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  1. #1

    • Darkbeer
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    David Koenig joins the Chorus regarding the DVC and the impact on WDW

    http://www.mouseplanet.com/articles.php?art=mt061219dk


    In some ways, the parallel phenomena of annual passholders and online communities have detracted from the Ideal Disneyland Experience. Side effects include increased crowding and turning visits from annual events into weekly appointments. However, these communities have also been the greatest forces at keeping Disney from becoming complacent. A decade of whining and complaining has helped bring about a renaissance at Disneyland. Once again the park appears to be safe, well maintained, and regularly introducing something new.

    Walt Disney World, on the other hand, has a large online fan base, but lacks a comparably vocal annual passholder base. Since they are vacationers, rather than regulars, Disney thinks it can buy their silence with freebies and other temporary fixes, rather than by making fundamental changes at the resort.

    My hope is that as the Disney Vacation Club continues to grow (now 100,000 member families and growing), DVC becomes the new generation of Disney World regulars who find an outlet—MousePlanet or wherever—to band together to become a force for Disney to reckon with. As a group, hopefully they can push for lasting improvements at the resort, as opposed to discounts or incentives designed to improve nothing more than their individual vacation. Remember, when DVC members get tired of Disney World, they can easily resell their membership. In turn, they now compete with DVC's own sales force in selling new memberships and conceivably hold down the price Disney can sell memberships for. Worse, Disney World has lost a regular customer.

    Even if DVC members don't jump ship, they become more likely to at least skip a vacation or three and rent out their year's accommodations (reducing the number of guests on property and creating competition for Disney's hotels).

    The spirit of Walt similarly lives in the hearts of many of Disney's best employees, the ones who recognize the company is no longer the same, but doesn't let that stop them from creating classic entertainment and experiences for the customer.

    And, his spirit also lives in the hearts of many of Disney's competitors, the ones who have learned from Walt's philosophies and taken them as their own.

    Today's Disney Company may no longer guided by the ways of Walt. That doesn't mean that those of us who are can't continue encouragng them back on track.
    Check out my Theme Park Photos at http://darkbeer.smugmug.com

  2. #2

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    Re: David Koenig joins the Chorus regarding the DVC and the impact on WDW

    Great article..thanks for sharing it.
    Mark

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  3. #3

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    Re: David Koenig joins the Chorus regarding the DVC and the impact on WDW

    Good article.
    "As usual he's taken over the coolest spot in the house"- Father re: Orville 1963

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  4. #4

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    Re: David Koenig joins the Chorus regarding the DVC and the impact on WDW

    Just read the entire article. Spot on. Couldn't have said it better myself.

    The really sad part is that some of the people that are doing long-term harm to The Walt Disney Company...would just read this article and laugh...and continue on their merry way firmly believing that their opinions about those crazy "old-school Walt people" are correct.

  5. #5

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    Re: David Koenig joins the Chorus regarding the DVC and the impact on WDW

    The executives of today care less about the future than Walt seems to have. So, the executives of today prefer getting the money upfront (be it DVC revenues or APs), to make this year's profits better. Let the future executives worry about the mess the present executives are making, since the two sets of executives are not likely to have a non-empty intersection.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  6. #6

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    Re: David Koenig joins the Chorus regarding the DVC and the impact on WDW

    Nice article, although to a certain extent a lot of these changes were foreseeable as soon as Walt left.

    Walt was basically always trying to one-up himself. The parks were basically covered in his identity and so it was just as much trying to prove himself to the audience as much as the park. There is no such thing as a Rasuloland (thank heavens!) so modern day leaders only feel they have to prove themselves to their boss and their investors, not the paying customer.

    Once Walt died, the place was handed over to people who knew Walt and they kept operating like he did out of memory. But once they either retired or passed away, it was pretty obvious from the outset that the company was going to be changing directions as soon as it shifted to people who never once even met Walt.

    Also...
    Starting next month, Disney World will begin outsourcing key guest contact positions at several of its hotels. Union leaders claim that Disney said the move was being made not to save money, but to "improve quality." In other words, Disney was arguing that an outside company, paying even lower wages, could provide better service than could Disney-hired and trained cast members. Unbelievable.
    If there's a union involved these people could very well be less than quality employees, even if they've been Disney-trained, because they're well protected in their jobs and it would be virtually impossible for management to fire them.

    I bring this up because we've heard it before (in regards to valet) and I'm sure there's a modicum of truth about it elsewhere. Needless to say, Walt had to go into a PR war against a union for the animators at one point, and I'm not sure they were a a part of the parks until later.

    Edit #2: Koenig also assumes that the high number of APs at Disneyland have ultimately been a good thing because of online watchdogs yammering about the changes on blogs and message boards. This is faulty thinking because Disneyland used to be very good without this presence decades ago. In fact, the 'cheap fixes' and lack of attention in Anaheim, began once the AP program exploded, and they only let up once the park was the focal point of a national campaign designed to bring folks from other regions to the resort.
    Last edited by MickeyMania; 12-19-2006 at 11:18 AM.

  7. #7

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    Re: David Koenig joins the Chorus regarding the DVC and the impact on WDW

    Nice article. And let hope that David Koenig is correct.

    However, another point regarding DL: I wouldn't attribute all the improvements
    at DL to the DL-related boards and APs. Yes, the APs are vocal. But it wasn't
    until Matt Ouirmet came on board was the wholesale changes made.

    I sincerely doubt that the Pressler/Harris regime would have cared enough
    or understood what needed to be done to make all the choices that Matt
    did. Ex. sped up Space Mountain, decision to invest in paint and upkeep,
    Monsters Inc, removed Millionaire, BLAB, etc.

    BTW. I'm pretty convinced that Mr Igber "gets it" and that's part of the reason
    that Mr. Rasulo is in the "hot seat". (and of course, it doesn't hurt that the
    Million Dreams really isn't gaining much traction... and it was half baked
    when introduced...)

    Just my two cents worth...

  8. #8

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    Re: David Koenig joins the Chorus regarding the DVC and the impact on WDW

    Quote Originally Posted by nish221 View Post
    However, another point regarding DL: I wouldn't attribute all the improvements
    at DL to the DL-related boards and APs. Yes, the APs are vocal. But it wasn't
    until Matt Ouirmet came on board was the wholesale changes made.
    And the reason he was allowed to make those changes and not take heat for them was because even his bosses knew that if people traveled from far and wide and got Disneyland as it was before the 50th refurbishing began, they'd have felt like they were taken advantage of and would likely not take a Disney vacation again for some time.

    Now that the 50th tourists are gone and we're back to a strong AP presence again, is it a surprise that posters in the DLR forum are once again becoming wary of a quality and maintenance dip? Wake up! It's DL's local Disney-crazy AP-holding audience (which includes a number of MiceChatters) that's actually responsible for declining maintenance because they'll NEVER abandon the place out of nostalgia/loyalty/whatever no matter how bad it gets.

  9. #9

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    Re: David Koenig joins the Chorus regarding the DVC and the impact on WDW

    matt has gone that is what is responsible for low quality. Ed isn't a watch dog. It has nothing to do with APers. If DVC members were as involved in DLR as they are at WDW there would be little slacking. Disney wants those guaranteed dollars coming back year after year and they are willing to put money where it needs to go to keep them. remember the time share basically gets them a guaranteed room but they have to pay extra for everything else. and those dollars add up. APers may come to the parks more but they don't spend the kind of money that dvc does and dvcers have a choice of where to go so disney wants to keep them on a disney property whether at dl, WDW, vero beach, the cruiseline, or hilton head.

  10. #10

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    Re: David Koenig joins the Chorus regarding the DVC and the impact on WDW

    Quote Originally Posted by Cmash95 View Post
    matt has gone that is what is responsible for low quality.
    Matt wouldn't have been able to get the money he needed if it weren't for the 50th.

    It's not like the big bosses are willing to spend as much money as Matt did and Ed simply doesn't want to, it's that Matt was there at a really opportune time because the big bosses knew that people would never trust Disney again if they were lured to travel from far yonder to Disneyland as it was when Matt arrived.

    It's not that Matt is gone, it's that the 50th is gone, and the need to impress has gone with it.

  11. #11

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    Re: David Koenig joins the Chorus regarding the DVC and the impact on WDW

    ORDDU: Although you may have a valid point, Mickey Mania, duckling, I wouldn't be too quick to write Matt Ouimet off if I were you. His influence was more important than you might think.

    ORWEN: In the meantime, we want to thank Darkbeer for giving us something to talk about. His topics are always appreciated in Morva!

  12. #12

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    Re: David Koenig joins the Chorus regarding the DVC and the impact on WDW

    This may shock people who know me, but I really have started to look upon DVCers as WDW's best hope for a fresher product in the parks and higher standards at the resorts. Now, I still am not a fan of WDW becoming the Timeshare Kingdom of the World, but the cow's out of the barn and is procreating like a bunny!

    If the majority of DVCers are smart, caring, discerning guests, I can't see them accepting the status quo from TWDC much longer. That goes for everything from more frequent rehabs and better quality furnishings to new things to see and do in the parks to new and more diverse dining options.

    I realize some DVCers are simple folks who view WDW as near perfect and don't want any change at all. But I'm going to believe there are far more of the other ilk ... folks who obviously love Disney, but didn't buy into DVC to watch the same parade in 2012 that was running in 1994 or to see parks go a decade without a major new E-Ticket etc ... because I've got to believe many wouldn't have bought if that were the case.

    Oh well, there goes my DVC Hater label ... and since the majority of DVCers have bought since the late 1990s, I'm wondering when they'll just say 'enough is enough' and TWDC will have a major PR disaster on its hands.

    I almost think, cynically, that all of the recent perqs offered to DVCers like the cheapest APs, DDE membership etc ... may just be a proactive move on TWDC's part to push off the inevitable moment when the majority of DVCers decide they didn't tie themselves to the company for over four decades to have the exact same tired experiences over and over and over and over again.

  13. #13

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    Re: David Koenig joins the Chorus regarding the DVC and the impact on WDW

    Great article. Mr. Koenig hit it right on the nose.
    1st Amendment-Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

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