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View Full Version : DEBATE: Has WDW been built haphazardly, too quick and without proper infrastructure?


DisneyKidds
03-03-2003, 10:48 AM
OK, folks - this should be a good one. One of our other "discussions" has veered into territory that begs for it's own thread. The question sits before you. As any good debate will have, we need two opposing opinions.

Position 1. This is the camp that says that WDW has been overgrown and overburdened, without management adequately addressing the effect that the growth over the past 10/20/30 years has had on the WDW experience, which has clearly been impacted in a negative way. I will leave it to someone from this camp to elaboreate and provide the usual comments about "inept management and the fascination with the soon to be announced ABC gameshow called 'squeezing for dollars'" ;).

Position 2. This is the camp that says that WDW has experienced growth that has been beneficial to both Disney and their guests. Furthermore, management has dealt with this growth in an appropriate manner, allowing the WDW experience to not be impacted in a negative way. Again, someone from this camp can elaboate and provide the usual "Disney apologist" comments ;).

There are many, many positions in between. So let's hear 'em.

For the record, I am a 'tweener, leaning toward position 2. One of the biggest agruments I hear from camp 1 is that managements record on WDW infrastructure, primarily related to roads and transportation, is woefully inadequate. All I can say is that, since 1991 when we started visiting WDW as adult consumers, I have not notice any appreciable, negative change in the congestion, or ability to navigate, on the WDW road system. (And yes, that is just one man's experience and is in no way intended to imply that others haven't had different experiences). I even love the Magical signs ;) :tongue:.

WebmasterCricket
03-03-2003, 12:14 PM
Describe what you specifically mean by "infrastructure" in this context please. WDW resort wide?

also

What time frame do you want used for the "overgrown/burdened" part?

DisneyKidds
03-03-2003, 12:31 PM
Describe what you specifically mean by "infrastructure" in this context please. WDW resort wide?
Whatever "infrastructure" is, let's assume WDW resort wide. As to defining infrastructure in this context, I should let some of our friends who inspired this thread weigh in. Baron? You have your ideas on infrastructure, and what should be considered "critical infrastructure" - care to share? AV? Your definition?

Infrastructure can include everything from roadways and public transportation to sewers and water treatment. I'll throw this out. At a minimum, "infrastructure" includes communication, transportation, and public utilities. As I mentioned, I most often see comments on the dissaisfaction with roadways and transportation, but are there other areas where people feel WDW infrastructure falls short?

As for time frame - let's take it to the beginning, the dawn of WDW. Let's consider the last 30 years. If it exists, has there been a problem of short sightedness since the beginning? Have the problems just been over the past 20 years, 10 years? I'm sure everyone will have a different opinion. I'll guess that we'll get a lot of responses that say the problems started in 1986 ;).

WebmasterCricket
03-03-2003, 01:11 PM
Yes, I'm reading he other thread, so I'm far from a dumb fish taking any bait.

-But-

I'd really like to hear some position 1'ers before I open by big mouth.

JC

DisneyKidds
03-03-2003, 02:03 PM
dumb fish taking any bait.
Hmmm...............well, I've never been so insulted in my life ;). Are you implying that little 'ole me has cast a line and am just baiting?....................moi? Surely you jest :crazy:.

Ok, joking aside, this is not an attempt to bait or sucker or anything of the sort. Serious topic, serious debate. Heck, Baron asked for it ;).
I'd really like to hear some position 1'ers before I open by big mouth.
You know what I say Cricket - always let your conscience be your guide ;). I know your opinion isn't based on what anyone else has to say.

mjstaceyuofm
03-03-2003, 02:22 PM
Infrastructure can include everything from roadways and public transportation to sewers and water treatment. I'll throw this out. At a minimum, "infrastructure" includes communication, transportation, and public utilities.If this is the criteria, then my response would be that WDW HAS NOT been built haphazardly and without the proper infrastructure. There are laws and permitting issues that regulate water and wastewater systems and I'm sure a hotel/facility would not be allowed to open if the proper infrastructure wasn't met or proper permits acquired. There's too much liability involved if you start throwing laws out the door. In other words, you just can't go out and build something without having the proper infrastructure in place, even Disney... I understand that they act as their own governing body (Reedy Creek), but there are still state and federal regs and statutes that define how these types of services are provided.

I would venture that things such as water, wastewater, stormwater, electricity, phones, communication, solid waste services, etc. are all on the up and up. Roads and transportation are a different beast. Roadways are rated using a system that grades a road based on its congestion, how it flows, daily traffic, etc. A road is given a "grade" or Level of Service, LOS of A through F. A being the best, F being the worst. In most cases, roads rarely fall into the A-B category and are more often in the C-F range. Even new federal projects given money to fix roads with LOS F often times only bring them up to LOS D. There's a difference between safety and convenience. Safety issues such as bridges, blind intersections, etc… are typically fixed, but the fix may not improve the LOS. Am I making any sense to anyone out there???

Yes, I am a registered engineer in MI and FL (specifically working on transportation projects) so I do know what I'm talking about, although engineers have a reputation for being poor communicators....

These basic services or infrastructure are most likely well thought out and planned. It’s where you get into issues such as Disney’s own internal transportation system that you start to wonder about how well the “Disney Infrastructure” stacks up.

WebmasterCricket
03-03-2003, 03:00 PM
Originally posted by DisneyKidds
You know what I say Cricket - always let your conscience be your guide ;). I know your opinion isn't based on what anyone else has to say.

In fact, it's quite a departure from what most people think (I think).


Before expalining, I'll state what as of yet is not obvious. I am close to a #2. Really close. Not fully a 2, but mathmeticians would need a pretty big calculator screen to put in all the 9's nedded to make a 1.999999999999999999. I'm not a civil engeneer, but I know 2 of them. I even went to WDW for 2 days with one of them. To hear him go on about what a marvel of engerneering the roadways and "infrastructure" at WDW is, would bore you to tears. I know, I myself nearly cried and gave him the "shut up about the damn drainage ditches before I choke you to death" look more than once.

I'm not here to discuss the magical nature of an RTS bus either, so don't go there (at least with me :) ).

I am however wondering for those of you leaning toward #1 side, if you have given any thought to "Mr. Disney engineer". No, I didn't mean Imagineer, I meant engineer. Do you really believe that the infrastructure was just slapped together on a Saturday morning and made final on Sunday night? Years and years of enviornmental studies go into making an expressway on ramp. Think of how long they must have goofed around with making roads and parking lots that go through protected nature preserves, wetlands and right on by gift shops. Mind boggling!

With that said, not everything can be perfect.

I do believe that Disney should have discouraged on site driving from the day EPCOT started construction. I have always thought that an idea like the below image depicts, would have worked out much better for everyone.

http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid53/pa51f33e1106f150f7b66058f1b990c34/fc8ef6df.jpg

One big, huge, oversized world record setting parking lot!

Everyone not staying at an onsite hotel, parks that's right in the "World of Parking", no exceptions!

"Hi I'm with..."
"Parking lot"
"But I have..."
"Parking lot"
"I'm a DVC..."
"So what, parking lot"
"I need special..."
"P-A-R-K-I-N-G L-O-T"
"I'm willing to pay..."
"Oh, well I didn't realize you didn't see our Parking lot. Let me point in it's general direction for you.--->>>"

I have a few other points and complaints, but Riff Raff and Mrs. Raff along with the little Raffs need to get out of the cars!

I'll leave it at that for now. There is, of course, more to come :)

While we are on the subject, does anyone know when the first official bus was used to move people around? It wasn't from day one was it?

JC

WebmasterCricket
03-03-2003, 03:03 PM
I believe Matt posted a simmilar sentiment about Mr. Engineer before I did. Of which, he knows obvoiusly more :)

JC

mjstaceyuofm
03-03-2003, 03:09 PM
I am however wondering for those of you leaning toward #1 side, if you have given any thought to "Mr. Disney engineer". No, I didn't mean Imagineer, I meant engineer."Mr. Disney engineer" - what am I missing???? :confused:

So being an engineer, I'm kind of slow on the uptake - am I missing something or are y'all pokin' fun at me???? :p :crazy:

WebmasterCricket
03-03-2003, 03:15 PM
No Matt, not at all. I was typing my post while you were typing yours. I was not referring to you even in the slightest. I wrote it the way I did just so not confuse the real world engineers with those that Disney calls Imagineers. If I had seen your post first, I would have worded it quite differently.

I was quite happy and also surprised to see your post and mine agreed on the same basic developmental points.

JC

WebmasterCricket
03-03-2003, 03:20 PM
Unless of course you DO work for Disney :)

JC

DisneyKidds
03-03-2003, 03:22 PM
So being an engineer, I'm kind of slow on the uptake - am I missing something or are y'all pokin' fun at me????
Matt - I don't think he is poking any fun at you. In fact, I believe he is saying that you already made this very key point - that WDW infrastructure has been thru the professional wringer and has been thoroughly designed by qualified, law abiding engineers.

That leads into a comment I have to make, although I hate to make it so early. It has to do with an area where this thread is sure to go, but maybe we can answer questions about existing infrastructure before we get into it. That would be this. We can all agree that WDW infrastructure was developed and designed by engineers, probably very good engineers. What I am sure many a postiton 1er is going to say is that "That is not good enough. Disney should have found a way to make common infrastructure uncommon. Disney should have developed the super-d-duper-public-transpotation-system-of-the-future. Disney is in the business of imagineering and not engineering."

Yeah, we can and will migrate to that eventual discussion, but let's try and focus on the real, the here, the now, and the actual infrastructure that exists. Is that inadequate and haphazard? and why?

WebmasterCricket
03-03-2003, 03:28 PM
The "Shoulda-woulda-coulda's" can hang their hats at the door. "Proper" is the question on the table, and the #1's are going to be hard pressed to land a marlin on that question.


JC

WebmasterCricket
03-03-2003, 03:32 PM
DK: Was that you or me that just threw a pipe-bomb in the lake and scared all the fish away?

JC

DisneyKidds
03-03-2003, 03:39 PM
DK: Was that you or me that just threw a pipe-bomb in the lake and scared all the fish away?
Yup, if not for mj all I'd be hearing is the chirping of the Cricket(s) ;). It is early though. I thought I spotted a rare daytime Baron post, but I'm sure he'll need most of the evening to put together his dissertation on this one. I do look forward to it.

If all the 1ers can muster is the woulda-shoulda's I don't mind going there, but it will be interesting what comments we see while dispensing with reality first, if possible. I'm sure we'll hear a word or two ;).

Dznefreek
03-03-2003, 04:21 PM
Whatever "infrastructure is" So you are posing a question without knowing what you are asking.

raidermatt
03-03-2003, 04:24 PM
As far as I know, the sewers and water systems are holding up...but if anybody has any exploding toilet stories, I might change my mind.

Transportation: It sounds like you want to use a bare bones definition of what a "good transportation" system would be. A definition that would apply to any city in the country.

Under that definition, yeah, WDW's is probably fine.

Was it built haphazardly, or was has it been meticulously planned from day one, and updated as each change took place?

I have no idea. Sorry, but I have absolutely no idea how extensive the planning sessions were, and whether they used any kind of cohesive long-term strategy.

Using the above definition of an adequate transportation system, yeah, it works.

Clearly there is a significant population that thinks Disney's mass transportation options are not adequate, so they drive.

Same as any city.

So, yeah, it works. It gets people around, many guests use it and those who don't drive their cars.

Is that all you want to know?

let's try and focus on the real, the here, the now, and the actual infrastructure that exists. Is that inadequate and haphazard? and why? Adequate using what standard?

hopemax
03-03-2003, 04:29 PM
It appears we need credentials. Mine is a BS Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering, 1997.

I don't think the camp 1 or camp 2 descriptions are going to adequate for this discussion. It certainly depends on what specifically is being discussed. In some areas, such as the ones that Mr. Cricket brought up (water, sewer, power, communications), I would say 2. But there are other areas where I do think Disney has been lax, and other areas where they have overexpanded.

One of them is Disney internal transporation. When Disney entered Florida they took the position that they were going to experiment with alternative methods of moving people from point A to point B. Somewhere along the way, management has decided that they would rather let someone else do the experimenting and stick to the old standbys of buses and letting other people do the driving. And I don't think that has been or is going to be enough. Disney has already felt the effects of too few bus drivers. A guest shouldn't have to take a Mears bus to get from one park back to there hotel (I've done that, Disney was short so they contracted out).

Another area is park infrastructure. Looking at the Magic Kingdom, over the last decade, attendance has increased from 11.5 million people to 15 million people or a 30% increase. But I don't think they have done enough to make sure those 30% more people have a place to go once they enter the gate. IE. Attractions. I know that's something we've beaten to death, but I think that if Disney had done a better job of updating attractions that were falling in popularity, and actually adding a couple more attractions, we wouldn't need things like Fastpass (another topic that has been beaten to death). And if Disney felt they couldn't fund those updates because they had to pay for MGM, Animal Kingdom water parks, resorts etc. Then yes, Disney expanded too fast. My biggest concern of adding something like Aladdin's Magic Carpets is that it's money that could have been used to finance a "people soaker," something with a high capacity to handle those 30% more guests that I think that park desperately needs.

But until we can zero in on what specifically DK wants to talk about, I don't know what else I should say.

DisneyKidds
03-03-2003, 04:31 PM
So you are posing a question without knowing what you are asking.
No, I know exactly what I am asking. The "whatever it is" bit was just a way of saying "before we talk about what to include in infrastucture for purposes of this discussion". Do you like that better?

hopemax
03-03-2003, 04:36 PM
Matt brought up exploding toilet stories. This question asked specifically about WDW. But at Disneyland in fall/winter 2001 they had to do an emergency replacement of the Fantasyland sewer system. I have a friend who is a civil contractor for the Navy (subs) and she had been worried about that sewer system for years and even left comments at city hall.

mjstaceyuofm
03-03-2003, 04:44 PM
An emergency replacement sounds like a sewer failure, not necessarily a haphazard growth issue. Sewers do collapse. I've seen it happen before. It may not be a capacity issue, but more of an age/material issue.

The story described at DL sounds like a case of poor maintenance. Communities (or in this case, a large facility - i.e. DL or WDW) should be doing routine televising of their sewers to check for deficiencies. Let's hope this is not the case in WDW. Although there's no reason to indicate they are doing routine maintenance on their sewers....

WebmasterCricket
03-03-2003, 04:44 PM
Originally posted by raidermatt
Adequate using what standard?

Does it matter? Would your answer change? Is there a standard?

JC

DisneyKidds
03-03-2003, 04:47 PM
Adequate using what standard?
RM - that would be ASTM 3.575 Section 4, Subsection 4.5.......................I don't know :crazy:. I don't know that there is a measureable standard many of us would understand. Try this standard on for size - does the WDW transportation system allow people to move in an efficient and effective manner?
Is that all you want to know?
Yes, you did answer the first question. You feel that WDW infrastructure, as designed, is adequate as general public transportation systems go. You can pass go and collect your $200 ;). You are now allowed to discuss how the WDW public transportation systems should have been designed another way :).

DisneyKidds
03-03-2003, 04:53 PM
But until we can zero in on what specifically DK wants to talk about I suppose that remains to be seen to an extent. You see, the subject of this thread is a direct quote from another of our friendly posters. We'll see where it takes us. I'm just trying to facilitate a discussion on that subject. Your post was a good start.

wdw4us2
03-03-2003, 05:23 PM
I don't think I feel aligned with either position 1 or 2. I'm somewhere in between.

I think the infrastructure regarding the roadways of WDW is problematic as things now stand. I don't believe the original intention of WDW planners was to have their roadways clogged with buses for the resorts. The monorail should have been expanded years ago while the Disney Co. was still flush with cash during the 1990's. They instead chose to keep adding buses for each new resort they opened. If the monorail had been expanded to some of the resorts, I don't think you would see the road congestion that currently exists.

DisneyKidds
03-03-2003, 05:29 PM
I don't think I feel aligned with either position 1 or 2. I'm somewhere in between.
I figure most will be. I provided 1 and 2 as a way to frame out the issue. Those are the extremes. While there will be a few who might align themselves with 1 or 2, the majority of people will probably fall somewhere in the middle.

WebmasterCricket
03-03-2003, 05:31 PM
Originally posted by wdw4us2
I don't believe the original intention of WDW planners was to have their roadways clogged with buses for the resorts.

If people used the busses, there would be far less congestion. It's not the busses causing the jam-ups, it's all the rental cars.

JC

hopemax
03-03-2003, 05:38 PM
If people used the busses, there would be far less congestion. It's not the busses causing the jam-ups, it's all the rental cars.

So the question is: How do you get people out of rental cars?

And when your trying to get to your room at the All-Stars, from your 8pm priority seating at 1900 Park Fair, and the buses stopped running from the MK at 8PM because the park closed at 7PM, and your facing a ride to DD, perhaps it's better to just hop in that rental car.

Which points to whether Disney's transportation system is adequate serving the needs of it's guests.

raidermatt
03-03-2003, 05:46 PM
Does it matter? Yes.
Would your answer change? Possibly.Is there a standard? I hope so. How can you answer whether something is well done without definining what "well done" means?

You feel that WDW infrastructure, as designed, is adequate as general public transportation systems go.Hey, a successful comminication! :)

Try this standard on for size - does the WDW transportation system allow people to move in an efficient and effective manner? It seems reasonably efficient. As Show points out, there are going to be times of stress, like at park closings, but the system seems to hold up reasonably well. Anyway, this stress is more the result of closing the park with an event than anything else, which isn't really an infrastructure issue. Changing this practice could alleviate a lot of frustration at closing time...

Effectiveness is another issue. In the sense that it allows people to move about, it does pretty well. Though the difficulty in getting from resort to resort is inexcuseable. I would be embarassed to tell a guest that they should call a cab rather than take Disney transportation, yet this is what you are told because its true. If nothing else, this needs to be corrected.

But really, what should the effect be? Is it only to get somebody from A to B? Or does something like the Monorail add value over a bus, assuming equal trip time? (Before I'm accuesed of being a Socialist, added value equals increased demand, which translates into increased revenue, either through increased volume or higher prices)

I think the transportation system should be a "part of the Magic", and in this area, it could be a lot better. We've been through this before, and this does not necessarily mean an expanded Monorail line, so there's no need to start pulling out construction cost figures. (and if somebody does, make sure you do a full impact analysis that at least includes the projected revenue increase, the impact of less parking space needed per guest, ...)

Maybe it is as simple as an all inclusive Monorail system with adjusted hubs, or maybe that's only a piece of it. Boats can play a part. But more of the same busses, or even "cleaner" busses, are not the best answer. (Though I think it was Scoop who suggested some kind of double-decker bus, which at least has some uniqueness to it...).

I'm not a transportation engineer, or any kind of engineer for that matter. Nor am I an Imagineer. So don't ask me to actually design a workable transportation system for WDW complete with a complete cost/benefit analysis to justify the capital expenditures. None of us here have access to that kind of info...or if anyone does they've been holding out...

But what I do know, is that the bus system as it stands does not really fulfill the original goal of being the modern, unique system that was intened for WDW. Maybe the Monorail is part of the answer, maybe its light rail, maybe its a people mover, or maybe its a fleet of llamas...but whatever it is, there's an opportunity that is being lost with the current system.

wdw4us2
03-03-2003, 05:47 PM
hopemax,

You're exactly right! Disney won't be able to get people out of their rental cars or their own vehicles until the transportation system at WDW is made to operate more efficiently.

BTW Mr. J. Cricket - even the WDW bus drivers will tell you there are too many Disney buses on the roadways. I have had many conversations with them while riding and most of them feel the current transportation system is lacking.

raidermatt
03-03-2003, 05:53 PM
If people used the busses, there would be far less congestion. It's not the busses causing the jam-ups, it's all the rental cars.
So the question is: How do you get people out of rental cars? Exactly. If the mass transit isn't adequate enough to convince enough people to skip the rental car, it would seem the mass transit system is not effective.

stlphil
03-03-2003, 08:04 PM
Put an occasional poster closer to position 1.

Planning for a static attendance level is not an option, since Disney is a public company and therefore must always strive to grow and increase revenue. But did they grow too fast? Perhaps. Lets divide infrastucture into four parts and take a look.

1. Water, sewers, electrical. Traditional engineering. From all accounts executed brilliantly (although I know you used to be able to swim in the lakes. Is this a symptom of an infrastructure inadequacy?)

2. Transportation- It seems that there is somewhat of a consensus this is "adequate". But is it? Walt's dream for the Florida Project (its reason for being) was that it would be a showcase for solving the infrastructure issues of cities. After a good start, WDW transportation has stumbled badly as viewed by this criterion. And the busses to me are a symptom of a bigger problem than giving up on magical transportation like the monorail. Look at a map of the property. Did they really take transportation planning into account when locating the various elements? I may be showing my ignorance here, but it doesn't seem so to me. Many of the elements seem haphazardly located. Why is Animal Kingdom so remote, or why is Blizzard Beach so isolated? Better planning could have located the elements so you didn't have to spend a gazillion dollars connecting them. A counterpoint to this is the Epcot resort area- several hotels and resort activities with easy connections to two theme parks, yet it doesn't really feel overcrowded. What we have now Worldwide is too many far flung hotels and other venues for the transportation system to handle efficiently, and thus too little incentive to use it.

3. Theme Park infrastructure- as mentioned in an earlier post, Disney really dropped the ball here. In the early 90s the policy changed so that there would be no additions at the Magic Kingdom, only replacements. I was incredulous when I heard this years ago. How can you reconcile this policy with the need for a public company to expand (increase attendance) while maintaining good show? You can't. Adding new theme parks is not the answer; you don't want to cannibalize attendance from the old parks, you want to grow them all. And MK attendance did in fact increase without the infrastructure enhancements to absorb the crowds.

4. The Infrastructure of Magic. This thread got started as a followup to another thread where some of the posters argued that the World is now too big to handle the demand for the "Magical" observation deck at the California Grille. To me this is really shortsighted thinking, "taking the easy way out". For if the infrastructure of magic was properly (ima)engineered to anticipate the larger crowds in the World, there would have been enough new magical spots created along the way to keep demand for any current spots under control. I see little of this happening; most additions are reactive and not proactive.

DVC-Landbaron
03-03-2003, 08:55 PM
Well!! Three pages and we still haven’t settled on what we’re going to talk about? Mr. Kidds!! My hat’s off to you!! This is your best confusion to date!!The "Shoulda-woulda-coulda's" can hang their hats at the door. "Proper" is the question on the table, and the #1's are going to be hard pressed to land a marlin on that question.Is this what we’re talking about? If so…. I will not participate. Next thread please!!!

If this is not the subject "on the table" then I will have to ponder. But as usual Mr. Matt and the wonderful Hopemax certainly have hit the mark. And did you get a load of that “occasional poster” stlphil!!! WOW!!! Only 19 posts to his/her credit and already someone who “Gets It”!!!

SnackyStacky
03-03-2003, 09:22 PM
I have absolutely NO engineering credentials, so I really am clueless as to most aspects of infrastructure.

However, as a tourist there, I can say that I don't believe that the roadways are very efficient. At all.

The only way you know where you're going is the signage. They've done a very good job with the signs. I've never gotten lost. BUT, I have found myself drifting lanes because I'm paying more attention to signs than to the road. There's no driving directions to get to the parks. Whenever I'd ask, they'd tell me to just follow the signs. I've never had an accident because I go in the off-season, but during peak season, I'd have to imagine it's nuts!

And why am I using my car in the first place? Because I can park hop (meaning leave the gates at Park A and be inside Park B) in about 20 minutes. Whereas with Disney transportation, it takes at LEAST 45 minutes. The only exception is the Magic Kingdom because of the ferry or monorail to and from the TTC. But if you go from one park to the next, they take you to the TTC, right?

Anyway, my point is, that I find their public transportation inadequate, and their roadways....not inadequate, but misused? Maybe?

raidermatt
03-03-2003, 09:37 PM
I didn't really address non-transportation infrastructure, but stlphil did a great job with these two pieces:

Theme Park infrastructure- as mentioned in an earlier post, Disney really dropped the ball here. In the early 90s the policy changed so that there would be no additions at the Magic Kingdom, only replacements...How can you reconcile this policy with the need for a public company to expand (increase attendance) while maintaining good show? You can't. Adding new theme parks is not the answer; you don't want to cannibalize attendance from the old parks, you want to grow them all. And MK attendance did in fact increase without the infrastructure enhancements to absorb the crowds. Besides only doing replacements, there are outright closures with NO replacement. Less attractions for more people... Eventually this will bite you on the rump. Maybe "eventually" is now?

The Infrastructure of Magic. This thread got started as a followup to another thread where some of the posters argued that the World is now too big to handle the demand for the "Magical" observation deck at the California Grille. To me this is really shortsighted thinking, "taking the easy way out". For if the infrastructure of magic was properly (ima)engineered to anticipate the larger crowds in the World, there would have been enough new magical spots created along the way to keep demand for any current spots under control. I see little of this happening; most additions are reactive and not proactive. Yes, and perhaps a better example is Cindy's breakfast. Disney was fine with the fact that most who wanted to experience this never got the chance. Only when a non-affiliated website started working Disney's reservation system for profit did Disney react by changing the reservation policy, and adding a second Princess meal.

OnWithTheShow
03-04-2003, 12:09 AM
I would love to see some more alternative (non-bus) transportation but I think it must be closely examined before anything is implemented. For example in the Epcot Resort Area where you have boat transportation to two parks, it takes a RIDICULOUS amount of time to travel anywhere. To get by boat from Disney-MGM Studios to Epcot takes nearly an hour, whereas I can walk from the Studios to Epcot in exactly 21 minutes. (i did actually time it). Also while the monorail works well for the close knit MK resorts and the nonstop haul to Epcot it may be a much slower process on a larger scale with more stops, perhaps an upgraded monorail more like an automated city train with shorter stops.

The lake problem is something that is affecting all of central Florida and it is bacterial growth due to high temperatures and lack of precipitation. As Voice said these problems MAY be reduced by water treatment plants but are they really worth the near 70 million construction cost and 2 million annual operating expense so a few guests at Poly and Grand Floridian can swim in the lake when both resorts have beautiful pools?

As for sewage and stuff, I have often seen maintenance being done in that area and I know storm run-off and drainage are always being worked on and improved. WDW is a world leader in water conservation techniques which I can post more about if anyone is interested.

As I already posted about the roads, I have seldom encountered traffic except at park closing, special events (ie WDW Marathon), and at Hotel Plaza Blvd. The hotel plaza Blvd problem was recently solved, and I must say in brillant fashion, you would now never know the extent of the traffic that used to plague the area. As for traffic lights they are there to slow traffic and ensure safety as well as balance flow between cross streets not to inconveinence you. It is seldom that I find myself waiting more than one traffic light cycle at any light.

raidermatt
03-04-2003, 12:44 AM
I would love to see some more alternative (non-bus) transportation but I think it must be closely examined before anything is implemented. Absolute agreement here. That's why I'm not asking for specific types of transportation.

For example in the Epcot Resort Area where you have boat transportation to two parks, it takes a RIDICULOUS amount of time to travel anywhere. To get by boat from Disney-MGM Studios to Epcot takes nearly an hour, whereas I can walk from the Studios to Epcot in exactly 21 minutes. I think if you get to the boat dock as a boat is about to leave, it won't take an hour, but I agree it takes a lot longer than 21 minutes. And of course you can't always get to the boat dock at the right time either.

I think this does illustrate a point. Everyone seems to know that the boats are not the fastet route, due to the multiple stops around the lake. (though a lot of it depends on which resort you are at and to which park you are going). But doesn't the fact that many people take the boats anyway say something about the popularity of alternative methods of transportation?

Since few of us ride ferries to work, a boat ride is a unique and pleasant way to get around, so we'll sacrifice a few minutes. Most guests are much less forgiving of the busses.

So certainly I think speed is a component of what WDW transportation should be, but I don't think its necessarily the "critical path" component. In other words, the fastest method will not always be the best method. For instance, offer a boat that takes 20 minutes, or a bus that takes 18 and many, if not most, will still take the boat. Of course guests would not want to sacrifice TOO much time.

DisneyKidds
03-04-2003, 02:45 AM
Is this what we’re talking about?
You tell me. You were the inspiration for this thread. The subject matter is a direct quote of yours (except you didn't pose a question, you made a statement of fact that WDW has been all that). Here is your stage to elaborate. Here is your chance to talk about that. After all, you did say you wanted to talk about it.

I suppose this thread will ultimately address two questions. The first would have to be the very question at hand. Has WDW grown without the proper infrastructure? That has to involve discussing what currently exists, how it was implemented, and where you feel it's inadequacies lie. Will you talk about that?

The second question would be how WDW should have grown and how the infrastructure should be different. However, can we really talk about this before we talk about that first question?

vernon
03-04-2003, 05:19 AM
In general I would say most of the "infrastructure" ( water, sewers, gas, electrics and roads ) seem well thought and laid out. IMHO the main drawback is the current transportation system. As WDW has grown the bus and road system is stretched to breaking point, coupled with society becoming more aware and concerned about the damage to the environment I think a whole new mindset is needed to bring the transport system up to date. IMHO disney knows this is true, but the internal divisions within the company make it difficult to cost and fund such a large undertaking.
The best "new" system would be one that links ALL the hotels to ALL the attractions The attractions benefit because they would gain customers if it was easier to visit them and the hotels benefit from 1) the extra cost of staying on site could be easier to justify with the reduced need to rent a car and 2) because more people would travel resort to resort, eating at those resorts while checking out resorts other than those they were staying at. IMHO all parties know they would probably benefit from such a system, they'd rather someone else pay for it.

Upgrading the transportation system is not going to be cheap ( and never would have been) in those situations it's always likley that delays will occur as people argue about who benefits the most and who should fund it, the rest of the set up is outstanding, IMHO

crusader
03-04-2003, 07:44 AM
In keeping with the 4-part theme stlphil so brilliantly divided for this debate I also have no real complaints about part 1. Simply because I have yet to experience any problems in this area.

I was always curious though why you were only able to swim at the Ft Wilderness beach in the lagoon and at no other resort.

There would be a potential for problems though if the construction streamlining which was evident in building AK really meant cutting significant corners to beat the opening of IOA.

The transportation system was bound to take a few shots. I disagree that it is inadequate. We live in the age of instant gratification and a WDW trip seems to bring out that kamikaze mentality within alot of guests. Any downtime in waiting for a bus or boat disrupts their routine and heightens the stress level - which ultimately leads to complaining. If there really was the relax and enjoy attitude, taking a 20 minute ride to get somewhere wouldn't be an issue. Afterall this was supposed to be a vacation.

The other two areas I agree with.

betterlatethannever
03-04-2003, 07:57 AM
Originally posted by OnWithTheShow


As for sewage and stuff, I have often seen maintenance being done in that area and I know storm run-off and drainage are always being worked on and improved. WDW is a world leader in water conservation techniques which I can post more about if anyone is interested.

Yes, I am very interested. I have heard that there are behind the scenes tours of these facilities. I haven't seen any information in guidebooks, websites, etc. Are the tours just for groups associated with conventions?

Ed

DisneyKidds
03-04-2003, 08:42 AM
OK, time for some catching up.
If people used the busses, there would be far less congestion. It's not the busses causing the jam-ups, it's all the rental cars.
I really have to ask, what jam-ups :confused:. I have to say, we always have a car and we drive everywhere. Morning, noon, midnight – you name the hour and I have driven the roads. I have never been in what I would call “traffic” or a “jam-up”. Ok, I take that back. Right after the close of the MK you might actually get “stuck” in a couple of minutes of “traffic” out where a few of the roads intersect with I-4, but that isn’t what we are talking about. The one area that many talk about being most notorious is over by DTD and the Hotel Plaza Blvd intersection. Maybe others have had different experiences, but in my experience it is not bad over there. I have never been in a big back up. Sure, maybe you get stopped at a light and there are 6 to 10 cars in front of you, but traffic? I wouldn’t call that traffic. You get thru when the light turns green, or (gasp) you wait a minute and a half for the next one. It has gotten even better since they re-did the intersection over there. Where are the miles long jam-ups? Where are people getting stuck in a 5 minute back up, much less a longer one?
And when your trying to get to your room at the All-Stars, from your 8pm priority seating at 1900 Park Fair, and the buses stopped running from the MK at 8PM because the park closed at 7PM, and your facing a ride to DD, perhaps it's better to just hop in that rental car.
Hope has hit on the one true inadequacy in the WDW transportation system, IMHO. Resort to resort transportation sucks. Disney should have done something to allow guests to move between resorts without having to make multiple connections that can take an hour plus. Other than that, while we don’t use it, the bus system seems to be designed well. Earlier someone commented on how the fact that Disney says you should allow an hour to go three miles is a clear example of how bad the system is. In a way it might be, because there are some routes where that may be the case – see Hope’s example above. However, to use that example as being indicative of the entire system is unfair. To go those three miles, most trips will last no more than 20 minutes. Furthermore, once you hit the road there will be no delays that add time to the trip. The majority of those 20 minutes will be making stops. If you happen to just miss a bus your trip could be a little longer. Yes, there will be exceptions, but the system as designed isn’t terrible, at least not for resort to park movement.
But really, what should the effect be? Is it only to get somebody from A to B?
Yes, Matt – I know where you are going. The journey should be just as Magical as the destination. I’m sure we’ll get deep into that discussion before too long ;).
Exactly. If the mass transit isn't adequate enough to convince enough people to skip the rental car, it would seem the mass transit system is not effective.
I’m not so sure this is a completely true statement. No matter how great the WDW transportation system is or becomes, there is always going to be a large contingent of people who want to have their own wheels. WDW transportation isn’t going to get you to IOA for the day. WDW transportation isn’t going to get you to Goodings or Publix for groceries. WDW transportation isn’t going to get you to the hospital or clinic should you become ill. There are lots of reasons, other than the inexcusable amount of time it can take to go resort to resort, that people rent cars that cannot be “fixed”. There are some people who don’t want to be bothered driving on vacation. A 20 minute trip from your resort to the AK or MGM is very reasonable. However, if someone can do it in 10 minutes in their car, damn-nab bit they are going to do it.
And the busses to me are a symptom of a bigger problem than giving up on magical transportation like the monorail.
Not to fear, I’m sure this topic will consume this discussion in fairly short order, but let’s look at a couple other things first.
Look at a map of the property. Did they really take transportation planning into account when locating the various elements? I may be showing my ignorance here, but it doesn't seem so to me. Many of the elements seem haphazardly located. Why is Animal Kingdom so remote, or why is Blizzard Beach so isolated? Better planning could have located the elements so you didn't have to spend a gazillion dollars connecting them.
I honestly believe there is a reason that Walt procured all the land he did. Yes, he wanted to assure that WDW would never be subject to urban attack with unattractive development just outside the berm. However, did he need to purchase all the land he did to achieve that goal? I don’t believe so. On the contrary, all that land was purchased to provide room to expand. One can hardly fault Disney for doing that. As for aligning venues better, there is only so much you can do in a given area before you have to move out. Furthermore, I don’t find BB all that isolated. It is less than a mile down the road from MGM, it is right across the street from Coronado Springs, and it is probably no more than a quarter mile from the All Stars. Likewise AK and the AKL. First off, AK needed huge tracts of land and probably couldn’t be placed in proximity to most other venues. Also, the combination of AK and AKL will serve to help develop that corner of the property so that it isn’t viewed as “remote” in the future. I’m sure they paid a lot of people a lot of money to determine land use plans and where new venues would best be located, and I’m sure this was done with an eye on the long term.
Theme Park infrastructure
Yes, it was mentioned earlier, and is an interesting topic. I guess it is one of the things we spend most of our time talking about around here, although we never really think of it in terms of infrastructure. But it is, and I’ll have to give that angle some thought.
For if the infrastructure of magic was properly (ima)engineered to anticipate the larger crowds in the World, there would have been enough new magical spots created along the way to keep demand for any current spots under control. I see little of this happening.
But there are lots of other Magical spots, spots that didn’t exist in 1972. However, that doesn’t keep people from learning about and going to the old ones. Is someone going to say “Hey, I heard about this cool spot to watch the fireworks over at the CR, but that last spot we happened upon and visited was so Magical that I’ll leave that CR thing to other people”? I don’t think so.
But as usual Mr. Matt and the wonderful Hopemax certainly have hit the mark.
Baron, I hope you have more than the mark Hope and Matt have hit. They make good points, but what are they? 1) Resort to Resort transportation stinks, and 2) WDW should have designed more magical transportation. I have to say, the fact that WDW transportation is not more magical does not, in and of itself, make the existing transportation infrastructure inadequate. Furthermore, if resort to resort is the only knock, can we claim the entire system is kaput? I know you have more to say on the subject.

WebmasterCricket
03-04-2003, 11:46 AM
And when your trying to get to your room at the All-Stars, from your 8pm priority seating at 1900 Park Fair, and the buses stopped running from the MK at 8PM because the park closed at 7PM, and your facing a ride to DD, perhaps it's better to just hop in that rental car.

It’s not that you don’t have options, you just are not willing to utilize those options, and by doing so, become part of the problem. If you choose to make a late PS at 1900PF, you (hopefully) know ahead of time that your transportation options are cut drastically. Where else on earth are you given more transportation options than WDW? Take a trip to Vegas and tell me how their complimentary bus system operates. Disney is at least providing you an option.

Though the difficulty in getting from resort to resort is inexcuseable. I would be embarassed to tell a guest that they should call a cab rather than take Disney transportation, yet this is what you are told because its true. If nothing else, this needs to be corrected.

What’s so difficult or inexcusable about it? The length of time it takes to get from point a-b? Why would you be embarrassed? This is free, world-class transportation as is like it or not.

BTW Mr. J. Cricket - even the WDW bus drivers will tell you there are too many Disney buses on the roadways. I have had many conversations with them while riding and most of them feel the current transportation system is lacking.

Whenever I want a cake, I call a plumber. Since plumbers may eat cake, they MUST be experts in their construction.
Not.
Nothing against the hard working drivers, but logistical engineers they are not.

Exactly. If the mass transit isn't adequate enough to convince enough people to skip the rental car, it would seem the mass transit system is not effective.

It’s the perception of inadequacy that causes confusion. True inadequacy would be a whole other issue. It IS adequate, guests just want more, faster.

However, as a tourist there, I can say that I don't believe that the roadways are very efficient. At all.

Why? What about them is not efficient?

The only way you know where you're going is the signage. They've done a very good job with the signs. I've never gotten lost. BUT, I have found myself drifting lanes because I'm paying more attention to signs than to the road. There's no driving directions to get to the parks. Whenever I'd ask, they'd tell me to just follow the signs. I've never had an accident because I go in the off-season, but during peak season, I'd have to imagine it's nuts!

I took a 2-hour survey with a presentation about WDW road signs (at EPCOT). This was the kind of survey that you could give your thoughts on and not those that you pick from poor choices a-d. I had to give them very high marks for the signs. Some of the questions were aimed about concentration on either street “names” or resort “areas”. It was an overwhelming sway to the “area” style of signage rather than the street names due to exactly what you are stating. They knew that people would read the signs for too long and slap into the car in front of them. They designed the length and content to reduce this to a minimum (notice they didn’t say remove it altogether? That always made me chuckle :) ). The signs at WDW are not only intuitive, but painstakingly placed so as to give maximum viewing area and minimal reading time. I can't say they all are like that, but the vast majority are.

And why am I using my car in the first place? Because I can park hop (meaning leave the gates at Park A and be inside Park B) in about 20 minutes. Whereas with Disney transportation, it takes at LEAST 45 minutes. The only exception is the Magic Kingdom because of the ferry or monorail to and from the TTC. But if you go from one park to the next, they take you to the TTC, right?

Catch 22. It takes the busses longer to navigate a-b because of all the other cars. The longer the busses take, the more cars show up, on and on and on…

I think there is another alternative to your TTC situation here, but you don’t want to hear it, it involves <sup>gasp</sup> a bus :)

Besides only doing replacements, there are outright closures with NO replacement. Less attractions for more people... Eventually this will bite you on the rump. Maybe "eventually" is now?

I love it when you speak the gospel Matt :) Tell me more, tell me more about the rump biting :)

perhaps an upgraded monorail more like an automated city train with shorter stops.

Are you saying this is better than busses??? If so, how?

The transportation system was bound to take a few shots. I disagree that it is inadequate. We live in the age of instant gratification and a WDW trip seems to bring out that kamikaze mentality within alot of guests. Any downtime in waiting for a bus or boat disrupts their routine and heightens the stress level - which ultimately leads to complaining. If there really was the relax and enjoy attitude, taking a 20 minute ride to get somewhere wouldn't be an issue. Afterall this was supposed to be a vacation

Clap…clap…clap! Never a truer word has been spoken. This is one of the first and most important bits I give to new visitors that ask me for advice.

JC

raidermatt
03-04-2003, 12:41 PM
I really have to ask, what jam-ups We stick with the busses/boats/monorails, and we try to avoid peak times. For instance, when Fantasmic ends, we don't head for the exit, we stroll down the boulevards for a bit, or check out the shops. However, the one time we did try to go straight to DD after Fantasmic, we waited in a very long line for a bus, then the trip took about 45 minutes. Again, the cause of this is closing the park with an event, but that's Disney's choice, and if they are going to do this, they really should be able to handle it. After all, even if you forget the concept of guest satisfaction, we aren't spending any money at DD if we are sitting on a bus.

Otherwise, during non-peak times, we haven't seen much in the way of traffic jams. Of course, this may depend on your definition of a traffic jam.

Hope has hit on the one true inadequacy in the WDW transportation system, IMHO. Resort to resort transportation sucks. Its not the ONE true inadequacy, but it is an inadequacy.
I’m not so sure this is a completely true statement. No matter how great the WDW transportation system is or becomes, there is always going to be a large contingent of people who want to have their own wheels. True, but currently, there is also a large contingent that drive because they just don't like WDW's transportation

raidermatt
03-04-2003, 12:54 PM
It’s not that you don’t have options, you just are not willing to utilize those options, and by doing so, become part of the problem.
It’s the perception of inadequacy that causes confusion. True inadequacy would be a whole other issue. It IS adequate, guests just want more, faster.
I think there is another alternative to your TTC situation here, but you don’t want to hear it, it involves gasp a bus
Any downtime in waiting for a bus or boat disrupts their routine and heightens the stress level - which ultimately leads to complaining. If there really was the relax and enjoy attitude, taking a 20 minute ride to get somewhere wouldn't be an issue.

Rather than include these quotes in my last post, I decided to put them in a separate post because they all pertain to one central issue. Further, this issue may actually be central to many of the differences we find in our opinions regarding WDW and Disney in general.

I think there are more quotes I could pull just from this thread, but the above should be enough...

What do all of these quotes have in common?

They actually blame the customer for the problem.

Forget Walt's philosophy for a minute...let's just talk about good customer service and customer relations. If your offerings are perceived by your customers as inadequate, it does not matter if YOU think they are adequate. Customer perception is the same as reality. Therefore your offerings ARE inadequate.

End of story.

Any company that is strong in customer service will be able to explain this concept, and further, they realize they must act on it, not complain about the customers and their "warped expectations".

Further, we are talking about the Walt Disney Company...a company that is supposed to be a WORLD CLASS customer service organization.

Does anybody really think that any of the above quotes belong in any conversation Disney has about their offerings?

DisneyKidds
03-04-2003, 12:57 PM
Its not the ONE true inadequacy, but it is an inadequacy.
Sorry, IMHO it is the ONE true inadequacy ;).
True, but currently, there is also a large contingent that drive because they just don't like WDW's transportation
True, but I believe there was an "if you build it, they will come" implication there, and that may be true for some, but not all. I'd venture a guess that a lot of peole would continue to drive, even if some of the kinks were worked out of the WDW public transportation system.

As for jam-ups, I believe JC was referring to traffic jam-ups, not people jam-ups at the bus stations. I have seen some of those lines :earseek:. Not sure I'd call them a true inadequacy, but maybe a drawback ;).

WebmasterCricket
03-04-2003, 01:06 PM
Originally posted by DisneyKidds
As for jam-ups, I believe JC was referring to traffic jam-ups, not people jam-ups at the bus stations.

Correct!

The people jam-ups are a Pavlovian effect of people, not an inadequacy of infrastructure. Why people stand in lines for a bus is beyond me, especially when you are aware ahead of time there is going to be a line.

JC

DisneyKidds
03-04-2003, 01:07 PM
Forget Walt's philosophy for a minute...let's just talk about good customer service and customer relations. If your offerings are perceived by your customers as inadequate, it does not matter if YOU think they are adequate. Customer perception is the same as reality. Therefore your offerings ARE inadequate.
Matt, I honestly believe there are limits to how far you can take this thinking, even for a world class organization like Disney. You may say that is un-Walt-like, but face it - there are things Walt would have liked to have done that he didn't because he even realized there were limits to what could be done. I'm not saying that Disney should look to limit themselves as an easy excuse(which they may have done with a few issues over the years), but they have to be realistic, even though realistic for Disney should be beyond what most other companies would do.

hopemax
03-04-2003, 01:09 PM
It’s not that you don’t have options, you just are not willing to utilize those options, and by doing so, become part of the problem. If you choose to make a late PS at 1900PF, you (hopefully) know ahead of time that your transportation options are cut drastically.

You're shifting the debate.

The question was, "Why do people use rental cars?" Or for that matter, "Why do people not use Disney transportation?"

What is your answer to the question?

Of course it might be interesting to see what happens if guests did stop taking advantage of late night offerings like dining and entertainment because they choose not to drive and become part of the "problem." Wonder how fast Disney's transporation system would change once that revenue stream declined.

raidermatt
03-04-2003, 01:24 PM
True, but I believe there was an "if you build it, they will come" implication there, and that may be true for some, but not all. No argument from me. Nothing will convince everyone to forget the car, but that doesn't mean the situation cannot or should not be improved.

As for jam-ups, I believe JC was referring to traffic jam-ups, not people jam-ups at the bus stations. Sorry I didn't make this clear enough, but besides the wait for a bus, the trip to DD, which was a direct route, took 45 minutes. That only happens if there is a traffic problem.

The people jam-ups are a Pavlovian effect of people, not an inadequacy of infrastructure. Why people stand in lines for a bus is beyond me, especially when you are aware ahead of time there is going to be a line. Again, blame the customers for the problem. Look, the park is CLOSED, the shows are OVER. Most people will take this as a cue to LEAVE. Call them the equivalent of German Shephards if you want, but those doggies are Disney's meal ticket.

Matt, I honestly believe there are limits to how far you can take this thinking, even for a world class organization like Disney. You may say that is un-Walt-like, but face it - there are things Walt would have liked to have done that he didn't because he even realized there were limits to what could be done. That's a nice statement of reality, but it in no way proves that the current transportation system is the limit of what can be done.

Are you honestly saying that the current system has reached "Walt-like" limits?

Regardless, when Walt, or any other great customer service oriented leader, comes to the conclusion that they cannot do anything to improve the situation, they still NEVER blame the customer for their expectations.

If they do, you can rest assured they have not explored what is truly possible and are instead taking the easy way out. Its a common course of action from common companies.

DisneyKidds
03-04-2003, 02:07 PM
Sorry I didn't make this clear enough, but besides the wait for a bus, the trip to DD, which was a direct route, took 45 minutes. That only happens if there is a traffic problem.
Matt, do you think that 45 minute trip was typical, or was that some kind of exception? There are always going to be exceptions, no matter how good the system is. There are going to be accidents and emergencies, even if you find a way to have less cars on the road. Really, given the relatively short, straight shot ride from MGM to DD, traffic would have had to crawled almost the whole way. I doubt you will find a guest who has drivn around WDW as much as I have (Easter, Christmas, Summer, Memorial Day, President's Day, as well as tons of off season dates) and I have never seen that. Perhaps there was some back-up getting out of the MGM parking lot? Even if that was the problem - Disney should find a way to avoid it. However, I still don't think there is overcrowding on the roadways in general.
That's a nice statement of reality, but it in no way proves that the current transportation system is the limit of what can be done.
No, it doesn't - and I don't believe that it has reached that limit. However, neither does having some guests who are unhappy prove that the system is inadequate.

raidermatt
03-04-2003, 02:25 PM
Matt, do you think that 45 minute trip was typical, or was that some kind of exception? hjkghjkghj,gfhj

That was me banging my head on the keyboard.

As I said, we typically avoid the flow of the crowds. In other words, if the herd is heading to the bus depot, we find something else to do. So for us, it is a definite exception.

I have no idea if its common at closing time, but I would suspect it is fairly common. Again, the result of closing the park with an event and not having the transportation infrastucture to support that practice. Maybe its only at "busy times", like Summer and holidays. Even so, it would impact a lot of people.

No, it doesn't - and I don't believe that it has reached that limit. However, neither does having some guests who are unhappy prove that the system is inadequate. Considering that the WDW resort is in the business of serving its guests, then I would say unhappy guests is a darn good measurement. Of course measuring how many guests are currently unhappy, and further, how many would be HAPPIER with a more robust system is the tricky part. Nonetheless, guest satisfaction is the key, after safety is addressed of course.

DisneyKidds
03-04-2003, 02:53 PM
That was me banging my head on the keyboard.
No need for head banging. I realize it isn't typical for YOU, I was asking if you think it is typical in general. In my experience, I haven't found that to be the case, but who knows?

hgkhgkhgkkjkgdkjd

That was me banging my head on the keyboard. Yes, guest satisfaction is the key. However, and this is not intended to "blame the guest", do you believe there is ANY system that will keep EVERY guest happy? I don't.

hopemax
03-04-2003, 03:03 PM
Before Matt kills himself with computer equipment, why doesn't someone go grab Tyler off the Transportation board. If anyone can comment on the traffic situation at Disney, certainly it would be a WDW bus driver.

WebmasterCricket
03-04-2003, 03:33 PM
Originally posted by raidermatt
They actually blame the customer for the problem.

That's right, in fact in this case, I’m not blaming the customer for the problem, but actually saying the customer IS part of the problem. The customer in this case is accomplishing a self-fulfilling prophecy of bad transit conditions. Guests get a method of transportation. It's good enough if used properly.

Picture it this way.

Hell hath frozen over and all the busses are gone. Everyone has to get everywhere on their own just like everywhere else on earth. Has Disney done us a service or disservice? Are you happier or not?


Originally posted by raidermatt
Does anybody really think that any of the above quotes belong in any conversation Disney has about their offerings?

Yeah, I do. That's why I wrote them.

So the question is: How do you get people out of rental cars?

And when your trying to get to your room at the All-Stars, from your 8pm priority seating at 1900 Park Fair, and the buses stopped running from the MK at 8PM because the park closed at 7PM, and your facing a ride to DD, perhaps it's better to just hop in that rental car.
The question was, "Why do people use rental cars?" Or for that matter, "Why do people not use Disney transportation?"

What is your answer to the question?

Yes, you are right, I only fielded the part after “and”. To answer the actual question given, I’ll go back to my original post here and have you look at the image.

Of course it might be interesting to see what happens if guests did stop taking advantage of late night offerings like dining and entertainment because they choose not to drive and become part of the "problem." Wonder how fast Disney's transporation system would change once that revenue stream declined.

I do have to say that the lack of direct transport to BW is a shortcoming. If they are marketing it as an onsite, late night venue, they better make sure you can get to/from it without any extraordinary hassles.

Sorry I didn't make this clear enough, but besides the wait for a bus, the trip to DD, which was a direct route, took 45 minutes. That only happens if there is a traffic problem.

Give me a ballpark guess as to the bus to car ratio during this traffic problem if you would please. I’m betting it was mostly cars. There is NO EXCUSE for traffic jams short of an accident.

-but-

Don’t blame Disney for the jams just because it’s their roads though. The upset customer on the bus sees it as a Disney problem when in most cases it’s the cars causing it, not the official transports. How is the customer right in this case?

Look, the park is CLOSED, the shows are OVER. Most people will take this as a cue to LEAVE. Call them the equivalent of German Shephards if you want, but those doggies are Disney's meal ticket.

Everyone should be out buying plush and pins Matt! You know that :) The shops are open late. They take most forms of payment.

That's a nice statement of reality, but it in no way proves that the current transportation system is the limit of what can be done.

Are you honestly saying that the current system has reached "Walt-like" limits?

I don’t think it’s even close to its limits, but that has nothing to do with “adequate”.

hjkghjkghj,gfhj

That was me banging my head on the keyboard.

Dude, that can’t be good for the keys! :)

Of course measuring how many guests are currently unhappy, and further, how many would be HAPPIER with a more robust system is the tricky part.

The second part of that is easy! 100% I don’t even need an official survey. The truly tricky part is whether or not that sort of system is possible.

Before Matt kills himself with computer equipment, why doesn't someone go grab Tyler off the Transportation board. If anyone can comment on the traffic situation at Disney, certainly it would be a WDW bus driver.
I would be honored to hear from him again. He always has great insight into the bus system. I love when he sets people, including me straight on bus issues.

JC

DisneyKidds
03-04-2003, 03:48 PM
I would be honored to hear from him again.
I've reached out to him on the transportation board. Maybe he'll drop by once he see we have a discussion going that involves the busses ;).

crusader
03-04-2003, 04:03 PM
If your offerings are perceived by your customers as inadequate, it does not matter if YOU think they are adequate. Customer perception is the same as reality. Therefore your offerings ARE inadequate.

What syllogism! I thought good customer service was when you knew the customer was wrong, you were not going to change your policy to accomodate them because they were wrong, but you handled them in such a way that they left with a sense of gratification.

If a company engaged in the practice of trying to please all of the masses all of the time it would fail to meet any standard. People are ultimately impatient - they want what they want when they want it and they will not take no for an answer. This is really why problems which are seemingly minor are not tolerated. For some reason we have evolved our manner of thinking into the "me" philosophy instead of accepting what may be the best solution given the circumstances.

raidermatt
03-04-2003, 04:54 PM
Yes, guest satisfaction is the key. However, and this is not intended to "blame the guest", do you believe there is ANY system that will keep EVERY guest happy? I don't. iplliipphil[pk[

Used a different part of the keyboard this time.

Where did I say that there is a system that will keep EVERY guest happy? (Don't spend too much time, because I didn't say that).

I said that guest satisfaction is the key measurement in determining if WDW's transportation system is adequate, or efficient, or whatever term we choose to use. And, you agreed.

Great, and here's where we run into trouble, we don't really know how unhappy or happy most guests are with the system. We know some are happy, and some are unhappy. My opinion is that there would be a significant guest satisfaction benefit to using other forms of transportation, either instead of, or in conjunction with the current system of busses, boats and Monorails.

What I am SURE of is that Walt would not be safisfied with the current state of WDW's transportation system. He would demand that the talented people working for him come up with a better system. But I find very little value in bringing that up around here, because the pat response is that Walt's dead and things are different.

So since we are unable to agree on what the guiding philosophy of Disney should be, we are left to debate what guest satisfaction surveys do or don't say, whether the questions were pharased correctly, how much a foot of Monorail track costs, whether guests would pay more to stay at a WDW resort with better transportation, whether valuable plush-buying time is being lost on busses, whether guests should solve the problem themselves by taking the busses they don't like but not trying to take them when the parks close because the lines are too long and they are acting like cocker spaniels, etc, etc, etc...

raidermatt
03-04-2003, 05:03 PM
I thought good customer service was when you knew the customer was wrong, you were not going to change your policy to accomodate them because they were wrong, but you handled them in such a way that they left with a sense of gratification. That is how a good customer service representative handles a situation in which they find they are unable to give the guest that for which they are asking.

It is not, however, the guiding principle on which superior customer service is built. Good customer service looks for ways to keep the guests out of Guest Relations in the first place.

You are talking about managing expectations down to the level of what you are offering, making the customer happy. Certainly this has to be done at times, but it is a last resort, not a guiding force.

WebmasterCricket
03-04-2003, 05:19 PM
Originally posted by raidermatt
...because the lines are too long and they are acting like cocker spaniels, etc, etc, etc...

I don't believe I specified a breed.

JC

stlphil
03-04-2003, 06:43 PM
I usually wouldn't feel comfortable trying to second guess "What would Walt do?", but this case is special. Think about this- without Walt's dream to develop and showcase creative and novel transportation and other infrastruture elements, there would be no WDW. And now we are debating if the system is "adequate". How depressing!

Putting down the guests and calling them dogs or sheep (or fill in the blank with your favorite animal) for their typical patterns misses another key point. Creative design and planning doesn't just consider bricks and mortar and wheels and routes. It also considers human nature/behavior, and doesn't just work around it but uses it to advantage.

caseymaureen
03-04-2003, 08:30 PM
I didn't have enough time to read every post on this subject, but I'd like to clarify my position from the post that inspired this one...
Be careful, this is going to be a loooong one! I may have used the term infrastructure incorrectly, but I meant it in terms of human structure, of the CMs needed to run things, of the management, of the general space provided for mass groups of guests. What the correct term for that is, I'm not sure, but that is what I meant. :confused:
I felt that the problems arose in matters of crowds trying to squeeze through small areas, of no longer secret magical places (which, although no one seemed to believe it, did relate to the previous topic :p ), and of (relatively) shoddy resorts being put up just to make an extra buck and hold thousands and thousands more people. The lines at the attractions, the crowds on Main Street, the transportation system, it's all related!
Having worked at several resort food courts (POFQ, PORS, AS Sports, AKL, and last but not least, Gasparilla at the Grand) there is a major space problem. I don't particularly understand the cause of it though. When imagineers (or engineers, or whoever planned the things) built these resorts they knew, generally, how many people would be staying there. And, at least on these later resorts, they should have known peak times, etc. However, there are still major crowds. Lines back up to 50 people in length, it takes 15 minutes to get a hot dog, and then you wait in the 50 person line, orders are forgotten in the rush. It can get so crowded that you can't even move much less have a pleasant experience. Lots of problems. Management should be able to see these things coming, but, for some reason they never seem to plan for it despite the fact that it happens every morning for breakfast and around 6 every evening for dinner. And imagine being the lowly CP CM who has to explain to these guests why we're out of donuts, or why there are no empty seats. We're wondering why too!
I'll tell you straight up, from both working there and from staying there as a guest, I don't like the AS. I feel like they are a poor excuse for a Disney hotel. I feel like they are lowering their name value by letting them have anything to do with Disney. And I'm not saying this because they are lower priced resorts, because I completely understand that alot of people can't afford the prices they charge for everything else. I'm saying this because the company shouldn't have used the lower price as an excuse to build gigantic hotels (has anyone had to walk from the country music section to the lobby? Quite a distance to get some food or get to a car...I'd pity any family with young children trying to make the journey.) with minimal, off the shelf themeing, and an as far away as possible location. They built these hotels to hold huge amounts of people in one spot, people which majorly contribute to the problems elsewhere. Once again, it's a people problem. Guests really get no personal service at the All Star, plain and simple. And I assume that it will be the same at Pop Century, although I hope they make some managerial decisions and prove me wrong. I'm not saying that guests at AS and GF should have everything equal, but people are people and deserve to recieve what they pay for (and the AS prices are higher than average in the outside of Disney universe.) They shouldn't be treated like sub-par guests and be expected to take whatever bones the company will throw them.
In case you can't tell, I have a lot of very strong feelings on the state of the company :bounce: and I feel like we're justified in making criticisms. The company looks at these boards and maybe they'll actually take some of our advice. Even if they don't, what does it hurt to discuss? I understand looking at the bright side of things, but sometimes there are alot of bad things that need to be discussed too. Besides, the good things don't make for such interesting conversation. :jester:
Casey

DisneyKidds
03-05-2003, 09:17 AM
Where did I say that there is a system that will keep EVERY guest happy? (Don't spend too much time, because I didn't say that).

Maybe you didn’t MEAN to say that. Let’s look at what you did say.
If your offerings are perceived by your customers as inadequate....................your offerings ARE inadequate.
Let’s assume that a guest who feels the system is inadequate is, shall we say, unhappy. By your logic, the only way for a system to be adequate would be to have no guests who feel the system is inadequate (that would be no unhappy guests ;)).

I know, I know, you think I am being silly. But really, you have said that if guests feel your system is inadequate, it IS inadequate. Well, how many guests can feel this way until you abandon the “you can’t keep all the people happy” philosophy, and shift to the “if people feel it is inadequate, it IS inadequate” philosophy. 1? 100? 1,000? 10,000? 1%, 10%? What is it?
But I find very little value in bringing that up around here, because the pat response is that Walt's dead and things are different.

Frankly, I have no idea what Walt would do. Furthermore, I don’t resort to the “Walt’s dead” position. I like to talk about what Walt would have done. However, you are right that things have changed and it is very difficult to say what he would have done in today’s day and age. You are right, though. I think there are aspects of the current transportation system he would “fix”, but I don’t know that we would be bus free.
Good customer service looks for ways to keep the guests out of Guest Relations in the first place.
Again with these statements. You agree that no organization, no matter what they do, can keep every guest out of Guest Relation. After all, you can’t keep EVERY guest happy. So I ask again, how many guests can come through Guest Relation’s doors before Disney crosses the line and goes from an organization with good customer service to bad?

Casey……………

I generally agree with you on the All Stars. While Baron and I may disagree over the “moderates”, which I think were a good addition to WDW and provide good Show, I can’t say the same for the All Stars (or Pop). However, I don’t necessarily see those who stay there having to settle for whatever bones Disney throws then and not getting what they paid for. The fact that the All Stars is on site gives the guest an incredible benefit over a cheaper off site hotel of the same level.

caseymaureen
03-05-2003, 09:27 AM
DisneyKidds~ Not necessarily. The location of AS and PC are both nearly off property, about as far as they can get from everything else and still be on property. There are many hotels and motels in Lake Buena Vista and Kissimee which offer free bus service to Disney from their lobbies. Plus, they're cheaper. I don't see how the giant footballs and mile-long walks to the bus stops can really be worth paying the extra, even for supposedly being on property. The other hotels sell Disney tickets in their lobbies, they have buses (which sometimes are more predictable and convenient than the Disney system) and many have nicer accomodations than AS.
Now, don't get me wrong, I love staying on property. But, that's when on property means all the things that Disney stands for, like service, and themeing, etc, that most of the moderate resorts have. If it really comes down to AS or a Kissimmee hotel, I'll pick the Kissimmee one.

crusader
03-05-2003, 09:31 AM
I felt that the problems arose in matters of crowds trying to squeeze through small areas, of no longer secret magical places (which, although no one seemed to believe it, did relate to the previous topic ), and of (relatively) shoddy resorts being put up just to make an extra buck and hold thousands and thousands more people. The lines at the attractions, the crowds on Main Street, the transportation system, it's all related!

well said -

Expansion to accomodate increased capacity had to be considered in the initial framework of the WDW planning. I am certain this was one reason for owning so much property.

The experiences you are describing fall in line with the reality of WDW today. Many guests are left with these less than pleasant memories and have a difficult time reconciling their fantasy expectations with the truth - especially after spending thousands of dollars to fight crowds and deal with long lines.

I do not believe expansion was ever intended to be delivered at a rate of return slower than the population growth. Something more will have to be done and quickly to instill a positive feeling in the minds of your guests. One that will encourage them to return again sooner rather than later. Magic can only get you so far.

DisneyKidds
03-05-2003, 09:41 AM
DisneyKidds~ Not necessarily.
Perhaps. It all depends on what "on-site" means to you. I believe it is about much more than proximity.

Again, I don't really care for the All Stars, but even when you stay there, you never step foot outside of Disney. There have been threads on other boards discussing what is so special about being on site. We can do that here if you like - I'm never one to shy away from a discussion :crazy:.

If I'm staying at the Super 8, at the end of the day I feel like I am leaving Disney. Sure, I'm close (maybe even closer than the AS) and I'll be back tomorrow, but I'm leaving nonetheless. If I'm at the AS - which room wise is no more than the Super 8, but does have nicer pools and decoration (note I didn't say theme ;)) - I never leave Disney. Just a feeling, I know - and not as much at AS as other Disney resorts, but I do believe it makes a difference. Of course, not everyone is going to feel that way.

crusader
03-05-2003, 09:51 AM
If I'm at the AS - which room wise is no more than the Super 8, but does have nicer pools and decoration (note I didn't say theme ) - I never leave Disney. Just a feeling, I know - and not as much at AS as other Disney resorts, but I do believe it makes a difference.

This may be a confirmation of how the AS did succeed in getting a guest to consider staying there vs the competition. Value and on-site are good marketing tools.

raidermatt
03-05-2003, 03:29 PM
I know, I know, you think I am being silly. Glad you said it...

By your logic, the only way for a system to be adequate would be to have no guests who feel the system is inadequate (that would be no unhappy guests ). No, DK, that is not a fair interpretation of what I have said.

Listen to any company talk about its goals with respect to its customers. How it plans to keep them happy. When they say they are going to give their customers what they want, does it mean they have failed as a company if one customer doesn't get what they want?

Of course not.

Yet it remains a part of the company's stated goals to make their customers happy.

Well, how many guests can feel this way until you abandon the “you can’t keep all the people happy” philosophy, and shift to the “if people feel it is inadequate, it IS inadequate” philosophy. 1? 100? 1,000? 10,000? 1%, 10%? What is it? Good question. Of course you know its one that neither of us can answer.

Of course its difficult for even Disney to answer. That's why they get into trouble by letting guest satisfaction surveys make their decsions. Is 10% dissatisfaction too much? Doesn't sound like a lot, but if you use 10% as your barometer in every decision, you could find yourself losing 10% of your customers, which would be disasterous.

If they follow a philosophy of providing unique entertainment experiences, the answer would be simple: The current transportation system does not meet our objective. Therefore we must find a better system.


On a side-note, I really am perplexed by the difficulty in dealing with the "perception is reality" concept. Perhaps its because in some fields, customer perception rarely wavers from reality. I'm not sure. But in service organizations, this is a frequently used mantra. Ultimately, its the customer who makes the purchase decsion, and nobody else. Further, in retail environments, the decision is often based much more on emotion than in wholesale, or business-to-business environments (realtively speaking).

For example, you may think you provide the best tax services in the country, and maybe from a technical standpoint, you do. But if for some reason potential customers BELIEVE its Bob down the street who is the best, it does not matter that he is not the best. He will get the business. You then must accept this perception and do what is necessary to change the perception to meet reality.

In the Disney transportation case, its a case of understanding what the customers really want. Certainly "Magic" level plays a big part in that, as does efficiency.

But if you use efficiency only as your measure of effectiveness, you're missing the boat (or bus as it were). The level of appeal your product has is based solely on what your customers think. And if they want 10 units of Magic, and 10 units of efficiency, and you provide 5 units of Magic and 12 units of efficiency, your system is inadequate.

Of course you will find individual customers who have different opinions. This isn't about trying to find the exceptions to every rule, its about how you go about building your business. Do you give the customers what YOU think they want or should want, or do you give them what they actually want.

Now, the danger in this, and I think Disney has fallen into this trap, is that you focus on changing or managing expectations INSTEAD of meeting or exceeding expectations.

Rather than focusing on providing something Magical, you try to convince your customers that what you provided (Dinorama anyone?) is Magical.

DisneyKidds
03-05-2003, 04:01 PM
No, DK, that is not a fair interpretation of what I have said.
I tried to quote to avoid the interpretation problem ;).

Let me paraphrase this, and you tell me if it is appropriate or fair. As you said................
Listen to any company talk about its goals with respect to its customers. How it plans to keep them happy. When they say they are going to give their customers what they want, does it mean they have failed as a company if one customer doesn't get what they want?
I'll paraphrase as..........................

Listen to any company talk about its goals with respect to its transportation systems. How it plans to provide adequate transportation. When they say they are going to give their customers adequate transportation, does it mean they have failed as a company if one customer doesn't perceive the transportation as adequate?

The answer is the same, of course not. However, that isn't what you said. So I'm the smuck today :tongue: - but we have to be careful about what we say, or be willing to stand behind ;).
I really am perplexed by the difficulty in dealing with the "perception is reality" concept.
No difficulty here. I know what yo mean and I agree. But, as I said, you can only take it so far. You seem to agree that there is only so far you can go with it, otherwise you really would keep EVERY person happy. That was my only point.
But if you use efficiency only as your measure of effectiveness, you're missing the boat (or bus as it were).
Maybe, maybe not. It really brings up an interesting question - one which I think Tyler weighed in on. Do WDW guests really want or expect a knock-your-socks-off-entertaining transportation experience, or do they want to get from point A to point B (where the entertaining experiences they do expect are beconing) in the most efficient way possible? I know, I know - everything is part of the Show, but when I go to see a Broadway show I don't expect the bathroom to be a highlight. Yeah, the bathroom should be clean, even fancy as bathrooms go, but it is still just a bathroom.

WebmasterCricket
03-05-2003, 04:09 PM
Originally posted by raidermatt
Ultimately, its the customer who makes the purchase decsion, and nobody else.

So in this case are you describing the purchase decision as:

1) Whether or not to make the trip to Disney or destination x
2) Whether or not to ride the bus or choose transportation method x
3) Whether to make a fringe purchase based on the transportation given (ie eat at the GF after 9 PM)
4) Other

If you are saying 1, then I'd have to say that while the provided method of transport is a part of the decision to go to Disney over destination x, it far too small of an issue to have any distinct impact on the overall decision either way. I'm not saying there are not a few extreme ends of the line, but the vast majority won't let it sway them to another choice.

If you are saying 2, then Disney is not out anything either way, so big deal.

If it's 3 you are thinking, I believe that’s a marketing issue and not an infrastructure one.

4?, well I'd love to hear what 4 could even be.

JC

raidermatt
03-05-2003, 05:49 PM
You seem to agree that there is only so far you can go with it, otherwise you really would keep EVERY person happy. That was my only point. Its an accurate point, but I still don't see why you felt the need to make it. There's no way anyone in there right mind would say that if there is ONE upset customer the whole system is a failure. If you don't think I am at least in my "right mind", I don't think you would be bothering to discuss this with me.

It just distracts from the meaningful parts of the discussion. (Sorry if that sounds too harsh, I don't mean it to be harsh, just trying to cut to the chase...)

Do WDW guests really want or expect a knock-your-socks-off-entertaining transportation experience, or do they want to get from point A to point B (where the entertaining experiences they do expect are beconing) in the most efficient way possible? With all due respect to Tyler, guests do place a significant amount of value in the Magic portion of the equation.

What we have to keep in mind is that most people will rarely complain about a lack of "Magic". They will, however, complain about a lack of efficiency or common courtesy. If they just waited 20 minutes for a bus, that's what they are going to moan about to the bus driver, not some idea they have for a multi-faceted, Magical transportation plan. So, of course, if you are driving a bus, you are going to here many more complaints about efficiency.

But that doesn't mean there is no value in adding Magic to the transportation system.

Again, this is the problem you run into when you rely too much on guest satisfaction surveys instead of an overall philosophy. Disneyland is the classic example. There was no guest uproar at other parks for a Disney-type park in the 1950's. So based on guest surveys, there was no need for Disneyland. Wouldn't work. Nobody asked for it.

Look at DCA. Disney asks guests if they have a problem with a California theme, and most say no, not really. So, Disney says there is no problem with a CA theme.

Yet, they do not ask about alternatives. They do not give guests choices and ask which is the best.

The philosophy upon which the Disney empire was built says that the current system is inadequate. Therefore, alternatives should be sought.

raidermatt
03-05-2003, 05:59 PM
Mr. Cricket, EVERYTHING that Disney does inside the gates has an impact on customer purchasing decisions. In what they are willing to pay to visit, how much they spend while inside, and if and when they will return.

Upgrading any aspect of the experience increases the value of the experience to the customer. An increase in perceived value increases demand. Increased demand translates to increased revenue, either through higher prices or increased volume.

You can't look at every piece and ask if it is a deal-breaker for the customer, then let the answer be the basis for your decision.

I guess I shouldn't say can't, because Disney is doing this, but instead I should say you SHOULD not do this.

This is the classic defense for deferred maintenance, allowing paint to crack and peel, etc. Nobody's going to cancel if we don't paint Mickey's house this year, and we can't prove anybody will visit because we painted it, so why paint it?

But it all adds up...

DisneyKidds
03-05-2003, 11:49 PM
It just distracts from the meaningful parts of the discussion. (Sorry if that sounds too harsh, I don't mean it to be harsh, just trying to cut to the chase...)
No need to worry about being harsh - cut to the chase all you want ;). I will :tongue:. On this one you are wrong. You are so worried about being distracted from what YOU think are the meaningful parts of the conversation that you don't even realize that your whole position could be a house of cards (as could mine ;)). The fact that you can't keep everyone happy, be it a single person or a thousand, is very relevant. You have determined that the WDW transportation system is not working, that it is not magical, that it is not what people want. You have determined that it is inadequate. Based on what? A handful of people? You haven't even considered that maybe, just maybe, overall the vast majority of people have no problem with the system.

DVC-Landbaron
03-06-2003, 12:05 AM
You haven't even considered that maybe, just maybe, overall the vast majority of people have no problem with the system.You’ve really got to be kidding! Please! I can’t stand it!! My sides are hurting from the gales of laughter and rolling on the floor!!!

Please tell me that you finally ran out of things to say! That you finally just reached the very bottom of the idea barrel and you thought five pages just wasn’t quite enough!! Please tell me that this is why you postulated this ridiculous concept! Please tell me you don’t really believe this drivel!!

Oh Mr. Kidds!!! Thanks for the laugh!!! :bounce:



PS: It was very frustrating today!!! Sir Matt and Mr. Head said EVERYTHING there was to say on the subject!! There was nothing to add at all!! Ahhhhhhh!!!!!!!

PSS: Scoop is sooooo close on this one!!!!! If he’d just back down on the monorail things a wee bit, he’d have it!!!!! You are right Scoop, my man!!! Unique!! “Disney” unique!! It certainly does NOT mean monorails!!! But it certainly doesn’t automatically rule them out either!!!

crusader
03-06-2003, 09:15 AM
Upgrading any aspect of the experience increases the value of the experience to the customer. An increase in perceived value increases demand. Increased demand translates to increased revenue, either through higher prices or increased volume.

It's just not that simple. The perception for a guest in terms of value at WDW is a bit of a stretch from reality. Value implies getting your money's worth. Upgrades do not necessarily convert into revenue especially in this case where they may be more maintenance driven than marketing driven.

If WDW could move the consumer away from the stereotypical perception that a visit there is too expensive and too frustrating to frequent then they have that increased demand. Once you've spent literally thousands for that "convince me I'm relaxing and enjoying myself while I'm exhausted, feeling miserable and broke" experience, you will not be returning anytime soon even if there is an upgrade.

DisneyKidds
03-06-2003, 09:27 AM
You’ve really got to be kidding! Please! I can’t stand it!! My sides are hurting from the gales of laughter and rolling on the floor!!!
Laughter is healthy for you - glad I could entertain you and help you at the same time ;).

When it come to WDW, I know two sets of people.

I know the fine folks on these boards. I'll call them my e-friends. These e-friends seem to be split on how they feel about the WDW transportation system. Beyond my usual e-friends around this board, I am attempting to assess how other e-friends feel about the system.

The other set of people I know are my real, flesh and blood friends. I know them and I know what they think of Disney and the transportation system. They aren't trying to make any points on a Disney discussion board, they aren't trying to score points in a debate, and they don't have an agenda. They simply use the system. You know what, all these people rather like the system. That is a fact. Sure, maybe they could get from resort to resort better, but overall they really like using the system.

That's the fact, Jack. *



* movie reference time.

raidermatt
03-06-2003, 01:32 PM
You are so worried about being distracted from what YOU think are the meaningful parts of the conversation that you don't even realize that your whole position could be a house of cards (as could mine ).

Ok, lets try to sort this out...

Regarding my statements about customer perceptions being reality, and how if it doesn't fulfill all of their needs, the system is not truly effective. This became a discussion of whether its possible to please every customer 100%, and how if you miss one, how could that be considered a failure.

That was a pointless discussion, and yes, it distracted from any points either you or I were trying to make. Even those dart throwing monkeys you speak of know you can't please everyone, nor can you displease everyone.

The point you were trying to make, which could have been made without the "you can't please everyone" discussion, is that you believe a large enough percentage of people are satisfied with the current system to deem it effective, particularly if resort to resort busses were added.

The fact that you can't keep everyone happy, be it a single person or a thousand, is very relevant. Again, it is not. You never can. In this case, no transportation system can. Not the current one, or any other proposed system. This is something ALL systems have in common. It does nothing to address the differences. It adds no more value than saying you can't dis-please everyone.

You have determined that the WDW transportation system is not working, that it is not magical, that it is not what people want. You have determined that it is inadequate. I've determined that it does not meet all of the goals that a WDW tranportation system should meet. With that standard in mind, yes, it is inadequate.

Based on what? A handful of people? Based on the concept that WDW exists to provide unique family entertainment experiences, and EVERYTHING that is visible to and/or useable by guests is a part of the SHOW. (Bathrooms are 'quite' the same as a transportation system.)

You haven't even considered that maybe, just maybe, overall the vast majority of people have no problem with the system. Nice, well-worded accusation, but a false one. I have considered it, and I consider it unlikely. Possible, but unlikely. Further, there is a difference between having a problem with something, and something being the right thing for WDW.

You don't run a successful creative entertainment enterprise by basing your decisions on the answer to "Do you have a problem with X?"

That's how DCA got built. "Do you have a problem..." does not yield the same results as finding the optimal solution.

The other set of people I know are my real, flesh and blood friends. We all got 'em...
I know them and I know what they think of Disney and the transportation system. Well you got me there. I don't know your friends. But then again, you don't know mine, so :p ;)

They aren't trying to make any points on a Disney discussion board, they aren't trying to score points in a debate, and they don't have an agenda. Implying that those of us in your "e-friend" category are trying to make points here, and do have an agenda? Who are we trying to make points with? I can only speak for myself, but really, what agenda do you suspect I may have, other than what I think is best for Disney? Don't beat around the bush.

They simply use the system. You know what, all these people rather like the system. That is a fact. Sure, maybe they could get from resort to resort better, but overall they really like using the system. (Lets forget for a moment that while I'm sure you have many friends, they are hardly a representative sample) Getting back on topic here, what it seems you are saying is "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

That really is a useful motto, and it can be succussfully applied in many cases. However, as with just about every motto/slogan/mantra, there are exceptions. And where this one frequently falls short is in the area of innovation. Look back at Disney's history and see how many times something wouldn't have been created if they had just said "Hey, the people like the way it is now, so let's not change anything!"

As a real simple test, one could ask two things of WDW guests:

1- Are you satisfied / Do you like WDW's transportation system.

Ask this as a yes or no question, and I'll agree that most will say yes.

2- Would you prefer to see WDW's transportation system remain as it is, or would you prefer to see an innovative mass transit system replace all or part of the existing bus network?

I'll bet you get a different answer from many people.

No this does not get to all the details needed about how customers will respond to various plans, but it will show that while people may not have a problem with the current system, it doesn't mean they wouldn't respond to a better one.

raidermatt
03-06-2003, 01:54 PM
It's just not that simple. Really, it is.
The perception for a guest in terms of value at WDW is a bit of a stretch from reality. The guest's perception of the value they are getting IS their reality. This is based on the laws of market forces, and even Disney is not exempt. If Disney adds or improves something that the customers place value on, by defintion, it raises demand. The add does not have to be "real". If somehow you can convince customers that the same offering has greater appeal than in the past, you have increased the customers value perception, and you will increase demand. That's a dangerous and short-sighted way to try to increase demand, by the way, but it shows that, again, perception IS reality in this case.

Upgrades do not necessarily convert into revenue especially in this case where they may be more maintenance driven than marketing driven. But I'm saying that a new transportation system utilizing more innovative forms of mass transit would not merely be maintenance driven, but would in fact, be PRODUCT driven. The entire guest experience while inside WDW is part of WDW's product. Some things have a direct revenue stream, like the parks and food, but some do not, like transportation and landscaping. Yet they all contribute to the experience, and therefore the product.

Incidentally, maintenance is necessary to "maintain" current value, and is still just as necessary. For example, you can add value in one area, but lose the net benefit by allowing maintenance to slip in another area.

If WDW could move the consumer away from the stereotypical perception that a visit there is too expensive and too frustrating to frequent then they have that increased demand This is managing perceptions, and it is very important. However, it should be done in conjunction with, not instead of, tangible efforts to maintain or increase perceived value.

Once you've spent literally thousands for that "convince me I'm relaxing and enjoying myself while I'm exhausted, feeling miserable and broke" experience, you will not be returning anytime soon even if there is an upgrade. True, fortunately for WDW, most customers leave with a better feeling. For if they didn't, WDW would have bigger problems than it has right now.

DisneyKidds
03-06-2003, 02:15 PM
The point you were trying to make, which could have been made without the "you can't please everyone" discussion, is that you believe a large enough percentage of people are satisfied with the current system to deem it effective, particularly if resort to resort busses were added.
No, what I was trying to sa................................................ ...ahhh, phooey :crazy:. Suffice to say that I disagree with the blanket statement that if x# of people perceive a transportation system to be inadequate, that makes it inadequate. Maybe x+1 does (everyone got their abacus out? :crazy: ), but we can't seem to identify that x value.
Based on the concept that WDW exists to provide unique family entertainment experiences
Yes, busses are not unique. However the busing experience one gets when using the transportation system IS unique.
"Do you have a problem..." does not yield the same results as finding the optimal solution.
Well, I hardly think the WDW transporation was built using the "do you have a problem" approach. Given the number of people Disney needs to move, the number of locations they need to move them to, and available technology, it is quite possible they have darn good solution (heck, maybe optimal if they addressed the resort to resort issue) efficiency wise. Add in the fact that people can remember the jokes the driver told x months ago and you have more than your average bus system.
Who are we trying to make points with? I can only speak for myself, but really, what agenda do you suspect I may have, other than what I think is best for Disney?
Obviously we are trying to get one another to see points that we think they should be able to see - not that that happens often :crazy:. Sure you have an agenda - to convince others that you are right in what you think is best for Disney. Not all agendas are bad you know ;). The point you missed, however, is that when I talk to my unrepresentative sample of friends who go to WDW they aren't concerned with convincing me of what is best for Disney. They simply relate their enjoyment of what WDW offers them, including the transportation system.
what it seems you are saying is "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
No. What I'm saying is that Disney should take a good thing and make it better.
they are hardly a representative sample
Niether is the group that you base your position that the system is inadequate and short of standards on.

Speaking of asking WDW guests, I do have a poll out there. Is it representative? Who knows, but in early returns the survey says................

100% of respondents find the system efficient and effective.
92% of respondents think the system add value to their WDW experience.
38% of respondents think the system adds Magic to their WDW experience.

WebmasterCricket
03-06-2003, 02:29 PM
Originally posted by DisneyKidds
92% of respondents think the system add value to their WDW experience.

I wonder how many of those still drive themselves around.

JC

DisneyKidds
03-06-2003, 02:37 PM
I wonder how many of those still drive themselves around.
I'll "play around" with a few more polls ;). The number of options is limited so it is hard to get people to say everything you want them to......................uh...............I mean cover every eventuality in one poll.

Options on my poll did include no value/no magic. I assume that those who don't actual use they system don't find much value in it. Even the one respondent in this category felt the system was efficient and effective. You may have people who use the system for the parks but not for resort to resort travel - but again, even if any of the respondents do that they still think the system is efficient and effective.

DisneyKidds
03-06-2003, 02:43 PM
I'll bet you get a different answer from many people.
Hey, Matt - suppose I gave you $100. Then I ask you if you would like $110 instead. What do you think you are going to say ;).
The guest's perception of the value they are getting IS their reality.
Let me reiteraate, in yet another unrepresentative sample, the vast, vast majority of people who responded (so far) feel that they are getting value from the system.

raidermatt
03-06-2003, 03:22 PM
but we can't seem to identify that x value. Very true, which is one reason why I defer to the overall objective of WDW, as opposed to how to measure guest surveys we don't have access to and would probably agree don't ask the right questions anyway.

However the busing experience one gets when using the transportation system IS unique. Again, everything is relative. Monorails in WDW are a more unique experience than busses in WDW.

it is quite possible they have darn good solution (heck, maybe optimal if they addressed the resort to resort issue) efficiency wise. It is possible, from an efficiency standpoint, but that does not mean efficiency cannot be at least maintained while adding more entertainment value.

Why settle for "efficient", when you could do better?

The point you missed, however, is that when I talk to my unrepresentative sample of friends who go to WDW they aren't concerned with convincing me of what is best for Disney. They simply relate their enjoyment of what WDW offers them, including the transportation system. Great, and if you are asking them the same questions as you do in your poll, I can see why you think this to be true.

You don't create unique entertainment through guest surveys.

Geez, ask most WDW visitors if the overall resort provided a Magical experience, and if they found the resort efficiently run, and they'll probably say yes. That is not a justification for standing still.

Speaking of asking WDW guests, I do have a poll out there. Is it representative? Who knows, but in early returns the survey says................

100% of respondents find the system efficient and effective.
92% of respondents think the system add value to their WDW experience.
38% of respondents think the system adds Magic to their WDW experience.

Surveys, surveys, surveys.... If you have a philosophy and stick to it, you don't need surveys to make your decisions... but if you insist.

92% feel it adds value. Sure it does vs. nothing.

Adds Magic for 38%. Well, for 62% it adds no Magic. For the 32%, again, it adds Magic compared to the alternative, which is nothing.

Hey, Matt - suppose I gave you $100. Then I ask you if you would like $110 instead. What do you think you are going to say So you agree that an innovative mass transit experience has more entertainment value to the resort than the bus experience?

Then I guess it would be prudent to fully explore all possible options...

DisneyKidds
03-06-2003, 03:34 PM
Great, and if you are asking them the same questions as you do in your poll, I can see why you think this to be true.
Ahh, the thing is, I don't ask them anything about it. I don't poll them. In the course of discussion they relate to me how they enjoy using the system, and much prefer it to driving their car (which they do have on property). No focus group driven, agenda fulfilling questions involved ;). BTW - I noticed you registered your vote ;).
Geez, ask most WDW visitors if the overall resort provided a Magical experience, and if they found the resort efficiently run, and they'll probably say yes.
Geez, wouldn't this give you some insight into their perceptions. What was all that talk about perceptions and reality :confused:.
So you agree that an innovative mass transit experience has more entertainment value to the resort than the bus experience?
Perhaps.
That is not a justification for standing still.
That is why I never said they should stand still. Make a good thing better? Sure.

raidermatt
03-06-2003, 03:53 PM
Ahh, the thing is, I don't ask them anything about it. I don't poll them. In the course of discussion they relate to me how they enjoy using the system, and much prefer it to driving their car (which they do have on property). No focus group driven, agenda fulfilling questions involved Again, satisfaction with a current system does not justify not investigating alternatives.

BTW - I noticed you registered your vote . Yes, though admittedly I am probably using a different definition of effective than most respondents.

I am surprised you posted %'s over here when you had no more than 14 responses...

Geez, wouldn't this give you some insight into their perceptions. What was all that talk about perceptions and reality There is a difference between judging where you are at, and where you should be going.

Yes, those guest responses would be a nice indication of what guests think of you today, and they can be useful when deciding where to go in the future. But one of the reasons those responses would be positive is because Disney did not wait until guest responses were negative to change something, or try something new. They did these things based on their philosophy of what would CONTINUE to elicit positive responses.

That is why I never said they should stand still. Make a good thing better? Sure. Ah, an understanding of sorts. I think. As long as you view the "thing" in this case to be "transportation", and not the more narrow "bus service", then we are on the same page. (or at least in the same book;) )

For if Disney should always be looking to make good things better, no matter what your opinion of the current bus heavy system, alternative modes would always be on the table for consideration, REGARDLESS OF WHAT GUESTS SAY ABOUT TODAY'S SYSTEM.

Especially if you allow that that innovative forms of mass transit could have greater entertainment value than the current busses.

DisneyKidds
03-06-2003, 04:14 PM
I'm with you :). The future, exploration and all that. Now look up. See it there? Yup - the title of the thread - has (past tense to current day) WDW been built........blah, blah, blah? With regard to transportation I don't think it has. That doesn't mean there isn't a great big beautiful tomorrow waiting at the end of this day ;).


PS
I am surprised you posted %'s over here when you had no more than 14 responses...
I did say in EARLY polling, didn't I :tongue:.

WebmasterCricket
03-06-2003, 04:55 PM
Originally posted by raidermatt
Again, everything is relative. Monorails in WDW are a more unique experience than busses in WDW.

Sorry, but that's an impossibility.

There are no varying degrees of "uniqueness". Either it's unique or it's not.

I do agree with the implied sentiment in this case though ;)

JC

raidermatt
03-06-2003, 04:55 PM
? Yup - the title of the thread - has (past tense to current day) WDW been built........blah, blah, blah? With regard to transportation I don't think it has.
I know.

I think they've built a reasonably efficient system...but they lost focus on the "show" aspect long ago, and are now choked by a reluctance to truly explore what could be done.

crusader
03-07-2003, 08:03 AM
So you agree that an innovative mass transit experience has more entertainment value to the resort than the bus experience?
Then I guess it would be prudent to fully explore all possible options...


I understand your premise regarding the need to increase or at the very least enhance entertainment. Value in this sense translates into continued growth and stability for the company by offering unsurpassed quality and uniqueness in your product.

Value to the consumer is not the same. It implies getting more for what you paid. More entertainment for your money at WDW in every aspect of your trip is alot to ask for. Offer it at the parks because that is the biggest deterrant for most people. You have to sell to the family the worth of that park hopper more than the worth of the resort or the food or the transportation. Once they price out their tickets which encompass approx. 1/3 or their initial cost outlay, they start to rethink the decision to go.

DisneyKidds
03-08-2003, 12:15 AM
Just a quick update regarding my transportation poll.

With a larger voting population the results still show that, of those who voted, 53% of people find the WDW transportation system efficient, effective, adding magic to their WDW experience. 83% find it efficient, effective, adding value to their WDW experience.

I'm sure it "isn't representative" and you can laugh at me all you want ;), but people do like the system. Of course that is no reason to rest on your laurels and Disney should always look to improve, but overall the system might not be the unmagical failure some see it as.

raidermatt
03-08-2003, 01:19 AM
I'm sure it "isn't representative" and you can laugh at me all you want , but people do like the system. Of course that is no reason to rest on your laurels and Disney should always look to improve, but overall the system might not be the unmagical failure some see it as. Its all relative...

Your poll is informative, and it does give us an indication that the transportation system is not thought of as a creation of Satan.

However, when it comes to the value/magic portion, it's essentially asking for a comparison of the current system of busses, boats and Monorails to nothing. Of course it adds value, for without it, we have no choice but to all bring cars or hoof it through the swamps. Waiting an hour for a SRO bus with graffiti on it beats becoming gator bait. So certainly the current system is an add.

On the efficient/effective side, again, there's a big difference between the generally accepted definitions of these words, and what they meant within the scope of the Disney philosophy that built the foundation of the Disney empire.

Anything that falls short of that standard, is "settling", and therefore not adequate for Disney. For a transportation system, that means it is not acceptable to sacrifice either entertainment or efficiency. You find a way to make it happen.