News Expose reveals WDC control in online fan community

WildcatDen

Well-Known Member
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Do you still have the conversations? I remember Serpico...
No. That pipeline has gone silent. I will say that 3 things said to be 100% were COCO, Brazil, and retheme of Dinoland. Nearly 100% was Poppins, Guardians and Rat. Interesting to me was the less than positive rumors are the ones announced. Of course there was also a high level on Monsters Inc at DHS. . .
 

tirian

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I posted this in the WDC forum, but since it’s rarely visited, here are the links again.

Regardless of personal political affiliations, it’s surprising that the press is starting to ask how much longer Disney can gouge customers (Guests?) and milk IPs that they purchase and pretend are classic Disney.

The Federalist asks about the gouging and IP crock. And even though they don’t say it, I’ll add that considering Iger’s plans to run for political office, he sure is increasing the gap between the “haves” and the “have nots” in the parks.

Here’s the LA Times.
 

MisterPenguin

Rumormonger
Premium Member
I posted this in the WDC forum, but since it’s rarely visited, here are the links again.

Regardless of personal political affiliations, it’s surprising that the press is starting to ask how much longer Disney can gouge customers (Guests?) and milk IPs that they purchase and pretend are classic Disney.

The Federalist asks about the gouging and IP crock. And even though they don’t say it, I’ll add that considering Iger’s plans to run for political office, he sure is increasing the gap between the “haves” and the “have nots” in the parks.

Here’s the LA Times.
The Federalist is not a respected publication outside of its core audience and who cares about some guy's op-ed piece that asks more questions than it answers and cherry-picks a Walt quote?

This is just like when someone posts a video of someone's vlog ranting in a manner that they agree with. Because the vlogger put their opinions on video doesn't make it more valid. Nor does getting one's opinion printed as an op-ed in some print media mean their opinion is more valid. These pieces are devoid of real journalism and scientific polling that would give their opinions some validity.

Let's say there is a film that is most definitely beloved by the overwhelming majority of critics and the audience; however, I hated it.

And let's say I then find the one critic who panned it. Would posting that one negative review validate my dislike of that film and prove it's rotten?
 

DDLand

Well-Known Member
The Federalist is not a respected publication outside of its core audience and who cares about some guy's op-ed piece that asks more questions than it answers and cherry-picks a Walt quote?

This is just like when someone posts a video of someone's vlog ranting in a manner that they agree with. Because the vlogger put their opinions on video doesn't make it more valid. Nor does getting one's opinion printed as an op-ed in some print media mean their opinion is more valid. These pieces are devoid of real journalism and scientific polling that would give their opinions some validity.

Let's say there is a film that is most definitely beloved by the overwhelming majority of critics and the audience; however, I hated it.

And let's say I then find the one critic who panned it. Would posting that one negative review validate my dislike of that film and prove it's rotten?
I think you're claiming they said far more than they actually did. The poster wasn't looking for validation, but instead is observing mainstream (no matter the political persuasion) publications being critical of Disney's approach. Individuals critical of parks management tend to be told that they're in a "minority." It's well understood that the voices on this board don't reflect the "average park guest."

But when mainstream sources start to echo the supposed radicals on a message board, perhaps the radicals aren't so radical after all. And you want to know what's interesting? All the supposed "purists" are after is an experience with good service and show. They want to pay one price at the park gate and get a good value inside without up charges. They also want thoughtful and intentioned original storytelling that supports the message of the parks.

How radical is that?

Honestly it sounds like an idea someone had 60 years ago...
 

RSoxNo1

Well-Known Member
I posted this in the WDC forum, but since it’s rarely visited, here are the links again.

Regardless of personal political affiliations, it’s surprising that the press is starting to ask how much longer Disney can gouge customers (Guests?) and milk IPs that they purchase and pretend are classic Disney.

The Federalist asks about the gouging and IP crock. And even though they don’t say it, I’ll add that considering Iger’s plans to run for political office, he sure is increasing the gap between the “haves” and the “have nots” in the parks.

Here’s the LA Times.
We've been saying this for years now. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter had some very positive and very negative effects on the theme parks. Prior to the original land being added to IoA Disney corporate felt that the theme parks were mature. They were going to add very little to the parks and milk what they could out of them (or sell them). When Universal showed that there was still interest in highly themed areas Disney took the wrong lessons from that. There are only so many IPs that deserve the Harry Potter treatment. The bigger takeaway should have been the focus on quality world building, not the marketing side of things.

I wrote this over 4 years ago, and discussions on this topic were all over these boards well before then: https://www.micechat.com/101023-tim-grassey-addicted-easy-money/
 

DDLand

Well-Known Member
We've been saying this for years now. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter had some very positive and very negative effects on the theme parks. Prior to the original land being added to IoA Disney corporate felt that the theme parks were mature. They were going to add very little to the parks and milk what they could out of them (or sell them). When Universal showed that there was still interest in highly themed areas Disney took the wrong lessons from that. There are only so many IPs that deserve the Harry Potter treatment. The bigger takeaway should have been the focus on quality world building, not the marketing side of things.

I wrote this over 4 years ago, and discussions on this topic were all over these boards well before then: https://www.micechat.com/101023-tim-grassey-addicted-easy-money/
Disney took the lesson to abandon “theme” from theme parks. It’s really hard to convey themes or messages through physical spaces. The setting is just a tool that the artist uses to tell the story. The lesson Bob and Co took, was to build the setting minus the story. I could have been the creative director of Cars Land. See this town from the movie? Build it. See this street from Ratatouille? Build it. See the palace from Frozen? Build it.

Instead of being told a story, Iger decided what people really wanted was to be able to live action role play (larp). He decided that what people really wanted was to sight see their favorite things from movies. No story needed.

Thus the experience is a meaningless collection of attractive to hideous buildings with no story or soul. That’s how we got Star Wars Land with no music. It’s not a story to be told, but just a place to walk around in. It’s super easy to make a replica of a street. Heck, Joe Rohde could make a compelling replica of an African village street. But he didn’t. Why? Because instead he had a story to tell and then drew on real places to create a fictional one.

Edit: I hit the post button too early! I’ll add one further example. I could make a compelling replica of the Taj Mahal, but would it be theme entertainment? No, because it would have no meaning. It would just be a building made to look like the Taj Mahal. The meaning comes from a story to tell. Suppose I was telling a story about the Indian people (though the idea of an “Indian people” is a little bit of a modern construct), and as part of the story I showcased Indian architecture. That building would have meaning.

Disney has been creating buildings that look like the movies (heck we’re supposed to pretend they’re from the movies) but have no greater storytelling message. Imagineering was never about “tricking” you into thinking you’re in a story. It was about telling a story so compelling that you’d be brought into it as a participant! That is Imagineering!
 
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Tom Morrow

Well-Known Member
I LOVE the lack of music in Galaxy's Edge. I hate that you can't walk around WWoHP without hearing the main theme and only a few other familiar themes over and over and over. It takes me out of it. However, Galaxy's Edge does need more ambient noise. There are lots of random sound effects, but they are too infrequent and too quiet, making the place feel silent and lifeless. You hear the whir of all the cooling fans more than anything else. It needs more ambient noise... but not music.
 

prberk

Well-Known Member
I posted this in the WDC forum, but since it’s rarely visited, here are the links again.

Regardless of personal political affiliations, it’s surprising that the press is starting to ask how much longer Disney can gouge customers (Guests?) and milk IPs that they purchase and pretend are classic Disney.

The Federalist asks about the gouging and IP crock. And even though they don’t say it, I’ll add that considering Iger’s plans to run for political office, he sure is increasing the gap between the “haves” and the “have nots” in the parks.

Here’s the LA Times.
I saw the Federalist article. I thought it was interesting also that it came from someone who identified as only a casual fan as well.

I applauded buying Lucasfilm and the related properties (Skywalker Sound, Industrial Light and Magic), because they had worked together before (Alien Encounter, Star Tours, etc.) and it made sense from a filmmaking perspective. And I had even understood the CapCities/ABC purchase from a standpoint of consolidation in the market and remaining independent.

But I started to worry when Marvel came onboard that things might actually get too big and that the parks might be affected negatively from a theming perspective. And now with the Fox acquisition, it is just getting too varied to be healthy for competition, I think, not to mention a dissolution of Disney's identity.

I mean, they still don't recognize that what they have is more powerful than for selling light sabers. They could actually broadcast a regular show from EPCOT that actually approaches its purpose by showcasing the world and its innovations, now even involving Discovery Channel resources. But instead they are interested in making a lower-case "Epcot" that is only a word and adding characters and coasters to the park that is more and more a money-grab.

They have lost their interest in innovation, instead charging ridiculous prices for more and more mismatched "experiences."

They would do well to remember what Walt did so often: go out to the parks and walk around and observe (the way he learned how many steps -- 27 -- that people would make on average before throwing down trash, for example) and talk to people. And also get on TV or media, using the medium to explore new worlds. Yes, he sold his park on TV before "synergy" was even a business school term, but he also showcased wonderful things and brought our understanding of his parks to a whole new level of wonder. All without buying out everyone else and charging ridiculous prices. He did it with cooperation and innovation.
 
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scottieRoss

Well-Known Member
But when mainstream sources start to echo the supposed radicals on a message board, perhaps the radicals aren't so radical after all. And you want to know what's interesting? All the supposed "purists" are after is an experience with good service and show. They want to pay one price at the park gate and get a good value inside without up charges. They also want thoughtful and intentioned original storytelling that supports the message of the parks.

How radical is that?

Honestly it sounds like an idea someone had 60 years ago...
Hold on, are you suggesting that 60 years ago Disneyland had a one price at the gate and no up charges model? Then where did the A thru E tickets come from?
Or are you suggesting that the thoughtful and intentioned original storytelling on the "WDI created" planet of Batuu and the immersive world that they built but did not base on the original trilogy and what people expected of Star Wars Land is a good thing? Or is it a bad thing?
 

DDLand

Well-Known Member
Hold on, are you suggesting that 60 years ago Disneyland had a one price at the gate and no up charges model? Then where did the A thru E tickets come from?
Or are you suggesting that the thoughtful and intentioned original storytelling on the "WDI created" planet of Batuu and the immersive world that they built but did not base on the original trilogy and what people expected of Star Wars Land is a good thing? Or is it a bad thing?
Haha I knew I was going to be called out for ticket booklets. The tickets were fair and affordable. You knew exactly what you were buying in plain English. In some ways it was actually more transparent than today. If you do research into the booklets, you’ll find that a collection of tickets was sold for one price at gate. You were guaranteed a day of fun at one price. Now you have to buy a base ticket. Then if you really want to enjoy more than a handful of attractions, you’ll need to buy additional fast passes (coming soon!) or buy into a special event. Worst of all, sometimes those events cut into regular park hours. On October 17th, I’d have to pay 124 USD to go to the Magic Kingdom even though the park closes at 6 PM for “a special ticketed event.”

Instead of building attractions, Disney is keen to just kick people out and charge people again for special events or line cutting. The more and more they do this, the less and less valuable a park ticket is. It’s starting to feel like a park ticket is kind of the lowest class of citizens. Then we have our resort hotel guests. Then we have the individuals willing to pay out for the holiday events. Then we have our nighttime and morning access events. Then we have the tours. Soon they’ll add on the paid Fast Passes too!

The best comparison is to buy a ticket booklet. Then to use the tickets you just bought you have to buy another booklet and be staying at the Disneyland Hotel.

Oh and as for Batuu. I’ve been trying to stay open minded. I haven’t visited. But I’ll tell you this, there was nothing “thoughtful and intentioned” about cramming it into Disneyland. Nothing. I’ll see how the storytelling is in a few months!

May the Spires keep you!

Edit:Corrected date
 

scottieRoss

Well-Known Member
Haha I knew I was going to be called out for ticket booklets. The tickets were fair and affordable. You knew exactly what you were buying in plain English. In some ways it was actually more transparent than today. If you do research into the booklets, you’ll find that a collection of tickets was sold for one price at gate. You were guaranteed a day of fun at one price. Now you have to buy a base ticket. Then if you really want to enjoy more than a handful of attractions, you’ll need to buy additional fast passes (coming soon!) or buy into a special event. Worst of all, sometimes those events cut into regular park hours. On October 17th, I’d have to pay 124 USD to go to the Magic Kingdom even though the park closes at 6 PM for “a special ticketed event.”

Instead of building attractions, Disney is keen to just kick people out and charge people again for special events or line cutting. The more and more they do this, the less and less valuable a park ticket is. It’s starting to feel like a park ticket is kind of the lowest class of citizens. Then we have our resort hotel guests. Then we have the individuals willing to pay out for the holiday events. Then we have our nighttime and morning access events. Then we have the tours. Soon they’ll add on the paid Fast Passes too!

The best comparison is to buy a ticket booklet. Then to use the tickets you just bought you have to buy another booklet and be staying at the Disneyland Hotel.

Oh and as for Batuu. I’ve been trying to stay open minded. I haven’t visited. But I’ll tell you this, there was nothing “thoughtful and intentioned” about cramming it into Disneyland. Nothing. I’ll see how the storytelling is in a few months!

May the Spires keep you!

Edit:Corrected date
there is so much wrong here. While yes, the ticket books were affordable, they were also misleading. You would buy your ticket book and head over to the magic kingdom at 10:00am, just to realize that the ticket book did not let you do everything. While there were less attractions than today, you had even less tickets. And those dang A and B tickets. You wanted a book full of E tickets. So it meant that Dad had to find one of those ticket booths to buy more tickets or give you dollars for more rides.
As afternoon settled in, armed with those additional tickets, you headed off to ride the haunted mansion only to discover that the whole place was shutting down. That's right, the whole park closed at 6pm every day. (not just on select days in August thru December)
So now what was Bob and the family supposed to do for the rest of the day?
Pay for a Dinner Show
Pay for a Sunset Cruise on 7 Seas Lagoon
Pay for the Water Ski Show out front
Pay for a horse ride over at the Fort.
Pay for scuba diving lessons.
Pay for cocktails on the junk.
Pay to use the tennis courts at the Contemporary.
Pay for a few rounds of golf.
Pay for the Dinner Show at the Fort.
Pay for the Luau at the Polynesian Village.
Watch the free fireworks? What fireworks?
 

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
there is so much wrong here. While yes, the ticket books were affordable, they were also misleading. You would buy your ticket book and head over to the magic kingdom at 10:00am, just to realize that the ticket book did not let you do everything. While there were less attractions than today, you had even less tickets. And those dang A and B tickets. You wanted a book full of E tickets. So it meant that Dad had to find one of those ticket booths to buy more tickets or give you dollars for more rides.
As afternoon settled in, armed with those additional tickets, you headed off to ride the haunted mansion only to discover that the whole place was shutting down. That's right, the whole park closed at 6pm every day. (not just on select days in August thru December)
So now what was Bob and the family supposed to do for the rest of the day?
Pay for a Dinner Show
Pay for a Sunset Cruise on 7 Seas Lagoon
Pay for the Water Ski Show out front
Pay for a horse ride over at the Fort.
Pay for scuba diving lessons.
Pay for cocktails on the junk.
Pay to use the tennis courts at the Contemporary.
Pay for a few rounds of golf.
Pay for the Dinner Show at the Fort.
Pay for the Luau at the Polynesian Village.
Watch the free fireworks? What fireworks?
There was nothing at all misleading about the ticket books. They stated how many coupons were included and exactly which attractions required which coupons. A ticket book also included about 12 tickets whereas now Disney only wants you to have 8 experiences (a definition wider than attractions) in that same day, for more money and has spent billions to maintain that limit. Disney has driven down attractions per guest per hour and you praise them for it.
 

bsiev1977

Well-Known Member
Back to the original point of the article referenced in this post. Every company with a large online community following tries as hard as they can to influence the course of the conversation.
 

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
I think you missed the point. The park's original operating hours were 10-6 daily and was full of up-charges.
As for the tickets, the first ticket books were 7 attractions. The first upcharge was an 11 attraction booklet. Not 12
I might be confusing Disneyland books with Magic Kingdom ones, but it doesn’t matter. It was anticipated that you could do 7 attractions in the shorter day. A longer day offered the same attractions at the same cost per attraction that was known, advertised up front and, outside of the three Six Flags parks, the industry standard for admission. Now in a much longer, much more expensive day, Disney only wants you to do one more experience. Today is also a pretty lousy day to be complaining about past park hours seeing as the Magic Kingdom closes at 6:00 tonight. If someone didn’t get 8 experiences into their day today they can’t pay a nominal fee and use the rest of their admission tomorrow or even a future visit.
 

tirian

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Back to the original point of the article referenced in this post. Every company with a large online community following tries as hard as they can to influence the course of the conversation.
Sometimes they do it themselves, and other times they rely on creepily devoted fans who defend anything the organization does, and who would blast the same decision if a competitor did it. ;)

I don’t know whether the Snyder column is 100% accurate. I do know that Disney plants audience members for Q&A sessions, and that they have a small department that monitors fan forums, and that they encourage their employees to check forums for feedback on new initiatives.
 

mikejs78

Premium Member
I might be confusing Disneyland books with Magic Kingdom ones, but it doesn’t matter. It was anticipated that you could do 7 attractions in the shorter day. A longer day offered the same attractions at the same cost per attraction that was known, advertised up front and, outside of the three Six Flags parks, the industry standard for admission. Now in a much longer, much more expensive day, Disney only wants you to do one more experience. Today is also a pretty lousy day to be complaining about past park hours seeing as the Magic Kingdom closes at 6:00 tonight. If someone didn’t get 8 experiences into their day today they can’t pay a nominal fee and use the rest of their admission tomorrow or even a future visit.
I don't know where you're getting this "Disney only wants you to do 8 experiences". That's a bit of a warping of the concept that they found that guests needed to have at least 8 experiences to feel satisfied, to feel that they've gotten their money's worth.

It's very easy, even on the most crowded of days, to get in well more than 8 experiences, especially if you go rope drop to close.
 

Monorail_Red_77

Well-Known Member
Sometimes they do it themselves, and other times they rely on creepily devoted fans who defend anything the organization does, and who would blast the same decision if a competitor did it. ;)

I don’t know whether the Snyder column is 100% accurate. I do know that Disney plants audience members for Q&A sessions, and that they have a small department that monitors fan forums, and that they encourage their employees to check forums for feedback on new initiatives.
I know that my Disney related Facebook Group has Disney CM's in it. Some regular CM's, while others are Manager level. I'm pretty sure some are there to keep an eye on things.
 
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