The Secretary of Veterans Affairs told reporters on Monday that “wait lines” for treatment at the VA should not be used as a metric to measure the performance of the problem-plagued organization.
Secretary Robert McDonald compared wait times at the VA, which have led to veteran fatalities, to the amount of time one would spend in line at a Disney theme park, waiting to go on a ride:
“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.”
Independent Journal Review reached out to the Disney Corporation for comment on the assertion that it did not measure wait lines.
A Disney Theme Parks spokesperson responded by phone to deny this claim:
"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."
The spokesperson added:
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."
When asked why the VA Secretary would use their company as an example for wait lines, the Disney spokesperson said:
“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.”
McDonald was quickly condemned for his comments in the media and by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.
After Disney's reaction, it seems the VA will continue to remain the least happy place on earth.