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Disney Has Lost It's Way - An Article From The Federalist

Po'Rich

Well-Known Member
Fair enough. The point still stands: The line between EE and Moana is razor thin. More importantly, EE, being built around a legend, is less original than, say, Tron or Pandora, both of which are attractions built around stories created by people who are still alive today. The preference for dead legends over live ones is surely not universal.
I disagree with the "less original" statement. I would say that FoP, for example, is equal in originality to EE because both create a new experience out of a narrative. You make the distinction that legend is old and IP is new, but both are stories. Here, I agree. Yet, I would say that when assessing the ride, we have to look at originality of the experience. Does the ride create a new experience from the narrative material (as I would argue FoP and EE both do) or does it simply replicate the narrative (for example, JotLM, slinky dog). The fear with IPs is that there is more possibility of simply replicating the existing narrative without creating a new experience.
 
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All this sturm & drang.

Hey... Look at it as an opportunity :)

If Disney is too expensive, go see something else. Go to Mexico, Europe, South America, Canada, etc. There's a huge world out there having nothing to do with the mouse or Disney bubble. It's well-worth the effort.

If I could thank my parents for one thing, it would be making sure I was well traveled as a child and teenager.
 

Jedi Stitch

Well-Known Member
It wasn't until my recent rip to DLR, it finally dawned on me that my wife Only likes the "Disney" Parks. What, do you mean by "Disney" you ask. Well at DLR she wanted to spent 2 of the 3 days in Disneyland, and only went to DCA to mostly appease me. At the WDW trip she mostly only wanted to be in MK, with really only enjoying AK, for the animals. She flat out told me she could careless about the other parks because they do not feel like her child hood Disney.
Personally, I don't have a problem with some of their more quirky old content. Black beards ghost, the computer wore tennis shoes, the greatest athlete in the world, apple dumpling gang. All of these would be fun IPs that are Disney, but Hey I guess it is just me.
 

Randyland

Member
The reason folks feel as they do is because Disney has lost the heart...

It has forgotten who or what it was...

Lost identity...

This is what made Disney so different from any competition...

Without out that spark that comes from the leader who people BELIEVE in, it is only another corperation park set up to take your money...

The leader MUST live the dream...

MUST be seen doing so, and must become the icon of all the goodness which the magic comes from...

I AM the only one who can RESTORE the heart and save Disney....

I have the lifetime in the business doing just as i have described...

I have been an iconic Cast Member completing the connection...

And my life dedications have parrelled that of the original dreamer...

The question is, can a corporation who has lost touch with the heart and magic have eyes to SEE and ears to HEAR???

Will they be intelligent enough to know the truth is NOT offered to hurt them, but will result in their future success??

Will they even contact me to explore these possibilities, and learn the truths in what i present and offer on a silver plater??

Let's see.
 

Ninja Mom

Active Member
This article is on the money in my opinion. Current company leadership is in desperate need of replacement. They are hollowing out the PARKS for profits to sustain the stock price at any cost... which is unsustainable in the long run.

To me it feels like the primary focus of the Disney company is now to turn it into a media empire. It seems that management believes that the parks now only justify their existence as a means to promote that media... and that is extremely sad.

It's time for Iger and his minions (and ESPECIALLY Chapek) to go away. They care not a bit about the Disney legacy. They only care about hitting their profit benchmarks to qualify for their bonuses.

~NM
 
https://thefederalist.com/2019/09/04/star-wars-land-proof-disney-lost-way/

Last Thursday, the Walt Disney Company unveiled one of its largest and most promoted attractions ever. The new Star Wars Land, called Galaxy’s Edge, opened at its Hollywood Studios complex in Florida, coming on the heels of a similar Star Wars Land that opened at California’s Disneyland in May.

The Disney hype machine has long since kicked into warp speed to promote the new land, but one might suggest a note of caution. I have owned a handful of Disney shares since childhood and have followed the company closely as a result. Yet when I travel to Los Angeles this month, for the first time in my adult life, I have no intention of visiting Disneyland while in Southern California.

Apart from the fact that I don’t particularly follow “Star Wars,” two related factors explain my ennui — and Disney’s existential dilemmas.

Endless Efforts to Upsell
The company’s most recent shareholder earnings report suggested trouble ahead, as Disneyland attendance actually dropped following Star Wars Land’s opening in California. As the Wall Street Journal noted last week, “The company blames itself … claiming that its own promotion of the park sparked ‘tremendous concern’ about crowds, actually deterring visitors. That may be true from a certain point of view, but higher prices for park tickets and local hotels surely didn’t help either.”

On the latter front, Disney, by its own admission, has become “wary of appearing to gouge customers … and going against founder Walt Disney’s vision of affordable family entertainment.” Despite executives’ concerns, examples of Disney’s attempts to upsell customers abound:
  • The $299 “preview” of a new attraction at Disneyland last year, amounting to a $50-per-hour charge for the six-hour event.
  • The MaxPass option at Disneyland, costing $15 per day. This charge gives the added convenience of making Fastpass reservations for popular rides through a mobile app rather than in person at the attraction itself. (The MaxPass also includes unlimited photo downloads, but many guests, particularly those who live in Southern California and visit the parks regularly, have little use for this feature.)
  • An additional charge for premium parking. This charge eliminated one of the advantages of arriving early in the morning: command of the closest parking spots in Disney’s massive parking lots. Instead, Disneyland guests now pay an extra $15 for that privilege — over and above the existing $25-per-day cost for “regular” parking. (Disney World guests pay $20-25 more per day for premium parking.)
Playground for the Rich
All these options have the same general theme: In a place infamous for its long lines, people willing to pay upcharges can move to the head of the queue. On the one hand, both Disney and guests are engaging in rational economic behavior and maximizing profit, whether monetary (in Disney’s case) or logistical (guests who don’t want to wait in line).

At a certain level, however, Disney will make visits unappealing — through high prices, longer lines for those who cannot afford the upcharges, or a combination of the two — for middle-class families. Because Disneyland in California (as opposed to Disney World in Florida) relies so heavily on Los Angeles-area residents for its guest base, Disney continues to retain somewhat more affordable (or less unaffordable) options for Southern California residents, which grant park access only during less-busy periods.

But for this potential guest, Disney doesn’t seem worth the money and hassle. Seeing Disney’s California parks (Disneyland and California Adventure) would realistically require an outlay of at least $500, including park tickets, parking, meals, and MaxPass for two days. All that to wait in line for a Star Wars Land I care little about seeing? No, thanks.

Lack of Creativity
Star Wars Land also points at another problem facing Disney: its lack of creativity. For all of its founder’s imagination and innovation — the first talking animated short, the first feature-length animated film, the first major theme park, and many more — Disney has rapidly developed a new identity. In the past decade, the company has evolved from a content-generating organization focused on creating new stories to a marketing monolith singularly focused on milking every last dollar out of the brands it already owns, many of which Disney played no part in creating.

Disney’s parks reflect this trend. While the Disney parks have always featured some Disney-themed rides — Dumbo the Flying Elephant among the most noteworthy — some of the most iconic rides at Disneyland, from the Matterhorn Bobsleds to the Haunted Mansion to Pirates of the Caribbean, had nothing to do with Disney films. (The latter two eventually became Disney movies, but well after the rides were developed.) But over the past decade, Disney has largely developed theme park attractions based on its existing film properties:
  • Cars Land at California Adventure, an area opened in 2012 based on the Pixar film franchise
  • A “Frozen”-themed boat ride at Epcot in Disney World, which in 2016 replaced a previous ride focused on Norwegian culture
  • Pandora: The World of Avatar, which opened at Animal Kingdom in Florida in 2017, based on the James Cameron film franchise
  • Toy Story Land, which debuted at Hollywood Studios in Florida this year, based on another Pixar franchise.
Focusing on Sequels, Remakes, and Marketing

The opening of Star Wars Land therefore represents the continuation of a trend defining the term of current Disney CEO Bob Iger. As Iger has acquired more entertainment companies — Pixar in 2006, Marvel in 2009, Lucasfilm in 2012, and 20th Century Fox earlier this year — he has focused on bringing characters and stories from those platforms under the Disney brand.

The parks’ theming, however, has suffered from these changes. In 2012, Disney officially completed a relaunch of its California Adventure theme park. The company spent more than $1 billion completely renovating its second California park to compensate for a cheaply built and incoherently themed park that scarred the Disney brand.

Yet five years later, the company replaced its Twilight Zone Tower of Terror ride, which perfectly fit the Art Deco motif in the renovated park, with new “Guardians of the Galaxy” theming, because Marvel. Methinks the late Roy E. Disney, nephew of founder Walt, who twice during his lifetime helped oust CEOs of the company that bears his family name, might look askance at the way Iger has attempted to shove its new brands into every corner of the Disney parks.

With the company expanding to include franchises not traditionally associated with the Disney name, and with most of its creative content coming from existing, as opposed to new, brands — another “Star Wars” sequel or remake of an animated classic, anyone? — the company appears at a crossroads. Has a company whose founder said, “We do our best when we work with our own stories,” become, as one movie reviewer recently noted, “creatively bankrupt” and “eating its own tail” by focusing almost exclusively on sequels, remakes, and marketing? Can Disney continue to provide quality and innovative entertainment at affordable prices for families?

In his 14-year tenure as CEO, Iger has vastly expanded the Disney company’s empire. But as the underwhelming launch of Star Wars Land in California indicates, the continual acquisitions may have given the company a case of indigestion, and an identity crisis to boot.
This is exactly why for the first time in 35 years, we are looking for different vacation destinations! Well stated!
 

Tanna Eros

Well-Known Member
THIS, my friend, is my biggest problem with Disney's newest garbage.

HSM is an advertisement for SW
M:BO is an advertisement for Marvel / GOTG
Marvel Land? MARVEL
Pixar Pier? PIXAR
Galaxy's Edge? SW

Some people enjoy one, most, or all of those offerings.. I see through all of them and am disgusted at what the parks are becoming / have become.

So why don't we feel this way about Song's of the South Splash, or Indiana Jones Adventure, or Twilight Zone ToT? Because the IP was a compliment to the story, and the attraction was fairly loosely based on their respective IP. There's also a huge quality difference between the IP Disney classics, and the newer stuff. And lastly, at that time, Disney wasn't AFRAID TO INVEST IN NON-IP RIDES.
I agree with you. As I recall, let's be honest, there's a weird look to Disney organic property that does allow a completely different world to exist. The Mad Hatter and March Hare are really weird looking, but if you think about, the design of Mickey Mouse is along the same lines. They carried that throughout the park way way back when. Even the Nautilus looked "Disney". Now there's the strange sharp look of Lucas, and Marvel is just Marvel; these days they just grab anyone with a pencil to draw their comics, thus design the look of the characters and scenarios. There's no coherent vision is what I'm seeing on the newsfeeds about the park daily. It's all mishmash.
And the scary planning... the scary scary up all night planning a day of vacation.....
 

Raineman

Well-Known Member
This is exactly why for the first time in 35 years, we are looking for different vacation destinations! Well stated!
Can I ask why you didn't consider other vacation destinations before? (I am not trolling, I am genuinely curious) We love visiting WDW, but we still take vacations elsewhere as well, like all-inclusives in the Caribbean, Nashville, even visiting central Florida without spending one minute on WDW property. I think people do themselves a disservice by limiting their vacations to WDW-the world has so much to offer.
 

bUU

Well-Known Member
...careful the devil you know
I'll agree with you here. People whined and cried and beat their chests about Eisner, and now those same people are waxing poetically about how great those Eisner years were. The same will be true with Iger: Those bashing him now will be the same people bashing his successor as being worse, just because they're irrationally expecting someone to manage the company irresponsibly to favor their personal preferences rather than responsibly to favor the best interests of the owners of the company.
 

Astrotrain

New Member
Unfortunately I don't see much changing but hopefully with time it won't feel like it's as much of a cash grab. Right now galaxy's edge feels like a 'premium' land to me, as if Disney wasn't expensive enough.

I was at the opening of GE in WDW and had the rare opportunity to explore for a couple of days in a mostly empty park. The scenery and feel of GE is amazing, I was in awe of how well everything fit and made you feel like you were in the SW universe. The price tag to thoroughly enjoy every aspect of it though is steep. I went to droid depot with my two kids, and for two droids the price was $319 (including 2 carriers). The monkey lizard which is the equivalent of the shoulder Banshee in Pandora was $70, with the former being $50.

I saw entire families walking around with lightsabers from savis, for four people that's $800 not including tax. If you choose to purchase only one because that's all your family can afford then you can only bring one guest in with you to watch the process. While i understand the reasoning, it inevitably leaves family members out from a potentially amazing experience and really that just sucks coming from a family friendly theme park.

Star Wars sells. It sells a lot. I expect to see something similar coming from DLR's new Marvel area for the same reason. People will spend an exorbitant amount of money to live out their fantasy of being apart of these worlds if only for a brief amount of time. It draws parallels to HBO's westworld in some ways but with an emphasis on the experience being attached to premium merchandise.

While I don't agree with the route they've taken with GE I can't say I blame them. People will continue to pay. I can see it potentially causing issues in California where it's primarily passholders, but in Florida there will always be an influx of tourists.

With all that said, I would be very surprised if they took this direction with other areas of the park. Classic Disney is sacred ground for a lot of people and while they can get away with it in something like GE the backlash for almost any other area (with the exception of Marvel land) would probably be too severe to make it worth it for them.
 
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Sirwalterraleigh

Well-Known Member
I'll agree with you here. People whined and cried and beat their chests about Eisner, and now those same people are waxing poetically about how great those Eisner years were. The same will be true with Iger: Those bashing him now will be the same people bashing his successor as being worse, just because they're irrationally expecting someone to manage the company irresponsibly to favor their personal preferences rather than responsibly to favor the best interests of the owners of the company.
I see the main challenge for Disney from a creative Side is that they can’t bring in an innovative ceo...because the board has no loyalty to the brand for the first time in its history. The board allowed some latitude to do creative things to the exec because they weren’t 100% beholden to only the quarterlies.

Disney - creative and emotional appeal - needs that backstop. They’re all merc now.

No ceo material exists anywhere near Iger now. Not a shred.

Companies purely run for institutional investors will become completely vulnerable to consumer whim as we move forward...that’s why Disney is in a different position that the other big America companies that have collapsed themselves of late. The intangible is as valuable as their tangible.
 

Marc Davis Fan

Well-Known Member
Either IP is ok, or it's not. I don't really see the logic of it being good in one park [Universal] and a sign of a creative lapse in another [Disney].
The Universal and Disney parks/resorts took very different approaches. Disney was more holistic (greater emphasis on the whole experience of visiting), and more focused on grand, archetypal themes (optimism and reassurance at The Magic Kingdom, human achievement and global community at EPCOT, the intrinsic value of nature at Disney’s Animal Kingdom). This made is something more deep and meaningful - and indeed unique in the world. By throwing in the hot movie IPs/characters everywhere, they are rapidly diluting what made them stand apart. Just my opinion, anyway.
 
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Sirwalterraleigh

Well-Known Member
The Universal and Disney parks/resorts took very different approaches. Disney was more holistic (greater emphasis on the whole experience of visiting), and more focused on grand, archetypal themes (optimism and reassurance at The Magic Kingdom, human achievement and global community at EPCOT, the intrinsic value of nature at Disney’s Animal Kingdom). This made is something more deep and meaningful - and indeed unique in the world. By throwing in the hot movie IPs/characters everywhere, they are rapidly diluting what made them stand apart. Just my opinion, anyway.
You emulate your hero well...

That’s a “classic Disney” kinda take that was eloquent, accurate and appropriate.
 
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