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  1. #1
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    Default What are you surprised that Disney doesn't do as well as it should?

    Disney is a huge, successful entertainment company that leads various industries in a number of ways. With its size, there are things I would expect to get lost, or at least things that would be frustrating. But occasionally I am surprised at how poorly certain things turn out.

    I'm not meaning for this do become a gripe session, and I'm not referring to the occasional customer service gaffe. I'm referring to constant issues in a certain area. Maybe it's by design, maybe it's poor design.

    Here's what made me ask:

    For years, we have collected Disney Christmas Ornaments. We have an 8 ft tree that is completely covered with ornaments from Disney animated films (we don't count things like Star Wars/Marvel/Pirates/etc). So, when we go to Disney World each year, we buy an ornament with the year on it, and we look for any characters we might be missing. Currently, it's Moana. We need a Moana ornament. Moana came out...oh, I don't know...TEN MONTHS ago. Sure, there was some Moana merchandise out in the parks and stores around the time of release, but there are still no ornaments. They will come, sure, but now the love has died down. Had they had ornaments (and other merchandise) out when the movie was released, last holiday season, they would have sold a lot more than they will now. This is a recurring pattern. It seems to take them a year to get certain things out. I remember months and months after Big Hero 6 came out that we wanted some general merchandise, and there was NOTHING. No action figures, no pins, no shirts, NOTHING. I know it wasn't a huge hit, but c'mon! It took a long time for stuffed animals, pins, meet 'n' greets, etc to get on track.

    I don't know, with as long a lead time as they have for these movies in the pipeline, I would think that certain merchandising efforts would better sync up with the movie's release.
    2002 - 2017 - 17 visits (POR, BW, All Stars, VWL, CSR, BLT, BC, SSR, Dolphin, offsite x4)
    September 2017 - OKW!

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  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by azcavalier View Post
    Had they had ornaments (and other merchandise) out when the movie was released, last holiday season, they would have sold a lot more than they will now.
    And I'm not saying that they don't have some stuff ready to roll upon release. They do. But I'm constantly surprised at what it is, and how little of it there seems to be for the movies that we love.
    2002 - 2017 - 17 visits (POR, BW, All Stars, VWL, CSR, BLT, BC, SSR, Dolphin, offsite x4)
    September 2017 - OKW!

  4. #3
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    I agree about the merchandising. So unoriginal and limited. I haven't seen any Yeti type cups, just the tervis knockoffs, or in some cases, the real deal. No one wants those anymore, they want the stainless steel.

    But just the WDW or ride specific items are so limited. Really surprising.

    The 2nd thing, which really ties in, is how limited the online selection of merchandise is. These days we can order anything online, and yet Disney's is limited.
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  5. #4
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    Good thread. And while I don't pay attention at all to merchandise, I'm stunned to hear that what you say is the case.

    A lot of what I'd say just falls under "they're trying to skimp on money." And as I thought about it, I really had to think hard, which is a good thing.

    • Staffing parks with seasoned, passionate employees. They just have such a high reliance on the college program and part-timers. While my CM interactions are usually pretty good, the quality across the board would be better if the people I talk to had been working on property for eight years and not eight months.
    • As JohnY has pointed out - their dumb URL's. The "go" network never took off...and it first tried to take off, what, 20 yeras ago?
    • Better basic hamburgers.
    • Wait times on hold if you have to call.
    • Speedily building new attractions.
    • Hitting that three-hour window for luggage from DME.
    • The Disney Store.
    • Allowing the continued existence of the Speedway.
    • Size and quality of hotel rooms for your $. I realize you're paying for location, but what you pay rack rate for a deluxe would get you a palatial room at a lot of other hotels.
    • Using MB technology to the fullest. We were promised plussed interactions in exchange for being tracked around the park. Haven't gotten really any of that.
    "You used all the glue on purpose!"

  6. #5
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    I feel their IT in general is UNBELIEVABLY poor! Right now, they have no incentive to up their game. I'd much rather book a room, or 2, or 3... online than call and wait for the painfully long process it takes the CMs, by no fault of their own, because they too have to deal with a "dial-up" speed system. Unfortunately, many times I try to book online, the system snags, or freezes, or errors out. It frustrates me to no end.
    Genna
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    ¸.•*¨)¸.•*¨)¸.•*¨Magic¸.•*¨)¸.•*¨)¸.•*¨

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  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendelson View Post
    [*][*]Allowing the continued existence of the Speedway. [*]
    [/LIST]
    They allow it to exist because it is a popular attraction, especially with kids.
    "Welcome, Foolish Mortals..."

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  10. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy1998 View Post
    They allow it to exist because it is a popular attraction, especially with kids.
    My kid also likes that attraction at the fair where you ride down a slide on a burlap sack. That doesn't mean Disney should have one, especially if it takes up massive amounts of real estate. :-)
    "You used all the glue on purpose!"

  11. #8
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    Agree with Genna- Disney's IT is incredibly outdated and phenomenally poor. There really is no excuse for it. Now, there is a reason for it, albeit a very poor one. Disney, like a lot of very large companies (I've worked for several and consulted with others) only sees their systems (especially the customer-facing ones) as a cost to be reduced, instead of a major component in overall company efficiency, customer satisfaction and customer retention. Most of their systems are "state of the art - 1982". They've slapped on a web front end to disguise things from their customers, but from a systems perspective, that only makes things worse as it adds extra complexity to the situation. They spent what, $2-3Billlion on the Magic+ initiative? But they didn't bother to redesign the underlying systems or database structure? No wonder things "glitch" all the time.

    Next time you check in at a resort, look around at the screen the CM is looking at. You'll be appalled (or if you're my age, you'll have a flashback to 1982).

    Steve
    First visit: Disneyland, July 17, 1955 (well, somebody had to be there on opening day!)

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  12. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by azcavalier View Post
    Disney is a huge, successful entertainment company that leads various industries in a number of ways. With its size, there are things I would expect to get lost, or at least things that would be frustrating. But occasionally I am surprised at how poorly certain things turn out.

    I'm not meaning for this do become a gripe session, and I'm not referring to the occasional customer service gaffe. I'm referring to constant issues in a certain area. Maybe it's by design, maybe it's poor design.

    Here's what made me ask:

    For years, we have collected Disney Christmas Ornaments. We have an 8 ft tree that is completely covered with ornaments from Disney animated films (we don't count things like Star Wars/Marvel/Pirates/etc). So, when we go to Disney World each year, we buy an ornament with the year on it, and we look for any characters we might be missing. Currently, it's Moana. We need a Moana ornament. Moana came out...oh, I don't know...TEN MONTHS ago. Sure, there was some Moana merchandise out in the parks and stores around the time of release, but there are still no ornaments. They will come, sure, but now the love has died down. Had they had ornaments (and other merchandise) out when the movie was released, last holiday season, they would have sold a lot more than they will now. This is a recurring pattern. It seems to take them a year to get certain things out. I remember months and months after Big Hero 6 came out that we wanted some general merchandise, and there was NOTHING. No action figures, no pins, no shirts, NOTHING. I know it wasn't a huge hit, but c'mon! It took a long time for stuffed animals, pins, meet 'n' greets, etc to get on track.

    I don't know, with as long a lead time as they have for these movies in the pipeline, I would think that certain merchandising efforts would better sync up with the movie's release.
    Hallmark has the Moana ornament for this year (Page 57 of their "Dream Book") as well as a number of other Disney/Pixar related ornaments. Baymax ornament came out in 2014 from Hallmark, again.

    It is entirely possible that Disney has a contract with Hallmark for certain movie and other characters, like they do with Universal for the Marvel characters in film. I do not know, just putting that out there.
    -Bud

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  13. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by magicofdisney View Post
    I feel their IT in general is UNBELIEVABLY poor! Right now, they have no incentive to up their game. I'd much rather book a room, or 2, or 3... online than call and wait for the painfully long process it takes the CMs, by no fault of their own, because they too have to deal with a "dial-up" speed system. Unfortunately, many times I try to book online, the system snags, or freezes, or errors out. It frustrates me to no end.
    Well, outsourced IT.. So yeah, another case where they cheaped out.


    Mendelson.. The Disney Store.. YES... I remember being a kid, and they were like a mini Disney trip. Now, just star wars and stuff I could buy at Target. So much lost at the store.

    I also miss the I10 stop. Not that I drive to Disney often, but if it was still there, I might. I'm Going to Disney World, I'm Going to Disney World..
    ===================

    2016 POR
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    2014 WDW-Offsite
    2014 Disneyland-offsite
    2014 CBR
    2013 Dolphin
    2012 POR
    2012 WDW-Offsite
    2011 ASMusic, POR

    1998 Dixie Landings
    1990's, Dixie Landings, Misc Offsite

  14. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by texas211 View Post
    Mendelson.. The Disney Store.. YES... I remember being a kid, and they were like a mini Disney trip. Now, just star wars and stuff I could buy at Target. So much lost at the store.
    Yep, it was like a taste of the parks right there in your mall!
    "You used all the glue on purpose!"

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  16. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fangorn View Post
    Agree with Genna- Disney's IT is incredibly outdated and phenomenally poor. There really is no excuse for it. Now, there is a reason for it, albeit a very poor one. Disney, like a lot of very large companies (I've worked for several and consulted with others) only sees their systems (especially the customer-facing ones) as a cost to be reduced, instead of a major component in overall company efficiency, customer satisfaction and customer retention. Most of their systems are "state of the art - 1982". They've slapped on a web front end to disguise things from their customers, but from a systems perspective, that only makes things worse as it adds extra complexity to the situation. They spent what, $2-3Billlion on the Magic+ initiative? But they didn't bother to redesign the underlying systems or database structure? No wonder things "glitch" all the time.

    Next time you check in at a resort, look around at the screen the CM is looking at. You'll be appalled (or if you're my age, you'll have a flashback to 1982).

    Steve
    Extremely insightful (assuming you know what you're talking about...I have know way of knowing) and thanks for sharing.
    "You used all the glue on purpose!"

  17. #13
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    Their IT is my biggest gripe. It is ridiculous how burdensome and poorly managed their IT infrastructure and systems are now. It is what results in all of the ticket issues and reservations issues people run into. They have multiple fractured systems that do not interact with each other. Have you ever stood there and watched them have to enter the exact same information multiple times because they systems do not transfer information? I want to just bounce their computer off the floor sometimes. lol

    My other biggest gripe is if you visit WDW during the last quarter of the year, it is almost impossible sometimes to find a pin with the current year on it. I don't want the next year's pin when I am there this year.

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  19. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1DisneyNut View Post
    My other biggest gripe is if you visit WDW during the last quarter of the year, it is almost impossible sometimes to find a pin with the current year on it. I don't want the next year's pin when I am there this year.
    Not just pins - ALL dated merchandise!

  20. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1DisneyNut View Post
    Their IT is my biggest gripe. It is ridiculous how burdensome and poorly managed their IT infrastructure and systems are now. It is what results in all of the ticket issues and reservations issues people run into. They have multiple fractured systems that do not interact with each other. Have you ever stood there and watched them have to enter the exact same information multiple times because they systems do not transfer information? I want to just bounce their computer off the floor sometimes. lol

    My other biggest gripe is if you visit WDW during the last quarter of the year, it is almost impossible sometimes to find a pin with the current year on it. I don't want the next year's pin when I am there this year.
    Well, don't forget though, IT builds what the business management allows.
    ===================

    2016 POR
    2015 CS
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  21. #16
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    I personally think their IT department or the higher ups that oversee what IT is permitted to do is sorely lacking! I also hate how Disney expects us as guests to commit to ADRs 180 days out but they don't even have everything released at that point. Sometimes we need to check for months to get everything all lined up. The posting of park hours is also a ridiculously slow process recently. 180 days should be 180 days. If they don't want to release certain things til 120 days then state that. Finally we have all this technology and apps etc yet split stays cannot be linked nor magical extras. Please Disney - we live in the 21st century...full of intelligent technologically savvy individuals - please link our info.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk

  22. #17
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    I must say that if I had started this post ten years ago, I would have put their websites at the top of the list. I used to be so frustrated with their web interfaces. I think that they have been greatly improved over the years. It takes some getting used to, but I can find my way around My Disney Experience pretty well.

    The Family & Friends part is still really clunky. I would say that maybe that's just me, but if it's clunky, it's clunky. I must have 30 people on that list, and my own immediate family is mixed in with the rest. Even if I have just gone with the others once, and my own family multiple times a year, every time I want to create a FP+, I have to sort through the names of every person I have ever gone with to WDW since the creation of MDE in order to select the few that always go.

    So, the UX still surprises me that it's not as good as it should be. However, it is just following the Flexibility/Usability principle in design. The more flexible a system is designed to be, the less usable it becomes. Think of the difference between a garage door opener and a universal remote that can control 20+ devices. Which is easier to use? But which can do more stuff, and just takes a learning curve?
    2002 - 2017 - 17 visits (POR, BW, All Stars, VWL, CSR, BLT, BC, SSR, Dolphin, offsite x4)
    September 2017 - OKW!

  23. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendelson View Post
    My kid also likes that attraction at the fair where you ride down a slide on a burlap sack. That doesn't mean Disney should have one, especially if it takes up massive amounts of real estate. :-)
    Using this logic, Disney should also close just about every attraction in Fantasyland. They all take up alot of real estate, and are loved by kids.

    As I said before the Speedway is popular. Also from an operations standpoint it is very reliable, in that one ride vehicle breaking, doesn't bring down the whole attraction. When a breakdown does happen the cast memebers push the broken vehicle backstage, and replace it with a working one.
    "Welcome, Foolish Mortals..."

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