Former Imagineer Says Disney Parks No Longer ‘Democratic,’ Ruins the Experience

Cinderella Castle with Mickey wondering what has happened?
Credit: Disney/ Canva

Preparing to go on a Disney vacation can be an experience all by itself. There are, of course, the basics like hotel and Park tickets, but then you have to plan for the extras. Sixty days before your vacation, you must wake up early and plan your restaurant choices. Then at 7 a.m. on the day of your Park visit, there is the planning for your Disney Genie Pluse experiences.

disney genie struggles

Credit: Disney

Related: Disney’s Problems Go Way Beyond Feud with DeSantis

All of this can be a little overwhelming. The complicated planning that goes into a great day in Disney World can sometimes ruin your trip’s spontaneity; even if you want to try something outside your itinerary, it may not be available. And while you’re at Magic Kingdom, you run into people who have spent their entire day on their phones trying to plan the perfect day without ever having experienced it.

And none of this even takes into account the cost. Guests will spend hundreds of dollars just to enter the Parks and then add Disney Genie Plus to ensure they can use the Lightning Lanes, and a day at Disney World can cost a family of four more than $1,000

Former Disney Imagineer Ryan Harmon said the new way to experience Disney is not “democratic.” The pricing and reliance on technology alienate several customers.

Disney Genie Plus Lightning Lane Selection

Disney Genie Plus Lightning Lane Selection

Harmon told Fox Business:

That’s why they’ve added many more experiences, they try to raise the price high enough. That maybe weeds out some people, but that doesn’t seem to work, and so they’ve come up with a system using your mobile phone…the problem is that unless you plan ahead – which a lot of people do not – you end up going there and having a pretty poor experience because people have reserved rides and shows and restaurants.

Harmon, who now owns Zeitgeist Design & Production, a company whose clients include Disney and other global theme Park brands, explains that Disney has tried to streamline the process but, in doing so, made it more difficult for some fans.

The complicated nature of a Disney vacation, among other factors, may help to explain the decline in attendance at Walt Disney World over the past month. The usually busy summer season has been like a ghost town at EPCOT, Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom.

Empty Main Street

Credit: patchrick84, Flickr

Summer in Florida is usually the perfect time to head to Walt Disney World, but recent news reports suggest that Disney Parks have recently seen a drastic decline in Guests. Some have suggested that the decrease in attendance is due to Disney’s feud with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

But Disney fans continued to flock to Walt Disney World in the year’s first half. No matter what has caused the change in attendance, fans can expect Walt Disney Imagineering to make the necessary changes to bring Guests back to their Theme Park.

About Rick

Rick is an avid Disney fan. He first went to Disney World in 1986 with his parents and has been hooked ever since. Rick is married to another Disney fan and is in the process of turning his two children into fans as well. When he is not creating new Disney adventures, he loves to watch the New York Yankees and hang out with his dog, Buster. In the fall, you will catch him cheering for his beloved NY Giants.

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