current total of zero FastPasses, right?
I don’t know how likely this is, but it’s an idea that Disney should strongly consider.
Clarify Plans for Brightline
This one ties into what I just mentioned about Magical Express.
Disney has already chosen the replacement for this form of transportation. It just won’t arrive for another 18 months or so.
During the second half of 2023, Brightline’s high-speed rail service will add a new station somewhere in the Disney Springs area.
Disney hasn’t clarified whether this station will be at Disney Springs or not.
However, some recent leaks have indicated that a Disney Springs expansion is at least under consideration.
I’m working under the (completely unproven) assumption that the new station will be in a previously undeveloped part of the Disney Springs area.
Disney will flesh it out with new stores and restaurants and presumably some means of transportation.
After all, the Brightline plan operates under the idea that you arrive at Orlando International Airport and then ride a high-speed train to the Disney Springs station.
What do you do once you get there? How will you (and your luggage) reach your hotel?
If Disney just provided specific details about its plan, disgruntled fans would give the benefit of the doubt.
No, we don’t have Disney airport transportation now, but we’d at least know the plan. I’d take that any day over uncertainty.
This WILL happen at some point. If Disney wanted a quick win, it’d announce these plans asap, though. There’s no downside to it.
The worst-case scenario is that Disney misses a stated deadline or slightly overstates what it will deliver. But, of course, that happens all the time in the theme park industry anyway.
Open Tron Lightcycle Power Run This Year
Okay, this one might not even be feasibly possible. However, MickeyBlog continues to monitor the construction and post updates for you.
The latest images show that the exterior canopy is nearing completion. At that point, Disney merely needs to finish the interior and get the ride working.
I say merely as if that won’t take countless hours of Imagineering labor. You get the point, though.
The project appears to be proceeding on schedule for a late 2022 release.
Some have questioned whether Disney would benefit from a 2022 debut, though.
After all, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is coming this summer.
Walt Disney World has opened two roller coasters in eight years. Does it really want/need to add two more in six months?
I suspect that park officials think no. However, I feel strongly that Disney promised this attraction as part of the 50th anniversary festivities.
Disney should honor its word on this subject, meaning that it really needs to open this roller coaster this year.
I think the odds of this happening are right at 50/50, but it’s the right move.
Proceed with the PLAY! Pavilion
Several EPCOT projects got stuck in a weird kind of theme park limbo due to the pandemic.
Disney had promised expansive changes at EPCOT, modernizing it with new rides, an updated Spaceship Earth story, and much more.
To date, we’ve gotten Creations Shop, the new version of Club Cool, and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ll take it. Still, Disney hasn’t made much headway with its promised Moana water feature.
Even worse, the PLAY! pavilion has gone absolutely nowhere. Previously, park officials had promised an unprecedented immersive experience.
Guests would interact with beloved Disney and Pixar characters in state-of-the-art gaming simulations. Disney even promised a monorail attraction.
Thus far, we’ve gotten nothing of the sort. The building isn’t even definitely under development.
As a reminder, that pavilion was supposed to open THIS YEAR!
Disney needs to turn this idea into a reality…starting right now. Will that happen? I honestly have no idea, but I’m worried that it won’t.
Disney should commit to this project and several of the other ideas I’ve listed here.
These moves would be a strong step toward restoring much of the company’s recently lost goodwill.