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  • [Other] Staffing at EPCOT

    This is just an opinion...
    Today while walking around EPCOT Center, I noticed something that caught my attention...in regards to the Kim Possible challenge. I will say the Kim Possible challenge is fun and a great way to engage the young kids who can identify with these characters.. and it's an educational challenge as well in some areas as you search for clues to resolve the mystery. So I am not against the Kim Possible Challenge idea, But....

    As I made my way around World Showcase, I noticed that many of the Kim Possible carts were staffed with (on average) two CMs each. Not sure if this is the norm but.. what I observed was that in most cases, the CMs manning these carts are just standing there, or leaning against the counters, looking bored out of their minds... not really working that hard nor not at all! Great way to make a paycheck just standing there looking pretty (or bored) depending on individual cases.

    Seems to me, this is the biggest waste of human resources now going on at EPCOT. In similar fashion, I also believe there were way too many photopass CMs all over, especially blocking the lovely gardens of the current flower festival, in pursuit of the mighty tourist dollar.

    In the meantime, I am greeted by a lovely trash can outside the Butterfly garden, which was overflowing with rubbish and simply destroying the look of the beautifully decorated garden in which the trash can sat. This to me is a Disney sin.

    In regards to the Kim Possible and Photopass overstaffing situation.. I think it would be quite nice if management relocated some of these CMs to depts or areas where the manpower is needed most, like Custodial for example? That way the budgets used to meet payroll demands would be better invested since the Cast would be doing their part of the job, keeping the parks in the best shape possible, which as many of you know.. is a hallmark of the Disney Co (or it's supposed to be per the last time I checked with Traditions Class, where they teach ALL CMs that each and everyone of them is a custodial employee by default.)

    So again, I am not putting down nor ranting on the Kim Possible challenge or the Photopass kids (since there will always be idiots who can not take a photo if their puny lives depended on it), so they serve their purpose. My concern is the over-staffing of these departments when there are other, more pressing problems that lower the quality of the experience at the WDW parks.. like, overflowing trash cans for example.

    Ok, end of rant.

  • #2
    Re: Staffing at EPCOT

    Interesting that you thought there were too many PhotoPass castmembers. Usually one is hard pressed to even find any at Epcot unless they go into Character Spot or out to the main entrance in front of Spaceship Earth. I think it's great they finally ot some staff visible there.

    As for the the suggestion of having them do custodial, since those are union jobs, that's against the rules of the union. Only custodial cast can empty the trash bins.

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    • #3
      Re: Staffing at EPCOT

      I think you only see part of the problem. Custodial is well staffed also, but getting them to do their job is another thing. You go into any CM breakroom and there is usually 2-3 custodial sitting around, maybe they are constantly on break? They are not the most motivated people and can barely speak English, if at all.

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      • #4
        Re: Staffing at EPCOT

        Originally posted by ti2gr View Post
        Interesting that you thought there were too many PhotoPass castmembers. Usually one is hard pressed to even find any at Epcot unless they go into Character Spot or out to the main entrance in front of Spaceship Earth. I think it's great they finally ot some staff visible there.
        Well, you certainly won't have any problems finding them in front of every lovely garden at EPCOT, usually blocking those of us who would like to take a nice picture without paying the ridiculously high prices for those glamour shots they take.

        As for the the suggestion of having them do custodial, since those are union jobs, that's against the rules of the union. Only custodial cast can empty the trash bins.
        I understand that quite well. But my point is exactly that! Disney is not hiring for the proper departments, instead choosing to place more CMs where incoming income is probably the main factor for their decision, as opposed to the quality aspect of the operation.

        Originally posted by DRSeeker
        I think you only see part of the problem.
        Maybe, maybe not. All I see is Disney hiring CMs in areas where guests are being charged for a type of service, like the photo rip-off deals.
        Custodial is well staffed also,
        In Tokyo that is, where you can count 10 custodial CMs around you in just one 360 look in your area. C'mon, I spend enough time in the WDW parks to see that Custodials are very infrequently seen out and about at the parks.
        but getting them to do their job is another thing. You go into any CM breakroom and there is usually 2-3 custodial sitting around, maybe they are constantly on break? They are not the most motivated people and can barely speak English, if at all.
        Well.. when you have to deal with low hourly wages and such, ultimately the blame for this goes to Disney for 1) not offering a good wage in this dept. 2) Going abroad to find CMs to staff their parks cheaply 3) running their parks with the lowest budget possible... while in the meantime, having Photopass, Fastpass distribution and queues, gift shops, Kim Possible kiosks quite well staffed with excessive coverage. I see a trend here, maybe because I am not a CM like you and can see this from the guests' point of view?
        As for your comment about people not motivated...re-read above, but the fact that some of these CMs do not speak english to an acceptable degree.. again, who do you blame for that? Maybe if a few of those well groomed english speaking american kids got off their high horse and did not point to custodial work (even on a temporary basis) as something menial, demeaning, and overall below them, maybe we could have better candidates with a brighter and more positive demeanor performing these duties. Of course, you will have bad workers and good workers everywhere, but their language capability or ethnicity is hardly reason to point out here as being a contributing factor. If you were a Disney manager and you said something like that to me, it would certainly bring down the point that as a manager at Disney, you would have no respect for your co-workers, and if that was the case, how would you expect your team to perform if they felt criticized and victimized by prejudice comments or assumptions like that? Obviously the results will be negative for the product, and ultimately to the bottom line because sooner or later, people will notice and start getting put off.
        I wonder how you feel about the many chinese foreign nationals now working at most WDW areas such as merchandise and restaurants? I wonder if some of them are in the same circumstances of some of the hispanics working at WDW, who based on individual cases, do have college degrees and experiences in professional fields, yet have to clean rooms at the Disney hotels because the current economy situation have served them wrong.. I mean, it's hard to get up in the morning to go work at a job that really isn't your cup of tea, while the incompetent management sit in their air conditioned offices pointing fingers and showing face in the community as "caring", while all they care is to stuff their pockets with company money that should be inversted back in the company, for the benefit of the operation, and ultimately .. for the benefit of the guest.

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        • #5
          Re: Staffing at EPCOT

          Oh THANK YOU for stating that PhotoPass is in the way!!! Do you know where they were yesterday? BLOCKING the entire flow of people into Minnies House, JUST so they could take a pictures of you in the her living room! This is cause a huge flow problem as guests were going around them both ways to get into the house.

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          • #6
            Re: Staffing at EPCOT

            I will add one more to this PhotoPass CM dilemma.. As you may know, we also have them photographers at TDL blocking all popular photo spots. Yet OLC has done a disservice to it's guests by prohibiting them from bringing tripods to use for personal photos inside their parks, which I find ludicrous of TDR and OLC. The day I snuck my tripod and used it. A CM appeared next to me faster than you can say "abracadabra!" to tell me I could not use the tripod and had to put it away. 20 feet from me, there were two of the park photopass photographers using their big arse tripods and in the way of other. I politely pointed to them and told the CM, "when you go over and ask them to put their tripods away, then I will." She looked at me like I was from a foreign land (which I am).. but had no answer for me. YES, I can be a nasty guest at TDR as well when it comes to their stupid rules and regulations. So, anyways.. I proceeded to take my photos with my forbidden tripod, and when I finished it, I put it away and ignored her while walking away. One thing I can't stand is the hypocritical crap guests have to put up with at times. In regards to TDR, they want to ban tripods because they consider them unsafe? then ban the photopass people as well since they are unsafe and in the way.

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            • #7
              Re: Staffing at EPCOT

              i dont know about unsafe but PhotoPass CMs are DEFINATLY in the way at the photospots. But i was told you can actually ask them to move so you can take your own picture.

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              • #8
                Re: Staffing at EPCOT

                I have never tried to use a tripod in WDW but I have asked the Photopass CM's to move so I can take my photo and they kindly did so without hesitation. That was in each of the four parks, because as some have already stated the photopass is a rip off.

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                • #9
                  Re: Staffing at EPCOT

                  I much rather hand them a broom and dustpan.. and off you go kiddies.. do your job... CLEANING the parks for me to enjoy

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                  • #10
                    Re: Staffing at EPCOT

                    Thanks for posting!!
                    thanE

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                    • #11
                      Re: Staffing at EPCOT

                      oh my...

                      Was your post supposed to be a rant or a roast?

                      I respect and understand what you are saying. You clearly have a disdain for photopass cast members. It is also clear that you enjoy and frequent the Disney parks. So it is fair to say that since you visit often, you are now looking for those flaws more than the casual visitor from Timbuktu?

                      I see the same things you see, but I am not sure that I fully agree. We can walk into any park and if we happen to see an overflowing trash can I would tend to think that is because of an oversight by the custodial cast member assigned to that area, not a global HR issue. With regard to the over staffing at the Kim Possible booths: It is still considered a new attraction and is budgeted for whatever head count that Imagineers wanted. As time continues to wear on, management will find ways to run it more efficiently. (My jury is still out...)

                      I am impartial to the entire Photopass frenzy, so I agree with this notion as well. However, there are hordes of other guests that seek-out, want, demand, and ask for there to be MORE photopass cast members. So maybe we should conclude that the masses are idiots?

                      Speaking of masses: Yes, I also agree that TDL is on an entirely different level of cleanliness than WDW. The cast is different, but so are the guests in my opinion. I found that things got less wear/tear because of how respectful the crowds at TDL were.

                      My 2 cents.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Staffing at EPCOT

                        Originally posted by OrangeKnight View Post
                        oh my...

                        Was your post supposed to be a rant or a roast?
                        You decide.

                        I respect and understand what you are saying. You clearly have a disdain for photopass cast members. It is also clear that you enjoy and frequent the Disney parks. So it is fair to say that since you visit often, you are now looking for those flaws more than the casual visitor from Timbuktu?
                        Your bad. I do not look. Flaws at the Disney parks worldwide (including Tokyo's) stare back at me.

                        I see the same things you see, but I am not sure that I fully agree.
                        No one asked you to agree.

                        We can walk into any park and if we happen to see an overflowing trash can I would tend to think that is because of an oversight by the custodial cast member assigned to that area, not a global HR issue.
                        Now you are being a Disney apologist. Good Cms are attentive to the quality of the park. When you do your job with pride, you excel in it. When you do not have enough staffing, the result is a sloppy experience, hence overflowing trash cans among other things.

                        With regard to the over staffing at the Kim Possible booths: It is still considered a new attraction and is budgeted for whatever head count that Imagineers wanted. As time continues to wear on, management will find ways to run it more efficiently. (My jury is still out...)
                        I love it when you lurking CMs come out of nowhere to offer the perspective of management's agendas. Personally, I would allocate those "budgets" (if they do exist) to other areas that matter... like cleanliness for example? Even more amazing is how something like the Kim Possible activity is allocated more staffing when in fact, the exercise does not bring any revenue into the parks. Obviously a momentary lack of business sense by the current management team... along the likes of not charging moeny for fastpass use?

                        I am impartial to the entire Photopass frenzy, so I agree with this notion as well. However, there are hordes of other guests that seek-out, want, demand, and ask for there to be MORE photopass cast members. So maybe we should conclude that the masses are idiots?
                        If the shoes fit... but I disagree with you. The only reason why guests seek the use of photopass is because they see them everyone ready to take your photo (and money).. since that aspect of the parks is so well staffed.

                        Speaking of masses: Yes, I also agree that TDL is on an entirely different level of cleanliness than WDW. The cast is different, but so are the guests in my opinion. I found that things got less wear/tear because of how respectful the crowds at TDL were.

                        My 2 cents.
                        A very sad statement to make and one that speaks volumes... but TDL sees the most closures and refurbishings of any park, so I do believe that OLC does care to make sure things are in proper working order and looking as good as possible, but I am here to tell you.. that the japanese are not all that different in regards to how much tear and wear they cause on things at the park. Kids in that park are always climbing on things and touching everything... just like in the USA. But because the Disney management in the USA and Paris have to put up with guests' bad behavior, then it should be more imperative for them to have a more aggressive schedule of maintenance to make sure the level of quality is maintained for the most part. There is no excuse for some sets in the Splash Mountain ride to be covered with chewed bubble gum that sits there for days!!!
                        But one thing I do agree with you.. TDL is most definitely on an entirely different level, but not just in cleanliness... but in most everything they do, except pyro shows. maybe WDC should send their park management to TDR and have OLC train them in quality "Disney excellence".

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                        • #13
                          Re: Staffing at EPCOT

                          Oh photopass. I had a certificate for a free one last week on my vacation. My plan was to get as many taken as possible then pick the best on my last day for my free one. I had a really hard time getting any taken. There weren't that many of them and the ones that were there had long lines. It did not work for me as planned. I ended up getting 4 taken in 7 days.
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                          • #14
                            Re: Staffing at EPCOT

                            -Meg illustrates another problem I have with Photopass.. CMs wasting time taking photos that will go un-purchased. Give those guys a broom and send them to clean the park. I am sure there has got to be an overflowing trash can in the MK somewhere as I type this.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Staffing at EPCOT

                              Originally posted by OTownGuy View Post
                              i dont know about unsafe but PhotoPass CMs are DEFINATLY in the way at the photospots. But i was told you can actually ask them to move so you can take your own picture.
                              I agree with them being in the way. I wish that, when not taking photos, they would move out of the way and not just stand around talking in front of the flowers/buildings, etc.

                              I also HATE when I'm busy taking my own photo and a photopass photographer asks me to move. I had that happen at Epcot and I've had it happen at CA Adventure. If I'm there first, then I think I have the right to take the pic first. They need to be less obtrusive (and some are).
                              Denise

                              www.mousesteps.com




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                              I think it will give more pipping pervs the reason needed to go parasailing
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