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MANAGEMENT SCIENCE HELPS DISNEY PROFITS BY KEEPING GUESTS SATISFIED AND HAPPY

 MANAGEMENT SCIENCE HELPS DISNEY PROFITS
 BY KEEPING GUESTS SATISFIED AND HAPPY
 ORLANDO, Fla., April 27 /PRNewswire/ -- "As Walt Disney himself expressed, the philosophy of our company is to meet the needs and desires of our guests and to make them happy, rather than just to make a profit for the stockholders. Walt always felt that, as long as we continue to satisfy our guests' expectations, the profits will follow as a natural consequence."
 So said Al Shacklett, manager of Walt Disney World Project Development this morning at the TIMS and ORSA National Conference at Marriott's Orlando (Florida) World Center.
 Disney was right!
 Walt Disney Enterprises grossed $6.2 billion in 1991, with theme parks earning almost $3 billion of that total.
 Shacklett is keynoter for the conference, at which better than 1,800 scientific papers will be presented by Management Science practitioners and academics from all over the world.
 The Institute of Management Sciences (TIMS) is a 38-year-old professional, not for profit society, whose 8,000 members use advanced scientific and mathematical techniques, coupled with the computer to solve problems in business, finance, government and industry. The Operations Research Society of America (ORSA) is a sister organization.
 At Disney, Management Science research helps management strike the right balance between creative and financial objectives.
 Walt Disney World Challenged
 "Frequently we are challenged with researching and developing new and innovative approaches for the unique and varied problems associated with theme parks and resort developments," said Shacklett.
 Walt Disney originated the theme park industry in 1955, with the opening of Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif.
 "Based on 37 years of study and research since the opening of Disneyland, we have developed a significant knowledge base of theme park and resort operations, for which we have coined the word 'guestology' -- the study of our guests and their inter-action with theme park and resort facilities," said Shacklett.
 "Guestology" Solutions
 One of the key aspects of "guestology" is solving the problems of guest arrival rate, as arrivals can exceed capacity when there is maximum attendance at the Park.
 "Country Bear Jamboree in Frontierland is a popular part of the Magic Kingdom," said Shacklett. "Wait time used to be over 45 minutes."
 "Our Creative Design unit suggested building a new theater twice the size of the present one," he continued. "It would have cost about $40 million."
 "Through Management Science techniques, we were able to develop an attraction demand factor formula, which showed us how minor modifications of the existing floor plan could increase capacity enough to cut the waiting period to a more acceptable 25 minutes."
 Modifications allowed the addition of 54 seats to the 450 already in place, increasing the per performance capacity enough to bring about the desired wait time reduction. And it cost under $1 millions, instead of the proposed $40 million.
 Living Seas Pavilion
 Simulation, another Management Science approach, helped increase the square footage available for spectators in the Living Seas Pavilion at Epcot Center.
 "As originally planned; Sea Base Alpha, the underwater research and exploration segment of the Pavilion, was to be made up of nine modules." said Shacklett. "If we had executed that original plan, our costs would have run $10 million over budget."
 "A simulation model of the entire pavilion showed us that we could offer essentially the same exhibits in seven modules-worth of space, which saved us $5 million." It also allowed more room to accommodate Disney guests.
 Fast Food facilities
 As to fast food facilities -- the ten major fast food restaurants within the Magic Kingdom, feed thousands and hour. Each operates 12 service lanes and six registers. Work measurement studies showed how improved lay-outs could improve productivity.
 "Using the hamburger broiler masters, for example, created a lot of cross traffic and wasted motion. We moved them so that an assembly line was formed, right into the service pass-through, assuring a smooth flow of product. What we really did was adapt the assembly line techniques of a manufacturing facility to our restaurants. It has proven to be most successful."
 Afternoon Disney Session
 Shacklett will also chair a Disney Session at 3:10 this afternoon (Miami Room). Transportation Systems Planning and Parking Lot Planning, as well as "guestology" will be discussed.
 -0- 4/27/92
 /CONTACT: Pat Thornton of The Institute of Management Sciences, 401-274-2525/ CO: The Institute of Management Sciences ST: Rhode Island IN: LEI SU:


TS-JP -- NYFNS2 -- 2896 04/27/92 07:33 EDT
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Date:Apr 27, 1992
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