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Old 08-24-2010, 09:53 AM   #886
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Originally Posted by KellyNY View Post
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.

You are abo****ely right. Castmembers are on the front line and have to try and overcome some pretty big hurdles Disney has put in place....high costs, less quality - fewer castmembers to support the Disney Magic.

I also want to add......most Castmembers WANT to dish out Pixie Dust by the truckload. They ARE frustrated. It's simply impossible to maintain the same level of quality when you are working with massive layoffs - some departments up to 45%. Heck (< have you noticed I like to say heck alot?)......HECK, mousekkeepers are still cleaning rooms after 5 pm because there are no longer enough mousekeepers on the payroll.

There IS a new reality for castmembers. What worries me, when you push workers beyond what is possible to handle for extended periods of time, they often develope the " whatever " attitude from too much frustration.


Are we starting to see more " whatever " at WDW?

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Old 08-24-2010, 09:53 AM   #887
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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. Such as what? What areas are back to where they should be? I believe it's the opposite. As a matter of fact I know it's the opposite. And if you don't believe me maybe you should read the excerpt in the NEW YORK TIMES that I posted yesterday, about customers, not spending money in the parks! Hense this is why Disney is trying to sell the NOT FREE DINING and discounting resorts to 40 percent. Even though some are in bad need of repair.

Disney was overloaded with middle management and it was making things incredibly bogged down. What exactly does that mean? 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. Can you quantify anything here that you have written?
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 are scaling down the Fantasyland expansion and they are building more and more DVC places. They used to build a new park every 10 years, hense Magic Kingdom 1971, EPCOT 1982, Hollywood Studios 1989 and Animal Kingdom 1998. They can't win. They can't win??? LOL! You're kidding right? They just earned over 1 billion dollars last QUARTER. 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. Just so you know Pirate Jeff is writing a concise petition, letter that will go straight to the CEO of WDW.

Bottom line is, your whole demeaner just seems very sarcastic. It is obvious you have not read the concerns from most people here on this board. And if you look at how many have viewed this thread, it is well over 28,000 VIEWS! We as the public are not stupid! As stated earlier per the NY TIMES people are not spending the exorbitant prices at the various theme parks.
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:03 AM   #888
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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.

*
First off, it's called word of mouth. There are over 29,000 people that have viewed this thread. Those 29,000 views are going to take note of what we are talking about. Once again, Disney knows that people are not spending money in the parks and for good reason. Yes, Disney is slipping in alot of ways. There are many things that should be addressed. As a group we are just discussing them. And, quite a few posters such as myself any many others are discussing the positive things of WDW. So it's not all doom and gloom. Yes, as a matter of fact I am going back. But I am not going to be eating on site. I'm taking my money elsewhere.
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:13 AM   #889
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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.
Actually most of the cuts didn't affect line positions at all. It was nearly all in salaried areas or in areas that had expanded several years ago when business was good and money was flush, only to now be overburdened when business shrunk and not as many projects were planned. Things change. People who were hired and needed when business was good may not be needed when business gets slim and cost cutting is done. Just because someone is needed one year doesn't mean that the job is still necessary five years later. Technology changes, skills change, businesses evolve. When the company has money, it can afford to keep people on because it wants to. When the comany doesn't have money, it reorganizes and gets rid of the extra positions.

What was efficient about fewer decorations? Fewer decorations means fewer working hours, less equipment, less overtime, less time installing, less time striking. Less use on machinery, fewer people needed to clean, repack, store, rehab. Fewer CMs working installation shifts means fewer costumes needed and less laundry. Those resources can be sent out to other locations to help ease other schedules. Fewer decorations can mean phenomenal savings. That should be obvious.

As for full garbage cans and smoking stations at POP "any time of day" ... it could be a recurring problem; it could have been luck of the draw the week you were there. There hasn't been a lot of trip reports that mention it, so maybe most people just didn't notice. What did POP management tell you when you complained? Did the complaints spur any additional cleaning?

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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.
No real plan on hand? Do you think all those lovely color renderings and area maps are just pulled out of the sky? No project ever ends up being exactly what it was when it started. Markets change, guest preferences change. The original plans for Harry Potter were not the same as the final product. The original plans for DHS, DAK, even Epcot changed dozens of times between initial concept and grand opening. The Fantasyland expansion was not "fast reaction to Harry Potter." If it was, Disney certainly has the resources to have opened something new and big just as Harry Potter was opening. I mean ... Universal spent five years building Harry Potter. If Disney had wanted to compete head to head, they'd have done that.

People with little girls spend a LOT of money at WDW. It's logical to think that you build the new stuff where your money is. As the market changes -- and "boy stuff" starts bringing in more than you'd anticipated -- you then adapt and change your plans. Even Walt did that with Disneyland. Read about the original DL plans sometime and compare them to what the park looked like when it opened. There were lots of changes.

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What makes you think that people do not complain? Many people do.
I'm sure people complain. But again ... the DIS is not as big as a lot of people think it is. Do you take the time to write letters to Disney to complain about things you didn't like?

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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.
Not true. Every time Disney raised its prices, Universal raised as well. Not every category changes every year -- some years only AP rates increase, sometimes it's only one-day tickets. But there has never been a year where Disney raised a price that Universal didn't counter. It costs exactly the same for a single day at Universal as it does for a single day at Disney. If Universal wasn't raising prices to keep pace, it would cost less to visit Universal. The two parks have kept pace with each other all along.

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Old 08-24-2010, 10:24 AM   #890
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I really have a lack of understanding on a few of these posts.Why is the general public suppose to be happy they have decided to expand by building an ultra exclusive housing development on disney grounds or for that matter a new hotel?How many of their guests actually will use either of these? When attendance is down you build more rooms? What business model is this?I am happy to see the are doing the fantasyland expansion as I think they have been neglecting the parks more than ever the last decade. I guess time will tell the tale in the end though.
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:27 AM   #891
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Actually most of the cuts didn't affect line positions at all. It was nearly all in salaried areas or in areas that had expanded several years ago when business was good and money was flush, only to now be overburdened when business shrunk and not as many projects were planned.

Sorry, just not true. Front line castmembers had more than their share of staffing changes at Disney parks.

The "salaried staffing cuts"....was propaganda at the parks......VERY true at other cost centers. But then places like ESPN, ABC and others are basically staffed by.....rather WERE staffed by mostly salaried employees. Now many divisions are staffed by empty desks.

DH has watched it from the inside so I'll go with his analysis or just listen to a front-line castmember to hear the reality.
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:32 AM   #892
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Originally Posted by WDSearcher View Post
Actually most of the cuts didn't affect line positions at all. It was nearly all in salaried areas or in areas that had expanded several years ago when business was good and money was flush, only to now be overburdened when business shrunk and not as many projects were planned. Things change. People who were hired and needed when business was good may not be needed when business gets slim and cost cutting is done. Just because someone is needed one year doesn't mean that the job is still necessary five years later. Technology changes, skills change, businesses evolve. When the company has money, it can afford to keep people on because it wants to. When the comany doesn't have money, it reorganizes and gets rid of the extra positions.

What was efficient about fewer decorations? Fewer decorations means fewer working hours, less equipment, less overtime, less time installing, less time striking. Less use on machinery, fewer people needed to clean, repack, store, rehab. Fewer CMs working installation shifts means fewer costumes needed and less laundry. Those resources can be sent out to other locations to help ease other schedules. Fewer decorations can mean phenomenal savings. That should be obvious.

As for full garbage cans and smoking stations at POP "any time of day" ... it could be a recurring problem; it could have been luck of the draw the week you were there. There hasn't been a lot of trip reports that mention it, so maybe most people just didn't notice. What did POP management tell you when you complained? Did the complaints spur any additional cleaning?


No real plan on hand? Do you think all those lovely color renderings and area maps are just pulled out of the sky? No project ever ends up being exactly what it was when it started. Markets change, guest preferences change. The original plans for Harry Potter were not the same as the final product. The original plans for DHS, DAK, even Epcot changed dozens of times between initial concept and grand opening. The Fantasyland expansion was not "fast reaction to Harry Potter." If it was, Disney certainly has the resources to have opened something new and big just as Harry Potter was opening. I mean ... Universal spent five years building Harry Potter. If Disney had wanted to compete head to head, they'd have done that.

People with little girls spend a LOT of money at WDW. It's logical to think that you build the new stuff where your money is. As the market changes -- and "boy stuff" starts bringing in more than you'd anticipated -- you then adapt and change your plans. Even Walt did that with Disneyland. Read about the original DL plans sometime and compare them to what the park looked like when it opened. There were lots of changes.


I'm sure people complain. But again ... the DIS is not as big as a lot of people think it is. Do you take the time to write letters to Disney to complain about things you didn't like?


Not true. Every time Disney raised its prices, Universal raised as well. Not every category changes every year -- some years only AP rates increase, sometimes it's only one-day tickets. But there has never been a year where Disney raised a price that Universal didn't counter. It costs exactly the same for a single day at Universal as it does for a single day at Disney. If Universal wasn't raising prices to keep pace, it would cost less to visit Universal. The two parks have kept pace with each other all along.

*
Isn't that what Disney is all about? Heck, how bout they just don't decorate at all for the holidays, especially Christmas! Boy, they can save a lot of CASH! Your rebutal is ludicrous at best. Disney is known for their holiday decorations. Christmas is their highest attendance crowd, why wouldn't they not put the lights of winter up at EPCOT? What, to save money to pay workers to erect the lights? Your argument makes no sense at all! Disney is MAGICAL right? They have raised the bar years ago!
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:39 AM   #893
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Such as what? What areas are back to where they should be?
Marketing and Merchandise, to name two. They were bogged down in middle management and have streamlined quite a bit. HR has also streamlined, as has Finance.

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I believe it's the opposite. As a matter of fact I know it's the opposite. And if you don't believe me maybe you should read the excerpt in the NEW YORK TIMES that I posted yesterday, about customers, not spending money in the parks! Hense this is why Disney is trying to sell the NOT FREE DINING and discounting resorts to 40 percent. Even though some are in bad need of repair.
Of course Free Dining and resort discounts are being done to bring people into the parks -- every theme park chain out there is offering some kind of discount right now; this is Disney's. And just because Free Dining doesn't make sense for you doesn't mean that it's not a deal for someone else. Somewhere, on some thread, someone did the math and determined that it works for some and not for others. If you don't think it's a good deal, don't go that way.

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What exactly does that mean? Can you quantify anything here that you have written?
Sure. It used to take two signatures to get something through to Purchasing. A manager signed it, and then a VP. Then, over several years, two levels of middle management got added and it took four signatures to get that same exact thing through Purchasing. So instead of one manager and one VP, you had a supervisor, a manager, a VP and an SVP. Now, some areas are back to a manager and a VP. Cuts a great deal of time off the decision-making process, makes managers and VPs more accountable, and saves everyone time and money.

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They used to build a new park every 10 years, hense Magic Kingdom 1971, EPCOT 1982, Hollywood Studios 1989 and Animal Kingdom 1998.
What does that mean? They should have built a new park in 2008 and you'd have been happy? Everyone is yelling to stop building and start fixing the parks that are already there. So ... Disney redoes Fantasyland, and works on fixing the park that is already there. But you're saying they should be building a new park? I'm confused.

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Just so you know Pirate Jeff is writing a concise petition, letter that will go straight to the CEO of WDW.
I've never seen any evidence of a petition doing anything (ref: "Save Pleasure Island"; "Save Mr. Toad"), but I'm sure Disney will appreciate any comments that come their way.

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Bottom line is, your whole demeaner just seems very sarcastic. It is obvious you have not read the concerns from most people here on this board. And if you look at how many have viewed this thread, it is well over 28,000 VIEWS! We as the public are not stupid! As stated earlier per the NY TIMES people are not spending the exorbitant prices at the various theme parks.
I'm sorry that you think I'm being sarcastic. And I don't think I ever said that anyone was stupid. My comments don't seem to be any more or less sarcastic than anyone else here. Your comments to me seem very sarcastic and mean-spirited, but you may not mean them to come across that way. I have read the concerns from the people here. But it doesn't matter if I've read them. And it doesn't matter that 28,000 people looked at them. What matters is if any of those 28,000 people care enough to write to Disney and tell them that they don't like how things are going. If the 28,000 VIEWS are 28,000 people who do nothing, then it doesn't matter if it's 28,000 or 28. Me? I'm just participating in a discussion.

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Old 08-24-2010, 10:40 AM   #894
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Sorry, just not true. Front line castmembers had more than their share of staffing changes at Disney parks.

The "salaried staffing cuts"....was propaganda at the parks......VERY true at other cost centers. But then places like ESPN, ABC and others are basically staffed by.....rather WERE staffed by mostly salaried employees. Now many divisions are staffed by empty desks.

DH has watched it from the inside so I'll go with his analysis or just listen to a front-line castmember to hear the reality.
I've watched it from the inside too.

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Old 08-24-2010, 10:56 AM   #895
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I've watched it from the inside too.


Perhaps your view does not offer as wide a vision as my husband's. Lucky you!
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Old 08-24-2010, 11:32 AM   #896
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Actually most of the cuts didn't affect line positions at all. It was nearly all in salaried areas or in areas that had expanded several years ago when business was good and money was flush, only to now be overburdened when business shrunk and not as many projects were planned. Things change. People who were hired and needed when business was good may not be needed when business gets slim and cost cutting is done. Just because someone is needed one year doesn't mean that the job is still necessary five years later. Technology changes, skills change, businesses evolve. When the company has money, it can afford to keep people on because it wants to. When the comany doesn't have money, it reorganizes and gets rid of the extra positions.

It did affected line positions. "Less pay, more hours" is direct affect.


What was efficient about fewer decorations? Fewer decorations means fewer working hours, less equipment, less overtime, less time installing, less time striking. Less use on machinery, fewer people needed to clean, repack, store, rehab. Fewer CMs working installation shifts means fewer costumes needed and less laundry. Those resources can be sent out to other locations to help ease other schedules. Fewer decorations can mean phenomenal savings. That should be obvious.

Holiday season has less hours, worse weather and more expensive then other seasons, so decorations is a compensation, sort of. Many people go specifically to see decorations and saving on it is a Ripoff, no less. And where exactly saved money goes to? Lets get rid of all CMs and save even more.

As for full garbage cans and smoking stations at POP "any time of day" ... it could be a recurring problem; it could have been luck of the draw the week you were there. There hasn't been a lot of trip reports that mention it, so maybe most people just didn't notice. What did POP management tell you when you complained? Did the complaints spur any additional cleaning?

They offered me FPs as a conpensation for inconvenience, the usual Disney way to deal with complains on site and no I did not accept.
No real plan on hand? Do you think all those lovely color renderings and area maps are just pulled out of the sky? No project ever ends up being exactly what it was when it started. Markets change, guest preferences change. The original plans for Harry Potter were not the same as the final product. The original plans for DHS, DAK, even Epcot changed dozens of times between initial concept and grand opening. The Fantasyland expansion was not "fast reaction to Harry Potter." If it was, Disney certainly has the resources to have opened something new and big just as Harry Potter was opening. I mean ... Universal spent five years building Harry Potter. If Disney had wanted to compete head to head, they'd have done that.


People with little girls spend a LOT of money at WDW. It's logical to think that you build the new stuff where your money is. As the market changes -- and "boy stuff" starts bringing in more than you'd anticipated -- you then adapt and change your plans. Even Walt did that with Disneyland. Read about the original DL plans sometime and compare them to what the park looked like when it opened. There were lots of changes.

Those lovely drowings inspired by cartoons so not much creativity and does not need 5 years to design if you ask me. And do you think BOYS just were born in a last couple of months. Exactly how "market changed"? Disney ignored them and when public spoke they decided to adjust but were BOYS a news for Disney, no. Yes, every project changes multiple times but Expansion principle is the same, lets go with what is save and easy. Again, nothing new at all. Is this a Walt way? No, he was daring in his ideas and this is why we even have Disney. And according to how Disney presented idea in regards to Universal, it was definitely a fast reaction, nothing else.


I'm sure people complain. But again ... the DIS is not as big as a lot of people think it is. Do you take the time to write letters to Disney to complain about things you didn't like?

Yes, I do.

Not true. Every time Disney raised its prices, Universal raised as well. Not every category changes every year -- some years only AP rates increase, sometimes it's only one-day tickets. But there has never been a year where Disney raised a price that Universal didn't counter. It costs exactly the same for a single day at Universal as it does for a single day at Disney. If Universal wasn't raising prices to keep pace, it would cost less to visit Universal. The two parks have kept pace with each other all along.

Universal tickets were same for years. However I pay for tickets more and more at Disney every year.
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Old 08-24-2010, 12:27 PM   #897
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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.

You're exactly right, however, read up on statistics and how they use numbers to extrapolate the satisfaction (or dis-satisfaction) of a larger group. When someone says, "X% of Americans approve of how the President is doing his job," they didn't actually ask ALL of us and determine what that percentage is. They ask a subset of the larger group and can (fairly accurately believe it or not) come up with these numbers.

There is a larger percentage of people around here who are not happy with things. This is a very popular board and, we both agree Disney is watching. So, yes, they take what we say here, add it to the pool of other people out there. They then extrapolate the numbers from that and determine whether they should do something or not. If more people complain here, there or anywhere, (hopefully) they'll get the message.

You'd also be surprised at how many of us HAVE contacted Disney to make these complaints. Is everyone unhappy? Absolutely not. But if enough people complain about what's happening, maybe they'll change their ways. I agree contacting Disney directly is better than just posting here but this is better than nothing. btw, if any of you would like to contact them directly (as I've done), you can click here.

I also feel Disney customers, as a whole, tend to overlook a lot of this kind of stuff. It's telling to me to see just how many people are actually starting to complain about things. There's certainly something going on.

You mentioned people complaining about the FL expansion. I don't think that's the point of this thread. Do I like the plans? No but, as you pointed out, that doesn't mean many others may not actually like the plans. I'm with you on that. However, the other refurbs with everything else being boarded up all at the same time is just a bit over the top. Why is it like this? Because they've left things get out of hand for too long and they're playing catchup (hopefully). I felt my most recent trip down there was marred by all of the boarded up stores, torn up landscaping, etc. Hopefully, they'll get this done and just do, "normally," scheduled maintenance so it won't seem like so much is boarded up. Really ruined the feel for me and the family for sure.
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Old 08-24-2010, 12:32 PM   #898
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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?

I agree with you, however, you also know the difference between how things should be and how things actually are. If you take a job, knowing the pay rate and eventually things get bad in other areas, that pay rate may not be good enough any longer.

I also agree with you on the pay rate of all of the major attractions in FL and elsewhere. So why is it, Disney CMs didn't used to feel this way even though they were in the same pay scale as others working at the other parks? Something is amiss there, I don't work there so I have no idea what.

Either way, I say ALL people, whether they're out of college, no experience, etc. need to be able to earn a living. There are jobs which don't warrant that kind of money (unfortunately) so those people tend to leave these jobs once they can earn enough elsewhere.
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Old 08-24-2010, 12:44 PM   #899
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Originally Posted by Ava View Post
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.
No offense but, if this is what you, "expect," then this is what you'll get. That's part of the problem. Too many people expect to get this at Disney. People used to ask me all of the time why I went so often. "It's too expensive," they'd tell me. When I explained to them just how unexpensive it was they were surprised. When I compared prices on things such as room/tickets/food to other places nearby (Great Adventure is one example) people were amazed. We were led to believe it's expensive. Well, so many people expected it now Disney has given it to us.

Your other comment about not looking for gourmet food, well, neither am I. If I order fried chicken, it shouldn't be dry from sitting under a heat lamp and it shouldn't cost me $16ish. Their food used to be better and it was certainly MUCH cheaper (not just a reflection of everything being more expensive everywhere is what I mean) than it is now. I cite the introduction of the DDP as to when this all happened. They (correctly so) centralized a bunch of things when that happened. Unfortunately, the suppliers they use provide sub-standard food compared to what it used to be. They've also jacked the prices on food since then. I'm guessing it's for more than one reason:

-"encourage," people to utilize the DDP as it's a very good thing for Disney to keep us on property longer.
-collect from those of us who either cannot or will not utilize the DDP. We're a captive audience afterall...
-part of it is because EVERYTHING has gotten more expensive.

Now, I would gladly (well, maybe not gladly) pay their prices if I felt the food was (at least) close to worth it. Heck, we did two character breakfasts at the CP when we were just down there because their buffet still IS that good. With 2 adults and 2 children, that ain't a cheap breakfast. However, overall, the food has really just gotten that bad.

Since you've had so long in between visits, you may no (or may) notice some of the changes we're discussing here. Since many of us who are complaining go regularly, we notice it more. That's why I am being made to feel like Disney doesn't care about those of us who are, "regular," customers and just care about the first-timers or occasional visitors. I could be wrong but that's what all this feels like.
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Old 08-24-2010, 01:06 PM   #900
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You're exactly right, however, read up on statistics and how they use numbers to extrapolate the satisfaction (or dis-satisfaction) of a larger group. When someone says, "X% of Americans approve of how the President is doing his job," they didn't actually ask ALL of us and determine what that percentage is. They ask a subset of the larger group and can (fairly accurately believe it or not) come up with these numbers.

There is a larger percentage of people around here who are not happy with things. This is a very popular board and, we both agree Disney is watching. So, yes, they take what we say here, add it to the pool of other people out there. They then extrapolate the numbers from that and determine whether they should do something or not. If more people complain here, there or anywhere, (hopefully) they'll get the message.

You'd also be surprised at how many of us HAVE contacted Disney to make these complaints. Is everyone unhappy? Absolutely not. But if enough people complain about what's happening, maybe they'll change their ways. I agree contacting Disney directly is better than just posting here but this is better than nothing. btw, if any of you would like to contact them directly (as I've done), you can click here.

I also feel Disney customers, as a whole, tend to overlook a lot of this kind of stuff. It's telling to me to see just how many people are actually starting to complain about things. There's certainly something going on.

You mentioned people complaining about the FL expansion. I don't think that's the point of this thread. Do I like the plans? No but, as you pointed out, that doesn't mean many others may not actually like the plans. I'm with you on that. However, the other refurbs with everything else being boarded up all at the same time is just a bit over the top. Why is it like this? Because they've left things get out of hand for too long and they're playing catchup (hopefully). I felt my most recent trip down there was marred by all of the boarded up stores, torn up landscaping, etc. Hopefully, they'll get this done and just do, "normally," scheduled maintenance so it won't seem like so much is boarded up. Really ruined the feel for me and the family for sure.

You are spot on Rick!

Disney is all about trends - on the large scale.

When the whispers about layoffs began a couple of years ago, I told DH is would be ugly (hate it when I'm right). I explained Disney would cutback BEYOND what could be reasonably sustained.....then when complaints began, they would adjust staffing...but only just enough until complaints stopped.

Want an example? I watched this and read about it after....could not believe it but...here goes.

Remember a couple of years ago when the Russian spacecraft was going to plunge (Isn't plunge a GREAT word?) plunge to earth? All the morning shows had nice little graphics. ABC on the other hand....had just fired their entire Washington graphics department and did not have staffing in NY for night time so they could not prepare for their 7 am show. Their poor reporter on Good Morning America came on air with a BIG PAD OF PAPER AND A MAGIC MARKER!

Oh my, the news papers and blogs had a FIELD DAY with this. ABC and Disney looked like idiots.

According to news blogs, the staffing problem in the Graphics Department was quickly resolved....but apparently....just barely. Well, I haven't seen another sad segment like that since.

Ok, it wasn't a WDW example....but I thought someone else would remember this vs. a personal observation made during a visit.


Bottom line....actually someone said it earlier on this thread......if we didn't complain, we would still be drinking NEW Coke!!

It's important when something is not not acceptable....or even a bad trend, we make sure Disney knows. Make a list, send a calm email or letter. Otherwise, we will be "drinking New Coke" on our next WDW trip!
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