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Old 08-15-2002, 07:25 PM   #31
raidermatt
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There was more than one compilation. Make Mine Music and Fun and Fancy Free come to mind...

However, the point Baron makes still holds, as it does with Dumbo. And this is a point I didn't get at first either. These were not made to get at a different market, or just to increase profits. They were made because Disney was in a survival mode. They had to put out something on a budget that would sell, or likely face bankruptcy. Note that when the financial situation had stabalized, the compilations stopped.

I'm not a member of Baron's "WDW Resort Caste System" cult, however, I agree that Walt would not have built "value" resorts for profit reasons, unless it was necessary for the survival of the company.

Now, it may have turned out to become necessary, since under-utilization of assets is part of what led to the takeover attempts in 83-84. But Walt's first choice would have likely been to build more of the same type of resorts, rather than the lower priced alternatives, or more DL/MK quality theme parks, or maybe something else that would utilize the land and generate cash.

I suspect he would have done something to generate cash and keep the wolves at bay, but I have to agree with Baron that it probably wouldn't have been the values, or even the moderates.
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Old 08-15-2002, 07:41 PM   #32
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At the risk of offending my one and only ally on this subject (although the old JJ agreed, he doesn’t seem to posting much anymore!) I have to say:
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I'm not a member of Baron's "WDW Resort Caste System" cult
Well, that’s fair enough. You certainly wouldn’t be in the minority!!
Quote:
however, I agree that Walt would not have built "value" resorts for profit reasons
But this automatically pays your initiation fee into “The Caste Hating He Man Club”!!

All it takes, Mr. Matt, is for you to understand that Ei$ner manipulated the market (raised prices to the ridiculous level) in order to install three separate classes of resort guest. And that Walt would have NEVER done so, BECAUSE IT DESTROYED HIS STANDARD!!!
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Old 08-15-2002, 08:03 PM   #33
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I suppose its more of a problem with the societal implications of a caste system, and how I don't really think all of that applies to the WDW resorts.

I see the difference in resorts, and the philosophy that created it, but I don't see caste system as really applying.

We've gone over this before, but to me, its really no different than restaurants. Cinderella's table being the deluxe, and let's say the Electric Umbrella (Epcot FW) being the value. (I used Cosmic Ray's last time, and admittedly, that wasn't the best example).

I'd like to see a better job done with the Electric Umbrella, as well as the All Stars, but I just don't see it as a caste system.

Maybe its just semantics?

(I also suspect I don't think the values/moderates are as far off the mark as you, but I do see how they lack some show elements.)
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Old 08-15-2002, 08:08 PM   #34
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Why wouldn't Walt have built low-end accomodations? Certainly not because he was above making a cheap buck....Remember Walt was the guy who purposely had very few water fountains at DL at opening so drink sales would be high. Not very altrustic or guest oriented would you say?

To say he wouldn't have opened an ALL-Stars is simply speculative based on personal myth or faith in something that simply wasn't true IMO or, at best, cannot be proved...
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Old 08-15-2002, 09:06 PM   #35
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Remember Walt was the guy who purposely had very few water fountains at DL at opening so drink sales would be high.
Ummm...no.

You're running out of money and you're running out of time. You can either have the construction people finish the bathrooms or install drinking fountains. Which do you pick?
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Old 08-15-2002, 09:13 PM   #36
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I suppose its more of a problem with the societal implications of a caste system, and how I don't really think all of that applies to the WDW resorts.
OK! Fair enough, but…

How about if I rename my little idea? Instead of “caste system” I call it,

“The subterfuge of the Walt Standard, by purposely building different levels of resorts, and charging offensive, excessive and extremely exorbitant rates for these accommodations, with the sole purpose of creating a need for lower lodging rates, just to capture wider market segments, in a purely profit motivated maneuver, that ultimately led to the collapse of “Standard Disney Quality” and more importantly juxtaposed Profit over Show which led to ultimately replacing their primary product of “the SHOW” with the mere commodity of hotel accommodations!!”

Is that a little bit better?

Captain, my friend!! Welcome to the discussion!!

With your permission, I’ll begin![ Why wouldn't Walt have built low-end accommodations?[/quote]Why weren’t they in the original plans? And what did Walt EVER build that leads you to this conclusion? Or is it, as I suspect, just a hunch?
Quote:
Remember Walt was the guy who purposely had very few water fountains at DL at opening so drink sales would be high. Not very altrustic or guest oriented would you say?
Well, I’ve heard the story and I’ve heard the counter story and I really don’t know what to believe. But I can tell you that I’ve never witnessed any “sharp practices” from any of the things he produced. EVER!!! AN I don’t think you have either or I dare say, you wouldn’t be here!! Altruistic!! There are some philosophers that say that it is an impossibility. For the mere fact of being self-satisfied at your altruism, simply denies it!!

Quote:
To say he wouldn't have opened an ALL-Stars is simply speculative based on personal myth or faith in something that simply wasn't true IMO or, at best, cannot be proved
So, your telling me, in your heart of hearts, that Walt would have built the All Stars? Be careful Captain. Think hard before you answer. The way others perceive your logic and sanity is at stake!!
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Old 08-15-2002, 09:40 PM   #37
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First of all, I thought my sanity was pretty much always in question around here and secondly, why should I start to think before I speak now?

hopmax, I have read in a couple of places that it was on Walt's direct order that water fountains not be readily available for the specific purpose of selling soft drinks. I'll try to find my sources.

With regard to All Star type Resorts. It is my view of Walt that he would want to take care of (and take the money of) all Americans so inclined to want to visit a Disney Park. I don't think his ideal included snobbery and I don't believe oppulence is the same as quality. Further, I don't think Walt would snub so many woking class people nor ignore their pocketbooks - I already said that, didn't I?

Although I personally have no problem with Pop Century (I'll never be staying there) I do believe Walt would have snubbed this type of garishness in its infancy and probably would have had the designers thrown out without their last paycheck! -Because Walt did have (quite obviously) good taste (subjective on my part). But I believe that good taste would also include sense enough to see that simple quality for folks less willing or able to pay deluxe prices is a no brainer.
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Old 08-15-2002, 09:53 PM   #38
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"I have read in a couple of places that it was on Walt's direct order that water fountains not be readily available for the specific purpose of selling soft drinks. I'll try to find my sources."

It's an urban legend that's been traced to a negative newspaper article about the opening day of Disneyland. Most people in town thought the idea of an amusement park way out in the middle of absolute nowhere was a stupid idea - everyone was primed for the place to be a grand failure. The closet anyone can find to the "no water fountains" is that a plumer's stike delayed a lot of work on the park until the last minute. Hence, several fountains were still incomplete and the water pressure hadn't been fined either. Of course you can also claim that Walt intentionally ordered the ashaplt on Main Street should be soft so he could make a killing of all those women buying new shoes when their high heels got stuck...

As for low-end accomidations at WDW. The Company at the time deliberatley decided against building those type of hotels since they weren't Disney. Instead, they had other hotel chains build those kinds of accomidations in the hotel plaza instead. That way people that wanted to stay at a Howard Johnson level of hotel had the opporunity to do so - and Disney maintained its brand image and its standard of resort. Up until Eisner got cheap, Hotel Plaza guests got all the same benefits as Disney hotel customers and Disney even ran Disney busses to each of those hotels. Disney had each hotel maintain a high level of service and Disney ran shops and guest service counters in the hotels as well. They had as much "Disney Magic" in that regard as any of the other resorts.
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Old 08-15-2002, 09:54 PM   #39
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I was just going to reply with the plumber's strike, but I see AV beat me too it.
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Old 08-15-2002, 10:03 PM   #40
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Talk about beating a dead horse!!! Neighhhhh, neighhhhh!!!

I see every argument I set forth debunked! I'm starting to think you guys don't like me, sniff, sniff - Or are you just making this stuff up? Come on, fess up!

Well, I'm going to the source. As soon as Madame Cleo is out of jail I'm getting her to hook me up with Walt & if that doesn't work we'll have a seance in New Orleans Square right at the steps of Club 33...I just hope Elvis doesn't show up...The guys really getting too much press, ya know?
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Old 08-16-2002, 01:51 AM   #41
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Quote:
I see every argument I set forth debunked!
That is because they are debunkable!!
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I'm starting to think you guys don't like me, sniff, sniff
Awe Captain!! We like you just fine! We even like the Pirate (well, for the most part I guess!)!! It is you logic and arguments that we don’t like!!!
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As soon as Madame Cleo is out of jail I'm getting her to hook me up with Walt
Captain!! You bust me up!!! Again!!!:

p :bounce
:
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Old 08-16-2002, 08:29 AM   #42
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Well, now that I'm sober again...

I don't thnk my points are really any more 'debunkable' than the naysayer crowd...I just generally bore with the 'yes you do, no you don't' type debate...

I have no reason to doubt Mr. Voice in his recant of the drinking fountain caper, but I know I've read it in at least two places & I recall one of the books as being very compelling in my eyes. That doesn't mean the author didn't have an axe to grind wth Walt, but sometimes I think you guys pull from the other side of the spectrum.

I'm going to go where no man dares to go now and make a blanket statement that will probably get me banned from the DIS. Walt had it easy!

Walt's vision was his own. Walt had to answer to virtually no one. Walt was improving on something very basic and generic (the amusement park). Walt's commitment to quality was bourne out of his disguest with the messy conditions and general seediness of the 'competetion". Walt never would have got funding for his 'pipe dream' today. Walt's commitment to quality as in expensive chandeliers was a showmanship issue (personally). Walt used off the shelf rides (carousel & skyway) - and who cares about the story behind the carousel...It's still a merry-go-round. Walt reinvented the wheel many, many, many times. The dark rides are all basically the same with different stories attached (seems he used the synergistic approach as much as Michael). Certainly all are unique and well done but would current management get praise if they decide to clone 5 or 6 Soarin' rdes with different locales, ques and stories? I don't think so. Walt's innovation at DL was slow. You know the HM & Pirates didn't even appear until the very end of the 60's! Walt loved trains so he gave us trains and is revered for it. Eisner liked quality stage shows and has given them to us (where s the same appreciation?).

OK, I know a few of you are waiting to rip into this baby so I'll quit (with hopes that a few of the more like-minded here will see a point or two they can work from).

Walt was a genius who we are very lucky to have had but the circumstances surounding what he was doing & when he was dong it is very different that modern day business (the business is business theory is just oversimplification).

I'm not trying to downplay what Walt did as much as I'm trying to point how vital it was that he did what he did when he did. It would be very hard for a modern day theme park genius to make his name in the world today, would it not? Why? Because the premise is no longer new. It has been refined. Business, people & investors are a lot less likely to 'bet the farm' today. How many new and exciting theme park attraction ideas can there be? We keep clamoring for a new 'dark ride' but what will it be? It'll undoubtedly be a basic clone. The only new idea I've heard since I've been here is the concept for the coaster at AK that would have combined coaster, dark ride, story & thrills all in one (stop, go, stop, go)...

OK, I'm really quitting now!
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Old 08-16-2002, 09:27 AM   #43
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Don't quit - I'm with you - oh Captain, my Captain .

Don't fret about Elvis showing up. He doesn't like to make too many appearances and he just showed up to give Nicolas Cage and Lisa Marie his blessing .

Quote:
Mr. Kidds. You are interesting. You come very close to “Getting It”, and then suddenly – WHOA!! A left turn out of nowhere!!! And all because of some lousy compilation Walt was forced to do ONCE!!
You may have forgotten more than I have gotten to this point - but apparently one of the things you forgot was Walts use of 'package' pictures. There were indeed more than one. Dragon was the first circa 1940. The war years put a crimp in animation production, but it was around 1948 or so when Walt decided he needed to make some changes and moved ahead with Cinderella, which happened to be the first really successful feature (profit-wise) since Snow White. The 'package' pictures included Dragon, Make Mine Music, Fun and Fancy Free, Dear to My Heart, Melody Time, and The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad. These were not something he was forced to do ONCE. It was a medium that worked for the business at the time. A compromise if you will - Oh, wait Walt wouldn't do that! - Well, yes he would, and did! Another note - I did stay away from mentioning sequels because I know how Walt felt about topping pigs with pigs. However, the major reason he didn't do a sequel to Fantasia was because of the commercial failure of Fantasia - not his credo to not do sequels after that first mistake.

Quote:
But guess what? The well had run dry. And tough choices have to be made.
I do love when you help me make my points (if I actually have one .) But what is to say that Walt would not have faced more of these choices in the future. Just as he would have liked to have fixed the Prince, or gone right into production on Pan, or Alice, or another major feature instead of the 'packages' - might he have been put into a situation at some point that made him rethink the hotel thing. Given his track record I'm sure he would have found ways to put himself in more pickles that required him to make tough choices.

Quote:
But never at the expense of his all encompassing QUALITY!!
Of course. The 'package' pictures were still quality, still 'Disney' - they were just something different - and that was ok. So, too, could a second type of hotel if that is what Walt felt was prudent at some point - and he would have done it with quality.

Quote:
And there is nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING that he ever built and/or priced that would lead me to the conclusion that he would condone the existence of the moderates, the economies or the ultra deluxe resorts and sanction them as “Disney”.
As you often say - I disagree!! The record speaks for itself if you choose to see it. So had the need or opportunity arisen Walt could have done a 'package' hotel.

Quote:
How? How would it be possible to reduce those standards commiserate with price and yet maintain the same standard? How is that possible? You’ve got me baffled! I can’t see it how that could happen.
Ah…. But how, you ask. You know what – you sound a lot like Roy. I really don’t know exactly how, but if Walt felt it needed to be done he would have found a way. I think a time would have come, event would have transpired, that presented a need to Walt – be it a business thing, a personal thing, or a people thing.

Quote:
It’s either a Standard or it isn’t!!
I have to say to you Baron that you are interesting as well. You are an advocate for the ‘standard’ and I like that. However, it is your view of the ‘standard’ that I am struggling with. With regard to hotels you say that the Contemporary and Poly are the ‘standard’. Likewise, you must feel that in animated features Snow White is the ‘standard’. But you know what – the ‘standard’ isn’t a hotel, or a picture, or a thing. As you pointed out, the ‘standard’ is really quality and adherence to 4 things….

1. Safety
2. Courtesy
3. Show
4. Efficiency

I think you set an arbitrary standard, such as the Contemporary for hotels, and discount anything that is not done like the Contemporary even if it is quality and adheres to those principle you hold dear. I just don’t understand that. Many of the films that came after Snow White did not live up to Snow White. But they still met the Walt ‘standard’. They were still quality. Likewise, there could be hotels that were not quite the Contemporary that were still quality, that met the real ‘standards’, not some arbitrary belief that everything had to be done like the thing before. Am I making any sense here?

Ok – to the caste system. Not sure I agree with your vacuums and voids, but let’s say for argument sake that I give them to you and concede a caste system under Eisner that was developed strictly to separate the consumer from their cash. But the caste system you describe is not necessarily a function of having different hotels, rather how they were implemented. When Walt did his new or different hotels that could be equated with the second generation hotels (read: ‘moderates’) of today, his motivation would not to have been to commoditize the hotels, but to make his dream available to more people (or save the company - he had to do that once or twice). No caste system involved.

Quote:
SO!!! WHERE ARE THE MODERATES IN THIS COMPLETE PLAN??!!”
But it wasn’t in the Master Plan. Yes, you are right. However, it appears you are more of a black and white man than Walt ever was. Walt did a lot of things he might not have originally planned to. Things happen, opportunities present themselves. Walt capitalized on that, and not for greed or profit sake either. Sure, Walt may have finished the Master Plan first, but do you believe he would have stopped there? Well, that is a bad question because by the time it was realized he may have grown tired of the resort business and moved on to something else. But, assuming he didn’t, of course he could have added things outside the Master Plan. I think WDW has grown larger than Walt ever dreamed it would. I think he would have grown it larger than his Master Plan as well. He may have grown it differently, but I believe it would have grown. The Master Plan was developed, with great effort, but there is no way it could have accounted for every contingency or every opportunity or every need that might have presented itself as things grew.

At least it is nice to have heard your complete theory on the caste system and it is interesting, but not all attempts to present a different hotel option would be destined to be a caste system. Hopefully that is all I have to say about that – but I’m sure you buy none of this and on we will go .

A few other notes....

Quote:
So, your telling me, in your heart of hearts, that Walt would have built the All Stars? Be careful Captain. Think hard before you answer. The way others perceive your logic and sanity is at stake!!
I don't think Walt would have built the All Stars as they are. I'll give you that Walt wouldn't have considered them good Show. But that doesn't preclude a third generation (read: 'value') hotel from being built. If Walt saw that need to fill, the ability to have more families experience his dream, or whatever the motivation, he would have done it with more quality and better show. Heck, he would have operated them at a loss if he had to. I agree with mi Capitans comments re: PC.

Quote:
I see every argument I set forth debunked!
...and Baron is head of the bunko squad . Never mind them .

As I see the whole DL drinking fountain thing..... The strike delayed things. Appears as though the choice was toilets or fountains. Walt chose toilets and made the comment that 'people can buy Pepsi-Cola, but they can't pee in the street'. Did this mean he chose toilets to sell cola? I don't think so. If the strike made it impossible to get everything in, obviously toilets come before fountains. Walt's words were taken out of context if someone alleged that he eliminated fountains to sell soda. That is if it happened as I read (in the Bob Thomas bio).

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Old 08-16-2002, 10:23 AM   #44
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DK, with respect to the compilations, you either ignored my last post, or found it so inept it was not fit to be acknowledged. (Don't worry, you wouldn't be the first to do either...).

I repeat:

Quote:
However, the point Baron makes still holds, as it does with Dumbo. And this is a point I didn't get at first either. These were not made to get at a different market, or just to increase profits. They were made because Disney was in a survival mode. They had to put out something on a budget that would sell, or likely face bankruptcy. Note that when the financial situation had stabalized, the compilations stopped.
The situation had to be quite compelling for Walt to make this sacrifice (I think you'd agree that bankruptcy is compelling...).

So its clear that Walt would have to be facing similar circumstances if he were going to compromise in the future.

Maybe the takeover attempts would have forced him to compromise again. However, I think his form of compromise, whatever it turned out to be, would still be closer to the Disney standard than what the Eisner team did.


Regarding the water fountains, I've also heard both of these stories, and since I'm mostly a "show me" kind of person, I find it difficult to buy into one or the other 100%. But, I have to lean strongly to the AV/Baron side of that equation, if only because that fits better with Walt's other actions.

Putting in fewer fountains to sell more beverages in the SoCal heat is pretty low and unimaginative, and I just don't see very many (if any) other examples of this kind of decision making from Walt.

I can't label Walt's decisions with regard to his business as altruistic. That would require a deep insight into his true motivations, and I don't pretend to have that.

What I do know is that his business style was one of producing quality that people would pay for. Skimping on water fountains just doesn't fit.
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Old 08-16-2002, 10:26 AM   #45
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“The subterfuge of the Walt Standard, by purposely building different levels of resorts, and charging offensive, excessive and extremely exorbitant rates for these accommodations, with the sole purpose of creating a need for lower lodging rates, just to capture wider market segments, in a purely profit motivated maneuver, that ultimately led to the collapse of “Standard Disney Quality” and more importantly juxtaposed Profit over Show which led to ultimately replacing their primary product of “the SHOW” with the mere commodity of hotel accommodations!!”
Quote:
Is that a little bit better?
Better, but I'm just not "feeling" it...

How about submitting 4 other proposals and we'll go from there?

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