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Old 08-18-2002, 09:59 AM   #61
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I'm assuming the head-examination comment was in good taste.
Of course it was . I, too, find myself short on time and have not included the smilies that help to convey the humor .

A quick note - I'm well aware of the topic of the thread (heck, it was mine ) but on the value tangent I have been discussing the 'raw' value and not the value by Walt's standards. But lets explore that.......

Oh, another note, and the crux of the disagreement here.

Quote:
No themeing, experience or magic is worth the exorbitant prices that Disney charges, even with discount codes.
I don't see the Disney prices as exorbitant at all. Others have pointed out that such a perception might depend on where the viewer is from. However, being used to NY (Metro) prices, frequent travels to beach locals and ski resorts, very frequent business travel where you pay $200 a night for a room next to nothing.... I'm not making any comment on the field of experience of others, but my experience tells me that the WDW prices are not exorbitant. Just my opinion though. And your comments about the theming , experience, or Magic not being worth it - boy, I couldn't disagree more. Like I said, we can't always pay for it and we have stayed at the CY several times - and they were great trips - but the WDW resorts (AS excluded) are just something else. That is why we purchased DVC as opposed to opting for cheaper off-site hotels in the future. A lot of it come down to this....

Quote:
Perhaps my standards are just different from everybody else's, but a hotel (or resort, as Disney likes to call them) is for sleeping.
If that is where you are coming from, the CY at $25 a night is perfect. That is great. Different strokes for different folks. In that regard, the Disney hotels might not be a value for you, but looking at it objectively, do you really believe they are not a value at all? (ok - I know your answer - but I have you thinking straight on AKL - I think I could get you on the others had I the time )

We look at it a little differently. We find ourselves spending more and more time at the resorts. We love the parks, but we go very often and don't have to spend all our time in the parks. I assure you, the Disney Magic is not limited to the theme parks.

Oh, and another note......Disney is not the first or only to charge more based on view. Ocean view (and some of those ocean views are a stretch), slopeside, etc. - all cost more at other resorts.

Quote:
And from a man who didn't want to charge admission to the park at all to enjoy the atmosphere, the company that bears his name certainly has no problem charging for atmosphere.
Not being flip here, but by this logic everythign is overpriced at Disney. People probably felt that way in 1972, 1982, 1992, 2002 - and will think that in 2012, 2022..... I have a question. I know Baron mentioned an analysis that showed WDW hotels grew 10x inflation since 1972. I bet that is based on peak rack at GF. However, I want someone to tell me what Walt charged for the Contemporary in 1972. Inflate that 3 to 5 percent a year (on the low side) through today - I bet you find that you can get a room at the CR for that or less if you call tomorrow. Atmospher or not - I think the prices are fair enough.

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Once again, if the question arises of maintaining the Walt standard, this was not his standard. His standard was to give everybody an equal chance.
I believe, based on what Baron has taught me , that Walt's standard would be Quality, Safety, Courtesy, Show and Efficiency. Your standard - something I believe Walt would have liked to do - actually supports my whole argument about what Walt would have done regarding WDW hotels. If the original hotels grew too expensive through inflation, he would have found a way to make more hotels to give everyone a chance. I doubt he'd roll over in his grave over $84 a night for POR. Even if they could have made the Show a bit better (which Walt would have), that is quite a value.
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Old 08-18-2002, 11:36 AM   #62
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Anyway, as you can see, it's up and running again. But today is picnic day (YUCK!!) with my wife's co-workers. So, until tonight or tomorrow....
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Old 08-18-2002, 01:01 PM   #63
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I tried to make an HTML table out of this, but it was too confusing to look at, so I will just sum up:

Disney’s Value Resorts: (all offer the same amenities and includes Pop Century, All Star Movies, Music, and Sports)
Max. Occupancy in a Standard Room: 4
Food Court/Snack Bars
Lounges/Bars
Pools
Playgrounds
Fridge on request for a nominal fee
In room Safe
Price Range: $77 - $124

Disney’s Moderate Resorts: (all offer the same amenities except: Coronado Springs has a Health Club, and the Caribbean Beach has a beach. This category includes Coronado Springs, Caribbean Beach, Port Orleans Riverside, and Port Orleans French Quarter)
Max. Occupancy in a Standard Room: 4 (Riverside accommodates 5)
Limited Room Service
1 Table Service Restaurant
Food Court/Snack Bars
Lounges/Bars
Pools
Whirlpool
Playground
Fridge on request for a nominal fee
In-Room Safe
Marina
Water Sports
Biking
Price Range: $133 - $219

Disney’s Deluxe Resorts: (Because the amenities are more diverse I’ll list what all of them DO have:
*Max. Occupany in a Standard Room: 5 (WL: 4)
*Concierge
*Room Service
*At least 2 table service restaurants (BWI, CR, Poly: 3 Grand Floridian has 5)
*Food Court/Snack Bars
*Lounges/Bars
*Pools
*Whirlpool (Polynesian doesn’t have a whirlpool)
*Kid’s programs
*gym/health club (except the Polynesian)
*Fridge on request for a nominal fee (except at the Grand Floridian)
*In-Room Safe
*Jogging Trail (except Animal Kingdom)
*Monorail Access is offered at Contemporary, Polynesian, and the Grand Floridian
*Character Breakfasts are offered at WL, Contemporary,
Poly, Grand Floridian, and the BC
*Playgrounds are available at AKL, BWI, CR, and Poly
*Microwave on Request is available at the Grand Floridian, YC, and BC
*Mini-Bar is available at the Grand Floridian, YC, and BC, and WL on Request
*Beaches, Marina, and Watersports are at WL, CR, Poly, Grand Floridian, YC, BC
*Tennis is available at WL, BWI, CR, Grand Floridian, YC and BC
*Biking is available at WL, and BWI
*Water Pageant is available at WL, Grand Floridian, Poly, and CR
*Price Range:
AKL: $204 – 595
WL: $194 - $500
BWI: $289 – 650
CR: $234 - $650
Poly: $299 - $650
Grand Floridian: $329 - $815
YC & BC: $289 - $640

I’m not including the Home Away From Home resorts because my eyes are starting to numb from trying to transcribe this chart, and because those aren’t really comparable to hotel rooms anway.
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Old 08-18-2002, 01:38 PM   #64
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And your comments about the theming , experience, or Magic not being worth it - boy, I couldn't disagree more
To each his own, I suppose. I would also like to reiterate that when I speak of prices, I speak of rack rate. The DIS represents a SMALL portion of those who go to Walt Disney World. And until I found the DIS, I never knew Disney had discount codes.

Quote:
looking at it objectively, do you really believe they are not a value at all?
Yes, I do. And because of the Walt standard. I can pseudo-understand how more amenities cost more. I believe that all hotels should be the kind of show presented at the Deluxes, but at the cost of a moderate. And using your quote of $200 per room being inexpensive, that would fit that, since the moderates cost between $133 and $219. Forget the CY. Expand it and look at ANY off-property hotel. Why is it that I can get Disney’s deluxe amenities for that $75 - $100/night? Does the show REALLY cost that much? Does the show cost up to $800 to put on at the Grand Floridian? I suppose that if people want to have EVERYTHING done for them, $800 is reasonable. (However, I hear that the show at the Grand Floridian Royal Palm Concierge is severely lacking for what they’re charging) BUT, if I’m just looking for a plain old room is it reasonable for them to charge me $329 before taxes per NIGHT?! That’s a total of $365/night including the tax. Then multiply that by a stay of 5 nights. $1,825 for 5 nights, JUST for the hotel?!

Quote:
but I have you thinking straight on AKL - I think I could get you on the others had I the time
Nope. The “show” isn’t worth that. The upkeep of the animals is. I suppose to some there isn’t a difference there. AND at that, I think that the discount code rates are reasonable. $595 is not. $204 is pushing it.

Quote:
We look at it a little differently. We find ourselves spending more and more time at the resorts. We love the parks, but we go very often and don't have to spend all our time in the parks.
Which is why I think it’s GREAT that you’re a member of the DVC. For you, it’s worth it. But what about the REST of the world who doesn’t go once or twice every year? THOSE are the people who certainly aren’t going to know about the codes. Disney World’s draw is the parks. There is absolutely no way that that can be questioned. Once they find someone like you who will come back again and again, they can sell them the DVC because those people can spend time enjoying the resort. But other people, the non-repeats are spending more time in the parks.

Quote:
Oh, and another note......Disney is not the first or only to charge more based on view. Ocean view (and some of those ocean views are a stretch), slopeside, etc. - all cost more at other resorts.
How right you are. But Disney’s resorts are not located near a cascading waterfall, nor in the middle of a snow-covered mountain ridge. The land is flat. Yeah, there’s some water around, but they should be charging standard view prices for their “water” view or “garden” view, and discounting for the rooms that look at a parking lot or a roof vent.

Quote:
Not being flip here, but by this logic everythign is overpriced at Disney
Not being flip either, but DAMN SKIPPY! $2.50 for a bottle of water?! That’s not soaking someone? on!!

Quote:
I doubt he'd roll over in his grave over $84 a night for POR
No, but $800 a night for the Grand Floridian? Think about that for a moment. $800. You could feed an orphanage in Rwanda for a month for that much!

Quote:
In that regard, the Disney hotels might not be a value for you, but looking at it objectively, do you really believe they are not a value at all?
I think that I’m thinking more objectively, and realistically than you in this regard.
It seems to me that there are two problems with your argument that Disney resorts are a good value. 1.) Relatively few people know about those discount codes, and 2.) That the discount code rates are good deals… in comparison to what rack rates are. In comparison with other off-property hotels, that is not value.

Not to mention that Walt would not have taken down the level of show. As I said earlier it cannot be argued that there is more of a show, more of an ambience at the Grand Floridian than there is at an All-Star. He would have given All-Stars guests room service. Hairdryers and coffee makers would have been in those rooms.

EDIT: My point in all of this is simply that Disney has broken down their resorts by what you are willing to pay. The more money you'll spend, the more show you'll get. And some of that show shouldn't cost extra money. A concierge should not cost extra money. (Not the services that Disney offers like Sunrise Safari, or the lounges, but the actual person...the actual concierge). Room service should not cost extra money.

Also, as a last note, I know that I said I generally use the hotel for sleeping. That was a bit of an understatement. I generally go to a park, come to room, and stay there. If I want food, I want it delivered! So while some of the amenities may seem frivilous to someone who only sleeps there, I do like to make use of some of the services.

Last edited by SnackyStacky; 08-18-2002 at 08:50 PM.
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Old 08-18-2002, 09:31 PM   #65
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Snacky, Snacky, SnackyStacky......

Hmmm... a slight change of the ground rules. OK, if you insist. Most of my points regarding value have been made looking at 'discounted' rates. However, if you want to limit it to rack rate - the WDW hotels are not so hot. Guess what, neither is any hotel. Know what the rack rate is at the CY you are staying at. Check it out - it is no value either. You can go on about the $800 room at the GF, but it is not relevant to this discussion. That would be a concierge suite. We aren't talking about things like that. If you want to make a point at least stick to the GF at $329 - lets try to play a little bit fair and not muddy the waters, ok?

Fact of the matter is that currently you can call WDW reservations and get a discounted rate without a code. You might be able to get a better discount with a code. You don't have to be a Disney nut to know how to find a hotel discount, even for a WDW resort. So I don't buy your $800 GF concierge suite rack rate comparison (or even the $329 plain old room) to the CY at $87.69, or any other hotel for $75 to $100. Apples to oranges. You may feel you are being more objective, but I feel you are making invalid comparisons just to make a point. Furthermore, you are not getting Disney 'deluxe' amenities at any off-site resort for $75. I wish you were, I really do - but it's not happening. The CY at $25, or $87.69, or even $109 is great. It provides a decent hotel with some on-site benefits with a good location at a low cost. However, it is no GF (or CR, or WL, or BWI, or BC, or POR, or CSR, or CBR .... heck, it isn't even the Swan or Dolphin - I've stayed at them all) hotel, amenity, experience, or Magic wise. If you want to use a Marriott property that approaches the amenities you receive at the WDW hotels try the World Center (and that still doesn't get you there) - but the rates there wouldn't work for your arguments.

As to the whole 'Walt standard' issue I look at it like this. The original and second generation WDW hotels are all quality, safe hotels, with courteous staff, in a wonderfully themed environment (good Show) that do an efficient job of housing and entertaining guests. That is the Walt standard I go by - and I think it is done at a reasonable rate that provides value. That is as is today. Had Walt been around you'd have better show than the mods (or value) currently present, and general rack rates would be lower. However, you wouldn't be able to get a room at any of these hotels any cheaper than you would if you called tomorrow. I was going to ask for some logic or rationale as to why a WDW 'deluxe' should be $150 bucks or less, but last year I stayed in the CR for $129 and this year it isn't much more. I still haven't figured out the standard you are going by.

Just clarify one point....

Quote:
And using your quote of $200 per room being inexpensive, that would fit
Quote:
AND at that, I think that the discount code rates are reasonable.
Are you saying that a WDW resort at $200 is a good value or isn't?

Quote:
DAMN SKIPPY! $2.50 for a bottle of water?!
Guess what Skip - Mobil on the Run charges almost the same. You want convenience you pay - that is another concept that Disney didn't invent.

Quote:
A concierge should not cost extra money. (Not the services that Disney offers like Sunrise Safari, or the lounges, but the actual person...the actual concierge). Room service should not cost extra money.
It depends on how you view a concierge and what you think they should do for you. I would imagine that most of what you need you can get by calling the front desk. If you need someone to personally make priority seatings for you it does cost. A resort with 5,000 rooms, each one needing a PS. How many CM's do you think it would take to provide that? How much do you think they would cost? As for room service, that requires an on-site restaurant. AS doesn't have it - that is why you can get it for $79. BTW - how is the room service at Motel 6, oh - they don't have it. Off handed comments aside - the things you mention do cost money.

Quote:
As I said earlier it cannot be argued that there is more of a show, more of an ambience at the Grand Floridian than there is at an All-Star.
And my final comment - you win. After reading this I am truely speechless.

Last edited by DisneyKidds; 08-18-2002 at 09:55 PM.
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Old 08-19-2002, 09:49 AM   #66
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Hmmm... a slight change of the ground rules.
Nope. Not changing anything. I said rack rate in an earlier post. Scroll back a few posts, and it should be there.

Quote:
Know what the rack rate is at the CY you are staying at.
Yup. It's $79 off-season. I was looking at it when I first was planning my trip. The only reason I took POR was because it was the same rate.

Quote:
You can go on about the $800 room at the GF, but it is not relevant to this discussion. That would be a concierge suite
See, but it is. Because that information came DIRECT FROM DISNEY'S ADVERTISING MATERIALS. It is off of the Birnbaum's resort chart, as well as Disney's OWN resort pamphlet that comes with the planning video. It doesn't state that that's what that's for, it simply states that you could pay up to $800.

Try booking a Grand Floridian room in peak season. $553.90 a night. For a STANDARD room, that's a reservation that came from Disney. "Value" season is $365.20, again, a rate that came direct from Disney. Point me towards the value in either one of those rates.

Perhaps you can get a better rate calling CRO? Maybe you can, but then again, maybe you can't. Hence the reason for calling CRO over and over again until you get the rate you want. Maybe you even got a postcard that advertises a certain rate! But then again, CRO may not honor that rate. Walt's standard? No.

Quote:
That is the Walt standard I go by - and I think it is done at a reasonable rate that provides value.
The Walt standard I go by is a man who would NOT have seperated hotels and the amenities they offer by how much you were willing to pay. Pay $x more and you can have room service. Pay $x more and you can have a BETTER show. That's not Walt's standard. As I said, a man who didn't want to charge admission to the park would have allowed guests a better show for more money? More amenities for more money?

Quote:
Are you saying that a WDW resort at $200 is a good value or isn't?
I was saying that a discount rate of $159 is reasonable for a savannah view at AKL. I'm sorry I didn't clarify that originally.

Quote:
Guess what Skip - Mobil on the Run charges almost the same. You want convenience you pay - that is another concept that Disney didn't invent.
I suppose this is definitely an issue of where you come from. There is a Mobil on the Run within walking distance of my home, and a bottle of water costs $1.19. It costs $.89 at the grocery store. Either way, Disney is a HOT environment. Orlando's water is not the best in the country. So why do they charge $2.50? That's not a souvenir. You NEED water to keep healthy in the Florida, summer heat. Heat stroke, heat exhaustion and myriads of other problems can result from not keeping yourself hydrated. So buying water is not an issue of convenience. It's a matter of necessity. Even drinking fountains don't suffice because you need MORE than a few sips every now and again. You need to drink LOTS. And that's not soaking the guest? $2.50 for something that they HAVE to have?

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If you need someone to personally make priority seatings for you it does cost.
Why?! Why does it cost Disney to do something that I can do myself for free? That doesn't make ANY sense to me!

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AS doesn't have it - that is why you can get it for $79.
CY has one, and they've got non-discounted rates of $79 too.

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BTW - how is the room service at Motel 6, oh - they don't have it.
This is true. But as I just pointed out there are places that you can order room service that charge what the All-Stars charge!

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And my final comment - you win. After reading this I am truely speechless.
I have never said that these hotels don't provide magic or show. I'm simply saying that it's just not worth (to me) what Disney is charging for it. I'm not saying that they shouldn't charge their exorbitant rates either. If I've said contrary it's because I'm really not good at verbalizing what I'm thinking.

What I AM saying is that that is not the Walt standard. I'm saying that the Walt way is to find a median. Give everyone the same experience for moderate rates with deluxe amenities.

I do hope that this is being kept in a discussion vein. I'm not good at reading online tone, and you sounded upset. Hope not!
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Old 08-19-2002, 11:42 AM   #67
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I do hope that this is being kept in a discussion vein. I'm not good at reading online tone, and you sounded upset. Hope not!
All just fun discussion - no worries .

I did notice a few edits in your eaqrlier posts and it seemed you had been saying earlier that discounted rates were unreasonable. Now you say rack is unreasonable and discounted rates may be of value. Maybe i was mistaken. Doesn't really matter - my position remains that readily available discount rates represent a good value.

Quote:
Yup. It's $79 off-season.
Nope - September regular rate is $139. Summer is $159. I was actually surprised because last time we stayed there the regular rates were about $169/$199. Good to see Marriott adjusts there rack rates down. Makes discounted rates more plausible when they go from $139 to $87.69, instead of $199 to $87.69. Disney really should learn from this. The whole discount thing does turn many people off and can be tricky.

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it simply states that you could pay up to $800.
I still don't see what relevance this has to a general value discussion. 99.9% of those staying at the GF won't be interested in the room that this rate applies to. That other .1% could care less about value.

Quote:
The Walt standard I go by is a man who would NOT have seperated hotels and the amenities they offer by how much you were willing to pay. Pay $x more and you can have room service. Pay $x more and you can have a BETTER show. That's not Walt's standard. As I said, a man who didn't want to charge admission to the park would have allowed guests a better show for more money? More amenities for more money?
Walt would have looked at it differently, but I disagree with your statement. You are right, Walt wouldn't have said 'if someone is willing to pay this I will give them that.' He would have said 'I want to provide a good quality show for as many people as possible.' Roy says 'But Walt, we can't give people the CR for any less, and to make the rates cheaper we have to cut this out'. To which Walt says 'You can't do that, find a different way to make it cheaper'. Guess what, Walt would have found a way to make it cheaper. Sure the cheaper hotel would provide less of something, but Walt would have insured it didn't compromise quality, and that good show was always present. Perhaps eliminating a concierge who makes a call for you that you admit you can make yourself has no impact on show.

Something important to note, and I will elaborate when I learn more, but Walts sketch that outlined the Florida property and went on to become the Seventh Preliminary Master Plot Plan (the ultimate guide for what WDW was to become) included not only reference to Hotels, but Motels as well. Obviously Walt envisioned more than one type of lodging. He would have found a way to make each conform to his standard, but even Walt would recognize that a motel does not provide everything that a hotel does.

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Why?! Why does it cost Disney to do something that I can do myself for free? That doesn't make ANY sense to me!
Did I miss something, or do people volunteer their time to WDW. I had the crazy idea that Disney paid their employees .

Quote:
What I AM saying is that that is not the Walt standard. I'm saying that the Walt way is to find a median. Give everyone the same experience for moderate rates with deluxe amenities.
Help me out. I am endeavoring to learn as much as I can about Walt. I just finished the Thomas bio. I believe I have a decent feel for how Walt operated and what he wanted to provide in general terms. I didn't quite get what you present above. I am trying to figure out which book I should move on to next. Any suggestions?
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Old 08-19-2002, 12:29 PM   #68
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I did notice a few edits in your eaqrlier posts
Because every time I'd start a post SOMETHING would happen that I couldn't finish it. I'd post, and go back and add a final thought later.

Quote:
Now you say rack is unreasonable and discounted rates may be of value.
Sorry. Again, I'm not good at verbalizing what I'm thinking. When I say a discount rate is a "value", it depends. $129 seems reasonable to me for any of the deluxes, and I've seen that rate as a discount standard view at AKL.

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Nope - September regular rate is $139.
That's not what I was quoted. I was given a quote of $79. I don't know what the reason was, but just asking for a regular rate, I got $79.

Quote:
I still don't see what relevance this has to a general value discussion. 99.9% of those staying at the GF won't be interested in the room that this rate applies to. That other .1% could care less about value
By the by, I forgot to mention in my last post, that $800 is NOT for a suite. That is a room. Disney clearly states (actually not so clearly as it's in itty bitty type) that price ranges vary based on room type, and are NOT quotes for suites.

Personally, I get VERY turned off when I look at the price range. It's rather like a car ad that promises $2,000 cash back. That sounds a LOT better than a $25,000 car that is now just $23,000! It's all about the way you print it, and the way they print it turns me off.

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He would have said 'I want to provide a good quality show for as many people as possible.'
But see, one of my points is: is the show REALLY good quality at the All-Stars? Or at Pop Century? You were earlier saying that perhaps I should check out these resorts before I form an opinion. What about all the people that are already bashing Pop Century? They haven't stayed there and are already trashing it. My point is just that it's not always possible not to have a pre-conceived notion of something. And Disney has not yet sold me that their hotel system is a fair one.

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Perhaps eliminating a concierge who makes a call for you that you admit you can make yourself has no impact on show.
That's very true. But why does Disney feel the need to charge exorbitant amounts of money for that person to make that call that you yourself can make? THAT'S the meat of my argument! Disney takes you for every penny you are worth.

Quote:
Did I miss something, or do people volunteer their time to WDW. I had the crazy idea that Disney paid their employees .
If they're going to provide a concierge, you shouldn't have to pay extra for him or her. He or she should be included in a regular room rate.

Quote:
Help me out. I am endeavoring to learn as much as I can about Walt. I just finished the Thomas bio. I believe I have a decent feel for how Walt operated and what he wanted to provide in general terms. I didn't quite get what you present above. I am trying to figure out which book I should move on to next. Any suggestions?
I don't know if it's in print anymore. I believe it's called either the Magic of Disney, or the Art of Disney. There's a great opening section about him. The book is HUGE, but I haven't seen it on shelves lately.

Lastly, I still say the All-Stars are a glorified motel. Glorified simply meaning huge statues. If they're going to be motels, they need to charge motel prices. I've never meant that the All-Stars shouldn't have fewer amenities. They should have smaller cost. Compared to a deluxe hotel, $77 for a Disney motel is cheap. But there are FAR cheaper motels. I've seen Motel 6 and Econo Lodge for $40 in Orlando.
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Old 08-19-2002, 01:01 PM   #69
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Because every time I'd start a post SOMETHING would happen that I couldn't finish it.
I know what you mean .

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That's not what I was quoted. I was given a quote of $79. I don't know what the reason was, but just asking for a regular rate, I got $79.
That is part of my point. You called and asked for a room and they said $79. That was the currently available rate, even though 'rack' rate is higher. Likewise, if I called Disney now and asked for a room at any particular resort for September I would be quoted less than that published range you keep referring to. When we got CSR last Nov for $89 we didn't need a code - we asked for a room and that is the rate they quoted us. Did you use a code for that $84 POR rate? The published range you keep referring to is irrelevant at this time - other than the fact that seeing it makes you uncomfortable .

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By the by, I forgot to mention in my last post, that $800 is NOT for a suite. That is a room.
Suite, RPC Concierge, whatever....? - does it really matter - you know what I am trying to say.

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But see, one of my points is: is the show REALLY good quality at the All-Stars?
You may have missed my earlier comments regarding AS and PC. No, I don't believe they provide what Walt would have considered good show. He would have done something different with his motels. Remember - the real question of the whole thread was 'what would Walt have done?'. We moved into the hotel area. I think he would have had various types of lodging - all of it quality show.

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If they're going to provide a concierge, you shouldn't have to pay extra for him or her. He or she should be included in a regular room rate.
But s/he is included in the regular room rate for the hotel which provides the service. Just because there is another hotel that doesn't provide the service and doesn't have the cost in the rate means that no hotel should? We are using concierge to represent a variety of amenities and services, right? Just want to make sure we're speaking the same language .

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I've seen Motel 6 and Econo Lodge for $40 in Orlando.
There you go again, comparing apples and oranges. To be more accurate you should compare that $40 to $49 - because AS has been as cheap as $49. Remember - either 'rack to rack' or 'discount to discount' - talking in 'rack to discount' comparisons doesn't help the conversation .
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Old 08-19-2002, 01:18 PM   #70
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You have a couple of points. (My eyes hurt so forgive my not copying quotes...)

There is a BIG difference between a suite, and a room. That pamphlet didn't say if those rates were for concierge. But there is a BIG difference between a suite and a room. $800 for a room is ludicrous.

We can throw rates back and forth (I'm not dismissing your points, I agree with some of them...see the opening line of this post), but my main problems with Disney are:

1.) They nickel and dime you for everything.
2.) They seperate their resorts and they DO take away from the show if you're not willing to spend as much money (you yourself even said the show at the AS lacks....so then why are they chargng Disney prices for no show?!? I don't understand)

My problem is even furthered by the fact that there are:
8 deluxe resorts
4 moderate resorts
3 cheap hotels (oops.....value resorts) (yes, soon to be 4, but time will tell if the rumored 6/2003 opening will happen)

SO, if you spend more money, you'll have more choices! WHAT?! How is that the Walt way?

I will finalize this post with:

*I will pay Disney rates for the All-Stars when they give me the same show I'm getting at a moderate, or better yet, a deluxe. I can deal with the lack of amenities as long as there's Disney show. But as they stand, they're charging Disney prices when they are, in fact, a Motel 6 with a big statue of a Disney character.

*$84 for POR isn't bad. In fact, it's reasonable and a value! Why can't they advertise that rate and keep it at that rate instead of giving a $133 low-end quote in their advertising materials?

*Those figures that I got from Disney as price quotes were ridiculous for the deluxes.
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Old 08-19-2002, 04:26 PM   #71
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I apologize to those of you posting on page 2-5. I also notice that we have gotten off the original topic.

Par for the Course. I just got back from a wonderful non-Disney Vacation and have little time (Baron, I drove through Kohler Wisconsin imagining a Giant Urinal complete with Pink Cake.)

Anyway, as to the original Topic. All good companies that provide services like Disney does have standards that they meet (personal standards) Would you stay at the Hyatt if they suddenly adopted the standards of the Holliday Inn? Walt Disney Invented the Themepark and created out of his own mind everything that Walt Disney World is based on. he set the standard. the idea that this standard is too high is unthinkable. It is in the End what Disney Themeparks are about and there is nothing that I have seen that suggests that Walt's standards are not what the public wants. Ignoring the past 5 years, I would suggest that the only positive influence that the Eisner managment group really had was to re-energize the company, because the people involved in designing and building rides and making moves and what have you still folllowed the Disney standard.
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Old 08-19-2002, 04:48 PM   #72
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After a nightmare weekend with a DEAD computer - I tentatively try to catch up with an ever-broadening thread. I will do my best to stay on topic, but that ain't always easy for me folks!!!

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BTW - where is that bunko squad? That essay of those last posts of mine and not one debunking?
Right here, SIR!! Reporting for duty, SIR!!

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A compromise if you will - Oh, wait Walt wouldn't do that! - Well, yes he would, and did!
Well, of course Walt would compromise. He did it all the time. He had to compromise when Disneyland was built. Remember? Tomorrowland or the rest of the park done right? Toilets or drinking fountains? Everyone compromises somewhat. He probably thought it was a compromise to hide his bourbon and donut habit from the general public. Walt was a showman. He wasn't stupid. And he was even practical at times.

So we have to look at HOW he compromised. Not that he was forced into it at times. Desperate times calls for desperate measures. But I didn't think that was the premise of your question. The way I read the question was, "What would Walt do, given the same circumstances that Ei$ner had?" Is that wrong? Did I misunderstand?

So I'll give you that Walt issued compilations. But what were the motivating factors behind the decision? Was it to reach a wider audience? NO!! Was it to pull one over on the public? NO!! Was it to make a fast buck? YES!! But why did he feel he needed to make a fast buck? Was it to line his own pockets? NO!! Was it to raise the bottom line on the quarterly report? NO!! Was it to acquire some mismatched company, boasting his own ego? NO!! Or could it be that maybe he needed a little quick cash to finance a "QUALITY" production? Perhaps he needed some funding to keep from going out of business completely? Yeah! I think you might reasonably assume that was the motivation. Especially given that after the financial crisis had passed, we saw no more of these things. Can we say the same of the motivating factors for the current regime? Sadly, NO!!

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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.
Well, that's an entirely different question than the one that was originally asked. Isn't it? You're now throwing things into the mix that may force him to compromise. And Yes!! He just may have done it. But that's not what I thought you were asking. I thought we were supposed to work off the same premise that Ei$ner has had. If that's NOT the case, then I'm answering the wrong question.

Of course he would have done whatever was necessary to 'stay afloat'. I suppose there may be a line he wouldn't cross, a watermark he wouldn't sink below, no matter what, but we never really saw him have to make that choice. So, I guess, given your "if pigs had wings" scenario, that yes, he would have considered building moderates. Or he may have said, "Nope!! Not for me!! Time to retire!!"

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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.
Nah! I kind of doubt it. Disneyland alone was making more money than he knew what to do with. He never took a salary more than $100,000.00 a year in his life. The ONLY thing that may have caused this kind of heartache would be EPCOT. His EPCOT. But we excised that from the equation because it destroys the very foundation of your premise and question. And if (and it's a mighty tenuous 'if') but IF EPCOT started to fail, I don't think he would still put Moderates into the existing "Vacation Kingdom" simply because it would have already been built up to the level that would automatically make profits like a money machine. And all that was to take place BEFORE the first shovel hit the ground for EPCOT. It would be a mature "Vacation Destination" that was fully built and 100% operational. All this in accordance with the master plan, which, by the way, has no mention at all of moderates!! They weren't even considered. As AV said. If you wanted a moderate, on the grounds, Hotel Plaza Drive was the place for you!!
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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.
I do love when you help me make my points (and I actually have one . )

The quick answer is that he would have NEVER felt the need. In fact, that's not only the 'quick' answer. It's the only answer. You can tell that in a glance, just by looking at the master plan. NO DISNEY MODERATES!! The moderates were left to the hotel chains in the Hotel Strip.

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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.
You slip that word "opportunity" in as if it has some weight. IT DOES NOT!! He had the 'opportunity' when the concept of WDW came up in the first place and deliberately decided against it, making provision elsewhere and NOT under the Disney banner.

And the "need" bit! Well, I see that as nothing other than some more "IF pigs had wings" stuff? I suppose you could "What if" the premise to the point that I would have to agree that he would have possibly, maybe, instead of going out of business entirely, built something less than he would have desired. IF the market crashed, IF the vacationing public deserted him, IF his EPCOT failed beyond belief, IF we were suddenly invaded by space aliens, IF the Cubs won the World Series ... IF... IF... IF...!!!

But given the same set of circumstances that Ei$ner has had, would he have built moderates? Just because he could? Just to capture a different market segment? Just to make money? The answer has to be NO!!

(BTW, you can say the same thing about the Floridian as well.)

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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).
Again you're working with a poor premise. If he had 'wanted' to make his dream available to more people, the master plan, and Disneyland itself, would have addressed that issue. He chose not to. And the 'save the company' bit is more of the "what if" game. And one that I'm not very good at, because I simple don't see a feasible or possible scenario of that ever happening. To me, there are way too many "IFs" involved.

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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.
You know, I talk and explain and reason, and you don't seem to comprehend. HE ONLY BUILT "VALUE" HOTELS!! The Poly and Contemporary WERE the value hotels. The price was ridiculously low. Which bring us to the next little bit in this thread. Cost.
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Case in point. We just returned from Cape May, NJ. For an EXTREMELY basic room across the street from the beach, with no amenities and ants in the bathroom, we paid $229 a night. Other hotels (they are really motels) with a parking lot view go for more. There are some that are less - but for good reason. The Seaview Marriott, a rather lovely resort that is comparable to say the GF runs about the same as the GF. We are going up to Cape Cod next weekend - the Courtyard in Hyannis - and the room goes for about the same as the GF. I defy the bunko squad to find any resort destination that has a hotel like the GF (or any hotel - moderates included) that is any cheaper than the Disney hotels.
What in the world does any of this rhetoric have to do with Disney? SO WHAT!!

Look. The Disney "experience" is just that. An "EXPERIENCE". It's either there, or it isn't there. If you want to 'Maintain Walt's Standards" you have to crystallize what that standard represents. So it's decided that a resort is to be built on the grounds of what will become WDW. They have played with various themes and have settle on two out of the seven possibilities (the remaining 5 will be built within the next five years). They're going with a Contemporary "A" frame (mainly because by this time the author of the plan realizes that EPCOT ain't going to happen and he wants to leave a little taste of it on the grounds anyway) and the South Seas Resort, better known as the Poly.

Now! How do we instill in these "hotels" a "Disney Experience"? You start with theme. Then add a lot of WOW!! A monorail running through the resort. Real flames in the Tonga Torches. Lush vegetation. Sweeping concrete walkways and topiaries. Polynesian music playing underwater in the swimming pool and rock & roll playing underwater in the Contemporary. And then you decide what type of amenities. Is there to be a free news paper delivered every day? Do you give away a free continental breakfast? Should each room have a coffee maker? Those type things. And, if you're Disney, doing it the Disney way, you pay very little attention to what the rest of the "Industry" is doing and concentrate on what you like and don't like when you're traveling. And when you have your list you find out what it costs to put on a SHOW like that. Cause we're not talking about running a hotel here. That's just the nuts and bolts stuff you have to do in order to get to where you really want to be. And that's producing a SHOW. A resort SHOW. A "Disney" resort SHOW.

And when you finally cost it all out, you find where your comfortable profit margin is and price it accordingly. Then, and only then, do you look at the market to see if anyone will actually show up for what you HAVE to ask. And you find, much to your delight, that your price is SUBSTANTIALLY under the current industry standard for what you are offering. And that doesn't even put a price tag on that wonderful intangible commodity known as the SHOW!

So you come away with a totally different resort experience. Some things that are considered standard in the so-called "Deluxe" accommodations are not offered at the "Disney- experience" resort. And some things that cost you extra in any other hotel in the world are indeed included for the same low price. Is that pricing higher than a motel-6? Yes!!! Quite a bit more!! Indeed!! So, if you're vacationing on a budget, you may not be able to afford a Disney resort. But on the other hand, is the price lower that what you'd expect to pay in New York, Chicago or L.A for similar hotels? YES!!! Quite a bit less!! It's almost a steal!! It is certainly a "VALUE"!!!
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You make Baronesque use of !!!!! regarding AKL savannah view. What do you think would be a reasonable charge for a nice sized room in an incredibly themed resort with lots of amenities and a giraffe right off your balcony?
Awe, come on!! That's easy!! If you decide that it should be part of the magic, it is done right or not at all!! In other words if you're not going to lose your shirt, it is priced EXACTLY the same as the rest of your resorts!! If you find you will lose your shirt, you have to forgo the concept!! It's just that simple!! Why? Because PRICE is part of the magic!! And a Standard is a standard!! Plain and simple!!
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Again I ask - have you actually seen the All Stars and the AKL? Please - go look if you haven't. I assure you, if you spend any time at your resort there is a world of difference in the 'experience', as well as the hotels themselves.
I do love when you help me make my points (and I actually have one . ) My point precisely!! Just where exactly, in this mish-mosh of resorts, is thee definitive standard? I'll tell you where it is. Out the window!! Ei$ner threw it away when he started lining his pockets with all the cash his Caste system was raking in!! (And as an aside, an issue we haven't talked about yet. In the process of throwing that standard out he randomly (YES!! I SAID RANDOMLY) plopped resorts all over the property and overbuilt it in the process!!) (how's that for a new thread topic!! )
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I guess Baron is with you in thinking that the AKL should only cost $99. Of course, Baron probably doesn't approve of AKL - but it is probably harder to find a better Show when it comes to a hotel. An actual savannah as part of a resort, with wild animals from across the world right outside your door. Rather unique if you ask me, innovative in the hotel world - something Mr. Disney might have thought of.
Ahhh! How little you know me. I think it's just fine!! It doesn't quite go far enough, but it goes a lot further than I thought Ei$ner & crew would go. It's just terribly overpriced!!
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I have a question. I know Baron mentioned an analysis that showed WDW hotels grew 10x inflation since 1972. I bet that is based on peak rack at GF.
No it is not!! It's based off the Poly, regular room rate, for regular room rate. There were no discounts in 1972. And we based it off (I think) 1979 costs. Factored in inflation and found that an ordinary Poly room had more that doubled the inflation rate!! So when you think about the room rates in Disney, please keep in mind that the most upscale you could possible get was the Poly (or the Contemporary). And the most downscaled you could get was... well.. I know!! The Poly (or the Contemporary)!! And it was given to you at a little (not much but a little) BELOW the current Moderate rates!! I'd call that value. Wouldn't you?
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I believe, based on what Baron has taught me , that Walt's standard would be Quality, Safety, Courtesy, Show and Efficiency.
Well... I don't want to quibble... but... Quality would be inherent in the SHOW aspect!! You wouldn't want a quality item put before safety. "It killed 45 people!! But boy oh boy!! Was it a Quality Kill!!!"
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If the original hotels grew too expensive through inflation, he would have found a way to make more hotels to give everyone a chance.
That's not possible!! Inflation is inflation!!
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I doubt he'd roll over in his grave over $84 a night for POR. Even if they could have made the Show a bit better (which Walt would have), that is quite a value.
NO!!!!! You still don't get it! He didn't care about VALUE, for value's sake!! He only cared about 'value' AFTER the SHOW or how it related to the SHOW!! But NEVER value alone!! Remember? Safety, Courtesy, Show and Efficiency! SHOW first. Efficiency (cost, price, demographics, marketing, etc.) later!!

Ahhhh! It's good to back!!!
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Old 08-19-2002, 08:45 PM   #73
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Oh! And one more thing (actually two )

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Guess what Skip - Mobil on the Run charges almost the same. You want convenience you pay - that is another concept that Disney didn't invent.
Now don't get me wrong. Magic does cost. But once you meet the minimum threshold, it used to be like a buffet. All the magic you could soak up at one low price!! Ei$ner has done away with this philosophy. Instead he offers it ala carte! Each piece of magic passed out with an individual price-tag. A very hefty price-tag!! Pretty sad, isn't it?

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What I AM saying is that that is not the Walt standard. I'm saying that the Walt way is to find a median. Give everyone the same experience for moderate rates with deluxe amenities.
WOW!!!! I wish I would have said that!!!

Look closely at this concept, folks!! This is the very foundation upon which Walt built his empire!! It is the founding principle of Disneyland!! And the philisophical cornerstone of the Walt standard!!

It points to crystal in a hamburger joint! Every little detail examined and themed. Live steam for the train. Real horses to pull the trolley. Painting on the off hours. The entire 'original' concept of the Poly. The 'original' price of the Poly. Etc.!!!

It explains perfectly the "Disney" experience!! The Disney "Quality"!

Thanks for posting it!! Great insight!!
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Old 08-22-2002, 12:45 AM   #74
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Sorry Baron, but I couldn't let you get away unscathed. Just a few thoughts on my part and hopefully something new to think about. I wouldn't want to take six pages to just say the same old thing .

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more of the "what if" game. And one that I'm not very good at, because I simple don't see a feasible or possible scenario of that ever happening. To me, there are way too many "IFs" involved.
Hate to say it my good Baron.... you have as many pork bellies flying out your sphincter as anyone else around here. As you had agreed earlier, all this is speculation - even what you take as a given. IF Walt never deviated from or added to the Master Plan, IF Walt never had another original thought, idea, or concept for the parks business, IF we excise Epcot from the equation (which I never agreed to - it would have driven things in very different directions as Walt would have tirelessly pursued an Epcot that is nothing like what we have today). IF nothing came into the picture to 'force' him to compromise. IF the cubs, aliens, Mars, whatever........IF IF IF. See, my friend - you are just as good at the "what if" game as anyone else.

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Walt was a showman. He wasn't stupid. And he was even practical at times.
I agree. After learning more about Walt I don't think he was as much the anti-business man that he is viewed as. Sure, he didn't handle the day to day finances, but most of his decisions were very good for the business. That would include the 'package' pictures which I think were more about good business than desperation. I think Walt would have been capable of making other such good business decisions had he been around.

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Can we say the same of the motivating factors for the current regime? Sadly, NO!!
Get off it pal . This has nothing to do with what the current regime has done - why does it always turn into that?

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So, I guess, given your "if pigs had wings" scenario, that yes, he would have considered building moderates. Or he may have said, "Nope!! Not for me!! Time to retire!!"
Baron the Ostrich. Hate to say it, any 'pigs with wings' scenario is much more likely than your 'world without pigs at all'. The world is a changing place. Walt was always coming up with a new idea. Just because he had a Master Plan that would have stopped? Chew on this. After the acquisition of the Florida Property was complete and Walt visited central Florida and surveyed what would become DW he commented that it was beautiful (even though he was looking at a swamp) and made the comment that it was so expansive that they could build their own Sea World and Knotts Berry Farm if they wanted to. These types of parks weren't in any Master Plan. Who knows if he would have done other parks (which you have said he wouldn't) but he did have such thoughts go through his head.

My next book to read will be one that deals more with the planning and realization of WDW (any suggestions?). I do want to get more familiar with the Master Plan. However, it did reference Motels in more than one place. Assuming Hotel Plaza Blvd was one, where might more Motels have been - and who would have built them? I hope to learn the answers to such questions. I do find your concrete interpretation of the Master Plan very interesting. Sure, maybe Walt would not have deviated from the plan - but would it have been realistic to think that he never would have added anything after it was finished? I think you hide behind the Master Plan and use it as your only ammunition in saying 'Walt wouldn't have" .

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You know, I talk and explain and reason, and you don't seem to comprehend. HE ONLY BUILT "VALUE" HOTELS!! The Poly and Contemporary WERE the value hotels. The price was ridiculously low. Which bring us to the next little bit in this thread. Cost.
No comprehension problems here. I know what you are saying. When I include the word 'value' in reference to a hotel I am just trying to make sure that folks realize I am talking about the third iteration of hotel that currently exists. You are so d**n literal. I know that Walts hotels were value hotels - I think they are today. Comprehend that, mi amigo? Which brings us to the next little bit..... please tell me how much a room at the Contemporary cost in 1972. I would like to do some math of my own.

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What in the world does any of this rhetoric have to do with Disney? SO WHAT!!
Just to clarify - that Snacky fellow began discussing WDW hotels vs the CY and how one was a better value. Discussion took a detour into relative value of resort destination hotels. While I agree the rhetoric has nothing to do with Disney per se, it is on point regarding relative value of WDW hotels vs others. I agree that a WDW resort vacation is an experience. Your whole diatribe on what makes that experience is rather superfluous - I am well aware of what makes the experience. The way subsequent hotels were done at WDW, the current second generation hotels get half way there - the third generation hotels don't get that far. However, Walt could have done them with the full experience.

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So, if you're vacationing on a budget, you may not be able to afford a Disney resort.
Oh, how casually you slip this in. And talk about your caste systems. Do you really think that Walt would have accepted this. 'Screw em if they can't afford it'. I could never see Walt saying that. If Walt saw that a significant portion of the population would never get to experience his experience he would have found a way to fix it - plain and simple - there is no other answer.

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If you find you will lose your shirt, you have to forgo the concept!!
WHAT!!! Walt lost his shirt on color in animation, but he didn't forgo that. Walt lost his shirt on sound in animation - but he didn't forgo that. Walt invested $1.5 in Snow White with not one guaranteed penny of return and could have really lost his shirt - but he didn't forgo the animated feature. Where did he ever think like that?

Your turn................................

Last edited by DisneyKidds; 08-22-2002 at 12:50 AM.
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Old 08-22-2002, 11:38 AM   #75
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Just to help you out with the Math, I believe that in 1981 a standard room at the Polynesian was about $75 a night.

Using the Inflation Calculator located at
http://www.westegg.com/inflation/

That translates to
$154.71 in 2001.

What was the Rack rate at the Poly last year? CLose to $300 a night.

oh and that $75 was profitable too.
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