Interview with Bob Iger about the Parks

SirLink

Well-Known Member
IP in the parks is not something Chapek invented. Not seeing the connection.
The only projects pitched to Chapek are non-theme park IP for rides, as that is something Chapek has demanded. Its down to him what budget is asked from the board for projects again not down to the Board as previously corrected you on.
 

Oddysey

Well-Known Member
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The business of the parks is the customer experience.
The business of the parks is profit and increasing shareholder wealth. You can gain profit while devaluing consumer experience through upcharges events, aggressive price increases, and even something as minor as charging a premium for parking spots 100 feet closer to the entrance. Not long ago, I could stay at MK late and walk onto attractions in the last couple of hours without having to pay for a specially ticketed crowd control event. I could also park my vehicle near the front of the park just by arriving early and paying the standard fee (or using my AP). Now I park in the back no matter the time of arrival. Notably parking is a very small issue, but I am noting it to identify how even the littlest things can degrade consumer experience by charging more for what used to be free.

People are still visiting in droves while Disney is still searching for price equilibrium. Typically in any business, consumer experience lags behind performance of a company. Especially a company that has spent nearly a century building a brand based on providing a one of the highest quality (if not the highest) quality experiences in the hospitality field. In other words, it takes a while for a customer to realize they are being bamboozled. Specifically if the majority of your consumer base is ignorant by how the product is declining by degrees because there is limited interaction. This is especially true for DW where much of the consumer base consists of people who visit from other Countries and cannot visit often or domestic consumers who visit once every few years.

Iger has done a great job for the parks from a business perspective at least in the short term. The parks are gaining attendance annually while increasing prices at an unprecedented rate. The real question is whether or not the current business practices are sustainable.
 

jt04

Well-Known Member
The only projects pitched to Chapek are non-theme park IP for rides, as that is something Chapek has demanded. Its down to him what budget is asked from the board for projects again not down to the Board as previously corrected you on.
What does, "non-theme park IP for rides" mean?
 

eliza61nyc

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
The difference is between a leader and a manager, a CEO must be a leader one that inspires all beneath them and the board to go a long with their vision. What you have got is a manager - who wants to get by and improve the benefits to their shareholder.

Slightly different again with entertainment companies whose customers should be the most important thing: DisneyLife, Disney+, ESPN, Parks, Cinema.

They are the ones Iger needs to concentrate on - not some bozos on wall street who sank the global economy thanks to shady business practices.

Thankfully the next CEO will come outside of snake pit.
Oh you absolutely get no argument from me, i totally agree.

I think the only difference is that after working for major snake pits for 35 years I don't believe American businesses is conducive to leaders.

You're definitely more optimistic than me, I think the days of caring about their customers with large companies is dead and gone. Disney knows that for as many of us who leave and swear off the parks, there are 12 more to take the place.

Lol, did I mention I'm a cynic . 😉
 

George

Liker of Things
Premium Member
Just got back from my first Christmas trip in a decade. Theme park lands have different visitation parameters than movies. Based on overhead conversations - TSL may backfire with some. Waiting hours for either of the new rides really agitated many. The IP drew them in, but the best part of the land (with regards to attractions) has been around for a decade. Kind of the opposite effect of something like Everest or Splash. Pandora works because the land fits with the rest of the park visually and philosophically and its really well done. GotG will check one of those 2 boxes I predict. On a side note, if TSL had a spinning vine ride (little green army men with parachutes), and a small scale dark ride in addition...or something equivalent, I would think the land was really well done. It seemed kind of half baked after years of not having much for the toddler/kindergarten sect. We did have 2 FPS on different days for the new rides, but the family indicated they would have rather done FoP 2 more times. I really can’t imagine waiting 210 minutes for Slinky Dog.
 

SirLink

Well-Known Member
Oh you absolutely get no argument from me, i totally agree.

I think the only difference is that after working for major snake pits for 35 years I don't believe American businesses is conducive to leaders.

You're definitely more optimistic than me, I think the days of caring about their customers with large companies is dead and gone. Disney knows that for as many of us who leave and swear off the parks, there are 12 more to take the place.

Lol, did I mention I'm a cynic . 😉
I may have been given some info - don't be shocked if the next CEO is from outside the US.
 

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
Completely agree. No doubt in my mind that I (or anyone else) needs to be familiar with an IP to truly enjoy and love a physical land Disney creates. For example, I've never seen Avatar - but I love the land and it's truly breath taking when you first see it all lit up.
Star Wars Land, Toy Story Land, Pandora. If people identify with it, it will have more of an impact than a Generic Land.
You are contradicting yourself. There is always a point at which people are introduced to something.
 
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Oddysey

Well-Known Member
I don’t think his “nondescript coaster maybe set in India” comment was about Everest. Am I wrong in thinking this? Everest is anything but nondescript. I think he’s just saying Disney does storytelling better than a Six Flag attraction that is just plopped there.
I don't think his comment was about Everest either. Being the CEO of such a large entertainment company, he may not even be able to identify Everest theme if asked directly what it was. I think he just chose his words poorly and only Disney nerds like ourselves will notice.
 

draybook

Well-Known Member
Don't you all realize that Disneyland was THE ORIGINAL movie studio IP theme park? Not Universal. Disneyland. Disneyland opened with IP-related attractions ON DAY ONE and continued to build them from 1955 onward. Look at the original list of opening day attractions that were, in fact, directly tied into Disney produced movies, such as Snow White's Adventure, Peter Pan's Flight, Mad Tea Party, and on and on. This was followed by regular IP-related attractions added during Walt's time and beyond including everything from the Matterhorn (yes, based on a Disney movie), to the Swiss Family Treehouse, and eventually Star Tours, Indiana Jones, and more - all well before Iger's time. Yes, some legendary attractions were not IP-based but a large chunk have always been, and right from the beginning!

So today, in an environment of multi-billion dollar investment into new state-of-the-art-better-than-anyone-else attractions where Disney is once again leading the world in theme park innovation/immersion, a bunch of arm chair CEOs and self-proclaimed "historians" complain. Say what you will but Cars Land and Pandora are absolutely amazing and more immersive than anything else. Who cares if they are based upon a story/movie that people happen to love? Yes, this drives more bodies and more revenue which means bigger budgets to create immersive worlds. Would you like to go back to 2001 when Disney gave us Paradise Pier and Bountiful Valley Farm?

Many of you are too young to remember what it was like before Iger, but he has invested far more (and employed far more creative people) than any other CEO in the history of Disney (including Walt, and I suspect even when adjusted for inflation) all aimed at delivering the most mind-blowing experiences imaginable with the highest per-attraction budgets ever. We are talking many BILLION dollars all around the world. The result has been that Disney is more popular (and profitable) than ever, which is, in turn, driving even more investment. We are in the golden age... enjoy it while it lasts.

This is where I ask @wdwmagic to give us the HAHA button...
 

Conno

Member
You are contradicting yourself.
Not at all. Two different statements.

"If I'm already there - I know I/most people will enjoy a Generic Land."
and
"A land based on an existing IP (i.e. a box office hit movie series) is more likely to bring in first time visitors and cause occasional visitors to return"

There is always a point at which people are introduced to something.
The point was that IP based attractions and lands are arguably better for business than non-IP based attractions and lands because people identify with the IP in marketing materials.
 

twebber55

Well-Known Member
Not at all. Two different statements.

"If I'm already there - I know I/most people will enjoy a Generic Land."
and
"A land based on an existing IP (i.e. a box office hit movie series) is more likely to bring in first time visitors and cause occasional visitors to return"



The point was that IP based attractions and lands are arguably better for business than non-IP based attractions and lands because people identify with the IP in marketing materials.
all great points conno
seems pretty simple to understand
Execution of a land is what gets people to return to your parks and we can enjoy Pandora or Frontierland equally
 

George

Liker of Things
Premium Member
I should summarize my point - a land based on a popular IP can backfire long term if it is half baked. Of course, if the effects of the food poisoning aren’t felt until after you are gone, maybe you don’t care.
 

Jenny72

Well-Known Member
I still keep coming back to these statements that keep getting tossed out:

"A land based on an existing IP (i.e. a box office hit movie series) is more likely to bring in first time visitors and cause occasional visitors to return"
"People today are just more interested in IP. It is what it is."

On what exactly are you basing these statements? Personal beliefs? These lines get tossed out like they're facts--but how do you know? I mean this as a genuine question that I think is not being addressed.

I agree that for some IPs, this is the case: Star Wars, Harry Potter, probably Frozen, so please don't toss those out as proof. I mean the way it's stated here: any/all outside-generated IP is better than any/all internally-generated IP.
 

Agardini51

New Member
Reading through this thread is interesting. Honestly when I was younger and went to disney world the one thing that I enjoyed the most is riding the rides for things I knew, like snow white, dumbo, and other ip related rides. Now, dont get me wrong, I loved haunted mansion and big thunder. But think about it, if you were a large company with billions in recognizable IP, why would you not use it in your theme parks?
 

Conno

Member
On what exactly are you basing these statements? Personal beliefs?
Psychology. This is why advertisers try attach big name actors to sell a product during commercials. Or borrow a character from a franchise to promote some new candy coming to market. It's familiar.

Ref: http://www.attractionsmanagement.com/index.cfm?pagetype=features&codeID=29721

It's also fairly obvious - if you absolutely love a film series or you witness your kid develop an affection for Woody and Buzz from Toy Story - then you see Disney World has just built a Toy Story land... that might be more tempting to visit than a promotion that exclaims: "Oh, we built some new rides with a toy theme"
 
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DisneyJayL

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
Many people believe his statement is a sign that he isn't thinking much about non IP attractions. That he doesn't care about them.
Some also take it about Everest, even though, as I said earlier, the mountain itself isn't even in India.

Really both assumptions are stretches. He has done some non IP attractions, even if very few. And like I said earlier, Everest is not even in India.

It's just the most headbangy situation I've ever seen. And that's saying a lot since I've been around for the Buzzy has been stolen thread.
Thanks! People get upset over the most trivial things.
 
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