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Old 03-12-2003, 08:32 AM   #1
Bstanley
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JR - Thumbs Up? or Down? What do you hear?

I just finished reading the 3/5 'issue' of Al Lutz's column at Miceage and was quite pleased to read that the Subs might be making a comeback at DL.

If the description of the decision process was accurate it appears that JR (Mr. Rasulo) was solely responsible for it - and - If the Subs do make a comeback I would personally have to give a tip of the hat to JR.

So - any other stories coming out about JR, up or down?
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Old 03-12-2003, 11:34 AM   #2
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That wasn't my take on the story... What I read said that they use a formula to determine guest "happiness/satisfaction" based on rides taken in during the day. That number has been dropping as they take out attractions and their attendance remains somewhat steady at DL. The number is what JR objected to (being so low and all) and in so many words said bring it up. What's Cynthia left to do but bring back on-line a ride that can be done so quickly without a gigantic investment.

Al, in his article, just eluded to the subs being brought back on-line. I'm not so sure it was a JR move vs. the best available option given the mandate....

On JR - honestly, I think the average disney fan probably won't have an opinion of the guy because there's been an abundance of silence surrounding him. We hardly hear from him or about him via the usual sources (internet, press, etc.). My guess is the only people who will venture any opinion on him are those internal to the WDC a la our friendly poster AV...
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Old 03-12-2003, 11:45 AM   #3
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You know, one has to wonder has much corporate politics is involved in this.

Evil Cythnia made the stupid call to shut the subs, Heroic Rassulo comes in to open them. Isn't he great? Isn't he kind? Isn't Cythina just evil!!!?

Al's article wasn't the first one I've seen with that kind of spin.

Beware the buzz of the grapevine…
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Old 03-12-2003, 11:46 AM   #4
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True, until we see more evidence of what he wants to do, and further, what he can actually get done, its hard to make a fair judgement.

If its true that he wanted the attraction capacity number brought up at DL, it by no means makes him the savior, but it does put him ahead of Pressler, who apparently had no problem with the shrinking attraction capacity (maybe because he didn't understand the importance, being a "retail guy"?). But its not too difficult to be seen as "not as bad" as Pressler.

Regardless, the key is still the man who gave Rasulo the position. He certainly wouldn't give the job to anyone who had ideas that were much different from his own. So for that reason, I can't see the overall park philosophy changing, though its possible it will be executed in somewhat of a more "customer-friendly" manner.

Again, we'll just have to see.
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Old 03-12-2003, 11:52 AM   #5
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I've been out of the loop so long that I didn't know till monday morning that presslar got replaced.

A few interesting tidbits. The Submarine ride area of Disneyland is significantly smaller then the same space at the world (to my eyes at least) What with a monorail station right in the way and a new Autopia. Disneyland's Tomorrowland is also very pathetic compared to the world's. (at least, it was, the World had Timekeeper, AE, TTA, SM, Race track, astro orbiter and sometimes CoP.
DL has SM, Astro Orbiter, Star Tours, Autopia, Innoventions and the Monorail.)
And Innoventions is hardly an attraction.

The submarines would be a nice addition. it also makes you wonder, given the fact that DL has MORE attractions then the MK in Florida, what will happen when he sees the Florida numbers?
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Old 03-12-2003, 11:56 AM   #6
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Mr. Voice Sir, You make me sad. I always wanted to respect Cynthia. If she were as bad as Presslar, then Disneyland would already be that Magic Tollboth On I-5.

I hope she isn't made the Sacrafice here. I have to respect ANYONE that would make their Offices on Mainstreet USA.
Very Waltish if you ask me.

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Originally posted by Another Voice
You know, one has to wonder has much corporate politics is involved in this.

Evil Cythnia made the stupid call to shut the subs, Heroic Rassulo comes in to open them. Isn't he great? Isn't he kind? Isn't Cythina just evil!!!?

Al's article wasn't the first one I've seen with that kind of spin.

Beware the buzz of the grapevine…
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Old 03-12-2003, 12:38 PM   #7
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Paul Pressler made the call to close the Subs, not Cynthia. The last day was Sept 8, 1998, Cynthia wasn't promoted to president of DL until December 1999, over a year later. So if anyone is trying to use this to make Cynthia look evil, they may want to try a different angle.

I'm not sure what to think of Mr. Rasulo yet. Lots of people think that Cynthia is great, but following Pressler who was incredibly inept at handling the megafan/AP population , it's no wonder Cynthia looks so good. She's very disarming in public, it's not until after she's left the stage that you realize she didn't really tell you anything but pleasantries.

I'd like to think that the report on DL's capacity is accurate and Mr. Rasulo really cares about DL's ability to adequately handle the crowds, I wonder how much is politics, how much is carefully controlled leakage to make JR look like a guy that "gets it," etc.

The thing that makes me hesitant to believe the story is, "Why the subs?" If the goal is to an re-open a closed attraction quickly and cheaply, why not the circle-vision theater? $10 million isn't going to make the problems which closed the subs in the first place to go away (low capacity and an extremely high operating cost).
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Old 03-12-2003, 12:48 PM   #8
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Where was the Circlevision Theater? I thought it was turned into the Rocket Rods queue.
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Old 03-12-2003, 12:49 PM   #9
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"The parks are underpriced."

I'm sorry Mr. Scoop, but I know of no stone tablet on any mountain that has "Thou shalt pay Twenty Dollars per Hour for thyne entertainment" chisled into its face

Something is worth whatever someone else is willing to pay for it. You can fling all the spreadsheets you want and scream about Gatorland until you're blue in the face, but it's the number of people who are willing to cough up $50+ for a shortened day at WDW that decides what's over- and under-priced.

It's been very clear for a long time that many people did not consider a WDW trip to be a good value. Shortening hours and closing attractions can not help that situation.

Welcome to the free market.
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Old 03-12-2003, 12:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Where was the Circlevision Theater? I thought it was turned into the Rocket Rods queue.
It was, but the queue utilized the screens and the projectors. They made a new film that played while you waited in the queue.
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Old 03-12-2003, 01:05 PM   #11
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Ah, but the submarine ride is literally unchanged except for the queue, thus, cheaper.
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Old 03-12-2003, 01:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by thedscoop
The parks are underpriced.
You can break it down whichever way you want, chart it, graph it, compare it to the movies, football, baseball, etc. but it still doesn't change the fact that the lump-sum cost can be overwhelming at times. For example, a 6nt/7day Ultimate Park Hopper Pass is $346.13 for an adult and $276.90 for kids 3-9. Take your basic family: two adults, a 10 year old and an 8 year old. They would spend $1,315.29 for their park tickets for a week long stay at WDW. That's A LOT of money, no matter how you slice it. When people go to do the analysis for their vacation option, those are the kind of numbers that steer people towards the more cost-conscious vacation options.

Even for those that have DVC points (i.e. have cut out the lodging costs and receive a 10% discount on UPH passes), the costs can add up for a week stay. Plane tix: ~$250pp; park tix: ~$1200; food: ~$800; misc.: ~$500. A week for a family of four is in the neighborhood of $3500. That ain't cheap. My point - yeah, an analysis may prove the parks to be underpriced depending on the comparison, but that lump-sum cost is what Disney needs to worry about - the perception of how much that kind of money actually is...
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Old 03-12-2003, 01:35 PM   #13
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It always seemed to me that Cynthia Harris was doing the best she could given the limited options allowed her by Pressler and Eisner. Sure, not much worthwhile has been done in Disneyland in the last 3 years, but then again, she wasn't granted much money to do much of anything new and creative.

As for Mr. Rusulo, the jury is still out for me concerning him. We have seen many encouraging signs over the last few months (repainting and rehaps, the subs possibly reopening), but it will take time to determine if these are due his efforts. For now, I am hopeful that things are starting to improve, but I have been watching park politics long enough to know not to get my hopes up just yet.


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Old 03-12-2003, 02:27 PM   #14
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Wait a second. "Welcome to the free market" is your line on this one, yet under that approach JB2 is perfectly acceptable IF the market is willing to pay for it. Forget what Disney gives the market, it's quality only matters to the extent the market accepts it.
Scoop, you know darn well the business issue with JB2 is the damage done to the brand name when lower-quality animated stuff is released into theaters with the "Walt Disney Pictures" name on it.

Quote:
Now, my larger point was that if you really consider the per capita value (recognizing that Mr. UofM makes a good point on price aggregation), you'll see that one gets much more value per capita mathmatically(per hour if you'd like) at WDW or SeaWorld or IOA than they do going to a movie, seeing a play, attending a concert, going flyfishing, taking guitar lessons, etc.
You also know this is not how people make their vacation decisions. They don't calculate the cost of seeing movies 24 hrs a day for a week and compare that to WDW.

Since customers do not make their vacation decisions this way, it does not show that the parks are underpriced.

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That's a perfect logical position when one combines that with the free market. You can pay 10 bucks for 90 minutes of Men in Black II or you can spend 40 some bucks for 540 minutes of Universal's MIB attraction and whatever else is in the park
No, because that position has nothing to do with how the free market works.

Quote:
So, yes Moses, you make a valid point. I'm just not certain you're willing to abide by that commandment when its applied in other circumstances.
The basis behind using free market principles to say JB2 is a problem is very simple. By releasing lower quality animated features under the traditional Disney name, the value of the brand is diminished. How consumers view the brand IS a factor in their purchasing decisions. The damage done by the diminished brand name far outweights the profits made at the box office.
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Old 03-12-2003, 03:40 PM   #15
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Quote:
Maybe you should spend less time quoting and more time laying out your position similar to Mr. Voice's or Mr. Head's approach. While I often disagree with them, I at least, get substance from them.
Perhaps you should read the rest of the post, where I explained how free market fundamentals do apply to JB2 and how they point to JB2 being a poor decision. This of course, directly refutes your argument that a double standard was being applied with respect to the free market.

If you have no response, it would probably be better to not post instead of attempting to divert the subject to your disdain of "quote style" posting.
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