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Bob Iger at WDW now ... BoD to Follow?

HauntedMansionFLA

Well-Known Member
Every major project is different. And this is the first project of its scope since last century. No, Pandora or redoing the mall are not on scale or importance.



If that's what's been spouted in the two dozen plus pages I skipped, then I am very glad I did. I am not touching the budget issue. There is Star Wars hotel coming. Or a new monorail (Yes, I'd be shouting from the rooftops that Darth Iger isn't completely evil if that were the case!) There will be new things coming to EPCOT (beyond Frozen) that is true. Management will be changing. All you have to do is look at the age of the players to realize that many of them will be gone within the next 18-36 months.

And I certainly am not suggesting a new Golden Age for WDW, just one that offers considerably more and better quality offerings than what we have been suffering from this century.



Nothing wrong with that 'tude, Jon.
I'd be dumb enough to buy into a Star Wars DVC resort :) great information. And hey @PhotoDave219 - thanks for supplying all of the numbers for DHS. It's interesting to see the treads. I'd be curious to see the trickle down effect with guest spending with the food and retail at DHS.
 

BrianLo

Well-Known Member
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OK, so I was last here (or logged in here) Friday night and we were on page 79 as the clock ticked to Saturday. Now, we're on Monday evening and on 103. And I haven't said a word. What happened?
@Lee said two words and @marni1971 may have added five more. ;)
 

WDW1974

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Like I said on another page though while new projects are a breath of fresh air they still won't resolve the fundamental issues of WDW including the unwillingness of management to close rides throughout the year for needed refurbishments, maintaining basic upkeep and maintenance of attractions (broken AA's and special effects should be unacceptable), the lowering of food quality & hotel standards, etc.
Can't disagree at all. Disney has to have enough in every park where attractions can go down every year for work (and not for 48 hours). They do this at every Disney resort in the world ... except WDW. They had no problem doing this until about 15 years ago. They created their own disaster by closing attractions, shows, parades, retail and dining venues and then wondering why one park was so damn overcrowded that you could never close anything in it for work and there were so few attractions in the others that closing things was problematic in them as well. That 'tude absolutely needs to change, Neo.

Food quality is an issue more in its inconsistency. QS at DAK and EPCOT is wonderful, for instance. But barely edible at many locations in the other two gates.

As to resorts, I think the pendulum is moving back again ... I toured a few dozen empty new rooms at the Beach Club and they are quite nice (although the workmanship in some areas is of the quality it wouldn't pass muster for an airport Hilton Garden Inn in Oklahoma). @WDWFigment (yes, the dude is still in Tokyo!) did a great blog post on the new rooms at CBR, which truly look upscale (and at the price points that WDW mods now command, that is a must).

So, it's very much a mixed bag. ... But I think your first point on show quality and consistency is something that absolutely needs to be a top priority for management. It isn't now. ... at all.
 
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ThemeParkJunkee

Well-Known Member
Thank you to those helpful posters (@WDW1974, @marni1971, @PhotoDave219, @Lee etc.) for your clarifications regarding sourcing your material and allowable disclosures. I am pleased that TWDC plans to invest in the swamps heavily at long last. I am tempering my enthusiasm due to the painfully slow progress that plagues the company when it comes to these types of investments.

Amazingly, closures and upcharge events happen quickly and frequently of late and I have had my share of disappointments over the years. After four years, I decided to go back to Orlando in 2014 to see the FLE and (mostly) Diagon Alley. I was underwhelmed by TDO efforts but at least the construction walls all over Fantasyland were gone. They got moved to the Hub I guess. Animal Kingdom was an abysmal maze of construction walls.

I am expecting all new construction walls for the foreseeable future. But, I remain optimistic. I admit to a little "fan-girling" this afternoon when @marni1971 admitted he needed to pick his "jaw off the floor" for a moment. Interesting times we live in...interesting times. Carry on.
 

andysol

Well-Known Member
I think they may be looking at much less healthy numbers than you suspect just based on attendance not bottoming out. How many unique, 1 day tickets are sold for DHS vs the other parks? How many hours do guests spend in the park? How much do they spend compared to the other parks?

If only they had a system that tracked guest behavior and gave them all these numbers to compare :)
This is a great point. While we got some good (wifi), and some bad (majority dislike FP+ on this board)- I think we can all agree that Disney absolutely gets invaluable information through their data mining that they couldn't get previously. Purchasing, time spent at certain parks w/ transactions, etc, etc.

That data could have scared the bejeezes out of them regarding DHS and they saw through analytics (something we could have told them years ago) that they needed to do something quick or they were gonna lose substantial $ at DHS.
 

prfctlyximprct

Well-Known Member
This is a great point. While we got some good (wifi), and some bad (majority dislike FP+ on this board)- I think we can all agree that Disney absolutely gets invaluable information through their data mining that they couldn't get previously. Purchasing, time spent at certain parks w/ transactions, etc, etc.

That data could have scared the bejeezes out of them regarding DHS and they saw through analytics (something we could have told them years ago) that they needed to do something quick or they were gonna lose substantial $ at DHS.
They must be making bank right now, charging full price for a park with everything closed.
 

WDW1974

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
@WDW1974, do you have any information on whether One Man's Dream will be relocated somewhere else on property or is it being scrapped entirely?
No info ... although strong belief that you won't see it again. They only like to use Walt as a character, like Mickey or Tink or Elsa or Buzz or Darth Vader etc ... to sell things. They really don't want you to know he was a man, a visionary, and someone who very likely wouldn't like a lot of what has happened in his absence. They put the attraction in because they needed something cheap that 'honored' Walt for the 2001-02 marketing celebration they chose instead of a 30th anniversary celebration. It made no sense to close it, so it has remained since. But they need that real estate now.

So, my guess is back to the archives goes most of what's in there.
 
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The Empress Lilly

Well-Known Member
Don't set yourself up for disappointment. Realize that with the cheap will also come the pricey. With the off the shelf, will also come the unique.

You have to fill out a park with a wide variety of experiences. The Corpse of The Disney-MGM Studios is literally lacking in all categories (I could see some arguing its got plenty of thrill with ToT, RnRC and ST, but I have a hard time buying into that one.) ...when this is done, it won't lack in any of them. ... Hopefully!
Meh, despite the park lacking in virtually all aspects, WDSP is positively worse off for Toy Story Playland. It drags down the entire park, attracts the wrong audience, has very intrusive visibility, and downright cheapens the entire park experience. (Ask Angie what she thinks of it!)

Those billions better yield us some amazing stuff to compensate, because as of yet a once great park has been stripped to its bare bones and I can't bear the thought of formerly great areas being demolished for anything remotely resembling TSL.
 
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BrianLo

Well-Known Member
$4B?!? Where did they come up with that number? Insanity.
I agree, that's a generous number even for a completely new gate. That's probably still enough to build a Tokyo Disney Sea.

The BOD may have gotten close to that number across BOTH Disneyland and WDW with some very generous rounding. However, that's also due to Anaheim receiving a bit more than just a billion flat.

Folks here need to keep the expectations in check that WDW received somewhere approaching 2 billion, maybe a bit more, maybe a bit less. But it honestly doesn't particularly matter when we are talking those numbers. The longstanding complaint here is that DHS needed more than the DCA makeover to get up to snuff, and from all accounts they approved it.
 

ThemeParkJunkee

Well-Known Member
No info ... although strong belief that you won't see it again. They only like to use Walt as a character, like Mickey or Tink or Elsa or Buzz or Darth Vader etc ... to sell things. They really don't want you to know he was a man, a visionary, and someone who very likely wouldn't like a lot of what has happened in his absence. They put the attraction is because they needed something cheap that 'honored' Walt for the 2001-02 marketing celebration they chose instead of a 30th anniversary celebration. It made no sense to close it, so it has remained since. But they need that real estate now.

So, my guess is back to the archives goes most of what's in there.
Is it possible the exhibits may be moved to the family museum in San Francisco?
 

WDW1974

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
They must be making bank right now, charging full price for a park with everything closed.
A great story that won't likely ever get written (listening @skubersky ?) is spending a day with a family that bought one day tickets to that park only and what they saw and what their thoughts were/are. Again, won't happen because it is a great story to write.
 

1023

Provocateur, Rancanteur, Plaisanter, du Jour
The BOD may have gotten close to that number across BOTH Disneyland and WDW with some very generous rounding. However, that's also due to Anaheim receiving a bit more than just a billion flat.
^^ This
Folks here need to keep the expectations in check that WDW received somewhere approaching 2 billion, maybe a bit more, maybe a bit less. But it honestly doesn't particularly matter when we are talking those numbers. The longstanding complaint here is that DHS needed more than the DCA makeover to get up to snuff, and from all accounts they approved it.
Hmmm.... DCA+ . I like that.

*1023*
 

FrankLapidus

Well-Known Member
No info ... although strong belief that you won't see it again. They only like to use Walt as a character, like Mickey or Tink or Elsa or Buzz or Darth Vader etc ... to sell things. They really don't want you to know he was a man, a visionary, and someone who very likely wouldn't like a lot of what has happened in his absence. They put the attraction in because they needed something cheap that 'honored' Walt for the 2001-02 marketing celebration they chose instead of a 30th anniversary celebration. It made no sense to close it, so it has remained since. But they need that real estate now.

So, my guess is back to the archives goes most of what's in there.
Thanks for the response, it wasn't entirely unexpected to hear that it likely is going for good but its very disappointing nonetheless.
 

WDW1974

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
OK, so @ParentsOf4 REALLY, REALLY, REALLY wanted me to read this gem of his (it is), which I had previously missed. So, here I am ... you now owe me a lunch! :)

Yes, the project most likely will be depreciated over 25 to 40 years, so it will have a relatively small impact on today's bottom line, perhaps $50M to $80M annually. (Obviously, free cash flow will be impacted.) Divide that by a relatively modest (for WDW) 5% bump in annual attendance, and it's pretty easy to imagine how a $2B investment could readily pay for itself in increased hotel, ticket, food, and merchandise sales.

Why hasn't Disney already done this in the recent past?

Because they haven't had to.

Up till a few years ago, the Orlando theme parks had excess capacity. MyMagic+ was about optimizing that pre-existing capacity. Get Guests to preplan their trips so they would be less likely to leave 'The Bubble'. Even though that hasn't materialized, an improving economy, new South American markets, and Harry Potter have drawn millions more to Orlando. WDW's attendance is up double digits since the opening of WWOHP in 2010 and is projected to rise even more in the coming decade. The parks are becoming oppressively overcrowded. In fact, so overcrowded that Disney risks disappointing its current Guests, resulting in decreased return business.

Disney already is taking small steps to address this issue. The New Fantasyland, MK bus terminals, Hub redesign, 3rd Soarin' theater, and 3rd Toy Story Mania track are examples of recent projects designed to improve capacity.

But it isn't enough.

WDW's attendance is horribly lopsided, with MK bursting at the seams even as other parks struggle to maintain consistent attendance throughout the day. Frozen/Maelstrom and what effectively has become a twice-a-year Food & Wine Festival are Disney's attempt to draw more to Epcot. Pandora (and other projects) should help DAK. But DHS is a mess. There is no quick & easy fix for DHS.

After 15 years of low capex investments in Orlando, WDW is in need of a major expansion. Based on historical Disney data, I estimate that Iger has undercapitalized WDW to the tune of about $2.5B since taking charge. WDW desperately needs an infusion of capital and DHS could use all of it.

In recent years, there have been excuses to ignore WDW. Over $1B spent in DLR. Nearly $2B more on 2 new cruise ships. Over $2B spent in China. However, with the Shanghai project winding down, WDW is now front-and-center.

It was one thing to dump profits into stock buybacks when DIS was at $30, $50, or even $70 per share. However, with stock now at a ridiculously high $114 per share, DIS is a poor choice for "investing" company funds. The company will continue to spend billions on repurchases, but the peak years should be behind us until the stock takes a tumble. (And it will tumble during the next recession.)

Right now, Disney needs to find a place to park the roughly $9B it's going to make in net income this year.

Looking up the road, Universal has scored a grand slam not once but twice with Harry Potter. Disney hit its own homerun with Cars Land. Disney has seen that a well-themed and immersive land based on a popular IP can be a clear financial success.

Given its options, investing in Disney's domestic theme parks with a surefire winner like the Star Wars IP is looking like a pretty good choice. :)
And that was easy ... because I agree with the whole damn thing. I don't have to even comment further except to say that the guy gets it (we all sorta knew that!)

Now, how about a lovely lunch on the water at the Boathouse (with alcohol included of course)?
 
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