I’m always surprised at the overall reaction whenever Disney announces something new. Is this just the general response to change that people have instinctively? The one thing you can count on is change so why is anything new CONSISTENTLY met with such skepticism?
We saw a many Disney changes in 2011 the most significant being:
- Interactive queue and new hitchhiking ghosts at Haunted Mansion
- Fantasyland expansion
- New Star Tours
- Little Mermaid Ride
- New Tiki Room
- The Avatar announcement
None of these changes good or bad are enough to keep me from going to the parks. Disney knows that its guests are its biggest investment. They aren’t going to implement something if it doesn’t make sense for the guest experience. That doesn’t mean however that they shouldn’t try new things. Walt Disney tried things that seemed innovative and then took them away when they didn’t work.
Its exhausting to hear the endless negativity and fear that are associated with changes. Why is it that change is never kept in perspective and people go to the extreme?
To quote the man himself:
“Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world”. —Walt Disney
“In this volatile business of ours, we can ill afford to rest on our laurels, even to pause in retrospect. Times and conditions change so rapidly that we must keep our aim constantly focused on the future.” —Walt Disney
Take the Xpass for example. This was first presented by Tom Staggs on 2/17/11 at the Disney Investor Conference and is essentially a “version of FASTPASS for their entire Disney vacations…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.”
This innovative idea has been met with mostly negative commentary from the online Disney fan community. The main concerns are guest costs associated with this xpass and a divided guest experience between the haves and the have nots that include –
- potential less space to watch parades and shows
- potential less availability of fast passes
- availability of this perk to annual pass holders
I think these are still parks for everyone and I am very excited to see how technology can enhance the guests’ experience since Walt was always interested in an immersive and interactive experience. I would like to see what imagination Disney has put into implementing this program before being overly concerned with how it would impact me negatively. If done right, this could be a game changer for all the guests of the parks.
What isn’t highlighted from the corporate meeting that was also mentioned in the presentation was “We’re also developing the means to better assess and manage guest traffic throughout our theme parks so that we can use entertainment experiences, characters, and other forms of Disney magic to help improve the flow of guests during peak periods… and drive increased utilization as a result for our parks.”
The world (Disney, Earth, and the Universe) will always be changing. Being Grumpy can only get you so far. The hope for a great big beautiful tomorrow like Walt had takes advantage of the creativity we all need to get through it all.