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2/18/2011 1:21 AM
PeterPanFan
Sorcerer
PeterPanFan

Posts: 1107
Recently Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs gave an update on the Disney Parks to an Investors Conference which can be read here

It is rather long with information about upcoming plans for both US parks but since it was for an Investors Conference it is mostly based around the financial aspects and opportunities these plans present. It is an interesting read but most of the info isn't new but it is a good overview. A few interesting tidbits from the article both good and bad.

The first



The fourth strength I’ll highlight is one that I’m not sure we talk about
enough, and that is our incomparable cast. It might surprise you, but in
our research, people cite interactions they have with our cast as the
single biggest factor in their satisfaction and intent to return. The
excellence of our cast members is borne out of a deeply-rooted cultural
commitment to quality and service that has been part of the organization
for over half a century. What I’ve really come to appreciate this past year
is that our cast’s commitment to guest experience is holistic – from
designing our parks, attractions and resorts, to creating our
entertainment offerings, and even down to the food that we serve - we
want to wow our guests with every interaction.
Maintaining this culture of excellence across all the various disciplines
required in our business is extraordinarily difficult, if not impossible, for
others to replicate. The guest service orientation of our business does
require a significant labor commitment, and operating labor comprises
about a third of the segment’s cost base. But when so many of our
guests single out interaction with our cast as the most important part of
their visit, we know this continued investment is worth it.



I think this is good news that the guy in charge of the Parks realizes just how imprortant the cast members are and I hope this results in both more cast as well as better trained and payed cast members.

The second


We’ve launched a number of initiatives over the years, including
FASTPASS and Magical Express, and they’ve been incredibly popular
with our guests. But we plan to take these kinds of enhancements even
further. Giving our guests faster and better access to the fun is the
centerpieces of our investment in technology. As a result, we are
currently developing an innovative system that will, in essence, create a
version of FASTPASS for their entire Disney vacations. Now we define the
guest experience as beginning from the time a potential guest sits down
at a computer or picks up a phone to make a reservation. Our new tools
will help them better understand all that we have to offer and better plan
their time with us. They’ll be able to create a personalized itinerary that
gives them the exact Disney vacation they want.
Guests will be able to reserve times for their favorite attractions and
character interactions… secure seats at our shows and spectaculars…
make dining reservations… and pre-book many other favorite guest
experiences – all before even leaving their house. We also plan to simplify
the check-in process so that guests will arrive at the resort with room
key in hand. They will be able to go straight to their room or a theme
park – again, allowing them to get to the fun faster.


Personally this one sounds worrying. I HATE having to plan dining reservations 6 months in advance to eat where you want to eat and when we are at the parks I like having flexibility and the ability to change our plans. We always have a rough or sometimes very detailed plan of what we want to do on a trip but it is always left up to possible changes based on how we feel when we get there. The one aspect of table service meals at WDW that I absolutely hate is that since you normally cant just show up and expect to get seated (especially at the more popular restaurants) you have to plan far in advance and that locks you into being at certain places at certain times. Adding even more of this for rides and even meeting Characters doesn't sounds like a good thing to me :\ I'm on vacation... I don't really want to have a detailed schedule of meeting Mickey at 4:35 followed by reservations at Space mountain at 4:45... what happens if I see something on the way in between those two that I want to stop and see? and what happens if you don't do this pre-planning? you probably have to end up waiting in "standby" twice as long because you dont have a reservation you booked 6 months ago. While fastpass is great it isn't without negative effects and this just seems like it would make those even worse.

Hopefully this one turns out better than it sounds in this article and some things like being able to get "tickets" for some of the shows so you don't have to wait in line doesn't sound all bad; however, I would really want to do that when I get there and decide yes I will indeed be in Park A today and not make that decision far in advance.

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Visit the Disney Character Central Blog for all the latest character news and information!
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2/18/2011 4:59 PM
asianway
Mickey Mouse
asianway

Posts: 17
I saw the blog post that mentioned the fairy room. That was pretty much the last place at WDW where you really never knew who would be out. Now that they are EPCOT all reports seem that Tink, Terance, Rosetta, and Vidia are the only ones meeting. Sad...
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2/21/2011 6:35 AM
elmoloveskayla1992
Mickey Mouse
elmoloveskayla1992

Posts: 10
hey y'all
i have a quick question, what r they going 2 do with minnie and mickey's house now that toontown fair is closed???
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2/21/2011 7:35 PM
asianway
Mickey Mouse
asianway

Posts: 17
Some people are clinging to hope they will be moved like that one episode of the Brady Bunch...but 95% of the sentiment out there is they are coming down.
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2/25/2011 9:48 AM
PeterPanFan
Sorcerer
PeterPanFan

Posts: 1107
Yeah, they are probably just demolishing them :\ Would love to see them moved elsewhere but think that unlikely

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Visit the Disney Character Central Blog for all the latest character news and information!
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2/28/2011 11:19 AM
Vectron
Chip 'n' Dale
Vectron

Posts: 57
I'm not much of a complainer, but I never really liked this whole "plan everything ahead of time" idea. The reasons why have pretty much been said already by everyone else.
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