Y’all might not know this, but we’re involved in a very serious relationship. We’ve been in it for a LONG time. And guess what — a lot of you have been in the same relationship too.
Of course, we’re not actually talking about another person here. We’re talking about Disney World! Like other relationships, your experience with Disney World probably involves lots of happy memories, some exciting moments, and maybe even a little tension occasionally. But we wanted to know — what are your Disney World DEALBREAKERS? We asked on our readers on social media, and we got a LOT of responses.
As much as we (and a lot of you) love Disney World, there are some things that have us saying, “Um, NOPE.” It might be bad weather, massive crowds, or ride closures, but everyone has their limits — even when it comes to The Most Magical Place on Earth.
In addition, Disney World has been going through a lot of changes recently, and it has prompted some people to reconsider their relationship status with the theme parks. Here’s what our readers said were their Disney World dealbreakers:
One reader said “Crowds. We don’t go during crowd peak times.” The crowds in Disney World are no joke! Especially during the busy seasons (like summer and holidays), the parks can get very “people-y.”
Maybe you don’t like being surrounded by lots of people, or maybe you just don’t want to deal with the long lines. Another reader mentioned high wait times, which can result from the bigger crowds: “3-hour wait for Rise of the Resistance. It’s a great ride, but not worth the 180-minute wait.”
Most people don’t want to pay for a vacation just to stand in lines all day long, like one reader said: “I’m not going [during peak time] and standing in line for twelve hours to ride only six rides. The off-season for me!” And those crowds don’t just impact the attractions. Higher crowd levels mean guests will also be waiting longer for meals, transportation, getting through security, and having less elbow room at the pools. If you’re visiting during a popular time, you’ll need to pack your patience pants or maybe see if there’s wiggle room in your schedule to rebook during a less people-y time.
Heat is one thing. But Orlando humidity is a whole other monster in itself. Combined, the warm weather and humidity can make summer vacations in Disney World almost unbearable.
One reader said their dealbreaker was the heat: “We don’t go during the hottest part of summer.”
Another agreed, saying, “Summer is way way way way too hot and miserable.”
So if you’re sensitive to the heat, you may want to avoid Disney World during the summer months. Set your sights on the months between November and April, that’s when the weather is its mildest in Orlando, but beware of crowds around those holidays! Extra bonus, if you travel during the winter, you can escape the cold, and the crowds are (usually) a little bit lower around late January/February. We have seen higher crowds during these months this year though.
Disney World is consistently updating and maintaining attractions, which often means certain rides will be closed at various times.
One reader mentioned these refurbishments as their dealbreaker: “Certain ride refurbishments. If any of the mountains are scheduled for refurb or Pirates is down for refurb we will change the dates.”
Double-check Disney World’s schedule before you head out on your vacation — you don’t want to get all the way there and then realize your favorite ride will be unavailable.
Conversely, one reader mentioned that certain attractions being OPEN was their dealbreaker. They said they refuse to go to Disney World “with anybody who wants to ride A Journey Into Imagination with Figment.”
No EPCOT Festival
Some guests love these festivals so much that they won’t go to Disney World without them! One reader said they wouldn’t go “if there isn’t an active festival at Epcot.”
Luckily, there are only a few time during the year that DON’T have EPCOT festivals, so odds are good that one will be happening during your trip. And if you want to scope out all of the EPCOT Festivals and what they have to offer, we’ve got you covered!!
Fewer Perks and Systemic Cancelations
Disney has been changing a lot over the last couple of years, and some of those changes have involved taking away certain perks. FastPass+, free PhotoPass for Annual Passholders, and Magical Express are a few of the perks that are no longer available in Disney World.
These changes were some of the most frequently mentioned as our readers’ dealbreakers. One reader said, “No fast passes and fewer perks. Also no magical express. Disney used to be the only vacation I want, now I’m not even sure I want to go.”
No Dining Plan
The Disney Dining Plan has not yet returned to the parks, but it’s possible that it will return at some point. We don’t have a return date for it right now.
One reader said their dealbreaker was “no more dining plans….it kind of makes the magic disappear.”
Another shared their sentiments: “One thing that has stopped us [from going back to Disney World] has been the dining plan. It helped us so much! Super bummed no ETA or specifics on if it’ll ever come back.” You can “make your own dining plan” by buying up Disney Gift Cards in advance to pay for your meals, but we get it, that Dining Plan is super convenient!
Another highly controversial change was removing free FastPass+ in exchange for the paid Genie+. This service costs $15 per person, per day and allows you to reserve your spot in the Lightning Lanes (previously called FastPass lanes) of certain attractions.
One reader said, “Genie + just makes me angry. Not only do we have to pay for something that was free, but I have to get up extra early to reserve attractions or we won’t be able to go on them easily. With 4 people, it’s a huge extra expense.” $15 per person, per day, does add up, so guests now have to add that extra expense into their budget, or make the most of their time in the standby line. You don’t need Genie+ to ride attractions (standby lines are always available), but that expedited lane sure does make it convenient!
Annual Pass Sales Paused
At the time of writing, Annual Pass sales have been paused. They’ve been unavailable for a few months now, and that’s turning into a dealbreaker for some guests.
One reader said, “not being able to get annual passes” was the reason they’re not visiting Disney World right now. Frequent visitors can use an Annual Pass to get into the parks and take advantage of discounts on some merchandise and dining. Without those deals, a trip might not be worth it to some people.
Recently, Disney canceled the Magical Express program, this service shuttled guests from the Orlando International Airport to their Disney World hotel (and back) as part of their vacation package.
Now, you can choose from a few different options to get between the airport and your hotel, but all of them cost extra now. One reader said, “Honestly for my family, it was the [end of] magical express. We’ve been going for years and years. When they announced the magical express was ending that was enough for us to look at other vacation options.” When factoring in the extra cost for a rental car (plus parking fees!), a ride-share, or the replacement airport shuttle services, that just adds to the bottom line increasing the overall cost of a Disney vacation. These little extra charges here and there add up, and are now impacting guest decisions on if Disney World is their desired destination anymore.
Park Hop Limits
Park hopping in Disney World means visiting more than one park in a day. This option is available right now, but it has some new limits. Guests can’t park hop before 2PM each day.
One of our readers said the “limited ability to park hop” was their dealbreaker for Disney World.
With the new Genie, Genie+, Mobile Order, Online Check-In, and other systems in place, it’s very difficult to navigate Disney World without a smartphone. Some people don’t like that you’ve got to use your phone so much during a vacation.
One reader said, “[I’m] irritated at everything being on a cell phone. I go on vacation to escape normal life. I want to enjoy my $5000 vacation and not be looking at a phone all the time.”
Masks and COVID
Currently, guests are still required to wear a mask while indoors in Disney World. Some guests say that this mandate is the reason they haven’t returned to the parks.
Others cite the pandemic in general as their Disney World dealbreaker.
One guest said, “If we can’t get this Covid thing behind us, I may never get to come back to my favorite vacation spot.” Whether it’s the mask mandates and not wanting to be required to wear a mask in the Orlando heat and humidity, or the health concerns of contracting or being exposed to such a communicable disease, COVID is still impacting traveling decisions.
Yup, unconditional love does still exist, and some guests still feel that way about Disney Parks. Some guests said that their Disney World dealbreaker was…nothing! One guest said, “There are none. I would go to Disneyworld anytime any day”
Another responded with, “I’ll let you know when I find one.”
Those were our readers’ Disney World dealbreakers! Like any complex, long-term relationship, there are highs and lows, expectations, compromises, and sometimes ultimatums! Keep following DFB for more news and updates from Disney World.
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Do you agree with any of these Disney World dealbreakers? Let us know in the comments!