Cinderella Castle, Walt Disney World, Disney

I don't think anyone will dispute that in recent years there has been a number of changes at Walt Disney World that for many will seem like yet another way for Disney to make money rather than enhance the guest experience and keep the magic alive.

With the upcoming 50th Anniversary celebration beginning on October 1, this week we published a feature, Bursting the "Disney Bubble" – 8 Lost Perks & New Upcharges for Disney World's 50th Anniversary.

Image: Disney

For many Disney fans, the loss of many of the perks for staying on property may be making them consider staying off property. Magical Express has been canceled starting January 1, 2022. Free parking at hotels was introduced back in 2018 and currently costs $90 (Value Hotel) – $150 (Deluxe Hotel), based on a six-night stay. There is no FastPass+ advantage now where on-site resort guests got access to reserving rides 60 days ahead of their visit in comparison to 30 days for off-site guests. 

At least resort guests still get free standard parking at Disney's theme parks and there is early entry 30 minutes before park opening for all resort guests which has replaced Extra Magic Hours. Extended Evening Theme Park Hours where the selected park remains open two hours after its posted closing time, will only be available to those guests staying at a Deluxe resort.

There has been the recent announcement that FastPass+ is now dead and has been replaced by the paid-for Genie+ Lightning Lanes which will currently set you back an extra $300 (for a 5-day trip for a family of 4).

Image: Disney

Disney has definitely cut a number of positives and it has inevitably caused frustration and upset to loyal Walt Disney World fans. When posting news and features on Theme Park Tourist and Facebook it has sometimes made me smile, just a little bit, when in reaction to finding out about yet another upcharge or the canceling of a once perk a fan will say "I am never going to Walt Disney World again". 

Whereas I understand this logic, it has led me in recent weeks to wonder, really, are there Disney fans out there that will actually never visit Walt Disney World again?...


Image: Disney

So, in this week's Big Debate we ask, You Say You Won't, But Are You REALLY Never Going Back To Walt Disney World? I am going to be very interested to see the results of this poll, your choices are:

  • Definitely Going To Walt Disney World despite the changes
  • Have thought about it but could never really ever not go to Walt Disney World again
  • Will NEVER go back to Walt Disney World for real

CLICK HERE to vote and don't forget to share this with your friends and family. We must remember for some people, the changes that have been made may actually suit them better. Let us know what you think by leaving us a comment below or on our Facebook page. As usual, our Big Debate Results article will be coming soon to Theme Park Tourist, and don't forget you still have time to vote in last week's Big Debate, Will You Buy Genie+? Look out for the results article which will be coming soon to Theme Park Tourist.



Fully understanding Universal will never be Disney in scope or slendor, at least iun the near fututre, I will be spending any dollars I have for destination spending on Universal. Including the week I had booked at Disney and canceled to switch to Universal. When they reverse course on greed versus customer satisfaction perhaps I will return or at least think about it. For now, I have no interest in filling Disney's pockets any further for less satisfation.

I will never say never, but......
Starting in the mid 90's I would visit every year or two, and enjoyed myself every time! My last visit was May of 2015, and I haven't had any desire to go back. That was before the craziness of the last couple years. For a while I chalked it up to getting old - I'm the same age as WDW. But it was while watching one of my favorite movies recently that it hit me why I don't feel the same about the parks, and I can sum it up in two words: Special Edition. I looked forward to the updated Star Wars films in 1997; and, while I enjoyed them at first, over time they began to lose my interest. Not that I won't ever watch the Special Edition films. If I'm flipping thru channels & it's on TNT I'll tune in. But if I want to sit down to watch Star Wars from the beginning it'll be the original version. And that's what WDW is to me nowadays - a place I may visit if I have an extra day and an extra $200 (ticket, parking, and a cheeseburger if I have enough left). It's no longer the destination it used to be.

PS. I AM a robot.

Iam gonna point out that alot of Disney Fans are very Mad at the way Disney is Handled! Its not the that we all know and Love! There's far to much Retheme on the Disney Attractions, also bringing in Star Wars and Marvel that has NOTHING to do with Disney, I stand with Firing Chapeck how Else are we gonna save Splash Mountain!? How Else can we bring back the Original Disney, Bob Iger and Bob Chapeck Sabotage the Dream that Walt Disney created, Disney needs to be in the hands of a Fan Walt Disney someone that cares about Walt Disney's Legacy his Dream, Walt wasn't worried about the Money he made! He was interested in People that came to his Park ok? He Adopted People as Family people that worked we him and People that were his Guests that's why they called him Uncle Walt, we need a CEO that is not a Pro-Rethemer we need a CEO that will Restore Walt Disney's Legacy his Dream Carey it on Please Fire Bob Chapeck

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I agree.
It seems like Walt Disney built his theme parks with the idea of "if you build it, they will come": he built it, people came, they spent money, and the Disney Corporation got rich.

But now it seems like the Corporation is going the other way: they know people are coming, so they think about ways to extract even more money from people.
Years ago, it was fun for resort guests to get a free MagicBand to use as a Fast Pass or as a room key, or simply as a souvenir of their at Disney World. Now, resorts *charge money* for the MagicBand. Why? It probably costs Disney 50 cents to make and getting a freebie makes people happy.
Of course, people can always use the app on their phone... provided they're using the latest phone that can run the app.

And the original Fast Pass system felt democratic: every gets to the part at the same time, and they all run to a kiosk to get Fast Passes for their favorite ride. But now people have to *pay* to skip the line.

So, what's happening? Disney is slowly discouraging the lower class and lower-middle class from even visiting the theme parks. How many people can afford $110 one-day passes or $5,000 vacations. Okay, sure, a lot of families can afford a $5,000 vacation once or twice, but they probably won't be coming back every year.
But then Disney starts to "nickle and dime" them: $25 for parking, $5 for a MagicBand, $15 to skip the line (or spend 3 hours waiting for Test Track), and so on.

On the other hand, Disney must know people are willing to pay these prices, otherwise they wouldn't be charging for all these things.

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