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Why Walt Disney World is known as the Magic Kingdom



Walt Disney World Resort covers a total of 30,500 acres, or about 47 square miles, about twice the size of Manhattan. Four theme parks, 2 water parks, 6 golf courses, a sports complex, auto race track, 20 hotels and a variety of shopping/dining venues sit on the property. It is the largest theme park resort in the world.  Last year, 42.9 million people came to experience the magic.

The “magic” of material handling keeps Walt Disney World functioning, and its supply chain efficiency keeps Mickey on his toes.  From 8 warehouses, everything from retail merchandise, general supplies and food is distributed through-out the park….all underground! Three shifts a day, 365 days a year.

Disney has been on a quest during the last few years to improve its supply chain. In an interview with Information Week, Bill Patrizio, senior VP of strategic sourcing and procurement for Disney said, “As a distributor of entertainment in many forms, Disney puts a lot of focus on its supply chain. Seven years ago, Disney established the Strategic, Sourcing and Procurement organization in pursuit of operational effectiveness through the smart application of supply-chain management. Executive management recognizes that world-class companies at all levels must adopt the culture of operating effectiveness and efficiencies.” Patrizio points out that “the traditional supply chains we’ve known will become subject to future reinvention.”

Jeff Bethel, director of distribution services,
told MHEDA Edge that Disney rolled out a reinvented supply system in Spring 2007, though the details were kept under ears…err, wraps.

For a fascinating history of Walt Disney World, check out www.mouseplanet.com

In the meantime, here are some Disney Distribution Data…

• DW’s costuming department contains 2.5 million garments.

• 69 tons of laundry, including 32,000 costumes, is cleaned every day. That’s 1M pounds per week.

• An Automated Vacuum Assisted Collection system moves garbage through pipes at 60 miles per hour using compressed air.

• Lightweight “mezzanine” hotel rooms finished with wall coverings, bath fixtures and mirrors were built off-site, then plug-ged into hotel framework via giant cranes.

• A nine-acre tunnel under the Magic Kingdom, called the “utilador,” provides behind-the-scenes access to storage areas, offices and backstage passage to Cast Member work locations. There are many hidden entrances to the tunnels throughout the park.

• The ONLY gas-powered vehicle allowed in the utilador is an armored truck for daily cash pick-up. All other vehicles are operated by battery and are re-charged every night. Most of the battery-operated vehicles are golf carts.

• Barcodes are used for product distribu-tion. Jeff Bethel indicates there are no current plans for RFID. However, an Internet rumor points to the proposed use of placing RFID tags on children. When lost, easily found!

Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association

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