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NYT: "Universal....Takes Aim at Disney"

ChrisFL

Premium Member
Here's a few pictures of the Ocean Express mentioned earlier, and the queue its in (basically the same company may be making the trains for the wizarding world)

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Those are screens above which change depending on the train's movement.
 

bubbles1812

Well-Known Member
Quite the contrary... remember back then there wasn't all the build up in Orlando either. Lets just leave it as you weren't there... and probably need to do some reading about it.

What I researched/found read was that a decent amount of hotels went up along with the building of the resort. I'm not saying Orlando was what it is now, but people weren't stupid. They built hotels, and quickly. Remember, Disney wasn't exactly built all in one day. There were just 492 rooms in the Polynesian...granted, that is a decent amount but hardly enough to house the visitors who came in that year. The Poly also cost $29-44 a night initially...yes I recognize 29 dollars back then doesn't mean the same as it does today, but still, relatively affordable. If your telling me all 50,000 visitors who visited the MK on Thanksgiving Day that year in 71' all stayed at the Poly and Contemporary...you have another thing coming. And many weren't staying for a week back then...it didn't make fiscal sense to, unlike now. Either way, my point being, Disney is becoming less accessible to the middle class as a whole, much less poorer people.

But anyways, at this point, that is off topic. That Ocean Express looks really interesting. I'm feeling more and more excited for this train ride, not to mention the (speculated) new Gringotts Bank Ride. Will be so curious to see what they do with that too. I hope we see the dragon! Not to mention they could do something with the every multiplying gold from the last movie.
 

misterID

Well-Known Member
flynnibus said:
Disney world has always been a premium priced vacation

That's not true. At all.

There's always been a more expense package, but it's never been a strictly premium resort. You also had Fort Wilderness and it wasn't uncommon for the same family to stay at the Poly and CR on different vacations. And yes, hotels and tourist and other attractions blew up in Orlando/kissimmee. It was actually a very cool time to be a kid in central Florida :)
 

Tom Morrow

Well-Known Member
And honestly, I could have seen Disney attempting to do some things 1) on the cheap, not the way Universal did it 2) "kiddifiying" Potter to such a degree that it wouldn't have been as much fun. Like the HP ride in the castle...it definitely has some scary elements to it especially if you don't like spiders ;) I don't know if Disney would have gone for something like that or not. It's definitely not the most "family friendly" ride.
Oh, definitely not. When I first rode, I had no knowledge of Potter, but the ride being actually intense and scary sparked my interest in the series.

I suspect that a Disney attempt at a Potter ride would not have had the same effect. Even if they went all out. Which we all know they would not have.
 

AEfx

Well-Known Member
During tests people have been getting a bit sick due to the ultra-realism and depth perception.


Well, if it was ultra-realistic, they wouldn't have that problem. ;) It's the lack of exact synchronicity that is the problem, as real life doesn't have any delay between our visuals and movement under most circumstances.


That's not true. At all.

There's always been a more expense package, but it's never been a strictly premium resort. You also had Fort Wilderness and it wasn't uncommon for the same family to stay at the Poly and CR on different vacations. And yes, hotels and tourist and other attractions blew up in Orlando/kissimmee. It was actually a very cool time to be a kid in central Florida :)

Not to mention, staying on property is really a (relatively) new phenomenon for most folks.

Disney built the mods and values because of demand - people were getting it off of property, and Disney wanted them on property. Most guests stayed off-property until the mods and values started making it more attractive to people. But they have always stayed, it's just those in the "resort bubble" that don't realize that off-site is a huge part of staying at Disney traditionally, until Disney finally had so many hotel rooms and perks to make it worthwhile to stay there for some folks.

Oh, definitely not. When I first rode, I had no knowledge of Potter, but the ride being actually intense and scary sparked my interest in the series.

I suspect that a Disney attempt at a Potter ride would not have had the same effect. Even if they went all out. Which we all know they would not have.

Precisely.

Potter would have been nowhere near as grand, and even if they had somehow managed to do that (per Rowling's insistence), it STILL would have skimped out on the scares so the "everything must be appropriate for my toddlers!" crowd. I mean, the two Disney attractions that had any real "scares" are gone.

I'm so glad Universal got it, and did what they did. Otherwise, elaborate or not, we would have never gotten the same level of excitement out of a Disney version - they simply will not allow it.
 

fosse76

Well-Known Member
The Poly also cost $29-44 a night initially...yes I recognize 29 dollars back then doesn't mean the same as it does today, but still, relatively affordable.

$44 in 1975 would be approximately $192 in today's money. $29 would be about $128 in today's money. So while not cheap, it's still not a "premium" pricing. In fact this is their current moderate pricing. So the prices were definitely aimed at the middle class from the beginning.
 

Cornballman

Member
I feel like this thread is filled with information. Between all the HP tidbits, and all the history lessons about Disney and their pricing and resorts from back in the day, it's awesome! That being said, I am really excited for the new HP developments. I really feel like anything that USF does to take a day or two away from Disney will only help Disney fans get the new E-ticket or new ground breaking rides that they want. Here's hoping!
 

JT3000

Well-Known Member
Forbidden Journey isn't as intense as it was supposed to be. For example, there's an entire gaggle of dementors just sitting in the darkness overhead near the end of the ride. No one sees them because they were deemed too scary.
 

Cornballman

Member
Forbidden Journey isn't as intense as it was supposed to be. For example, there's an entire gaggle of dementors just sitting in the darkness overhead near the end of the ride. No one sees them because they were deemed too scary.

MY daughter, 8, not knowing much about Harry Potter and the character rode it. She was pretty freaked out by all of it. But she was a champ and rode it all. I'm pretty sure more dementors at the end would have made her cry! She even got spit on by the spider. I thought it was a pretty awesome ride. I glanced sideways to look at what exactly was pulling us. The technology involved looked incredible and very intense!
 

flynnibus

Premium Member
If you say so...I wasn't around back then. :lol: It did open a resort yes, but still, with only two hotels at it's opening, it's not like the majority of it's visitors were staying on property, unlike now.

Their capacity is irrelevant to how they priced the product. They aimed at the premium experience and charged accordingly for it.

Disney partnered with hotel chains to establish the Lake Buena Vista hotel locations for their non-Disney experience stuff that would be cheaper.

Disney didn't build any motels onsite... they aimed higher.

(sorry, but I would find it astounding if most people actually went to the parks for week, but even so, admission for a week for a family of 4 at 3 bucks a person or whatever it was, well, I'd take it :lol:) and most weren't in the uber expensive hotels.

You didn't goto the parks for a week - but you would stay in WDW for up to a week. Back then, the park was just ONE thing you did.. not the ONLY thing you did like most people in WDW do now.

Remember, Disney wasn't exactly built all in one day. There were just 492 rooms in the Polynesian...granted, that is a decent amount but hardly enough to house the visitors who came in that year. The Poly also cost $29-44 a night initially...yes I recognize 29 dollars back then doesn't mean the same as it does today, but still, relatively affordable. If your telling me all 50,000 visitors who visited the MK on Thanksgiving Day that year in 71' all stayed at the Poly and Contemporary...

Using a single day attendance is foolish considering the MK was accessible as a day dodge by car. Plus, you're coming up with this idea they had to house everyone.. which they obviously didn't target right from the start... and is not relevant to how they priced their product. Only decades later did Disney turn to the 'trap the tourist' model and wanted to get everyone on property.

Either way, my point being, Disney is becoming less accessible to the middle class as a whole, much less poorer people.

Yes Disney is becoming more expensive - but it was always expensive relatively speaking.

Not to mention, staying on property is really a (relatively) new phenomenon for most folks.

Because Disney originally only built premium properties.. (Ft Wilderness isn't an option for many) and priced accordingly. Most people didn't want to pay that, so they opt'd for cheaper accommodations off property. The reason people stayed offsite in low-end hotels was Disney's prices.

Those people wouldn't have stayed off-site if they had affordable options ON-SITE, which is exactly what Disney went after in the 90s. Instead of only having premium properties, they wanted to loop in those lower spenders as well.

The #1 reason people stayed offsite was $$$. If Disney were so moderately priced to start with.. the only contention would have been capacity. But it was $$$ first and why the pendulum swung not when Disney added more hotels, but when Disney started offering CHEAPER hotels.
 

bubbles1812

Well-Known Member
Forbidden Journey isn't as intense as it was supposed to be. For example, there's an entire gaggle of dementors just sitting in the darkness overhead near the end of the ride. No one sees them because they were deemed too scary.

I didn't know that. Interesting. But still, my point was that the HP ride is a much more intense (and fun!) offering than anything that Disney offers. As someone pointed out, they've removed their two rides that were even remotely scary. The ride definitely isn't for toddlers and some little kids definitely wouldn't like it at all. Which is why I doubt if it had been proposed to Disney, it would have made it off the ground. Right now Disney's philosophy seems to be that everything new must be geared so that toddlers will not be upset...I think that is just fine for rides like Dumbo/the queue that everyone seems to be so worked up about. That ride was designed for toddlers but not every ride has to be that way. I think we would have gotten maybe a slow ride through the castle if Disney had gotten it.
 

bubbles1812

Well-Known Member
Their capacity is irrelevant to how they priced the product. They aimed at the premium experience and charged accordingly for it.

Disney partnered with hotel chains to establish the Lake Buena Vista hotel locations for their non-Disney experience stuff that would be cheaper.

Disney didn't build any motels onsite... they aimed higher.



You didn't goto the parks for a week - but you would stay in WDW for up to a week. Back then, the park was just ONE thing you did.. not the ONLY thing you did like most people in WDW do now.



Using a single day attendance is foolish considering the MK was accessible as a day dodge by car. Plus, you're coming up with this idea they had to house everyone.. which they obviously didn't target right from the start... and is not relevant to how they priced their product. Only decades later did Disney turn to the 'trap the tourist' model and wanted to get everyone on property.



Yes Disney is becoming more expensive - but it was always expensive relatively speaking.



Because Disney originally only built premium properties.. (Ft Wilderness isn't an option for many) and priced accordingly. Most people didn't want to pay that, so they opt'd for cheaper accommodations off property. The reason people stayed offsite in low-end hotels was Disney's prices.

Those people wouldn't have stayed off-site if they had affordable options ON-SITE, which is exactly what Disney went after in the 90s. Instead of only having premium properties, they wanted to loop in those lower spenders as well.

The #1 reason people stayed offsite was $$$. If Disney were so moderately priced to start with.. the only contention would have been capacity. But it was $$$ first and why the pendulum swung not when Disney added more hotels, but when Disney started offering CHEAPER hotels.

It was expensive but not the "premium" you keep arguing for as someone else pointed out. It was not only designed for rich people. It's hotels were moderately! (did you not see that post above?) priced as were its ticket prices...there is another thread on here, forget which, where someone did a comparison of the prices. I think accounting for inflation, the MK still costs twice as much as it did back then. I recognize also that using a single day attendance isn't the best but still, you have to assume a good chunk of those visitors weren't just coming in for the day by car. But whatever, you think you are right and I think I am. I'd rather get back to talking about Universal and how it's challenges Disney.
 

Cornballman

Member
It was expensive but not the "premium" you keep arguing for as someone else pointed out. It was not only designed for rich people. It's hotels were moderately! (did you not see that post above?) priced as were its ticket prices...there is another thread on here, forget which, where someone did a comparison of the prices. I think accounting for inflation, the MK still costs twice as much as it did back then. I recognize also that using a single day attendance isn't the best but still, you have to assume a good chunk of those visitors weren't just coming in for the day by car. But whatever, you think you are right and I think I am. I'd rather get back to talking about Universal and how it's challenges Disney.

I think someone is out to prove you wrong. But i totally agree with you here. I grew up in a lower middle class family, and we went to Disney every year when I was young. Granted we always brought our own lunches and never picked up Merch, but we were able to afford lodging and tickets. Nowadays I have to save for over a year to afford 1 vacation. Its ridiculous!
 

kucarachi

Active Member
The old 'your movies aren't relevant so your park sucks' argument. Except Disney has already proven that wrong with most of it's attractions. If the ride is good, and the theme is approachable without specific background knowledge... the lack of movie awareness will not pull the attraction down. See Indiana Jones, Splash, etc.

Brands like Spiderman.. are already older than most of Disney's attractions. Attractions like The Mummy pull on timeless concepts that will never fade in any of our lifetimes.

If any park gets 20-30 years of an attraction - they are thrilled. There is nothing wrong with attractions being cycled out after 20 years or so as long as the park has gotten it's ROI out of them.

Honestly.. kucarachi... your post comes off as really uninformed of uni

well brands like spiderman are older than some disney attractions...its a good thing disney owns it then...it would be like the red sox owning yankee stadium and all its players...its going to make disney money either way. The mummy story is timeless...the ride is a backwards mildly entertaining roller coaster with wooden cut outs and some smoke. I am not anti universal..they just have never impressed me more than a few cheap thrills here and there. Anytime a movie makes 200 million dollars they want to force a ride and that looks more like desperation than vision.
 

misterID

Well-Known Member
My father had the biggest tourist agency in Orlando back then. I can tell you for a fact Disney was never a premium destination. The reason you had so many hotels open up was because of the amount of people who were going to Orlando, and people wanted a piece of that action. You also had a lot of Florida residents going back then. I mean, like what DL sees now. It's was totally different back then.
 

BigThunderMatt

Well-Known Member
Forbidden Journey isn't as intense as it was supposed to be. For example, there's an entire gaggle of dementors just sitting in the darkness overhead near the end of the ride. No one sees them because they were deemed too scary.

I've known this for a while, and knowing where they're at specifically freaks me out more staring up into their dark location when I ride than it probably would if their lights were actually on.
 

flynnibus

Premium Member
It was expensive but not the "premium" you keep arguing for as someone else pointed out. It was not only designed for rich people

maybe that's the problem. When I say 'premium' I don't mean 'only for rich people'. I mean premium priced as in 'not the cheapo, not the midstream, but the next up'.

Your 'premium unleaded' gasoline is not only for the rich. A Hilton is not only for the rich, yet is more expensive than Holiday Inn, which is more expensive than a Motel 6.

IMAX is a premium priced movie theater experience. That doesn't mean only the rich can afford it!

If I were meaning 'only for the rich' or a very narrow focus - I would say 'exclusive'

Premium means 'not average' but above it. Not necessarily the top most extreme that only few can afford.

Disneyworld was never priced as something you would do on a Friday night because you were bored. It was never priced as something you did instead of staying home for the weekend. It's always been a luxury; premium priced over other alternatives.

Does that make it so only a handful can afford it? NO - and that's never been what I've said. Premium means 'above the average' not necessarily affordable only to some.
 

flynnibus

Premium Member
well brands like spiderman are older than some disney attractions...its a good thing disney owns it then...it would be like the red sox owning yankee stadium and all its players...its going to make disney money either way. The mummy story is timeless...the ride is a backwards mildly entertaining roller coaster with wooden cut outs and some smoke

Are you smoking something? 'wood cut outs and some smoke'? The ride has the most intense fire room scene I've ever seen. It has multiple ride stops (unusual for a coaster). It has special effects out the wazoo. The only part of the mummy that is slightly ordinary is the full coaster portion at the end. And even that is special being all indoors and it's intensity.

I am not anti universal..they just have never impressed me more than a few cheap thrills here and there. Anytime a movie makes 200 million dollars they want to force a ride and that looks more like desperation than vision.

Well... they are a MOVIE company... and the parks were predicated on experiencing the MOVIES.

That's like saying you hate an ice cream company.. because they only sell ice cream.
 

flynnibus

Premium Member
My father had the biggest tourist agency in Orlando back then. I can tell you for a fact Disney was never a premium destination. The reason you had so many hotels open up was because of the amount of people who were going to Orlando, and people wanted a piece of that action. You also had a lot of Florida residents going back then. I mean, like what DL sees now. It's was totally different back then.

Premium != exclusive or limited

Premium means higher than another or the average.

Ask your dad how much Disney cost vs going to Cyprus Gardens or KSC or Gatorland.. etc.

When WDW opened, it was still pre airline deregulation and before cheap airfare. The tourist was still driven by the road trip... which is why DLR was never the destination for the whole country and they needed to build a east coast park.

MK was still a premium offering compared to other alternatives.
 

bubbles1812

Well-Known Member
maybe that's the problem. When I say 'premium' I don't mean 'only for rich people'. I mean premium priced as in 'not the cheapo, not the midstream, but the next up'.

Your 'premium unleaded' gasoline is not only for the rich. A Hilton is not only for the rich, yet is more expensive than Holiday Inn, which is more expensive than a Motel 6.

IMAX is a premium priced movie theater experience. That doesn't mean only the rich can afford it!

If I were meaning 'only for the rich' or a very narrow focus - I would say 'exclusive'

Premium means 'not average' but above it. Not necessarily the top most extreme that only few can afford.

Disneyworld was never priced as something you would do on a Friday night because you were bored. It was never priced as something you did instead of staying home for the weekend. It's always been a luxury; premium priced over other alternatives.

Does that make it so only a handful can afford it? NO - and that's never been what I've said. Premium means 'above the average' not necessarily affordable only to some.

I get what you are saying. I'd agree that's where some of our disagreement lies in that we both have a different definition of the word premium. So thank you for clearing up what you meant, truly. Though it still felt like you were making the argument earlier in the thread that Disney was not originally marketed towards the middle/lower classes families. But that's the thing. It was affordable for those groups as we've talked about between the pricing of the hotels and the pricing of the parks back then in today's standards. Yes, even lower groups...they might have had to save a bit for it but it was still affordable, it wasn't out of reach. Disney is becoming out of reach to that group entirely but even more, its becoming out of reach to many in the middle class as well, the prime group Disney, I feel, as always been advertising to...most families now have to save for a good amount of time before they can go. I went 3 times before the age of 13...I'm almost positive that would not have happened if I was that same age now. We're a middle of the road middle class family and even a "cheap" Disney vacation for my whole family would still be in the thousands of dollars.
 

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