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News Park attendance showing significant softness heading into the Fall 2018

disneygeek90

Premium Member
In all fairness, the Hurricanes can happen in July, August, October and November also. Based on what @MisterPenguin showed with October booking, it's probably not the hurricanes being a primary factor.
Oh, for sure. But I don't know if the vast majority of tourists think about that. It could simply be them thinking September = Irma. September = Hurricanes.
 

Brad Bishop

Well-Known Member
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Due to population growth there are more people (not necessarily by percentage but just more people) in the upper-middle and higher classes. Due to this there are more potential customers that can afford the ever more ridiculous Disney prices. The population of the US has increased around 50% since 1970. That's 50% more potential customers. Plus the countries in South America and Europe have had population growth as well adding to the foreign customer pool. Add in airfare being cheaper in adjusted dollars than in 1970 and it allows more people to travel farther to WDW.

Another side of it are regulations. You couldn't build WDW today because of the EPA and protests that would be involved. Even building something like a Six Flags would take a tremendous amount of money just in the regulations and lawsuits alone.

Comcast can bring you another theme park. Disney can, too. It's unlikely you'll see anyone else build a theme park from scratch anytime soon. The closest you get is an odd amusement park built on a reservation. (There's one if Foley, AL)

Increased population + less choices = more cost.
 

geekza

Well-Known Member
The problem is that the sample TouringPlans has isn't representative. You need to randomize the sample from the total pool. TP, OTOH, has a self-selecting pool of their users.
While that's true, the people who buy the book and fill out the surveys (many of whom still mail them in) are from all walks and experience levels. It's not a perfect random sample, but it's pretty close and they get tens of thousands of responses every year. That's a much larger pool than most companies that do polling use.
 

Missing20K

Well-Known Member
It's unlikely you'll see anyone else build a theme park from scratch anytime soon. The closest you get is an odd amusement park built on a reservation. (There's one if Foley, AL)

There is also a park that is just opening in Pleasant Grove, Utah called Evermore. It's not exactly on-par with Disney or Uni and it's not exactly an amusement park as it lacks any real "rides". But one could argue it's a themed park.
 
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geekza

Well-Known Member
There was an explosion of regional theme parks that popped up in the wake of WDW's success, many of which attempted to rip off the "Hub and Spoke" design. Some are still around, some failed. With it being a huge undertaking to build and operate a theme park, though, I feel like we won't see too many new non-Disney or Universal parks being built anytime soon.
 

Brad Bishop

Well-Known Member
There is also a park that is just opening in Pleasant Grove, Utah called Evermore. It's not exactly on-par with Disney or Uni and it's not exactly an amusement park as it lacks any real "rides". But one could argue it's a themed park.

I thought Evermore was announced 5+ years back as "opening any day now" and then it was canceled.

There was another one outside of Houston that is supposedly opening "any day now" for about the last 10 years (I think they cleared some land and build a campground so far and that's it).
 

Missing20K

Well-Known Member
I thought Evermore was announced 5+ years back as "opening any day now" and then it was canceled.

There was another one outside of Houston that is supposedly opening "any day now" for about the last 10 years (I think they cleared some land and build a campground so far and that's it).

Not sure when it was announced, but it opens to the public on the 20th. One can even buy tickets.
 

winstongator

Well-Known Member
The problem is that the sample TouringPlans has isn't representative. You need to randomize the sample from the total pool. TP, OTOH, has a self-selecting pool of their users.

E.g., @Disneyhead'71 recently revealed the Uni's Fallon ride has a very high Guest Satisfaction, but, you wouldn't know that from online commentary. This shows that the general public and frequenters of Disney fan sites can have different opinion.

Now, I wouldn't think TP's data is far off, but, it certainly has the ability to be far off in a few cases.
I understand TP doesn't necessarily pull a representative sample but neither does online commentary. My thought is that TP pulls preparers who can get the most out of the parks. They also might expect the most. Satisfaction is a function with reality in the numerator but also expectation in the denominator.

While that's true, the people who buy the book and fill out the surveys (many of whom still mail them in) are from all walks and experience levels. It's not a perfect random sample, but it's pretty close and they get tens of thousands of responses every year. That's a much larger pool than most companies that do polling use.

My money metric for how much people enjoy a ride is the wait. If people are willing to wait > 2hrs for something, then it's very good. SDD's nowhere close to FoP wait times tells me it's not the same level of ride. That FoP still gets > 2hr waits tells me that it's a ride people enjoy, and it appeals to a broad audience (something TP breaks out). Word travels fast. Satisfaction also scales with wait. If I had to wait 8 hrs for FoP, I might not be as satisfied, or > 2hrs for Pirates. Not a perfect metric.
 

winstongator

Well-Known Member
Due to population growth there are more people (not necessarily by percentage but just more people) in the upper-middle and higher classes. Due to this there are more potential customers that can afford the ever more ridiculous Disney prices. The population of the US has increased around 50% since 1970. That's 50% more potential customers. Plus the countries in South America and Europe have had population growth as well adding to the foreign customer pool. Add in airfare being cheaper in adjusted dollars than in 1970 and it allows more people to travel farther to WDW.

If I'm running Disney, if I can have half the customers at double the price, I'll be more profitable because I get the same revenue with much lower staffing.

As long as enough people that can afford it (or have enough credit to charge to a credit card and file bankruptcy later) are willing to pay they can keep going down this path. Eventually there will be a tipping point when upper class people stop seeing the value proposition and stop paying.
Florida's population growth since 1970 has over tripled.

There's another phenomenon in America. The shrinking middle income class is not just creating a larger lower income class, but there's actually been more people shifting from middle-income to upper-income.

http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2016...-areas/st_2016-05-12_middle-class-geo-ch1-02/

They base off percentages of the median. Middle is 2/3 - 2x median.

I'm curious as to the growth of WDW attendance from South America. Incomes there have gone up significantly and air travel is much more ubiquitous than when WDW opened.

Pricing x # customers is complicated because the number of customers impacts resort occupancy rates, food & merch purchases. That's why Disney breaks out overall lumped spending numbers in their quarterly and annual reports.

Things change slowly. From 2015-2016 there was a big shift in AP prices, and attendance went down. Then they ran the 13 for 12 pass holder promo (got me with that one ;) and attendance was way up in 2017 (although Pandora deserves the most credit for that). If prices are 'too high', attendance will fall, but not precipitously. WDW will make some adjustment, or open a blockbuster land, and attendance will go back up.

For me as a pass holder , even though I never got to the parks much then, but the promise of slow times is appealing. I thought I picked a slower time this past Feb, but it was packed! Late October 2016 was similar. I kinda wish I would have gone some this summer when it seemed to be less crowded. Convincing my wife to pass up Ireland, London, and Hawaii for WDW is an impossible task.
 

krb201

Member
While that's true, the people who buy the book and fill out the surveys (many of whom still mail them in) are from all walks and experience levels. It's not a perfect random sample, but it's pretty close and they get tens of thousands of responses every year. That's a much larger pool than most companies that do polling use.

No, it's not even close to random, by definition. It's an entirely self-selected sample, doubly so. Selection bias issues with the sample by definition. It may be representative, though it's not clear what population it may be representative of. I'm not sure what the unit of analysis is in their reporting - individual or family or book purchase group or WDW visitor group. If I recall correctly, it's one survey/book, so ...? Happy to be corrected on this last point.

All that said, I find their books & info informative and helpful and enjoyable. And I don't fault at all LT for not having a random sample; they're not obligated to have one, nor need one to legitimately do what they are doing. WDW or anyone using LT's data or analysis to make park/resort management or development or strategic decisions would be performing serious business malpractice, however.
 

AndyS2992

Well-Known Member
3:30pm Today, right now.
B3F7B9C4-69B9-465C-AFE3-C93F34610FA6.jpeg


I would do unsavoury deeds to be there right now lol
 

MickeyMinnieMom

Well-Known Member
It takes a surprisingly-small amount of people to create a representative sample, something I didn't realize until I worked at a HUGE company that utilized customer feedback for nearly all aspects of their business. I'd say that TouringPlans has more than enough surveys completed each year to legitimize their research.
Small, sure. The trick is for the sample to be representative. I can't imagine that TP has that -- too much self-selection.

ETA: Just saw another poster said the same. :) While TP's sample might be better than most companies', I still doubt that you could accurately extrapolate.
 

Sirwalterraleigh

Premium Member
Due to population growth there are more people (not necessarily by percentage but just more people) in the upper-middle and higher classes. Due to this there are more potential customers that can afford the ever more ridiculous Disney prices. The population of the US has increased around 50% since 1970. That's 50% more potential customers. Plus the countries in South America and Europe have had population growth as well adding to the foreign customer pool. Add in airfare being cheaper in adjusted dollars than in 1970 and it allows more people to travel farther to WDW.

If I'm running Disney, if I can have half the customers at double the price, I'll be more profitable because I get the same revenue with much lower staffing.

As long as enough people that can afford it (or have enough credit to charge to a credit card and file bankruptcy later) are willing to pay they can keep going down this path. Eventually there will be a tipping point when upper class people stop seeing the value proposition and stop paying.

That’s all great.

But i wasn’t giving and Econ lesson from Forbes...

I’m saying that Disney park appeal was grounded in that they could cater to the entirety of the middle class.

It was never cheap enough for the lower nor will they ever pay to provide service to the upper.

They can build club 33s and increase the upsells and hotel charges.

But it is a house of cards...because the volume will Not be there in the numbers needed.

They need 75,000,000 gate clicks in Orlando in the not so near future...good luck with that and a 4 hour wait for slinky dog 😎
 
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