How the COVID-19 Pandemic Has Ruined Disney

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Over the years my family has visited Walt Disney World and Disneyland a handful of times. 

Each time has been even more magical than before. This was more than likely due to my girls being older each time and being able to experience more of the magic. 

Even though Disney is extremely expensive we tried our best to spend wisely but we also made sure to have fun. 

Not only did we sign up for the Disney Dining Plan a few times so that we could try a variety of Disney dining establishments but we also signed up for the Disney Memory Maker. 

I think the memory maker was one of the best parts. I loved having a Disney photographer at our fingertips. This created a lot of memories and beautiful photos that we would cherish forever. 

Unfortunately due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the world stopped. Then after almost a year the world started to slowly open back up but with many changes and a few stipulations. 

  • Mask Mandate- I know what you are thinking. You are thinking, “If you don’t want to wear a mask then don’t go to Disney.” I completely agree and this is one reason why I am choosing not to take my family back to Disney. I can understand why Disney requires its visitors to wear masks but I do not agree with how stringent they are and I actually do not agree with their mask mandate. Let me explain more. If visitors have received the COVID-19 vaccine they should not be required to wear a mask. If visitors have breathing issues or medical issues then they should not be required to wear a mask. If visitors want to eat and drink they should not be required to stand mobile while taking a bite or a sip of their drink. They should be allowed to pull their mask down as they walk throughout the park while they devour their Disney Churro or drink their Smartwater. Amazingly, Disney recently has started to allow visitors to quickly pull their masks down when taking an outside photo. Disney parks are very expensive so my first desire is to be as comfortable as possible and wearing a mask outside in the heat or in the muggy weather is not comfortable and can actually make one ill. I respect those that choose to wear a mask but I also respect those that choose to make their own decisions.  
  • Cashless Transactions– COVID-19 does not stick to money. This is obnoxious. I like to have all types of payment options so it doesn’t hurt as bad when I get home from vacation. 
  • Modified Housekeeping– What does this mean? Staying at a Disney resort is very expensive. When you spend that much money you expect a great experience, you expect comfort and you expect to get what you paid for. With modified housekeeping, I am quite confident that Disney did not reduce their resort prices but I have a feeling that they did reduce their cleaning staff, which means fewer jobs for those in need. What is Disney’s end game? Why not continue to have the pre-COVID-19 cleaning service? If a rule is set that the staff is not allowed in the room to clean while the guest is in the room I am not sure why there needs to be modified cleaning. Knowing the history of Disney, I am quite confident they continue to have modified housekeeping for selfish reasons. 
  • FastPass+ Service- This amazing service has been suspended. Why has this been suspended? This provided a better ride experience. It also helped to plan your day at the parks. Why did Disney need to get rid of the FastPass+ Service after reopening the parks due to COVID-19?
  • Extra Magic Hours– A huge perk with staying at the Disney resorts is their Extra Magic Hours. Guess what? Due to COVID-19, those Extra Magic Hours are no more. Why? Why did Disney feel the need to end this amazing benefit for those that stay on property? Could it be so that Disney could save money while blaming the pandemic that is ending? 
  • Delivery– Park visitors have a tendency to make souvenir purchases; a lot of souvenir purchases. A huge Disney park perk was being able to have your purchased items delivered to your Disney resort. This allowed you to have free hands and not be bothered with carrying your merchandise around while having fun at the park. Due to COVID-19, this perk has been removed. 
  • Character Experiences– Canceled!! What? Can’t Belle wear a mask? Isn’t Mickey protected by a big plastic suit? What is Disney without the magical experience of character meet and greets? What is Disney doing to our children? They will never know the magic of Disney. 
  • Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Closed! This is an experience that most little girls dream about! I am not sure why Disney had to, once again, crush the dreams of little girls all in the name of the COVID-19 pandemic. I will admit that Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique does get very crowded. With that said, why can’t Disney set guidelines such as 1 parent per child and reduce the capacity to 50%? There are ways to keep the staff and guests protected from COVID-19 along with other illnesses that still exist, however sadly I feel like Disney is choosing to simply give up. 
  • Disney Dining– Disney dining is limited. Character dining is no more. The prices remain the same but the magic and experiences are no more. 

I know I have missed many of the changes that Disney has implemented due to COVID-19 but the changes that I have shared with you are huge not only for the park guests but for the Disney cast members.  

Many of the changes that Disney made are no longer explainable. When the parks first opened it did make sense for Disney to be overly cautious but now that COVID-19 has started to become more explainable and vaccines are being administered there is no reason for Disney to continue to implement the changes that have ruined Disney. 

In my opinion, it is one thing to be cautious due to the COVID-19 pandemic but it is another thing to be selfish and ridiculous. 

Due to the choices that Disney has made, an incredible amount of cast members have lost their jobs. Kids will not be able to experience the magic that Disney once was. 

Disney needs to put their cast members and guests first and begin to operate Disney as they did pre-COVID-19. This can be done safely but the effort and desire have to be there.

I often sit back and think that Disney has gotten rid of many of the pre-COVID-19 Disney perks to make a profit. If you think that Disney is not capable of this read here about how Disney saved money by replacing many of their employees with those that had  H1-B Visas

Disney’s prices continue to rise and the Disney magic continues to fade. 

Disney can do better. Disney needs to do better. 

 

COVID-19 has changed and ruined a lot in this world. One place it has ruined for my family is Walt Disney World. Since Disney has reopened, much of the Disney magic is gone.

Comments

  1. Loosening the rules and risking turning the parks into a super spreader event does not seem like the right move. The virus has not gone away, people who have received all their shots can still catch the virus, and cast members safety is of utmost importance. By all means spend your money elsewhere, and I agree that the new rules are not magical, I collect those character photos, but with variants on the rise, and dishonest folks everywhere (who will lie about their vaccinations), I disagree with your assessment and applaud Disney for doing their best to keep everyone safe from catching the virus in their parks.

    • aimeefauci@gmail.com says

      There are many regulations that no longer need to be regulated that are most likely still in play so Disney can save a buck and not hire people.

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