Well, let me begin by saying that I enjoy hearing what is wrong with WDW. But what good are threads that say what is wrong if no one knows how to fix the problems?
Well, that's why I'm making this post. This is an outline of how to fix WDW. From the big problems to the small. Now, you may not agree with everything I say, or even think that everything I mention is a good idea. But this is being written as a plan ready to be set into motion. If you've thought of an idea that goes against mine, keep in mind I've planned my ideas and even tested some of them. I know what works and what doesn't. Now, if you've done the same, feel free to mention why your idea is better. There is no such thing as a bad idea. But it's the fact that we can work with ideas and compare and see why some things work, some things can be enhanced, and some just seem like a good idea, but don't end up working in the end.
So with that, let's get to it.
I'm going to start with Property Wide Ideas. This thread will take days, so this post will only include Property Wide Ideas. Things that can be done for the entire property, or areas of interest that affect large portions of the property.
Extra Magic Hours
The first thing I'd do is put an end to evening Extra Magic Hours. At this time, the Magic Kingdom is so crowded in the summer, it should be open until 1am nightly. It's closing at 11pm, and EMH is done twice a week so the MK can stay open until 2am on Friday and Sunday. Now, that sounds kind of odd... it SHOULD be open until 1am every night. But instead, EMH makes it so it can get by with only being open until 11pm. EMH is a FAKE benefit. It is NOT a real benefit if you stay at a Disney Resort. It is a LIE. EMH is used as a crowd control device to get people to go to that park that night. (the one that has EMH) That way they can close the other parks at an earlier time. EMH prevents the parks from remaining open later. Now, I can see why EMH was done in the first place. It used to be that EMH lowered costs. Not anymore.
For example, EMH has actually raised the costs of operating the Magic Kingdom park. There is a huge cost for wristbands in the park alone. But beyond the simple material cost of wristbands, there is a cost to staff the necessary CMs for the distribution of such wristbands. There is also a cost necessary to remove Guests from the parks as what has just started. (Just like the special event parties) There is also a very bad taste left in most Guests' mouths who don't have wristbands. And that is worth a lot right there. EMH is no longer a benefit, it is a hinderance, and the fact is, if you don't plan your vacation at WDW out the wazoo, you can't have an entirely good time at WDW, thanks to EMH, Special Events, and the Disney Dining Plan.
However, the Special Events are a necessary evil. And by Special Event, I don't mean the Year of a Million Dreams that will last over two years... I mean the real Special Events. Like the Halloween parties. Easter, Christmas, 4th of July, The Food and Wine Festival, the Pirates and Princess Parties, Star Wars Weekends, etc. Those are real special events that bring in people and people have a blast. Now, I prefer the normal events that are included with admission, but the special after-hours parties that take place are something special. At least the Halloween party is.
Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is so successful, it has turned a month (October) from a once slow time at WDW to one of the busiest times to go. It is a necessary evil to close the MK early for these parties. But at the same time, the park must stay open later the other days of the month. This year, the MK will have normal 1am closings in October. That shows you just how crowded the parks have become this time of year. The Year of a Million Dreams has NOTHING to do with it.
The Year of a Million Dreams is POINTLESS. This is WDW marketing gone wrong. The Year of a Million Dreams is a complete waste of money. WDW marketing wasted tons of money for the company that could have been invested in actual upkeep of the parks, or maybe even a new attraction. But no. Marketing wasted the money on random decorations that look like overgrown hippie leaves in purple colors around the resort. People make fun of the monorails. Looks like Tink threw up on them.
The truth is, The Year of a Million Dreams is a great marketing ploy for TV and Ads. But money is being wasted on decorating the parks. No one I know cares about the parks being decorated for this celebration. In fact, many people are annoyed that they can't get a picture of the Main Street Train Station without a cheesy banner in front of the station and random cutouts of purple characters in front of the station. It belongs on TV, not in the parks, except for the Dream Squad, the decorations are pointless for this celebration. I guarantee that if they had done everything the same, without the decorations in the parks, you'd see no difference in how much money the parks make, or in Guest satisfaction levels.
The Disney Dining Plan is getting to a point where guests are complaining about it. The rumored changes for the plan include removing gratuity from the plan, and raising the price of the plan as well. They also plan on offering a deluxe plan with an extra meal, and also reducing snacks to basically either a soda, popcorn, or ice cream bar. No alternatives. What are they thinking? The DDP is a neat concept as it is. It works well for people that are on the current plan and have reservations made 3 months in advance. Woah, time out. 3 MONTHS?!? WTF is that?
I'm not trying to eat at the best restaurant in New York, I want a nice dinner inside a theme park. Is that so much to ask on the same day?! Evidently it is, because it's nearly impossible to get same day reservations at a Table Service restaurant at WDW now. But there are a few options to this crisis. One is to get rid of the DDP. But that's not really viable at this point, it has made too much money. However, a raise in price to the DDP is good, but it should still include the gratuity. The beauty of the DDP is that it made it simple for people. That was the idea of Magical Express as well. (And to keep you on property, heh heh) If you raise the price, it should lower the demand of the plan. Or, you could actually meet the demand by building more restaurants. Or you could limit the amount of plans that are given out. But something needs to be done with the amount of people that dine at WDW and the demand for table service. The Dining Plan is flawed, and it needs to be fixed.
The hotels at WDW also are behind almost any other hotel company when it comes to some things that are becoming basics. Free High Speed Internet should be a no-brainer at this point at WDW Resorts. Not to mention 24 hour eateries at all the resorts. Parks are open late, Pleasure Island at Downtown Disney stays open till 2am. But there's no food available at the resort you're staying at after midnight? What is that about? If you're going to keep me on-property with no car, then you need to provide some sort of food option if I get hungry when I get back from the Magic Kingdom when the park closes at 2am and I don't get home until 3. It could even be a 24 hour store that sells sandwiches in a cooler. But there should always be SOMETHING available.
The entire resort needs a better transportation system as well. I'm sorry, but there's nothing magical about a bus. Anaheim just approved a 1.3 billion dollar budget to fix Disney's California Adventure. (No, I didn't make a mistake on the budget, Al did.) If we can spend that much on one theme park alone, I think investing that on a better transportation system for WDW is worth it. The capital budget needed for WDW to improve the parks, hotels, and transportation needs to be about 6 billion dollars. 1 billion for each theme park, a billion split between the hotels, and a billion on transportation. That billion needs to go to a improved monorail system, or a system even cooler. WDW is a place of innovation, and I have an idea of a transportation system in mind that would work even better then a monorail system. Unfortunately I don't want my ideas stolen, so I won't go into it here, but if you're someone in Disney who would like to hire me, please email or PM me.
I'm still not done with my plans, even for property wide use, but feel free to comment if you'd like.
It's too late right now, and I need sleep! lol