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  1. WDWFigment

    A Spirited 15 Rounds ...

    I'd say consumer confidence/sentiment are the most important indicators with regard to travel spending, and the last few months is the highest those indexes have been since pre-9/11. (Which also helps explain why DCL and Anaheim hotel prices have been trending upward, at least in part.) I do...
  2. WDWFigment

    A Spirited 15 Rounds ...

    I think the point about credit cards is a good one when it comes to this conversation, but perhaps in a different way than @ParentsOf4 is suggesting. Currently, U.S. consumer credit card debt is at an all-time high, above $1 trillion. I would argue that this helps explain the otherwise...
  3. WDWFigment

    A Spirited 15 Rounds ...

    In our case, it was for the Grand Opening of SDL and I wasn't interested in dealing with that humidity in order to see more. We'll no doubt be back in the next 2-3 years...assuming a trade war hasn't broken out, +1 on your comments about flight prices. I've learned not to broach that topic...
  4. WDWFigment

    A Spirited 15 Rounds ...

    Two quasi-compliments in one thread?! Damn, you're growing soft! ;) I have no problem admitting that. It's a safe bet that if I take anything seriously, I want to be the best at it. I'm incredibly competitive, even if it's with myself or when it comes to things others deem pointless.
  5. WDWFigment

    A Spirited 15 Rounds ...

    We did this and it was incredibly easy...from Los Angeles. I've heard of several others (both that I know and via FlyerTalk) having issues from airports that don't fly regular routes to Shanghai (including Orlando). If I were flying out of a smaller airport, I'd probably just play it safe and...
  6. WDWFigment

    A Spirited 15 Rounds ...

    I get the sentiment here, but I'm not sure I'd go quite this far. Both Japan as a country and the Tokyo parks are aiming to increase their foreign demographics to the greatest extent possible, particularly mid- to long-term. The parks have their hands tied to a degree (I'm sure you know why)...
  7. WDWFigment

    A Spirited 15 Rounds ...

    I wouldn't live there (I fear Japanese culture could be isolating in the long term), but I would--and plan on--spend significant time there to get a slice of the local experience. Then again, I'd do the same in Paris, and even Hong Kong (but only during the winter months). Probably an unpopular...
  8. WDWFigment

    Rumor Siemens is going to end their sponsorship with the parks - Spaceship Earth and IllumiNations

    No argument from me on any of this. I see the most likely scenario as the big investments for EPCOT being made in the IP-driven 'sure things' with much more financially-modest refreshments made to attractions and exhibits that entertain, inform, and inspire. I suspect TWDC wants it both ways...
  9. WDWFigment

    Rumor Siemens is going to end their sponsorship with the parks - Spaceship Earth and IllumiNations

    To me, there's a difference between the ambitions. Pandora and Star Wars Land are both ambitious in the sense that they are significant capex investments; EPCOT was ambitious in the sense that it pursued lofty goals. Even Tokyo DisneySea did not/does not have that type of ambition. They broke...
  10. WDWFigment

    Rumor Siemens is going to end their sponsorship with the parks - Spaceship Earth and IllumiNations

    While I strongly believe EPCOT is still viable as a concept--and is frankly more necessary than ever--I realistically don't see modern-day TWDC ever going back in that direction. It's too ambitious and too risky. Just look at the guest satisfaction scores for attractions like TSM and RnRC...
  11. WDWFigment

    The Redhead is changing....

    For what it's worth, my perspective on this has changed (at least to a degree--I still stand behind Country Bear Jamboree) on this in the last 5 years. I wrote about some of the other considerations today.
  12. WDWFigment

    A Spirited Valentine ...

    Totally agree on this. Mickey and the Magician is the best attraction in WDSP now that Cinemagique is gone. (Sorry, not a Ratatouille: the Adventure or Crush's Coaster fan.) It demonstrates how these montage stage shows can be done at a high level that does not feel contrived. Mickey and the...
  13. WDWFigment

    A Spirited Valentine ...

    Some quick thoughts (most of which are just snippets from my post on this I sent you earlier): The new parade is a fine upgrade over their 20th Anniversary parade, but given the parades that have debuted elsewhere in the intervening years (including Festival of Fantasy), it's a disappointment...
  14. WDWFigment

    Avatar Flight of Passage reviews, comments and questions

    I was more excited for Na'vi River Journey (which is perhaps part of the letdown?), but I was actually hoping it'd lack story, and just be a meandering journey. Something cool for coolness' own sake, without exposition or any real purpose. I don't know if you've either ever been on Journey to...
  15. WDWFigment

    Avatar Flight of Passage reviews, comments and questions

    Thanks for sharing. After a few more rides on Na'vi River Journey, I'm now less enthusiastic about it. Too many elements are static that could be engaging. It feels very 'by the book' in a design-sense: it's staged in a way that draws the rider's attention to specific elements in a particular...
  16. WDWFigment

    Possible Attraction in France pavilion (Epcot) Update - new Attraction Greenlit

    I agree with this, and would go one step further and say that the trajectory of Tokyo DisneySea mirrors EPCOT of the mid to late 1990s. Tokyo DisneySea is still exceptional, but the amount of 'toonification that has already occurred is disconcerting. Part of the reason I recommend people visit...
  17. WDWFigment

    50 MAGICal Enhancements for the 50th ...

    That's not how it works. Since these are major international hub airports we're talking about, they're almost always direct flights. (Now, from Florida they wouldn't be, but I'm guessing most of your int'l flights aren't). This is one of those topics that is really daunting to people at first...
  18. WDWFigment

    A Spirited Valentine ...

    I'd think the solution would be building a DVC property in Newport Beach (one was actually announced for there back in 1994) or Huntington Beach. The ocean is a destination unto itself, and it's close-enough to Disneyland to not have the problems of a stand-alone resort. Certainly would've...
  19. WDWFigment

    News New Gondola Transportation - Disney Skyliner - Every Possible Problem has Already Been Discussed

    I found them to be much improved (I described them was Poly-lite), but pretty much the only direction for those rooms to go was up. The previous version looked like clown(fish) barf. Generally, I think Walt Disney World has done a good job with its recent round of room refurbishments. The goal...
  20. WDWFigment

    News New Gondola Transportation - Disney Skyliner - Every Possible Problem has Already Been Discussed

    Great work on this @danlb_2000! As for a lot of the questions being raised here, I think a great example for the versatility of such a system is in the Ngong Ping 360 (near Hong Kong Disneyland). Really rugged terrain, tropical weather, etc., and those function exceptionally well. (IIRC, they...
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