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News Disney's Magical Express to end after 2021

larryz

post hoc ergo propter hoc
Premium Member
...there is no where for the hoards to go.
ParchedActiveFish-size_restricted.gif
 

flynnibus

Premium Member
it was just a thought, didn’t say it was right, but then you tell me “no” like you have the definite answer but then begin with “I think...”

one doesn’t need to know the right answer to know another is not right. The i think is speculation on their true motivations
 

CaptainAmerica

Premium Member
No

I think it's more Disney admitting that the DME no longer functions as a ball and chain for guests who can now leave property easier than ever... so why give away free transportation? I think it's more admitting the old model simply doesn't do the old objective anymore, so they went cheap and killed it.
Yup. That's exactly correct.

I'm still not happy that they've made it extremely difficult to get TO their property for people who need car seats, as I've already said, but what you're describing is definitely the mindset.
 

CaptainAmerica

Premium Member
Relevant excerpt from the Q1 earnings call:

"I would characterize this last year as being not only a year of challenge, but also a year of learning in terms of what we can do, in terms of sustained margin growth in our parks. I say that because there's nothing like a pandemic to challenge the status quo and make you be fairly introspective about a lot of things that you've maybe taken as fairly dogmatic. I think you've all seen several new announcements about things that we've done recently that may have been heresy prior to the pandemic, like recasting of our annual pass program at Disneyland and reconsidering the overwhelming demand we have relative to supply. Everything we do, the first lens we look at is to exceed guest expectations.

And it's very tough when your park has more demand than supply, we have to put limits on it. Well, as you know, we have a wide variety of margins depending on the nature of the guest and how they visit and when they visit. So with a lens toward maximizing the guest experience, we are now able to essentially reset many pieces of our business, both on the cost and revenue side of the business in order to say, if we had a blank piece of paper, how would we set up our parks business and be a little bit more aggressive than we typically might be able to be without the impetus of, unfortunately, a year-long closure. So we've had a lot of time to think, particularly at Disneyland, about what could be, and I think you're about to see some of those strategies be born."
 

Jedijax719

Well-Known Member
Yup. That's exactly correct.

I'm still not happy that they've made it extremely difficult to get TO their property for people who need car seats, as I've already said, but what you're describing is definitely the mindset.
Do the shuttle vans require kids to use car seats? If they do, that could be a deal breaker for those who are flying. Where they would have not needed to bring car seats, they suddenly have to?
 

SteveAZee

Well-Known Member
No

I think it's more Disney admitting that the DME no longer functions as a ball and chain for guests who can now leave property easier than ever... so why give away free transportation? I think it's more admitting the old model simply doesn't do the old objective anymore, so they went cheap and killed it.
The last time I was on property (OKW in late 2019) I noticed that the prices for food and beverages were reasonable in resort store compared to past years. I assumed that was because it's so much easier to get transport anywhere (including local supermarkets) that they had to lower prices to compete.
 

Sir_Cliff

Well-Known Member
Relevant excerpt from the Q1 earnings call:

"I would characterize this last year as being not only a year of challenge, but also a year of learning in terms of what we can do, in terms of sustained margin growth in our parks. I say that because there's nothing like a pandemic to challenge the status quo and make you be fairly introspective about a lot of things that you've maybe taken as fairly dogmatic. I think you've all seen several new announcements about things that we've done recently that may have been heresy prior to the pandemic, like recasting of our annual pass program at Disneyland and reconsidering the overwhelming demand we have relative to supply. Everything we do, the first lens we look at is to exceed guest expectations.

And it's very tough when your park has more demand than supply, we have to put limits on it. Well, as you know, we have a wide variety of margins depending on the nature of the guest and how they visit and when they visit. So with a lens toward maximizing the guest experience, we are now able to essentially reset many pieces of our business, both on the cost and revenue side of the business in order to say, if we had a blank piece of paper, how would we set up our parks business and be a little bit more aggressive than we typically might be able to be without the impetus of, unfortunately, a year-long closure. So we've had a lot of time to think, particularly at Disneyland, about what could be, and I think you're about to see some of those strategies be born."
To be honest, if this doesn't have any meaningful effect on demand and saves them a lot of money I don't blame them. If people are relatively happy and willing to keep paying the same prices without DME or pay Disney yet more for something similar, then I can understand them getting rid of it. From a business point of view, it probably wouldn't make sense to keep it.

On a personal level, I was already finding WDW a bit of a rip-off, so it just adds another reason to keep vacationing elsewhere.
 

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
To be honest, if this doesn't have any meaningful effect on demand and saves them a lot of money I don't blame them. If people are relatively happy and willing to keep paying the same prices without DME or pay Disney yet more for something similar, then I can understand them getting rid of it. From a business point of view, it probably wouldn't make sense to keep it.

On a personal level, I was already finding WDW a bit of a rip-off, so it just adds another reason to keep vacationing elsewhere.

That's how I feel about most of their recent changes. If they're going to save a bunch of money without decreasing demand in any significant way, why wouldn't they do what they're doing from a business standpoint?

They'll lose me as a customer if this keeps up (not over MDE, but over other changes like lack of theming/coherent design, IP everywhere, etc.), but if I'm replaced by someone else to whom those things don't really matter, it's a no-brainer from a Disney management perspective. I don't even go to WDW that often anyways, so I would not be a huge loss.

The more interesting thing will be if these types of changes drive down long-term demand. If people go to Disney once, don't see it as being all that different from other parks beyond the sheer IP they have at their disposal, and don't see any reason to go back.
 
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Jenny72

Well-Known Member
It seems to me that the business model for Disney is to make it a highly desirable (dare I say magical) experience, so that people are willing to max out credit cards on overpriced food and hotels. From that perspective, they don't need/want to attract hordes but rather smaller numbers (relatively speaking) of big spenders. Thus the multitude of upcharges promising magic in one form or another.

Which leads to this: how did they end up with the tone deafness of the blog post that announced this? The upper middle class families that they want to attract are not going to appreciate being dropped into the lap of Uber and the like. At a bare minimum, why would you not helpfully suggest some attractive alternatives? And why would you not monetize it as yet another upcharge, to drag some more money out of us poor saps? Throw some pixie dust on the seats, hand out magical water and rake in the cash.

I agree with above posters who suggested that they probably did this because it wasn't keeping people on property anymore. But are they not able to make a change in keeping with their overall business structure? To me, it feels like management is slipping a bit here. Not because they decided to drop the service, but because they don't seem to be able to handle it in a sophisticated way.
 

JoeCamel

Well-Known Member
It seems to me that the business model for Disney is to make it a highly desirable (dare I say magical) experience, so that people are willing to max out credit cards on overpriced food and hotels. From that perspective, they don't need/want to attract hordes but rather smaller numbers (relatively speaking) of big spenders. Thus the multitude of upcharges promising magic in one form or another.

Which leads to this: how did they end up with the tone deafness of the blog post that announced this? The upper middle class families that they want to attract are not going to appreciate being dropped into the lap of Uber and the like. At a bare minimum, why would you not helpfully suggest some attractive alternatives? And why would you not monetize it as yet another upcharge, to drag some more money out of us poor saps? Throw some pixie dust on the seats, hand out magical water and rake in the cash.

I agree with above posters who suggested that they probably did this because it wasn't keeping people on property anymore. But are they not able to make a change in keeping with their overall business structure? To me, it feels like management is slipping a bit here. Not because they decided to drop the service, but because they don't seem to be able to handle it in a sophisticated way.
Maybe they laid off all the people who would massage the statement?
 

Weather_Lady

Well-Known Member
I agree with above posters who suggested that they probably did this because it wasn't keeping people on property anymore. But are they not able to make a change in keeping with their overall business structure? To me, it feels like management is slipping a bit here. Not because they decided to drop the service, but because they don't seem to be able to handle it in a sophisticated way.
I agree that it was a short-sighted move that will cost more in the long run. Even if they did it because DME wasn't keeping people on property anymore for the entire week, they failed to grasp the very simple concept that DME (and 60-day Fastpass windows, and EMH) helped to get people to book hotels on property in the first place. Without DME (or those other perks), it's a slippery slope... we have to pay for all our transportation now, so we might as well rent a car... and if we have a car and there's no touring advantage to being onsite, we might as well book a hotel off-property that's both better and cheaper than Disney... and since we're going offsite every day, let's take some of our meals off-property and save some money... and since we don't need a hotel and ticket package, we'll buy our tickets more cheaply from a third-party seller, too...

And so, due to just a couple of penny-pinching business decisions, families like mine might still be coming to WDW (because, darn it, we still love the place even though our affection sometimes feels one-sided), but Disney will be getting 25-30% of what we used to spend when we stayed and dined almost exclusively onsite. DH and I have already looked at the pros and cons, and have decided that our short August WDW trip (this year, so still with DME, and admittedly staying onsite with the "extra days" ticket offer) will be, to borrow a phrase from Peter Pan, our "last night in the [very expensive] nursery." In the future, we'll explore opportunities off-property.

It's rather telling that every one of the items listed on Disney's own webpage dedicated to the "Benefits of Staying at A Disney World Hotel" has already been truncated (e.g., "transportation," with hours so abbreviated you'll be lucky to make it from your hotel to a park rope drop even if you take the earliest bus/gondola/boat/monorail), or discontinued (Fastpass, dining plan, EMH, free Magicbands), or will be gone by next year (DME). https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/resort-hotels-benefits/
 
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Jedijax719

Well-Known Member
Those are great points! If DME (and the other perks) weren't keeping people on-site, then eliminating them will keep even less people on site.

I can't imagine EMH, Fast Pass, Dining Plans, and 6 or 3 month reservations being gone for too much longer. DME seems to be gone forever in 2022, but Disney could look at other options (why not just charge for it?). EMH-not sure. There's no reason if things return to "normal" why they can't bring that back. As for Fast Pass and Dining plans as well as the early reservations, I assumed those were cut ONLY during COVID times due to capacity limits.
 

Sir_Cliff

Well-Known Member
That's how I feel about most of their recent changes. If they're going to save a bunch of money without decreasing demand in any significant way, why wouldn't they do what they're doing from a business standpoint?

They'll lose me as a customer if this keeps up (not over MDE, but over other changes like lack of theming/coherent design, IP everywhere, etc.), but if I'm replaced by someone else to whom those things don't really matter, it's a no-brainer from a Disney management perspective. I don't even go to WDW that often anyways, so I would not be a huge loss.

The more interesting thing will be if these types of changes drive down long-term demand. If people go to Disney once, don't see it as being all that different from other parks beyond the sheer IP they have at their disposal, and don't see any reason to go back.
I feel 100% the same way.

If Disney parks become something I'm no longer interested in but are still wildly successful, then so be it and they will just become a somewhat retro nostalgic interest about which I might buy books and watch documentaries. If more people like the current iterations, then I can't expect the world to bend to my tastes. Still, I have the same query about the longterm impact of all these changes. If the parks all become high-priced Disney movie parks, I find it hard to imagine they will remain the cultural phenomena they were in the past and retain the cache they're still coasting on.

I remember similar issues coming up in the online debates around the time DCA was being built. Some people online swore that people really didn't care about all that theming, story, etc. and were just interested in rides. Then it opened...
 
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