WHAT IS A “GUARANTEED GUEST EXPERIENCE” ANYWAY?
Is it that many are guaranteed to be disappointed? Maybe it’s you are guaranteed to encounter delays and long lines? I know, it’s that going to Disneyland is a much more complicated experience that will engender feelings of great joy and great disappointment within the space of a few seconds. You will be guaranteed to spend hours in lines for absolutely everything from entry, to food, to attractions, to even leaving at the end of the night.
Chapek’s interview with the WSJ has been swimming in my head for days and I am still just absolutely stunned he used the word “guaranteed” to describe how guests’ experiences are better because of Park Reservations (PR).
We already know that Disney uses PRs to manage staffing and guests at their discretion. The problem is it’s not exactly doing that. Staffing is an issue everywhere but at Disneyland they seem to like to downplay the seriousness of it all. Oh we offer the best benefits packages, school benefits, blah blah blah…. No you don’t. School is great but if you don’t offer what a Cast Member really wants, it’s an empty benefit. Medical is great but if you have to balance whether or not you’ll eat or pay rent or buy the medication you need, it becomes another empty benefit.
Disneyland’s website STATES: “A theme park reservation does not GUARANTEE park admission or access to any experience, attraction or offering.” (Found in the bottom of this page: https://disneyland.disney.go.com/experience-updates/park-reservations/ in the “Important Details” section 6th bullet)
So where do guests get a “guaranteed” experience that is worth it? How do Cast Members get to provide that special Magic if they just had to decide to eat over getting a medication they may need?
I feel like the executives have been living in their special bubble a little too long. They have lost a real connection with the Cast Members who are struggling. They have lost touch with guests that are life long fans who have watched the decline all over the resort and are disheartened and making the decisions to no longer return to their “home away from home”.
Everything he said in that interview was of someone sitting high on a hill, thinking everything down below is running according to plan but very much unaware of the realities, even when he does venture down to meet the common folk.
There are so many problems from Cast disillusionment with their jobs and the company, to guests disgusted their dollar to get in is only the beginning of what they will have to pay for their day outside of souvenirs, to the disconnect with disabled guests and how a service that is supposed to help only disenfranchises them more.
I watched the film by Abigail Disney “The American Dream and other Fairy Tales” and was saddened to see how hard things have been for many cast. I have heard many stories from Cast over the years and I have posted about it and continue to post about it but to see it on screen, with children affected, and feel it, it hit me hard.
So no Mr. Chapek. You are NOT guaranteeing anything but disappointment and frustration. Your disconnect to the disabled is beyond frustrating for me as a disabled person but your disconnect with the very people that actually create the Magic the world believes in, that’s despicable.
See this, it’s important: https://americandreamdoc.com
Chapek WSJ Tech day 10/26/22: https://youtu.be/0oCw166oEmg