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View Full Version : Hours and Vacuums - or the straw that broke the LandBaron’s back!!!


DVC-Landbaron
04-11-2003, 02:12 AM
(OK Scoop!! An essay! And not a quote to be found!! Happy? ;))

Sorry to be so late to the party, but I’ve been a bit busy lately. And then of course there is CNN and MSNBC that uses up the rest of my down time….

And to top it off “I’m going to Disney”!! Yep!! Leaving tomorrow morning!! But I feel this issue is very important. Not worldly important. Nothing earth shattering. Certainly nothing compared with Iraq or other such important things. But it is the epitome of the Disney ‘Touch”. And it speaks volumes on how badly managed the place really is, by those same people who we have been told “GET IT”. They evidently don’t!!! :( SO! A new thread. Otherwise only the faithful would read it as it’s past page five already!!!

Anyway, most people on this board know me. I’ve been a little out spoken at times and a little more than long-winded almost always. If you’ve read any of my stuff you’ll see a “theme”. It is one of philosophy. I harp on it. I constantly bring it up. I continuously praise it. And I always, always say how absolutely easy it is to run WDW if you just stick with the “philosophy”. And of course, that means “Walt’s” philosophy. Or maybe more simply put – “what he thought an amusement park should be”.

And it turns out that it isn’t complicated. It turns out that it’s really, really simple! Instead of making the park in the middle of the ‘real’ world, like every other amusement park or carnival was, he’d ‘create’ a magical place for it. Someplace where he could control the effects, the sights, the sounds, the feelings and the emotions, every inch of the way. And he did it the only way he knew how. What came natural to him!! What he had done his whole life!! He simply did it as if he were making a movie!! In other words, he put on a "SHOW"!!

That’s it folks!! That’s the key!! That’s the answer!! It’s the meaning of (Disney) life! It’s the gospel of ‘theme’ parks!! THAT’S WHY HE CALLED IT A SHOW!!!

And he took great care to maintain this “SHOW” in every way he possibly could. He even dressed the street sweepers in costumes. They were given training in guest interaction!! He took pains to create the ‘berm’ to shield his “SHOW” from the outside world. He bought ridiculous amounts of land in Florida to make sure he could control each and every aspect of that “SHOW”. He carefully crafted the architecture and colors, sights and sounds to fashion the best “SHOW” possible.

I don’t know if anyone remembers the finally straw for me. It was the summer of 1998. In fact, it was August 1, 1998. We had just spent a week in WDW and the MK was already closing an hour earlier than it had ever closed since the “World” began. And then, on that fateful day, they chopped another hour off. Yes sir!! On August the first – summer was officially over!! Not according to the thirty odd years of history or even more if you count Disneyland. And not according to calendar. And it certainly wasn’t over as far as the resort rates go. No! You were still paying summer rates for the rooms!! But it was over because the VP of the MK said it was over!!

And so the evening (I could hardly call it a ‘night’) ended with the fireworks. THOUSANDS of people were crowding onto Main Street. We hung back at the Ice Cream Parlor, waiting for the crowd to thin a bit. We saw the vacuums do their obligatory pass cleaning up the litter from the curbs. That has happened ever since the late seventies sometime (a move I did not approve of at the time)!

As we were making our way out I found I was shouting to make myself heard. Why? Because there were SEVERAL vacuum cleaners making their way up and down the street, almost as if the really were sweeping the cattle (oops!) I mean people, out of the gate! They had them running from the the time the fireworks ended until at least a half an hour later. Up and down the street!! And it was even worse when you got to the hub!! There were even more!!

THAT (coupled with those DAMNED hours) was it!! My back was officially broken! And I started to think then that the people who were running things didn’t quite ‘Get It’!!

It was one of my first complaints on these very boards over two years ago. It was met with the same response as I see today.

“Isolated incidence”!!
“I was there last Thursday and didn’t notice a single vacuum – You must be wrong”!!
“Just trying to clean things for the guest”!!
“If you don’t like it don’t go”!!
“When do you expect them to do it”!?!?
“It doesn’t bother me”!!
“Just part of the show, it says, ‘we’re closed’”!!
“If you don’t like it, LandBaron, build your own park”!!

And those answers are wrong any was you slice it. Just plain WRONG!!

You don’t see them changing the lights on the set of Phantom. You don’t see them painting the flats in the background of a movie. And this is just as bad.

Remember folks:
1- Safety
2- Courtesy
3- SHOW
4- Efficiency

AND IN THAT ORDER!!!!

SHOW – SHOW – SHOW!!!!

Fine! You need to run the thing to get up the litter from the curbs? (I don’t happen to agree, how did they do it back in 1955? And PLEASE don’t give me that it’s worse now bull!!) But I could – MAYBE – go along with that!! But then it should stop!! And a guest better not see, hear or smell another vacuum for the rest of the night! And when, finally, the very last guest saunters out of the gate, rev them up and have at it!! But NEVER before!!!

Anything short of that is just –

BAD SHOW!!!

Plain and simple!

OK! I’m done. And I’m off to Florida in the morning! Have fun and play nice. Matt, AV, Larry and my frozen friend, among the growing others who I am sorry I did not specifically name!! Defend my position in my absence!! I KNOW you guys GET IT!!

DisneyKidds
04-14-2003, 09:40 AM
I can't sit and watch the good Lord Baron's heartfelt essay be no more than a soliloquy on Show (even though we have discussed the subject at length in the past ;)). Baron makes some good points. I feel his "pain". However..................................(you know I always have one of those ;)).........................

I AGREE!!!!:bounce: :bounce: (bet you didn't think I'd say that, did 'ya :crazy: ).

I agree that shorter hours and blaring vacuums (which I'm glad to see the Baron finally admit were always there ;)) at certain times, and....., and......, and......., are bad Show. WDW has definitely sacrificed the Show element, and it makes the current WDW experience "less" than what it was in the past. But..................................(yup, I usually have to throw in one of those as well - and you knew I couldn't completely agree with our good friend Baron :tongue: ).........................

What does it really mean? Yes, my latent Car 3 tendencies make me want to agree that the Disney of old is becoming so buried that we may never see it again. Perhaps Disney isn't coverting as many new guests into 'lifers' as they used to. All that does spit in the face of the incredible philosophy that Walt built the empire on. All of that does hurt the bottom line, but to what degree? Not that we should be willing to accept this. Not that it is ok in any way. In the end, though, IMHO Disney continues to be a unique provider of family entertainment. I think they always will be - despite the metamorposis that Disney has undergone. We should hold Disney management accountable for bad decisions. We should long for, and strive to bring back, the old days. Maybe we'll get there, maybe we won't. In the mean time, so long as we find WDW to be the best value for our vacation dollar, to be the most unique destination for our vacation time, we continue to go. I can think of no better proof that Disney continues to be all that (and a bag of chips ;)) than the fact that Baron is currently soaking up the Magic on one of his many multiple trips he makes each and every year, after no less than 19 years of steady decay and chipping away at that all important philosophy ;).

HauntedMansionFan
04-14-2003, 10:57 AM
Interesting and thought provoking. Thinking back on the past couple of trips that I've made down to the World, Jan 2003 and May 2002, (October 2002 is a different story) were quite as "fun" as I remember having before. Things just felt different and I wasn't sure why. Perhaps when I'm down there again this May I should look closer and ***** the things and try to find a reason.

DisneyKidds
04-14-2003, 11:03 AM
were quite as "fun"
HMF - I assume you meant weren't?

TRAPPED-PARENT
04-14-2003, 11:19 AM
I have been a WDW patron since the first year it opened (first trip in May 1972) ... yes, there have been changes - both good and bad. [One of the best changes was when they got rid of the ABCDE tickets and allowed you to go on everything for as many times as you could put up with waiting in line. Also FASTPASS has been a success in my book as well.]

I still enjoy my visits to WDW but spend my time a little differently. My main reason for visiting now is to relax and soak up the atmosphere of the TOTAL resort experience. It is a place that I am familiar with and feel comfortable at ... there is always something to do. The park visits are almost an afterthought or something we do on poor weather days.

I have matured, my children have matured and so our vacation needs have changed. Our most recent visit (March 2003) was extremely different than visits when the children were little and just discovering WDW.

I still love WDW and continue to find that it offers something unique that we cannot find anywhere else.

HauntedMansionFan
04-14-2003, 11:28 AM
Originally posted by DisneyKidds
HMF - I assume you meant weren't? Oops, yes... that is what I meant. The brain doesn't function well when it hasn't had lunch yet, lol.

Bob O
04-14-2003, 01:43 PM
Great post DVC, cant disagree about anything!!!
And have a great trip with a state of the parks report ready!!!

d-r
04-14-2003, 04:57 PM
I hope that LandBaron has a great time, and has a lot of great things to report when he gets home -

DR

Planogirl
04-15-2003, 12:21 AM
d-r :confused:

In the mean time, so long as we find WDW to be the best value for our vacation dollar, to be the most unique destination for our vacation time, we continue to go
This quote from DisneyKidds interests me. I think that some of us in Car No. 3 are questioning that unswerving loyalty lately and that is an unnerving development. I know that I do sometimes. I sometimes wonder if I go out of loyalty or habit or because I really still enjoy it as much as I once did. I WANT to enjoy it and I want to look forward to going but it's not the same. Can I adapt to the changing WDW? That's an interesting question...

I can't wait to read the Baron's impressions when he returns.

DisneyKidds
04-15-2003, 12:52 AM
I think that some of us in Car No. 3 are questioning that unswerving loyalty lately and that is an unnerving development.
psst...........don't let Baron hear, but you don't have to be in car 3 to have such feelings ;). If it looks like December will be as SpectroMagicless as May is currently scheduled to be, I might just dump a couple nights at Disney during our post Turkey-Day trip and give Univesal/IOA/Sea World a try for a couple of days :eek:.
I sometimes wonder if I go out of loyalty or habit or because I really still enjoy it as much as I once did.
Fortunately, for my family, we do enjoy it as much as (if not more than) we used to. Of course our family is in flux, with two young kids and a third on the way, so each trip is a somewhat new experience. We haven't had to 'adapt' much and there is plenty we know we still want to do that we have just not had a chance to over the past 12 years. That is why things work for my family in my very "Kidds-centric" world ;). I can imagine that if it were just my wife and myself, or the kids were older, we would have to 'adapt' more and things might be 'different' :(.

BRERALEX
04-15-2003, 10:09 AM
I might just dump a couple nights at Disney during our post Turkey-Day trip and give Univesal/IOA/Sea World a try for a couple of days .

im planning my august trip and its the first time ever im saying why not give IOA/universal two days cause these hours stink and i just cant take it anymore.

I sometimes wonder if I go out of loyalty or habit or because I really still enjoy it as much as I once did.

i wonder everyday sister, every darn day.

And honestly these hours and no fireworks and no parades are driving me mad. Like others i dont wanna go to DTD or PI or BW i wanna go just to my parks.

sorcerermikey
04-15-2003, 10:22 AM
Is it a matter of enjoying it "as much" or simply enjoying it still? I've been reading these boards for months and months now and always find myself agreeing and "rooting for" the car 3 folks. I'm a complete baron fan. His posts are the highlight of my reading and he has pointed out many times that the thinking and feeling represented by the cars and the various debates the inspire have nothing to do with going or not going and enjoying it when there. I've experienced a 2nd honeymoon with the place over the last 2 years and have gone more often then I ever used to when my kids were younger. I clearly see the negative changes and, in some ways, enjoy it less. But I still enjoy it as a vacation choice. Will I still enjoy it if current trends continue unabated? Probably not. Do I think current mgmt. is reversing the trend? No. So I'm car 3 and still going and still enjoying.

DisneyKidds
04-15-2003, 10:39 AM
Is it a matter of enjoying it "as much" or simply enjoying it still?
That is a good question. We, the Kidds family, are very lucky that we truely do enjoy our trips now as much, or more, than we ever have. There are a lot of factors that make that so. That is probably the sole reason I'm not in car 3. If we only enjoyed it 'still, but not as much', with ever decreasing Magic returns, I'd probably turn to the dark side. Yes, that brings in a lot of personal, subjective, "I like" thought - but it is impossible to remove that from the equation. I realize that everyone isn't going to feel the same way. I realize the impacts the changes can, and do, have on others. However, if Disney, despite the changes, is able to keep my family on an upward Magic trend, I can't give up my car 2 hopes/beliefs that things can get better for everyone. The raw materials are there, the potential exists, we just need the right person or persons to put things back together. I don't believe that Disney has done the Humpty Dumpty. The pieces can still be put back together again.

sorcerermikey
04-15-2003, 12:08 PM
DK, I'm a lurker and newbie so I could be wrong but I just reread the definitions yet again and car 3 doesn't seem to be saying it's irrepairable (humpty-dumpty) or cannot be turned around. It's just we don't see any turnaround in progress nor any sign the current "regime" (a popular word these days) is willing or able to effect one. My interpretation of your posts leads me to think you don't think, for instance, that it will change for the better under Eisner and there don't appear to be any concrete signs of his imminent departure. I could be out of line here but it seems from all I've read you ARE car 3 just, for some reason, in denial. Maybe from debating and playing devil's advocate so long, I dunno. Again don't mean to overstep bounds just my observation.

Sarangel
04-15-2003, 12:37 PM
SorcererMikey -

Bear in mind that the Carpool definitions are somewhat vague & open to personal interpretation. They provide a general shorthand for one's opinion of the "State of the Disney Company," but that's all. Specific positions need to be spelled out over the course of one's posts.

Welcome to our little corner of the DIS & please feel to contribute to the discussion.

Sarangel

DisneyKidds
04-15-2003, 12:57 PM
I just reread the definitions yet again and car 3 doesn't seem to be saying it's irrepairable (humpty-dumpty) or cannot be turned around.
You are correct - I don't think car 3 views things as completely irreparable or unable to be turned around. However, it seems most find it pretty darn close. Magic in serious jeopardy, unlikely to create Magic, etc. I imagine most car 3ers see the WDW of old as shattered and broken into a million little pieces. I don't necessarily agree.

To me the difference between cars is really a difference in optimism. I am more optimistic than most car 3 ers because I don't think it would take that much to right the ship. Will current management do it? I don't know. Furthermore, even 'un-righted', I think the ship is in much better shape than most car 3ers probably do. It may look different and be using different sails, but it is still in decent shape.
I could be out of line here but it seems from all I've read you ARE car 3 just, for some reason, in denial.
You and the Baron alike :tongue:. I'm glad you came out of lurk mode :). Baron will be even happier :crazy:. Not that Disney isn't working to get me there :(, but I'm not in car 3 yet. There is just too much car 3 doctrine that I can't align myself with. Not sure how long you have been lurking, but I generally disagree with our car 3 friends more than I agree - although the degrees of seperation seem to be narrowing for the worse (for me at least ;)) lately. As I've maintained all along, none of us are really that far apart.

sorcerermikey
04-15-2003, 01:09 PM
Been lurking since last summer. I certainly agree that it's not as though the place has been devestated and is now a smoldering wreck, but then again, I don't see baron, et al. as saying it is. I do take your point about a matter of degrees. If optimism is the dividing line I can't see much to be optomistic about the future. But the future isn't here yet, so I go and enjoy. Next short trip in May, longer one in June.

Walt's Frozen Head
04-15-2003, 01:30 PM
sorcerormikey...

...welcome.

I could be out of line here but it seems from all I've read you ARE car 3 just, for some reason, in denial. Maybe from debating and playing devil's advocate so long, I dunno.

Personally, I now believe this phenomenonis about 95% dependent on personality types... whatever remains might legitimately be "up to Disney," if you know what I mean.

The basic difference between Car #1 and Car #3 is purely a difference of whether one defines Disney "positively" or "negatively..." are experiences measured in terms of what they are or what they are not.

Car #3 doesn't understand how Car #1 doesn't seem to see certain things... the answer is, of course they see them, they simply focus on what the ride is and are largely unconcerned with what the ride is not/what the ride could have been. Car #1 can't understand that Car #3 can ***** for hours about what something is not or what it could have been, and still manage to enjoy it for what it is.

Just because I shoot off my big bazoo about how AppleCare's support blows Chee-tos compared to Dell's or Gateway's, doesn't mean I intend to give up my new PowerBook... there is too much packed into this machine and its operating system for me to give up. Almost ridiculously, AppleCare's crappy service actually resulted in other sale for Apple... I had to go buy an iBook to use while AppleCare diddled around with the PB.

I was rewarding the innovation of the machine and OS design with that purchase... not expressing satisfaction with AppleCare. When I go to WDW these days, it is largely rewarding Disney for the memories WDW helped to create in me... not expressing satisfaction with anything the company has built in years.

For some people (Walt Disney himself was a prime example), it is absolutely normal to view things in terms of where they fall short of the ideal, while being able to enjoy the real experience. Indeed, looking at the world this way is a precursor to innovation and creativity.

Car #1 people aren't wrong about anything until they start imagining their way of processing Disney-fied experiences is the the correct, or even the only, way to enjoy WDW. Once someone tells you "if you hate it so much, you shouldn't go," you may as well ignore them... they do not understand where you are coming from and never will.

-WFH

PS: Absolutely, Car #3 folks can be as myopic about Car #1's vision as the vice is versa... it's just that the cry "You'd like anything with 'Disney' stamped on the side" isn't a suggestion that Car #1 should simply dry up and blow away.

DisneyKidds
04-15-2003, 01:42 PM
Thanks for the thoughts, Mr. Head.
The basic difference between Car #1 and Car #3 is purely a difference of whether one defines Disney "positively" or "negatively..." are experiences measured in terms of what they are or what they are not.
That is why I find car 2 the happy medium ;). You get a little of both.
Car #1 people aren't wrong about anything until they start imagining their way of processing Disney-fied experiences is the the correct, or even the only, way to enjoy WDW. Once someone tells you "if you hate it so much, you shouldn't go," you may as well ignore them... they do not understand where you are coming from and never will.
I hope you don't think this has ever been my position. I've never been one for the 'love it or leave it' philosophy. However, given my current status ;) you might have mistakenly gotten that impression?

crusader
04-16-2003, 08:28 AM
For some people (Walt Disney himself was a prime example), it is absolutely normal to view things in terms of where they fall short of the ideal, while being able to enjoy the real experience.

I agree. But why do I repeatedly get the impression that the car 3 candidates aren't enjoying themselves? Is this a battle between understanding the idealism Walt created vs the reality of running the show?

A child is overwhelmed by the ideal. Sold on it. We all got caught up in it when we first visited the place. This is the magic. Attributable to the inventor, there really was nothing else like it.
Most of what it took to run the place was invisible to the naked eye - no dumpsters; no trash trucks; no insects at the campground; etc.... It felt like you were vacationing in a fantasyland.

But again, we were children. Did our parents feel that way? An adult can see the interdynamics of the operation and has the added responsibility of managing the vacation for the entire family. This has to weigh on the ideal.

DisneyKidds
04-16-2003, 09:07 AM
But again, we were children. Did our parents feel that way? An adult can see the interdynamics of the operation and has the added responsibility of managing the vacation for the entire family. This has to weigh on the ideal.
Good point. As I was reading your post I was formulating the response of the opposition in my head. You know, it goes like this.........

"Exactly, that is why we are so concerned for Disney. We fell in love with the Disney that Walt produced. That Disney is what made us life long fans. That Magic is what hooked us. Now that Disney (trademark thingie) isn't producing.........(wait, I souldn't say producing because Magic isn't a commodity ;))..........creating the same Magic, the future of Disney is in jeopardy as future generations will not be won over like we once were."

However, you last point addressed that very well. Kids today aren't going to see the warts that we all see. Kids today are falling in love as much as we ever did. I do believe that that will be more than enough to create the life long fans that will sustain Disney. Yes, as those kids grow they will come to see certain realities, just as we do.