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raidermatt
03-10-2003, 02:55 PM
Several days in March have received further cuts at MK. March's hours now show a decrease of 13.3% from March 2002.

April hours at MK have been slashed from the 374.5 originally posted, to 350. April now shows a 2.6% decrease from 2002, despited Spring Break falling entirely in April this year, unlike last year.

Future World is now scheduled to close at 6pm March 23rd-31st, April 1st-11th, and April 27th-30th. (WS still shows 11am-9pm everyday)

Blizzard Beach is closed until April 9th.

I'm not sure what the hours were for AK, MGM, and TL before the latest updates, so I can't confirm whether or not they were reduced.

May hours are not yet posted.

All Aboard
03-10-2003, 03:03 PM
Just a spot comparison, but this past weekend really took a hit. On the comparable weekend in 2001, MK closed at 10 on Fri, 10 on Sat and 9 on Sun. This year, it closed at 7 on Fri, 8 on Sat and 7 on Sun. And, the crowds were very, very large this year.

Oh yeah, they sold back those 3 Fri night hours in the form of E-ride for $12 a pop this year.

Bob O
03-10-2003, 03:34 PM
Dont worry Matt, some will claim this isnt a cutback but is done for the benefit of the guests and then when hours are later increased but not to the same level they had been they will also say it is a increase and praise disney and eisner!!!

Bob O
03-10-2003, 04:02 PM
So i guess every time they cut and then increase hours to less than what they were we should be happy???? Should we also be happy if they cut 2 rides and later add 1 ride and consider it another increase???
Must be some type of new math???

MikePezz
03-10-2003, 04:47 PM
Advanced Ei-gebra...classes soon to be offered at the Disney Institute..oh, wait....nevermind

Samirella
03-10-2003, 05:15 PM
I'd rather they cut a few hours here and there than see them cut my hours back again (I've been at 30 hours since October 2001 and I've been full time with the company for almost ten years) or worse lose my job entirely. Be happy you still have somewhere to escape from the real world.

raidermatt
03-10-2003, 05:56 PM
Now that I think about it, with only 3 chicken fingers worth of energy, guests probably wouldn't be able to handle the later closings, so this really is a benefit to us.

Plus, I'm sure eventually hours will be increased (even if not to the same level) at which time you should praise both Disney and Eisner. You know Scoop, I used to say the same thing. Then, despite an increase in attendance over post 9/11 levels, hours continued to drop. Then I looked at how hours were dropping even before the recession hit.

Maybe this regime will increase them over current levels some day, but as you qualified, its doubtful it will be to the same level. So, from me at least, they will get praise in proportion to the amount they increase.

Certainly you wouldn't expect the praise for a 1 hour increase to be equal to the criticism for a 3 hour drop?

Of course, until we start seeing the 1 hour increases, the point is moot.

raidermatt
03-10-2003, 06:00 PM
I'd rather they cut a few hours here and there than see them cut my hours back again (I've been at 30 hours since October 2001 and I've been full time with the company for almost ten years) or worse lose my job entirely. I am truly glad your hours have not been cut again. However, this is not an either/or situation. The reduction in park hours does not mean you are more likely to keep your current schedule.

Those of us that criticize these moves do so because we do not believe they are in the best long-term interests of Disney, which therefore means they are not in the best long-term interests of its employees.

d-r
03-10-2003, 07:22 PM
Originally posted by gcurling


Oh yeah, they sold back those 3 Fri night hours in the form of E-ride for $12 a pop this year.

I'm really glad to see that they are adding in E-nights. We've always really enjoyed them, but during the lower time on our last several visits they have not been offered. I hope this is a good sign that there will be one during our visit this May; I don't want to get my hopes up, but I'm taking this as a good sign! So thanks for the good news!

DR

Bob O
03-10-2003, 10:38 PM
Wouldnt a better answer be to not have e-nights at all and keep the parks open like they used to be. This is just what disney wants to hear!!!! We will cutback hours(supposedly for the guests benefit) and then offer you the same hours that were once free but will make you now pay for them!!! This is disney magic under the eisner regime!!! So good news for wdw is now paying for something which at one time was regular operating hours, very sad!!!
As for hours being cut for employee's they should ask their union which is supposed to watch out for them what they are doing for long term employee's. But apparently the union members dont care much about hours or work conditions because if the orlando sentinel is correct only 591 members even took the time to vote in the elections out of 4,500 members.
Ditto's to Matts last paragraph!!!

Planogirl
03-10-2003, 11:43 PM
This is getting downright ridiculous. :mad: We're going to WDW next week and I'm mulling over how to plan an evening at Fort Wilderness because all of the parks except Epcot's WS are closing so early while we're there. And this during Spring Break! I don't know about anyone else but I'm not ready to sit in my hotel room at 8 at night.

And before anyone says that the other parks are doing the same thing, I know. We're visiting Universal too and that one is even harder to figure out. :rolleyes:

There are OTHER places to travel to. Great places that offer fun at night. And Ei$ner and company had better start realizing this. :mad:

mjstaceyuofm
03-11-2003, 08:14 AM
Originally posted by gcurling
Just a spot comparison, but this past weekend really took a hit. On the comparable weekend in 2001, MK closed at 10 on Fri, 10 on Sat and 9 on Sun. This year, it closed at 7 on Fri, 8 on Sat and 7 on Sun. And, the crowds were very, very large this year.

Oh yeah, they sold back those 3 Fri night hours in the form of E-ride for $12 a pop this year. That's very disappointing, especially if the crowds were large. We typically go during the off-season so 6:00 and 7:00 close times are nothing new to us. It's always terribly disappointing to be herded out of the MK when the sun is still shining.... Often times, we've found that due to the lack of crowds coupled with closed attractions and our disinterest in stale attractions (i.e. Alien Encounter) we're able to see everything we want to or need to in that time-frame. It's kind of a vicious circle WDW has put itself in. They take out and close attractions, provide less things to do IN the parks giving you the ability to finish in that lesser timeframe... :mad:

d-r
03-11-2003, 08:21 AM
Originally posted by Bob O
Wouldnt a better answer be to not have e-nights at all and keep the parks open like they used to be. This is just what disney wants to hear!!!!!

No, I would much rather have an e-night than the park be open for those hours. Much, much rather it.

DisneyKidds
03-11-2003, 08:26 AM
Psst...Matt, you read Bob's first post and mine too. Obviously, my attempt at irony and a little humor was poorly executed...
I saw where you were going Scoopster ;). Some people just don't want to see the humor..............................but I guess the subject really isn't very funny :(.

airlarry!
03-11-2003, 08:57 AM
No, I would much rather have an e-night than the park be open for those hours. Much, much rather it.

My curiousity is piqued. Why would you rather have an e-night than later hours?

married2grumpy
03-11-2003, 09:11 AM
I would much, much rather the parks stay open later than have to pay extra for something that should be free. I think d-r is one of the few people who would part with their hard earned cash for something that should be for nothing.

If they close the park early, so be it. I just don't see how they can charge an admission price and then ask people to pay more if they want to stay later. I wouldn't do it.

All Aboard
03-11-2003, 09:59 AM
I'm very curious too, DR. Seems to me that it's a very simple strategy on the part of WDW to generate more revenue per guest on that day v. the comparable day in 2001. Instead of enjoying Space Mountain, Splash and Big Thunder for no extra cost, they can get an additional $12 a person for it. Or, if you don't want to pay that, why not head over to Cirque or Hoop de Doo or the Luau, or have a round of miniature golf, or perhaps try out that dueling piano place on the Boardwalk. But, you ain't gonna have the MK for your regular admission price like you did a couple of years ago. The finance manager in me secretly applauds it. However, the Disney fan in me is disappointed by the motivation, because I know from where the need for extra cash stems. The guest who makes their annual trek to WDW the same week each year might be disappointed as well.

Closing MK at 8pm on Saturday March 8th was ridiculous. The crowd was so deep and heavy that evening it was nearly suffocating. The reductions that have been implemented for April will likely cause the same situation.

mjstaceyuofm
03-11-2003, 10:19 AM
Instead of enjoying Space Mountain, Splash and Big Thunder for no extra cost, they can get an additional $12 a person for it. Or, if you don't want to pay that, why not head over to Cirque or Hoop de Doo or the Luau, or have a round of miniature golf, or perhaps try out that dueling piano place on the Boardwalk.gcurling - you hit the nail on the head! Funny how all those other things you listed also cost additional $ to enjoy.

If you travel to WDW during peak attendance times, I can see where enights might be a benefit if you haven't been able to get onto the rides all day long because of obnoxious wait times and this is your opportunity to ride all the things you skipped during the day without a long wait. So, yet again, Disney turns something that they used to provide for free (extended hours) into something designed to separate customers from their $.

mjstaceyuofm
03-11-2003, 10:30 AM
For me at least, 12 bucks and very low waits and crowds at night is much more preferable to 0 bucks and heavy crowds.Scoop, I agree with you if those are your choices. I've used enights in the past and enjoyed them as well. But I think you know as well as I that the argument you'll hear bandied about is that you don't have an option to stay in the park longer (for your regularly paid admission) and have low waits/crowds. In the past, that was an option. You could head over to the MK at 9 (after spending the day at MGM/Epcot/BB, etc...) when the park started to thin out and enjoy those rides without paying an extra $12.

HB2K
03-11-2003, 10:59 AM
What's the difference between ENIGHTS & a premium Fast pass?

married2grumpy
03-11-2003, 11:02 AM
The way I see it is people spend a lot of time planning their trips to Disney. We make PS based on Disney's published hours and timeframes. We plan our days around the hours published. Disney then changes these hours just weeks before a vacation you have planned for months. This happened to us last year and can really put you in a bind. I understand the need for shorter hours due to the economy and what not but to then keep the parks open for only those who are willing to pay for it, that's not fair. I am not a fan of e-nights and have not used them in the past. We do not go to Disney for the big ticket rides but for the overall experience. We like to go to the parks early, head back to the resort for swimming and naps and then head back when feeling refreshed. With shorter hours our relaxing vacation has now become rushed because we will not have the time to go back to the resort during the day. Maybe staying off site will become a better option now for all of us.

cindyfan
03-11-2003, 11:12 AM
And this during Spring Break! I don't know about anyone else but I'm not ready to sit in my hotel room at 8 at night.
I'm with you!!!!! And we are going during Easter break!!!!
We wanted to take advantage of the later hours!!!!!

No, I don't want to have to pay $12 extra to be in a park that until yesterday that time was FREE!!!
I know what my options are....and I was choosing to be in the MK until 11pm!!! and MGM til 10:30 for Fantasmic. Now I will be kicked out of MGM at 9pm!!! Forced to really fight the crowds at Fantasmic!!!

As for MK, right now there are no E-nights scheduled! So I don't even have the option to pay!!!!:mad: If I did, yes, I would prefer the "controlled access"......
BUT.....they are not giving me that option!!!!!!!!:mad:

DisneyKidds
03-11-2003, 11:12 AM
I mean really, when you break it down, enights are not a whole lot different than the original concept behind the admission ticket books. Maybe there is indeed something to be learned from the past...
I just can't ride with you on this one Scoop.

First point.............................

It shouldn't be a choice between 3 hours with no crowds for $12, or 3 suffocatingly crowded hours for no additional cost (I almost said free, but that would imply you "got something" - which I don't buy as it should be included in the price of admission anyway ;)). If the Mk were open late and had fireworks and Spectro every night during busy times (like they used to - I know - I sound like the Baron now ;), but he isn't ALWAYS wrong) the park would not be so suffocatingly crowded on the few nights that later hours, FITS and Spectro are offered. By limiting these things to one or two nights Disney has created the suffocating crowds.

Second point.........................

Enights used to be a great thing for the very reason you mention. In addition to the fun you could have with your regular admission, you were given the opportunity to stay later, for a price, and enjoy rides without crowds. It was a great concept when E night was from 11 pm until 2 am. Now that it is from 7 to 10, or 8 to 11, you really are paying for something you already paid for. Why do I say already paid for? Well, admission prices are no lower now than they were when the park was open until 11 or 12. Lower admission prices and then charge me $12 for an 8 to 11 E night - now you are talking ;).

In the end, I too might choose a $12, 8 to 11 E night over the same time for "free" in a park so crowded with those who want to see Spectro on the one night it is offered - but it shouldn't be that way.

Don Karnage
03-11-2003, 11:29 AM
I'm typically a trusting guy, but I just don't buy that e-nights are 'controlled access'.

Both times I tried e-nights last summer the attractions still had 40 minute waits up until the last 1/2 hour.

At first I was all for the idea of 'no crowds' but afterward... I just felt cheated. (and yes, I was stupid enough to try it twice.)

In the end I walked away convinced that my chances of having low crowds on a free night were just as good as on e-nights. In fact, I can remeber those free summer nights (til midnight back in the late 90s) as some of the best in 'the world'.

raidermatt
03-11-2003, 11:42 AM
Hey Scoop, you really had me going with the Enight thing... then I realized that must be more ironic humor!

;)

raidermatt
03-11-2003, 12:04 PM
Ok, Scoop and D-R, assuming you guys were serious...

I think many of us have either forgotten, or simply never experienced, how things work when a park closes at Midnight, and the fireworks and parades are done by 10pm. You see, just like now, after the fireworks, many people leave! The crowds thin out. The lines at 11:30 are not like the lines at 8:30.

By rarely closing any later than 10pm, and ending those nights with parades and fireworks, you've been conditioned to think that the only way to get reasonable lines at night is through Enights.

They have successfully lowered your expectations, or if you never experienced the fireworks at 9/10, close at Midnight secenario, they succeeded in making you think it couldn't exist. (For me this was at DL)

And if there is a second parade at 10:30, that's even better! Many people have left already, and many who are still there gather for the parade. You can either watch the later parade without the 8-deep crowds, or you can hit the attractions.

Now THOSE are options.

And Scoop, if you want to leave, and go to PI or the BW, you still can!

If there becomes a point where people stop using it to a large extent (i.e. demand decreases a whole lot), then they should get rid of it and focus on another option that might better meet the demand. You are missing the big picture, my friend. You can't look at demand just in the context of demand for Enights. That approach doesn't even consider how many folks are not happy at all with this new option. Sure, 1000 or 2000 people pay for some Enights. But how many don't, and aren't very happy about it? Or, how many do pay, but still don't like the idea of having to pay for what was once free?

This is the problem when you deviate from your philosophy/mission/business plan, and instead look only at market segments and revenue streams. You forget why people are visiting you in the first place. You see $12/head, and don't account for how many people got p'd off and just didn't come this year, or took shorter trips, or, at the very least, count this as another brick in their wall.

lodgelady
03-11-2003, 12:16 PM
I have got to weigh in on this as I feel so strongly that Disney is just wrong on this one.

The Disney planning videos are sent out to market the resort as a whole, as well as to prompt early booking and ticket buying. We are encouraged to plan our vacations FAR in advance.

Disney, in this instance, is asking the consumer to assume risk that it is not willing to take on itself.
ie: I fork over a set amount of vacation dollars for a product (onsite room+admission media) for a price that may or may not be worth TO ME what I paid for them (reduced hours or parks closed entirely in the evenings due to private events) I don't know the hours of the parks or the parade schedules at the time of my booking.
It is like asking people to pay for a coke, before they will tell you how much coke is in the cup!!!

To be fair they should disclose park hours and parade times as far in advance as they will take ressies for. At least then you know when you purchase a vacation what you are buying.

mjstaceyuofm
03-11-2003, 12:17 PM
Originally posted by Don Karnage
I'm typically a trusting guy, but I just don't buy that e-nights are 'controlled access'.

Both times I tried e-nights last summer the attractions still had 40 minute waits up until the last 1/2 hour...My last experience with enights was May of 2000 (I know - a loooong time ago!). At the time the information we received stated that enights were limited to 5000 guests and you had to be a resort guest to purchase admission. As I recall, even then the line for splash mountain was 15-20 mins (heck - it takes 8 minutes to walk through that gigantic queu). Maybe things have changed since then and they now allow more than 5000 guests. Anyone have any concrete evidence on the admission numbers for enights?

married2grumpy
03-11-2003, 12:19 PM
Part of the reason we stay on site is that we can hop on a monorail or bus and quickly get back to our resort for naps and a pool break. With small children a full day at the parks is a lot. If the hours are shortened, relaxing at the resort mid afternoon doesn't seem feasible. If that's the case, staying off site can save you a bundle. I know many people who stay on site for the same reason I do. As far as staying on site saving you travel time, big deal. Travel time is on my own time. I can still arrive at the park as soon as it opens and leave as soon as it closes. Once I'm in the parks it's time I've paid for. With shorter hours, I'm staying and getting my money's worth.

That being said, I'm sure we will still stay on site but others may choose not to if the hours remain shortened long term.

YoHo
03-11-2003, 12:23 PM
During my trip to California last week I had occasion to spend Saturday at Disneyland. DCA closed at 9 right after the Electrical parade and Disneyland closed at 11pm with the fireworks at 9:45.
I can now finally fully appreciate Landbaron and Raidermatt's positions. If you have never expireanced having the full park open post fireworks, then you have not expireanced the joy of Disney at night. I will never again pay for an E-night after this.

Nearly everyone left after the fireworks and only a handful of people came over to DL after DCA closed. it was glorious. no extra cost. every single ride open, no lines.

Its a darn Shame that the folks in florida think they need to charge for the same thing.

All Aboard
03-11-2003, 12:25 PM
While the parks might be closed (and, if that is your sole purpose for going to WDW then this won't help), but send me a PM and I'll be glad to share with you numerous non-park but very magical things you can do at WDW after 8pm other than sitting in your hotel room. Scoop, you've been successfully molded into a "today's WDW" kinda guy. You've posted many times about how much you enjoy the non-park offerings and how big a part of your WDW experience they are. The trouble is, that I gotta believe that you are in the minority on this one. I have to believe that if you sum up the total guests going to the Boardwalk, PI, DTD and the mini-golfs, you'd still have a small fraction of the total guests attending just one of the four theme parks. Despite your personal preference, the vast majority of the WDW travelling public is there for the theme parks. It's the parks that justify the thousands of dollars spent on the vacation. When the park time gets reduced, the value for most of us gets reduced.

raidermatt
03-11-2003, 12:30 PM
Just to set the "irony" record straight...;) I caught the humor in the first paragraph of your first post, Scoop, but did miss it in the second paragraph (give Eisner credit when hours increase...)

My post about your enight statements being ironic, was itself, ironic. In other words, while I think you are out of your mind on this one ;) , I did know you were serious.

Heck, I'd love to see Disney build an entire controlled access park, as SeaWorld did with Discovery Cove. That's another matter, and that might be a fine idea. The problem comes when they reduce operating hours from an existing park to accomplish this.

airlarry!
03-11-2003, 12:32 PM
I am part of the problem. I admit. Because I've done E*night twice!

The first time in '99 when the park was open with E*night until 1 or 2 in the morning. We enjoyed just walking around and seeing the sights, but by the end, we realized that there were barely any eateries open and since only 8 or so rides were open, it did not have the same feel as those late, late nights in the parks I remember from earlier vacations.

The last time was in '01, and it was early. It rained the entire time, which kept people from wandering around enjoying the nighttime ambience and in line instead. Splash and Big Thunder and maybe the astrojets? were shut down because of the lightning. Everybody piled into Buzz and Space. It was soooo crowded.

Neither time was a sell-out, because we easily bought our bands right before the deadline.

I thought it was a great idea, just like M. Don said, when they substituted late hours for exclusivity. I didn't realize that they were using me as the guinea pig for the "How Much Can We Make Them Pay for Exclusivity" experiment.

I thought Matt and DK's arguments were well founded. But I see one point for Scoop: I don't mind creative ways to make the experience different, like Halloween nights and Christmas nights. But to blatantly close the parks early (and in the last three or four years they're closing ALL the parks early) forcing someone to pay extra to stay out after 8 pm is...is...Ei$ner at his best.

raidermatt
03-11-2003, 12:41 PM
Huh? Whose looking at market segments and revenue streams? Disney.

Listen, I have no problem with Disney abolishing enights if that is what the demand warrants. I do have a problem with the idea that Disney should leave a park open while it has very few people actually remaining in the park just to service those few. If there are a couple thousand folks willing to pay $12 to stay for 8 attractions, there must be quite a few more who would like to stay for the whole park, without paying the extra $12.

There is no way that Disney is closing the parks 2-3 hours earlier, then charging $12 for 8 attractions because its what the guests demand.

There is ENOUGH demand for Enights to create a lovely little revenue stream, while reducing costs by closing most of the park earlier. This is not about thousands of guests asking that Disney close earlier and instead institute Enights.

There remains demand for Enights because it is a better option for many when compared to leaving the park. That does NOT mean it is the best or preferred option for many MORE guests when compared to a later overall closing time.

This is the kind of stuff that shows up in overall attendance and booking figures, and of course the company says the trouble here is entirely due to outside forces. As you know, I do not agree, and think things like earlier closings are a factor in Disney's park troubles.

DisneyKidds
03-11-2003, 12:56 PM
My post about your enight statements being ironic, was itself, ironic. In other words, while I think you are out of your mind on this one , I did know you were serious.
OK - this one sent me from headache to migraine :crazy:. ;)
I can now finally fully appreciate Landbaron and Raidermatt's positions. If you have never expireanced having the full park open post fireworks, then you have not expireanced the joy of Disney at night.
I'm in between you guys on this one. I full well know the glory of what a WDW vacation was in the past. Yeah, I miss what used to be. The days of doing the "fish up stream" bit after arriving at the MK after the close of Epcot and the hordes were streaming out of the MK, subsequently riding Splash multiple times without getting off. However, while not being able to do that any longer is unfortunate, I agree with Scoop on the many wonderful things there are to do outside the park. I also agree with Matt that most WDW guests probably aren't doig them.

There - I agreed with everybody! How often can you do that? From a very personal perspective this all works well for me. Not as a matter of conditioning, not as a matter of lowered expectations, not as a matter of ignorance - but that is niether here nor there ;).

raidermatt
03-11-2003, 12:57 PM
I have to believe that if you sum up the total guests going to the Boardwalk, PI, DTD and the mini-golfs, you'd still have a small fraction of the total guests attending just one of the four theme parks. I'm with gcurling on this... it seems obvious to me, but its not too hard to find evidence either.

Campfires, Fantasia Gardens, the Boardwalk, Adventurers' Club, all very nice. But are they pulling anything close to even AK's 6 or 7 million guests per year? Further, could they charge $50 per day and draw 6 or 7 millions guests?

Look at the planning video Disney sends out. Watch their commercials. Watch the souvenir video they sell in the parks.

There's nothing wrong with the "other things" in the World, and there's nothing wrong with anyone finding these the most enjoyable parts of their vacation. But its clearly not what the average guest values most. It might be true that DVC'ers are more likely to spend a higher percentage of their time on the "other stuff", but I know I wouldn't want to be a DVC salesperson if I had to sell those units without the parks being there.

raidermatt
03-11-2003, 12:59 PM
OK - this one sent me from headache to migraine

My work is done.

;)

mudhen
03-11-2003, 01:27 PM
For me, it's just sad that the company feels it
needs to nickle and dime the themepark guest to death (I consider shortened hours and e-ride nights
nickle and diming) because they need to shore up
the bottom line of other failures within the corporation (insert ABC and that airline thing they
tried).

I too have experienced the Disney that was, and may never be again (sorry for the MGM pun). I'm a visitor during peak summer hours due to my work schedule, the Magic Kingdom at night, less crowded,
with 2 parades and fireworks on a nightly basis,
well, it doesn't get much better in terms of vacations for me.

The question I have is, does anyone think Disney will ever get back to the way it was(in terms of hours and cutbacks), or has the corporation Disney
dumbed down the guests enough for so long that we,
the tourist, will be happy and "lucky" to get whatever they feel like providing, and then disguise that by saying "this is what the guests want according to our research and surveys"?

manning
03-11-2003, 01:27 PM
It was a great concept when E night was from 11 pm until 2 am. Now that it is from 7 to 10, or 8 to 11, you really are paying for something you already paid for.


EXACTLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DisneyKidds
03-11-2003, 01:33 PM
EXACTLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Despite popular belief, just because I don't agree with some on many (ok - most :crazy: ) points doesn't mean I don't "get it" ;).

Beware, however. It won't be long until someone ducks out of their vehicle to point out that my post proves the contrary, that my belief in the "good E night concept from 11 to 2" is proof that I don't "get it". As will be said.......................the E night starting at 11 was a very bad thing, as it was just a ploy to distract us from the fact that the MK wasn't open until midnight! Ha! Disney dupes us again!

But not really........................I even get that point that someone will soon make. However, even if the concept was designed to hide the fact that they chipped away an hour, they gave us something we never had before - Splash, Space or your fave E ticket at 2 am on a day that was not Easter or New Years. For some reason I think we have had that discussion before ;).

Will we ever get back there? I really don't know.

Walt's Frozen Head
03-11-2003, 02:09 PM
To a certain extent, in a certain sense, I've got to come to 'Scoop's defense, here.

All he has done is made his own value judgement, based on what the parks mean to his vacation in Disney World.

He does not remember having to stand in line for Pirates out past the parrot... yet feeling completely rewarded for it; not being able to wait, that intervening 357 days, until you got the chance to do it again.

I'm a person who wouldn't mind paying extra, including the extra extra of having to stay on-site to qualify, for E-nights or Early Entry or whatever, if they were giving me the same kind of effort and creativity as was put into Pirates, but with the materials, techniques, and technologies of this here millenium. That's the place I have to kick 'Scoop to the curb... there was something in many of the old attractions, that just isn't present in many of the new ones (it might be impossible to quantify, but I really don't think it can be denied); I don't feel WDW is giving my money's worth, anymore.

It is particularly onerous that these things keep happening well after quite a few folks have paid their money and made their plans. Yes, yes, I know it says "hours subject to change," and I know it's wartime, but Disney has been doing this as SOP since at least June of 2001, well before Hussein and Iraq, I mean bin Laden and al Qaeda, dusted TriBeCa.

Travel is down... so Disney gives people less reason to visit, soon; and aggravates a certain number of particularly dedicated guests who had the bulk of these vacations planned three months ago.

I've heard people try to justify these kinds of cuts from a business perspective... I still don't see how it's supposed to pay off in any meaningful way.

-WFH

wdw4us2
03-11-2003, 02:37 PM
I've got to go with Matt's views on this one, although we were stupid enough to try an E-night during the first month they were offered. Afterward, I swore we'd never do it again and we haven't. I'm of the "Why pay for something that used to be free" school of thought.

While I appreciate all the debate that goes on here regarding the hour cuts, I still feel that the only way we'll get any action is to make our feelings known to corporate Disney by writing and emailing them with our dissatisfaction.

Hey, it worked for EE/Extra Magic Hour!:teeth:

raidermatt
03-11-2003, 03:06 PM
Matt, you talk as if you are personal friends with some guy named "Average Guest". You don't know and nor do I. We can both guess and speculate but neither of us know. I'd hesitate to say what the "average guest" would do when neither you nor I (nor most regular posters on this board) in fact hardly represent the "average guest".

I never said or even hinted I knew exactly what the average guest is like. However, I did say that the average guest cares more about the parks, and I offered up reasons which you ignored.

Are you honestly saying that you could slap a $50 price tag on any of the various activities you have mentioned and draw 7 million guests per year?

Have you watched the planning video, souvenir video, or commercials? If not, I'll be happy to time the components and tell you how much time is spent on the parks vs. Fantasia Gardens and the Adventurers' Club.

That is my only assertion with regard to the average guest. Not that they don't care about the "other stuff". I'm sure they do, and probably even more than in the past. But all you have to do is look at the prices to tell you what is in greater demand. That's not a knock on anyone who personally goes against what the "average" guest does, because after all, we all do in some way.

That is important because there is a big difference, imo, between cutting hours that were full of guests and cutting hours that had only a very small slice of guests. Sure, cutting hours at 3pm would have a bigger negative impact than cutting them at 8pm. And you're right, its impossible to absolutely prove a correlation between any decision and the movements in attendance. However, not being able to document the correlation has no bearing on whether the correlation exists.

p.s. DCL, Vero, and HHI do just fine without having parks attached. How you turn "The parks are the main drawing card at WDW" into "Everything must have a park to be successful" is beyond me.

Those examples do nothing to prove your position that the parks are not the most valuable entities within WDW.

I'm a person who wouldn't mind paying extra, including the extra extra of having to stay on-site to qualify, for E-nights or Early Entry or whatever... This is not the piece I am questioning. I'm not blaming Scoop for attending Enights. Each family has to make the best choice for themselves based on what IS available. Further, I have no quibble with Enights that begin at 11pm or Midnight, or with EE, or even the "Discovery Cove" concept.

Adding something and charging a fee is one thing. It probably makes sense in some cases, not others. But taking things away and adding a fee is another kettle of fish all together. That's what this really all boils down to...

All Aboard
03-11-2003, 03:37 PM
Some personal thoughts.

Last year I decided not to take any spring WDW trips. The hours were reduced and reports indicated heavy crowds. This year, I went back against that decision this past weekend. I thought it might be somewhat light based on the general room availability at the late date that I booked. The FL resident rates were higher than last year ($79 v. $59 for the values) but I decided to give it a go. What I encountered was an amazing crowd situation which was worsened by the reduced hours and "value season" scheduling of parades and fireworks. My mistake for electing to spend time at MK. Even Extra Magic Hour was virtually worthless the way I planned it. We arrived at 8:05 and headed straight for Space Mountain. We came out the other side at 8:50, and so ended Extra Magic Hour for the most part. I'm not faulting Disney for that, it's just an indication of how crowded things were this weekend.

Bottom Line: WDW has me for a week long January trip, and long weekends in early May, Memorial, Labor, late Sep, Oct, Nov, & Dec. The variable for me is whether or not I travel in the spring. This past weekend sealed the fact that I will not be travelling in the spring of 2004. I'm wondering if any other guests were turned off by their experience this past weekend. I'm not complaining about the crowds, just WDW's hours. Closing MK at 7:00pm in peak season with huge crowds just plain stinks.

Also, on the planning video (since it was brought up in this thread). Get the DVD version, it's great. To any of those newbies on this board that think I'm anti-Disney, I spent an hour and a half watching and rewatching parts of the planning video, the planning video for heaven's sake! It's a sickness, I will admit. The special features include an interactive map and 5 featurettes on attractions. Watch the one on Pirates, there's a weenie in there that's priceless.

airlarry!
03-11-2003, 03:55 PM
If the extra three hours from 7-11 is worth $12, then why have tickets increased x$ from 1999 through 2003 even though hours have been cut?

And why is my memory telling me that the cut in hours started long before Iraq, 9/11 and the economy gave Burbank an excuse? Any help on this?

HB2K
03-11-2003, 03:58 PM
Here's a couple of questions...

Heck, I'd love to see Disney build an entire controlled access park, as SeaWorld did with Discovery Cove.
What if they turned Magic Kingdom into this controlled access park? That's more of a similarity to the E*Nights vs reduction of hours arguement.

Also, if you're willing to pay extra and it's acceptable for Disney to reduce hours for an E*Night just so you can avoid the lines, are you also saying it's acceptable for Disney to offer a premium fast pass which will let you skip the lines?

d-r
03-11-2003, 05:42 PM
Hi-

Scoop did pretty much explain why I like e-nights - thanks, Scoop.

But I would add something to it. I guess we've done four e-nights, more or less, not entirely sure. Mostly they have been really great and empty; one was a little crowded and uncomfortable in tommorrowland.

But anyway, what I wanted to say is that I am a big fan of the "later e-night." I think the earlier ones get too full with parents of younger kids, whereas the later ones have cleared out more.

I want to say this clearly. When I was a kid growing up in Florida I wouldn't have liked this e-night thing because it would have cut me out, I would have preferred as many hours of general open in the parks as possible. And yes, I remember quite well that the 2nd best time in the parks was after the fireworks (the best time being the moment that the gates opened).

Now, I'm not a kid in Florida, I'm a grown up who lives in Michigan. I only have so many days that I can go to wdw. Most of the cost is in the room and flight, etc., and 12$ for a few extra hours that are limited in crowd size is completely worth it. If I was at home this would be the price of a movie, and I probably only get 14-20 days at wdw a year. So it is a great buy for me. I really like and appreciate the controlled access.

Now let me be crystal clear though. I'm not saying that I prefer shorter hours. I don't. I remember wlv last May when the MK closed at 6 every day. Well, that took something away from having that handy boat to MK. Sure, I noticed that a lot of families were enjoying the resort, swimming, etc., and we enjoyed that time, too. But the hours were too short. We realized that we'd rather stay during the week at bwv because the parks are open a few hours longer. That said, one e-night open until 9 would have made a lot of difference that week!

When I said I was excited about e-night returning, and hopeful that they would have one when we went in May, I wasn't saying that I prefered an early e-night and earlier closing times - I don't, I prefer a later one. But I greatly prefer an e-night over a no e-night, and, that is really what the contest will be during the off-season times that we go (in the first week of May, they aren't going to have midnight closing times at MK during the week no matter what. So the possibility of an E-night is very exciting). I've argued here before that I think it is a mistake to take e-night from the off-season times and keep it only during peak times. So, in this way, we are really talking about two different species of e-night - and I really hope that there is the possibility of an e-night in May. I think that there has not been one during our last three or four trips (Jan 03, Sept 02, May 02, Jan 02, Sept 01 - I think May 01 was the last time I was able to go to an e-night).

So Gcurling telling that there was an e-night was a positive sign for me! But, truthfully, I remaini pessimistic about the chances for an e-night in May.

DR

raidermatt
03-11-2003, 06:05 PM
I'm not saying that I prefer shorter hours. I don't. That's really all anybody is saying. Whether each individual purchases Enights is based on what's best for them based on the available options. You can be against the concept of Enights, but still purchase one. One won't get their point across to management this way, but if their lucky, others who have different circumstances and don't use enights, or even skip WDW entirely, might eventually get the point across.

, truthfully, I remaini pessimistic about the chances for an e-night in May. I would agree with this statement. They cancelled them for last May, so having them this year, with what are likely to be shorter hours and supposedly lower attendance, would be highly questionable.

That is not my position. You know that. Feel free not to respond, Scoop, but I am going to explain my statements.

I said:
There's nothing wrong with the "other things" in the World, and there's nothing wrong with anyone finding these the most enjoyable parts of their vacation. But its clearly not what the average guest values most. Clearly (to me at least), my implication was that the parks ARE what the average guest values most.

You then made this statement about my use of "Average Guest".
...Matt, you talk as if you are personal friends with some guy named "Average Guest". You don't know and nor do I. We can both guess and speculate but neither of us know. I'd hesitate to say what the "average guest" would do when neither you nor I (nor most regular posters on this board) in fact hardly represent the "average guest".

You then said this:
Now, if you're willing to remove your throne and talk about what the Raidermatt's like or what some others around here do then that's another story. But, the fact is that in the "olden days" when the parks stayed open late, there were hardly the evening/night options there are today.

I never said there weren't more options, and I even said DVC'ers and possibly a higher percentage of guests take advantage of these options.

I merely stated that despite that, the parks remain the biggest draw and have the greatest value. If you weren't disputing that, I can't for the life of me figure out what you WERE disputing. (Granted, it may just be my sometimes high level of "densitude")

Providing these other options does not remove the sting of shorter park hours for the average guest. Even a guest who leaves the parks early feels the shorter hours, since everyone is squeezed into a shorter window.

Bob O
03-11-2003, 06:18 PM
This is just part of eisners scheme to reduce park hours and then get his minions to pay for something which was once free to EVERYONE!!!!
And the sad thing is that it apparently is working with some people whoy buy the disney line that they are cutting the hours of the parks for OUR benefit so we have more time to spend money playing mini golf/shopping at DTD/PI etc.
So now Enights are looked at as great when at one time they would have been looked at as a reduction of the magic that wdw is!!! Im just glad i have memories of the good old days when one could enjoy disney into the wee hours of the morning and not have to pay additional money for that privilege.

d-r
03-11-2003, 06:57 PM
Originally posted by raidermatt
That's really all anybody is saying. Whether each individual purchases Enights is based on what's best for them based on the available options. You can be against the concept of Enights, but still purchase one. One won't get their point across to management this way, but if their lucky, others who have different circumstances and don't use enights, or even skip WDW entirely, might eventually get the point across.

Thank you, Matt, for summing that up for me. It isn't that I'm gullible or a "minion," but I realistically KNOW that hours are going to be shorter in May, so the opportunity for an e-night, with the controlled access and shorter lines, becomes very appealing for me. E-nights can be very pleasant and special times, and I miss the opportunity to experience them.

HB2K - I have been thinking about your "premium fastpass" question for some time. I can see many points of view on that one.

First, let me say that this past weekend at Tokyo Disney, honestly, I would have gladly jumped at the chance to buy one for at least $10,000 yen! (and a 2-day ticket costs $9600 yen). That's because I don't get many opportunities to go to the Tokyo parks. I also realize that there are many, many people who make once in a lifetime trips to walt disney world, and they would probably likewise jump at the chance to purchase such a pass - it might be a truly wonderful thing for them!

Now, from the perspective of a kid in Florida, I would have hated it, especially in terms of how I imagine they would implement it. It is difficult for me to imagine that this would not have an impact on the standby lines and the availability of walk-up fast passes. This is the place where they would have to be very careful. The ones at universal that you get for staying in the resort, or that you can just pay cash for (do they still have that?) don't seem to anger local guests, but then there are fewer hotel rooms per park there.

As an (albeit fairly frequent) vacationer from the north, I have mixed feelings. My fear is that they would tie it in with packages through WDTC. Even if we didn't have dvc points, we probably wouldn't go with WDTC packages, and I don't think the pass would be enough to push us over the hill on that; when we went to disneyland Ca. a couple of years ago, packages through wdtc came with two or three "blank" fastpasses that you could use anywhere at anytime. However, we still chose not to go with the package, because the rates were so much better to just go ala carte (in fact, our next trip to Disneyland Ca we will probably just stay at a good neighbor hotel). At wdw, it wouldn't convince us to get a package either, even if we didn't have DVC points.

I'm not going to argue that it wouldn't be fair to dvc members, etc. for them to offer them only through wdtc packages. The ultimate point there is that anybody who thought they were worth enough could book that package that way. But that price would be too high for me. That said, from this Michigan tourist perspective, I wouldn't mind if they offered a limited number of these to package guests - I would think "more power to them" if people chose to book the package.

If they did offer it, from any of the perspectives that I can think of, I think it is best for the guests that they offer a limited number for cash to anyone who wants to pay it. The price would have to walk that fine line between low enough for people to afford and want to buy it, and high enough that it would be rare; if they were free, the fast pass line would just be the stand by line. But the point is, that way a young couple honeymooning from Japan could buy one no matter where they are staying or what package they buy. Some kids from Florida on day trips could decide to save up some money for a "special day" and buy one, even though most of the time they wouldn't. Coming from Michigan, I could imagine us buying them for one day of our trip, and when we planned we'd think of that day as a special day we are spending at the MK. There are some days when I wouldn't at all mind the opportunity to buy such a thing. There are days that it would definitely pass my cost-benefit ratio test for buying it. I honestly think that, if they were going to implement this system, this would be the best way to do it for all guests.

All of this is from the point of view of guests experiencing the day, not from a philosophical/political point of view. This really wouldn't bother me from a "fairness" or "WWWD" or "tradition" or a "class" point of view. Heck, we all pay for a park ticket up front. Or we choose not to and not to go. This is the same sort of thing, and it reminds me of the old ticket books. If it is worth it to someone to pay for it, fine, if not, fine.

I don't believe that a pay-as-you-go system is how they would implement it, though, or if it is what would be seen as the best for the bottom line of the company. Again, I think that they would use it to push for WDTC packages.

DR

manning
03-11-2003, 09:31 PM
While I appreciate all the debate that goes on here regarding the hour cuts, I still feel that the only way we'll get any action is to make our feelings known to corporate Disney by writing and emailing them with our dissatisfaction.


Better yet, vote with your feet!! Go somewhere else more often.