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Spirited News, Observations & Thoughts IV

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dreamscometrue

Well-Known Member
Hi Spirit. First of all, I want to state that I was not in any way a fan of yours for several years, but I've developed a healthy respect for your insights and opinions. (Btw, sorry about calling you a "caricature" that time.) :)

I was going to paraphrase a comment of yours from yesterday, but I thought it best to quote it..." the paradigm for central Florida vacations is changing fundamentally and will continue to do so and Disney, despite some large scale projects coming in the next 4-7 years, has absolutely no clue how to respond and actually compete"

A few comments and a question.

I don't doubt that the manner in which people spend their time in Central Florida is changing to some extent, and I assume this refers mostly to the fact that more people are visiting Universal, and as a consequence, spending less time at WDW. (Noboby, not even the Spirit himself, can be in 2 places at once.) Back in about 2004, attendance at Uni was abysmal, not significantly better than some seasonal parks. WDW had little competition and was becoming stagnant and complacent. Along comes a large infusion of cash for Uni, and some vision, and here we are in 2013 with 2 very solid parks at Universal, with more good stuff coming down the pipe. Using our family as an example, we never had any reason to venture down the I-4 10 years ago, but now could spend a day or two there...still no more than that for us though. We'll still do a week at WDW's parks.

The competition from Universal recently has been the necessary catalyst to get WDW to take notice, and to actually start to focus again on maintenance, new attractions, expansion, etc. That's great for those of us who are fans of WDW. If WDW gets some of the large scale projects in the next 4-7 years that you refer to, I think that they will compete, whether anyone in the company is a visionary or not. Money poured in to DCA has made that a park worth visiting and boosted attendance. Despite Universal's improvements, I find it impossible to believe that additons such as Pandora at AK, and a Star Wars expansions and/or Pixar expansion will not further boost attendance at those parks, and keep people at each park longer. In fact, I imagine that an increased Star Wars presence could do what WWoHP did for Universal. Noboby will ever convince me that HP has a larger and more loyal following than SW. So, I expect these parks to compete just fine after an infusion of cash.

My question for you Spirit, is do you not think that even without a visionary like Walt at the helm, WDW can do just fine by responding to Uni with the above mentioned expansions at DAK, DHS and improvements to Epcot, hopefully starting with Imagination next year?
 
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marni1971

WDW History nut
Premium Member
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Could they actually finally fire the idiots who need to be kicked out (the corporate heads who thought this would be a good idea) and get people in who actually know how to run theme parks the right way? .
Sadly no. Those who should have quietly been walking away from Nextgen, leaving scapegoats on the chopping block.

Frontline CMs (those who know how the parks and attractions run and what the software would do) have been saying for months it'll never work properly. And now its coming true.
 

rodmansju

Member
It won't do us any good at this point if costs have already exceeded $3B. The money's been spent! I would hate to have to write off that failed capital expenditure!
thats the really painful part of all this...i think it was initially pegged at 2 billion...now it's at 3 billion. i remember hearing about this after our last trip in 2011, and was excited to think we'd likely be using it in 2013. we are 2 weeks away, and unless we are getting a surprise at check-in....not a chance.

can you fathom how many new rides, and how many amazing refurbs, could have been funded for three billion dollars?

i am honestly struggling to understand exactly where all that money went....its not like RFID is bleeding edge anymore.
 

devoy1701

Well-Known Member
Sadly no. Those who should have quietly been walking away from Nextgen, leaving scapegoats on the chopping block.

Frontline CMs (those who know how the parks and attractions run and what the software would do) have been saying for months it'll never work properly. And now its coming true.
The other thing I don't understand Martin is how WDW is the only resort running with this, and the costs have gone north of $3 Billion. That's equal to 10% of the OpEx costs of the ENTIRE COMPANY. How is this happening and how are Shareholders not in a tizzy yet? That 28% YTD return might be a lot higher if NexGen wasn't bleeding through it's budget!
 

MerlinTheGoat

Well-Known Member
Sadly no. Those who should have quietly been walking away from Nextgen, leaving scapegoats on the chopping block.

Frontline CMs (those who know how the parks and attractions run and what the software would do) have been saying for months it'll never work properly. And now its coming true.
Thanks, I thought as much.

So basically this is indeed a lose-lose situation for fans. Nothing will change, and there will probably be another butt-brained scam-scheme in a few years to try to suck money from people in any way they can EXCEPT actually upping quality and building amazing new attractions. It looks like we're stuck with the same people running Disney for good now. Whenever something goes wrong, blame is shifted and someone else takes the fall for it while the people responsible remain or are promoted. There really isn't any justice.

Future for WDW isn't looking too hot at the moment, is it? Well except for the Florida heat anyways...
 
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Bolna

Well-Known Member
NGE is falling apart at the seams. Many of the executives who had been putting on a brave face and walking the line are now more openly pessimistic. Some of the enhancements will be nice but almost all of the revenue generating elements are crashing and burning.
Thanks for the info. However I have always been wondering what the "revenue generating elements" would really be. Can you give us some insight into how it was meant to generate revenue?
 

bhg469

Well-Known Member
thats the really painful part of all this...i think it was initially pegged at 2 billion...now it's at 3 billion. i remember hearing about this after our last trip in 2011, and was excited to think we'd likely be using it in 2013. we are 2 weeks away, and unless we are getting a surprise at check-in....not a chance.

can you fathom how many new rides, and how many amazing refurbs, could have been funded for three billion dollars?

i am honestly struggling to understand exactly where all that money went....its not like RFID is bleeding edge anymore.
RFID isn't the problem, its the infrastructure needed to tie it all together. I am not apple bashing here but all this technology probably would have probably been more easily integrated if they used open source software or windows. Disney loves to blow money on stuff the consumer doesn't see though. Several billion blown on something no one asked for and only nerds like me find interesting, but I could take it or leave it.
 

devoy1701

Well-Known Member
RFID isn't the problem, its the infrastructure needed to tie it all together. I am not apple bashing here but all this technology probably would have probably been more easily integrated if they used open source software or windows. Disney loves to blow money on stuff the consumer doesn't see though. Several billion blown on something no one asked for and only nerds like me find interesting, but I could take it or leave it.
That's so they can do another Modern Marvels episode for Behind the Scenes of WDW and be impressed with their amazing hi-tech infrastructure! :cat:
 

cynic710

Well-Known Member
what about the big fish, whats the status on star wars and carsland? other sites are reporting on attraction footprints and whatnot, what can really be believed?
 

manutdfan1

Active Member
The saddest part about the NextGen BS is thinking about what we could have in the parks for $3 billion dollars.

Y'all, that's almost 3 DCA makeovers. The parks would be swamped if $3 billion worth of attractions were added in the past 5 years. I can tell you one thing... Even with all of Uni's additions recently, my upcoming vacation in Florida would be 100% spent on Disney property instead of only 25%.

Yet here we are, waiting for a post from the almighty Spirit about how WDW will soon be a shadow of its former self if it already isn't.

It's infuriating.
 

tissandtully

Well-Known Member
The saddest part about the NextGen BS is thinking about what we could have in the parks for $3 billion dollars.

Y'all, that's almost 3 DCA makeovers. The parks would be swamped if $3 billion worth of attractions were added in the past 5 years. I can tell you one thing... Even with all of Uni's additions recently, my upcoming vacation in Florida would be 100% spent on Disney property instead of only 25%.

Yet here we are, waiting for a post from the almighty Spirit about how WDW will soon be a shadow of its former self if it already isn't.

It's infuriating.
I honestly can't fathom why all of this cost that much. It is literally insane.
 

Tim_4

Well-Known Member
Have you got any specifics you can share? This isn't matching up with what I am being told.
PhotoPass+ for one. My understanding is that there were supposed to be three or more tiered packages. The top tier was going to rely heavily on the long range RFID. As far as I know that product has been axed entirely.
 

maxairmike

Well-Known Member
Sadly no. Those who should have quietly been walking away from Nextgen, leaving scapegoats on the chopping block.

Frontline CMs (those who know how the parks and attractions run and what the software would do) have been saying for months it'll never work properly. And now its coming true.
No one should really be surprised with this in particular, at all. Even though those on the frontline may not have the book and business smarts that the folks in their ivory towers (or, trailers as the case is at Disney parks) have, there's an awful lot to be said for "street smarts" in this business, and when they all give a collective shrug and even a "Seriously?" look, people should pay attention.

Have you got any specifics you can share? This isn't matching up with what I am being told.
Not to speak for Tim (and I can't share any specifics), but for now they are still trying to push full steam ahead with everything, but some parts are losing ground rapidly. Brave faces are still being worn by most everyone above the front line level outside of their offices, where they bang their heads against their desks. I would not put much stock into anything you hear outside of an office or an informal chat with someone in an inconspicuous area.
 

MerlinTheGoat

Well-Known Member
The saddest part about the NextGen BS is thinking about what we could have in the parks for $3 billion dollars.

Y'all, that's almost 3 DCA makeovers. The parks would be swamped if $3 billion worth of attractions were added in the past 5 years. I can tell you one thing... Even with all of Uni's additions recently, my upcoming vacation in Florida would be 100% spent on Disney property instead of only 25%.

Yet here we are, waiting for a post from the almighty Spirit about how WDW will soon be a shadow of its former self if it already isn't.

It's infuriating.
I completely agree. Even considering how wasteful and bloated Disney has become with building new theme park attractions, 3 billion would go a long way at making improvements.

Only thing i'll say is that WDW is definitely already a shadow of its former self. Has been since the mid 90's or so when they began mutilating EPCOT and systematically compromising overall quality (attractions, maintenance, food quality and other special details that added up) across the entire property for the next two decades. It simply keeps casting a longer and longer shadow as the years go by and they continue to allow the place to rot away.
 

Soarin' Over Pgh

Well-Known Member
Not sure what was better this morning. Waking up to the Pittsburgh Pirates in first place (finally the 20 year losing streak may end) or a new post from Spirit. Will be hanging on for more info all day now.

haha! Right? If you're going to the game tonight, drop me a line. We could grab a hot dog and discuss this thread while watching our team kick some butt :) The last time the Pirates had a winning season, I was too young to remember!

Back on subject... @Tim_4 can you share anything else about the PhotoPass fiasco?

@WDW1974 have you heard any numbers as of late regarding attendance, rooms filled and/or projections for the upcoming fall/winter? Do you think WDW will be as busy as they've been in the past for the holidays?
 

sublimesting

Well-Known Member
Can someone please explain to me what exactly Next Gen is? I get the basics of it but what were we suppossed to be getting out of this project and what are we actually getting? It certainly wasn't just fancy lines with electronic gizmos and the ability to fast pass taking a leak.
 
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