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  1. #61

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    Re: What To Do With Big Thunder Ranch Area?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano View Post
    I'm guessing Disneyland did away with their mortgage some time ago. And from what I hear, the employees make squat. So DL's overhead is probably lower. Insurance? Probably the same. Health codes--governed by California State Health and Safety code--the same for both DL and Cambria...
    Does the Main Street grill have over 250 employees? Regulations require different levels of worker's comp insurance, commuter assistance and all sorts of other add-ons for companies with over 250 employees. Disneyland pays close to 20 dollars an hour for their employees when you factor in actual pay and insurance.

    As for rent - it's not just a matter of paying for the location, which Disneyland clearly owns, but also the potential for that location to make more money. If it makes 7 dollars an hour as a BBQ, but could make 10 dollars and hour as a Special Events Facility, then Disneyland loses 3 dollars an hour keeping it as a BBQ.

    I will tell you that every time we ate at the Big Thunder BBQ, the line--even if only 20 people long--took FOREVER. That thing moved at a snail's pace. If you got in line where it started, you could be there a half hour or more.
    Right. I remember clearly. Like I said above the reason was probably more along the lines of capacity. BTBBQ could be staffed with the same number of people as any other restaurant in DL, but serve fewer guests because of capacity issues. That means the operating costs would be higher than any other DL resturant.

    Disneyland has experienced record crowds in the last ten years, so clearly the need for more restaurant capacity would necessitate the need to replaced the BBQ with a restaurant that can serve over 3000 people per hour.

    Looks like it only comes down to management. Or lack thereof.
    Right because the people who work in management can't figure out that 10 is bigger than 5? There's a logical reason for everything at Disneyland.

  2. #62

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    Re: What To Do With Big Thunder Ranch Area?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver View Post
    Right because the people who work in management can't figure out that 10 is bigger than 5? There's a logical reason for everything at Disneyland.

    I was kindly following along but this stands out. There WAS a logical reason for everything at Disneyland. Not anymore.


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  3. #63

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    Re: What To Do With Big Thunder Ranch Area?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver View Post
    Does the Main Street grill have over 250 employees? Regulations require different levels of worker's comp insurance, commuter assistance and all sorts of other add-ons for companies with over 250 employees. Disneyland pays close to 20 dollars an hour for their employees when you factor in actual pay and insurance.
    All restaurants have fixed costs and "Loaded Labor Rates" for all the workers. Most of that is driven by MBA's who have to quantify every penny spent - and they load their hourly rate to study the issue onto the pile of expenses, too.

    Disney's main disadvantage is that they are all Union - Teamsters, UFCW, and several others. Meaning they're geting the Union's operating expenses are stuck into that LLR too.

    And with Union contracts comes Work Rules, where a Server can't take over as a Cook or Busboy as needed (or vice versa) to move things along - where a small restaurant is much more flexible, and all of their people can and will do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, without arguing about differential pay. When you see the Owner or General Manager putting on an apron and diving into the Kitchen because he's down a Cook, and we've gotta get that hash slung.
    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver View Post
    As for rent - it's not just a matter of paying for the location, which Disneyland clearly owns, but also the potential for that location to make more money. If it makes 7 dollars an hour as a BBQ, but could make 10 dollars and hour as a Special Events Facility, then Disneyland loses 3 dollars an hour keeping it as a BBQ.
    Right - but continuing your analogy and levels, when that restaurant is open and chugging through Guests every day, and making that 7 dollars on a fairly steady basis - on the weekends it makes 8 or 9, and during the week 4 or 5, but it averages out to 7.

    If they use the space for an Events Arena and only rent the area out for one day a week on average, it's making them 10 dollars for that day when in use but Zero Dollars the other six days it sits dark. And 10 one day a week averages out to like 1 to 2 dollars a day.

    And as "The Tortoise and the Hare" proved, oftentimes it's slow and steady that wins the race.
    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver View Post
    Right. I remember clearly. Like I said above the reason was probably more along the lines of capacity. BTBBQ could be staffed with the same number of people as any other restaurant in DL, but serve fewer guests because of capacity issues. That means the operating costs would be higher than any other DL resturant. Disneyland has experienced record crowds in the last ten years, so clearly the need for more restaurant capacity would necessitate the need to replace the BBQ with a restaurant that can serve over 3000 people per hour.
    IMHO the throughput asnd capacity problems at BTBBQ were easily fixed IF they really wanted to develop a fix and spend a bit to implement it.

    Add extra cashier stations (they only had two), change the serving system from single-slide to double-slide, or a multiple window system like Hungry Bear with the cooks assembling plates on the backline and servers getting you all the sides and drinks ready at one stop. And you could crank people through the line with a filled tray a lot faster.

    But then you'd have to double the seating capacity, because you have no place to put everyone walking away from the end of the line with a full tray. And added tables are added expense for the square footage to house the people, extra bus staff to service them, extra tableware to serve the meal with, etc.

    As it was, the BTBBQ couldn't turn the tables fast enough and get empty seats to keep up with the restricted serving rate they had, because people would camp out for a while after their meal, sit and talk, or compare photographs - instead of 30 to 45 minute 'turn' on an average table, the Disneyland locations all regularly see (educated guess) 60 to 90 minutes, and a few 120's - up into what you'd expect of 'Fine Dining'.

    With a slow turn rate and open seating (no Host or Hostess) you also get seat hoarding - "I'll stand in this 30-minute line, you take the kids, go grab a table and wait" - enough people do that, and you've wasted an entire turn's worth of time with someone holding the seats, rather than eating and leaving.

    And a slow turn hurts any restaurant just as badly as it does the Disneyland locations - if you can't turn the table you can't sell the next meal. But what do you want? The place is full of tourists, so of course they aren't going to be in a rush.

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  4. #64

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    Re: What To Do With Big Thunder Ranch Area?

    ^^ Great post.

    I would just add that since the restaurant was in the outdoors, it is much less expensive to add tables. You don't have to pay for AC or heating or construction costs of moving walls out in the restaurant.
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  5. #65

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    Re: What To Do With Big Thunder Ranch Area?

    Quote Originally Posted by Coheteboy View Post
    Ah, but it's built upon stories and myths and legends. Stuff that makes real life interesting!
    Okay... I'll concede the point.
    Permanecer sentado por favor...

  6. #66

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    Re: What To Do With Big Thunder Ranch Area?

    As a former CM of the location, I can shed a little light. BTR has two huge smokers inside that slow cooked huge racks of ribs and meat. BTR closed for several reasons (some previously mentioned). Slow turn around of guests, lots of spoilage (ribs were saved for several days but there was a lot tossed every day), etc are all true. But there were also health code problems. When Banquets/Special Events took over the location, we spent more than a week cleaning that kitchen and couldn't get it up to code. Eventually we gave up and used that space only for prep and storage.

    Special Events has a hold on BTR and Festival Arena. they bring in millions each year in company picnics and private parties with virtually zero cost and maintenance fees. If Attractions could wrestle control away from them, they could build an amazing attraction. There is more space back there than the average guest could guess.

  7. #67

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    Re: What To Do With Big Thunder Ranch Area?

    Thanks for the insight VoiceOfReason! Always nice to get it straight from someone who was there.

    I've always though there was a TON of space back in there that could be utilized. Here's hoping attractions can wrest control someday.

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  8. #68

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    Re: What To Do With Big Thunder Ranch Area?

    Quote Originally Posted by VoiceOfReason View Post
    There is more space back there than the average guest could guess.
    No need to guess, you can just see it.

    There's room for one BTMRR-sized attraction inside the berm or two if they put show buildings outside the berm.

  9. #69

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    Re: What To Do With Big Thunder Ranch Area?

    Truthfully, I'm surprised that the location still exists. Back in 2002, we asked for money to upkeep the covered wagons and fix the old dishwasher for Banquets. We were told no money would be spent because they were planning on tearing that whole complex out to make room for something wholly new. Six years later...

  10. #70

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    Re: What To Do With Big Thunder Ranch Area?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mojave View Post
    No need to guess, you can just see it.

    There's room for one BTMRR-sized attraction inside the berm or two if they put show buildings outside the berm.
    The biggest obstacles are F! float storage adjacent to Festival Arena, RR tracks, and Circle D just behind the berm. Nothing that clever design and relocation of livestock couldn't solve. I agree with previous posts that a movie tie in would be a mistake. I usually like the familiarity and clever portrayal of characters I recognize. But this is a great opportunity to do something original and innovative.

  11. #71

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    Re: What To Do With Big Thunder Ranch Area?

    Yea. They can definatly put somethiere with a little relocation of some things. Something original and innovative definatly would be great in Frontierland!

  12. #72

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    Re: What To Do With Big Thunder Ranch Area?

    I don't see why they don't create more locations for corporate events in DTD or somewhere else in the resort and not within the berm as the space there is so obviously limited. Hopefully they will do that sometime in the coming years.
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  13. #73

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    Re: What To Do With Big Thunder Ranch Area?

    Nature's wonderland style ride, with new effects, and where you narrowly survive a cave in of the rainbow caverns. Also, you get attacked by one of the bobcats. Think of what original ride concepts from the 50's could become reality today!
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