I would maybe buy that if I didn't live in Orlando. I've been to WDW and Universal several times when it's wayyyyy busier than DL is now yet the amount of technical difficulties I've run into here is unprecedented. It's become something of a joke amongst my family at this point.
Can you give some examples? Some rides like Indy and Space are just really complicated and fast paced to keep running consistently. As others have said it might not be a maintenance issue.
One thing that continually bugs me though is how often the Monorail is down. Seems whenever I want to go the hotel or did, its down. That is probably just bad design though and not really maintenance.
Originally Posted by SpectroMan
I find the quality of today's cast members to be more a reflection of today's 20-somethings in general rather than a reflection of Disney's selection choices.
Kids today are just annoying. Take comfort in knowing their kids will bother them just as much.
Each visit we make to the Disneyland Resort is usually part of a big road trip where we stop at different places along the way - Vegas, San Fran, etc. My entire family always remark that while it is great to see different things - that the quality of the DL Resort and the overall experience is so far above anything else we encounter. It always is. So, in my opinion, even if things are suffering with Disney - it still meets my expectations.
Disneyland does go in spurts with the ride breakdowns. Radiator Springs Racers go up and down all the time. Indy has broken down day one and is constantly breaking down. One day I was there Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, and Indy were all down at the same time, and Radiator Springs Racers was down at DCA at the same time. Then there are days when it seems like nothing breaks down. I have also had bad luck with Peter Pan breaking down which seems to happen every now and again.
I will never forget when Indy opened, we were celebrating my birthday, waited in line for it, broke down at the front of the line, we were given passes to come back, waited a half hour, broke down again, came back three hours later it was broken down again. There are way too many special effects on both Indy and Radiator Springs Racers that are breaking down. It matters more on Indy than it does on Radiator Springs Racers, a lot of times they run that one without everything working properly as long as it doesn't interfere with the track.
My take on the cast members. There are some that want to be there, who are great at their jobs, and who go above and beyond to make sure that the guest has a great time. Then there are those, like in any career field, who dislike their jobs, and want the world to know it.
Over the past 31 years I have come across two bad in my opinion character cast members, two terrible food service worker cast members, four bad Dumbo cast members (that ride seems to be the magnet for the worst cast members in the park), one bad Jungle Cruise cast member, one bad It's A Small World Cast Member, and two awful Main Street Emporium cast members. While some of the events that took place around them caused me to skip a favorite ride on the next visit, or avoid a certain food cart, they didn't keep me from judging all of the cast members at Disneyland.
On the opposite side of that, there are 73 cast members who I adore, go out of my way to say hello to, and who are always delighted to see my boyfriend and I. I've also had 41 once in a lifetime experiences because of random cast members who I've only seen once in all my years of Disney visits. And in general, the employees are accommodating, welcoming, friendly, and fun to be around.
One of the things that we always do after an experience at Disneyland, whether it's positive or negative, is shoot Disneyland a message on their website. We give the cast members that are awesome a pat on the back, and we mention cast members who were off their game or who we had not so positive experiences with. I have been asked by Disney many times to complete longer surveys, and even go to the park for surveys (which we haven't been able to do). Oddly enough we don't do the in park at the gate surveys because of a bad experience on Christmas Day a couple years ago. It's important to tell Disney what they are doing right as much as it is to tell them what is not quite right.
As for peeling paint, I've never noticed any at Disneyland, but that of course does not mean it doesn't exist, maybe it's just that it's not noticeable because I don't go around looking for paint, and am usually focused on something more exciting at Disneyland.
Now that I've thought about it a little bit more, I think you might be more susceptible to lousy cm's during the "peak" seasons when kids are out of school. At least in my old department, we had a core group of really great cm's who I loved working with who were there year round (called CR's, or casual regular), and then every summer, thanksgiving, and christmas, Disney would hire temporary employees to work the busy seasons (called CT's, or casual temporary). During the summertime, at least in Outdoor Vending, the CR's would do a lot of the things that didn't involve interacting with the guests directly, such as keeping the wagons stocked or giving the wagon vendors their breaks. The new employees would always be assigned to work on a specific wagon all day, and they were the ones who most often interact with the guests directly. Working on a wagon is easy, I was a trainer and I could teach just about anyone how to do in about 10 minutes (rolling a churro in cinnamon sugar is kind of an art though). Giving someone their breaks and keeping wagons stocked is immensely harder and you have to be really know what you are doing. Now, of all the CT's I ever met or trained, at least 50% didn't ever come back to work after their training was over, probably 35% of them were there because they heard it was a good place to hook up with someone, and maybe 5% of them ever made it to become a CR. So if you need a cast member to help with something during the summertime, look for someone with a year pin (gold pin on their nametag) and they will almost definitely be a CR, and probably much more likely to help.
Disneyland Cast Member
1996 - 1999
As a CM I will agree that there's a problem going on with the CM's, but I will also defend us. Speaking as Attractions CM, I don't think guest understand the things we deal with on a day-to-day basis. Rude guest, dumb questions, other CMs that don't have a clue, weather conditions, poor management, poor leads, no room to grow in your role, the list could go on forever. Attractions truly doesn't get paid enough for half of the things we have to deal with, and we are treated just as poorly as we are paid. We love our jobs but we are people too--we can only take so much. In reality the company could care less about our feelings, they just want the money from guest. We're easily replaceable. We're built on the saying "Happy Cast Members make happy Guest," when in reality it's the opposite. Most guest are angry before they even walk through Main Gate because ridiculous prices. Especially the APs. APs walk around like the own the place and they are the rudest of the guest (not all of them, there are actually some really great APs who care about the CMs) And I've seen the last wave of kid's being hired in and I question what's going on up in TDA. The hiring process should be just as intense as Apple's. (Wheres it's harder than getting into Harvard) Along with that, there needs to be a restructuring with Management. All things we can just hope for, but know the truth that nothing will happen.
Just try and remember, during peak season we work 30+ hrs a week 6 days a week, and we deal with so much.
Conditions of the Park
The park as a whole looks great, but we do have some rough edges. I know for a fact that it's not as bad as the stories I hear from guest about WDW, but it's pretty bad for DL. I simply comes down to money. Whoever is in charge of it needs a reality check. If you read the The Accountaneer's 2 part article you'd know that WDI spent $1,000 on a sign that should/could have cost $10. That money comes from one place and it takes away from something else. That's $900 that could have gone to a restoration project that's now been pushed back. Poor Alice keeps getting pushed back.
If you are referring to the DOSH down time awhile back, that was out of our hands. CMs didn't feel safe, reported it, inspectors came, wiped out almost a whole park(over dramatized). The resort opened with way less than they originally shut down--now that would have been a sight. But Disney did what they had to do to get them back up and running. And to compare us to WDW and Uni is unfair. WDW and Uni Orlando run under different safety codes than DL, they could get away with murder. Uni Hollywood...its like saying my bed room is as big as Versailles, they only have 4 rides it's not comparable.
Our rides are maintenance nightly. I'd say a good 90% of daily down times are caused by guest. The rides are computers, not as bad as a Windows, but they have their moments. And sometimes the ride will brake it's self down to prevent something bad from happening--to keep you(the guest) safe. Would you want to get on a ride that wasn't safe?
Chiming in here, regarding the CM's. If I compare the DLR CT's to the kids I see at fast food joints anywhere, I'll give the CT's a big thumbs up. They're usually friendly, helpful, and the ones I've had connections with have gone overboard to help me out.
It is rare for me to go to a fast food joint and actually get my order right. (As a matter of fact, it happened today -- ordered a quarter pounder with NO cheese and got one with DOUBLE cheese.) They aren't friendly, rarely smile, and to them I'm just the next one to order a hamburger.
As for maintenance -- last summer we were at WDW. The only thing that was down was BTMRR. I'm disappointed that the DL BTMRR is down this year too, but am looking forward to the refurbished ride. I'd prefer that anything I ride will be safe, so if they have to shut it down, I'd rather that happen than my family and I getting hurt.
About 19 years ago, my family and I walked around DLR with a woman who was in one of the management positions at the park. During our time with her, she had to run to one of the FL dark rides which had to be shut down. Somebody had gotten off of the ride and gone for a walk! She told us that this happens quite often, more often than she'd like. (I think it was the Snow White ride.)
In response to the defense of the cast members, there are many great cast members, many good cast members, and a lot of average cast members. Unfortunately, there are some cast members as of lately that are coming off as untrained.
A few examples:
Cast members at Dumbo not unlocking the gate to exit, when people are lining up, even letting in the next batch of riders while there are people standing to get out. A guest will usually yell "unlock the gate" and they will finally get the message, and go back in the booth and unlock it.
Cast members not being informed about the rides at Disneyland. On a trip not too long ago, we asked a cast member if the Mark Twain was still under refurbishment or not. She asked us "What's the Mark Twain". We said the big white boat with the paddle wheel along the Rivers Of America. She asked us what the Rivers Of America was. I finally realized she was "that clueless" and I said the white boat they use in Fantasmic, bingo, she knew what I was talking about, and said that it was still under refurbishment and it was. I know four year olds who know what the Mark Twain is.
Cast members making up answers to get rid of you. We once asked where in the park they sold the cherry frozen drinks, similar to slurpees or slushies. We were told by three different cast members working at frozen lemonade stands that Disneyland does not sell any frozen drinks other than the apple and the frozen lemonade. We had seen other guests walking around with them. One cast member actually told us that it was the cherry shot added to the frozen lemonade, and we said, no it's definitely cherry and we have seen other colors to, at the time it was blue. They told us they were brought in from outside of the park, Disneyland has never sold those. One day I was dragging my feet near It's A Small World, and I saw the cherry sign from a distance, we found it, on our own, with no help from the clueless cast members. It's not like we asked someone selling corn dogs where to get them, we asked someone selling frozen beverages.
On the opposite end of that, we have encountered cast members who go out of their way to find out information for us. One weekend the New Orleans Train Station was under refurbishment. The next weekend we weren't sure if it was open or not. We asked a cast member who didn't know, in all fairness it was someone working in a gift shop and we weren't sure if they would know or not, and they made a phone call to find out that it was open.
There are cast members who greet us by name, give us hugs and high fives, and are happy to try and bring a smile to your face. That is the majority of the cast members at Disneyland. Every once in awhile I come across an employee and I think "if anyone shouldn't be working at Disneyland it's you" and those are becoming closer together rather than fewer and far between.
I definitely agree with the original poster concerning the sloppy appearance of the park in certain places. For instance, I generally enjoy Mickey's Toontown and consider it to be the most underrated place in the park. However, I really wish that Disney would close it down for a few weeks to spruce it up. Here's just one example:
Jessica's Secret (a catalog of Minnie's choice ) should look like this:
It should not look like this:
I took this latter image when I was visiting Disneyland last April. So, I would like to believe that this has been fixed since then, but I'm not counting on it.
I was at the park for five days this week and noticed a few of these complaints. The CMs especially. But they seemed worse at the beginning of the trip when they had to deal with grads. Still, there were very few CMs who went out of their way. As the parks get bigger, they'll need more people and they won't be able to be as selective.
The thing that was a little crazy was the aforementioned system when entering the parks with a park hopper where they have to take your picture upon first entrance and scan your ticket twice every time you enter the parks. That really backed up the entrance to DCA at one point. They need to develop a better system that requires only one scan.
Still, though, we had a great time and there were very little complaints. Rides break down and there's always another one nearby that you can ride that's working.
I think Toontown needs a lot of TLC, more than most of the part. I'd be fine with them closing it down as a whole for a few months. Replace the Go Coaster, add a new ride, and re-do all of the houses and back corner. It could be really good for the land.