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  • [Review] WDW's Standards: Coastal Differences

    This thread is in response to Kevin Yee's MiceAge article, "Still Broken," that was posted on 2/1/11, which mentioned several examples of WDW's dismal maintenance standards. Yee's article inspired this thought:

    I've only been to WDW once in my life so far (I'm only 21), but I'd have to say that I remember the park as being a little less immersive than Disneyland (I live within 60 miles of DLR and go about once a month). I know I have bias because, of course, DLR will present a certain childhood nostalgia that WDW cannot, just because of my memories at the park from my younger years.

    When I visited WDW, it was summer, raining, and miserably damp, but my family and I still enjoyed ourselves. Something I'd like to add, and you briefly touched on it in your article, is that the WDW original attractions were so enjoyable to experience because of their uniqueness in the Disney Parks, that a small feature as a boat not rocking or a covered up rock would not have made me angry. I would be more disappointed that I would not be able to experience an attraction specific to WDW during my visit, just because of one or two show failures.

    Having said this, I would have noticed the rock canvas and would have thought that the park was in dire need of maintenance. Why they can't fix that GIANT HOLE IN THE WALL is beyond me, wether it was Six Flags or Disney. It appears, through guests' reports and comments and through your weekly articles, that WDW has different maintenance standards than Anaheim's DLR, which brought me to an interesting thought.

    Isn't the clientele of Florida and Anaheim different? Are there different expectations of the guests when they arrive? Think of it from this perspective: Is WDW catering to the international crowd and regional crowd, basically east of the Rockies, while DLR is catering to the local crowd of Southern CA, Southern NV, and Western AZ? A family from Montana has a choice to vacation to a 5- or 6-park destination like WDW or a 2-park destination like DLR, where are they most-likely going to visit?

    Is it too much of a stretch to say that that Montanan family goes to WDW without the same expectations of immersion than a family who is used to the DLR? I guess what I'm wondering, does WDW care more about providing the 'package' of Disney versus DLR's importance of providing the 'experience' of Disney?

    Does that make sense, what I'm asking? If DLR says, "I only have two parks and an entertainment/resort district to impress these guests, so they need to have high-quality standards throughout the year," does WDW say, "I have six parks and an entire city-sized resort to impress these guests, so I need to provide as much as possible to them," even if it isn't the highest in quality standards.

    WDW guests on this board might be able to answer this, but if what I'm saying is accurate, does WDW get away with it? Do you see guests' reactions as being, "Wow, I can't believe how great I used to think this park was," or, "That was an amazing day! We should come back as soon as we get the chance!"?

    As a frequent guest of the DLR, a frequent reader to MiceAge and MiceChat, and a once-in-my-lifetime (so far) guest, my perception is exactly as I described: WDW cares less about the immersion of the guest as they care about providing more 'stuff' to do. It seems that WDW finds quantity to be more important than quality, and that doesn't seem to be too far off from the truth.

    What do you think?

  • #2
    Well done, Puck2DaHead! (I hope that's your real name! :botox: :lol

    Who is head of WDW, by the way?
    And does she/he have the power to get things repaired if they involve imagineering?
    In other words, who is dropping the ball here
    with the glaring, interminable defects at popular attractions like Big Thunder, Ellen's Energy Adventure, and Everest? (I think Ellen's ride is popular. It does have dinosaurs.)
    Last edited by jcruise86; 02-01-2011, 08:49 AM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: WDW's Standards: Coastal Differences

      This does make sense. If a tourist was to go to Disneyland, they would stay a couple of days, but then they'd leave the park and do some sightseeing around...LA? There's a lot more in Southern California to do than in Orlando. Sure, Orlando's got like 5 theme parks run by different companies, but people who want a Disney vacation can stay on the property for a week and have plenty to do. They may have less quality, but they definitely have more quantity.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: WDW's Standards: Coastal Differences

        Check out discoyeti.com ! Just do it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: WDW's Standards: Coastal Differences

          The Walt Disney World management team is notorious for not ever wanting to spend any money on anything ever. This is most recently evident in their initial rejection of the Star Tours update. In fact, the only reason Florida is getting the new version is because their higher ups made them.

          I wish I could say that with so much property to maintain, the budget gets stretched a little thin sometimes and it takes longer for some things to get fixed. That would at least be a reasonable excuse, but it just doesn't seem to be the case. What does seem to be the reality is that the resort's management strategy is focused on increasing the bottom line solely by cutting corners. Well perhaps not solely. They also seem to like building more Disney Vacation Club Properties and selling off portions of their land. Still, it seems like putting on a quality show just isn't part of their business model.

          At this point it isn't even a matter of quality versus quantity. Walt Disney World is the most popular theme park destination in the world. As far as those in charge are concerned, that means they don't have to do a darn thing.
          It bothers me when people selectively edit quotes to support whatever point they are trying to prove.
          sigpic

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: WDW's Standards: Coastal Differences

            Originally posted by jcruise86 View Post
            Check out discoyeti.com ! Just do it.
            Wow, I've got my own ad company and I didn't even know it! Thanks, Jungle Cruisey.

            As for coastal differences, I think that WDW suffers from three things: 1) it's got way more land to keep up; 2) it's further away from the home office in Burbank; and 3) it has a smaller percentage of die-hard locals who pay attention to every little thing.

            But Dapper Dan is right; there's an overall tendency here that is kind of irritating.

            In WDW's defense, it has a lot of truly awesome and unique attractions. That said, there are also a lot of broken effects at WDW, and considering it's the #1 theme park in the world, it deserves better. I plan to keep going with my snarky blog as long as there are issues to point out!

            B. Mode
            The Disco Yeti
            discoyeti.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: WDW's Standards: Coastal Differences

              By being a smaller resort with a lot more locals, there's a whole lot more attention paid to the not as much detail in Disneyland's 2 parks vs. WDW's 4.

              WDW is such a huge place that people are briskly moving through the resort's parks, hotels, and in-between areas, missing 90% of the little details and not caring about the other 10%. They've paid SO much money that the "Orlando Commando" focus results in sheer tunnel vision with some, and others are just focused on getting away from having to care about anything so naturally they're not going to care with what WDW is & isn't doing in terms of little details.

              Disneyland's guests don't do that. There are only 2 relatively small parks to move through, and only about 5% of DLR's guests are on-property hotel guests. The rest never even see the Disneyland Hotel/Grand Californian Hotel/90% of Downtown Disney area to know what little details are & aren't there. Inside the parks, however, they will notice the little things far more than WDW's audience because there's only 2 relatively small parks that are visited upwards of 12-25 times a year by some AP's.

              Sometimes I wonder what would happen if MiceAge did a weekly WDW column similar to Andy's Dateline Disneyland column. Would the perspective on the little things change at all? Might be worth testing a theory if there were people intrepid enough to put together such a column.

              "Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom." -- James 3:13

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: WDW's Standards: Coastal Differences

                i've been to both wdw and dlr. I think DL has better colors and better parade sound and lighting. DL is so colorful, i guess it's a weather thing. since it's too hot the paint has to be warmer colors?? idk

                what? Magic Kingdom is the #1 theme park in the world? I went there and it's not the best. It's mostly for little kids. The rides aren't as good and it takes forever just to get in, first the tram then the monorail then the long walk down main street. takes so long to get from the ur car to the park. I just don't like how everything is so far apart.
                Disneyland is better since they just crammed everything into that theme park plus better thrill rides and it's fun for everyone.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: WDW's Standards: Coastal Differences

                  Originally posted by Disco Yeti View Post
                  Wow, I've got my own ad company and I didn't even know it! Thanks, Jungle Cruisey.

                  As for coastal differences, I think that WDW suffers from three things: 1) it's got way more land to keep up; 2) it's further away from the home office in Burbank; and 3) it has a smaller percentage of die-hard locals who pay attention to every little thing.

                  But Dapper Dan is right; there's an overall tendency here that is kind of irritating.

                  In WDW's defense, it has a lot of truly awesome and unique attractions. That said, there are also a lot of broken effects at WDW, and considering it's the #1 theme park in the world, it deserves better. I plan to keep going with my snarky blog as long as there are issues to point out!

                  B. Mode
                  The Disco Yeti
                  discoyeti.com
                  Oh! Fantastic! Thank you for your input B. Mode, and thank you for your strobing appearance to the thread. Question: What keeps you from going blind with all that disco lighting in your face? Just wonderin'...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: WDW's Standards: Coastal Differences

                    Originally posted by PeoplemoverMatt View Post
                    Sometimes I wonder what would happen if MiceAge did a weekly WDW column similar to Andy's Dateline Disneyland column. Would the perspective on the little things change at all? Might be worth testing a theory if there were people intrepid enough to put together such a column.
                    Ooh, that's an interesting thought. I wonder what that would do for the resort.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: WDW's Standards: Coastal Differences

                      Here's another thought. For you hardcore fans of WDW, do you ever feel a sense of ownership to the resort? I say this because, many of the locals in Southern CA that I know, even if they only go to the parks once or twice a year, have a small sense of pride/ownership that the DLR plays such an effect on them, that they feel like it is a home away from home.

                      I have gone to DLR with many people who bring their out-of-town relatives and tour them around the park like it is their backyard. Do WDW fans do that, or is that something that mostly DLR fans feel more of?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: WDW's Standards: Coastal Differences

                        Originally posted by Puck2DaHead View Post
                        Oh! Fantastic! Thank you for your input B. Mode, and thank you for your strobing appearance to the thread. Question: What keeps you from going blind with all that disco lighting in your face? Just wonderin'...
                        I have very, very fast pupils. They're like little gymnasts, those pupils.


                        Originally posted by Puck2DaHead View Post
                        Here's another thought. For you hardcore fans of WDW, do you ever feel a sense of ownership to the resort? I say this because, many of the locals in Southern CA that I know, even if they only go to the parks once or twice a year, have a small sense of pride/ownership that the DLR plays such an effect on them, that they feel like it is a home away from home.

                        I have gone to DLR with many people who bring their out-of-town relatives and tour them around the park like it is their backyard. Do WDW fans do that, or is that something that mostly DLR fans feel more of?
                        Oh yeah, WDW geeks totally do that. It's just that there's a higher percentage of DLR geeks at Disneyland than WDW geeks at WDW, because so many of WDW's visitors are from far away.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: WDW's Standards: Coastal Differences

                          For you hardcore fans of WDW, do you ever feel a sense of ownership to the resort?
                          I would think any Disney Vacation Club member would because, well, they DO own a little piece of the Resort. That's one of the many reasons why DVC properties are & will always be #1 on the refurb/upkeep list.

                          "Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom." -- James 3:13

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: WDW's Standards: Coastal Differences

                            Originally posted by PeoplemoverMatt View Post
                            By being a smaller resort with a lot more locals, there's a whole lot more attention paid to the not as much detail in Disneyland's 2 parks vs. WDW's 4.

                            WDW is such a huge place that people are briskly moving through the resort's parks, hotels, and in-between areas, missing 90% of the little details and not caring about the other 10%. They've paid SO much money that the "Orlando Commando" focus results in sheer tunnel vision with some, and others are just focused on getting away from having to care about anything so naturally they're not going to care with what WDW is & isn't doing in terms of little details.

                            Disneyland's guests don't do that. There are only 2 relatively small parks to move through, and only about 5% of DLR's guests are on-property hotel guests. The rest never even see the Disneyland Hotel/Grand Californian Hotel/90% of Downtown Disney area to know what little details are & aren't there. Inside the parks, however, they will notice the little things far more than WDW's audience because there's only 2 relatively small parks that are visited upwards of 12-25 times a year by some AP's.

                            Sometimes I wonder what would happen if MiceAge did a weekly WDW column similar to Andy's Dateline Disneyland column. Would the perspective on the little things change at all? Might be worth testing a theory if there were people intrepid enough to put together such a column.
                            100%.
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                            • #15
                              Re: WDW's Standards: Coastal Differences

                              Originally posted by PeoplemoverMatt View Post
                              I would think any Disney Vacation Club member would because, well, they DO own a little piece of the Resort. That's one of the many reasons why DVC properties are & will always be #1 on the refurb/upkeep list.

                              Interesting comment but... its not entirely true. DVC resorts are NOT anywhere near #1 on the reburb / upkeep list. I believe that honor belongs to the Contempory which seems to get a room refreshment or major room style change every 5-6 years.

                              Unlike a resort, Members home owner association fees have to pay for those. Those things do not come from WDW's operating budget but the monthly dues each member pays on top of the actual membership cost. These dues are also paying for things like routine rapairs upkeep, soaps/shampoos, linens, and replacement of items that break or are lost (furiture, TV's, toasters, glasses, pots and pans). Depending on those costs, which can vary and are not fix, money gets put aside for refurbishments. So they have the funds to replace a bed when it gets too lumpy or has a spring bust out of it. But when it comes time to replaces all the mattres at a resort with new mattresses, or to redo carpeting in all the rooms, or to redesign all the kitchens, that has to be budgeted out of the member dues that are not be spent on the routine dialy things. How much the routine things are costing will affect when such projects can be down and in what time of time frame they can be done in.

                              The Contempory's main tower has had at a couple of refurbishments to its guests rooms in the time span of Old Key Wests exsistance, OKW is just now getting a major reburb to its rooms.

                              So now that BLT is open, watch. Sometime in the next couple of years, you will see the orinigal Tower rooms get a refurbishment, again, probably even twice, before you seem any major refurb going on to the villas of BLT.

                              Contempory and perhaps Grand aside, the rest of WDW seems to be fairly evenly matched, but I would say the regular rooms get refurbed more regularly, abiet only slightly more so then the Villas style accomodations.
                              Last edited by Kidgenie; 02-06-2011, 07:28 AM.

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                              • #16
                                Re: WDW's Standards: Coastal Differences

                                Originally posted by Puck2DaHead View Post
                                Here's another thought. For you hardcore fans of WDW, do you ever feel a sense of ownership to the resort? I say this because, many of the locals in Southern CA that I know, even if they only go to the parks once or twice a year, have a small sense of pride/ownership that the DLR plays such an effect on them, that they feel like it is a home away from home.

                                I have gone to DLR with many people who bring their out-of-town relatives and tour them around the park like it is their backyard. Do WDW fans do that, or is that something that mostly DLR fans feel more of?
                                Most maintenance workers also have a sense of ownwership especially when they work in the same attraction 5 days a week and 8 hours a day. They know what is not working and what is supposed to be working and they take pride in their work. Bu t when management says we can't afford the parts or we don't want to order them because of our budget because if they stay under budget then they will get their bonuses.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Re: WDW's Standards: Coastal Differences

                                  Disneyland has a very, very high percentage of locals visiting the parks...ones that would notice burnt out lightbulbs and chipped paint, and they would make a hissyfit about it. Thus, Disneyland has good reason to fear the locals.

                                  WDW has annual visitors who don't generally notice that they're getting "Wal-marted" and don't raise too much hell about poor maintenance (though EPCOT and MGM Studios do a pretty decent job). Thus, you can blame the people who visit the parks for poor maintenance almost as much as the people who decide what gets maintained and how.

                                  And Disneyland still isn't perfect when it comes to maintenace, from what I've read.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Re: WDW's Standards: Coastal Differences

                                    Originally posted by Puck2DaHead View Post
                                    Here's another thought. For you hardcore fans of WDW, do you ever feel a sense of ownership to the resort? I say this because, many of the locals in Southern CA that I know, even if they only go to the parks once or twice a year, have a small sense of pride/ownership that the DLR plays such an effect on them, that they feel like it is a home away from home.
                                    I don't think APs matter as much to WDW at DVC members. Plus Florida APs are a rarity. Most of them probably do not live anywhere near the Orlando area and still wouldn't be able to frequent the resort as often as DL APs would Disneyland.

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                                    • #19
                                      Re: WDW's Standards: Coastal Differences

                                      DLR isn't all better than WDW.

                                      DL is great, much better than any park at WDW, but I still consider DCA inferior to either Epcot or AK. That may change, but there's still a lot of cheapness and lack of cohesiveness at DCA. And in totality, WDW is more of resort than DLR.
                                      Down with the Hat

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                                      • #20
                                        Re: WDW's Standards: Coastal Differences

                                        Originally posted by SeaCastle View Post
                                        WDW has annual visitors who don't generally notice that they're getting "Wal-marted" and don't raise too much hell about poor maintenance (though EPCOT and MGM Studios do a pretty decent job). Thus, you can blame the people who visit the parks for poor maintenance almost as much as the people who decide what gets maintained and how.
                                        In fact, the sad part is that many guests actually get upset if they aren't getting "Wal-Marted", I couldn't tell you how angry some guests would get if they were looking for a specific souvenir and the nearest gift shop didn't have it. I worked at Epcot, and I had plenty of folks ask why the nearest store to my location didn't carry German steins or little Eiffel Towers! Its ridiculous!
                                        In view, a humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of fate.

                                        DoppelV

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