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  1. #1

    • Nutty about Disney parks
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    Where did all the money go?

    Not to beat a dead horse with this, as I was gonna bring this up before Kevin Yee's article today. But it just make me want to ask the question more: WDW is still one of the biggest vacation destinations in the world but it seems to be falling slowly apart with too many budget problems in comparison to Disneyland Resort. If people are still going to WDW then what's happening to all the money that the resort is making and why doesn't it seem to go back into the parks and hotels that desperately need the funding for upkeep? Why do parks like DHS and DAK remain completely underbuilt? What's happened to the budget?

    My guess (and it's a wild one) is that there seems to be too much investment in the whole DVC venture. I've seen more far more additions and updates to the hotels (mainly through additional DVC rooms) in the past decade than to the parks themselves. I say that once Art of Animation Resort is completed, Disney should pull back on the DVC craze a bit and put some of that money back into the parks. The "tourist trap" concept can only work for Disney for so long and with overcrowded buses and higher rates stocking up on the hotels ($345 for a family VALUE suite is pretty damn insane), this could bite Disney sooner than we think. Or they could just continue to be in denial for all we know.

    And yes I'm aware of the Fantasyland Expansion but that can only help so much. The other option here could be to lose the dining plan. I mean, the resort is full of tourists so it's not like they have quick access to options outside of eating in the park anyway like they do in Disneyland.

    End ranting.
    Toonaspie: I have Asperger's. I like cartoons. Toonaspie!

  2. #2

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    Re: Where did all the money go?

    Hmmm. Let's see, the cost of gas has gone up and there are a lot of busses here.
    Expenses=upkeep of property, payroll for 62,000 people

    DVD is a seperate company from WDW; where does the money come to run that? I think that is the questions you are really alluding to in your paragraph #2 above.
    AKA doombuggy
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  3. #3

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    Re: Where did all the money go?

    Easy: WDW is run by a bunch of drunken monkeys in the TDO offices.

  4. #4

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    Re: Where did all the money go?

    The simple answer is that just because profits are increasing, doesn't mean the investment in the parks increases accordingly. WDW management wants to show a continually increasing profit to Burbank/Wall Street, and that means finding either new ways to make money, or start cutting things that are spending it. That would explain the lack of new attractions at Animal Kingdom or DHS, even though both desperately need them, or the decline in park maintenance seen in the past few years.

    WDW seems to currently be in a "spend as needed" mentality, where money is poured only into places where they feel will lead into a drastic increase in profits. In other words, as long as guests continue to flood into DHS and AK, then in Disney's mind, they don't need new attractions.

    It's worth noting, though, that DVC and the parks are run on separate budgets; i.e., the money being put into DVC isn't money that would have gone into the parks otherwise. I agree though, that if WDW had as much money being put into its theme parks as is apparently being spent on DVC, then the parks would be much better places.


  5. #5

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    Re: Where did all the money go?

    I'm not completely sure how these corporate things work, but I don't think the different divisions of the company get to keep the profits they make for themselves. It all probably gets thrown into one big profit pile and the divisions get an allowance based on what those in charge think it deserves or needs. With money being fungible like it is, there's a good chance that parts of Walt Disney World profits went to Shanghai, and the new Winnie the Pooh movie. I'm not saying that Team Disney Orlando doesn't keep a death grip on every penny they get, but they may not be getting as many pennies as they bring in.
    It bothers me when people selectively edit quotes to support whatever point they are trying to prove.

  6. #6

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    Re: Where did all the money go?

    Disney's Vacation Club has its own sources of funding that are mostly generated by that division and regulated by various timeshare laws.

    Quote Originally Posted by golden redhead View Post
    Hmmm. Let's see, the cost of gas has gone up and there are a lot of busses here.
    Chad Emerson has been recently saying that he thinks that the cost of fuel is a bigger problem at Walt Disney World than The Walt Disney Company wants to publicly acknowledge.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkTwain View Post
    The simple answer is that just because profits are increasing, doesn't mean the investment in the parks increases accordingly. WDW management wants to show a continually increasing profit to Burbank/Wall Street, and that means finding either new ways to make money, or start cutting things that are spending it. That would explain the lack of new attractions at Animal Kingdom or DHS, even though both desperately need them, or the decline in park maintenance seen in the past few years.

    WDW seems to currently be in a "spend as needed" mentality, where money is poured only into places where they feel will lead into a drastic increase in profits. In other words, as long as guests continue to flood into DHS and AK, then in Disney's mind, they don't need new attractions.

    It's worth noting, though, that DVC and the parks are run on separate budgets; i.e., the money being put into DVC isn't money that would have gone into the parks otherwise. I agree though, that if WDW had as much money being put into its theme parks as is apparently being spent on DVC, then the parks would be much better places.
    Excellent post, Mark Twain!
    Now I have to read your other 1,388 posts. Sigh.

    What annoys me is that if late-night comedians start to joke about how crappy WDW is with its city busses, 20 malfunctioning audio-animatronic animals on Splash Mountain (See Kevin Yee's most recent article and Youtube update.), the broken Yeti, etc., Disney will attribute the subsequent dip in attendance to changing public tastes in recreation.

    Universal Orlando just proved that if you build IT, they will come. No, the moderately ambitious new Fantasyland is not enough, even with the D ticket Seven Dwarves coaster.
    Last edited by jcruise86; 06-15-2011 at 05:41 PM.

  8. #8

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    Re: Where did all the money go?

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkTwain View Post
    WDW seems to currently be in a "spend as needed" mentality, where money is poured only into places where they feel will lead into a drastic increase in profits. In other words, as long as guests continue to flood into DHS and AK, then in Disney's mind, they don't need new attractions.
    Great point, MT. Disney finally admitted that DCA was a disappointment after many years of dismal attendance records. Only then did they approve a massive overhaul project. Guess the message is, if you want them to spend more in FL, don't go

  9. #9

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    Re: Where did all the money go?

    I just find it offensive to us that Kevin could find all of that in Splash Mountain yet recently Disney just put money into Journey into Imagination.

  10. #10

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    Re: Where did all the money go?

    Disney hasn't put any money into Journey into Imagination. They just brought Dreamfinder back for a D23 event. If Disney doesn't get criticism, they can't improve. This isn't hating, it's productive criticism.
    DisneyTwins
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  11. #11

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    Re: Where did all the money go?

    The criticism definitely does help. Disney is very conscious of public opinion and places like these boards are scoured over every day for a generalization of what the public thinks and wants.

    The problem with this discussion here is that it is not widely known that the parks aren't actually making that much liquid profit. Ticket sales alone do not keep the doors open, and it is a constant game of making each penny of a merchandise and restaurant sales count. The profits that come from these are unpredictable factors. They try with things like the dining plan and advanced reservations and such, but there is no real way to predict merchandise sales figures.

    So, with that said, the resort is being very cautious and not spending a lot of capitol, partly in worries about the economy and a potential drop in tourism. Is this a smart thing for them? Yes and no. It's the safe way, which is never successful in the long run. All this does is please investors with small gains quarter after quarter, so on paper it looks good.

    There is going to have to be either a big step by a competitor that really shakes Disney's bottom line, or a change in corporate structure and culture for this to ever improve.

  12. #12

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    Re: Where did all the money go?

    What puzzles me is this:

    There are a bunch of big companies raking in record profits. Why aren't more of them willing to sponsor Disney rides like in the old days? Is the PR not worth what it used to be?

  13. #13

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    Re: Where did all the money go?

    Quote Originally Posted by ttintagel View Post
    What puzzles me is this:

    There are a bunch of big companies raking in record profits. Why aren't more of them willing to sponsor Disney rides like in the old days? Is the PR not worth what it used to be?
    That is an excellent question. I think for a lot of companies they see the value, but they can't justify the expense. For instance it cost HP just under $100,000,000.00 to sponsor Mission:Space. It is a long term complex multi year deal.

    So I don't think there are a lot of companies, looking to generate so much brand awareness, that they are willing to sign such long term, and expensive agreements.
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  14. #14

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    Re: Where did all the money go?

    I think Disney shouldn't have to spend any more money than it needs to. Especially in our time of car phones, laser discs, and virtual reality. All things I learned about on the Carousel of Progress 2010.

  15. #15

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    Re: Where did all the money go?

    Quote Originally Posted by Treadhead View Post
    I think Disney shouldn't have to spend any more money than it needs to. Especially in our time of car phones, laser discs, and virtual reality. All things I learned about on the Carousel of Progress 2010.
    Their biggest expense is replacing all the burned turkeys.

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