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  1. #31

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    Re: 6/24: Bus, Stop!

    FROM MSNBC REGARDING FLYING TO ORLANDO:

    "The nation's top travel destinations, Las Vegas and Orlando, depend on a high volume of relatively low-priced flights to keep the tourists and conventioneers coming. But both cities take a hit whenever the airlines cut back. This time around, US Airways is slicing its Vegas hub in half, and Delta Airlines is dropping service to Orlando from more than a dozen cities.

    The solution? Casino resorts and tourist attractions may subsidize airlines to keep flying passengers into town. Or they'll help fund startups whose sole mission is to fly into Las Vegas or Orlando. In the late 1990s, for instance, several Las Vegas casinos helped launch National Airlines. It flew for a few years, until the other carriers beefed up their Sin City service. And Disney has frequently toyed with the idea of launching its own airline or going into a branded partnership with an existing carrier. Don't be shocked if you see Air Disney shuttling fliers into Orlando in the years to come."

  2. #32

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    Re: 6/24: Bus, Stop!

    Quote Originally Posted by BassBone View Post
    Wow. Welcome to MiceChat. What a wonderful first impression you've made by insulting one of our columnists. Why don't you learn a little of Kevin's background before you start flinging mud, eh?
    I think I know enough about Kevin's background. Worked in a non-management position in foods and in Entertainment Art at Disneyland.

    He seems like a nice enough fellow. He's a pretty good "ear to the ground" in Florida. But he simply isn't what I would consider the right "author" for this kind of piece.

    Unless, of course you all want to "pretend." A lot of that seems to go on here.

    You guys pretend to have the ear of this "expert." The Web Site pretends that it isn't the only place that would publish this junk.

  3. #33

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    Re: 6/24: Bus, Stop!

    Quote Originally Posted by Middlebrow View Post
    $1 Million. $2 Million. $25 Million a mile. He doesn't know anything about it!

    It's surprising to me that anyone spends any time reading this stuff and actually praises this drivel. I know you all want to play Theme Park King/Armchair Imagineer with Kev. Have fun with that.

    It would be different if this was the work of someone who actually some experience in large scale planning or project management. An informed piece about the evolution of the Resort Transportation System would be interesting. This is not informed writing. This is the worst kind of speculative sensationalism.

    In fact it isn't writing at all - it's typing.
    I got my money's worth out of it, and it is worth every cent I paid for it.
    Now, if you have anything to add that is just as valuable, I'll pay you the same rate.
    Have fun making friends!
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  4. #34

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    Re: 6/24: Bus, Stop!

    Quote Originally Posted by Middlebrow View Post
    Unless, of course you all want to "pretend." A lot of that seems to go on here.
    You write this as if it were a bad thing.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  5. #35

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    Re: 6/24: Bus, Stop!

    Quote Originally Posted by sediment View Post
    You write this as if it were a bad thing.
    No, he writes it as if he's a forum troll.
    "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
    Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
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  6. #36

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    Re: 6/24: Bus, Stop!

    Quote Originally Posted by danyoung View Post
    I only have one nit to pick - it's the Transportation and Ticket Center, NOT the Ticket and Transportation Center. But even many Disney World employees get that one wrong, too.

    (OK, 2 nits to pick!) And the guy who wrote Kevin needs to stop referring to his DDP meals as "free". They are most definitely not free. In fact, if you do the math, usually your savings with the DDP are only a few dollars per stay.
    Stop picking your nits in public, Danny. It's impolite!

    But whether or not the meals are 'free' (and they are in August and September), they are interpreted that way by most of the general public. Free to many just means 'included' which is what the DDP really does.

    And that's the insidiuous nature of the whole plan. It does cruise line (or casino as Kevin's emailer pointed out) WDW dining. And while many bumpkin tourists may think that's a good thing. It really isn't for any of us.

    It drives up prices, drives down choice and (can) lower quality. It also homogenizes the product as well, which saves on the purchasing of food and beverage.

    The Wave, which I haven't dined at yet, is a great example. It took the place of the Concourse Steakhouse, which originally opened in 1994 as a (relatively) low priced place to get a decent meal. The menu wasn't extensive, but had many choices (not the one steak on the entire lunch menu the place closed with). A 10 oz. sirloin with taters AND soup or salad was about $14.99 back in the mid-90s for DINNER and us lucky DDE members got 20% off that. It sure encouraged dining at WDW resorts and parks if you were a local, a Floridian and frequent guest.

    Jump ahead now and if you want a steak at the replacement the cost is $28.99 and it comes with NOTHING ... want to add a salad? That'll set you back another $6-8 (I don't know the exact price since I don't have the menu in front of me). And there's no saying you'll get in as people are booking 26 meals six months in advance.

    This is what happens when consultants move into the company and have no care about the true quality of the brand beyond getting their paychecks. It makes me wonder if RMS Consulting and head honcho Tom Kelly is back in bed with the Mouse in Florida.

    It was Kelly's company that first won fans in Team Disney by coming in and stripping down EPCOT menus of variety in the late 90s, while raising prices 20% across the board ... oh, and lowering quality as well.

    After DCA opened, he was kicked to the curb but went on to work for many other companies (including McDonald's and a few cruise lines) and when last I heard was actually back with Disney and damaging DLP's dining by buffeting the resort and again raising prices and lowering quality. It's no surprise as DLP has been run by two former EPCOT VPs in Karl Holz and George Kalogridis and the FLA retreads are known for only paying attention to the bottom line.

    The DDP is really just the end game of the WalMarting of WDW Dining.

    They don't care whether it chases locals off (at least so long as the rooms are full). They don't care whether it makes many of their locations blend together into a Mousecablur.

    This model is a very profitable one for WDW.

    It's why there have been THREE major prices increases across the board on WDW Dining since the spring of 2007.

    Anyone who has a problem with it should contact Dieter Hannig the head of WDW Food and Beverage and let your complaints be heard.

    WDW isn't a cruise line ... and it isn't a casino.

    Your food options shouldn't be dictated as if it were.

  7. #37

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    Re: 6/24: Bus, Stop!

    Quote Originally Posted by socalkdg View Post
    Regarding the dining. If they are tailoring this towards tourists, isn't that a good thing. As Kevin has stated many times in the past, if its good for tourists, even at the expense of locals, its still a good thing, correct?
    No, it isn't.

    Because ultimately it isn't good for anyone who cares about true quality, variety and value when dining at WDW.

    It's just marketed as something good for tourists because the Mouse's minions would never lie now would they?

  8. #38

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    Re: 6/24: Bus, Stop!

    Quote Originally Posted by mickeyandme67 View Post
    I wish everyone would stop using the costs of the Las Vegas monorail when considering adding on to the Monorail track in WDW. A comparison between the two is like comparing apples to oranges. Building a track in a busy, already built-up area of Las Vegas is nothing like building track in an empty field next to a road on the WDW property. It no doubt would cost more than it did last time the WDW Monorail track was expanded, but nothing like the prices that Las Vegas endured.
    Good point.

    Comparing WDW to Las Vegas is natural because Vegas is the only major US metro area to add a system recently, and it has been plagued by 'issues' ... although I sure love using it. But it's really comparing apples to avocados.

    Monorail expansion is pricey, no doubt. But at what point do buses become prohibitive? I guarantee you that WDW wasn't planning on $5 a gallon diesel (or even $3 a gallon) the last time they did a monorail expansion viability study.

    At some point, you'll realize that you can either spend a billion or two (over many years) to solve your transport issues or you can keep spending smaller increments that wind up equaling a whole lot more in the end ... and THEN you'll still have a problem.

    Of course, common sense is uncommon at Disney.

    I have watched them avoid maintaining things that would have cost a few thousand dollars and wound up costing them hundreds of thousands years later when they finally had no choice but to fix the neglect.

  9. #39

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    Re: 6/24: Bus, Stop!

    This week's article should have just posted a link to last week's discussion about the previous article. 90% of the article is just what was covered in the discussion.

    Reducing routes is a key idea - but there is only so much you can gain

    Eliminating routes to MK vs the TTC? saving what.. 2-3 miles per round trip? You aren't saving capacity - you'd simply be re-routing it - not much to save there because the locations are so close.

    Eliminating routes to EPCOT? Surely that would help greatly - but would add monsterous amounts of time to guests route. It takes you a solid 20-30mins to wait, load and make that trip from TTC to EPCOT. You'd be taking someone's 10-15min bus ride and making it an hour or more. You'd piss way more people off this way then simply by reducing bus capacity.

    And why the talk as if Disney would have to 'experiment' with alternative fuels? They are well established in this industry. CNG has been powering city buses and shuttle buses for ages. Plus other fuel sources. Disney is way behind the ball if they haven't invested in alternatives here long ago - everybody else has.

    It would be interesting if as part of articles - instead of just speculation we could actually do some research (I mean come on.. its the internet) and use reference material that can be found in 10 seconds to validate or show examples. I mean - we can do it in an amateur post created on the fly...

    Quote Originally Posted by mickeyandme67 View Post
    I wish everyone would stop using the costs of the Las Vegas monorail when considering adding on to the Monorail track in WDW. A comparison between the two is like comparing apples to oranges. Building a track in a busy, already built-up area of Las Vegas is nothing like building track in an empty field next to a road on the WDW property.
    Built-up area? You should look at the LV Monorail 90+% of it rides alongside existing surface parking lots. The monorail runs through the 'alley' behind the resorts that isn't pleasant or very expensive. Plus - it's running through property that they already owned! The biggest issue is right of way for the public streets to cross and imped on their buffers. The LV monorail is the laughing stock of the transport world, but its still a good example of how out of control a project can get even when the cards are all stacked in your favor.

    Quote Originally Posted by JiminyCricketFan View Post
    I believe that in the short term, the best money saver is just not have the bus make stops at places there are no people waiting. All you have to do is number each bus stop at WDW. When you get to the stop, just use your cell phone to call a number and punch in that code from the station
    A system that would work if the # of destinations was not so high, and the acutal passenger count wasn't so high. Such 'on demand' systems are in use in parking lots and shuttle routes in smaller scale - but you are talking a property with hundreds of thousands of people wanting to move. There are over 22,000 hotel rooms on disney property alone! When you have that many riders - the only way any transport system works is in bulk. You can't al la carte that many riders - your efficency would be in the toilet.

    Besides, I'm sure Disney would already have a load distribution system in place already to move capacity where it is needed to handle peaks.

    Quote Originally Posted by MinneapolisJeff View Post
    You cannot tell me that it costs over 2 million dollars a mile to erect cement beams, electricity, etc. on property that Disney already owns.
    Have you looked at the price of concrete of late? You think gas prices are soaring - you should have been watching concrete the last 5 years.

    Highways cost between $1-$5 per mile 10+ years ago. Highways are mass commodity products - Monorails are not. Elevated highways can cost $20million per mile 10+ years ago. Look at some other references. Material costs have soared since then, plus inflation and other factors.
    Check out my blog - Coreplex: Rambling from inside the Grid


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  10. #40

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    Re: 6/24: Bus, Stop!

    Quote Originally Posted by gatorgrad View Post
    Interesting article, but surely Kevin, you see the irony that is presented when an article which downplays the impact of locals is written by a local. Again, this isn't the Orlando of the 70's. In the Orlando metro alone there are 2,032,496 people. That doesn't take into account the Tampa metro (which, along with Orange County, is one of the fastest growing metro areas in America!), Jacksonville, Gainesville, Ocala, and Daytona Beach. I'd consider that all to be the locals markets- as each location is less than a 2 hour drive to Disney (just a bit longer to Jax). Take it from someone who worked at Epcot a couple of years ago, count how many Gator shirts you see on any given Saturday during football season. Make no mistake- those aren't tourists from Nevada.
    True. But those folks still are only a drop in proverbial bucket. WDW is a major national and international destination. Don't ever think that Floridians can support it. Maybe 30 years go. Not in 2008.

    Quote Originally Posted by gatorgrad View Post
    Yes, the parks COULD get by just fine by Floridians alone. Where there would be problems is filling those hotel rooms. Still, a driver from Tallahassee, Miami, or even Jacksonville would surely appreciate the opportunity to spend the night. This is where classical economics comes into play- the marginal cost of filling that hotel room is nothing more than the soap it costs to wash the bed and the basic toiletries. Figure out a way to do price discrimination- charge locals a much lower cost than tourists, and your problems are more than offset.
    Frankly, no the parks couldn't get by fine just on Floridians. Not four. Not when they'd be competing with Universal and Busch parks that many locals already favor because they offer far better values to locals.

    And a family of four driving up from Lake Worth or down from Jacksonville for a weekend at any resort won't make up for the nationals and internationals who come for weeks at a time and spend all their $$$ on property.

    And lowering prices is no answer either. It may incrementally drive load levels at resorts, but not nearly enough.

  11. #41

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    Re: 6/24: Bus, Stop!

    ... some of the nicest resturants I've eaten at have been Casino resturants. Don't count the buffet with the classy places. Vegas has plenty of money flowing and they know you want to spend it.
    Check out my blog - Coreplex: Rambling from inside the Grid


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  12. #42

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    Re: 6/24: Bus, Stop!

    Good article with some good points to think about. A couple of things he neglected to mention, 1) Labor costs for the drivers, and 2) Maintenance and parts for the busses. I'm just guessing, but I would think those add up to at least half the amount of the current fuel costs. So, we're talking another 2.5 million maybe?

    I too have wondered about a central hub sort of transportation system for the busses. It might not be the best solution but it would help some. I'm sure there are other solutions, some better than others. I would think closing a park, and/or a resort or two would also help. Hopefully, things won't get that bad.

  13. #43

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    Re: 6/24: Bus, Stop!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Dewd View Post
    FROM MSNBC REGARDING FLYING TO ORLANDO:

    "The nation's top travel destinations, Las Vegas and Orlando, depend on a high volume of relatively low-priced flights to keep the tourists and conventioneers coming. But both cities take a hit whenever the airlines cut back. This time around, US Airways is slicing its Vegas hub in half, and Delta Airlines is dropping service to Orlando from more than a dozen cities.

    The solution? Casino resorts and tourist attractions may subsidize airlines to keep flying passengers into town. Or they'll help fund startups whose sole mission is to fly into Las Vegas or Orlando. In the late 1990s, for instance, several Las Vegas casinos helped launch National Airlines. It flew for a few years, until the other carriers beefed up their Sin City service. And Disney has frequently toyed with the idea of launching its own airline or going into a branded partnership with an existing carrier. Don't be shocked if you see Air Disney shuttling fliers into Orlando in the years to come."
    Shocked?!!

    I would sooner expect Dumbo to fly out of my behind.

    This is ludicrous and I am really surprised (although knowing the state of what passes for journalism, I shouldn't be) that MSNBC floated this absurd idea.

    This will never happen. Ever. For a whole host of reasons, many which should be very obvious.

  14. #44

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    Re: 6/24: Bus, Stop!

    Quote Originally Posted by flynnibus View Post
    ... some of the nicest resturants I've eaten at have been Casino resturants. Don't count the buffet with the classy places. Vegas has plenty of money flowing and they know you want to spend it.
    Absolutely, I have as well.

    But even the nice ones often have more folks 'comped' than paying.

    And some of the buffets ... the Mirage and Mandalay Bay come to mind are incredible in their own right and I hate buffets.

    not that this has much to do with the point at hand, but since I'm hankering for a Vegas trip why not talk about it? ... there used to be a Micechat regular from Sin City ... wonder what happened to him (can't recall his name now).

  15. #45

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    Re: 6/24: Bus, Stop!

    Well, what I can say is the bus service is already appalling at WDW. Our last trip to WDW in Dec 2006, we stayed at AKL (loved the design - go Peter Dominic - and we love animals). Having it's own buses we thought would be a huge plus. Needless to say, after our experience, we started using cabs, and frankly will be spending our time and money at DLP and DL instead. Heck, it's not even like I am not used to public transport. I use the trains, buses and London Underground about 75% of my working days. But if we ever return to WDW, we will save our money and stay at better hotels like the Ritz Carlton, Marriott, or Gaylord Palms and rent a car.

    1 hour of waiting, riding and disembarking is crazy. Mix in 2 hours to go from one hotel to another? No thank you. We have wondered about staying at a Monorail or Epcot resort but then getting to DAK would be no fun either.

    Having a timetable would be good though. This is done at DLP and makes life a lot easier.
    Last edited by davewasbaloo; 06-25-2008 at 02:12 AM.
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