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Old 04-04-2013, 11:08 PM   #46
Mad Hattered
I had a stick of CareFree gum, but it didn't work. I felt pretty good while I was blowing that bubble, but as soon as the gum lost its flavor, I was back to pondering my mortality.
 
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Originally Posted by dadddio View Post
I've worked for a number of companies over the years. I don't think that I've ever thought 'Our IT is great!' I suppose that it's possible that I've simply worked for a bunch of company's with lousy IT departments. However, I suspect the real answer is that IT departments don't get much love. They are either screwing up or completely ignored.
Disney's IT has not been ignored at all for as long as I can remember. There are plenty of people who have brought them to light over the smallest of things. Yet I am going to throw all my eggs in THAT "proverbial basket" and trust everything will work out? Uhhhhhhhh.....having to physically write a name on a pass and use the old fashion telephone seems like things are moving in the right direction.
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:16 PM   #47
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Disney's IT has not been ignored at all for as long as I can remember. There are plenty of people who have brought them to light over the smallest of things.
That is exactly my point.
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:17 PM   #48
Mad Hattered
I had a stick of CareFree gum, but it didn't work. I felt pretty good while I was blowing that bubble, but as soon as the gum lost its flavor, I was back to pondering my mortality.
 
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That is exactly my point.
And it's improving?
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:22 PM   #49
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And it's improving?
How in the world should I know? I am not pretending to know everything that is involved in making MM+ work.
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:23 PM   #50
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I had a stick of CareFree gum, but it didn't work. I felt pretty good while I was blowing that bubble, but as soon as the gum lost its flavor, I was back to pondering my mortality.
 
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How in the world should I know?
We (and a lot of other people) finally agree on something!!!!
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:27 PM   #51
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This is the strangest conversation.
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:30 PM   #52
Mad Hattered
I had a stick of CareFree gum, but it didn't work. I felt pretty good while I was blowing that bubble, but as soon as the gum lost its flavor, I was back to pondering my mortality.
 
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This is the strangest conversation.
Oh, come on! You've had way weirder.
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Old 04-05-2013, 12:22 AM   #53
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What you and I see as simple tasks may not, in fact, be very simple. I have on many occasions been guilty of pushing seemingly simple tasks to my IT guy only to find out that there are huge technical roadblocks to fulfilling my request.
One HOPES that your IT department would write a quick email back to you explaining that this was going to be a whole lot harder, more expensive, and more time-consuming than you thought, and let you know that under NO circumstances should you be publicizing it in any way, shape, or form, until it's finished.

I mean, I hope that's what they would do. Now if there are idea people talking to sales people at an IT outsourcer, well those salespeople made DH's life utter heck with a job or two, since they would promise the moon and make guarantees on behalf of the company, when they had NO idea what they were doing (no matter HOW many times they were told straight out that what they were promising could not be done).


Seems Disney's IT department didn't do that.


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Is it a coincidence that many of these same people that constantly criticize Disney IT are also among the most ardent opponents of the proposed FP+ system?
I see it the opposite. Those who aren't sure that the FP+ system is going to be good are the ones that have seen the pathetic (but pretty!) excuses of a website Disney has had for YEARS, and simply know that it's not going to work how they say it's going to work.



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I don't drink the kool aid.
]OH thank goodness you didn't commit suicide (and make your family do so as well) because a cult leader told you to! I'm very glad you didn't do that. Not sure what it (ever) has to do with Disney (or DVC, or Disney Cruises or cruises, or any of the other things people use that ugly, ugly phrase for), though.


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That's a pretty easy question to answer. AP holders were leaved that they had to wait in a slow line to enter the parks. That was clearly shown in the many posts about it.
The only slowness I discovered in Feb was when the CM (that we were told to go to) had a mini-fit because we were supposed to go somewhere else, until the CM behind her with a scanner told us to come in, and that's what the scanners were for.

Better signage of where old APs were to go would have helped out a great deal.


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Curious though … does anyone know if Disney outsources their IT development or if it is internal?
2 bits of knowledge.

A couple years ago in my university's alumni magazine an article congratulated a guy who graduated with me on becoming the head of Disney's IT department. Someday I'll have a chat with him at a reunion though first I have to GO to a reunion.

On our recent visit we got to talking with a CM at a lounge who said that her husband had recently interviewed with Disney's IT department, but chose to go elsewhere.

Both give me the impression that while the IT department (or part of it) might be in Seattle (where the husband interviewed), it's not contracted.


And it's just so SAD if part of the department is in Seattle. There are plenty of really good programmers out here, and one huge, shining example of a really really REALLY good commerce website that almost never goes down, and tests every new bit of website days and weeks in advance, and ONLY rolls them out to the live site when they are ready. Maybe that company took all the patents for it or something, but I doubt it.
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:06 AM   #54
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Are the people that logged on to the AP site first, THEN upgraded to RFID tickets able to still navagate the AP website?

Going in 2 weeks and wonder if I should log on one night before updating?
I'm wondering the same thing - it sounds that way, but...

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Of course it isn't - some of us are opponents of the FP+ system BECAUSE of the track record of Disney IT. And I don't care about "behind the scenes" factors - in this day and age a company's internet presence is a significant part of the overall brand and Disney does not seem to be managing that very well at all.

I'm a huge technophile and love the potential in RFID technology at Disney, but I'm skeptical at best about the FP+ system because nothing in my many years of experience as a user of Disney's website and more recently their apps gives me any reason to believe they can pull off something so ambitious.
^ This, exactly!

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The big thing that is going to be rolled out is MM+. The AP RFID passes are not that big thing. They are but a stopgap until the big thing happens.

So there was apparently a choice: Inconvenience AP holders longer by making them wait in a slow line or temporarily lose access to the AP website. These guests can still make their reservations easy enough by calling the given number and now they can enter the parks quickly. It seems that the correct decision was made.
They had more than one choice - they could have waited on converting so many entrances to RFID until they were, you know, ready in all other areas; they could have made sure the AP portal was ready to receive the new passes; they could have warned passholders of the potential disruption before emailing to say "Hey, come get the new big thing!"... lots of choices were available. Speaking as a 20-year veteran passholder and mareklting professional, I assure you - they did not make the right choice here. And in no way is a 30min minimum, long distance phone call easier than a few clicks of a mouse to check AP rates.

My issue is this: don't roll out something that's half-baked. It's bad for PR, it's bad for your customers and, ultimately, it's bad for business.

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Curious though … does anyone know if Disney outsources their IT development or if it is internal?
I believe some of both... which, of course, is likely part of the problem.
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:27 AM   #55
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They had more than one choice - they could have waited on converting so many entrances to RFID until they were, you know, ready in all other areas;
DING! DING! DING! We have a winner!
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:33 AM   #56
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It is unfair to blame Disney IT wholly for the issues. Depending on the structure, IT may only consist of the programmers. I. Order to implement a system or changes, IT needs business requirements. Note, I said business! These requirements come from the business area. Then, there are usually also.business analysts involved to help the business area develop those requirements. The IT area implements what they are told. If those other areas do a poor job, guess what...poor system.

In addition, it is often the business areas driving the implementation dates. Again, usually the business analysts and business area are responsible for testing the changes and usually provide sign off before implementation. They usually also have final say in whether to release the changes or not.

As you can see, there are many areas responsible for the shape of the website, not just IT. Obviously, the project office is driving to dates and the mindset is as long as we meet the date and have something up, we are good.

So, please stop placing the blame for the website and other poor systems interactions solely on IT
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:46 AM   #57
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They had more than one choice - they could have waited on converting so many entrances to RFID until they were, you know, ready in all other areas;
That is easier said than done. Rolling out MM+ is almost certainly a huge undertaking where there is many pieces that need to be timed to flow just right. If one of those pieces gets delayed, angst happens (happened). I equate it to building a house. You schedule all of your subs to do their jobs in order. If one of those guys hits a snag and falls behind, all subs following him have to be rescheduled, as do inspections. Often times, this results in even lengthier delays (or delays to other projects) because those workerbees are due to be working on other jobsites.
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they could have made sure the AP portal was ready to receive the new passes; they could have warned passholders of the potential disruption before emailing to say "Hey, come get the new big thing!"...
I definitely agree with you on this point. AP holders should have been told that if they changed to RFID that they would have to continue to use their old AP number on the passholder site or they would not be able to use the site (whichever is correct. It's not clear from this thread.) Of course, this assumes that the note on the AP website regarding this issue wasn't on there a few weeks ago. If it was, then notification of the issue was made.
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lots of choices were available. Speaking as a 20-year veteran passholder and mareklting professional, I assure you - they did not make the right choice here.
I think that they did the absolute correct thing in rolling out RFID tickets for AP holders. AP holders were clamoring for them, after all. They should have given more instruction as to how to access the AP site or communicated that the site would not be available. Clearly, I think that they undervalued the worth of the AP site to some AP holders.
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And in no way is a 30min minimum, long distance phone call easier than a few clicks of a mouse to check AP rates.
Long distance is an interesting concept. I constantly forget that some people dont have cel phones. That being said, you will note that I didn't state that it was easier to call than to use the website. I stated that it was 'easy enough' to call.
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My issue is this: don't roll out something that's half-baked. It's bad for PR, it's bad for your customers and, ultimately, it's bad for business.
What we keep forgetting in this conversation is that the reason that the RFID AP passes were issued is because the roll out of MM+ was delayed until it is 'fully baked'.

Last edited by dadddio; 04-05-2013 at 08:55 AM.
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:06 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by SharonS View Post
It is unfair to blame Disney IT wholly for the issues. Depending on the structure, IT may only consist of the programmers. I. Order to implement a system or changes, IT needs business requirements. Note, I said business! These requirements come from the business area. Then, there are usually also.business analysts involved to help the business area develop those requirements. The IT area implements what they are told. If those other areas do a poor job, guess what...poor system.

In addition, it is often the business areas driving the implementation dates. Again, usually the business analysts and business area are responsible for testing the changes and usually provide sign off before implementation. They usually also have final say in whether to release the changes or not.

As you can see, there are many areas responsible for the shape of the website, not just IT. Obviously, the project office is driving to dates and the mindset is as long as we meet the date and have something up, we are good.

So, please stop placing the blame for the website and other poor systems interactions solely on IT
Could not agree more... which is really my beef with Disney these days. There was a time when all of those different departments worked together in a way that appeared seamless from the guest perspective. That's not the case these days, which means something's not working efficiently corporation-wide. I don't blame IT at all; I blame leadership, because, ultimately, that's where it all begins.

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That is easier said than done. Rolling out MM+ is almost certainly a huge undertaking where there is many pieces that need to be timed to flow just right. If one of those pieces gets delayed, angst happen (happened).
Yep, agreed. My issue is that Disney could have anticipated this particular snafu (new APs not working on the website) with some pretty basic testing.

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AP holders were clamoring for them, after all.
I'm not so sure about this - and I doubt anyone outside of the company can get data to support it. I've not been a happy AP camper as of late with the new entrances, but I had no interest in an RFID AP. From what I've read and seen first-hand there are a number of ways to speed up entrance through the turnstiles, but I haven't seen them do that lately when lines back up for electronic ticket entrances - maybe they have been, but not that I've seen.

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Clearly, I think that they undervalued the worth of the AP site to some AP holders.
You've hit the nail on the head... RESEARCH! First thing I did when building a new website concept for my organization was ask our users, and especially our superusers, what they viewed as critical functionality on the site. A simple survey to AP holders may have alerted Disney to the desire to view and book discounted resorts online. Then again, it's entirely possible that their data on calls v. online bookings indicates a higher percentage of AP rooms booked by phone... but I kind of doubt it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I'm off to WDW in a couple hours - I'll post back on my waiting at turnstiles experiences and whether or not I cave and switch ours to RFID. Hoping for the best, mentally preparing for the worst...
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:42 AM   #59
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Yep, agreed. My issue is that Disney could have anticipated this particular snafu (new APs not working on the website) with some pretty basic testing.
I'm not sure if testing was needed as I suspect that the new RFID AP passes were never meant to link to the AP website. Rather, I suspect that AP holders were supposed to instead use their prior ticket information on the website as some have reported doing.

The reason I suspect that is because this is all leading up to a point where your RFID pass (whether it is a card or a band or something else) is not your ticket. The number on the RFID card identifies the card, not the ticket because an RFID card could link back to a number of virtualized tickets in it's lifetime.
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I'm not so sure about this - and I doubt anyone outside of the company can get data to support it. I've not been a happy AP camper as of late with the new entrances, but I had no interest in an RFID AP.
Lots of people are anti-RFID for many reasons. Lots of those reasons are based completely on supposition rather than the reality of how it will be used in the parks. That doesn't change the fact that many AP holders were peaved that they had to take the slow lane into the park while RFID ticket holders sped through the easy pass lane. No internal company information is needed to obtain this information. A quick search on this and other similar internet forums shows it to be true.
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You've hit the nail on the head... RESEARCH! First thing I did when building a new website concept for my organization was ask our users, and especially our superusers, what they viewed as critical functionality on the site. A simple survey to AP holders may have alerted Disney to the desire to view and book discounted resorts online. Then again, it's entirely possible that their data on calls v. online bookings indicates a higher percentage of AP rooms booked by phone... but I kind of doubt it.
I have no idea what their internal data shows, but I do know that lots of times stopgap measures are implemented to resolve issues. I don't believe that it is necessary to poll the audience regarding every decision that is made. This is especially true when those decisions are time sensitive. You use the best information that you have right then and make the best decision that you can. Then you deal with the consequences.
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:58 AM   #60
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