Discussion in 'Disney Rumors and News' started by DancingBear, Apr 29, 2007.
Very interesting and sad article from Kevin Yee:
Very interesting article. We were really surprised by the amount of peeling paint the last time we were at the MK.
Loved the little piece about Walt and the Popcorn!
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Kinda missed on the reasons for River Country though. Part of the reason it closed was because of heath issues in using water directly from Bay Lake.
It is a shame that it does qualify an entire abandoned park.
Keeping River Country's water system completely separate from Bay Lake is not an insurmountable problem. There was a barrier separating River Country's water system from Bay Lake under the footbridge. Putting in a more substantial barrier, along with state-of-the-art water treatment, would not have been beyond Disney's capabilities or resources.
Let's assume that River Country has reached the end of it useful life, whether from a business standpoint (due to newer water parks) or an infrastructure standpoint. Then why hasn't River Country been removed? Why does Disney want an abandoned eyesore that constantly reminds anyone who sees it that Disney doesn't care about such things?
I thought Kevin Yee's article was very good. But I differentiate between those things that clearly show neglect and those things that have simply been removed.
I hate to be the cynical guy.. But my guess is that each successive VP of Parks (or whomever) decides that's a cost they don't want showing against their bottom line so they choose to leave it for "the future". (IE: the next guy or gal)
Exactly Mr. Guy - WDW can not spend a dime without showing a return of at least 20%. It's the way Disney operates these days. Even the new audio system on the busses had to be "sold" on the basis that the piped in ads would generate more money in additional merchandise sales than the cost of the new speakers.
The bigger issue, and the cause of it all, is Disney's "value equation". For any park, you are given a full days of value if you see 9 rides and shows. Any more than that is just wasted expense for the company; it's better for them to save money by closing rides and having you wait in longer lines. The same goes for shops and restaurants - better to run one operation at a maximum, most efficent level than run two operations at less than efficent levels (let the guests wait, they've already paid their money).
The whole situation is both sad and pitiful, Hey Iger, get off your dead a_ _, and get over to the east coast and see what WDW looks like with all of these abandoned areas. Your worse than your Father, er, I mean Ei$ner!
Prices keep going up, and the availabilty to access a lot of areas is just not there........
And AV, your right again.
I think that as the article states, Disney World is so large that it is easy to overlook these minor details. However, the details are (IMO) what makes Disney World great. I do hope they allocate additional funds to fix/remove the issues mentioned in the article.
Overlook these minor details?????
Stay in the Pop Century resort and see if you can "overlook" the massive bombed out hulks of the unfinished buildings right across the lake (they have a bridge open that lends to no where - overlooked?). It does add a historical perspective however - it reminds me of starring over the wall and looking at the horrors of East Berlin at the height of the Cold War.
How do you overlook the huge empty theater sitting RIGHT NEXT to the hub at Disney/MGM studios? It's fight there in the center of the park.
How do you causally not notice the huge and rotten Advertureland Veranda restuarant at the Magic Kingdom? It's the first thing you see when enter the land?
How do you mentally ignore those two giant empty buildings right in the middle of Epcot's Future World? Sure, you can run through Innovientions in ten mintues - but what about all those giant rooms behind the curtains? I guess you ignore the giant - "We're closed, go way. You're not worth the expense" sign nailed to the ground infront of 'Wonders of Life' as well.
Or is this simply a case of rose colored blinders...
I agree with your conclusion, though I would put forth that an increase in funding is not always necessary. In the end though, yes, it does cost money to make money.
But as AV said, the term "minor" understates the issue in some of these examples. An entire pavilion is not minor. Half of a resort is not minor. Some aren't as glaring as others, but when we think "Disney details", we usually think of truly little things, like the quality of fixtures, or the addition of show elements that escape the notice of many guests. Most of the things in the article are of much greater scale than that.
This also isn't a new revelation. As I said, Kevin does a good job of summarizing many of the issues in one place, but complaints about abandoned buildings/attractions are not a new thing. These things have been noticed by a lot of people. What's more, just like a positive detail still affects guests who don't consciously recognize it, the reverse happens with these negative things. Closed off areas might not bring an individual to an uproar, but it does impact their overall perception.
Let's not get into an argument about blinders, because you obviously have them at the other end of the spectrum. I doubt I could find a single positive statement that you have made if I were to look at all 2,800 of your posts.
For the most part I like the way Disney World is today, however my "blinders" are not so rose colored that I can't admit that there is still room for improvement. I liked this article and I would like to see Disney resolve the issues mentioned within it..
I do not feel that the use of the word "minor" is an exaggeration, when you are looking at the big picture. As is stated in the article several of these building are still in use during peak seasons and special events. Also, most of the buildings no longer in use are still themed appropriately for the area that they are in. With the exception of the unfinished Pop Century resort, I would not call most of these places eyesores.
You make it sound like Disney has closed half of its attractions and never opens new ones. There are more things to do in these 4 parks then I can fit into a 14 day vacation. To be honest I have been to Disney World many times and I hadn't noticed half of the things that are mentioned in this article. Doesn't make them acceptable, but I would call them minor in the grand scheme
Please, feel free to disagree.
We had a post over on the resorts board today.. it's a rumor of course.. but it speaks of a plan to finish the Legendary years with construction starting in fall of 2008 with a plan to open in late 2010 or early 2011.
What I found interesting about that post ... was that it jived with another 'rumor' I heard recently from a Disney exec. I had previously placed pretty much ZERO stock in what he had to say (and didn't post it to the boards) based on the fact that some kind of has floated for years.. but his comments mirrored the post so much I was kinda shocked.
Of course -- it could very well be the same rumor starter... just different branches of the vine.
There is something I like about some of the areas Kevin points out. The Skyway stations.. I dunno.. seeing them reminds me of having ridden the Skyway. And even tho its not there anymore, I tend to be your glass is half-full kinda guy.. so I think of the fond memories of it.. not the lack of Skyway rides today. You can have a few nods to the past like that.. just don't make the whole park that way.
The Adventureland Veranda.. I actually saw that space and wondered what used to be there. So that was nice to have an answer.
As far as Epcot goes.. Parts of the Innoventions buildings .. "ain't ever been right" .. except for the first few years of opening I think.
I remember travelling in 1995 or 96 and there was this HUGE space in one of the buildings.. where it seemed nothing was going on. Turned out they were testing the Aladdin VR thing in there somewhere and I got a chance to experience that.
But that's definitely a rare use of the space.
The upstairs area at Journey into Imagination is another HUGE area that's simply empty right now. I was surprised Kevin didn't really hit on that.
I absolutely agree with him that I think Odyssey Restaurant area is another HUGE waste of space currently that could be put to better use.
I guess if you wanna look at it this way -- the good news is that there's lots of space for future additions? err.. I mean
I bought some pots and some potting soil today. Time for repotting!
And that's exactly the second half of my post -the "why are they doing this". There is a deliberate effort on Disney's part to offer less for the same amount of money. There is a deliberate effort to force higher utilization (and less service) to squeeze more margin out of the parks. That is the real problem here, empty and rotting buildings are just a symptom.
There has been a tremendous shift in the way Disney thinks over the years. Its come in drips and daps; most people dont even notice it over time. But this new thinking runs counter to everything that made the company successful in the first and threatens the future health and existence of the parks.
Foolish, you say?
Who could have imagined twenty-five years ago that Disney Feature Animation would have produced such a string of flops that Disney would close the unit down. Who would have thought Disney would have to pay more than the value of WDW to buy a competing animation studio just to keep up with the rest of Hollywood?
Who would have thought Disney could open a theme park less than a hundred yards from Disneyland and not be successful? Paris and Hong Kong came with risks but a second gate at Disneyland a flop? Who would have thought youd have the head of Resorts saying Disney has to sell off WDW property to another hotel chain because Disney cant provide high quality service? I thought the Four Seasons used to send its staff to WDW to learn about customer service, now Disney is forced to out source housekeeping to get good workers?
There are those of us old enough to remember the Real Disney and the real golden years. We know those are gone forever. But now were seeing even the sad little company that we have continuing to slide at an even faster rate. It didnt take too many years to go from The Lion King to closing the door after Brother Bear. It may not take too many more years before the resorts are run by Marriott, the parks by Coca-Cola and the stores by Wal Mart.
All too true...... I'm now officially depressed .....
It does appear that maintenance and upkeep aren't what they used to be.
And I do agree with AnotherVoice. We're seeing the slow homogenization of Disney and someday it won't even resemble the Disney that I knew as a kid. Or since 1975 when we started going to WDW.
As Petula Clark sings--It's "A Sign of the Times"
exactly, kinda where I was going back on the chicken fingers er... tortuga thread.
Quality brings longevity...
Although I think the company is doomed to be piece-mealed out anyway. It is just how corporate America works. The Saudis will probably buy it or something...
You may be right given how managment dislikes the parks.
There've been rumors that Iger's looking to break off Disney Studios and ABC. He was always a TV guy anyway. Unfortunatly, as the rumors go, the parks would be sold to the highest bidder.
Of course, even that might be OK depending on who ran the parks and who ran the Studio.
I wouldn't hold my breath though.
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