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News Disney's Magical Express to end after 2021

JoeCamel

Well-Known Member
“To me, the purpose of a business is not solely to create shareholder value, it’s to create value for the customer.... we think of our business as a platform to improve the lives of the people we serve and that’s our goal everyday. If we do that well, the financial end of it tends to take care of itself” - David Salyers, Chick-Fil-A
If I could just get past the political/social media stance they have...... Food is good, service is exceptional but I don't go as often as I might.
 

flynnibus

Premium Member
You want people to feel taken care of,

Sure.. if you were a service oriented business.

Disney abandoned that model this century and instead switched to a upsell model and hasn't looked back. Every aspect of your trip can have magic added for just the right price... while the baseline experience that bought them all that brand loyalty has been replaced by upsells.
 

LittleBuford

Well-Known Member
I agree with this to an extent -- I don't think there is a comparable theme park experience elsewhere (at least for what specifically interests me about theme parks). Universal is worth visiting, but I can't spend more than 2 days there. That's why I will probably continue to visit Disney once every few years.

With that said, I live close enough to WDW that I can drive there in a reasonable amount of time (about 6.5 hours), which makes things much easier. Don't have to spend money on plane tickets and have full control over my travel timing. I'd probably go less or maybe not at all if it was going to require air travel. There are far too many other places I want to see/return to. If all things were equal (cost, time, etc.) between visiting WDW and going to London, Paris, Rome, or so many other places, I would choose the latter every time. And if prices keep going up while service, food quality, maintenance, etc. stay the same or decline further, WDW will lose even the occasional trip. I already have no current plans to visit.
My trips to Disney are short—up to five days each time—and do not take the place of travel to other destinations, in part because I’m a Londoner living in the US who goes back to the UK (and from there other parts of the world) every winter and summer (this didn’t happen in 2020, of course). Moreover (and unlike most people here, it seems), I have very little interest in theme parks as a general category. My love of WDW and the other Disney resorts I’ve been to rests entirely on my love of Disney itself, on a lifetime’s obsession with the animated classics, the characters, and the music. All of which is to say that a Disney trip, for me, constitutes its own unique category of travel that is entirely separate from, and cannot be substituted by, the other kinds of travel I undertake. As long as I can afford to do so, I will continue to make my pilgrimages to WDW. The happiness I feel when I’m there is priceless.
 

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
My trips to Disney are short—up to five days each time—and do not take the place of travel to other destinations, in part because I’m a Londoner living in the US who goes back to the UK (and from there other parts of the world) every winter and summer (this didn’t happen in 2020, of course). Moreover (and unlike most people here, it seems), I have very little interest in theme parks as a general category. My love of WDW and the other Disney resorts I’ve been to rests entirely on my love of Disney itself, on a lifetime’s obsession with the animated classics, the characters, and the music. All of which is to say that a Disney trip, for me, constitutes its own unique category of travel that is entirely separate from, and cannot be substituted by, the other kinds of travelling I undertake. As long as I can afford to do so, I will continue to make my pilgrimages to WDW. The happiness I feel when I’m there is priceless.

You sound a bit like me, then, as I described above. I enjoy WDW and would likely enjoy other Disney parks, and Universal has its moments, but I'm not especially interested in parks as a rule. I could never visit Universal again and not feel like I was missing anything. The only other one I've seen that actually looks interesting to me is Puy du Fou in France, but I think it belongs in its own separate category. It doesn't even have rides.

It's why, despite wanting to see Disneyland eventually, I haven't been there despite being in LA for leisure reasons. Too many other things that interest me more.
 

Animaniac93-98

Well-Known Member
You sound a bit like me, then, as I described above. I enjoy WDW and would likely enjoy other Disney parks, and Universal has its moments, but I'm not especially interested in parks as a rule. I could never visit Universal again and not feel like I was missing anything. The only other one I've seen that actually looks interesting to me is Puy du Fou in France, but I think it belongs in its own separate category. It doesn't even have rides.

It's why, despite wanting to see Disneyland eventually, I haven't been there despite being in LA for leisure reasons. Too many other things that interest me more.

You're not missing much with DLR at this point. Its suffered from many of the same problems as WDW of late.

The best time to go as a first timer post-2000 would have been when Cars Land opened.
 

Sir_Cliff

Well-Known Member
I am too. I think the castle parks will always be a huge draw even if they take away much of what made the parks so special. If they just keep the place painted up as a huge phot op with enough attractions to justify the price tag people will pay.

But that’s not how WDW has been so profitable, they need large families and groups staying multiple days and eating at all the restaurants etc. That’s what I see changing.
I feel very much the same way. For the foreseeable future, there will presumably be plenty of people who have to go to DL or WDW at least once in their life or even more regularly just because they occupy a certain place in the culture and people will pay a premium for that. They have built up WDW into a monster, however, that really needs large volumes of people filling the hotels, parks, Disney Springs, etc. I do wonder particularly how many families will start crunching the numbers for a WDW vacation and feel it's more expensive than they remembered/would have thought and also notice that the old sales pitch based on perks has been replaced by one involving a long list of optional upcharges. If enough of those people either decide not to take the vacation or try somewhere else, I wonder when/if they run out of other families willing to take their place.

With that said, I live close enough to WDW that I can drive there in a reasonable amount of time (about 6.5 hours), which makes things much easier. Don't have to spend money on plane tickets and have full control over my travel timing. I'd probably go less or maybe not at all if it was going to require air travel. There are far too many other places I want to see/return to. If all things were equal (cost, time, etc.) between visiting WDW and going to London, Paris, Rome, or so many other places, I would choose the latter every time. And if prices keep going up while service, food quality, maintenance, etc. stay the same or decline further, WDW will lose even the occasional trip. I already have no current plans to visit.
I think this difference plays into why I began to feel differently about a WDW vacation than yourself or @LittleBuford. For me, it's a big international trip that will almost certainly take the place of some other vacation option that will almost as certainly be cheaper and involve doing new things. I still really enjoy WDW, but I left the last trip feeling a bit stupid for spending so much money on a 10 day trip. That said, if I go on holiday, I want to be able to eat out, have a nice cocktail, maybe sleep in occasionally, and generally enjoy myself without counting pennies the whole time. I'm sure there are ways to budget to make a WDW vacation less pricey, but the baseline is so expensive and covers increasingly less that I feel it makes more sense to go somewhere I can relax and enjoy myself without feeling that I'm emptying out my bank account at checkout.

DLP for me is the equivalent of what you describe, as I can take the train there in a 2-3 hours, spend two or three days to get a Disney fix, and spend my big vacations elsewhere. Crowds are also still generally reasonable there, and the French don't love getting up early so the parks open at a civilised hour. That does still appeal, to be honest!
 
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SteveAZee

Well-Known Member
The more I think about this, the more short-sighted it seems. The bus trip was a way to get people charged up about their Disney trip and excited for experiences. That adds up to $$$. You want people to feel taken care of, relaxed and excited about the trip if you want them to open their wallets freely for food, souvenirs, extra experiences. It seems like it costs the company money, but it's money well spent in the big picture, and in a sense pays for itself.

This reminds me a little bit of that old fable of the sun and the wind trying to get a man to take off his coat. The wind blew as hard as it could, but the man held on even tighter. The sun warmly shone on the man and he took the coat off by himself. I think Disney has made its brand by being the sun and making us eager to fork over cash. It's getting pretty blustery in Orlando and I'm starting to think I'd rather hold on to my wallet.
I wonder why they didn't try passing the cost to the guests... a price that would cover the cost rather than the usual Disney markup. I wonder how people would feel about that... instead of taking away the option completely.
 

Sir_Cliff

Well-Known Member
I wonder why they didn't try passing the cost to the guests... a price that would cover the cost rather than the usual Disney markup. I wonder how people would feel about that... instead of taking away the option completely.
I think what makes this so puzzling is presumably DME was already built into the cost of staying at a WDW resort and so everyone was paying for it but thinking of it as a perk.

Those who seem calmer about taking away DME are suggesting that, while costs may keep going up, it will be by, say, 10% rather than 11% a year and that will be the compensation. To me, that seems like a bad business strategy as people notice the perk being taken away and they will notice the prices continuing to either stay the same or go up but they won't be aware of the hypothetical extra few percentage points the rates could have gone up if the perk kept existing. The difference per night is also like not going to be make or break for many people.

That is all, of course, assuming prices don't just keep going up at the rate they would have anyway.
 

Chi84

Premium Member
I think what makes this so puzzling is presumably this was already built into the cost of staying at WDW hotel and so everyone was paying for it but thinking of it as a perk.

Those who seem calmer about taking away DME are suggesting that, while costs may keep going up, it will be by, say, 10% rather than 11% a year and that will be the compensation. To me, that seems like a bad business strategy as people notice the perk being taken away and they will notice the prices continuing to either stay the same or go up but they won't be aware of the hypothetical extra few percentage points the rates could have gone up if the perk kept existing.

That is all, of course, assuming prices don't just keep going up at the rate they would have anyway.
I don't think this was a cost-saving meant to be passed along to consumers. The prices won't reflect discontinuation of ME.
 

Sir_Cliff

Well-Known Member
I don't think this was a cost-saving meant to be passed along to consumers. The prices won't reflect discontinuation of ME.
I am also skeptical about that hypothetical saving. I suspect guests will have to content themselves with the 'benefit' of choice that the elimination of DME is supposed to bring.
 

BoarderPhreak

Well-Known Member
I also think the majority of my love for WDW is because of an EPCOT that no longer exists. That was what I really loved as a kid -- although there are a lot of rides I like at the Magic Kingdom, and I enjoyed it as a kid, I would have been okay with just spending all my time at EPCOT (mainly Future World, but I did like World Showcase) and skipping the MK entirely. It's pretty clear now that that EPCOT is never going to come back (not that I was expecting it to). However, they did build Animal Kingdom, which I absolutely love and is now the best park at the resort to me.
I can so relate to this. EPCOT Center was my jam from when it opened in the 80s into the mid-90s. It's been waning since that point at an accelerated rate. I still love the park, but it's not what it was - to me - in the 80s (and never will be again). Edutainment has largely died with Communicore/Innoventions. But I have a lot of hope for the new stuff like Rat and GotG, the revamped entrance, etc. MK will always be special, but to me it was EC in its heyday. AK is growing beautifully, and HS is coming back in a big way too.
 

Movielover

Well-Known Member
I would take the old DHS back any day if I could. Citizens of Hollywood, Hollywood Public Works, Juggling Bellhops, 4 for a Dollar Acapella, Mulch, Osbourne Lights, Daily Parade.

Let’s not forget that up until 2004 the park was home to a working feature length animation studio!

We’ve lost so much sadly.
I would kill to be able to experience my favorite park opening year. To be able to see the studio and the tour in it’s big, original, prime state would be incredible! If only the “Hollywood of the east” didn’t fail...
 

BoarderPhreak

Well-Known Member
I would take the old DHS back any day if I could. Citizens of Hollywood, Hollywood Public Works, Juggling Bellhops, 4 for a Dollar Acapella, Mulch, Osbourne Lights, Daily Parade.

Let’s not forget that up until 2004 the park was home to a working feature length animation studio!

We’ve lost so much sadly.
Oh, absolutely. All the Hollywood is gone - replaced by IP. A pretty huge shift. The problem was the huge dip in the middle where the park was essentially dead (e.g. "half-day park"). Something had to be done... They went YUGE with SWGE and TSL, for better or for worse. A real shame they couldn't combine the two.
 

MisterPenguin

Fully Pfizered!
Premium Member
I would take the old DHS back any day if I could. Citizens of Hollywood, Hollywood Public Works, Juggling Bellhops, 4 for a Dollar Acapella, Mulch, Osbourne Lights, Daily Parade.

Let’s not forget that up until 2004 the park was home to a working feature length animation studio!

We’ve lost so much sadly.
What was the last feature length animated film produced at DHS?
 

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