I went to Disney World when I grew up, and it has always been my favorite holiday destination in my life.
But now, I feel that the theme park in Orlando, Florida is losing the magic that makes it so special.
Due to the soaring prices, the holiday became unbearable, and the loss of classic attractions changed the unique landscape of Disney.
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I was about 18 months old when I first visited Disney World.
I don’t remember anything about that trip, but the old photos make me believe that I love it almost every second-that is, if you don’t count the photos that show me crying beside Pooh and Tigger at breakfast.
Since then, my parents have taken my sister and me to Disney World as much as possible. We drove from New Jersey to Orlando, Florida every two or three years, and spent a week riding a roller coaster, taking photos with the princess and eating countless Mickey ice cream sticks.
It has been more than five years since the last visit, and many changes have taken place in the theme park. Fares have increased, classic attractions have been replaced by new ones, and beloved actors have lost their jobs.
Now, no matter how far I am towards the future, I am worried that the Disney World I love when I grow up will disappear there when I come back.
The increase in Disney World resort prices makes it difficult for fans like me to afford trips to theme parks
According to the Disney project website AllEars, when I visited Disney World for the first time in 1997, the price of a single-day ticket for adults was about $39 and a single-day ticket for children was about $32. Ten years later, in 2007, the price of a single day ticket for adults rose to between US$67 and US$71, and the price of a single day ticket for children was between US$56 and US$60.
According to AllEars, due to continued price increases, single-day Disney World tickets for adults and children now cost more than $100. If you choose to visit during the “peak” season, or purchase a Park Hopper pass that allows you to travel back and forth between the four parks in Disney World, the price will increase further.
It’s not just tickets that are rising in price. Food, souvenirs, festival events, etc. are also becoming more and more expensive. Courtney Willingham of the Disney Food Blog wrote in an article about the increase in park prices from 2019 to the beginning of last year: “It seems like Walt Disneyland and the word “price change” are posted on Hips.”
Of course, price increases for any theme park and most other companies are bound to happen. But over the years, it has become obvious that the price increase in Disney World is not only the result of inflation.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Disney World increased ticket prices by approximately two times throughout the 2010s, and according to Reader’s Digest, theme parks did so for different reasons.
For example, the seasonal ticket price of Disney World encourages Disney fans to plan their holidays in advance and therefore spend more money. On the other hand, the launch of luxury hotels, VIP tours and other high-end services has attracted wealthy travelers.
These expensive tickets and the proceeds from the facilities in the park helped Disney World install major attractions, including Pandora in the Animal Kingdom and Galaxy Edge in Hollywood Studios, and compete with nearby theme parks, such as the nearby Harry Bo Special magic world.
As Robert Niles, editor of Theme Park Insider, said to Business Insider: “Disney doesn’t like losing-not just losing, Disney doesn’t even like competition. . Disney wants to control its own competition.”
When you visit Disney World, your favorite attractions may be gone
When Disney World opened in 1971, only a few original rides were inspired by the company’s films, performances and other intellectual property (IP). However, today, Disneyland’s IP attractions (such as the “Seven Dwarfs” mine train and the entire “Toy Story Land”) have surpassed attractions such as Space Mountain and Jungle Parade.
Part of the reason is that these updated, IP-themed rides have replaced many classic and popular attractions. In 2014, Epcot’s Maelstrom was remodeled with the theme of “Frozen”, which is similar to the addition of the “Finding Nemo” role to the “Living Sea” attraction in 2006.
In recent years, Hollywood film studios have also faced major changes, such as “Big Movie Journey”, film studio tours, American Street, etc. These film studios have been demolished in order to include “Toy Story Park” and IP attractions including “Galaxy Edge” make room. As a result, the filmmaking aesthetics of Hollywood studios almost completely disappeared.
Even though I haven’t experienced many new IP appeals, I still enjoy other fun. In my opinion, the ocean that lives with Nemo and Friends is cute, and the new members of the fantasy world are magical. Therefore, I have no doubt that other IP-themed attractions in Disney World-and the ones that will appear in the future-will be different.
Nonetheless, nostalgia is often the reason why I plan a Disney World holiday. When I feel stressed or have bad days, I will run around the park without any care when I daydream. However, knowing that my nostalgic destinations are not the same-and change every day, which makes me reluctant to spend hundreds of dollars to travel.
read more: 33 photos of old Disney World attractions we hope to return
Overall, it was Disney World’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic that really made me lose faith in my favorite theme park
In mid-March 2020, Disney World temporarily closed its doors to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. But even on the last day of the month’s opening, Disneyland took the risk and gathered Mickey Mouse, his friends and many entertainers to say goodbye in front of hundreds of park visitors.
If that’s not bad enough, Disney World reopened in mid-July despite the surge in COVID-19 cases in Florida and other parts of the world. Although some people criticized Disney’s decision, hundreds of people flocked to Disney on the open day, and even more people visited Disney.
Personally, I am frustrated with the whole situation. Although I know that if the park is closed, many Disney parks actors will be financially troubled, but having them work with thousands of travelers during the pandemic does not seem to be a better option, thus making them sick risks of.
But this is when Disney World begins to lay off thousands of employees.
read more: Disney World employees describe the cost of staying safe as Florida coronavirus cases surge
According to the Washington Post, the theme park giant plans to lay off 32,000 workers before Thanksgiving. Almost immediately after the layoffs started, there were accounts of former employees earning money to pay bills and relying on food banks for food.
When I read the heartbreaking stories from the victims, I couldn’t help wondering how the expensive and constantly renovated resorts could not help those who created magic.
Now I worry that the curse won’t appear when I return to Disneyland
After a long time, I plan to visit Disney World with my best friend in May 2020. Although I know that some of my favorite attractions (such as the big movie tour) will no longer exist, I am still happy to experience the latest attractions in Disney World.
Of course, these plans were quickly cancelled, and to be honest, I am not in a hurry to reschedule them.
Now, expensive park tickets don’t seem worth it, because performances, parades, fireworks, etc. have been stopped, and I’m not sure I want to experience new attractions for the first time wearing a mask. But most importantly, I can’t imagine if no actors have been helping me through the holidays and thousands of other actors who are so special during the holidays come to visit Disney World.
I still love Disneyland, and I know it is absolutely safe to do this one day, and I will come back. But now, I cannot say that I am confident in the future of the most amazing place on earth.
read more: Don’t make the same mistakes as visiting Disney World during the pandemic. It’s just not worth it.
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