View Full Version : Oriental Land Company May Build a Park Without Disney

03-20-2003, 01:14 PM
The following qoute is taken from Fab's column over at laughingplace.com:

"The bad news is that Oriental Land Company, who pretty much kept Walt Disney Imagineering employed during these extremely dry times for the US parks, is considering building their third theme park entirely without Disney - no characters, no Imagineering. I hope this changes."

Here is link to the full article:

Hmmm, I wondering why they would be considering this. The 2 parks they have built so far with Disney have been wildly successful (no doubt because they are still willing to pay for qualiity). Any thoughts?

03-20-2003, 01:26 PM
Perhaps they think it's wise not to become too dependent on another company.

03-20-2003, 02:17 PM
I agree its riskier to go without Disney, but it may not be as big a risk as some think. I'm sure they could make some kind of licensing deal with another entity or entities for a lot less than they are paying Disney.

We know they are willing to "pay for quality", and certainly Disney no longer has the talent pool locked up. So perhaps they would rather keep their profits instead of giving portions to Disney.

Perhaps they believe the quality and appeal of the product is more important than the name on the product.

Perhaps they think it's wise not to become too dependent on another company. Especially one who is allowing the value of their name to slip...

This is the problem with all of this "out-sourcing". You reduce risk, but you also reduce your benefit. Then, if things go well, your partner may find they no longer need you, or at least are not willing to pay the price you are asking.

03-20-2003, 02:26 PM
Maybe they're building a Cedar Point type park, big on thrill, light on theme, and simply don't need Disney's type of expertise. I don't think there are any sour grapes between OLC and Disney.

All Aboard
03-20-2003, 03:18 PM
Or, maybe no licensing agreement is even needed. The attractions could all be generic and characters (if any) that roam the park could be new and unique.

03-20-2003, 04:01 PM
I can just see it now:

Tokyo Disney Seas

Tokyo Disneyland

Tokyo .............well...........just Tokyo-land

Sounds like fun...........sort of.

Come see the non-franchise burdened characters!

03-20-2003, 04:01 PM
Or maybe OLC is as tight as reported earlier and really does chafe under the agreement between it and Disney....about spending money on quality attractions that ME won't even approve.

All Aboard
03-20-2003, 04:37 PM
Jung Su would be something that is "theirs" (read "Japanese"). There might be a pride element in place. Isn't there less reliance on Disney characters at TDS v. TDL? Perhaps they figure the next step is no reliance. Have they built enough steam to do it? They've got some very creative and intellegent minds over there. I suspect that they could devise a humdinger of a theme park on their own. I think the pride factor could play big.

03-20-2003, 05:17 PM
The whole thing could be built around "Iron Chef" :) That I pay to see!


03-20-2003, 07:51 PM
What about the second most recognizable character?

Mario Bros.

The whole Nintendo brand is ripe for a well funded theme park.

03-20-2003, 07:55 PM
I'm torn weather a park like this would actually do well. On one hand, TDR is by far the superior park due to the fact that Disney doesn't own it. OLC puts the money into the park to make it spectacular. The CMs have the work ethic to make it magical. The talent pool is huge for shows, etc. since it is pretty much the only place for dancers, singers, etc. to find work in Japan. On the other hand, Disney is what the local guests come for. American culture is huge so, add the American performers to that. As far as that goes, though, I'm not sure if they're crazy for Disney or the actual Americans themselves. It will be interesting to see what happens with this.:jester:

03-21-2003, 01:58 AM
You guys have it right that the thinking is more of a striaghtfoward amusement park, not a theme park, but the peice you are missing is that it isn't Tokyo, or even Honshu - it is Okinawa, or some other area where Japanese people go to vacation. The kind of place that doesn't have the traffic to support a Disney-level theme park, but it does have the traffic to support what we in the states think of as a regional-type park.

Walt's Frozen Head
03-21-2003, 10:05 AM
Boy, this would be tough unless they have some other licensing deal within another entity. 'Scoop, help me out, here.

I don't mean to get into "he-said/head-said," here; I'm not going to bludgeon you with any quotes... but during our conversations about the decline of Imagineering, you've countered some of my points about maintaining the connection to "traditional" Disney by mentioning Space Mountain, Pirates, Haunted Mansion, and others... many classic Disney attractions that had no tie-in to previous Disney products, no built-in connection to any existing license.

I don't understand how a tie-in to Disney's history can be considered both that unnecessary for a WDW attraction, and that necessary for an OLC attraction. Rock and Roller Coaster, often mentioned as evidence that "today's Disney" can produce popular attractions without benefit of traditional Imagineering, could have been built by anyone, anywhere. If anything, I would expect that OLC would have bought a better coaster as a baseline, then gone in a more fantastical direction than "the Interstate" as a theme.

I'm much more intrigued by the idea of an OLC park without Disney than I am by the concept of Hong Kong Disneyland.


Walt's Frozen Head
03-26-2003, 12:43 AM
it's not really a question with OLC who builds the park or develops its attractions, but more of a question whether the Oriental Land Company has created enough of a market for itself
Well, at least it's clear enough where we disagree entirely.

I think there are plenty enough people out there who seek the difference in quality offered by TDS over DCA and AK to more than overcome the less familiar brand name. Conversely, I think Disney has been dragging their own brand name through the mud lately with eh-eh eh-eh effort put into their last two stateside parks.

It seems to me both Disney and OLC have been buying the bulk of their attractions... it's just that OLC has been spending more in the right places, and buying from traditional sources of quality; whereas Disney has largely low-balled attraction budgets and foregone their traditional source of quality.

If OLC isn't going to buy from the Disney of theme parks, I see no reason to think that they won't seek out the Pixar of theme parks; I expect they'll find innovative quality from somewhere. When you consider the percentage of Disney's recently opened stateside rides that came from Zamperla, it's safe to say that they've largely given up on innovative quality, they just need something that guests can sit on and spin.


03-31-2003, 02:41 PM
It would appear more profitable for OLC to construct a "regional type park" and install innovative new thrill rides each year. Much more lucrative to apply the Cedar Point model than to license and partner for themeing with the motion picture industry. If they want to own the rights to this outright they have to remain more inhouse than outsourced cost based. The legal contraints alone which would be involved in securing a big name partnering deal could ultimately lead to its demise.

Why tie up a project you know will make money for a more costly TDS competitor?