December 4, 2023

A visit to The Walt Disney Co. theme parks has been on many American households’ bucket lists for generations because the experiences have turn out to be extra partaking and oldsters search to make recollections their kids will bear in mind for a lifetime.

However there’s a flip facet to visiting a vacation spot that 1000’s of different folks need to attend on the identical time, and one skilled says the modern-day expertise of planning and attending Disney points of interest has turn out to be extra nerve-racking and fewer enjoyable for patrons than prior to now.

Ryan Harmon is a former Disney “Imagineer” who now owns Zeitgeist Design & Manufacturing, an organization whose purchasers embrace Disney and different international theme park manufacturers.

Harmon says Disney, particularly, has “an excellent drawback” in that too many individuals flock to the corporate’s theme parks as a result of friends search the experiences and nostalgia, and have fond recollections of attending with their dad and mom that they need to cross all the way down to their youngsters. He stated it appears regardless of how excessive the pricing goes, folks proceed to go.


Disney is understood for the recognition of its theme parks, but additionally for lengthy wait occasions at points of interest. (Getty Photographs for Disney Dreamers Academy / Fox Information)

“So you have obtained this drawback the place you might have too many individuals who need to come on the identical time [so they try] to form of unfold the group out,” Harmon advised FOX Enterprise in an interview. 

He continued: “That is why they’ve added many extra experiences, they attempt to increase the worth excessive sufficient. That possibly weeds out some folks, however that does not appear to work, and they also’ve provide you with a system utilizing your cell phone…the issue is that except you propose forward – which lots of people don’t – you find yourself going there and having a reasonably poor expertise as a result of folks have reserved rides and exhibits and eating places.”

He stated his personal latest journeys confirmed him that the times of taking your youngsters to a Disney park on a whim and anticipating to have a good time are over.

Long line at Walt Disney World park

A whole lot of vacationers wait in line for the Kilimanjaro Safaris attraction at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom. (Joseph Prezioso/Anadolu Company / Getty Photographs)

The theme park skilled recalled how he took his crew on a last-minute journey to the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, a number of years in the past and had a poor expertise as a result of as soon as inside they realized they’d not be capable to entry many rides or eating institutions as a result of they had been already booked up by different friends forward of time.

“We purchased our very costly tickets and went in and watched as all these folks walked in entrance of us within the queues as a result of they made a web-based reservation,” he stated. “So we obtained caught ready and ready and ready.”


Harmon stated after watching so many individuals parade previous them, the crew determined to only go have a pleasant meal on the park, however the a number of eating places they tried to eat at had been already completely booked for the day. He stated they determined to go away after being within the park for under two hours.

Then throughout a latest journey to Disneyland, he stated he discovered himself always checking his cellphone making an attempt to get a reservation for the actual journey he needed to expertise.

He additionally criticized Disney’s choice to do away with the free quick cross. 

“To be charging as much as $170 an individual to stroll by means of the gate after which $30 an individual for a journey,” Harmon stated. “I imply, that is simply freeway theft.”

Disney guests tired in line

Parkgoers at Disneyland’s California Journey wait in line for an attraction. (Mark Rightmire/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register / Getty Photographs)

Regardless of the challenges, Harmon has had nice experiences at Disney parks, significantly on group excursions given by a non-public information whose companies value 1000’s along with the admission tickets.

Harmon means that Disney ought to cap the reservations it permits for a day to ensure that walk-in friends to have the ability to get pleasure from rides, eating places and exhibits with out having a nerve-racking time.


“I believe they actually need to take a step again, rethink what the visitor expertise has turn out to be, and discover a option to make it democratic and enjoyable once more, and much much less time spent in your cellphone,” Harmon stated. “That is not what it is about.

When reached for touch upon Harmon’s views, Disney didn’t difficulty a proper assertion however stated it continues to see constructive visitor expertise scores and powerful demand in its theme parks.

The corporate directed FOX Enterprise to the Themed Leisure Affiliation’s lately launched annual report displaying Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World and Disneyland had been the highest two most-visited theme parks on this planet final 12 months.

A person watches fireworks at Disney World in Florida

Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and Disneyland had been the highest two theme park locations on this planet final 12 months, in accordance with knowledge from the Themed Leisure Affiliation. (Joseph Prezioso/Anadolu Company / Getty Photographs)

Ticker Safety Final Change Change %
DIS THE WALT DISNEY CO. 88.10 -0.54 -0.61%

Disney additionally stated each Walt Disney World and Disneyland have introduced again and launched quite a lot of updates to the parks this 12 months with a purpose to supply friends extra alternative and adaptability to make visiting the parks simpler.

Disneyland has elevated by the variety of days – practically two months’ price over the approaching 12 months – when friends are in a position to entry the park with their lowest-priced one-day, one-park ticket at $104. 

The California vacation spot can also be offering complimentary Disney PhotoPass digital downloads for all ticketed friends throughout its Disney100 celebration as a part of an ongoing celebration forward of the corporate’s a centesimal anniversary on October 16.

Starting Jan. 9, 2024, Walt Disney World will not require reservations for date-based tickets. The corporate additionally stated followers shared they want to have the ability to plan their visits earlier than the day they enter the park, so it’s engaged on methods for friends to try this in 2024.


The corporate added that Walt Disney World can also be bringing again Disney eating plans, the place friends can select from completely different tiers of meal and snack combos and pay for his or her choice forward of time.