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  1. #1

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    How Disney could increase their theme-park business

    I just had an idea:

    Disney can only expand the "Disneyland" concept so far, that is to x number of locations around the world, before diluting its status as a "destination" resort. So how can they continue to expand their theme park business?

    I say, by going regional. No, not by building complete "DL"-like parks on a regional basis, that would make no sense at all. Rather, by taking companies like Cedar Fair and Six Flags head-on in the "local theme park" business.

    If Disney designed parks around the idea of a $25/head admission price, and built those in parts of the country currently not near one of their destination resorts, they would create a whole new level of business which they could grow continuously for some time (assuming the concept worked), because regional parks, being less expensive, can be built more frequently, and do not require the same "draw" that their destination resorts to do turn a profit.

    In addition to that, they could take different concepts, ones not tried before - much like they do in designing the "half-day" parks for the destination resorts.

    For example, their first regional park could be, say, somewhere in the Great Lakes area, and be "Pixarland", with entirely Pixar-inspired themeing. They could get away with doing things on a lesser scale, because with the parks costing half the price in admission and a clear-cut regional concept, people will expect only that their "regional park" expectations will be exceeded, not that they are receiving the next "Disneyland". In fact a whole marketing campaign around the idea that Disney wants to build parks which are more "accessible" to families could push this idea with a positive spin.

    This would also reinforce the idea of the destination resorts as being "premium" experiences. Certainly Disney already sees them as such, but this will provide an "equivalent" (Disney-owned) comparison to further cement that idea in the eyes of consumers.

    It wouldn't be Disneyland, but with the Disney touch upgrading the basic regional park concept, it would still be "Disney" without the expectation of being "Disneyland".

    Example? For $25 admission, DCA would be a great park. Yes, even with the Dino shack, the exposed-track roller coaster, and the Six Flag-like queue areas. In fact, DCA, with more attractions and perhaps slightly less placemaking (but certainly some) would be a perfect example for a regional park. Only, of course, give it a stronger theme to go on.

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  2. #2

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    Re: How Disney could increase their theme-park business

    I like that you are think on expanding theme parks, but I see a problem-- weather! When you live in a snow climate, business activity slows down in winter. Building regional theme parks could only operate half the year. Also in the East and Midwest, it gets very humid in summer. So although theme parks could operate, there is still a segment of the population that will prefer to get out of town.
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  3. #3

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    Re: How Disney could increase their theme-park business

    Actually, I think Disney should build a park in Texas. If it is on the DL model, I am personally OK with that... I think there is enough population draw in the "Texas Triangle" (Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio) to justify building a resort. It does get humid there, but not any more than Florida...

    I also think having a resort in Texas would have little impact on parks in Florida and California and still you would have a great draw... Particularly if one is creative enough in it's theming...

    I was excited about the Disney Quest concept because I thought it would feed the regional need for Disney theme parks... But there wasn't as much draw - I think mostly because it's implmentation was underwelming and people see it more as a retail outlet rather than a theme park...

    There should be a park in India... Not having one there is dumb... There are over 300 million teens in India alone...
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    Re: How Disney could increase their theme-park business

    frankly I don't think disney plans on expanding anytime soon. they have two viable properties here in the states and both have lots of work that needs to be done on them. I think the money should be spent on improving what they have not building more. part of what makes disney brand desirable is that you can't go see it just anywhere in the country.

  5. #5

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    Re: How Disney could increase their theme-park business

    Well, I was thinking about long term growth prospects... We are talking 15 years down the line...

    The Park in India should happen a soon as possible.

    As far as the current parks go, state side or in Europe, I doubt that any amount of money you throw at them will solve thier challenges...

    DCA needs to have more than just retheming; it needs to have a new marketing scheme that is realistic to it's comparitive value to DL if Burbank expects the gate to stand alone.

    As far as WDW goes, I don't know how they are going to fit two more parks on that land... They pretty much did everything that they could do... You have MK, Epcot (worlds fair), an animal park, a studio park... two water parks.... That is a full weeks worth of attractions... What else is left?
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  6. #6

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    Re: How Disney could increase their theme-park business

    i think the reason disney gives for not building in india is there is little or no infrastructure. India also doesn't recognise intellectual property rights so it would be hard to deal with someone stealing ideas. also eventhough there are a large number of indians, and there is a rising mddle class, Indians have little idea of what a theme park is or the idea of a vacation because there is little money for one. There are also religious barriers that need to be explored. and geopplitical forces at work. india and pakistan are always on the verge of war. and would you want to make that kind of an investment in an area that is so unstable? it's almost like building a disneyland in iraq.

  7. #7

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    Re: How Disney could increase their theme-park business

    My only fear is it being The Disney Store Part II.

  8. #8

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    Re: How Disney could increase their theme-park business

    Quote Originally Posted by Cmash95
    i think the reason disney gives for not building in india is there is little or no infrastructure. India also doesn't recognise intellectual property rights so it would be hard to deal with someone stealing ideas. also eventhough there are a large number of indians, and there is a rising mddle class, Indians have little idea of what a theme park is or the idea of a vacation because there is little money for one. There are also religious barriers that need to be explored. and geopplitical forces at work. india and pakistan are always on the verge of war. and would you want to make that kind of an investment in an area that is so unstable? it's almost like building a disneyland in iraq.
    Here are some facts about India...

    1. India is soon to become the country with the largest population on earth, over taking China in a few short years. (Seriously)

    2. India has the largest media market in the world, produces more films than any other country. The market is there... Therefor I am betting that intelectual property rights are an interal issue which need to be ingaged like China. I prefer companies which engage the challenges rather than choose to run away from them... Piracy is piracy... You still have to be smarter going into any market. You are losing money trying to avoid them.

    3. I doubt that Pakastan and India would ever attack eachother, both of them have nuclear weaponry... Still India can mount a standing army that would rival Pakastan's population.

    4. Also India has an emerging Middle class thanks to "Outsourceing." Why not get your investment back? Did you check out this weeks Time Magazine?
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  9. #9

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    Re: How Disney could increase their theme-park business

    India will be someplace to invest in maybe 5 to 10 years. but not now. It's too unstable and yes they have gone to war before. many times. that is why pakistan developed the bomb. India is an emerging market that I would be very careful how much I invest in right now. the " middle" class isthere because of customer support centers and computer work mostly. not sustainable industrial developement. India has had a thriving movie industry for years dating back to the 40's and 50's. that doesn't mean it has the stability to sustain a billion dollar investment in a theme park. remember HK, DLP, and TDL all are majority owned by other entities not walt disney corporation.

  10. #10

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    Re: How Disney could increase their theme-park business

    Im sorry to dissagree with the original post. But, in my view, opening smaller parks around the states/world is a terible idea.

    Its called caniblisation of the brand. At presentthere are two highly regarded resorts. Even if Disney pitch smaller parks as exactly that, people will go expecting the same as Disneyland/WDW. Then even if they do manage to educate people into accepting they are smaller lower sacle parks, this ultimately takes the edge off the existing resorts.

    It can be applied to so many thing, look at the Disney Store. It ceased being a special thing when th emarket place was satuarated. Look at CGI movies, 10 years ago there were none and they were enormous event movies, now there is a glut of them and lots are falling by the way side!

    I can totaly understand why you would want these smaller parks, I do too, but in reality, that wanting them ensures the popularity and specialness of th existing parks.

    Dont believe me, just use the example of the plush toys from Disney Store. When I worked for them I suggested that any of the slightly damaged or grubby plush were donated to a local childrens hospital. I was told no, this was against company policy. why? Because it may lead to people assocating these sub standard products with The Disney Store, and eventualy errode their hold in the market place!

    To keep the Parks special, they need to be asperational draws, not just around the corner.

    Just my view

  11. #11

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    Re: How Disney could increase their theme-park business

    I have to say I cringed a bit at the OP....for the mere fact that it sounds almost like it could turn into a "franchise" type deal. Not to mention that Disney has much to do with the current parks they have.

    Disney Quest WAS a great concept. It's just too bad we had poor management of the parks/company at the time to make it successful
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  12. #12

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    Re: How Disney could increase their theme-park business

    There's too much potential growth in the world (India and even more in
    China or even HKDL expansion) where WDC could make easier money (and
    more potentially) than work on secondary parks in the US.

    And then you have the issue with the potential dilution of the Disney brand
    as well (in the US market).

    I think some real brain-storming could be done w/ something smaller than
    a theme park, but maybe bigger than DisneyQuest that is enclosed (so not
    subject to weather constraints) that would be entertainment centric (w/
    some educational content). Basically, a combo of a science & history & art
    museum molded w/ an immersive arcade and offering Disney themes.

    Actually, they can have travelling exhibits as well that they can ship
    among themselves. (there's a lot of those in children museums). The
    nice thing about these is that they can be a standard form factor so they
    can literally slide in & out (instead of the current travelling exhibits which
    have to be altered or rearranged to match each museum).

    WDI: hope you're reading this... no charge for this idea! :-)

  13. #13

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    Re: How Disney could increase their theme-park business

    Well, I certainly understand the fears of diluting the brand. Unfortunately, with parks like DCA, WDS, and in my opinion, MGM, the brand has already been watered down, only it's trying to masquerade as premium product.

    If they're going to go that route, I'd rather they be open about it, maybe create a separate division with an identifiable "franchise" concept (not actually franchising, just creating a consistent concept in name, business category, etc) that the company makes clear is second fiddle to the premium resorts. That way, if they're determined to expand and they insist on doing it on the cheap, nobody feels cheated.

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  14. #14

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    Re: How Disney could increase their theme-park business

    Quote Originally Posted by nish221
    There's too much potential growth in the world (India and even more in
    China or even HKDL expansion) where WDC could make easier money (and
    more potentially) than work on secondary parks in the US.

    And then you have the issue with the potential dilution of the Disney brand
    as well (in the US market).

    I think some real brain-storming could be done w/ something smaller than
    a theme park, but maybe bigger than DisneyQuest that is enclosed (so not
    subject to weather constraints) that would be entertainment centric (w/
    some educational content). Basically, a combo of a science & history & art
    museum molded w/ an immersive arcade and offering Disney themes.

    Actually, they can have travelling exhibits as well that they can ship
    among themselves. (there's a lot of those in children museums). The
    nice thing about these is that they can be a standard form factor so they
    can literally slide in & out (instead of the current travelling exhibits which
    have to be altered or rearranged to match each museum).

    WDI: hope you're reading this... no charge for this idea! :-)
    For the record I really like DisneyQuest in concept... I think of it sort of as a Great Wolf Resorts concept of an indoor water park that is currently being used by I think Cedar Fair/Six Flags...

    The problem, I believe is execution... The focus was placing the concept in Urban areas... Which I think is a wrong move... I think you would find more traction in a suburban area that has less competition for space, yet full of population with money to burn...

    As far as delution of the disney brand... I don't think there is much worry, I don't think that the Parks and Resorts have reached a saturation point with the exception of the East Coast - WDW market...
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    Re: How Disney could increase their theme-park business

    Five Disneyland parks (one that isn't even really needed - HK) IS ENOUGH!

    I just keep hearing this at the back of my mind:

    Disneyland New York City, Disneyland Kansas City, Disneyland Houston, Disneyland London.

    Lol, the nightmares.

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