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  1. #1

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    4/3: Decline, Incline

    The bad and the good at Walt Disney World, plus Kevin's new book announcements. Discuss it all here...

    DIRECT ARTICLE LINK: http://www.miceage.com/kevinyee/ky040308a.htm
    "Politics is the profession whereby the inevitable is made to seem a great human achievement" - Quentin Crisp

  2. #2

    • Frustrated A/V Engineer
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    Re: 4/3: Decline, Incline

    I find myself agreeing with some points and disagreeing with others, Kevin. I do applaud your efforts to keep Disney's "feet to the fire". It does seem as if a lot of your arguments are predicated on the premise that the guest does notice, and will reach a point in the near future of not wanting to come back. I'm not sure if this is a valid argument, as the numbers for Disney parks are still incredibly strong. But if I were Disney it is something I'd want to keep a close eye on.

    But I do have to challenge one point - that changes in the DDE now result in only a 2% savings. This is disingenuous, as it assumes that people are tipping ZERO. All it does is shift the tip from the voluntary position to the involuntary, which I'm not wild about. But if people were in the habit of tipping 20%, as I am, the new policy actually means an addition 2% savings, as I'm now only tipping 18%. Still, I've always felt strongly that tips should be totally in the hands of the purchaser, not the vendor.

  3. #3

    • Jerm is Food...Not Friend
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    Re: 4/3: Decline, Incline

    How about "don't like it, don't go!" It is amazing that someone who left and came back to disney 3 times, and trys to make money off of his time as a CM, has nothing better to do then walk around with a note pad making notes of everything that is wrong! I have been a long time reader of Al's, dating back to before Miceage was even around, but even when he would write about lights being out or details wrong with DL he never went that far over the top....oh but he was not trying to sell a new book! I can say that I will not read another of Kevin's pieces...I know that wont make a drop in the bucket of readers, but count me out of that bucket from now on.
    Kungaloosh!

    *END OF LINE*

  4. #4

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    Re: 4/3: Decline, Incline

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerm View Post
    How about "don't like it, don't go!"
    From the article: "As noted at the start, I'm not anti-Disney in the least. If anything, I'm highly pro-Disney, and am just trying to keep current management's feet to the fire, to hold them to the standards we've come to expect over the decades. The above lists should not be construed as saying that you should cancel or avoid a trip to Orlando. I still love the parks and I think you'll love them too. But yes, the parks could be better still."

    I don't understand how someone could read that article and come away from it thinking Kevin does not like WDW.

    Good article Kevin. You always put a lot of thought into your criticism, so it never comes across as being negative for the sake of being negative. I can understand and appreciate every point you make, whether I ultimately agree with you or not.

    I do pretty much agree with just about everything you said (but danyoung is correct, your comments on the DDE % savings are not accurate). As a very infrequent visitor, I certainly didn't let the things you mention bother me, but they are noticeable. Did it bother me that MK closed early for MNNSHP? Not really, I just headed over to Epcot. Do I think it is unfair to charge a premium for holiday offerings I would expect to be included in regular park admission? Absolutely!

  5. #5

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    Re: 4/3: Decline, Incline

    Kevin, you did a great job with your pointing out the recent declines in service or show at WDW. It pains me to have to agree with you. I love WDW and have had wonderful experiences there, but I hate the wallet fleecing that goes on almost at every turn.

    One thing that you did not mention. There really needs to be a top of the line, E-ticket, added to MK. It really has been ignored by management. They love it that so many people are going there without really any major show investment.

    Epcot is another sad story. I hate the "grave stones" at the entrance. The dumbing down of the pavillions. And I hate the most that new firework shows and parades are not planned for the future. It is just gotten stale, doing the same seasonal promotions with the same events and same acts.

    Please Disney Management, please Jay Rauslo, stop diluting the Disney experience with that constant effort to squeeze 20% more in profits each year.
    Jiminy Cricket Fan
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    Love Disneyland and Walt Disney World!

  6. #6

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    Re: 4/3: Decline, Incline

    To quote Neal Boortz, "Somebody's gotta say it".

    I applaud you sir in your efforts. There were a couple of points that I disagreed with, or didn't see as big issues, but overall, well done. I strongly agree with you on the hours and hard ticket events. I refuse to pay more to attend one of these events. It's a complete rip-off. But, still brilliant marketing.

    Let us know of any of these that are fixed.

  7. #7

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    Re: 4/3: Decline, Incline

    Quote Originally Posted by danyoung View Post
    But if people were in the habit of tipping 20%, as I am, the new policy actually means an addition 2% savings, as I'm now only tipping 18%. Still, I've always felt strongly that tips should be totally in the hands of the purchaser, not the vendor.
    Right, me too. I used to tip 20% and now tip 18%. But the removal of choice is the problem. Tipping is voluntary for a reason; it's your "vote" about the performance of your server. Now you don't get a vote at all. I suppose what I should do if I get bad service is hide the fact that I have a DDE card, and leave a zero tip on my undiscounted bill. Not that I've ever had to resort to that yet.
    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

  8. #8

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    Re: 4/3: Decline, Incline

    I agree with most of the things you listed except for a bit of the "Cartoonization." I think the addition of the movie characters to POTC was great, and was positively embraced by the general, non-Disney fanatic public even if Disneyland purists didnt like it (same thing will probably happen to the controversal ISAW additions). It does not detract from the fantasy as you described it, to me it adds to it.

    The Nemoization of The Seas also added much needed boost of energy and life to a pavilion that I previously for the most part ignored. I dont like the Monsters Inc. and Stitch additions to Tomorrowland, though, but people do come to the Disney parks to see the characters.

    On the Tokyo Disney book -- I wonder, will you discuss at all even briefly the hilights of things to do outside of the resort? I would not want to pay all that expensive airfare to Tokyo just to see the Disney parks...I'd be interested in seeing Mt. Fiji, the city, etc.

  9. #9

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    Re: 4/3: Decline, Incline

    Wow, just when I was thinking about visiting WDW. Sounds like it would have to be like an irritating over-planned business trip rather than a fun, relaxing and spontenaity-filled vacation. Looks like The OLC will be getting my (increasingly worthless) greenbacks instead.

  10. #10

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    Re: 4/3: Decline, Incline

    Great article! I've not been to MK yet, but I frequent Disneyland and feel that the issues are the same.

    I'm also glad to see someone else comment on the negative side of FastPass. It certainly is nice when you use it, but overall I don't like it. At the very least, they need to give out less of them. There have been times when I've waited in the regular line and it didn't move at all for at least 25 minutes because they kept letting in fast-passers. Do they not realize how much that pisses people off? Even though waits may be long, at least when there is not fast pass the line actually moves.

  11. #11

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    Re: 4/3: Decline, Incline

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe_rocks_socks View Post
    I'm also glad to see someone else comment on the negative side of FastPass.
    Somewhat new to the site, eh?
    I'm on record since 1999 as disliking some elements of FP (I'm quoted in the very first newspaper articles on the topic, since by coincidence I took part in the very first trials as a guest).
    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

  12. #12

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    Re: 4/3: Decline, Incline

    Kevin -

    While I found your article insightful I find it hard to blame Disney for charging a premium for things like milk ($1.99 ea) when I just got back from Las Vegas and paid $5 (yes, a five dollar bill) for a 11 oz bottled "purified" (read: tap) water from Caesar's Palace during the intermission at a popular show there. That same $5 would buy me roughly thirty (30) top-tier waters at the grocery store on sale (Desani/Arrowhead/Aquafina). The point here is, I was thirsty and wanted a water. Your son was thirsty and wanted milk. Remember, you always have the option to find the closest drinking fountain. As far as economics go, I know that you'd agree that the only way to really drive prices down is to remove demand. By bringing your own beverages or choosing to drink from public fountains you're affectively doing that - I'm afraid there's no other way (especially not appealing to management directly). As a former CM myself, I can say with confidence that the execs don't react to what the customers SAY nearly as much as what they DO. Just my $0.02.
    Last edited by AP2CM; 04-03-2008 at 11:25 AM. Reason: sentence correction
    -"We can see a new horizon...built on all that we have done..and our dreams begin another thousand circles 'round the sun!"
    -- Epcot: Illuminations "Reflections of Earth"

    -"...Each dream that you chase, each wish you embrace can lead to a fabulous faraway place...!"
    --DCA: World Of Color

  13. #13

    • "Retired" DL Tour Guide
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    Re: 4/3: Decline, Incline

    Quote Originally Posted by JiminyCricketFan View Post
    One thing that you did not mention. There really needs to be a top of the line, E-ticket, added to MK. It really has been ignored by management. They love it that so many people are going there without really any major show investment.
    I agree with you whole heartedly, Jiminy. The only problem is: WDW isnt likely to invest in MK when the attendance numbers are self-sustaining. Big E-Tickets are costly and actually hurt attendance in the short term (due to construction walls and other distractions taking away from the show). Remember - MK has been the #1 themepark anywhere for a long time. In a corporate meeting atmosphere it's hard to convince the stakeholders to put $ into the park that can do no wrong attendance wise when it make much more sense to take that finite budget and place it into a park that needs an attendance boost (i.e. animal kindgdom).
    -"We can see a new horizon...built on all that we have done..and our dreams begin another thousand circles 'round the sun!"
    -- Epcot: Illuminations "Reflections of Earth"

    -"...Each dream that you chase, each wish you embrace can lead to a fabulous faraway place...!"
    --DCA: World Of Color

  14. #14

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    Re: 4/3: Decline, Incline

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinYee View Post
    Somewhat new to the site, eh? .
    Yeah... quite new to the boards, although I've been reading it for a while.

    I still need to find a good image for my avatar!

  15. #15

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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.
    Marquis d'Bod of the RCMC... always and forever



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