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Is Walt Disney World one of the 10 most disappointing destinations in the world?


A travel website has listed Walt Disney World as one of the 10 most disappointing destinations in the world:

Paying $99 per day to be trapped in a park surrounded by other peoples’ children and fully grown adults who like Disney? No thanks. Even a bottle of water will run you $2.50 once you’re within reach of the Mouse’s greedy grasp.

Really? All that tells me is that the person who had that experience didn’t spend the time to learn how to get the most value out of their vacation to Walt Disney World.

What advice would you give a travel to help them not avoid disappointment in the Walt Disney World vacation?

15 thoughts on “Is Walt Disney World one of the 10 most disappointing destinations in the world?”

  1. I love WDW, but even I can’t defend the expensive bottles of water, or the ever-increasing admission fees. However, whining about being surrounded by other people’s children is a personal preference, not a platform for disappointment. Any destination that elicits high expectations can produce disappointment. I’d say that for the most part, Disney works hard to meet the high expectations people have about their vacations. Whether people perceive value in what Disney does is totally up to them. I’d guess that potential travelers who don’t like the things mentioned in the blurb above (children, high prices) would stay away.

  2. I have a strange feeling Caroline Morse’s mind was made up prior to attending the park(s). She doesn’t like kids and she doesn’t like Disney or people who like Disney. That’s what she was really saying. I read her article, she basically hates on vacations she considers expensive and touristy/populist. Another world weary poseur is given a blog. *yawn*

  3. I don’t understand what a person going to Disney would expect. Children and adults who love Disney? At Disney World? Inconceivable!

    As someone who first went as a young adult, I found being surrounded by children was part of the magic, because they so totally believe, and it’s adorable and contagious. It’s so much fun to watch them go nuts when they see Mickey or be scared by the Dinosaurs.

    And it is expensive but we are paying for a huge production and if a person doesn’t enjoy it, I think that my best advice would be go somewhere else. I guess if I had to give Disney advice, I would suggest staying at one of the higher-priced resorts and then speaking to the cast members about what you do enjoy, and letting them help set you up with that. I would also suggest taking advantage of the extra hours (do they still do that?). Getting there early cuts down on the crowds. And the time of year helps a lot. Late September, early October when school is in and the food and wine is flowing at Epcot is a great time at Disney World.

  4. As a Disney fan, of course I have to disagree, but when going to any theme park I expect both kids and expensive food and beverage. Amc movie theaters charge $4.50 for the same bottle of water! But do you go to the movies and judge it on the price of concessions and the overpriced ticket? You judge it based on the quality if the film.

  5. “What advice would you give a traveler to help them not avoid disappointment in the Walt Disney World vacation?”

    To the original writer I wouldn’t waste my time, energy or breath. She’s GOING to be disappointed everywhere she goes because she expects to be disappointed. The only person who can change that attitude is her. However, I do wish to extend my utmost thanks for advising others like herself to avoid WDW. Anything that reduces crowds is OK by me. BONUS: Anything that reduces my personal on-vacation contact with self-absorbed, short-attention-span’d, head-always-down-looking-at-their-phones-instead-of-where-they’re-going people like her is heavenly!

    To anyone else I would advise that they research, research and then research some more. There are lots of blogs, bulletin boards and Facebook pages available, not to mention plenty of books and article written on the subject. If you’ve never been then I suggest you do your research before buying a plane ticket, let alone booking a room.

  6. I had a couple of friends that went to the World and didn’t like it. I don’t understand that concept but as I delved in deeper to why they didn’t like it, I found it’s because they tried to do the World like any other park and that’s not what it’s all about;at least for me it’s not. One friend went with her kids during February vacation and was overwhelmed by the crowds, another friend had two young kids and went with her family which also consisted of an 20 and 21 year old brother and sister. She actually let the 20 year old’s dictate what time they went to the park and how long they stayed. The boy toddlers were ready to go by 7 AM so by the time they would go at noon, the parks were crowded and they kids were ready for a nap. I think what people don’t realize is you have to plan at least a little especially when you have kids. But to me it really is a magical place where you should slow down and enjoy the show around you.

  7. To be fair, I’m a big fan and we go every few years… but after a trip right around Christmas (not my choice of dates but had to go when others in our party could) where, IMO, they let in obscene amounts of people such that even the most disused rides had a 2-3 hour standby line and the day’s fast passes were completely gone on most rides a half hour after the park opened, I said never again during busy season… for a fan, that was a hugely disappointing trip and I truly felt completely ripped off because of how many they let in before closing the gate.

  8. I think there is absolutely no surprise that the author was disappointed. Being surrounded by other people’s children? At Disney World? The person who expects otherwise isn’t intelligent enough to be writing their own travel blog…

    I’ve paid $4.50 for a bottle of water (and $15 for a beer) at a ballpark…and that was when my team LOST so I’m thinking that’s on MY top ten disappointments


    WDW can be a huge letdown if you build it up to be something it’s not. The thing is, it can be anything you want it to be if you take the time to research, plan, and prepare. There are a handful of places at WDW you can go and not be surrounded by children (OK – a handful is stretching it, but still, it can be done – spas, golf courses, romantic cruises, etc.). If you expect to walk in the gates and not be assaulted by kids hyped up on sugar and magic? You WILL be letdown. If that’s part of your expectation – and possibly part of what you’re looking forward to – you’re expectations will be met and exceeded.

  9. $2.50 for bottled water isn’t outrageous when compared to other sporting/entertainment events. As to the price, yes, I don’t like our annual pass increases every year, but last year my daughter worked at WDW in the college program. One day while visiting her and the parks, I drove her in to work. If the public could see the amount of automobiles parked in the cast member lots, and think about that and daily utilities, price of fireworks, etc., they would more easily understand the incredible amount of overhead it takes just to open each day.

  10. Yes, this author seems to have it out against Disney from the get-go. It’s a premium theme park. I wouldn’t go to Yankee Stadium and complain that the tickets cost more than minor league, and gripe about the food costs. BTW, free ice water is available anywhere in the parks.

    The author has a chip on her shoulder about Disney and shouldn’t visit. I, on the other hand, love the parks, the organization, its history, and what they’ve done over the past 90 years. That’s why I go. That, and the cast members. They are some of the most dedicated, top notch employees in any organization on earth.

  11. Reading many of the comments I realized what a difference in opinion/experiences there is going to WDW. Although one commentor stated they were disappointed with their experience during the Christmas season, that is the only time of year our family visits the parks. We generally attend the parts anytime between December 1 up to December 21. My bride and I spent our honeymoon at WDW from December 26 through January 1. Yes, the parks were crammed with holiday goers.

    We have been blessed to visit WDW during the Christmas season on many occasions and generally we have at least a party of five attending. Set up a schedule, and expect long lines, long days, and the spending of lots of money.

    When we have friends or relatives say they are planning to attend Disney, my bride will generally for them our tip sheet.

    In closing, it would seem that one’s experience is directly related to one’s expectations and attitude.

    As for the author of the original article, avoiding the part would be the best thing they can do for themselves and those who actually enjoy going to the park.

  12. My husband & I are total WDW nerds. Before we go, we study the Unofficial Guide to WDW and we check crowd predictor websites. We love it, but I admit the Disney World experience is intense and not for everyone. If you prefer a relaxed, mellow vacation, I’d advise you go elsewhere.

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