First CARS @ AoA-Now CARS LAND @ DHS!?

Discussion in 'Disney Rumors and News' started by WEDWDW, Aug 29, 2012.

  1. pilferk

    pilferk <font color=red>Jambo Wildbunch Gang<br><font colo

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    Look, there is documentation aplenty as to why and what Walt had planned for Florida.. Walts own words, for Mickey's sake, tell you the above is not true.

    I suggest you take a look at it.

    An MK style park was not, originally, part of Walts plan. And WDW does NOT exist because "Walt wanted an MK park on the East Coast".

    That's not conjecture. That's fact.

    No, they're not.

    Because their goal is not for "everyone" to experience it. What they expect is for Cars Land to drive attendance, hotel occupancy rates, and guest spending at DLR.
     
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  3. pilferk

    pilferk <font color=red>Jambo Wildbunch Gang<br><font colo

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    I didn't say he didn't know or wasn't involved.

    I said it wasn't his idea.

    It wasn't. Walt wanted EPCOT.

    He ultimately agreed to MK because Roy "needed it" to raise funding and get the Florida State Legislature to agree to give them broad authority.

    I didn't think I needed to provide the entire chain of events, since it's pretty widely known how the project started and what happened.
     
  4. ChipnDale79

    ChipnDale79 Mouseketeer

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    This is directly from Walt Disney World's Wiki page.

    I'm not so naive to believe that was the only reason why Walt wanted to come to FL, I know that EPCOT was a major reason, but so was this. Disney knew that in order to make more money they would have to open an East Coast location. Flordia also was NOT Walt's first choice, if Auggie Busch had not said the following words:
    We may not even have a FL Resort, we may just have a resort in CA and St. Louis. This tells me that the main driving force was in fact building a park East of the Mississippi more so than building EPCOT.
     
  5. pilferk

    pilferk <font color=red>Jambo Wildbunch Gang<br><font colo

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    Yes.

    FLE (300 million).

    Avatarland coming (400 million).

    1 or 2 attraction refreshes.

    NOT 750 million investments to have little to no effect on attendance or guest spending. That makes no sense.

    Yes, actually, they can.

    I don't know where you get your occupancy and ME stats from (I've not seen them) so can't address that piece of your point unless you can share them.

    However:

    IOA saw a 30% bump in attendance in 2011.

    Guess how much of an effect that had on the 5 disney parks attendance?

    Zero. Zip. Nada. They saw NO decrease (and actually saw increases) in park attendance. And they actually saw an INCREASE in per capita guest spending/revenue for their parks. They saw an INCREASE in profit coming from the WDW resort (attendance numbers are courtesy TEA, revenue and profit numbers are from Disney's own Filings).

    Disney's reactionary. They are not the "Eisner bully pulpit" company they were 15 to 20 years ago. They aren't going to build things until they start to see a quantifiable reason to do so.

    That's the way they operate. So far...nothing seems to show there's been one.

    "Something" is pretty broad, especially when you're not giving much of a time frame.

    "Something" might very well happen...I'm not sure what, but I'd guess the scope will be considerably less than a 750 million investment. They could certainly expand Pixar Place into the backlot area for a lot less money.

    And Iger has said they are scaling back on significant captial investments in the domestic parks.

    See..but the east coast isn't the whole country.

    And the point is: Where and how are they getting the most bang for those 750 million bucks? And how do you maximize that bang?
     
  6. tjkraz

    tjkraz <img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/images/silver.jpg

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    I don't disagree with any of this. If some Internet stories are to be believed, Disney execs are not happy with current advance booking numbers and are scrambling to figure out how to make the greatest splash with additional investment.

    I'm all for spending several hundred million at DHS. What I object to is the idea that the best approach is to copy something from another park which is easily accessible to most of the US.

    But with all due respect, that's YOU. Obviously people in the southeastern US are going to find WDW more accessible than DL.

    Once you get further north of NC, most people are flying to WDW instead of driving. Great for you to be able to jump in the car and be at WDW by dinner time. I can't, and have been paying for plane tickets for years now.

    Typical RT from DTW to MCO is $200-250 per person. In summer 2011 we flew to LA round trip for $150 per person. This summer it was around $275.

    In some cases it may cost a bit more to fly to CA from PA, MI, IL, OH, WI, NY, NJ, MA and others but the difference is not dramatic. And not every family is paying for 4 plane tickets.

    Then we move into the central states where travel costs are nearly identical but folks are currently more likely to choose WDW over DL for any variety of reasons. If Cars Land at DCA is enough to make this group finally realize "hey, maybe I should give Disneyland a look one of these days"...mission accomplished!
     
  7. pilferk

    pilferk <font color=red>Jambo Wildbunch Gang<br><font colo

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    The source of the first quote you provided (the real source, not wiki...which is bad enough) is "Married to the Mouse" by Richard Fogelsong.

    Have you read it?

    I have.

    The quote isn't all that compelling in the way of evidence.

    I know the "story" of the St. Louis project (taken from the same source, FYI). It was NOT an MK style park they were proposing. It was River Front Square...interestingly part of ANOTHER city redevelopment project. Also interestingly enough...land purchases in Florida had already begun. So it sure looks like Disney's consideration was to do BOTH, at one point.

    Here's an article that basically poo-poos THAT story from Married to the Mouse, too:

    http://www.theledger.com/article/20080802/COLUMNISTS/808030319
     
  8. pilferk

    pilferk <font color=red>Jambo Wildbunch Gang<br><font colo

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    Let me clarify a bit:

    I'm not saying Walt Disney, and Disney the company, did not want a presence on the east coast.

    They did. That was, likely, part of their reasoning for Florida (and the initial work done on an attraction..Riverfront Square... in St. Louis).

    But they did not set out to build a Disneyland CLONE on the east coast. Walt did not decide to persue the Florida project, at the outset, in order to "bring Disneyland to the east coast". Ultimately, that's what was decided in order to procure funding and get the concessions from Florida government. But that was further into the development and deal making process.

    But it was NOT the original plan.
     
  9. pilferk

    pilferk <font color=red>Jambo Wildbunch Gang<br><font colo

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    Were I Disney, I'd be worried about the value resort the US folks are building, and their potential pricing on those units...especially compared to the widely panned AOA pricing structure.

    THAT, as much as anything else, would be my greatest fear as a WDW exec. Because if they manage to pull a significant number of guests off WDW property...then Disney is going to feel some pain.

    MAYBE DHS investment somehow convinces more guests to stay on property....I don't know. But I wouldn't be surprised to see Disney start offering more "benefits" to it's on property guests (like some of the rumored next-gen Fastpass benefits) to try to accomplish the same sort of thing. They'll need to, to provide some impetus, because we all know they're not going to lower their prices...

    Fortunately for Disney, US has decided NOT to extend the Express Pass benefit to guests staying at their new value property. That's likely a function of logistics (with only 2 parks, it's hard to spread that many Express Pass holders out and still have the benefit actually "work").
     
  10. pilferk

    pilferk <font color=red>Jambo Wildbunch Gang<br><font colo

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    From my reading and the various media (including the Florida Film, press from the Florida papers, etc) accounts, it seems like Roy proposed the idea pretty early on, because of "feedback" he was getting from the banks (and investors) they were getting financing from. The money men REALLY wanted a DL style park included in the development..and indicated their wallets would be a lot more "open" if it were.

    Walt was luke warm on it,at best. It wasn't part of his original vision (EPCOT) but, as with most things to do with financing, he could eventually be convinced.

    Then, they got into negotiations with the Florida State Legislature and the Florida Governor. They all but insisted on a DL style park, as a condition of the creation and empowerment of Reedy Creek. The government wanted the tax dollars from increased employment and they wanted their cut of the boatload of tourist dollars they knew would be coming in. Part of it was mercenary, part was that they knew there was going to need to be significant infrastructure investment necessary OUTSIDE of the boundries of WDW, and they knew they were going to need a way to finance it short of saddling the voters with the expense. ESPECIALLY considering the plans presented to them for EPCOT. All of that happend WELL before the famous press leaks or the announcements were made.

    And it pretty much ended ANY "discussion".

    So Walt went along with it. He knew about it. He was involved in it.

    But his original vision for the Florida project was something completely unique (just as it had been for Mineral Springs and River Front Square and some of the other rumored projects). It wasn't to duplicate what they'd already done.

    I mean..that seemed to be Walt in a nutshell, to me. He NEVER seemed to want to do the same thing twice. He'd lose interest. Every project was a puzzle/challenge...and he didn't seem much interested in solving the same puzzle, twice.
     
  11. lockedoutlogic

    lockedoutlogic DIS Veteran

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    I was at at Art
    Of Animation over the weekend...

    I was "taken aback" by the pricing when it came out - after seeing it I'm downright appalled.

    The cars area - in particular - was nice...the nemo pool was cool (but not this "astounding" pool I heard about)...

    But overall I was shocked that it looked almost less imaginative/ themed than POP...and I never even liked the idea of POP (which turned out to be such a great idea that they dumped half the theme for AOA)

    It's ridiculous for the price.

    So I would like nothing more than universal to undercut the Disney "values"...because as with any greedy jerk- they're ruining it
     
  12. pilferk

    pilferk <font color=red>Jambo Wildbunch Gang<br><font colo

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    I (the consumer) would love it if US gave Disney some actual competition, esp when it comes to room rates.

    As a Disney exec...I'd be worried they will do just that.

    Incidentally, I agree: The AOA pricing, especially the pricing for the larger family options (that would be us..thank Mickey for DVC), is just...shocking. And nuts.

    It'll be interesting to see how those rooms book after the novelty of the resorts wears off...and word of mouth gets around. Kevin Yee, from Miceage, seems to have a very similar opinion to yours, so far. And I've heard others ALSO say similar things.
     
  13. Sweettears

    Sweettears 50 years of Disney and counting

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    I'm not sure where you come up with the idea that WDW is not a growth market or has growth potential. Adding AoA, new DVC at GF, discussion of more DVC at W seem to counter that arguement. I doubt that the whole FLE is being done to better serve existing visitors. There are a large group of people that call DHS a 1/2 day visit or skip it entirely. Adding a popular E ticket to the park seems to make sense.
     
  14. tjkraz

    tjkraz <img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/images/silver.jpg

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    Here is the short version. The average stay is around 7 days. Due to the meager vacation time allowances for most US workers...and limited personal finances...Disney has been unsuccessful in its attempts to extend that average stay to 8 or 9 days. Disney thought they could get guests to extend when they built Animal Kingdom but it didn't happen.

    So with the 7 day stay basically being a hard cap, there is no great reason for Disney to invest in the parks. Even if Disney turns DHS from a 1/2 day park to a full day park, all they are doing is moving guests around the WDW resort complex. Even if guests decide to spend more time at DHS, they respond by simply spending less time at another park.

    Put it this way: whatever your personal average stay might be, would Cars Land be enough to convince you to consistently add a day to your trips? For most (if not all) people, the answer is no. If they want to spend more time at DHS, they will cut-down their MK or Epcot visits by a half day.

    At the end of the day, Disney doesn't stand to make any more money because of that 7 day hard cap. The average guest is staying on property for the same amount of time--at best all it does is alter how much time is spent in each park. And whether you eat lunch at Cosmic Ray's or Flo's V-8 cafe, Disney makes the same amount of money. Why bother building Flo's in the first place?

    As for building new resorts, Disney's goal there is to steal business from off-site hotels. Only a fraction of Walt Disney World guests stay in Disney-owned hotels. Art of Animation and GF DVC aren't going to inspire the public to take more trips--the goal is to draw more people on-site instead of the Travelodge out on I-4.

    The existence of new resort hotels doesn't put more bodies in the theme parks.

    EDIT: I'll add that Disney DOES need to add to the parks. They cannot risk things growing stale such that the casual repeat business is lost. Not to mention locals who have many other options immediately at hand. However, there's nothing in Disney's recent modus operandi which suggests they are willing to put hundreds-of-millions into Fantasyland followed by hundreds-of-millions for Cars Land and hundreds-of-millions for Avatar. Look at park development over the past 5-7 years. It's been Toy Story Mania...and a lot of little stuff (Am Idol, Laugh Floor, Nemo show).

    Perhaps execs are privy to numbers which paint a more dire picture. But over the last decade the pattern has been very modest enhancements. Harry Potter has been open for over 2 years now and WDW attendance is still cruising right along. The idea that Disney would invest over a billion combined in DHS and DAK over the next several years is very foreign for the current management team.
     
  15. lockedoutlogic

    lockedoutlogic DIS Veteran

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    Because it isn't a growth market...

    The average length of stay has been locked at just about 7 days since animal kingdom...

    So don't confuse the two - because they are building more hotel rooms - that says nothing about the length of stay...it just means they're trying to get more raw numbers there on a given day of the calendar.

    But that doesn't mean that they need new attractions...
    I don't know if anybody stops to notice...but those four parks are rarely "crowded". The parks never get close to capacity...the lines are rarely "unmanageable"...and knowing this, why the hell would a board member or executive push for one dime in capital expenditure at this point?

    They shouldn't...because on most days what they already have is "underutilized"

    So what about when they can't accommodate the crowds effectively?
    Good question...and they're on it. It's called "x-pass"...which is the ultimate way to take huge crowds and make them almost like every other day. Instead Of fighting lines and crowds to eat on 12/24...you're locked up in advance.

    It's a thing of beauty...and you can make every day profitable/ manageable. People will be happier, spend more, and when things are "booked" up months in advance - the traveler will look for the "soft" spots on the calendar and start to gravitate to them...thereby filling out the need areas and placing "free dining" under master Gracie's tombstone permenantly...

    Look...Disney is always going to "add", but it's calculated and according to a PR formula that they've come up with. It's like sabremetrics or trickle down economics ( except in Disney's case it works...the other two were shams for
    Suckers).

    But can we all accept that they neither "have to" nor will go at it like Eisner in the China Shop (the younger "oh yeah?...I'll show them!" that is sadly representative of Disney's modern high point ...well in the past)?

    They will add on to or replace at WDW when they are good and ready too...and there's no benefit to rushing cars into DHS...there just isn't.

    And as far as "1/2 day parks"...yes - there are two...and they are "funnels" which we've discussed many times.
    And after returning from a week...I paid particular attention to this and they are working like a charm.

    More capital investment right now is diluting the river of
    Profits that they are sailing
    On.
     
  16. Sweettears

    Sweettears 50 years of Disney and counting

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    While the 7 day cap rule may apply, not everyone stays that long. Making AK and HS full day parks may induce folks to stay an extra day.

    Moving off-site vistors to on-site defines revenue growth to me. Don't confuse attendance number with actual revenue. Disney could care less about attendance numbers if it doesn't translate to revenue growth.
     
  17. lockedoutlogic

    lockedoutlogic DIS Veteran

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    What tkraz is commenting on is "park cannibalization"...when one park eats its own young.

    Disney saw significant days added to trips when they built EPCOT...again with MGM...and further still as they added resorts, downtown, wide world, boardwalk, typhoon and blizzard, etc.

    But then with AK they hit the breaking point...people starting shifting days from one park to the next instead of ADDING days...and that ruins the incentive for capital investment.

    Why build more when it won't make more...it will actually cost you more to run it...And people spend roughly the same on average each day...whether that's in 5 spots or 10...

    This is why the 5th gate is impossible...or as close to it as you can get statistically...

    And the part about average vacation in the US is huge...it drives everything. We've been taught so...more work
    Equals more money and happiness for EVERYBODY!

    Only that's completely wrong...not
    Even close.

    But we do as the talking picture box tells us
    To do...when common sense says otherwise.

    Ever wonder why the British take 3 week stays in Florida while I have to plan for 6 months in advance for 7 days and spend half my time returning emails on my iPhone?

    Because like with most things: the Europeans invented greed...the Americans have perfected
    It ;)
     
  18. Figment1990

    Figment1990 DIS Veteran

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    Have read this thread and all the related points about extra vacation days, east coast vacationers, bottom dollar money, etc are all interesting and valid points.

    But as a WDW veteran who has now been to Carsland (returned last week), I wanted to chime in just a few of my own feelings. Just my feelings, by the way.

    Purely speaking from a selfish standpoint and putting aside the bottom line - We would love to see a Carsland in Orlando and here's why. Two reasons:

    We have been to WDW many many times (myself as a kid, me and DH for honeymoon, with our son, etc). We just love it there. We feel lucky that we are able to figure out ways to visit often. It's our vacation place.

    We've been to California twice - my sister lives in LA and both visits included a stay at DL as we are big Disney fans. I'm not going to debate whether DL or WDW is better. They are different and similar in many ways. For us, we love WDW and like DL. But we all LOVED carsland. It was amazing. My son was beside himself. He is a *huge* cars fan. I'm talking knows every character from both movies, including all of the international spies and lemons.

    First REASON: I truly feel that the WDW visitors would appreciate Carsland so much. There really is a difference between most WDW visitors and their vacations and most DL visitors and their DL trips. I can't explain it (yes, locals vs. vacationers is part of it) but there's something else. Maybe it's the complete immersive feeling you get in WDW that you really don't get in DL, no matter how well they theme it. For me personally I love to escape on vacation and in DL I am always reminded that I'm at a park. Even staying at a Disney hotel, there are huge crowds of locals in DTD that you walk through to get to the hotel. From the monorail, you can actually see how one-dimensional Cadillac Range is at the back of Carsland, with buildings right behind it. In WDW everything feels so large and encompassing. In DL/DCA I very often feel crowded. (And yes, I'm quite familiar with Easter and New Years crowds in WDW).

    Carsland itself was created in a way that if you wanted to, you could feel like you were in Radiator springs. Except I always felt that same feeling that, "right over there is anaheim stadium and a building." I never feel that in WDW. It's not really Disney's fault - it's mostly just a space issue.

    So my general point is that I think many WDW fans also appreciate the immersive feeling of WDW. And thus, they would really enjoy a land that was built in such an immersive way. WDW nuts (er, fans) love the crazy attention to detail that defines Disney and Carsland was so detailed! I just think WDW fans would love it.

    SECOND REASON: I don't know the figures on how much money Disney makes off the Cars franchise. I know that they make quite a bit just off my son :rotfl:. However, I can tell you that as the mother of one boy, no girls, we are happy to see the Fantasyland expansion but are not booking a trip just to see it. We DID book a trip just to see Carsland. But we will probably not go back, despite our love of Carsland. Traveling across the country is just not our cup of tea. It was more expensive. It took a whole day vs two. Time change was not easy. At this point in our vacationing, we don't really want to travel around to other cities for attractions - we want to stay put, no driving, be entertained, relax and that it. We did not find enough variety (especially in dining) to fill a week and it could definitely cost us more for less days at DL than it would for WDW. So for us, to return often to DL is just not going to happen. But Carsland would make us THAT much more excited to return to WDW - just a short 2 hr flight in the same time zone.

    ONE MORE: And for those people who think that Disney has everyone staying on property for 7 days and buying tickets for that and have maxed out people's vacation time. Well, I have several friends who go there with the idea that they will go for just a few days (4-5), and then go to Sea World or Legoland, or just swim. Adding more content like Carsland to make DHS a two-day park (or full day, for some) would change at least a few of their plans I know (many of my friends also have young boys).

    I am big fan of DHS as it is, so I'd prefer it if they just expanded vs. replacing something else. :) Well, I wouldn't mind if they actually had animators there again, or if they brought the monsters' inc ride in, or re-opened a sound effects stage. The MI ride at DCA is a little cheesey (typical dark ride) but next to Carsland, it was my DS's favorite.
     
  19. lockedoutlogic

    lockedoutlogic DIS Veteran

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    Once again you have a sound idea but it defies the counter intuitive logic of WDW...

    7 days is a "standard" Disney trip...and it has been locked there for almost 20 years.

    You contention that you could move the 4 or 5 dayers to 7 omits to key factors:
    1. There's already a reason that they Don't go 7
    2. That number is relatively small and doesn't hold much "tap" potential

    The answer to number 1 is MONEY...and it answers number 2 and any of 100 other questions I could come up with.

    The 4 days traveler is doing so usually due to limiting costs...and that not where Disney's interests lie.

    You could say that if they add more great stuff...then people might be inclined to save/ invest more...but they are not who Disney wants the bucks from...

    They want the bucks from those who don't care how much it costs, flood the giftshops, and gobble up overpriced food and drinks...
    That's the target
     
  20. pilferk

    pilferk <font color=red>Jambo Wildbunch Gang<br><font colo

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    Rather than retype the same responses...I'd point you to tjkraz and lockedouts posts.

    They're saying pretty much verbatim what I would say to you.

    Growth means new butts in the resort...in significant number. Not the same butts in different parks/rooms.

    The only thing I would add is that the 1/2 day parks actually work to Disney's benefit, to some extent. They steer you to other profit centers (like DTD, like some of the nicer restaurants at the resorts, and even the water parks). That's not "bad" for Disney.
     
  21. pilferk

    pilferk <font color=red>Jambo Wildbunch Gang<br><font colo

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    Except..that 7 days is pretty much the average LOS. Some are less, some are more. But the average hasn't moved, even when Disney expected it to. They built a whole park expecting it to budge...it didn't. Why invest 750 million in an already built park in hopes it will do what you've already seen it NOT do? Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

    It's revenue growth for the hotels.

    It's a net zero for the theme parks...those folks were likely in the parks already,they were just laying their heads elsewhere.

    Revenue growth, FYI, doesn't define a growth market, either. You can grow revenue in a variety of ways and not actually grow your market.
     

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