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  1. #46

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    Re: Why the Imagineers can at any time beat WWohP, but at the same time can't

    Disney World is in much bigger trouble than the company or its shareholders may want to recognize. And the problem isn't really Universal or Harry Potter. It is Disney themselves. The company has let Walt Disney World decline, become stale, and has failed to invest in keeping the parks vital.

    While Disney made a calculated decision to ride out the economic slump by cutting costs and discounting, Universal used that time to their advantage by building the single best amusement park attraction ever (in the United States).

    The signs are now obvious that if the Disney Company isn't in a state of creative decline, its Florida property certainly is. The new Fantasy Forrest expansion to Fantasyland is nothing more than a tiny bandage on a much larger problem.

    The Magic Kingdom could use at least one MAJOR new E+ ride and several new family rides. It has far too many shuttered shops and restaurants. Epcot is in dire need of attractions in the World Showcase section of the park and some sort of cohesive theme in its Future World section. The Studios park is a total disaster, relying solely on Tower of Terror and the increasingly painful Rock'n Rollercoaster to pull in crowds. Only the Animal Kingdom has been showing progress, but even that park requires a major new land to help the park feel more like a full day experience.

    Disney World is a money pit at the moment. Why? Because the company failed to invest as necessary as it went along. And now that Harry Potter has made Disney World's failures obvious to the average visitor, it will be difficult for Disney to recover quickly. Especially if its management team continues to block all major progress and push for clones and character meet-n-greets instead of spending the billions it will take to fix Disney World. The budget allocated to fix DCA is nothing compared to what it would take to put a suitable amount of dazzle and magic back into Walt Disney World.

    Unfortunately, the new Fantasyland expansion will likely be a public relations backfire for Disney. Universal builds a MAJOR E+++ ride and land which is fun for the WHOLE family. Disney counter-strikes with a Fantasyland expansion targeted at 10 year old girls. Total misstep on Disney's part. I'm not saying that the Fantasyland expansion won't be lovely, but it certainly won't address the real problems at the resort. It is a cheap attempt to fix a problem which it doesn't even come close to addressing.

    I feel terrible for the Imagineers who work so hard to present wonderful ideas which continue to get shot down by clueless theme park management. But one or two amazing new rides is NOT what Disney World needs at the moment. It needs a major comprehensive redevelopment plan on a massive scale. Everything from resort transportation, entertainment zones, theme park redevelopment, and staff member training should be included. And those in Orlando management who stand in the way should be very quickly swept aside. The next manager who cheerfully presents PowerPoint slides showing how much money was saved by incrementally cutting food portions or delaying maintenance should be thanked for their time and then fired. Disney World needs to refocus from an organization 100% focused on the bottom line into one which focuses instead on quality of show. It is one thing to overcharge for a product which is clearly better than what anyone else is capable of offering and quite another to overcharge for a product which it is increasingly difficult to justify its sliding level of quality.

    Disney world has too many MBAs and not enough creative types. And that will ultimately be its undoing, not Universal and their AMAZING, inventive, and star quality Harry Potter land.

    Disney World CAN be fixed, but it will take far more effort than I fear its management or the Disney Company is willing and able to provide.

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  2. #47

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    Re: Why the Imagineers can at any time beat WWohP, but at the same time can't

    ^This one.

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    Re: Why the Imagineers can at any time beat WWohP, but at the same time can't

    I agree with you 100% Dusty

    This is irrelevant, but any attendance boost IOA gets this year will probably only be this year.so when the attendance numbers come out in a year, that is when it is shows whether or not WWoHP is a success from a buisness perspective.

    what I think WDW should do, is first build a huge E ticket Ride that can beat forbidden journey in theme, experience, fun, and thrill. once that is done, then WDW can start its overhaul to turn it into the flagship resort.

    though i still think the flagship one should be DLR because its the original, but I digress

  4. #49

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    Re: Why the Imagineers can at any time beat WWohP, but at the same time can't

    But what was IOA if not a stale and dying park before Harry Potter? I mean, 10 years went by and the place got no big attractions and very little maintenance. Restaurants were shuttered. Triceratops Encounter was closed. Major effects were turned off some of the park's attractions(water vortex in Poseidon's Fury). Attendance was down nearly 20% over the past year.

    The point being that there's a fine line here and with even the slightest effort WDW can be brought back from the funk it's currently in.

  5. #50

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    Re: Why the Imagineers can at any time beat WWohP, but at the same time can't

    Quote Originally Posted by ryno1986 View Post
    The point being that there's a fine line here and with even the slightest effort WDW can be brought back from the funk it's currently in.
    That's the exact minimalist attitude that Disney has been putting into WDW since Animal Kingdom opened.

    They know that they are the top draw and have the biggest attendance. Why spend lots of money changing anything if the numbers stay up . . . Right???

    BUT - Attendance doesn't tell you about guest experience. And if guests go home and end up on MiceChat or at their friends and neighbors houses talking about the terrible bus system, stale old parks, and how they should have allotted more time for Universal or Sea World. . . . That will hurt Disney far beyond what it would have cost them to just make Disney World they premium facility that they promote it as being in all their marketing. Disney World is FANTASTIC, but not nearly as much as it once was and not nearly as far ahead of the competition as they once were either.

    Too little initiative and too much budget cutting has all but robbed the Magic Kingdom of its magic.
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  6. #51

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    Re: Why the Imagineers can at any time beat WWohP, but at the same time can't

    First off, GREAT job dusty. Second off, YAY.. DLR ISN'T BEING RUN BADLY.

    Third off,
    Ive been on 2 trips to WDW. Once last year, on property in the spring, once this year, off property in the spring.
    -The bus system is completely horrid and made me want to scream.
    -comparing WDW and DLR, Many of WDW's attractions needed major refurbs.
    -The parks did seem run down, their major draws were constantly down and "Broke" (Big thunder, space, splash)
    -even their mad tea party sounded like it was about to catch fire when it tried to stop. made a big SQUEEEKK
    -COMPLETE lack in seeing characters without waiting in like for XX Mins at these times only, at this location.
    -Crowd control at all shows were complete nightmares.

    Walt Disney World has been needing to update badly for some time. much more then "NEW E-TICKET HERE" "NEW MEET-N-GREET HERE" IMO. But it really is true TDO is just Cheap!! Their pirates, yeah its "pirates" but theirs look like some dolls moving around doing the robot. Their splash? Half the detail, and every time i rode it, something or another was messed up. Their space? the rockets felt like they were about to derail. Their Big thunder? Not very thrilling. All their "cloned" attractions have came out looking bad, less quality, and overall lack of quality.

    Okay if DL has cloned an attraction, Like ToT, We added our own twist at least, if our elevators dont move back and fourth? sooo? we have our own ghost mirror scene, and the queue and pre-show experience is top notch. At least we do it right, when WDW clones something, they cut the budget and tell the imagineers to keep it cheap!

    This attitude wont keep them top dogs for long. Can we get a TDA guy over there running TDO?

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    Re: Why the Imagineers can at any time beat WWohP, but at the same time can't

    Quote Originally Posted by Fish_in_water View Post
    First off, GREAT job dusty. Second off, YAY.. DLR ISN'T BEING RUN BADLY.

    Third off,
    Ive been on 2 trips to WDW. Once last year, on property in the spring, once this year, off property in the spring.
    -The bus system is completely horrid and made me want to scream.
    -comparing WDW and DLR, Many of WDW's attractions needed major refurbs.
    -The parks did seem run down, their major draws were constantly down and "Broke" (Big thunder, space, splash)
    -even their mad tea party sounded like it was about to catch fire when it tried to stop. made a big SQUEEEKK
    -COMPLETE lack in seeing characters without waiting in like for XX Mins at these times only, at this location.
    -Crowd control at all shows were complete nightmares.

    Walt Disney World has been needing to update badly for some time. much more then "NEW E-TICKET HERE" "NEW MEET-N-GREET HERE" IMO. But it really is true TDO is just Cheap!! Their pirates, yeah its "pirates" but theirs look like some dolls moving around doing the robot. Their splash? Half the detail, and every time i rode it, something or another was messed up. Their space? the rockets felt like they were about to derail. Their Big thunder? Not very thrilling. All their "cloned" attractions have came out looking bad, less quality, and overall lack of quality.

    Okay if DL has cloned an attraction, Like ToT, We added our own twist at least, if our elevators dont move back and fourth? sooo? we have our own ghost mirror scene, and the queue and pre-show experience is top notch. At least we do it right, when WDW clones something, they cut the budget and tell the imagineers to keep it cheap!

    This attitude wont keep them top dogs for long. Can we get a TDA guy over there running TDO?
    Another Excellent post..
    Eventually, TDO is going to realize they need to do something. hopefully, by then it isn't too late

  8. #53

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    Re: Why the Imagineers can at any time beat WWohP, but at the same time can't

    I don't think TDO cares.. They will still make money. They can cut here and reduce there. That's been their story. TDO doesn't care about creating the experience, its there, at best there will always be nostalgia, I'm sure their thinking. They need to get rid of these guys, who in my opinion, are changing and cheapening the brand, from everything to the park food, resorts, characters, and even in their endurance series. *rant* they have cut out so many races, increased the price, decreased the value and fun of the actual race.. why would I want to pay $60 plus bucks for a race and medal, with no extras for paying that much to run.. when I can pay half that outside WDW?

  9. #54

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    Re: Why the Imagineers can at any time beat WWohP, but at the same time can't

    Dusty, you hit the nail on the head with that one.

    I have to imagine that at kitchen tables all around America, there are little pockets of vacation planning conversations going something like this:

    "So should we spend a week at Disney World, or should we try something else -- I heard that new Harry Potter land at Universal is pretty cool."

    "Wow - Universal really pulled out the stops with their new Harry Potter ride. Disney hasn't built anything like that in a long time."

    "Maybe instead of spending all week at Disney, we spend the first couple of days at Universal Studios. We can then stay offsite and save a little money."

    Laugh if you will, but I bet it's happening. A lot. (The economist side of me feels it.) People want something new and exciting to go along with their sentimental favorites. And if it means having to split up your Disney trip and spend a couple of days off-site to get it, then I wonder how many will do it.

    Example #1: Friends of mine just got hot back from their honeymoon. They were going to spend a week at WDW, but instead chose to "do something different" this time, and went to Universal and Sea World. They're huge Disney fans, but the allure of experiencing something new & exciting was enough to keep them away from their beloved WDW. I asked them if they missed WDW, and the said, "Yeah, but Harry Potter was SOOOO COOL...."

    Example #2: I'll admit that I'm a pure Disney snob, but even I'm jonesing to see WWoHP. And in order to make that happen, we'll probably break up our next trip, and instead of going 7 - 0 to Disney, we might go 4 - 3 Disney/Universal. I don't feel like I'm "cheating" on Disney; they've made plenty of money off of me. I just want to go where the adventure and thrills that make up a theme park are the best out there.

    Personally, I'm thrilled Universal got WWoHP. The competition for The Best just got a whole lot tighter, and it might force Disney to fight to keep its crown. In the end, we the consumers would (should) win.

  10. #55

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    Re: Why the Imagineers can at any time beat WWohP, but at the same time can't

    If anything major IS in the works for WDW, we won't know about it for a long time and we won't see it come to fruition for much longer after that. Concept art for Cars Land (originally stylized "Carland") was first introduced in Disney's 2006 Annual Report, and we won't see it in action until what, 2012? This, and the major draw of the Land will be a Test Track clone.

    It may very well be that the people at TDO and Imagineering have some trick up their sleeve that we won't hear about for a little while. I know there is value to secrecy, but with the criticism being thrown around (in part) as a result of WWoHP, whether justified or not, TDO might be wise to reveal something special for WDW's 40th, if not sooner.

    IMHO, the only thing that could truly accomplish this is Beastly Kingdomme. I know people are uncomfortable with the notion that this would somehow look like "copying" WWoHP, but I think that there are enough ambassadors for Disney in the general public who could communicate that BK was supposed to be part of DAK from day 1. Progress City, U.S.A. has a great article indicating posible expansion zones for AK, and they really do have an obscene amount of space to work with. BK rumors heated up in 2008 before the recession hit, but we're slowly pulling our way out of that and the excuses that may have been tolerated in the past few years will start to count as legitimate tick marks against Disney and WDW.

  11. #56

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    Re: Why the Imagineers can at any time beat WWohP, but at the same time can't

    Dusty, Universal began work on Wizarding World of Harry Potter well before the economy went south. You cannot credit them with a coincidence.

    Quote Originally Posted by ryno1986 View Post
    But what was IOA if not a stale and dying park before Harry Potter? I mean, 10 years went by and the place got no big attractions and very little maintenance. Restaurants were shuttered. Triceratops Encounter was closed. Major effects were turned off some of the park's attractions(water vortex in Poseidon's Fury). Attendance was down nearly 20% over the past year.

    The point being that there's a fine line here and with even the slightest effort WDW can be brought back from the funk it's currently in.
    If my memory serves me right, since it's opening in 1999 Islands of Adventure has opened two new attractions: High-in-the-Sky Suess Trolley Train Ride and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. Even Universal Studios has not seen much in recent years, with Disaster! and The Simpsons Ride replacing rides while heavily utilizing their infrastructure. What may really be needed is for Blackstone to seriously re-evaluate their position in Orlando. Their desire to keep Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa and the upcoming Legoland Florida as separate ventures is a very odd use of their new, rather significant presence in the Orlando area.

  12. #57

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    Re: Why the Imagineers can at any time beat WWohP, but at the same time can't

    Quote Originally Posted by lazyboy97O View Post
    What may really be needed is for Blackstone to seriously re-evaluate their position in Orlando. Their desire to keep Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa and the upcoming Legoland Florida as separate ventures is a very odd use of their new, rather significant presence in the Orlando area.
    What do you suggest?

  13. #58

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    Re: Why the Imagineers can at any time beat WWohP, but at the same time can't

    Quote Originally Posted by wizards8507 View Post
    If anything major IS in the works for WDW, we won't know about it for a long time and we won't see it come to fruition for much longer after that. Concept art for Cars Land (originally stylized "Carland") was first introduced in Disney's 2006 Annual Report, and we won't see it in action until what, 2012? This, and the major draw of the Land will be a Test Track clone.

    Cars Land is NOT going to WDW. Not sure by your wording if you knew that. The next things coming to WDW are:

    Updated Fantasyland
    -Glorified Meet & Greets
    -clone of Little Mermaid ride from Disneyland Resort (but in fancy Prince Eric building)
    -double Dumbo's. Yup, they're adding a Dumbo next to the other.
    -More restaurants

    Disney's Hollywood Studios
    -Star Tours refresh



    That's it for the next two years. Four parks and that's it.




    Dusty is absolutely right about word of mouth. I could have gone back to WDW three times since my last visit but I refused. There just isn't ANYTHING worth visiting for. Everything added was a clone, and anything unique (Adventurer's Club) was removed. Things that remained were less than satisfactory (Tiki Room, Stitch, Monsters Inc Laugh floor, etc), and park hopping on those busses were wretched.

    I recall one afternoon in the jacuzzi. A couple started a conversation about Disneyland after finding out I'm from CA. They said they're more interested in rides and weren't impressed with WDW. I told them to go to Disneyland. I told them the ride count in two parks vs four and they were stunned. Why were they paying through the nose for an entire week when they can do nearly as much in two days?

    (yes, I know there's something about relaxing and taking your time, but the point is... there are people who don't do that and for those people, WDW theme parks doesn't have enough to last. Especially with their weird operating hours, herding people like cows from park to park)


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    Re: Why the Imagineers can at any time beat WWohP, but at the same time can't

    Quote Originally Posted by Coheteboy View Post
    Cars Land is NOT going to WDW. Not sure by your wording if you knew that.
    I realize that (although some have speculated that the DHS backlot could host a Radiator Springs). My point was simply that the journey from dream to reality (regardless of park) often takes time to develop, and that it's not completely unrealistic that WDW would have something in the works that we simply don't know about yet.

    To the rest of your post, I think it speaks to the inherrent difference between DLR and WDW. It's unfair to compare Disneyland to Magic Kingdom because they're not SUPPOSED to be compared. The focus of DLR is the parks, and they get huge participation from locals in the AP program. The people who visit and truly appreciate WDW do so for different reasons. Yes, each park is supposed to immerse guests in a certain experience, but Walt's whole point behind WDW was for the entire resort to be an immersive experience. This is reflected by the vast amount of swampland they purchased to build the park, creating a buffer between the World and the world, and is the reason why the Magic Kingdom parking lot requires a transfer to a more "magical" form of transportation to enter the park. The entire resort is meant to be savored, and NOT trounced through by people who "just enjoy the rides." As far as rides go, Universal has been outdoing WDW for quite some time. The real threat from WWoHP is because it reflects a shift in thinking towards the much more WDW-esque experience.

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    Re: Why the Imagineers can at any time beat WWohP, but at the same time can't

    Quote Originally Posted by wizards8507 View Post
    I
    To the rest of your post, I think it speaks to the inherrent difference between DLR and WDW. It's unfair to compare Disneyland to Magic Kingdom because they're not SUPPOSED to be compared. The focus of DLR is the parks, and they get huge participation from locals in the AP program. The people who visit and truly appreciate WDW do so for different reasons. Yes, each park is supposed to immerse guests in a certain experience, but Walt's whole point behind WDW was for the entire resort to be an immersive experience. This is reflected by the vast amount of swampland they purchased to build the park, creating a buffer between the World and the world, and is the reason why the Magic Kingdom parking lot requires a transfer to a more "magical" form of transportation to enter the park. The entire resort is meant to be savored, and NOT trounced through by people who "just enjoy the rides." As far as rides go, Universal has been outdoing WDW for quite some time. The real threat from WWoHP is because it reflects a shift in thinking towards the much more WDW-esque experience.

    I compare the two because Walt Disney is someone I greatly admire. He wanted to build "Disney World" because he had the blessing of size and could do everything he dreamed of. When Disney World began construction, Disneyland was already fleshed out and retains the basic structure that it still has more or less. There is no better jumping off point than that.

    Walt also said that Disneyland (and I imagine this applies to the other parks as well) will never be completed as long as there is imagination left in the world (paraphrased). Magic Kingdom and the rest of Walt Disney World is lacking in dreams and imagination right now and far from complete... and has been for decades.

    There are threads asking if DHS is a full day park yet... TWENTY years after it opened. Animal Kingdom has been opened 15 years ish and people still claim about it's untapped potential.



    We all know that sequels not only need to be bigger, but they need to be better. WDW sure is bigger and offers a lot of hotel options and different parks.... but for the money you pay to stay there all week... are you REALLY getting that much better of an experience? That's my key point here. Disney used to be THE ABSOLUTE BEST in the business and if they can't even compete with their sister in Anaheim as far as QUALITY goes, there's a lot more problems than you nor I can even imagine.


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