Walt Disney World Streamlining Theme Park Management Structure

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Walt Disney World is shaking up the theme park chain of command a bit in order to streamline operations and cut down on managerial middle-men.

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Guest Service Managers will now be referred to as Guest Experience Managers. These managers will be in charge of the attractions, food and beverage, and merchandise sectors of each land. The next step up is the General Manager executive position, with the GM overseeing the entire land. These General Managers are just below the Vice President of each park. The goal behind this restructuring  is that a front line Cast Member is always just two steps away in the chain of command from the GM.

A Disney spokeswoman said the reorganization will not include layoffs or added jobs. The restructuring also applies to Disney Resort Hotels, Disney Springs, and Disney Sports divisions.

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About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
Contact Tom at [email protected]

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  • Disney has to do something drastic to help make it a fun place to go. I doubt cut backs in these areas will help, but I’m open to anything…it can’t get much worse. Today at Epcot, 4 out of 16 lanes open for parking resulting in long lines, only 4 security guys and a line longer than the airport for a meager bag check, and ‘random metal detector run’. If you think TSA has no personality, get into a Orlando Disney theme park.

    4 ‘turnstiles’ open out of 30, lines to get in on a slow day. Soarin’ down, Maelstrom closed, Test Track broken most of the day, it left Spaceship Earth and Mission Space. 2 rides for an entire ‘theme park’. Food outlet had many tables, but long wait as few servers. Food for price was poor quality, we politely asked for refund of meal which they did and left. Everywhere felt crowded, but it wasn’t so bad, just terrible management. Everything is about efficiency and bottom $$ line. We left and went to eat off property and had wonderful experience at chain restaurant nearby. It’s hard to get worse than Disney these days if you want a good experience. It did NOT used to be this way at all. They need to get rid of them all, and start anew. Fix issues with staffing, strollers, people brining in 3 or 4 under 3 year olds (free…and most aren’t really under 3), closing areas to refurbish or for staffing instead of ZERO new areas open.

    Sorry if I sound bitter. It’s indisputable that it’s a tenth of what it used to be at Disney World parks. It’s just so bad from where it used to be.

  • You sound a little bitter, but all of your points I’ve seen. I like your analogy to Disney to the Airport. There’s always 20 spaces for an agent, and 3 agents. None of them could care less and enjoy telling you no, or getting you to comply with their ‘orders’ to control the crowds.

    The parks are overcrowded, not built to be fun, but only profitable and they cut staff most of the year to match the crowd.

    I doubt the restructuring make a difference one way or the other. None at this level get to make the choices of the things you’re concerned about. I have friends who are manager CMs and it’s glaring to them as well how there’s not time for service or making a good time. And just trying to meet basic safety and keep from getting in trouble is a challenge most days.

  • I think you should have gotten a park map. There are quite a few attractions at EPCOT. 34 attractions, actually, so 3 were closed but there were still 31 attractions for you to visit. Get a times guide too, it will show you all of the shows in each country, too.
    Not sure what you think families would be doing with their little ones on vacation. It’s a family vacation at a family theme park. One would expect that there would be young children. Do you really think Disney would stop letting young children in the parks?
    Closing areas for refurbishment with zero new areas open… How would they open a new area before it has been refurbished? They can’t really open the new Pixarland, for example, before it has been completed and without closing down the current attractions in the area.

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