(And OF COURSE Miss Piggy's date with Taye Diggs clahsed with the Belle Notte music... that's why it was funny.)
I've gone to Disneyland and DisneyWorld many times, and usually don't include Universal, unless they have something new I really want to see.
There's no way the opposite would be true. If I were to make a trip to see the Harry Potter addition, there's no way I'd not visit WDW as well, and I'd spend more time there than Universal.
I don't think Disney stands to lose anything at all, and in fact might just benefit. Since Disney isn't offering any new attractions, it could be Harry Potter that convinces me to go back to Orlando, and I'll visit Disney and even stay in one of their hotels, in all likelihood.
I suppose some people who go for both might now be more inclined to stay offsite.
And what will Disney lose anyway? If I do six days at WDW instead of seven, in order to see Potter, they don't lose much admission revenue due to how their tickets are priced. They get me for a few less meals, but that's it.
Oh, and if more people visit Universal, maybe they'll buy some Marvel merchandise, which helps Disney too.
I think Harry Potter is a win-win for Universal and Disney.
I've encountered a dirty park with inattentive staff members every time I have gone to Universal Studios Orlando. I'll never go back. Although, I have to admit they did have 2 really cool rides - Back to the Future (gone now) and Spiderman.
I will always go back to WDW for the cleanliness and friendly cast members that I encounter each and every time I visit the resort.
Staying an extra day offsite is a big hassle. That's by design. But if you've got a carrot out there that people ARE willing to consider... that shifts the blame of the hassle not on the carrot, but on Disney. This stands to weaken the MYW/MagicalExpress stranglehold model. And if people skip that, that's when the wall starts to crumble.
It's not about guests spending a day somewhere else.. it's about how guests visit Disney. As soon as you accept hiring a car... it leads to questioning why you pay a premium for a disney hotel... why should I spend all my days at Disney, there is a lot more out there, etc. It snowballs... it's like a leak in a Dike. It only takes a small trickle before it picks up steam and takes more out with it.
Remember.. people in general don't extend their vacations, they just divide them up differently. So any gains of days at USO will be days lost at Disney generally. Add that with weakening the Magical Express story, exposing weaknesses in the Hotels, etc.
It about people getting more of the story beyond what Disney feeds them. The more self-aware travelers become, the more Disney stands to lose.
So much of Disney's core assets is the perception it's the cats meow and nothing else in Orlando is worth visiting. Having that myth broken in the core Disney tourist audience will be costly to Disney.
What Disney needs to be worried about is not the season 1 or season 2 impact... but it's influence on how it markets and traps people without it looking like a trap.
WWHP is going to expose MYW/Magical Express as a manipulative tool to a lot of gomers who didn't see it before.
I agree with whoever said it would be in Disney's best interest to run a free shuttle to Universal. It could leave from the TTC and likely wouldn't cost much but be very much made up for by guests continuing to stay on property because of it.
Once Universal becomes more popular than the Disney parks, then this is a whole new debate. But I don't see that happening any time soon.
That all said, I don't think MYW/Magical Express are manipulative, though I do understand the statement, I have long thought the more days you pay, the less expensive it should be. Thats fair and generally heeds to the values of the scale of economics. The more you buy, the less it costs.
And Magical Express is a fantastic option for WDW guests. It increases the value of staying at a Disney Resort. Due to universal only having three hotels, its easy to give those guest's exclusive line privildges. With all of Disney's resort's, is more complex to offer the same. But having your bags delivered directly to your room, a free shuttle too and from the resort, and airline check in for your departure from the lobby of your hotel.... I am proud of Disney for coming up with these innovative services that enhance to the Disney resort expeince. Its no more manipulative then Universal Offer line priviledges to its resort guests. Thats a great benefit of a Universal Resort. MYW/Magical Express are nice benies of WDW resorts. With out these WDW resorts will still only have Extra Magic Hours and Disney Transportation as bragging rights.
They just recently added MCO's largest carrier to airline check in, Southwest Airlines, and boy were the guests asking for that. I do fear the lines being too long in the lobbies of WDW resort hotels for airline check in now that Southwest is in the mix, but the guests were appearantly screaming for it.... so they got.
Personally, when I did two weeks at WDW in 2006, I stayed on property, used a rental car for maybe six days to do Uni, NASA, Gatorworld, and a few other things. I still preferred being on Disney property, but the free dining plan was really enticing.
I checked today, and can stay in a decent hotel, minutes from WDW, for $29 a night, in September. Perhaps Potter will expose just how much of a premium one pays to stay at WDW.
As for "clash" I wasn't speaking about the commercial's intended humor. Just the sight of that pig puppet in that teacup with that beautiful Disney song playing over it was stomach-turning. I'd have much the same reaction if Spiderman was shown climbing up the side of the Castle. Just a horrible clash of creative cultures. To quote a Muppet phrase: "One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn't belong..." ;)