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  1. #16

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    Re: 4/3: Decline, Incline

    While i agree with you on the FP's ........

    I'd just like to see you run the most successful theme park in the world. I'm sure your opinions would be different.
    I'm sure if he ran the most successful theme park in the world, it would be a much cleaner and more detailed place than it is now!

    The whole point of these articles is showing how Disney management has been slacking around their theme parks in order to save money. Considering we go to the theme parks in order to get a Disney experience that includes a clean and functional park, I totally understand where Kevin is coming from. For years, Disneyland had problems with upkeep, yet the last time I went there they had painted the entire park. It looked fantastic.

    My wife was at WDW 2 years ago, and couldn't believe how shabby the place looked. They obviously don't keep up on the place like they used to.

    Keep writing these articles, Kevin. I'm hoping that the higher ups at WDW read your concerns and possibly do something about them.

  2. #17

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    Re: 4/3: Decline, Incline

    Gotta tell you Kevin, couple issues with this article.

    Sunglasses have always been an issue with me, as both a guest and cast member. My issue is Disney goes far to overboard in the "must see your eyes" deal. As a former Disney look facillitator I can tell you those sunglasses in the photo wouldn't have been an issue with me. There's a whole lot to deal with being a CM, to me, sunglasses are not something else someone should have to worry about when going to work.
    Honestly, there are bigger issues at foot if seeing someone's eyes through sunglasses are what will make or break your vacation.

    And you pointed it out in your article though I don't know that you meant to. People are more worried about what someone's sunglasses look than taking the time to take a second to look at the peeling paint and falling maintenance. This goes for the "you're not smiling enough at the Haunted Mansion" management of MK all the way up to Mr "I don't remember how to be a butler" Holmes himself.

    The issue I have is did you ask that CM to take her photo? Its one thing to take a posed photo of a CM who was a great Great Movie Ride guide, its another thing to take a photo of a Test Track CM from far away and label her on the internet as "bad". For all we know her managers OK'ed her glasses. For all we know she's new and hasn't learned the "good & bads" of glasses yet (which change manager to manager). And now she's a "bad Cast Member" for all the world to see. I didn't like it. It was a cheap shot. Especially for something thats not nessesarily bad.

    But, on your "inclining" side I have a disagreement too...and I'm surpised you like this.
    quick construction job later, there are no more curbs at the Central Plaza or Town Square, which is very much appreciated by users of wheelchairs, ECVs, and strollers.
    You like them catering to the "I can't walk" demographic? Those who need an ECV so they can scoot right up to the ice cream cart without standing up? You like them making it easier for parents to rent triple wide strollers and push thier overweight 11 year olds around the park? EVCs and strollers are one of the biggest problems in Florida (which is something I loved about Disneyland, at least during the week it wasn't an issue) and you support it? I was suprised!
    I am against that. Curbs are realism. Real towns have curbs. Main Street can have curbs. The bigger issue is the catering to ECVs and stollers.
    We can discuss the whole ECVs and GAC cards and 4 different lines per attraction if you'd like too (open for anyone).

  3. #18

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    Re: 4/3: Decline, Incline

    Quote Originally Posted by AP2CM View Post
    MK has been the #1 themepark anywhere for a long time.
    Not really, only since OLC added TDS and lowered the average attendance at Tokyo Disneyland. They're usually #1, and they add a new e-ticket or redo a major ride every 4 to 5 years.

  4. #19

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    Re: 4/3: Decline, Incline

    I like the curblessness because I push around a stroller. Didn't mean it to be more politicized than that.

    As for sunglasses, let me quote the Disney Look book, circa 2001 (it was about the same in 1987, my first year as a CM):

    Sunglasses must be a conservative style frame without contrasting logos. Lenses should turn a neutral color and allow the eye to be seen. Silver-coated, reflective, or dark, opaque lenses are unacceptable.
    Kevin Yee
    MiceAge Columnist

    I am the author of several Disney books:
    Jason's Disneyland Almanac - a daily history of Disneyland
    Walt Disney World Hidden History - tributes, homages, and ride remnants at WDW
    Your Day at the Magic Kingdom
    Mouse Trap
    Tokyo Disney Made Easy
    101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland
    Magic Quizdom (The Disneyland Trivia Book)

    “The press [should be] a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can't be right all the time. He doesn't bark only when he sees or smells something that's dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious.” – Dan Rather

  5. #20

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    Re: 4/3: Decline, Incline

    In the spirit of the debate you requested, let me add that I think the eye SHOULD be seen since that encourages "approachability." Someone with hidden eyes is unapproachable. CMs should be approachable. Simple as that.

    As for strollers, am I understanding you correctly that you think strollers don't belong in Disney parks, the very place Walt said should be idealized for all family members?

    EDIT: forgot to answer your question about "did she know". The answer is no, she did not. There's some pretty specific law on public photography: http://www.legalandrew.com/2007/10/1...res-in-public/

    In brief, if you're in public and have no expectation of privacy, anyone can take your photo.
    Kevin Yee
    MiceAge Columnist

    I am the author of several Disney books:
    Jason's Disneyland Almanac - a daily history of Disneyland
    Walt Disney World Hidden History - tributes, homages, and ride remnants at WDW
    Your Day at the Magic Kingdom
    Mouse Trap
    Tokyo Disney Made Easy
    101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland
    Magic Quizdom (The Disneyland Trivia Book)

    “The press [should be] a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can't be right all the time. He doesn't bark only when he sees or smells something that's dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious.” – Dan Rather

  6. #21

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    Re: 4/3: Decline, Incline

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinYee View Post
    I like the curblessness because I push around a stroller. Didn't mean it to be more politicized than that.

    As for sunglasses, let me quote the Disney Look book, circa 2001 (it was about the same in 1987, my first year as a CM):

    Sunglasses must be a conservative style frame without contrasting logos. Lenses should turn a neutral color and allow the eye to be seen. Silver-coated, reflective, or dark, opaque lenses are unacceptable.
    The book still says that. But with everything that entails being a CM I feel sunglasses deserve some lieniancy. When the park sparkles like Disneyland, and the moral of the CMs is high, pay is reasonable and everything is how it should be, then we can discuss cracking down on glasses. My feeling is right now there are more imporant things to deal with. And maybe there is some of the "its all equally important!" that I'm ignoring, I'll give into that. But in the current state of things, its not all equally important.
    As far as taking her photo, I didn't say it was illegal. I just think how wold you have liked it when you were a CM had a less than 100% perfect moment and it was on the internet for everyone to judge. Thats my view of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinYee View Post
    In the spirit of the debate you requested, let me add that I think the eye SHOULD be seen since that encourages "approachability." Someone with hidden eyes is unapproachable. CMs should be approachable. Simple as that.
    Yeah but you know, if I had to choose between someone with see-thru lenses who was leaning all grumpy of someone perky with darker lenses I'd choose darker lenses. Again there are so many more important things that make up the "the approachability" of someone than the shade of thier shades. I'm not calling for Elton John to donate his sunglasses to CMs to wear in the park afterall. Just a bit of lieniancy.

    As for strollers, am I understanding you correctly that you think strollers don't belong in Disney parks, the very place Walt said should be idealized for all family members?
    Well thats funny you bring up Walt because I see so many new additions to the park )Playhouse Disney and Pooh's Thotful Spot) as very "unfamily" things but thats another debate. Family doesn't mean there is a place for grandma to take Suzy while Jim and Dad ride the rollercoaster (Six Flags) it means everyone gets on the ride together (a la Peter Pan...but again another debate).
    Theres no doubt in my mind when you look at the age of the children in strollers and the amount of them parked everywhere that strollers have gotten out of hand. Have they gotten too big? Yes. Do they now have too many? Yes. Just because its a family park doesn't mean little Sarah needs to be in a stroller at 11 or 12 (we've all seen it). There are too many strollers, far more than there were when I starting being a regular some 12 odd years ago.
    I never said they don't belong, but there needs to be some kind of control. Back when the park was concerned with the operation as a whole, there was more encouragment to those scooting around to join everyone else. But when the park starts to cater to those in scooters and strollers above others there is no encouragment to get up and walk. Why walk and wait in line when your scooter gets you through the back door? Why get out of the stroller when they've gotten bigger and can now hold me at 12 years old and my parents will push me?
    Again, something I think Disneyland does right.

    You do point out things that needed to be discussed. But...you have props to something that belongs in the "declining" column.
    Last edited by tloolgb; 04-03-2008 at 05:22 PM.

  7. #22

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    Re: 4/3: Decline, Incline

    Quote Originally Posted by Mickey_Mouse View Post
    I'm sure if he ran the most successful theme park in the world, it would be a much cleaner and more detailed place than it is now!

    The whole point of these articles is showing how Disney management has been slacking around their theme parks in order to save money. Considering we go to the theme parks in order to get a Disney experience that includes a clean and functional park, I totally understand where Kevin is coming from. For years, Disneyland had problems with upkeep, yet the last time I went there they had painted the entire park. It looked fantastic.

    My wife was at WDW 2 years ago, and couldn't believe how shabby the place looked. They obviously don't keep up on the place like they used to.

    Keep writing these articles, Kevin. I'm hoping that the higher ups at WDW read your concerns and possibly do something about them.
    well in that case i'd also like to see you do it
    Marquis d'Bod of the RCMC... always and forever



  8. #23

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    Re: 4/3: Decline, Incline

    Quote Originally Posted by tloolgb View Post
    Not really, only since OLC added TDS and lowered the average attendance at Tokyo Disneyland. They're usually #1, and they add a new e-ticket or redo a major ride every 4 to 5 years.
    You're quite right tloolgb, I should've qualified it by saying "the #1 themepark in the US." I stand corrected.
    Last edited by AP2CM; 04-03-2008 at 06:59 PM. Reason: type-o
    -"We can see a new horizon...built on all that we have done..and our dreams begin another thousand circles 'round the sun!"
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    -"...Each dream that you chase, each wish you embrace can lead to a fabulous faraway place...!"
    --DCA: World Of Color

  9. #24

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    Re: 4/3: Decline, Incline

    Interesting article.

    I wonder if Disney Management actually gets a chance to read these articles as well and can make command decisions to change?

  10. #25

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    Re: 4/3: Decline, Incline

    Intresting read, Kevin.

    Page 1 seemed like a brief outline of everything I've been posting here and elsewhere for years now. But you did nail the points.

    And just when I think things are getting better, Disney does something that pushes in the other direction.

    For instance, there have been lots of improvement in MK upkeep in certain areas ... for example, I love the new Crystal Shop and the Cinema Shop, which at least is back to showing Mickey shorts as well as selling merchandise. But then I started looking at all the doors, outer walls and columns on that side of Main Street and was hit by massive wood rot, chunks missing due to CMs or guests in ECVs and strollers smashing into surfaces, and places where rot had been painted over so many times without sanding, so you just had layer upon layer ... horrible show.

    And while I love the added Holiday decor at Halloween and Christmas, having a record number of hard-ticket nights balances that out to be a negative. You also neglected to mention that Disney has scheduled P&P Parties on Saturday nights this year ... something that never happened before as a way of extorting locals who may only be able to visit on a weekend to pay extra. FYI, as recently as two years ago MNSSHP didn't start until October -- this year 9/5 ... right after Labor Day. And MVMCP which used to start AFTER Thanksgiving is now starting on 11/10. Pretty soon, they'll be going year round with private parties. For the first time ever, on 9/5 TWO Disney parks will close on the same night for hard-ticket parties.

    As for the park hours, the EMH deal is perfect ... or more like perfectly insulting for guests with a brain. Disney makes ignorant guests feel they are getting something extra for staying onsite (and paying a large premium to do so) while those of us who have been going since ... I dunno ... let's say 1974 ... we know that the parks ALL used to be open late for ALL guests at holidays, spring break, summer, Christmas and selected weekends.

    Since I remember EPCOT being open from 8-11 and 8-midnight (and the entire park, not just WS and a few rides in FW), I just can't feel special that Disney will let me stay until midnight on Fridays if I am staying in one of their resorts.

    Food wise things just keep getting worse. I am tired of showing up at great locales like the California Grill and dining with people in theme park attire who want to know why there aren't any burgers or chicken on the menu. This is the insidious nature of the DDP. And they are going full out to make everyone buy this. I truly see the day when the DDE, which I've had since it began in 1995 -- back when it was $25 for TWO cards and food was about 40% less across the board and dinners all came with soup or salad, gets eliminated.

    They are already pushing DDP with DVCers, CMs and now APers.

    And you just see the WalMarting everywhere ... chicken fingers at the Noodle Station ... I guess they weren't available anywhere else.

    Just some thoughts ...

  11. #26

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    Re: 4/3: Decline, Incline

    Oh, and as someone headed to TDL/TDS (and HKDL) for the first time later this year, I'm wondering if your book will be worth my time and money.

    I am very critical of (other) writers, so I could be brutal if it doesn't measure up!

  12. #27

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    Re: 4/3: Decline, Incline

    Kevin, thanks for this week's article. I figured that the names on the naughty and nice list were of CMs who worked on HMH! Is your name just cut-off at the bottom of this picture? I took this back in January, a day or two before it was closed to switch back to the regular HM.


  13. #28

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    Re: 4/3: Decline, Incline

    Everyone knows that Oriental Land Company does it right, but do their profits prove their strategy correct? If so and you have that information, I think it would be helpful to include it in your argument. And even if the theme parks are not the top money makers, I believe it's true that they are the front line for promoting the Disney product. If the theme parks give the impression that Disney is a premium brand, then I think it makes people more eager to buy that brand.

  14. #29

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    Re: 4/3: Decline, Incline

    Nope, my name is not on that list (is that iaswh?) My name is on the HMH list that the snake is "eating" in the attic. At least it was the last time I was there. It is near the bottom of the first curve on the list, though.

    As to the Tokyo book, well of course the author himself will say it's worthwhile! For a second opinion, you could ask in the Tokyo section of micechat, where a few of the posters helped me with it. But in general I think its selling point is the attempt to make everything easy and remove all confusion.
    Kevin Yee
    MiceAge Columnist

    I am the author of several Disney books:
    Jason's Disneyland Almanac - a daily history of Disneyland
    Walt Disney World Hidden History - tributes, homages, and ride remnants at WDW
    Your Day at the Magic Kingdom
    Mouse Trap
    Tokyo Disney Made Easy
    101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland
    Magic Quizdom (The Disneyland Trivia Book)

    “The press [should be] a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can't be right all the time. He doesn't bark only when he sees or smells something that's dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious.” – Dan Rather

  15. #30

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    Re: 4/3: Decline, Incline

    well in that case i'd also like to see you do it
    Very well. Hand over the keys to the kingdom, and it will be done.

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