On Monday, Secretary of Veteran Affairs Robert McDonald compared long wait times at Veterans Administrations (VA) facilities to waiting in long lines at Disneyland. He said:
“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.”
Probably one of the only accurate things Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has ever said, is what he tweeted after McDonald’s remarks:
This is not make-believe, Mr. Secretary. Veterans have died waiting in those lines. https://t.co/OxfT3AYzTi
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) May 23, 2016
By comparison, Walt Disney Company told the Independent Journal’s Benny Johnson that it takes customers’ waiting times seriously. :
“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.”
And, unlike the VA, Disney hopes to improve its wait-time experience.
“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 Pooh 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.”
Perhaps the VA should learn from Disney. Children aren’t dying waiting in line for Dumbo. Veterans shouldn’t have to wait in lines– for anything– including medical care. And medical care isn’t– and can’t– be compared to children’s entertainment.