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Thread: 3/2: Leap Story

  1. #31

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    Re: 3/2: Leap Story

    Quote Originally Posted by StrikeYerColors View Post
    I would guess though, that to corporate, the estimate is everything. You staff according to the estimate and you don't actually change your staffing until either the estimate or the actual attendance officially changes. Sometimes, it changes too late and you have no one left to call in. Or you do call them, and they get stuck on the 5 for 2 hours and in the streets of Anaheim for another hour. But I seriously doubt that some lowly in-park manager or scheduler in a land would be allowed to add more shifts before that, even if they used their experience, common sense, and knowledge of their area to say "hey, we really should get enough people to run ALL of our vehicles that night, not just half" days ahead of time. Because that would be not allowed in order to save money on labor.
    Exactly right.

    As to the argument of "why didn't TDA speak up," forget any fantasy of speaking truth to power at Disney Parks. The unspoken political clout of the Staggs Brigade cannot be overstated: it's a fact of Disney corporate life that when the members of his Big Boys Club (and there are none bigger outside TDB) define Reality for you, you do NOT naysay them. The more common sense, knowledge of your area and (especially) experience you can cite to back up your argument, the more you'd better keep your lip zipped. No matter if you're Joe TDA VP or George K, you do NOT want to be the one who spoke out against Flo'dah -- especially when it turns out you were right.
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  2. #32

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    Re: 3/2: Leap Story

    I don't believe for a minute global parks defined the staffing levels or that they micromanage those. If they did, we'd be hearing about it every other time there is a crowd problem. It's not like this is the first time Disney has guessed wrong on crowd estimates.

    If a strategic planner or marketer says 'we expect 44,000 people', they can't possibly dictate what that means at the level of shift management and staffing levels.

    Nor does it excuse the lack of reaction in Cali when things went bad. They basically lost control and just tried to ride it out instead of doing something about it.
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  3. #33

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    Re: 3/2: Leap Story

    I kind of wonder why they didn't restrict admission numbers. If you plan for 44,000, and staff for 44,000, where does it say Disney must let more than that number in? Of course it means more money, but it sure sounds like they couldn't keep conditions under control.

    This is the challenge/downside of the annual pass program. It makes it very hard to control and/or predict what will happen when they do a special event such as this.

    Hindsight is of course 20/20, but it sounds like this should have been handled like the Halloween parties - set an attendance cap and make it a hard-ticket event.
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  4. #34

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    Re: 3/2: Leap Story

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
    Exactly right.

    As to the argument of "why didn't TDA speak up," forget any fantasy of speaking truth to power at Disney Parks. The unspoken political clout of the Staggs Brigade cannot be overstated: it's a fact of Disney corporate life that when the members of his Big Boys Club (and there are none bigger outside TDB) define Reality for you, you do NOT naysay them. The more common sense, knowledge of your area and (especially) experience you can cite to back up your argument, the more you'd better keep your lip zipped. No matter if you're Joe TDA VP or George K, you do NOT want to be the one who spoke out against Flo'dah -- especially when it turns out you were right.
    So are you saying that Meg has more power than even Staggs? Or that Staggs and Iger favor TDO and thier power making decsions more? I thought they didn't take Meg seriously.

  5. #35

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    Re: 3/2: Leap Story

    Quote Originally Posted by flynnibus View Post
    I don't believe for a minute global parks defined the staffing levels or that they micromanage those. If they did, we'd be hearing about it every other time there is a crowd problem. It's not like this is the first time Disney has guessed wrong on crowd estimates.

    If a strategic planner or marketer says 'we expect 44,000 people', they can't possibly dictate what that means at the level of shift management and staffing levels.

    Nor does it excuse the lack of reaction in Cali when things went bad. They basically lost control and just tried to ride it out instead of doing something about it.
    People can believe whatever they wish about Eisger political culture, the fact is that Strategic Planning symbolically inherited the Keys to the Kingdom a few years back, and their Flo'dah boys called the shots on this one. It would be nice if those at Disneyland whose experience told them 44K was bogus could have reversed the decision, but they couldn't, and didn't, and would have been outrageously naive to try, and it's ridiculous to blame them. Al called this one on the nose.
    "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
    Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
    imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

    - Neil Gabler


  6. #36

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    Re: 3/2: Leap Story

    Sometimes its just easier to blame the devil isn't it...

    One must take any view of Florida from Al with a grain of salt.

    Its funny how Florida dictates scheduling and staff levels... just when it's convenient? Doesn't add up.

    Doesn't help with the 'sources' have shown themselves as anything BUT objective as well.
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  7. #37

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    Re: 3/2: Leap Story

    I was in the park for the full 24 hours (plus a little bit), and had a fantastic time. I did experience some very un-Disney language from people in line when we were waiting to enter, but that was about it. We did everything we wanted to do (which was a lot--all but about 1/2 dozen attractions, and some of the ones we did, we did multiple times). We came expecting crowds, especially as the evening came, and that was what happened. We knew Main Street would be crowded overnight, so we avoided it as much as possible. We couldn't after the 10pm Soundsational parade, but we just kept our patience and our own positive attitude (can't control anyone else's, but we can our own) and did the best we could. As fravitmonk said, "We knew there was a chance it could get insanely busy, so the long lines didn't really bother us as much as it could have."

    Calling the night "a disaster" or "100% misery" is unfair and inaccurate. Yes, some people had bad experiences. I would say that just as many had good ones. As mcow1 said, sure there were things they could have done better, but they did a lot right, and I encountered almost no problems from anyone.

    We had some idea of what was happening outside the gates, but didn't know the extent of it. Doesn't really surprise me, though. For those who thought they would just pop in after work for the night...how could you/they not expect massive crowds? Did you not think that a ton of other people would have the same idea? If you came after 6pm or so, you probably did have a bad time. But many of us who were there all day & night didn't, because we planned & expected accordingly.
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  9. #39

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    Re: 3/2: Leap Story


    A 28-second video shot in basically one area does not adequately define or describe the entire event.
    Check out my blog Faith and the Magic Kingdom! Finding and exploring illustrations, metaphors, examples and lessons for the Christian life found at the Magic Kingdom of Disneyland.

  10. #40

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    Re: 3/2: Leap Story

    It really wasn't complete misery or a nightmare for anyone that planned ahead. We spent about 20 hours in the park and really had a good time. The only things that bothered me were the occasional loud group of 20 year olds and excessive littering on rides. All the people around us seemed to be having a good time as well, especially when Rock Around the Clock would come on while we were all in line for something. People that looked as though they were dozing off would start dancing and perk up.

    Sure some people's behavior was totally out of line, but I knew the weirdos would come out at night. I didn't let the bad behavior of others ruin the night for me. There are worse things in the world than obnoxious 20 year olds.

  11. #41

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    Re: 3/2: Leap Story

    Quote Originally Posted by flynnibus View Post
    Sometimes its just easier to blame the devil isn't it...
    Irrelevant; these are in no way, shape or form evil people. It is, however, precisely the way Disney corporate politics works.
    "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
    Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
    imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

    - Neil Gabler


  12. #42

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    Re: 3/2: Leap Story

    I think disney severely underestimates its adult and young adult demographic. At 2 am we waited for an hour to ride Peter Pan - not a kid in sight.

  13. #43

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    Re: 3/2: Leap Story

    Just because someone in Florida gave the number doesn't mean Al is saying that TDA didn't set their own shifts or staffing levels. However, I don't doubt that there is a "level" of staffing for each estimate and that most schedulers do not have the power to add or remove shifts away from the standard without an estimate change. Eg, if 40,000 is the estimate and it is the rule that for 40,000 they use 15 CMs on attraction X to operate 10 vehicles, they cannot schedule 20 CMs in order to attraction X to operate 15 vehicles just because they think the estimate they got was a little low. The shift schedule was set by someone in Anaheim, but it was bound to the estimate that came from an office that is apparently in Florida.

    No one is saying that it's a good system or that TDA shouldn't be trying to change it and set their own estimates, but I don't think that Al or ANYONE is "blaming Florida" over someone else. It just shows that One Disney is inefficient and ineffective.

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyContinent View Post
    I think disney severely underestimates its adult and young adult demographic. At 2 am we waited for an hour to ride Peter Pan - not a kid in sight.
    TRUTH!
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  14. #44

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    Re: 3/2: Leap Story

    And once again, Al takes a bit of the truth and spins it in any way he sees fit - truth or not.

    Disneyland NEVER has just one attendance prediction. They always have 3. One at target and two above that (below expectations just means early releasing people - and that doesn't require any plan). Trust me, we've been throwing parties for over 57 years now. We know how to handle crowds.

    And about being understaffed - lie. You've got to have a basic understanding of retail staffing (and no, payroll is not the issue. Paying people $8 an hour to bring in $500 and hour - CHEAP) which I guess is not the case here. Take for example the coffee shop he speaks of it having a 45 minute wait. Let's say it normally staffs at 6 people per hour; 8 people when very busy. Guess what? Add 5 more people does nothing to speed up the service. Why? Because of the shops infrastructure. There are only 3 registers and 3 coffee makers. You could have a hundred people staffing this shop - but there are still only 3 registers and 3 coffee makers. 3 cups at a time being made and 3 being rung up. Same with the restaurants. 2 cooks or 10 cooks, there are only 2 griddles to cook on no matter how good or fast your are. And food cooks at a defined time. It can't cook any faster. So adding more staff does nothing to increase wait times when busy. Yes, adding some will help with back office stuff like bringing in supplies, but doesn't really speed up service.

    So Al, don't be blaming the lines and complaints on under-staffing. Come on, you're smarter than that. Really.


    Thomas

    ---------- Post added 03-04-2012 at 03:39 PM ----------

    We should have gone to the gates and taunted them. "We're in - you're not! Ha ha ha ha ."

    ---------- Post added 03-04-2012 at 03:41 PM ----------

    This whole "staffing" thing is bogus. Read my post below. The only place where extra staffing works is in guest services and housekeeping. i.e. trash collections.
    "Decisions are easy, if you know what your values are" - Roy Disney

  15. #45

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    Re: 3/2: Leap Story

    Quote Originally Posted by Emily Baker View Post
    I'm surprised that this article has such a positive and/or neutral spin. Based on what I'm reading in all the threads, the night was 100% misery.

    Good, of course, in terms of cash-flow (kudos to D on that one, you can't argue with numbers, of course!), but I'm surprised that this article really has no mention of the rowdy kids in attendance, the rampant alcohol use and drug use out in the open.

    My friend and I thought it would be an easy trip down and had Blue Bayou reservations at 10pm, but I'm very very glad that we were feeling a little under the weather and cancelled early on in the day. I can't describe the frustration I would have had by not even getting into the park for our dinner reservations and then dealing with all that pot smoke on top of that (I'm all for you doing whatever outside of the park, but the smell just makes me ill and is NOT something I'm okay with encountering at Disneyland).
    I'm glad someone mentioned this, Emily ... I wasnt there ... but have talked to friends and cast that were and it was total anarchy and complete ignoring of alcohol and drug laws. Anything went and it is VERY disingenuous of Al to pretend otherwise.

    I believe that Disney was simply overrun and George and Andy were likely sipping a nice California wine in their Newport Beach jacuzzi while the place was going to hell (or heaven if you were in the 12-25 demo). I also think that after that YouTube video of Disney's remarkably bad handling of the drunk mixing it up with security at DCA a few weeks ago, that Disney felt it was better to have a Mansion illuminated by the pot smokers ... or have folks openly mixing cocktails near Carnation Gardens then to chance more videos of violence at Disneyland.

    But Al missed a huge part of the story here ... missed it or just plain opted to not write it because he doesn't want to paint TDA leadership in a bad light (wow! yeah, times sure have changed in these parts!)

    ~GFC~

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