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How much "Ruin" do the parks have left?

Big Phil

Well-Known Member
I think the further you get away from Walt's vision and the original family values that Disney used to hold so near and dear and was pretty much known universally to do this, the worse it will get. And yes, the "woke" mob is not on the side of good with that.

My thought is this, while I don't think the true reason they are (still?) scrapping Splash Mountain and re-theming it is based on so-called racism on the ride (I honestly think it is a lame excuse to do cost cutting and use less animatronics which probably cost them a fortune to run) I am bothered by the fact that the mob got a victory over this and obviously it only adds fuel to the fire.

This could mean a lot of plans to re-shape Disney in a Portland/Seattle sort of ideological way. And by that I don't mean the citizens there, I mean the people who have really ruined those cities. A movement could literally happen overnight to tear down Walt's statue, or rip to shreds the Hall of Presidents. Or even find something racist in the Country Bear Jamboree. Or Tom Sawyer's Island. Listening to these sorts of people can definitely give a park a lot of "ruin" to work with, and that's not a good thing.
 

Big Phil

Well-Known Member
Sure, I'm not happy with many of the things Disney has rolled out in the past few years. Cant say that it hasnt affected my trips. But I am still seeing enough good there that it makes it worthwhile going back. Massive crowds are the one thing that had been very irritating and started me thinking about how much of it I will accept. I'd say theres a lot of ruin Disney can do before I'll abandon them entirely. Everyone has their breaking point. The problem is that when one family does leave, several others enter to replace them so Disney isnt ever seeing an affect thats making them worry.

I too see more good than things I don't like. As long as that is happening, obviously we'll go there. I guess eventually we all have our breaking point. The original ideals and family-friendly entertainment is what made the parks what they are, taking you to a different place outside of the world. Keep that going forever and I am pretty sure my grandkids will take their grandkids.

I was thinking about this after posting, and I can't come up with an equivalent business scenario to what Disney has right now. There is a devotion to the brand that's removed from actual product.

The closest I can think of would be a sports team that's so beloved in a city that they coast on past glory, raise prices maniacally, and spend the bare minimum on on-field performance. And yet every game is sold out years in advance.

For further reading see: Toronto Maple Leafs, 1972-present.

Well, Leaf fan here. No, I am not offended. I might double down on that and say anything after 1967 could count as piggy backing on formerly great teams. You can blame Harold Ballard, the tyrannical Leafs owners in the 1970s and 1980s. He was there in the 1960s too, but great teams sort of hid his incompetence. But yeah, he ruined a classic franchise and they have never really recovered with this either, to this day. There is still that 1908-2016 Chicago Cubs feel when it comes to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Ballard, during a Beatles concert in 1965 or so at old Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto once shut the water fountains off so people would buy more drinks at the concession stands. He was a tyrant. Traded good players away, even just for personal reasons if he didn't like them. Really treated the former players horrible and the alumni sort of stayed away until after he died in 1990.

I don't know if Disney's reputation can ever get to that point, but it just goes to show you in the wrong hands any good thing can be ruined.
 

The_Jobu

Well-Known Member
I too see more good than things I don't like. As long as that is happening, obviously we'll go there. I guess eventually we all have our breaking point. The original ideals and family-friendly entertainment is what made the parks what they are, taking you to a different place outside of the world. Keep that going forever and I am pretty sure my grandkids will take their grandkids.



Well, Leaf fan here. No, I am not offended. I might double down on that and say anything after 1967 could count as piggy backing on formerly great teams. You can blame Harold Ballard, the tyrannical Leafs owners in the 1970s and 1980s. He was there in the 1960s too, but great teams sort of hid his incompetence. But yeah, he ruined a classic franchise and they have never really recovered with this either, to this day. There is still that 1908-2016 Chicago Cubs feel when it comes to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Ballard, during a Beatles concert in 1965 or so at old Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto once shut the water fountains off so people would buy more drinks at the concession stands. He was a tyrant. Traded good players away, even just for personal reasons if he didn't like them. Really treated the former players horrible and the alumni sort of stayed away until after he died in 1990.

I don't know if Disney's reputation can ever get to that point, but it just goes to show you in the wrong hands any good thing can be ruined.

It's ok im allowed to say it, I'm unfortunately a Leafs fan too. I went with 72 since I think that's the year he got total ownership, really set the tone for the franchise. Overlaps nicely with the notorious teacher's union years.

Sigh.
 

Big Phil

Well-Known Member
It's ok im allowed to say it, I'm unfortunately a Leafs fan too. I went with 72 since I think that's the year he got total ownership, really set the tone for the franchise. Overlaps nicely with the notorious teacher's union years.

Sigh.

Ah, you're right. Before then he and Stafford Smythe were sort of co-owners. Then Stafford died in 1971 so Ballard got full ownership even though he spent a year in jail. Nice guy. Stafford inherited a sweet gig from his father Conn Smythe who deserves a ton of credit for having the Leafs be a legendary team in the first place.
 

Pepper's Ghost

Well-Known Member
Well, Leaf fan here. No, I am not offended. I might double down on that and say anything after 1967 could count as piggy backing on formerly great teams. You can blame Harold Ballard, the tyrannical Leafs owners in the 1970s and 1980s. He was there in the 1960s too, but great teams sort of hid his incompetence. But yeah, he ruined a classic franchise and they have never really recovered with this either, to this day. There is still that 1908-2016 Chicago Cubs feel when it comes to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Ballard, during a Beatles concert in 1965 or so at old Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto once shut the water fountains off so people would buy more drinks at the concession stands. He was a tyrant. Traded good players away, even just for personal reasons if he didn't like them. Really treated the former players horrible and the alumni sort of stayed away until after he died in 1990.
That's basically the story of the Blackhawks too. Their drought ended in 2010 because Bill Wirtz died in 2007. Old "Dollar Bill" when he was alive refused to even televise home games. Generations of Chicagoans knew nothing of the Blackhawks. He also famously told a new coach who stated in a press conference that his goal was The Cup... "don't even think about a championship, because they cost way too much money". I'm paraphrasing, but you get the point. Within months of his passing, Blackhawks home games were televised, and within 3 years of him croaking, they won the Cup. Sure, having Toews and Kane didn't hurt either. 😁 God save his son, Rocky Wirtz... savior of Chicago hockey! "ALL HAIL, ROCKY WIRTZ!!!" 😁
 

Poseidon Quest

Well-Known Member
If you look at the approaches between Universal and Disney, before Covid, you could argue that Universal was a park chain on the rise, and while Disney was faltering, nobody ever realistically thought that Universal could catch up to Disney's massive head start and brand recognition. But at this point, Universal is closing the gap. They took the opposite approach to Disney. They kept on trucking with construction, they kept employees on payroll and put them to work whenever they could, they hired like crazy, and they showed their appreciation to locals and AP holders. People who never thought much about Universal before are jumping on board and hoping that Disney can get back to its roots.

I very clearly see where this is heading. The narrative has definitely changed, in that people seem to often tout how much better a Universal experience is, in that it lacks the stress of a Disney vacation. No need to get up at 6 in the morning to grab fastpasses, or now deal with the headache of the reservation system that is now unnecessary considering the lifting of safety measures. People also seem to consider it to be more affordable with more perks, as they've showed love to their APs and their hotels offer more than Disney as they continue to cut more and more.

Disney has also been premiering attractions that I would consider to range from mediocre to downright trash. Yet, since 2018, Universal has turned the narrative around on their attractions and have delivered some truly impressive additions. If the Studios in Florida can get an actual solid attraction or two and once Epic Universe opens, I think we're going to see a significant shift away from Disney. At that point, Universal will most likely be seen as a much stronger competitor because it'll take on the narrative of being a multi-day resort destination, or at least much more-so than it is now.
 

Jrb1979

Well-Known Member
I very clearly see where this is heading. The narrative has definitely changed, in that people seem to often tout how much better a Universal experience is, in that it lacks the stress of a Disney vacation. No need to get up at 6 in the morning to grab fastpasses, or now deal with the headache of the reservation system that is now unnecessary considering the lifting of safety measures. People also seem to consider it to be more affordable with more perks, as they've showed love to their APs and their hotels offer more than Disney as they continue to cut more and more.

Disney has also been premiering attractions that I would consider to range from mediocre to downright trash. Yet, since 2018, Universal has turned the narrative around on their attractions and have delivered some truly impressive additions. If the Studios in Florida can get an actual solid attraction or two and once Epic Universe opens, I think we're going to see a significant shift away from Disney. At that point, Universal will most likely be seen as a much stronger competitor because it'll take on the narrative of being a multi-day resort destination, or at least much more-so than it is now.
I would say it's already starting. I have posts on different sites from Disney fans who have opted to go to Universal instead. I think people are starting to see that a theme park vacation doesn't have to be complicated or require spreadsheet planning.
 

NickMaio

Well-Known Member
The difference between a government surviving and a theme park is basically that a government can force people to pay taxes to support it whereas a theme park cannot. A lot of factors enter into if there is ever a point where a theme park can no longer draw in the numbers needed to support itself that is when it becomes history. It has fewer powers other then engrained mental addiction. No one, as far as I know, is predicting the immediate demise of Disney because of pricing, but just reading the commentms of many loyal customers (or guests if that sounds better) it seems to me that it is being chipped away a little at a time. Eventually, the walls come a tumbling down. I don't think it will be within my lifetime, but who knows I thought that Sears and Kodak could stand the test of time. They didn't.
Disney has DVC.....genius, almost like tax dollars.
Diz can do whatever they want, they have DVC members to fall back on. Not to mention the whole world just dying to go somewhere, anywhere after Covid.
Once they open the Canada US borders......look out Orlando and other tourist destinations.
 

ohioguy

Well-Known Member
Adam Smith once wrote that there’s a “great deal of ruin in a nation,” by which he meant that it takes an awful lot of bungling by leaders to bring down a powerful and prosperous state.

Applying this to Disney parks, and particularly WDW that I am quite familiar with, it seems that over many years those that run the parks are testing Adam's theory.

For me personally, there are things like the bus system, quality of food, the "woke"ning of the parks, and the many many $$ obvious cost cutting corners. They have just about run thru all of the "ruin" left in them for me.

So for you, how much "ruin" do the parks have in them?


I'm glad Disney is being "woke". In other words, they are being sensitive to the racism, sexism, and bigotry of the past and rectifying it. Hopefully it evolves beyond the re-theming of Splash Mountain and the new animatronics at Jungle Cruise.
 

Disstevefan1

Well-Known Member
Adam Smith once wrote that there’s a “great deal of ruin in a nation,” by which he meant that it takes an awful lot of bungling by leaders to bring down a powerful and prosperous state.

Applying this to Disney parks, and particularly WDW that I am quite familiar with, it seems that over many years those that run the parks are testing Adam's theory.

For me personally, there are things like the bus system, quality of food, the "woke"ning of the parks, and the many many $$ obvious cost cutting corners. They have just about run thru all of the "ruin" left in them for me.

So for you, how much "ruin" do the parks have in them?
As I have commented in many posts before, TWDC will do what ever it thinks is in the best interest to its MOST IMPORTANT ENTITY, their shareholders, and there’s nothing we can say or do to change that.
 

Magenta Panther

Well-Known Member
As I have commented in many posts before, TWDC will do what ever it thinks is in the best interest to its MOST IMPORTANT ENTITY, their shareholders, and there’s nothing we can say or do to change that.

We as parkgoers can choose to go elsewhere, actually. It'd have to be in big enough numbers to make the suits at the Robert Iger Company sweat, I grant you that. But it's not impossible; if Uni's Epic Universe turns out to be as impressive as the concept art looks, then I think WDW might actually be in trouble. I'd love to see Iger (if he's still at the company) try to respond to that, given how clueless and lame his Avatar response to Harry Potter was.

For my part, I'll be visiting my local AAA travel office next week to price a trip to Efteling, Tokyo Disneyland, and the German parks Europa and Phantasialand. Life is short, and Disney parks in the States no longer automatically get my vacation dollars. That's on Iger and those laughable stumblebums in TDO. We'll see what happens...
 

Poseidon Quest

Well-Known Member
As I have commented in many posts before, TWDC will do what ever it thinks is in the best interest to its MOST IMPORTANT ENTITY, their shareholders, and there’s nothing we can say or do to change that.

I'm not quite sure about that. I'm not confident that Disney's market is as locked in as they think it is. It's kind of like The Last Jedi. There was a very vocal minority that absolutely hated that film and they were dismissed as being over-dramatic and not being the target audience, ignoring the actual issues with the film and world building of the sequel trilogy. However, what Lucasfilm didn't expect was the actions of general audiences. They killed interest in Disney's take on Star Wars and Solo bombed despite being a decent and entertaining film. They may not have been vocal about it, but the box office reveals how audiences feel.

I think Disney parks guests may be the same way. Sure, we're now in this period of "pent-up-demand", but I'm curious now that such poor attractions are debuting, if guests will start to take notice. Already, the premier of Frozen Ever After didn't do much for Epcot's attendance, and the same with Galaxy's Edge, despite Disney's anticipation for overwhelming crowds. I think come Epic Universe, Disney attendance will take a significant hit and we'll see a different story play out.
 

Tomi-Rocket

Well-Known Member
I'll preface this by saying that I am not a fan of many of the changes Disney has made in the last 10 to 15 years.

With that said, one person's "ruin" is another person's new favorite vacation destination, right? I suppose what I mean by that is, Disney will continue to "ruin" the parks and WDW property so long as guests continue to pay them to do so.


EDIT: I'll just add to this by saying that despite not being a fan of the changes Disney has made over the last decade or so, I still go to the parks regularly. I still spend big $$$ on Disney. Perhaps someday the "ruin" will convince me to stop, but it certainly hasn't reached that point yet, and I don't see it reaching that point anytime soon. I imagine most guests (especially repeat guests) are just like me.
As is “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. Truth bomb.
 

Dunston

Well-Known Member
I was unable to track down the exact vlog which mentioned that trips to Tokyo Disneyland can be cheaper than WDW (I've been watching scads of travel vlogs lately); I think I saw it on the vlog TDR Explorer, among others. But I did find this article written by Andrew Long for the website Wandering Disney. Here is the pertinent part:

It’s Cheaper Than You Think

As I touched on in the intro, traveling to Japan isn’t as expensive as you might think. Finding round trip flights under $1,000 anywhere in America is easy. If you live on the west coast, flights can be found for under $500. Once you get there, accommodations, food and park tickets are all cheaper than what you can find at Disney World and Disneyland. Naturally, you can spend a good amount of money on this trip too but for those on a budget, traveling to Japan and Tokyo Disney Resort is within reason.

Here is the link to the entire article: https://wanderingindisney.com/2019/08/20/ten-reasons-why-you-should-visit-tokyo-disney-resort-japan/ (there are some lovely pictures in it).

Now this was written in August 2019. I don't know if things have changed much, price-wise, since then. But I don't know why they would...
This is going with the assumption that one would go all the way to Japan to go to Tokyo Disneyland and then go home, like one would on an Orlando Trip. I don't know about everybody else's preferences, but I wouldn't go all the way to Japan just to visit an American theme park then go home. There's a whole country to see there on a 1.5-2 week trip, if you're taking this as the once-in-a-lifetime thing it is. In Orlando, the parks are the only thing I'm going there for.


On the topic of this thread, the long-term ruin Disney must worry about in their Florida parks is the expected gradual sea level rise from climate change. That's a far more predictable and likely issue than their boil-the-frog price increases and perk cutbacks or possible consumer backlash to "wokeness".
 
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Jrb1979

Well-Known Member
This is going with the assumption that one would go all the way to Japan to go to Tokyo Disneyland and then go home, like one would on an Orlando Trip. I don't know about everybody else's preferences, but I would want to go all the way to Japan just to visit an American theme park then go home. There's a whole country to see there on a 1.5-2 week trip, if you're taking this as the once-in-a-lifetime thing it is. In Orlando, the parks are the only thing I'm going there for.
That's where I'm different. In a few years I plan to go Europe mainly for the amusement parks
 

Big Phil

Well-Known Member
That's basically the story of the Blackhawks too. Their drought ended in 2010 because Bill Wirtz died in 2007. Old "Dollar Bill" when he was alive refused to even televise home games. Generations of Chicagoans knew nothing of the Blackhawks. He also famously told a new coach who stated in a press conference that his goal was The Cup... "don't even think about a championship, because they cost way too much money". I'm paraphrasing, but you get the point. Within months of his passing, Blackhawks home games were televised, and within 3 years of him croaking, they won the Cup. Sure, having Toews and Kane didn't hurt either. 😁 God save his son, Rocky Wirtz... savior of Chicago hockey! "ALL HAIL, ROCKY WIRTZ!!!" 😁

I remember when he died, and in the first home game in Chicago they had sort of a quick memorial recognizing him prior to the puck drop. The fans booed throughout that whole speech. I remember thinking it was pretty cold for them to do this, but yeah, he was just that much hated in Chicago, and the team was horrible at the time.
 

Pepper's Ghost

Well-Known Member
I remember when he died, and in the first home game in Chicago they had sort of a quick memorial recognizing him prior to the puck drop. The fans booed throughout that whole speech. I remember thinking it was pretty cold for them to do this, but yeah, he was just that much hated in Chicago, and the team was horrible at the time.
Apologize for continuing off-topic, but this is an important subject. 😁

Yep, he was the most hated man in Chicago sports for roughly 3 or 4 decades. I've heard myths that he was really loyal to his players and bailed them out of financial problems or some such nonsense. As a Blackhawks fan though, I hated that mother****** because he did everything in his power to NOT win a Cup including gutting the team the few times that they had potential. I can see how an outsider might see the booing during his memorial as cold, but to fans he was the jerk that intentionally drove the team into the ground.
 

The_Jobu

Well-Known Member
I really think sports teams are the most apt comparison. They have the same level of devotion.

If Disney keeps penny pinching and politicizing and Uni keeps giving value, it will be very interesting what happens if Epic Universe is a home run.
 

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