5. Focus on improving the parks—not on no-win situations

Fireworks around Cinderella Castle with 50th Anniversary decor
Image: Disney

I tread into this last one very carefully, but it’s a subject that is likely to come up with readers. Many fans feel Disney has quite badly put their foot in it when it comes to their handling of sharply divisive issues among fans—particularly politics.

It’s a messy, messy subject, and I preface what I’m about to say by clarifying that I don’t intend to dive into discussion of the individual issues involved. While I occasionally write opinion pieces, my focus is largely on fun travel advice—things like Where to eat Healthy at Walt Disney World and actually enjoy yourself or Surprising Things No One Tells you about Doing Disney While Pregnant. The common theme is fun and enjoying great vacations. Nothing constructive can come from me adding more noise to the already tumultuous political conversation surrounding Disney.

It is worth addressing, however, if there are any ways Disney could dig their way out of the morass and win back guest goodwill when they’ve engaged in some extremely polarizing battles.

The problem Disney has run into is that bringing politics into the theme park business is a no-win situation. A stalemate. A Kobayashi Maru. Someone is going to be upset either way. One side inevitably feels Disney hasn’t been aggressive enough in using their clout to support a given cause. The other feels alienated and offended that Disney entered the battle in the first place and their values no longer align. Others just feel lost in the middle, wishing forlornly that the company could stay politically neutral as much as is reasonable. No one wins.

Mickey and friends in Hawaiian Shirts
Image: Disney

There is something to be said that Disney has inevitably lost some goodwill with fans when they’ve tread into these spheres. The minute these lines are crossed, the focus shifts off making magical vacations to arguing over divisions. One side will inevitably think Disney hasn’t been vocal enough while the others feel the company has overstepped. Both end up questioning if they want to continue to support the company because these issues, by nature, are divisive.

I’m not saying companies like Disney should never speak up on issues they are passionate about—look at all Disney has done for conservation and nature sciences over the years. The company has made its stance on a number of issues plain whether fans like it or not, and that’s fine to a point.

If they want to win back goodwill with their extremely diverse fanbase, however, the best thing Disney can do is get back to focusing on making magical vacations possible that appeal to a wide audience.

The Disney fanbase is extremely diverse and carefully navigating that diversity has been something the company has done well for the most part. The vast majority of experiences at Walt Disney World are fun, accessible, and welcoming to any who wish to take part, because the focus is on entertainment, innovation, and imagination.

Different people are going to feel differently about different issues and that’s okay—but if you read a site like Theme Park Tourist, we’re all in agreement on one thing: we love theme parks like Walt Disney World and Disneyland. We have a shared nostalgia and appreciation for the Disney experience, despite our differences. I understand Disney has to walk a tightrope with many issues and avoiding all criticism will be impossible. However, remembering the diversity of their fanbase and picking their battles wisely could go a long way to win back good will, letting the parks remain a place where we can focus on our commonalities instead of our differences.

What are some other steps Disney could take to win back good will with their fanbase? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook! Thanks for reading!



Three ways the experience could be improved:
1. Hire more staff and pay good staff a better wage so they will stay. Workers are what made the park fun, an escape, and clean. Treat the workers well and they will treat the customer better.
2. The price is expensive. Help people see that it is worth $10,000 for a memorable, beautiful family fun vacation. People feel ripped off right now.
3. Improve the WiFi inside the parks. Disney makes us rely on our cell phones. WiFi should be optimal to handle the connections. More FREE charging options. A cool place to sit for a fast charge with a time limit and staffed. Staff cleans and keeps the people moving.

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