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  • Disneyland feels different

    I recently visited Disneyland with family members and noticed something lacking. The personal touch of Cast Members making Magic wasn’t there. I really noticed it when I wanted to ear, went to Tomorrowland Galactic Grill, couldn’t order because EVERY window was mobile order. I did not feel as if I was at Disneyland. What is going on, why did I feel this way?

    also, we rode WEB SLINGERS THAT DAY, and our thoughts on it were the following: 🦗 🦗 🦗. Now I get it’s for younger kids, but we already have Midway mania. Had this been a 3rd park attraction I think it would’ve done a lot better. What happened to the Disney known for innovation? Creating unique experiences?
    2012-2015 Era DCA rides/attractions we went on regularly:
    Soarin' Over California
    Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
    Radiator Springs Racers
    Grizzly River Run
    California Screamin'
    Aladdin-A Musical Spectacular

    2019 Era-Present DCA rides/attractions we go on regularly:
    Grizzly River Run
    Radiator Springs Racers
    Incredicoaster

  • #2
    When capacity is high and staffing is low, the cast member magic can appear to be lacking because a) there are not enough cast members on the field and b) the cast members that ARE on the field tend to exhaust themselves a lot more quickly given the amount of work and customer service they must provide.

    An example that I think might be relatable: I worked in retail and food service. When we were short-staffed (mostly for holidays or parties or both) and the register/orders were crazy, my main focus would be to get all the orders through, and sometimes that came at the cost of me keeping a smile.

    Also when pay is low and there's a lack of benefits, there's not much motivation there to tolerate the additional pressure and the employees are more likely to burn out.

    Add the fact that special training sessions have been taken away from CMs due to cost cuts, more experienced staff left during the closure because Disney was unwilling to invest; etc...

    Regardless, I think current CMs are doing the best they can with what they have, and they have my respect.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Captain Andy View Post
      Also when pay is low and there's a lack of benefits, there's not much motivation there to tolerate the additional pressure and the employees are more likely to burn out.

      Add the fact that special training sessions have been taken away from CMs due to cost cuts, more experienced staff left during the closure because Disney was unwilling to invest; etc...

      Regardless, I think current CMs are doing the best they can with what they have, and they have my respect.

      They still get my respect as well.....
      They are under more pressure than ever before!

      IMO ...It something/working, I would not deal with today Di$ney or any other company
      That get treated so poorly.


      Soaring like an EAGLE !

      Comment


      • #4
        I hear you. Similar to Andy and Eagle, I am more empathetic to the plight today’s cast members are experiencing today.

        I think running the table from pay, to reduced training, to reduced to the bare minimum operating staffing, long-term cast exodus, and very rushed and questionable mobile rollout strategies, I can not honestly recall a time in my life (maybe Pressler/Harris) that cast members were sadly treated so harshly by senior management.

        To be fair, it seems places like Costco, REI, Chick Filet and In-and-Out offer better pay, schedule flexiblity, and benefits than the Disneyland Resort of today.

        Hope it changes though. As was emphasized to many of cast members years ago, beyond just the park’s attractions, it is the cast member guest experiences that are the heart of the show.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Jaygatzby View Post
          I hear you. Similar to Andy and Eagle, I am more empathetic to the plight today’s cast members are experiencing today.

          I think running the table from pay, to reduced training, to reduced to the bare minimum operating staffing, long-term cast exodus, and very rushed and questionable mobile rollout strategies, I can not honestly recall a time in my life (maybe Pressler/Harris) that cast members were sadly treated so harshly by senior management.

          To be fair, it seems places like Costco, REI, Chick Filet and In-and-Out offer better pay, schedule flexiblity, and benefits than the Disneyland Resort of today.

          Hope it changes though. As was emphasized to many of cast members years ago, beyond just the park’s attractions, it is the cast member guest experiences that are the heart of the show.
          Agree.......I think they are the real "MAGIC" at the Disney Parks.....
          Not senior management and up!
          IMO
          Soaring like an EAGLE !

          Comment


          • #6
            i think with everything that's been happening in the world, the Disney magic isn't quite where it was before 2020.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by rld275501 View Post
              I recently visited Disneyland with family members and noticed something lacking. The personal touch of Cast Members making Magic wasn’t there. I really noticed it when I wanted to ear, went to Tomorrowland Galactic Grill, couldn’t order because EVERY window was mobile order. I did not feel as if I was at Disneyland. What is going on, why did I feel this way?

              also, we rode WEB SLINGERS THAT DAY, and our thoughts on it were the following: 🦗 🦗 🦗. Now I get it’s for younger kids, but we already have Midway mania. Had this been a 3rd park attraction I think it would’ve done a lot better. What happened to the Disney known for innovation? Creating unique experiences?
              The sheer idiocy of mobile order from an operations perspective is ridiculous. Supposedly your number one demographic is families. When my kids are hungry they want food NOW, I can't plan 30 mins ahead for food; or plan to have a Dole whip at a certain time. I sincerely hope it crashes burns and fails; but I know it won't because Disney will stick it out since some VP's career advancement is dependent on it, and guests will eventually just accept it even though its a crappy service.

              Comment


              • #8
                The executives have said they want to "transform" the company.

                Sadly, they are succeeding.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by linkeq2001 View Post

                  The sheer idiocy of mobile order from an operations perspective is ridiculous. Supposedly your number one demographic is families. When my kids are hungry they want food NOW, I can't plan 30 mins ahead for food; or plan to have a Dole whip at a certain time. I sincerely hope it crashes burns and fails; but I know it won't because Disney will stick it out since some VP's career advancement is dependent on it, and guests will eventually just accept it even though its a crappy service.
                  We ate at Satuli Canteen in Animal Kingdom last Sunday.

                  The food was great, but it's all mobile order, and that experience SUCKED.

                  In order to get into the restaurant, you need to run the gauntlet of 2-3 layers of Cast Members demanding that you prove your mobile order is ready for pickup. You cannot, under any circumstances, enter that restaurant unless you do.

                  Want to get inside to get your kids seated? Maybe get out of the Florida sun (or rain), have a sip of water, while your food is being prepared? Nope: you are told, in no uncertain terms "No Dice!"

                  It's like a nightclub with bouncers or something!
                  Dumbo rats: the other lovable rodents.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by whiteness View Post

                    We ate at Satuli Canteen in Animal Kingdom last Sunday.

                    The food was great, but it's all mobile order, and that experience SUCKED.

                    In order to get into the restaurant, you need to run the gauntlet of 2-3 layers of Cast Members demanding that you prove your mobile order is ready for pickup. You cannot, under any circumstances, enter that restaurant unless you do.

                    Want to get inside to get your kids seated? Maybe get out of the Florida sun (or rain), have a sip of water, while your food is being prepared? Nope: you are told, in no uncertain terms "No Dice!"

                    It's like a nightclub with bouncers or something!
                    Just points more and more to the entire ethos of the company changing. It's no longer about the show in any way shape or form it's about guests as numbers and squeezing every dollar out of them in the least amount of time possible. Sorry you had a negative experience. I try to be empathetic to cast members, I know they deal with so much from so many different people both employer and customer. However, if I had my young kids with me and they wanted to sit a few minutes before our order was ready....I wouldn't really be taking no for an answer, especially if we had ordered food from the place.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by linkeq2001 View Post

                      Just points more and more to the entire ethos of the company changing. It's no longer about the show in any way shape or form it's about guests as numbers and squeezing every dollar out of them in the least amount of time possible.
                      I have Agree with you...
                      and it not just the parks.....It whole company
                      IMO

                      Soaring like an EAGLE !

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by merlinjones View Post
                        The executives have said they want to "transform" the company.

                        Sadly, they are succeeding.
                        That for sure IMO not for the Better !
                        Soaring like an EAGLE !

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by linkeq2001 View Post

                          Just points more and more to the entire ethos of the company changing. It's no longer about the show in any way shape or form it's about guests as numbers and squeezing every dollar out of them in the least amount of time possible. Sorry you had a negative experience. I try to be empathetic to cast members, I know they deal with so much from so many different people both employer and customer. However, if I had my young kids with me and they wanted to sit a few minutes before our order was ready....I wouldn't really be taking no for an answer, especially if we had ordered food from the place.
                          So true, and again I ask, why do people pay for this? (I say that as a former decade+ long Premium/Sig+ AP)

                          I am astonished that people will pay money to be treated poorly

                          I think if more people followed Eagleman Mr Wiggins and others advice, the company might listen.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Golden Zephyr View Post

                            So true, and again I ask, why do people pay for this? (I say that as a former decade+ long Premium/Sig+ AP)

                            I am astonished that people will pay money to be treated poorly

                            I think if more people followed Eagleman Mr Wiggins and others advice, the company might listen.
                            HEY my Friend.....Good to see you........

                            Hope this year ,I able go to Knott's Christmas Craft Fair...
                            to help get into the Christmas Spirit !
                            But If I do or I don't
                            as I share before
                            "There more to Life than Disney "
                            IMO
                            Last edited by Eagleman; 11-17-2021, 09:54 PM.
                            Soaring like an EAGLE !

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              To cut costs and increase profit, thus increasing shareholder value, Eisner / Iger / Chapek had to remove imagination and innovation from the budget. Now customer service is being eliminated. Eisner "saved Disney" by killing it.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Golden Zephyr View Post

                                So true, and again I ask, why do people pay for this? (I say that as a former decade+ long Premium/Sig+ AP)

                                I am astonished that people will pay money to be treated poorly

                                I think if more people followed Eagleman Mr Wiggins and others advice, the company might listen.
                                I think there are several reasons why Disneyland attendance shows no sign of flagging.

                                First, let's not discount the fact that people spent over a year not doing much. A whole lot of pent-up Disneyland craving is still being fulfilled, piecemeal, as people have varying degrees of success getting the reservations they want. And the more Disneyland doesn't feel like Disneyland, the more some people will be inclined to try again in a few months, to see if that scratches the itch. It may take quite a while for this to play out.

                                Second, due to some perverse aspects of human psychology, the mere fact that Disneyland is more expensive than ever makes it more desirable and fools people into thinking it's worth the money. There are two separate things at play here. For people who can easily afford it even at the higher price, the expense increases the snob appeal: "This isn't for the hoi polloi, only for the wealthy elites like me." It's a nasty mindset, but it exists.

                                For people who can only barely afford Disneyland now, something even more complicated and paradoxical occurs. If you can only just manage to make a trip with your family, maybe the only one you will ever make, the psychological pressure to decide it was worth it is immense. It's related to the sunk-cost fallacy--even if you can't go on half the rides you were hoping to go on, and mobile ordering all your meals stresses you out, and the Cast Members are overstretched and going through the motions...you must be having a good time, because otherwise, all that money you're spending is wasted. Then, too, that mindset of "We'll never get to do this again, it has to be perfect" can cause people to spend more money--on Character Breakfast, Lightning Lane, and other add-ons--because otherwise they will miss out forever.

                                All this is great news for Chapek and his ilk, of course--a whole class of people who will pay more (and more and more) for less, and then go home and crow about how awesome it was to pay so much and get so little? And even when and if the bubble eventually bursts and attendance crashes, he can use those profits garnered in the meantime as leverage to rebrand the park for the other class of people, the snobs, who like to pay more just because so many others can't. That's when we'll see loads of genuine investment in improving the experience, because Chapek himself is a snob and he doesn't mind so much spending money on people who, in his estimation, "deserve" it. The vast majority of us will be priced out entirely, of course, but so what? The important thing is that we were well and truly fleeced, and now Bob can sit back and enjoy the prestige of managing a luxury resort for wealthy folks like himself.

                                It sounds bleak, but this is honestly how I see this playing out over the next five years or so, unless the general public wises up fast.
                                Like this post? Read more like it at The Disneyland Dilettante!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  ^Agree with all of that, and I would add that an important part of management's strategy is that, as the population and therefore the number of potential guests keeps rising and park capacity can't rise meaningfully to meet it, they can lose quite a few of the more discerning guests and still keep the attendance figures looking perfectly fine. If the reservations for Blue Bayou need to be made months and months in advance, for example, it means that the demand is so high that they can decrease the quality noticeably, raise the cost noticeably, pocket the money saved and additional money charged, and keep the Blue Bayou full anyway.

                                  It's gross and I hate it, but at the same time, I don't think they're necessarily wrong about it as a short-ish term business strategy. Which isn't to say that this kind of thing won't eventually backfire, but I think this would be years and years down the road.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by BasilOregano View Post
                                    ^Agree with all of that, and I would add that an important part of management's strategy is that, as the population and therefore the number of potential guests keeps rising and park capacity can't rise meaningfully to meet it, they can lose quite a few of the more discerning guests and still keep the attendance figures looking perfectly fine. If the reservations for Blue Bayou need to be made months and months in advance, for example, it means that the demand is so high that they can decrease the quality noticeably, raise the cost noticeably, pocket the money saved and additional money charged, and keep the Blue Bayou full anyway.

                                    It's gross and I hate it, but at the same time, I don't think they're necessarily wrong about it as a short-ish term business strategy. Which isn't to say that this kind of thing won't eventually backfire, but I think this would be years and years down the road.
                                    I wanted to call attention to the bolded part because another knock-on effect of the price increases is that they will lose the more discerning guests, and not replace them. A discerning Disneyland guest is one who is able to visit consistently enough to be intimately familiar with the park and do before-and-after comparisons of each change. It does not take an advanced degree to see why the price increases will automatically shift the guest balance away from the veterans and toward first-time visitors, who are less critical by definition simply because they have no personal expectations.

                                    But I would say the current steps taken by upper management demonstrate not merely an indifference to potentially losing the discerning guests, but a positive effort to drive them away. Cancelling the AP program and ushering in a "replacement" that is equally expensive (if not more so) but harder to make use of certainly reads like an effort in this direction. I might also categorize some of the dramatic changes to popular classic attractions (Pirates, Jungle, Snow White, Splash?) thus, because whatever the stated motivation behind a given change (and some of them are noble, or at least neutral), it definitely has the effect of alienating long-time loyal guests who were accustomed to the ride as it was and suspicious of any supposed "improvements." Ditching live entertainment, cutting back on Cast Members, and all the rest...it all looks good on a P&L sheet and it functions as a turn-off to guests who know the park can and should do better, and who might loudly say so to the first-timers if they shared space.
                                    Like this post? Read more like it at The Disneyland Dilettante!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      For Now.......I Vote No with my wallet......
                                      Not only for the parks ,but any product , that have to do with Disney.

                                      I do not like the way this company /business is being run ...............
                                      ,nor the way it treat there Consumer !
                                      IMO
                                      Last edited by Eagleman; 11-18-2021, 09:33 PM.
                                      Soaring like an EAGLE !

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by BasilOregano View Post
                                        ^Agree with all of that, and I would add that an important part of management's strategy is that, as the population and therefore the number of potential guests keeps rising and park capacity can't rise meaningfully to meet it, they can lose quite a few of the more discerning guests and still keep the attendance figures looking perfectly fine. If the reservations for Blue Bayou need to be made months and months in advance, for example, it means that the demand is so high that they can decrease the quality noticeably, raise the cost noticeably, pocket the money saved and additional money charged, and keep the Blue Bayou full anyway.

                                        It's gross and I hate it, but at the same time, I don't think they're necessarily wrong about it as a short-ish term business strategy. Which isn't to say that this kind of thing won't eventually backfire, but I think this would be years and years down the road.
                                        This is very true, there is a demand that the limited capacity simply cannot meet, and therefore there is substantial "wiggle" room in how they deliver their product. It's a shame, and it really is a short term strategy. I continue to echo your thoughts regarding Star Wars and Marvel. As those two properties go so too does Disney go. What will be interesting to see moving forward is how the generation of streaming kids reacts to the parks and the Disney brand. It's going to be the first group of children that probably did not grow up on Disney movies, instead they grew up on Youtube and Netflix properties and shows. Disney+ is kind of late to the party, and while there have been lots of strong releases the stranglehold that Disney/Pixar had on childhood attention during the 90s and very early 2000s is long gone; there's just far more content out there. Moving forward I really wonder if the ubiquitous required childhood trip to Disneyland will still be a thing, and if it stops Disney will be in trouble.

                                        Iger's purchase of Star Wars and agreement with Marvel was a stroke of genius because it expanded the potential pool of consumers. The only problem is that those are very specific IPs and could trend downward at anytime.

                                        It's inevitable, and I really wonder how Disney reacts when those Blue bayou reservations do likely start to fade a little. What will they do to attract guests? Or will it be hacking to the bone to try and keep the stock price up, it will really depend on who is in charge and what they sell to whomever is on the board at the time.

                                        Comment

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