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cer
07-03-2013, 05:55 PM
So I just wanted to give a little mini trip report on something I am pretty excited about.

We were walking through Port Orleans Riverside (on June 16, I know because it was my birthday) and spotted some lanyard-wearing cast members who had the Friendship Boat pins (our latest quest) - which is why we stopped them.

These guys were great, they were from Brazil and hired by Disney. They were wearing collared shirts that were a true green with the symbol from the Brazilian flag embroidered on them. We really enjoyed visiting with them and learned that they were part of a group of Brazilian cast members hired by Disney to bridge the gap between Disney, the average Disney guest and these groups. Sort of like "Good Will Ambassadors".

Later in the week I saw a second pair of these Brazilian representatives standing with the security guards at the "no bags to check" entrance at MK.

It just made me feel good to see Disney making efforts to improve the experience for everyone where these large youth tour groups are concerned.

I think it is a good thing.

Has anyone else seen or met these new cast members?

BrerGnat
07-03-2013, 07:12 PM
Wow, that's impressive!

At least Disney has acknowledged that the tour groups can get out of hand.

Wonder what these people will actually be doing, though? A lot of the Brazilian tour group "behavior" is a cultural thing. They are acting "normal", based on how people tend to behave in that country. Are these CMs here to explain to Americans that the groups are doing nothing wrong? Or, are they there to explain to the Brazilian tour groups that in America, their behavior will not always be seen as appropriate.

Interesting nonetheless.

Christine
07-03-2013, 07:24 PM
Any effort to help is a good thing in my book too, Thanks for letting us know!
And I hope you got all the boat pins :mickey:

disney obsessed
07-03-2013, 07:35 PM
I hope it is to help the kids understand the cultural differences. I would never travel to another country and expect to be treated as an american. When I do travel, i am embarrased by the entitled american tourist. I see no differance.

Just my opinion.

gerald72
07-04-2013, 12:17 AM
Great idea.

The Brazilian tour groups Are doing something wrong, when they rush to the front of lines- whether it's accepted in their country or not.

If they ever put Brazil in World Showcase, they wouldn't need to build queue lines.

Scar
07-04-2013, 11:13 AM
Are these CMs here to explain to Americans that the groups are doing nothing wrong? Or, are they there to explain to the Brazilian tour groups that in America, their behavior will not always be seen as appropriate.My guess would be somewhere in between, a little of both. :shrug:

Christine
07-04-2013, 11:39 AM
I'm going to be keeping my eyes out for these people and see if I can talk to them. My hope is that it's a liaison type of situation. I think that would be a good thing. I truly don't believe brazilians sit over in brazil booking trips with the intent to disturb Americans. I truly think they just are beyond excited and come from a place that doesn't have the same considerations and customs as we do.

That is my optimistic face on it. I am weary of the tour groups, to be honest. I am tired of seeing them line the floors of shops in WDW parks when it's hot or raining outside, taking naps and having picnics to where you cannot shop. I am stunned at the hygiene issues I've seen (once while in line for Beauty and the Beast, DH & I saw a tour member have a BM in the bushes so as to keep their primo spot in line. I've seen them strip at the water parks to change into dry clothes- right in the open, not in the restrooms. I've had them sit in massive groups behind me at Fantasmic & scream and chant to the point where I had a headache and had to leave.


I am just happy that Disney realizes the situation and is making an attempt to help it. I know two cast members at resorts and they say the tour groups destroy their rooms! It's the same out and about in the area- Florida mall, Best Buy, Target, etc become inundated with tour groups and they can tear a store to shreds. So good for Disney. Any help to make the tour groups less oppressive is a good thing!

11290
07-04-2013, 12:43 PM
These are not "new" to Disney. They come to us in the summers to assist with the tour groups, being able to speak their languages and assist in communication issues. You will see them with a green shirt and either khaki pants or shorts and usually with a Panama style hat that most wear.

They are officially known as "SuperGreeters" and have been with us for at least the 5 years I have worked and had started being used at least one year before that that I know of. All the ones that I have worked with on Main St. have been a great group.

Christine
07-04-2013, 12:58 PM
These are not "new" to Disney. They come to us in the summers to assist with the tour groups, being able to speak their languages and assist in communication issues. You will see them with a green shirt and either khaki pants or shorts and usually with a Panama style hat that most wear.

They are officially known as "SuperGreeters" and have been with us for at least the 5 years I have worked and had started being used at least one year before that that I know of. All the ones that I have worked with on Main St. have been a great group.

Then this is disappointing as this has not put a dent in the problems in 5 years.
:(

11290
07-04-2013, 01:50 PM
Then this is disappointing as this has not put a dent in the problems in 5 years.
:(

Actually, for the two areas I work in, Turnstiles and Parade Audience Control (I can't speak for other business units), they have made a HUGE difference.

Their ability to speak the languages of both the Brazilian and Argentinian groups has been VERY beneficial and I am very appreciative of all the help they give us.

Christine
07-04-2013, 02:38 PM
That's good and I'm glad they've proven beneficial in your work areas. But they either need more manpower or more authority because the problems that guests experience due to these tour groups are very much not improved. Here's hoping ...

Main Street Jim
07-05-2013, 09:37 AM
They're not *that* new, really. I think they "experimented" with these "guides' as far back as about 2007 or so; i remember having them in Tomorrowland for Christmas week when I first started there (in TL).

I've seen them "used" for *very busy* periods of the year, like the holidays.

Melanie
07-05-2013, 04:09 PM
I am weary of the tour groups, to be honest. I am tired of seeing them line the floors of shops in WDW parks when it's hot or raining outside, taking naps and having picnics to where you cannot shop. I am stunned at the hygiene issues I've seen (once while in line for Beauty and the Beast, DH & I saw a tour member have a BM in the bushes so as to keep their primo spot in line. I've seen them strip at the water parks to change into dry clothes- right in the open, not in the restrooms. I've had them sit in massive groups behind me at Fantasmic & scream and chant to the point where I had a headache and had to leave.

I too was growing very, very weary of them before we moved. I couldn't believe that day at Epcot when you pointed them out to me on the grassy areas all spread out napping. It's gotten out of control, and it is sad if these ambassadors still haven't made an impact after 5+ years. In fact, I watch the issues get worse in the 3 years I was living there. :(

ransam
07-06-2013, 02:15 PM
I know i'm in the minority, but i like these groups. It's disney, it's exciting, it's fun, it's awesome. and they add to it.
seeing their excitement, hearing them sing, seeing the smiles, makes me smile.

texas211
07-07-2013, 05:10 PM
I too was growing very, very weary of them before we moved. I couldn't believe that day at Epcot when you pointed them out to me on the grassy areas all spread out napping. It's gotten out of control, and it is sad if these ambassadors still haven't made an impact after 5+ years. In fact, I watch the issues get worse in the 3 years I was living there. :(

Amen. I can't stand them, and they push all my buttons. I always find myself stepping on their backpacks as they've laid 300 of them in front of the restroom, or the door, or wherever.

Outside of WDW, Brazil has turned into the Dallas Cowboys. I root for anyone against them in soccer.

The only place I've been where there is anything equally annoying is in Austin. The state HS track meet is there and the crowds cause tons of problems.

Altair
07-07-2013, 06:37 PM
Now you know how people in other countries feel about us when we go there and act like spoiled brats.

Melanie
07-07-2013, 06:48 PM
Now you know how people in other countries feel about us when we go there and act like spoiled brats.

Touche. But I definitely have kept that in mind when in foreign countries.

MNNHFLTX
07-07-2013, 08:14 PM
Now you know how people in other countries feel about us when we go there and act like spoiled brats.I don't fully buy into that argument, at least based on my experience. Whenever my family has flown overseas we research (okay, I research) the cultural norms there and we try to assimilate into them as much as possible. I can also honestly say that on those journeys I have never seen Americans acting spoiled or entitled; I've seen tourists from other countries (which shall remain nameless) and even local residents have meltdowns though. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure it happens. But I don't think Americans deserve the bad rap they sometimes get overseas.

I think the difference with what we experience while traveling internationally vs. what you sometimes see with the tour groups at Disney Land is that the groups, by virtue of size, are their own self-contained microcosm and there probably isn't as much pressure or expectation to conform to the norms of the country they are visiting. I also think that if you live in Central Florida and go to Disney World on a regular basis, the exposure to the groups gets a bit wearing after a while. We had the same feelings back when we were "locals" and from the sound of it the groups have only grown in number since then.

MNNHFLTX
07-08-2013, 12:49 AM
Whoops, meant Disney World. :blush:

DisneyGiant
07-08-2013, 03:21 PM
What bothers me most about the tour groups is when they use fast pass all at once.

I would love to be able to vacation when they aren't there, but we have to follow the school year, so July is basically the only time we can visit until these pesky kids graduate!

I wrote in once to Guest Relations to complain about the tour groups - I can't believe that WDW hasn't figured out a better way to accommodate them. Other theme parks have group picnic areas, special "resting" areas - surely the newer parks (DHS, Epcot, AK) could accomplish even that small change?

Heading to the parks next week - I hope they aren't too bad this time........

kakn7294
07-08-2013, 05:33 PM
My biggest issue with these tour groups how they travel in those huge groups with very little adult supervision. The family groups, sometimes annoying because they don't always follow the expected norms from our culture, are nearly always much better behaved than 500 - 1000 teenagers in a group. When we recently traveled with a group of 90 teenagers, we had high expectations for behavior. It was highly stressed over and over that if a behavior is unacceptable at school, then it's unacceptable on the trip. If they were to be caught misbehaving, then they would spend their trip basically shackled to a chaperone - if that didn't cure the bad behavior, they would be upgraded to being shackled to a teacher - and if that didn't work, they would be sent home at their parents' expense. Any damages caused would be paid by the parents (chaperones inspected each room upon check-in, each night, and at check-out) and if they did something illegal, their parents would be called to come deal with it again at the parents expense. We had the best behaved bunch of kids who still managed to have a great time. I think additional adult supervision and perhaps some similar threats to these tour groups might go along way. It's disappointing to hear that these liaisons are not helping with the situation at large.

mom2morgan
07-08-2013, 06:09 PM
I think maybe the obnoxious "culture" in question here is large groups of unsupervised teenagers. What you describe with Brazilian groups isn't much different from what we experienced with cheerleaders in Riverside....pushing past us and shoving us off paths, doing cheers complete with backflips in the breakfast line...we were amazed that kids would act that way and disgusted that no adult stepped forward to stop them! (Although I will confess I've never seen a cheerleader go potty in the bushes, LOL)

Melanie
07-08-2013, 06:31 PM
Difference is the cheerleading groups aren't nearly as large. Yes, they are annoying too, but I'd choose cheerleaders over the tour groups any day.

Main Street Jim
07-08-2013, 09:52 PM
Whenever we'd get these groups at Splash or Space, and I was out in front of the attraction, I'd tell them they'd need to split up into groups of six (Space) or eight (Splash). That way, the loaders would have a *much* easier time getting them on to the ride.

However, whenever *I* was grouping/loading, *NOT* one of my other Cast Members would tell them they needed to split up :/ So, if they got to me, I'd ask "How many?" The response? "A hundred and seventy-three." :P Really?! LOLOLOL

At that point, I'd go back through the line and count 'em off. Made it a LOT easier...

DisneyDawgette
07-08-2013, 10:33 PM
I met a lady who works in costuming at WDW a few days ago, and she actually mentioned to me how difficult the tour groups, specifically the large Brazilian tour groups, were this summer. She said that they had many issues and that many of the groups had actually been asked to leave.

I don't know how accurate this is, but she told me that the reason that the groups all wear such brightly colored shirts is because Disney requires it. She explained to me that the way that cast members distinguished between groups was based on the colors of their shirts, so that when they had complaints by guests, they would know exactly which group to report it to. She also told me that there is a "three strikes" policy, that if a particular group receives more than three strikes in a day, they can be asked to leave for the day... I wonder where these ambassadors come in here?

ransam
07-09-2013, 06:44 PM
Amen. I can't stand them, and they push all my buttons. I always find myself stepping on their backpacks as they've laid 300 of them in front of the restroom, or the door, or wherever.
Outside of WDW, Brazil has turned into the Dallas Cowboys. I root for anyone against them in soccer.

The only place I've been where there is anything equally annoying is in Austin. The state HS track meet is there and the crowds cause tons of problems.

Now that's class!

sportsguy2315
07-16-2013, 09:58 PM
When I was on my CP, one of my roommates was one of these Brazilian ambassadors. He did give me a lot of insight into the Brazilian tour groups and why they come (It's a right of passage for Brazilian teens) and the first night he was with in my apartment he apologized to myself and my roommates on behalf of his fellow countrymen for the behavior we may see from the groups.

Even then, Disney doesn't do a whole lot to help us CM's outside of handing out pocket size English/Portuguese dictionaries. They were first made available on my last day of work, so I didn't get much use out of it.

ANG
07-17-2013, 08:54 AM
Our problem with the tour groups is their constant super loud chanting. Other than that, I didn't find them any more rude than the next guy.

We were in the America building in Epcot and in the middle of the Voices of Liberty performance, there was a group outside the building doing their chants. It was SO completely rude. It took a few minutes for the CMs to close the doors to drown them out.

Another time it started to rain hard and a ton of us were stuck under the Spaceship Earth globe covering. There had to have been over a hundred of their tour kids. The chanting plus the echoing, yes I actually felt a bit unsafe. That's when I saw so many security guards come around. Last time I heard a large mob of people that loud was at an NFL game.

Cheshire_Girl
07-17-2013, 12:54 PM
They are loud, rude, and intimidating...and I don't think they should be able to roam the park in groups over 25.
That would make it more managable for park guests, CMs, security, and their own Chaperones...
And honestly-if they have a 3 strike rule, I will make sure to find a CM and complain next time in hopes they get kicked out...Yes, I am a meany.

kbean
07-17-2013, 01:15 PM
I hope they inform on rules. i had a very rude and ignorant group clap and chant for 30 mins in line at haunted mansion. Then proceeded to scream at the top of their lungs inside the shrinking room. The cast member kept asking them to quiet down and no one would listen. I can't stand these annoying Brazilians.

Aurora
07-17-2013, 09:52 PM
I know many others will (and have) disagreed with me, but the chanting just doesn't bother me. They're teenagers and they're happy and excited and, yes, self-focused and sometimes obnoxious. They do know proper behavior and they push it. Just like American cheerleaders ... I mean teenagers. :D

And, as someone else posted, if it's considered a rite of passage for the Brazil youth, that's even more of an explanation for the brashness.

Line-cutting is a different story, but I've seen videos on YouTube with people's complaints about it when it's clear the kids are just trying to stay with their group. I can see how others might be perturbed by that, though.

I guess I'm just happy to be there, and unless someone is trying to spoil my vacation on purpose, I'm not that ruffled. :shrug:

Mgcamp
07-17-2013, 09:57 PM
I am currently in the airport on he way home after a fantastic 7 day stay at WDW. I can say that there were many Brazilian tour groups there and I have to say in general they were well behaved, well chaperoned and in general behaved in a manor far better than some of the other tourists at the parks. Typically the only times we heard chanting or clapping was when they were on the way out of the park to their busses. I can't comment as to their behaviour at there resort but I had no issue with them in the parks. The only problems I saw was the language barrier when a cast member was trying to direct someone to which spot to stand in.

They were orders of magnitude better than the cheerleaders that I was subjected to in March a few years ago and much better supervised and much more appropriately dressed I might add.


For what it's worth, maybe I just got lucky with the groups that were there but that was my observation.

Cheshire_Girl
07-17-2013, 10:13 PM
I have a co worker from Brazil- born and raised . She has 2 teenagers. I asked her about this rite of passage.. No it is not. It's a week with no kids fir cheap. No rite of passage. She said the tour groups get such big discounts and the packages can be paid out over months ( just like you or I planning with a tour group) so they send their kids here to get a break at home...
It is what it is and will continue to be. But it is not some cultural right of passage ... And she said even her family won't go to Disney in July and January because they dont want to deal with these groups in such large numbers

ANG
07-18-2013, 09:55 AM
It was the consensus from most people around us that they too were bothered by the chanting.

We have our first time visiting in January coming up and I seriously hope there will be none of these groups again or at least more considerate ones. Even as a teenager, I was taught to behave somewhat like locals in a different area/country (to be respectful) and not draw extra attention to myself. There is just no need for a group of 50+ to be chanting and carrying on like that in Disney World. It was a major mob mentality and like I stated above, there were times I actually felt unsafe when being surrounded by these groups. In a crowded store, the closed in walk area to Fantasmic, under Spaceship Earth during a rainstorm.

indytraveler
07-18-2013, 04:00 PM
I've stated in other posts that my problem with large groups is the line jumping. Now these are with teenagers from a tour group. Maybe 15-20 total or more. 1 or 2 would run ahead and get in line, then the rest would show up a little later.

So what happens is that 20+ people try to "catch up" to their group while passing the 10-15 people who are already in line. Why not let the smaller of the two groups pass thru and then you wait for your larger group to catch up. That is courtesy.

I'm not sure what the number of people in one group should be but anything more than 20 would be difficult to handle. Also, what we've done in the past, is just go to a different ride if we see a large contingent of kids with the same color shirt on waiting in a line.

Yes the chanting and clapping can get annoying but what I find troubling is when that group just stops in the middle of a walkway and tries to decide what to do next. It becomes very difficult to maneuver through them, and they won't move out of the way when you try to move past.

Main Street Jim
07-19-2013, 08:14 PM
Here's something to keep in mind about the South American tour groups as well.

And, I'll betcha a LOT of "American" tourists didn't, or don't, know this at all.

When it's "winter time" in North America (Dec/Jan/Feb), it's summertime in South America, Australia, and every other country south of the equator. That's their "traveling/vacation seasons". They also know that, even though it *is* winter in Florida, that it's still fairly decent weather for visiting the Disney parks.

This is why you'll see such large groups of "Brazilians" at the parks during those months.

Now, it still doesn't take away the fact that their "behavior" leaves something to be desired, but...just thought I'd post that that's why they're in such large groups during those months.

Altair
07-19-2013, 09:36 PM
So if you live right on the equator what season is it now? :blush:

Aurora
07-19-2013, 09:49 PM
So if you live right on the equator what season is it now? :blush:

Wet.

MNNHFLTX
07-20-2013, 12:16 AM
And, I'll betcha a LOT of "American" tourists didn't, or don't, know this at all.

When it's "winter time" in North America (Dec/Jan/Feb), it's summertime in South America, Australia, and every other country south of the equator. That's their "traveling/vacation seasons". They also know that, even though it *is* winter in Florida, that it's still fairly decent weather for visiting the Disney parks.

This is why you'll see such large groups of "Brazilians" at the parks during those months.

Now, it still doesn't take away the fact that their "behavior" leaves something to be desired, but...just thought I'd post that that's why they're in such large groups during those months. Except that doesn't account for the groups that are at WDW in July (their winter). In that case it's because there's a two-week school break in July.

I've also heard it's a common thing for Brazilian parents to send their kids on these trips. A rite of passage? No--just something to do during school breaks, much like American parents send their kids to camp. From what I've heard, it's the size of the groups that accounts for things getting out of hand at times. Smaller groups and a higher (responsible) chaperone-to-teen ratio might help.

eandrsmom
07-21-2013, 01:38 PM
We were there last July and are headed back next week. We saw the large groups, but they really weren't a problem. I was expecting much worse, but was surprised to find them pretty well-behaved. Of course, we weren't staying at one of the resorts that housed them, so I'm sure this makes a difference. I would not hesitate to complain if there was line jumping. If my family had been waiting for an attraction and this were to happen, we would not be happy.

GoBlueLacheta
07-22-2013, 12:07 AM
May be unjustly designated an Ugly American when I travel, but I don't blast into any elderly in hopes of getting an inner tube 3 seconds faster;)

gottaluvtink
07-22-2013, 11:19 AM
I know i'm in the minority, but i like these groups. It's disney, it's exciting, it's fun, it's awesome. and they add to it.
seeing their excitement, hearing them sing, seeing the smiles, makes me smile.

If it were just excitement, it wouldn't be so bad. It's the line jumping, the crashing into people as they walk in hoards, the overall poor behavior and the act that they don't understand. I had a group of 4 try to jump the line on Everest by coming from under the chain. I refused to let them in front of me, and they continued to push and bump me and my 18 year old daughter. I was not letting them in front of me. Funny they could say, I don't speak English perfectly. I told them, they will learn from me what no line jumping means. When we got to the loading area, I told the cast member and she escorted them off the ride! I am sorry, but I am not a fan of these people.

Patricia
07-22-2013, 03:43 PM
Yes the chanting and clapping can get annoying but what I find troubling is when that group just stops in the middle of a walkway and tries to decide what to do next. It becomes very difficult to maneuver through them, and they won't move out of the way when you try to move past.

This. It drives me crazy. :crazy:

Main Street Jim
07-22-2013, 09:07 PM
I had a group of 4 try to jump the line on Everest by coming from under the chain. I refused to let them in front of me, and they continued to push and bump me and my 18 year old daughter. I was not letting them in front of me. Funny they could say, I don't speak English perfectly. I told them, they will learn from me what no line jumping means. When we got to the loading area, I told the cast member and she escorted them off the ride!...which is *exactly* what you should do if you see this happening - not just with the tour groups, but *any* group.