A trip to Walt Disney World is a big deal. Whether it’s a once-in-a-lifetime vacation or whether you’re a frequent visitor to the resort, you want everything to be perfect. A lot of planning is involved in the process, and many Guests spend more than a year obsessing over every little detail. Recently, though, some Guests have said that planning a trip to Disney is more trouble than it’s worth.
In recent years, even seasoned Disney veterans have struggled to keep up with all the changes at the resort. One person posted a plea for advice online, saying, “We have been to WDW plenty of times but not the last couple of years, and all the new changes are confusing me [to] no end.”
With so many things to figure out, from Genie+ to dining reservations to Park Passes, it’s no wonder that first-time and occasional visitors are frustrated! In a report on CNBC, Travel Planner Andrea said, “It’s insane how much work has to go into planning a Disney vacation. I would need a vacation just from planning my vacation.”
Many guests just don’t want to deal with it. A recent report showed that many would-be Disney Guests are heading for the hills. Families that would be Disney bound are choosing to spend their valuable vacation dollars elsewhere. It seems a lot of people would rather go somewhere simple.
That’s a problem. A problem that Disney says it’s working on. A spokesperson told CNBC, “We are always listening to our guests and continue to make updates to improve their experience, which includes rolling out new ways to make planning easier and simpler, now and into the future.”
Except many of the changes Disney implements to make things easier actually does the opposite. Jonathan Alder, CEO of the travel agency Jonathan’s Travels, says that Genie+ has “made everyone’s life even harder. Unlike the FastPass program, visitors can only book attractions on the same day, and now there’s a charge.” Add to that the fact that some rides are included on Genie+ and some charge an extra fee on top of it, and it’s easy to see how Genie+ is incredibly complicated for some Guests.
“Visitors can’t walk up and get in line for certain rides either.” said Alder, “they have to enter a Virtual Queue (which is free) or purchase an Individual Lightning Lane,” Alder said that the system almost requires its own doctorate degree to understand.
Alder went on to say that his Travel Agency plans African Safaris and treks through remote Patagonia and tours of Europe, and all are easier to plan than a Walt Disney World vacation.
The competition for a great vacation is a turn-off for many as well. Many restaurants book months in advance, and Lightning Lane/virtual queue slots are often gone within seconds. Andrea called a Disney Vacation “an Olympic Sport.” Many Guests simply don’t want to deal with that.
Despite the complicated process, though, thousands of Guests still visit the resort’s four theme parks every day. Alder said of those Guests, there are two types: “There are those that understand the system and those that just go,” he said. “The first group approaches planning like it’s a science, and the second gets very little out of their day.”