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A Spirited Valentine ...

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One we know nothing about is how Lightstorm and Fox are paid and how much. Is it similar to the WW deal with revenue sharing or flat fees like the preacquisiton Lucasfilm/George Lucas attractions? Hell, does Pandora have a contractural expiration date?
 

andysol

Premium Member
Please keep in mind that a lot of MyMagic+'s cost's appeared outside of capex, particularly in opex and SG&A (selling, general, administration, and other). The amount was several hundred million. I've mentioned this in a few posts, for example, here and here.

Would it be possible to do the same with another project? Sure. Was it done with Pandora? I don't see the same pattern of non-capex spending that I saw with MyMagic+.

Disney has spent $3.1B in domestic Parks & Resort growth capex (i.e. capital expenditures less depreciation) since Pandora was announced in September 2011 (i.e. at the start of Disney's 2012 fiscal year).

Those expenditures paid for the Disney Fantasy (delivered March 2012), Cars Land (opened June 2012), New Fantasyland (opened December 2012), MyMagic+ (announced January 2013), Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (opened May 2014), down payment for 2 additional cruise ships (announced May 2016), a third track for Toy Story Mania (May 2016), a third theater for Soarin' (May 2016), Rivers of Light (February 2017), Pandora (May 2017), and initial construction work for Star Wars Land and Toy Story Land, among other projects.

The cruise ships alone add up to around $1B, leaving roughly $2B to pay for everything else. Frankly, I have a hard time figuring out how Disney could have spent the rumored $1.4B on Pandora.
Thank you @ParentsOf4 - I think I can speak for many in that I hang onto your every word when you post and love your input.
You have a better understanding of the financials than anyone on the forum- I'm confident in saying that. And even you don't know. So Mr. Niles certainly doesn't. To the 100 thousand, no less :rolleyes:
 

Rodan75

Well-Known Member
One we know nothing about is how Lightstorm and Fox are paid and how much. Is it similar to the WW deal with revenue sharing or flat fees like the preacquisiton Lucasfilm/George Lucas attractions? Hell, does Pandora have a contractural expiration date?
I wonder if Fox gets anything? Even licensing fees from all of the Banshees being sold this week. It looks very much like Lightstorm is the only entity that owns Avatar merchandising rights.

Although Fox made out when my Husband had to immediately watch the movie on his iPad after he rode Flight of Passage.
 

HMF

Well-Known Member
I wonder if Fox gets anything? Even licensing fees from all of the Banshees being sold this week. It looks very much like Lightstorm is the only entity that owns Avatar merchandising rights.

Although Fox made out when my Husband had to immediately watch the movie on his iPad after he rode Flight of Passage.
Fox has a history of giving away merchandising rights to very successful properties.
 

flynnibus

Well-Known Member
One we know nothing about is how Lightstorm and Fox are paid and how much. Is it similar to the WW deal with revenue sharing or flat fees like the preacquisiton Lucasfilm/George Lucas attractions? Hell, does Pandora have a contractural expiration date?
It was reported at the announcement they would not get royalties on admissions but would on food & merch
 

Cesar R M

Well-Known Member
At some point the conspiracy theory on spending is just too ridiculous to believe.

They have publically stated the green dollars for this land at $500B. i wouldn't doubt they spent more in blue/affiliate dollars, but to believe they had real costs at 1.4B is just ridiculous. What value do they get in lying? Hiding costs in OpEx is bad for the bottom line. And their cap spend is well documented.
Well, There are other cases where Disney went way overbudget. For example, MyMagic package and the magicband thing.

Please keep in mind that a lot of MyMagic+'s cost's appeared outside of capex, particularly in opex and SG&A (selling, general, administration, and other). The amount was several hundred million. I've mentioned this in a few posts, for example, here and here.

Would it be possible to do the same with another project? Sure. Was it done with Pandora? I don't see the same pattern of non-capex spending that I saw with MyMagic+.

Disney has spent $3.1B in domestic Parks & Resort growth capex (i.e. capital expenditures less depreciation) since Pandora was announced in September 2011 (i.e. at the start of Disney's 2012 fiscal year).

Those expenditures paid for the Disney Fantasy (delivered March 2012), Cars Land (opened June 2012), New Fantasyland (opened December 2012), MyMagic+ (announced January 2013), Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (opened May 2014), down payment for 2 additional cruise ships (announced May 2016), a third track for Toy Story Mania (May 2016), a third theater for Soarin' (May 2016), Rivers of Light (February 2017), Pandora (May 2017), and initial construction work for Star Wars Land and Toy Story Land, among other projects.

The cruise ships alone add up to around $1B, leaving roughly $2B to pay for everything else. Frankly, I have a hard time figuring out how Disney could have spent the rumored $1.4B on Pandora.
The Disney cruise line is part of the Parks and Resort budgets?
 

flynnibus

Well-Known Member
Please keep in mind that a lot of MyMagic+'s cost's appeared outside of capex, particularly in opex and SG&A (selling, general, administration, and other). The amount was several hundred million. I've mentioned this in a few posts, for example, here and here.

Would it be possible to do the same with another project? Sure. Was it done with Pandora? I don't see the same pattern of non-capex spending that I saw with MyMagic+.

Disney has spent $3.1B in domestic Parks & Resort growth capex (i.e. capital expenditures less depreciation) since Pandora was announced in September 2011 (i.e. at the start of Disney's 2012 fiscal year).

Those expenditures paid for the Disney Fantasy (delivered March 2012), Cars Land (opened June 2012), New Fantasyland (opened December 2012), MyMagic+ (announced January 2013), Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (opened May 2014), down payment for 2 additional cruise ships (announced May 2016), a third track for Toy Story Mania (May 2016), a third theater for Soarin' (May 2016), Rivers of Light (February 2017), Pandora (May 2017), and initial construction work for Star Wars Land and Toy Story Land, among other projects.

The cruise ships alone add up to around $1B, leaving roughly $2B to pay for everything else. Frankly, I have a hard time figuring out how Disney could have spent the rumored $1.4B on Pandora.
Disney also claims over 3 billion right now in assets for projects in process as of May. 3billion now... which excludes most of what you as they were previously completed.
 

seascape

Well-Known Member
Disney also claims over 3 billion right now in assets for projects in process as of May. 3billion now... which excludes most of what you as they were previously completed.
Two star wars lands, Toy story land, Pandora and GOGTOT. I guess Star Wars gets nothing and it all goes to Pandora, Toy Story and GOGTOT. Be real, there is no way Pandora cost 1.4 billion. But Disney still needs to up Capex on WDW. They are leaving billions in revenue off the table that they could have.
 

ford91exploder

Resident Curmudgeon
Chapek is a robot!
He was even frowning at the opening of the ride and he was standing next to Zoe Saldana!
Chappie needs an upgrade.
Chapek is simply exhibiting the typical disgust of Disney executives when they are forced to visit the parks. Which are "Stupid entertainment for Stupid People" remember that line Disney executives HATE the parks but love the cash they generate.
 

WDW1974

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Going to drop in some Spirited Parisian Disney thoughts, but first ... a few other notes.

Like please don't say I am the one claiming Disney spent $1.4 billion on Pandora. I simply am quoting Robert Niles (who, as you know by now, has a lovely mother who toured me around and tried to sell me a $3 million mini-mansion at Golden Oak) who reported it. I had a lot of respect for Robert, mainly because he has a real journalism background and isn't your typical BRAND advocate, but much of that has evaporated over the last few years as he has largely become a shill for the major companies (his 'reporting' from Dubai last year was just ... sad).

Still, if he says $1.4 billion, I do give it weight. He isn't a Tom Corless or Jim Hill type who makes things up purely for attention or because people ask him to or takes a tiny bit of fact and contorts it like a pretzel to craft a narrative. I still see no way the project could have cost this amount, but you do never know. NGE has cost close to a TDS already and you'll never see press releases announcing that because of the way costs are spread out over years and businesses.

Speaking of which, Volcano Bay's debut has been an unmitigated disaster. No matter what spin you see/read. The park was not ready for opening at all and the result has been everything from angry people demanding money back and free trips (they must read online forums!) to people actually suffering injuries. I keep saying it, but it should be repeated, but UNI is doing as well as it is doing simply because of Harry Potter drawing people into its parks who didn't go before. Management is a mess. And decision-making is largely worse than Disney's. This carries on across the Pacific with UNI-Beijing (so far, a bigger disaster than Disney in Shanghai, but people aren't paying nearly as close attention -- yet) something that was whispered about during the recent American Chamber of Commerce American Ball event in Beijing, where UNI had a major presence.

As GotG starts slowing down at the box office (apparently this was the worst Memorial Day weekend at the BO in 18 years), I am really thinking the idea of bringing them to WDW in any meaningful way is dead. This is OPINION. Very educated and reasoned. But keep that in mind. And the IP I keep hearing of replacing Energy is not anything Marvel or BH6. And the ride is not the SDL Tron coaster.

Interesting that WDI basically on purpose chose to make the NRJ in Pandora an attraction that precludes many in wheelchairs and ECVs to board. It almost is as if they are growing tired of making everything so accessible to everyone that it winds up destroying efficiency and, in many cases, show as well.

Just random thoughts ... let's go visit Paris, shall we?
 

davis_unoxx

Well-Known Member
Going to drop in some Spirited Parisian Disney thoughts, but first ... a few other notes.

Like please don't say I am the one claiming Disney spent $1.4 billion on Pandora. I simply am quoting Robert Niles (who, as you know by now, has a lovely mother who toured me around and tried to sell me a $3 million mini-mansion at Golden Oak) who reported it. I had a lot of respect for Robert, mainly because he has a real journalism background and isn't your typical BRAND advocate, but much of that has evaporated over the last few years as he has largely become a shill for the major companies (his 'reporting' from Dubai last year was just ... sad).

Still, if he says $1.4 billion, I do give it weight. He isn't a Tom Corless or Jim Hill type who makes things up purely for attention or because people ask him to or takes a tiny bit of fact and contorts it like a pretzel to craft a narrative. I still see no way the project could have cost this amount, but you do never know. NGE has cost close to a TDS already and you'll never see press releases announcing that because of the way costs are spread out over years and businesses.

Speaking of which, Volcano Bay's debut has been an unmitigated disaster. No matter what spin you see/read. The park was not ready for opening at all and the result has been everything from angry people demanding money back and free trips (they must read online forums!) to people actually suffering injuries. I keep saying it, but it should be repeated, but UNI is doing as well as it is doing simply because of Harry Potter drawing people into its parks who didn't go before. Management is a mess. And decision-making is largely worse than Disney's. This carries on across the Pacific with UNI-Beijing (so far, a bigger disaster than Disney in Shanghai, but people aren't paying nearly as close attention -- yet) something that was whispered about during the recent American Chamber of Commerce American Ball event in Beijing, where UNI had a major presence.

As GotG starts slowing down at the box office (apparently this was the worst Memorial Day weekend at the BO in 18 years), I am really thinking the idea of bringing them to WDW in any meaningful way is dead. This is OPINION. Very educated and reasoned. But keep that in mind. And the IP I keep hearing of replacing Energy is not anything Marvel or BH6. And the ride is not the SDL Tron coaster.

Interesting that WDI basically on purpose chose to make the NRJ in Pandora an attraction that precludes many in wheelchairs and ECVs to board. It almost is as if they are growing tired of making everything so accessible to everyone that it winds up destroying efficiency and, in many cases, show as well.

Just random thoughts ... let's go visit Paris, shall we?
I bet there is less electric scooters in Paris!
 

EricsBiscuit

Well-Known Member
I'm currently at Shanghai Disney right now and it is incredible! The theming is TOP notch. From the stores in Fantasyland to each queue line, you are totally immersed. The castle is so impressive. And, as a meat and potatoes guy, the restraunt inside was terrific. A note to all red blooded Americans, there is a waffle shop on Mickey Ave that sells Donald Waffles (not Mickey, normal waffles but with DD stamped on them, tastey!) and Tangled Tree Tavern (excellent theming again) has chicken fingers. It is definitely an all day park. I would say anyone on these boards could easily turn it into a 3 day park.
 

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WDW1974

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
There is far more good than bad these days as Disney gets closer to its goal for the last decade-plus: total ownership. Still, I can't help but think that the 25th Anniversary Coverage you may have gotten from the handful of American bloggers may have been ... a bit over the top? I also wonder if it wasn't predicated on having an amazing Foamheads on Parade on the actual 25th (April 12th) AND on being in a castle park that has never looked better in their experiences (as far as I know, none of these people actually ever visited when the park was new or anytime in the 90s for that matter) AND (this is the important one) got to spend day after day in a park with no heat, no humidity and small crowds.

You take all of the above and it isn't very hard to see park paradise in the former beet fields 35 minutes east of Paris.

Things are better than at any time this century at DLP, but ...

That said, the problems of DLP run deep because -- almost from Day 1 -- complete neglect became part of the business model. DLP has never looked better to me, but I've only been a regular in the 21st century. I've seen it at what I feel was rock bottom (about 2012) and I've seen steady improvement since then. But, understand this, at the rate they're going it will be time for the 50th anniversary before all the decay and deferred maintenance are taken care of.

Let's start with Project Sparkle (famously borrowed from DL's 50th behind the scenes campaign to bring the park back up to standards). It is a very here and there project. I've heard about how great Main Street looks, for example, and from a paint standpoint and major lighting that is true. Just don't walk into what was supposed to be the hat shop and is more like a Christmas shop now and look at the lights above because half the bulbs are dead (I'm sure Iger and Chappie and even Jack Sparrow never entered this shop and not sure that new CEO HotCathy Powell even knows what it is). Same with many of the facades on MSUSA, which you'll not see in any blogger's pics.

Just like the restrooms, Disney has had a massive effort to replace 25-year-old, never refurbished, facilities with new ones. But it seems like the project is literally one or two a year. That just doesn't fly. They aren't dirty, but imagine 25 years of ... toilets and well, they should have been able to rip and replace all of them within 18 months IF they had spent the money to.

Some of Project Sparkle's funds went to things that sorta make you wonder ... yes, it's great to see the. Frontierland geysers look brand new and provide kinetics to the land. But were they necessary and will they be maintained when history has shown the opposite? Would those funds have been better served elsewhere? And why put money into the Studio Tour? You ripped out the FL one years ago. That place actually was a studio. WDSP never has been beyond being a HQ for Disney Channel in that park's first 2-4 years.

Attractions like Adventure Isle and the Treehouse also got lots of love. Even the effects in the pirates caves were upgraded or replaced.

Yet, much of it, still has that half-arsed Parisian feel. Small World looks amazing since its redo, yet they recently decided to remove popcorn lighting on the channels the boats travel into the show building that they have had issues maintaining in the past. One wonders if they'll be back or simply another detail gone. And whatever you do, don't look up when in the show building. Sure, they made the sets bright and vibrant and, mostly, operational. But no one told the workers they might want to clean up after themselves, so in the areas where the lighting comes through and the ceiling is simply mesh, the mesh is covered by trash ... literally everything from supply and construction refuse to coffee cups just sitting there. Ah, the Disney Details.

Of course, the answer is simple. As one Disney Lifestyler/Blogger told me when I would complain about filthy carpeting at WDW resorts, "I never look down." So, just don't look up and the problem doesn't exist.

Storybook Land largely looks amazing ... until you start seeing weeds that are huge and destroy the entire sense of scale. This is an attraction that calls for weekly, if not daily, trimming. And it clearly isn't getting it.

Let's head back to Frontierland, which truly looks like new. BTMRR is absolutely spectacular again ... but, those new effects have proven problematic and the tunnel finale was never operating correctly in multiple rides over multiple days. Phantom Manor is looking good considering it hasn't gotten the Sparkle treatment yet and won't until next year. The Mark Twain is most likely unsalvageable and will be quietly destroyed with the hope that no one asks about it for years and they can come up with a good tale.

There aren't new attractions for the 25th. Not unless you consider Star Tours 2.0 and Hyperspace Mountain new attractions.

BTW, the 25th really doesn't have a theme because over two-thirds of the budget apparently wound up going into things like replacing pothole-filled pavement with nice new pavers and rebuilding hotels and painting and ... you get the idea. If the 25th has one unifying theme it would appear to be (sigh ... sigh ... gasp ... sob ...) Star Wars. You know anything SW related gets Bob Iger all hot and bothered, so basically any/all SW entertainment from WDW and DL was divided up between the two parks in Paris and KABLAM! Chewie, We Have a Celebration!

Star Tours (already tired in the states where it debuted six years ago now) suffers from the decision to make the entire attraction in French. When half your Guests come from outside France and when you have six Starspeeders, it just defies logic to do so. It's nice and the SW gift shop at the exit is even nicer if you are in to buying SW merchandise, which I am not. Hyperspace Mountain was one of my favourite things at DLP, though it is misplaced as anything possibly could be.

I had not experienced it in Anaheim or Hong Kong and it was a kewl experience. Better yet, the new trains, which were designed with a different, yet familiar, mission in mind, will make fans very, very happy in the future. This was the first time(s) in my life that I rode the coaster and had no head-banging and no pain when I left. The new harnesses are great and the ride, while not exactly smooth, is simply worlds better than before. The only jostling I ever felt was in the corkscrew. All our rides were either in row one or five or six, so I have no idea if it feels much rougher in the back (I'm sure a fanboi can help with that one!) This was a very late addition to DLP as you can see from the trains ... the CMs are also wearing the old Star Tours costumes as the new ones originally designed were ... for a different mission. The ride experience is quite wonderful, but I am looking forward to the future and this great attraction being what it was supposed to be.

Next post will cover DLP 25th Anniversary Entertainment.
 
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WDW1974

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I'm currently at Shanghai Disney right now and it is incredible! The theming is TOP notch. From the stores in Fantasyland to each queue line, you are totally immersed. The castle is so impressive. And, as a meat and potatoes guy, the restraunt inside was terrific. A note to all red blooded Americans, there is a waffle shop on Mickey Ave that sells Donald Waffles (not Mickey, normal waffles but with DD stamped on them, tastey!) and Tangled Tree Tavern (excellent theming again) has chicken fingers. It is definitely an all day park. I would say anyone on these boards could easily turn it into a 3 day park.
Please, drop any news or observations or thoughts right here ... headed there in the not too distant future!
 

Bocabear

Well-Known Member
On my last visit to DLP a couple years ago, one of the things that was really distracting was lighting...even in attractions like Phantom Manor, they replaced whatever bulbs they were using for the flickering gaslight effect, with an LED light bulb that was too tall and clearly visible sticking up inside the shade...Likewise Pirates had inexplainable technicolor LED spotlights lighting sections of the ride that were completely distracting and misplaced... That was actually sort of everywhere...Like the lighting department got a new box of bulbs and was trying them out everywhere, and especially where they did not make any sense.
I am hoping they do get a hold of the deferred maintenance...that Park on my first visit 20 years ago was the most beautiful Disney park I ever saw... Last visit it was sadly...a tad rundown.
 

WDW1974

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
One quick point before I head off to other things, but one way of supposedly improving the parks in Paris is the installation of electronic guest feedback machines (that go directly to ops management I've been told) in places including (but not limited to) restrooms. You simply push a happy button, a neutral button, or an unhappy button (smileys in an emoji era) to let people know your experience and whether something needs immediate attention. I saw them in multiple places, but can't recall all now ... I know one was in the exit walkway for Hyperspace Mountain.

Frankly, I think this is a great idea and should be expanded globally. At least, if management is going to take the feedback seriously and respond immediately.
 
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