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Walt Disney Company


This first project of third semester I am writing is part of mine internship stay in United States. The Academy of Professional Higher Education, NOEA gave us this great opportunity to go abroad and learn something more about world tourism in practical work experience. When our school started to cooperate with Tompkins Cortland Community College and Walt Disney World we have been offered to try one of the Work and Study programs in The United States. This program which I am now attending is called Disney Work and Study International College program. This program offers us opportunity to connect internship with exchange program for students. Program is lasting in little more than three months. In content is included working for Disney property and studying with assisting of New York Tompkins Cortland Community College. After I passed phone call interview I was offered to be hired at front desk department of one of the Disneyland resorts called Yacht & Beach Club. Front desk office position contains more different roles. Mine main position I work at is front desk office cashier. This position is one of the first contacts with guest and company after their arrival. Registration of guest, certain service and assisting with answering all their questions. To be able work at this position we had to pass Fist tradition classes to learn more about Disney Company and be able to understand what their main strategies of valuable success are. Next important part of training was at Disney University where I learned how to work with their own internal software, which is used to register a guest at resorts. After that we started immediate real training at work location with one of the front desk trainers. Who helped us to go through all important information needed for self work. In six days I was able to work by myself and assist the guest to create unforgettable experience. As a part of my success in working here I can mention fact that few days ago I became to be a part of Front Desk Office trainers. In next coming days I will be helping new college students to go through the same training I had before.

This individual project is focusing on overview of one of the biggest multimedia conglomerate in whole world. Project explains most important elements of company in different department in this unique type of business. But main aim is at Disneyland where I spent already more than 3 months. I cannot imagine better place for mine internship as The Disneyland. This corporation is one of the best examples of successful tourism management in world. From my experience I can tell that Walt Disney will keep the leading positions in tourism management for very long time.

Walt Disney Company has a two main problem issues which they have to deal with. The primary problem of company is staffing which is linked with secondary issue what is internal training of company employees. At Walt Disney are the all employees kindly called cast members. Walt Disney is aiming on good relation not just with incoming guests but also with each individual cast member. They treat everyone as a friend, like a part of one big 'family'. Big challenge of Walt Disney is to find and hire the best possible candidates for their business. It is hard for them to find persons with well knowledge and qualification that will be able to immediate step into work process. Take placement of offered position and without any additional training succeed. Training issue is incumbent on lack of good internal systematic training plan for cast members. Cast members who are longer with company have no actual training which will help them to follow new strategies in Disney called Disney Basics. Although they are able to work for company their output is not on same level as output of new hired employees.i

Problem formulation
Employee turnover is continuing situation at Walt Disney Company. Cast members are not bound to company. They can change their job any time they decide to do it, but afterwards they are loosing the privileges and benefits provided by company. These privileges and benefits are part of packages. These packages are offered with work placement opportunity in company. Size of package depends just on offered position in meaning what is the importance of responsibilities. No one and nothing is perfect in this real world and thats why are everywhere occurred many different issues. These issues are not trying to tell us if the company is good or not but the quality of solving these issues create great image of the company. ii

1. How can Walt Disney Company eliminate inflow of incompetent employees? 2. How can Walt Disney motivate more people to work for company? 3. What improvement should be applied to decrease number of guest issues?

Brief overview of company

Walt Disney Company started with producing animated movies for kids and after grew into huge multimedia conglomerate. Only company income was based on movie production. When income started to stagnate they had to include or invent additional support for business. Walt Disney started to produce not just animated but also real played movies. The new earnings helped to keep company up and continue in developing of production already contained. Company started also to cooperate with new companies from same type of business.

Walt Disney Company continued with animated movie production. Creating of new animated characters ensured sustainable profits. Like was company growing the opportunities were growing with

increasing finance capital. Later on Walt Disney Company founded Buena Vista Distribution to distribute its feature movies. Afterwards Disney became one of the first American theatrical TV producers. Own TV channel was provided to show new one-hour truncated movies. Few years later Walt Disney came with great idea to build up new amusement park mainly for kids. As a best situated place Walt Disney chose center Florida. Where can be park runs whole year without any important year weather limitations. Disneyland Park started with one theme park called Disney Magic Kingdom and two resorts for incoming guests. When park opened in next coming years was company improvement incredible. People started to love Disneyland as a great vacation destination. Disneyland kept growing in size and increasing in quality of service provided. Walt Disney Company founded also Disney Vacation Club wholly owned by company. This Vacation Club offered for guest to purchase Disney points which they will be able to use every year for rest of their membership. At beginning membership lasted for approximately 50 years. Each year had members points to use with partly possibility to transfer points to another year or borrow from other members. This new element assisted families with annual visitation of Disney resort not just at Florida but also at the other parts of the world. iv

Nowadays Disneyland has 4 themes parks and 2 water parks at central Florida. Complementary resorts at different parts of United States e.g. Anaheim in California or Disney Vero Beach Vacation Club at east coast of Florida state. The other Disneyland amusement parks were opened in Paris and Hong Kong.

Now is The Walt Disney World one of the most developed multimedia conglomerates in world. Company is not aimed at one certain type of business. Wide range of Walt Disney products helps them to cross support company in all departments.

Methodology of mine project is based on two analysis and mine own experience what is also included inside SWOT and SMILK analysis. The SWOT analysis is half internal and half external. Its showing what is helpful and what is harmful to achieve the objective. The SMILK internal analysis helps to describe company more detailed. Use of analysis help to create for reader general overview of described company and explains what are the most important problems that have to be solved. As I am spending approximately 40 to 45 hours at work location in Walt Disney mine experience and own knowledge about business is growing constantly. Aim is centered at most important facts and company problems.

SMILK analysis
This analysis consists of these following elements: Service package, Market segment, Image, Logistics and Culture. The SMILK model illustrates 5 aspects and their interrelated dependency. These five segments of this model are connected to each other and every element depends on each other, so they can be used only as a whole. This model can be used to illustrate the consequences and changes and it can help us to see company as a whole, but in smaller parts.

SMILK model

Service package
Primary product
First primary product of Walt Disney Company is animated movie production. Improvement of film production lasted in many years. New incoming technologies helped with developing new modern quality of animated production. Cooperation with Pixar Company had strong effect on rise of popularity.

Secondary product
As a main secondary product of Walt Disney can be partly considered Disneyland. Partly because now Disneyland became to be second component of primary production of company. The other secondary elements connected with film production and amusement parks is the merchandise e.g. Disney stores with animated characters and also on-line internet service. Disney web page offers many different opportunities for customers. e.g. they are able to book reservations at any of Disney resorts or they can buy any of the products provided in Disney stores. The latest joined secondary products are radio stations and TV programs.v

Market segment
Walt Disney covers big part of market. They offers not just entertainment for kids by movie production but also with resorts connected with convention centres they are able to motivate not just tourist to come but also many different companies for meeting and conferences. Main aim was from the beginning at kids entertainment but with included various facilities they can motive also the adults mainly with vacation clubs.


As we cannot talk about image of Walt Disney movie production the Disneyland image is very well displayed at each of parks. When are you visiting any of theme or water parks you can tell that safety and clean surrounding is at first place. With this is connected also the most common image in world called green image. When you walk inside the parks you can enjoy tropical nature of Florida State. Surveys from guest who visited parks shows that Disneyland is very successful but there are all the time occurrences of dissatisfaction with service or attitude of Disney cast members. Its very hard to control so many employees in the all parks and resorts. If the other employees or management is not able to locate the improper way of dealing with guests, the guest is the only informer. That is why is very important to include more strict managing at places with higher amount of guest issues. And at Walt Disney World is very important not to forget about the L.A.S.T. model that is needed to be use all the time. L.A.S.T. stands for Listen, Apologize, Solve and Thanks. Employee has to listen to problem so he can find out what was the source of it. Next step is to apologize for the inconvenience of the guest issue what is followed with immediate solving of it. After is problem effectively solved is time for employee to thank to guest the he put this problem to his attention. This step-by-step guideline is very well ensuring the excellent image of company.vi

Disney logistic is based on simplicity of visit for customers. When are guest coming to enjoy their time at Disneyland they gives their 'lives' to all cast members, because they trust that they will take care of each step they will make during their stay. Everything is self provided and nothing has to be administrated by any other provider. Disneyland offers accommodation, restaurants, merchandise places, transportation any many different additional services which are situated right inside the parks or resorts. So the guest can really feel like they are at home. For to create this feeling for guest, is very important to have a very well trained employees. Many employees are for a very long time parts of Walt Disney Company what help them to be successful in their jobs. But on the other side you have to mind the evolution continuously applied in process of whole company. Long term employees have well

knowledge about Walt Disney but they need to be trained for the new procedures and how to use the new technology in order to success. In this part you can see the biggest problem of the company what is stuffing. Walt Disney keeps hiring people that need more training that company is capable to provide and that is compromising their effectivity of Walt Disneys operation. In order to eliminate this, they need to pay more attention when hiring new employees. Higher expectations will help to decrease inflow of incompetent employees.

Strong part of Disney culture is their attitude towards a customers and employees. Employees are well trained to offer the best possible service for guests. Internal training improvement is also in Walt Disney Company never ending fact. Learning and training centres are situated at each of the Disneyland resorts. Trainers take care of training lessons so they can keep with updated guidelines of service provided. If the visitor feels good in parks and resorts the success is valuable. Walt Disney is taking care of customers more then of employees. They have to care more about privileges for them. Insurance and pension are very important for each worker. By creating better work provision they can motivate more people to come and work for the company.vii

Conclusion of SMILK analysis

SMILK analysis well shows that Walt Disney is very well organized company with successful future. Strength of company ensures that they won't have any bigger problems to enforce their position and coverage at market. But if they want to keep with evolution and rise of company they will need to follow the general guidelines of successful modern company. Their attitude to employees needs to be changed.

SWOT analysis
SWOT analysis helps to better understand the company in internal and external point of view. Shows the success of company in comparing the strength and weaknesses and opens new ideas in

comparing opportunities and threats. General information of business are catching points of analysis. For more deep description of company are used different types of analysis.

SWOT model

Walt Disney Company as a third largest multimedia corporation in world is covering big part of market. In that case is competition very low. Because of high revenue and profit Walt Disney has one of the leading positions in Fortune 500. viiiWorld uniqueness ensures that popularity is still growing in every state of each country in whole world. Visitors are coming from all different continents and they are leaving with high satisfaction what warrant for company revisiting. They are trying to build the best trust of guests to company. On employee point of view Walt Disney is easy way how to start successful career. Walt Disney includes diversity as much as possible. You can find employees from all around the world that decided to stay and continue with building their futures. And another primary strength of company is that everything in Walt Disney is self owned. From the theme parks and resorts through vacation clubs until transportation. Everything service provided inside parks e.g., restaurants, attractions or merchandise belays to Walt Disney. One of the weaknesses in Walt Disney company could be that they are not immediate flexible to

acclimate with new technologies. Speed up process of improvement inside the parks is future strategy of more than this company. But on the other side change inside the company in relation with employee habits is high. Walt Disney is great example of perfect offered service for customers. Every day leaders work on new plans and strategies how to train employees to ensure the best image of company. These changes are sometimes hard to get used to it for long time hired employees. World development is never ending long term situation. Invention of new technologies and modern potential products is speeding up very fast. Every month are coming up new products and services for customers. The target of each heterogeneous company is to keep up with these changes and try to include them into production or provided service. Walt Disney is able to offer for customers wide range of available places where to spend their leisure time. But still there is a place where to grow up in building new various facilities in world. Walt Disney Company take care of employees relatively good. Offers for them insurance after certain amount of worked years with company. But rising of wages is not very high. As a really strong company they are able to offer more benefits for them.ix

Like I mentioned above the new technologies are good element of improving any of different companies. And this can be considered also as a threat for Walt Disney business. Walt Disney has to more ensure that all the new products and technologies will be included as soon as possible after their release. Walt Disney created from Orlando city one of the most popular tourist destination not just in United States but in whole world. Before there was nothing which could motivate visitors to come and spend their vacation right at this place. After was Disneyland built new amusement parks started to grow up in the city. These parks e.g. Universal studio or Sea World are the main competitors for Walt Disney Company.

The Walt Disney Company is doing very well in providing great world wide known service for customers. Their high level of the offered entertainment is ensuring that people are coming not just once to spend their leisure time with their families. When customer is satisfied the positive message about Company is passed to another people that never came before what motivates them. But still they have lots of external and internal problems that should be fixed. This can be done by new future strategies and management teams. Making sure that new generation of the production will follow the guidelines prepared in advance for great success. Company is strong enough to survive in competition with other opponents but if you want to keep the image and keep in rising is necessary to go with human development. Walt Disney Company had more than 60 000 employees. From which the significant part work in the Walt Disney World. They offer good work opportunity for everyone what motivates many people to come and at least try to work for them. The fact that they hire incompetent people with not

acceptable knowledge is causing problems for them. For to run the Walt Disney World is high inflow of employees very important as the turnover of cast members is high. By giving the higher expectations for job placement will inflow of employees rapidly decrease. They need to make sure that they will have all the time enough people to cover all departments. Their expectations should rise up little bit but what is more important is their training. They need to pay lot more attention on training development in order to gain better effectivity what will save more time and money for the company. As they are not able to get so many skillful employees that is the only solution possible to include into the company staffing procedure. Like I mentioned above the inflow of employees is very important for company. So if company wants people to come they need to give them better opportunities for work. Other companies give people better insurance and pension as Walt Disney Company, where we can see the first possible option where to improve company image. The entire Walt Disney Company has the all departments well separated. Each department has it own management which is taking care of everything individually. Just important or difficult decisions have to be approved by the higher managements in company hierarchy. As we see company wont have a problem with creating a new management group. These people will be responsible for planning the new strategy how to motive more people to work for Walt Disney Company. They have to do more with employee privileges and future securance. As you can see it well answers the second part of problem formulation. No one and nothing what exist on The Earth is perfect. All the time and everywhere occurs different kinds of problems. The same is it with Walt Disney World. They are doing very well in their type of business what you can see on very good customer trust. People are coming frequently and more often to visit Disney World with their families or friends. To spend their leisure time in harmony, this is nice offered by the Disney World. But like I said people are coming all the time at various places with different issues. Walt Disney management is more then willing to help these people with their problems. But the success is not in solving these problems but in eliminating the source of the problems. That is why the Walt Disney Company uses the L.A.S.T. model in that kind of situations. This can be very useful if they will collect all the guest issue and make and analysis. Then is necessary to pay more attention on the areas with high amount of guest issues where it was located. Afterwards the particular management will be aiming on the places with the highest amount of the guest issues. Certain procedures will be included into the areas for to raise the effectivity. What will excellently raise

also the company image and trust of customers. This part of conclusion explained how can be solved the last third part of problem formulation.

Walt Disney World is not having many problems but their attention is necessary in order to run their business on high quality level.

1. Williams, Pat, 1945 How to be like Walt 2. http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/ 3. Interview with Guest Service Manager of Disneys Yacht & Beach Club Resort Kristen Lindsay 4. Disneys First Impression and Tradition classes (with material) 5. Disneys on job training materials