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DVC-Landbaron
05-31-2001, 02:10 PM
This was posted on the DIZ BIZ Board this morning at 8:31 Chicago time. As I write this it is now 2:10 in the afternoon. And it received only 12 views and one reply!!! This is INSANITY!!! This needs to be heard. You don't have to agree with a word of it (Captain) but everyone should at least be cognizant of this perspective. So, thanks tiggerstheman1. I appreciate it, greatly!!

Laughingplace article today on WDI and DDC and why there are so many hotels and such little ride development.

Jim Hill's article (http://www.laughingplace.com/News-ID115220.asp)

Seems that WDI lost the battle in favor of the hotel boys and now WDI has to pass everything past the DDC folks who ended up in charge.

Welcome back!! What'd ya think?

JeffJewell
05-31-2001, 02:18 PM
...I stand by my lonely reply on the DIZ BIZ board. Call it bad attitude, but I think I can pretty much predict the responses you're going to get.

Jeff

mrgoofy
05-31-2001, 02:18 PM
That doesn't seem entirely true, Paul Pressler is the official head of Imagineering, and Theme Parks & Resorts. It seems to me that he'd get to yeah or nay the project somewhere along the approval process. And he's neither a hotel or attractions man, he moved up from being the head of the Disney stores. So there is some outside people in there. I find it hard to believe that the hotel people have such a creative strangle-hold over the Imagineering division. Imagineers like Marty Sklar and Tony Baxter are well respected within the company so I think their opinion of a project will have a lot to do with whether or not it gets approved.

OK, I already know what most of you think of Paul Pressler, so there is no need to shout.

YoHo
05-31-2001, 02:36 PM
WHat I find interesting here is that it sounds likeWDI had problems of its own with its internal managment. Creativity and Walt aside. Meeting budgets and deadlines is Important. Sure, Budgets and deadlines aren't as important as quality, but a good engineering staff can do all three. Thus I conclude that my assumption eslsewhere was true WDI was not running on all cylinders even before Ei$ner Mucked with it. Obviously then the error of upper managment was in not fixing the problem, but buring it under managment with a different agenda. DDC was probably run well and great in and of itself. WDI needed equallly effective, SEPERATE managment to remain effective.

gary
05-31-2001, 03:22 PM
Budgets and deadlines aren't as important as quality, but a good engineering staff can do all three

Actually, there's an old engineering saying... "You can have it good, cheap, or fast. Pick two of the three."


Gary

YoHo
05-31-2001, 03:24 PM
Well, okay, but it sounds to me like Imagineering was opting for good Expensive and slow. NOT in line with your quote.

Another Voice
05-31-2001, 05:10 PM
Jim Hill’s article was very accurate, but out of necessity, he left out a lot of what happened. The biggest omission was Michael Eisner’s attitude toward WED/WDI. Remember, Eisner came from a movie background and he expected WED to operate just like a studio: here’s the budget, here’s the release date, I’ll see you at the premier. In all honesty, that’s probably not a bad way to run the business.

The problem was that WED never worked like that. The tradition in the company was to make the best attraction possible – no if’s, and’s or but’s. The story about how Walt had ripped-out ‘Pirates’ and started all over again was quoted so often that people had the feeling it was engraved in a stone tablet somewhere.

Things came to head over Splash Mountain at Disneyland. It had been sold as a quick and easy “off the shelf” ride. Eisner and Attractions Management wanted a fast thrill ride. WDI knew that flume rides were slow (oh so slow), but they promised it to Disneyland anyway. Well, the “off the shelf” didn’t really work the way WDI wanted – costs soared and construction lagged. Eisner was courting a huge sponsorship with McDonald’s on this attraction and he was getting nervous. He asked WDI for some assurances, and WDI told their boss that everything was okay. Well, months of delays and more cost overruns (including scrapping all of the original ride vehicles) and a HUGE check to McDonalds to cover the costs of the tie-in promotion pretty much killed any trust that Eisner had in WDI.

And he’s never gotten it back.

JeffJewell
05-31-2001, 06:17 PM
...thanks for the great background.

I've always wondered why Eisner has been systematically crippling Imagineering. I guess that was more palatable to him than was installing some discipline... you know, providing some management.

Jeff

PS - Eisner's foreword to the 1996 book "Imagineering" read: "...no one could do exactly what the Imagineers can do. They are the best in the business. They invented the business. Imagineers are the only ones who can turn impossible dreams into real magic." I don't know why he's fired so many of them between then and now, they sure sound like valuable business assets.

YoHo
06-01-2001, 12:20 PM
Look, Jeff, your helping my point about Eisner wasn't always Ei$ner :bounce:


At any rate, Thanks for the Insiteful comments AV. From a purely practical perspective, one wonders how WDI/WED stayed in good graces if they had such trouble with deadlines. Ripping out all of Pirates is all well and good, but its not an excuse. Perhaps Walt just had better control (and more focused people) and Walker/Miller just left them alone out of reverence, and that combined to produce a less then stellar group Buisnesswise.

I swear this stuff is so Interesting from a history perspective. What happened to the Kingdom after Walt Died. I bet there's a lot more there then meets the eye.

larworth
06-01-2001, 12:23 PM
Very sobering.

Love to get more corroboration, either way. Sounds like AV backs it up.

It would support my perception of a noticeable change in investment approach starting in the mid-90's.

I agree with JeffJ. If this was the core of my business I sure wouldn’t try to fix any problems in it by turning it over to another unit to manage.

It does sound like a plausible story. I can see the hotel boys having a different mentality than the park guys. I could see how they might be more skeptical about the need to continue to make major investments in established parks. Hey, if the occupancy (attendance) rates are high why invest. You run with what you got until rates start to drop and then you do some remodeling.

However, AK would be similar to opening a new hotel. You have to build it to a certain standard or you won't make your occupancy projections. They would understand that. It sure seems like they would quickly realize they really did need the deluxe pool (BK) after all and have rectified the situation by now.

Funny, I almost got the feel after reading it that this was just another one of those interesting Disney tidbits. Right along with what tracks didn’t make it on the latest CD. Oh well, it is only about the potential dismantling of WDI.

F.C. Fan
06-01-2001, 03:43 PM
Is it true that Disney has lost of the Imagineers to Universal????

If so I read an article recently in the Orlando Sentinel about Universal moving their whole creative team down here to Orlando,
that could eventually have an affect on Disney since Universal is going to at least build 1 more park here and their new owners have very very deep pockets.

YoHo
06-01-2001, 03:57 PM
Actually, the new owners have made it quite clear that they are laying somewhat low. Just finishing up the projects they have already announced. I have to wonder if a full move to florida my cause more to walk though.

F.C. Fan
06-01-2001, 04:26 PM
They aren't laying that low because they're already building the 3rd hotel right now over by IOA ,USF, and CW, plus with the new addition for the Orange County Convention Center already going up quickly on the 200 acres that Universal sold to the county with some kind of rights to connect their own hotels to the convention center.
They'll want to open their own hotels to take advantage of the convention money that'll be flowing in, and I'd think they'd also want their next park to open not too long after, to cash in even more.

They also have sold 44 acres of the I-Drive property to Hyatt.

With the exception of the 3rd hotel I know none of this will be done for a few years down the road, but it makes you wonder what's Disney thinking, ticking off their Imagineers???

YoHo
06-01-2001, 04:31 PM
None of that is a New Theme Park.

I'll root around for the thread, but Landbaron posted an article a couple weeks ago, that basically said the only themepark specific things vivendi was doing were in Japan and I think Spain.
They were finishing off hotels, but that's not the same.

F.C. Fan
06-01-2001, 04:59 PM
I'm sorry I don't have the article about Universal's creative team moving here but in it it said the people who are basically in charge of the parks are here in Orlando and that they wanted the creative team here as well, it went on to say that some of their creative team members were reluctant to move here but were doing so anyways. It just makes sense that they would have their creative people out in California move down here when the company will be building in Orlando again in the next decade.

YoHo
06-01-2001, 05:07 PM
Old Landbaron thread (http://www.disboards.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=28451)

There's the link to old thread. a link to the article is contained within.

F.C. Fan
06-01-2001, 05:29 PM
Yoho
The article won't work it shows up as expired for me.

I did not mean to sound like I was arguing with you.
I too don't think any park will be there before 5-8 yrs but at the same time I see all the clearing of the land that they are doing daily and know they are not totally laying low either.

JeffJewell
06-01-2001, 05:50 PM
Is it true that Disney has lost of the Imagineers to Universal? ...it's true that a bunch of Animal Kingdom Imagineers were fired during the AK budget cuts, and some of them did end up working for Universal (some suggest Beastly Kingdom's Dragon's Tower shares a theme with IOA's Dueling Dragons for this reason).

It's also true, in the same vein, that a bunch of the Dinosaur Imagineers got fired after that movie underperformed at creating demand for consumer goods, and some of them did end up working for PDI, the company that made Shrek for Dreamworks.

I would think whenever a WDW Imagineer was fired, they'd at least send a resume to Universal.

Jeff

YoHo
06-01-2001, 05:50 PM
LA-times probably clears the old articles every so often.

Oh well. What was the point of this thread again?

Brer-Rabbit
06-01-2001, 07:36 PM
I am more of a lurker on this board and very rarely post, but this article has inspired me to post my thoughts and I hope I don't get flamed for it.....

My impression from reading Hill's articles is that he likes to blow steam, he theorizes, he has no fact for these articles, at least he doesn't state any facts in the article. And there are too many fallacy's in his theories.

For example, He states at the beginning of the article that Disney has focused on building 3 times the number of resort rooms it had in 1984, but Disney has created four times the number of parks it had since the 80's as well.

I read the posts on this board on a daily basis, and as a business owner, I believe in many good business practices, one of which I learned young -- concentrate on the part of your business that is successful. (it doesn't mean ignore the parts that aren't, but moreover capitalize on what you KNOW works, while you work on fixing the rest).

Disney has done this. The demand for the wheel and spoke rides are there. The lines for dumbo are LOOOOOOOONNNGGGGGGGG, so they have built another. And, because it brings people to fantasyland they figure it will bring people to AK too.

Then last night I read this post about how they are going to expand MK. Some of the posts basically said why would Disney expand MK when they are struggling with AK, and others even said they NEED a 5th park. the answer is the same as why they are building another value resort (with 5700+ rooms) because its popular and it brings in money -- IT WORKS! The value resorts are a huge success, build another and more people will come to stay there and spend money in the parks (the good ones and the bad ones). The MK is a very popular park, it has the highest attendance-- It's successful -- It Works. Expanding it will raise attendance, raising attendance will bring in more money. Disney is abusiness and it is in the business to entertain -- hopefully it can manage to be successful AND continue to entertain us.

Now don't get me wrong, while I believe they are focusing in the parts of WDW that work well, I do believe that they are doing a poor job of fixing the parts that are not. And, I know I am not telling you anything you don't already know. I guess sometimes as a lurker on this board I get frustrated with the sometimes pessimistic attitude that exits in some (and I stress some) of the posts on this board. JMHO! :)

phantom-menace
06-01-2001, 07:50 PM
great article, maybe disney believes the hotels are attractions in themselves,meanwhile the parks turn to crap like the newest carnival ride, aladdins magic carpet ride, the carousel of progress is broken,it actually moved during one of the shows when we were there two weeks ago, the haunted mansion is a bore,could be much better if they actually used some of todays special effects technology,its a small world is a mess and so on and so on, meanwhile the prices keep going up and up, all for this?????

JimB.
06-02-2001, 09:44 AM
Brer Rabbit -

Well Said. I always like a dose of healthy optimism coupled with some realism.

I have been accused on this board of thinking things are "perfect" at WDW and overlooking the obvious flaws. Of which I do neither.

But I also don't sit around nit-picking the place to death.

I last went to WDW on Memorial Day Weekend for 3 days, and was so disappointed that I just made reservations for 5 days at the VWL in August. ;) ;)

In fact it took a lot of self-control to not suggest to my wife that we do a DVC "add-on". Gotta' pay for the new cars first. :mad:

BTW, there was a 45 minute line for the newest "crap" ride, Aladdins Magic Carpet Ride, CoP was up and running and as enjoyable as ever. The boring Haunted Mansion was fun as always (wanna' hear the "faithful scream??? Tell 'em you are going to make changes there!!), and there was no "mess" in SW. The only change there that I saw was that the "Mattel" sign was gone at the exit (which should make DVC-Landbaron ecstatic!)

Bottom line (as far as I am concerned)............ If you don't like the place, the physical condition, the price, the food, the shows, the parades, the percieved lack of transportation, etc, etc, etc,.................... then don't go.

If you think your entertainment dollars are better invested at IoA, or 6 Flags or the Beach or even the Dentist, then spend them elsewhere.

Don't spend your time tearing other things down. It takes too much of your energy, and too much of my time to filter through it.


Relax. Have fun. If you are spending your time counting burned out light bulbs and scratched paint, maybe you have the wrong frame of mind.

phantom-menace
06-02-2001, 10:25 AM
JIM B, ok I will lighten up but here is what gets to me. When was the first time you people went to wdw?? My first time was 1973 when things as far as I am concerned were PERFECT!!! card walker ran the place and the park (mk) was immaculate,the crowds were light, no peeling paint, no rust on the buildings,the attractions worked, the haunted mansion was a hoot and the cast members were friendly. Maybe thats my problem, I expect things the way they were. Back then, there was only the mk,ft.wilderness,the contemporary, the polynesian and the disney inn(now shades of green). Now, its a huge conglomerate which in my opinion has gotten to be very difficult to manage especially with the cost cutting in maintenance. Another example: we stayed at the poly 2 weeks ago and they have a new pool. they built a stream leading down to the pool,anybody see it?? It looks like a sewer outlet, the water does'nt flow, its stagnant and its filthy dirty. My gosh, at least cement it,paint it blue and make the water flow. Maybe I expect perfection but I remember when wdw was perfect, thats my gripe. no, I dont nit pick every little flaw but a wdw vacation is not cheap and sometimes I do expect more bang for the buck.

Brer-Rabbit
06-02-2001, 10:37 AM
My first trip was in 1972, shortly after WDW opened. In fact, some of the MK wasn't even open yet. We went at least once if not twice every year until I was 16, then I went about every other year until about five years ago when we started going twice a year (or more ;) ) I remember all the magic parts of WDW. I think they have done a phenomenal job of maintaining the magic I remember, while continuing to grow their business and maintain profit.

JimB.
06-02-2001, 12:58 PM
Phantom - menace

FYI - May, 1972

And AGAIN, I'll second whar Brer-Rabbit said.

DVC-Landbaron
06-02-2001, 01:09 PM
Brer-Rabbit
For example, He states at the beginning of the article that Disney has focused on building 3 times the number of resort rooms it had in 1984, but Disney has created four times the number of parks it had since the 80's as well.
Now far be it from me to defend the admirable work of Mr. Hill, but since he hasn’t logged on to offer any counter, I feel someone should. I volunteer!! Brer-Rabbit, how does the first part of your sentence (specifically what Mr. Hill stated) have any bearing on the second half (more theme parks)? Has Disney focused on building 3 times the number of resort rooms that it had in 1984? Yes or no.

Well, I’m not sure if they’ve been “Focused” on 3 times the amount. Perhaps the truth is they were focused on 5 times the amount and fell short of the mark. Or maybe they started building as many as they could and simply fell into a number that is 3 times the amount. But a casual look around the property will tell you there is one heck of a lot of hotels built since 1984. Or maybe you’re saying that the number is wrong. Maybe it’s 2.9 times or 3.2 times. I don’t think that makes much difference.

And you are very much mistaken about the number of parks. MK (a very full park) and EPCOT (WOW! A VERY full park) PLUS (+) MGM (3/4) and AK (1/2) does not make four times!!! And even if you factor out the sarcastic fractions and have MGM and AK equal full parks, the BEST that could be is double!! So, what’s your point? And how did Mr. Hill mislead anyone.
Disney has done this. The demand for the wheel and spoke rides are there. The lines for dumbo are LOOOOOOOONNNGGGGGGGG, so they have built another. And, because it brings people to fantasyland they figure it will bring people to AK too.
OK. I really don’t want to get into anything to serious here, because I think I basically agree with the overall feeling of you statement. But there are a few subtle nuances that I really have to take issue with. Such as, “The lines for dumbo are LOOOOOOOONNNGGGGGGGG.” It couldn’t be that it is perhaps the slowest loading ride that Disney has, could it?

And, “And, because it brings people to fantasyland they figure it will bring people to AK too.” You can’t really be serious!!! Do you really think that this type of attraction is a draw in and of itself, say like ToT or Test Track? It’s going to bring people in??? I will grant you that it will enhance the experience of guests already there, but “bring people to AK?” I seriously doubt it!!!
Now don't get me wrong, while I believe they are focusing in the parts of WDW that work well, I do believe that they are doing a poor job of fixing the parts that are not. And, I know I am not telling you anything you don't already know. I guess sometimes as a lurker on this board I get frustrated with the sometimes pessimistic attitude that exits in some (and I stress some) of the posts on this board.
How is your attitude any different from my attitude? Except in a matter of degree. I don’t often heap accolades on Disney (though I sometimes do, especially when just returning ;) ) but I often say that they are good at maintaining a certain amount magic. Just below (or above depending on how you look it) the critical level. And like you, I am VERY concerned that they are doing a POOR job in some areas. I think that’s Mr. Hill’s view as well.
CoP was up and running and as enjoyable as ever.
Ahhhh! JimB. You do my heart good!! I take it by your statement that it does not have shorter hours anymore. That’s GREAT!!! And am I further to understand that they finally cleaned and repaired the ripped scrims? WOW!!! It’s about time!!! Thanks for the update!!! Maybe there is hope!!
Bottom line (as far as I am concerned)............ If you don't like the place, the physical condition, the price, the food, the shows, the parades, the percieved lack of transportation, etc, etc, etc,.................... then don't go.
Well. That is certainly the way I would treat any other business. But MY Disney is different. I KNOW the way it could be, should be. How it once was when the emphasis was on the Guest Experience and not the bottom line. And I think it could be that way again. BUT NOT WITH EI$NER IN CHARGE!!!
Don't spend your time tearing other things down. It takes too much of your energy, and too much of my time to filter through it.
Bottom line (as far as I am concerned)............ If you don't like the post, (regarding) the physical condition, the price, the food, the shows, the parades, the perceived lack of transportation, etc, etc, etc,.................... then don't read it.

One last question for Brer-Rabbit
In fact, some of the MK wasn't even open yet.
I was 17 in the summer of 1972. I was there as well, and every year thereafter. What parts of MK weren’t opened? Some rides weren’t opened, or rather not built yet, but “Parts”? I don’t recall. And no sarcasm intended, but can you refresh my memory? Thanks.

Brer-Rabbit
06-02-2001, 01:40 PM
Jim Hill Said:
I mean, think about it, folks: When Disney CEO Michael Eisner and his new management team came on board at Walt Disney Productions back in September 1984, there were fewer than 5500 hotel rooms on property for WDW guests to stay in. (And -- of those 5500 rooms -- fewer than 3900 were actually owned by the Mouse. The rest were operated by outside hotel chains at the outermost edge of Disney property -- the Hotel Plaza area near the Shopping Village at Lake Buena Vista.) In just 10 years, Disney managed to triple the number of hotel rooms the Mouse owned and operated in the Orlando area.
DVC said:
Now far be it from me to defend the admirable work of Mr. Hill, but since he hasn’t logged on to offer any counter, I feel someone should. I volunteer!! Brer-Rabbit, how does the first part of your sentence (specifically what Mr. Hill stated) have any bearing on the second half (more theme parks)? Has Disney focused on building 3 times the number of resort rooms that it had in 1984? Yes or no.
Maybe I am the only one to think this, but I think what JH is implying here is that Disney has focused more on building resorts to make money than building themeparks. My point, while not as clouded as yours, is quite clear: they built the resorts to bring people to the parks they were ALSO building. JH conveniently skips over that point in his article.
And you are very much mistaken about the number of parks. MK (a very full park) and EPCOT (WOW! A VERY full park) PLUS (+) MGM (3/4) and AK (1/2) does not make four times!!! And even if you factor out the sarcastic fractions and have MGM and AK equal full parks, the BEST that could be is double!! So, what’s your point? And how did Mr. Hill mislead anyone.

hmmmmm, let me see, MK is one (1) park right and if I take 1 and multiply it by the number of parks they have now (MK (1) + EPCOT (1) + MGM (1) + AK (1)) 4 , that equals 4 right? 1x4=4 yeah thats right its four. So now they have four times the number of parks than they did when they opened the MK. Seems simple to me. Now whose using "fuzzy math"?
there are a few subtle nuances that I really have to take issue with. Such as, “The lines for dumbo are LOOOOOOOONNNGGGGGGGG.” It couldn’t be that it is perhaps the slowest loading ride that Disney has, could it?
No, if you want to be exact, the train would be the slowest ride :). I believe that the Dumbo ride just draws ALOT of children and people who want to ride a hub and spoke ride.
And, “And, because it brings people to fantasyland they figure it will bring people to AK too.” You can’t really be serious!!! Do you really think that this type of attraction is a draw in and of itself, say like ToT or Test Track? It’s going to bring people in??? I will grant you that it will enhance the experience of guests already there, but “bring people to AK?” I seriously doubt it!!! Yeah, I do belive that. Think about it, If they can convince a 6 year to go that park for that ride, they have a good chance of bringing in three people instead of the just one (the child, and both or one parent). Thee rides have the same chance of increasing attendance as does the roller coaster they are building.
I was 17 in the summer of 1972. I was there as well, and every year thereafter. What parts of MK weren’t opened? Some rides weren’t opened, or rather not built yet, but “Parts”? I don’t recall. And no sarcasm intended, but can you refresh my memory? Thanks.
I visted WDW when it first opened, possibly 1971, Tomorrowland wasn't even opened yet. In fact there was hardly anything there compared to two years later.

As I said, I think Jim Hill just likes to blow off steam, no facts. If he wanted to say what you say he is saying, he should have simply stated it, cause he sure didn't back it up with facts.

You may have noticed that this board's posts are dominated by the same people, pehaps its because when others (like me) do post, they get attacked like its the debate board. Maybe they should call this place the "rumor debate board."

JimB.
06-02-2001, 01:44 PM
DVC - testy, aren't we??

And if you can convince me the WDW was a better experience in 1982 than today, go for it.

If you do, I will stand out in the middle of the street in front of my house singing the "Micky Mouse Club" theme at the top of my lungs at midnight with a paper bag over my head.................. and post the picture here.

Somehow, I don't think that's gonna' happen.

P.S. I don't think I remember parts of the MK not open in '72, but I definitely remember parts of EPCOT incomplete when it opened. Horizons was planned to be complete at openeing, but was not finished until Jan/Feb time frame, some 4 months later.

P.P.S. - I will, with humble respect, disagree with your assertion that MGM is 3/4 of a park & AK is 1/2 a park. Guess we'll have to agree to disagree on that one.



Negative Waves man, always with the Negative Waves.........

DVC-Landbaron
06-02-2001, 02:46 PM
My point, while not as clouded as yours, is quite clear: they built the resorts to bring people to the parks they were ALSO building. JH conveniently skips over that point in his article.
He ‘skips’ over it because it simply isn’t true. They were not building parks at nearly the same rate as they were building rooms. And now it’s time for a fuzzy math class. The first time I’d thought I’d gently correct you with a little tongue in cheek bit of math. But I can see I wasn’t clear enough.

Mr. Hill uses the 1984 date throughout his article. It’s his article; it’s his date. Now, tell me, how many parks were there in 1984? Hmmm. I think there were TWO parks. 1984 – 2 parks. Yes there were definitely TWO parks. So two parks times four equals EIGHT!!! My goodness!! When can we expect the other gates!!!!
No, if you want to be exact, the train would be the slowest ride
Don’t mean to quibble, and I know it was a joke, but I did say slowest “LOADING”.
Yeah, I do belive that. Think about it, If they can convince a 6 year to go that park for that ride, they have a good chance of bringing in three people instead of the just one (the child, and both or one parent). Thee rides have the same chance of increasing attendance as does the roller coaster they are building.
I think we will never see eye to eye on this one. I can’t for the life of me equate Dumbo (or the like) with ToT, R&RC or Test Track!!! But if you can, and you think that parents typically empower a six year old that way – more power to ya!!!!
I visted WDW when it first opened, possibly 1971, Tomorrowland wasn't even opened yet.
Now I didn’t visit until July 1972. But I clearly remember, and have 8mm movies to back me up, Tomorrowland fully opened. I will grant you it was a little sparse, but it was very much ‘opened’.
You may have noticed that this board's posts are dominated by the same people, pehaps its because when others (like me) do post, they get attacked like its the debate board.
OH my!! I don’t want to attack!!! Heck, I don’t want to stifle conversation at all!!! I want to further it. Develop it. I want you to answer back. Would you prefer to put out a post (or article if you will) and have people silently question it (as you do with Hill’s) and leave it at that? Or would you rather engage in some dialogue, explaining, defending, answering question and furthering your position, and at the same time having a bit’O fun!!! That’s what I’m all about. I’ve learned soooo much since I started posting. And it is through a friendly exchange of information that that learning process takes place. PLEASE KEEP POSTING!!!! We may not agree right away. We may never agree. But we’ll have some fun talking it over.

JimB.
And if you can convince me the WDW was a better experience in 1982 than today, go for it.
It’s subtle. And hard to grasp. But I’ll try. However, first you have to answer a question. Does size matter? ;)

Brer-Rabbit
06-02-2001, 03:06 PM
Your not engaging in dialog your nit-picking. I believe that my first post stands on its own. Apparently -- you just didn't get it. I thought that maybe I could explain it to you. I should have known better than to respond to your post about mine. I have seen you waste countless pages onthis board quoting other posters and berating them for what they said. So, you win. I'm going back to being a lurker. I'll just sit back and watch you bicker with every one else, because I certainly don't have the time you have, to invest in lengthy disertations trying to pick a fight with anyone that will give my posts the least bit of creadence by responding to them.

Oh yeah one last quote from your post:
blah blah blah blah blah blah blah

Okay, there that was the fun part for me!

JeffH
06-02-2001, 03:28 PM
When WDW first opened there were just 2 WDW hotels and soon after the Golf Hotel opened. These hotels were full and booked for upwards of a year in advanced. This horrible lack of rooms led to the tremendous growth of rooms on 192. It was stupid of Disney to have failed to build the additional rooms that were on their original plans (Persian, Asian, Venetian). Then came Epcot, and no new rooms. Then the non-Disneythemed Swan and Dolphin were finally built. Finally when MGM opened, Disney smartened up and started building the rooms that should have been built a long time ago. All the Disney hotels operate at near capacity, and are priced competitively compared to other 'fancy' hotels. If there were too many hotels (or plush stores), supply and demand would quickly close them, it just takes a little common sense to see this.
It will be interesting to see if PopCulture exceeds demand...if it does, though, that's when Disney will have to put extra money into park expansion to compensate, because it would be stupid to close the hotel.
All they've done is build rooms to catch up with demand, providing rooms for those who WANT them. AND they've doubled the number of theme parks in the last 11 years, added Downtown Disney and the water parks.
But it's never enough for some.
Disney spends large sums of money to make a great films (Dinosaur, Pearl Harbor), and they are criticized, by so called fans.
Disney spends large sums of money to on theme park development (AK, DCA), and they are criticized, by so called fans.
Disney spends large sums of money to build WONDERFUL hotels (all of them), and they are criticized, by so called fans.
Disney can do no right as far as some so called fans are concerned.
All I know (from experience) is that the 'world' has never been better. Last Saturday we had a wonderful character breakfast at the Beach Club where Goofy and Chip and Dale played ball (a small Tigger ball) with my Tasha for about 20 minutes, we then spent the day at Epcot where the bigger and better then ever Flower and Garden show was going on. I noticed that some of the individual WS character greets were back, in addition to the character bus (which translates into more characters than ever). We ended the day with a quick dip in the pool. This was day#20 at WDW for us this year, and we are looking at almost 50 days at WDW this year (more than ever before). Eisner has done a wonderful job developing the franchise. If anything, he's been guilty of over-doing it (like Walt did only to be financially corrected by Roy), at which point he had to cut back.
Ei$$$sner ($$$) is right, he probably spends more money directed solely at our entertainment than any other person on Earth.

All Aboard
06-02-2001, 05:52 PM
LandBaron, to compare the number of resorts to the number of parks and strike a ratio first requires that the original ratio was optimal. I don't believe that it was. A HUGE proportion of guests were staying off-site because it was very difficult to book on-site.

The number and variety of on-site rooms makes it possible for so many different tastes and economic conditions to be accomodated on-site. And I think that's wonderful. If it weren't for the All Stars, I would have to do one of two things. 1) Travel to WDW less often or 2) stay in one of those US 192 motels. Neither of those is at all appealing to me. I am so thankful that there are as many options and affordable options at that.

LandBaron, as much as I know it gives you stomach aches, there are thousands of guests that really enjoy their stay at the All Stars. The atmosphere is great, kids love it, many adults love it.

Another Voice
06-02-2001, 06:51 PM
So….WDW is a blessed realm given to us by a magnanimous benefactor whose only interest is to spread peace and love throughout the world. Does that mean my $50 admission ticket is tax-deductible as a charitable contribution?

The Walt Disney Company, Inc. is a vast commercial enterprise whose every move is filtered through layers of normal human beings, filled with compassion and greed and integrity and egos. The company produces products for us to buy, nothing more. Sometimes these products are made with care and artistry (‘Tarzan’), sometimes only in the naked quest for money (California Adventure), but most of the time these days, they simply don’t give a damn about the product because people will show up no matter what it’s like (‘Pearl Harbor’).

Eisner is not spending a dime of his money at WDW – he’s spending MY money. The money that I’m willing to spend to get ESPN, the money that I have to spend because my son wants to see ‘Atlantis’, the money that I have no choice but to spend because Disney is using tax dollars to expand the freeways leading into their business. I’m glad that some of my earnings can provide young girls with yet another pleasant day – just don’t believe for a second that it happened just because Michael Eisner has a good heart.

Are cheesy motels, half-sized theme parks and insipid movies “not enough” for “so called fans”. Yes, and they’ve every right to speak out. Uncritical acceptance gave us the Ford Pinto, Eastern Airlines and primetime television. Disney has a tradition – and a huge marketing machine telling us – that they are special. That they are better than everyone else. As a consumer, I hold them to that standard. And recently I find there are fewer and fewer of their products that I put in the “willing to spend money on” category. And judging from recent financial results, there are a lot more people who think there’s a whole lot less worthwhile from Disney as well.

If all of us just shut-up and go away – who’s going to pay Goofy to play ball?

JimB.
06-02-2001, 08:08 PM
JeffH - Well Said.. Thanks

DVC - No. But that does not mean bigger is worse, either.


And BTW, just got back from seeing "Pearl Harbor". Nice Movie. If you have not seen it, don't let the naysayers fool you. It is a marvelous depiction of ordinary people having to rise up to do extraordinary things in terrible times.

It puts all of this bickering about what is & isn't great about Disney in it's proper place ............................. tremendously unimportant and trivial.

But still kinda' fun. ;)

All Aboard
06-02-2001, 08:34 PM
Another Voice, come clean, you're Jim Hill aren't you?

Just one thing, who will pay Goofy? The millions that disagree with you, including me.

jgates
06-02-2001, 10:36 PM
Is it alright to just jump in and say that that Pop Culture looks like an outdated Purple Motel 6? Even new Motel 6's have a nicer styling that that thing.

And my opinion on MGM is that I'd give it 1 1/2 park status. It was the place we enjoyed the most. We had so looked forward to AK and it was HOT-seemed to just hold the heat in there-all blacktop it seemed and no cement. Except for the dinosaur ride I hated it. We wanted to give the Kali a chance but it was broken during our fast pass time with no estimated repair time.

tiggerstheman1
06-04-2001, 07:55 AM
Got this off of ThemedAttration.com, where Eddie answers questions and talks about theme park design. There was an interview with him on LaughingPlace.com a while back. Someone on the ThemedAttraction board asked him about Hill's article, specifically the accuracy of it. Here is his reply:

Eddie [guest] from Imagination Portal
discounter culture Posted 6-3-2001 08:09

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I just read the article and all the postings on the
message boards. Although I was not present in all the
situations cited, my feeling is that the article is
more or less accurate.

It wasn't fun to be on the inside during those periods,
especially when DDC took over WDI. It was a culture
shock, but I began to respect Peter Rummel, the new
head from DDC. He had some good ideas on how to create
balance in the organization.

The greater danger wasn't mentioned in the article,
which was when Attractions absorbed WDI. There used to
be a healthy tension between the creative forces of WDI
and the business and operational forces of the
Attractions group. Usually you hoped that both sides
fought it out and the result was a good compromise of
show and practicality. When they took over, things got
a bit easier as the confrontation evaporated, but the
business side was in charge as they never had been. The
culture had changed.

Others did not see this as an issue, and rather an
advantage as "we're all on the same side" so to speak.
This is just my opinion and I'm not saying things are
all bad, because they're not, just different.

Eddie..



hmmmmmm



Lather, rinse, repeat.
TTM1

JeffJewell
06-04-2001, 10:30 AM
Like I've said, I appreciate Jeff, DVC, etc., but I come to find and hopefully share rumors (and now news) on this board. This is a discussion board, which means that people are likely to discuss the rumors that get posted. If that's not what you want, perhaps Brer-Rabbit's re-lurking decision might be appropriate for you, too.

If you hate my opinion on the rumors so much, I encourage you to block all of my posts in your profile. That way, you shall never be bothered with my unwelcome thoughts and ideas.

Jeff

YoHo
06-04-2001, 11:18 AM
Tiggerstheman1, that's very informative. its nice to see an opinion from somebody who was actually there and thus has the weight of first hand knowledge behind it (with apologies to Another Voice.).

At any rate, it sounds to me like the plan was to make life easier when it really seems to have made it harder. That sometimes happens with things like this, even with Disney. And it doesn't sound like there was obvious malice.

larworth
06-04-2001, 11:30 AM
OK, guys lets get back to the topic at hand. I think the WDI issue really deserves some debate.

BTW, that was me that posed this questionn to Eddie. I was trying to get another insider perspective and his seemed like a reasonable take. While he no longer works for them, I have not heard him express any public anger towards them and therefore thought he might be objective??

My belief is that Mr. Hill does have real sources inside the company. He just doesn't quote them for fear they will dry up. What we don't know is if these people have some axe to grind, so he is only get one-side of the equation.

Given the couple of insiders that have replied it seems that he is not too far off base with this one. Doesn't this make you worry about the future of WDI!

tiggerstheman1

You saved me the trouble of deciding what to do with his reply. I wasn't sure what the etiquette is on sharing personal exhanges in other forums. I would have felt funny exporting it, but no issue for you.

YoHo
06-04-2001, 11:51 AM
I'm not worried about WDI in the sense that I think they will go away. I worry about them in the sense that I think it will take a couple of years of bad results to get them back into some correct form of managment. Attractions is likely getting a very long rope with which to hang itself. I think DCA is a good example of what can go wrong. You have a couple great Ideas mired in cost concious mismanagment.

DVC-Landbaron
06-04-2001, 01:03 PM
Sorry to be so long. Daughter's graduation over the weekend. OK, Let's get to it!!!
LandBaron, to compare the number of resorts to the number of parks and strike a ratio first requires that the original ratio was optimal. I don't believe that it was.
Neither do I. This wasn't my argument. It was the other poster's. All I tried to do, with a little humor (very little is seems) and as non-flaming as possible was correct a premise that was within that post. I'll try once again in VERY plain English.
For example, He states at the beginning of the article that Disney has focused on building 3 times the number of resort rooms it had in 1984, but Disney has created four times the number of parks it had since the 80's as well.
That is simply not true!!! In 1984 (Hill's date, not mine) there were TWO theme parks. Not one! As the post says, we now have FOUR times the amount of parks!! That is not true. We have (at best) doubled. THOSE ARE THE FACTS!!!! My editorial comment was that MGM and AK together do not compare with a MK and EPCOT together. Pretty simple isn't it?

Or it can be sized up in another way:
"blah blah blah blah blah blah blah" ;)
LandBaron, as much as I know it gives you stomach aches, there are thousands of guests that really enjoy their stay at the All Stars. The atmosphere is great, kids love it, many adults love it.
I never said it was bad. They are probably one of the best of that category of accommodations. My only problem with it (and one that I'm sure many will not understand) is that in order for Disney to build and operate these 'economy' resorts they had to lower their standards. Something that, IMO, Disney should have never done. (start another thread somewhere and we'll talk) ;) .

JimB
DVC - No. But that does not mean bigger is worse, either.
See!! Here I am, trying to have a little fun and you pose a question for me. And I answer back with a question, and you reply. Now if I take the next step and we enter into this conversation I know it will add three or four pages, easy. And people seem not to enjoy this. So, I'll ask you, if you are interested and really want to talk to post a new thread asking what you will. Then in the very least I'll be "on-topic" for that thread.
It puts all of this bickering about what is & isn't great about Disney in it's proper place ............................. tremendously unimportant and trivial.

But still kinda' fun.
Hooray!!! We have found common ground. That is my take exactly!!

Thank you tiggerstheman1 for corroborating that Mr. Hill is right or at least accurate. I have always felt that way and it is reassuring that someone from the inside has backed him up. And taking the opportunity to speak for Mr. Hill and myself I'd also like to say, ""blah blah blah blah blah blah blah" ;)

Thedscoop writes:
If all else fails, try the rumor/news board at www.intercot.com . Pretty good info without constantly have debate based threads bumped to the top (as I have unfortunately done here).
Hmmm. I wonder if the handle "DVC-LandBaron" has been taken at that site already? Thanks Thedscoop!! Fresh meat!!

Given the couple of insiders that have replied it seems that he is not too far off base with this one. Doesn't this make you worry about the future of WDI!
You bet it does!! Right down to my Mickey Mouse socks!! And it has for the past three years or so.

Phew!! Almost caught up. YoHo:
I'm not worried about WDI in the sense that I think they will go away. I worry about them in the sense that I think it will take a couple of years of bad results to get them back into some correct form of management.
What makes you think they will have the ability or lack of ego to even properly identify the problem? What makes you think they aren't, not only happy, but ecstatic with the results?

YoHo
06-04-2001, 01:57 PM
What makes you think they will have the ability or lack of ego to even properly identify the problem? What makes you think they aren't, not only happy, but ecstatic with the results?

First of all, As I work at 3Com, the land of ever changing corporate structure and buisness plan, I would have to say its really easy, egos or no to figure out that the managment is incorrect. The key is installing the correct form of managment, That may be hard. I don't think you'll ever see things back the way they were, since WDI was not performing up to requirements as it was (I have postulated that this is due to lack of oversite from the time Walt Died.

Why do I think they aren't happy?
DCA. the Suits are unhappy with DCA and they can blame all the other outside sources they want, but in the end, they know that it was them misreading the market. HOW do I know this is possible? Well, the execs at 3Com are famous for it. And with all their Eisner Sized Egos, they still are forced to admit when they are wrong (although they do it in round about ways)

In my Department, we built a Cadillac when our customers wanted and would only pay for a pinto. DCA is a Pinto when everybody wanted a Caddy.

DVC-Landbaron
06-04-2001, 02:29 PM
I think we are in basic agreement. But I think that a change in management will be required before they admit a mistake. In other words - Ei$ner ain't gonna own up to it!!
In my Department, we built a Cadillac when our customers wanted and would only pay for a pinto. DCA is a Pinto when everybody wanted a Caddy.
That is beautifully put. With your permission, I may borrow it sometime. You know, I may need it for intercot!! ;)

YoHo
06-04-2001, 02:52 PM
Go ahead, and Incidently, I was assuming that Eisner would fire or reorg the attractions managers which even with Bizarro Ei$ner (as I will now call him) has a chance to succeed.

I mean, If your gonna build that pinto, you better at least make it a good car right? With a well built DCA, you'll pull in at least a few more visitors, at least make the park worth expanding on. You'd have something akin to AK (for different reasons) where there's just one or too key ingredients missing as opposed to the mud pie that is DCA.

PJesse25
06-05-2001, 09:46 AM
OK, I want to post a reply and hope it sounds as well thought out as the others on this post.

It seems surprising to me that everyone expects all things Disney theme-park related to spring forth fully formed like Athena from the head of Zeus. Wasn't one of Walt Disney's basic principles that he wanted the parks to be ever-changing and expanding? Why do we want everything yesterday? Yes, when MGM and AK opened, they were less than they were capable of being and less than they are now. What is the answer? Not open them so that people could enjoy what was ready? Keep them closed until for years until they are "done"? Will they ever be "done"? I hope not!

Now I know some will accuse me of being a "Stepford Disney Fan", blindly accepting whatever Disney throws at me and that is simply not true. I am deeply stressed about the recent round of attraction closings and lack of new attractions on the planning board. However, I am mindful that there is a new gate in CA (whatever you think of it, it did cost money) and new gates opening in Paris and Tokyo (Yes, I know that there is other money being invested there besides Disney's, but Disney is pitching in some). Even Disney doesn't have a bottomless pit of funds to draw from. Eventually, they will come back to WDW development and I'm sure there will be great things to come!

Now others have a different opinion and that is fine. I know at our core, we all love Disney and want our time spent there to be the best it can be. However, I think that one important element of that has to be to take it for what it is, not for what it isn't.

Have a Disney Day! :)

All Aboard
06-05-2001, 10:40 AM
Originally posted by DVC-Landbaron
I never said it was bad. They are probably one of the best of that category of accommodations. My only problem with it (and one that I'm sure many will not understand) is that in order for Disney to build and operate these 'economy' resorts they had to lower their standards. Something that, IMO, Disney should have never done.

I don't believe that Disney has lowered their standards. I just believe that, like in the theme parks, they are now offering B-E ticket resorts. B's being the All Stars, C's being the moderates, D's being the Lodges and E's being the deluxes.

That said, I think Disney makes a pretty mean B-ticket resort, with all of the quality that meets their standards, especially in comparison to other "outside the gates" offerings. I never pay more than $49 or $59 to stay at the All Stars. It's great value.

I think that we have a differing opinion on what standards are. If I can go back to the theme park example, and compare say, the Tower of Terror with Dumbo - an E with a B. Without a doubt, ToT is tops anywhere in terms of quality, standards and all of the things we have discussed elsewhere that make a Disney attraction, a Disney attraction. But, in my opinion, so is Dumbo. Just on a much smaller scale.

Compare it to the carnival and other amusement park spinners and it set the standard for its day. It's delightfully themed, fun, colorful, imaginative, inviting, happy, and everything that makes it a life-long fit and fantastic part of Fantasyland.

I can say the same thing about the All Star Resorts. No, they are not incredibly detailed like the Tower, nor are they on the cutting edge in design, but they are wonderfully themed, fun, colorful, imaginative, inviting and happy and everything that makes them a great entry into the Disney resort mix.

YoHo
06-05-2001, 10:46 AM
gcurling, to add fuel to the fire, Disney didn't lower their standards with the Values, because Walt planned from the beginning to have Motel quality buildings on site anyway. If anything, All-stars is a huge leap above the typical motel.

None of which changes the fact that I personally find them ugly.

DVC-Landbaron
06-05-2001, 11:03 AM
gcurling, to add fuel to the fire, Disney didn't lower their standards with the Values, because Walt planned from the beginning to have Motel quality buildings on site anyway.
Is this the fourth or fifth thread that you've said this in? OK, I'll bite. Other than a sketch that bicker referred to, what else that Walt ever did leads you to believe that he would have included ordinary 'motels'? And even given the bicker reference it was a concept sketch!! Nothing more. You should take a look at the first draft of Disneyland if you want to see some LAME ideas, concepts and names. For all I know he looked at the sketch, saw a piece of prime real estate that could be developed and quickly wrote "motel". But I don't know what he was thinking at all! He could have been thinking cheap, but somehow I doubt it. He also could have meant Poly style. I'd like to see the original concept drawing for the first phase of the project. Maybe he quickly wrote 'futuristic motel', meaning the Contemporary.

Don't get me wrong YoHo. I'm not saying you're wrong. All I'm trying to get across is that this concept flies in the face of everything else I've ever read or heard about Walt and WDW. So an obscure sketch means nothing. We need a little bit more corroboration.

YoHo
06-05-2001, 11:21 AM
ITs hardly obscure, more to the point, Having already built Disneyland with all its pitfalls (did you know that every room at the Disneyland hotel has the original concept sketch for Disneyland painted on the Armore'?)

Walt's concepts for Disney World were far further along even in the preliminary Sketch (Which I believe had Poly and contemp already marked off as resorts although not with themes, I'll have to go look again.)

Walt wanted everything to be on his terms including the hotels/motels on property. To me, that suggests that he wanted the cheap hotels built on his terms, RECOGNIZING that there simply were going to be cheap hotels.

DVC-Landbaron
06-05-2001, 11:33 AM
PJesse25 WELCOME!!

I don't know what everyone else's take on this is, but I can give you mine.
It seems surprising to me that everyone expects all things Disney theme-park related to spring forth fully formed like Athena from the head of Zeus.
I don't really have anything to add, but I liked the sentence quite a bit!!! :)

Wasn't one of Walt Disney's basic principles that he wanted the parks to be ever-changing and expanding?
Yes!! Absolutely!!
Why do we want everything yesterday?
I know what you mean. I don't!! I think this is a common mistake. I don't want things to stay the same. You didn't hear a peep from me when Toad went away. Not a word from my keyboard when 20K disappeared. And I didn't enter the fray when Timekeeper bit the dust. And I don't even complain about the quality of Pooh (replacement for Toad). No. Things cannot stay the same. Things must change. It'd be pretty sad if we still had Mission to the Moon or the Monsanto's House of the future in Disneyland.

HOWEVER, there is one thing that cannot change. That must not change. Walt's standards. The ideals, concepts and philosophy on which he built Disneyland and later that inspired WDW and EPCOT. And that is changing whether we want to admit it or not.
Yes, when MGM and AK opened, they were less than they were capable of being and less than they are now. What is the answer? Not open them so that people could enjoy what was ready? Keep them closed until for years until they are "done"?
YES!!! YES!!! YES!!!
I don't mean to gloss over your intent. I think you're saying that they will never be "done". Just as the MK will never be 'done'. But it goes further than that. They shouldn't keep them closed for years until they are done, but only until they are 'done' up to Disney standards!! And the public is saying, with their attendance, that they are NOT!!

And I believe they are not as well. Don't get me wrong. What they have in AK is wonderful. But it's not enough. So, for me at least, this is one of the few times that 'size matters'!! ;)

. I am deeply stressed about the recent round of attraction closings and lack of new attractions on the planning board.
As am I!!! As are many here!!
Eventually, they will come back to WDW development
See, I don't really care about that. This is where a lot of my fellow "so called fans" and I differ. I don't care if they add 'new' things every year. I think that they should replace an attraction with an attraction, but I'm not clamoring for an e-ticket every year. In fact, I'm one of the few to say thank you Mr. Mouse for the wonderful Aladdin spinner. It's an extra. If it adds to the MK, in even a miniscule way, then I'm in favor of it. And when the time is right, and funding is clearly identified and the stars align in that special way, build us an e-ticket. BUT DO IT RIGHT!!!

BTW. Your post was wonderful. Thanks!

josh_e_washie
12-30-2006, 10:58 PM
i think it's funny that so many people have so many negative things to say about JHM

2Xited4Disney
12-30-2006, 11:49 PM
hhhahh how did you even dig this up.... it is from like 5 years ago

mrsR123
01-01-2007, 12:55 AM
that the Baron had resurfaced.

ANd I too, am surprised that one could get a thread this old to load.

DC7800
01-01-2007, 11:45 AM
that the Baron had resurfaced.

For a few seconds, I thought the exact same thing...

Aside from how this thread was dug up, why was it done? It's not like we have to go back five years to find an example of Disney doing something negative...and threads which are fairly and honestly critical of the Disney company for its too-common failures and general lack of effort.

YoHo
01-01-2007, 04:31 PM
It's called VINDICATION!!!

I can't believe how optomistic I used to be. What a fool I was.

Those of you arguing with me now should take this as a cautionary tale.

All Aboard
01-01-2007, 09:18 PM
That's the YoHo I remember fondly. Middle of the road optimist, much like I am now.

I thought for sure I'd find myself sticking my foot in my mouth somewhere in this thread (like the one somebody else pointed out to me) But, me arguing in support of the All Stars. Geez, how many years have I been doing that? Still agree with what I typed on this topic 5 and a half years ago.

But, I'm sure some archive searches will unearth plenty that I've changed my tune on.

YoHo
01-01-2007, 11:00 PM
Most of the changes in my opinion can be tied directly to learning new things from boardmembers and books like Disney War. There's no longer any reason for the optimism I once had. I've actually been into DCA since then, I've spent 3 years observing what they've done to ruin DL.

FriendsOfEeyore
01-12-2007, 10:01 PM
Wow......

I remember this post!!!! This is back when I was in Car #1.

Oh my. Thanks for the memories and Baron come back.....

DisOrBust
01-15-2007, 12:15 PM
What ever happened to the "cars" sticky on this board anyway??