My apologies if today's column seems to be a bit on the
light side. But you see, I'm in Southern California right now. Getting
ready to spend the next four days fighting the crowds at the San Diego
Convention Center while I try & cover Comic-Con.
Given all of the prep time that's involved with covering
a show of this size ... Well, that didn't really leave a whole lot of
time to prep a JHM column for Wednesday. But given that I didn't like
the idea of this site's readers going away empty-handed again
... I went and dug up some of the more intriguing domain names that the
Walt Disney Company has registered over the past month.
Take -- for example -- these two domain names ...
... which are tied to the company's plans to let WDW &
Disneyland Guests -- in the not-so-distant future -- make their own dining
Copyright Disney. All Rights Reserved
Better yet, let's talk about the new Disney Weddings packages
that the company will soon be offering. Which will cover everything from
elaborate on-property proposals ...
... to honeymoons that will now allow newly blended families to bring
the kids along with their post-wedding trip to the Resort.
Or -- better yet -- how about a honeymoon package for stressed over-achievers
who don't really have the time to vacation at WDW.
On the retail side of the street, look for Disney Consumer
Products to roll out a brand-new video game this fall. One that asks you
to "Think Fast" as you try & answer Disney-related trivia
And finally ... Why do I get the feeling that things aren't
going all that well (from a customer satisfaction point-of-view, anyway)
over at the Disney Movie Club? I mean, if a division of the Walt Disney
Company feels that it's necessary to do a pre-emptive strike, take these
three domain names off of the market ...
You have to assume that -- somewhere out there --
there are some very unhappy members of the Disney Movie Club. Does anyone
know what these folks might be grousing about?
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It makes me chuckle that Disney needs to invest resources in purchasing a classic website address like THEDISNEYMOVIECLUBSUCKS.COM
If you know your product is that bad wouldnt you at least try to fix it? The mind races as I consider all of the other websites that we could create with the derivative of something (or someone) at Disney that sucks. And then I ponder how many of them Disney already owns.
I wonder if Disney is anticipating negative feedback, or if this is just standard practice for corporations these days..? I bet there are many companies grabbing these "negative" addresses for their products. I mean, really, how much does it really cost giant corporations to grab these addresses?
I think it's pretty standard Kaz...every major political candidate has done the same thing for years.
Somebody should pour through the Disney financials and see how much money they spend with Network Solutions buying URLs in the course of a year. Talk about a "best customer" award!
Meanwhile, re. "sucks" URL's...they are legion, and if anyone at Disney thinks they can somehow pre-empt all of the possible variations by buying a few obvious ones, well, I can see a "www.disneymanagementsucksbigtime.com" in the future, can't you? Talk about REALLY silly suit tricks! ROTFL!
In other news, who else sees layoffs at reservations in the future?
Tuck, such is the way of the world of customer service---if it can't be outsourced cheaply to India, automate it. HOWEVER....the thing that throws a fly in the "take the human beings off the payroll" equation for Disney Reservations is this:
There is one whole hell of a LOT to do at WDW. And a LOT of it--more and more of it all the time, it seems--requires reservations or is involved in special programs like the meal plans or is otherwise customized to each guest group's personal itinerary. Now I know that one can certainly design a menu-driven online chooser that lets you pick "one from column A" etc. etc. and assemble a trip without human help, but that's just not the way people like to DO their Disney stuff, by and large. And let's not forget that the old-commerce-universe alternative--a living, breathing travel agent who's been there/done that and can guide you with personal experience--is fast becoming extinct, too, if it hasn't already. SOooooo...even if it is a person giving "live help" via a chat window instead of a phone line, I suspect the WDW reservations experience will stick around and employ folks for quite a while yet, despite management's hopeful aspirations to the contrary.
By the way, this internal style conflict between packaging simplicity and customized personal attention has always been at the core of the Disney travel experience. I remember talking with managers and PR folks at the Swan and Dolphin when they first opened about it. They explained that the main reason they were told that Westin and Sheraton had been brought in as operators of those properties rather than them becoming all-Disney hotels from the get-go was that Disney felt a real need to learn the convention business. The reason for that was that Disney's way was to offer large groups and companies "Plan A, Plan B, or Plan C--pick one or don't come" and the Westin/Sheraton folks knew that companies and meeting planners just plain didn't want to do business that way and knew how to create customizable plans out of set elements, and that they ALSO knew, as I said, that they were there on a short lease so that Disney could watch and learn as they opened, for example, their convention additions at the Contemporary and Grand Floridian, which is exactly what happened.
Thanks for always teaching us new things and perspectives JW. Sincerely, I mean it. Thank you.
Sincerely, you're welcome. And thank YOU for sincerity...a commodity also in short supply in the world of business...and life in general.
I belong to the Disney movie club and I have had a good experience. Their prices are a little high, but Disney doesn't discount their bigger movies that much anyway. They have pretty standard practices like all the music and movies clubs. The best part about the club is you can get exclusives like Zorro, So Dear to my Heart, etc that can ONLY be purchased from the club.
I think it's hard to say for certain about the negative DMC domains without a sense of any other such domains bought out and when those were done.