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  1. #1

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    Igerland: Boosting theme park capital spending 38% in '07

    The Los Angeles Times is reporting about the Walt Disney Company's plans to purchase two new ocean liners, to join the cruise ships Wonder and Magic in the Disney Cruise line. They reportedly cost more than 800 million dollars each.

    The Times writes: "The move follows a pledge by Iger to boost capital spending at U.S. theme parks by as much as 38% this year."

    Hmmmm, does this mean there are other surprises in store beyond Pirates Lair at TSI and Finding Nemo SV and the two TS Midway Mania attractions? How soon is that CARS-Test Track attraction going into development at DCA?

    Is this the new DISNEY DECADE? Sounds like Mr. Iger is radically altering the company, growing more in the tourism business with the parks, hotels and theme parks, while at the same time cutting back production of non Disney branded filmed entertainment. The studio seems to be phasing out TOUCHSTONE and relying on a smaller slate of their core WALT DISNEY PICTURES and DISNEY-PIXAR films.

  2. #2

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    Re: Igerland: Boosting theme park capital spending 38% in '07

    Quote Originally Posted by CaliforniaAdventurer View Post
    The Times writes: "The move follows a pledge by Iger to boost capital spending at U.S. theme parks by as much as 38% this year."
    Oh really? By as much as 38%? Over what? The amount spent last year? Hardly anything was spent last year. Most of the improvements came before 2006, for the Happiest Celebration on Earth promotion. Increasing investments by a little more than a third over last year's investments is chicken feed.

    And what will the investments be spent on? I'm guessing new DVC wings and resort refurbishment. Some of it will go towards new attractions, but that's most likely a small percentage of that 38% increase.


    Now if Iger stated that capital spending was going to double, then I'd be impressed.

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    Re: Igerland: Boosting theme park capital spending 38% in '07

    I have to agree with BlueSkyDriveBy.

    I wouldn't get my hopes up of a new DisneyDecade until we see it actually in the parks. New hotels are nice, DVC is great for its members, and 2 new ships are great... but the parks are Disney's core travel asset. I hope they nuture the parks as much as they're nurturing the rest.

    I'm not going to celebrate this news until I see stuff actually happening inside the parks.

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    Re: Igerland: Boosting theme park capital spending 38% in '07

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueSkyDriveBy View Post
    Oh really? By as much as 38%? Over what? The amount spent last year? Hardly anything was spent last year. Most of the improvements came before 2006, for the Happiest Celebration on Earth promotion. Increasing investments by a little more than a third over last year's investments is chicken feed.

    And what will the investments be spent on? I'm guessing new DVC wings and resort refurbishment. Some of it will go towards new attractions, but that's most likely a small percentage of that 38% increase.


    Now if Iger stated that capital spending was going to double, then I'd be impressed.

    I think we should be impressed that they are even looking to spend 38% more on this division. Sure it may not go where all of us Armchair Imagineer/Executives would put it, but its a start. Heck I would be excited if it was 10% more than last years budget.

    As long as things are INCREASING and not DECREASING we should be very impressed. Especially since Disney likes to pinch their pennies anytime they can.

    Honestly I'd rather see some of that 38% not go to attractions or the like and help give all those cast member a wage they can live on. Now theres an idea!!
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    Re: Igerland: Boosting theme park capital spending 38% in '07

    I'm sure they're poring over the gigantic numbers from Disneyland's very successful 2-year-long 50th Anniversary surge. And they probably compare DL's numbers to DCA's and think: Wow this one makes 5 times as much money as the other. I wouldn't be surprised if DCA cost more to operate than they generate in revenues, even if they get a split of the AP pass income.

    They make a lot of money at Disneyland Resort and WDW. Someone can probably post the exact numbers and what they are over 2004 and before.

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    Re: Igerland: Boosting theme park capital spending 38% in '07

    Quote Originally Posted by ssmccullough View Post
    As long as things are INCREASING and not DECREASING we should be very impressed. Especially since Disney likes to pinch their pennies anytime they can.
    Agreed, at least they're not cutting back on capital spending for once. Anybody remember the Paul Pressler years?

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    Re: Igerland: Boosting theme park capital spending 38% in '07

    Quote Originally Posted by CaliforniaAdventurer View Post
    Agreed, at least they're not cutting back on capital spending for once. Anybody remember the Paul Pressler years?
    That statistic is misleading. Is this capital going back into operations, or is it being invested in new businesses?

    BlueSkyDriveBy is right. Jay Rasulo has much the same strategy as his predecessor, Pressler. The people in Parks and Resorts continue to look at Disney's domestic travel destinations as being mature businesses even though the market for travel is expanding.

    This slowing of earnings growth is an illusion that is due mostly to Disney's mismanagement over the last thirteen or fourteen years.

    Attractions like Indiana Jones Adventure not only increase capacity, but they also appeal more to less traditional market segments, thereby growing the business. Rasulo is more inclined to put advertising in Vogue, Conde Nast, and G.Q. to achieve the same effect. This prong of the most recent promotional campaign may be good to an extent. But, it should not come at the expense of allowing the travel destinations to stagnate. The business segment should be attempting to use its funds to both lengthen the life cycle of the travel destinations, as well as attract new audiences with necessary expansions to capacity.
    Last edited by PragmaticIdealist; 02-28-2007 at 02:15 AM.

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    Re: Igerland: Boosting theme park capital spending 38% in '07

    Speaking of which...

    Making capital investments to fix failed attractions like D.C.A., which was partly designed to appeal to less traditional market segments, would probably achieve much the same effect as some of this newer advertising.

    Investments of this sort are not good money following bad because D.C.A., at least, isn't going anywhere. And, the basic concept does, indeed, have potential.

    The problem is that there is still nothing really good in the development pipeline, and, perhaps, more importantly, the talent W.D.I. needs isn't there.

    As long as Imagineering is still run by Fitzgerald and some of his friends, the creative resources required to fix the failed expansions Eisner gave us won't be available.
    Last edited by PragmaticIdealist; 02-28-2007 at 05:57 PM.

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    Re: Igerland: Boosting theme park capital spending 38% in '07

    Iger's increase of capital outlay to the theme parks is a good thing. He's concentrating on the core business, rathe than buying television networks and the like. Seems to me that that's the type of person we've all been wanting.

    The past couple of years have brought us quality rides and other positive change. I can't wait to see what happens as we move along thru the end of this decade and into the next. Why is it that I always feel so guilty about not being a doom and gloomer? Wish that just for once everybody could get on the same page together...A HAPPY ONE. After all, we ARE talking about the Happiest Place On Earth.

    Disneyland seems to be following thru on all of it's rumored big attractions so far. Can't wait for the Nemo Subs, Midway mania and the Tomorrowland's swiveling Pods. On Iger! On Raslo! On Steve Jobs! On Lasseter! On Blitzen!
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    Re: Igerland: Boosting theme park capital spending 38% in '07

    38% seems excessive to me.

    It should really only be about 37%
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    Re: Igerland: Boosting theme park capital spending 38% in '07

    is this 38% for all the resorts? they are adding several new attractions to HK and paris.

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    Re: Igerland: Boosting theme park capital spending 38% in '07

    Quote Originally Posted by Ride Warrior View Post
    Why is it that I always feel so guilty about not being a doom and gloomer? Wish that just for once everybody could get on the same page together...A HAPPY ONE.
    Considering that Imagineering is being systematically dismantled in order to comport with the Pressler-Rasulo strategy of reducing the amount of capital that will get reinvested into operations, I'm being more realistic.

    The cynic in me looks at the 2006 annual report, which featured a "Dreaming..." section instead of the more traditional description of upcoming Parks and Resorts projects, and thinks that the shift towards a future of Eisnerian laurel-resting is almost complete.

    Disney is not thinking creatively in formulating strategy for the domestic properties. And, unfortunately, the simplistic strategy upon which the company has settled just isn't sustainable.
    Last edited by PragmaticIdealist; 02-28-2007 at 04:05 PM.

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    Re: Igerland: Boosting theme park capital spending 38% in '07

    One does wonder what the additional capital is going to be spent on, since capital expenditures generally require a return on investment.

    Does "capital spending" include increasing maintenance? Increasing wages to lure kids away from In-N-Out jobs?

    I think we know all there is to know about capital improvements to DL and DCA. 90% of that increase is likely to go to WDW, where there is a higher expected return on investment.
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    Re: Igerland: Boosting theme park capital spending 38% in '07

    Most of this decade was uselessly spent with Cynthia Harris and Jay Rasulo at the forefront of Disneyland management, it couldn't be a "Disney Decade" if Walt himself ran the park from 2007.

    Iger seems to be slowly turning things around because the Disney Channel is actually starting to get more "Disney" month by month and Disney movies seem to be getting way more creative and different, like they were under Katzenberg. And that new CGI Disneyland castle logo in the front of Disney movies really captures the essence and spirit of Disneyland, it's pretty incredible. But the trouble is he hasn't fired Jay Rasulo or developed a WDI that creates original attractions. Disneyland can never be great as long as Jay Rasulo is head of the parks. And if Universal put just a little more money into their attractions, they could match Disneyland's new rides in terms of creativity and technology, that is really sad. Maybe the subs will change that, and it probably will, but that still leaves the unoriginal theme and the rehashed storyline with pre-existing characters.

    I am really noticing a positive change in Disney, it's very slow but it's definitely occurring. And really, let's not forget where Iger came from. He was the president of ABC in the early 90's. That network was a ratings powerhouse back then, filled with great original movies and awesome programs, not to mention TGIF night. He has an eye for quality, he just needs to shake off the remnants of being stifled under Eisner for so long.

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    Re: Igerland: Boosting theme park capital spending 38% in '07

    Quote Originally Posted by Ride Warrior View Post
    Wish that just for once everybody could get on the same page together...A HAPPY ONE. After all, we ARE talking about the Happiest Place On Earth.

    Disneyland seems to be following thru on all of it's rumored big attractions so far. Can't wait for the Nemo Subs, Midway mania and the Tomorrowland's swiveling Pods. On Iger! On Raslo! On Steve Jobs! On Lasseter! On Blitzen!
    i couldn't have said it better myself.


    although i'd take out jay. that's just me.
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