Pension Fund (reference to my partner) warned me that I am not preparing myself sufficiently for the scale of it all. Disney’s All Star Movies Resort have 1 920 rooms spread over 10 3-storey buildings. Each set of 2 buildings have their own theme. We were in the Toy Story section. Our shuttle dropped us at the main building, which consist of; reception, a gift shop, cafeteria and games arcade. This is 11:30 on a Saturday and according to the staff they are not busy now. There are two long queues: combined check-in/check-out and guest services. I desperately want to shower. Luckily the queue is moving along nicely.
Ahh, the magic bands. It is officially still in “rollout phase” and we almost changed hotels to ensure we get these. Pretty nifty. It contains an RF tag and everything is linked to it: hotel room key, park entrances, special events and you can shop on it too. If you order in advance you can choose your colour and they print your name on it. This system works so well that you can leave your wallet in the room. There is no need to fiddle. You hold the band to the scanner, punch in your chosen pin and voila, you’ve paid for your food/shopping. Park entry required a fingerprint scan as well. As you do not handle cash, you do not really keep track of your spending … something Disney loves! Remember my earlier comment on merchandise profits?
Disney is the gold standard on customer service. They are also the pioneers on crowd control (and manipulation – more about this later). They are also – according to this hot-and-bothered soul with the questionable BMI – super efficient with air conditioning. I believe they use this to enhance sales, as they lure you into their many shops with the guaranteed promise of heavenly cooled air. Got me a couple of times. Am here … might as well buy something 😉
Not only has every shop its own décor, but the cast members’ uniforms are unique as well. It then should come as no surprise that their wardrobe department consist of more than 2 500 different designs, which make up a working wardrobe of more than 1.8 million pieces. Around 13 000 costume pieces are manufactured each year. 31 000 items are dry cleaned daily.
I think one gets hypnotised on day 1 or 2 at WDW … because for some reason on day three, you think it is cool for a grown man to wear a cartoon character t-shirt.
On average, 250 000 Guests at the Walt Disney World Resort ride the various forms of ‘mass transit’ every day, which include monorails, ferryboats, bus services and water taxis. 270 buses continuously shuttle people between the various hotels and parks, with an average waiting time of +/- 20 minutes between buses – given of course there are no “scooter people”. The system is slick. Outside every hotel/park, there are marked and allocated queues, to destinations where you can travel to. Read the signage, stand in line and in a nick of time there is a handsomely air-conditioned bus to zip you to your destination. Free of charge.
Continue reading Disney – part 4 (of 13).