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  1. #1

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    4/2: Best, or Worst of Times?

    Both layoffs and crowds grow at Disney World, discuss this here...

    DIRECT ARTICLE LINK: MiceAge.com - A different look at Disney...
    "Politics is the profession whereby the inevitable is made to seem a great human achievement" - Quentin Crisp

  2. #2

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    Re: 4/2: Best, or Worst of Times?

    Interesting read, and an interesting premise posed - namely, that operational efficiency has replaced guest service as the mantra for running Disney Parks.

    For a company that hung its hat on guest service for decades, this is a troubling development.

    It does explain alot of the wacky anamolies that have been going on at WDW for the past several months (monkeying with park hours and parades constantly, 2 day a week Fantasmic showings resulting in lines stretching across half the park, long lines at food service while many registers remained closed, etc.).

    There is no way they can go down this path, and not have it catch up to them - eventually.
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  3. #3

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    Re: 4/2: Best, or Worst of Times?

    Interesting article, with conclusions that seem to make sense out of Rasulo's position in the company. I do have to wonder, though, what your source of information is, Kevin. It makes sense, but with no quotes from insiders, it still feels like speculation.

  4. #4

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    Re: 4/2: Best, or Worst of Times?

    Hmm... interesting article. Don't people come to the park first for the attractions, and then food and shopping are far behind? If so, then wouldn't it make more sense to get guests through attractions faster so they would have more time to spend on food, drink and products in the park? Most people come to the park with a mental checklist of what they want to accomplish in terms of attractions, and if they have to skip shopping and bring in their own food and drink to do so, then they will in order to fit those attactions into their day. With that Disney loses one of its biggest profit points, in park sales of food, beverages and product. Seems like a pretty short-sighted policy that should backfire. In addition, don't guests complain in those surveys about long lines?

  5. #5

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    Re: 4/2: Best, or Worst of Times?

    Quote Originally Posted by vfire View Post
    Hmm... interesting article. Don't people come to the park first for the attractions, and then food and shopping are far behind? If so, then wouldn't it make more sense to get guests through attractions faster so they would have more time to spend on food, drink and products in the park? Most people come to the park with a mental checklist of what they want to accomplish in terms of attractions, and if they have to skip shopping and bring in their own food and drink to do so, then they will in order to fit those attactions into their day. With that Disney loses one of its biggest profit points, in park sales of food, beverages and product. Seems like a pretty short-sighted policy that should backfire. In addition, don't guests complain in those surveys about long lines?

    You and Yee have it pretty much spot on. If I'm gonna have to spend 1-2-3 hrs per ride just waiting to get on it, then other things in my park experience would have to be cut out of my day, such as shopping. Then again I guess this is why Disney had that plan to open EMH to everyone but only open attractions for Disney hotel guests (so that the non-hotel guests can shop). Sure that will help their profits an inch for I guess one hour. I for one might be finishing up dining in a restraunt after hrs but that would be it. I would then call it a night and go back to my hotel after a whole day of line waiting mostly.
    Toonaspie: I have Asperger's. I like cartoons. Toonaspie!

  6. #6

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    Re: 4/2: Best, or Worst of Times?

    Quote Originally Posted by danyoung View Post
    Interesting article, with conclusions that seem to make sense out of Rasulo's position in the company. I do have to wonder, though, what your source of information is, Kevin. It makes sense, but with no quotes from insiders, it still feels like speculation.
    I had a similar reaction. Nothing wrong with speculation as long as it's labeled as such.

  7. #7

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    Re: 4/2: Best, or Worst of Times?

    The worst part of the cutbacks is that Cast Services has been done away with RESORT WIDE

  8. #8

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    Re: 4/2: Best, or Worst of Times?

    I think there's a factor of not effectively placing an economic value in quality or contingency. Maybe it would help to have people, maybe part-time, who can assume line control or man unused registers at a variety of locations within a certain radius based on line patterns.

  9. #9

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    Re: 4/2: Best, or Worst of Times?

    This article makes a great point and hits the nail squarely on the head! If Disney doesn't get back to understanding the difference between "running" the parks and creating "magical experiences" for the guests they are going to really start hurting!

  10. #10

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    Re: 4/2: Best, or Worst of Times?

    Jay Rasulo needs to be kicked in the keester about 26 times, or until he finally quits or leaves for an executive position at Sheraton. His ideas of a unified park spread out across the world has destroyed the fabric of Disneyland and turned it into a much more generic experience.

    This is the best article by Kevin in a long time. I totally agree and see with him eye to eye with this piece. I've never been to WDW, but when I do finally go I want it to be a fun experience, not some budget-conscious "Disney Park #02" experience.

  11. #11

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    Re: 4/2: Best, or Worst of Times?

    Quote Originally Posted by vfire View Post
    ...If so, then wouldn't it make more sense to get guests through attractions faster so they would have more time to spend on food, drink and products in the park?
    I don't know how other people park storm. But for me, I have set things I need to accomplish, usually eating, a little souvenir shopping, and riding as many rides as I can. If the lines are long, then I don't ride as many rides, but I'll always make time for eating and what little shopping I need to do. When the lines are short, I just ride more rides, or do 'em more times. It doesn't affect my eating or shopping times. But then I guess there are people who will take free time and browse the shops more.

  12. #12

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    Re: 4/2: Best, or Worst of Times?

    This all reminds me of the days when Walt Disney would walk DL talking to random guests and cast members to find out what worked and what didn't. Unfortunately, I haven't heard about anyone since Matt Ouimet doing that these days (and Matt was in DL, not WDW).

  13. #13

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    Angry Re: 4/2: Best, or Worst of Times?

    Kevin –
    As a Disneyland passholders we have seen this downturn in casting. As an example, last Saturday my sister and her family was visiting (as they often do) and both Disneyland and DCA were summer-in-July crowded. Yet time and time again the casting levels were down:

    The carousel only has one person (as they often do) to handle the guests.
    Casey Jr. only had one train running during a very crowded early evening, not to mention they were training a new engineer, so the train would stop halfway through so the trainee could learn the layout (I guess?).
    The French Market (your old stumping grounds) at 5:45pm only had the right side open. The line wasn’t real long, but the right side was full of guests and extended just out the side door. The funny thing was, the left side was ready to go, including about 6 cast members who where standing there waiting for a cashier to come on at 6pm. I might also add the new menu is bland and most of the southern favorites are gone, Portions are smaller and the price is up about 10%. This use to be one of our favorite locations (fried chicken! Gumbo! Red beans and rice with sausage!) ---Not any more!

    - Ken

  14. #14

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    Re: 4/2: Best, or Worst of Times?

    I generally agree with the points in the article. I have been an off-season visitor since 1977, with a June trip in there somewhere. This past January was my worst experience and based off of that, quite possibly my last. My group of 14, taking four rooms for a week at the Poly, should represent a big chunk of change for WDW, money they won't see again. The crowds were in no way 'off season' and the rides seemed to be running on low capacity. 120 minutes for Soarin, 70 for Space Mt, 30 min for Small World! ect - that just sucks for January (or in general). On top of that, there are all these under supervised tour groups that just blocked walkways and tie up lines. The outsourced cleaning service at the Poly was below bad. The price gouging for things like the MK View at the Poly, tiered pricing at the Luau and anywhere else they can take advantage, helps contribute to a feeling of being ripped off. It's sad to see it go, but it really seems gone.

  15. #15

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    Re: 4/2: Best, or Worst of Times?

    What is the average wait time (per ride) that Disney thinks is reasonable?

    What is their goal in that regard? (20 minutes, maybe?)

    At what point is the wait time long enough to add a rocket on Space Mtn, or open the 2nd loading station on Big Thunder, etc.?

    I used to enjoy the off-seasons at Disneyland in the early 80s, but I think the wait times were a lot shorter than management felt was necessary (I bet everything was run by skeleton crews).

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