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  1. #16

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    Re: New Fantasyland - Not Getting the Numbers They Expected

    Quote Originally Posted by KingEric View Post
    Except we are going on 4 years of record attendance in Orlando as a city

    4th record year for visitor head count? - Orlando Sentinel

    I'll reserve my "Orlando" comments for later. I lived there for many years and to call it a city is stretching.

    Anyway, yes, conventions, etc. and Universal - the numbers might be up in aggregate; but are they up at WDW? When they do (or don't) pump out "offer" after "offer" I guess we'll have our answer.

    Look, I'm glad they did something to the Lagoon area in Fantasyland and change is a good thing. The architecture is a step above Liberty Square, Tomorrowland, etc. But the reality is that a big footprint was made for a cadre of ho hum experiences that I really think are going to have little impact on the bottom line. And, to be honest, it woudl appear that seems to be what is happening.

    Once Staggs took over for that other guy at least he realized that he needed to kabash as much of the Princess crap as he could. He did get the Dwarves Coaster green-lit. But, by then, Imagineering had spent so much on the R&D that we got what we got. As an AP I jut don't have motivation to renew it and just let a year or two go by and then drop in on the Mouse at that point. Until then, I can go to the other locations that do it right (specifically TDR , as I work for an airline).

    Tom

  2. #17

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    Re: New Fantasyland - Not Getting the Numbers They Expected

    As I said guest satisfaction scores have been tabulated and hotel bookings (especially after the precious Christmas Parade) are suggesting dud - low interest in the Fantasyland annex from the General Public.

    New Fantasyland - something to see "while" going to WDW.

    New Carsland - something to go to California and DLR "to" see.

  3. #18

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    Re: New Fantasyland - Not Getting the Numbers They Expected

    Let's not forget that this version of New Fantasyland isn't really what Fantasyland needed. Fantasyland needed more classic dark rides and a couple of truly thrilling attractions. It got none of that. And no, Mermaid isn't a classic dark ride for a variety of reasons, but the main reason being that it lacks charm, not to mention the climatic battle sequence that was cut.
    -Bill

  4. #19

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    Re: New Fantasyland - Not Getting the Numbers They Expected

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill View Post
    Let's not forget that this version of New Fantasyland isn't really what Fantasyland needed. Fantasyland needed more classic dark rides and a couple of truly thrilling attractions. It got none of that. And no, Mermaid isn't a classic dark ride for a variety of reasons, but the main reason being that it lacks charm, not to mention the climatic battle sequence that was cut.
    The funny thing I am hearing all around me is that kids are having more fun in the queue than on the ride.

    In my own subjective experience, I took my 3 nieces, 8, 6, and 3 all little princesses, each one has their favorite Disney princess. Each one LOVES going to the parks all dressed up.

    I was SO excited to take them on the Little Mermaid. I was kind of over the moon about it. We got on rode... and they could not have cared less. It was not a busy day and there was a 5 min wait and so I was planning on them riding it over and over and over again.

    They did not want to go on it again. I was speechless. Here was the EXACT audience the Little Mermaid ride was built for, and they found almost no enjoyment in it.

    They did however LOVE story time with Belle, and they wanted to do that a few times (however due to the extremely long queue it was not possible).

    So that left me wondering... who is enjoying the FLE?
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  5. #20

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    Re: New Fantasyland - Not Getting the Numbers They Expected

    "From the new Fantasyland we got the following:"

    -Higher Capacity Rides.

    The second Dumbo is a great addition, theoretically doubling it's ride capacity. Some, if most, waited an hour plus to take a 90 second ride on the flying elephants.

    Little Mermaid will be a people mover being an omnimover-style ride. Long lines will move quick with the continous string of ride vehicles. Imagine if Peter Pan used omnimover boats! 90 minute waits and sluggish stand-by lines would be a thing of the past.

    The Seven Dwarfs Mine Coaster should also be a high capacity ride. Most coasters with multiple cars are. Yes, it is a shame that they closed the original Snow White attraction, a classic.

  6. #21

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    Re: New Fantasyland - Not Getting the Numbers They Expected

    Quote Originally Posted by KingEric View Post
    The funny thing I am hearing all around me is that kids are having more fun in the queue than on the ride.

    In my own subjective experience, I took my 3 nieces, 8, 6, and 3 all little princesses, each one has their favorite Disney princess. Each one LOVES going to the parks all dressed up.

    I was SO excited to take them on the Little Mermaid. I was kind of over the moon about it. We got on rode... and they could not have cared less. It was not a busy day and there was a 5 min wait and so I was planning on them riding it over and over and over again.

    They did not want to go on it again. I was speechless. Here was the EXACT audience the Little Mermaid ride was built for, and they found almost no enjoyment in it.

    They did however LOVE story time with Belle, and they wanted to do that a few times (however due to the extremely long queue it was not possible).

    So that left me wondering... who is enjoying the FLE?
    That's not really an uncommon response from that age group. The ride isn't very engaging... it's very passive, and doesn't involve any magic. (Not Disney Magic, actual magic as in illusions) People re-ride the Haunted Mansion because they are wowed by the illusions... and even those who know how the illusions work are still impressed by how convincing the illusions are.

    Your kids liked Storytime because of the illusions. The magic expanding mirror, Lumiere and the engagement that exists... kids get to play a part in the story. Or at least watch others play a part. But the magic is what captures them.

    The best dark rides... the charming ones, all use magic tricks. The queen turned into the witch in Snow White, Peter Pan... I mean, come on, there's a little city down there with actual moving cars, how is that done?! (I know, but it's still amazing) Plus, you're flying above it all and looking down. Pooh... well, my hunny pot just bounced with Tigger, I saw Pooh float out of his own body, a ring of smoke went in my face and now I'm floating along with ultra cool glowing rain and glowing water ripples. I still don't understand how the ripples work... it's a very neat water effect.

    Small World is passive very much like Mermaid is passive. But Small World has an ear-worm of a song attached to it, and there's something charming and relaxing about a boat ride to begin with. A clam shell, not so much... unless of course you do something amazing by having CGI fish in a tank with other real fish... (Nemo wins there)

    Name one effect in Mermaid that is a "Wow, how'd they do that?" The closest things like that in the entire ride are the eyes of Sebastian. Now, I know what you're thinking, Not Ursula you say? No. She's an animatronic. A really good one, and quite big, but it's obvious how she's done.

    The illusions for Mermaid were all in the battle sequence that was cut from the attraction entirely. And that is why your kids could care less about riding again. There's nothing in the entire attraction to entice them to ride again... once is enough to see how it all works. The only thing that could have saved Mermaid (as is) is perhaps if the ride system was a cart instead of a slow moving omni-mover. There's a sense of greater speed and a more intimate experience when you're in a cart in a dark ride. (Even if the effects aren't all that stellar.) But heck, even Mr. Toad's Wild Ride had the train...
    -Bill

  7. #22

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    Re: New Fantasyland - Not Getting the Numbers They Expected

    Unfortunately, thrilling rides usually come with height restrictions. And all of WDW's Fantasyland attractions have no height restrictions. Seven Dwarfs may change this. But, the Fantasyland rides were designed for all generations to enjoy. Thus, the land is devoid of thrilling attractions. Personally, I would love to see a Matterhorn clone at WDW.

  8. #23

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    Re: New Fantasyland - Not Getting the Numbers They Expected

    If Disney had put an E-ticket Beauty and the Beast dark ride in the castle, I believe they would be getting more positive buzz and turnstile clicks.

  9. #24

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    Re: New Fantasyland - Not Getting the Numbers They Expected

    I disagree. Not everything needs to be an E-ticket. Beauty and the Beast was the right property for a traditional dark ride with a couple thrilling scenes, not a giant budget ultimate thrilling experience.

    The restaurant is actually good... I was impressed. Though for some strange reason they're still using paper cups at lunch. When you serve food on china, and have real silverware, using a paper drink cup doesn't quite work. At the very least they should be clear plastic cups (or those clear biodegradable cups made from corn, for our more environmentally friendly folk)
    -Bill

  10. #25

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    Re: New Fantasyland - Not Getting the Numbers They Expected

    Quote Originally Posted by Dapper Dan View Post
    Well according to Al's article there's also "nothing under construction at Walt Disney World" which makes me question the credibility of the source.

    I don't know what people were expecting from the Little Mermaid ride, but Disney pretty much delivered exactly what it promised, a C-ticket omnimover based on the film. I think because the outside is so pretty people were expecting more than the traditional Fantasyland dark ride, but guess what, it's a Fantasyland dark ride and one of the better ones as those go. I find it most comparable to Disneyland's Alice in Wonderland ride. The story makes much less sense than the film, but at least the scenes are pretty interesting.

    The outside of the new area is beautiful and just what the park needed. The Dwarf Mine is both physically and thematically the centerpiece and I think its completion will tie together the new and old areas better. It's a bit premature to judge the area before it is complete. I think better things could have been done than the princess meet and greets, but there's always time for that later.

    Remember when Disneyland's Fantasyland got its big upgrade in 1983 that gave it exactly 1 new attraction but lost the pirate ship and skull rock? This is pretty much the same thing.
    The difference is that Disney continually promoted it as THE BIGGEST EXPANSION IN MAGIC KINGDOM HISTORY!!! (which isn't even factually correct) with highway signs, TV spots, and ads on the doors of the Orlando Walmart... heck, the day the expansion "opened" the DisneyParks blog was redesigned with a Fantasyland look. They promoted a C-ticket expansion with a Cars Land-sized media spectacle, so of course people are going to be disappointed. The even bigger problem is that Disney seemed to have started buying into their own media hype, and were themselves disappointed when they didn't get the numbers worthy of a Cars Land-sized expansion (which it's not).


  11. #26

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    Re: New Fantasyland - Not Getting the Numbers They Expected

    I think people caught on that the New Fantasyland isn't finished yet. Once they got it complete, I'm sure more people will book trips. Then again, maybe people are waiting for Universal to finish their projects and do the whole thing. Disney shot themselves in the foot with the staggered opening of Fantasyland. They could have enjoyed the impact of opening the whole thing, but they did a premature opening and the WOW impact fizzled into disappointment.

  12. #27

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    Re: New Fantasyland - Not Getting the Numbers They Expected

    It also wasn't the biggest expansion in Magic Kingdom History... but you know. Who's counting? No one remembers the 70s I guess.
    -Bill

  13. #28

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    Re: New Fantasyland - Not Getting the Numbers They Expected

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenW View Post
    I think people caught on that the New Fantasyland isn't finished yet. Once they got it complete, I'm sure more people will book trips. Then again, maybe people are waiting for Universal to finish their projects and do the whole thing. Disney shot themselves in the foot with the staggered opening of Fantasyland. They could have enjoyed the impact of opening the whole thing, but they did a premature opening and the WOW impact fizzled into disappointment.
    That's what corporate thinks, but me? Nah, I don't buy it. Even if the attendance patterns change after the coaster opens, it will be because they built an ACTUAL ROLLER COASTER. Not because it's "all complete now."

    Sure, it would have done better if the coaster was done already... because it's an actual neat ride. But if Fantasyland was done already and there was no coaster... like Jay's original plans... well, no, it wouldn't have made a difference at all.
    -Bill

  14. #29

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    Re: New Fantasyland - Not Getting the Numbers They Expected

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenW View Post
    I think people caught on that the New Fantasyland isn't finished yet. Once they got it complete, I'm sure more people will book trips. Then again, maybe people are waiting for Universal to finish their projects and do the whole thing. Disney shot themselves in the foot with the staggered opening of Fantasyland. They could have enjoyed the impact of opening the whole thing, but they did a premature opening and the WOW impact fizzled into disappointment.
    The messaging during the Grand Opening of NFL wasn't "Come back when it's finished" it was "OMG this whole new land is open and ready to be explored, come right now and explore it"

    There was little to no mention about future expansions, little to no mention about current construction in all of the coverage.

    The New Fantasyland Expansion was sold as a finished product to be explored.

    The ONLY reason why we are debating this is because we are fanatics who follow every change at the resort.

    If you are someone reading a newspaper, reading a news blog, watching a TV segment or commercial from your point of view Fantasyland is finished and open.

    So that is what is most distressing about the figures.
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  15. #30

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    Re: New Fantasyland - Not Getting the Numbers They Expected

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill View Post
    That's what corporate thinks, but me? Nah, I don't buy it. Even if the attendance patterns change after the coaster opens, it will be because they built an ACTUAL ROLLER COASTER. Not because it's "all complete now."

    Sure, it would have done better if the coaster was done already... because it's an actual neat ride. But if Fantasyland was done already and there was no coaster... like Jay's original plans... well, no, it wouldn't have made a difference at all.
    I don't know if that is what corporate thinks. I think Corporate thinks the whole thing should have been a slam dunk and it wasn't.

    You might call it a mere roller coaster. You have to consider that the New Fantasyland opened with one NEW attraction and lost one OLD attraction. Customers have less to see. The roller coaster seems like an improvement to the original Snow White dark ride. The swinging seats seems like an innovation. The rock work looks impressive.

    I'll accept the current plans, sorry. Visitors are seeing walls and they are seeing the unfinished attraction. That's no way of selling the new Fantasyland expansion.

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