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Sarangel
09-10-2002, 10:19 AM
From Yahoo.com's finance dept:Entertainment giant the Walt Disney Co. has raised the adult ticket price for its Walt Disney World theme parks by $2, or about 4 percent, as the important summer season wraps up, a spokesman said on Monday.

The increase, which took effect on Sunday, raises the price for a single adult admission to $50 before taxes, said Disney World spokesman Rick Sylvain.

The new price applies to single-day visits for each of the four parks that make up the Disney World resort complex: the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney-MGM Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Disney last raised prices in January 2001.

"While this is only a $2 increase, we believe that Walt Disney World remains and represents an excellent vacation value," Sylvain said.

Disney World's price hike comes at the tail end of the one of worst summer seasons for theme parks in recent memory, as travelers scaled back trips and stayed closer to home during the post-Sept. 11 travel crisis and broader economic slowdown.

Disney maintained prices at its original Disneyland theme park in southern California. But it offered steep discounts for the newer and adjacent Disney's California Adventure, which has struggled since it opened a year and a half ago.

In August, Burbank, California-based Disney said business at its theme parks -- which accounted for 40 percent of the parent company's operating earnings last year -- was weakening, touching off a flood of earnings downgrades by analysts.

Company shares plunged on the news, falling from a close of $17.73 on July 31 to a seven-year low of $13.50 on Aug. 8. Shares bounced back after that, but, at a Monday close of $15.90 on the New York Stock Exchange, still have yet to recover all their losses. Could the weakening of Park revenue be (at least partially) because of all the cutbacks?

kenjean
09-10-2002, 11:15 AM
Cut hours.
Cut ee.
Cut e-ticket.
Cut back entertainment.
Close attractions.
Close parks for a day at a time (rumor)


RAISE PRICES!

Makes sense to me.
:confused:

daber
09-10-2002, 11:54 AM
What happened to the rules we learned in Economics 101 ....the law of supply and demand? As prices go up, demand goes down. So how does this help their low attendence? As kenjean pointed out, it probably makes sense only if you initials are ME or PP.

EUROPA
09-10-2002, 11:56 AM
Originally posted by thedscoop

, destination tourism appears way down across the board.



Do you mean the Theme Park industry or tourism in general?

d-r
09-10-2002, 11:57 AM
Originally posted by kenjean
Cut hours. Matt has made the point that the total number of hours this off season are less than last years; however, I don't think we know the data concerning how the number of people at the parks, the operating hours, operating expenses, and guest satisfaction inter-relate. It is obvious to me that they are trying some experiments at the MK with the closing hours in Sept. to see what the guest reaction would be. I'd be willing to give them the benefit of the doubt that they are trying to find ways to improve guest satisfaction.

Cut ee.
You know, I don't post a lot about this because we never used it. I was in dixie landings a few days ago, and we were at the food court at about 11:15, and the place was jammed with people wanting breakfast. Breakfast was supposed to stop at 11:00, but they were keeping it going until stuff ran completely out because there was such a crowd. I heard people saying things like "With all the excitement the kids had last night, we couldn't get them up this morning and just slept in a while." Honestly, I don't know how many people were using EE, and if it was enough people for it to make it worth it. I do believe though that the people who did use early entry used it because it wasn't crowded. So there's the rub, if it isn't crowded then not a lot of people are using it, so is it worth it? Maybe they will bring it back, I don't know.

Cut e-ticket. They are making a new e-ticket in epcot right now, called mission:space. If you are talking about the e-ticket nights, they have cut them, there just aren't any scheduled right now. I am sure that they will be back when the crowd levels for the entire resort (if there aren't enough people staying late for three parks: MK, MGM, and Epcot I don't think they should have an e-night because it doesn't seem financially feasible to me).

Cut back entertainment. I'm sure that there are always changes to entertainment, which include cutting some cast members and adding others. I remember that there were several cuts in entertainment cast members a few months ago, I thought that they had hired people back to past levels, but I'm not sure about this.

Close attractions. There are always attractions closed for re-hab at one time or another. There are also attractions that are closed because they have run their course for one reason or another (20K, skyway). There are also attractions that are replaced by something new (buzz, imagination, mission:space), and new attractions that don't replace something old (dare I say dinorama). I hope that they add some new e-tickets in the near future.

Close parks for a day at a time (rumor) (rumor)


RAISE PRICES!
Someone who cares more than me might remember more of the details, but it seems to me that universal and sea world raised their prices a couple of months ago, and that Disney didn't raide their ticket prices at that time. If I understand it correctly, usually the Orlando attractions sort of go together when they raise prices. Also, if I understand correctly, the price of a one day ticket at wdw is now $50, making it a nickel higher than the current cost of a one day universal ticket at $49.95 (of course, there are multi-day tickets and resident passes at both these resorts).

Makes sense to me.

Actually, it sort of does to me. Of course I don't want to pay more. Who would? But I do think that there has to be a balance between ticket costs, operation costs, and guest satisfaction.

DR

kenjean
09-10-2002, 12:23 PM
Let me start by saying that I am no expert on WDW, I just present my view point.

I don't think we know the data concerning how the number of people at the parks, the operating hours, operating expenses, and guest satisfaction inter-relate.

I don't care how they inter-relate. I am the customer (one that Disney still has, for the present). I know that my higher priced ticket now lets me in the park less hours per day than it used to. Value lost.

the total number of hours this off season are less than last years;

At one time, I believe that AV did an analysis. It showed that operating hours are at the lowest since around 1997. Even with lower attendance this year, there are more people visiting the parks than in 1997. I don't know what the one day price was then, but it wasn't $50.


I heard people saying things like "With all the excitement the kids had last night, we couldn't get them up this morning and just slept in a while."

This is an old argument. I used ee, and I know other people did because when I was there there was a significant number of other people in the park. It is a loss of value.

If you are talking about the e-ticket nights, they have cut them, there just aren't any scheduled right now

I was talking about e-nights. My mistake. There are none for September and rumor has it none for October. While this cost $10, I considered it a perk for staying on site. Value lost.


On entertainment, the show in Tommorowland, Main street marching band, those are the ones I can recall quickly. Smaller lost value.


There are always attractions closed for re-hab at one time or another.

Not these. Timekeeper, COP, 20k, Skyway, Riverboats, Canoes. None were replaced with anything. Lost value.

Still having trouble making sense of it.

d-r
09-10-2002, 12:26 PM
"I have also read that many of the National Parks attendance are up."

Actually, fwiw, I saw a story on NBC news that focused on the low tourism numbers recently (the report was broadcast, interestingly enough, from universal studios florida). The report said that attendance at the national parks had been down this summer, and that there were "unheard of" vacancies at the national park resorts this summer. Again, fwiw. But yes, 6 flags are having economic problems, I'm not sure about the cedar fair parks. Universal studios florida have cut hours (the closing times this month are 6 or 7 for both parks on weekend nights), cut back entertainment (entertianment employees were layed off a week or so ago), closed attractions (king kong, et, and I think something else), and they have been charging basically the same as disney's increase for a few months now.

DR

hopemax
09-10-2002, 12:52 PM
It's hard to get a clear read on the "real" tourism numbers. I remember the USA today article about the national parks. But I just read something the other day that the Grand Canyon is off by 4.2%. Over-seas tourists are down 40%, which is hurting the lodges, but the drive-in Americans are coming in record numbers. And I've read about that pattern in other places, I mentioned San Diego awhile back. International travel and business travel is way down, which is preventing the industry as a whole from saying they have recovered. But from an "American traveler" perspective, there are success stories. And if WDW hasn't been seeing stablization or growth in its "American traveler" numbers, they need to take a hard look at what THEY are doing that is keeping these people away.

There is an opportunity, right now, to build the American customer base. If they can do that, when the international travel returns they'll be even better off. But many of the actions WDW has taken make me feel like I'm the "rebound" girl. I'm with a guy, who every 5 minutes sighs mournfully and goes on and on about the girl that got away. And I just want to say, "Look buster, I'm here, she's gone, focus on me, otherwise I'm history too and then where will you be?"

EUROPA
09-10-2002, 01:11 PM
Originally posted by d-r

Universal studios florida have cut hours (the closing times this month are 6 or 7 for both parks on weekend nights), cut back entertainment (entertianment employees were layed off a week or so ago), closed attractions (king kong, et, and I think something else), and they have been charging basically the same as disney's increase for a few months now.

DR

Those were the same times when we visited in 2000. A couple of Entertaiment people were let go becuase the street show they were involved in was not getting good reveiws(maybe due to the actors??? thats why they were let go?) They plan on adding more entertainment to replace the show.. Kong is closing to ADD a new attraction. So are Nick and Hitchcok. Prices are Universal are way down compareed to 2000. Nice try but the spin is not correct.

DisneyKidds
09-10-2002, 01:13 PM
But from an "American traveler" perspective, there are success stories. And if WDW hasn't been seeing stablization or growth in its "American traveler" numbers, they need to take a hard look at what THEY are doing that is keeping these people away.

What says we can assume that WDW is having trouble with it's "American traveler" numbers while other destinations are showing success stories? Isn't WDW as much of an international destination as the national parks, or any other resort destination? You may be right, I just don't recall seing the evidence.

hopemax
09-10-2002, 01:44 PM
didn't I use the word "IF?"

last I checked, if statements /= assumptions.

consider it an "avenue for exploration."

d-r
09-10-2002, 02:10 PM
Originally posted by kenjean

I don't care how they inter-relate. I am the customer (one that Disney still has, for the present). I know that my higher priced ticket now lets me in the park less hours per day than it used to. Value lost.



Kenjean- the third part there was "guest satisfaction" and ultimately it is up to you to decide if it is what you want to spend your money on.

d-r
09-10-2002, 02:29 PM
Originally posted by EUROPA
Those were the same times when we visited in 2000. A couple of Entertaiment people were let go becuase the street show they were involved in was not getting good reveiws(maybe due to the actors??? thats why they were let go?) They plan on adding more entertainment to replace the show.. Kong is closing to ADD a new attraction. So are Nick and Hitchcok. Prices are Universal are way down compareed to 2000. Nice try but the spin is not correct.

Europa, I don't think it is spin, and I don't think it incorrect. Is it incorrect that a ticket costs 49.95? (it cost more than that in 2000?) Is it incorrect that the parks close at 6 or 7 on weekend nights? Is it incorrect that entertaiment staff was cut? Is it incorrect that 3 attractions have been closed? How about the bathrooms?

How are these statements any different from the statements about wdw? Universals hours were shorter in the first place so it is OK that they are still short but wdw hours are too short in the off season (though longer than usf) because they were higher last year? MAYBE they figured out last year that the hours were too long to make enough money to cover it, so they fixed it this year. Again, the hours at the MK have been expanded the last week of Sept., and everyone seems to think that they are experimenting with ways to increase guest satisfaction by doing that.

Attractions. There are rumors that there will be some sort of mummy/scorpian king roller coaster at king kong, how is that different from horizons being replaced by mission:space? Shrek to replace ET, what about philharmagic vs. lion king - OF COURSE I know that there hasn't been a replacement for the keel boats or 20K or the skyway, but there is Aladan and dinorama (hey, not my favorite either, but it is new. Personally I liked the keel boats better than the flying carpets but I bet a lot of people in the general wdw audience would disagree). They added that princess breakfast thing in Epcot, again not my cup of tea but a ton of people asked for it. Look, I'd love for something to be on 20K lagoon and I don't really believe the stories about engineering and water leaking into the utilidors, but I don't know what they will replace it with or when. Timekeeper. Look, people hate the freaking time keeper because they have to stand up and watch the movie, that is why it is closed most of the time because people complain about it. It is not popular. Guests do not enjoy it. I would probably close it too. I have no doubt that a lot of people are really liking that they can take their kids to see Buzz - people are begging left and right for toy story characters and so they add that in there. I hope that they give those people the breakfast that they want so much and put something really cool in there besides a buzz lightyear meet and greet. Of course I do, buzz lightyear meets have nothing for me, but I'm not pushing around a little kid that wants to meet him.

About the entertainment, again I know that a lot of people were laid off, I thought they have come back; some entertainment was cut and some new things were added, that happens.

YES, I would like longer hours. Honestly I would love it if they opened up the MK for day just for the people on this board so we could spend the day wondering around at our leisure lookinig for things to gripe about - but I know that wouldn't be financially feasible. Do you think it would be financially feasible for them to do that?

d-r
09-10-2002, 03:01 PM
OK, I started thinking about what I was typing. First, don't get me wrong, I don't like cutbacks. The point I've been trying to make is that I understand that they may financially need to make cutbacks until tourism picks up.

But then I started thinking about what was removed and what was replaced. OK, take keel boats. That is an old fashioned kind of corny ride. Probably not thrilling for little kids because it is based on the old davey crocket shows. As much as I love Walt, I would face it and say that COP is kind of corny and old fashioned too, and probably not a big pull for little kids. Time Keeper - people complain because they don't like standing up. After you have been pushing your little kids around all day you don't want to have to stand up, plus it is probably hard for little ones to see what is going on. New things. Aladdin - a spinner for the little kids. Buzz lightyear meet and greet, little kids. Honestly, the people I've heard say that they didn't use EE didn't want to have to get up with the litle kids. Dinorama, what is the purpose of that.

I posted this last December - http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=131448&highlight=dink and it makes sense to me now.

I've been to wdw several times. Typically, I see a lot of people with little kids. From what I overhear, a lot of those people are there just because of the kids. So if I am Disney, and business is slow, those are the first group of people I'm going to listen to. Little things that you can add, like the epcot princess breakfast or the character caravan, or even tricertop spin et al., that has appeal for the preschool set, make a lot of sense to me from a business stand point. And a lot of those folks want more characters and more kid rides.

Yeah, they run the risk of shutting out the dinks and the sinks and tweens and the teens. But they probably figure that if they were going to get those they are going to get them anyway. They can add things like mission:space or test track every once in a while.

EUROPA
09-10-2002, 04:11 PM
Originally posted by d-r
Europa, I don't think it is spin, and I don't think it incorrect. Is it incorrect that a ticket costs 49.95? (it cost more than that in 2000?) Is it incorrect that the parks close at 6 or 7 on weekend nights? Is it incorrect that entertaiment staff was cut? Is it incorrect that 3 attractions have been closed? How about the bathrooms?


A single day ticket is 49.95 I had to check myself. All other tickets are less though. I have no idea what a single day Ticket was in 2000... we don't buy them. Then again all other tickets are less. Yes the parks do close at 6 or 7 but that is not different then what it was.

Entertainment staff - what you are reporting is tantamount to a firing of 3 to 4 people...just how many did Disney cut again? How many of those shows are still on reduced schedules? How many people do you think Disney has to let go of in an average week. I think it's going to hard to track every single hiring and firing but if that is what you purpose....

3 Attractions have not been closed. Only 1 which again is to replace it. When are we getting replacements for 20,000? COP , Timekeeper, River Country...and the others? One of the Bathrooms rumored to be shut down was along with Kong...again being replaced. I'm sure for obvious reasons. (just in case you don't get it...they are working on the the building.) The other rumored bathroom closing has not been verified by anybody yet. Tell you what though I'll make sure to report back when I'm there in Nov. Just how much value to you put on those bathrooms though? I think the decrease in Ticket prices more then makes up for it. Don't you?