Al, I love reading your columns, especially hearing about the trouble of the staffing problems at Disneyland and I speak from experience being an ex-cast member after 6.5 years of working there. It's sad that the TDA executives can't seem to care about the hourly CMs enough to keep them around longer. . . but now, it's all about the $$$, not about the CM. It's even more sad that I hear the turnovers increase more and more each day. Soon, those TDA people will be doing the jobs in the parks instead of being in their fine offices and cubicles if they don't wake up and pull their weight. If Walt were still alive, things would be entirely different.
Mousekatool: a Disney executive who favors short-term profits over improving cast member compensation. --T.S.
AL thank you for giving us more info on DCA and Placemaking as stated ealier it sounds liek Tony Baxters idea didnt go through on breakign up the park and making it with DVC's and Mall like boutiques. So excited! Cant wait for that Lagoon show either.
Yet another executive committee to find ways to stem the turnover tide? Please. There's a dead elephant in the room and no one wants to acknowledge it. You don't need a committee of overpaid executives to figure out that the elephant died from insufficient compensation.
Note: No Elephants were harmed in the posting of this editorial. Any physical similarity of disney executives or cast members to actual dead elephants is merely coincidental and not in the intention of this post.
"As usual he's taken over the coolest spot in the house"- Father re: Orville 1963
I have worked for Safeway/Vons for 4, going to be #5 in October, years. In that time I have only had one raise to 14.50 per hour, only to lose it when I relocated to SoCal...a lot of these companies have the money to give their retireing CEO huge bonuses when they retire. But the little people, like me, that help them earn their money, get a swift kick in the A$%. It is very unfourtanate that I have to pay $150 every 2 yrs, I'm a Certified Pharmacy Technician, to keep my licenses that enturn allow me to do my job.
This is going to be a bit of long first post. First off, I love your columns. Your insight into Disneyland/DCA is first rate and your information regarding both parks is pretty much gold. I made my first visit to Disneyland last year and I was hooked. I love the park, love the attractions, loved New Orleans Square, and I even liked DCA. Thought it was a cute little park. Needs some direction, but not a bad way to spend the day.
Okay, here's where this is going to get dicey. I am also a WDW fan as it's closer to me. I'm not angry or upset about how you feel that the MK at WDW has inferior quality rides, dilapidated rides in need of repair. I agree to an extent, but I guess what I'm asking is what exactly would you like to see done to repair the MK at WDW? How can we get management out here to stop twiddling their thumbs? Has Florida been forgotten forever, or is it just a matter of time before we get some attention?
Maybe you can direct me to one of your previous columns that addresses this subject. I am new here, but have been reading your columns for about six months now.
The CM cafeterias were outsourced to Aramark at WDW years ago and the prices went up and the quality of the food went down. One other important thing that changed was the lack of any concern for the CMs break times. When the cafeterias were run by WDW CMs they knew that CMs have limited time to eat and would do their best to hurry so the CM would have time to eat the food they just purchased and still make it back from break on time. Even worse, the Aramark cafeteria was outsourced to McDonald's at Downtown Disney. At the time this was announced, the CMs were given assurances from Disney management that McDonald's provides food to Olympic Athletes, McDonald's has many other brands other than McDonalds, and the CMs would not be expected to eat the regular McDonalds menu every day. Well, what actually happened was that the CMs got only the regular McDonalds menu everyday. So much for any healthy choices for eating at work. To make things worse, if the Guest side of McDonalds is really busy they neglect the CM side and send all their employees over to the guest side of the resturant. So, it can literally take over 30 minutes sometimes to get your food on the CM side. There is no regard for CM break times or schedules. The food is discounted on the CM side but the discount is the price you pay at any McDonalds in the Orlando area for the same food. So all the CMs and outsourced employees at Downtown Disney at WDW have a choice of McDonalds every day or other Hamburgers and greasy foods at a small outsourced location at Pleasure Island. So, for all the Disneyland CMs who think any change at their cafeterias would be better, be careful. I can definitely point them to real examples where they would be wrong!
One of the things that made Disney have the best CMs around was that Disney paid higher wages than someone could earn at a fast food restuarant and they really treated the CMs with respect. The perks included more than just discounted Merchandise and park admissions but real and geniune respect for the front line CMs that do "Make the Magic" every day. That is a big part of the Disney Difference that is not mentioned in those glossy brochures and is either forgotten are conviently forgotten by the current management of Disney. They have raised the ticket prices repeatedly but they still won't raise the pay for the hourly CMs. In Orlando, the lowest paid workers for any theme parks work for WDW! That is why, in Florida at least, they have constant job fairs and constantly increase the size of the college program because they cannot attract the numbers of quality CMs they need at the wages they offer. I know the cost of living in Southern California is much higher than Central Florida so I am not the least bit surprised they are having all these problems with CM staffing. Happy Cast Members = Happy Repeat Guests. Walt Disney knew that, and theme park management after he was gone knew that. Somehow in the Michael Eisner years this simple concept got lost. It is hard to make the guests Dreams come True when the CMs cannot even Dream of paying their bills on the wages Disney currently offers the hard working cast members
I agree to an extent, but I guess what I'm asking is what exactly would you like to see done to repair the MK at WDW?
No disrespect, but have you been on Haunted Mansion? That ride is the one needing the most TLC. The scrims, audio, general upkeep are horrendous. Splash Mountain is another ride in need of some work.
It's almost impossible to shut down a ride at MK WDW for a refurb. Imagine Tourist 1 and his family saving all their money, only to find the Haunted Mansion shut down. It's like Wally World being closed. He/she would be pretty upset. Now on the flip side, take MK DL. Since this is more of a park visited by locals, refurbs aren't a big deal since the customers will come back soon.
What I'm trying to say is that the two are completely different in terms of being able to schedule refurbs. There are many more detail to take into consideration when shutting down rides at WDW.