Published: December 29, 2010 at 6:46 PM
We booked a 7 day Christmas vacation at Walt Disney World and cannot recommend that anyone go there with small children or when the park is busy. We took our 5 & 6 year old children. By day two, they were begging to go home, and crying when we said we were going back to the park. The park was dangerously oversold. We got no indication from anyone that this was the busiest time of the year and Disney failed to tell us that it was, and also failed to mention that they had plans to oversell the park to the point of dangerous overcrowded occupancy. We were unable to ride but one ride per day. It was nearly impossible to navigate the park. There were lines for everything, and lines for lines. We paid $14 to park each day, $8 for a hot dog, and $3.50 for a soft drink (if you can wait in line long enough). Expect about $120/day for a family of four, minimum, in ancillary expenses (that does not include buying gifts). The park staff were stressed and often rude (many of them, not all), and we got trapped behind a parade and unable to leave the park on the first night for 2.5 hours. When we exited, there was mass confusion, inability to see signs or directional issues due to overcrowding. It was very dangerous in our opinion. On the 26th, a man was killed by being struck by a Disney bus....the second person who has died in 2010 from being struck by a Disney bus. Given our exit experiences, we can see how this could happen. In the bottle necks of the park, it is literally shoulder to shoulder, and you cannot have a child walking by themselves. Our son's foot was run over by one of the thousands of rented wheelchairs. I think that Disney has a duty to inform guests, who have never been there, about the possibility that they may not even be able to get into a park over Christmas, much less enjoy any part of it. We asked for a refund and they greedily refused. In fact, a guest services supervisor told me that the overcrowding was my opinion and that they had not even reached maximum occupancy (very scary...wait for photos and you decide). Unfortunately, our view, our kids' view, and the views of everyone that we encountered within earshot complaining of Walt Disney World is that it is dangerous, overcrowded, overpriced, and greedy. This was a first visit for all of us, and we don't plan to go back...ever, and unfortunately Disney has created a very negative image in the minds of our children, despite our efforts to downplay the problems. I will post videos and photos evidencing this debacle once I have them available. I have read many good reviews of Walt Disney World, and we are shocked at just how much things have changed from what we have read. It is our strong recommendation to avoid Walt Disney World for the reasons above. Even if the park were not so busy, their lack of customer service, their disregard for safety, and the greed surpassed all expectations of common sense. All in all, we did not have a "magical" experience.