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Buschfan
10-09-2002, 09:01 PM
I thought the graph I have a link to is interesting. I keep reading how Disney's attendance is dropping with most articles just blaming the economy. This graph shows attendance dropping even when times were good. It appears WDW's problems are much deeper.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/tourism/orl-asec-disattend100602,0,7243704.graphic?coll=orl%2Dbusin ess%2Dheadlines

Maistre Gracey
10-09-2002, 09:37 PM
I don't see where the EPCOT and MK graphs prove a thing. I am not pretending that attendance hasn't dropped, but just saying that we need a total attendance graph that includes AK and MGM. I am sure that some of that downslope is due to the opening of AK.

wdwguide
10-09-2002, 11:17 PM
That's part of the problem - the AK, at least at first, took away visitors from Disney's other parks, which it wasn't supposed to (look at Tokyo, where the opening of DisneySea has actually boosted the original park's figures). What it was supposed to do is keep people from visiting Busch Gardens, Universal, and Sea World, which didn't happen.

Compared to 1997, total visitation is up roughly a million, but the average per park is down over 3 million.

There are a LOT of reasons why this has happened, not all of which are under Disney's control, but much of what we are seeing today are the direct results of short-term money-saving measures from a few years ago coming back to generate large long-term costs now.

Maistre Gracey
10-09-2002, 11:22 PM
Well, that answers some questions. I didn't scroll to the right to see MGM and AK charts! :cool:

PKS44
10-09-2002, 11:58 PM
I suspect much of this is Disney's "fault"-they have decided it is not "worth" it to try to increase attendance by aggressively investing in the parks...on the contrary -they have been cutting. Just wondering though how much of this is population driven...the folks who go to Disney style parks are generally families with pre teens...the numbers of those folks is shrinking and will shrink until the Gen X'ers have 5 to 10 year olds...but what about Japan...does anyone know what the population breakdown is over there? Did they have a baby boom like us? an echo boom?

Paul

Bob O
10-10-2002, 12:11 AM
Disney can delude themselves and blame the economy/terrorism etc. But the problem wont be solved till they look inward and realize they have diminished the theme park experience with all of the cutbacks at the parks. They thought that bigger is always better with a build it and they will come attitude. The graphs show that every park is bleeding attendance and alot of it concides with the start of the cutbacks so as too bleed money from the parks to pay for all of their other business debacles. They have gotten away from what has worked in the past to cut to the bootstrings attitude and they are doing nothing to encourage people to come back again by letting their parks go stale, reducing hours/hotel perks.
Attendance wont go back up until they give their guests reasons to come back and putting on 18 month scam pr campaigns like the one they are doing now wont cut it!!

Figmentrocks
10-10-2002, 12:15 AM
Japan's population is on a decline. They are actually projected at this pace to have nearly half the population of today (I believe around 121 million today) in 50 years. Population growth is rather interesting to me. The U.S. continues to grow and grow, therefore, in theory, the base of people attending the theme parks always should have a large opportunity to keep growing. It astounds me that Eisner and his business minions can't seem to understand this simple pretense, instead they look overseas because there isn't "enough" growth here. They've *****d out the Disney name so much in the States, that you have a public simply tired of the Mouse.

Planogirl
10-10-2002, 01:11 AM
I wish that these graphs showed the years more clearly. Notice how all of the American parks except Animal Kingdom show a steady decline but then all of these have a jog upward close to the middle before starting to fall again. I wonder what caused this?

JimB.
10-10-2002, 09:01 AM
The U.S. continues to grow and grow, therefore, in theory, the base of people attending the theme parks always should have a large opportunity to keep growing

But a key factor in all this is DISTANCE. In Japan, there are significantly MORE people living CLOSER to their parks than to WDW. Imagine the entire population of Japan crammed into Florida, then imagine how packed WDW would probably be.


BUT, I'll agree, a key problem (IMHO) is a percieved lack of capital investment into the theme parks themselves ("If you build it, they will come........................"). You can only squeeze so much water out of a sponge before it runs dry.

space42
10-10-2002, 11:07 AM
Originally posted by Planogirl
I wish that these graphs showed the years more clearly. Notice how all of the American parks except Animal Kingdom show a steady decline but then all of these have a jog upward close to the middle before starting to fall again. I wonder what caused this?


I'll take a guess.

This could be due to the millennium celebration. Notice that EPCOT seems to have the most drastic incline before the decline. I would also bet that if those graphs extended through '02, the drop off would be even more extreme for EPCOT.

snowwhitemom
10-13-2002, 08:16 AM
Wow, the chart really made it black and white to me. Thanks for posting it.

David in Manassas
10-13-2002, 02:50 PM
I have heard that attendance is down at WDW from reading these boards, but I wanted to relate to you all about our visit to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg this weekend. I have not seen the park this crowded in years, even in the peak of summer. They park was turning away people from their main parking area and directing them to park in on old lot on the other side of the highway....they they rarely use.

The reason? BG is celebrating their Howl O Scream promotion this month on weekends. I have to say, I was VERY impressed. Besides the typical "scary" mazes etc set up, BG really went all out. They actually changed the outdoor lighting in all of the areas, and all areas of the park were decorated. Cast members were dressed up and really got into the spirit. The most impressive parts were a special 1/2 hour monster show presented in the "Festhaus" and a "street spectacular" (Their words) presented in their Ireland area. And the place was opened till 10 PM!! (10 A to 10 P). I guess some parks are still pulling them in!.

David Manassas VA

King Triton
10-14-2002, 01:06 AM
Epcot drove away attendance by taking out Horizons, and World of Motion. Epcot hasn't been the same since. Epcot lost a lot of it's charm. My suggestion to Disney: Build a Horizons II and a World of Motion II ride. The old Epcot was so much better.

The economy has an effect too. If your investments are down, then you are not going to go on vacations and spend money.
It's that simple. When the stock market comes back, so will attendence at most of the parks. On the other hand, those who are depressed about loosing their money in the stock market will have to go to WDW for an escape and a dose of happiness. So it can work both ways.

King Triton


:bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

CWIPPERMAN
10-14-2002, 04:43 AM
Well, I'm not an economist, and I have never been vocal on threads that discuss the "business" aspect of the parks.... BUT....

I don't think you should read too much into these numbers. One thing these figures don't take into effect is overall "RESORT" attendance. What I mean by this is that the numbers don't show the (probable... I'm only assuming) substantial INCREASE in "per-visitor" income. I would assume that over the last 5 years, since thousands of new hotel rooms have oppened on-site, the amount of income per-visitor has greatly increased.

Think about it this way - and this is just a hypothetical example -

If 10 years ago, they had 10 million "paid admissions" at $50.00/per visitor, and then 10% of those folks actually stayed on site at another $50.00/per visitor. So, you have 11 million x $50.00 = $55 million dollars

Now, lets say that today we have 9 million "paid admissions" at $50.00/per visitor. But now - with additional hotel rooms we have 33% (1/3) of the folks staying on site. This equals 3 million "hotel nights" at $50.00/visitor. Figuring this way - even with a 10% drop in park attendance, the revenue would increase: 12 million (9 million park admissions + 3 million "rooms") x $50.00 = $60 million dollars.

Now, this is just a basic example using simple numbers (remember... I'm not an economist), but to me, I know that they have added probably 10,000 hotel rooms in the last 5 years. That means that even at 1/2 occupancy - there is an extra 5000 famalies staying on-site every night. That means not just the cost of the room, but food, and souveniers.

I also assume that this even means that the same people that may have chosen to stay off-site in the past while visiting other parks, would now stay on-site. Hell, if I was going to Orlando for 10 days - but was only going to spend 5 days at a "Disney" park... with some of the deals like the All-Star's... It would be a better "overall" experience to stay on-site the entire vacation. So, instead of staying at an off-site hotel (and not giving Disney that extra money), they are getting money from me even if I'm not visiting their parks.

And remember.... those figures don't show things like water-parks (which I imagine have remained pretty much level because they have lower capacities and have to "shut-down" when they reach a certain number of visitors). Those numbers also don't take into effect stuff like DisneyQuest (which I would guess is good for a million "paid-admissions"/year), and pleasure island.

And there's other things that the addition of the hotel rooms brings like more golf, and dining at the non-park restaurants.

So, to me - the decline in "park attendance" really doesn't mean that much. Remember to take the "totality" of the circumstances into effect when you read an article, or see numbers like that.

Andrew015
10-14-2002, 12:29 PM
Epcot drove away attendance by taking out Horizons, and World of Motion. Epcot hasn't been the same since. Epcot lost a lot of it's charm. My suggestion to Disney: Build a Horizons II and a World of Motion II ride. The old Epcot was so much better.

I couldn't agree more.... don't forget about the old Imagination too! IMHO, Disney is shooting itself in the foot. If they want to add new attractions, they should build a new park... don't take out the classic rides. Lord knows they have enough room.... not even half of their WDW property is developed on!!!


I don't think you should read too much into these numbers. One thing these figures don't take into effect is overall "RESORT" attendance. What I mean by this is that the numbers don't show the (probable... I'm only assuming) substantial INCREASE in "per-visitor" income. I would assume that over the last 5 years, since thousands of new hotel rooms have oppened on-site, the amount of income per-visitor has greatly increased

Well if it's based on the filling up of the resorts, why could you get a room onsite for $25 dollars per night... Why is CBR closed.... Why are the resorts only 20- 50 % full????

ATTENDANCE IS DOWN PERIOD.

Figmentrocks
10-14-2002, 12:37 PM
...and the Loew's hotels at Universal are 90%+ filled at all times now. A lot of the problems at Disney are for certain, their problems, not problems of the market.

raidermatt
10-14-2002, 01:50 PM
...and the Loew's hotels at Universal are 90%+ filled at all times now.
Source? I have heard that Universal is doing "better" occupancy-wise than Disney, but haven't seen specific numbers from either. In it's last earnings call (about 2 months ago), Disney said 4th quarter bookings were down 10%, but that's all I've seen.

Also, we don't know what the occupancy targets of each are. They could, and probably do, have very different % goals.

Epcot drove away attendance by taking out Horizons, and World of Motion.

The problem isn't the removal of these attractions. Its the fact that no family-oriented rides of the same scope have replaced them.

CWIPPERMAN- You're right that attendance alone does not tell the whole story. But falling attendance is still not a good sign.

Also, Disney has told us that per capita spending at WDW has been down. So they are not generating more revenue per guest.

Also, the last update was that bookings were down 10%, so there are not more people on property. This is why Pop Century has not opened yet, even though it could have opened months ago.

Financially speaking, the parks are not performing as poorly as ABC, but their performance HAS fallen. This has happened despite heavy cost-cutting. In other words, Disney has slashed costs, but is still making less money because the drop in attendance and spending has happened faster than they can cut.

The only question that remains is how much the cost cutting (shorter hours, less entertainment, etc) is CAUSING the drop in attendance and spending? Disney says (publically, at least) that the drop is all due to the economy. Eisner critics say that's got very little to do with it.

The truth is probably somewhere in between, but since Disney can't control the economy, they should be focused on what they CAN control, instead of making excuses.

Bob O
10-14-2002, 02:08 PM
Maybe wdw should send some employee's to Holiday World in IND. as they just ended their season and attendance was up 20% and was record breaking!!! Maybe disney could learn something from them in how to attract guests as the park was rated #1 in cleanliness and the most friendly staff so they apparently know how to incrase attendance in a down economy and keep the guests satisfied!!

Buschfan
10-14-2002, 02:20 PM
It is puzzling to me that Disney executives always say they are not in competition with Universal. They insist they are going after a different market. This kind of thinking is hurting them also. They also refuse to come close to the discounts that Universal or Busch are offering on admission. The 'we are too good' to discount mentallity is costing them. The Orlando-Tampa market can help Disney overcome the loss of international travellers if only they would offer a decent discount to get people in the gates. Sure we don't have the money or the vacation time like the Europeans, but at least some revenue is better than none.

The reports from others about non-Disney parks having good numbers doesn't surprise me. The higher priced retailers are the ones seeing sales declines right now while the Wal-Marts and Dollar Generals are seeing gains. Disney is pricing themselves far above all the other parks in the country. Naturally, they are going to be the first ones to suffer when the economy turns sour. People are going to parks that offer the best value.

Skipmeister
10-14-2002, 02:26 PM
I think we're unfortunate victims of our own desire here. Think about it this way ... when you have a couple of kids, say 5 and 7 years old, if you suggest the mountains, the beach, or Disney World, which do you think they'll want to see? They want the mouse -- nothing else will do.

Can you imagine explaining to your 7 year old that you don't want to take them to WDW this year because of Disney's "repeated pattern of lackluster investment in their theme parks"?

Most familes visit WDW only every few years (at best), so they look at it as something they do mostly for their kids that they can enjoy as well. I remember the first time I took my kids; I thought it was great that everything was the about same as it was the last time I had visited six years before -- now, I see where that's actually not a good thing.

What else can we do when little Jennifer wants to see Mickey? Spiderman ain't gonna cut it.

raidermatt
10-14-2002, 02:28 PM
While I don't agree with a lot of what Disney is doing, I do agree with their "limited discount" strategy.

Discounts are the easy answer and don't really solve any problems. Disney DOES have a different market than Universal, and especially Busch. Yes, there is some overlap, and yes, in many ways they are in competition, but that doesn't mean Diseny should copy everything the others do.

Disney has the ability to offer much more than Universal or Busch. Their reduction in what they offer (ie "Value") is the heart of their problem. The solution is to offer more, as they once did, not cut prices to match their reduced offerings.

People will pay a premium for the best of what Disney offers. Disney just needs to offer their best.

raidermatt
10-14-2002, 02:33 PM
What else can we do when little Jennifer wants to see Mickey?
Falling attendance proves that there are many families who ARE finding alternatives for little Jen...


(By the way, Universal's attendance fell in 2001 vs. 2000, and by a greater percentage than WDW, so all has not been smooth with them either... Not saying Universal is failing, just that we should be careful when saying WDW should just do what Universal does.)

Bob O
10-14-2002, 02:36 PM
Disney's best has been improved upon by USF! And they dont corner the market anymore in regards to the best staff/cleanest parks etc, competitors have stepped up to the plate while disney cuts back on the magic, no way to increase attendance or encourage repeat visits!!

Skipmeister
10-14-2002, 02:39 PM
You HAVE to think that falling attendance over the last year or two is more due to economic concerns than the fact that Michael Eisner is cutting down on the capital allocated to the attractions.

And yes, families find alternatives, but MOSTLY because of their budgets. Seriously, have you ever heard of anyone outside of these forums saying "We wanted to take our kids to WDW this year, but they've really cut down on the maintenance, and the new attractions just aren't being built like they once were. So we told our kids to heck with Disney, we'll do just fine here at Six Flags."

hopemax
10-14-2002, 02:50 PM
Economic concerns are Disney concerns too. They control their pricing structure.

Yes, outside of this forum I've heard people say things like, "We're not going to Disney this year because the prices have gotten so high and we're not interested in the new attractions they've built." These people are going to Hawaii, the Southwest, Alaskan cruises...still expensive vacations but more "bang for the buck" in their opinion.

It's not Six Flags vs. Disney. It's "vacation somewhere else and add a trip to the local park for the rides" vs. Disney. And a lot of parents still believe that seeing "the world" is just as good for their kids as seeing "the World."

Bob O
10-14-2002, 02:50 PM
For any family you have to decide what is the best value for your money and right now IMHO with what disney has done i can find better value by traveling to other destinations.There is a whole big world our there with thousands of vaction options and things to do that disney competes with. They dont just compete with Six Flags but with Las Vegas/international sites/cruises etc. So if people dont think there is anything new to see they do have thousands of other places to go with their leisure money. And some of it will go to Six Flags/Cedar Point/Holiday World if people want to do something different or experience a different ride/attraction that they are adding at a greater pace to encourage guests to come. Or it may go to money for a cruise/europe/Historical sites etc.

raidermatt
10-14-2002, 03:19 PM
Skipmeister- You're right when you say that the average family does not analyze the new additions and company budget decisions. They just make a very subjective evaluation based on their overall experience. Then they compare that to the cost when making their next vacation decision.

When you cut hours, entertainment and services, its going to have a negative impact on the guest experience. That will have a negative impact on a families decision-making process. Maybe they won't swear off Disney forever, but they might come back after 5 years instead of 4. In other words, they visit less frequently.

BobO and Hopemax are absolutely correct when they point out that Disney isn't just competing against Six Flag's or Universal. Disney is a family resort destination, and as such, competes against Las Vegas, New York, Washington DC, Europe, Hawaii, the Carribbean, and even Grandma's house...


Economic concerns are Disney concerns too. They control their pricing structure.
I still maintain that their pricing structure is not the problem. Its what they offer for their price that is becoming the problem.

And we do have to allow for some hardship due to economic conditions. If somebody just won't fly, it really doesn't matter what Disney charges. If somebody has been laid-off, again, Disney could offer 50% off, but the laid-off worker still ain't coming.

I mean really, if Disney just came out and said they were lowering prices 20%, would that make us happy? Temporarily appease some, sure. But then what? It would just be a confirmation that Disney was no longer going to try to out-do other destinations and instead was going to become more of a bargain destination.

Pricing is a minor player in all of this...

DisneyKidds
10-14-2002, 03:46 PM
While Disney may not be in competition with USF or BG (or whoever) for the same guests, they are still in competition with these destinations. If these other parks are providing discounts or adding new rides, if they are creating more perceived value, Disney must respond. Even if someone isn't inclined to go to USF, if they read that USF is somehow creating more value he or she will look to see if Disney is providing similar value. It has been said many times around here that it doesn't matter what the competition is doing. To belive that is short sighted.

Now it doesn't mean that if USF is offering a discount that Disney must do so as well. However, Disney better do something increase the value of what the guest is receiveing. This is where new rides and attractions become important.

If USF is adding new attractions, Disney needs to keep up so that people see Disney as striving to provide more value - even if the new attractions in each park target a different demographic.

Disney isn't providing a lot in the way of discounts, and Disney hasn't been adding a lot of new rides and attractions. This may have put Disney at a competitive disadvantage - hence the current state of affairs. Don't get me wrong - the economy plays a big part as well. The economy can actually compound problems caused by failing to keep ahead of the perceived value of the competition as people become more discriminating about discretionary spending. (Just a note - for our family Disney still is ahead of the competition when it comes to vacation value, all things being considered :))

The book 'Inside the Magic Kingdom' takes this concept of competition even further. The idea being that any company (entertainment or otherwise) that provides customer service represent possible competition in that they could set a customer service standard that Disney could be compared to. This could easily be applied to resort destinations outside of the theme park arena. As Bob O pointed out, his family might see more value in visiting the Grand Canyon or who knows what. Applying this competition concept to non-entertainment companies is interesting as well. I have seen threads on other boards that point out what a poor experience some people have even trying to book a vacation thru Disney due to poor customer service. If that person who is having trouble just had a good customer service experience with any other organization it makes Disney look worse. If those headaches are a direct result of Disney cutbacks it can show that Disney has failed to meet a competitive customer service standrard set by another company. Sometimes it is these types of seemingly little, indirect things that lead people to consider alternative destinations, rather than the more obvious things like park maintenance and the like.

hopemax
10-14-2002, 04:02 PM
It's not just gate admission and hotel rooms though. It's food, it's merchandise, the stuff that makes up that "guest spending" category. This is the reason why Disney says that they can't build the cool stuff that Tokyo has and why Tokyo can.

An example is pins. 2 years ago pins were either $6 for a common, $8 for a LE. Now, the newer commons are $8.50 and the LE's are $10.50 or $12.50. 25%-50%. Disney's beanies 5 years ago were $6, Ty Beanie Babies sold for $5. Now Ty's sell for $6 and Disney's sell for $8-$9.

I know that DL has concerns about their dining establishments. They get horrible traffic compared to the number of people in the park. I know they asked the members of their creative advisory council their opinions ... #1 issue - price.

And from what I know from people who have visited Japan is that there prices for food and merchandise run less than they do in the US. I know pin-wise that's true. They sell in the $5-$8 range for both commons and LEs. And I've heard that eating in the park is actually cheaper than eating off property.

So 20% discount, yeah, I think Disney should seriously consider it. And I don't think it sends a signal that becoming a "bargain." Yes, I know all about "what the other parks charge," but I don't think that proves that "the market will bear the cost." Price vs. profit works on the bell curve, and I think ALL the big parks are sitting on the right side/downward slope, and that if they drop their prices slightly they will move more to the top of the curve. Lower prices will encourage more sales. I think ALL the big parks believe they are on the left side/upwards slope and that they still have room to inch up the price, "just a little bit more."

hopemax
10-14-2002, 04:25 PM
Disney's Tokyo website has some Halloween themed menu options on their website.

http://www.tokyodisneyresort.co.jp/tdl/english/e_wn/halloween/index_halloween.html

Running the prices through Yahoo's exchange rate calculator

1. $13.51
2. $7.88
3. $4.67
4. $3.46

Would these prices ever be availalbe at the US parks, and isn't Japan supposed to be expensive compared to the US?

raidermatt
10-14-2002, 04:28 PM
Now it doesn't mean that if USF is offering a discount that Disney must do so as well. However, Disney better do something increase the value of what the guest is receiveing. This is where new rides and attractions become important.

We absolutely agree. Not only is Disney not adding a whole heck of a lot, they are cutting in many areas.

I just don't like to look over at a couple of other parks and judge Disney's actions solely against them (not that you are, but many do). Even if Universal halted all investment, that wouldn't mean that Disney was going to be ok.


Hopemax, I understand what you are saying, but again, when Disney was providing a stronger, more consistent guest experience, their higher price did not hurt them. Sure, some complained, and we'd all like to go for less money, but that's pretty much the case with anything. The point is that the number of people willing to pay what Disney was charging was increasing.

So rather than chopping prices, I'd like to see Disney investing more of its park profits back into the parks in the form of new attractions and entertainment. I'm fine with "cutting the fat", but things that are integral to the guest experience are not fat...

Maybe some areas (pins, restaurants, etc) are priced a bit too high, but I don't really have any data to support that one way or the other. Lowering prices means lowering margins, and the question becomes whether the increased volume makes up for the decreased margins, as well as the impact on the overall experience. Without specific data, its impossible to judge, but again, in general, rather than decrease price, I'd rather see Disney ensure they are first providing the experience we've come to expect. If the guest value perception is still not good enough, then look at price...

DisneyKidds
10-14-2002, 04:41 PM
I just don't like to look over at a couple of other parks and judge Disney's actions solely against them (not that you are, but many do). Even if Universal halted all investment, that wouldn't mean that Disney was going to be ok.
Hey, lets call today consensus day ;).

CWIPPERMAN
10-14-2002, 05:04 PM
I don't know.... I just can't help but get the feeling that everyone is WAY too hard on Disney and Eisner. Now... Like I said... I'm not an economist. My WDW trip last month was only my second trip to WDW in my life. So, maybe since I'm not a frequent visitor I don't notice "the little things" as much. But, with that said....

We spent 5 nights at WDW. From the time we got up, until the time we practically passed out every day we were innundated with things to do. We hit all 5 of the parks, and DD & PI. The only thing at the resort that we had to complain about was the Transportation system (which was awful). And according to most folks, the Transportation system varies practically hourly (as in you could always arrive at a bus stop right after the last bus left). But, that's not the point.... here's what I'm getting to.

Skipmeister said it best - if I may summarize his comments... where else in the world can you find anything like WDW? There is nothing else like it! Sure, there are theme parks, and there are resorts. And there are "Attractions". But none has what WDW has to offer.

We were so pleased with everything during our trip. To be quite honest... even with cutbacks, I was constantly asking myself how can Disney offer so much for the money. Hell, for the two of us with our package, we had a room at ASMo, and our Ultimate Park Hopper tickets for right at $100.00/per person/per night. I went skiing in Colorado last year and paid almost twice that. Where else could a family (and I don't have any kids - so I'm assumeing somewhat) actaully spend 10 days and have something to do the entire time?

I think everyone needs to ask themselves something. If you went to New York... would you stay at the Four Seasons at $500/night, or would you stay at the Marriott for $120.00/night (I'm making up these numbers). I think the majority would stay at the cheaper place - knowing they wouldn't get quite as much service. Yet, when folks talk about WDW, it often seems like they expect "Four Seasons" service and ammenities - for "Mariott" prices. I find it odd to see complaints about prices going up or remaining steady - while not acknolwedging that this trend is happening everywhere around the Country.

When I go to Wal-Mart now - I have to wait in longer lines because only 12 of the 48 check-out lines are open. When I go to the gas station, I pay $1.40/gallon - whereas I paid $0.90/gallon two years ago. When I go to McDonalds, I have to repeat my order 15 times because the worker behind the microphone doesn't speak English any more (don't read too much into that statement... I basically mean that instead of having $10/hour English-speaking workers, they have been replaced with $7/hour illegal immigrants that "No Habla"). This trend is repeated everywhere you turn.

I think that for many folks Disney is a victim of their own image as "the best place in the world". So many of you have the impression that you should be pampered/entertained/thrilled from the second the plane lands until it takes off. Well... you CAN have that. But not if you want to complain about the prices!

So, I think that you need to make up your mind. Do you want $52.00/park tickets - decent service and fun attractions.... Do you want $75.00/park tickets - incredible service and heart-stopping attractions..... or, Do you want $30.00/park tickets and the same level of service and attractions you would find at your average regional amusement park?

Buschfan
10-14-2002, 06:18 PM
I for one don't consider Universal and Sea World regional parks. They attract a large local base plus many out of area visitors. These are not shabby Six Flaggs or Paramount parks. I used to work at a shabby Paramount park and know the difference. Busch is more of a regional park because it is quite a jaunt from the Orlando tourist strip. Sea World is in the middle of another large expansion also. I don't expect Disney would ever match the buy 1 day get the rest of year free offer that Sea World and Busch had. However, does Disney believe they are too good to match Sea World's 2nd day free offer and 20 percent off advance purchase? I just don't see the harm in getting more people in the parks if it takes a discount. I wouldn't of bought my Universal pass with free parking had it not been only $99 a year. Universal got $400 out of my family because of this discount. That is $400 Disney won't see and the money we spend inside Universal. Are Disney's operating costs greater than the surrounding parks and they can't make money attracting guests paying around $40?

Captain Crook
10-14-2002, 07:28 PM
I think you're the exception Buschfan and also part of a demographic that just isn't significant enough for Disney to worry about. It isn't like Disneyland where nearly 70% of the visitors are local...And also from what I've gathered most of the US local crowd is the young & not necessarily affluent...Which (again) Disney doesn't mind losing.

Putting "butts in the seats" is an interesting concept and if the economic decline widens Disney may have to enter the fray, but if the economy turns around quickly Disney will be in fat city while US will still be catering to a crowd of virtual freebies...

I agree with Matt that discounting is probably not the route Disney wants to take...
:smooth: :smooth: :bounce: :smooth: :smooth:

raidermatt
10-14-2002, 07:28 PM
I for one don't consider Universal and Sea World regional parks.
True, they attract more out-of-towners than Six Flags, but they rely on a higher percentage of locals than Disney. Not a knock, just a fact.

Universal in particular is trying to change that, and they may succeed, but that doesn't change how it stands now.

I just don't see the harm in getting more people in the parks if it takes a discount.
There is potential harm because you lower your margins, and those same people will expect similar discounts when times are better. You will then have a difficult time raising prices to levels that you could have had you not discounted.

Sure, there's a line somewhere in there, and that's why Disney does discount more now than they did a few years ago. But they still want to be able to charge what guests are willing to pay when times are good. Its a strategy that has worked for years. Consistent value. The problem with this value equation isn't on the cost side, its on the benefit side.

I wouldn't of bought my Universal pass with free parking had it not been only $99 a year. Universal got $400 out of my family because of this discount. That is $400 Disney won't see and the money we spend inside Universal.
Ok, lets just say that Disney charges $200 per person for the same product, factoring in Disney's greater number of attractions, etc.

Now, lets look at two families. One (yours) pays $400 to Universal. Another pays $800 to Disney. Now, lets assume Disney had lowered their price to $400, and lets say that was low enough to get you to purchase Disney instead of Universal.

You're right, Disney now has your $400, and that's $400 they would not have had. But what about the other family? They only had to pay $400, when they were willing to pay $800. So now, Disney is right back where they started, bringing in $800, only now, they are incurring costs on 8 people instead of 4. This reduces their profit, even though more people are in the park.

Yes, they will make some of it up in merchandise/food sales. But will it be enough to cover the $400 they gave away? Remember, they will have to make up $400 in PROFIT to cover the $400 they've lost. That means if you spend $400, they are still in the hole, because the profit on that $400 might only be $200.

Now, don't get hung up on the specific numbers, because they aren't accurate, or even important to the discussion. I'm just showing how its not as simple as saying lower your prices to get more people in. Yes, there is a point where you could be charging too much, but there is also a point where you are charging too little.

Its not that Disney thinks they are too good to charge less, its that people still place higher value on Disney than Universal. That's why Universal cannot get away with charging what Disney does. That's also why they want to become what Disney is, a true resort destination for families. Then they can (and will) charge what Disney does.

You're right in that if Disney continues to reduce the value of its product by cutting and not developing, they will be forced to lower prices. But again, the problem is the benefit side, not the price.

raidermatt
10-14-2002, 07:56 PM
I was constantly asking myself how can Disney offer so much for the money.
Why don't you ask yourself how Disney could offer more for the money in the past than they do now?

would you stay at the Four Seasons at $500/night, or would you stay at the Marriott for $120.00/night (I'm making up these numbers).
As I've been saying (repeatedly), price is not the problem.

Regardless of your choice, Disney guests have been willing to pay a premium for Disney's service and superior attractions for years.

They still are. Its just that Disney is asking them to pay the same (or more) for shorter hours, less entertainment, etc.

Some people still think its worth it (like you and I). Some don't, like those that aren't visiting as often, or at all.

Sure, there are theme parks, and there are resorts. And there are "Attractions". But none has what WDW has to offer.
They don't have to offer what WDW does, they just have to offer a greater value. While you may believe that everybody else is decreasing their offerings right along with Disney, this is simply not the case for all family resort destinations.

Yes, a WDW vacation is expensive. So are other destinations. We just returned from Kauai, and if there is a more beautiful place on earth, I've never seen it. There are plenty of family activities. Yes, they are different than what WDW offers, but they are not a lower level of offerings by any means. And its places like this that are competing for vacation dollars, and places like this that Disney must keep up with. Six Flags is not even a blip on Disney's radar screen. Comparisons with them, while ignoring other destinations are pointless.

So, I think that you need to make up your mind. Do you want $52.00/park tickets - decent service and fun attractions.... Do you want $75.00/park tickets - incredible service and heart-stopping attractions..... or, Do you want $30.00/park tickets and the same level of service and attractions you would find at your average regional amusement park?
Many people are making up their minds, and they are making a third choice: GO SOMEWHERE ELSE. As our friend AV has told us many times, you can't dictate to the public, they dictate to you. And you either listen, or face the consequences.

drusba
10-14-2002, 08:13 PM
So seeing the chart from 1997 to now, it appears overall attendance is about the same but for each park it is down. AK was not open then and its opening, instead of adding customers, just decreased those going to other parks. In other words, Disney has not seen an overall increase even though it added a fourth park (where of course they cut, even before it was built, the Beastly Kingdom to save bucks) and obviously more of a decline will appear this year. Reasons stated include decline in service (regular visitors have definitely noticed this -- bathrooms and streets just get cleaned less often, lightbulbs at parks go out and stay that way longer, needed painting seems to be put off much longer now than before) and lack of new attractions other than carnival type rides. Agree those are among the reasons. However, I dug out some old receipts and books from that time and this year just to see some comparisons. One of Disney's problems may also be the "baseball syndrome" -- you just keep raising prices year after year so that fewer and fewer people can afford to go. Though I cannot vouch for complete accuracy, based on stuff I have from 1997 and 2002: (a) park ticket prices have increased a total of 35% to 40%; (b) resort room prices have gone up 30% to 35%; (c) food and drink prices at restaurants and counter services have increased 30% to 35%. During same period of time total inflation is a 10% change, i.e., you need on average $1.10 today to buy what cost $1 in 1997). Disney's percentage increases in that time period have thus greatly outstripped inflation (even accused monopolist Bill Gates hasn't been able to match those kinds of percentage increases on products). Average income increases were doing well as to inflation in the earlier part of that 5 year period but have been stagnant for the last two (close to inflation). Disney reports high decrease in foreign travellers and asserts it is a reaction to fear of travel due to 9/11. Possibly, but that was declining too before 9/11 and is likely partly due to dollar's increase in value to many currencies in last few years with the result that Disney's 35% increase overall in American dollars is more like a 50% or higher increase for many foreign travellers. In other words, Disney seems to be at the point where it has priced itself out of the market for a large group of people who may have been able to afford it in 1997.

Buschfan
10-14-2002, 08:43 PM
Disney is discounting less now than in '97. That was the last time I was able to obtain AAA discounts, Magic Kingdom Club and Mc Donalds coupons for admissions for one day. Is it just a coincidence attendance is dropping off since then? I am not really sure, but it is interesting the decline seems to start with that year. I agree that people are going other places. Cruise prices are especially attractive now. Why can't Disney reduce prices to compete? I get rooms all the time on Priceline for 20 to 23 dollars all the time in Orlando. These hotels have to pay for electricity, water, and housekeeping. Cruise lines discount heavily at the last minute to get ships full. They would rather get something than let the room go empty. Is Disney really hurting allowing a family of 4 to pay $160 a day instead of $200. The rides use the same amount of electricity. The only real added cost is maybe they will get a few more flushes in the restrooms. I would hope the increase in in-park revenue would make-up for that.

PKS44
10-14-2002, 09:52 PM
There is a great discussion of this over on Mouseplanet-but basically you can provide a really high quality/high priced product, a low quality/low priced product or a mix...lower quality/high priced or high quality/ lower priced...usual higher quality is more expensive to make so you can only make money on it when you charge a high price..but you make money this way and that is what Disney USED to be- they distinguished themselves from their competition by competing strictly on quality-not price...lately they have tried getting away with less investment, less quality and the competition is much stiffer here and gets only worse as you move to lower quality because it is just easier for others to enter the market and compete when the initial investment is cheaper...so Disney can try to compete with these low priced competitors on price, but to do so they have to cut quality-when they do that what distinguishes them? This is the problem with the DCA Paradise Pier rides, why pay the Disney admission to go to a recreation of what you can get cheaper at a real boardwalk on the beach? Disney has lost sight of its previously successful business model of competing on quality because they thought they did not have to and the margins could be huge...but in compromising quality they have lost brand identity-which USED to be synonymous with quality...now they are just looked at like everyone else...and the stock price reflects this.

Paul

Bob O
10-14-2002, 10:22 PM
Raidermatt, i agree with you in pricing in that i dont expect a 20% drop in prices but for the money im paying i EXPECT longer hours, all attractions to be open and running at good capacity(except rides down for maintence) and rides/shows added every YEAR!!! If other parks can do this and they are seasonal their is no reason why a year long park cant do the same. And if hours are going to be reduced/no atracttions added etc i can find better value for my money going to otehr places with my vacation/leisure dollars.
I also agree with Hopemax that disney doesnt have to gouge there guests for everything they buy!!!! I find the price of admission to be very reasonable for the product im getting. But the price for everyhthing else from food/water/souvenirs/parking disney is bascially trying to nickel and dime the guests out of thier pocket books and in most cases you have little alternative because it is too time consuming to leave the property and get food etc.
I know from my family we spend several days at USF and that impacts disney's bottom line because that time/money comes at their expense!!While we used to spend all our time at wdw that now isnt the case and i think alot of families are doing the same and even if only a day ot two it does affect the bottom line.
As for discounting, disney could do some of that and still make money and have people leave with the idea they got more bang for their buck. Do they have to rip people off on parking/soda etc, when another park that saw a major incrase in a attendance is able to offer free soda,free parking,free sun tan lotion,free tube rentals to their guests???? Im sure they added the benefits of making customers pay for these items or offering them free and was able to do a cost benefit analysis and decided what was better. The trouble is in disney's case i belive the preception is that disney cares far more about the bottom line than their guests experience and while the resort is bigger with more parks and more resorts it isnt better!!!!
And while Six Flags/Paramounts parks may not be direct competitors they do have the ability to take away some days from a disney theme park if that family percieves that maybe this year we will save money and stay closer to home because disney oisnt offering us a reason to visit this year.And these type of parks have impacted disney by making disney up their thrill part of their park, ie RNRC or california screamin which are a attempt to compete with other parks thrill offerings.

DisneyKidds
10-15-2002, 01:12 AM
CWIPPERMAN - good reminder :). While it is true that Disney is not what it was 5, 10, 15, .......30 years ago, as a result of many factors - only some of which Disney has been able to control, they are still the best game in town. Even most of the hardasses around here are planting their arses in the World on a regular basis ;).

Matt, a hpothetical question related to this............
Not only is Disney not adding a whole heck of a lot, they are cutting in many areas.
Would you, or most people, be willing to accept the majority of the cuts (park hours, E-nights, EE, etc.) if Disney had continued to make the capital investments that many feel have been necessary (E-tickets, new shows, proper resort buildup)?

A note on discounts - I agree that Disney should up the value by increasing the content, rather than decreasing the cost. Discounts are a dangerous game. Disney will run into hot water when things turn around due to the few discounts they have offered. When/if DCA becomes what it was envisioned to be, will Disney ever be successful in getting full price admission after offering such steep discounts for so long? Even if DCA overcomes the content problems, people will cry foul about the prices going up. Likewise with WDW resorts. Code discounts have been so widespread and deep the past couple of years. When things are back to where they were 3 years ago and the discounts disappear people will be crying because the resorts 'cost more'.

Bob O
10-15-2002, 01:49 PM
I wouldnt accept any of the cutbacks that were mentioned in exchange for more 3 attractions. They can keep the hours like they were and still add e attractions and update their parks if they are run in a competent manner and the company gets rid of things like abc/sports teams/fox family and other assets that take away from what was their core business.

DisneyKidds
10-15-2002, 02:22 PM
Mr. O.....

I would agree that a combination of cutbacks and lack of capital investment together is the result of bad decisions. Disney very well could have done more these past two years. However, do you not feel that the economy, 9-11, and reduced tourist travel were valid reasons for any of the cutbacks?

That is where I was going. If Disney had avoided some of the big mistakes they have made in the recent past, isn't it still likely that some reduction in hours would have been justified by these events that Disney could not control? I guess I am just tyring to guage what could possibly keep people happy. For you it appears that it would take new attractions and late hours, in spite of economic influences and world events. Is that how most people feel?

Again, I am not an apologist and I feel that Disney has dropped the ball in a number of ways. However, as I have said before, Disney has to be able to take steps to respond to things that they can't control. Maybe they go too far sometimes, but they have to take some action. I'd like to think that maybe we are turning a corner. There are new attractions and real rumors to talk about. There are increased off season hours and nightime fireworks at the MK. EE is back. We have some new blood heading the parks and resorts division (even if he is ME's choice). Only time will tell if attendance levels return to years past and hours increase again.

Bob O
10-15-2002, 03:04 PM
Disney could have survived 9/11 just fine if not for all the lousy decisions made by the einser regime, the cutbacks have been few if any.
They had to make cutbacks due to awful corporate decisions they made that affect the theme parks alot more than 9/11 did. Look at the internet(go portal) debacle/ovitiz firing/katzenberg settlement/abc and fox family purchese's among decisions that have cost the company billions!!! If the company stuck to the core business's they would have had enough money to ride out the downturn without having to take out some of the magic from the theme parks.
The theme parks have suffered as a result of a string of lousy decisions which have hurt the parks and casued the stock price to plumment!

SamS
10-15-2002, 03:12 PM
A growing U.S. population does not necessarily mean a growing theme park base. Many Americans simply cannot afford a WDW vacation, and it's not necessarily corporate's fault. Good wage manufacturing jobs have become few and far between compared to twenty or thirty years ago. Many jobs in the service sector of the economy do not provide the discretionary income necessary to afford a WDW vacation. I consider myself very fortunate. I teach high school, and I know that many of my students have never had the opportunity to go to WDW, and unfortunately, many will never be able to afford it as adults either. Average income for U.S families may increase, but I suspect that median family income may be headed the other way.

DisneyKidds
10-15-2002, 03:26 PM
The theme parks have suffered as a result of a string of lousy decisions which have hurt the parks and casued the stock price to plumment!
Roger that. However, it doesn't mean that it would have been unreasonable or wrong for Disney to sacle back hours when attendance was down significantly due to factors beyond their control. I agree that attendance at Disney would not be down as much as it is now if they had made better choices, avoided the agreed upon debacles you reference, and put that money back into the parks. However, attendance would still be down, and down significantly enough to warrant a short term reduction in hours until those uncontrollable circumstances passed. Granted, Disney has greatly compounded those problems with their bad decisions, and that will make it take longer for hours to return to where they should be.

Bob O
10-15-2002, 10:12 PM
Wouldnt have a better marketing campaign been for wdw to annouce no cutbacks at all and maybe offer their guests extra's to induce more people to come back to the parks, or do what they did and make drastic cuts that only gave people even less reasons to come back to the parks??
What would intice the average guest to come back, reduced hours and less to do or increased offerings and maybe some discounts.

mrsbigglesworth
10-15-2002, 10:21 PM
I think that the more discounts a company gives, the more people come to expect them, until some people actually want to pay only the minimum, or actually, less than the value of what an itemis worth.

Alot of people these days have no concept of paying for what an item is worth,. They only want to be able to brag that they got it for less than everyone else! Just my Humble opinion, no flames please.

DisneyKidds
10-16-2002, 01:27 AM
what they did and make drastic cuts that only gave people even less reasons to come back to the parks??
Unfortunately, you are right as this is what they did. However........
What would intice the average guest to come back
........sometimes the only answer is time. All the incentives in the world would be unlikely to entice international travellers back to the states until they felt comfortable travelling again, which they still don't. Not that I buy the Disney spin that the cutbacks were instituted to position the company to take advantage when the economy turns, but there may be a little truth to it (just a little - the rest was just greed).

mrsbigglesworth
10-16-2002, 06:41 AM
Consumers can be greedy, too. See my last post.

Bob O
10-16-2002, 02:13 PM
Time may help, but the parking giving people a reason to reurn by adding some new shows/attractions would sure help!!

d-r
10-16-2002, 02:16 PM
Originally posted by hopemax
Disney's Tokyo website has some Halloween themed menu options on their website.

http://www.tokyodisneyresort.co.jp/tdl/english/e_wn/halloween/index_halloween.html

Running the prices through Yahoo's exchange rate calculator

1. $13.51
2. $7.88
3. $4.67
4. $3.46

Would these prices ever be availalbe at the US parks, and isn't Japan supposed to be expensive compared to the US?

Well...$3.46 IS a little more than I want to pay for that pumpkin seed chicken wrap thing :)

I was thinking about your other thread about the 1972 hotel prices, and the comparisons with other hotels. I was looking for rates at the Tokyo disney hotels anyway, because we are thinking about a trip to Japan in a few months. I'm wondering if you ran the rates for the mira costa or disneyland ambassader through the converter? Now, Tokyo does have really high hotel rates, but the currency exchange is in good right now. The time that we are looking at is peak season, and the rooms are $300-$500 a night (in value season, they are more like $200-$400). That's for standard rooms, it goes up from there for deluxe rooms and views, and of course suites go way up from there.

DR

hopemax
10-16-2002, 03:03 PM
Now, you know, this isn't that hard to do oneself :)

I just did the rooms, didn't do suite prices.

Tokyo Disney Resort Hotel Prices (http://www.geocities.com/hopemax.geo/tokyohotel.htm)

Honestly, I'm blown away by what the Mira Costa charges. This is in Tokyo (well, close enough), the hotel is IN the Theme Park. It's supposed to be grander than the Grand Floridian. And yet a theme park view room, during peak season will only cost $434 a night.

Back in the states, Grand Floridian, 2002 Garden View, peak season $429, holiday season $499.

Yeah, the exchange rate is good $1 US = 125 Yen, but it had been up to 135. In the last 2 years its lowest was about 110 Yen = $1 US. That still makes that room only $490.

d-r
10-16-2002, 03:27 PM
Well Hope the very good news for me is that you are getting a much better conversion rate with yahoo's calculator than I am with the figures I was using, so I am hoping that yahoo's is more more up to date - I think this seems to be a good time to go to Japan - I hope it works out for us to go.

Now, should I ask this question? If I was going to stay at the Grand Floridian, I'd be planning to pay more along the lines of $250 or less with the different rates that fly around. Are there any special deals at Tokyo? I don't think that the Dis. Club has any (they have Paris) or our DVC points will work (they have Paris). Ever see a discount in Japan?

DR

PS THanks so much for charting that out Hopemax!! I really like your figures a lot better than mine! THANKS

hopemax
10-16-2002, 03:36 PM
No, no special deals in Tokyo. They accepted the Magic Kingdom Club, but didn't switch to the Disney Club card. They don't have to discount.

mickeys#1fan
10-19-2002, 09:07 AM
Disney's slide is actually fairly simple. Michael Eisner has abandoned many of the core principles that made the company work in the first place. He outlines many of those in "Work in Progress," which I thought was a good book. No matter what division you're talking about - film, animation, parks, The Disney Store, guest satisfaction was the guiding principle that made the whole thing grow throughout the '90's.

Let's look at movies/animation. When Eisner first took the helm he issued a 30-odd-page memo that spelled out the elements of success in filmed entertainment. It can all be boiled down to one word: story! All the technical wizardry in the world can't save a boring story; just look to "Atlantis" as proof. Eisner said that instead of swinging for the fences with each release, that Disney should focus on making reasonably-budgeted movies that can make back their investment. With few exceptions, they have totally abandoned these ideas.

How about TV? A perfect example is the whole "One Saturday Morning" deal. A great idea, give kids good cartoons, relevant to certain age brackets, without senseless violence, THAT TELL GOOD STORIES. It worked. Then they started repeating the same six or eight episodes of "Recess," "Pepper Ann," and "The Weekenders" ad naseum. Then they got rid of good shows like "Buzz Lightyear" in favor of the brainless Mary Kate and Ashley cartoon. Finally in a total departure from guiding values, they added the long-dead "Power Rangers" to the schedule - what was that Eisner wrote about senseless violence?

Now parks. Basically, Eisner wrote that the secret to success was to crank out a new E-ticket ride every few years and promote the hell out of it. That seemed to work, especially with Florida locals. Now we all sit and wait for Epcot and the studios to get their nth iteration of Dumbo, ala the Aladdin ride, which seems to have to no useful purpose other than to hose up traffic in Adventureland.

I hate to trivialize anyone's death to the level of business, but Frank Wells' death began the decline of Disney. In "Work in Progress," Eisner describes Wells as a balancing force, almost a conscience - Jiminy Cricket if you will. Every time Eisner was about to get out of control, Wells could pull him back in. If the board was smart, they would recognize this and find someone that could bring Eisner back to earth when he needs it.

Walt Disney knew that the secret of success is the story. Engage the senses, capture the mind, tug the heartstrings. He could do all he did without focus groups, demographic charts, or ROI analyses. I realize that modern business requires these things to some degree, but sticking to core values worked for Eisner in the 80's and 90's. If they would just create magic for every guest, every time, the stock price would take care of itself.

Bob O
10-19-2002, 01:55 PM
Ditto's to Mickeys#1Fan!!!! Great post and so sad but true!!

scooby-the-doo
10-19-2002, 07:09 PM
Decline? Their flag-ship park closes a signature ride (20k), leaves its site dormant for nearly a decade and still has no sign or designs on a replacement. What decline?

Lady Cluck
10-19-2002, 09:41 PM
Can I second the motion Mickeys#1Fan? The Disney corporate talking heads are mostly accountants at heart. The owner of the small company I work for is a CPA, so I understand that to them, the little red column vs. the little black column is all that matters. It's a different world than you and I live in.

We have all seen local or regional amusement parks go downhill after a management change, or when the existing ownership stops caring. Unless the "powers that be" have a change of $$$ philosophy, and begin to actually listen to the huddled masses, I have visions of the Disney parks declining in value and appeal to the average family over the years to a point that each in turn becomes a "sink or swim" proposition.

mickeys#1fan
10-21-2002, 05:26 PM
As long as they have investors the money will always be important. All CEO's have that fiduciary responsibility. The problem comes when it's taken too far. What will really cause WDW to lose it's appeal to the average family is a further disappearance of "pixie dust" while continually raising prices. And not just tickets - $20 for lunch for a family of three, c'mon!

Popsicle
10-26-2002, 10:55 AM
Sorry to be so late in jumping aboard, but still have comments.

Just received my Disney Club bulletin saying that after 2003 the Club will be closed. Read it with mixed emotions because over the past couple of years, any advantages to being a member were negligible. ALWAYS looked forward to renewing the membership, because I had hope that were would be new offers to make membership in The Club worth it. That never happened.

On another message board site read that The Hunchback is closed. Since it opened, saw the show AT LEAST three times on each visit. Know that new attractions are needed, but have NEVER been to an empty show there. It was a mini Broadway show.

Don't remember the name of the stage at MGM (age, don't you know,) but it was a show with audience participation in which various television shows were recreated using audience members. LOVED IT. It was replaced for a couple of years with Doug. BIG SNOOZE. This year is was just a giant, empty commercial for ABC's fall line up of shows.

The Back Lot tour was closed this year. Probably forever if Disney's history repeats itself.

Don't know if any of the others of you saw the program featuring Walt and his vision. That's the problem with Disney now, there is no Walt with his vision. The program told how Walt suffered financial hardships because of his dream. The people who run the place now are NOT named Disney so they don't care about the name and what it means (and has meant) to so many of us.

It was a bottom line business with Uncle Walt, too, but it was more. It was about families and fun and making learning (EPCOT) something desirable and not a chore.

Hate to be an Eisner basher.... No, I don't. With him IT'S A BUSINESS you milk for personal financial gain. YOU BLEED EVERY DOLLAR FROM WHEREVER YOU CAN. At this point that blood is coming from the parks.

Would Walt have felt it necessary to build a broadcast empire on the back of his dream? I don't think so. Would Eisner spend his last dollar to realize his dreams? Dreams that dealt with other people, strangers, the public? Definitely not.

The MAGIC is being drained from the Disney experience for me.
It's not the big things. It's the little things they keep chipping away at. Have been a Disneyphile for over 10 years. Not long compared to some, but a lifetime to others.

The suits are continually eroding the Disney experience until there will be nothing left for people to WANT to experience. The attendance figures don't reflect it, but I would guess that the majority of visitors to Disney are NOT first timers. It's us repeat customers who know that the Orlando area is one of the best in the world to visit with family (and I've traveled all over the world.) Las Vegas doesn't do it. Europe doesn't do it. South America doesn't do it. The Caribbean doesn't do it. ORLANDO does it.

We can complain and voice our disappointment as much as we want about what is going on with Disney parks, but until the shareholders complain and withdraw (that's who Eisner is courting, not the park attendees) and they realize the importance of the parks to their bottoms lines, then MAYBE, the suits will listen and give us back the MAGIC.

POPSICLE

scooby-the-doo
10-26-2002, 11:18 AM
Originally posted by Popsicle

The Back Lot tour was closed this year. Probably forever if Disney's history repeats itself.


Does this include the Earthquake rip-off attraction that was a part of the tour? I can't believe they'd close the tour that was key to the studios theme.

Popsicle
10-26-2002, 10:49 PM
YES. We were there the last week in August, and it was closed for "refurbishing." Nothing that goes down for refurbishing ever comes back.

Know the "Golden Girls" house and the "Empty Nest" house probably garnered lots of yawns since the shows have been off for years, but even without seeing them, the ride was fun.

I HATE MICHAEL EISNER!!!!!!!!!!!!!


:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

manning
10-27-2002, 01:42 AM
It's hard to change anything for the better when people say know things are going down hill, but will still come back.

When enough vote with their feet (go elsewhere) then things may change for the better.

wdw4us2
10-27-2002, 10:03 AM
Popsicle,

I agree with most of your statements, especially those about Ei$ner.

I believe the backlot may be closed because they are starting to set up for the Osborne Lights which is located throughout all of the backlot.

If not, I can't imagine why it would be closed.

Lisa:smooth:

jcodespoti
11-01-2002, 07:54 AM
I was on MGM in September Back lot was open.



Joe in CT

Luv2Roam
11-01-2002, 12:46 PM
I have been on the back lot tour 3 - 4 times during and after the OL the past few Januarys. That hasn't closed the tour, in our experience. :confused:

Peter Pirate
11-01-2002, 01:21 PM
I was on the tour two weeks ago.
:cool: :cool: :bounce: :cool: :cool:

BRERALEX
11-01-2002, 01:40 PM
was closed late august

Conure
11-04-2002, 12:18 PM
Stuff closes. It's kind of bizzare, but the backlot tour is such a gigantic attraction, especially at a park like MGM. The people who won't go on Tower of Terror or Rockin' Roller Coaster would, in all likelihood, go on the tour. Why would Eisner close it?

ohanafamily
11-06-2002, 11:32 AM
Rides do get refurbished and come back, not always but most do. They will occasionally need to repair the tracks and paint the fixtures.

The Backlot Tour will probably be back if it isn't already; it is too big of an attraction...

:bounce: