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AmyBWV99
03-01-2007, 10:53 AM
I know this has been rumored, but here's the press release. I can't even imagine why they'd be allowing Four Seasons to sell timeshares on Disney property.



Four Seasons to Anchor New Disney Luxury Resort
Thursday March 1, 11:00 am ET
Expansion plans also include value-oriented retail, dining and lodging district


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., March 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Walt Disney World Resort today announced two new projects as part of an expansion plan for the resort in Central Florida: a new 900-acre luxury resort anchored by the prestigious Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and a 450-acre retail, dining and lodging district on the western edge of the Disney resort.
"These projects are first-of-a-kind for Walt Disney World and we are thrilled to be able to bring Four Seasons to our resort," said Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney World Resort. "Families around the globe know they can trust Disney to deliver magical experiences and Four Seasons to offer exceptional service and amenities. Combined, this is a huge win for devotees of both brands and for Central Florida," said Crofton.

LUXURY DESTINATION RESORT - NORTHEAST RESORT AREA

Along the northeast border of Walt Disney World Resort, Disney plans to convert its Eagle Pines and Osprey Ridge golf courses into a luxury resort and golf community. The development will include a luxury hotel, 18-hole championship golf course, single- and multi-family vacation homes and fractional ownership vacation homes.

Disney entered into a letter of intent with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts to bring these two complementary and respected brands together to anchor a new world-class family resort destination.

Four Seasons is dedicated to perfecting the travel experience through continuous innovation and the highest standards of hospitality. Currently with 74 hotels in 31 countries, and more than 25 properties under development, Four Seasons continues to lead the hospitality industry with innovative enhancements, making business travel easier and leisure travel more rewarding. The deeply instilled Four Seasons culture is personified in its employees -- people who share a single focus and are inspired to offer great service. Four Seasons currently operates two properties in Florida, Four Seasons Hotel Miami and the Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach.

"The Resort will have all the ingredients needed to create memorable vacations: gracious and caring staff; beautiful surroundings that are thoughtfully designed; and services and amenities that make every experience one to cherish," said Kathleen Taylor, president and chief operating officer, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. "It's an honor to collaborate with Walt Disney World Resort on this project. Walt Disney's reputation for service excellence and exceptional family entertainment amenities is an ideal complement to the values of Four Seasons. Central Florida will be a valuable addition to our family of resorts, particularly since this is a destination our guests already enjoy."

Once terms of the project are finalized, site work could begin later this year, with a hotel opening forecasted for 2010.

VALUE-ORIENTED DESTINATION - MIXED-USE TOURISM DISTRICT

On the western edge of the resort, Disney is planning a mixed-use tourist commercial district just outside Disney's gateway entrance. The master-planned development is comparable in size to Disney's Animal Kingdom.

The project combines third-party branded lodging, retail and dining in a pedestrian-friendly environment and will be another example of Disney's commitment to unique placemaking. Located outside Disney's gateway around the interchange where Western Way meets the Western Beltway, early development plans include 4,000 - 5,000 low- to mid-rise, value-priced lodging units and 300,000 - 500,000 square feet of commercial space. Designed around a retail village, the development will become a convenient shopping and service center for Cast Members, nearby residents and Central Florida visitors.

The project is currently in the design stage. Site work and branding is anticipated to begin later this year. The project will be built in phases over the next 8 - 10 years.

Walt Disney World Resort is a contiguous 40-square-mile, world-class entertainment and recreation center featuring four theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney-MGM Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom); two water adventure parks (Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon); 32 resort hotels (22 owned and operated by Walt Disney World, including five Disney Vacation Club resort properties); two full-service spas; Disney's Wedding Pavilion; Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex; and Downtown Disney, an entertainment-shopping-dining complex encompassing the Marketplace, Pleasure Island and West Side. Walt Disney World Resort is also included in vacation packages of Disney Cruise Line. Located at Lake Buena Vista, Fla., 20 miles southwest of Orlando, Walt Disney World Resort opened Oct. 1, 1971. Open daily, year-round.




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: Walt Disney World Resort

crazy4wdw
03-01-2007, 11:32 AM
Disney to partner with Four Seasons on luxury resort

From Sentinel Staff Reports
Posted March 1, 2007, 10:47 AM ESTMar 1, 2007

Walt Disney World President Meg Crofton this morning announced two new projects at the resort: a luxury resort and golf course community in Bonnet Creek and a mixed-use commercial center for "value-conscious" guests just outside the western edge of its property.

Disney is partnering with the Four Seasons hotels and resorts on a 900-acre site that will include a luxury hotel, 18-hole championship golf course and single-family and fractional ownership homes.

The hotel is expected to open in 2010, and the current Osprey Ridge golf course will be renovated and rebranded as a Four Seasons property.

The mixed-use development, with 4,000 to 5,000 units of low- and mid-priced lodging, will take advantage of the recently opened Western Beltway to bring visitors coming from Interstate 75. The development will be built just outside the Disney gateway at the western edge of its property.

That development will feature a pedestrian-friendly retail center with dining, shopping and small-scale entertainment venues.

raidermatt
03-01-2007, 12:16 PM
Well, I guess my "99 holes of Golf" shirt will be an antique.

DancingBear
03-01-2007, 12:35 PM
Sad that they don't value holding onto the real estate and developing on their own any more.

YoHo
03-01-2007, 12:44 PM
And people wonder why I spew so much Vitriol.

raidermatt
03-01-2007, 12:45 PM
I guess since they wanted a high end development, they had to bring in somebody with a reputation for quality customer service.

DisOrBust
03-01-2007, 12:48 PM
Maybe Eisner wasn't so bad after all.

wdw4us2
03-01-2007, 12:58 PM
If you needed proof that the Walt Disney Company now values profits above everything else, here it is.

"Here in Florida we have something special we never enjoyed in Disneyland - the blessing of size. There's enough land here to hold all of the ideas and plans we could possibly imagine." - Walt Disney

I have a hard time believing this new plan was what he imagined.:sad2:

Another Voice
03-01-2007, 02:07 PM
Some quick notes:

It's long been rumored that Disney wants to partner-up with an outside company for the expansion of DVC and Disney Resorts. Everyone had assumed this was going to be Marriott (Disney has tried to sell all the WDW resorts to them in the past). This is the first I've heard of Four Seasons being around.

Why does Disney want to sell land to people who want to build low-end motel rooms while half of Disney's Pop Century sits rotting in the sun? Is Disney now giving up on the low end of the resort business? Is there that much demand for motel rooms? And then why not finish Pop?

The Four Season development - hotel, time shares and vacation homes is exactly what the old Disney Village Resort (e.g. Lake Buena Vista Resort) was designed to be. But they ripped it out for the moronic Disney Institute, then turned it into DVC.

And the western development sounds like another Hotel Plaza & Crossroads Center.

The team of Michael Eisner and Bob Iger have now managed to sell off more than a third of the Walt Disney World's land.

Selling off another giant piece of WDW to another outside company is interesting and desperate. Giving away the high end of the market is interesting and desperate. Allowing competitors to build thousands of motel rooms while thousands of rooms at Pop Century sit unfinished is interesting and desperate. Rushing out all these press releases about expansion off property, the cruise line and WDW is interesteing and desperate.

So when is the other shoe going to fall?

Peter Pirate 2
03-01-2007, 02:20 PM
Soon Mr. Voice, I think you will even start to despise Iger more than Eisner...:scared1:
pirate:

paulh
03-01-2007, 02:41 PM
was the site of the new four seasons the old dvc site that was canned for ssr?
Paulh

DC7800
03-01-2007, 02:52 PM
So when is the other shoe going to fall?

I'm not sure what's worse - the ominous implications of what's next, or what has already been done to undermine the future of the company.

We know all Disney really cares about is making a quick buck - but do these deals really bring in that much cash? Enough to explain the reasoning behind the madness? Doesn't seem to add up.

Maybe Eisner wasn't so bad after all.

Words I would never have thought possible...

DancingBear
03-01-2007, 03:00 PM
Let's not start feeling warm and fuzzy about Eisner. He's the one that started thinking about the Florida real estate as just being another underperforming asset.

raidermatt
03-01-2007, 03:22 PM
Yeah, honestly I think this is just the natural progression of what Eisner wanted to do anyway. Iger's biggest fault might be that his better ability to play nice with others has allowed him to pull it off.

was the site of the new four seasons the old dvc site that was canned for ssr?
Paulh

It appears to be. I haven't seen any maps, but the Eagle Pines DVC was going to be around the Eagle Pines golf course. From the statements about the location, as well as the mention of only one 18 hole golf course (Osprey), it would seem that not only is SSR now officially gone, but so is the Eagle Pines golf course.

rantnnravin
03-01-2007, 03:36 PM
Four Seasons continues to lead the hospitality industry with innovative enhancements... The deeply instilled Four Seasons culture is personified in its employees -- people who share a single focus and are inspired to offer great service.

ummmm....doesn't this sound like what a certain mouse-eared company was once known best for? :sad1: does it sadden no one else that they must look to another company now to provide this type of service on Disney property?
:sad2:

DC7800
03-01-2007, 03:37 PM
Let's not start feeling warm and fuzzy about Eisner

No, certainly not. I was thinking more along the lines of the devil you know versus the one you don't (or how bad it will get) and, indeed, as raidermatt noted Eisner was fortunately unable to implement some of his ill-concieved, half-baked ideas.

crazy4wdw
03-01-2007, 03:50 PM
There's a video regarding the new projects on wesh.com

Link: http://www.wesh.com/travelgetaways/11147122/detail.html

crazy4wdw
03-01-2007, 03:59 PM
Another video is available at the Orlando ABC TV station (WKMG)

Link: http://www.local6.com/travelgetaways/11145583/detail.html

k5thbeatle
03-01-2007, 04:18 PM
About time they did something to cater to other than the low budget crowd!

clkelley
03-01-2007, 04:58 PM
Actually, I'm kind of glad about the value area. I'm hoping that will be the "new" area where they house Pop Warner, cheerleaders, dance teams, Magic Music Days, etc., and all the other Wide World of Sports tournament guests and leave the values and moderates available for families.

Cobra B.
03-01-2007, 07:50 PM
Shhhhh! Listen. There it goes again... Walt rolling around in his grave.:sad2:

Maistre Gracey
03-02-2007, 03:29 AM
Can somebody please explain to me why this is so bad? I don't see where Disney is selling any land, but maybe I missed something.
If Four Seasons is building on Disney property, why is this any different than the Swan & Dolphin hotels?
I also don't see any mention of timeshares or competition for DVC. I believe fractional ownership housing is a bit different.

MG

Scratch42
03-02-2007, 05:27 AM
Can somebody please explain to me why this is so bad? I don't see where Disney is selling any land, but maybe I missed something.
If Four Seasons is building on Disney property, why is this any different than the Swan & Dolphin hotels?
I also don't see any mention of timeshares or competition for DVC. I believe fractional ownership housing is a bit different.

MG


It's the Canadians taking over slowly!

Haven't you heard about our campaingn to make Florida a province!?!

:lmao: :lmao: :lmao:

j

DancingBear
03-02-2007, 06:25 AM
Can somebody please explain to me why this is so bad? I don't see where Disney is selling any land, but maybe I missed something.
If Four Seasons is building on Disney property, why is this any different than the Swan & Dolphin hotels?
I also don't see any mention of timeshares or competition for DVC. I believe fractional ownership housing is a bit different.It is the same as the Swan and Dolphin. But the S&D were only built as on-property independent hotels because the deal was in place and they couldn't get out of it.

Why it's bad is 'cause it means Disney is giving up on doing anything special themselves. They not be selling the land, but what's the difference? It's more land being used for something other than a truly Disney resort, or a 5th gate, or something else.

And fractional ownership=timeshare.

OrlandoMike
03-02-2007, 06:33 AM
If you dont aleady have Eagle Pines, Osprey Ridge, or 99 holes of golf merchandise I would get some now! They will be collectors items very soon.

Lesley
03-02-2007, 09:13 AM
Just popped in because I wanted to see what all of you were saying about this. My dh heard about it last night and on a quick review of the article on AllEars all I could think was "encroachment!" Its definitely not sitting well with me, even though I'm trying to find something good about it.

So, its not the beginning of the end (that has already long passed, right?) but is it the middle of the end, or the end of the end?

My dh, in absolute reactionary fashion, suggested selling the DVC. This wouldn't be the only reason, of course, but perhaps the last straw. I've given up my deep personal attachment to what WDW was at one time, but I think it may be interesting to see what effect this has on WDW as a whole. If we don't go back we really won't know. Plus the kids would be devestated.

Peter Pirate 2
03-02-2007, 09:26 AM
Lesley, I feel exactly as you do. I still like WDW a lot but I have very little deep attraction to it anymore. Every decision they make, while not completely evil is certainly centered around the bottom line. Now I know 4Seasons will cater to their clientele better than Disney but it's sad to me that Disney so easily admits it. I always believed Disney could do anything better than anyone else. I close my eyes for a little nap and wake to find out Iger has just turned them into everyone else.:sad1:
pirate:

grimgrinnin
03-02-2007, 09:44 AM
The team of Michael Eisner and Bob Iger have now managed to sell off more than a third of the Walt Disney World's land.


Eh? Source please. Disney has not sold any land for the 'western' project. Not sure about the FS. If they did sell the 900 acres, how is that 1/3rd?


grim pirate:

DisOrBust
03-02-2007, 09:48 AM
I have the same feeling as well. The love I had for the place is now replaced with a bitterness of how "stupid" do they think I am. I hate myself for funding such a money grubbing organization with my families hard earned cash. We still go for my kids but not as often as we had in the past.

Another Voice
03-02-2007, 10:42 AM
Disney has not sold any land for the 'western' project.
Almost all of the land south of US 192, the town of Celebration the surrounding land, was sold off when Disney bailed on this project. The land for the Four Seasons, time shares and tract homes will also be sold off. Just Celebration alone is near 30% of the Walt's property. The rest and minor other sales that have been going on for years have now pushed things over a third according to some good estimates.

What we're seeing is the new approach the current management (Bob Iger and Jay Rasulo [I'm not going to bother looking up the spelling of that idiot's name]. The future of Disney Parks and Resorts is the model being used in Tokyo, Paris and Hong Kong: Disney will own a limited stake in an operating company but the majority will be held be outside firms. This idea goes way back to the Eisner days, now it's starting to pick up speed.

"Disney" is a brand now. To The Company, "Disney" is a mark of good value and Mickey Mouse and children products. It's a moderartely upscale brand being sold to the well-off middle class. It's as simple as at McDonald's you see Ronald, at Disney you'll see Mickey. "Disney" is a way to wrap up all the products The Company wants to sell you, all in a nice convient buddle so you're shopping dollars don't wander too far away. It's princesses to cruise ships all in once convinent stop.

Disney is the WalMart of entertainment.

Lewisc
03-02-2007, 10:42 AM
You make a lot of good points.

Just remember the hotels at DTD were part of WDW's original plan. The shopping center across the street (Crossings) was originally owned by WDW. Since that time Disney has added 3 more theme parks. Having another area that accommodates guests looking for a different experience isn't necessarily bad.

Getting a company like Four Seasons to build an upscale hotel also makes some sense.

The problem is when you put everything together. Disney seems more interested in leasing land rather than actually building something.

There is a rumor that Disney is going to finish POP with the new section being family suites.




Some quick notes:

It's long been rumored that Disney wants to partner-up with an outside company for the expansion of DVC and Disney Resorts. Everyone had assumed this was going to be Marriott (Disney has tried to sell all the WDW resorts to them in the past). This is the first I've heard of Four Seasons being around.

Why does Disney want to sell land to people who want to build low-end motel rooms while half of Disney's Pop Century sits rotting in the sun? Is Disney now giving up on the low end of the resort business? Is there that much demand for motel rooms? And then why not finish Pop?

The Four Season development - hotel, time shares and vacation homes is exactly what the old Disney Village Resort (e.g. Lake Buena Vista Resort) was designed to be. But they ripped it out for the moronic Disney Institute, then turned it into DVC.

And the western development sounds like another Hotel Plaza & Crossroads Center.

The team of Michael Eisner and Bob Iger have now managed to sell off more than a third of the Walt Disney World's land.

Selling off another giant piece of WDW to another outside company is interesting and desperate. Giving away the high end of the market is interesting and desperate. Allowing competitors to build thousands of motel rooms while thousands of rooms at Pop Century sit unfinished is interesting and desperate. Rushing out all these press releases about expansion off property, the cruise line and WDW is interesteing and desperate.

So when is the other shoe going to fall?

YoHo
03-02-2007, 10:49 AM
This is the end, the end of our story.

Maistre Gracey
03-02-2007, 11:24 AM
Where does it say the land will be sold for the Four Season's project?
Also, I understood that Celebration had been earmarked for sale since the beginning. Am I wrong??

I just don't see this as a big deal. I see this as a major over reaction here. Would you rather have the land just sit there? Then you folks would be complaing about wasted resources etc.. There seems to be no way to please most people on this board. "Darned if you do, darned if you don't."

It's a Four Seasons for pete's sake, not a HoJo's!!

MG

Peter Pirate 2
03-02-2007, 11:35 AM
Celebration WAS sold to Lexin Corp.
pirate:

Geubux
03-02-2007, 11:40 AM
You're right, Gracey. They are all just whinning. This is a way to get HIGH end hotels built with someone else's money. Yep, it's the end. I guess if you want quality entertainment, you'll have to go to Universal or Six Flags. Oh wait, those are both look some high adventure port-o-pots.

Forgive us and them for messing with the "Holy", the land o disney. Looks like there might be an acre or two left to squeeze a carny ride or a new parking lot.:cool1: :banana:

Peter Pirate 2
03-02-2007, 11:42 AM
Sure it's a 4Seasons ... And it WILL be GREAT. But it won't be Disney. Is the Swan and Dolphin "Disney"? I am one of the few who like both of these hotels (around here) but there is no mistaking them for "Disney" hotels.

Again, the Disney I fell in love with would have taken the idea of a world class resort and done it themselves...Better. Iger doesn't care if Disney is in a class by iteself, if they're just a little better and making big bucks then he'll be satisfied. And if they keep making $$$ I'm not too sure how much he'll care about the core quality issues. So far his decisions have erred on the side of profit every single time.
pirate:

Another Voice
03-02-2007, 11:50 AM
Am I wrong??
Yes you are. In the original master plan that land was going to be used for a regional airport. Later is was to be a high tech industrial showcase. Then it became Celebration which was supposed to be Disney forever. Then the company sold out the residents for a couple extra bucks. The press announcement itself says the land will be de-annexed from RCID - that's why they're making the early announcement. The land for the western expansion will remain Disney property, but WDW is will build a fake "gateway" so that it looks like it's outside WDW proper.

I just don't see this as a big deal.
Because you're not paying attention. By giving this land away to other people Disney is saying two things: "people can run WDW better than we can" and "we're in this for a quick buck rather than the future".

Once the land is gone, there's no chance for any future Disney projects. WDW used to be more than just theme parks, they're used to be all kinds of ideas. Disney is giving up on those. It's saying they've run out of ideas, they don't need the land.

And for the sake of Earl - Disney can't build and operate an up-scale hotel? Is the company so bad that it can't run hotels and valet parking? This is the company that screams at us it makes "magic" - but now tells us that outside companies are better at everything! What kind of "quality" is Disney committing to if it can't do the simple things?

Disney's given up. They want our money but they don't want to work for it.

Maistre Gracey
03-02-2007, 11:55 AM
But if Disney is having trouble filling the hotels they already have, why would they build more? If they built hotels they couldn't fill, I can't imagine the outcry on this board.

The Four Seasons will bring a new kind of visitor to WDW. Perhaps this will generate more revenue and profit for Disney, and lead to lead to bigger and better things down the road.

I do apologize for looking on the bright side, and not being doom & gloom like so many here.

MG

Maistre Gracey
03-02-2007, 12:07 PM
And fractional ownership=timeshare.
Not necessarily. Perhaps it does for the legalize type stuff, but not always from a actuallity standpoint.
There are things such as high end houses that are quarter or eighth owned.

Peter Pirate 2
03-02-2007, 12:16 PM
Look, I was optimistic up until Iger took over and showed me exactly the path that he intended to take, the path that Eisner paved for him (wittingly or not). I still contend that Eisner's ego made him better suited for 'our' Disney than Iger's (Eisner thought himself creative so some creativity did evolve). Iger does not think he's creative nor does he care.

This 4Season's thing is just, as has been said, more proof that Disney doesn't care about evolving anymore. It's easier for them to hire outside hoteliers, restraunteurs, janitors, bellmen, valets, gardeners than to do the job themselves. Now perhaps some of these jobs could (I say could) be better served by out sourcing, but Hotels??? What if Disney gets to the point where an outside management team for managing the Parks looks better to them? Will this be the wake up call?
pirate:

DancingBear
03-02-2007, 12:18 PM
Where does it say the land will be sold for the Four Season's project?Sold, leased, what does it matter? The point is that (aside from the fact that they're taking away a nice golf course), that land won't be available to be the next [INSERT YOUR FAVORITE DISNEY RESORT WORLDWIDE], or the Fifth Gate, or whatever great idea might be developed in the future (a Four Seasons is nice, but it's not anything new).

There is only so much property left for them to build on--a ton of the remaining property is set aside for required conservation area.

Also, I understood that Celebration had been earmarked for sale since the beginning. Am I wrong??Not that I'm aware of.

...Would you rather have the land just sit there?Well, part of it's not just sitting there now, it's a Pete Dye-designed golf course!

In any event, as stated above, the complaint isn't that they're developing, just that they're not doing anything particularly special or particularly "Disney."

Then you folks would be complaing about wasted resources etc.Please, find some past quotes from "us folks" along those lines.

It's a Four Seasons for pete's sake, not a HoJo's!!I thought the Grand Floridian was supposed to be a true luxury resort? I thought Disney was the company which was

...dedicated to perfecting the travel experience through continuous innovation and the highest standards of hospitality....continues to lead the hospitality industry with innovative enhancements...deeply instilled...culture is personified in its employees -- people who share a single focus and are inspired to offer great service...all the ingredients needed to create memorable vacations: gracious and caring staff; beautiful surroundings that are thoughtfully designed; and services and amenities that make every experience one to cherish...Why does Disney need Four Seasons? Because they've lost their touch? Because they've failed?

DancingBear
03-02-2007, 12:22 PM
You're right, Gracey. They are all just whinning. This is a way to get HIGH end hotels built with someone else's money.It's not just a capital play--you can do that and still operate the hotel. They're giving up on operating a true luxury resort.

DancingBear
03-02-2007, 12:25 PM
The press announcement itself says the land will be de-annexed from RCID - that's why they're making the early announcement. The land for the western expansion will remain Disney property....That's correct, I misspoke above. The land under the "fractionally owned" homes will be de-annexed from RCID. Disney could continue to own the land, I guess, but per Celebration, why would they?

DisOrBust
03-02-2007, 12:30 PM
I'm not sure this even makes business sense to do. Aren't they cannibalizing there own hotels business?? Who is going to want to stay at the GF for 400+ when they can stay at the Four Seasons for the same or less according to their rates listed on their website?

DancingBear
03-02-2007, 12:36 PM
Where's Bicker when you need him to tell DisorBust that she doesn't know nuthin' about nuthin' and that the professional managers like Jay Rasulo have the PowerPoint Slide Shows to prove it?

DancingBear
03-02-2007, 12:38 PM
Not necessarily. Perhaps it does for the legalize type stuff, but not always from a actuallity standpoint.
There are things such as high end houses that are quarter or eighth owned.Call it what you want, but presumably this is the product:

A new method of vacation home ownership, fractional ownership has become increasingly popular in the luxury market. Ideal for busy professionals and families looking to maximize their vacation time, fractional ownership is attracting individuals who want to own exclusive properties of the highest quality and service, while paying only for the time they plan to use.

Fractional ownership gives you the full enjoyment and satisfaction of owning an elegant vacation home – without many of the hassles and responsibilities of maintenance and upkeep associated with owning a full-time vacation home. As an owner, you can transfer or sell your interest as you would with real estate ownership.

With only 12 interests sold in each villa, each owner at Four Seasons Residence Club Punta Mita has greater flexibility and options when requesting their vacation dates each year. You enjoy easy access, year after year, to a beautifully designed and impeccably maintained ocean-view villa, enhanced by uncompromising Four Seasons service. You also enjoy exchange privileges, providing access to other Four Seasons Residence Club locations.http://www.fourseasons.com/residenceclubs/explore_your_destinations.html

Maistre Gracey
03-02-2007, 12:44 PM
Call it what you want, but presumably this is the product:

http://www.fourseasons.com/residenceclubs/explore_your_destinations.html
That sort of proves my point. That description sounds nothing like DVC, or any traditional timeshare.
That sounds like 1/12 ownership in upscale houses.

MG

raidermatt
03-02-2007, 01:04 PM
I do apologize for looking on the bright side, and not being doom & gloom like so many here.


And I apologize for wanting Disney to be something more than a landlord, and not being blinded by pixie dust like some others here.

Of course, landlord only applies to the land they haven't/won't sell off.

Instead of developing their own projects, find a brand that already targets that same general market and lease/sell WDW to them?

That's what Disney and WDW is all about to you?

Maistre Gracey
03-02-2007, 01:23 PM
And I apologize for wanting Disney to be something more than a landlord, and not being blinded by pixie dust like some others here.

Of course, landlord only applies to the land they haven't/won't sell off.

Instead of developing their own projects, find a brand that already targets that same general market and lease/sell WDW to them?

That's what Disney and WDW is all about to you?
If Disney can't fill all their resort rooms now, why should they build more hotels? If Animal Kingdom is still a work in progress, why would they build a fifth park? Do they need another water park? Are the Downtown and Boardwalk areas so crowded that they need another entertainment area? Perhaps they should just let the land sit there and go unproductive??

Look, I know everyone's dream is for Disney to build monorails around the entire property, have 6 theme parks, buy more land and build anouther 20 deluxe resorts (and fill every room), massively increase the maintenance budget, and add 3 billion in new e-ticket attractions.

Oh yes, did I mention they also have to be profitable regardless of their expenses?

Please tell me, what do you think the REALISTIC answer is?

MG

DancingBear
03-02-2007, 01:40 PM
If Disney can't fill all their resort rooms now, why should they build more hotels?Huh? If they can't fill all their resort rooms now, why should they place a competitor on the property? And if they think this fills a void of a true luxury resort (one which I thought the Grand Floridian was supposed to fill), why not build one themselves? (Or work on the GF getting that 5th star like it was supposed to have in the first place).

If Animal Kingdom is still a work in progress, why would they build a fifth park? Do they need another water park? Are the Downtown and Boardwalk areas so crowded that they need another entertainment area? Perhaps they should just let the land sit there and go unproductive??Or perhaps they should continue to bank the land until they have something great AND profitable to go there. It's not like they have huge carrying costs on the land.

Look, I know everyone's dream is for Disney to build monorails around the entire property, have 6 theme parks, buy more land and build anouther 20 deluxe resorts (and fill every room), massively increase the maintenance budget, and add 3 billion in new e-ticket attractions.That ain't the dream of any of "us folks" you've been talking about (except for the monorails as so some portion thereof).

Please tell me, what do you think the REALISTIC answer is?What's not realistic about what I've said? I suppose I should lay my cards out on the table and say that I'm a commercial real estate attorney who exclusively represents developers. I'm not proposing any pie-in-the-sky ideas here.

PatriciaH
03-02-2007, 01:46 PM
Why does Disney want to sell land to people who want to build low-end motel rooms while half of Disney's Pop Century sits rotting in the sun? Is Disney now giving up on the low end of the resort business? Is there that much demand for motel rooms? And then why not finish Pop?



Thank you! I said this right after I read the news. Also, the Four Seasons was supposed to go on Celebration property. It had been in the works for years. Now they are going on WDW property. I wonder if this has anything to do with the recent talks of Celebration incorporating into a town. We may have got the tax revenue from the Four Seasons. I love how they are mowing down our wetlands for this Island Village too. :sad2:

k5thbeatle
03-02-2007, 01:47 PM
...It's more land being used for something other than a truly Disney resort,...

Yeah...meaning another mediocre hyped up disguised 3 star resort? I say HURRAY that they are finally getting a truly upscale resort! Finally!:wizard: :thumbsup2 :thumbsup2 :thumbsup2

raidermatt
03-02-2007, 01:51 PM
Nope, no monorail dreams here. Upgraded transportation, yes, but I've always only said Monorail expansion should only be CONSIDERED as a PART of that.

But there is no rush to utilize this particular parcel of land. Disney is not under imminent threat of takeover due to under-utilized assets (or are they?). Also, in the 4 Seasons example, much of the land in question is being utilized currently by two 18-hole golf courses.

Its sounds as though you are saying Disney has simply run out of ideas for the land, and they don't plan to ever need it in the future.

It also sounds as though you have no problem with outside brands taking over large parcels within WDW.

You see no value in the "bubble" concept that Disney worked so hard to build for so long?

raidermatt
03-02-2007, 01:54 PM
Yeah...meaning another mediocre hyped up disguised 3 star resort? I say HURRAY that they are finally getting a truly upscale resort! Finally!:wizard: :thumbsup2 :thumbsup2 :thumbsup2

You know, at least I can see where you are coming from. Disney simply doesn't have the ability to successfully do this stuff anymore, so they might as well turn it over to those who can.

It of course means true Disney is in fact dead, but it very well might be the most realistic pov.

DancingBear
03-02-2007, 01:57 PM
Yeah...meaning another mediocre hyped up disguised 3 star resort? I say HURRAY that they are finally getting a truly upscale resort! Finally!:wizard: :thumbsup2 :thumbsup2 :thumbsup2The sad thing is the presumption inherent in your post that Disney, once a paragon of customer service, is incapable of building and operating a "truly upscale resort." There's really no reason that the GF and the YC couldn't be true luxury properties if they put the effort into it.

PatriciaH
03-02-2007, 02:02 PM
Celebration WAS sold to Lexin Corp.
pirate:

Just the downtown. The golf course was sold to another company. TCC (The Celebration Company aka Disney) still has a big presence here. They will until they make all the $$$ they want to off of Celebration. In fact they are having a meeting soon for residents to voice what they want in the Island Village area. (Like they will listen-most say leave the trees.)

Maistre Gracey
03-02-2007, 02:03 PM
You know, you folks here are the best "spinners" I've seen. You should consider a career in politics.

The point is that for years folks on this board have been poo-pooing virtually ever move Disney has made. It gets old.
No matter what they do, you will find a way to portray it in a negative light. I'm convinced that Disney couldn't win with you no matter which direction they may take.

What I really wonder is why the pesimists here still have an interest in Disney? I mean, you don't like anything they do...
I just can't imagine sitting and waiting to pounce on every decision, then finding a way to critisize it. If you hate the company philosophy and direction that much, why do you hang out here? You may say "It's what the company could be."
Well, McDonald's could serve steak & lobster, but I don't sit there and whine because they don't.

Now, I know someone will pick apart this post sentence by sentence and try to spin things to make me look the fool. Point is, just look at posts on this board IN CONTEXT over the last several years, and the truth will become very apparent.

I would like to say that when I use the word "you", I'm not referring to anyone inparticular, but rather the board pessimism in general.

MG

raidermatt
03-02-2007, 02:25 PM
Na-ah, you.

I can't imagine falling in love with 6 letters no matter how the meaning of those letters changes. Slap Disney on the box and certain people will fall all over themselves to praise it.

Heck, now, Disney doesn't even have to be the box.

You may lack the ability to evaluate decisions on their merit and simply praise them based on the name on the box, but some do still think for themselves.

I'd like to say that when I use the word "you", I'm not referring to anyone in particular, but rather the board optimists in general.

DancingBear
03-02-2007, 02:31 PM
MG, is there anything you care about regarding Disney's past? And I don't mean that the Tiki Room is sacred or anything, but is there anything you value about the philosophy and vision on which the company was built?

And, more importantly, do you have any vision as to what Disney, and WDW might become in the future? Are you willing just to accept every decision of this nature?

Perhaps you don't care whether or not they closed the Hunchback show, or installed another spinner in Adventureland. But doesn't this sort of decision have any significance to you?

Can you respond to the concept that this is a major step beyond outsourcing backroom payroll accounting functions?

McDonalds wasn't founded on serving steak and lobster. Disney WAS founded on providing outstanding service, and an immersive experience.

This is really about something significant within the company. These decisions are about a philosophy of what Disney is about and what the land at WDW is for that is frankly depressing for many of us. What is your big picture view?

Jason71
03-02-2007, 02:45 PM
Instead of the next "Adventurers Club" and "Once Upon a Toy," we're getting a TGI Fridays and CVS. Instead of the next "Port Orleans," we'll get a Comfort Inn. Clearly the company could do better--they have before--but they just aren't even trying.

I'm halfway through American Genius. What made Walt Disney into an icon was his constant drive to create something new, different and exciting. He could have made decent cash churning out Mickey cartoons for the rest of his life, but he felt the need to add sound and color and make Snow White and Fantasia just because he knew he could create something spectacular that no one had ever seen before. The words "Disney" and "settling" do not belong in the same sentence.

Also, to return to a point Another Voice made a couple months ago, once again WDW is antagonizing a group of local business owners who I am sure have lobbyists in Tallahassee.

paulh
03-02-2007, 02:48 PM
with this anouncement it seams more likely that disneys ony hotel expansions will be only dvc add ons to dellux hotels.So how soon will they anounce dvc at contempory, poly and grandfloridian.Not to forget the disney land hotels
Paulh

Another Voice
03-02-2007, 03:13 PM
Please tell me, what do you think the REALISTIC answer is?
I want the place to be unique.

I want it to be different. I want to be able to walk the grounds and think to myself “this could only happen here”.

I want the real magic of group of talented and dedicated people to show through everything they do. I want whimsy, I want fun, I want something I have never seen before.

I want Walt Disney World.

I want to dream of flying through outer space, not of 800 thread count sheets on my hotel bed. I want my son to imagine he’s on a safari deep into the wilds of Africa, not about which Happy Meal toy he wants. I want to be share the excitement with people from all over the world, not some fat### corporate larva rich enough to buy 1/12th of a luxury home and is already bored with the place.

I want space for future generations to dream. I want potential to remain – and the idea that “the future will be better than today” can remain alive.

I want Disney to have the confidence it once had. I want it to believe in itself again. I want it to have faith they can create a place people want to see, that it can treat guests as they used to, and that Disney will be successful.

And I want a Disney that’s willing to do the hard work to make it all work.

I want “Disney” to stand for more than just a brand name.

Maistre Gracey
03-02-2007, 03:37 PM
I want the place to be unique.

I want it to be different. I want to be able to walk the grounds and think to myself “this could only happen here”.

I want the real magic of group of talented and dedicated people to show through everything they do. I want whimsy, I want fun, I want something I have never seen before.

I want Walt Disney World.

I want to dream of flying through outer space, not of 800 thread count sheets on my hotel bed. I want my son to imagine he’s on a safari deep into the wilds of Africa, not which Happy Meal toy he wants. I want to be share the excitement with people from all over the world, not some fat### corporate larva rich enough to buy 1/12th of a luxury home and is already bored with the place.

I want space to for future generations to dream. I want potential to remain – that the idea of “the future will be better than today” can remain alive.

I want Disney to have the confidence it once had. I want it to believe in itself again. I want it to have faith they can create a place people want to see, treat guests as days they used to, and that they will be successful.

And I want a Disney that’s willing to do the hard work to make it all work.

I want “Disney” to stand for more than just a brand name.
Very nicely written, and I agree 100%.
Now, is that realistic? I mean, it takes more than hard work to achieve this worthy goal. It takes lots of money.

As I said earlier...
Look, I know everyone's dream is for Disney to build monorails around the entire property, have 6 theme parks, buy more land and build anouther 20 deluxe resorts (and fill every room), massively increase the maintenance budget, and add 3 billion in new e-ticket attractions.

MG

Maistre Gracey
03-02-2007, 03:43 PM
Na-ah, you.

I can't imagine falling in love with 6 letters no matter how the meaning of those letters changes. Slap Disney on the box and certain people will fall all over themselves to praise it.

Heck, now, Disney doesn't even have to be the box.

You may lack the ability to evaluate decisions on their merit and simply praise them based on the name on the box, but some do still think for themselves.

I'd like to say that when I use the word "you", I'm not referring to anyone in particular, but rather the board optimists in general.
I do think I evaluate things pretty critically. That doesn't mean my perspective parallels yours.

There are many things "Disney" that I don't care for, don't care about, or don't think are done correctly.
With that said, on balance I do like Disney.

MG

larry_poppins
03-02-2007, 03:44 PM
This 4seasons announcement is really just the latest nail in the Disney coffin which for me began with no swimming in the Contemporary and Polynesian Beaches and the removal of Mickey butter. It has been ten years of lowering my expectations. These two new projects are not only not the Disney of old, but they are boring. Who cares about another 4seasons or a Comfort Inn on the Western edge of the property? With the exception of Tokyo DisneySea every project Disney has worked on since 1995 has been a big bore. I am certainly not flying to Florida to have dinner at the 4 Seasons.

My question is why would anyone buy fractional ownership at WDW 4 Seasons? The parks are crowded with dated attractions. Maintenance is forgotten. Will there be a monorail to the 4Seasons? Certainly they won't have to take busses? I bet they will have boat service and it may put the WDW boat service to shame. Otherwise why stay there? Why not stay at the Grand Floridian? Sure it will have an elitist golf course, but so do half a dozen other Central FLorida locations. There are already Ritz Carltons, JWMarriotts and soon a Waldorf Astoria in Central Florida.

What a big bore!

Maistre Gracey
03-02-2007, 03:54 PM
MG, is there anything you care about regarding Disney's past? And I don't mean that the Tiki Room is sacred or anything, but is there anything you value about the philosophy and vision on which the company was built?

And, more importantly, do you have any vision as to what Disney, and WDW might become in the future? Are you willing just to accept every decision of this nature?

Perhaps you don't care whether or not they closed the Hunchback show, or installed another spinner in Adventureland. But doesn't this sort of decision have any significance to you?

Can you respond to the concept that this is a major step beyond outsourcing backroom payroll accounting functions?

McDonalds wasn't founded on serving steak and lobster. Disney WAS founded on providing outstanding service, and an immersive experience.

This is really about something significant within the company. These decisions are about a philosophy of what Disney is about and what the land at WDW is for that is frankly depressing for many of us. What is your big picture view?
As I said in my last post, there are things that I don't care for and wish were done differently. The spinner in Adventureland is a prime example.
However, I still see much more good than bad. A prime example of recent good is Expedition Everest.

Although I have grown up going to Disney, and still go four times a year, I'm not a true historian like many of you here are. I do understand a lot of the initial vision, however I also realize a business must survive. In order to do that not all core principles may be exercised at all times.

I would rather see the "Everest/spinner compromise" than see WDW faultering because they refuse to adapt to today's business models.

MG

Another Voice
03-02-2007, 03:55 PM
Now, is that realistic? I mean, it takes more than hard work to achieve this worthy goal. It takes lots of money.
The company was a fraction of its current size and had almost no available resources, yet Disney stunned the world in 1955, 1966, 1971, and 1982.

Yet today the company has billions and billions at its command and all we get is chain hotels and mildly amusing TV commericals turned into sitcoms.

The difference is guts. Disney used to beleive in itself. It used to beleive they could go out and build what ever they wished - they just had to figure out how. That kind of attitude, that kind of trust in themselves resulted in places that people in the millions came to see.

But Disney is dead. The creative heart stopped beating a long time ago. Instead of leading the public, instead of risking on something "new", Disney began to take the cheap and easy way out. It's pandering to people now.

Walt Disney World was the company's last hope. It was the last place Disney could really be creative and "wow" the world. Now they've turned it another stretch of Miami Beach. Chain hotels, chain restuarants, phony "upscale" experiences for people that can't afford the real thing. It's all gone so cheap now.

Yes, it's safer to let collect rent from Four Seasons than it would be try the high market again. Yes, it's faster to sell off land to developers rather than wait for a really good idea to come along.

But no one likes "Disney" because they're fast and easy.

dunnhorn
03-02-2007, 03:57 PM
I actually don't see a problem with having a Four Seasons coming on board. If they couldn't get the Ritz, the Four Seasons is definitely a good choice. With no "pull" like that what else is going to encourage folks to go to Eagle Pines at Osprey Ridge? What if it was "just" another DVC? What would be the draw? I guess it could be a DVC golf resort - wait, don't we have that at Saratoga? How long has that taken to sell? Okay, so maybe not a golf resort, but *around* a golf course. Wait, isn't that OKW? So with two DVC resorts built around a golf course, and Saratoga being right next to DTD, what on earth would a DVC at Osprey have to offer other than golf?

Enter a name brand known for quality and luxury. A five star resort with standards known around the world... around a golf course, luring the (male) business travelers and conference goers who do not care about the parks.

Actually it does make some sense. This is not about the families and park goers (although there will be some.) This is about appealing to another (overlooked) clientele of Disney. My husband's uncle is an IBM exec and they stay at WDW during a yearly conference, but they go back and forth on ritzy places to stay. I suggested a tower room at Contemp, and they said they were booked and even the concierge was booked.

Also - adding more ritz and quality names to the property is going to do nothing but polish the Disney name. We have friends who stay in exclusive five star places. They were going down to Disney last year, and I suggested and heartily recommended Beach Club. They booked on my advice and know what? They hated it - said it wasn't as nice as they expected. Said they thought that it was a bit dirty... this last year they stayed at the Peabody. You think they are alone??? It costs MONEY to keep up five star stuff. All places can't be like the Floridian.

Okay - about the Value Development issue .... Really is it so bad? We have to get the All Star folks somewhere to hang out and eat so they aren't flooding the food courts. We stayed at a Value (All Star Sports) for the first time ever for 1 night in early December - it was the only room open on property - and we were there in an "off" time! The actual grounds were perfect for families and the room was adequate - - but the clientele there was anything but "family friendly." There were several young-ish groups of boys/men sitting around outside drinking what looked like beer - and the picture was cracked in the room. I remember when they were building the Value resorts, and the idea was that they would be a place for younger/budget families, but really they have become anything but. All Star is for groups and tours (and lets face it, they don't care where they stay as long as they are on or near the buses) and they have displaced the value families to Pop, which is almost always sold out. This "value" area is very far away from DTD, and really we don't want the value folks to innundate DTD anyway, because it is not built for crowds.

Anyway - my two (or make that four) cents on why this is not necessarily a bad thing for Disney. These are choices that cater towards clientele who use and visit Disney that are *other* than the family with 2.5 kids or the folks doing a Magical Gathering.

DancingBear
03-02-2007, 04:19 PM
Very nicely written, and I agree 100%.
Now, is that realistic? I mean, it takes more than hard work to achieve this worthy goal. It takes lots of money.Was it realistic in 1971? 'Cause it seems like they in fact used to do just was A-V was describing.

BRERALEX
03-02-2007, 04:23 PM
I want the place to be unique.

I want it to be different. I want to be able to walk the grounds and think to myself “this could only happen here”.

I want the real magic of group of talented and dedicated people to show through everything they do. I want whimsy, I want fun, I want something I have never seen before.

I want Walt Disney World.

I want to dream of flying through outer space, not of 800 thread count sheets on my hotel bed. I want my son to imagine he’s on a safari deep into the wilds of Africa, not which Happy Meal toy he wants. I want to be share the excitement with people from all over the world, not some fat### corporate larva rich enough to buy 1/12th of a luxury home and is already bored with the place.

I want space to for future generations to dream. I want potential to remain – that the idea of “the future will be better than today” can remain alive.

I want Disney to have the confidence it once had. I want it to believe in itself again. I want it to have faith they can create a place people want to see, treat guests as days they used to, and that they will be successful.

And I want a Disney that’s willing to do the hard work to make it all work.

I want “Disney” to stand for more than just a brand name.

Thanks for that.

DancingBear
03-02-2007, 04:24 PM
As I said in my last post, there are things that I don't care for and wish were done differently. The spinner in Adventureland is a prime example.
However, I still see much more good than bad. A prime example of recent good is Expedition Everest.

Although I have grown up going to Disney, and still go four times a year, I'm not a true historian like many of you here are. I do understand a lot of the initial vision, however I also realize a business must survive. In order to do that not all core principles may be exercised at all times.

I would rather see the "Everest/spinner compromise" than see WDW faultering because they refuse to adapt to today's business models.Honestly, I don't think "today's business models" are really that different from days of yore. There is more pandering to short-term Wall Street expectations, but that's not about whether or not you make a profit, really.

It's not like Disney didn't have budgets before, or that they didn't make compromises. It's about what they were trying to do, vs. what current management isn't bothering to try to do.

raidermatt
03-02-2007, 04:33 PM
I do think I evaluate things pretty critically. That doesn't mean my perspective parallels yours.

There are many things "Disney" that I don't care for, don't care about, or don't think are done correctly.
With that said, on balance I do like Disney.

MG

And likewise, those you accused of blanket criticism have varying opinions on different Disney decisions as well.

It would be one thing if nobody was offering any rationale for not approving of this decision, but that's not the case. Yet you focused on your pre-conceived, and inaccurate, assessment of the posters, not what they said in their posts.

That said, you do seem to have moved beyond that a bit with your last posts, so thank you.

Now, is that realistic? I mean, it takes more than hard work to achieve this worthy goal. It takes lots of money.


As others have said, the company made such decisions when it had much less to invest. Today's Disney is still reaping the rewards of such decisions.

Now they have far more capital at their disposal, but they choose not to do the things AV described. Yes, it takes, money, and yes, they have it.

If their strategy from the beginning was to look to other companies for investments like this, do you honestly think they would be anything close to the Disney we have before us today?

What if instead of building the Poly and Contemporary, they leased (or sold) the land to Hilton?

What if instead of all of the other deluxes, they leased all of that land to Sheraton?

What if instead of the All-Stars, they really did just turn the land over to Motel 6 or Holiday Inn?

In all of those cases the company had far fewer resources at their disposal than they do now, yet with the exception of the S/D, they made the investment themselves. How they executed on that decision is another matter, but the point is they did it.

So there's no basis for saying they can't do it now. What's more, would WDW hold the same meaning to most people if instead of the Poly, Contemp, AKL and Boardwalk there were Hiltons and Sheratons all over the place?

I'm pretty sure this decision isn't going to sink WDW financially in the near future, and it may even turn out to be a money maker in the long term. But the opportunity cost of making this decision is tremedous and largely permanent, even if it is a lease. And what's more, it puts things on the table that could make even the most pixie-dusted fan cringe.

DancingBear
03-02-2007, 04:34 PM
I actually don't see a problem with having a Four Seasons coming on board. If they couldn't get the Ritz, the Four Seasons is definitely a good choice. With no "pull" like that what else is going to encourage folks to go to Eagle Pines at Osprey Ridge? What if it was "just" another DVC? What would be the draw? I guess it could be a DVC golf resort - wait, don't we have that at Saratoga? How long has that taken to sell? Okay, so maybe not a golf resort, but *around* a golf course. Wait, isn't that OKW? So with two DVC resorts built around a golf course, and Saratoga being right next to DTD, what on earth would a DVC at Osprey have to offer other than golf?So the universe of choices here was the Golf DVC vs. Four Seasons?

Enter a name brand known for quality and luxury. A five star resort with standards known around the world... around a golf course, luring the (male) business travelers and conference goers who do not care about the parks.

Actually it does make some sense. This is not about the families and park goers (although there will be some.) This is about appealing to another (overlooked) clientele of Disney. My husband's uncle is an IBM exec and they stay at WDW during a yearly conference, but they go back and forth on ritzy places to stay. I suggested a tower room at Contemp, and they said they were booked and even the concierge was booked.

Also - adding more ritz and quality names to the property is going to do nothing but polish the Disney name. We have friends who stay in exclusive five star places. They were going down to Disney last year, and I suggested and heartily recommended Beach Club. They booked on my advice and know what? They hated it - said it wasn't as nice as they expected. Said they thought that it was a bit dirty... this last year they stayed at the Peabody. You think they are alone??? It costs MONEY to keep up five star stuff. All places can't be like the Floridian.So, again, we'll just concede that Disney isn't capable of making or running a 5-star hotel.

Of course, the more I think about this, the more I'm expecting a fairly small Four Seasons hotel, and more emphasis on the high-end timeshares. I don't see any mention of the size of the hotel in the press release. And if that's true, it ain't gonna be a big convention destination (as if Central Florida needs more convention space).

Okay - about the Value Development issue .... Really is it so bad? We have to get the All Star folks somewhere to hang out and eat so they aren't flooding the food courts. We stayed at a Value (All Star Sports) for the first time ever for 1 night in early December - it was the only room open on property - and we were there in an "off" time! The actual grounds were perfect for families and the room was adequate - - but the clientele there was anything but "family friendly." There were several young-ish groups of boys/men sitting around outside drinking what looked like beer - and the picture was cracked in the room. I remember when they were building the Value resorts, and the idea was that they would be a place for younger/budget families, but really they have become anything but. All Star is for groups and tours (and lets face it, they don't care where they stay as long as they are on or near the buses) and they have displaced the value families to Pop, which is almost always sold out. This "value" area is very far away from DTD, and really we don't want the value folks to innundate DTD anyway, because it is not built for crowds.Wow. Just wow. So Disney invited these low-lifes onto the property when the built the All-Stars, but the amenities (food court) aren't sized properly and maintenance and management is poor. And the new "value" development is going to improve this situation how?

Maistre Gracey
03-02-2007, 04:41 PM
Thanks everyone. I wanted you to know that I'm not running from this thread. I have quite enjoyed the banter.

I must bail out, as I need to go pack as we leave for the Grand Californian in the morning!

MG

raidermatt
03-02-2007, 04:49 PM
I would rather see the "Everest/spinner compromise" than see WDW faultering because they refuse to adapt to today's business models.

There is no evidence that an "Everest/great dark ride combo" would cause WDW to faulter while an "Everest/spinner compromise" will result in greater success. The question is do you believe that if Disney made the effort to do better than the spinner portion of the equation, would people respond? If yes, then you understand what we are talking about. If no, then how is it they managed to create Everest?

To make this analagous to the current example, what if instead of trying to build Everest, they instead leased that part of the park to somebody else to build and operate the attraction under that company's brand name?

k5thbeatle
03-02-2007, 09:41 PM
...To make this analagous to the current example, what if instead of trying to build Everest, they instead leased that part of the park to somebody else to build and operate the attraction under that company's brand name?

You know I can imagine (no pun intended) that actually happening someday in the future.:eek:

Cobra B.
03-02-2007, 10:04 PM
When can I purchase some FSVC points?:furious:

barreloflaughs
03-03-2007, 06:29 AM
Walt Disney Company, you're nothing to me now. You're not a brother, you're not a friend.

I don't want to know you or what you do.

I don't want to see you at the hotels....(I won't be there anyways)...

I don't want you near my house.

When you see our mother, I want to know a day in advance, so I won't be there. ....er....

You understand?

It's not personal...it's strictly business.

barreloflaughs

MassJester
03-03-2007, 08:27 AM
To make this analagous to the current example, what if instead of trying to build Everest, they instead leased that part of the park to somebody else to build and operate the attraction under that company's brand name?

Like Exxon's Wolrd of Energy, or United Technologies the Living Seas?

simzac
03-03-2007, 09:17 AM
I see the gloom and doom board is still alive and well;)

G8RFAN
03-03-2007, 09:44 AM
Interesting read. I saw the article in my local rag and figured there would be some heated discussions on this and of course there is. My take on this is that I am surprised. I'll be honest, we love to stay on Disney property, but we also like to stay at JW Marriott/Ritz-Carlton if we want to spend the weekend at SeaWorld. We stayed at the GF back in '99 and it resulted in our decision to try to stay on property for future visits and more importantly, to experience the theming at each resort no mater what the price point. I am sure there is going to be some canabalism of GF bookings when the 4 seasons comes on line, but the GF is not a 4 or 5 star hotel but a themed hotel like every other WDW deluxe resort hotel.

As far as giving up and bringing in other brands instead of creating more entertainment venues with the land, I do not think they will ever build a 5th gate based on the struggles that AK and MGM has had. Maybe AK could have been more, but everything they did right has been beyond expectations and people still aren't coming. Then there are complaints that AK and AKL is in the middle on nowhere, but so was MK when it first opened. I can't imagine what the general populous would say with a western park. Out of everything that I've read, if there is one thing this company should invest in is a complete park monorail system and reduce the mental madness of the buses. Thank goodness we have our car until then. BTW, I think the biggest problem WDW operating wise is human resources. There is no such thing as good affordable labor in central FL. Especially at the scale they need. Thus the substandard maintenance, service, food, etc, etc. I'm not sure how much organized labor has helped or hurt the situation, but I am really pressed to find an example where it has really helped. Anyway, I do think the 4 seasons franchise is a very good one but I am not so sure how well the two brands will compliment each other. For those that wash their hands of Disney, it's absolutely your $'s and time and Disney has failed you. Time to move on.

Another Voice
03-03-2007, 11:07 AM
Like Exxon's Wolrd of Energy, or United Technologies the Living Seas?
Not at all. Those attractions were designed, built and operated by Disney. The companies you mentioned paid Disney to put their in the shows as advertising.

The Four Seasons will be designed, owned and operated by an outside company. Once Disney sells the land, Disney won't have any connection to if what so ever.

P.S. The rumor is significant portions of the development - both the Four Seasons and the vacation homes, are going to be on the shore of Bay Lake. That's why FS moved from Celebration to WDW - Disney gave them a choicer bit of land.

daannzzz
03-03-2007, 11:30 AM
I actually don't see a problem with having a Four Seasons coming on board.

This statement along with "As a stock holder I see this as a great positive" Is what is wrong with the WDC now. Apparently those in charge don't see a problem with most of this either. Most anything that will make money is game whether it is the right choice or not. And with manyof the public agreeing with them, they will only take it farther and farther. So if bulldozing th parks would triple the worth of the stock should they do that?

clkelley
03-03-2007, 11:42 AM
So if bulldozing th parks would triple the worth of the stock should they do that?


SHHHHHH Don't say that too loud. Opryland did that and built Opry Mills Mall. A unique park disappeared all in the name of profit.

Dznefreek
03-03-2007, 08:03 PM
a little insight as to how the whole Four Seasons deal may have come around. There has been some corporate shakeup within the Four Seasons company lately where the hotelier’s two largest investors (Bill Gates and Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal) just finalized a deal two weeks ago to take the company private for an estimated $3.4 billion. If the name Prince Al-Waleed sounds familiar to you, he has been involved for some time in the EuroDisney Resort where he came in years ago to add financial support to the struggling resort in it’s first bout of bad times and now he apparently owns 10% of EuroDisney S.C.A., the second largest parner after Disney’s own 39.78% stake. It’s said that Prince Al-Waleed has been asking Disney for quite some time now to let him place a Four Seasons hotel on site at Walt Disney World in exchange for his continued and possibly additional financing support for EuroDisney SCA.
Food for thought. . . . .

DancingBear
03-03-2007, 08:09 PM
BTW, I think the biggest problem WDW operating wise is human resources. There is no such thing as good affordable labor in central FL. Especially at the scale they need. Thus the substandard maintenance, service, food, etc, etc.Certainly Central FL has had low unemployment and such, but what labor pool is the Four Seasons going to hire from?

EUROPACL
03-03-2007, 08:31 PM
Certainly Central FL has had low unemployment and such, but what labor pool is the Four Seasons going to hire from?


http://coffee-and-pie.com/media/img/9fd986be/Illegal-Crossing-i.jpg

dunnhorn
03-03-2007, 09:10 PM
HA!

Seriously, they'll probably ship them in from the other properties. As for the housekeeping staff... it's anybody's guess.

pouncingpluto
03-07-2007, 09:08 AM
Is anyone else concerned about the addition of so many hotel rooms (and other accomodations) without an announcement of a fifth park? It's the crowding at parks and other attractions that would bother me more than anything.

MassJester
03-07-2007, 10:13 AM
Is anyone else concerned about the addition of so many hotel rooms (and other accomodations) without an announcement of a fifth park? It's the crowding at parks and other attractions that would bother me more than anything.

That's an interesting thought.

I've toyed with that myself, and I'm wondering if Disney isn't trying to marginalize other hoteliers in the area. There was a story about ending the distribution of park information to outside hotels earlier that might lend support to such a strategy.

I don't mind if that is the plan--someone has to make money off of all those folks staying there, why not Disney?

Another Voice
03-07-2007, 10:19 AM
I don't mind if that is the plan--someone has to make money off of all those folks staying there, why not Disney?
So why can't Disney make a high end resort on their own? Certainly Disney's "magic" should be able to outdo Four Seasons in all areas. Why give up all that money to Four Seasons when Disney could keep it all?

Mickmse2002
03-07-2007, 12:50 PM
Whew, this was a long read.....but figured I better read it before chiming in. As many may attest, I have generally tried to make arguments in support of the existing Disney corporate culture still understanding how to make magic. This one is hard to explain. I understand the short-term need to continue to meet Wall Street demands but I am troubled by the apparent corporate responsibility to produce quality on their own. I don't think yhe two have to be separate.

As for many, many, many comments about the historical perspective of Uncle Walt always managing to make magic on a shoestring budget that eventually paid dividends is, to a certain degree, not really relevant. When Disney "went public" Walt was very concerned about having to cut quality in order to make profits. The Wall Street environment of today is different then in his time. If a company misses a Wall Street projection by a penny you may see a slide in the stock price and subsequent loss of potentially billions of valuation. If Walt had to survive in todays climate he may not have been successful.

I too bemoan the loss of the spirit of creativity but I wonder how much we have all contributed to this through our demands of Wall Street? We all want our pensions and investments valuations to rise on the backs of companies that must compete for short-term profit.

Another Voice
03-07-2007, 01:12 PM
If a company misses a Wall Street projection by a penny you may see a slide in the stock price and subsequent loss of potentially billions of valuation.
The difference it that today it's greatly, greatly easier to raise money from Wall Street than it was to raise capital in Walt's time. Losing pennies from the stock price is nothing compared to business pressure's yesterday.

Walt was financed by Bank of America. They had sole say on what Walt could do. There weren't hundreds of venture capital firms waiting to pour in money. There weren't mega finanical organizations ready to soak up cash from all quarters. There was a single Board of Directors with one banks worth of money (and back then, Bank of America could only operate in Califorina). There were no Euro bonds to float, no Asian money market funds.

Walt had a bunch of grey guys in suits smoking cigars. Can you imagine those guys understanding something like Disneyland in 1953??????

How is that easier than today's junk market market? Or getting capital from a single person - someone like Paul Allen could easily afford a project the scale of Disneyland all by himself (hell, Bill Gates could build Disneyworld if he wanted). The original founders of Dreamworks raised $5 billion on their own.

It's nothing but an easy excuse to say "they had it easy, we have it so hard". The reality is the exact opposite.

What's lacking today isn't capital to invest (a lot has been squandered on GO.com, ABC, airplane leases, etc.) - it's imagine, talent, the willingness to work hard and, mostly, the confidence to try. Money is the easy part. Having faith one's ability is hard.

DisOrBust
03-07-2007, 01:14 PM
I highly doubt my 32 shares of EXXON stock has caused Wall street to go for the short term gain. I'm guessing the CEOs that have been "given" 100's of 1000's of shares that actually make these stupid short sighted decisions and make a mitfull of money have a bit more influence. Its greed pure and simple, without any thought for the long term.

Mickmse2002
03-07-2007, 01:22 PM
It's nothing but an easy excuse to say "they had it easy, we have it so hard". The reality is the exact opposite.

I never said it was easier. I said it was markedly different and Bank of America was willing to give the company longer to succeed then you see today.

What's lacking today isn't capital to invest (a lot has been squandered on GO.com, ABC, airplane leases, etc.) - it's imagine, talent, the willingness to work hard and, mostly, the confidence to try. Money is the easy part. Having faith one's ability is hard.

Never said this either so I assume you were responding to someone else. My point is that the business models of 1953 may not be the best to ensure long term survival today. You're not comparing apples to apples.

Mickmse2002
03-07-2007, 01:26 PM
I highly doubt my 32 shares of EXXON stock has caused Wall street to go for the short term gain. I'm guessing the CEOs that have been "given" 100's of 1000's of shares that actually make these stupid short sighted decisions and make a mitfull of money have a bit more influence. Its greed pure and simple, without any thought for the long term.
Your 32 shares no. The 32,000,000 shares held by a mutual fund you own do cause EXXON to seek the most profit possible.
Disney is no different. Institutional investors, whom represent each and every one of us, do care about profits, both short and long term. They don't care about blue sky phrases such as "magic" and "pixie dust". As long as the parks keep churning out cash then the investors are happy.

DisOrBust
03-07-2007, 01:47 PM
As long as the parks keep churning out cash then the investors are happy.

But thats the point. I expect the manager of my mutual funds to look at a company such as Disney and think they are throwing the baby out with the bath water and therefore NOT to invest with them. As they did with the no confidence vote many mutal fund managers gave Eisner during the whole Save Disney campgain. Correct me if I'm wrong but Disney's stock has been weak compared to the rest of the market?
The Eisners/Igers of the world who do have 32,000,000 ( a guess) shares can make the "short term" gain decisions and sell a chunk of their shares and make quite the profit, walk away, not give a dam and feel like a master of the Universe.

DancingBear
03-07-2007, 01:53 PM
Never said this either so I assume you were responding to someone else. My point is that the business models of 1953 may not be the best to ensure long term survival today. You're not comparing apples to apples.I don't see where A-V is missing the point. He's just pointing out that there are actually ways in which things are actually easier in 2007 than in 1953. So Wall Street may be swinging up or down based on your quarterly numbers, but there is also a tremendous amount more capital out there. Disney's stock is very widely held I believe, so no institutional investor has any inordinate power over the price.

Nordstrom does pretty well with its high-customer-service model. Apple's emphasis on meaningful product development has paid off well. Pixar's mantra of "quality is a business plan" has led to an unbelievable string of hits. Berkshire Hathaway's longer-term outlook has paid off big-time. It can be done, but it takes management that's willing to refrain from pandering to the quarterly report pressures.

Another Voice
03-07-2007, 01:58 PM
There is no one sitting in an office at Lake Buena Vista saying to themselves "I wish I could authorize keeping Animal Kingdom open an extra hour - but what would Wall Street think!".

There is no one sitting in Wall Street saying "I was going to buy three billion shares, but they overpaid for Gary Sinese's narration in 'Mission: Space' - those fools, Disney must be destroyed for the sake of capitalism!"

Wall Street wants profits. It doesn't really matter how a company gets them, they just want them. It's Disney choice as to how they earn them. Disney can either wow guests, creating magic and excitment and causing Earl in Toledeo to load the family in the car and head to Orlando 'cause he's got to witness these amazing sights - or Disney could cut the number of chicken fingers they serve and con suckers with photogrpahers holding a rope across Main Street.

Real Disney had the confidence to make products at such a high level they beleived that people would willingily pay for them. Today's "Magic" Disney doesn't have enough faith in itself to create popular shows - they're more trusting of marketing, gimmicks and just plain hucksterism to squeeze a couple more pennies from people. Making a brand new money is filled with risk, vomiting out Cinderella 2 at least means you'll get money from stupid and lazy consumers. Instead of creating something new to sell, Disney is trying to get more money from what already exists.

But they don't see that tactic is both damaging the present company and ruining the future of the company. It's Disney's management that's after the quick and easy buck, not Wall Street.

Mickmse2002
03-07-2007, 05:46 PM
There is no one sitting in an office at Lake Buena Vista saying to themselves "I wish I could authorize keeping Animal Kingdom open an extra hour - but what would Wall Street think!".

There is no one sitting in Wall Street saying "I was going to buy three billion shares, but they overpaid for Gary Sinese's narration in 'Mission: Space' - those fools, Disney must be destroyed for the sake of capitalism!"

Wall Street wants profits. It doesn't really matter how a company gets them, they just want them. It's Disney choice as to how they earn them. Disney can either wow guests, creating magic and excitment and causing Earl in Toledeo to load the family in the car and head to Orlando 'cause he's got to witness these amazing sights - or Disney could cut the number of chicken fingers they serve and con suckers with photogrpahers holding a rope across Main Street.


There are managers in LBV that makie decisions which will affect the bottom line profitabilty and how Wall Street will respond. To believe otherwise is just not realistic. As usual this debate centers on perceived mismanagement and on some issues I am in complete agreement. There are fund managers and stock analysts who routinely meet with management and watch decisions very closely. Do they care about the number of chicken fingers? Nope, that's just silly. The one point that seems to be ignored is that the parks are doing very well for the Disney company and therefore keeping shareholders (including most of us here) happy.

DisOrBust
03-07-2007, 06:16 PM
Do they care about the number of chicken fingers? Nope, that's just silly. The one point that seems to be ignored is that the parks are doing very well for the Disney company and therefore keeping shareholders (including most of us here) happy.

But they should care how the guest feels about the lack of value(aka ripoff) by that missing chicken finger. If the guest finds the value lacking they won't return to WDW and definitely complain hard to their other "7 friends" what a ripoff WDW was. They may even find the whole "brand" a ripoff.
Yes the parks are doing well, bottom line wise BUT they are giving dining away and 40% discounts away to get people there. In the process the parks are keeping the rest of the boat afloat to the point that they are SELLING THE LAND OFF!!!

I'm sorry I just don't see any good in it. I was hopeful with Iger/Lasseter but that is now gone. I know I really shouldn't give a dam but our first trip was in the 90's with my DD and it was so "magical". I guess you really can "never go home again."

Mickmse2002
03-07-2007, 06:27 PM
I'm sorry I just don't see any good in it. I was hopeful with Iger/Lasseter but that is now gone. I know I really shouldn't give a dam but our first trip was in the 90's with my DD and it was so "magical". I guess you really can "never go home again."

I feel your pain, really I do. I first starting taking my family there in the early 90's and things are different today, very different. We still go several times a year and the magic comes from being there with my family and the memories we make. Disney traditionalists can argue until we're blue in the face about what we think should happen but some credit has to be given to the success of the management model. We may not agree with it but it is working.

Parks are crowded, restaurants are crowded, WDW is making tons of money and the stock is at a 52-week high. The masses ARE responding. Look at the activity on websites like this. Look at the success and expansion of DVC resorts. I wonder what the overall customer satisfaction is?

raidermatt
03-07-2007, 06:42 PM
Attendance has still not reached pre-recession levels. Guests are happy, but not as happy as they could and should be. They should have hit that mark several years ago, and should have blown past it with all of their recent marketing moves. This could have very serious implications when the next downturn hits. Think how rough things were at WDW as the economy slowed in 2000 and then tourism crashed in 2001. And that was coming off record attendance.

The stock was at a 52-week high before the recent slip, but its really only been on a run for about a year or so, and lagged behind for at least a decade prior to that. We can't just say everything is alright because of a relatively short term streak.


Here's the point. In keeping things simple, there are two ways to make money. The easy way, and the hard way. Disney has moved towards the easy way. Its not that Wall Street has forced them in that direction, it's that Disney has CHOSEN to move in that direction because it's, well, easier. The Street presents them with the challenge of making money, and Disney responded in its chosen way.

Others respond differently because they believe in their ability to execute the hard way, and in doing so, they believe they will achieve greater long term success.

Of course, as Disney continues down this path, Disney's actual ability to execute the hard way diminishes. It's not a switch you can just flip on and off.

That's not to say everything can be the same as it was back in the day. The overriding concepts however, have not changed out of necessity, they have changed out of choice.

Another Voice
03-07-2007, 07:55 PM
The masses ARE responding.
Free food, discount codes, multimillion TV ad campaigns to tell people that sixteen hundred dollars is an "affordable" vacation, unfinished hotels that sit rotting in the sun, firesales on land to direct competitors, record airline travel, record international travel, record number of tourists in Florida, record number of tourists in California - and Disney has yet to reach it's 2001 levels, let alone its highes from 2000.

The masses AREN'T responding. Long lines because of closed attractions and shortened operating hours, filled tables because of giveaway program, converting hotel rooms into time shares are NOT the sign of strong business. They are a sign of weakness. Hell, the stock market is at all time historic highs, and Disney (a DOW component) can't even do better than what it did ten years ago. That too is a sign of weakness.

This is all the result of bad business decisions that have been forced onto Attractions. Walt Disney World and Disneyland are the only units keeping Disney alfoat these days. All the money to bail out the studios, all the revenue increases needed to offset the latest ratings decline at ABC - all of that has come out of the parks. The constant need for more and more cash has forced the parks to operate on margins that are not sustainable and hurt the business.

MassJester
03-07-2007, 08:22 PM
Assuming that you are correct, and I don't, where does the bemoaning get us?

doubletrouble_vb
03-07-2007, 08:32 PM
Bemoaning gets us back into the real world notion that there are other places to vacation in Orlando other than Disney World.

Tourists straying from the fold is what it will take to get Disney to turn around...and I plan to do plenty of that over the next few years.

Another Voice
03-07-2007, 09:44 PM
Bemoaning works - look at Disneyland.

The place was literally falling down and killing people ('Columbia, 'Big Thunder', 'Space Mountain'). The place looked dirty, nothing was open, the service was horrible and then they opened the insulting California Adventuere demanded that everyone begin paying premiums for their "wonder park".

People in Southern California stayed away in the millions. Attendance cratered. Disney was embarassed every day on the Internet - and soon in the general press. Disney tried cheap, easy and stupid "fixes" to its problems (like the Electrical Parade in DCA and 'XGames Xtreme Xperience). They got laughed into the ground.

The park hit rock bottom - and Disney knew it had to change or it was going to be permanently hurt. Helped by the hype of the 50th Birthday - rides were fixed, rotten wood was replaced. Buildings that hadn't seen paint since Reagan was in office suddenly got a fresh coat. We started to get better shows, we started to get better merchandise. Suddenly, it was fun going to Disneyland again.

And the place saw record attendance. We're getting our sub ride back - bigger than ever. There's all kinds of pressure to keep the revenue momentum going - meaning we'll see a new ride every year for the next ten years.

This can happen at WDW. The ultimate power lies with the consumer. Pretending we don't ming what is happening just encourages the Company to do more of the same. But keeping our money - and telling Disney why and how we would prefer to spend it - is the only way their going to re-learn how to please us guests.

Disney has choice. It can either grow by gaining new fans and recovering those that have slipped away - or it can cut expenses faster than we give up on the parks. Sure, some people will always "find the magic there" - but some people will always buy Cheez-Wiz and think The Dukes of Hazard - The Beginning is an evening's entertainment.

To capture a real audience, a large audience - a profitable audience - Disney knows it has to please us.





(and that's why they're scared).

MassJester
03-08-2007, 01:29 AM
I see no evidence that they are scared.

Another Voice
03-08-2007, 10:54 AM
I see no evidence that they are scared.

Psst - then why do they hire marketing firms to post nice things on Internet fan boards.

paulh
03-08-2007, 11:00 AM
erm the middle easten rulers have used there oil to buy tussards,legoland,london eye ect to form the second largest theame park group.Will disney be next to surcome to the oil billions.then have everthing mortgaged to the hilt then floted back to public erm i wonder

Mickmse2002
03-08-2007, 12:35 PM
Psst - then why do they hire marketing firms to post nice things on Internet fan boards.

:rotfl: paranoia is a beautiful thing.

cristen
03-08-2007, 01:02 PM
paranoia is a beautiful thing


Have you never seen their job postings for it on their web site?

EUROPACL
03-08-2007, 01:11 PM
:rotfl: paranoia is a beautiful thing.

http://www.hort.purdue.edu/ext/senior/vegetabl/images/large/artichokeplant3.jpg

MassJester
03-08-2007, 03:15 PM
Psst - then why do they hire marketing firms to post nice things on Internet fan boards.

::shrug:: the same reason any organization might -- marketing.

manning
03-08-2007, 07:22 PM
years.

This can happen at WDW. The ultimate power lies with the consumer. Pretending we don't ming what is happening just encourages the Company to do more of the same. But keeping our money - and telling Disney why and how we would prefer to spend it - is the only way their going to re-learn how to please us guests.



You kind of have to wonder who is dumber, Disney or the people. I have certainly cut down on my visits.

raidermatt
03-09-2007, 03:17 AM
I see no evidence that they are scared.

What would you consider evidence? A press release that says "We're scared"?

Let's just say there is concern.

MassJester
03-09-2007, 06:24 AM
What would you consider evidence? A press release that says "We're scared"?

Let's just say there is concern.

It's been my experience that when publicly traded companies are "scared" executives are removed.

EUROPACL
03-09-2007, 07:14 AM
It's been my experience that when publicly traded companies are "scared" executives are removed.

You mean like how Eisner was forced out before his contract was up or how the Weinsteins leave to form a new company or how Disney had to spend over 7 billion dollars to hire back former employees.

raidermatt
03-09-2007, 01:30 PM
Matt Ouimet also left. Rumors are starting to surface that Mr. Rasulo maybe "under some pressure".

larry_poppins
03-09-2007, 01:34 PM
Nothing would make me happier if that incompetent Rasulo was forced out. If you have witnessed his creation, the Walt Disney Studios Paris, you would not be surprised by the equally lame year of a million dreams and wasting money on Vanity Fair shots. If we could only get Judson Greene back.

MassJester
03-09-2007, 05:46 PM
You mean like how Eisner was forced out before his contract was up or how the Weinsteins leave to form a new company or how Disney had to spend over 7 billion dollars to hire back former employees.

Eisner was removed -- at that point I think the company was indeed scared. Since then, not so much.

raidermatt
03-09-2007, 05:54 PM
Eisner was removed -- at that point I think the company was indeed scared. Since then, not so much.

The company was almost taken over by Comcast. Freddy Krueger comes in under that "fright level".

MassJester
03-09-2007, 06:29 PM
The company was almost taken over by Comcast. Freddy Krueger comes in under that "fright level".

Apples and Oranges.

If another entity with enough money comes along and wants to buy them -- no amount of dedication to Walt's creative vision will stop the sale. However that wasn't what was being discussed.

YoHo
03-09-2007, 06:31 PM
Perhaps the question should be turned on it's head.
What evidence do you have that they aren't scared?

EUROPACL
03-09-2007, 06:33 PM
Eisner was removed -- at that point I think the company was indeed scared. Since then, not so much.


....right They just spent 7 billion on former employees bringing back John Lasseter and making Steve Jobs the largest single Disney shareholder because they just couldn't find the right project for Disney World.

MassJester
03-09-2007, 06:42 PM
Perhaps the question should be turned on it's head.
What evidence do you have that they aren't scared?

Back to college logic with you - a negative can't be proven.

MassJester
03-09-2007, 06:49 PM
....right They just spent 7 billion on former employees bringing back John Lasseter and making Steve Jobs the largest single Disney shareholder because they just couldn't find the right project for Disney World.

Correcting an earlier startegic error does not constitute fright -- it is no more and no less a change in strategy. The same as bringing in the Four Seasons is a change (albeit on a smaller scale).

Every decision, or failure to decide is not rationally attributable to some dark, fright-driven, underhanded attempt to mortgage the dream. Disney is not on the verge a falling off into the abyss, the current management team is not riddled with club-footed mutinous dogs, and there is no link between the current state of affairs and the Kennedy assasination.

Anyone who thinks they can project "what Walt would do" given today's circumstances and realities needs to step away from the kool-aid.

raidermatt
03-09-2007, 06:51 PM
Back to college logic with you - a negative can't be proven.

Actually in this case, neither position can be proven using college logic. Scared is a subjective term, and there are no true "facts" that can be provided to prove or disprove the statement.

So the positive and negative are equally valid questions.


My purpose in mentioning Comcast was only to illustrate how scared the company was at that time, and that saying they are less so now doesn't say much.

raidermatt
03-09-2007, 06:58 PM
Correcting an earlier startegic error does not constitute fright -- it is no more and no less a change in strategy. The same as bringing in the Four Seasons is a change (albeit on a smaller scale).

Every decision, or failure to decide is not rationally attributable to some dark, fright-driven, underhanded attempt to mortgage the dream. Disney is not on the verge a falling off into the abyss, the current management team is not riddled with club-footed mutinous dogs, and there is no link between the current state of affairs and the Kennedy assasination.

Anyone who thinks they can project "what Walt would do" given today's circumstances and realities needs to step away from the kool-aid.

After the first paragrach, there is absolutely no practical point in anything you just said.

As for that first paragraph, it's pretty safe to say that the alternative to not making that purchase would have been frightening to anyone concerned with Disney's long term well being.

If you believe there was no fright involved in that decision, you aren't grasping the consequences to the Disney company being a 2nd or 3rd tier animation studio while the top dog makes movies for somebody else (or themselves).

MassJester
03-09-2007, 06:59 PM
The problem with that is that the discussion was regarding whether Disney was scared about the (presumed) alienation of its customer base having sold short the legacy of Walt.

The "fear" you describe is unrelated.

MassJester
03-09-2007, 07:01 PM
After the first paragrach, there is absolutely no practical point in anything you just said.



I think we have achieved a mutual disregard for each other's hyperbole.

EUROPACL
03-09-2007, 07:08 PM
Correcting an earlier startegic error does not constitute fright -- it is no more and no less a change in strategy. The same as bringing in the Four Seasons is a change (albeit on a smaller scale).

Every decision, or failure to decide is not rationally attributable to some dark, fright-driven, underhanded attempt to mortgage the dream. Disney is not on the verge a falling off into the abyss, the current management team is not riddled with club-footed mutinous dogs, and there is no link between the current state of affairs and the Kennedy assasination.

Anyone who thinks they can project "what Walt would do" given today's circumstances and realities needs to step away from the kool-aid.

But there is a link between the current management team and Eisner and the exact same defense was given to him for years, so we got go.com, Power Rangers, Bad Movies, Direct to Video, The Disney Store, ABC, Ovitz, Disneyland left to rot, EPCOT left to rot, dumbed down attractions, spinners, half built parks, DCA, Paris Studios, heck Eisner even tried to sell the parks off for Cash several times. So now you got 20 years of his management style and people running the company, including a guy that worked at ABC for years but still couldn't run that correctly.

The only hope that I hold out is that Steve Jobs and John Lasseter can turn the ship around. There is going to half to be a lot of house cleaning at the mouse house.

raidermatt
03-09-2007, 07:09 PM
I think we have achieved a mutual disregard for each other's hyperbole.

Where exactly in this thread have I made statements that matched that level of hyperbole?

The problem with that is that the discussion was regarding whether Disney was scared about the (presumed) alienation of its customer base having sold short the legacy of Walt.


Actually Walt's name nor his legacy was ever mentioned in AV's post.

He said their lack of faith in their own ability to reach large audiences consistently is what they are afraid of.

You inserted the Walt and his legacy part.

MassJester
03-09-2007, 07:11 PM
Where exactly in this thread have I made statements that matched that level of hyperbole?



Why do you get to set the bottom?

Another Voice
03-09-2007, 07:20 PM
Anyone who thinks they can project "what Walt would do" given today's circumstances and realities needs to step away from the kool-aid.

It's not "Walt" we're after - we're after the idea that Disney ought to produce superior quaility, they what they make is more important than the marketing that sells it. We're looking for real imagination, real talent and real skill. We're looking for people with pride in their work.

The ones screming "Walt's dead" are ones that don't have the talent, don't have the skills and only have pride in the length of their...bank account. "Walt's Dead" is the battle cry of the lazy and the greedy.

No one cares what they make. California Adventure was made to the highest level of "Walt's Dead!". Fewer people walk on that land than when it was a parking lot. Chicken Little was made with all the talent the "Walt's Dead!" group could throw at it. The sky fell in on Disney Animation. "Walt's Dead!" echo's through the hallways of ABC. "Walt's Dead!" screams out from DVD packages lining the "childern" sections of WalMarts everywhere, whether the case has a "2", "3" or "4" after the title. Yet no one buys them.

So stand on the roof. Scream "Walt's Dead!" when a sixty year old animated movie outsells the latest marketing marvel sequel. Stand in the parks and scream "Walt's Dead!" as people line up for a forty year old ride and ignore the latest character tie-in. Stand in the roadway and flash "Walt's Dead" while the tourists stream to a quarter century old themed hotel instead of the uber-retreat for the monied set.

Scream "Walt's Dead" over and over and over again until you actually beleive it.

We'll all be enjoying the Real Disney in the meantime.

MassJester
03-09-2007, 07:35 PM
There have been good creations and and bad creations. The good news is that they are still creating. Some of the creations don't meet your personal standards. That's unfortunate.

EUROPACL
03-09-2007, 08:12 PM
There have been good creations and and bad creations. The good news is that they are still creating. Some of the creations don't meet your personal standards. That's unfortunate.

Are these the standards we are talking about?

http://www.jimhillmedia.com/mb/images/upload/pop-century-broken-pipes.jpg

Another Voice
03-09-2007, 08:59 PM
Some of the creations don't meet your personal standards.
That's the best response you can give? That really is unfortunate.

Of course, it’s not my personal standards that are offended– it’s the general public who are Disney's problem. I didn’t stop all those millions of people from rushing to the theater to see Home on the Range. I haven’t caused ABC to plunge in the ratings all by myself when I turn the channel. I’m not at Disneyland enough to wave people around or hack-job version of ‘Winnie the Pooh’ (although I have been known to inflict ‘Hemlick’s Chew Chew Train” on the unsuspecting).

Whatever could have stopped all that business?

Let me take a wild guess – could it be “quality”?

Brand marketing is this year’s get-rich quick scam the talent-deprived business person. It’s the current mantra at Disney because, well, take a look around the Burbank lot.

The only way to real success is through hard work, genuine effort and a respect for the audience. Sure, it’s easier to hire ferns, but even they can’t people to buy Cinderella 2.

hopemax
03-09-2007, 09:45 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Another Voice View Post
Psst - then why do they hire marketing firms to post nice things on Internet fan boards.


:rotfl: paranoia is a beautiful thing.

I guess you weren't watching the Orlando Channel 6 news tonight.

hopemax
03-09-2007, 11:10 PM
And if you didn't

http://youtube.com/watch?v=UT4l8qZfu04

Now of course, it says "Disney officials say they don't post anything." I'm sure there are a number of people who believed Disney wasn't even actively looking at Disney discussion boards (let alone using them to make changes), because in the past Disney has said, "we're aware such sites exist, but they are of little interest to us." Who knows what Disney will admit to in another 5 years.

raidermatt
03-10-2007, 02:42 AM
Why do you get to set the bottom?

I don't. I asked you a question.

Interesting that you ignored the part of the post that pointed out you were inserting your own beliefs into other's statements.

There have been good creations and and bad creations. The good news is that they are still creating. Some of the creations don't meet your personal standards. That's unfortunate.

What's unfortunate is you continue to ignore what is being said and once again inject your personal beliefs about the posters.

I guess you weren't watching the Orlando Channel 6 news tonight.
Interesting.

MassJester
03-10-2007, 06:26 AM
I've never said that every decision is good. Some are not, but then I've not know any organization to make all good decisions.

Some of the projects that Disney has embarked upon are fundamentally flawed. Some are brilliantly conceived. A movie doesn't sell well, or a resort idea is not a success--these things will happen.

Focusing on the failures with a religous ferver may be attractive to some, it seems a bit circular and non-productive to me.

As far as the public running away from Disney, you are able to point to individual projects that have done poorly, but on balance that does not appear to be so.

MassJester
03-10-2007, 06:31 AM
I don't. I asked you a question.
You asked if I could point to comments where your prior hyperbole matched mine (by "level") -- why should it have to?

Interesting that you ignored the part of the post that pointed out you were inserting your own beliefs into other's statements.

The general them of all of your "The Mouse is Falling" discussions is that Disney doesn't approach the management of its company with the same creative dedication that it used to and therefore it will fail as we all turn our backs on their mediocre efforts. All of these threads run together and it's all alot of horse feathers.



What's unfortunate is you continue to ignore what is being said and once again inject your personal beliefs about the posters.


Interesting. Well, you're just wrong.

DancingBear
03-11-2007, 08:29 AM
There have been good creations and and bad creations. The good news is that they are still creating.Since they largely dismantled Imagineering, and were doing the same to Feature Animation at least until the Pixar deal, it's really not clear how much creating they're doing.

Another Voice
03-11-2007, 05:06 PM
As far as the public running away from Disney, you are able to point to individual projects that have done poorly, but on balance that does not appear to be so.
Platitudes backed up by unsupported generalities all with a vague morally superior attitude that's attempting to conceal the lack of real understanding of the issue. I’ve think we’ve finished with the Turing test here. There’s nothing on the other side except a program that spits out random clichés.

So let’s see if this helps the discussion at all:

A. On balance, the billion dollar failure of California Adventure has been offset by __________.


B. The commercial failure and shutting down of Disney Feature Animation and purchasing a company of former employees for seven billion dollars is made profitable because ____________________.

C. Selling off 300 acres of the company’s most important asset to a direct competitor in high end resorts, rather than easily entering that market yourself is a “good business move” when _______________________.

Please run the keywords through the usually subroutines so we can get the latest “every thing is wonderful, you people are all negative, I don’t have to give facts because I’m better than you are” answer.

MassJester
03-11-2007, 05:39 PM
A. On balance, the billion dollar failure of California Adventure has been offset by __________.


B. The commercial failure and shutting down of Disney Feature Animation and purchasing a company of former employees for seven billion dollars is made profitable because ____________________.

C. Selling off 300 acres of the company’s most important asset to a direct competitor in high end resorts, rather than easily entering that market yourself is a “good business move” when _______________________.



A. I don't concede that it is a failure, so no offset is required.
B. Pixar will bring in more profit than it cost, and so no offset is required.
C. 1) they didn't sell it off, 2) you have no idea what the business arrangement is and so to label "competition" assumes facts not in evidence, and 3) whether it is easier for Disney to bring the service that FS is providing or not also assumes facts not in evidence.

You pronouncements to the contrary not withstanding, of course.

EUROPACL
03-11-2007, 05:53 PM
A. I don't concede that it is a failure, so no offset is required.
B. Pixar will bring in more profit than it cost, and so no offset is required.
C. 1) they didn't sell it off, 2) you have no idea what the business arrangement is and so to label "competition" assumes facts not in evidence, and 3) whether it is easier for Disney to bring the service that FS is providing or not also assumes facts not in evidence.

You pronouncements to the contrary not withstanding, of course.


http://www.cms.pentalk.org/images/public/stock/vetcall/head%20in%20sand.jpg

MassJester
03-11-2007, 05:55 PM
Just the sort of fact driven response I'd expect from the down with Disney crowd.

EUROPACL
03-11-2007, 06:09 PM
Just the sort of fact driven response I'd expect from the down with Disney crowd.

No facts given to start with ...none needed in picture response. Besides I love Disney.


http://brandondalton.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/08/HeadUpButt.jpg

MassJester
03-11-2007, 06:12 PM
Perhaps you're right, the sooner the DisneyDoom crowd pulls their heads out of the...sand, things will get a lot clearer.

Another Voice
03-11-2007, 06:17 PM
California Adventure not a failure? Disney doesn't even pay people to write things like that anymore.

Let us know when you want to discuss facts. Until then please continue to think happy thoughts and don't let facts interfere with your opinion.

MassJester
03-11-2007, 06:57 PM
I should fit right in here.

raidermatt
03-12-2007, 09:06 AM
Well, you're just wrong.

That's some compelling evidence there. However, you'll forgive me if I don't concede. The "nuh ah, you" thing never worked real well in elementary school, so I see no need to regress back to it now.

A. I don't concede that it is a failure, so no offset is required.

Well, we know you are not one of those "researchers" they talked about on the news, becuase even Disney isn't claiming success on this one anymore.

B. Pixar will bring in more profit than it cost, and so no offset is required.


And how long do your calculations tell you it will take for Pixar to bring in $7 billion in profit?

Never mind the fact that they only had to pay the $7 billion because of many bad decsions in the years leading up to the purchase.

1) they didn't sell it off,
Actually, a portion is being sold off, I just haven't seen the exact size of that parcel. The fractional ownership vacation homes are going to be owned by the purchasers. That's why Disney is de-annexing that portion from the RCID. It's going back to Orange county so the new owners do not get voting rights in the RCID.

2) you have no idea what the business arrangement is and so to label "competition" assumes facts not in evidence
They are separate companies. Regardless of the business arrangement, they are competitors and unless one is getting the shaft, profits (assuming the venture is profitable) will be split.

3) whether it is easier for Disney to bring the service that FS is providing or not also assumes facts not in evidence.

True, how easy you believe this would be does depend on how capable you believe Disney to be. Looks like in this area you are actually the greater Disney-basher.

MassJester
03-12-2007, 10:10 AM
Your statement had no factual basis, and so I saw no need to provide anything else than "you're wrong" in rebuttal.

Perhaps you have seen P/L numbers that show CA to be a bust--I have not. If so, please share them.

Pixar will take time to pay off, but pay off it will, and will not be a competitive force.

Similarly situated companies (like Disney & FS) enter into joint ventures quite regularly that are mutually beneficial and do not consititute surrender to a competitor.

YoHo
03-12-2007, 10:49 AM
Bob Iger stood up in a Shareholders meeting and Said that California Adventure was "underperforming" or some other corporate speak version of failure. He FRACKIN SAID IT TO ALL THE SHAREHOLDERS!

BRERALEX
03-12-2007, 11:13 AM
http://www.thedisneyblog.com/tdb/2007/02/california_adve.html

Less than a year ago, Disney's chief executive officer, Robert Iger went on record during the company's annual stockholder meeting on March 10th, 2006, when someone asked about a potential third park being built in Anaheim. "We're still working to assure the second gate is successful", Iger said, referring to California Adventure. "In the spirit of candor, we have been challenged."

and
http://www.marketwatch.com/News/Story/Story.aspx?guid=%7B549461DC-C5C2-4700-885B-0C954E4AC657%7D&siteid=mktw

thought maybe it's a better source.

raidermatt
03-12-2007, 11:20 AM
Your statement had no factual basis, and so I saw no need to provide anything else than "you're wrong" in rebuttal.

You added stuff about Walt when the man wasn't even mentioned. That's a fact.

I know you have no answer, but you'd be better off just letting it go.


Perhaps you have seen P/L numbers that show CA to be a bust--I have not. If so, please share them.

I've heard and read Disney execs admit the park is underperforming and needs work.

I've seen pricing promotions that gave admissions away for free.

Again, your fighting a battle even Disney has given up on.

Pixar will take time to pay off, but pay off it will, and will not be a competitive force.

It won't pay off as well as if Disney had invested properly in its own animation, both CGI and hand-drawn, at any point in the years leading up to the acquisition. Disney was forced into a corner because of its own mismanagement. $7 billion will take a LONG time to recover.



Similarly situated companies (like Disney & FS) enter into joint ventures quite regularly that are mutually beneficial and do not consititute surrender to a competitor.

Really? Let's see. Through WDW, Disney has:

-The largest vacation resort in the world that also happens to be self contained.
-4 theme parks, 2 water parks a shopping and entertainment district, 10's of thousands of hotel rooms, etc.
-A reputation for immersive themeing that makes its guests forget the real world.

Who exactly is the similarly situated company that, like Disney, is bringing in an outside hotel brand?

DancingBear
03-12-2007, 11:21 AM
A. I don't concede that it is a failure, so no offset is required.MJ, since we're often on the same side over on the Debate, err, Community Board, perhaps I should use a reference you'll follow and say this is like holding onto the existence of WMD even after the White House has stopped. Disney's not pursuing any "placemaking" plans at any other parks, are they?

B. Pixar will bring in more profit than it cost, and so no offset is required.But the purchase of Pixar at such a cost was necessitated by a string of Eisner-era decisions which virtually destroyed Disney's ability to do their own quality feature animation and compete with Pixar head-on.

C. 1) they didn't sell it off, 2) you have no idea what the business arrangement is and so to label "competition" assumes facts not in evidence, and 3) whether it is easier for Disney to bring the service that FS is providing or not also assumes facts not in evidence.First, whether they sell the land (which they probably are as evidenced by taking it out of FCID) or have some other long-term lease or similar arrangement, it's now land that's not available for some other Disney development. Second, how can you say that allowing another hotel and timeshare operator to open up on the property isn't bringing in the competition, vs. Disney developing it's own luxury property. Third, the fact that we can't assume that Disney can provide exemplary customer service is just sad.

DancingBear
03-12-2007, 11:24 AM
Similarly situated companies (like Disney & FS) enter into joint ventures quite regularly that are mutually beneficial and do not consititute surrender to a competitor.Companies do this when they're entering new markets or new product lines, etc. Disney, which has a supposed flagship luxury resort in the Grand Floridian (which has never maintained the four star status they were supposedly seeking), is bringing Four Seasons right onto their property!

MassJester
03-12-2007, 02:02 PM
Companies do this when they're entering new markets or new product lines, etc. Disney, which has a supposed flagship luxury resort in the Grand Floridian (which has never maintained the four star status they were supposedly seeking), is bringing Four Seasons right onto their property!

I don't agree. Companies, like mine, do it when it's profitable and convenient and supports long term plans. New market or not.

MassJester
03-12-2007, 02:04 PM
Underperformaing (not performing to projection) and unprofitable are two different things. If my business unit brings in less than 3 million dollars in profit next year, it will be underperforming, and require work to improve--it will not be unprofitable.

MassJester
03-12-2007, 02:07 PM
If I have said that I have approved of every decision made by Disney over the past 15 years, allow me to withdraw that remark. The animation business was badly managed, buying Pixar was an solid move to remedy those errors.

My point is, and has been, that the company is moving in the right direction. It is attracting more customers, it is providing more products and services, and it is doing so on firmer financial footing. Further, I think there have been a series of creative improvements, both in the parks and in the broader entertainmnet offering, that have added both value and customer satisfaction.

You don't agree.

Ok.

DancingBear
03-12-2007, 02:24 PM
I don't agree. Companies, like mine, do it when it's profitable and convenient and supports long term plans. New market or not.I'm not saying those are the only situations where J-Vs between competitors occur, but there has to be some strategic reason, and generally it's not to bring your competitor right onto your home turf.

Even Eisner tried to get out of or buy out the Swan and Dolphin deal so Disney could build and operate those hotels.

clkelley
03-12-2007, 02:24 PM
Meaning that as long as there are folks alive that remember Bear Bryant, the University of Alabama will never be able to hire a coach that will live up unless he takes the team undefeated every game.

Is the same thing happening with Disney?? As long as there are folks alive that remember Walt Disney and the "Nine Old Men" will whoever is chosen as CEO ever make the "right" decisions.

I'm just wondering if similar decisions made 50-60 years from now would be villified as much as this one is in some circles??

Comments??

DancingBear
03-12-2007, 02:27 PM
If I have said that I have approved of every decision made by Disney over the past 15 years, allow me to withdraw that remark. The animation business was badly managed, buying Pixar was an solid move to remedy those errors.

My point is, and has been, that the company is moving in the right direction. It is attracting more customers, it is providing more products and services, and it is doing so on firmer financial footing. Further, I think there have been a series of creative improvements, both in the parks and in the broader entertainmnet offering, that have added both value and customer satisfaction.

You don't agree.

Ok.Honestly I'd say the jury is out on whether they're really moving in the right direction over all. Some bright spots, like bringing in Catmull and Lasseter, reaquiring Oswald, re-establishing relationship with the Disney family, etc., but some areas of real concern, like the outsourcing of Imagineering, and the Western WDW and Four Seasons projects.

After all, didn't they just release Cinderella III?

DancingBear
03-12-2007, 02:28 PM
Meaning that as long as there are folks alive that remember Bear Bryant, the University of Alabama will never be able to hire a coach that will live up unless he takes the team undefeated every game.

Is the same thing happening with Disney?? As long as there are folks alive that remember Walt Disney and the "Nine Old Men" will whoever is chosen as CEO ever make the "right" decisions.

I'm just wondering if similar decisions made 50-60 years from now would be villified as much as this one is in some circles??

Comments??You haven't been paying attention. Only those arguing against the critics keep bringing up Walt.

MassJester
03-12-2007, 02:32 PM
After all, didn't they just release Cinderella III?

Perhaps Cinderella II sold better than expected?

Another Voice
03-12-2007, 02:38 PM
As long as there are folks alive that remember Walt Disney and the "Nine Old Men" will whoever is chosen as CEO ever make the "right" decisions.
It doesn't matter who makes the decision - as long as Disney claims to represent one thing and then acts in the completely opposite manner, that's a bad thing.

Disney tells us they create "magic", fullfill "wishes" and drips with "imgaination". Yet they're selling a huge chunk of land to a chain hotel.

Disney tells us that everyone's wish can come true. Yet they're selling off a chunk of land for vacation homes of the mega-rich and leaving the rest of trapped on overcrowded busses.

Disney tells us that service is their highest priority, that everyone is a special guest, that everyone is a VIP. Yet then they tell us they can't create high end hotels - hotels that charge less per night than their current "deluxes".

Disney tells us they'd love to finish their affordable hotel, so that familys can come experience the magic of staying on Disney property, but that the market isn't there. Then they turn around and arrange to have the same number of rooms built by someone else "just out side the gate" - apparently Disney would love to collect the rent but just doesn't want "those kind of people" in the neighborhood.


The trouble isn't with people clinging to the past. It's with people currently clinging to a brand. The people who don't understand the business, only that the brand equals happiness - and that therefore they must be happy with whatever the brand has to offer. It's no different than people who continued to buy Fords and thought Detriot would last forever. It's the people that can't think but who blindly buy that are the real problem.

MassJester
03-12-2007, 02:55 PM
The trouble isn't with people clinging to the past. It's with people currently clinging to a brand. The people who don't understand the business, only that the brand equals happiness - and that therefore they must be happy with whatever the brand has to offer. It's no different than people who continued to buy Fords and thought Detriot would last forever. It's the people that can't think but who blindly buy that are the real problem.

Is your singular clarity of vision, and superior analytical skill a blessing or a curse?

Another Voice
03-12-2007, 03:24 PM
Nope - it's just being good at my job.

There are actually people who make movies, you know, and some of us try to understand what we're doing.

YoHo
03-12-2007, 03:29 PM
Honestly I'd say the jury is out on whether they're really moving in the right direction over all. Some bright spots, like bringing in Catmull and Lasseter, reaquiring Oswald, re-establishing relationship with the Disney family, etc., but some areas of real concern, like the outsourcing of Imagineering, and the Western WDW and Four Seasons projects.

After all, didn't they just release Cinderella III?


Exactly, The best case scenario is that the jury is still out on this management team. Certainly they have yet to justify any sort of trust in them.

raidermatt
03-12-2007, 04:03 PM
Underperformaing (not performing to projection) and unprofitable are two different things. If my business unit brings in less than 3 million dollars in profit next year, it will be underperforming, and require work to improve--it will not be unprofitable.

Nobody said it was unprofitable.

raidermatt
03-12-2007, 04:34 PM
Meaning that as long as there are folks alive that remember Bear Bryant, the University of Alabama will never be able to hire a coach that will live up unless he takes the team undefeated every game.

Is the same thing happening with Disney?? As long as there are folks alive that remember Walt Disney and the "Nine Old Men" will whoever is chosen as CEO ever make the "right" decisions.

I'm just wondering if similar decisions made 50-60 years from now would be villified as much as this one is in some circles??

Comments??

On the surface, I can see how somebody might come up with that hypothesis, but like DB said, I think that if you really read the posts around here you'll find that the majority of the discussion points are about business and creative strategies, not about any one person.

Unfortunately, in this thread in particular, the Walt angle is being played as a way to dismiss the arguments that are critical of Disney's management.

On top of that, Walt had already passed before I was born.

MassJester
03-12-2007, 05:27 PM
Nope - it's just being good at my job.

There are actually people who make movies, you know, and some of us try to understand what we're doing.

well good luck with that.

Another Voice
03-12-2007, 05:57 PM
It sure beats being a lawyer.

MassJester
03-12-2007, 08:00 PM
It sure beats being a lawyer.

You've been a lawyer?

And for the record, I'm a business unit manager.

raidermatt
03-12-2007, 08:28 PM
And for the record, I'm a business unit manager.

Well, good luck to your staff.

MassJester
03-12-2007, 08:30 PM
Well, good luck to your staff.

Over the last five years they've had very good luck.

What could you possibly understand about my skills as a manager? You don't like the views I express about Disney and so I'm a crappy manager. I think I finally understand how you folks reach the conclusions that you offer up.

Valuable insight.

Another Voice
03-12-2007, 08:45 PM
Then you're certainly capable of more than "Your statement had no factual basis, and so I saw no need to provide anything else than "you're wrong" in rebuttal."

It would be enjoyable to have a real discussion here, but that requires articulated opinions rather than brush offs, facts and logic rather than "you folks" put downs.

If you understand how difficult it is to run a business, then you understand how difficult it is to run Disney. Layer on "entertainment business" on top of that, and it becomes a mightly hard place to handle. But it's not going to go anywhere with an attitude that "everything will just sort of work itself out". Stronger and larger businesses than Disney have disasppeared.

MassJester
03-12-2007, 08:59 PM
Then you're certainly capable of more than "Your statement had no factual basis, and so I saw no need to provide anything else than "you're wrong" in rebuttal."

Well of course I'm capable of a better response, but as I found his original remark to be a sloppy personal attack, I didn't think it warranted anything else.

It would be enjoyable to have a real discussion here, but that requires articulated opinions rather than brush offs, facts and logic rather than "you folks" put downs.

I saw that in your oddly placed slam against lawyers.

If you understand how difficult it is to run a business, then you understand how difficult it is to run Disney. Layer on "entertainment business" on top of that, and it becomes a mightly hard place to handle. But it's not going to go anywhere with an attitude that "everything will just sort of work itself out". Stronger and larger businesses than Disney have disasppeared.

Yes, I think I enjoy a very sophisticated and practical understanding of the complexities of managing in a multi-billion dollar business. I have nothing but appreciation and respect for the scope of the challenges that face organizations as large and dynamic as Disney.

Actually, I don't think that "everything will just sort itself out" -- Disney has faced plenty of watershed moments in its history where everything could have gone right down the drain. Some of them were managed well, some horribly and some just got taken care of with dumb luck. I think we disagree over whether or not they are experiencing one now. On balance, I think things are moving in the right direction. I think increases in the number of service points, increases the number of repeat service points, protective diversification (to insulate against downturns in any particular service offering), improvements to revenue and EBITDA are all very positve.

Most importantly to me--the Disney offerings that I enjoy (largely WDW and the film business) continue to engage and entertain me. My family, my friends and I go to WDW and have a marvelous time everytime we go.

So I'm a happy customer, a content stock holder, and an admiring onlooker.

Now, what pleases me need not please everyone else. What I find to be a creative solution, an effective management strategy, or an innovative entertainment need not strike anyone else that way.

Now you can continue to harp on the list of things that haven't gone well, or chuckle as one of your buddies posts a picture of some fellow with his head uncomfortably placed, and take satisfaction in that sort of annecdotal and slogan driven rhettoric--but I don't at all think it gives what you've asked from me.

EUROPACL
03-12-2007, 10:35 PM
Most importantly to me--the Disney offerings that I enjoy (largely WDW and the film business) continue to engage and entertain me.

Well since we've pointed out some of the more horrible offerings from Disney over the last few years, I'd love to hear about the films that Disney has made recently that you enjoyed and continue to engage and entertain you.

( We can leave out Pixar and POTC)

Another Voice
03-12-2007, 11:37 PM
Thank you for your reply. I would like to ask some follow-up questions based on your posting. These really are questions, there are no points trying to be made here.

Would you consider the inclusion of non-Disney brands at WDW, i.e. Four Seasons Hotel, an example of increasing the number of service points (e.g., offering full spa facilities at WDW) or an attempt by Disney to expand its markets (e.g. capturing a higher end that would have stayed off property)? How would you handle the “Four Seasons at WDW” vs. “Disney’s Four Season Resort” brand interactions?

Do you think that the Four Seasons / Western Gateway projects are a financial decision designed to protect Disney’s capital? If so, does this mean there is an issue with Disney’s largest core business – theme parks.

Would you support the “Tokyo” WDW approach – where Disney does not own or operate various elements of WDW but instead manages them under a license agreement?

If it had to be one way or the other (say the FCC reversed a lot of its ownership rulings of the last decade) – do you think it would be better for Disney to be a content producer (Disney Studios) or a distribution/licensee operation (ABC, Disney Channel)?


I ask the questions because I think they're at the core of most disagreements around here. There are some people, and I’ll admit I’m one, that like Disney when it was a smaller, niche company that produced a products with a specific “flavor”. There are others that enjoy Disney for offering a much broader range of product with the same general level of quality.

raidermatt
03-13-2007, 02:27 AM
Over the last five years they've had very good luck.

What could you possibly understand about my skills as a manager? You don't like the views I express about Disney and so I'm a crappy manager. I think I finally understand how you folks reach the conclusions that you offer up.

Valuable insight.

Yes, you get what you give.

You came in attacking, looking to tick people off, making assumptions, and ignoring any real discusssion points. This was pointed out to you, with specifics. If you can't handle that, and consider that a "personal attack", then yes, it is very valuable insight.

But, if you are finally ready to actually discuss the topic...

I think increases in the number of service points, increases the number of repeat service points, protective diversification (to insulate against downturns in any particular service offering), improvements to revenue and EBITDA are all very positve.


Even if we agree that expanding into this higher end market is a positive, the main point of contention continues to be how Disney is going about that.

Certainly many of the larger questions surrounding that point are laid out in AV's post. If you do see Disney as merely a middle-man, a distributor, then coceptually there may not be a problem with leasing and selling land to competitors. Reduce the risk and split the profits.

But if you see Disney as a creative company, at least in the parks and resorts division, you have to at least question the wisdom of expanding in this manner. WDW is a unique animal, and comparing this type of partnership with partnerships in other industries is a mistake.

In WDW, Disney has a set-up any other company would kill for. Certainly they have the resources to make this expansion without bringing in a competitor. We aren't talking about a venture into a new industry. It's merely a step up in the industry Disney has vast amounts of experience in. By doing this themselves, they can maintain the control they worked so hard to build, and they can keep their fantastical world that is so important to it's guests largely intact.

And, most importantly for those focused only on the bottom line and not how we get there, Disney would keep all the profits for themselves, just as they have for the vast majority of what exists in WDW. That does, however, require a long term view.

This deal is the same type of thinking that brought reliance on the Pixar deal instead of internal investment. The luxury market is a little different from what they have done in the past, but there are far more similarities than differences. Just as CGI had some differences but at it's heart, was still simply making animated features. No the analogy is not perfect, but the idea of limiting investment by partnering with another brand that already does it, even though it's still essentially your core business, is the same.

The only real long term justification for this deal over investing internally is if Disney is simply not capable of executing something like this on their own, despite the resources at their disposal.

MassJester
03-13-2007, 06:50 AM
Well since we've pointed out some of the more horrible offerings from Disney over the last few years, I'd love to hear about the films that Disney has made recently that you enjoyed and continue to engage and entertain you.

( We can leave out Pixar and POTC)
In fairness, in the last four years my movie going has been curtailed, as I work during the day and go to school at night, but I've managed to catch a few.

Most recently I liked:
Chronicles of Narnia -- I thought it was a creative retelling of an old favorite story of mine. I'm looking forward to Prince Caspian.
Both Pirates movies were fun - I liked them and would see them again
Invincible -- I love stories like that (and Titans years before-I'll still sit on the couch and enjoy that one)
Ladder 49 -- good story, and I thought VERY well shot
Wild Hogs -- just caught this-great fun

MassJester
03-13-2007, 07:01 AM
Would you consider the inclusion of non-Disney brands at WDW, i.e. Four Seasons Hotel, an example of increasing the number of service points (e.g., offering full spa facilities at WDW) or an attempt by Disney to expand its markets (e.g. capturing a higher end that would have stayed off property)? How would you handle the “Four Seasons at WDW” vs. “Disney’s Four Season Resort” brand interactions?

I would only consider the inclsuion of brands to be an expansion of service points if they were revenue, profit producing, and even then only if customers identified the service point with the Disney experience.

My preference is for DFSR rahter than FS@WDW. That said, I've always thought that WDW is trying to accomplish too much, and in doing so it cannot do so efficiently (or if you like, at a reasonable cost).

Do you think that the Four Seasons / Western Gateway projects are a financial decision designed to protect Disney’s capital? If so, does this mean there is an issue with Disney’s largest core business – theme parks.

No, I think they are attempts to streamline service delivery models and improve the cost/value ratio for customers.

Would you support the “Tokyo” WDW approach – where Disney does not own or operate various elements of WDW but instead manages them under a license agreement?

It's an interesting question, but I don't know enough about the model to evaluate it. My initial reaction is I would rather that Disney own it lock, stock and barrel--but that's a gut reaction rather than a sober evaluation.

If it had to be one way or the other (say the FCC reversed a lot of its ownership rulings of the last decade) – do you think it would be better for Disney to be a content producer (Disney Studios) or a distribution/licensee operation (ABC, Disney Channel)?

Well, if the rules were changed (and only if the rules were changed) I like Disney for its content, and so I would be sorry to see them give up that business. That said, absent a rule change, I think it would be foolish to get out of distribution/licensing.

MassJester
03-13-2007, 07:09 AM
Yes, you get what you give.

You came in attacking, looking to tick people off, making assumptions, and ignoring any real discusssion points. This was pointed out to you, with specifics. If you can't handle that, and consider that a "personal attack", then yes, it is very valuable insight.

But, if you are finally ready to actually discuss the topic...

I didn't percieve any "real discussion points" in that portion of your post, rather just a lot of slogan slinging, pompous pronouncements, and assumptions about my intent (e.g., "looking to tick people off") and so offered you nothing more. We are unlikely to agree on that point.


The only real long term justification for this deal over investing internally is if Disney is simply not capable of executing something like this on their own, despite the resources at their disposal.

As I mentioned above, I just don't agree. WDW Disney tries to serve every level of the hotel market, and in so doing services them inefficiently and in many cases at a low cost/value ratio. Partners that relieve the burden of servicing particular market segments allow for a more efficient service delivery model.

EUROPACL
03-13-2007, 07:34 AM
In fairness, in the last four years my movie going has been curtailed, as I work during the day and go to school at night, but I've managed to catch a few.

Most recently I liked:
Chronicles of Narnia -- I thought it was a creative retelling of an old favorite story of mine. I'm looking forward to Prince Caspian.
Both Pirates movies were fun - I liked them and would see them again
Invincible -- I love stories like that (and Titans years before-I'll still sit on the couch and enjoy that one)
Ladder 49 -- good story, and I thought VERY well shot
Wild Hogs -- just caught this-great fun

So school/job aside in the last 4 years you got around too "enjoy" a movie not made by Disney, Pirates -(which I already gave you) and 3 other "movies" that I doubt even made a profit and are considered horrible movies.

Ok I think I'm done now...I'm slowly stepping away from this poster like they just pulled a dead cat out of a bag and started to pet it. :headache:

MassJester
03-13-2007, 07:39 AM
Ok I think I'm done now...I'm slowly stepping away from this poster like they just pulled a dead cat out of a bag and started to pet it. :headache:

Well, as you can imagine I'm going to miss chatting with you. Perhaps Ambien will allow me to sleep at night after this traumatic rejection.

DisOrBust
03-13-2007, 08:54 AM
Play nice guys. I love rading the banter,

YoHo
03-13-2007, 11:02 AM
As I mentioned above, I just don't agree. WDW Disney tries to serve every level of the hotel market, and in so doing services them inefficiently and in many cases at a low cost/value ratio. Partners that relieve the burden of servicing particular market segments allow for a more efficient service delivery model.

So, would you advocate going back to the pre-Eisner model of 1 (two if you count the campground) service and amenity level that represents "Disney" and let others handle the other markets as at the hotel loop?

Ignoring some of the more innovative ideas that WDI has had prior to the slash and burn through the group of mixing service levels. Ideas that were killed.


A more important question.
Do you think that Walt Disney World represents in any way Walt's original intention to go beyond simple entertainment? Or is it's charter only to entertain profitably for TDC? In other words, do they have a mandate to be something more?



As for the movies mentioned,
5 movies compared to the incredible stinking pile of poodu that the company has put out and of those 5, Narnia was merely financed. No mention of anything on the Television side, no mention of new attractions. That's a small amount of content to judge the health of the company or even the health of the film unit on.

raidermatt
03-13-2007, 11:33 AM
I didn't percieve any "real discussion points" in
that portion of your post, rather just a lot of slogan slinging, pompous
pronouncements, and assumptions about my intent (e.g., "looking to tick people
off") and so offered you nothing more. We are unlikely to agree on that
point.

Actually the initial statement specifically concerned you inserting the Walt
angle when it had not been mentioned. Your statement also referenced Kool Aid drinking which of course was designed to annoy.

That's when the discussion started getting snippy, because when you were called on it, you became dismissive. Whether you agree or not, its right there in the posts.


As I mentioned above, I just don't agree. WDW Disney tries to serve every level of the hotel market, and in so doing services them inefficiently and in many cases at a low cost/value ratio. Partners that relieve the burden of servicing particular market segments allow for a more efficient service delivery model.

Every level? No. But they do serve multiple levels. Many hotel companies do, though they use different brand names to do so. Disney uses different classifications.

Disney is in the unique position of having somewhere in the neighboorhood of 30,000 hotel rooms in a self-contained resort that is largely self-regulated. What's more, the attractions that draw people to those resorts are also in that self-contained environment, owned by Disney (largely).

When you say cost/value ratio, I assume you mean Disney's costs and not price. Where do you get the info that they are inefficient in this area? I get the annual report too, and I haven't seen resort costs broken out from park costs. Nor have I seen a comparison to industry benchmarks. But me not seeing the analysis does not mean it doesn't exist, so please share where you got the info from.

If we are to assume they are inefficient in this area, and that is the key measure, then as YoHo says, that would indicate further outsourcing or partnerships would be prudent with the current Disney owned resorts.

First, I'm not yet buying that they are ineffiecient. Further, if they are, there is no excuse for that given their setup of so many rooms in their own self contained resort. If that is an issue, they need to address it, and not by simply getting out of the business.

Second, I'm curious as to what you define as value in the ratio you mentioned? Part of the value Disney provides is the "bubble" environment they have the unique opportunity to provide. How was that accounted for in the value equation?

I'm not contending that Disney's value proposition to its guests is at the optimal level for long term growth, but that's a result of a conscious business decision, not costs they have not been able to contain. Perhaps more importantly though, any discussion of Disney's value proposition at its hotels has to include the overall value proposition at WDW as a whole. From a guest perspective, and that's who determines value, they are one.

MassJester
03-13-2007, 02:49 PM
So, would you advocate going back to the pre-Eisner model of 1 (two if you count the campground) service and amenity level that represents "Disney" and let others handle the other markets as at the hotel loop?

No, and I didn't say anything of the sort.

Ignoring some of the more innovative ideas that WDI has had prior to the slash and burn through the group of mixing service levels. Ideas that were killed.

I'm not sure what you mean.


A more important question.
Do you think that Walt Disney World represents in any way Walt's original intention to go beyond simple entertainment? Or is it's charter only to entertain profitably for TDC? In other words, do they have a mandate to be something more?

Yes I do. In order to do so profitably in the long run they are forced to be something more.

As for the movies mentioned,
5 movies compared to the incredible stinking pile of poodu that the company has put out and of those 5, Narnia was merely financed. No mention of anything on the Television side, no mention of new attractions. That's a small amount of content to judge the health of the company or even the health of the film unit on.

Sorry for only seeing those 5. I was only asked about movies, and so that's all I addressed.

I suppose we could create a list of all movies produced by all studios over the last fiuve years and compare success ratios by studio (if we could agree on what success were to mean--but otherwise we are reduced to swaping "I like these" vs. "I hate those" lists.

MassJester
03-13-2007, 02:58 PM
That's when the discussion started getting snippy, because when you were called on it, you became dismissive. Whether you agree or not, its right there in the posts.

Actually, I don't agree that the point you single out is when the discussion got snippy -- but is there a point in our trying to come to an agreement? It just seems so unlikely.

Every level? No. But they do serve multiple levels. Many hotel companies do, though they use different brand names to do so. Disney uses different classifications.

Disney is in the unique position of having somewhere in the neighboorhood of 30,000 hotel rooms in a self-contained resort that is largely self-regulated. What's more, the attractions that draw people to those resorts are also in that self-contained environment, owned by Disney (largely).

None of those things are in dispute--how is that pertinent to the decision to outsource two extreme levels?

When you say cost/value ratio, I assume you mean Disney's costs and not price. Where do you get the info that they are inefficient in this area? I get the annual report too, and I haven't seen resort costs broken out from park costs. Nor have I seen a comparison to industry benchmarks. But me not seeing the analysis does not mean it doesn't exist, so please share where you got the info from.

No I mean cost to the consumer vs value received.

Of course that misunderstanding impacts the balance of your line of questioning, but I'll see what I can do.

If we are to assume they are inefficient in this area, and that is the key measure, then as YoHo says, that would indicate further outsourcing or partnerships would be prudent with the current Disney owned resorts.

Could very well be.

First, I'm not yet buying that they are ineffiecient. Further, if they are, there is no excuse for that given their setup of so many rooms in their own self contained resort. If that is an issue, they need to address it, and not by simply getting out of the business.

They did address it. They outsourced two opposite ends of the spectrum. That's very effective.



I'm not contending that Disney's value proposition to its guests is at the optimal level for long term growth, but that's a result of a conscious business decision, not costs they have not been able to contain. Perhaps more importantly though, any discussion of Disney's value proposition at its hotels has to include the overall value proposition at WDW as a whole. From a guest perspective, and that's who determines value, they are one.

I agree, but what's the point in contention?

raidermatt
03-13-2007, 03:41 PM
None of those things are in dispute--how is that pertinent to the decision to outsource two extreme levels?
Partly because you brought them up the services points and markets as being a cause for Disney's inability to provide value, and partly because understanding Disney's unique position is critical to any discussion that involves business practices.



No I mean cost to the consumer vs value received.

Of course that misunderstanding impacts the balance of your line of questioning, but I'll see what I can do.

Well, yes, that does change things siginficantly.

Price is a component of value, not a separate variable. Provide a bounce house for free and most will say that's a great value. Charge $100 a minute and its a horrible value.

Value is very subjective, but I'll agree that on the basis of objective, standard hotel amenities, Disney does fall short in many ways. However, that is not out of any inability on their part. Its a conscious business decision to rely on the value guests find in the Disney brand, and the unique environment and location. In other words, they make up for the lack of standard hotel amenities in other areas.

While I may not agree with that part of their business model, outsourcing hotel rooms does not address the issue any moreso than Disney simply altering the current business model. You referenced a more efficient service model, but efficiency has nothing to do with it. Through the economies of scale created by having so many rooms in the self-contained and self regulated environment, Disney can be far more efficient than an outside brand with any model they choose.

With efficiency not an issue, we are back to investment and ability. Is Disney willing to make the investment themselves and therefore keep the returns for themselves? Does Disney have the ability to service the market in question? (The Western Beltway development is different in some key ways, so I'm leaving that out of this discussion)

Further, bringing outside brands into WDW's bubble in this manner is likely to have a detrimental impact to the value guests perceive in that area. Not only is Disney forgoing the long term rewards of this potential investment, they may very well be damaging their existing hotels at the same time. Or at least not enhancing them as they could.







Could very well be.

Outsource the current hotels? All of the above points apply here as well, only to a far greater degree. That would be a short term money grab, pure and simple.




They did address it. They outsourced two opposite ends of the spectrum. That's very effective.
No, this does not address Disney's business model for providing value in its current resorts at all. If you have a problem with Disney's value proposition at the BW, for example, this won't change that.

Further, even though efficiencey is not a factor in that value, it isn't going to help that either. Building another Disney resort on the other hand, even a higher end one, actually WOULD help with efficiency as it would further increase the economies of scale benefits.

MassJester
03-13-2007, 04:00 PM
Partly because you brought them up the services points and markets as being a cause for Disney's inability to provide value, and partly because understanding Disney's unique position is critical to any discussion that involves business practices.

I'm not sure what that paragraph means.


While I may not agree with that part of their business model, outsourcing hotel rooms does not address the issue any moreso than Disney simply altering the current business model. You referenced a more efficient service model, but efficiency has nothing to do with it. Through the economies of scale created by having so many rooms in the self-contained and self regulated environment, Disney can be far more efficient than an outside brand with any model they choose.

On this we don't agree at all. In fact, I think you have hit our point of fundamental disagreement square on the head.

Eliminating the extremes of service provision allow for a much more efficient support structure as the end result is more homogenous, and can be supported by the same resources without the comparatively expensive modifications in support that a less homogenous model would demand.

Prof. Jim Heskett at Harvard Business School has done some exceptional research in the service-profit chain that I think you would enjoy reading, and would certainly more capably articulate the point I am shooting for. I believe he has retired, but still retains an office there and his research is still available.

With efficiency not an issue, we are back to investment and ability. Is Disney willing to make the investment themselves and therefore keep the returns for themselves? Does Disney have the ability to service the market in question? (The Western Beltway development is different in some key ways, so I'm leaving that out of this discussion)

As I think efficiency is the threshold issue, I cannot accept the premise.


No, this does not address Disney's business model for providing value in its current resorts at all. If you have a problem with Disney's value proposition at the BW, for example, this won't change that.

It might change it substantially, and I would suggest that this is precisely the point of these moves.

raidermatt
03-13-2007, 04:46 PM
Eliminating the extremes of service provision allow for a much more efficient support structure as the end result is more homogenous, and can be supported by the same resources without the comparatively expensive modifications in support that a less homogenous model would demand.


There are far more similarities between the support structures than there are differences. Yes, some inefficiencies due to the differences would be eliminated, but these don't make up for the many efficiencies gained from the similarities.

If the resorts were in different locations, or weren't surrounded by other significant products from the same brand, that would change the dynamics significantly. But we have already established that WDW features many unique advantages that change the playing field significantly.

As I think efficiency is the threshold issue, I cannot accept the premise.
That's unfortunate, as efficiency is not what's inhibiting Disney's ineadequate (in your eyes) value proposition. Understanding that point is critical to understanding Disney's business model.

raidermatt
03-13-2007, 05:06 PM
Something else that's important to note if we are going to bring service models into the discussion is that Disney is first and foremost an entertaiment company, at least with respect to the parks and resorts.

The service provided is a necessary component of the overall entertainment experience at WDW, but it is still just that, a component.

MassJester
03-13-2007, 05:36 PM
Absolutely they are an entertainment company. I've no argument with that point.

Additionally, I think you understanding of the benefits of volume vs. the costs of service diversity is flawed. At the very least, out differing understanding will keep us from agreeing on the "outsourcing" issue.

It is not a small point of disagreement either. The difficulties I have seen in effectively managing a multi-tiered offering of resorts built upon a single infra-structure have been glaring for many years (most obvious to me since the opening of the Grand Floridian and the Pop Century resorts). I have long believed that this wide spread has caused most of the resorts to be more expensive than they otherwise might be, and the top tier resorts to offer less service than similarly situated resort facilities in other vacation destinations.

Contracting out the extremes allows the support systems to be operated more smoothly, efficiently, and perhaps even with better results.

I have managed in the service industry for almost 25 years, the last ten of which I have been in a position to design service offerings--the more variety in the offerings, the more disproportionate strain is placed on the support structure, and the less efficiently the entire organization performs.

YoHo
03-13-2007, 06:09 PM
You're assuming that the current pricing represents no change in required profits for the resorts. Resort profits are buried deep within layers and layers of management and are set to offset other business lines.
More importantly, the management arrangement of the specific Hotels drastically changed under Eisner.

Under the original scheme, there was an entity called WDW and it's management from Hotels to theme parks to mini golf was one. That is no longer the case.

Further, under the original scheme, support services was entirely provided by Disney they provided the power, the sewer, the garbage service. That is not true of Eisner era construction. It was cheaper to handle it via traditional methods.

So, significant efficiencies were lost there.

And finally, one of the primary purposes of Walt Disney World was to experiment in new technologies and urban planning. Wouldn't efficiencies of the multi-tiered resort complex fit under that umbrella?

raidermatt
03-13-2007, 06:13 PM
I'm sure you have a strong understanding of how your company operates in its sector of the service industry. All I can say is your experience with varied service offerings is not universal across all service industries, and certainly isn't applicable to all service companies.

There are many circumstances where the benefits of more varied service offerings outweigh the disadvantages of going in the opposite direction. There is no magic formula to this. Trying to dogmatically apply principles from one company to the next can be disasterous, never mind when going from security or fianncial services to the entertainment industry.


I have long believed that this wide spread has caused most of the resorts to be more expensive than they otherwise might be, and the top tier resorts to offer less service than similarly situated resort facilities in other vacation destinations.

I wish it were that simple. Disney offers what they do for the prices they charge because they can. They are generally satisfied with their occupancy rates, so why offer more for the same price?

Mind you, I'm not saying I agree with everything Disney is doing here, but we are talking about why they do what they do.

DancingBear
03-13-2007, 06:41 PM
It is not a small point of disagreement either. The difficulties I have seen in effectively managing a multi-tiered offering of resorts built upon a single infra-structure have been glaring for many years (most obvious to me since the opening of the Grand Floridian and the Pop Century resorts). I have long believed that this wide spread has caused most of the resorts to be more expensive than they otherwise might be, and the top tier resorts to offer less service than similarly situated resort facilities in other vacation destinations.

Contracting out the extremes allows the support systems to be operated more smoothly, efficiently, and perhaps even with better results.I'm not sure what you mean about a single infrastructure. Reservation systems? What else? Hiring and training? Procurement? If this is such a big problem, why does there seem to be a trend in the hotel industry to develop a range of brands (Ritz, JW Marriott, Marriott, Courtyard, Fairfield, etc.; Hilton, Conrad, Doubletree, Embassy Suites, Hampton, etc.; or the Starwood group)?

I honestly believe that the "resorts are more expensive" and "top tier resorts offer less service" both reflect conscious Disney management decisions, not an inefficient infrastructure. Do you really think room prices are driven by Disney's high operating costs and not just trying to maximize return?

YoHo
03-13-2007, 06:56 PM
In fact, a couple years ago we got some information from managers at Yacht and Beach. I don't remember the whole story, and while the higher end resorts do cost more to support, that number is not linear with room price. In other words, the cost to operate a room at the poly vs. rack rate isn't 1:1 with the cost/rate of the All Stars.

MassJester
03-13-2007, 06:57 PM
Do you really think room prices are driven by Disney's high operating costs and not just trying to maximize return?

Yes.

MassJester
03-13-2007, 07:01 PM
As none of us can point to a P/L to prove our points, I suppose there is little point in pursuing this much further. (Please feel to correct me if I've missed something.)

Several of you believe that the financial realities paint one picture, I think you are wrong. We all base our opinions on our observations, our own knowledge, and whatever information we've been able to acquire.

The result is that the strategic partnerships make sense to me, and they don't to you.

Is there more?

dunnhorn
03-13-2007, 07:58 PM
There are some people, and I’ll admit I’m one, that like Disney when it was a smaller, niche company that produced a products with a specific “flavor”. There are others that enjoy Disney for offering a much broader range of product with the same general level of quality.

Very well put, and I think you hit the proverbial nail on the head. I personally like the idea of Disney expanding into the high end arena (or allowing it to expand on property) and I acutally think of the "disney" name more of a stamp of family friendly quality rather than something unique, if that makes sense. I know this may differ from some folks' opinions - but it is my $.02. Will be interesting to see if the FS has "magic."

EUROPACL
03-13-2007, 08:11 PM
Originally Posted by DancingBear
Do you really think room prices are driven by Disney's high operating costs and not just trying to maximize return?

Yes.


Wow! I bet you think that $2.50 coke is based on Op costs too.

MassJester
03-13-2007, 08:14 PM
Wow! I bet you think that $2.50 coke is based on Op costs too.

Awwww. You said you were done with me. You broke your promise.

dunnhorn
03-13-2007, 08:18 PM
Wow! I bet you think that $2.50 coke is based on Op costs too.

$2.50 coke is not just at Disney. We were at a COUNTER SERVICE restaurant in a northern suburb of Atlanta this weekend and we were charged $2 for a coke. I looked around and there wasn't a single mouse in sight.

EUROPACL
03-13-2007, 08:29 PM
$2.50 coke is not just at Disney. We were at a COUNTER SERVICE restaurant in a northern suburb of Atlanta this weekend and we were charged $2 for a coke. I looked around and there wasn't a single mouse in sight.

That is a great story and all....one time at band camp...wait different kind of story....yeah I was at a counter service place the other day and they charged me over 10 bucks for a popcorn and soda, I'm sure that is Op Cost too. This is something I know a lot about. Depeding where you are at in the country a 32oz coke (coke,cup,ice,labor,overhead) cost anywhere from 25 up to around 50 cents.

dunnhorn
03-13-2007, 08:40 PM
That is a great story and all....one time at band camp...wait different kind of story....

Ha good one - actually I wasn't thinking "Op cost" as much as I am thinking "profit margin." Everyone does it... so I don't fault Disney for it. The moderates are actually a pretty decent value - it is the deluxes and value rooms that aren't such a great deal.

YoHo
03-13-2007, 09:12 PM
The point wasn't that Disney is evil for infllating the price of a bottle of cola (they are, but that's neither here nor there.) The point is thatMassJester's Expection that the room rate is based on the cost of operation certainly doesn't hold in other areas of the business, so why should it here?

Also, there's nothing wrong with you personally thinking that Disney = Quality family entertainment. I think they're borderline on that now a days, but there's nothing wrong with you thinking that.

The question is what Did the Disney management that built WDW think Disney stood for and what does current management think it stands for.

DC7800
03-13-2007, 09:17 PM
$2.50 coke is not just at Disney. We were at a COUNTER SERVICE restaurant in a northern suburb of Atlanta this weekend and we were charged $2 for a coke. I looked around and there wasn't a single mouse in sight.

But the point remains that the actual cost (to Disney) of that Coke is not that much higher at WDW than the local McDonald's back home which sells it for 99 cents (itself a significant markup). Costs may well be greater for Disney, but not by a factor of 2 1/2 times.

Right now, the Contemporary tower rooms go for $495 while Pop-Century hovers around $109 or so. There is no doubt that costs at a deluxe resort are greater than a value property, but not almost five times greater. Even without factual numbers to support our position, that big a difference should be obvious (and many resort amenities are themselves profit centers, from restaurants to valet parking).

Prices are driven by what the market will bear - maximize revenue - rather than primarily by the production cost of the item (service).

YoHo
03-14-2007, 12:38 AM
You can simply look at the prices that any hotel chain is offering for their 3-4 star rooms versus their motel rooms. The markup simply isn't anything like what Disney offers. Disney is charging 5 star prices for a 3 star hotel with a view of a castle. There's no efficency involved at all.

raidermatt
03-14-2007, 02:32 AM
Yes, dunnhorn, the purpose of the Coke example was not to crucify Disney for it, but simply to point out that Disney is using market pricing strategies, not cost based pricing strategies. Certainly they are not alone in that line of thinking. In fact, its the norm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DancingBear
Do you really think room prices are driven by Disney's high operating costs and not just trying to maximize return?

Yes.

It's in their financial reports. They talk about it in their conference calls. Unless they are lying, they are looking to maximize returns. (I will say that it is interesting to actually be discussing that piece. Everybody else who disagrees with criticism of Disney is constantly reminding us that Disney is a business and must maximize returns and answer to shareholders.)

Very few businesses base their pricing on their costs. The vast majority use market pricing strategies which basically say to charge as much as you can get away with. Yes, an oversimplification, but the overall point is essentially true.

Of course they are looking to reduce costs wherever possible, but not so they can "pass the savings on to the customer". That idea is a myth in the vast majority of cases. Disney has promised 10% annual growth, and that's tough to acheive if you don't acheive some of it through cost-cutting. If you turn around and give the cost savings back, you have achieved nothing in terms of EPS or margin growth.

As an example, Disney recently outsourced valet parking services to an outside company, I believe called C.a.r.s. Disney stated there would be efficiency savings and that the C.a.r.s. employees would be held to the same service standards.

So what happened when Disney realized these efficiency savings, and a supposedly more effiicient, specialized, company took over?

Valet parking prices were raised that very day.

Disney will tweak its value proposition when they feel its appropriate, but its due to market forces, not changes in cost.

Again, its not that any of us are happy to be explaining that this is how Disney operates. But it is the reality that's there.

DisneyKidds
03-14-2007, 10:36 AM
Hey MJ, hope you don’t think I’m picking on you, you’ve just provided a lot of jumping off points for my thoughts. So here goes……..
Similarly situated companies (like Disney & FS) enter into joint ventures quite regularly that are mutually beneficial and do not constitute surrender to a competitor.
My company is involved in numerous joint ventures undertaken by billion dollar companies who are primary competitors in the same industry. Agreed, it often makes sense and can be mutually beneficial in certain circumstances. However, that usually involves teaming arrangements that allow the combined entity to provide a stable of services neither single entity could, or to manage and mitigate risk, or, as mentioned, to enter new markets. However, Disney siphoning off land to FS and allowing them to come onto (what used to be) Disney turf and do what Disney does is nothing like any of that. It’s not a true joint venture at all. Disney has sold out the high end resort market on Disney property in exchange for a small slice of someone else’s profits. Again, that is no JV relationship.
I don't agree. Companies, like mine, do it when it's profitable and convenient and supports long term plans.
The key here isn’t the profitability or convenience of the arrangement, but the long term plan it supports. For starters, I’m not sure the long term was the primary consideration in this decision. Secondly, if it was, I don’t like the long term plan it represent…..and I don’t think you do either, if you really search your soul. In your response to AV you showed your cards. You’d prefer that Disney keep the high end resort development to themselves. You’d prefer that Disney own and operate their own resorts and theme parks. You’d prefer that Disney was first and foremost a content provider, rather than a reseller or distributor (even though you like their involvement there). Deep down you know what Disney should be at it's core, the directions they should be striving to go in, yet they choose, time and again, to go in other directions. Despite that you continue to be an admiring onlooker. Hey, I am still a happy customer, too. Still love WDW. But you can be that and still be critical of management that continues to lead the company further away from where it rightfully should be. Disney needs more fans like that, as perhaps more outcry could have prevented some of the things that have hurt this company the most. Case in point…….The animation business was badly managed, buying Pixar was an solid move to remedy those errors.Something needs to be done to keep the errors from happening that require $7 billion remedies. Disney should never have let Disney Feature Animation fall into the state of disrepair it’s in. Disney should never have let Pixar (or anyone else) be the company that was on the cutting edge of animation technique. Neither of these was ever in the best long term interests of the Walt Disney Company.
My point is, and has been, that the company is moving in the right direction. It is attracting more customers, it is providing more products and services, and it is doing so on firmer financial footing. Further, I think there have been a series of creative improvements, both in the parks and in the broader entertainmnet offering, that have added both value and customer satisfaction.
It seems to me your statement should be that you feel that current Disney management is taking stop gap measures that you feel are appropriate at this point in time. However, do you really agree that moving further away from being a resort operator and creator of content is the right direction, long term, for the company? While I agree that some decent things have been added in the last five years, maybe you could expand on what types of things you feel show a commitment to creative improvement. I think this is the core area where Disney can’t afford to fall short, but does.
On balance, I think things are moving in the right direction. I think increases in the number of service points, increases the number of repeat service points, protective diversification (to insulate against downturns in any particular service offering), improvements to revenue and EBITDA are all very positive.
That right direction thing again. I agree with you on the outcomes achieved being positive (although I don’t think they’ve been as successful in achieving them as you do), but the ends don’t necessarily justify the means, and the means are what these discussion are all about. That is what the critics here are vocal about. Look at all the things it seems even you would agree have been done wrong over the last decade, errors that needed to be remedied, decisions that have led the company away from it’s traditional core business strengths……the evidence is there…….and then ask yourself can you really afford to wholly endorse current management efforts that have improved some measures but have continued to lead the company in the same general direction that led to the admitted errors in the first place. Being critical in that regard doesn't preclude you from loving Disney, from enjoying WDW, from continuing to be an admiring onlooker of the company as a whole......heck, it makes you a better fan, if you ask me. So don't be so quick to dismiss those here that you feel are naysayers. They probably care a lot more about this company than the staunchest cheerleader. Take a look from that perspective, keep an open mind, and you'll find a lot of great discussion.

Another Voice
03-14-2007, 10:45 AM
I acutally think of the "disney" name more of a stamp of family friendly quality rather than something unique.
That is exactly the difference I am talking about.

A lot of people look to Disney as an escape from the everyday. A trip to WDW is a way to get away from their lives, to live a little better and be pampered, a safe place to watch their children have fun. Disney is a place that can give them all of that, all at known, high quality.

I see Disney as an enhancement to my life. I don’t want to escape, I want to add to my experiences. I don’t look to give be “better” experiences, I want Disney to give me the experience I can’t get anywhere else - the kind of experience that can only happen through storytelling.

I want to know what it’s like to fly into space. I want to know what it feels like to face down a dragon. I want to explore a haunted house, follow Indiana Jones through skeleton infested ruins, and fly over London in a pirate ship. I want to have lunch in a German biergarten and then have dinner in the shadow of a Chinese temple. I want my children to watch movies that gently teach them to be better people, not just entertainment to keep them quite on a car trip. I want my children to know they can accomplish whatever they wish through hard work, belief in themselves, and imagination.

Fancy*** hotels and three dollar cokes can be had anywhere. Despite all the marketing, there is no magic in free dining, timeshare condos or waiting for the pool boy to bring me another beer. I’ve seen enough of this world to understand exactly how important real “magic” can be – and enough to know that “magic” has nothing to do with middle class creature comforts.

“Magic” was the sparkle in my grandmother’s eyes when she walked down Main Street and told us she remembered places just like this. “Magic” was watching Bambi when I was nine and just after my father died, and understanding that it was now my time too to grow up. “Magic” is teasing my kid brother with a childhood picture of him on the Disneyland submarines by putting it in the wardroom of the boat on which he proudly served.

That’s the Disney I remember, that’s the Disney I still hope to get back one day.

MassJester
03-14-2007, 11:25 AM
The last two posts deserve thoughtful replies that I can't manage as I must drop down to NYC for a meeting--but I will get back to them.

Another Voice
03-14-2007, 12:02 PM
And I forgot to thank you for your thoughtful response Mr. MJ. I too got tied up yesterday (the bother we put ourselves through to earn money that all goes right to Disney...).

G8RFAN
03-14-2007, 12:05 PM
I am not sold on these two franchises building enough synergy to compliment each other well. I enjoy both brands individually, but I do not see the typical FS client base being the typical WDW traveler, nor do I see the typical WDW traveler seeing the value of staying at a FS location. What will be interesting is seeing how they co-mingle the brands, to the limited degree as they do with the Swan/Dolphin or even less with the DTD hotel row options or if they integrate it competely such as DVC resorts.

YoHo
03-14-2007, 12:35 PM
I'm more concerned with the ownership of the Four Seasons then anything else.

I really don't understand the Market for this property. As initially conceived, the Golf resort was supposed to be the non-Disnified hotel. It really didn't do all that well. Grand Floridian was supposed to be the 5 star Hotel, but they couldn't get that rating and have it still be cohesive with the rest of the resort properties.
On the other end of the spectrum, the All Stars and Pop Century have managed to suck in people who were previously paying more at the mods. They were built to pull in people from off property, but they really never succeeded at that and Disney has not finished the buildout.

I'm not convinced that the people that normally would stay at a Four Seasons have any particular interest in WDW anyway. And they're destroying what? two of the well regarded championship Golf Courses to put this in? The one Draw that probably would pull in the Four Seasons set? How exactly does this work again?

Peter Pirate 2
03-14-2007, 01:06 PM
And they're destroying what? two of the well regarded championship Golf Courses to put this in? The one Draw that probably would pull in the Four Seasons set? How exactly does this work again?
What a good point Mr. Yoho.:thumbsup2
pirate:

raidermatt
03-14-2007, 01:12 PM
On that point, they will be rebranding the Osprey Ridge course as a Four Seasons course. What actual changes to the course that will entail is not clear.

So unless another course is added, Disney will go from 5 18-hole courses to 4.

Something I'm curious about along that subject is how accessable the 4S course will be to other resort guests, and how accessable the other resort courses will be to the 4S guests. Who, if anybody, will get preferred tee-times for which courses, pricing, etc.

DancingBear
03-14-2007, 01:53 PM
Something I'm curious about along that subject is how accessable the 4S course will be to other resort guests, and how accessable the other resort courses will be to the 4S guests. Who, if anybody, will get preferred tee-times for which courses, pricing, etc.and for that matter, how accessible will the Four Seasons hotel and restaurants be? Will they have their own separate boat service to the MK? For that matter, will they have their own marina?

YoHo
03-14-2007, 02:00 PM
What a good point Mr. Yoho.:thumbsup2
pirate:


This is a watershed moment. If there were a way to bronze this post, I would.

raidermatt
03-14-2007, 02:10 PM
and for that matter, how accessible will the Four Seasons hotel and restaurants be? Will they have their own separate boat service to the MK? For that matter, will they have their own marina?

Yes, you're right, the golf questions are really just a subset of the overall question of how the resort will be integrated into WDW.

Peter Pirate 2
03-14-2007, 02:19 PM
I thought you'd see it that way Yoho, lol!
pirate:

YoHo
03-14-2007, 03:33 PM
And of course, the free integration of Grand Floridian with the rest of the resort structure is one of the reasons it failed to get a 4 star or 5 star rating. FS would almost have to be isolated in almost all respects to maintain the level of service they are known for. Holy caste system batman.

Somewhere out there, the piece of Landbaron's soul that cared about Walt Disney World is spinning in it's grave.

G8RFAN
03-14-2007, 04:17 PM
.......FS would almost have to be isolated in almost all respects to maintain the level of service they are known for.....
That's why I said I don't think there will be much synergy between the brands. If they try to fully integrate the FS brand into the resort system, it may drive away the typical FS traveler. However, I also draw from many stays at JW Marriott/Ritz Carlton at Grande Lakes. Although I see naturally see many high end conventioneers, I do see a number of families that stay there for SW. There are still a lot kids activities imbedded in that posh and refinement to make it a nice environment for families. SW is probably not a major draw for 75% of the patrons. Still, no other FS location has any other draw other being a corporate/financial center or a prime sophisticated destination. :confused3

raidermatt
03-14-2007, 04:38 PM
I think the question of how that market will respond to this property is legit, but I'm not convinced how it will turnout either way.

Certainly doing the partnership with 4S reduces Disney's investment and spreads the risk between the two. But at the same time, its almost contradictory. If the 4S crowd is turned off by the Disney kitsch, why will they bother to come to WDW in the first place?

And if there is a segment of the 4S crowd that really does like that stuff and wants to come to WDW, wouldn't they respond better to a Disney branded resort that delivered that same level of service? Sure, at first Disney would have to convince them this is the real deal, but once they do, Disney would have a far more lucrative situation.

In taking a step back, I do want to point out that I'm not really convinced at all that ANY luxury development on WDW property is the best use of capital. But if they are going to do it, then I truly believe Disney should do it. Perhaps they should do it under a different brand or segment name to try to alleviate the initial resistance from the targeted market, but they should still do it themselves.

Peter Pirate 2
03-14-2007, 05:24 PM
To muddy these waters further, it would certainly seem that the homoginization and dismantling of the once very good, if not great, fine dining at Disney is another negative nuance that, it would seem to me, affect the 4S crowd. Sure V& A's is still going strong and Jiko has somehow maintained their reputation and accolades for another year but the facts are that the once unique dining is being melded together (so much so that most menu's are very similar) with very little (if any) creativity allowed the Chef's.
pirate:

raidermatt
03-14-2007, 05:34 PM
Ah, but hasn't the number of "Signature Dining" restaurants gone up to 14?

Doesn't that mean the dining has improved?

;)

CanadianGuy
03-15-2007, 01:21 PM
I can't help but interject a couple of thoughts here..

On the announcement that this thread is about ...

- Unless the Disney lawyers and bean counters have lost it entirely.. the land under the Four Seasons (except the fractional ownership) will be leased by Disney to the JV on a 99 year basis or similar.

I don't think they will be selling the land off to the Four Seasons or to the JV. Because then the Four Seasons or the JV would have voting rights in the RCID. And I'm pretty sure Disney wouldn't want that. Of course that land could drop to OC.. but why on earth would Disney want the JV paying property and other taxes in OC?

And did I miss in the announcement where it said the Western Development hotel/motel would be a Comfort Inn as alluded to earlier in this thread? I can't find reference to that in any of the announcement materials.

Secondly.. as for Disney 'leasing out' attraction space and letting someone else design it and install it as commented on jokingly earlier in this thread. Already been done. Disney has put itself in precarious places for much less money in the past.. when they really needed the money.. back in the 50's .. when the bankers from BofA were running scared.

(Reference : Today's Mouse Matters - http://www.wdwinfo.com/MouseMatters/mousematters35.htm#hm-mousematters)

- Monsanto's Hall of Chemistry and the House of the Future.
- Crane's Bathroom of Tomorrow,
- Kaiser's Hall of Aluminum Fame
- Dutch Boy Paints' Color Gallery

Those were not attractions in my book. They were not 'sponsored' by .. They were full-on ads .. designed and installed by the sponsor .. and masquerading as attractions. Disney's 'Worlds Fair' concept in action I guess. Strangely enough, those kinds of 'attractions' pretty much came to an end around the time of Walt's death. Coincidence to be sure.. but..

If Disney parks did those kinds of things today.. the howls would go out from the roof-tops. Wasn't it bad enough they put McD's fries in AK? Altho I admit.. I bought them and enjoyed 'em anyway.

While Disney may be doing LOTS of things wrong in various places (I'm hardly qualified to judge).. one thing they have done right in my opinion -- is draw the line better on sponsorships and other 'brands' presence in the world.

Anyways.. Back to your spirited discussion already in progress.

Knox

DancingBear
03-15-2007, 02:03 PM
As I've mentioned repeatedly, whether the land is long-term leased or sold outright doesn't matter; the point is that it's no longer available to be something different.

I believe Comfort Inn was just thrown in as illustrative of what's planned (and sounds like an accurate example).

DisneyKidds
03-15-2007, 02:54 PM
I don't think they will be selling the land off to the Four Seasons or to the JV. Because then the Four Seasons or the JV would have voting rights in the RCID. And I'm pretty sure Disney wouldn't want that. Of course that land could drop to OC.. but why on earth would Disney want the JV paying property and other taxes in OC?
Apparently some portion (or all?) of the land for the Four Seasons resort complex will be de-annexed from the RCID.
Disney Public Affairs Vice President Bill Warren explained the haste behind the announcement was driven by the need to begin de-annexation of the planned single-family homes. "We know there's not as much detail as you are used to," Warren told the business writers group, "however we felt an obligation to inform our local government partners about our plans."
The homes are planned within the golf community that will consist of the rebranded Four Seasons golf course, Four Seasons (read: not DVC) fractional ownership homes, and one would presume the centerpiece Four Seasons hotel. I don't see how they can do anything but de-annex the entire 900 acres. Out of RCID and then out of Disney's control. You are right, Disney isn't going to want to have anything of theirs drop to Orange County, subjecting Disney to Orange County taxes. The handwriting is there. Off the land goes to Four Seasons and Disney doesn't have to worry about any of that. Also, some people keep referring to the planned Four Seasons Golf Community as a Joint Venture. Those are legal entities, and I haven't see any reference to such a thing in any of the media reports. It would be reasonable to assume that Disney is going to let Four Seasons develop the property, which no longer falls within RCID, deal with the tax issues, and Disney will take a slice of their profits. I really don't see a whole lot that is "Joint" about what has been announced.

Another Voice
03-15-2007, 02:58 PM
Because then the Four Seasons or the JV would have voting rights in the RCID.
In the announcement about the project Disney stated they had to release the plans early because they are de-annexing the land from RCID and turning control over to Orange County. The project also includes full and partial ownership vacation homes. The general buzz about the projsect (which hasn't been announced as the final details are being worked out) conjectures that Disney will sell the land to Four Seasons; they in turn will finance the development of their resort by subdividing the land to time share developers and home builders.

It's similar to deals that Jay Rasulo engineered when selling off large chunks of Disneyland Paris to other developers.

P.S. - Disney has never said anything about a joint venture, the corporate grapevine knows nothing of a joint venture. From Disney's perspective this is a straight land deal which will remover 300+ acres from Walt Disney World and turn it over to an outside company.

DancingBear
03-15-2007, 03:23 PM
Just want to point out here again that Disney pays Orange County property taxes. Here's the assessment and tax bill for the Poly ($1.5 million/year):

http://www.octaxcol.com/dev/result.asp?txtAccountID=112427000000007
http://www.ocpafl.org/pls/webappI/get_parcel_by_pid?sec=11&twp=24&rng=27&sub=0000&blk=00&lot=007&DI_0=on&DI_1=on&DI_2=on&DI_3=on&DI_4=on&DI_5=on&DI_6=on

And here's assessments on the Bonnet Creek Golf Course:

http://www.ocpafl.org/pls/webappI/get_parcel_by_pid?sec=18&twp=24&rng=28&sub=0000&blk=00&lot=002&DI_0=on&DI_1=on&DI_2=on&DI_3=on&DI_4=on&DI_5=on&DI_6=on
http://www.ocpafl.org/pls/webappI/get_parcel_by_pid?sec=18&twp=24&rng=28&sub=0000&blk=00&lot=001&DI_0=on&DI_1=on&DI_2=on&DI_3=on&DI_4=on&DI_5=on&DI_6=on

raidermatt
03-15-2007, 04:29 PM
I'm sure the voting rights are the primary issue.

Those were not attractions in my book. They were not 'sponsored' by .. They were full-on ads .. designed and installed by the sponsor .. and masquerading as attractions. Disney's 'Worlds Fair' concept in action I guess. Strangely enough, those kinds of 'attractions' pretty much came to an end around the time of Walt's death. Coincidence to be sure.. but..

This is very similar to the argument that DCA, MGM and AK were not built any differently than DL. Open small and build out.

Of course it ignores the fact that DL opened small because there just wasn't any more capital. As you said, the investors were nervous, and rightly so.

The types of deals you mention ended as Disney gained some level of stability financially, and were able to buy out investors like ABC.

The column you reference even notes why the "adtractions" were done:

Unfortunately, Disney's other plans for Tomorrowland were put on the back burner as bills piled high for the park's operation. Corporate America chipped in with their dough, but they wanted something in return: exhibition space.


The circumstances today are much different. Disney is not doing this because of bills piling up. They have the flexibility to do what's right for the long term. Had yesterday's Disney had the capital to forget these adtractions, they would have. Their desired plans, as stated in the article, simply had to wait.

CanadianGuy
03-15-2007, 04:36 PM
Good points all.. Thanks of the clarifications.

Of course it's hard to know.. but the way I read that.. the single family dwellings are the only thing being de-annexed. Which makes sense to me from a legal and taxation perspective.

If they didn't do that.. Disney would have to tax the owners of the homes.. and then turn the monies over to OC and then the voting rights issues previously mentioned.

But the hotel.. I can't see them selling the whole she-bang landwise. I certainly hope they don't. If they do -- they're even more confused than previous actions have indicated.

Personally, I think some of those single family homes will be sold in such a fashion that a single person may own all of a single home. I don't think they will all be fractionals. I think there's enough people with enough money and desire.. to buy a home 'on-property' as it were.

I foresee it much like the Four Seasons property in Palm Springs. They have fractionals but you can outright purchase a home adjacent to the Four Seasons hotel/resort golf course.

Best use of 300 acres? Probably not. Worst? I can think of worse... LOTS worse for sure.

As for the Western Development... I guess I just sorta presumed we were getting more Disney value accommodations but I guess in re-reading the press release -- it's not really clear.

When I was just down to Pop Century, the last day I was there .. a couple of construction looking trucks rumbled over to the Legendary Years side of the resort. They may have just been parking there.. But maybe not.

Maybe they ACTUALLY intend to finish that. I have some pictures I gotta d/l from the camera, one of the room doors is open and you can see the interior of the unfinished buildings is completely NOT finished. So they can build them out however they please if they ever choose to.

Knox

raidermatt
03-15-2007, 05:20 PM
Oh, and no, Comfort Inn has not been named specifically, but Disney is using terms like "value conscious", so it would follow that there will be chains like that coming in. Anything else would be competing directly with what Disney already has.


My guess is you are right, they will only sell the vacation home portion of the land (though I certainly could be wrong). And I agree that if they are going to sell the land they have to de-annex it, but that's the whole point, they really shoudn't be selling anything.

As DB said, even if they lease the rest of it, it's going to be pretty darn permanent.

I know they COULD put things in that are much worse, but that's not really relevant to talking about what they should do. In other words, if we are going to say this is good because if Disney did it they'd screw it up, why do we care anymore about Disney at all? There'd be nothing special about them.

And maybe there's not. But that aside, if we do think Disney is capable of special things (and we must if we bother to frequent boards like this), don't we have to assume they don't have so few ideas left that they really think just letting somebody else do it is the best option?

DisneyKidds
03-21-2007, 08:01 AM
The last two posts deserve thoughtful replies that I can't manage as I must drop down to NYC for a meeting--but I will get back to them.
That's one heck of a looooong meeting.

MassJester
03-21-2007, 09:30 PM
However, Disney siphoning off land to FS and allowing them to come onto (what used to be) Disney turf and do what Disney does is nothing like any of that. It’s not a true joint venture at all. Disney has sold out the high end resort market on Disney property in exchange for a small slice of someone else’s profits. Again, that is no JV relationship.

I don't agree. I don't think Disney has ever offered a true "luxury" experience, and I don't think that they are well positioned to. They have offered rooms at luxury prices, but I think the service has been unremarkable. I've never faulted them for this, but I've never mistaken their top line offerings for true luxury accomodations, and finding a partner to offer such an experience seems to be a good idea.

The key here isn’t the profitability or convenience of the arrangement, but the long term plan it supports. For starters, I’m not sure the long term was the primary consideration in this decision.

But how can you know that?

Secondly, if it was, I don’t like the long term plan it represent…..and I don’t think you do either, if you really search your soul. In your response to AV you showed your cards. You’d prefer that Disney keep the high end resort development to themselves. You’d prefer that Disney own and operate their own resorts and theme parks. You’d prefer that Disney was first and foremost a content provider, rather than a reseller or distributor (even though you like their involvement there). Deep down you know what Disney should be at it's core, the directions they should be striving to go in, yet they choose, time and again, to go in other directions. Despite that you continue to be an admiring onlooker.

I sort of agree. I would like Disney to maintain control of its parks, and am skeptical of arrangement that would divide that control.

That said, their hotels are another matter entirely. I'm not at all sure that controlling all hotel offerings speaks to my desire that they focus on being a content provider.

Case in point…….Something needs to be done to keep the errors from happening that require $7 billion remedies. Disney should never have let Disney Feature Animation fall into the state of disrepair it’s in. Disney should never have let Pixar (or anyone else) be the company that was on the cutting edge of animation technique. Neither of these was ever in the best long term interests of the Walt Disney Company.

I agree. But I think it unlikely that any culture change will protect the company from misteps. Henry Ford was asked by a reporter how he became so succesful. He replied that he had made a lot of good decisions. The reporter asked him how he knew to make such good decisions, and Mr. Ford replied, "Easy, I made a lot of bad decisions first."

Decisions going forward will be good and bad, and we "armchair CEO's" will have the benefit of hindsight, and the advantage of isolating the decision making from context.

It seems to me your statement should be that you feel that current Disney management is taking stop gap measures that you feel are appropriate at this point in time. However, do you really agree that moving further away from being a resort operator and creator of content is the right direction, long term, for the company?

I don't believe these are stop gap measures. I think they may be extremely sound strategic decisions that allow them to focus on core competency rather than be distracted by it.

While I agree that some decent things have been added in the last five years, maybe you could expand on what types of things you feel show a commitment to creative improvement. I think this is the core area where Disney can’t afford to fall short, but does.

That right direction thing again. I agree with you on the outcomes achieved being positive (although I don’t think they’ve been as successful in achieving them as you do), but the ends don’t necessarily justify the means, and the means are what these discussion are all about. That is what the critics here are vocal about. Look at all the things it seems even you would agree have been done wrong over the last decade, errors that needed to be remedied, decisions that have led the company away from it’s traditional core business strengths……the evidence is there…….and then ask yourself can you really afford to wholly endorse current management efforts that have improved some measures but have continued to lead the company in the same general direction that led to the admitted errors in the first place. Being critical in that regard doesn't preclude you from loving Disney, from enjoying WDW, from continuing to be an admiring onlooker of the company as a whole......heck, it makes you a better fan, if you ask me. So don't be so quick to dismiss those here that you feel are naysayers. They probably care a lot more about this company than the staunchest cheerleader. Take a look from that perspective, keep an open mind, and you'll find a lot of great discussion.

My problem with the naysaying is that it lacks context. I was thrilled to find new attractions at the parks when I visited this year. I thought they were very creatively concieved and expertly executed (Soarin' and Kilimanjaro)--these didn't strike me to be the acts of a company in creative decline.

I think the company is better focused today on its core mission and competencies then it has been in the past 15 years.

MassJester
03-21-2007, 09:32 PM
That's one heck of a looooong meeting.

Yep -- and off to Houston all next week. At least it will be warmer and I can get some decent brisket.

Another Voice
03-21-2007, 10:28 PM
I think the company is better focused today on its core mission and competencies then it has been in the past 15 years.
What I think we have here is a differnce in frames of reference.

I see the last 15 years as a pretty horrible period - Disney lost all it's confidence with the opening of Euro Disney and the loss of Frank Wells. Things have been pretty much a plunge to the bottom ever since.

I judge Disney on a larger time frame. I don't compare 'Soaring' to 'Rock'n Rollercoaster' - I'm wondering where the next 'Pirates of the Caribbean' or 'Haunted Mansion' is. I don't see any reason why forty year old rides should still far outshine the latest offerings in any of the parks. Imgaine if Hollywood stopped trying to make better movies and said that 1939 is as good as it's ever going to get.

If a struggling little company that turned out The Cat from Outer Space can come up with ALL of EPCOT Center, why can't one of the world's largest mega media companies do a little more than Dino-Rama?

When Disney opened 'Pirates of the Caribbean', it was so amazing, so astouding, so I-got-to-see-this that the ride has infused itself into American culture. It's in everything from old novels (The Stepford Wives) and new movies (the joke in Jurassic Park). It inspired a young Steven Speilberg (Goonies) - people who have never even thought of going to Disneyland or Walt Disney World know about the ride.

So why can't today's Disney create something that has the same amount of impact? Surely marketing isn't the problem. Nor money. Nor is technology. All that's lacking is the desire to create grand things and the guts to tough it out.

I don't care about "Disney is better than last year". I want Disney to be better than it ever was.

MassJester
03-22-2007, 05:58 AM
What I think we have here is a differnce in frames of reference.



Yes.

Jason71
03-22-2007, 07:04 AM
Oh, and no, Comfort Inn has not been named specifically, but Disney is using terms like "value conscious", so it would follow that there will be chains like that coming in. Anything else would be competing directly with what Disney already has.

Sorry, think I was the first one to mention "Comfort Inn," and I did just mean it as an example of a "value conscious" brand name motel. Maybe it will be a HoJo instead, but the point is the same, it will be on Disney-owned land but it will not be a unique "Disney" resort.

Similarly, we may get a Chillis or Applebees instead of a Fridays, but they are using Disney-owned land to build a a west side clone of Crossroads/Palm Parkway, not another version of Downtown Disney as was first rumored.

LuvDuke
03-22-2007, 07:32 AM
I don't agree. I don't think Disney has ever offered a true "luxury" experience, and I don't think that they are well positioned to. They have offered rooms at luxury prices, but I think the service has been unremarkable. I've never faulted them for this, but I've never mistaken their top line offerings for true luxury accomodations, and finding a partner to offer such an experience seems to be a good idea.

I absolutely agree with you here. The only "deluxe" in their deluxe resorts is the price. Other than that, service is a crap shoot.

I think Disney should get out of the hotel business all together. The Disney powers-that-be should sell the hotels to people who actually know how to run them like Hilton or Loew's. Disney is making the same mistake with their hotels they've made with everything else. They're trying to coast on the brand name and then try to throw in a supposed perk like extra-magic hours. They aren't a perk: They're a Disney nightmare.

DisneyKidds
03-22-2007, 07:50 AM
I don't agree. I don't think Disney has ever offered a true "luxury" experience, and I don't think that they are well positioned to.
Fair enough if you want to discuss whether Disney is capable of offering a high end resort, but my point was that this Four Seasons things in NOT a partnership or a JV. Disney isn't teaming with Four Seasons to develope something Disney can't do alone, working together with them to bring the high end resort to the property, and splitting the profits in accordance with established JV participation percentages. At least there is no evidence of such a teaming arrangement, nor any whispers of such. So, I don't think there is any basis for referring to this as a JV. Disney is punting. De-annexing land to turn over to Four Seasons so Four Seasons can do their own thing, most likely giving Dinse a small slice of the profits, a distribution fee is you will. Again, back to the distributor versus the resort operator thing. I don't really like it. Is Disney capable of delivering a true high end resort? Are they any less capable of that now than they were of bringing forth the Contemporary and Polynesian? If Disney was willing to put forth the effort and make the investment I suspect they could make a high end resort work.
I agree. But I think it unlikely that any culture change will protect the company from misteps. Henry Ford was asked by a reporter how he became so succesful. He replied that he had made a lot of good decisions. The reporter asked him how he knew to make such good decisions, and Mr. Ford replied, "Easy, I made a lot of bad decisions first."
But one thing good old Henry never did was decide to stop making cars of his own, picking them up from someone else and slapping the Ford emblem on them. Sure, Ford may now share a platform and some parts here or there with another manufacturer, but Ford doesn't buy a Honda lock, stock and barrel and repackage it as a Ford. Disney's failure to keep animation at the forefront of their business, to keep it's position as THE leading firm and innovator, was a whole lot more than just one bad decision among many good ones.

My problem with the naysaying is that it lacks context.
The naysaying lacks context? As we all seem to agree, there is a difference in frame of reference here. Yes, Disney is better postioned now than they have been in the past 10 or 15 years, but only looking back that far almost reeks of an absence of context. Sure, Soarin and Kilimanjaro are great attraction. However, you can find a longer list of misses over the past 15 than you can find hits.....so there is nothing wrong with expecting more than what those two rides (along with a handful of other) represent, and looking beyond just the theme park business in evaluating the company's position.

Yes, armchair quarterbacking is easy, but 30 years ago if one was to hint that in 30 years Disney wouldn't be the company at the leading edge of animation production I don't think anyone would have entertained that as any kind of possibility, much less a good thing.

I do appreciate the thoughful response. Keep up the good discussion.

raidermatt
03-22-2007, 01:42 PM
I think Disney should get out of the hotel business all together. The Disney powers-that-be should sell the hotels to people who actually know how to run them like Hilton or Loew's. Disney is making the same mistake with their hotels they've made with everything else. They're trying to coast on the brand name and then try to throw in a supposed perk like extra-magic hours. They aren't a perk: They're a Disney nightmare.

The core of the problem, however, is the idea that coasting on a brand name is an acceptable strategy. Selling the hotels doesn't change that, it merely concedes to it. And if we are going to concede that, what's the point in caring about Disney?


What I think we have here is a differnce in frames of reference.
Yes, this does help a lot with understanding Jester's positions.

The problem is that neither the Disney of today nor the Disney of 10-15 years ago (in retrospect) is all that special. Flashes of quality, perhaps more or less at various times, but essentially the same guiding philosophies. The fact that they might be doing a better job of executing some of those philosophies is again, nothing special.

MassJester
03-22-2007, 06:15 PM
Fair enough if you want to discuss whether Disney is capable of offering a high end resort, but my point was that this Four Seasons things in NOT a partnership or a JV. Disney isn't teaming with Four Seasons to develope something Disney can't do alone, working together with them to bring the high end resort to the property, and splitting the profits in accordance with established JV participation percentages. At least there is no evidence of such a teaming arrangement, nor any whispers of such.

Since there are no details to the arrangement in the public fora, anything we have to say about its nature is pure speculation. You are suuming the darkest scenario without any cause.

Is Disney capable of delivering a true high end resort? Are they any less capable of that now than they were of bringing forth the Contemporary and Polynesian? If Disney was willing to put forth the effort and make the investment I suspect they could make a high end resort work.

The Contemporary and Polynesian were never luxury resorts. They were themed hotels with a highly desireable location. If Disney has the ability to offer a true luxury resort experience, there is nothing in the record to support it.

But one thing good old Henry never did was decide to stop making cars of his own, picking them up from someone else and slapping the Ford emblem on them. Sure, Ford may now share a platform and some parts here or there with another manufacturer, but Ford doesn't buy a Honda lock, stock and barrel and repackage it as a Ford. Disney's failure to keep animation at the forefront of their business, to keep it's position as THE leading firm and innovator, was a whole lot more than just one bad decision among many good ones.

Disney is not turning over there theme park business. Like 'old Henry' he's farming out some component parts.


The naysaying lacks context? As we all seem to agree, there is a difference in frame of reference here. Yes, Disney is better postioned now than they have been in the past 10 or 15 years, but only looking back that far almost reeks of an absence of context. Sure, Soarin and Kilimanjaro are great attraction. However, you can find a longer list of misses over the past 15 than you can find hits.....so there is nothing wrong with expecting more than what those two rides (along with a handful of other) represent, and looking beyond just the theme park business in evaluating the company's position.

I agree. More misses than hits? I guess it depends how you define them. More misses than home runs, sure. I expect that. I think that anyone who doesn't is in for along disappointing relationship.

Yes, armchair quarterbacking is easy, but 30 years ago if one was to hint that in 30 years Disney wouldn't be the company at the leading edge of animation production I don't think anyone would have entertained that as any kind of possibility, much less a good thing.

Who leads today?

Another Voice
03-22-2007, 06:25 PM
The Contemporary and Polynesian were never luxury resorts. They were themed hotels with a highly desireable location.
Exactly, they were meant to be continuations of the park experiences - themed/cinematic environments where guests could have a long amounts of time rather than an hour. They were never "luxry" hotels, they were storytelling devices.

But Disney has forgotten that is the core of their business. The company is no longer run by showmen, but by suits. They have moved "Disney" from a creative brand to one that means "fluffly Mickey Mouse pillows".

Frankly, the market for hotels offering to buff polish the rear ends of rich is overcrowded - Four Seasons, W, Ritz-Carlton, you name it. Disney's entry here makes them weak and common. Oversized beds with sea salt facial scrub in the bath room is a dime a dozen (only the snooty factor cause's increased prices).

But people will pay huge amounts of money to be truely wowed and amazed. It's another thing Disney forgot.