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  1. #1

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    6/10: Sorry, We're Closed

    Kevin hears rising costs and decreased bookings at WDW may lead to closed parks in the off season. Discuss it here...

    DIRECT ARTICLE LINK: http://miceage.micechat.com/kevinyee/ky061008a.htm
    "Politics is the profession whereby the inevitable is made to seem a great human achievement" - Quentin Crisp

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    Re: 6/10: Sorry, We're Closed

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Yee
    If Uni-Orlando is the big winner in a downtown, we might all end up eating at Mel’s Diner.


    Downturn?

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    Re: 6/10: Sorry, We're Closed

    High fuel prices are going to seriously damage this country because those prices effect EVERYTHING. Airfares being twice as much as they used to be is just the beginning folks.

    If we want to save our family vacation and our way of life, all while keeping the planet clean.... vote out the people ( Democrats mainly ) who block our efforts to get our own oil here in America and who refuse to let us build more nuke plants and refineries.

    Writing a story about what is happening is great Kevin. What we also need is a solution to the problem don't ya think? Americans have a choice here.

  4. #4

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    Re: 6/10: Sorry, We're Closed

    All,

    No politics in this thread, please. You don't want me to go in and edit any post that uses the word "democrats" or "republicans", do you?
    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

  5. #5

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    Re: 6/10: Sorry, We're Closed

    By the way the Clone Wars still is a series- they're using the movie as an introduction to the series and then the series will pick up where the movie left off.













  6. #6

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    Re: 6/10: Sorry, We're Closed

    i wonder if not only the WDW parks get shuttered - but Rasulo would demand that certain green lit monies for projects be shuttled around to keep operations up. I am mainly speaking of DCA's makeover. That budget is so big that would Rasulo lobby to discontinue projects and focus on operations. My guess is he will try - and Lasseter will have to promote the long term economic benefits. Since Disneyland has more locals (percentage of guests) than WDW we can use the futures argument more. However - when you're job is on the line you will do anything to keep it...

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    Re: 6/10: Sorry, We're Closed

    Quote: Here in Orlando, Universal Studios may actually be better positioned than Walt Disney World. They don't pay as much in gas and transportation. At Uni, there are a couple of boats, but mostly, people walk from their cars to the parks, and they walk from park to park. At Disney, the scale hurts. No one can walk from park to park, and few can walk from hotel to park. Instead, Disney has to pay enormous fortunes in gas money every day. Every single hotel has a fleet of busses to take those patrons to their desired parks using 17,000 gallons of diesel a week. And Disney has all that space filled with asphalt that must be maintained, or concrete that must be painted, or grass that must be mowed. The upkeep costs are enormous at Disney.

    Are the Monorails electric? Would it be better if they built extensions of the Monorail to the other parks and areas like Downtown Disney?

  8. #8

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    Re: 6/10: Sorry, We're Closed

    Monorail lines don't just pop up in no time. I'm guessing five years for any extensions from time of approval. Also, there is no way that a monorail extension could service all of the guests at the peak times.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

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    Re: 6/10: Sorry, We're Closed

    If guests are not showing up as they used to, then closing one park once a week will not result in that much of a hassle to those guests that do show up. There will be more CMs to work at the opened parks. More of those opened parks will be open (I hope). And we all expect that some longer-than-overnight maintenance will be performed on the closed day.
    Heck, even a closed Magic Kingdom (maybe once every other week) could use it.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  10. #10

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    Re: 6/10: Sorry, We're Closed

    It's a matter of making gas-free and gas-sharing transportation affordable and convenient to the average visitor.

    I spent $46.50 going back and forth to DL yesterday, $45 of it being transportation via VIP Tours and the rest Big Blue Bus fare. So it was about 2 hours getting to the park from my house, and a little over an hour back. I know I've sort of hacked a way to get to places in LA without driving, but if this sort of thing was priced competitively- perhaps even extended to out-of-state travel... Business needs to focus on mass transit instead of parking lots. Because if the gas prices are too high and the transit schedule isn't convenient (LA's isn't the greatest but nowhere near as bad as ppl claim), they won't come. And I tell you this, I know what I'm paying to get around upfront. Because I use services that split the gas price, even if/when they do go up I'm paying a fraction of the increase.

  11. #11

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    Re: 6/10: Sorry, We're Closed

    What's the premise of this article? Just throw everything out and hope something sticks?

    Are we suprised a company as large as Disney throws around all kinds of ideas on how to plan for the inevitable economic pressure? It's like the people that wig out when someone says 'we have plans on how to invade Iran'... REALLY??? O M G . We probably have plans on how to invade 50% of the world's countries. Doesn't mean we are pending the decision to do so.

    I sure hope they are planning out ideas on how to suffer through a steep downturn - otherwise we'd call them idiots. I don't think closing a park down would really be on the table until the crowd levels dictate it. And if they did justify it, the 'moving crowd' argument made is pointless because there is not a crowd to move.. or the place being moved to isn't crowded itself to begin with. I think the hardest part disney would have around this is how to handle ticket pricing and the fact you can't make such radical decisions when your property is normally planned 6-12 months in advance by your customers.

    Disney would likely cut back on things not pulling the draw intended.. maybe an extra PPparty... reduced bus service... further push into CNG bus conversions, scale back in the hotels by closing certain wings, etc. Compressing isn't a bad thing as long as it doesn't directly hinder guests. Disney is such a huge operation there is all kinds of areas you can compress.

    The transportation cost crunch is going to hurt regional parks as well - because the net effect of these things is availability of discretionary spending. People aren't complaining they can't afford to drive an extra hundred miles - they are complaining its tight week to week! We're long past the 'just don't go as far'.
    Check out my blog - Coreplex: Rambling from inside the Grid


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  12. #12

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    Re: 6/10: Sorry, We're Closed

    The smaller attractions and businesses around the big Orlando players will hurt first. When they start closing then we'll know the long-term downturn trend is beginning. Disney and Universal parks won't start to hurt until that happens first with a ripple effect. Occupancy at moderately priced hotels will hurt as that is usually one of the first things the middle class cuts back on when planning a vacation with a need to save money. A lot of optimists on these boards like to say the international visitors will make up for the domestic shortfall, but that's a canard. There are other comparable options for a Disney vacation (Paris, Tokyo and soon Dubai Disney-like), that Orlando is not the only game in the world. Without that draw, why bother going to Orlando or Florida? Where would you rather be on the beach, Florida, Croatia, Greece, Bali or Thailand? Florida would be last on that list by far. Since Orlando cannot count on locals to bring up the shortfall in international and domestic attendance they're looking at an attendance downturn as a long-term trend. WDW will survive with possible cutbacks, but the rest of Orlando will be in trouble.
    As for new energy policy, drilling holes everywhere in the US for oil would provide little relief and only be temporarily sustained. As for nuclear plants, they could substitute for oil in some ways but are not any cheaper for consumers and not profitable as businesses (i.e. they'd have to be government run). Just check out energy costs in nuclear-happy France and Japan for illustration. Plus no one wants them built close to home so they're a political non-starter pretty much everywhere in the US. We're going to be stuck with this energy problem for some time to come and there are no easy solutions.

  13. #13

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    Re: 6/10: Sorry, We're Closed

    Quote Originally Posted by flynnibus View Post
    What's the premise of this article? Just throw everything out and hope something sticks?
    The premise was to reveal Disney has begun making contingency plans, among them some plans that call for closing some parks. I agree with you that governments have many dozens of contingency plans, but I do think it's news when Disney makes one this unusual. They haven't done that sort of thing since 9/11.
    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: 6/10: Sorry, We're Closed

    well - I wouldn't call it news such things are discussed - I'd consider it the obvious. Maybe that's where about 3/4's through the first page I felt like just jumping forward.

    What is interesting is the ideas on how to address the topic - not that the topic needs addressing or that a company with so much management is actually thinking about how to brace for a downturn.

    That is where I got turned off by your article...
    Check out my blog - Coreplex: Rambling from inside the Grid


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    Am I evil? I am man, yes, I am

    Quote Originally Posted by sleepyjeff View Post
    Disneyland was meant to be sipped not chug-a-lugged

  15. #15

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    Re: 6/10: Sorry, We're Closed

    Hm, I have a different view, of course. I'm not sure I would ascribe that much obviousness to the way it might unfold.

    It's not obvious that their plans would move so quickly to "close a park on Monday to save money." They certainly didn't have this plan around three years ago, so it is "news" in my book that the plan exists now (though, still, it's only a contingency).
    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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