Disney World is constantly changing, and some of those changes have been quite controversial.
Disney fans are notoriously resistant to change and this may mean some different opinions when Disney World makes an update.
These are some of the most controversial changes in the history of Disney World!
Changes to Cinderella Castle
Cinderella Castle is the most famous Disney World icon out there, so of course there’s a buzz when Disney talks about changing it. There have been a few super controversial changes to the castle over the years!
More recently, the change in the color scheme of the Castle from gray and blue to pink and blue came with its large number of supporters and dissidents. Some thought the new look was magical, while others thought it was too far removed from the ambiance of the beloved Cinderella Castle.
But even some temporary options have been controversial. From time to time, the Castle will receive an overlay for a special occasion (such as the 50th anniversary), and these are not always universally loved. A particularly notorious example is the time when Stitch covered the castle with toilet paper. Some people were not very happy to see that their family photo in front of the Castle would involve so much TP!
Don’t even get people starting at the 25th anniversary cake castle. Nightmares in the color of Pepto Bismol.
Line break tools
Row jump tools also have a long history of inciting debate among Disney fans. More recently, Disney Genie + has caused a great deal of controversy. The new system not only made some fundamental changes to the Fastpass + system to which guests were accustomed, but also cost money when Fastpass was free.
Many people consider Genie + to be a money-driven Disney decision that is not in the best interests of the guests. Others like the option to buy or not to buy. It really has been one of Disney’s most divisive changes in recent history!
But some Disney fans might remember that switching to Fastpass + from Fastpass on paper was almost, if not so, divisive. Prior to the Fastpass + virtual system, Disney World used paper Fastpass. Many guests thought that the change depended too much on the phones and that the paper Fastpasses leveled the playing field more.
When asked about controversial decisions, many Disney fans will respond with a change of trip. Disney World changes attractions relatively regularly. While this can often mean a fun new experience, it can also mean saying goodbye to a cherished experience.
Some of the most notable changes include the changes to Journey Into Imagination, the change from Great Movie Ride to Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, the story change to Jungle Cruise, the rematch of Splash Mountain, the removal of Skyway and the change from The Journey Mr. Wild. Toad to The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
Some of these changes have yielded wonderful results, but that doesn’t change the fact that Disney fans weren’t happy about saying goodbye in many of these cases.
Magic express closure
This next one is still a painful place for many. Disney has disrupted Magical Express, which offers free airport transportation for guests of the Disney World Resort.
This has been widely criticized as another way Disney has cut back on guest benefits. Disney World travelers will now have to budget for airport transportation on their travels.
The addition of intellectual property
Another controversial trend in recent years has been the abandonment of original stories in theme parks and the use of existing Disney intellectual property.
You can see this especially at EPCOT, where attractions and experiences based on Disney movies have been added and advertised around the park. Plus, the spectacular new nightly show, Harmonious, is completely IP-focused rather than the original music and stories. Hotels have also seen IP renovations.
Some guests love to see their favorite characters portrayed at Disney World, while others would prefer the parks to retain some of the charm that comes from the original stories.
Changes in nightly shows
And no list would be complete without mentioning the controversial changes that Disney World has made to nightly shows. Many guests were upset with the change from Wishes to Happy Forever and then Happy Forever to Charming.
The change of Lighting to Harmonious also caused the anger of some guests and the delight of others. But this show has become even more controversial with the addition of Harmonious boats to World Showcase Lagoon.
What Disney World changes do you think are the most controversial? Tell us in the comments!
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