View Poll Results: Is ZED good for TDR?

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  • YES! I love it! It adds so much to the Resort!

    2 20.00%
  • It will be. It just needs more time to mature and adapt its business model.

    3 30.00%
  • I'm not sure.

    2 20.00%
  • I like it, but it's too big/expensive for the mostly local Parks and not "big" enough on its own.

    1 10.00%
  • NO! It cost too much! We're getting higher ticket prices and smaller Park events because of it!

    2 20.00%
Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1

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    Lightbulb Is ZED good for TDR?

    *By the time I finished replying from another thread, I realized this was really its own topic, and one I've heard a lot about, but can't remember seeing on these boards. My first post is about one part of this question; I hope that this thread expands with others' perspectives and directions. I'm interested in what everyone thinks. Those who've seen ZED and those who haven't, those who are curious and those who are uninterested (why?), those with inside info on OLC/Cirque's plans and those who have ideas and questions (like me^^). Everything that follows is based on the assumption that ZED attendance really is problematic. I've heard these rumors for a long time, but I've looked all morning and can't seem to find any hard evidence that proves it.

    Quote Originally Posted by TravisMT81 View Post
    Cindy's Royal Hall, Jasmine's Flying carpets, Philarmagic. Those are really the only new attractions, though Fantasmic is probably costing them alot!!
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    And toy story midway mania
    And poor, poor underperforming ZED. I've heard about its hemorrhaging losses pretty much since its inception. It's certainly not because it's not a good show - it is mind-blowingly FANTASTIC! But it was expensive to produce and must cost a lot to keep going, too. Cirque du Soleil doesn't have enough clout in Japan to be a regular sell-out crowd-bringer based on brand cache alone; I meet Japanese people all the time who - still now - don't recognize the name when they hear it. And truly understanding the majesty of ZED is difficult until you actually go to see it, especially without a strong background of understanding what Cirque du Soleil is all about in the first place.

    The "ZED + Park" campaign that runs at least through the end of this year seems like a great idea to me. I wonder how it's actually affected sales? My only beef with it is that it limits the offer to people who are willing to buy premium seats. What bugs me about ZED is that it's a truly amazing show that everyone ought to see, but the high-priced seats stop a lot of people from seeing it. And a lot of people who would see it again and again (like me) aren't willing to pay upwards of ¥7500 to see a show we've seen before, especially if we can't convince friends to spend the money to come with us.^^ The "Value Seats" start at ¥7500 during Non-peak times. I imagine that's a little steep for high school and college students that make up a LOT of TDR revenue, especially when it's considered on top of admission to the theme parks, which is the real draw to Maihama for most. ZED certainly has an audience, but its price is prohibitive to a lot of people who'd be interested in seeing it if it didn't cost so much that it had to be its own very expensive main event. ZED needs to offer some seats that are cheap enough that one could go to the show on a day at the parks and not feel they were spending a lot of money to "lose Disney time." I think "ZED + Park" is headed in the right direction, though - namely, linking ZED to Disney.

    Along those lines, I'd also suggest that what worked for Duffy could work for ZED - constant visibility and more charming/cute/affordable/character-based product offerings. I don't know how complicated the licensing would be, but if there were plush mascots of the "Illustrious Eight" as ZED characters hanging off designer handbags all around Tokyo, I think there'd be a fuller house more nights of the week. Besides totally non-Disney ZED Tarot cards, these are what I wanted after I saw the show:

    Mickey as Zed
    Minnie as Nouit (callback to Dramatic DisneySEA bonus!)
    Daisy as Erato (callback to Mysterious Masquerade bonus!)
    Donald as the Shaman (callback to Mysterious Masquerade bonus!)
    Goofy as Djinn (Djinn is anything but "goofy," but Mickey has to be Zed, right? And I Donald as the Shaman for the callback... Goofy can be very cool with the right design!)
    Pluto as Abraka (more positive) or Kernoun (more visually interesting)
    Chip & Dale as Clowns

    Even if these plush were only available for a limited time or by becoming a "ZED Fan Club" member or something, the impact could really be significant. Other options with a "ZED Fan Club" card are allowing members to get discounts or special offers like Funderful Disney, or even a point card system to save money after multiple viewings. What ZED really needs, I think, is for more people to be able to go more often and "adopt" it. Those people need attention-getting "badges" they're likely to keep visible as they go about their daily lives to advertise it. I have never seen a single piece of ZED merchandise outside the official shop. Compare that to Duffy, those of you who've been in Japan during the past year.^^

    Also, that core needs to be able to invite friends for a reasonable price so more of the people who are not already interested will go and fall in love with it. ZED's (lack of) financial success, I suspect, is directly related to pricing changes and other developments in the park now that it's part of OLC's budget. Again, it is definitely not for lack of being a great show. I remember when I saw Alegria for the first time on DVD and Quidam as my first live Cirque performance, and ZED impresses me as much as either. The difference is that those are not permanent installations. If I wanted to see Quidam, I had to pony up and pay now. Audiences don't feel resigned to, "It'll still be there whenever I feel like going" or "We saw that already; it's just the same thing." With such high ticket prices, this line of thinking is not unreasonable. In Maihama's largely local ecosystem, pricing needs to be adjusted so that locals can support it. To survive, it needs a healthy number of avid repeat customers. Even if they limited Fan Club membership, or made only half of the "Value Seats" cheaper, if there was a way for me to see ZED regularly for less than ¥4000, I'd go often. But any more than that and no one will go with me, which is less fun, so I have only seen it once, like a lot of people.

    PS: For non-Japanese theater goers (visitor OR resident!) who'd like to see ZED during select performances next year from January 18 through March 6, there is currently a special 25% off campaign. I'll try to get some folks together to go again during this time, to support the show and the pricing decision. Unfortunately, though, the friends who'd be most likely interested are Japanese. That "non-Japanese" part confuses me, especially since card-carrying foreign residents of Japan are not excluded. Good for me, but still odd. Anyway, take advantage of the chance to see and support this incredible show! (...and keep TDR prices under control!^^) (LINK to ZED official site, page for campaign)
    Last edited by DuffyDaisuki; 12-14-2010 at 11:54 PM.

  2. #2

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    Re: Is ZED good for TDR?

    I agree that Zed is amazing. It was my first Cirque experience and it is very very good.

    To be honest though, before I bought my tickets, there were lingering doubts whether the cost of the show is justified. I mean the cheapest tickets were 7,500 yen which is significantly more than a one day pass to TDL / TDS. I agree that the package deal with Resort + Zed would be very helpful in raising the cache of Zed to the Japanese.

    Since Maihama's star attraction is TDR by a mile, I think that Zed would actually do better if the performance was held in downtown Tokyo instead of right next to TDR. As it is now, Zed does not complement the Disney experience and more like a "do it if I have the time + money" kind of thing which is unfortunate.

  3. #3

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    Thumbs up Re: Is ZED good for TDR?

    Quote Originally Posted by xyotio View Post
    Since Maihama's star attraction is TDR by a mile, I think that Zed would actually do better if the performance was held in downtown Tokyo instead of right next to TDR…
    I'm shocked this thought never even occurred to me. I guess I just see ZED as a very "OLC" project…. But thinking about it throughout the day, I realized that while some Tokyoites may not be huge Cirque fans, that's true everywhere. The touring shows do well here, I think. It does seem, now that you mention it, that ZED is almost set up to compete with TDR for my attention, rather than each complementing the other. It really is a shame if this keeps some from seeing it, as it's incredible and the people involved in it are full of both talent and commitment. I really do wish there was an official fan club!

    Honestly, I've only heard of these troubles through rumor and hearsay. Has anyone ever seen an actual news report or something that confirms ZED as less than successful, or potentially siphoning money from the Resort? I've heard it from a few people, some I'd trust to know, but never seen any kind of proof. I'd hate to think it's taking away from the parks, but even if it is, it seems like there should be some easy way to make such a great show more popular.

  4. #4

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    Re: Is ZED good for TDR?

    Although I do enjoy Zed, I don't think that it really needs to have a permanent location at the Tokyo Disney Resort. I haven't read or heard anything official about it- but I don't think that it's a big draw for the resort & ticket prices are actually higher than many of the Cirque shows at other locations.

    Zed itself, really doesn't really fit in with either the Theme Parks or Disney Characters. It is an enjoyable show, but I really don't see that many people going to the resort just to see it. It is an additional non-Disney experience located on the Disney resort property. So I don't really see it adding anything more to TDR.

    I've seen about 5 or 6 other Cirque shows- but Zed is my favorite. I'm not a Cirque fan at all and really haven't liked any of the other Cirque shows I've seen, but some of my friends are. I think all of the performers are outstanding at what they do, but I don't like the way Cirque du Soleil puts together their shows.

    I really don't care for the music in most of their shows and it seems that they try to put together storylines that really don't work well & many times- there is just so much going on during the show- you really can't focus on the main performers & I don't think they get the attention that they really deserve since all of the other performances going on around them distract the audience from really focusing on just how well the main acts perform.
    Last edited by jedimaster7313; 12-15-2010 at 08:08 AM.

  5. #5

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    Talking Re: Is ZED good for TDR?

    I can't believe it didn't occur to me before! It's so obvious! All they have to do is put Duffy in the show! - the Clowns can pull him out of a hat or something... And they can sell limited edition ZED costumes in the shop! Problem solved. You're welcome, OLC.

  6. #6

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    Re: Is ZED good for TDR?

    I wish they would put Duffy in the show and do away with the clowns completely- I think Cirque's attemts at clowning is pretty bad and usually ruins the rest of the show for me anyway.

  7. #7

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    Talking Re: Is ZED good for TDR?

    Quote Originally Posted by jedimaster7313 View Post
    I wish they would put Duffy in the show and do away with the clowns completely...
    I actually love the Clowns, but that was funny! Can you imagine? They'd replace the Clowns with the "My Friend Duffy" song!

  8. #8

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    Re: Is ZED good for TDR?

    I Know when i stayed on the resort it was a incredible experience but my goal wasnt to see Zed we did look into it and we were a little taken back by the price why would I spend that much when its less money to go into the parks or take part in a disney show dinner package etc. I am wondering what the traffic patten is of tokyo disney resort guests how many nights on average do they stay on property do they tend to take part in ikspiari if they are staying in the hotels or are they more likely to just stay in the parks.. Over the 5 day four night period , I did eat breakfast in the hotels twice once at Hotel Mira Costa and once at the Disneyland hotel for the experience, the othe days I grabbed some snacks at the 24hr shops in the hotels and had lunch and dinner in the parks, I never ate Ikspiari, I did shop at Bon Voyage. So I am just wondering if Zed was really justified or needed on property if the patterns show more resort guests spend times in the parks and the hotels. I also do think price point is a major factor. maybe make it dinner and a show. I dont think its bad for the resort , I just think they need to look at how its marketed. Have the Zed Characters come out around the Ikspiari and introduce customers to them...
    They do need to look at a different option otherwise it may shutter soon


  9. #9

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    Re: Is ZED good for TDR?

    Quote Originally Posted by lighttragic View Post
    ...Have the Zed Characters come out around the Ikspiari and introduce customers to them...
    They've done this. A few times, actually, I think. Someone more knowledgeable than me will chime in.^^

    Quote Originally Posted by lighttragic View Post
    They do need to look at a different option otherwise it may shutter soon
    This isn't really an option, either. The OLC in many ways virtually is Disney in Japan, and it would be just as serious for its image and its shareholders if it failed so publicly. I mean, they built that whole theater! If they're smart, they'll lower ticket prices WAY before it comes to that, and make sure that people know about the price change. If tickets started at ¥4000 and maxed out at ¥10000, I think there'd be more dedicated fans. The current pricing is just way too difficult to justify when it's sitting across from the best amusement resort in the world...and costs more to enter.

  10. #10

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    Re: Is ZED good for TDR?

    Quote Originally Posted by DuffyDaisuki View Post
    They've done this. A few times, actually, I think. Someone more knowledgeable than me will chime in.^^



    This isn't really an option, either. The OLC in many ways virtually is Disney in Japan, and it would be just as serious for its image and its shareholders if it failed so publicly. I mean, they built that whole theater! If they're smart, they'll lower ticket prices WAY before it comes to that, and make sure that people know about the price change. If tickets started at ¥4000 and maxed out at ¥10000, I think there'd be more dedicated fans. The current pricing is just way too difficult to justify when it's sitting across from the best amusement resort in the world...and costs more to enter.
    Then I think the only real solution is to lower prices or make it a dinnner show package... Maybe charge 7500 but give people a list of restruants within the Ikspiari where they can get food from.. Its done out here in LA alot in theatre district and is very popular.


  11. #11

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    Re: Is ZED good for TDR?

    Quote Originally Posted by lighttragic View Post
    Then I think the only real solution is to lower prices or make it a dinnner show package... Maybe charge 7500 but give people a list of restruants within the Ikspiari where they can get food from.. Its done out here in LA alot in theatre district and is very popular.
    That's a really interesting idea, actually. I hope someone who can implement it is lurking around here somewhere...^^

  12. #12

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    Re: Is ZED good for TDR?

    It's interesting to hear the thoughts here on the Zed show. Unfortunately, I have not seen it yet as we always run out of time while we are there and I hate to cut into my Disney time, which is surprising as I am a big Cirque fan. I used to live in Vegas for a number of years and saw a number of their shows -- by far, Mystere was my favorite one that I've seen countless times. I've traveled for some of their shows in the US and I've seen the one in Macau.

    What's interesting to me about the comments above is the discussion on lowering the prices. For me, Tokyo Disney is obviously much more expensive than the other parks - I am into collectibles and I manage to drop some pretty serious cash each visit. Japan people don't even seem to bat an eye at the cost of merchandise and Disney in general -- part of it is perhaps the culture or the fact that certain wages may be more in line with the high cost of living...I don't know. But the prices for Zed are actually less than some Cirque shows in the US that sell out nightly. I've paid over $100 US numerous times for average seats and $150 US for good ones...and this was when I was in my 20's and nearly living paycheck to paycheck so it was a struggle.

    Cirque and its culture is quite different and I do not necessarily see them comingling with Disney. Although I have to admit if they had Duffy and Shellie May in the show, I'd probably go every visit. LOL They could actually do that without really sacrificing or detracting from their professional performance. I am not sure if Zed has the wacky, funny elements that other Cirque shows do to pass the time prior to the show start and to fill the "intermissions" when they are changing sets. It would be quite easy to tie in some Disney elements there, which would then provide a link to its location in Tokyo.

    Lighttragic mentioned the dinner idea - that is definitely a viable option and something a few of the shows offer in Vegas....although there seems to be no discount there (they usually feature one of the more expensive restaurants).

    The problem I see with Zed and Ikspiari in general is the lack of true "night life". In general international Disney parks do not keep the long hours that the US parks do - much of that I assume comes from the public transportation issues. In the US, most people drive and I've always driven to both parks whereas even when we had a car in Paris, we took the train in. Since trains and public transport usually cease at midnight, things seem to close early. We had a hard time finding anything open late on a Friday night last week -- we hit our favorite little wine bar and Tapas place and noticed that the area in general was not that busy. They need more unique restaurants and places that bring people in at night and I think Zed would see some pick up just from that.

    Right now, it seems like the theater is way off and sort of an afterthought -- it needs to be in the middle of the action and on peoples' minds for them to want to see the show. I did notice this trip they had a Zed food special in the Ambassador Hotel -- perhaps market it more in the hotels in general (I have never seen anything about it in the official partner hotels).
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  13. #13

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    Re: Is ZED good for TDR?

    I like Zed but I feel it was a mistake to build a resident Cirque du Soleil show in a area where so very few tourist ever visit. The majority of Guests who visit the Tokyo Disney Resort are day visitors and come from the same region. Now the Guests that visit from futher away only come into town on a short break and a Cirque du Soleil show is not really on the agenda. The reason why other Resident shows work in destinations like Vegas and Orlando is because the crowds are all tourist. Visiting town for multiple days at a time with money to burn and wishing to be entertained. I have seen up to now very little effort made to attract Zed to the thousands of foreigners who visit Tokyo each month on business or vacation. Zed will continue to fail because the only folk who visit Maihama are Disney fans who only make the journey to see Mickey Mouse.

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