Lack of Guest Experience?

Alicenwonderment

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 21, 2011
VERY much this. I've always said no matter what your job is, it is important to the process. Do it to the best of your ability and with a pleasant attitude ~ especially in the service/retail industry. You should never demean a worker for how much they make, their job is important. Every job is important.

To answer the OP ............. yes I have seen what you see and honestly I think it's two fold.

(1) Disney is increasingly using temporary help aka CP kids there for mostly 4-5 months. They are barely trained and thrown out there. They work long hours and their only social time might be while working. They aren't picky and many show up that have never even worked a job, not prepared for work at Disney for sure. Some sign up only to have fun. They are currently building another large complex for them and unless they shut down Vista ... that means they are increasing this force that truly has no allegiance to the company.

It seems like they are being less selective with accepting people into the college program. I did the program when they only had Vista Way. I heard many people that did not get into the college program. Now it seems like they aren't as selective due to they have more housing options (Patterson and Chatham Square, Commons.) I did just hear that they are tearing down Vista Way due to the I-4 construction so not sure if the new complex will house more than Vista Way did. I do know that Disney was stacking people in the apt. They were placing 3 people in a room made for 2 people.

I admit I haven't been back since 2000 and I worry that the quality experience has gone down and I will be disappointed in what I see. I will defiantly write a trip report when I go back.
 

disneysteve

DIS meet junkie
Joined
Sep 29, 2002
I admit I haven't been back since 2000 and I worry that the quality experience has gone down and I will be disappointed in what I see. I will defiantly write a trip report when I go back.
Ah. If you haven't been there for nearly 20 years, your post makes more sense. WDW is very different than it was back then. The biggest thing, as we've mentioned, is that it is phenomenally more crowded. What used to be considered a busy day back then is comparable to an "off-season" day today. And there really is no such thing as off-season anymore. However, staffing has not increased in proportion to the higher crowd levels. That causes longer lines and higher frustration levels for both guests and cast members alike. Disney also aggravates the problem by intentionally running below capacity so even when the crowd level is at a lower level, the parks feel busy and lines are still long.

Don't get me wrong. We still love WDW and still go every year. I'll be there 4 weeks from yesterday. But it isn't the same experience it was 20 years ago.
 

HopperFan

"It's a bug-eat-bug world out there, princess."
Joined
Sep 6, 2003
I did just hear that they are tearing down Vista Way due to the I-4 construction so not sure if the new complex will house more than Vista Way did.
The I-4 project should not impact Vista. The construction on east side is overlayed on existing roads. BUT Vista is valuable real estate with visibility so it could be sold off by Disney. But if they keep it would maybe mean the CP program will have a large expansion. Would that further impact full time CMs??

DD was in program 2014-15 in three different positions/locations and she was amazed how many there were ill equipped for any job let alone dealing with long hours and guests. She was often asked to cover others that were melting down from guest abuse. Yes, they started stacking rooms when she was there.

Vista are the small buildings on the lower right.

416000
 
  • Brancaneve

    That means Snow White in another language.
    Joined
    Dec 7, 2006
    Ok...so I'm not saying anyone was rude, or that it was a problem in any way, BUT I did notice on my trip last month that a lot of the CM's were standing around socializing. We ALL have done this at work but it stood out to me as something that I have not seen in the past.
     

    Alicenwonderment

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 21, 2011
    The I-4 project should not impact Vista. The construction on east side is overlayed on existing roads. BUT Vista is valuable real estate with visibility so it could be sold off by Disney. But if they keep it would maybe mean the CP program will have a large expansion. Would that further impact full time CMs??

    DD was in program 2014-15 in three different positions/locations and she was amazed how many there were ill equipped for any job let alone dealing with long hours and guests. She was often asked to cover others that were melting down from guest abuse. Yes, they started stacking rooms when she was there.

    Vista are the small buildings on the lower right.

    View attachment 416000
    I know where Vista Way is since I lived there. I originally found out it was being torn down in the Alumni group on FB. They gave the reason of the new I4. I also found this blog about it https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/2018/12/17/disney-is-building-new-apartments-for-its-college-program-adios-vista-way/
    The Vista Way apartments are in rough shape from what I've heard. In Flamingo Crossings all the apartments will be in the same area. The only complex that Disney owned was Vista Way. The other apartments were leased by Disney.
     

    stephk1981

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 11, 2013
    To OP... I'm sorry you had some bad experiences this trip! I have had a few myself over the past few years, a definite increase than years prior. Your experience in the shop at American Adventure is very similar to one we had a few trips ago in the Norway pavilion shop. To be honest, It doesn't bother me that much. I know we all pay premium prices to be at Disney, but their workers are definitely underpaid. By no means is this a viable excuse, I just enjoy being at WDW so I just accept it for what it is :( I hope other than those few experiences that you had a great overall trip and that next trip will be even better!!
     
  • HopperFan

    "It's a bug-eat-bug world out there, princess."
    Joined
    Sep 6, 2003
    The I-4 project should not impact Vista. The construction on east side is overlayed on existing roads.

    BUT Vista is valuable real estate with visibility so it could be sold off by Disney. But if they keep it would maybe mean the CP program will have a large expansion.
    I know where Vista Way is since I lived there. I originally found out it was being torn down in the Alumni group on FB. They gave the reason of the new I4. I also found this blog about it https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/2018/12/17/disney-is-building-new-apartments-for-its-college-program-adios-vista-way/
    The Vista Way apartments are in rough shape from what I've heard. In Flamingo Crossings all the apartments will be in the same area. The only complex that Disney owned was Vista Way. The other apartments were leased by Disney.
    What I was explaining is that the I-4 project does not impact Vista and I included the DOT overlay, which would be the official word on that plan. Doesn't matter what a facebook group thinks. Disney has announced the new Flamingo project will have Phase I opened next May and entire project complete in 2023. I would hope they move the Vista CMs first.

    The bloggers (who are very reliable) only state that the property will not be used for CP and sold .... which I also said was one of Disney's options if they aren't going to use them. No conflict of statement there. While I would love if they upgraded Vista (they have been in horrible shape for many many years) and offered as reasonable housing to full time CMs who need it .......... the land has I-4 visibility and am sure it will turn a huge profit. Perhaps if they are moving all CP to Flamingo ( a central location with easy access makes sense) they could negotiate with the Lake Bryan owners for reasonable CM housing.

    But who knows right now if Disney will increase their CMs (which they need to do with increasing crowds), increase their CP program or expand Part-time/Seasonal hours. This new housing allows them to expand the CP program depending on how they bed them. I think what the OP experienced while not very common, it is an increasing problem in all areas at WDW. It's an issue that exists because of multiple reasons but an obvious one is the large number of front line CMs are CP CMs only there a few months, undertrained and unprepared for the overall experience.
     

    dkrauss

    Goofy Fan from Jersey
    Joined
    Nov 9, 2013
    I've only been going to WDW steadily since 2013. I cannot recall in all this time having a bad experience with a cast member, however, if I was treated poorly I'd certainly consider saying something about it. Given the amount of money we spend going to WDW we are "entitled" to good and polite CM service. Doesn't Disney sell that part of the experience? The fact that those people (many of whom are college kids) don't get paid a lot shouldn't matter.........no one is holding a gun to anyone's head to work at WDW. Yeah it sucks but that shouldn't be our concern. Everyone has a bad day........but when you're in a customer facing business you've gotta suck that up.

    I'm fortunate in that in the 6 years we've been going more often, we've had more than our share of "pixie dust" thrown our way when something did happen that made our experience less than great. The nice part is that "pixie dust" was never requested..........it was offered by the CM's. 😊

    Doug :goofy:
     

    ELLH

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 30, 2011
    I never said that. I do stand by all I have said. Work lives for everyone would be better if people had more kindness and understanding.
    Or if they just did their job they wouldn't have to worry about customers complaining about them not doing their job. I know, it seems too logical. I saw it happen during my 4 years of retail. Happens to me daily as a professional adult. Lazy people are everywhere and lazy people will make excuses for themselves and each other. Even going so far as to get mad at the customer who complains about them not doing their job.
     

    Fred M

    DIS Dad #860
    Joined
    Jul 1, 2019
    Ok...so I'm not saying anyone was rude, or that it was a problem in any way, BUT I did notice on my trip last month that a lot of the CM's were standing around socializing. We ALL have done this at work but it stood out to me as something that I have not seen in the past.
    Retail workers socializing in front of customers is a problem as old as time, including when I was working retail in college about 30 years ago. What has changed since that time is that Disney has gone from employing a large collection of full-time CMs to more college program and part-time CMs. Are a vast majority of CMs awesome and have done everything to make our park or resort experience magical? Absolutely! But when you don't give your CMs an outlet for stable long term or full-time employment, a dip in customer service and customer satisfaction follows.
     
  • Louie7080

    Registered
    Joined
    Oct 11, 2017
    I am floored about the attitude that it is ok for an employee, any employee anywhere to ignore a customer. What the heck? That is the job. I've had plenty of those jobs and you don't ignore customers. If you don't want to "wait on" customers then find another job. Seems simple enough.
     

    loblolly

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    May 24, 2018
    Here's the thing about employment. You filled out the application to work there. Went through the interview process where they discussed expectations and salary. Provided the documentation and signed all the paperwork required for agreement of employment. Went through training, where you got to see, and do, what is expected of you... After all of that, your job performance is more about your personal work ethic and less about not being satisfied with the job duties and compensation.
    Most companies do need to offer higher wages and better benefits, especially large corporations, but it's also a personal responsibility to acknowledge the fact that you literally signed up for the job.
    I've worked low paying jobs where I felt like a good fit, and excelled. And, I've been approached with higher paying offers where I knew that it just wasn't something that I wanted for myself and, therefore, would probably have days where I wasn't providing the level of service that would be expected of me. It's a two way street. People have good days and bad days, but to just ignore the fact that you are at work and that workplace is paying you to do a job that you both agreed upon is inexcusable.
    Having said that, as a customer, I'm pretty self sufficient. And, I'm not a complainer. I don't want a lot of interaction, I just want to browse, buy, and go. I also am aware that young adults don't always have a built in work ethic, so it doesn't bother me when I get mediocre service. I just don't make excuses for it. If they're not happy to the point where they're not performing at the agreed upon level, than they should find something that does make them happy.
     
    Joined
    Oct 23, 2015
    I've worked retail thats what formed my opinion. I would never be offended someone didn't jump for me, if I needed assistance I would politely ask. IMO being understanding and kind and not getting heated or offended at little stuff like retail workers chatting is a pretty good way to be, I wish more shoppers especially somewhere like Disney would cool their jets a lil.
    I don't really see it as polite to refer to people as low paid humans but alright.

    I worked retail too. Talking amongst yourselves absolutely does happen. Ignoring your surroundings and failing to interact with guests is not acceptable and looks poorly on the the employees and the establishment when it happens. And just standing around talking was seldom accepted...gotta stay busy somehow and you can still carry on some sort of conversation.

    Sure the OP could have gone up and asked, I've done that too, but I wouldn't blame them if they were turned off by seeing people just talking ignoring their surroundings because I've also done that too. You can have a chit chat and yet still scan around and see if someone needs help.

    The OP even said "One turned around for a brief second and looked at me with an annoyed look, and then turned back around to continue the Incredibles 2 conversation." The fact that you defend that type of behavior as acceptable and everyone else should just get over it makes me question things in regards to your retail experience. That would have gotten me a reprimand in a hot second should I have done that.

    Why couldn't the CM paused in their conversation when they made eye contact simply asked "May I help you" or "Is there anything I can do for you" or "how are you today, is there anything I can help you find today" or whatever greeting the CMs are taught. That would have given the OP the opportunity to say they were looking at the fleece blanket or whatever else. Certainly a better experience than making eye contact, having an annoyed look on your face and ignoring the customer in favor of continuing the conversation. Seems also easily enough that the CMs keep an eye out in the store regarding guests and can pause the conversation when a guest comes in.
     

    Braddy007

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 31, 2016
    I don't really see it as polite to refer to people as low paid humans but alright.

    I worked retail too. Talking amongst yourselves absolutely does happen. Ignoring your surroundings and failing to interact with guests is not acceptable and looks poorly on the the employees and the establishment when it happens. And just standing around talking was seldom accepted...gotta stay busy somehow and you can still carry on some sort of conversation.

    Sure the OP could have gone up and asked, I've done that too, but I wouldn't blame them if they were turned off by seeing people just talking ignoring their surroundings because I've also done that too. You can have a chit chat and yet still scan around and see if someone needs help.

    The OP even said "One turned around for a brief second and looked at me with an annoyed look, and then turned back around to continue the Incredibles 2 conversation." The fact that you defend that type of behavior as acceptable and everyone else should just get over it makes me question things in regards to your retail experience. That would have gotten me a reprimand in a hot second should I have done that.

    Why couldn't the CM paused in their conversation when they made eye contact simply asked "May I help you" or "Is there anything I can do for you" or "how are you today, is there anything I can help you find today" or whatever greeting the CMs are taught. That would have given the OP the opportunity to say they were looking at the fleece blanket or whatever else. Certainly a better experience than making eye contact, having an annoyed look on your face and ignoring the customer in favor of continuing the conversation. Seems also easily enough that the CMs keep an eye out in the store regarding guests and can pause the conversation when a guest comes in.

    I agree 100%. I don't care if you have a conversation, we did the same when I was in retail. When there was down time you performed another task (stocking, cleaning, sizing, whatever) and you carried on conversations with each other. If a customer was in the store, they were still the priority.

    The problem occurred when the CM looked at the OP, showed an annoyed face, and then continued on with her conversation.
     

    PamNC

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 19, 1999
    I think if you visit enough, you'll eventually have a not-so-stellar or even a bad experience. I've had maybe 2 that stand out enough that I remember. I think it happens, people are human and like someone said, they are paid very little $$. But, I agree those actions weren't appropriate. I went to guest relations and complained about one of the instances... they weren't very helpful. Just gave me the excuse, "we employ over 55,000 people here in Orlando and we can't be perfect all the time." Then he asked us what we wanted - I said "nothing - I just thought you would like to know." So, I guess the point is it depends on the day and everyone can have a bad day.
     

    disneysteve

    DIS meet junkie
    Joined
    Sep 29, 2002
    I went to guest relations and complained about one of the instances... they weren't very helpful. Just gave me the excuse, "we employ over 55,000 people here in Orlando and we can't be perfect all the time."
    Wow. If that was the attitude I got from GUEST RELATIONS, I'd be asking for a supervisor. I mean those are the CMs whose job is literally to take care of guests and help resolve issues.
     

    TheMaxRebo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2008
    I think if you visit enough, you'll eventually have a not-so-stellar or even a bad experience. I've had maybe 2 that stand out enough that I remember. I think it happens, people are human and like someone said, they are paid very little $$. But, I agree those actions weren't appropriate. I went to guest relations and complained about one of the instances... they weren't very helpful. Just gave me the excuse, "we employ over 55,000 people here in Orlando and we can't be perfect all the time." Then he asked us what we wanted - I said "nothing - I just thought you would like to know." So, I guess the point is it depends on the day and everyone can have a bad day.
    To that last point - I wonder if part of it is some guests always looking for something AND Disney's policy of late seems to be "throw some extra FPs at them to make them feel better and make the issue go away".

    That does not account for them responding with that excuse - but more the part about when he asked what you wanted. I think they get a lot of people that come in with minor complaints looking for bonus FPs and stuff
     
    Joined
    Oct 23, 2015
    To that last point - I wonder if part of it is some guests always looking for something AND Disney's policy of late seems to be "throw some extra FPs at them to make them feel better and make the issue go away".

    That does not account for them responding with that excuse - but more the part about when he asked what you wanted. I think they get a lot of people that come in with minor complaints looking for bonus FPs and stuff
    I've seen more posts in the last year or two where the person wasn't asking for anything but it was offered on behalf of Guest Relations some FPs. Most people got the impression that it cost Disney virtually nothing to throw FPs to someone especially given that FPs can be a highly desired thing.

    I certainly agree that people have asked for FPs I just got the impression, at least for a while, it was Disney's way of doing Guest Recovery even if that didn't really solve the guest's issues.
     

    TheMaxRebo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2008
    I've seen more posts in the last year or two where the person wasn't asking for anything but it was offered on behalf of Guest Relations some FPs. Most people got the impression that it cost Disney virtually nothing to throw FPs to someone especially given that FPs can be a highly desired thing.

    I certainly agree that people have asked for FPs I just got the impression, at least for a while, it was Disney's way of doing Guest Recovery even if that didn't really solve the guest's issues.
    I agree - though, it feels like that is their default no matter what the issue is. have an issue with your room? Free FP .... issue with your meal? Free FPs - rather than trying to actually provide legit recovery from the issue

    And as things go, when word spreads that this is what people get I suspect other people will go in seeking them out (though, might just be the cynical side of me) - just the comment of them asking "what do you want?" stood out to me
     

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