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  1. #1

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    Is Disney Playing Scrooge to CMs on X-mas Eve?

    For those of you unaware, WDW has been running the MK from 8 am until midnight on Christmas Eve for years now (actually 7 a.m. with EMH) but that wasn't always the case.

    WDW closed the MK 'promptly at 6 p.m.' and EPCOT Center 'promptly at 7 p.m.' back in the 1970s and 80s and perhaps the very early 90s.

    This was so CMs could go spend time with their families much like malls closed and restaurants and the like. It was traditional. Some would say it also was the right thing to do.

    Sometime in the 1990s, the parks were pushed open later the 8-10 p.m. time period sounds about right.

    But not anymore. Now, Christmas Eve is just like Christmas Day and Dec. 26th and so on ...

    Now, DL still closes somewhat early at 9 p.m. with DCA even earlier at 7.

    My question is what do you guys/gals think about this? Is it right? Is it fair for CMs to perhaps have to work until 2-3 a.m. on Christmas morning? Is it just an example of corporate greed? (because Disney has no problem closing the park early for hard ticket events)

    I started thinking about this a few weeks ago when I saw so many places open on Thanksgiving Day, including grocery stores and fast food outlets. And then those Black Friday sales just keep getting earlier too ... but I digress ... is what Disney doing just an off-shoot of this current environment that says to workers 'you must work any and all days, but maybe we'll throw some extra change your way?'

    I'm negative toward all of it ... but I kinda wonder if I'm just a 'purist' who is 'living in the past.'

    So, thoughts? ...

  2. #2

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    Re: Is Disney Playing Scrooge to CMs on X-mas Eve?

    I worked at WDW in 1989 and 1990 and I remember that the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas really was a quiet time. I have been in the parks a few times over the past few days and it is nothing like it was 17 years ago. Last Friday and Saturday EPCOT seemed packed! I mean Mission:Space and Test Track had 90 minute waits. Yeah, I know, the wait times are inflated because of FastPass, but it still proves that there are many, MANY people still visiting the parks this time of year.

    I think Disney is simply trying to meet guest demand. They know people are here on Christmas Eve and they are trying to please the guests. As a CM I was aware of the nature of the business I was in and I agreed to work holidays if I was asked to do so. So, in this rare case, I don't think the Walt Disney World company is being Scrooge.

  3. #3

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    Re: Is Disney Playing Scrooge to CMs on X-mas Eve?

    I worked for Disney for many years up until 2005. CM's are well aware before they are hired that Disney operates 365 days a year. Time off is based on seniority and when you first start you are low man on the totem pole, so the odds are your going to work nights, weekends & holidays. As you move up and new people are hired, you start to get better shifts and weekends & holidays off. I comes with the job. No one is forced to work for Disney, you know all of this up front, so no one should be complaining about it. No, they are not Playing Scrooge, this is just how the business is.

  4. #4

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    Re: Is Disney Playing Scrooge to CMs on X-mas Eve?

    WDW is no different than any other theme park in the area. Universal stays open later over the holidays as do the busch parks. My daughter has worked at busch gardens for four years now and it's rare that she doesn't work both days as well as almost every day the following week. the weeks of christmas and new years are crazy for theme park employees. and at least for her it's guaranteed overtime.

  5. #5

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    Re: Is Disney Playing Scrooge to CMs on X-mas Eve?

    No matter what, there are going to be cast members needed for guests. If it isn't at the parks, it would be at the hotels.

    If I was a cast member, I think it'd be pretty cool to be there for New Years Eve. Also, late hours allows a couple of different shifts. So if you are there from say, 5pm until 1am, you are able to spend the morning with family. If you work 7am through 4pm, you get to spend the evening. Most cast members aren't going to be there all day long.
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  6. #6

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    Re: Is Disney Playing Scrooge to CMs on X-mas Eve?

    I think that it may be a combination of current business trends and a business need. 15 to 20 years ago the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas was very slow and thus there was no need to remain open late. With crowds increasing exponentially every year now, the need to remain open late is very real.
    The extra money generated is a big plus too!

    Personally, I'm with WDW1974, in the fact that I wish corporations were more family concious when it comes to work hours and their employees on the holidays. Where I live we have this grocery chain that in years past had always been closed on Thanksgiving. I thought that was extremely nice of them and it made me respect them all the more for doing that. This year though, I saw that they were open all day on Thanksgiving and they were actively participating in "pre-black Friday" sales. It made me a little sad and maybe a little nostalgic when I thought that there goes another little piece of the holidays lost to commercialism.
    ______________________________________________
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  7. #7

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    Re: Is Disney Playing Scrooge to CMs on X-mas Eve?

    Quote Originally Posted by NatdRat View Post
    Personally, I'm with WDW1974, in the fact that I wish corporations were more family concious when it comes to work hours and their employees on the holidays. Where I live we have this grocery chain that in years past had always been closed on Thanksgiving. I thought that was extremely nice of them and it made me respect them all the more for doing that.

    I love that Chik-Fi-La is closed on Sunday. Not when I want to eat there on a Sunday, of course - but I am very pleased that they give a day off to their employees to enjoy family time.

    If Disney were to close completely a few days a year, that wouldn't bother me. But as it stands, I think it's almost nicer for employees this way. Christmas morning is important for me - spending time with family, etc. But if I had to work on Christmas night, it isn't as big a deal. Same with New Years Eve. That isn't some sort of big, magical evening for me - I would be just fine working in the parks and watching fireworks. But not at DRC - I did that before, that wasn't so much fun.

    I agree also on the time frame we are in now. Tourism is up, and the beginning/middle of December aren't really quiet anymore. I tell people that, they don't believe me. It used to be very, very slow. And someday, it will be slower again - maybe not as slow as I remember, though!
    Denise

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  8. #8

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    Re: Is Disney Playing Scrooge to CMs on X-mas Eve?

    Like others have said, I think it's a situation of demand from the consumer. In the past even at Disneyland, the parks would be dead from Labor Day to Thanksgiving weekend. Thanksgiving would be a busy weekend, then the parks would be dead again from the week after Thanksgiving to the week before Christmas. And I mean ... DEAD.

    And then after NYE the parks would be dead up until Spring Break (with a couple of holiday weekends in there) then dead again until summer.

    Now, there is absolutely no quiet time at the parks.

    Even the difference between our trip to WDW in October of '06 to our trip at the exact same time in October of '07 was absolutely startling.

    And like Denise said, the majority of the employees at WDW aren't at the parks, but at the hotels. They need to be staffed 24/7.

    And even IF the parks closed early on Christmas eve, the night-crew would still be there.

    Personally, I think it'd be awesome to spend Christmas eve in the parks all the way to midnight and wishing your loved ones a Merry Christmas in the park.


  9. #9

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    Re: Is Disney Playing Scrooge to CMs on X-mas Eve?

    Quote Originally Posted by sir clinksalot View Post
    Personally, I think it'd be awesome to spend Christmas eve in the parks all the way to midnight and wishing your loved ones a Merry Christmas in the park.
    I do too.
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  10. #10

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    Re: Is Disney Playing Scrooge to CMs on X-mas Eve?

    Quote Originally Posted by nbodyhome View Post
    I love that Chik-Fi-La is closed on Sunday. Not when I want to eat there on a Sunday, of course - but I am very pleased that they give a day off to their employees to enjoy family time.
    Why is it that the craving for Chik Fi La ALWAYS hits on Sundays??!

    Quote Originally Posted by sir clinksalot View Post
    Now, there is absolutely no quiet time at the parks.

    Even the difference between our trip to WDW in October of '06 to our trip at the exact same time in October of '07 was absolutely startling.
    Ain't that the truth?! Even I noticed quite a difference in the crowds this year during the Invasion.

    Of course it would be wonderful if every business could give it's employees time off for holidays, but that's just not the reality of the world we live in. There are certain industries that are going to remain open. Workers generally know this going into the job and are given plenty of notice to plan accordingly.

    Like Denise said, some days are more important to individual traditions and families than others. A lot of times, to the best of their abilities employers try to work with that when they do schedules. I know when I worked for certain restaraunt chains we were given a list of days that were considered holidays. We were told that we would be required to work AT LEAST a certain amount of them and asked to request our preferences. Obviously, if someone is going to be greedy and try to insist that they can't work any of them, they weren't gonna get their request. Or if EVERYONE wants New Years Eve off to go get trashed, not everyone is going to get it. But I always picked the 2 shifts that were most important to my family traditions and offered to work the others. I was almost always granted my requests.

    I don't know if that is the way the parks are run, but it's something to think about in general with regard to working on holidays. Some workers might not even have families in the area to spend holidays with, so for them maybe they like working and being around people instead of lonely at home. Just something else to consider.




  11. #11

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    Re: Is Disney Playing Scrooge to CMs on X-mas Eve?

    Quote Originally Posted by Xharryb View Post
    Why is it that the craving for Chik Fi La ALWAYS hits on Sundays??!
    I don't know, but isn't that the way it goes? (really!) Mmmm...Chik Fi La nuggets...

    I never get "trashed" - I'm a lightweight drinker, and one or two drinks will pretty much put me down. So New Years Eve is completely lost on me in that regard. I usually just end up at home, often asleep as the clock hits 12. But I do really enjoy the parks on New Years Eve as well, and it's nice to have that option. I don't think I've ever been on Christmas Eve.

    Sometime, the parks will be slower again. Tourism goes in cycles. I am looking forward to the tourism boom slowing down just a little, to give us more of an off-season. But the highs don't feel as high either. Thanksgiving week didn't feel that much different than many other weeks.
    Last edited by nbodyhome; 12-12-2007 at 09:36 AM.
    Denise

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    Quote Originally Posted by TDLFAN View Post
    I think it will give more pipping pervs the reason needed to go parasailing
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  12. #12

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    Re: Is Disney Playing Scrooge to CMs on X-mas Eve?

    Quote Originally Posted by Xharryb View Post
    Why is it that the craving for Chik Fi La ALWAYS hits on Sundays??!
    It's because you can't have it

  13. #13

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    Re: Is Disney Playing Scrooge to CMs on X-mas Eve?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lindawdwtravel View Post
    I worked for Disney for many years up until 2005. CM's are well aware before they are hired that Disney operates 365 days a year. Time off is based on seniority and when you first start you are low man on the totem pole, so the odds are your going to work nights, weekends & holidays. As you move up and new people are hired, you start to get better shifts and weekends & holidays off. I comes with the job. No one is forced to work for Disney, you know all of this up front, so no one should be complaining about it. No, they are not Playing Scrooge, this is just how the business is.

    That's not really my point.

    It's that WDW used to close early and respect that, at least on one night, they should give families time to spend together. ... DL still does that with early closes on X-Mas Eve.

    I'm not talking about senority or anything like that ... although if anyone here sees Phil Holmes, Erin Wallace or Inoverherheadmeg in a park on 12/24 please tell us all!

  14. #14

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    Re: Is Disney Playing Scrooge to CMs on X-mas Eve?

    Quote Originally Posted by NatdRat View Post
    I think that it may be a combination of current business trends and a business need. 15 to 20 years ago the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas was very slow and thus there was no need to remain open late. With crowds increasing exponentially every year now, the need to remain open late is very real.
    The extra money generated is a big plus too!

    Personally, I'm with WDW1974, in the fact that I wish corporations were more family concious when it comes to work hours and their employees on the holidays. Where I live we have this grocery chain that in years past had always been closed on Thanksgiving. I thought that was extremely nice of them and it made me respect them all the more for doing that. This year though, I saw that they were open all day on Thanksgiving and they were actively participating in "pre-black Friday" sales. It made me a little sad and maybe a little nostalgic when I thought that there goes another little piece of the holidays lost to commercialism.
    Yeah ... that's really my point. It doesn't effect me one way or the other.

    But I respect the fact Chik-Fil-A closes on Sunday, even if it does so for religious reasons that i don't agree with. The bottom line is it means their employees can have at least one day where they can be guaranteed time to spend with family.

    Until the late 1980s, Publix Supermarkets (which were only in Florida at the time) but have spread to Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama (I think) were also closed on Sundays.

    That seems quaint now.

    I guess we just live in a NOW, NOW, NOW world.

    I'm the first one to bitch when Disney cuts theme park hours, but I just don't see why the MK needs to be open from 7 a.m. to midnight on 12/24 ... no reason except they can make loads of money!

  15. #15

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    Re: Is Disney Playing Scrooge to CMs on X-mas Eve?

    Quote Originally Posted by WDW1974 View Post
    but I just don't see why the MK needs to be open from 7 a.m. to midnight on 12/24 ... no reason except they can make loads of money!
    ...and to make the hordes of guests who choose to visit on that day happy.

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