What this boils down to obviously is a customer service issue. And on that night the customer service on display in DCA for thousands of people at the second showing of World of Color was miserable. The whole thing relates back to an almost unspoken truth about 21st century Disney theme parks, and that is that when real problems arise the customer service at Disney theme parks often isn’t very good, and can sometimes be downright horrible. Disney managers and PR spokesmen always talk a good game, with mandatory use of cliché phrases like “magical experience” and “world class guest service”. But the reality in the parks is that if something goes seriously wrong the front-line CM’s and their immediate managers put up a quick Us vs. Them mentality and only do the bare minimum required to get the complaining person to go away. Or worse, they hide behind the fine print and arcane legal concepts, such as the ridiculous assertion that most dining package customers consider their World of Color Fastpass as merely an extra little bonus, like a pretty flower in a bud vase on the table instead of the main reason they purchased the meal.
This change in service didn’t happen overnight in the parks, as it’s been a slow degrading of standards and service levels over the past decade. And we’ve told you in the past how the once vaunted Disney University training programs that used to instill a jump-through-hoops service culture with every new hire have been reduced to boring PowerPoint shows explaining sexual harassment policies and the proper way to pick up heavy boxes, while the soft skills of customer service go nearly unmentioned during the precious few hours a new Cast Member receives when they start their theme park job. The night of the 27th was a perfect example of how Disney’s current theme park service culture can take a disappointing and frustrating situation beyond anyone’s control and turn it into a total nightmare as paying customers are forced to fight tooth and nail for a reasonable service solution from a multi-Billion dollar company.