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Spirited News & Observations II -- NGE/Baxter

flynnibus

Premium Member
How much of that is not having a Disney park an hour's drive from the port? The cruises I've been on (admittedly all 3 or 4 nights) have a lot of people "splitting their vacation week" betwen DCL and Orlando. I think a lot of the general public still views DCL almost as an extension of the parks.

I think that is really the inverse.. people say 'how can I goto FL without visiting WDW?' - more than people picking Orlando because they feel the need for their cruise to include WDW.
 

Todd H

Well-Known Member
feel free to just drop in some observations here ... I hate traditional trip reports and don't write them and don't read them (unless they are some trainwrecks by the truly 'special' addicts), but observations that are recent and relevant are quite welcome.

i actually decided to do a "warts and all" trip report. I will leave no stone unturned. The good, the bad, and the stupid will all be talked about. Already mentioned the "bathroom" incident there. :eek:
 

WDW1974

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
The thing about the New Orleans for cruising is that it's a huge drive-in market. You can leave in the morning from Memphis, Nashville, Pensacola and Atlanta and be there by early afternoon for boarding. Likewise when the cruise ends, you get off in the morning and drive home. None of these people would ever see the seedier nighttime reputation that New Orleans has. As for the locals who cruise, they already know all about it.

Good points. But I don't think Disney is worried about any bad images from the city ... the place is world known for its cuisine and music (some history too!) and I could easily see AvD tours before/after a DCL voyage in the future.
 

WDW1974

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
As an Unofficial Guide rep (being the co-author and all), I'm pretty sure Disney did not pay his way (assuming he's there for a press event of some sort). The Unofficial Guide has a clearly stated policy on not taking money from the Mouse and remaining objective. I'm going to assume this policy also carries over to touringplans.com, but not totally sure on that. I will say that I would not lump Len in with some of the other Lifestylers you refer to. Between the UG and the podcast he's on, I've certainly read/heard many honest comments that would definitely not be considered as overly positive towards TWDC. I will also say that he has crafted out a successful career as an author/web site owner by applying statistics, modeling, and computer science to touring theme parks.

@Len Testa responded on the MM+ test thread that he was there on his dime ... and I responded with the following <<>> but before I quote that all I want to add is there's a big difference between taking money from Disney (I don't know who does, although I am sure they have paid BRAND ADVOCATES out there ... Mongello sure seems like one!) and not taking anything of monetary value (like AL Lutz) or taking favors of any kind (that can be anything from free flights, trips, cruises, hotel stays, meals, booze, tickets, swag, special access to VIPs, events, discounted stays etc). I don't know the full story on what Len owns/controls. I am of the belief (correct me if I am wrong) that the UG is associated with/owns Touring Plans and they're under the same umbrella. That said, here's what I posted on the other thread:

<<True enough and I don't know Len at all (I think we may have met sometime in the past though), but if he or any of his staff/associates take things from Disney, then that should be stated. ... I believe @WDWFigment was working for him at the Cars Land opening when he was given a room at the Grand Cali for FREE as well as ticket media, food and booze and admission to the party. Those things always are tricky for bloggers especially the party/pressers/announcements because one could argue there is no price attached, but they certainly have a great value to many.

Also, many times, bloggers are given 'media rates' and they can be phenomenal (would you stay at the GF for $125 a night ... how about Pop for $40?).

It is very grey and is something I like to shed light on. >>
 

Cosmic Commando

Well-Known Member
If you want to understand what true heart is... look no further than Brian Morrow at SeaWorld Orlando
http://micechat.com/22288-antarctica-hardhat-tour-at-seaworld-orlando/
This is a man who gets his product, and is delivering it in spades. (Manta, Turtle Trek and now Antarctica)
MiceChat: Looking at the newest attractions, Manta, Turtle Trek and Antarctica, what is your vision for SeaWorld? What is SeaWord’s soul?
Brian Morrow: Our guests will leave more fulfilled than when they came in. They will be fulfilled with knowledge, with the sense of purpose and that they can make a difference, that it is possible to help and that it feels good. Once you do one bit of good you feel great. If we can impart that to them, it is amazing. We do it through the stories we tell, through rides and shows. When guests walk away from SeaWorld Orlando we want them to know that you have the power to make a difference and here are the tools to do it.
In an alternate universe somewhere, that same ride is opening at Animal Kingdom and an imagineer is saying the exact same thing. :(
 

WDW1974

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Oh no, not me. I was referring to the subject of Spirit's post. I've just read the Guide, in numerous forms...enough to understand that their credibility would be zip if they didn't stick to their objectivity.

I've never read it. I don't read guidebooks to places I know as well as my hometown (or better!) ... I might read one if someone gave me a copy.

But I never said anything about their objectivity. They may well be objective and still get social media 'benefits' ... I have no idea ... but recall I didn't know what a Lou Mongello was until two years ago. So, I've missed the whole social media explosion.
 

WDW1974

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Any info if they will be coming back to NY?

Not in the near term, but I would expect them to down the road. ... but they have a lot of interest in Europe and Asia and even places as far as Australia and New Zealand.

And that is why you will see new ships a LOT sooner than Disney is leading on. Trust me on this one, I broke the news of two new ships back in 07 on LaughingPlace.com and my sources are impeccable on this subject. ... The Magic and Wonder don't have that many more years of sailing North America in them, but newer markets they could go for another decade-plus.
 

WDW1974

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
MIght want to slightly modify that one...those of us in the Jacksonville area (I know there are at least five of us!) consider ourselves North Florida (I mean, come on, the University of North Florida - Go Osprey! - is in Jacksonville) and Miami is closer. Not a bunch, but the ride is a whole lot less dull than driving west on I-10!!

kidding...kidding....

I hate I-10 ... I find that area can be scary. As to the UNF Ospreys, I have some close friends that work for that fine institution of higher learning/factory of education and earning $$$!
 

Nemo14

Well-Known Member
I hope '74 won't mind my adding some slightly off-topic observations of my own from this week.
We are renting a condo this month about 10 minutes from WDW. This past week it has been more crowded with winter-break families, and we've noticed a lack of kids in Disney clothing (well, there are a few) and not a whole lot of people carrying bags of Disney merchandise. We've talked to a few families while we're out walking, and the majority of them have said that they are not going to WDW because it is too expensive when they can visit Universal and/or Sea World for far less money. We met up with friends from home this afternoon who have 2 school-aged kids, and they said the same thing. They really didn't feel that Disney was worth the money for their family. I'm not sure if we just hang around with less wealthy people, or if this is a trend. It does sound like the Disney parks have been busy this week, but so have Universal and Sea World.

Just an observation....
 

asianway

Well-Known Member
I've never read it. I don't read guidebooks to places I know as well as my hometown (or better!) ... I might read one if someone gave me a copy.

But I never said anything about their objectivity. They may well be objective and still get social media 'benefits' ... I have no idea ... but recall I didn't know what a Lou Mongello was until two years ago. So, I've missed the whole social media explosion.
Merf certainly has strong opinions on this topic
 

WDW1974

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
How much of that is not having a Disney park an hour's drive from the port? The cruises I've been on (admittedly all 3 or 4 nights) have a lot of people "splitting their vacation week" betwen DCL and Orlando. I think a lot of the general public still views DCL almost as an extension of the parks.

Not really. Those are just the newbies that DCL hooks and makes them think that 3 and 4-day 'voyages' to the Bahamas are what cruising is all about. ... DCL gets incredibly high (and deservingly so) marks from most expert cruisers. The folks who are interested in starting a MAGICal WDW trip with three nights on the Dream aren't, for the most part, those who will be sailing the Med with them this summer or even Alaska.

To me, anything less than nine nights is barely a cruise (and, yes, I am taking a DCL 5-nighter soon, but that largely has to do with my lovely traveling companion!)

But I guess the point here (sorry, watching someone on TV that is really getting on my nerves) is DCL cruisers are largely two groups, the one you mentioned and the one I am a part of.
 

WDW1974

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
i actually decided to do a "warts and all" trip report. I will leave no stone unturned. The good, the bad, and the stupid will all be talked about. Already mentioned the "bathroom" incident there. :eek:

I will check it out when time permits ... I normally wouldn't, but anything with a 'bathroom incident' is worthy of my time!
 

WDW1974

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Merf certainly has strong opinions on this topic

Yes. And he has expressed them to me privately. I won't share those. But I do believe his words have merit as he worked for Len and with Scarlett and the gang from TP.

But if he puts something on his site or Twit feed that pertains to the discussion, then I will import it.
 

DougK

Well-Known Member
Not in the near term, but I would expect them to down the road. ... but they have a lot of interest in Europe and Asia and even places as far as Australia and New Zealand.

And that is why you will see new ships a LOT sooner than Disney is leading on. Trust me on this one, I broke the news of two new ships back in 07 on LaughingPlace.com and my sources are impeccable on this subject. ... The Magic and Wonder don't have that many more years of sailing North America in them, but newer markets they could go for another decade-plus.

I would expect, in honor of you, that one of the new ships will be named the Disney Spirit! :)

(Disney 74 doesn't quite sound right).
 

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