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View Full Version : Cloning's affect on attendence


Douglas Dubh
11-01-2003, 10:28 AM
In a recent thread on adding the Indiana Jones ride to the Disney Studios Florida, Raidermatt said, "I'm not a big fan of cloned attractions because I think it just gives people less reason to include more than one Disney destination in their vacation plans over time."

I've generally agreed with this thinking in the past, but this time it made me wonder. Does Disney really care if we go to more than one Disney destination? I mean, if I spend a week at Disneyland rather than Disney World, it's still a week of giving Disney my money, right?

aesalsa
11-01-2003, 10:37 AM
I agree.

randytenn
11-01-2003, 12:11 PM
I'm not a big fan of cloned attractions because I think it just gives people less reason to include more than one Disney destination in their vacation plans over time."

Until you realize that WDW was a clone of DL from the beginning, as was DLP and TDL. Did that reduce attendance?

The cloning of attractions has gone on throughout Disney history. But, I don't believe there is an actual "clone" (meaning perfect copy) of any attraction. Each similar attraction has their own charms and distinctions. For example, POTC in WDW doesn't have the waterfall, IASW in WDW doesn't have the wonderful architecture, SM in DL has the great soundtrack, SM in DLP has the slingshot start, etc.

Making sure that no attraction is a perfect clone keeps each attraction special, and gives one a reason to visit each version.

I personally believe that the original attractions in DL far exceed the quality of those attractions transfered during the original construction of WDW, mainly because the DL versions were built one at a time (IASW, POTC, HM), thus they were the only large ticket item built at that time. At WDW, they had to recreate the attractions all at once, so some cost cutting was involved.

aesalsa
11-01-2003, 01:06 PM
Basically, all of us here so far DO NOT agree with the quote: "I'm not a big fan of cloned attractions because I think it just gives people less reason to include more than one Disney destination in their vacation plans over time."
The author of this thread did not agree with it and used the quote as a spring board for his/her own ideas on the matter.

However, thank you for your explaining the subtleties between very similar attractions and cloned ones.:p

wtg2000
11-01-2003, 01:39 PM
When I read the subject line I thought you were talking about actual cloning! Now, this would help attendence. If I could clone myself I could go to WDW and TDL in the same week. Or, I could send both of me to WDW and have one of me in the stand-by line and one in the Fast Pass. I wonder if the resorts would charge me for the extra person?

aesalsa
11-01-2003, 01:53 PM
Originally posted by wtg2000
When I read the subject line I thought you were talking about actual cloning! Now, this would help attendence. If I could clone myself I could go to WDW and TDL in the same week. Or, I could send both of me to WDW and have one of me in the stand-by line and one in the Fast Pass. I wonder if the resorts would charge me for the extra person?

LOL:rotfl:

KNWVIKING
11-01-2003, 05:47 PM
I really enjoyed the Indy ride in DL, but unless it comes to WDW I will probably never ride it again. The same could have been said about Soarin', but low and behold,look what Epcot is getting.I think that's great.

A great deal of money is spent on R&D for an E-ride. I don't have a problem with Disney getting their monies worth from this R&D to put a clone in another park. As another poster already said, none of the clones are exact twins, they are all have a certain uniqueness.

mistermouse
11-01-2003, 08:28 PM
I never really looked at MK as a clone, or Disney Paris as clone, etc - but that is exactly what they are. Which menas, I love cloning! Clone away, the more the better. The Disney product is soooooo far above the line of great, cloning is actually a great idea. Next trip in 8 days....

aesalsa
11-01-2003, 09:06 PM
Y'all have fun, Mistermouse! :wave2: ::MinnieMo:::MickeyMo

fan_of_wdw
11-05-2003, 04:27 PM
BTW, Indy at DLR has been cloned... its called Dinosaur! at AK.

Sarangel
11-05-2003, 10:54 PM
I dunno, I think Indy & Dinosaur are very different, even though they use the same ride mechanism... You might as well say that Body Wars and Star Tours are clones, since they also use the same mechanism.

There's a major difference (in my mind, at least) between re-using a ride mechanism and duplicating a ride, a la Pirates.

Sarangel

raidermatt
11-06-2003, 12:45 PM
First...
When I read the subject line I thought you were talking about actual cloning! Me too! I thought it was a joke of some kind, but still, I thought it was about human cloning. When I finally open the thread, lo and behold, I find I was the inspiration for the thread! Even though most disagree, its nice to know somebody actually read some of my chicken scratch.

Now, on to the REAL topic...

Does Disney really care if we go to more than one Disney destination? I mean, if I spend a week at Disneyland rather than Disney World, it's still a week of giving Disney my money, right? True, but my thoughts were that providing different, unique experiences at different destinations would result in more overall trips to Disney destinations. Many WDW visitors visit very infrequently. So the idea is that if a family visits WDW every 5 years, providing a unique experience at the Disneyland Resort (DLR) might get them to visit DLR in between those 5 years. Example, WDW in 2003, DLR in 2005, WDW in 2008.

Its the same principle as the Disney Cruise Line. Disney provided a vacation experience different from WDW, not with the intention of having folks substitute the DCL for a WDW trip, but instead add a trip to another Disney destination.

Now, obviously its a bit more difficult to differentiate one theme park from another than it is to differentiate a theme park from a cruise line, but its the same principle.

Until you realize that WDW was a clone of DL from the beginning, as was DLP and TDL. Did that reduce attendance? Yes, I do realize that MK is essentially a clone of DL, but that does not change my opinion, for several reasons.

Back when MK was built, cross-country travel was not as convenient or as common as it is today. I'm sure that the number East Coasters willing to make a trek to the West Coast was much smaller in 1971 than now.

Using essentially a clone of DL as a base for another resort makes sense, given the immense popularity and now proven lasting appeal of DL.

Clearly, Disney is (or at least was) trying to develop the idea of having two resort destinations in the U.S., and obviously they would not want people to just switch a couple of days at WDW for a couple of days at DLR.

By cloning attractions for cost reasons (and lets face it, the primary reason IS cost), they are hurting the chances of the resorts to succeed as standalone vacation destinations that complement, rather than compete, with each other.

Clearly DCA failed in its objective. Disney's response? Add a nice show, some kiddie rides, and clone three more attractions, ToT, Pooh (at DL) and Playhouse Disney. Nothing to really entice anyone who goes to WDW to visit DLR.

The population and available travel dollars continue to grow... Disney could get a bigger overall piece of that pie by providing unique experiences at its different resorts.


There's a major difference (in my mind, at least) between re-using a ride mechanism and duplicating a ride, a la Pirates. Yes, when talking about theme park attractions, there are different degrees of cloning. The DL and WDW versions of Pirates and Pooh are not technically clones, as clones are supposed to be identical, but they are close enough.

The same ride mechanism and pattern, but with a different story and theme, like Dino and Indy, could be called clones, but I don't really consider them clones. No, its not as unique as say, M:S vs. Space Mountain, but its better than simply cloning, like Soarin' is essentially reported to be.

As an example, even though the architecture is somewhat different, and a few of the effects are reportedly different, the two ToT's appear to essentially be clones. However, if Disney had used the Tower ride mech, and instead used it as a "Journey to the Center of the Earth", or a "Haunted Mine Shaft", with completely different story elements and themeing, it would have significantly upped the uniqueness factor.

KNWVIKING
11-06-2003, 04:15 PM
***"The population and available travel dollars continue to grow... Disney could get a bigger overall piece of that pie by providing unique experiences at its different resorts."***

Matt, I understand what you're saying and on the surface the logic makes sense to me, BUT, when I really think about it I come to the conclusion that DL having a great and unique new ride will not entice me to return to DL. Maybe I'm in the minority, maybe the majority believe in "build it and we will come". I had always wanted to visit DL because of its history,not its rides. I got the opportunity, I went, it was great, but I'll never return to CA. with the express purpose of going to DL, ( Redwood Forrest- yes, DL- no).

hopemax
11-06-2003, 04:38 PM
BUT, when I really think about it I come to the conclusion that DL having a great and unique new ride will not entice me to return to DL. Maybe I'm in the minority

I look at your profile, and it says you are in NJ. You might not be the market Disney needs to pull to DL. I lived in WA for 25 years. In 1971, which park do you think would be the park I would be most likely to visit? In the past, it had always been DL. But the world has changed, many times we've found it no more expensive to fly to WDW than DL from Seattle. So we stopped visiting DL as much.

The more DL stuff is brought to WDW, and the more WDW stuff is brought to DL, makes DL less of a draw for people who SHOULD be in DL's market. "Why pay to fly to DL when you can see the same or similar stuff at WDW?"

Because of DL's small size compared to WDW, this cloning thing is primarily hurting DL. If your focus is, "How does cloning hurt WDW?" the reasons might not be as clear or as strong.

wtg2000
11-06-2003, 04:41 PM
I drove to DL from Ontario, Canada in 1996 to ride Indy Jones (and see the real Grand Canyon) but I haven't felt compelled to return since. The only thing at DCA that intrigued me was Soarin' and now it's coming to WDW. I did go to Tokyo upon the opening of DisneySea having been there in 1998, and I've been to the new Studios in Paris but that wasn't a special trip. I think the crowd that "resort" hop is very small. Also, cloned rides, like Soarin', already have a buzz around them which helps.

KNWVIKING
11-06-2003, 05:26 PM
***"Because of DL's small size compared to WDW, this cloning thing is primarily hurting DL. If your focus is, "How does cloning hurt WDW?" the reasons might not be as clear or as strong."***

Kinda makes me wonder if DL will be anything more then a local theme park attraction 10 years or so from now.

raidermatt
11-06-2003, 05:53 PM
...when I really think about it I come to the conclusion that DL having a great and unique new ride will not entice me to return to DL. Hey, that's fine. Its not just about what you or I would do. It doesn't even have to be a majority of the WDW visitors that could be enticed down to DLR for a few days every few years.

Remember, we're talking about the difference in cost between a clone and a non-clone, compared to how many more people would be drawn by the non-clone. For example, Its Tough to be a Bug was cloned into DLR. Putting in an original attraction, lets say a different 4D movie attraction, would cost more, but the only cost we are concerned about is the difference.

The question is, over the coming years, would the fact that the attraction is, let's say a Monsters Inc 4D attraction, entice anyone who has seen Bug to visit DLR now that it has a Monsters movie instead of the same Bug movie?

I think the benefit over time would outweigh the additional cost of making the attraction unique.

Take it a step further... For the sake of argument, lets assume M:S is a "knock your socks off" attraction, as many on these boards have said it is, and that it is capable of drawing Disney fans back to WDW and Epcot.

Wouldn't a unique, M:S caliber attraction in DCA also draw Disney fans to DLR? Sure, not all would go to both, but some would.

Because of DL's small size compared to WDW, this cloning thing is primarily hurting DL. If your focus is, "How does cloning hurt WDW?" the reasons might not be as clear or as strong. This is true... WDW visitors already have unique reasons to go to WDW, and further, they are still getting some unique additions, like M:S, Phil, and E:E.

Cloning Soarin' into Epcot therefore won't be as much of a problem for WDW, though I still maintain it could be a bigger benefit if it were Soarin' Over Not CA".

But with it cloned into Epcot, one of the few unique reasons a WDW visitor had for going to DLR is no longer a reason.

True, one attraction isn't likely to draw a lot of people, but a collection of them will. Instead of building that collection at DLR, they are reducing it by putting Soarin' in Epcot.

I think the crowd that "resort" hop is very small. True, but one of the reasons for that is there is very little reason to visit DLR if you've been to WDW. Further, if you've been to DLR, Soarin in Epcot offers zero enticement to visit WDW. The question isn't "how many people visit both resorts now?"... we know that isn't very large. The question is "how many WOULD visit both resorts if the experience were unique?"

People vacation every year. The idea is to get a once every 5 year WDW visitor to go to DLR instead of going to Hawaii, Canada, New York, whatever, in one of those off years. Also, there's a lot of people who visit SoCal and spend 1 or 2 days at DL. The idea is to get another day or two at DLR.* For somebody who has been to WDW, cloning attractions into DLR isn't going to do any good. (No, that isn't DCA's only problem... just one of them).

Also, cloned rides, like Soarin', already have a buzz around them which helps. Sure it does, but the buzz would not be hurt if only the ride mech were copied, and everything else were unique. Further, ToT, M:S, etc didn't lack buzz, and they were not cloned.



*Disclaimer.... I realize that its this kind of Marketing-driven goal that was a big part of the whole problem that is DCA. I do not mean that the goal of adding a day to someone's stay should be the driving force behind Disney's creative decisions. I only mean that those goals are the business justification for letting the creative folks do their job and go about the business of creating. Hopefully, the distinction is clear.

hopemax
11-06-2003, 05:54 PM
Some would say it's already there.

And the sadest thing is that it could have been preventable. Pressler's park philosophies really were damaging. I'm sure you read Scoop's Trip Report for DL, visitors can sense that something is not well, even if some are unable to articulate why.

If Disney wants DL to be something different than a local park, cloning will not help. They can't let WDW get DL's stuff, and DL's can't accept WDW's stuff without serious "plussing." DL has to be different in as many ways as possible.

raidermatt
11-06-2003, 05:55 PM
Kinda makes me wonder if DL will be anything more then a local theme park attraction 10 years or so from now. That is up to Disney...

KNWVIKING
11-06-2003, 06:25 PM
***"Remember, we're talking about the difference in cost between a clone and a non-clone, compared to how many more people would be drawn by the non-clone. For example, Its Tough to be a Bug was cloned into DLR. Putting in an original attraction, lets say a different 4D movie attraction, would cost more, but the only cost we are concerned about is the difference."***

I agree. In another thread I was asking if anyone knew what the cost of just the film portion of Soarin' was. Rather then make it an exact clone, how much more would it cost to film a Soarin' over Something ?

***"The question is, over the coming years, would the fact that the attraction is, let's say a Monsters Inc 4D attraction, entice anyone who has seen Bug to visit DLR now that it has a Monsters movie instead of the same Bug movie?"***

Tough question. I think DL would have a hard time enticing people back into DL who have been to both parks simply because WDW has SOOO much to offer. And not just WDW, but the surrounding area. When we stayed at DL we rented a car. We drove up to US Hollywood. What a PITA ! I can leave WDW and be in USF in less then 10 minutes. Just so many options are easily availible in Central Fl. Hopefully your idea/theory would get West coasters back into the park or even the central USA crowd who are undecided which way to go.

raidermatt
11-06-2003, 07:07 PM
Good points, Hope.

Some would say it's already there. Definitely moving more in that direction. I know it can never be the type of resort destination WDW is, unless somehow large amounts of land are acquired, but it doesn't have to be a "locals only" type of place.

I think DL would have a hard time enticing people back into DL who have been to both parks simply because WDW has SOOO much to offer. And not just WDW, but the surrounding area. No, its not an easy task, but then again, the people taking on the task are supposed to be the best around. I think it can be done, if they have the will and the talent.

I'm not sure I buy the surrounding area argument though. The tourist attractions are pretty concentrated around Orlando, but I'm not sure we can say there are more of them in Central Florida than in SoCal. The difference, of course, is that WDW is the hub around which all tourism in Central Florida revolves, while DLR is more of just another piece of the puzzle in SoCal. But that is part of the point, DLR doesn't have to get guests to commit a week to succeed as a resort because of all of the other SoCal destinations. They could have succeeded with the new resort concept if DCA had actually met its objective, of lengthening guest stays, as well as attracting new guests altogether.

There are various reasons for the lack of success of course. Cloning is just one of them.

KNWVIKING
11-06-2003, 07:18 PM
***"The tourist attractions are pretty concentrated around Orlando, but I'm not sure we can say there are more of them in Central Florida than in SoCal. "***

I have no idea what SoCal has to offer but I'm sure it's considerable, possibly even greater then the Orlando area. But what I didn't like about the LA, Anahiem area was the traffic. On a Thursday evening- around 6;00 pm, we tried to drive to Huntington beach to watch a Pacific Ocean sunset. Well, by the time we got to the ocean, the sun was probably coming up in Japan. But we can say we saw the sun set over the State Farm building on Beach (?) Blvd. My experience within a 20 mile radius of WDW is that I can get just about anywhere very quickly. Just avoid I-4 in the morning. Since I always have a car, this give WDW a huge advantage over DL.

raidermatt
11-06-2003, 07:55 PM
No arguments on the traffic. Clearly there are some advanatages that WDW should always have over other destinations.

Planogirl
11-06-2003, 11:49 PM
I feel like it's just a different focus in California. California has so much to offer besides theme parks that Disneyland just becomes one diversion of many. I'm considering returning to San Diego sometime in the future and we will probably try to make it to DL for a few days. DL becomes one brief diversion rather than the primary focus as WDW and possibly Universal are in Florida. Yes, traffic was a nightmare between San Diego and Anaheim but at least the scenery was gorgeous.

Because of this I agree that cloning may just hurt Disneyland more. There's so much to do in California why spend time and money going to a park full of WDW clones? Or at least that may be what some travelers end up thinking. Disney may be shooting themselves in the foot over this one because Disneyland already has the advantage of being in a touristy area and should be a big draw.