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  1. #61

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    Re: 10/13: Hello George & Starbucks

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Weaver View Post
    It seems like corporate sponsorships in the past were simply relating the company to the theme of attraction, not the company providing its actual product or service right there.

    United Airlines sponsored the Enchanted Tiki Room, but did not fly guests from there to Hawaii.

    Monsanto sponsored House of the Future and Adventure thru Inner Space but you could not actually buy a jug of Round-Up there.

    Bank of America sponsored "it's a small world" but did not actually change foreign currency into U.S. dollars during the ride.

    Goodyear sponsored the PeopleMover but there was not a shop where you could pick up a tire or two.

    Starbucks selling coffee in Disneyland seems to me to be not a sponsorship but merely a concession agreement.
    These "name only" sponsorships seem to be going the way of the dodo. Future World used to have a lot more corporate branded pavilions than at present, it seems like. My guess is corporations have concluded that they don't see much (if any) benefit in just having their logo outside a Disney ride, and expect a more tangible return on their investment.

  2. #62

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    Re: 10/13: Hello George & Starbucks

    Quote Originally Posted by merlinjones View Post
    I'd love to see Starbucks convert the Fantasyland Skyway Chalet into a coffeehouse with a view
    I think that's an excellent idea...

    As for the whole Annual Pass issue - I'm not a holder and I'm not out to offend any who are - but it seems that the Annual Pass creates more problems than it's worth...it will be interesting to see what the result of the study is.

  3. #63

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    Re: 10/13: Hello George & Starbucks

    Quote Originally Posted by sir clinksalot View Post
    4) STOP the payment plans, at least for the SoCal passes. Better yet, get rid of the SoCal passes entirely. When Disneyland only had Deluxe and Premium passes, you didn't have this problem. And this is when the Premium pass was only $250 and Deluxe was $199. Disneyland is a PRIVILEDGE, not a RIGHT.
    Close, but not far enough.

    Does anyone think that number of AP'ers, 850,000 according to Mr Lutz, is not one of Disneyland's operational problems?
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  4. #64

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    Re: 10/13: Hello George & Starbucks

    Great comments everyone. Here are my thoughts.

    Starbucks - I'm totally in favor of my favorite addiction being added to Disneyland - However, I agree that they need to be VERY careful how they do it so it doesn't further erode the theme of Main Street.

    World of Color Showpass - Heck yeah! That is a great solution. However, they need to find a way to do 2 or 3 shows a night until the demand dies down. They should also have Passholder preview nights (after the park closes) for at least a couple weeks before the official debut. They could keep just a few rides, shops and food service locations open and sell tons of World of Color limited edition collectibles before and after the show. And I'd bet that passholders would be willing to pay for a 2 hour World of Color party.

    Disneyland Hotel - I'm still really dissapointed that they didn't just decide to bulldoze the entire hotel and build a fancy new Disneyland Hotel more in the style of the one in Tokyo or Disneyland Paris. But if they are determined to keep the 3 existing towers, then the complete rebuilding of the shops, restaurants, and facilities is the least they can (and should) do. Glad to hear that they are going with more of a Disneyland theme for the hotel.

    Halloween
    - Kudos to Disneyland on turning Halloween into a busy season. I'd like to see them expand their haunted offerings next year - Haunt the Jungle Cruise, perhaps add a not so scary maze in the Fantasyland Theater or Festival Arena. Haunt Tom Sawyer Island. Would be fantastic. Then keep the park open until 1 or 2 am on Friday and Saturday nights!

    Overall, I'm pretty happy with where the park is headed and how they have managed to survive and thrive in this economic downturn.

    Congratulations and best wishes to Disneyland's new President. He has just taken over the hornets nest, but I have a feeling that he knows how to handle it.

    -Dusty
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  5. #65

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    Re: 10/13: Hello George & Starbucks

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Weaver View Post
    It seems like corporate sponsorships in the past were simply relating the company to the theme of attraction, not the company providing its actual product or service right there.

    United Airlines sponsored the Enchanted Tiki Room, but did not fly guests from there to Hawaii.

    Monsanto sponsored House of the Future and Adventure thru Inner Space but you could not actually buy a jug of Round-Up there.

    Bank of America sponsored "it's a small world" but did not actually change foreign currency into U.S. dollars during the ride.

    Goodyear sponsored the PeopleMover but there was not a shop where you could pick up a tire or two.

    Starbucks selling coffee in Disneyland seems to me to be not a sponsorship but merely a concession agreement.
    But you're conveniently leaving out all of the food sponsors that DID sell their products at their locations in the park. Sunkist, Hills Bros. Coffee, Carnation, Chicken of the Sea, Aunt Jemima, National Egg Board, Coke-a-Cola, Dole, etc, etc, etc.

  6. #66

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    Re: 10/13: Hello George & Starbucks

    Absolutely right Gurgi. For goodness sake, they sold Bras at Disneyland when the park opened! The question is not so much "What" they are selling, but "How" they sell it. I really have no problem at all with Starbucks in the parks. I'm sure they'll keep the Market House look and feel with a Starbucks logo on the sign (just like Nestle, Coke, or anyone else).

    And if anyone is worried about Starbucks cups, just take a look at the non-Main Street themed cups that Disney uses now. They are always pushing some brightly colored plastic mug with characters all over it. I'm all in favor of a quality improvement in the Food and Beverage at the parks. A BIG problem right now.
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  7. #67

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    Re: 10/13: Hello George & Starbucks

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Weaver View Post
    No problem with corporate sponsorships in general, but Starbucks has the absolute worst coffee in the business. They roast it too long and it's always extremely bitter, no matter which location you go to or what you order. This is a very sad day for coffee drinkers who visit Disneyland. At least there's a 7-11 on the corner with good iced mocha.
    Just to start - I'm not arguing with you Bob, just want to know more about this.

    Why do people assert this - that Starbucks has the worst coffee in the business? I hear similar statements made about McDonalds as well. Are you arguing that everyone who visits Starbucks has not had other coffee to compare? The most people who visit Starbucks actually do not know that they are buying inferior coffee? That most of the people actually prefer the "worst coffee" and that your opinion is superior to that of most people? (Again, not arguing with you specifically Bob, just with the general assertion as to how all this can be possible.)

    For the record, I don't drink coffee, so I'm not really a good judge of the actual coffee taste situation. But I have encountered many people who assert exactly what Bob has above, and I wonder how it can actually be true. Is it really the case that Starbucks' management is completely inept and can't figure out how to brew a good cup of coffee, but for some reason are extremely good at convincing people to buy it?

  8. #68

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    Re: 10/13: Hello George & Starbucks

    I would call those listed above concessions too, not sponsorships. The companies are actually selling their products inside the park rather than merely sponsoring an attraction for the name recognition. Yeah, Dole sponsors the Tiki Room now, but you're certainly not getting any free pineapple juice. Dole is a combination of sponsorship and concession, but the others are just concessions in my mind anyway.

  9. #69

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    Re: 10/13: Hello George & Starbucks

    Quote Originally Posted by sediment View Post
    Close, but not far enough.

    Does anyone think that number of AP'ers, 850,000 according to Mr Lutz, is not one of Disneyland's operational problems?
    I suppose there is a huge fear on the part of Disneyland's management that if there were no annual passes, revenue would drop dramatically. They fear not enough people will pay the individual ticket prices.

    Somewhere I imagine someone has crunched the numbers and figured out that the annual passholder spends more money in total than a single ticketholder at the current pricing levels. What's probably the biggest political gamble is betting that lowering individual ticket prices will increase revenue while decreasing attendance. I'm not sure who has the cajones to make that call.

  10. #70

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    Re: 10/13: Hello George & Starbucks

    Quote Originally Posted by sediment View Post
    Close, but not far enough.

    Does anyone think that number of AP'ers, 850,000 according to Mr Lutz, is not one of Disneyland's operational problems?
    ABSOLUTELY!!!! But remember as I stated in my post, when there were just Deluxe and Premium passes, there were NOT 850,000 AP's. There were probably 100,000 to 200,000. I'd REALLY like to see some numbers on how much more AP's there are now compared to pre-SoCal AP's. I'm sure the number is STAGGERING.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dustysage View Post
    Great comments everyone. Here are my thoughts.

    Starbucks - I'm totally in favor of my favorite addiction being added to Disneyland - However, I agree that they need to be VERY careful how they do it so it doesn't further erode the theme of Main Street.
    While it's not MY favorite addiction (I still hold that Peet's or even Coffee Bean would be better), it's gotta be better than the crappy coffee I received from the Market House last week. Let's just be glad that LaBrea isn't being brought in to serve their coffee. Ick.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dustysage View Post
    World of Color Showpass - Heck yeah! That is a great solution. However, they need to find a way to do 2 or 3 shows a night until the demand dies down. They should also have Passholder preview nights (after the park closes) for at least a couple weeks before the official debut. They could keep just a few rides, shops and food service locations open and sell tons of World of Color limited edition collectibles before and after the show. And I'd bet that passholders would be willing to pay for a 2 hour World of Color party.
    I know I would. When is the last time they had an AP event like that? The DCA Preview days?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dustysage View Post
    Halloween - Kudos to Disneyland on turning Halloween into a busy season. I'd like to see them expand their haunted offerings next year - Haunt the Jungle Cruise, perhaps add a not so scary maze in the Fantasyland Theater or Festival Arena. Haunt Tom Sawyer Island. Would be fantastic. Then keep the park open until 1 or 2 am on Friday and Saturday nights!
    I'm actually okay with the Halloween offerings they offer now. I'd actually prefer them to extend the offerings to DCA rather than have more at Disneyland.

    - Random Drop Sequences and Tower of Terror "In the Dark" ... yes please.
    - Halloween Themed World of Color ... absolutely
    - CA Screamin' and Mullholland Madness "in the dark" ... all over it
    - Animatronic Rosie O'Donnell chasing you through the bakery tour ... not so much.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dustysage View Post
    Congratulations and best wishes to Disneyland's new President. He has just taken over the hornets nest, but I have a feeling that he knows how to handle it.

    -Dusty
    I hope so Dusty. I just hope he knows that we support him 100%, and that we tend to be so critical not because we hate Disney, but because we LOVE Disney and know what they can do when things are done right.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dustysage View Post
    And if anyone is worried about Starbucks cups, just take a look at the non-Main Street themed cups that Disney uses now. They are always pushing some brightly colored plastic mug with characters all over it. I'm all in favor of a quality improvement in the Food and Beverage at the parks. A BIG problem right now.
    Absolutely agreed. It's just sad that outside companies need to be brought in to make things even comparable to what you get at your local Starbucks or mall food court.

    I hope the new resort president realizes that people are willing to buy food in the park if they have decent food. Although, I will say I was VERY impressed with the new Fortune Cookery when we ate there and our meal at Plaza Inn last Friday was TERRIFIC. But it's the smaller things like dry chicken and gross fries from Taste Pilots that we remember unfortunately.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pretzel View Post
    Just to start - I'm not arguing with you Bob, just want to know more about this.

    Why do people assert this - that Starbucks has the worst coffee in the business? I hear similar statements made about McDonalds as well. Are you arguing that everyone who visits Starbucks has not had other coffee to compare? The most people who visit Starbucks actually do not know that they are buying inferior coffee? That most of the people actually prefer the "worst coffee" and that your opinion is superior to that of most people? (Again, not arguing with you specifically Bob, just with the general assertion as to how all this can be possible.)

    For the record, I don't drink coffee, so I'm not really a good judge of the actual coffee taste situation. But I have encountered many people who assert exactly what Bob has above, and I wonder how it can actually be true. Is it really the case that Starbucks' management is completely inept and can't figure out how to brew a good cup of coffee, but for some reason are extremely good at convincing people to buy it?
    As far as Starbucks is concerned, IMO, they DON'T have the best coffee around ... but, they are convenient. If I had a choice, I would MUCH prefer Coffee Bean or Peet's, but that's not always an option. So I go with Starbucks.

    And compared to what they are offering in the park now, Starbucks coming is a good thing.


  11. #71

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    Re: 10/13: Hello George & Starbucks

    Had to register to comment on the AP issue.

    I am - as my user name suggests - not a local. I have vacationed with my family at the resort every spring for the last seven or eight years. We come for a week, we stay at the hotels, we buy the most expensive park hopper tickets, we eat at least two meals on-property every day, we buy ears for the kids, we buy souvenirs and shirts, we buy frozen bananas, we buy churros, we drop the cash to eat at the bayou at least once a trip, sometimes twice. In short, WE SPEND ALL OF OUR MONEY ON DISNEY PROPERTY and come home with empty wallets and suitcases full of Disney crap.

    But we're done. After this year, we decided that we won't be back for at least the next several years. It doesn't seem to matter when we go, be it February, March, April, or May. The parks are just too damn crowded, and even though you're dealing with sometimes near summer levels of humanity, the park still closes early. Knowing that it's all punks with cheap APs (sorry passholders, but it's true) just makes it all the more infuriating. We won't be back until something truly substantive is done to combat the crowds. New attractions, special travel deals, a free ticket for whatever the promotion may be: none of it matters to us until you address the crowds. Whether you live a mile away or across the country, MAKE A TRIP TO DISNEYLAND SOMETHING SPECIAL AGAIN, not just a way to kill a few hours.
    Last edited by NotALocal; 10-13-2009 at 01:20 PM.

  12. #72

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    Re: 10/13: Hello George & Starbucks

    NotALocal ... as one of those "punks with cheap AP's" ... I actually TOTALLY agree with you. Well, except for the punk part.

    Again, I know I keep going back to this, but the AP program is NOT a new thing. All those other years that you would come in the spring, spend all your money and had a great time with minimal crowds ... there were AP's in the park. Just not to the extent they are now.

    And it's the people like you that Disney is losing, and it's going to eventually come back to bite them. Your visits to Disneyland are like our visits to WDW.

    I'm hoping with new management, they will hopefully see this trend is not a good thing and that it's "okay" to have an off-season. We'll see.

    Hang in there.


  13. #73

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    Re: 10/13: Hello George & Starbucks

    Quote Originally Posted by Pretzel View Post
    I suppose there is a huge fear on the part of Disneyland's management that if there were no annual passes, revenue would drop dramatically. They fear not enough people will pay the individual ticket prices.
    Well, not at the current prices. Those are way too high.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pretzel View Post
    Somewhere I imagine someone has crunched the numbers and figured out that the annual passholder spends more money in total than a single ticketholder at the current pricing levels.
    Of course they do. And since a very small percentage of guests actually pay the full one-day ticket price (my guess: 5% on an average day), one would be a fool to give up some $127,000,000 ($150 average) in entry revenues without making it up in single-day tickets.
    Oh, here's a way: $50 entry fee, times 2.5 million guests! That's only 7000 guests per day replacing an average of 23,000 AP visits per day. (Assumption: each AP'er visits 10 times per year.)
    One also wonders how many people out there do not visit DL, because of the one-day price or because of the overpopulation of AP'ers in the crowds.

    But, those are top line numbers, though. What's missing from that simple analysis are the costs that each guest should be allocated for their visit. That is going to be hard to do (and impossible for us outsiders), since just opening the park for a day has some minimum fixed cost (which is probably a high percentage of the total operating cost). The solution to this, of course, would be not to open the park every day. Those days are spent doing day-long projects that need to be done in order for 2.5 million guests to want to return at least yearly, or to tell friends about their magical visits.
    Pricing will be based in part on demand. There will be the official prices, the highest ones, for peak seasons. And there will be unpublished, temporary discounts during the low seasons to bring in locals. Average about $50/day for the year.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pretzel View Post
    What's probably the biggest political gamble is betting that lowering individual ticket prices will increase revenue while decreasing attendance. I'm not sure who has the cajones to make that call.
    I do!! I have them without all the responsibility, though.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  14. #74

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    Re: 10/13: Hello George & Starbucks

    Quote Originally Posted by sediment View Post
    One also wonders how many people out there do not visit DL, because of the one-day price or because of the overpopulation of AP'ers in the crowds.
    OK, I found one! Welcome NotALocal!
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

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    Re: 10/13: Hello George & Starbucks

    Quote Originally Posted by sediment View Post
    Does anyone think that number of AP'ers, 850,000 according to Mr Lutz, is not one of Disneyland's operational problems?
    Not me. It's by far one of the largest problems they have.

    Before my PAP expired four years ago this month, I visited DL on a fairly regular basis. That's why I had the PAP, it made economic sense.

    But over the years, the park became way too crowded to enjoy with minimal stress. There's no such thing as an "off season" any longer, even in the middle of winter in the middle of the week, with no conventions across the street. Renewing my PAP didn't seem like a good way to spend money to relax.

    During my b-day trip in the early part of this year, the park was fairly empty at rope drop, up until early to mid-afternoon. There were small queues that moved quickly, with easily navigated walkways throughout the park. Then after lunch time, BAM! Here came the hoards of AP holders. School gets out and folks get off work, so off they head to DL. Seriously. It was like a flood of locals with backpacks containing blankets for fireworks viewing, and strollers galore. It's like DL has become the #1 SoCal shopping mall experience.

    Given my history with the park (I'm also a former CM from the seventies), I couldn't believe what I was witnessing. It was like the most crowded summer day imaginable. I wanted nothing further to do with it, and left for the hotel by 6 PM. I have no desire to go through this again, and won't be returning to the park or resort anytime soon.

    AP crowding is ruining the park experience for the non-AP and non-frequent visitor, not because of how they act, but simply because of their numbers. There should be a cap on the number of APs sold, no more than 500K, tops. Even then, I think that might be too many.

    TDA should either increase AP prices 50% or ditch the SoCal AP or both. Something needs to be done by TDA and Burbank if they really want to transform DLR into a genuine tourist destination that they claim to desire. Given the overcrowded conditions I experienced, I'd rather go to WDW in the early winter and experience more open spaces, even though I feel DL is a superior park to MK. It would be worth the 5 hour flight just to have some breathing room!
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