I wholeheartedly agree with all this, I don't think your opinion is outdated whatsoeverCouple of disclosures before I begin.
This is probably going to run a little long and I am in my mid 50’s...so my opinions will no doubt be outdated and irrelevant to some. I would highly encourage those individuals to just skip over this post and save yourself undue frustration.
I’ve been lucky enough to have enjoyed Disney parks over the last 40 years, and I come down pretty much in the middle of this. I’ve seen a lot of changes in the parks over the years...success and failures. Change is the nature of everything, so this isn’t unexpected. Couple of things though.
Back in the day...remember, I’m outdated...cast members weren’t hired to sell hot dogs or cupcakes, they were hired to play someone selling hot dogs or cupcakes a very specific way in a very specifically themed area. Obviously the concept was to provide a total experience. That was unique. Disney had a specific model and goal they were attempting to produce. It was so successful that hospitals, in an attempt to raise their patient satisfaction, began to mimic that Disney model. And it worked. It was all about creating that special and specific experience.
I don’t think anyone can deny that experience has changed over the years, and for many it has changed for the worse. That’s fine. It’s Disney’s business to run. People still flock to the parks in the millions. About 15 years ago I was in one of the parks later than I should have been taking some night time pictures. Back of the park, by myself when two cast members happened upon me. They were having a very off stage discussion in a very on stage area. I personally thought nothing of it...park was technically closed and they were just walking by. They saw me, froze, and assaulted me with non stop apology after apology. These two kids, really, fully understood they had possibly just destroyed an experience. I was both shocked and impressed by their actions of wanting to create that experience. Today, I would be just as shocked if something like that were to actually happen. Those days are mostly gone, for a wide variety of reasons. Again, that is 100% Disney’s choice.
Like it or not, it’s a fact that image plays a huge role in the customer experience. For the customer, or guest if you prefer, image is both conscious and subconscious. Back to the hospital setting. You walk into the emergency department waiting room with some issue you are dealing with. There are two nurses or techs or security officers, or whatever, standing there. One looks as if they a a promotional recruitment poster model. Everything is in place, the perfect specimen of what you expect that person to look like. The other appears as if they had just woken up and rushed to work...not anything of what you expect. Who do you go to for help? Of course you go to the one you have an expectation of looking a certain way. Well, congratulations, you just picked the employee that has been on the job exactly 4 hours. The other has been there 28 years and knows everything about everything, and could probably cure your ailments with a smile. For the customer, if you don’t look the part, you don’t know the part...period.
Some people are absolutely okay with the new look. Some aren’t. Neither is right, neither is wrong. Disney just doesn’t go to the lengths it used to, and that’s okay. It’s also okay to not like it. It’s a choice, and honestly there isn’t any good reason to be attacking people on either side...which is usually what happens here. I understand why some are disappointed. It’s just one more thing that is taking away from their expectations of what makes something enjoyable for them. Some have gone off the deep end for sure, but there is no reason for the ad hominem attacks about toxicity and other stuff. The attacks either way make no sense. It’s just a version of “my way or the highway.”
Those things don't make me nervous, however I always felt it was more along the lines of that the cast members aren't supposed to be noticed, or at least aren't supposed to stand out, they're just there to make your day easier, they're getting paid to work for you while you're there, if that makes any sense. Now I don't mean that in a disrespectful-servant kind of way, I just mean that we're paying to have a good time, and they're being paid to make us have an even better time. I think the former restrictions were really just aiming to make cast members look as normal and run-of-the-mill as possible, in a friendly way. This might just be me, but a cast member standing in front of the entrance to a ride with tattoos on their arms and neon-green hair doesn't exactly say 'friendly' to me.
Fun Fact: a guest's overall satisfaction of an attraction is directly proportional to the perceived level of self-expression of that attraction's CMs!
I feel much freer to enjoy going on Pirates of the Caribbean because I now know that the CM who pushes the button to send my boat away won't have to hide who they really are anymore!
I agree with some of what you said, but this analogy isn’t really accurate. Disney allowing tattoos and more hair styles does not mean that are allowing a sloppy, “just woke up” style.One looks as if they a a promotional recruitment poster model. Everything is in place, the perfect specimen of what you expect that person to look like. The other appears as if they had just woken up and rushed to work...not anything of what you expect.
My analogy is about perceived expectations, and what have been previous expectations, of the consumer. Right or wrong, they exist. Also, Disney has not done a good job at all of managing those expectations. That’s the key.I agree with some of what you said, but this analogy isn’t really accurate. Disney allowing tattoos and more hair styles does not mean that are allowing a sloppy, “just woke up” style.
I agree with you that Cast Members should look well-dressed. I just think that “well-dressed” can include tattoos, etc.
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