Well, I don't know how Realms were before the update. But I have just started a realm for a few of us, was waiting for the update first, and yes we are finding it really quite laggy especially when breaking blocks. And riding in a minecart is just no fun with the lag. Very annoying. Also the fog which limits sight to 10 chunks, didn't expect that - using a pre-existing world that I turned into the Realm and it just doesn't look as good any more.
Yer the view distance is a bummer but the lag is making it really hard for people to play... Also can't connect now but apparently that's a widespread issue of somekind within the last few hours. Contacting support now.
Hope they can help. Nether portals are horrible for me at the moment too - step through, takes an age most times - then I appear either in a solid block, or falling - take around a heart of damage - then lag / bounce back and actually appear in the portal. I'll contact customer support too - hopefully this lag is just something that they can fix with a patch quickly.
Initial reply from customer support was not that helpful - basically, check your computer for this, that or the other, etc... Not even a hint of an apology that I was having issues. Since I contacted them I have had all my animals and villagers disappear into thin air, a problem I thought they'd fixed a couple of updates ago. Apparently it still persists on Realms. Thinking of going back to standard play till they sort the Realms out a bit better. Why should we pay for something that is worse than what we don't have to pay for?
Yer my replies from support have been extremely unhelpful... I have a feeling they would never admit that it's the patch causing people's issues... does anyone know if any devs have come forward with more honest info about why so many of us are experiencing bad performance now?