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crazy4wdw
02-18-2007, 12:24 PM
Guy with no kids spends a night in Cinderella's Suite

The Associated Press
Posted February 17 2007, 11:20 AM EST

LAKE BUENA VISTA -- I am in hundreds of strangers' vacation pictures -- the bewildered guy in the sputtering truck at the front of the Walt Disney World parade. I'm sitting next to Daisy Duck and wearing mouse ears embroidered with my name, waving like an idiot and smiling like I just won a toaster.

That's the first place they put you when you've won an overnight stay in the three-room suite inside the Cinderella Castle. It's the crown jewel in Walt Disney Co.'s ``Year of a Million Dreams'' sweepstakes, the squeal-inducing fantasy of millions of little girls -- and my home for the next 17 hours.

Disney typically awards one random family a day with a free night in its new Cinderella Suite, but I am among a small cadre of journalists invited to stay there (The AP paid the estimated $587 value). That means I'm also grand marshal of the parade, the honorary guest in Fairy Godmother's dinner theater and the front-of-the-line guy at anything I want to ride.

I am a tattooed 27-year-old guy with Buddy Holly glasses and no children. But I'm just not that into princesses. So to enhance my appreciation, I've adopted a family with two little girls (ages 5 and 2) to stay with me.

I am tired of smiling and waving when the parade ends, and I wonder how the full-grown adults dressed up like Goofy and Minnie do it every single day. Besides that, what will become of all those pictures when they make it back to Iowa or Idaho or Kalamazoo?

The Magic Kingdom is designed so you can see the castle from just about anywhere, and the walk to our suite seems longer than it should. We are led up a far pathway, past a side door and into a small room with stone walls.

Our guide, dressed as a 17th century castle guy, swipes a card to call our elevator and takes us four stories up. The suite is brand new. The elevator is not, and moves eerily a few inches up and down when it's boarded or stopping.

Each of us is given a swipe key with our name and ``Cinderella Suite'' written on it, and before long there are bite marks all over 2-year-old Emily's. Her sister Hannah has the honor of opening our door the first time.

There are golden flecks in the floor and ornate squares on the ceiling, making the whole room feel gilded. The desk in the corner is a 17th century Dutch antique with velvet-lined shelves that Disney has retrofitted with a high-speed Internet hookup. There are two queen beds under headboard with a canopy and a fireplace that can't burn anything, but holds a fiberoptic display of flame and pixie dust.

The television in the sitting room is a mirror that converts at the touch of a button, while the ``royal bedchamber'' TV changes from a framed electronic portrait of Cinderella. There is television with at least five channels in foreign languages, an array of DVDs (all Disney, of course) and free calls to anywhere on an antique-looking phone.

I get wild ideas about that last part until I remember I don't know anyone in Paris or Tokyo anyway.

Perhaps most impressive is the bathroom, which features a 4-foot square Jacuzzi jet tub with a waterfall faucet, a separate shower that could comfortably fit three and a square toilet. Over the tub are three sparkling mosaics made of hand-cut Italian glass.

All of these things I like -- especially the mirror that turns into a TV. But I am disappointed in the minibar. It has juice boxes but no Jack Daniels.

Much of the royal family's day -- like the parade and dinner reservations -- is preset, so there isn't a lot of time for rides. Emily isn't tall enough for the roller coasters, which basically leaves the other category -- the ones where you sit in a car, ride along a track and watch animatronic pirates or fish or jungle people sing and dance.

But because we're staying inside the park and Disney provides us a front-of-the-line escort, we've got to ride something. We end up on Peter Pan's Flight and then the ride whose name Disney refuses to capitalize, it's a small world. When it's over, the girls' father and I are yawning. It's only 5:30 p.m. but we've been on the go nonstop since the parade at 2 p.m.

We have dinner reservations at Cinderella's Royal Table, a place where the Fairy Godmother and other Disney characters weave between diners performing songs. It is expensive, but we aren't paying because it's included in our stay.

Before dinner we finally meet Cinderella. In blond wig, powdered cheeks and lilting voice, she is convincing, and poses for pictures with us. She embraces my arm; I do not tell her I will later be naked in her bathtub.

The restaurant serves everything from hot dogs to prime rib, but they also do not have booze. I found out the hard way after asking for a Sam Adams when I thought our waiter said they have ``great beer.'' Root beer, it turns out, but there is no alcohol at the Magic Kingdom.

I guess that explains our minibar.

Godmother identifies our table as the lucky suite winners during dinner, and the rest of the restaurant offers rousing applause. Later, a woman stops by to ask us where we were when we found out when we won. I feel like a jerk telling her we didn't win anything, it's just that I'm a reporter.

Our Disney escort is waiting sharply when we're done with dinner, which is starting to become a pattern. It almost feels like we're being watched. The pretty girl dressed like a stewardess who guides us around reports into a hand radio whenever ``The Royal Family'' is on the move. Who is she talking to? I have no idea but it's kind of creepy.

Disney has left princess wands, crowns and Minnie Mouse dolls for the girls back at the suite. They have also turned back the covers on our beds, put out a tray of cookies and traded our barely used bathroom soap for an unopened bar. All of those are hotel luxuries I have never before experienced.

We watch the fireworks show that closes the park through the suite's stained-glass windows, and everyone tries out the Jacuzzi. Separately.

I haven't taken a bath since my mother was holding the wash rag, but I can't resist this thing. I turn on the jets for 20 minutes, thinking there's no way I'll be there longer than 10. They have all kinds of fancy soaps lining the side, and I use some shampoo that smells like weird plants and expensive salons. I finally pry myself out after 16 minutes, feeling like I'm hogging the bathroom.

At about 9:30 p.m. I press 0 for the concierge and ask for an after-hours look outside the castle. You can't really leave the suite without asking, but it somehow doesn't feel like you're trapped. Someone is posted round-the-clock just to handle our requests.

I do literally have the park to myself, but there's not much to do in it because the rides are closed. Everything remains lit up as if it were packed, and piped-in Disney music fills the air. Most striking is the number of trash cans I see -- dozens within a few feet of one another -- that I never recognized before. They blend in seamlessly when the whole place is cluttered with people.

Back at the suite, Hannah has fallen asleep clutching her Minnie doll but little Emily somehow outlasts her usual 8 p.m. bedtime. She's wearing her tiara upside-down, spinning and banging her wand on the ground in between pleas for more cookies.

She finally crashes at 10:30 in her parents' bed, and the grown-ups follow shortly thereafter. The bed and comforter are soft and thick, and I don't stay up long.

I awaken with a 7:35 a.m. call I didn't ask for, to prepare for 9 a.m. breakfast reservations Disney made for us. I spend the next hour trying futilely to go back to sleep as dad plays with the girls in the sitting room. They don't want to leave the suite, and frankly neither do I.

It's foggy outside when we emerge from the castle, and the park is already full of families just starting their day. I feel strangely like I don't belong -- like I've stayed out all night and am watching people go to work the next morning.

I already dread the lines I'll be waiting in. The mouse ears I can do without.

Goofyluver
02-18-2007, 01:11 PM
I like how he invited another family to come with him...he's hilarious...and I'm jealous!

disjmp
02-18-2007, 05:16 PM
I read your article and had to respond. This man sounds like a pig, "naked in the bathtub" comment and is obviously not a parent and completely unable to experience what Walt Disney intended his parks at their inception. You did not deserve to have this experience and the only hope that I have for you is that you were smart enough to bring along two people that may actually appreciate what you had the opportunity to do. :mad:

Another Voice
02-18-2007, 05:53 PM
and completely unable to experience what Walt Disney intended his parks at their inception.
True - but he completely experienced what the parks have become today: a crass commercial enterprise with no heart, no imagination and no soul. He became park of Disney’s huge marketing machine, just like the parks are now nothing more than one giant commercial for selling “Disney”. The parks no longer attempt to create something new, they just repackage and strip that which already exists.

“Naked in the tub” is far less crass than the roller skating tequila shot babes down at
Pleasure Island, the guy thrusting his camera in my families face when we want to look at the castle, or the “you want to see a princess, cough up fifty bucks for a meal” scam. Whether it’s overpriced “concierge level” rooms for hotel services that everyone used to get, blocking the exits to rides with shops and trinket carts – Disney has more than it’s share of porkish behavior.

The ‘Year of a Millions Dreams’ is pathetic and deserves to be ridiculed on many different levels. From Disney insulting us that a pair of slave-made MouseEars or a free churro is a “dream”, or that things they used to do every day as a matter of principle are now “special and out-of-the-ordinary”, the profound elitist smack of most dreams

Walt’s philosophy was that everyone should be treated the same. If everyone didn’t get a chance to spend the night in the castle, than no guest should. But today for every little girl that has her dream night staying in the castle, there are going to be millions that don’t. The “magic” of Disney was that they figured out how everyone feel special.

But today only the selected few are treated like that.

exDS vet
02-18-2007, 10:43 PM
True - but he completely experienced what the parks have become today: a crass commercial enterprise with no heart, no imagination and no soul. He became park of Disney’s huge marketing machine, just like the parks are now nothing more than one giant commercial for selling “Disney”. The parks no longer attempt to create something new, they just repackage and strip that which already exists.

“Naked in the tub” is far less crass than the roller skating tequila shot babes down at
Pleasure Island, the guy thrusting his camera in my families face when we want to look at the castle, or the “you want to see a princess, cough up fifty bucks for a meal” scam. Whether it’s overpriced “concierge level” rooms for hotel services that everyone used to get, blocking the exits to rides with shops and trinket carts – Disney has more than it’s share of porkish behavior.

The ‘Year of a Millions Dreams’ is pathetic and deserves to be ridiculed on many different levels. From Disney insulting us that a pair of slave-made MouseEars or a free churro is a “dream”, or that things they used to do every day as a matter of principle are now “special and out-of-the-ordinary”, the profound elitist smack of most dreams

Walt’s philosophy was that everyone should be treated the same. If everyone didn’t get a chance to spend the night in the castle, than no guest should. But today for every little girl that has her dream night staying in the castle, there are going to be millions that don’t. The “magic” of Disney was that they figured out how everyone feel special.

But today only the selected few are treated like that.

Bravo, Another Voice. You hit this one out of the park. I couldn't agree with you more on your reply. The "Year of a Million Dreams". Give me a break. I am so tired of the tv commercials promoting this farce. Oh and the "Look honey, it's only $1,600 for a week" one is an even bigger joke.

I like how they talk about the memorable interactions between Cast Members and guests. Forged the mouse, duck, bear (we ripped off) and the rides. We want you to go on vacation so you will be able to share all those memories of how great our minimum wage employees were.

Give me a break.

Thanks for a great post.

Andy B
02-19-2007, 06:43 AM
I read your article and had to respond. This man sounds like a pig, "naked in the bathtub" comment I took this as a joke. and is obviously not a parent he said so himselfand completely unable to experience what Walt Disney intended his parks at their inception. You did not deserve to have this experience Would you make it so the winners had to undergo a Disney Test. His money was as good as mine when he bought his ticket.

MassJester
02-19-2007, 06:48 AM
Hmmm, well, that's certainly one point of view. However, I like WDW. I'm not sure what Walt would do if he were in charge today.

daber
02-19-2007, 09:12 AM
I think I agree with Another Voice. Everyone should be on a level playing field at WDW. But that went out the window decades ago. The thing that ticked me off about the article, and made the YOMD marketing ploy go down notches in my opinion, is that HE DIDN'T WIN IT. No one won it that day. Disney sold it! How many little girls were in the park that day hoping they would get picked and were disappointed?

MassJester
02-19-2007, 09:46 AM
I'm not sure that Disney sold it so much as they offered press access to the experience and the reporter's organization requires that it not receive the experience gratis, and so payed for an agreed upon value. I doubt WDW decided they needed another $600 that day and so chose not to award the experience.

vancesmom
02-19-2007, 10:19 AM
I'm sorry but I don't understand people who don't "like" Disney waste their time on forums like this. Besides, I think that in the end despite sis hesitation the author of the article seemed to really enjoy himself. I know that there's marketing in Disney. There's marketing in everthing. Disney World is a place were children can first realize that dreams can come true. And adults can breifly escape the real world and all it's troubles for just a few days. It's a place to live in magic for just a breif moment. It's all about using imagination. I wish the prices were less but I also wish the prices at the grocery store were less and that homes didn't cost so much --- but they do. And as far as "A million dreams" - it's marketing yes - but I'm sure if feels special to those who do win. Ask the first family that stayed in the castle. Or a little girl that was presented with a tiara. Or just the person turning a corner and given a delicious cupcake. I bet it feels a bit like a dream to them. I know that when I go to Disney later this year. I'll be hoping that maybe I'll be given a "dream" but either way - I know that Disney World will supply my family with a vacation full of magic memories. (despite the cost and marketing)

Enderikari
02-19-2007, 02:09 PM
Walt’s philosophy was that everyone should be treated the same. If everyone didn’t get a chance to spend the night in the castle, than no guest should. But today for every little girl that has her dream night staying in the castle, there are going to be millions that don’t. The “magic” of Disney was that they figured out how everyone feel special.

Really? Is that the same Walt Disney who designed and created an exclusive Club above Pirates of the Caribbean so he could make people feel more special... The man who would personally escort certain guests through Disneyland, and creating a whole department of female ambassadors and tour guides when the job became too much for just him to handle? The man who deigned to give the first guest to enter into Disneyland the equivelent of a lifetime pass, simply for being in the right place at the right time? (Sounds quite a bit like the Year of a Million Dreams to me!)

Tell me its not that "Walt's Philosophy" that you are talking about... or are you just confused?





P.S. That would be the same Walt Disney who would fire talented artists, but keep on incompetant directors, simply because they were related to him (Ron Miller, and even worse, the man who Walt referred to as "his idiot nephew.") Right...?

ChrisFL
02-19-2007, 02:13 PM
I'm sorry but I don't understand people who don't "like" Disney waste their time on forums like this.

There is a huge difference between not liking Disney as a whole and not like the direction the company has been going in. Im sure 99% of Disney critics are here because they want change, to bring back at least some of the things that Walt did which made Disney so unique.

While I don't necessarily agree with the entire article, and I don't always agree with Another Voice, I understand the point of views and overall understand the problems at hand.

Sure, there are also a lot of people who will continue to go to Disney no matter how much goes wrong (even after total disasters like DinoRama and DCA), but there are others who know things need to change.

Keyser
02-19-2007, 02:21 PM
I like how they talk about the memorable interactions between Cast Members and guests. Forged the mouse, duck, bear (we ripped off) and the rides. We want you to go on vacation so you will be able to share all those memories of how great our minimum wage employees were.


Huh? Interactions between guests and cast members are part of what should make WDW a great vacation. I'm missing your point here (unless it was sarcasm) - don't you think a Disney vacation should be about more than just the characters and rides?

Another Voice
02-19-2007, 02:37 PM
I really like how all the ferns and potted palms come out when you write anything against Disney marketing.

I'm sorry but I don't understand people who don't "like" Disney waste their time on forums like this.
Because Disney seems unable to figure out for itself what is "good" and what is "bad". We, the guests, are the only ones left that understand what "Disney" really is. We either get Disney back, or we let the spark go out.

I prefer to think that Disney can be great again.


Is that the same Walt Disney who designed and created an exclusive Club above Pirates of the Caribbean so he could make people feel more special...
It was a club for business relations of the company. At the time had a lot of sponsorships and was very active in the business world. The company needed a place to entertain partners at it's flagship loction. Some companies have a board room, some companies have a "conference center" in Vail, Disney had his park.

Simple rule - everyone buying a ticket to Disneyland has the same opportunities as everyone else buying a ticket.

The man who would personally escort certain guests through Disneyland, and creating a whole department of female ambassadors and tour guides when the job became too much for just him to handle?
Any one who wanted a guided tour could buy a ticket for one. There was exclusion there - it was a service available on a first come, first served basis.

I like how you're angry Walt didn't conduct all the tours himself. That's so reaching for a point that it's really, really funny. I bet your scream and yell at McDonald's when the clown himself doesn't give you your Happy Meal.

MasterShake
02-19-2007, 02:38 PM
I read your article and had to respond. This man sounds like a pig, "naked in the bathtub" comment and is obviously not a parent and completely unable to experience what Walt Disney intended his parks at their inception. You did not deserve to have this experience and the only hope that I have for you is that you were smart enough to bring along two people that may actually appreciate what you had the opportunity to do. :mad:

Wow, if this offended you then you must have real problem functioning in the real world. This was a very mild joke that I thought was amusing. I've heard worse from clergy members on the religious channel. Frankly, I'm surprised your cult allows you to use computers. They are the devil.....

wdw4us2
02-19-2007, 06:38 PM
There is a huge difference between not liking Disney as a whole and not like the direction the company has been going in. Im sure 99% of Disney critics are here because they want change, to bring back at least some of the things that Walt did which made Disney so unique.

While I don't necessarily agree with the entire article, and I don't always agree with Another Voice, I understand the point of views and overall understand the problems at hand.

Sure, there are also a lot of people who will continue to go to Disney no matter how much goes wrong (even after total disasters like DinoRama and DCA), but there are others who know things need to change.

I agreee. People who have been Disney fans for about five minutes have NO idea how great things used to be and how Disney was more than a cut above the rest. This refers to its theme parks, animated and live action films and its Cast Members.

Those who feel this way are not nit-picking, we just remember how great things were before the bean counters took over running the company to the tune of the almighty dollar with every other consideration excluded.

CanadianGuy
02-19-2007, 07:26 PM
Well if you're upset that Disney gave a castle night to a reporter.. brace yourselves..

For one night each in July -- someone ELSE won't win the castle night stay, or the Mickey Penthouse night at DL -- because the winners of a Disney sponsored contest in Canada will.

*gasp* Canadians in the Castle? Call security.

----

On a more serious note... the parks have changed and not always for the better. I'll admit that much for sure.. and there are many things Disney could be doing better than they have been lately. Maintenance for one has fallen by the wayside. Burnt out lightbulbs, chipping peeling paint and less frequent cleaning throughout the park are my biggest beefs.

But a stupid contest? Really? You're gonna hang your hat on that? Ok, well let's take a look then shall we?

To argue that 'everyone was always treated equally' based on equal ticket footing in the past is a joke at best and full-out wrong at worst.

Families were selected to be Parade Grand Marshalls going back to the early days of Disneyland in California. Everyone had the chance, but not everyone got the nod.

Families were selected for private meet & greets with Mickey & Minnie going back for a long ways. Everyone had the chance, but not everyone got the nod.

How is a night castle stay any different? When you can explain that, you can try to argue with me again that Disney is treating everyday guests on different levels -because- of YOAMD and not because that's how they've ALWAYS done things.

If anything.. things have gotten better in the randomness department. Disney used to pick very nice-looking, all American (read white).. families to be the parade marshalls. Never pick anyone without kids except for the lovely grandparents (also white).

It is worth noting VIP guests have always been on a different level - and they pay dearly for that opportunity.. same as anyone with money can do. Those without money -- good luck. That's the way it has ALWAYS been at Disney.

You want to spend a night in the castle? Buy a ticket, and go to the park. You're on equal footing with everyone else who shows up that day between opening and about 10:30am.

OTOH, If you have 12500$ you could join Club 33 at Disneyland. Currently it's about a three to five year wait unless you know someone at Disney HQ who can speed you through the waiting list.

Initially THAT was for corporate partners, but eventually -- by the time of Walt's death, it was about money.

If you had it, you pay the initial fee and annual dues and you could use that facility, if you didn't - gee too bad, thanks for nothing, here's a cookie.. oh btw, that'll be a buck twenty for the cookie..

THAT is an example of inequity and treating people differently on a purely financial or even worse on a 'who you know' basis and THAT started in 1968 or 1969.

How does that jive with the "Simple Rule" ??


Simple rule - everyone buying a ticket to Disneyland has the same opportunities as everyone else buying a ticket.


That's full-on horse-pucky going back to the day the park opened. The parks were never set up as the great equalizer. Quite the opposite, the more connected you are, the more money you have, the greater the 'experience' you could arrange. You just didn't know about what the connected were getting at DL in 1955. But trust me, they were getting it.

Personally I've had some amazing behind the scenes tours at Disneyland at Disney World that were not offered to the general public. Is it fair that I got those because I knew someone at Imagineering who was kind enough to offer me the opportunity? No. But *I* was the one who knew them and *I* got the opportunity.

An honest contest with truly random winners is NOT an example of discrimination, rather it IS the equalizing force. It's a freaking contest or in legal terms - a sweepstakes.

Everyone has the equal chance of being in seat 2 of the firstlog as it returns to unload at Splash Mountain at 9:17am.

And no.. my 'dream' is not a churro. But gosh-darned-it.. if you give me one, I'll eat it and I'll enjoy it because I was surely going to buy one or five anyway.

Everyone pines for the 'good ol days'.. But realistically a lot of the things I find you're complaining about.. were present on my very first visit to the parks. If they went back to maintaining the facilities to the level they did even in the late 80's, I'd be thrilled.

But that won't happen till people complain at Guest Services in large enough numbers.

J

MassJester
02-19-2007, 07:45 PM
I really like how all the ferns and potted palms come out when you write anything against Disney marketing.



Hmmmmm, I wonder if I'm a fern or a potted palm? Is there a way to tell for certain? If I have a choice, I think I'd prefer palm. :upsidedow

I think it's very difficult to discern how an ever living Walt Disney might have responded to the changing world around him, and what that would mean for the direction of the company.

I haven't been in love with everything that Disney has done since his death, nor do I think that it has been one long slippery slope of bad calls. Just as it may be legitimate for some people to bemoan the course things have taken, it is equally legitimate for others to be happy.

I think the real mistake in a discussion like this is to believe there are black and white answers, and right and wrong points of view.

My guess is that the visionary management of a multi-billion dollar, international enterprise is a fairly difficult affair. I've seen examples of decsions and investments that I thought were great, and others that I thought weren't, but on balance--as a frequent guest, everyday fan, and modest stockholder, I'm pretty pleased.

Another Voice
02-19-2007, 08:34 PM
You're gonna hang your hat on that?
Yes, because it’s so symptomatic of all that’s gone wrong.

There’s nothing wrong with advertising, you have to spread the word somehow. The big problem I have these days is that all Disney focuses on is the message – and they ignore any sort of substance.

We get the “Year of a Million Giveways” and one little girl gets to spend the night in the castle. She’s thrilled, Disney gets a spiffy article in the girl’s hometown newspaper and am I sure we’ll have cameras following around the night Regis gets lucky. Nice P.R.

Or Disney could have taken the same money and built a really nice walk through of the castle. It would have giving a chance for every little girl to have her own audience with a princess in her very own castle. Think how exciting it would be all those girls to actually see Cinderella’s rooms and to actually talk to the princess right there in her own sitting room. It’s one thing to meet her on the street, but inside a castle adds extra magic.


That’s the real difference; it’s Disney’s priorities. Disney used to create great shows and attract people by what they had to offer. ‘Million Dreams’ is a short term gimmick, a scam that’s an ad campaign and not a real part of the park. Disney is substituting the sizzle for the steak.

A lot more people would show up for a really great world-caliber attraction over time than there will ever for this marketing event. It’s money wasted down the drain.

Frankly, I’d be happy if they just kept their free churros and cut the admission price by a buck.

CanadianGuy
02-19-2007, 08:52 PM
"A really nice walk-through of the castle"

Umm.. yeah. The logistics would be a nightmare. There simply isn't enough space.. Forced perspective a b****. There isn't nearly as much room inside there as everybody thinks.

And where does the line form? Look at the likes at Mickey or Minnie's place over in Toontown.. where you gonna put those queues? In an 800 sq foot suite up three flights a tiny old rickety elevator?

Ok if you did THAT (safety issues aside) then where are you going to put the attraction? To hold the lines, they'd have to build space out from the castle to hold the throngs of princess-meeters to be..

And then kindly old park curmudgeons would be upset they added to the castle.. "taking away from the magic."

I don't see how this would or could ever work... short of cutting space from the Royal Table dining room... which is a great place to meet Cinderella for 50$ a head I guess.

But your point is well taken.

I will say that I like the shows.. Nemo, Lion King, B&B.. those are pretty darned good. I guess they don't count?

I will also say that I was deeply saddened when they got rid of the Golden Horseshoe at DW. I miss it. But.. things change.

And yes.. I'd be thrilled if they cut the admission. But we all know THAT ain't going to happen.. So in the mean time, I will take my free four dollar churro that cost them 35c .. and eat it gladly.

J

MassJester
02-19-2007, 09:08 PM
I will say that I like the shows.. Nemo, Lion King, B&B.. those are pretty darned good. I guess they don't count?

Love those -- I liked Tarzan too. I think the quality of stage shows has definitely improved since the early 80's when I started visiting.

I will also say that I was deeply saddened when they got rid of the Golden Horseshoe at DW. I miss it. But.. things change.

I miss Captain EO (yes, yes, I know...but it was still a good show. In fact, I don't like antyhing they've done with that pavillion -- but they didn't ask me.

I do like the changes to the World of Energy (My Dad's division of Exxon put the solar arrays on the roof way back when, so I was ready to be critical of any changes). Ellen's show is fun.

I enjoyed the 20,000 leagues ride and hope it gets replaced by something equally entertaining.

The list goes on...:laundy:

And yes.. I'd be thrilled if they cut the admission. But we all know THAT ain't going to happen.. So in the mean time, I will take my free four dollar churro that cost them 35c .. and eat it gladly.

J

My feeling, and it's just a feeling not born out of any research, is that admission hasn't gone up much differently than the cost of anything else over the past 25 years. If I had to target a cost cutting plan, I wouldn't hit park admission--room rates are a good place to start for me. :rolleyes1

Another Voice
02-19-2007, 09:28 PM
The logistics would be a nightmare.
Disneyland had a walkthrough through its castle for decades.

I guess they must of had a much larger castle...

And the logisitics of having people spend the night in castle - fire codes, plumbing, sewers, two emergency evac routes, internal support for all the new fixtures - those were easier than a walkthrough?

And what about all that "innovation" Disney keeps talking about. I guess it's just more marketing B.S.

I will say that I like the shows.. Nemo, Lion King, B&B.. those are pretty darned good. I guess they don't count?
What exactly is the new 'Nemo' show except a commerical for the DVD. Disney couldn't even bother coming up with an original story! It too is an example of marketing inplace of substance - it's real easy to resell a repackaged movie, but it's a risk to put on an original show.

Disney used to take risks. When those risks paid off people would come in the millions to see the latest new and unique offering from Disney. But there's nothing new or unique from Disney anymore. It's a giant marketing scam because it's easier and cheaper to con people than it is to honestly impress them.

CanadianGuy
02-19-2007, 10:12 PM
I've been on the DL walkthrough.. Several times. I'm familiar with it. It's a tight fit. Its not (on my last visit) handicapped accessible.. and frankly.. it's kinda weak-sauce. And I don't recall meeting Cinderella in her sitting room on it. THAT is what would draw the crowds of princess-meeters.

The Florida park has no such walkthrough that I've ever seen. And I don't think there was ever space allotted for that kind of thing.

The castle suite had plumbing and electrical installed when the castle was built -- it was to be the Disney apartment in Florida. This would have been like the suite built above New Orleans Square at DL that is now the Art of Disney. Nothing was done to complete it till this year.

Innovention? I enjoyed Turtle Talk with Crush. I'm anxious to see how they do that with the Monster's Inc characters. It's kind of a break through thing when you see it in action. How about the Buzz Lightyear ride with the ability to interact with people on the internet? It's not the smoothest integration just yet, but it's a start and I think it's pretty darned interesting.

Vertical marketing across the corporate entity that Disney has now become is an unfortunate side effect. You got me there.

However.. The Hunchback live show that was at the Florida parks for years was something else. It was a re-telling of the movie story in a very grand form. Did you ever experience that? It was something else.

Disney tries something new, DCA for example, and people gripe that it's nothing more than a glorified Coney Island with glorified prices. Disney tried DisneyQuest, people complained that it was over-hyped and underwhelming. Disney tried Pleasure Island, and people complained that it was 'un-Disney". Disney launched the value resorts and people complained it would diminish the brand and water down the experience of staying at a Disney resort.

So, Disney also does the tried and true; sticking to the family themes of it's successful movies and those same people complain that they aren't trying new things. Which is it? Pick one.

Disney does do new things. Just not new things you LIKE. That's fair. But say as much. To say they don't try new things is another broad generalization that doesn't hold up -- like the previous one about DL in this thread. Disney tries new things all the time.. some work (Fantasmic) and some don't (LightMagic anyone?)

I think we're gonna have to agree to disagree on this. I guess. You have your own very firmly held opinions and I have mine. We can both do that. / and we have both hijacked this thread. (shame on us I guess)

As I've said -- I wish they'd bring park maintenance up to snuff before unloading any more new stuff. But.. I'm not running the place. So.. don't hold your breath on that "WISH."

J

manning
02-19-2007, 10:41 PM
Walt’s philosophy was that everyone should be treated the same.


That's what frost us when you have to purchase a dessert party or have a corporate sponsor to be able to view illuminations from choice places. A CM told me they get big bucks for those locations from corporations.

vancesmom
02-20-2007, 01:42 AM
The world is full of different opinions and different views of how things should be done. I guess this carries over to Disney as well. I respect that. As I can't agree with every "Disney" decision - I do not believe that the magic that Walt wanted to create has disappeared completely. I may as one of you said "been a fan for 5 minutes" - if 5 minutes equals my entire life of 30 years then ok.... however I know Disney. I know what it is suppose to be and I know that it may be different had Walt lived. But he sadly didn't and the world has changed. Money and Marketing aside - I just wish that everyone could see and appreciate what I still see. And I think that the fact that my first memories are of being in Disney World when I was 3 eating a frozen orange on main street speaks wonders. And this year I will return with my 4 year old son in hopes that he will remember the magic when he is my age. I think that's what Walt would have wanted.

exDS vet
02-20-2007, 03:02 AM
Huh? Interactions between guests and cast members are part of what should make WDW a great vacation. I'm missing your point here (unless it was sarcasm) - don't you think a Disney vacation should be about more than just the characters and rides?

But does that have to be a major part of the marketing? I just heard a radio commercial today for DL. Bragging about how DL Cast Members "perform magic tricks AND create magical experiences for our Guests all the time, especially this year during our year of a million dreams." Give me a break.

I love the "especially" part. What is different about the CM's this year as opposed to any other year? Are they nicer? Better? More Professional? How many of these Cast Members have Mickey pins on their name tags? A better question would be how many CM's know the names of all 7 Dwarfs. Even that fake Eisner couldn't answer this question when asked by Barbera Walters on "The View", several years ago.

Sure, a Disney vacation should be more than about characters and rides. It should be about memorable experiences shared with family and friends. But about CM interactions? Puhleeeezzze! More people complain about bad experiences with CM's than praise the good ones. It's just a fact of life. We expect great Guest Service at Disney and nothing less. I think Disney reminding us of how great their CM's are is a bit arrogant. It sets them up for even more problems when the bad apple upsets a guest.

After this year's marketing scheme is done, they will need another one. It would be appropriate to expect a large scale celebration of Mickey Mouse's
80th birthday next year. Right? Wrong! We saw in the case of Disneyland, that they couldn't just honor "the original", they had to make it about all of the parks. So I am expecting a year or longer campaign celebrating "80 years of Disney characters". If one park couldn't have the spotlight, then a stupid mouse ain't gonna get it either. Even if it all DID start with him.

CanadianGuy
02-20-2007, 07:41 AM
I find it interesting.

When I lived in Southern California, the Disneyland die-hards had a very 'Anaheim-centric' view of the Disney universe.

Of course those who live in Florida have a very 'Orlando-centric' view.

I live in Canada so the view of both is pretty good from here. But what I'm sensing on this thread is DL die-hards are upset. Well.. sorry.. but DL die-hards have been upset since the early 90's (and probably way before) when I actually moved to California in the first place. I don't recall one year (and this was before the internet was big) .. where Disneyland 'regulars' weren't upset about this or that.

I'm not saying that they didn't always have reason to be. But good lord, some of the stuff you're complaining about .. picking adjectives from advertisements?

Remember the.. "We're talking to Mary from Buena Park about Disneylands new 'LightMagic' night-time spectacular.." THOSE were some bad ads.. for a downright AWFUL presentation.

Remind me tho.. when they did the 25 years of WDW in Florida.. did they make it about ALL the parks.. or just Florida? What about 30 years of WDW in Florida? All the parks or just FL?

Back in 1995.. was the 40th anniversary all about DL or about all the parks? And did they celebrate 45? How was that focused?

IIRC .. the 2005 celebration for Disneyland was the first time they didn't make it ALL about Disneyland for a DL celebration.

And this YOAMD promotion is just that yes.. a promotion. But sometimes things set up for promotions become part of the long term business model (ie: Magical Express in FL) .. why? Because they make good business sense.

After all our whining and complaining about the magic - it's a business. It's gotta make a buck. So if giving away free churros and nights in the castle keeps people more loyal to the Disney brand for their vacation spending -- I'd suspect you'll see more of it in the years to come... and not just till this promotion ends.

J

Another Voice
02-20-2007, 11:23 AM
After all our whining and complaining about the magic - it's a business.
Exactly.

The question becomes how make Disney successful? Do you create and maintain wonderful experiences for many to have - or do you set up a very elaborate "dream" that only a tiny few get to see.

There has been a deep shift in the way Disney operates. In the past - let's call it through The Lion King - there was a confidence and pride in the work. Disney create something it hoped would be well recieved, presented it to the public and watched people line up.

But doing quality work is difficult and expensive. When the Big Bosses' only interest is money, that becomes the goal. Instead of creating work that they were proud of, Disney began to chase the public. They tried to figure out what the public was willing to buy and then just made more of it.

The public bought Winnie the Pooh merchandise - so we were flooded with Pooh. Pooh series, Pooh DVD, Pooh T-shirts, Pooh nightlight, Pooh snowglobes, Pooh, Pooh, Pooh, Pooh, Pooh.

Lilo and Stitch did a hundred mil at the box office - THROW STITCH EVERYWHERE! Wait a minute, our movies tanked but Pixar's are going great - GET ME A WOODY AND A BUZZ NOW!

The company's given up creating new things for people to enjoy and now only wants to resell them stuff. It's all marketing without creativity. The 'Year of a Twenty Million Instant Losers' falls right in line. Disney can't be bothered to make a good movie, so they'll throw David Beckham in tights. Disney can't be bothered to make a ride people will pay to see, so we'll con them with a chance at a cruise.

CanadianGuy
02-20-2007, 12:18 PM
Last I checked they were successful. Parks and resorts brought in more money than most other divisions..

J

Mickmse2002
02-20-2007, 12:27 PM
Exactly.



The public bought Winnie the Pooh merchandise - so we were flooded with Pooh. Pooh series, Pooh DVD, Pooh T-shirts, Pooh nightlight, Pooh snowglobes, Pooh, Pooh, Pooh, Pooh, Pooh.



How has this changed though? The Disney company has always marketed stuff with character and movie tie-ins. This is not a post Lion King phenom.

Another Voice
02-20-2007, 12:29 PM
Yet WDW draws fewer people today than it did way back in 2000. And just imagine how much more money the place would be making without all those discounts, free food and other gimmicks required to entice even the current guests to bother to show up. I mean, when you have to launch a fifty million dollar TV ad campaign to tell people "it's affordable - on sixteen hundred bucks!!!!", something's wrong.

It's the difference between honesty - providing an honest value at high quality - and today's corporate carny game. If Disney really offered a place that people wanted to see, there would be no need for free dining plans and churro giveaways.

'Year of A Million Dreams' is just evidence that today's management doesn't understand Disney. Worse, it is also a sign they don't care either.

raidermatt
02-20-2007, 12:36 PM
If anything.. things have gotten better in the randomness department. Disney used to pick very nice-looking, all American (read white).. families to be the parade marshalls. Never pick anyone without kids except for the lovely grandparents (also white).


Yeah, that first family in the castle that got all the publicity sure was a nice cross-section of America.

Look, nobody played the "pick the white bread" card around here, so it's probably best if you just not try to counter it.

Logisitics? So this wonderfully innovative magically magical company can't figure out the logistics of a castle walk-through?

And to counter the equality argument you bring out a tour you got from a friend? How it that relevant in anyway to Disney's marketing practices? (Hint... it's not)

After all our whining and complaining about the magic - it's a business.
So if Disney talks about Magic it's a magically magical pixie dust infected Marketing promotion, and if anyone else does, it whining and complaining. Brilliant.

So if giving away free churros and nights in the castle keeps people more loyal to the Disney brand for their vacation spending -- I'd suspect you'll see more of it in the years to come... and not just till this promotion ends.

Wow, you've mastered both the obvious and the irrelevant all in the same post.

The point is this isn't the best way to build long-term brand loyalty and increase vacation spending. You're argument of "it must because Disney does it" isn't going to hold water anywhere that doesn't leave trails of pixie dust when you move your cursor.

Mickmse2002
02-20-2007, 12:45 PM
The point is this isn't the best way to build long-term brand loyalty and increase vacation spending. You're argument of "it must because Disney does it" isn't going to hold water anywhere that doesn't leave trails of pixie dust when you move your cursor.
While I am no big fan of this current marketing scheme how do you know it won't work? I think it is too early to tell whether or not it will lead to long-term brand loyalty for some. It may not work for any of us jaded Dineyholics but how can we judge, at this point, the impact on a Disney novice?

daber
02-20-2007, 01:07 PM
While I am no big fan of this current marketing scheme how do you know it won't work? It may not work for any of us jaded Dineyholics but how can we judge, at this point, the impact on a Disney novice?

It's working, from my perspective. My niece loves the ads on TV, can't wait to go in Sept. and really hopes to win the night in the Castle. Now she wants me to work some magic and make it happen. So, I'll have to come up with "You've won second prize......"

CanadianGuy
02-20-2007, 01:29 PM
Logisitics? So this wonderfully innovative magically magical company can't figure out the logistics of a castle walk-through?


With a meet & greet Cinderella room? The lines would be astronomical and there is no place to put a line like that currently at the castle in Florida. That was my point. If you wanna take Cinderella meet out of that -- then I think it's relatively easy of course.

Did you read ANY of what came before in this thread?


And to counter the equality argument you bring out a tour you got from a friend? How it that relevant in anyway to Disney's marketing practices? (Hint... it's not)

It goes to the fact that who you know.. and sometimes how much money you have... has always affected how you experience the parks. Read back in the thread where someone said "Every ticket has the same opportunities in the parks" -- That's simply not true. Never has been since day one. To say that this promotion is somehow 'unequal' is b.s. It's a non-sensical argument.

Again - did you read before you posted?


So if Disney talks about Magic it's a magically magical pixie dust infected Marketing promotion, and if anyone else does, it whining and complaining. Brilliant.

Huh? When you figure out what you meant here.. get back to me.

Wow, you've mastered both the obvious and the irrelevant all in the same post.

Thanks for the insults. Try to argue the points and not be rude to the person, Mr. Magical.


The point is this isn't the best way to build long-term brand loyalty and increase vacation spending.

That's your opinion. I don't necessarily disagree with you on all points, but the fact remains.. your opinion in this matter holds about as much water as anyone else's.


You're argument of "it must because Disney does it" isn't going to hold water anywhere that doesn't leave trails of pixie dust when you move your cursor.

Ok - now I KNOW you never read what came before in this thread. My point NEVER was that it "must be because Disney does it." - where the heck did you get that?

My point was that *if* they see increases and decide it's because of this promotion -- elements of this promotion may carry on. I even used the word "IF" in the sentence you quoted.

Jeez.. I AM going to chalk this thread up to mal-contents from Anaheim. Because most of the negative posts in this thread all 'magically' live near there.

Hey.. I'm sorry you don't like how things have been run and that you think it all stinks to high heaven -- but here's a headline - millions of others don't agree with you.

Sure, theme park attendance at parks of all brands in North America are down since 2000. Maybe you missed the giant tourism DUMP that happened sometime back September of 2001? Or that Six Flags practically went bankrupt. Yah, they were doing things right....

The crowds for most theme parks have been growing steadily again since the summer of 2003 .. but yah, the numbers are still off the 2000 highs. Last I checked tho, Magic Kingdom in Florida was still # 1.

J

Another Voice
02-20-2007, 01:44 PM
While I am no big fan of this current marketing scheme how do you know it won't work?
Which of the following quotes are you more likely to hear in ten years:

"I went to Disney World back on 2007 and I had a chance to win a nights stay in a fake castle. I didn't win, of course - they'd given it to some reporter - but I swore right there that any company willing to give away such a magically magical magic prize is going to get my vacation dollars for the rest of my life!."

or

"I just got back from WDW and, like wow!, it was amazing - there's this one new pavilion called "Frontiers" that was the most increadible thing I'd ever seen. You like go into this building and there you sit outside around a campfire. You see the stars overhead and then this guy starts to talk about how humans have always looked to heavens. And then the stars start to form constellations and he talks about the dreams and wonders people have had had about going to the stars when - WHOOSH - suddenly we're at a space port, seriously I don't know how they did it but it's like one minute your outside and the next - poof. It was like magic. And so you're at this spaceport an you borad a shuttle to a space station. Man, it felt so real it was kinda scary. But my little girl, she was scarred at first but then liked it she wanted to go on it again. And then you get to station and then like WOW all over again. It's huge - and you can see the earth and the start spinning outside. There's a giant restaurant were you can watch all the activity at the base out these huge windows and its so real too. Then we saw this giant screen movie about a trip through the solar system that was so awesom my son had to buy a book on the planets. Then over on the other side they had a real video link to the real astronauts in the real space station and you could ask them questions and really talk to them. The whole place was just like - there's no other place anywhere were you could see and do so much. My kids are already planning our trip next year!"

raidermatt
02-20-2007, 01:50 PM
While I am no big fan of this current marketing scheme how do you know it won't work? I think it is too early to tell whether or not it will lead to long-term brand loyalty for some. It may not work for any of us jaded Dineyholics but how can we judge, at this point, the impact on a Disney novice?

It depends on what you want to do.

Do you want to just evaluate what Disney does after the fact, or do you have ideas about what would benefit it most in the future?

If its the former, then there is nothing to do but wait a couple of years until we can see what happened, and honestly, don't bother reading anything else I post.

If its the latter, then we have to make a judgement before we get to that point. It's true that nobody listens to us, but if that stopped us, there wouldn't be a board in the first place.

With that out of the way, I didn't exactly say it won't work. What I said was that it wasn't the best way to build long-term loyalty and increase vacation spending. That doesn't mean it will be a complete and utter failure and attendance will plummet. It means that I truly believe there are better ways to accomplish the goals than this "marketing celebration".

Disney has fallen in love with these things. They see them, along with other marketing initiatives, as the primary drivers for long term growth. This is not my opinion, this is what they have stated.

I see this as basically a style over substance strategy. My opinion is that they would do BETTER if they focused on the substance of what they offered, and then used marketing to highlight that substance.

There's no need to start listing new attractions/shows and saying they are focusing on substance, because I'm not saying they don't build anything new. I'm talking about where the focus is, and again, this is not up for debate as it has come from the mouths of Disney execs themselves. Yes, they talk about new attractions and offerings, but when they talk to investors, they have told them the primary driver for growth is marketing.

To makes matters even worse, they are making the celebrations generic in nature, jamming them in without gaps, and trying to rebrand WDW and DLR as "Disney Parks".

Like I said, I think there are better ways to go about this. If you have not opinion and just want to take what they do as the only option, that's fine. But otherwise, tell me why you agree or disagree.

DisOrBust
02-20-2007, 02:01 PM
Nope it would be impossible for a castle walk-through to be developed because they wasted all their talent on creating a place for you to eat with Cindy for the price of your paycheck!

If it generated income I bet that "walk through" would be built next week!

The whole YOAMD reminds me of a Publishers clearinghouse giveaway. The nasty part is they are praying on kids dreams and expectations for that I have really been turned off.

I also was slow going into car 3/4 but when they made 9yos adults and basterzied/standardized the restaurants there wasn't much choice.

raidermatt
02-20-2007, 02:25 PM
With a meet & greet Cinderella room? The lines would be astronomical and there is no place to put a line like that currently at the castle in Florida. That was my point. If you wanna take Cinderella meet out of that -- then I think it's relatively easy of course.

Did you read ANY of what came before in this thread?

Yes, I did, and my point is they could figure out a way to make it work if they wanted to.





It goes to the fact that who you know.. and sometimes how much money you have... has always affected how you experience the parks. Read back in the thread where someone said "Every ticket has the same opportunities in the parks" -- That's simply not true. Never has been since day one. To say that this promotion is somehow 'unequal' is b.s. It's a non-sensical argument.

Actually, unless you paid your friend, it has nothing at all to do with how much money you had. Further, you getting a tour from a friend has nothing to do with how Disney markets these "special perks", which is the point of the discussion.

Which you would know if you read, and comprehended, the earlier posts in the thread.

You getting that tour does not counter the equality argument in anyway.



Huh? When you figure out what you meant here.. get back to me.

Its English. There's only so much I can help you with in this forum.



Thanks for the insults. Try to argue the points and not be rude to the person, Mr. Magical.
You get what you give. My record of being willing to discuss the points of a discussion in a logical, rational manner is well documented on this board. But like I said, you get what you give.


That's your opinion. I don't necessarily disagree with you on all points, but the fact remains.. your opinion in this matter holds about as much water as anyone else's.
Actually, its the personal choice of the reader who determines how much water the opinion holds. So you're opinion about my opinion, is, well, your opinion. You're welcome to it.



Ok - now I KNOW you never read what came before in this thread. My point NEVER was that it "must be because Disney does it." - where the heck did you get that?
Because you continue to argue with and insult those who criticize Disney's decisions without offering any relevant arguements to support your position. You shoot suggestions down by saying they just can't do it. You counter points about Marketing strategies with a tour you buddy gave you.

You are exhibiting the traits of the classic fanboy.


Jeez.. I AM going to chalk this thread up to mal-contents from Anaheim. Because most of the negative posts in this thread all 'magically' live near there.
Yeah, that makes sense. Go with that.

Hey.. I'm sorry you don't like how things have been run and that you think it all stinks to high heaven -- but here's a headline - millions of others don't agree with you.
Never said it all stinks to high heaven, so those millions don't disagree with me.


Sure, theme park attendance at parks of all brands in North America are down since 2000. Maybe you missed the giant tourism DUMP that happened sometime back September of 2001? Or that Six Flags practically went bankrupt. Yah, they were doing things right....
I didn't say anything about the recent attendance figures, which you'd know if you read and comprehended what I posted.

I also never said anything about Six Flags. I don't use Six Flags as a bar for Disney. Disney doesn't either. They are not a tourist destination, and therefore are nothing but a minor blip on Disney's competition radar.

The crowds for most theme parks have been growing steadily again since the summer of 2003 .. but yah, the numbers are still off the 2000 highs. Last I checked tho, Magic Kingdom in Florida was still # 1.

Disney's primary competition is not other theme parks. Its vacation destinations. That point is fundamental to understanding Disney's business.

exDS vet
02-20-2007, 03:18 PM
Jeez.. I AM going to chalk this thread up to mal-contents from Anaheim. Because most of the negative posts in this thread all 'magically' live near there.

I don't live in or near Anaheim.

I hope you have enjoyed reading your own words. It's gibberish at best, but you're in Canada, so I guess it all makes sense up there. Maybe Disney can put a park in Tagamagush or Shunamacash and you'll have something to be mad about.

MassJester
02-20-2007, 03:28 PM
So, after all the fuss, thinly veiled insults (back and forth), and histrionics, doesn't this all boil down to some of us believe that the company is headed in the wrong driection, and some of us don't? And isn't really just a matter of opinion? And aren't we unlikely to convince those on the other side of the argument?:confused3

exDS vet
02-20-2007, 03:40 PM
So, after all the fuss, thinly veiled insults (back and forth), and histrionics, doesn't this all boil down to some of us believe that the company is headed in the wrong driection, and some of us don't? And isn't really just a matter of opinion? And aren't we unlikely to convince those on the other side of the argument?:confused3

In other words, Disney has taken it's place right up there with religion, politics, abortion, gay rights, the war and Christmas.

MassJester
02-20-2007, 03:46 PM
It's in interesting company.

YoHo
02-20-2007, 03:55 PM
Well, some people have been convinced, for whatever that's worth.

Oh, and I was born and raised in Chicago. I had never been to Disneyland until the 21st century.

Went to WDW many many times though.

Thanks for making a really stupid assumption though.

MassJester
02-20-2007, 04:21 PM
Thanks for making a really stupid assumption though.

I think you're really attractive when you're making personal attacks. Would you be available for internet dating? :scared1:

DancingBear
02-20-2007, 04:45 PM
With a meet & greet Cinderella room? The lines would be astronomical and there is no place to put a line like that currently at the castle in Florida.Just to add a concrete thought here (hey, I made a pun!), there's a relatively unused path that runs from behind the castle toward Cosmic Ray's. Although I don't really see why the lines for Cindy at the Castle would be all THAT much longer than the other character meet and greets.

speedyf
02-20-2007, 05:25 PM
Actually, unless you paid your friend, it has nothing at all to do with how much money you had. Further, you getting a tour from a friend has nothing to do with how Disney markets these "special perks", which is the point of the discussion.


I've enjoyed the banter back and forth between CanadianGuy and AnotherVoice. Excellent points on both sides.

About this "special perks" stuff....I have not seen one person argue the point about certain families being picked to be grand marshalls in the parades prior to this YOAMD. If every person that buys a ticket is equal and no one is supposed to get special perks, then why choose a random family to be in the parades?

Why does (pre-YOAMD) my family ask me how we could have been selected to be the family in the parade, and I have to look at them and say..."I guess it was just their lucky day"?

If the argument is equality for all who pay to enter the park, then compare the equality of that "perk" that has been going on for many years before all the promotions and the "perk" of YOAMD. What's the difference?

Speed :teleport:

raidermatt
02-20-2007, 05:56 PM
To me, its one thing to do things like that. Pick a family at random for something, be it a parade marshall, riding in the front of the monorail, or just giving a little kid some stickers.

Its quite another to build a temporary marketing campaign around it for the purpose of growing resort business at the expense of other strategies.

I think the "equality" change is better addressed with things like EMH, character breakfasts, "special" viewing locations, hard-ticketed events that close the park early, the resort structure, etc.

Another Voice
02-20-2007, 06:00 PM
I have not seen one person argue the point about certain families being picked to be grand marshalls in the parades prior to this YOAMD. If every person that buys a ticket is equal and no one is supposed to get special perks, then why choose a random family to be in the parades?
As far as I'm aware, this is a recent development as well.

And you're comparing riding in a buggy for fifteen minutes to a thousand dollar, all night & dinner, front of the line, get your pictures in the paper, stand in the castle window and wave to the serfs prize?

Yes, some people get to ride in front of the monorail too - but there's a whole difference in scale is what we're talking about. The "night in the castle" is been advertised to every little girl in the country. There isn't a single one of them that isn't expecting to be the "special girl". To me that's a con jub using children and put's Disney on the level of cheesy "drink your Ovaltine" special coded messages ploys.

Real Disney would have figured out how to make every girl's dream come true. It's just a sign of how the company's changed.

ChrisFL
02-20-2007, 07:57 PM
Its quite another to build a temporary marketing campaign around it for the purpose of growing resort business at the expense of other strategies.

Emphasis mine and that what the big problem seems to be with people, however Im not sure this campaign is that bad. I do think most kids don't dream of getting free ice cream since they don't usually pay for it anyway, their parents do. Im also guessing that paying the $1,600 +++ they pay for the trip, one free drink, etc. or fastpass isn't going to seem that big of a savings.

Besides castle stays and the world tour, what other major prizes are there?

Its my sense that those of us who are not happy is because Disney seems to be doing just enough to get guests to visit, year after year. If it only costs a few million in advertising to get the same attendance instead of that new blockbuster ride, so be it. Add a few animatronics to Pirates then throw separate admission pirate parties to make more money, sure, sounds like a great corporate decision.

raidermatt
02-20-2007, 09:15 PM
Its my sense that those of us who are not happy is because Disney seems to be doing just enough to get guests to visit, year after year. If it only costs a few million in advertising to get the same attendance instead of that new blockbuster ride, so be it. Add a few animatronics to Pirates then throw separate admission pirate parties to make more money, sure, sounds like a great corporate decision.

Except that they could do much better by giving more substance with the flash.

Part of it is an aversion to risk, which is I think at least part of what you are getting at. If we can spend x amount and get this result, which is fine for now, why try to do more?

Not exactly what made the real Disney though, is it? Its capitalizing on what was done before, something Eisner was fond of telling investors/analysts, and while Iger doesn't say it as much, it does appear the strategy is the same.

But even that strategy only achieves its goals if the current promotion is indeed a success, which is yet to be determined. Last quarter, WDW attendance was up, but DLR was down.

Further, it assumes that year after year of this stuff will sustain growth in the coming years and decades.

That sounds riskier to me in the long run than giving talented people a chance to create and innovate.

wdw4us2
02-20-2007, 09:58 PM
Remind me tho.. when they did the 25 years of WDW in Florida.. did they make it about ALL the parks.. or just Florida? What about 30 years of WDW in Florida? All the parks or just FL?

Back in 1995.. was the 40th anniversary all about DL or about all the parks? And did they celebrate 45? How was that focused?

IIRC .. the 2005 celebration for Disneyland was the first time they didn't make it ALL about Disneyland for a DL celebration.

After all our whining and complaining about the magic - it's a business. It's gotta make a buck. So if giving away free churros and nights in the castle keeps people more loyal to the Disney brand for their vacation spending -- I'd suspect you'll see more of it in the years to come... and not just till this promotion ends.

J

The WDW 25th was celebrated in Florida. The DL 40th was celebrated in DL. There was no celebration for WDW's 30th, just some merchandise.

Then along came the 50th of DL which was celebrated everywhere and centered in WDW! Insanity! I had so many people asking me about that. They knew WDW had not been around that long and it was ridiculous to have to explain the Disney marketing logic to them.

People don't need some forced celebration to make them interested in going to a Disney theme park. New, quality attractions are a better way to spend $$ to keep people interested in the parks.

exDS vet
02-20-2007, 11:14 PM
The WDW 25th was celebrated in Florida. The DL 40th was celebrated in DL. There was no celebration for WDW's 30th, just some merchandise.

Then along came the 50th of DL which was celebrated everywhere and centered in WDW! Insanity! I had so many people asking me about that. They knew WDW had not been around that long and it was ridiculous to have to explain the Disney marketing logic to them.

People don't need some forced celebration to make them interested in going to a Disney theme park. New, quality attractions are a better way to spend $$ to keep people interested in the parks.

DL also had a 45th celebration that ended before DCA opened. There were no new attractions, but they did introduce "Believe..." and the parade of stars. Perhaps if Disney had a company-wide celebration for DCA centered in Florida, DCA would be a bigger success today.

SoCalKDG
02-20-2007, 11:57 PM
The whole YOAMD reminds me of a Publishers clearinghouse giveaway. The nasty part is they are praying on kids dreams and expectations for that I have really been turned off.


I don't see that they are praying on kids dreams. As a parent I control everything that my 5 year old daughter watches. She has no idea about YOAMD. She does know that she sometimes gets things free(pins, necklace, etc.) at DL but that was even before YOAMD. She and I also recently won FP for both parks which was exciting at first.

Of course this day at DL was the least crowded in the whole year :) thus all the FP were turned off because there were no lines(Wednesdays are a great day to go). She enjoyed wearing it around her neck, although I actually went into Cityhall and mentioned my dissatisfaction with winning something that was completely useless and that there should be an option for exchanging it. She gave me the "you should be happy there are no lines". So whats worse then not winning a prize? Winning a prize that you can't use. I guess I could sell them on EBAY as I've seen the price close to $10.

The positive things I've read about YOAMD haven't been the official prizes but the nice things that CM's have been able to do from meals being comped to special viewings of shows and private meetings with characters, etc. This is something that should always occur and if YOAMD revitalizes this aspect of customer service and continues after YOAMD officially ends then I'll deem the promotion a success.

I like the idea of the castle suite tour, with Cindi being there a big bonus. Sadly I'm afraid it would somehow lead to the same problems that the DL castle walkthrough used to have. They could always include a tour of the suite with your character breakfast. Hmm, breakfast in bed with Cindi. :love:

So for anyone thats experienced both YOAMD and at least one of Disney's previous giveaways(which were usually based on when you came in through the gate), which is better? Since I never thought I'd win one of those cars but now feel there is always a chance to win something now I'll go with YOAMD. But only because of the enpowerment they have given to the CM's. Lets hope that continues.

MassJester
02-21-2007, 01:32 AM
I saw some interesting statistics on visitors to Florida. I was struck by this as another poster earlier mentioned that WDW and DL were not amusement parks, but rather vacation destinations.

FLORIDA Historic Visitor Numbers (in millions)
Year Domestic Overseas Canadian Total
1999 51.4 5.8 1.7 58.9

2000 64.7 6.0 2.0 72.8 +24% (I wonder about this #)

2001 62.3 5.3 1.9 69.5 -4.7%

2002 67.9 4.4 1.6 73.9 +6.3%

2003 68.7 4.2 1.6 74.6 +.9%

2004 73.4 4.4 1.9 79.7 +6.8%

2005 77.2 4.4 2.0 83.6 +4.8%

2006 78.2 4.3 2.1 84.6 +1.1%

I did not see, but honestly didn't look hard, how the attendance at WDW compares year over year. If it is keeping pace with Florida as vacation destination, perhaps that is an indication of the organization's success--if not, perhaps an indication of its failure.

Do any of you have the comparable Disney stats? (I guess I do have several years of the Unofficial Guide spread around the house...but that's a lot of work.)

MassJester
02-21-2007, 01:47 AM
This may have been covered in another Thread, but it's my impression (and just my impression) that there has been a consistent history of imaginative development at WDW (I am, admittedly, less familiar with the goings on at DL, and the other parks internationally).

I haven't seen a real timeline, but since I was hooked on Disney quite young (the Sunday evening TV show in the 60's and 70's got me), it was never the marketing that kept my attention. However, I do remember being drawn back to see new things.

Is there a good timeline? If there is, I would be very interested in learning which of the developments along the timeline are viewed as really innovative and in the Disney tradition, and which ones fall short of the mark.

raidermatt
02-21-2007, 02:41 AM
I did not see, but honestly didn't look hard, how the attendance at WDW compares year over year. If it is keeping pace with Florida as vacation destination, perhaps that is an indication of the organization's success--if not, perhaps an indication of its failure.

Do any of you have the comparable Disney stats? (I guess I do have several years of the Unofficial Guide spread around the house...but that's a lot of work.)

There are no official stats because Disney doesn't release attendance figures. They give general indications in their investor calls, but that's in terms of approximate +/- %'s. Sometimes its as general as "up mid-single digits", or even just "up" or "down". This last quarter they said attendance was up at WDW and down at DLR.

There are estimates from Amusement Business that run through 2005, but they have since stopped publishing those estimates. I don't have them with me, and I don't want to try to go from memory.

But one thing I do remember for sure is that WDW's attendance in 2005 was still below its peak in 2000. If the numbers you posted were accurate, Florida in general was topping 2000 levels by 2002.

Still, just looking at Florida, you don't get the entire picture becuase WDW is a significant chunck of Florida's overall tourism. You have to look at places like Hawaii, National Parks, Europe, the Caribbean, etc. (and with international destinations you have to consider the relative strength of the dollar)

On those destinations, the only one I know about is Hawaii, and they were setting records last year for both numbers of visitors and spending.

MassJester
02-21-2007, 05:23 AM
On those destinations, the only one I know about is Hawaii, and they were setting records last year for both numbers of visitors and spending.

Perhaps, but there is the relative growth in wealth of the pacific rim at play there, and I'm not sure we want to set the bar quite that high.

raidermatt
02-21-2007, 12:30 PM
Perhaps, but there is the relative growth in wealth of the pacific rim at play there, and I'm not sure we want to set the bar quite that high.

That was a legitimate question, so I went back and looked at the 2005 Hawaii Tourism report:
2005 was a record-breaking year for Hawaii's visitor industry in terms of total visitor expenditures, visitor days, and arrivals.

Visitor expenditures reached $11.9 billion in 2005, a 9.6 percent increase from 2004. Expenditures increased from all markets, except the European market. Total visitor days increased 7.7 percent to 68.2 million days in 2005. This represents a daily visitor census of 185,445 (average number of visitors in Hawaii in a typical day). A total of nearly 7.5 million visitors came to Hawaii in 2005, of which 99.0 percent came by air. 2005 was the first year that visitor arrivals broke the 7 million mark.

This table shows changes in 2005 vs. 2004.

TOTAL VISITOR DAYS 68,241,986 63,343,173 7.7
Visitor arrivals by air 67,687,479 62,761,989 7.8
U.S. West 28,860,468 26,419,258 9.2
U.S. East 19,902,690 18,500,060 7.6
Japan 8,669,558 8,599,847 0.8
Canada 3,291,654 2,851,218 15.4
Europe 1,385,956 1,419,042 -2.3
Oceania 1,148,678 1,158,457 -0.8
Other Asia 824,928 761,834 8.3
Latin America 168,950 150,931 11.9
Other 3,434,597 2,901,341 18.4
Visitor arrivals by cruise ships 554,507 581,184 -4.6

The table may not look too great here, but basically it shows that the primary driver of the growth is the US West and US East. Japan was only up .8%. "Other Asia" was up 8.3%, but that only represented a raw number of about 63k days, a very small portion of the overall visitation number. Oceania is Australia and New Zealand (not exactly what Orwell had in mind I think).

What we seem to be seeing is not that WDW is doing "badly", but when you look at numbers like these, as well as the overall Florida number, it does at least suggest that they aren't doing as well as they could be. That does raise questions about the future.

DisOrBust
02-22-2007, 09:40 AM
I congratulate you that you can screen everything your 5yo watches. Having a 4,9 an 11 yo I think its safe to leave the Disney channel on without being "screened". The YOAMD is constantly advertised and promoted. My 2 older DDs were completely pumped for the YOAMD when went in November after I had to burst their bubble many times telling them chances are very slim and the Cindy suite isn't even done yet. They were still very hopeful and I didn't like playing the heavy. Every day they would dress up their "baby" sister so she would look really cute and get "picked'. They got nada during our 12 days. It was a hard lesson learned. I got the benifit of not having to get my 4yo ready everyday,lol! Was they a major blow in their lives,no, but it did make me as Mom feel bad for my kids especially when other kids would tell them about the Fastpasses or wear the Ears at the bus stop. Not something I want to experience on vacation. If they were doing the giveaways without the promotion, where they were truely a surprise, that would be the pixie dust of the past everyone is so missing and angry thsats gone.

FYI: My first trip to DL was in 71 where I was "given" my first pair of ears. Although it might have been that the CM didn't understand my parents thick german accent,lol!

Peter Pirate 2
02-22-2007, 10:54 AM
Great post DisOrBust. This really highlights what's wrong with these promotions. Appealing to the base sensory feelings of the guests and particularily the children of guests is not magical nor is it even very nice.

Many, many people are obviously impressed by great marketing strategies but then again Wal Mart is always busy and chain restaurants are putting mom and pop out of business so I guess it should come as no surprise.

I find it sad that Eisner brought Disney down to a number crunching company but at least he did institute some things that were still quality oriented (Disney on Broadway, The Cruise Line) but Iger seems content to just market, market, market ... But I guess we've got nothing to worry about, after all he did such a great job with ABC (hey Bob, Desperate Housewives and Lost are both hits, how come you were against them?:happytv: ).

I hear next year's promotion Is "Year of Lighter Wallet".
pirate:

exDS vet
02-22-2007, 01:18 PM
Earlier on this thread I mentioned the latest radio ads for DL talking about how the cm's create magic for guests everyday and that's part of the YOAMD.

The latest Disneyland TV ad focuses on "behind the scenes" at the park when it's closed and how the CM's prepare everyday for the YOAMD. I guess it's their sequel to the ads that feature those two dogs alone in the park. That ad was cute. This one with the walking gingerbread cookies is lame.

If they want to focus on CM's preparing to create magic, perhaps they should show the maintenance workers in their blue jackets and coveralls. Show what really goes on behind the scenes.

Perhaps this is the focus on Disney's ads because they don't want to feature people being granted "dreams" and generate massive complaints here that they arent diverse in their advertising. A computer generated cookie, magically growing flower beds, et. all. are safe.

One question for the east coasters. Do they have similar ads for WDW. I know they did the dog ad for both parks, I am just wondering if they did this the same way. We also get the "Wow only $1,600 for a week" one too. And our radio ads have the "adults play for the kids price" with a hundred restrictions added.

thefirebuilds
02-22-2007, 03:18 PM
This thread is pretty long, but did anyone point out that the real walt disney would have had "Another Voice" tried in congress for his communist "we're all the same" views?! :lmao:

we also have the awful gingerbread cookies and 1600$/week commercial. they both stink, but i havent seen the dog one. bring back kelsey grammar...

thefirebuilds
02-22-2007, 03:40 PM
It is worth noting VIP guests have always been on a different level - and they pay dearly for that opportunity.. same as anyone with money can do. Those without money -- good luck. That's the way it has ALWAYS been at Disney.

You want to spend a night in the castle? Buy a ticket, and go to the park. You're on equal footing with everyone else who shows up that day between opening and about 10:30am.

OTOH, If you have 12500$ you could join Club 33 at Disneyland. Currently it's about a three to five year wait unless you know someone at Disney HQ who can speed you through the waiting list.
J

Despite being Canadian :grouphug: you make a great point. I am glad someone pointed out the fact that not everyone can have everything, it wouldn't be special if we all stayed in the castle, and how cool is it that you can win a chance rather than pay for the right. As a parent you should feel good telling your kids that it's just luck (most of life is right) and not have to feel bad that you can't spend the money to make them happy. I'm not a parent, but both my fiance and baby sister think they're going to get to stay in the castle. They're both nuts but they're realistic enough to dream about it rather than complain about how unfair it is that not everyone can. COME ON. bunch of goofballs...

raidermatt
02-22-2007, 04:23 PM
Despite being Canadian you make a great point. I am glad someone pointed out the fact that not everyone can have everything...

You're right... perhaps dealing in the absolute everything for everyone is technically inaccurate.

However, we cannot reasonably deny the fact that there has been a significant move towards extra "pay for the privilege" experiences, and these sometimes come at the expense of other guests.

The Club 33 analogy isn't even entirely appropriate because it wasn't originally conceived to be what it is today. Walt wanted it as a place to entertain guests and sponsors in a private setting, not just to create an exclusive country club with memberships being put on the open market.

Its got to tell you something when the only counters to all of the complaints are things like somebody getting a tour from a buddy, and Walt's own private dining room. The point is that things have most certainly changed significantly in this area.

Its one thing for someone to say they agree with the move, but its quite another to try to deny it has happened.

thefirebuilds
02-22-2007, 04:39 PM
staying at the contemporary versus staying at some cut-rate holiday inn in the 70's was still "paying for a privelege"

you can't win that particular argument...

raidermatt
02-22-2007, 04:56 PM
staying at the contemporary versus staying at some cut-rate holiday inn in the 70's was still "paying for a privelege"

you can't win that particular argument...

The Holiday Inn?

We're talking about Disney guests being treated equally. If you are staying at the Holiday Inn, you are not a guest of the Contemporary. Nobody is suggesting Disney give there parks or resorts away for free.

However, if you stayed at the Holiday Inn in the '70s and bought a ticket to the MK, in the MK you were treated the same as somebody who stayed at the Contemporary.

The position is, once you bought your ticket and walked in the door, you were treated equally, or at least closer to it than what can happen today.

thefirebuilds
02-22-2007, 05:17 PM
My analogy was just meant to polarize your understanding, and isn't really related to the "winning chances" of the YOMD. Moreso it's presented as Disney has always been about "you get what you pay for" and for the most part you can pay for a "better" experience - or you can choose not to. I think the oppurtunity to win things that AREN't even purchasable by the "richest" visitors reinvents some of the magic for the adults.

raidermatt
02-22-2007, 07:20 PM
Actually, the vast majority of the things associated with the "you get what you pay for" mentality were administered by the Eisner and now Iger regimes. Things were not always this way, certainly not to the extent they have now reached. That continues to be the point.

thefirebuilds
02-22-2007, 07:33 PM
Right, but now relate that to the YOMD.

Another Voice
02-22-2007, 07:55 PM
I think the oppurtunity to win things that AREN't even purchasable by the "richest" visitors reinvents some of the magic for the adults.
No, it just feeds some adults rather sad egos.

Everyone that’s every been to WDW had wanted to know what the inside of the castle looked like. I think Real Disney would have figured out a way of showing a lot of people, allowing as many people as possible to experience the “magic” – that’s why they opened up the inside of the castle at Euro Disney (complete with a dragon deep underneath).

But today’s Disney isn’t interested in creating for the joy of it, nor creating anything that would simply be popular. Guests are wallets, the only interest Disney has is to see how quickly they are to empty. Conning eight year girls that they too can live in the castle works pretty good, especially if the parents fall for the con too.

Yes, the “fans” have a lot to do with this as well. The trend has been both encouraged and exploited by Disney. The idea that “happiness” is just a purchase away. That all you have to do to get “magic” in your life is spend a college tuition on DVC points, fill your house with snowglobes and have the longest list of stays at the bottom of your posts.

I like the poster that wrote you should tell your children that life is nothing but luck (the universal excuse of losers everywhere). Hard work, that has nothing to do with getting what you want. Wrap yourself up in the right brand and that solves any self esteem problem you might have. The Brand will take care of you, it will grant all your wishes.

And if not, you didn’t deserve them anyway.


Yes, I am being naïve. But the reason I first grew interested in Disney, and why my family embraced it, was because the company’s movies taught good lessons about life. About hope, about faith, about trust, about standing up for yourself when all the world as against you – about the joy of childhood and the responsibility of growing up.

I’d rather have my daughter growing up knowing that ‘Cinderella’ means that those of a good and kind heart will see their dreams come true over the selfish people who plot and scheme.

All ‘Million Dream’ would teach her is that only lucky, marketing-appropriate people sleep in castles.

thefirebuilds
02-22-2007, 07:59 PM
No, it just feeds some adults rather sad egos.



holy jaded, batman.

Look in my sig. 50% wrong place, 50% wrong time = luck

raidermatt
02-23-2007, 04:16 AM
Right, but now relate that to the YOMD.

That correlation is a little abstract in my mind, however the same type of strategic thinking leads to both.

I have bigger issues with YOMD. Its a questionable promotion that even if successful in the short run could backfire in the long run. It's the continuation of a marketing over substance strategy for growth. It was poorly planned. Even the die hard fans get caught in a catch-22... they say you should go just to have fun and not worry about winning anything, yet if the "dreams" being given away aren't the reason for anybody going, it would completely fail as a marketing promotion.

Mari annie
02-25-2007, 02:39 PM
"Even a childless tatooed 27 year old guy" can enjoy WDW-
it took you awhile, but you did, come on, we all know you did-
I mean, you took the bait------bath tub and all!!!!lol

Just between me and you........it's not a club or a place to pick up your next hottie=but you did have a good time, didn't you?!!!!
Bravo for taking another family with you, sounds like you all marveled in the glory!
good for you!

You have given me a good laugh. I have only been home a few hour from my two week FL adventure, myself and reading the disboards is keeping me posted on everything and getting me ready for my April trip!:woohoo:
Thanks, you made my day!!!!!
:hippie:

3princesses&amouse
02-26-2007, 07:52 PM
on my first trip to WDW my then 5yr old asked a cm tto tell cindi that we were going home and would see her next year. (the line to see her in the judges tent was too long and we didn't feel like waiting) I had told her to just tell miniie and shew would tell cindi nbut that wasn't good enough so instead we told the cm. after that she was okay to go home. when we were in with minnie the cm came in to tell my girls she had a surprise for them. She made their dreams come true when she brought us nin to say goodbye to cindi. We will enjoy our trip in May even if we don't winn anything. Thats not why we are going. :cool1: :cool1: :cool1:

tinkspark
02-26-2007, 10:40 PM
“Naked in the tub” is far less crass than the roller skating tequila shot babes down at
Pleasure Island, the guy thrusting his camera in my families face when we want to look at the castle, or the “you want to see a princess, cough up fifty bucks for a meal” scam. Whether it’s overpriced “concierge level” rooms for hotel services that everyone used to get, blocking the exits to rides with shops and trinket carts – Disney has more than it’s share of porkish behavior.
.
The part of this comment that bothered me is that you said there was a camera thrusted in your face. That should never happen. Disney has taken over and designed Photopass so that that would not happen. Kodak's system was based on selling pictures. Disney's is different... it was designed to be a service to the guests rather than a hard sell. The photographers are there to help families capture every magical moment. Nobody should be trying to sell you anything, unless you want it. Another example of how they are trying to change Disney to be more guest friendly... have you ever noticed that the CM's who sell popcorn and the like do not shout anything and just walk around wearing buttons with the prices? Can you believe people actually complain that the CM's don't shout now?

Unfortunately, guests can be rude and interpret things however they see fit. For example if you are standing off to the side somewhere alone a man with a camera may approach you to ask you how your day is going... simply because that is the job of every cast member... to make sure that you are enjoying your vacation at Disney World. However, if you are one of the rude guests you will not engage in a conversation with this person and learn that they are just trying to wish you well. If you are one of the rude guests you will put up your hand when they welcome you to the park or tell them you are not interested in a harsh tone of voice before they have a chance to wish you a magical day. Cast Members really believe in their jobs of making Disney a magical place... but the only way you wouldn't know that is if you are one of the rude guests...

More people complain about bad experiences with CM's than praise the good ones

This is true with everything not just Disney. This is a problem with society... People are more likely to complain about something going wrong then to praise someone for doing something amazing anywhere. People can just be ungrateful.

. If Disney really offered a place that people wanted to see, there would be no need for free dining plans and churro giveaways.

Disney offers free dining plans in September because attendance is low. Attendance is not low because people don't want to go. It's low because it's an inconvient time of year to go with school starting. However, there seems to be an increase in British visitors who stay for a couple weeks during that time.





If they want to focus on CM's preparing to create magic, perhaps they should show the maintenance workers in their blue jackets and coveralls. Show what really goes on behind the scenes.


They actually do have an ad with a show keeper.

The Holiday Inn?

We're talking about Disney guests being treated equally. If you are staying at the Holiday Inn, you are not a guest of the Contemporary. Nobody is suggesting Disney give there parks or resorts away for free.

However, if you stayed at the Holiday Inn in the '70s and bought a ticket to the MK, in the MK you were treated the same as somebody who stayed at the Contemporary.

The position is, once you bought your ticket and walked in the door, you were treated equally, or at least closer to it than what can happen today.

Honestly, treatment of those guests who stay in an offsite hotel as opposed to an onsite one is not that much different. Most offsite hotels have shuttles. And Extra magic hours isn't even worth using. It's actually better to go to the parks that don't have any extra magic hours that day. You'll get to do more during your normal park hours then all the guests that spent 15 hours at the Magic Kingdom.

"Even a childless tatooed 27 year old guy" can enjoy WDW-
it took you awhile, but you did, come on, we all know you did-
I mean, you took the bait------bath tub and all!!!!lol

Just between me and you........it's not a club or a place to pick up your next hottie=but you did have a good time, didn't you?!!!!
Bravo for taking another family with you, sounds like you all marveled in the glory!
good for you!

You have given me a good laugh. I have only been home a few hour from my two week FL adventure, myself and reading the disboards is keeping me posted on everything and getting me ready for my April trip!:woohoo:
Thanks, you made my day!!!!!
:hippie:

Agreed... I found the article quite amusing. Although I disagree with Disney World not being the place to pick up your next hottie... haha it's a great place to meet someone who loves Disney as much as you do. :) That is of course if that is what you are looking for.

raidermatt
02-27-2007, 04:21 AM
People can just be ungrateful.


Ok, you've convinced me.

I don't like people anymore.

Stupid people.

Another Voice
02-27-2007, 10:43 AM
For example if you are standing off to the side somewhere alone a man with a camera may approach you to ask you how your day is going... simply because that is the job of every cast member...
The guy or gal standing in the middle of the bridge blocking my view of the Tree of Life is not there to wish me a "magical" day.

They are there to take my picture.

They take my picture because I will give Disney another few bucks beyond the thousands I am already spending on so-so hotels, bad food, and half day theme parks like Animal Kingdom.

They have to take my picture becuase Disney is off spending all my hotel, dining and admission money on get-rich-quick schemes, executive bonuses and buying cheesy British television shows they can knock off.

They have to take my picture because running an ages old carny scam like "how many wallet sized do you want" is a lot easier than building attractions people want to see. "Cheap and easy" has become the new "magic" of the Company.

I choose not to particiapte in Disney's revenue enhancement programs. My enjoyment of the parks does not come from paying more for what I already have; my enjoyment of the parks does not depend on getting things other people can't have.

Photopass, desert shows, blinking trading pins, and free churros - those aren't Disney no matter how many times they can cram the word "magic" into their description.

tinkspark
02-27-2007, 10:56 AM
The guy or gal standing in the middle of the bridge blocking my view of the Tree of Life is not there to wish me a "magical" day.

They are there to take my picture.

They take my picture because I will give Disney another few bucks beyond the thousands I am already spending on so-so hotels, bad food, and half day theme parks like Animal Kingdom.

They have to take my picture becuase Disney is off spending all my hotel, dining and admission money on get-rich-quick schemes, executive bonuses and buying cheesy British television shows they can knock off.

They have to take my picture because running an ages old carny scam like "how many wallet sized do you want" is a lot easier than building attractions people want to see. "Cheap and easy" has become the new "magic" of the Company.

I choose not to particiapte in Disney's revenue enhancement programs. My enjoyment of the parks does not come from paying more for what I already have; my enjoyment of the parks does not depend on getting things other people can't have.

Photopass, desert shows, blinking trading pins, and free churros - those aren't Disney no matter how many times they can cram the word "magic" into their description.

You've totally missed the mark on this...
None of the photographers are in the way... The photographers aren't paid on commission...so they could stand there all day just talking to guests, helping them, and taking pictures on their own cameras and it wouldn't make a difference. They are supposed to do that... service comes before making a sale.

I am so sorry for you that you are bitter and can only see the negative side of things and believe everything is designed to scam poor little you... because you'll never fully enjoy Disney the way it is meant to be with your attitude.

Andy B
02-27-2007, 11:16 AM
They have to take my picture becuase Disney is off spending all my hotel, dining and admission money on get-rich-quick schemes, executive bonuses and buying cheesy British television shows they can knock off.


Which Cheesy British TV Shows?

Keyser
02-27-2007, 12:06 PM
The guy or gal standing in the middle of the bridge blocking my view of the Tree of Life is not there to wish me a "magical" day.

They are there to take my picture.


You're right - they're there to take your picture. The horror :scared1: ! And, if you like the picture they take, they might even charge you money to buy it :scared1: :scared1: :scared1: !

What exactly would you propose? Should there be no photographers at all? People like getting their picture taken in Disney parks, and always have. People also like having other people around to take their picture so that they don't have to carry their own camera with them to get these pictures - it's a service. Maybe Disney should have people who will stand around just to take a picture with the guest's camera? Oh wait, the photopass people already will... Maybe the photopass people shouldn't force guests into getting their picture taken in the first place? Oh wait, they don't. Maybe they shouldn't try to hard sell the pictures once they've taken them? Oh wait, they don't do that either. Maybe they should just make it as convenient as possible to buy these pictures if you want to, and make it just as easy not to if you don't? That sounds like what they're doing. Or, maybe the prices for the final pictures should be cheaper, so that the photopass program is revenue-neutral - charging guests only what the actual cost of the service comes to, with no additional profit? Well, maybe there's something to that argument, but it's not the one you're making - you're saying the whole photopass system is a problem.

You don't have to use the photopass people. You don't have to buy anything. Shoot - this is about the softest sell I've ever seen. You're more than welcome to avoid them entirely. I've never had a photopass person push me into getting a picture taken, much less trying to buy one. The most they've ever done was to ask if we'd like our picture taken. They've always been happy to take a picture with our own camera. In 1999, though, the photographers at the entrance were pushier. And, you had to buy your pictures by going to a special place in the park. What do you know, there's something in the past decade that Disney actually managed to improve so that it's a better experience for the guest.

Should no food be sold on Disney property? Do you want to get rid of all the restaurants as well? Is selling food just the cheap and easy way out? Or is there something more fundamental - like maybe guests would like to be able to buy food in the park, and Disney is going to provide it to them? Maybe you can say Disney "overdoes" the food, or charges too high prices, or occupies valuable theme park space with restaurants. But, surely you wouldn't try to say that food in the park is only there because of the greed/bad business decisions of the Disney executives.

And, this is not an issue of tradeoff. You say they have to take your picture because it's easier than building rides. These are not exclusive things. Photopass is not costing the company money, so it's not like they're doing it instead of investing money in an attraction. It's not like they're saying "we could do photopass, or we could build an attaction", or diverting creative resources to photopass when they could be devoting them to attraction development.

So again, what you propose they do to photopass that would improve the guest experience?

raidermatt
02-27-2007, 12:27 PM
it's a service...Or, maybe the prices for the final pictures should be cheaper, so that the photopass program is revenue-neutral - charging guests only what the actual cost of the service comes to, with no additional profit? Well, maybe there's something to that argument, but it's not the one you're making - you're saying the whole photopass system is a problem.

...

Should no food be sold on Disney property?... But, surely you wouldn't try to say that food in the park is only there because of the greed/bad business decisions of the Disney executives.

And, this is not an issue of tradeoff. You say they have to take your picture because it's easier than building rides. These are not exclusive things. Photopass is not costing the company money, so it's not like they're doing it instead of investing money in an attraction. It's not like they're saying "we could do photopass, or we could build an attaction", or diverting creative resources to photopass when they could be devoting them to attraction development.



Ok, I'm not as set against Photopass as Mr. AV, but make no mistake, it is a PRODUCT, not a service. That's not necessarily bad, of course Disney has to have products, but let's just be honest about it.

There is something cheap about a guy/gal standing in the middle of the street wanting to sell you a picture, no matter how polite and unobtrusive they try to be. And one of AV's points was that he is in fact blocking the view of the castle at times.

They will take pictures with your camera(s), but my experience is you have to ask for this in most cases. Since most people assume they won't do it, it's coming off like any other photo taking guy anywhere else as opposed to any kind of "service". They really want to do this right? OFFER in all cases to take pictures with the guests camera as well.

You mention prices, and they are absolutely outrageous. Sure, they now offer the convenience of the CD or using the internet, but despite the fact that these services also cost less for Disney, they don't charge any less than you pay in the park. Certainly the prices could more reasonable without having to make the whole product revenue-neutral.

So yeah, they do it better than its done in most places, but its still got a lot of room for improvement.

But you also say its not a tradeoff. Logically, that makes sense. As you say, this generates money, so its not taking away from building attractions. But what that leaves out is that all the company cares about these days is that the parks meet their numbers. Everything is viewed in that context. So if they can make enough money off of Photopass and lame marketing schemes, it does take the place of building more and better attractions. Put simply, they choose to grow their business through things like this INSTEAD of through more investment in the substance of the parks. Its cheaper and less risky.

Food? Nobody suggested they shouldn't sell food. He just said it was bad and overpriced.

YoHo
02-27-2007, 01:57 PM
Frankly, I'd rather have the CM's shouting about the food, because that's what they should be doing. If you were to walk down a classic mainstreet with food vendors, they'd be shouting out advertising their wears.

Also, Disney used to not offer to sell you a picture. There used to be no camera men in front of the castle.

Peter Pirate 2
02-27-2007, 07:43 PM
The photogs certainly DO block your entrance and view of the 'Tree Of Life'...Every single time.
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tinkspark
02-27-2007, 10:19 PM
They will take pictures with your camera(s), but my experience is you have to ask for this in most cases. Since most people assume they won't do it, it's coming off like any other photo taking guy anywhere else as opposed to any kind of "service". They really want to do this right? OFFER in all cases to take pictures with the guests camera as well.

You mention prices, and they are absolutely outrageous. Sure, they now offer the convenience of the CD or using the internet, but despite the fact that these services also cost less for Disney, they don't charge any less than you pay in the park. Certainly the prices could more reasonable without having to make the whole product revenue-neutral.

Hmm that is quite the opposite experience i've ever had. Nine times out of ten if a photographer sees someone taking a picture of their family they will offer to take that picture for them on their camera. And of course they can't do that if they are helping a family who does want a photopass picture.

The CD is actually quite reasonable. If you bought the rights to any pictures taken by a professional photographer... you better believe it will cost you more then 125 dollars. 125 dollars isn't bad when you can get up to 1000 pictures for it... if you had 400 pictures taken by a professional photographer it will cost you anywhere upwards from 750 dollars.


Also, Disney used to not offer to sell you a picture. There used to be no camera men in front of the castle.

Thats not true... Walt Disney himself started the orignial contract with Kodak. Kodak did not want to do it because they don't take the pictures just provide the means for developing.

The photogs certainly DO block your entrance and view of the 'Tree Of Life'...Every single time.
pirate:

Hmm well I seem to notice hundreds of people with cameras around their neck in my way all the time and they aren't cast members. So maybe tourists just shouldn't be allowed to carry cameras either. At least cm's will move out of the way if you politely ask unlike other guests.

Another Voice
02-27-2007, 10:55 PM
So again, what you propose they do to photopass that would improve the guest experience?
Well, they could them, all the excess vending carts and all the rest of the revenue enhancement clutter and dump them in the trash.

Photopass is not a service. It's Disney effort to sell you something else once you're already in the park. It's a for profit enterprise because taken my $70 for an admission ticket, my $8.00 for a hamburger and my $350 a night Motel 6 room doesn't quite fill the corporate trough of greed anymore.

Call it "magical" if you want, but normal people understand what's going on.

You might feel sorry for me, but if you think this is "Disney magic" than it's you who should receive the pity.

If you bought the rights to any pictures taken by a professional photographer... you better believe it will cost you more then 125 dollars.
There's nothing professional about a minimum wage cast member standing in front of Spaceship Earth waving a bad preset camera. To call Photopass "professional" is an insult to real professional photograhpers. And to demand that we pay the same price??

125 dollars isn't bad when you can get up to 1000 pictures for it...
Who gets a 1000 pictures taken of them? Britney Spears? Does Photopass come with the head shaving as well?

pfishgirl
02-27-2007, 11:02 PM
So I guess I'll get flamed here.. but.. I thought this article was Kinda sweet.. He didn't HAVE to invite anyone, but he did, a family with 2 little Princesses..
:goodvibes

I would of done the same.. I probably would of picked a family with girls that were just a bit older so they could Really experience and Remember it though... :cutie:

tinkspark
02-27-2007, 11:17 PM
Well, they could them, all the excess vending carts and all the rest of the revenue enhancement clutter and dump them in the trash.

Photopass is not a service. It's Disney effort to sell you something else once you're already in the park. It's a for profit enterprise because taken my $70 for an admission ticket, my $8.00 for a hamburger and my $350 a night Motel 6 room doesn't quite fill the corporate trough of greed anymore.

Call it "magical" if you want, but normal people understand what's going on.

You might feel sorry for me, but if you think this is "Disney magic" than it's you who should receive the pity.


There's nothing professional about a minimum wage cast member standing in front of Spaceship Earth waving a bad preset camera. To call Photopass "professional" is an insult to real professional photograhpers. And to demand that we pay the same price??


Who gets a 1000 pictures taken of them? Britney Spears? Does Photopass come with the head shaving as well?

I need no pity because I can enjoy life because I let the positive outweigh the negative. There is no reason to believe that everyone is out to get me.

Maybe you should talk to some of the photograhers, many of them were professional photographers long before they started with Disney. Most of the ones left are in school for photography or something related. So its not insult at all. In fact there are even photographers that run their own business and work at Disney part time for their great benefits. But you've never talked to one so you wouldn't know. I don't know about you but I wouldn't call 5,000 dollars worth of equipment bad? Each location has its own settings to get the best shot. And when do they ever wave their camera? Sadly, the photographers are way underpaid but so are all cast members.

I never said that anyone should have to pay the same price for photopass pictures... I was pointing out that Disney actually is reasonable in what they are asking for a copyright release.

I've taken more then 1,000 pictures on vacation before. In fact I won't go anywhere without my laptop and plenty of spare memory because I never know how many I'll end up taking. As far as Disney goes there are always groups traveling together that can easily get 1,000 pictures in just a couple days.

tinkspark
02-27-2007, 11:23 PM
So I guess I'll get flamed here.. but.. I thought this article was Kinda sweet.. He didn't HAVE to invite anyone, but he did, a family with 2 little Princesses..
:goodvibes

I would of done the same.. I probably would of picked a family with girls that were just a bit older so they could Really experience and Remember it though... :cutie:

:) No i agree

Another Voice
02-27-2007, 11:57 PM
But you've never talked to one so you wouldn't know.
I actually spend a good portion of my day around people who take pictures for a living. A "professional" is not "someone who's in school". And if they claim they're using a $5,000 camera out there on Main Street, then someone needs to take away their eBay account because they've been scammed.

I was pointing out that Disney actually is reasonable in what they are asking for a copyright release.
Wait a minute - I have to pay Disney for the rights to my own image!?!?!?!?! I thought that was kind of mine already. That's a great revenue enhancement right there - you're owned by Disney just by entering the parks.

Maybe the story about the guy waking up at the Grand Floridian in a tub full of ice and missing a kidney isn't an unrban myth after all...

And there is no "copyright" on taking a picture of the castle - Disney had made no effort to enforce its rights in fifty years; you loose those rights if there's no good faith effort made - especially when the pictures are for non commerical use. I'd love to see Disney sue John and Joanne Tourist for snapping an unauthorized picture!

As far as Disney goes there are always groups traveling together that can easily get 1,000 pictures in just a couple days.
Yes - but you said paying Disney's $125 wasn't unreasonable for a 1,000 pictures. So I guess this means I can force Jimmy Olson there by the Tree of Life to follow me for an entire week until I get my 1000 pictures. You've got me there, that would be a sweet deal.


It's been fun, but you've convinced me that PhotoPass is nothing but a bad and horrible way for Disney to get a few dollars more. It's a distraction from what Disney really should be doing - providing an unique and outstanding experience to their guests. They could do this by building good attractions inside interesting parks, by using imagination and talent, by instilling a sense of pride in their work. By creating a place people want to go.

Disney ought to be chasing after dreams instead of chasing after the last few coins in my pocket.

raidermatt
02-28-2007, 02:10 AM
Hmm that is quite the opposite experience i've ever had. Nine times out of ten if a photographer sees someone taking a picture of their family they will offer to take that picture for them on their camera. And of course they can't do that if they are helping a family who does want a photopass picture.

The CD is actually quite reasonable. If you bought the rights to any pictures taken by a professional photographer... you better believe it will cost you more then 125 dollars. 125 dollars isn't bad when you can get up to 1000 pictures for it... if you had 400 pictures taken by a professional photographer it will cost you anywhere upwards from 750 dollars.



You must be just he luckiest guy ever. Never have I observed any Photopass person regularly offering to take pictures with guests' cameras, and just about every guest does have a camera.

If I hired somebody to professionally take these types of pictures, they would be 10x better than the ones the Photopass people take, so you can't base the price on what an outside photographer would charge. They rush through them at times, their framing is spotty and they struggle with lowlight conditions. That's not a knock on them personally. I'm sure they are trying to do their best in what are sometimes difficult situations, and let's face it, if they were established professional photographers, they wouldn't be on this gig. But again, we have to be honest about the product.

And yes, I have chatted with some of them. I will say this... there is a WIDE range of quality when it comes to the photographers. And as AV said, the cameras they are using are not $5000 pieces of equipment. I don't know what the photopass equipment costs, but the cameras aren't anywhere near that.

The copyright thing is a non-issue. The only reason they have the copyright is because they took the picture in the first place. They have no copyright claims against any pictures taken by anyone else for non-commercial use. I've got the same copyright protection on the pictures I take myself. That doesn't make them worth professional prices.

I'm not dead set against the thing, but there are still significant issues with it that they could address and make it more Disney. Its hardly the kind of thing you can throw out there as an example of true Disney.

tinkspark
02-28-2007, 08:36 AM
I actually spend a good portion of my day around people who take pictures for a living. A "professional" is not "someone who's in school". And if they claim they're using a $5,000 camera out there on Main Street, then someone needs to take away their eBay account because they've been scammed.
Well SLR Nikon's Cost about 1,000 dollars just for the body. Plus they have an external flash, two different lenses, a PDA, software, an external battery for the flash, and tripods. Not to mention the little things they have for the equipment as well like a UV filter and a lens cloth. That adds up to about 5,000 dollars worth of equipment. You obviously know nothing about cameras.


Wait a minute - I have to pay Disney for the rights to my own image!?!?!?!?! I thought that was kind of mine already. That's a great revenue enhancement right there - you're owned by Disney just by entering the parks.

Maybe the story about the guy waking up at the Grand Floridian in a tub full of ice and missing a kidney isn't an unrban myth after all...

And there is no "copyright" on taking a picture of the castle - Disney had made no effort to enforce its rights in fifty years; you loose those rights if there's no good faith effort made - especially when the pictures are for non commerical use. I'd love to see Disney sue John and Joanne Tourist for snapping an unauthorized picture!

Actually that is the law. Anytime a photographer takes a picture of you they own the rights not you.

Yes - but you said paying Disney's $125 wasn't unreasonable for a 1,000 pictures. So I guess this means I can force Jimmy Olson there by the Tree of Life to follow me for an entire week until I get my 1000 pictures. You've got me there, that would be a sweet deal.


It's been fun, but you've convinced me that PhotoPass is nothing but a bad and horrible way for Disney to get a few dollars more. It's a distraction from what Disney really should be doing - providing an unique and outstanding experience to their guests. They could do this by building good attractions inside interesting parks, by using imagination and talent, by instilling a sense of pride in their work. By creating a place people want to go.

Disney ought to be chasing after dreams instead of chasing after the last few coins in my pocket.

Nobody said anything about getting 1,000 pictures of the tree. There are photographers all over the parks. There are always 20 to 50 in each of the main theme parks, more in the magic kingdom. They are at the waterparks. Kids having makeovers at bibiddi bobbodi boutique get the experience photographed by photopass. The studio they have their pictures taken in afterwards... anyone can walk in and have studio pictures taken to add to their card. During Christmas they are with Santa Claus at Downtown Disney, with the Christmas trees, at the Osbourne lights, which is especially useful at night since most guests can't get the same shot.

They will also do any shot you want, they don't have to take the picture right where they are standing... so any family could easily get 1,000 different pictures.

Like it was addressed before Photopass is not taking away from Disney's efforts into creating new attractions for the theme parks. But some how you are under the delusion that it is. The cast member that came up with the idea for Photopass pitched the idea and ran with it. He was not an attraction specialist he had an idea on how he could improve the photo system. So they did not use any extra resources to create photopass.

tinkspark
02-28-2007, 08:41 AM
You must be just he luckiest guy ever. Never have I observed any Photopass person regularly offering to take pictures with guests' cameras, and just about every guest does have a camera.

I'm not dead set against the thing, but there are still significant issues with it that they could address and make it more Disney. Its hardly the kind of thing you can throw out there as an example of true Disney.

Well first of all they won't offer if they don't know you want a picture. They usually only offer if you are struggling to take a picture of your family or look like you looking for somoene.

Nobody said that it was true Disney. The arguement is that it is something Disney has actually tried to approve on. They are always trying to improve but some people believe they are just trying to tak the "cheap easy way out." Which is not Disney at all.

Peter Pirate 2
02-28-2007, 09:21 AM
A bit OT but maybe can put some perspective on the discussion.

tinkspark, am I right in assuming that it is your belief that Walt's ideals (the original philosophies of customer service, quality product, etc.) still live in Corporate Disney in a way that (management believes) is conducieve to doing business in the 21st Century. In other words the old tenets could never be adhered to 50 some odd years later but have HAD to adapt in time to compete in the modern workplace. Is this a correct view of the beliefs you are basing your opinions on?
pirate:

tinkspark
02-28-2007, 09:44 AM
A bit OT but maybe can put some perspective on the discussion.

tinkspark, am I right in assuming that it is your belief that Walt's ideals (the original philosophies of customer service, quality product, etc.) still live in Corporate Disney in a way that (management believes) is conducieve to doing business in the 21st Century. In other words the old tenets could never be adhered to 50 some odd years later but have HAD to adapt in time to compete in the modern workplace. Is this a correct view of the beliefs you are basing your opinions on?
pirate:


That was well put, thank you. I do believe not everything is done the way Walt would have wanted it but I do believe they are still making the effort to do so.

Another Voice
02-28-2007, 10:46 AM
Well SLR Nikon's Cost about 1,000 dollars just for the body
So you’re telling me the UV filter and lens cloth cost $4,000? The camera itself is not a $5,000 piece of equipment – the PDA to record the sucker list and the software to make sure the bad pictures end up on the right CD, I don’t care about. That’s not going to change the quality of the picture. Talk about not knowing equipment.

Actually that is the law. Anytime a photographer takes a picture of you they own the rights not you.
In this case I’ve requested the picture, it’s being taken to my specifications and I’m paying directly for it. That falls under the “for hire” law and I own the copyright. It’s the reason the guy behind the camera when they were filming the movie doesn’t own Star Wars.

I do believe not everything is done the way Walt would have wanted it but I do believe they are still making the effort to do so.
Sorry – but Walt’s dislike of sharp pencil gags and old carny tricks is as valid today as it was fifty years ago. The difference was the Walt enjoyed running his theme parks and making movies, today’s management hates the parks and sees them only as giant cash machines to pay off their poor management of the business.

tinkspark
02-28-2007, 11:06 AM
So you’re telling me the UV filter and lens cloth cost $4,000? The camera itself is not a $5,000 piece of equipment – the PDA to record the sucker list and the software to make sure the bad pictures end up on the right CD, I don’t care about. That’s not going to change the quality of the picture. Talk about not knowing equipment.
Hmm... you conviently forget about the flash, lenses, and exernals? That does change the quality and is expensive. Without the PDA and software the system wouldn't work.

In this case I’ve requested the picture, it’s being taken to my specifications and I’m paying directly for it. That falls under the “for hire” law and I own the copyright. It’s the reason the guy behind the camera when they were filming the movie doesn’t own Star Wars..

Wrong again, because you are not paying the photographer to take the picture. You don't pay for anything unless you want the picture.


Sorry – but Walt’s dislike of sharp pencil gags and old carny tricks is as valid today as it was fifty years ago. The difference was the Walt enjoyed running his theme parks and making movies, today’s management hates the parks and sees them only as giant cash machines to pay off their poor management of the business.
If you are implying that photopass is a cheap carny trick that Walt wouldn't have enjoyed... you are wrong because he initiated having the photographers in the park. It was HIS idea.

I don't know where you got the idea that management hates the parks because they are definitely passionate about their job.

DancingBear
03-01-2007, 04:32 PM
I like the convenience of the Photopass option of coming home and looking at the photos, cropping them and only buying the ones you want. I never bought any Disney photos under the old "pick 'em up at the front of the park" system, but I've bought Photopass photos.

BUT--

Dancing around the line of photographers on Main Street, and the bridge at AK and such, is annoying, and

It's not a service, it's just another form of souvenir. It's not an enhancement of my park experience.

TheDogbots
03-01-2007, 09:21 PM
I like the convenience of the Photopass option of coming home and looking at the photos, cropping them and only buying the ones you want. I never bought any Disney photos under the old "pick 'em up at the front of the park" system, but I've bought Photopass photos.

BUT--

Dancing around the line of photographers on Main Street, and the bridge at AK and such, is annoying, and

It's not a service, it's just another form of souvenir. It's not an enhancement of my park experience.


wow you must be the family that won the park to themselves! considering every other guest has to walk around not just cast members, but 50x more guests that are always stopping, looking at their map, running into the people in front of them, etc... especially at those places you mentioned! :)

as for photopass, it is a service as is other things like locker rentals and those silly penny things.... you don't technically need any of them, but they do enhance the experience of some people. For every one person who doesn't like photopass, i am sure there is one person who doesn't know about it and one person who likes it.


But this is all off topic from the original post. I really think Disney would have taken the APs money for the guy to stay there, even if Walt was alive. Its called publicity.

DancingBear
03-02-2007, 07:29 AM
wow you must be the family that won the park to themselves! considering every other guest has to walk around not just cast members, but 50x more guests that are always stopping, looking at their map, running into the people in front of them, etc... especially at those places you mentioned! :)We were just there a month ago. Crowds were light, but I guarantee you that adding a bunch of photographers standing in the middle of Main Street (all the way from Town Square to the hub) and at the bottleneck which is the bridge entering AK, made things worse. And it's one thing to dodge fellow guests--its another to dodge another person trying to sell me something. Believe me, I never complain when the Dapper Dans are holding up traffic on Main Street.

TheDogbots
03-02-2007, 05:14 PM
We were just there a month ago. Crowds were light, but I guarantee you that adding a bunch of photographers standing in the middle of Main Street (all the way from Town Square to the hub) and at the bottleneck which is the bridge entering AK, made things worse. And it's one thing to dodge fellow guests--its another to dodge another person trying to sell me something. Believe me, I never complain when the Dapper Dans are holding up traffic on Main Street.



But the thing is the Photopass people are not trying to sell you anything, they don't even try to sell you something in the store where you buy it, its one of the most no pressure sells in the world lol. Most of the time they don't even ask if you want pictures, because they already have a line. They are there to serve, not to sell. I can't imagine it takes away from anyone's vacation. If you don't like them don't use them. And I refuse to believe that they hold up trafic down main street. it is way too wide to even make that claim, not to mention the mass amounts of people that stop and take pictures of the castle, stop to listen to performers, etc... you can't tell the difference between pockets of stalling made by photopass and pockets made by guests. And if it is a dead time of the year, then walking around a photopass photographer is pretty easy, it requires two more steps. Now the AK bridge is just placed poorly, every guest stops there. I don't think the addition of two photographers makes it that much worse.... however, I have never seen it but if they do attract a line, i can see that being harder to get around. But half the guests stop there, so blaming two people on causing the mess is kinda ridiculous.


I just think its foolish to say that photographers ruin peoples vacations... if you don't like them don't use them. THey don't bother you more then perhaps *gasp* ask you politely if you want a picture! it only requires a polite "no thankyou" in return, and to continue on your way. And if you are looking for a vacation of complete solitude and the absence of human interaction, you are in the wrong place!

(that wasn't directed to you dancingbear just the thread in general)

DancingBear
03-02-2007, 05:47 PM
But the thing is the Photopass people are not trying to sell you anything, they don't even try to sell you something in the store where you buy it, its one of the most no pressure sells in the world lol. Most of the time they don't even ask if you want pictures, because they already have a line. They are there to serve, not to sell.Then I guess all of those stores along Main Street, and at the end of so many rides, are just there to serve, not sell, also. I mean, none of those cashiers ever tried to hard-sell me either, so they must be just generously giving me the opportunity to part with my pocket money.

I just think its foolish to say that photographers ruin peoples vacations... if you don't like them don't use them. THey don't bother you more then perhaps *gasp* ask you politely if you want a picture! it only requires a polite "no thankyou" in return, and to continue on your way. And if you are looking for a vacation of complete solitude and the absence of human interaction, you are in the wrong place!Who here said the photographers ruin vacations? Or that they wanted complete solitude and the absence of human interaction? I'd be happy to wind my way through Dapper Dans, Jamitors and streetmosphere characters any day.

raidermatt
03-02-2007, 06:03 PM
I'd be happy to wind my way through Dapper Dans, Jamitors and streetmosphere characters any day.
Amen to that.

Dogbots, I do commend them for not making the Photopass product a hard sell. For a time they were more aggressive about it, but they have backed off, and that is a plus.

But it is still a product. The act of them taking a Photopass picture of you does not add any value to your experience. Only the picture itself can do that, and you have to pay for it, hence its a product, not a service.

As I said before, that in and of itself is not a bad thing. Any company must have products. But while they do use a soft sell approach, they are in the way and they make prime picture spots more congested. Not as big a deal on Main Street imho, because there is actually quite a long stretch of prime space, and there are people all over anyway. But in some of the smaller but still crowded places, like the bridge in AK, they do have a significant negative impact at times.

The only part of what they do that can be considered a service is that they will take a photo with your camera. Experiences seem to differ on how frequently they offer to do this, but they will still do it and do it cheerfully, so that is another good thing about the program.

But all in all, I would still rather they invested elsewhere in the parks than in this product. If that weren't the choice being made, then I would be more supportive of it, especially with a few more tweaks to how they do it.

thefirebuilds
03-02-2007, 08:54 PM
I like the photopass guys. It's hard to get pictures of the two of us together without handing our camera to some yahoo who doesn't know which end to aim. I think it's a fair price and a pretty cool low pressure setup. As far as placement, where else would I want them...I want pictures of the memorable spots of the park - therefore theyre going to be in the way a bit.

TheDogbots
03-04-2007, 03:59 PM
Amen to that.

Dogbots, I do commend them for not making the Photopass product a hard sell. For a time they were more aggressive about it, but they have backed off, and that is a plus.

But it is still a product. The act of them taking a Photopass picture of you does not add any value to your experience. Only the picture itself can do that, and you have to pay for it, hence its a product, not a service.

As I said before, that in and of itself is not a bad thing. Any company must have products. But while they do use a soft sell approach, they are in the way and they make prime picture spots more congested. Not as big a deal on Main Street imho, because there is actually quite a long stretch of prime space, and there are people all over anyway. But in some of the smaller but still crowded places, like the bridge in AK, they do have a significant negative impact at times.

The only part of what they do that can be considered a service is that they will take a photo with your camera. Experiences seem to differ on how frequently they offer to do this, but they will still do it and do it cheerfully, so that is another good thing about the program.

But all in all, I would still rather they invested elsewhere in the parks than in this product. If that weren't the choice being made, then I would be more supportive of it, especially with a few more tweaks to how they do it.

I respectively disagree here, about the whole service issue. but i think its on the principle of semantics more than anything else. Since you can pay for a service, then how is this not a service? It is a service to obtain a product... but anyway I won't argue it any more, and as we have both said, they will take your picture with your camera for you, hence people not having to spend additional money other than their entrance fee. If one does not want to be involved with the service, avoid them.




Dancingbear, no one said those things in their own words, i just have a nasty habit of sarcasm :)



Also does Disney need more shopping stores instead of the places where you can buy photos? if they were to remove these kiosks then we would just see more shops... I rather see some mini attractions, or small museums or something rather than another shop. actually the camera place at MK is like that, if you haven't explored it before do so! its pretty neat.

bumbershoot
03-11-2007, 12:22 AM
When I originally read the article, I thought it was sort of cute. Thought the author was a bit hard on himself, a tattoed no-kids 27 year old...that's how my now-DH was when I met him, after all. :D

As for the naked in Cinderella's bathtub thing, my mind does that...thinks of two images that really just do NOT go together, so doing a Cinderella greet, which is all very pristine and pure and clothed, when that night you will be bathing (which is usually done naked) in "Cinderella's bathtub" can lead to weird things in your head! :)


IWait a minute - I have to pay Disney for the rights to my own image!?!?!?!?! I thought that was kind of mine already. That's a great revenue enhancement right there - you're owned by Disney just by entering the parks.

And there is no "copyright" on taking a picture of the castle - Disney had made no effort to enforce its rights in fifty years; you loose those rights if there's no good faith effort made - especially when the pictures are for non commerical use. I'd love to see Disney sue John and Joanne Tourist for snapping an unauthorized picture!


In this case I’ve requested the picture, it’s being taken to my specifications and I’m paying directly for it. That falls under the “for hire” law and I own the copyright. It’s the reason the guy behind the camera when they were filming the movie doesn’t own Star Wars.


Would you go talk to my wedding photographer? He simply insisted on my paying him a TON of money for pictures that I had him take, of OUR faces, in places that I directed (and even poses that I requested)! And if I want, say, a 5x7, he still wants $30 for that.

So can you please go tell him that he's got it all wrong? :upsidedow


But it is still a product. The act of them taking a Photopass picture of you does not add any value to your experience. Only the picture itself can do that, and you have to pay for it, hence its a product, not a service.

I think that's a matter of who you're talking to. I'm the photog in our family, so very few pictures actually have ME in it. Therefore, someone coming up to me and offering to take pictures of my whole family, including me, is most definitely a SERVICE. To me.

To them it's a product. But it's mainly service, to me.



Did they have Photopass at DL last October? Is that what that thing I was handed was all about? We came through the gates and they handed me something, but gave no explanation (not that I could have heard b/c my brother had made us soooo late and I just wanted to get on with our one-day blast through the park)

This September, we are SO taking advantage of it!




Back to the castle...I've lost track of whether we're talking WDW or DL, but either way, does anyone else wonder if, AFTER the Dreams year is over, they will then start doing more of a tour thing? They spend a hefty year making it seem like a dream (fancy hotel suite for one night does NOT, to me, equal a "dream", but then neither do most of the things their marketing is calling "dreams", LOL), and then after that open it to the masses. Sounds like a good idea to me!

DancingBear
03-11-2007, 10:46 AM
Back to the castle...I've lost track of whether we're talking WDW or DL, but either way, does anyone else wonder if, AFTER the Dreams year is over, they will then start doing more of a tour thing? They spend a hefty year making it seem like a dream (fancy hotel suite for one night does NOT, to me, equal a "dream", but then neither do most of the things their marketing is calling "dreams", LOL), and then after that open it to the masses. Sounds like a good idea to me!Can't see that happening. You're probably talking about a pretty small elevator going up to a pretty small space.

But, they might use it for promotions or something.

raidermatt
03-12-2007, 03:45 AM
I think that's a matter of who you're talking to. I'm the photog in our family, so very few pictures actually have ME in it. Therefore, someone coming up to me and offering to take pictures of my whole family, including me, is most definitely a SERVICE. To me.

To them it's a product. But it's mainly service, to me.



Well, actually, it's still a product. It's just a product you like and I assume purchase. But that's still a product by definition.

As I've said multiple times, though, that alone does not make it a bad thing.

DancingBear
03-12-2007, 07:05 AM
Maybe service vs. product isn't the right semantic argument, but the point is that it's not the equivalent of the Dapper Dans, or looking at a Zoetrope--the stuff you don't have to pay extra for that enhances the experience. It's a well-done thing designed to enhance revenue.

Mickeyistheman
03-13-2007, 01:17 PM
I am trying to understand this thread. The Majority on here seems to dislike the way that the "company" is going. They are saying that prior to 2000 everything was better.

So for those that have said it was better then, can you back it up and tell me how it was better?

I can see how things have improved just a few observations.

The Dining plan is much more affordable and easier to use.

The past 2 years they have offered the "Free Disney Dining"

Built more Value resorts and even added a few suite sections to one of them

Changed with the times added new attractions ie. Expedition Everest, How to be a Millionaire Play It!

Buzz Lightyears Space Ranger Spin

New Theme Park - Animal Kingdom
New Water Park - Blizzard Beach (not sure on the year though)

More timeshare

Now they may be very broad, but I think it was for the best. Those were just at the top of my head, now please do me the favor and tell me what the company has done that you have such a horrible taste in your mouth for them.

YoHo
03-13-2007, 02:05 PM
I am trying to understand this thread. The Majority on here seems to dislike the way that the "company" is going. They are saying that prior to 2000 everything was better.

So for those that have said it was better then, can you back it up and tell me how it was better?

I can see how things have improved just a few observations.

The Dining plan is much more affordable and easier to use.

The past 2 years they have offered the "Free Disney Dining"



Changed with the times added new attractions ie. Expedition Everest, How to be a Millionaire Play It!

Buzz Lightyears Space Ranger Spin

New Theme Park - Animal Kingdom
New Water Park - Blizzard Beach (not sure on the year though)

More timeshare

Now they may be very broad, but I think it was for the best. Those were just at the top of my head, now please do me the favor and tell me what the company has done that you have such a horrible taste in your mouth for them.

Actually, I think 1997 was the watershed year in terms of philosophy. 2000 merely represents when WDW hit it's record attendence.

And that's the point, The most fundamental measure we're taking is that according to unofficial numbers Disney has yet to hit their peak attendance from 2000. Not only that, but other destination locations, Vegas, Hawaii, etc have met and exceeded their pre-9/11 numbers. Disney is lagging behind. Why is Disney unable to achieve the success they did before when the tourism industry is clearly not the problem?


As for your specific points, going down the point by point road rarely gets us anywhere, but I'll offer you a different perspective.

The Dining plan is much more affordable and easier to use.
No, just no. The Dining plan has been around in various forms for most of the 1990s. In the form of food n' fun, credit on your room, wishes.
In it's various forms, you've definitely gotten more for your money then you do now. There are various features of the current plan that are more userfriendly, and some features that are really really bad, but it is not more affordable nor is it easier to use on the balance.
Unless of course you're referring to the fact that you could get it for free. If that's your point, then I refer you to my above point about their attendance and have to ask why they're now giving something away for free that they used to be able to charge for?

Built more Value resorts and even added a few suite sections to one of them
I'll ignore for right now the fact that I hate the values, because it's my opinion. They built more values, then they failed to finish the project, why is a half finished project a good thing?
They built values, but then they raised the price of the moderates. So now, the values rack rate is the same as what CBR's rack rate used to be. They give you less and tell you it's more. Even if you like the values, wouldn't you say you're getting more if you get the CBR at that rate?

Changed with the times added new attractions ie. Expedition Everest, How to be a Millionaire Play It!
How many years has WWTBAM been closed?

New Theme Park - Animal Kingdom
New Water Park - Blizzard Beach (not sure on the year though)

Both of these happened well before 2000. Blizzard Beach I think has been around since the mid 90s. The only thing they've done recently on this front is CLOSE a waterpark. Sorry, that's not a good thing.

As for Animal Kingdom, it's 10 years old. It's missed it's attendance numbers, Beastly Kingdom died. It's widely considered a half day park. I was more tolerant of it back when it started out (plus I was ignorant) but after 10 years, this place should be so much more. In 1965, after 10 years, how much had been added to Disneyland?

Mickeyistheman
03-13-2007, 02:18 PM
Yoho,

But you aren't giving me reasons why there is such disgust with Disney.

They didn't have to continue to build the Value properties because everyone was complaining about the cost being so high.

I have been in the travel industry for 13 years, so I am well aware of how much things cost 10 years ago.

Since I sell alot of Disney the past 2 years I have customers who have never been able to travel to Disney be able to because of the low cost. It was not during the Free Dining mind you.

I read on several threads about Disney that now even the "LOW season"
is very crowded and Disney closed their parks over the Christmas Holiday because of attendance so why are people saying Disney is lagging in numbers?

Marketing is how businesses work, especailly with a business such as Disney.

Again, please give me your points as well.

Keyser
03-13-2007, 02:24 PM
No, just no. The Dining plan has been around in various forms for most of the 1990s. In the form of food n' fun, credit on your room, wishes.
In it's various forms, you've definitely gotten more for your money then you do now. There are various features of the current plan that are more userfriendly, and some features that are really really bad, but it is not more affordable nor is it easier to use on the balance.

OK, just to quibble (I won't argue with your other points), the newest incarnation of the DDP seems much more affordable than the previous versions (at least since I've been looking at the prices from ~1998 on).

Ignore the "free" dining - all the anecdotal evidence says that there's a tremendous response (maybe too much) to the DDP - lots of people are buying the plan. Certainly far more than were buying the former plans. That is, lots of people are now finding this plan more affordable/usable than the previous versions. I know I analyze these things to death for my own trips, and we never found the previous plans to be even close to a good value, but we have bought the DDP each of our last 2 trips, and felt we good a very good value each time.

Of course, this is all kind of beside the point. Even though it might be a better value, I don't think Disney put it in place to say "how can we give our guests a better experience," but rather "how can we maximize our profit from our visitors." Fortunately, sometimes those two lines of thought will coincide.

Another Voice
03-13-2007, 02:50 PM
But you aren't giving me reasons why there is such disgust with Disney.
Because some people see "Disney" as what they buy from the Walt Disney Company, they see value, they see Mickey, they see a great family vacation.

Other people see "Disney" as the creators with a unique vision, a company that created products with a differnet take on "how things are done", a organization that did things no one else could possibly have dreamed of doing.

I don't hate the values becasue they are inexpensive hotels. Nor do I think they are good just becuase they allow families to afford to stay on WDW property.

I dislike them becuase they lack the imagination I expect from Disney. They are decorated cement boxes - they lack the thearticality, they lack the story telling, they lack the "you've just walked into a movie" feeling of the true Disney resorts. It's not a matter of budget, it's a matter of design and effort. The Disney I supported would have worked long and hard to the Pop Century the same kick-in-the-pants feeling as when you walk into the lobby of the Grand Floridian. A different form, perhaps, but the same feeling.

Yes, people have more to eat, people have more to do, people have more places to stay - and that's fine for some people. They don't see Disney the way we do. There is no magic in free food, but there's incredible magic to be found eating on a Mexican plaza in the shadow of an Aztec pyramid while a volcano rumbles in the distance.

Some of us want the real "magic" of Disney.

YoHo
03-13-2007, 03:00 PM
OK, just to quibble (I won't argue with your other points), the newest incarnation of the DDP seems much more affordable than the previous versions (at least since I've been looking at the prices from ~1998 on).

Ignore the "free" dining - all the anecdotal evidence says that there's a tremendous response (maybe too much) to the DDP - lots of people are buying the plan. Certainly far more than were buying the former plans. That is, lots of people are now finding this plan more affordable/usable than the previous versions. I know I analyze these things to death for my own trips, and we never found the previous plans to be even close to a good value, but we have bought the DDP each of our last 2 trips, and felt we good a very good value each time.

Of course, this is all kind of beside the point. Even though it might be a better value, I don't think Disney put it in place to say "how can we give our guests a better experience," but rather "how can we maximize our profit from our visitors." Fortunately, sometimes those two lines of thought will coincide.

Actually, I'd suggest that it's being advertised more heavily. Why is that?

Disney's website now sucks more then it ever has in the past, so it's hard to find actual numbers, It just gives a vague statement of up to 40% off your meals.

With food n' fun, you got 2 table service meals plus I think 1 or 2 cards for use with the water sprites and such for $55 a day. Those table service meals were any appetizer, any entree and any desert with non-alcoholic drinks free. Even the big group appetizers were included.
There were more restaurants included in the plan and all restaurants cost the same number of points.


Mickeyistheman, I'll get back to you in a minute.

raidermatt
03-13-2007, 04:06 PM
I am trying to understand this thread. The Majority on here seems to dislike the way that the "company" is going. They are saying that prior to 2000 everything was better.

So for those that have said it was better then, can you back it up and tell me how it was better?

I can see how things have improved just a few observations.

The Dining plan is much more affordable and easier to use.

The past 2 years they have offered the "Free Disney Dining"

Built more Value resorts and even added a few suite sections to one of them

Changed with the times added new attractions ie. Expedition Everest, How to be a Millionaire Play It!

Buzz Lightyears Space Ranger Spin

New Theme Park - Animal Kingdom
New Water Park - Blizzard Beach (not sure on the year though)

More timeshare

Now they may be very broad, but I think it was for the best. Those were just at the top of my head, now please do me the favor and tell me what the company has done that you have such a horrible taste in your mouth for them.

As YoHo said, 2000 is not the Magic year. I doubt you could really find a specific point in time where things "changed", unless you want to point to either the hiring of Eisner or the death of Frank Wells.

What happened was that Disney's assets, specifically WDW in this case, were underutilized prior to 1984. One of the primary goals of Eisner/Wells was to change that. Disney was sitting on a lot of valuable land and not doing enough with it, and by most outside standards they were undercharging for their products (park admission, room rates, parking, etc).

It's debateable whether the undercharging really was an issue or a good long term strategy, but that point became moot.

So for quite awhile, growth and improvement was acheived through new hotels, fee/price increases, etc. But as they got into the 90's, the low hanging fruit was pretty much gone. That's when cuts started. Cuts to hours, maintenance, services, part-time workers replacing full-time, reduced training, etc.

That's why its hard to pin a date on it. The philosophy changed long before things really started to show up in the products. Customers won't squack too much about price increases as long as they still perceive things to be fair. But as other chinks started showing up in the armor, people did begin to notice.

2000 was notable in that Disney hit its peak attendance due to the economy peaking in late '99, yet small cuts were still being made. Then came 9/11 and some rather drastic cuts were made. The fans said don't worry, they'll return everything when attendance starts going up again. But the company was telling investors that long term profitability would be enhanced because some cuts would remain permanent, and they did.

To address the specifics of your list:

The Dining plan is much more affordable and easier to use.

The past 2 years they have offered the "Free Disney Dining"
Depends when you go and whether its one size fits all mentality works for you. It has increased demand for TS restaurants, but capacity has not been added which makes ADRs more difficult to get. Disney has also responded by genericizing menus to improve efficiency. I believe they have also moved more restaurants into the "signature" category, requiring two TS credits. I remember them starting with 7, and now there are I believe 11.





Built more Value resorts and even added a few suite sections to one of them
Just building something doesn't make it "good". Remember, we are talking about this in terms of the quality of Disney's offerings and whether Disney is really operating in a "Disney-like" manner. They've added more rooms, yes. I don't see what they've added as really being good examples of "Disney" quality, but that's another debate I guess.

Changed with the times added new attractions ie. Expedition Everest, How to be a Millionaire Play It!
Buzz Lightyears Space Ranger Spin
Millionaire was actually born out of a carpet bombing strategy that almost took ABC down. It was only open a few years and was a way to capitalize on a fad.

E:E is a good attraction. All things considered, a plus.

Buzz is fun, and reasonably popular, but even on this they went pretty cheap. They relied on the interactive aspect (i.e., its a video game) and didn't do all they could have with the sets and effects. Not a dud, but it's also not exactly a example of Disney imagineering at its best.

Then there's Mission:Space, Stitch's Encounter, Two Imagination re-do's, Tiki Room Under New Management, Chester and Hester's, and various attractions left without updating or even at times basic maintenance. If we go west, there's DCA and Tomorrowland.

In fairness, a few other winners have come out that you didn't mention.


New Theme Park - Animal Kingdom
New Water Park - Blizzard Beach (not sure on the year though)
Blizzard Beach opened in '95, AK in '98.

But again, these are new products. Whether they are "good" or not depends on how they were done. BB was over 10 years ago, but as water parks go, it's nice. AK was a shell of a park when it opened, and STILL struggles to keep customers' attention past 4pm. Sure, they've made some additions, some good, some not, but there was no excuse for a Disney with the resources it had at its disposal to open a park like AK in the state it was in, or even MGM when it opened. Throw in DCA as well. Now, those parks are 9, 17, and 6 years old respectively, and they STILL aren't called full-day parks by many. Never mind something that actually matches the scope of DL, MK and even Epcot.



More timeshare

Good if you can afford to buy in and like the value proposition. I'm not going to call it bad at this point, but the jury is still out on what kind of long term impact this growing segment will have on the resort as a whole.

Also, always keep in mind that every investment comes at the expense of other investments that are consquently never made.

Keyser
03-13-2007, 04:09 PM
Actually, I'd suggest that it's being advertised more heavily. Why is that?

Disney's website now sucks more then it ever has in the past, so it's hard to find actual numbers, It just gives a vague statement of up to 40% off your meals.

Are you trying to say that it's mainly more popular because of marketing? I think you're way off base here. Just look over at the dining board and you'll see that many people analyze these things quite a bit. The old plans I remember were not difficult to understand, either, but far fewer people purchased them.


With food n' fun, you got 2 table service meals plus I think 1 or 2 cards for use with the water sprites and such for $55 a day. Those table service meals were any appetizer, any entree and any desert with non-alcoholic drinks free. Even the big group appetizers were included.
There were more restaurants included in the plan and all restaurants cost the same number of points.


Exactly. You're paying less, now (i.e. more affordable). Plus, you're not paying for things that don't get used or you wouldn't want (e.g. the water sprites). Not to mention that I expect very few people would want to eat two sit-down meals every day. The new plan is much closer to what people actually want - as Mickeyistheman said, it's easier to use. The point is not "can you squeeze as much value out of the new plan as the old" - it's "which is going to be more affordable and easier for visitors to make use of." It seems clear that the new plan does this better than the old, and it's not just a matter of marketing.

Mickeyistheman
03-13-2007, 04:18 PM
Raidermat,

I do agree with some of your points, but what more do you want Disney to do for you?

I feel from reading these posts that just because you like millions of other spent money so I should get everything.

Inflation happens, I mean that is common sense is it not?

There were several years where Disney did not raise the per night cost, I remember back when the All Stars first opened and it was $69 a night, what is the cost now $79, I don't see that as a big increase.

I am curious how much gas was back then compared to today. I live in NJ and in the past 2 weeks gas went from 2.19 to 2.50 a gallon. THAT is a big price increase.

My first trip to Disney was in 1987 and I recall Dumbo being closed and it rained almost everyday, we went in September.

But, I thought it was the greatest place in the world. I went in Oct. 2001 with my younger sister and we did fly. The Park was empty no one was really there execpt many from Europe. That was a very sad time.

Now come 2006 into 2007 and I definately see a major increase in people going down to Disney.

I am getting off topic here.

My point is, no business is perfect and they will do things that not everyone will agree with, but why can't you just enjoy what they do offer instead of always complaining about "What they should do or could do....?"

Disney is about "The Magic" (and their bottom line) just like the business I work in as well as yours.

There is so much negativitiy in the world especially today, which is why I think many people like Disney because it does give them a chance to be a kid again and have fun and not worry about life outside those gates.

YoHo
03-13-2007, 04:55 PM
Raidermat,

I do agree with some of your points, but what more do you want Disney to do for you?

I feel from reading these posts that just because you like millions of other spent money so I should get everything.

Inflation happens, I mean that is common sense is it not?

There were several years where Disney did not raise the per night cost, I remember back when the All Stars first opened and it was $69 a night, what is the cost now $79, I don't see that as a big increase.

I am curious how much gas was back then compared to today. I live in NJ and in the past 2 weeks gas went from 2.19 to 2.50 a gallon. THAT is a big price increase.

My first trip to Disney was in 1987 and I recall Dumbo being closed and it rained almost everyday, we went in September.

But, I thought it was the greatest place in the world. I went in Oct. 2001 with my younger sister and we did fly. The Park was empty no one was really there execpt many from Europe. That was a very sad time.

Now come 2006 into 2007 and I definately see a major increase in people going down to Disney.

I am getting off topic here.

My point is, no business is perfect and they will do things that not everyone will agree with, but why can't you just enjoy what they do offer instead of always complaining about "What they should do or could do....?"

Disney is about "The Magic" (and their bottom line) just like the business I work in as well as yours.

There is so much negativitiy in the world especially today, which is why I think many people like Disney because it does give them a chance to be a kid again and have fun and not worry about life outside those gates.


The problem is that Disney is not about the magic anymore. Magic is just a word that they stick on normal things to get people that have a 4 foot tall mouse fetish to buy them.

As for costs, nobody is denying that inflation happens, that's not the issue. The issue is that Disney didn't simply follow inflation. When Disney built CBR, they raised the prices at the Contemporary and the Polynesian so it looked like it was a better value. Again when they built the values, Disney raised the prices of the mods and deluxes so that $69 looked like a better value.

If forget the exact number, I believe DisneyKidds calculated it for us, but if you were to take the Hotel industry rate of inflation over the last 30 years and apply that to the Cost of the Polynesian in 1980, you'd get a rack rate price of something like $180 a night in 2005.

Go to Disney's website, $180 is way under the rack rate for the Polynesian.

Though, I also notice that the other deluxes have taken a HUGE price cut though not that low.
Of course, that begs the question, why is the Polynesian still worth so much more?




But all of that is talking about specifics, and it's easy to get into an argument about specifics.

AV said it well, but I'll restate it.
The issue isn't WHAT, the issue is WHY.
The Walt Disney company and WED used to have a very very focused and meaningful set of rules about the when and the why of what they did. Walt Disney World was very controlled and a whole lot of thought was put in to what was built, why it was built. There was a distinct understanding of what Walt Disney World was about. WDW was about E.P.C.O.T. and I don't mean Walt's vision of an actual city. I mean the entire property was supposed to be about technical innovation. There was a distinct and important vision of what WDW was supposed to be both how it entertains and how it educates and innovates.

THAT is what is at issue here. Nobody is denying that Bob's gotta eat. It's the loss of that special vision. The vision that made Disneyland so much more then an amusement park.
There was a process a very important process. That process is dead, long live the spreadsheet.

This isn't about how much money they spend, or building E-tickets or building dark rides, this is about why they spend that money. It's about the uniqueness of Walt Disney World and Disneyland. Even after Eisner took over, WED still had the control to do a lot of good, but that eroded away.

Now we have a shell of the former company. Sure, WDW is fun, sure, they still make some neat attractions (Soarin "Over California" is awesome), but the entire creative dream of the place is dead as a giant fiberglass bowling pin.

And that's the real meaning of Christmas Charlie Brown......er, I mean, that's the issue.

There are corporations across the country and across the world that have corporate vision that extends beyond simply making a profit. The Artists that founded the major Hollywood studios certainly weren't out just to make a profit. Disneyland and WDW are Artistic creations. They deserve the attention that an artist lavishes on their work.

raidermatt
03-13-2007, 04:56 PM
My point is, no business is perfect and they will do things that not everyone will agree with, but why can't you just enjoy what they do offer instead of always complaining about "What they should do or could do....?"

...

There is so much negativitiy in the world especially today, which is why I think many people like Disney because it does give them a chance to be a kid again and have fun and not worry about life outside those gates.

In all honesty, how much I personally enjoy what they do is largely separate from what I think they should or could do. For example, despite what I think about what they did with DCA, I can visit DCA with my family and have a fun day, pretty much free of any complaining of any kind.

It's not about negativity. It's about seeing something I care about, and deciding whether I want to ignore what I see happening to it or try to address it.

Look at it this way.... if this were a family member you loved, and you saw them making some bad decisions, what would be the best thing to do? Ignore those decisions or try to constructively work with them to get them on a better path?

Yes, I know this is just a company, and certainly they don't (or at least shouldn't) hold that kind of significance in our lives, and certainly Disney isn't going to listen to me like I was a family member. But the principle is the same.

Ignoring what goes on behind the curtain and just enjoying things for what they are is fine. We all do that with various things in our lives. But at the same time, it is important to understand that any product, widget, "Magic", whatever, is the result of decisions made by people much like the rest of us.

tinkspark
03-15-2007, 10:10 AM
How many years has WWTBAM been closed?


As for Animal Kingdom, it's 10 years old. It's missed it's attendance numbers, Beastly Kingdom died. It's widely considered a half day park. I was more tolerant of it back when it started out (plus I was ignorant) but after 10 years, this place should be so much more. In 1965, after 10 years, how much had been added to Disneyland?

Millionaire just closed last August. So if you have not been there in the past 8 months you would not know it was closed.

As for Animal Kingdom, they just need to keep expanding it. So far it has the best stage show, The Festival of the Lion King, and the best ride, Expedition Everest, in WDW.


Millionaire was actually born out of a carpet bombing strategy that almost took ABC down. It was only open a few years and was a way to capitalize on a fad.

E:E is a good attraction. All things considered, a plus.

Buzz is fun, and reasonably popular, but even on this they went pretty cheap. They relied on the interactive aspect (i.e., its a video game) and didn't do all they could have with the sets and effects. Not a dud, but it's also not exactly a example of Disney imagineering at its best.

Then there's Mission:Space, Stitch's Encounter, Two Imagination re-do's, Tiki Room Under New Management, Chester and Hester's, and various attractions left without updating or even at times basic maintenance. If we go west, there's DCA and Tomorrowland.

In fairness, a few other winners have come out that you didn't mention.



They are already demolishing and rebuilding the Millionaire building to make a Toy Story ride. This ride is supposed to be similar to Buzz Lightyear. But they are taking it to the next level. They have found what they could do better and are doing it.

raidermatt
03-15-2007, 12:23 PM
As for Animal Kingdom, they just need to keep expanding it. So far it has the best stage show, The Festival of the Lion King, and the best ride, Expedition Everest, in WDW.

Best show and best ride? I think you'd get a lot of disagreement on that, especially for the ride, even from the rosiest of rose colored glass wearers.

But that's just a matter of personal preference. Certainly it has been a hit for AK. It's long term impact of course, won't be know for awhile.

I agree they need to continue expansion at AK, but I highly doubt there is going to be much more expansion. Perhaps some more restaurants and some kind of nighttime entertainment, MAYBE another attraction. But I'm guessing other changes will be replacements, not true expansions.

Look at MGM and you can get an idea of what Disney now considers a complete Disney park, and it really doesn't have much more to do than AK.


They are already demolishing and rebuilding the Millionaire building to make a Toy Story ride. This ride is supposed to be similar to Buzz Lightyear. But they are taking it to the next level. They have found what they could do better and are doing it.

That's all well and good (if the idea of playing ring toss with a Woody is appealing to you), but the point is they could have done better with Buzz. It's not like they put everything they had into it and just didn't yet have the ability to do better.

TS Mania was an attraction designed for DCA's Paradise Pier area (hence the midway games theme) that they decided to simply make two of and put the other in MGM. Of course we won't know how well its executed until its completed, but there's plenty to be wary of on this with regard to the concept.

Peter Pirate 2
03-15-2007, 01:06 PM
I'll agree that E:E is a really cool ride, not worthy of the hype, but great fun nonetheless but it isn't groundbreaking or totallyfreakinstupendouslysuperoutofthisworld great. It's just very fun, IMO.

As for AK itself, it is (unbelievable to many) my daughter and my favorite park BUT they had better address actual animals again real soon or my opinion could sour.

Oh, as to the best show (Legend of the Lion King), it may be the best show currently running but Hunchback was far suprior and look what happened to it.
pirate:

DancingBear
03-15-2007, 03:06 PM
Hunchback was a great, great show, and arguably brought attention to a Disney movie that otherwise has been largely lost. I enjoy the Lion King show, but that's not a movie that has any chance of becoming lost.