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  1. #91

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    Re: Epcot Chief says No 25th Anniversary Celebration

    Quote Originally Posted by flynnibus View Post
    cash stockpiles doesn't do anything for a stock's value unless the company is dumping that cash back into larger dividends.

    cash stockpiles build stability, not demand.
    Eisner found a place to put all that cash....
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  2. #92

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    Re: Epcot Chief says No 25th Anniversary Celebration

    Quote Originally Posted by ZeekSlider View Post
    See, this is why I'll never own stock in anything. I don't understand how they work short of giving you voting rights in matters involving company direction with the general public. But it took Eisner for me to learn that.
    Basically, a share of stock is worth whatever people will pay for it. Its like a big flea market, but everybody can buy and sell. You see something you like, the person selling it wants $50, you can buy it for $50. If more people want to buy than sell, the price goes up. If more want to sell, price goes down. Supply and demand.

    That's a gross simplification, but it still holds pretty true.

    Why would a company having a bunch of cash not make the stock go up? People buy stock because of what they think the stock, and therefore the company, will do in the future. If the company is sitting on cash, that cash isn't going to grow very much, so the stock isn't going to grow very much.

    But if the company has a way of using the cash to make more cash, well then they are a growth company. Sort of like if you had $500k. Sit on the cash in a savings account and you'll earn a few percent per year. But if you are a smart real estate investor, you can buy some property that might rise in value 10, 20, 30% or more per year. You'll be worth more in 10 years because you used the cash for something, rather than just sitting on it.

    So a company that invests its cash in its business, and is successful at its business, will grow faster and people will want to buy their stock more, driving the stock price up.

    Now, all that said, I honestly don't remember what Disney's cash position was back then (1983-4). What I do know is they had a bunch of land that was ripe for development (hotels, parks, other recreation) but they weren't doing much with it. They had a vast film library and VHS was taking off. Their hotels were sold out most of the year far in advance, but they didn't raise prices. They hadn't raised parking prices for years.

    Stockholders were frustrated because the stock price wasn't going up, and outsiders knew the company could be growing much faster. When that's the case, its possible for outside investors to step in and purchase the company at a good price based on the low stock price. Then they turn around and sell pieces of the company to other companies for a profit. Sort of like stealing a car (in this case buying) and selling off the parts because you can make more that way.

    That was almost Disney's fate, but the Roy E lead group was able to take control instead, and they selected Eisner and Wells to take over. Its true that Epcot didn't bring the same margins that the Magic Kingdom did, but it was profitable and was WAY down the list of things new management wanted to fix. Hence the explosion of development on property, the release of Disney films on VHS, etc.

    Of course, that whole changeover had a lot of other far-reaching consequences for the company, but that's another story...

  3. #93

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    Re: Epcot Chief says No 25th Anniversary Celebration

    Now it sounds like buying stock is like gambling more than investing.

    See, why can't they (Disney) do what their patrons want instead of just sitting on their wads of cash trying to make more? If I'm understanding what you wrote, doesn't that mean the company is technically not making a profit now with all these cheap clones and the current BS Celebration going on?

  4. #94

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    Re: Epcot Chief says No 25th Anniversary Celebration

    Man, I was hoping for an Epcot CD package this year, much like the Disneyland one from 2005.

    Anyone know where I can get Epcot MP3s? Any of the fan sites host the songs and attraction audio?

  5. #95

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    Re: Epcot Chief says No 25th Anniversary Celebration

    Quote Originally Posted by ZeekSlider View Post
    Now it sounds like buying stock is like gambling more than investing.

    See, why can't they (Disney) do what their patrons want instead of just sitting on their wads of cash trying to make more? If I'm understanding what you wrote, doesn't that mean the company is technically not making a profit now with all these cheap clones and the current BS Celebration going on?
    Investing in anything is a form of gambling. If you buy a rookie baseball card, you are gambling that the market for cards will at least maintain and that the player will turn into a star. If you buy real estate for investment you are gambling that the value of the land will increase over time. Same idea with stocks.

    With the Walt Disney company, we have to realize that the guiding values and philosophies of the company have changed. "Classic" Disney started with the question of "How can we entertain and innovate?" "Modern" Disney starts with "How can we make money?"

    Again, that's a gross over-simplification, but it illustrates the core difference between how things work today vs. yesterday. (Exactly when "yesterday" changed to "today" is debateable)

    Its not that cheap clones and BS celebrations aren't profitable. Certainly Modern Disney believes they are, and the company has been profitable using this newer strategy for quite some time. Until very recently, the stock price was stagnant because the company was not growing at the rate investors were looking for, but the company was still profitable.

    We look at the company and its seems clear to us that cheap DTV sequels, 1/2 day parks, lesser cloned rides and superficial marketing celebrations are not what allowed Disney to survive for decades while every other studio either went under or was swallowed up. Those things aren't what made the Disney company into an icon, and gave it a brand name unrivaled in the entertainment industry.

    But most investors look at those things as "prudent investments". Why risk $100 million on a new, innovative, high quality animated feature when you can spend $4 million on a Cinderella sequel and a Tinkerbell movie that are sure to make money? After all, look what happened with Treasure Planet.

    They look at DCA and say "Good thing they didn't spend twice as much!"

    They don't really care if these things hurt Disney's long term value. If it does, they'll just sell the stock and buy into another company.

    Over the years, Disney's management strategy has come much more into line with what outside investors are thinking. Disney now views those things as "prudent investments". And really, if they don't pan out and the company suffers, the management team that set that strategy is still going to do just fine for themselves, so one has to wonder if they are REALLY optimally balancing the short term vs. the long term.

    I do think the Pixar contingent has the right idea. Unlike Disney, they refused to give in to the lure of easy money through cheap sequels, and when they took over DFA, they immediately shut down and scrapped what had been done on Toy Story 3 at Disney. They are still going to make the movie, but they appear to be intending to do it right, like Toy Story 2.

    The question is whether their way of looking at things can spread through Disney, or if they are just being tolerated because it was part of the merger deal and their influence will largely be limited to feature animation and the occasional Pixar related attraction.

    So there's my rant for the day.

  6. #96

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    Re: Epcot Chief says No 25th Anniversary Celebration

    Quote Originally Posted by Raidermatt View Post
    I do think the Pixar contingent has the right idea. Unlike Disney, they refused to give in to the lure of easy money through cheap sequels, and when they took over DFA, they immediately shut down and scrapped what had been done on Toy Story 3 at Disney. They are still going to make the movie, but they appear to be intending to do it right, like Toy Story 2.

    The question is whether their way of looking at things can spread through Disney, or if they are just being tolerated because it was part of the merger deal and their influence will largely be limited to feature animation and the occasional Pixar related attraction.
    Well, here's hoping that the Hawaiian-shirt-wearing mogle ends up causing an imagination revival company-wide then. So far, PIXAR has yet to disappoint in my book.

  7. #97

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    Re: Epcot Chief says No 25th Anniversary Celebration

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamfinderliveson View Post
    There is a fan celebration that will take place on October 1st, 2007 (Epcot's 25th Anniversary). You can read more about it and register to attend here.
    Are you by any chance Jedimaster from the WDWmagic forums? You guys both have the same avatar.

  8. #98

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    Re: Epcot Chief says No 25th Anniversary Celebration

    Quote Originally Posted by Opus1guy View Post
    No. Sorry. Wrong. To all.

    Despite what your personal perceptions might be...that is incorrect. I was there too. On the "inside." And none of that is true. Sorry. No bleeding. In fact...the whole "greenmail" takeover attempt was because Disney was so flush with money at the time...thanks in large part to Epcot's success!! They were in cash flow heaven! They were practically printing money! Which is exactly what made them so attractive for takeover. Disney at that time (as a defensive move) was desperately trying to acquire and burden the Company with debt to make them less attractive to takeover artists. Disney was purchasing all sorts of companies (Gibson, Arvida) in order to create debt to make them less attractive!

    IMHO, you're just continuing to mix up various normal marketing promotions with some sort of indicators of failure or "bleeding." Again...nothing could be further from the truth.

    Epcot was never less than an unqualified success and money maker for Disney. Never.
    Other than the fact it went over-budget ... this is absolutely correct.

    It's funny how over time, people want to rewrite history.

    I was at Opening Day. I bought APs within the first few months Disney ever offered them ... EPCOT Center was a huge success.

    Sure it had birthing pains ... like no characters at all at first ... no nighttime show at first.

    But, God, what a breathtaking, dynamic and optimistic place it was in the 1980s.

  9. #99

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    Re: Epcot Chief says No 25th Anniversary Celebration

    Quote Originally Posted by Cmash95 View Post
    if they were so flush with cash why was the stock price in the dumper? and why did lilian demand that something be done? and for at least 10 years there was a new pavilion or country added to epcot. after that attractions were redone. and again if they were begging people to go to the park by offering 2fers and free admition? and the papers would have articles on Disney's plans to"fix"epcot.
    The stock price is/was affected by many different things.

    The studio was a joke at the time. The worst in Hollywood. Disney's TV presence -- network wise -- was almost nonexistant (basically a Sunday night anthology that usually ranked in the 70s out of 80-plus shows). Even though The Disney Channel became a huge hit and money-maker, at the time the start-up costs were huge and it was running in the red. Want more? Because animation was almost dead, Disney Consumer Products was also doing poorly ... they didn't have new characters to build upon and no one wanted Mickey Disco.

    As to the expansions during Epcot's first decade, they were all part of the master plan. Indeed, there were many other pavilions that were designed, shows and attractions too -- not blue sky stuff -- that never saw the light of day.

    And I just don't recall two-fer tickets at all. I'm not saying they didn't happen at times, but I have a filing cabinet full of Disney stuff from that time period and I have never seen anything nor do I recall it. I do remember teachers often getting in free, however.

    But in closing, I think you're taking a lot of individual things and connecting dots where they don't exist.

    EC was a huge success. Its biggest problem was the cost.

  10. #100

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    Re: Epcot Chief says No 25th Anniversary Celebration

    like i said before I remember the 2fers because I participated in them. there were alot of special offerings to local companies at the time. GTE employees were offered the same deal as well as electric coops. IT may have been something they only offered utilitities or companies that were part of the magic kingdom club. Also if you were in management level at companies that were major sponsors at the time, you were offered one weeks stay all inclusive at the resort during the off season. This was before Eisner came in , after him all the sponsorship renewals had that provision removed. My hubby's brother in law worked for at&t and he and my sister in law would come down for a weeks stay in the begginning of october every year and he told me the only thing he had to pay for was the airfare.

  11. #101

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    Re: Epcot Chief says No 25th Anniversary Celebration

    Those things make sense, but I don't think they are indicitave of the park having trouble... just a different strategy in dealing with sponsors.

    Which of course might explain in part why sponsors willing to shell out big bucks are harder to come by these days.

  12. #102

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    Re: Epcot Chief says No 25th Anniversary Celebration

    Quote Originally Posted by Raidermatt View Post
    Those things make sense, but I don't think they are indicitave of the park having trouble... just a different strategy in dealing with sponsors.
    Right. And again, nothing new here or indicative of failure or trouble. Exhibit Managers were always offered freebies like those. Even at Disneyland in California. I should know. Having worked for a Park Participant for many years...I was the beneficiary of such freebies. Those sorts of things are SOP, even today.

    Also...those things were not written into sponsorship agreements and therefore Eisner never had them purged. They were simply gifts that Disney occasionally gave out to their Participants. Sponsors today still get offered all sorts of perks like that and more! Invites to grand openings of restaurants and hotels. All expenses paid. That sort of thing. SOP. Then and now. All the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raidermatt
    Which of course might explain in part why sponsors willing to shell out big bucks are harder to come by these days.
    Sponsors of things like theme park attractions and outside exhibits are harder to find these days, not because of any drop in attendance. It's simply that in today's market...that sort of expenditure is not considered as valuable as it once was. There are so many other venues (such as the internet, and movie theaters, and print ads in new venues, sports event signage, and satellite and cable TV, etc, etc)...that advertisers often prefer to use more direct target marketing these days. Many just don't feel they get the same "bang for their buck" as they used to out of the old traditional exhibit sponsorships. This is not exclusive to Disney or attendance related...but is simply current thought by many Marketing professionals as it applies across the entire specialized exhibit sponsorship arena. For example, this change in thinking and re-assignment of marketing and advertising assets...virtually spelled the death of World's Fairs.

    Today...Disney tends to rely on more of the biggest "deep pocket" participants with which they can cross-pollinate through mutual national or worldwide promotions. They utilize much less of the smaller type companies or local participants companies that you used to see in the past sponsoring smaller venues.

    There's a lot more corporate "ego" also involved in this area these days, IMHO and experience. On both sides of the contracts. This too has lead to tougher times or harder lines in lining up sponsorships.

    But none of that is a reflection of any sort of failure on the part of these places to produce a warm body count or profit or return on investment. It's not that marketers think those are bad places to advertise because of failure or anything like that. It's more that they just now think there are better, new, and more other places to put their money these days.

    Still...compared to their competition...Disney stills draws and benefits from corporate participation...much more than the "other guys" could even dream of.

    Last edited by Opus1guy; 02-14-2007 at 08:56 PM.

  13. #103

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    Re: Epcot Chief says No 25th Anniversary Celebration

    I don't like comparing Disney to the "other guys" too much. After all, they became Disney by comparing themselves to themselves. A common trait among the truly great.

    But I didn't mean to say falling attendance was causing the problem, because attendance hasn't actually fallen overall. I agree with most of what you said about the biggest reasons for the difficulty.

    Still, I do think Disney has hurt themselves by not delivering the kind of attractions and value that it would take to continue attracting sponsors.

    After all, who in their right mind would contribute $100 million for a new attraction after looking at what happened with M:S?

  14. #104

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    Re: Epcot Chief says No 25th Anniversary Celebration

    The state lotto? "Ride Mission: SPACE! You have better odds of dying on this ride than you do of winning the Jackpot!"

  15. #105

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    Re: Epcot Chief says No 25th Anniversary Celebration

    Quote Originally Posted by Cmash95 View Post
    like i said before I remember the 2fers because I participated in them. there were alot of special offerings to local companies at the time. GTE employees were offered the same deal as well as electric coops. IT may have been something they only offered utilitities or companies that were part of the magic kingdom club. Also if you were in management level at companies that were major sponsors at the time, you were offered one weeks stay all inclusive at the resort during the off season. This was before Eisner came in , after him all the sponsorship renewals had that provision removed. My hubby's brother in law worked for at&t and he and my sister in law would come down for a weeks stay in the begginning of october every year and he told me the only thing he had to pay for was the airfare.
    I'm sure there were special, and very limited, 2fer offers for certain companies that likely had a special tie to TWDC.

    But that didn't mean EC was in trouble in anyway.

    In other words, those 2fer weren't like the regular ones at DL/DCA.

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