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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Bongo Did It!

When Disney announced that they were raising ticket prices again I wasn’t even remotely surprised. Some people were shocked. Those people are the ones don’t know their Disney history.

There are few things you can really rely on. Disney raising their ticket prices on a yearly basis is one of those things. If Vegas let you bet you it you’d win every year if you bet that Disney was going to raise their prices.

When it comes to reliability Disney is the Timex of the theme park industry. No matter what is going on in the rest of the world, no matter how bad things get, and no matter how bad Disney is getting hit, they are going to raise prices.

I always wondered why you’d raise prices even when doing so made no sense. When the economy is in the dump it doesn’t make sense to raise your prices. This amazed me so much I decided to look into it. What I found out was utterly shocking.

Disney as a whole has abandoned the family business mentality and has completely adopted the corporate machine philosophy. Most large corporations are driven by fear. The CEO fears the board members, the board members fear the stock holders, and management fears the CEO. The cycle keeps going through the entire organization. One thing everyone needs is a fall guy. To truly understand this you have to remember that there are certain terms that cannot be uttered in any corporation because they are deemed too offensive. Terms such as: accountability, service, honesty, compassion, empathy, and flexibility.

Profits need to maintain a certain level to keep the stock holders happy. To do this you have to always find new avenues of revenue. Adding features and services that people want is just too difficult. Instead Disney decided to do study to find out if raising ticket prices was a good idea. However, there is one major problem with that idea. If you raise prices and attendance drops you’re on the hot seat. If you don’t raise prices and revenue drops you’re on the hot seat. This is where Bongo comes in.

Bongo is a chimpanzee. Bongo’s job is to determine whether ticket prices should be raised every year. Every year Disney management dresses Bongo in a suit and walks him into a special room. In the room there are two baskets with bananas in them. One is painted black and the other is painted pink. If Bongo eats the bananas in the black basket first, Disney will raise their prices. If Bongo eats the bananas in the pink basket first, Disney will lower their prices. Every year Bongo eats out of the black basket first. This might have to do with the fact that Bongo’s favorite color is black but Disney management argues against that.

Bongo is actually used for more than just deciding ticket prices. Research has shown that he is responsible for a majority of the major decisions regarding Disney.

Now you might be wondering why on Earth, would you have a chimp decide such almost all of the major issues in a major corporation. The answer is simple! If the crap hits the fan you blame the chimp! He’s the fall guy for Disney management. In fact to survive in the Disney corporate machine you only need to remember one line: “Bongo did it!”

Disclaimer: If you didn’t already figure it out, the above is fiction. Disney does not use a chimp named Bongo to make their major decisions…although that would explain a lot.

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