Disney to consolidate more Disneyland, Disney World management
Disney announced today that it will lay off more managers in its theme park and attraction divisions, and that to do so, it will consolidate more operations common to Walt Disney World and Disneyland, as well as its Disney Vacation Club and other remote properties.
While I try to track down more of what this means to theme park fans, here's the LA Times write-up of today's announcement.
Frankly, much of what Disney does ought to be handled at a central location, including buying supplies, souvenirs and operational support. And some of that happens now. Under this plan, more will.
That said, I hope that Disney's Worldwide Operations team keeps this in mind (and I think I speak for many fans when I write this): I have never in my life, and never will, buy a sweatshirt or any other souvenir that says "Disney Parks" on it.
I want the sweatshirt I buy in Anaheim to say "Disneyland" and the one I buy in Lake Buena Vista to say "Walt Disney World." Those are Disney's theme park brands. With the volume that Disney commands, it ought to be trivial for one office at Disney HQ to order those two designs from the same source, if Disney chooses. If Disney consolidates on the back end, fine, but it should never make the mistake of trying to cram a generic experience down visitors' throats. My $.02.
"If Disney consolidates on the back end, fine, but it should never make the mistake of trying to cram a generic experience down visitors' throats. My $.02."
The quality of the visitor experience will be the last thing to go for Disney. It is their bread and butter, and the one thing that really separates them from the rest of the amusment park pack. It is also the one thing I think they are so good at that, for the most part, it comes naturally.
As somebody who works at the Disney Store, Disney has a huge problem, as many other compainies do, selling the paticulars. They need to sell things to try to make a profit as large as possible so it would be cheaper to have similar stuff! The Yeti from Everest/Matterhorn are the same too!
I work with an executive in our company who was a former executive at WDW and believes in a very process oriented discipline. Disney operates along these lines already but individually. Running a consolidated back office and support teams that service both entities won't be that difficult to manage. The transition to that on the other hand could take some time.
Can you tell that the "Disney Parks" thing just drives me nuts? If they need an all-parks brand, I'd rather see a shirt with "The Magic of Disney" or something like that than the ultra-lame "Disney Parks."
Cost cutting with operations is one thing, but what about all of those park personnel being laid off? Is it just that they were management heavy to begin with and can really keep things going without these guys? or are they burning the candle at both ends with a thinly spread staff. If the latter is the case, then they could have some issues. You can't effectively run a resort of that size, scope, reputation, and detail without people and leaders to lead them.
I'm also worried what the consolidation of WDI will mean...does this mean no more Florida office? Are they going to combine WDI and Walt Disney Creative Entertainment into one organization? And most importantly, how will this affect the creative flow of ideas that once spewed from WDI headquarters into the parks in the form of new, innovative, creative, immersive, and well-themed rides and attractions? We already have seen Disney come up flat in terms of new rides this year and over the next couple, especially compared to USH with Transformers, IOA with Harry Potter, USF with RRR, and Sea World with Manta
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