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OK, I'll Admit it...Disney Prices Are Out Of Control

made in china

New Member
I'll share my take on things from a technical person's perspective. We visited DL recently and my wife and I were absolutely shocked at how frequently the rides failed on us whilst we were on them. Of course, many super popular rides were offline most of the day also. I've been going to DL for 35 years, and with my wife for 12 years. Of course we've seen the occasional ride failure, but this recent trip was truly outstanding.
It became immediately apparent to me that Disney isn't investing in the proper talent to maintain the rides.
Ideally, for such technical machines and safety oversight you'd want the best technicians you could find.
Maybe 21st century USA doesn't have as much talent, but there's still talent out there, but it doesn't come cheap anymore.
By my reckoning, you'd need to pay at least $100k/yr to retain good technical talent. And staff a few techs to keep the park running smoothly.
So, out of curiosity I checked the Disney job openings and they were advertising for ride technicians, I believe$35k/yr. In California.
No way can they attract the talent needed for such low pay. You can't keep such technology consistently, reliably running for such low pay.

Would it really hurt Disney's bottom line to employ a few good techs at $100k/yr who could drastically improve operations?
 

Chef Mickey

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
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I'll share my take on things from a technical person's perspective. We visited DL recently and my wife and I were absolutely shocked at how frequently the rides failed on us whilst we were on them. Of course, many super popular rides were offline most of the day also. I've been going to DL for 35 years, and with my wife for 12 years. Of course we've seen the occasional ride failure, but this recent trip was truly outstanding.
It became immediately apparent to me that Disney isn't investing in the proper talent to maintain the rides.
Ideally, for such technical machines and safety oversight you'd want the best technicians you could find.
Maybe 21st century USA doesn't have as much talent, but there's still talent out there, but it doesn't come cheap anymore.
By my reckoning, you'd need to pay at least $100k/yr to retain good technical talent. And staff a few techs to keep the park running smoothly.
So, out of curiosity I checked the Disney job openings and they were advertising for ride technicians, I believe$35k/yr. In California.
No way can they attract the talent needed for such low pay. You can't keep such technology consistently, reliably running for such low pay.

Would it really hurt Disney's bottom line to employ a few good techs at $100k/yr who could drastically improve operations?
Some of the ride down time has to do with overly conservative OSHA standards that are out of Disney’s control in some ways.
 

made in china

New Member
Some of the ride down time has to do with overly conservative OSHA standards that are out of Disney’s control in some ways.
The ride safety regulations aren't the real issue.
I was looking at how the control systems are implemented on the rides (eye roll moment for my family) and I can see that the rides are capable of checking themselves. VFD motor controls, servo feedback, likely current monitoring on everything, time-to-service/complete trip monitoring, etc. The ride can detect issues long before a safety concern occurs. Issues could be excessive drag, out of tolerance parts, etc.
The ride system can halt a ride at any moment. OSHA (or whoever) likely has a requirement to document the incident and resolution, but it is up to the tech to quickly identify what is causing the system to fail. This is where you get "what you pay for" . A tech who is out of their league may try resetting the system or replacing something that wasn't the cause of the failure. Then, when the ride is tested, it continues to error. I know this because I saw the rides being tested, then failing, tested again, etc. Good techs will identify the problem right away, test the ride, document it as safe and reopen it.
Even as much as I pride myself as a good technician, I'd need to work on a ride for a while before I became an expert on it. At $35k a year I'd probably find a new job about the same time I became proficient.
 

thomas998

Well-Known Member
That's what I said, I think 😁 lol or your teasing me??
But seriously let's ask the question, why should Disney or any business change if they can sell an inferior product and we still by it??

General question
The reason they behave this way and will continue to is really down to them being a publicly traded company. Shareholder look for fast short-term results and that leads to the types of things Disney does with the parks. If they were a private company like the Mars candy company then it would be possible for the company to be run for long-term results without the short-term focus on quick dollars.
 

LeighM

Well-Known Member
Next year, my husband and I are going on a Disney cruise but spending the weekend before and after at a WDW resort. We used to be park commando people - go at rope drop, stay all day, and stay until closing. But the more often we go, we find ourselves spending less time in the parks and more time at the resort, Disney Springs, or the Boardwalk area. When we go next year, we aren't planning on going into a park unless they offer an After Hours event. It's easier for me to justify the cost of entering the park at 7pm and staying until closing with a near empty park with no wait in line than paying almost exactly the same for an entire day that's full of irritating, irritated people with long lines in the hot sun. The room rate increases bother me just because I'm frugal with money but it doesn't sting as much when I do compare it with other places I would like to go during the same time - Charleston, St. Augustine, Myrtle Beach, Siesta Key. Like others have said, the costs are increasing everywhere. Which I understand because everything is increasing - price of food, utilities, technology upgrades, etc. Someone has to ultimately pay for it all and that's the consumer. I've accepted that as long as I want to travel, I have to accept the costs, otherwise I just need to stay home or find someplace that still has yesterday's price. If I feel like I'm getting my money's worth then I'm happy. If I feel like it was money wasted then I won't repeat the experience. And that's how I feel about Disney's parks right now. I'm planning a trip in 2021-2022 for my 40th bday and their 50th when everything new is open. But I feel that going into a park next year is just a waste of my money. I would rather put that into new experiences like The Void at Disney Springs or trying new restaurants at the resorts.
 

eliza61nyc

Well-Known Member
The reason they behave this way and will continue to is really down to them being a publicly traded company. Shareholder look for fast short-term results and that leads to the types of things Disney does with the parks. If they were a private company like the Mars candy company then it would be possible for the company to be run for long-term results without the short-term focus on quick dollars.
absolutely, but I also do believe that even big publicly traded companies are influenced by the very thing those shareholders are looking for.
If the reason they behave that way comes down to profit and we want to effect change, remove the thing that influences them.

I just think it's really weird that we have this laundry list of stuff that is bad (which begs the question of how one had a good time) and we think it's going to magically get better by doing nothing but grumbling.
It's exactly like the saying about insanity. We want it to change, yet we do the same action over and over (give them our money) and we EXPECT it to do something different.
 

bugsbunny

Well-Known Member
Florida resident's aren't a very profitable subset of guests, so Disney doesn't care very much what you do. They want people to fly and they want them to be captive on property for the duration of their stay.
I agree with you on that. Locals and the majority of APs are no longer in any target demographic. This is similar to what happened at DisneyLand. This group does will not spend like the captive audience that flies in and and is hopefully trapped on property, has every waking moment choreographed and time reserved into an opportunity to spend more money. Raising the prices of APs and radically change the blackout schedule (like they did at DL) is purposely done to make it a "resort destination". It's an attempt to reduce crowd sizes by gearing towards the 5 day trapped visitor, not a zip in zip out AP holding day tripper. Push the low spending day trippers out, get the eager over spending trapped on property tourists in.
 
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Chef Mickey

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I agree with you on that. Locals and the majority of APs are no longer in any target demographic. This is similar to what happened at DisneyLand. This group does will not spend like the captive audience that flies in and and is hopefully trapped on property, has every waking moment choreographed and time reserved into an opportunity to spend more money. Raising the prices of APs and radically change the blackout schedule (like they did at DL) is purposely done to make it a "resort destination". It's an attempt to reduce crowd sizes by gearing towards the 5 day trapped visitor, not a zip in zip out AP holding day tripper. Push the low spending day trippers out, get the eager over spending trapped on property tourists in.
I'm not sure APs were ever very targeted. By nature, they are likely going to spend less money than a tourist on any given trip. Where Disney fails is the value the AP brings over time, particularly someone like me.

I've always thought Disney has failed at maintaining "accounts" and needs some kind of better reward program.
 

thomas998

Well-Known Member
absolutely, but I also do believe that even big publicly traded companies are influenced by the very thing those shareholders are looking for.
If the reason they behave that way comes down to profit and we want to effect change, remove the thing that influences them.

I just think it's really weird that we have this laundry list of stuff that is bad (which begs the question of how one had a good time) and we think it's going to magically get better by doing nothing but grumbling.
It's exactly like the saying about insanity. We want it to change, yet we do the same action over and over (give them our money) and we EXPECT it to do something different.
The reality is most companies that behave like Disney will face a future problem because of their focus on the quick return. Right now the fact is the population that can afford to go to Disney is growing fast enough that they can afford to drive away some percentage of their customers because the number of people that are already poised to take their place. But at some point if they continue to short change customers, they will begin chasing away repeat customers faster than they can replace them and that is when they will be forced to change directions.

It is also possible that if they continue to shortchange customers that they will allow other competitors to start poaching customers at a faster rate and be forced to make changes even sooner to avoid losing money. In the end, they can't continue in the current direction forever...

Though I do wonder about some of the changes like park hours and how they ended up where they are... It makes me think of a small grocery store we used to have where I was growing up... Their hours slowly declined first from 11PM... then 10PM... and on and on until they started closing at 7PM... it never made a lot of sense until I asked the owner why he did it. His answer was the customers were so few and far between as it got close to closing time that he couldn't justify paying his cashiers if they weren't making enough money when they were there. It made sense when he said it... but if you actually thought about it, you also realized that when you knew the store was going to close at 10PM you were probably not going to go there after 9:30... likewise when he cut back to 9PM when customer realized that was the closing time they wouldn't want to go there after 8:30... and on and on... given the town wasn't shrinking and people were still needing to buy groceries, he was just chasing away customer because he wasn't looking at why people behaved the way they did. I wonder if some of that shortsighted analysis is behind Disney and their dwindling hours. I know we don't like staying till closing because the place becomes a zoo when you are leaving so we try to leave a little earlier than closing... if other people do the same then Disney may be chasing out customers and assuming that they need to close earlier just because they see the number of people leaving and assume it is because they are tired and not that it is because they are just trying to beat the rush.
 

Pooh.sHoneyHuntTDL

Well-Known Member
I agree with you on that. Locals and the majority of APs are no longer in any target demographic. This is similar to what happened at DisneyLand. This group does will not spend like the captive audience that flies in and and is hopefully trapped on property, has every waking moment choreographed and time reserved into an opportunity to spend more money. Raising the prices of APs and radically change the blackout schedule (like they did at DL) is purposely done to make it a "resort destination". It's an attempt to reduce crowd sizes by gearing towards the 5 day trapped visitor, not a zip in zip out AP holding day tripper. Push the low spending day trippers out, get the eager over spending trapped on property tourists in.
You can't really be trapped on property at DL. There are so many food options, etc right around DL and CA. And you can walk from all the offsite hotels to DL.

With WDW it's different. You are literally trapped on property at WDW unless you are very resourceful.
 

Pooh.sHoneyHuntTDL

Well-Known Member
The reality is most companies that behave like Disney will face a future problem because of their focus on the quick return. Right now the fact is the population that can afford to go to Disney is growing fast enough that they can afford to drive away some percentage of their customers because the number of people that are already poised to take their place. But at some point if they continue to short change customers, they will begin chasing away repeat customers faster than they can replace them and that is when they will be forced to change directions.

It is also possible that if they continue to shortchange customers that they will allow other competitors to start poaching customers at a faster rate and be forced to make changes even sooner to avoid losing money. In the end, they can't continue in the current direction forever...

Though I do wonder about some of the changes like park hours and how they ended up where they are... It makes me think of a small grocery store we used to have where I was growing up... Their hours slowly declined first from 11PM... then 10PM... and on and on until they started closing at 7PM... it never made a lot of sense until I asked the owner why he did it. His answer was the customers were so few and far between as it got close to closing time that he couldn't justify paying his cashiers if they weren't making enough money when they were there. It made sense when he said it... but if you actually thought about it, you also realized that when you knew the store was going to close at 10PM you were probably not going to go there after 9:30... likewise when he cut back to 9PM when customer realized that was the closing time they wouldn't want to go there after 8:30... and on and on... given the town wasn't shrinking and people were still needing to buy groceries, he was just chasing away customer because he wasn't looking at why people behaved the way they did. I wonder if some of that shortsighted analysis is behind Disney and their dwindling hours. I know we don't like staying till closing because the place becomes a zoo when you are leaving so we try to leave a little earlier than closing... if other people do the same then Disney may be chasing out customers and assuming that they need to close earlier just because they see the number of people leaving and assume it is because they are tired and not that it is because they are just trying to beat the rush.
Very wise post, anecdote and observation.

There are a bunch of dim nitwits making decisions at Disney Corp.

Case in point is the Disney After Hours during the Fall.
In the Fall the Disney After Hours starts at 9 pm.

This means the regular Park Guests will leave around 8-8:30 pm wait out dinner and go get dinner off site or out of the park.
And then the After Hours people will eat dinner before hand and just eat the free ice cream/popcorn at the event.

So sure they make money off the extra After Hours Tickets but that is offset by the loss of revenue from the big markup concessions and food.
 

eliza61nyc

Well-Known Member
It is also possible that if they continue to shortchange customers that they will allow other competitors to start poaching customers at a faster rate and be forced to make changes even sooner to avoid losing money. In the end, they can't continue in the current direction forever...

Though I do wonder about some of the changes like park hours and how they ended up where they are... It makes me think of a small grocery store we used to have where I was growing up... Their hours slowly declined first from 11PM... then 10PM... and on and on until they started closing at 7PM... it never made a lot of sense until I asked the owner why he did it. His answer was the customers were so few and far between as it got close to closing time that he couldn't justify paying his cashiers if they weren't making enough money when they were there. It made sense when he said it... but if you actually thought about it, you also realized that when you knew the store was going to close at 10PM you were probably not going to go there after 9:30... likewise when he cut back to 9PM when customer realized that was the closing time they wouldn't want to go there after 8:30... and on and on... given the town wasn't shrinking and people were still needing to buy groceries, he was just chasing away customer because he wasn't looking at why people behaved the way they did. I wonder if some of that shortsighted analysis is behind Disney and their dwindling hours. I know we don't like staying till closing because the place becomes a zoo when you are leaving so we try to leave a little earlier than closing... if other people do the same then Disney may be chasing out customers and assuming that they need to close earlier just because they see the number of people leaving and assume it is because they are tired and not that it is because they are just trying to beat the rush.

lol, so I guess the question becomes how long until "forever"? So if you go back just on this one site, people have been voicing these complaints for the last 8 years easy. and the crowds are bigger and the prices higher. Now realistically unless a meteor hits the planet, I think the next 4 years are still golden for the mouseworld. so for at least 5 years I think Disney is going to continue down this current management style. If any thing with all the new stuff coming on board they will have great success at keeping them in the parks.

The big unknown is of course the economy. Yes a correction is coming, that's not rocket science but the wild card will be how bad a correction and also remember that nothing is stationary. I don't think it will be like 2007/08 where we were losing hundreds of thousands of jobs a month but hey I'm not an economist, don't even portray one on tv. 😜

So I think this notion of disney not being able to continue in this manner "long term" is misguided. or maybe the better question is what do folks consider "long term"?

So what do you think is going to happen "long term"?
 
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eliza61nyc

Well-Known Member
I'm not sure APs were ever very targeted. By nature, they are likely going to spend less money than a tourist on any given trip. Where Disney fails is the value the AP brings over time, particularly someone like me.

I've always thought Disney has failed at maintaining "accounts" and needs some kind of better reward program.

I wonder (and I do not know folks, just wondering) if Disney views certain guest as a "depreciating" asset. lol. for example, us DVC'er who purchased early on. I've gotten my value worth out of my purchase, disney knows this. they probably assume that we do spend less money over the years so after say 10 years they don't even count us as having any type of monetary value??
 

Pooh.sHoneyHuntTDL

Well-Known Member
lol, so I guess the question becomes how long until "forever"? So if you go back just on this one site, people have been voicing these complaints for the last 8 years easy. and the crowds are bigger and the prices higher. Now realistically unless a meteor hits the planet, I think the next 4 years are still golden for the mouseworld. so for at least 5 years I think Disney is going to continue down this current management style. If any thing with all the new stuff coming on board they will have great success at keeping them in the parks.

The big unknown is of course the economy. Yes a correction is coming, that's not rocket science but the wild card will be how bad a correction and also remember that nothing is stationary. I don't think it will be like 2007/08 where we were losing hundreds of thousands of jobs a month but hey I'm not an economist, don't even portray one on tv. 😜

So I think this notion of disney not being able to continue in this manner "long term" is misguided. or maybe the better question is what do folks consider "long term"?

So what do you think is going to happen "long term"?
It will fall apart and the Japanese, Norwegians and Arabs will buy WDW.
 

thomas998

Well-Known Member
lol, so I guess the question becomes how long until "forever"? So if you go back just on this one site, people have been voicing these complaints for the last 8 years easy. and the crowds are bigger and the prices higher. Now realistically unless a meteor hits the planet, I think the next 4 years are still golden for the mouseworld. so for at least 5 years I think Disney is going to continue down this current management style. If any thing with all the new stuff coming on board they will have great success at keeping them in the parks.

The big unknown is of course the economy. Yes a correction is coming, that's not rocket science but the wild card will be how bad a correction and also remember that nothing is stationary. I don't think it will be like 2007/08 where we were losing hundreds of thousands of jobs a month but hey I'm not an economist, don't even portray one on tv. 😜

So I think this notion of disney not being able to continue in this manner "long term" is misguided. or maybe the better question is what do folks consider "long term"?

So what do you think is going to happen "long term"?
I wouldn't expect them to hit any noticeable rough waters for at least 10 or 15 years. Only thing that will likely cause them to have issues sooner is Universal were to suddenly go after the toddler to pre-teen market. At the moment they are the most likely competition for WDW but have tended to focus on an older audience. Sure they have that goofy Doctor Seuss world but it is pretty small and has never seemed to be that popular.

Trouble with the economy hitting a down turn is that it would need to be a global downturn to impact WDW significantly because of the large international segment of their visitors.... DL would be more likely to hit a snag in a US downturn.
 

thomas998

Well-Known Member
Very wise post, anecdote and observation.

There are a bunch of dim nitwits making decisions at Disney Corp.

Case in point is the Disney After Hours during the Fall.
In the Fall the Disney After Hours starts at 9 pm.

This means the regular Park Guests will leave around 8-8:30 pm wait out dinner and go get dinner off site or out of the park.
And then the After Hours people will eat dinner before hand and just eat the free ice cream/popcorn at the event.

So sure they make money off the extra After Hours Tickets but that is offset by the loss of revenue from the big markup concessions and food.
And it wouldn't surprise me if you have different managers making those decisions completely out of the minds of the other managers. I could really see some poor dolt that is in charge of food sales wondering why they have a sudden down turn during the after hours events.
 

Pooh.sHoneyHuntTDL

Well-Known Member
Hey from your mouth to God's ears because that would mean huge stock buy back and I could sell my shares at an exorbitant price and then price of tickets would no longer be a problem. 😃
You own shares in Disney? Then I can see why you would want people to continue to drink the Kool Aid. I would do the same thing if I owned Disney stock.
 
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erasure fan1

Well-Known Member
So what do you think is going to happen "long term"?
That's hard to say. The answer could be, nothing. The world is a fickle place. Right now it doesn't seem that Disney has anything to worry about. People just keep going no matter what. What can happen is, if you push too hard, until it breaks, you risk people throwing in the towel and not returning. When a company takes for granted that customers will always just be there, bad things happen. "Long term" could be 10 years could be 20 years, it could also be never. It seems that Disney is banking on the never side. Either way Iger will be long gone with his billions by the time it breaks.
 

eliza61nyc

Well-Known Member
You own shares in Disney? Then I can see why you would people to continue to drink the Kool Aid. I would do the same thing if I owned Disney stock.
Really that doesn't come into play all. It's two different things.

Actually I think you folks are bigger koolaide drinkers. sorry If I made a list like the op made. there is no way in heckdom I would be going back. no way.

A persons experience also influences how they feel. now I've always said compared to others here, I'm a relatively new comer to the world. so I don't compare it to these glorious yesterdays. I've never ever experienced the trash can problem, nor dirty parks. My trips have been glorious. the worst I've run across is the monorail breaking down. the places I go to vacation (large cities mainly) food and drink are expensive and yes I've had a bad meal at a nyc restaurant. I don't go to the world and say "well disney never use to have bad meals" and then get upset if one of my meals suck. I contact the manager on duty and talk about the problems, I realize that if there is a human chef in the kitchen there is a chance the meal will come out bad.

For me I think the bigger issues is the crowds. hands down

Toy story land?? I didn't hate it, we had fun, is it my favorite land?? by no means but we had fun so I'm good. Ip in Epcot??? could care less, if every marvel character on the planet showed up there as long as the rides where good.
I also don't evaluate the new stuff like you guys do. I don't go looking at new building and get upset because they look like the "mall", in fact I can't seem to find all these malls that look like buildings in Epcot. not saying that folks who do notice it are wrong just that it's not something I do. so I have no reason to hate wdw at all. my vacations are still amazing,
As you probably know from my post, I am a huge believer in consumer power. I really don't care if people drink the koolaide or not as far as my investment go. I believe people should support the things they believe in and like. If millions of folks stop liking Disney then I whole heatedly support them taking their money elsewhere.

I purchased stock over the years because I saw growth and a return on my investment.

I also reevaluate every year. Again remember that this site is miniscule reflection of the general wdw vacation going public,. For the next 10 years I don't see this collapse you're predicting. Again the economy could do something, then all my bets are off.
 
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