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Labor cost cutting measures begin at Walt Disney World as the company enters Q1

MrHappy

Well-Known Member
I know Disney will blame covid for the smaller than expected crowds but I think there is more going on here than they maybe even want to recognize or acknowledge

I know several people, regular travelers, including myself, that just don’t have the same feel for Disney right now related to some of the recent trends, announcements, and direction and haven’t been going as often or at all and it has nothing to do with covid
Agreed. Our annual Spring Disney World money dump/vacation won’t happen in 2022. Prices are too high for flights, tickets, and other expenses this time. EPCOT still torn up. Tron, Gaurdians, Buehler??? To Genie+ or not to Genie+? Staffing and experience quality.
2022 is when we’ll sit it out, spend on the home, take smaller trips. Get the fix by watching vloggers instead.
 

Lora Baines Bradley

Well-Known Member
But how could they have expected that? Park reservations for MK for Oct 1 weren't available, and haven't been except a few refreshes that if you weren't clued into here, or a blog that posted about them you would have missed. I wanted to be there, my Dad wanted to be there. But I wasn't going to fly 2500 miles if I couldn't be guaranteed to be in the MK that day, and I was also having trouble getting a hotel booking when I was doing the looking, so I gave up. I doubt I was the only one. Disney controlled the park reservations, they knew exactly the range of how many people were going to show up at a park each day. Unless a lot of people made park reservations when they opened back in Spring, and then never bothered to cancel them when they realized they weren't going to make the trip. That's the problem with pinch points. Once that important thing is sold out a lot of people aren't going to bother with the rest.

I also hope that Disney bothers to staff the France Food & Wine booth. My Dad tried about 5 times to eat there. On each trip, we counted up to 10 people staffing the Canada booth, and all 3 registers open. And as a result, there was a very short queue. Meanwhile, France had one register open each time he checked, one person checking receipts and 2 people in the booth. And a line that wrapped around that newsstand.

IMO, Disney is playing with fire way more than they have in the past. People have had to put up with a lot during the last 2 years. First the pandemic, and now all the shortages. And for the most part, I think people have been pretty understanding about "unusual circumstances." But at some point, customers are going to want their back scratched, wooed a little in return for all their deprivation, patience and understanding. Even if it's just a friendly and competent interaction.

We just got back from Disneyland (since we couldn't do the 50th) and one of the most frustrating things was when the Plaza opened, I along with a lot of other people were there to get the chicken. There were two lines and ours was not moving. It turns out, that despite it being opening, despite people getting To Go orders at a much more frequent rate for months now, they did not have the To Go containers stocked at the food station. We were waiting for someone to go dig them out from the back and then make the guest's To Go orders. That is just fundamental and basic good service. A friend was at the 50th, trying to get a Coke from Captain Cooks. All the syrup for the Coke was empty, and so when she gave up and tried to fill her cup with another type of drink her chip said she had used all her refills. She asked the CM for assistance and the CM just shrugged, didn't know what to do either about the syrup in the machines or the cup. So my friend paid $4.49 for a drink and ended up with a partial cup of Orange soda and even speaking to somewhere got nothing. And now people stay counter service F&B is overstaffed? If you can't even get this type of stuff, how much more patience are you going to extend?

If WDW is "overstaffed" at F&B, things like that shouldn't happen, because obviously there were tasks to be performed. My earlier trips this year had several run-ins with empty napkin dispensers, empty fork dispensers, etc. Staff standing around is no guarantee that all tasks have been performed, and that was certainly true when my Mom was a CM and found herself having to cleanup many messes because no one else bothered, and there was no penalty for not doing them, and no reward for cleaning them up. I have on more than one recent occasion heard morning shift people moaning because the evening shift hadn't bothered to do many of their closing / get ready for tomorrow tasks.

This Spring there may have been a lot of pent up demand, but how many people weren't able to satisfy it in some way during the Summer of Freedom? Now that they've lived so long without a Disney trip, has the withdrawal worn off enough that when they plug their dates into the cost calculators they don't end up saying to themselves, "You've got to be kidding me!" Friend that had the soda problem, called my Dad last night and asked he wanted to go back to Universal. She had planned more WDW days, and had already done Universal, but all the Disney problems just became too much for her to ruin another day, when she had the choice to do something else.
This doesn’t completely negate your point, but I believe the France booth is 3rd party. Still should be fully staffed, though they might have more trouble finding it since they’re Disney adjacent and not Disney.
 

hopemax

Well-Known Member
This doesn’t completely negate your point, but I believe the France booth is 3rd party. Still should be fully staffed, though they might have more trouble finding it since they’re Disney adjacent and not Disney.
I wouldn’t be surprised. I also assumed that the new crepe restaurant was getting priority for hiring. But if it is 3rd party, it reveals the same problem that Walt learned in the first year of Disneyland. Ultimately what your operators do or don’t do reflects on Disney because guests don’t know and shouldn’t have to know the difference. If there is a person in a standard Epcot costume with a Disney name tag they are representing Disney. The rest is “behind the scenes” stuff that is supposed to be hidden from customers eyes and minds.
 

Lilofan

Well-Known Member
I wouldn’t be surprised. I also assumed that the new crepe restaurant was getting priority for hiring. But if it is 3rd party, it reveals the same problem that Walt learned in the first year of Disneyland. Ultimately what your operators do or don’t do reflects on Disney because guests don’t know and shouldn’t have to know the difference. If there is a person in a standard Epcot costume with a Disney name tag they are representing Disney. The rest is “behind the scenes” stuff that is supposed to be hidden from customers eyes and minds.
Behind the scenes is a source of revenue for WDW ( ie backstage tours of parks for interested guests ).
 

Patcheslee

Well-Known Member
An important factor here is, I believe, Disney is not attracting the affluent guests they so desperately want. Jack and Diane are booking, Jeff and Mark are not.

The “we’ll keep away the riff raff” business model isn’t panning out. The flip flop crowd still wants to attend, the Italian loafer set does not.
Jack and Diane aren't booking they're highschoolers.
 

Marriedatdisney

Active Member
Agreed. Our annual Spring Disney World money dump/vacation won’t happen in 2022. Prices are too high for flights, tickets, and other expenses this time. EPCOT still torn up. Tron, Gaurdians, Buehler??? To Genie+ or not to Genie+? Staffing and experience quality.
2022 is when we’ll sit it out, spend on the home, take smaller trips. Get the fix by watching vloggers instead.
We’re a family of four with 600+ DVC points and are one of those families that spends a lot on trips. We’ve usually done the annual pass. Eat sit down dinners. Spend on the Minnie van. Spend on the events, etc. This year we’re going Christmas week. First time back in a year. Didn’t buy the AP because the dvc version has xmas blocked. Paying $3k for 7 days before genie costs. Adding up the extras. Realizing this trip (including dvc costs) is now more expensive than a cruise, a trip to hawaii, etc. I’m the die hard in the family and for the first time thinking maybe our Disney run is over. Dial it all way back. The last time we went the crowds were so bad it just wasn’t fun. We do well. We can afford premium…..for premium value. But with all the magic cut back, Disney is now a premium cost for a poorly maintained, crowded and low service experience. We can sell our DVC memberships after 15-20 years of use for more than we paid for them. It’s a discussion we’re having. We can’t be alone.
 

Patcheslee

Well-Known Member
Agreed. Our annual Spring Disney World money dump/vacation won’t happen in 2022. Prices are too high for flights, tickets, and other expenses this time. EPCOT still torn up. Tron, Gaurdians, Buehler??? To Genie+ or not to Genie+? Staffing and experience quality.
2022 is when we’ll sit it out, spend on the home, take smaller trips. Get the fix by watching vloggers instead.
Not to mention booking use to have the option for close to all-inclusive budget. Now calculate transportation after this year, parking if needed, dining since the plan isn't back, Genie+ maybe, park hopper value if we can't hop at any time now. It's more to calculate and more planning to even decide on a vacation.
 

matt9112

Well-Known Member
Not to mention booking use to have the option for close to all-inclusive budget. Now calculate transportation after this year, parking if needed, dining since the plan isn't back, Genie+ maybe, park hopper value if we can't hop at any time now. It's more to calculate and more planning to even decide on a vacation.

I agree one of the little benefits was that it was all wrapped in a bow.
 

castlecake2.0

Well-Known Member
Let’s hope that’s all this is. Obviously Disney shouldn’t pay someone to stand around.
Hopefully.
But how could they have expected that? Park reservations for MK for Oct 1 weren't available, and haven't been except a few refreshes that if you weren't clued into here, or a blog that posted about them you would have missed. I wanted to be there, my Dad wanted to be there. But I wasn't going to fly 2500 miles if I couldn't be guaranteed to be in the MK that day, and I was also having trouble getting a hotel booking when I was doing the looking, so I gave up. I doubt I was the only one. Disney controlled the park reservations, they knew exactly the range of how many people were going to show up at a park each day. Unless a lot of people made park reservations when they opened back in Spring, and then never bothered to cancel them when they realized they weren't going to make the trip. That's the problem with pinch points. Once that important thing is sold out a lot of people aren't going to bother with the rest.

I also hope that Disney bothers to staff the France Food & Wine booth. My Dad tried about 5 times to eat there. On each trip, we counted up to 10 people staffing the Canada booth, and all 3 registers open. And as a result, there was a very short queue. Meanwhile, France had one register open each time he checked, one person checking receipts and 2 people in the booth. And a line that wrapped around that newsstand.

IMO, Disney is playing with fire way more than they have in the past. People have had to put up with a lot during the last 2 years. First the pandemic, and now all the shortages. And for the most part, I think people have been pretty understanding about "unusual circumstances." But at some point, customers are going to want their back scratched, wooed a little in return for all their deprivation, patience and understanding. Even if it's just a friendly and competent interaction.

We just got back from Disneyland (since we couldn't do the 50th) and one of the most frustrating things was when the Plaza opened, I along with a lot of other people were there to get the chicken. There were two lines and ours was not moving. It turns out, that despite it being opening, despite people getting To Go orders at a much more frequent rate for months now, they did not have the To Go containers stocked at the food station. We were waiting for someone to go dig them out from the back and then make the guest's To Go orders. That is just fundamental and basic good service. A friend was at the 50th, trying to get a Coke from Captain Cooks. All the syrup for the Coke was empty, and so when she gave up and tried to fill her cup with another type of drink her chip said she had used all her refills. She asked the CM for assistance and the CM just shrugged, didn't know what to do either about the syrup in the machines or the cup. So my friend paid $4.49 for a drink and ended up with a partial cup of Orange soda and even speaking to somewhere got nothing. And now people stay counter service F&B is overstaffed? If you can't even get this type of stuff, how much more patience are you going to extend?

If WDW is "overstaffed" at F&B, things like that shouldn't happen, because obviously there were tasks to be performed. My earlier trips this year had several run-ins with empty napkin dispensers, empty fork dispensers, etc. Staff standing around is no guarantee that all tasks have been performed, and that was certainly true when my Mom was a CM and found herself having to cleanup many messes because no one else bothered, and there was no penalty for not doing them, and no reward for cleaning them up. I have on more than one recent occasion heard morning shift people moaning because the evening shift hadn't bothered to do many of their closing / get ready for tomorrow tasks.

This Spring there may have been a lot of pent up demand, but how many people weren't able to satisfy it in some way during the Summer of Freedom? Now that they've lived so long without a Disney trip, has the withdrawal worn off enough that when they plug their dates into the cost calculators they don't end up saying to themselves, "You've got to be kidding me!" Friend that had the soda problem, called my Dad last night and asked he wanted to go back to Universal. She had planned more WDW days, and had already done Universal, but all the Disney problems just became too much for her to ruin another day, when she had the choice to do something else.
france is a third party company so while what you described is frustrating, it’s not staffed by Disney. And each area is different, captain cooks might still be short staffed while another area is way over staffed. They’re looking to cut excess where it’s not needed, not where they’re still short. Also I agree about the service lately. There are lots of people who ended up in roles they probably shouldn’t be in because of union seniority and call backs. Also a lot of new people all starting at once. It’s been a lot of growing pains and I hope to god they take some time soon to do some training refreshes to get people in line. Maybe now that it’s not going to be busy as they thought this would be a good time to get people back up to standard.
 

Sirwalterraleigh

Premium Member
An important factor here is, I believe, Disney is not attracting the affluent guests they so desperately want. Jack and Diane are booking, Jeff and Mark are not.

The “we’ll keep away the riff raff” business model isn’t panning out. The flip flop crowd still wants to attend, the Italian loafer set does not.
Excellent point…and how it was going to be.
The “it’s luxury now” was always a pipe dream. More indicative of the economics of a decade of insanity that just ended than some type of well reasoned business plan
 

Sirwalterraleigh

Premium Member
But how could they have expected that? Park reservations for MK for Oct 1 weren't available, and haven't been except a few refreshes that if you weren't clued into here, or a blog that posted about them you would have missed. I wanted to be there, my Dad wanted to be there. But I wasn't going to fly 2500 miles if I couldn't be guaranteed to be in the MK that day, and I was also having trouble getting a hotel booking when I was doing the looking, so I gave up. I doubt I was the only one. Disney controlled the park reservations, they knew exactly the range of how many people were going to show up at a park each day. Unless a lot of people made park reservations when they opened back in Spring, and then never bothered to cancel them when they realized they weren't going to make the trip. That's the problem with pinch points. Once that important thing is sold out a lot of people aren't going to bother with the rest.

I also hope that Disney bothers to staff the France Food & Wine booth. My Dad tried about 5 times to eat there. On each trip, we counted up to 10 people staffing the Canada booth, and all 3 registers open. And as a result, there was a very short queue. Meanwhile, France had one register open each time he checked, one person checking receipts and 2 people in the booth. And a line that wrapped around that newsstand.

IMO, Disney is playing with fire way more than they have in the past. People have had to put up with a lot during the last 2 years. First the pandemic, and now all the shortages. And for the most part, I think people have been pretty understanding about "unusual circumstances." But at some point, customers are going to want their back scratched, wooed a little in return for all their deprivation, patience and understanding. Even if it's just a friendly and competent interaction.

We just got back from Disneyland (since we couldn't do the 50th) and one of the most frustrating things was when the Plaza opened, I along with a lot of other people were there to get the chicken. There were two lines and ours was not moving. It turns out, that despite it being opening, despite people getting To Go orders at a much more frequent rate for months now, they did not have the To Go containers stocked at the food station. We were waiting for someone to go dig them out from the back and then make the guest's To Go orders. That is just fundamental and basic good service. A friend was at the 50th, trying to get a Coke from Captain Cooks. All the syrup for the Coke was empty, and so when she gave up and tried to fill her cup with another type of drink her chip said she had used all her refills. She asked the CM for assistance and the CM just shrugged, didn't know what to do either about the syrup in the machines or the cup. So my friend paid $4.49 for a drink and ended up with a partial cup of Orange soda and even speaking to somewhere got nothing. And now people stay counter service F&B is overstaffed? If you can't even get this type of stuff, how much more patience are you going to extend?

If WDW is "overstaffed" at F&B, things like that shouldn't happen, because obviously there were tasks to be performed. My earlier trips this year had several run-ins with empty napkin dispensers, empty fork dispensers, etc. Staff standing around is no guarantee that all tasks have been performed, and that was certainly true when my Mom was a CM and found herself having to cleanup many messes because no one else bothered, and there was no penalty for not doing them, and no reward for cleaning them up. I have on more than one recent occasion heard morning shift people moaning because the evening shift hadn't bothered to do many of their closing / get ready for tomorrow tasks.

This Spring there may have been a lot of pent up demand, but how many people weren't able to satisfy it in some way during the Summer of Freedom? Now that they've lived so long without a Disney trip, has the withdrawal worn off enough that when they plug their dates into the cost calculators they don't end up saying to themselves, "You've got to be kidding me!" Friend that had the soda problem, called my Dad last night and asked he wanted to go back to Universal. She had planned more WDW days, and had already done Universal, but all the Disney problems just became too much for her to ruin another day, when she had the choice to do something else.
I think the power struggle between the Bobs and the sheer **** quality of the new regime of management has been underplayed.

I would have not thought it possible based on the amount of zealot good will insulation that Disney enjoys?

my mind will day dream and wonder if it’s heading down the path where the BOD will be compelled to consider making a move? 🤔

a boy can dream
 

Nubs70

Well-Known Member
Excellent point…and how it was going to be.
The “it’s luxury now” was always a pipe dream. More indicative of the economics of a decade of insanity that just ended than some type of well reasoned business plan
MBA schools over at least the past 10 years have been teaching "luxury segment targeting". Where one targets the affluent as that is where the high margin resides.

You brand and price your product as luxury, but when the affluent discover your product and price is not luxury, where does that leave you?
 

larryz

My Last Trip was in 2018
Premium Member
Apparently, when they say, “The Magic is You!” they mean it literally. Guests will soon be empowered to look inside their hearts and learn they have the power to clean the toilets in the parks, change out trash cans, and check their own seatbelts on Soarin’ Around the World! Wherever you go, you have it!
That's the upsell "Cast Member Experience," where for $129.99 per person, a guest can spend a day pretending to be a cast member pretending to be a grounds maintenance and toilet custodian.*

*Theme park admission required. Guests must be 18 years and older, and must be legally permitted to work in the United States. Guests participating in the "Cast Member Experience" will be designated as private contractors and will not be entitled to Disney Cast Member employment benefits.
 

John park hopper

Well-Known Member
That's the upsell "Cast Member Experience," where for $129.99 per person, a guest can spend a day pretending to be a cast member pretending to be a grounds maintenance and toilet custodian.*

*Theme park admission required. Guests must be 18 years and older, and must be legally permitted to work in the United States. Guests participating in the "Cast Member Experience" will be designated as private contractors and will not be entitled to Disney Cast Member employment benefits.
Oh no you just gave Bob another up-charge moment --sad thing you would have people buying into it
 

Sirwalterraleigh

Premium Member
MBA schools over at least the past 10 years have been teaching "luxury segment targeting". Where one targets the affluent as that is where the high margin resides.

You brand and price your product as luxury, but when the affluent discover your product and price is not luxury, where does that leave you?
The catch here is how the parks were built and how that clientele was cultivated…very carefully…for 50 years.

it’s a mass audience. It always was. An mba with little to no life experience can’t “pivot” that in a 90 degree turn. It was never going to be that easy.

disney parks are not cheap and never have been…but they were carefully positioned to make the “Jack and Diane” feel accomplished if they were will to pay the price…en masse.

out kicking that coverage is a tremendous mistake.
 

Lilofan

Well-Known Member
That's the upsell "Cast Member Experience," where for $129.99 per person, a guest can spend a day pretending to be a cast member pretending to be a grounds maintenance and toilet custodian.*

*Theme park admission required. Guests must be 18 years and older, and must be legally permitted to work in the United States. Guests participating in the "Cast Member Experience" will be designated as private contractors and will not be entitled to Disney Cast Member employment benefits.
I've seen some fellow guests and I also help out keeping Walt's Parks clean by picking up trash off the street when enjoying time in the parks.
 

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