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View Full Version : DEBATE: Back in 1972...


hopemax
10-15-2002, 04:40 PM
I was poking around looking for something else, and found this blurb in one of Deb Wills "All Ears" articles (http://allearsnet.com/issue128.htm) .


But before we get into the tips, let's STEP BACK IN TIME to March 1972...

...Rooms at the Contemporary and Polynesian Village resort hotels are $29, $36, and $44 per night, with suites ranging from $60 to $150. The same rates are in effect all year long! Campsites at Fort Wilderness are $11 per night and include utilities and transportation to and from the Magic Kingdom.

...There is a 50 cent charge for parking your car at the Magic Kingdom (but it's free if you are staying at the Polynesian or Contemporary). Wheelchair rentals are $1 per day and strollers are 75 cents per day.

...7-Adventure Ticket Books cost $4.95 for adults, $4.50 for Juniors (ages 12-17) and $3.95 for children (ages 3-11). Inside the theme park you can buy additional tickets for 10 to 90 cents each.

...There are 20 eating places in the theme park. Typical prices: hamburgers are 60 cents, hot dogs are 25 cents, sodas are 15 and 25 cents, popcorn is 20 cents. The Town Square Cafe (now Tony's) serves a breakfast of sausage and eggs for $1.50. A complete prime rib dinner at King Stefan's Banquet Hall (now Cinderella's Royal Table) is $4.50 for adults and $2.25 for juniors.


Running the numbers through the inflation calculator (rounding):

Hotels: $125, $155.50, $190
Suites: $390 - $650
Ft. Wilderness: $47.50
Parking: $2.25
Wheelchair: $4.25
Stroller: $3.25
Tickets: $21.50, $19.50, $17 additional - $.45-$3.90
Hamburgers: $2.50
Hot Dogs: $1
Soda: $.65 or $1
Breakast: $6.50
Prime Rib: $19.50, $9.75

d-r
10-15-2002, 04:49 PM
Run that campsite at ft. wilderness through your calculator, I think it might be a better deal today (at least with the discounts). I think it is only around $30 or so.

DR

Demosthenes
10-15-2002, 05:04 PM
Originally posted by hopemax



Running the numbers through the inflation calculator (rounding):



You have to be careful with that; inflation varies depending on the industry, and travel has varying rates of inflation throughout the country (and world for that matter). When WDW opened, one of the things that had to lure people to central Florida was a reasonable price (remember, Disneyland could be seen in a day, but nobody had imagined that a theme park could be transformed into an entire vacation destination), now people already know what they're in for, and are willing to pay more for it.

I'm not suggesting that the prices are directly in line with inflation; but I also don't think they should be. The market will drive prices today, just like it did in 1972.

Bstanley
10-15-2002, 05:19 PM
So THAT's the problem...

It's not that my income is too small.

It's just that I was born 30 years too late!

airlarry!
10-15-2002, 05:45 PM
Let me get this right...

The Poly room rates for 1972 was a measly $29 in those times and that translates to $125 now-a-days.

You know, when The Baron said that the Poly rates are, in today's dollars, equilavent to Moderate rates, I was a bit skeptical.

Hmm...looks like Sir Baron was indeed correct. it's not like I want to pay $125 everyday for a hotel...but I think I could save up for that big vacation every so often and spend a week at a monorail hotel for $125 a night and feel justified. But today, I get a smoggy bus instead of the convenient monorail....(and as an aside, to claim that the monorail doesn't *fit* in with Disney's Polynesian Resort is disingenous at best! It is not the South Seas Resort, it is Disney's Poly Resort---and it's named that way for a reason...one you would not think needs explaining. Holy Red Herring, Batman!)

DVC-Landbaron
10-15-2002, 06:06 PM
The market will drive prices today, just like it did in 1972.Ah! But the prices were driven by the philosophy!! Some people still don’t get that! It is a vital part of the magic!!

All this, Disney said, and for very, VERY, VERY affordable prices!! Don’t believe me? Then forget the resort prices. Concentrate on the hot dog instead! Same price for the very well established Disneyland.

Don’t like hot dogs? OK! Fair enough! Look at the parking! Or the tickets! Or the stroller rental! Or the wheelchair rental! Or the soda! Or the…. Well, I think you get the picture. The point is Walt always had higher prices. But not so high as to be considered outrageous. And in return he offered you much, much, much, much more than the competition could even imagine. That was magic!! That, my friend, was Disney!!

DVC-Landbaron
10-15-2002, 06:09 PM
Hmm...looks like Sir Baron was indeed correct.Would it be impolite to say - "Na, na!!! I told you so!!!!!"

Yeah! It probably would be. So, forget I ever said it. The jury is instructed to disregard the last remark by the car #3 member!!

Planogirl
10-15-2002, 06:52 PM
sodas are 15 and 25 cents :eek:

And this adjusts to $.65 and $1 in today's dollars? Now I really feel ripped off, and for something Disney doesn't even pay for!

Funny how certain things really stick out to a person... :rolleyes:

d-r
10-15-2002, 06:55 PM
But y'all. Low tourism numbers on I-92 notwithstanding, hotel rates are pretty high most anywhere. I probably travel 4-6 times per year for business, and rarely do I ever see a hotel bill for $125, more than likely they are $200 or so. Another example, I taught a class in Birmingham MI a year or two ago, and when I went over there the University would have a room for me, I think at a holiday inn express - it had outside doors like a motel, and although it was a comfortable and fine room, it wasn't anything special. I think the gov. rate was $129, and the rack rate was over $150. Heck we have even stayed at dives on I-75 when we wore out that were over $50.

I'm just saying that I see a lot of pretty high hotel prices.

DR

Bob O
10-15-2002, 09:47 PM
Yes, the Baron has been right!!!
That was when you did get real value for your money and the parks had a very big "wow" affect in relation to the expereince you received for the money you spent!! We dont even have to go into the park hours besides the prices
They have owned the same land but look at the parking rates as one exemaple where disney has screwed their guests!!!

Krisu
10-15-2002, 10:05 PM
We paid $30.00/night for campsite at FW. Cheaper than some not very good ones here in the Northeast:D

KNWVIKING
10-15-2002, 10:10 PM
My oldest son goes to school in Boston, try to find a decent hotel in Boston for under $300.00.

Been to a ballgame recently, whats a hog dog & beer going for,about $10.00 ?

Ever try to park within three blocks of the beach in Jersey ? You wish you were paying WDW rates.

Been to any NASCAR races ? I think grandstand seats at Dover Downs were $85.00 per person.

Whats it cost for a family of four to go to a movie and have soda,popcorn and goobers ?

Entertainment $$$ don't follow the rules of inflation. All venues will continue to climb in price as long as people are willing pay.

hopemax
10-15-2002, 10:46 PM
I'm just saying that I see a lot of pretty high hotel prices.

The problem is, that we've all seen a lot of different things.

Earlier this year I posted the rack rates for the lodges at the National Parks at the Grand Canyon, Zion & Bryce. The majority of the rooms were $115-$135 range. The company that runs the park lodges is called Xanterra, there's a resort called the Gideon-Putnam Hotel in Saratoga Springs (since that seems to be a theme lately) and the prices there are $185. I checked some other hotels in the Saratoga Springs area, for fun, Hilton in June $159, Sheraton $185-$215. Again, these are within the $125-$190 range of the adjusted Poly prices. Even the prices for the Bellagio the rooms are $200-$250, suites $350-$775 for a penthouse suite. And I'd consider the Bellagio above the Poly but it's the Poly that has the higher prices! Which is why I'm wary of the impact "hotel industry increases more than inflation" thing. Is it true, probably to some extent, but I don't think it accounts for ALL of the variance between the 1972 adjusted numbers and today's prices.

hopemax
10-15-2002, 11:06 PM
My oldest son goes to school in Boston, try to find a decent hotel in Boston for under $300.00.

You know, this is probably part of the problem. I consider just about everything between Washington DC and Boston "abnormal" when it comes to prices (especially DC proper, NYC and Boston). The population density of that area, has created a scarcity of resources, land, etc. that make the pricing structure just completely different than what anyone else is experiencing.

To invoke a bad analogy. That area is like Titanic and it's $600 million. If we compare any other movie to Titanic just makes the other movies look BAD. It's just seems fairer to take Titanic out of the equation, then compare. Same for hotels in NYC, DC and Boston vs elsewhere.

It certainly explains why so many Eastern Seaboarders think WDW is a bargain, but there are so many other people with different experiences, and expecations where it's not.

DVC-Landbaron
10-15-2002, 11:51 PM
KNWVIKING, a couple of points.

My oldest son goes to school in Boston, try to find a decent hotel in Boston for under $300.00.I don’t know what New York (or Boston) hotel rates were going for back in 1972, but I’ll make one of my famous wagers that it was a heck of a lot more than what Disney was charging for the Poly!!

And I really don’t mean to be argumentative but just what does all the other nonsense have to do with Disney!?! I understand your point, but it is not relevant! And Disney ain’t a beach in Jersey!! Walt never treated it as such! Neither should Ei$ner!!!

DisneyKidds
10-16-2002, 01:13 AM
Originally posted by Demosthenes
You have to be careful with that; inflation varies depending on the industry, and travel has varying rates of inflation throughout the country (and world for that matter). When WDW opened, one of the things that had to lure people to central Florida was a reasonable price (remember, Disneyland could be seen in a day, but nobody had imagined that a theme park could be transformed into an entire vacation destination), now people already know what they're in for, and are willing to pay more for it.
Thank you!! Someone who finally understands something about inflation and doesn't blindly use the CPI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hmm...looks like Sir Baron was indeed correct.
Absolutely not!!!! Sir Larry, please don't be fooled by yet another incomplete analysis.
All this, Disney said, and for very, VERY, VERY affordable prices!! Don’t believe me? Then forget the resort prices. Concentrate on the hot dog instead! Same price for the very well established Disneyland.
Ok - tell me how much these hot dogs were elsewhere around the country. You keep saying how Disney gave you more for less than anyone else, but where is the proof?
You know, this is probably part of the problem. I consider just about everything between Washington DC and Boston "abnormal" when it comes to prices (especially DC proper, NYC and Boston).
How about Atlanta, is that "abnormal"? Hotel prices there are pretty close to NY, DC, and Boston. Hotels in any area of high demand will have higher prices.
And I really don’t mean to be argumentative but just what does all the other nonsense have to do with Disney!?! I understand your point, but it is not relevant! And Disney ain’t a beach in Jersey!! Walt never treated it as such! Neither should Ei$ner!!!
It has more to do with Disney than you think. In 1971 WDW was an untested resort detination in the middle of a swamp in the middle of nowhere in Florida. Sure, prices were low. That is how most new things start off. In this case it was partly because of Walt's desire to provide value, but it was also due in large part to the fact that it was new and unknown how people would respond to a Disney destination resort. After all, Disney's prior experience was with the day guest market in Anaheim. It is a little naive to think that the cost of WDW hotel rooms wouldn't outpace inflation as WDW became established (there is your explanation of 'rack rate' increases greater than inflation).

DVC-Landbaron
10-16-2002, 02:01 AM
Thank you!! Someone who finally understands something about inflation and doesn't blindly use the CPI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Well! You’ve finally got the hang of a well placed exclamation point!!!

Why is it that you think you and your friend Demosthenes are the only ones that understand this concept? Many of us understand it! I understand it! I do indeed comprehend what you are saying. I just do not agree that it applies to Disney! I’m afraid it is you who doesn’t understand!

Let’s see if I can explain it a bit better.
Absolutely not!!!! Sir Larry, please don't be fooled by yet another incomplete analysis. Absolutely not!! Sir Larry (His Airness!) does indeed understand the analysis. And he, like I, find it very complete. For Disney. How is it that you keep forgetting that Disney is (or at least used to be) UNIQUE!!?? Especially in price! And value!!

It's clear you don't get it. Take for example:
Hotels in any area of high demand will have higher prices.See!! There you have it!! You really don’t get it, do you? Areas of ‘high demand’ have nothing whatsoever to do with Disney!! I thought you knew that!
In 1971 WDW was an untested resort detination in the middle of a swamp in the middle of nowhere in Florida. Sure, prices were low.Which is EXACTLY why I pointed to all those other items. Such as parking. Or heck, how about ticket prices!!!

I don’t buy your untested swamp argument at all. It was tested in Orange county California. They had a sure thing coming to Florida and they knew it. But suppose, just for argument’s sake, that I did stipulate. I agree that the Florida Project and WDW in particular was very tenuous, at best. OK? Can we move on?

So! Where does this leave us? Well, an obvious question, if you want to delve into the pricing philosophy of Disney, is to ask about something which was indeed ‘tried and true’. Something that was ‘established’. Forget about resorts and concentrate on the ‘other’ items. And not in that very shaky business proposition in Florida but instead in a well established and recognized theme park. Hey! Come to think of it, the Grand-daddy of all theme parks! How about Disneyland!?!?!

Now how in the world do you think the gang at Disney knew what to charge for a hot dog or parking or tickets when they started to price items for Florida? Give up? Awe! You guessed it already! That’s right! Disneyland! And this place was firmly established for 17 years!! Man! It was the hottest thing going! If anywhere could have justified higher prices Disneyland could! But did they? Did they charge more, just because they could? No!!! In fact their prices (relatively the same as those charged at WDW) were soooo low that you attribute them to a new and tenuous operation that absolutely needed low prices in order to insure success!!

Now which is it Mr. Kidds. You can’t have it both ways. Did Disney grossly undercharge at WDW in insure attendance? Or did they just set their prices to what they normally charged at their well established joint?
It is a little naive to think that the cost of WDW hotel rooms wouldn't outpace inflation as WDW became established (there is your explanation of 'rack rate' increases greater than inflation).Then why didn’t that happen to tickets or parking or hot dogs at Disneyland between 1955 and 1972?

What? No answer? I have one. Walt wouldn’t let it! And they by insured long-term loyalty and unimaginable success!!

One heck of a guy!! :bounce:

hopemax
10-16-2002, 02:58 AM
First off,

I'm not "blindly" using the CPI. It's meant as a starting point. I could have just posted the 1972 numbers, but that would provide absolutely NO context for today. Would it have been better if I just posted the 1972 numbers and done no calculations? Would that give people a greater understanding of what the 1972 numbers mean?

2. Atlanta. Can you give me the name of some Atlantan resorts that are meant to be "destinations." Hotels which serve a clientel similar to the make-up of WDW's clientel. That's why I used Las Vegas, the national park lodges. The clientels seem similar, aren't they? Then I'll look them up and compare.

I have no doubt that there are many hotels that are more expensive than WDW. But if the hotel expects to make money from business travels in town for a convention they're going to price themselves differently than if they are shooting for the "family" market. Same thing for a hotel whose clientel is the "rich & famous." I know WDW would like to think they are in the creme de la creme, but they aren't even close.

Hilton Niagara Falls Oct-May looks like they're $125-$175. In the summer the numbers finally go above the 1972 adjusted, $290 gets you a view of the falls, $300 gets you a jr suite with a king bed, jacuzzi and a view of the falls in the middle of July 2003. A standard view, Jr. Suite, peak season 2003 at the Contemporary will cost you $390.

Sheraton on the Falls 2003 rates: non-summer $108-$165, summer $140-$300.

I'm picking what are considered popular North American destinations, and picking what I would expect to be expensive hotels, right on top of the "destination attraction" and I keep coming up with numbers that fit within the 1972 adjusted numbers.

hopemax
10-16-2002, 03:03 AM
Then why didn’t that happen to tickets or parking or hot dogs at Disneyland between 1955 and 1972?

Actually, DVC, it did happen. Shortly after Walt died, "Roy's people" finally got to do what they had begged Walt to do, and that was raise prices a bit, but they were still affordable compared to what we have to deal with! All my DL information is from 1967 onward (cause that's when my Dad went the first time). I'm very curious what the 1955-1966 prices were!

hopemax
10-16-2002, 03:36 AM
Ah the things you do when you aren't sleepy...

Went to travelocity, searched for a hotel in Atlanta in May 2003. There were like 90 results. Looking at the right side, in bold it gives rate ranges. The majority of the hotels listed prices of under $200.

The main exceptions the Four Seasons ($330-$550), Westin at the Airport ($179-$270), Sheraton Buckhead ($165-$265), Hyatt Regency Atlanta ($99-$330), Crown Plaza Buckhead ($159-$399), Grand Hyatt Atlanta ($110-$399), OMNI at CNN Center ($225-$375), there was another Sheraton, Hyatt and Westin, but we get the idea.

Only 2 of these top tier Atlanta hotels don't have rooms that would fall within the $125-$190. And looking at the actual 2003 Poly rates...$340-$525. And while the Poly is nice, it ain't no Four Seasons, and it's never gotten a 5 star rating. Is comparing the Atlanta Four Seasons to the Poly comparing apples to apples?

raidermatt
10-16-2002, 04:16 AM
Just one question....

If Disney set its resort prices low because of concerns over demand at an un-tested resort, why didn't they jack them up when high demand resulted in a 2 year waiting list to get a room?

If Disney was following the old supply and demand model, prices should have immediately soared.

But they didn't.

Clearly, there was some reason for it other than demand.

It was a strategy. Now, maybe one can't accept that it was a part of a Disney's intended value equation, but at least offer another valid reason.

airlarry!
10-16-2002, 08:14 AM
Just when you are jaded enough to think we've discussed every topic to death, it pays to stick around and learn something new.

Sir Baron:

I noticed the same thing as I read M. DK's argument. It seemed to be walking the fence or arguing two polar opposites.

One can't argue that the CPI doesn't matter, implying that the rooms weren't as cheap back then as we think, and then argue in the same breath that management set the prices much lower than normal to attract business.

My personal take? There were probably some in the company who worried about the Florida Project. But not the kingpins. We know that because they bought thousands of acres (albeit cheap prices for 90% of them), built monorails and huge themed resorts and campgrounds and a full size Magic Kingdom all around the same time. What an investment! Every business venture has its skeptics, but the skepticism had to be much lower this time as compared to the 'crazy talk' about Uncle Walt in 1955.

And I think they priced the hotels right in line with what they thought the market could bear but with the intent on building brand loyalty through value. See, it is a two part equation. One can't set the prices as high as the market will bear...because you might get one sale but not repeat business. One must set the prices as high as one can *taking into account the need to establish brand loyalty and repeat customes*.

The proof is in the pudding. The rack rates are astronomical for the Animal Kingdom Lodge. If you belong to mousesavers.com you will see that almost no one has paid rack rates there for the last year or so. Baron's right: back then they set the price without having to worry about discounting it...now they set this dream price, and have to cut back every time people scoff at a $350 hotel room.

d-r
10-16-2002, 08:47 AM
Originally posted by hopemax
Again, these are within the $125-$190 range of the adjusted Poly prices.

And the polly goes for $169 and $189 with codes, AP rates, Florida residents, etc. I know I've stayed at Polly for $189.

Before you say "that is with a code" I wonder where Deb Will's got those prices from 1972; the way that I've been able to look at prices back then was to look at old Disney Magazine's that we have from the early 70's. Back then, the Disney Magazine came with membership to the magic kingdom club, and so the rates in there are magic kingdom club rates. But really, we were comparing to rooms to other places off Disney property, and people get discounted rooms off disney property all the time. Most of the time that I stay somewhere else it is with a disount, whether it is a conference rate or a gov. rate or even an expedia rate. NBC news reported a few months ago that summer bookings were down at the national park resorts this year (they said it was "unheard of" during the summer).

I maintain that hotels are pretty much expensive and don't really go up at the rate of inflation. But hey, people pay a premium to stay at wdw. That's absolutely true.
DR

d-r
10-16-2002, 08:54 AM
Hi, I've stayed at the Ritz-Carlton in Atlanta, but not the 4 seasons there. I think it was about $250 a night, but there was a conference rate going on. It is comparing apples to oranges, imho. The Ritz is really nice, of course. If you want to match it up hotel for hotel, it is absolutely better than the grand floridian. But then you don't have the magic kingdom across the lake or a monorail going by. I mean, downtown Atlanta can be a lot of fun, but it is a different thing than going to walt disney world. I've also stayed at the westin peachtree, which is a standard sort of business class hotel that is much cheaper than the ritz. Comparing the polly to the four seasons really is apples to oranges. You'll get a wonderful hotel experience at the four seasons, I'm sure, and I'm sure it is worth visiting. If you want the experience of the polly, though, you aren't going to get it at the four seasons. So you pay for what you want. If the polly isn't worth it to you, don't go there. If the four seasons is, enjoy your trip to Atlanta. If I am in Atlanta again I'd love to stay at the Ritz Carlton again, and I look forward to staying at the polly again sometime when I'm at walt disney world.

DR

Originally posted by hopemax
Ah the things you do when you aren't sleepy...

Went to travelocity, searched for a hotel in Atlanta in May 2003. There were like 90 results. Looking at the right side, in bold it gives rate ranges. The majority of the hotels listed prices of under $200.

The main exceptions the Four Seasons ($330-$550), Westin at the Airport ($179-$270), Sheraton Buckhead ($165-$265), Hyatt Regency Atlanta ($99-$330), Crown Plaza Buckhead ($159-$399), Grand Hyatt Atlanta ($110-$399), OMNI at CNN Center ($225-$375), there was another Sheraton, Hyatt and Westin, but we get the idea.

Only 2 of these top tier Atlanta hotels don't have rooms that would fall within the $125-$190. And looking at the actual 2003 Poly rates...$340-$525. And while the Poly is nice, it ain't no Four Seasons, and it's never gotten a 5 star rating. Is comparing the Atlanta Four Seasons to the Poly comparing apples to apples?

JimB.
10-16-2002, 09:21 AM
I distinctly remember that when I stayed at the Poly in August, 1972 (oops, just dated myself there..............:p ) the rates were $19, $29, $39 (+ any applicable taxes).

The buffet dinner at O'hana's was $6.95/person ( my dad about blew a gasket over that...).


Wanna' see expensive???

Check ticket prices to a NASCAR Winston Cup race. The CHEAP seats at the Daytona 500 are $100 +, and the place is a dump.

Cokes at a Jacksonville Jaguars game are $3.


I guess everything is relative, and although Disney World is no BARGAIN by any measure, it still seems to be in line with all of the other possible things I could do with my entertainment dollars.

All Aboard
10-16-2002, 09:50 AM
Here we go again. What WDW charged for hotels in 1972 is completely and entirely meaningless. It has absolutely no connection to today's prices. None whatsoever. And applying the market basket CPI to the travel and entertainment industry is going to drive worthless results as pointed out by others.

Ultimately, the market (customer) chooses the prices in this economy, not the seller. If WDW has well-outpaced inflation, then perhaps it's a testament to the improvement of the product. That's just as solid a conclusion as "greedy management."

Bstanley
10-16-2002, 11:17 AM
OK, thanks to the Los Angeles Public Library we have a database of menu images from down through the ages (although they tend to be LA related...).

Restaurant prices circa 1972:

Culver City -
Hamburger: $0.65 (served with Potato Chips and a Pickle :-)
Coca-Cola : $0.15 (refills free)
Sausage and Eggs : $1.50 (served with Hash Browns)

Hollywood - Prime Rib Dinner : $6.00
(the 'Diamond Jim Brady' cut ! ;-), served with Salad, bread, corn on the cob, baked potato and dessert)

So it would appear that the people who set the prices at WDW in 1972 did indeed do exactly what Herr Baron said - they looked around at the prices in their neighborhood and set them to about the same level.

Now as to whether or not those prices were appropriate for central Florida in 1972 is best left as an exercise for the student.

DisneyKidds
10-16-2002, 01:25 PM
OK - where to start?
See!! There you have it!! You really don’t get it, do you? Areas of ‘high demand’ have nothing whatsoever to do with Disney!! I thought you knew that!
I wouldn't exactly say that. You keep throwing out a 1972 Poly price. You also contend that the resort prices didn't go kapluew (spelling?) until Ei$ner instituted the "caste system". Hows about we do this. Let's see if we can reconstruct Poly prices from 1972 right up until today. That will give us a very good indication of how pricing evolved, and we can try to make educated conclusions from there. As Mr. gcurling pointed out (glad to see you unburied yourself Mr. G :))............
What WDW charged for hotels in 1972 is completely and entirely meaningless. It has absolutely no connection to today's prices. None whatsoever. And applying the market basket CPI to the travel and entertainment industry is going to drive worthless results as pointed out by others.
...........and it really is true. No tongues. No cheeks. No giving you a hard time. It really is true. Only by analyzing how hotels prices evolved can we get anywhere. You are so tied up in what the Poly cost in 1972, but that is a snapshot. Let's see if we can view the moving picture.

As for the whole 'untested swamp' concept, I submit that WDW was different from DL. Sure, they knew the WDW parks would be a hit. They knew that the investment in WDW would pay off. However, they did not know how folks would initially respond to a Disney destination resort. Furthermore, you really didn't have a guide from DL for resort pricing. Lastly, Walt had nothing to do with the rate set for the Poly in 1972. We are back to those shades of gray again. Yes, they wanted to provide value. I'll even give you that they may have kept prices over time a little lower than other comparable resorts. However, there was likely much more that went into the decision on pricing. If we move beyond resort rates, Mr. Bstanley shows us that the Disney burger and soda, breakfast, or a buffet dinner really wasn't any cheaper. Again, let's try and see how the WDW resort prices settled out and go from there. Fair enough?

Hopemax............. I realize you didn't make any conclusions regarding resort rates. You presented the 1972 rate and inflated it. You did not go on to say that that provided any frame of reference for todays rates (but you had to have a reason for doing it, no?). However, others did jump in and assume that that proves that todays Disney rates are :crazy: because Poly rates are not $125. That is simply an incorrect conclusion. Secondly, I only mentioned Atlanta in relation to your assessment that NY/DC/Boston prices were abnormal. Atlanta is not so far off. If you are comparing Atlanta to NY/DC/Boston you really should be looking at the Buckhead hotels as that would be most 'apples to apples'. I also believe that your Atlanta vs. Poly rate analysis may be incomplete. On travelocity you will get best available rate. This may or may not be rack rate. Therefore, you may not be able to compare those Atlanta prices to Poly rack rate. If you compare those Atlanta prices to Poly and CR best available rates you will find the Poly and CR may be less.

Matt...........
If Disney set its resort prices low because of concerns over demand at an un-tested resort, why didn't they jack them up when high demand resulted in a 2 year waiting list to get a room?
A couple of things. I may be willing to stipulate that Disney purposely upped the value by keeping the rates lower than comparable resorts - that they didn't follow traditional supply and demand models. However, I don't know that you can peg the 1972 rate as the baseline for an analysis. Let's see what the adjusted baseline looks like when we have a better idea of what those rates looked like from 1973 to 1983 (that would be post opening and pre Ei$ner). Even if we stipulated that WDW resort prices outpaced the CPI, we don't know when the price went askew. Baron contends it was sometime after 1984. Let's find out for sure. As I stated above, value was part of the equation, but there were likely other factors involved. We keep coming back to this resort rate thing - lets see if we can't do a complete analysis and draw some logical, supportable conclusions. Anyone have ideas on where we can find the Poly rates (and CR) by year?

Larryboy (I only use that as I hope to see Veggie Tales on Friday and have VT on the brain ;))............
I noticed the same thing as I read M. DK's argument. It seemed to be walking the fence or arguing two polar opposites.
Let me see if I can articulate my thinking as it is evolving. The initial opening price was low. At some point it went up. We don't know when. I believe two things could have impacted WDW resort pricing. One would be a market adjustment once the resorts were established. The second would be inflation. We need to see if those are both in play, and how they interact. Even with that, it may be possible that the Poly 1972 price is not as low as one might think. For arguments sake, let's just assume that the 1972 price was somewhat discounted as they were testing the market for a Disney destination resort. If we assume that for a moment it becomes reasonable to compare that rate inflated to today to todays discounted Poly rates. If you do that you would find the two would be in line. As I said above, we have some work to do before we can realy make sense of all of this. Until then it is all speculation and inuendo. I'll try and keep my tongue firmly planted in the center of my mouth and we can look at the objective facts, all of the objective facts. If I'm wrong I'll give you the Mea Culpa, are you guys willing to do the same?

Now, where to find the info we need.................. ah, The Professor's students! Do I smell case study on the successful building and pricing of a resort destination? ;)

hopemax
10-16-2002, 01:57 PM
You did not go on to say that that provided any frame of reference for todays rates (but you had to have a reason for doing it, no?).

Only, that EVERY other time anyone has posted numbers, without doing the CPI the next posters have complained that they had absolutely no idea what spending $29 in 1972 would be like spending today. Thus, I provided the adjusted numbers. I didn't think I had to explain why. Apparently I did a bad thing, and I should just not post any numbers because they have no value for anything at all.

On travelocity you will get best available rate. This may or may not be rack rate. Therefore, you may not be able to compare those Atlanta prices to Poly rack rate.

Which is why I clicked on the details, read what type it was, looking for standard rate, then went to some of the hotels actual websites and looked at the prices there, and checked that they were the standard rates.

A couple of things. I may be willing to stipulate that Disney purposely upped the value by keeping the rates lower than comparable resorts - that they didn't follow traditional supply and demand models.

Read that last line you typed, 1000 times. This is what we're saying. Not only did Walt break the normal models of what was family entertainment, he broke the traditional business models too. Back to what airlarry! said,


See, it is a two part equation. One can't set the prices as high as the market will bear...because you might get one sale but not repeat business. One must set the prices as high as one can *taking into account the need to establish brand loyalty and repeat customes*.


Walt's system generated "lifers," it allowed the company to not have to resort to sales or discounts. It cushioned WDW against economic effects like recession, and high unemployement. Did you know that between 1972 and 1980, WDW attendance increased or remained unchanged every year except 1974 and 1979? The gas shortage, put Disney into trouble, not the high unemployment and not the skyrocketing inflation.

hopemax
10-16-2002, 02:15 PM
I have no problem digging for evidence, and I actually kind of like it. I just wish more people would help out. I have no problem searching for Poly prices from 1972-1985, but being in WA we don't get a lot of WDW brochures in antique shops, and not a lot of people from out here went to WDW at that time so I can't ask them either. The best, I can do is search the web, though I am considering writing the archives, but don't know if they will respond with the info or what. If we were going to do this, I would have asked while I was at the archives in July.

DisneyKidds
10-16-2002, 02:37 PM
Apparently I did a bad thing, and I should just not post any numbers because they have no value for anything at all.
Sorry Hope. You did nothing wrong (as you well know ;)). I have this nasty tendency to think that everyone has an agenda of some sort. Bad Dk, bad DK :(.

Glad to see you do your homework and pay attention to the pertinent details. Very :cool: and it really helps the discussions along :). On the hotel rates from 1973 to 1985, I will dig around on the internet as well - hopefully with enough of us digging we can make some real progress. Thanks.
Read that last line you typed, 1000 times. This is what we're saying. Not only did Walt break the normal models of what was family entertainment, he broke the traditional business models too.
Yes, but my comment was followed by a 'however' - isn't there always one of those ;).

FWIW - I happened to be on the Marriott website and I checked their full service hotels in downtown Atlanta and in Buckhead. Rack rate ranged from $275 to $310. Best available ranged from $149 to $220. Boy, I know we really can't compare other hotels to Disney, but that sure sounds a lot like current CR/Poly/WL/AKL/BW/BC/YC/GF pricing to me. Actually, CR/Poly/WL/AKL/BW/BC/YC/GF prices might even be a tad lower - and they are in the middle of the most incredible resort destination in the World ;). Sounds like value to me.

All Aboard
10-16-2002, 03:22 PM
No Hopemax, you did nothing wrong. It's just when this topic rears it's head the same thing happens. Today's rates are compared to the CPI growth of 1972 prices and the same conclusions are drawn.

One could assume that some posters in this thread think that a WDW with nothing more than a handful of deluxe resorts with rooms priced at $125 a night is a wise business model to follow. That's what I disagree with.

EUROPA
10-16-2002, 04:03 PM
Originally posted by gcurling

One could assume that some posters in this thread think that a WDW with nothing more than a handful of deluxe resorts with rooms priced at $125 a night is a wise business model to follow. That's what I disagree with.

...and the current model is not really great either. Sure Walt would have built more Hotels but I don't think they would be anywhere close to the current prices. Unless you talking value and moderate prices for the Deluxe experience. In the current model it seems they have currently overbuilt regular hotel rooms and I think they may be setting themselves up for the same thing with the DVC. I think many people keep glossing over the point that Walt wasn't here to bleed his customers dry like Mike is. Walt wanted and got brand loyalty from his customers by building quality and value into his products. I don't see that same drive from the current Disney. The current model is closer to strip mining or slash and burn if you ask me.

raidermatt
10-16-2002, 04:24 PM
One could assume that some posters in this thread think that a WDW with nothing more than a handful of deluxe resorts with rooms priced at $125 a night is a wise business model to follow. That's what I disagree with.

Not I. I just think that pretty much all aspects of this model have been scrapped, which is not in WDW's best long-term interests.

hopemax
10-16-2002, 04:43 PM
One could assume that some posters in this thread think that a WDW with nothing more than a handful of deluxe resorts with rooms priced at $125 a night is a wise business model to follow.

Not I, either. I just believe that there is a better model than what WDW is doing now. One that leads to something inbetween $125-$190 all year long and the 4 seasons /$299-$675 at the Poly, and a bunch of other things.

I feel like WDW is running on a high-risk model, like a high risk stock portfolio. Huge upside when the market is in your favor, but when it not...There's a reason financial planners don't recommend putting all your money in high-risk stocks, all the way up till retirement.

All Aboard
10-16-2002, 05:41 PM
I'd argue that WDW has a diversified portfolio, e.g. Values and Moderates. And, the built in profit margin on the high end products to sustain the need to discount in tougher times.

I hear two things in this thread. WDW has too many hotel rooms and they charge too much for them.

A pricing model of limited supply and low prices is bad for two reasons. First, you unnecessarily give away market share to your competitors. Second, you don't harbor a lot of good will from your customers when it is almost impossible for them to get your product. Reducing supply and reducing prices will drive demand well above equilibrium. Maybe that's the way Walt would have done it, maybe not, but it makes no economic sense.

Europa and others, I still don't get the notion that Mike is bleeding the customer dry. How can that be? As I said before, the supplier chooses what to charge based on what the customer says he/she will pay. The customer is king. I won't pay $3,000 to stay in a Presidential Suite, so I don't. I will, however, gladly pay the rates that I do to stay at the Values and Moderates and even at the AKL on a recent stay. If WDW could charge more, then by all means they should.

airlarry!
10-16-2002, 05:42 PM
M. Gcurling:

Not I, not I, not I. It is the one area of disagreement that I know of between me and Sir Baron. (if that is even what he is saying).

I will emphatically state that as a selfish, budget-seeking, cheapskate vacationer, I don't want 20 resorts on the grounds of WDW all with only 300 rooms each at $125-250 a night, all with monorail access and $50 restaurants.

But I'm not saying that's a bad business model, either.

I've always disagreed with Baron in that I believe, and I would love to see The Professor's students run this down, that WDW could operate profitably on a two tiered system of one tier with relatively expensive ($125-250) night resorts like the Poly on the monorail...with another tier of 'moderates' from $80-150 with some kind of special access (Like WL has or had with the water taxi) to the parks. In fact, it kind of looked like Disney had that in mind. The Allstars are near the AK (and should be rethemed as such perhaps?) The Caribb is near Epcot I believe...and so on and so forth. Just make them with special transportation.

The CPI is useless? Not if you think it is a two part equation to continued 95% occupancy rates. I just hate to see that either WDW overbuilt or that they priced themselves too high to withstand the 2000-2001 downturn in the economy.

hopemax
10-16-2002, 06:54 PM
I hear two things in this thread. WDW has too many hotel rooms and they charge too much for them.

Again no. Either WDW has too many hotel rooms OR they are charging too much for them. You say low supply/low price is bad. Well, isn't high supply/high price bad too? You run a huge risk of the demand not being there and ending up with empty hotels. I'd think a high supply/low price or low supply/high price would be more stable.

I'd argue that WDW has a diversified portfolio, e.g. Values and Moderates.

And I'd argue that having a high-risk stock that is currently selling for $100, another high-risk stock current $60 and another high-risk stock at $25 is not diversification :) But that's not really what I want to talk about.

Just something that's tickled in the back of my mind. What do you guys think the affect of credit cards has had on the traditional market relations of supply, demand and price? The magnetic strip came into being in 1970, so when WDW opened not very people had them, or used them. The 80's & 90's changed that.

Reading a couple of articles on the web... 60% of CC holders, carry a balance and the average balance is $8,367. In the early 90's it was $3,332. The total debt rose from 173 billion to 608 billion. Now, I'm sure all of us are responsible CC users and pay off our balances every month :) but that doesn't seem to be the norm.

So while in the first half of the century, when prices would get to the point where the customer would walk away. Now the customer doesn't have to walk away, they can just put it on the plastic. So the prices kept going up, up, up. And now we have prices that aren't truely "what the market can bear." The market has been overextended for awhile, and not just limited to Disney, I think the whole entertainment industry is suffering. I remember last year there was NY Times article talking about how the entertainment industry was thought to be "recession proof" but this time around, not so. Maybe the whole industry is overpriced. That's why I am not placated with the "have you seen the prices at _____." Does that prove that Disney isn't expensive, or does it just prove that ____ is expensive too? I'm trying to learn more about what is really going on, not just what looks good on the surface.

Disney seems to be banking that the economy will recover and we'll be back to the high times of the 90's. I'm not so sure that we'll ever see those for awhile. I may just be overly optomistic that the confluence of Sept 11th, and the dot.com bust has scared consumers into being more responsible with their money, and more aware of what they TRUELY can afford. That would mean that even as the economy recovers people won't be so free with the plastic.

Is Disney prepared for it's customers to say, "You know what, I never should have paid what I did to stay at the Poly in 1998, and I'm not going to do that again. I love you Disney, but you're too expensive for me."

DVC-Landbaron
10-16-2002, 11:04 PM
An awful lot of catching up to do!! (A dentist appointment kept me away! But, after some of my conversations with the other cars, it was like a pleasure cruise!! :) )

Anyway, Hopemax hit upon something vital quite a while ago and no one picked it up.
Actually, DVC, it did happen. Shortly after Walt died, "Roy's people" finally got to do what they had begged Walt to do, and that was raise prices a bit,My Oh My!!! (he says with as much incredulous surprise as he can muster!) Does that mean… Could it be… That Walt had an even lower price baseline than the 1972 prices, well after Walt’s death) would indicate!?!?! My goodness!! What does that say about the Disney philosophy!?!?! That has been my point through all of this! What is the PRICING philosophy that endeared Disney to countless thousands?

It was a strategy. Now, maybe one can't accept that it was a part of a Disney's intended value equation, but at least offer another valid reason.Mr. Matt!! It’s very nice to have you riding shotgun, even if we stray a bit on this issue!! :bounce:

Which leads me to my other reluctant shot gunner, the ever lucid, moderate and usual voice of reason (and genuine nice guy) Gcurling!! However, he is dead wrong on this issue!!
Here we go again. What WDW charged for hotels in 1972 is completely and entirely meaningless. It has absolutely no connection to today's prices. None whatsoever.Sure it does, Greg! It gives us a base line to work from. And it’s an indication of how price and value worked into the Disney philosophy. Remember, Walt created a totally different concept in amusement parks. But he didn’t stop there!! He also created a totally different concept in service. He transformed a ‘customer’ into a ‘guest’!! An ‘employee’ into a ‘Cast Member’. This guy changed everything he touched!! Why would anyone in his right head think that his ‘twisted’ ways wouldn’t touch price, value or the entire concept of the business model? And that’s what the price index shows. Perhaps not for the resorts (though I strongly contend that it does), but especially for the other items on the list! The hot dog, the parking, the tickets, etc. And now we learn that this was AFTER a recent price hike after his death!! I don’t know about you, but I’m WOWed by it!!
If WDW has well-outpaced inflation, then perhaps it's a testament to the improvement of the product. That's just as solid a conclusion as "greedy management."GREG!!! My God!! Are you serious about that ‘improved product’ crack!?!? And just for the record, I do NOT think it is ‘greedy management’. Not in the least. It is ‘ordinary’ business. It is ‘mundane’ business. It is ‘what every other company in the world does’ business. It is NOT Disney business. It is thinking, not only in the box, but in the dead center of the box. Something that Disney never used to do!
You keep throwing out a 1972 Poly price. You also contend that the resort prices didn't go kapluew (spelling?) until Ei$ner instituted the "caste system".Yep! I sure do!! I am confidant that I am right!! Know why? Read on!!
Hows about we do this. Let's see if we can reconstruct Poly prices from 1972 right up until today. That will give us a very good indication of how pricing evolved, and we can try to make educated conclusions from there.We did!! About a year ago. And how fortunate that my good friends YoHo and Gcurling are participating!! For they were the ones directly involved with the thread.

I don’t have the info. I’m basically lazy and not very well organized, but I do recall that surprisingly the prices matched inflation pretty evenly, with three exceptions. The first, and relatively minor increase, I cannot blame on Ei$ner. It was a last ditch attempt of the Walker/Miller era at trying to please the board and/or the Street about a year or two before they were asked to take a hike. The second (and I believe the most substantial) was within the first year of Ei$ner’s tenure. The third was three or four years later. If you know anything about numbers however, you know that over the years even a slight increase grows at an amazing rate!
As for the whole 'untested swamp' concept, I submit that WDW was different from DL.BUT THE PRICES THAT THEY CHARGED WERE THE SAME!!!!
Furthermore, you really didn't have a guide from DL for resort pricing.That’s why I told you to leave the resorts out of it! If you have that hard a time trying to divine the Walt Disney Philosophy of price and value, leave the resorts out of it. Concentrate instead on the other items. And know that those prices were recently hiked after Walt’s death. Maybe that will give you some insight of the price/value concept.
Lastly, Walt had nothing to do with the rate set for the Poly in 1972.WRONG AGAIN!! But thanks for playing!! ;)

You really can’t be serious. Walt had everything to do with the price set in 1972. He set the philosophy. And if you know anything from this era it should be that Walker/miller were laughed at and condemned regularly for the “What would Walt do?” thing. Oh yes!! He had everything to do with it!!
If we move beyond resort rates, Mr. Bstanley shows us that the Disney burger and soda, breakfast, or a buffet dinner really wasn't any cheaper.Wasn’t any cheaper than what!?!?!? I don’t know what the heck Culver City is!! Is it a Denny’s? Is it the Ritz? Somewhere in-between? Do you know? And what prices are they charging now? The same as Disney? More? Less?
If I'm wrong I'll give you the Mea Culpa, are you guys willing to do the same?I can hardly wait!!!!

{Scoop alert!!! A double quote coming up!!!}
A couple of things. I may be willing to stipulate that Disney purposely upped the value by keeping the rates lower than comparable resorts - that they didn't follow traditional supply and demand models. Read that last line you typed, 1000 times. This is what we're saying. Not only did Walt break the normal models of what was family entertainment, he broke the traditional business models too. 1,000 times isn’t enough!!! And you’re 100% right Ms. Max. That is all we are saying!!!!
Walt's system generated "lifers," it allowed the company to not have to resort to sales or discounts. It cushioned WDW against economic effects like recession, and high unemployement. Did you know that between 1972 and 1980, WDW attendance increased or remained unchanged every year except 1974 and 1979? The gas shortage, put Disney into trouble, not the high unemployment and not the skyrocketing inflation.What a wonderful paragraph!! And with a slight presence on TV they didn’t even have to advertise!! Quite a business model!! Talk about thinking outside the box!!!

Greg’s turn, one last time.
One could assume that some posters in this thread think that a WDW with nothing more than a handful of deluxe resorts with rooms priced at $125 a night is a wise business model to followDo we only have the choice of what’s there and what I quoted you said? In that case give me the buck twenty five room and bring back the two year waiting list!! I can make plans far in advance! I used to do it all the time in the seventies and early eighties!!

Seriously though, I think that somewhere in the middle (and maybe a tad bit more “Walt”) would have been nice. Hopemax sized it up best I think!
Is Disney prepared for it's customers to say, "You know what, I never should have paid what I did to stay at the Poly in 1998, and I'm not going to do that again. I love you Disney, but you're too expensive for me."I personally know many that say the exact same thing!! I said it too, ten years ago. That’s why I did the DVC. Without it, I’d be staying home!

DisneyKidds
10-16-2002, 11:39 PM
We did!! About a year ago. And how fortunate that my good friends YoHo and Gcurling are participating!! For they were the ones directly involved with the thread.
All I have to say is.......... show me the money.*

*not so obscure movie quote :).

As for the rest (says DK with tongue firmly in cheek), thanks for the hot air - it is really starting to get cold out ;).

Bob O
10-16-2002, 11:50 PM
Great post DVC LB!!!!
And i agree with Europa in that Walt went for loyalty of his guests and not milking them dry like M$E has decided to do and while he has done so he is giving us a diminshed product, be it the theme park experience or resort experience. And now that he has milked his guests "dry" he is getting less people coming and also i believe less brand loyalty because he has taken advantage of them and more and more people are realizing it.
And i couldnt agree more with the statment from hopemax that was quoted by DVC. I think that counts alot for the downturn for disney, as well as all of the cutbacks they have made and the inability to add much new to the theme parks.
I think this all shows that bigger isnt better and disney would be alot better off with less hotels rooms(i NEVER wouldnt have built any value hotels) and one less theme park. The moderates that they do have should have been built to the same quality/amenities as the Poly/Contemp. and they never should have bui;lt glorified motel 6 type hotels on their property with a disney name in front of it.

DVC-Landbaron
10-17-2002, 12:55 AM
Originally posted by Bob O
Great post DVC LB!!!!
Thank you, Bob!! :bounce:

I wasn't sure when I wrote it, but shortly after posting I knew had to be one of the better ones. One of the ones that finally made sense, even to the opposition.

Why? Whenever I can shut up Mr. Kidds, I KNOW I have a winner!!! ;)
















Did he just cast a line in the water?

Bstanley
10-17-2002, 09:58 AM
Herr Baron, (just defending my veracity)

Culver City is a city not a place - it is in the LA area near Hollywood, perhaps just down the street from The Disney Studios? :-) That's why I chose it anyway.

Don't know the name of the restaurant, but from the look of the menu (these are .JPG images of menu pages and the name wasn't on the menu) I would say the restaurant was a sort of classic diner kinda place.

The Prime Rib price was from a place called 'Waldos' in Beverly Hills.

Different subject:

I for one missed the historical pricing discussion last year - any chance it's still on the server Moderator dudes and dudettes?

DisneyKidds
10-17-2002, 11:06 AM
Originally posted by DVC-Landbaron
Thank you, Bob!! :bounce:

I wasn't sure when I wrote it, but shortly after posting I knew had to be one of the better ones. One of the ones that finally made sense, even to the opposition.

Why? Whenever I can shut up Mr. Kidds, I KNOW I have a winner!!! ;)

Sorry Mr. Baron - sometimes things are so tangled up they aren't worth straightening out :p. Anywho...........I want to talk about things, or aspects and angles of things, that we (I, at least) haven't covered.

To that end................
I for one missed the historical pricing discussion last year - any chance it's still on the server Moderator dudes and dudettes?
Is it? Is it? Huh? Huh?

From a few of Mr. Curlings recent posts I'm going to guess that he didn't quite agree with Baron's conclusions regarding that particular exercise. Not that Yoho is not a wonderfully intelligent individual, but I am leary of accepted a result he produced at this point. I should have been born in Missouri - you just have to show me ;).

raidermatt
10-17-2002, 02:00 PM
I should have been born in Missouri - you just have to show me

Interesting comment, considering your faith in Disney at least partially returning to what truly makes it tick, despite little or no proof from current management (or the board) to back it up....:eek:

DisneyKidds
10-17-2002, 03:30 PM
Originally posted by raidermatt
Interesting comment, considering your faith in Disney at least partially returning to what truly makes it tick, despite little or no proof from current management (or the board) to back it up....:eek:
So the man from Oakland thinks he is clever ;). Well, Disney will have to show me before I declare they have returned. They will get there, eventually. It is called P-A-T-I-E-N-C-E my friend. We do have some baby steps - and I am willing to wait for more (not because that is good or acceptable, but I really have no choice).

hopemax
10-17-2002, 04:18 PM
This is especially difficult when people are openly willing to dismiss certain things (like a new parade where one did not previously exist) as not constituting proof that the guest is getting more value.

The problem is. Take MGM-Studios. The first parade was Aladdin's Royal Caravan in 1992, which was replaced by Toy Story in 1995, Hercules in 1997, Mulan in 1998 which ran until March 2001. The Parade of Stars debuted Oct. 2001. The number of guests who visited during the 7 months where there was no parade is small compared to the number of guests who visited between 1992-2001. And since the majority of guests DON'T return on a yearly basis, the number of guests who visited for the first time during the "parade blackout" (the ones who would see added value) and have returned to experience Parade of Stars is even smaller!

Since attractions/parades, like cars, depreciate. A new parade does add some value. But it does not have nearly the same impact as when Aladdin's Royal Caravan was added in 1992. Same as how getting your first car has a much bigger impact on your life then replacing a 1995 car with a 2001 model. And frankly, I expect Disney to update things like parades, in the same vein that I expect to have to take my car for oil changes or tune ups and get new tires. It comes with the territory.

DH is taking the car for 30,000 maintence check next week, I'll have to remember to make a big deal since he's adding wonderful value to our car, more if we have to replace belts, hoses or other things. :)

Seriously though, a sign that things are turning around will be when management acts like doing things like updating parades comes with the territory of running a world-class theme park. They're things that should be done without expectation of huge accolades. Replacing tires is not a reason to invite the guys. Installing a new top-of-the-line sound system when you used to only get AM radio, where's the beer & pizza?

DisneyKidds
10-17-2002, 04:27 PM
OK folks, I completed homework project number 1. I researched the Bureau of Labor Statistics website. These are the guys that develop the CPI. I generated a custom table for the Consumer Price Index - All Urban Consumers - Other Lodging Away From Home Including Hotels and Motels. Using the statistics I generated an inflation calculator specific to hotels and motels. As my control, I generated a report for the CPI - All Urban Consumers - All Items. This is the same information that the inflation calculators you will find on the internet are based on. I generated an inflation calculator off of that data that provides results consistent with the inflation calculators on the internet. What does that prove you ask? Well, it shows my math and logic are correct and that I developed a valid hotel and motel inflation calculator.

Plopping the 1972 Poly rates of $29, $36, and $44 into this hotel/motel specific inflation calculator we get (drum roll please)........................................... .................................................. ...................2002 rates of $208, $258, and $315. Still slightly lower than todays Poly rack rates, but I still want to test whether these 1972 rates were comparable to rack, or were they discounted in any way or for any reason. However, these rates are fairly consistent with Contemporary rates. These rates are a very good bit below what just about anybody has paid for the Poly, and especially the Contemporary, over the past two years. Lets find those historical annual Poly rates and we can complete the analysis.

FYI. The general CPI varied, from 1973 to 2002, between 1.56% and 13.50%. The lodging index varies from .63% to 15.48%. The 2002 rate is based on 8 months of data. Obviously there are great swings. Some years hotel inflation is less than the general CPI, but most it is more. It will be interesting to compare these swings to the the years in which Baron says there were large jumps in the Poly rates.

If anyone wants a copy of the calculator let me know and I can email it to you ;).

DisneyKidds
10-17-2002, 04:35 PM
Hope.......
Seriously though, a sign that things are turning around will be when management acts like doing things like updating parades comes with the territory of running a world-class theme park.
Continuing with your parade theme, your data shows that Disney was doing just what you would expect right up through March of 2001. We have settled on 2001 and 2002 (at least) as being the doom and gloom years. Prior to that there may have been philosophical issues, but Disney was doing what Disney should do - keeping things fresh, updating, etc. Not for accolades, but because that is what comes with the territory. I happen to think we will return to that, but I have nothing to show someone from Missouri to prove it. Oh, well................

hopemax
10-17-2002, 04:48 PM
$208, $258, and $315

Slightly? Since the Poly 1972 rates only had one season, I don't feel comfortable comparing them to the value rate, so I used 2002 regular season rates.

$334, $420, $425, $510

However, if the 1972 were a "discounted" rate then comparing to value rates would act to level the playing field.

$299, $375, $380, $460

30%-40% above, so DK what is your definition of slightly? Mine would probably be <10%

hopemax
10-17-2002, 04:55 PM
Continuing with your parade theme, your data shows that Disney was doing just what you would expect right up through March of 2001.

At least in the category of "Parades at the Disney-MGM studios." Other places...

DisneyKidds
10-17-2002, 05:07 PM
Hope - All we can say for sure right now is that it is absurd to make the argument that $125, $156, and $190 should be the current rates (although you can get most of the deluxe resorts for these amounts today - what a value that is!!! ;)). There is still work to be done....................

As for comparisons, I'd compare to value season rates. As the Baron will point out, back then EVERY SEASON WAS VALUE SEASON!!!!!! ;). If the 1972 rates we see are 'discounted' it may be more appropriate to compare the lodging inflated rates to DC type rates, maybe even code rates. It is too soon to make those judgements though.

Bob O
10-17-2002, 05:12 PM
I agree that their is LITTLE to NO EVIDENCE that the current management has any idea what ut takes to get the park back to its former glory.
So are we too reward disney that they are bringing back EE in a reduced form when they just recently cut it??? Now if they expanded it to 2-3 hrs, that would be a real improvement.
So are we too be impressed that they changed parades so they can increase snowglobe sales???
For me disney would have to add a slew of e and lower type attractions to their theme parks to show they are back on the right track. And also INCREASE the park hours at all times of the years!! While MIS will be a nice addition it in no way signals any turn around for the theme parks. And yes if alot more isnt added then MIS is a aberation, paid for by corporate sponsors by a company unwilling to pay for any improvements on their own.
PS-spinning carnival rides arent e type attractions.

hopemax
10-17-2002, 05:13 PM
For an example of where Disney started slacking. (By the way WDW - Year by Year Journey, great reference book)

Magic Kingdom Parades

2001 - Magic Moments
1996 - 25th anniversary "Remember the Magic"
1994 - Mickey Mania
1991 - Surprise Celebration and Spectromagic
1989 - Character Hit Parade
1988 - Mickey's All American Birthday
1986 - WDW 15th anniversary
1984 - Donald's 50th
1983 - Addition of Christmas Parade
1981 - Tencentenial
1978 - Mickey's 50th Birthday
1977 - Main Street Electrical Parade
1975 - America on Parade
1972 - Addition of Easter Parade


Looks to me like every 2-3 years a new parade debuted, but it took 5 years the last time.

raidermatt
10-17-2002, 06:50 PM
I mean "no" evidence that the current WDW management is adding to the guest experience is obviously incorrect. Heck, at the minimum, they were able to get EE back. So, I suppose "no" is out of the discussion.

That's too narrow a view, Scoop. At the same time this happened, CC and Hunchback were cut. We have to look at the NET of what happens (this is critical, for when I talk about "Disney" or "management", I'm talking about their NET decisions. It doesn't mean there aren't some well-meaning folks on the team, only that for me, the guest, its doesn't matter because they lose more than they win).


My point is that, other than general philosophies, I've still yet to hear from many what constitutes proof that the pendulum is swinging back in favor of the guest.
I've constantly referred to things like closing times, EE, shows, parades and attractions, so I'm not sure why you would say this... Its the net of things like this that constitute improvement or depreciation.

This is especially difficult when people are openly willing to dismiss certain things (like a new parade where one did not previously exist) as not constituting proof that the guest is getting more value.
Sure, JJP added value based on what AK offered before. No arguement here. But was it really meant to be a "plus", or was it added because of AK's disappointing performance? If it was meant to be a "plus", why was there no parade for 3 years at AK?

Regardless of our opinions of AK, the public at-large found it disappointing and the result was disappointing attendance. I guess I can give Disney some credit for recognizing that SOMETHING had to be added, but is that really worthy of your idea of the Disney standard?

Did JJP signal that the philosophy changed, or that they were still using the "give them as little as possible" approach, and then needed JJP to fulfill that?


Hey, if M:S is a great attraction, it WILL move the pendulum in the right direction. But whether its an anomoly or a trend can, by definition, only be determined by examining the big picture. The big picture include parades (ToD was recently scaled back...), entertainment, other new attractions, adds vs. replacements, hours, EE, and even MHB. (granted, some things carry more weight than others;) )

hopemax
10-17-2002, 07:07 PM
Sure, JJP added value based on what AK offered before. No arguement here. But was it really meant to be a "plus", or was it added because of AK's disappointing performance? If it was meant to be a "plus", why was there no parade for 3 years at AK?

For the record it was 2 years. Animal Kingdom's first year included the "March of the ARTimals" parade. I think it was June 1999 that it ended.

raidermatt
10-17-2002, 07:11 PM
For the record it was 2 years. Animal Kingdom's first year included the "March of the ARTimals" parade. I think it was June 1999 that it ended.
Thanks for correcting my error...:)

raidermatt
10-17-2002, 07:20 PM
We do have some baby steps

I think this maybe the heart of our disagreement on this... I do see some plusses, but to me, the minuses still outweigh them. Or at best its a wash.

Even a year ago there were some adds, like CC, and, well, CC.;)

I see a slowing of the slope or pendulum, or whatever its called, but that's about it. And it has to stop sometime... they can't close MK at Noon...

Still, we could see some fluctuations given the current philosophy. Changes will be made based on economic conditions and what's perceived as a necessity (i.e, "nobody is showing up, so we'd better give 'em Spectro"). The problem is that same philosophy results in cuts at the same time, wherever they think they can get away with it.

Things are not going to get consistently better for guests until there is a change in philosophy. And consequently, the parks will not achieve the financial results they are capable of.

DVC-Landbaron
10-17-2002, 08:45 PM
No preamble today, I have to explain to Mr. Kidds that this father of five DOES understand and respect kids in another thread! So let’s just dive in!!

Scoop!! You make me laugh!! :)I mean "no" evidence that the current WDW management is adding to the guest experience is obviously incorrect. Heck, at the minimum, they were able to get EE back.So they give back a portion of what they took away and this is evidence that they are ‘adding’ to the guest experience! Now that’s pretty good lawyer-ing!! And it IS pretty funny!!!
So, I suppose "no" is out of the discussion.Yes! I so stipulate.
Then we are stuck with "little proof". What constitutes more than "a little"? At what point do additions, returns, etc. begin to evidence that current WDW management is making the WDW guest experience better and more valuable.This is an interesting question!! I like it a lot!! It is worthy of it’s own thread. It would be a very subjective thread, of course, but very, very interesting to hear everyone’s take on the subject.
My point is that, other than general philosophies, I've still yet to hear from many what constitutes proof that the pendulum is swinging back in favor of the guest.Scoop. In all seriousness, what else do you need other than philosophy.
Does it mean that a new parade automatically has no value? I mean that seems quite harsh.No! Of course not! I’ve already stipulated! But, in the grand scheme of ‘Disney’ things it does have little value. Parades, to me at least, are nothing more than plusses. A big plus sometimes, as in the Electric Light Parade, but still, at the end of the day, nothing more than a plus.
In the end, I wonder what will happen if Mission:Space is indeed an wonderful attraction. Will the refrain be that that is a sign that current WDW management is giving back to the guest in large amounts or will it simply be argued that M:S is an aberration or an exception.That depends. What is the current philosophy? Cause that’s really all that matters. It could be an aberration or it could be an anomaly or it could be that Ei$ner has seen the light and swears off the Disney® philosophy in favor of giving the guest a true “Walt Disney” experience. What do you think the underlying explanation could be? Or should we not think about motivations and philosophy and just blindly accept what Disney “gives” us?

Now I have a question for you:

In the end, I wonder what will happen if Mission:Space is indeed a glorified spinner. Will the refrain be that that is a sign that current WDW management is NOT giving back to the guest in large amounts or will it simply be argued that M:S is an aberration or an exception?

I await your response!

Hopemax, you are GREAT!! Seriously though, a sign that things are turning around will be when management acts like doing things like updating parades comes with the territory of running a world-class theme park. They're things that should be done without expectation of huge accolades.How nicely put!!

Mr. Kidds. Or Hopemax (And all researchers in general) Could you please explore a subject for the group? I was wondering what the normal cost of a Holiday Inn was back in 1972. Cause according to Bstanley Disney was charging ‘diner’ prices. Now a lot is still unknown. But I would like to explore this issue a bit. And since we cannot agree on the right calculator (or at least how to implement it (I’ll leave it to Hopemax and Mr. Kidds to thrash out the details, though I’m leaning toward Hope!!)), maybe some relative comparisons would be in order. It’s just a suggestion, nothing I’m married to or anything. But perhaps this would increase all of our understanding a bit.
Continuing with your parade theme, your data shows that Disney was doing just what you would expect right up through March of 2001. We have settled on 2001 and 2002 (at least) as being the doom and gloom years.I have yet to see ANYONE agree to this, though you keep saying it!!
Prior to that there may have been philosophical issues, but Disney was doing what Disney should do - keeping things fresh, updating, etc.Oh my God!! You haven’t ever been to WDWBLUES, have you? Or Mouseplanet? Or what about reading Jim Hill’s wonderful stuff? No, my friend, they were most definitely NOT ‘keeping things fresh’ or ‘updating’ and especially not doing any ‘etc.’!!!! Your “Disney” education is still not complete, grasshopper!!!!
As for comparisons, I'd compare to value season rates. As the Baron will point out, back then EVERY SEASON WAS VALUE SEASON!!!!!!That’s absolutely ridiculous!! Hope is right, and you know it!!

airlarry!
10-17-2002, 10:06 PM
As for comparisons, I'd compare to value season rates. As the Baron will point out, back then EVERY SEASON WAS VALUE SEASON!!!!!!


Baron, I think this was a double entendre. I think he was picking on your refrain of back in the day, Disney's philosophy was value so every season was a value season....

I think...

hopemax
10-17-2002, 11:01 PM
Mr. Kidds. Or Hopemax (And all researchers in general) Could you please explore a subject for the group? I was wondering what the normal cost of a Holiday Inn was back in 1972.

I've looked for this before, and haven't had much luck. Someone has to have a few AAA books from the 70's packed in a box in the attic or basement.

Bob O
10-18-2002, 12:36 AM
dscoop- Its hard to give a exact yearm but to me the best were in the early 1980's from around 1982-1986, the parks were open late, all attractions ra from open to close and the magic was everywhere!!

DisneyKidds
10-18-2002, 12:56 AM
Originally posted by airlarry!
Baron, I think this was a double entendre. I think he was picking on your refrain of back in the day, Disney's philosophy was value so every season was a value season....

I think...
Ahh, Larry............

I'm sure Baron got it, he is just ignoring my tongue in cheek jabs ;).

DisneyKidds
10-18-2002, 01:00 AM
Originally posted by Bob O
dscoop- Its hard to give a exact yearm but to me the best were in the early 1980's from around 1982-1986, the parks were open late, all attractions ra from open to close and the magic was everywhere!!
Yu bust me up, Mr. Bob. Keeping your criteria above, there were late hours with all attractions open to close right thru the early and into the mid 90's, at least. One of our crack hours researchers can dig the details out for you I'm sure.

montessori
10-18-2002, 02:25 PM
Hi Everyone!

Happy Friday!

I haven't read this entire thread yet but it's interesting!

On the subject of how much things cost, like tickets to the Daytona 500 and other "amusements".

How about the cost of going to the local carnival when it comes to town? It's been a while since I've had the pleasure :rolleyes: but I remember taking my daughter and a friend to a church carnival 10 years ago and spending over $50 for the day!! :eek:


The toothless drug addict alcoholic ride operator almost got his butt beaten by a group of irate parents when he made the Matahorn ride go faster and faster as kids were screaming to stop, one little girl even passed out!

It may cost $50 for a day at Disney, but it's $50 well spent, in my opinion.
And, with annual passes it has cost us as little as $10 - $15 per day. :sunny:

Bob O
10-18-2002, 05:35 PM
DisneyKidds-I tried to anwser it at the top of my head without any research and those years bring back great memories!!!!

DisneyKidds
10-18-2002, 07:03 PM
Originally posted by Bob O
DisneyKidds-I tried to anwser it at the top of my head without any research and those years bring back great memories!!!!
No Problem Bob O. However, I do think that a lot of people simply forget that it wasn't that long ago that we had most of the things people lament losing. To some 4 years is a long time, but in the big picture - not so long. Even from then it was a gradual decline that didn't scream doom and gloom until the last 2 years, IMHO. Not that it is ok that things got bad. I also realize that prior to the manifestation of outward symptoms there were philosophical issues. It is not like we have to recreate 1982 before Disney can be glorious again in 99.99% of people's eyes. Any guesses who that .01% is? :crazy:

Bob O
10-19-2002, 02:28 PM
Disneykids i do relaize that time goes by and it wasnt that long ago things were alot better than they are today. And of course family memories will cloud our experiences/judgement over which year/time was best.