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  1. #1

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    6/7: Lackluster GEMS

    Why the Restaurant Lines Can Be So Long, Christmas Parade moves to DCA, More... Discuss It All Here!
    "Politics is the profession whereby the inevitable is made to seem a great human achievement" - Quentin Crisp

  2. #2

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    I have never noticed that you could see Fantasyland Theatre sticking out from behind the castle. Hopefully soon a tree will grow in Fantasyland to cover it up. Yikes.

    Looking at the subs construction, it looks like they're cutting out a rectangular piece of the wall to insert those dry cases where the animatronic characters will live. I'm wondering if they will cut a hole for its twin on the other side of the track...
    Nice update...

  3. #3

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    I always look forward to these updates but I was shocked at your failure to mention the person who I blame for a number of these problems. Mary Niven, VP of Food and Beverage, was hired by the former regime and has played a large part in the use of GEMS. In typical weasel fashion, she championed the use of the system during the former regime and now attempts to distance herself from it.

    Niven is a large part of the problem and is seriously disliked by a majority of the cast members in her department (and truly hated by others). It is commonplace for Ms. Niven to deflect blame and attempt to keep her position alive by casting all blame on her staff. How many Foods cast members (to include management) quit during the days surrounding the press event this past May? Maybe this is the new Disney way. Much like Eisner, if head of the department (or corporation for that matter) is never held responsible for poor decisions, why do we need them at the helm?

    Yes, cast members and others resist change, but there are much deeper problems. Beyond the changes to the schedules, cast members are lacking morale because they are treated poorly and hating the fact they are used by Niven in her constant scheming. Who in their right minds would want to work for a person like this?

    Mr. Ouimet and Mr. Emmer have made some wonderful changes in staffing and we need to continue the momentum until each executive hired by Pressler/Harriss has been terminated or has elected to "retire for personal reasons". Niven belongs back at UCLA where her job is to feed the masses without regard for a true guest experience. We need someone who can focus on doing their job. Ms. Niven’s primary concern is building her ego and status through press releases and self-serving industry "awards". Although Disneyland remains a political environment, the personal agendas of those bearing VP titles should not be first priority while burying guest service somewhere further down the list.

    Ms. Niven, let me help you out with the opening sentence of your next memo:

    “I hereby resign the position of VP of Food and Beverage at the Disneyland Resort, effective immediately”….. (insert some bogus desire to spend more time whale watching from the Mexican coast)

  4. #4

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    Not to sound terribly old fashioned but I enjoyed the old style casting, men on the Jungle Cruise women in Storybook land etc. I feel that they are roles and it is ok to "cast" them. I know this is not politically correct but just my opinion.
    "You can't judge a book by its cover."
    "No, but you can tell how much it is going to cost."

  5. #5

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    This was a great update. Not because there was anything sensational, but because it was really just some good commentary. I have been noticing that lately the tone of the updates has been changing from caustic to commending. It's not that Al has changed his approach , but that TDA has been turning things around. There was a sick and twisted side of me that liked to read good dish, but I was always saddened by it all because of what was going on at Disneyland. But now things have finally turned around and Al's reports have changed in tone. It's heartening. Thanks!
    "All my life I've had one dream, to achieve my many goals.
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by poohnpiglet
    Not to sound terribly old fashioned but I enjoyed the old style casting, men on the Jungle Cruise women in Storybook land etc. I feel that they are roles and it is ok to "cast" them. I know this is not politically correct but just my opinion.
    I agree whole heartedly. The other positions can go either way, but the Railroad, Jungle Cruise and Storybook Land just feels more "right" with its respective gender. It is a role and people have stereotypes of certain eras and times. For instance, you never see a woman driving a train in a western film or exploring the jungle in an adventure film. It's not a sexist attitude, it's just the way a lot of people perceive certain roles.

    Matt O. and Greg E. continue to amaze me with their steadfast attitude even in the face of great difficulty. Most corporate types would easily squirm back into their original position once things got a little rough. Disneyland is facing a crisis and they are sticking to what they know is the right thing to do. If they went back now, they'd send a message to CMs that the CMs are in charge and set the rules, not Matt and Greg. By holding fast and not budging even when the situation is getting out of control, they are now sending the message that Disneyland is an institution again and if you can't conform to its policies than you're shown the door. They are taking some heavy blows, but this kind of steadfast attitude is RARE in the corporate world and it just shows Disneyland's management is back to the pre-Pressler days. Thank you Matt and Greg!

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Athlonacon
    I agree whole heartedly. The other positions can go either way, but the Railroad, Jungle Cruise and Storybook Land just feels more "right" with its respective gender. It is a role and people have stereotypes of certain eras and times. For instance, you never see a woman driving a train in a western film or exploring the jungle in an adventure film. It's not a sexist attitude, it's just the way a lot of people perceive certain roles.

    Matt O. and Greg E. continue to amaze me with their steadfast attitude even in the face of great difficulty. Most corporate types would easily squirm back into their original position once things got a little rough. Disneyland is facing a crisis and they are sticking to what they know is the right thing to do. If they went back now, they'd send a message to CMs that the CMs are in charge and set the rules, not Matt and Greg. By holding fast and not budging even when the situation is getting out of control, they are now sending the message that Disneyland is an institution again and if you can't conform to its policies than you're shown the door. They are taking some heavy blows, but this kind of steadfast attitude is RARE in the corporate world and it just shows Disneyland's management is back to the pre-Pressler days. Thank you Matt and Greg!
    Well put. People should now look past the food staffing issues with the knowledge that this is for the betterment of Disneyland, and I'm sure the problem will be resolved within the next month or so, as they hire new folks with much greater integrity. It is very true that it is a CMs job to work while the guests play, and it is unfortunate that the former regime was around long enough that many CMs have forgotten this.
    -Kyle, Member of the DCA Lovers Alliance
    I'M GOING TO YALE!!!!!!!


  8. #8

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    Great Update as usual Al! Definately worth the wait!













  9. #9

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    Maybe the previous regime had to compete with the outside food industry for these employees. One way is to let them decide their work schedules. That's a non-paying perk, so it doesn't show up on the budget numbers.

    I suggest swallowing hard, raising the wages, and letting go those who continue to resist.
    Raising the wages is important in order to get high-quality workers who can do many different tasks as needed. The ebb and flow of needs (cashiers, cooks, table bussers, etc) can vary greatly during a day.

    What are the benefits of working at Disneyland, versus any other place?
    Well, there's Disneyland, of course. Entrance privileges and such.
    There appears to be a lot of chances to do many types of jobs over a long term, and possibly move up if good enough. I mean, In-N-Out doesn't have parades, attractions, or ticket booths. (All-you-can-eat-off-the-floor fries, though.)
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  10. #10

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    Great update as usual...I so look forward to Tuesday!! I agree raise the wages a bit and really make the CM's feel appreciated! We were always told that we work while others play...it worked for me!
    "Remember: when life gives you lemons, just be glad you're not a zebra."
    - Skipper Mike

  11. #11

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    was there only one page today?

  12. #12

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    Al wrote:
    And the carefully created concept of the "Disneyland Show" was instantly chucked out the window as arriving Disneyland visitors are now met by a never ending display of off-duty yet uniformed Cast Members in various states of undress smoking, eating and talking on cell phones on and around Disney property in Anaheim.
    Uh.. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the real problem with FastTrack that costumes get stolen and are often incomplete because of the amount of missing objects?

    The situation in the quote above doesn't really affect anything. I don't know about everyone else, but when I go to Disneyland I don't really spend much time in the suburbia around Anaheim except maybe to fuel up the car.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by MickeyMania
    Al wrote:

    And the carefully created concept of the "Disneyland Show" was instantly chucked out the window as arriving Disneyland visitors are now met by a never ending display of off-duty yet uniformed Cast Members in various states of undress smoking, eating and talking on cell phones on and around Disney property in Anaheim.
    It is very rare in all my trips to Disneyland that I have seen a Cast Member outside the park with their costuming on. Even then, it would never ruin the "show" for me anymore than Guests decked out in Disneyland clothing outside the park doing the same. It's not like Cast Members that play characters are walking down Harbor Blvd sporting pat of their costumes. It is Cast Members that wear more of a "uniform" type costuming. I just don't understand how that would be ruining the "show". It's a uniform skirt and a blouse, slacks and a shirt, not Cinderella's gown.

    Just my opinion

  14. #14

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    Great Update Al!

    I am in awe of TDA's decision to stand up to thier CMs. As an employer myself, I deeply respect the risk TDA is willing to take in such a rediculous "employees first" climate. I believe that weeding out the deadweight is the best new direction TDA has taken in years.

    Imagine...Actually staffing for success instead of apeasing some CMs with less intergrity or vision...wow!

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by AnotherPixie
    It is very rare in all my trips to Disneyland that I have seen a Cast Member outside the park with their costuming on. Even then, it would never ruin the "show" for me anymore than Guests decked out in Disneyland clothing outside the park doing the same. It's not like Cast Members that play characters are walking down Harbor Blvd sporting pat of their costumes. It is Cast Members that wear more of a "uniform" type costuming. I just don't understand how that would be ruining the "show". It's a uniform skirt and a blouse, slacks and a shirt, not Cinderella's gown.
    I think it would ruin the show for you in a small way that kinda eats at your suspension of disbelief. We, as rational people, understand that CMs are merely employees that are compensated for thier efforts-- but seeing them out of thier environment makes DL a little less magical. I equate it to the first time I entered the Magic Kingdom from the rear tunnel as a CM-- it was cool to see, but I could no longer "wonder" what the tunnel would be like. My illusion was met with reality and the magic faded a slight little bit.

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