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Topic: Latest: Bob Iger Responds Strongly to Congressman Markey's Criticisms of MyMagic+

Dr Hans Reinhardt
Tue 1/29/2013 10:07a
“It's not hard to jump to conclusions when a company releases very little info on a project that does include the gathering of personal information.”

The man is in Congress, whatever information he wanted he could have gotten it with a simple phone call to Team Disney in Burbank or Orlando. The whole thing reeked of political theatrics and Considering how unintelligent most representatives are I suppose I shouldn't be all that surprised by how poorly he handled this.

“Disney was asking for this kind of inquiry when they ran that NYT article. Acting like a spoiled child doesn't make you look any better.”

I wouldn’t say the response was childish. If anything, the congressional representative should have done his research before shooting off the letter. It took me less than five minutes to find the privacy FAQ on the WDW website, so Disney is right to call him out for the lazy way the letter was written and researched. The information is there to find had Markey and his staff just taken the time to look for it. Then again, he could have always picked up the phone...

“The whole reveal for NextGen has been handled so poorly its hard to imagine it's coming from Disney.”

What reveal? It hasn’t been officially launched yet.
Tue 1/29/2013 10:20a
<<The information is there to find had Markey and his staff just taken the time to look for it.>>

I disagree. What happens if someone opts out? Are their vacation returns diminished? What is going to be done with the info once its gathered?

All those questions aren't answered.

<<What reveal? It hasn’t been officially launched yet.>>

But it was announced. And poorly.
Tue 1/29/2013 10:47a
Part of Disney's problem with the reveal is that they went public with the project before they really knew what they were doing themselves. Usually, they wait until very late in the game to make an official announcement (like the not-so-secret construction of Bay Lake Tower and Grand Floridian DVCs). While these type of announcements are hardly shocking when finally revealed, Disney has the advantage of knowing almost every detail of the project by that point.

With the NextGen project (as well as Avatar), they made the announcement long before they really knew the details of the project. And when the details are hazy on public statements, the public begins to really question your intent. NextGen was announced so long ago, and we still have so little concrete information, that it's only logical to question what they're doing. We know that they think this will somehow be able to make them a boatload of money (based on Stagg's presentation to Wall Street-types last year), but we still don't know how. Or what impact it will have on a guest's visit.

Part of what makes the NextGen project interesting is that they can begin to collect the information before deciding what to do with it. This means that the program could be any number of things in half a decade, as they adapt to what works best; it also means that guests won't know what information is being used, why they want it, or how it will be implemented.
Dr Hans Reinhardt
Tue 1/29/2013 11:00a
"I disagree. What happens if someone opts out? Are their vacation returns diminished? What is going to be done with the info once its gathered?

All those questions aren't answered."

Again, how difficult would it have been to pick up the phone and call down to WDW and have the questions answered in detail? Apparently the congressman was too stupid, busy, or clueless to figure that out.

But it was announced. And poorly."

I don't disagree that Disney made some missteps, but a corporate program announcement doesn't necessarily mean that every detail will be revealed. Admit it, there are a bunch fan latching on to this story because they dislike NextGen. This uproar is less about Disney lack of marketing finesse than it is about disgruntled fans who hate the idea of NextGen.

"Part of Disney's problem with the reveal is that they went public with the project before they really knew what they were doing themselves."

I'm certain that Disney management knows what they're doing.

Specifically when did Disney announce the project?
Tue 1/29/2013 12:43p
Putting aside how we may feel about MyMagic+ and what it will, or will not, do for our future Disney visits...

The original Markey letter was a silly publicity ploy by a lifelong politician who desperately wants his name in the Boston papers to help his chances of getting the Senate seat suddenly left vacant by John Kerry. John Kerry is unexpectedly off to be Secretary of State, and Markey has been stuck in the House for almost 40 years waiting for a Kennedy, or bigger name like Kerry, to give up that Senate seat.

Markey has his chance this spring, and so it's off to the races and he used this public letter to Iger to scrape up some scandal and publicity.

Iger's point was well made, too; all of the information Markey was asking was readily available on the Disney website, or fully covered by federal COPPA laws that have been on the books for years.

Markey probably knew that, but wanted to take on Disney for the good of "the children" and his local voters anyway. And if he didn't know that and didn't spend 5 minutes looking over the Disney website FAQ's about MyMagic+, then he and his staff truly are irresponsible and/or incapable of working a computer in the year 2013.

Markey's original volley in this letter war was nothing but a local politician ruffling his peacock feathers for the hometown crowd in order to get a newly vacant Senate seat. Nothing more.

That said, it sure makes for great entertainment from here on the sidelines!
Dr Hans Reinhardt
Tue 1/29/2013 12:56p
Doesn't it? One Orlando columnist said that Iger's response was like "a slap upside the head" to Markey. LOL.
Tue 1/29/2013 1:01p
Except that online discussions have become a news unofficial or not, It is news. Apparently Universal and Disney have been testing new ride reservation systems in their parks since last August. I guess I am one of the disgruntled but curious because it is really no fun to spend a lot of money to go to these theme parks and watch as the lucky chosen ones get to "Test" this...meaning they have been able to make ride reservations, dining, and meet greets and received the fastpasses before leaving home and then being able to use their admission tickets to get more FP in the parks. They also have been shuttering the entry turnstiles for the construction of the new entry making the daily lines very inconvenient and longer for the unlucky individuals that were not chosen. It did affect the magic most recently for my November trip and just a week ago.
It does seem odd that Disney is all over the web with their expensive confusing system but Universal only became apparent to me as I excited the final day of my trip. I turned around to look at the kiosk in the very center of the entry and saw the sign for the new Ride Reservation system "Q-bot"...
And if you do not think the newest technology to market to all age groups is not a big deal , then you obviously do not have children or grandchildren. It definitely needs to become an issue and it has always been an issue since I was a child and wanted sugar-coated cereals with a toy in the box.
As a matter of fact I still want that sugar coated cereal and feel cheated with oatmeal.
If Disney is spending billions of dollars to roll this out knowing they can make double billions on their return just ask yourself how much longer will we be able to afford a Disney trip? That is what I am most worried about.
Dr Hans Reinhardt
Tue 1/29/2013 1:27p
There are other things to do in this world besides go to WDW over and over. Perhaps if the cost of visiting a Disney park becomes prohibitive you might discover some new alternative activity that you enjoy.
Tue 1/29/2013 1:39p
Good advice that I have already begun. I did not renew my Disneyland passport and only entered DCA one day for New Years with family. I still have a WDW pass only because it was severely discounted for DVC members. Took a quick trip to use up some points that expire soon. I guess roadtrip starting this new way of thinking.
I know Disney does not miss my money they are targeting many others with that new marketing wristband.
Tue 1/29/2013 4:18p
>>That said, it sure makes for great entertainment from here on the sidelines!<<

Yeah. Great entertainment ....
As the Borg .. errr ... Disney assimilate all known information into the hive mind.

I want NextGen to get bad press and blow up in Disney's face. All that money spent .. for what? Ohh ..... for OLD experiences. With little of anything - new.

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