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Old 08-24-2010, 08:32 AM   #871
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Originally Posted by KellyNY View Post
When business has no money to pay its workers it does not build another value resort or does expansion which will not bring any new customers or does a multimillon constraction of vacation houses. JMO.
So ... what you're saying, then, is that you'd be okay with Disney cancelling the Fantasyland expansion, not building a new value resort, and not planning anything else new as long as they give everyone a raise or rehire back the people who were let go?

You can't compare the two things. Apples & oranges. Money comes from different places and has different purposes. The money the Walt Disney Company brings in doesn't go into one big pool to be used by whoever gets there first. There are lots of different plans and budgets that keep all the different parts of the company moving. The theme parks get X amount and need to use that as efficiently as possible.

There are 53,000 CMs working for WDW in Florida. Clearly the company has money to pay its workers. Last year's layoffs -- as traumatic as they were -- tightened up the workforce and brought lots of areas back to where they should be. Disney was overloaded with middle management and it was making things incredibly bogged down. Decisions that should have taken a few hours were taking weeks as they waded through all the levels they had to go through. Those areas are working more efficiently now, and that will save time and money in the long run.

As for expansion, new resorts, etc. ... Disney can't win. In one breath, people are yelling at WDW for not doing anything new; for not building anything to "compete with Harry Potter". In the next breath, Disney is getting slammed for expanding and building new stuff when "they don't have any money". They can't win. And -- all due respect -- just because you may think that a rebuilt Fantasyland won't bring in new customers doesn't mean that it won't. Just because it's not the expansion you want doesn't mean it's useless. It's likely that Disney has a lot more research and knowledge about its customer base and its place in the market than we do.

The DIS is a very small sample of preferences and opinions when put up against the total number of people who visit WDW every year. And my guess is that most of the folks here have never taken any of their comments, suggestions, complaints or observations and put them into a concise page or two to send to Disney. Which means that most of what's written here, stays here and is of no help to WDW at all.

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Old 08-24-2010, 08:51 AM   #872
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First, I totally agree with you (and I do complain about things like this to Disney and other companies). However, I think you'd be surprised at what Disney (and other companies) do for research these days. There are (most certainly) Disney marketing people who frequent this site--and others--to take the pulse of what's happening. They just aren't acting on what they're seeing.
I'm absolutely certain that Disney has research staff reading these (and other) boards. But again ... how do they "act on what they're seeing" when the sample is so small? Most of the complaint threads are the same 10-12 people telling each other how right they are, with maybe another dozen or so popping in for a single post or maybe two. No marketing or research department in the world is going to take the opinions of a couple of dozen people and go to upper management and say, "Hey! Twelve people on the DIS hate the new hot dogs. We must change them!" Particularly when the total WDW guest base is in the millions. Sure the DIS has thousands of members. How many of them are on this thread? Those couple of dozen don't even make a blip.

What the marketing people WILL do, though, is take that information and put it into a larger pool -- let all the Guest Correspondence people know about it, for example, and ask them to flag any incoming correspondence that deals with the new hot dogs (both good and bad). If nothing comes in over a reasonable amount of time, then they'll look at those few comments on the DIS as an anomoly. If, however, two dozen guest letters or e-mails come in complaining about the hot dogs, Guest Communications is going to start contacting those people to ask them why the hot dogs are eliciting this kind of response. At which point Research has a bit more info to work with, and then questions go out to the Mom's Panel or into Disney surveys, and it becomes a bigger thing.

When someone writes a letter and is passionate enough about their comments to sign their name and provide a return address, e-mail or phone number, it gets read. Someone posting "You're right! " on a message board under a nom de plume that can't be traced back to anything just doesn't carry the same weight.

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Old 08-24-2010, 08:51 AM   #873
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Excellent response!
Thanks.

Forgot to mention, that I am known as an amateur consumer advocate around here - I`ve contacted thousands of companies, and had extremly good results. They love it when I tell them that I absolutely love their product or service, and they equally are grateful when I give them my concerns.

Disney is a good company, who does care about feedback - I have a great track record with them, so I am proof of that. Good companies know how to weed through the crap, or complaints looking for free stuff. Their job is to gather info, and so they really do like customer feedback, as it helps them.

That being said, Disney believes, because their booking sales are proving it to be so, that the Free Dining promo is a good thing, so emailing them to say that the creation of the Dining Plan has ruined dining forever at Disney, might be a tad dramatic. What I`ve done, is make specific reference to dishes that we`ve eaten, or service issues that we`ve had. This gets a dialogue going about dining in general, but I don`t give them a novel about how many problems I see with the entire operation. That wouldn`t be helpful at all.

I would encourage people to contact Disney though, as they do read through guest feedback, and they track concerns and praise in many different departments within the corporation.

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Old 08-24-2010, 08:56 AM   #874
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Wdwsearcher, I really appreciate your input. It is so easy to speculate
from the outside.
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:03 AM   #875
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According to the Cast Members that we have talked to, most are unhappy because Disney has cut many full timers and replaced them with part timers in order save money because they don't receive benefits.

The CM's work schedules are very irregular and causes a lack of team building. A Front Desk CM who we have come to know at the BWI was scheduled to work at 3 different resorts in 1 week. When I told him that I would see him the next day, he said that he would be at the BC, and Friday at the AKL.

In the past, the CM's became part of the Disney experience. Guests got to know the CM's at the different resorts and food locations and could look forward to seeing them on return visits.

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Old 08-24-2010, 09:12 AM   #876
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According to the Cast Members that we have talked to, most are unhappy because Disney has cut many full timers and replaced them with part timers in order save money because they don't receive benefits.

The CM's work schedules are very irregular and causes a lack of team building. A Front Desk CM who we have come to know at the BWI was scheduled to work at 3 different resorts in 1 week. When I told him that I would see him the next day, he said that he would be at the BC, and Friday at the AKL.

In the past, the CM's became part of the Disney experience. Guests got to know the CM's at the different resorts and food locations and could look forward to seeing them on return visits.

Bill
if my employees were griping to clients they would no longer be my employees.
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:12 AM   #877
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And this, my friends, is part of the problem. Heard it before they just don't pay their people terribly well. This worked out in the past but, obviously, isn't working out too well now. People need to be able to earn enough to make a living or they just aren't gonna be happy in their jobs. If they're not happy in their jobs, how can they give the best product possible?

I feel for those on the front lines not making what they deserve while they see Disney spending money on all of these other projects...
Just for the record, none of the theme parks or tourist attractions in central Florida pay their people terribly well. At least, not those on the front lines. Those are largely unskilled positions held by largely unskilled workers. How much does someone who has no college degree and is working their first full time job ever "deserve" to make?

And I'm sorry, but the amount of money you get paid should have nothing to do with how well you do your job. You know what your pay rate will be when you take the job. If you agree to the pay, then you are agreeing to do the best job you possibly can for that amount of money. There are people making six figures who aren't happy in their jobs, just as there are people making minimum wage who go to work every day with a smile on their face. More money does not automatically equate to "happier employees".

There are a LOT of people in a lot of different industries who don't earn enough to make a living. It's certainly not a problem exclusive to Disney. If it were, all of those folks who complain about their WDW pay would be going to work for all the thousands of companies who will pay them more. I would think most people at WDW would be happy that the company is "spending money on all of these other projects." When Disney stops building new stuff, the company stagnates. When the company stagnates, business and profits go down. Which means fewer hours, lower stock prices, no new jobs and cuts on benefits. How is THAT a better deal?

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Old 08-24-2010, 09:18 AM   #878
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if my employees were griping to clients they would no longer be my employees.
In the past, that never happened, the CM's acted happy and set the mood. Some still do but not like a few years ago, things have changed.

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Old 08-24-2010, 09:22 AM   #879
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It's still a fun place to go to though. I just wonder how dumbed down the product can become before the general public starts to notice enough to stay away though...
I haven't read the whole thread so pardon if any of this has been brought up before...

I think WDW would have to get REALLY bad before they see a sharp decline in visitors. (And yes, they did have a decline last quarter, but probably most of that is due to the economy & not a reflection on Disney itself.) The majority of people who visit WDW are not frequent visitors like many of the posters on this board. Many people visit only once in their lives, and many others visit only a few times with several years between visits. Not often enough to notice all the subtle changes that are being discussed here.

I'll have 5 years in between visits this time. Even if I eat at the same restaurant I ate at 5 years ago, I'm not expecting the menu to be exactly the same. I might notice if a favorite dish from previous visits is missing, but I wouldn't consider that indicative of declining quality; it's normal for a restaurant to change their menu periodically. If the food is actually bad that's another thing, but changes in the menu don't really bother me.

Also, I've never considered WDW to be fine dining. Maybe it's because I live in NYC & have access to a lot of great restaurants, but I don't think of any restaurant in WDW as gourmet or fine dining or what have you. It's a theme park; it has vastly better & more varied food options than any other theme park, but it's still a theme park. I don't go in expecting to eat the best meal I've ever eaten. I expect decent-to-good food, which I've always gotten, and I also expect the prices to be higher than what I'd pay for the same food elsewhere. I equate it to eating at a restaurant in Times Square; the prices are always higher in Times Square than prices for the same type/quality of food elsewhere. You're paying for the location, & WDW is no different.
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:26 AM   #880
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Sorry but I gave up on the Morocco counter service, unless I'm ordering the veggie platter. Cold meat was served once too often. I'm pretty sure it's not supposed to be cold.

WDW isn't serving turkey hotdogs, but they're no longer serving all-beef ones either. They have switched to a chicken/beef blend.
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:28 AM   #881
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There are 53,000 CMs working for WDW in Florida. Clearly the company has money to pay its workers. Last year's layoffs -- as traumatic as they were -- tightened up the workforce and brought lots of areas back to where they should be. Disney was overloaded with middle management and it was making things incredibly bogged down. Decisions that should have taken a few hours were taking weeks as they waded through all the levels they had to go through. Those areas are working more efficiently now, and that will save time and money in the long run.

I am not sure how efficiently areas work now if cuts affected service in some areas. I believe that Disney is a smart company and hired people originally because they were needed and letting them go creates a gap in those areas. Take holiday decorations, what was efficient about missing decorations and missing bulbs or full garbage cans or full smoking trays at POP any time of the day.


As for expansion, new resorts, etc. ... Disney can't win. In one breath, people are yelling at WDW for not doing anything new; for not building anything to "compete with Harry Potter". In the next breath, Disney is getting slammed for expanding and building new stuff when "they don't have any money". They can't win. And -- all due respect -- just because you may think that a rebuilt Fantasyland won't bring in new customers doesn't mean that it won't. Just because it's not the expansion you want doesn't mean it's useless. It's likely that Disney has a lot more research and knowledge about its customer base and its place in the market than we do.

Considering that they are rethinking Expansion they did not think much about it when they originally presented plans. I may or may not like new area but bringing more Princess meet and greet is not a new concept, not a new, amazing ride that may bring new people in. People with little girls already go to park, already meet with princesses and go to BBB. I personally believe that expansion was fast reaction to Harry Potter but it lacks creativity and WOW factor. Yes, Disney had to answer to Harry Potter but there were no need to do it one day before Universal came to press, having no real plan on hands.

The DIS is a very small sample of preferences and opinions when put up against the total number of people who visit WDW every year. And my guess is that most of the folks here have never taken any of their comments, suggestions, complaints or observations and put them into a concise page or two to send to Disney. Which means that most of what's written here, stays here and is of no help to WDW at all.

What makes you think that people do not complain? Many people do.
BTW, Universal experiencing same problems Disney does, but they managed to keep ticket price for years and only changed right before Harry Potter opened, while we pay higher price every year.
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:29 AM   #882
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if my employees were griping to clients they would no longer be my employees.

Don't forget the layoffs were not exclusive to the lower-wage positions (though they took the brunt of the cost-cutting). Management is often doing far more with far less. They cannot be everywhere nor hear everything.

It's natural for staff to worry and even voice it when going through so much change. Change is painful especially as extensive as the staff and quality cutbacks have been. Don't forget, Castmembers are watching the decline in quality too! Now add in fears that you could be next, management too distracted to support the remaining staff, cranky guests who are feeling many of the same things at home and want to escape it all with unrealistic expectations (I want my upgrade! Is THIS the service $40,000 buys now?)......I admire their ability to generate Pixie Dust at all!


Don't kid yourself.....Disney has BUCKETS of cash. Payroll savings alone in the last 3 years are STAGGERING.

They just choose to reinvest as little as they can get away with.
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:32 AM   #883
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Originally Posted by TDC Nala View Post
Sorry but I gave up on the Morocco counter service, unless I'm ordering the veggie platter. Cold meat was served once too often. I'm pretty sure it's not supposed to be cold.

WDW isn't serving turkey hotdogs, but they're no longer serving all-beef ones either. They have switched to a chicken/beef blend.
Yup, the meat was cold too! How could I forget that. I really enjoy Marrakesh, so we always eat there, and hopefully, they'll continue to offer great food, service and entertainment. We have TIW, so we don't eat much CS meals anyway.

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Don't forget the layoffs were not exclusive to the lower-wage positions (though they took the brunt of the cost-cutting). Management is often doing far more with far less. They cannot be everywhere nor hear everything.

It's natural for staff to worry and even voice it when going through so much change. Change is painful especially as extensive as the staff and quality cutbacks have been. Don't forget, Castmembers are watching the decline in quality too! Now add in fears that you could be next, management too distracted to support the remaining staff, cranky guests who are feeling many of the same things at home and want to escape it all with unrealistic expectations (I want my upgrade! Is THIS the service $40,000 buys now?)......I admire their ability to generate Pixie Dust at all!


Don't kid yourself.....Disney has BUCKETS of cash. Payroll savings alone in the last 3 years are STAGGERING.

They just choose to reinvest as little as they can get away with.
Excellent post! Tiger
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:33 AM   #884
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Sorry but I gave up on the Morocco counter service, unless I'm ordering the veggie platter. Cold meat was served once too often. I'm pretty sure it's not supposed to be cold.

WDW isn't serving turkey hotdogs, but they're no longer serving all-beef ones either. They have switched to a chicken/beef blend.


Slime dog is a Slime dog, no matter what you call them. Still woefully icky compared to all beef hot dogs.
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:38 AM   #885
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Originally Posted by Donut23 View Post
Don't forget the layoffs were not exclusive to the lower-wage positions (though they took the brunt of the cost-cutting). Management is often doing far more with far less. They cannot be everywhere nor hear everything.

It's natural for staff to worry and even voice it when going through so much change. Change is painful especially as extensive as the staff and quality cutbacks have been. Don't forget, Castmembers are watching the decline in quality too! Now add in fears that you could be next, management too distracted to support the remaining staff, cranky guests who are feeling many of the same things at home and want to escape it all with unrealistic expectations (I want my upgrade! Is THIS the service $40,000 buys now?)......I admire their ability to generate Pixie Dust at all!


Don't kid yourself.....Disney has BUCKETS of cash. Payroll savings alone in the last 3 years are STAGGERING.

They just choose to reinvest as little as they can get away with.
Agree, just want to add that since price increase and all cuts in food and quality, guests are less happy and more angry and CMs need to deal with new reality guests every single day.
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