Dinner for six at California Grill? How about an evening at Chef's de France in Epcot for the family? These are just some of the things we had to give up due to the crazy hyper-planning necessary to visit Walt Disney World these days.
Chef's de France
It shouldn't be this way. At Disneyland, it takes a minimal amount of advance planning, and you can still have a great vacation there with a sense of joyous spontaneity. Not so in Florida.
Morimoto Asia (photo by WDWMagic.)
At Disney World, the overcrowding and delayed but long needed expansions to handle the millions who visit have created a booking nightmare. Now in order to see and do the primary attractions at Magic Kingdom (let alone the other three parks), all this extra work takes the fun out. Pre-choosing Magic Band characters for each person in the party doesn't make up for it. Nor does Magical Express.
Frankly, it's all just exhausting, and I decided to give up. I cancelled reservations to maintain some sense of freedom from a set agenda, and decided we'd take our chances. Morimoto Asia lost out to Flight of Passage. Chef's de France to Test Track. More examples than I will write about. We will now forgo table service and instead go to late night counter service places in out of the way spots, particularly at Epcot.
The greedy, short-sighted suits have created a mess. Yes, we booked that dinner at Be Our Guest, but we will never eat there again after the price increase coming in July. Fifty-five dollars a head for a theme park dinner? No, thanks. Quick bucks now for less customer loyalty long term. Poor business decision. Never in my life did I think aspects of a trip to Disney World would be "one and done".
I guess one good thing about the last two decades of blatant underdevelopment meant we explored the real world. That has been a delight. But the Walt Disney Company has lost tens of thousands of dollars from just one family. How many more families did what we did and went elsewhere?
Last trip to Florida, some in our family skipped Disney altogether, preferring Universal. Less hassle, newer attractions, less cost. Could be a trend. This trip, we've even scheduled less days to visit the World than we ever did before.
Will we have a great time on this upcoming visit? Of course. We're going with family, so how can we not? Will we go back? Yes....eventually.
(Photos copyright The Walt Disney Company.)