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  1. #1

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    Fire Matt Ouimet!

    While I too am a Disneyland fanatic and appreciate all that has changed in the park in the last year or so, I cannot help but put blame on the person at the top for the completely disasterous way crowd control is being handled.

    My family and I went to the park last night with the goal of riding space mountain and then we are out of there. Anyway, after being in line for 30 minutes they start to escort people out of line as the ride will be closed for 2 hours due to "technical difficulties". I can deal with that, it is just in soft opening at this point and we know we are taking a chance at this point. So it is 8pm at this point and my kids just want to get on a ride. Somehow we decided to go on IASW since we know it will be quick and then we can get out.

    We complete our ride and are headed down the path from IASW at about 8:45 thinking we should be able to get out of Dland before the fireworks start. As we approach the area between Matterhorn and the tea cups we are directed to go toward TL. So we follow the herd toward TL and head toward the rockets. From there we are made to the right of the rockets as we head toward the hub. We are still thinking that we will get to head down mainstreet soon. It is now about 9:10. Yes, it has taken us some 20 minutes to get from Matterhorn to the hub. We ask a cast member what we have to do to get out, he tells us that we must continue across the hub before we are to be let out. We do and reach the entrance to FL, we now ask the cast member there, "what do we do to get out"?. He tells us that we must continue through FL, then we will be able to come back through Adventureland then down Main street. Unflippinbelievable.

    At this point it is about 9:20, about an half an hour now to get from Matterhorn to the entrance to FL. At this point, I lose it as there is a walkway that is completely empty that leads right over to the area where people are coming out of Adventureland. I think to myself that Fantasmic is about to let out and then we are in trouble. At this point a security guard walks up as I disobey the cast member and start to walk my family the 20 feet or so to the other walkway out. He tells me that I cannot do this, I tell him to throw me out if he does not like it. I am trying to get out of here anyway and at this point I am trying to protect my family as this is a completely out of control situation. Needless to say, he lets us cross and then they open that walkway.

    I have never been one to disobey a cast member as I understand that they are doing their job and I cannot tell you how much I admire them for what they must have to deal with. Unfortunately for them, they have a bunch of real geniuses for bosses.

    I am not sure if what we saw last night was representative of the crowd at firework time, but I cannot believe that this is legal or to fire codes. Does Disney have the city and fire departments so in their back pocket that they have no backbone? This was completely out of control and dangerous I cannot even begin to think of the many things that could happen.

    You would think that they would find ways to get the crowd out of the place if they want out, instead the crowd control was setup to allow more people in and push those of us that wanted out, further into the park.

    Sorry for the long rant and maybe it is not Matt that should be fired, but someone should be held accountable for some reasonable amout of public safety.

  2. #2

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    Re: Fire Matt Ouimet!

    While I do feel for you, that sounds like insane guest control, i don't think that Matt should be fired just for that.
    "The views and opinions expressed on this post are mine and do not necessarily represent or reflect those of The Walt Disney Company."

  3. #3

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    Re: Fire Matt Ouimet!

    Part of the problem is conflicting fire code issues. Due to fire safety regulations, several walkways are blocked off during the fireworks, and for about 15 minutes following until the fire officials have inspected the fireworks fallout areas.

    I've talked to CMs and part of the problem is that several different units are all handling crowd control in the hub area. Essentially, west side CMs handle the west side of the hub, east side CMs handle the east. And unfortunately, there isn't much coordination between them. Instead of creating a cohesive plan, I've CMs from one side just roll their eyes and laugh when the other side screws up. So that would explain the contradictary messages you got and the circuitious route out. By contrast, while crowded as heck, Fantasmic crowd control runs fairly smoothly. That's partly due to a decade of experience and partly to the fact that everyone's on the same page getting the same instruction from the same leads.

    As for a fire hazard, it's not ideal, but in the case of emergency, there are large exit gates that lead to backstage in several locations that can easily be opened to allow the crowd do disperse. I've seen them used on the most crowded days, and it actually works quite well.

  4. #4

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    Re: Fire Matt Ouimet!

    I don't agree with you that Matt should be fired for this one problem. I do agree with you that there are some serious guest control issues that need to be approached. I have been in that same vicious circle that you just described on several occassions myself. I wish they would look at this soon, as it is a big pain in the butt whenever you are trying to get anywhere in that park these days!

  5. #5

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    Re: Fire Matt Ouimet!

    Harley: What happened to you sounds fairly (okay, very) inconvenient, it also sounds very controlled. The honest truth is, MOST of the people in the park at that hour will be seeing the fireworks.

    Now that you know what it takes to leave, my guess is next time you go from IASW, you'll know to take Thunder Mtn. trail rather than going through Tomorrowland. Yeah, it sucks, but then, it's not about how conveniently you can leave, it's about controlling the flow of people so there is no log jam.

    Another thing you might try is the train from FL station to MS.

    Trust me, they've come a long way with the fireworks crowds. I remember before they made sides of the street mono-directional and everybody was crushing in their own direction and nobody was moving much at all. Instead one side of the street is going out, the other back in, and though it's packed, it moves.

    Unusually and exceedingly peculiar and altogether quite impossible to describe...



  6. #6

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    Re: Fire Matt Ouimet!

    So he should be fired for just that!? Jeez, I would love to see how you reacted to a president of DLR who was fantastic with crowd control but took creativity and maintenance tips from the Book of Pressler. Think twice.
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  7. #7

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    Re: Fire Matt Ouimet!

    It's been crazy this whole year. It's gonna get worse.


    This has been a Filmways presentation dahling.

  8. #8

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    Re: Fire Matt Ouimet!

    The 50th has brought out an enourmous amount of people ( or maybe it's just that everything is working finally! ) and the info that you have to be in the hub for the fireworks so has made it rounds on the internet. I took the 50th guided tour and we had to pass through the hub as well and had our own difficulties. People have dialed 911 like idiots and Disneyland has talked to local officials about the problem, but when 50,000 people decide to watch fireworks in the same small area there is really little you can do about it. Memo to self: You can't just "drop in and out" of Disneyland during the 50th celebration and Summer Break. Not going to happen. You can do that about 8am. I went on Saturday rode Space Mountain in less than 5 minutes and left. On my way out the massive crowds were already gathering for the day.

  9. #9

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    Re: Fire Matt Ouimet!

    1. Crowds suck.
    2. Fireworks (plus Castle-mation) optimally viewable only from the Hub and Main Street at a lower than fireworks angle is just wrong, causing major traffic issues. Of course, if the fireworks show sucked as Harriss would have done, we wouldn't be having these problems. Yes I'm being sarcastic.
    3. The combination of those two make leaving the park between 8:30 and 10:00 nearly impossible.

    I thought this was a given among posters here.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  10. #10

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    Jumping the shark!

    Having been a former CM who worked crowd control, I think you are making huge leaps and speculations.

    First you are blaming the crowd control but you made the decession to be there, to continue to ride the attractions when you could have choosen to see Fantasmic or the Fireworks.

    Second you are challanging people who have studied the flow of Disneyland in far greatier detail than you or I. You act as if they never thought this through?

    Lastly you make a leap to Matt Quimet's stewartship of the park as if somehow he directly commished poor people flow on purpose to deture your agenda and goals.

    I am sorry you had a poor experiance, I really am but having been a poor minium wage CM who put up with being yelled at, I really stand by them.







  11. #11

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    Re: Fire Matt Ouimet!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bacon
    Part of the problem is conflicting fire code issues. Due to fire safety regulations, several walkways are blocked off during the fireworks, and for about 15 minutes following until the fire officials have inspected the fireworks fallout areas.

    I've talked to CMs and part of the problem is that several different units are all handling crowd control in the hub area. Essentially, west side CMs handle the west side of the hub, east side CMs handle the east. And unfortunately, there isn't much coordination between them. Instead of creating a cohesive plan, I've CMs from one side just roll their eyes and laugh when the other side screws up. So that would explain the contradictary messages you got and the circuitious route out. By contrast, while crowded as heck, Fantasmic crowd control runs fairly smoothly. That's partly due to a decade of experience and partly to the fact that everyone's on the same page getting the same instruction from the same leads.

    As for a fire hazard, it's not ideal, but in the case of emergency, there are large exit gates that lead to backstage in several locations that can easily be opened to allow the crowd do disperse. I've seen them used on the most crowded days, and it actually works quite well.
    Actually, you are are bit wrong. Tomorrowland CMs handle the Eestside of the hub, New Orleans Sq/Critter Countrty CM's Handle the Hub and Plaza itself, and Fantasmic CM's handle the Westside. Everyone communicates very well and unfortunatly with how many people insist on sitting in the hub for the new fireworks as well as how many areas are closed due to pyro fallout. Going from IASW to park exit at 9pm is one thing that won't be easy, just watch fireworks for IASW next time and leave at 9:45. :-)

    FF
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  12. #12

    • Jacob <3 Cotton Candy
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    Exclamation Re: Fire Matt Ouimet!

    Quote Originally Posted by ttztotdca50
    While I do feel for you, that sounds like insane guest control, i don't think that Matt should be fired just for that.
    I am so with you on that!! Matt is probably the best president to oversee the rebeautification of what used to be a Disneyland with major cosmetic flaws. He made Disneyland beautiful again. It is not his fault that people want to come during what is the busiest time of the year plus the 50th anniversary celebration going on at the same time. Come on...to the person who started this thread...CHILL OUT!!! If you know you are going to Disneyland when there are crowds, you need to plan accordingly. Maybe you'll know for next time.
    Delta Mu Chi Alpha ΔΜΧΑ


  13. #13

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    Re: Fire Matt Ouimet!

    Oh, and by the way, nice thread title! You'll get plenty of hits with that.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  14. #14

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    Re: Fire Matt Ouimet!

    Looks like my thread title made everyone take a look. I agree that firing Matt is pushing it. In the end, he is in charge and this is a serious issue.

    I would like to know what kindergarten the person in charge of crowd control for their degree from. At some point, there is someone who is THE person in charge of crowd control.

    My wife and I have been there on New Year's eves in the past when the back areas of Main street were opened up to allow people to move. Maybe this should be standard practice at this point in time. There are seious saftey issues at the park. Someone needs to take notice and find a way to correct them.

  15. #15

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    Re: Fire Matt Ouimet!

    Wow! I don't want Matt Ouimet fired! I haven't experienced the crowds yet (I plan to on Sunday) but I think that is waaaay dramatic! It is extremely hard to have 50K people trying to crowd into the hub and with fireworks fallout walkway closures there really isn't a whole lot they can do about it. I do agree, though, that they should open those backstage exits.
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