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  1. #16

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    Re: 7/15: SeaWhirled

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinYee View Post
    I definitely got it wrong when I typed that AB built the SeaWorld parks. I'm not sure that I agree with you that the other points you mention constitute a lack of 'research.'
    They are things you'd think otherwise about if you actually did some research into the groups you were discussing. Opinions without background are simply guesses. Uneducated or baseless guesses are not interesting. Worst off, statements that substantiate temselves with inaccurate facts or information are even worse.

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinYee View Post
    The articles I put on MiceAge represent different types of writing week to week. Some weeks it is breaking news (Flamingo Crossing, contingency plans, etc). Other weeks it is an extended trip report, inflected through my own experiences and opinions (TSM impressions, Declining by Degrees). Other weeks it takes a more academic bent (Immersion Toward Interesting Illusion). And some weeks it is just pure speculation, and yes, more blog-like.

    I agree with you this probably lowers my credibility as a pure newsman, but I'm not sure that's a bad thing. I don't want to be a pure news reporter.
    Not credibility as a news person (I've never seen any of your articles be news breakers) its about credibility of your opinion. Even opinion pieces needs consistency and accuracy.

    When 1/3rd of the page into an article people are turned off by inaccuracies - the rest is thrown out with the bath water.

    Opinions founded on shaking ground are seen just as shaky. Opinion pieces that don't even present a position or conclusion are just ramblings.

    I love having a Florida perspective published on Micechat... I'd just like to see more accuracy and research going into the articles. This downward spiral of half-information, inaccurate information, and lack of any real position in the last few articles has been disappointing.
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  2. #17

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    Re: 7/15: SeaWhirled

    Quote Originally Posted by flynnibus View Post
    This downward spiral of half-information, inaccurate information, and lack of any real position in the last few articles has been disappointing.
    I don't disagree with you that inaccurate information can sink an opinion piece. What I don't see is what, exactly, is inaccurate.

    The BP sentence, for instance, was written with the readers in mind who don't follow these companies particularly, and still assume that BP stands for British Petroleum. YOU may have known that, but when you write for a wide audience, it's hard to know exactly what's OK to assume.

    I'll agree that this particular article didn't take a real position, though. But the last few articles have taken positions about oil prices and what Disney can/should be doing. They've been unpopular positions, in fact.
    Kevin Yee
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    Walt Disney World Hidden History - tributes, homages, and ride remnants at WDW
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    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

  3. #18

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    Re: 7/15: SeaWhirled

    Quote Originally Posted by flynnibus View Post
    Not credibility as a news person (I've never seen any of your articles be news breakers)
    As I mentioned earlier, Flamingo Crossing (then known only as Western Beltway Expansion) was first reported in my column, as was the recommended contingency plan to sell the parks if oil hit $160.
    Kevin Yee
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    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

  4. #19

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    Re: 7/15: SeaWhirled

    The most jaw-dropping mistake was the entire paragraph on Fox using Star Wars. Come on, Kevin, you of all people should know that Disney owns the rights to the SW trilogy, so Fox can never use it. Star Tours, Star Wars Weekends, the RDCT finale...I could go on and on. Good article, but think before you type...

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    Re: 7/15: SeaWhirled

    I was under the impression that the Haunted Shack was removed to make way for the mystery lodge. The skycoaster is where the soap-box derby racers used to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by goldenstate5 View Post
    The most jaw-dropping mistake was the entire paragraph on Fox using Star Wars. Come on, Kevin, you of all people should know that Disney owns the rights to the SW trilogy, so Fox can never use it. Star Tours, Star Wars Weekends, the RDCT finale...I could go on and on. Good article, but think before you type...
    This post makes no sense at all. Lucasfilm owns the Star Wars Trilogy. Fox owns the film rights. Disney owns the theme park rights. It seems that you're the one who needs to think before typing.
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  6. #21

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    Re: 7/15: SeaWhirled

    Hey Kevin, you have an inacurate point in your article.

    "have you tasted the "Budweiser" brand as sold in Europe? It's completely different!"

    That's not an A-B brand in Europe. It's a completely different company which has been featured on 60 minutes before talking about it as "The best beer you'll never drink."

    From Wikipedia:

    "In Budweis, the new company (now named Budvar) was established in 1895 by mainly Czech brewers, which also started exporting beer with the adjective Budweiser ("Budějovický" in Czech). This led to the Budweiser trademark dispute. Negotiations between the three companies, the two from the original town and the American Anheuser-Busch, about using "Budweiser" reached an agreement in 1911 that allowed Anheuser-Busch to use the brand "Budweiser" only in North America."

  7. #22

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    Re: 7/15: SeaWhirled

    I generally enjoy the content posted each day on MiceAge, but I must take exception to the Sea World piece today. I thought it was a pretty weak speculation/analysis piece, which is completely surprising coming from the author, who has pretty deep knowledge of Disney and theme parks in general.

    I think we can do better. Let’s start by seconding what Not Quite Cpt. Jack and some others have pointed out: “Busch beer did not create SeaWorld, they bought SeaWorld…" You bet. Sea World was previously owned by the school book publisher Harcourt Brace Jovanovich since the mid 1970s. Many of the visitors to any of the four Sea World parks (in San Diego, Orlando, San Antonio and Aurora, Ohio) in the 1970s and 80s would fondly recall the big book stores that were filled with educational books about science and nature. The stores were one of the marquee shopping offerings at the parks, and set them apart from competitors like Disney and Six Flags. Sea World parks blended education and entertainment, while its competition offered thrills and fun. That’s why, with one or two exceptions, Sea World emphasized animal exhibits and shows, rather than rides (including thrill rides).

    Unfortunately, in later years the parks began to slip, as did the animals under their care. What they most needed was a steward with deep pockets, which they found when they were purchased by Anheuser-Busch. Busch made immediate changes to the parks, pouring much-needed capital into building new animal exhibits and spiff up old ones. They also introduced rides into the mix. I have been to Sea World Orlando several times. The two most striking trips, however, were in 1988 and 1991. In ‘88, the park was tired and the exhibits and attractions were dull. A few years later, things popped. Exhibits had fresh paint, there were elaborate sand sculptures between flower beds along the walkways, and the park’s first simulator ride, Mission: Bermuda Triangle, debuted. When park guests exited after the evening’s fireworks show, they were given free Sea World keychain fobs and samples of Eagle Snacks, A-B’s far superior answer to the products produced by Frito-Lay.

    The purchase of Sea World helped A-B significantly expand its theme park unit, and thus its efforts to market its products directly to the public. (With the exception of Sesame Place, the Sesame Street themed offering in Langhorne, Pa., that targets preschoolers and their families. No alcohol is sold there.) It also helped improve its public image as more than just a beer company.

    Even without the theme parks, A-B has diverse interests outside of beer. One company division is one of the largest U.S. makers of aluminum cans -- for A-B and soft drink companies alike. Another division services railroad cars and locomotives. It is these “non-core” assets, analysts say, that might be the targets of a sell-off once A-B’s merger with InBev is completed. A key metric in determining what happens to the theme parks is to consider what they add to the new Anheuser-Busch InBev, and what they don’t. Pre-merger, A-B’s theme park unit generated between 8 and 10 percent of total revenues for the company. Although the parks are certainly profitable enterprises, in the combined company the amount of revenue they bring in would be negligible. Also to consider: InBev is taking on significant debt to fund the acquisition of A-B. So one of senior management’s top priorities will be to lower this debt as quickly as possible. They will do this by shedding employees (buyouts and layoffs) and by selling assets not directly related to their core operation -- making beer. So it makes a lot of sense for InBev to sell off the theme park division to the highest bidder.

  8. #23

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    Re: 7/15: SeaWhirled

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomme View Post
    Research - And Sony doesn't operate MGM.
    Well, I don't know about that. I do know that in Culver City, CA, MGM Studios became Columbia Studios, which became Sony Studios. So maybe Sony doesn't opperate MGM, but that's a pretty interesting coincidence, then.
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  9. #24

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    Re: 7/15: SeaWhirled

    I won't comment on Kevin's lack of knowledge about SeaWorld's history. That's been documented above. On the subject of WILL it be sold... and to WHOM... I'd add this:

    Be VERY clear about this: InBev WILL dump the asset. They've all but said it out loud. They've announced in Press Conferences that they need to sell off "non-core assets" to fund the A-B purchase and reduce the debt they just acquired as its result. And, as BEC was only responsible for a bit more than 7% of the company's earnings last year -- as much as we love it, it's nowhere NEAR a core asset.

    Make no mistake about it -- NONE of the companies that have been mentioned (both by Kevin and in subsequent posts) can afford to acquire the AB Entertainment assets. Cedar Fair and Six Flags cannot take on the massive debt it would require to finance the purchase -- and, frankly, it would be foolish for them to do so, given the operational capabilities of their current holdings. Viacom is thrilled to be out of the themed entertainment business. And Dreamworks isn't going to add an asset that doesn't align with their core business that adds this massive amount of debt.

    Who will buy it? Probably no one we'd immediately think of. And, it won't be anytime soon. For starters, the overall deal needs regulatory (and shareholder) approval, and the earliest that would be is year's end. Further, this is NOT the economy to be buying (or selling, for that matter) themed entertainment locations. It's likely to be a Private Equity firm, and it's not going to be a while. Check the stock market, folks, and it's easy to see why.

  10. #25

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    Re: 7/15: SeaWhirled

    Quote Originally Posted by lnsemsf View Post
    Hey Kevin, you have an inacurate point in your article.

    "have you tasted the "Budweiser" brand as sold in Europe? It's completely different!"

    That's not an A-B brand in Europe. It's a completely different company which has been featured on 60 minutes before talking about it as "The best beer you'll never drink."

    From Wikipedia:
    Nice clip but ignores the fact that Bud is sold internationally. Be it pure import or canned abroad I do not know. But it is certainly available in Europe.
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  11. #26

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    Re: 7/15: SeaWhirled

    Quote Originally Posted by LaffWithU@ View Post
    Make no mistake about it -- NONE of the companies that have been mentioned (both by Kevin and in subsequent posts) can afford to acquire the AB Entertainment assets.

    Who will buy it? Probably no one we'd immediately think of.
    Yup, agreed on both counts. Which is why I think InBev may have to hold on to this non-core asset for a while, until they can FIND a buyer. Because really, who would be interested AND has the money?

    A foreign company just may bite, perhaps even with petrodollars. Now that would be a turnaround in culture.
    Kevin Yee
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    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

  12. #27

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    Re: 7/15: SeaWhirled

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinYee View Post
    I don't disagree with you that inaccurate information can sink an opinion piece. What I don't see is what, exactly, is inaccurate.

    The BP sentence, for instance, was written with the readers in mind who don't follow these companies particularly, and still assume that BP stands for British Petroleum. YOU may have known that, but when you write for a wide audience, it's hard to know exactly what's OK to assume.
    I don't follow the company nor do I expect the readers do either. However, that doesn't give me artistic license to contradict history. You don't need to be in the Oil Biz to have recognized BP rebranding the Amoco Stations for many years now - nor that they are green with a green/yellow flower for their logo - or seen the TV ads for ages now. You don't have to be in the shoe business to recognize 'just do it' as an old ad campaign. Other comments made in past articles make it seem like there is an attitude of 'what is news to me, must be news to everyone'. This is the type of stuff you should research before publishing so your comments don't come off as off-tilt to your readers.

    Talking over your readers is much less destructive then looking like you lack credibility.

    Just look at some of the other posts in this thread.. actually using facts like how large or small the parks are to AB... to using quotes from InBev.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sleepyjeff View Post
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  13. #28

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    Re: 7/15: SeaWhirled

    Quote Originally Posted by AliKzam View Post
    Well, I don't know about that.
    I do. If you want to refute something someone says, I think netiquette dictates you need to do a little better than that. Now back to my day job. In Culver City.

  14. #29

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    Re: 7/15: SeaWhirled

    Quote Originally Posted by AliKzam View Post
    Well, I don't know about that. I do know that in Culver City, CA, MGM Studios became Columbia Studios, which became Sony Studios. So maybe Sony doesn't opperate MGM, but that's a pretty interesting coincidence, then.
    This is the type of 'lack of research' I'm talking about. You're connected to the Internet.. use it.

    From Sony's Consolidated Financial Statement

    MGM continues to operate under the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer name as a private company, headquartered in Los Angeles, California and is focused on new film production and distribution activities. As part of the acquisition, SCA invested 257 million U.S. dollars for 20% of the total equity capital, which includes both common stock and a significant amount of non-voting preferred stock with detachable common stock warrents. Although Sony owns 20% of MGM's total equity, on a fully diluted basis as a result of the warrants dilution, Sony owns 45% of the total outstanding common stock...
    But you will also see that Sony does not control the board of MGM nor does MGM operate as part of Sony (including selling rights and distribution to competitors).
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    Quote Originally Posted by sleepyjeff View Post
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  15. #30

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    Re: 7/15: SeaWhirled

    Time Warner doesn't own any parks anymore. Just licenseing there characters.
    Goodbye, Me Bizarro is not Monkey Joe. Me Bizarro hates Disney parks so much. Hello

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