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  1. #1

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    Does The Walt Disney Compnay still know how to build and run theme parks?

    In light of the Company's announcement to invest more money into Disney's California Adventure in the coming years, apparently another Disney Park is running into trouble.

    I read an article today of reports that Hong Kong Disneyland has missed attendance goals in its first two years, "Hong Kong Disneyland's First Years 'Unsatisfactory'"

    http://www.reuters.com/article/ousiv...G3788520071205

    Are Corporate Big Wigs overconfident with the Disney brand? Do they feel if you slap feces with a Disney font and a Mickey head, there will be an audience/a need for it?

    Can they take culture clues from the Oriental Land Company's management of the Tokyo Disneyland Resort? Or learn from past mistakes committed at the Disneyland Paris Resort? Or even look at their own backyard with Disney's California Adventure?

    A local Hong Kong aquarium/theme park is providing stiff competition for Disney's smallest park. Did the Walt Disney Company lose its competitive edge?
    Do they not have a stronghold in the Southern California area? In Orlando theme park central?

    How 'bout losing gimmicky promotions like The Year of a Million Dreams and using those funds for some history classes for the corporate office?

    Disney Parks - Is it still the place Where Magic Lives?

    *By the way, I'm not a Disney Villain. I'm just concerned with how Disney is portrayed around the world, with their products, services, Magic... I loved how everyone speculated the future world reign of the Walt Disney Company back in the late Nineties. Remember? The ABC purchase? The Disney Animated Feature films? Disney's Animal Kingdom? Everything seemed to be going for the Mouse.

    Quality + Disney Name = World Domination

    I cheered for 'em and told everyone to pledge allegiance to the Magic Kingdom. Wha' happened?
    *People JUDGE me too quickly...

  2. #2

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    Does The Walt Disney Compnay still know how to build and run theme parks?

    At least the churros are still good...
    Last edited by Anakin; 12-06-2007 at 11:21 AM.
    *People JUDGE me too quickly...

  3. #3

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    Re: Does The Walt Disney Compnay still know how to build and run theme parks?

    If they fail to meet their goals it could be the performance or the goals.

    That said, today Disney is a humongous mega-corporation with all the ossification and bureaucracy that can go along with that.

    It's shot through with executives with jealously guarded domains and petty rivalries.

    Walt, in his day, was a risk taker and a pioneer, even to the point of financial perilousness but with a loyal brother who fought to make it all work out.

    Doubt that there's much of either in today's Disney so what you get is indecision and risk-avoidance and group-think and all that goes along with it.

  4. #4

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    Re: Does The Walt Disney Compnay still know how to build and run theme parks?

    Is it still where the magic lives? Yes, in small amounts of those who make others believe in the magic of what was/is disney. The suits among the company may not have the strength of ideals, culture, and values of what is Disney in their minds, thus the poor output of the product over the number of years.

    Although the outlook may seem grim, the company is in the process of change and for the better without a doubt. The era of gold in Walts day is not impossible to yet attain, as the company only requires the innovative spirit and minds to achieve it, and not to mention another leader, to show us the way.
    You can't talk S*** unless your gonna do something about it...

  5. #5

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    Re: Does The Walt Disney Compnay still know how to build and run theme parks?

    Maybe it's just because of EISNER's BIG HEAD.
    -Todd, Ginarella's loving husband.

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  6. #6

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    Re: Does The Walt Disney Compnay still know how to build and run theme parks?

    I think that the current management has a better grip on things that Eisner did at the end. (pity he was so good before frank wells passed away).

  7. #7

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    Re: Does The Walt Disney Company still know how to build and run theme parks?

    HK DL was predicted to be a failure by Al and others who know Disney better than the executives. It was designed on the cheap.
    (OTOH, it is VERY crowded during Chinese New Year week.)

    OLC is required to maintain standards set forth in the contract, created back when every Disney Park had to maintain standards. I don't think they do it solely because it's good business sense.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  8. #8

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    Re: Does The Walt Disney Compnay still know how to build and run theme parks?

    Don't forget that DCA, Hong Kong and the Paris Studio park were all designed under Paul Pressler's reign, and not only cut further back by him, but all done with Eisner's blessing. He built everything on the cheap to keep that bottom line looking good in the short term. The man had no knowledge of Theme Parks at all. Now they have to spend a fortune to clean up his mistakes. He did the same thing at The Gap. They threw him out. Disney should have done that at the end of his first year running things at the Resort and then all the Disney Theme Parks. Instead he stayed and destroyed for 10 years. Good Riddance. Now they have to pay the piper for keeping him and not saying no to his way of ruining things.
    Peter Pan Forever!!! I Will Never Grow Up.

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  9. #9

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    Re: Does The Walt Disney Compnay still know how to build and run theme parks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anakin View Post
    In light of the Company's announcement to invest more money into Disney's California Adventure in the coming years, apparently another Disney Park is running into trouble.
    I think we tend to forget that DCA's "trouble" is measured by Disney standards. Last year, its attendance figures were higher than ALL OTHER U.S. THEME PARKS except the five other Disney parks and Universal Studios Orlando.

    And I think that those attendance figures also answer your question: "Does The Walt Disney Company still know how to build and run theme parks?"
    Rick


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    Re: Does The Walt Disney Compnay still know how to build and run theme parks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rixter View Post
    I think we tend to forget that DCA's "trouble" is measured by Disney standards. Last year, its attendance figures were higher than ALL OTHER U.S. THEME PARKS except the five other Disney parks and Universal Studios Orlando.

    And I think that those attendance figures also answer your question: "Does The Walt Disney Company still know how to build and run theme parks?"
    Certainly everything Disney does is (or should be) based on Disney standards. It doesn’t (or shouldn’t) matter how they compare to the competition. Unfortunately, when Disney’s efforts don’t meet the standards the company sets, those comparisons come into play.

    Everything Disney does should at least fall into the realm of “the best Disney has ever done” and looked at as IMPROVING the company's standings. The issue with these recent parks is that they fall into the realm of the WORST parks Disney has ever done. There should NEVER even be the potential of anything Disney does falling into that category. But, now that the company has had a string of parks and attractions that have people making those kind of comparisons, everything they do in the future will be questioned, especially if it looks like what they are doing will again fall into that category.

  11. #11

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    Re: Does The Walt Disney Compnay still know how to build and run theme parks?

    Remember that Robert Iger inherited all these proverbial white elephants. If judicious capital improvements are made and Jay Rasulo's strategies are discarded, then Disney shareholders will have a chance to wring real returns from these investments.

  12. #12

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    Re: Does The Walt Disney Compnay still know how to build and run theme parks?

    To answer the OP, I think so. I think they still know how to build good parks. I mean, what Disney parks have not had their share of problems during their first few years of operation? They just need to blossom a bit more.

  13. #13

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    Re: Does The Walt Disney Compnay still know how to build and run theme parks?

    All magic aside, Disney projects these goals based on forecasts. We all know the weather man is periodically incorrect. In this case, Disney has been over-optimistic. But not by much. This has been a very expensive business venture. The most advanced of all the Disney theme parks. It will take time before the costs are worth the pay-off. Be patient.
    "Let's get weird" -Abraham Lincoln

  14. #14

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    Re: Does The Walt Disney Compnay still know how to build and run theme parks?

    I think the icing on the cake for HKDL is the fact that it was the first Magic Kingdom park to not have a custom designed castle. What happened to adapting your product to foreign markets? I mean, the park looks beautiful, but there are glaring inconsistencies in comparison to other parks. Instead of building it right the first time, the company now will have to invest MORE money to make the park's attendance rise.
    "You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try." ~ Homer Simpson

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  15. #15

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    Re: Does The Walt Disney Compnay still know how to build and run theme parks?

    A grand total of about half a dozen decent attractions, and somebody's surprised it's not doing well? Most people don't visit Disney parks to admire the scenery. Hats off to the Imagineers though, they did an excellent job for a very limited budget.

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