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  1. #1

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    12/23: American Idle?

    Same old Disney World versus the brand new competition; discuss Kevin's article here...

    DIRECT ARTICLE LINK: MiceAge.com - A different look at Disney...
    "Politics is the profession whereby the inevitable is made to seem a great human achievement" - Quentin Crisp

  2. #2

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    Re: 12/23: American Idle?

    After a few Disney-only trips, we visited some offsite attractions for the first time this past fall. My wife absolutely loved Sea World. And that's without setting foot on either of their thrill rides. And the whole family 3-53 loved Aquatica.

    Only my father-in-law and I went to Universal. We went on a slow day and we were able to pack the highlights of both parks into 6 hours. (Several attractions were closed the day we went and my father-in-law wouldn't do roller coasters. Otherwise, that wouldn't have been possible.) It was much cheaper than Disney. And while it was smaller, the quality was comparable. Yes, the flavor was different. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.

    I would recommend Sea World or Universal to anyone who is considering a trip to Orlando. It's hard for me to imagine going to Orlando without also visiting Diseny World, but there's plenty to see outside of Disney property.

    Do I think Disney is doomed? No. If anything, they stand to benefit from their competition brining people to Orlando. Like us, most will probably spend at least some time on Disney property even if that's not the main reason for their trip.

    Disney can and will coast on their name and the emotional charge it carries. Even though Universal is arguably a better deal, people want to go to Walt Disney World.

  3. #3

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    Re: 12/23: American Idle?

    hope disney picks up the product offerings. alrady saved for my 2009 trip, but maybe in 2010/2011, ill have some decent new attactions. i dont put american idol in that group. i actually do think that its just karoke. fun to watch on tv, but barely a c ticket.

    now if they were opeing another attraction or sev (like i 2005), then its a good argument for a small attraction like idol. idol will be popular with the peoples who want to try out for the show, not any other segment.

  4. #4

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    Re: 12/23: American Idle?

    And that's just this year. Kevin didn't even mention the biggie after that for IOA...Harry Potter. It's going to be huge, and it doesn't sound like Disney has anything in the pipeline to get people between the ages of 10 and 50 to look their way once Harry shows up.

    We bought those cheapie Universal tickets last summer (7 days for $86, what a deal!) and drove from our on-site Disney accomodations to do Universal for the first time. We've been going to WDW for almost 20 years. And at Universal, we were impressed, far more than we thought we'd be.

    We still love Disney, but now we're looking to Universal/Sea World for our next big trip. It seems so odd to me to stay at DVC and do Universal, but there you have it!

    Sue in Texas (now)

  5. #5

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    Re: 12/23: American Idle?

    Article-writing is a funny thing. I actually sat down originally to write about how the economy means Disney has no answer to Harry Potter now, but that ended up morphing into a discussion of 2009 specifically, and I plum forgot to put Potter back in!
    Kevin Yee
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    I am the author of several Disney books:
    Jason's Disneyland Almanac - a daily history of Disneyland
    Walt Disney World Hidden History - tributes, homages, and ride remnants at WDW
    Your Day at the Magic Kingdom
    Mouse Trap
    Tokyo Disney Made Easy
    101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland
    Magic Quizdom (The Disneyland Trivia Book)

    “The press [should be] a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can't be right all the time. He doesn't bark only when he sees or smells something that's dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious.” – Dan Rather

  6. #6

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    Re: 12/23: American Idle?

    The most interesting issue will be the 2010 opening of Potter and its effect on attendance. No matter what they do, 2009 will be a bad year for all the Orlando parks as they rely on the out-of-town tourist who are mostly strapped for extra cash these days.

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    Re: 12/23: American Idle?

    Kevin,

    Your article touches on the very same subject I brought up in the Walt Disney World forum about "Walt Disney(The Man) vs. Current Walt Disney World Management." Walt Disney World needs to continue to pour large amounts of money at their theme parks (BREAD AND BUTTER) instead of these lame infrastructure projects IE: DVC and the new Hotel/shopping area over by 429. Without the theme parks as the major draw, none of these other infrastructure projects would be necessary!

    WDW Management needs to get their priorities straight pretty darn quick or else it will be left behind!

    Ponder this one: The main reason people travel to WDW is the Magic Kingdom. Not EPCOT, HS or AK. And this theme park was built in 1971 with most of the original idea's from Walt's era! When the Magic Kingdom is no longer able to draw the major tourists, the entire WDW property will collapse. Now is the time to be preparing for the future when the economies around the world recover so that WDW maintains it's status as the world leader in theme park entertainment.

    Nough' said by me!

    Thanks Kevin!

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    Re: 12/23: American Idle?

    I love Disney, but I'd like to visit other quality them parks also. Since I don't go to Universal/Sea World as often as Disney, there are more "new" things to see.... and I haven't even been to Busch Garden yet! So indeed I agree it is time to plan a trip to check out the other parks.

  9. #9

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    Re: 12/23: American Idle?

    What is sad is Disney is not reacting fast enough to the present downturn. Instead of recognizing they have been caught with their pants down with inferior attractions, and doing something. They are doing nothing.

    I agree that American Idol is old news and frankly is just karaoke. Who wants to spend vacation time on that?

    What Disney should be doing is going all out to put together a spectacular new fireworks show for Epcot. It is way over due and would really draw new crowds for this summer. But to do that they need to start now!!

    But for the long term, they really need new E-tickets at each park. That will keep people for a longer period and really produce greater money spent on hotels and meals.

    The Theme park business cannot be planned just one year ahead (or even just a few months as Jay Rasulo seems to think!). But one needs to look five years out to really keep the excitement going.

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    Love Disneyland and Walt Disney World!

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    Re: 12/23: American Idle?

    As international travelers, it's in our interests to visit as much as possible when in Orlando, and on our last trip all of the Disney competitors (both Uni parks, SeaWorld and Busch) impressed with the variety of attractions, attention to themeing and, yes, value for money.
    Whilst we'll always travel to Florida to visit WDW primarily, in a 14-day vacation on-site at Disney we spent at least 6 days at one of the other parks and enjoyed them all just as much as anything the Mouse offered.

    Disney has got a big head-start in the hearts and minds of theme-park tourists, but an American Idol attraction is not going to make me book a trip, but Potter at IOA might just...


    "I'm gettin' kind of fond of you, kid.
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  11. #11

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    Re: 12/23: American Idle?

    For the record, the new roller coaster at SeaWorld is called 'Manta', not 'Mantis'.

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  12. #12

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    Re: 12/23: American Idle?

    Whoops! So it is.

    I meant to point out that the construction billboards use such flowery script that it looks like the ride's name is Mania
    Kevin Yee
    MiceAge Columnist

    I am the author of several Disney books:
    Jason's Disneyland Almanac - a daily history of Disneyland
    Walt Disney World Hidden History - tributes, homages, and ride remnants at WDW
    Your Day at the Magic Kingdom
    Mouse Trap
    Tokyo Disney Made Easy
    101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland
    Magic Quizdom (The Disneyland Trivia Book)

    “The press [should be] a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can't be right all the time. He doesn't bark only when he sees or smells something that's dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious.” – Dan Rather

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    Re: 12/23: American Idle?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Disneylander View Post
    For the record, the new roller coaster at SeaWorld is called 'Manta', not 'Mantis'.
    Mantis is at Cedar Point.
    Goodbye, Me Bizarro is not Monkey Joe. Me Bizarro hates Disney parks so much. Hello

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    Re: 12/23: American Idle?

    I am so gald Disneyland does not have this probelm, with millions of locals, i dont see DL ever seeing a problem, with Promos like 2 fers, and Universal's Buy a day get a year free. Most of teh So cal Parks have been busy~!

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    Re: 12/23: American Idle?

    Perhaps it's due to my upraising with the Disneyland park vs WDW, but I've always felt that WDW is perhaps juggling too many responsibilities. There are four parks which, while all amazing, have money spread thin between all of them, versus the other parks in the area which (with the same amount of money) can concentrate more on fewer parks. Although all of these rebranding of attractions to x movie may sound good for the bottom line (more merchandising sales!), do they really draw people in to see the attraction? I mean, I wouldn't go unless there were significant changes beyond a new coat of paint and a name change.

    I particularly enjoyed the Universal parks in Orlando and my family now typically plans more around those parks than the Disney parks in the case of a trip to Orlando.

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