I was surprised to see this article, Why I Gave Up on Disney World, on a major Disney fan site today. I get that not everyone is an uber fan of Disney World. It’s not for everyone! But this opinion piece is written by a fan who has grown disenchanted with Disney World because of technology.
Steve’s Issues with Disney World
If you read the entire article, there are several reasons why the author gave up on Disney World. The last time he visited, his room at Pop Century smelled like vomit. There were fewer sweepers in the park and trash cans were overflowing.
But Steve’s biggest issue with Disney World is the FastPass+ system. He doesn’t like pre-planning his rides and dining reservations months in advance.
He suggests that Disney World do away with the entire FastPass+ system altogether. He would rather see Disney move to a system like Universal’s Express Pass, where people have to pay extra or stay in a deluxe resort to get front-of-line privileges.
My Experience with FastPass+
When I read the article, I started getting this image of my parents in my mind. They have resisted technology, and they would also be rolling their eyes at the planning involved with FastPass+.
However, my experience with FastPass+ has been very positive. Over the past several years, we’ve visited Disney World in the summer a few times. The lines for rides have been much shorter with this system, and we’ve been able to ride many more rides than I thought was possible during peak summer months.
This is our strategy: We get to the parks early and ride several rides before the crowds start to get heavy. Then, we use our pre-arranged FastPass+ times. And then, we keep adding FastPass+ for other rides as they become available.
I don’t see the big deal in picking out times for three rides 60 or 30 days in advance. Unless you’re visiting between Christmas and New Year’s or on July 4th, you’re going to be able to ride your favorite rides at some point throughout the day anyway. What’s the big deal in pre-arranging a time for three of them?
I also take issue with Disney moving to a system like Universal’s Express Pass. I feel like this is a pay-to-play system that can get very expensive. For example, adding the Express Pass Unlimited option to a 2-park 1-day ticket costs $130 more per person. For my family of five, that can really add up.
I appreciate that Disney offers FastPass+ for free to all guests, regardless of where you are staying. Even staying off-site with a 30-day window for FastPass+, almost all rides are still available.
And Those Six-Month Dining Reservations…
The author suggests eliminating dining reservations and going back to same-day reservations. I remember that system as a kid, and it was a pain in the butt. I recall going to a reservation station in Epcot and waiting in a long line to find out what restaurants were even available for dinner. And if you didn’t get there early enough, the good ones were already gone.
I’d much rather have the option to book online months in advance. But, I’m a planner by nature, and making reservations in advance gets me even more excited for the trip.
Move With the Cheese
As we get older, the places we’ve visited as children and young adults are going to change. Sure, we might not like all of the changes. But, as the popular business book suggests, we must learn to move with the cheese. We may end up actually liking the changes better than the old stuff!
What are your thoughts on the original article? Do you agree with the author? Do you mind the advance planning that goes into a trip to the parks? Are you fed up with some of the changes at Disney World, or do you like most of the changes?
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.