• Welcome to the WDWMAGIC.COM Forums!
    Please take a look around, and feel free to sign up and join the community.You can use your Twitter or Facebook account to sign up, or register directly.

Disney's Over-Reliance on Smartphones

Is Disney relying too much on smartphones

  • Yes

    Votes: 90 80.4%
  • No

    Votes: 22 19.6%

  • Total voters
    112

DrAlice

Well-Known Member
I can't speak for Dole Whips. But for most places they only have one cashier for walk-ups and the other 3-6 windows are for mobile pickup. It's to force you into mobile ordering.

For example, I like getting the soup or salad or mac 'n cheese in a separate bowl from the bread bowl at Pacific Wharf Cafe so the bread doesn't get soggy. You can't order it that way on the mobile app. So if I order through the mobile app, and go to pick up my soup, I then have to tell them I want the soup in a cup, not in the bread bowl. This sometimes is no problem and other times gets rolled eyes and heavy sighs as they shove the unsold food back on the counter and pour me my cup of soup. Therefore, I would prefer to use standby and order the soup correctly prepared directly from the cashier to avoid that extra step of having to send the soup back that they've already prepared for me when I tell the app "I'm here". However, with only one cashier at the location, each time I've tried, after about 20 minutes in line - with at least another 15-20 ahead of me - trying to do it "the right way" and order correctly, I'm starved and just give up and mobile order from the line, step out of it and go tell them at the next counter over to remake the order I just tried to place correctly but couldn't without a half-hour+ wait for my otherwise immediately available soup.

Another example - was there recently with a friend who wanted a meal at Flo's. Next available time was 50 minutes out. I said we can wait and mobile order for that time... oh, whoops, sorry it just updated and is now an hour... do you want to wait an hour for your meal? No? Okay, we can go wait a half hour in the walkup line and then get your meal, which is what we did and it how long it took, but only because they wound up with a line out the door and had to... I kid you not... ROLL OUT a portable ordering station for another CM to start taking walkup orders. I was shocked they actually did this. Still took half an hour though.

Another example - I wanted ice cream from Clarabelle's recently. Next available spot was 45 minutes. I walked over and got in line for the one cashier. Waited about 20-25 minutes during which time multiple other guests in the line told their families "forget this, it's not worth it, we'll get it another time, let's go" and left. AND they did eventually open a second cashier for walkups because again the line was going out the door. So I still got my ice cream before the mobile order would've been available without the line in that case.

So my best advice is - be flexible on your food choices and be prepared to either not eat when you're hungry, figure it out in advance, or wait in a longer time than ever in line for the one cashier working next to the six empty mobile pickup windows.

P.S. be kind to the CM's at the registers - they are even more frazzled by this than the guests as they get the first line of attack by starved angry guests and have no ability to change the system. :(
Again, I don't know how anyone can defend this. It's just terrible customer service. When you have your customers so frustrated with the system that they STOP SPENDING MONEY, how is this a successful business practice?

My best advice? Spend your money elsewhere until Disney figures out that they actually have to deliver on that promise of a "premium product for a premium price".
 

TP2000

Well-Known Member
P.S. be kind to the CM's at the registers - they are even more frazzled by this than the guests as they get the first line of attack by starved angry guests and have no ability to change the system. :(

It's clearly obvious the management who made these decisions have no idea what the average family from Riverside or Boise is going through to get a cheeseburger and a Coke, much less what their own CM's are going through at the restaurants. And they likely don't care.

I can only imagine how frustrating it must be to be a CM in the park right now. Facing angry hordes of paying customers who are dealing with App-based systems and processes approved by executives who clearly have no idea how their own theme parks work and behave.

What's worse, everything that they claim something is, turns out to be the opposite. It's propaganda gone off the rails, where everything is the opposite of what the words say it is. Up is down, and long lines of angry customers are fun and relaxing environments.

Mobile Order Eliminates Lines And Saves Time! Relax And Have Fun With Mobile Order!

disney-california-adventure-pacific-wharf-mobile-order-standby-long-line-micechat-jpg.597613


The Disneyland Resort Guest Arrival Experience Is A World-Class Way To Begin Your Day!

60c8f0606d855e00181582eb
 

Parteecia

Well-Known Member
I can't speak for Dole Whips. But for most places they only have one cashier for walk-ups and the other 3-6 windows are for mobile pickup. It's to force you into mobile ordering.

For example, I like getting the soup or salad or mac 'n cheese in a separate bowl from the bread bowl at Pacific Wharf Cafe so the bread doesn't get soggy. You can't order it that way on the mobile app. So if I order through the mobile app, and go to pick up my soup, I then have to tell them I want the soup in a cup, not in the bread bowl. This sometimes is no problem and other times gets rolled eyes and heavy sighs as they shove the unsold food back on the counter and pour me my cup of soup. Therefore, I would prefer to use standby and order the soup correctly prepared directly from the cashier to avoid that extra step of having to send the soup back that they've already prepared for me when I tell the app "I'm here". However, with only one cashier at the location, each time I've tried, after about 20 minutes in line - with at least another 15-20 ahead of me - trying to do it "the right way" and order correctly, I'm starved and just give up and mobile order from the line, step out of it and go tell them at the next counter over to remake the order I just tried to place correctly but couldn't without a half-hour+ wait for my otherwise immediately available soup.

Another example - was there recently with a friend who wanted a meal at Flo's. Next available time was 50 minutes out. I said we can wait and mobile order for that time... oh, whoops, sorry it just updated and is now an hour... do you want to wait an hour for your meal? No? Okay, we can go wait a half hour in the walkup line and then get your meal, which is what we did and it how long it took, but only because they wound up with a line out the door and had to... I kid you not... ROLL OUT a portable ordering station for another CM to start taking walkup orders. I was shocked they actually did this. Still took half an hour though.

Another example - I wanted ice cream from Clarabelle's recently. Next available spot was 45 minutes. I walked over and got in line for the one cashier. Waited about 20-25 minutes during which time multiple other guests in the line told their families "forget this, it's not worth it, we'll get it another time, let's go" and left. AND they did eventually open a second cashier for walkups because again the line was going out the door. So I still got my ice cream before the mobile order would've been available without the line in that case.

So my best advice is - be flexible on your food choices and be prepared to either not eat when you're hungry, figure it out in advance, or wait in a longer time than ever in line for the one cashier working next to the six empty mobile pickup windows.

P.S. be kind to the CM's at the registers - they are even more frazzled by this than the guests as they get the first line of attack by starved angry guests and have no ability to change the system. :(
You bring up a good point I hadn't considered. Up to now Disney had been known for doing a good job of accommodating food issues but now it sounds like a mess.

In the early days of mobile order I would sometimes choose to order at the register instead because my weird issues were not allowed for in the app. It was nice to have a chef pop over to answer any questions. I don't know if they can change the app to let you customize or request, but they most likely don't see any reason to.
 

TP2000

Well-Known Member
You bring up a good point I hadn't considered. Up to now Disney had been known for doing a good job of accommodating food issues but now it sounds like a mess.

In the early days of mobile order I would sometimes choose to order at the register instead because my weird issues were not allowed for in the app. It was nice to have a chef pop over to answer any questions. I don't know if they can change the app to let you customize or request, but they most likely don't see any reason to.

This is a great point!

I don't have food allergies, but have some family that does. The responsiveness of Disneyland restaurants over the past 15 years has been incredible for issues like that.

But now, with only App based ordering and waiting in giant crowds of hangry people waiting for the food they pre-ordered two hours ago? It's not an option to make allergy based requests.

Add that as Reason #436 why this smartphone revolution was created by executives who have absolutely no idea how their own theme parks work or how their own product is consumed by paying customers.
 

FeelsSoGoodToBeBad

Well-Known Member
Add that as Reason #436 why this smartphone revolution was created by executives who have absolutely no idea how their own theme parks work or how their own product is consumed by paying customers.
TWDC Parks Division is just BEGGING to be on Undercover Boss at this point. Is that still a thing? Because if it isn't they could do an entire season with various execs between the two parks for sure.
 

TP2000

Well-Known Member
TWDC Parks Division is just BEGGING to be on Undercover Boss at this point. Is that still a thing? Because if it isn't they could do an entire season with various execs between the two parks for sure.

Agreed. :D

But for the first episode, can we pleeease get this TDA Vice President of the "Guest Arrival Experience"???



"We... are... soooo... excited today" to introduce this repainted B Ticket spinner we bought back in 2002.

I mean honestly, the jokes just write themselves at this point. :cool:
 
Last edited:

TP2000

Well-Known Member
Let's compare Patrick to Jack Lindquist, just for fun-


Stop it! That's not fair and you know it.

You are comparing an actual 20th century American who has charm and wit and personal connection to Disneyland, to a 2020's TDA exec without personality or any real human experience with what a day at Disneyland is like for paying customers, much less what the "Guest Arrival Experience" for that product is like.

It's just not a fair comparison.

It's like comparing an actual talented human to a Kardashian. Shame on you!
 

SuddenStorm

Well-Known Member
Stop it! That's not fair and you know it.

You are comparing an actual 20th century American who has charm and wit and personal connection to Disneyland to a 2020's TDA exec without personality or any real human experience with what a day at Disneyland is like for paying customers, much less what the "Guest Arrival Experience" for that product is like.

It's just not a fair comparison.

It's like comparing an actual talented human to a Kardashian. Shame on you!

Every once in a while I wonder why the stuff they're adding to Disneyland these days is so bland, artificial, and completely devoid of any kind of charm or soul.

Then I watch videos like Patrick and compare that to the people that ran the place for decades while it was at its peak and I'm like oh, that's why.
 

TP2000

Well-Known Member
Every once in a while I wonder why the stuff they're adding to Disneyland these days is so bland, artificial, and completely devoid of any kind of charm or soul.

Then I watch videos like Patrick and compare that to the people that ran the place for decades while it was at its peak and I'm like oh, that's why.

Exactly.

Which is why I'm a little worried that they are moving WDI from Glendale to Orlando.

I mean, I get it. Trying to run a business in California today is no fun and hundreds of companies have moved their headquarters out of this state. But... the environment and the corporate culture they surround themselves with in those bland office campuses of suburban Orlando are the type of place where a Patrick can be considered a "Really Dynamic Leader!", and people say that with a straight face.

It's scary. But an executive leader like Patrick being responsible for the "Guest Arrival Experience" explains a whole lot. Sadly. :(
 

Parteecia

Well-Known Member
Ok, I admit I'm food ordering obsessed. Back maybe in the early '60s I read a Reader's Digest space-filler by a DL visitor who ordered then saw items that looked better as they waited. The punchline was that the cashier said, "what did you order but what would you like instead?"

Working at Fritos in Frontierland we often had people change their minds. And certainly food will look different in person than on your phone.

And sometimes after consulting with a chef I would completely change my order. All of these situations are now "oh well too bad" or wait for the single register?
 

DavidDL

Well-Known Member
... Best to ignore them.

While I had a lengthy response to this individual cooked up, I think you might actually be right in this instance.

I try to keep an open mind and accept other's viewpoints but it can be frustrating when one actually pays to experience the parks, has an out of the ordinary negative experience of some kind, decides to share/discuss it, and then is told by someone who (by their own admission, doesn't really pay to enter or visit the parks very often), that their experience effectively didn't happen or that they are somehow being disingenuous with their comments. If someone doesn't spend much money at the resort, then it means they either don't actually go very often or they are an employee of some kind. I think the individual who actually pays for their experience's word carries more weight than either of the latter instances.

But the reality on the ground is that mobile order is "supposed" to save you time by "skipping" the line. But when everyone uses it (not because it's successful but because in many instances the alternative is either a crazier than normal wait or nothing at all), it just becomes the default. The difference between mobile order and standby being the default option, is that the mobile order route requires you and your entire party to know what they will be in the mood for (for something like dinner) early in the morning. But if you or someone in your party is unsure or just wants to experience the parks more "organically" (ordering when you're hungry), you run the risk of no available slots being accessible for what you decide on. Or only having to wait in an extended queue/pick a much later slot. Which is not much help and doesn't feel great when you're hungry now.

The issues with Disney's push to make mobile order the default are well documented with articles all over Disney fan site spectrum but here's a line from one that stuck out to me:

".. physical waits deter people from going to overloaded restaurants and attractions, distributing guests to alternatives with more available capacity. That helps even the load around a park." (https://www.themeparkinsider.com/flume/202105/8248/)

-and it's not just an issue in the parks, it can be a problem outside them, too. As previously stated, I experienced this mess at Chiptole myself this past Halloween: https://www.businessinsider.in/reta...aurant-workers-lives/articleshow/87556097.cms

Pointing at demand for the parks doesn't wash, either. The lines for food have never been this bad and Disney supposedly trying to actually control capacity these days. Here is a photo for the line for a Dole Whip at Tropical Hideaway which, according to the image poster (FreshBaked), was a 2 hour wait:

E2A-hbeVUAEM8Pv.jpg


Or how about this gem titled, "Your order is now ready at window 3"?

display.jpg


Even at reduced capacity, the lines have ended up looking like this. It certainly hasn't been this bad before. Like the previously linked article mentions, standby lines encourage folks to spread things out but it also gives them the option to wait in a "to be expected" queue. Guests can't just change their mind when faced with one of the scenarios in the photos above, either, because they've already paid! They're locked in because you know Mickey doesn't issue refunds.

But, yeah. You don't have to believe me. I'm just a paying customer whose actually had my experiences negatively impacted firsthand by these sorts of things like so many others. But according to some, it never actually happened.

To end things on a fair and constructive note, I will once again state that my last visit was in July and my next will be in December. Maybe things have changed since then and if they have, I will certainly point it out. I also think an answer to Disney's mobile order fiasco would be to reduce the amount of Guests who can order for any one time slot or increase the amount CMs dedicated to standby (hire more, if needed).
 

mickEblu

Well-Known Member
While I had a lengthy response to this individual cooked up, I think you might actually be right in this instance.

I try to keep an open mind and accept other's viewpoints but it can be frustrating when one actually pays to experience the parks, has an out of the ordinary negative experience of some kind, decides to share/discuss it, and then is told by someone who (by their own admission, doesn't really pay to enter or visit the parks very often), that their experience effectively didn't happen or that they are somehow being disingenuous with their comments. If someone doesn't spend much money at the resort, then it means they either don't actually go very often or they are an employee of some kind. I think the individual who actually pays for their experience's word carries more weight than either of the latter instances.

But the reality on the ground is that mobile order is "supposed" to save you time by "skipping" the line. But when everyone uses it (not because it's successful but because in many instances the alternative is either a crazier than normal wait or nothing at all), it just becomes the default. The difference between mobile order and standby being the default option, is that the mobile order route requires you and your entire party to know what they will be in the mood for (for something like dinner) early in the morning. But if you or someone in your party is unsure or just wants to experience the parks more "organically" (ordering when you're hungry), you run the risk of no available slots being accessible for what you decide on. Or only having to wait in an extended queue/pick a much later slot. Which is not much help and doesn't feel great when you're hungry now.

The issues with Disney's push to make mobile order the default are well documented with articles all over Disney fan site spectrum but here's a line from one that stuck out to me:

".. physical waits deter people from going to overloaded restaurants and attractions, distributing guests to alternatives with more available capacity. That helps even the load around a park." (https://www.themeparkinsider.com/flume/202105/8248/)

-and it's not just an issue in the parks, it can be a problem outside them, too. As previously stated, I experienced this mess at Chiptole myself this past Halloween: https://www.businessinsider.in/reta...aurant-workers-lives/articleshow/87556097.cms

Pointing at demand for the parks doesn't wash, either. The lines for food have never been this bad and Disney supposedly trying to actually control capacity these days. Here is a photo for the line for a Dole Whip at Tropical Hideaway which, according to the image poster (FreshBaked), was a 2 hour wait:

View attachment 600820

Or how about this gem titled, "Your order is now ready at window 3"?

View attachment 600821

Even at reduced capacity, the lines have ended up looking like this. It certainly hasn't been this bad before. Like the previously linked article mentions, standby lines encourage folks to spread things out but it also gives them the option to wait in a "to be expected" queue. Guests can't just change their mind when faced with one of the scenarios in the photos above, either, because they've already paid! They're locked in because you know Mickey doesn't issue refunds.

But, yeah. You don't have to believe me. I'm just a paying customer whose actually had my experiences negatively impacted firsthand by these sorts of things like so many others. But according to some, it never actually happened.

To end things on a fair and constructive note, I will once again state that my last visit was in July and my next will be in December. Maybe things have changed since then and if they have, I will certainly point it out. I also think an answer to Disney's mobile order fiasco would be to reduce the amount of Guests who can order for any one time slot or increase the amount CMs dedicated to standby (hire more, if needed).

The mobile order is hit and Miss now. Just depends on the day and time. My experience of late has been that it is efficient more than it isn’t. In June/ July it was still pretty bad if I recall correctly. Probably also depends on where you are mobile ordering from.
 

DavidDL

Well-Known Member
Ok, I admit I'm food ordering obsessed. Back maybe in the early '60s I read a Reader's Digest space-filler by a DL visitor who ordered then saw items that looked better as they waited. The punchline was that the cashier said, "what did you order but what would you like instead?"

Working at Fritos in Frontierland we often had people change their minds. And certainly food will look different in person than on your phone.

And sometimes after consulting with a chef I would completely change my order. All of these situations are now "oh well too bad" or wait for the single register?

It's almost like humans eat when they get hungry or can change their mind when they see or smell something good! Arceus forbid someone stumble upon Cocina Cucamonga while hungry and decide that "Mexican food actually sounds pretty good" then open their app and realize the next available time slot is a few hours away. Or realize they need to wait in a single-register line.

The mobile order is hit and Miss now. Just depends on the day and time. My experience of late has been that it is efficient more than it isn’t. In June/ July it was still pretty bad if I recall correctly.

Thank you for letting me know. We're going to try and temper our expectations for this next trip though, since we have two friends who decided to join us last minute. It'll just be easier to eat when we're hungry and decide what we're in the mood for then, instead of trying to coordinate multiple meals throughout the day for four people at 8am.
 

mickEblu

Well-Known Member
It's almost like humans eat when they get hungry or can change their mind when they see or smell something good! Arceus forbid someone stumble upon Cocina Cucamonga while hungry and decide that "Mexican food actually sounds pretty good" then open their app and realize the next available time slot is a few hours away. Or realize they need to wait in a single-register line.



Thank you for letting me know. We're going to try and temper our expectations for this next trip though, since we have two friends who decided to join us last minute. It'll just be easier to eat when we're hungry and decide what we're in the mood for then, instead of trying to coordinate multiple meals throughout the day for four people at 8am.

I don’t think you have to do that anymore. Just took a look at the app and all the return times (now at 10:30 am ) are starting anywhere from 10:45am to 11:30am. Granted it’s a Monday and the return times will get further out the closer you get to lunch but you don’t need to be planning your meals at 8am.
 

DavidDL

Well-Known Member
I don’t think you have to do that anymore. Just took a look at the app and all the return times (now at 10:30 am ) are starting anywhere from 10:45am to 11:30am. Granted it’s a Monday and the return times will get further out the closer you get to lunch but you don’t need to be planning your meals at 8am.

E4enO3BXMAExsYQ.jpg


Fingers crossed. We're going on a Saturday in December though, so I've got to keep some level of expectation in check. The friends joining us haven't been in years so who knows where we'll end up, haha!
 

DavidDL

Well-Known Member
Yeah Saturday in December will be the worst extreme. Hopefully you only have to plan lunch by 10am. Lol

In a perfect world, we won't have to plan what we eat at all. Unless it's something like Blue Bayou or Napa Rose months in advance. Just gonna go, enjoy and hopefully eat whatever we're feeling when we get hungry. Ideally, without one or more of us dying of hunger in the single register line*. :p

*multi register now, hopefully.
 

Sailor310

Well-Known Member
While I had a lengthy response to this individual cooked up, I think you might actually be right in this instance.

I try to keep an open mind and accept other's viewpoints but it can be frustrating when one actually pays to experience the parks, has an out of the ordinary negative experience of some kind, decides to share/discuss it, and then is told by someone who (by their own admission, doesn't really pay to enter or visit the parks very often), that their experience effectively didn't happen or that they are somehow being disingenuous with their comments. If someone doesn't spend much money at the resort, then it means they either don't actually go very often or they are an employee of some kind. I think the individual who actually pays for their experience's word carries more weight than either of the latter instances.

But the reality on the ground is that mobile order is "supposed" to save you time by "skipping" the line. But when everyone uses it (not because it's successful but because in many instances the alternative is either a crazier than normal wait or nothing at all), it just becomes the default. The difference between mobile order and standby being the default option, is that the mobile order route requires you and your entire party to know what they will be in the mood for (for something like dinner) early in the morning. But if you or someone in your party is unsure or just wants to experience the parks more "organically" (ordering when you're hungry), you run the risk of no available slots being accessible for what you decide on. Or only having to wait in an extended queue/pick a much later slot. Which is not much help and doesn't feel great when you're hungry now.

The issues with Disney's push to make mobile order the default are well documented with articles all over Disney fan site spectrum but here's a line from one that stuck out to me:

".. physical waits deter people from going to overloaded restaurants and attractions, distributing guests to alternatives with more available capacity. That helps even the load around a park." (https://www.themeparkinsider.com/flume/202105/8248/)

-and it's not just an issue in the parks, it can be a problem outside them, too. As previously stated, I experienced this mess at Chiptole myself this past Halloween: https://www.businessinsider.in/reta...aurant-workers-lives/articleshow/87556097.cms

Pointing at demand for the parks doesn't wash, either. The lines for food have never been this bad and Disney supposedly trying to actually control capacity these days. Here is a photo for the line for a Dole Whip at Tropical Hideaway which, according to the image poster (FreshBaked), was a 2 hour wait:

View attachment 600820

Or how about this gem titled, "Your order is now ready at window 3"?

View attachment 600821

Even at reduced capacity, the lines have ended up looking like this. It certainly hasn't been this bad before. Like the previously linked article mentions, standby lines encourage folks to spread things out but it also gives them the option to wait in a "to be expected" queue. Guests can't just change their mind when faced with one of the scenarios in the photos above, either, because they've already paid! They're locked in because you know Mickey doesn't issue refunds.

But, yeah. You don't have to believe me. I'm just a paying customer whose actually had my experiences negatively impacted firsthand by these sorts of things like so many others. But according to some, it never actually happened.

To end things on a fair and constructive note, I will once again state that my last visit was in July and my next will be in December. Maybe things have changed since then and if they have, I will certainly point it out. I also think an answer to Disney's mobile order fiasco would be to reduce the amount of Guests who can order for any one time slot or increase the amount CMs dedicated to standby (hire more, if needed).
We waited in a line about that that length at Tropical hideaway two weeks ago. I believe there was no mobile order. They had three folks working Dole Whips. We got through in 10-15 min.
 

DavidDL

Well-Known Member
We waited in a line about that that length at Tropical hideaway two weeks ago. I believe there was no mobile order. They had three folks working Dole Whips. We got through in 10-15 min.

Good to hear. -and for all I know, the Freshbaked line could have been even longer (since we don't know when they decided to snap the picture) but I'm happy to hear that it's been moving more smoothly with either less (no?) mobile order or more CMs staffed to help combat it. :)
 

Register on WDWMAGIC. This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.

Top Bottom