Disney’s theme parks in the U.S are globally recognized attractions known for fun, fantasy, food, shopping and more. They are also known for being family friendly, ‘inclusive’ places.
But is Disney showing the tens of millions of residents who call a mobile, manufactured, or modular home dwelling respect and ‘inclusiveness’ when they inappropriately label such units as ‘trailers?’ Or what message does that misused term send to the tens of thousands of professionals who own businesses or work in our industry? Or to those Disney team members who use that facility?
On New Year’s Day, two-badge bearing, apparent Disney team members walking from one of the two modular offices spoke with MHProNews publisher L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach about the ongoing problem with the inappropriate use of the “Trailer” posted on signage on those structures at Disney Springs, in Orlando.
As part of a longer and more detailed statement, Al Kemp, a Canadian manufactured home communities owners trade group executive director, said last week that trailers are used to haul beer and cattle. Trailers are not a proper name for these kinds of code-compliant structures
Kemp was one of several industry leaders who spoke out publicly as well as directly with Disney guest and media relations.
ROC USA President Paul Bradley concurred that the terminology was both inappropriate and offensive to many of the estimated 22 million pre-HUD Code mobile and post June 15, 1976 HUD Code manufactured home owners. Recall that Bradley’s operation has well over 10,000 community home sites, so far more than that number of residents, plus their staff.
Bradley was preceded in addressing the matter with Disney by Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR). Weiss simply said:
“Disney Springs Media and Guest Relations:
Tony Kovach at MHProNews, as noted below, is correct, Disney’s use of the term “trailer” in this matter is problematic and offensive to many. Please consider the corrective steps he suggested.
Note for our growing audience of new professional readers, affordable housing advocates, and investors, MHProNews uses brown bold text for direct quotes.
On a similarly problematic terminology topic, Frank Rolfe of RV Horizons previously said the following.
Talking to Disney Team Members
Tony Kovach said to Disney’s team members ‘Denny’ and David A. Greenbaum that it had been a week since Disney officials had been contacted, and the errant and offensive-in-this-context terminology was still there on their two modular units.
Denny and David went back inside one of the modular offices. Greenbaum re-emerge, providing a direct phone number to Disney’s media relations that was hand written on a sticky note. Greenbauam also provided his business card, with the Disney Mickey Mouse image on it.
While stressing he could not speak for Disney, Greenbaum, said that he would speak to Disney media relations and management. He gave his assurances that Disney would respond.
Publisher L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach told Greenbaum that if someone had put up a racial or other slur on the side of a Disney building, Disney would have it removed in under 24 hours. So why was a misused term – deemed in this context to be a slur by many manufactured home owners and professionals – still up week after it had been brought to the Disney theme park’s attention?
After that brief explanation, and with Kovach showing Greenbaum that the provider of the structure itself had the word “modular” on it, Greenbaum said that while he could not speak for Disney, he understood the concerns over the terminology.
Besides providing his own Disney business card, Greenbaum assured MHProNews that he would personally contact Disney media relations to brief them, and again assured Tony Kovach that Disney would respond.
Food, Folks, Fantasy, and Fun for Millions…
The Daily Business News on MHProNews noted with Greenbaum that much like millions of others, our family’s personal time at Disney was routinely enjoyable.
So the issue in question is narrowly focused, as outlined above and from linked prior related reports below the byline and notices. Those linked reports have photos and more details, including the full ROCUSA, and Canadian trade association leader Kemp’s statements, and other salient points that frame the issue.
An update will be provided to industry professionals as warranted.
UPDATE 12:15 PM ET:
L Hartsfield, from Disney’s public relations called and also emailed late this morning. The email said in part,
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me this morning.
It means a great deal to us that you care so much for our Resort that you wanted to share your feedback. As we discussed, your thoughts have been forwarded to our appropriate internal partners. Unfortunately, as I mentioned, I am unable to provide any sort of timeline in regards to your specific comments…”
We have contacted the other industry leaders who have sounded off on this matter, for their feedback. We’ll continue to update industry members as it seems appropriate.
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