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  1. #16

    • Pilot EdForceOne
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    Re: New Xpass fastpass Details discussed and elaborated on

    They bumped their R&D investment 1 billion dollars... not spent 1 billion dollars on one thing. This is so misunderstood and misapplied in the fan community.

    NextGen is an initative - not a product. It was a collective push to double-down on R&D as a way to push the parks forward for the future. Invest in R&D to develop a wave of technology to push the parks ahead.

    It's like when a company is challenged in the market.. often by competitors that duplicate your efforts and do it cheaper, but 'good enough' and the analysts ask how are you going to fight off XYZ? Many respond by refocusing their investments in their core technology research hoping to push the curve ahead of where their cheaper, usually copy-cat competitors can't keep up.

    That's exactly what Disney was doing. Investing in their core competency of R&D to try to find ways of advancing the theme park experience for the future in ways that would stand out in the crowd, and potentially be hard to replicate.

    There are many projects that at the end will said were made possible by the NextGen initative - but its wrong to say they spent 1 billion on new tickets, RFID bands, new turnstiles, etc.

    One must also remember, the NextGen initiative was 1 billion OVER TEN YEARS. Simply put.. 'NextGen' is simply an increase in the R&D budget as a concentrated push to find ways to advance the park experience with new R&D.

    RFID has just been a common theme they have been coming back to and trying to leverage as a new technology to advance their concepts.
    Last edited by flynnibus; 12-13-2011 at 10:10 AM.
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  2. #17

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    Re: New Xpass fastpass Details discussed and elaborated on

    How about some R&D on how to maintain and grow the monorail system so that it's not a joke about "This is how we thought the future would be -- 40 years ago... "?

  3. #18

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    Re: New Xpass fastpass Details discussed and elaborated on

    Quote Originally Posted by TimmyTimmyTimmy View Post
    The only parade that is worth to see in WDW is the Electrical Parade. The second show of Fantasmic! is very easy to get great seats by the way. As for EPCOT... the lagoon is huge and walking around to find a good spot is just fun. They can keep their xpasses and IŽll keep my money

    ...and Universal Studios in Orlando is only fun for 3 - 4 hours.


    My son and I don't do thrill rides and yet we seem to enjoy the parks all day long.

  4. #19

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    Re: New Xpass fastpass Details discussed and elaborated on

    This is why I believe humanity is doomed. In a world where girls fall in love with wimpy woodland pixies that sparkle, boys sing like girls and become popular, YouTube gets alot of bad comedy shows, and Disney makes you pay for a Fastpass. Why must we live in a terrible world like this? Thank you for reading my rant.

  5. #20

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    Re: New Xpass fastpass Details discussed and elaborated on

    I knew humanity was doomed when they couldn't figure out how to run a new monorail line to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios...

  6. #21

    • Pilot EdForceOne
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    Re: New Xpass fastpass Details discussed and elaborated on

    anyone interested in talking about the program as eluded to?

    Like the concept of reserved seating being opened for gen pop to buy into? Who wouldn't like that for yourself?

    What about thoughts about how exclusive or wide open Disney may make this? The 'very strict limited capacity' model is proving very successful over at Discovery Cove.. is Disney ready to jump on board?
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    Quote Originally Posted by sleepyjeff View Post
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  7. #22

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    Re: New Xpass fastpass Details discussed and elaborated on

    The X-Pass seems like a new way to advertise old products. Which seems like a less effective solution that just investing in new products....

  8. #23

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    Re: New Xpass fastpass Details discussed and elaborated on

    Quote Originally Posted by Ice101 View Post
    The X-Pass seems like a new way to advertise old products. Which seems like a less effective solution that just investing in new products....
    That's how I feel about it as well. They spend money on "plussing" rides at an extra cost when they really should be building all new rides. The Fantasyland expansion is huge but really doesn't add that much new stuff when you think about it. Another Dumbo, a C ticket roller coaster, a new dark ride (but also losing another dark ride), and more meet and greets. Really? Thats all they can do to compete with Potterland? I'm sorry but the Fantasyland Expansion should have been packed full of mind blowing rides and experiences but it just isn't. And Disney's latest greatest thing is... an extra cost fast pass system with a few other perks. Not really what I was hoping for at all.
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  9. #24

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    Re: New Xpass fastpass Details discussed and elaborated on

    Geez, Jim Hill punctuates a lot. I don't notice his snideness nearly as much as all the hyphens and ellipses which break the flow of his sentences.

    Anyway, this news is slightly less unnerving to me than I thought it would be going into the thread. If anything, I'm fairly glad this system will be something that's fairly exclusive, and not required of anyone that enters a WDW turnstile. As long as this system remains something that only ~%10 of WDW guests use, then it means that the rest of the guests, or those that refuse to participate in the program (like me) can continue to enjoy the parks in more or less the same way that we always have. With the exception of this, of course:

    Quote Originally Posted by ttintagel View Post
    The guests may be invisible, but the effects won't be. There will be fewer Fastpasses available, and so they'll run out sooner.
    And as for this...

    And LED screens in IASW? That makes no artistic sense whatsoever.
    Quote Originally Posted by ttintagel View Post
    I know there are people who disagree with the concept of theme park attractions as works of art, but I'm not one of them. Some things just don't look right no matter how you insert them. IASW is a seamless work, and putting the screen in a window isn't going to hide the fact that it doesn't go with its surroundings. Universal may have rides that shake my guts up more, but art is what keeps me and a lot of others coming back to Disney.
    As sad as it is, I don't think Disney management has viewed theme park attractions as an art form for a couple of decades now. Imagineering might, maybe, but certainly not the clowns running the Walt Disney World Resort.


    Quote Originally Posted by Twist1234 View Post
    ...

    Great now I can overpay for a Fastpass and I get a Monorail that's falling apart.
    This highlights for me one of the biggest problems with this whole "initiative". While Disney continues to spend unknown sums of money adding LED screens to attractions that have had no problem with attendance in decades, they've completely neglected parts of the property, and even main systems of transportation, that are core parts of the WDW experience. They need to make sure the car is running before they pimp the ride. In other words, their priorities are screwed up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Virtual Toad View Post
    Totally agree with everything you say. Flynn, would flashing LED eyes on the Mona Lisa be acceptable in theory until we know exactly how they will be implemented? Maybe we should install an animated LCD mouth on her so she can carry on conversations with guests to the Louvre who are willing to pay extra for the privilege!

    Xpass and NextGen are costing the company a TON of money to implement and it's a slippery slope. The pressure will be HUGE to make as much money on these concepts as possible. This will be all about ROI and it will DEFINITELY impact the experience of guests who decide not to-- or who can't-- pay the big bucks on top of the big bucks they're already paying to go to WDW in the first place. The more of these they sell, the fewer Fastpasses will remain for the rest of us.

    Back in the day, you bought tickets for rides, but once you did, the line to get in was EXACTLY THE SAME for everyone. Xpass implements a different kind of caste system that borders on extortion. Don't want to subject your small children to a 90 minute wait for TSMM? Pay up!

    Pitting family against family, making kids on attractions sad because the dolls didn't talk to THEM... it all seems so... not Disney.
    Agreed with all of this... especially the last part.

    Quote Originally Posted by PSUMark View Post
    Am I really the first one to question the validity of this information? I mean, JHM doesn't exactly have a stellar predictions-coming-true track record...
    This article actually sounds pretty accurate. Even if the exact example of Small World LCDs doesn't quite become reality, the general spirit of what this system is about seems to mesh with everything else I've heard about it - including what Al has said.

    Quote Originally Posted by flynnibus View Post
    anyone interested in talking about the program as eluded to?

    Like the concept of reserved seating being opened for gen pop to buy into? Who wouldn't like that for yourself?

    What about thoughts about how exclusive or wide open Disney may make this? The 'very strict limited capacity' model is proving very successful over at Discovery Cove.. is Disney ready to jump on board?
    The difference with Discovery Cove is that it is a separate gate completely isolated from the more popular, higher attendance park - SeaWorld. SeaWorld guests who want an exclusive and interactive marine life experience have a designated place to do so, completely enclosed and out of the eyes of the average guest. The WDW guests that pay for an upcharge experience will be reaping the benefits completely within view of the other 90% of guests, creating the uncomfortable caste system that others have mentioned.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ice101 View Post
    The X-Pass seems like a new way to advertise old products. Which seems like a less effective solution that just investing in new products....
    WDW seems to be doing this a lot recently.

    ---------- Post added 12-14-2011 at 08:21 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Bronco21 View Post
    That's how I feel about it as well. They spend money on "plussing" rides at an extra cost when they really should be building all new rides. The Fantasyland expansion is huge but really doesn't add that much new stuff when you think about it. Another Dumbo, a C ticket roller coaster, a new dark ride (but also losing another dark ride), and more meet and greets. Really? Thats all they can do to compete with Potterland? I'm sorry but the Fantasyland Expansion should have been packed full of mind blowing rides and experiences but it just isn't. And Disney's latest greatest thing is... an extra cost fast pass system with a few other perks. Not really what I was hoping for at all.
    It's not even new rides that I'm worried about. It's the near-daily monorail breakdowns, or the fact that Kevin Yee has to write articles like this over WDW headliner attractions. It's the embarrassment I feel when I take first-time guests with me on Great Movie Ride for the first time and they snicker at the creaky animatronics, or that the Imagination pavilion is far inferior to how it was when it opened... 29 years ago. I won't even mention the yeti.

    How are bright and new LCD screens at Small World going to look when the rest of the ride looks like this?





    (Full thread of images like this here)

    The entire state of the resort is in need of attention, and instead that attention's being spent plussing places where it's not needed.
    Last edited by MarkTwain; 12-14-2011 at 05:23 AM.


  10. #25

    • Pilot EdForceOne
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    Re: New Xpass fastpass Details discussed and elaborated on

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkTwain View Post
    The difference with Discovery Cove is that it is a separate gate completely isolated from the more popular, higher attendance park - SeaWorld. SeaWorld guests who want an exclusive and interactive marine life experience have a designated place to do so, completely enclosed and out of the eyes of the average guest. The WDW guests that pay for an upcharge experience will be reaping the benefits completely within view of the other 90% of guests, creating the uncomfortable caste system that others have mentioned.
    Disney already does that with other programs.. The Wild Africa Trek is an example even quoted in the article. Or other excursions like swimming in the living seas are other examples.

    But my point was more to the idea of 'limited capacity premium priced' offerings not because you only have space for XYZ, but using limited capacity as a way to control and ensure a premium experience. That's what Discovery Cove is about... limits to protect the product and the envisioned experience.

    Here much of the product in question is about providing a different type of experience .. a tiered offering that allows you to buy into a controled, manicured, premium experience. Customer satisfaction is high for such 'white glove' type scenarios or inclusive programs. Disney already does it in the hotels with Concierge Levels to a degree.. this almost eludes to that model for in the parks.

    The question is.. would Disney keep the limits in place to protect the experience (like Discovery Cove) or simply limit it as long as they are constrained by their capacity at the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkTwain View Post
    How are bright and new LCD screens at Small World going to look when the rest of the ride looks like this?
    Old photos - taken before the last refurb.
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  11. #26

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    Re: New Xpass fastpass Details discussed and elaborated on

    Originally Posted by MarkTwain

    How are bright and new LCD screens at Small World going to look when the rest of the ride looks like this?
    Quote Originally Posted by flynnibus View Post
    Old photos - taken before the last refurb.
    It was already looking fairly grubby again when I was there in June. Unless they start doing more regular maintenance than they are, it will eventually look like those pictures again soon enough. The pictures are a great example of the state the company is comfortable letting things sink to before they take action. Look at current pictures of Dumbo for another.

  12. #27

    • Pilot EdForceOne
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    Re: New Xpass fastpass Details discussed and elaborated on

    context is everything when you want to talk about how significant something is.

    Would perfection everywhere be great? Sure... but sometimes you gotta find a happy middle.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sleepyjeff View Post
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  13. #28

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    Re: New Xpass fastpass Details discussed and elaborated on

    I still don't understand why Disneyland's upkeep is so much better than WDW's. Is it just management not wanting to spend the money? I really think that someone would figure out that people are not happy with it and at least attempt to increase maintenance at least a little.
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  14. #29

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    Re: New Xpass fastpass Details discussed and elaborated on

    Quote Originally Posted by Bronco21 View Post
    I still don't understand why Disneyland's upkeep is so much better than WDW's. Is it just management not wanting to spend the money? I really think that someone would figure out that people are not happy with it and at least attempt to increase maintenance at least a little.
    The problem is the tourist don't give a damn about it. They never saw WDW before the decline. And don't worry once the management at WDW get their hands on DL you'll witness all the wonderful stuff that we've been getting over the past few years.


    Quote Originally Posted by MarkTwain View Post





    (Full thread of images like this here)

    The entire state of the resort is in need of attention, and instead that attention's being spent plussing places where it's not needed.
    Oh my God... The bad part is how Small World was rebuilt in 2005. HOW COULD THEY DAMAGE IT LIKE THAT?!
    Look at this:
    Space Mountain Refurb- Magic Kingdom - Soft Opening - YouTube
    This is the day Space Mountain reopened from the refurb. DID THEY EVEN BOTHER CLEANING IT? I mean come on the Haunted mansion seems to be the ride which gets the most "upgrades" and across the park the "futuristic" ride is rotting away like an afterthought. It's disgusting. It's like management wants the tourist to look in one direction. I mean have you seen SE? I got tired of the little cartoon and what I saw was just a sad shell of it's former ending.
    Last edited by Twist1234; 12-14-2011 at 02:48 PM.

  15. #30

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    Re: New Xpass fastpass Details discussed and elaborated on

    Quote Originally Posted by Bronco21 View Post
    I still don't understand why Disneyland's upkeep is so much better than WDW's. Is it just management not wanting to spend the money? I really think that someone would figure out that people are not happy with it and at least attempt to increase maintenance at least a little.
    It's a combination of things

    1) Scale - WDW is orders of magnitude bigger, more complex, more involved, and much more to watch after
    2) Perception - the fan community here never sees the daily and weekly refurbs going on all around the property because this site doesn't have people that cover the good or changes with any detail
    3) Lower standards then in the past

    If you follow other sources, you find FAR more work going on in the park. For instance have you been following the rebuilding of the resturant in Japan? Or how about the geyser in BTM? Or how about the MASSIVE overhaul of the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse? Or the Adventure land rehabs? Or the Carusaul rehab?

    And this is all stuff just in the last month. This site is not representative of what is being done in the parks.

    So I think the answer is more about 'scale'. There is a TON of work being done, it's just dwarfed by the amount of things that need to be done on a regular basis so things fall behind the standards some expect.
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