There's just nothing else in Tomorrowland that even remotely interests me, especially since I've seen nearly everyone who went over for subs get trained on Autopia, which is eternally understaffed because it is the seventh circle of hell.
LOL, that's the funniest thing I've read all day. I'm sure Dante even Dante couldn't have imagined the horror of Autopia while describing the circles of hell.
A fancy, expensive, "immersive" new park is a HORRIBLE idea. Walt certainly wouldn't have liked it one bit, regardless of how successful or unsuccessful it would be. Walt wanted a place everyone could enjoy, not just the rich and well-to-do.
Al made it seem like if the attendance numbers at DCA continue to go up over the years, then the specialty park becomes more of a possibility (at least that's how I read it). Does that mean we should go to DCA even less and try to tank the attendance numbers for the next few years? There are quite a few of us MCers who know a lot of AP holders and Disney lovers. Hmm...
The whole "trickle-down" theory of rides debuting in the specialty park and then coming down to other regular parks is also a terrible idea. We had enough of that before when WDW would get great exclusive stuff and DLR would get a clone of it later on (like Buzz and ToT). WDW got Test Track, Mission: Space, Animal Kingdom, and Mickey's PhilharMagic exclusively while at DLR we got Indiana Jones and DCA in the same ten years or so. DLR finally gets to have something nice and unique like the Nemo Subs that WDW doesn't have, and now they want to take the ability to have exclusive rides and attractions from DLR again? Why don't they get it. DLR has been the cash cow for the last couple of years because THEY PAID ATTENTION TO IT and furthered it's uniqueness. That's why a good pair of mouse ears beats a suit any day of the week, I guess.
Last edited by Rex; 03-27-2007 at 12:42 PM.
Reason: Fixed quote
WOW! Thank you so much for such a great update after such a long 'break'! It was worth the wait . . . Have they thought about installing some sort of super-expensive retractable stadium seating for DCA's lagoon? I hope they hit this infrastructure nightmare first, before they build a really great show that tons of people would end up complaining about (just cause they couldn't SEE it... )
. . . As soon as he announces a replacement for the Peoplemover (and, thereby, gets all the hardcore Disneyland fans up and behind him). . .
Thanks Al and David "Darkbeer" Michael for the excellent update!
Good idea on the seating, kayoss! And keep bringing up the Peoplemover!
Add me to the anti-boutique mob and the "Anti-Paradise Lagoon Boat Ride Coalition"--unless, of course, the boat ride is really cool. :-)
The boutique park would be like adding a first-class section to the now highly-rated Jet Blue, SW, or Midwest Airlines. No longer would every guest in Disneyland receive the best possible treatment. I don't expect to get a first-class Disney hotel suite with my modest income, but--restaurants and Club 33 aside--the parks have been a sort of egalitarian, capitalist, paradise. At least for those who could afford admission.
So I used to work the subs. (Summer of '83.) If any of you TDA really need me, send me a message. I will need some extra cash and a couple nights in the ugly Mickey Suite for my family thrown in.
Great update, as usual, and worth waiting for - although it was painful the last two Tuesdays.
I thought the idea with DLR was to make it more of a "destination" (like WDW) and less of a locals hangout. It seems to me there is significant potential for this at DLR, and I do not see how a low capacity "boutique" park helps to build this. A full-fledged third park (along with more Disney hotel and/or DVC options, and an improved DCA) seems like a no-brainer to me to support the destination concept.
Darkbeer, thanks for all of the pics. You and Al make a great team.
Great article Al!
Boutique park huh? Not cool, Disneyland is already at a premium price to me. Bad idea.
Water park seems like a smarter addition.
I have been watching the Resort hotel vs. Housing unfold through the OC Post. It it interesting to say the least, however; with all the new additions slated for the Grand Californian I dont see a reason for it to become more overly expensive hotels/ DVC.
To be honest,
Just reading about it irritated me. Disney is already something that people save their pennies for. Its already priced to stretch the middle class family. Yes there are upper middle class families here - but that's what it takes to LIVE here.
Its frustrating loving Disney and being a teacher so near the parks. So many of my students have NEVER been, because their families can't afford it. I am not for lowering the prices - I like that it is something special that people may have to save for. But it is already that.
Also, this trickle down ride idea? Don't put your money on that. if they are going to shell out a whole bunch of money to make some really grand experiences, they're aren't really just going to up and move them very often. it is short sighted. next time Disney goes through one of its slumps, all those grand ideas will be moth-balled.
I'd really prefer they just go in and make a really great third park. Something innovative, fresh, and creative with lots of ideas to really draw people to the resort. WDW has 2 big parks, EPCOT and the Magic Kingdom, and their smaller parks (the Studios and Animal Kingdom) fill because its a multi Day destination. If Our third park is done well and done right, it will turn Disneyland into a destination as well.
NO BOUTIQUE PARK! It just seems like such a bad idea. Too elitist. Did I mention the idea irritates me?
525,600 minutes...how do you measure, measure a year?
the only reason that discovery cove works in florida is that is has a significantly european clientelle(sp). also when you spend a day there you get a day at sea world included so the price makes sense. I see a pattern here that makes little sense to me. four seasons hotel,boutique parks, I realise that the rich and super rich are an untapped market for disney but like the disney istitute, i think it's going to fail. Disney is not and never was meant to be something only for the rich and famous. while walt welcomed the rich and famous to his park he also made the average visitor feel like they just as welcome. this idea ranks right up there with the disney istitute and we all know how that idea ended up.
I guess I'll get the requisite 'Great column, Al' out of the way before I delve into meatier issues.
The best compliment I can give you as a writer is that I am never bored reading what you produce, whether I agree or disagree, whether the information turns out to be true, true at the time or mere rumor.
That said, I don't know what's more predictable or tired: you taking shot after shot at WDW or the drooling fanboys/girls taking the least likely to happen item (and if it did, even you admit it would be a decade or more away) and run with it in an emotional lather while ignoring much more salient points.
As someone who admires your tenacity, love for Disneyland and ability to use this site to bring about positive change in TWDC, I've got to say the piling on about WDW really is childish and below you.
You may be, hell no, you are right about most of what you say about WDW being stale and being mismanaged. But newsflash, Al. Many of us were saying that when you were setting up your Promote Paul Pressler webpage or bashing Light Magic ... it's no secret amongst the few true WDW 'oldtimers' who bother posting on sites such as this that WDW jumped the shark with its 25th Anniversary Pink Castle Fiasco and with one huge notable exception -- DAK, of course -- it's been a decade of decline in Lake Buena Vista.
But instead of your snide little putdowns, it might be better to actually use your site to bring about change at WDW. I know Kevin Yee tries, but frankly he's not you and has an annoying habit of trying to be so fair and balanced that he often comes off as just plain wishy-washy. No one fears him at TDO, like they fear you at TDA or in the halls of Burbank and Glendale. This I know for a fact.
So WDW still declines and DL keeps improving.
I love both, so while I'm happy to see Anaheim constantly getting better, it pains me to see WDW get worse and to see someone who professes to want Disney to return to its old standards, seem to only care about how it effects 'HIS' home resort. You're sounding like John Lasseter.
Like it or not, DL has spawned four other MKs and a total of 11 parks under the Disney name and it doesn't matter if DL is perfect if the other parks are crumbling and tarnishing the name or as my good friend Jay Rasulo would say 'the brand.'
So at the risk of sounding like I'm lecturing you, you should take to heart what I am saying because I really do admire what you've been able to accomplish.
As to the idea of a boutique park, well, it dates back over a decade and Tony Baxter has been toying with it since he was sent to his room without dinner by Goodman, Sklar, Fitzgerald and Co. And while that is being considered for the third park, it is far more likely to not happen than it is to happen. ... And if it ever does, rest assured that it will be a very high caliber type experience that envelops you in a theme and won't be the same type of experience available in DL and/or DCA. But, again, this is something a long time in the future, so I don't really understand the mock indignation by the fans over premium pricing.
Touching on other items Al brought up ...
Wonderful World of Color ... wow, I knew the pricetag was going up, up and away, but Steve really needs to reign it in a bit before even Lasseter has issues with cost.
Mark Twain rot ... funny, I was thinking that Team Disney Orlando wasn't worried about showing off the filthy, decaying Seas pavillion to the media throngs in January when they debuted the Nemo clammobiles.
Disney-MGM 'rebranding' ... this is kind of a no-brainer ... especially since they have completely taken the studio aspects out of the park. Also, it does 'splain the postcards already being dumped on the local outlet stores.
Where in the world is Ed Grier? ... I've actually heard some good things about him recently and his time in both WDW and TDL surely allowed him to see a balanced view of the best and worst Disney can do, but the bottom line is he is a puppet like Inoverherheadmeg (and Al 'Whitebread' Weiss), Karl Holz in Paris and Bill Ernest in HK. These execs were placed where they are so they can further JR's goals of 'branding' and 'globalization' (i.e. homogenizing and WalMarting) the parks/resorts.
Which brings us to JR himself and his 'in your face' unmagical, unDisneyofold style with Anaheim officials. That's just his personality as anyone with knowledge of the man will tell you. It's also telling the way he's being positioned as the bad guy in these negotiations (much like Disney now is playing down the fact Shanghai Disneyland will likely never happen) ... just like it's telling that anotherdisneyplace.com penned a piece this week saying Jay's job is on the line. If Jay looks bad, folks like Lasseter can ride in and wow city officials with blue-sky ideas that once seemed impossible, but now may be realistic.
It's only a matter of time before Jay leaves. The wheels are in motion. Bob Iger will at some point in 2007 thank Jay and mention all the wonderful things Jay has done (from 'saving' Euro Disney, to opening four parks, to expanding DVC and DCL etc ...) and say how sorry he is that Jay has decided to spend more time with his cousin Cindy from Albany. And then he'll be gone ...
I just wish he'd take Al's WDW digs with him when he leaves.
Why don't I hear these same socialist-tinged arguments against a "boutique" park in reference to other premium-priced Disney experiences? One could argue and create convincing parallels between this concept and the Disney Cruise line, or the Napa Rose, or any other premium venue. To me, it's the exact same concept. Not everyone can afford it. Or I think more accurately - most people THINK they can't afford it. Personally, I fully embrace the idea on many levels. Going to Disneyland used to be a special, often once-in-a-lifetime event. People would dress up for it, and hold the experience in high esteem. The "I can't afford it, so no one should have it" knee-jerk mentality of previous posts is symptomatic of the kind of culture that has developed in America today. It is the reason that we got a park like DCA as opposed to TDS. For a long time, I was actually personally insulted by the dichotomy of the two very different parks that were built at exactly the same time. It took me several years to come to terms with this, and realize why this happened. Do you think it's just coincidence that the Tokyo parks have been so lavishly themed and DCA is Stuccoland? I think not. First, there are the obvious cultural differences. For one, Japan is a gift-centric society. If you go to TDR, you are expected to bring back small gifts for nearly your entire family and all your friends. Thus, the per cap spending at TDR is much higher. In American parks, it seems to me that most people take it almost as a challenge to get through the day or trip spending as little money as possible. Another thing that I notice about Americans as opposed to Japanese (and others) is the lack of value placed on experiences. I think this is the main reason that DCA and TDS are what they are. The majority of American park-goers will walk right past the ridiculously expensive rockwork without a second thought, because they are single-mindedly focused on getting to the next ride, or even just getting through the day. I see more people tearing through the parks like they were at a mall or supermarket (trying to get "the most for their money") than I do people leisurely taking it all in.
John Hench once said something that I can't exactly remember, but to paraphrase it: "If you build something beautiful, people will appreciate it, because they know it was built for them - for their enjoyment, and that will make them feel special." I think unfortunately that concept is lost on most Americans today. Very few people take their time and really enjoy their surroundings. The Japanese do this. It's part of their culture. And thus, they got TDS. It's beautiful, and they pay through the nose for it - but they APPRECIATE it. Many other cultures outside America also embrace this kind of experience. And I think that there is a minority of people who will absolutely pay premium prices for a very special experience that they know they will appreciate. I know I will. And I will work harder so that I can afford it, if I can't. And until a park like TDS is built in the United States, I will continue to work my tail off so that I can afford to go to TDR for 2 weeks, in style, relax and take it all in and really enjoy myself. That USED to be the American Way. And if you still want to complain about a park being built that you feel somehow "excludes" you because of your CHOSEN socio-economic position, May I suggest moving to one of the two remaining communist countries? There's a lovely amusement park in the heart of Pyongyang (with an Arrow Corckscrew!)... that no one in the country can afford to go to.
Last edited by composerboy; 03-27-2007 at 05:49 PM.
People seem to hate the idea of a super elite park across the street, but to me, this is what the Disneyland hotels have always been. I can't believe people pay Hundreds of dollars a night more than they have to just to sleep somewhere, yet they always seem to do fine (so well, in fact, that they keep building more). I think these same people would pay double admission for a day or two to see the boutique park. Plus, if it gives us more attractions that are complete (and not stripped down for budget reasons), I say lets do it. Some really awesome rides might trickle down into the other parks. Maybe it would take some of the crowds out of Disneyland proper, too. Plus, I would be more likely to go to this park once every 3-5 years, just to experience it. Seems much more worthwile than shelling out all that extra cash for the Disney hotels. I have been driving to Disneyland and sleeping in Anaheim hotels for 20 years, and I have never stayed in one of the Disneyland hotels. Sleep at a $100 a night hotel, and put that extra money where you really want to be, at a better park!
No no no no no. Lodging is different. Disneyland never had a history in the hotel business, so they can do all sorts of funky things when it comes to lodging.
When it comes to theme parks, they have to stick to Walt's original philosophy and create something that all---both young and old--all economic strata will enjoy.
The fact that the current admission prices are now beyond most people's reach, well that's more a function of inflation and maintenance more than anything else.
But to intentionally price people out of theme parks and create something so elitist......is completely beyond the scope of anything Walt would approve of.
Again, it works with a hotel---Walt wasn't in the hotel business. But when it comes to theme parks, they better follow Walt's lead.
Where are people getting the idea that Walt built Disneyland as a socialist experiment? Young and Old - yes. I don't remember "And all economic strata" as part of any quote or even implied intention.
And to claim that the premium pricing of a "boutique" park INTENTIONALLY (read: maliciously) "pricing people out" is ridiculous. From a purely fiscal stand point - if you're going to spend $3 billion on a relatively small park, you're going to have to charge a lot more per person, especially with a culture that precludes huge spending on merchandise. But the promise of getting what you pay for -and then some- I think is already a proven business model.
It's disparaging to me when people are so quick to complain about an idea like this without thinking it through. What's wrong with a park that is special and unique, and priced in such a way that it's not the disposable experience that going to Disneyland and DCA has become for many people? I know I'm guilty of that. I grew up in Anaheim, and I've had an annual pass for at least 20 years. The most time I spend in the parks at a time is usually less than 4 hours.
However, I have the excitement and anticipation about going to TDS that I imagine children must have experienced watching the Disneyland TV show. And I'm sure I would about a boutique park. Every time.
Last edited by composerboy; 03-27-2007 at 06:14 PM.