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  1. #16

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    Re: 6/19: There Goes the Neighborhood

    Some email:

    One person reminds me that Mineral King would have been the world's first LBE, so the idea actually started with Walt. He's right.

    Another reader gives this background on the closure of DQ-Chicago:

    As Chicago-area residents, my family went annually to the Chicago DisneyQuest. It served as our “Mickey fix” until our next trip to WDW and we loved DQ. However, from its opening, Disney never got behind it. There was virtually no advertising. Few people knew it existed. At the time, we had two friends who handled convention goers and told us that the marketing staff at DisneyQuest refused to work with them when they wanted to arrange special evenings for their conventioneers. Another friend routinely has 100 or more sales people in town per week. He received similar treatment from Disney. No marketing efforts were made to schools that send busloads of children to Great America. In short, DisneyQuest was a marketing disaster. We have always assumed that Eisner wanted it to fail because there is always plenty of Disney advertising for things they want to succeed. (If we see the $1600 WDW vacation ad one more time, we’re going to scream.)

    As a bit of trivia, DisneyQuest was open during the Cows on Parade festival in Chicago. (http://newyork.cowparade.com/cowsonparadechicago/Album1.htm ) Originally titled “Virtual Cow”, it featured the Mickey icon on a cow wearing virtual reality headgear. By the time we saw it, the headgear was gone and the cow merely sported the icon. We’ve always wondered what happened to the Disney cow that stood outside DisneyQuest. Some of the 300+ cows were auctioned off for charity however Disney owned its cow and it disappeared. Chicagoans still talk about that cow and I’ve often wondered why they didn’t put it in the Disney store on Michigan Avenue after they closed DisneyQuest. I guess that would make too much sense.
    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

  2. #17

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    Re: 6/19: There Goes the Neighborhood

    Guys, don't listen to ANYTHING Kevin has said about the Studios this week. He's talking random blu-sky stuff that he obviously thought up himself with very little or no research. We're not getting a Monsters Inc. Soarin'. Soarin' isn't even that popular! It's because it is a relaxing ride that has a bad capacity... which is why it has long wait times.

    The area only having one entrance would be the worst idea ever, and why Kevin even mentioned it is beyond me. Potter doesn't even have one entrance. And there's no separate ticket for Potter. You need the land to end up somewhere. Dead-end lands are not a good idea. Disney learned that with Dinoland.

    And also, the idea that a name change isn't coming to the Studios is ridiculous. They just haven't decided on a name it seems, but eventually that contract WILL expire, and the name will change someday. The Sentinel got that wrong.

    Something funny, I mentioned my ideas for the park in a post on MC not too long ago. I see some of my stuff has been recycled into Kevin's article. Along with random stuff that I don't have a clue where he got.

    And guess what... it was Great Wolf Lodge that inspired Disney on the location based entertainment. Not NICK Hotel. Great Wolf Lodge fans, take note, the concept is based on making stand alone versions of Disney's Wilderness Lodge attached with indoor water parks. The name used to be Black Wolf Loge as well. Wonder what the reason for the name change was. lol

    And BTW, the Hydro-Action Ski Show IS on the maps.

    Sorry Kevin, not a fan this week. When you come up with actual news to share, then perhaps I'll read your column again. But your "thoughts" on recycled junk that we already know doesn't seem to cut it. This article reminds me more of Jim Hill's articles then Jim Hill's articles do. And that's... kinda sad.
    -Bill

  3. #18

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    Re: 6/19: There Goes the Neighborhood

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill View Post
    Guys, don't listen to ANYTHING Kevin has said about the Studios this week. He's talking random blu-sky stuff that he obviously thought up himself with very little or no research. We're not getting a Monsters Inc. Soarin'. Soarin' isn't even that popular! It's because it is a relaxing ride that has a bad capacity... which is why it has long wait times.

    The area only having one entrance would be the worst idea ever, and why Kevin even mentioned it is beyond me. Potter doesn't even have one entrance. And there's no separate ticket for Potter. You need the land to end up somewhere. Dead-end lands are not a good idea. Disney learned that with Dinoland.

    And also, the idea that a name change isn't coming to the Studios is ridiculous. They just haven't decided on a name it seems, but eventually that contract WILL expire, and the name will change someday. The Sentinel got that wrong.

    Something funny, I mentioned my ideas for the park in a post on MC not too long ago. I see some of my stuff has been recycled into Kevin's article. Along with random stuff that I don't have a clue where he got.

    And guess what... it was Great Wolf Lodge that inspired Disney on the location based entertainment. Not NICK Hotel. Great Wolf Lodge fans, take note, the concept is based on making stand alone versions of Disney's Wilderness Lodge attached with indoor water parks. The name used to be Black Wolf Loge as well. Wonder what the reason for the name change was. lol

    And BTW, the Hydro-Action Ski Show IS on the maps.

    Sorry Kevin, not a fan this week. When you come up with actual news to share, then perhaps I'll read your column again. But your "thoughts" on recycled junk that we already know doesn't seem to cut it. This article reminds me more of Jim Hill's articles then Jim Hill's articles do. And that's... kinda sad.
    I always did wonder, how do you know the stuff you know? Sources?

  4. #19

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    Re: 6/19: There Goes the Neighborhood

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill View Post
    And guess what... it was Great Wolf Lodge that inspired Disney on the location based entertainment. Not NICK Hotel. Great Wolf Lodge fans, take note, the concept is based on making stand alone versions of Disney's Wilderness Lodge attached with indoor water parks. The name used to be Black Wolf Loge as well. Wonder what the reason for the name change was. lol
    If you've been to a GWL, it's pretty obvious. I've never been to Wilderness Lodge. But I've been to AKL and I've seen Wilderness Lodge on "Great Hotels" on the Travel Channel. It's amazing just how much they ripped off Disney on these things.

    It only seems right that Disney would steal something back from them.

  5. #20

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    Re: 6/19: There Goes the Neighborhood

    Yes, some of the content of Kevin's column does include hypothetical ideas. In fact, when I read his article, I noticed that he pointed this out himself.

    However, I'm afraid it is entirely inaccurate to suggest that nothing in the article is fact-based. Granted, there are some technical points that need clarification (such as the LBE debuting in the international market before the domestic one).

    But, overall, this is accurate and reliable information as it is the same information that Disney is sharing with a variety of its leaders at Parks.

    Well written, Kevin.

  6. #21

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    Re: 6/19: There Goes the Neighborhood

    a family from Provo, UT.... LOL priceless
    I only hope we never lose sight of one thing... that it was all started by a mouse!



    the world of disneyking

  7. #22

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    Re: 6/19: There Goes the Neighborhood

    I found the bit about GPS-driven water deflector sensors especially ludicrous. Believe, there's magic in the stars... indeed.

    But I keep coming back for more MiceAge!
    - Bill

  8. #23

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    Re: 6/19: There Goes the Neighborhood

    From what I've been led to believe, this LBE initiative, along with Adventures by Disney, gained momentum with the immense success they have had with Disney Cruise Line. They have learned that there is a real market for families who are interested in traveling to non-Disney locales but at the same time are interested in the idea even more if it is Disney taking them there. Hence DCL branching out from its very successful Caribbean vacations and doing West coast cruises, the successful Mediterranean cruises this summer (which I just got back from 2 weeks ago, trip report and pics hopefully coming soon) and talks of future cruises to Hawaiil, Alaska, the Baltic Sea and even North East US and Canadian ports which will likely become even more of a reality once the two new larger ships join the fleet in 2011 and 2012. It was said by DCL officials on our ship that DCL brought more families with children and teens to some of the biggest ports in Italy, France and Spain than all of the other cruise lines that sail the Mediterranean combined.

    Thus, the concept of Adventures by Disney was developed where Disney could take families to locales impossible for a cruise ship to dock at and now the concept of immersive Disney hotels and experiences inside major cities and popular non-Disney tourist destinations where families could use a Disney based resort as their home base as they explore these tourist destinations, the same way the DCL ship is used as a home base when visiting a port to foreign places such as Rome or Pisa. Its an intriguing idea to further expand the Disney resort brand and is no way based off of the Nick hotel concept which is in and of itself a concept to try and compete with Disney's successful Value resort complexes.
    Last edited by CTXRover; 06-19-2007 at 11:40 AM.

  9. #24

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    Re: 6/19: There Goes the Neighborhood

    At the risk of being accused of 'ganging up' on Kevin, I largely agree with what Bill posted so I won't add anything else at this point.

    It's much ado about not much at this point, frankly.

  10. #25

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    Re: 6/19: There Goes the Neighborhood

    Oh and CTX, thus far, Adventures by Disney is fantastic ... as in a fantastic failure.

  11. #26

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    Re: 6/19: There Goes the Neighborhood

    Quote Originally Posted by WDW1974 View Post
    Oh and CTX, thus far, Adventures by Disney is fantastic ... as in a fantastic failure.
    The program is less than 2 years old from conception and only really beginning its second big season this summer as the first year in 2005 was simply a trial version with very little advertising or fanfare to see if the concept could even work. Thus it is probably too early to declare the program a failure. The program started with true, but limited, advertising and its locations it toured expanded in 2006 and again in 2007. It is a fact that the program has not been as successful as originally hoped for, but those who have done it have told me the concept is very well executed. Again, this concept, like LBE, gained momentum with the massive success of DCL where Disney could take guests to non Disney locales while utilizing a Disney branded home base. This concept gained even further creed when the Mediterranean cruises for this summer sold better than they originally estimated and they never had to create a massive advertising campaign in the US to sell them and never had to enact their back up plan to advertise inside the European countires at all. It is that success where these concepts are gaining their foothold, not on a program that is still in its infancy.

    On a previous DCL vacation, a representative from Adventures by Disney told a group that the program is not as popular as they hoped for, but they currently account that to the fact that unless you take a trip to Disney World, DL or with DCL, you are likely to never even know Disney is doing these tours. The hope is to further advertisement to see if it gains success. I'm personally not even sure if I'm interested in using Disney to tour some of these locations they are visiting (some of which I've already done on my own), but I know I would probably stay in a Disney branded hotel in a city or other tourist desitation, assuming its done right, over some of the other options. The decision to go through with the LBE will likely not be altered much in either direction based on the success or lack of success of the Adventures by Disney program.
    Last edited by CTXRover; 06-19-2007 at 12:13 PM.

  12. #27

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    Re: 6/19: There Goes the Neighborhood

    Quote Originally Posted by aviator View Post
    Yes, some of the content of Kevin's column does include hypothetical ideas. In fact, when I read his article, I noticed that he pointed this out himself.

    However, I'm afraid it is entirely inaccurate to suggest that nothing in the article is fact-based. Granted, there are some technical points that need clarification (such as the LBE debuting in the international market before the domestic one).

    But, overall, this is accurate and reliable information as it is the same information that Disney is sharing with a variety of its leaders at Parks.

    Well written, Kevin.
    Well, I'm sorry, I can't stand it when someone mixes random thoughts and known facts. Since you're a probably leader, I know you can understand what you are told is not necessarily the truth, nor does it always happen. Kevin didn't do his research enough to see exactly what the LBE actually is, the reasoning behind it, or even do research to see exactly what buildings can be moved or rehabbed at the Disney-MGM Studios to convert or re-build into new attractions for PIXAR.

    I'm sorry, but 10 facts, 5 of them not even true, mixed with ideas that are just from the author, that's not good journalism. If I report something, I report it. If I'm letting my mind come up with ideas, that stays in a separate place. Not all mixed together.
    -Bill

  13. #28

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    Re: 6/19: There Goes the Neighborhood

    Quote Originally Posted by JiminyCricketFan View Post
    I wish that they would drop the word "studios" form the name. It is not a real studio. I would rather have a park themed to movie adventures. Adding Pixar and Lucas movies would be natural then.<snip>
    I would use your argument to change the name to just Disney's Studios. Although I called the park "MGM" when it opened, I decided several years ago to just refer to it as 'the Studios'. Not that I want Disney to conform to me (although I AM the center of all things! JK!), but that name would best reflect the themeing of different lands/studios inside the park.

    And to Kevin's additional pictures of the Star War's Hoopla:

    Come on, Kev, we know you loved it!

  14. #29

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    Re: 6/19: There Goes the Neighborhood

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill View Post
    Well, I'm sorry, I can't stand it when someone mixes random thoughts and known facts. Since you're a probably leader, I know you can understand what you are told is not necessarily the truth, nor does it always happen. Kevin didn't do his research enough to see exactly what the LBE actually is, the reasoning behind it, or even do research to see exactly what buildings can be moved or rehabbed at the Disney-MGM Studios to convert or re-build into new attractions for PIXAR.

    I'm sorry, but 10 facts, 5 of them not even true, mixed with ideas that are just from the author, that's not good journalism. If I report something, I report it. If I'm letting my mind come up with ideas, that stays in a separate place. Not all mixed together.
    Bill, I think you are confusing things a bit.

    Kevin ... and Al ... and Jim 'Mountain Man' Hill and everyone else who posts columns on blogs aren't journalists.

    Now, some of them might be good writers ... entertaining writers ... and even break stories that beat writers in the business/travel/entertainment/theme park journalism circles don't ... but there's a big difference between that and working in real media.

    Kevin can write whatever he wants (within reason or rest assured Disney Legal knows where to reach him), but he by no means has to check facts, corroborate sources, check with the company etc ...

    And, to be fair, I did read where he said many of the ideas (at least in the Pixar Studios part) were just things he was throwing out there, much like the fanboys/gals do on archair Imagineering threads.

    Anyway ... just a few other non-Kevin comments relating to the column:

    1.) Don't expect Marriott to open nearly all of these Nik-themed hotels as they tout ... these aren't much more than cartoon-themed versions of Holidomes (anyone remember the 70s?!) mixed with a bit of the indoor water parks that have become big business in places like Wisconsin.

    2.) Don't expect any Disney response to be successful. Disney still hasn't learned that people come to Disney resorts because they are destinations. An African-themed hotel with an indoor water park and one ride won't draw folks like DL or WDW. It won't necessarily canabalize them either. But Disney will soon come to the same economic conclusion it did a decade ago with DRE concepts from Disney Quest to Club Disney to Mickey's Kitchen to even the one survivor -- ESPN Zone -- they don't work.

    3.) I wouldn't expect Cirque to close up shop in O-Town. The numbers have been quite successful, even with a different clientele than in Vegas. La Nouba may leave, but it if so it'll be replaced with a new or relocated show (think Mystere here).

    4.) A Pixar-character Broadway type show at the parks? Jessie singing the Theme from "Cats'' ... Woody singing 'Oklahoma' ... Sulley and Mike doing a riff on the Producers theme ... think of all the great possibilities that won't happen.

    OK ... said enough ... for now.

    Thanks for reading.

  15. #30

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    Re: 6/19: There Goes the Neighborhood

    Quote Originally Posted by NASAMan View Post
    I would use your argument to change the name to just Disney's Studios. Although I called the park "MGM" when it opened, I decided several years ago to just refer to it as 'the Studios'.
    I agree! Granted, "The Disney-MGM Studios" is a mouthful, I hate when people refer to the park as "MGM." Of "Disney," "MGM," and "Studios," "MGM" has the least importance and significance. I've always called it "the Studios." However, I believe we are still in the minority.....

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