If the employees don't respect it, why would anyone think the customers would?
If the employees don't respect it, why would anyone think the customers would?
Well so far I see that a lot of people still want to blame Disney for the overall park conditions. While I believe that Disney is somewhat culpable I still feel like it's the attitude of people today that make the difference. I was at the Magic Kingdom in December and I saw the aftermath of parade where nearly everyone who had been sitting on the ground got up and simply left behind every piece of trash imaginable. It looked horrendous. One of Disney's mandates is to have trash bins everywhere so that no one had an excuse to litter. Why is it so hard to carry some trash to the nearest bin for disposal? In addition, I rode the Little Mermaid at the new Fantasyland. While in line I saw multiple children climbing the rockwork in the queue. Now how long do you think that rockwork is going to stay in it's pristine condition while parents let their children treat it like a playground? Which brings me to my point, it is a cause and effect relationship. How does Disney combat the overall mistreatment of the parks due to the non-caring attitudes that a majority of people seem to have nowadays?
this reminded me of what i saw on new years eve in CarsLand in Anaheim.
Here i was waiting for a friend to come out of the bathrooms next to DOC Huds building and a 13 or 14 year old girl climbs over the rails of the planters and starts stomping on the beautiful plants making sure that she dug deep in the sand and dirt with her shoe. Meanwhile Dad sitting there turns to her and says maybe you should not do that. meanwhile younger brother is pulling the blooms from the other plants dad then looks and says your mother is not going to like that.
Well sorry but i could not take it so i told the girl to get her *** out of the planters as well as the boy and asked the Dad who was the child him or the two uncontrolled kids in the planters. His response, look the other way and a bite on his oversized turkey leg and sip form his drink.
what bothered me even more beside this behavior was that a couple CM's past next to the planters and did not have some kind of pride to make sure their park was maintained and instead just walked by without saying a word.
a) do some CM's not care
b) are CM told not to do anything so that they do not have a confrontation
seems to me that if it is the second option, they could at least call security or very calmly go to the children and tell them to please get out of the planters.
Policy can breed bad behavior," in which veteran Imagineer Eddie Sotto comments on guests' littering:
It's true that the social ethic of today's society sucks. But it's also true that the Disney Corporation of the past 15 years has invested less in the upkeep of WDW and in the training of its Cast Members than at any time in the company's history. And the result is obvious.Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddie Sotto
As Mr. W. wrote, if people are a bit messier (and I'm not sure they are—remember the commercial with the Indian crying?), then Disney should double the number of sweepers.
In the 70s I seemed to always encounter a couple of sweepers on Main Street every time I was there. Their hard work set a tone of cleanliness that was emulated by the guests.
Why is there zero litter at an air show in Wisconsin with 800,000 visitors while Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena is covered in literally TONS of trash after the Rose Parade? It's Disney's responsibility to find out and fight for zero litter in its parks.
Oh there's plenty of blame to go around on this one - apologies this is another long one....
I agree that guests at WDW/DL are not nearly as respectful of the parks as they should be and used to be. Remember, it wasn't all that long ago when people would dress up for activities such as airplane rides and even visits to Disneyland. In some of the very old post cards and pictures of guests at the DL park from the 50s and 60s, it almost looks like they came into the park directly from their place of worship dressed to the nines.
Now, I'm not suggesting people should do dress up today to visit the parks but the parks of yesteryear were enjoyed at a more leisurely pace. Some people came into the parks just to be there and never even went on the rides - they just paid "General Admission" to be in the park. Visiting early DL and WDW was a special treat and when people visited they were happy to be there and thus respectful of the parks.
Today there are kids and adults picking at wallpaper and trying to deface the attraction waiting areas just because they feel they can. As times changed and Disney started cutting back on cast members (such as greeters at each attraction's entrance) the cleanliness of lines started to decrease dramatically. People feel as if there is nobody watching them so they have free reign to do as they wish. Next thing you know gum, spit balls, etc. are everywhere.
As for the graveyard shift custodial and maintenance cast - they've really got a challenge on their hands. These days, with the parks always open late and with "extra magic hours" pushing closing time to an ungodly 3 a.m., they barely have enough time to come in and do their jobs. They attend to the most pressing basics such as emptying trash and sweeping or mopping attraction floors but cobwebs on light fixtures, spit balls, etc. - those are just lower priority because "rope drop" is a scant few hours away and they can't work miracles.
The "show quality" folks that presumably walk the attractions at night should be an extension of maintenance and custodial in addition to Imagineering and report and work to address all issues. At best, each attraction should undergo a monthly "deep cleaning" that would probably improve things dramatically. Focus on things such as light fixtures, dust, etc.
I know many of you get sick at the comparisons between Tokyo and the stateside parks but the reality is that a franchisee (Tokyo Disneyland) is actually more Disney than the original Disney is. First, the guests are respectful of the parks which is a big factor in making these parks in Tokyo sparkle. Secondly, the Oriental Land Company does't skimmp on custodial cast and operations cast members (they are everywhere and everything is attended to). Finally, they hardly ever keep the parks open past 10 p.m. and never open before 8 a.m. - thus they have time to repaint, sweep and put TLC into the place.
I remember when Disneyland was closed on Mondays and Tuesdays many weeks throughout the year. This allowed the custodial and maintenance crew to keep the place super spiffy. Now, it's such a rush to herd people in and keep them spending on bland food, merchandise and "dress up" for their kids into the wee hours of the night that the "product" gets marginalized in a rush for profit.
At least Disneyland in the states seems to still go through more attraction closures then WDW does. Disney World management seems to state that they don't want guests to be disappointed by coming to WDW and having their favorite attraction closed so that is why these rides can't be down for prolonged refurbishments or touch ups. I hope this is one of the "exaggerations" that GK addresses right away because it is a total cop out. If you are planning a trip to WDW and your favorite attraction is down for refurbishment get in the habit of reading the operating calendar vs. complaining at City Hall - plan your trip accordingly.
Another culprit in all of this is "Fast Pass" and I shutter to think what FP+ will do to things. In the past you used to have steadily moving lines for attractions. If lines were moving along at an even moderate pace you don't have time to muck things up too much in the line area. Now, with the advent of FP, you have lines moving at a snail's pace and people becoming bored, upset, etc. Next thing you know you have people tearing up the lines. I am positive that the Little Mermaid line in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom is going to look the Devil in a few months time. This particular stand-by line moves at a devastatingly slow pace - it's almost maddening. Disney can do the interactive "line" stuff all they want but give a ten year old with ADD enough time and they'll break things with their grubby little hands quicker than you can imagine.
And finally, while I realize Disney is profit motivated a case really can be made for shoddy maintenance on the rides. From Norway pavilion ceiling tiles to a severely handicapped Yeti to an Imagination pavilion that jumped the shark 12 years ago after it's first rehab, Disney just doesn't seem to really care. How hard is it to really address ceiling tiles? Where is the pride in one of the signature AA figures barely working? Disney gets away with much of this because we let them.
I hope Disney turns their thinking around soon. I think they have considered DL and WDW to be "mature products" and therefore TLC and capital improvements have been coming at a glacial pace. Hopefully the resurgance in DL popularity, especially with DCA's new found propularity, will be a lesson in the making that if they build it (and keep the product functioning) that we will pay premium for it.
There are two types of problem guests at WDW: the slob American who dresses like a pig and acts like one to boot. Throwing food and trash on the ground and allowing their kids to run wild. Then there are an increasing number of foreign guests who speak loudly in Spanish, interrupt productions/movies with their loud, obnoxious behavior and attempt to cut into lines. I have personally had to confront these people while they were acting thus.
But, the bottom line is that WDW can only attempt to lead by example. Keep cleaning up for the boorish in society in order to preserve you own dignity and provide a good experience to those among us who still care---and raise prices to hire more people to clean up after the slobs.
"We, as a country and society have changed from a polite, respectful people"
I would suggest that this 'reality' only existed in nostalgic recollections. Going back 50 years or so, I don't see much polite or respectful about bombing churches, do you?
The issue here is the increasing social rudeness, self-centeredness and entitlement that marks our culture. Blowing it off as non-existent -- claiming it is the result of "nostalgic recollections" -- ignores the enormous body of literature from psychologists, educators, anthropologists and others who have studied this subject. From corporations to kids, the last 15 years have seen an enormous growth in cultural narcissism.
However I agree that some parents need to take charge and educate their children on good manners and behaviors, and sadly I don't see much of that anymore.
But Disney parks as places of business that promote themselves as "magical" experiences, Disney management needs to understand that monitoring all visitors' behaviors and expecting them to follow posted regulations is unrealistic, therefore they should go beyond trying to offer enough staffing to keep parks clean during operating hours and keep their parks' maintenance under close scrutiny, especially since many of us with children pay A LOT of money to go visit these "magical" parks.
In the last 2 years, our party of 4 have visited Disney World and Tokyo Disney as well. We did see children climbing things all over Tokyo Disneyland (that happens everywhere not just Disney World). We did see very little trash simply because it appeared that Tokyo Disney employed 4 times as many custodial workers to keep things clean and pick up rubbish promptly, but I also witnessed employees approaching guests and asking them for safety compliance when unsafe behavior was seen. At Disney World, I never saw more than one custodial in a whole land, and never saw one single employee approach guests who were engaging in unsafe behavior. THAT IS THE DIFFERENCE. IMO, Disney World suffers from improper staffing levels and lack of good employee training, both of which appear to contribute to the problems you refer to, so it's unfair to pin the problem just on visitors' behaviors or trends. I also experienced the same deficiencies when we visited Disneyland Paris 4 years ago. I was shocked to see how European visitors there ate at restaurants and walked away without cleaning their mess and leaving discarded food and trash on tables instead of dropping their rubbish in trash receptacles, and more shocking was seeing the lack of custodial staff to attend to these problems. So Disneyland Paris is not different than Disney World. Management needs to take some credit for the lack of staffing and poor training that allow these problems to get out of hand.
One simple solution would be to embark on a comprehensive marketing strategy that visually requests visitors to take pride in "Help Keeping the Disney Parks clean". Cleverly placed visual reminders about cleanliness and cooperation on food and drink containers or near food outlets and restaurant tables may be a first step in educating guests to stop being pigs. That's how I have raised my kids at home to be mindful to clean after themselves.
I certainly agree that personal responsibility (including responsibility for your offspring) has become a thing of the past for too many people. However our experience with the last couple of trips to WDW is that litter and defacement were not the primary problem. The problem was a complete lack of maintenance. Whenever you have thousands of people in any particular space, it is going to get dirty... but they seem to have stopped bothering to care. Our last trip was late 2010. We stayed at All Stars, and I could not believe how bad it had gotten. The exteriors, themeing elements, etc looked like they had been bleached by the sun, like they were 20 years old. We have stayed at the same resort for over ten years, and there was a definite change from 2006 on. The entire resort had a run-down, forgotten feel. Downtown disney was almost as bad. In pretty much all the resorts and parks cobwebs and dust were everywhere, painted surfaces had rub marks and scuffs, carpets were vaccumed but looked, felt, and smelled like they had not been shampooed in several years. Upholstery was torn, details on trim were broken. One of the places that struck me as especially bad was Mickey's Philharmonic.. as soon as you walked into the theater the musty "old sock" smell was overwhelming. The carpets were stained and worn, seats were also stained and torn in places. We had four in our party, and the 4D effects (gusts of air and water mist) only worked for two of us. The sound was crackely, the screen had distortions. It was very sad, it used to be one of our favorite attractions. No amount of guest "help" will prevent the need for regular maintenance and deep cleaning. If something is broken, it needs to be fixed. The longer they let this stuff pile up, the more difficult it will be to fix. The attitude of "don't bother, they will keep coming anyway" seems to have become company policy, and one of these days someone is going to get hurt.
I hate to go there but, I have seen park employee dedication/courtesy/pride go down the drain at MK and DL. Employees use to work frantically to keep things clean, complete their duties, and do it in a respectful manner to guests. That sounds like a mouth full but 25 years ago that was considered the minimum. I am shocked with how many times I've seen employees leaning when they should be cleaning and acting rude to guests. Sounds like a lot of things need to be done but that should definitely be on the checklist: improve employee work output quality.