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View Full Version : Why so long to get new attractions up and running?????


cindyfan
10-18-2003, 01:21 PM
Just thinking here...........
It seems it takes SOOOOOOOOO LOOOONNNNNNNNGGGGGGGG
for WDW to get new attractions up and running....it just makes me wonder why??

I've seen new rides and attractions pop up at parks in a matter of 5 to 7 months.....3 of those months being the cold of winter when they are limited to what they can do.

It just seems like the opening of "Soarin'..." which we are looking at 2 years, and Everest in AK....we're talking 3 1/2 years!!!! just seems a bit long.

The Stunt show at MGM....already in the works....we are still looking at another 2 years.

Then an entire year to switch Alien to Stitch and from what is rumored....it really won't be a whole lot different.

I understand they do more than just pop up tracks for a coaster....but still seems like they drag it out.

Could it be with the 50th anniversary at DL in 2005, they are thinking they need new and bigger at WDW to compete??? And want it to be their "big marketing" draw for that year???

wdwguide
10-18-2003, 02:17 PM
I am not sure, but they are probably going for the cheapest way possible to build those attractions, i.e. no overtime or unorthodox construction hours. They might also prefer to stretch construction costs over several fiscal years for expensive attractions to make the budget sheet look nicer.

cindyfan
10-18-2003, 02:55 PM
They might also prefer to stretch construction costs over several fiscal years for expensive attractions to make the budget sheet look nicer.
Now that kinda makes sense. Something that Disney might do during tough times.....especially since they spent so much on the new resorts and renovations of old.
Seems they delayed Pop Century for so long because of money.

They have seen that going "cheap" doesn't go over well, as we have seen in the newer attractions like Dino-rama. So they have to cut costs in the "labor" department. Like you said, no OT, etc.

And working on 4 possible E-ticket attractions makes it seem like WDW is really trying hard to satisfy the guests.....even if it takes forever.
From a marketing stand point it sounds much better to say we are working on 4 NEW attractions, then kinda play down the fact they won't open for 3 years. As opposed to saying we are opening one new one next year!:scratchin

Galahad
10-18-2003, 04:06 PM
Remember Test Track....all of the false starts and delays? Perhaps their project management is getting better and they are sticking with better estimates.

DancingBear
10-19-2003, 08:09 AM
Originally posted by wdwguide
They might also prefer to stretch construction costs over several fiscal years for expensive attractions to make the budget sheet look nicer. This seems unlikely to me. From the time you start construction until you open the attraction, you have capital outlay with no compensating revenue.

I'm sure they do avoid overtime costs.

Testtrack321
10-19-2003, 03:05 PM
Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point took 8 months to build, but Everest will take 3 1/2. Why? Look at what they built.

TTD was just the ride system and then the que and a small ride station. Everest will build a new 200ft mountain, animal exhibits, small village, sewer system, electrical, and many other things. Simply put, Disney isn't just building a coaster here, it's like what Splash Mountain is to log flumes.

Captain Hook
10-19-2003, 04:09 PM
Construction costs are always higher if you drag out any project, as oposed to paying overtime. The contractors general conditions (overhead, insurance, ect..)I agree with Track on this completly

cindyfan
10-19-2003, 04:54 PM
Yes, I realize that there is quite abit more involved with a WDW attraction than a roller coaster.....

Top Thrill Dragster is one of a kind!!! Lots of new technology there! But they still had most of it done in less than 8 months. There was a lot they could not do during the winter.....it was a really rough winter last year.
And, yes, I know that it's has been down more than it was running at first......

But it's going to take more than 5 times as long for Everest.:earseek:
By all means.....I would not compare Top Thrill to Everest, thinking they are alike, they aren't......

But, Disney should have this down to a science!! That is their specialty....building attractions like this.

But we've seen the result when they rushed to get something up....DinoRama......so they have to make it worth the wait.


I guess it is all perception........It just seems like an awfully long time to me.....but to others, it doesn't.

tjkraz
10-26-2003, 01:21 AM
Originally posted by cindyfan
But, Disney should have this down to a science!! That is their specialty....building attractions like this.


I think you're still short-changing the scope and complexity of the newer WDW attractions. I live about an hour from Cedar Point, but just went there this past summer for the first time in about 5 years. You just can't compare anything at CP to WDW.

Close your eyes for a moment and picture CP. Is there ANYTHING that is even remotely comparable to Test Track, Mission Space, Splash Mountain or Tower of Terror? It's not even close.

You mentioned the technology of something like Top Thrill Dragster. Well, the physics of an attraction can be modeled flawlessly on a computer. The main difference here, in my mind, is that modeling the ride "track" itself seems to be 90% of the job at CP. At WDW, it looks to be more like 20% of the job. CP doesn't build structures to house their attractions. They don't have "pre-shows". They don't have FastPass. Most of their rides don't even have anything that passes for theming.

The drag racing theme of TTD is virtually unheard of at CP. You don't see anything comparable surrounding the likes of Milennium Force or Mantis. Nearly all of the rides at CP consist of the ride itself and a maze-like outdoor queue. That's it.

CP also has a couple of other inherent advantages. As you stated, CP is closed about 7 months out of the year. Granted there are issues with the weather during this period, but they also have the advantage of giving free run of the park to the construction crews. If they need to drive a 200' crane through the middle of the park, they do it. No worries about trying to insulate the general public from the ongoing construction.

I suspect that CP also has a more formalized development schedule. As far back as I can remember, they open a new highlight attraction every year. Right now their upper-level execs probably know what is scheduled to open in the next 2-3 years, and have a list of finalists for a couple of years beyond that.

At WDW, I've never seen evidence of any fixed construction schedule. Who really knows when the (internal) green light was given to something like Expedition: Everest, and how fully the concept had been developed at that point.

And, last but not least, you have to factor in the reality that WDW will have FOUR "E-Ticket" attractions in development at a single time. Certainly developement and construction resources will be somewhat strained over the next couple of years.

KidDurango
10-26-2003, 09:10 AM
One consideration is that Disney has to build its rides and structures much more substantially. Cedar points rides only have to run daily for a few months each year, and then they can spend even more time then they were open to repair/ rebuild. Disney rides open and then pretty much remain open seven days a week, 365, for on average 20+ years. That is a lot of wear and tear without signifcant downtime.
In addition E:E is huge! You could probably put 8 - 10 Top Thrills in the footprint of all the land that is being developed for E:E. That is a lot of infrastructure.
Then the mountain itself has to have a far more substatial structure to hold up all that rockwork. The rock work alone on E:E is estimated to take about a year to finish.

crystalb
10-26-2003, 10:15 AM
the same day I happened to read this bit of Disney trvia:

Construction for Disneyland started only 12 months before the park was scheduled to open.

wdwguide
10-26-2003, 10:44 AM
Originally posted by tjkraz
Is there ANYTHING that is even remotely comparable to Test Track, Mission Space, Splash Mountain or Tower of Terror? It's not even close.

Mystery Castle is an attraction in a small German amusement park that appears to have been inspired by the Tower of Terror and the Haunted Mansion. It's a heavily themed, medieval castle-looking building that you enter via a drawbridge, then you take a walk through the various haunted rooms (they've actually got real people in masks and make-up in there to add some life to it), before entering the drop shaft. Not only is the drop quite a bit higher than the Tower of Terror's (200 feet versus 160-ish), but you are also not enclosed - your feet just kind of dangle. There are three different drop profiles that are selected according to the length of the queue.

Now obviously it is now quite as well-themed as the Tower of Terror, but keep in mind this is a very small, seasonal amusement park that with maybe a million visitors per year. It couldn't have taken them longer than two years to build it either. Intamin develeoped that ride, BTW.

cindyfan
10-26-2003, 10:53 AM
tjkraz......I am not disagreein with anything you say....
I actually agree with it all.
I am questioning.......why have 4 E-ticket rides take 3 to 4 years and therefore creating a situation where:
Certainly developement and construction resources will be somewhat strained over the next couple of years.

Almost like they are spredding themselves too thin.

And if you look at the rides themselves.........WDW has NOTHING to compare to Millennium Force! Or Magnum even.
Space Mtn is mearly a smaller version of Geminii inside a huge cover.
with the exception of the "take off".....R&RC is much like CorkScrew....but inside a building.

And no one has to tell me that it is an ATTRACTION, not a ride!!
Because the "rides" themselves really don't compare to other roller coasters......but the THEME makes it!!!

And it is the theme of the attraction that makes it far superior to anything at any amusement park.

I don't think trying to insulate the construction is any issue for WDW. They have the whole area for Everest blocked off. No way anyone can even get over there. They have no trouble with cranes and such.

Disney rides open and then pretty much remain open seven days a week, 365, for on average 20+ years. That is a lot of wear and tear without signifcant downtime.

Actually most attractions at WDW DO have downtime every year for maintainance and repair.

One consideration is that Disney has to build its rides and structures much more substantially
I would hate to think that any park would not have the same standards and safety regulations. Each park has individual differences that factor in to this. CP has the cold hard winters to think about too.

timC
10-26-2003, 03:35 PM
I'll bet that building a major attraction on swamp-land is no small trick either.

I can't see WDW actually wanting to stretch construction out years, if they could avoid it. Shareholders are looking for results, fast. I'm sure if there was a way to hurry this up, WDW would do it... like fine wine, we'll just have to be patient.

Geubux
10-27-2003, 08:47 AM
When you look at disney attractions compared to other amusement parks rides, you are comparing apples to oranges. I have been involved with engineering for capital equipment for many years now, and even semi standard stuff takes a lot of debugging and planning. For instance:

1: In Florida, with no substantial firm ground, they probably have to send cement footers deep. How many footers? How long does it take the cement to set in ground? What about the quality of the cement/concrete? Will it last 25, 50, or 75 years? Will the water table affect it? Gee, thats just the substructure/

2: The building/ mountain. What will happen WHEN lightning strikes it? Can we guarantee we can direct the surge to ground? Is it possible someone could be killed?

3: The switching track. Can we run more than one train? How can we guarantee that the track is clear? When they write the programming for the computers, they have to work out every possible scenario to ensure safety. For instance, what if we have multiple trains running and lightning hits and the computers shut down. Where and how do we stop the trains so that no one is injured?

4: Cedar Point. They built a basically standard coaster, albeit tall. They also had excessive downtime. From reading the other posts here, ANY downtime and /or waiting at Disney is unacceptable, much less the horror that they would actually do maintenance on a ride during MY vacation. Also, HORRORS, that disney would actually do a carnival ride ( such as AK, even though young kids think its great.)

Basically, Disney is being held to a higher standard: Keep coming up with NEW rides, never been done before, but put them up in 5 months, and it better thrill me buster!

Also, when they built DL, there wasn't a busload of trial lawyers in the parking lot like today.