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EPCOT Entertainment cuts

Disneyhead'71

Well-Known Member
Do you know any wrestling fans? Or comic book fans? Or any fans who are at that level? They all tend to be communities filled with harsh critics and staunch supporters, both motivated by a deep-rooted love of the thing they are fans of. I think it is true that every fan-base complains and that every fan-base has apologists. The question is, do ANY of the companies listen to the hard-core fan-base, or do they listen to the general public who is their target.

The question I would pose to the folks who think that Disney's quality is abysmal and will start to cost them, is do you think there will be someone to fill that void in the market. Do you think that someone could provide the type of experience that Disney "used to" and thus become successful and beloved in the same way and by the same clientele who are now disenfranchised? Is Universal doing this, and if so, why are so many folks still here hoping for WDW to change when another offering is doing it? Lots of stuff to ponder, not saying I have answers, just questions.
No, they are not finding replacements for the clientele they are running off with their corporate greed. Just look at the what they are having to do to the Poly because they are so mindbooglingly incompetent that they can't fill hotel rooms literally connected to the number one tourist destination on the planet with a free frickin' monorail.

Yes, many disenfranchised Disney fans have defected to the enemy. Myself included. I haven't paid a cent to get into a Disney park since 2010.
 
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squidward

Well-Known Member
Was Colin really not good, or does every think he's not good in comparison to Norm? Norm's a tough act to follow, as he's regarded by many as one of the best anchors. Now, if Colin had followed someone like Brad Hall or Christopher Guest (a genuinely funny guy who somehow managed to be one of the unfunniest anchors), would he be ranked higher?

All I'm suggesting is that people try to keep an open mind and judge the acts on their own merits.

Colin was horrible. Worst Weekend Update anchor ever. Norm wasn't even my favorite. Kevin Nealon and Dennis Miller take the cake.
 

squidward

Well-Known Member
My wife wants me to contact the seller we rented from for our Wilderness Lodge stay for July 2015 and see if he will transfer the points over to the Grand Californian for our April 2015 Disneyland trip, then take the cash we spent for the Disneyland Hotel and extend our Universal stay, rent a car, do other Florida attractions and skip Disney all together. She's had it.

You can only push people so far. Look at the past couple of years:

-Reduction in EMH
-Destruction of the Polynesian in favor of DVC
-Cutback on entertainment at the Magic Kingdom
-Cutback on entertainment at Epcot
-About 15-20% increase in food prices
-FP+ fiascos
-Cutback on transportation
-Cutback on number of restaurants participating in TiW
-Annual Pass renewals 3x the cost of Universal Annual Pass renewals
-Reduction of the shopping discounts with AP's
-No more AAA discounts
-Closing of Maelstrom
-Closing of Snow White's Adventures

I'm sure I'm forgetting some things, but like I said, you can only push people so far.
 
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ttalovebug

Active Member
I never found Mo Rockin' to be appropriate for that park... Follow me...

They don't do any Christmas stuff in Morocco, since they don't celebrate Christmas. O.k. Staying true to the country...

They don't light up Morocco in Illuminations due to religious beliefs.... ok, fair enough

But they have a band playing pop music in Moroccan style. Seems inconsistent to me.

Besides, as has been said a few times... I like that the parks are a living breathing ever changing organism. It adds to the vibrance. I should also point out that Epcot has changed very, very little in many, many years. At this point any change would be a good change.


This? This is bad.This is not acceptable. Because EPCOT has been given so little attention and love over the years, we should accept any development they choose to throw our way simply because they're finally doing something? This is the poor standard that years of stagnation has brought on. No, any change would NOT be a good change. Journey into Your Imagination, w/ and w/o Figment, is not a good change. An empty Wonders of Life pavilion is not a good change. Gran Fiesta Tour is not a good change. Spaceship Earth's descent is not a good change. Yes, the parks need change, they need to evolve and grow. But I think we'd all prefer they did with some integrity, yes? Are you really arguing, given TDO's track record, that any change is good change? I'm not really talking about the entertainment acts anymore, but I digress. This comment has sent me on a tangent.

I'm getting into a little Ship of Theseus pondering here. The parks need change, that is true. And we all want these changes to be consistent with EPCOT's original intent. If it evolved in that way, we'd see that change was a necessity and nostalgia would occasionally make us yearn for lost attractions, but it would still be the EPCOT we know and love because the mission statement, the intent of edu-tainment, would still be there. But the changes in the last decade have led to the creation of a psuedo Magic Kingdom/world's fair-themed shopping center and eatery/bad children's science museum exhibition. If everything in the park is slowly replaced with theme-less, purpose-less new developments, is it still EPCOT? I'm starting to think, no.

Sorry, this is not about the entertainment changes (though i will miss Mo' rockin very much). This my knee-jerk flailing to your comment and my fangirl rage at what's been going on at Epcot recently (and not so recently).

(Also, I don't see where not celebrating Christmas has anything to do with pop music. I'm quite certain they have pop music in Morocco.)
 

Disneyhead'71

Well-Known Member
All the best creative entertainment decisions come from accountants. This is going to be AWESOME!!!!

And I have to think that the ambience of the American Pavilion is going to be greatly reduce without the kinetics of a street act. That's going to be a big empty piece of pavement.

If I was The Daper Dans, I'd be worried.
 

dreamfinder

Well-Known Member
One of the major points in this thread has been the assertion that outside acts are inferior and a bad sign. If we were to see historical evidence of which acts where inside acts and which where third-party, it would help either prove that point or disprove it. If, for example, one of those acts was a beloved and missed act that was also a third-party, it would indicate that perhaps one of these acts coming in could be similar in that regard.

Doesn't matter a lick if they are going to be better acts or not. It matters that Disney used to operate with some respect for it's employees and CMs. Cutting out a large swath of employees at once for apparently no real reason other than savings sucks. Going from CMs to 3rd parties saves a ton on benefits alone even if they pay the same.
A real simply way to have come off as not money grubbing would have been to do this gradually. Each quarter, one act gets swapped out. Tada! Replaces the "stale" entertainment without creating a PR sh*tstorm. Which is really what happened here. Want to bury news? Release it Friday afternoon. Spread it out in several smaller hits. Don't do what they did here. For a company as paranoid about its image as the mouse usually is, either someone really dropped the ball and forgot to check with PR, or the almighty dollar rules all.

You constantly seem to be missing the point here and defending TDO to no end. Countless people have explained how Disney used to do things and treat their entertainment cast members when shows were closed. They could have told the cast members before it was announced on the Disney Parks Blog, given them a severance package, offer them roles in another show, etc. The list goes on and on and yet you keep questioning it/defending TDO.

Seems like the blog post was almost a knee jerk reaction to it being leaked/rumored online.
 

wannabeBelle

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I've known many equity actors over the years and still do. It's not uncommon for them to receive really short notice of closure, sometimes right at the end of a performance. Many shows close abruptly. But in almost all cases they could see it coming due to attendance,cost issues, audience reaction to the performer and so on. Although not formally told it's not necessarily a surprise. They just go on, get their agent to get them auditions and move on to the next gig. It's their way of life being a performer.

As to your point 1, these performers are all independent contractors rather than CMs. Equity performers sign a contract to perform a certain number of performances over a specified amount of time. When the contract ends it's either renewed or not renewed due to either performer or producers choice. That's why they aren't transferred automatically like performers who are under the Teamsters Contract which has a clause about being reassigned if possible.

And as to point 2, that's a big assumption. There may be cost savings, newer acts can't command the same the same salary. Unless we were sitting in the meetings with the managers who made the decisions we can't know all the reasons, even "informed" parties can't really know. I was in management making such decisions and never saw a decision made solely on one factor, there were always multiple factors in play. Even if cost cutting was a big factor (I doubt it because this is a small part of the budget and much of the savings is bring replaced with new acts) it was almost assuredly not the sole factor (see my previous post).

Nope point 1 is correct, all of these gentleman are indeed CM's and are employed directly by Disney. They are NOT contractors. I am not saying all of the acts have the same arrangement, I know of at least one that does not, but Off Kilter ain't it.
Point 2 was confirmed by a few members on here but to be fair, no I didn't get this from the bean counters directly so this is speculation. Speculation of a point that was confirmed by people I would trust to know this but still speculation. Marie
 

bhg469

Well-Known Member
I will be gone by then, Have lots of tissues ready!! Marie
Are you finding it more difficult to steer people towards taking a WDW vacation lately, especially those without children? as recently as 2 years ago I was totally convinced we were about to see another boom in WDW improvement. Now I find myself making sure people split their time at the other parks if they're going to Orlando, if they don't go to Universal, they're missing that park's renaissance.
 

wannabeBelle

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Honestly I still think that Disney has a quality product and can be enjoyed by people of all ages. I am just particularly disappointed in this one point. I am pretty honest about the good and bad sides of any product and I still think that Disney is superior to many other vacations of it's type out there. Is that forever? Maybe not. They do have to remember that when a BAD recession hit, the locals and the diehards were the ones who kept coming regardless. To keep up some of the acts that are beloved and fix some of the attractions where needed, in addition to bringing in new and varied offerings to appeal to those folks wouldn't be an awful thing and is definitely the balance I would try to strike. To pull out acts such as OK that are so loved based on strictly a financial decision as no one has given me any proof that it was based on anything else, is just bad. New Guests have no comparisons and therefore every attraction would be fresh to them. Attractions that are past their time or no longer attract an audience, yes I do see the point ala the American Idol Experience. I liked it and went a few times to see it, but wont terribly miss it when it is gone. Marie
 

wannabeBelle

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
:( sad that we will be missing each other. I don't know about any public recognition, but I think that a bunch of crying people by the stage would be a pretty good indication that something is up!!! If one of my friends does manage to finagle herself a trip down we are going to be an absolute MESS!!!! Someone bring the LARGE Box of Kleenex!!! Marie
 

CeciliaKy

Member
:( sad that we will be missing each other. I don't know about any public recognition, but I think that a bunch of crying people by the stage would be a pretty good indication that something is up!!! If one of my friends does manage to finagle herself a trip down we are going to be an absolute MESS!!!! Someone bring the LARGE Box of Kleenex!!! Marie
I can't decide if it would be sadder for them to just end the show they way they usually do .. or some sort of thank you to people. I have a feeling Disney will choose the regular ending for them. Although, if they choose to do a thank you ... what's Disney going to do, fire them?
 

wannabeBelle

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
A not so great example as most often for a particular position a sports team needs to pick one person to play that position, not multiple. In this case, additional acts could be brought in, tried out and see how they do. If they get a better response and are a good draw for the pavilion, then a choice needs to be made. Here is an excerpt of a letter I have written to Disney to explain that very point:
I do not object to change or updating the parks when needed to keep things fresh and relevant to the guest, but this is the wrong move. An example of a great refreshment/ addition to your parks recently was the whole Frozen infusion into the Studios!!! I was there for the inception, but did miss the first day to allow some of the crowds to die down. The second day I went in and did a lot of the Frozen attractions including Wandering Oaken's, the First Time in Forever sing along show, the ice skating show inside Wandering Oaken's and the stage show and fireworks spectacular at night. I caught the Anna & Elsa processional on a different day of my trip. Every single one of these items was brought in, found a spot to be in and started running without any disruption to the existing attractions in the park. This was a great approach to see what something new could do and how it would be received by your audience. I can't speak for everyone but I thought it was dynamite!!!! I loved the Singalong in particular and thought that all of the attractions as well as the flat Olaf idea were wonderful. Due to the popularity of the events, it was extended into September. Not only do I plan on going again on my September trip, three of my friends and I purchased the Premium Package with the dessert party option to enjoy it even more!!!
This was a GREAT business measure, by simply adding to the parks, seeing what the Guest reaction was and acting accordingly with no disruption to any of the existing acts or attractions in the park. There were some minor changes to some of the entertainment and attractions to allow for the fireworks show, but that was fine as it still wasn't a drastic change in terms of the attractions offered.
 

LRW

New Member
A week ago what I would have written would not be fit to print. Today, however, I just want to thanks Off Kilter for many years of fun and enjoyment. As 20 year DVC members, we saw then from the beginning and have spent many an afternoon rotating between the Canada stage, Rose and Crown and British Revolution. So, yes, we managed to pull together a "bonus" trip for the last two days, even though we have a long planned trip coming up in Oct. We will be there, hands in the "clappatory" position, singing along and trying to remember every minute. To the OK boys, may you always have plenty of Whiskey in your jar! Thanks!
 

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