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  1. #1

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    Cool Matt Ouimet vs. G. Kalogrides & T. Staggs! It's on, baby!

    Excellent news for fans of theme parks
    and capitalist competition!

    Matt Ouimet, the one behind the rise of Disneyland
    after its Pressler & Post-Wells Eisner deline,
    is now in charge of Cedar Fair and two of the best non-Disney theme parks,
    Cedar Point and Knott's Berry Farm!

    So it's the great Matt Ouimet

    vs.

    The potentially great George Kalogrides
    and Thomas, "That isn't organic? Ewww!" Staggs
    at Disney

    vs.

    Steve "We've got and will top Harry Potter" Burke at Universal!



    Are you ready to rumbllllllllllllllllllllllle?!
    Last edited by jcruise86; 06-20-2011 at 10:06 AM.

  2. #2

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    Re: Matt Ouimet vs. G. Kalogrides & T. Staggs! It's on, baby!

    lol What will Matt do next?
    DisneyTwins
    Since May 2003

  3. #3

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    Re: Matt Ouimet vs. G. Kalogrides & T. Staggs! It's on, baby!

    That has gotta be the OP of the year!!!
    "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


  4. #4

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    Re: Matt Ouimet vs. G. Kalogrides & T. Staggs! It's on, baby!

    That is seriously (and perhaps pathetically) about the nicest compliment I've received in my life.
    Thanks, Mr. Wiggins!

  5. #5

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    Re: Matt Ouimet vs. G. Kalogrides & T. Staggs! It's on, baby!

    Can some one please explain a little more, I'm not sure i understand

    http://www.youtube.com/DreamImagineCreate

    Home of Miniature Disneyland

  6. #6

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    Re: Matt Ouimet vs. G. Kalogrides & T. Staggs! It's on, baby!

    Quote Originally Posted by DreamImagineCreate View Post
    Can some one please explain a little more, I'm not sure i understand
    Matt Ouimet, the much respected and beloved former DLR President, has been named to head one of Disney's theme park competitors.

    Details here.
    "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. #7

    • Tom Bricker
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    Re: Matt Ouimet vs. G. Kalogrides & T. Staggs! It's on, baby!

    Awesome. Great news about Ouimet. Good to see him back in theme parks.

    I'm assuming the organic comment regarding Staggs is a reference to the food in the parks changing, or did I miss something with that one?

  8. #8

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    Re: Matt Ouimet vs. G. Kalogrides & T. Staggs! It's on, baby!

    Tom Staggs has been portrayed as a health nut, allegedly leading the charge (with Iger) in better/healthier food in the parks (no more McD Fries but Sweet Potato are in as well as fruit stands.

    Not sure if it is true (of him leading this) but you can effectively notice the trend (in DLR at least, haven't checked elsewhere).

    Cheers

  9. #9

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    Re: Matt Ouimet vs. G. Kalogrides & T. Staggs! It's on, baby!

    Although I respect Matt Quimet, its going to be hard for Cedar Fair to significantly be able to compete with Disney (Knotts only pulls in 3.6 million vs. Disneyland's 15.8 million), but I think Matt will be able to improve how Cedar Fair performs in terms of quality. Still, it is kind of a different audience (as Cedar Fair is more thrill oriented vs. theme oriented).

    I feel that both George and Tom are doing a good job running Disneyland. Disney World of course still needs work to insure that all of its theme parks top Universal Orlando's. But for Disneyland, they will remain on top of Universal Studios Hollywood unless Universal Studios Hollywood significantly expands (which is hard due to the actual movie studio, but that's how Universal got started and that's why Universal Studios Hollywood is great to visit).

    Universal still will remain Disney's chief competitor, and I think Steven Burke will insure that Universal is able to compete. However, I feel the competition is very much limited to Florida due to size constraints, and the market.

  10. #10

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    Re: Matt Ouimet vs. G. Kalogrides & T. Staggs! It's on, baby!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
    Matt Ouimet, the much respected and beloved former DLR President, has been named to head one of Disney's theme park competitors.

    Details here.
    OH..okay

    http://www.youtube.com/DreamImagineCreate

    Home of Miniature Disneyland

  11. #11

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    Re: Matt Ouimet vs. G. Kalogrides & T. Staggs! It's on, baby!

    i think (well more hoping) that knotts goes back to the way it was, with fairly good theming. I would love to see Ghosttown come back to life, and would love to see a new and improved wild west stunt show (went last year and it just...sucked...they need new writers).

    I remember going to knotts about 15-18 years ago, and the theming was almost on par with dland. they hand their own "lands" and all the ride opperators were dressed the part...

    lets hope it gets a lot of tlc that it deserves, instead of putting in new rides, they should fix up the old one (log fume & calico mine train i'm talking to u...lol)

  12. #12

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    Re: Matt Ouimet vs. G. Kalogrides & T. Staggs! It's on, baby!

    Quote Originally Posted by jonyyeh View Post
    ...I think Matt will be able to improve how Cedar Fair performs in terms of quality.
    Undoubtedly. And he'll be able to pick up the phone and call any amount of creative design talent he needs -- all, like himself, courtesy of Disney, who over the years have graciously donated busloads of imagineering talent to their competitors.

    True, he won't have Disney budgets. But then, he won't have Disney's hulking hierarchy of politically competitive executives, department heads, strategic planners, groupthinkers and Bob-toadiers soaking up megabucks that his theme park customers will never see.

    Go, Matt!
    "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. #13

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    Re: Matt Ouimet vs. G. Kalogrides & T. Staggs! It's on, baby!

    It really is great news.

    I don't want to compare Matt and George directly because they are very similar but led/lead Disneyland under very different circumstances.

    Matt Joined Disneyland at a time it was at a tragic low. It had been ravaged by the overly numbers oriented and creativity deprived Paul Pressler and Cynthia Harris. Matt had the unenviable task of turning the park around in time for the 50th anniversary. And he did. He earned a lot of praise for his efforts which upset some of his seniors who hate to have attention stolen from them.

    George was fortunate to inherit Disneyland at a time of growth (but still had to clean up a bit from a previous lackluster presidency). George is on the right track and we are in very good hands.

    The opportunity for Matt to perform another 180, not just on one theme park but on a whole company, had to be an exciting challenge for him.

    Hopefully, Matt will be looking at how to make Knott's Berry Farm a world class competitor of Disneyland and Universal Studios. While it isn't likely to have the potential to match Disneyland attendance, it could certainly become the 3rd day on many vacations and claim a MUCH larger piece of the SoCal theme park pie.

    There are other parks in the Cedar Fair chain which REALLY need saving from the extreme damage done by previous Cedar Fair leadership. Some parks, are so far gone that I'm not sure they can still be saved.

    Matt has a nearly impossible job ahead of him, but he is SO well liked in the industry that he'll likely be able to pull in an armada of equally capable helpers. Look for lots of exciting news from Cedar Fair in the months and years to come.

    Couldn't be happier for Matt or for Knott's.
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  14. #14

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    Re: Matt Ouimet vs. G. Kalogrides & T. Staggs! It's on, baby!

    Quote Originally Posted by DreamImagineCreate View Post
    Can some one please explain a little more, I'm not sure i understand
    Let me take a quick crack at this! This may have a few errors and over-simlifications. I'm just trying to tell a good story.

    Once upon a time a great man named Walt Disney built the most wonderful people-made place on Earth, Disneyland. (AKA, "The Happiest Place on Earth") Then Walt died, but his followers kept his dream alive and even built a bigger dream of his (well they changed it a little) in Florida. Then two creative people, Pomona College graduate Frank Wells & Denison University alum (English major!) Michael Eisner took over and made more cool changes. Then Frank Wells died and Michael Eisner came under the influence of an avaricious huckster named Paul Pressler. PP didn't care anything about Walt's dream and let the parks get dirty. When other parks near Disneyland tried to attract customers with cool rides, PP said, "We ain't buildin' nothin'! But we're gonna CLOSE one of the most popular parades ever, and if you want to see it before it closes you'd better come NOW because it'll be gone FOREVER!" People who loved the parade came to see it for the last time. When PP saw all the money he made for Michael Eisner, he said, "Well now I'm REALLY gonna close MY parade two months after when I said, because I'm so nice and want to let more people see it before it goes away FOREVER, but then I'm really gonna close it." And he kept doing that. When PP and Michael saw how much money they were making off of all the people who just wanted to see this parade they laughed. "Stupid people! Aren't we clever at boosting quarterly earnings!" roared PP and Michael. Eventually PP left Disney to try and make more money selling cheap shirts, and Michael Eisner left because Walt's nephew got sick of him. Meanwhile a hero emerged, Matt Ouimet , who would make Disneyland better than ever. He should have become head of all Disney parks, but PP's friend JR couldn't be forced out, so Matt went on to make people happy at a hotel chain. Just before this (and this is important) Disney bought a TV network, ABC, which was run by Bob Iger. Michael used to work in TV and Walt used to be on TV, so this seemed like a great fit! Michael and Bob worked round the clock for four months straight to create a reality show. Reality shows were the hippest shows on TV and the one they invented was "Are You Hot?" On "Are You Hot?" aspiring models stood on stage wearing very little while people who really knew what was hot used laser pointers to point to the models' bodies and show them what was wrong with them. Michael and Bob were VERY proud of themselves, but the show was ahead of its time and didn't really catch on. Meanwhile, Steve Burke, another admirer of Walt Disney, became head of Universal. Universal had recently done something Disney used to do--it built something magnificent that blew people's minds! But enough about Universal. Another very good theme park company Cedar Fair said to Matt Ouimat, "Hi Matt. We have a neat little company called Cedar Fair. We have a wonderful theme park in Ohio. It's like Magic Mountain, but more beautiful. It's along a great lake and, unlike Magic Mtn, most of the roller coasters don't make you sick. And we have another little park near Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, that employs some of the nicest people in California and, well, Matt, we could really use your help!" "Youuuuuu becha!" responded Matt. Meanwhile Micheal Eisner's replacement, Bob Iger, moved JR out of the job Matt should have had and swapped JR with Thomas Staggs, who used to be a financial officer and who didn't like to eat any of the food that was sold at theme parks, unless is was made by virgins and didn't contain any impurities. It is said that before Thomas Staggs ate at a Disney restaurant, his cooking team, led by Kim Jung Il's former personal chef, would kill whomever worked in the kitchen and sterilize the entire kitchen just to make sure that what Thomas Staggs ate would not challenge his immune system. Meanwhile, Bob Iger brought his personal barber to the studios for special, super-expensive haircuts provided exclusively for TV weathermen, former TV weathermen, and people who grabbed over 12 million a year. He (again, I'm talking about Bob Iger), wanted above all to make even more money than Michael Eisner did, and he realized that to succeed where Eisner had failed, he had to do things that appeared to be creative and cool, at times even things that would be popular in the long-term. So he had two cool people working for him: John Lasseter, who made the best feature-length animated films since Walt, or at least since Jeffrey Katzenberg, and George Kalogrides. George Kalagorides was like Matt Ouimet because he loved Disneyland and because no one, not even Bob Iger, knew how to say his last name. George worked with John to make a cool Carsland and he worked with Bob and a top fountain expert (I forgot his name) to make an amazing fountain show called The World of Groovy Color. That leads us to the present.

    Here's where we are at now. Disney is currently trying to sort of answer Universal's Harry Potter World by building a moderately ambitious new Fantasyland in Florida. It just re-did a ride called Star Tours which turned out to be cooler than anyone expected. Universal is still basking in its Harry Potter glory and is about to open a ride in Hollywood based on a robot movie that EVERY film critic hated, but that EVERY boy between 9 and 15 (with an IQ between 60 and 92) loved. That's a lot of boys. Cedar Fair (again, DreamImagineCreate--Pay attention!--Knott's & Cedar Point) is about to open a swing ride that is 3,000 feet off of the ground. (This makes it over six times taller than the world's tallest coaster--the 450+ footer in NJ.) This height is important because astro-physicists/ride designers calculate that riders will be able to spew vomit five miles onto the Disneyland Resort to the east.

    DreamImagineCreate, I, EatPoopSleep, AKA Jcruise86, may have gotten a few details wrong, but I sincerely hope that helps!

    If any of you actually read this and want to quote it above what you write, please don't quote the entire story. It could have used a little editing.


    --Tom Sinsky
    Last edited by jcruise86; 08-10-2011 at 06:06 PM.

  15. #15

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    Re: Matt Ouimet vs. G. Kalogrides & T. Staggs! It's on, baby!

    May not be entirely correct but the best lunch reading!
    The Mur
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    Two different worlds.....we live in two different worlds

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