I'm not sure I buy any of the Frommers arguments.
"No attractions of substance are being built." TRON opens this spring. Epcot's spine transformation (a significant place-making exercise) opens later this year. Each of the parks has seen a significant expansion in the past decade: Epcot has gotten Guardians plus the France expansion, AK got the Pandoraverse, Studios got both Pixar and Star Wars expansions (the latter is truly mind-blowing), and MK got New Fantasyland. AK appears to be next in line for an upgrade with the closure of half of Dinoland leaving a sizeable expansion pad. Disney Springs was completely redone. This seems like more an artifact of timing than anything. From where I am sitting, the last decade has been a time of very significant growth in the parks, especially compared to the decade prior--the period between AK's opening (1998) and New Fantasyland (2012) did not see much building at all, but it didn't seem to hurt them--even though Universal opened the Potterverse in 2010 and 2014, and everyone points to Galaxy's Edge as the "Potter Swatter" but it came almost a decade later than Potter v1.0.
"The parks are in bad shape." If you go looking for them, you can find some burned out lightbulbs or scuffed ride vehicles. But I think you have to go looking for them---for example, because you run a click-bait outrage-fueled website like, say, WDW News Today. (Guess who Frommers quotes here?) I was there for a couple of weeks in March, and it seemed to be in fine shape--at least to me. I suspect most guests would say the same thing.
"The resorts are being un-themed." This is one that a lot of Disneyphiles like to bring up, but I confess I don't see it. I was just in Saratoga Springs after their refurbishment, and it was an incredible upgrade in nearly every way. People bemoan the loss of e.g. the old Boardwalk rooms. You can judge for yourself (AllEars has both old and current room photos
) but I don't miss the old one at all. Yes, the decor in the resorts is generally a little cleaner and more "current" but I think this is more "change in general is bad" than it is "this change is bad."
"Disney is putting families in debt." This is hardly news. For a certain swath of American culture, a trip to Disney is a combination of a right of passage and an aspirational class marker of consumption. As long as that's true, people will figure out a way to get there---and that might include financing on credit. Heck 18% of people borrowing to go to Disney might even be low
given the fact that at least 30% of all households have credit card debt
(and most income ranges have significantly higher fractions of household in debt.)
I've been a Disney fan for coming up on 20 years. For as long as I've been around, every price increase, attraction closure, etc. has been met with cries from the faithful: "This time they've gone too far!" It hasn't ever happened. Disney is fanatical
about measuring customer sentiment, and they have a pretty good sense for what the audience will accept. Are they perfect? No, but they've got a very good track record.