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  1. #16

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    Re: How did Disneyland make money in the 80's vs today?

    Quote Originally Posted by Meville View Post
    I'm not sure that they did make much money. If ever there was truly a dark time in Disney's history, I think the 80's could count as perhaps the darkest...
    Financially speaking that may be correct.....but from the standpoint of a guest the 80's were (imho) the brightest years at Disneyland
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  2. #17

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    Re: How did Disneyland make money in the 80's vs today?

    Hard to determine if DL makes money today, though the fact that it's still open while there are sharp-pencil-boys(and -girls) looking at every revenue stream to make sure shareholders get what they demand makes me believe that DL is making money today.
    Eisner took over in the 80's. Eisner was brought in because some corporate raiders were looking to take over Disney and possibly break it up and sell it piecemeal (in the 1980's the vault of classic movies was a prime target for the VCR market) for a quick profit. Or at the very least, take over the board and management and start making more money that it thinks it can make.
    So, Eisner was brought in to do the second thing, so Disney wouldn't get broken up. (That's why the Bass Brothers and Roy Jr. brought him in.)

    The downside to Eisner's hiring is that long-term vision was put aside for short-term profits (and thus increased stock prices and thus increased value on the stock options that Eisner received as bonuses).
    So, Disneyland was opened every day of the year starting in 1985, to generate more revenue. Maintenance usually performed on those days would simply have to be rescheduled. And the rest of the story is replayed here over and over.
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  3. #18

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    Re: How did Disneyland make money in the 80's vs today?

    Quote Originally Posted by Meville View Post
    I'm not sure that they did make much money. If ever there was truly a dark time in Disney's history, I think the 80's could count as perhaps the darkest...
    Considering the Parks department was single-handedly propping up the company during this time (at least from what they said in Waking Sleeping Beauty), I imagine they made enough money.

  4. #19

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    Re: How did Disneyland make money in the 80's vs today?

    There are all sorts of things going on here. One is population. The population in Orange County in 1970 had doubled from the population in 1960, from 704,000 to over 1.4 million. That increased to nearly 2 million in 1980, over 2.4 million in 1990, 2.8 million in 2000, and now the population of Orange County is over 3,100,000 people!

    Over the same time period, California's population increased from over 15.7 million in 1960 to over 38,000,000 today.

    Next, despite what some think, we're always getting richer, so the standard of living increases as the cost of items goes down. Then keep in mind that travel gets cheaper and other parts of the world get richer and the amount of people able to go to Disneyland continues to increase on top of the increasing local population.

    So what Disney was reacting to, as pointed out earlier from the Wikipedia article, was a bit of supply and demand. As the population increased and people could buy more, more and more people were coming to Disneyland. And as we see in the aforementioned Wikipedia article, the price of admission has gone up pretty consistently since 1981.

    Disney could have charged $36 to get in in 1981 (the equivalent of $92 in 2013 for entrance into Disneyland), but would anyone have paid it?

    Most companies would love to have Disney's problem. They keep increasing prices, and crowding continues to be an issue.
    Last edited by loungefly97; 12-18-2013 at 11:36 AM.

  5. #20

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    Re: How did Disneyland make money in the 80's vs today?

    Quote Originally Posted by sediment View Post
    Hard to determine if DL makes money today, though the fact that it's still open while there are sharp-pencil-boys(and -girls) looking at every revenue stream to make sure shareholders get what they demand makes me believe that DL is making money today.
    Eisner took over in the 80's. Eisner was brought in because some corporate raiders were looking to take over Disney and possibly break it up and sell it piecemeal (in the 1980's the vault of classic movies was a prime target for the VCR market) for a quick profit. Or at the very least, take over the board and management and start making more money that it thinks it can make.
    So, Eisner was brought in to do the second thing, so Disney wouldn't get broken up. (That's why the Bass Brothers and Roy Jr. brought him in.)

    The downside to Eisner's hiring is that long-term vision was put aside for short-term profits (and thus increased stock prices and thus increased value on the stock options that Eisner received as bonuses).
    So, Disneyland was opened every day of the year starting in 1985, to generate more revenue. Maintenance usually performed on those days would simply have to be rescheduled. And the rest of the story is replayed here over and over.
    Back before Eisner, stockholders were probably just smaller investors who didn't have any real demands on the company. When Eisner started promising double digit returns, stockholders all of a sudden decided that the company owed them. This resulted in higher prices, reduced quality, reduced maintenance and more generic less unique merchandise.

  6. #21

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    Re: How did Disneyland make money in the 80's vs today?

    Quote Originally Posted by DLFan1995 View Post
    Back before Eisner, stockholders were probably just smaller investors who didn't have any real demands on the company. When Eisner started promising double digit returns, stockholders all of a sudden decided that the company owed them. This resulted in higher prices, reduced quality, reduced maintenance and more generic less unique merchandise.
    Are you also arguing that the Disneyland Resort today is of a reduce quality to Disneyland pre-Eisner?

  7. #22

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    Re: How did Disneyland make money in the 80's vs today?

    Quote Originally Posted by DLFan1995 View Post
    Back before Eisner, stockholders were probably just smaller investors who didn't have any real demands on the company. When Eisner started promising double digit returns, stockholders all of a sudden decided that the company owed them. This resulted in higher prices, reduced quality, reduced maintenance and more generic less unique merchandise.
    I'm not going to pin this all on Eisner. Corporate Raiding was a big thing in the early 1980's. Eisner (and "Team Disney") was brought in to stop one corporate raid. Eisner had to keep the stock price high to reduce the threat of the next corporate raid.
    Comcast in early 2000's was one such attempt. May have been others but I don't recall. It helped to be a buyer to ward off other buyers, though.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  8. #23

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    Re: How did Disneyland make money in the 80's vs today?

    Quote Originally Posted by loungefly97 View Post
    Disney could have charged $36 to get in in 1981 (the equivalent of $92 in 2013 for entrance into Disneyland), but would anyone have paid it?

    Most companies would love to have Disney's problem. They keep increasing prices, and crowding continues to be an issue.
    A very, very small percentage of guests are paying that much to enter the park these days.
    If we had attendance revenue figures, I think we'd see that the average entrance fee per day is around $60 or so. Still a lot higher than 1981 equivalent.
    Sad part of this is that the capacity of Disneyland has dropped, though this is made up in attendance by some parkgoers going only half-day or so.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  9. #24

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    Re: How did Disneyland make money in the 80's vs today?

    Make no mistake - Disneyland was very profitable in it's earlier years.

    I got to meet Roy Disney Sr's secretary many years ago - Sat down with her for an evening - She said Disneyland was making so much money - making her CFO boss very happy, along with the CFO's brother!
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  10. #25

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    Re: How did Disneyland make money in the 80's vs today?

    Also remember that the 80s was a transition period in attraction complexity and cost. Before you had coasters, dark rides, boats, and trains with some animatronics. All very clever but not nearly as cutting edge and expensive rides from the early 90s to today. We wonder why we see so few new attractions today but they have gotten a lot more expensive and larger in scale than they were before. A tiny dark ride or train through some simple AA and scenery just wont cut it anymore. Look at how we complain about monsters inc and TLM.
    In the quest for quality, I have no problem with the characters footing the bill.

  11. #26

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    Re: How did Disneyland make money in the 80's vs today?

    more workers - less executives/white collar overhead
    less overhead by less operating hours (concentrate your expenses into days you can make money)
    less complexity/technology costs

    Simpler times with simpler costs...

    I bet TDA has more 'administration' folks today including HR, policies, analysts, execs than probably DL had in employees today back in the day
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  12. #27

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    Re: How did Disneyland make money in the 80's vs today?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinrar View Post
    Also remember that the 80s was a transition period in attraction complexity and cost. Before you had coasters, dark rides, boats, and trains with some animatronics. All very clever but not nearly as cutting edge and expensive rides from the early 90s to today. We wonder why we see so few new attractions today but they have gotten a lot more expensive and larger in scale than they were before. A tiny dark ride or train through some simple AA and scenery just wont cut it anymore. Look at how we complain about monsters inc and TLM.
    Well, there's no doubt costs have gone so out of control it's ridiculous.

    Just off the top of my head .....

    compare - pre 1980:

    1979 - Big Thunder $14 million
    1977 - Space Mountain (along with Starcade, Space Place Restaurant, Stage Auditorium) $20 million
    1974 - America Sings $6 million
    1967 - New Tomorrowland $22 million

    post 1980 -

    1986 - Captain EO $20 million
    1987 - Star Tours $30 million
    1989 - Splash Mountain $80 million (many delays, problems - driving costs up)
    1995 - Indy $100 million .. maybe more?
    1998 - TL98 $100 million
    2003 - Winnie the Pooh 30 million (I heard a good chunk of it went to lots of re-work to an existing building - before they got around to costs on sets, and ride system)
    2007 - Finding Nemo $173 million

    wish I had the figures for Star Tours II, and Buzz Lightyear ... and of course ... we've heard of some of the costs for DCA's newer attractions ... If everything could be tallied up properly .. we would definitely see this ridiculous surge in costs that really took off in the 90s. Didn't Little Mermaid cost some 100 million itself?
    MY SIGNATURE:
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  13. #28

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    Re: How did Disneyland make money in the 80's vs today?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tomorrowland_1967 View Post
    Well, there's no doubt costs have gone so out of control it's ridiculous.

    Just off the top of my head .....

    compare - pre 1980:

    1979 - Big Thunder $14 million
    1977 - Space Mountain (along with Starcade, Space Place Restaurant, Stage Auditorium) $20 million
    1974 - America Sings $6 million
    1967 - New Tomorrowland $22 million

    post 1980 -

    1986 - Captain EO $20 million
    1987 - Star Tours $30 million
    1989 - Splash Mountain $80 million (many delays, problems - driving costs up)
    1995 - Indy $100 million .. maybe more?
    1998 - TL98 $100 million
    2003 - Winnie the Pooh 30 million (I heard a good chunk of it went to lots of re-work to an existing building - before they got around to costs on sets, and ride system)
    2007 - Finding Nemo $173 million

    wish I had the figures for Star Tours II, and Buzz Lightyear ... and of course ... we've heard of some of the costs for DCA's newer attractions ... If everything could be tallied up properly .. we would definitely see this ridiculous surge in costs that really took off in the 90s. Didn't Little Mermaid cost some 100 million itself?
    Yes mermaid was very expensive and a big portion of it on that ariel animatronic. But thats the way it is now. Clever engineering by clever men in a big shed just wont cut it anymore. The cost of attractions has outpaced inflation at an exponential rate. But what do you do? Its not like they can scale back the quality.
    In the quest for quality, I have no problem with the characters footing the bill.

  14. #29

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    Re: How did Disneyland make money in the 80's vs today?

    Quote Originally Posted by sediment View Post
    A very, very small percentage of guests are paying that much to enter the park these days.
    If we had attendance revenue figures, I think we'd see that the average entrance fee per day is around $60 or so. Still a lot higher than 1981 equivalent.
    Sad part of this is that the capacity of Disneyland has dropped, though this is made up in attendance by some parkgoers going only half-day or so.
    But we really don't know what the average amount someone there is paying. $60 is just a throw-something-at-the-wall guess, unless you know something I don't know. I am sure Disney knows, but they probably don't think of it as average daily attendance, but in total revenue. I would also imagine there are lots of people who upgrade to a pass and then never go again, or go once, or never make the pass pay for itself. I also know from reading MiceChat that there are lots of Premium passes out there. So what is the average guest's daily entry fee? I've no clue. I'd imagine the people paying day by day are subsidizing the passholders by paying a higher rate than they would if no passes existed.

    That said, the formula must work or they'd completely revamp the system or get rid of monthly payments or something. But they don't. So local AP attendance must be vital to their current business model, meaning that whatever the "average" per capita daily attendance price is must be more than palatable. Their doing their best to price some AP's out of the market, actually.

    The point I tried to make earlier is that Disney's prices have increased with demand. How did they make money earlier? I am sure they did just fine, but who knows what Walt's return plan was or what the unique business model was. But he sure did diversify. That probably helped.

  15. #30

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    Re: How did Disneyland make money in the 80's vs today?

    Quote Originally Posted by flynnibus View Post
    more workers - less executives/white collar overhead

    I bet TDA has more 'administration' folks today including HR, policies, analysts, execs than probably DL had in employees today back in the day
    Exactly. Or look at it this way. The current TDA building opened in 1996. Look at the size of that thing, and compare it to the old TDA building, and then ask yourself what the heck happened...

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