OPINION: Disney Vacation Devalued – It’s all OUR Fault!

There has been a bunch of articles written about how we, the fans, are disappointed about what feels like the devaluation of our Disney vacation; the parks are dirty, crowded, shorter operating hours, the decline in food quality, changes in the meal plans, more "pay extra to attend" hard ticket events, tiered pricing, annual pass restructure, skyrocketing prices for everything, paying more for getting less. The list can go on and on... I hate to see the cranes next to the castle. I hate to see scaffolding up even when they cover it with tarps that look like the buildings. The park is closing early again for another hard ticket event, I hate that! The monorail operating hours have changed due to maintenance, I hate that!  No FastPasses for Soarin’ and Test Track, I hate that! I NEED a FastPass for Journey into Imagination? I REALLY hate that. I can’t get into that table service I wanted because I didn't begin to try 180 + 10 days in advance to make the ADR, I hate that! That beautiful Napoleon pastry in France that was so big and was made on site is now a little prepackaged joke of a pastry, I hate that! The Main Street Bakery is now a Starbucks, I hate that! I hate change! Why can’t Walt Disney World be as great as I remember it? if_you_had_wings_entrance The loyal fan that returns to the parks for every vacation year after year, sees the decline and also sees the cost of everything going up year after year. We as fans have more than just a customer to business relationship with Disney. There is of course an emotional component. When emotion is added to the mix, the business lines get fogged; there are expectations; we make personal investments in Disney. This personal relationship is never seen in the Disney bean counters' spreadsheets. All the Disney defenders are correct: Disney does not owe, even their most loyal customers, anything. Disney is a for profit business. Disney can raise their prices as they wish on whatever they wish. Disney will make changes as they see fit at any time to anything, for any reason they wish. Disney does not need to ask permission from their customers to make a change. Disney will make any and all changes needed to cut costs to remain profitable. Disney controls the customer experience, good or bad. Disney sets their standard of quality, no one else does. It’s all about money no matter what we think. Disney owes us nothing much more than entrance to the park, providing we paid for it, at a price set by Disney, and at a standard of quality in the parks THEY define. The value of anything is subjective. Many folks feel they get great value in what they pay for in a Walt Disney World vacation. Some think the value is declining.  For those folks (me included) that think the value of a Disney vacation is on the decline, and if we want that to change, the ONLY thing Disney will respond to is for us to STOP GIVING THEM OUR MONEY! Don’t vacation at a Disney park! Easier said than done. When I see Disney do something I hate, I go into my usual rant, and say to my family, “That’s it; I am NOT renewing our annual passes this year!!”,  to which my daughter replies, “Dad, you know we are going to renew anyway”…  She’s right... If we think the value of a Disney vacation is declining and continue to give our money to the Mouse, it’s OUR Fault!

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