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  1. #1

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    1/4: Happy New Year?

    A look at Walt Disney World's New Year's celebrations, and Declining by Degrees; More photos of what needs attention. Discuss Kevin's many observations here!
    "Politics is the profession whereby the inevitable is made to seem a great human achievement" - Quentin Crisp

  2. #2

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    Re: 1/4: Happy New Year?

    Kevin:

    I think that your Declining By Degrees column has evolved nicely. Major kudos to you for inserting both the introductory as well as concluding disclaimers. Moreover, the gum on SM and burned out lightbulbs on Main Street are examples that do not at all appear petty (like the cheese sauce!); rather, these are well-reasoned and important criticisms of WDW maintenance.

    Although I was critical of your earlier columns as being mean-spirited and unfair, this evolution gives all of us - and hopefully WDW maintenance - something to reflect upon.

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    Re: 1/4: Happy New Year?

    Being a recent reader of Mice Age, I have to say I really like the declining by degrees columns. I think it's good to have someone looking out for the parks. It's obvious that many of the management have lost touch with what Walt built and are just looking at the bottom line. Having visible proof on the internet is a way to embarrass someone into action. Most management tends to be reactive instead of proactive. I think that's what has happened with Disney. The used to replace the bulbs at 80% and now it's when? 10 go out 20 go out? When people go to one of the Disney parks, they go to experience something truly extraordanary. One day you could visit and Disney will be no more magical than Six Flags.

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    Re: 1/4: Happy New Year?

    Kevin, I'm enjoying the tone that you're now setting in the Declining section. It's a dance to point out the negatives in an online environment as picky as the Disney fan community. I think you're striking an excellent balance in uncovering the bad while reinforcing the good.

    I'm also blown away at how your experience on NYE in Epcot differed from regular contributor TDLFAN. In your eyes crowd control was working pretty well, while in his eyes crowd control was a total nightmare. Always good to read more opinions and then make one's own decisions, no?

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    Re: 1/4: Happy New Year?

    I'm anal-retentive when it comes to Disney parks, and I hope that the New Year's trash you showed was picked up right away, but I'm cool with having only two lights out on a huge sign.
    Truecoat, thanks for informing us that they used to change them according to a schedule, so that guests rarely ever saw a burned out light. They should go back to that! Maybe they could change them at 90% if they really want to penny pinch. )-:
    And maybe it's a Charlotte's Web thing combined with your excellent photography, but those spider webs on the EPCOT lights looked beautiful.

    But THANKS, Kevin! And please keep it up!
    Last edited by jcruise86; 01-04-2007 at 08:47 AM. Reason: To err is human.

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    Trash Mtn.

    P.S. EVERY time I go on Splash Mountain at Disneyland I notice trash. Bad show! Disneyland should have perfectionist employees (hire the Monk!) to ride through attractions 3 or 4 times a day. Or change the name to "Trash Mountain."

    Disney parks are the second cleanest places I know, so thanks to all cast members who do such a good job.

    The cleanest gathering of humans in North America might be at America's largest air show, which is held in Oshkosh (or Sheboygan?) Wisconsin. It' amazing; there are over a hundred thousand people there each day and practically NO ONE EVER LITTERS. It's weird and wonderful. On Wisconsin!

  7. #7

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    Re: 1/4: Happy New Year?

    I"ve never found your articles offensive, nor do I think you're a disney hater but I thought the addition of a disclaimer was very nicely done!

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    Re: 1/4: Happy New Year?

    Another "enjoyer" of your articles, and do not find them offensive.

    I might can understand the light bulbs in letting them burn out before replacing, not that I like this policy, but I can live with it so long as it doesn't become a major issue and it's kept to a minimum. However, I definitely have issues with the trash cans not being themed. The whole idea behind theming is to help set the mood or tell a story. Another thing it does is hides them in plain sight. When you're in a particular area and you aren't specifically looking for trash cans, they're virtually invisible or more accurately, they blend in with their surroundings such that they don't stand out, at least until you are looking for one. I'm sure that having trash cans that are all alike saves lots of money, however, it makes Disney look like every other park, which is what Walt wanted to avoid.

    It seems to me that Disneyland had similar issues in the early 2000s with Paul Pressler and Cynthia (?) trying to cut corners. Did somebody at WDW dig up one of the playbooks from Disneyland and that era? I seem to remember a web-site that was setup for a while that would "monitor" Disneyland for just these kinds of issues, maybe WDW needs something similar now. Or, at the very least, Kevin can keep this up until something's done.

    I'm curious as to what if any feedback Kevin might have heard from Disney on these articles.

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    Re: 1/4: Happy New Year?

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyFan View Post
    It seems to me that Disneyland had similar issues in the early 2000s with Paul Pressler and Cynthia (?) trying to cut corners. Did somebody at WDW dig up one of the playbooks from Disneyland and that era?
    They didn't have to. Both Pressler and Rasulo were promoted under Eisner, to head up WDA/P&R, for the same reason: to cut costs and maximize profit with the least amount of effort. The playbook that Pressler used was simply handed over to Rasulo, when he bailed for the Gap.
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    Re: 1/4: Happy New Year?

    Each time your segment gets better. Thanks for pointing out the conveyor belt, that should be addressed, really.

    The only thing that made me raise an eyebrow is the Splash Mountain bit, because people have been complaining the walls of gum on that ride since 1997 and there's posts found through Google describing the same thing happening occasionally at Disneyland's as far back as 1994.

    Splash just closed for refurbishment a few days ago according to the company calendar, and attractions tend to limp along in the last few weeks before closure. The Jumping Brer Rabbit is historically one of those things that breaks just before refurb and then gets fixed. Disneyland's Indy has been in far worse in the past year than one misfunctioning AA. Splash reopens on the 27th. As always, the question with these sorts of things is whether the gum is gone when the ride opens back up. If it isn't, that's much more alarming. I'll be there on reopening day, will you? Let's see what we can find.


    And again, for lightbulbs, the test is to see whether they're still there or fixed next time.

    In fact, if you really want to get somewhere with this column, what you should do is document the things you find and then on the next trip see if they're still there or not. If they're still there, mention them AGAIN (i.e. "29 days since the neon on the ____ sign went out") and it should shame them into getting something done.

    When I lived in San Francisco, the SF Chronicle would publish a sidebar column in the local section detailing broken playground equipment, burnt out safety lights, or whatever the various city and county facilities needed to fix, and then documented how many days it's been since they first started covering this broken down-stuff. They also left information on who to call and complain to, but obviously with Disney there's less communication between Guest and management. By being called out repeatedly in the newspaper a lot of government groups went about fixing what needed to be fixed (although, of course, there were some problems that stretched on into the "hundreds of days since we first published it" category.)

    I'd hate to turn your visits into WDW into a hunt to find broken things, but if there's something obvious, perhaps we should repeatedly rag on them a little to get them to wisen up.
    Last edited by MickeyMania; 01-04-2007 at 12:03 PM.

  11. #11

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    Re: 1/4: Happy New Year?

    Hey Kevin,

    I'm a regular reader and I've never taken offense at any of your columns. I've generally found them to be very fair. But I wanted to add my voice to those commending you for the tone of your recent columns. This one in particular seemed like a very honest and accurate accounting of what can be done to improve WDW. I don't think anyone can accuse you of being a Disney-hater here.

    Thanks for the continued good work!

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    Re: 1/4: Happy New Year?

    Quote Originally Posted by MickeyMania View Post
    And again, for lightbulbs, the test is to see whether they're still there or fixed next time.

    In fact, if you really want to get somewhere with this column, what you should do is document the things you find and then on the next trip see if they're still there or not. If they're still there, mention them AGAIN (i.e. "29 days since the neon on the ____ sign went out") and it should shame them into getting something done.
    If I'm not mistaken, isn't this something Al used to do in his old DIG columns, during the Pressler era?
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    Re: 1/4: Happy New Year?

    Try riding Space Mountain again and listen for the music this time. I can assure you that it's there. It's simply from Disneyland's Space Mountain and is fairly faint.

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    Re: 1/4: Happy New Year?

    I say there needs to be a website of contributors who can take pictures and see what is wrong. A column for new items, a column for items that have been around for sometime, and when an item gets fixed, it's moved into another column. I personally think people need to intentionally find things wrong, because the more people that notice, the more higher ups at disney will notice too.

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    Re: 1/4: Happy New Year?

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueSkyDriveBy View Post
    If I'm not mistaken, isn't this something Al used to do in his old DIG columns, during the Pressler era?
    Not that I remember. Keep in mind I'm not suggesting it for everything, just big things. It's still not as pesky as the people at DL. When Indy went bad just before it's refurbishment, there was someone visiting it every single day and posting updates on what effect stopped working now. Personally, I feel that's a bit much.

    But (to use a first-hand example) when a flashing bulb on the Tomorrowland archway isn't working the day I begin my trip, and still isn't working the day I left FL one week later, there's something wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by captsmith84 View Post
    Try riding Space Mountain again and listen for the music this time. I can assure you that it's there. It's simply from Disneyland's Space Mountain and is fairly faint.
    I thought so, the Tomorrowland tribute video by "Martin" suggested this.

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