It’s 2023. There is so much going on at Walt Disney World, and other theme parks and resorts around the globe. Walt Disney World is wrapping up its 50th Anniversary celebration. Disney’s 100th Anniversary celebration is looming around the corner. New attractions, including Tron Lightcycle Run (Magic Kingdom) and Guardians of The Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind (EPCOT) have recently opened. It’s all good. However, there are changes that must come which haven’t come yet. These changes are not just pivotal, but vital to all guests’ experiences. If these long awaited changes don’t come anytime soon, that very change will have to come starting at the very top. What change is that? The potential ousting of Josh D’Maro is the change which all guests would be delighted to see. Josh D’Maro is the chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Why should Josh D’Maro be dismissed? Here’s why:
1) No complimentary airport bus service: When CEO Bob Chapek took over the reigns from Bob Iger, he started a lot of the problems. Such problems which led to the strife within the company. An upcharge was imposed on everything. Disney’s Magical Express, the complimentary airport bus service to and from Orlando International Airport, was terminated as of January 1st, 2022. Guests now have to pay up to $36.00 round-trip per person to be taken to and from the Walt Disney World resort property. The Sunshine Flyer is a great airport bus service; somewhat Disney-esque, but the amount of money per guest is going to put a big-time dent in families’ budgets. How are families supposed to shell out this amount of money time and again, on top of the big bucks they’ve already paid to stay on the resort property? It’s sad news to say that a Disney vacation is no longer cheap. A complimentary airport bus service must be introduced into service to alleviate the financial stress on all guests alike. Having no complimentary airport bus service at all doesn’t sit well at all with avid Disney travelers. Every Disney vacation deserves to begin on a good note. Disneyland Resort is in desperate need of a complimentary airport bus service to and from Orange County Airport (SNA) and/or Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Paying for transportation should not have to be the beginning and end-all. Introducing a new complimentary bus service is a MUST. Hopefully this is on the mind of Josh D’Maro. If not, his departure should be.
2) Still no Disney Dining Plan: What in the world is going on here? Guests already have enough on their ‘plates’. They’re still paying for snacks, soft-drinks, counter service, and sit down dining experiences individually. The Disney Dining Plan simplified things considerably. Depending on families’ dining needs, the Disney Dining Plan features multiple tiers-giving guests a choice of ‘x’ amount of snacks, counter service, and sit down dining meals throughout their stay. So far, there hasn’t been one single hoot at all on when the Disney Dining Plan will be resumed. Guests cannot afford to keep charging snacks, counter service, and sit down meals to their resort room folios individually. Guests are losing their patience at an alarming rate. Their budgets cannot wait either. Families and children’s bellies cannot growl much longer. Now is the perfect time for the belly of Josh D’Maro to start growling, once he is placed on the hot seat. He should step into a theme park or into a resort area and see the predicament guests are in. If he doesn’t see the problem, he’d better start thinking of another ‘plan’ he doesn’t want coming his way. The Disney Dining Plan should be reinstated N-O-W. Either the Disney Dining Plan resumes, or Josh D’Maro should really start sweating.
3) No Annual Pass: Guests who currently hold an annual pass are extremely lucky. They don’t need park reservations until after 2 pm. Besides, they are entitled to discounts on tours, shopping, dining, and more. Disney Vacation Club members are entitled to very much the same. Still, the annual pass is yet to be reinstated. For avid Disney travelers, the annual pass is golden. For the amount of money guests pay for the annual pass, it goes a long way. For guests who wish to do away with making park reservations and deal with all the ands, ifs, and buts, the annual pass is the right choice. It makes every Disney vacation worthwhile. It also saves money in the long run. So far, Josh D’Maro has not reinstated the annual pass. What is all the holdup? What’s the issue? It’s sad enough that cast members are caught in the dark when guests inquire about the situation. Either the annual pass is reinstated, or Josh D’Maro can take the Lightning Lane to the unemployment experience.
4) Dropping the park pass reservation system: Yes, there was talk about more changes coming to the park pass reservation system. This can be no longer approached from a laid back point-of-view. The can can longer be kicked down the street. With the guests’ level of patience wearing extremely thin, making reservations has gotten old. Not only has gotten old, making park pass reservations has become excessive and inconvenient. During the thick of the pandemic, the park pass reservation system was implemented to control the crowd levels. No problem there! It proved its point then. It’s 2-0-2-3! The pandemic is long done. Traveling is back. Crowds have returned. Nighttime entertainment has returned. The magic has returned. The desire to ride Tron Lightcycle Run, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, Big Thunder Mountain, and the upcoming Tiana’s Bayou Adventure (formerly Splash Mountain) opening in 2024, is here to stay. The guests’ desire to travel to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and other resorts around the globe is back. The solution is clear-guests staying on property, regular resort guests, guests holding an annual pass, and Disney Vacation Club members alike, should no longer need park pass reservations. No matter what pass they hold, the reservation should already be built in. Guests staying off-property should be required to make reservations for each and every park. Since they opted to stay outside the property, that should be the only exception. Enough said! So the question remains-when will the park pass reservation system be finally eliminated? THERE IS NO LONGER A DEMAND FOR IT! The time is N-O-W. It seems that Josh D’Maro doesn’t see it that way. He should see what it’s like when he’s out of a job!
When guests wish upon a star, it makes no difference who they are. Anything their hearts desire should always come true. The song from “Pinnochio” speaks the truth. It is Disney’s creed. It is Disney’ clear and cut promise to all guests. What is happening to guests at Disney parks and resorts around the world is saddening. Guests are paying for airport transportation, the Disney Dining Plan isn’t back in service yet, the annual pass isn’t yet available, and the park pass reservation system is still in place. It’s a sad reality-sad enough that guests are choosing to visit Universal’s parks and resorts more than Disney. It’s been the other way around for the longest time. When are Disney parks all of a sudden an afterthought? Sadly, they are now. The only way for all of this to change for the greater good is clear cut and simple. It all starts at the top. Josh D’Maro, has been on the job long enough. He’s seen and heard enough of the guests’ concerns. Now is the time for him to act on them with the swing of a bat. So far, he hasn’t swung the bat yet. The changes he must make are crystal clear. They’re vital to all guests’ future visits. If Josh D’Maro doesn’t act on the guests concerns and needs now, he’s got a sad reality on the horizon. Disney travelers worldwide, regardless of walk of life or age, deserve to have a stress-free stay that is logistics friendly. They deserve to have a stress-free stay that is budget friendly. They too deserve a stress-free stay that allows them the freedom to move about between parks without ands, ifs, and buts. If Josh D’Maro doesn’t take significant action soon, he’d might as well look forward to a well-deserved annual pass to another job experience elsewhere.