Thinking about Disney strategy...

Discussion in 'Disney Rumors and News' started by tentaguasu, May 16, 2013.

  1. Carbonfiber07

    Carbonfiber07 Mouseketeer

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    I knew about the Marvel restrictions regarding the Orlando area parks, but is that applicable to all the parks worldwide? I was not specific in my post, so I apologize for that (because I knew that Disney had license restrictions here, but I simply forgot when I posted).

    Regarding Star Wars in the parks, I have no inside information, but have a hard time believing that Disney would pay over $4B for the rights to movies and merchandise without thought to the currently existing presence of Star Wars in HS. $4B is a lot of money and that does not even include the cost of making the movies, so the ROI for Disney would have to be astronomical without adding something to the parks. Perhaps it is wishful thinking on my part, but a Star Wars land seems like a perfect fit.
     
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  3. DCTooTall

    DCTooTall <MARQUEE BEHAVIOR=ALTERNATE><img src=http://www.em

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    Disney is free to do anything Marvel they want to do anywhere not covered by the existing universal Deal which gives them exclusive rights "East of the Mississippi".


    As for Disney not doing anything in the parks with the rights now that they have them.... well, I'm not sure I would go that far. I will however say that the theme park possibilities were not a deciding factor in dropping the $4b for the properties. It's just like the Theme Park possibilities where not a deciding factor for Marvel.


    With Marvel, It was almost entirely due to the existing film properties. Between IronMan, Thor, Captain America, Avengers, etc, And the related merchandise, Disney wanted a piece of that movie pie. Add to that the large existing library of Television and animated shows which Disney was able to immediately leverage as they rebranded ToonDisney to the boy-focused DisneyXD cable network [ which was designed to help counter the fact that the Disney Channel had become very girl-centric in it's programming and merchandising]. That were the deciding factors in Disney dropping the money for the Marvel deal.


    With Star Wars, Remember, Disney didn't just buy Star Wars. They bought the entire Lucasfilm empire. That included properties such as Star Wars and Indiana Jones. The Lucasfilm Studio, the Skywalker Sound and Industrial Light and Magic production houses (both leaders in their respective fields)....including any IP or Patents they've developed in their fields over the decades.... LucasArts game studio (Which Disney has since shuttered.... but at one time was an industry leader in it's own right, including many unique IP properties before they ended up morphing into the Star Wars Video Game company)... etc. With the Star Wars properties though, For years Star Wars has been a money printing press with all the licensing, merchandising, and spinoffs (games, TVs, Books). This was the primary motivation for Disney. Also the potential upside of the new films is Huge, especially when you look at how well Episodes 1-3 did despite being generally thought of as being a shadow of the quality of the original episodes 4-6. If 7-9 can be anywhere near 4-6 in quality and fan acceptance Disney can easily be looking at getting the entire investment paid off.


    Here's one way to look at it. Disney spends $4b on the Marvel properties. The first film released under complete Disney control ends up making over $2b by itself..... and there are more films to come, a new TV spinoff, and of course, all the existing merchandising and licensing revenues.

    The Entire Theme Park revenue for NBCUniversal a couple years ago was in the neighborhood of $800mil. This included EVERYTHING, including their hotels and all their parks around the world. Out of all the revenue generating aspects of the Universal Theme Park division, the Marvel Super Hero Island is an EXTREMELY small part of the overall pie. It's not very hard to read into this and determine that if the theme park rights were a leading justification for the Marvel purchase, then the purchase price would've been MUCH MUCH lower because of the time it would've taken to get a ROI based off the potential theme park based revenues.

    It's the same thing with the Lucas acquisition. The potential revenue bump by the Star Wars properties would be miniscule in comparison to the other ways to monetize the properties. With the kind of money involved in these acquisitions, it'd have been impossible to justify them if we were looking primarily at the theme parks as the beneficiary of the transactions.
     
  4. Carbonfiber07

    Carbonfiber07 Mouseketeer

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    True. But that has not stopped Disney before. Perhaps $4B is quite easy to make back with media and merchandise. However, Disney has spent money on expansion in the past without only limiting themselves to the best and highest ROI, but rather adding to it. The New Fantasy Land comes to mind, where Disney stated that a driving force behind the expansion was to alleviate congestion in other areas of the park. New Rapunzel bathrooms - without a gift shop no less - do not pay back the cost of construction (especially since there were bathrooms right across the walkway - which I believe will be converted into the new Peter Pan interactive queue area).

    Once again, perhaps it is wishful thinking on my part, but if I was Disney and looking at HS expansion to alleviate other congested areas (or just to get park attendance numbers up) and had the Star Wars IP in my pocket, that would be my route. As you stated, Star Wars is a money making machine even with sub-par episodes I, II and III. Of course, this presumes that Disney is looking to expand HS in the first place.
     
  5. DCTooTall

    DCTooTall <MARQUEE BEHAVIOR=ALTERNATE><img src=http://www.em

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    Oh! Don't think for a second I'm saying they won't use the properties in the themeparks. I fully believe that they wouldn't hesitate for a second if they had a project they were working on and wanted a theme to wrap around it.

    New Fantasyland was designed to help increase park capacity (help avoid capacity closures on those super busy days by increasing the number of people you can fit in there)... and table service capacity (with a real location in the park for the TS credit, maybe they won't resort to turning the old Tomorrowland Terrace CS location into a "TS Buffet" during the summer months).

    And the Bathrooms? eh.... That can EASILY be seen as a fix for an existing problem....namely the MAJOR bottleneck between fantasyland and Liberty Square that would become a nightmare during busy...and not so busy times of year. and Bonus.... Larger (& newer) bathrooms which free up space for more "Nextgen interactive elements" as part of the overall nextgen plans at Peter Pan... you know... so people don't complain so much about the 2hr standby times..... And places guests can stop and charge their devices they'll be using in the park with the Nextgen Initiative.


    Again.... lately I'm seeing even most of Disney's construction projects as attempts to resolve issues that are losing them money.

    1. DVC... Always a cash cow.

    2. Art of Animation? site prep and some construction already done, so cheaper to finish building. the Large number of Family Suites helped Disney meet the 1 onsite room need that they were lacking inventory in..... the inexpensive (for disney) onsite room that could sleep more than 4 people.

    3. New Fantasyland? People Eater and the ability to squeeze more people into the MK...the only park that will regularly reach capacity closures on busier days and times of year. [money left on the table if people can't get in the park]. Added a TS restaurant in the park as the MK was severly lacking in TS options, resulting in annoyed DDP guests and non DDP guests going to the cheaper QS locations since they couldn't get a TS meal. Also......New Merch possibilities galore!

    4. Bathrooms? As mentioned... clears a bottleneck which could easily also be seen as a safety hazard, and provides newer and nicer bathrooms for the guests in the park to use. provides space for guests to charge their mobile devices which they'll be using thruout the day as part of the nextgen plans. Old Restroom space could also easily be repurposed for more Peter Pan Queue space to help avoid spillover in the narrow path between Peter Pan and Small World. [already further constricted by Stroller Parking]

    5. Pandora (avatar) expansion at Animal Kingdom? Do you even have to ask? Many guests feel they can skip this park or it's only worth a 1/2 day due to the lack of activities within the park. They can't afford to close Everest, Dinosaur, kali, or even the Safari for any length of time due to the lack of attraction capacity to absorb the lost capacity from the closed attraction. Not enough to do or see in the park after dark currently to make it worth keeping the park opened late. Pandora could help fix all these issues by adding more attraction capacity to the park, adding space away from the safari and overnight animal houses for a "final goodnight" for the AK park that many guests feel is missing. And could become a "must see" after dark experience due to the nighttime lighting/themeing.

    6. Possible DTD/Disney Springs Project? Currently large parts of DTD are a virtual Ghost town. Parking and access are a nightmare during large portions of the day. There are so many issues currently at the DTD complex that it's practically gotten to the point that they need to be addressed in a major way soon or they risk losing any chance at salvaging it. Also.... Again... with Nextgen and the attempts to keep guest from exploring things offsite, They need to have a functional nightlife/shopping/food/entertainment option for the onsite guests.
     
  6. Carbonfiber07

    Carbonfiber07 Mouseketeer

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    Agreed. I guess I am presuming that HS falls into that category and needs some update/expansion to keep guests not only in the park, but also away from the congested "other side" of the park. Your comments on Animal Kingdom equate (in my mind at least) to HS as being only a 1/2 day park.
     
  7. Tonka's Skipper

    Tonka's Skipper DIS Veteran

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    You hit it all right on the button!:thumbsup2

    Iger came in and to make the bottom line good great, thought he could just sit back, reduce costs, maintenance, refit and new projects and ride.

    He found out that people expected more from Disney and his plan started to show cracks. Now we see the massive influx of renewed maintenance and upkeep, and projects starting down the pike!

    Just a old ex deep water sailors opinion.

    AKK
     
  8. PrincessJo

    PrincessJo Mouseketeer

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    I don't compare the 2 parks at all because in my mind, they are 2 totally different experiences.

    Wizarding World of HP is just absolutely fantastic. We LOVED the Simpson's ride, Spiderman, The Mummy and of course The Forbidden Journey. I also loved the Dr. Seuss part of the park because the theme and colors are spectacular. We spent 2 days at US last year and loved every minute of it.

    At Disney we had a totally different experience. We love the rides there too and LOVE the food and the character experiences. I will keep getting my picture taken with princesses until I'm in a hole in the ground.

    Both will have to keep coming up with new ideas to keep us all coming back year after year. My family will keep going to both parks as long as there is something there we want to experience. I love that they both try so hard :)
     
  9. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    I haven't read all the response - but to the OP - this is similar to what I've been saying all along.

    Disney doesn't try to compete with the THRILL market, they never did. Universal aims for thrills. It's target audience is teens and young adults. With the purchase of Harry Potter, really the first family oriented theme they've had.

    Disney aims for the family. They want to bring the little kids, the parents, the grandparents together for the experience. They have pretty much decided that Universal can have the THRILL-seekers.

    That said, I still think Disney WORLD is lagging behind in innovations. Go to DLR and ride Radiator Spring Racers. THAT was truly a stunning ride, even though it is not really a thrill ride. Disney needs to put more of that into Florida.
     
  10. RedHotAssets

    RedHotAssets Earning My Ears

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    I completely agree with this. Over the last few years, my family has gone to US more than Disney (not something I agreed with, but everybody liked the rides and the Fastpasses) and I can honestly say that customer service is what differentiates Disney from Universal. Friendly CM's play a major role in this. The employees at Universal are some of the rudest people I've ever met - I once asked a simple question about a line at a WWOHP ride and the girl was rude, unhelpful, and yelled at me, which was completely uncalled for. The fact that Universal is investing so much money in WWOHP shows that they are more interested in short-term investing than the long run. Disney is (hopefully) making more strategic, long-term decisions. The new Fantasyland is based on Disney characters that have been around for a while and have maintained popularity historically. IMO, Harry Potter is just a fad for people my age...kids and older adults aren't really into it, and over time its popularity will decline.

    This is completely hypothetical, but I think it's really smart for Disney to not only update stuff in the parks with their newer characters such as Rapunzel and Tiana, but to also build upon older characters/movies (Beauty and the Beast/Snow White, for example) because it hits people my age (early 20's) right in the nostalgia feels. I grew up on Disney - watched every Disney movie & sing-along, watched the Disney cartoon shows based on Little Mermaid & Aladdin, had all of the Disney princess Barbies, etc., so seeing stuff like Beast's castle brings back all of those childhood memories. Disney invested so much in us as kids, and I'm guessing they wanted a way to retain that audience.

    Since most of the people my age are buried in student loan debt and living paycheck-to-paycheck with their entry level jobs, we can't exactly afford to take luxurious vacations to Disney every year at this point in our lives. But in a few years, all of the stuff they're doing will pay off when we have our own families and share our love of Disney with them. I know I'm gonna bring my kids to Disney the second they start walking!
     
  11. Spacedog1975

    Spacedog1975 Mouseketeer

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    Not sure I understand talk of DAK closing early in the day because there isn't enough to do. My understanding is that the early closure and lack of fireworks/night show are both in place out of respect for the animals.

    Do we really think AvatarLand will change that mandate?
     
  12. DCTooTall

    DCTooTall <MARQUEE BEHAVIOR=ALTERNATE><img src=http://www.em

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    It's a bit of both.

    The Animals on the safari need to start being brught back to their backstage holding areas in the early evening to be fed and checked each day. Animals also don't handle pyrotechnic explosions (ie... really loud noises) that well as they can cause a lot more stress.

    So it's almost a given that the Safari would be required to close earlier in the day, and they can't have fireworks as part of a nighttime show due to the loud explosions startling the animals.

    The early close time comes from the fact that if you have to close the Animal attractions (The Safari and 2 nature/animal trails), and then can't do a big firework nightime show, There just isn't really enough at the park to absorb the guests or make it worth keeping open later. You would basically be closing almost a 1/3 of the park attraction capacity (not including shows) when the animal attractions closed, so you'd end up with only a few attractions to absorb all the guests, and that's even assuming the guests decided to stay in the park much after the Animal attractions closed since there isn't anything to really keep them in the park if they've already experienced the attractions that remain open.

    It comes down in part to a cost/benefit..... Is it worth the cost to keep the parks open after you have to shut down the animal attractions when a large number of guests may decide to leave the park.


    The thought, and hope, is that maybe with the Pandora (avatar) area opening, That they can add enough to the park to make it worth keeping the park open longer after the Animal attractions close.

    Another big E-ticket, along with the potential C ticket, would do a lot to give guests something else to do within the park without Animals. The potential after-dark visuals of the area would be another item which could prompt guests to stay later in the park (eating another meal and spending time in stores.... driving revenue).

    And it's location in the front of the park, FAR away from the Safari and backstage animal housing areas.... combined with the existing Pandora visuals we saw in the movie... Would provide an opportunity for them to build a place for a World-of-Color esque nighttime extravaganza to cap the night. The Colors lights, Music, and water effects [and probably projection as well] would be interesting enough for many guests to want to see and experience, and flashy enough to let them avoid the pyrotechnics which could startle the animals. (distance and potential location/construction design would likely be enough to keep the noise generated from impacting the animals any worse than guests or the attraction noises today do.)


    So what we are looking at is that the respect for the animals mandate is indirectly the cause for the park's early closure, and won't change. But the Avatar area can help address the more direct reasons for the parks early closure (lack of entertainment/draws to keep the guests in the park and spending money) , and therefore could impact the parks operating hours.
     
  13. DanInMN

    DanInMN Mouseketeer

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    I visited US IoA about 10 years ago. To me it seemed like an amusement park, bigger than our local Valleyfair, but pretty much the same thing.

    To me the Disney experience is immersion in another world. It's what we wish the real world was like. Beautiful gardens, immaculate resorts, safe, friendly, and parks with activities that everyone from age 4 - 100 can enjoy as a family. Our kids are grown and gone now, but we still go to WDW.

    Disney does need to invest though. HS only holds our attention for less than a day, same for AK, and they should be embarrassed with the closed facilities at DTD and Epcot (Wonders of Life, Odyssey)
     

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