Disney World guests gripe of broken rides, filth as prices soar

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Disney World guests gripe that the Orlando, Fla., resort has become plagued with broken-down rides and dirty facilities — even as the theme park continues to hike prices under CEO Bob Chapek.

Visitors are increasingly taking to social media to bash the Happiest Place on Earth, complaining that Chapek — who replaced the Mouse House’s longtime boss Bob Iger in 2020 — is only concerned with cutting costs and raising prices instead of reinvesting in the resort.

“Some rides are just a straight mess,” wrote one Reddit user in a chat room dubbed “Disney lacking.”

Last month, riders got stranded for over an hour on the Magic Kingdom’s “It’s a Small World” ride, with one customer calling the experience “torture” on social media. In July, video footage from Disney World revealed guests climbing out of a car on Splash Mountain because it started sinking. It was the park’s third sinking incident in two years.

“Rides are also down a lot. It’s been lacking since they reopened and I don’t expect it to change anytime soon,” the user continued. “They know people will keep coming regardless.”

Guests called out specific attractions, including “Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid at Magic Kingdom,” as a sign of the state of the park, according to Disney blog Inside the Magic, which earlier reported on the complaints.

Customers griped that Disney World is in need of repair amid price hikes and cost cuts.
LightRocket via Getty Images

“Half of the in-queue hermit crab effects simply don’t work,” one customer complained. “In almost every scene something is broken — the moray eel’s eyes for example — one eye works, the other broken.”

“You could do this for every ride, something is broken, unkempt, or not functional,” the customer added.

Another user said they were “shocked at how many rides were all down at the exact same time” when they last visited Disney World’s Epcot.

Disney's Little Mermaid character Ariel sings and displays wire-action performance in the air during the press preview of the new attraction "King Triton's Concert" at the Tokyo DisneySea in Urayasu, suburban Tokyo
Customers complained that Disney World’s “Little Mermaid” ride is rundown.
AFP via Getty Images

One user complained of poor maintenance and “cast members” who weren’t in character at Disney World’s ultra-expensive new Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser hotel, which costs around $6,000 for two nights, with lodging, meals and entertainment included.

“Last year when I was here, I was blown away with CM’s [cast members], especially at Galaxy’s Edge, with maintaining the illusion. This year, a lot of the CM’s were not in character at all,” the user said. “The resorts have all had some small issues like the main door not closing when we leave, to A/C not working properly.”

Disney World’s unkempt appearance was also a hot topic, with users noting grass isn’t freshly cut, trash litters the grounds and buildings have “chipped paint.”

Visitors ride in a boat at the "It's A Small World" ride at Walt Disney Co.'s Disneyland Resort in Hong Kong, China
Riders got stuck for an hour on Disney World’s rundown “It’s a Small World” ride.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

“There is no doubt that the parks, restaurants, and hotels that we enjoyed were in definite need of repair, there was a clear lack of general maintenance,” a guest wrote. “It was genuinely shocking. At the prices they are charging, there is zero excuse for it, including COVID.”

Another guest called the park “gross,” noting there was “tons of trash everywhere.”

“I watched a person smoking cigarettes in the middle of Liberty Square. Grabbed a real quick dinner at Pecos Bill and it was grimy,” the guest added.

Another user zeroed in on their hotel stay. “The lack of room cleaning bothered me the most, I stayed at Pop Century for 12 nights and the ‘light cleaning’ every other day isn’t good enough.”

General views of a Mickey Mouse doll at the Disneyland Resort setup by staff to remind patrons of COVID-19 related health and safety protocols
Disney was forced to shutter its parks during the pandemic, causing a massive blow to the company’s financials.
GC Images

Many customers blamed Disney boss Chapek, who took the helm in 2020, right before the pandemic hit. During the height of the pandemic, Disney was forced to close its theme parks, causing a devastating blow to its bottom line. Eventually, theme parks reopened, and in order to make up for the losses, Chapek began raising admission, food and merchandise prices.

Disney also slimmed down portion sizes of popular food items, much to the dismay of customers, with some comparing the revamped meals to “disgusting slop” and “prison food.”

“Two words: Bob Chapek,” wrote one angry user, blaming the exec for changes at the parks.

Another chimed in: “This is what the new Disney is all about. Cutting costs and making more for the board of directors. I imagine, unless they put someone in charge that really cares about Disney and not the bottom line, it will stay like this.”

Bob Chapek
Disney CEO Bob Chapek has hiked prices at Disney’s theme parks while also slashing costs.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

But not everyone was so critical of Disney World or its CEO.

“While it’s fun to blame Chapek for everything (I do this alot) I think we also forget that this issue has always been there, but due to the increased costs we now are paying for these vacations, we may just be more hyper aware of them,” one user noted. “While I think the magic is still there, I agree it’s a different feeling then my last trip…”

A former Disney employee added that “maintenance is stretched thin post Covid” and “supply chain issues are affecting parts shipments as well as merchandise, food, etc.”

Disney World did not comment.


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