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Are the parks getting dirtier?

Scooter

Well-Known Member
A few years ago ( 3 to 5) WDW Disney management laid off around 500 employees. Most were lower level cast members ie janitorial staff and a few middle management cast members were included in this lay off. Since then I have seen a noticeable decline in park cleanliness, and those positions,and to my knowlege, these positions haven't been filled despite the growing economy and rising park attendance. My wife and I have been going to WDW twice a year for the last 26 years. We keep hoping that Disney management will realize that when Walt Disney opened these parks he knew the importance of maintaining cleanliness and his thoughts on this subject would transfer to todays management personel. It remains to be seen and we can only hope that someone in upper management will grasp Walts ideas and we will once again return to Walts standards and realize the importance of park cleanliness which keeps Disney the leader in the theme park industry.
 

copcarguyp71

Well-Known Member
Well...let me just say that Disney gives big discounts to other countries that we do not get here and a larger majority of guests than ever before are not from the continental U.S. maybe nothing to do with it but maybe not...
 

Skooterkid

Well-Known Member
This kind of thread makes me feel sad, but I am compelled to agree. As a former-ICP custodian, I know I and my fellow Main Street custodians worked our butts off back in the summer 2013, and I have faith that the guys I left behind are still doing a wonderful job. Post-fireworks was always a hard time, but as a team we came together and got the hub spotless within 15 minutes or so, and then would work out way down the street as quickly as we could. However, as for the buildings and attractions, though we often got 15 minute ‘tasks’ to go clean the shop-fronts, I would always see dirt and cobwebs further up beyond my reach, which would bug the hell out of me. I so wanted to restore Main Street USA to it’s former glory, but it was beyond the ability of this mortal man, I’m sorry to say.


The third shift CMs, who powerwash everything and do all the hard graft, don’t seem to care much about the little Disney details, which the day-shifters can’t possibly attend to in the daytime with the guests around. I have a lot of respect for the guys working third shift, because they worked a whole harder than those of us who got paid to sweep up popcorn, hand out stickers and trade pins, and they don’t get nearly as many perks, but I really think they’ll need to be some major shake-ups before this cleanliness problem gets totally sorted out, unfortunately.
 

KIsAPrincess

Active Member
We were in Orlando last week for a short Disney trip. Friday we spent some time at the Florida Mall where we had lunch in the food court. I was thoroughly amazed by the people - teens and adults alike - that just got up and left their trash on the table and didn't take it to the garbage can. We counted at least eight tables that did this. And this mall was super packed with people on a Friday at 3 pm. The same thing happened at a Burger King in Orlando on Sunday. We were in the MK Friday night and didn't notice anything (however, it was dark and raining) but I can say that people these days have absolutely no problem leaving trash behind and that is really sad. There is just no respect anymore.
 

POLY LOVER

Well-Known Member
I think it basically Clean and I do notice the queue lines have trash but I can't see how thats Disneys fault, its a people thing.
I do notice the Disney touch of extreme detail seems to be fading, I remember noticing the obscure places , nooks and crannies that usd to be very clean and I always would comment to my wife that places you would pass over on the monorail or the train would show the back side of a building and the glass would be clean , or a roof top would be tidy as you pass over on the monorail. As a company squezes for profits and maybe reduces its work force or adds an additional duty to staff to make up for reductions this will happen. Cleanliness was a hallmark of Disney. WALT would have not put up with dirty. I still expect top notch when I go to Disney its the little details that make Disney stand apart from the others.
 

nelsonj3

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I agree and it is a combination of factors:
  • Guests litter more, pick up after themselves less, and are messier.
  • There are more Guests than ever before, especially at Magic Kingdom.
  • Custodial has two issues one being more time spent on just emptying the ever filling trash cans and less on sweeping and the second being that there are a portion of custodial works (as with all workforces Disney or not) that are lazy and perform at their minimum. I feel I can also say that after being a custodian in the past too.
  • Responsibilities have changed. It is my understanding that attractions/operations are responsible for their queues except for their trash cans which are still handled by custodial. Custodial has the streets and restrooms to focus on. So many queue lines, which are hard to get to sometimes, are trashed.
Very good points, and thanks for the info. Maybe I should just relax and enjoy... lol

Sometimes my neat-freak side comes out too much. :)
 

nelsonj3

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
A few years ago ( 3 to 5) WDW Disney management laid off around 500 employees. Most were lower level cast members ie janitorial staff and a few middle management cast members were included in this lay off. Since then I have seen a noticeable decline in park cleanliness, and those positions,and to my knowlege, these positions haven't been filled despite the growing economy and rising park attendance. My wife and I have been going to WDW twice a year for the last 26 years. We keep hoping that Disney management will realize that when Walt Disney opened these parks he knew the importance of maintaining cleanliness and his thoughts on this subject would transfer to todays management personel. It remains to be seen and we can only hope that someone in upper management will grasp Walts ideas and we will once again return to Walts standards and realize the importance of park cleanliness which keeps Disney the leader in the theme park industry.

That makes sense. Maybe that's the issue. Disney needs to worry less about record profits and more about quality.
 

Gig 'Em Mickey

Well-Known Member
As has been stated blame it on trashy guests. Too many people are too lazy and selfish to burden themselves with the task of putting their trash in a trash can. This problem crosses cultures, ages, races, socio-economic backgrounds, etc. People are just more lazy and selfish than they used to be. Manners and respect for others has taken a noticable downturn in the last 20 years. [Insert old man yells at cloud gif here]
 

POLY LOVER

Well-Known Member
I was there last November and the parks were clean, in fact there was a huge difference between MK and Universal, the latter being dirty.


could be my imaginationbut I don't seem to see as many street sweeper guys. But it still seems clean to me.
 

JeffBostock

Active Member
I was at all 4 parks last week. I did notice a lot more trash on the ground than normal. I normally go during Spring Break, as well as the busiest week of the year after Christmas and before NYE, and sometimes in October. So I am going during busier times of the year. Busier than late July. When I was at Epcot, the day I was there on a Saturday it was pretty quiet. I saw no large foreign tour groups there that day. EP was very clean that day. Later in the week when I was at MK, several foreign tour groups were there and the park had trash in several places. Like the OP, I noticed trash at Peter Pan upon exiting the ride. Plastic water bottles and other trash were on the ground within clear view of the CM of the ride. I did notice some trash on other attraction queues and exits, but Peter Pan was in worse shape than others. So maybe it has to do with the CM's of each attraction, along with the fact that some of the teenagers in the foreign tour groups have no regard for cleanliness. I found myself picking up trash in some spots as well as I hate seeing the place look that way. While I was at AK and HS, there were several tour groups at the parks those days, but the trash on the ground was not as bad as what I saw at MK.

I saw more trash on the ground last week at MK than when I go during the week after Christmas, and the foreign tour groups are not there during that week. The solution? Perhaps to have Disney assign the attraction CM's at MK more time to go through the queues to clean up during the month of July when the tour groups are there.
 

s8film40

Well-Known Member
I have definitely noticed the parks to me seem quite a bit dirtier lately. Here's my thought though. On any given visit if you look for trash on the ground you will find it, if your not looking for it you usually won't notice it. I think the trash in the streets level is on par with what is normal and isn't that much worse than in the past. I have noticed however a lot more other issues peeling paint, dirty walls, very dirty windows, stains on carpet, etc. I think all of these issues cause me to notice the overall cleanliness or lack there of in the park more. I have had many moments recently were I wasn't looking for anything wrong, just standing in a queue or in a park area and it really kind of all hits you at once and causes you to look around and notice it.
 

JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
From my experience in ops I can share about custodial.
4. Courtesy, custodial is required to wear trading pins and such their duties are impeded by guest interactions, slowing their response.

I rarely trade with them because I dont want to interrupt their work, but on my last trip I saw a pin on a custodian CM's lanyard that I was interested in and asked to trade for it. He was excited to interact with me and actually said he was glad to trade since very few guests interact with them or converse with them. He said because they "clean up", they arent seen as approachable as other park staff.
 

Skooterkid

Well-Known Member
I think we need to establish what kind of dirt @nelsonj3 is talking about here. In terms of litter and trash on the floor, I would have to say I still think WDW is very clean in most areas. When it comes to general maintainance, ie keeping the buildings clean and the monorail track and the generally harder-to-get-to places, I think there is some improvement to be made...
 

nelsonj3

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I think we need to establish what kind of dirt @nelsonj3 is talking about here. In terms of litter and trash on the floor, I would have to say I still think WDW is very clean in most areas. When it comes to general maintainance, ie keeping the buildings clean and the monorail track and the generally harder-to-get-to places, I think there is some improvement to be made...
I was actually talking about general trash in guest areas, especially in the Magic Kingdom, but I think that the harder-to-get-to places have had some issues for a while too. I understand that they don't have the workforce to "deep clean" the parks every night, but I just noticed more actual pieces of trash on the ground this past trip. I know it's summer, and it's crowded, but that was never an issue before.
 

Chef Mickey

Well-Known Member
People are dirty, not the parks.

It's all a product of Disney becoming more and more crowded/popular. The number of people going through the parks is larger than ever which means more dirtbags than ever (Of course, none of us are dirtbags).

I don't think Disney quite has a handle or perhaps doesn't care about maintaining the standard during a random Tuesday in September. Plus, a few slobs can really lower the experience by littering or just being all around annoying.

Disney needs to recognize these slobs need to be counteracted with their usual "busy" season workforce. I think they are more ready for the classical "busy" times like Xmas and Easter, but they'll have to start staffing that way more of the time.
 

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