The following is the translation of a DLP Welcome interview with Chief Operating Officer of Disneyland Paris, Daniel Delcourt. The interview was conducted on December 21, 2015 at the Compass Lounge Club, Disney’s Newport Bay Club. There’s some good news ahead, so keep reading.
The meeting with Mr. Delcourt was focused on the efforts to improve the quality of the guest experience at Disneyland Paris.
To start with, we asked him how he perceived the closure of the parks in mid-November due to the terrorist attacks in Paris.
He wanted to highlight the efforts and involvement of Cast Members to continue to make the magic for resort guests under difficult conditions. The decision to close the parks was made out of respect for national mourning. There was never any debate over whether or not to close the parks. Action was swiftly taken.
The conversation then tackled the topic of refurbishment.
Mr. Delcourt wanted to congratulate Cast Members on their results in 2015, rates of guests satisfaction beat the previous year’s results in nearly all areas. All this even while major attractions had been closed for refurbishment. The cast make the difference, it is not because there is a new coat of fresh paint that it will make a difference, although the coat of fresh paint is necessary. The difference is in Cast Members relations with the visitors.
Mr. Delcourt would also like to note that Disney participated in the development of a courtesy training program for Cast Members. Next year nearly 9000 employees will be trained on the job to promote the best possible service at their locations.
Daniel told us a story. When he first arrived at the parks, he asked for a park map to see all the Disney character meet and greet locations. Finally, he went himself to the park and realized that there were only 4 permanent character meet and greets and the others were totally random (or walk-around characters).
Finally, he asked that the character meet and greets become permanent and in fixed locations so visitors can quickly find the locations on the mobile application and maps. Beginning January 8, 2016, visitors will be able to meet the Disney characters at set locations throughout Disneyland.
Daniel continues to take his tours in parks (as Walt Disney advised) to see specifically what will and won’t work. That is how Mr. Delcourt, has brought a new dynamic and perfectionism to resort operations at Disneyland Paris.
The park renovation program, initiated early in 2015, supports this vision. It highlights the efforts and synergy of Operational and Imagineering teams to carry out this project. Every little detail counts. For him, attention to detail will make all the difference.
Additionally, the means offered for maintenance will be more consistent going forward to better maintain the attractions after renovation. This is a radical change.
- -A new subcontractor for cleaning the parks and hotels has been chosen for best results
- -Meet and Greets at the hotels will be back for testing for 3 months . (except the Davy Crockett Ranch) before a final return if the results are positive
- -From February to May 2016, a new show arrives at the Chaparral Theater
- -Returning after 10 years, a new show will take the stage at the Lucky Nugget Saloon
- -Free Wifi will be arriving in the Walt Disney Studios by the end 2016 and in Disneyland Park beginning 2017
- -Finalization of the technical issues supporting the new show replacing Animagique in early July 2016
- -Disney has some surprises following the 25th anniversary
- -Street seasonal entertainment such as the Trolley Show or Dapper Dan’s singing boy band are being reevaluated pending new objectives
- -Disney Village is no longer in line with Disney’s vision of an upbeat family place, refurbishment is in the planning stage
- -Disney studied more contrasting colors for Disneyland’s castle to better withstand climate (a stronger Pink for example)
- -The 2015 objectives have been maintained and investments preserved
- -Mark Twain (Thunder Mesa Riverboat Landing) is part of a grand plan of refurbishments over 10 years in the aftermath of the 25th anniversary
Disneyland Paris is a ship that must continue to move forward, and to do this requires a lot of time and energy. Mr. Delcourt and his teams are doing everything they can to move the resort in the right direction, because it will not only come from the refurbishments but also through dedication and a sense of service from the Cast Members. This is Daniel’s goal at the dawn of the 25th anniversary.
Finally, there was discussion about a project that should see the light of day beginning 2017 for the 25th anniversary which he referred to as Smart Media. Today, if your family of four comes to a Disneyland Paris hotel for two nights, you have room key cards, park tickets, breakfast tickets, dinner-show tickets, etc., you have over 54 tickets to manage! It can represent a loss of time for guest and Cast Members alike. This new system, in the form of a smart card, will consolidate guest tickets. The tests will begin by January 2016 hotel by hotel, until its official roll-out in early 2017.
The final name of the program has not been determined yet. However, the card will be equipped with RFID technology.
And that’s the update from Max at DLP Welcome. We think you’ll agree that this is mostly good news for Disneyland Paris Resort and that Mr. Delcourt is focusing the resort on quality, guest satisfaction and refurbishment while not ignoring technology. We look forward to hearing your thoughts and we’ll be back with a photo update again soon.