Great update Al. I'm incredibly excited about the changes that are coming down the pipe for the resort. Sounds like an amazing and unprecedented era for DLR.
I think now that these things are being sorted out, some high level attention really needs to be turned towards the HR department. Without the high quality people running the show, as you say, the best rides in the world don't matter at all. I am appalled to learn that they don't even conduct drug tests. To work at McDonald's or Mervyn's or Target you need a drug test. How much more important is it for a place where the employees are operating very large, sometimes complex, ride systems? It scares me that HR is talking about not holding people responsible for the first 30 days. That is HR poison and the further down this road they go, the harder it will be to clean up later. They need to be strict about who they hire, and hold off to give rewards to those that do stick around and merit them. They need to, most importantly, make the job one that people want by having competitive pay and the ability and desire to work flexibly with schedules. It needs to be a job worth having in order for people to want to have it.
I find it hard to belive that Disney doesn't drug test their employees. The HR department needs to be seriously improved, Walt would not be pleased with crappy employees. However, the last time I was at DL was in December 2005 and several cast memebers were very nice and friendly. However you run into a few rotten apples, such as some of the parking lot attendants and some people in City Hall. You also run into some rotten apples at WDW. As a whole, DLR actually seems nicer, there are just a few really rotten apples that Disney needs to do something about.
What TDA has to do is steal high-quality employees away from other businesses. With such a low unemployment rate, there is not much quality to be found amongst the unemployed. Sure, they're easier to hire, but there's a reason for that.
How can it steal away high-quality employees? Higher wages. Plain and simple.
How can it afford higher wages? Well, it only needs the seasonal work when more guests are coming to the park, so increasing revenue proportionate with attendance seems a pretty easy way.
In order to increase attendance revenue, it is best to increase the revenue source at the lowest end. Not at the highest end (one-day tickets). But at the lowest end (you figure it out).
Yes, it is the cause of all of DL's problems. Eliminate the cause.
"Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."
Five years should be just about the right time to make my first trip out west anyhow. I've been wanting to visit DL and if DCA actually is a quality second park it'll make it worth the trip. Plus my son will be 5 by then so finally old enough to truly enjoy it all as well.
DL by itself is worth the trip alone, it is the ultimate classic Disney Magic Kingdom experience. The Magic Kingdom will seem like nothing once you see DL.
Originally Posted by merlinjones
Thanks for all the great news, Al. Especially the castle - - Hail to the Princess Aurora! I do hope Tony will also address the Rocket Jets/Observatron issue when he does the PeopleMover. Go, Tony!
Yeah, I hope Tony does deal with getting the Astro Orbiters back on the observation deck, that is one of the immediate problems in DL.
Ugh to the name changes of the towers at the Disneyland Hotel. First they dump the classy "Granville's" name, now we get these hokey new names? Bleh. What's wrong with keeping the old names as a link to the past?
Well the current tower names confuse most hotel guest since it's generally a majority of new visitors or convention guests compared to return visitors and aps. If you were asked, where the Yorba Linda room was at the hotel, you'd probably have to look it up. The nice thing about the switchover is the convention rooms are going to be very easy to identify since the names generally will correspond to the towers. Dream Room A will be in the dream tower, and so forth. While I hate to see the history dropped, there's not that many guests who understand it anymore other than the die hard Disney fans like ourselves.
I am happy to hear they are going to close out large sections of the park at a time... Short term gripes can be off set by presenting the long term vision/anticipation and when new aspects of the park reopen... Hopefully DCA will blossom and people will be more distracted by that then the fence elsewhere...
I remember how excited I was about getting a new tomorrowland... (of course what I got wasn't all that great...) Still pitching a marketing plan (a little like they did with Finding Nemo Sub Makeover) may be what DCA needs, along with a grand reopening... I think people will largely apprectate the movement...
I just wished they cold cut the 5 year plan down to 3...
I sure hope WDI sticks with the plan to fix an entire section at a time rather than piece meal. This may cause complaints, but if there were huge panels of concept art and maybe a preview center I'm sure people would get it. May I offer Route 66 up as the first area to fix? Close off that entire end of the park while the CGH's DVC Units are under construction so two messes are made at once.
Any chance the PPH will be imploded to remove the visual intrusion? I just don't know how they can make that tower look Victorian. The Victorians didn't build high-rise rectangles.
No the hotel will not be imploded but you should see the ideas they have for that area of the park. It calls for something big and impressive that will remove the focus from the hotel. If WDI could pull it off and it does not get removed from the proposed changes it will definitely be worth it.
Great update & dish! Thanks for sharing. Can't wait for the DCA changes, and don't get me started on the return of the SBC diorama etc.! Yay! Also, the possibility of a Backstage tour of THM IS worth the price of an afterlife! He-he!
Disneyland still has its ups (new DCA) and downs (Disney Gallery) nowadays, but it looks like the overall picture is starting to get much better. There are some major underlying problems at Disneyland such as the carts everywhere, Main Street being turned into a shopping mall, and dead areas of that park big enough to run a freight train through, but I am hoping Tony Baxter just needs some time to get things rolling.
These problems manifested themselves over many years' time and so I have hope that Tony Baxter and John L. will be able to put them back to the way they were after giving them enough time. I can definitely see Tomorrowland getting back to its former self and returning the "adventure" to Adventureland by bringing back the Tahitian Terrace. Disneyland doesn't need a new crop of new Pixar-themed attractions, it simply needs to bring back all the stuff that once made it great.
It's going to take a long time to really return the polish back to the park, but I am really hopeful that in 5-7 years we'll be looking at something close to the pre-1994 park again. Tony Baxter has a lot of work ahead of him, but as long as he keeps doing what he's been doing for decades, Disneyland will come through.
The news about the massive plans for DCA just prove the old adage, "There's never time to do it right, but there's always time to do it over."
It also appears even more evident than ever that we owe Matt Ouimet a huge debt of gratitude for showing TDA, WDI, and Burbank/Glendale what the potential and possibilities for the DLR could be simply by paying attention to details, and executing on plan. Without him, we'd probably still be looking at painted couches and crappy merchandise, and shuttered attractions.
I always love your updates Al, and I knew today's would be no exception.
I have to say in the many trips to Disneyland that I have made I haven't had a bad experience personally with any Cast Member. It scares me that it has come to this, hiring thugs etc. is nauseating. I really hope that it turns around soon, I can't believe that they don't see what is happening, that cast members are a huge part of the Disney experience. I would work their but they don't hire Canadians!
Money doesn't buy employees... it only makes it easier to work there.
If the job sucks.. no money will lure or retain good employees.
Fix the work environment. It's a longer term solution, its more affordable, its marketable, it may even be deductible in a way
Money does NOTHING to weed out bad employees.. only lure more of them. Money will not make an employee happy at work. Money will not make a bad day seem better.
Realistic wages are part of the story, but they are not the solution to the problem. Employees need to be happy and enjoy their job if they are going to give a solid performance to the customer.
Getting $4 more an hour may keep a good employee from quitting tomorrow, but it is not going to put a smile on their face next week.
The cafeteria part of the article was a good example of how improving work conditions and perks improves the overall situation.
Make Disney the best place to work... people will line up to work there, even if the pay is not the top.
That song is sung over and over and over and in the most successful companies. Why everyone here is so hung up on 3-4 dollars an hour is absurd. We already know DL's key employee demographic. 3-4/hr is not going to change their lives dramatically, just improve quality of life. It's not going to open the flood gates to some new magical workforce that so dearly wanted to work at disney, but the extra $400/month was keeping them back.