We are debating whether Disney is facing a disappointment in attendance due to the half-baked project known as the New Fantasyland.
People want to be wowed when they return to any theme park that has the guts to say they've undergone a major expansion.
My reaction after visiting was similar to those awkward school performance scenes on "The Simpsons" (someone coughs into their hands or clears their throats because their embarrassed for the performers). Although, I'm sure Universal is saying "Ha Ha" to Mickey (in reference to another Simpsons bit).
ORDDU: My sisters and I are scratching our heads over the report that attendance is supposedly 'flat' at the Magic Kingdom because every time we go--which has been quite often lately--the park is more crowded than ever. It's actually not as much fun to go because of what seems to be even higher attedance. So who's doing the counting? Something doesn't add up.
Here is Al's paragraph on the issue.
"But over the Christmas break a fire was lit under a few key Burbank executives when it was realized WDW’s New Fantasyland project wasn’t pulling in the numbers or customer satisfaction ratings that had been hoped for. WDW’s hotel occupancy and spending numbers have been hurting for several years, and they were hoping for a big bump from New Fantasyland and its lone new attraction, a clone of the Little Mermaid omnimover. New Fantasyland hasn’t give them the bump they needed, and the customer satisfaction results are showing that it won’t be driving the new attendance or spending gains that WDW really needs in the next few years. And there’s currently nothing under construction in WDW, while their Universal and Sea World competitors have major new projects coming out of the ground."
and this is Al's own opinion.
"It’s no secret the New Fantasyland project has shown lackluster customer satisfaction ratings, and the piecemeal way it debuted last year with major construction still underway on the D-Ticket mine coaster is not helping things there this year."
"Combined attendance for Walt Disney World and Disneyland rose 4 percent, increasing significantly at the Southern California resort, which continues to draw crowds to a new Cars-themed land. Attendance was up by just "a hair" in Orlando."
Now in fairness, "Although attendance has been largely stagnant at Disney World in recent months, the company said it has improved during the current quarter. Iger said the first phases of its Fantasyland expansion have been "extremely well received" by travelers and has helped the company push more-aggressive price increases."
- - "extremely well received" - hmmm, not entirely sure that statement is 100% accurate - and Iger should be aware of Sarbanes Oxley rules at his level and hope that he doesn't stretch the truth more than the Haunted Mansion stretch rooms stretch the wallpaper.
The paper went on to say "Disney said domestic hotel bookings for the current quarter are up 4 percent, at prices that are higher than a year ago by "high single-digits" percentages."
- - OK, so while bookings are up there are also offers on the table and 4% works out to about 400 more resort room nights on average - nothing to sneeze I suppose but can it really be attributed to NFL???
We'll see the tone of the next three earnings reports. If they still show "growth by a hair" then the proof is in the pudding that what Disney is building at WDW just isn't compelling enough to boost repeat business.
Cars Land at least gets people to think, "well we weren't planning on Disneyland this year but we want to see the new attraction they opened because I hear great things". The reaction to NFL so far is "well, we'll wait another year or two and see what they build and then go - my little princess will be older then and there is nothing for my son".
"extremely well received" is below ecstatic or delighted.
You're criticizing the success of New Fantasyland before it's biggest draw is even finished. Seems a bit shortsighted to me. Wait til the Mine Coaster is up and running, then speak your piece.
Each of the original 3 Disney animated film dark rides of which only Peter Pan still exist was keyed to a specific emotion. Peter Pan was awe inspiring, Snow White was scary, and Toad was crazy. They were also all extremely loosely based on the films they represented. Toad is never actually seen driving a car in his film.
By contrast, Little Mermaid does none of that. It tries to cycle through the entire plot and emotional gamut of the film and does not have the room to do either properly. If the entire ride was just based around the Under the Sea segment, it could have been a lot better. Theme park rides are not movies. You have time to hit one, maybe two emotions and you're out. It is not a medium for complex storytelling.
Not getting the numbers? Right. The last 2 times I've been over there, which have been since the grand opening in December, New Fantasyland has been PACKED. We're talking totally bottlenecked. When I was there just over a week ago, it was so packed I said "Oh h*ll no!", took the couple photos I wanted to take and left that area QUICK.
My family and I are moving out of California soon! :yea:
So, we'll soon be a few states closer to Walt Disney World. I am looking forward to taking them there after the "New Fantysland" expansion is complete. It will be my first visit ever to Walt Disney World and I'm keeping an open mind.....sometimes the pictures DO NOT do it justice. (At least that's what I've been told ;))
I truly appreciate all of the detailed information that I have recieved from micechat.com over ther years!
As a huge Disney world fan, I go every week sometimes twice a week. I have to say that I am a little dissapointed with the expansion. Dont get me wrong, its beautiful so far. The only gripe with me is the size of Beast's Castle on the outside. Where I am finding the dissapointing is the lack of things to do.. I mean one ride? And one "show"? I just think that the Circus area needs more than the same ride that was there during Toontown Fair. Also, is it me, or does Belle's village seem to be missing something?! I am anxiously awaiting the opening of the Dwarves Mine Train... I am confident the princess meet and greet will be beautiful, but the area needs more "magic" in my opinion.
I am not sure how the general public works but I have held off WDW trips until all of NFL is finished. I can't be the only one.