On Monday the Secretary of Veteran Affairs, Robert Donald commented that Disney doesn’t concern itself with its wait time for rides, and the VA shouldn’t be judged by theirs either.
“When you got to Disney, do they measure the number of hours you wait in line? Or what’s important? What’s important is, what’s your satisfaction with the experience? And what I would like to move to, eventually, is that kind of measure.”
Benny Johnson of Independent Journal reached out to Disney to get their comments about Donald’s take on their wait lines, and unsurprisingly, didn’t take it lying down.
According to Johnson, a Disney spokesperson responded with:
“What the Secretary said was factually untrue. We take wait times very seriously. We continually push the boundaries to give our guests the best experience possible. A large team of highly trained industrial engineers are tasked with improving our guest’s experiences, from transportation, to guest flow, to ride comfort and certainly wait times.
One of the things we take great pride in is if you have a wait time at our parks, your wait is enjoyable. We call this the Disney Difference. We recently remodeled the Dumbo ride, doubling its size and adding a Big Top area for families waiting for the ride. This area is a huge, interactive, air conditioned area for children to play in and where adults can relax with a buzzer they receive that notifies them when their spot is ready on the ride.
If you wait at the Haunted Mansion there are musical tombstones that will sing to you. There is a flowing honey wall at the Winnie the Poo ride. We designed animated crabs for The Little Mermaid waiting area which will interact with you and play games while you wait.
We take every facet of the guest experience very seriously. If you have to wait, you should have fun while doing it.”
When Johnson asked why Donald felt it necessary to use Disney parks for comparisons to the VA, the Disney spokesperson responded with this:
“I’m not sure. This company was founded by veterans. Roy Disney was an officer in the U.S. Navy and Walt drove an ambulance in France assisting service members directly after WWI.”
The VA isn’t remotely in the ballpark of the efficiency and customer care that Disney gives to its guests. Furthermore, no one dies waiting in line for the Dumbo ride, as many of our veterans do waiting for something as simple as a blood test.
Our veterans have more luck going on the Haunted Mansion ride than they do getting a simple X-ray done. Perhaps the VA could take a page out of Disney’s book instead of trying to compare themselves to them.
Hats off to Disney and Benny Johnson.