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  1. #1

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    Red Face Does Disneyland owe anything to its guests? Nope

    Like any expensive purchase, it is reasonable for the Disneyland guest paying high admission prices to have certain expectations about the park “experience” that is provided.

    As evidenced on these boards, however, these expectations are frequently not met. Whether it is dropping the lowest tiered annual pass to reduce overcrowding or changing NOS to improve Club 33, guests often feel cheated when a change is not made with their specific interest in mind.

    The question then becomes, what is the responsibility of Disneyland to its guests? Is it to cater to the infrequent guest? To the annual passholder? To the highest-paying members?

    Or is the bottom line to make the most money? Perusing this website, you can see how Disneyland’s bottom line leaves everyone feeling unhappy. For example, regarding the recent club 33 changes, the "regular" guest feels cheated because the frugal changes to the exterior of NOS appear substandard and diminish its external appearance. Club 33 members, however, are also dissatisfied because the club is more widely advertised and has lost its mysterious appeal. Is Disneyland trying to appeal to its regular guests or to the club 33 members? Neither. It is trying to make money.

    Although we all like to feel that Disneyland is “everyone’s land,” at the end of the day it is a business, and any decision will fall accordingly. Anyone that disagrees is not forced to purchase the product.

  2. #2

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    Re: Does Disneyland owe anything to its guests? Nope

    he question then becomes, what is the responsibility of Disneyland to its guests? Is it to cater to the infrequent guest? To the annual passholder? To the highest-paying members?

    As a infrequent visitor I believe that Disneyland has a responsibility to the annual passholder.

    I believe these are the folks who keep the fairway green, sand traps white, crisp smooth greens, the flags bright in color, the parking lot paved, a driving range to practice, the rough mowed, out of bounds safe from snakes, poison ivy and oak, and elk herds. A clean club house, good food, many TV sets. And even discounts on tickets. I cannot imagine a golf course surviving on my infrequent teeing up on the first hole.

  3. #3

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    Re: Does Disneyland owe anything to its guests? Nope

    I feel they owe what they advertise, and if they want to throw a few things out to guests on the side (like this Get Happier Monday thing or whatever some of the extra incentives are throughout the year), then so be it. We as the consumer, however, have to have reasonable expectations when it comes to "purchasing" that product or experience (and this is me speaking in general; not to anyone in particular, so please don't take offense!) We expect a lot of things out of a land that totes happiness, fun, and a magical experience. We want the rides to be working at all hours of operation, with no break downs and no other bumps in the road. We expect every aspect of those rides to work as well. We expect the food to be delicious, the employees to smile, greet us, and then not bother us until we need their help (or for some people to bend over backwards and give us the best experience at a Disney park ever). Guests expect that if something does go awry, that we be compensated adequately with FastPasses or extra park tickets for any 'inconvenience'.

    These are all just examples I've seen and heard from people I know and people I've come across. Of course, this isn't exactly true of each park goer. Some are more flexible than others, and some are rigid and have high expectations of every aspect of the business and its operations. But like you said, jurassic5, there is no pleasing everyone. So...who DOES Disney cater to? Well, therein lies the question that I don't have an answer for, but everyone's idea of what is happy and magical is so vastly different that it's a difficult thing to define.

  4. #4

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    Re: Does Disneyland owe anything to its guests? Nope

    I understand what you are saying. But also consider that if any business wants to succeed, it must promise and then deliver a certain level of product to a certain percentage of its intended audience. In that light, one can consider that a business 'owes' a customer a certain promised experience in return for the customer's investment. That's pretty basic as far as 'contracts' go between a business & a customer. In DL's case my investment is the purchase of admission in return for a promised 'magical visit'. Therefore, Disney 'owes' me a magical visit. The problem is that the definition of 'magical' is going to be the business' definition. In Disneyland's case, it is still pleasing enough of its customers based on its idea of 'magical' at it's current operational level to turn an acceptable profit so it sees no need to change that definition.
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  5. #5

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    Re: Does Disneyland owe anything to its guests? Nope

    Quote Originally Posted by jurassic5 View Post
    For example, regarding the recent club 33 changes, the "regular" guest feels cheated because the frugal changes to the exterior of NOS appear substandard and diminish its external appearance. Club 33 members, however, are also dissatisfied because the club is more widely advertised and has lost its mysterious appeal. Is Disneyland trying to appeal to its regular guests or to the club 33 members? Neither. It is trying to make money.
    I'm not sure I get your point/this makes any sense. Disney has to be trying to appeal to some definable group of consumers… Isn't taking an action geared towards no deceivable consumer market the worst business decision of all time?

    A huge part of "trying to make money" is trying to please/acquire the consume ring public. Thus there has to be SOMEONE Disney is trying to appeal to… who are you saying that is?
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  6. #6

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    Re: Does Disneyland owe anything to its guests? Nope

    Hi, "new member"!
    You are asking a lot of questions, so I numbered them. Perhaps they are rhetorical, but I'm going to answer them anyway.
    Quote Originally Posted by jurassic5 View Post
    The questions then become:
    1. What is the responsibility of Disneyland to its guests?
    2. Is it to cater to the infrequent guest?
    3. To the annual passholder?
    4. To the highest-paying members?

    5. Or is the bottom line to make the most money?
    1. Disneyland should attempt to make as many customers as "happy" as they can. This can be tricky, people don't always get happy to the same experiences. Glad it is not my job. What in general has happened over nearly 60 years is that people who have been happiefied at DL in the past will return for more of the same happy. People who don't get a level of happpiness commmensurate with their dearly departed money won't return, and people with a predisposition for not getting happy at DL won't show up even one time.
    So, we, as returning customers, now have an expectation of happiness gained in exchange for some amount of money spent. We've been before, we know how happy we can get, so we want the same or more each time we go.
    2-4. Focusing on certain guests to the ignoring of others would likely leave those ignored not as happy, which influences their next decision whether to go to DL or not. It also seems to be, to me, completely against the "welcome" sign. Treat everyone equally, and hopefully guests will find it rewarding enough to return.

    The downside to this is that guests do not have the same "next decision." Many will have to make a cash-out-of-pocket-based decision on when to return. Maybe it will be a month, maybe a year or two. Many others will simply get in the car a week later, not worrying about the entrance fee since it's been prepaid (though transportation costs will differ). The latter group (AP's) might be ok with diminished returns since every visit is worth the marginal price of admission; however, once a year they have to make a relatively much larger decision to renew for another year.
    This dichotomy is driving many operating and business decisions of those in charge of their annual bonuses, er, I mean the parks. Mainly, because there are a million AP'ers, and that amount of people creates logistical issues, both operationally and financially.


    Quote Originally Posted by jurassic5 View Post
    Although we all like to feel that Disneyland is “everyone’s land,” at the end of the day it is a business, and any decision will fall accordingly.
    I don't feel this way. The plaque with the famous quote is INSIDE Disneyland. Not outside of it. So, once you're in, welcome! Enjoy it as much as you can! There should be no discrimination once you get in. And, that was a big deal in the 1950's when he said that.
    I do feel that the people in charge of Disneyland can do whatever they want with their park. They're in business to make money. The difference between them and, say, Walt Disney, is that their names aren't on the park, their careers are not permanently stuck at Disneyland. They are short-term-minded, not lifetime-minded. The decisions they've made for the past 20 years or so have been more to cut back than to add more.
    As for me, I cannot spend my hard-earned dollars for a one-day-a-year trip. I will not get my money's worth.
    And I don't want to spend six times that amount to go as often as I like, because I don't want to go that often.
    I do have my memories. For now.

    Quote Originally Posted by jurassic5 View Post
    Anyone that disagrees is not forced to purchase the product.
    It is not a question of disagreeing with the business philosophy of makig money. It is simply a matter of not getting one's money's worth, and deciding not to get the next time.
    People are making this decision all the time. Once they find out their expectations are not being met, they won't pay again to return. Important words there are "pay again to return."

    Then again, many guests appear to be happy enough.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  7. #7

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    Re: Does Disneyland owe anything to its guests? Nope

    I expect, and think Disney parks 'owe' to those who pay admission in any format, a clean amusement park with smoothly operating rides, decent-to-exceptional food, reasonable lines for attractions and space enough to house the expected visitor levels, friendly employees and enforcement of rules that are there for the safety and enjoyment of the public, and prices not being 'gouging' or raised too high once inside.

    At some point just being out to make money with disregard for in-park experience drives away customers, and of course individual guests will have different levels of expectation where that line is overall - saying someone who genuinely loves Disneyland but is discouraged by changes that personally don't resonate with them or that alienate them 'doesn't have to purchase the product' is rather dismissive and reductive of why people would want to attend in the first place, and their potential reasons for no longer enjoying aspects of visiting.
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  8. #8

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    Re: Does Disneyland owe anything to its guests? Nope

    Expanding Club 33 kind of annoys me personally, as it's basically changing something that didn't even really need to be changed, at the expense of one of the coolest areas in the park and 99% of the people who visit Disneyland will never be able to even see it.
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  9. #9

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    Re: Does Disneyland owe anything to its guests? Nope

    I expect respect for Walt Disney's vision. I expect magic--imagination. I want to feel like a kid again when I walk into Disneyland. Lately, it's been dirty and smelly in the bathrooms. I've run into a cranky cast members. Tomorrowland seems like a memory now. It's stagnant and dirty. Have you seen the windows when your waiting in line for Space Mountain? I feel let down. Disney is making record profits but they won't put the money back into Walt's dream and my expectations. I love DL but I honestly feel like the magic has been sucked out of it by corporate greed. Don't you feel the same way?

  10. #10

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    Re: Does Disneyland owe anything to its guests? Nope

    Amen!!!
    Quote Originally Posted by disneyspaceace View Post
    expanding club 33 kind of annoys me personally, as it's basically changing something that didn't even really need to be changed, at the expense of one of the coolest areas in the park and 99% of the people who visit disneyland will never be able to even see it.

  11. #11

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    Re: Does Disneyland owe anything to its guests? Nope

    Disney owes nothing to the guests, only to their shareholders, who demand a return on their investment.

    Corporate America at it's finest.

  12. #12

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    Re: Does Disneyland owe anything to its guests? Nope

    "Does Disneyland owe anything to its guest?"
    Of course it does. A fee is paid so the product represented is owed. In its most simple form that would stand up in any court in the land.

  13. #13

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    Re: Does Disneyland owe anything to its guests? Nope

    But only when the fee is paid. Disneyland is obligated to provide the service that was paid for, but it owes nothing to history, the fandom or even Walt's legacy.

    It only exists to make money.

  14. #14

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    Re: Does Disneyland owe anything to its guests? Nope

    Quote Originally Posted by RegionsBeyond View Post
    I expect, and think Disney parks 'owe' to those who pay admission in any format, a clean amusement park with smoothly operating rides, decent-to-exceptional food, reasonable lines for attractions and space enough to house the expected visitor levels, friendly employees and enforcement of rules that are there for the safety and enjoyment of the public, and prices not being 'gouging' or raised too high once inside.

    At some point just being out to make money with disregard for in-park experience drives away customers, and of course individual guests will have different levels of expectation where that line is overall - saying someone who genuinely loves Disneyland but is discouraged by changes that personally don't resonate with them or that alienate them 'doesn't have to purchase the product' is rather dismissive and reductive of why people would want to attend in the first place, and their potential reasons for no longer enjoying aspects of visiting.
    My thoughts exactly. Especially the 'reasonable lines' part.

    This is the reason I chose to vacation in Hawaii this year and not DL.

  15. #15

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    Re: Does Disneyland owe anything to its guests? Nope

    Quote Originally Posted by laurainwonderland View Post
    I expect respect for Walt Disney's vision. I expect magic--imagination. I want to feel like a kid again when I walk into Disneyland. Lately, it's been dirty and smelly in the bathrooms. I've run into a cranky cast members. Tomorrowland seems like a memory now. It's stagnant and dirty. Have you seen the windows when your waiting in line for Space Mountain? I feel let down. Disney is making record profits but they won't put the money back into Walt's dream and my expectations. I love DL but I honestly feel like the magic has been sucked out of it by corporate greed. Don't you feel the same way?
    Yes, I feel the same way. Corporate greed has indeed reduced the magic to the point that I don't feel like it's worth it anymore.

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