What Disney World Could Do to Improve the Overall Guest Experience

Just because Disney World is The Most Magical Place on Earth doesn’t mean it can’t use some improvements!

Main Street U.S.A.

We know that many Disney fans have thoughts about recent changes in the parks, especially when it comes to Genie+, price increases, and crowds. So how do guests propose to fix the problems they see in the parks? We’re about to find out!

We asked DFB readers on Facebook to answer the question “What do you think Disney World could do to improve the overall guest experience?” And our readers had a LOT of ideas! From bringing back Magical Express to building a Haunted Mansion hotel, here are a few of the most popular suggestions:

Lower Prices

One of the most common answers that we saw was that people want Disney World to lower prices. On park tickets, food, merchandise, etc., guests are hoping for some smaller price tags at the hotels and parks. Helena said she wants Disney to “lower prices so everyone has a chance to have the Disney Experience.” One reader simply said, “Charge less…a lot less.”

Check out prices before you come!

It’s true that Disney World has seen a lot of price increases over the last year. We’ve noticed price increases on park tickets, popular snacks, souvenirs, and more. And rising inflation rates and increasing costs to travel certainly don’t help. In fact, some guests are wondering if a Disney World vacation is even possible for the average family.

Price tags

If you’re planning a Disney World trip and getting discouraged by the ever-increasing total cost, we can help you out. Check out our page on all the current Disney deals and discounts, and follow our blog to get the latest updates on new deals that could help you save.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

We also have all kinds of resources for smart budgeting in Disney World. Here are a few posts that could be helpful:

So don’t lose hope — even if Disney doesn’t lower those prices, you can still find ways to budget, save money, and make that next trip happen without breaking the bank.

Learn about hidden price increases on 2023 Disney World park tickets.

Bring Back Perks

Another common request from Disney fans was to bring back perks! Several people asked for the return of Magical Express. One reader said, “Bring back Magical Express! Having to get our own luggage to the room was awful! I miss the days of having it ‘magically’ showing up in our room!”

Magical Express has been discontinued

The free bus service between the Orlando International Airport and Disney World hotels ended at the beginning of 2022. Instead, there are a couple of replacement services available, both of which cost money. Mears Connect and Sunshine Flyer are the replacements: a round-trip between the airport and your Disney hotel with Mears Connect costs $32 for adults and $27 for kids, and Sunshine Flyer costs $32 for adults and is actually FREE for kids right now. The deal where kids can ride free will last through September 5th, 2022.

Mears Connect Bus

Although both services have gotten good reviews, the fact that they’re not run by Disney and that they’re both paid services makes these options less magical for some fans.

Sunshine Flyer

Another perk that’s sorely missed is free parking at Disney World hotels. One reader said that bringing back free hotel parking “would be a very small positive gesture for all guests.” Note that parking at Disney hotels currently costs $15 per night at Value Resorts, $20 per night at Moderate Resorts, and $25 per night at Deluxe Resorts.

If you bring a car to Disney World, don’t forget about those overnight parking fees!

Another reader requested the return of another perk that changed recently: “Bring back Extra Magic Hours — early morning for a full hour, not 30 minutes.” Previously Extra Magic Hours allowed Disney World hotel guests to enter select Disney World parks an hour early on some days and stay for an extra hour past closing time on other days. Now, however, Early Theme Park Entry has taken over. This perk allows Disney World hotel guests to enter each Disney World park 30 minutes early every day.

Good morning from Hollywood Studios

Some guests have shared that 30 minutes isn’t really enough time to do much in the parks — by the time you hop in line for 1 popular attraction, ride it, and get off, that time has usually already expired. Additionally, the nighttime component — Extended Evening Hours — is reserved only for guests staying at Deluxe hotels. These guests can stay in select theme parks for up to 2 extra hours on certain days.

Magic Kingdom Crowds

By rope-dropping in the morning (getting to the parks before opening time so that you’re ready to enter right when they open) and staying until closing time, you should be able to get in most of the activities and rides that you wanted to do in each park. And remember that you can hop in line for a ride at any point before closing time, even if the wait time goes past closing time. So if Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway has a 75-minute wait, you can still get in line 5 minutes before closing time and the Cast Members will usually allow you to stay in line and ride the attraction.

Hollywood Studios at Night

A DFB reader threw in another perk that hasn’t returned yet: “Bring back the dining plan.” The Disney Dining Plan was a way for guests to pre-pay for meals and snacks in Disney World. There were a few different plans to choose from, depending on how many meals and snacks you wanted and whether you wanted more table service or counter service meals.

Ronto Wrap

You would pay the flat rate for the plan and then use “credits” during your trip! For example, 1 counter service meal credit might get you an entrée, side, and a drink at various quick service restaurants throughout Disney World.

Disney Dining Plan Shirt

The Disney Dining Plan disappeared in March 2020 when Disney World closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It still hasn’t returned, although Disney has promised that it will be brought back at some point. In the meantime, check out some of our tips for budgeting for food in Disney World.

Find out if Disney World hotel perks are worth the hefty price tag.

Build New Rides/Parks

Disney World has added several new rides and attractions over the last couple of years, including Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, both located in EPCOT. However, guests are still looking for more additions to the theme parks.

Cosmic Rewind

A reader asked for Disney to “develop rides with higher capacity or a quicker thru-put.” Some attractions — *cough* Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance *cough* — don’t have a very fast turn-around for guests. With multiple stages of the ride, it takes a while to get guests through the full attraction. Generally, omnimover attractions (like Peter Pan’s Flight or Haunted Mansion) have a faster thru-put. Disney may need more of these kinds of rides to help lower wait times in the park.

Peter Pan’s Flight

In addition, the simpler ride system of omnimover attractions could mean fewer technical difficulties. Although the new technology is really cool (again, going to throw out Rise of the Resistance as an example here), the multiple elements and newer tech means that break-downs are frequent and can last a long time. We don’t mean to sound grumpy about a super cool ride, but Rise of the Resistance breaks down FAR more often than Haunted Mansion. Just sayin’.

Rise of the Resistance

Some fans went a step further and asked for an entire new PARK instead of just some new attractions. A reader said, “Stop building new resorts, and build a new park instead to spread out guests.”

Disney World Entrance

It’s true that Disney World’s 4 theme parks are currently pretty crowded. But we should also consider that adding a new park to the mix will also entice more people to visit Disney World in the first place, so it may not actually solve the over-crowding problem, at least at first. BUT, we’d never say no to more Disney in our lives, so maybe a 5th park is the way to go.

Will Disney World add a 5th park? Here’s what we know.

Change Genie+ Back to FastPass+

We’re not going to lie to you — we knew these comments were coming. A lot of people have been unhappy with the change from FastPass+ to Genie+, the main reason being that FastPass+ was free and Genie+ is not. In addition, Genie+ can be quite a bit more complicated to use, and we’ve heard from many readers who had a hard time understanding all the ins and outs at least at first.

Disney Genie

A reader said, “Bring back FastPass the way it was originally when it was free and we didn’t have to be on our phones non-stop!” Vanessa also disliked the requirement of using your phone to book rides with Genie+: “I spent the majority of my time on my phone trying to get spots on the rides. I’d like it if they brought back the ability to book your first three rides of the day prior to your trip.”

Lightning Lane

With Genie+, guests must pay $15 per person, per day. You’ll be able to book “Lightning Lane” passes throughout the day, using the My Disney Experience app on your phone. Lightning Lanes are the physical queues where you’ll go to skip the standby line. With some exceptions, you can book 1 ride at a time; once you’ve scanned into the Lightning Lane of that ride, you can book your next Lightning Lane.

Splash Mountain Lightning Lane

Not all Disney World rides are included with Genie+ (although most are). Some of the most popular rides have Individual Lightning Lanes (we call those pay-per-ride). You’ll have to pay a separate fee (anywhere from $7 to $15 per person) to skip the line at these rides. The pay-per-ride attractions in Disney World are Avatar Flight of Passage, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.

See our FULL GUIDE to Genie, Genie+, and Pay-Per-Ride here.

Lower Capacity

We know that a lot of people are concerned about the crowds in Disney World — after all, more people in the park usually means higher wait times at rides and longer lines at restaurants. Several readers commented that they want Disney to address this problem. One reader said, “Limit the number of people at each park. It’s too crowded!” Another agreed, saying “Limit the crowds.” And another specifically said that Disney should “lower the capacity limits” at the parks.

Crowds in Animal Kingdom

In addition, a reader commented that Disney needs to “reduce capacity” because “the parks are too crowded and the lines are too long.” Disney World has certainly been very crowded recently, especially these last few months as many kids are out of school for summer break.

Crowds entering Magic Kingdom

Although Disney is limiting capacity to some degree with Park Pass Reservations, these measures aren’t enough for some readers. Park Pass Reservations are required for all guests visiting any of Disney World’s 4 theme parks. You must make reservations for the park you want to visit before you’ll be allowed to enter. These reservations do run out, so we recommend making your park reservations as soon as you buy tickets. Note that the reservations are free if you have a park ticket (and Annual Passholders are allocated a certain number of reservations at a time).

Animal Kingdom entrance

While some guests want Disney to limit capacity further, others have the opposite complaint. Stacy said, “No more park reservations!” and another reader agreed that Disney should “get rid of park reservations.”

Reserve your park passes early!

So while some guests want stricter rules, others don’t like the additional step of making reservations after they’ve purchased a ticket. It’s possible that Disney was looking for a middle ground in this difference of opinion and landed on keeping the reservations but increasing capacity so that the reservations don’t run out as quickly.

EPCOT entrance

If you’re looking for ways to beat the crowds in Disney World, we recommend rope-dropping each park in the morning (getting there early, well before opening time) and heading to the most popular attractions first. You can also stay later (until closing time), as many people tend to head out early in the evening.

EPCOT at night

For food, try using Mobile Order so that you don’t get stuck in a long wait at quick service restaurants. And if you’re concerned about getting on all your favorite rides, your group might consider purchasing Genie+ so you can skip standby lines.

Learn all about park pass reservations (and how to book them) here.

Get Rid of Technology Requirements

As we saw with the Genie+ vs. FastPass+ debate, many guests don’t like that they have to use their phone so often during Disney World vacations. The My Disney Experience app is a requirement for using Genie+, Mobile Order, Mobile Merchandise Check-Out, virtual park maps, and more. While this can be convenient in some ways, some guests don’t like being on their phone the whole time.

Phone cases

One reader asked that Disney make the experience “less tech/phone needed. It’s more stressful now.” One reader agreed: “I’m over using my phone so much at the park.” And another said, “Don’t make it so hard to go and have a good time. I don’t want to spend all day looking at my phone!”

Your phone does a LOT during your Disney World vacation!

There are some ways you can avoid using a phone in Disney World. For example, you can order at the counter instead of using Mobile Order, and check out at the cash registers instead of using Mobile Merchandise Check-Out. Although the virtual maps are handy (as they show ride wait times as well as the layout of each park), you can still pick up a paper map at the entrance to each park. Other things, like Genie+, can’t be done without a phone.

Learn the ins-and-outs of Disney World’s app here.

Bring In More Live Entertainment

A DFB reader requested that Disney bring “more live entertainment in the parks: little musical or comedy performances apropos to the environment.” Although you can find some live entertainment in most of the parks, it’d be fun to see even more of these performances throughout Disney World. And having attractions that don’t require guests to wait in any line is generally a good thing as well!

Dapper Dans

Currently, some of the consistent live entertainment you’ll find in Disney World includes the Dapper Dans in Magic Kingdom, various musical performances in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and the JAMMitors in EPCOT. You can catch the Cinderella Castle Stage Show in the morning, or wait in line to see other shows like Festival of the Lion King or For the First Time in Forever (a Frozen-themed show).

JAMMitors

We’re still waiting on other entertainment to return, as many performances didn’t make it back to the parks after the pandemic closures. For example, the Citizens of Hollywood at Disney’s Hollywood Studios have been missing for a while (although we do spot them on the rare occasion). We hope that more shows return soon!

Check out a full list of showtimes for Magic Kingdom here.

Build a Haunted Mansion Restaurant or Hotel

This is a suggestion we can definitely get behind: Doreen asked that Disney build “a Haunted Mansion restaurant and hotel.” WE’RE IN.

Haunted Mansion in Disney World

We have always wanted to dine at the wedding banquet in the Haunted Mansion’s grand hall, and of course we’d be down to stay the night in a spooky mansion. Can we request that Madame Leota read bedtime stories each night??

Madame Leota Sipper

Disney has been more invested in themed hotels and restaurants lately, with the additions of the Galactic Starcruiser hotel and updates at the Monorail resorts to make guest rooms more “Disney” (Moana rooms at Disney’s Polynesian Village ResortIncredibles rooms at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, and Mary Poppins Returns rooms at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa).

Refurbished Guest Rooms at the Polynesian

With a new Haunted Mansion movie currently in the works, it’s possible that we’ll see more updates that involve this fan-favorite ride!

Haunted Mansion fans can’t miss these AWESOME souvenirs.

Add More Skyliner Routes to Disney World Hotels

One more suggestion we saw from a couple of readers was more Skyliner routes at Disney World hotels. A reader said Disney should “add more Disney resorts with gondolas. They would really alleviate some of the bus lines.” The Disney Skyliner is a gondola transportation system that takes guests between certain hotels, EPCOT, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Walt Disney World Skyliner

Right now, the only hotels with a Skyliner station include Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, and Disney’s Riviera Resort. Having this additional method of transportation is a big draw for each of these hotels.

Caribbean Beach Skyliner Station

Although it comes with its own set of problems (the Skyliner will shut down in bad weather and has been known to get stuck on occasion), the Skyliner is typically faster than using Disney World buses. And because the gondolas move continuously, the lines to board them typically go pretty fast. Additionally, it can feel more magical to ride a gondola through the sky to the Disney World parks, when compared to a simple bus ride.

Learn more about the Disney World Skyliner here!

It’s clear that Disney World guests have a lot of ideas for how Disney World could be improved! Will any of these changes happen in the parks? Only time may tell!

Cinderella Castle

If you’re planning a trip to Disney World now, it’s important to be updated on all the changes that have happened recently. Check out our post on how Disney World has totally changed over the past 5 years so that you can get caught up to speed. And we have a lot of other resources to help you have the best vacation possible, like an ideal timeline for planning your Disney trip, a list of current Disney deals and discounts, and our DFB guidebooks to Disney World dining, theme park snacks, EPCOT festivals, and more.

DFB Guide to Dining

Stay tuned to the DFB blog, and we’ll bring you all the latest updates about Disney World and Disneyland!

Click here to check out TERRIBLE changes Disney World hoped you wouldn’t notice.

Join the DFB Newsletter to get all the breaking news right in your inbox! Click here to Subscribe!

Don’t Miss Out on Any Disney Fun!

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With more than 750 pages, the 2022 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining is full of tips and planning tools developed by Disney World experts over 30+ years of visits. We’ve done the research for you, so you’ll know just which spots will uniquely suit your family’s needs!

With mini-reviews of every single restaurant, bar, lounge, kiosk and more; an entire chapter on the best snacks in Disney World; full Disney Dining Plan analysis (and how to get FREE dining); and a full chapter on discounts and deals; you’ll have everything you need to plan your best vacation yet.

Click here to order your copy of the 2022 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining E-book with code WDW2022 to save 25% off the cover price today!

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Which of these changes do you wish Disney World would make? Let us know in the comments!

The post What Disney World Could Do to Improve the Overall Guest Experience first appeared on the disney food blog.

source https://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2022/08/06/what-disney-world-could-do-to-improve-the-overall-guest-experience/

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