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  1. #1

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    7/3: What Disney Can Learn

    Kevin visits 7 theme parks in 14 days. Discuss it all here...

    DIRECT ARTICLE LINK: What Disney Can Learn from Other Parks, Kevin Yee at MiceAge.com
    "Politics is the profession whereby the inevitable is made to seem a great human achievement" - Quentin Crisp

  2. #2

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    Re: 7/3: What Disney Can Learn

    Don't forget that Holiday World also has free parking (at least they did when I visited, hopefully they still do). When I first heard that an independent family park could still manage free parking, free sunscreen at their waterpark, free soda, and now free wi-fi, my first thought was: they are putting Disney to shame.

    Could you imagine those amenities at Disneyland and WDW?
    Does anyone even bother with signatures anymore?

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    Re: 7/3: What Disney Can Learn

    Disney could learn from others, but it isn't necessary. Certainly, it is nice to have free stuff like you said, but what if everyone takes advantage as in free drinks and free sunblock and free fastpass. At least Disney offers the free fastpass. You see, Disney offers free fastpass, which is made to seem free, but actually not. There is no free. Free is an enticement for you to go to the park. Otherwise, they have to generate revenue, which is the secondary reason for being in the theme park business.

    I'm not so sure Disney follows the crowd. They lead the crowd.

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    Re: 7/3: What Disney Can Learn

    The wife and I enjoyed Dollywood immensely when we visited a couple of times many years ago. We can't wait to take the kids once our WDW annual passes expire. I thought the park was refreshing... "pure" is a good word for it. The employees/cast were universally friendly, the crowds were laid back and the attractions were diverse and entertaining. I felt relaxed yet exhilerated at the end of the day, not tired or stressed which sometimes happens at WDW.

    Plus Blazing Fury is a wonderfully historical dark ride/coaster. Fire in the hole!

  5. #5

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    Re: 7/3: What Disney Can Learn

    I agree with many things...but not about FP...I'm just not for "richer" people being able to skip the lines because they have cash.

    I understand it may seem like it makes less sense now but I always get on a ride faster with FP then without it and that's the point of the system

  6. #6

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    What Disney Can Learn


    Thank you
    for a most
    excellent article, Kevin!

    Quote Originally Posted by JerrodDRagon View Post
    I agree with many things...but not about FP...I'm just not for "richer" people being able to skip the lines because they have cash . . .
    I strongly agree with you, Jerrod. I did use paid faspasses at the Queen Mary & Universal Halloween haunt events, but those are aimed at people 13 & older. Other than Kevin's enthusiasm for paid fastpasses, I loved everything in this article!

    "Daddy, why don't those people have to wait in line?" "Because. . . " [Because the world is not magical. They're better than us and every part of life, including parks for kids, should reflect this. Dad notices slight look of resentment on daughter's face.]

    The 99 cent wall map is smart. In grade school a friend of mine had a WDW map poster on his wall which was an ad that accompanied his "word of mouth" promotion to all who entered.

    Love the free sunscreen & beverage refills. I'm tight with money and things like that make me way too
    happy , grateful , and loyal .

    Disneyland should have a
    Deal of the Day! on Mondays through Thursdays (7 days a week at WDW) with $1.25 churros or popcorn, and sell some of the best post cards for 25 cents each.

    Post cards should otherwise be 50 cents (
    unless they are extra large, fancy or 3D) because many postcards are used as ads (free for Disney) with positive reviews from trusted sources on the other side. Walt and his successors charged just 5 cents for post cards for many years.

    Last edited by jcruise86; 07-03-2012 at 12:54 PM. Reason: spelling typo

  7. #7

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    Re: 7/3: What Disney Can Learn

    So Kevin, here's a question for you - it may even make a whole column someday...

    You clearly love coasters. I love 'em, too. But I've noticed over the past few years that I think age may be catching up with me, which makes me sad. So...if you do a coaster trek every few years, have you noticed over time if you feel differently about them now than you did a few years ago? Do they affect you more or do you have to pace yourself? It started hitting me in my 40's, when I couldn't keep up with my teenager on Fire & Ice at IOA anymore. Then one day after sharing a bottle of wine the night before, one of the little coasters got to me at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Somebody told me that taking dramamine before a coaster day could make all the difference, and I need to try that. I don't want to be in my 60's someday and not even be able to ride Space Mountain anymore!

    So...do you ever feel it? Do you worry about it?

  8. #8

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    Re: 7/3: What Disney Can Learn

    Quote Originally Posted by SueinSac View Post
    So...if you do a coaster trek every few years, have you noticed over time if you feel differently about them now than you did a few years ago?
    My neck is sore right this minute. At our 7th park (Carowinds) it started to hurt. It could easily be pillow issues, or yes, all those coasters, but either way, I skipped several coasters that day to not make it worse. It's gotten a little better each day since then, but isn't fully gone.

    I don't get sick per se, but being upside down is less fun than it was when I was a teenager for sure.

    Top Thrill Dragster: wow. What a rush. I was fine with the physical side, and the view just .... I'm a little speechless. It's more "parachuting" than "roller coaster riding" when you're at those heights.
    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

  9. #9

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    Re: 7/3: What Disney Can Learn

    The thing that amazed me about Holiday World was not only that there was a constant stream of paper cups with free soda being put out there, but that it was one of the cleanest parks I'd been to. Everyone put their cups in the trash! I *wish* people did that at WDW!

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    Re: 7/3: What Disney Can Learn

    Thanks for the great article and glad you had a fun trip, Kevin. I'd love to see more detailed reviews of each park from you; are you planning to post those anywhere?

    I, too, suffer from the 40's aversion to certain coasters, those same coasters that wouldn't have made me bat an eye at 25 or 30. Really sucks. But yes, dramamine/meclizine does help to an extent.

    I'm scared to try Dragster - as much as I LOVE XCelerator at Knott's, last time I came off feeling like my brain had dislodged inside my skull!
    Please consider the environment before printing useless emails

  11. #11

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    Re: 7/3: What Disney Can Learn

    Yes, I'll have a fuller write up and many pics of each park on Ultimate Orlando later. Have to play catch up for a little while first!
    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

  12. #12

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    Re: 7/3: What Disney Can Learn

    An outstanding article, Kevin! I heard decades ago that Coke gave Disney free syrup for the right to be (almost) exclusive to the Disney Parks (Pepsi was served at the Golden Horseshoe). The idea of free soft drinks is a master stroke...

  13. #13

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    Re: 7/3: What Disney Can Learn

    Interesting article...there are some good suggestions here, but many seem to be a general call for lower prices at Disney parks. The soda refills, the free amenities, and the cheaper souvenirs all fall under this heading. Personally, I wouldn't be against Disney lowering a price here or there, but the fact is, there's simply no reason for them to. Their parks are packed, their food is bought, and their merchandise is sold. If they price coffee mugs too high, and see a severe drop in the number of mugs sold, they'll respond by lowering prices. Until then, they'll just continue selling a $2 mug for $12.


    As for the fast passes, I think that absolutely is 'Ride Reservation done right'. I would rather see the reward of a shorter line go to the family that plans versus the family that pays. Otherwise, why shouldn't a cast member bump me to the front of the line if I slip him a little something?

    I agree that Disney could learn something from other parks, and the souvenir cups with the discounted refills are a PERFECT example of this. Honestly, I'm surprised that they haven't done this. I'd think that every time a customer steps up to a counter to have a drink refilled there's a chance they'll buy a little snack as well.

  14. #14

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    Re: 7/3: What Disney Can Learn

    The "free syrup" story is an urban legend, unfortunately. This from a manager with Coca-Cola, so I'm pretty sure of it.

    I should have mentioned the DAK souvenir bottles in the article. They sell them at DAK. Or rather, they used to. I haven't even checked in so long. I should buy another one.
    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: 7/3: What Disney Can Learn

    I think the cheap souvenirs are a good idea. I think it'd be nice if they sold a detailed guidebook for $1-$2 at the door, something similar to the old Disneyland guides you used to get before they switched to the maps. The guides had a brief description of each attraction and listed what type of food or merchandise each restaurant and store sold. It'd be like seeing a play where you get the playbill as you enter, but if you wanted you could pay extra for the glossy official program.

    I don't really see refillable soda bottles working at either Disney resort, just because there are too many repeat visitors (APs in Anaheim and multi-day guests in Orlando). It makes sense for a Six Flags, but not at a Disney park. I do think it would be nice show of goodwill for Disney to offer water bottle refill stations throughout their parks.

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