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  • 5/15: Should you Care?

    Kevin on continuing problems with show quality at DisneyWorld. Discuss it all here...

    DIRECT ARTICLE LINK: Should you Care? - MiceAge.com
    "Politics is the profession whereby the inevitable is made to seem a great human achievement" - Quentin Crisp

  • #2
    Re: 5/15: Should you Care?

    I was sorely disappointed on my visit last Saturday to the Magic Kingdom. Our ride on Pirates was particularly bad as halfway thru the ride, the soundtrack quit and we rode thru from the auction scene to the very end with no sound and even the animatronics in the burning city scene were all stationary and not moving. There was a to of trash in the queue line and trash cans were overflowing. (same thing on Mansion where empty bottles and trash were thrown all over the loading area (to the right of the doom buggies when loading and down the first hallway). All over the park, there was trash in the streets and we encountered several overflowing trash cans. Is Custodial on strike??? It was disgusting and I won't be renewing my AP.
    No matter where you go, there you are!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: 5/15: Should you Care?

      There have been unrelated power problems on pirates - in this one instance, it's the power company, not Disney, to fault.

      The trash, though: that's Disney's fault.
      Kevin Yee
      MiceAge Columnist

      I am the author of several Disney books:
      Jason's Disneyland Almanac - a daily history of Disneyland
      Walt Disney World Hidden History - tributes, homages, and ride remnants at WDW
      Your Day at the Magic Kingdom
      Mouse Trap
      Tokyo Disney Made Easy
      101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland
      Magic Quizdom (The Disneyland Trivia Book)

      “The press [should be] a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can't be right all the time. He doesn't bark only when he sees or smells something that's dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious.” – Dan Rather

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: 5/15: Should you Care?

        Kevin, On my last few rides through Pirates I've noticed the light leak has been patched up. Did you ride through it in the last 2 or so weeks? It had bothered me for awhile as well but my last 2 rides it's been back to normal. I also noticed they put the chickens back on the turntable in the chase scene, that had been broken or missing for I'd say a year, so it's getting better inside Pirates over the last couple of months.

        You might also find this interesting about the Great Movie Ride:

        "The first sequence of the ride, Footlight Parade, was plagued with engineering and technical problems from the beginning. When the ride was newly opened, the Footlight Parade segment was different than it is today. The entire portion following the neon lighted entrance was fleshed out. All the walls leading up to, around, and beyond the "cake" were painted in art deco style patterns as seen in "By A Waterfall." Approximately three "diving boards" with three mannequin "dancers" wearing capes were perched on the right hand side of the wall as you enter the ride segment. The five-tiered "cake" was prominently displayed at a left hand turn. It was in the open air illuminated with an array of animated lights. During this pass through the Footlight Parade segment, riders would hear a "loop" of "By A Waterfall" (a song featured in Footlight Parade) lasting approximately 40 seconds as bubbles fall from the ceiling.For approximately the first year, the "cake" actually rotated and was adorned with water jets as seen in the film. Allegedly, the rotating "cake" mechanism was constantly breaking down, causing frequent repairs and downtime. In addition, the water pumps would constantly fail, flooding the ride path. Park operations believed it was much cheaper and less problematic to leave the "cake" in place with lighting effects used to provide what imagineers term as "kinetics" to the segment. This is what guests see today.
        Today, this segment is still the "opening act" of The Great Movie Ride, but significantly toned down. The guests now enter a segment with its lighting significantly diminished. The outer walls are dark with practically no art deco recreations from the film set. The "diving boards" have been replaced with art deco style wall sconces. Instead, guests pass through a deco inspired archway to find themselves facing a large scrim-lined proscenium decorated with grey/blue clouds and remnants of the art deco set designs. Throughout the segment, three large rotating projections of Busby Berkeley-style kaleidoscope dance sequences appear on the scrim (from By A Waterfall, Dames, and Shadow Waltz). These disappear to expose the "cake," which is behind the scrim, and is simultaneously illuminated with washes of light and reflective water effects. The caped dancers on diving boards are now located to the far left of the "cake" behind the scrim. The art deco style wall panels still reside behind the "cake." The looping song segment and bubbles remain." - Wikipedia

        If the cake was spinning for just 1 year, and hasn't functioned like that for 22, can you really say this is a "broken" effect so much as an abandoned attempt at a scene that failed? It's safe to say it's not coming back, and since almost nobody has seen it then it's really hard to count it as a decline.

        As for Dinosaur, I've not been on it in the last maybe 2 months, but for at least a year the time vortex area doors have been broken and left open, have those been fixed since I didn't see it on the list? For awhile the same doors were broken on Indy in California for months on end as well. That must be the hardest effect to maintain if it's broken for prolonged periods on both coasts simultaniously.
        My signature is NOT larger than my post, nor should yours be!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: 5/15: Should you Care?

          Here goes Kevin again...

          Just for the record, the women in the first sceen of the Great Movie Ride haven't worked correctly for more than 20 years. As a member of the opening crew of Studio Attractions I should know. Not only are they supposed to spin, there is a water effect, and don't forget the bubbles. However this was an effect that wasn't designed very weel. The water splashed on the floor causing a slip hazard, and it began to rust out the infrastructure that supported the women. The effect was turned off and left stationationary around 1990-91. And the Alien, it hasn't worked right either since 1991.

          It was my understanding 50% of the electricty for the property comes from Reedy Creek Utlity company, which cut to chase is pretty much owned by Disney. Also the way the power comes into the park, a problem from the electric company would effect large parts of the park at the same time, not attraction by attraction.

          Again, Kevin wants a park that never really existed. These issues have gone on since the parks opened. It's always surprising to me what you are upset about vs. what you aren't upset about. For me it's much more shocking to see Main Street (or any part of the park) behind a tarp. That didn't happen back in the day.

          My advice: make sure you are complaining about the things that are really important. I'm more concerned about the garbage not being picked up, then a ride effect turned off 20 years ago...

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: 5/15: Should you Care?

            This list is surprisingly much shorter than I imagined it would be.

            Yes some of the maintenance on those attractions is not up to par but some of the others look in a somewhat good position.

            I'm very conflicted as a fan right now. On one end I want to bash Disney for it's outrageous prices (3 bucks for a Dixie cup of watered down Orange Ice Cream), but on the other hand I do see "some" issues getting adressed and more detail being added to the parks.

            I have a question for you too Kevin. I was at the Magic Kingdom 2 weeks ago and noticed that our Skipper on the Jungle Cruise shifted the boat into it's top speed and never slowed the boat. We ended up in a 4 boat wait to pull into the dock at the end of the ride. I always recall seeing the Skippers slow down the boats at certain points. I heard that this is a new practice that was implemented by Management to cut the time of the attraction down and raise capacity. Any Truth too this, because I feel that is something that could be added to your list.

            Thanks,
            Zach
            Theme Park Reporter
            -Coaster-net.com
            -WDWNT:The Magazine

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: 5/15: Should you Care?

              Kevin, you kind of missed the point with this article today. About half of the effects you complained about were shut off shortly after the openings of the rides, and some of them for good reason. The main problem with WDW for me at the moment is that they have basically removed almost all of their great unique attractions in favor of cheap clones or movie based attractions. After they shut down Pleasure Island in 2008 I quit visiting WDW resort all together because there isn't anything worth going down there for anymore.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: 5/15: Should you Care?

                When I lived in the Los Angeles area, I used to go to Disneyland every Saturday. Since I was a regular I would notice things like the robots not working or paint chipping. The robots where repaired by the next Saturday, but that was 30 years ago. I do not know if the same could be said about Disneyland today.
                James

                Once a Disney fan, always a Disney fan.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: 5/15: Should you Care?

                  Hi Kevin. First off, great article as always. I've been reading your articles for a long time, ever since you wrote about dining topics on Mouseplanet (boy that seems like a long time ago - probably because it was).

                  I just got back from WDW. Was there for 5 days and visited every park once (went to Epcot twice). This was my first visit since 1995, though I was there very briefly in 2008 for a corporate event, but was basically in event space most of the time. Previously, I lived in Southern California and was a long-time AP.

                  I was shocked at the level of decay at WDW. Lots of areas seemed frayed and not well kept. My eagle eye kept spotting area after area in need of touch-up paint. I was shocked that the ride queues were often dirty and littered with guest trash that clearly was not getting picked-up in a timely manner. I never remember Disneyland looking this bad, even during the dark Pressler/Harriss days. If management doesn't think that guests notice these things, they are sorely mistaken.

                  On a related note, there were distinct differences in the quality of the CMs in each park. The CMs at Hollywood Studios and Epcot were super friendly and all-smiles, whereas the CMs at the MK were dismal. Not only were most of them seemingly unhappy to be at work, there were few smiles, and lots of "barking" at guests during parade crowd control. I know it's hot, humid, and crowded, but it's not the "Disney way" to yell "Guys keep it moving" at guests in a bottleneck. I was also surprised to see so many CMs with colleges listed on their badge; clearly they are inexpensive seasonal help and surely have not been trained much. Some were awesome, but many seemed indifferent to be at work.

                  I could also go on about the ridiculously poor merchandise offerings, but that's a whole other post.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: 5/15: Should you Care?

                    Originally posted by KevinYee View Post
                    There have been unrelated power problems on pirates - in this one instance, it's the power company, not Disney, to fault.

                    The trash, though: that's Disney's fault.
                    Great article Kevin, it is obvious that major show effects have been neglected.

                    Though you cut some slack for half of Pirates being down, I blamed TDO!

                    Like others have noted, Reedy Creek Energy is owned outright by Disney. And the issue of half the show being broke is something further downstream from power generation and power supply regulation/conditioning . . . it looks like either somebody forgot to flip the switches for half the show effects, entirely possible if not automated, OR there was a ground fault somewhere and the system shutdown as a safety precaution, or some other trip happened . . . in the most likely scenarios, it is entirely Disney's fault for lack of maintenance on the ride, or on electrical equipment on their property which may well be owned and operated by Reedy Creek Energy.

                    ---------- Post added 05-15-2012 at 04:46 PM ----------

                    Originally posted by blowfishies View Post
                    Here goes Kevin again...

                    Just for the record, the women in the first sceen of the Great Movie Ride haven't worked correctly for more than 20 years. As a member of the opening crew of Studio Attractions I should know. Not only are they supposed to spin, there is a water effect, and don't forget the bubbles. However this was an effect that wasn't designed very weel. The water splashed on the floor causing a slip hazard, and it began to rust out the infrastructure that supported the women. The effect was turned off and left stationationary around 1990-91. And the Alien, it hasn't worked right either since 1991.

                    It was my understanding 50% of the electricty for the property comes from Reedy Creek Utlity company, which cut to chase is pretty much owned by Disney. Also the way the power comes into the park, a problem from the electric company would effect large parts of the park at the same time, not attraction by attraction.

                    Again, Kevin wants a park that never really existed. These issues have gone on since the parks opened. It's always surprising to me what you are upset about vs. what you aren't upset about. For me it's much more shocking to see Main Street (or any part of the park) behind a tarp. That didn't happen back in the day.

                    My advice: make sure you are complaining about the things that are really important. I'm more concerned about the garbage not being picked up, then a ride effect turned off 20 years ago...
                    I remember the "rotating" dancers and a bubble effect clearly, then I remember the effect being turned off and was disappointed by this loss years later. I doubt that the effect hasn't been on since 1991 as I have such clearly remembrances. If so, the effect was a memorable one that many guests miss . . . I am pretty sure I saw this effect in the late 90's ??? Has it been intermittently working?

                    ---------- Post added 05-15-2012 at 04:49 PM ----------

                    Originally posted by ZFakterowitz View Post
                    This list is surprisingly much shorter than I imagined it would be.

                    Yes some of the maintenance on those attractions is not up to par but some of the others look in a somewhat good position.
                    I am sure this is just a partial list.

                    I remembered riding Dinosaur a short time after it opened, and it was a much better experience then the last time I rode it a couple years ago, . . . I remembered thinking, "That wasn't as good as it used to be . . . " Now I know why thanks to Kevin's article, a multitude of broken effects and lack of concern for show.

                    Splash Mountain has had repeated "fixes" for the AAs, only to break down, when the ride is in good working condition for a year then I'd consider it fixed.

                    The broken Angler fish on Nemo is really bad as that is one of the best parts of the ride! I rode Nemo in DL a couple weeks ago, and the Angler fish wasn't moving in this ride, though I don't know if a Kuka arm was ever attached to it . . .

                    I think that there are too many MBA types at Disney, and not enough of the personnel they need to really run the park, like maintenance workers and janitors. Too many executives getting too many bonuses, this is why (IMHO) ticket prices have increased while maintenance had gone downhill. The only thing for people to do is write letters. While Disney does have high standards, at least in Disneyland and more so in Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Seas, the broken ride effects fall below what you see in a lot of other theme parks. Would Universal let Potterland go to pot? (Pun intended).
                    Last edited by chesirecat; 05-15-2012, 09:08 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: 5/15: Should you Care?

                      The title of Kevin's article says it all: "Should You Care?"

                      Should you care if you're a fan? Should you care if you're someone who grew up with Disney and loves Disney parks? Should you care if you're a longtime customer? A casual visitor? A new customer? I think the answer is "yes."

                      If you don't, who will?

                      Disney management? Obviously not. Year after year Disney's prices increase and their profits soar, yet they continue to leave show elements broken. Year after year Disney's executive bonuses rise, yet they continue to leave trash on the ground and cut staff and services to the bone.
                      "Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because
                      it combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning,
                      together with every variety of recreation and fun,
                      designed to appeal to everyone."

                      - Walt Disney

                      "Disneyland is all about turning movies into rides."
                      - Michael Eisner

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: 5/15: Should you Care?

                        Originally posted by lnsemsf View Post
                        Kevin, On my last few rides through Pirates I've noticed the light leak has been patched up. Did you ride through it in the last 2 or so weeks?
                        I went on Saturday, just a few days ago. The light leak facing the beach is fixed, but the leaks are there "over" the drop. Someone else told me even those were fixed previously, so maybe whatever sheet or blanket they have there keeps falling.

                        Originally posted by blowfishies View Post
                        Here goes Kevin again...
                        I know you don't mean it this way, but in a way that's kind of a compliment.

                        Originally posted by blowfishies View Post
                        My advice: make sure you are complaining about the things that are really important. I'm more concerned about the garbage not being picked up, then a ride effect turned off 20 years ago...
                        I was trying to make the point in the final paragraph that the two are related, maybe even two sides of the same coin. One reason I don't take pictures of trash is that this is easily dismissed online. "Oh there goes Kevin again, taking pictures of something that only lasted ten minutes and was cleaned up immediately." But I do see the trash. All over. Ditto the chipped paint. I may yet do a chipped paint photo essay, though.

                        Originally posted by ZFakterowitz View Post
                        This list is surprisingly much shorter than I imagined it would be.
                        It's a partial list. I had actually meant to call for more contributions from readers at the end of the list, but forgot to. There are definitely more maintenance problems than just this.

                        They do, however, fix things. The Philharmic curtains are fixed, as are the Impressions de France curtains. Hopper was missing completely one time I visited, but I don't post about things that are broken *once* - it needs to be a pattern before I get concerned.

                        Originally posted by ZFakterowitz View Post
                        I have a question for you too Kevin. I was at the Magic Kingdom 2 weeks ago and noticed that our Skipper on the Jungle Cruise shifted the boat into it's top speed and never slowed the boat. We ended up in a 4 boat wait to pull into the dock at the end of the ride. I always recall seeing the Skippers slow down the boats at certain points. I heard that this is a new practice that was implemented by Management to cut the time of the attraction down and raise capacity. Any Truth too this, because I feel that is something that could be added to your list.
                        Now that you mention it, my trip on Saturday was exactly like that. I hadn't heard that's the new Operating Guideline, but you could well be right. We didn't slow down at all. Isn't there some Walt Disney / Dick Nunis story about this EXACT ride doing THAT EXACT operational "trick"? Walt would not approve.

                        Originally posted by mouseketeer_2 View Post
                        I was shocked at the level of decay at WDW. Lots of areas seemed frayed and not well kept. My eagle eye kept spotting area after area in need of touch-up paint. I was shocked that the ride queues were often dirty and littered with guest trash that clearly was not getting picked-up in a timely manner. I never remember Disneyland looking this bad, even during the dark Pressler/Harriss days. If management doesn't think that guests notice these things, they are sorely mistaken.
                        "They're tourists... what do they know?"
                        Kevin Yee
                        MiceAge Columnist

                        I am the author of several Disney books:
                        Jason's Disneyland Almanac - a daily history of Disneyland
                        Walt Disney World Hidden History - tributes, homages, and ride remnants at WDW
                        Your Day at the Magic Kingdom
                        Mouse Trap
                        Tokyo Disney Made Easy
                        101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland
                        Magic Quizdom (The Disneyland Trivia Book)

                        “The press [should be] a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can't be right all the time. He doesn't bark only when he sees or smells something that's dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious.” – Dan Rather

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: 5/15: Should you Care?

                          Howdy Pards,

                          Well...maybe it's not a question of "should we care" as much as "why do we care?"

                          The reason why we care...I believe...is all wrapped up in Walt Disney...and the original team he put in place to make Disneyland something truly wonderful.

                          To Walt Disneyland was a show...just like any movie the studio put out...with one major difference. In the park he could keep improving things, changing the things that needed changing, taking out the things that didn't work, and adding new things...plussing things up he used to say.

                          Disneyland was a labor of love...Both Walt and those who worked for Walt were doing what they were doing because they loved doing what they were doing. It was never about the money. If the park made money that meant that more dreams could come true.

                          And, back in those days, everyone knew that they were an important part of the show. Not only the people...but the set...the flowers, trees, streets, lights, everything.

                          Walt gave Disneyland lots of tender, loving care. He was often in the park himself...wandering around observing things...thinking up ways to make things better.

                          He didn't call those who visited the place customers...or tourists. He called them guests.

                          And we noticed. Walt's love. Walt's enthusiam. Walt's caring. We noticed...and yes, everytime we put an empty cup or popcorn box in a trash container we felt we were doing our part to support the show... Because...the truth of it is...we, the guests, grew to love the place almost as much as Walt did.
                          It was...and still is...in our hearts. Deep in our hearts.

                          So...what happened? Well, our love has never died. But, a change in management at the very top happened. These new money folks seemed interested in only one thing...the bottom line. That meant that prices went up...and attention to detail, attention to quality went down. Now, you can blame it on Stockholders I suppose...always demanding more profits...money, money, money. But, I believe it is a management that simply does not understand the philosophy of Walt Disney. This management understands how to make piles of money...but, this concept of "love", "guests", "plussing", "show quality",
                          is in direct contridiction to their primary objective...money...increasing the bottom line. That is the way they see it anyway.

                          Until management changes...or is changed...until management learns that Walt's way truly IS, WAS, and ALWAYS WILL BE the right way...things will not improve...they will only get worse.

                          The Walt Disney Company is in the entertainment business...but it's foundation...the thing that Walt gave it that made it special...was a thing of the heart. Walt put the people first...not money. Money was simply a tool to "plus things up" and make even more dreams come true. And people came and
                          continue to come because they remember Walt Disney's philosophy...his reputation...his legacy. Walt
                          gave love...and he got it back in return...far more than a few of us cried on December 15th, 1966 when that flag was lowered to half-staff in town square...

                          Walt Disney built this company...a company that became a beloved American Institution. He did it by paying attention to every detail...every detail.

                          What did Walt think about money? Well, here's what he said,

                          "Money is something I understand only vaguely, and think about it only when I don't have enough to finance my current enthusiasm, whatever it may be. All I know about money is that I have to have it to do things. I don't want to bank my dividends, I'd rather keep my money working. I regard it as a moral obligation to pay back borrowed money. When I make a profit, I don't squander it or hide it away; I immediately plow it back into a fresh project. I have little respect for money as such; I regard it merely as a medium for financing new ideas. I neither wish nor intend to amass a personal fortune. Money - or rather lack of it to carry out my ideas - may worry me, but it does not excite me. Ideas excite me."

                          In many ways I believe Walt Disney saw a bigger purpose for his life... Again, his words:

                          "The inclination of my life - the motto, you might call it - has been to do things and make things which will give pleasure to people in new and amusing ways. By doing that I please and satisfy myself. It is my wish to delight all members of the family, young and old, parent and child, in the kind of entertainment my associates and I turn out of our studio in Burbank, California. I think all artists - whether they paint, write, sing or play music, write for the theater or movies, make poetry or sculpture - all of these are first of all pleasure-givers. People who like to bring delight to other people, and hereby gain pleasure and satisfaction for themselves."

                          It seemed that Walt Disney was always dreamin' up new ways to make our world a better place. It seemed that he was always bringing something new, exciting, wonderful, magical into our lives. He loved us...and we loved him.

                          Should we care about his legacy? Should we care if today's top management doesn't appear to care? Yes. Why?
                          Well...for me...it has to do with an unfading love of the man, the legacy, the philosophy, the wisdom, the entire lifetime of a wonderful storyteller who plussed up our world...a feller named Walt Disney.

                          That is why we still look up at that window above the Fire Station in
                          Disneyland. That is why we walk a little farther to throw away that empty popcorn box at Walt Disney World. That is why we keep trying to get through the message that
                          we DO care...that Walt would have noticed those burnt out light bulbs...and so do we.

                          Love, it turns out, is a mighty powerful thing... and our love for Walt Disney's legacy isn't likely to fade anytime soon...

                          Adios for now. Talk to ya on down the trail.

                          Wild Ol' Dan

                          Last edited by Wild Ol' Dan; 05-15-2012, 10:57 AM.
                          "I can see the cattle grazin' o'er the hills at early morn…
                          I can see the campfires smokin’ at the breaking of the dawn,
                          I can hear the bronco's neighin', I can hear the cowboys sing,
                          I'd like to be in Texas for the Round-up in the Spring."
                          sigpic

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: 5/15: Should you Care?

                            Now that you mention it, my trip on Saturday was exactly like that. I hadn't heard that's the new Operating Guideline, but you could well be right. We didn't slow down at all. Isn't there some Walt Disney / Dick Nunis story about this EXACT ride doing THAT EXACT operational "trick"? Walt would not approve.
                            That's the exact same story I thought of when I read that post!

                            The story goes that Walt took a trip on the Jungle Cruise. Dick Nunis was running Adventureland at the time. When Dick was at the exit of JC, waiting for Walt's boat to come in, he was greeted by Walt, both eyebrows raised. Never a good sign with Walt. Walt asked him, "How long is that trip supposed to take, Dick?" Dick said, "Seven minutes." Walt said, "It lasted just over 4 minutes by my watch. We shot through there so fast! I couldn't tell the hippos from the elephants! Do something about it!"
                            So, Dick Nunis re-trained his skippers on proper speed and operation and, soon after, Walt came back. Figuring Nunis had stacked the deck and put all of his best skippers up front, Walt went on all of the cruises with all of the captains. On his seventh and last trip around, Walt climbed out of the boat, looked at Nunis, winked and gave him a thumbs up.

                            One of my favorite Walt stories.
                            "In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations, the new needs friends." - Anton Ego

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: 5/15: Should you Care?

                              Originally posted by Wild Ol' Dan View Post
                              Howdy Pards,

                              Well...maybe it's not a question of "should we care" as much as "why do we care?"

                              The reason why we care...I believe...is all wrapped up in Walt Disney...and the original team he put in place to make Disneyland something truly wonderful.

                              To Walt Disneyland was a show...just like any movie the studio put out...with one major difference. In the park he could keep improving things, changing the things that needed changing, taking out the things that didn't work, and adding new things...plussing things up he used to say.

                              Disneyland was a labor of love...Both Walt and those who worked for Walt were doing what they were doing because they loved doing what they were doing. It was never about the money. If the park made money that meant that more dreams could come true.

                              And, back in those days, everyone knew that they were an important part of the show. Not only the people...but the set...the flowers, trees, streets, lights, everything.

                              Walt gave Disneyland lots of tender, loving care. He was often in the park himself...wandering around observing things...thinking up ways to make things better.

                              He didn't call those who visited the place customers...or tourists. He called them guests.

                              And we noticed. Walt's love. Walt's enthusiam. Walt's caring. We noticed...and yes, everytime we put an empty cup or popcorn box in a trash container we felt we were doing our part to support the show... Because...the truth of it is...we, the guests, grew to love the place almost as much as Walt did.
                              It was...and still is...in our hearts. Deep in our hearts.

                              So...what happened? Well, our love has never died. But, a change in management at the very top happened. These new money folks seemed interested in only one thing...the bottom line. That meant that prices went up...and attention to detail, attention to quality went down. Now, you can blame it on Stockholders I suppose...always demanding more profits...money, money, money. But, I believe it is a management that simply does not understand the philosophy of Walt Disney. This management understands how to make piles of money...but, this concept of "love", "guests", "plussing", "show quality",
                              is in direct contridiction to their primary objective...money...increasing the bottom line. That is the way they see it anyway.

                              Until management changes...or is changed...until management learns that Walt's way truly IS, WAS, and ALWAYS WILL BE the right way...things will not improve...they will only get worse.

                              The Walt Disney Company is in the entertainment business...but it's foundation...the thing that Walt gave it that made it special...was a thing of the heart. Walt put the people first...not money. Money was simply a tool to "plus things up" and make even more dreams come true. And people came and
                              continue to come because they remember Walt Disney's philosophy...his reputation...his legacy. Walt
                              gave love...and he got it back in return...far more than a few of us cried on December 15th, 1966 when that flag was lowered to half-staff in town square...

                              Walt Disney built this company...a company that became a beloved American Institution. He did it by paying attention to every detail...every detail.

                              What did Walt think about money? Well, here's what he said,

                              "Money is something I understand only vaguely, and think about it only when I don't have enough to finance my current enthusiasm, whatever it may be. All I know about money is that I have to have it to do things. I don't want to bank my dividends, I'd rather keep my money working. I regard it as a moral obligation to pay back borrowed money. When I make a profit, I don't squander it or hide it away; I immediately plow it back into a fresh project. I have little respect for money as such; I regard it merely as a medium for financing new ideas. I neither wish nor intend to amass a personal fortune. Money - or rather lack of it to carry out my ideas - may worry me, but it does not excite me. Ideas excite me."

                              In many ways I believe Walt Disney saw a bigger purpose for his life... Again, his words:

                              "The inclination of my life - the motto, you might call it - has been to do things and make things which will give pleasure to people in new and amusing ways. By doing that I please and satisfy myself. It is my wish to delight all members of the family, young and old, parent and child, in the kind of entertainment my associates and I turn out of our studio in Burbank, California. I think all artists - whether they paint, write, sing or play music, write for the theater or movies, make poetry or sculpture - all of these are first of all pleasure-givers. People who like to bring delight to other people, and hereby gain pleasure and satisfaction for themselves."

                              It seemed that Walt Disney was always dreamin' up new ways to make our world a better place. It seemed that he was always bringing something new, exciting, wonderful, magical into our lives. He loved us...and we loved him.

                              Should we care about his legacy? Should we care if today's top management doesn't appear to care? Yes. Why?
                              Well...for me...it has to do with an unfading love of the man, the legacy, the philosophy, the wisdom, the entire lifetime of a wonderful storyteller who plussed up our world...a feller named Walt Disney.

                              That is why we still look up at that window above the Fire Station in
                              Disneyland. That is why we walk a little farther to throw away that empty popcorn box at Walt Disney World. That is why we keep trying to get through the message that
                              we DO care...that Walt would have noticed those burnt out light bulbs...and so do we.

                              Love, it turns out, is a mighty powerful thing... and our love for Walt Disney's legacy isn't likely to fade anytime soon...

                              Adios for now. Talk to ya on down the trail.

                              Wild Ol' Dan



                              I wish these quotes would be more often remembered. Specially in pricing. I just find it ironic that when Walt envisioned (Disneyland) he wanted people to "visit" the places he had traveled to at an affordable price. And nowadays it's less expensive to go to these places than to go to WDW. (Which is I think one of the many reasons I still prefer Disneyland by far).
                              I have a dream
                              A song to sing
                              To help me cope
                              Trough everything

                              If you see the wonder
                              of a FairyTale
                              You can take the future
                              even if you fail...

                              I believe in Angels
                              Something good in everything I see
                              I believe in Angels
                              When I know the time is right for me...

                              I'll cross the stream.... I have a dream

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Re: 5/15: Should you Care?

                                Much as people have said about the By A Waterfall sequence in the Great Movie Ride, I believe the laser effects at the beginning and end of Dinosaur have been kept turned off since before the ride was even renamed to Dinosaur from Countdown to Extinction. There are many such effects in this category- another one on the Disneyland side would be the block of ice that used to fall onto the bridge in Indiana Jones Adventure. The spiels and effects that were cut from Test Track over the years. And on and on.

                                While it's certainly sad to see things like this happen I do not think this represents a "Decline by Degrees"- I think this is an equally worrisome but nonetheless separate issue, which is WDI designing ride effects that simply don't work. I honestly think in cases like the Yeti, or Great Movie Ride, it's wanting to keep the attraction running and having to figure out how to get around badly designed effects. I think the Yeti is still broken not because Disney doesn't know, doesn't care, or doesn't have the money to fix it, it's because there may be no way to fix it, and certainly not without a lengthy closure of the ride during which DAK would be without it's main E-Ticket. Yeti or no Yeti I think most guests would rather still get to ride the roller coaster.

                                It is the responsibility of those who design and build the attractions to ensure that they will be able to operate consistently, day after day, for decades to come. In the last 10 or 15 years WDI has consistently built large attractions with effects that were either far to costly or simply not possible to maintain. The spinning, water-spraying Busby Berkley sequence was a bad idea. Should they have perhaps have closed the ride and replaced it altogether by now? Perhaps, but one could argue much of the ride is outdated and in need of a serious rebuild, which is a separate issue.

                                This problem is, to me, separate from a decline by degrees in which lightbulbs are left to burn out that could easily be replaced, or AA figures are left motionless. It's different than replacing a three dimensional sign with a printed one because it's cheaper. I think lumping them all together simply confuses the issue and muddies the fact that there is blame to be spread in multiple directions- sometimes TDO is clearly not keeping up with making sure their parks are in shape (the number of burned out bulbs on the Grand Floridian is completely unacceptable, for instance), whereas in other cases' WDI is providing ill-designed rides and dumping the problems in the laps of operations teams that do not have the resources to keep things working (creating a giant Yeti AA that destroys its own foundation when it moves, or a hazardous Busby Berkley sequence that rusts itself to death).












                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Re: 5/15: Should you Care?

                                  Excellent post Club 33. There are different issues at play here.

                                  I think WDW needs to go back and revisit past Engineering and maintenance cuts. Some need to be brought back.


                                  Trash in the Que's is rampant at WDW, as are burnt out light bulbs. But WDI does sometimes design things that just don't work. I think the yeti and the spinning girls are good examples of that. Personally, the yeti has never been my passion. I was never overly impressed by it, and felt we passed by far to fast to really appreciate its motions (was it lurching towards us but we are also rapidly rolling towards it). Of all the issues, the yeti is not high on my list. I accept I am in the minority of that thought amoungst the WDW rabid fan base that according to some deserve this. For I too would not shut down the attraction to fix this. I think its a case of poor design.

                                  This part of the WDI design issue I can accept. If that makes me a rabid fan then so be it.

                                  But just when I am hopelessly blind to wdw issues, you know what really bothers me about Everest isn't the yeti but it's blantently unthemed backwards part. Scaffolding in clear view, no themed cave work? Also high on the list, FIX the bird already! Seriously! The bird is NOT a tech that is new and unproven. It is an example of the third issue with WDI. To review

                                  1) Poor design. A hazard of the job of creating new experiences. You are going to miss so I blame it on WDI just as I give them credit for when this do great.

                                  2) Poor theme or follow though. I blame the backwards part of Everest not on WDI. I suspect highly they would loved to detail the backwards part as much as the forward facing caves are in this attraction but that some good old "Value Enginneering" AKA budget cuts on the design level, deemed this detail unneeded. For this I blame WDW, not WDI but it could be a mix of both.

                                  And finally....

                                  3) WDI designs what WDW operations is just not willing to maintain. And that more then anything this is disheartening.

                                  The light leaks on Pirates isn't fixed, they just shut off the stobe behind the walls. Now the lighting is down is flash light like technology pointed directly at the hopelessly sailing/sinking skeleton. Where is the talking cross bones and skull that use to warn you that rough waters are head just before the little drop? True, not there for years now, but also an example of WDW not maintaining what WDI designed and CAN be maintained. These are not massive yeti's or rusting carousels of women.

                                  But for what its worth, my recent trip to Disneyland had me wondering.... do I look for, and ONLY look for, what's wrong at WDW and what's right at DL. While I don't think so I do think I have become too critical of WDW. For my first time, Disneyland did feel small to me, and not just the hub.

                                  The Castle needed some tlc, parts that were gold and shiney now had a shine more simular to that of old dingy silverware. yes I found parts of the castle to look sun bleach and dingy. Speaking of dingy... the Disneyland railroad car I rode on looked beat up. IN fact the engines themselves, I saw two, but they didn't gleam. For the most part I find WDW's engines to be in fantastic shape. One them, I forget if its the Walter or Roger, as a yellowish white walled lead wheel, but over all, they gleam! I love the trains on both coasts, passionately, but hear I found that WDW's trains looked better, both engines and even more surprisenly to me, the rolling stock. At Disneyland the rolling stock seats need varnish, and engines needed this thier paint needed refreshing. Mainstreet should be boycotted until its marquee attraction shines as it should. Kidding, but it was mixed back, because as i looked up into the rafters of Mainstreet USA Station, it looked like it was just finished a few days ago. Not a cob web nor paint blemish in sight.

                                  WDW definately as its issues. Its become to slow to maintain itself in the harsher Florida elements.

                                  The biggest issue facing WDW is upkeep. Over the last couple of decades I think they have reduced their Engineering and maintenance as they found labor redundancies and cost reductions. There is nothing wrong with doing that. But wdw is getting older... its getting OLD! And as it does, many of those eliminated redundancies and cost reductions need to be re-evaluated. Some need to be brought back. What use to a labor redundancy 10-15 years ago may now be a genuine need due to just being 10-15 years older. And more then anything I think that is what WDW really needs to go back and revisit.

                                  Engineering and maintenance cuts that were valid at the time they were made, may no longer be valid now. As you get older you need more engineering and maintenance, not less. Its easy to keep something new looking... whe it is new. Its not so easy to keep something over 40 years old, under the florida bombardment of sun, rains, high humidity, and extremely high foot traffic, from showing its age.

                                  WDW is showing it's age.
                                  Last edited by Kidgenie; 05-15-2012, 02:26 PM.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Re: 5/15: Should you Care?

                                    When I was in grade school and high school in the 1970s and early 80s, I looked forward to our summer trip to WDW more than Christmas or my birthday. We were amazed by how clean WDW was and by all of the enthusiastic cast members--I wanted to be one of them. I sent a little kid letter to then Disney head Card Walker about working for Disney, and a super-nice assistant of his called me in Wisconsin and talked to me till I ran out of questions. It was cool when my mom yelled, "Tom, you have a phone call. It's Disney!" I worked at Disneyland in Anaheim during college in the 1980s, and have visited the Disney parks in Tokyo and Paris. Tokyo Disneyland in the 90s reminded me of Walt Disney world in the 1970s.

                                    WDW was a great value, which made it seem even more magical to my mom and inspired us to visit once a year for 10 years in a row, despite the long drive from Wisconsin--once with 7 kids in the station wagon. (We spent at week at Sanibel Island too.) WDW may have been underpriced because later when Frank Wells and Michael Eisner almost doubled park admission prices in just two years, attendance did not nosedive.

                                    Anyway, Kevin, thank you (and Al Lutz) for your efforts to make Walt Disney World wonderful again. I really want to take my daughter there, but I want it to be as impressive for her and to my wife as it was to me in the 70s. I took my wife there once around 2001, but we haven't felt compelled to return.

                                    FYI, the "broken windows" theory of fixing flaws as soon as they appear (followed as you noted by NYPDs leaders) was by recently deceased UCLA professor James Q. Wilson.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Re: 5/15: Should you Care?

                                      Originally posted by KevinYee View Post
                                      It's a partial list. I had actually meant to call for more contributions from readers at the end of the list, but forgot to. There are definitely more maintenance problems than just this.

                                      They do, however, fix things. The Philharmic curtains are fixed, as are the Impressions de France curtains. Hopper was missing completely one time I visited, but I don't post about things that are broken *once* - it needs to be a pattern before I get concerned.


                                      Now that you mention it, my trip on Saturday was exactly like that. I hadn't heard that's the new Operating Guideline, but you could well be right. We didn't slow down at all. Isn't there some Walt Disney / Dick Nunis story about this EXACT ride doing THAT EXACT operational "trick"? Walt would not approve.

                                      "They're tourists... what do they know?"
                                      Ok, I thought that was a complete list. I'm a local and get out to the parks every few weeks and I took your word for probably being a bit more accurate than my observations

                                      One big one you didn't mention was the state of the Monorails. Just looking at pictures from 5/6 years ago of the Monorail it looks so much nicer than it does now.

                                      As for the Jungle Cruise. Yes that is a Walt story. If I recall Walt visited the Jungle Cruise one day in disguise. The skipper blew through the attraction. Walt had timed the attraction and it clocked in at 4 mins (I think). He chewed out Dick Nunis about the issue saying "Guest are paying for a 8 minute attraction." Walt then proceeded to show Nunis the correct way to operate the boats by SLOWING DOWN at the points of interest.

                                      I was thinking about that story when I got off the ride that day. Someone should see how long the Jungle Cruise clocks in at and compare it to some older youtube videos of the attraction to see if this is true.

                                      *EDIT* I found the story
                                      "I was promoted to supervisor of Disneyland's Frontierland and Adventureland. And during my first week in that role, Walt got on the "Jungle Cruise," went around and got off, and called me over. He chewed me up one side and down the other. He asked me 'What's the trip time?' and he knew in those days it was seven minutes. He said ' Well, Dick, I just got a four-and-a-half-minute trip! I went through the hippo pool so fast I couldn't tell if they were hippos or rhinos. How would you feel if you went to the movies and they cut the center reel out of the picture?'Then he proceeded to tell me, 'We've gotta maintain the same consistent show regardless of how long the wait is.' So after he finished chewing me out, I said 'Walt, have you got a minute?' and he said 'Sure. What for?' I said 'Well, sir, I'm new here. I'd like to go around with you on a boat. You tell me how you want it, and that's the way it'll be.' He said, 'Okay. Let's go.'So we went on it a couple of times, and he said, 'You know, Dick, we don't really have a lot of show here. We're going to be adding show, but right now we've got to play to the show. So don't just have the boat go around at one speed. Play to the show and slow the boat up when you've got some animation, and then when there isn't anything there, speed it up. It'll be more interesting.'So that's what we did. I got off the boat and he left. Cliff Walker was my foreman. So I said, 'Okay. You and I are gonna get seasick.' We worked in teams and we had one operator drive and one spiel. And then we'd flip it and train them how to drive it and then how to spiel it, and then put them together.So we were ready the first week, and Walt came down for a weekend. Never got on a boat. Second weekend. Never got on a boat. We were training all that time. By that time we'd gotten clocks on the boat so they had key points where they should be. So that made it a lot easier.
                                      Theme Park Reporter
                                      -Coaster-net.com
                                      -WDWNT:The Magazine

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Re: 5/15: Should you Care?

                                        Originally posted by KevinYee View Post
                                        Now that you mention it, my trip on Saturday was exactly like that. I hadn't heard that's the new Operating Guideline, but you could well be right. We didn't slow down at all. Isn't there some Walt Disney / Dick Nunis story about this EXACT ride doing THAT EXACT operational "trick"? Walt would not approve.

                                        The peak loading capacity for Jungle Cruise is when boats are continuously loading, if you have boats waiting, just as four boats stacked up, it doesn't do anything for ride capacity as guests might as well be circling around the Jungle Cruise a second time if they can't get off the boat anyway ;-)

                                        Attraction leads love to see if they can top ride counts at other attractions, I bet that this is what this was as there isn't anyway to substantially increase loading capacity, save for loading two boats at once.

                                        Comment

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