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TPT Roundtable: What Could Disney Do Better?

Natalie Sim:

Image: DisneyWhen we go back to Florida hopefully in the next couple of years I am going to be really sad not to have the old Fastpass system. I loved the challenge and fun of this and being able to be spontaneous with it.

I suppose it is stupid to say but to try to keep prices to anywhere near an affordable amount would be great. I totally get they want to make as much money as possible and spend millions on new attractions but to me, like to so many others, it just seems such a real shame if it just becomes somewhere only a small percentage of the population has the chance to enjoy.

Jett Farrell-Vega:

Image: DisneyI agree that they need to stop over-focusing on IP's. Disney Imagineers are so spectacularly creative - some of the original stories they've told over the years are outstanding, and I fear that over-reliance on IP's will make the parks feel dated in about a decade if they aren't careful.

Another area I would love to see them improve on is the food. Disney still has some great food, but there are so many excellent restaurants that have gone downhill since the dining plan came around. Restaurants that used to have fresh, world-class food now have the equivalent of cafeteria fare. The worst part of this is that the prices have not changed to adapt to this drop in quality.

I think they also need to be careful with price increases. The prices are getting to the point where they are even pricing out locals who have passholder discounts. A Walt Disney World vacation is treated as the ultimate family American family experience, but most American families can no longer afford a trip even with years of saving. I understand Disney needs to make money to make new attractions, but they are backing themselves into a corner where too many people are priced out. It is also concerning that news continues to abound that the company does not adequately take care of their employees. I'm glad improvements have been made in this area, but they're far from where they need to be.

Ashley Varela: 

Image: DisneyThe one thing that comes to mind here is something I can’t speak to personally, but it would be great to see Disney publicly and practically commit to raising the wages for their cast members. Quality guest service is part of what makes my trips to the Disney Parks easy and enjoyable every single time, and it’s both alarming and off-putting to see the company defend their right to pay employees anything below a livable wage.

David Mumpower:

Image: DisneyI have (too) strong opinions on a lot of subjects, but I also try to see the other side of arguments. So, while I feel that the intellectual property aspect has tilted too far, I also accept that the numbers strongly support Disney taking these tactics.

I can't fault them for wanting to sell the products that their customers are insatiable about buying. When I see less popular Disney parks soar in popularity thanks to Marvel, Star Wars, and Toy Story licenses, it's tough to argue the product. I just...don't like it as much.

I would prefer more Figment/Dreamfinder rides where Imagineers come up with their own characters and backstories. Those are better for me. When I walk through Expedition Everest, I'm looking at the best of Disney creativity. And that's what I prefer. I accept that I'm in the minority, though.

Image: DisneyHaving said that, my biggest complaint about Disney is that they're too incremental with major tech. Depending on what we call the start date, Magic Bands are either five or six years old. Mobile Ordering is now two years old. How many of the potential applications of these devices did we discuss at the time? How many are currently in use?

At this point, few Epcot restaurants have enabled Mobile Ordering, only one of which is at the World Showcase (and it's being repurposed as we speak). Few resort restaurants participate in the service, and literally zero Table Service establishments have it available. It's a flawless system that vastly improves efficiency for park guests.

Image: DisneyAll the way back in 2014, Be Our Guest ran tests so that people could have their orders ready when they walked in the door. Five years later, Be Our Guest doesn't have Mobile Ordering. Can anyone explain that to me?

As for Magic Bands, why can my bracelet pay for my food and merchandise but not know that I get discounts as a passholder and DVC member? Those are intentional exclusions. I'm getting nickeled-and-dimed by a company that I'm giving a huge portion of my disposable income. None of these additions should be difficult since the technology's already in play. The fact that park officials haven't added them yet is mind-boggling to me.

And don't even get me started on the buses. There should be a text system in place to notify guests at various resorts when the next bus will arrive. And I mean at the parks, too. Nothing drives me crazier at Disney than waiting 45 minutes for a bus.

Image: DisneyAs recently as two years ago, my wife and I counted 11 buses that stopped at Hollywood Studios that were going to Port Orleans Riverside. During that same timeframe, the Contemporary (and other monorail resorts) got *zero*. Someone waiting in line vented about it on Twitter, and Disney wound up sending us a van for the group standing in line. To this moment, I have no idea how any of that happened.

Logically, this mishap was a systemic transportation failure across the board. Why don't they simply redirect other buses? How does their system not recognize a skewed split in bus arrival and departure? It's 2019, and Disney's bus system is still a joke. Thank God that the Disney Skyliner is almost here. Hopefully, it will solve some of the problems.

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