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Cinderella's Castle

5 Controversial Disney Topics That Might Get You Into a Fight

Do you ever have the urge to strike up conversation with a fellow Disney guest, perhaps on a standby queue, while waiting for a parade, or on a Disney bus? If so, here are 5 sentiments that you might want to steer clear of expressing in any of those situations. They’re a Disney fanatic’s equivalent to bringing up religion and politics!

1. “I’m so happy that I can finally get my Starbuck’s fix at Disney.”

When it was first announced that the Main Street Bakery would be rebranded as a Starbucks, people were outraged. I’ll admit that it felt a little too corporate for Starbucks to take over the bakery, but I moved over to the “this is no big deal” camp when I realized that the integrity of the bakery seemed to be mostly intact. I will admit that on my most recent trip to Disney, I visited the bakery more than ever… despite my initial reservations, I can’t deny that Starbucks makes some tasty, cold coffee drinks that were worth stopping in for on hot afternoons! A second Starbucks location can be found at Epcot at the Fountain View. Love it or hate it, it seems likely that more will be on their way- Trolley Car Café will be another Starbucks location coming to Hollywood Studios in 2015.

2. “There’s nothing I love more than having a cold beer in the most magical place on earth.”

Until recently, the Magic Kingdom was the only one of the four parks to not serve alcohol. Now, you can order French wines and beer at Be Our Guest restaurant during dinner hours. Many people feel that serving alcohol in what is viewed as the most family-oriented park is a step too far. Others enjoy the option to have alcoholic beverages on vacation. Where do you stand?

3. “FastPass+? I think it’s flawless!”

It’s hard to imagine that anyone would dislike being granted the ability to bypass a standby line and walk on to a ride, isn’t it? FastPass+, which does just that, has still managed to cause a lot of controversy. Why the uproar? Folks don’t like scheduling a ride reservation months in advance. They don’t like being limited to 3 (now, 4 or more with certain restrictions) per day. And not being able to use more than one on the same attraction? That’s also unpopular. And, let’s face it; we humans just don’t like change.

I miss the old system in some ways. I was more than happy to speed-walk to one side of the park to pull a FastPass, spend two hours on the opposite side of the park, and then return to use my pass. I was happy to do this several times during the day, using several (certainly more than 3) of these magical tickets in one visit. And my favorite use of FastPass, which involved pulling a FastPass for Toy Story Mania, riding it standby , and then riding it again with my FastPass, is but a distant memory. That being said, there are things to like about FastPass+ over the old paper FastPass system. I like being able to choose the time for my FastPass+. Under the old system, I would sometimes get a return time that was inconvenient (during a meal reservation, or after I planned to leave the park). I also like knowing in advance that I will be able to ride a favorite attraction without crisscrossing the park too many times. But do the benefits outweigh the negatives?

4. “Get rid of all the old rides… It’s time for some new ones!”

One of the biggest sources of sour feelings in the Disney parks becomes clear when Disney opts to remove a classic attraction in favor of a new one. People love what they know, so when a favorite attraction makes its exit, there are some hard feelings that last a long time. If you want to get into a heated debate, declare that you “love the new Figment ride” or that you think that “Winnie the Pooh is much cooler than Mr. Toad.”
The most recent uproar? The recent announcement that Maelstrom, located in Norway in the World Showcase, will be leaving the park in favor of a Frozen attraction. RIP, Maelstrom.



5. “You can pay to skip the lines? Sign me up!”

At Universal and Six Flags theme parks, you actually pay for their FastPass equivalent options. But at Disney, FastPass+ is free. Paying to skip the lines, on the other hand, comes in the form of hiring a VIP tour guide. Some people are obviously outraged by the idea that more affluent guests can pay to be escorted to the front of every line. Others argue that having a VIP tour guide is more of an experience, and that skipping the lines is only one of the perks of having one. What are some of the other benefits, in addition to being able to ride attractions efficiently (and even repeatedly)? The biggest, perhaps, is the tour guide’s insider knowledge of the parks, as well as VIP seating for shows and parades, and a fully personalized/customizable experience. The cost for a VIP tour guide? $360-$500 per hour, depending on the season.

Now, if you’re interested in having a VIP experience solely for the purpose of gaining “expedited admission” to the most popular attractions, one can consider the “Ultimate Day of Thrills VIP Tour”, which costs $299 per person (in addition to your park admission, of course) and lasts about 7 hours. On this tour, your guide will take you on 11 of the most thrilling and popular rides in the parks, without waiting in line. Is this something you would consider doing? Or does it feel too unfair?

Do any of these controversial topics hit home for you? Let us know in the comments section!

Photo courtesy of Disney Photo Snapper

About Meredith Smisek

Meredith Smisek is a kid at heart and works as an elementary school guidance counselor. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, dog, and parrot. Meredith's hobbies include cooking, playing ukulele, and "talking Disney" with anyone she knows who is planning a trip to Disney or has just returned.