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  • [Question] Does Golden Oak reflect Disney execs' increasing discomfort with the middle-class?

    Here's a link to a 2010 article about the Golden Oak at WDW which will include a Four Seasons hotel and houses.
    http://www.dailyfinance.com/2010/06/...le-isnt-goofy/

    Here's one paragraph from it:
    "
    The Wall Street Journalnoted that the shift from Celebration to Golden Oak suggests a starkly changing view of the good life. While Celebration reflects an 'idealistic notion that small towns were the best model, and that...you could not have gated communities and economic segregation,' Golden Oak reflects the gated, economically-segregated enclave for the exceedingly wealthy."

    I found this quote depressing, but thought it would be more valid if Disney were replacing the much larger Celebration with Golden Oak.

    I don't fault Disney for working with the Four Seasons. This Canadian hotel management company has done an extraordinary job of treating its employees like a family, and they have responded by creating and maintining an incredible run of five-star hotels. Frankly, I think Walt Disney World would be better off if it were run by leaders from the Four Seasons, Trader Joe's, Starbucks, and Costco. They treat their employees better than their competitors in the same fields, but I'm not sure I can say that for Disney parks today. I've heard Universal Orlando CMs brag that they had it better than WDW CMs. Is this true?
    Last edited by jcruise86; 02-04-2013, 03:07 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Does Golden Oak reflect Disney execs' increasing discomfort with the middle-clas

    I want to point out that treatment of Trader Joe employees is very poor but had paid them well, hourly only. Four Seasons treat senior employees well but relies greatly on foreign labor beause it doesn't treat new employee very well, it also has high wages. Cosco is a very good employer for unskilled labor.

    I think Golden Oaks and the Four Season Hotels which is nearing completion are to sell over priced houses, and catch the high end guests. In a way competing with the Waldorf Astoria at Bonnet Creek and head off further competition.

    While Disney has nice hotels, Grand Californian, Yatch and Beach Clubs, it doesn't have the posh rooms and super service that true high end hotels provide.

    I am concerned that the Four Season guests are going to demand of their conceirge crazy things that Disney wouldn't offer any other guest.
    Be Cool Stay in School!
    Next year I'm trying for a summer internship at Stark Industries.

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    • #3
      Re: Does Golden Oak reflect Disney execs' increasing discomfort with the middle-clas

      I think it reflects what the WDC thinks of WDW. They think that ever vacant parcel of land is money to be made by selling it or having a long term lease on it.
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      • #4
        Re: Does Golden Oak reflect Disney execs' increasing discomfort with the middle-clas

        ^ I guess I've lived near better branches of Trader Joe's than you have.

        The term "unskilled labor" is insulting.

        Would you clarify and elaborate on the second half of your second sentence, and maybe provide some evidence, even if it's just anecdotal? "Four Seasons treat senior employees well but relies greatly on foreign labor beause it doesn't treat new employee very well, it also has high wages."


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        • #5
          Re: Does Golden Oak reflect Disney execs' increasing discomfort with the middle-clas

          Originally posted by KingEric View Post
          I think it reflects what the WDC thinks of WDW. They think that ever vacant parcel of land is money to be made by selling it or having a long term lease on it.
          C'mon Eric, what's not magical about upper-class, gated communities?

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          • #6
            Re: Does Golden Oak reflect Disney execs' increasing discomfort with the middle-clas

            Originally posted by jcruise86 View Post
            C'mon Eric, what's not magical about upper-class, gated communities?
            It isn't "what is wrong with those communities" it is the fact that a large chunk of the northern part of the property has now been given sold forever.

            But hey... they have the giant Fort Wilderness Campground land to redevelop.
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            • #7
              Re: Does Golden Oak reflect Disney execs' increasing discomfort with the middle-clas

              Originally posted by jcruise86 View Post
              The term "unskilled labor" is insulting.
              Why? That's what it is. No specialized skill is required in order to attain the job.

              Originally posted by KingEric View Post
              It isn't "what is wrong with those communities" it is the fact that a large chunk of the northern part of the property has now been given sold forever.

              But hey... they have the giant Fort Wilderness Campground land to redevelop.
              Yep. So much of the acres have been sold off, but it doesn't stop Disney from using old numbers to describe the size of Walt Disney World.

              Celebration wasn't exactly built for all economic ranges, but it was different in its public interface. The New Urbanism of Celebration has some commonalities with the transit oriented design of EPCOT. Golden Oak is the complete antithesis of EPCOT, the very sort of suburban sprawl Walt Disney was trying to end.

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              • #8
                Re: Does Golden Oak reflect Disney execs' increasing discomfort with the middle-clas

                Originally posted by jcruise86 View Post
                ^ I guess I've lived near better branches of Trader Joe's than you have.

                The term "unskilled labor" is insulting.

                Would you clarify and elaborate on the second half of your second sentence, and maybe provide some evidence, even if it's just anecdotal? "Four Seasons treat senior employees well but relies greatly on foreign labor beause it doesn't treat new employee very well, it also has high wages."
                You can find it insulting all you want. The fact of the matter is it doesn't require a college degree to run a cash register or operate a palletjack.

                Under huge threat of unionization Trader Joe's started offering benefits. The stores are greatly understaffed still and this was a major complaint.

                At the Four Seasons it operates a lot like WDW. Unable to find new employees it hires foreign labor to work in rough conditions. The benefits are very weak for the newer employees. It pays better but is very demanding to have everyone work in a perfect manner. Work is very strenuous which causes the labor shortage. I know many Four Seasons employees and know a lot more former employees. Most employees leave simply to work at another hotel so that can be happy.
                Be Cool Stay in School!
                Next year I'm trying for a summer internship at Stark Industries.

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                • #9
                  Re: Does Golden Oak reflect Disney execs' increasing discomfort with the middle-clas

                  Celebration is Disney selling Small Town America (TM) as an immersive experience right down to fake snow in the winter time. Golden Oak and its McMansions aren't some great divergence from that. Neither really reflects the concepts of EPCOT aside from providing living space in planned communities.

                  I doubt Disney has any discomfort with the middle class given that their entire business model revolves around their ability to lure in the middle class to their parks/hotels. They've lacked having a really solid luxury product for years and the Four Seasons basically allows them to have that without having to re-learn how to do their business or try to offer full luxury "Disney Style" or what have you.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Does Golden Oak reflect Disney execs' increasing discomfort with the middle-clas

                    Swampymarsh/Lazyboy:

                    Do you really equate a college degree with skills?
                    (asks Jcruise86, J.D., M.F.A., M.A., B.A.)

                    Again regarding “unskilled labor”: experience at any job will require skills, even if they are new and/or quickly attained. The mindset of thinking of any (sometimes experienced) full-time workers as "unskilled" may have helped Eisner/Wells/Iger/Rasulo/Staggs to lead Disney to the forefront of America's rapidly metastasizing income inequality.

                    Interestingly, nations' income inequality is correlated with their murder rates.

                    But the upside is this benefits our booming gate industry and increases the # of private security guard jobs.


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                    • #11
                      Re: Does Golden Oak reflect Disney execs' increasing discomfort with the middle-clas

                      Originally posted by jcruise86 View Post
                      Again regarding “unskilled labor”: experience at any job will require skills, even if they are new and/or quickly attained. The mindset of thinking of any (sometimes experienced) full-time workers as "unskilled" may have helped Eisner/Wells/Iger/Rasulo/Staggs to lead Disney to the forefront of America's rapidly metastasizing income inequality.
                      It's funny how you defined "unskilled labor" to mean "skilled labor" after gained experience. It is still not the definition of "unskilled labor".

                      Usually skilled labor is labor that is gained or trained. Thus, we don't usually define many minimum wage jobs as skilled labor since they DON'T expect such people to be prior trained for such positions. You can hire many people to be cashiers, dish washers, waiters, cook staff without any prior training. Many times, any prior training or experience is an added bonus, but the worker won't be rewarded with such background.

                      "Do you really equate a college degree with skills?" YES

                      A college degree can define a skilled job or it cannot. At minimum, you can certainly say the people can bring more to the job.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Does Golden Oak reflect Disney execs' increasing discomfort with the middle-clas

                        I understand the problem some people have with the term "unskilled labor," but it's not like Swampy created that term -- it is a widely used term to describe a specific type of job.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Does Golden Oak reflect Disney execs' increasing discomfort with the middle-clas

                          Originally posted by KingEric View Post
                          I think it reflects what the WDC thinks of WDW. They think that ever vacant parcel of land is money to be made by selling it or having a long term lease on it.
                          This.
                          It reflects that the only vision the company seems to have for the place is the constant quest for the cheaper ways to make money. It's really sad too, because it has the potential to be so much more than even what is there now.
                          It bothers me when people selectively edit quotes to support whatever point they are trying to prove.
                          sigpic

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                          • #14
                            Re: Does Golden Oak reflect Disney execs' increasing discomfort with the middle-clas

                            Originally posted by jcruise86 View Post
                            I found this quote depressing, but thought it would be more valid if Disney were replacing the much larger Celebration with Golden Oak.
                            This would be very difficult for them to do, as TWDC no longer has any ownership in Celebration whatsoever.

                            Originally posted by lazyboy97O View Post
                            Celebration wasn't exactly built for all economic ranges, but it was different in its public interface. The New Urbanism of Celebration has some commonalities with the transit oriented design of EPCOT. Golden Oak is the complete antithesis of EPCOT, the very sort of suburban sprawl Walt Disney was trying to end.
                            Originally posted by Dapper Dan View Post
                            It reflects that the only vision the company seems to have for the place is the constant quest for the cheaper ways to make money. It's really sad too, because it has the potential to be so much more than even what is there now.
                            These are both very true and very sad.
                            I knew if this business was ever to get anywhere, if this business was ever to grow, it could never do it by having to answer to someone unsympathetic to its possibilities, by having to answer to someone with only one thought or interest, namely profits. For my idea of how to make profits has differed greatly from those who generally control businesses such as ours. I have blind faith in the policy that quality, tempered with good judgment and showmanship, will win against all odds.
                            -Walt Disney

                            sigpic

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                            • #15
                              Re: Does Golden Oak reflect Disney execs' increasing discomfort with the middle-clas

                              Originally posted by KingEric View Post
                              I think it reflects what the WDC thinks of WDW. They think that ever vacant parcel of land is money to be made by selling it or having a long term lease on it.
                              Originally posted by Dapper Dan View Post
                              This.
                              It reflects that the only vision the company seems to have for the place is the constant quest for the cheaper ways to make money. It's really sad too, because it has the potential to be so much more than even what is there now.

                              I don't think it's exaclty that. I do think they see the vast land as an asset that doesn't produce income and want it to produce something.
                              Be Cool Stay in School!
                              Next year I'm trying for a summer internship at Stark Industries.

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