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  1. #1

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    Disney plans themed hotels for major U.S. cities m- OrlandoSentinel.com

    Story at: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/busin...home-headlines

    Disney plans themed hotels for major U.S. cities

    Scott Powers | Sentinel Staff Writer
    Posted February 7, 2007, 8:03 PM EST ADVERTISEMENTS


    Walt Disney Parks and Resorts is considering putting Disney-themed hotels and nightlife districts into downtown areas of major cities that don't currently have Disney properties.

    Disney is not yet making any commitments to "urban Disney hotels" or stand-alone Disney entertainment districts, Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Jay Rasulo told investors tonight. But he outlined them as "some of the ideas our business team and Imagineers [Disney's term for designers and engineers] are thinking about," as ways to expand Disney's tourism business into new locales.

    In addressing investors, Rasulo said Disney is thinking about developing major "flagship" hotels -- such as the Disney Grand Floridian at Walt Disney World -- or themed hotels that could be built in large cities that already are tourist draws.

    He did not cite examples.

    He also said the Downtown Disney concept has been so successful at both Disney World and Disneyland in California that the idea could be transplanted into major urban areas.
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  2. #2

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    Re: Disney plans themed hotels for major U.S. cities m- OrlandoSentinel.com

    I don't much like the idea of diluting the Disney brand like this, but hey, if it raises the stock price, I'm all for it.


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    Re: Disney plans themed hotels for major U.S. cities m- OrlandoSentinel.com

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeland View Post
    I don't much like the idea of diluting the Disney brand like this, but hey, if it raises the stock price, I'm all for it.
    You sound like Walt incarnate.

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    Re: Disney plans themed hotels for major U.S. cities m- OrlandoSentinel.com

    Wasn't there a line from the Incredibles that went something like "when everyone has special powers, no one will be special anymore"?
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  5. #5

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    Re: Disney plans themed hotels for major U.S. cities m- OrlandoSentinel.com

    MSNBC is on it too:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17045506/

    LOS ANGELES - The Walt Disney Co. is considering “blue sky concepts” of creating smaller theme parks and stand-alone hotels, retail, dining and entertainment centers, Jay Rasulo, chairman of Disney’s Parks and Resorts told analysts at a conference on Wednesday.

    Building stand-alone hotels in urban areas where families already travel would give Disney the chance to reach out to parents who feel their children are still too young to appreciate a trip to a Disney theme park, Rasulo said.

    Along those lines, Disney could locate versions of its Downtown Disneyland, a high-end retail, dining and entertainment district, in urban areas far from its parks, he said.

    The company also was exploring alternatives to full-size theme parks, including “a smaller, deeply immersive park” that would offer consumers a more interactive experience at higher prices.

    These ideas are “blue sky concepts” that will not be executed unless the new businesses could achieve a high return on invested capital, Rasulo said.

    Disney also was looking into expanding its water park offerings beyond Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach and possibly adding ships to its two-vessel cruise lines, Rasulo said.

    Rasulo had little to add about the lackluster performance by Hong Kong Disneyland, which opened in September of 2007, and failed to meet first-year attendance target of 5.6 million.

    “Hong Kong Disneyland developed a little more slowly than we expected in 1999 when the deal was put together” but the company was confident of its growth trajectory, he said.
    “We identified some challenges to be addressed in the near future in sales and marketing and seasonality,” he added.


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    Re: Disney plans themed hotels for major U.S. cities m- OrlandoSentinel.com

    Maybe Starwood will be the management company.

    Is Rasulo under the impression that open-air malls do not exist in major urban areas?

    And, does he know that if there are Disney-themed hotels in some non-Disney resort site, people might be less inclined to go to places like WDW? And that those hotel guests would be out spending their money at non-Disney-owned places?
    Um, "stupid" is the word that comes to mind.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

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    Re: Disney plans themed hotels for major U.S. cities m- OrlandoSentinel.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Kid Vanguard View Post
    You sound like Walt incarnate.
    I'm a ROY person actually.


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    Re: Disney plans themed hotels for major U.S. cities m- OrlandoSentinel.com

    I would think Rasulo's idea of Disney themed hotels away from parks look like a Marriott with a character breakfast.

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    Re: Disney plans themed hotels for major U.S. cities m- OrlandoSentinel.com

    This smells like Rasulo doing anything he can to save his job.

    IMHO, this will take some away from going to destinations like DL and WDW. "Why go all the way to WDW to see Mickey, Donald, and Goofy when we can spend a fraction and do it for a night at home?" Not smart business, in my eyes.

  10. #10

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    Re: Disney plans themed hotels for major U.S. cities m- OrlandoSentinel.com

    This is Disney Store all over again... but just on a more grander scale.


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  11. #11

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    Re: Disney plans themed hotels for major U.S. cities m- OrlandoSentinel.com

    When there's a Gap, Starbucks and Disney on every corner....

  12. #12

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    Re: Disney plans themed hotels for major U.S. cities m- OrlandoSentinel.com

    I suppose I'm in the minority here, but I don't think this is an entirely bad idea. Surely, there are pros and cons to it, and it isnt entirely wise that they're pre-judging possible success on the fact that Downtown Disney is doing so well in Florida and California, because ultimately, its going to be a much different game when theme parks aren't located right next door.

    But if this venture is done correctly, budgeted properly, presents a family-friendly atmosphere that normal shopping districts seem to lack, then I think this could be a good idea.

    While this could certainly dilute the brand, it could also potentially strengthen it. It's an interesting concept...

  13. #13

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    Re: Disney plans themed hotels for major U.S. cities m- OrlandoSentinel.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Coheteboy View Post
    This is Disney Store all over again... but just on a more grander scale.
    I was thinking this very same thing.
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  14. #14

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    Re: Disney plans themed hotels for major U.S. cities m- OrlandoSentinel.com

    I'm not against this at all. It seems if they make nice hotels, it would be great.

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    Re: Disney plans themed hotels for major U.S. cities m- OrlandoSentinel.com

    Yes. This can be Disney Store all over again.

    Couple of major issues with Disney Store:
    * Initially it was considered a major success. It predated the internet so there was
    a pent up demand for Disney labelled merchandise.
    * The problems was 4 fold: Disney expanding too fast and too many places;
    Disney started to cheapen the merchandise (to concentrate on the so-called
    core i.e. kids at the expense of adults), Disney did not keep the stores updated,
    Disney really did not know/understand how to keep the chain going.

    Yes. it did extend the Disney brand, but once the initial surge passed and the
    inevitable decline occurred (partially due to the general economy), it ended up
    being a huge drag on the company.

    Now with the internet, it no longer makes sense to consider brick & morter stores.

    The lessons there applies here directly. However, there are some notable
    differences.

    * WDC already knows how to maintain and run hotels. It even owns some
    that are NOT at theme parks. (Hilton Head & Vero Beach).
    * These sites WILL NOT be theme parks. They will probably limit Mickey
    and Co. (if they're smart they will anyway).
    * As noted they will be in select vacation/major destinations. Not in every
    mall like the Disney Store was trying to do at the end of Disney's control.

    Anyway, in short, if they learn from the mistakes w/ Disney Store,
    execute well, invest sufficiently, then I think they can do quite well
    with this. They can almost handle this as an extention to DVC.

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