Question about WDW attendance...

Discussion in 'Disney Rumors and News' started by mjstaceyuofm, Sep 13, 2002.

  1. mjstaceyuofm

    mjstaceyuofm Mouseketeer

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    Yet another article from CBS MarketWatch.com about the financials of Disney. One particular passage has me intrigued:
    OK - so it appears that Wall Street has bought into the "woe is me/terrorist/downturn in economy" excuse for park attendance. What I want to know is since when has WDW had to be packed to the gills to be profitable?

    Yes, I know referring to the past (and how things used to be at WDW) can be a dangerous game on these boards with you clever posters, but as I recall from experiences in the 80's and 90's in the parks, they never seemed to be so packed that they were totally unmaneuverable and things financially seemed to be fine back then. How does a 6-10% drop in attendance produce such catastrophic results in today's market?
     
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  3. OnWithTheShow

    OnWithTheShow No Entangling Alliances

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    It doesnt.
     
  4. HB2K

    HB2K I Spit Hot Fire!

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    No it doesn't....a horrible business plan, horrible aquisitions, a stubornness to get back to basics, a general disregard for it's customers...

    Yeah those are the things that bring the catastrophies.
     
  5. Planogirl

    Planogirl I feel the nerd in me stirring

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    A line later in the same article states:

    After all if little can be done to lure all of those supposedly-missing travellers, why not cut services in order to cut costs? There's nothing Disney can do about it.

    Phooey. :mad:
     
  6. Pig Pen

    Pig Pen To all who have come to this happy place...welcome

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    Hey, we are DRIVING there from Vermont!

    Maybe a park mid-way (say Virginia?) would help matters. HA.
     
  7. treesinger

    treesinger <font color=blue>Runs in fear from the <font color

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    But there's also another factor. If Disney wasn't careful with their profits, they could put themselves in dire trouble should attendance slump even a little bit. But it still makes it their fault.
     
  8. johare

    johare DIS Veteran

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    Disney's not powerless to increase attendance...they just need to pay attention to what some of the better parks in Orlando have done...

    For only $50 each, I bought SeaWorld Bronze passes which are good until the end of the year. Great savings and a great way to attract customers.

    For only $99 each I renewed 4 annual passes to Island's of Adventure/Universal Studios. If I wanted to spend $159 per ticket I could get 2 year passes, as could anyone...not just renewals. Another great deal and great way to get people into the parks.

    Disney?!? Lets see. No special offers. Actually INCREASED price of Play-4-Days passes to $109 which only lets a person visit the parks 4 times during a few month period. Great...I'm sure people are lining up to get back into WDW.

    While other parks are doing what it takes to bring in customers to help cover costs, Disney is raising prices and then when nobody comes they cut services.
     
  9. Tara8595

    Tara8595 DIS Veteran

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    In talking with co-workers and friends, I've become aware that Disney really may be powerless to correct their tourist slump. What I'm hearing is that many think that Disney World is a terrorist target, and they don't want to be near something that is an obvious target. Their very popularity is keeping frightened 9-11 shell-shocked citizens from going there. Couple this with a large segment of the population who are still scared to fly and that means disaster for WDW, and really, there's not a thing they can do about it.

    Oh, and as an aside - that 6-10% attendance slump is really more like a 30% decrease according to an earlier press-release that I read around mid-August.

    So... what can you do if the *real* reason people aren't going is because they're afraid they'll get killed? I think it's just like the article said, focus business elsewhere and let time take care of the rest while just trying to maintain operations. I hope ABC has a great year.
     
  10. raidermatt

    raidermatt Beware of the dark side. Anger...fear...aggression

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    Tara, certainly a portion of the slump is due to the economy and fear of terrorist attacks.

    However, there are indications that other resort destinations are recovering faster than WDW.

    Also, there is no question that WDW has made significant cuts in various areas, most noticeably hours and nightime entertainment.

    One can argue the merit of such cuts, however, there is no denying the cuts have been made.

    Therefore its at least a possibility that guest reaction to the cuts of the last 4-5 years is one of the reasons WDW is finding a recovery to be slower than expected. Disney does seem to at least be considering this possibility as well, hence the upcoming experiments with hours and nightime entertainment.
     
  11. luvindisneyworld

    luvindisneyworld <font color=green>Fireworks then a sundae - good s DVC Gold

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    i have been to disney several times in years past, but we were there in april and it did not look like a decrease to me, the parks were so full they had to close them down,and only letting the ones taking the disney busses into the parks, and the same went for the water parks, they closed them down by 10am to everyone but the people coming in on busses, i myself dont see that there is too much of a decrease in attendance, but there may be if they keep raising the prices of the tickets, i can say that i think that is totally ridiculous, we are dvc owners and if the prices keep going up on tickets i will use my points at the other off-site resorts.
    misty
     
  12. Buschfan

    Buschfan Mouseketeer

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    You took the words right out of my mouth johare! Disney needs to discount like the other Florida parks to attract more visitors. They are ignoring what is going on around them at Universal and the Busch parks and not responding. They can't continue to blame the economy when the other parks are showing an increase in attendance. The latest price increase at Disney is just another blow to to them. It is amazing to me how Disney is willing to accept lower attendance without responding to market conditions. That's why we have annual passes to Universal and the Busch parks because they have chosen to make their parks affordable to the local market.
     
  13. Luckymommyx2

    Luckymommyx2 <font color=green>Je parle francais, et tu<br><fon

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    I guess I just don't understand those that complain about the lack of service, cut-backs, increased ticket prices, etc. but still go back to the parks every month?? We were thinking of extending our DCL vacation next year by spending a few days at the parks but I just can't justify it. Hopefully the DCL will not follow suit with what's been happening in the parks! :rolleyes:
     
  14. d-r

    d-r <font color=red>l|ll|||ll||ll||<font color=purple>

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    Johare, come on now. You can get a florida resident seasonal pass to walt disney world for about $160 - it has more black out dates than the universal pass does, but it has two more parks, too, and they stay open later in the off season. So, the special $99 rate at universal is about $50 per park, with two parks, sea world, one park $50 (until the end of the year, right), the $160 at wdw is about $40 per park for four parks.

    Universal and sea world raised their one day ticket prices to about $50 MONTHS ago, disney only recently raised their one day tickets to the same price.
     
  15. d-r

    d-r <font color=red>l|ll|||ll||ll||<font color=purple>

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    You know, this year there has been some of the best discounts ever on Disney resorts - values from $49, moderates from $70, deluxe from $119. These aren't just to limited audiences like AP holders either - these are widely advertised and avialable to anyone.

    Even with those sort of rates, with carribean beach closed and two sections of the mansions closed at dixie landings, there are still rooms available at the moderates. Those with reservations at cbr were offered AKL or Polly for $99 a night, shades of green is closed and people are staying at contemporary for shades of green prices, and the disney institute is closed, yet there are still rooms available at the deluxes. Over labor day weekend our plan schedule changed on Friday night and we were able to add THAT very night at dixie landings for the $79 rate.

    Off property, I continue to read and hear about rooms under $20 per night.
     
  16. mjstaceyuofm

    mjstaceyuofm Mouseketeer

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    So what does all this tell us? Maybe that Disney has too many rooms! Or at least too many rooms relative to the amount of capital spent on the parks. I simply refuse to fall into the Clintonesque "it's the economy stupid" blame-game. HB2K had it right. Just plain 'ole bad business.
     
  17. d-r

    d-r <font color=red>l|ll|||ll||ll||<font color=purple>

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    Yes, Disney clearly has too many rooms for the demand right now, I think you are absolutely correct in your insight.

    DR
     
  18. Tara8595

    Tara8595 DIS Veteran

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    "Tara, certainly a portion of the slump is due to the economy and fear of terrorist attacks.

    However, there are indications that other resort destinations are recovering faster than WDW." - Raidermatt


    I think you're missing the point of what I said. I'm pointing out the fact that many people are scared to go to Disney World because it is an obvious and noted terrorist target. They are not scared to go other places because they are NOT terrorist targets, or not considered to be targets by them or others. The result of this is that other resorts gain guests and WDW does not, simply because guests who may be scared to go to Disney choose to go to other parks which aren't as risky in their opinion.

    So the point I was making was that you can't really do anything to persuade people that Disney is as safe as other theme park type resorts, when to them it is an obvious target and far more so because of its 'Happiest place on Earth' theme.
     
  19. mjstaceyuofm

    mjstaceyuofm Mouseketeer

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    Being the person that I am with not the best people/email/posting skills, I'd say that there was a bit of sarcasm there. ;) Yeah I'd say it's well deserved on my part as my remark was a fairly simplistic one to a more complex problem. Ok, enough of my buffoonery....

    How about bad business planning? Could they possibly have thought that they would be able to keep the parks that full without adding anything new/innovative to see? Yes the Millenium Celebration was a nice affair and it was just another reason to go and visit WDW on top of a newly opened park (AK being around 1 1/2 years old at the time), and a few new attractions, but once you did that, did you need to come back the next year? The year after that? They did nothing (or very little) to insure return visits.

    I guess I'd like to go back to my original question about when WDW had to be overflowing at the gills to be profitable. Let me put my question in context a bit more: forget ABC, forget DCA, forget go.com, forget the lack of animation features and get right to WDW. Theme parks is a business unit of Disney. WDW is a business unit of Theme parks. WDW is comprised of many other business units - the parks, the hotels, the DVC, DD, etc. Is it that the number of hotel rooms got so out of balance in how they contribute to WDW's bottom line that the occupancy of these has to be at such a high level to make WDW a profit? Or, in reference to my experience in the 80's/90's - the number of hotel rooms on property was lower so the attendance of the park(s) played a bigger factor in the overall WDW bottom line. Add more rooms and less parks and things get out of whack.


    OK, OK - I've kind of gone off on a tanget from where this thread orginally started as I'm not the most coherent writer. Am I making any sense to anyone? :crazy:
     
  20. Walt's Frozen Head

    Walt's Frozen Head DIS Veteran<br><font color="blue">A comfortable 32

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    I guess Disney's alienating guests and undermining the value of their own products is really part of their secret plan to keep US citizens safe from terrorists, then?

    From my forthcoming book, "Everything I really needed to know I learned watching _The Big Chill_:"

    William Hurt: "Why is that what you just said sounds like a massive rationalization?"
    Jeff Goldblum: "Don't knock rationalization, it's more important than sex."
    William Hurt: "Come on, nothing's more important than sex."
    Jeff Goldblum: "Yeah? You ever gone a week without a rationalization?"

    -WFH
     
  21. d-r

    d-r <font color=red>l|ll|||ll||ll||<font color=purple>

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    No Matt, not sarcasm exactly, and absolutely not mean spiritedness, just agreeing with you on the obvious - you are bringing up some good questions and thikning about the complex issues, but I think we will only know what the answers are based on what happens in the future. I am pretty sure that if Disney knew how to increase attendance and make more money that they would do it, and I think they are trying, and I think that they are working hard to give guests a good experience.

    DR
     

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