Credits to /u/Dewannawonga, who I borrowed some words from.
The ideal gameplay experience of Survival is non-static. Living a repetitive, monotonous, static life is not fun. There should be activities, goals, plans, action.
But what Survival has become is Creative mode with the tedious challenge of collecting materials tacked on.
The focus of Survival should be on experiences, things that can only be felt and truly enjoyed while in this mode. But recently, the view has shifted to providing players with examples of existing systems- new structures, new blocks. But they don't do anything to make the game less monotonous.
What makes the game mode less static are mechanics- major systems like hunger and combat, and minor activities like fishing and enchanting. Granted, they are present in the game in some form. However, they are extremely underdeveloped to the point where one could say they are neglected.
Take fishing as an example. It has so much potential to be a fun sport in the game, something to do alongside your friends. Instead, it's never been updated and remains a mundane task that is primarily used when the player is away from keyboard.
With Survival's health system, combat against monsters could be full of intense moments, life-and-death situations that fill the player with adrenaline and excitement, glorious victories, and defeats due to flaws in strategies or the executions of such. But instead the combat systems are clunky, mob AI is easily exploited, and there's just no challenge, only irritation and a general feeling of annoyance. It's easy to see why players would gravitate towards mini-games and the like- in those games, there's usually a factor that makes it non-static. In Survival, a fight against two zombies will always have the same pattern as another fight against two zombies.
Enchanting could be so much more. Blacksmithing could be so much more. Exploration could be so much more. Mining could be so much more. Food/Hunger/Cooking could be so much more. Agricultural farming could be so much more. Brewing could be so much more.
But instead, players are pushed towards playing Creative mode (either without a health system or with) or waiting for updates that provide new structures/mobs that will be interesting for the first ten minutes and then forgotten.
Survival mode doesn't need to be "larger", it needs to be "fuller".
TL;DR : Survival mode needs to have its existing mechanics developed further rather than have new things piled on.