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View Full Version : New AK ride/Western River = It ain't built yet!!


DVC-Landbaron
03-22-2003, 01:12 PM
On the New AK Ride In The Works Testtrack mentioned the Western River Ride. KNWVIKING asked what it was. It is only the single most ambitious set of attractions ever conceived for a Disney park! And it is one of the main reasons I usually don’t play ‘what-if’ games on these boards. Also, it was my first BIG disappointment with Disney (in a long line of disappointments) concerning rumors and speculations about ‘things in the works’!!

It is why I said in the New AK Ride In The Works that “It ain’t built yet”. From the age of seventeen to about thirty nine I waited patiently for my Western River ride, never knowing it didn’t have a chance in hell of ever being built and in fact had been scrapped years before!!

Anyway KNWVIKING and anyone else interested, I started a new thread in the hopes of more people reading it. If I had provided a link in the old thread it would have been buried on page 7 or 8 and gone unnoticed by the masses. And I really feel this story needs to be heard by everyone who is a Disney fan. The concept was overwhelming!! And in my mind at least, there is no doubt that if Walt had been alive it would have been fully implemented and we would be enjoying it today!!

So, Try this link (http://www.jimhillmedia.com/articles/archive.0003-1.1.htm) and then tell the crowd what you think!!

KNWVIKING
03-22-2003, 02:28 PM
Sounded like it would be a park-within a- park. I bet it would cost 500-750 million to build it today. Where would they put it- I don't see how it could go into MK, not without eliminating something else.

DVC-Landbaron
03-22-2003, 02:38 PM
I don't see how it could go into MK, not without eliminating something else.Of course you are right. They blew it years ago for this concept. It shows that even back then the Walt philosophy was not understood by all.

The difference between then and now is that currently that ever elusive philosophy is understood by none in management!! Ergo my popular refrain: “It ain’t built yet!!”

Testtrack321
03-22-2003, 03:05 PM
Ah, Western River, the mine train ride, the boat ride, the indian village...

*sigh*

Tis a great place. I even remember seeing some concept art on the internet. It would have looked like a huge mesa on the Rivers of America. Now that would have been cool.

hopemax
03-22-2003, 04:39 PM
http://home.cfl.rr.com/omniluxe/wre.htm

The other site with Western River Stuff

YoHo
03-24-2003, 01:58 PM
The only Excitment I can offer for this new ride is that Eisner announced it to the stockholders and while he may be firmly in control, that kind of announcment to those kind of people can not be taken lightly.

Still, all in all, all we need to do is wait for M:S to find out what to expect.
1: because M:S represents what managment currnetly views as the elusive E-Ticket and 2: Public response will have an effect on whether managment changes that view at all.

DVC-Landbaron
03-24-2003, 08:19 PM
You are correct. It isn't built yet. Heck, it isn't even "officially" announced yet. But, c'mon, give yourself a break for once. Just smile and say, hmmm, that has potential. That looks grand.I did. It lasted ten seconds. Maybe twelve. And then reality set in.

And, yeah, I know, "you've been burned before". And, yeah, you could be burned again. But, enjoy. Have fun thinking about it. Dreaming about it.You really have to understand that this isn’t just an Ei$ner thing. They’ve got an almost perfect track record of disappointing me. So, after you’ve put up with it for over thirty-one years you can talk to me. Until then: Been there – Done that!! Don’t want to go back!!!

And to think, it all started with that River thing!!

At the very least, it might well get you excited for that 2005 trip you don't really want to go on but can't convince yourself not to...Not at all!! In fact I’m going back in about two weeks!! :bounce:
1: because M:S represents what management currently views as the elusive E-Ticket I thought they already showed us what they think!! Remember that little blight they erected in Disneyland’s parking lot? I thought that was LOADED with E-Tickets!?!?!

YoHo
03-24-2003, 10:22 PM
I thought that was LOADED with E-Tickets!?!?!
Well, I gotta admit, free Tortillias on your Birthday is pretty frickin Magical, but I don't know that it's an E-Ticket.

DVC-Landbaron
03-24-2003, 10:53 PM
This paradox is why you are so maddening!!!!!
It’s working!!
:crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy:

But seriously folk…
psst...The tone-o-meter of this post definitely leans toward the joking side...I know. But as my wife says when I slip her a none-too-subtle quip, “Many serious things are said in jest”. And JEST in case you were somewhat serious, at least with the paradox bit, let me explain.

I said that Disney has an almost perfect record of disappointing me. But as is your habit, or maybe mine for not being crystal clear, you’ve mixed up references and inferences. I was specifically talking about the ‘rumor-mill’. How what is ‘in-the-works’ ALWAYS turns out to be somewhat less in reality, IF it is built at all. And this is NOT a current problem (although when they miss today, they REALLY MISS)!! It has been going on since “Phase-2”. Anyone remember that? Yep! Phase-2, the Venetian, the Asian and the Persian. Along with groundbreaking for the ‘real’ EPCOT and that glorious River attraction(s). I’m probably mixing up the order, but I think you get the picture.

And it continued through EPCOT (I wanted the city!) and Space Mountain (the ride was supposed to go through the ceiling) and Japan (no Mt. Fugi) and no additional countries and no Space pavilion and… Well, that’s just EPCOT!!

I could go on and on.

The point is, sometimes (it used to be most of the time) but sometimes they still WOW me as no other company can do it!

So, you’re right. There are an awful lot of memories. And there’s quite a warm and fuzzy feeling that goes along with the same things that kept the Pirate and I from seeing eye to eye. Mainly watching the kids have a ball!! He could never quite differentiate between the kids (and himself) having fun and what was actually good for the company’s long term interest.

I can. And I do. Every chance I get. Except when I’m there. Then I become the Pirate and only have fun!!

Does that make sense?

DisneyKidds
03-25-2003, 12:10 AM
Does that make sense?
It is actually all making perfect sense now. The Baron is the Pirate, is the Captain. WOW!! Talk about your multiple personality disorders :crazy: ;).

What makes the Pirate (Captain, Baron, Horace, whomever.......) unable to differentiate himself (themselves?) from his (their?) kids and their having fun IS in the company's long term interest. Disney was/is/and always will be good at that, and it ain't an easy thing to accomplish ;). You should stop trying so hard to split the two - you are only hurting yourself :(. It's not too late to come back from the dark side. Walk toward the light................:).

DVC-Landbaron
03-25-2003, 12:26 AM
Boy! I thought you were ready to accept the realities of life, but alas!! Your training is still not complete, it seems. kids and their having fun IS in the company's long term interest.Even you should know, Mr. Kidds. It is not enough!!

DisneyKidds
03-25-2003, 12:57 AM
It is not enough!!
How easily you shrug off "fun". Both the fun that kids and kids at heart have. In the end, fun is what it is all about. I hate to break it to you, but not for the fun nobody (including yourself) would ever go back. THAT is the reality in life my friend. Fun is a many splendored and very complex thing. Disney provides much more than the simple kind of fun that is recognized by our primal instinct to smile.

The "fun" at Disney must be unique, uniquely Disney, in order for it to be "enough". That it most certainly is - and even you can't deny that. Is everything done the way Walt would have done it? Probably not. Yes, my maturing as a Disney critic has led me to realize the flaw in some decisions, but you can't throw the baby out with that bath water as they say.

You know what? You have to..........

'Slow down, you move to fast. You've got to make the morning last, just kicking down the cobble stones (of Main Street) looking for fun and feelin' groovy.....................da da da da da da da..............feelin' groovy' ;)

And if you can't do that there are...............'50 ways to leave your lover'.

crusader
03-25-2003, 08:16 AM
Fun?

Where is the fun in continual torment. Very expensive therapy!

It is more along the lines of escape and to where - Paradise Lost?

Seriously though here-in lies the truth -

There are an awful lot of memories. And there’s quite a warm and fuzzy feeling that goes along with the same things that kept the Pirate and I from seeing eye to eye. Mainly watching the kids have a ball!! He could never quite differentiate between the kids (and himself) having fun and what was actually good for the company’s long term interest.

Memories - enough to last a lifetime. Strong enough to forgive the inadequacies; the upsets; the negative feelings. Convincing enough to repeatedly pull you back - not further away. Each time with a more favorable spin or justification - ie FUN!

That is successful marketing but can it continually sustain time. It works on most of the people here who have "roots" but what about the kids today - will they feel the same way you did and take their family down there with much the same anticipation? Are their memories so unfiltered that WDW will continually drive them as well?

DisneyKidds
03-25-2003, 09:26 AM
will they feel the same way you did and take their family down there with much the same anticipation? Are their memories so unfiltered that WDW will continually drive them as well?
A good question.

Imagine if you will, another WDW guest who starts going to Disney on the very same day as let's say........................the Baron. Same mouse time, same mouse station. Same park. Same rides, at the same time. They even eat in the same exact places - at the same exact time. Their family is the same exact size, even the same exact ages. They stay at the same hotel. Their visit could not be more the same. You know what happens? Baron becomes enamoured with Disney and everything it is about. He becomes a lifer and "torments" himself to this very day. That other guest...................well he couldn't care less about the place. His family doesn't care for it. He and his family never go back. Their visit may have been the same, but obviously their experience must have been different. Why? I don't know. People are different and complex.

I submit that the same thing is happening today that started happening 50 years ago. You see, some people, I don't know why, love Disney. Others, I don't know why, hate Disney. It happened when the parks were serving Mickey Head Butter until midnight, and it is happening today. So my answer to your question is yes, for those as predisposed to love Disney as many of us around here are - they will still fall in love. The Magic is there. They don't "torment" themselves because a park isn't open until midnight, or they can't get on an observation deck they were never on. Yes, Disney is different now than it used to be, but it is no less Magical.

Yes, there is a middle ground. Those who neither love nor hate Disney. Perhaps Disney converted a higher percentage of these folks in the past and that is the danger in many of the questionable decisions made lately.

DVC-Landbaron
03-25-2003, 05:40 PM
The "fun" at Disney must be unique, uniquely Disney, in order for it to be "enough". That it most certainly is - and even you can't deny that.That travesty in AK is “uniquely Disney” fun? Those carnival games are “uniquely Disney” fun? DCA is “uniquely Disney” fun? Now, they may be fun. But “uniquely Disney” fun? I don’t think so!!

Perhaps Disney converted a higher percentage of these folks in the past and that is the danger in many of the questionable decisions made lately.There is no perhaps about it!!

Yes, Disney is different now than it used to be, but it is no less Magical.I simply disagree.

You are right. It is very different. Some good, some bad. But overall it has not remained static. It has indeed diminished.

raidermatt
03-25-2003, 06:35 PM
Yes, Disney is different now than it used to be, but it is no less Magical. This is what makes it difficult to reconcile your position sometimes, DK. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe you have said in the past that Disney is going through some tough times, some of it due to poor management decisions.

Have I mis-interpreted, or are you saying that poor management decisions have no impact on the "Magic"?

If its the latter, it becomes confusing. Disney "Magic" was the result of excellent decision-making, philosophy, policies, whatever. Therefore, doesn't it follow that poor choices will not create the same levels of "Magic"?

DisneyKidds
03-25-2003, 11:19 PM
That travesty in AK is “uniquely Disney” fun? Those carnival games are “uniquely Disney” fun? DCA is “uniquely Disney” fun? Now, they may be fun. But “uniquely Disney” fun? I don’t think so!!
I prefer to take a 'big picture' appraoch. Sure, you can pick apart this or that, but the vacation experience provided at WDW is very much uniquely Disney, even if one or two recently added elements aren't so unique.
Have I mis-interpreted, or are you saying that poor management decisions have no impact on the "Magic"?
I wouldn't say no impact, but I wouldn't say they have had a significant negative impact. After 12 years we continue to find something new each and every trip. Some of it is stuff from the past we are just now discovering, some of it is new stuff. Yeah, there have been tough times. Yeah, there have been bad decisions. Yeah, it has some impact in some areas. However, in the big picture WDW is as magical as it was 12 years ago. I just don't spend all my time stewing over the fact that the MK isn't open until midnight to realize it ;).

DVC-Landbaron
03-26-2003, 12:25 AM
I prefer to take a 'big picture' appraoch. Sure, you can pick apart this or that, but the vacation experience provided at WDW is very much uniquely Disney, even if one or two recently added elements aren't so unique.You and I must be soul mates!! We think EXACTLY alike! I always take what you refer to as a ‘big picture’ approach when I’m on vacation! But here, in the light of the cold, hard day, I really want to discuss those recently added elements that “aren’t so unique”, and I actually do want to pick apart a little of this and even some of that. On an emotional level I can enjoy what remains of Disney! Thoroughly!! Undoubtedly!! And at the same time I can also intellectually discuss Disney philosophically and what I believe is in the best long term interest of the company. I really don’t know why that is so hard to understand!

After 12 years we continue to find something new each and every trip.Sorry! That’s not even close to long enough to judge! Case in point: Some of it is stuff from the past we are just now discoveringSee!
However, in the big picture WDW is as magical as it was 12 years ago.Just how big is your picture? While I contend that 12 years (already 6 years into current management) is not nearly long enough, even you’ve admitted that lately (I think since ’98 you said) things have been going to pot a lot quicker! How is it that you clearly saw it last week, but suddenly this week the ‘big picture’ evidently got a whole bunch bigger?

Or have you been in WDW recently? Hey!! Don’t feel bad! It happens to the best of us 3ers! I really can’t get fully into this site for at least a week after my return! Residual Pixie Dust! And don’t worry! It’s a legal defense!!

DisneyKidds
03-26-2003, 11:03 AM
I really don’t know why that is so hard to understand!
It is not hard to understand what it is you are doing and why you do it. As I have said a thousand times, I know what you are saying. However, as the Raiders fan would say, sometimes it is difficult to reconcile your overall opinion and conclusions with some of your statements.
But here, in the light of the cold, hard day, I really want to discuss those recently added elements that “aren’t so unique”, and I actually do want to pick apart a little of this and even some of that. On an emotional level I can enjoy what remains of Disney! Thoroughly!! Undoubtedly!!
Here is the rub. 'Magic' is not something to be analyzed in the cold, hard, light of day. 'Magic' is an intangible. It is something you feel. Something you experience. It appears that it is something that is still there, full force, when you are on your vacation. That, my friend, speaks volumes. Yes, it is very easy to come back and pick, pick, pick. Dinsey has given us many things to do that with. However, as much as you pick at certain things it doesn't change the big picture. So yeah, we can discuss those not so unique recently added elements. That is a good thing to do. We can even agree about a lot of it. But in the end, the big picture is the big picture and Disney is still a Magical place.
Sorry! That’s not even close to long enough to judge!
Sorry Baron, you can't play that trump card with me. We have been making trips at least once a year for the past 12, but I was there as a kid in 1972. My experience is plenty enough to judge. I have seen very few, if any, lost things you gripe about that I have not experienced.
even you’ve admitted that lately (I think since ’98 you said) things have been going to pot a lot quicker! How is it that you clearly saw it last week, but suddenly this week the ‘big picture’ evidently got a whole bunch bigger?
Once again, as much as I can realize some of the changes, some of the questionable decisions, the big picture hasn't changed IMHO. Sometimes when things get shaken up the picture gets a bit cloudy. However, when you let things settle down you realize that the big picture hasn't changed.

Let me guess. When the Bears did so well two years ago I bet you were on the band wagon. Last year you probably disowned them. You see, you have to take the good with the bad. You can't go to Disney, drink in the Magic and have a wonderful time, better than you could have anywhere else, and then come back and disown them. You can't let your picking negate what you know to be the big picture. It's not too late my friend. You don't have to drive Car #3 forever. You know you don't belong there ;).

BRERALEX
03-26-2003, 11:58 AM
or, said, another way "Uncle Mikey's pimpin' you" (although more and more, Uncle Mikey might also be saying "Boy, pimpin' ain't so easy anymore"...)

OK!!!!!! aside from being the daddy of the chicken finger movement. Im also the daddy of mike=PIMP. the parks are his stable and the wand above spaceship earth is his pimp stick!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

raidermatt
03-26-2003, 12:52 PM
Here is the rub. 'Magic' is not something to be analyzed in the cold, hard, light of day. 'Magic' is an intangible. It is something you feel. Something you experience. It appears that it is something that is still there, full force, when you are on your vacation. For the most part, I agree, again!:eek:

But, and its a big but, that "feeling" that we sometimes can't quite put our finger on is the direct result of decisions made by people. People who sit in offices like you and I, people who go to meetings and dial into conference calls, like you and I. Just as what you and I do effects the "products" of our respective companies, the folks over at Disney make decisions that directly effect Disney's product, that ever present "Magic".

While shorter hours may meen nothing to you, it should be easy to see that they will effect the "Magic" felt by many others. Further, as someone who has repeatedly pointed out that the power of classic attractions like Pirates ain't what it used to be, it should be easy for you to see how new attractions are going to have to pick up that slack. If they don't, its going to impact the "Magic".

As guests, its fine for us to say the Magic is something we feel, and can't be explained. But, if we are going to seriously discuss how this feeling is created for guests, it really does boil down to tangible decisions on everything from CM training to the next "E-Ticket". Even in good 'ole Walt's day, there was no ambiguity about how Disney would strive to create Magic for its guests. People made tangible decisions in an effort to create a special experience. It doesn't work any differently today.

DisneyKidds
03-26-2003, 01:17 PM
As guests, its fine for us to say the Magic is something we feel, and can't be explained. But, if we are going to seriously discuss how this feeling is created for guests, it really does boil down to tangible decisions on everything from CM training to the next "E-Ticket". Even in good 'ole Walt's day, there was no ambiguity about how Disney would strive to create Magic for its guests. People made tangible decisions in an effort to create a special experience. It doesn't work any differently today.
Hey, we better stop agreeing so much :eek:. I do agree with this statement, and it is why I am in Car #2. Disney today is using business processes that may not be producing products that people consider Magic with the same consistency as throughout Disney's past. However, they still are producing new magic. Whatever little that might be, combined with the Magic of old, makes Disney today a vacation like none other. Not even the most staunch Car #3 advocate can deny that. That is the big picture. That is where I hang my hat.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that reduced hours mean nothing to me. In fact, they mean a heck of a lot more to me than they do to someone who visitis for the first time tomorrow. Why? Because I know what could be, what was. I know what I am missing. Despite all that, I still find WDW to be the most unique and Magical vacation destination for my family. Despite all of that, Disney provides my family with a vacation experience that I cannot find anywhere else. That isn't because I'm enjoying my WDW vacations on the basis of nostalgic memories of what used to be. Rather, I enjoy WDW for what it offers me in the moment. The same is true for all of us who pledge an allegiance to any car numbered lower than 4. Now if we can all see that thru the disappointment of knowing what could have been, you can rest assured that someone who isn't walking around grumbling about Mickey Head Butter and doesn't even know that the MK used to be open until whenever can see it. That is quite a powerful big picture.

Another Voice
03-26-2003, 02:16 PM
"That is quite a powerful big picture."

But the point is that "big picture" was first created by following a set of standards and beliefs that worked for more than seventy years. It turned a tiny cartoon company into a massive international media corporation that can convince millions to fly to Florida every year to see a fake castle stuck in the middle of a swamp.

The concern is that violating all those standards and beliefs will not produce the same results.

There is nothing in a child's genes that forces them to like Mickey Mouse. There is nothing in a teenager's hormones that makes them prefer 'Rock'n Rollercoaster' over what Universal offers. There's nothing in an adult's life that requires them spend their time at the Grand Floridian rather than the Hotel del Coronado. It all comes down to a choice.

The "old" way believed that you had to do everything possible to please the guest and make them want to come. The current belief is all about explaining away financials with promises of pendent up demand, cost margins and squeezing pennies from the people who decide to show up.

That difference is not about how to create "magic" – it's about how to run the business.

You can wrap yourself in Magic® all you want, you can manage your brand image down to the printing on the napkins, you can have Regis chat with the latest victim from 'The Bachelor' in front of the castle for days on end – but people look, they demand, that something of real value be underneath.

Sure, a lot of that real value still exists at WDW in the form of decades old attractions and those valiant few who remember how the business is supposed to run – but those traces are quickly being bulldozed by cheesy new products and a growing sense that my enjoyment means less to Disney than the ability to squeeze another 1.884787632 cents per hour from my visit.

Disney already has a huge financial disaster on their hands by opening up a theme park in Anaheim that absolutely no one will pay to see – and that wasn't because people where nostalgic for the way the place used to be. There was no disappointment over what was, no clamoring for all those unknown plans that could have been. It was a fresh slate so bright, so shiny, so new.

And now it's so empty.

We don't fret about the passing of the "old ways" out of some desire to relive the foggy memories of the past. We fret because those ideas worked and the new ways don't.

DisneyKidds
03-26-2003, 03:12 PM
AV - in substance I agree with most of your last post. Believe it or not we agree on a lot of the details about many things. I guess we just disagree with what it all means in the big picture.
We don't fret about the passing of the "old ways" out of some desire to relive the foggy memories of the past. We fret because those ideas worked and the new ways don't.
Change that to 'the new ways don't work as well' and you'll get no argument. But flat out don't work? I don't agree completely.
It all comes down to a choice.
Yes, it does. In the end, we are all still chosing Disney, aren't we?

I do agree that more people are making the choice to try things like Universal. Yeah, some of that is driven by bad Disney choices. How much? That's hard to say. A lot of that is also driven by the fact that organizations like Universal are growing, maturing, and taking steps that will attract guests no matter what Disney does.

Another Voice
03-26-2003, 04:23 PM
I used to say that things didn't work as well, but there are now too many examples where things really didn't work at all in terms of their business objective. It's not just California Adventure, but Disney Studios Paris is even worse off. And Animal Kingdom without park hopping would be major, major, major trouble if you believe the internal rumblings.

Even on the smaller levels, things like Dino-Rama, Aladdin, or Walt 100th did not produce anywhere near the results that were expected. Nor was even something like Pop Century able to draw enough people from the competition to make its opening worthwhile.

This is not to pass judgment on the quality of these projects, but to simply look at them from the business point of view. Whatever you think about these offerings, the public isn't responding.

And this started long before the present difficulties. Certainly no one can claim that fear of flying has caused the long string of major animated films that have failed to spark the public's imagination.

There are very clear signs that the public is making the choice. Nickelodeon is already a far stronger brand than Disney is among children. Spongebob merchandise, from what I've heard from both corporations, far outsells anything Disney has with the exception of Winnie the Pooh (and we all know what's happening there). The performance at the parks is worse than that found at the competing parks and all the other divisions certainly have been equally lacking in performance for five years now.

While other companies are expanding and trying to present themselves to new audiences, Disney seems content on simply relaying on the past. You wrote about how us old fogies are disgruntled because of nostalgia, but take a look at the WDW's "Where the Magic Lives" campaign. Does it promote anything new, does it promote things they are offering to entice people to come? No, they basically play off nostalgia and brand image (it's Disney, it must be good). It's trying to sell yesterday's creating to the current audience.

There's only so long you can continue to peddle old goods. Tastes chage, new wonders come along, and after a while everyone who wants to see it will have seen it. Unfortunately for Disney, the company is not like a washed up singer that can make a comfortable retirement by doing dinner theater in Branson. At the level Disney is at now it has to move forward or become lunch.

I wouldn't be so worried about Disney future if I believed there was a desire to turn things around. But from everything I hear it's the very head of the company that's trying to serve Disney up as the blue plate special.

Another Voice
03-26-2003, 04:51 PM
Who is Spongebob…

http://www.modbee.com/business/story/6106639p-7059841c.html

" 'We've become this really large, successful business by doing the exact opposite of what most people in the business do. We don't make shows to sell toys,' said Jeffrey Dunn, president of Nickelodeon Enterprises, whose parent is media conglomerate Viacom Inc., owner of MTV Networks and Paramount Pictures.

Last year, Nickelodeon had 41 of the top 50 TV programs, on both network and cable, aimed at children ages 2 to 11, according to Nielsen Media Research. 'SpongeBob SquarePants,' about a sponge who lives at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, was the No. 1 show with that age group, Nielsen said.

'The Fairly OddParents' was the No. 2 rated show with kids 2 to 11, according to the research company."


"But 'SpongeBob Square Pants', which began airing in 1999, has been the company's biggest surprise, generating revenues of $750 million last year and exceeding expectations of $500 million. The show has attracted a wide audience, although the property had a cool reception at first among merchants, who underestimated consumers' emotional connection with a sponge.

Now, there are about 100 companies that supply products under license for 'SpongeBob', ranging from Bounty paper towels from Procter & Gamble to sporting goods accessories from Sport Fun."

I wonder how many times that is more than the sales of 'Treasure Planet' toys?

crusader
03-26-2003, 05:21 PM
It turned a tiny cartoon company into a massive international media corporation that can convince millions to fly to Florida every year to see a fake castle stuck in the middle of a swamp.

Hilarious!

No, they basically play off nostalgia and brand image (it's Disney, it must be good).

They have to to some extent. They have been utilizing a cartoon character for over 40 years to symbolize who they are. You cannot simply walk away from that!

And Animal Kingdom without park hopping would be major, major, major trouble if you believe the internal rumblings.

This park does have potential. If designed to be more competitive with the Magic Kingdom it would sustain itself.

We don't fret about the passing of the "old ways" out of some desire to relive the foggy memories of the past. We fret because those ideas worked and the new ways don't.

It really is a combination of the two. But ideas of the past will not necessarily work in today's arena. I agree there have been a tremendous number of failed objectives these past years and understand the demands now facing this organization. The solution is not simple or economical here. It will take equally as long to solve this dilemna as it did to create it.

What will assist temporarily is a more subtle approach - install new thrills; and implement other changes successfully promoted to the consumer complemented with an attractive pricing strategy.

raidermatt
03-26-2003, 05:57 PM
Disney today is using business processes that may not be producing products that people consider Magic with the same consistency as throughout Disney's past. Continuing the trend....we agree.

However, they still are producing new magic. Whatever little that might be, combined with the Magic of old, makes Disney today a vacation like none other. I'm still with you...

But...

Whether Disney is still the best/tops/most unique/whatever vacation is not the point. The question is about direction. If you are heading in the wrong direction, it doesn't matter how far out in front you were, because you will eventually be caught. Further, in a business world that expects growth, Disney's performance can't be measured by how many more people it attracts than Universal. Disney has to prove that it has greater growth potential from where it is now than other companies do. It also has to prove it has the management in place to fulfill that potential.

As you and many others have pointed out, the "Magic power" of Disney's creations erode. Pirates dripped of Magic to just about everyone when it opened. Today, there is no doubt it doesn't quite enthrall new guests as much, though we bicker over how much less. Same with most of the other creations and attractions. For Disney to be Disney, and maintain the same level of Magic for a new guest today as they did for a new guest 20-30 years ago, they must create Magic with that same consistency as in the past.

Testtrack321
03-26-2003, 07:19 PM
Originally posted by thedscoop
Listen, I don't care if you compare Spongebob with Playhouse Disney, Treasure Planet, or Ahmad Rashad...the fact is that we are now discussing Spongebob. Freakin' Spongebob. My how the mighty have indeed fallen...

Spongebob!

We're comparing The Mole host to a cartoon character that has as much pull as a pro-Segway rally in San Francisco. Sure, it gets murchandise, but after that, it still stands alone in the 'fun for all' catagory. As our friend Barron knows, fun for one is not fun for all.

YoHo
03-26-2003, 07:26 PM
WHO LIVES IN A PINEAPPLE UNDER THE SEA?

SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS!!!


Why do you find it so funny Scoop? You like a septaganarian mouse and the Kids today like a yellow square Sea sponge.

Not only that, adult Spongebob merchandise sells really really well.

hopemax
03-26-2003, 07:30 PM
The only Spongebob story I know is what a friend of DH's told him:

DH's friend was getting ready to put on a T-shirt and his then 3 year old daughter stopped him and said, "No Daddy, not that one. Wear Spongebob!"

crusader
03-27-2003, 07:13 AM
For Disney to be Disney, and maintain the same level of Magic for a new guest today as they did for a new guest 20-30 years ago, they must create Magic with that same consistency as in the past.

This is not realistically possible. The novelty has worn off; Competition has arrived; Technology is no longer uniquely Disney; Decades have left a remaining sense of familiarity; The mouse has aged; etc....

Today's "new" guest you speak of is more likely to be a minor accompanied by an adult returning, than a whole family arriving for the first time.

This whole idea of magic is greatly overstated. Magic is an intangible. It has no substantive nature. It is used to define the anticipation typically felt when vacationing. And it ultimately wears off.

BRERALEX
03-27-2003, 08:03 AM
Listen, I don't care if you compare Spongebob with Playhouse Disney, Treasure Planet, or Ahmad Rashad...the fact is that we are now discussing Spongebob. Freakin' Spongebob. My how the mighty have indeed fallen...

thems be fighting words.

have you ever seen two or more episodes of the lovable sponge? do you even know the incredible intelligent Patrick? WHo isnt a fan of Plankton or the Crusty Crab? I was playing a game with my son, you know the one, what kind of a sound does a cat make? what kind of a sound does a dog make? so i go what kind of sound does a snail make; thinking i had him made, and voila he goes 'meow, meow' and im like dude youre so wrong and then i watched spongebob!!!!! Sandy Squirrel kicks @$$ along with Barnacle Boy. you have to be a fan of any show with a character name like barnacle boy. that show has made me laugh louder then many others. When they get 50 or so jelly fish dancing in sequence to techno music you know a show is awesome.

ABOSRBANT AND YELLOW AND POUROUS IS HE.
If nautical nonsense is something you wish then drop on the deck and flop like a fish.!!!

Eyesnur
03-27-2003, 08:40 AM
Hey, the new guy is always going to be the one to unseat Mickey...But alas it never happens. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Pokemon, Shrek, Spongebob Square Pants...They're all the same. They bring GREAT things to the table. They're great marketing material for their very specific age group and yet they NEVER advance to the next generation.

This is why US will have a tough time with the generation game. Folks can go to US and absolutely love Spiderman, the ride or Shrek, the ride or Jimmy Neutron, the ride but in the future these names attached to the rides will be even less relevent than Aerosmith. The difference is that Disney has all of their clasic characters in place and are even addng new classics (from Monsters, etc.). US may (does) have some great attractions but the achievement of truly 'classic' will never be associated with a ride called Jimmy Neutron...US still just doesn't have the brand to do it. Popeye, Rocky & Bullwinkle and even Spongebb will never have the lasting effect of Mickey Mouse. They are just second & third tier characters. Snow White, Cinderella, Belle &Ariel (to name a few) are timelsess...Shrek will not be in that group.

DisneyKidds
03-27-2003, 09:31 AM
But...
You and Baron....................enough with the 'buts' already. Stop resisting what you know in your heart.
For Disney to be Disney, and maintain the same level of Magic for a new guest today as they did for a new guest 20-30 years ago, they must create Magic with that same consistency as in the past.
Yes, that would be best, but as the crusader said - I'm not sure they HAVE to.
The question is about direction. If you are heading in the wrong direction, it doesn't matter how far out in front you were, because you will eventually be caught. Further, in a business world that expects growth, Disney's performance can't be measured by how many more people it attracts than Universal. Disney has to prove that it has greater growth potential from where it is now than other companies do. It also has to prove it has the management in place to fulfill that potential.
Yeah, yeah, yeah - I hear you. I get you. This is what should be but isn't completely. However, I still don't see that Disney will be caught. That doesn't mean they don't need to do more to stay further ahead though.
Whether Disney is still the best/tops/most unique/whatever vacation is not the point.
I disagree. It is very much the point, at least of the tangent that we are currently on. Baron questions the Magic and the strength of the current WDW experience. Big picture and all, he is wrong. Disney is the best/tops/most unique/whatever vacation, period. That is proven every time grumpy guys from the DIS board plant their family in the World. They know how 'bad' it is, yet it is still the place to be.

Since this very salient point was glossed over (for good reason if you are in Car 3+)...................

AV indicated that it all comes down to choice. Again I say, if Disney isn't the best/tops/most unique/whatever vacation why do we all still choose it?

crusader
03-27-2003, 10:00 AM
Disney is the best/tops/most unique/whatever vacation, period. That is proven every time grumpy guys from the DIS board plant their family in the World. They know how 'bad' it is, yet it is still the place to be.

So true. But these avid fans are continually tormented by this. Somehow the World got "in" and took root. The driving force behind it is not apparent which defies fundamental logic. This is where fantasy and reality collide. This is where magic hauntingly breeds.

raidermatt
03-27-2003, 01:38 PM
This is not realistically possible. The novelty has worn off; Competition has arrived; Technology is no longer uniquely Disney; Decades have left a remaining sense of familiarity; The mouse has aged; etc.... You've done a great job of describing what is wrong with the philosophy of Disney's management. It is no less possible to create quality, innovative entertainment today than it was 50 years ago.

Magic is an intangible. It has no substantive nature. Of course, as has been stated.

It is used to define the anticipation typically felt when vacationing. And it ultimately wears off. Sorry, but I really don't get what you are getting at. Disney IS selling a feeling. But its not just an anticipation, its an enjoyment of the moment as well. If its wearing off for guests, Disney is not doing its job, and those guests will vacation elsewhere, in places where that feeling does not wear off.

In some places, like Hawaii, the feeling is not largely created by a company, but is a factor of the natural beauty and terrain, and of the culture and attitude of the people that live there. In Disney's case, the feeling is the direct result of decisions made by a company.

Honestly, I'm really having trouble figuring out where you are coming from. You seem to be very cynical towards Disney's decision-making and the experience they provide. Yet you are also cynical about any changes that should be made, except adding thrill rides.

Yes, that would be best, but as the crusader said - I'm not sure they HAVE to. HAVE to in order to stay out of bankruptcy? No. But HAVE to in order to consistently remain one of the top companies in the World, and remain a preferable investment over most other companies? Then yes. (At least that's my position...which you may still disagree with?)

This is what should be but isn't completely. However, I still don't see that Disney will be caught. That doesn't mean they don't need to do more to stay further ahead though. But that's my point...whether they are caught or not is only a by-product. They are out in front because they were the leader in creativity and innovation for many years, and they considered themselves a service company whose ultimate goal was to please its customers. They believed that as a result of doing these things, financial results would follow, and they did.

To focus just on whether or not another vacation destination catches you is very limiting, and creates a scenario where you end up following, not leading.

It is very much the point, at least of the tangent that we are currently on. Baron questions the Magic and the strength of the current WDW experience. Big picture and all, he is wrong. Disney is the best/tops/most unique/whatever vacation, period. That is proven every time grumpy guys from the DIS board plant their family in the World. They know how 'bad' it is, yet it is still the place to be. "Bad" is relative. When its used by Baron, or just about any other car 3'er, it does not mean WDW is bad compared to anyone else. It means it is slipping from what it was. Again, direction.

There are varying opinions on who is or isn't closing the gap, but that is not the point when we talk about what direction Disney is taking. Particularly in a service or creative field, its very difficult to succeed when you make your goal staying ahead of your competition at a given moment. Of course that is a key selling point, and is ultimately important, but its the end, not the means. If the means are faulty, i.e. your direction is faltering, the end will eventually suffer.

Hey, the new guy is always going to be the one to unseat Mickey...But alas it never happens. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Pokemon, Shrek, Spongebob Square Pants...They're all the same. They bring GREAT things to the table. They're great marketing material for their very specific age group and yet they NEVER advance to the next generation. For the most part, I agree with Eyesnur on this one, at least when discussing Spongebob. Until he proves otherwise, he is just the latest fad. Of course he is a profitable money-making fad, but still a fad.

I would actually prefer Disney either stay out of the "flavor of the month" competition, or at least make it a secondary goal, and instead focus on maintaining their characters with long-term appeal, as well as focusing on new creations. Not with marketing as a goal, however.

DisneyKidds
03-27-2003, 01:54 PM
HAVE to in order to stay out of bankruptcy? No. But HAVE to in order to consistently remain one of the top companies in the World, and remain a preferable investment over most other companies? Then yes. (At least that's my position...which you may still disagree with?)
Well you know I have to disagree with that one ;). They don't HAVE to and Dinsey will still remain above the competition - at least form a vacation destination POV. We can agree to disagree on this point.

As for everything else you said, I won't agrue with you. I get your point about direction, about where Disney is trending, which would be down (compared to the past). Heck, let's even assume that other parks are trending up. I do believe that given the relative slope of those trend lines, the two will never cross. Yes, by the laws of mathematics they would have to cross at some point, but who the heck knows what the world will be like in 2203 ;). Furthermore, by the fact that I am in Car #2 I do believe that Disney's line will turn up at some point. Sadly, Disney will probably never gain the ground that was lost to the competitors (some of which would have been lost despite Disney's actions) and that is unfortunate, but not fatal.

PS - There was a reason I said 'bad' and not bad ;).

Testtrack321
03-27-2003, 03:04 PM
The ever lasting appeal of Mickey has stayed and proven itself over and over again. While some characters hit a huge boost in popularity durring the 5 years they are on TV, that dies off. People grow up. When you go to Universal, you are in a grown-up world of interstate highways, parking structures, and alcohol. At Disney, you are a kid. Monorials, pop, and themed hotels are king.

As for the attractions, every time Universal replaces a less popular ride with a popular one, they find out that this costs LOTS of money. Jimmy Neutron is a mediocure series with a flimsy movie attached. This new 'ride' will waste tons of money by throwing effort and creativity into a character that won't make it past the 5 year mark. Then they have to go in again and build another show based on their latest hit show.

cristen
03-27-2003, 03:38 PM
This just makes me sad. I grew up in Cali & my parents would take me to Disneyland 4-5 times a year from 3 years on. I hold Disney so dear to my heart, as all of you. I have since moved to Colorado so I do not get to go that often. But when I started to have children, I take them once a year. My oldest is only 5 & has been 4 times.

I read Mouse Tales & More Mouse Tales, & was very upset to hear about how the parks were run regarding maintenence & the budget cuts. But everytime I had gone, it looked good to me. (those rose colored glasses?) But then when my daughter was 3, we took her & I invited my parents. They had not been since I was a child, so I thought it would be fun for them to go back. They were appalled & shocked at what the park looked like. We were sitting by the saloon across from the Mark Twain and my parents made the comment that the park looked shabby. My mother noticed on the saloon front that the building had peeling paint by the ground. I would never had noticed this, but she said that it NEVER would have looked like that when they were bringing me. That would be the 70's. My father said it is a shame how bad the parks looked & that it was showing it's age. He said it's just not the same anymore and that was too bad. I was furious. I guess I went to car #2? As you guys would say, and if I am correct in my understanding.

Now I started reading these boards about a year ago. I love your discussions and have learned quite a bit about what's going on. It doesn't take a genius to know that the quality of stuff they are putting out is bad, but when you read how you guys here state it, it puts things into better focus. And now reading about this whole river ride, I am now in car #3. And to me everything the Baron says is right. He is the one that makes the most sense to me on the board. I know, I know!! I used to like to read his posts because I thought they were entertaining and funny. Now I see how serious this all is.

BUT NOW!!! I got the book Disney, the Mouse Betrayed. Have any of you read this? I am on page 30 and had to put it down to come write this. Are they really into porn? They sent out plastic bongs to promote one of their groups for Hollywood Records? I am no prude, but I think maybe we should leave the plastic bongs for someone else. Please someone pick me up off the floor and tell me this is someone who has got a problem with Disney and they are bashing them out of spite. I thought Eisner was bad for the company, I had no idea!! Is there a car #6?

I am so sad. Cristen:mad: :( :( :( :mad:

crusader
03-28-2003, 07:27 AM
when we talk about what direction Disney is taking. Particularly in a service or creative field, its very difficult to succeed when you make your goal staying ahead of your competition at a given moment.

This is one area I am not completely in agreement on. WDW has to recognize its competition particularly in the R & D department. They no longer contain all the inhouse talent. It is important they remain innovative but they are not "chasing the other guy here". They should be basing decisions on the market and today that consumer has been overexposed and inundated with entertainment choices well beyond what Disney is used to offering. The model has to move beyond what was implemented in the 70's.

If its wearing off for guests, Disney is not doing its job, and those guests will vacation elsewhere, in places where that feeling does not wear off.

Not necessarily. Vacation decisions are based on time, money and enjoyment. The reality of this trip is that it is up to the consumer to decide how much enjoyment they will experience. They control their own temperament. It is up to WDW to provide the venue.

crusader
03-28-2003, 10:23 AM
Honestly, I'm really having trouble figuring out where you are coming from.

Having missed the thread which segregated the soulmates on this side of the boards into respective cars I can't really help here.

DisneyKidds
03-28-2003, 12:26 PM
Having missed the thread which segregated the soulmates on this side of the boards into respective cars I can't really help here.
It's not too late. You didn't miss it. Have you checked out the 'Carpools Defined' thread at the top of the Rumors Board?

WEDWAY100
03-28-2003, 12:54 PM
Originally posted by crusader
This is not realistically possible. The novelty has worn off; Competition has arrived; Technology is no longer uniquely Disney; Decades have left a remaining sense of familiarity; The mouse has aged; etc....
I saw RaiderMatt’s response to this, and I agree with his points, but feel even stronger about it, hence my response.

This type of thinking minimizes what Walt and his creative team were able to accomplish. If you’re saying that it was easier in the early 1950’s to impress people, or create good entertainment, then why didn’t several companies create things as incredible as DL was? It was just as difficult to differentiate your product then as it is now.

So how did Walt accomplish this? He took risks. Big, huge financial risks, especially with DL. That, combined with his (and his team’s) vision is why DL was such an incredible place. The current regime doesn’t have the vision, the desire, or the guts for this. I really don’t think that the company will ever return to that level (percentage wise) of investment and risk in the parks.

crusader
03-28-2003, 12:54 PM
Thanks Mr. Kidds.

Since I only associate the phrase magic with the disney product lines and cannot clearly define it in a universal sense in order to apply it here I may not be in any car.

crusader
03-28-2003, 01:11 PM
It was just as difficult to differentiate your product then as it is now.

Then - you had basic styles for every commodity.
Then - you had milk delivered to your home.
Then - you had one car and during the day it wasn't in your driveway.
Then - you didn't have a shopping mall full of whole stores dedicated to selling labels.
Then - there were far less publicly traded companies in existence and far more monopolies held on durable goods.

It really was not that difficult to differentiate your product. If you were GE everyone knew what you made. If you were Westinghouse everyone knew what you made. If you were Ford .....If you were Bell........etc etc etc etc

Walt Disney found a niche. They were much more prevalent in his day. Yes he took a risk and succeeded but he had an advantage that no longer exists in this market.

WEDWAY100
03-28-2003, 01:28 PM
Originally posted by crusader
Then - you had basic styles for every commodity.
Then - you had milk delivered to your home.
Then - you had one car and during the day it wasn't in your driveway.
Then - you didn't have a shopping mall full of whole stores dedicated to selling labels.
Then - there were far less publicly traded companies in existence and far more monopolies held on durable goods.

It really was not that difficult to differentiate your product. If you were GE everyone knew what you made. If you were Westinghouse everyone knew what you made. If you were Ford .....If you were Bell........etc etc etc etc

Walt Disney found a niche. They were much more prevalent in his day. Yes he took a risk and succeeded but he had an advantage that no longer exists in this market.
Two points to this:

1. I personally believe that 50 years from now, we will be able to create a very similar list over that 50 year time frame. We just won’t include the Walt Disney Company on our list.

2. When Walt created DL, he pushed the envelope very far regarding amusement parks. It’s possible that he pushed it so far that there has never been a better amusement park built since. I think that he was done with the theme park idea. He spent most of his final months thinking about EPCOT, the city, not the MK. He was looking in a different direction than theme parks at that point.

While I think that the company today should still develop cutting edge theme park attractions, they should have branched into other (different) conepts of high quality entertainment for the WDW property. They had 43 square miles, mostly undeveloped. Yet rather than doing something new and innovative with the land (like Epcot, the city, but maybe something else), they built theme park after theme park, the same thing again and again. No new innovation beyond the theme park concept.

EPCOT could have been that different idea, but maybe some true imagineer could have come up with something better. I don’t have that idea for you. But I’m not an imagineer.

crusader
03-28-2003, 01:49 PM
While I think that the company today should still develop cutting edge theme park attractions, they should have branched into other (different) conepts of high quality entertainment for the WDW property. They had 43 square miles, mostly undeveloped. Yet rather than doing something new and innovative with the land (like Epcot, the city, but maybe something else), they built theme park after theme park, the same thing again and again. No new innovation beyond the theme park concept.

Exactly! This may be precisely what is missing for most people on these boards.

WEDWAY100
03-28-2003, 01:58 PM
Originally posted by crusader
Exactly! This may be precisely what is missing for most people on these boards.
Wow. Do we agree on this? That almost never happens to me on these boards!

Sarangel
03-28-2003, 02:22 PM
Don't tell the tag faries, something drastic might happen...

Sarangel