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Old 11-13-2013, 10:31 AM   #331
robpa
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Originally Posted by Planogirl View Post
I agree wholeheartedly particularly when you say that Disney has been building hotel rooms instead of attractions. A park can only handle so much traffic and as crowds build simple logic says that lines will do the same.

This is ironic considering how hard Disney is pushing to fill all of those hotel rooms.
They are banking on the faction that just likes to be in Disney filling all those rooms. Those pesky guests that want to enjoy rides are really mucking up the plan.
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Old 11-13-2013, 10:32 AM   #332
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I guess. I kind of have mixed feelings about the whole thing, but I will try to sum up succinctly.

Disney has oversold their parks. If you have to stand in line 2 hours for most activities, the park is oversold and there are too many people inside (regardless of the fire marshal's opinion). Disney has exacerbated this by adding very little new content, watching as their attendance goes up. Most of the development money has gone into building lodging, not adding activity for those overnight guests to partake in.

We've been going for 20 years. There was a time when a Disney trip was relaxing and fun. As the crowds rose, we had to adjust our trips significantly. So from the latter '90s, when we could wander into Epcot at 10am, walk up to a kiosk and book a lunch reservation anywhere we wanted to go, and do everything in any of the parks by mid/late afternoon... to what it is now, where if I don't engage in heavy duty planning at the 6 month mark, we are going to be eating burgers and fries the whole trip. Disney is no longer relaxing. It can still be fun, but it is an extremely scripted experience at this point, because the parks are oversold and overcrowded.

If you have to tell people who paid your high ticket prices that they're going to spend the day waiting in line for all but 3 attractions, that's bad. If you further have to tell people that in Epcot, the attractions are tiered and guess what, for those 3 special rides you can only pick 1 good one and 2 not so good ones... that's even worse.

They really need to stop building DVC resorts and start building magic again. Maybe in 10 years the park landscape at WDW will be better- with Cars Land, Star Wars Land, and Avatar Land (if any of those actually come to pass, a lot of stuff never does). But right now, it is flat out oversold and the Fast Past Plus system is just a bit of a shell game.
Awesome post!

I love the part about FP+ being a shell game. Very well put!
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Old 11-13-2013, 10:32 AM   #333
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Old 11-13-2013, 10:35 AM   #334
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If you have to stand in line 2 hours for most activities, the park is oversold and there are too many people inside
When when when have there been 2 hour lines for "most" activities in the parks?

Christmas? I doubt even Christmas has 2 hour lines for "most" attractions.
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Old 11-13-2013, 10:39 AM   #335
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Originally Posted by Planogirl View Post
I agree wholeheartedly particularly when you say that Disney has been building hotel rooms instead of attractions. A park can only handle so much traffic and as crowds build simple logic says that lines will do the same.

This is ironic considering how hard Disney is pushing to fill all of those hotel rooms.
Sadly, I don't know what they can do about it in the short term other than what they are doing right now, which is let people inside, and hope they don't get too pissed off about spending 70 percent of their time in a line.

They don't have enough in-park restaurants to serve everyone who wants to sit down and be served food (in most seasons).

They don't have enough rides to keep people from standing in line for many hours a day (in peak seasons).

They could cap the park tickets permitted inside per day much lower than it is now. But then people would be scalping them in the parking lot. So their philosophy seems to be "sell all the tickets we can until the fire marshal says stop". (Honestly I think that's the criteria used on holidays when they do have to close the gate.)

They've imbalanced themselves in terms of lodging vs. activities. They really really need to stop building new rooms and start Imagineering again. But wow... the Dwarf train is taking so long to build. It's beginning to rival Test Track, which also took an eternity (and a slightly more justified eternity, as it was a complex ride...) And it's just one ride. I used to have a friend in Imagineering there, and we've lost touch over the years... I should look him up and find out what is going on inside that place, if they have moved everyone to designing cruise ships or what.

My friend there mentioned a sort of bet that went on between the AK Imagineers and the ones working on Test Track, which went something like "We can build this whole park before you can finish building that ride". The AK guys won.

They need to hire all the AK guys back, apparently...
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Old 11-13-2013, 10:41 AM   #336
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Old 11-13-2013, 10:45 AM   #337
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When when when have there been 2 hour lines for "most" activities in the parks?

Christmas? I doubt even Christmas has 2 hour lines for "most" attractions.
Oh yes it does. We were there last/this year from 12/28 through 1/6. And yeah we spent ~2 hours in line for various things - the usual suspects, Test Track, TMRR, Soarin and so on. 2.5 hours in Toy Story Mania. Even the People Mover had a 1 hour wait with a line snaking across the concrete downstairs, beyond the zig zag. Nuts.

One's experience at WDW right is completely dictated by season. If you are used to going when it's off-peak, and you've never been there during high summer or high holiday times, it's hard to believe how crowded it gets... the times when there are so many bodies on walkways that it literally becomes a human logjam.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think they can or should plan so that nobody ever has to wait anytime anywhere. But they should aim for keeping waits at less than an hour for any attraction, even during peak season. And they really should work on building more restaurants in the parks so that you don't have to make reservations at 180 days or not get one.

They just are not right-sized right now.
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Old 11-13-2013, 10:49 AM   #338
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Originally Posted by xie View Post
Sadly, I don't know what they can do about it in the short term other than what they are doing right now, which is let people inside, and hope they don't get too pissed off about spending 70 percent of their time in a line.

They don't have enough in-park restaurants to serve everyone who wants to sit down and be served food (in most seasons).

They don't have enough rides to keep people from standing in line for many hours a day (in peak seasons).

They could cap the park tickets permitted inside per day much lower than it is now. But then people would be scalping them in the parking lot. So their philosophy seems to be "sell all the tickets we can until the fire marshal says stop". (Honestly I think that's the criteria used on holidays when they do have to close the gate.)

They've imbalanced themselves in terms of lodging vs. activities. They really really need to stop building new rooms and start Imagineering again. But wow... the Dwarf train is taking so long to build. It's beginning to rival Test Track, which also took an eternity (and a slightly more justified eternity, as it was a complex ride...) And it's just one ride. I used to have a friend in Imagineering there, and we've lost touch over the years... I should look him up and find out what is going on inside that place, if they have moved everyone to designing cruise ships or what.

My friend there mentioned a sort of bet that went on between the AK Imagineers and the ones working on Test Track, which went something like "We can build this whole park before you can finish building that ride". The AK guys won.

They need to hire all the AK guys back, apparently...
As long as people are willing to keep coming through the gate they will keep selling as many tickets as they can. I mean from a business perspective they haven't really had a major improvement in any of the parks(I mean a WOW this is awesome improvement) and yet people are still coming in droves. Wait until there is a major downturn in attendance and then do something is the philosophy they seem to be using.

I don't think that's a good long term plan but their profits have been up so it working for them.
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Old 11-13-2013, 10:50 AM   #339
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Originally Posted by xie View Post
I guess. I kind of have mixed feelings about the whole thing, but I will try to sum up succinctly.

Disney has oversold their parks. If you have to stand in line 2 hours for most activities, the park is oversold and there are too many people inside (regardless of the fire marshal's opinion). Disney has exacerbated this by adding very little new content, watching as their attendance goes up. Most of the development money has gone into building lodging, not adding activity for those overnight guests to partake in.

We've been going for 20 years. There was a time when a Disney trip was relaxing and fun. As the crowds rose, we had to adjust our trips significantly. So from the latter '90s, when we could wander into Epcot at 10am, walk up to a kiosk and book a lunch reservation anywhere we wanted to go, and do everything in any of the parks by mid/late afternoon... to what it is now, where if I don't engage in heavy duty planning at the 6 month mark, we are going to be eating burgers and fries the whole trip. Disney is no longer relaxing. It can still be fun, but it is an extremely scripted experience at this point, because the parks are oversold and overcrowded.

If you have to tell people who paid your high ticket prices that they're going to spend the day waiting in line for all but 3 attractions, that's bad. If you further have to tell people that in Epcot, the attractions are tiered and guess what, for those 3 special rides you can only pick 1 good one and 2 not so good ones... that's even worse.

They really need to stop building DVC resorts and start building magic again. Maybe in 10 years the park landscape at WDW will be better- with Cars Land, Star Wars Land, and Avatar Land (if any of those actually come to pass, a lot of stuff never does). But right now, it is flat out oversold and the Fast Past Plus system is just a bit of a shell game.

You make some good, smart points (that most on this thread will applaud). My question is then, what do they do next? Go to reserving days that you can visit the parks? They really like the DVC.. what business wouldn't? And people really like the DVC.. Not trying to get off the point , but I'm pretty sure that Universal charges people 60+ bucks to get to the head of the line. And their admission prices are no bargain either (unless you're a FL resident). I still truly believe that Disney recognizes and is trying to solve a problem that they know they have. People are saying that they are doing this just to force people to shop more and spend more on gifts. That just is not logical IMO. People throwing their vacation away because of this seems way over the top to me.. Just my HO. I really cannot actually remember, and I've been going to the parks since 1973, when a day in the parks was actually 'relaxing'. Not sure that's the intent of an amusement park. Relaxing is going to the beach, or lounging by the pool at a resort. Cheers.
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Old 11-13-2013, 10:58 AM   #340
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Originally Posted by robpa View Post
As long as people are willing to keep coming through the gate they will keep selling as many tickets as they can. I mean from a business perspective they haven't really had a major improvement in any of the parks(I mean a WOW this is awesome improvement) and yet people are still coming in droves. Wait until there is a major downturn in attendance and then do something is the philosophy they seem to be using.

I don't think that's a good long term plan but their profits have been up so it working for them.
Yep, they decided it was wiser to spend their dollars building DVC resorts.

So many people I know (and I mean that I know personally - I live within driving distance of Florida so a LOT of our friends and acquaintances vacation there) are switching from WDW to Universal. When I ask why they invariably say: the rooms are cheaper and the food is better, and Universal builds new stuff to see. I will say, to their credit, Universal seems to be rockin and rollin with that Harry Potter expansion.

So yeah I'm with ya on Disney's "let's just keep building rooms" plan not being a good long term plan. Maybe they think they are going to pull a bunch of new content together over the next 3-4 years to keep pace with Universal? I don't know. They have not demonstrated in the last decade that they can build anything quickly anymore.
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Old 11-13-2013, 10:58 AM   #341
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You make some good, smart points (that most on this thread will applaud). My question is then, what do they do next? Go to reserving days that you can visit the parks? They really like the DVC.. what business wouldn't? And people really like the DVC.. Not trying to get off the point , but I'm pretty sure that Universal charges people 60+ bucks to get to the head of the line. And their admission prices are no bargain either (unless you're a FL resident). I still truly believe that Disney recognizes and is trying to solve a problem that they know they have. People are saying that they are doing this just to force people to shop more and spend more on gifts. That just is not logical IMO. People throwing their vacation away because of this seems way over the top to me.. Just my HO. I really cannot actually remember, and I've been going to the parks since 1973, when a day in the parks was actually 'relaxing'. Not sure that's the intent of an amusement park. Relaxing is going to the beach, or lounging by the pool at a resort. Cheers.
The thing is I don't think most are throwing their vacation away. Most are just saying that they are postponing until a future date when all the details of this are worked out. It seems that Disney throws a wrench into the works weekly.

That's good if they can do that but a lot can't and are going to have to roll with the punches good or bad and that seems like it could be pretty stressful.
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Old 11-13-2013, 11:04 AM   #342
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Oh yes it does. We were there last/this year from 12/28 through 1/6. And yeah we spent ~2 hours in line for various things - the usual suspects, Test Track, TMRR, Soarin and so on. 2.5 hours in Toy Story Mania. Even the People Mover had a 1 hour wait with a line snaking across the concrete downstairs, beyond the zig zag. Nuts.

One's experience at WDW right is completely dictated by season. If you are used to going when it's off-peak, and you've never been there during high summer or high holiday times, it's hard to believe how crowded it gets... the times when there are so many bodies on walkways that it literally becomes a human logjam.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think they can or should plan so that nobody ever has to wait anytime anywhere. But they should aim for keeping waits at less than an hour for any attraction, even during peak season. And they really should work on building more restaurants in the parks so that you don't have to make reservations at 180 days or not get one.

They just are not right-sized right now.
So you're using crowds at Christmastime to base that statement off of. I just think we need to keep things in perspective. Of course you're going to have long lines at Christmas!

I go to Disney 3 to 4 times a year. I have never ever seen a 2 hour standby line. But I don't go at Christmas. I understand at Christmas. But making that statement like it's that way the rest of the year is slightly over dramatizing things. You make it sound like CoP has a 2 hour stand by line. LOL

Over dramatize all you want. It's funny to me, misleading at best.

ETA... I do agree with your last paragraph though.
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Old 11-13-2013, 11:05 AM   #343
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You make some good, smart points (that most on this thread will applaud). My question is then, what do they do next? Go to reserving days that you can visit the parks? They really like the DVC.. what business wouldn't? And people really like the DVC.. Not trying to get off the point , but I'm pretty sure that Universal charges people 60+ bucks to get to the head of the line. And their admission prices are no bargain either (unless you're a FL resident). I still truly believe that Disney recognizes and is trying to solve a problem that they know they have. People are saying that they are doing this just to force people to shop more and spend more on gifts. That just is not logical IMO. People throwing their vacation away because of this seems way over the top to me.. Just my HO. I really cannot actually remember, and I've been going to the parks since 1973, when a day in the parks was actually 'relaxing'. Not sure that's the intent of an amusement park. Relaxing is going to the beach, or lounging by the pool at a resort. Cheers.
They won't cap park attendance until they hit whatever limit the fire marshal has in place. People would be scalping tickets in the parking lot if that happened.

They know they have a problem... too many people and not enough content. They're basically saying "yeah we know, the lines suck, so we're going to let you bypass 3 lines per day".

As far as the "shopping" thing... no. By giving you a fastpass to either Soarin or Maelstrom or Test Track, they in fact are guaranteeing that you're going to stand in two relatively long standby lines. You won't be shopping during that time (until Disney figures out how to get you to shop while you stand in line for the rides themselves).

Re: Universal's pricing structure, yeah I am aware they do it. I've never stayed there and only gone to their park once, last Christmas, since a visit in 1997 (for one day, just to see Harry Potter land). I will say that the park now looks nothing like it looked in 1997. Universal had replaced and refreshed a lot of content. But with the pricing, our friends that go there are convinced they are getting more for their money than staying on property at WDW, and they're the types to do spreadsheets with maths, so I believe 'em. I think going to ANY Florida theme park area for a few days is a very expensive endeavor.
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Old 11-13-2013, 11:12 AM   #344
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xie, you apparently don't post often, but when you do, it is very insightful and right on the money.

Rationing is only required during times of extreme scarcity of the desired product, in this case attractions. They can limit ticket sales, making the tickets themselves the desired commodity or limit attractions. Limiting attractions is more lucrative to Disney. Pretty simple I guess. Pretty unpleasant for the guest as well. There will be a time when a critical point is reached when the unpleasantness creates a reduction in the desire for the product. Disney is banking they have all kinds of time before that happens.
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Old 11-13-2013, 11:12 AM   #345
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I don't know, we've had 2-3 hour lines, (one was for Tinkerbell, of all things) at Spring break and in July. So maybe not ALL the time, but more crowded times, it isn't at all unlikely you will have a 2 hour wait in line. I'm not complaining, because we wanted to do those particular things and the wait was the wait. However, as more and more people visit the World, I imagine 1-2 hours are going to be usual.
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