Allen On Travel

A 30 year veteran of world travel (but knows nil about Orlando-area attractions), Will Allen III writes about his weekly odysseys by air on business and how the airlines rob him--and you--of time, the most precious commodity on earth. Time: It's all we have, and the airlines routinely take it from us. This blog challenges the airlines to keep their basic promises.

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Location: Raleigh, North Carolina, United States

Born 1948 in Kinston, NC and raised there in beautiful eastern North Carolina, I now live in Raleigh and commute around the country and the world.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Disney Postscript
Part 4

Our Walt Disney World vacation over, these reflections on the experience stick in our minds:

1. We were chided for traveling over the Christmas holidays to the Orlando area, perhaps the busiest time of the year. But the "best" and "worst" times to visit are less relevant when you have kids in school like we do. After all, that's why they are called "holidays." It's when we all take time off. Our choices were what they were based on school schedules, plain and simple. Disney and the supporting travel providers have a responsibility to deliver during the busy times. And that brings me to point two:

2. Any service organization has only one service standard, not one for "normal" times and another, lesser one for busy times. They should manage to achieve the same high standard at all times, but in practice they are ONLY as good as the standard they achieve during the busy times. Disney and the surrounding infrastructure that lives off Disney did not perform well this past week. There are no acceptable EXCUSES for having failed in providing good service, but there are certainly many REASONS, chief among them putting greed ahead of making good on the promises they marketed to children. Yet plenty of people wrote to make excuses for Disney or criticized me for taking my family there over the holidays. Which brings me to the final point:

3. Nothing I've written touched a nerve in the American psyche like the topic of Disney. Such emotion! I inadvertently engendered anger in some and angst in others, and it attracted its share of kooks as well. One vilification, for example, came from self-styled "Terry Wrist" (get it? "terror-ist?") who hides behind an anonymous nihilist blog with no blog posts called NullVoidWaste that doesn't even reveal a profile. Many, including the cowardly Mr. "Wrist," didn't even read my blog posts completely, with the consequence that they inaccurately cited inaccuracies. Ah, the irony!

My new year's resolution is to stick to business travel.

Happy 2007!


Blogger niteowl1212 said...

"Lastly, despite the astonishing crowds, I tip my hat respectfully to the Disney management on two counts: They have hired some of the friendliest people on earth, and they have made their ride management world-class examples of efficiency. These two factors did not negate the effect of over-crowding, but it sure made the crowds easier to take".

You left this comment in part 3.
And the following comment in part 4.

"Disney and the surrounding infrastructure that lives off Disney did not perform well this past week. There are no acceptable EXCUSES for having failed in providing good service",

1/01/2007 4:24 PM  
Blogger William A. Allen III said...

To niteowl1212:

There is no conflict between the two remarks. I do tip my hat to Disney for hiring nice people and for managing their rides (once you are finally on them), but certainly not for grossly overselling the capacity of their parks, a point I made abundantly clear.

Thanks for commenting.

1/01/2007 8:44 PM  
Blogger Regina said...

Amen to all your observations. If Disney sells tickets restricted to a 2-week window, as you mentioned, they certainly have the computer and MBA- power to figure out how many people are likely to show up at various times and either accommodate them or cut off ticket sales- but they don't.

I have a Board meeting of my professional society scheduled before our regular 3-day Spring Meeting at WDW. Not only is my husband not coming with me to this one, but I'm going in for the Board meeting only and flying out again. I plan to minimize my involvement with the Disney Machine.

I took my son to WDW at his insistence when he was 7. He's now 22 and has visited a half-dozen countries outside the US, but his attitude after that trip was, "We went to Disney World, we had a good time and we don't need to go again". Hopefully your kids will feel the same way.

1/02/2007 10:39 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

I have enjoyed reading your blog, and it just reassures me in the way I plan our WDW trips. I have been 3 times in the past three years with each year getting better and better. The next time you go, if you do, I must recommend
I will never go without TGM!

I am glad in the end you seemed to come around. For my family, WDW is the best place to visit.

Just sharing...

2/25/2007 6:59 PM  

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