Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Goodbye Walt Disney World

This will be my last post based on our recent trip to Walt Disney World in Florida. I've had a month to reflect on our experiences. Most of them were good and we are glad we went. However the place we visited in 2013 was quite different from the one we experienced during earlier trips.

What we took away from this trip was that, while portions of it were still wonderful, overall WDW wasn't the magical place we experienced in the past. There are obvious maintenance issues and cast members, stretched to the limit, rarely have time to simply chat with visitors. For the first time ever, I didn't spend much money on extras. There was so little that was unique, we weren't tempted.

In addition to the physical changes in the parks, we realized that we no longer fit into the demographic that Disney is chasing. How do we know? Because there were market research people everywhere but no one asked our opinion about anything. Why? Perhaps because we had no children with us? We were not obviously grooming the next generation of Disney customers?  Even the vacation club salespeople ignored us; a fact that I found fascinating considering we were heavily solicited during our last trip. Obviously we no longer look the part.  Odd considering we have more money now than before.

It's all about communication and this giant corporation said a lot to us in eight days. We got the message. We will cherish the memories of earlier vacations to WDW but this trip was the one where the company told us it no longer wanted us or our money.

Mind you, I am a big Disney fan and that has nothing to do with my name. But the Disney World we loved no longer exists. I accept that. Times change. People and corporations move on. We were a little sad but at least we had the opportunity to say goodbye to an old friend.

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