Many ‘a word hath been said about modern Disney and cheapness. Nowhere are budget cuts more proudly flaunted than Walt Disney World, ironically the most consistent cash-flow generator under The Walt Disney Company banner.
In a recent attempt to slash expenses, executives reportedly looked to the 3D glasses used on the most popular ride at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
The Flight of Passage in Pandora utilizes expensive-to-produce, highly customized 3D glasses to immerse guests during their adventure. Standard practice in circulating 3D glasses on Disney rides, damaged glasses are replaced by new ones from the “reserves.” Damaged glasses are discarded.
When the attraction geared up for opening back in 2017, a bulk order of these glasses was placed. This initial run formed a projected decade’s worth of reserves to replace future damaged glasses.
Unsavory for Walt Disney World’s budget-trimming President Jeff Vahle, the attraction’s reserves of 3D glasses have now reached exhaustion. This means glasses in circulation that become damaged or stolen do not have viable replacements. Some guests who waited up to 5 hours in line this month received glasses with abrasions that resulted in a blurry viewing experience.
Guest complaints of “blurry” visual effects on the Flight of Passage have increased year-over-year since the attraction’s opening in 2017. Many insiders attribute this deterioration in picture quality to projectors falling out of alignment. However, sources of Mickey Views indicate wear on the 3D glasses is also to blame.
Compelled to make a costly bulk order of new glasses for the first time since the ride’s opening, Walt Disney World executives are not pleased. This one-time cost eats into the park’s budget and affects annual cost comparisons at a time when trimming budgets is the focus. According to a WDI source, Park Operations floated the idea of making the show 2D and doing away with the glasses expense altogether. Walt Disney Imagineering was quick to inform Walt Disney World executives that the attraction’s simulator experience would be very sickening for guests viewing a 2 dimensional screen.
At this hour, we do not know if the decision has been made to purchase a new run of glasses.
In one final note, Disney is not fully responsible for the rate at which their stash of 3D glasses depleted at this attraction. Petty thieves who steal basic guest utilities such as utensils, trays, and cups, have also stolen glasses from this attraction. Currently, 5 of these glasses are listed for sale on eBay. Evidently, these sellers are not worried about being caught as there are no ramifications for this behavior. It’s no wonder we can’t have nice things!
This article write-up is elaborated upon at length in the latest Mickey Views episode, which you can watch here.