Theme park reservations at Walt Disney World will receive some modifications for annual passholders soon. Despite that, in a recent interview, Josh D’Amaro, chairperson of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, expressed support for the park reservation system.
When asked, in this interview, about balancing the guest experience and the demand of people desiring entry into Walt Disney World’s theme parks, D’Amaro commented on the power of the reservation system. Since Bob Iger said in his first town hall meeting that he needed to meet with D’Amaro about the reservation system before deciding, D’Amaro’s words in this interview carry even more weight.
D’Amaro’s answer showed some forethought but will not make all theme park fans happy. He said. “It’s a guest experience issue. This all starts with guest experience, and having been in this business for as long as we have been, we know what constitutes a great guest experience. We know that there are certain attendance thresholds that can potentially deteriorate the experience. So the reservation system change that we’ve made is completely premised on wanting to deliver [you] the best experience I possibly can. And to do that, I’m asking my guests to make reservations, which is change. Change isn’t easy, particularly for Disney, where everybody watches every single move that we make, and if you change something that’s tradition, or the way that it’s always been, it’s hard.”
Yes, Disney theme park fans dislike change. The park reservation system has many critics. However, based on that answer, the park reservation system looks to be sticking around.
In a later answer in the interview, D’Amaro stated, “But we will never sacrifice guest experience. I have these conversations with guests all the time in the theme parks – “Why do I have to make a reservation?” And the moment I sit down and talk to them about guest experience, and how we’re continually trying to make that easier and more flexible, they completely get it and understand it. So we’re going to keep pushing on that. If we’re going to be pioneers, we’re going to keep being pioneers to make that experience as great as it possibly can be.”
That sounds like a chairperson committed to the thought that park reservations enhance the guest experience. For those wishing to blame Bob Chapek for park reservations staying around, these words were spoken without Chapek as his boss.
Whether you like the park reservation system or not, the chairperson in charge of Disney theme parks said they were necessary for the guest experience. However, if you are a passholder, the system will change for you slightly. Starting at an undisclosed date shortly, Walt Disney World Annual Passholders can visit the theme parks after 2:00 p.m. without needing a park reservation, except on weekends at Magic Kingdom Park. At this point, we lack specific details.
Do you think park reservations create a better overall guest experience at Walt Disney World? How would you solve the crowd level and guest enjoyment issue D’Amaro feels park reservations help alleviate? Please let us know in the comments below.
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