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  1. #1

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    March 6, 2009: When Worlds Collide

    This article looks at how Walt Disney World is responding to the "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter."


    What are your thoughts?

    Please discuss it here.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

  2. #2

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    Re: March 6, 2009: When Worlds Collide

    Good article. I totally disagree with the Disney advantage angle. The ticketing advantage by Disney sounds like it is the pitch by the folks at Disney and not reality. When people whom visit every decade, realize there is more in Orlando, they are likely to come back sooner and it won't be Disney. I don't know of anyone whom since the ticketing began that has added Universal for just a day. Usually it is Disney this year, Universal the next. And they can pay the average family to visit Disney and it still wouldn't change there plans of staying longer than a week. $100. gets you admission for 7 days at Universal online and with SeaWorld that $100. gets you 2 weeks along with Aquatica. You can't beat that; especially with the economy and HarryPotter on its way, and Disney not competing. I think Universal will come close to beating the numbers of admissions, against the Magic Kingdom in 2011. The Superbowl promotion, will bring a boost this year and they will return by 2011 for Harry. Add in the Harry fans, theme park fans, and a ad campaign, not to mention many visitors whom haven't been at Universal in a while, plus the relative low priced admission.
    We frequent Disney, and I really love it. But going the last 3 years to Disney, Sea World, and Universal---The extended family with kids, teens etc really enjoyed Universal and SeaWorld more so than Disney. They asked to not ever have to goto Epcot again. Don't get me wrong. Disney waterparks, studio and MK are really enjoyable. But aspects of AK and most of Epcot was a turn off and just on the pleasure scale there was nothing higher than Universal.
    It will vary, but when you consider Harry, the low ticketing cost, and enjoyment factor along with Disney doing nothing much in the next 2 years to me the clear choice is to skip DisneyWorld until they get serious about adding new attractions and competitive pricing. They have had the luxury of being the default park when visiting central florida, but I do see it being possible there ticket sales would plummet which would require lowering the prices and adding e-ticket rides, but it would then become a slippery slope. When you look at the total bill and Universal saved you thousands by staying in a house in Orlando versus the Disney magic experience and you have more fun at Universal the choice becomes clear.

  3. #3

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    Re: March 6, 2009: When Worlds Collide

    If only Disney continued with Narnia...

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    Re: March 6, 2009: When Worlds Collide

    I was not ever thinking of visiting the new HP stuff at Universal, since it was just going to be a small section of the park and not much new besides aesthetics was being reported at first. But after seeing these concept arts and the construction under way, I might have to change my mind! I am a big HP fan and would definitely go a little out of my way to visit there once it's done, given the opportunity.



    ETA: And I guess if I'm in the area, it'd be crazy not to at least stop by WDW...
    "And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by" (John Masefield)



  5. #5

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    Re: March 6, 2009: When Worlds Collide

    "who," not "whom," on multiple occasions.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  6. #6

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    Re: March 6, 2009: When Worlds Collide

    There was talk for not just an updated Star Tours as Disney Studios, BUT creating an entire George Lucas-land, or Star War Universe, which would also be a perfect addition for the annual Star Wars Conventions.

    With Al's latest article about WDW sitting on their duffs, about FINALLY upgrading Star Tours, let alone creating a Star Wars Universe-land, well, it's rather disappointing. Then add in that Adventurers Club and and the Comedy Warehouse are gone, and no major new attractions, same old parades, a lot people might be ripe for a change.

    With Harry Potter on the horizon, it is looking more likely that people will start making their hotel reservations closer to Universal, than WDW.

  7. #7

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    Re: March 6, 2009: When Worlds Collide

    Werner, thanks for a very nice article. I agree with you regarding how Disney probably will benefit from Harry Potter. My daughter is a huge HP fan so any WDW trip will include one day at Universal, regardless of the extra cost. I'd also like to see if they built the locomotive seen at the bottom of the first concept image. Sure it wouldn't really be operational but the Western Pacific diesel locomotive at DCA in California isn't operational either and I still enjoy looking at it.

  8. #8

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    Re: March 6, 2009: When Worlds Collide

    I stopped going to WDW since 1991, nothing but everest has attracted me to go back. Universal's Potter land looks promising and might actually get me to go back to Orlando.

    It would have been interesting if Disney had continued with Narnia or won the rights for Harry. I think both of those franchise could have created an interesting angle to a mythological world of animals at DAK.

    If i remember correctly there is a scene in the last movie where Harry gets in an elavator and the elevator moves backwards. That could have been an interesting new angle for future Tower of terror attractions.

  9. #9

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    Re: March 6, 2009: When Worlds Collide

    I don't think TWWoHP will take that much attention away from WDW. If anything, I think it might help people get back to Orlando and possibly increase their attendance.

    I'm planning on going to Universal for a convention summer 2010, and I was even thinking about trying to squeeze in a day or two at WDW.

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