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  1. #1

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    K-Lot and the Sacrifice of CMs

    Wednesday, April 28, 2010 by David Koenig
    (Article from another Disney Fansite)
    Guest reaction has been generally positive to Disneyland’s month-old Toy Story parking lot, located kitty-corner across Katella Avenue and Harbor Boulevard from the southeast corner of the resort. Despite having to park a greater distance from the Main Gate, being forced to ride a regular old bus instead of an open-air tram, and having to traverse across less-than-lovely Harbor Boulevard, most visitors give the new set-up high marks for convenience, comfort and, most importantly, travel time between the lot and theme parks. No more circling six stories up the Mickey & Friends parking structure, hiking a half-mile to the escalators, and elbowing for a seat on an overcrowded tram. With the Toy Story lot, guests typically drive directly to a ground-level parking spot and walk right on to a waiting, air-conditioned shuttle bus.
    No, against the expectations of Team Disney Anaheim, it hasn’t been the guest who have been upset by the new lot, but rather the thousands of employees who park in the adjacent Katella Cast Member Lot (KCML).
    “The guests enter and exit the lots from Harbor Boulevard, but the shuttle buses that take them to the parks drive through and enter and exit through KCML,” explained one cast member. “This has added traffic for us. It has also added some tension.”
    Common cast members complaints include:
    • The outside contractors Disney has hired to drive the guest shuttles are “not as courteous” as Disney University-trained cast members;
    • The drivers don’t slow down in the Katella Cast Member Lot;
    • The drivers are unwilling to stop for employees walking to and from their cars—and reportedly have cut off employees driving their cars in the Katella Cast Member Lot;
    • The drivers “think they have priority over our shuttles who transport us to Harbor Point.”
    What’s made matters worse is the feeling among cast members that guests are encroaching on their turf. For one thing, because the guest shuttles drive through the Katella Cast Member Lot, employee parking spots have been eliminated to make room for the buses. In addition, Resort Transportation & Parking needed a management outpost to oversee the Toy Story lot, so it added an office—inside the Katella Cast Member Lot. More employee spots gone. “TDA (Team Disney Anaheim, Disneyland's corporate office) could have had it built in the Toy Story lot,” griped one worker. “Evidently, TDA believes we don’t deserve a lot of our own.”
    And, to further compete for those precious employee parking spots, the construction workers “reimagining” DCA have also been instructed to park in the Katella Cast Member Lot.
    Cast members have also lost their prime drop-off spot. The at-park employee shuttle stop was relocated from the convenient “green zone” at Harbor Point to accommodate the guest buses. One employee said Resort Transportation & Parking felt the location “impeded” the guest shuttles. Another worker heard that TDA wanted the guest buses to take over the stop, but discovered the vehicles were too long to make the turn to exit. For whatever reason, the old employee shuttle stop just sits there, unused.
    Tensions really flared during the extra-busy weeks surrounding Easter. “The traffic around the resort has been getting really bad,” a cast member shared at the time. “Almost everyday this spring break, cast member shuttles are getting stuck in traffic. Several of them caused cast members to get marked for being late. Managers don’t care and have been freely marking their cast members late and giving them points against their record. To them, it does not matter—even if their workers called from their traffic-stranded shuttle to let them know that they would be late for their shift.”
    As one marked-up worker lamented, “We had no control over this, and we are being punished.” Reportedly, several grievances were filed with the unions over parking lot-related tardiness.
    In the ensuing weeks, little improved in terms of cast member parking—or morale. “Since then, absolutely nothing has been done,” an employee moaned. “Cast members are still complaining, and those complaints seem to be falling on deaf ears at Resort Transportation & Parking.”
    “We,” sighed one cast member/motorist, “are second-class citizens.”
    First off, thanks to David and his always excellent reporting. Secondly thank you to all the current CMs who have to put up with the busses everyday and still walk onstage wearing a smile on their face.

    This article hit me close to home being an ex CM having to deal with the lot almost everyday for 4 years. KCML a.k.a. the K-Lot by most CMs has had its share of overcrowding issues. It was expanded many months after DCA opened its gates and even after that debacle, as many former and current CMs know too well, there are only a few "zones" to park in that provide convenient access to the shuttle stops. Otherwise, it is quite the hike over to one of the few shuttle pickup locations.

    Needless to say that there is alot of pedestrian activity in K-Lot. There are also lot of CM shuttles that need to stay on schedule and alot of cars rushing in and out of lanes trying to find spots closest to the shuttle stops. Having the guest busses travel anywhere through the K-Lot on a routine basis is another unwelcome frustration on top of many that already exist for them in their quests to get to the clock in machine on time.

    With DCAs attendance growing I can only imagine that there is or will be a need for more staffed CMs to fill shifts making the lot even more crowded than it already is. Its hard to imagine how TDA is going to accomodate this when they have spots restricted as they are now bus paths. While guests and APs alike are enjoying the ample parking the CMs convenience seems to be expendable.

    I'd especially like to hear what the current CM's thoughts are on this. I know that we have a few here on MC. I would especially like to know if TDA gave them fair warning about the situation or if it just happened without notice.

  2. #2

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    Re: K-Lot and the Sacrifice of CMs

    I hate to sound like I don't care but, the CM's are aware of the issues and should plan accordingly. If you know it's going to take you an extra 20 mins to get to your location, than you leave home 20 min earlier.

    Super busy times of the year are not a suprise, CM's know when they are and with the WoC summer coming there only going to get worse, so my advice would be to turn your work watches ahead 20-30 mins and you'll always be on time.

    On the CM Vs. Guest situation, the guests will always win, that's just the simple reality of the industry and is not unique to DL, ask any theme park employee when the guest numbers go up the employee's always lose.
    Last edited by 3rdshiftCM; 04-28-2010 at 11:19 AM.

  3. #3

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    Re: K-Lot and the Sacrifice of CMs

    Well said. Being an ex-CM you usally had to be at at least 45mins to an hour before your actually work time. K lot sucked during the day later on the night and when I worked 3rd shift custodial that lot was super empty. Somtimes on the weekends you could park at TDA parking lot. Wow I really miss working there. haahah
    Hey 3rdshiftCM, what are they hiring for 3rd shift right now? I migth wanna apply jsut for the heck of it..Hahaha
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    Re: K-Lot and the Sacrifice of CMs

    Do you think that this may be enough that the CMs will complain to their union leaders?

    I, like you two, know about the "get early" rule, for me it used to be about 30 minutes and I'd be at the computer right on time to clock in, and I worked on the west side. At what point will the rule become untolerable though? Does TDA think that if they keep things under an hour then the CMs won't complain to the union about getting compensated for transit time? Or are CMs just not complaining to the right people, or complaining at all for that matter?

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    Re: K-Lot and the Sacrifice of CMs

    As a CM if I knew it was a busy weekend/season then I always planned for an extra 20 minutes on top of the time I would usually be there. It covered most tram delays but if the tram delay was 30min or more I'd say something. I had several points pulled off my record due to that. For some reason the trams would always bunch up and couldn't figure out how to space each other out.

    As to the union... I'll stay out of the ensuing firefight and simply say they likely won't do much. Sure they'll complain and possibly threaten but the teeth of the Disney unions has been missing for over 20 years.
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    Re: K-Lot and the Sacrifice of CMs

    This was actually the one thing I thought about when the Toy Story lot was announced, knowing that it would cut through CM parking. Seems like it HAS affected them.

    BUT... delays kinda comes with the territory. I was a CM when you can park right at Harbor House. No shuttles. No parking in a faraway lot. You parked ON Disneyland property.

    And then we were moved to katella lot. How's that for a delay? Parking further away, waiting for shuttles and traffic, AND... we still had to change into our costume when we got there. We received an extra 15 minutes of pay. Or maybe it was more. But I remember it wasn't close to covering the actual amount of time it took to go through it all.

    Sounds like current CMs are dealing with a minor inconvenience compared to what I and several thousand CMs had to go through.
    Last edited by Coheteboy; 04-28-2010 at 12:15 PM.


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    Re: K-Lot and the Sacrifice of CMs

    Quote Originally Posted by Coheteboy View Post
    Sounds like current CMs are dealing with a minor inconvenience compared to what I and several thousand CMs had to go through.
    Thanks for sharing your perspective, this is a good point considering that at one time CMs did have the convenience of parking on property, lucky!!
    Last edited by Coheteboy; 04-28-2010 at 12:16 PM. Reason: fixed my word. was 'convenience', changed to 'INconvenience'

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    Re: K-Lot and the Sacrifice of CMs

    ok so here is the thing with the cast member parking. many cast members i know of including myself normally leave two and half to three hours before our shifts hoping it will give us plenty of time to park and get to our work locations on time. but due to the increasing pressure due to the toy story lot, construction workers taking our spots, getting rid of some spots and then adding california adventure cast members who lost their own parking lot you are fighting for a spot. Trams that take you to work can take forever to get there and you are still fighting the toy story buses as well and we can still be late and get points. as i have said many of us leave hour homes two to three hours ahead of time, this is for people i know who live in places like upland, rancho cucamonga, riverside,etc. we didn't have those problems in the past when we had the dca cast member lot and no toy story lot. I think its unfair to say will you should have planned more time when we are already leaving two to three hours ahead of time. some of us have school and families and can't give up more than two to three hours.

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    Re: K-Lot and the Sacrifice of CMs

    Quote Originally Posted by lesmisfan View Post
    ok so here is the thing with the cast member parking. many cast members i know of including myself normally leave two and half to three hours before our shifts hoping it will give us plenty of time to park and get to our work locations on time. but due to the increasing pressure due to the toy story lot, construction workers taking our spots, getting rid of some spots and then adding california adventure cast members who lost their own parking lot you are fighting for a spot. Trams that take you to work can take forever to get there and you are still fighting the toy story buses as well and we can still be late and get points. as i have said many of us leave hour homes two to three hours ahead of time, this is for people i know who live in places like upland, rancho cucamonga, riverside,etc. we didn't have those problems in the past when we had the dca cast member lot and no toy story lot. I think its unfair to say will you should have planned more time when we are already leaving two to three hours ahead of time. some of us have school and families and can't give up more than two to three hours.

    This is important too. Disney needs to make sure there are enough spots for ALL their cast members. I can imagine that being a pain as well when you're trying to get to work and can't even FIND a spot.


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  10. #10

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    Re: K-Lot and the Sacrifice of CMs

    Quote Originally Posted by Coheteboy View Post
    This is important too. Disney needs to make sure there are enough spots for ALL their cast members. I can imagine that being a pain as well when you're trying to get to work and can't even FIND a spot.
    It's been a while since I was a CM but I always had a habit of parking in BFE and then walking over to the nearest stop... is it an overall lack of spaces or is it a lot of people who want to park close to a tram stop?

    KLot always reminded me of a shopping mall parking lot. Everyone wants to be in the close spots so people circle around over and over. Meanwhile plenty of spots out in the middle of nowhere!
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    Re: K-Lot and the Sacrifice of CMs

    Quote Originally Posted by lesmisfan View Post
    but due to the increasing pressure due to the toy story lot, construction workers taking our spots, getting rid of some spots and then adding california adventure cast members who lost their own parking lot you are fighting for a spot.
    Really, they're letting the construction workers park there?? Are the construction workers also using the CM shuttles? I would think that if anything they would have sequestered the workers out to the north lot.

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    Re: K-Lot and the Sacrifice of CMs

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    It's been a while since I was a CM but I always had a habit of parking in BFE and then walking over to the nearest stop... is it an overall lack of spaces or is it a lot of people who want to park close to a tram stop?

    KLot always reminded me of a shopping mall parking lot. Everyone wants to be in the close spots so people circle around over and over. Meanwhile plenty of spots out in the middle of nowhere!
    I had one day during spring break that it took 20 mins of circling the WHOLE parking lot to try and find one spot. I went all the way up and down every row at least once. I think this was the week they made Simba guest parking and had just introduced the Toy Story lot. So you had all of DCA and DTD CMs and Employees parking in the one lot.

    The problem arises most around shift change times. There are more than enough spots out in klot. But thats for one shift. When you have all the morning shift still parked there and the afternoon shift coming in (again, 30 mins or so before you shift) and morning hasn't clocked or walked yet, you get a royal mess.


    There was some bill proposed at the state last year that would make companies who require off site parking of their employees to pay FROM THE PARKING LOT. But last I knew, it was getting lobbied to death by Disney, Cedar Fair, Six Flags, ect...

    Quote Originally Posted by WestsideCM99 View Post
    Really, they're letting the construction workers park there?? Are the construction workers also using the CM shuttles? I would think that if anything they would have sequestered the workers out to the north lot.
    There is a corner of the lot that is sectioned off for them and they get priority to it in the morning. Once they are all there though, its kinda Free For All. And they get a separate shuttle to and from the construction site to klot. So workers union agreement that they are supposed to get as near of parking as possible due to tool weight. But, as Disney (most likely) doesn't want to have to give them all backstage access, they get a reserved parking area and a shuttle that drops them off right at the site.

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    Re: K-Lot and the Sacrifice of CMs

    interesting...Ive never had a parking problem during the whole time Ive been at the resort...and i dont see whats wrong with cast members being dropped off at the guest pick up/drop off that's less then 80 feet away from the old spot, but test are planned to solve that 80 foot difference starting tomorrow
    Last edited by sdn86; 04-28-2010 at 02:13 PM.

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    Re: K-Lot and the Sacrifice of CMs

    Quote Originally Posted by Autopia View Post
    There was some bill proposed at the state last year that would make companies who require off site parking of their employees to pay FROM THE PARKING LOT. But last I knew, it was getting lobbied to death by Disney, Cedar Fair, Six Flags, ect...
    I believe something similar to that was passed for Migrant Farm Workers... and the Union tried to use this to force Disney to put clocks in at the tram stops. Disney fought it... and the Union then brought up that if they had clock on/off the shuttle then Disney would have a record of how long it took the trams... Disney relied on the tram supervisor to call a tram delay but if they did then they would get in trouble... MANY of us started keeping a log, and my "late" points were reversed if it was a 30min or more delay.
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    Re: K-Lot and the Sacrifice of CMs

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    I believe something similar to that was passed for Migrant Farm Workers... and the Union tried to use this to force Disney to put clocks in at the tram stops. Disney fought it... and the Union then brought up that if they had clock on/off the shuttle then Disney would have a record of how long it took the trams... Disney relied on the tram supervisor to call a tram delay but if they did then they would get in trouble... MANY of us started keeping a log, and my "late" points were reversed if it was a 30min or more delay.
    Yea, that used to bug me that Kronos.. or whatever the heck we were using at the time, wasn't programmed with a built in buffering system to compensate for lot issues, like the trams turning into one big necklace. Most if not all the management and supervisors I worked under used a buffer time but then downplayed it a bit after the clocking computers got installed.

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