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  1. #31

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    Re: Disney Legacy and the Public: Is the public to blame for a mediocre Disney?

    This is a terrific discussion. With regards to the "lead vs. follow" debate I think one of Walt's heroes, Henry Ford said it best:

    “If I had asked my customers what they wanted before I built my first car, they would have said they wanted a faster horse.”

    Walt's entire career can be summed up by looking for that thing that nobody else was doing and to "get his foot into the door". The MBA's who run the creative challenges for Disney are focused on taking what they know is succeeding elsewhere and putting a "Disney" spin on it. Sometimes it works (Splash Mountain is directly a result of Knotts log ride and Tower of Terror is directly a result of that horrible drop ride at Six Flags that doesn't exist anymore). Sometimes it doesn't (I will let you fill in the blanks).

    As for the stores, my wife misses buying Pendelton Fabrics in Frontierland.

  2. #32

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    Re: Disney Legacy and the Public: Is the public to blame for a mediocre Disney?

    No. Disney is to blame for a mediocre Disney..

  3. #33

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    Re: Disney Legacy and the Public: Is the public to blame for a mediocre Disney?

    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Jr. View Post
    Has Disney realized that their legacy is the main draw to the parks and so continue to cut the unique stuff in the parks because they know their main audience won't care if they do?
    I think you misjudge the whole audience relationship here.

    You seem to be under the impression that folks are willfully accepting less of an experience because they've resigned themselves to believing that they can't have anything better. Like children in a workhouse asking for gruel, they accept it because they know no better.

    But what if that isn't the case? What if it happens that people go to Disneyland still because they sincerely like the offerings and genuinely like what they see?

    You offered the guest at the opening of Small World as proof that people will be willing to accept lower quality, but you completely fail to acknowledge that the guest may have simply liked that version better than the previous.

    It is a VERY interesting topic, and overall I am very happy that folks are starting to look at some of these issues more in-depth. Overall though, a fair discussion requires looking at a topic from all sides.

    So what might be lower quality to one person, might be a higher quality product to another.

  4. #34

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    Re: Disney Legacy and the Public: Is the public to blame for a mediocre Disney?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mousecat View Post
    I think one of Walt's heroes, Henry Ford said it best:

    “If I had asked my customers what they wanted before I built my first car, they would have said they wanted a faster horse.”
    And if the Eisner/Iger regime had been in charge, they would've sold them exactly that, by the billions. Along with Official Ford saddles, tack, designer blankets, fashion tail ribbons for girl riders, videos of ThunderRocket, Hero Horse That Won the West for Davy Crockett, time share stables in Florida and pricey subscriptions to Canter Quarterly. No kid would get a currycomb for Christmas without ThunderRocket's face on it; no family vacation would be complete without a trip to Stableland.

    O, Sweet Symbiosis of Synergy.




    "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
    Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
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  5. #35

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    Re: Disney Legacy and the Public: Is the public to blame for a mediocre Disney?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver View Post
    I think you misjudge the whole audience relationship here.

    You seem to be under the impression that folks are willfully accepting less of an experience because they've resigned themselves to believing that they can't have anything better. Like children in a workhouse asking for gruel, they accept it because they know no better.

    It is a VERY interesting topic, and overall I am very happy that folks are starting to look at some of these issues more in-depth. Overall though, a fair discussion requires looking at a topic from all sides.

    So what might be lower quality to one person, might be a higher quality product to another.
    After looking back at that question, I see how misformulated it looks.

    The average visitor doesn't know what real Disney quality is. Most who see Celebrate today will think it's the best thing since sliced bread because they don't know about the unsurpassed quality of Parade of Dreams a few months before (just an example).

    It's the idea that The general public thinks that all Disney products are top notch and flawless, even if they aren't, and it's because of that that problem products stay in the parks for so long without being improved and the reason why Disney will continue to not try to explore new frontiers in story and context in original attractions, but continue to produce movie rides. The public will like it either way, and movie rides are easier to do, even if it breaks the park.

    But what if that isn't the case? What if it happens that people go to Disneyland still because they sincerely like the offerings and genuinely like what they see?

    You offered the guest at the opening of Small World as proof that people will be willing to accept lower quality, but you completely fail to acknowledge that the guest may have simply liked that version better than the previous.
    The guests will genuinely like something if they are first time guests, that's just the problem. Average guests will walk in the gates today and sincerely like rides that are really mediocre to us because we know Disney's real capability. If they had only visited something like America Sings and then came back to Innoventions they would be angry at the lack of quality and the sense of improvement Disney is known for. The average first time guest will go to innoventions today and rave about how great it is.

    I do have many friends, not Disney fanatics at all who have been disheartened about Small World's additions, because they feel it takes away from the classic feel of it and they just don't belong because they have been introduced to it as a ride celebrating the Children of the World. Fast forward to the average visitor, and they will tell Disney surveys just how much they love it and how cute all the Disney characters is, and they will sincerely like it, because they don't know what was there before.

    Granted some would still prefer the characters, but that's a whole other argument, that most average visitors now come to see characters like Mickey Mouse, and not to see the original famed attractions. The more characters they see the better. If that is the case, then the Public is to blame for a mediocre Disneyland, because then Disneyland will be nothing but characters, no originality, no Walt. A Very sad case indeed.
    Friend walks into line of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh-
    "Come on, Let's go see Country Bear- .......Oh."
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    -August 2nd 2010

  6. #36

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    Re: Disney Legacy and the Public: Is the public to blame for a mediocre Disney?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver View Post
    So what might be lower quality to one person, might be a higher quality product to another.
    Exactly. And the financial genius of Eisner/Iger's Disneyland is to reach the most people who are the best match with the type of product that requires the least investment for Disney. That's an n-dimensional balancing act of innovation, imitation, tradition, repurposing and marketing.

    Post-Eisner Disney doesn't just sell product that people want. They don't just sell product that they think people want. They sell product that their combined marketing expertise, strategic sensibility and experience proves to them is the highest-probable composite of concept, execution, delivery, price point and perceived value that the most people will not only buy, but love buying.

    Which is why an ever-increasing number of people happily clamor for the ever-increasing number of things that Disney sells at ever-increasing prices.



    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Jr. View Post
    The average visitor doesn't know what real Disney quality is. Most who see Celebrate today will think it's the best thing since sliced bread because they don't know about the unsurpassed quality of Parade of Dreams a few months before (just an example).
    Bingo. Want to not spend big bucks on high-priced E Ticket attractions equal in quality and innovation to Pirates or Haunted Mansion, that will take ten years (long after you've moved on to another company) to earn back their investment? Pack your park with a higher percentage of visitors who like FPS ride-thrus of Pixar characters, and who are just as happy with Streetaculars as parades. There are millions of 'em out there, you just have to develop the strategies that hook 'em from your competition, reel 'em in and make them repeat visitors. A lot of work, some years of time and Shazam! -- instant revised average visitor profile.


    Last edited by Mr Wiggins; 07-01-2009 at 05:59 PM.
    "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
    Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
    imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

    - Neil Gabler


  7. #37

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    Re: Disney Legacy and the Public: Is the public to blame for a mediocre Disney?

    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Jr. View Post
    After looking back at that question, I see how misformulated it looks.

    The average visitor doesn't know what real Disney quality is. Most who see Celebrate today will think it's the best thing since sliced bread because they don't know about the unsurpassed quality of Parade of Dreams a few months before (just an example).
    The average guest? Statistically speaking, the average guest visits Disneyland at least once a year and lives in the Southern California area. Actually with the AP payment plan in affect, the number of regulars and locals has probably increased.

    It's a pretty good bet that most of the folks lining up along the parade route saw Parade of Dreams several times. Doesn't that now make them qualified to determine what is and what is not Disney Quality? Or more to the point: doesn't that give them more credence in deciding what they do and do not like.

    What if all those guests DID see Parade of Dreams and STILL like seeing the celebrate street party?

    Now instead of it seeming that the guests have been duped into believing something that isn't true, you are forced to blame the guests themselves for having poor tastes.

    The public will like it either way, and movie rides are easier to do, even if it breaks the park.
    What if guests are specifically ASKING for movie based rides?

    Granted some would still prefer the characters, but that's a whole other argument, that most average visitors now come to see characters like Mickey Mouse, and not to see the original famed attractions. The more characters they see the better. If that is the case, then the Public is to blame for a mediocre Disneyland, because then Disneyland will be nothing but characters, no originality, no Walt. A Very sad case indeed.
    To a degree that's it in a nutshell.

    You're argument seems to be that if people only KNEW what they were getting, they would stand up and realize they are getting ripped off.

    As I said above, statistically the majority of guests going to Disneyland are locals from Southern California and the majority of them have been going at least once a year almost all their lives. There's absolutely no reason to assume that they DON'T know what Disneyland was like before.

    These are just regular folks who DO want to see characters everywhere they go, and DO want to see their favorite movies portrayed in the parks, and DO want to see more Hannah Montana merchandise.

    I really think it's just a simple case of majority rules.

  8. #38

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    Re: Disney Legacy and the Public: Is the public to blame for a mediocre Disney?

    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Jr. View Post
    Is the public's never ending approval of everything Disney does simply because they are Disney the real reason behind the death of Walt Disney's real Disneyland?
    "Disneyland will never be complete as long as there is imagination left in the world." -- Walt Disney.

    I'm afraid there is hardly any imagination left. Disney is just riding on its laurels for now. If Disney continues on this path it is currently taking, I am so afraid that when I am old and grey the only thing that will be left of Disneyland are its facades and a bunch of unthemed roller coasters going all over the place.

    My most hated example of the degredation of Disneyland is Fantasmic! not because it clogs up NOS and Frontierland at night, and not even because it creates a thematic mess in this area. This show must go away for the simple reason that The Walt Disney Company is begging us to to enjoy the wonders of Mickey's imagination. But Disneyland is not about Mickey's imagination, it is about all of our own individual imaginations. It is amazing to see the sleepy Rivers of America transformed into the spectacle called Fantasmic! every night. But once we see this show we are told that this amazing transformation and spectacle is only due to Mickey's imagination. It must be changed to be our imagination.

    "Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy." Only you can do that. Disney can't force you to feel that way and Mickey definitely cannot. We each have our own stresses in the real world and while Disneyland is a wonderfully themed place the only one who can transport themselves into this fantasy world is yourself. As long as imagination is alive in every one of us, then Disneyland will continue to thrive.

  9. #39

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    Re: Disney Legacy and the Public: Is the public to blame for a mediocre Disney?

    So what we have here is a generic, "non-Disney" management that is attracting their own type of customer to the parks rather than traditional Disney fans--from a certain point of view, the wrong people in charge are catering to the wrong guests. That certainly would gradually ruin Disneyland for "old school" fans.

  10. #40

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    Re: Disney Legacy and the Public: Is the public to blame for a mediocre Disney?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Cook View Post
    So what we have here is a generic, "non-Disney" management that is attracting their own type of customer to the parks rather than traditional Disney fans--from a certain point of view, the wrong people in charge are catering to the wrong guests. That certainly would gradually ruin Disneyland for "old school" fans.
    That's basically it. Disney is more and more trying to appeal to guests that hate Disney, while at the same time alienating guests that love the very things the park stands for. Walt's Disneyland is slowly being taken out brick by brick, replaced with something else entirely.

  11. #41

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    Re: Disney Legacy and the Public: Is the public to blame for a mediocre Disney?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver View Post
    The average guest? Statistically speaking, the average guest visits Disneyland at least once a year and lives in the Southern California area. Actually with the AP payment plan in affect, the number of regulars and locals has probably increased.

    It's a pretty good bet that most of the folks lining up along the parade route saw Parade of Dreams several times. Doesn't that now make them qualified to determine what is and what is not Disney Quality? Or more to the point: doesn't that give them more credence in deciding what they do and do not like.

    What if all those guests DID see Parade of Dreams and STILL like seeing the celebrate street party?
    What if they liked both? My guess is likely a good deal of them did. If this is so, then why would Disney not run both. Likely to cut costs, choosing the cheaper of the two. The guest will still like it and it saves Disney money. But it isn't the best they can do. That's when we move back up to the people in charge of the parks and state that until they re adopt the old Disney mission, to continually move forward, we're stuck in Mediocre Disney.

    Now I don't know if this is completely true or not but I believe that Disney survey cast members look for people who look like first time guests who aren't frequent visitors or AP's. From there comes the argument about the average guest who doesn't know better and therefore states that things like Celebrate are "the best they have ever seen".

    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver View Post

    What if guests are specifically ASKING for movie based rides?
    We can only guess this, but my natural guess is that they aren't asking for more. Because if they only cared about movie rides then we wouldn't see originals with the popularity that they have now. I don't think that Disney would even ask guests that question, just find out how much they like the newest tie ins.

    A lot of people would be thrilled to see a new original attraction likely, nobody knows for sure. But when you see the people lined up for something like Pirates of the Caribbean before the movie tie ins or before Small World's Characters and see how many are still enthralled, the only guess could be yes.


    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver View Post

    To a degree that's it in a nutshell.

    You're argument seems to be that if people only KNEW what they were getting, they would stand up and realize they are getting ripped off.

    As I said above, statistically the majority of guests going to Disneyland are locals from Southern California and the majority of them have been going at least once a year almost all their lives. There's absolutely no reason to assume that they DON'T know what Disneyland was like before.

    These are just regular folks who DO want to see characters everywhere they go, and DO want to see their favorite movies portrayed in the parks, and DO want to see more Hannah Montana merchandise.

    I really think it's just a simple case of majority rules.
    I think a lot of people don't really like what is being added depending on what it is and many would like to see original stuff added. You will hear lots say that there are already characters everywhere and you will hear people who love and hate Hannah Montana.

    But we need to look at the demographic Disney is interviewing and see if they are only interviewing them and finding out their opinions to justify their additions. Disney is a large company, they are smart enough to do something like that. But that is just my speculation.

    If we were to check the likes and dislikes of every person who enters Disneyland, I think that they like the combination of the two. Then the problem goes back to the company, whose only source of any creativity now comes from movies and not ideas. Until people like Tony have much more control, anything with an original storyline will not be seen again.
    Friend walks into line of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh-
    "Come on, Let's go see Country Bear- .......Oh."
    -August 1st 2010

    And this elevator traverls directly to The Twilight Zone The Gift Shop!
    -August 2nd 2010

  12. #42

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    Re: Disney Legacy and the Public: Is the public to blame for a mediocre Disney?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver View Post
    There's absolutely no reason to assume that they DON'T know what Disneyland was like before.
    Except for the enormous (and rapidly increasing) percentage of of visitors who were born after 1990-93 or so. The huge numbers of teens and kids you see in the park today have no memory of what the Disneyland experience was like before Pressler.

    And in just a few more years, the oldest of those will begin having kids of their own.
    "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
    Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
    imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

    - Neil Gabler


  13. #43

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    Re: Disney Legacy and the Public: Is the public to blame for a mediocre Disney?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver View Post
    So what might be lower quality to one person, might be a higher quality product to another.
    It would be interesting to go back in time to survey guests and compare the levels of perceived quality, in say, 1959, with the levels of perceived quality in 2009.

    Something tells me the unstoppable Disneyland of the 1950s and 60s would, hands-down, win over the Disneyland of 2009 that is increasingly becoming a parody of its former self instead of outdoing its former self.

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  14. #44

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    Re: Disney Legacy and the Public: Is the public to blame for a mediocre Disney?

    Ah, who is to blame for the decline of Disney.

    One of the things that people have to understand is that the times are changing, and that Disney has to respond to those changes. Some people want bigger, faster attractions, and Disney has to respond somehow. I do think that Disney has declined in the last couple of years because they are using Pixar all over the place. Granted, Pixar is a money-maker and there has to be some kind of promotion, but I feel that they are placing them in the wrong parks.

    Like Techskip said, Disney is just following the trends of other parks, and that is not necessarily a good thing. Disney created higher standards, and people use to follow them. And now with Universal creating standards (especially with IoA), to me I feel as though Disney wants to sink to thier level. And as they say, "If you sink to somebody else's level...what better are you?"

    I do feel that Disney has to take some blame for themselves- I think they got so worried about what the other guys were doing to draw in guests that they forgot what they stood for- family.
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  15. #45

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    Re: Disney Legacy and the Public: Is the public to blame for a mediocre Disney?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver View Post
    What if guests are specifically ASKING for movie based rides?
    When, why, and how did the public become the creatives that lead Walt Disney Imagineering?

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