Car Care–Guest Care: A Story of Flattening The Organization

I thought I would do a follow up article to my previous blog on how Disneyland Resort Cast Members were being treated with respect to parking for work. This time we’re out at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World where an enormous construction project is underway. That project requires taking over several parking lots, thus pushing guests further out in the back of the rest of the lots, or even across the street. At given times, it’s nearly impossible to find a place to park your car.

Yet right toward the front of Disney’s West Side parking lot, you find the following:

It looks like Downtown Disney is empty, but not so. The rest of the parking lot is filled with the exception of these spaces up front. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
It looks like Downtown Disney is empty, but not so. The rest of the parking lot is filled with the exception of these spaces up front. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Plenty of free parking spaces, right? But wait, there’s a sign–is it for handicapped parking? No, it’s for Disney management. Take a closer look:

Gold Lot 2
A “Gold Football” sticker means one thing at Disney–You’re an executive.

Disney Cast Members are familiar with what is referred to as the “Gold Football.” ┬áThose Disney executives who receive gold football passes are able to park in any of these spaces. I don’t know why they need those spaces. Offices for those who work at the Downtown Disney are located several lots over. The only people who would likely park here are those from Team Disney across the street. The ironic part of that is that Team Disney is where the guests are being asked to park during the construction period.

What messages do you send the guests by having premium parking spaces saved for executive staff? For that matter, what messages do you send the rest of the Cast having such premium parking spaces saved for executives? Especially during a heavy construction period where there are so few cars.

It would seem that if Disney executives really wanted to walk in the shoes of their guests, they ought to try finding parking spaces like the guests have to.

Of course, Disney isn’t the only organization who participates in this hierarchical foolishness. GM not only has its own executive parking spaces, they had their own garage. Added to that was a set of ┬áprivate executive elevators, a private executive set of floors, and a private executive cafeteria. No wonder they are so out of touch when a car needs to be recalled. If you want to be in touch with your employees and with your customers, start by flattening the organization.

And that activity begins in the parking lot.

Leave a Comment