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View Full Version : Possible big reduction in Future Worlds hours.


WDWHound
04-10-2003, 02:58 PM
The following is from Screamscape:

"...for the months of April and May (except the 2 weeks of Spring Break) Future World will now be closing at 6pm... THREE HOURS before the start of Illuminations."

This does seem a tad extreme. If its true, I hope they don't extend it beyond May.

tonyk
04-10-2003, 03:04 PM
What does "closed" mean? Just Future World attractions are closed - or all areas including rides, shops and restaurants?

OnWithTheShow
04-10-2003, 03:05 PM
Unfortunately, It doesnt sound too extreme to me. Starting around 4 or 5 PM Future World is a total Ghost Town. The only places you can really find any people are at Spaceship Earth (which will probably stay open til 9) and Test Track (which will probably stay open til 9). Although there is some work that can be done to increase the draw to Future World it just cant stand up to the night time draw of the World Showcase. The restaurants, food, drink, serene beauty, previously Tapestry, and Illuminations, all draw the people out of Future World, which is not neccesarily a bad thing as long as guests got their fill of Future World.

KMovies
04-10-2003, 03:53 PM
It is only moving what closes at 7 pm to 6 pm - so it's not a big three hour reduction - only one hour.

All Aboard
04-10-2003, 04:17 PM
My take - if FW is a ghost town at 4pm, it is in desperate need of some revitalization.

Another Voice
04-10-2003, 04:37 PM
"…Future World is a total Ghost Town."

Yea, they should just put a gate around the whole place so they can close it whenever they want and not have to worry about people seeing both Future World and World Showcase on the same ticket.

Why bother making Future World interesting at night when you can simple force people into another park?

Bob O
04-10-2003, 04:44 PM
Just another example of more cutbacks from wdw with no concern shown at all towards their guests.
I guess if they decided to close MK at 300pm some would still defend that decision and defend it!!!

wdwguide
04-10-2003, 06:45 PM
I could live with the 7 pm closing, but 6 is a bit early for my taste. What they need is a major attraction on the Land/Living Seas side of Future World to distribute the crowds - with Test Track, Mission: Space and something else Future World would be a Ghost Town no more.

Of course The Living Seas, The Land, Universe of Energy and Wonders of Life all need a major re-imagineering to give them a higher repeat value.

Figmentrocks
04-10-2003, 08:55 PM
To the quote of it being only a one hour difference, umm, well that's not the case. Future World always closed at 9 PM until they decided to take away and give less for the money with a 7 PM closure. Disney really doesn't give a cent about the customer. I'm now paying more money to go to a park for 3 hours less a day vs. a year ago. Welcome to the new Walt Disney Company.

HB2K
04-10-2003, 09:29 PM
:Start Sarcasm
It's the guest's fault. It's not like the company did anything to make them leave before 4PM...
:End Sarcasm

TRAPPED-PARENT
04-11-2003, 08:51 AM
We just back from WDW after a 2 year absence. I thought it would be awful with all the cut back in the hours, etc. But I found that because of the lower crowds, we were able to accomplish everything we wanted and were ready to leave before closing time. We are, of course, people who take advantage of early openings and are there first thing when the parks open.

I didn't have a problem at all with FW closing early. We were aware of it and just made sure that we had done the sites earlier in the day.

I'm not really sure what all the fuss is about ... do you all get upset when your local store closes and you want to buy something after hours? No, you probably "plan" to do your shopping during posted store hours.

Just use the shortened park hours to get to bed early so that you can be there when the park opens -- or to take advantage of the various lounges/restaurants at the resorts ... you should have more than enough time to see everything, especially with the current low attendance.

I know, this is not a popular opinion ... but it is based on my experience having just been there last week (4 parks in 3 days).

EUROPA
04-11-2003, 10:19 AM
Originally posted by TRAPPED-PARENT

I'm not really sure what all the fuss is about ... do you all get upset when your local store closes and you want to buy something after hours? No, you probably "plan" to do your shopping during posted store hours.



Do you pay a cover charge to get into your "local store" ?

Don Karnage
04-11-2003, 11:13 AM
Simply put.... It's supposed to be a vacation.... for me that means having to do as little thinking as possible.

All this planning around 'only can do this between 2 and 3' and 'that is only open for 3 minutes on the second Friday of a month beginning with the letter 'J'' is starting to be alot like work.

And I hate being rushed.

Seriously... isn't it supposed to be about OUR convenience? (It's not like we are asking for the park to be open 24 hours a day, are we?)

BRERALEX
04-11-2003, 11:14 AM
once again im getting less for what i paid for when i bought my season pass and everyone else that buys tickets to get in and its bullcrap already. ahhh there thinking of our best interest. we spoke and they listened, FW was a ghost town after 4pm lets close it!!

Hey during parades and night time shows maybe they'll close the rides since there less crowded!!!! thats a great idea during the midday parade at Mk they close all rides and shops so we can be forced to watch the parade!!!!!! awesome!!!!!!! they anounce it soon i know it cause we're talking and their listening!!!!

All Aboard
04-11-2003, 11:22 AM
Hey, just be happy that you can still go to Epcot. It's Disney, smile, you're on vacation! It's better than being at the office. An hour here, an hour there, a parade here. So what, quit whining, there's plenty to do after 6pm. Here's a list:

Disney Quest
Pleasure Island
Fantasia Gardens
Winter/Summerland
Cirque du Soleil
Restaurants in the Resorts

mudhen
04-11-2003, 12:02 PM
The "be happy because it's still Disney" attitude
is exacatly what the TDA beancounters want to hear,
as a matter of fact, it's probably their new
motto.
It's not still "Disney", when a partial part
of the park is closed, it's flat out bad show.

What some people want to do after 6:00 is enjoy
the park they paid money for. If FW has thin
crowds after 4:00, then why not invest in it to
entice crowds to stay. Mission:Space is a good beginning, but it's been so darn long from ground
breaking to opening, the sense of excitement has
gone away, now people are just interested in if
their going puke or not on the ride portion.

I love FW, but c'mon, a little update on Body Wars
and Cranium Command would be nice, and with the
new ride technologies, imagine what they COULD have
done with Figment and Journey into Imagination.

But no, do it on the cheap, cut corners, people will still flock just because we're "Disney".
Well, seems their not flocking as much anymore.

I know, I know, the war, terrorism, bad economy...
whatever. For me personally, it's current management thinking. Individually these cutbacks
may not seem like a big deal. But collectively,
they make me seriously consider whether or not I want to invest my vacation dollars at Disney.

EUROPA
04-11-2003, 12:21 PM
Originally posted by gcurling
Hey, just be happy that you can still go to Epcot. It's Disney, smile, you're on vacation! It's better than being at the office. An hour here, an hour there, a parade here. So what, quit whining, there's plenty to do after 6pm. Here's a list:

Disney Quest
Pleasure Island
Fantasia Gardens
Winter/Summerland
Cirque du Soleil
Restaurants in the Resorts


They have you hooked...notice that everything on your list cost more money.

Gillian
04-11-2003, 01:24 PM
Originally posted by Figmentrocks
I'm now paying more money to go to a park for 3 hours less a day vs. a year ago.

The 7 PM FW closing went into effect in November 2001.

Changing it to 6 PM isn't really a big deal for us. We like to travel during less busy times, and it doesn't take long to see it all. There just isn't that much to do in Future World. :(

raidermatt
04-11-2003, 02:00 PM
Changing it to 6 PM isn't really a big deal for us. There probably isn't a single thing that IS a big deal for EVERYBODY. But just because something isn't a big deal to you or me, it doesn't mean its not a big deal for somebody.

Further, to reiterate something I said on another post, when you get nickel and dimed, very few of the nickels and dimes are big deal by themselves.


All that said, in Epcot's case, the hours reduction is really just Disney's reaction to the real problem, which AV, Show, and gcurling touched on.... Epcot in general has been allowed to stagnate and needs some updates and/or additions to draw more people in, and also give them a reason to spend more time there.

grinningghost
04-11-2003, 04:07 PM
I think a serious rehab of the Living Seas would be a huge draw. People spend alot of money to go to SeaWorld. People love sea life. With today's technology and some creative Imagineering (there still must be some), that could be FW's biggest attraction. Cutting hours isn't the answer. Revitalizing what's there is. With the ever sky-rocketing price of WDW passes, there has to be SOME money that isn't going directly into Eisner's wallet.

Gillian
04-11-2003, 04:14 PM
raidermatt, that's why I said, "to us." :) An MK closing of 6 vs 7 would bother me! There is a lot more to do there (for us) than in FW.

It does start to get to you after a while, but at least part of Epcot stays open late and Illuminations is shown every night. If a staggered MK land opening/closing (don't ask me how that would work) meant fireworks and at least some part of the park open every night, it might be worth it. It seems to work well for Epcot.

raidermatt
04-11-2003, 04:32 PM
raidermatt, that's why I said, "to us." Oops, my apologies. I thought you were using the lack of impact to your family as proof the earlier closing doesn't matter, as opposed to just making a personal comment. :)

An MK closing of 6 vs 7 would bother me! Yikes! Have you checked out the hours since August? (Maybe you only go June-July, or other peak times?

There is a lot more to do there (for us) than in FW. Agreed, and that's the real problem. Not so much that FW needs to have as much to do as all of MK, but that it no longer has the appeal to attract as many people for as long a time. That's due to a lack of investment and creativity.

Disney shortening the hours first to 7pm, and now 6pm, is just their response to that problem. But in my opinion, the response only makes things worse.

If a staggered MK land opening/closing (don't ask me how that would work) meant fireworks and at least some part of the park open every night, it might be worth it. It seems to work well for Epcot. If the idea was to keep parts of the park open LATER than now, maybe that could be considered better than the status quo, but what would be more likely would be for Dsiney to close certain parts earlier than they do now. Just as they've done with FW.

It only seem to work well for Epcot because they let Future World stagnate.

Bob O
04-11-2003, 05:33 PM
gcurling, your response sounds like it came from eisner himself, just close the parks early and make the guests spend their money at other parts of the property, and to achieve this goal we will close parks earlier and earlier, and will make few additions so people feel less compelled to saty at the park but are more likely to spend money at DTD/Mini Golf etc.!!!
This reduction is just another one of many that have been implemented over the years and every time they bring things back it is never to the level it once was and sadly alot of disney fanatics just keep buying whatever disney sells them no matter if it is inferior to what they bought several years ago!!

All Aboard
04-11-2003, 07:40 PM
My attempt at humorous sarcasm has fallen flat as a couple of folks have thought my post was serious. I need to remember to use the AV patented indicator.

manning
04-11-2003, 07:56 PM
I bought DVC last year. Can't do anything about that without losing money. But I certainly don't have to spend much time or money at Disney. I'll use my DVC as a place to sleep and go somewhere else for my entertainment. When Disney does something to give me my money's worth, then I will come back to the parks.

Actually, with a kitchen, I can hang around the pool and eat in.
Like one actor would say, "a park? I don't need no park!!"

Talking about money's worth, I remember people years back saying Disney was expensive, but when you spent a buck, you got a bucks worth. Today it seems to be 25 cents worth.

DG-12
04-12-2003, 04:18 PM
Although I love reading this board I hardly ever post here-
This thread reminds me of the chicken finger debate from a few weeks ago. Cutting the FW hours is just someone else's breaking point. In our case, a couple with no children the shorter hours may not have been a big deal but it's a question of how much I am willing to pay for continuing diminishing returns. Having only traveled to DW in the off-season the hours have always been shorter for us- but I wonder what other kind cuts there may be for a trip during January. A few years ago I would have never have thought to go to US/IOA or SeaWorld but now we are shortening a planned trip to DW and planning on spending time at the other parks. I am sure that we are not the only ones. (And that planned trip just depends on what kind of cuts happen before the trip-if it seems like it may not be "magical" I'll cancel the trip and head someplace else)
Dana

faithinkarma
04-13-2003, 11:38 PM
We were at Disney in February of this year. During this stay we looked into purchasing a time share. My biggest concern about investing this much money is that Disney is ( unbelieveably ) becoming less attractive to me with each visit. For all the reasons mentioned in this thread.

When I voiced my concerns to the time share sales rep, she immediately said " please don't say anything negative about Disney. It hurts me to hear anything like that ". The impression I got was that it was DISNEY, and we were supposed to love it unconditionally.

While I realize this was not the best occaision to be voicing my concerns, I find this " bury your head in the sand " attitude to be a dangerous stance for them to be taking. It certainly was a huge factor in my decision to leave my checkbook in my purse that day.

C.Ann
04-14-2003, 05:37 PM
When I travel to Disney World from here in the northeast, it's a considerable expense for me (and the other family members that I travel with).. Due to employment constraints, we can only go for "x" number of days and it really makes it difficult when Disney keeps cutting hours, events, and what-have-you..

I go to Disney to enjoy the PARKS and the EVENTS that take place within them.. I don't travel all the way to Florida to play golf, hang out in restaurants or bars, shop in DD, attend musicals, or any of the other things I "could" do during the shortened hours..

For several years now it's just been cut..cut..cut.. If it's not hours and events, then they're reducing food portions, hiring less people to keep the parks clean, substituting decent napkins with see-thru ones, and on and on..

I don't want to hear about travel concerns - SARS - the "war" - the economy - or any of that other nonsense.. All of this started WAY before those events occured and they're simply an easy "justification" for anything Disney wants to do in order to give the customers less..

And yes - I know - it's "Disney!" - but unless you've been blinded by pixie dust, I don't see how anyone can possibly think that they are still "getting their money's worth"...

--------------------------

Now where did I put that box of "thank you" cards.. Gotta dash another one off to Disney to thank them for once again listening to what - we - the customers - "want"...................... :rolleyes:

mitros
04-15-2003, 11:03 AM
:( Disney parks: CUT , CUT, CUT ! Eisners wallet : ADD, ADD, ADD ! Somethings rotten in Anaheim ! :mad: :mad:

jaysue
04-15-2003, 11:40 AM
Now everyone repeat after me:

Hey hey ho ho Eisner's gotta go
Hey hey ho ho Eisner's gotta go.....

thanks
Jason

mitros
04-15-2003, 12:47 PM
:D In the words of the little rascals Stymie, "Brother, you said a mouth full":D

nats
04-16-2003, 08:14 PM
I'm not really sure what all the fuss is about ... do you all get upset when your local store closes and you want to buy something after hours? No, you probably "plan" to do your shopping during posted store hours.

When I go into my local store I don't pay $700 for transportation and over $3000 for a hotel, food and entertainment
If Disney wants to keep our business then they must give us BIG BANG FOR OUR BUCK.
I love WDW but refuse to be taken advantage of.

TRAPPED-PARENT
04-17-2003, 06:47 AM
Hey, it's a free country ... you can choose not to go and not to spend your money at WDW. No one is MAKING you spend your money there.

This might be a good time for you to plan your next vacation elsewhere where you will get a "good value for your money". All I can say is good luck, because if you go to another amusement/theme park you may be surprised that they are expensive too!!!

God bless America where we can choose where to vacation and spend our $$$.

crusader
04-17-2003, 06:51 AM
If Disney wants to keep our business then they must give us BIG BANG FOR OUR BUCK.

True - they also need to make the trip more affordable in order to attract more visitors. It has always been an expensive endeavor to take a week long vacation to WDW for a travelling family. This drives the need to "get your moneys worth" during your stay.

But this is relatively subjective. You are paying for a resort and you are paying for park tickets. If FW is a ghost town after 6pm than the parks themselves are probably not remotely close to full capacity so your vacation touring in general has been relatively hassle free vs someone who attends during the peak times.

So much is made over the changes I lose sight of the main issue here. There has to be more offered a family at EPCOT in general. Most children today are not so inclined to go to WDW because they grew up with Walt and the Wonderful World of Disney. Their exposure to the company is so commercialized they mainly focus on what's down there that is going to be "cool" or "fun". FW contains venues that are designed to take extensive amounts of time to see and are often not perceived as providing enough excitement.

WDWalways
04-17-2003, 09:28 AM
I just want to say a couple of things - not pro or con on this topic - just some thoughts - ok, here goes:

About refurbishing FW - aren't they doing Spaceship Earth over?? I heard a while ago they were putting in a whole new "Thrill" ride inside so isn't SE closed right now anyway? (Last trip was 10/02 and I won't be back till early 06/03 so this is something I'm not sure happened or not yet.)

Don't most people have dinner in WS and sit around and wait for Illuminations to start etc and pretty much leave FW anyway around that 6pm - 7pm dinner hour?

I do think that it can be annoying with all these cut hours and cuts of other things (I missed this "chicken finger" debate so not sure about that one but I think I get the idea) - anyway, all 4 parks are not open "equally" for various reasons and they all cost the same for a 1-day admission so that's an argument that can go on forever with no resolution IMO. EX: AK is normally open 8am to 5pm - that's 9 hours for the same price as MK which is normally open 9am - 9pm (I'm talking the average hours I normally see when I visit) which is 12 hours so that's another argument but if EPCOT is open 9am - 9pm and some areas are closed early I don't think it's that bad. I personally think it's understandable if FW has very low attendance anyway and hopefully Disney is planning on sprucing that area up soon and then it will probably go back to 9am - 9pm for the whole park eventually.

Just my thoughts...

mitros
04-17-2003, 12:49 PM
:D The spaceship earth do-over is not a done deal at this point in time. The talk was of doing something in 2005. We usually eat dinner early, then walk around future world until it closes, then move out to world showcase and tour there until illuminations. I think a lot of folks {including DW and myself} are not happy paying an ever increasing price for park tickets and constantly having the hours shortened all around.:mad:

raidermatt
04-17-2003, 01:01 PM
Hey, it's a free country ... you can choose not to go and not to spend your money at WDW. No one is MAKING you spend your money there. True. However, we are talking about what DISNEY should or shouldn't do, not what you or I should or shouldn't do.

Don't most people have dinner in WS and sit around and wait for Illuminations to start etc and pretty much leave FW anyway around that 6pm - 7pm dinner hour? Yes, and a lot also don't bother with Epcot at all during the day, and just show-up in the evening.

A big part of the reason for that however, is that FW has been neglected by Disney and allowed to stagnate. The complaint is that Disney's plan of limiting investment, then cutting hours when attendance falls, is a very poor long-term strategy.

Gillian
04-17-2003, 05:00 PM
I left the party early, but I came back to see if there was any extra beer. :) Is all the good stuff gone?

Even though I was stating my personal experience earlier, I think that most visitors who are used to the 7 PM FW closing will not be bothered by its changing to 6. It doesn't make me happy, but I do believe that other types of cutbacks will be more upseting to the typical visitor than this one. Like the chicken fingers. :teeth:

We usually visit in the off season & are used to the short hours. When there is a 6 PM MK closing, we like knowing that at least part of Epcot is open if we want to go to a park. If closing FW at 6 vs 7 is what allows the WS to stay open until 9, I'm ok with it.

I guess I'm trying to look at it in terms of trade offs. If they have to cut an hour somewhere, then FW, in all its lameness, is the best place.

I would much rather see them make FW more interesting, of course!!

raidermatt
04-17-2003, 05:49 PM
Even though I was stating my personal experience earlier, I think that most visitors who are used to the 7 PM FW closing will not be bothered by its changing to 6. By doing things an hour at a time (as they have with MK and AK as well), the shock value is decreased.

So what if next year they go to 5pm in FW, 4:30pm at AK, and throw in more 6pms at MK? Not that much of a change...

Then a year or two later, FW=4:30, AK=4:00, and MK starts getting 5pm?

Yes, few customers get in an uproar at each individual change, because after all, its only an hour on some days. So only a few decrease their spending or decide not to go. But its a "few" each time, and those that only go every 5 years notice bigger changes.

Lets look at it this way... If 5 years ago, you had been told that in 5 years:
MK's Summer hours would be 2-3 hours shorter on most nights.
FW would close at 6pm on most nights, not 9pm.
WS would never close later than 9pm (except on a few rare holidays)
AK would close at 5pm most "nights", and open at 9am.
RC would close, and BB and TL would only operate 5 days a week well into May.

...would you have said that few guests would care?

Another Voice
04-17-2003, 05:50 PM
Funny, do you think that when Hawaii or Las Vegas hits a slumb in traffic those people say "let's just shut down early and not try to get anyone to come"? And I've never heard of a cruise line say "gee folks, we're only half full this cruise so we're going to cut the trip short by two days".

More is going on here than "meeting guests needs"...

crusader
04-17-2003, 06:18 PM
AV -

I understand your point but an entire state which relies on tourism or the gambling industry are not fair examples to measure this theme park against. They have to be far more concerned with their competitors than WDW. A casino hangs a 24 hour sign on its doors but in a slow economy may not have many tables open.

WDW is still operating with little competition.

More is going on here than "meeting guests needs"...

I don't doubt this but rather than speculate on the implication it would be great if you elaborated a bit further.

raidermatt
04-17-2003, 06:47 PM
WDW is still operating with little competition. A common misconception...

WDW's main competition is not other theme parks. WDW is a family vacation destination, and as such, its main competition is other family vacation destinations.

When families decide where to go on vacation, the decision is not whether to go to Magic Mountain or to go to WDW. The choice might be the Los Angeles / San Diego area as a whole, but not just another theme park or even a collection of theme parks.

Hawaii, Yellowstone, The Caribbean, Europe, LA/SD, SF, New York, Las Vegas and even Grandma's house are competing directly against WDW for a family's entire vacation. Ignoring that would be a tremendous mistake.

crusader
04-17-2003, 06:56 PM
Hawaii, Yellowstone, The Caribbean, Europe, LA/SD, SF, New York, Las Vegas and even Grandma's house are competing directly against WDW for a family's entire vacation

They are competing against the state of Florida as a vacation destination.

All Aboard
04-17-2003, 07:30 PM
They are competing against the state of Florida as a vacation destination.You really think so? Do many people visiting WDW make it down to Miami or Key West, or over to Daytona or out to Pensacola? I think the sheer size of WDW consumes virtually an entire vacation for most out-of-state guests. My guess would be only a small portion of guests even travel outside of Orlando. That's the evidence the state is now using to justify the high speed rail that would link cities in Florida, since visitors (especially those travelling by air) tend to stay where they land.

crusader
04-17-2003, 08:16 PM
gcurling -

Yes I do think the other states, countries and continents Matt mentioned are competing against Florida as a vacation destination.

The cutback in hours at EPCOT was being compared to Vegas and Hawaii. You cannot correlate this given the obvious distinction.

CarolA
04-17-2003, 09:26 PM
You know I have never been to this board, but I got over here by misstake and I have two things about this thread
1. I don't normally trust Sreamscape. They seem to be hit or miss.
2. Vegas does cut WAY back during slow times. Yep the casinos are open, but there are fewer table staffed, the free shows at the casinos are often cut way back or elimanated and they don't bring in the headline acts.

WDWalways
04-18-2003, 08:25 AM
Originally posted by raidermatt
By doing things an hour at a time (as they have with MK and AK as well), the shock value is decreased.
So what if next year they go to 5pm in FW, 4:30pm at AK, and throw in more 6pms at MK? Not that much of a change...
Then a year or two later, FW=4:30, AK=4:00, and MK starts getting 5pm?


I'm sorry, I had to respond to this - you're making it sound like in another few years - give or take - MK will be open 10a - 2p and AK may only be open an hour (if we're lucky :rolleyes: ) at the rate Disney is going - c'mon now, they cut hours during slow periods and are open longer hours during peak periods - I don't see what's so wrong about this and why mountains are being made out of molehills - it's getting silly now IMO.

Another Voice
04-18-2003, 10:48 AM
Disney has spent the last two decades trying to wall themselves off from the rest of the Florida in people’s mines. WDW views itself, markets itself, and operates itself as a self-contained resort. All aspects of the expansions in the 1990’s were aimed solely at keeping people on Disney property by directly replacing offsite activities: hotel rooms, nighttime entertainment, Universal Studios, water parks, even miniature golf.

It is Walt Disney World itself, not Florida that competes with other destination vacations. The era of “come the Florida and stop by WDW” ended with the opening of EPCOT Center. The resort now operates very much today in direct competition to Vegas, Hawaii, New York, cruises and other destinations. Florida is no longer part of the equation.

The cut back in hours are a serious matter because even Disney is finding that people place a value on them. The average guest drops a couple thousand dollars to visit WDW (okay, no stories about how with your DVC membership, annual passes and driving down with Aunt Bea you can do it for $1.95 – I’m talking about normal people). The cost very comparable to a cruise (and Disney sets their prices based on other resort destinations and cruises).

People tend to want value for their hard earned money. And just as they expect a cruise ship to maintain its itinerary, that the casino will always be open, the pools are filled, and all the wonderful things they’ve read about in the brochure are true…they expect Disney to live up to the hype that they’ve read about as well.

It doesn’t matter if you always leave Future World by 2 p.m. or if you have seen SpectroMagic a thousand times and can skip it or if you can enjoy Animal Kingdom just by looking at the trees – it’s what the great unwashed masses want. They want to enjoy the parks and not be herded out, they want to see fireworks and parades, they want to have the vacation that was promised them in the commercials and the videos and the fancy full color brochures.

Mountains and molehills are all a matter of perspective; the problem for Disney is that there are a handful of people who see a little pile of dirt and millions that see mountain of problems – all those millions who stopped showing up starting in the summer of 2000. Short hours, aging attractions, thin entertainment, the growing expense and the “we’ve got your money, we don’t care” attitude that many people feel is now a part of the WDW experience is having a direct and substantial impact.

Remember – WDW can’t operate just as your private little playground. You have to worry about how the other 14 million people feel.

C.Ann
04-18-2003, 11:04 AM
Originally posted by Another Voice
Mountains and molehills are all a matter of perspective; the problem for Disney is that there are a handful of people who see a little pile of dirt and millions that see mountain of problems – all those millions who stopped showing up starting in the summer of 2000. Short hours, aging attractions, thin entertainment, the growing expense and the “we’ve got your money, we don’t care” attitude that many people feel is now a part of the WDW experience is having a direct and substantial impact.

--------------------------

Well said! This is exactly the point I have been trying to make all along.. Notice the DATE - summer of 2000.. This is before 9/11; before the soft economy; before people became paranoid about flying; before the current war in Irag; before the SARS incidents; and before any of us ever even knew what a color-coded terrorist threat warning was!!

Disney continually shoots themselves in the foot by aggravating and alienating the very people they want to come to their parks and then they have the audacity to turn around and blame it soley on "world events".. There's more to this situation than meets the eye - but first you have to open your eyes to see it..

crusader
04-18-2003, 12:42 PM
It is Walt Disney World itself, not Florida that competes with other destination vacations.

OK - I get it. But I think Florida is still competing as well. There will always be people who go to Florida and stop by WDW - even today.

My point was that to compare cutting back hours to Vegas is not feasible given two basic fundamental facts:

1) Vegas is the city that never sleeps and will remain open 24 hours.
2) There are too many casinos competing with one another to ever change this.

And Hawaii - much too broad a demographic to apply the phrase "shutting down early" to.


They want to enjoy the parks and not be herded out, they want to see fireworks and parades, they want to have the vacation that was promised them in the commercials and the videos and the fancy full color brochures.

You're right. Disney is not making enough of an investment in providing these things to the degree they are marketed. Having seen the video and commercials I wouldn't categorize it as false advertisement either. It may not knock your socks off or exceed your expectations but it is what it is - disneyworld.

I don't know if its plagued by a mountain or a molehill of problems. This vacation is so choice driven we share in the responsibility of guaranteeing its success.

Another Voice
04-18-2003, 01:17 PM
But Disney is trying to be a complete "all vacation, all the time" destination just like Vegas, Hawaii and cruises - but now they are acting like a regional Six Flags park with cost-management hours.

And Disney sits around wondering where all the people went.

The pattern at WDW is extactly the same as if Hawaii shut down the beaches early, if Vegas only offered blackjack only at certain times or if a crusie ship set it's course based on the number of people who showed up this week. Disney's actions are not a rational, business approach to the challenges of running a vacation destination.

They think they can get away with it becasue of some built-in customer base and demand for The Product. They think they are special and magical. But they're not.

People want a vacation. Sure, many here have been to WDW so many times that they accept the shorter hours and all the other reductions. But many, many, many, many, many people in the WDW customer database don't fit that profile and they are choosing to go elsewhere.

Making excuses for Disney's dumb moves or blaming people for not "taking responbility" to lower their expectations isn't going to reverse the situation.

crusader
04-18-2003, 01:47 PM
But many, many, many, many, many people in the WDW customer database don't fit that profile and they are choosing to go elsewhere.

This is not because of the changes. This has to do with the stigma which plagues WDW as being an "expensive vacation".

Making excuses for Disney's dumb moves or blaming people for not "taking responbility" to lower their expectations isn't going to reverse the situation.

I don't excuse Disney for not providing enough nor do I excuse the guest for blaming solely the "place" for their unhappiness. Too much information is available today to affect the decision making process. Approaching this vacation should be no different than any other you choose to embark on.

If they want to reverse the situation regarding attendance they need to make it more affordable. If they want to reverse the situation with the "regulars" they need to give them that added something that will make them feel appreciated.

Granted, this is one step in the right direction.

raidermatt
04-18-2003, 02:42 PM
Price is not the problem...or at least its a small part of the problem. The main problem is the other half of the value equation. Of course, if you are going to reduce the benefit side, more people will complain about price. But in Disney's case, they are only complaining about price because they are finding WDW is not delivering what they expect for the price.

c'mon now, they cut hours during slow periods and are open longer hours during peak periods - I don't see what's so wrong about this and why mountains are being made out of molehills - it's getting silly now IMO. Sorry you feel its silly, but hours were being reduced BEFORE attendance started falling.

They TELL you that's why the hours are shorter but the facts show there are other things at work.

No, I don't think MK will be open from 10-2 in a couple of years. But did you think days that used to be 8:30-Midnight would now be 9-10? Or 9-9 would become 9-6? Or 8-7 at AK would become 9-5?

Again, this began when attendance was rising, and accelerated when attendance began to fall.

I don't pretend to know where it will stop, but I'm sure that if attendance returned to 1999-2000 levels tomorrow, hours would NOT return to 1999-2000 levels.

crusader
04-18-2003, 03:04 PM
Of course, if you are going to reduce the benefit side, more people will complain about price.

I believe AV was referring to that person the Co. is trying to lure away from the other vacation destinations who isn't as informed as that well travelled Disney guest. Not sure how you would sell them on value here?

What probably occured was an online price quote through the disney website and a quick pass on the trip as soon as that dollar amount came glaring back at you. Coincidentally, I wonder when this option first became available to us?

Another Voice
04-19-2003, 12:36 PM
Actually Mr. Crusader, I said no such thing.

WDW has never competed on price. Ever. It has always – and intentionally – set its prices with a premium over its competition like cruises and other vacation destinations. But in the past people have been willing to pay that premium because Disney offered a very unique and high quality product.

People don’t feel that way anymore. It is not the case that they hop on Priceline and say “gee, Vegas is fifty bucks cheaper than Disney”. It is that Disney itself no longer has the value. People are looking elsewhere because they are no longer interested in going to WDW.

crusader
04-19-2003, 01:07 PM
WDW has never competed on price.

They never had to before - they were the only game in town.

It has always – and intentionally – set its prices with a premium over its competition like cruises and other vacation destinations

Because it was unique in what it offerred it could do this. The other vacation destinations did not come with a theme park attached.

But in the past people have been willing to pay that premium because Disney offered a very unique and high quality product.

The past is the operative word here. We are on the third generation of visiting guests now and have a wealth of experience and knowledge at our disposal. The novelty has worn off and the consumer is very much aware of what it is they are being charged for. Price matters.

It is not the case that they hop on Priceline and say “gee, Vegas is fifty bucks cheaper than Disney”.

You'd be surprised to learn how many non-disney travellers will respond this way when weighing options.

doubletrouble_vb
04-19-2003, 05:57 PM
In response to an earlier post...I traditionally have gone in late Jan/early February. Having FW hours reduced to 6PM WOULD be an extreme negative. It removes the option of visiting before/after/during dinner. Essentially most people will now have to get their visit to FW in before they go whereever dinner will be. When they changed it to 7PM I could understand it....but 6PM? They would do better to open at 10AM rather than close an hour early.

The problem with FW isn't that it is educational or not-thrilling. The problem is that an educational exhibit needs to be changed or guests who have finally learned the lesson won't come back.
The Wonders of Life and the Living Seas are excellent examples of this.

d-r
04-19-2003, 06:38 PM
"They never had to before - they were the only game in town. "

oh come on. in the 70's-early 80s there was only the MK at wdw, and there was seaworld, boardwalk and baseball, circus world, bush gardens, the acquariium in miami, weeki watchi, cape canavral, the beach, cypress gardens and gatorland zoo, and i am sure others i forgot. the onlywater park at wdw was river country and i promise you we didn't go there instead of wet & wild. They are more of the only game in town now than then.

crusader
04-19-2003, 07:40 PM
d-r:

Those were not theme parks complete with a vacation resort. Only WDW had it all - well packaged and tucked away. There was no real competition to set their pricing against.

They are more of the only game in town now than then.

Not true. Now they have competition.

d-r
04-19-2003, 08:23 PM
no crusader, I disagree. WDW was MK plus polly, contemporary, and wilderness lodge. There wasn't much there to keep you more than a couple of days. River ountry, discovery island, the luau, thosse sorts of things were good for what, three nights stay?

Now there are four theme parks, two water parks, downtown disney and boardwalk, wild word of sports. You can stay a week and never leave.

It is much more of a resort destination now than then. Then it was more of a one day on a circuit route through Florida. Now they have tried to duplicate everything else in Florida to keep you from going anywhere else, from the manatees in the living sea to the alligators at the land. If you can go to the AK why go to bush gardens? Universal studios? Why you already have a ticket for disney-mgm studios. Heck, if you really HAVE to go to the beach or on a cruise, disney can do that for you, too. There are much more the only show in town now than then.

crusader
04-19-2003, 08:35 PM
d-r:

I know you meant fort wilderness which arguably could take more than 3 days to enjoy - even in the 70's. I am not in disagreement with your point that the sheer magnitude of the place today makes it extremely difficult to compete with.

My initial comment was in reference WDW never having to compete on price simply because for years they was nothing else like it.

Ron from Michigan
04-20-2003, 09:56 AM
We always find with the parks closing earlier that we just make our PS's a little later and enjoy our night's eating at one of our favorite WDW restaurants.

phyllis1966
04-21-2003, 11:10 AM
I have enjoyed reading all the posts in this discussion! Here's my 2 cents: while it is true that we can all try to find something else to do, with many other offerings besides the parks, my family goes to WDW to enjoy the parks primarily, as I believe many families do. We are absolutely paying more money now for fewer hours. If we decide to leave a park early to do something at one of the resorts, that's our prerogative, but the fact remains that if we want to continue to visit WDW, we have no choice but to pay more and receive less. I'm not debating anyone, these are the feelings of my family and many others.

All Aboard
04-21-2003, 12:20 PM
We always find with the parks closing earlier that we just make our PS's a little later and enjoy our night's eating at one of our favorite WDW restaurants.Ron, right now Michael Eisner is praying that there are a lot of folks like you out there.

Planogirl
04-22-2003, 12:09 AM
My take is that it's the theme parks that make WDW unique. I can dine in many fine restaurants, stay at wonderful resorts and play at great nightclubs in many places, and the best waterpark anywhere is even right here in Texas. I personally feel no need to travel all the way to Florida and contribute to the Ei$ner Bonus Fund for these things. It's the theme parks and how Disney pulls everything together into one "perfect" package (the show?) that appears to be unique, at least that's my take.

The theme parks have suffered and continue to do so in my opinion. Disney has a big juggernaut down the road that just now seems to be opening its eyes to the possibilities and where that will lead is hard to guess. I've often predicted that some true competition would shake Disney out of its doldrums but I'm waiting, avidly WAITING!!! As for Disney pulling it all together into one wonderful package of experiences for the traveler, I see a few frayed edges and a bit of unravelling going on. I hope that this stops before we wind up with a bunch of incoherent threads of pixie dust all of which close early of course. :rolleyes:

manning
04-29-2003, 12:27 AM
I see Sea World is expanding!!

More choices. Yeah!!!!!!!

TC1026
04-29-2003, 10:09 PM
So does this mean that we don;t get to watch the little robot cutting the grass behind spaceship earth?

Hopefully it'll be open "late" in October....

EpcotRanger
04-30-2003, 01:50 PM
The little robot is not running from what I have seen in quite a long time, and I have been there 5 nights a week for the last 6 weeks. Then again, the flower and garden show is going on too.

mitros
04-30-2003, 03:57 PM
:confused: If you are talking about the solar lawn mower, that has been gone for some time .:eek:

TC1026
05-02-2003, 12:03 PM
I haven't been to Ecpot., or WDW in general in about 18 months, and I can't remember if it was there last time,now that I think about it...but I still think it is really neat, and I will hold out hope that it will be back by October...Wishful thinking??

If so, I am sure I will get over it, I will be running my then 2 year old around and will have plenty to keep me busy;)!