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  1. #1

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    Dec 2007

    Al's new article

    Is any one else hurt/upset about Al's new article and his complaints about front line cm's? I put the most concerning quotes below:
    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.
    Most of the Attractions operating for the party will staff a greeter that will supposedly check for wrist bands, but anyone who has attended a mix-in party like this at Disneyland knows that after about an hour the CM’s get tired of checking every wrist and they give up on screening people for the night.
    "Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that all was in vain; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men for they may act upon their dreams with eyes wide open, and make it a reality"

    "Keep Moving Forward"

    "If you think you can't you won't, If you think you can no one can stop you"

  2. #2

    • Disney Nerd
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    May 2005
    Main Street, USA

    Re: Al's new article

    I am a current cast member, and I totally agree with him. I would not say that it is 100% of the cast, but the standards have fallen a ton within the last 15 years. If the standards aren't set for the front line cast and management, then most of the time they won't be met.

    That being said, there are many front-line and backstage cast who hold themselves to a higher standard regardless of what the expectations set for them happen to be. Unfortunately these cast members (like myself) are in the minority. The culture has changed throughout the resort, it will take a long time to reverse that decline.

  3. #3

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    Jan 2005

    Re: Al's new article

    It's a very harsh but true reality. I know a lot of CMs who honestly just don't care, and are in it for the money. Building memories and creating magic are some of their lowest priorities and, thus, the quality suffers. In a sense, I'm more grateful for the annoying nitpicking managers that criticize every small Safety/Courtesy/Show/Efficiency violation, because you know that those are the people who want us to care about the guests, and not just the shareholders.

  4. #4

    • Don't lets be silly! ºoº
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    Jun 2006

    Re: Al's new article

    I agree and disagree. Yes, it seems that in today's Disneyland, the Cast Member guest service might seem down, though there's many things you need to take into consideration for this.

    One thing that is constantly overlooked is today's Guest. These Guests aren't the same as they were back in the 50, 60 70, even 80, and early 90s. This is a whole new breed of Guest.

    A lot of the time, in order to first get to the issue at hand, the Cast Member needs to take a onslot of verbal abuse. In a world where a lot of people are "open," they tend to ware their hearts on their sleeves. Which means they get very offended when they start getting yelled with personal attacks, and told they don't care.

    Before the late 90s, the majority of Guests where much easier to work with. There were far less people yelling, and so, easier to please. I can't speak for Cast Members, but I'll attest that when I was in a Customer Service role I tended not to want to go past the bear minimum for people who are attacked me personally, whilest verbal abusing me; those people got what was required of me by my Company; nothing less, and certainly nothing more. While on the other hand, people who were level headed enough to have a "conversation" while in the face of being truly upset, these were the people I'd go out of my way for.

    So it's not all about the Cast Member. Cast Members aren't trained physiologists. And to think that you can teach a person how to truly hide their feelings away over a two week course is preposterous. It can take years to train yourself not to take things personally. I've known many Cast Members who've cried after working with a Guest on their concern.

    In brief, while Cast Members have changed, on a whole, I still see many Cast Members who have a passion for Magic, and children. Many Cast Members who don't mind getting paid very little to do a job that asks a lot...all in the hopes of being able to create that Magic, and help to make Dreams come true. So yes, maybe Cast Members have changed...but so have the Guests.
    Last edited by DisneyMouse; 07-08-2010 at 10:01 AM.

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